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Friday
May292015

Rusbridger descending - Josh 328

Today is Alan Rusbridger's last day as Editor of the Guardian and I am sure we all wish him well whatever he decides to do next.

The cartoon 'celebrates' his championing of divestment from fossil fuels, which we know is a bit of a dark development with 'abhorrent' consequences - so I think we can coin a new term "Divestocide".

Cartoons by Josh

Friday
May292015

Spot the climate spiv

The Guardian discusses Bjorn Lomborg's work today in a podcast which can be found here. The panel chosen to take part consisted of Chris Hope, Mark Maslin and Adam Vaughan. And if that doesn't put you off, a couple of minutes listening to it will do the trick, or at least it did me.

Just before nodding off, I did take in Mark Maslin's claim that renewables only appear uncompetitive because fossil fuels are subsidised so heavily. (Why the Guardian thought to raise this topic with Maslin, a geographer, is beyond me). Given that the vast majority of subsidies of fossil fuels are applied outside the European Union, this is of course entirely irrelevant to policy decisions in the UK, and it is grossly misleading of Maslin to suggest otherwise.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
May282015

Rhubarb to save us from global warming

Ambrose Evans Pritchard's latest effort in the Telegraph is very long but rather amusing in the way that it repeats every utterance of the greens without question.

An astonishing report - blandly titled "How Large Are Global Energy Subsidies" - alleges that the fossil nexus enjoys hidden support worth 6.5pc of world GDP.

This will amount to $5.7 trillion in 2015, mostly due to environmental costs and damage to health, and mostly stemming from coal. The World Health Organisation - also on cue - has sharply revised up its estimates of early deaths from fine particulates and sulphur dioxide from coal plants.

Right on cue indeed! One wonders whether the possibility that he was merely a conduit for a political PR campaign ever crossed AEP's mind. Then again, as you read all the garbage he has introduced into his article, you have to wonder if it is not a role that he is wholeheartedly embracing. Elon Musk! Four degrees! Rhubarb powered batteries! It's mindblowing.

Thursday
May282015

Greens trashing the environment part 527

How can one resist posting a video of Tesla electric cars being recharged (so it is claimed) using a diesel generator?

These people love the environment you see.

Tuesday
May262015

Doom, doom, doom, another one bites the dust

Another coal fired power station is to close - this time imminently. Eon have apparently announced that time is running out for the Ironbridge Power Station in Shropshire; its allowance under the EU's Large Combustion Plant Directive will be exhausted by the end of the year at the latest. A warm summer or a cold autumn could see the curtains being drawn earlier.

Interesting times.

 

Tuesday
May262015

Uberhubering

I commend to BH readers Chris Hope's Twitter output this morning. Chris is at a climate conference in Stockholm at the moment, where delegates are being royally entertained by somebody called Matt Huber, from Purdue University. Huber shows that if you assume crazy things on climate sensitivity and crazy things on emissions you can come up with some truly crazy predictions. His talk is apparently generating "intense interest". I have made some excerpts from Chris's tweets below.

Click to read more ...

Monday
May252015

Behind solar power's bamboo curtain

This is rather interesting.

Monday
May252015

Waste pumps

This is a guest post by John Bell.

In March of 2004 I took a job as a hydraulic pump design engineer at a private company in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The company had a contract with the EPA (NVFEL) in Ann Arbor to design and build prototype hydraulic pumps to be used in hybrid UPS delivery trucks. The project was the brainchild of Charles Gray, who had been with the EPA since its inception, and who retired in 2012. I was happy to further my career and to be involved in this interesting project, to help design a drive train that would use hydraulic pumps and accumulators to capture braking energy and then reuse that energy to accelerate the vehicle again. I believed in the project for the first six months, and then I saw the light. Turns out it was just another wasteful government boondoggle.

Click to read more ...

Friday
May222015

The division of spoils

Updated on May 22, 2015 by Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Guido has helpfully listed the division of select committee chairmanships between the parties for the new Parliament. The individuals concerned will have to be elected, but it's fair to say it doesn't look good so far.

Energy and Climate Change has been handed to the SNP. This should at least make for good entertainment, given that party's suicidal policies on wind power. I'm not entirely convinced that it bodes well for the future of electricity supplies in the UK.

Click to read more ...

Friday
May222015

Notes from a conference, part II

More from Cameron Rose, who is attending a business and climate conference in Brussels.

The Big Fat Carbon Price (see the end of yesterday's post) was the subject for the first discussion, surprise, surprise. Tony Hayward was the man to watch. He is chairman of Glencore, a mining company, and CEO of an Anglo-Turkish company called Genel Energy. He was once BP CEO. Here are the key points I noted:

  • 'Fossil fuels provide 82% of world energy but in 30 years the IEA expects it to be a percentage in the early 70s.' (Not much reduction there, then)
  • 'The emissions trading scheme (ETS) has been a mess and we are now left with a dysfunctional energy market.' (Not afraid to speak plainly.)
  • 'If the objective is to change behaviour it must be at the point of use. We need to eliminate subsidies.'
  • 'The abatement of a tonne of CO2 from a coal power stations should be treated the same way as for other, new technologies.'
  • 'China and India must complete their industrialisation.'

Click to read more ...

Thursday
May212015

Notes from a conference

This is a guest post by Cameron Rose.

Just thought I'd share my brief diary from the Business and Climate conference at the UNESCO building in Paris on 20th/21st May 2015.  It is in the lead up to COP21 in December and I'm a delegate this week.

Arrived late and missed the opening warm-up from Christine Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC. The businessman in the next seat told me there had been nothing new from her.

Wed 20th PM.  I was in time to catch the second half of the 'Energy' thematic session, where there were six CEO-level panelists plus the Norwegian Minister of European Economic affairs.  I learned the following (perhaps a True/False quiz would be appropriate):

Click to read more ...

Thursday
May212015

The extraordinary benefits of global warming

Whenever you mention the benefits of global warming, upholders of the climate consensus tend to go all vague and mumbly, with lots of circumlocutions around the idea that maybe the benefits are just not so clear as the harms that they say will befall us.

One of the great bones of contention in the impacts area has been the balance between deaths due to heatwaves and reduced deaths to to cold, but a paper in the Lancet looks as if it is going to put this particular debate to bed. This is partly because of the size of the sample - some 74 million deaths were analysed - but also because of the vastly greater number of deaths from cold - 20-fold more than deaths from heat.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
May202015

The inhumanity of the true green believer

This morning, I asked Michael Liebreich - a green-tinged businessman and potential candidate for London mayor - about his views on aid for fossil fuel projects in Africa. He supported them.

It's generally a ban on coal projects, except in exceptional circumstances. Yes, I'm comfortable with that.

And when I suggested that his support was despite the death toll from indoor air pollution, he said this:

And all because I don't want our taxes spent on solutions that are neither cheap nor quick nor healthy. OK.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
May202015

Another power station to close

SSE has announced that it is to close a coal-fired power station at Ferrybridge in West Yorkshire, taking a further 2GW of capacity out of the grid. I'm not sure whether this has been factored into Ofgem's capacity margin calculations already.

The unions, who have been toeing the green line for years, are squealing loudly. If I were one of their members I would be wondering what I'd been paying them for all this time.

Tuesday
May192015

Greens to gross-out over Gaia gains

I commend to readers this brilliant article by Jesse Ausubel at the Breakthrough Institute blog.

Despite predictions of runaway ecological destruction, beginning in the 1970s, Americans began to consume less and tread more lightly on the planet. Over the past several decades, through technological innovation, Americans now grow more food on less acres, eat more sources of meat that are less land-intrusive, and used water more efficiently so that water use is lower than in 1970. The result: lands that were once used for farms and logging operations are now returning as forests and grasslands, along with wildlife, such as the return of humpback whales off the shores of New York City (pictured above). As Jesse Ausubel elucidates in a new essay for Breakthrough Journal, as humans depend less on nature for the well-being, the more nature they have returned.

Wow. Things are getting better for Gaia. Environmentalists are going to hate this.