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« Counterblast | Main | Muller in the NYT »
Sunday
Jul292012

The passing of the Climate Change Act?

Christopher Booker notes what appears to me to be the beginning of the end for the Climate Change Act.

[W]hat we see emerging here for the first time is an official admission that, in order to keep our lights on and our economy running, we have no alternative but to rely massively on fossil-fuel gas, which will drive a coach and horses through the Climate Change Act’s target of an 80 per cent emissions cut.

Of course, the politicians will deny this, but they can only do so on the basis of wishful thinking. They are not going to get their “carbon capture” or their 32,000 wind turbines, let alone those “hundreds of thousands of green jobs”. In all directions they are screwed. And not the least telling feature of last week’s statement was that it made no reference to the shale gas revolution which has already halved US gas prices in five years, and which could solve our own energy problems by providing cheap gas for centuries.

Of course, the fact that our energy needs will be met by shale gas and that the Climate Change Act will be tossed to the wind doesn't mean that the government will stop funding wind turbines. But there will be a growing realisation that the taxpayers' largesse is not anything to do with energy. It will be seen for what it is - a gargantuan fig-leaf behind which politicians like Ed Davey can hide their cowardice.

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Reader Comments (52)

And not one 'journalist' in the whole of the BBC or MSM questions him.
Just ask how many green jobs have already been created.

Apart from all those pseudo jobs in local government, in all the quangos ..

I honestly despair for journalism in this country.

Jul 29, 2012 at 9:51 AM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

Typo alert, your Grace - anything/nothing or 'isn't anything' [Thanks. BH]

Jul 29, 2012 at 9:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterGixxerboy

We must take care to think very clearly.

1. Carbon capture is possible and may still be needed if change of ocean pH modifies phytoplankton growth kinetics and triggers the next Ice Age. by increasing cloud albedo.

2. Because climate science has assumed the Earth emits IR as if it were an isolated black body in a vacuum, ludicrous, the myth has grown up that the absorption of GHG band IR at TOA proves the GHE. It does not: the real GHE has to be from restricting IR emission in those bands from the surface.

3. The politicians who thought up the CCA, Prescott, Blair, Benn, Miliband, DC, should be taken behind the bike sheds and re-educated for having failed to get professional advice from power system engineers.

Jul 29, 2012 at 9:56 AM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

Some people seem to think that Ed Davey and Wayne Rooney are the same person. However they have now been seen in the same room together: Rooney was the looker!

Jul 29, 2012 at 10:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterIan E

If only ......

Jul 29, 2012 at 10:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterHehneToTheSlammer

"Some people seem to think that Ed Davey and Wayne Rooney are the same person."

Once he's donned the England shirt it looks to me as though Rooney and Davey are interchangeable.

Jul 29, 2012 at 10:35 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

When the legislation is amended then I will salute science with a tipple of choice, I think it's time to start looking for that special malt in preparation.

Jul 29, 2012 at 10:37 AM | Registered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Spartacusisfree comment.

Ocean pH has remained firmly within the alkali bracket, 7.6-8,4 or so, since the Cambrian 540Ma ago. Since then the atmospheric CO2 content has changed dramatically up and down with the highest value being 8000ppmv approx. The oceanic waters are an ionic solution with a bi-carbonate feedback which raises pH with every reduction by dissolving CO2. A balance is automatically maintained. One of the consequences of this is that at high CO2 levels phytoplankton grow faster as do all the other animals down the food chain. Corals thrive at these times but do not in times of low CO2. So there is no need of CCS which you claim is possible. Well I do not. It was tried in Scotland a couple of years ago and it was abandoned as impossible. what is being tried is to introduce a gas into what is now fractured rock after gas extraction, if fracking was used, so the CO2 bubbles out. A total waste of our money.

Jul 29, 2012 at 11:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Marshall

"...a gargantuan fig-leaf behind which politicians like Ed Davey can hide their cowardice."

I see a Josh cartoon coming on.

Jul 29, 2012 at 11:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter S

The targets in the Climate Change Act 2008 can be amended by Ed Davey as in 2 below:

1 The target for 2050
(1)It is the duty of the Secretary of State to ensure that the net UK carbon account for the year 2050 is at least 80% lower than the 1990 baseline.
(2)“The 1990 baseline” means the aggregate amount of—
(a)net UK emissions of carbon dioxide for that year, and
(b)net UK emissions of each of the other targeted greenhouse gases for the year that is the base year for that gas.
2 Amendment of 2050 target or baseline year
(1)The Secretary of State may by order—
(a)amend the percentage specified in section 1(1);
(b)amend section 1 to provide for a different year to be the baseline year.
(2)The power in subsection (1)(a) may only be exercised—
(a)if it appears to the Secretary of State that there have been significant developments in—
(i)scientific knowledge about climate change, or
(ii)European or international law or policy,
that make it appropriate to do so, or
(b)in connection with the making of—
(i)an order under section 24 (designation of further greenhouse gases as targeted greenhouse gases), or
(ii)regulations under section 30 (emissions from international aviation or international shipping).
(3)The developments in scientific knowledge referred to in subsection (2) are—
(a)in relation to the first exercise of the power in subsection (1)(a), developments since the passing of this Act;
(b)in relation to a subsequent exercise of that power, developments since the evidential basis for the previous exercise was established.
(4)The power in subsection (1)(b) may only be exercised if it appears to the Secretary of State that there have been significant developments in European or international law or policy that make it appropriate to do so.

Jul 29, 2012 at 11:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Davey wasn't the originator of this bonkers CCA - that honour goes to the son of a Marxist 'thinker' and spieler. Green goody-two-shoes Miliband [only for you Tony, or Gordo, or Manuel], who allowed greenpeace to help him write into law one of the daftest Acts [and then some] the Parliament circus has ever dreamt up. Most of the honourable members chumps who then passed it almost unanimously and onto the statute book.
Talk about extracting the urine - and arm twisting the taxpayer............all for an agenda that will do everything to stuff Britain and will not change anything but will augment the EU's emissions trading and play to the charade of their [EU's] preposterous carbon dioxide reduction psychosis.

Perhaps, Davey might have been illuminated into preserving Britain's 'illuminations'.

Jul 29, 2012 at 11:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

In the US, the economic stimulus bill passed in 2009 had billions of dollars for green energy projects. More than 70% of the hardware was purchased offshore. I guess it helped create jobs with our trading partners. Since the equipment for building energy infrastructure is energy intensive to manufacture, green policies that raise energy prices assure that the hardware will be imported and jobs exported to meet the mandates.

Jul 29, 2012 at 11:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterSean

Earlier this morning there was a story in the British press about a shake-down of government by vested interests in wind and the mills and boom... I wanted to post it when this thread opened, but it's gone now. It was not pretty; but this colonial lad was too slow to snatch it.

Jul 29, 2012 at 12:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Carr

From the Ecclesiastical Uncle, an old retired bureaucrat in a field only remotely related to climate with minimal qualifications and only half a mind.

This morning I read in the web version of the Telegraph that foreign firms that include EDF and investment funds from a multitude of countries last week forced the reduction of subsidy to on-shore wind forms to be lowered to 10% from something near the 25% proposed by Tory back-benchers. It seems the government succumbed in the face of what amounts to naked aggression. The paper’s political intelligence is that the level of subsidy may come up for review again in about a year. Also that the decision was not left to small fry like Davey – it was Cameron and Osborne.

IMHO the decision is an indictment of this government. The opportunity to reduce payments of UK tax-payers money towards the profits of foreigners has been passed by. Maybe this decision can be transformed into a stick to beat the government about the head in the context of the war over CAGW.

But for me there may also be also wider implications. Hitherto I have not objected to foreign investments into our domestic infrastructure – after all, ‘possession in 90% of the law’ and in the end most infrastructure cannot be removed from our soil. But it now seems that foreign investments come at a cost which maybe is not commonly taken into the sums that are done before they are accepted.

Re the Climate Change Act, I have repeatedly pointed out on this blog that the act contains the means for self emasculation carefully built in to it. (I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall of the offices where the act was formulated and drafted. I’ve read somewhere on this blog that the responsible department drafted in a notorious eco-activist to lead the process. But reading the result makes it very clear that some wiley bureaucrat, either in the department but maybe in th Parliamentary Counsel’s office, made sure that the act’s unrealistic carbon and green house gas emission targets etc, no doubt passionately promoted by the activist and included into the acy as a result, can be changed (ie: done way with) at the say-so of the Secretary of State on the recommendation of the Climate Change Committee, and that membership of that committee is also a matter for him. So easy. The tantrums when drafts were returned to the Department must have been truly wondrous.)

So in all probability the Government will avoid eating humble pie in public. Maybe some future SecState will be told to do the business and then sacrificed.

Jul 29, 2012 at 12:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterEcclesiastical Uncle

When will we all wake up to the scam that is EU carbon dioxide emissions reductions & money laundering scheme that is CCS & Carbon Trading? It doesn't work, it won't work, it cannot work, without obscenely massive taxpayer subsidies thrown down the toilet of Greenalism! Can Booker or somebody identify who these vested interests are who are driving these idiotic policies so that the people can target them & highlight their corruption?

Jul 29, 2012 at 12:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

The Sunday Telegraph article (by Patrick Hennessy and Robert Watts) identified EDF "and firms and investment funds from Japan, the US and Europe" as noted above by Ecclesastical Uncle. It also quotes the Renwable Energy Foundation saying that the total annual subsidy for wind farms has exceeded £1 billion with 10 companies to be paid £800 million between them through subsidies over the next year. The Danish Dong Energy will earn £156 million, and the Swedish Vattenfall will earn £128 million. When they write "earn" this really is a euphemism for "be paid in subsidy" by the long suffering UK taxpayer. It is a squalid business.

Although Ecclesiastical Uncle appears confident about the drafting of the Climate Change Act, the fact remains it is still costing us a small fortune, and the Climate Change Committee remains, I believe, packed with the Act`s true believers and supporters.

Jul 29, 2012 at 12:46 PM | Unregistered Commenteroldtimer

Both Phillip Bratby and Ecclesiasticlal Uncle make valid points. It seems that just about every act of Parliament has a collection of 'get out' clauses written in. Some need ruling only by the relevant Secretary Of State. Some require the House to agree to the amendments.

Jul 29, 2012 at 12:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

Phillip Bratby:

The CCA provisions you quote are reinforced by the "Climate Change Act 2008 Impact Assessment" of March 2009. For example, Section S2 says:

The economic case for the UK continuing to act alone where global action cannot be achieved would be weak
And, under the heading "Pathways to transition", it notes (section 2.4.9):
"the long term target and the overall objectives [of the Climate Change Act are] ensuring the UK is making a full contribution to global action on climate change mitigation
But there is no such global action. So blindly ploughing on with an attempt to contribute is futile, absurd and damaging. However ...


Ecclesiastical Uncle (and Peter Stroud):

Until recently, like you I thought that sections 1 and 2 of the CCA plus the Impact Assessment meant that the Act contained the seeds of its own destruction: it could, in effect, be neutralised by the Secretary of State without the massive hurdle of Parliamentary repeal. All that was needed, I thought, was a SoS who understood how its implementation would damage the UK.

But I was wrong. In a recent exchange, Ben Pile pointed out to me that the Act states (subsection 2.(6)) that "An order under this section is subject to affirmative resolution procedure." The procedure required for an affirmative resolution (much more than the SoS's "say-so") make it almost as difficult to achieve as total repeal. It seems that bureaucrat was so wily after all. Too bad.

Jul 29, 2012 at 12:57 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

Hey, how come no wind turbines at the Olympics opening ceremony? We got smokestacks instead??

Jul 29, 2012 at 1:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterBeetleL

Carbon Capture & Storage may be impossible but this is NOT so the government has no reason to cut down fossil fuel use:

http://web.mit.edu/press/2012/hybrid-copper-gold-nanoparticles-convert.html

Jul 29, 2012 at 1:33 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Will people stop repeating the nonsense that Ed Miliband was the architect for the Climate Change Act 2008 - he wasn't.

The minister who introduced the legislation to Parliament was one Hilary Benn. Miliband took over the brief as it was making its way through Parliament.

Jul 29, 2012 at 1:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterLiT

From the Ecclesiastical Uncle, an old retired bureaucrat in a field only remotely related to climate with minimal qualifications and only half a mind.

Philip Bratby, Rojer Carr

Sorry I missed your contributions which were apparently aired while I was busy drafting.

Roger Carr only

Today's Telegraph still included the story about an hour ago

Robin Guenier

These positive and negative affirmative procedures

Ages ago, I looked these up and concluded that in any credible scenario they would not be barriers. Following your post here now I have given the matter another fleeting review and am inclined to endorse my original view.

What both mean is that a full sitting of the relevant parliament (UK, Welsh, Scottish etc, I think) has to approve the SecState’s action.

The SecState owes his job to the PM, so if the PM wants to emasculate the Climate Change Act he tells the SecState to do so. The SecState loads the Climate Change Committee with people who will advise him that atmospheric carbon dioxide is a good thing (oldtimer: as the Act empowers him to do) and, acting on that advice, neuters the Act. Then he offers up what he has done to parliament, and what do you know? All Government side MPs have been told to support the SecState’s action and he gets his affirmation.

Yes – not wiley but I could not find wily either.

Jul 29, 2012 at 2:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterEcclesiastical Uncle

The problem we have is the large warming faction within Decc, Defra, Dfid and the FCO, who keep driving the issue. Plus the Stern train is still running and whilst I am not suggesting that Lord Stern has anything to do with the recently revealed money laundering activities of HSBC, he has been an advisor to them since 2007 and was heavily involved in promoting green taxation at the 2010 Cancun COP 16 in Mexico and again in Durban at COP 17.

When he became HSBC advisor, they started a five-year, US$100 million partnership "to respond to the urgent threat of climate change worldwide with the support of The Climate Group, Earthwatch Institute, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and WWF.

In 2008, (May), Stern published a set of proposals for a global deal on climate change at the LSE called, Key Elements of a Global Deal. In it he said:

"Developed countries will need to take on immediate and binding national emissions targets, demonstrate that they can achieve low carbon growth, and transfer resources and technologies to developing countries, before developing countries take on binding national targets of their own by 2020."

Lord Adair Turner introduced Stern's proposals and the event was also attended by Rajendra Pachauri, Robert Zoellick, (World Bank President) and Tony Blair, who is heavily involved with the Climate Group.

Contributors to the Stern plan included HSBC, IdeaCarbon, Judge Business School at Cambridge University, Lehman Brothers and McKinsey and Company. Stern said he was also inspired by a number of discussions with international policymakers, financiers and academics. He is of course, involved with HSBC and Idea Carbon, Michael Grubb of the CCC, was at that time involved with the Judge Business School and Lord Turner, until recently head of CCC, spent 13 years at McKinsey and Co. Lehman Brothers suffered considerably from their excursions into carbon trading.

In a report for Lehman Bros in 2007, "The Business of Climate Change", Dr John Llewellyn, who was Senior Economic Policy Advisor to Lehman Brothers acknowledged the following, (plus a few more), Lord Stern, Mike Hume, Roger Harrabin, Chris Huhne, Christopher Tugendhat, (Tory peer and former EU commissioner), Tom Burke, Nick Mabey, John Ashton and oh, Max Mosely, but I think he was just the party organiser. Quite amazing how many people were involved with Lehman Brothers and carbon trading in the UK.

"Lehman Brother -The Business of Climate Change" - http://www.cs.bc.edu/~muller/teaching/cs021/lib/ClimateChange.pdf

Burke, Mabey and Ashton are all part of the government-NGO revolving door set up. (http://www.e3g.org/about/Governance). It is unashamedly a proxy for the UK government in pushing government policy on coercing the UK into “Low Carbon Energy”. It boasts of being “funded by foundations, governments and NGOs.”, including Defra, DfID.

Founding Director & Chief Executive Nick Mabey was a senior policy adviser to Tony Blair, and former Head of Sustainable Development in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) Environment Policy department. Before he joined government, Mabey was Head of Economics and Development at WWF-UK

Founding Director John Ashton was appointed as Special Representative for Climate Change of the UK under the Labour Government. He is on secondment to the government from E3G, where he had previously been Chief Executive since its inception. He worked for Lord Chris Patten when Patten was Governor of Hong Kong and supervising the hand-over to China. Patten is now Chairman of the BBC Trust.

Tom Burke is a Founding Director of E3G, and Special Advisor to three Secretaries of State for the Environment from 1991-97, including new CCC chairman, John Gummer, after serving as Director of the Green Alliance from 1982-91. Formerly Executive Director of Friends of the Earth and a member of the Executive Committee of the European Environmental Bureau 1988-91.

Shane Tomlinson is E3G’s Director of Development, prior to which he worked in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit in the Cabinet Office.

Matt Findlay joined E3G in February 2008 on secondment from the FCO, he no longer appears, so must have re-joined the FCO.

On March 3rd 2009 there was a "Stern Symposium" in Washington. It was attended by "academics, CEOs of large US corporations, cross party Senators, and staffers, with a view to gaining a global economic perspective on U.S climate change action." http://web.archive.org/web/20090331231714/http://www.occ.gov.uk/activities/stern.htm

"The event was sponsored by the World Resources Institute, (Al Gore on the board) the Peterson Institute for International Economics, the Centre for Global Development, the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change & the Environment and with assistance from CISCO and The Climate Group."

"Lord Stern chaired several sessions with other notable speakers including Tony Blair, who chaired the closed door session and press conference, Connie Hedegaard; Danish minister for climate and energy and Ed Milliband."

"The Stern team, based at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, work closely with Lord Stern to develop further analysis on the economics of climate change, disseminate the Review's analysis and findings and provide advice to other countries and regions that are planning similar work."

In February this year, Stern was pushing for extensive borrowing powers for the Green Investment Bank He also backed the Treasury's plans for a carbon floor price, called for strong support for the government's flagship Green Deal energy efficiency scheme, and urged the chancellor to consider introducing more green taxes.

On March 30th the FCO sent Stern to Ecuador. The visit was organised by the British Embassy in Quito and the Ecuadorean Ministry of the Environment, with the support of the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano (FFLA), FUNDAR Galápagos, Conservation International (CI), World Wildlife Foundation (WWF), and the Charles Darwin Foundation.

CDKN, like many of these new groups, is filled with lots of "dedicated, bright young things" now coming out of the climate education system. It is quite clear that politicians know precious little about the portfolios they they hold and merely respond to the pressure from vested-interest government advisors and from within government departments, which in many cases are simply proxies for WWF or FoE.

It is still going to be a long struggle.

Jul 29, 2012 at 2:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterDennisA

Ah, wrong page for that comment!

Jul 29, 2012 at 2:46 PM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

Ecclesiastical Uncle:

The affirmative resolution procedure is spelled out here. It states:

For the purposes of this Part the “affirmative resolution procedure” in relation to the making of an order pursuant to a draft order laid under section 14 is as follows.

1. If after the expiry of the 40-day period the draft order is approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament, the Minister may make an order in the terms of the draft.

2. However, a committee of either House charged with reporting on the draft order may, at any time after the expiry of the 30-day period and before the expiry of the 40-day period, recommend under this subsection that no further proceedings be taken in relation to the draft order.

3. Where a recommendation is made by a committee of either House under subsection (3) in relation to a draft order, no proceedings may be taken in relation to the draft order in that House under subsection (2) unless the recommendation is, in the same Session, rejected by resolution of that House.

4. For the purposes of subsection (2) an order is made in the terms of a draft order if it contains no material changes to the provisions of the draft order.

5. In this section—

(a) the “30-day period” has the meaning given by section 15(7); and

(b) the “40-day period” has the meaning given by section 16(7).

6. For the purpose of calculating the 40-day period in a case where a recommendation is made under subsection (3) by a committee of either House but the recommendation is rejected by that House under subsection (4), no account shall be taken of any day between the day on which the recommendation was made and the day on which the recommendation was rejected.

Sounds like a barrier to me: there's no possibility of the current Parliament letting this through. But, if I'm wrong and there is, it would be just as easy to have done with it and repeal the Act.

PS:

wily |ˈwʌɪli|
adjective ( wilier , wiliest )
skilled at gaining an advantage, esp. deceitfully : his wily opponents.

Jul 29, 2012 at 4:03 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

It's the next parliament that will make the changes, just need to get to 2015 with limited damage.

Jul 29, 2012 at 4:27 PM | Registered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Quite possibly the next government will be a Lab/Libdem coalition. Little chance of change then.

Jul 29, 2012 at 4:39 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

I attended a university seminar recently in which a greenpeace funded researcher/scientist explained that, since the tier 2 Kyoto protocol countries were to exceed their UN allocated quotas, 'scientists' such as himself had realised that net carbon emissions from tier 1 countries would need to hit zero in 2035. This would be necessary to limit global temperature increases to 2C. Shale gas without complete carbon sequestration is out of the question, and hydrocarbon fueled transport must be banned. Shalegas with sequestration, he reasoned, was more costly than offshore wind, thus shalegas must be ignored. He emphasised the political access he enjoyed, defending in court the vandals who attacked the Blackpool drilling project, testifying to the welsh assembly, to EU technocrats etc. In a lecture theatre of perhaps 20 people not one voiced an objection, save for his anti-fraccing stance, as some present were involved in plans for big fracs beneath the city centre itself as part of a geothermal project. The whole thing was surreal.

I just hope all the green jobs raise enough in taxes to cover all the unfunded liabilities on the state's books whilst employing (or providing entitlements for) the population explosion the oligarchs have designed. I cant imagine how it can be done. Thorium?. Rossi's cold fussion? Friendly aliens?

Jul 29, 2012 at 4:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterIanH

If 100,000 people had signed the e-petition to repeal the Climate Change Act: (http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/2035)
we would not even be having this conversation. But nobody cares.

Jul 29, 2012 at 5:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Longstaff

@spartcacus is free

'Carbon capture is possible and may still be needed if change of ocean pH modifies phytoplankton growth kinetics and triggers the next Ice Age. by increasing cloud albedo'

1. Have you any actual evidence that ocean pH is changing at all? Like may consistent set of measurements taken over 100 years?
2. Do you have any evidence that such a change (were it to be occurring) does indeed adversely modify phytoplankton growth kinetics and trigger the next Ice Age by increasing cloud albedo?

To dispel any doubt , by 'evidence' I mean actual observatiosn of what happens in the real world. This does not include 'estimates'., 'models', simulations', interpolations' 'literature surveys' 'consensuses','many scientists think that....', 'projections forecast'.

Nor any blood curdling tales of what happens if you drop a poor defenceless mussel into a bath of concentrated nitric acid. Entries using the term 'ocean acidification' instead of 'ocean neutralisation' will be automatically disqualified.

Jul 29, 2012 at 5:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

What dreadful consequences would happen if they just ignored the CCA? Would Ed Davey have to fine himself? Or send himself to the slammer?

Jul 29, 2012 at 6:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

The final nail in the coffin of the wind turbines will be the long term operational cost when balanced against the benefit of actual power production (as opposed to theoretical capacity). While it varies considerably by location, wind seems to have a history of being expensive to maintain, turbines do not last as long as anticipated, producing surplus power when it is not needed and not generating enough when it is needed.

Much of the wind generating capacity was installed based on forecasts of proponents without much track record on which to base these decisions. As we get better data on actual production and performance we are likely to see the reality emerge that is quite different from what was initially projected. There is also a second problem of obtaining accurate data. Operators of these turbines are, in many cases, collecting large subsidies. They have a vested interest in keeping these subsidies coming. If their data show that the turbines are not performing well, they might be tempted to doctor, withhold, or partially withhold those statistics in order to preserve their cash flow.

Jul 29, 2012 at 6:26 PM | Unregistered Commentercrosspatch

There's no reason to compromise the entire economy with a nonsensical climate change act, because, as per from my Real Science comment:

There's nothing wrong with the climate!
Even if things are warming significantly according to unbiased satellite observations (they’re not), we’re recovering from the Little Ice Age and temperatures rising in this cycle is only natural and to be expected, nothing to make a big hubbub or brouhaha or ruckus or uproar about, nothing to get all hot under the color about. No, unbiased reliable measures showing temps rising would truly be nothing to get excited about. But the satellite measurements are ambiguous, and depending on how the data is interpreted, the satellites shows static temperatures, or even declining temps going back decades.
All the leftist propagandists have to back their assertion of any noteworthy warming are ground-based thermometer measurements … … that are CLEARLY biased, and need to be tossed out. To begin with, the manipulative climate clowns have removed scores of rural stations in the 1990s that would have shown a cooling trend! Someone give a link. And case after case after case, photo documented as in this post, shows thermometers in obviously compromised positions that will accentuate warming! On top of all that, incredibly, the alarmist manipulators take this biased data and perform sleight of hand data manipulations to further enhance their bullshit gwarming hypothesis. Finally, despite all this, they think they might be losing the public opinion battle that it is warming in any alarming way, so they change the moniker of their movement to climate change. This is a farce, a complete unmitigated joke.
The bs artists try to base their whole pitch that we shut down industrial civilization based on this risible data. I say this, for anybody that has been around for more than a couple of decades, and no matter where you live… go outside! There’s nothing alarming about the temperatures or weather. It’s just like it’s always been. The doomsayers want you to look at the newspapers and trumped up sensationalist stories fabricated by the leftist media. Keep reading the propaganda. Watch the ABC nightly news baloney. But don’t go outside and look around and say “all is fine.” Instead, they want you to go outside at dawn, and holler early and loud like a pea-brained rooster, and scream and whistle so you wake up all the neighbors: “the sky is falling!” If I were a neighbor, I’d get out the slingshot and fling one your way.
There is nothing wrong with the climate (hockey stick debunked), and there is no evidence that CO2 has anything to do with it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WK_WyvfcJyg&desc=GGWarmingSwindle_CO2Lag

Jul 29, 2012 at 6:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterEric Simpson

This is something that our politicians enjoy watching, observing we 'right minded thinkers' twist ourselves into frenzied knots about something that has been ordained by a higher power and one which is authoritarian and absolute.

Will people stop repeating the nonsense that Ed Miliband was the architect for the Climate Change Act 2008 - he wasn't.

The minister who introduced the legislation to Parliament was one Hilary Benn. Miliband took over the brief as it was making its way through Parliament.

Hilary Benn set the thing in process, Miliband was the prosecutor, surely though, the WHOLE point is moot.

The CCA 2008 - it is EU policy in effect [the British version] and that is why gentlepeople, that, our quibbling over the Act itself will change and affect nought - there is no [Westminster] politician in Britain, that including our own ultra pro EU PM - that would attempt to renege on EU carbon emissions policy - in order to do that Britain must leave the EU.

Vote not for any of the main three parties, because in doing so - that is a vote for Europe and thus a perpetuation of the CCA 'green energy' dogma.

Jul 29, 2012 at 6:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Hi Latimer: being a scientist I have to make space for things of which I am not certain. The amplification of tsi change at the end of ice ages is by reduction of cloud albedo due to fast CCN evolution when Antarctic ice melts: dimethyl sulphide occluded in the ice; phytoplankton blooms triggered by iron from occluded dust. The same causes the shorter Arctic ice melt cycle.

So, the bimodality ice age to interglacial is the result of the thermohaline circulation distributing trace iron to allow widespread phytoplankton growth thereby causing a fall in average cloud albedo. If ocean chemistry changes it could reduce the competitive growth of the [8?] phytoplankton species with the precursor of DMS. These are the dominant organism on Earth and we interfere with them at our peril!

Jul 29, 2012 at 6:53 PM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

@spartacus is free

Great stuff. A cracking and convoluted theory. Enough to give a zillion 'research groups' a good living for twenty years or more as they peer down ice cores or measure DMS in teleconnected tree cores to prove that the only thing with Mike Mann's Hockey stick is that he was a wuss in his predictions and in fact we all conclusively burned in the fires of Thermageddon back in 1995. Endless grants stretch before the eager young climatologist!

But just one problem.

No evidence that pH is changing. And if it isn't none of the rest gets out of the starting blocks.

And no evidence for this either

'The amplification of tsi change at the end of ice ages is by reduction of cloud albedo due to fast CCN evolution when Antarctic ice melts: dimethyl sulphide occluded in the ice; phytoplankton blooms triggered by iron from occluded dust. The same causes the shorter Arctic ice melt cycle'

BTW : The paragraph above only just scrapes past the 'is this just gibberish test'. I may not be a practising scientist right now, But I have got an MSc in Chemistry. And you're perilously close to that edge IMO.

Jul 29, 2012 at 7:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

Please Latimer, read what I wrote. I prefaced my comment with 'If', a typical scientific weasel word!

The jury's out about pH because the buffering and the surface temperature together make things incredibly complex and there's about one person I know who is confident in doing the calculations.

Also we have the change in flora, e.g. coccolith exoskeleton mass has increased 40% in 100 years. I will not state as a fact something which I am not fairly certain about. e just could be making a significant change in the flora type, but I doubt it.

Jul 29, 2012 at 7:42 PM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

Alan the Brit & IanH
Google - 'David Hone Shell' - click on his 'archives' for 15th April 2009 -
"Do Oil & Wind Mix ?" - all will be revealed'
David Hone, Shell's Chief Climate Change Adviser is also Chairman of the International Emissions Trading Association. He is the root of our problems, as he has limitless funds to disburse & has the 'ear' of the Cabinet.
Back in 2009, he said
1, Use 'Nuclear' for Electricity
2.. Use wind, solar, bio, hydro, geothermal, wave & tidal
3. Use Carbon Capture & Storage in conjunction with fossil fuels
4. Use less energy.
In spite of what 'spartacus' says CCS cannot possibly work.
Also visit the Telegraph's 'Age of Energy', where you'll see how David Hone controls Geoffrey Lean.
Lean is only there because SHELL pay DT vast sums to keep him as 'environment correspondent'.
Lean is universally execrated by the readership.
HONE chairs meetings at the House of Commons and 'advises' Oliver Letwin who tells Cameron what to think.
HONE however, got SHELL deep into the $176,000,000,000 "Carbon Trading' scam after SHELL pulled out of the London Array.
This is collapsing fast, down by $120,000,000,000 from its peak. Someone is losing an awful lot of money
HONE does not want Shale Gas to succeed because that would spell the end for 'carbon trading'.

Jul 29, 2012 at 7:46 PM | Unregistered Commentertoad

Athelstan and others.

Yes, Under Gordon Brown, the saintly Veggie Benn was Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (from June 2007) and is, naturally, an alarmist.
.
But David Miliband ("Brains") had been Secretary of State for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (from May 2006) and was perhaps the leading Climate Change advocate in the Labour Party and probably initiated work on the CCA. When Brown made him Foreign Secretary (June 2007) Veggie Benn took over. But little brother Eddie became Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster after Brown took over from Blair, and was promoted to the new post of Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change from 3 October 2008.
And it was Ed who steered the CCA into law later in the same month.
Veggie Benn comes across as the kind of MP who would struggle to get out of a wet paper bag. The Milipedes are at least reasonably shrewd operators although I wouldn't trust either (or both) to run a whelk stall.

But the "activist" who did the donkey work on the CCA was the "fragrant" Bryony Worthington, an English Lit. grad and Friends of the Earth activist.
http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=82950

.

Jul 29, 2012 at 7:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

(Clicked "create" prematurely)

Young Bryony was elevated to the peerage (as Baroness Worthington of Cambridge, no less) for her pains.
Whether these "pains" included wearing a little blue dress or not, isn't recorded.

But she seems to have done well for herself.

Albeit she has paid a pivotal role in throwing the UK economy under a bus. No doubt her intention all along.

Jul 29, 2012 at 8:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

@spartacusisfree

'The jury's out about pH because the buffering and the surface temperature together make things incredibly complex and there's about one person I know who is confident in doing the calculations'

Umm

All you need to do is measure the pH consistently over, say, 1000 different locations around the world every day over a period of say 30 years.That'll give about 10,000,000 observations. And you can show whether the pH changes consistently or not.

You are right to mention buffering. But it doesn't make it 'incredibly complex'. 'Buffering' dampens the effect of any supposed acid/alkalinity change of a solution. It keeps things more stable than they otherwise would be. And It makes it more important than ever to have some actual physical observational evidence of the pH effect that you are touting. Without such measurements you are only speculating.

PS Care to share with us the name of the genius who can do some sums that were laid out in my Physical Chemistry undergraduate texts 40 years ago?

Jul 29, 2012 at 8:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

Get over to WUWT, the press release is out.

Jul 29, 2012 at 8:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

@toad

'Lean is only there because SHELL pay DT vast sums to keep him as 'environment correspondent'.'

Count me up there in the top 10 with my contempt for the appalling Geoffrey Lean (and his toady Louise Gray). But do you have any evidence for your claim that Shell pays the Telegraph for his 'services'?

I've always assumed that he must have something on the editor. No otherwise sane journalist would employ such an alarmist lickspittle.

Jul 29, 2012 at 8:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

"No evidence that pH is changing. And if it isn't none of the rest gets out of the starting blocks."

The problem is that natural variation of pH is so large due to seasonal and even daily changes that the small changes predicted by the warmanistas is totally swamped by periodic natural changes in pH. What I found particularly ironic were some photos I saw recently where corals were growing among a natural CO2 seep with CO2 bubbles merrily rising among the coral formations.

Jul 29, 2012 at 9:17 PM | Unregistered Commentercrosspatch

Latimer Alder
I've 'cut out & kept' most of the 'Age of Energy' series as they appeared in the print version and tried to analyse the contents.
If you play the videos, especially the one of Geoffrey himself, waffling and sounding very embarrassed , you realise something is badly wrong.
The whole series 'SPONSORED by Shell and under the editorial control of the Telegraph' was a very lucrative one.
If you have time, I suggest you work your way through the 'back numbers' of David Hone's Shell blogs and the whole picture will emerge.
The man's influence, his arrogance, the funds at his disposal make you realise that this is a man with more access to the 'Great and the Good' than Murdoch in his heyday.
That famous remark of Geoffrey's - 'Might not Greenpeace consider renaming one of its ships SAMANTHA CAMERON' - betrays a connection with Dave & Sam that is closer than Rebekkah's ever was.
However until somebody tires of Hone's antics, the full cost is unlikely to be revealed.

Jul 29, 2012 at 9:59 PM | Unregistered Commentertoad

@toad

All interesting stuff....but you have not presented evidence that Shell pays the Torygraph to keep Lean as Environment Correspondent. You've shown that they sponsored a series of articles which Lean appeared.

Different things.

Jul 29, 2012 at 11:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

Martin @ Jul 29, 2012 at 7:51 PM

Thank you and well said.

Jul 30, 2012 at 12:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

From the Ecclesiastical Uncle, an old retired bureaucrat in a field only remotely related to climate with minimal qualifications and only half a mind.

Robin Guenier

So the PM has to ensure that the appropriate parliamentary (sub-)committee also wants change. I would have thought that these committees, being appointed by some process doubtless under the control of the governing party would do whatever they were told to do by the powers that be.
However, should that not prove to be the case, how long would it take the Government to engineer the change in membership required to make that happen? Not long, I would have thought unless there’s some rule that states that once appointed (sub-)committee members have ‘tenure’ until the end of that parliament in which case the good Lord B’s thought that it will all wait for the next parliament will turn out to be correct.

One more hurdle, certainly, but very probably a pretty poor barrier.

Athelstan

Two thoughts re the UK and the EU:

(1) Tweaking the Act to reduce targets would, I guess, be sold as something less than disobedience of an EU diktat – a mere postponement of implementation, maybe - and given the relatively small importance of climate change within the overall compass of EU/UK relationships, I would have thought that both sides would probably settle for agreeing to treat it thus

2. Even if tweaking the Act were agreed by both the UK and the EU to be downright defiance, then I really doubt that the UK would be forced to leave over such a minor transgression. After all, various countries have broken budgetary/fiscal rules, which are matters much closer to Eurocrats' hearts and have remained members. Expulsion over climate chage is, IMHO, not credible.

On the other hand there would be electoral advantage to any government that made the issue a reason for leaving the UK, and I, for one, now entertain the very slender hope that this is what will eventually happen. Two birds with one stone!

Jul 30, 2012 at 3:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterEcclesiastical Uncle

From the Ecclesiastical Uncle, an old retired bureaucrat in a field only remotely related to climate with minimal qualifications and only half a mind.

DennisA

I have little doubt that you may be right that DEEC, DEFRA, DFID and the FCO have, over successive recent governments, been packed with people sympathetic to the green cause. But the reason this has happened is because these governments have themselves espoused greenery.

Departmental staff come in two sorts: permanent civil servants and contracted ones. Recently appointed permanent civil servants may well have their jobs because their green leanings were apparent at interview prior to appointment. Contracted staff will, one supposes, owe their jobs to proven valour in the green cause and the expectation of future zeal.

Permanent staff are under departmental control and in the end will do what they are told – or leave. Contracted staff will find their contracts are not renewed if their expertise no longer matches departmental aims.

So if the government sets its heart against the green religion in a determined manner, the staffing of the departments and the tune they play would soon start to change. Not necessarily a long process, I think, but predicated on strong political leadership I fear quite beyond any present politician or any likely to be thrown up by the present system of governance.

So I doubt anything like this will actually happen. Rather more likely will be a disconnect between the politicians and the departments who will simply find that they actually have no influence over the course of events.

And I am not over despondent about the activities of Lord Stern and the glitterati you cite. They are all creatures of the green leanings of recent governments and would find their influence much reduced should greenery cease to be the flavour of the month or the religion of a future government. Instead we will have Lord Lawson and maybe Lord Matt Ridley and even Lord his honour our Bishop and a new set of talking heads. The more wily of those currently serving the green cause will find themselves new jobs advising the new masters about the likely maneuverings of the greens in the face of the new realities.

And I would not read much into the connections between the HSBC and Lehmann brothers and the host of people you cite. The banks will have been keen to recruit such people to advise them on what promised, if properly handled, to be a good earner. (If I own shares in them, I approve.) But I doubt that their service with the banks, of itself, indicates undue influence on the main thrust of government policy on green issues. Governments have to respond to all sorts of pressure, and this would be but one. This is not to say, however, that the banks will not somehow be exerting pressures on government that the reasonable man would find improper. But these processes will be carried out by others in secret bargaining sessions and kept out of the public eye and in all probability out of the ken of your public figures.

IHMO

Jul 30, 2012 at 5:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterEcclesiastical Uncle

This link came up in comments on John Redwood`s Diary which may well interest those who comment here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3NZuh4_A5kw
by Dr David Evans, an Australian engineer, on the politics of global warming. He pulls no punches.

He has also posted his analysis of the evidence for man-made global warming (he finds it lacking) in two further videos. He speaks clearly and cogently.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plr-hTRQ2_c
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=PSNW0LC32wU

Jul 30, 2012 at 10:52 AM | Unregistered Commenteroldtimer

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