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Monday
Jun292015

Quiet satisfaction abounds

Lancashire county councillors have decided to reject Cuadrilla's Little Plumpton shale well planning application, throwing out the advice of their own planning officials. A second Cuadrilla application in the area fell at the first hurdle and never reached the councillors.

I assume there is scope for the government to step in and overrule, but I don't suppose that David Cameron has the parliamentary support to do anything like that, even if he had the gumption.

There will be quiet satisfaction in many places around the world tonight: at the BBC, in Saudi Arabia and in the corridors of the Kremlin.

Monday
Jun292015

Venting and venting

Robert Wilson is nothing if not grumpy, and his grumpiness can lead him occasionally to a kind of foolishness that he might have avoided if he had taken a deep breath before clicking on the publish button.

Today's post is a case in point. Entitled  Dear climate change deniers, please spare me your faux concern for the poor it is something of a rant at "right wing climate change deniers/skeptics/lukewarmers" (he forgot "eeevil" and "big-oil-funded"). According to Wilson, BH readers and people like that are actually cold, callous, heartless bad people who are unconcerned about our fellow human beings unless they are, like us, bloated plutocrats. What seems to have pushed him over the edge was a tweet from Junkscience's Stephen Milloy, which had a poverty-stricken Indian lady asking "Who exactly is 'the Pope' and why doesn't he want me to have electricity?". It does look rather as if Wilson's ire has been prompted more by the fact that these are difficult questions for global warming adherents to answer rather than anything else. Certainly it's a crashing logical fallacy to respond as Wilson does:

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun292015

More alarmist than thou

A new paper on sea-level rise by Grinsted et al is currently doing the rounds, with horror stories about what the future holds in store being touted to newspapers across Europe. The authors have provided a list of the "probable" levels of sea-level rise in major European capitals, a step that editors no doubt find extremely helpful.

The University of Delft, home to some of the paper's authors, has a blog post on the findings. It's typical of the genre, reporting a rise of 0.83m for The Hague and generally trying to drum up a bit of excitement. The paper itself is entitled `Sea level rise projections for northern Europe under RCP8.5', so it's fairly clear that it's exploring outlier scenarios. As if to emphasise the point, there's this quote from Grinsted himself:

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jun262015

The GISS graph mystery

There are lots of people getting excited by a new animation put out by Bloomberg, which seeks to persuade people that only carbon dioxide can explain the temperature history of the last century or more. It's nothing new - just a prettier version of arguments that have been put forward in the past. I have to say I am greatly amused by the fact that the models stop in 2005. I wonder why that could be?

The simulation was put together by Gavin Schmidt and Kate Marvell of GISS, using GISS Model E2, a climate simulator with a relatively low TCR of 1.5 but a rather strong aerosol forcing of -1.65 Wm-2. However, the IPCC's best estimate of aerosol forcing is only -0.9 Wm-2 and the recent Bjorn Stevens paper put the figure at just -0.5 Wm-2. What this means is that had the GISS model had an aerosol forcing in line with recent best estimates, it would have warmed much too quickly. The resulting embarrassment would have been greater still had the model data not ended ten years ago. I really would like to know why this is.

Still, it's a pretty graph.

 

 

Friday
Jun262015

A prayer for our times by Dominic Lawson

A very PC prayer for our times by Dominic Lawson. And a cartoon by Josh.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun252015

Government admits benefits of green policy less than cost

Updated on Jun 25, 2015 by Registered CommenterBishop Hill

There was a wonderful comedy answer from Lord Bourne to a question from Matt Ridley in the Lords yesterday. Ridley was inquiring about the abatement costs of various renewable energy technologies and was told this:

...based on support provided through the renewables obligation, the estimated abatement cost in 2014 was £65 per tonne of carbon dioxide for onshore wind, £121 for offshore wind and £110 for solar PV.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jun242015

What a difference a week makes

Deniers continue to say science is disputed when it isn't and suggest the Pope has been misled when he hasn't been.

Lord Deben, 17 June 2015

When people know they've lost the argument they get desperate & rude.

Lord Deben, 24 June 2015

Wednesday
Jun242015

Green Deal: a waste of precious resources

I've always had my suspicions about the way that energy efficiency is presented as an easy way of reducing carbon emissions. For a start there's the Jevons paradox: the observation that efficiency gains tend to lead consumers towards enhanced performance. In other words, as houses become more efficient we tend to keep them much warmer. Being someone who lives in a cool (or even cold house) and wears jumpers all the time, I find modern houses stiflingly hot, but most people are much happier to wear shorts and t-shirts indoors.

But even leaving this kind of thing aside, whenever I have done the sums on my own house I've always come to the conclusion that investment in energy efficiency is not going to provide a good return. It's therefore interesting to see that my back-of-a-fag-packet calculations seem valid across the board. A new, and by the looks of it carefully controlled study of homes in the USA has found that the much touted gains from energy efficiency measures are actually relatively small and certainly less than the cost of installation

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jun232015

Mont Doom - Josh 333

Hilarious transcript as per post below. I'm not sure a cartoon could ever be quite as entertaining so I went for more of a portrait.

Cartoons by Josh

Tuesday
Jun232015

Is this a joke?

Readers will enjoy this transcript of an interview between the BBC's Adrian Goldberg and Professor Hugh Montgomery of the Lancet's health and climate thingy.

"Tell us just how how bad things are Professor".

"Well it's really, really bad Adrian. We're probably all going to die".

"I think listeners would like to know just how painful their deaths are going to be, Professor, or can I call you `sir'."

"Well, Adrian, I think it's going to be like purgatory, only more so"...

Sheesh.

Tuesday
Jun232015

The Lancet goes all Andrew Wakefield again

Updated on Jun 23, 2015 by Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Updated on Jun 23, 2015 by Registered CommenterBishop Hill

The Lancet - the medical journal that brought you Andrew Wakefield and the return of mumps, measles and rubella - has a grandly named Commission on Climate Change and Health, which has announced its findings today. We are facing a crisis apparently.

Wake up at the back there.

This is fairly transparent politicking from a group of authors who might best be described as "the usual suspects" - Anthony Costello, Hugh Montgomery and Paul Ekins are all very familiar names round these parts and the lines they recite are familiar ones too. There is absolutely no pretence that the commission's report is anything other than an attempt to influence the political agenda ahead of the Paris conference, just as its previous report was an attempt to influence the result at Copenhagen. Here's the executive summary:

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jun232015

Let me explain

My story last week about Naomi Oreskes' transcontinental trips to indulge her passion for skiing got picked up by Breitbart yesterday and the poor woman seems a bit taken aback. Overnight she tweeted this:

Thought 4 day: if U R negative, deniers accuse U of misanthropy. If U love snow, they say U R hypocrite. I go with love.

I'm not sure she is quite understanding the criticism, so let me explain.  It is not her love of snow that is being attacked, it is the fact that she is willing to take a 5000 mile round trip to go skiing while simultaneously criticising others for excessive consumption. If we are really facing a planetary crisis then trips of this nature are surely going to have to stop.

To answer the question in the title of her book, Why Didn't They Act?, it is probably something to do with the fact that those making the loudest calls for action carry on behaving as if there is no problem at all.

Monday
Jun222015

The Royal Society does glacier melt

About a fifth of the world's population relies on this glacier fed water every year for their drinking water, for sanitation, for irrigation for crops and for hydroelectric power. That's countries like India, China, Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan.

Prof Neil Glasser of the University of Aberystwyth.

Professor Glasser was speaking in a video promoting the Royal Society's Summer Exhibition.

Unfortunately he seems unaware of the meteorological phenomenon known as "the monsoon". This confusion among glaciologists as to where precisely people in India get their water from has been apparent for some time now. This four-year old article refers to "creeping hyperbole" on the subject and even features Peter Gleick referring to "misinformation". Another scientist featured in that article was quoted as follows:

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun222015

Greens trashing the environment part 624

Environmentalism, I sometimes think, is simply a form of narcissism. Most of those involved seem in it more to give themselves a sense of purpose than because they actually care very much about the world around them or indeed anyone else. Take a look at this story from Washington state:

While Seattle was focused on kayaktivists attempting to blockade Shell's oil drill rig on Monday, an entirely different operation was taking place under the water's surface.

A cleanup crew with divers spent the morning picking up pieces of anchor and cable left from the initial Shell protests in May. The cement anchor blocks and steel cables were left behind from the Solar Pioneer protest barge. Divers say they damaged a dive park and a protected habitat.

This is of course the same organisation that trashed the Nazca lines in an (ultimately successful) bid to get themselves some publicity. They remain a registered charity in the UK.

Monday
Jun222015

It's always the silly season for the green journo

Perhaps it's because the silly season is beckoning, perhaps because the encyclical has emboldened environment journalists to go really preposterous, but the papers over the weekend were a wonder to behold.

Firstly we had the "sixth extinction", a tale of mass impending doom based on a paper by, among others, Paul Ehrlich. Any credible journalist would have chucked this straight in the same bin they use when they get press releases from the Monster Raving Loony Party, but obviously it was quite good enough for the green press corps, whose abhorrence of reliable sources has been noted before in these parts.

Then there was a report about the alleged dangers of fracking, written by a body called the Chem Trust, which seems to make a living for its staff by writing papers alleging evil results from any contact with any chemical anywhere. It also appears to be a joint venture between WWF and Friends of the Earth. With a background like that, it's no surprise to see the contents of their reportl being recycled in the Independent and by Labour leadership contenders.

Also recycled was a story that global warming is going to bring us wheat with a lower gluten content and bread that will not rise. This theory has been doing the rounds since 2008, but is clearly simply too much fun not to be wheeled out once again.

The heady mixture of the religion of the greens with that of the Catholics is going to be nothing if not entertaining.