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Thursday
Dec022010

THES on FOI in universities

The Times Higher Ed Supp has a leader on Freedom of Information in universities, calling on the academy to open up.

Researchers need to start with the basic assumption that it is right for others, including those outside the academy, to be able to test and challenge their methods and results. But they also need to take responsibility for providing the context that makes their raw material intelligible.

In short, they need to learn not only to live with FoI, but also to embrace it.

Thursday
Dec022010

Josh 57

More cartoons by Josh here.

Thursday
Dec022010

Josh 56

Thursday
Dec022010

Wind capacity again

Another interesting assertion by Prof Anderson on the earlier thread was what he had to say about capacity factors for wind turbines:

...the capacity factor for turbines - which ranges from low 20 to 50 depending on size and location (well sited on land probably 25-35%, with well sited offshore and bigger (3-5MW) 35 to 50%) - I recall a few years back some 3MW turbines near the Shetlands reached 52% over the year - though the Shetland is a particularly good site.

When we discussed this the other day, we were looking at figures that were much lower than this - more like 10%. Can anyone explain the discrepancy?

Thursday
Dec022010

Why four degrees?

There was some interesting engagement between commenters on the Kevin Anderson thread and the good professor himself. Hat tips to all concerned.

My own contribution to the comments was limited - having been snowbound since the weekend, there was a certain amount of merrymaking in the village last night by way of cheering ourselves up. The one comment I did make was to note that a temperature rise of four degrees by 2060 is extremely high in the light of the temperatures observed since the millennium. Prof Anderson's response was to refer commenters to the Phil Trans A special edition that started the thread off.

If we look at the introductory article, by New et al., there is indeed some explanation of why four degrees is considered a number that should be discussed.

The 2009 Copenhagen Accord recognized the scientific view ‘that the increase in global temperature should be below 2 degrees Celsius’ despite growing views that this might be too high. At the same time, the continued rise in greenhouse gas emissions in the past decade and the delays in a comprehensive global emissions reduction agreement have made achieving this target extremely difficult, arguably impossible, raising the likelihood of global temperature rises of 3◦C or 4◦C within this century. Yet, there are few studies that assess the potential impacts and consequences of a warming of 4◦C or greater in a systematic manner. Papers in this themed issue provide an initial picture of the challenges facing a world that warms by 4◦C or more...

In other words, we think that CO2 emissions are going to be higher than expected therefore we need to look at higher temperature rises.

But hold on, my point was that 4 degrees by 2060 (perhaps 5 or 6 degrees per century) is high in the light of recent temperature trends. As readers of Lucia's blog know, even a trend of 2 degrees per century is on the cusp of falsification, so 5 or 6 is surely falsified at a very level of confidence.

If the trend is already falsified what is the point of looking at it, other than as part of a PR campaign?

Wednesday
Dec012010

Josh 55

Wednesday
Dec012010

HSI sightings

A couple of recent sightings of the Hockey Stick Illusion.

First there's Reformatorisch Dagblad, a Dutch newspaper, which has an article on the MWP, based largely on HSI. Original here, machine translation here. This appears to be the first of a two-part feature.

Then from South Africa, there's this article in Business Day looking at the year since Climategate and mentioning the Hal Lewis resignation, and with it HSI. The book is apparently "essential reading for understanding the climate scam".

Wednesday
Dec012010

Competing interest?

Updated on Dec 1, 2010 by Registered CommenterBishop Hill

There has been quite a degree of interest in the Louise Gray article in the Telegraph the other day - the one in which we were led to believe that a variety of scientists were calling for a halt to economic growth and the introduction of rationing.

Donna Laframboise is one person who has been taking a look at this story. She notes that Louise Gray is not presenting an accurate picture to her readers:

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Dec012010

Eco-schools

There was quite a lot of interest in the quote by a teacher that I posted up yesterday. On a similar theme, here is something I've been sitting on for a while.

The Eco-schools movement is, as the name suggests, an environmental programme for children. The idea appears to be to have a green spin to as much of the curriculum as possible, but also getting children to raise money for green charities and to involve their families in green campaigning.

As schools develop their eco-programme, they rise through bronze and silver awards, arriving ultimately at the highest level of eco-school award, the Green Flag. To reach this level, greenery needs to be pervasive across the curriculum.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Nov302010

Quote of the day

This appeared as a comment on the Louise Gray article in which we were told that rationing was being proposed as a solution to the world's ills. Hat tip to Messenger.
This article is the last straw. For six years I have had to bit my tongue while force-feeding this climate anthropogenic global warming nonsense into the increasingly sceptical minds of my science school learners. They all know it's a scam. I know it's a scam. They all know that we will be notionally 1010ed if we don't all toe the party line, give the "government approved" answer in the exams, fill in the approved plans, but carry on as normal. I cannot seriously go into a school next term and carry on like this.

Consequently I hereby declare that, metaphorically, the next parent, head of science, head teacher, school governor, local education authority jobsworth, central government apparatchik, or UK energy minister who tells me have to teach this climate porn to under-16s or lose my job will be kebabed on a hockey stick and fed to the polar bear packs currently massing under my window seeking warmth. And any kid who dares to submit an assignment consisting of material cut'n'pasted from these Louise Gray's WWF press releases will be spreadeagled on a stationary wind turbine in the North Sea.

I call upon all teachers to join me in this declaration, and to organise a welcome back party to all UK attendees from Cancun



Tuesday
Nov302010

Bottom falls out of solar

This is a guest  post by Roddy Campbell.

Banks are turning negative on German solar, predicting demand will fall as subsidies are cut, in an environment of rapidly expanding supply of solar panels.

Bloomberg, in this story, talk about ‘Supply-glut armageddon’. Meanwhile, Merrill Lynch, in a note to investors dated November 30th, report on a FT Deutschland story:

‘CDU (ruling party) energy policy advisor Thomas Bareiss has written to the Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen, advising that there should be additional solar subsidy cuts next year.’

Merrill say:

‘We calculate the average German household is paying roughly €200 per year for solar subsidies at present. The feed in tariff for new installations is set to fall 13% in January but if demand remains strong in H1 2011, which we think it will, then there could be an additional cut in July, just like what  happened this year. Germany accounts for roughly 60% of the global solar market and is therefore crucially important for driving utilisation, pricing and  profitability of the manufacturers.’

Germany produces some 600 billion kwh per year of electricity.  Solar produced 1% of that in 2009.  That’s about the most expensive way of reducing CO2 emissions one can think of.

To date Germany has installed circa 18 GW of solar capacity, and have a target of 52 GW by 2020.  A trebling of installed solar might imply, one would think, at least a doubling of the cost per household, from €200 to €400 per year.

Good luck with that, Angela.  (And don’t forget the wind tariffs too.)

Germany dominates global solar - people talk about China, but Germany took 46% of world installation in 2007, 35% in 2008, 56% in 2009, and an estimated 55% in 2010 – over 50% in total.  The truth is, no-one else cares, Germany has created the global pv industry almost single-handed, in one of the least likely geographies, because of its peculiar green political history.  It’s an aberration, not a sensible economic or environmental policy in any way.  As Merrill go on to say:

‘Germany has under-estimated... that few other countries care about solar, meaning Germany remains a large market of last resort. This will be the case more than ever in 2011…’

In related news, Citibank's thinking is turning the same way:

Cost conscious governments and consumers are increasing the risk of cuts in subsidies for solar photovoltaics through their increasingly negative sentiment towards the sector. In Germany the cost of electricity is expected to increase by 15% next year as solar installers reap the benefits of generous IRR’s this year

[Updated to fix millions/billions]

German solar – Banks turn negative, predicting demand will fall as subsidies are cut, in an environment of rapidly expanding supply of solar panels.

 

Bloomberg, in this story, talk about ‘Supply-Glut Armageddon’.

 

Merrill Lynch, in a note dated November 30th, report on a FT Deutschland story that ‘CDU (ruling party) energy policy advisor Thomas Bareiss has written to the Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen, advising that there should be additional solar subsidy cuts next year.

 

Merrill say ‘We calculate the average German household is paying roughly €200 per year for solar subsidies at present. The feed in tariff for new installations is set to fall 13% in January but if demand remains strong in H1 2011, which we think it will, then there could be an additional cut in July, just like what  happened this year. Germany accounts for roughly 60% of the global solar market and is therefore crucially important for driving utilisation, pricing and  profitability of the manufacturers.

 

Germany produces some 600 million kwh per year of electricity.  Solar produced 1% of that in 2009.  That’s about the most expensive way of reducing CO2 emissions one can think of.

 

To date Germany has installed circa 18GW of solar capacity, and have a target of 52GW by 2020.  A trebling of installed solar might imply, one would think, at least a doubling of the cost per household, from €200 to €400 per year.

 

Good luck with that, Angela.  (And don’t forget the wind tariffs too.)

 

Germany dominates global solar - people talk about China, but Germany took 46% of world installation in 2007, 35% in 2008, 56% in 2009, and an estimated 55% in 2010 – over 50% in total.  The truth is, no-one else cares, Germany has created the global pv industry almost single-handed, in one of the least likely geographies, because of its peculiar green political history.  It’s an aberration, not a sensible economic or environmental policy in any way.  As Merrill go on to say: ‘Germany has under-estimated ……… that few other countries care about solar meaning German remains a large market of last resort. This will be the case more than ever in 2011…..

Tuesday
Nov302010

Global warming, my foot

Lookin' out my back door

 

Monday
Nov292010

Revkin responds

Andy Revkin has responded to the charge that the New York Times is operating a double standard, publishing the Wikileaks documents to fanfares, while refusing to do the same when the Climategate emails appeared.

His response is by way of an update to a post he made a few days after Climategate.

I'll note two things about my coverage of the unauthorized distribution of the climate files:

First, while I initially did not publish the contents of the climate files and e-mails (at the request of Times lawyers, considering the uncertain provenance and authenticity of the materials at the time), I did (from the start) provide links to the caches of material set up elsewhere on the Web.

Secon, in the rush on the day the files were distributed across the Web, I called them "private" when, in fact, I should have said their senders had presumed they were private. As I've said off and on since then, given that much of the research discussed in the exchanges was done using taxpayers' money, any expectation of privacy wasn't justified.]

It's interesting to go back to the original posting, where Revkin calls the Climategate emails at various times "purloined", "acquired illegally" and "hacked", so I find the protestations of innocence revolving around the word "private" somewhat unconvincing.

I'm not sure about claims of concerns over the authenticity of the emails are valid either, given that the University of East Anglia had confirmed that their systems had been compromised on 20th November 2009. It seems to me that the Wikileaks and Climategate scenarios are identical in terms of the evidence of authenticity of the leaked material.

Monday
Nov292010

Climate cuttings 42

As I noted last week, the BBC is doing a highbrow radio series on climate through history. It looks as though they are on a full-scale climate season (...again...) with the World Service doing what looks like a rather thinly disguised propaganda piece called "The Climate Connection 2010".

The Climate Connection explores a key question in the story of action on climate change: what's stopping us?

Australia's Jennifer Marohasy has a paper out looking at issues around Freedom of Information and environmental data, majoring on Doug Keenan's experiences with Queens University Belfast. QUB don't look to have come out of it too well.

Mike Hulme has a guest post at Klimazwiebel, calling on politicians to adopt the new "reality-based" language that Hulme himself has taken to using.

Lord Rees celebrated the 350th anniversary of the founding of the Royal Society, by sounding off on climate change:

The concentration of carbon dioxide is rising inexorably...the science is firming up and that tells us that there is a risk of serious climate change in the next 50 years.

He clearly hasn't got the message about talking about uncertainties. Oh yes, and he wants more money. (This was Lord Rees' last action as President of the Royal Society. He steps down today. I wonder how history will look on him?).

Monday
Nov292010

Phil Trans A gives up on science

Just in time for Cancun, the Royal Society's premier journal for the physical sciences, Phil Trans A, decides to devote an entire issue to environmentalism. What a remarkable coincidence on the timing!

"Four degrees and beyond: the potential for a global temperature increase of four degrees and its implications" is the not-very-sober title for the journal's outpourings, the first product of its new editor, Prof Dave Garner.

I wonder if any of the articles will look at how warming of four degrees per century compares to actual temperature rises since theb turn of the millennium?

Still, the good news is that Prof Garner has opened his door to reader feedback:

I wish to continue to develop a community of readers and authors who interact constructively. Therefore, I invite suggestions for ways in which we can enhance the scientific quality and value of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A.

Erm, how about not acting like the house magazine of the Green Party?