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Friday
Dec032010

Graun on best green books

Damian Carrington looks at best selling books on the environment. Apparently the top seller for 2010 was The Vanishing Face of Gaia, which shifted 5200 copies.

I did a double take since The Hockey Stick Illusion has sold slightly more than this, although I'm not sure we are comparing like with like - the 5200 figure may be UK-only and many of my sales have been to the US.

It will certainly be interesting to see whether I get a name-check in any of the "books of the year" articles that are coming our way.

Friday
Dec032010

The Orwellian solution

As readers know, I have been keeping a close eye on the BBC's review of science coverage, to which TonyN and I have made a submission.

Science coverage on the television was also the subject of a recent lecture at the Royal Television Society (H/T Martyn in the comments) and it's hard to believe that the timing is coincidental.

The speaker was Professor Brian Cox, who, for viewers outside the UK is something of a rising star in the world of TV science. His day job is in physics - he plies his trade at CERN - and if he has something of a retired pop star about him, this is because earlier in life he was the keyboard player in a chart-topping band.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Dec032010

Matt Ridley on weather and climate

Matt Ridley has an op-ed in the Times, the gist of which can be seen here.

Like everyone else he's laughing at Dr David Viner.

Thursday
Dec022010

Steig in the dump

A team of Climate Audit regulars have finally had their paper refuting Steig et al's headline grabbing Antarctic temperature record accepted by Journal of Climate. The big story is not that Steig has been dumped but that the team are still moving heaven and earth to keep critical papers out of the literature.

Read about it at CA.

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…..