Seen elsewhere
Buy

Click images for more details

Support

 

Twitter
Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing
Links

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace
Thursday
Jun182015

Calvinist popes, toilets for bears and windfarm flexibility

I thought for a moment I was reading the thoughts of Barry Cryer on windfarms, but it actually turned out to be Barry Gardiner, MP for Brent and fervent adherent to the green cause:

Great explanation by Gordon McDougal on Today Prog about how low cost clean onshore wind's flexibility adds real value to the grid.

I'm thinking that onshore wind's "flexibility" must rank alongside the Pope's Calvinism and the tendency of bears to seek out hygienic toilet facilities as one of the more hilarious propositions to have attracted my attention in recent years.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun182015

The Euro and the climate and the great and the good

Thanks to reader Alan for pointing out Allister Heath's opinion piece in the Telegraph this morning, on the subject of the UK's lucky avoidance of the shackles of the Euro. His recollection of the antics of the great and the good in the efforts to pressure the country into signing up is fascinating:

It is hard today to remember how countercultural keeping the pound felt in the late Nineties and early 2000s: Britain was being pressurised to join the euro by vast swathes of the UK and international establishment, a powerful group that has yet to be held fully to account for such a reckless error of judgment.

Hardly a day would go by without a senior business person or the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) warning that foreign investment would dry up if we didn’t join; and economists were convinced that countries that embraced the euro would benefit from an enormous boom in trade.

Eurosceptics were portrayed as fogeyish, nationalistic simpletons who didn’t understand the direction of history. The Greeks and others listened; we didn’t, thanks to the good sense of the British public and the efforts of a tiny number of anti-euro campaigners and the Tory opposition.

This all sounds terribly familiar, doesn't it?

Wednesday
Jun172015

Twelve lords a-talking over each other

There were feisty exchanges in the Lords this afternoon, when questions were asked about the intended action on climate change. At one point the house appears to send Lord Deben off with a flea in his ear for trying to jump the queue on Matt Ridley.

Ridley has a question at 15:12, asking the minister for his preferred estimate of climate sensitivity in the light of all the recent papers that find that it is low. The minister's response is, rather confusingly, that he disagrees.

The later question on neonicotinoids is equally amusing. The fun is again prompted by a Ridley question, this time about whether honey bee numbers have actually increased since neonics were introduced. The response from the government is that neonics are dangerous to animals. Even those surrounding the poor minister appear amused at the poor quality of his flannel.

Wednesday
Jun172015

Picking losers

Nicola Sturgeon is apparently to demand that the UK government provide incentives for North Sea oil and gas exploration. Given that the North Sea cannot compete in the face of the glut of energy from the Middle East and the unconventionals, this would appear to seem to be more a futile gesture than an idea that might have some practical effect.

And while the sentiment of the proposal is sound enough, you have to wonder about the decision of the Holyrood administration to back yesterday's fossil fuel industry, while putting stumbling blocks in the way of tomorrow's. I'm thinking of course of the moratorium on unconventional oil and gas development north of the border.

Put alongside her all-out support for renewables, it's hard to avoid the impression that Ms Sturgeon loves a loser.

Wednesday
Jun172015

IPPR admits renewables hit the poor hardest

The Institute for Public Policy Research has published a series of policy proposals to try to deal with the adverse impact of renewable energy on the poor - the very policies they have been advocating for years. Yes, without even so much as a murmur of an apology, they have admitted that the renewables are indeed hitting the poorest hardest, although without the gumption to also admit the beneficiaries are the wealthy.

Their proposals include ideas like doing more onshore wind rather than offshore and trying to reduce the cost of nuclear by getting the public sector to own the new capacity, a suggestion that does rather seem to fly in the face of bitter experience.

As you can see, these ideas could best be categorised as "transferring a bit less money from rich to poor" and thus miss the point that forced transfers of wealth from poor to rich are not exactly ethical.

But it's a start I suppose.

 

 

Tuesday
Jun162015

Climate change rhetoric

Philip Eubanks, a professor of English at Northern Illinois University, has written a short tome about the rhetoric of the climate change debate which may be of interest to readers. As normal for academic books, however, it's grossly overpriced so is likely to remain unread.

Eubanks is a scientific layman and is therefore inclined to take predictions of catastrophe from scientists on trust, but he is also quite capable of calling out extremism on both sides - he discusses an ad-hominem Amazon review of The Hockey Stick Illusion at one point. He's also an engaging writer and the 130 pages of the book have a chatty style that make it an easy read.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jun162015

Cartoona Enciclica - Josh 332

Papal thoughts on the environment have been posted here, on Dot Earth and at WUWT. You can read the whole thing in Italian here

Cartoons by Josh

Monday
Jun152015

Official sceptics go gambling

The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry have issued a challenge to the Heartland Institute - one of those climate bets that come along to enliven things for us from time to time. I must say, I think it would have helped if they had got someone who spoke English to write the text for them, because I'm not entirely clear what the bet is.

The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) hereby presents to the Heartland Institute a challenge as to whether the Earth’s climate will set a new record high temperature this year. The challenge will be settled using the NASA GISS mean global land surface temperatures for the conventional climate averaging period (defined by the World Meteorological Organization as 30 years) ending on December 31, 2015.  If the global average temperature does not exceed the mean temperature for an equal period ending on the same date in any previous year for which complete data exist, CSI will donate $25,000 to a nonprofit to be designated by Heartland. Otherwise, Heartland will be asked to donate $25,000 to a science education nonprofit designated by CSI. It is CSI’s intent to repeat this challenge every year for the next 30 years.

I think they are saying that they expect the 30 year mean to be higher each year than any other 30 year mean on record. If so then the bet is obviously piffle. The annual temperature could fall dramatically this year and the 30-year mean would still increase.

Monday
Jun152015

The encyclical leaked

A copy of the encyclical has been leaked to the Italian press. A copy can be seen here, for those who speak Italian. Maurizio advises that his impression is very much that this is going to be seen as a damp squib. He points in particular to this paragraph (translated mostly by Mr Google):

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun152015

Cancelled Curry

Andrew Neil was due to record an interview with Judy Curry today. I gather on the grapevine that because of time restrictions this will not now happen.

Which is a pity, but I guess it couldn't be helped.

Monday
Jun152015

Birthday honours?

The Queen's birthday honours list was out a couple of days ago and as I always I have scanned it looking for familiar names. There are no climatologists this year, but two names in particular stood out.

David Warrilow is the UK's long-term representative on the IPCC and has come to the attention of BH from time to time, although as I have noted in the past he is someone who operates very much in the shadows. BH readers did some research on him in the comments here, including Doug Keenan's recollection of a meeting between the two of them. Warrilow gets himself an OBE.

The other was Anne Glover, the former chief scientist at the EU, whose gradual descent into climate alarmism I have followed with interest. She becomes Dame Anne.

The only other one that struck me as being of interest was someone called David Surplus, the director of a renewable energy group in Northern Ireland, who is awarded an OBE. What a strange world, I thought, where it is considered honourable to achieve success through vigorous sucking at the taxpayer's teat.

 

Friday
Jun122015

The state of independence

The Independent is nothing if not independent. Their article on shale gas today is a case in point. It seems that the government is going remove the requirement for public consultation ahead of exploration drilling. A fairly unexceptionable proposal you might have thought, but not for the Indy, which ploughs its very own furrow, steering well clear of the real world. So we have the usual litany of innuendo from the usual dismal suspects - Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and our old friend Robert Gross from Imperial - as well as the casual repetition of long-since-debunked green propaganda: earthquakes and water contamination and the like. 

You would have thought in the very week that the US EPA announced that it had been unable to identify any inherent risks from unconventional oil and gas drilling the Indy might have been a little more cautious. But no, they have always been Independent and independent they will remain.

Independent of science, independent of reason, independent of integrity.

Thursday
Jun112015

Le spin! Cartoon notes by Josh

Click the image for a larger version

Last night some of us attended the Walker Institute Annual Lecture given by Sir David King and which was titled "The Paris Climate Summit - hopes and expectations". I must thank the Walker Institute for the opportunity to be there and for the excellent refreshments afterwards.

The lecture itself was something of a gruelling series of alarmist doom and gloom factoids followed by an upbeat assessment of what will actually happen at the Paris summit - and the answer is... well, you can read for yourself and, if you were there, please do add your own recollections.

Cartoons by Josh

Thursday
Jun112015

A disgrace to the profession

You really don't want to mess about with Mark Steyn, who is nothing if not a guy who is prepared to stick up for himself. In response to Michael Mann's libel suit, Steyn has not only countersued but now has written a book about the great climatologist.

The defamation suit against Steyn by Michael E Mann, inventor of the global-warming "hockey stick", is about to enter its fourth year at the DC Superior Court - which means Mark has a lot of case research lying around and he can't wait forever for the trial to start. So he figured he'd put some of it in a new book, now available for pre-order exclusively from SteynOnline.

In the fall of 2014, not a single amicus brief was filed on Dr Mann's behalf, not one. He claims he's "taking a stand for science", but evidently science is disinclined to take a stand for him.

That got Mark curious as to what actual scientists think of Mann, his famous hockey stick, and his other work. So he started looking - and the result is a rollicking collection of insights into Big Climate's chief enforcer by scientists from around the world, from Harvard to Helsinki, Prague to Princeton, with commentary from Steyn telling the story of the rise to global celebrity of one Mann and his stick.

"A Disgrace To The Profession": The World's Scientists In Their Own Words On Michael E Mann, His Hockey Stick, And Their Damage To Science will be published later this summer, but you can make sure you're the first on your block with must-read book by pre-ordering your copy now exclusively from the SteynOnline bookstore. And as always Mark will be happy to autograph it personally for you or your warm-mongering loved one.

 

Thursday
Jun112015

David Davies does climate change

This speech from David TC Davies in the Commons yesterday was quite unusual in that the speaker seemed to have actually studied what the IPCC and other scientists have to say.