The BBC is going to look at fracking again today, with a programme by Scotland Environment Correspondent David Miller.
Scotland has a decision to make: to frack, or not to frack. The controversial technique could be used to release gas and oil from the shale rock which lies beneath central Scotland. Large energy companies are keen to do this, and say it is important for both our economic growth, and energy supply needs. But fracking has a bad reputation. Its opponents believe it is dangerous, with the potential to cause pollution and even earthquakes. The Scottish Government has announced a temporary ban, but for some that is just not enough. David Miller reports from the front line in the war over fracking, where the two sides are locked in a fierce battle for the hearts and minds of the nation. He sets out to find out whether shale gas extraction can be safe, and whether Scots can be convinced to give it the go ahead.
What's the betting we see the "flaming faucets" on screen again? There are some clips here to whet your appetites.
I was sent a link to this statement by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on the subject of climate change. It's gloriously over the top, as you would expect from something authored by Schellnhuber and Sachs, among others.
This century is on course to witness unprecedented environmental changes. In particular, the projected climate changes or, more appropriately, climate disruptions, when coupled with ongoing massive species extinctions and the destruction of ecosystems, will doubtless leave their indelible marks on both humanity and nature.
Matt Ridley has republished his Times column from yesterday at his blog. It picks up many of the themes that have been the focus of BH in recent days, particularly the curious moral corner into which the greens have worked themselves:
Without abundant fuel and power, prosperity is impossible: workers cannot amplify their productivity, doctors cannot preserve vaccines, students cannot learn after dark, goods cannot get to market. Nearly 700 million Africans rely mainly on wood or dung to cook and heat with, and 600 million have no access to electric light. Britain with 60 million people has nearly as much electricity-generating capacity as the whole of sub-Saharan Africa, minus South Africa, with 800 million.
His post also contains the valuable information that Britain has, like the USA, banned investment in fossil fuel power stations in developing countries.
Matt is an admirably polite writer, even in the face of gross provocation from environmentalists. Tom Fuller, who has also been discussing these matters, is much blunter about what it all means:
[T]o be agonizingly clear, there is a case to be made for saying the aggregate effect of Green policy in the developing world is perilously close to being complicit in genocide.
That's about the size of it.
This is a guest post by Cumbrian Lad.
Climate change and the coming encyclical
Today we see another set of meetings in Rome. One is that of the Pontifical Academy of Science, and the other the Heartland Institute. Both organisations are hoping to influence the widely heralded encyclical from Pope Francis that will include references to climate change. Given that the text of the encyclical has already been finalised, and is currently being translated, there may not be much that either party can do to affect its content. The headlines they are making will be building up expectations on both sides, and it's worth having a closer look at the background to an encyclical.
What is an encyclical?
Simply put, it is a circular letter written by the Pope to the Church which forms a part of the Ordinary Magisterium or teaching of the Church. It is not a formal statement of the type that is regarded as infallible doctrine, as it usually deals with moral guidance and the application of existing doctrine to current matters. In the past encyclicals have dealt with such subjects as war and social issues of all types.
A few days ago, I mentioned Professor Corey Bradshaw, the University of Adelaide academic who was being extremely vocal in his attempts to get Bjorn Lomborg defunded and ostracised.
I was blocked by Professor Bradshaw soon after my post appeared, but I gather that he is still hard at work demonstrating his willingness to sacrifice other people's careers to his own political imperatives:
What a lot of collateral damage the environmentalist academic can tolerate!
Nick Butler in the FT reports that Labour's big brains (allegedly) Ed Balls has come up with an innovative solution for the impending energy crisis: a new layer of bureaucracy in the shape of an energy security board.
Details are, according to the FT, "sketchy" and I'm certainly somewhat uncertain whether a group of environmentalists and Labour party stooges are going to achieve anything beyond the inflation of their own bank balances. Nevertheless, Butler seems to think it's a step in the right direction:
The complexity of the challenge is why a security board is potentially a good idea as part of a much needed renewal of energy policy.
You would have thought that the FT would have understood that when you are in a complex situation, the last thing you need are freeloading bureaucrats.
A new paper has appeared in Nature Climate Change which puts a social cost of global warming at $200 per ton of carbon dioxide. The authors are Frances Moore and Delavane Diaz of Stanford.
The SCC is of course is a figure that greens can manipulate pretty much to their hearts' content - witness Frank Ackerman's hilarious $1000 figure of a few years back. The entertainment comes in working out what particular dodges have been pulled to hike the figure upwards and the new paper explains that it is picking up on an earlier study by Dell et al, which sought to make revised estimates of the damage that climate change would cause by examining the effect of short-term fluctuations in the weather on economic output.
Helen Briggs, the BBC's latest environmentalist recruit has decided to throw herself - and the thus the corporation's considerable weight - behind the greens' divestment campaign. Her advertorial today appears to have been written for her by someone in Greenpeace or the Guardian, without even the pretence of having any news value.
The "pros and cons" section has to be seen to be believed. If you can credit it, the BBC has an employee who doesn't seem to realise that people in Africa are dying in their hundreds of thousands for lack of access to fossil fuels. Does Ms Briggs think that dead Africans are not a "con" of her campaign?
The Sydney Morning Herald is giving much publicity to the anti-Lomborg rantings of someone called Professor Ray Wills.
Adjunct Professor Wills, who has been a spokesman for the university on climate change issues for the past seven years, said there was a lot of disquiet among the university ranks about the centre.
"The appointment tarnishes the reputation of the university," he told Fairfax Media.
"It's like appointing Brian Burke to look after your economics.
This article, by Nic Lewis, is crossposted from Climate Audit.
A Scientific American article concerning Bjorn Stevens’ recent paper “Rethinking the lower bound on aerosol radiative forcing” has led to some confusion. The article states, referring to a blog post of mine at Climate Audit, “The misinterpretation of Stevens’ paper began with Nic Lewis, an independent climate scientist.”. My blog post showed how climate sensitivity estimates given in Lewis and Curry (2014) (LC14) would change if the estimate for aerosol forcing from Stevens’ recent paper were used instead of the estimate thereof given in the IPCC 5th Assessment Working Group 1 report (AR5 WG1). To clarify, Bjorn Stevens has never suggested that my blog post misinterpreted or misrepresented his paper.
Not wanting to be outdone on the disgusting specimen front, James Murray of Business Green is trying to make climate change hay out of the plight of Mediterreanean refugees.
Is there a competition on to see who can be the most revolting climate change activist at the moment?
Gaia Fawkes picks up the story too.
Bjorn Lomborg argues that we should focus our spending on immediate problems, such as ensuring Africans have access to clean water. For this he is vilified, attacked and has his livelihood threatened.
His critics wish to see money spent on climate change mitigation measures instead.
A tragedy for the Africans.
In a startlingly misleading article today, the Telegraph is trying to insinuate a link between oil and gas drilling and earthquakes. It's one of those articles that is so bad that nobody wants to own up to having written it. It's an agency piece, but without even the name of the agency!
Richard Black and co are trying to hype things up of course:
Scientists more certain than ever that oil, gas drilling causes earth tremors
...but you wouldn't look to ECIU if you're interested in the facts. If you read a little further it seems that this is an article about wastewater injection.
"The picture is very clear" that wastewater injection can cause faults to move, said USGS geophysicist William Ellsworth.
Until recently, Oklahoma - one of the biggest energy-producing states - had been cautious about linking the spate of quakes to drilling. But the Oklahoma Geological Survey acknowledged earlier this week that it is "very likely" that recent seismic activity was caused by the injection of wastewater into disposal wells.
They are beyond redemption.
Updated on Apr 25, 2015 by Bishop Hill
Updated on Apr 25, 2015 by Bishop Hill
When the climate alarmist is struggling to make his case, he tends to reach for either the ad-hominem argument or some other rhetorical technique from the depths of the propagandist armoury.
Readers will recall the Bjorn Stevens paper on aerosols, which I suggested at the time gave alarmism "one helluva beating", as indeed it does. My headline seemed to amuse others and it was echoed by James Delingpole at Breitbart, his article later reproduced at Fox News.
The inevitable response was a statement by Stevens that sought to calm the troubled waters, suggesting that unidentified parties were claiming that it was the end of the global warming hypothesis. This was a fairly obvious straw man argument, but one that was sufficiently robust for Scientific American, which has now picked up the story in rather embarrassing fashion.