Friday, 23 December 2016

Climate sensitivity battle

How warm can it get?

How warm it gets depends upon climate sensitivity of CO2 to warming. Values for CO2 climate sensitivity vary from about 0.6 °C (Spencer & Braswell), 0.7 °C (Lindzen & Choi), 0.85 °C (Tim Ball), 1.3 °C (Nic Lewis' review). At this time I'm inclined to go with the lower range values of 0.6 °C to 0.85 °C by Spencer, Braswell, Lindzen, Choi, & Ball. Some of these are their own measurements. Some are judgements. Due to uncertainty over what's been happening with surface temperature measurements and whether these have been adjusted from raw values, I'm disinclined to trust them. That means I must trust the satellite values more. Therefore I go with Spencer & Braswell. Climate sensitivity estimates get a lot higher than this (but we are long past the time when anyone considered 10 °C seriously. Today anyone estimating over 2 °C is clearly an alarmist. Not to be taken seriously. In addition to apparent political climate science there are tendencies to overstate positive feedbacks due to the nature of the system, and discount negative feedbacks. Dr Roy Spencer explains this here. e.g.:

For some reason, the main “feedback” which stabilizes the climate system, the so-called “Planck effect” (increasing infrared output as temperature increases) is NOT called a “feedback” in climate research. I don’t know why this is the case. When the Planck effect is included with all of the other feedbacks, the total feedback (even in climate models which produce huge warming) is still negative.

Any climate sensitivity value below about 1.4 °C is fine by me. It does not scare me. This will not lead to any catastrophic climate change. The big reason for panicking over climate and caving into the greens has been the threat of catastrophic change. It is just not there. Climate disaster is not happening. Without catastrophic warming, nearly all the effects of climate change are currently good, apart from sea level rise.

“As a result, the climate sensitivity for a doubling of CO2 is estimated to be 0.7 K (with the confidence interval 0.5K – 1.3 K at 99% levels). This observational result shows that model sensitivities indicated by the IPCC AR4 are likely greater than than the possibilities estimated from the observations” This value of 0.7 C somewhat lower than the 1.0 C value that you highlighted, and is consistent with their previous result (0.5 C) and also Dr Spencer & Dr Braswell’s measurement (0.6 C).
--Anthony Watts discussion

References

  1. Another Potential Reason Why Climate Sensitivity is Over-Estimated, 2 Jun 2016, by Dr Roy Spencer
  2. On the diagnosis of radiative feedback in the presence of unknown radiative forcing, (pdf) 2010, by Roy Spencer & William Braswell
  3. Estimating climate sensitivity using two-zone energy balance models, by J. Ray Bates. Finds EqCS = 1.0 °C. estimates of climate sensitivity reflect publication bias. e.g. by overestimating climate sensitivity by a factor of 2, (pdf). Accounting for this effect they estimate it at 1.6 °C.
  4. global climate sensitivity to increased carbon dioxide, and the potential feedback mechanism of increased water vapor in Earth’s atmosphere, is actually far less than postulated by the IPCC, by Willis Eschenbach and Anthony Watts.
  5. All IPCC models vastly overrate climate sensitivity, by Dr David Evans: former climate modeller for the Government’s Australian Greenhouse Office, with six degrees in applied mathematics. The major cause of global warming is likely “albedo modulation”, the waxing and waning of reflected radiation from the Sun
  6. Climate Scientists Misapplied Basic Physics, by Dr David Evans.

Political climate science

By this, I mean a tendency on the left to create a cause to unify around. To save humanity. For the left: it is hardly ever about just saving something specific like the USA. That would just be selfish. The left need causes to be steeped in moral goodness. The more global the mission, the more abstractly altruistic, the greater their sense of moral superiority over everyone else, the stronger the sense of mission. It is a collective cognitive delusion. The subject first deludes himself that planetary catastrophe is just around the corner. Then proceeds to enlist everyone else to the mission. The left in politics are particularly prone to this. We also see extreme politics from the right: The US War of Drugs was mostly a conservative thing as far as upping the ante went. The reaction following 9/11, especially the senseless invasion of Iraq which gave us 13+ years of Middle East chaos. Yet the right are mostly saving USA, not the world. Only the left give themselves world-saving missions such as the Climate New Testament. Naturally anyone who disagrees with them is a denier / shill / selfish / fascist. This kind of bullying seems essential to cohere their group identity as holier-than-thou. It is the essence of political correctness. PC is never about doing good for an oppressed person. It is always about labelling evil. Pointing the finger at the MCP, fascist, shill and denier. Asserting one's own moral goodness against the evil of another.

Upon getting this far, the left are unable to criticise their own propaganda. That would be betrayal. In an environment where self-criticism is impossible, reckless people are able to make even more reckless statements on climate with no fear of comeuppance (from their own side). Because criticism of one's own side is tantamount to treachery. At this point lies are common in politics. The means became the end. Lies begin with exaggeration and putting one's case strongly. The more exaggerated an argument, the more it's promoted, because the more convincing it seems to its believers. Such believers think that Jill Public has not joined their side because the case was not been put forcefully enough. Jill Public has yet to hear the truth! In all its gory details, such as 20 feet of sea level rise very soon. So they embellish their case by putting their case strongly, and simply. A simple case must be one dimensional with all uncertainty and ambiguity ironed out. From time to time lies obviously follow. The originator of a lie probably just sees it as better propaganda. Much like cops framing a gangster for a murder because they could not get the evidence for the actual crime done. That's how I see the state of a climate fanatics mind.

Those are the sort of effects we get in politics. In climate science the majority are bullied to stay in line, and never criticise alarmists. That allowed alarmists to present themselves as mainstream, with modeling as science. This is not dishonest deception. It's honest, yet wrong. Alarmists really believe they are saving the planet. Consider refs: disputing CO2 climate sensitivity, which alarmists say they refute. They routinely describe as denier literature anything disagreeing with alarmism. Yet the vast majority of alarmists never read, nor understand what they say they disagree with. Alarmists think they don't need to understand critics because they really do think the critics are denier / shill / selfish / fascist just as their propaganda tells them. One could see this as the whole point of climate extremism: to polarize the debate so much that one has an army of supporters, who don't understand your argument, but who fanatically support it! Supporters who will shout down their critics and deny them a platform. These tactics have been current at Western Universities now for a long time. Social science graduates are skilled at this.

Political fact: the great majority of climate believers do not understand much at all about climate science. This is a very agreeable state for affairs for climate alarmists. Because the more one understands of climatology and science, the less one believes in climate alarmism and modeling. When we look at the arguments they present in the media to support their science, they are shot full of holes. They routinely build entire theories on fragmentary, partial, provisional evidence. Mann's tree ring data comes to mind. This fragmentary, partial, provisional evidence is used to discount more solid evidence of the cannon. The new breed who entered 'climate science' since it became political after 1988, often have little background in climatology. They don't understand its background, basic tenants and its literature. To climate invaders: climate was mostly about the models, and getting funded by blaming all global warming on man.

Striking how few alarmists studied climatology
Andrew StockChemical engineering degree
Bill Nyeengineer
Dana NuccitelliEnvironmental Scientist
David Archercomputational ocean chemist
David Suzukibiologist
Dr. Andrew J. Weavermathematician
Eric Steigisotope geochemist
Gavin Schmidtmathematician
Guy McPhersonecologist
James Hansenastronomer and physicist by training.
Jason BoxGlaciologist
John CookPhysics, solar physics
David KarolyMeteorologist & mathematician
Ken CaldeiraPhysicist/Environmental Scientist
Lesley Hughesecologist
Michael MannMaths, physics, geology & geophysics
Richard A. Mullerphysicist, no climate training
Neil deGrasse TysonAstrophysics
Pachaurirailway engineer
Paul BeckwithGeologist
Phil Joneshydrologist
Rasmus E. Benestadphysicist
Raymond T. Pierre humbertA.B. degree in Physics from Harvard
Stefan Rahmstorfoceanographer
Stephan LewandowskyPsychology
Stephen Henry SchneiderMechanical Engineer
Steven MosherEnglish major
Tim Flannerymammalogist, palaeontologist
Kevin E. Trenberthmeteorologist
Veerabhadran RamanathanEngineer
Will SteffenChemical Engineer

How is it possible for me to say this without having been engaged much in climate discussions and not at all in climate science? Because this is exactly the kind of behaviour I experienced from the left over discussions on energy policy. Their near religious belief in renewable energy without bothering to understand the issues around its science, engineering and economics. It's the same pattern of behaviour.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Scary, scary methane. More fake / pseudo-science on climate.

Consider this science news report: Data show no sign of methane boost from thawing permafrost
"Over a 100-year period, a ton of methane will cause about 25 times as much warming as a ton of CO2." ... The CO2 rise “is still bad, it’s just not as bad” as a rise in methane
At first glance it looks like this story is rebutting claims there'll be catastrophic warming due to melting tundras releasing massive amounts of methane into the atmosphere, so causing runaway global warming. You've, no doubt, read that story at a climate porn site like The Guardian. Yet the threat still remains in our subconscious to bully us because the article assumes this could happen. They legitimise speculation, dressed up in sciency clothes, scaring us into panic measures such as building more expensive electricity systems. It is in fact lies. They dont' tell you the scare story is nothing but speculation. They don't tell you they have no solid science upon which to base their methane scare stories.
  1. The greenhouse gas, GHG, effect of methane tails off logarithmically, just like other GHG. E.g. With CO2, the first 20 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere is responsible for over 50% its GHG effect. At small concentrations the logarithmic tail off is most pronounced!
  2. Methane absorption bands also overlap with water bands. Not surprising: both molecules have sigma bonds to hydrogen. Nearly all the warming that could be done by methane is already done by far more concentrated water vapour already there. Earth's atmosphere has more water in it than CO2. The water is not well-mixed so it's hard to say exactly how much more warming happens with more water (or more methane acting almost like water).
  3. The statements made by scientists here are based on crude, bad climate models. I believe no one ever experimented to discover the effect of water / methane mixtures on atmospheric radiative forcing. It looks like they spent their research billions on modeling. Shame they could not spare a few millions for basic science to back up their models. Where are the experiments simulating actual water/methane mixtures?
  4. Nor does methane stay around in the atmosphere very long. Methane is reducing (it's actually used as a hydrogen source in industrial chemistry, in ammonia manufacture). Oxygen (present at 21%) is highly oxidising. UV sunlight is a catalyst. You guessed: methane is rather quickly oxidised away. The lifetime of methane in the atmosphere is 10 years at most. So talk about what a ton of methane does over a 100-year period is senseless.

Scaring people to death with methane is junk science. Shame on them.

Notes:

  • sciency: A disparaging term for representations in mass media which use scientific sounding stories to sell an idea, or befuddle us. It is not the same as pseudoscience because sciency tries to make no actual false claims, whereas pseudoscience is wrong more than right.
  • Wuebbles, Donald J.; Hayhoe, Katharine (May 2002), "Atmospheric methane and global change", Earth Science Reviews, 57 (3): 177−210, doi:10.1016/S0012-8252(01)00062-9.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Another black day for environmental news journalism.

A Guardian article says stopping soot is the 'fastest solution' to slowing Arctic ice melt. The aricle cites gas flaring 4 times within as a culprit. Yet gas flaring produces about 4 tons of soot per day. The total soot is 8 million tons/year. So the gas flaring contribution is only 0.0183%. Insignificant. Why the focus on gas at the Guardian? Even by Fiona Harvey, who is probably their most thorough environmental journalist. The one person on their staff whom I trust with facts she unearths. Why j'accuse 4 times? Because the Guardian political agenda is directed at stopping natural gas, fracking and all fossil fuels in the UK. Sad how they let their politics undermine their reporting.

I don't actually know how important soot is compared to carbon dioxide (and greenhouse warming). I know several people consider soot to be a far more important cause of arctic ice melt than any warming.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Really junk "Climate Science"

Here is a nice roll call of utter shame, published as 'climate science'.

  1. Arctic ice melt 'already affecting weather patterns where you live right now'

    Starring: Damian Carrington - the author. Prof Jennifer Francis, "an Arctic climate expert at Rutgers University" in the US, Prof Adam Scaife, a climate modelling expert at the UK’s Met Office, and Prof James Hansen, quoted as saying this “will drive superstorms, stronger than any in modern times – all hell will break loose in the north Atlantic and neighbouring lands

    Claiming: It blames climate change on: the 2010 summer floods in Pakistan, which killed 2,000 people and affected 20 million, and also the searing heatwave in Russia in the same year, which killed 50,000 people and wiped out $15bn (£12bn) of crops, and Hurricane Sandy, which killed 233 people and cost $75bn in damages

    Why is it 'science': It was found in the Guardian Science news section.
    What is it?: It is clearly a comment piece. It does not link to any actual new research, which establishes any of the claims made. Despite it being opinion, the below line comments were disabled.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Is climate mitigation justified?

How warm can it get?

How warm it gets depends upon climate sensitivity of CO2 to warming. Values for CO2 climate sensitivity vary from about 0.2 °C to 10.0 °C. That's the difference between warming we can hardly measure, and catastrophic warming due to us passing a tipping point or two. I discount tipping points as modeling gone bad. At this time I'm inclined to go with the lower range values of 0.6 °C to 0.85 °C by Spencer, Braswell, Lindzen, Choi, & Ball. A climate sensitivity less than about 1.2 °C is nothing to fear. It should all be beneficial.

How much will it cost?

Estimates of the social cost of carbon vary from $11/tCO2 to $56/tCO2. (£9/tCO2 to £45/tCO2). UK government have stopped using the SCC because we're already taxing carbon well above the SCC rate. UK carbon tax is £18/tCO2. For UK motor vehicle fuel the tax rate is closer to £400/tCO2. This is due to a variety of taxes imposed on motor vehicle fuel. Fuel duty, Vehicle excise duty, carbon tax, road tax, VAT. With VAT, they even tax the tax.

Is the Social Cost of Carbon real?

The benefits of CO2 fertilization, longer growing season, greater arable land area, reduced mortality and reduced heating costs greatly exceed harmful effects of warming. The results indicate that governments should subsidize fossil fuels by about 17 US$/tonne of CO2, rather than impose carbon taxes ... The transient climate response (TCR) to greenhouse gas emissions, the warming when CO2 doubles in about 125 years, is estimated at 0.85 °C by using an energy balance approach, new aerosol estimates and accounting for the natural warming since the Little Ice Age and the urban development effects on temperature.
--'Friends of Science'

The taxes and higher energy prices are real but there may be no actual social cost to more carbon dioxide, CO2. In fact, we could be taxing something which is beneficial to us. It could be a doubly regressive tax. Giving us higher energy prices than we want, as well as taxing life on earth, because more CO2 allows more life to thrive on earth. Wanting less CO2 is a kind of pathology against life itself. One might say climate alarmists suffer from vitapathology. More CO2 in the atmosphere is beneficial to plants. It allows plants to grow larger, faster, to begin growth earlier in the season. Finally it allows more plant growth in arid regions. We could see some areas of the Sahara bloom more due to more CO2. This is because plants will use less water to grow, as the stomata need not open for as long to get the CO2 the plant needs. Therefore less water will be lost in plant respiration in the daytime. This will all lead to higher agricultural yields which should translate to lower food prices. More plants mean more animals on the planet and less pressure placed on wild animals and their habitats. So less extinction. CO2 is a boon to life on earth. So the social cost of carbon is the ultimate expression of green nihilism, sociopathy, and vitapathology. Paradoxically done in the name of saving humanity.

Most of the evil in this world is done by people with good intentions.
— T.S. Eliot

Which is most dangerous, heat or cold?

A Lancet study found most people who die owing to temperature do so under moderately cold conditions.

What will climate mitigation cost us?

The UK cost of carbon climate change will be £300 billion up to 2030. Nearly all these climate change measures are felt in the electricity sector. In 2014, UK electricity demand was 34.42GW on average. 301.7TWh over the year, coming from a total electricity generation of 335.0TWh. An average 38.24 GW supply. Over the next 15 years, £300 bn extra cost is £20 bn per year. It's almost all felt as increased electricity prices. £20 bn per 335 TWh. About £60/MWh. I estimate that at over 10 times the social cost of carbon. This cost per MWh to electricity is actually higher than current wholesale electricity prices.

I conclude the social cost of carbon, SCC, has no justification. First of all more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will be beneficial for humanity and all life on earth with up to 2ºC warming on top of pre-industrial levels. There is no guarantee that less carbon dioxide will cut global temperatures by any significant amount. For all we know, the temperature rise in the 20th century. (from 1909 to 1940, and from 1975 to 1998) may have been predominantly due to natural causes not to greenhouse gas emissions. Actual measured sea level rises are running at about 52 mm per century, well below the metres that climate alarmists tell us they model. CO2 will certainly not drown us. These moderate sea level rise levels are in keeping with long term trends seen since the end of the Ice Age.

References

  1. No Discernible Human Influence On Global Ocean Temperatures, Climate
  2. Social Cost Of Carbon
  3. Report Reveals £300 Billion Cost Of Britain’S Climate Change Act
  4. 3 New Papers: Global Seas Now Rising About 2 Inches Per Century ... Claims Of 1 Meter Rise By 2100 ‘Sheer Nonsense’
  5. vitapathology: my term for hatred of life itself.
  6. Obsolete Climate Science on CO2, by Richard A. Epstein
  7. Mortality risk attributable to high and low ambient temperature: a multicountry observational study, by Dr Antonio Gasparrini, PhD, et al
  8. Changes in growing season duration and productivity of northern vegetation inferred from long-term remote sensing data, by Park, Ganguly, et al
  9. A 33-Year History of the Productivity of Arctic and Boreal Vegetation, Review of: Park, Ganguly, et al
  10. Updated climate sensitivity estimates, Review by Nic Lewis
  11. Alberta’s Climate Plan: A Burden with No Benefit, by Ken Gregory

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Essential Reading

This is a list of essential readings (apart from maybe the climate model section). For those interested in science, public policy and climate. Everyone should read all of this (apart from the optional climate models). There are some Green Fallacies here but I tire of them. So I put in some good green ideas to replace them.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Anti-environmentalism

There are real people out here who might classify ourselves as anti-environmentalists. It does not mean against the environment, nor against conservation. It means opposed to the green movement. Given:

  • every proposal made by them is toxic to humanity.
  • their politics by-pass democracy, because they are unpopular and will always fail to convince the public their measures make sense. They can only succeed by sneaking measures in through the backdoor, generally via unelected, unaccountable, bodies.
  • The more their ideas are taken up by society the more harm they cause. For example: every green idea ultimately comes down to some notion of limits. There's not enough to go around, we're running out or resources or making too much waste. That's how it embeds itself in popular consciousness. This will only lead to conflict among groups of people. Calls to restrict immigration. The Nazi invasion of Poland was ultimately a bid to increase Germany's agricultural land. Because Hitler and the Nazi's believed that farmland productivity had been maxed out in the 1930s, and that German people's prosperity was ultimately limited by agriculture. Perhaps the experience of allied blockade in the First World War had something to do with that.
  • Environmentalism is anti-progressive. Everyone on the left, right and centre of politics should oppose and marginalize environmentalists.

Goolge: 'anti-environmentalism'. I bet every article out there written by know-nothing greens. They are blind to their faults.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Green strategies

The Problem, as they see it

Environmentalist / green anti-humanism is quite literal. They look at the world and understand their enemy is Man. No girls. They are not sexist. They include you as their enemy too.

The common enemy of humanity is Man

In searching for a common enemy against whom we can unite, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages famine and the like, would fit the bill. In their totality and their interaction these phenomena do constitute a common threat which must be confronted by everyone together. But in designating these dangers as the enemy, we fall into the trap, which we have already warned readers about, namely mistaking symptoms for causes. All these dangers are caused by human intervention in natural processes, and it is only through changed attitudes and behaviour that they can be overcome. The real enemy then is humanity itself.
-- Alexander King & Bertrand Schneider: The First Global Revolution A Report by the council of the Club of Rome, 1991, page 75 (quoted from Tim Ball)

How to solve a problem like Man:

You can stop a car engine by cutting off the fuel supply, but that would be extremely difficult and elicit quick anger in a country, as anger when fuel prices jump demonstrate. However, you can also stop a car engine by blocking the exhaust. Transfer that idea to nations and show that CO2, the byproduct of combustion of fossil fuels, was causing runaway, catastrophic, global warming to achieve the goal. What nastier image than the belching car exhaust or the even more dramatic chimneys of industry?
-- Tim Ball: The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science, 2014

If you know anything at all about the history of the anti-nuclear power movement, you'll know that constipating nuclear power is an important strategy they pursued since they began. It's also what the greens called it.

Reflecting on this, I wonder can we enumerate Green strategies?

This does not imply any kind of conspiracy, or even plan, by greens. I've seen some of their plans and they are very detailed. Instead: consider politics as a set of groups/institutions, in a similar way to an ecosystem as a set of organisms. Over time evolution happens. Some niches, previously unoccupied, gain occupants by adaption. Green politics may evolve as strategies, rather than plan. They invest their time in what works, a virtuous circle. This is unsurprising. Greens are about the thickest bunch of idiots I've come across. Often with very little understanding of the wider world of history, politics, economics, science, how other people think, how actual environments (real nature) works.

What key strategic themes do we observe?

  • Regulation: Greens prefer regulations that can not be challenged. Their favoured regulations by-pass democracy. This is an important reason why greens favour trans-national, non-democratic institutions such as the United Nations, European Union, etc. In the USA, they favour legally independent QUANGOs: such as the Environment Protection Agency, and Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Ideally, for enviros, such agencies are free from government controls (and democracy), and are able to make up law as they see fit, without having to account for how many jobs they destroy. The ideal result of green regulation is a ban. If not bans, then a spaghetti of endless red tape.
  • Kick it into the long grass: If it can't be stopped now, delay for a few years or decades. A good of example of this is the runway at Heathrow. At first glance, it looks like much of the delay had nothing much to do with greens. At second glance: consider just how far greenery embedded itself within the institutions of society. Strategies pursued here are: Legal challenges, Lobbying, endless commissions.
  • Precautionary Principle: This is not quite a ban. It's kicking into the long grass such that the ball is lost, almost forever. It's clearly impossible to prove that any activity is absolutely safe. Living itself is lethal. Even our civilization, and perhaps humanity itself, could be wiped out by a stray asteroid. I suppose you may counter this by saying but we can show an activity is safe: that's why we have drug trials, etc. isn't it? Such an answer misunderstands the nature of the precautionary principle. The precautionary principle is "prove the drug safe before we give you permission to test it, or even make it".
  • Constipation: Block the exit. Stop them making waste. Kick up a fuss about 'nuclear waste', carbon dioxide, whatever. In the nuclear power example: greens harp on about nuclear waste. Their motive it not fear of nuclear waste. It's not even to prevent disposal. With advanced nuclear reactors, using a closed fuel cycle, the amount of waste is so little it could all be kept on site without any problem at all. Bury the waste under 20 feet of packed earth and no measurable radiation escapes. The constipation strategy is simply aimed at wasting our time and resources. For example: Conning the US government into taxing nuclear power, so they can build a huge site, costing billions, that greens make sure is never used. They succeed when they con us into thinking that nuclear waste is an issue. Likewise: global warming and carbon dioxide. At first glance it looks like the con is more expensive energy. Green, carbon-free, energy. Yet what of green energy? Much green energy emits more CO2 than the energy it replaces. This is often the case with biofuel, bioenergy, and biomass. If, someday in the future we ever develop the advanced nuclear power I just alluded to: global warming would've been a green own goal. By that time, The Science, will be more settled. We'd have developed ways to show the effect of CO2 is far more marginal than the catastrophists claimed. By then, greens will have developed some new scare to terrify us with.
  • Innovation: Green scares don't last forever. Their anti-GMO scare is standing on shaky legs now. A recent innovation giving a 15%/20% increase in tobacco plant yields by applying genetic engineering to the photosynthetic pathway itself may be the final nail in the coffin of the anti-GMO drive. This GMO technique is very general. It could be applied to many, perhaps nearly all crops. it is applicable to all C3 crops. It, or related techniques, will also apply to C4 crops. In another example: the global warming scare influenced an entirely new generation of, often utopian-minded, nuclear power engineers. To develop perfect nuclear fission reactors, such as the LFTR, or near perfect reactors such as other MSRs. It even influenced rich people to fund the work. I doubt greens had that in mind when they threw their entire weight behind climate change catastrophe ideas.

    Consequently: greens are always on the look out for some new environment scare they can pose as an existential threat to humanity, in order to recruit more novices to their death cult, and replace the old guard with an new generation of Marks. Because, we need to admit it: most greens are marks, not grifters, although some are both.
  • Master Goal: Make everything more expensive. Strangle economic development. These are the real goals of the green movement. Environmentalism is a death cult. The Freudian Thantos in action.

A green says: Oh no, you're wrong. I'm a green and I don't think like that!. I reply: what of the organization or group which you belong to? What about the billionaires funding the group which you belong to, and setting its policy? What do they think? Why do these billionaires pick the kind of groups they pick to fund? Groups like Greenpeace. Every single environmental group is opposed to nuclear power. Deep green Jim Hansen, even went so far to say the leaders of such groups would like to support nuclear power but they can't. They are afraid of having their funds cut off. [You see - there was a reason I began with a quote by Ur-Greens The Club of Rome, founded by with Uber-Green: David Rockefeller's money - the man with the golden arm.]

A green again: You said we were stupid. We are actually: clever, wise, humane, and the only people taking the long view for our common home. I reply: Well, I always thought the same of myself (especially the clever bit). Clever but stupid enough to fall for CAGW, renewables, and sustainability. It's only when I looked at those things with a dispassionate eye I saw the flaws. Trust me, you are not so clever, otherwise you would not lie so much. Nor be so easily found out. Nor would you promote obviously failing, and contradictory, policies. As for the rest:

  • Hell is paved with good intentions.” -- Samuel Johnson
  • Most of the evil in this world is done by people with good intentions.” -- T.S. Eliot

Notes:

  • Tobacco uses C3 photosynthesis.
  • Types of Photosynthesis, Comparisons.
  • Tim Ball: The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science, 2014
  • How fascinating that the 'The Club of Rome' Wikipedia entry, does not mention David Rockefeller. Nor does his entry mention it? No connection between David Rockefeller and the Club of Rome? Surely not. One might almost think there was a green fanatic with high level editorial authority rewriting history at Wikipedia. You'd be right. There is.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

U.S. Presidential Election

The Dems tried to win the election with a combination of Identity politics and green policies

Clinton lost, Trump did not win as such. She had far fewer votes than Obama in 2008 and 2012. Trump's vote was about the same as Republican presidential candidates in those years.

Technically Clinton lost, but it was the Dems who really lost. By selecting her as The Anointed One. More realistically she was given Buggins' turn. Republicans even gave Dems the opponent they craved: Trump. Dems were tooled up with a more efficient (better educated, scheming) Party machine. Just as much money. Still lost!

Identity Politics offers nothing positive

"vote for us because they are racists"

At the the end of the day, that kind of thing is all identity politics comes down to.

Identity politics are nothing new. The USA was founded on it. Whites played off against blacks. Each wave of immigrants played off against newcomers. Catholics, Jews, Irish marginalized in turn. Yet there was always some hope on offer: The American Dream. That's gone for sure. Multiculturalism is supposed to lead to different identities living in harmony. That's not how multiculturalism plays out in actual politics. In practice it's the same old identity politics reversed. This time the people to fear are whites: white men, white women, white privilege, or white racists - as the Dems propaganda machine would have it. Because if we're to coalesce the multiple cultures around something, what can it be? The American Dream is yesterday's dream. Hope for a better future is gone. Tomorrows nightmares are all that's left.

With no positive policies : just same old, same old. They make a new anti-white identity politics. This tries to unify the multiple 'marginalised' identities (blacks, latinos, gays, women) against white men. It works the same way the same old identity politics 'worked'. Yet knowing they can't sell identity + green because there is nothing positive there to give people. They end up selling hate. Hate is hard to sell when your message says Love Trumps Hate. Incoherent. I'm glad lots of people rejected the Dems nowhere campaign. It leaves me with a sense of hope for the American people. A sense they are wiser than their wannabee Machiavellian politicos.

Green Policies are intrinsically negative too

The other big influence on Dems : the greens. Green policies are directly opposed to the old economic growth policies of FDR's New Deal Dems. Today's Dems have no economic alternative because growth is off the table. No American Dream. Not even a mildly pleasant slumber. Just green nightmares: 'carbon' pollution, the weather misrepresented as climate change, humanity as the villain murdering Gaia. There are good reasons why environmentalism has such a low priority on voters' minds: everything about it is associated with bad things or limits.

Malthus: the ghost is the Dem machine.

Left greens suppose they exorcised Malthus from their policies/politics by never talking about him.

Look: we are all for immigration today : we are left greens!
Anyone who dares mention him will be torn down by a torrent of PC emotional blackmail. The elephant in the room: is all green policies implicitly invoke Malthus, even as they try to explicitly hide him. Green Luddism, anti-GMO, antinuclear power, the focus on limits, sustainability, renewables, organic farming, climate, whatever. All limits obsessed. It follows: if there are limits there are already too many people. Not saying so does not make it otherwise. The hate that dare not speak its name will be heard. It is all shot through with Malthus. Not enough to go around.
“Please sir, may I have some more”

No. You cheeky blighter. You already have too much. Americans with a lower standard of living than their parents, decaying infrastructure, harassed by a media doom machine, are told to open the borders! Au Contraire, they say: if there isn't enough in America for those already living here, how can there be enough for new immigrants?

Even a mid-ling, at best, realtor beat the wannabee Machiavellians running the Dem machine. All he had to do was offer a glimmer of hope: Make America Great Again

By embracing green ideas, the Left commit political suicide. The Dems can't see what they did. They are blind to their self-immolation.

To finish it off: there is no such practical project as left-wing environmentalism. No such thing as green socialism. Fortunately, the typical voter can smell rotten politics and will never vote for it. This is why greens are always trying to smuggle their policies in through the back door. In through some unaccountable body such as the EPA, UN, a global treaty. Demands for democratic accountability are a good way to counter the threat of environmentalism.

Notes:

  1. Mike Davis: "Prisoners of The American Dream", 1986
  2. Kenan Malik: "The Meaning of Race", 1996: Why pluralism plays itself out as identity politics, and why it fails.
  3. Green billionaire hedgie: Tom Steyer invested $74 million in the Dems campaign. I suppose his reward would've been Hillary installing 500 million solar panels (or was it 700m ?). With green subsidies, Tom's hedge funds were probably expecting to make a killing on solar and RE futures. Closing coal and nuclear power just makes electricity dearer for the put upon U.S. people.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Climate catastrophe 'science'

Mass paranoia over CO2 emissions is not such a great boon to nuclear power as some nuclear power supporters think. Because their science (AKA The Science) is not nearly as strong as climate catastrophists make it out to be. It increasingly looks to me that the impetus behind climate catastrophe science was just another excuse by greens to impose austerity and energy poverty upon the world. Fortunately for us mass paranoia over climate catastrophe failed. They may have conned politicians but reality can't be so easily tricked. Many self-styled climate scientists promoting climate catastrophe scenarios (Greg Laden, Joe Romm, Michael Mann) are also anti-energy greens. Climate catastrophe scientists spend most of their time dissing anyone who opposes their climate catastrophe hypotheses. Supposedly because skeptics have the science wrong. Yet anti-nuclear activists, who use bad climate science to oppose nuclear power unsurprisingly get a free pass promoting bad science. My enemy's enemy is my friend, or so they must think. Other climate scientists who began climate catastrophe scenarios were anti-nuclear once upon a time. Anti-energy means anti-nuclear power foremost, before anti-fossil fuel. Because they know nuclear power has the potential to supply us with far more energy than fossil fuel ever could - for millions of years into the future.

  • However, you can also stop a car engine by blocking the exhaust. Transfer that idea to nations and slow that CO2,
  • Many 'climate' activists are obsessed with stopping nuclear power:
    • Andrew Lawrence, Benjamin Sovacool & Andrew Stirling at the Sussex Energy Group
    • Joe Romm - climate activist and supposedly a climate scientist
    • Greg Laden - climate activist and supposedly a climate scientist
    • Michael Mann singles out Paul R. Ehrlich and Rachel Carson as 'persecuted saints' of environmentalism.
    • the green movement, in general, are universally opposed to nuclear power. Many climate campaigners are greens or ex-greens.
  • There's a striking similarity to the strategies they use to stop nuclear power and fossil fuels. Constipating nuclear power, and blocking the exhaust. No accident.
  • Actual science of the supposed greenhouse catastrophe is very poorly explained. The GHG effect itself.
  • Science works by creating theories based on assumptions, which other scientists, performing as skeptics, test. The structure and mandate of the IPCC was in direct contradiction to this scientific method. They set out to prove the theory rather than disprove it. Maurice Strong and his UN committees made sure the focus was on human-caused change and CO2 as the particular culprit. They’d already biased the research by using a very narrow definition of climate change as discussed earlier. Properly, a scientific definition would put natural climate variability first, but at no point does the UN mandate require an advance of climate science.
    --Tim Ball
  • Following on from above, scientists who try to perform the role of skeptic was demonized, their careers sabotaged. This includes mainstream, moderate, greenhouse gas believers like Judith Curry, Roger Pielke Jr. It seems the more mainstream they are, the more vitriol they attract from the climate catastrophe crowd. I've had, otherwise sensible people, tell me Judith Curry and Roger Pielke are 'deniers'. Not on the basis of anything they ever said. Both these two accept man-made global warming, and greenhouse gas radiative forcing. They just don't accept the rest of the lies piled on that. Climate extremists want me to side with them on this and other issues! Unlikely: if you can't get basics right, don't expect to sign me up for the extended programme.
  • Wikileaks exposed how senior Democratic Party organizers ran a systematic defamation campaign against Roger Pielke Jr.
  • Government does not like people exposing its climate mafia. Sends the feds to steal back the evidence.

What does 'The Science' get wrong?

  • The projected atmospheric rise due to a doubling of CO2 = 1.1ºC. Catastrophists claim an amplification of 3 ×, to 3.3ºC caused by a warmer climate evaporating more water. Because water is a more serious GHG than CO2. Skeptics claim a dampening of a half. So expect 560 ppm to give a temperature rise = 0.55ºC. The dampening happens because water condenses to clouds. Clouds reflect sunlight. Ha, ha. Skeptics steal an idea from James Lovelock. The climate is self-adapting to a degree. The 'deep green' CAGWers ignore the Gaia hypothesis and propose chaos and catastrophe at every opportunity. Ironic
  • "CO2 ... cannot hold heat, all gases radiate heat as fast as it is absorbed"
  • In the historical record temperature increase precedes atmospheric CO2 increase. The opposite of what CAGWers claim. This is most likely because a higher climate temperature causes CO2 to be released from oceans. Because CO2 is less soluble in warm water. There is far more CO2 stored in earth's oceans than atmosphere.
    How many times does it have to be said that temperature increases before CO2 in every single record? For some, it becomes a form of the precautionary principle: the idea that, even if humans are not causing warming, shouldn’t we limit population anyway?
    -- Tim Ball, The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science, 2014
  • Misapplying the scientific method. By cherry-picking the data. By prioritising hypothesis over data. By not validating their hypothesis.
  • Writing bad models, and thinking their models have something significant to say. Their models reflect their bias, but hide it from themselves. They fool themselves.
  • Ignoring the data. Their science says: more global warming is leading to more extreme weather, including more and more violent tornadoes. Real science shows fewer tornadoes today (in supposedly the hottest year on record) than any time since 1954:
  • Data curation: Actually it is called 'homogenized' by the WMO not 'curated'. Either way it is BS and basically involves 'adjusting downwards' historical land based data at specific sites on the basis of data cherry picked from elsewhere. BOM freely admit they do that but when CSIRO use that BOM 'data' in their own graphs and papers, they (i) deny that it is homogenized data, and (2) refuse to go and clarify that point with BOM themselves. That how dissembling, dysfunctional and post-modernist the whole 'hottest temperatures since...' charade has become. (Steve Short)

    Example: Curating history to correct the evil climate change thermometers from yesteryear. Must've been purchased from Republicans!
  • Several bad things they are doing with science above. They are also:
    • Leading people astray, which misdirects our energies to the wrong problems (or pseudo-problems), leading to us to promote wrong solutions.
    • Giving credence to anti-humanists who seek to further energy poverty, degrowth, and Luddism.
    • Promoting unworkable policies. The majority of the public will recognise what's in their interest. Catastrophism, Luddism, degrowth and austerity are not.
    • Enviros are obsessed renewable energy.
      • A good way to cool the earth (if it really is getting too warm) is to paint sky-facing surfaces white. To reflect sunlight back into space. Isn't it strange we've never heard the enviros campaign for this measure when it is so cost effective?
      • The often hate nuclear power. Which is the most scalable technology for making non-CO2 emitting energy.
    • From the two points above (which enviros reject and deny). I conclude enviros know that CAGW is a fraud.

But lots of CAGW believers support nuclear power!

Typical of them. Yet many CAGW believers changed their mind on nuclear power, because they had to resolve a contradiction in their own minds over CO2 greenhouse gas. This actually leads to several problems or contradictions, which I do not think are helping to drive forth nuclear power. Supporters of CAGW, and nuclear power:

  • Obsess over greenhouse gas. They often talk as if low-GHG emissions are the only game in town. This ignores nuclear power's other advantages: energy security, safety, abundance, potential to be the cheapest source of power by some margin.
  • Ignore the need for major changes in nuclear power regulation. Limited deregulation could set nuclear power free to give us cheaper energy than ever before. Even safer too!
  • They concede too much to greens. Green Luddism, degrowth metaphysics, and anti-humanism are some of the most pernicious and reactionary forces at work in modern politics. Nothing good, nor progressive is coming out of the green movement.

Reference

  1. Ball, Tim. The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science (Kindle Locations 815-816). Stairway Press. Kindle Edition.

"The" Science.

This is a bit of a reaction to reading Tim Ball's book. I'm none too happy with the philosophy of science implied therein. What is Science? From whence did it come? I'm also a bit obsessed with philosophy of science and meta-theory in general. Why do we meta-theorise so much and is any of it, apart from science, of any use. No not really, but some is.


Science, as I understand it, began about 2,600 years ago on the East coast of Turkey, in what was called Ionia, near the island of Samos, in a trading port settled by Greeks called Miletus. Here two philosophers Thales, followed by Anaximander sought to create a new world view. Their new world view attempted to explain all worldly events and phenomena using naturalistic explanations. They tried to replace explanations based on the supernatural: myth (e.g. The Dreamtime), whim, will, or law of the Gods, luck, nature spirits, and fate, ... Over the years, science stumbled on, adding maths quite early on. So consistent were Anaximander's naturalistic explanations, one is led to believe he was attempting to found an entirely new way of looking at the world. The Ur of science is not experimental method. It is naturalism. Eventually this led to the European scientific revolution: Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton. To a degree these early European scientists stressed the importance of scientific method. That they were merely trying to explain the natural world. Not seeking to overthrow the Church with its supernaturalism. In truth, in order to do science at all they had to compromise like that. Many were, in fact, perfectly happy to believe the compromise legitimate too.

Taking an overview I come to some conclusions:

What characterises science?

How is science different to other ways of talking about the world? E.g. Apart from it's naturalism. As already stated: science overthrows all supernatural explanations.

  1. Scientific explanations are naturalistic, and only so. There is no creation science. It would be orthogonal to the project of science from the earliest times.
  2. Scientific explanations begin with observation of the world. Precisely recording what happens.
  3. Precision and fidelity to the record are of great importance.
  4. Maths is big in science. Maths allow prediction but mathed science theory has often been approximate (to nature) in the past. Either slightly or very.
  5. Once data has been collected, scientists try to find patterns. Such patterns are often called "Scientific Laws". So in a sense: data is sacred. Messing with the data is fundamentally anti-scientific. Because how can you tease out the laws if you are cherry-picking or faking it?
  6. There are many ways to detect patterns or laws. Statistics has been one of them. Statistics is misused; so careful before you accept any statistical inference. Stats has not only been misused but rampantly so. Much pseudoscience was promoted with weak stats.
  7. The discovery and promotion of the experimental method was a great step forward and this really launched Western Science, to bring us where we are today. A fundamental pattern in experiment is to hold many variables constant while varying only one or a few.
  8. Observation is still important, but not so useful because the effect of variation can't be examined independently.
  9. Scientists seek to systematize and unify established patterns ("Scientific Laws") with theories. A theory will both explain a Law, and, usually, be able to derive it from fundamental explanations. For a theory to be generally accepted it must be able to explain everything important. Theories can not contradict Laws. Remember: laws are derived from patterns in the data.
  10. A hypothesis is a candidate, or proposed, theory. A theory is generally accepted by nearly all scientists.
  11. Validation. A theory is the simplest explanation compatible with the data. (sacred data again!)
  12. All the theories of science gel together to form a holistic world view. Which is naturalistic. The scientific world view. Theories must unify patterns (or Laws) yet the best theories unify with each other to form a totality.
  13. There is, of course, "the scientific method", but this is really a caricature. Scientists don't hang about dreaming up hypotheses, then try to prove them with experiment. That would lead to bad science, or string theory. Better to experiment. Carefully record the results, and tease out a law, or hypotheses from the facts. Knowing full well: any law or hypothesis teased out must be compatible with the totality of science as it currently is. Otherwise big paradox: like dark energy / dark matter, or dose-response. In a nutshell: The scientific method, as it's often presented, is wrong. I.e. The explanation is wrong. Students are misled. The scientific method, as it is really practiced to give us better science, must be right. Otherwise there wouldn't be better science. Perhaps this is, in part, due to the influence of Popper (on the one hand), and philosophers of science (like Kuhn) on the other. The link I gave here gives a classic misrepresentation of the scientific method. In reality: scientific explanations are all naturalistic, faithful to the data, and consistently form a coherrent body, or world-view.
  14. The Popperian view is: "science is what works". Clichéd, as his fans love to. In other words: if the hypothesis leads to predictions which fail, then it's wrong. A good theory is testable. Unfortunately this elides the fact that science has been a collective endeavor for 2,600 years. I'm not refuting Popper. He is right. I just think he's too simplistic. A 'good' theory relying on a nature spirit explanation, which was perfectly compatible with the data is: not naturalistic, nor the simplest possible, and it does not gel with the rest of science. It may be OK for a Popperian. It's rubbish for me; anti-science if you like.
  15. Then there's the Kuhnian point of view. For Kuhn scientific theory is paramount. Current accepted theory establishes a world view (scientific paradigm) of a society and/or the scientific elite (a bit like an Hegel's, Spirit of the Age, like a Zeitgeist, except something we all accept without question). People love to tell us how primitive humanity once was: how Columbus (or was it Magellan) first found the world was round by sailing it. Except they did not. The Greeks, 2,300 years ago already knew the earth floated as a sphere in space. Kuhn's caricature is just that. Kuhn considers theories as some kind of pick and mix. Yet points: 1), 2), 5), 9), 12) above show there is no pick and mix. Any new theory attempting to displace an existing one must fit the totality of what science means and what it is to do science. Philosophers love Kuhn. They love relativising science, and Kuhn is their big artillery argument.

'The Science': AKA man-made global warming

  • CAGW : Catastrophic, anthropic, global warming. A hypothesis that greenhouse gas (like Carbon dioxide, water and methane) released into the atmosphere by human activity will cause runaway global warming and catastrophe. In some extreme variants: destroying humanity.
  • CAGW promoters nearly always call their idea climate change. Whenever they talk about climate change they mean CAGW, but refuse to use the term that describes their beliefs. Extraordinary really!
  • Consider how CAGW came about. Did they carefully observe, tease out climate laws, then find a hypothesis which was the simplest possible explanation? All the while, remaining faithful to the data? 'Listening to' the data? It does not seem so.
  • CAGW is not a theory. It can't even be considered a hypothesis really. It is not consistent enough. They have not even found a model they all agree on!. It ignores too much due to it's 1-dimensional obsession with GHG.
  • Tim Ball, "The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science", 2014

Reference

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Tornadoes in 2016

Liberal media tell us 2016 is the warmest year on record. That global warming is devastating the the climate with extreme weather. Yet, as of today 2016 US tornadoes are fewest in a calendar year since record-keeping began in 1954.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Sustainability

Preface

This is really a response to a book review I've not read by Andy May. The book is 25 Myths That Are Destroying the Environment: What Many Environmentalists Believe and Why They Are Wrong, by Daniel B. Botkin. I know it's bad I've not read it but, bear with me, I don't have an issue with any of the myths identified by the author. I'm really more interesting in figuring the Ur-myth, the foundation stone behind it all. The book reviewer says the modern environmental movement is “anti-science, anti-technology, and anti-human. So they often are. Yet many of them seem to be genuinely spellbound by their green politics. With a sense of mission. There must be something positive in the green movement. I think it's their obsession with sustainability. Unsustainable is the evil they fight. Sustainability the good they bring. Their politics are as simple as can be.


Actual point of the blog!

I notice "sustainability" is not listed as a myth but seems to me the foundation myth of green thinking. In fact, I bet the book's author agrees that sustainability is a goal to aim for. Sustainable economics is a thing in economics not a green thing. Sustainability is all the rage, everywhere. Even nuclear power must be sustainable now. If so, who's sustainability and what sustainability? Perhaps Andy gets close when talking about the "balance" myth. Sustainability can be a code for keep it all in balance.

Modern enviros campaign on specific issues: global warming, pollution, for: organic farming and renewable energy, against: nuclear power and GMOs. Yet these are really proxy issues, every one. Their real concern is a sense that our civilization is unsustainable.

  • "You can't have exponential growth on a finite planet"
  • "We are using up resources at a rate of 2 earths"

Hence their religion of sustainability. It's as much a prophylactic against their fears as a remedy for an unbalanced earth. Sustainability for greens works a bit like political correctness for liberals, equality for lefties. A badge of identity. A way to to both recognize a fellow traveler, and have ones' identity vindicated as a moral being.

One example of how sustainability went wrong is biofuels. Greens never batted an eyelid when these measures were enacted. They lobbied for biofuels. Despite massive biofuel farming being totally unsustainable. A 3-line mantra, each line implying the next, went:

  • Biofuel is renewable.
  • Renewable is sustainable.
  • Sustainable is Good.
So they hoodwinked themselves.

This demonstrates the myth of sustainability. No green biofuel lobbyist looked critically at biofuel to see whether it really was sustainable in a technical sense. They were, in fact, told many times just how unsustainable it was. They railroaded it through as a renewable energy measure. In green parlance all renewables are, ipso facto, sustainable. No evidence, no discussion needed.

That almost demands a digression too. Ipso facto : no evidence, no discussion needed. How often do we see this too from the greens? Does it apply to everyone of their dogmas? Perhaps. Let me relist their campaigns. Global warming, pollution, for: organic farming and renewable energy, against: nuclear power and GMOs. Pretty much a list of things greens assert as good or evil. Often with faked evidence, and dishonest arguments. But that's a digression. The content of the rest of the blog. Let's get back to the sustainability myth.

So concerned are they with over-growth and reducing resource use to sustainable proportions, I might think they'd want to put a cap on population. No way, most are lefties too. Any discussion of population a thought crime. Outlawed as eugenic and/or racist. So they place themselves in the absurd position of making a Malthusian argument without daring to mention population. No wonder they are fundamentally confused, dizzy, people.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Helen Caldicott tribute page

Here are some of Doctor Helen Caldicott's masterful quotes, mostly dissing nuclear power.

  1. Sputnik News on 9/11

    "I think that 9/11 was Cheney’s Kristallnacht...There are so many things unexplained."
    -- Many Mysteries Surrounding 9/11 Attacks Persist - Global Peace Activist

  2. HC quotes from: Helen Caldicott - "Th" Thorium Documentary, by Gordon McDowell

    • Nuclear power produces massive quantities of global warming gas
    • There are wild boar in Germany that almost glow in the dark
    • About 40 percent of the food, probably, in Europe is radioactive
    • More people have died from Chernobyl than the black plague
    • Japan is, by orders of magnitude, many times worse than Chernobyl
  3. George Monbiot at the Guardian

    The unpalatable truth is that the anti-nuclear lobby has misled us all, by George Monbiot
    How nuclear apologists mislead the world over radiation, by Helen Caldicott
    Nuclear opponents have a moral duty to get their facts straight, by George Monbiot
  4. Re: Helen Caldicott: Fukushima's Ongoing Impact, by GoddardsJournal

Notes

  1. I think she mean to say Reichstag fire (early 1933), not Kristallnacht (late 1938).
  2. She's always called Doctor Helen Caldicott, although she has not practiced medicine for decades
  3. Russian owned Sputnik News, is endlessly critical of the West, especially in terms of Foreign policy, defence, and energy systems, but somehow never manages a critical comment on anything Putin's Russia does.
  4. During 9/11 Dick Cheney was US Vice President
  5. meaning Fukushima Dai'ichi
  6. An 'order of magnitude' means ten times more. So 'orders of magnitude worse' means:
    10 ×, 100 × or 1000 ×, ... times worse
  7. In fact, radioactive releases at Chernobyl were about ten times greater than Fukushima Daiichi. So HC got her facts almost exactly back-to-front.

Intermittent Wind Power in UK

I've posted on this topic before. Here is another comment by Richard Verney on a Watts Up With That? post.


* Griff October 13, 2016 at 12:50 am

Well yes, but in winter the wind is usually blowing in the UK.

In December 2015 UK got 18% of all electricity from wind.

So its solar in summer, wind in winter.


* richard verney October 13, 2016 at 2:02 am

Not so.

The winter of 2009/10 was an extremely cold and snowy one. It was said to be a 1 in 30 year winter. Ironically, the winter of 2010/11 was even colder and even more snowy. It was said to be a 1 in 100 event.

In both cases this was due to a blocking high sitting NE of the UK. It stayed there for about 1 month.

I monitored wind energy every day during this period (for both winters). For the main part it produced between 3 to 5% of nameplate capacity. On a few days it managed 8% of nameplate capacity On many days it was less than 3% with many days being less than 1%.

When wind is producing less than 1% nameplate capacity in these conditions it is consuming energy. This is required for heaters and to keep the turbine slowly turning. This is probably the case even when producing 2 to 3% of nameplate capacity.

Had the UK been dependent on wind to produce energy during these winters, there would have been 1000s of deaths. Fortunately power was supplied by conventional fossil fuel generation and the nuclear via the French inter connect, the latter was straining because it also had to supply NW Europe in general.

During this blocking high, Germany, and I expect Holland and Denmark, encountered similar conditions.

The fact is that just when wind is needed most (cold winters), wind is often in a drought!

February 2012: Winter blocking high in Europe

This UK Met Office pressure chart shows a blocking high over Europe, supplying cold, polar air across much of the continent and blocking out milder air from over the Atlantic. This blocking high brought temperatures of -20°C (-4°F), killed hundreds of people in Eastern Europe and even brought snow to the Sahara, as this BBC video explains.

See also Wikipedia: Winter of 2010–11 in Great Britain and Ireland

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Renewable energy countries have lower CO2 emissions than nuclear powered countries - not!

A report, promoted by the University of Sussex, claims "Pro-nuclear countries making slower progress on climate targets". It was written by Andrew Lawrence, Benjamin Sovacool & Andrew Stirling for Climate Policy. A journal which claims to be

a world leading peer-reviewed academic journal publishing high quality policy research and analysis on all aspects of climate policy, including policy and governance, adaptation and mitigation, policy design and development and programme delivery and impact

Peer review and excellent editorial oversight I presume. So why did the peer reviewers/journal editor allow the author (Savacool) to reference himself 10 times within his own paper? Why did they allow flowery, and essentially meaningless language like this?:

For instance, it may be that persistent commitments to nuclear power as a large-scale, capital-intensive, ‘lumpy’, centralized ‘baseload’ thermal generating option can actually impede contemporary moves towards more liberalized, organizationally diverse, distributed, and networked systems of energy service provision, integrating supply and demand in innovative, more information-intensive ways
Bizarre that peer reviewers and editors should allow such language unless they shared the authors's prejudice in favour of renewable energy (RE). For example distributed, and networked systems. All power sources connected to the grid are likewise.

Why is a report written by lifelong opponents of nuclear power considered acceptable as reference material? The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2015. None of the authors of that have any experience in nuclear power, and I doubt any have experience in any electricity generation technology. They are serial employees of deep green groups, often in receipt of funds from multi-billion dollar capitalized, tax exempt, foundations in North America.

The report's key antinuclear idea

The report authors' key idea is to split the EU27+3 into 4 groups of countries I to IV. According to the authors, "Group II" countries:

  • "retains some continuing nuclear commitments, but has adopted deliberate plans to decommission existing nuclear plants, eventually, without constructing new ones (e.g. Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, and Sweden)"
  • have "highest average percentage of reduced emissions – 11%"

Their classification is arbitrary! "Group II" has 7 countries and only 1 (Germany) is wholeheartedly committed to nuclear power phase out. The other six in this 'anti-nuke' group:

  • Slovenia: Has not shut the reactor it jointly owns with Croatia, but instead, they intend to add more nuclear power
  • Switzerland: Public voted to continue with nuclear power
  • Sweden: Will phase out its nuclear tax in 2019. It has not banned new reactors
  • Spain: In 2011, the government lifted the 40-year limit on all reactors, allowing owners to apply for license extensions in 10-year increments
  • Belgium: When Germany tried to bully them into closing a reactor they refused
  • Netherlands: In 1994 voted to phase out their 2 nukes. In 1997 one NPP shut. In 2003: shutdown of others was postponed till 2013. In 2006 shutdown was postponed till 2034. Seriously Holland! It's only one reactor. If you're committed to the anti-nuke cause shut it down like our report authors want you to!

Six out of seven countries show less than 100% commitment to phaseouts and some of them had only very minor commitments to nuclear power start with (Slovenia, Netherlands). Strange how the authors made these 7 countries into a "group". I keep thinking There must be something else they have in common too!

The French parliament recently voted to install 50% renewable energy sometime in the future. Perhaps the authors should move France from a Group III (pro nuclear) to their Group II (who disdain nukes)?

More issues with this paper

  • The GFC should be factored into emissions reductions for Southern Europe: Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy, respectively.
  • Technology level is ignored. E.g. UK + France are grouped with poorer ex-communist countries.
  • Geography is ignored. Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, 3 former Soviet Baltic countries have much lower population densities and/or access to RE energies like hydro, geothermal, and or land for biomass. Unsurprisingly these countries generally have the highest renewable energy proportions in Europe. Who knew that lots of spare land and water would make RE easier?
  • "Regarding patterns of renewables adoption" Sweden had plenty of RE (hydro) for decades. Well before AGW became an issue. Because it's cheaper and they have lots of land, and hills.
  • Likewise France built its NPP fleet to ensure energy security and independence from fossil fuels which crippled its economy in the 1970s oil crises. France had a huge amount of diesel powered electricity in the 1970s. The did not do it to 'save the climate'; Saving the climate was a side effect.
  • Most EU RE is still biomass. Biomass was was over 60% of all RE in 2013. By ignoring the specific sources of RE Sovocool and Co. let their readers presume too much. The word wind occurs 12 times in the report, solar 5 times, biomass only twice. Why do the authors give little prominence to the biggest source of RE in Europe?
    Fig: European Union renewable energy, by technology (Source: Eurostat)
  • Poland never had a NPP built in the Soviet era and is a country rich in coal. Hardly surprising they are so dependent upon it in the electricity sector.
  • Time is ignored. Much of the hydro capacity added in Europe was put there decades ago. Not because of an EU renewable energy mandate. Politics does not work back in time
  • "The most uneven progress is among the Group III states". I almost laughed when I read that. UK and France do surprisingly well for emission reductions. A glance at EDGAR database tells us so. They are well above Germany in the CO2 reduction stakes. In fact, poorly Germany never even came to the races and may have to be put down soon by the vet. Germany has not cut its CO2 emissions since 2009.
    Fig: New EU coal plants since 2010 - Germany has more than rest of EU combined.
  • The complete data should include Croatia. One can group them with Slovenia because they share ownership of a NPP, or with Group III because they plan to build more nukes. The authors do not even explain why they left Croatia out.
  • The term renewable energy is arbitrary. It's a political construct. Many people have questioned whether any biomass/biofuel is renewable. For example: In USA, corn is grown to eventually make ethanol for use as motor vehicle fuel. It requires vast amounts of phosphate fertilizer which must be mined. The tailings are mildly radioactive: NORM. These pile up as huge mounds. Due to the vast amount of tailings made growing corn for biofuel ethanol, it emits more radioactivity than nuclear power plants (per unit of energy made). Many times over. If fertilizer dependent biofuel is a renewable why isn't nuclear power?
    Fig: NORM 'radioactive' gypsum stack - tailings from phosphate extraction.

More Issues

Since writing this blog my attention was drawn to other issues (see 1 & 2 below). Looking into that, I found a third.

  1. Which GHG emissions?

    Their table 2 column is labelled "Emissions reductions". But which emissions?:

    • all GHG emissions or just CO2,
    • only GHG emissions in the energy sector or all. i.e. including those from agricultural land use changes, ...

    The obvious conclusion is all emissions, but then I must ask myself: Why all? GHG emissions in the energy sector are often factored as CO2 emissions because burning fossil fuel is the main cause. Certainly for nuclear power which is under criticism here. So why not use only energy sector emissions? Perhaps the answer is that Germany's energy sector emissions record has been dire since 2009, and that coincides with Germany phasing out over half of its nuclear powered electricity.

  2. Mysterious data

    Getting back to the GHG emission data they use. Where did it come from? They cite an EC handbook, (pdf), which only has data up to 2012, and does not include 3 of their countries: Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. The handbook they say they used, gets its data is from Eurostat. Eurostat emissions data is here. There is a link on that page to a table. Then a download link from that table to CSV, spreadsheet data, etc. This table has data from 2005 to 2014. The same period written about. Could this be it? Maybe not. The table excludes 3 non-EU countries: Iceland, Norway and Switzerland, which were included in the Sovacool report. The emission reductions calculated from this Eurostat data do not correspond with the claimed emissions reductions in table 2 of the report by Sovacool et al.

  3. Citation explosion

    Look at the PDF for the report. It has a lot of references. Many of those references seem to have nothing to do with the report's ideas, nor evidence. Are they referencing just for the sake of it, or is something else going on there? I can't help but feel this is how political activists work. Cite as many of your political allies as you can, just to give them a cross citation boost. Put a load of noise into the academic literature just to advance one's career, and the careers of political allies. My old fashioned understanding of citations in an article is you cite anything you quote in your writing to give your writing authority (whether it be data, ideas, etc.). It looks to me like they doing the opposite. Gaming the system. Citing their friends to give they cross-citation 'authority'.


Comparison of Eurostat data with that of Lawrence, Sovacool & Stirling.

Now I've added a 2nd major modification to this blog. Purely to keep everything in the same place. Here is Eurostat data I downloaded from their website (all sectors). I calculated the GHG emissions reductions over 2005-2014 (see penultimate column). This is the same time period the authors report. They also claimed to use Eurostat GHG emissions data. Compare the penultimate to the last column of data. A negative value shows an GHG emissions fall. I can't see how they get their data (in the last column).

GHG emissions (CO2 eq) in thousands of tonnes. All sectors
% GHG emissions
fall 2005-2014
20052014EurostatLawrence, Sovacool & Stirling
EU285,347,013.584,419,194.80-17.4
EU28 + Iceland under Kyoto5,354,909.054,427,823.61-17.3
EU154,343,204.923,537,820.69-18.5
Belgium148,386.57117,933.23-20.5-15
Bulgaria63,226.8657,713.82-8.720
Czech Republic149,659.99126,767.73-15.39
Denmark69,288.8053,876.33-22.2-20
Germany1,012,845.64924,765.83-8.7-14
Estonia18,445.7421,185.5814.911
Ireland72,923.0960,504.66-17.0-20
Greece138,436.34104,265.15-24.7-4
Spain450,514.80342,697.71-23.9-10
France570,580.21475,396.01-16.7-14
Croatia31,283.0224,769.55-20.8
Italy588,082.70428,049.57-27.2-13
Cyprus10,171.109,201.47-9.5-5
Latvia11,583.3011,627.350.417
Lithuania22,403.9719,239.45-14.115
Luxembourg14,383.3912,024.95-16.4-20
Hungary76,723.9757,739.20-24.710
Malta3,247.373,316.542.15
Netherlands225,454.55197,975.67-12.2-16
Austria94,790.8078,330.19-17.4-16
Poland397,859.09382,014.68-4.014
Portugal90,473.3367,618.96-25.31
Romania147,022.48110,382.25-24.919
Slovenia20,584.1616,655.62-19.14
Slovakia51,597.6140,760.87-21.013
Finland70,855.5661,050.31-13.8-16
Sweden68,922.8456,680.59-17.8-17
United Kingdom727,266.29556,651.52-23.5-16
UK under Kyoto730,843.47560,124.72-23.4
Iceland4,318.295,155.6019.4NA
NorwayNANA
SwitzerlandNANA
Note: A negative sign in the last 2 columns shows a fall, otherwise it is a rise.


More Eurostat data:

This looks nothing like Lawrence, Sovacool & Stirling GHG data either!

GHG emissions intensity of energy consumption.
Country20052014% change
2005-2014
Iceland97.764.1-34.4
Finland93.379.2-15.1
Sweden93.280.2-13.9
Czech Republic89.882.8-7.8
Slovenia94.583.7-11.4
Austria97.984.3-13.9
Denmark94.984.4-11.1
Belgium97.584.8-13.0
France93.285.9-7.8
Hungary94.686.4-8.7
Netherlands90.186.4-4.1
Italy95.787.1-9.0
Portugal96.788.1-8.9
Romania97.688.7-9.1
EU 2895.489.3-6.4
Ireland96.089.4-6.9
United Kingdom95.589.4-6.4
Spain97.690.5-7.3
Poland97.391.1-6.4
Estonia95.091.3-3.9
Greece96.092.0-4.2
Slovakia99.192.1-7.1
Croatia99.193.3-5.9
Latvia92.194.12.2
Germany95.294.6-0.6
Luxembourg101.995.8-6.0
Bulgaria100.8102.51.7
Malta94.2102.89.1
Lithuania96.5107.211.1
Cyprus105.6108.93.1
Units: kTOE;
Source: Link to here, then click: Energy statistics - main indicators, download: tsdcc220.tsv

So where do Lawrence, Sovacool & Stirling get their GHG emissions data from (seen in their table 2) upon which their entire argument rests? Who knows. They certainly did not get it from the EU stats summary report they cited in their paper. Data in that summary report stops at 2012.

Notes, references

  • Univ. Sussex press release.
  • The report: "Pro-nuclear countries making slower progress on climate targets"
  • AGW: Anthropic global warming. Human induced climate warming to you.
  • NPP: Nuclear power plant
  • GFC: Global Financial Crisis of the late noughties
  • RE: renewable energy
  • Tailings: bits of rock, stone left behind in mining after extraction
  • NORM: Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials. Defined by U.S. EPA, and regulated at state level (not federally). Can be very difficult to dispose of. No one wants 'radioactive waste'.
  • EU27+3: The EU28 minus Croatia, plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.
  • Actual countries they say are Group II: Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
  • EDGAR emissions database
  • Eurostat RE, 2014