JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).



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Unthreaded Weekend

 

The old jetty at Port Denison, 3 hours North of Perth. | Photo: Jo Nova

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  • #

    Again, I hope Joanne doesn’t mind my linking into my own Posts like this. Last week I mentioned I was working on something about Commercial solar power plants, and some of the things I found surprised even me.

    The next time someone tries to tell you that Solar Thermal Power is the answer to supplying Base Load power, and that they can replace coal fired power, here’s the information you can use to utterly shred those statements.

    Concentrating Solar Power (usually referred to as Solar Thermal) has long been touted as the shining light for the future of Renewable power, and luckily, we have a really good guide to show us if there’s any truth in what we are being told, and that guide is what those supporters themselves always use as their example, Spain, a Country which now has 24 of these Industrial scale solar power plants, all of them now operational for a number of years and all of them supplying power to the Spanish power grid.

    But really, is it all it’s cracked up to be?

    In a word, no!

    I gathered all the information about these plants and collated them into a list with all the relevant data about each plant so it can be seen as a whole, and not just as individual plants. What I found surprised even me, because after hearing everything you are told, even if only half of it was actually true, then that would still be pretty impressive, and in fact not only is not impressive, it’s downright ridiculous. Looking at the data for all these plants in the one place at the one time shows a completely different story to the one we are being fed by supporters of renewable power.

    I decided to use the Bayswater coal fired power plant for the sake of comparison only.

    These 24 solar plants (incidentally covering more than 13,500 acres or 55 Square Kilometres) have a total Capacity of 1781MW, so Bayswater, at 2640MW is 48% larger by Capacity.

    However when it comes to actual power generated for consumption, those 24 solar plants manage only 4,483GWH, compared to Bayswater’s 17,000GWH. In fact the total power generated by these 24 solar plants in one full year is delivered by Bayswater in 93 days.

    The Capacity Factor of those 24 solar plants as a whole is only, and wait for this, 28.7%, making it in fact the equivalent, or actually slightly worse than Wind power.

    With data like this, Solar Thermal Power is not only not the touted way of the future, it’s an absolute failure if you ask me.

    For all the details, read the Post at this link.

    Solar Thermal Power (Concentrating Solar) Fail – Just Look At Spain

    Tony.


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    • #
      Speedy

      Tony

      Renewables over-cost and under-deliver? Who’d a thunk it?

      What would Curly Jo have said?

      Cheers,

      Speedy


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      • #

        Under deliver is a monumentally huge understatement.

        I’m sure you’ll hear all about the wonderful Gemasolar plant, you know they hyped plant which can actually deliver 24 hours of electrical power output, by using heat diversion.

        Well this mid Summer just gone this plant actually did achieve that feat for, and wait for this, 36 consecutive days.

        Now, in the scheme of things, that’s pretty huge, and I am literally astounded that the green hued renewable power supporters aren’t all over this like flies on a steaming cow pat, spruiking it at every chance they can get.

        36 consecutive days. Absolutely huge.

        20MW for 24 hours and for 36 days straight.

        Bayswater delivered that same amount of power in, umm, six and a half HOURS.

        6.5 hours.

        Even with heat diversion of 15 hours (only really available in mid summer) this plant still only manages a Capacity Factor of 62%, which averaged out to a daily delivery comes in at just under 15 hours.

        The power delivered by this Gemasolar plant in A FULL YEAR is delivered by Bayswater in 41 hours.

        The Gemasolar plant cost $500 Million in 2009 Dollars, and I note below they are complaining that Nuclear power is becoming expensive.

        Also, just ballparking here.

        If Bayswater delivers a full years worth of power from this solar plant in just 41 hours, then this $500 Million plant only saves 41 hours worth of CO2 emissions from Bayswater or 125,000 tons of CO2 meaning it has cost $4,000 for each ton of CO2 saved.

        Hey! Cheap at half the price.

        Tony.


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    • #

      Hi Tony, great article thanks.

      There is another imposter looming on the renewable energy winds. That of Solar-Hydro schemes(my term) whereby a dam such as the Ord river dam at Lake Argyle would be used.

      It basically entails constructing another reservoir above the dam in question and using Solar energy to pump water from the dam to that reservoir so it can then produce Hydro-electricity on it’s way back to the dam. A pretty nice and simple plan.

      I really would like to understand this from a energy perspective and I understand that we are getting roughly 8 hours of energy from the sun. Can a system such as this be really sustainable in even green terms. I believe the power consumption would be massive if not far above what we would be able to get out if it.

      Would we need millions of hectares for solar farms to produce the energy required to lift the water to the required reservoir in order to produce the same amount of energy.

      Are scientists clearly thinking these things out or are they playing perpetual motion machine politics.

      Seems to me these schemes are really just truly wasting resources when the problem is a non entity.

      I have the same belief of Carbon Sequestration Techniques. I am of the understanding these systems will produce a net loss in energy and therefore more taxpayer costs.

      I would like to see our Scientific institutions come under a set of more stringent guidelines for research and I dearly hope the Feds can achieve this.


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      • #

        Pumping water using solar power is about as nutty as it can get. It sounds like they have taken an idea used in the UK (namely using off peak power to run pumps to pump water to a higher reservoir and then use said water during peak power). This works, in an economic sense, as the off peak power is essentially ‘for free’ as it has to produced to keep energy generation ticking over…

        Where as solar is demonstrability _not_ free and not ‘off peak’ when it is being produced. No way on this Earth in a million years using them to power pumps can be consider economic…

        But if you are Green and blinkered to the cost – such little matters as what the money wasted could have been spent on instead (like research into improving energy efficiency, recycling, etc) don’t seem to matter. It’s literally a all or nothing mindset, with the all being all of our money..


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      • #
        Backslider

        Basic physics will tell you that it requires more energy to pump the water up to that reservoir than you can extract from it coming back down.


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      • #
        MemoryVault

        .
        Only a climate scientist or a fellow traveler on the CAGW gravy train could think up something as energy-inefficient as “solar-hydro”. Any half-way decent engineer, or just about any Aussie farmer, would simply erect a bank of Southern Cross windmills to do the pumping.

        It turns out solar cells don’t generate any NET electricity at all. They don’t last long enough to generate enough electricity to compensate for the energy required for their initial manufacture. That being the case, they shouldn’t be thought of as a source of electrical generation at all. Rather, they are very expensive, very inefficient, very polluting to manufacture, non-rechargeable, non-recyclable, batteries.

        As for carbon capture and sequestration – it is the 21st century equivalent of the perpetual motion machine, and every bit as plausible.

        As for our “scientific institutions”, well, the simple answer is we don’t have any, anymore.
        “Stringent guidelines” for non-existent entities seems like a bit of an overkill.


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      • #

        There are some serious limits on how much energy you can store with pumped storage.

        This is easily demonstrated by some simple calculations.

        Say you wanted to use pumped storage to provide enough power to run a 2Kw electric heater for 1 day.

        Thats 1 day x 2Kw
        = 86400 seconds x 2000 watts
        = 172,800,000 joules

        Pumped storage works by transferring water from a reservoir to a higher reservoir, then extracting the energy by using gravity.

        Say you had a 100ft (30m) drop – a 30m difference in height between the high and the low reservoir.

        The energy you get from one kilo of water falling 30m is:-

        Energy = Force x Distance
        = (Mass x Acceleration) x Distance

        Plug in our numbers:-

        Energy (1Kg water dropping 30 metres) = (1Kg x 9.8 m/s^2) x 30m
        = 294 joules

        So to power our 2Kw space heater for 1 day, you would need:-

        172,800,000 joules / 294 joules per kilogram = 587,755 Kilograms of water
        = 587 Tons of water

        587 tons of water, just to power one 2 kilowatt space heater for one day.

        That is why practical hydro schemes are utterly gigantic – to power even a small city, you need a stupendous amount of water. And there is a limited supply of suitable mountain valleys which can be flooded to provide a sufficient reservoir to be economically useful.

        This is why hydro will never be the answer to mainstream power storage. At most pumped hydro schemes are useful for stabilising the power grid for a few minutes – after a few minutes, at high output, their capacity is exhausted.


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        • #
          AndyG55

          Sorry Eric.. You are over-estimating by a considerable amount.

          There are many losses in the system that has to pump water uphill.
          Entry, exit losses, pipe friction, pump efficiency.

          Even just the hydro-power part. look to a maximum efficiency of around 75-85%

          At a rough estimate, a pumped wind or solar hydro will probably only deliver around 50% of the actual energy of the initial energy source.


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          • #

            Indeed – I should have mentioned it is a theoretical / perfect world calculation sorry.


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          • #
            AndyG55

            Just to give you some idea, If you wanted to pump 100ML/day over a distance of 2km and up 200m through a 450mm pipe, you would need to create a pump head of nearly 450m ! (and that’s assuming a straight pipe)

            Then you have the losses in the outflow pipe to the hydro turbine and turbine efficiency factors to account for….

            So actually you would be lucky, even over a short 2km pump distance, to get even 1/3 of the energy back!

            Really makes it sound pretty pointless, doesn’t it.


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          • #
            Roy Hogue

            Andy,

            Surely you don’t mean what you said. C’mon now! The powers that be will be after you. It’s a perfect world man; you can get any system to work without losses just by waving the magic wand of science across it a few times. Just ask any solar panel salesman if you don’t believe me. ;-)


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        • #
          AndyG55

          “And there is a limited supply of suitable mountain valleys which can be flooded to provide a sufficient reservoir to be economically useful”

          And of course, the pseudo-environmentalists hate dams !!


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        • #
          AndyG55

          Tasmania is an interesting case though.. Huge rainfall on the west coast, large storage possible because of topology.

          And until recently they have been able to exist using hydro.

          But the balance is changing as the population grows.

          The Greens have stopped more dams being built, and wind energy on the west coast will only ever be a tiny fraction of requirements…

          so they are increasingly having to get supply from the BRONW COAL powered Victorian system.

          So, again.. a case of the Greens cutting off their nose, so they can’t smell their own stink.


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        • #

          Thanks for the engineering/physics calcs Guys as I suspected it puts the whole process into suspicion from the onset.

          I believe it would be a good thing if we had an over abundance of electrical energy which is not being used for one reason or another,as indicated by GregS below, but to go out and deliberately design something like this is beyond belief.

          Only an CAGW researcher on a hefty grant could come up with such a pointless exercise.


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      • #
        GregS

        From memory there really isn’t a suitable “upstream” dam or location to build one at Lake Argyle to store pumped water. I am happy to be proved wrong as it has been over 30 years since I spent much time at Kunnanurra.

        Wivenhoe near Brisbane does have a pumped storage dam at Slipyard Creek (?) which uses coal generated power during low usage periods to pump water up to the upper reservoir which is later used at peak times to generate hydro power to supplement demand so that the coal fired station’s output remains constant.


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        • #
          Sceptical Sam

          I seem to recall that there was a project in the South of NSW that used (or proposed to use?) off peak power from the grid to pump water back up to the dam and then use that water to generate power at peak power prices.

          A bit hazy, I agree. I’ll see if I can hunt the detail out over the next little while.


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          • #
            Sceptical Sam

            Got it.

            Fitzroy Falls, in the Shoalhaven.

            The Shoalhaven Scheme comprises two hydro-power facilities, with total generating capacity of 240 megawatts. The flexibility of the scheme is that it can operate as either a pump or a generator. During off peak periods, it utilises excess electricity from the grid to pump water back up to the reservoir(s) as pumped storage. The two power stations are:

            Kangaroo Valley Power Station which has two 80 megawatts pump turbines, for a total electricity generating capacity of 160 megawatts. From Bendeela Pondage, Kangaroo Valley Pumping and Power Station lifts water a further 480 metres to Fitzroy Falls Reservoir via a tunnel, shaft, pipeline, and canal. Water available for hydro-electric power generation is discharged back down the conduits, driving turbines as it returns to Bendeela Pondage and then Lake Yarrunga; and,

            Bendeela Power Station which has two 40 megawatts pump turbines, for a total of 80 megawatts of electricity generating capacity. Bendeela Pumping and Power Station is located on the Kangaroo River arm of Lake Yarrunga, lifts water 127 metres to Bendeela Pondage.


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          • #
            Graeme No.3

            A lot of hydro schemes are equipped for pumped storage. It is very useful as a way to “soak up” excess supply or (as hydro) to provide for a sudden shortfall. The recovery is 70-75%.

            There are a number of pumped storage facilities in Germany which used this idea. 2 (I believe) using sea water and 1 compressed air. Obviously they need cheap power to ‘charge’ and a high price when they discharge to be economic. They are being shutdown because all those solar panels are disrupting demand and prices, so the pumped storage people cannot make enough on the days when solar doesn’t deliver to be profitable. (I believe 1 sea water one will be retained as a ‘beach’).

            The idea the Ecoloons are using came from the USA in the 1920′s where farms used windmills to pump water to an overhead tank. The water discharged through a mini-turbine to generate DC which charged a bank of batteries, so the farm had 12V power. When connection to the grid was available these systems were scrapped ASAP.

            In this case the Ecoloons are only 100 years behind the times.


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            • #
              Andrew McRae

              G#3, a story I heard over the weekend was that one of my relatives has a dotty neighbour, which for argument we will call Dot. Well Dot had a tall tree growing right next to the fence, which dropped leaves and branches onto another neighbour’s yard. That neighbour asked Dot for years to trim the tree but Dot never did. Then two weeks ago Dot decides to get a windmill to pump bore water and installed a bunch of PV solar panels on the roof.
              Well wouldn’t ya know it… that darn tall tree was blocking some of the sunlight falling on the solar panels for part of the day, so that whole tree got cut down pronto.
              Which just goes to show that solar panels are the green thing to do, … somehow.


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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Tony:

      a bit late but followed your links.

      Those Spanish solar plants are listed as getting a feed in tariff of 270-271.2 € per MWh.
      That’s $A386 – 388 per MWh (or 38.6 – 38.8 cents per kWh).

      Compare that with $A65 per MWh (again 6.5 cents per kWh) (including Carbon Tax) for coal fired electricity.

      On a pro rata basis your household cost if the Greens were to get their way would be $1.65 per kWh.


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      • #

        Graeme No.3,

        there’s really only so much I can mention in either any comments here or even in the text of what may be a long Post.

        The more I mention, then there is a tendency for overload, hence some of the information get’s perhaps lost, probably due to the where do you look syndrome.

        However, the more you look at this form of power generation, the more you see how fake it really is, when the emphasis is on Solar power, in other words it all comes from the Sun.

        They use HTF Heaters to, umm, how do I put this, assist with getting the fluid to a molten State, well enough to actually boil the water to steam to drive the turbines to drive the generators, keeping in mind that 50MW is the biggest so far that this form of power generation can manage. Those HTF heaters are Natural gas fired, and in most cases, these solar plants also utilise natural gas to drive the turbine as, umm, an assistance when the Sun is not providing enough for the drive as well.

        Also another small factoid.

        That much vaunted Gemasolar plant has a projected lifespan of perhaps 25 years.

        If it continues to supply its maximum power delivery for each of those 25 years, then it will deliver an amount of power for consumption equal to what is delivered from Bayswater in 59 days of normal operation at Bayswater.

        25 years = 59 days.

        Tony.


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  • #
    pat

    SE-Qld rains begin. how nice on a sunday afternoon.

    lots of comparative prices, analyses, in some of the links below. the push for nuclear is well & truly out in the open now & the CAGW-ers all seem to be on board with the Howard/Hansen call for nuclear. funny that!

    and tellingly, Christine Milne & the Greens have had nothing to say about it! meanwhile, MSM – for once – overlooks an opportunity to get a quote from Milne? LOL.

    9 Nov: Australian: Graham Lloyd: Nuclear option tests the ideology of true believers in climate change
    The big question, however, is not whether climate change is real but whether ideology has overwhelmed common sense in deciding how to respond.
    It is impossible to consider climate change without confronting difficult issues of equity…
    In the past week the nuclear option has united former Australian prime minister John Howard, a self-proclaimed climate change agnostic, and former NASA scientist James Hansen, one of the world’s highest profile voices on climate change….
    For Hansen and a group of leading climate scientists, including Australia’s Tom Wigley from the University of Adelaide and the US National Centre for Atmospheric Research, support for nuclear is firmly rooted in combating what they believe to be an existential threat…
    Another indication is a documentary by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Robert Stone that can be seen as a call to arms for reluctant environmentalists…
    But Pandora’s Promise makes uncomfortable viewing for many environmentalists who have had a longstanding ideological opposition to nuclear power…
    “As a lifelong environmentalist I am against nuclear, but what if what I have been thinking all this time, and what my friends have been thinking, has been wrong?” asks Stewart Brand, founder and publisher of the Whole Earth Catalog.
    British environmental writer Mark Lynas admits to the difficulty he faced leaving the anti-nuclear comfort zone but says the evidence is irresistible.
    “The original Earth First slogan was no compromise in the defence of Mother Earth and it is still one I subscribe to at a very deep level,” Lynas says…
    Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates is funding research into a reactor that will use up the waste from existing power plants…
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/nuclear-option-tests-the-ideology-of-true-believers-in-climate-change/story-e6frg6z6-1226756130799#

    Romm recognises nuclear needs that BIG price on carbon dioxide:

    4 Nov: ThinkProgress: Joe Romm: To Those Who Want To See Nuclear Power Play A Bigger Role In Climate Action
    Who killed nuclear power? Hint: It’s not the people who actively supported placing a high and rising price on carbon pollution…
    I have the greatest respect for James Hansen, Kerry Emanuel, Tom Wigley, and Ken Caldeira — and have written dozens of blog posts about their vital climate work.
    But I think their letter is mis-addressed and also misses the key point about nuclear power — because it is so expensive, especially when done safely, the industry has no chance of revival absent a serious price on carbon.
    While solar power and wind power continue to march down the experience curve to ever lower costs — solar panels have seen a staggering 99% drop in cost since 1977 — nuclear power has been heading in the opposite direction.
    Nuclear power appears to have a negative learning curve:..
    Amazingly, in the past few few years utilities have told state regulators that the cost of new nuclear plants is in the $5,500 to $8,100 per kilowatt range (see Nuclear power: The price is not right and Exclusive analysis: The staggering cost of new nuclear power)…
    And the best, most market-based way to make nukes more cost competitive is to put a serious and rising price on carbon pollution that starts to reflect the harm it does to public health and a livable climate.So those like Hansen, Emanuel, Wigley and Caldeira who want nuclear power to be a major contributor to solving the climate problem should be addressing themselves to those who are blocking serious climate action, not those who have been devoting vast resources to trying to put a price on carbon…
    ***I am entirely in favor of developing a next-generation of nuclear power plants — and most of the climate-concerned environmentalists I know are also…
    I wish politicians and opinion makers had the same understanding of climate science as Hansen, Emanuel, Wigley, and Caldeira. If they did, carbon pollution would have a high price, and the marketplace would quickly figure out the most cost-effective way to slash pollution.
    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/11/04/2882671/nuclear-power-climate/

    9 Nov: CleanTechnica: Zachary Shahan: Double Standard For Nuclear Energy & Wind Energy In UK?
    I’ll be honest — I’m not a “nuclear power hater.” But if you look at nuclear power objectively and calculate its costs — including insurance costs and waste management costs — it is simply a bad deal. It’s very, very expensive. The private industry would never develop nuclear on its own. The only way it gets built anywhere is from huge government support…
    READ FOR COST COMPARISONS
    http://cleantechnica.com/2013/11/09/uk-nuclear-price-uk-wind-energy-price/


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  • #
    pat

    nice try, Rachel, u must be a thought leader:

    7 Nov: CNN: Nuclear: Rachel Pritzker: A surprisingly progressive solution to climate change
    Clearly, climate change is a global challenge unlike any other we face, which is why I, along with a small but growing number of progressives, support a unique and potentially surprising solution to it.
    It is time for policymakers to recognize that nuclear power must be a robust part of our nation’s energy plan to reduce carbon emissions…
    Editor’s note: Rachel Pritzker is president and founder of the Pritzker Innovation Fund, which supports the development and advancement of paradigm-shifting ideas to address world problems. She chairs the Breakthrough Institute Advisory Board, and co-chairs the Third Way clean energy program. The film, “Pandora’s Promise,” airs on CNN Thursday, November 7 at 9 p.m. ET/PT…
    http://edition.cnn.com/2013/11/06/opinion/pritzker-nuclear-pandora/

    TheBreakthroughInstitute: Profile: Rachel Pritzker
    She also formerly served on the board of the Pema Foundation and was a founding board member of Media Matters for America…
    http://thebreakthrough.org/people/profile/rachel-pritzker


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    • #
      Graeme No.3

      The only problem is that the Greens have spent 40 years (or more) demonising nuclear power. Just as more recently they’ve done the same to coal, gas and hydro. The only methods they have supported have been wind and solar.

      Now that it has become obvious that neither wind turbines nor PV (solar or conc. heat) reduces CO2 emissions by very much, they are beating the nuclear drum. Very soon we will be told, over and over, that France gets 75% of its electricity from nuclear plants, so we should build some.

      What will be overlooked is the inherent inflexibility of nuclear, in that it is even slower to change output than coal fired, so there is no way it can be combined with wind farms. The French get away with this by being interconnected to most of Europe so when demand falls they can drop the price and sell their surplus outside of France. They are helped by the chronic shortfalls in the UK and Italy. Switzerland, Andorra, Spain and Austria can all use up electricity as pumped storage. Australia has no such interconnections, thus limiting potential nuclear capacity to less than the base load.

      So all they have to do is overcome the fear that they have caused, then persuade the public to spend hundreds of billions in order to solve a non existent problem. Same old approach.


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  • #
    Speedy

    If the ABC was Relevant.
    Part 59.(The Urgent Need.)

    [Scene: A suburban lounge. There is a knock at the front door. BRYAN answers. It is JOHN.

    John: Good morning. I’m here about the monsters.
    Bryan: Monsters?
    John: Yes, Tim Flannery, Monsters Commission. [Shows card.]
    Bryan: Monsters – have you tried next door? The Lewandowsky’s.
    John: No, no, no. The consensus is in. It’s “very likely” that your house is infested with monsters.
    Bryan: Where?
    John: Under your bed.
    Bryan: Rubbish!
    John: Well, have you SEEN any monsters under your bed?
    Bryan: No.
    John: Have you HEARD any monsters under your bed?
    Bryan: No.
    John: Have you smelt, tasted or touched any monsters under your bed?
    Bryan: No.
    John: There you have it – conclusive proof!
    Bryan: Proof of what?
    John: Proof that you’re not a Monster Scientist. Only a trained, experienced and peer – reviewed Monster Scientist could detect monsters under your bed…
    Bryan: Monster Scientist? You just made that up!
    John: No I didn’t.
    Bryan: Then how’d you get to be a Monster Scientist? Where’s your qualifications?
    John: For your information, I have a doctorate in underwater basket-weaving and am a renowned Monster Scientist.
    Bryan: That’s no qualification!
    John: More importantly, I believe in monsters.
    Bryan: What’s that got to do with it?
    John: Well, you can’t be a Monsters expert if you don’t believe in them, can you?
    Bryan: And if someone doesn’t believe in monsters?
    John: It’s probably because they’ve never seen, heard, touched (etc.) any monsters.
    Bryan: You mean, like me?
    John: My point exactly! That is why you’re not a Monster Scientist, but I am. And it’s lucky for you that I showed up when I did.
    Bryan: [Sarcastic] And fairies at the bottom of the garden I suppose?
    John: No – honestly – picture your worst nightmare.
    Bryan: You mean – like spiders?
    John: That’s them! Big, black, hairy Monster spiders. Heads like footballs, huge red eyes, and razor-sharp fangs simply dripping with poison…
    Bryan: [Arachnophobia kicking in.] It’s worse than I thought!
    John: Precisely – and that’s why we need your help to prevent the global spread of giant monster spiders! Scientists believe that without urgent action, giant monster spider populations will increase by 97.2% within the next 7 years.
    Bryan: What sort of urgent action?
    John: [Getting out clipboard]. Just a painless, once-off donation and a simple, non-revocable monthly donation for life. Indexed to inflation for your convenience.
    Bryan: I’m not sure…
    John: Trust me, I’m an expert.
    Bryan: But what if you’re wrong?
    John: But what if I’m right? Think of the consequences! Think of the Precautionary Principle. Simply dripping with poison…
    Bryan: OK! OK! What do I do?
    John: Just sign here… Name and address… Credit card details…Bank account and PIN… lovely. Thanks very much. Good day!
    Bryan: But what about my monster spiders?
    John: I think you’ll find they’re gone – we got to them, just in time.
    Bryan: That’s lucky…
    John: But I may need to come back in about 6 months.
    Bryan: Why – are they going to come back?
    John: No, but what’s your attitude to giant cockroaches?


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    • #

      You still have it Speedy… simply awesome :)


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        Speedy

        Hi Bob

        Thanks, I’ve been busy with the work stuff lately and it tends to involve lots of mathy stuff which calls on different areas of the cranium. Personally, I find it a tad frustrating that the emotional side of the Speedy is bottled up – the emotion and the intellect combined (for what there is) can tell a far better story.

        Having said that, I still take refuge and inspiration in the all too rare examples of common sense at this blog. (No, MattB et al, you are an all too frequent example otherwise.)

        Cheers,

        Speedy


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        Speedy

        Bob

        And, BTW, Common Sense runs fast and deep at this site, for the most part.

        Cheers,

        Speedy


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    • #
      AndyG55

      Maybe for transport..

      but people will eventually WAKE UP and realise that we actually NEED higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere to ensure the continued existence and feeding of the increasing population.

      One they do WAKE UP, they will see that coal fired electricity is by far the most logical alternative, because it is cheap and provides the Earth’s crops with much needed CO2.


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      • #
        John West

        But coal is the most dangerous to extract and utilize.

        Nuclear is safer but doesn’t liberate CO2.

        Get fracking!

        Scary bananas: How environmental exaggeration harms emerging economies: Ivo Vegter at TEDxCapeTown

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zJn4gxCx3c


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          Backslider

          But coal is the most dangerous to extract and utilize.

          Let the miners worry about that. As an ex miner I can tell you that danger is one of the attractions of mining…. one of the things that seeps in your soul. Its exciting!

          Miners are a breed of their own and it is not for outsiders to harp on about danger.

          Every day we are perfectly ready to die.

          I still get the itch to go underground. :)

          There is nothing dangerous about using coal.


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    Some relevant data for the thousands of delegates to focus on when they meet in Warsaw to “Save the Planet“.

    I came across a chart of carbon emissions by country. Although out of date (I assume it is for 2009), this Guardian chart shows circles for each country’s relative size of emissions.
    http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Guardian/documents/2011/02/10/CarbonWeb.pdf
    Some emitters (with rank and estimated CO2 emissions)
    1. China 7,711
    2. USA 5,425
    3. India 1,401
    4. Russia 1,572
    5. Japan 1,098
    6. Germany 766
    7. Canada 541
    10. UK 520
    15. Australia 418
    21. Poland 286

    Also
    - Europe (including EU) 4,310
    - China’s and India’s emissions are growing rapidly.
    - Emissions in the USA are shrinking due to shale gas, at a net benefit to the US economy.
    - World policy leader UK is making very little impact on its emissions, but consumers have recently seen 8-9% rises in utilities prices, mostly due to the switch to renewables.

    Topics that will be prominent are
    - Nasty Australia abandoning its policy, due to succombing to the influence of fossil-fuel interests.
    - All the coal-fired power stations in the host country.

    We can be grateful that there is no prospective climate apocalypse from CO2 emissions, because the World Leaders (with their huge entourages of climate activists) have not got any idea how to significantly change global CO2 emissions.


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      PeterS

      Why do we in Australia need to reduce our CO2 emissions when we are so tiny compared to the rest of the world, and most of the big emitters are increasing theirs so much anyway? Even if we made every man, woman and child disappear in this country and ended up as a ghost nation with no industry at all, the impact on world CO2 emissions would be insignificant. Do we have people in Australia who hate this nation so much they like see us risk economic suicide for no environmental benefit at all?


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        GregS

        Do we have people in Australia who hate this nation so much they like see us risk economic suicide for no environmental benefit at all?

        Yes basically, the Greens and “progressives” are progressing an ideological agenda of economic suicide for no apparent goal.


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          Tim

          “…no apparent goal.”

          Fear of the future is a most powerful motivating force. Ensure it has regular exposure and it intensifies. It must come from a trusted source of people and institutions corroborating it. There must be simple, believable ‘facts’ manufactured for easy assimilation by the uninformed.
          Our only salvation must then be a global body that will enact global laws to fight the imagined threat. This body will need to override national sovereignty in order to provide global laws to ‘protect’ us. By then, the real threat will override the imagined one.


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          The environmentalists do have an ideological agenda, but they are also oblivious to anything else. They do not even think through the basic issues of negotiation, or of relating to people. For instance
          - They do not tackle the relative sizes of countries.
          - They do not recognize other issues that countries face. For instance, if China curtailed its’ high-speed growth to save the planet, the regime would collapse. Spain has abandoned its renewables not only because they do not deliver, but also because it has 25% unemployment and a stagnant economy.
          - They do not recognize that politicians are experts in making the right noises, then also quietly watering down or delaying policy implementation.
          - Some countries can gain from Australia and Europe implementing costly policies. Both India and China benefit from Europe increasing their energy costs, as manufacturing is then moved to their countries.
          - They do not recognize that mitigation policy will only work if there are low-cost high impact policies.
          - They do not recognize that simply passing a law with some distant target does not mean it will be achieved within time and cost estimates. That superficially needs project management skills. Acute political skills are a profound disability in this context.

          Basically, the environmentalists lack any knowledge of economics, or negotiation, or policy implementation.

          I have tried to tackle the economic aspects in a series of postings. Here I deal with
          - why low cost, high emission-reduction policies need to be identified
          - the small country policy issues
          - why other countries will not follow the lead of successful trial-blazers in climate policy


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        PeterS

        I pretty much agree with the answers posted. The question I raised was rhetorical. I would go further and say some, perhaps a tiny minority, in the environmental and Greens movement hate our way of life so much they would love to see it destroyed at any cost, even if it meant a civil war. That’s one of many reasons why I liken the modern Greens movement more to modern National Socialism (aka, neo-Nazism) than to communism. The Greens use dubious means to improve the appeal to the public. This is the same as the Green Wing of the Golden Dawn movement (neo-Nazi Party) in Greece.


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      Graeme No.3

      Out of the top 7 only Germany is still committed to “reducing emissions” and they are building brown coal fired stations at a rapid rate and their CO2 emissions are rising.

      Still, we can rely(?) on the Greens to tell us it is all our fault, and we must keep the carbon tax.


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    Ronald

    How about some mind screwing? In Holland the skeptic are more and more accused of suffering from the Dunning–Kruger effect. Is this an correct accuse for us skeptics or is there some thing wrong?

    To me it looks easy to say a skeptic is someone having Dunning–Kruger to blame him for beieng a skeptic. On the other hand there is something strange whit the Dunning–Kruger effect.

    Looking at Dunning–Kruger effect we see some strange things.

    Dunning and Kruger proposed that, for a given skill, incompetent people will:
    tend to overestimate their own level of skill;
    fail to recognize genuine skill in others;
    fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy;
    recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill, if they are exposed to training for that skill.

    Sounds to me a agwer accept for the lest one because they work the first 3 in a circle and never get to 4. But there is more to this.
    If you look some further in the psyche you cane find some more things.
    Querulant
    A querulant (from the Latin querulus – “complaining”) is a person who obsessively feels wronged, particularly about minor causes of action. In particular the term is used for those who repeatedly petition authorities or pursue legal actions based on manifestly unfounded grounds

    Ganser syndrome
    Ganser syndrome is a rare dissociative disorder previously classified as a factitious disorder. It is characterized by nonsensical or wrong answers to questions or doing things incorrectly, other dissociative symptoms such as fugue, amnesia or conversion disorder, often with visual and a decreased state of consciousness. It is also sometimes called nonsense syndrome, balderdash syndrome, syndrome of approximate answers, pseudodementia, hysterical pseudodementia or prison psychosis. This last name, prison psychosis, is sometimes used because the syndrome occurs most frequently in prison inmates,

    Now I have 3 psych decease for agwers and it fits perfect.
    The lest sentences is a fun one “This last name, prison psychosis is sometimes used because the syndrome occurs most frequently in prison inmates,” Oke prison looks strange but are agwers not imprissend in some strange sect like believe?

    So if someone fits the Dunning–Kruger effect wouldent that be agwers?
    compulsive lying
    megalomania

    To be short cane a skeptic have Dunning–Kruger, yes it cane be but if you look closer you see that a agwer fits the profile better. And if we look more closer we see other dieccese wich fit perfect for agwers. We can almoust say savley that agwers are ready to go to the nut bin.


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      Speedy

      Hi Ronald

      True science is not about the individuals – it is about their message and ideas. I may be a complete idiot (some say I am, many say I’m not) but it doesn’t preclude me from being right. Or wrong. Truth stands or falls on evidence and evidence alone. And computer models, fed with poor data, are not evidence, no matter what the IPCC would lie (sorry) like.

      Even if we were the village idiots, if CO2 has no impact on global warming, it is our evidence, not our opinions, that matter.

      It appears that 12 years was enough to convince the vested interests that man made warming was real signficicant and dangerous, but that the last 16 plus years of stable temperatures are simply an abberation.

      They are holding onto an opinion, rather than presenting evidence.

      Cheers,

      Speedy.


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        Ronald

        There you are correct Speedy but if the evidence is corrupt you see a answer witch in it self could be correct. But if you are willing to learn you will see that the answer is wrong because of the evidence being wrong. And thats also a big part of the problem whit agwers.

        Most of the people are willing to believe but ar not capable to learn.
        And a lie told often enough will become the truth in the eyes of the believer.


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          It will not become the truth, it will become to be believed to be the truth. That is such that it appears to work as long as one does not have to depend upon the belief to do those things necessary to stay alive.

          The problem for the true believers is that truth is what it is without respect for what one believes it is. This results in the variation of belief being much wider than what is actually true. Thus any given belief qua belief is much more likely to be wrong than right. In the long run, simply believing can kill you.


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    Carbon500

    I’ve been wondering lately just what percentage of the public actually believe in the CO2 story.
    The ’97% of scientists believe it, so it must be true’ myth resulted in a (good natured) argument with a friend recently. He would not listen, kept interrupting the points I was trying to make, and it wasn’t until we parted company and I emailed him the details of the manipulation involved (let’s be honest and call it a ‘fiddle’) that he acknowledged that I had a valid point.
    The ’97%’ argument wields a lot of power – so does anyone know of any (proper!) unbiased surveys asking what people currently think?


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      Graeme No.3

      John Cook of Skeptical Science (AGW site not worth visiting unless you are Blackbladder) did a “survey” recently which gives an answer.

      Percent of scientists believing man (through CO2 missions) causes global warming =8.2%.
      Those who think that CO2 is causing some warming =24.4%
      Rest 64.4%

      He has been attacked for exaggerating the number of supporters of AGW by dodgy calculations, but these figures seem about the mark.

      The 97% figure came from a “survey” of 77 believers. Given that 247 scientists were supposedly involved in preparing the recent IPCC report, that indicates around 30% believers in unusual global warming, similar to Cook’s estimate.


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        Carbon500

        Graeme No.3: I agree entirely re Cook’s website, I gave up on them a long time ago. Thanks for the figures – you mention dodgy calculations – now there’s a surprise!
        I think it’s worth recapping the ’97%’ paper for any who might not have seen it or be aware of it. Here goes.
        ‘97% of scientists agree that mankind is responsible for global warming’ – or do they?
        This oft bandied-about statement springs from a research paper entitled ‘Examining the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change’ published in January 2009 by Peter T. Doran and Maggie Kendall Zimmerman of the University of Illinois at Chicago.
        I have it here in front of me. Here’s what happened. Comments in quotation marks are verbatim from the paper.
        Survey questionnaires were sent to 10,257 ‘Earth scientists’.
        The paper explains that ‘This brief report addresses the two primary questions of the survey’.
        These were:
        1)‘When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained generally constant?’
        2)‘Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?’
        The survey was ‘designed to take less than 2mins to complete’ and was administered online.
        The first thing to note is that of the 10,257 to whom the questionnaire was sent, only 3,146 individuals bothered to complete and return the survey – i.e. just short of 31%.
        ‘Approximately 5% of the respondents were climate scientists’ – as opposed to for example oceanographers and palaeontologists. That’s 157 individuals out of the 3,146.
        Of these 157, 79 scientists had published more than 50% of their recent research papers on the subject, and so were deemed by the authors to be ‘the most specialised and knowledgeable respondents’.
        Think about that – 79 individuals out the total of 10,257 considered knowledgeable enough to have their opinion sought at the outset of the study!
        Of these 79, 76 (96.2%) answered ‘yes’ to question 1, and – wait for it – 75 out of 77 (97.4%) answered ‘yes’ to question 2.
        Job done – 97.4% of scientists agree that humans are warming the planet significantly!


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          Graeme No.3

          Naturally my figures were based on the full sample, i.e. I didn’t discard any because I thought they would not express the opinion I wanted. That is what Cook did.

          If you look closely at the Cook figures only 0.34% explicitly stated that humans are the primary cause of global warming (i.e. 41 (not the 64 claimed after “adjustment”) out of 11944).

          Margot, Michael, Blackbladder etc. are out on the lunatic fringe.


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          Brett

          I think the weak defense of the paper is enough to go by…

          “Our study was the best it could be. Some people have problems with self-selected surveys, but we said exactly how we did it and put it out there. In my view, a self-selected survey is a better indication of reality than no survey at all.” – Professor Peter Doran

          In my view, no survey at all is a better indication of reality.


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      Speedy makes a valid point at 7.1 that
      True science is not about the individuals – it is about their message and ideas.
      However, if you give weighting to a consensus of expert opinion – something that I do in the field of medicine for instance – then you should ask what they agree upon.
      The first survey arrived at the magic 97% was Doran and Zimmerman in 2009. The two questions asked were

      1. When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?
      2. Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?

      There was nothing asked about the climate cataclysm prophesied by the worst-case scenarios in the climate models. Further, when alarmists talk about “climate denial” they mean disagreement with CAGW and any favoured policy. Policy is about carbon taxes, carbon trading and the optimal mix of energy sources. Measurement of climate impacts, along with the efficacy and adverse consequences of such policies is ultimately the realm of economics. When it comes to policy, climate scientists are just provides of technical information to be translated into economic terms by those with particular skills in that area. Climate scientists potentially have a valuable contribution to make, akin to that of materials scientists contribution to the building of a car. But they lack expertise to comprehend the overall picture, nor to decide on policy.
      So when people infer, like Stephan Lewandowsky, that those skeptical of CAGW are disagreeing with the expert scientific opinion they are doubly misleading people.


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    edwina

    I haven’t taught for some time. But when I was teaching older children would sometimes get into arguments about certain current affairs and politics. I wonder if some fights at school are between those who believe in AGW and those who don’t? Perhaps a teacher or parent on here could enlighten us.


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    edwina

    This may seem odd. But I notice the BOM still regards the maximum temperature during the day, usually about 2 PM, as the recording for the day. But do these scientists factor invariables?

    By this I mean one day might dawn bright and clear with an inland wind blowing and the maximum is reached very quickly; perhaps by 10 AM and so the whole day is hot.

    On the other hand a day may start very overcast and only about, say, 11 AM, the clouds clear letting insolation to rise rapidly. So, although the maximum may be the same as the day I described above the overall temperature for the day is much lower. Shouldn’t the recordings be taken every hour or even on a minute by minute basis?


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