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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Weekend Unthreaded

Renewables subsidies are slashed in UK. Solar, Wind, Hydro industry “shocked”

Renewable power is always as “cheap as coal” except when subsidies are slashed, then it’s “the end”, “terrible”, and “fragile”.

If only renewable power could actually compete with coal.

Greenclick tells us the UK solar industry is “reeling” in “shock and anger” as the UK conservative government cuts the renewables feed-in tariff there by as much as 86%. Even for the hydro industry (about the only renewable industry that can survive on its own), the news could spell the “end”.

Joss Blamire, Senior Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables, which represents more than 300 green energy businesses, said: “The proposals in the Comprehensive Feed-in Tariff Review are, quite simply, terrible news for homeowners, businesses, communities and those local authorities which have plans in place to develop renewable energy schemes.

“The levels of reduction in support announced today will severely curtail development of small-scale onshore wind and solar projects and endanger jobs and investments across the country.

“The cuts could also spell the end for much of the hydro industry, which has enjoyed a recent renaissance but relies more heavily on Government support because of the length of time taken to develop projects and the sector’s [...]

Former NOAA Meteorologist tells of years of censorship to hide the effect of “natural cycles”

Pierre Gosselin has a great post: Former NOAA Meteorologist Says Employees “Were Cautioned Not To Talk About Natural Cycles”.

David Dilley, NOAA Meteorologist, tells how for 15 years work on man-made climate change was pushed while work on natural cycles was actively suppressed. Grants connecting climate change to a man-made crisis were advertised, while the word went around to heads of departments that even mentioning natural cycles would threaten the flow of government funds. Speeches about natural cycles were mysteriously canceled at the last minute with bizarre excuses.

But jobs are on the line, so only retired workers can really speak, and no one can name names.

We can corroborate David Dilley’s remarks. Indeed, he is probably just one of many skeptics hidden in the ranks of NOAA.  Way back in 2007, David Evans got an email from a different insider within NOAA, around the time he started talking publicly about the missing hotspot. The insider said, remarkably: “As a Meteorologist working for [snip, name of division] it has been clear to me, as well as every single other scientist I know at NOAA, that man can not be the primary cause of global warming and that the predictions of [...]

International bullying, unfair “targeted” punishment suggested by The Royal Society over climate change

How low is too low? Do we want to live in a world where groups of countries gang up on non-compliant countries by randomly picking a target nation, and punishing it until it gives in?  Perhaps you’d prefer a world where voters or evidence matter and where our leaders persuade each other with rational argument? Me too.

“Divide and conquer” is as old as witchdoctors

Warwick University and the Royal Society published game theory “research” which argues that it might be useful to (unethically) single out a few countries randomly that are not performing “up to climate expectations”. The researchers admit that the whole approach depends on the players being irrational.

“In the mathematical model,” said Dr Johnson, “the mechanism works best if the players are somewhat irrational. It seems a reasonable assumption that this might apply to the international community.”

No matter how they dress it up, it’s just bullying by one bunch of countries to pick on one single other one until it acquiesces. Then the next wave begins with different targets, gradually picking off one state at a time. It fails if the non-compliant states get coordinated and treat any unfair attack on one member [...]

Another carbon credit fraud – $2b. The faked fixed unfree market feeds crooks and makes no difference to emissions.

More news of how the faked fixed unfree market in carbon credits feeds the people who are inclined to cheat, and may have actually increased emissions by 600 million tonnes as well (not that that matters). Around $2 billion dollars may have been wasted, but it’s worse than wasted; the money does not just evaporate. Rewarding cheating takes money from honest players of society and feeds the corrupt sector. Free markets are a powerful tool, but good tools can be used in stupid ways. And so it is with a market trying to sell units of an atmospheric-absence-of-a-gas that no one really wants or has a use for.

The only people calling for a free market in carbon are the people who don’t know what a free market is. Sometimes a free market is just a dumb idea — like when trying to run a global market in a ubiquitous gas molecule that is intrinsic to life on Earth and oceanic chemistry. Worse, we think we might do it in countries with weak law and order, and high rates of corruption. Even sillier than that, we’re trying to sell units that depend on intentions — was that a sincere new [...]

#TalkAboutIt: Climate change sceptics versus the scientists (correcting ABC mistakes, strawmen, and misleading lines)

#TalkAboutIt: Climate change sceptics versus the scientists, By Clara Tran and staff

Busy slaying strawmen instead of real debate?

What a facade. The ABC says its skeptics versus “the scientists” except there are no skeptics present. In typical Newspeak the ABC says “#TalkAboutIt”, but it’s a conversation with themselves. They invent “DorothyDixer” strawman questions for their own team to bravely kill.

If the ABC really wanted their listeners to discuss skeptical views, they would invite skeptics to make them — but interviews are a thing of the past (back in the days when the ABC was an institution of repute). The fake debate is the only kind that professors like Matthew England can win.

This is why the ABC fails so dismally to dint skeptical numbers in Australia. If they want to convince skeptics of their point of view then they have to deal with actual skeptical arguments, but they are too afraid to air them. Consequently they sideline themselves out of the national debate, relegated to the propaganda wars.

Correcting the ABC:

Skeptical Scientists versus The Unskeptical

The ABC offers arguments allegedly made by climate skeptics, all of them minor and of little consequence (short version first, more [...]

Carbon capture, clean coal plant goes bankrupt, only $4.4b over budget

TonyfromOz explained how fatal the numbers on “carbon capture” are. (It’s like the GFC of engineering). The new coal plants cost 60% more to build and waste something like 40% of the entire energy they generate to “catch” a beneficial fertilizer and and stuff it in a small hot hole underground.

It’s hard being first, but hey, the plant is only 2 years behind and $4.4 billion over budget. Part of the costs are due to delays because of wet weather. (Apparently the climate models did not see that coming…)

Obama has set aside $6 billion since 2009 for lab research and “commercial deployment” of clean coal. In response to the abject failure he’s doing what most people do when spending other people’s money — “Despite these troubles, the White House says it will continue to support clean coal.”

News last week:

America’s First Clean Coal Plant Put Mississippi Power ‘on the Brink of Bankruptcy’

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Stephen Lacey

Last week, state regulators approved an emergency rate increase for Mississippi Power in order to keep the company afloat as it completes the increasingly-expensive Kemper plant. Mississippi Power customers will [...]

George Soros buys bargain coal shares with big coal reserves

George Soros has poured money into promoting “climate change” politics through his foundations, working to demonize coal, but the man himself is now buying coal stocks. Analysts are asking if he is buying in to shut them down, or to pick up a bargain and take the profits. (There must also be options where he gets control to turn them into mixed energy renewables/coal plays.) But in the end he’s 85, and worth $24 billion. He has an 11 billion dollar stock portfolio and he’s spent less than $3 million on coal. It’s hard to believe the profits would be worth the bad press. Though Steve Milloy points out those companies own rights to 11 billion tons of coal reserves.

Coal used to supply 50% of US electricity, now it’s 40%. Peabody Energy Shares used to trade at $90, but now trade at $1.

Fox News

Soros, whose Climate Policy Initiative think tank recently urged the world to stop using fossil fuels in general and coal in particular, snapped up 1 million shares of Peabody Energy and half a million shares of Arch Coal, giving him significant stakes in what’s left of the U.S. coal industry.

[...]

Weekend Unthreaded

Hottest July in 4000 years? Not even the hottest July since *2014* according to satellites

NOAA has a press release out being picked up around the world. For example, the DailyMail, UK, is saying July was the hottest month since records began in 1880 as heatwaves swept the Earth’s countries and oceans. Other silly tabloids have headlines about this being the hottest July in 4,000 years, as if we have even the remotest idea what the average July global temperature was in the days of Plato.

Better data shows July this year is the hottest since way back in…  2014. It’s not 4,000 years, not 135 years, it’s the hottest July since the last one. We only have 30 years of good climate data: the satellites tell us the pause is real, and last month’s summer temperatures is not a record anything. According to the UAH and RSS global satellites, lower troposphere averages for July 2014 were 0.30C and 0.34C, compared to July 2015 of 0.28C. Even, June 2015 was hotter (UAH, 0.35C; RSS, 0.39C). July 2015 is not even the hottest month since June.

But some journalists will believe anything. Anthony Sharman, sports journalist, News.com, Australia, thinks we know the global temperature of the July that Jesus was born. Who’s a gullible journalist then? [...]