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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Global Warming is a war driven by oil and gas against coal… ?

Oh the irony. What if “fossil fuels” were driving the climate debate, but on the Warmie side?

Fossil fuels is a misnomer, there is no collective fossil industry, just a bunch of massive multi-conglomerates competing. And the biggest competition  for oil and gas comes from coal. Gas wins two ways: not only do “carbon schemes” help gas and oil compete, but the more windmills there are, the more gas we need to cope with the intermittency.

William Kay joins some interesting dots. Rex Tillerson, he argues, is a dark knight, painted as the enemy of climate deals yet pushing Exxon belatedly into the BP and Shell mould as another giant gas company that lobbies for carbon credits. The war waged on skeptics for their “fossil fuel”  funding was a red herring to distract from the real direction of the lobbying.


Let’s cut to the chase.  The coal lobby and the natural gas lobby are dueling over the captain’s share of the U.S. electricity-generating market.  As The Donald would say, “The stakes are yuge.”  Americans spend almost $400 billion a year on electricity.

Recent figures have natural [...]

EU Economists say carbon price needs to rise 10 – 20 fold to meet pledges

The EU Ministry for The Management of Nice Weather says that the artificial price of carbon credits must rise a magnitude or two if they are going to have any chance of meeting their “climate” target. In some senses they are right — the price of carbon would have to be very high to get people to shift energy sources, because the ones that produce carbon dioxide are so blissfully cheap. On the other hand, this assumes that the IPCC models are right and that economies would survivc this brutal management. They don’t seem to mention what this will do to electricity prices. Global carbon prices must soar to meet Paris climate target: report By Susanna Twidale | LONDON Reuters

The cost of emitting carbon dioxide must rise to $50-$100 per tonne by 2030, much higher than the current price in Europe of less than $6, if countries are to meet climate pledges made under the Paris Agreement, economists said on Monday.

 Under the Paris deal, more than 190 countries pledged to keep planet-warming well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) to stave off the worst effects of climate change.

The Commission on Carbon Prices, a group of [...]

Trump tells confidants US will leave Paris deal: ClimateDepot says it would be “victory for science”

Email just in from Marc Morano of Climate Depot

WASHINGTON – Multiple news agencies, including Reuters News, are now reporting that President Donald Trump has privately informed several officials in Washington DC that he intends to withdraw from the UN Paris climate pact.

Climate Depot’s Marc Morano statement: “A U.S. Clexit (Climate Exit from UN Paris Pact) would be a victory for science. Make no mistake, climate campaigners who tout UN agreements and EPA regulations as a way to control Earth’s temperature and storminess are guilty of belief in superstition.” 

Latest developments below.

Axios Scoop: Trump tells confidants U.S. will quit Paris climate deal

By Jonathan Swan & Amy Harder

President Trump has privately told multiple people, including EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, that he plans to leave the Paris agreement on climate change, according to three sources with direct knowledge.

Why this matters: Pulling out of Paris is the biggest thing Trump could to do unravel Obama’s climate policies. It also sends a stark and combative signal to the rest of the world that working with other nations on climate change isn’t a priority to the Trump administration. And pulling out threatens to unravel the ambition of the entire [...]

Psst, who said scientists were getting rich? It’s bankers, renewable giants, the Green-machine and Al Gore

A Red Herring just flew through the Climate Change Gravy Train

Anthony Sharwood hopes to derail the killer argument about Golden Gravy Train:

Scientists Getting Filthy Rich On Climate Change? Here Are The Facts

This train has no gravy on it.

Get ready to rethink the role of carbon. Sharwood comes armed with facts like a non-quote from an anonymous climate scientist friend in Tasmania who says he’s only earning $80 k and who, “impressively”, said he’s in it for “love not money”. He reckons he could’ve been earning $200k in IT. (Not in Tasmania, buddy).

So forget radiative transfer and moist adiabatic lapse rates, science is now decided by the love test. Who loves science the most? Maybe the skeptics who are working for nothing, eh?

Sharwood and HuffPo naturally miss freight train of money.

One day when they learn to google, they’ll find that we skeptics don’t talk about  climate scientists getting “filthy rich”. We talk about Al Gore, about Global Bankers, and we talk about how GE took in $9b in revenue lsat year from renewable energy. We talk about  how global carbon markets turned over $176 billion in their heyday and  Global [...]

Sea level rise hysteria can be cured by looking at tide gauge data

Scaremonger photos of inundation abound in our national news this week. Famous foreshore parks are gone, islands disappear, houses, picnic areas, racecourses, golf courses — all submerged. The water rolls in over Sydney’s Circular Quay, Melbourne’s Docklands, Brisbane Airport, Hindmarsh Island — swamped. Rooned. Today its the satellite photo, tomorrow it’ll be computer generated streetscapes; coming soon, the underwater documentary: Swimming in the Opera House.

This is a mocked up satellite pic of Perth, WA projecting how much ground we will lose.

If you live in these future washed out zones, email me. I’ll buy your house.

Compare the forecast two metre rise, to actual Tide Gauge Data for Fremantle since 1900 (Fremantle has the second longest record of sea level change in the Southern Hemisphere):

Sea Level rise Fremantle, Perth, Australia shows about a 20cm rise in 110 years.

So there has been a 20cm rise or so in 100 years. But 200cm is coming. Yeah.  (For details of the way Sea Levels around Perth Coastline change see Chris Gillhams work.)

This slow rate of sea level rise is not just a west coast thing: Sydney’s sea levels are rising at just 6.5cm per century.

The model [...]

Weekday unthreaded

Sorry I’ve been very distracted with other local events these last couple of days. Back soon!

Another glorious solar scheme fails ignominiously, “fast clouds”, “rusty pipes”, dumb decisions

Another award winning solar project collapses: it was a $105 million dollar scheme. One company, Areva, lost about $50m and so did the taxpayer. Everything went wrong, management, planning, cheap poor quality steel from China, industrial dispute that left 80% of the pipes rusting on a dock. Three thousand solar reflectors are sitting unused in what was a potato paddock in Dalby. Nobody wants to buy them. They’re obviously worthless. CS Energy is state owned power utility, and it spent $50m but pulled to pin to save wasting another $50m.

In 2011 Julia Gillard raved about how it was going to save 35,000 tons of carbon.

“Ms Gillard says the project could be one of many under the new carbon tax scheme.

“With the clean-energy future I want for our nation, I want it to be a norm,” she said.”

Fans of renewables will cite the management problems as the reason for the failure, not some inherent problem with solar. But the “Clean Energy Culture” is the problem  — the same pathetic, uninformed and corrupt decision-making that subsidizes solar so unnecessarily also creates the same dud decisions in management, legal, and industrial relations. The environment [...]

ACMA, media watchdog, says lies by omission at the ABC are OK

This story of Beliaik’s is making waves, cross-posted already at Catallaxy. Through letters and FOI’s he shows that the ABC won’t publish expert stories that don’t fit their personal political beliefs (specifically on climate and corals), and that the main industry “watchdog” is such a puppet they don’t even mind.

In February Beliaik tipped off the ABC about breaking news that showed the Karl et al “pausebuster paper” was hyped, broke rules. A former NOAA scientist (Bates) was blowing the whistle on unapproved key datasets, which weren’t archived properly. He also talked about how the key software had conveniently disappeared when the one sole computer it was on, crashed.  Unlike other leading news services around the world, the ABC didn’t report this, even though they had pushed the Karl paper when it came out. Effectively, they hid the counter story from their audience.

When he complained to the ABC the first thing they mentioned was that the story wasn’t covered by other media in Australia. Now I thought the point of a $1b public broadcaster was to cover important things other media don’t, but the ABC (which is the only media outlet here with a dedicated science unit) won’t report [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

Antarctica might go green say scientists (only 2km of ice and 50C of warming to go)

More great journalism from The Guardian:

Climate change is turning Antarctica green, say researchers

Or maybe it isn’t. Check out the brave actual prediction:

“Antarctica is not going to become entirely green, but it will become more green than it currently is,” said Matt Amesbury, co-author of the research from the University of Exeter.

Can I just say, the mean thickness of the Antarctic ice sheet is 2.16 km. I don’t know many plants that grow through one meter of ice.

Scientists studying banks of moss in Antarctica have found that the quantity of moss, and the rate of plant growth, has shot up in the past 50 years, suggesting the continent may have a verdant future.

There is more chance that Santa Claus will move in.

Maybe scientists will engineer frost resistant plants that survive at minus fifty. Right now, tonight, the centre of Antarctica is only five degrees below that.

Fifty years from now, plants that survive minus 50 will have a home…

Spot the out-of-date, old cherry picking:

In the second half of the 20th century, the Antarctic Peninsula experienced rapid temperature increases, warming by about half a degree per decade.

Nobody mention that in [...]

India meets climate goals early by doubling coal, and keeping it as main energy source for next 30 years

In the last day in the media, India is going to use coal as its backbone energy for the next thirty years, is buying coal mines all around the world, and will double production by 2020 to a massive 1,500 million tons per annum. At the same time India is meetings its climate goals early, and is likely to reduce emissions by 2 – 3 billion tons by 2030.

They can’t all be true:

Coal to be India’s energy mainstay for next 30 years: policy paper

–Economic Times, May 16th

China, India dominate coal ownership as some shun climate risks: report

– Reuters, May 15th

Coal Decline In China & India Likely To Reduce Emissions Growth By 2-3 Billion Tonnes By 2030

– Cleantechnica, May 16th

China, India to Reach Climate Goals Years Early, as U.S. Likely to Fall Far Short -InsideClimateNews, May 16th  The top two headlines are backed by big numbers: India is the worlds third largest coal producer, and coal powers 60% of India’s energy needs. But the poor investors or readers of industry rags might think India’s coal use is falling. Read the fine print. Lessons in spin: It’s all in how [...]

Innovative taxes needed to “find” $300 billion pa for climate damage

In socialistspeak people don’t produce goods to make money, they “find” money lying around the crysanthymums or something, because $300,000,000,000 dollars didn’t have anywhere else to be.

Innovative finance needed to find $300 billion a year for climate losses

And what if the solar dynamo drives climate change instead?

Tax the Sun.

My climate prediction: Global climate reparations are going to employ 100 million accountants.

By Laurie Goering

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – With money for action on climate change already in short supply, an estimated $300 billion a year needed to help countries deal with unavoidable climate losses will have to come from innovative new sources, such as a financial transaction tax or carbon tax, researchers say.

Funding for such climate “loss and damage” aims to assist people who lose their land to sea level rise, for instance, or are forced to migrate as drought makes growing crops impossible in some regions.

“What stands out most clearly is that there isn’t currently enough funding to even begin thinking about financing loss and damage, with available climate, development, risk reduction and disaster recovery financing all falling short by an order of magnitude,” said researchers at [...]

Six out of seven Climate Models wrong about Antarctic sea ice

Craig Idso and Pat Michaels point us at the global anachronism that is the Antarctic.

It’s not just that models are wrong about the amount of Antarctic Sea Ice, it’s much worse than that. Only one in seven models even get the sign of the trend right.

It’s just simple physics, right?

CO2 is trapping all that heat over Antarctica but for some reason, the sea-ice is expanding.

Their graph ends in 2005, but Idso and Michaels graph the last ten years as well which doesn’t look that different.

The paper itself:

Forty-nine models, almost all of the CMIP5 climate models and earth system models with historical simulation, are used.

The linear trend of satellite-observed Antarctic SIE is 1.29 (±0.57) × 105 km2 decade−1 ; only about 1/7 CMIP5 models show increasing trends, and the linear trend of CMIP5 MME is negative with the value of −3.36 (±0.15) × 105 km2 decade−1

Idso and Michaels:

According to the most recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), CO2-induced global warming will result in a considerable reduction in sea ice extent in the Southern Hemisphere. Specifically, the report predicts a [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

Scientists discover an extra 5 million square kilometers of forest , just like that.

Scientists apparently can’t predict where forests are right now, but weather patterns one hundred years from now, no problem. It’s nearly 60 years since the first satellite was launched, and we are still figuring out basic stuff down here on the surface — like which bits are forest.

People are willing to set up a two trillion dollar global market to trade carbon, but their carbon models are so primitive that giant “oops” moments are still happening on a regular basis. In 2014 Indian accountants discovered they’d missed nearly half the carbon given off from their lakes and rivers. In 2015, an accounting error reduced China’s emissions by twice Australia’s output. Then later that year Yale guys found 2.6 trillion trees. Blame global warming. Forests are appearing everywhere. Trees are even growing on farms capturing 0.75 gigaton of carbon that no one noticed til last year.

Billions of dollars of carbon credits are winking in and out of existence with every scientific study. Bank that botany! A single paper could change national GDP.

How did they find 5 million square kilometers of trees? They stopped assuming that satellite photos would be enough and they did a field survey instead. They [...]