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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Puerto Rico: Hurricane destroyed wind, solar. Plus five months on, 15% still blacked out.

In South Australia, when the lights went out, Olympic Dam took two entire weeks to get operational again. Spare a thought for those in Puerto Rico. Right now, five months later, and one in 6 still don’t have electricity. That’s five full months of blackout –  surviving off candles, car batteries, small diesels and whatever anyone can get. Some people will be waiting til May. Though that’s “95%” connected, so still no joy or lights, for one in 20 people. How do you put a roof back on your house when you can’t even power up your drill? (See The Atlantics photo montage from January 27th to get some idea of what life is like, months after the storm).

Puerto Rico has 3.6 million people, was poor and corrupt, with failing infrastructure and huge debts before Hurricane Maria hit on Sept 20th. The government has a budget of $10b per year, but owes more than $70b. The hurricane wiped out 80% of the infrastructure, completely trashing some of the solar and wind “farms”, and bringing down transmission lines.

The remains of one solar plant:

See the complete destruction here:

Brett Adair with Live Storms Media

One wind farm [...]

Midweek Unthreaded

Global Warming causes Siberian cold snaps

The Beast From The East is coming

Siberian winds are blowing across Europe, just as the IPCC didn’t predict.

In Rome, it’s snowing for the first time in six years, the Air Force is ‘helicoptering over the city, looking for isolated people. Naples got the heaviest snow in 50 years. Schools are closed and people are skiing down the streets.

The UK is expecting heavy snow and a wind chill of minus 15C.  The snow has already caused more than 200 trains to be cancelled. Roads and hundreds of schools are closed.

If we could only install enough windmills we could stop this.

Still, it could be worse. “During the Great Frost of 1683–84, the worst frost recorded in England the Thames was completely frozen for two months, with the ice reaching a thickness of 11 inches (28 cm) in London”. — Wikipedia

Thames Frost Fair 1683-84, Painting by Thomas Wyke  scan from FT magazine.

@ITVLorraine Tweets: #BeastFromTheEast #uksnow

@PunctureSafe-NE Tweets:

2 feet of snow expected

#BeastFromTheEast   #uksnow

In Europe we’re awaiting the Beast, A Siberian blast from the East, Where the warmists foretold, No snow and no cold, But more often where snowfall increased.

Midweek Unthreaded

Bourke: How 1km of land clearing can warm a million square miles

Yet again, we have to ask: does the Bureau of Meteorology care about Australia’s long term climate trend? Are they even trying?

Bourke could be one of the top ten most influential temperature sites in the world, mostly by virtue of being miles from anywhere, and used to homogenize a large slab of the land mass of Australia. Bill Johnston documents how changes to the site create most of the temperature trend.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s fancy magical and secret homogenization protocol does not detect changes that obviously affect the temperature (like the clearing in the photo below). But sometimes the BoM make “corrections” because of site changes that don’t appear to have mattered. Is it conveniently selective or just inept?

The BoM don’t even document major site changes a lot of the time. Even iconic sites that affect huge areas are badly managed. Someone got the tractor and plough and cleared the vegetation. As usual, a citizen scientist, a volunteer, documents it (along with a suite of other site changes).

In the last ten years land was cleared around the thermometer. This denuded area has a lower humidity, and higher volatility of temperatures.  The data from this thermometer [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

Wind farm blades damaged after just a few years at sea — hundreds need repair

Image of offshore wind farms.  Baltic Sea  Wikimedia | Mariusz Paździora

We are trying to collect dilute erratic energy, spread over hundreds of square kilometers in windy, salty, and wet conditions with machines that spin at 330km/hour. What could possibly go wrong?

From: “Offshore wind fiasco” at GWPF      –  The original story in Danish.

Ørsted must repair up to 2,000 wind turbine blades because the leading edge of the blades have become worn down after just a few years at sea.

The wind turbine owner will not disclose the bill, but says that the financial significance is “small”.

The cost of repair is so small they need to keep it a secret.

But it can’t be cheap. For the most repairs, the blades need to be brought down, shipped and fixed on land.  Repairing them at sea is a rare feat.

This must be the infamous leading edge erosion.

The Offwhore Wind Industry website discussed this type of damage in 2015:

Large rotors lead to large yields, but also to lots of annoyance – at least as far as the coating is concerned. After only a few years, the protective layer that [...]

The climate litigation of California councils appears to be caught in a hypocritical death spiral

California councils sue Exxon but Exxon fights back: Will that be Fake Fear or Fake Bonds? ‘Cross Examination Is Going To Be Brutal’: NYU Law Prof Says Climate Change Litigation Is A Loser

Some Californian councils launched climate litigation against Exxon because they will be wiped out by floods. But at the same time the same councils issued bonds and forgot to mention that the local area was going to be washed away.

Since 1990 or so, the bonds are worth in the order of $8 billion according to a petition from Exxon. The Competitive Enterprize Institute is calling on the SEC to investigate regarding potential fraud.

The councils have painted themselves in to a terminally awkward corner: Are they money grubbers using false propheses to scare up some money, or are they deceptive bond dealers?

For example, San Mateo County claimed in its complaint to be “particularly vulnerable to sea level rise” with a 93 percent the county will experience a “devastating” flood before 2050.

“If sea levels were to raise that high, it most certainly would be catastrophic,” Epstein said.

However, bond offerings in the last few years by those counties and [...]

Christopher Booker gets serious about understanding “Groupthink”

We toss the term Groupthink around a lot, but Christopher Booker gets serious about exactly what it is and what it means. He analyzes the “Climate Change” debate through the lens of the original scientific study of Groupthink as published by Irving Janis, a professor of psychology at Yale back in the 1970s.  It’s uncanny…

Obviously we need to understand it so we can preventlimit it.  But Groupthink is also ripe fodder for driving Eco-worriers up the wall as we list the ways — to a T — that they are The Textbook Example. There’s a useful strategy that flows from this. The core tenet is that because believers hold a shaky, fragile idea, they must be aggressively hostile to protect it. So put the boot on the other foot. Let’s ask Believers how they don’t fit the Groupthink mould. Do they welcome debate — go on, prove it.

Richard Lindzen’s introduction:

[Booker] asks how do otherwise intelligent people come to believe such arrant nonsense despite its implausibility, internal contradictions, contradictory data, evident corruption and ludicrous policy implications…

The phenomenon of groupthink helps explain why ordinary working people are less vulnerable to this defect. After all, [...]

Electricity prices fell for forty years in Australia, then renewables came…

Electricity prices declined for forty years. Obviously that had to stop.

Here’s is the last 65 years of Australian electricity prices — indexed and adjusted for inflation. During the coal boom, Australian electricity prices declined decade after decade.  As renewables and national energy bureaucracies grew, so did the price of electricity. Must be a coincidence…

Today all the hard-won masterful efficiency gains of the fifties, sixties and seventies have effectively been reversed in full.

Indexed Real Consumer Electricity Prices, Australia, 1955-2017.

For most of the 20th Century the Australian grid was hotch potch of separate state grids and mini grids. (South Australia was only connected in 1990). In 1998 the NEM (National Energy Market) began, a feat that finally made bad management possible on a large scale. Though after decades of efficiency gains, Australians would have to wait years to see new higher “world leading” prices. For the first years of the NEM prices stayed around $30/MWh.

But sooner or later  a national system is a sitting duck for one small mind to come along and truly muck things up.

Please spread this graph far and wide.

Thanks to a Dr Michael Crawford who did the original, [...]