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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Midweek Unthreaded

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Cricket will be sport hardest hit by climate change “fundamentally changed” by summer rain

Forget the plight of snow skiers who won’t know what snow is – it’s cricket that will be hit hardest.

That’s why the sport must take notice of a report published by Climate Coalition, …

The document names cricket as the sport that will be hardest hit by climate change in England, stating that “wetter winters and more intense summer downpours are disrupting the game at every level”.

God forbid. This is a death spiral:

.. Glamorgan Head of Operations, Dan Cherry, …warned that climate change could “fundamentally change the game”.

“The less cricket we play, the fewer people will watch it, the less they will come to the ground and pay to enter, the less chance there is for young people to be inspired,” said Cherry.

This change, it seems, has already begun.

Wait til you see the evidence:

In international cricket, 27 percent of England’s home one-day internationals since 2000 have been played with reduced overs because of rain delays. The rate of rain-affected matches has more than doubled since 2011, with five percent of matches abandoned completely.

By crikey. That is a six year weather trend. Statistical significance [...]

Old GOP voters are skeptics, so it takes 20 years to recover from education and wise up to the media

From Jo: Bookings close this Sunday.

Hope to see you in Sydney the weekend after next!

I’ll be speaking with Ian Plimer at the ATA Friedman18 conference.

It’s a great line up of speakers on May 25-27, or come for the Gala dinner.

Get a 10% discount with the code Nova18.

On Climate, There’s A Sharp Generational Divide Within GOP

USNews, Alan Neuhauser

A Pew survey exposed a stark gap between younger and older Republican voters on global warming and energy policy.

 

Neuhauser doesn’t mention it but the implications are pretty dire — look how long it takes to recover from school:

Republican millennials – people roughly ages 22 to 37 – are far less likely than older generations to support the use of coal, oil and other fossil fuel sources. By one count, while three-quarters of Republican baby boomers and older generations supported more offshore oil and gas drilling, fewer than half of millennial Republicans felt the same way.

At least most Republicans grow up:

Among [young and old] Democrats, by contrast, there was only a small divide.

If half the population is shifting in the same direction [...]

Is this the start of the death-spiral for old windfarms in Europe

The subsidy that flows whatever the weather  |  by  Josh.

How do you know when an industry is a loser? When even repowering old turbines, which were put in the best spots, is not worth the trouble unless they get a subsidy, I mean, even more subsidies.

Remember the days when subsidies were needed to get a project going?

Maintenance is not an option

Europe is full of old windfarms. The original subsidies have run out and there’s not much appetite for new ones. Without more free money from taxpayers the most economic option for older turbines is to run them into the ground and give up on them. Maintenance costs are the silent plague. But so too is red tape and legal approval. The age of the European turbines is reaching the point where half of the entire fleet is facing do or die decisions.

John Constable of the GWPF wonders if the wind industry in Europe may be on the point of collapse.

And Europe’s fleet is old:

By 2020, 41% of the currently installed capacity in Germany will be over 15 years old, 44% in Spain, and 57% in Denmark.

John Constable is responding [...]

Australia’s national energy market is run by a lawyer and climate changey activist

Audrey Zibelman

No wonder our national electricity grid is in deep. Audrey Zibelman is the CEO of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). The former New York based woman is a lawyer with an MBA who thinks we can change the weather with our power supply. She was appointed in March 2017. Thank Malcolm Turnbull. Apparently in 2016 she was a favourite for the future Team Hillary in the US.

Audrey the activist

Just to make her motivation clear. Her words last year:

“I believe we’re the last generation on earth who can really do something about climate change.“

The manager of our electricity market thinks wind and solar are actually competitive:

And the good thing is that technology has evolved so that we don’t have to worry about sacrificing economics for good environmental policy.”

Notably, what she isn’t dreaming of is cheap electricity:

Her dream is of a grid dominated not by big power suppliers and their fossil-fuel generators, but rather a system of “distributed energy” that delivers better supply security by storing solar and wind power in batteries for later use. She wants a market that better rewards people with rooftop [...]

Meteoranxiety — pre traumatic stress about climate change that hasn’t happened yet

More support for snowflakes.

Are you feeling stressed about imaginary man-made climate change that hasn’t even happened yet? Thanks to taxpayer funds, there is a virtual reality event that may help you (or not). The Bureau of Meteoranxiety is on in Melbourne this week. This experimental, untested technique doesn’t look like it gets to the nub of the problem.

If victims spent 45 minutes with a friendly skeptic instead, they could be cured for life. Where is the grant for that?

Image credit: Michael Tartaglia

Are you feeling stressed about the end of the world? If yes, you might want head to this Next Wave event. An immersive live art experience incorporating VR technology, Bureau of Meteoranxiety by Perth-based artists Alex Tate and Olivia Tartaglia will allow participants to work through their fears of climate change by exposing them to “experimental visual therapies and sensory remedies” and providing “new language and coping strategies to help stay above the metaphorical and literal flood line”.

Blindside: Bureau of Meteoranxiety.

Book your tickets for Melbourne (or pick an airline and fly somewhere else).

Hannah Francis of The Age tells us the treatments seem “counterintuitive”. Not half. You [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

Early…

The Battery of the Nation disconnected for two months – Basslink cable inoperable again

For the last year everyone has been calling Tasmania the “Battery of the Nation” — Turnbull, Hydro Tasmania, government departments, the ever hopeful green press. It’s an official plan. The bright idea is to add “Pumped Hydro Storage” to the large dams already on the island state, boosting the only reliable renewable type of energy. But right now, as far as mainland Australia goes, Tassie is a No-Volt Battery.

Even Hydro Tasmania is calling itself the “Battery of the Nation”

The dirty secret is just how fragile the link is. Not only did it break for six spectacular months in 2016 — leaving the “green” state flying in squads of diesels – but its now quietly out of action again and it’s projected to be out for two months all up. The 290 km undersea cable known as Basslink is the second longest of its type in the world. It broke on 24 March 2018. It is not expected back in action til May 31. It was an accident of routine maintenance at one end.

“The equipment was damaged by a third-party contractor during routine works. There is no damage to the cable itself.”

 

[...]

Study: Skeptics are more environmental — believers do less but want government to solve it instead

Ain’t that the way? When it comes to taking individual action, skeptics are more environmental than the people who call themselves “environmental”.

A new psych study shows that skeptics are more likely to use cloth shopping bags, catch public transport and buy eco-friendly items. Hall et al somehow got 600 people to fill in a survey up to seven times in one year about their belief in “climate change” and their self-reported action. They found there are three types of people: the “highly concerned” about climate change, the “cautiously worried” and the “skeptical”. The “highly convinced” believers may tell the world we have to act, but they were more likely to use plastic bags themselves and drive their car. They were more likely to want government policies to magically solve the problem. Skeptics meanwhile, were more passionately against government meddling than any group was on any issue. It was the single most definitive score.

Skeptics (blue) were more likely to reuse shopping bags, buy eco-friendly things, and catch the bus and train. The highly concerned (red) were more likely to recycle goods and otherwise support government action.

 

Researchers were pretty much baffled by their results and admitted as [...]

Barclays bank busted for misleading customers on solar home “investment” that loses money

 Tell me again how solar power is cheaper than fossil fuels

People in the UK have been misled into taking out loans to put solar panels on their roof — they were told the panels would “pay for themselves” but discovered they were losing money. The UK Ombudsman has received around 2,000 complaints.

Barclays bank hit by solar scandal

Solar manufacturers paired up with banks to install and finance solar installations telling customers they’d make money, except many didn’t:

… a common method was to encourage households to buy the panels on credit from a partner lender. Households were often told that the subsidy income, combined with the savings from buying less electricity, would more than cover the loan repayments. In some cases this proved to be false.

Many of those to whom panels were allegedly mis-sold were either “retired or approaching retirement” and some were “left in financial difficulty”, the financial ombudsman said. One customer was left £1,000 a year worse off.

We can all say fair’s fair, do your homework before you buy. But under UK law, the partner-banks are responsible for the financial scam not the solar manufacturers (and not the customers). Presumably [...]

Renewable snowflake investors false tears for “certainty” (Gimmedat guaranteed income!)

When investors cry for certainty, what they really want is “no risks” and “your money”

The renewables industry only exists because of government largess. What the government giveth, so can it sucketh.

Now that the bountiful wheel of the Turnbull government is turning slightly toward other beneficiaries, the Australian renewables industry are holding crisis meetings. Feel the entitlement! Sophie Vorrath reports in RenewEconomy on the green industry disappointment with the NEG — (the theoretical new Australian plan for Weather-Management-with-Socialist-Electricity-Grids.)

The government is still picking winners, it’s just different winners:

NEG will block renewables, favour hydro and big retailers Oliver Yates, head of UPC Renewables:

Yates said that setting emissions compliance cost on a path to zero could “pull the carpet out” from under existing solar and wind energy investments and actually stop future investments. “This is very bad for our industry and very bad for the nation as a whole, as this orderly investment and orderly transition towards using new generation assets is required.”

And – “as a banker” – Yates also warned against the mentality that the NEG could be legislated now, and tweaked later, under a future Labor government, or a more enlightened [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

Australia: where governments spent thousands to irrigate prime land, then subsidize a solar farm on top

Obviously, if you are a thirsty solar panel, Australia is the place to be. We have ready-made irrigated high quality agricultural land set to be covered with an uneconomic and unreliable solar panels.

Only collective-coerced taxpayers are stupid enough to pay for this.

It’s so silly, groups of unconnected farmers of all different kinds are rallying together to oppose the flagrant waste.

Prime agricultural land loss or booming future energy? That’s the solar planning conundrum for Victoria

Residents near Shepparton are concerned that farmland the Victorian Government has invested in under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan will be lost to agriculture as the state undergoes a solar farm boom.

Four applications for solar farms in the Greater Shepparton region that could produce up to 243 megawatts of electricity have been proposed for Tatura, Tallygaroopna, Lemnos and Congupna, and have been ‘called in’ by the Victorian planning minister.

Critics say there has been no thought put to where the solar farms are being placed and how much prime agricultural land is being lost, and while there is suitable, more arid land available close by.

At least two of the solar farms have [...]

Lava – not your usual road hazard: evacuations underway today in Hawaii

A reminder of what most of our planet is made of.

Volcano, lava spreads across road, Hawaii, May 2018.

The lava has reached Leilani estates. Rock and ash are being thrown into the air. Evacuations are underway. There has been some warning. Small earthquakes have been occurring. Cracks appearing in roads.

See the drone footage of the eruption in Hawaii:

RT news story on this:

Veteran Meteorologist talks of culture of intimidation — skeptics hide at National Weather Service, NOAA

CFACT has a report from a 40 year career meteorologist who alleges that skeptics are silenced through intimidation and threats at the National Weather Service (NWS). He also says data is “altered for political purposes” and that he was advised nearly forty years ago that he could find fame and fortune with CO2.

““When I was a graduate student I had a professor come up to me, and he said in the late 1970s ‘If you want to make a name in the field, want to be famous, CO₂ is the place to go.’ There is a lot of money to be made, authority and control over people’s lives at stake.””

A whole generation of meteorologists and climate scientists have been raised with these incentives, and a culture of fear:

Meteorologist allegedly assaulted by NWS Director Uccellini

Adam Howser, CFACT

“I was giving a talk to fellow NWS staff about the jet stream flow in the upper atmosphere [in 2014]. What it showed was large amplitude waves in both the northern and southern hemispheres. I explained that the only way the jet stream could get to be high amplitude is if the atmosphere was [...]