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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Bluescope spends a billion in US because “cheap energy”

Add another billion to the cost of the Renewable Energy Target?

In the last few days Bluescope Steel (formerly BHP) has confirmed it will spend US$700m (AU$1b) to expand it’s North Star steel mill in Ohio. So there are multiple headlines. But back in February CEO Mark Vassella explained exactly why they were thinking of it, and his first reason was “energy prices”. Last week, high energy prices were even “a tragedy” for Australian manufacturing. This week however, he’s clarified his position by muddying it up. Now there other reasons and the solution is to fix our gas prices. He’s backpedaling and tossing quotes that happen to help the renewables industry.

Perhaps he’s been heavied by his PR and strategy team? Now he’s saying that energy costs matter, but labor costs do too and “we weren’t ever going to put another steel mill in Australia”. He’s even saying energy costs “did not play a role” — the complete opposite. These will become the quotes the renewable energy fans rely on. Apparently, now what he really wants is cheaper gas — which requires a socialist government-driven solution to fix gas prices, and it’s safe for anyone to mention anything that requires [...]

Australian grid wars: MP says Queensland should cut off other states to make electricity cheaper

Guess which state, big business will be headed to next?

Brilliant! Let’s talk about a Quexit of the NEM. Nationals MP, Keith Pitt is suggesting that Queenslanders could cut their power bills if Queensland stands alone and disconnects from the rest of the Australian National Grid. There are concerns from experts within the energy sector that this could result in blackouts in other states… (is there an “e” in electricity?).

Keith Pitt says these are Queensland assets paid by the Queensland people, owned by the Queensland people, but we can’t continue to prop up states that make silly decisions. He’s driven by one motivator, and that’s price for consumers.

Check out the AEMO data dashboard. On any given minute Queensland is probably sending electricity to most of the NEM.

 

#9News can reveal #EXCLUSIVE details on a bold new plan to cut power prices. @jekearsley #auspol #9News pic.twitter.com/OGVfxfLOxW

— Nine News Queensland (@9NewsQueensland) August 20, 2019

 

 simon holmes à court @simonahac

this is _the_ dumbest idea i’ve heard @keithjpittb since gina’s dad suggested using nuclear bombs for earthmoving. while you’re there, you may as well blow up the highways in and out of queensland [...]

Just change one rule — so the world can see what Wind and Solar really cost

Random power generators. Photo JoNova

Wind and solar power are the intermittent freeloaders on the electricity grid. They are treated as if they’re generators, adding power to the grid, but instead they provide something the grid doesn’t need — power that can’t be guaranteed.

Random gigawatts has the illusion of looking useful, but it’s the gift of a spare holiday house you don’t know if you can use til the day before. It’s the spare fridge in the garage that overheats in hot weather, the extra turkey for thanksgiving that might not arrive til the day after.  The bills, the storage, the clutter, the chaos.

As I keep saying in RenewablesWorld fuel bills go down, but the land-maintenance-staff-insurance-FCAS-storage-and-capital costs all go up.

RenewablesWorld is a place where a lot more people and machines sit around and watch cat videos on youtube.

Here’s a great plan by Terry McCrann.

The one rule that would expose wind power’s true cost

Terry McCrann, The Australian, Business Review

If you wish to sell power into the grid, the NEM or National Energy Market, you will have to guarantee a minimum level of supply and guarantee that minimum level of supply 24/7.

[...]

Solar road is $6m epic disaster — 4% capacity, broken and so noisy speed-limits were cut

Solar Road, Normandy, France   |  Credit: KumKum

Would you like to drive slower, add to noise pollution and waste money? Then solar roads are for you:

The world’s first solar road has turned out to be a colossal failure…

Ruqayyah Moynihan and Lidia Montes, Business Insider

Two years after the world’s first solar road — the Normandy road in France — was set up, it’s turned out to be a colossal failure, according to a report by Le Monde. The road has deteriorated to a terrible state, it isn’t producing anywhere near the amount of energy it had previously pledged to, and the traffic it has brought with it is causing noise problems.

The original aim was to produce 790 kWh each day, a quantity that could illuminate a population of between 3,000 and 5,000 inhabitants. But the rate produced stands at only about 50% of the original predicted estimates.

Even rotting leaves and thunderstorms appear to pose a risk in terms of damage to the surface of the road. What’s more, the road is very noisy, which is why the traffic limit had to be lowered to 70 kmh.

Despite costing up to roughly [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

Skeptics get 49% more media, and other fairy fantasy stories from Nature Gossip Mag

Skeptics get banned, rejected, blocked and sacked from the mainstream media yet somehow Nature has a paper on Skeptics getting too much media. Believers don’t have to be an expert to control the news agenda, just a Greenpeace activist, or a teenage girl. Skeptics on the other hand, can be Nobel Prize winners, but the BBC won’t even phone them.

Nature, the former science giant, just launched the tenets of science over the event horizon. This paper is Argument from Authority rolled into false equivalence, and powered with cherry-picked errors in both category and in categorization. Nonsense on a rocket. It’s not what science is, and it’s not what journalism should be either.  And Nature is supposed to be both. Judith Curry calls it The latest travesty in ‘consensus enforcement’ and the worst paper she has ever seen in a reputable journal.

….

Both David Evans and I get a mention on what is effectively Nature‘s blacklist. What an honour! No really — there are 386 great names. Even more of an honour is a mention on Judith Curry’s site “blogs she’s learnt something from”. (By some freak, my name comes right after Freeman Dyson and Ivar Giaver, [...]

Time Mag — Buttering up Believers: Why deniers brains can’t process climate change

It’s self congratulation disguised as “science”. The insults are passed off as universal human failings but the unmistakable message is that those who do believe in “climate change” are exempt. (Only the unbelievers have smaller minds and more selfish cortexes. )

Time Magazine: Why Your Brain Can’t Process Climate Change

You’d have to be pretty stupid not to get this message:

…We know—at least those of us not in the grips of outright climate denial—how bad it is. But we can’t seem to act to save the future.

The Time readers who haven’t cancelled their subscriptions already may like to read this and give themselves a free shot of mojo, knowing that they can process climate change. Possibly they buy Time because it tells them they’re the gifted, superior beings they hope they might be. This is manna for those with low self esteem and meaningless lives.

This is not just some random author either, Bryan Walsh, who wrote this, was TIME’s International Editor, its energy and environmental correspondent and was the Tokyo bureau chief in 2006 and 2007.

As usual, it’s projection all the way down:

There are many reasons why [we fail to [...]

Could dimming the sun with stratospheric “sky clouds” save Earth (or starve people)

An idea so dumb big government just might do it.

 Bill Gates has a plan to cool the Earth with chalk dust

John Naish, Daily Mail

This initial $3 million test, known as Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment (SCoPEx) would use a high-altitude scientific balloon (pictured) to raise around 2kg of calcium carbonate dust — the size of a bag of flour — into the atmosphere 12 miles above the desert of New Mexico

Spraying 2 kilo of dust costs how much?

This initial $3 million test, known as Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment (SCoPEx) would use a high-altitude scientific balloon (pictured) to raise around 2kg of calcium carbonate dust — the size of a bag of flour — into the atmosphere 12 miles above the desert of New Mexico

Indeed, the plans are so well advanced that the initial ‘sky-clouding’ experiments were meant to have begun months ago. …   (to) seed a tube-shaped area of sky half a mile long and 100 yards in diameter.

Here comes the precautionary principle on steriods:

SCoPEx is, however, on hold, amid fears that it could trigger a disastrous series of chain reactions, creating climate havoc in the [...]

Bonanza, not: With govt manipulation carbon credits rise back to 2008 levels

It’s being hailed as a “soaring investment” but it’s just the fake fiat carbon scheme that has been fiddled back to life. The EU ETS market had too many credits and crashed down to 5 Euro or less by 2013. On deaths door, the EU decided to cull a quarter of the credits for the EU ETS every year starting in 2019 and the price predictably went back up. The big success of this unnecessary unfree market is that it has added a tariff to cheap coal to make it just as expensive as gas, and pushed up electricity prices in the EU.

Any illusion of generating economic wealth, or energy efficiency is purely coincidental. There’s no supply and no demand, no extra products or productivity — and without government force, no market at all for imaginary carbon penances. It draws money from every consumer and hands it to gas, and renewables giants, as well as bankers, crooks and VAT Tax cheats. And if this market goes global it’s potentially a $7 Trillion dollar money-making racket for bankers. No wonder HSBC, Deutche Bank, Goldman Sachs, BBVA and Citigroup want to “save the world”.

 Back to 2008:

Government decisions largely [...]

Prof Andy Pitman admits droughts are not worse and not linked to climate change

Drought Panic Over

h/t to Jim Sternhell, Frank Brus, via Jim Simpson.

Professor Andy Pitman, UNSW

In June Professor Andy Pitman quietly dropped a bomb:

“…as far as the climate scientists know there is no link between climate change and drought.”

“…there is no reason a priori why climate change should made the landscape more arid.“

He’s admitting there’s never been a scientific basis for the endless climate drought scares? He went on to say that in Australia, droughts are not increasing, and there’s no drying trend in one hundred years of data. He’s also admitting the models can’t predict extremes in rain either. Where are the press releases?

It’s great to hear him speaking like a skeptical scientist, with candor and care, but 52% of Australians (including many of our politicians) think “climate change” is already causing more frequent droughts. So half the country is not only convinced droughts are increasing, but they think climate change is causing an effect that isn’t happening. And the world is spending $330b a year on windmills and solar panels [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

Widespread snow all over the East Coast of Australia – first time in decades

Not what the climate models predicted

This weekend it’s snowing within 90 minutes of Melbourne and Sydney. It’s snowing in far south Queensland. In the Alps Thredbo recorded an amazing 117cm of fresh snow in two days, while snow fell in towns that rarely get snow like Gordon near Ballarat, Tumut, Crookwell. The highway through the Blue Mountains was blocked. The airport was closed in Orange.

 TA polar blast has whipped across New South Wales, dumping unprecedented levels of snow on parts of the state. From the rugged terrain of the Blue Mountains to streets in Bathurst, whole towns were completed whited out as the freezing weather took hold. @lizzybryan1 #9News pic.twitter.com/elgLlbQiD0

— Nine News Sydney (@9NewsSyd) August 10, 2019

The ABC makes sure to embed their best excuses for the Global Warming.

Repeat after me: The Science is Complex. Two “leading” researchers say blah, blah, attribution, models. They argue that unverified, unvalidated models that ignore the solar wind, solar spectral changes, and solar magnetic changes can tell us how much effect CO2 has because there’s a mysterious gap between what their models predict the natural climate would do and what really happened — especially according to thermometers [...]

Unexpected UK EarthHour at peak time Friday — just after Wind Power hits new high?

Fragile grids

Over a million people customers lost power in the UK yesterday thanks to the sudden outage of a gas and a wind plant. Some of the country’s biggest railway stations were inoperable.  Passengers were stuck on trains for up to seven hours. Others stayed in hotels, walked miles or paid “hundreds” for taxis. The outpatient sections of Ipswich Hospital were blacked out for 15 minutes when backup generators failed. “At the height of the Friday rush hour, all trains out of King’s Cross were suspended and remained so for most of the evening.” — BBC. Commuters resorted to using their phones as torches to get out of tunnels in the dark.

Urgent Investigation called for into “fiasco”

According to headlines, at this early stage before the investigation all we know for sure is that wind power is definitely not to blame, but Boris might be. (Seriously, it’s the no-deal Brexit that hasn’t happened).

Officially, people are saying in solemn knowing tones that it is “extremely rare”  for two generators to go out at once. But the odd thing about this is how small the loss was. Barfield Gas power is only a 730 MW generator, and Hornsea Wind [...]

Feast your eyes on Streaky Bay’s thermometer — over bitumen for 31 long hot years

Ken Stewart rates the Streaky Bay site as one of the worst he has seen  This is an influential site because it’s in a remote area, is used to “correct” official ACORN sites, and has been running for a long time. Last October the BOM finally moved it to a completely new (and much better site) – only three decades too late.  Strangely, they didn’t give the new site a new station number? Normally the old and new sites would be run concurrently with two different numbers so the data from both could be compared and the differences in temperature between them could be worked out. Is that an accident? Does it hide the terrible quality of the previous site?

The Streaky Bay information (site 018079) tells us it opened in 1865 but the site only has monthly data from 1926 and daily data from an even shorter period. The rest presumably hasn’t been digitized yet. As best as I can tell, the station metadata appear to mark this site as being at the post office from 1865 to 2018, and record the ground cover as becoming asphalt in July 1987. That means for 31 years the Australian Bureau of [...]

IPCC announces Fatwa on meat eating

The Steak is coming to get you.

Good news, the Intergovernmental Holy Panel has finally released the new World-Saving IPCC Diet (WSID) which will stop storms, volcanoes and the spread of jellyfish. It also solves all those difficult dietary questions — instead of worrying about your weight, your blood pressure, or your brain, you can sip on a soy latte and know that even if you get dementia from the B12 deficiency or the tofu, you are A Virtuous Signaller. Lucky you.

And even though an atmospheric physicist supposedly can’t advise us on the climate, it’s fine for a climate scientist to tell us what to eat. They already tell us what car to drive and how many kids we should have. Why not?

Vegetarian diets and a “sin” tax on unsustainable meat could help to limit climate change, a major new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says.

–The Australian

Sinning with meat for 2 million years?

Humans have been eating meat for 2.6 million years at least, or about 100,000 generations, but it’s time to take the precautionary principle and toss that genetic heritage to the wind.

Meat is a good [...]