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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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 [...]

So hot that we can see those Urban Heat Islands from space

During the June heatwaves in Europe NASA was studying the “Ecostress” of various cities.

The heat coming off Charles DeGualle’s  Orly Airport’s runways is easily visible from space. (As are all the other ideal locations for putting climate change thermometers.) CORRECTED Charles de Gaulle airport runways are (I think) beyond the top right of the heat map.

h/t To AndyG

The NASA Ecostress map for Paris   | Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

Hands up who thinks thermometers in 1880 were reading too warm? Anyone…

The shots were taken in the early morning:

They show how the central core of each city is much hotter than the surrounding natural landscape due to the urban heat island effect – a result of urban surfaces storing and re-radiating heat throughout the day.

he fact that surface temperatures were as high as 77-86 degrees Fahrenheit (25-30 degrees Celsius) in the early morning indicates that much of the heat from previous days was stored by surfaces with high heat capacity (such as asphalt, concrete and water bodies) and unable to dissipate before the next day. The trapped heat resulted in even higher midday temperatures, in the high 40s (Celsius) in some places, as [...]

Brexit: last week in the UK the elites rose up and overthrew the masses

How not to negotiate

Mark Steyn on Brexit the day after the last vote:

Last night, sixteen days before Britain supposedly leaves the European Union in accord with the people’s vote of three years ago, their elected representatives voted by 312 to 308 to rule out a “no-deal” Brexit – i.e. a straightforward walkaway - ever.

So the EU now has no incentive ever to reach a deal with Britain. The appalling “deal” Theresa May “negotiated” was for a wretched and humiliating vassal status with Brussels. Because for the Eurocrats, what matters is to teach the lesson the ingrate voters that you can check “Out” any time you like but you can never leave. Mrs May’s deal was meant to be a message to antsy Continentals that the citizenry’s impertinence must never happen again.

So last night the elites rose up and overthrew the masses….

Is May working for the EU or the UK?

Am I crazy? I’m hardly a foreign trade wizz, but I would have thought if you represent the fifth largest economy in the world, whose Monarch technically still heads the most widespread empire, culture and language on Earth* you arrive at the [...]

EU hides their Toaster and Kettle bans so they don’t “galvanize” Brexit

The last thing the EU want is for the British to be reminded of the EU’s intrusive, pointless plans to control them from afar:

Dave Keating, Euractiv.com

EU’s ban on inefficient toasters delayed to avoid pro-Brexit press attack

The EU has put plans to regulate inefficient kettles and toasters into cold storage amid fears in Brussels that they could galvanise support for the leave campaign in the UK’s 23 June referendum

 Freudian slip?

Are the laws made for the people, or for the M.P’s?

But in fact, these efficiency improvements have had a complicated relationship with public opinion in the past decade. Public backlash has been one of the biggest impediments to passing these EU laws.

Dang voters are an impediment to bureaucrats.

Efficiency improvements for things like toilets and lightbulbs, passed by the Commission of Jose Manuel Barroso which ended in 2014, prompted negative press, particularly in the United Kingdom.

So the British press has more spine than the French and German propaganda sheets?

Newspapers accused the European Union of meddling in the most minute details of daily life and demanded the freedom for consumers to [...]

Europe’s popular right on the rise — replacing fake conservatives — threaten Climate Gravy-train

Europe was always the leader and main driver of the climate-scare-machine.

The salad days are over.

Bloomberg calls non-left parties “populist” which is code for popular-but-we-don’t-like-them (and-nor-should-you).

They say this trend is the rise of “right wing” but as the jellyfish conservatives became the center left, the voters looked for politicians with a spine instead. And the push back against climate change is very much a core target of many of these parties. In the previous term, 86% of the EU parliament voted for climate policies, the next term it was 75%. The term coming it is predicted it will shrink again to 71%.  h/t GWPF

Almost all these parties think Climate Change is an elitist tax grab (or something like that). Adelphi 2019

As so democracy threatens “the consensus” and the Bloomberg team see no irony…

 Europe’s Populist Right Threatens to Erode Climate Consensus

 William Wilkes, Bloomberg,

 Europe’s consensus in favor of curbing greenhouse gas emissions is weakening due to rising support for right-wing populists, many of whom cast doubt over whether people bear the responsibility for climate change.

When voters elect the wrong people to do what they want and the politicians do [...]

Climate change causes three meters of snow in two days, avalanches in Europe

It’s not well known, but in the same way that climate change causes every hot weekend it also causes snow dumps, avalanches, and freak weather. The scientific link is just as strong and calculated the same way. Take a tendentious cross-correlation on free-range seasonal assumptions, and then pour Vodka in the Cray.

If only the Germans had built more windmills they could have stopped this. Chaos in ski resorts, people trapped, road closed, flights canceled

Three metres of snow fell in the space of 48 hours in some parts of the country and more than a metre is forecast to fall today and tomorrow. — The Times (paywalled)

Heavy snow paralysed much of Europe for yet another day, cutting off mountain villages, sparking avalanches like one that crashed into a Swiss hotel, and killing at least four people.

At least 21 weather-related deaths have been reported in Europe in the last 10 days.

—ABC

With three million dollars to spend today (like every day) the ABC found cute photos of white stuff on cuddly sheep and scooters to fit the deadly theme. Nice.

There is avalanche danger, blocked roads and floods in [...]

Evil Nature caused Swiss Glaciers to melt faster in 1870 (See solar and volcanic effects)

A study on Swiss Glaciers shows that the fastest melting was in the 1860s and 1870s, long before the first coal fired power. (See that steep decline from 1850-70 in Part a in the graph below.) In Part b see the glaciers have been going back and forward in cycles that somehow have no correlation with human emissions.

Climate models can’t predict any of these turning points, don’t understand any of these cycles, but “doom is coming”.

Pay up your money to make glaciers grow again.

From the Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI)

Figure 8. (a) Cumulative glacier length changes for the four glaciers Bossons, Mer de Glace, Oberer (O-) Grindelwald and Unterer (U-) Grindelwald …); (b) glacier length change rate …(c )glacier length changes compared to surface air temperature anomalies for the summer … Panel (d) air temps and stratospheric aerosol optical depth (SAOD) (Click to enlarge and read the proper full caption).

In Part c (above) — glacier lengths correlate with temperatures.  In part d the brown spikes are the Stratospheric Aerosol Optical Depth [SAOD] — meaning volcanic dust, black carbon, soot. These were bad years to head to the beach.

In terms of speed, note the lack [...]

Climate change brings snow to Europe in summer

Good news. Children who don’t know what snow is can now ski in summer.

Heavy Summer Snowfall in European Alps – Austria, Italy, Germany & Switzerland Receive Up To 40cm

Matt Wiseman, Mountainwatch

Heavy snow fell above 1500 metres across the European Alps this weekend with a number of destinations reporting over 40cm of the fluffy white stuff.

While it is still summer in Europe, temperatures dropped over 15 degrees and dipped into the negatives in less than 24hrs

European heatwave comes to an abrupt end

Debbie White,  Mail Online

There’s been a dramatic plunge in temperature across parts of Europe where searing heat has suddenly given way to heavy snowfall of up to 40cm – despite it still being summer.

About 25cm of snow was dumped on Germany‘s highest peak, the Zugspitze, where temperatures reached a decidedly chilly 19.4F (-7C) yesterday.

Even Italy gets snow and a minus 8 C freeze

A ski resort in northern Italy was coated with 10cm of snow on Sunday as  temperatures plunged to -8C.

Snow is also falling on Calgary and Alberta too.

Locals are a bit surprised:

Climate change is one quarter of the EU’s reason for being (a wild 25% of total spending?)

There are 741 million people in the EU.  For years, their supranational government has been spending one fifth of their entire budget (!) on attempts to change the weather. Since that didn’t work, they are going to spend more. What was 20% is rising to 25%.

It says a lot about how irrelevant the EU is that they have nothing more important to do than wave sticks at future storms and promise to hold back the tide with low powered hairdryers.

No other big pressing issues?

..

The European Union’s executive is poised to propose spending 25 percent of funds available in next EU multiannual budget on activities related to climate protection, making sure new economic and political challenges don’t weaken the bloc’s resolve to fight pollution.

While Europe’s political priorities are changing, the EU wants to continue leading global efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, which scientists blame for heating up the planet, and seeks to cut dependence on fossil fuels, shifting to cleaner renewable energy sources. The bloc aims to lower carbon emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030 compared with 1990 levels and to boost the share of renewables to at least 27 percent of energy [...]

Matt Ridley on Brexit: Brits should give foreign aid to EU (with strings) as parting gift

Matt Ridley writes the letter Theresa May should send to the EU

For 40 years Britain has propped up the EU with nothing in return but complaints and insults.

The fifth biggest economy in the world can offer foreign aid to the failing EU but on the same terms as other needy states.

BRITAIN SHOULD GIVE THE EU £20 BILLION EXTRA AS AN ACT OF CHARITY

Dear Angela, Emmanuel and others (cc Donald, Jean-Claude, Michel),

I enclose a cheque for £40 billion as agreed. However, you will notice that it is post-dated March 30, 2019, and that it will bounce without a free-trade agreement between us, as I mentioned on the telephone. We are delighted to be in a position to be so unilaterally generous, and sorry that you find yourselves in such dire need of our help.

We cannot help feeling that a little more financial discipline on your part might have avoided the need for such a large sum.

For instance, we notice that all Eurocrats can draw generous final-salary pensions when they get to the end of their lucrative careers, throughout which they will have had handsome allowances and expenses [...]

EU blows £520m on carbon capture project that stored no carbon

It takes a really big government to waste money on a scale like this

Carbon capture aims to stuff a harmless fertilizer underground in order to change the weather. With CCS, the hard part is deciding which obstacle is the most stupidly unachievable. One ton of solid coal generates nearly three tons of CO2 in a puffy, fluffy, expanded gas form. It doesn’t take a genius to know it won’t fit back into the same hole. And even if you get it down there, it may not stay there. The gas has to be compressed, or refrigerated (or both). Underground holes are hot.  Not surprisingly, this takes a lot of energy, so that to build a coal plant with the capability to “store CO2″ we must spend 60% more dollars, and then throw away 40% of the electricity as well.

You, I, global business, practically no one would spend their own money on it. The geniuses planning it thought the carbon price would rise from 30 euros to 100 euros which would make it a goer. Instead the carbon credit price feel to seven. (And that’s only after the EU propped it up.)

EUObserver spotted this CCS bonfire. I read [...]

Germans get paid to use junk electricity: Wind power generates when people DONT want it

Welcome to the world of baby-economics where people think a “negative” price is a sign of success. In Simpletown people are cheering. But in the real world a price signal that’s negative tells us that someone is selling something so awful they have to pay someone to take it away. It’s a burden that must be got rid of, like trash.

Germany set to pay customers for electricity usage as renewable energy generation creates huge power surplus – The Independent

Electrons cannot be created nor destroyed. If you make them, you have to deal with them. Negative pricing is a bad thing, a sign of “junk electricity” — a burden. It’s utter nonsense in a free market.

From the outset, I’m skeptical that anyone is actually paying someone to take electricity.  If wind farms were coughing up dollars (euro) to “customers” surely they would just disconnect their spinning thingo from the grid? Who wants to be a shareholder in a company that forgets to lock the turbine, or press the “off” switch, and has to pay customers to take its electronic trash? The truth (whatever it is) will turn out to be some variation of an unfree market. Probably [...]

BREAKING Nicolas Sarkozy, former President of France now climate skeptic, will run again

Nicolas Sarcozy

This is big. The French press today is full of stories on the former President Nicolas Sarkozy “coming out as a skeptic”. He’s running again for President, and can see the ocean of votes in speaking out against political correctness.   Sarcozy will have watched the rise of Marine Le Pen and of Donald Trump. The game has changed.

Pandering to the Global Bullies no longer works. Once the fear of being called a “climate denier” is gone, there is nothing to stop half of the political divide from a phase change. (Well, nothing at least apart from lobbying, donations and gifts from the $1.5 Trillion dollar Green Machine). The Brexit shock spreads. Democracy is not dead yet.   — Hat tips to Phillip and to Benoît. ROM.

French voters will get a real choice:

Sarkozy comes out of the closet as a climate skeptic

Presidential hopeful Nicolas Sarkozy reckons that climate change is not caused by man and that the world has far bigger problems on its hands than global warming.

Nicolas Sarkozy, who is fighting to regain the presidency that he lost to François Hollande in 2012, has finally come out of [...]

The EU this week: Germany gives up on hard targets, Turkey plans 80 coal stations, EU dithers on Paris.

The current state of play in the EU, thanks to the GWPF: The Germans have quietly given up on their own hard climate targets. They have 30% renewables, the most expensive electrons in the world, and their emissions are about the same as five years ago. The EU, climate champion, can’t even agree among the member states about how to ratify the Paris Agreement. Meanwhile the Turks are planning to build 80 new coal fired power stations (eighty!) and are subsidizing them up the kazoo. Turkey wants to use its low grade lignite deposits instead of Russian gas. After the recent purges, no one wants to criticize Erdogan, plus the energy minister happens to be President Erdogans son-in-law.

The E.U.’s over-arching ambitions, To change climate by cutting emissions, Is a pointless own-goal, When others use coal, As they please,and with no inhibitions.

– Ruairi

Greens are angry that Germany dropped real targets in Climate Action Plan — call new plan a “Toothless-tiger-skin-rug”:

[CleanEnergyWire] The final version of the German Environment Ministry’s Climate Action Plan has been published. But concrete targets included in previous drafts have been removed, prompting the Green Party to describe the document as an [...]

Brexit: Lots of countries want to do trade deals with UK. (Surprise, Surprise)

The fifth biggest economy in the world suddenly frees itself from worlds biggest bureaucratic basket case, and everyone else is knocking at the door?.

Daily Mail:  Countries are lining up to enter trade talks with Britain in the wake of the decision to leave the European Union, it was claimed last night.

American politicians are clamouring for an agreement, while talks could soon begin with Australia, South Korea and India.

Otherwise, Brexit is a disaster. Indeed it is so unthinkable, half the pundits are still thinking up reasons why it might not happen. Today uncertainty is what Tony Blair wants, and for as long as possible — “Let’s keep the options open” he says, as he thinks up a list of excuses to ignore a Yes:No vote, like an opinion poll.  “People can change their minds” he points out. And they do, which is why we elect governments then throw them out two weeks later when their polls fall below 50%.

On the Twelth Day of Brexit the excuses are hitting the Orwellian-Turbo-Booster: If Britain leaves the EU it will lose sovereign control says some guy in Ireland. Black is white. Up is down. And [...]