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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Brilliant BREXIT speech by Daniel Hannan. UPDATE See the Movie.

If there is anyone out there who hasn’t seen the M.P. Daniel Hannan speech on BREXIT  two weeks ago, it’s worth your 6 minutes. It’s articulate. Compelling. Why would any great nation vote to give up their right to set their own laws and negotiate their own deals?

The EU is it’s own best example of big-government grown too big. As Hannan says, the “Every continent on this planet has grown over the past decade except Antartica and the European Union.” And it is so much more than just economics, but economics is the main reason given to stay.

“It’s not just the financial price of EU membership – it’s the democratic price.

We fought a civil war in this country to establish the principle that laws should not be passed nor taxes raised except by our own elected representatives. And now supreme power is held by people who tend to owe their positions to having just lost elections: Peter Mandelson, Neil Kinnock and what have you.

 

No one is talking about drawbridges or isolation. Nowhere else in the world do countries apologise for wanting to live under their own laws. New [...]

How do we panic about warming during a maunder-type freeze?

Is this the way the Great Global Warming Scare fades out?

The UK newspapers are full of “Maunder Freeze Coming” as forecast by Ineson et al.[1] Rest assured, the solar-driven-cold is only a local effect, only 0.1C, and only a vague short 20 to 40 winters to come. The Sun, which has been ruled out as a major cause of global warming, is still not a cause of global warming — it’s just a minor technical issue called UV from a local star, which will be affecting an ocean current. Then the Big 6.6 degrees of heatstroke will land upon us.

Britain could be on the verge of a mini Ice Age as the Sun enters a cooler phase, the Met Office warned yesterday.

The last big chill was felt hundreds of years ago when Frost Fairs were held on the frozen River Thames.

However the Met Office said the new freeze will not be enough to cancel out the effects of global warming.

We’ve seen this all before, but not on this scale. If there was a volatility index — like a VIX for climate-PR –  it would be setting records. The contradictions [...]

The German electricity crisis – twice the price, but everyone’s going broke

When the Germans mess something up, they do it properly

Germany — is aiming for a 40% cut in carbon by 2020, and have “led the way” with solar and wind power. Electricity bills are now twice the price of those in North America, and some 800,000 poor people had their power cut off because they can’t pay their bills.  Despite the high prices, gas power has become uneconomic, even though it is one the best methods for dealing with the erratic energy delivered from wind and solar. Nuclear can’t save them, they will have none after 2022 when the last reactor turns off.

The pain is pointless. For all the money spent, they aren’t saving much CO2, and aren’t changing the weather.  They end up importing many of the goods which need energy, so the emissions occur in other countries without emissions controls. The German manufacturing sector can’t compete and struggles by on subsidies. Consumers pay more for goods or pay more through tax for the subsidies. Meanwhile, in the EU politicians seem to have realized that biofuels won’t work, but they don’t have the courage to kill them off and face the backlash — instead they fund it just [...]

A bonfire of waste: $100 billion burnt by big-government renewables mismanagement

Renewables, are not just inefficient, unnecessary, and deadly to wildlife, but they were also a disaster of planning and management. The list of dollars and euros destroyed in the Glorious Renewables Quest has gone “nuclear”. The World Economic Forum estimates $100 billion Euro has been wasted, but its even worse than it looks. I had to read their opening sentence twice. I thought it read “European countries could have saved approximately $100 billion if each country had invested in the most efficient energy source.” I was thinking they could have saved that sort of money by using coal instead of windmills… but no, those huge savings would be over and above those ones. The WEF is talking about money saved if “badly managed renewables, had been “well managed ones”.

The inefficiency here is the scale only big-government could achieve.

The Energy Collective

Europe Loses Billions in Badly Sited Renewable Power Plants

European countries could have saved approximately $100 billion if each country had invested in the most efficient capacity given their renewable energy resources, that is, by installing wind turbines in windier countries and solar power plants in sunnier places.

But why would we be surprised? [...]

UK voters tired of “big” or “bigger” government. UKIP wins again!

Government, Opposition, what’s the difference? It’s all become shades of “bigness”.  With the UK Big-Government orbiting in the  shadow of the Mega-Government in the EU, is it any wonder an alternative had to spring forth? And Lo…

In case you haven’t heard, Mr Reckless left the UK Tories, joined UKIP (the UK Independence Party) and just won the byelection becoming UKIP’s second member of Parliament. It surprised quite a lot of people.  Analysts are abuzz: the electorate was not as old or white as the first seat UKIP won, and it was ranked 271st on the list of seats UKIP “might win”. Labor won just 16% of the vote.

People seem to like the idea of small government, lower taxes, and politicians who don’t promise to change the weather. Who would have thought?

Perhaps the mighty English will one day even win the right to buy powerful hairdryers, and serious vacuums? We dare hope!

BBC News

UKIP’s victory was in many ways even more impressive than their triumph in Clacton. The ease with which they demolished a 9,000 Tory majority was striking and this after the Conservatives had strained every sinew to halt the UKIP bandwagon.

[...]

EU to change climate with hair dryers, kettles, lawn mowers

You, foolish plebian, thought that a hair dryer was for drying hair. Not so. The purpose of a hair dryer is to change the climate. Let’s stop the storms by slow-mowing the lawn. That sort of thing…

Thus and verily has the EU announced that high-power appliances may now be banned.

[Telegraph]

EU to ban high-energy hair dryers, smartphones and kettles

European Union to ban dozens of high-wattage household electrical appliances in follow-up to controversial ban on powerful vacuum cleaners

A study ordered by the European Commission, currently in draft form, has identified up to 30 electrical appliances including lawn mowers, smart phones and kettles that could be covered by the EU’s Ecodesign directive outlawing high-wattage devices.

Serfs in the EU will probably spend longer drying their hair, and more time waiting for the kettle to boil  in a quest to produce slightly less CO2. This is in the hope that less CO2 might cool a world that hasn’t really warmed for a decade and a half. It’s a case of not so much blow-drying, and more slow-drying. Likewise, stupid punters may wonder how a lower power kettle can reduce emissions. The laws of [...]

EU bans good vacuum cleaners — next big kettles, hot irons?

The Climate Police are coming.

In order to cool the global climate, the European Commission has decided, with infinite wisdom, that companies shall no longer be allowed to make or import vacuums with motors above 1600 watts — which is more than half of the vacuums on the market. These are climate-dangerous machines. They couldn’t just put a health warning with pics of drowning polar bears on the 2200W ones. They must be Verboten! The new rules start on September 1st. I’m sure if they could, they’d arrange a buy-back and amnesty program for high powered vacuums too.

In EUspeak, vacuums are about to get better! Apparently, they will use less energy, save money and pick up more dust too, all that was needed was regulation. (Why didn’t they think of it before?)

The Telegraph

Consumers warned to “act quickly” before top-rated powerful vacuum cleaners sell out forever

The European Commission claims that its new rules, which are intended to help tackle climate change by cutting Europe’s energy usage, will mean consumers “get better vacuum cleaners than ever before”.

The first vacuum was made in 1860. So after 150 years of fine tuning vacuum motors, at last the gifted bureaucrat [...]

Green plan causes air pollution, may kill thousands in the UK, thanks to dirty diesel

A Greenpeace Bio-diesel Campaign, November 2000

Golly — who would have thought that policies based on a logical fallacy and a pseudo-religion would be a bad idea? It’s not just bad, it’s deadly. For the last ten years environmentalists and greens told Europeans to buy diesel cars, not petrol, because they produce less CO2. So British people, and a lot of Europe too, did exactly that — lured by generous tax breaks, pushed by the guilt trip if they were thinking of buying a petrol car. The car fleet of the EU was transformed. Back in the early nineties, hardly anyone owned a diesel, but now, as many as half of all new cars in the UK are diesel, and some extra 45 million diesel cars have been bought across Europe. But clean energy turned out to be dirty fuel, with diesels producing tons of small dangerous particulates, black carbon, and other real pollutants.

It’s so bad, the UK is not meeting air pollution standards, and more importantly, by at least one estimate, some 7,000 deaths a year can be attributed to diesel pollution from cars.

Diesel pollution is becoming such an issue in London that Boris Johnson is [...]

Don’t miss the EU transformation on renewable energy

Filed under: Skeptics are winning.

The EU was always the leader in the Great Green Push, and announcements on Wednesday are an excellent sign. Both the media and politicians are finally coming around, dragged by reality. This is the good news. The bad news is it’s cost hundreds of billions, and there are still renewable targets when there shouldn’t be, but we are over the peak…

Today is a big day in Brussels as the EU has begun the gradual process of rolling back its bankrupting climate and green energy policies. Of course this modest climbdown is not the end of Europe’s climate hysteria that has dominated Brussels for 20 years. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is the beginning of a much deeper retreat of its unilateral approach in coming years. –Benny Peiser, 22 January 2014

The talk is for an “ambitious” 40% target by 2030, but really this is about dropping the legally binding nature of the targets. So as usual in warmist politics, no one is up front and honest. It’s a face-saving move as the green reality falls.

European Commission to ditch legally-binding renewable energy targets

Telegraph

Climbdown on setting mandatory [...]

EU gives 20% (sic) of their budget to demigoddess of climate change

And people wonder why Greece, Italy and Spain are in a mess.

By Sophie Yeo in Warsaw

20% of the EU’s budget will go towards fighting climate change, climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard announced in Warsaw today. 

This equates to €180 billion on climate spending between 2014 and 2020, which will be used to reduce emissions domestically and help developing countries adapt to climate change—three times what was provided in the previous budget.

Much of this will be spent on domestic projects, helping with the development of climate-smart agriculture, energy efficiency and the transport sector.

But of course, much of this is just a PR statement (otherwise 20% of the rest of the EU budget has been cut. Where are those screams?). The money is probably relabeled: shifted from one category to another. Same spending, greener tint.

They even admit themselves, they are taking €15 billion away from overseas aid in order to soothe their anxiety about the weather 100 years from now. This will mean a lot to hungry people in Cambodia.

If I thought that €15 billion would have been efficiently used, this would be a real disaster:

Over the next seven years, €15 billion from the EU’s overseas [...]

The Cyprus Moment: Steal money from ex-KGB deposits? Hello, Crunch-time.

UPDATE: Cash is being flown to British Troops in Cyprus. The banks will stay shut til Thursday. The finance minister has resigned. [SkyNews]

Remember how the EU was supposed to promote stability?

Sooner or later a central fund managed by central bureaucrats is going to fail in a “central” way. This isn’t it, but we are getting closer to the center.

Without competition between states on currency, Europe left itself open to be a case study in centralized stupidity. The bureaucrats needed to stop the waste of public spending, they needed to halt the corruption, increase competition. And their answer? Steal 10% of depositor’s funds from everyone in Cyprus. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

We are now in new territory. In previous bank bailouts, if anyone took any losses it was the shareholders and the bond holders, and the depositors did not lose any money. In the Cyprus bail out, the bondholders and shareholders lose nothing but the depositors lose about 10%. (Any chance the bondholders of the Cyprus banks include the ECB or IMF?)

Where is the natural law that makes sense in this decision? Don’t punish the shareholders, or the bondholders, [...]

EU promises 20% of its whole budget to stop storms, rain, etc.

So what does this mean? Billions more dollars poured into the uber carbon gravy train? Twenty whole percent?

Current climate spending is estimated at  5-7%. So this might be a big increase. Has the EU gone over the waterfall, or is it more a PR exercise where money that would have been spent on other things is rebadged as a “climate” expenditure.*

The power of a single department may get diffused and spread among lots of departments. WWF are not happy and nor is the European Environmental Bureau. It can’t be all bad. ( )

 Environment News Service

BRUSSELS, Belgium, February 8, 2013 (ENS) – European heads of state and government have agreed to commit at least 20 percent of the entire European Union budget over the next seven years to climate-related spending.

All-night negotiations in Brussels produced agreement among EU leaders on budget proposals for the rest of the decade, from 2014-2020.

“Climate action objectives will represent at least 20% of EU spending in the period 2014-2020 and therefore be reflected in the appropriate instruments to ensure that they contribute to strengthen energy security, building a low-carbon, resource efficient and climate resilient economy that will enhance Europe’s competitiveness and [...]

The big-freeze: thousands trapped in europe as death toll rises to 600

And who wants Global Warming when you can face avalanches, deep snow, and record cold?

How much fun can you have with 2 meters of snow on your house, and none of that evil coal powered electricity?

What’s happening in Europe and Russia over the last two weeks is not just your average cold-snap. Temperatures reached -28C in Moscow. One point in Russia hit -52.8C (-68F) on Monday.

 MOSCOW — Some 215 Russians have died this year in a prolonged period of abnormally cold winter weather, the health ministry said Monday as the overall death toll for Europe rose to well over 600. [National Post]

 

NASA Earth Observatory. Dark blue areas are -15C below average. White areas are average. Deep Red are 15C above. (See the NASA link below for the proper scale):.

The Danube has frozen over from Austria to the Black Sea, and 224 ships (some delivering fuel) have been stuck in their ports. Schools in Bosnia have been closed for days. Trains in Montenegroare at a standstill, and one train with 50 passengers was stranded in a tunnel for three days before rescuers began evacuating people yesterday.

In Serbia 11,000 villagers are trapped by huge [...]

Is this the beginning of the Euro-spring? the invisible revolution

From the Facebook page: Movimento-de-Forconi

During the last couple of weeks, truck-drivers in an advanced western region with 5 million people have blockaded roads and ports protesting at the sudden 40% rise in the fuel price (due to taxes) which is wiping out their business. The fishermen joined in, so did farmers. The area is heavily dependent on road transport, and was apparently paralyzed for days with fuel shortages, and empty supermarket shelves. On the internet, people are describing this as a middle class uprising, and on the verge of revolt. Can you name the location?

 …shades of a magna-carta type moment

Possibly not. The mainstream media are not describing this uprising at all … it’s o’ so unnewsworthy. And you can imagine that readers might not care if this were taking place in the back-reaches of Venezuela, the slums of Chad, or the dark corner of Uzbekistan. But it wasn’t. It’s was in the West, in Sicily. Who knew?

Word on the internet is that the middle class producers are rising up en masse. It’s  known as the ‘Movimento dei Forconi’ or ‘Pitchfork Movement’. Just like the The Convoy of No Confidence in Australia last August, it started [...]

A warning from Europe: The green-tape jobs we don’t want

When Björn Lomborg wrote that Green jobs were overhyped, a visiting European friend agreed and sent me examples of the spreading inanity of the green-tape-jobs-market that has taken over Europe.

Stefan points out that most Green jobs created by building windmills or solar power are short lived. The permanent “green” jobs are, insidiously, the expanding green bureaucracy and police. In Europe, the green-police fine people for putting plastic in a glass recycling bin. They force people to write lists of what’s in their rubbish bags; to use electricity when it suits the wind-generators, and not the people.

The Green-police are self propagating. They unwittingly create problems that then need even more auditing, advising and checking. Green-police closed off the natural drafts in houses, then when people got sick from the fungus, they sent around officials to create artificial airflow to stop “sick building” syndrome. When green bureaucrats demanded everyone use less water (whether they needed to or not) stagnant ponds were created in places that had water to spare, and that then led to the creation of a new army of green-water-specialists to sort out the putrid ponds. In an exponential pattern, [...]