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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Waking up one year too late

Suddenly there is pandemonium about the Lab Leak idea as the West wakes up a year too late. If only they’d been reading unfunded bloggers? It’s old news to readers here, but watch the pea. Why is it suddenly OK to mention now, after being banned on Facebook for months? Because timing is everything in politics.

Imagine how different it would have been in February last year if Western leaders knew then that it was possible the Wuhan flu had leaked from a lab? And talk of it being a bioweapon was all over twitter even in January last year. How fast would those borders have slammed shut, saving literally a million lives or three and so many businesses? Neighbours around China were already snapping doors closed in the first days of February. Remember all the nations that wouldn’t accept, the poor infected Diamond Princess? Even if the West wasn’t sure, the possibility that it was a laboratory leak would have changed everything about the early response. Italy would hardly have run a “hug a Chinese (bioweapon)” campaign.

Image: Scientific Animations

Politics explains so much. Sixteen months of silence served Biden’s backers well. If Donald Trump could have […]

Robbins Island Mega wind farm: killing birds and baseload power at 300 kilometers per hour

After nearly two weeks the ABC carrier pigeons finally brought the news that Bob Brown, former Greens leader, is campaigning against this gigantic wind farm — the $1.6b one in NW Tasmania that wants to be the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. Could it be the ABC doesn’t want to admit they were wrong too, pushing wind power non stop for years?

Look how erratic that wind is — 90% one day, zero the next

Tom Quirk looked at the nearest wind farm to Robbins Island, and it’s a fitful machine (see that graph below). Worse, it fails in synchrony with most wind farms in Australia. Thus exacerbating the unstable, fickle supply of wind energy.

Tom Quirk predicts the demise of another coal plant

Quirk was Deputy Chairman of VENCorp, which managed the transmission and wholesale natural gas market and system planning for the electricity market in Victoria, Australia.

A wind farm on Robbins Island will simply extend the variations in power supplied to the mainland while making no difference to the correlations of wind through the states in the wholesale market. Thus more backup would be required from gas and hydro sources. Loy Yang B […]

Let’s close coal plants so AGL can triple its profits

Last year AGL made $539 million net profit. This year, $1,600 million. What’s not to like about closing Hazelwood?

Profit statements confirm what we’ve said — closing cheap coal boosts profits for generators. No wonder AGL won’t sell Liddell for a hundred million dollars. It also shows us that the big “bubble” in electricity prices is from the doubling of wholesale electricity costs. These corporates are reaping it in far above costs. The way to cut wholesale prices is to get rid of the RET, and fix our old coal.

[ABC] Its underlying profit, which excludes one-off items and changes in value in investments and hedging positions, rose 28 per cent to $1.02 billion, at the upper end of the company’s guidance.

Even Andy Vesey admits the coal closures helped AGL:

“This increase in prices in the broader electricity market has mostly been a result of the abrupt closure of non-AGL power stations such as Hazelwood in 2017 and Northern in 2016 and higher input costs from coal and gas,” AGL chief executive Andy Vesey said.

But watch the pea. Who is trying to blame high profits on higher input costs?

Then he tosses […]

Love those 30 year old coal and nuclear plants — nothing gives cheaper electricity

The gold-plated stars of our national grid are the old coal plants we’ve built and paid off.

A US report (thanks Lance) shows how fantastically cheap and bountiful old coal and nuclear plants are. The LCOE or the Levelized Cost of Electricity includes the costs of the concrete, turbines, car parks and coal, plus the maintenance and salaries. It reveals that thirty year old, and even fifty year old coal plants, are the gift from past generations — enormous infrastructure, built and paid for, and ready to churn out bargain electrons. Or in crazy-land, ready to be blown up.

Look how long it takes to pay off the capital cost of building them (the red sector in the graph), and look how wonderfully cheap that electricity is from a 30 year old plant. Watch the pea. All those “investigative news stories” that compare the cost of building new coal to the cost of solar or wind are hiding the most brilliant and essential assets on our grid. Reopen Hazelwood now. (!)

Both sides of politics are choosing to destroy the family jewels in the hope of controlling global weather.

….

From the report by Stacy and Taylor, of the […]

One coal worker or 79 solar ones, same electricity

Solar – creating 79 pointless jobs

The New York Times tells us that Today’s Energy Jobs Are in Solar, Not Coal. But watch the pea – these jobs are “energy jobs”, not jobs that use energy.

Apparently it takes 79 people to create the same energy through solar as one person does through coal. (And that would be cheaper, how? )

Washington Examiner.

To start, despite a huge workforce of almost 400,000 solar workers (about 20 percent of electric power payrolls in 2016), that sector produced an insignificant share, less than 1 percent, of the electric power generated in the United States last year (EIA data here). And that’s a lot of solar workers: about the same as the combined number of employees working at Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Apple, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Pfizer, Ford Motor Company and Procter & Gamble.

In contrast, it took about the same number of natural gas workers (398,235) last year to produce more than one-third of U.S. electric power, or 37 times more electricity than solar’s minuscule share of 0.90 percent.

…to produce the same amount of electric power as just one coal worker would […]

Obama, Chinese Pres to hold hands, sign carbon chastity vows — hollow PR Victory, but has a sting

Today the Paris Agreement jumped from including 1.1% of global emissions to 39%. It’s part of the performance art, the Grand Act. Including those emissions means nothing as far as emissions go (China will keep putting out more), but it carries political leverage unless we expose the game.

Make no mistake: there is nothing at all legally binding about the Paris Agreement, but it can be politically binding — like a Chastity Vow. Right now, it’s about shame and social standing, not about megatons, but inasmuch as bluff and bluster can pull it off, the UN will eventually want the shapeshifting chastity vow to be treated as a legal force.

This soft vow has the advantage that is completely two faced — it can be all things to all people. To the green-passionate crowd it will be a historic, landmark agreement of the world working together. That’s “momentum”. To the free world, it may look like a failure, but that’s an advantage — it disarms the protests. Watch the Pea — (it’s really a bee). The sting is hidden. That’s ACT III.

After the Copenhagen disaster, the Global Worriers realized that they would have to sneak in a mechanism to […]

Brexit threatens Climate Gravy train — Paris agreement, life on Earth. Time for Clexit!

Brexit was seismic. Even Nature can see the threat — The UK was big promoter of Climate witchcraft, but it’s gone now:

“Brexit might be an excuse for some EU countries to withhold their signature,” says Oliver Geden, head of the EU Research Division at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin. Before the Paris talks, the EU had pledged to cut its greenhouse-gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030, relative to 1990 levels.

“The UK not being part of the negotiating mix means there is likely to be less pressure for ambitious targets and ensuring that the EU delivers on its Paris agreement commitments,” says Martin Nesbit, a policy expert at the Institute for European Environmental Policy in London.

But don’t relax, the Clexit movement is needed more than ever

Czech President Dr. Václav Klaus recognises this, and he Monckton, Morano, I and many others from 60 countries have joined the new Clexit movement started by Viv Forbes. Check it out. Brexit gave us a big advantage but we must press it home.

There are lots of reasons Paris may still succeed

The Paris agreement may appear to be struggling with […]

Paris was an enviro-fail, but a PR success, and political win — it’s a non-binding, non-treaty, but real commitment.

Watch the pea. What does it mean to have a non-binding non-treaty, at the same time as a real “commitment”? It’s all semantics, and, as usual, word games are the weapons of big-bureaucrats. Don’t be fooled into thinking Paris was no threat to the free West.

As I keep saying, the climate conference in Paris was not trying to reduce CO2 or change the climate. The real aim is an endless free lunch for freeloaders. The Politicites didn’t get the legally binding agreement they dream of, but what they got may turn out to be almost as good. Marlo Lewis explains it may yet be politically binding on the target rich Western nations, which is all that really matters. It’s the best strategic review I’ve seen of what happened in Paris.

It was no accident that it was “non-binding”. That was part of the plan.

They were never going to get a legal treaty through the US Congress, so the aim became a deal that was “non-binding” and not a “treaty” because things that are overtly legal have to go through Congress. Instead, the bureaucrat class want to go around the voters. By simply declaring that Obama’s promises mean […]

Those Green Australians! Our emissions per person fell 28% since 1990

Get ready for the startling news that Australians have been great corporate “green” citizens — on a per capita basis, all of us are so much more carbon-efficient (sic) than we were 25 years ago. Back then, in those dark days, people frivolously heated and cooled their homes without a thought to how many sinful cyclones they were creating in the Philippines. They drove recklessly in fossil fueled cars, and windmills were used to pump water a mere 10 metres, not to stop floods in Pakistan.

The amazing thing is that Australia’s population has grown by a whopping 38% since 1990. And our emission have grown with that, but the emissions per person has declined by 28% per person. Why aren’t the Greens more excited?

As with all these statistics, watch the pea for the real story. Most of that decline is not due to solar panels, pink batts, bird blending wind towers, energy efficiency, or even economic trends — it is predominantly due to cutting down fewer trees. The “improvements” are in the “land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF)” sector, of which the “LUCF” basically means deforestation, afforestation and reforestation. The decline is mostly thanks to farmers like […]

A few PR Giants won’t help “deniers of climate change” (but 70% of PR giants will)

The most dangerous thing is a skeptic that can be heard.

If only climate activists had evidence, they wouldn’t need to use social censure, instead of reasoned arguments. But it was never about the science, and always about PR. If skeptical arguments weren’t so powerful, the fans of Climate Change TM wouldn’t be going out of their way to try to silence skeptics.

This article itself is spun. They frame the message to avoid saying that only 28% of PR Firms agreed climate change was a threat or that 60% of PR firms ignored them completely. They only name five PR groups, and at least one (WPP) is a conglomerate of 150 firms which “will all make their own decisions”. So much for that.

The Guardian,of course, gullibly soaks up the meme. Suzanne Goldenberg and Nishad Karim asks no hard questions.

World’s top PR companies rule out working with climate deniers

Ten firms say they will not represent clients that deny man-made climate change or seek to block emisson-reducing regulations

Since no one actually denies the climate changes, this is a bit like refusing to work with Klingons. Though fans of Climate Change TM speak in Spin-English and […]