Thursday, 30 November 2017

POLITICS VERSUS SCIENCE IN EU WEEDKILLER VOTE

EU member states have voted to extend the license for controversial weedkiller glyphosate. Germany’s approval was crucial in the vote, but it could derail coalition talks between Merkel’s conservative bloc and the SPD. 

Of the 28 member states, 18 voted in favour of the extension, nine voted against and one abstained. At least 16 votes were required to renew glyphosate’s license. The weedkiller is best known for its use in Monsanto-brand weedkiller Roundup.

The European Union renewed its authorisation of glyphosate for five years. The science was clearer than clear – the herbicide is one of the safest substances on the market. All but one research or regulatory agency gave glyphosate an unequivocal approval (and that one, IARC, was seriously conflicted and corrupted). For 40 years farmers have relied on glyphosate (off-patent, inexpensive and effective), giving them the means now to develop sustainable farming with no-till and complex cover cropping. Glyphosate is indeed the herbicide of the century and the very thought of banning it seems absurd. So why couldn’t the European Commission renew glyphosate for 15 years as originally planned? As the science was clear, then the regulatory risk assessment process should have been simple. But it was never about the science, facts or data. It was never about the benefits to farmers, the environment and consumers. It was about something much larger.

The ecological-industrial complex in Germany wanted to use the prohibition of Glyphosate — a difficult to replace product in modern agriculture — as a lever to bring about another  “Wende” (turnaround): the “Agrarwende” (‘agricultural turnaround’) would put an end to modern agriculture in Germany so that the German people would have to rely exclusively on organic food produced on German soil for the long term future. An idea as crazy as the Energiewende. 

The beauty of this row is that it produces exceptionally positive side effects. It is simply a victory for reason and modern agriculture and a bitter defeat for the Green Panic-Complex. Should a grand coalition of Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) and Social Democrats (SPD) were to come about, the whole affair would be happily off the table. But in five years, when another EU vote over Glyphosate is expected, the political conditions in Germany and much of Europe will probably have changed so much that ideological fantasies of turning back the clock will no longer have much chance. The window of opportunity is closing which explains the dismay of the green lobby.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

UK TRIES TO PUT THE BRAKES ON SPENDING ON RENEWABLE SUBSIDIES AS REALITY BITES

The latest release of the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook (2017)  suggests that there is massive spending world-wide on renewable energy. The UK has in the past been a leading part of this. However the government now seems to be trying to cut back on this. This does not mean that spending cannot rise above current levels, since the existing Contracts for Difference may, in fact, result in higher subsidies if wholesale prices fall. The real news here is that the existing schemes are now of historical interest only. The Renewables Obligation, of course, has been closed to new entrants since the 1st of April 2017, the Feed-in Tariff for small scale renewables is now subject to deployment caps and is steadily winding down. The Budget announcement suggests that this wind down will now end in firm closure.

But the aspect of global subsidies that would be troubling the cool heads in Treasury is the fact that, as the IEA says, “support for renewables remains concentrated in a small number of countries”. Indeed, 45% of global subsidy support for renewables is accounted for by the European Union, with the biggest subsidisers being German, Italy, France, Spain and the United Kingdom. The IEA does not provide an estimate of the UK’s share in global subsidy, but reference to the tables in the Treasury’s Autumn Budget text, “Control for Low Carbon Levies”, suggests that UK could be accounting for considerably more than 5% of the global total, significantly more than its share of global GDP. That alone is sufficient to suggest that the UK is doing more than its fair share, and given the need to reinforce competitiveness post BREXIT, needs to limit its contribution.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

THE FUTURE OF ELECTRIC CARS

Here is another thoughtful piece from the excellent Scientific Alliance. I agree with much of their analysis. In fact I believe there will a lot of resistance to electric vehicles from ordinary motorists and I expect we will see them on our roads well beyond 2040. That is, if the government has not abandoned their climate change policy by then.

Monday, 27 November 2017

DOOM-LADEN PREDICTIONS WERE WRONG 25 YEARS AGO

This article looks at a recent doom-laden report saying urgent action is needed to save the planet and compares it to a similar report made 25 years ago. None of that reports predictions proved to be true, so why should anyone take any notice now?

Sunday, 26 November 2017

SOME SCHOOLS TEACHING JUNK SCIENCE ON GW

Here's an interesting piece that describes some phony experiments which are wrongly attributed to demonstrate the greenhouse effect of CO2. Of course the children are easily misled, and I would not be surprised if some teachers actually believe that they are giving a genuine demonstration. 

Saturday, 25 November 2017

BBC REFUSES TO CHALLENGE GW ALARMISTS

This article explains how the BBC simply allows lies to go unchallenged when they are put forward by those promoting global warming alarmism. Yet they issue grovelling apologies when an error is made by someone who opposes this alarmism.

Friday, 24 November 2017

DEATH OF THE "PAUSE" HAS BEEN GREATLY EXAGGERATED

This piece explains how some papers have attempted to show that the pause in global warming never existed, but these do not stand up to close examination. In fact it looks likely that the "pause" is set to continue despite all the hype that claims the opposite.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

CLIMATE SCIENCE IS MUCH MORE ABOUT POLITICS THAN SCIENCE

This article discusses this headline and explains very clearly what it is really all about. Once an issue has been embedded in political decisions it is then almost impossible to go back, as to do so would leave our political leaders looking very silly. If the climate does not show appreciable warming soon, questions will be asked leading to more and more bizarre explanations. Only the bravest leader would speak against it. Even Donald Trump is not prepared to completely deny the proposition that CO2 is dangerous.   

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

SQUABBLING AT THE BONN CLIMATE TALKS

This piece looks at the splits that are now emerging at the Bonn climate talks between the EU and China over who is not doing enough. Now the USA has opted out the others are beginning to realise that their share of the pain has got quite a bit bigger. This has a lot of similarities to the Brexit negotiations where the UK is expected to come up with a lot of money to continue to bankroll the EU - except that the USA has nothing to lose.  

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

GERMAN COALITION TALKS COLLAPSE

This piece gives the details of the inability of the Germans to agree to form a new government. This is largely over disagreements about climate policies. It was always going to come to this in the end because it involves energy production which lies at the very heart of the economy. Reality versus some utopian ideal - reality must always win in the end, but it will be a long and hard fought battle.

Monday, 20 November 2017

BBC COMPLAINT RE: FALSE CLIMATE DATA IS UPHELD

This article gives the details of the complaint by Paul Homewood who had the perseverance to see the labyrinthine process through. Green activists are quick to complain of any errors made by sceptics that are very occasionally allowed to come on programmes, but very few complaints going the other way are upheld.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

CHINA LEADS THE WORLD - TO RECORD CO2 EMISSIONS


Financial Times, 13 November 2017


Stronger Chinese economic growth will push global greenhouse gas emissions to a record high in 2017 after remaining flat for three years, dashing tentative hopes of a turning point in the world’s efforts to curb climate change.


A new report by the Global Carbon Project, an international research consortium, predicts that carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and industry will rise 2 per cent this year. The report was released at the UN climate change meeting in Bonn on Monday.

The increase — which is largely caused by China and developing countries — suggests the world is straying further from the course set at the landmark UN conference in Paris two years ago. Countries agreed at the time to limit the rise in global temperatures to no more than 2ÂșC from the pre-industrial era. But scientists warn that the emission reduction pledges made by individual governments since then do not go far enough to secure that overarching goal.

“Emissions are following what countries have pledged — but what countries have pledged is nowhere near enough to meet the Paris objective,” said Glen Peters, co-author of the report and research director at the Center for International Climate Research in Oslo.

This year’s rise is especially disappointing as it follows three years of almost no growth in emissions despite a world economy expanding at a steady clip. In 2016, emissions were flat even though the world economy grew 3.2 per cent. One explanation for the uptick is that China’s economic slowdown in the middle part of this decade was more pronounced than official figures suggested.

Emissions are following what countries have pledged — but what countries have pledged is nowhere near enough to meet the Paris objective

Saturday, 18 November 2017

SEA LEVEL RISE - AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM THE EXPERTS

This article contains an important update on the question of sea level rise in Fiji and other low lying atolls. It confirms what has been noted before -- that sea level is in fact stable.

Friday, 17 November 2017

HAS OUR ENVIRONMENT MINISTER BEEN CAPTURED BY THE GREEN BLOB?

Here is an interesting piece from the excellent Matt Ridley. e asks the very question that was on my lips when I read of his recent pronouncements since taking up his new cabinet post. Of course he he is in favour of the Paris Agreement and the Climate Change Act. That is a pre-requisite to getting the job, but he also wants to ban the petrol/diesel engine and now he talks of setting up new green quangos. I despair!

Thursday, 16 November 2017

BONN CLIMATE CONFERENCE - THIRD WORLD DEMANDS MONEY NOW!

There can be no doubt that there is one over-riding reason for the climate change issue to have attracted such support from the Third World nations and that, of course is the expectation that they will receive lots of money from the developed world nations.

With more than half the schedule of climate change conference already over, frustration was beginning to show at the lack of progress on any of the key issues under discussion, including the issues of finance, loss and damage, and ‘pre-2020 actions’. Developing country negotiators lamented the fact that the United States, which has decided to pull out the Paris Agreement, was continuing to block any meaningful breakthrough on these issues and that other developed countries were not helping matters either.

“Other developed countries are hiding behind the United States on loss and damage and finance issues. And, I think they need to be called out on this. They need to be asked whether they would side with (US President) Donald Trump or with the vulnerable countries of the world and meet their responsibilities,” Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said, echoing what many country negotiators were saying off the record.

A demand from the developing countries, asking for inclusion of ‘pre-2020 actions’ — a reference mainly to the obligations of the developed countries under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol that has still three years to run — in the official agenda of the negotiations has still not been decided on, despite the expiry of two deadlines. The matter was to be decided on Saturday and then on Monday, but till evening on Monday consultations with various country groups was still continuing.

“Informal meetings (on ‘pre-2020 actions’) have been happening throughout the day. I am not sure whether there will be an outcome in the form of any decision by the end of the day today. Things are moving slowly, and there is hardly any significant progress on any important issue till now. But this is not the first time this is happening. We have seen such things at previous conferences as well. There are still four days to go and a lot happens on the last days,” an Indian negotiator said.

One major disappointment has been over the lack of any headway on issues related to finance, particularly that meant for loss and damages. Developing countries, especially the smaller island nations which also happen to be the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, have been demanding the setting up of mechanisms through which then can access financial help in the event of destruction caused by extreme weather events. This financial help needs to be in addition to the US$ 100 billion that the developed countries are obligated to provide every year from 2020 to help developing countries deal with climate change.

One of the options being discussed is to raise money through taxes on fossil fuel industry. “Countries are looking for money that is additional to the US$ 100 billion, because loss and damage is additional to the mitigation and adaptation needs. The US$ 100 billion was agreed upon long before the issue of loss and damages became part of discussions at these negotiations. The kind of money we are looking at … has to come by levying taxes on fossil fuel industry that has caused climate change in the first place,” Mohamed Adow, International Climate Lead at Christian Aid, said.
But the developed countries, mainly the US, have not been quite agreed to look
at this, suggesting instead that insurance might be a good way to deal with the problem. “On loss and damage and finance, they (the US) have been taking a pretty hard line and that has started to cause some real anger,” Meyers said.


Even on the US$ 100 billion commitment, the demand that developed countries spell out the roadmap and enhance the proportion of public finance in their contributions, has largely been stonewalled. “Developed countries have not come prepared to put any new money on the table or make new pledges. So we are not expecting any strong outcome on this. The best we can hope for, we think, is to get some assurance that next year they will demonstrate stronger commitment,” Tracy Carty of Oxfam said.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

HUGE ROW IN OZ ABOUT CLIMATE TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENTS

Read it all here. It centres on the accuracy of new electronic thermometers compared to the old liquid in glass (mercury) thermometers. In Australia there seem to be a number of knowledgeable sceptics who are digging into the data and uncovering a number of inconsistencies. I wonder if there are similar inconsistencies here?  

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

CLIMATE COSTS NOW 35% OF ELECTRICITY BILLS

This piece gives the details of how this comes about. Perhaps this will resonate more with the public than the £400 billion total cost of the Climate Change Act, which seems so enormous that it becomes incomprehensible to an individual, whereas telling someone that over a third of their bill is caused by government policies on climate change is only too easy to understand. 

Monday, 13 November 2017

ELECTRIC CARS NOT AS GREEN AS YOU THINK

This piece in the Mail reminds readers that electric cars are not as green as some people think. With a wide circulation this is a timely reminder that government policy is not leading us to any green utopia.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

UPDATE ON THE CURRENT CLIMATE CONFERENCE IN BONN

The update below is from CFACT

What's missing at this year's big UN climate conference?

The American pavilion.

When President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the UN's Paris Climate Accord, he also cut back on the American presence in the UN process. Sure, the official State Department representatives are here, but the sideshow is tellingly absent.

In past years the U.S. put on big displays where NASA trotted out its “hyperwall” which stacks nine computer monitors for multimedia presentations. CFACT's friends may remember the time at COP 20 in Peru, when CFACT approached a group of Obama administration staff running the hyperwall. They were prepared to dismiss CFACT as “flat-Earther, climate deniers,” until they realized who had marched in at the head of our delegation and fell over themselves with respectful greetings. Colonel Walt Cunningham flew in space on Apollo VII, the mission that launched America's quest for the moon. Walt saw the curvature of the Earth first hand from the window of his command module. No flat-Earther he.

Walt has worked diligently to reform NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies which first James Hansen and now Gavin Schmidt made into a platform for presenting politicized views of climate science. A large number of astronauts and NASA veterans co-signed a letter demanding NASA knock off the propaganda.

At COP 23, at least, the propaganda spigot has been turned off.

Like last year's COP 22 in Marrakesh, President Trump remains the talk of the conference. Campaigners worked for years to bring America and its wealth under the UN climate regime. They were shocked when only a year later America broke free. What does this mean for their dreams of redistribution and control? They don't know, and in the long run, neither do we.

President Obama made a huge mistake when he signed onto the Paris climate agreement and Trump did the right thing getting out. The UN climate elite are doing all they can to drag us back in. They've enlisted a group of American politicians led by California Governor Jerry Brown and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg who are on their way to Bonn to put on their own American climate show.
CFACT is your eyes and ears at the UN talks. We'll be speaking up and fearlessly laying out the facts as well.
Getting out of Paris was right.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

SLOWLY THE US EPA IS BEING CLEANSED OF ITS GREEN ACTIVISTS

This piece explains what is happening, and not before time. The real question is whether President Trump will have time to embed a new independent culture at the EPA before his time runs out. Also, will his eventual successor have the courage and the inclination to stick to this policy?

Friday, 10 November 2017

CO2 RESIDENCE TIME - A CRUCIAL FACTOR IN THE CLIMATE DEBATE

This piece looks at a new paper on this important subject. It is not as straight forward as some might think because the atmosphere is in constant flux with CO2 being absorbed at the same time as it is being  released. One important factor that I have not seen discussed is the role of rain which must constantly be washing the CO2 out of the air, just as it washes solid particles too, cleansing the air. When some scientists claim that CO2 remains in the air for hundreds, or thousands of years, I cannot believe that they really believe this. It seems quite likely that human emissions of CO2 are responsible for most of the current increase, but we know that not all the human emissions remain in the air. About half are removed by natural sinks like rain and plants. So, if our emissions were to drop we should expect to see the level in the air drop quite quickly. This is not what alarmists want us to believe, as it would mean that there was no long term problem.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

VOLCANIC MAGMA UNDER ANTARCTICA

This article looks at the discovery of volcanic activity under Antarctica and ponders whether this may explain some of the warming in certain parts there. Overall Antarctica is not warming, despite this volcanic activity.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

SEA LEVEL RISE SCARE - LATEST UPDATE

This piece offers a good look at the arguments relating to whether sea level rise is a serious problem or simply a long term issue. The alarmist argument comes from computer modelling whereas the actual data seems to suggest it is more of a long term issue.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

CLIMATE NUTS CALL FOR DICTATORSHIP TO BRING IN STRINGENT CO2 REDUCTIONS

These people are far more dangerous than the imaginary climate disaster they keep banging on about. This article looks at the latest outburst by one climate fundamentalist. Luckily for the rest of us he is not going to be able to get his way due to the little matter of overthrowing democracy, and I doubt he and his small band of eco-loons is powerful enough.

Monday, 6 November 2017

US EPA NEVER SERIOUSLY CONSIDERED THE SCIENCE IN ITS CO2 ENDANGERMENT FINDING

Scott Pruitt is right: the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) never seriously considered the science used in its 2009 GHG/CO2 endangerment finding. That is the conclusion of  Dr Alan Carlin. You can read his thorough and well argued narrative here on his excellent blog. Alan is  a sceptical former Sierra Club activist and USEPA senior analyst, so he is well qualified to give his opinion.

Here is an excerpt from an interview with EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt: “So it really draws down into [this] question: Did this Agency engage in a robust, meaningful discussion, with respect to the Endangerment that CO2 poses to this Country? And I think by any definition about process they didn’t.” —Scott Pruitt in interview with Justin Worland of Time Magazine, as reported on October 20, 2017 and transcribed here

Sunday, 5 November 2017

HERE'S A "MUST SEE" VIDEO

Sadly Bob Carter is no longer with us, but his legacy of great videos live on and I recently re-discovered this one. It is only about 30 minutes but it packs in so much useful information that I thought I would share it with you. If only the mainstream TV companies would show it to the populous it could open their eyes and stimulate so much independent thought.  

Saturday, 4 November 2017

THE RELIGIOUS FOLLOWERS OF GLOBAL WARMING

It is often said that belief in catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) is more akin to a religion than to science, and I tend to agree with this. This essay about how climate science is taught in schools is very long and tedious, but what can be ascertained by reading it is that the author is so utterly convinced in her cause that she simply is unable to countenance that there could be any other side to it than her interpretation. She totally rejects that teachers should acknowledge or give credence to doubts.

Yet it is plainly obvious to most adults who study this subject that there are plenty of perfectly legitimate concerns, some of which are raised by the IPCC themselves. The primary one is the degree of warming which the IPCC say can be from 1.5 to 4.5 degrees C for a doubling of CO2.  Once someone has understood that then everything else is put into question.

A bright child would pick up on this and think, if there is such a wide variation, then how much else is in doubt? A little reading will soon find that there are learned and much respected science professors such as Richard Lindzen and Roy Spencer who can make out a good case for the 1.5 degrees C to be even lower in which case the warming will be no more than has been experienced in the 20th century. Once trust has been undermined then the teacher will lose respect and the pupil will become more sceptical.

That is the dilemma facing the climate activist. If they are too hard-line in their approach they risk being discovered as being too doctrinaire and may be accused of indoctrinating their pupils. On the other hand if they admit the flaws in the hypothesis that risks undermining the urgency that is claimed to be needed to combat it.    

Friday, 3 November 2017

AIR POLLUTION - LET'S TAKE A RATIONAL LOOK

There has been a lot of very scary headlines recently about air pollution. This one for example. Once again some great research by Paul Homewood has put this into perspective - see this piece . Of course any pollution poses a risk, but nature itself produces much of it and there is no escape from it. Those who are ill and have no tolerance have to be very careful and use masks etc. For most of us here in the West are living in the most unpolluted air in the past hundred years or more with levels of pollutants so low that they would have been undetectable just a few decades ago. Further reduction in human-caused pollution will have to be balanced against the cost to us all in the availability of affordable personal transport. 

Thursday, 2 November 2017

GERMANS FORCED TO SELL ELECTRICITY AT A LOSS AS STRONG WINDS OVERDRIVE TURBINES

This account looks at the electricity market madness caused by too much reliance on wild and unreliable wind in Germany. Most of the time the poor Germans have to pay a high price for their electricity, but apparently they are now producing a large excess when there are strong winds and so they have to pay some consumers to accept it, though what they can do with more electricity than they need is a question I cannot answer. Read the link for further details.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

WIND FARMS WOULD NEED TO COVER THE WHOLE OF SCOTLAND TO POWER UK ELECTRIC VEHICLES

This Express article looks at the implications of Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon's, announcement that Scotland is to stop selling new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2032, eight years before England. It is an impossible pledge to make, but then she is not going to be in power to see it through.