Saturday, 31 October 2015


Click here to watch a good video on Svensmark's work on the effect of the sun on Earth's temperature via cloud cover. He makes a compelling case and it is a travesty that he was not given more help with his research and that his finding have not reached a wider audience

Friday, 30 October 2015


All these alarmist politicians who know very little of the real data on climate science are ready to trot out the old canard of "97% of scientists agree that the science is settled", as they hope and believe this means they don't need to bother to explain the actual science. However this 97% is a complete fabrication with no truth in it whatsoever. See this piece for the details of how this nonsense came about.

Thursday, 29 October 2015


This website will give you some more information about the climate realists who are attending the Paris climate meeting. The site features a very sensible letter to the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon. The letter asks 10 straightforward questions that any sensible person would want answering. If you click on the two classes of signatories at the bottom of the letter you will see the names - a very impressive list of nearly 200 well-qualified scientists. Will it make any difference, I hear you ask. Sadly, probably not, but I still salute them for standing up for us.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015


Could the U.S. and other prosperous nations find themselves hauled before a UN climate court to account for perceived global warming sins and asked to pay restitution?

That possibility edged closer this week when the draft agreement the UN hopes to adopt in Paris this December suddenly included an "International Tribunal of Climate Justice."

This would allow developing nations to sit in judgment over the U.S. and its allies, but not subject those nations to the tribunal's jurisdiction themselves.

This is not the first time that a climate court has appeared in a UN climate text.  In 2011 a nearly identical provision crept into the draft at the UN's climate summit in Durban.  The provision was stripped from the text after CFACT's Climate Depot blew the whistle and Marc Morano's exclusive was picked up by the media.

This time they substituted the word "tribunal" for "court" and insist that the body will be "non-judicial."

They must have thought we wouldn't spot the thin edge of the wedge until after it was inserted.

We have three different drafts of the UN climate pact available for you to inspect at  The June draft is around 80 pages long and reads like a radical's wish list.  The French hosts of the upcoming conference stripped the draft down to around 20 pages on June 5th, hoping to create a version that would be easier to slip through.

Over 130 developing nations led by South Africa and egged on by China and India refused to work with the short draft and this week negotiators in Bonn put out a draft nearly twice as long.  That's when the "climate tribunal" was inserted.

The pre-Paris negotiations have become quite contentious.  Climate radicals and developing nations are demanding severe restrictions on the developed world along with hundreds of billions of dollars in wealth redistribution.

The American negotiating position has for years been to hold the line against these demands.

The question is, how far will President Obama sell out America's interests in order to get the developing nations to sign?

Judging by the recent Iran nuclear deal, it appears that Obama and Secretary Kerry may be willing to give away the store in order to claim a foreign policy victory.

Nothing being proposed in the UN climate talks will meaningfully alter the temperature of the Earth.  None of their so-called "solutions" can pass a cost-benefit analysis.

It would be a mistake to sign any version of a climate agreement currently envisioned.

We intend to dig through this process and make sure the public knows about any "International Tribunal of Climate Justice" and other equally bad provisions before President Obama signs us on to them.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015


Here is a link to the paper written by some eminent French mathematicians. There conclusions are robustly expressed and a lot of people will agree with them. After the recent book by the French weather forecaster, we are beginning to see that even in Europe there are more people prepared to say what many are thinking. Bravo!

Monday, 26 October 2015


That's right, the IPCC has again chosen a chairman who is not a climate scientist. In fact they have gone even further and chosen someone who is not a scientist at all. Apparently he is an accountant, which might be useful in counting up all the costs involved in complying with the CO2 emission reduction schemes. Here are some details of his appointment along with comments from some qualified scientists.

Sunday, 25 October 2015


This piece looks at the data and explains it in the context of the current El Nino conditions in the Pacific Ocean. Such conditions always result in increases just as La Nina conditions can do the opposite.


Saturday, 24 October 2015


There is a lot of talk about the responsibility of the developed world for its past emissions of CO2 and how this is the moral case for our need to make severe cuts in our emissions while allowing the developing nations to carry on increasing theirs. You would imagine that this is because our past emissions far outweigh their recent modest ones and so we have got to let them "catch up" with our advanced state of development. You may be surprised to learn that this is a myth. In fact as of 2010 the developing nations have actually emitted more of the accumulated total than the developed world. It is the developing world that is now emitting far more and unless they are subject to the same rigorous emissions cuts then anything we do will make little difference.(Not that cuts in CO2 will actually make any difference anyway, other than make us all poorer and less able to cope with extreme weather when it happens.)

Here are the details. I guarantee you will not hear this on the news, or in any other TV programme.

Thursday, 22 October 2015


Well, very bright ones who have a very good attention span. Here is the article from Dr Norman Page. I only just stumbled across his excellent blog, the way you do. Do take a look.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015


This piece gives the details using the Met Office's own data to prove that the UK is not undergoing any sort of climate change. We are simply getting the same variable weather that we have experienced for the last 100 years or more.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015


This post gives the detailed reasons why a successful businessman changed his mind about climate alarm. David Siegel held strong views that climate change was a real problem for the world and needed to be tackled urgently. He believed the information coming from the IPCC and governments was true - until he was persuaded by someone to look into the science. This he did and in doing so he completely changed his view. His testimony is well worth reading.

Monday, 19 October 2015


This article gives the details. This is yet another example of charities abusing their status by getting involved in political campaigns. It is doubtful if the Charity Commission will act, as they should. Most of their members probably support the anti-fracking campaign.

Sunday, 18 October 2015


Here is an outstanding lecture by Dr Patrick Moore, a former director of Greenpeace given to the GWPF. It is eminently readable and gives a powerful reason to be optimistic about the increase in the level of CO2 in our atmosphere. Here is a short excerpt:

"It is sobering to consider the magnitude of climate change during the past 20,000 years, since the peak of the last major glaciation. At that time there were 3.3 kilometres of ice on top of what is today the city of Montreal, a city of more than 3 million people. 95% of Canada was covered in a sheet of ice. Even as far south as Chicago there was nearly a kilometre of ice. If the Milankovitch cycle continues to prevail, and there is little reason aside from our CO2 emissions to think otherwise, this will happen gradually again during the next 80,000 years. Will our CO2 emissions stave off another glaciation as James Lovelock has suggested? There doesn’t seem to be much hope of that so far, as despite 1/3 of all our CO2 emissions being released during the past 18 years the UK Met Office contends there has been no statistically significant warming during this century."

To view the lecture go to this link.

Saturday, 17 October 2015


I will be very surprised if this makes the TV news bulletins here in the UK, though it should as it is a very interesting story. If any readers around the world see it, then please let me know via the comments. What great timing by Mr Verdier!

The Daily Telegraph, 14 October 2015

Henry Samuel
Philippe Verdier, weather chief at France Télévisions, the country’s state broadcaster, reportedly sent on “forced holiday” for releasing book accusing top climatologists of “taking the world hostage”
Mr Verdier claims in the book Climat Investigation that leading climatologists and political leaders have “taken the world hostage” with misleading data.

In a promotional video, Mr Verdier said: “Every night I address five million French people to talk to you about the wind, the clouds and the sun. And yet there is something important, very important that I haven’t been able to tell you, because it’s neither the time nor the place to do so.”

He added: “We are hostage to a planetary scandal over climate change – a war machine whose aim is to keep us in fear.”

His outspoken views led France 2 to take him off the air starting this Monday. “I received a letter telling me not to come. I’m in shock,” he told RTL radio. “This is a direct extension of what I say in my book, namely that any contrary views must be eliminated.”

The book has been released at a particularly sensitive moment as Paris is due to host a crucial UN climate change conference in December.

According to Mr Verdier, top climate scientists, who often rely on state funding, have been “manipulated and politicised”.

He specifically challenges the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, saying they “blatantly erased” data that went against their overall conclusions, and casts doubt on the accuracy of their climate models.
The IPCC has said that temperatures could rise by up to 4.8°C if no action is taken to reduce carbon emissions.

Mr Verdier writes: “We are undoubtedly on a plateau in terms of warming and the cyclical variability of the climate doesn’t not allow us to envisage if the natural rhythm will tomorrow lead us towards a fall, a stagnation or a rise (in temperature).”

The 330-page book also controversially contains a chapter on the “positive results” of climate change in France, one of the countries predicted to be the least affected by rising temperatures. “It’s politically incorrect and taboo to vaunt the merits of climate change because there are some,” he writes, citing warmer weather attracting tourists, lower death rates and electricity bills in mild winters, and better wine and champagne vintages.

Asked whether he had permission from his employer to release the book, he said: “I don’t think management liked it, let’s be honest.”

“I put myself via this investigation on the path of COP 21, which is a bulldozer, and we can see the results.”

The book was criticised by French newspaper Le Monde as full of “errors”. “The models used to predict the average rise in temperatures on the surface of the globe have proved to be rather reliable, with the gap between observations and predictions quite small,” it countered.

Mr Verdier told France 5: “Making these revelations in the book, which I absolutely have the right to do, can pose problems for my employer given that the government (which funds France 2) is organising COP [the climate change conference]. In fact as soon as you begin a slightly different discourse on this subject, you are branded a climate sceptic.”

He said he decided to write the book in June 2014 when Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister, summoned the country’s main weather presenters and urged them to mention “climate chaos” in their forecasts.

“I was horrified by this discourse,” Mr Verdier told Les Inrockuptibles magazine. Eight days later, Mr Fabius appeared on the front cover of a magazine posing as a weatherman above the headline: “500 days to save the planet.”

Mr Verdier said: “If a minister decides he is Mr Weatherman, then Mr Weatherman can also express himself on the subject in a lucid manner.

“What’s shameful is this pressure placed on us to say that if we don’t hurry, it’ll be the apocalypse,” he added, saying that “climate diplomacy” means leaders are seeking to force changes to suit their own political timetables.

According to L’Express magazine, unions at France Television called for Mr Verdier to be fired, but that Delphine Ernotte, the broadcaster’s chief executive, initially said he should be allowed to stay “in the name of freedom of expression”.

Friday, 16 October 2015


Thank goodness for that, many would say!
BBC News, 12 October 2015

Rebecca Morelle
The UN climate negotiations are heading for failure and need a major redesign if they are to succeed, scientists say.

The pledges that individual countries are offering ahead of the Paris climate summit in December are too entrenched in self interest instead of being focused on a common goal.

The researchers say the science of cooperation is being ignored.

Instead, they say the negotiations should focus on a common commitment on the global price of carbon.

This means countries would agree on a uniform charge for carbon pollution, a scheme that would encourage polluters to reduce their emissions.

The comments from researchers at the University of Cambridge, UK, University of Maryland, US, and University of Cologne, in Germany, are published in the journal Nature.

Ahead of December's United Nations climate meeting, individual countries have submitted their plans for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. These are called
Intended Nationally Determined Contributions - or INDCs.

However, the researchers say that this approach will not work.

Prof David MacKay, from the University of Cambridge, who was former chief scientific advisor to Britain's Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), said: "The science of cooperation predicts that if all you are doing is naming individual contributions - offers that aren't coupled to each other - then you'll end up with a relatively poor outcome.
"We have the history of the Kyoto agreement as an example of this. Initially, the approach was to find a common commitment, but eventually it descended into a patchwork of individual commitments... and that led to very weak commitments and several countries leaving the process."

The Paris negotiations, he warned, were heading in the same direction.

Thursday, 15 October 2015


International Energy Agency, 8 October 2015
 The energy landscape in Southeast Asia continues to shift as rising demand, constrained domestic production and energy security concerns lead to a greater role for coal, a sharp rise in the region’s dependence on oil imports and the reversal of its role as a major gas supplier to international markets. 

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“As Southeast Asia flourishes, it is moving to the centre of the global energy stage,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said. “Countries in the region now have much in common with IEA members. We must all work together to build more secure and sustainable energy supplies and markets, as platforms for promoting economic development.”

The World Energy Outlook Special Report on Southeast Asia (WEO Special Report) presents a central scenario in which Southeast Asia’s energy demand increases by 80% in the period to 2040, though the region’s per-capita energy use remains well below the global average. Despite policies aimed at scaling up the deployment of renewable resources, the share of fossil fuels in the region’s energy mix increases to around 80% by 2040, in stark contrast to the declining trend seen in many parts of the world.

Rising imports sharpen the focus on the economic and security aspects of energy use. By 2040 the region’s net oil imports more than double to 6.7 mb/d, a level equivalent to the current oil imports of China. Southeast Asia’s oil import bill surges to over $300 billion per year by 2040, compared with around $120 billion in 2014, with increases in spending in almost all countries in the region.

Indonesia supports a continued expansion of Southeast Asia’s gas and coal output, but production is increasingly consumed within the region. As domestic natural gas demand outpaces indigenous production, intra-regional and intra-country trade increases, and Southeast Asia turns into a net gas importer of around 10 bcm by 2040, compared with net exports of 54 bcm in 2013.

The power sector shapes the energy outlook for Southeast Asia, as electricity demand almost triples by 2040, an increase greater than the current power output of Japan. The sector continues its shift towards coal due to its abundance and relative affordability. Although the average efficiency of Southeast Asia’s coal-fired power plant fleet increases by 5 percentage points throughout the projection period, less-efficient subcritical technologies account for 50% of the region’s coal power fleet in 2040, highlighting the need to accelerate the deployment of more efficient technologies in the region to reduce local pollution and slow the rise in CO2 emissions. 

Wednesday, 14 October 2015


This new report is a breath of fresh air. Instead of demonising carbon dioxide it lists the benefits of the extra CO2 in our atmosphere. Do look at it and wonder at the miracle of CO2. Far from being "pollution" it is actually the gas of life.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015


The BBC has been challenged in a letter from Peter Lilley MP in which he criticises the BBC for apologising over a programme in which the Met Office was criticised. The programme was entitled "What is the Point of the Met Office" and is intended to be a light-hearted look at some of the countries major institutions. It will be interesting to see what sort of response the MP gets.

Monday, 12 October 2015


Christopher Booker discusses the implications of the top UK Judges conference in which they laid out their plans to force climate change policies on nations and corporations. It is both surreal and spooky. Let's hope it is also far-fetched nonsense.

Sunday, 11 October 2015


 Financial Post, 7 October 2015
 In a speech last week, Pope Mark claimed that “climate change will threaten financial resilience and longer term prosperity.” But the primary threat comes not from climate change, but from climate change policy.

Details of two international agreements were released on Monday. One, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which reduces trade barriers between 12 signatories, including Canada, got lots of ink. The other, which purports to control global weather, end the era of fossil fuels, and place all human activity under bureaucratic control, got very little.

Excerpts from a “Draft Agreement” and “Draft Decision” released Monday, Oct. 5, by the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced a_ction under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to be used as a the basis for negotiation of the draft Paris climate package.

The pretensions of the latter text, released by the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action, ADP, which is assigned to come up with an agreement to put to the vast UN climate meeting in Paris in December, are mind-boggling. The fact that they attracted little attention means either that the media and public have no idea of the climate agenda’s implications, or that nobody takes the agenda seriously. Probably both. After all, the UN has been promoting the “urgent threat of climate change” for more than 25 years.

While the text of the TPP has yet to be finalized, that of the Paris meeting is skeletal. But, like skeletons, it is scary.

If anybody doubts the significance of the changes to which the puppeteers of Paris aspire, they should refer to remarks made last week by Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, who suggested that the climate thrust could destroy massive value as oil and gas assets are “stranded” by climate legislation.

Carney, former Governor of the Bank of Canada, has been lauded by segments of the Canadian mainstream media as a “rock star.” Indeed, he does bear some similarity – at least in orientation — to icon Neil Young, who has become deranged over the oil sands and recently signed his name to Naomi Klein’s loopy Leap Manifesto.

Carney would perhaps see his status as more analogous to another anti-capitalist crusader, Pope Francis, the man who put the “vestment” in “divestment.”

In fact, this is not the first time that Carney has addressed the risk of stranded assets. After a similar Bank of England claim earlier this year, Carney gave evidence before a House of Lords committee. Nigel Lawson, the redoubtable former Chancellor of the Exchequer and founder of skeptical think tank the Global Warming Policy Foundation, noted that the bank’s projections were entirely at odds with those of the International Energy Agency, which saw decades of fossil-fuelled growth. Lawson suggested that Carney should stick to his financial mandate, and that the Bank should stop spouting “green claptrap.” (Significantly, the draft Paris text cites “financial institutions” as key partners in its fight against capitalism. Meanwhile Carney isn’t just boss of the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street, he is head of the Financial Stability Board, a global organization of central bankers. He is reportedly to push the climate agenda at a G20 meeting in November).

The Paris text’s most significant feature is its lack of detail. It starts with the suggestion that the parties recognize “the intrinsic relationship between climate change, poverty eradication and sustainable development.”

But although the relationship may be intrinsic, it is far from clear. Insofar as the promoters of the agreement seek to starve poor countries of financing for “maladaptive” fossil fuel development, they are promoting poverty. Developing countries want nothing to do with having wind and solar foisted on them. They are gung ho for coal. They are also interested in the annual US$100 billion of handouts, starting in 2020, that was promised six years ago at Copenhagen but that, true to form, has not materialized.

The negotiating text betrays that peculiarly UN mindset that demands that all the world’s alleged problems be shouldered and addressed together, a kind of Gethsemane Syndrome. Not only will a giant interlinked series of new bureaucracies oversee programmes to regulate the climate and encourage appropriate technology and development to end poverty. They will negotiate these joint wonders while ensuring sensitivity to women, natives and the disabled. Their call to action claims to be based on “the best available scientific knowledge,” yet it also incorporates “traditional” — that is, distinctly non-scientific — knowledge.

Among additional “preambular paragraphs” being considered is a reference to “Mother Earth.” This is not just a spiritual add-on. As a provider of “environmental services” Gaia needs to be paid. Since she has no bank account, the UN is more than prepared to act as her proxy.

The document is a compendium of parentheses, that is, wording or issues that have yet to be decided. One parenthesis suggests that the famous 2 degrees Celsius rise in global temperatures (since before the Industrial Revolution) that will put us at an existential tipping point might be changed to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Could that be a recognition of the inconvenient fact that global temperatures are refusing to rise despite unprecedented increases in the CO2 that is meant to drive them?

The desperation to negotiate a deal is obvious in provisions that signatories may be able to pull out after three years, and that there are no penalties for non-compliance.

The document is very big on “capacity building,” which means bureaucrats teaching people to think like them, in terms of “modalities and procedures” and “facilitative dialogues.” Best practices are a top priority, particularly if they are “scalable and replicable.” Needless to say, the world’s most obscure document is big on transparency.

In that speech last week, Pope Mark claimed that “climate change will threaten financial resilience and longer term prosperity.” But the primary threat comes not from climate change, but from climate change policy.

The Paris text several times stresses the critical importance of cities and non-governmental organizations in promoting the climate agenda. Thus, to the extent that Canadian export pipelines are being opposed by local authorities in Vancouver and Montreal, and challenged legally and illegally by the likes of Greenpeace and ForestEthics, the UN’s agenda isn’t just bureaucratic fantasy. It’s a real threat to prosperity and democracy.

Saturday, 10 October 2015


The American Interest, 5 October 2015

At long last, negotiators have hammered out a condensed draft text for this December’s climate summit in Paris. Members of the UN’s catchily named Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action took a bloated 86 page document and slimmed it down considerably. But a quick reading of the text evinces the fact that brevity and clarity are not the same thing, as plenty of uncertainty remains in the form of bracketed verbiage.

Here’s a sample of the first heading under the Mitigation section of the text, which is sure to be one of the most contentious items under discussion during the conference:
Parties aim to reach by [X date] [a peaking of global greenhouse gas emissions][zero net greenhouse gas emissions][a X per cent reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions][global low-carbon transformation][global low-emission transformation][carbon neutrality][climate neutrality]. […]
 Each Party’s nationally determined mitigation [contribution][commitment][other] [shall][should][other] reflect a progression beyond its previous efforts, noting that those Parties that have previously communicated economy-wide efforts should continue to do so in a manner that is progressively more ambitious and that all Parties should aim to do so over time. Each mitigation [contribution][commitment][other] [shall][should][other] reflect the Party’s highest possible ambition, in light of its national circumstances, and: (a) [Be quantified or quantifiable;] (b) [Be unconditional, at least in part;] (c) [Other].

To take one example, the difference between the words “shall” and “should” in an international treaty is obviously enormous, the former being presumably binding while the latter describes a suggestion for the involved parties. It’s not surprising that these differences haven’t been ironed out yet—that’s a job for the delegates due to descend on Paris—but this draft text is lousy with these sorts of opportunities for equivocation.

And you can be sure that many countries will be pushing for those less stringent, bracketed options. Take India, which last week outlined its 
climate pledge, a pledge that essentially amounted to a promise to only triple its carbon emissions by 2030, a reduction from the seven-fold increase unfettered growth might otherwise produce. India has long insisted on its right to grow and as Reuters reports, it’s planning on doing that with the help of cheap, dirty coal:
India is opening a mine a month as it races to double coal output by 2020, putting the world’s third-largest polluter at the forefront of a pan-Asian dash to burn more of the dirty fossil fuel that environmentalists fear will upend international efforts to contain global warming. […]
 If India burns as much coal by 2020 as planned, its emissions could as much as double to 5.2 billion tonnes per annum – about a sixth of all the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere last year – [said  Glen Peters at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research]…He said India could replace the United States as the world’s second largest emitter by 2025. “This is something no one would have expected.”

India isn’t the only nation keen on choosing development over green goals. Coal-dependent Poland has already 
staked out a similar position, and that sentiment will be forcefully expressed by many of the world’s poorer countries in Paris. The summit may have a shorter text, but if the new draft has accomplished anything, it’s to throw into sharper relief the divide between the developed and developing worlds.

Friday, 9 October 2015


Here are the details. Clearly if climate change treaties are to be enforced it is important for judges to be on-side, and this is helped by funding lavish conferences and making suggestions that highly-paid jobs are on offer to those who make the right noises. Here is what is going on. Make no mistake, the UN is a very powerful organisation and few governments are going to stand up to it.

Thursday, 8 October 2015


Read all the figures here. This is the reality as we approach the seminal climate conference in December 2015 in Paris. How on earth can the world's CO2 emissions be reduced or an agreement reached when faced with the reality of these figures from India. It is a complete nonsense, but as long as the public here in the West can be lead to believe that the result is a "success" then this fiction will continue. This will only happen with a compliant media. We will just have to wait and see if it can be done.


Wednesday, 7 October 2015


Here is a link to the thoroughly argued letter which has numerous references linked underneath it. The letter calls for a halt to the building of wind farms because of the destruction to wild life and the fact that they actually prevent hardly any CO2 emissions at all, among a whole list of other good arguments.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015


This article looks at the quasi-religious nature of the global warming debate, particularly in the universities, and how everyone is forced to declare their allegiance to the cause or become an outcast. There is no reason to be discussed here, it is a religion, a very intolerant and fundamentalist one at that.

Monday, 5 October 2015


This article gives a good account of the problem. Basically there is no technology available to do it (or else they would not have needed to cheat in the first place). Any thing which reduces the pollutants will adversely affect the power and the fuel economy.

For those who think that cheating on such a vast scale could not happen this should be a wake up call. I do not need to remind readers of this blog that there are many allegations of cheating such as this, this, this, this, this. I could go on, but you get the picture!

Sunday, 4 October 2015


This article explains what is happening. Cover up seems to be the government's answer, but will they be able to brazen it out? Sadly, they probably will due to a complicit, feeble media only too ready to keep in with the people with power.

Saturday, 3 October 2015


The Sunday Times, 27 September 2015

The “rush for diesel” might seem an unmatchably counterproductive idiocy on the part of the EU member states, as they sought to prove themselves the saviours of the earth. In fact, it is merely one of a number of catastrophic components in the climate-change policy makers’ hall of infamy.

The inability to deal with the crises afflicting the European Union — a malfunctioning common currency and apparently unstoppable migration via the Mediterranean — is blamed by the European Commission on member states failing to act as one.

Yet unity behind a terrible policy is worse than any disagreement: and in no cause has the EU been more destructively united than in the battle against the alleged existential threat to the planet known as climate change.

While America and the developing world refused to sign up to the 1997 Kyoto treaty setting strict targets for reducing CO2 emissions, the nations of Europe, co-ordinated from Brussels, signed without a whisper of dissent. Britain was especially enthusiastic, in a vain delusion that we should achieve “global leadership” in the fight to “save the planet”.

It was idiotic to suppose that even eliminating all of the UK’s 1.5% contribution to worldwide CO2 emissions would achieve anything more than to de-industrialise the nation that started the Industrial Revolution.

Only the latest example is that the UK’s last large-scale steel-making plant, employing 3,000 at Redcar, is having to call on the government to save it from imminent closure. It can no longer compete with plants in countries that do not impose arbitrary CO2 emission limits on its steel manufacturers.

Redcar’s unaffordably high fuel bills are the direct effect of government policy demanding that the plant obtains a portion of its power from “renewables”. The result is not a global reduction of emissions: it merely moves their generation from here to another country, such as China. This is technically known as “carbon leakage”. National death wish is an alternative term.

The same, quite literally, has been the result of Europe’s concerted push to get its populations to abandon petrol for diesel as the fuel to power their cars. This is the real story behind the astonishing scandal of VW’s fraud upon the US Environmental Protection Agency. VW had installed software in its newer diesel cars that detected when the vehicles were being tested for noxious emissions and cut most of the smog-forming compounds caused by burning diesel.

When the cars were driven normally on the road by owners, the software “defeated” the pollution control. This greatly enhanced the vehicles’ performance. And so VW could claim — absolutely dishonestly — that it was selling high-performing diesel cars while conforming to stringent American “clean air” requirements.

Yes: America, frequently accused by Europeans of being a laggard in environmental protection, has stricter regulations governing air pollution than the eternally preachy EU. This is because of — and not despite — Europe’s obsession with climate change.

Our government, after its signing of the Kyoto treaty, set up an incentive through vehicle excise duty to push consumers into buying diesel rather than petrol cars. The point is that diesel produces more oomph per gallon than petrol, so less of it is used for each mile’s driving and hence less CO2 is emitted in the course of any given journey.

However, it has always been known that burning diesel creates much more of the oxides of nitrogen that can cause terrible damage to the human respiratory system: more than 20 times as much of the stuff as burning petrol does. Because in America engine emission controls are related much more to overall air quality than in the EU, VW had a real problem getting its diesel cars into that market. Hence its scam.

Yet here the national obsession — at least in Whitehall — with CO2 means that British lives have been shortened to save future lives in Africa (the continent thought to be most vulnerable to the consequences of climate change). The developing world, meanwhile, is cracking on with fossil-fuel power generation, since its leaders understand that that is the fastest way to lift their countries out of poverty — and really save lives.

By the way, do not listen to politicians such as the shadow energy and climate-change minister Barry Gardiner, who said this year of the decision to go all out for diesel: “Hands up — there’s absolutely no question that the decision we [Labour] took was the wrong decision. But at the time we didn’t have the evidence that subsequently we did have.” A senior Department for Transport civil servant recently admitted: “We did not sleepwalk into this. To be totally reductionist, you are talking about killing people today rather than saving lives tomorrow.
Occasionally we had to say we were living in a different world and everyone had to swallow hard.”

That is, the different world of politicians and campaigners who had convinced themselves that the only environmental policy that mattered was reducing carbon emissions. That meant regarding CO2 as a greater public enemy than poisonous fumes. Taken to its logical conclusion, this would classify mouth-to-mouth resuscitation as more dangerous than inhaling particulates from the back of a London taxi, a vehicle that is crazily regarded as better for the planet than the petrol- powered cabs on the streets of American cities. Londoners may choke but we’re saving the Earth. Except that Gaia shows every sign of being able to cope just fine with man’s CO2 emissions.

The “rush for diesel” might seem an unmatchably counterproductive idiocy on the part of the EU member states, as they sought to prove themselves the saviours of the earth. In fact, it is merely one of a number of catastrophic components in the climate-change policy makers’ hall of infamy.

There was the EU’s directive mandating that 10% of energy in transport come from “biofuels” — that is, crops. In this case the US was complicit in the lunacy, although for different reasons: it subsidised ethanol production — fuel from corn — because it wanted to reduce its dependence on Middle Eastern oil.

The result was a drastic increase in global food prices that was felt most acutely by the poorest people on the planet: it was for this reason that a United Nations special rapporteur on “the right to food” said the EU’s biofuels policy was “a crime against humanity”.

Perhaps the craziest policy of all was that derived from Kyoto’s “clean development mechanism”. Under it, signatories to the treaty could gain emission reduction credits by paying poorer countries to reduce their production of gases including HFC23, a by-product of the manufacture of refrigerants thousands of times more potent than CO2 in creating the greenhouse effect.

As a Global Warming Policy Foundation pamphlet, The Unintended Consequences of Climate Change Policy, said: “The upshot of this influx of western money was to completely change the b_ehaviour of refrigerant manufacturers. Instead of HFC23 being merely a by-product of the manufacturing process, it came to represent their principal product. The factories were in effect being incentivised to produce this most powerful of greenhouse gases.”

Nowhere more so than in China. It was an echo of what happened when the Communist party under Mao Tse-tung rewarded citizens who slaughtered the most houseflies: people began breeding them so as to produce the necessary number of dead flies to gain the reward. This is the lunacy that can happen when central planners issue what they call “incentives”. It doesn’t help, admittedly, when the original policy is insane.

Friday, 2 October 2015


By Nick ButlerFinancial Times, 28 September 2015

The energy business is entirely familiar with the concept of stranded assets. Now, however, a new concept has been introduced: the idea that some assets, specifically hydrocarbons, will inevitably be stranded and left undeveloped as the world reduces its hydrocarbon consumption in order to avoid the risks of climate change. The question is whether investors and companies should be worried by that concept.

Across the world all sorts of resources are well identified but cannot be developed. They range from the gas underneath the Prudhoe Bay oil field in Alaska to the coal under North Yorkshire to the large reserves of shale oil in the Paris Basin. All these assets are stranded because of the costs of development, including in some cases regulatory costs imposed in pursuit of public policy goals. In the case of French shale oil and gas, all activity is banned. In some cases, people are working to find a way of bringing the resources to market. In others the only option is to give up and leave them buried.

The new concept, which was the subject of a conference in Oxford last week under the auspices of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, introduces the idea that the category of stranded assets is about to be expanded dramatically as the world adjusts to limiting hydrocarbon use to levels that ensures global temperatures rise by no more than 2C. The level of danger is disputed, as is the precise amount of hydrocarbons that can be safely used — but the differences do not alter the basic thrust of the concept.

If the concept is correct, the amount of coal, oil and natural gas that can be safely used has already been discovered. Over time, through a mixture of fiscal and regulatory moves, hydrocarbons will be priced out of the market. On this analysis exploration is valueless, as are some of the resources already identified. The rest should stay buried and cannot be valued as corporate assets.

Is this logic correct? The debate is important, not just for energy policy but also for investors, because the implication is that the hydrocarbon-based businesses are entering their final decades and will soon cease to be viable as ongoing concerns. If you accept the thesis, unless the owners can swiftly produce the assets they hold, they are also overvalued.

Step back from the emotion of the debate on climate change and it is clear that this logic is correct onlyif you believe the three assumptions on which it is based.

The first is that the use of hydrocarbons will be limited by public policy action to keep total emissions within the prescribed limit.

The second is that alternative energy supplies will be available in time and at a low enough cost to enable consumers to switch away from hydrocarbons.

The third is that attempts to reduce the amount of emissions generated by the use of hydrocarbons – such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) – will not be viable on the scale required to allow continued hydrocarbon consumption.

I think most observers on all sides of the debate would now reluctantly agree that the third assumption is correct. As reported by Pilita Clark in the FT recently, current CCS projects are limited and minimal, and no clear financial model has been put in place to encourage companies to invest. The decision not to proceed with the scheme planned at Drax in the north of England last week just confirms what most observers have long believed. Most current CCS is economic only because the activity supports enhanced oil recovery. Things may change; but as things stand CCS will not make a major difference.

When it comes to the second assumption, the judgment is less certain. Low carbon energy costs are falling (other than for new nuclear, where they are rising). Solar costs have come down dramatically. There are advances in storage technology – which would transform the economics of renewables that produce only intermittently such as solar and wind – but the big breakthroughs are still the stuff of hope rather than reality.

At the moment low-carbon sources of supply, including nuclear and hydro, provide less than 10 per cent of global total energy supply. By 2040 on the International Energy Agency’s new policies scenario, which is moderately optimistic about action on climate change, they still provide only 15 per cent. One day there should be a major technical breakthrough. But until then we cannot assume that any form of renewable supply is going to displace coal, oil and natural gas. Most long-term forecasts show that renewables will produce growing volumes of energy over the next 20 or 30 years but so will hydrocarbons. Both grow in a world where, even with improving efficiency, total consumption keeps rising.

That takes us back to the first assumption: that the use of hydrocarbons will be limited by public policy to keep emissions below 450 parts per million, which is the normally quoted level of safety.

I believe that assumption is completely unrealistic. It is possible that Europe and the US will limit hydrocarbon use in one way or another, though that judgment is crucially dependent on the development of a political consensus in the US that does not yet exist. President Barack Obama’s climate measures could well be overturned by a Republican victory in next November’s election.

European policy arguably carries a degree of consensus support but that support has not yet been sufficient to put in place the crucial policy measure – a carbon price.

China will also take steps to limit the use of coal but, with a growing economy, it is very hard to see coal being displaced as the main source of energy supply at any point in the next three decades. Coal plants continue to be built, and only a minority have the super-critical technology that minimises emissions.

Other growing economies such as India remain committed to coal, which is cheap and readily available. There is at present no obvious alternative source of energy for the tens of millions of Indians struggling to emerge from poverty. They cannot afford to pay a high carbon price.

This is a fairly dismal conclusion but when it comes to something as potentially serious as climate change it is best to be absolutely realistic. Campaigns about disinvestment create convenient enemies but solve nothing. The logic is that, to meet the growing energy needs of people with very limited financial resources without taking unacceptable risks with the climate, we have to find a technology that is both low cost and low carbon. When it comes, that will leave some assets stranded or put to other uses. The search for that low-cost low carbon solution should be the real focus of attention for campaigners, governments and investors.

Thursday, 1 October 2015


Here is an interesting and disturbing article by a former NOAA meteorologist that ought to concern anyone who believes science should be free to allow scientists to seek the truth wherever it takes them. This article comes from the No Tricks Zone website (link on the side-bar) which takes a special interest in German articles on global warming, and is well worth a read.