Saturday 30 April 2016


This piece explains how Lord Turner misled listeners to the Today Programme when he tried to make out the Paris Climate Agreement was such a success. It is well worth reading the whole article, but here is  a short quote which sums up the true situation:
"Art 4(4) of the Paris Agreement confines ‘absolute emissions reduction targets’ to the developed countries and distinguishes them from the ‘mitigation efforts’ the developing countries might undertake, which will not involve absolute reductions. This provides an explicitly legal permission for developing countries not to make any CO2 reductions and will be the legal basis of continued immense increase in China’s and India’s CO2 emissions."

In other words the agreement is complete nonsense and will inevitably lead, not to any world reduction in emissions, but in fact to an increase which could not effect any reduction in global warming at all. What it will do, if the Western nations are daft enough to follow it, is to transfer our jobs and economic success to the developing nations. The question is, are we that stupid?

Friday 29 April 2016


Here is the story which tells us that there is no choice now in Australia about whether to keep energy costs low, as both major political parties (as in the UK) seem determined to put a price on emissions. Only the voters can change things by voting for minority party candidates, but this is unlikely to happen, as we saw in the UK. It is very hard for minority parties to gain the trust of the voters. 

Thursday 28 April 2016


This article looks at the latest attempt to close down articles in the press that are unfavourable to the hypothesis of catastrophic man made global warming. It also covers the many other attempts that have been made in recent times. As the hypothesis becomes less believable the need to suppress evidence that refutes it becomes all the more urgent and necessary for the warmists.

Wednesday 27 April 2016


This piece gives the details of the transformation of our green planet. This is a real benefit which seems to have attracted little attention from the mainstream media. It's about time they paid more attention to these positive stories about the climate. 

Tuesday 26 April 2016


This short paper looks at the evidence that heatwaves or droughts are currently increasing and finds that the evidence is low to non-existent. Well worth reading.

Monday 25 April 2016


This article by Christopher Booker looks at  the latest very expensive way of reducing the UK's carbon dioxide emissions. The idea is to convert our methane gas into hydrogen and CO2 which is then pumped under ground and stored. Of course all our gas appliances would have to be converted to burn the hydrogen which is also a much greater explosion hazard, but why would our rulers worry about the occasional explosion in order to save the planet?

Sunday 24 April 2016


A Scottish group of wind turbine objectors has come up with a character on which to build a message. I think they have been very clever and you can read their story here. The use of stories to get a message across is very effective and we need to do more of it.

Saturday 23 April 2016


This article gives the history of Earth Day from its start in 1970 to the present day. Its amazing to see how such extreme predictions can gain such traction in today's "scientific world".

Friday 22 April 2016


National Post - (Latest Edition)April 15, 2016LAWRENCE SOLOMON
‘Earth’s 2015 surface temperatures were the warmest since modern record keeping began in 1880,” according to an analysis released by NASA earlier this year. “Globally- averaged temperatures in 2015 shattered the previous mark set in 2014 by 0.23 degrees Fahrenheit ( 0.13 Celsius). Only once before, in 1998, has the new record been greater than the old record by this much.”
Other agencies, ones that measure temperatures in the atmosphere rather than on Earth’s surface, also found 2015 to be a warm year, although not a record- breaker. Either way, 2015 could have historical significance, according to findings by many scientists. It could mark the year that global temperatures started hurtling downward, setting Earth on a prolonged period of global cooling.
Like 1998, which NASA referenced, last year was an El Niño year — a year in which warm Pacific surface waters bathe the planet, notably raising temperatures. El Niños, first recognized by fishermen off the coast of South America in the 1600s, have always been with us, visiting the Earth in irregular fashion every few years, bumping up temperatures for six to 18 months. The 1998 and 2015 El Niños are especially noteworthy, because they were monsters — each raised surface temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific by a whopping 4.1 degrees Fahrenheit ( 2.3 Celsius), according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center, making them the strongest El Niños since recordkeeping began in 1950.
Put another way, without last year’s El Niño, 2015 could have seen a substantial temperature drop over 2014, rather than a 0.23- degree increase. Since the 2015 El Niño is believed to be now winding down, we can expect temperatures to drop later this year and next, possibly by a lot, especially since El Niños are typically followed by La Niñas, the cool phase of the Pacific Ocean’s temperature fluctuations, when surface temperatures fall below average.
But after La Niña ends, temperatures may continue to fall. Since the 1970s, scientists have been telling us that, based on Earth’s natural glacial cycles, we’ve been due — even overdue — for another prolonged period of global cooling. Visible evidence from the sun provides a more immediate warning: Sunspots have all but disappeared. This last happened during the centuries- long Little Ice Age that began in the 15th century, when astronomers using the recently invented telescope saw only about 50 sunspots over a 30- year period, rather than the thousands that would normally have been expected. This period — which saw the Thames River in London freeze over and widespread starvation due to crop failures — is known as the Maunder Minimum, named after the English astronomer Edward Maunder. In recent years there has been a growing drumbeat from solar scientists who think we could be entering a new Maunder Minimum.
“I’ve been a solar physicist for 30 years. I’ve never seen anything quite like this,” Richard Harrison, head of space physics at the Rutherford- Appleton laboratory in Oxfordshire told BBC two years ago. Harrison states that the rate at which solar activity is falling mirrors the Maunder Minimum period of “really cold winters in the northern hemisphere, where you had a kind of a mini-ice age.” According to professor Mike Lockwood of the University of Reading, we’ve been seeing the fastest decline in solar activity in 10,000 years. In an interview with the BBC’s science editor, he stated that he views the risk of a new Maunder Minimum at 25 to 30 per cent, up from 10 per cent just a few years earlier.
Lockwood’s estimate was independently buttressed last year by a team of European researchers in a presentation to 500 astronomers and space scientists at the Royal Astronomical Society’s National Astronomy Meeting in Wales. Their well- received scientific model indicates that reduced solar activity will lead to a mini ice age from 2030 to 2040. Another study of sunspots last year by Indian, Chinese and Japanese astronomers, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, indicates that a new ice age could start as soon as 2020 and reach its depths by 2030 to 2040.
Then again, the next ice age may have already begun, its beginnings temporarily masked by El Niño. According to Habibullo Abdussamatov, head of Russia’s Pulkovo Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences, in late 2014 we began our descent into another Little Ice Age, the 19th that Earth has experienced in the past 7,500 years. His analysis indicates the ice age will reach worrying depths — a “deep cooling,” imperilling the energy security of the planet — in 2060.
Against this gloomy prognosis for a frigid future, some may find solace in the work of scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. Humans burning oil, coal and gas have already emitted CO2 “sufficient to postpone the next ice age for another 50,000 years,” they stated earlier this year. “The bottom line is that we are basically skipping a whole glacial cycle,” an outcome that they see as unwelcome.
Although the last Little Ice Age had its drawbacks (Finland’s population shrank by one- third; Iceland’s by half ), it also had its benefits. As Potsdam Institute director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber explains, “we owe our fertile soil to the last ice age that also carved out today’s landscapes, leaving glaciers and rivers behind, forming fiords, moraines and lakes.”
That should be of some solace, should we find ourselves shortly shivering through the next one.

Thursday 21 April 2016


Much of the scare over global warming is cause by the real warming that has taken place in the Arctic. But here is a scientific study which shows conclusively that the present warming is not unprecedented, but that this has occurred before in the 1920's and 1930's. It is almost certainly cause by a natural cycle, as the paper explains.

Wednesday 20 April 2016


This report explains what is happening. There seems to be some thinking on the part of the church and its fellow greens that the fossil fuel industry has no long term future if nations are going to take the Paris climate agreement seriously. However the Paris deal has not yet been ratified and even if it is ratified by some nations that does not mean that they will stop using fossil fuels. We can see from the long term energy plans of large nations like China and India that they have no intention of stopping their use of fossil fuels any time soon. 

What is happening here is that the reality of economic success, which depends on a plentiful supply of cheap energy is coming up against the dogma of cutting CO2 emissions, which are supposed, allegedly, to prevent the climate from changing adversely. So what are Exxon Mobil supposed to do? They could take the view that they will be out of business in a few decades as, counter-intuitively, all the nations not only ratify the agreement, but exceed their pledges and phase out all fossil fuels; or they could logically assume that the nations will behave in the future as most have done in the past and continue to purchase fossil fuels in increasing quantities.

This campaign is being carried out alongside other campaigns against these companies which are designed to undermine their reputation with the public. Perhaps the next step will be to put a climate warning on petrol pumps, or on the side of motor vehicles - "THIS WILL SERIOUSLY DAMAGE YOUR PLANET". I am not kidding, this is the way they would like to go and some people will have to stop them.

Tuesday 19 April 2016


This article looks at a ridiculous scheme to convert methane into hydrogen to replace the natural gas that is currently used to heat our home. Such an idea would be rejected immediately by any sane politician, but we are where we are.

Monday 18 April 2016


Just when I thought that climate change was a thing of the past I get this email:

From: Planning for Climate Change Conference []
Sent: 14 April 2016 09:47
To: Planning for Climate Change Conference
Subject: Rural Development Conferences Oxford 26th October 2016 and Limerick 28th October 2016
We are pleased to announce that the  2nd UK Rural Development Conference will take place in Oxford on the 26th October 2016  followed by the 2nd Irish Rural Development Conference in Limerick on the 28th October 2016.  This Conference Series is the ideal forum in which to discuss and debate the issues that face rural communities and economies. Details can be found at, Facebook, and Twitter.

The cost to attend as a Speaker / Delegate is set competitively for 2016 and is as follows:

Speaker / Delegate - full rate: £216 (£180 plus VAT) / Euro 260
Student/Researcher Speaker / Delegate – reduced rate  : £108 (£90 plus VAT) / Euro 130

If you wish to register as a speaker or delegate please contact us at and we will make the necessary invoicing arrangements or register via the registration page on the website.
To unsubscribe from future emails please unsubscribe here.
Rural Development Conference Team
86-90 Paul Street
United Kingdom

You might think that there would be conference fatigue amongst the climate alarmist brigade, but those putting on these events don't appear to think so. Perhaps there is a big government grant on top of the attendance fees?

Sunday 17 April 2016


This article gives the details of this sorry tale. Recycling seems to be a worthy cause but in practice it is simply uneconomic in many cases.

Saturday 16 April 2016


Press Trust of India, 9 April 2016
 Greenland sits over an area of abnormally hot mantle material that drives a widespread melting beneath the ice sheet and rapid ice flow over a distance of several hundred kilometres, a new study has found.


Conceptual view of the interplay between the mantle and the Greenland Ice Sheet across the plume track (graphics: A. Petrunin, GFZ).

Greenland’s lithosphere has hot depths which originate in its distant geological past and cause the island’s ice to rapidly flow and melt from below.

An anomaly zone crosses Greenland from west to east where present-day flow of heat from the Earth’s interior is elevated.

With this anomaly, researchers from GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) could explain observations from radar and ice core drilling data that indicate a widespread melting beneath the ice sheet and increased sliding at the base of the ice that drives the rapid ice flow over a distance of 750 kilometres from the summit area of the Greenland ice sheet to the North Atlantic Ocean.

Present-day location of the Iceland plume and zones of the mantle plume-induced thinning of the lithosphere and active melting at the ice base (graphics: A. Petrunin, GFZ)

The North Atlantic Ocean is an area of active plate tectonics. Between 80 and 35 million years ago tectonic processes moved Greenland over an area of abnormally hot mantle material that still today is responsible for the volcanic activity of Iceland, researchers said.

The mantle material heated and thinned Greenland at depth producing a strong geothermal anomaly that spans a quarter of the land area of Greenland, they said.

Predicted GF at 5[thinsp]km below the bedrock surface.
Predicted geothermal flux at 5km below the bedrock surface; image @NatureGeosci  

This ancient and long-lived source of heat has created a region where subglacial meltwater is abundant, lubricating the base of the ice and making it flow rapidly.

The study indicates that about a half of the ice in north-central Greenland is resting on a thawed bed and that the meltwater is routed to the ocean through a dense hydrological network beneath the ice.

For the first time, researchers have been able to prove strong coupling between processes deep in the Earth’s interior with the flow dynamics and subglacial hydrology of large ice sheets.

“The geothermal anomaly which resulted from the Icelandic mantle-plume tens of millions of years ago is an important motor for today’s hydrology under the ice sheet and for the high flow-rate of the ice,” said Irina Rogozhina from GHZ.

“This, in turn, broadly influences the dynamic b_ehaviour of ice masses and must be included in studies of the future response to climate change,” said Rogozhina.

Friday 15 April 2016


No Tricks Zone, 9 April 2016

Pierre Gosselin
Will Upcoming La Nina Decide The ‘Decadal Global Climate Bet’?

Fellow climate blogger Robin Pittwood at the New Zealand-based
Kiwi Thinker here brings us up-to-date on how the current 2011 – 2020 decade is doing temperature-wise.

Many readers are aware of a
climate bet made with alarmists Rob Honeycutt and Mr. Know-it-all, Dana Nuccitelli. The skeptics bet the current decade would be cooler or the same as last decade – using the RSS and UAH satellite data, and not the made up surface stuff from NASA.

Robin’s latest calculations show that the current decade is (still) slightly cooler than the last one comprising 2001 – 2010.

Of course, as expected, the recent El Nino event closed the gap and will probably even push the current decade to be a bit warmer in the months ahead. The question that remains now is just how strong will the upcoming La Nina be? Will it be strong enough to send the global temperature downward over the next couple of years 2017 – 2019, similar to what we saw back in 2008?

Right now there are a number of indications that this is precisely what is going to happen.

Climate Bet, Mar 2016

Thursday 14 April 2016


Watts Up With That, 8 April 2016

Eric Worrall
The Competitive Enterprise Institute has just been subpoenaed, as part of Al Gore’s Climate Witch hunt. This is a move which so blatantly reeks of McCarthyite abuse of power, even some proponents of climate a_ction are horrified at the attack on freedom which this subpoena represents.

The following is the statement of the Competitive Enterprise Institute;
CEI Fights Subpoena to Silence Debate on Climate Change
 The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) today denounced a subpoena from Attorney General Claude E. Walker of the U.S. Virgin Islands that attempts to unearth a decade of the organization’s materials and work on climate change policy. This is the latest effort in an intimidation campaign to criminalize speech and research on the climate debate, led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and former Vice President Al Gore.
 “CEI will vigorously fight to quash this subpoena. It is an affront to our First Amendment rights of free speech and association for Attorney General Walker to bring such intimidating demands against a nonprofit group,” said CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman. “If Walker and his allies succeed, the real victims will be all Americans, whose access to affordable energy will be hit by one costly regulation after another, while scientific and policy debates are wiped out one subpoena at a time.”
 The subpoena requests a decade’s worth of communications, emails, statements, drafts, and other documents regarding CEI’s work on climate change and energy policy, including private donor information. It demands that CEI produce these materials from 20 years ago, from 1997-2007, by April 30, 2016.
 On March 30, 2016, Attorney General Schneiderman, former Vice President Al Gore, and attorneys general from Massachusetts, Virginia, Connecticut, Maryland, Vermont, as well as Attorney General Walker, held a press conference in New York City to announce “an unprecedented coalition of top law enforcement officials committed to aggressively protecting and building upon the recent progress the United States has made in combating climate change.” Schneiderman said that the group, calling itself “AGs United for Clean Power,” will address climate change by threatening criminal investigations and charges against companies, policy organizations, scientists, and others who disagree with its members’ climate policy agenda.
 CEI has long been a champion of sound climate change policy, and opposed previous attempts to use McCarthy-style tactics by officials aiming to limit discussions between nonprofit policy groups and the private sector regarding federal policies. CEI is being represented in this matter by attorneys Andrew M. Grossman and David B. Rivkin, Jr., who recently founded the Free Speech in Science Project to defend First Amendment rights against government abuses.

The text of the subpoena is

Here is a response from Bloomberg, which
frequently takes a pro climate action position;
Subpoenaed Into Silence on Global Warming
 The Competitive Enterprise Institute is getting subpoenaed by the attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands to cough up its communications regarding climate change. The scope of the subpoena is quite broad, covering the period from 1997 to 2007, and includes, according to CEI, “a decade’s worth of communications, emails, statements, drafts, and other documents regarding CEI’s work on climate change and energy policy, including private donor information.”
 My first reaction to this news was “Um, wut?” CEI has long denied humans’ role in global warming, and I have fairly substantial disagreements with CEI on the issue. However, when last I checked, it was not a criminal matter to disagree with me. It’s a pity, I grant you, but there it is; the law’s the law.

Wednesday 13 April 2016


This article looks at the way EU generosity is costing UK jobs. It is a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. Amazing and completely bonkers!

Tuesday 12 April 2016


This piece explains the proposal from the Chinese. How ironic that Germany with its strong green tradition should consider importing electricity produced by coal-fired power stations. You really could not make it up, if it is true.

Monday 11 April 2016


This article shows how manipulation of data has caused radiosonde data to change from no trend to a warming trend. Why do our political masters never question this kind of data fiddling?

Sunday 10 April 2016


This report explains how this has come about. It is of course due to the fact that renewables are simply unreliable.

Saturday 9 April 2016


But will those in charge listen?

Lead EU Policymaker Calls For End Of UK Carbon Floor PriceReuters, 5 April 2016

Alissa de Carbonnel
Britain should abolish its carbon floor price to help the hard-hit steel industry, the lawmaker shepherding a reform of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) through parliament said on Tuesday.

With the British government looking for ways to save jobs threatened by the sale of Indian firm Tata Steel’s British plants, Scottish Conservative Ian Duncan said repealing the carbon floor was one of the few tools available to it.

“The carbon floor price must go,” Duncan said, adding he would write to British Business Secretary Sajid Javid calling for an end to the policy in place since 2013.

While cheap Chinese imports are the steel industry’s primary worry, high energy prices, boosted by environmental charges, have added to their woes.

Duncan’s comments are seen fuelling a debate over how the EU’s draft reform bill can promote a high-enough carbon price to spur green growth while maintaining industry competitiveness in the absence of a global carbon market.

It runs counter to a French proposal for an EU-wide price corridor to fix what aims to be the bloc’s flagship climate policy but which is floundering as oversupply depresses prices.

While many in the 28-nation bloc oppose higher environmental taxes, such as coal-reliant Poland, EU sources said the French proposal was forcing a debate about how to shore up carbon prices.

Benchmark carbon prices are hovering around 5 euros. “The real fix would be a minimum price of 30 euros,” said Patrick Graichen of the Berlin-based think tank Agora Energiewende.

British factories regulated by the ETS, including steel which accounts for some 27 percent of EU industrial pollution, pay an additional 18 pounds ($25.58) per ton of carbon dioxide emitted.

Along with other energy-intensive industries, steelmakers fret the ETS reform will slash some of their free carbon permits. The Eurofer industry group warns they will be short of half of the permits they needed in 2030 under the proposal.

“What the European Commission is asking is too big,” Eurofer head Geert Van Poelvoorde, a senior executive at ArcelorMittal, told Reuters last month. “It pushes de-industrialization in Europe but to places where probably or most likely the CO2 emission is higher.”

Friday 8 April 2016


Die Welt, 30 March 2016

Carsten Dierig
To reduce CO2 emissions, the EU plans to cut emissions rights for the steel industry. According to the industry, this would threaten its very existence

The planned reform of CO2 emissions trading in Europe threatens hundreds of thousands of jobs in Germany. This is the conclusion of a study by the research institute Prognos and commissioned by the German Steel Association. "The industrial business model of the German economy is at stake," warned association president Hans Jürgen Kerkhoff.

A significantly tougher Emissions Trading Scheme, as envisaged by Brussels from 2021 onwards could, in a few years, lead to a rapidly progressing de-industrialisation in important parts of the value chain since nothing like it exists anywhere else in the world. "The consequences for the German economy would be grave," Kerkhoff said.

According to the Prognos study, production and employment in the German steel industry would collapse by two thirds by 2030. "Add to that employment losses in upstream and downstream industries," the study says. And that's not all: "The consequences go far beyond the industrial value chain," study author Jan Limbers from Prognos. The researcher sees a total of 380,000 jobs at significant risk, mostly in the services sector, e.g. in retail and in the hospitality industry or in logistics and finance. "Businesses and households will have less income for consumption and investment," said Limbers who also sees a decline in gross domestic product of 30 billion euros.

252,000 jobs are lost in the service sector alone, according to the study, around 71,000 in industry, 37,000 in the steel sector and 17,000 in the construction industry. And that are rather conservative assumptions, Limbers says. Because self-reinforcing effects, such as similar effects in other energy-intensive industries such as chemicals or cement or effects in other EU countries, were not included in the calculations.

The reason for the alarm is the planned re-organisation of the EU’s emissions trading scheme (ETS). The reform proposed by the European Commission for the so-called fourth trading period starting in 2021 envisages an increase in the standard values ​​for CO2 emissions and, at the same time, a reduction of the number of available industrial emissions rights. In addition, the Commission wants to grant fewer exemptions for energy-intensive industries such as steel and chemicals. The responses are correspondingly fierce.

"If the proposal is implemented, it would be an existential threat to us," said Heinz Jörg Fuhrmann, Chairman of the Lower Saxony steel group Salzgitter. German industry leader ThyssenKrupp is threatening consequences if the EU proposal is not altered. "European Steel would no longer be competitive," said the CEO of Dax Group, Heinrich Hiesinger. ThyssenKrupp faces additional costs of more than 2 billion euros in the period from 2021 to 2030. "These are costs that we simply cannot carry. Neither further savings nor restructuring would help anymore. For ThyssenKrupp, steel production would no longer be possible," Hiesinger said.

However, a final decision hasn’t be taken yet. Both policymakers as well as the European Parliament will have to deal with the Commission's proposals by the end of this year. What is more, the pressure is rising from other EU member countries with their own steel production. "Do not screw up," Saarland's economy minister, Anke Rehlinger (SPD) warns while speaking of "partially dubious specifications" from Brussels. That’s why she is fighting with other state ministries for changes to the EU’s emissions trading plans. The trade unions too are mobilizing. IG Metall has announced a rally in Duisburg for 11 April - with German Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel as the main speaker.

But the plans are having an impact already. "Investment prospects are affected", said Steel President Kerkhoff. "Consequently, companies are holding back." World leader ArcelorMittal is placing conditions on its planned investments in Germany. Around 110 million were planned to be invested in four locations in Bremen, Hamburg, Duisburg and Eisenhüttenstadt. "Given the political risks, we will only decide on a case by case whether we will actually implement the planned investments," said ArcelorMittal’s Germany boss Frank Schulz.

Translation GWPF

Thursday 7 April 2016


This report looks at how future CO2 emissions are set to rise, particularly, as we know, in India and China. The paltry cuts we make in the West are of little consequence in the face of the massive rise in China. There is no way that China is going to stop, and yet our governments seem intent on trying to convince us that this is not the case. Why are they so determined to sacrifice our industry and our prosperity for so little?

Wednesday 6 April 2016


Here is an article which shows how the UK is crippling its heavy industry with the dearest energy costs in Europe leading, as we can now see only too well with the steel industry, to oblivion for much of it. Sadly we are given the choice at elections between poor government from the Conservatives and completely hopeless government from Labour. If only there was another option!

Tuesday 5 April 2016


Here are the details. You may well ask what this actually means as I am sure the military commanders are asking. We live in strange times.

Monday 4 April 2016


Handelsblatt, 24 March 2016

Gilbert Kreijger, Stefan Theil and Allison Williams
Germany’s massive push into renewable energy has a dark side. As green policies drive up the cost of power, entire industries are shrinking.

“It was a dark, dark day for us,” said Felix Kusicka, the mayor of Biblis, a small town on the eastern bank of the Rhine. For decades, the town’s main employer was a 2500-megawatt nuclear plant that supplied power to nearby Frankfurt. After the authorities ordered the plant shut down in 2011 following the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan, workers have dismantled the reactor cores and are taking the plant apart piece by piece.

With the shutdown, the town lost 50 percent of its corporate tax take and hundreds of jobs. House prices have fallen. Now, once-prosperous Biblis is shrinking. Stores have shut their doors and hotel rooms are empty. Biblis residents, bitter that even the Japanese are turning on their reactors again, call their town’s demise “the catastrophe after the catastrophe.”

The fate of Biblis is only a tiny sliver of the vast economic upheavals that began when Germany launched its energy transition that simultaneously phases out all nuclear power, winds down coal and other fossil fuels, accelerates the push towards alternative sources of energy, and builds the new grid infrastructure to make it all possible. The fact that Germany is a world leader in green power is by now familiar. Much less familiar is the price the country is paying for it, not just in cold hard cash, but in growing losses and dislocations across the entire economy.

The losers include once-stalwart utility giants like E.ON and RWE that are struggling with rising debt and falling shares. Manufacturing companies, from chemicals maker BASF to carbon fiber producer SGL Carbon, have shifted investments abroad, where energy costs are often a fra_ction of Germany’s.

Losers include laid-off workers in these industries, but also millions of ordinary consumers. Their utility bills have skyrocketed, largely driven by subsidies for eco-friendly fuels. As much as the transition creates new jobs building wind turbines, farming biofuels or installing solar panels on rooftops, the changes are cutting a deep swathe through other parts of the economy. Germany’s “green” revolution has a dark shadow.

The reengineering of Germany’s economy is of course deliberate. When the environmentalist Green party first began co-governing at the national level in 1998, Berlin quickly drafted plans to exit nuclear energy. Generous subsidies to support wind and solar power, tacked on to consumers’ electricity bills, got their start in 2000.

Already struggling to expand renewable energy fast enough to compensate for the nuclear phaseout, Germany had to move even faster after Chancellor Angela Merkel’s surprise decision to accelerate the shift just days after the news from Fukushima. Now, the country is rushing to replace what was once 35 percent of German electricity generation by 2022.

Utilities Suffer Losses-EON RWE 01

Hit hardest, of course, are the traditional utilities. After all, the energy transition was designed to seal their coffin. Once the proverbial investment for widows and orphans because their revenue streams were considered rock-solid — these companies have been nothing short of decimated. With 77 nuclear and fossil-fuel power plants taken off the grid in recent years, Germany’s four big utilities — E.ON, RWE, Vattenfall and EnBW — have had to write off a total of €46.2 billion since 2011.

RWE and E.ON alone have debt piles of €28.2 billion and €25.8 billion, respectively, according to the latest company data. Losses at Düsseldorf-based E.ON rose to €6.1 billion for the first three quarters of 2015. Both companies have slashed the dividends on their shares, which have lost up to 76 percent of their value. Regional municipalities, which hold 24 percent of RWE’s shares, are scrambling to plug the holes left in their budgets by the missing dividends.

Thousands of workers have already been let go, disproportionately hitting communities in Germany‘s rust belt that are already struggling with blight. RWE has cut 7,000 jobs since 2011. At E.ON, the work force has shrunk by a third, a loss of over 25,000 jobs. Just as banks spun off their toxic assets and unprofitable operations into “bad banks” during the financial crisis, Germany’s utilities are reorganizing to cut their losses.

There has also been a quiet but noticeable exodus of energy-hungry manufacturing abroad, not with dramatic plant closures but with an inexorable shift in investments.

E.ON is spinning off its problematic fossil-fuel operations in a new company called Uniper. The utilities have also been calling on Berlin for fresh subsidies to keep idle power-generating capacity on standby – to jump in whenever the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine.

The corporate pain goes far beyond the utility giants. Suppliers to the power industry have also been rocked. Germany’s largest industrial group, Siemens, specializes in turbines, power plants and electricity infrastructure. Parts of that business have collapsed.

“I do not have a single order from Germany,” Siemens chief executive Joe Kaeser recently said about the company’s gas turbine business. “Not today, not next year.”

It’s the second major hit to Siemens from Germany’s energy policies. Siemens once built all of Germany’s 17 nuclear plants, and many more abroad. But after Ms. Merkel’s Fukushima decision, the company gave up its nuclear division and spun it off to the French company Areva. Today, Germany no longer has a nuclear technology industry.

Last year, Siemens also moved the global headquarters of its oil and gas business from Erlangen to Houston, and has been producing gas turbines in Charlotte, North Carolina, since 2011. Mr. Kaeser said Germany’s energy policies will lead Siemens to “reallocate our resources, as painful as that is.” The first to feel the brunt have been the company’s workers; since May 2015, Siemens has slashed 4,500 jobs.

“Several years ago, about one fifth of global demand for gas turbines was in Europe,” said Udo Niehage, Siemens’ head of government affairs in Berlin and representative for the energy transition. “Now, though, the energy transition that’s taking place not only in Germany but in many European countries has significantly reduced our business with fossil fuel power stations in Europe and in Germany, it is almost at a standstill.” [….]

There has also been a quiet but noticeable exodus of energy-hungry manufacturing abroad, not with dramatic plant closures but with an inexorable shift in investments. Automaker BMW and SGL Carbon, which produces carbon fibers for BMW’s lightweight E-series electric cars, built their latest $300 million carbon fiber plant in Moses Lake, Washington, because of “competitive energy costs,” the companies said at the time.

Chemicals giant BASF also chose the U.S. for its largest single investment ever, a $1 billion propylene factory in Freeport, Texas, to take advantage of low energy costs. In the U.S., industrial customers pay less than half the German rate for electrical power, according to the OECD. The difference between gas prices is even higher.

Not only are jobs disappearing, so is knowledge. “There’s definitely a brain drain in terms of conventional power plant production,” said Matthias Zelinger, energy-industry expert at the German Engineering Federation (VDMA), an association that represents manufacturers. “Companies might start just moving their manufacturing to China but eventually the engineering and development follows,” he said. Eventually, he said, knowledge related to fossil fuel power will disappear from Germany.

Alternative Resources-energy renewables germany 2015 Energiewende wnd solar lignite coal nuclear gas

Klaus-Dieter Maubach, chief executive of renewable energy operator Capital Stage, said he experienced the loss of expertise when he worked at E.ON.

“I once helped to build a power plant of 1,100 megawatt in Rotterdam. I still remember it was a huge challenge to find enough people with the appropriate welding skills. Why? Because no one had been making such large plants for decades,” Mr. Maubach said.

Eventually, he said, knowledge related to nuclear power and fossil fuel power will disappear from Germany. “When students know that investments in coal and nuclear power will no longer be made they lose interest in these subjects.”
The result, industry experts like Mr. Zelinger say, is that Germany loses entire branches of industrial engineering in which the country has traditionally been strong, and which are still growing dramatically in the emerging markets.

Ordinary consumers have seen their electricity bills double since the introduction in 2000 of a renewable-energy levy, slapped on every household’s electricity bill to subsidize the owners of wind turbines and solar panels. The total cost has risen from €0.9 billion in 2000 to €23.7 billion last year, and will likely hit €25.5 billion this year.

Consumer advocates warn that a growing number of German families can no longer afford their electricity bills. Some 350,000 have had their power cut off, up 13 percent from 2011. The inefficiency is shocking: the renewable energy produced by €25 billion in electricity-bill surcharges this year will only be worth €3.6 billion on the market, according to the economics ministry.

No one knows what the final bill will be. The green-power surcharge on electricity bills has already cost consumers €188 billion since it was first introduced in 2000 – or €4,700 for each of the country’s 40 million households. The nuclear shutdown will cost another €149 billion by 2035, according to a Stuttgart University study.

The latest cost involves the vast new grid infrastructure necessary to connect new offshore wind farms in the country’s stormy but sparsely populated north with the energy-hungry south. Because of citizens’ outrage over new high-voltage lines crisscrossing the landscape, plans are now to run them under-ground, a novel experiment with long-distance transmission.

These costs, too, will be tacked onto electricity bills, while large industrial users will be hit with another €370,000 to €990,000 each year, according to the government. Altogether, the cost of Germany’s energy policies will reach €1.15 trillion by 2050, according to a Fraunhofer Institute study. Others say the costs will be even higher.

Ironically, the move away from nuclear power and towards renewables has left the climate losing out, too. Unlike in other European countries, German energy policies have always been more focused on ending nuclear power rather than concerns over the climate – nuclear power emits no CO2, after all.

As the country moved swiftly to wind down nuclear power, utilities fired up their carbon-spewing coal generators again, leading to higher emissions in 2012 and 2013. Total emissions have barely budged since 2008, despite the massive wind and solar buildout.

Adding to the bitterness about lost jobs and disappearing industries are big doubts if the changes even make sense. “Germany has set itself extremely ambitious targets but I don’t think the global climate is determined here,” said Michael Denecke, an official with Germany’s union of mining and energy workers.

“Germany is responsible for 2.7 percent of global carbon emissions, so we’re fighting over nanograms here while in China, they’re building coal power stations every other week.”

Electricity Prices 2015-01

As the country plows ahead with its far-reaching energy policies, the future is uncertain for companies and consumers. “Industry has become fearful and skeptical about the political debate,” said the engineering association’s Mr. Zelinger, adding that companies need to be able to plan in the short and longer term.

More unknowns are ahead.

“There was a lot of initial euphoria, when we achieved the first 5 percent in the switch to renewables,” he said. “But reaching 50 percent is harder and a lot needs to happen.” The technical and economic challenges are enormous, Mr. Zelinger, though adding that there are many positive aspects to the energy transition as well.

Why aren’t more Germans complaining? The energy transition remains popular, with strong support in the political parties and leading media. Most of Germany’s current power brokers came of age in an era of fervent anti-nuclear protests, so in a sense this is the culmination of a generational project.

Most Germans also see the energy transition as positive for the environment.

Most Germans also see the energy transition as positive for the environment, even if Germany has negligible influence on global CO2 emissions. And the vast amounts of money that have been mobilized have created new jobs, new companies — and new power centers to advance the cause. For the companies and workers on the losing end, speaking up can seem like tilting at windmills — or the zeitgeist.

Another reason why the losers of Germany’s energy transition have kept mostly quiet could be that they, too, have been bought off. Utility workers can now retire as early as age 52 and receive 80 percent of their pay. In the past, layoffs on the scale of what is now happening at the utilities often caused a national scandal. Instead, union leaders have kept largely silent.

Sunday 3 April 2016


The Daily Caller, 25 March 2016

Andrew Follett
European global warming policies are hurting the continent’s poor, according to a Manhattan Institute study published Thursday.

Europe has tried to fight global warming with cap-and-trade schemes and lucrative financial support to green power since 2005. Though well-meaning, the continent’s environmental efforts have only made life harder for Europe’s poor.

“The European Union’s renewable-energy policies have had one very clear result: they’ve dramatically raised electricity prices,” Robert Bryce, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute who authored the study, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Between 2005, when Europe adopted these policies, and 2014, residential electricity rates on the continent increased by 63 percent
according to the study.

Over the same period, residential rates in the U.S. rose by 32 percent. Germany, Spain and the U.K, which intervened the most in their energy markets, saw their electricity bills rise the fastest, according to the study.
The poor
tend to spend a higher proportion of their incomes on electricity, gasoline, food and other basic needs. Furthermore, when the price of electricity increases, the cost of producing goods and services that use electricity increases too. Thus, high electricity prices effectively increase the price of most basic goods.

European-style global warming policies hurt the poor 1.4 to 4 times more than they hurt the rich,
according to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

“Environmental advocates like to claim that Germany is the role model we should emulate, even though Germany’s residential customers are now paying about 40 cents per kilowatt-hour for their electricity,” Bryce continued. “That’s more than three times the average cost of electricity here in the US.”

Brits alone
paid a whopping 54 percent more for electricity than Americans in 2014 while energy taxes cost residents roughly $6.6 billion every year. Green energy subsidies in the U.K regularly exceed spending caps and account for roughly 7 percent of British energy bills, according to government study released last July.

Polling indicates that
38 percent of British households are cutting back essential purchases, like food, to pay for high energy bills. Another 59 percent of homes are worried about how they are going to pay energy bills.

“Policymakers in New York and California, as well as more recently, Oregon, have decided to emulate the EU’s mandates,” Bryce concluded. “If they are concerned about poor and low-income constituents, they should be rethinking those mandates.

Saturday 2 April 2016


This piece hits the nail on the head by pointing out just how quickly these so-called scientists claim they are right on the thinnest of evidence. I believe the public are now wise to this trick and the more they do it the more they will become the butt of jokes and undermine their own cause.

Friday 1 April 2016


The truth about the noise caused by shale gas operations was revealed here. What this shows is that those strongly opposed to fracking are prepared to make up anything to support their cause. Now they are being shown up for the unprincipled scoundrels that they are.