Thursday 31 August 2017


This post gives the details of a shocking revision of the temperature record by the UK Met Office in a blatant attempt to produce a new record temperature for the UK August Bank Holiday.  When one looks at the evidence there seems to be only one explanation which is that they want to produce "evidence" to back up the assertion that the planet is warming, however tenuous it is. This seems to be the cause celebre and it needs to be given prominence.

Wednesday 30 August 2017


 This report suggests that it is very likely if we move to electric vehicles in large numbers over the next two decades. Personally I still think it is doubtful if this will happen unless the government bring in some extra "incentives", such as much higher taxes on petrol. 

Tuesday 29 August 2017


This article gives the details and explains why they are going to use coal to get their electricity. How can very wealthy Westerners like Al Gore claim that climate change is the most dangerous threat when so many others in the world are living such a meagre existence is beyond me.

Monday 28 August 2017


This article (which I only just came across) gives an insight into how education is being changed. It would appear that, in science, students are simply being fed with one-sided propaganda instead of being taught to look at the facts and come to their own conclusions. Very sad!

Sunday 27 August 2017


This piece explains how the public have enthusiastically taken up wood-burning stoves, encouraged by the government, even though they give out far more pollution than cars. What is going on? 

Saturday 26 August 2017


Here's a good rebuttal to Al Gore's new effort. It is by Roy Spencer who is one of the leading scientists working on the UAH satellite temperature data. The link is to an excellent summary by Paul Homewood who is, rightly, getting a lot of credit for his tireless work to combat the distortions and exaggerations put out by people such as Gore.

Friday 25 August 2017


This piece explains how the rule changes made by president Trump have breathed new life into the USA coal industry. Even exports to the UK have more than doubled. 

Thursday 24 August 2017


This post shows that our knowledge of the Arctic is very incomplete and that if we are able to look back beyond 1979 when the first satellite data became available we see that the ice quantity has varied much more than many people have assumed. Today's levels are far from being unique, or worrying.

Wednesday 23 August 2017


This piece has comparison tables and explains why some nations have much higher prices than others. The ones which rely on wind and solar fare the worst, in general, though taxation also plays a part.

Tuesday 22 August 2017


U.S. Climate Policy -- Get Ready For The Next Round Of HypeFox News, 15 August 2017

W. David Montgomery

Preparations are well underway in the liberal media to make August 18 a milestone in the history of climate policy.  That is the date when a special U.S. government report on the state of climate science by authors from 13 federal agencies, known as the U.S. Global Change Research Program, is due to be released. 

But if August 18 does become a day to be remembered, it will be as a much-hyped political event, not a scientific one. The substance of the USGCRP report apparently only rehashes, at great length, research that was assessed even more exhaustively in the Fifth Assessment Report or FAR, published in 2013 by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The report’s claim of progress is supported by lists of advances in climate science since 2013, but the major conclusions of the report are no different from the FAR and are based on the same materials.  Over and over, the report states that support for its conclusions comes from the FAR.

What is different is that the well-known research findings -- well known to experts, anyway -- are summarized in the USGCRP document in a way that makes them appear newer, stronger and more alarmist than they really are.

The New York Times stoked the hype by claiming on August 7 that it had unearthed the report from where it was being hidden by Trump Administration doubters, when in truth drafts of the report were readily available and posted for public comment.

In summary, there is little new about climate science in the report, and nothing at all new about attribution of past warming and extreme weather events to human activity, projections of future warming and its effects, or potential for catastrophic changes.

Then the Times became excited about how the report would finally force the administration to admit the reality of climate change.  The Times even embedded a video of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt in one article, with the heading “A draft report by scientists from 13 federal agencies directly contradicts statements by Scott Pruitt, the E.P.A. administrator, that human contribution to climate change is uncertain.” But the USGCRP report itself recognizes and describes the uncertainty of climate science, which all involved except the Times editors understand.

The headline and editorial writers are having a wonderful time inventing claims about how novel and definitive the report will be. They are aided and abetted by selective summarizing of key sections of the report.

For example: “Attribution” is the term applied to efforts to determine how much of the observed increase in global average temperature since 1950 is caused by human activity, principally carbon dioxide emissions and land use change.

The upcoming report claims there has been substantial progress in attribution research since the IPCC covered this topic extensively in 2013.  At that time, the IPCC declined to give a single number for the share attributable to human activity.  The definitive statement of the IPCC was that more than half of observed warming was attributable to human activity.

In contrast, the USGCRP report claims that human activity was responsible for 100 percent of observed warming.

This major rewording comes despite the fact that the USGCRP report relies exclusively on the FAR for its calculations of the human share of warming.   Nor does the report cite new evidence that would justify its shock-value conclusion.
The new summary judgments are made subjectively by the authors of the report, who are all government employees working on climate research or academics supported by government climate funding.  I question why these authors chose to make the scarier statement when they could have relied on the IPCC report to settle the attribution question.

This pattern is repeated through the major findings.  Summary statements are phrased to give the impression of greater certainty and larger impacts than either the text of the report or the earlier FAR support.

For example, the report highlights a statement about decreases in surface soil moisture in the United States but leaves for the reader to unearth the statement that “Little evidence is found for a human influence on observed precipitation deficits.”

In other words, the report admits that there is low confidence in attribution of drought on a global scale to human influence on climate.

As another example, the report discusses how changes in the El Nino weather phenomenon and in ocean currents have contributed to recent extreme weather events. But then the USGCRP report admits that there is little evidence of human influence on past changes in either El Nino or ocean currents.

The discussion of projected impacts of warming is wide open to selective quotation because it frequently starts with a broad statement of a tendency and then admits that it is impossible to say how large the effect will be.   For example, the statement that sea level rise will increase flooding due to coastal storms is later qualified by the statement that there is “low confidence in the magnitude” of the increase in flood risk.

Likewise, the upcoming report highlights a statement that extreme temperatures in the U.S. are likely to increase “even more” than average temperatures, but a description of the beneficial effect of fewer severely cold days and fewer cold waves is left hidden in the text.

The agencies’ report also gives emphasis to the possibility of unanticipated and impossible-to-manage changes in the climate system in the next century.   This is a topic likely to attract editorial attention, but a closer reading of the text reveals that highlighted risk is only speculation about a physical possibility.

In its discussion of specific examples, such as a catastrophic change in ocean circulation patterns, the report emphasizes predicted risks that the FAR concluded were minimal through the rest of the century.

Given the uproar over President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, statements in the report about that topic are also likely to be widely quoted.  Here the report is subtle in how it summarizes findings about the importance of that agreement.

It states that “successful implementation of the first round of Nationally Determined Contributions associated with the Paris Agreement will provide some likelihood of meeting the long-term temperature goal [of] 2oC.”

That could suggest to a reader that the Paris Agreement was well on its way to achieving the goal, but the study cited in the report concludes that the Paris Agreement only increases the probability of achieving the target from zero to eight percent.

In other words, the odds of global temperature increases staying below 2oC remain at 12 to 1 against, even with the Paris Agreement.

The report raises the stakes for the Paris Agreement by describing the 2oC goal as “what scientists have referred to as the guardrail beyond which changes become catastrophic.”

Nothing in the USGCRP report or the FAR supports calling 2oC a guarantee of no harmful effects or a trigger that ensures catastrophe if it is exceeded.  Moreover, the very study cited in the discussion of the Paris Agreement found that there was no scenario for the Paris Agreement that gave better than a 50-50 chance of staying below 2oC.

One claim in the USGCRP report is not about climate but about research activities, and it is quite understandable.  It is that there have been major advances in climate science since 2013.  The USGCRP is a target in the 2018 budget, and reporting recent achievements sends the message that cutting the USGCRP budget will shut off the progress.

Monday 21 August 2017


Science Matters, 10 August 2017

Ron Clutz

July Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) are now available, and we can see further ocean cooling led by plummeting temps in the  Tropics and SH, continuing the downward trajectory from the previous 12 months.

HadSST is generally regarded as the best of the global SST data sets, and so the temperature story here comes from that source, the latest version being HadSST3.

The chart below shows the last two years of SST monthly anomalies as reported in HadSST3 including July 2017.

In May despite a slight rise in the Tropics, declines in both hemispheres and globally caused SST cooling to resume after an upward bump in April.  Now in July a large drop is showing both in the Tropics and in SH, declining the last 4 months.  Meanwhile the NH is peaking in July as usual, but well down from the previous July.  The net of all this is a slightly lower Global anomaly but with likely additional future cooling led by the Tropics and also SH hitting new lows for this period.

Note that higher temps in 2015 and 2016 were first of all due to a sharp rise in Tropical SST, beginning in March 2015, peaking in January 2016, and steadily declining back to its beginning level. Secondly, the Northern Hemisphere added two bumps on the shoulders of Tropical warming, with peaks in August of each year. Also, note that the global release of heat was not dramatic, due to the Southern Hemisphere offsetting the Northern one. Note that Global anomaly for July 2017 matches closely to April 2015.  However,  SH and the Tropics are lower now and trending down compared to an upward trend in 2015.

We have seen lots of claims about the temperature records for 2016 and 2015 proving dangerous man made warming.  At least one senator stated that in a confirmation hearing.  Yet HadSST3 data for the last two years show how obvious is the ocean’s governing of global average temperatures.

The best context for understanding these two years comes from the world’s sea surface temperatures (SST), for several reasons:
  • The ocean covers 71% of the globe and drives average temperatures;
  • SSTs have a constant water content, (unlike air temperatures), so give a better reading of heat content variations;
  • A major El Nino was the dominant climate feature these years.

Sunday 20 August 2017


Here is a most interesting and informative piece on the subject of air pollution and the number of deaths attributed to it. I have referred to this subject several times recently as it seems it is being used in place of climate change as an issue to get the public on side for the proposed ban on fossil fuels. The reality is that today's engines have far lower emissions of harmful pollutants than any that preceded them and so it is certain that deaths would be coming down to very low levels.

Of course that is not the story that the government want to put out and so they spin the facts to give exactly the opposite picture. Today scientists are able to measure levels so low that we would have been unable to detect them in the past and so they are able to set maximum limits at these levels and so use this as an excuse to persuade the public to support a ban on the fossil fuel engines and heating systems that have served us so well and cheaply for the past century. Instead they propose that we rely on electricity from wind and solar energy. This is nothing more than a pipe dream - a very expensive and unreliable one. When will they wake up?

Further reading on this here. And what about power stations that burn wood instead of coal? This report says they are as bad as millions of diesel cars.

Saturday 19 August 2017


This article gives the details. Clearly this demonstrates another failure of computer climate models, as they are unable to replicate this. For all their bluster climate scientists must admit that they do not understand the Earth's climate. A lot more humility on their part is needed. Is it any wonder the public are still sceptical. 

Friday 18 August 2017


This article explains why some scientists are now convinced that the temperature of the Earth (and other planets) is determined by a phenomenon called the lapse rate, and that CO2 only plays a minor part. 

Thursday 17 August 2017


Here is the reason why President Trump was right to leave the Paris Agreement. The climate change meme is a vehicle for many opportunists to latch on to and it is also a way for ordinary citizens to be fleeced by collusion between big government and supranational organisations such as the EU and the UN. The climate fund is said to be a slush fund for the world's tyrants, in which case why is the UK not following the USA lead?

Wednesday 16 August 2017


We are constantly bombarded with the statements that climate change is "a fact", "the debate is over" 97% of scientists agree". These statements are designed to shut down any doubts and make people believe that it is pointless to argue. Here is the article to debunk this nonsense. We must not allow these statements to go unchallenged. Most people who use them are politicians who do not understand what poor data  underpins them. Once they are challenged with the facts their bluster is exposed as woefully weak.

Tuesday 15 August 2017


This is the true story of how the British public are being shafted by a policy that would have looked too bizarre even for the Soviet Union. The headline to this article will not surprise regular readers of this blog, but the article referred here deserves a wider audience, as until the majority of the public are aware of the true extent of this, the government will be able to carry on getting away with it.

The truly mind-boggling sums of money involved in all this are just a part of the price the public are being asked to pay to reduce our CO2 emissions by an insignificant amount that will make no observable change either to world CO2 emissions or to the global surface temperature or to the climate. It is, quite simply an astronomically expensive, utterly pointless exercise.

Monday 14 August 2017


This article gives a very clear explanation of how these key cycles can explain the many past changes in climate, as well as forecasting what future changes are likely to come

Sunday 13 August 2017


This is where the climate alarmists will run into trouble. Humans can be made to suffer a little, but attacking people's pets is not likely to increase support for this or any other cause. I once pondered that the government ought, if it was serious and there really was a planetary emergency,  to ban Christmas lights. But, of course, they would not dare, as they know that people would rise up against such a proposal.

Politicians know the public are, mostly, only marginally prepared to go along with policies to reduce CO2. The public have to know as little as possible about the details of the actual costs of these policies, and they need to be led gently into the new CO2 reduced world. Only when this has happened and we have become fully brain-washed, will the pets be led away and the Christmas lights turned off.  Welcome to the brave new world. 

Saturday 12 August 2017


Data Quality – Surface Temperatures: Writing in Energy Matters, Roger Andrews has begun an examination of efforts to adjust measurements to a preconceived idea. His first part deals with land-based, surface-air temperatures (SAT). Ideally, these are taken roughly at 5 feet +/- one foot (1.5 to 2 meters) above the ground, in the shade, over a grassy or dirt field, 100 feet from pavement, buildings, trees, etc. A Stevenson screen is the standard to provide shade and protection from precipitation. As research by Anthony Watts has shown, relatively few official measuring devises in the US meet these criteria, which have not been moved.

Adding to the difficulty of maintaining a database of proper measurements, NOAA (National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) in Ashville, NC, (formerly the National Climatic Data Center), which is entrusted to keep records, has frequently changed them. Thus, their database and the databases of other entities using them, such as NASA-GISS and Climatic Research Unit (CRU), are questionable.

Andrews explains that he has spent about 20 years reconstructing and analysing the SAT data, He has addressed a number of individual examples where it appears that data were adjusted to match theory. In this systematic effort, he focuses on the SAT from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (NASA-GISS, on Broadway). He compares the old GISS with the new GISS temperatures globally, and by northern and southern hemisphere. Subtracting the old from the new produces a warming trend – indicating a bias. He found that a large part of this trend came from elaborate procedures under the guise of homogeneity adjustments. Even the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) dataset was infected, as Andrews shows for South America where cooling areas became warming areas.

The conclusions by Andrews give pause for any value of the use of the NOAA, NASA, CRU datasets in establishing climate models for predictions / forecasts. Andrews writes:

“The conclusions? In previous posts and comments I had said that adjustments had added only about 0.2°C of spurious warming to the global SAT record over the last 100 years or so – not enough to make much difference. But after further review it now appears that they may have added as much as 0.4°C.”

“…and that global surface air temperatures have increased by only about 0.7°C over this period, not by the ~1.1°C shown by the published SAT series.”

None of this is new. Joe D’Aleo has been sounding the alarm for years, alienating colleagues at the American Meteorological Society, where he is a fellow. However, it is important to have different people familiar with high standards of data quality to review the work of others. No doubt some will challenge this analysis stating that Andrews is not a climate scientist. That approach is used against Steve McIntyre who is a consultant for mining companies. McIntyre along with Ross McKitrick exposed Mr. Mann’s faulty “hockey-stick.”

Andrews has a response to such criticisms.

“In my previous incarnation as a consultant in the mining industry I spent a lot of time verifying assay data bases (copper, gold, silver, lead, zinc etc.), and in doing so I learned all about the sanctity of raw data. You don’t adjust your raw data unless you have ironclad reasons for doing so. You either verify them or throw them out. Too many widows and orphans have been ruined by unscrupulous miners peddling bogus assays to do it any other way. The stock exchange regulators who ride herd on the public announcements of mining companies are very insistent about this, and woe betide anyone who tries to put one across on them and gets caught doing it.” [Boldface added.]

There are no penalties for manipulating climate data; perhaps there should be. From the attitudes expressed by Andrews and McIntyre, mining consultants are very scrupulous about details – data. Since many are concerned about climate change, it should be so for all climate scientists. If those who build mathematical models describing climate use poor data, then the models will describe the climate poorly.

That said, Andrews tests whether the warming trend is a result of the urban heat island effect (UHI). He concludes it is not. Though, in part it may be due to a shift in location of instruments to airports, as Fred Singer has suggested. Andrews writes further:

“There is no grand conspiracy to foist non-existent global warming onto a gullible public. The reason some think there is one is that the data adjusters are under intense pressure to come up with the “right” results, which inevitably makes their findings somewhat less than objective. Global warming, AKA climate change, is a major growth industry that already gives employment to hundreds of thousands of people, including some very influential ones, and the bandwagon has to be kept rolling.”

No doubt, the bandwagon effect is highly influential among national scientific organizations. But, if carbon dioxide emissions are causing dangerous global warming / climate change, we need credible data. It appears that by their data manipulations, NOAA and NASA-GISS are undermining their own credibility.

The difference of 0.4°C between the old and new data that Andrews calculates, is significant when one considers that NOAA, NASA, etc. recently proclaimed that 2016 was the hottest year ever – by 0.04°C.

Amazingly, in addition to its National Centers for Environmental Information, NOAA has “National Centers for Environmental Prediction” which proclaims its core values are Personal Accountability, Scientific Integrity, Honesty, and Trust.

Friday 11 August 2017


This report gives the details of the broadcasts. It reveals  a clear case of political answers being given by climate scientists. Science has been pushed aside by politics.


This study reveals that the Met Office’s model-based rainfall forecasts have not stood up to empirical tests, and do not seem to give better advice than observational records.  It is time we moved away from using computer simulations and returned to actual evidence of observed records.

Thursday 10 August 2017


This piece explains the terms of the government's new review into energy prices must not recommend change to green energy taxes. So much for an independent review then. 

Wednesday 9 August 2017


How to deal with scare stories like this. The media love scary climate stories and so they give them prominence and the public, for the most part, are taken in as they know very little about it. The first thing to say is that the figures are arrived at by no more than computer-modelled guesswork. How do they know that there are currently 3,000 deaths a year related to heat? They do not. There are very few deaths where the cause of death is stated as "heat". They have simply used and manipulated some data to obtain results that confirm what they wish to find. Confirmation bias, it is called.

The comments below the article offer some sound opinion. I liked this one from Eric Simpson:
"I’m tired of the leftist Chicken Littles constantly crying wolf.
Their predictions, going back decades, have NEVER come true. In fact they haven’t even come close to coming true. They’re just way off the mark, every time. So why are we to believe them now?
Here’s some of their failed predictions:
“Entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000.” -Noel Brown, ex UNEP Director, 1989
“A billion people could die from global warming by 2020.” -John Holdren (Obama’s Science Czar), 1986
“European cities will be plunged beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a Siberian climate by 2020.” -Paul Harris, UK Ecojournalist, 2004
“[Inaction will cause]… by the turn of the century [2000], an ecological catastrophe which will witness devastation as complete, as irreversible as any nuclear holocaust.” -Mustafa Tolba, 1982, former Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program

What’s more, they have, over and over again, EXPLICITLY said that they should make up bs predictions of doom:
“We have to offer up scary scenarios… each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective and being honest.” -Stephen Schneider, lead ipcc author, 1989
“It doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.” -Paul Watson, Co-Founder of Greenpeace
“Unless we announce disasters no one will listen.” -Sir John Houghton, first ipcc chair
“The only way to get our society to truly change is to frighten people with the possibility of a catastrophe.” -Daniel Botkin, ex Chair of Environmental Studies, UCSB
Their never ending crying wolf fear-mongering should be considered an absolute joke. But no, the leftist MSM takes them seriously and continues to give the laughable Prophets of Doom credibility."   

Tuesday 8 August 2017


Could much of the global warming measured over recent decades be due to the changeover from traditional mercury thermometers to modern electronic thermometers? this article provides data that  shows that it is quite possible. This could explain why data that could prove this is being destroyed.

While I don't believe in grand conspiracy theories, there is no doubt that there is a kind of "political correctness" that has enveloped much of the mainstream of society throughout the West regarding climate among other things (such as immigration, homosexuality etc.).  As far as climate is concerned it works  to keep the CO2 danger alive and to suppress evidence that could undermine it. Climate change, or global warming has become very political and for many it represents an opportunity to usher in a kind of world socialism in which the world becomes a "fairer place" as they see it. Others, of course see it as an opportunity to make money. 

Monday 7 August 2017


The following letter from me was published in the local paper the Advertiser and Times (A&T) on 4 August 2017 in response to an article in the paper about school essays from students about what the climate might be in 2050:-

"The evidence for rapid increase in Earth's surface temperature leading to damaging changes in climate are looking  weaker as each passing year goes by. Here in the UK climate records prove that nothing we have experienced is outside  the range of events that have happened in the past and extreme events are not increasing in frequency. Sea level  continues to rise at 1 to 3 mm. a year as it has for the past hundred years or more.

Despite this, the government ploughs on with its policy of banning the sale of new internal combustion engine cars  from 2040 despite expected problems of coping with the extra surge in demand for charging the batteries of electric  vehicles due to predicted power shortages.

From what I read in the A & T (21 July p.23) young students appear to be given only a one-sided story about our future climate. They need to be told that the scary predictions they are writing about are only the product of computer  models. These models are so basic that they are unable to consider, for example,  the effect of changes in clouds.   Models have predicted double the amount of warming that has actually occurred, which gives little confidence in their  predictions further into the future.

President Trump should be congratulated for having the courage to quit the pointless and damaging Paris climate accord,  and having another close look at what lies behind it. It is time for the UK government to do the same".

I wonder what the reaction of readers will be, if any?

Sunday 6 August 2017


This article lists six good reasons to be a climate sceptic and explains why each of them is valid. Well worth a read.

Saturday 5 August 2017


Reuters, 28 July 2017

WASHINGTON/LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. coal exports have jumped more than 60 percent this year due to soaring demand from Europe and Asia, according to a Reuters review of government data, allowing President Donald Trump’s administration to claim that efforts to revive the battered industry are working.

The increased shipments came as the European Union and other U.S. allies heaped criticism on the Trump administration for its rejection of the Paris Climate Accord, a deal agreed by nearly 200 countries to cut carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels like coal.

The previously unpublished figures provided to Reuters by the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed exports of the fuel from January through May totalled 36.79 million tons, up 60.3 percent from 22.94 million tons in the same period in 2016. While reflecting a bounce from 2016, the shipments remained well-below volumes recorded in equivalent periods the previous five years.

They included a surge to several European countries during the 2017 period, including a 175 percent increase in shipments to the United Kingdom, and a doubling to France – which had suffered a series of nuclear power plant outages that required it and regional neighbours to rely more heavily on coal.

“If Europe wants to lecture Trump on climate then EU member states need transition plans to phase out polluting coal,” said Laurence Watson, a data scientist working on coal at independent think tank Carbon Tracker Initiative in London.

Nicole Bockstaller, a spokeswoman at the EU Commission’s Energy and Climate Action department, said that the EU’s coal imports have generally been on a downward trend since 2006, albeit with seasonable variations like high demand during cold snaps in the winter.

Overall exports to European nations totalled 16 million tons in the first five months of this year, up from 10.5 million in the same period last year, according to the figures. Exports to Asia meanwhile, totalled 12.3 million tons, compared to 6.2 million tons in the year-earlier period.

Trump had campaigned on a promise to “cancel” the Paris deal and sweep away Obama-era environmental regulations to help coal miners, whose output last year sank to the lowest level since 1978. The industry has been battered for years by surging supplies of cheaper natural gas, brought on by better drilling technologies, and increased use of natural gas to fuel power plants.

His administration has since sought to kill scores of pending regulations he said threatened industries like coal mining, and reversed a ban on new coal leasing on federal lands.

Taking Credit

Both the coal industry and the Trump administration said the rising exports of both steam coal, used to generate electricity, and metallurgical coal, used in heavy industry, were evidence that Trump’s agenda was having a positive impact.

“Simply to know that coal no longer has to fight the government – that has to have some effect on investment decisions and in the outlook by companies, producers and utilities that use coal,” said Luke Popovich, a spokesman for the National Mining Association.

Shaylyn Hynes, a spokeswoman at the U.S. Energy Department, said: “These numbers clearly show that the Trump Administration’s policies are helping to revive an industry that was the target of costly and job killing overregulation from Washington for far too long.”

Friday 4 August 2017


Financial Times, 27 July 2017

The first commercial fracking well in the UK is set to be drilled within weeks in spite of strong opposition from protesters at the site near Blackpool.

Image result for frack on gwpf

Lorries brought a drilling rig to the Lancashire site of shale gas explorer Cuadrilla during the early hours of Thursday under police escort, before anti-fracking activists could block the company’s main gate.

But in an indication of how protesters are determined to try to disrupt Cuadrilla’s operations, later in the day four activists from environmental group Reclaim the Power locked themselves inside cars at the site entrance and placed their arms in concrete so they could not be moved without being injured.

Cuadrilla has had to wait six years to frack again after causing a minor earthquake near Blackpool during a test in 2011.

After securing planning permission from the government last year to frack at a different site in Lancashire, Cuadrilla now hopes to start a long-awaited shale gas revolution in the UK similar to that witnessed in the US.

Britain has an estimated 1,300tn cubic feet of shale gas reserves, mainly in the north of England and the Midlands, according to the British Geological Survey. If 10 per cent could be extracted, it could satisfy the UK’s total gas needs for 50 years, based on current consumption levels, the government has calculated.

Thursday 3 August 2017


Imagine that there is a new scientific theory that warns of an impending crisis, and points to a way out.
This theory quickly draws support from leading scientists, politicians and celebrities around the world. Research is funded by distinguished philanthropies, and carried out at prestigious universities. The crisis is reported frequently in the media. The science is taught in college and high school classrooms.
I don’t mean global warming. I’m talking about another theory, which rose to prominence a century ago.
Its supporters included Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Winston Churchill. It was approved by Supreme Court justices Oliver Wendell Holmes and Louis Brandeis, who ruled in its favour. The famous names who supported it included Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone; activist Margaret Sanger; botanist Luther Burbank; Leland Stanford, founder of Stanford University; the novelist H. G. Wells; the playwright George Bernard Shaw; and hundreds of others. Nobel Prize winners gave support. Research was backed by the Carnegie and Rockefeller Foundations. The Cold Springs Harbour Institute was built to carry out this research, but important work was also done at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford and Johns Hopkins. Legislation to address the crisis was passed in states from New York to California.
These efforts had the support of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Medical Association, and the National Research Council. It was said that if Jesus were alive, he would have supported this effort.
All in all, the research, legislation and moulding of public opinion surrounding the theory went on for almost half a century. Those who opposed the theory were shouted down and called reactionary, blind to reality, or just plain ignorant. But in hindsight, what is surprising is that so few people objected. Today, we know that this famous theory that gained so much support was actually pseudoscience. The crisis it claimed was non existent. And the actions taken in the name of theory were morally and criminally wrong. Ultimately, they led to the deaths of millions of people. [...]
I am not arguing that global warming is the same as eugenics. But the similarities are not superficial. And I do claim that open and frank discussion of the data, and of the issues, is being suppressed. Leading scientific journals have taken strong editorial positions of the side of global warming, which, I argue, they have no business doing. Under the circumstances, any scientist who has doubts understands clearly that they will be wise to mute their expression.
One proof of this suppression is the fact that so many of the outspoken critics of global warming are retired professors. These individuals are not longer seeking grants, and no longer have to face colleagues whose grant applications and career advancement may be jeopardized by their criticisms.
In science, the old men are usually wrong. But in politics, the old men are wise, counsel caution, and in the end are often right.
The past history of human belief is a cautionary tale. We have killed thousands of our fellow human beings because we believed they had signed a contract with the devil, and had become witches. We still kill more than a thousand people each year for witchcraft. In my view, there is only one hope for humankind to emerge from what Carl Sagan called “the demon-haunted world” of our past. That hope is science.
But as Alston Chase put it, “when the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power.”
That is the danger we now face. And this is why the intermixing of science and politics is a bad combination, with a bad history. We must remember the history, and be certain that what we present to the world as knowledge is disinterested and honest.

Full essay

Wednesday 2 August 2017


Have you viewed the recent talk given to the GWPF by Roger Pielke Jr? You can access it here. It is quite a lengthy video including about an hour of questions. I found it irrelevant as it was about reaching a "consensus" on how to deal with climate policy, and so Pielke presumed that it was necessary to deal with a problem, whereas I do not accept that there is a problem. Yes I accept that CO2 may cause slight warming as its concentration in the atmosphere doubles from 0.03% to 0.06%, but as that is predicted to be around 1 degree C, and that other factors may even reduce that or even eliminate it, there is no reason for a policy at this time.

I found it hard to hear the questions from the audience as they were not given a microphone and many of them did not seem to have good diction. From the answers given I do not think any of them put forward my point above, which I found a little surprising as I would have thought that among climate sceptics a lot would share my view. No one also suggested that the political "solutions" put forward, such as the Paris accord, were not fair and neither did they work in terms of preventing future increase in CO2 world-wide.

In fact the world's governments can never reach a total agreement on any issue, which is bad news if it were imperative that they did in order to save us from any real threat. Mr Pielke tries to be reasonable by wanting to reach a consensus, but it is no surprise to me that he is disliked by the main protagonists from both sides. He reminds me of the UK prime minister who tried to reach agreement with Hitler just before the start of the second world war, Neville Chamberlain. He was a decent man who wanted to avoid war, but it could not be avoided.   

Tuesday 1 August 2017


Look at this chart showing which vehicles produce the most nitrogen oxides and you can see clearly that petrol vehicles (8%) produce far less than diesels (37%), and yet the government want to phase out both at the same time. They know the public are much more concerned by possible health issues and so they hope they will think that petrol and diesel are both equally bad.

Air pollution
The announcement to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel engine cars in 2040 is going to hang over future governments with increasing fear as the date draws nearer. What if electric car sales fail to take off, what next? Will they increases tax on petrol and diesel to give people a nudge? And what if there is an early big uptake of electric vehicles? Then we will find the electricity grid under increasing strain as more and more home charging goes on. We might well find the lights start going out and power cuts become the norm. Then we may find that our batteries are not charged for work - in fact they may even remove charge from them to "balance out" the grid. Motorists will not be very happy, to put it mildly. But this government need not worry. They will be long gone before all this could happen.