Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Coal: back to the future [image credit: BBC]

Coal: back to the future
[image credit: BBC]


The penny has finally dropped at the top political level in Germany that abandoning nuclear power and setting stiff carbon dioxide reduction targets is impossible, without severely damaging the economy and risking mass power shortages.

Of course the usual fanatics continue to insist that such a price has to be paid, seemingly oblivious to the long-term standstill in global temperatures that suggests so-called climate policy is largely irrelevant anyway.

Breitbart London reports: Germany’s Vice Chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, has indicated that the country will abandon its commitment to reducing CO2 emissions by 40 percent by 2020, from a 1990 base level.

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image

David Cameron PROMISED a House of Commons a vote on the European Arrest Warrant last night. Guess what? He lied. AGAIN.

This government has consistently treated the British people with contempt. Even the Conservative Party’s own Members of Parliament accused it of “deception”, and Speaker Bercow, with whom I rarely agree, called it a “sorry saga”. He was right.

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From Steve Crowther – UKIP Chaiman. This is too important to be UKIP members only. Get in touch with your local branch via UKIP.org and join us at Old Palace Yard, opposite the House of Lords, from mid-day on MONDAY.

Mass Lobby of Parliament – MONDAY

THE TIME HAS COME: it has now been announced that on Monday afternoon (10th) the House of Commons will debate the hand-over of 35 Law and Justice powers to the EU – without a referendum.

These include the infamous European Arrest Warrant, used recently to handcuff and imprison the parents of Ashya King.

These powers – part of the 135 powers that the UK can opt out of this year under the Lisbon Treaty – are being handed back to the EU voluntarily, without a referendum.

  • They end the tradition of Habeas Corpus which has protected British citizens from arbitrary arrest for 900 years.
  • They open the door for UK citizens to come under the power of the new European Public Prosecutor, even though the government has opted out of this.
  • They constitute a clear hand-over of powers to the EU without a referendum. Given the opportunity to ‘repatriate’ powers, the government is doing the opposite – and again breaking its pledge to ask the people by holding a referendum before handing over more of OUR sovereignty.

JOIN US ON MONDAY FOR A MASS LOBBY OF PARLIAMENT.

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Energy made in Germany

Energy made in Germany

The already high cost of Germany’s ‘energy transition’, which includes a lot of new coal power stations as well as vast expense on renewables, looks about to get even higher. Nuclear power station operators want some of their money back.
***
Nuclear Power Daily reports: Germany’s phase-out of nuclear energy has triggered over 20 lawsuits by big power companies who have demanded billions of euros in damages, said a government paper released Tuesday.

Berlin after Japan’s 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster moved to immediately shutter the country’s eight oldest reactors and close all others by 2022 while boosting renewable energy such as wind, solar and biomass.

Three large electricity companies — EON, RWE and Vattenfall — have responded with a spate of court challenges, which the environment ministry has listed for the first time in response to a request by the Greens party.

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Opportunity Cost is the Achilles Heel of High Speed 2

Posted: November 5, 2014 by tallbloke in Politics, Travel

tallbloke:

.
Short and to the point, this article contains very useful reference links. Which way our public transport systems?

Originally posted on Richard Wellings:

An economically rational transport investment policy would allocate scarce resources to those projects with the highest returns.

Yet even if one accepts the official estimates – and in reality there are major doubts as to whether the benefits will actually outweigh the costs – it is clear that High Speed 2 offers poor value for money compared with alternative transport schemes (data on rates of return on transport schemes here).

The issue of Opportunity Cost is therefore the Achilles Heel of HS2. Clearly the vast resources required would be far better deployed elsewhere.

If the aim is to cut journey times, then other schemes would deliver more valuable savings for less expenditure.

If the objective is to address overcrowding then there are far more cost-effective ways of increasing capacity and making more efficient use of existing links.

And if regeneration of the North is the priority, then greater…

View original 42 more words

ccaA hard hitting article appears in the Mail which slams the climate change act.

Six years ago today, an ambitious Labour politician, newly appointed climate change secretary, set Britain on a ruinous path that threatens our energy-dependent civilisation with collapse.
Such is the devastating conclusion of Owen Paterson, the Tory former Environment Secretary, who yesterday joined Lord Lawson among the highest-profile critics of the political consensus on energy policy.
For it was on October 16, 2008, that the new secretary of state – Ed Miliband, by name – set us the legally binding goal of meeting the EU’s wildly ambitious target to cut carbon emissions by 80 per cent before 2050 (and how significant that no other country has followed his lead).
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Cameron-stinkyThis article is by Tim Channon[1], not Tallbloke.

Cameron is complaining about a small surcharge after he agrees to the far larger EU Climate agenda including EU ETS.

Media buy the smokescreen.

Dates are important

From gov.uk web site

Speech
European Council October 2014: David Cameron’s speech
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street and The Rt Hon David Cameron MP
Delivered on: 24 October 2014 (Transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered)

Good afternoon and welcome. It has been 24 hours in Brussels with some notable and important successes, but also with some deep frustrations and frankly quite a bit of anger about the way we have been treated.

…  [Ebola]

The second issue has been climate change, where I want to make sure Europe is playing its part in delivering a global deal that can prevent dangerous climate change. I think it was very important that Europe stepped up to the plate, and we have done that, with committing ourselves to more than 40% reductions of greenhouse gases by 2030.
https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/european-council-october-2014-david-camerons-speech

Who got the headlines and brickbats over an announced EU climate intent? Not Cameron, the outgoing Rompuy.

Cameron has gone very loudly ballistic over money, hiding the climate issue completely. Looks like the media bought this.

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Artist Perry Grayson has made a vase decorated with motifs related to Chris Huhne, smashed it with a lump hammer, and repaired it, before displaying it in the National Portrait Gallery.

Grayson Perry vase

Grayson Perry’s vase features speed cameras, penises, Huhne, his mobile phone, personalised number plates, and wind turbines.

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The low cost of fighting climate change

Posted: October 22, 2014 by tchannon in alarmism, Politics

U.S., EU want U.N. to stress low cost of climate change fight – draft

(Reuters) – The United States and European Union want the U.N. to stress the low cost of fighting climate change in a draft handbook on the issue that it is compiling, a leaked document showed on Tuesday.

The United States wants the handbook to do more to show that the costs of action “will be almost insignificant relative to projected growth”, the document showed.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/10/21/uk-climatechange-ipcc-idUKKCN0IA15620141021

It mentions a pause slowdown.

Saudi Arabia said that the period of the slowdown should be extended to 1998-2014 from 1998-2012 in the draft.

Wonder if we can prise a copy of the document out of anyone?

The US riding on a shale gas boom, exporting oil again, talks about negligible cost? Or perhaps this really is a paper tiger, fight meaning no more than a lot of jaw and noise, no real action. Talk is cheap.

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Remember this in May when you cast your vote. In order to get past the real threat of blackouts as our generation capacity teeters close to the brink, our government now wants old people to eke out their pensions heating a single room and to merge with the Green party in telling the rest of us to jump up and down to keep warm while forking out to subsidise rich landowners to host corporate sized wind farms. They’ve got to go.

heat-one-room

 

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Ex-Environment minister Owen Paterson is tonight delivering the annual GWPF lecture. In it he will say the climate change act should be scrapped. UKIP has been saying this for years and has had a detailed energy policy document out for years detailing better alternatives for a viable mixed energy policy. The full text of his speech has been published at the Spectator. Here’s an except:

The vital importance of affordable energy

owen-patersonBut first, let us consider what is at stake. We now live in an almost totally computer-dependent world. Without secure power the whole of our modern civilisation collapses: banking, air traffic control, smart phones, refrigerated food, life-saving surgery, entertainment, education, industry and transport.

We are lucky to live in a country where energy has been affordable and reliable.

Yet we cannot take this for granted.

While most public discussion is driven by the immediacy of the looming 2020 EU renewables target; policy is actually dominated by the EU’s long-term 2050 target.

The 2050 target is for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent relative to 1990 levels. The target has been outlined by the European Commission. But it is only the UK that has made it legally binding through the Climate Change Act – a piece of legislation that I and virtually every other MP voted for.

The 2050 target of cutting emissions by 80 percent, requires the almost complete decarbonisation of the electricity supply in 36 years.

In the short and medium term, costs to consumers will rise dramatically, and the lights would eventually go out. Not because of a temporary shortfall, but because of structural failures, from which we will find it extremely difficult and expensive to recover.

We must act now.

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[credit: Electricité de France (EDF)]

[credit: Electricité de France (EDF)]

France seems to be modelling itself largely on the creaking, super-expensive German model of energy supply. In other words, maximum intermittent renewables at whatever it costs.

But unlike Germany they will have 50% nuclear, so half a secure system in theory (excluding fossil fuel input). A side-effect of this policy could well be reduced availability of electricity supply from France to the UK.

Phys.org reports:
Lawmakers in France, the world’s most nuclear-dependent country, on Friday voted to cut reliance on the energy source from more than 75 percent to 50 percent within a decade.

The vote comes as part of an ambitious makeover of France’s energy use promised by President Francois Hollande during his 2012 election campaign.

The measure calls for renewables to increase in the energy mix for electricity production, rising from 23 percent in 2020 to 32 percent in 2030.
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UKIP kicks

Posted: October 10, 2014 by tchannon in Politics
dougclacton

Doug Carswell gives the thumbs-up to supporters in Clacton yesterday

UKIP as expected won the Clacton by-election, first Westminster MP for UKIP and someone with parliamentary experience.

Much more interesting was the result for Heywood and Middleton where UKIP came very close, 617 votes, to beating Labour in a safe Labour seat. A swing of 18 per cent from Labour to UKIP.

That is going to send shock waves.

The next question is the reaction of the Cons/Labour/LibDems, how they are are going to bend without bending to try and retain voters.

The most interesting general election in years is getting close.

Posted by Tim

Rog Adds:

It’s an exciting time to be a UKIP member – I succeeded in my bid to become the prospective parliamentary candidate for my local constituency of Pudsey at our hustings event on Wednesday evening. Seeing Doug Carswell and John Bickley do so well the following night has topped off my week.

We have a lot of support out there willing us on to success against the legacy parties and the cozy Westminster cartel.

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Talkshop contributor Cheremon emailed me earlier to say that today is the centenary of the birth of Adventurer and anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl. Here’s a short Biography of this remarkable man. I visited the museum and ‘ethnological park he built on Teneriffe (with Fred Olson’s money) some years ago, and marvelled at the similarity of the ancient artifacts from both sides of the Atlantic on display next to the pyramids he excavated from a pile of rubble. This from Biography.com:

 

Thor Heyerdahl Biography

Writer, Academic, Archaeologist, Explorer (1914–2002)
Born in 1914, Thor Heyerdahl grew up in Norway. He attended Oslo University, where he studied zoology. In 1936, Heyerdahl went to live on the Pacific island of Fatu Hiva. He made his world-famous voyage from Peru to French Polynesia aboard the Kon-Tiki in 1947. His book about this adventure became an international hit. In 1953, Heyerdahl led an archaelogical expedition to the Galapagos Islands. Two years later, he traveled to Easter Island. In his later years, Heyerdahl excavated pyramids in Peru and the Canary Islands. He died in 2002. (more…)

The plot below needs little explanation. The globally average surface temperature hasn’t warmed in over 18 years according to the RSS satellite dataset.

18yrs1mth

 

Now, Some say the surface hasn’t warmed because the ‘missing heat’ has gone into the oceans instead of warming the surface.However, if we look at ARGO; the best data we have for ocean heat content (OHC) (before it got reworked in 2010 by dropping buoys showing cooling from the dataset) – we see that Ocean Heat Content actually fell from 2003 to 2008:

Loehle-OHC-800

Where else could the heat have ‘hidden’? Well, the warmists claim it went deeper than the bulk of the ARGO system measures – below 700m, where uncertainty rises dramatically. However, they offer no plausible explanation of how energy is transferred through a 700m deep COOLING layer, in defiance of the second law of thermodynamics.

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German voters back AfD [image credit: BBC]

German voters back AfD
[image credit: BBC]

Recent voting successes for the ‘Alternative for Germany’ party, which in some respects is similar to UKIP, have ‘upset the chemistry of German politics’ according to a Daily Telegraph report. Oh dear, how awful (!).

Report: ‘Attempts to discredit the party as a Right-wing fringe group have failed.’ A familiar tactic with the same result as in the UK.

Although they don’t advocate leaving the EU altogether, they are opposed to Germany being a member of the ‘eurozone’ currency union.

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Coal, There’s Just No Alternative

Posted: September 14, 2014 by tchannon in Analysis, Energy, Incompetence, Politics

Tony Thomas mentions he has an opinion piece up on Quadrant about the reality of electricity and human wealth in all the ways not so obvious, but also right on the past cries of environmentalists deeming the undeveloped world must not get wealth.

Thomas discusses US author and energy specialist Robert Bryce

Bryce didn’t discuss the merits of the catastrophic human-caused global-warming hypothesis. He just delineated the irrationality of draconian global and national targets to cut CO2 emissions, given the developing world’s determination to use electricity to lift its people from poverty:

“I’m a resolute agnostic about the climate issue. Tell me CO2 is good, tell me it’s bad. I’m bored with the nastiness.

“The question that too few people are willing to ask is this one: where, how, will we find the energy equivalent of 27 Saudi Arabias and have it all be carbon-free?”

Oh yes, nastiness, a hallmark of forcing others to do your bidding…

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Given a winter of disconnect is mooted by some, any introduction of a real power station is news but not just yet.

3 The Order, if made, would grant development consent for the construction and operation of a thermal generating station that would operate either as a Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) plant or as an Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) plant, with a total electrical output of up to 470MWe at North Killingholme, Lincolnshire. The generating station would only be able to burn other types of fuel such as coal and biomass[1]  if the full Carbon Capture Storage chain is in place. A separate Environmental Permit, controlling emissions from the plant, will also be required from the Environment Agency before the generating station can be operated.
http://infrastructure.planningportal.gov.uk/projects/yorkshire-and-the-humber/north-killingholme-power-project/

Combined Cycle Gas Turbine is one of those over-egged technologies with party trick claims. As sustained base load the thermal efficiency is good but part load is dreadful, becomes a gas turbine, one of the less bright inventions which has a redeeming feature of great power in a small space. A lot to do with heat engines is counter intuitive. A weakness is always a sharp drop in thermal efficiency with power reduction, how rapidity it drops varies greatly with the technology.

And IGCC? That is where things get bad.

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The die of rolling heads lands twice.

Posted: August 31, 2014 by tchannon in Politics

Significant news as the end of the political holiday season approaches.

  • BBC Trust chair chosen replacing Patten
  • EU president chosen replacing Rompuy

The news has been that all choices for the BBC chair was thwarted by Non! A poisoned chalice. Rona Fairhead, former managerial head of the Financial Times Group, involved with HSBC and various other things.

The accepter doesn’t seem notable, managerial journeyman. I assume a non-techie so this does not bode well for sorting out bias and spin.

EU presidency is a whole different matter given a number of thorny issues. Choosing a Pole is notable: Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk

This move seems to be addressing the UK threats of leaving the EU but is also from an ex-Soviet satellite. Poland have views on eg. fraking too. And a fluent German speaker.

I am sure there will be acres of opinion on the meaning of these appointment.

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Feds: California Fracking is Safe

Posted: August 30, 2014 by oldbrew in Energy, Politics

Gas drilling rig [image credit BBC]

US gas drilling rig
[image credit BBC]


How much effort has to be put in by how many ‘authorities’ to determine whether hydraulic fracturing is an acceptable technique for recovering gas?

Surely the wisdom doesn’t vary that much from one region to another. While each federal state or country agonises over its decision, the industry as a whole continues to advance and make a big impact on the energy business worldwide.

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