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There’s the wind, water, and solar (WWS) vision promoted by a few academics, and then there’s economic and technical reality – with a seriously large chasm in between.

Friends of Science Calgary

Contributed by Robert Lyman © 2017

A new paper prepared by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Earth System Laboratory and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) is drawing attention in policy circles in the U.S. The paper critiques the claims of a study by Mark Jacobson et. al. that it is feasible, at low cost, to achieve 100% conversion of the U.S. electricity generation system to wind, hydroelectricity and solar energy by 2050 (the “WWS Vision”).

The authors of the critique include experts in the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, who could not be accused of being “climate sceptics”. Indeed, they have previously authored reports in which they concluded that an 80% decarbonisation of the U.S. electrical grid eventually could be achieved at “reasonable” cost, assuming that a broad suite of generation options and other technologies are employed. Their critique of the Jacobson…

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Image credit: Eviation


No details of costs in this IB Times report, but Eviation claims that its electric aircraft is made possible by a new aluminum air battery.

As electric cars slowly become commonplace in towns and cities, electric planes are slowly edging their way out of science fiction and into the real world.

At the International Paris Air Show, Israel-based Eviation Aircraft revealed the first prototype of its all-electric airplane, called the Alice Commuter, which is claimed to have a range of up to 600 miles at almost 280mph.

If Eviation can stick to that timeline then the progress in electronic aviation is nothing short of staggering. Just two years ago, Icelandic airline Wow Air ran an April Fool’s day joke about it launching an all-electric.

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Credit: Kite Power Systems [click to enlarge]


It may be hard to imagine large scale use of kites to generate electricity, but this is the concept being tested in Scotland with some big name backers behind it.

Kite Power Systems (KPS) has secured £2 million equity investment from the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) says Utility Week.

The Scottish economy secretary, Keith Brown confirmed the news yesterday (22 June), following a visit to Kellwood Engineering in Dumfries, where KPS’s latest 500kw demonstration model is being built. Brown said the company’s approach to wind energy “shows great promise”.

“The company has recently relocated from Essex to Glasgow and this £2 million investment from the SIB will enable it to expand further and demonstrate the latest iteration of its kite power technology in Scotland,” he added.

KPS has developed a power system that features two kites, which fly up to an altitude of 1500 feet. Both kites are attached by tethers to a winch system, which generates electricity as the winch spools out. 

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Ron Clutz takes a closer look at some of the machinations of climate alarm propagandists in their endless attempts to manipulate public opinion.

Science Matters

A new theme emerging out of the IPCC Fifth Report was the emphasis on selling the risk of man-made climate change. The idea is that scientists should not advocate policy, but do have a responsibility to convince the public of the risks resulting from burning fossil fuels.

An article illustrates how this approach shapes recent public communications in support of actions on global warming/climate change.  Treading the Fine Line Between Climate Talk and Alarmism (Op-Ed)  By Sarah E. Myhre, Ph.D. | June 23, 2017.  Excerpts:

What is our role in public leadership as scientists? I would suggest a few action items: Work to reduce risk and cost for the public; steward the public’s interest in evidence; and be steady and committed to the scientific process of dissent, revision and discovery. This means communicating risk when necessary. We would never fault an oncologist for informing patients about the cancer risks…

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Climate miserablists – look away now.

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

h/t Jo Nova

If only Yes Minister had done global warming. Well, it has now, in the new stage version.

It’s hilarious, absolutely to the point, and a must watch.

Yes Prime Minister Global Warming etc Part 1 from Aris Motas on Vimeo.

Yes Prime Minister Global Warming etc Part 2 from Aris Motas on Vimeo.

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Image credit: thedrive.com


Yet another supposedly ‘climate-friendly’ policy gets called into question as Phys.org reports. ‘Costs a fortune’ and ‘has little effect’ are two of the criticisms.

Subsidizing the purchase of electric cars in Canada is an inefficient way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that is not cost effective, according to a Montreal Economic Institute study released Thursday.

“It’s just a waste,” said Germain Belzile, one of the authors of the study, which examined electric vehicle subsidies offered by Canada’s two biggest provinces Ontario and Quebec, which can rise to as much as a third of a vehicle’s purchase price, depending on the model. “Not only do these programs cost taxpayers a fortune, but they also have little effect on GHG emissions,” he said.

The government of Quebec has set a goal of having one million electric and hybrid vehicles on its roads by 2030, up from 6,000 currently. Ontario has the same objective.

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Planned nuclear power station at Hinkley Point


For some reason the UK has chosen to pay a lot more for its new nuclear power than anywhere else, using untried and complex technology, and now even the country’s own auditors are complaining about it. The fear seems to be that it could prove to be a vastly expensive pig in a poke.

UK government plans for a new £18bn nuclear power station have come under fire from public auditors, who call it “a risky and expensive project”, BBC news reports.

The case for the Hinkley Point C plant in Somerset was “marginal” and the deal was “not value for money”, according to the National Audit Office (NAO). The NAO said the government had not sufficiently considered the costs and risks for consumers.

The government said building the plant was an “important strategic decision”. The report comes nine months after the government granted final approval for the project, which is being financed by the French and Chinese governments.

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Taxing the weather – EU member states may have to cough up climate dues as part of the cost of supporting the seemingly insatiable Brussels bureaucratic machine.

Due to Brexit and other new commitments, the EU will soon be short of € 25 billion, reports The GWPF.

EU Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger, therefore, wants to introduce new revenues for the EU in form of a climate tax.

In addition, he wants to take Brexit as an opportunity to remove not only Britain’s EU rebate but similar discounts for other EU member states.
“When the British leave, the rebate negotiated by Maggie Thatcher falls away; I want to use this opportunity to cancel all discounts, including those for Denmark and Germany,” Oettinger told SPIEGEL.

“After the departure of the British, we are likely to be short of at least € 10 billion a year,” he said. “I can imagine that half of this sum can be saved, and the remaining members will divide the other half among themselves,” the EU Commissioner said.

Germany, for example, receives a discount on the additional costs incurred as a result of the British discount.

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sizzler

The BBC breathlessly reports a MET-office reported temperature of 34.5C at Heathrow yesterday, but what does the actual data say?

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Is there a contradiction in this IB Times report? First it says volcanism causes cooling, then we’re told the resulting volcanic CO2 could have caused warming.

High concentration of mercury identified in ancient sediments suggest that large-scale episodes of volcanism coincided with the end-Triassic mass extinction around 201 million years ago.

It is likely that these huge pulses of volcanic activity led to great environmental perturbations, leading to the extinction of many species living on Earth at the time and setting the scene for the dawn of the dinosaurs.

Previous studies had already shown that volcanic activity was happening around the time of the extinction and there was some evidence for an increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere.

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Showing all of the Moon including the side we never see from Earth. Composite from images taken by the Lunar Orbiter

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Tesla-Model-S-fire

Tesla Model S – this is the only way you’ll keep warm in one during winter.

 

From NyTeknik:

Huge hopes tied to electric cars as the solution to automotive climate problem. But the electric car batteries are eco-villains in the production. Several tons of carbon dioxide has been placed, even before the batteries leave the factory.

IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute was commissioned by the Swedish Transport Administration and the Swedish Energy Agency investigated litiumjonbatteriers climate impact from a life cycle perspective. There are batteries designed for electric vehicles included in the study. The two authors Lisbeth Dahllöf and Mia Romare has done a meta-study that is reviewed and compiled existing studies.

The report shows that the battery manufacturing leads to high emissions. For every kilowatt hour of storage capacity in the battery generated emissions of 150 to 200 kilos of carbon dioxide already in the factory. The researchers did not study individual bilmärkens batteries, how these produced or the electricity mix they use. But if we understand the great importance of play battery take an example: Two common electric cars on the market, the Nissan Leaf and the Tesla Model S, the batteries about 30 kWh and 100 kWh.

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Trees ‘remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store large quantities of carbon in their tissues.’ – Wikipedia


If absorbing carbon dioxide is the idea, which is better value for money: big technology, or plain old-fashioned trees?

On May 31, 2017, the world’s first commercial atmospheric carbon-capture plant opened for business in Hinwil, Switzerland, reports Climate Change Dispatch.

The plant, designed and operated by a Swiss company called Climeworks, is different from existing carbon-capture facilities because it filters carbon dioxide out of the ambient atmosphere using proprietary technology, rather than from industrial exhaust, which is quite common.

Climeworks claims their facility will be able to remove 900 tons of carbon from the atmosphere every year. Furthermore, its modular design will allow it to be scaled up as the demand for carbon dioxide increases.

What do they plan to do with said carbon?

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Biomass on the move [image credit: Drax]


Are we nearing the end of the road for further large-scale wood pellet burning at UK power stations? Cheaper gas from either US or UK fracking must now be influencing business plans.

PEI reports the UK’s biggest power producer Drax is considering the conversion of its remaining coal-fired power units to gas, instead of biomass power, as originally planned.

Management believe a gas-fired power conversion would allow the company to qualify for 15-year contracts in the country’s capacity market auctions. As the government has already changed its stance on renewable energy subsidies which had made biomass conversion attractive, this would be a logical step for Drax.

The company has already converted half of its Yorkshire coal plant to burn wood pellets, but plans to switch the remaining units to biomass have since halted due to the government decision.

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The article below was contributed by Istvan Marko, J. Scott Armstrong, William M. Briggs, Kesten Green, Hermann Harde, David R. Legates, Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, and Willie Soon.

On June 2, 2017, in a Letter regarding US withdrawal from Paris climate agreement addressed to the MIT community, Professor Rafael Reif, president of MIT, criticized President Trump’s decision to exit the Paris Climate Accords. In this refutation, we propose to clarify the scientific understanding of the Earth’s climate and to dispel the expensively fostered popular delusion that man-made global warming will be dangerous and that, therefore, the Paris Agreement would be beneficial.

Professor Reif wrote, “Yesterday, the White House took the position that the Paris climate agreement – a landmark effort to combat global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions – was a bad deal for America.”

There is no science unambiguously establishing that CO2 is the chief cause of the warming observed since the end of the Little Ice Age. The opposite has been repeatedly demonstrated. Ice cores have revealed that changes in CO2 concentration follow, rather than precede, changes in temperature. During the last deglaciation, the latest high-resolution records show atmospheric CO2 lagging temperature by 50 to 500 years. Our enterprises and industries return to the air some of the CO2 that was formerly present there, and some warming may be expected. That warming will be small and beneficial.

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frackareaExcerpt from the Evening standard:

Until a few years ago Europe and America paid more or less the same amount for their petrochemical feedstock — the US had a slight advantage but not so great after transport and other costs had been factored in. (Middle East plants, sited right by the oilfields, did have such a price advantage but lacked scale.)

This is no longer the case thanks to the fundamental changes across the Atlantic. The Marcellus field, which spreads over several states and is just one of many in the US, produces 15 billion cubic feet of gas a day which is almost twice the UK’s entire consumption. But the result is that US prices have disconnected from the rest of the world and the subsequent feedstock prices have given American chemical plants so vast a price advantage that, on paper at least, there’s no way Europe can compete. It is staring down the barrel of bankruptcy, not now, but in a few short years, unless it can find some way to get its raw-material costs down to American levels.

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josh-trumped

Coming soon after the UK Brexit which rejected the EU green octopus, the US Clexit will encourage Clexit efforts in places like central Europe, Canada and even in the decaying green swamp-lands in Germany and France. UK may even get the courage to “cut the green crap”.

This US Clexit follows the first step taken in 2010 when the canny Japanese refused to extend the Kyoto Protocol. And then Tony Abbott killed off Australia’s Carbon Tax.

The final step will be UN-CLEXIT – withdrawal from all UN climate agreements and obligations, and defunding the government climate “research” and propaganda industry.

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This guest post from Stephen Wilde offers a descriptive theoretical and qualitative perspective on the ‘gravito-thermal’ theory. It covers the vertical profile of the atmosphere as well as the surface temperature comprehensively quantified by Nikolov and Zeller’s latest paper.

How conduction and convection cause a greenhouse effect arising from atmospheric mass.
Stephen Wilde

Introduction

The current scientific consensus is that Earth’s so called ‘greenhouse effect’ is caused by the presence of radiating gases in the atmosphere but many years ago, I learned what  I then understood to be the consensus view that it is actually a result of atmospheric mass such that the radiative characteristics of the atmosphere are either wholly or largely irrelevant.

The ‘greenhouse effect’ is an apt description for the mass based phenomenon because warming, descending air (which is occurring over half the planet at any given moment) will inhibit convection in the same way as does a greenhouse roof and by dissipating clouds it increases incoming sunlight through that barrier to convection just like the transparency of a greenhouse roof.

If the greenhouse effect is attributable to atmospheric mass rather than radiative characteristics then the fact that the vast bulk of Earth’s atmosphere is comprised of mass that is non-radiative is likely to mean that human emissions of radiative gases are not important as a regulator of surface temperature.

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Credit: sciencedaily.com

Maybe a glimmer of recognition for natural warming from the oceans here, while still believing that alleged man-made effects on air temperatures are somehow warming the water in a cyclical fashion. Could there be a hint of strained logic here? Phys.org reports.

Despite persistently increasing greenhouse gas emissions throughout the 20th and early 21st centuries, the globally averaged surface temperature has shown distinct multi-decadal fluctuations since 1900, including two weak global warming slowdowns in the mid-20th century and early 21st century and two strong global warming accelerations in the early and late 20th century.

The multi-decadal global warming rate changes are primarily attributed to multiple ocean surface temperature changes, according to research by Institute of Atmospheric Physics and Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

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Ship of Fools III – scientist says in effect: “It’s warming Jim – but not as we know it.” Irony alert…

A global warming research study in Canada has been cancelled because of “unprecedented” thick summer ice, reports James Delingpole at Breitbart News. Naturally, the scientist in charge has blamed it on ‘climate change.’

According to Vice:
The study, entitled BaySys, is a $17-million four-year-long program headed by the University of Manitoba. It was planning to conduct the third leg of its research by sending 40 scientists from five Canadian universities out into the Bay on the Canadian Research Icebreaker CCGS Amundsen to study “contributions of climate change and regulation on the Hudson Bay system.”

But it had to be cancelled because the scientists’ icebreaker was required by the Canadian Coast Guard for a rather more urgent purpose – rescuing fishing boats and supply ships which had got stuck in the “unprecedented ice conditions”.

“It became clear to me very quickly that these weren’t just heavy ice conditions, these were unprecedented ice conditions,” Dr. David Barber, the lead scientist on the study, told VICE. “We were finding thick multi-year sea ice floes which on level ice were five metres thick… it was much, much thicker and much, much heavier than anything you would expect at that latitude and at that time of year.”

Clearly not one to let a crisis go to waste, Barber seized the opportunity to perform the usual alarmist clown dance for the media, explaining why this incident definitely shows that global warming is a major problem and deserving of our urgent attention.

Continued here.