Archive for August, 2020

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Exposing some of the disconnects between carbo-phobe ideology, as expressed in (for example) UK private transport policy, and on-the-ground realities.

PA Pundits - International

By Duggan Flanakin ~

The rush to decarbonize every nation in the world in one or maybe two decades reflects the “I want it all NOW!” philosophy imbued through modern education systems. Current and recent former students – and their teachers – demand a perfect world (since they can envision one) and exhibit zero patience (hence the nationwide riots in the U.S.).

Hopefully the mad stampede to destroy the West’s ability to use fossil fuels at all will be sidelined by harsh realities of economics, logistics, and resource availability (including a hoped for reticence to rely on child slave labor to satisfy their blood lust). Yet the United Kingdom, formerly a bastion of sanity, has mandated, as part of its drive toward an all-electric society, the installation of electric vehicle charging stations in every home by 2030 and that all new cars and vans be hydrogen or electric vehicles (and…

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Even if so-called greenhouse gases were a climate problem, CO2 is only a very minor player compared to water vapour, and human-caused CO2 is only a small fraction of total atmospheric CO2. So what problem do we think we can solve?

Science Matters

Climate science is unsettling because past data are not fixed, but change later on.  I ran into this when I set out to update an analysis done in 2014 by Jeremy Shiers, which I discussed in a previous post reprinted at the end.  Jeremy provided a spreadsheet in his essay Murray Salby Showed CO2 Follows Temperature Now You Can Too posted in January 2014. I downloaded his spreadsheet intending to bring the analysis up to the present to see if the results hold up.  The two sources of data were:

Temperature anomalies from RSS here:  http://www.remss.com/missions/amsu

CO2 monthly levels from NOAA (Moana Loa): https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/data.html

Uploading the CO2 dataset showed that many numbers had changed (why?).

The blue line shows annual observed differences in monthly values year over year, e.g. June 2020 minus June 2019 etc.  The first 12 months (1979) provide the observed starting values from which differentials are calculated. …

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Image credit: Carbuyer


A ‘climate think tank’ proposes trying to choke off SUV demand by banning adverts, but the most obvious advert is the vehicle that’s already on the road, visible to all. This report claims ‘soaring sales for electric vehicles’, but the actual numbers are tiny compared to total sales of all propulsion types – especially SUVs.
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A new report draws parallels between the ban on tobacco advertising and changed behaviors, says Greenbiz.

The United Kingdom should ban the advertising of sports utility vehicles (SUVs) in order to help drive down transport emissions and accelerate progress towards the country’s net zero goals, a study published this week has urged, drawing parallels with the ban on tobacco advertising and its success in changing behaviors.

Produced by climate think tank the New Weather Foundation, the report highlights how average emissions for new cars sold in the U.K. increased in 2019 for the fourth year in a row.

The same trend has been documented across much of Europe, as soaring sales for electric vehicles and low emission models are more than offset by increased demand for heavier and more polluting SUVs, which made up four in 10 of the U.K.’s new car sales last year.

By contrast, while sales of electric and plug-in hybrid models are growing exponentially, they are doing so from a low base with data from the European Environment Agency showing that fewer than two in every 100 new cars are fully electric.

The growth in SUV sales comes alongside increased advertising expenditure to promote the vehicles, the study adds, a marketing strategy that appears to run in conflict with the stated decarbonization ambitions of some of the world’s biggest car firms.

The study highlights the example provided Ford, which has set a net zero emissions target and promised to invest $11.5 billion in developing electric models through to 2022, but has at the same time stepped up efforts to promote its most high carbon models.

From September 2016 to September 2018, Ford went from a roughly 50/50 split in U.S. advertising spend between cars and SUVs/pickup trucks, to spending 85 percent on the latter, in pursuit of the higher profit margins provided by larger vehicles, the study notes.

Full article: We banned advertising for cigarettes. Should we do the same for SUVs?

Once more the courts are asked to intervene in UK transport policy on the grounds of ‘climate change objectives’ and other supposed issues, while the roads get ever more overcrowded.
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Transport Action Network (TAN) has been granted permission for judicial review of the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps’ decision to go ahead with the £27 billion roads programme (Roads Investment Strategy 2 or RIS2), reports Ekklesia.

Mrs Justice Lieven gave the go ahead for the review, saying that TAN’s case that Mr Shapps had not properly considered the impact of the multi-billion pound roads-building scheme on climate change objectives, including the carbon budgets under the Climate Change Act 2008 and the Paris Agreement, was arguable.

The Judge also declared the case to be “significant” which means it will be fast-tracked and should be heard at the High Court by early November.

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Green blob [credit: storybird.com]


The Manhattan Institute reckons: ‘By 2050, with current plans, the quantity of worn-out solar panels—much of it nonrecyclable—will constitute double the tonnage of all today’s global plastic waste, along with over 3 million tons per year of unrecyclable plastics from worn-out wind turbine blades. By 2030, more than 10 million tons per year of batteries will become garbage.’

Before then, all that future waste has to be manufactured, largely from mined materials. Is the world ready for this?
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You think those baby unicorns grow on trees? Better think again, says Michael Walsh @ The Pipeline.

“Green” energy, in fact, comes with a very high price tag as this report from the Manhattan Institute makes clear.

As policymakers have shifted focus from pandemic challenges to economic recovery, infrastructure plans are once more being actively discussed, including those relating to energy.

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We learn that ‘The UK as a whole was -0.8°C below the long-term (1981-2010) average for the month.’ This is described as ‘a fairly unremarkable month’ until a warm last day. Would it also have been unremarkable if it was 0.8C *above* the long-term average?

Official blog of the Met Office news team

July 2020 was looking to be a fairly unremarkable month in terms of climate statistics for the UK, until hot conditions closed the month on the 31st.

Overall it was a cool month, with most days having temperatures below average. Successive low pressure systems brought cloud, rain and predominantly westerly winds across parts of the UK, keeping temperatures down. The UK as a whole was -0.8°C below the long-term (1981-2010) average for the month. As the anomaly map indicates, the south-east of the UK was the only region to get close to average temperatures for July.

One outlier of the July statistics is the maximum temperatures recorded on Friday 31st July. Tim Legg from the Met Office’s National Climate Information Centre, said: “An area of low pressure in the Atlantic acted to draw warm air up from the continent, bringing a day of heat to much of…

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Nikola Tesla in the lab with a few million volts of electricity overhead.
[image credit: Wikipedia]


Sounds interesting, but of course experiments don’t always go according to plan – as Tesla well knew.
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A New Zealand-based startup has developed a method of safely and wirelessly transmitting electric power across long distances without the use of copper wire, and is working on implementing it with the country’s second-largest power distributor, reports New Atlas.

The dream of wireless power transmission is far from new; everyone’s favorite electrical genius Nikola Tesla once proved he could power light bulbs from more than two miles away with a 140-foot Tesla coil in the 1890s – never mind that in doing so he burned out the dynamo at the local powerplant and plunged the entire town of Colorado Springs into blackout.

Tesla’s dream was to place enormous towers all over the world that could transmit power wirelessly to any point on the globe, powering homes, businesses, industries and even giant electric ships on the ocean.

Investor J.P. Morgan famously killed the idea with a single question: “where can I put the meter?”

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Irish wind farm [image credit: RTG @ Wikipedia]


Climate virtue signalling comes back to bite vote-chasing politicians, who expected they could dump many of the potentially unpopular decisions on taxes and spending arising from their 2015 law onto a later government. They now have to lay out plans for the next 30 years, long after their mandate to govern.
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Judges ruled the government’s national mitigation plan fell “well short” of what was needed to meet Ireland’s climate commitments, ordering a more ambitious strategy, as Climate Home News reports.

The Irish government has been ordered to take more aggressive action on climate change, following a ruling by the country’s top judges.

In a judgment published today [31/07/2020], the supreme court said Ireland’s existing emission cutting plans fell “well short” of what was required to meet its climate commitments and must be replaced with a more ambitious strategy.

Ireland is obliged to cut its emissions by 80% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels, under its Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015. In 2017 it published a National Mitigation Plan explaining how it intended to meet that goal.

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Tesla plant [image credit: Steve Jurvetson @ Wikipedia]


H/T TechXplore

But Plan B includes putting heavy batteries in already heavy trucks, making them too heavy for hauling goods — or reducing their payloads. But at least the fact that there aren’t going to be anywhere near enough batteries to replace all fuel-powered vehicles with expensive EVs is out in the open, leaving climate obsessives with yet another headache. Wade through the usual paranoid propaganda to see how big the problem is.
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We need to change our transportation system, and we need to do it quickly, claims The Conversation.

Road transportation is a major consumer of fossil fuels, contributing 16 percent of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, which warm up the Earth’s atmosphere and cause changes to the climate.

It also pollutes the air, threatening health and costing taxpayers billions of dollars annually.

At the same time, electric vehicles are getting cheaper, and vehicle range and the availability of charging stations are improving.

This is exciting for many because it seems to suggest an easy and convenient answer to the problem of transportation emissions: if everyone swapped their fossil-fuelled vehicle for an electric equivalent, we could all keep driving, safe in the knowledge that we are no longer killing the planet by doing so—and all while enjoying a new car that is quiet, cheap to power and fun to drive.

Everybody wins, right? Unfortunately, it’s unlikely to be that simple.

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Someone else who can’t believe the climate can change naturally. But it always has done so.
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He resigns from the influential media company’s board, citing “disagreements over editorial content”, reports BBC News.

In a filing to US regulators, he said he also disagreed with some “strategic decisions” made by the company.

The exact nature of the disagreements was not detailed.

But Mr Murdoch has previously criticised News Corp outlets, which include the Wall Street Journal, for climate change coverage.

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