Archive for September, 2020

Image credit: Science News


We highlighted this in a 2016 blog post, and now new research provides this update.
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Fairy circles are one of nature’s greatest enigmas and most visually stunning phenomena, says Phys.org.

An international research team led by the University of Göttingen has now, for the first time, collected detailed data to show that Alan Turing’s model explains the striking vegetation patterns of the Australian fairy circles.

In addition, the researchers showed that the grasses that make up these patterns act as “eco-engineers” to modify their own hostile and arid environment, thus keeping the ecosystem functioning. The results were published in the Journal of Ecology.

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Scientists report electric fields naturally occurring in the comet’s atmosphere in connection with its auroras. NASA calls them electromagnetic emissions.

Spaceweather.com

Sept. 22, 2020: Imagine putting your thumb on a garden hose and sending a jet of water into the sky. At the apex of the stream, auroras form. It turns out, some comets can actually perform this trick.

In a paper published this week in Nature Astronomy, researchers described how comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko turns vaporous jets of water into auroras.

The European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft observed the weird lights while it was orbiting Comet 67P in 2014-2016. At first researchers misunderstood what the glow was. It couldn’t be an aurora, could it? For one thing, the comet doesn’t even have a magnetic field–a key ingredient of geomagnetic storms. Also, the lights of Comet 67P are invisible to the human eye. They shine at far ultraviolet wavelengths, unlike the familiar red and green curtains that dance around Earth’s poles.

“Nevertheless, they are auroras,” says Marina Galand of Imperial College London…

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Is Al Gore downsizing?

Posted: September 22, 2020 by oldbrew in alarmism, climate, Critique
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Countdown to another big climate yawnfest 🥱

PA Pundits - International

By Peter Murphy~

Former Vice President turned nine-figure millionaire, Al Gore, long a global warming celebrity, will be among several speakers next month for a series of “TED Talks” to launch “Countdown,” which is a global initiative to deal with the “climate crisis.” The Countdown is pushing to reduce global carbon emissions in half by 2030 “in the race to a zero carbon world …that is safer, cleaner and fairer for everyone” (emphasis mine).

No one is against “safer, cleaner and fairer” in the abstract, which is why such terms are used incessantly in commercials, and by interest groups, politicians, salespeople and hucksters alike. I’m especially curious about that word “fairer” when it comes to climate activism. “Fairness” also is a subjective term; one person’s definition of fair is not necessarily another person’s.

From a political or policy standpoint, fairness is about who gets and who pays. The various…

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Image credit: Airbus


Nonsensical climate virtue signalling takes to the skies. Hydrogen production is expensive, and operating two fuelling systems at airports also sounds costly. ‘Zero emission’ only applies if hydrogen is produced without burning any fuels – as the EU recently told the Netherlands – so the burden on renewables to power entire countries, plus all their vehicles, will have to extend to aircraft as well? Pie in the sky springs to mind.
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Aerospace giant Airbus has announced plans to build zero-emission aircraft using hydrogen power technology.

On Monday (21 September), the firm revealed three concept designs that are on the table and is targeting a 2035 entry-into-service, reports Euractiv.

Airbus is working on three designs for aircraft that could be zero-emission, which range from a conventional turbofan jet with space for 200 passengers to a ‘blended wing’ concept that is a significant departure from the current generation of planes.

“These concepts will help us explore and mature the design and layout of the world’s first climate-neutral, zero-emission commercial aircraft, which we aim to put into service by 2035,” said CEO Guillaume Faury.

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It seems most people rightly have little faith or interest in the alarmist output of climate models, and are unimpressed by claims that governments can somehow influence the climate by changing their energy policies.
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Most European citizens do not particularly care about climate change, complains Warwick University.

That’s the striking finding from new research on the views of 70,000 randomly sampled European men and women. Only 5% described themselves as “extremely worried” about climate change.

The climate and the environment ranked only fifth in people’s overall views about priorities. There was also scepticism that co-ordinated action, for example to cut personal energy use, would make much difference.

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Irrational fear of a minor trace gas in the atmosphere, largely based on the output of failing climate models, continues to disrupt national energy policies. EU leaders add to the chaos and confusion.

The European Commission turned down Dutch plans to support hydrogen production with subsidies, reports the NL Times.

The government of the Netherlands wants to use hydrogen instead of other fossil fuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but because the Dutch plans got shot down, this will not be continued, Climate Minister Eric Wiebes told the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Parliament, on Monday, according to FD.

The government saw possibilities to replace oil, natural gas and coal by hydrogen, especially within heavy industry.

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The plan is to use abandoned coal mining shafts globally as power storage plants, and/or drill their own shafts if necessary. Costs are estimated to be lower than other existing energy storage options (see report for details).
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Gravity has been the center of wonderment for physicists, mathematicians and thinkers of all kinds for centuries, says TechXplore.

In the early 1600s, astronomer Galileo dropped balls from the Tower of Pisa and declared that gravitational acceleration is the same for all objects.

Decades later, Isaac Newton expanded on those thoughts and devised his theory of gravity, that all particles attract all other particles with a force directly proportional to the square of the distance between their centers.

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Money to burn?


The EU pushes ever further into its climate fantasy land, where so-called targets can be raised at will and the victims of them miraculously obey, regardless of any real world obstacles like actually selling cars. It prefers noises made by teenage ‘activists’ to anything said by the wealth-creating vehicle makers. The bill for this insanity is now expected to top a trillion euros every three years. Where are such gigantic sums supposed to come from?
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The EU’s target to reduce its industrial emissions by 2030 should increase from 40% to “at least 55%”, European Commission (EC) president Ursula von der Leyen said in her State of the Union address.

That would seriously burden Europe’s auto industry, says Fleet Europe.

The cause of decarbonisation is better served by better policies rather than stricter targets, ACEA counters.

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Time for climate obsessives to look the other way — again.

PA Pundits - International

By Duggan Flanakin ~

The problem of solar panel waste is now becoming evident. As environmental journalist Emily Folk admits in Renewable Energy Magazine, “when talking about renewable energy, the topic of waste does not often appear.” She attributes this to the supposed “pressures of climate change” and alleged “urgency to find alternative energy sources,” saying people may thus be hesitant to discuss “possible negative impacts of renewable energy.”

Ms. Folk admits that sustainability requires proper e-waste management. Yet she laments, “Solar presents a particular problem. There is growing evidence that broken panels release toxic pollutants … [and] increasing concern regarding what happens with these materials when they are no longer viable, especially since they are difficult to recycle.”

This is the likely reason that (except in Washington state), there are no U.S. mandates for solar recycling. A recent article in Grist reports that most used solar panels are…

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Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid [image credit: greencarreports.com]


More evidence that a PHEV is often used as a device for getting a hefty government subsidy to buy a fuel-powered car. The report also begs the question: if plug-in hybrids need the engine for heating below about 14C, what can full electric vehicles offer drivers when it’s cool, or freezing – apart from battery drainage?
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Greenpeace and Transport and Environment have conducted a study of how owners of plug-in hybrid cars use them in real world driving and come to a startling conclusion — plug-in hybrids are no damn good at lowering emissions if drivers don’t plug them in.

This revelation is intended to convince UK regulators to include PHEVs in their proposed ban of gasoline and diesel powered cars by 2030, says CleanTechnica.

Whoa. Who’da thunk it, huh? A car with a plug needs to be plugged in! That is shocking news.

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Arctic sea ice [image credit: cbc.ca]


One of the researchers said: “These results strongly suggest…that these things can occur out of the blue due to internal variability in the climate system.”
Oh, really? Now fast forward to the 21st century…

On the question of a ‘regional’ Little Ice Age, Encyclopedia Britannica says: ‘Little Ice Age (LIA), climate interval that occurred from the early 14th century through the mid-19th century, when mountain glaciers expanded at several locations, including the European Alps, New Zealand, Alaska, and the southern Andes’. That’s a big *region* 😎
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A new study finds a trigger for the Little Ice Age that cooled Europe from the 1300s through mid-1800s, and supports surprising model results suggesting that under the right conditions sudden climate changes can occur spontaneously, without external forcing, reports Phys.org.

The study, published in Science Advances, reports a comprehensive reconstruction of sea ice transported from the Arctic Ocean through the Fram Strait, by Greenland, and into the North Atlantic Ocean over the last 1400 years.

The reconstruction suggests that the Little Ice Age—which was not a true ice age but a regional cooling centered on Europe—was triggered by an exceptionally large outflow of sea ice from the Arctic Ocean into the North Atlantic in the 1300s.

While previous experiments using numerical climate models showed that increased sea ice was necessary to explain long-lasting climate anomalies like the Little Ice Age, physical evidence was missing. This study digs into the geological record for confirmation of model results.

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Dublin-Holyhead ferry link [image credit: Stena Line]


The report below refers to air pollution but ignores carbon dioxide emissions, which are *supposed to be* a much bigger problem according to climate obsessives.
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A no-deal Brexit could cost up to 5,000 jobs in Ireland’s fisheries, but it’s not just access to the UK’s coastal waters that the country is hoping to hold on to in any post-Brexit arrangement, says The Conversation @ Phys.org.

Perhaps more important to Ireland is the UK’s motorway network.

Every year, more than 150,000 trucks transport over 3 million tons of freight to and from Ireland to the rest of the single market across the UK land bridge.

One route involves goods being shipped from Dublin to Holyhead by ferry and then by road to Dover before being shipped to Calais.

It’s difficult to overestimate the importance of this land bridge for Ireland.

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If the U.S or anywhere else thinks it needs to spend a fortune on energy innovation to meet ‘critical needs’, which may or may not deliver anything useful, what does that say about existing technologies like wind and solar power? This report suggests they’re at least 50% short of reaching the pie-in-the-sky targets of climate alarmist dreamers with existing (zero emission) technology, so they must now try to invent their way out of trouble with what they call ‘advanced energy’. Good luck with that, if they still intend to shun nuclear power. Will the climate notice anyway, whatever they end up doing?
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Research released today recommends that the U.S. federal government triple its annual investment in energy innovation over the next five years to speed clean energy transitions around the world and build advanced energy industries at home, says TechXplore.

The Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia SIPA released Energizing America: A Roadmap to Launch a National Energy Innovation Mission, a detailed guide for federal policymakers to raise energy innovation as a core national priority.

Co-authored with scholars from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), Energizing America is the first in a series of volumes to kickstart a U.S. federal clean energy innovation policy agenda.

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Solar Cycle 25 is here, says NASA

Posted: September 17, 2020 by oldbrew in Cycles, News, solar system dynamics
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The Sun from NASA’s SDO spacecraft


Solar Cycle 25 has begun, according to this NASA press release.

During a media event on Tuesday, experts from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) discussed their analysis and predictions about the new solar cycle – and how the coming upswing in space weather will impact our lives and technology on Earth, as well as astronauts in space.

The Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel, an international group of experts co-sponsored by NASA and NOAA, announced that solar minimum occurred in December 2019, marking the start of a new solar cycle.

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Earth and climate – an ongoing controversy


Facebook, accountable only to its investors, now intends to pose as a proxy authority on the world’s present and future climate. But the author of the article below wants Facebook to go further and impose its own views on people, while hiding behind the usual catch-all accusation of ‘climate change denialism’ but offering no definition of it. Presumably suggesting that a carbon dioxide level of 0.04% in the atmosphere might not be a massive climate problem is beyond the pale, and should be suppressed? Without clarity about what is out of bounds in discussion, the risk of unfair censorship is obvious.
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Even as Facebook, the world’s largest social media platform, admits that climate change “is real” and that “the science is unambiguous and the need to act grows more urgent by the day” the platform appears unwilling to take steps to really stand up to the climate change denialism that circulates on its platform, says Techcrunch

The company is set to achieve net zero carbon emissions and be supported fully by renewable energy in its own operations this year.

But as the corporate world slaps a fresh coat of green paint on its business practices, Facebook is looking to get out in front with the launch of a Climate Science Information Center to “connect people with science-based information.”

The company is announcing a new information center, designed after its COVID-19 pandemic response. The center is designed to connect people to factual and up-to-date climate information, according to the company.

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Proposed new nuclear plant, Anglesey [image credit: walesonline]


Unless this scheme is revived, the UK government is putting even more pressure on its ridiculous and damaging ‘net zero’ energy policy. The likely gap between future electricity supply and demand seems wider than ever.

H/T Hatter Eggburn
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Plans for a £15-£20bn nuclear power plant in Wales have been scrapped, reports BBC News.

Work on the Wylfa Newydd project on Anglesey was suspended in January last year because of rising costs after Hitachi failed to reach a funding agreement with the UK government.

Isle of Anglesey council said the company had now confirmed in writing it is withdrawing from the project.

Council leader Llinos Medi said: “This is very disappointing, particularly at such a difficult time economically.”

Hitachi shelved the scheme, the biggest energy project ever proposed in Wales, over funding issues.

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Green apartment blocks are a hit – with mosquitos

Posted: September 15, 2020 by oldbrew in ideology, News

Chengdu green apartment block [image credit: yahoo news]


Another green dream turns out to be a disaster.
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An experimental green housing project in a Chinese megacity promised prospective residents life in a “vertical forest”, with manicured gardens on every balcony, says TechXplore.

All 826 apartments were sold out by April this year, according to the project’s estate agent, but instead of a modern eco-paradise, the towers look like the set of a desolate, post-apocalyptic film.

The problem? The mosquitoes love the plants too.

Only a handful of families have moved into Chengdu’s Qiyi City Forest Garden because of an infestation, state media have reported.

The project in the southwestern city was built in 2018, with every private balcony designed to provide space for plants to grow, according to local media reports.

Without any tenants to care for them, the eight towers have been overrun by their own plants—and invaded by mosquitoes.

Plants have almost entirely swallowed up some neglected balconies, with branches hanging over railings all over the towers, footage shot this month showed.

Full report here.

Nikola Two truck model


Some critics say Nikola has been cheating by using gravity as a propulsion method when promoting its truck concepts — or they use words to that effect. Of course exaggerated claims are not unheard of in the world of supposedly ‘green’ engineering. The company has tried to defend itself, as the share price yo-yos with each new claim or attempted rebuttal. This is where the climate-crazed world is taking us, or trying to.
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With its electric and hydrogen-fueled trucks, the firm Nikola aims to revolutionize the future of the transportation sector, says Phys.org.

But with one investor claiming the group is running on empty, it has been having a rollercoaster ride on the stock exchange for the past week.

Founded in 2015 by Trevor Milton, the company is mainly working on the development of trucks and pick-ups powered by electric batteries or hydrogen fuel cells, as well as building out hydrogen recharging stations.

Although it has not yet built anything, it has forged strategic partnerships with several renowned industrial groups including the German engineering giant Bosch, the Italians CNH Industrial and, most recently, US car-maker General Motors.

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The doomsters will be falling over themselves to throw money at him, which seems to be the object of the exercise: ‘In a new book and Netflix film’ etc.

polarbearscience

In a new book and Netflix film, Sir David Attenborough again presents false information about future polar bear survival and walrus deaths.

An excerpt from Attenborough’s forthcoming book (A Life On Our Planet) has been published in the Daily Mail (12 September), called “End of the polar bear by the 2030s, another major pandemic in the 2080s… and a sixth mass extinction by 2100: SIR DAVID ATTENBOROUGH reveals how those born today could witness these scenarios unless we save the planet“.  As his upcoming documentary has the same title as the book, this excerpt forewarns of what’s in the film.

Attenborough falsely claims that by 2030 – a short 10 years from now – polar bears will be on their way to extinction and again flogs the lie, exposed last year, that walrus falling to their deaths in Russia a few years ago was due to…

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Looks like the UK government and the police are finally getting tired of allowing themselves to be made to look weak by XR climate buffoons. Tolerance doesn’t work with fanatics.

H/T The GWPF
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Extinction Rebellion could be treated as an organised crime group as part of a major crackdown on its activities that may also include new protections for MPs, judges and the press, the Telegraph can disclose.

Whitehall sources said Boris Johnson and Priti Patel have asked officials to take a “fresh look” at how the group is classified under the law, after the Prime Minister described its blockading of major printing presses as “completely unacceptable”.

On Saturday, police were criticised for failing to act more quickly after the blockade began on Friday evening.

Hertfordshire police faced anger for stating that officers were “working to facilitate the rights of both the protesters and those affected by their presence” but protesters were not cooperating.

“It’s clear they’re not your normal protest group, so you have to look at them in a different way,” said one Whitehall source.

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