Archive for January, 2021


Unforeseen? They must be joking. It has been painfully foreseeable for years to many of us, except maybe some of the more blinkered climate obsessives. The trouble is, as the article notes, ‘there is no silver bullet solution’ (except ones they don’t want to hear about).
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As the share of renewables in the EU energy mix increase, so do problems with grid overloads and blackouts, says OilPrice.com.

Earlier this month, something happened in Europe. It didn’t get as much media attention as the EU’s massive funding plans for its energy transition, but it was arguably as important, if not more.

A fault occurred at a substation in Croatia and caused an overload in parts of the grid, which spread beyond the country’s borders. This created a domino effect that caused a blackout and prompted electricity supply reductions as far as France and Italy.

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Crazy world of climate finance [image credit: renewableenergyfocus.com]


So is it about a claimed ‘climate emergency’ or, more likely, ‘an acceptable return for investors’?
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Financing the global shift away from fossil fuels could earn investors trillions, according to discussions at the World Economic Forum.

But there’s not enough data to get the money where it’s needed, says DW.com.

The investment opportunity presented by the transition to a green global economy has been a key topic on the agenda at the 2021 World Economic Forum.

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Toyota’s Prius model


The Toyota boss reckons hybrids are a better idea than all-electric since no expensive new power supplies or charging points are needed, with recharging built-in to the vehicle. Also, lifetime CO2 emissions are comparable to EVs when all factors are taken into account. (No range anxiety
either). As someone demanding realism, one suspects he’s not too impressed by on-off renewables either.

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In his first policy speech as prime minister last October, Yoshihide Suga pledged to reduce Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, thus giving substance to the government’s goal of eliminating the need for fossil fuels in the latter half of the 21st century, says the Japan Times.

Part of that goal is to ban new internal combustion engine cars by the mid-2030s, a pledge addressed by Akio Toyoda, the president of the world’s No. 2 automaker, Toyota Motor Corp., and chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, during a Dec. 17 online news conference he held under the latter capacity.

Toyoda derided the government policy as being ill-informed and unrealistic.

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Just as undemocratic as the Irish version, the French version etc. Funny how they all came up with the same idea at the same time…

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

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London, 29 January: The UK Climate Assembly, which claimed to have delivered a mandate for a green revolution, could not have delivered a mandate of any kind, according to a new analysis published by the Global Warming Policy Forum.

According to the report’s author, Ben Pile, the Assembly was set up to deliver a preordained result:

Pile says that the Assembly was actually set up because the public were unpersuaded of the case for radical action.

The UK Climate Assembly: Manufacturing Mandates can be downloaded here

https://www.thegwpf.com/climate-assembly-was-undemocratic/

Ben’s conclusion sums it up nicely:

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Another ‘net zero’ stumbling block for climate-obsessed governments is investigated by researchers. This time it’s the question of where and how to keep all the hydrogen – assuming it can be produced from renewables on an industrial scale in the first place.
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Large-scale storage of hydrogen remains largely untested but is essential if hydrogen is to realize its potential to make a significant contribution to achieving net-zero emissions, says TechXplore.

A new perspectives paper sets out the key scientific challenges and knowledge gaps in large scale hydrogen storage in porous geological environments.

These underground hydrogen reservoirs could be used as energy storages to face high demand periods.

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Another pillar of ‘settled’ climate science trembles. It’s described as ‘one of the largest uncertainties faced by climate scientists.’ Is there a list of these uncertainties somewhere?
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The impact of atmospheric aerosols on clouds and climate may be different than previously thought, reports Phys.org.

That is the conclusion of cloud researcher Franziska Glassmeier from TU Delft. The results of her study will be published in Science on Friday, January 29th.

Cloud decks cover vast stretches of the subtropical oceans. They cool the planet because they reflect incoming sunlight back to space.

Air pollution in the form of aerosols—particles suspended in the atmosphere—can increase this cooling effect because it makes clouds brighter.

The cooling effect of pollution offsets part of the warming effect of greenhouse gases. How much exactly, is one of the largest uncertainties faced by climate scientists.

Ship tracks

A striking illustration of clouds becoming brighter as a result of aerosols, is provided by shipping emissions in the form of “ship tracks.” These are visible as bright lines within a cloud deck that reveal the paths of polluting ships that travel beneath the clouds.

“Such ship tracks are a good example of how aerosol effects on clouds are traditionally thought of, and of how they are still represented in most climate models,” says Glassmeier.

But according to the cloud researcher, ship tracks do not tell the whole story.

Continued here.

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Here come the decrees based on dodgy climate ideology. What could possibly go wrong?

PA Pundits - International

By Craig Rucker ~

The torrent of ruinous policy emanating from the White House continues unabated.

As one internet memester put it, “pace yourself Joe, you have four years.  You don’t have to destroy the country your first week.”

Generations of Americans worked tirelessly to achieve energy independence.  They realized the dream at last, until President Biden rushed not only to shut down the Keystone XL pipeline, but now to block future oil and gas leases on all federal lands.

Energy analyst Ron Stein writes at CFACT.org that “Biden, like his favorite state of California, is doing everything possible to INCREASE the cost of electricity and fuels, that drives up the cost of everything.”

President Biden also ordered the entire federal fleet of over 600,000 cars and trucks be converted to electric vehicles, no matter where they are!  Good luck finding a place to charge those short-range monuments to…

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Boeing 767 flight deck [image credit: Continental Airlines]


In the midst of pandemic-related hard times, airline survival means looking for fuel savings ahead of trivia like emissions of harmless trace gases. A mix of nature and new tech might do the trick.
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Airlines could save fuel and reduce emissions on transatlantic flights by hitching a better ride on the jet stream, new research has shown.

Scientists at the University of Reading have found that commercial flights between New York and London last winter could have used up to 16% less fuel if they had made better use of the fast-moving winds at altitude, says TechXplore.

New satellites will soon allow transatlantic flights to be tracked more accurately while remaining a safe distance apart.

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Sunspots


In a recent post we looked at the average daily sunspot numbers, finding that far from the claimed decades-long decline of solar strength, averages were high from 1933-2008 followed by a sharp decline in the recently-ended solar cycle 24.

This time the focus moves to another metric from the same source, Wikipedia’s List of solar cycles.

After the main table of data they introduce another one, stating:
The following table is instead divided into (unofficial) cycles starting and ending with a maximum, to give a better feel for the number of spotless days associated with each minimum.

For this short exercise the ‘Spotless days’ column of data will be split into two groups of six, comparing the overall average of each from the list.

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Not seeing any evidence of the ‘milder winters…expected in the United Kingdom (Murphy et al. 2018), with less frequent cold extremes and new high temperature records’ so far this winter. Snow or sleet at random every few days would be more in line with reality.

climatecontrarian

Over the years, Richard Betts of the Met Office, has been the ‘sceptic’s friend’; a down to earth, reasonable, approachable, pragmatic scientist who actively sought to present a balanced view on the risks associated with climate change and to counter the alarmism and hyperbole put out in the press and supported by some of his more enthusiastic peers, as well as overtly political climate activists. Sadly, he has now jumped the shark completely, even to the point of insulting sceptics by implying that they are ‘deniers’, a term he always refrained from using. He’s even, by the sound of it, helping Extinction Rebellion fanatics arrested for breaking the law defend their actions in court by providing them with scientific ‘evidence’ which supposedly justifies their unlawful activities.

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[image credit: latinoamericarenovable.com]


All these political climate fantasies will get rumbled in the end. The cracks between the ‘ambitions’ and reality just keep getting wider, and that’s not just the SNP in Scotland, it’s everywhere you look.
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EXPERTS have warned the Scottish Government’s strategy for hitting ambitious climate targets by 2030 is based on “wishful thinking” amid fears there is no plan B in the event untested technology cannot be scaled up, says The Herald (via Latest News Post).

Scottish Government ministers have published their climate change update after MSPs pledged to reduce 1990 levels of carbon emissions by 75 per cent by 2030 on the way to becoming carbon neutral by 2045.

But experts have raised concerns that using carbon capture and storage (CCS) and negative emissions technology (NET) to decarbonise heavy industry such as the oil and gas sector are not based on evidence it can be done in time.

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Green dud [credit: Green Deal guide]


Bureaucracy is often slow and inefficient, maybe even more so where handing out public money – subsidies in this case – is involved. Who knew?
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England’s much-hyped £2bn green homes grant is in chaos, renewable energy installers say, with some owed tens of thousands of pounds and struggling to stay in business, reports The Guardian (via The GWPF).

Members of the public have been left waiting nearly four months, in some cases, to take advantage of the scheme to fit low carbon heating systems.

Some installers say customers are pulling out after losing faith in the green grants.

Boris Johnson touted the grants as one of the key programmes in his ten 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution.

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Image credit: Carbuyer


All these SUV owners are citizens with votes, in case climate-obsessed politicians – who plan to take their existing vehicle choices away – have forgotten. Pretending to be able to change the weather is a policy stance liable to fail in the long run, and many have already rejected it.
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SUVs are conquering the world, says Forbes (via The GWPF).

That’s a problem for efforts to rein in emissions from the global transportation sector, which accounts for roughly 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

For the first time ever in the U.S. last year, sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) likely accounted for half or just over half of all vehicles sold, according to recent data from IHS Markit, a data and analytics firm.

Others are rapidly catching up.

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Image credit: BBC


The BBC didn’t think it would be reporting a widespread outbreak of toboganning and British-built snowmen in 2021, judging by its longstanding practice of trying to consign such pastimes to history along with Arctic sea ice.
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Severe weather warnings are in place across much of the UK after large parts of the country saw heavy snowfall, reports BBC News.

The blanket of snow drew people outside for sledging and winter walks, but motorists have been warned to take extra care on icy roads.

Several coronavirus vaccination and testing centres were closed in England and Wales due to the conditions.

Police forces have reminded the public to stick to Covid lockdown rules while enjoying the snow.

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NuScale reactor (SMR) design [credit:
NuScale / Wikipedia –
click on image to enlarge]

All part of looking to invent a hydrogen power market in the UK, to help solve problems that are only known to exist in failing climate models.
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Combining wind power with a nuclear small modular reactor (SMR) could see energy production re-start at Wylfa in North Wales by late 2027 under plans presented by Shearwater Energy, says New Civil Engineer.

Shearwater has said that the proposal would involve construction of a wind-SMR and hydrogen production hybrid energy project, which it says would be located on a different site to the Wylfa Newydd nuclear power station, planned by Horizon, that stalled when Hitachi pulled support last year.

The Shearwater plant could provide 3GW of zero carbon energy and is also expected to produce over 3M.kg of green hydrogen per year for use by the UK’s transport sector.

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So the Earth is, or was, a kind of giant balloon. We know seafloor spreading is still ongoing, and can affect global sea levels on historical timescales.
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Ancient fragments of Earth’s crust acted as ‘seeds’ for new crust to grow from, says LiveScience.

Around 3 billion years ago, Earth’s crust ballooned during a massive growth spurt, geoscientists have found.

At that time, just 1.5 billion years after Earth formed, the mantle — the layer of silicate rock between the crust and the outer core that was more active in the past — heated up, causing magma from that layer to ooze into fragments of older crust above it.

Those fragments acted as “seeds” for the growth of modern-day continents.

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Drax power station [credit: drax.com]


Another attempt by climate obsessives to dictate UK energy policy to the government via the courts, bites the dust. Reliability of national electricity supply is not completely dead yet.
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The UK Court of Appeals has rejected a bid from environmental campaigners to prevent Drax from building the biggest gas-fired power plant in Europe, reports NS Energy.

The proposed plant, based next to an existing facility in Selby, North Yorkshire, was given the go-ahead in October 2019.

It was a controversial decision as the UK government, in approving the project, overruled its own planning authority’s recommendation to reject it on climate grounds.

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What if … A Perfect CME Hit Earth?

Posted: January 22, 2021 by oldbrew in solar system dynamics
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Are you sitting comfortably? Well, you might not be after reading this…

Spaceweather.com

Jan. 21, 2021: You’ve heard of a “perfect storm.” But what about a perfect solar storm? A new study just published in the research journal Space Weather considers what might happen if a worst-case coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth. Spoiler alert: You might need a backup generator.

For years, researchers have been wondering, what’s the worst the sun could do? In 2014, Bruce Tsurutani (JPL) and Gurbax Lakhina (Indian Institute of Geomagnetism) introduced the “Perfect CME.” It would be fast, leaving the sun around 3,000 km/s, and aimed directly at Earth. Moreover, it would follow another CME, which would clear the path in front of it, allowing the storm cloud to hit Earth with maximum force.

None of this is fantasy. The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) has observed CMEs leaving the sun at speeds up to 3,000 km/s. And there are many documented cases of…

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Would anyone serious bet against it?

PA Pundits - International

By Larry Bell ~

Remember Solyndra?

In case you’ve forgotten, it was a California solar panel developer that defaulted on a $535 million Obama-Biden administration Department of Energy stimulus loan guarantee that, along with four other bankrupted companies, collectively left U.S. taxpayers on the hook for more than $2.2 billion.

According to documents obtained by The Washington Post, the White House had pressed the Office of Management and Budget to greenlight the loan in a hurry.

In response, OMB officials reportedly expressed concern that they were being rushed to approve the company’s project without adequate time to assess the risk to taxpayers.

Energy Department and OMB analysts had reportedly questioned the wisdom of the loan which analysts determined, based upon Solyndra’s own numbers, would rapidly run out of cash.

Another of those bankruptcies involved a 2019 DOE $528.7 million loan it gifted to Fisker Automotive, a start-up company promoted…

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[image credit: latinoamericarenovable.com]


Don’t mention the cost…this could be the funniest thing you read all day today. Any ‘official estimate’ is almost certain to fall short of reality.
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London, 21 January: The government faces a major embarrassment after the Information Commissioner ordered the Treasury to release an email containing its official estimate of the cost of decarbonising the economy, says The GWPF.

In June 2019, some weeks after Parliament adopted the 2050 Net Zero target as law, the then chancellor Philip Hammond wrote to Prime Minister Theresa May, warning that her plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 was likely to cost the UK more than £1 trillion.

In his letter, the chancellor wrote that the costs meant that less funding would be available for schools, the police and hospitals, pointing out that Net Zero would render some industries “economically uncompetitive.”

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