Archive for the ‘Emissions’ Category

Night train to Brussels

Posted: January 20, 2020 by oldbrew in climate, Emissions, Travel
Tags: ,

Austria’s ‘nightjet’ train


All aboard the virtue signallers’ express! In nuclear-free Austria that is – possibly the only country to fully build a nuclear plant and never operate it.
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The first night train to set off for Belgium in 16 years departed from Vienna Sunday, carrying Austrian and European politicians who hope the new route can set an example as the continent tries to meet its climate targets, reports Phys.org.

The carriages of the “OBB Nightjet” pulled out of Vienna’s main station punctually at 8:38 pm to the strains of a live band playing the EU anthem “Ode to Joy”, the slogan #loveyourplanet emblazoned along their sides.

Scheduled to arrive in Brussels at 10:55 am on Monday, the rail journey emits less than a tenth of the CO2 per passenger than the equivalent flight.

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This candidate for the UK’s most expensive non-event ever is already hitting the headlines for the wrong reasons. We’re informed ‘that COP26 attendees will peak at 15,000 on the busiest day, but the overall figure could rise to 90,000 over the period of the conference’. Don’t mention the ’emissions’ – which are what it’s supposed to be all about – as they all fly in and out again.

The cost of a UN climate change conference in Glasgow could be “several hundred million pounds”, police say.

Up to 90,000 people – delegates, observers, heads of state and media – are expected to attend COP26, over 12 days in November, says BBC News.

A Scottish Police Authority report says it will be the largest mobilisation of police officers in the UK.

Scottish ministers say they expect the UK government to cover the “core costs” including emergency services funding.

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There goes the notion of a zero-emission vehicle. The chief suspect is vanadium, which ‘was the only metal that interacted with the macrophages and was also present in both brake dust and diesel exhaust particles’.

The harmful impact of air pollution caused by diesel exhaust fumes on our health is well known, says The Conversation.

It’s responsible for causing everything from respiratory problems to dementia and even certain types of cancers.

But what most people don’t realise is that exhaust fumes aren’t the only cause of air pollution.

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Cardiff trolleybus, 1969 [image credit: David Stowell @ Wikipedia]


They’re certainly quick off the mark and quiet. As with trams the initial costs would be significant, but they do have their advantages.

They were the original electric buses but 50 years ago today saw the plug pulled on the last trolleybus in Wales, says BBC News.

Environmentally friendly and cheap, they finally succumbed to car ownership and fossil fuel on 11 January 1970.

Yet half a century later – almost to the day – local councils now see electric public transport as an answer to congestion and air pollution.

Some experts and enthusiasts even believe that shift could spark a revival for the forgotten trolleybus.

Known as the “trackless trolleys” when they first appeared on UK streets in 1911, trolleybuses became the workhorses of the public transport network.

Freed from the restrictions of tracks, taking their power from overhead cables, they provided clean, affordable and quick transport for the masses.

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This is where ’emissions’ phobia comes up against the onrushing tide of reality. Only one winner there, regardless of bloated climate conferences and whiny protesters.

The worldwide consumption of energy is projected to increase by nearly 50% between 2018 and 2050, led by growth in Asia, reports Energy Live News.

That’s according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), which suggests most of this growth will come from countries that are not in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) but will be focused in regions where strong economic growth is driving demand, particularly in Asian nations.

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Typical electric car set-up


Welcome to the EU’s plan to strong-arm its way to victory in the electric car game, in the name of imaginary climate benefits. What happens if the manufacturers all start posting heavy losses due to poor EV sales, as a result of this coercion, is not yet clear. As the article says, tens of billions of euros are at stake.

Long-awaited light-duty vehicle emission rules will hit light-duty vehicle makers working in EU member countries on January 1, and automakers will soon have to deal with the consequences, says OilPrice.com.

Vehicle manufacturers will have to sell many more hybrid and electric vehicles or pay costly fines, a situation similar to China’s rules.

For automakers with product lineups with few EV offerings, they’ll need to sell lots of conventional cars and trucks, and use the profits to pay the fines.

Industry analysts expect plug-in hybrid, battery electric vehicle, and hybrid vehicle sales to soar in the near future.

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‘Carbon’ means the harmless but vital trace gas carbon dioxide, of course. By showing fake climate virtue they may be hoping to keep hot-headed climate protesters off their backs, while selling a few more tickets to gullible travellers.

The boss of British Airways has declared “our future has to be sustainable” as the airline begins offsetting carbon emissions from domestic flights, reports ITV News.

Chief executive Alex Cruz said a “multifaceted response” is required to tackle climate change.

BA is making all its flights within the UK carbon neutral from Wednesday.

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Davos


Many of the usual suspects of high finance and politics will be flying in by private jet to scope out the financial opportunities and rub shoulders with fellow power brokers. More hyped-up climate fear equals more potential profit, and never mind the ’emissions’.

An impatient demand for the world to work harder to counter “climate change” will top the agenda at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting next month in Davos, Switzerland, says Breitbart News.

Organizers expect some 3,000 corporate and government representatives to fly in from around the world to broach climate issues at the luxury ski resort, with a squadron of some 1700 private jets providing transport for the bulk of the attendees.

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Dutch Parliament buildings [credit: Wikipedia]

The descent into a climate fantasy world continues apace. Who’s next?

The highest court in the Netherlands has upheld a ruling requiring the government to slash greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25% of 1990 levels by the end of next year, reports BBC News.

The case was brought six years ago by the Urgenda environment group in a bid to force ministers to go well beyond EU targets.

However, the chances of the government reaching the target look slim. By the end of 2018, emissions were down only 15% on 1990 levels.

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Here are key quotes from leaders, experts and activists on the UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) outcome.

Presentational grey line

Antonio Guterres, UN secretary general

“I am disappointed with the results of COP25. The international community lost an important opportunity to show increased ambition on mitigation, adaptation and finance to tackle the climate crisis.”

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You couldn’t make it up. Having for years rejected claims that industrial-scale burning of wood was not sustainable, climate obsessives now discover…exactly that. At least the media waited until the COP conference in Madrid ended, to avoid upsetting the delegates.

Experts horrified at large-scale forest removal to meet wood pellet demand, says The Guardian.

A few snippets from the article:

Climate thinktank Sandbag said the heavily subsidised plans to cut carbon emissions will result in a “staggering” amount of tree cutting, potentially destroying forests faster than they can regrow.

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Whichever way you look at it, so-called climate policies usually lead to massive costs which few are willing to pay – as mass protests in France and Chile have recently shown. Germans have a choice to make: bet the entire economy on hoped-for, but marginal, climate effects – or not.

A position paper by Germany’s environment agency UBA calls for a drastic increase in fuel prices in order to bring about emissions reductions needed in the transport sector to help meet climate targets, reports Clean Energy Wire.

The internal UBA paper, which was obtained by the Süddeutsche Zeitung, says that the price for one litre of petrol should increase by 47 euro cents and for diesel fuel by 70 percent per litre, correspondent Michael Bauchmüller writes.

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Electric SUV concept car [image credit: motorauthority.com]


The report headline also claims this ‘is terrible news for the planet’, because they are obsessing about harmless trace gases in the atmosphere. But the motoring public don’t seem to share their misplaced concerns, as ever-popular SUVs outnumber electric vehicles by about 40 to 1 worldwide.

Sales of hefty and heavily-polluting SUVs have doubled in the last decade – outweighing the progress made from electric vehicles, says WIRED. Can cleaner SUVs offer a way out?

The phenomenal rise of the SUV all started with a squabble over chicken.

It was 1963 – the height of the Cold War – and US president Lyndon Johnson was fuming over a tax that France and West Germany had imposed on cheap, intensively-farmed US chicken flooding European supermarkets.

In December 1963, after months of failed negotiations, Johnson retaliated.

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More fantasy economics for imaginary ‘climate solutions’, as we’re treated to another “they would say that wouldn’t they?” routine, reported by Power Engineering International. Here they don’t mention that ‘Biogas is primarily methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2)‘ – the two main so-called greenhouse gases we’re supposed to be scared of. Sounds even more absurd than burning wood and calling it sustainable, plus we’re told it will require $5 trillion to implement their plan. Probably not a coincidence that the COP 25 climate gabfest is just starting.

Major biogas industry corporations, led by the World Biogas Association (WBA), are calling on the world’s governments to act urgently to unlock the sector’s potential to cut global greenhouse gases emissions by at least 12 per cent within the next 10 years, contributing towards meeting their Paris Agreement targets.

In return, these companies commit to putting their full human, financial and technological resources behind enabling the rapid expansion of biogas in all parts of the globe.

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Carbon capture and storage (CCS) [credit: cnet.com]


The author points to a recent report on CCS in a science journal which found “that it reduces only a small fraction of carbon emissions, and it usually increases air pollution.” Or in layman’s terms, it’s a waste of time and money even for greenhouse gas theory devotees.

Politicians tend to use CCS as a distraction when they don’t have a workable plan, says Graham Thomson @ CBC News.
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Stop me if you’ve heard this one.

An Alberta cabinet minister walks into a news conference and praises the merits of carbon capture and storage (CCS) as a way to significantly reduce the province’s emissions of greenhouse gases.

Not much of a joke, I know.

It wasn’t funny when on October 8, 2009 Alberta Energy Minister Mel Knight declared of CCS, “This, ladies and gentlemen, is action, action that will have immediate results locally as it markedly reduces greenhouse gas emissions.”

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So what, you may say. But it shows up some of the woolly thinking of so-called climate activists. Lacking viable alternatives, the major role of fossil fuels in the global economy is bound to continue so suppliers will have their market. Believing that trace gases can somehow disturb the climate in a negative way isn’t going to change that.

A global campaign encouraging individuals, organizations and institutional investors to sell off investments in fossil fuel companies is gathering pace. According to 350.org, US$11 trillion has already been divested worldwide.

But, while it may seem a logical strategy, divestment will not lower demand for fossil fuels, which is the key to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

In fact, it may even cause emissions to rise, argues The Conversation @ Phys.org.

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Gone to Strasbourg for a few days


H/T The GWPF

It’s ‘do as we say, not as we do’ time again for the climate-obsessing fake virtue signallers in Brussels – or is it Strasbourg just now?

Members of the European Parliament will this week vote on whether to declare a “climate emergency” – after moving thousands of staff and their whole operation from Brussels to Strasbourg, reports the Daily Express. 

In a monthly act of environmental damage, the EU Parliament ups sticks and moves from its regular home in Belgium to the French town for a week of debate.

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The carbon cycle [credit: laurencenet.net]


This seems to be underlining the futility of pretending that humans could somehow control or manage nature’s carbon cycle, to satisfy a strange ‘greenhouse gas’ obsession.

Lakes and ponds are the final resting place for many of the Earth’s plants. Rivers collect much of the planet’s dead organic matter, transporting it to rest in calmer waters, says Phys.org.

But on a microscopic scale, lakes are anything but calm. An invisible metropolis of microbes feeds on these logs and leaves, producing greenhouse gases as a byproduct.

As a result, lakes may be responsible for as much as a quarter of the carbon in the atmosphere—and rising.

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Coal-hungry China [image credit: democraticunderground.com]


Hard to say which is the greater fantasy: the belief in human-caused climate change due to trace gases, or the prescribed attempts to ‘tackle’ the imagined problem. Demand for energy is rising worldwide, meaning attempts to restrict its supply look doomed. One analyst says: “Despite more than two decades of climate policy making, fossil fuel production levels are higher than ever.”

There’s a huge gulf between ambition and reality, reports DW.com.

The world is on track to produce far more fossil fuels than permissible to meet its target of limiting global warming to at most 2 degrees Celsius, and ideally 1.5 degrees C.

That’s the conclusion of the Production Gap Report, created from leading research institutions together with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

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So the plan was only virtue signalling to try and impress gullible voters, not an actual belief that the climate needs saving any time soon. Does the UK really want inadequate, unreliable and expensive electricity in perpetuity?

Labour has dropped a radical plan to end the UK’s contributions to climate change by 2030 and will stick to a target of achieving it “well before 2050”, reports The Independent via Yahoo News.

Activists passed a motion at the party’s conference in September to dramatically speed up the date for net zero carbon emissions – pushing for inclusion in the general election manifesto.

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