Archive for the ‘flames’ Category

Smoke from a California wildfire [image credit: BBC]

Smoke from a California wildfire [image credit: BBC]

Recent California governors like Schwarzenegger have portrayed themselves as leading the ‘green charge’ – whatever that is at the time – but this one seems to have lost the plot a bit. Details from the LA Times.

The ash of the Rocky fire was still hot when Gov. Jerry Brown strode to a bank of television cameras beside a blackened ridge and, flanked by firefighters, delivered a battle cry against climate change.


Matt Ridley: A Lukewarmer Against Dogmatism

Posted: January 22, 2015 by tallbloke in alarmism, Analysis, flames
Tags: ,

Reposted from Matt Ridley’s blog

Matt-RidleyI am a climate lukewarmer. That means I think recent global warming is real, mostly man-made and will continue but I no longer think it is likely to be dangerous and I think its slow and erratic progress so far is what we should expect in the future. That last year was the warmest yet, in some data sets, but only by a smidgen more than 2005, is precisely in line with such lukewarm thinking.

This view annoys some sceptics who think all climate change is natural or imaginary, but it is even more infuriating to most publicly funded scientists and politicians, who insist climate change is a big risk. My middle-of-the-road position is considered not just wrong, but disgraceful, shameful, verging on scandalous. I am subjected to torrents of online abuse for holding it, very little of it from sceptics.

I was even kept off the shortlist for a part-time, unpaid public-sector appointment in a field unrelated to climate because of having this view, or so the headhunter thought. In the climate debate, paying obeisance to climate scaremongering is about as mandatory for a public appointment, or public funding, as being a Protestant was in 18th-century England.



Reblog from BD live

MANY of the world’s leaders in science, engineering and other relevant disciplines will no longer comment publicly about climate change. They fear being labelled scaremongers, or deniers, or funded by special interest groups, or not caring about the poor.

This must change this year or what promises to be the largest global warming agreement in history will be signed at the United Nations climate conference in December with little or no input from many of the brightest minds in the field.

Taming the noxious and illogical climate change debate will not be easy. We will need strong public leadership from philosophers and other scholars who study rational argumentation to help us overcome the errors in thinking that are sabotaging the discussion. At stake are billions of dollars, countless jobs and, if activists are right, the fate of the global environment itself. Intellectuals have a moral duty to tackle this problem.


Willow Tit - RSPB

Willow Tit – RSPB

Sensible stuff from Better by Nature

Woodland wildlife under threat:

But perhaps not a lot of people know that the picture for our woodland wildlife isn’t looking very rosy. Birds like the willow tit, a woodland specialist, have declined by over 80%, making it our fastest declining resident bird. The State of Nature report showed that of the 1256 woodland species we have data for, 60% have declined over the past 50 years, 35% strongly. Some of our woodland birds migrate, so the problems might lie elsewhere, but equally we know that some of the causes of these declines are right here, in UK woodlands.


After the Ferrybridge fire and Hunstanton nuclear power station, more bad news for the hard pressed National Grid.

didcotgeorginemilesZainab Mirmalek, who lives opposite the power station, said: “There’s lots of water gushing down on it, lots of smoke and steam but the fire is definitely under control now.”

Fellow Didcot resident Leila Qureshi said: “We got quite near before the road was shut.

“The fire was ferocious. You could feel the heat and smell it.”


From the Mail:

davey-taxesLUNACY! The Lib Dem energy minister switched our biggest power station from coal to wood brought by diesel-guzzling ships from the U.S. The result? It costs us all a fortune and emits MORE pollution.

Indeed, it was Mr Davey who opened a new biomass phase for the vast Drax coal-fired power station near Selby in North Yorkshire last year, heralding the move as a new chapter in a low-carbon future.


This is a real landmark for Drax and for Britain’s energy security,’ he said. ‘Drax’s ambitious plans have made it one of Europe’s biggest renewable generators, helping to increase our green energy supplies.


Except there’s just one problem. Drax’s conversion to run half of its output on biomass means it will have to rely on wood from trees cut down in forests in America. The Sixties power station’s giant furnaces are being loaded with wood pellets carried 3,800 miles across the Atlantic in diesel-guzzling ships.

This grotesque environmental charade is being funded by government subsidies for the conversion of its coal-burning furnaces to biomass ones, which will put an estimated £23 on every family’s annual household energy bills for the next 13 years.

Streamer: a bird in flight that burns to death

Posted: August 18, 2014 by Andrew in Energy, flames
credit: M. mcClany

credit: M. McClany

Every year a number of new words are added to the English Dictionary. As renewable energy spreads across the world, they will add their own unique terminology. Wind turbines are well known for chomping their way through thousands of birds and bats each year. While photovoltaics are relatively benign, while they are intact, solar plants that use hundreds of mirrors to focus the Sun’s energy, are far from environmentally friendly. Now they have supplied their own unique and grim word.

“Streamer” a bird that burns as it flys through the concentrated solar rays generated by a solar plant’s mirrors.




Words fail me. Hopefully talkshop comments will be witty, erudite and stay within the bounds of legality.


Matt Ridley article for the Times, reposted from the GWPF, because as many people as possible need to read it and think. Then act by using your vote sensibly.

Date: 28/07/14 Matt Ridley, The Times

wind-costsIf wood-burning power stations are less eco-friendly than coal, we are getting the search for clean energy all wrong
On Saturday my train was diverted by engineering works near Doncaster. We trundled past some shiny new freight wagons decorated with a slogan: “Drax — powering tomorrow: carrying sustainable biomass for cost-effective renewable power”. Serendipitously, I was at that moment reading a report by the chief scientist at the Department of Energy and Climate Change on the burning of wood in Yorkshire power stations such as Drax. And I was feeling vindicated.

A year ago I wrote in these pages that it made no sense for the consumer to subsidise the burning of American wood in place of coal, since wood produces more carbon dioxide for each kilowatt-hour of electricity. The forests being harvested would take four to ten decades to regrow, and this is the precise period over which we are supposed to expect dangerous global warming to emerge. It makes no sense to steal beetles’ lunch, transport it halfway round the world, burning diesel as you do so, and charge hard-pressed consumers double the price for the power it generates.



Oh dear. Roger Harrabin, the well known BBC climate mouthpiece, has been unable to take a home truth on the chin. I got into a short twitter row about the EPA’s ‘pollution’ controls with him and the outcome is below the break.

turbine-failH/T to Glenties WiG for this Yachting Monthly report:

Wind turbine blaze scandal

Up to 120 wind turbines catch fire annually, according to the journal of Fire Safety Science. This is 10 times the number reported by the industry, The figures, compiled by engineers at Imperial College London and the University of Edinburgh, make fire the second-largest cause of accidents after blade failure.

The researchers claim that out of 200,000 turbines around the world, 117 fires take place annually, many more than the 12 reported by wind farm companies.


I had a brief chat with a journalist friend yesterday whose sister is a QC. He’s going to sound her out for me about the possibility of a class action against the BBC for breaking its charter. This from the Telegraph:

BBC staff told to stop inviting cranks onto science programmes
By Sarah Knapton, Science Correspondent –  04 Jul 2014

bbc-greenpeace-medBBC journalists are being sent on courses to stop them inviting so many cranks onto programmes to air ‘marginal views’

The BBC Trust on Thursday published a progress report into the corporation’s science coverage which was criticised in 2012 for giving too much air-time to critics who oppose non-contentious issues.

The report found that there was still an ‘over-rigid application of editorial guidelines on impartiality’ which sought to give the ‘other side’ of the argument, even if that viewpoint was widely dismissed.

Some 200 staff have already attended seminars and workshops and more will be invited on courses in the coming months to stop them giving ‘undue attention to marginal opinion.’

“The Trust wishes to emphasise the importance of attempting to establish where the weight of scientific agreement may be found and make that clear to audiences,” wrote the report authors.


A few years ago, I started a wikipedia page on the Gore Effect; the uncanny phenomenon which unleashes snow, hail, torrential rain, icy winds and sleet on the venues where Al Gore is speaking about global warming. The instances are too numerous to list. My page got deleted within a few months by the usual suspects. But it was reborn when another wiki user put up a much more detailed and better referenced version, and I thought it unassailable. But no, the usual suspects are at it again:


Maybe big Al has been armtwisting Jimmy Wales with the promise of a big donation on condition it goes. Who knows.

Contributor ‘Aussie’ notes this morning that the Gore Effect continues undiminished:


‘Anders’, the proprietor of popular warmist blog ‘and then there’s physics’ issued me with a challenge when I commented on his post about the ‘little ice age recovery‘.



“Try doing some actual physics” he said. So I responded:




Academic economist Richard Tol has been on the receiving end of some nasty misrepresentation published by notoriously alarmist UK small circulation newspaper ‘The Guardian’. One of it’s ‘columnists’, Dana Nuccitelli, an employee of a big oil and gas outfit called Tetra-Tech, has been writing inaccurate and scurrilous pieces on Tol since he decided to check the quality and accuracy of a paper Dana co-authored with cartoonist John Cook.

Cook runs a parody website called ‘Skeptical science’ which sends up the climate debate with a collection of joke impressions of climate-sceptical talking points and ‘mainstream climate science responses’ to them. Somehow, the Guardian, a self important and supposedly highbrow newspaper, mistook Dana for a real commentator on science and gave him a job as a blogger. Richard writes:

The Guardian has published six hatchet jobs impugning me and my work. The first four are under investigation by the Press Complaints Commission.

For hatchet job #5 and #6, the Guardian granted me the right to reply by return email. They were published together, without a clear structure and in the wrong order, with the first piece heavily edited. Here are the originals.


Biomass On Fire In Yorkshire

Posted: June 5, 2014 by oldbrew in Energy, flames, Incompetence


A strong warning for biomass promoters. Wood pellets are far from safe – they can also emit dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide if stored in confined spaces e.g. on ocean-going ships.

Handling Pellets – Things to Consider

Paul Homewood reports from the scene…

Originally posted on NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT:

By Paul Homewood


The BBC report:

Firefighters are spending a third day tackling a major blaze at a wood recycling plant in South Yorkshire.

Four crews have been at the R Plevin and Sons’ site in Crow Edge, near Penistone, since the wood chippings fire was discovered at about 08:10 BST on Monday.

Smoke can seen seen six miles (9.7km) away in Barnsley and smelled from Sheffield, 17 miles (27km) away.

People living near the fire have been asked to keep windows and doors closed.

The blaze could take another two days to put out, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said.

Station Manager Andy Hoyland said a water pump from a neighbouring brigade was being used to carry water from a nearby reservoir, to help extinguish the fire.

The blaze was “a big job”, said Mr Hoyland.

Wood chipping fire

The blaze, which can be seen and smelled from miles away…

View original 835 more words

Natural gas flare {credit: Wikipedia]

Natural gas flare [credit: Wikipedia]

A new process claims to capture carbon dioxide much more efficiently than previously suggested methods.

This could be politically significant if the technology really does do what it ‘says on the tin’, whether or not we may think it’s an exercise in futility anyway.

Phys.Org report including videos:
Carbon-capture breakthrough: Porous material polymerizes carbon dioxide at natural gas wellheads

Quote: ‘The porous carbon powder he settled on has massive surface area and turns the neat trick of converting gaseous carbon dioxide into solid polymer chains that nestle in the pores.’

From the Telegraph:

woodfire-cavemanTaxing issue for king coal
Drax has fallen victim to the Government’s efforts to clean up the way we generate energy in this country. The majority of electricity in the UK still comes from our fleet of coal-fired power stations, of which Drax is one of the biggest in Europe. However, that is all set to change as the Government steadily increases the amount of tax it charges from this year on power generated by burning coal. The Government is trying to shift to cleaner and more modern gas-fired power stations. In order to survive, Drax has drawn up plans to convert its coal-fired generators to run on vast amounts of wood chip, or biomass.


The Head-Shrinking Scourge Of Sceptics
by Tony Thomas

Professor Joseph Reser of the Australian Psychological Association fears that “climate deniers” are hobbling the push to save our poor, sweating planet. He would be better advised to check his “facts”, because many aren’t merely wrong, they are ludicrously so

The  eminence grise of the 21,000-member Australian Psychology Society (APS) is Professor Joseph Reser of Griffith University, a contributing author to the 5th IPCC report. With funding support from the since-axed Department of Climate Change, he and his team ran two large-scale Australian surveys in 2010 and 2011 (3096 and 4347 respondents), to document people’s climate change views.  From the results he has filed two academic reports totaling 340 pages, endlessly quoted by the APS.

Reser found that  “genuine distress at the implications of climate change appeared to be a reality for possibly 20% of survey respondents” (p141). Amazingly, 52% of the total 7443 respondents thought that global warming impacts were “currently” being felt in Australia, 45% thought they had personally witnessed the environmental impacts, and 59% thought their home turf was vulnerable to climate change horrors.


H/T to Barry Woods. The Frontiers in Psychology journal editors have issued this statement regarding the retraction of Stephan Lewandowsky’s deeply unpleasant attack on climate sceptics. They confirm that contrary to the claims of the usual suspects, no ‘threats’ were involved in the retraction decision. Why did Bristol University give Lewandowsky a tenured professorship. Why did the royal Society give him an award? Something stinks.

(Lausanne, Switzerland) – There has been a series of media reports concerning the recent retraction of the paper Recursive Fury: Conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideation, originally published on 18 March 2013 in Frontiers in Psychology. Until now, our policy has been to handle this matter with discretion out of consideration for all those concerned. But given the extent of the media coverage – largely based on misunderstanding – Frontiers would now like to better clarify the context behind the retraction.