Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Porto Santo airport


This tiny island near Madeira has an area of 16.28 square miles but gets a flying visit from the BBC’s leading climate alarm advocate Roger Harrabin, no doubt in a fuel-burning aeroplane or two. Has he checked his ‘carbon footprint’ lately? 😎
The idea was to give a plug (sorry) to an electric car experiment, but with such a tiny surface area it all looked like much ado about next to nothing. Not exactly a gamechanger, but he’s probably boosted their tourism – meaning more of those naughty flights.

Surprised this morning to find that the island of Porto Santo was featuring on BBC Breakfast, where it was described as “aspiring to become the first energy independent island by eliminating the use of fossil fuels altogether”, reports Madeira Island News.

The report started by showing diesel generators fuelling pollution, and moved on the detail the efforts being made to use reversible car batteries to recharge the electric grid.

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Queensland, Australia


Sub-tropical snow – some folk may have to manage without electricity from their solar panels until it goes 😎

Icy conditions are sweeping across eastern Australia, bringing snow to areas as far north as sub-tropical Queensland in what is believed to be the heaviest snowfall in years, reports the Evening Standard.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology described the weather as “rare” adding that Queensland had not experienced significant snowfall since 2015.

June marks the beginning of winter in Australia but the extreme weather is highly unusual, especially so early on in some areas of Tasmania, Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales.

Many took to social media to express their amazement at finding snow in their hometowns as well as sharing photos of Kangaroos and Tasmanian devils playing in the cold conditions.

The Blue Mountains west of Sydney woke on Tuesday to a blanket of snow, while there have been falls in Queensland’s Granite Belt region, west of Brisbane, although snow was not expected to settle.

Travellers are also being warned to expect delays on roads, rail, waterways and in the skies amid a day of wild weather and icy winds.

Full report here.


Cold shower for students – protesting about ‘saving the planet’ may not be just a fun alternative to attending school lessons after all.
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Every Friday, thousands of German pupils take part in the “Fridays for Future” climate demonstrations, writes Andrew Montford @ The GWPF.

This could now have serious consequences for some of them – they may have to stay down and repeat the year. At one Berlin Gymnasium alone 13 pupils are said to face this consequence.

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U.K.’s Nigel Farage demands a seat at Brexit talks

Posted: May 27, 2019 by oldbrew in News, Politics
Tags:

Credit: mining.com


Very unlikely to be offered one, but with a big win in the European elections the Brexit Party leader has a point – and probably a pint too. One report says he will be ‘the head of the largest single party in the chamber with 29 seats’, although some results are not in yet. How much longer can Brexit dithering go on?

Nigel Farage demanded a seat at Brexit negotiations on Monday after his new party swept to victory in the United Kingdom’s European Parliament election, warning that he would turn British politics upside down if denied, reports CBC News.

Farage, a bombastic 55-year-old commodities broker-turned anti-establishment supremo, won by riding a wave of anger at the failure of Prime Minister Theresa May to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union.

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Tesla model X [image credit: IB Times]


Can electric car companies ever be financially viable? The Tesla example isn’t looking too good since government subsidies were withdrawn, pushing up prices. This article asks if Tesla is running out of buyers for its vehicles.

Late last year, Tesla Inc. was fully charged and cruising down the highway on Autopilot, says Phys.org.

Shares were trading above $370 each, sales of the Model 3 small electric car were strong and the company had appointed a new board chair to rein in the antics of sometimes impulsive CEO Elon Musk.

But around the middle of December, investors started having doubts about the former Wall Street darling’s prospects for continued growth, and the stock started a gyrating fall that was among the worst in company history.

For the year, the share price is down around 40%, largely on concerns Tesla is running out of buyers for its vehicles, which range in price from a base $35,400 Model 3 to a larger Model X SUV that can run well over $130,000.

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Oxford Circus climate demo [image credit: London Evening Standard]


People shouldn’t be allowed to ignore the law in pursuit of their beliefs. Protest is permitted up to a point, but go too far and the police have to act to try and restore order.

The Met [Metropolitan Police] will push for the prosecution of more than 1,100 people arrested over last month’s Extinction Rebellion protests, a senior officer has said.

So far more than 70 activists have been charged in connection with the demonstrations that brought parts of central London to a standstill, reports BBC News.

Ten days of protests in April saw 1,130 people arrested for various offences.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor said the Met wanted to deter other groups employing similar tactics.

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Image credit: americaherald.com


Flimsy excuses about ‘saving the climate’ or similar by obstructing lawful work activities won’t pass muster in future, at least in Texas and several other US States. Jail time and financial penalties beckon. Over 40,000 miles of new pipelines are planned in the years ahead. In any case, while the demand for oil and gas is there the supply will go on, one way or another.

If you protest an oil or gas pipeline in Texas, you could face up to 10 years in prison, reports OilPrice.com.

The bill on the verge of becoming law in Texas would classify civil disobedience against the construction of a pipeline in Texas a third-degree felony, putting it on “the same level of felony as attempted murderers,” according to the Texas Observer, or equivalent to sentences handed down to “drive-by shooters who fail to hit their mark,” as Bloomberg put it.

The legislation would elevate pipelines as “critical infrastructure,” classifying them in the same category as power plants and water treatment facilities.

But it would also include projects under construction, going beyond current law, according to the Observer.

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Dead in the water: the original Swansea tidal lagoon plan [image credit: BBC]


At a mere(?) one billion pounds it would be 30% cheaper than the original proposal, or so the claim goes. The sales pitch mentions some of the usual suspects like sustainability and climate change. But somebody still has to pay for the expensive power it might generate.

The Dragon Energy Island project would generate a combination of marine, solar and hydrogen energy, says EnergyLiveNews.

A floating island of up to 1,000 homes and shops is part of a new proposal to revive the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project in Wales.

Called Dragon Energy Island , the project would consist of giant underwater turbines that would power thousands of homes across Swansea and beyond, a floating modular homes development, underwater data centre, a solar farm and the production of hydrogen.

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Global warming – more tortoise than hare? [image credit: hevria.com]


So ‘historic’ that few have heard of it? ‘There are currently around 1,000 cases brought against governments across the world related to climate change and habitat loss’, reports Phys.org. Good news for lawyers.

The European Court of Justice threw out a landmark case brought by 10 families who sued the European Union over the threats climate change poses to their homes and livelihoods, lawyers said Wednesday.

Lawyers said the ECJ earlier this month dismissed the case on procedural grounds, arguing that individuals do not have the right to challenge the bloc’s environmental plans.

The ruling could have a major impact on future climate litigation, experts said.

Lawyers for the “People’s Climate Case” said they would appeal.

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Credit: ezilon.com


Unusually cold local weather for this time of year, not conforming to supposed warming trends claimed to be due to too many SUVs, power stations etc. Records may fall.

As of 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Denver had officially received 3.4 inches of snow, says CBS4 News.

That’s the most snow measured this late in the season since May 29, 1975 when 5.6 inches hit the city.

In addition to the snow, Denver tied the record low temperature for May 21 when the official thermometer for the city dropped to 31 degrees Tuesday morning. It was previously 31 degrees on this date in 2001 when 1 inch of snow fell.

In terms of high temperatures on Tuesday, they will struggle to reach into the lower 40s again making it the second day in a row with temperatures staying 30 to 35 degrees below normal for the third week in May.

The record “coldest maximum” for May 21 is 40 degrees set 128 years ago in 1891. It’s possible that record could also be challenged.

Full report here.

Nissan Leaf electric car on charge [image credit: drive.co.uk]


Oh dear. Bribes not big enough any more? No sign of mass market take-up anyway.

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association says 2018 sales of EVs were more than twice as high in France and Germany than in the UK, says Energy Live News.

That’s the verdict from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), which has published a new report showing the UK sold a total of 15,510 fully electric cars last year, a rate of 13.8% growth on 2017.

However, it highlights that average growth across the continent between the two years was 48.2%, rising to 53.2% among just EU member states.

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Wind farm in South Australia [image credit: reneweconomy.com.au]


One national newspaper headline: ‘Climate Hysteria Costs Labor Party ‘unlosable’ Elections’. Many voters seem to have found the notion of ‘fighting climate change’ either unconvincing or irrelevant. Alarmists are shocked and baffled.
H/T The GWPF

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has retained power in the Australian election while Labor’s election strategy to make climate alarmism the key issue has backfired, says The Australian.

Bill Shorten’s Labor Party will finish behind Scott Morrison’s Coalition and the Prime Minister still has a path to a majority government.

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Towing is not suitable for EVs


All wheels should ideally be off the ground when moving EVs from point to point. But now a diesel rescue van can generate enough of a boost charge to enable stranded drivers to get to the nearest charge point in their own EV – in parts of the UK at least.

In readiness for the UK’s expected electric vehicle boom, the RAC has developed its EV Boost system – the first lightweight mobile EV-charger capable of giving stranded out-of-charge cars a power boost from one of its standard orange roadside rescue vans, says NextGreenCar.

The bespoke solution can be rolled-out to hundreds of patrol vehicles ensuring the RAC can match the scale of demand as electric vehicle ownership grows in the coming years.

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The police chief also said that officers seen skateboarding and dancing with activists were “not professional”. And they were getting paid for it. British understatement at its best.

Police must be more assertive in dealing with any future climate change protests in London, Scotland Yard chief Cressida Dick accepted today.

The Met Commissioner said Extinction Rebellion, which organised the demonstrations last month, came in “larger numbers than we expected” and used new tactics “well beyond anything we had seen before”, reports the Evening Standard.

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Credit: britannica.com


Straining sanity to the limit, they want to use the Earth’s climate as some kind of legal excuse to try and extort money from Australians. All based on carbon dioxide mythology of course.

Indigenous residents of low-lying islands off northern Australia will submit a landmark complaint with the United Nations on Monday accusing the government of violating their human rights by failing to tackle climate change, reports Phys.org.

The Torres Strait Islanders will tell the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva that rising seas caused by global warming are threatening their homelands and culture, lawyers representing the group said.

The lawyers, from the non-profit ClientEarth, said the case was the first of its kind to be lodged with the UN equating government inaction on climate change to a human rights violation.

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Choking off demand by restricting supply of flights would not be exactly popular with either airlines or would-be passengers. So who is it supposed to be popular with, other than the usual climate-obsessed minority who gladly swallow all the propaganda fed to them? People who want to travel will probably find a way, whether the government or anyone else likes it or not.

Concerns over climate change might restrict the growth of flying in the UK, the government has admitted.

The advisory Committee on Climate Change (CCC) recently said the UK’s planned increase in aviation would need to be curbed to restrict CO2, says BBC News.

Now a senior civil servant has told a green group that means ministers may have to review aviation strategy.

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Has it occurred to these scientists that the Earth might respond in unexpected ways to grandiose attempts to artificially change the climate? Self-proclaimed would-be saviours of the world should be closely monitored to say the least.

Researchers plans for new centre to explore refreezing the poles, sucking out CO2 and ocean greening, says BBC News.

Scientists in Cambridge plan to set up a research centre to develop new ways to repair the Earth’s climate.

It will investigate radical approaches such as refreezing the Earth’s poles and removing CO2 from the atmosphere.

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shale_gas_extraction2

No surprise here. She is only saying what the leading industry players have been complaining about for months at least, i.e. the absurdity of some of the rules forced upon them.

Natascha Engel says the government’s approach to fracking has created a de facto ban on it, BBC News reports.

The UK’s shale gas commissioner is resigning after just six months, saying fracking is being throttled by rules preventing mini earthquakes.

Current government rules mean fracking must be suspended every time a 0.5 magnitude tremor is detected. But according  to a mail online report by David Rose, Ms Engel said that “The same rules do not apply to quarry blasting or construction piling, which can cause much bigger earth movements. They are also thousands of times weaker than the level 4 or 5 quakes geologists say are the smallest likely to damage buildings.”

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The makers claim that ‘global and orbital travel will never be the same’.

A new air-breathing rocket engine is ready for a major round of testing in the next 18 months after having passed a preliminary design review by the European Space Agency (ESA), reports Space.com.

The Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE), which is being developed by the U.K. company Reaction Engines, can switch between two modes.

In aircraft-engine mode, it uses oxygen from the atmosphere, and in rocket-engine mode, it burns an oxidizer carried onboard together with the fuel liquid hydrogen.

The technology, deemed particularly promising for suborbital spaceflight and supersonic intercontinental travel, could one day revolutionize space transportation, advocates say.

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Why Phi? – the Kepler-47 circumbinary system

Posted: April 16, 2019 by oldbrew in Astrophysics, News, Phi
Tags: ,

Kepler Space Telescope [credit: NASA]


A headline at Phys.org today reads:
‘Astronomers discover third planet in the Kepler-47 circumbinary system’

The report starts:
‘Astronomers have discovered a third planet in the Kepler-47 system, securing the system’s title as the most interesting of the binary-star worlds. Using data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope, a team of researchers, led by astronomers at San Diego State University, detected the new Neptune-to-Saturn-size planet orbiting between two previously known planets.

With its three planets orbiting two suns, Kepler-47 is the only known multi-planet circumbinary system. Circumbinary planets are those that orbit two stars.’

In this system the two stars orbit each other about every 7.45 days.

What can the latest information tell us about these planets, including newly discovered planet ‘d’?

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