Archive for the ‘opinion’ Category

Why we need to leave the single market

Posted: August 8, 2017 by tallbloke in Analysis, Brexit, opinion

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Ben Somervell lays out a full and well supported case for leaving the single market on #Brexit

Ben Somervell's Brexit Blog

In this article, I will use the terms “single market”, “internal market”, “European Economic Area” and “EEA” interchangeably as they are all effectively synonyms. (The following article is a full significantly extended, revised and updated version of a much shorter article which I wrote for the “Comment Central” website which was, in turn an extended version of a 952-word article here which I wrote for the “Student Voices” website in July).

I originally thought that Theresa May’s Lancaster House speech in January (transcript here), her letter to the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, invoking Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon (here) and the Government’s Brexit White Paper (here) had once and for all nipped the idea of continued single market membership after Brexit in the bud. However, since the Conservatives lost their parliamentary majority in the General Election this year, it…

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Even electric cars can’t cut the mustard in polluted cities, according to this BBC report at least.

Plans to promote electric vehicles in the UK do not go far enough to tackle air pollution, according to a leading government adviser. Writing in the Guardian, Prof Frank Kelly said fewer cars, not just cleaner ones, were the key to cleaner air.

Electric cars produce particulates from their tyres and brakes which are linked to serious health problems. Prof Kelly said that London should lead the way in promoting non-polluting transport policies.

Just last week the government unveiled its strategy for tackling illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide in the air. The key element was a promise to end the sale of all new diesel and petrol cars from 2040.

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davis-barnier-no-deal

Ben Somervell | @bensomervell1 Originally published on Student Voices

Since the Conservative Party lost of its parliamentary majority, the line ‘no [Brexit] deal is better than a bad deal’ has come under attack. Conservative MP Anna Soubry suggested that the line is a ‘nonsense’ and Labour MP Hillary Benn stated that the idea of leaving the EU with no deal is ‘dead in the water’. The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, recently said on the “Andrew Marr Show” that no deal would be a ‘very, very bad’ outcome for the UK and, in doing so, wrongly and unwisely undermined his Government’s own negotiating position as so clearly laid out in the Lancaster House speech, the Brexit White Paper, the letter invoking Article 50 and the Conservatives’ 2017 General Election manifesto.

However a couple of days ago, I was very pleased to hear the news that the Government has asked businesses to prepare for a no deal outcome in case the EU refuses to back down on the £87.7bn (€100bn) so-called Brexit “divorce bill” some EU figures are citing. This is despite the fact that the figure produced by the Institute for Economic Affairs’ (IEA) Brexit Unit is just £26bn and despite the fact that the European Commission’s own lawyers have admitted that a €100bn “divorce bill” would be ‘legally impossible’ to enforce.

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Whitelee wind farm, Scotland [image credit: Bjmullan / Wikipedia]


Wherever onshore wind turbines are built there will also be networks of electricity pylons to carry the power away. Tourism is big business in windy Scotland.

A survey carried out on behalf of the John Muir Trust (JMT) found that 55% of respondents were “less likely” to venture into areas of the countryside industrialised by giant turbines, electricity pylons and super-quarries, reports The Times (via GWPF).

Just 3% said they were “more likely” to visit such areas, while 26% said such large-scale developments would make “no difference”. The poll has rekindled calls for Scottish ministers to increase protection for wild and scenic areas that, it is argued, will protect rural tourism businesses.

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Trees ‘remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store large quantities of carbon in their tissues.’ – Wikipedia


If absorbing carbon dioxide is the idea, which is better value for money: big technology, or plain old-fashioned trees?

On May 31, 2017, the world’s first commercial atmospheric carbon-capture plant opened for business in Hinwil, Switzerland, reports Climate Change Dispatch.

The plant, designed and operated by a Swiss company called Climeworks, is different from existing carbon-capture facilities because it filters carbon dioxide out of the ambient atmosphere using proprietary technology, rather than from industrial exhaust, which is quite common.

Climeworks claims their facility will be able to remove 900 tons of carbon from the atmosphere every year. Furthermore, its modular design will allow it to be scaled up as the demand for carbon dioxide increases.

What do they plan to do with said carbon?

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The Climate Industrial Complex (CIC) cannot be accused of thinking small, as Carlin Economics and Science explains.

At the state level, the approval of California bill SB52 by both houses of the state legislature means carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions must be lowered to levels 40% below levels measured in 1990.

This is expected to necessitate the development of massive numbers of new regulations and policies that will allow the state government to control and dictate virtually every aspect of Californians’ lives in the opinion of one observer, including:

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Credit: BBC

A brief run-through of some of the problems with ‘man-made warming’ theories, which so often get swept under the carpet and treated as unmentionable.

One of the main accusations launched by climate activists is that anyone arguing against man-made global warming is “anti-science.”

They tell us that the science is “settled,” and that anyone who objects is ignoring a blindingly obvious set of facts.

But what to do about someone like me, asks Steven Wright in Climate Change Dispatch?

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Bret Stephens at The New York Times delves into the erroneous ‘climate-friendly’ image of biofuels, and questions the claimed success of renewables in general. Not new criticisms, but new for the NYT at least.

A few extracts from the piece:
“Converting biomass feedstocks to biofuels is an environmentally friendly process. So is using biofuels for transportation. When we use bioethanol instead of gasoline, we help reduce atmospheric CO2.”

These confident assurances come from “Biofuels: A Solution for Climate Change,” a paper published in 1999 by the Clinton administration’s Department of Energy. Feels a little dated in its scientific assumptions, doesn’t it?
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Credit: concernusa.org


GWPF Science Editor Dr David Whitehouse takes a close look at some recent developments in the long-running global temperature ‘pause’ controversy.

A new paper has been published in the Analysis section of Nature called Reconciling controversies about the ‘global warming hiatus.’ It confirms that the ‘hiatus’ or ‘pause’ is real. It is also rather revealing.

It attempts to explain the ‘Pause’ by looking into what is known about climate variability. They say that four years after the release of the IPCC AR5 report, which contained much about the ‘hiatus’ it is time to see what can be learned.

One could be a little sarcastic in saying why would Nature devote seven of its desirable pages to an event that some vehemently say never existed and maintain its existence has been disproved long ago.

Now, however, as the El Nino spike of the past few years levels off, analysing the ‘pause’ seems to be coming back into fashion.

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Despite Saturday’s so-called “March for Science,” the almost simultaneous release of a Second Edition of a Research Report showing the exact opposite of what some of the marchers claim to be the conclusions of climate science, has brought home the Orwellian reality that the marchers have gotten their claims concerning what the science says exactly backwards, as Alan Carlin explains.

The Climate March website says their forces of “The Resistance” won’t tolerate institutions that try to “skew, ignore, misuse or interfere with science.”

If the marchers really support science, they should be supporting climate skeptics, not the climate alarmists. How Orwellian can you get? The science is clear.
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H/T GWPF

Put the ‘consensus’ to a test, and improve public understanding, through an open, adversarial process, says Steven Koonin in the Wall Street Journal.
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Tomorrow’s March for Science will draw many thousands in support of evidence-based policy making and against the politicization of science.

A concrete step toward those worthy goals would be to convene a “Red Team/Blue Team” process for climate science, one of the most important and contentious issues of our age.

The national-security community pioneered the “Red Team” methodology to test assumptions and analyses, identify risks, and reduce—or at least understand—uncertainties.
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Discussion thread: reactions to House Hearing

Posted: April 16, 2017 by oldbrew in climate, opinion

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The more open discussion of actual climate issues, the better for everyone.

Climate Etc.

by Judith Curry

Climate Feedback has interviewed a number of scientists regarding the recent House Hearing on climate science.

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Who gets a say in deciding whether to interfere with nature on a global scale?

Credit: livescience.com


Once the El Niño crutch is kicked away, what have climate models got left in terms of warming apart from ‘the pause’? Not a lot, according to this analysis.
H/T GWPF

El Ninos can be used to make computer climate models look better than they are, for a short time at least, says Dr. David Whitehouse.

The message one is trying to get across when communicating science can depend much on what one doesn’t say. Leaving something vital out can make all the difference and when it’s done it can make scientists look like politicians, although not sophisticated ones.

As an example of what I mean consider the El Niño phenomenon – a short-term oceanographic weather event. The El Niño can be used to make computer climate models look better than they are, for a short time at least.
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The tide is starting to turn, in America at least.

STOP THESE THINGS

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James Delingpole has been slugging it out with lunatics from the Greenblob for more than a decade. Now, as the world wakes up to the scale and scope of the great wind power fraud, Slim Jim finds himself on the right side of history. Here he is letting the world know about it.

Why Renewables Are Doomed and Fossil Fuels Are the Future
Breitbart
James Delingpole
9 February 2017

We’re on the verge of a new energy revolution. Except it’s the exact opposite of the one the “experts” at places like BP, the International Energy Agency and – ahem – the Guardian are predicting.

For years we’ve been assured by politicians, energy industry specialists and green advocates that renewables such as wind and solar are getting more and more cost-competitive while dirty fossil fuels are so discredited and wrong and evil we’ll soon have to leave them in the ground.

But…

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Image credit: carmagazine.co.uk

Image credit: carmagazine.co.uk


The predictable war on diesel cars is underway. The days of promoting them as ‘climate-friendly’ are over, in the UK at least. Diesel trucks, vans and buses are overlooked.

London’s air pollution problem is so bad that just five days into 2017 Brixton had already used up its traffic fume allowance for the year, reports iNews.

Brixton has since been overtaken by Knightsbridge as Britain’s most polluted district so far this year. The wealthy west London suburb has exceeded the EU nitrogen dioxide (NO2) limit for a total of 52 hours already this year, nearly three times the legal annual allowance of 18 hours, according to the latest figures from Dr Gary Fuller at King’s College London.

But traffic pollution is by no means confined to these London hotspots.
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happer
If not, then certainly mildly irritating to some people anyway. 😎
H/T GWPF

The word “cult” may be a little over the top, but whatever it is, it sure isn’t science, says The Manhattan Contrarian.

Will Happer is an eminent physicist at Princeton who has chosen (along with his colleague Freeman Dyson) to plant a flag on the skeptic side of the climate debate. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Happer on a couple of occasions.

Recently his name has been floated as a potential candidate for the position of Science Advisor to President Trump. (This is the position that has been held by eco-fanatic John Holdren during the Obama presidency.)  Although it is not final, and others remain in the running, Happer has said that he will take the position if offered.

Yesterday Happer gave an interview to the Guardian newspaper. When it came to the issue of “climate change,” Happer didn’t pull any punches.
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The arguments stirred up by the NOAA’s ‘pausegate’ whistleblower rumble on. A UK Met Office expert asserted ‘the slowdown hasn’t gone away’. This one could run and run.

David Rose’s splendid and significant article in last week’s Mail on Sunday certainly caused a stir. The initial reaction, mostly distractions, have been easily dealt with by David Rose in this week’s installment.

One of the points raised concerned a paper submitted to the Journal of Climate by Huang et al. It is about the new ERSSTv5 sea surface temperature dataset.

It is an interesting paper that claims that ERSSTv5 shows a lower rate of warming than the previous ERSSTv4 which was used by the now famous Karl et al paper in 2015 which claimed that — contrary to the IPCC — there had been no slowdown in the rate of temperature increase in the past 15 years or so – the so-called Pause.

One persistent activist said the paper was stolen and it was unethical to comment on it. In reality the preprint was obtained from a public webpage, anyone could have downloaded it. It has been in circulation for weeks.
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The new ‘climate denial’

Posted: February 11, 2017 by oldbrew in climate, ideology, opinion
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In a world of soundbites a two-word label is about the limit before people mentally switch off.

Climate Etc.

by Judith Curry

Interesting article in The Atlantic, but I’m still trying to figure out what is being ‘denied.’

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Windfarm objection in Galloway

Windfarm objection in Galloway


Galloway has some great landscapes and doesn’t need to be disfigured any further by such intrusive monstrosities.

A Scottish government reporter has refused planning permission for a 12-turbine wind farm in Galloway, reports BBC News. He ruled the Shennanton project north of Kirkcowan would have a “significant adverse impact” on the landscape.

Brookfield Renewable had appealed over Dumfries and Galloway Council’s failure to determine its application. The reporter said the significant local support and boost for renewable energy targets did not outweigh the harm to the character of the area.
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