Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Scotland’s new Queensferry Crossing road bridge [image credit: BBC]


‘New plans from the Scottish Government would allow the sale of hybrid and electric cars but not exclusively petrol or diesel ones’, reports Auto Express. But is it just political bluster, based on Scotland having left the UK?

Scotland has set out plans to phase out the sale of cars powered solely by petrol or diesel by 2032 – eight years ahead of the timescale proposed for the rest of the UK.

As under the plans south of the border, Scotland would allow the sale of petrol and diesel hybrids, however.

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The campaign to demonise diesel cars – above all other causes of city air pollution – rumbles on, as The Local reports. The conundrum being of course that Germany makes vast sums from sales of diesel cars, trucks, buses etc. As usual climate is wrongly conflated with air quality issues.

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday pledged a billion euros to help German cities fight air pollution caused by dirty diesel cars, as a scandal strangling the automobile industry threatened to engulf politicians at the height of the election campaign.

Merkel said she was doubling financial aid to cities from a previously announced €500 million, in a bid to stave off the threat of an all-out ban against diesel vehicles.

The public health threat posed by nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions came to the fore after Germany’s biggest carmaker Volkswagen admitted in September 2015 to fitting millions of cars worldwide with illegal devices to cheat pollution tests.

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Energy costs on the rise


This is the official admission that ‘green energy’ costs due to ideologically-based policies are a significant portion of, and reason for, fast-rising UK domestic energy bills.

Poorer customers could be exempted from paying ‘green’ energy taxes included in bills and pay just for what they use under plans being drawn up by leading power firms, says the GWPF.

Energy regulator Ofgem is consulting consumer groups and power companies on proposals for a ‘safeguard’ tariff, which would protect 2.2 million customers.

This follows on from Prime Minister Theresa May’s pre-Election pledge to cut £100 from 17 million family energy bills.

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Nobody in power wants to face the facts and backtrack, even though the unpleasant reality is staring them in the face.

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

h/t Conrad Jones

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https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/assets/documents/reports/cat11/1708081027_170807_AQEG_Biomass_report.pdf

Earlier this year, DEFRA published a report by the Air Quality Expert Group into the impacts of biomass on air quality. The results make for startling reading.

Among the findings are:

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This is the same ‘deal’ of which the founder of climate alarm James Hansen said: “It’s a fraud really, a fake”. Of course the BBC ignores that and tells the British public how terrible this US pullout is, in their not-so-humble opinion.

The Trump administration has issued its first written notification that the US intends to withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate agreement, reports BBC News.

But in the notice to the United Nations the US state department said Washington would remain in the talks process.

President Donald Trump drew international condemnation in June when he first announced the US intention to withdraw. He said the deal “punished” the US and would cost millions of American jobs.

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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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Dogma rules in California when it comes to supposed climate issues, as harmless and life-giving trace gas carbon dioxide continues to be treated by the government there as a ‘pollutant’.

California legislators have voted to extend a law to cut carbon emissions, weeks after President Donald Trump said the US would withdraw from the Paris climate accord, reports BBC News.

The policy, which requires firms to purchase permits to release pollutants, will be extended to the year 2030. California Governor Jerry Brown said Republicans and Democrats had taken “courageous action” with the move. The US state aims to cut greenhouse gases by 40% from 1990 levels by 2030.
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Interesting times ahead for US climate science, as the GWPF reports. It would be great to see Scott Pruitt include Ned Nikolov in this initiative, since his and Karl’s theory is about the only properly quantified alternative to the unproven radiative greenhouse hypothesis. Their theory successfully predicts surface temperatures across a range of planetary bodies, whereas the mainstream theory fails when it is applied to any other planet or moon apart from earth.

U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is leading a formal initiative to challenge mainstream climate science using a “back-and-forth critique” by government-recruited experts, according to a senior administration official.

The program will use “red team, blue team” exercises to conduct an “at-length evaluation of U.S. climate science,” the official said, referring to a concept developed by the military to identify vulnerabilities in field operations.

“The administrator believes that we will be able to recruit the best in the fields which study climate and will organize a specific process in which these individuals … provide back-and-forth critique of specific new reports on climate science,” the source said.

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On any other topic than climate, even the idea of spending so much money for so little, if any, measurable benefit would be laughed out of sight without more ado.

wryheat

The much touted Paris Climate Accord aims at worldwide reduction of carbon dioxide emissions in order to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels. This goal is purely arbitrary and based not upon any physical evidence, but upon the unproven assumption that carbon dioxide emissions play a significant role in global warming. What the Paris Accord really does is to transfer trillions of dollars from industrialized countries, mainly the US, to the sticky-fingered United Nations and to developing nations. It has a very minimal effect on global warming.

Several studies estimate the actual effects of the Accord. The most recent is from Bjorn Lomborg, published in the peer-reviewed journal, Global Policy (read full paper). Here is the paper abstract:

This article investigates the temperature reduction impact of major climate policy proposals implemented by 2030, using the standard MAGICC climate model [developed at the National…

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Climate miserablists – look away now.

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

h/t Jo Nova

If only Yes Minister had done global warming. Well, it has now, in the new stage version.

It’s hilarious, absolutely to the point, and a must watch.

Yes Prime Minister Global Warming etc Part 1 from Aris Motas on Vimeo.

Yes Prime Minister Global Warming etc Part 2 from Aris Motas on Vimeo.

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Taxing the weather – EU member states may have to cough up climate dues as part of the cost of supporting the seemingly insatiable Brussels bureaucratic machine.

Due to Brexit and other new commitments, the EU will soon be short of € 25 billion, reports The GWPF.

EU Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger, therefore, wants to introduce new revenues for the EU in form of a climate tax.

In addition, he wants to take Brexit as an opportunity to remove not only Britain’s EU rebate but similar discounts for other EU member states.
“When the British leave, the rebate negotiated by Maggie Thatcher falls away; I want to use this opportunity to cancel all discounts, including those for Denmark and Germany,” Oettinger told SPIEGEL.

“After the departure of the British, we are likely to be short of at least € 10 billion a year,” he said. “I can imagine that half of this sum can be saved, and the remaining members will divide the other half among themselves,” the EU Commissioner said.

Germany, for example, receives a discount on the additional costs incurred as a result of the British discount.

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Some day UK leaders might work out that the energy policies of recent years have cost far too much for no good reason. But nobody’s holding their breath waiting for that day. Reducing bills while driving up costs does not compute.

The U.K.’s search for 100 billion pounds ($127 billion) to maintain electricity supplies is likely to become tougher after the Conservative government lost its parliamentary majority in an election last week, says the GWPF.

Prime Minister Theresa May, who is leading a minority government, will need to focus more than ever to get consensus from lawmakers on Britain’s exit from the European Union. That leaves little time for setting new policies that could bolster the case for investing in new energy infrastructure, industry officials said.

“There’s not going to be an energy policy,” Guy Madgwick, managing director of Northern Europe for wind turbine manufacturer Senvion SA, said in a phone interview. “It’s nowhere near the top of their list.”
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josh-trumped

Sammy Wilson was the Democratic Unionist Party’s environment minister in 2008-9. He campaigned vigorously for the United Kingdom to leave the EU and believes that the country would be better served being in charge of our own finances, trade and immigration laws. He serves on the Brexit Committee at Westminster. No wonder the left wing are upset by the DUP’s importance in the new political order at Westminster following the general election:

Sammy-wilsonThe very wise decision by the US President to pull out of the totally flawed and pointless Paris Climate Change agreement, presents huge problems for the UK and the Government’s ongoing trade and industry strategy. It also raises big issues for an energy expensive area like Northern Ireland which has the most expensive electricity costs in the UK.

America is rebuilding its economy on cheap energy from shale gas and shale oil. Already it is attracting manufacturing jobs back to its shore from overseas because energy prices have plummeted due to the massive fall in prices as fracking of shale gas gathers pace. So cheap is its energy that it now pays to ship gas from America to Grangemouth Scotland rather than use gas from the North Sea. If we wish to remain competitive and increase trade with America we cannot ignore the actions of Donald Trump.

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On Sunday I gave a 10 minute presentation at a UKIP policy forum on climate and energy policy. This was well received and in the break-out group sessions during the afternoon, I found myself volunteered to chair the discussion and write-up our deliberations.

Forgive the wobbly video near the start. My cameraman decided to head round the other side of the room so I wasn’t blocking the view of the screen.

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Decision time looks to be nearing on this issue, as Phys.org reports. Place your bets.

US compliance with its commitments under the Paris Agreement on climate change would be “crippling” to growth, the White House said Friday.

During his election campaign, avowed climate sceptic Donald Trump promised to exit the 2015 UN pact on limiting global warming.

But Trump has now said he will make a decision after returning to Washington following the G7 summit in Sicily which starts Friday, at the end of his international tour.

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Credit: ktuu.com


Holding vast stockpiles does seem outdated when you can produce your own at an increasingly rapid rate, thanks to new discoveries and modern techniques like fracking.

US President Donald Trump’s 2018 budgetary proposals, currently before Congress, have irked many and tucked in the fine print is an outrageous (says the IB Times) plan to sell over 50% or 687m barrels of the country’s government-owned strategic petroleum reserves (SPR), stockpiled in the states of Texas and Louisiana as an emergency measure.

The SPR was created by the US government following the 1973 oil crisis, which saw several Middle Eastern Opec members impose an oil embargo following Washington’s backing of Israel in the Yom Kippur War.

Unconcerned by current geopolitics, the Trump administration says the sale could generate $16bn for US taxpayers over the next 10 years.

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US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt


As Dr Roy Spencer points out: ‘You can’t build a case for human-caused warming by relying on natural warming! (But, they did anyway.)’

A new paper in Nature: Scientific Reports by Santer et al entitled Tropospheric Warming Over the Past Two Decades begins with this:

After a recent Senate confirmation hearing, Scott Pruitt the new Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency received a written question regarding observed warming estimates. In response, Mr. Pruitt claimed that over the past two decades satellite data indicates there has been a leveling off of warming. We test this claim here.

Now, exactly how does one scientifically test a claim of “leveling off of warming”?

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_____Image Credit: Matt.______

The UK Labour party has a leak, and its election manifesto has escaped into the wild. Here’s what it says about energy and climate.

Sustainable Energy

Labour’s energy policy is built on three simple principles:

• To ensure security of energy supply and ‘keep the lights on’

• To ensure energy costs are affordable for consumers and businesses

• To ensure we meet our climate change targets and transition to a low carbon economy

The UK energy system is outdated, expensive and polluting. Privatisation has failed to deliver an energy system that delivers for people, businesses or our environment.

One-in-ten households are in fuel poverty, yet according to the Competition Markets Authority customers are overcharged an enormous £2 billion every year.

Labour understands that many people don’t have time to shop around, they just want reliable and affordable energy. So the next Labour Government will:

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Signatories (light green) and parties (orange) to the Paris Agreement [credit: Wikipedia]


H/T GWPF / Washington Times

It may be a bit of a legal minefield but it would put an extra element of democracy into the current situation.

As President Trump’s top advisers prepare to hash out a final policy on the Paris climate agreement dumped onto their laps by President Obama, another option has hit the table: Declare the deal a treaty and send it to the Senate to be killed.

The treaty option could emerge as the middle ground in the increasingly tense battle between “remainers” on the one hand, who say the president should abide by Mr. Obama’s global warming deal, and the Paris agreement’s detractors, who say Mr. Trump would be breaking a key campaign promise if he doesn’t withdraw from the pact.

Mr. Trump’s principal advisers are slated to meet Thursday to hash out a final set of recommendations for the president, with several deadlines looming next month.
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City life in China

Maybe the courts could order the issue of free anti-pollution masks, pending any government ‘clean-up’ action.

The UK government may face legal action after seeking to delay publishing its plan to tackle air pollution until after the general election, says BBC News.

The courts had given ministers until 16:00 on Monday to set out draft measures to combat illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution. A 2016 court ruling said existing measures proposed by the government did not meet the requirements of law.

The general election is scheduled to take place on 8 June.
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