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Thursday
Nov272014

Bob misrepresents the science again

Bob Ward's interview with Conor Gearty is fun, with the film-noir style making Bob look even stranger than normal. His views are amusing too, having only the loosest connections with the science. Take this bit on the 2-degree target.

This is straight from the science...we've seen from the evidence that if we go above global warming of more than 2 degrees we will be facing very severe risks that the world has not seen for millions of years...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Nov272014

Diary date, Senate edition

On Tuesday, Benny Peiser will be appearing before the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works to talk about European climate policy.

Details here.

Thursday
Nov272014

Harrabin on the Royal report

Roger Harrabin has an interesting take on the Royal Society extreme weather report, picking up on what is in fact a fairly minor point in the report - namely the response to floods in the Somerset Levels - but in doing so putting things in a very stark light.

...the authors of a Royal Society report on resilience to extreme weather have told BBC News that they believe the campaign to protect the Levels prompted politics to override science.

They say those resident on the Levels may have to get used to living with floods, and they question whether investment to protect farmland is the best use of public money.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Nov272014

A right royal contradiction

Updated on Nov 27, 2014 by Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Today the Royal Society publishes its report on resilience to extreme weather events and it's a bundle of laughs. I confess I haven't read the whole thing - it was only sent to me late last night - and you will see why I didn't want to persevere.

As ever with these things it's good to start at the back, where we learn that the project was funded, among others, by Jeremy Grantham. (I wonder who approached whom?). The list of those consulted was also interesting, including familiar names such as:

  • Sam Fankhauser
  • Geoffrey Boulton
  • John Beddington
  • Brian Hoskins
  • Keith Shine
  • Eric Wolff

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Nov262014

To frack or not to frack?

Yesterday MPs had a short debate in Westminister Hall on the subject of fracking. The proceedings were led by the Liberal Democrat Norman Baker, who provided - presumably unintentionally - a handy list of every piece of misinformation on the subject of shale gas extraction that is still doing the rounds. There was also this amusing intervention from Graham Stringer, referring to Caroline Lucas's contribution:

The hon. Lady uses as a basis for opposing fracking the fact that we will not meet our emissions targets. So what? We are hitting our emissions targets—[Interruption.] Well, I will explain it to the hon. Lady, because she is in a fantasy world. In hitting our emissions targets, we are responsible for more carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere than we were before, because of embedded carbon coming in through industrial manufactured goods from China and elsewhere. The hon. Lady’s policy does not help the climate or reduce carbon dioxide. Her policy is about deindustrialisation, which is responsible for increasing the costs of industrial goods in this country by 9%, putting people out of work, and for increasing the cost of domestic energy, depending on how it is counted—by and large, it is not counted properly—by between £50 and £120 a year. The hon. Lady is concerned about carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere, but that is increasing because we are effectively subsidising imports from China and India.

I'm not sure that the debate went anywhere, but it was interesting nevertheless.

Wednesday
Nov262014

First day in court

Mark Steyn's entertaining account of the Appeal Court hearing regarding the Mann libel case can be seen here.

The three lady judges - by comparison with that slapdash idiot Combs Greene in the trial court - were on top of the case, and they had some sharp exchanges. When Mann's lawyer sneered that the defendants did not believe in "climate change", Judge Easterly interjected, "Man-made climate change". It was interesting that she thought it an important distinction to draw.

Wednesday
Nov262014

The pursuit of Ramsey

Readers will no doubt recall a very interesting thread concerning Doug Keenan's pursuit of Christopher Ramsey, an Oxford researcher whose work on radiocarbon dating has led to considerable controversy in the archaeology world, as his methods lead to much ancient history potentially having to be rewritten.

Keenan had accused Ramsey of fraud and had issued a formal complaint to the University of Oxford. However, during the discussions on the BH thread discussing the case, it turned out that at least one of the allegations was wrong.

But this has not been the end of the affair. Doug has rewritten the complaint, bringing in a new allegation that he had held back previously and has put the whole thing to the University. A detailed account of what has happened can be seen at Doug's website, but suffice it to say that a fairly thick coat of whitewash has been applied by the powers that be.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Nov252014

Mann livestream

There is a livestream of today's Mann/CEI/Steyn courtroom hearing available here. You need to select the Ceremonial Courtroom feed at 9:30 EST, which I think is 14:30 GMT.

To set you up for the occasion, there's an excellent article at the Daily Caller, which will certainly whet your appetite.

Tuesday
Nov252014

Good news, bad news

The good news is that some of the EDF nuclear power stations that had to be taken offline a month or so ago have now been restarted. The schedule for bringing the remaining ones back online looks reasonable too.

The bad news is that a mothballed gas-fired power station that was to be recommissioned so as to be available to stand ready to cover unforeseen eventualities over the winter has been experiencing problems (Link £).

...during the first of several planned, paid monthly test runs last Thursday, output from the plant fell sharply. The test, which had been due to run into the early evening, ended soon after 2pm, industry sources said on Monday.

These are teething problems no doubt and the FT at least reckons that we are unlikely to see power cuts:

Energy experts believe that blackouts are unlikely, as long as existing plants in the UK’s ageing power fleet do not suffer serious breakdowns.

But it be interesting to see whether price rises are required to to balance the energy grid and if so how high those prices have to go.

Monday
Nov242014

BEST, bad, worse

Via Nic Lewis and Frank Bosse comes a link to a page at the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project (BEST). Richard Muller and his team have compared their results to the output of a series of GCMs and the results are not exactly pretty, as one of the headlines explains

Many models still struggle with overall warming; none replicate regional warming well.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov242014

Debating the IPCC

Last week MPs were given the chance to debate the Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee report on the Fifth Assessment. I haven't the time to read the whole thing at the moment , but it looks at least as if some pertinent points were made, with Yeo furiously stoking the engine of the gravy train and Graham Stringer and Peter Lilley briskly hosing it down with a few facts.

Read it here.

(H/T Barry Woods)

Monday
Nov242014

Green charades

On Wednesday, the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee is to hold a one-day inquiry into a report published by Lord Stern's New Climate Economy project (NCE) and will take evidence from Stern himself, as well as Jeremy Oppenheim, an economist from McKinsey and Co who is involved in the project.

According to its website, NCE is a joint initiative of the governments of seven countries, including the UK - no doubt this is Mr Davey's work then. A glance at the people involved suggests that it is one of those charades in which a panel of green activists selected from universities around the world  pretends that they have taken an objective look at the subject at hand before faithfully delivering up the required message.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Nov222014

Finger puppets - Josh 302

As was noted here in the comments, by our host, maybe we should be

referring to Roger Harrabin as "Green blob spokesman Harrabin"

I think we can include Bob Ward too.

Cartoons by Josh


Saturday
Nov222014

Diary dates, cafe culture edition

The Dundee Cafe Science has an event on renewables on Monday:

Dr David Rodley from the University of Dundee Centre for Renewable Energy will speculate on how the energy landscape in Scotland and the wider UK might look in the future. Will carbon become the new currency as extreme targets for limiting greenhouse gas emissions begin to bite? Can Scotland achieve its goal for 100% equivalent renewable electricity, and how might smart metering help keep the lights on, and affordable?

Details here.

Saturday
Nov222014

Is it all over?

Further to yesterday's post on whether UKIP's success was due in part to their position on climate change, Eric Worrall, writing at WUWT, wonders if green politics isn't in full retreat right across the world. Noting the travails of green tinged political leaders like Obama, Merkel and Hollande he asks

The question – could here and now really be the last show of strength by green politicians, before voters back home sweep them and their policies into the dustbin of history? Will green politics soon be a thing of the past?

My gut feel is that there is probably a retreat going on, but that "soon" is far too optimistic. It will take many years to undo the network of vested interests and to defeat the armies of troughers who are filling their pockets from the public purse.