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« What New Scientist wouldn't print | Main | Still going slow »

Yorkshire goes unconventional

Well this was enough to lull me from my blogging stupor:

Fracking given green light in North Yorkshire

Protesters booed and jeered as councillors gave the go-ahead for the first fracking operation in the UK for five years.

The problem the greens are going to have now is that when the sky doesn't actually fall in, they are going to be left looking pretty dishonest. 


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Reader Comments (487)

More for Phil Clarke, whose ignorance. poor man, we must help to lift. He thinks 100% renewable is wunderbar. Sadly, the grids can't come with it, as he would know were he to do any research.

"And for a few minutes last Pentecost Monday afternoon – a holiday that saw very low national electricity demand – wind and solar provided almost enough power to cover all of the country’s electricity needs, reported Die Welt here. Leading Greens cheered, and proclaimed that coal and nuclear had not been needed for a time. But they cheered “too early” writes Die Welt’s business journalist Daniel Wetzel, pointing out that market and technical conditions became dangerously precarious and that in total “electricity represents only 21% of Germany’s total energy need.”

While Germany’s installed solar and wind energy may be able to get fairly close to fulfilling total electricity demand for a few minutes in rare instances that weather and demand conditions are just right, their share of total primary energy is still depressingly measly. Die Welt puts it all in true perspective:

Despite billions in subsidies, ‘renewable energies’ wind and sun covered only 3.7% of Germany’s primary energy needs last year.”

May 30, 2016 at 5:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

EM you still have not told us what caused the MWP and LIA, but why does there need to be an alternative cause to what caused them, whatever it was?

Phil Clarke. Thank you for confirming the purpose of SMART meters. Compulsory electricity rationing, caused by political sabotage.

Green Blob Jack Boots marching down the street, disguised with patronising adverts about friendlier billing with more accuracy. What a con.

May 26, 2016 at 7:00 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie
Golf Charlie

Milankovich cycles

May 26, 2016 at 7:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

And the Optimum, Minoan and Roman warm periods?

You do realise that the NH (at least) has been cooling for 500 years don't you? Quick warm after full ice age, slow descent with ups and downs till the next one.

May 30, 2016 at 5:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

This is like an asylum

Well, Barton Paul Levenson collected the following list of correct model forecasts:

• That the globe would warm, and about how fast, and how much

But it's not is it Phil? And we've has previous warming bursts just like the very short and now ended Late 20th c one.

Let CET inform you

And remember how this SO disconcerted the Climate Jihadis?

Facts. Not opinions. That's what matters.

May 30, 2016 at 5:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

I hope your blogging stupor passes ...
I really appreciate your sensible take on AGW Alarmism, in Adelaide, South Australia

May 30, 2016 at 7:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterCBM

More for Phil Clarke, whose ignorance. poor man, we must help to lift. He thinks 100% renewable is wunderbar.

Jeez, it just goes on and on. Which part of I think we need a ramped up nuclear sector.  is giving you the problem? (me, this thread May 27, 2016 at 3:49 PM)

The point of these periods in countries like Germany and Portugal where they achieve 100% of demand from renewables for a short while is that they represent milestones along the transition from dirty to clean energy.

May 30, 2016 at 10:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

" they represent milestones along the transition from dirty to clean energy"

No they don't.

If you have a load of random things there will be periods where they sum to a maximum. If that co-incides with a minimum in demand that doesn't really demonstrate anything other than sometimes the peak co-incides with a demand trough.

Other times the sum can take any other value, including 0, and you still need to satisfy your demand, whatever value it is.

May 30, 2016 at 10:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterNial

Facts. Not opinions. That's what matters.

So says Jeremy after citing a post about the early years of the Central England Temperature series which had a warming trend of 0.4C/decade.

Here's a fact for you Jeremy, the CET is unreliable before around 1775, readings were taken indoors, with unreliable instruments (check out the date the mercury in glass thermometer was invented) missing readings infilled from Utrecht(!) and temperatures inferred from weather observations. Temperatures were rounded to the nearest 0.5 or 1C so the idea that you can derive a decadal trend to even 1dp is a hoot.

Here's another fact for you: observations are now slightly below the median run of the CMIP5 models, but well withing the 95% spread.

Not too shabby.

May 30, 2016 at 10:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

" milestones"
Getting to the moon was a milestone.
4 days of unicorn dust and golden rainbow power is a gnat's chuff in the grand scheme if power generation.
Get some perspective Phil.

Oh, and however you and Tamino try to spin it, Hansen was hopelessly wrong. Get used to it.

May 30, 2016 at 10:56 AM | Unregistered Commenterdavid smith

Jeremy Plankton

Pay attention. I have already told golf Charlie "Milankovich cycle"

The cooling did not begin 500 years ago, it began 5000 years ago at the end of the Holocene Optimum. The Minoan and Mediaeval Warm periods, and the LIA are part of that long term cooling. You share golf Charlie's delusion that these periods are distinct events with different causes, rather than part of a single long term cooling trend.due to changes in Earth's orbit.

May 30, 2016 at 10:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Entropic [snip- manners]
Re your terse reply to Jeremy Poynton, and also golf Charlie, you mention Millankovich Cycles. I wonder what you think about Dansgaard Oeschger Events?

May 30, 2016 at 11:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

"Jeez, it just goes on an on."

First we have PC going on about the methane emissions from fracking:
27/5 10.05 am "there are risks around fugitive methane emissions and groundwater contamination . . . The chief objection is that retrieving and burning the stuff pushes up greenhouse gas emissions, methane during extraction and CO2 in combustion, and torpedoes any chance we have of meeting our obligations under the Climate Change Act . ."

Then he's crying foul about the Hansen predictions because. . .
PC: 29/5, 9.41 am: "If you compare Hansen's forcing numbers for 2015/2016, CO2 is slightly above Scenario B, methane way below."

PC: 29/5 6.20 am: "The deception is straightforward and easy to grasp. Hansen included forcings from 6 GHGs of which CO2 was just one, others, notably methane and CFCs have declining emission rates. "

May 30, 2016 at 12:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

EM, you said "Milankovich cycles" years after the question was asked. Why do you get upset that no response was submitted sooner?

Can everyone expect a more rapid response to all the other unanswered questions that climate xcience has not dealt with?

Is Milankovich cycles the answer to everything, whether true or false?

May 30, 2016 at 12:21 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

PC, in trying to twist around and imply that the so-called consensus is not CO2 obsessed, while simultaneously blaming skeptics for focusing on CO2, is performing high level mental gymnastics. However Phil's further implication that the climate obsessed are backing nuclear power is mental gymnastics at an Olympic medal level. Truly PC is gifted

May 30, 2016 at 12:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter


It is you and Capell who are engaging in doublethink. It would take more time than I have spare for this to sort out all the misrepresentations of what I actually said and think. It is not difficult: if you are assessing the performance of a model that uses several forcings, then you need to include all those forcings.

And as I also made clear, I speak for myself, not any group or movement, however I am far from the only one concerned for the environment who believes we need nuclear.

May 30, 2016 at 1:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil Clarke, so you are not representing the views of Greenpeace, Green Party or William M Connolley?

Your vitriol towards Climate Audit and WUWT, plus your links, do follow a similar pattern, so what are your thoughts, if they are different?

May 30, 2016 at 2:23 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Good to see EM on board with long term cooling and PC with nukes. Atomkraft, ja bitte for the bitta frost a dawnin'.

May 30, 2016 at 3:33 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim


Regrettably the long term cooling only lasted from 5000 years ago until 1850. Temperatures are now increasing.

I like nuclear, but there is only enough uranium to see us to 2100. Ultimately we will be mostly renewables for lack of any long term alternative.

May 30, 2016 at 7:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

I like nuclear, but there is only enough uranium to see us to 2100. Ultimately we will be mostly renewables for lack of any long term alternative.

May 30, 2016 at 7:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

No. There is a vast amount of Uranium waiting to be mined by extraction from seawater. I have seen the process described as nearly economic under current conditions. I used to make an occasional organic ligand that was used industrially for extraction of transuranic isotopes in nuclear reprocessing. The chemistry was rudimentary. If someone pays me enough, I can design them better ones.

May 30, 2016 at 9:15 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Well, the Bish has certainly hit on a way to get the comment count in the stratosphere.

May 30, 2016 at 9:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar

Totally agree.

May 30, 2016 at 10:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

This comment thread reminds me of those late night parties of my youth at about 4.30 in the morning.

May 30, 2016 at 11:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike SIngleton

I like nuclear, but there is only enough uranium to see us to 2100. Ultimately we will be mostly renewables for lack of any long term alternative.

May 30, 2016 at 7:53 PM | Entropic man

I don't accept the 2100 expiry date for nuclear, but if true, will over 80 years be long enough to make wind and solar Reliable?

Oil was going to run out by 2000, but despite increased usage seems to be going on for longer. Who knows how much shale gas there is? Hopefully now that further exploration and testing is likely in the UK, we will know better.

May 30, 2016 at 11:40 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Stone me!

EM : "there is only enough uranium to see us to 2100."

PC: "milestones along the transition from dirty to clean energy."

I have no idea how two such ostensibly intelligent people can post such complete bollox.

Wind-up merchants both, that must be it.

May 30, 2016 at 11:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterJerryM

JerryM, they post what they have been told by other ostensibly intelligent people. I am sure an Astrologer could make something of it, it is that reliable.

May 31, 2016 at 12:13 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

"Realising Fusion Electricity by 2050".

So EM can like nuclear again now.

May 31, 2016 at 12:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Have you noticed everything in this site is s l o w I n g d o w n

May 31, 2016 at 6:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Have you noticed that on this site, automatic reformatting ruins a joke?

May 31, 2016 at 7:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Alan Kendall, on this site, global warming slows down and ruins e v e r y t h I n g.

No global warmist has ever admitted that anything now, is any better, than anything before.

Therefore, global warmists must be slowed down, and ruined, faster than ever before.

May 31, 2016 at 7:56 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

EM 's baseless fact free assertion regarding looming Uranium resource depletion gives a great example of the impact of miasma on the mind.

May 31, 2016 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

hunter, EM likes Strawmen.

May 31, 2016 at 12:53 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

The point of these periods in countries like Germany and Portugal where they achieve 100% of demand from renewables for a short while is that they represent milestones along the transition from dirty to clean energy.

May 30, 2016 at 10:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke
Biomass is just plain stupid. I get why you support it, Phil. And if nobody can afford this "clean" energy, Phil? 40,000 died of cold this winter just gone in the UK alone - because they couldn't afford to heat their houses. That must make you feel great.

May 31, 2016 at 1:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

Ha! EM's straw men are building a 'power station' up the road from me that will burn ... straw

So far the balance sheet shows costs of squillions to build the place and to dig twenty miles of trenches down country lanes to cable it into the nearest grid access with - so far - zero revenue. Building work appears to have stalled, but what do I know ... maybe it's supposed to look like a steel skeleton.

Once it gets going we'll presumably have streams of artics loaded with straw bails (straw being almost 'free', diesel for the trucks not so much) delivering 24/7.

I have no idea about the energy density / efficiency of burning straw bails (help?), but I imagine there's a fair amount of arm waving comes into the calculation. But naturally - because it's ever so 'clean' and 'sustainable' - there's almost certainly a subsidy sploshing around in there somewhere.

May 31, 2016 at 2:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterJerryM

JerryM, as I recall it from working on farms 30 years ago ......

Straw from wheat, was great animal bedding, asborbed some of the urine and faeces, and then once shovelled/dozed out and piled up, rotted down to make good nutrient rich manure, with soil texture improvements from the otherwise fairly inert straw.

Barley straw makes animals and humans itch, and was only fit for burning with stubble. Some large houses/stately homes etc, converted to running central heating systems burning barley straw, but this took a lot of time, machinery and storage space, and the 'free' fuel was not so cheap after all.

Attempts to generate free heat, from free fuel, for commercial sale, takes a lot of investment. The cost of getting straw bales to the combustion site can be huge, and it takes a committment from farmers to produce straw from their fields, not cabbages or pop festivals. It is NOT a no-brainer!

May 31, 2016 at 2:51 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Surely a ton of straw release less energy than a ton of coal...which should mean you will need much more straw to do the same as you do with coal right???


May 31, 2016 at 2:59 PM | Unregistered Commentermailman

Just to put an end to EM's doom and gloom:

I know that some on this site have read a book called Merchants of Despair by Robert Zubrin but nobody has mentioned it so :

Robert Zubrin
B.A. Mathematics
M.S. Nuclear Engineering
M.S. Aeronautics and Astronautics
P.H.D. Nuclear Engineering

The following figures are given in his book (published 2013) which are already out of date ^.^
Note that annual global energy usage in 2013 was 15 Terawatt years

Energy reserves currently estimated

Fossil Fuels 80 years
Uranium & Thorium 16,000 years

Nuclear Fusion (if it happens) pick a number ^.^

May 31, 2016 at 3:07 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Dung, Zubrin was pessimistic in his estimates.

May 31, 2016 at 3:48 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter


Agreed and I did say his estimates were out of date but I just reported his figures from the book which can be verified easily. I am sure we can make much more optimistic predictions ^.^
In his defence he did say that fracking was not included and the same for Methane Hydrates.

May 31, 2016 at 4:00 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Dung, there is also breeder-reactor technology. Bottom line: We have enough conventional nuclear fuel to last us for aeons.

EM says he likes nuclear power but, frankly, I really do doubt the honesty of his assertions because I recall him saying that it was only because he regarded it as a least-worst option. Green advocates know that by every political trick and lie where necessary, they have successfully stymied nuclear-power development in the West for the better part of half a century.

So some of them think they can be polite about nuclear-power in order to concentrate their fire-power (pun unintended) on fossil fuels, knowing that it will take us ~20 years to get nuclear power back up to speed. They do not want cheap energy, of any variety, for the entire human race because they regard human existence as the problem. But not their own existence of course, or that of their putative grandchildren. Just other people and their children who must suffer today so the Entropic Men and Phil Clarkes of this world can have clear green playing field for their pure green spawn.

May 31, 2016 at 4:06 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

michael hart

I agree wholeheartedly :)

Slightly off topic has anyone watched the film Kingsman, there is a nice anti AGW sub plot (it is not a serious film but I love it).

May 31, 2016 at 4:20 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Did EM play the "UK shale extraction wont reduce prices" card yet?


May 31, 2016 at 4:34 PM | Unregistered Commentermailman

Dung, thanks for the clarification. Mailman, yes he did play it. He is as predictable as he is resistant to critical thinking.

May 31, 2016 at 7:35 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

The point of these periods in countries like Germany and Portugal where they achieve 100% of demand from renewables for a short while is that they represent milestones along the transition from dirty to clean energy.

So did they switch the coal & gas-fired power stations off?

May 31, 2016 at 11:45 PM | Unregistered Commenterkellydown

Ron over at Science Matters is posting about something that does shed light for those who wish to see.

May 31, 2016 at 11:47 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter


I am sceptical about a 1450 year cycle of DO and Bond events.

The case for their existance is weak.

There appears to be no 1450 year climate cycle.

There is no credible mechanism.

May 31, 2016 at 11:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

There appears to be no 1450 year climate cycle.

There is no credible mechanism.

May 31, 2016 at 11:52 PM | Entropic man

There is no pattern of CO2 rising and leading to increased temperatures. The pause/hiatus has caused so many papers to be written to explain it away, that there is consensus that it has occurred, but no consensus confirming why

Does this mean the CO2 theory is not credible, and/or the mechanism of research funding in climate science, is broken?

Jun 1, 2016 at 8:34 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Me! Me! I know, I know! I know that pattern!

Let me get my tambouuuuuuurine...

♪♫♫♪ COOOOuuuuuTuuuuuu ♪♫♫♪ TuuuuuYouuuuuu ♫♪♪♫


Jun 1, 2016 at 10:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterAyla

Ayla, you could be the first climate expert to win a Nobel Prize, and have a Number 1 record. (but you need to retune, and beat your tambourine, to a different cycle, to harmonise with the adjusted lyrics)

Jun 1, 2016 at 10:52 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie


Beware your needle's stuck

The resonance is disturbing, and
We perceive no climate message within

Is the tambourine a replacement for the zyther? and
is your chief Druid in favour of competing tympanic messaging?
She will tell you softly
You are off key and message.

Jun 1, 2016 at 11:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Golf Charlie. Is it not oxymoronic for a climate scientist of the modern era to win a Nobel Prize? Doesn't theory have to be proven by experiment, or at the very least by reality, before the prize is awarded?

So how can Ayla, luscious as she undoubtedly is, be in contention?

A number one hit is also doubtful. Lyrics are much too relevant and understandable. Might work for Eurovision, if we're still in. Null points anyone?

Jun 1, 2016 at 11:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

My druid beats her bucket with a stick at odd times. It's sacred stuff and that's that.

The tuning and message of my berceuse are both performance-ready. It's just the helium pitch that does not render well on text. Your evident ignorance on musiclimatic matters is forgiven on this one account.

I will now accept your unconditional surrender.

Jun 1, 2016 at 11:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterAyla

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