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Wednesday
Jun242015

Green Deal: a waste of precious resources

I've always had my suspicions about the way that energy efficiency is presented as an easy way of reducing carbon emissions. For a start there's the Jevons paradox: the observation that efficiency gains tend to lead consumers towards enhanced performance. In other words, as houses become more efficient we tend to keep them much warmer. Being someone who lives in a cool (or even cold house) and wears jumpers all the time, I find modern houses stiflingly hot, but most people are much happier to wear shorts and t-shirts indoors.

But even leaving this kind of thing aside, whenever I have done the sums on my own house I've always come to the conclusion that investment in energy efficiency is not going to provide a good return. It's therefore interesting to see that my back-of-a-fag-packet calculations seem valid across the board. A new, and by the looks of it carefully controlled study of homes in the USA has found that the much touted gains from energy efficiency measures are actually relatively small and certainly less than the cost of installation

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jun232015

Mont Doom - Josh 333

Hilarious transcript as per post below. I'm not sure a cartoon could ever be quite as entertaining so I went for more of a portrait.

Cartoons by Josh

Tuesday
Jun232015

Is this a joke?

Readers will enjoy this transcript of an interview between the BBC's Adrian Goldberg and Professor Hugh Montgomery of the Lancet's health and climate thingy.

"Tell us just how how bad things are Professor".

"Well it's really, really bad Adrian. We're probably all going to die".

"I think listeners would like to know just how painful their deaths are going to be, Professor, or can I call you `sir'."

"Well, Adrian, I think it's going to be like purgatory, only more so"...

Sheesh.

Tuesday
Jun232015

The Lancet goes all Andrew Wakefield again

Updated on Jun 23, 2015 by Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Updated on Jun 23, 2015 by Registered CommenterBishop Hill

The Lancet - the medical journal that brought you Andrew Wakefield and the return of mumps, measles and rubella - has a grandly named Commission on Climate Change and Health, which has announced its findings today. We are facing a crisis apparently.

Wake up at the back there.

This is fairly transparent politicking from a group of authors who might best be described as "the usual suspects" - Anthony Costello, Hugh Montgomery and Paul Ekins are all very familiar names round these parts and the lines they recite are familiar ones too. There is absolutely no pretence that the commission's report is anything other than an attempt to influence the political agenda ahead of the Paris conference, just as its previous report was an attempt to influence the result at Copenhagen. Here's the executive summary:

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jun232015

Let me explain

My story last week about Naomi Oreskes' transcontinental trips to indulge her passion for skiing got picked up by Breitbart yesterday and the poor woman seems a bit taken aback. Overnight she tweeted this:

Thought 4 day: if U R negative, deniers accuse U of misanthropy. If U love snow, they say U R hypocrite. I go with love.

I'm not sure she is quite understanding the criticism, so let me explain.  It is not her love of snow that is being attacked, it is the fact that she is willing to take a 5000 mile round trip to go skiing while simultaneously criticising others for excessive consumption. If we are really facing a planetary crisis then trips of this nature are surely going to have to stop.

To answer the question in the title of her book, Why Didn't They Act?, it is probably something to do with the fact that those making the loudest calls for action carry on behaving as if there is no problem at all.

Monday
Jun222015

The Royal Society does glacier melt

About a fifth of the world's population relies on this glacier fed water every year for their drinking water, for sanitation, for irrigation for crops and for hydroelectric power. That's countries like India, China, Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan.

Prof Neil Glasser of the University of Aberystwyth.

Professor Glasser was speaking in a video promoting the Royal Society's Summer Exhibition.

Unfortunately he seems unaware of the meteorological phenomenon known as "the monsoon". This confusion among glaciologists as to where precisely people in India get their water from has been apparent for some time now. This four-year old article refers to "creeping hyperbole" on the subject and even features Peter Gleick referring to "misinformation". Another scientist featured in that article was quoted as follows:

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun222015

Greens trashing the environment part 624

Environmentalism, I sometimes think, is simply a form of narcissism. Most of those involved seem in it more to give themselves a sense of purpose than because they actually care very much about the world around them or indeed anyone else. Take a look at this story from Washington state:

While Seattle was focused on kayaktivists attempting to blockade Shell's oil drill rig on Monday, an entirely different operation was taking place under the water's surface.

A cleanup crew with divers spent the morning picking up pieces of anchor and cable left from the initial Shell protests in May. The cement anchor blocks and steel cables were left behind from the Solar Pioneer protest barge. Divers say they damaged a dive park and a protected habitat.

This is of course the same organisation that trashed the Nazca lines in an (ultimately successful) bid to get themselves some publicity. They remain a registered charity in the UK.

Monday
Jun222015

It's always the silly season for the green journo

Perhaps it's because the silly season is beckoning, perhaps because the encyclical has emboldened environment journalists to go really preposterous, but the papers over the weekend were a wonder to behold.

Firstly we had the "sixth extinction", a tale of mass impending doom based on a paper by, among others, Paul Ehrlich. Any credible journalist would have chucked this straight in the same bin they use when they get press releases from the Monster Raving Loony Party, but obviously it was quite good enough for the green press corps, whose abhorrence of reliable sources has been noted before in these parts.

Then there was a report about the alleged dangers of fracking, written by a body called the Chem Trust, which seems to make a living for its staff by writing papers alleging evil results from any contact with any chemical anywhere. It also appears to be a joint venture between WWF and Friends of the Earth. With a background like that, it's no surprise to see the contents of their reportl being recycled in the Independent and by Labour leadership contenders.

Also recycled was a story that global warming is going to bring us wheat with a lower gluten content and bread that will not rise. This theory has been doing the rounds since 2008, but is clearly simply too much fun not to be wheeled out once again.

The heady mixture of the religion of the greens with that of the Catholics is going to be nothing if not entertaining.

Friday
Jun192015

Oreskes faces the issues

I'm in Massachusetts. Just moved here from California; ski a lot in Utah. Summited Grand Teton in 2012.

Naomi Oreskes describes her lifestyle, 10 June 2014

Much 2 like in #Encyclical esp: “2 blame population growth instead of extreme ...consumerism ..is 1 way of refusing 2 face the issues."

Naomi Oreskes on the encyclical, 18 June 2015

The distance from Harvard to Salt Lake City is 2362 miles. From her former stamping ground in Berkeley, the distance is only 750 miles. So it's interesting to see that the extra 3000 mile round trip hasn't put her off. Extreme consumerism eh?

Friday
Jun192015

The damage to science

Matt Ridley has a good piece up at Quadrant, describing the damage that is being done to science by the religious adherence to global warming dogma. There are many memorable quotes in it, but here's one to set the cat among the pigeons:

Much of [the] climate war parallels what has happened with Islamism, and it is the result of a similar deliberate policy of polarisation and silencing of debate. Labelling opponents “Islamophobes” or “deniers” is in the vast majority of cases equally inaccurate and equally intended to polarise.

Read the whole thing.

Friday
Jun192015

Matt does wind turbines

The world's finest cartoonist is having some fun at the expense of the subsidy junkies...

Thursday
Jun182015

Laudato Si – a cry for the poor

This guest post by Joe Ronan is about the papal encyclical Laudato Si.

Why is Pope Francis writing about climate change? Because he cares for the poor, and wants us all to look at how we use the resources of the world. His objective is to ask each of us to look at how we use the resources available to us, and how to be good stewards of creation. Whether we consider ourselves as owners or tenants of this planet we are asked to use it's bounty to the good of all, and to avoid laying it waste to the detriment of our brothers and sisters.

He looks at a number of ways in which the poor more than most suffer from environmental damage that man has control over. The first thing he mentions (paragraph 20) is something well aired on these blogs: atmospheric pollutants affecting the poor, using as an example the breathing high levels of smoke from fuels used in heating and cooking. He talks of pollution caused by transport and industry, soil, fertilizers and insecticides. Then he mentions dangerous wastes and residues and the despoiling of landscapes. Again, his concern is primarily for the people these affect, and secondarily for the ecosystem (though he stresses our responsibility for that too).

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun182015

Calvinist popes, toilets for bears and windfarm flexibility

I thought for a moment I was reading the thoughts of Barry Cryer on windfarms, but it actually turned out to be Barry Gardiner, MP for Brent and fervent adherent to the green cause:

Great explanation by Gordon McDougal on Today Prog about how low cost clean onshore wind's flexibility adds real value to the grid.

I'm thinking that onshore wind's "flexibility" must rank alongside the Pope's Calvinism and the tendency of bears to seek out hygienic toilet facilities as one of the more hilarious propositions to have attracted my attention in recent years.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun182015

The Euro and the climate and the great and the good

Thanks to reader Alan for pointing out Allister Heath's opinion piece in the Telegraph this morning, on the subject of the UK's lucky avoidance of the shackles of the Euro. His recollection of the antics of the great and the good in the efforts to pressure the country into signing up is fascinating:

It is hard today to remember how countercultural keeping the pound felt in the late Nineties and early 2000s: Britain was being pressurised to join the euro by vast swathes of the UK and international establishment, a powerful group that has yet to be held fully to account for such a reckless error of judgment.

Hardly a day would go by without a senior business person or the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) warning that foreign investment would dry up if we didn’t join; and economists were convinced that countries that embraced the euro would benefit from an enormous boom in trade.

Eurosceptics were portrayed as fogeyish, nationalistic simpletons who didn’t understand the direction of history. The Greeks and others listened; we didn’t, thanks to the good sense of the British public and the efforts of a tiny number of anti-euro campaigners and the Tory opposition.

This all sounds terribly familiar, doesn't it?

Wednesday
Jun172015

Twelve lords a-talking over each other

There were feisty exchanges in the Lords this afternoon, when questions were asked about the intended action on climate change. At one point the house appears to send Lord Deben off with a flea in his ear for trying to jump the queue on Matt Ridley.

Ridley has a question at 15:12, asking the minister for his preferred estimate of climate sensitivity in the light of all the recent papers that find that it is low. The minister's response is, rather confusingly, that he disagrees.

The later question on neonicotinoids is equally amusing. The fun is again prompted by a Ridley question, this time about whether honey bee numbers have actually increased since neonics were introduced. The response from the government is that neonics are dangerous to animals. Even those surrounding the poor minister appear amused at the poor quality of his flannel.