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Tuesday
Jul012014

Think before you vote

Tata Steel is to shed hundreds of jobs at its plant in Port Talbot. And the reasons?

Chief executive Karl Koehler said the changes were vital if the company was to remain competitive.

He pointed to the UK's high business rates and "uncompetitive" energy costs as factors in the decision.

So despite all those people who claim that energy costs are nothing to do with the flight of heavy industry from these shores, it seems quite clear that it is in fact an important factor.

It's interesting to consider that most of those who have been flung out of work probably voted for the area's Labour MP Hywel Francis, a proponent of an decarbonisation target during the passage of the recent Energy Bill (and apparently a former communist!). Francis is to stand down at the next election, replaced by the red prince, Stephen Kinnock, another keen advocate of renewables. So to some extent the people of Port Talbot may be the authors of their own misfortunes.

Neither the MP nor his prospective replacement appears to have commented on the news as yet. In such circumstances, keeping one's head down is probably wise.

Monday
Jun302014

Tragicomedy

The winter season at London's Royal Court Theatre this year includes a must-be-missed-at-all-costs event for climate geeks:

The season continues with Duncan Macmillan and Chris Rapley's 2071, beginning performances Nov. 5 prior to an official opening Nov. 6, for a run through Nov. 15. It is co-produced with Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg, where the show will run for six performances between December 2014 and February 2015. Writer Duncan Macmillan has been talking to Chris Rapley, Professor of Climate Science at University Collete London and Chair of the London Climate Change Partnership. Working with director Katie Mitchell, a new piece of theatre has been created where the science is centerstage.

H/T Barry Woods

Monday
Jun302014

Yes, McCarthyism

Every time I mention climate McCarthyism I am crticised for overstating my case. But the evidence continues to flow thick and fast.

Exhibit A comes from Roger Pielke Jr, who reports that one of his former students is being harassed by a senior climate scientist simply for being Pielke's student.

Exhibit B meanwhile is from Steven Goddard, who reports that German climate scientist Victor Venema has been "checking out" his [Goddard's]  family members so that he can introduce their names in his online debates.

It's interesting that Roger seems to want to keep the name of the culprit under wraps. There could be any number of reasons for this - perhaps he is pursuing an official complaint or perhaps he simply recognises that nothing will be done about it. There is, after all, no offence so heinous that a university will not ignore it.

Monday
Jun302014

Shale and hearty

The British Geological Survey has just produced a report on Scotland's shale resources, similar to the headline grabbing one it did last year for the Bowland. As previously, this is an estimate of the oil and gas in the ground rather than an estimate of what can be economically extracted.

This study offers a range of total in-place oil resource estimates for the Carboniferous shale of the Midland Valley of Scotland of 3.2-6.0-11.2 billion bbl (421-793-1497 million tonnes) (Table 1). Total in-place gas resource estimates are 49.4–80.3–134.6 tcf (1.40–2.27–3.81 tcm). The West Lothian Oil-Shale unit makes the largest contribution to this estimated resource.
For references, UK gas demand is just below the 3 tcf level. So if we can get 10% of the gas in place out, that's 3 years of UK demand or perhaps 30 years (?) of Scottish demand. Not to be sneezed at.
Sunday
Jun292014

Renewables just aren't worth it - Josh 281

 

 

Many thanks to Bjorn Lomborg for his help in putting this Infotoon together. There are also a couple of short but excellent videos on Bill Gates blog here - worth retweeting/sharing widely.

Cartoons by Josh

Sunday
Jun292014

NOAAgate - Josh 280

 

The temperature adjustments story has been brewing for weeks principally due to the many posts at 'RealScience' but taken up by others, for example, Paul Homewood, see here and here. Judith Curry has a great post about it here, as does Anthony here.

H/t to Real Science/StevenGoddard for suggesting including Toto.

Cartoons by Josh

Sunday
Jun292014

The BBC's climate problem

The juxtaposition of the two parts of David Rose's article in the Mail on Sunday today does much to illustrate the BBC's shattered credibility on global warming. The first part is about the BBC Action Aid, the corporation's in-house charity, which has been campaigning vigorously on the climate change issue.

The BBC has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money asking 33,000 people in Asian countries how climate change is affecting them.

The £519,000 campaigning survey by little-known BBC Media Action is designed to persuade the world to adopt more hard-line policies to combat global warming.

 

In the second part, meanwhile, there is the BBC's recent decision that global warming sceptics who appear on air need to be introduced as being wrong, or words to that effect.
Suffice it to say that when the two parts of Rose's article are read in their entirety, the BBC's editorial position on global warming starts to look very ugly indeed.
Saturday
Jun282014

Nigel Calder

I was sad to hear of the passing of Nigel Calder, one of the founders of New Scientist and a doughty fighter against establishment science. He was one of those figures whose standing as a man of reason was unassailable and who was therefore much harder to ignore. His championing of Henrik Svensmark helped ensure that fascinating work was not crushed by mainstream climatology.

I never met him, but he was kind enough to send me some nice words for the cover of The Hockey Stick Illusion and we corresponded from time to time.

There is an obituary in the Independent.

Friday
Jun272014

Royal Society has lost the argument, cannot be trusted

Readers will remember Paul Nurse's infamous speech in Melbourne, in which he issued a fairly spectacular attack at Nigel Lawson:

We saw that, for example, in Britain with a politician, Nigel Lawson, who would go on the television and talk about the scientific case, and he was trained as a politician; you made whatever case you can to convince the audience. So he would choose two points and say, look, no warming is taking place, knowing that all the other points you chose in the 20 years around it would not support his case, but he was just wanting to win that debate on television. And that is of course over-spilling political views into your science.

As Lawson pointed out in a subsequent letter this statement was entirely untrue:

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jun272014

Lord Smith on Owen Paterson

Leo Hickman pointed this morning to an interview with Lord Smith, the head of the Environment Agency, in the Guardian this morning saying that Smith had said that "Owen Paterson does not accept that global warming is due to CO2".

As I have noted in the past, Paterson seems quite clear that carbon dioxide emissions can affect the climate, so this is a bit of a surprise. However, although the article itself repeats the allegation, the words it quotes Smith as saying about Paterson are actually about something slightly different:

He recognises weather patterns are changing and that something is happening to the climate. But he doesn’t necessarily accept that it’s down to the CO2 we are throwing into the atmosphere. I wish he had a better view on that.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun262014

New BBC policy: right is wrong, wrong is right

News that the BBC continues to sing from the greens' hymnsheet is never hard to come by and so we can turn to the latest news with a sense of weary inevitability rather than any great surprise. The Today programme interview with Brian Hoskins and Nigel Lawson on the subject of the winter floods was, as readers no doubt recall, the subject of a concerted campaign from green activists and, with a certain predictability, a formal complaint or two. Anyone who has ever dealt with the BBC Editorial Standards unit will know that it can take months to get a response and years to get a ruling, but wheels seems to have been oiled to a remarkable extent for this green-tinged complaint and the Guardian now seems to have got hold of the findings, just months after the offending programme appeared:

Reviewing the broadcast, the BBC's head of editorial complaints, Fraser Steel, took a dim view. "Lord Lawson's views are not supported by the evidence from computer modelling and scientific research," Steel says, "and I don't believe this was made sufficiently clear to the audience … Furthermore the implication was that Lord Lawson's views on climate change were on an equal footing with those of Sir Brian." And they aren't. Sceptics have their place in the debate, Steel says in his provisional finding, but "it is important to ensure that such views are put into the appropriate context and given due (rather than equal) weight." Chong is only partially satisfied. He'd like a right of reply and perhaps a balancing programme. And others say "due weight" should mean not having Lawson on at all.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun262014

Enviro-mental - Josh 279

Lots of stories (here and here) about Greens flying round the globe and generally living it large - they have no shame really do they.

Cartoons by Josh

Wednesday
Jun252014

Fracking off target

Updated on Jun 26, 2014 by Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Earlier today I came across a tweet from Frack Off, referring to a new site they had occupied at Davyhulme, just 1 km or so away from the Barton Moss site.

 

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jun252014

The greens and government

Further to the Greenpeace-go-by-air story this week, Richard North looks at the infiltration of environmentalists into our political governance. This is eye-opening stuff:

As we see the march of globalisation progress, the Green 10 (all of them funded by the EU, except Greenpeace - the WWT between 2007-2012 having grabbed a massive €53,813,343 for its services to itself and the EU empire), are supporting their paymaster, "promoting EU environmental leadership in the global political arena", helping it act at a global level.

Wednesday
Jun252014

Scenes from an ERCfest

The UK Energy Research Centre is a kind of retirement home for greens, where environmentalists go to spend their declining years writing political pamphlets at your expense. Back in March you paid for them and some of their colleagues in green NGOs to hold a conference entitled "Breaking the Deadlock", about how better communication of climate change can help win political battles for the eco-movement. There were some familiar names involved - Chris Rapley and Adam Corner for example - plus representatives of organisations like COIN and the Transition Towns and with a cast of that nature it's not surprising that there was much of interest; notes of what went on have now been published.

I was much amused by Adam Corner's apparently being upset that media people and scientists didn't invent enough spurious links between last winter's floods and climate change:

Click to read more ...