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Tuesday
Jun022015

Stinking rich - Josh 330

 

H/t Paul Homewood on an interesting story in the LA Times about the subsidies Elon Musk receives. Well worth a read - if you dont mind the niff.

Cartoons by Josh

Tuesday
Jun022015

Why do people believe stupid things?

Jose Duarte continues to mine a productive seam on the shameful behaviour of, on the one hand John Cook and his team, and on the other Stephan Lewandowsky. His post a couple of days ago was on the subject of the true value of the climate consensus and he puts the proportion of climate scientists who think that most warming is caused by carbon dioxide at 80%. I had previously thought that the true figure was around the 75% mark, so we are in the same ballpark.

But as Judith Curry points out in an update to Jose's post, this is all slightly beside the point. Many or even most of the the people who call themselves climate scientists are not actually working on anything relevant to the question at hand - they are specialists in impacts and responses and the like. They only believe that most warming is caused by carbon dioxide because their colleagues specialising in the atmospheric sciences tell them so.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jun022015

A favour

Readers may have noticed that I am a bit quiet at weekends these days. This is because I decided to fight an expanding waistline by taking up hockey again after a gap of ten years or so and weekends are therefore often filled with games and coaching and things like that. (This is field hockey, for North American readers).

I now find myself involved in a campaign to raise funds for a new astroturf pitch for my club, the current one nearing the end of its life. If anyone fancied helping out, you can do so in a small and relatively painless way by voting for us at the Mars Milk Play Fund website. You just have to give them your age to show you are over 13 (I think most BH readers are), click the vote button and tick a couple of boxes (which don't seem to do anything much - I certainly haven't been indundated with spam).

This will keep your host fit, healthy, and hopefully blogging for longer than otherwise. And if enough of you vote for us I'll post a picture of me in action for Kinross Hockey Club. How about that for temptation?

Tuesday
Jun022015

Climate sensitivity - just as we thought

Nic Lewis has a new paper out at Climate Dynamics, which provides new estimates of effective climate sensitivity and transient climate response. This is in essence an update to Lewis 2014, with better data. The results are very similar, with ECS at 1.66 and TCR at 1.37.

There's a technical post about the paper at Climate Audit and a preprint here.

 

 

Tuesday
Jun022015

They blather to deceive

Levelized cost comparisons are a misleading metric for comparing intermittent and dispatchable generating technologies...

Paul Joskow, MIT

The standard way of comparing the cost of different types of electricity is to look at the levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) per MWh.
From "Annex: How competitive is renewable energy" from the Global Apollo Programme, a new scheme from Lord Stern, Lord Rees, David King, Adair Turner and others.

 

Tuesday
Jun022015

Whither DeSmog?

One of the very first briefing papers issued by GWPF was on the greening of the Sahel. The Foundation's then deputy director Phillip Mueller put forward the idea that rather than making droughts on the fringes of the Sahara more severe, climate change was, if anything, actually making things better. This observation was suitably couched in caveats that noted, quite correctly, that we really couldn't say one way or the other what would happen in the future.

I don't remember the paper garnering a lot of attention at the time, but there was a typically wild-eyed response from those mini-Ehrlichs at DeSmog, which included this shot from the hip:

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jun022015

Looking back at Ehrlich

Yesterday saw a flurry of articles about Paul Ehrlich's magnum opus, The Population Bomb. It's fair to say that, although it brought Ehrlich fame and a career, history has not been kind to the book and there is no shortage of people lining up to point out what a disaster it was for people in poor countries. Matt Novak at Gizmodo is a case in point:

Ehrlich’s predictions led to real action. In India, millions of people were sterilized by the government, sometimes forcibly. His views were embraced by wealthy people in the developing world who could insist that the poor were poor because they were having too many children — an argument that’s not uncommon here in 21st century America.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun012015

Diary dates, hit or miss edition

Mark Lynas points us to an event at Bristol's Cabot Institute tomorrow.

Cultural cognition vs. consensus messaging: Challenges of climate communication in a polarized world

2 June 2015, 6.00 PM

Dan Kahan/Stephan Lewandowsky

3.31 Coutts Lecture theatre, Wills Memorial Building

The debate will be moderated by Dr Adam Corner.

Mark reckons this is an event that is not to be missed. Each to their own I suppose.

Details here.

Monday
Jun012015

The BBC and its experts

The BBC, which claims to agonise over neutrality in matters environmental, has come unstuck again. In the comments at Biased BBC comes an amusing story from reader Fred Stubber, who explained in a letter to the editor that an interviewee on the corporation's Look North Leeds show, was not quite what he seemed:

Your package on the closure of part of Ferrybridge Power Station was severely biased because of the follow-up interview, which was with John Grant, who was described as ‘an expert in renewable energy and climate change’. Why didn’t you describe him as a hard line environmentalist, which is what he is? Then the viewers would have known where he was coming from and could have adjusted their credibility accordingly. And why did you chose this man anyway, with his known bias on the subject? Why didn’t you interview someone who was a true expert in the whole field of energy production; someone who would take a more balanced and broader view? John Green gave totally one-sided answers which were narrowly focused on the conventional environmentalist mantra. He is absolutely committed to the environmentalist cause, unsurprisingly because he makes a good living from it.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun012015

Faking it

The news that a group of European oil majors wants to open negotiations with governments about the creation of a global carbon tax has all the hallmarks of a public relations campaign.

In a sign of the rising pressure on fossil fuel companies ahead of a UN meeting in Paris to seal an international climate deal, the chief executives of groups including Royal Dutch Shell and Britain’s BP have sought direct talks with governments on creating a global carbon pricing system.

“We owe it to future generations to seek realistic, workable solutions to the challenge of providing more energy while tackling climate change,” the executives say in a letter to the FT revealing their plan.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun012015

Encycled

The papal encyclical on the environment looks to be imminent. According to this page it should be with us in a couple of weeks' time.

I can hardly wait.

Saturday
May302015

Guilty - Josh 329

So Patchy has been found guilty by an internal review - what next?

Cartoons by Josh

Saturday
May302015

Pachauri guilty

From the Deccan Chronicle

An internal committee of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) found its director general RK Pachauri guilty in a sexual harassment case.

Reportedly, the three-member panel of Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) found that Pachauri made repeated attempts at establishing a personal bond with the young woman colleague, which caused her “harassment”.

 

Friday
May292015

Rusbridger descending - Josh 328

Today is Alan Rusbridger's last day as Editor of the Guardian and I am sure we all wish him well whatever he decides to do next.

The cartoon 'celebrates' his championing of divestment from fossil fuels, which we know is a bit of a dark development with 'abhorrent' consequences - so I think we can coin a new term "Divestocide".

Cartoons by Josh

Friday
May292015

Spot the climate spiv

The Guardian discusses Bjorn Lomborg's work today in a podcast which can be found here. The panel chosen to take part consisted of Chris Hope, Mark Maslin and Adam Vaughan. And if that doesn't put you off, a couple of minutes listening to it will do the trick, or at least it did me.

Just before nodding off, I did take in Mark Maslin's claim that renewables only appear uncompetitive because fossil fuels are subsidised so heavily. (Why the Guardian thought to raise this topic with Maslin, a geographer, is beyond me). Given that the vast majority of subsidies of fossil fuels are applied outside the European Union, this is of course entirely irrelevant to policy decisions in the UK, and it is grossly misleading of Maslin to suggest otherwise.

Click to read more ...

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