What's New and Cool
Aug 22, 2016
How Much Do The Climate Crusaders Plan To Increase Your Cost Of Electricity?

Francis Menton, The Manhattan Contrarian

In yesterday’s post, I gave a rough estimate that it would take an increase in the price of fossil-fuel-derived energy of at least a multiple of three to five to achieve the kind of usage reductions that climate crusaders are seeking.  (And of course in the process the poor would get priced out of air conditioning, not to mention air travel and lots of other things.) Today I find a report of some real world experience indicating that actual price increases could be far higher than that. 

Paul Homewood is a British guy with a blog called Not a Lot of People Know That (notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com) that chronicles various sorts of climate craziness.  I recommend the blog to you.  A few days ago Homewood had a post titled “One small island’s dream of energy self-sufficiency.” The post comments on an enthusiastic story from the Korean news site Hankyoreh, reporting on the efforts of the people on the very small (0.85 sq.km.) Korean island of Gapa to make their energy sources 100% renewable.  The Hankyoreh article quotes glowing reviews of the project from some of the island’s residents.  Homewood then drily comments that he thinks he has spotted “one tiny little problem that our Korean friends seem to have overlooked.” In other words, looked at with a touch of realism, the project is an unmitigated disaster.  The problem is cost.  See whether you agree with the residents or with Homewood.

Gapa has a total of 178 residents in 97 families.  According to Hankyoreh, it has average daily electricity usage of 142 kW, and maximum peak usage of 230 kW.  To supply that demand with “renewables,” the Gapans acquired for themselves two big wind turbines, each with a rated capacity of 250 kW, plus they installed solar panels on 49 of the 97 homes, with a total rated capacity of 174 kW.  That would be a total capacity of 674 kW, against maximum peak usage of 230 kW, so nearly triple the peak demand and well over four times the average demand.  And finally, the Gapans were fully aware that wind and solar don’t work all the time, so they also got themselves a gigantic battery with a capacity to store 3.86 MWh of electricity, which should theoretically be enough to go more than a full 24 hours at their usage level with the wind and solar not functioning. (The battery pack of a Tesla Model S supposedly has a capacity of 85 KWh, meaning that Gapa’s battery is equivalent in storage capacity to about 35 Teslas.)

So with all that the Gapans should have way more than sufficient capacity to supply all their electricity needs with just the renewables—right?  Actually, not even close.  According to Hankyoreh, in the most recent measuring period of April 23 to July 12, the renewable resources supplied just 42% of Gapa’s power—32% from the wind, and 10% from the solar.  And where did they get the rest?  From backup diesel generators, of course!

Between Apr. 23 and July 12 of this year, Gapa Island had a cumulative energy self-sufficiency rate of 42%. The island is meeting 32% of its energy needs from wind power and 10% from solar power. The rate climbed above 50% in May, but fell again in the monsoon season. The other 58% of energy is still supplied by diesel generators.

Oh, and the renewables-based electricity system, even with the diesel backup, only produced enough power to supply just four (!) electric cars.  So it seems that the large majority of the Gapans must also continue to drive gasoline-powered vehicles.  That means that the renewable contribution to Gapa’s total energy usage is likely to be less than 20%. 

Now, can we please get an idea how much has been spent to get the Gapans all the way up to generating 42% of their electricity (and perhaps 20% of their total energy usage) from renewables.  Hankyoreh has the figures:

A total of 14.3 billion won (US$12.49 million) was invested in the project. Two 250kW wind turbines were installed, along with 174kW solar panels in 49 locations. Other installations included an energy storage device, a system control center, power conversion equipment and remotely controlled power meters.

That’s $12.49 million for 97 households—$128,000 per household.  Homewood points out that, assuming a 15 year useful life for the system and zero return on the invested capital, that would mean $8000 per year per household, or about $670 per month per household.  (By contrast, 2014 data from the U.S. EIA here show average monthly household electricity bills in the continental U.S. ranging from a low of $84 in Maine to a high of $145 in Alabama.) But wait a minute: add a 4% rate of return on invested capital, and the cost per household goes up to more like $13,000 per year, or close to $1100 per month.  That’s close to ten times what the average American currently pays for electricity—and this is to get up to maybe 20% or so of energy usage from renewables!

So how do the Gapans feel about their wildly expensive energy system? 

“At first, we weren’t satisfied with the results of renewable energy. Now, though, it’s benefiting us in two ways: our electricity bills are lower and the number of tourists is higher,” said Jin Myeong-hwan, the 55-year-old mayor of Gapa Island.

“Our electricity bills are lower”?  How did that happen?  Oh, it seems that this whole wildly expensive renewable system was supplied to Gapa Island gratis by the utility company.  As Homewood puts it:

It is little wonder the islanders’ electricity bills have come down, because the capital cost of the project has been paid for by Santa Claus. 

I would have said the tooth fairy, rather than Santa Claus, but whatever.

So what exactly is the climate crusader’s vision of how the United States is going to get up to say 50% of total energy usage from renewables?  If getting to 20% requires multiplying average utility bills by around 10, will getting to 50% require multiplying average bills by 20, or maybe 30?  I’ve never seen one of these people even remotely attempt to present honest numbers.  If any reader is aware of any such presentation, I would be glad to look at it. 

See Part II here.

Aug 21, 2016
Climate Alarmism: Probably the Greatest Hoax/Scam in World History

Alan Carlin

Climate alarmism is probably the greatest hoax/scam in world history. The main evidence for catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW), the principal alleged adverse effect of human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), is climate models built by CAGW supporters in a field where models with real predictive power do not exist and cannot be built with any demonstrable accuracy beyond a week or two because climate and weather are coupled non-linear chaotic systems. Without the models, the whole hoax/scam collapses. Even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has stated (see Section 14.2.2.2 of the 2001 IPCC Report):

In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.

Climate Modelers Knew or Should Have Known the Inherent Limitations of Climate Models

The hoax/scam appears to rest on the authors’ assumption that most people will not realize these inherent limitations of global climate models. Since the model authors all work in the field, they either knew this or should have known these limitations (unless they delude themselves, of course). The authors of the models have a self-interest in supporting CAGW since government grants almost always go only to supporters. This self-interest is what makes the hoax into a scam. If true climate believers understood that longer term projections cannot be made on the basis of these models, they would hopefully dismiss the whole hoax/scam for what it is.

Climate Alarmism Is Basically an Attempt to Scare People with Hypothetical Climate Outcomes Based on Models

Climate alarmism is nothing more than an attempt to scare people with unrealistic hypothetical climate outcomes based on computer models with no predictive power. The far left is trying to use this alleged threat to justify Federal Government intervention in the fuel and energy markets. Others, such as mainstream media, use it to sell their products.

The current proposition offered by climate alarmists is that if people who live in the more wealthy countries cut back their use of fossil fuels and therefore their human-caused CO2 emissions that the world can avoid the alleged catastrophic increases in temperatures based on the climate models. Even the proponents’ climate models do not show that the alleged effects could be avoided even if all the developed countries should somehow made substantial cuts in CO2 emissions. So the problems include the following:

* Reductions by the developed nations will not have any measurable effect on either atmospheric CO2 or temperatures.

* The less developed nations (where fossil fuel use is expanding much more rapidly) have not agreed to make such reductions.

* Any nation that adopts such reductions will make its exports more expensive by raising the price of fossil fuels used to make the exports.

* There is little or no evidence that decreasing CO2 emissions will do anything except raise prices for fossil fuels. Global temperatures appear to be the primary determinant of global CO2 levels, not vice versa.

CAGW Is a Failed Hypothesis since It Does Not Satisfy the Scientific Method

The CAGW hypothesis is a failed hypothesis since it does not satisfy the requirements of the scientific method, nothing more. Models showing that catastrophic temperature increases will or are even likely to occur as carbon dioxide levels may increase have no predictive value. Minor increases would be good anyway, not bad.

Various supporters of the hoax/scam have a variety of reasons for supporting it. Some left wing Democrats, for example, like it because if cap and trade should be used to implement the CO2 control program at the US level, the Federal Government would have increased income to use for increased public spending that they favor.

In California the largest single use to date of cap and trade revenue has been to start building a high-speed train line between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The cost is being paid largely by lower income families, who have to pay more for fuel, an economic necessity for them but not for the generally higher income “environmentalists” who support cap and trade and may be one of the few groups that will ride the trains if and when they should ever actually run.

Aug 09, 2016
35 New Scientific Publications Confirm Ocean Cycles, Sun Are Main Climate Drivers

By Kenneth Richard

35 New Scientific Publications Confirm Ocean Cycles, Sun Are Main Climate Drivers

By Kenneth Richard on No Tricks Zone, 11. August 2016

While news journalists and internet bloggers are busy headlining scary stories invoking the presumed causal link between anthropogenic CO2 emissions and floods and droughts and global warming, robust scientific evidence of naturally-forced climate change has continued to rapidly accumulate.

There is a claimed scientific “consensus” that climate changes in recent decades are only weakly influenced by natural factors, and instead anthropogenic emissions drive changes in precipitation patterns and temperature.  And yet scientists defiantly continue to publish papers in peer-reviewed journals that undermine this “consensus” opinion.

Variations in regional precipitation and temperature have long been determined to be strongly correlated with natural oceanic-atmospheric circulation patterns, or oscillations. The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), and El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) have all been found to significantly influence changes in surface air temperature and rainfall (climate) on decadal and multi-decadal scales, and these natural ocean oscillations have been robustly connected to changes in solar activity.

See the full post here which has two summaries of key findings from 35 recently-published peer-reviewed scientific papers, divided into two categories.  The first collection of papers establishes that (a) decadal and multi-decadal ocean circulation patterns (AMO, PDO, NAO, ENSO) have significantly modulated precipitation and temperature changes in recent decades, and the second collection of papers confirm that (b) natural ocean oscillations are, in turn, modulated by solar activity.

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Scientist James Lovelock: “It’s easier to save Dorset than the planet
Catherine Bolado

IT’S not every day you get to meet a scientific hero - an earth scientist and inventor who worked for NASA in its infancy and helped to discover the devastating impact of CFC gases upon the ozone layer.

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James Lovelock at 96

Chatting down the phone from his west Dorset home, the 96-year-old is everything (as a surprisingly nervous science geek) you hope he will be - witty, insightful and engaging.

The Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) patron clearly has a very soft spot in his heart for Dorset and is delighted to be living in “one of the best bits of the whole country.”

He has lived in and around the south all his life.

He said: “Dorset is very much a part of my life. I walked through it as a child and an adult. I have always been very fond of it. I have worked here both as a writer and managing an MoD site at Winfrith. I first came here in 1929 as a child to Swanage for a couple of weeks and spent time walking around the coast.”

His association with DWT is deep rooted. He used to visit Cranborne Chase and “grew very fond of it,” becoming a lifelong member of DWT in the late 1950s and has made charitable donations to the charity.

Mr Lovelock said it was a “nice feeling” to be made a patron. He said: “There’s talk of making Dorset and Devon into a national park and I hope it comes off. It should happen. To have Dorset as a park would be a great idea.”

He was pleased the Navitus Bay wind farm development didn’t get the go ahead, as the energy that would be produced “wouldn’t be very reliable.”

A more sensible idea would be to create a solar farm in the Sahara, he suggested. This would create enough energy for Europe, but was unlikely to happen, Mr Lovelock added.

Climate and energy production is not surprisingly one of his main concerns. But as to predictions about the future, he is far less certain, saying: “I think anyone that tries to predict more than five to ten years ahead is a bit of an idiot, so many things can change unexpectedly.”

He added that global warming proponents stated that the earth would get hotter and hotter but “they don’t really know,” and climate models are only based on what data goes into them, so it was hard to say what would happen in the future.

Mr Lovelock is interested in what can be measured, what can be observed.

So for example the sea temperature around Chesil Beach being so low and the effects of the Gulf Stream dropping ‘significantly’.

He said: “That’s one reason global warming hasn’t been so noticeable around here. Far from being an automatic warming up. If the sea starts moving the currents in different directions we get quite cold conditions.”

He said: “The other thing I predict, everyone will be living in cities towards the end of the century,” adding: “This is a trend all over. What’s left of the rest of the world is difficult to predict.”

So should we be trying to save the world? Or perhaps we should look closer to home?

“Don’t try and save the world, it’s pure hubris. We might be able to save Dorset. I don’t know how we do it. It’s up to us. I think it’s easier to save Dorset than the planet.”

Adding: “There’s one thing to keep in mind here. We don’t need to save the planet, it’s looked after itself for four billion years. It’s always been habitable and things have lived on it, so why worry.”

This is where Gaia Theory comes in - the idea that the planet itself is a self-regulating system. It is perhaps Mr Lovelock’s best known work and perhaps his most controversial. Named after a Greek goddess, the idea has alternatively been criticized or lauded over the 50 years since Mr Lovelock first proposed it.

Aug 04, 2016
Students Learn Climate Change Advocacy, Not Climate Science

By David Legates

ICECAP UPDATE:

Everyone accepts the fact that El Ninos lead to warming and La Ninas cooling globally. Unlike what many believe El Ninos and La Ninas don’t alternate is any predictable way but cluster with the stages of the PDO. So....

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From 1947 to 1976, 14 years had La Ninas, just 6 had El Ninos (global temperatures cooled). After the Great Pacific Climate Shift in 1976 up to 1998, 10 El Ninas occurred with just 3 La Ninas (global temperatures warmed). Since 1998, the Pacific Ocean temperature patterns have been more evenly distributed and 7 El Ninos and 7 La Ninas occurred (and temperatures flatlined). In the graph above MEI is NOAA’s Multivariate ENSO Index.

See how the ocean temperature associated with El Ninos and La Ninas and volcanoes alters the annual percent change in CO2. Warmer water emits more CO2, colder absorbs. Volcanoes produce cooling and cut back on insolation thus photosynthesis.  Temperatures drive CO2 not the other way around.

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Roger Pielke Jr. shows this Munich re Global Weather-Related Disaster Losses:

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Students Learn Climate Change Advocacy, Not Climate Science
By David Legates

For almost thirty years, I have taught climate science at three different universities. What I have observed is that students are increasingly being fed climate change advocacy as a surrogate for becoming climate science literate. This makes them easy targets for the climate alarmism that pervades America today.

Earth’s climate probably is the most complicated non-living system one can study because it naturally is an integration of chemistry, physics, biology, geology, hydrology, oceanography, and cryology and also includes human behavior by responding to and affecting human activities. Current concerns over climate change have further pushed climate science to the forefront of scientific inquiry.

What should we be teaching college students about it?

At the very least, a student should be able to identify and describe the basic processes that cause the climate of the Earth to vary from Pole to Equator, from the coast to the center of the continent, and from the Dead Sea Depression to the top of Mount Everest. A still more literate student would understand how the oceans, the biosphere, the cryosphere, the atmosphere, and the hydrosphere all integrate to produce our very complicated climate…

Making matters worse, consider Senate Bill 3074, which was introduced into the U.S. Senate on June 16 of this year. It authorizes the establishment of a national climate change education program. Once again, the emphasis lies on teaching advocacy rather than teaching science and increasing scientific knowledge and comprehension.

The director of the National Center for Science Education commented that the bill was designed to “[equip] students with the knowledge and knowhow required for them to flourish in a warming world.” Unfortunately, it will do little to educate them regarding climate science.

I fear that our education of climate science has been co-opted to satisfy the climate change fearmongering agenda that pervades our society today. Instead of teaching the science behind the Earth’s climate, advocates have taken the initiative to convert it to a social agenda of environmental activism.

Climatology, unfortunately, has been transformed into a social science. While there is nothing wrong with the social sciences, the flaws underpinning climate science advocacy are masked by the ‘concern for the environment’ when climate is no longer treated as a physical science.

Climate science must return to being a real science and not simply a vehicle to promote advocacy talking points. When that happens, students will find that scientific facts are the real “inconvenient truth.”

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Russian President says Climate Change is Fraud
October 2015

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t DailyCaller - Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that he thinks the Western climate scare is a fraud, designed to restrain industrial development in countries like Russia.

According to the New York Times;

While Western media have examined the role of rising temperatures and drought in this year’s record wildfires in North America, Russian media continue to pay little attention to an issue that animates so much of the world.

The indifference reflects widespread public doubt that human activities play a significant role in global warming, a tone set by President Vladimir Putin, who has offered only vague and modest pledges of emissions cuts ahead of the December 2015 U.N. climate summit in Paris.

Russia’s official view appears to have changed little since 2003, when Putin told an international climate conference that warmer temperatures would mean Russians “spend less on fur coats” while “agricultural specialists say our grain production will increase, and thank God for that.”

The president believes that “there is no global warming, that this is a fraud to restrain the industrial development of several countries including Russia,” says Stanislav Belkovsky, a political analyst and critic of Putin. “That is why this subject is not topical for the majority of the Russian mass media and society in general.”

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Putin’s scepticism dates from the early 2000s, when his staff “did very, very extensive work trying to understand all sides of the climate debate”, said Andrey Illarionov, Putin’s senior economic adviser at the time and now a senior fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington.

“We found that, while climate change does exist, it is cyclical, and the anthropogenic role is very limited,” he said. “It became clear that the climate is a complicated system and that, so far, the evidence presented for the need to ‘fight’ global warming was rather unfounded.”

Read more

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Aug 03, 2016
When the church pays its due to environmentalism

By Anthony J. Sadar and JoAnn Truchan - Tuesday, August 2, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

In ancient times, when an infallible proclamation went forth from the head of the church, it was deemed “ex cathedra,” or literally “from the chair,” the highest ruling authority at the time.

Nowadays, it seems that the marrying of political ideology to climate science is being officiated by the Christian church ex cathedra.

Whether from the pope or leading Protestant theologians, the blessings of the church have been conferred on climate prophesy via the uncritical faith of ecclesiastic heavyweights. Yet, our guess is that neither the pope nor high-level theologians have an intimate knowledge - or even an otherworldly revelation - of the science behind climate change. They must rely on their earthly advisers, fellow academicians or personal research of popular conjectures.

With all due respect, perhaps influential leaders of the faithful should consider the focus of Holy Scripture more closely and not just Christianize secular ideas. Christianity is a solid base upon which to build, not simply a part of the mix of construction materials for another’s foundation.

Christian ministry builds an edifice of people. Jesus came to preach good news (the gospel) to the poor. Quoting Isaiah early in his ministry, Jesus proclaimed, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives .” (Luke 4:18).

The focus of scripture, from Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21, is on people - their well-being and freedom. Incorporated in the purview of the Bible is all that is required for the life and happiness of people, including the entire biosphere.

Conversely, it seems that Western governments, largely driven by pompous elitism, are focusing their most concerted, united efforts not on protecting their populations from terrorism, economic disaster and enslavement, but rather on convincing the masses that a climate catastrophe awaits them if they don’t stop living comfortably. The December climate change conference held in Paris just days after the Islamic terrorist slaughter in that city succinctly demonstrates the wayward thinking of sanctimonious seculars.

Innocents around the globe continue to be butchered and brutalized in the here-and-now. In the face of imminent peril, most likely they couldn’t care less about government and environmentalist promises of a sweet bye-and-bye if they would simply reduce their carbon footprint.

So, with plenty of real-world mayhem to address, does the Christian church need to endorse the dangerous naivete displayed in the profane union of politics and climatology?

A compassionately different approach to “saving the planet” would be to focus on serving people, putting their needs first. If people are put first, and the earth’s ample resources are diligently extracted, we may find that caring for the world’s precious population will naturally necessitate caring for the global environment. In other words, responsibly caring for the world’s people will require good stewardship of the earth’s bounty.

As far as concern for the climate by the pope, church hierarchy and parishioners, the Bible assures us that “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:2).

Now there’s a long-range global climate projection worth trusting.

Anthony J. Sadar is a certified consulting meteorologist and author of “In Global Warming We Trust” (Stairway Press, 2016). JoAnn Truchan is a professional engineer specializing in chemical engineering and air pollution control.

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