Time to shoot the husky, Dave

BY JAMES DELINGPOLE

There is so much good news about the collapse of the EU’s carbon trading scam, that I’m not sure where to begin. But let’s start with the fact that it has really, really annoyed Bryony Worthington – the activist from the hard-left anti-capitalist pressure group Friends of the Earth who wrote the most economically suicidal piece of legislation in British history, the Climate Change Act. Even more delightfully, it will also have upset Tim “Trougher” Yeo and Lord “King Trougher” Deben, both of whom were not only fully behind this latest planned EU conspiracy against the energy user and the taxpayer but who also had the sublime gall to suggest that this market rigging is what Margaret Thatcher would have wanted.(H/T Benny Peiser, GWPF)

No, really. Let’s pause a moment and cherish the delicious absurdity of this claim. Two Tory wets – of the kind Margaret Thatcher always despised – are now invoking the legacy of Britain’s most fervently anti-EU and pro-free-market prime minister in support of an EU attempt to rig the markets and punish consumers with an artificially inflated carbon tax which no one wants. Have a read and be amazed. You couldn’t make it up.

Anyway, where were we? Oh, yes, that’s right: having a good old dance on the grave of EU’s carbon emissions policy. Here’s what Walter Russell Mead has to say about its significance:

The EU has been the global laboratory testing the green agenda to see how it works. Today’s story means that the guinea pig died; the most important piece of green intervention in world history has become an expensive and embarrassing flop. It’s hard to exaggerate the importance of this for environmentalists everywhere; if the EU can’t make the green agenda work, it’s unlikely that anybody else will give it a try.

I think he’s right. The knock-on effects are going to be cataclysmic – in places like Australia, for example, which had been relying on the rigged EU carbon trading market to prop up Julia Gillard’s carbon emissions scam. And within the vast, overinflated bubble which is the green industry generally. No one will be safe in this sector: seriously, if you’re in renewables – as I know at least one of our regular trolls below does: he’s an adviser to the wind industry and graduated, I kid you not, from the environmental sciences department at the UEA – I would now think very hard about getting yourself a proper job.

So is there a downside to this? Yes, as the astute Richard North notes at EU Referendum, thanks to that Climate Change Act introduced by Bryony Worthington (see above), Britain’s own energy policy is now looking more expensive and disastrous than ever.

Sadly, though, Britain does not get the benefit of this market collapse, Mr Osborne having already decided to add to the cost of the carbon credits, with an additional £4.94 in carbon tax. This, while continental industry and electricity consumers will be paying something like £2 per ton of carbon dioxide produced, the British equivalents will be paying about £7.

With the UK government committed to driving the carbon price up to £18 in 2018, to £30 in 2020 and to £70 in 2030, using the carbon tax mechanism, we now face the spectre of the EU’s carbon market collapsing completely, leaving the UK as the only country in the EU handicapped in this way.

But I must say, personally I take a more sanguine view. It may not have escaped your notice that large numbers of Warmist rats have been leaping off the sinking ship of late in response to the growing evidence that AGW theory is bust. Our media – even our previously credulous mainstream media, even the Ecommunist, for heaven’s sake – is starting to grow more and more sceptical of the expensive energy policies which have been created to deal with what looks increasingly like a non-existent problem.

Do you think that they will consider it reflects well or badly on David Cameron that he continues to support an energy policy whereby:

1. The government’s business department splurges £50 million of taxpayers’ money on an equity fund – Greencoat plc – which invests in wind farms, not a single one of which would exist were they not propped up by heavy taxpayer subsidies. (This is not capitalism. This is a rent-seeking, corporatist oroborus.)

2. His wealthy father in law – Sir Reginald Sheffield Bt – receives a thousand pounds a day, mostly from hidden tariffs on your energy bill, for the hideous wind turbines sticking out like a sore thumb on his estates.

3. Thanks to the Climate Change act – UK taxpayers are committed to spending in excess of £18 billion a year in order to “decarbonise” the UK economy

4. Useless, expensive wind farms and solar farms are springing up like mushrooms – there’s one wind farm planned not far from me near the lovely National Trust property of Canon’s Ashby; there’s a solar farm being planned for Ringmer in the South Downs National Park, for God’s sake – in the most beautiful parts of Britain, and no one wants them there save the developers and a handful of green activists.

5. Our economy continues to tank, in good part because of the Coalition’s suicidal policy in favour of renewables, biomass-burning, carbon capture and storage, and because of its failure to move with sufficient alacrity into shale gas, to adopt a nuclear policy which doesn’t involve being ripped off hideously by EDF, and to investigate the possibilities of thorium.

Something has got to give here. Maybe at the height of the climate change craze in the Nineties and Noughties it would have been different. But economic reality, scientific evidence and public attitudes have moved on.

When Cameron came into power he took what some of us recognised straight away as a massive gamble with the UK economy: he decided to stake all on a revival driven by green jobs, green energy, green investment and announced his intention to lead “the greenest government ever.”

Since the green industry is almost entirely reliant on government subsidy, this was only ever going to work if all the governments of all the world’s major economies were prepared to rig the markets. The carbon credits system, for example, was never going to work in isolated pockets: the EU carbon market was doomed the moment the CCX carbon trading exchange (founders: Al Gore; Goldman Sachs) collapsed in Chicago.

So Cameron’s energy policy is looking completely out of touch with reality and, since the one thing he is truly excellent at is skin-saving I expect he’ll be forced to make moves in a more sensible direction. As too, if he has any sense will Ed Miliband. This will go against the grain: it was on Miliband’s watch as Environment Secretary that so much bad energy policy was formulated. But if he’s planning on winning the next election, I’d suggest to him that it might not now be such a good move to criticise Cameron’s renewable energy policies on the basis that they don’t go far enough.

At times like these, we should be more grateful than ever for the presence of UKIP – the only serious political party in Britain which does have sensible energy policies. Policies, I might add, written on the advice of the kind of people – Professor Ian Plimer; Lord Monckton; Roger Helmer; Godfrey Bloom – who for years have been vilified for being extremist, denier loons but who have now been proved right all along.

I don’t think any of us need hold our breath waiting for an apology, though. If you’re very, very good I’ll treat you to the defiant non-apology I got the other day from a bien-pensant journalist who has frequently mocked my own position on climate change. It’s a peach!

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Abbott to ‘shoot messenger’ on climate

Tim Flannery says research sheds new light on extreme weather.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said he ”suspects” Tim Flannery, the head of Australia’s Climate Commission, would be made redundant if Mr Abbott becomes prime minister.

Mr Abbott has pledged to abolish the Climate Commission – the federal government’s agency for explaining climate science to the public – if elected, along with repealing the carbon price.

”When the carbon tax goes, all of those bureaucracies will go and I suspect we might find that the particular position you refer to goes with them,” Mr Abbott told Macquarie Radio on Wednesday.

”It does sound like an unnecessary position given that the gentleman in question gives us the benefit of his views without needing taxpayer funding.”

Professor Flannery said in a statement that it was critical for emergency and health services, as well as the public, to have the best information from scientists.

”Ignoring it or shooting the messenger will not reduce the threat of climate change, it will just mean that Australia is less prepared,” he said. ”We’d be living in the past to think that Australia did not need to prepare for a changing climate.”

Professor Flannery, a palaeontologist and author who was Australian of the Year in 2007, has been seen as a polarising figure by some because of his calls to phase out large-scale use of fossil fuels.

A Climate Commission report released on Wednesday examined links between Australia’s extreme weather and human-induced climate change. It found natural events were being influenced by climate change, because greenhouse gases are accumulating and trapping extra energy in the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans.

The extra energy meant that natural events were being given an extra kick, meaning heavier bursts of rainfall, more intense heatwaves, and more prolonged dry spells. While heatwaves are not uncommon in summer, eight of Australia’s 21 hottest days on record have occurred this year.

The report’s lead author, Professor Will Steffen, said the report relies upon the known physics of the climate system, empirical observations of past and present weather, and the variety of mathematical models that can test assumptions from different angles.

”We have seen this basic shift in the climate system, where natural events are amplified because there is more energy in the system,” he said. ”The different lines of evidence all point to this conclusion.”

These liar scientists have milked the system for years and need to be purged. good luck Mr Abbott.

The very model of a modern climate scientist

by John McLean

QUADRANT April 3, 2013

Australia’s Climate Commission is beyond a joke. Following hot on the heels of its “Angry Summer” report, which was ridiculed here by Michael Kile, Des Moore and myself, the commission released a media statement headlined “The new normal: Melbourne’s extended Angry Summer”.

Melbourne’s temperature reached some new records in 2013, but why the hysterics about a “new normal”? This supposed “normal” is so “new” that it only occurred this year. March and February in 2012 were quite benign in Melbourne. February maximum temperatures exceeded 30 degrees on six occasions, a run of three late in the month being the most consecutive days. In 2012 March maximum temperature exceeded 30 degrees on just one day. Memo to Climate Commission: It takes more than one instance before it can be called “normal”.

Commissioner Professor Will Steffen is quoted: “However, climate change is now contributing to making these extreme heat conditions worse. These record-breaking events show that climate change is already affecting Victorians” and later “It is important that we understand that the baseline conditions have shifted. We live in a hotter world …”

The first statement makes unproven assertions, derived doubtless from un-validated models of weather, and he confuses weather with climate. The second is dismissed by the most widely cited temperature dataset, the HadCRUT3 data set from the UK’s Hadley Centre and the Climatic Research Unit. The HadCRUT3 data says that there’s been no statistically significant increase in temperatures in the last 16 years. The CRU director said this two years ago and IPCC head Rajendra Pachauri recently said that the pause in warming was now 17 years. This begs the question to Steffen, hotter than when?

Melbourne’s March heat wave was caused, as almost always, by a near-stationary High in the Tasman Sea. The earliest available online BoM media statement for Victoria, dated 30 February [sic] 2000 says in part, “Bureau of Meteorology figures released today, show that much of southern Victoria experienced one of its hottest Februarys on record. The hot weather was brought about by long spells of north to north-east winds around high pressure systems, which tended to persist over the Tasman Sea.” The pattern is entirely predictable; the only unknown is how long the high will persist.

In addition to a charming photo of Steffen enjoying a gropup hug with a bevy of young warmists (above), the Climate Commission web pages describe him as a “climate change expert and researcher”. So how can entirely typical meteorologic conditions be overlooked, or the difference between climate and weather confused?

We are forever hearing from “climate scientists” about the dire perils poised to consume our planet, but what is a climate scientist when all is said and done? Steffen’s progress through academia, his papers and the journals in which they are published might provide us with some guidance.

Steffen holds a BSc in Chemical Engineering and PhD in chemistry, rather than in any field directly related to determining whether the human influence on climate is significant, negligible or virtually non-existent. During the 1980s he worked with the CSIRO on the “soil-plant-atmosphere system” and from there moved into work on the biosphere (i.e. flora and fauna). He emerged 14 years later as one of those forever-quoted experts on climate science.

There’s no doubt that he’s the “author of numerous publications on climate science”, as the Climate Commission web pages tell us, but many of those publications appear to be books or reports that were unlikely to be peer-reviewed.

His peer-reviewed papers include one for Science in 2000, but with 17 authors for just six pages it’s not clear that his contribution was significant. This was eclipsed by 30 authors for a four-page paper in Nature in 2001, although 26 authors for nine pages in Global Environmental Change, also in 2001, tried hard, and 29 authors for a four-page paper in Nature in 2009 came even closer.

Where he has written papers alone or with few co-authors we find them in journals like Ambio, Carbon Balance Management, Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Climate Change and Biological Conservation, none of which seem mainstream science or “climate science” journals.

The abstracts of these papers suggest a common format that assumes manmade global warming is significant and dangerous, then looks at its possible impact and potential countermeasures. They tend towards polemics that draw heavily on the work of others and add relatively little in the way of original thought.

The Climate Commission web page mentioned above tells us that Steffen is “a researcher”. Elsewhere he says, “It was during this period that I focused my own research efforts towards synthesis and integration, often assembling teams of top researchers…”, which again poses the question as to the extent of his own input.

If Steffen has ventured into the hard science that seeks to quantify the amount of warming to be expected from increased atmospheric carbon dioxide, his paper trail is rather hard to find. He is nevertheless quick to dismiss those who are sceptical of the claim that the warming is, or will be, significant. In a 2010 ANU news report he referred to sceptics as “deniers”. In the same report he went on to say, “The climate system has continued to warm strongly through the 2000-09 decade.”

We now know this assertion to be incorrect, not only because of the hiatus in warming for the last 17 years but, across the decade in question, the HadCRUT3 annual global average temperature anomalies varied by less than 0.1 degrees for eight of those years. The 2000-09 trend in annual averages rose at about 0.3 degrees/century, but omit the first year and the trend was for cooling at just over double that rate.

In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald in July, 2011 he said, “Well over 90% of scientists in the area are quite clear: the Earth is warming and human activity is the major cause.”

He asks his audience to believe that scientific questions are resolved by the amount support for a hypothesis, rather than by the usual method: how well the hypothesis accounts for historical observations and predicts future ones. Perhaps, with the absence of warming for 16 or 17 years, all that Steffen can cling to is his belief that a supposed-but-unproven consensus among scientists amounts to something.

The Climate Commission is joke enough in itself; that it is composed of advocates all harkening unto the same catastropharian creed makes its pretensions and opera bouffe self-importance all the more laughable.

Forever ready to be quoted, Steffen defines the sort of science the Commission prefers – “science”, remember, that confuses climate with weather. As a tool of rational, unbiased inquiry, the Commission is worse than a joke. It is a farce.

UPDATE: The Climate Commission has just released a report, The critical decade: extreme weather. Again it fails to mention the meteorological causes of heatwaves or cyclones, but asserts that these events are influenced by manmade warming.

It also fails to provide any evidence whatsoever that CO2 emissions have caused or exacerbated the reported phenomenon. The basis for its claims is nothing more than a correlation that is undermined by these events being rare before this summer, despite the absence of a statistically significant increase in global average temperatures over the last 16 years.

To put it simply, if temperatures haven’t risen then it is fanciful to blame temperature for weather events of just the last few months.

John McLean was co-author with Chris de Freitas and Bob Carter of a paper that became the centre of controversy when submitted to the Journal of Geophysical Research. Their experience with the censors of science can be read here.

No April Fools: Obama’s Green Energy Stimulus is Officially a Joke

Submitted by Paul Chesser on Mon, 04/01/2013 – 10:27

President Obama’s alternative energy “stimulus,” administered through his Department of Energy by previous Secretary Steven Chu, had already become a joke because of the failures and foibles of so many recipients of Recovery Act funds. But now – as though officially commemorating the absurdity of this historically bad U.S. government program – one of its bankrupt beneficiaries has changed its name from one of simplicity to one of mockery.

Electric vehicle battery maker A123 Systems has changed its name to B456 Systems. Incorporated.

Reporting the development, headline writers across the nation rubbed their eyes, double-checked the wire information, and then – especially realizing how close they were to April Fool’s Day – had to add extra assurance to the breaking news.

For the Boston Herald, where A123 was headquartered near MIT, it was this:

“A123 Systems changes name to B456 (seriously)”

The Milwaukee Business Journal reported it this way:

“No joke: A123 Systems now B456 Systems”

And a Wall Street Journal reporter Tom Gara built up the suspense with:

“And The Award For History’s Least Creative Rebranding Goes To…”

According to the reports, A123 – now under ownership by Chinese-owned Wanxiang America – was required to change its name as a part of a bankruptcy agreement. The company released a statement Friday explaining that the name A123 will still exist, “operating successfully under Wanxiang’s ownership,” as a limited liability corporation. B456 represents the parts of the company “still in the bankruptcy process.” I guess they don’t understand the entire enterprise was a failure.

And in an additional element of stooge-ery, as Kai Petainen of Forbes noticed, a B456 is a fire extinguisher – as in dousing the flames from your lithium ion battery. Autoblog observes that Amerex model “happens to be good for ‘energized electrical equipment.’”

The double meaning fits, as A123’s (former) top customer is Fisker Automotive, which appears to be near bankruptcy itself. The manufacturer of the $102,000 Karma suffered two recalls – one in December 2011 and another in mid-2012 – because of A123 battery defects that could cause fires. Fisker did suffer fires in Texas and California last year, and Hurricane Sandy’s flooding ignited several of them in New Jersey – and while none were attributed to their batteries (Texas remains unsolved), an A123 battery did cause an explosion at a General Motors alternative energy research facility in Warren, Mich. last April.

Funny, isn’t it? Not “ha-ha” funny, but ridiculous funny – unbelievably stupid funny. Funny in an “I can’t believe our tax money is paying for these comically bad businesses and technologies” way. And it applies to President Obama’s abject failure to invigorate the economy by creating “green jobs” in the alternative energy and electric transportation sectors, which have been around for over a century and the free market still hasn’t made economical or viable. The examples were plentiful:

With a visit by the president, the administration had just boasted how many thousands of green jobs were created by Solyndra, and how environmentally friendly its technology was, thanks to the Energy Department’s $535 million loan guarantee. But months later, with plenty of forewarning to the White House, Solyndra went bankrupt, and left behind a big toxic mess when it shut down. What a rib-tickler!
Fellow stimulus loan recipient Abound Solar, not to be outdone, also went bankrupt and had accumulated a hazardous waste site of its own as it liquidated. But it was later discovered that the company sold defective or underperforming products, and even caught fire. Evidence showed Abound officials knew it, before they received taxpayer dollars. Yet as the Colorado company crashed, the Department of Energy still praised the company’s work as “innovative” and cost competitive – a gut buster!
Employees of battery maker LG Chem, recipient of $151 million from a DOE Recovery Act grant, were discovered on the clock playing games, reading magazines, watching movies or helping charities like Habitat for Humanity – that is, when they weren’t ‘off-duty’ on their cyclical furloughs. Why? They had no real work to do, and as of late October had “yet to ship out a single battery,” according to a local news report. Stop it – you’re killing me!!
And there are so many more jokes where those came from: The Tesla Model S that was panned by the New York Times after it had to be towed away; the Fisker Karma that broke down for Consumer Reports, which then called it the “worst luxury sedan;” A123 executives expecting their bonuses while going through the bankruptcy process; a Nissan Leaf trip that took six hours because of recharging needs, when it should have taken only three hours; Leaf batteries that can’t tolerate extremely hot climates; First Solar panels that couldn’t tolerate desert heat…etc….

Meanwhile the Obama administration repeatedly touted: how clean the energy was; how the future for the American economy was in “green jobs” and the alternative energy sector; how necessary it was to keep up with China in wind and solar (until it became a disaster for the Communists too); and what a great economic investment it was (tell that to the attendees at the “ECO:nomics—Creating Environmental Capital” conference hosted by the Wall Street Journal not too long ago, who are losing their shirts).

And to this day DOE refuses to update its Loan Program Office Web site with new information about any of its projects. Anyone who isn’t aware of the bankruptcies and other project failures that visits the LPO pages would still think Solyndra and Abound are still in business and still created their projected jobs, and that Fisker is still a smashing success, that a $5.9 billion loan guarantee to Ford Motor Company really did convert 33,000 employees to “green jobs,” etc.

There’s enough material to keep Jay Leno’s monologues stoked for a month. Unfortunately those are not tears of laughter streaming down taxpayers’ faces.

Paul Chesser is an associate fellow for the National Legal and Policy Center and publishes CarolinaPlottHound.com, an aggregator of North Carolina news.