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Climate News Archives: Jan - June 2014

A frequent review and commentary on topical matters concerning the science, economics and governance matters associated with climate change developments.  

Climate News:  June 18, 2014

By Alan Moran

Policy developments

The Guardian took the IPA submission to the Renewable Energy Target as its main frame of reference in a comprehensive examination of the issue.


Many Australian economic models forecast gains from renewable energy subsidies – here is one forecasting the bleedin’ obvious that taxes on energy reduce income.  Environment Minister Greg Hunt was forced to back down on his pledge to spend $500 million on solar roofs but taunts Laboron its preparation to back down on the carbon tax.


Australia’s Greens Party remains keen on wasting money. In addition to opposing every possible savings measure they are seeking to force another vote on the $10 billion Clean Energy Fund, thus providing an election trigger. According to Essential Vision’s June 17 report, 53% (down 3% since April) of Australians agree that “climate change is happening and is caused by human activity”. A neutrally phrased  Galaxy survey commissioned by the IPA three months ago put the number of Australians who believe “global warming is happening and humans are to blame” at 37% and only 4% said they would pay over $1000 a year to prevent it.


The UN Secretary-General’s spokesman was correct when he said climate change, “Is clearly the defining issue of our time, there’s clearly a huge amount at stake.” Following his policies would lead to economic distress, as all but misty-eyed greens realise. India has recognised Greenpeace as its enemy, labelling it a threat to national security because of its success in stymieing nuclear and impeding coal power. Greenpeace also seems to have lost money on currency speculation.


Estimates of Obama’s 30% cuts in emissions by 2030 program indicate that it is simply validating what is likely to occur given the growth of shale oil – but it will, if it survives, create a vast new regulatory framework.


Climate data and forecasts

All this warm winter weather in Australia surely foreshadows the global warming trend!  Nope – the satellite data shows the warming of 1979 to 1995 is still stubbornly “paused”.


This is not really surprising since a warm Australia was countered by cool weather in the US. Obamaists no longer maintain that was the cause of the failure of the US economy to grow as planned.

Warmistas cannot take a trick – Antarctic ice is 10% above its historical average as shown below.


And Anthony Watts reports that there is a well reasoned body of research which suggests temperatures might decline by one degree Celsius in the years to 2020.


Steve Goddard highlights the poverty of the global alarmists’ forecasts recalling gems like “leading atmospheric scientist, NASA’s Dr Rasool” who forecasted that a new ice age was to start about now, and Dr Viner of East Anglia proclaiming snowfalls are a thing of the past. And who can forget nutty Al Gore who proclaimed a 75% chance that the Arctic would be ice free by 2014.


Developments within official climate institutions

A “peer reviewed” survey, conducted by people that Heartland’s James Taylor considers warmists, found only 36% of scientists subscribe to the dangerous human-induced warming theory.  Moreover, even though warmistas are also losing the battle of the data they retain control of the institutions and will de-frock anyone who expresses doubt about warming.  The latest is the Institute of Policy Studies which has terminated the 23 year fellowship of Washington’s American University Professor Caleb Rossiter for his views on “climate justice.”


And the demonising stories keep coming. Among the latest is that climate change will lead to increased mental illness.

Climate News:   June 3, 2014

By Alan Moran

The global battle on climate change policies

Michael Mann says he is the real thing and his detractors are crooks in the pay of Murdoch and sundry child-eaters. President Obama may agree – he is exercising his inner Kevin Rudd and using the EPA to bypass Congress in closing down coal power stations,  he wants to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 30 per cent. He suggested that rather than having an adverse effect this will boost the economy by $43 billion to $74 billion. Yeah right! Obama was adamant five years ago that Spain with wind subsidies was the future, he said, “They’re surging ahead of us, poised to take the lead in these new industries.” For a contemporary view on the disaster that is wind-fuelled Spain, see this. Fortunately, our own Prime Minister favours low cost energy and sees real merit in coal as an energy source and reiterated the axing of the carbon tax as his number one priority.


Obama claims hurricanes will increase without his latest coal-suppressing actions. It is doubtful he would be interested in data showing no increase of hurricanes in recent years . Obama’s latest National Climate Assessment makes incorrect statements like, “recent decades have seen unusual warming”, and “there is an increase in extreme weather events”. A score of prestigious independent scientists have systematically dissected these statements and shown them to be false. Another debunked myth is that of the soon-to-be-extinct polar bears;  unsurprisingly it turns out that like so many climate scare tales it was completely made-up.


Last week’s Indonesian volcanic eruption is likely to disrupt air travel. How long before the latest ‘pause’ in warming is blamed on this? Oh wait! It has already been foreshadowed.


Oh No!! It’s becoming official, climate change is creating Frankenstein trout. What next? Yes, you guessed it – global warming is causing an upsurge in extra-marital dalliances.


That may or may not be welcome news for those losing their jobs in Germany’s green energy industry. Not only are German green job numbers falling but the nation has just realised that seven out of ten of the green jobs will disappear once their subsidy is removed.

Texas is one US state that is thriving. Could it be because of its low taxes and refusal to discourage cheap energy so much favoured by the President and his henchmen? Surely not.


Developments in Australia

Rio Tinto is to power a new bauxite mine in Queensland by solar. But the $23 million facility is supported by government funding of $11 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.  The government wants to terminate this but its Green/ALP predecessor placed booby traps to prevent this and installed the former CEO of WWF as its Chair to ensure it would continue its wasteful outlays.


Efforts in Australia to dismantle wasteful carbon-suppression schemes continue. With $5 billion a year to be carved off government funding and the $10 billion a year carbon tax to go, attention is on the Renewable Energy Target, under review at present. The rent-seekers gained sustenance by the New South Wales government lobbying to retain the scheme.


The Victorian government has announced it is to abandon the state based VEET, a program that requires energy businesses to provide energy saving measures to customers; it claims the VEET repeal will save consumers an average $50 a year from their bills with total savings estimated to be $700 million over the next 15 years. The Energy Efficiency Council lobby group has announced it “will be taking an exceptionally hard line on this unacceptable decision”. Queensland may be having second thoughts on its state solar rooftop scheme after the Queensland Competition Councilissued an estimate that it will cost households $106 per year in 2014/15 – double what it cost last year – thereby wiping out half the price fall of the repeal of the carbon tax.


The Victorian government however blotted its copybook with a pusillanimous cowering to noisy left zealots – it announced a ban on all gas drilling. First they came for the frackers, then it was the turn of the horizontal drillers, then all hydrocarbon developments.

And on the subject of fracking, this sting on Hollywood stalwarts and prominent environmentalists shows them taking a bribe of $9 million from a fake Saudi princeling to do an anti-fracking film in the interests of stemming US self sufficiency. These people will stoop to any depths.

But hope is present with independents. Senator-elect Bob Day speaks for many of us in a letter to The Hon. Greg Hunt when he says, “the Renewable Energy Target scheme should never have been enacted and plans for an Emissions Reduction Fund should be put on hold until a comprehensive inquiry has been held.”


And Ian Plimer has a terrific new book out, Not for Greens, which shows the interrelationships of innovation, coal, energy finance  and trade in creating and maintaining the living standards we enjoy. The IPA will be helping to launch Ian’s book around Australia – details to be announced soon.

Climate News:  May 16, 2014

By Alan Moran

Scientific developments

Warming has coincided with El Ninos rather than greenhouse gas emissions. Donald Rapp shows this and also that there is no causal effect on El Nino from greenhouse gas emissions.


Judith Curry demolishes the U.S. National Climate Assessment Report demonstrating it ascribes all weather events to man-made factors.

A new report by Willem de Lange and Bob Carter shows that sea levels have been rising slightly for 10,000 years and that there is no evidence of an accelerated increase. There are great differences in sea level changes – the average includes falls as well as rises and the appropriate response is to address locally any issues of concern.


The longstanding IPCC tradition of politicising and sensationalising the Summary for Policy Makers (SPM) is clearly being continued in regard to the ‘hiatus’ and the reliability of climate models. As noted by Judith Curry and others, the draft version of the SPM correctly stated “Models do not generally reproduce the observed reduction in surface warming trend over the last 10-15 years.” But this was removed from the final version.

Meanwhile news comes of the defection from the warming camp of the world renowned former director of the Max Planck Institute, Professor Lennart Bengtsson who has lamented the use of models in the face of their predictive failures. Bengtsson also joined Lord Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation but, under pressure from warmists and fearing for his security, felt forced to resign.


Jo Nova pillories the latest theories of why Antarctica is refusing to warm in line with climate model predictions.


Joe Bast of Heartland summarises the research on scientists and global warming. Thorough analyses refute the statement that 97 per cent of peer reviewed papers support man-made global warming and the most rigorous find only one per cent actually expressly do so.


Policy responses

In the US, Obama wants to attack coal powered electricity but environment concerns continue to have no traction in polls.

The British government has finally twigged that large scale solar does not work and closed the subsidy. The solar lobby industry is “dismayed”.

Putin has different concerns and, to protect his assets, advises the EU that fracking is a Bad Thing. Environmental activists agree but Lord Lawson’s committee sets them straight.


The Australian budget abolished the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) saving $1.3 billion, closed the scandalously wasteful carbon capture and storage program (from 2017), removing  $460 million from it; reduced somewhat the scam of ethanol subsidies; and closed the $17 million “clean coal” initiative. The government’s election plan of solar on One Million Roofs was not in the budget. It did allocate the first $75 million to the $3.55 billion emission reduction fund.


To maintain the momentum, the IPA’s submission to the Renewable Energy Target Review Panel advocated its immediate termination with no additional expenditure for existing or new wind farms and other wasteful projects.


Unfortunately, the Australian budget lets slip the opportunity to defund the UN. The notorious Christiana Figueres, head of climate change at the UN, is urging churches to pull their investment in fossil fuel firms. Too many churches are infected with the anti-capitalist ideology and are complying.


Warren Buffett understands how to play the investment game. “I will do anything that is basically covered by the law to reduce Berkshire’s tax rate,” Buffett told an audience in Omaha, Nebraska recently. “For example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.”


Here is an informative piece from The Sydney Morning Herald last Friday on the process by which an increasingly deranged Kevin Rudd finally self-destructed before abandoning his carbon crusade, ‘The day the Rudd government lost its way on climate change‘.

Climate News: May 1, 2014

By Alan Moran

IPCC: its forecasts and their costs to global incomes

John O’Sullivan points out “after 30 years of these ‘Chicken Little’ alarmist scares” the warmist climate scientists have become imaginative in trying to retain the credibility of their predictions in light of a lack of warming.


Professor Robert Stavins, who has unimpeachable qualifications as a climate alarmist, has followed Richard Tol in taking his name off the IPCC’s Summary for Policymakers report. These summaries have always been political documents that erased the caveats that scientists felt obliged, in the body of the reports, to surround the positions they expressed. This year may be different because the hollowness of the IPCC claims is being increasingly revealed by the failure of evidence to confirm the models on which global warming hysteria is grounded. Anthony Watts has scathing reviews of the IPCC written by Robert Stavins and Richard Tol.


Roy Spencer points out that many skeptics give ammunition to the warmists by citing phoney tenets like ‘there is no greenhouse effect’ or ‘CO2 does not cause warming’. He says skeptics should accept that the greenhouse effect is real – it is just that it is not very important and is as likely to be as beneficial as it is harmful.


Richard Tol explains that the IPCC estimates global costs from a 2.5 degree warming are 0.2-2.5 per cent of global GDP and costs of stabilising emissions are 1.7- 2.7 per cent of global GDP. Not only are these supposed costs and benefits trivial in the context of measures that would impose great risk involving revolutionising economies but the restraint measures “can only be met by the large-scale deployment of yet-unproven technology”.


Pat Michaels’ Australian tour

Climate scientist Pat Michaels, who for 30 years has been campaigning against exaggerated claims of human induced climate change is currently touring Australia. In 1999 he argued that the recent warming then being observed was due to random events and he offered to bet anyone that it would be cooler 10 years hence. Had anyone take him up they would have been poorer for it.


He is the author of three major books and countless papers on climate change, however, Obama’s climate czar John Holdren (one of the Club of Rome authors who 30 years ago claimed we would by now have run out of oil and many other commodities) said, “Michaels…has published little if anything of distinction in the professional literature, being noted rather for his shrill op-ed pieces and indiscriminate denunciations of virtually every finding of mainstream climate science.” Holdren’s judgement is once again astray – Pat has co-authored a new piece in the leading (warmist inclined) scientific journal, Nature.


Subsidised green products

Steve Goreham harks back to June 2008, when candidate Barack Obama stated “…this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal”. Wind energy was to replace fossil fuels. Today wind accounts for one per cent of the energy market, subsidies are being pared back and spending on new wind farms is in decline.


Around the world, most taxpayers and electricity customers are required to support subsidised windfarms (though, in Australia, public opposition forced Energy Australia to abandon plans to construct 40 wind facilities).


In addition to wind subsidies, the US also has the Tesla, its poster-child low energy using car. With a $465 million loan (unlikely ever to be repaid) from Washington together with a tax break of $7500 a vehicle, the green car also gets Japanese subsidised batteries and subsidies from the Californian government. It is building on this ability to extract government funds by seeking support from the Chinese government. Good luck with that one!


People interested in burning their superannuation dollars now have the opportunity of investing in kangaroo green bonds through this product. There will be tears!


Long live the Great Barrier Reef!

The IPCC claims that corals are irreversibly harmed by global warming.


But Anthony Watts reports that according to Professor Steve Palumbi and his team at Stanford, corals will survive mankind after all. Their paper published that corals can adjust their internal functions to tolerate hot water 50 times faster than they would adapt through evolutionary change alone.


Scientists inventing vacuous research projects

People get paid to do this. Camel culls would only save 1% of methane emissions in Australia according to the latest peer reviewed research. Wow!

Climate News:  April 15, 2014

By Alan Moran

IPCC’s latest forecasts on costs of climate change

The IPCC’s latest climate change report estimates that, if no action is taken, the cumulative cost of climate change will be 2 per cent of world income. Its highly optimistic cost estimates of suppressing emissions to a level it argues will not lead to warming is 3-9 per cent (see this). Bottom line: global warming will not be very harmful if it is occurring. Attempts to suppress carbon dioxide emissions, even if politically feasible in a multilateral world of nations with different interests, would cost more than any damage the emissions may be causing.


Chris Field, IPCC lead author, believes, “at least two of the world’s major food crops, wheat and maize” have seen slower increases in yields “partly as a consequence of climate change”. In fact there is no change in yield growths globally as the following illustrates (updated from Andrew Lake).


Matt Ridley is particularly caustic, “Almost every global environmental scare of the past half century proved exaggerated including the population ‘bomb,’ pesticides, acid rain, the ozone hole, falling sperm counts, genetically engineered crops and killer bees. In every case, institutional scientists gained a lot of funding from the scare and then quietly converged on the view that the problem was much more moderate than the extreme voices had argued. Global warming is no different.”


Patrick Michaels, soon to visit Australia (details here for Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane) says the American Academy for the Advancement of Science has been captured by government funding and has supported policies including ludicrous ones, like biofuels, as well as global warming measures. Another eminent visitor being brought to Australia by the IPA, British philosopher Roger Scruton, has sharply criticised politicians for trying to silence debate on global warming. Here are details for Roger Scruton’s addresses in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.


The fall-out continues from Richard Tol’s disowning of the latest IPCC report due to his claim that it was exaggerating the potential of damage from climate change. As well as facing predictable attempts to denigrate him by alarmists, Canadian climatologist Professor Tim Ball argues that Tol was naive to think that the IPCC process ever produced anything other than gross exaggeration from its inception in 1990. Tol is one of only a handful of economists who have played a leading role within the IPCC.


Renewables, coal and controls

We can all take comfort from the predictions of Greenpeace, whose Kaisa Kosonen said, “Renewable energy is unstoppable. It’s becoming bigger, better and cheaper every day”.


In Victoria, union bullying is blockading a site for wind turbine construction, a measure which some would consider a rare felicitous outcome. Meanwhile the Greens are proposing to lock-in the very high subsidies to solar panel installations to neutralise the Government review of renewable energy.


While not green-lighting the proposal for the world’s largest coal mine, a Queensland court ($) rejected attempts to block it on climate change grounds. The Court said such policy was the job of governments and added, “The GHGs will be produced almost wholly by the burning of the coal, which will take place outside Australia. If the demand for the coal is not met from the mine, it will be met from other mines with the same or possibly worse consequences in terms of GHG emissions.”


Even the EU now has the message. Renewable energy subsidies that helped spur Europe’s 48-billion-Euro-a-year clean energy industry are to be phased out across the continent. Even so, chemicals, metals, paper, and ceramics sectors will be allowed exemptions from paying full market premium support to renewable power generators. And last year, global investments in non-hydro renewables dropped 23 per cent and a massive 44 per cent in Europe.


Climate refugees and other failed predictions

The latest buffoonery from Australia’s Treasury Secretary, Martin Parkinson, is his prediction of waves of climate refugees, echoing Janos Bogardi, director of the Institute for Environment and Human Security at the United Nations University in Bonn, who predicted 50 million such refugees by 2010. Parkinson relied on the hysteria of the Policymakers summary of the latest IPCC report, which said, “climate change over the 21st Century is projected to increase displacement of people”. In contrast, researcher Ben Pile points out that the report itself said, “Current alarmist predictions of massive flows of so-called ‘environmental migrants’ are not supported by past experiences of responses to droughts and extreme weather events.”


Billionaire filmmaker James Cameron (Terminator, Titanic, Avatar) has created a 10 part doom-laden series on climate change and the malevolent forces causing it. It is reviewed here by Lubos Motl and includes a Harrison Ford clip riding elephants and attacking palm oil using his serious voice to maintain ‘THINGS HAVE GOT TO BE DONE NOW’.  It would seem these do not include fewer lavish homes and reduced flying much loved by hypocritical celebrities.


Drawing from an Anthony Watts contributor that named 107 failed climate predictions,  Don Aitkin finds additional ones, citing as among the most notorious, Professor Flannery warning us that all the dams would be dry, or Dr Viner of CRU in England telling people that children of the future would wonder what was that snow everyone used to talk about, or Dr Hansen’s warning that the Hudson River would be very much higher in Manhattan

Climate News:  April 1, 2014

By Alan Moran

Scientific analyses

Under distinguished scientists Craig Idso, Robert Carter and Fred Singer (who thinks the catastrophic warming scare will soon be abandoned) dozens of scientists have contributed to the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), which is rolling out a comprehensive examination of climate issues. Among its findings are:


  • In recent geological time, the earth’s temperature has fluctuated naturally between about +4°C and -6°C compared with twentieth century temperature.
  • Doubling the concentration of atmospheric CO2 from its pre-industrial level would cause a warming of up to 1.1°C, half of which already has occurred. This would not represent a climate crisis.
  • Modelling in successive IPCC reports since 1990 project a doubling of CO2 could cause warming of up to 6°C by 2100. Instead, stable temperature has been observed for the past 16 years.

The latest volume is on species and demonstrates the positive effect on food growth of increased carbon dioxide emissions (carbon dioxide emissions are harmless to humans and greenhouses contain three times current atmospheric concentrations, about 1200 parts per million).


US climatologist, Dr Patrick Michaels, author of half a dozen books and many articles on climate change and one of the most persuasive critics of the IPCC, is to visit Australia as a guest of the IPA to deliver addresses in Perth, 29 April,  Melbourne, 1 May, Sydney, 5 May and Brisbane, 6 May.

Tony Thomas reports that the American Physical Society representing 50,000 physicists is to review the outcomes and theories of global warming, with a panel that is not loaded with warmists. A common view that 97 per cent of scientists consider global warming to be real and caused by human induced emissions stems from a survey with loaded questions sent to 10,257 people. Two critics noted that the 3,146 respondents were further whittled down to 77 self selected climatologists of which 75 were judged to agree human induced warming is taking place.


Contrary to the NIPCC report, IPCC forecasts of steadily falling food production are proving just as wide of the mark as its forecasts of steadily rising temperatures. Undeterred, the IPCC’s meeting in Yokohama is strengthening the language of doom, causing economics author Richard Tol to quit. The professional alarmists representing the British Government prefer the Armageddon projected by Nicholas Stern (criticised here), who was given a peerage for his exaggerations. A lack of evidence of warming was predictably compensated by rhetorical hype as seen in material ‘leaked’ to The Guardian. And one chapter even suggests that climate change will push the world into war. As if this was not enough to stimulate interest in the Yokohama event, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon sought to examine first-hand the impacts of climate change during a visit to Greenland. Apparently he went dog-sledding and observed a ceremony in a local church accompanied by the leaders of Denmark and Greenland.


What climate crisis?

The IPA’s fourth annual survey of Australian opinion on climate matters conducted by Galaxy has shown little change in opinions. Notwithstanding all the hype, over 60 per cent are unconvinced that the climate is changing due to human causes. As previously reported, a CSIRO survey put the believers and sceptics closer to 50/50 but concern about global warming was very low. The Galaxy survey put belief in climate change as strongest among younger people (who have been exposed to government propaganda in their school years) and wealthier people. But fewer than four per cent of respondents would agree to pay over $1,000 a year to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to the extent ostensibly required. Treasury endorsed an OECD report which estimated a carbon tax of some $90 per tonne (p. 25) would be required for Australia to meet its 2020 targets – that tax would be about $2,000 per head!


John Mathews, the Chair of Strategy at Macquarie University, would dispute such costs since he considers that economic growth is possible only if fossil fuels are abandoned!


Real politics and climate scares on collision course

The head of Gallup has commented on the ambiguity between the lack of a priority Americans give to global warming and the high profile it has among the political elites (previously addressed in Climate News). Among the nine possible reasons for the low priority afforded to the matter is “Americans may believe that if other problems aren’t fixed first (economy, jobs, dysfunctional government) the effects of global warming won’t matter.”


This intolerance among ordinary Americans to taxes that raise energy prices has given US industry decided advantages in electricity prices, less than half those of Europe, resulting in firms like BMW and Mercedes re-locating plants to the US.

In spite of a low priority given to the issue by Australians, carbon measures in Australia have brought household electricity prices to European levels.


However, the Crimean crisis has persuaded EU leaders that there’s something more important than saving the world and they are now favouring fracking to substitute western gas for the Russian variety. UK Prime Minister David Cameron has been particularly strident, prompting a response from Greenpeace that this is “a cynical attempt to exploit the Ukraine crisis”. Greenpeace had no problem with European Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard, seeing Russia’s annexation of the Crimea as yet another reason to switch to renewables.

Climate News:  March 17, 2014

By Alan Moran

Yet another canvassing of experts’ opinions

In this survey of 5000 members of the Scottish Climate and Energy Forum, although respondents overwhelmingly agreed that human induced greenhouse gases were increasing and likely to bring warming, only 2 per cent thought the outcome would be catastrophic warming.


Warming trends reviewed

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO says that due to human actions Australia will see more fire and brimstone over future decades.  It concludes, “Reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions would increase the chance of constraining future global warming. Nonetheless adaptation is required because some warming and associated changes are unavoidable.” Meanwhile, Green World Trust brings us this real neat graphic series of temperature trends that put the current period into perspective.  Father of the “hockey stick” claims, Michael Mann, may not be impressed since he is suing Mark Steyn, who he claims has denigrated his credentials; Steyn has lobbed-in a counter-sue claim for $30 million in costs and damages against Michael Mann.


Just to illustrate that science fashions are ever changing, John Sullivan has researched the leading climate text of 60 years ago, the Compendium of Meteorology (1951) of the AMS resource link. The particular section by Brooks, C.E.P.  “Geological and Historical Aspects of Climatic Change” at p. 1016 states: “Arrhenius and Chamberlin saw in (CO2) a cause of climatic changes, but the theory was never widely accepted and was abandoned when it was found that all the long-wave radiation absorbed by CO2 is also absorbed by water vapour.”


A coolish shower to current warmist theory is delivered in a new report by IPCC authors, which  finds, “climate sensitivity per doubling of CO2 most likely being under 2°C for long-term warming, with a best estimate of only 1.3-1.4°C for warming over a 70 year period”.


Business reactions to climate issues

Jo Nova explains why Warren Buffett loves apocalyptic claims since they are good for his insurance business, even though “I calculate the probabilities in terms of catastrophes no differently than a few years ago”.


Meanwhile German businesses are revolting – every sixth company has shifted off the grid to avoid paying the 22 per cent price premium required for renewable energy. And Britain’s coal producers commissioned work to examine the effects of freezing the tax floor for carbon, which is set to increase from £15.7/tCO2 in 2013 to £30/tCO2 in 2020 and £70/tCO2 in 2030 (in 2009 constant prices). Unsurprisingly the study found freezing the tax would ease price increases.


News about politicians and their hired hands

In the US the House of Representatives has blocked the administration’s plan to limit carbon pollution from new power plants.


Politicians in the Australian capital have a bold plan to provide 24 per cent of electricity from wind at a weekly cost, they say, of a mere $1.30 per household; according to the energy regulator, renewable costs in Canberra (p.89) already comprised 8 per cent of electricity costs last year.

The federal government may have a contrary view.  This month the Abbott Government will announce a bonfire of regulations.  Even so, the competition regulator, though having already overspent its budget, is imposing a vast new reporting regime on businesses hoping to discover over-charging for carbon costs.


And the legacy of the past fights on.  Australia has a bunch of tired leftists led by Bernie Fraser on the public payroll through the Climate Change Authority promoting the combatting of what they perceive as human induced global warming. In support, there is a public funded journal, theConversation, with a writer financially supported by the public funding (your ABC). Poison pills left by the ALP Green coalition provide taxpayer assistance to those undermining the economy and the elected government!

Climate News:  March 3, 2014

By Alan Moran


Climate Change: The Facts 2014,featuring Andrew Bolt, James Delingpole, Mark Steyn and many more

Australia’s carbon tax is to be repealed and costly measures like the renewable energy target are being reviewed. The IPA and its members were vital to this happening. To help maintain the momentum, we are to publish a new book of research, Climate Change: The Facts 2014 featuring Ian Plimer, Andrew Bolt, Bob Carter, James Delingpole, Donna Laframboise, Nigel Lawson, Richard Lindzen, Joanne Nova, Patrick Michaels, Mark Steyn and others. I will be editing it. Support this book by making a tax-deductible donation. Donate $400 or more for the opportunity to be prominently acknowledged as a supporter on the back cover of the book.


How go the climate models?

First they denied the “pause” in global temperature increases; then they said it was aerosols; then they said it was hiding in the oceans; then they said it was blowin’ in the wind; then they said it was cat fur (just joking). Now they say it is volcanoes. Problem is none of these were factored into the models that have projected the warming we are supposed to be seeing.


Ideologically committed promoters of climate models who have used the models’ forecasts to recommend actions, which have proven harmful are being pilloried. The UK Met Office’s Chief Scientist, Dame Julia Slingo is copping flack for her projections, contrary to this year’s experience, that climate change induced Arctic melting will cause cold, dry weather in the UK. The Met Office issued a press release “reaffirming” its contention that global warming will bring wetter weather.


And Australia’s Tim Flannery, having warned climate change would mean drought when this was being experienced, now that wet weather is prevalent claims – yes you got it – the cause is global warming.


Countering the chicanery of greenhouse claims

In this clip Charles Krauthammer totally demolishes the Obama line on global warming as “settled science” compounded by his claim that drought in California is an outcome of global warming which, if it is occurring, should bring increased precipitation. Unfortunately actions follow from climate change falsehoods and myriad types of equipment must abide by cost-enhancing, energy saving regulations based on greenhouse gas reductions being worth $36 per tonne. But even if there were a human generated warming effect, this $36 value is a fantasy conjured up without supporting evidence.


In American Thinker Fred Singer demonstrates how a cabal of true believers manipulate the content of learned scientific journals to prevent research being reported when it is contrary to the global warming scam. An earlier article in the same publication based on the leaked “Climategate” emails showed how the establishment sought to prevent publications of findings that showed actual temperatures were at variance with the increases projected by the climate models and unethically undermine those that were published.


John Kerry’s labeling of climate change sceptics as flat earthers brought this response from Richard McNider and John Christy in the WSJ. They point out the now generally acknowledged growing gap between the climate models’ projections of warming and the reality.


Michael Mann is suing both Mark Steyn and climatologist Tim Ball for labeling him as unethical, if not dishonest, in the light of Climategate revelations which some see as attempting to “hide the decline” in temperatures, following the medieval warm period, which did not fit Mann’s preferred forecasts. John Hinderaker calls Mann’s “hockey stick” depicting temperatures stability until the 19th century, “one of the most notorious errors, or frauds, in the history of science”. These cases are on-going. However, facing his own defamation threat, Mann has apologised, sort of, to Andrew Bolt for calling him a liar on climate change.


Another public opinion survey

Essential found twice as many Australians think the renewables target at 20 per cent of energy is too low compared to those that think it is too high. The survey did not ask them what they thought the cost was or how much, if anything, they’d be prepared to pay for the renewable energy!


Cost impositions: businesses vote with their feet

Australian readers will be familiar with the closures of Ford, GM, Toyota, Alcoa and others in part at least because of the costs of carbon taxes and renewable obligations. These have taken Australian electricity costs from among the world’s lowest to among its highest.


Similar departures are happening in Germany. BASF ($) is to focus investments outside Europe because, as CEO Kurt Bock says, “In Europe we have the most expensive energy and we are not prepared to exploit the energy resources we have, such as shale gas.” The major user industries have pointed out that excessive costs are killing them and politely call for regulatory and tax relief. But Benny Peiser reports that the penny has dropped among Germany’s economic advisers with Angela Merkel’s Expert Commission on Research and Innovation recommending complete abolition of Germany’s Renewable Energy Sources Act.


Australia’s ALP/Green appointed Climate Change Authority takes a contrary view. Last week this money wasting institution, in a recommendation that won’t be treated seriously, called for the government to up the 2020 planned 5 per cent reduction in emissions to 19 per cent. Such a muddle-headed bunch would fit well within the UK Cameron government which reaffirmed its green credentials and determination to harm the fragile British economy.

Climate News:  February 17, 2014

By Alan Moran

How is the climate behaving?

David Whitehouse writes, “With none of the fanfare that accompanies their prediction of the global temperature for the forthcoming year the UK Met Office has quietly released the global temperature for 2013. It will come as no surprise after the 2013 temperatures released by NASA and NOAA that it shows the global temperature standstill – now at 17 years – continues.”


Here’s a turn up for the alarmists: Australia is experiencing the lowest level of cyclone activity in about 1000 years.


Meanwhile, curiouser and curiouser, the extent of Antarctic ice continues to grow setting new records at the end of January 2014.


HRH Prince Charles has described climate warming sceptics as ‘headless chickens’ which has prompted this treasonable response from the irrepressible Lord Monckton of Brenchley. Michael Mann the doyen of the alarmists who discovered the now discredited notion that the current century is the warmest of the past 1000 years, is suing the sainted Mark Steyn for labelling him as discredited, prompting this article from the take-no-prisoners James Delingpole.


There are those, including Garth Paltridge in this Quadrant article, who are recognising the vulnerability of public confidence in scientists as the over-egged global warming claims unravel. Garth’s fears are echoed and amplified in Forbes by Patrick Michaels (soon to visit Australia as a guest of the IPA).


Actually, the finger-pointing has already started, with UK Communities Minister Eric Pickles saying on the BBC, “We made a mistake, there’s no doubt about that and we perhaps relied too much on the Environment Agency’s advice…I am really sorry that we took the advice…we thought we were dealing with experts.” British ministers have yet to comment on the conflicting advice from UK Met Office’s chief climate alarmist, Julia Slingo, recently made a Dame. Last April she said, “climate change was loading the dice towards freezing, drier weather”, but this year in response to extremely wet UK conditions she said,“All the evidence suggests there is a link to climate change”.


University of NSW Professor Matthew England had previously argued, “We’ve sat back and watched the two decades unfold and warming has progressed at a rate consistent with those projections. Anybody out there lying that the IPCC projects are overstatements or that the observations haven’t kept pace with the projections is completely off line with this … the analysis is very clear that the IPCC projections are coming true.” He now says that a “pause” in the warming trend is real and that it is caused by hot air wind. This Catallaxy piece is a great spoof of the fraudulent claims.


Green power

This is an excellent article in the WSJ ($) by the great Robert Bryce, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and one of the world’s foremost energy industry experts. Bryce demolishes as total bunk Obama’s claim that “green” energy would create, “five million new jobs that pay well and can’t ever be outsourced.” In Germany, even with a guaranteed feed-in (wholesale) price of 17 cents a kilowatt hour, several times the market price, wind farm businesses are feeling the pinch with some going bankrupt. And there is growing opposition within the EU (including the EU’s energy commissioner) generally to renewable measures.


Opposition to windmills is doubtless amplified by their adverse impact on property values. A study based on the sales of over a million UK homes finds values within 1.2 miles of a large wind farm are reduced by 11 per cent. A three per cent reduction is estimated for homes located 2.5 miles away.


Spain is now to reduce the duration that existing windmills receive a premium electricity price from 20 years to 10 years. This is in spite of the assurances on which investments were made and it means the capacity installed pre-2004 (40 per cent of the total) now only gets the normal wholesale price. A review of Australia’s Renewable Energy Target has been foreshadowed but is yet to be announced.


Public opinion

The previous Climate News reported that Essential Research estimate 51 per cent of Australians believe in human induced global warming. Last week, CSIRO’s fourth climate adaptation survey (should a scientific organisation be involved in social research surveys?) put those believing climate change is both happening and is due to humans at 47 per cent. A similar number thought climate change was either not happening or due to non-human causes; 50 per cent thought human induced climate change was happening in CSIRO’s 2010 survey.

In this latest CSIRO survey, climate change comes in seventh out of eight in environmental concerns.

Climate News:  January 15, 2014

By Alan Moran

Politicians interpret the science

Since 1978 humans have generated 845 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide yet the Antarctic is cooling.  The Arctic too is accumulating more ice.  Former Senator John Kerry in 2009 said,

The truth is that the threat we face is not an abstract concern for the future. Scientists project that the Arctic will be ice-free in the summer of 2013. Not in 2050, but four years from now.


This winter, delegates from 192 nations will gather in Copenhagen to create a new global climate treaty. Between now and then, the United States Congress is expected to act on climate legislation.


President Obama rewarded Kerry’s prescience by appointing him Secretary of State!


Applauded by the warmist establishment, British PM David Cameron suspects recent UK wet weather is due to “climate change”.  And Obama’s climate witchdoctor, John Holdren, attributes the current US “extreme” cold weather to climate change triggered by “polar vortex“.  This was the same explanation that was used to rationalise the then fashionable theory of global cooling in 1974 (yes, Holdren was also an exponent of that).

IPCC scientists are, however, downwardly revising the small print on warming forecasts, as Christopher Monckton shows.  Even so, the IPCC computer-generated forecasts are for temperatures considerably higher than the actual climate record accurately measured since 1979 when satellite data became available.


New Jersey governor Chris Christie, until last week the Republican front-runner in the 2016 White House race, is the bellwether of US “moderate” Republican thinking.  Having previously championed global warming action, he now calls it “an esoteric theory“.


Taxpayers the unwitting promoters of the warming theory

Unsurprisingly, it has been revealed that in the UK the BBC spent thousands of pounds in promoting climate change orthodoxy to its staff by eco-warriors such as Greenpeace.


Australia is accustomed to such spending by our own ABC, where fawning treatment of warmists like David Karoly contrasts with hectoring of skeptics like Ian Plimer.  The ABC also financed the expletive-laden Hungry Beast rap video in which people claiming to be climate scientists denigrated skeptics.


Global warming in one country

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) trumpeted its estimates that 2013 was the hottest Australian year on record.  This caused the usual suspects to call for more action on emission restraint.


Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN), like the BoM data, is based on ground level stations and has a similar temperature picture.  But other data sets indicate the BoM may be hyping it up


The Remote Sensing Systems data compiled at the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) uses satellites and finds that 2005, 1998 and 1980 were hotter years in Australia than 2013.


Moreover, if it was hotter in Australia in 2013 than other years, what are we to make of the fact that the BoM data indicates 2011 was apparently cooler than the average?


And, lest we forget, warming is supposed to be GLOBAL: Australian ups are balanced by downs elsewhere.  The global picture according to the UAH’s series, which is based on amalgamated data from 14 different satellites, is as follows:


Average global temperatures in 2013 were around 0.2 degrees celsius above the long-term trend and close to the post 1995 average.


Awesome Mawson: Chris Turney’s incredible adventure

A goal of the Australian Antarctic expedition led by Chris Turney, Professor of Climate Change at the University of New South Wales, was to measure the rate at which the Antarctic ice is melting.  This data on the extent of sea ice is readily available and shows ice accumulating rather than melting.


The  expedition’s ship needed to call upon assistance from four ice-breakers to free itself and to rescue its passengers.  Professor Turney is a carbon reduction entrepreneur and a major shareholder in a company, Carbonscape, commercialising carbon capture.  He claims that the expedition was not a “jolly tourist jape” but represented serious science.  Others, like in this piece, have derided the expedition as the “ship of fools”.


Feeding renewable energy

US wind power receives federal tax breaks that provide half their revenue.  The estimated cost of the EU’s renewable subsidies is $530 billion but it is considering making any renewable targets that are set, optional. Spain, the poster child of excessive renewable spending, last year rescinded wind and solar subsidies that had been “guaranteed” for 25 years.  It is now placing a charge on the electricity generated by these engines of waste.  A 2009 Senate Committee report classed as “extreme” the IPA view that there was a link between these policies and Spain’s general economic travails.


Australian wind and solar facilities get a subsidy greater than the wholesale electricity price.  This is “guaranteed” for 15 years.  Now however, Australia’s cabinet is reported (perhaps inaccurately) to be split 18-2 against retaining the Renewable Energy Target.

Climate News:   January 29, 2014

By Alan Moran

Fusion of economics and scientific stargazing

Economist Richard Tol estimates that the economic effect of 3.6 degrees celsius global warming from 1900 to 2100 is positive until 2070 and then turns negative; (the earth probably warmed 0.8 of a degree celsius over the past 150 years, though, at most, this is only partly due to the greenhouse effect).


How credible are economic forecasts 100 years into the future (in 1914 did economists envisage computers, the internet, mass air travel or the rise of China)? Moreover, it is almost certain that mankind will invent inexpensive ways to adapt to a warmer climate should it come about.

That aside, the assumed 3.6 degrees celsius of warming is a receding mirage. Richard Lindzen, (interesting profile in the Weekly Standard) maintains that greenhouse gas induced warming could never be much more than 1 degree celsius most of which would already have occurred; regarding claims that the current warming pause is due to heat “hiding” in the deep ocean. He says if that is so, the models predicting catastrophic warming must be wrong since this is not incorporated in their historical data.


The establishment also blames the closing of the ozone hole for delaying the CO2 induced global warming that data like this (which I referred to last edition) has forced them to acknowledge. The IPCC’s most recent estimates are for warming at 0.17 degrees celsius per decade, meaning that it would be 212 years before the earth warmed by 3.6 degrees celsius, and much longer, if ever, should the near absence of warming post 1995 trend be maintained. The progressive downgrading of warming projections is illustrated here.


Absence of recent warming: It’s the Sun wot done it

Sun spot activity is especially low according to the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. This is usually coexistent with cold weather periods like that known as the Maunder Minimum 1645-1715.


El Nino as an explanation of climate change

Meanwhile Don Easterbrook points out that cooling and warming coincided with the El Nino temperature pattern which has been identified as occurring for at least 300 years. The 2-7 year El Nino cycles are thought to occur within longer term shifts (known as Pacific Decadal Oscillations – PDO) of which one has been in place since 1999. If this runs its usual course it would bring a cooling for the next 25 years.


Facts are common but not everyone has an opinion

The most recent national “Climate Change in the American Mind” survey found that a quarter of Americans think that global warming is not happening, and half say they are “worried” about it.


In a UK ComRes/ITV poll, 62 per cent of people registered disagreement or no opinion that UK weather anomalies were due to human induced global warming. The environment minister appears to share that scepticism since, notwithstanding Prime Minister David Cameron’s linking of recent UK floods to climate change, this year’s spending on climate change initiatives was cut by 41 per cent.


Essential Research estimates 51 per cent of Australians think human induced global warming is happening and that 52 per cent attribute the recent Australian heat wave to it. University graduates were more gullible than average on both counts!


Renewables: costs and contributions

Australian investment in renewables has cost $18 billion and is expected to cost a further $18 billion. Yet the Energy Supply Association of Australia puts the contribution of solar as low as 2-2.5 per cent ($) in Victoria and South Australia through the heat wave week ending January 18.


The EU’s renewable energy policy has now become non-mandatory, though ambitious targets for the distant future remain under discussion. Last week I called for the abandonment of our own targets in an AFR article.


Blasts from the past

“The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consulafft, at Bergen, Norway.


“Reports from fishermen, seal hunters, and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes.

“Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared.


“…Within a few years it is predicted that due to the ice melt the sea will rise and make most coastal cities uninhabitable.”

From The Washington Post, November 2, 1922

This historical comment would be echoed by ‘Ship of Fools‘ leader Chris Turney, who gets an Australian Academy of Science award for “pioneering new ways of combining climate models with records of past climate change”. Professor Turney has not agreed to pay for the costs, estimated at $2.4 million for his rescue from Antarctic ice but apologized for any impact his rescue “might have had on fellow colleagues whose work has been delayed”.

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