UK Climate Madness: Two billion pounds just pissed up the wall


Pissed up the wall, flushed down the pan. The result’s the same.

Words. Fail. Me.

Britain yesterday pledged almost £2 billion in “climate aid” to help finance foreign projects including wind turbines in Africa and greener cattle farming in Colombia.

Each household will contribute £70 to schemes to tackle climate change in developing countries before March 2015, under plans championed by Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary.

Conservative MPs were furious last night at the scale of the bill, which was unveiled as George Osborne prepares to announce a series of tax rises and spending cuts in today’s Autumn Statement.

Lord Lawson of Blaby, a former Chancellor, also criticised the “appalling waste of money” at a time when household budgets are already squeezed.

Senior Conservatives were also dismayed at the timing of the announcement, but Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, hailed the cash as “fantastic news”.

The disclosure is sure to provoke anger among hard-pressed families, who increasingly see foreign aid and green energy as among the lowest priorities for Government spending in the current financial climate.

I bet all those Brits who are struggling to pay their ever increasing power bills (thanks to Green madness) will be delighted to know that their budgets will be even further squeezed thanks to heaps of cash being siphoned off to third world countries (thanks also to Green madness). At least some MPs are rightly furious at this:

Jacob Rees-Mogg, a Conservative MP for North East Somerset, said the spending was “an absolutely classic example of waste” that should be stopped at a time of austerity.

“All I can say is a fool and his money are soon parted,” he said. “But it’s the British taxpayer having to pay for this absurd expenditure. We know wind farms are all but useless and nobody wants them in England, let alone Africa.”

Glyn Davies, a Conservative MP for Montgomeryshire, also criticised the level of climate aid spending. “This can’t be the priority for spending when the Coalition government is trying to create jobs and reduce the cost of living,” he said.

“It seems difficult to understand how we can justify this when energy is a huge cost for so many of our households and businesses.”

Peter Bone, Conservative MP for Wellingborough, said he thought the spending was “absolutely crazy” at a time when public services were being cut. (source)

Madness. Sheer madness.

Agenda-driven Met Office's grudging concessions to reality


Agenda-driven

It’s bizarre to watch the UK Met Office squirm as it desperately tries to maintain an ideological position in the face of conflicting evidence. I never would have believed that such a formerly respected institution, scientific impartiality at its core, could be so compromised by a political agenda.

Instead of simply reporting on new developments in climate, they must instead be spun in order to bolster the case for political action. Such is the case today, where Peter Stott grudgingly concedes that temperatures have fallen in the past couple of years, but surrounds it with caveats and “yes, buts” in order to make sure The Cause™ is not diluted (see highlights below):

THE world’s climate has cooled during last year and this year, temperature data from Britain’s Met Office reveals — just before this year’s talks on cutting global greenhouse gas emissions.

The figures show that, although global temperatures are still well above the long-term average, they have fallen since the record seen in 2010.

The findings could prove politically sensitive, coming ahead of the UN’s climate summit in Doha, Qatar, where the global system for regulating greenhouse gas emissions faces collapse. The threat comes because the Kyoto Treaty, under which developed nations pledged to cut their carbon emissions, expires at the end of this year. Doha is seen as the last hope of securing an extension.

In such a febrile situation, any data casting doubt on climate scientists’ predictions is potentially explosive.

The World Meteorological Organisation, which oversees the publication of climate trend data from the four main global centres, including the British Met Office, has been strongly criticised for its policy of releasing such data just before the UN’s key annual summits.

“In the past two years we have seen a slight decline in temperature,” said Peter Stott, the Met Office’s head of climate monitoring and attribution.

“However, it is such a short period that it is scientifically meaningless. Climate change can only be measured over decades — and the records show that the world has warmed by 0.75C over the past century.”

The Met Office figures show that, for the first 10 months of this year, global temperatures averaged 14.43C; 2010 was significantly hotter at 14.54C.

Dr Stott says the heat of 2010 was caused by an El Nino event, where warm water currents in the Pacific released unusual amounts of heat into the atmosphere.

“It is a natural short-term fluctuation and nothing to do with climate change,” he said.

The longer-term record shows global temperatures have hardly risen for about 15 years. But Dr Stott said the key point was that they had remained consistently above the long-term average. (source)

In fact, the print edition of The Australian includes a further sentence, which reveals the Met Office’s bias even more clearly:

“This is why the Arctic icecap is melting and extreme weather events are increasing.”

That could have been written by Greenpeace or the WWF. No mention of the increasing ice in the Antarctic or the fact that no link from “extreme weather” to climate change has been established – even by the IPCC. The claim has no factual basis and is pure environmental ideology.

Bjørn Lomborg has an op-ed in The Oz as well today, on mitigation vs adaptation.

UK: Energy prices rise 140% in eight years


Note the curly eco-globe

And we know the reason: misguided climate change policies forcing generators to rely on expensive, unreliable and inefficient renewables like wind, and penalising (or taxing) the use of cheap energy like coal, oil and gas. All to “save the planet”, naturally.

From the UK Telegraph:

The average household’s annual energy bill of £1,252 now accounts for 11pc of a couple’s basic state pension of £11,175 a year, the study by price comparison website uSwitch.com found.

The cost of energy is now the top household worry for Britons (90pc), ahead of the rising cost of food (77pc) and mortgage payments (42pc).

Almost a third of consumers (32pc) say that household energy is unaffordable in the UK, the poll found.

While the average UK household income has increased by 20pc from £32,812 in 2004 to £39,468 today, the average energy bill has risen by 140pc, according to uSwitch figures.

Households were spending an average of £522 a year for their energy in 2004, but now pay £1,252 a year – 3.2pc of income or double the 1.6pc of eight years ago.

Britons now have an average of £297 of disposable income left each month after all essential household bills are paid.

The study found 83pc of people believe that rising energy bills have had an impact on their disposable income, with 17pc of these reporting that they no longer have any disposable income as a result and 27pc saying energy bills have reduced their disposable income dramatically. (source)

Shocking. And once the carbon tax takes effect in Australia, the story will be the same here.

Wind power fades before it even starts


Fitting end?

Wind power sums up green stupidity: it’s expensive, inefficient and ugly. And those are just the good points. It’s also utterly useless.

As such it is a perfect monument to the Greens – in a few years time the turbines will be silent, rusting away, unloved, past their sell-by date, and abandoned.

Yesterday, Bjørn Lomborg wrote in The Australian:

The use of wind turbines has increased tenfold during the past decade, with wind power often touted as the most cost-effective green opportunity. According to Connie Hedegaard, the European Union’s Commissioner for Climate Action, “People should believe that (wind power) is very, very cheap.”

In fact, this is a highly problematic claim. While wind energy is cheaper than other, more ineffective renewables, such as solar, tidal, and ethanol, it is nowhere near competitive. If it were, we wouldn’t have to keep spending significant sums to subsidise it. (source)

And earlier this month, the Global Warming Policy Foundation released a scathing report on the state of wind energy in the UK:

One of the UK’s leading energy and environment economists warns that wind power is an extraordinarily expensive and inefficient way of reducing CO2 emissions. In fact, there is a significant risk that annual CO2 emissions could be greater as a result of Britain’s flawed wind policies when compared with the option of investing in efficient and flexible gas combined cycle plants.

“The key problems with current policies for wind power are simple. They require a huge commitment of investment resources to a technology that is not very green, in the sense of saving a lot of CO2, but which is certainly very expensive and inflexible. Unless the current Government scales back its commitment to wind power very substantially, its policy will be worse than a mistake, it will be a blunder.” (source)

And the UK Daily Mail reports on the rusting wind farms on Hawaii (pictured):

If any spot was tailor-made for a wind farm it would surely be here. The gales are so strong and relentless on the tip of South Point that trees grow almost horizontally. 

Yet the 27-year-old Kamaoa Wind Farm remains a relic of the boom and inglorious bust of America’s so-called ‘wind rush’, the world’s first major experiment in wind energy.

At a time when the EU and the British Government are fully paid-up evangelists for wind power, the lesson from America — and the ghostly hulks on this far-flung coast — should be a warning of their folly. (source)

But no one’s listening. The mad dash to cover the landscape with wind turbines is a result not of careful consideration, but naive environmental ideology. And now Australian industry is suffering as a result:

STALLED investment in renewable energy has forced the country’s largest wind farm tower manufacturer to seek voluntary redundancies from up to 100 of its 450 staff.

Keppel Prince, based in Portland, in southwest Victoria, has experienced a drop in demand for wind farms while the other core part of its business, maintenance of Alcoa’s local aluminium smelter, is also suffering. 

General manager Steve Garner said the wind farm work would dry up in the next two months as production finished for the 140-turbine Macarthur wind farm and a smaller 13-turbine project.

“The wind energy industry’s promise of ‘project, project, project’ just hasn’t materialised,” he said. “There are just so many projects that are still in a state of limbo waiting to try and secure funding.”

The optimism of green energy companies has dimmed since the carbon tax legislation was passed last year, amid political uncertainty and growing concern over the forthcoming review of the 20 per cent by 2020 renewable energy target. The oversupply of renewable energy certificates has also held electricity retailers back from new investment. (source)

The unpalatable reality is that all renewable energy sources available at the moment are hideously uncompetitive and require massive government subsidies. If just a few percent of the billions (trillions?) wasted on climate mitigation globally were directed towards intensive research for genuinely effective and inexpensive renewable energy, we might make some progress (hint: it isn’t wind, solar, geothermal…)

UK Madness: Climate Change Act stays


Huhne Mark II

When Chris Huhne resigned over an alleged driving incident, I had high hopes that Mr Windmill’s climate madness would be rapidly wound back, and the UK may be spared. Pity the poor Brits, then, as it is the Climate Change Act that has been spared, surviving a “green tape” cull to wreck the UK’s economy still further.

Ed Davey, replacement for Huhne, has demonstrated himself to be as clueless as Huhne, totally seduced by the alarmism and spin of the warmists, and happy to see the UK disappear into the ether in its desperate and pointless attempts to control the climate:

Britain’s laws on climate change that push up energy bills for millions of households have been spared, despite George Osborne’s plea for a reduction in expensive green regulations.

Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary, said he would not scrap or water down the Climate Change Act, after a year-long review into reducing bureaucracy surrounding environmental laws.

The Act underpins all of the Government’s policies on reducing carbon dioxide emissions, from support for wind farms to higher road taxes for more polluting cars.

It costs up to £18 billion per year, the equivalent of £650 for every household, according to a government analysis.

Last year, all Whitehall departments were asked to look at scrapping laws in the Cabinet Office’s Red Tape Challenge, taking suggestions by the public into account.

The Chancellor has said he is “worried about the combined impact of the green policies adopted not just in Britain, but also by the European Union”.

He claims “endless social and environmental goals” mean “businesses will fail, jobs will be lost, and our country will be poorer”.

Mr Davey said yesterday that the Climate Change Act is an “example of essential legislation” and all its supporting regulations must remain unchanged.

His only concession is a consultation on reducing red tape for companies forced to pay for every ton of carbon dioxide they emit.

The move disappointed campaigners against the Act, who have so far collected 1,000 signatures calling for it to be repealed.

Yesterday, Roger Helmer MEP called for the act to be scrapped as it is a “catastrophically disproportionate response to an entirely speculative problem”. (source)

Exactly like the carbon tax to be introduced here in a few months. Australia and the UK can go to the dogs together, then…

Matt Ridley: The Winds of Change


Climate sense

Matt Ridley’s latest article in The Spectator is a must read:

To the nearest whole number, the percentage of the world’s energy that comes from wind turbines today is: zero. Despite the regressive subsidy (pushing pensioners into fuel poverty while improving the wine cellars of grand estates), despite tearing rural communities apart, killing jobs, despoiling views, erecting pylons, felling forests, killing bats and eagles, causing industrial accidents, clogging motorways, polluting lakes in Inner Mongolia with the toxic and radioactive tailings from refining neodymium, a ton of which is in the average turbine — despite all this, the total energy generated each day by wind has yet to reach half a per cent worldwide.  

If wind power was going to work, it would have done so by now. The people of Britain see this quite clearly, though politicians are often wilfully deaf. The good news though is that if you look closely, you can see David Cameron’s government coming to its senses about the whole fiasco. 

Read it here.

UK: £1.5bn foreign aid wasted on tackling climate change


Pissing aid money up the wall

This is the brutal reality at the pointy end of dangerous climate policies concocted in ivory towers, insulated from reality. Precious resources, which should rightly be directed towards alleviating poverty and disease, are being frittered away on pointless attempts to tackle climate change. We have suspected for some time that such policies will benefit wealthy countries and damage developing nations, and now it appears we have evidence to back up that suspicion:

Nearly £1.5 billion has been spent tackling man-made climate change by Government department responsible for fighting poverty abroad, it can be revealed.

The Department for International Development (Dfid) has spent the total on projects which they say will either reduce carbon emissions abroad or attempt to deal with the effects of predicted changes in the earth’s climate.

In the past four years Dfid has spent £900 million on climate change projects with nearly two thirds of that being spent in the past financial year under the Coalition. A further £533 million has already been committed up to 2013.

The biggest recipients of the climate change aid are India and Indonesia, two countries considered to be rapidly emerging economies.

The disclosures – made under the Freedom of Information Act – will raise fresh questions over how foreign aid is spent, and comes after an Indian minister described British aid to the country as “peanuts”, which ministers in London had begged Delhi to continue accepting.

Dfid is one of only two departments not affected by the Government’s austerity drive, with a budget last year of £8.4 billion.

The figures released by the government reveal that total spending on tackling climate change overseas has increased from £61 million in 2007-08 to more than £883 million in 2010-11.

During that time, Dfid saw the biggest increase in spending on climate change with funding available for projects now 45 times higher than four years ago. The department now also employs 66 specialist climate and environmental advisers.

Among the aid provided by Dfid was a £4.7 million project in Indonesia aimed at helping the government there provide “more effective leadership and management of climate change programming”.

Another project aimed at encouraging Indian farmers to use manual foot pumps to draw water from underground for their fields rather than using diesel powered pumps – a technology that could be considered a step backwards in terms of the labour required.

In Africa, six businessmen were given financial support to help them produce and sell solar powered lights.

Dr Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, which is sceptical about man-made global warming, also questioned the effectiveness of the money going abroad to tackle climate change.

He said: “A lot of money is wasted on schemes that don’t actually help country’s develop more resilience that would be good regardless of climate change.

“These handouts often come with conditions that appear to be pressure foreign governments into sighing up to global emissions policies.” (source)

A scandalous waste of money when the global economy is in such a dire state, and a heartless betrayal of the most disadvantaged people on the planet.

Challenge to UK's Royal Society


Sold out?

The Royal Society is (was?) one of the most respected scientific institutions. However, in recent years, and like many other similar organisations around the world, it has sold out to climate alarmism and has abandoned its guiding principles of championing impartial scientific enquiry. Even its motto, Nullius in verba, meaning “take no one’s word for it”, looks forlorn and lost surrounded as it is by a fog of political posturing and environmental advocacy.

Andrew Montford, the author behind the Bishop Hill blog and The Hockey Stick Illusion has prepared a report for the Global Warming Policy Foundation:

The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) is calling on the Royal Society to restore a culture of open-mindedness and balanced assessment of climate science and climate policy.

In a new GWPF report, written by science author Andrew Montford, the Royal Society is urged to ensure that genuine controversies are reflected in its public debates and reports and that the full range of reputable scientific views are being considered.

“As the Society’s independence has disappeared, so has its former adherence to hard-nosed empirical science and a sober detachment from the political process. Gone are the doubts and uncertainties that afflict any real scientist, to be replaced with the dull certainties of the politician and the public relations man,” said Andrew Montford, author of the new report.

In his report, Andrew Montford describes the development of the Royal Society’s role in the climate debates since the 1980s. He shows the Society’s gradual closing of critical scrutiny and scientific impartiality and the emergence of an almost dogmatic confidence that climate science is all but settled.

In recent years, the Society has issued a series of highly political statements demanding drastic action on energy and climate policies from policy makers and governments. On the issue of climate change, it has adopted an increasingly political rather than scientific tone. Instead of being an open forum for informed scientific debate, the Society is at risk of turning into a quasi-political campaign group.

The GWPF report criticises the Society for being too narrow minded in its assessment of climate change and for failing to take into account views of eminent scientists and policy experts that do not accord with its own position.

In his foreword to the report, Professor Richard Lindzen (MIT), one of the world’s most eminent atmospheric scientists, warns that “the legitimate role of science as a powerful mode of inquiry has been replaced by the pretence of science to a position of political authority.”

The report can be downloaded here (PDF).

Euro cold snap: The day the sea froze


Freezing Britain

From the Weather Isn’t Climate department. Just as warmer winters are blamed on “global warming” so are colder winters too! Which is it? Both? Yes, of course.

It’s our old friend the unfalsifiable hypothesis. Ask “The Cause” what weather phenomenon would be evidence that man-made global warming was NOT happening and all you would receive in return is a blank stare and a thud as jaw hits ground.

Whatever the real cause, it’s very cold in the UK at the moment (and in much of Europe as well):

  • Temperatures as low as Himalayas overnight, plunging to nearly -11C in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire
  • Third of flights out of Heathrow tomorrow cancelled
  • Much of England under ‘Level 3′ cold weather alert, which warns of ‘100% probability’ of severe cold weather, icy conditions and heavy snow
  • Drivers warned to check ‘gritter Twitter’ updates as breakdowns attended by AA double
  • British Gas puts fleet of 4X4s on standby as call-outs soar
  • Salt stocks across Britain stand at 2.4m tons – a million more than last year
  • Sporting events called off including Portsmouth v Hull City Championship football match

Snow showers are sweeping across Britain tonight – with forecasters warning that most of the country will be covered by snow by the morning.

Widespread snow of up to 15cm deep is forecast to fall overnight across much of the country, with flurries already hitting Scotland, northern England and the Midlands this afternoon.

Up to 15cm of snow is expected to cover parts of Cumbria, Lincolnshire, East Anglia, North Yorkshire, the Peak District and the Midlands, while South East and eastern England is predicted to see up to 10cm of snow fall overnight.

Passengers travelling through Heathrow Airport have been warned that a third of tomorrow’s flights will be grounded, and the RAC has warned of a ‘dangerous cocktail of driving conditions’.

The freezing conditions have caused daytime temperatures to plummet four or five degrees lower than average for February – traditionally the coldest month of the year.

Motorists faced a ‘dangerous cocktail of driving conditions’ while forecasters warned the freezing weather was here to stay.

Kevin Andrews, RAC patrol ambassador, said the wintry weather and sub-zero temperatures had left roads ‘extremely treacherous’.

He added: ‘It looks like we’re going to get a dangerous cocktail of driving conditions this weekend.’

The motoring organisation said it had attended 70 per cent more breakdowns than normal while a spokesman for the AA said it dealt with around 1,500 call-outs per hour this morning.

The total figure was predicted to reach up to 15,000 by the end of the day – almost double the 8,500 of a usual Saturday.

Most parts of the country are expected to wake up to a blanket of snow tomorrow morning, including Cumbria, Lincolnshire, East Anglia, North Yorkshire and the Peak District and temperatures will remain low, with -9C expected in the snowy Midlands.

Meteo Group forecaster Paul Mott said the deep freeze was likely to continue into next week – meaning the snow is likely to settle and much of Britain will remain carpeted in white. (source)

There are also some great photos at the link. And elsewhere in Europe, temperatures have plunged:

TEMPERATURES have plunged to new lows in Europe, where a week-long cold snap has now killed more than 200 people as forecasters warned that the big freeze would tighten its grip at the weekend.

In the Czech Republic, the mercury dropped to as low as minus 38.1 degrees Celsius overnight yesterday while even Rome was sprinkled in snow.

In the past seven days, a total of 218 people have died from the cold weather, according to an AFP tally.

Ukraine’s emergencies ministry said the cold snap had now killed 101 people, substantially raising the previous toll of 63. Sixty-four of the victims died on the streets, it added.

Almost 1600 people have requested medical attention for frostbite and hypothermia.

As they try to prevent the toll from rising even further, authorities announced that 2940 shelters had been set up across the Ukraine where people could find warmth and food and another 100 would be opened in the next hours.
There was no sign of an immediate let-up in the weather, with forecasters saying temperatures would hover between minus 25 to 30 degrees Celsius at night and minus 16 to 21 in the day.

The ferocious temperatures killed eight more people over the past 24 hours in Poland, bringing the death toll to 37 since the deep freeze began a week ago, police said.

Temperatures plunged to as low as minus 35 degrees Celsius in parts of Poland – but even that was three degrees warmer than the temperatures in the southwestern Sumava region of the Czech Republic.

Temperatures have been so cold in Bulgaria that parts of the River Danube have been frozen over.

Sixty per cent of the surface near the port of Ruse was iced over, severely hindering navigation, the Danube exploration agency said.

Elsewhere in Bulgaria, another six people were found dead from the cold, bringing the overall tally to 16 in the past week, according to a tally of local media. No official figures have been released.

Most of the dead in the European Union’s poorest country were people in villages, found frozen to death on the side of the road or in their unheated homes, the reports said.

More than 1000 Bulgarian schools remained closed for a third day on Friday amid fresh snowfalls and piercing winds in the northeast of the country.

Residents in Rome experienced only their second day of snow in the past 15 years. Up to five centimetres of snow fell in suburbs of the Italian capital, although there was little precipitation in the city centre.

Temperatures in the Alpine region of Piedmont in northern Italy went as low as minus 30 degrees Celsius.

And the Met Office, always keen to make sure the public doesn’t get the wrong idea, provides the best quote of all:

The Met Office said there was a danger that the cold weather would catch people off-guard after the warmer-than-normal winter so far. (source)

Not any more it isn’t.

BREAKING: UK climate change minister resigns


Just like the Belgrano... (image from Guido)

Yesss! Chris Huhne, UK Energy and Climate Change minister (or Mr Windmill 2011, as he should be named) has resigned after being advised he will face charges relating to a speeding violation – but there’s more to it than that.

It’s alleged he arranged for his ex-wife to take penalty points on his behalf, which I guess you would call “perverting the course of justice”, perhaps?

Huhne will not be missed for a nanosecond, by this blog or the poor suffering population of the UK – his dangerous brand of environmental extremism has done more to damage the UK’s economy and future energy security than anyone else in living memory.

Here is a selection of previous posts on Huhne, just for old time’s sake:

Guido Fawkes has more here.

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