Christopher Booker: UK in a "mad little bubble"

Mad bubble

Climate sense as always:

In the 20 years since the scare was launched, global man-made CO2 emissions have risen by 50 per cent. But at the end of 2011, global temperatures measured by Nasa satellites stood barely a tenth of a degree Celsius higher than their average throughout the 32 years since satellite measurements began – far lower than the projected warming. The computer models on which the scare relied have proved so wrong that it is incomprehensible how they were ever taken seriously.

Hardly surprisingly, in 2011 any attempt to get global agreement on drastic meaures to meet this supposed threat finally expired, as the third mammoth UN conference in as many years fizzled out in Durban. There is no chance that China, India, Brazil, Russia or even the US will agree to a replacement for the failed Kyoto Protocol – not when China alone, with its coal-fired power stations, is increasing its CO2 emissions each year by an amount greater than the UK’s entire annual output.

On all sides, mad schemes dreamed up to meet this imaginary crisis are falling apart. The EU’s carbon trading scheme is collapsing, The dream of solar power is disintegrating, as country after country slashes its subsidies, and firms set up to cash in on the bonanza close in droves (5,000 in Germany alone). Evaporating likewise is the fantasy of “carbon capture and storage” – CO2 from power stations being piped away, at vast expense, and buried in holes in the ground.

More and more, this leaves Britain isolated in a mad little bubble of its own, the only country in the world committed by law to the completely unrealisable goal of cutting CO2 emissions by 80 per cent within 40 years. (source)

Add Australia to the mad little bubble as well, with its pointless carbon tax, albeit nowhere near as insane as the UK’s efforts to destroy its economy permanently.

UK: Climate madness and climate sanity


The UK is further along the road to climate madness than Australia, but where the UK now stands provides a possible vision for the future in Australia, if the Labor/Green policies are allowed to continue unhindered. Both the UK and Australia have the same characters in this vulgar melodrama, just a different cast.

In the UK, the long-suffering public has to deal with that eco-lunatic Chris Huhne, Mr Windmill, who is systematically strangling the UK’s fossil fuel energy production capacity, without having seriously considered what can replace it. In Australia we have Bob Brown, a blinkered environmental extremist, completely disconnected from the real world.

Today we have two articles from the UK Telegraph which demonstrate the ever widening gap between the rarified atmosphere of government and the harsh reality outside. Firstly, we have Huhne on the forthcoming Durban conference, sincerely believing that it will achieve something significant:

If we have learnt anything from the financial crisis, it is that clear rules implemented properly can prevent the toxic build-up of risk. A recent survey of large global firms found that 83 per cent of business leaders think a multilateral agreement is needed to tackle climate change. Businesses want certainty; only the politics lags behind.

A commitment to a new agreement will provide that certainty – and Kyoto provides the basis of the rules we need to manage a destabilising climate. Durban must not be the end of Kyoto, but a chance to build on what it began.

We recognise that it will take time to negotiate this.

So we also want immediate action. Current voluntary pledges to reduce emissions are not yet enough; in Durban, we should agree that we must close the gap, building momentum towards a major review of ambition.

We must build the system we use to measure and verify emissions cuts. We must do more on long-term financial support for developing countries and agree how the new Green Fund will operate. And we must continue to reduce emissions from deforestation.

Above all, we must show leadership. Next year I will continue to press for a more ambitious EU emissions target: a 30 per cent reduction by 2020. That will help us raise our sights globally.

Milton Friedman once said: “Our basic function is to keep good ideas alive until the politically impossible becomes the politically inevitable.” That is a good description of the task that awaits in Durban. (source)

To quote The Thick of It, Huhne is “disconnected to the point of autism”. When the rest of the world is backing away (apart from Australia, of course), the UK is heading for even deeper emissions cuts! And his quoting of Friedman shows that this entire facade is pure politics. Skating over the fact that this isn’t keeping a good idea alive, but a bad idea struggling for breath and surviving only thanks to a ventilator, Huhne is on a political crusade which will not be sidetracked by trivial matters like another GFC. Pity the poor Brits.

A third article in the Telegraph here, explains how Huhne will give such long-term financial support to developing countries: GBP 1 billion of British taxpayers’ money will be sent to Africa to help them “tackle climate change.” Given the parlous state of the UK economy, you’d have to conclude that their priorities are a little out of kilter… Check out the comments on that one.

At least they have an antidote in Christopher Booker, one of the few commentators who fully understand the desperate situation the UK is heading towards. His near-weekly dose of climate sanity is always essential reading, but particularly so today:

To grasp the almost suicidal state of unreality our Government has been driven into by the obsession with global warming, it is necessary to put together the two sides to an overall picture – each vividly highlighted by events of recent days.

On one hand there is the utterly lamentable state of the science which underpins it all, illuminated yet again by “Climategate 2.0”, the latest release of emails between the leading scientists who for years have been at the heart of the warming scare (which I return to below). On the other hand, we see the damage done by the political consequences of this scare, which will directly impinge, in various ways, on all our lives.

It is hard to know where to begin, after a week which opened with The Sunday Telegraph’s exclusive on a blast of realism from Prince Philip over the folly of our Government’s infatuation with useless windmills. Then came an excoriatory report from the House of Lords on how we have so run down our nuclear expertise that it is doubtful whether we can hope to run a new generation of nuclear power stations. Next, there was a report from a leading Swiss bank finding that the EU’s “emissions trading scheme” has wasted $287 billion (£186billion) over six years – paid by all of us, to achieve nothing in terms of reducing “carbon emissions”. There was also a front page story in another newspaper, warning that (as readers of this column have long been aware) within nine years we could all be paying nearly £300 a year to subsidise solar panels and those same useless windmills.

All this madness ultimately rests on a blind faith in the threat of man-made global warming, which no one has done more to promote than the scientists whose private emails were again last week leaked onto the internet.

It is still not generally appreciated that the significance of these Climategate emails is that their authors, such as Michael Mann, are no ordinary scientists: they are a little group of fanatical insiders who have, for years, done more than anyone else to drive the warming scare, through their influence at the heart of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. And what is most striking about the picture that emerges from these emails is just how questionable the work of these men appears.

We see how they torture the evidence to support their theory – even to the point where some of them seem to lose faith in the story they are trying to tell. And we also see how rattled they were as soon as their work was challenged by expert outsiders such as Steve McIntyre, the mathematician who exposed the methods used to create Mann’s “hockey stick” temperature graph, which the IPCC had made Exhibit A for their theory.

Again and again we see them trying to defend the indefensible, giving vent to wild personal abuse of the enemies of what they call their “cause”, and stopping at nothing to keep their critics’ evidence out of IPCC reports and scientific journals, and prevent dissenting views from getting media atention.

This is no longer science worthy of the name. As I wrote when the first Climategate emails appeared in 2009, the global warming scare is far and away the greatest scientific scandal of our generation. When we then contemplate the insanity of the measures the politicians have imposed on us in consequence, we know we are looking at a collective flight from reality which has no precedent in the history of the world. (source)

Australia is actually better placed than the UK to retreat from the madness. At least we have a political party that opposes pointless carbon taxes and emissions trading schemes. All the major parties in the UK support the kind of nonsense Huhne is proposing, although there are signs of retreat there as well.

The big question, however, is this: Will sanity prevail before it’s too late?

The pointlessness of wind power

Monument to green stupidity

Once again, the futility of wind energy has been brought into sharp focus in an article by Christopher Booker in the UK Telegraph. The lights will be going out in Britain if the present government, and in particular Chris Huhne, continues with its suicidal plan to wreck the country’s energy generation capacity:

Centrica and other energy companies last week told [the Department of Energy and Climate Change] that, if Britain is to spend £100 billion on building thousands of wind turbines, it will require the building of 17 new gas-fired power stations simply to provide back-up for all those times when the wind drops and the windmills produce even less power than usual.

We will thus be landed in the ludicrous position of having to spend an additional £10 billion on those 17 dedicated power stations, which will be kept running on “spinning reserve”, 24 hours a day, just to make up for the fundamental problem of wind turbines. This is that their power continually fluctuates anywhere between full capacity to zero (where it often stood last winter, when national electricity demand was at a peak). So unless back-up power is instantly available to match any shortfall, the lights will go out.

Two things make this even more absurd. One, as the energy companies pointed out to DECC, is that it will be amazingly costly and wildly uneconomical, since the dedicated power plants will often have to run at a low rate of efficiency, burning gas but not producing electricity. This will add billions more to our fuel bills for no practical purpose. The other absurdity, as recent detailed studies have confirmed, is that gas-fired power stations running on “spinning reserve” chuck out much more CO2 than when they are running at full efficiency – thus negating any savings in CO2 emissions supposedly achieved by the windmills themselves.

How supposedly intelligent people can be taken in by this nonsense is beyond belief, unless of course, rational thinking has flown out of the window, and all that remains is devotion to a green religion.

Read it here.

Christopher Booker on the IPCC

Christopher Booker

For those of you who don’t know, Christopher Booker is a columnist in the UK Telegraph and with an irresistible combination of wit, clarity and a razor-sharp intellect, invariably talks nothing but absolute common sense. He is healthily sceptical of the AGW scaremongers (and has written books on the subject) and this week takes apart the crumbling edifice that is the IPCC:

When, some years ago, I began the research for my book The Real Global Warming Disaster, nothing surprised me more than discovering how widely the nature of the IPCC is misunderstood. It is invariably portrayed as a body representing the top scientists in the world, objectively weighing the complex forces that shape Earth’s climate. In reality, it’s nothing of the kind.

The men who set up the panel – led by its first chairman Bert Bolin, a Swedish meteorologist, and John Houghton, then head of the UK Met Office and first chairman of the IPCC’s scientific working group – were already believers in what they called “human-induced climate change”. The IPCC was, from the start, essentially a political pressure group, producing evidence to support the view that global warming was the most serious crisis facing the planet. This guided the selection of all the key scientists chosen to compile the IPCC’s findings (such as those involved in the Climategate affair). And this explains all the searching questions that have built up around its hugely influential reports ever since.

Read it here.

P.S. John McLean has written a superb exposé of the inherent bias of the IPCC: Climate Science Corrupted. Download the PDF (600KB) here – it is an eye-opening read.

UK climate madness: Huhne wants more wind farms

Expensive, inefficient, ugly. Like Huhne.

Here in Aus, we haven’t yet got to this level of lunacy, but we’re well on the way. So as we watch the lights slowly fizzle out in the country formerly known as Great Britain, but which should now be known as piss-weak Britain [and I should add it is the country of my birth, so I don’t say that lightly], it is a salutary lesson to the rest of us.

The Conservative/Liberal coalition has only been in power for five minutes, but has already demonstrated that it is as nauseatingly deep green as the outgoing Labourites, if not worse. Christopher Booker is incredulous:

The penny is fast dropping that by far the most disastrous appointment made by David Cameron to his Coalition Cabinet was that of the ultra-green, Lib Dem millionaire Chris Huhne as our Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.

Yesterday, after Mr Huhne issued his first annual statement on Britain’s energy future, it was clear that we should all be very, very concerned about the future of Britain.

As was only too predictable, the overall theme of Mr Huhne’s message was that ‘climate change is the greatest global challenge we face’.

We must do everything we can and more to cut down very drastically on our ‘carbon emissions’, as we are now legally committed to do by the Climate Change Act – at a cost of £18 billion a year.

But in the real world, the £100 billion-plus energy question that confronts us all in Britain today is how we are going to fill that massive, fast-looming gap in our electricity supplies when the antiquated power stations which currently supply us with two-fifths of the power needed to keep our economy running are forced to close.

The headline answer given by Mr Huhne is that we must build thousands more giant wind turbines.

As a 24-carat green ideologue, he is viscerally opposed to replacing the ageing nuclear and coal-fired plants which currently provide us with more than half our electricity.

Like Tony Blair and Gordon Brown before him, he dreams we can somehow fill that gap by erecting 6,000 wind turbines in the seas around Britain’s shores, and thousands more across many of the most beautiful parts of our countryside.

What is truly terrifying about Mr Huhne as our energy minister is that he seems so astonishingly ignorant about even the most basic principles of how electricity is produced.

He boasts about how the 3,000 wind turbines we have already built have the ‘capacity’ to generate 4.5 gigawatts of electricity.

Capacity is the crucial word here. As he could see from figures on his own department’s website, thanks to the fact that the wind blows only intermittently, the amount of power these windmills actually produce is barely a quarter of that.

In other words, the amount of electricity generated by all those turbines put together, at a cost of billions of pounds, is no more than that provided by a single medium-size conventional power station – equivalent to a mere two per cent of the electricity we need.

The lights will be going out in the UK pretty soon.


UK: Lord Lawson calls for public enquiry into CRU data "manipulation"

Lord Lawson

Lord Lawson

From the UK Telegraph:

Lord Lawson, the former chancellor, has called for an independent inquiry into claims that leading climate change scientists manipulated data to strengthen the case for man-made global warming.

Thousands of emails and documents stolen from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and posted online indicate that researchers massaged figures to mask the fact that world temperatures have been declining in recent years.

This morning Lord Lawson, who has reinvented himself as a prominent climate change sceptic since leaving front line politics, demanded that the apparent deception be fully investigated.

He claimed that the credibility of the university’s world-renowned Climatic Research Unit – and British science – were under threat.

“They should set up a public inquiry under someone who is totally respected and get to the truth,” he told the BBC Radio Four Today programme.

“If there’s an explanation for what’s going on they can make that explanation.”

Read it here.

UPDATE: Also check out Christopher Booker, writing in The Daily Mail here.

%d bloggers like this: