Renewable Energy

Making hay while the rain falls?

We were surprised to see Dymocks bookstore put former Australian Climate Change Commissioner Tim Flannery’s latest book in the science section.

Amazon’s review notes, “Tim Flannery takes aim at those responsible for the campaign of obfuscation and denial that has already cost so many Australian lives and held back action on climate change.” Really?

Exactly how many lives has climate change claimed in Australia? The Australian Bureau of Statistics record the accumulated deaths from ‘Environmental-pollution-related-condition (Y97)‘ over the last decade at ZERO!!!!  Strange that climate related deaths have plunged over 80% in the last 4 decades. 

Many of Flannery’s climate predictions have also failed to eventuate.

In 2007, Flannery said, “So even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and our river systems…” Today, Sydney’s main water supply at Warragamba Dam is currently at 97.8% capacity.

In 2015, he claimed that “Sadly we’re more likely to see them [cyclones] more frequently in the future” when referring to a cyclone that hit Vanuatu. Global data shows no such trends. The UNIPCC’s extreme weather report updated in 2018 stated on page 8, “There is low confidence in any observed long-term (i.e., 40 years or more) increases in tropical cyclone activity (i.e., intensity, frequency, duration), after accounting for past changes in observing capabilities.”

We thought the nonsense peddled on the bushfires by The Climate Council, which Flannery chairs, spoke volumes. Our data concluded that one of its authors, who led the former fire chiefs’ crusade to blame the devastating bushfires on climate change, didn’t mention the topic when he ran one of the fire services. That is to say it that the severity of climate change to bushfire activity in these Magnus opera were conspicuous by their absence.

We think the upcoming 2020 annual reports from fire services across Australia will be dripping in climate change related topics which will only end up highlighting how it has become nothing more than a CYA convenient excuse to mask years of poor fire management.  Take this example of the commitment to mitigating the inherent risks of busfires in the 2018/19 FRNSW Annual Report:

“Where practicable, FRNSW crews were encouraged to turn off all non-essential lights on 30 March 2019 from 8:30pm until 9:30pm, joining millions of people worldwide in showing their commitment to tackling climate change and inspiring all generations to support environmental initiatives and sustainable climate policy.”

A study of how fire service budgets were allocated in recent years further highlights the alarming problem behind the bureaucratic mismanagement. 

What has become even less surprising than the lack of science peddled before us surrounding COVID-19 in recent months, is the convenient segue of supposed conventional wisdom – The Great Reset – pointing back to the fantastic opportunity to push the climate change agenda to solve for poverty, racial inequity and all other economic ills. After all, US Treasury Secretary-elect Janet Yellen has assured us her department will take care of it. Who knew?

Apart from climate change having zero correlation to COVID-19, despite Prince Harry ‘s best efforts to conflate the link, Tim Flannery has seen a great opportunity to make a quid off the theme. No harm in making hay while the rain pours. 

Still we question why so many climate alarmists believe that replacing fossil fuels with renewables will solve for saving the planet and put an end to poverty?

We are not sure how that works?

When one of the leading renewables-driven developed nations, Germany, has such high levels of energy poverty, how can this be?  In 2019, 4.75 million households received warnings that their electricity would be shut off (289,000 actually got disconnected), according to the German Federal Networks Agency (Bundesnetzagentur). All this because of a doubling of energy prices (despite studies that predicted a fall at the time of policy conception) which are a direct result of disastrous green energy diktats which started two decades ago.

The flip side is India, a developing nation. Its electricity generation policies,  according to the World Bank, lifted 271 million people out of energy poverty between 2007 and 2017 largely thanks to low priced coal-fired power. So before all the ‘Stop Adani’ climate emergency extinction rebellion crowd start pontificating that we must go carbon neutral, perhaps they might go and survey the 271mn locals as to whether they demand change??

Michael Shellenberger’s latest book, ‘Apocalypse Never‘, takes a realistic view of how to achieve optimal outcomes for the climate, renewables not being part of the equation.

Still, the best way to truly evaluate the seriousness of climate change is by watching the consumption habits of those who peddle it.

We always found it strange that Obama moved to the shores of Martha’s Vineyard last year despite the risk of rising sea levels. Former Aussie PM Kevin Rudd has also bought waterfront property recently despite climate change being the “moral challenge of our times.

Looking at 1,500 private jets clogging airports at a World Economic Forum summit takes some beating too, not to mention the 25,000 pilgrims that fly halfway across the world to attend COP summits and then tell mothers who drop their kids off at soccer practice in a 2nd-hand SUV that they are the problem. No excuses anymore. They can Zoom. 25,000 group thinkers on a screen…their individual relevance in direct proportion to the size of their microscopic avatar.

Media worth consuming – a recap of December 2020

My good mate Jonathan Rochford of Narrow Road Capital has compiled a brilliant summary of the recent madness in markets, politics and economics. One could be forgiven for thinking it is a lot like satire. Link here.

Can someone point to which department will head climate change policy?

We are getting confused. It seems that a growing number of government agencies are pushing a climate change agenda, an extension of a remit that is well outside its scope of expertise.

Never mind. The US Federal Reserve is the latest group to announce it is throwing its hat in the ring on climate policy. Perhaps the board of governors felt left out that former Fed chair Janet Yellen was promising to stem the climate emergency via the Treasury. Best keep up.

Never mind that 35% of all M1 money supply has been printed in the last 10 months. It would be one thing if the Fed had a track record to boast about. Sadly, it has such poor predictive powers that getting the core business right maybe a more prudent strategy. God help us if inflation ever hits us. Read Jonathan Rochford’s piece on too much cash here.

The problem with central banks is that they continue to use the only tool they possess – a hammer – which would be great if every problem they encountered was actually a nail.

We aren’t alone. The Reserve Bank of Australia has also joined this climate alarmist bandwagon. Even worse the speech based its assertions on the prophecies of the IPCC and BOM, two of many organizations which have been caught red handed manipulating climate data.

Instead of coordinating monetary policy which has fed a housing bubble of almost 1980s Japan levels in terms of price:income with banks 50% more levered to mortgages on average than Japan’s financial institutions were at the point of collapse.

APRA and ASIC have also told us they plan to get stricter on climate change reporting by corporates even though their own data over the last decade shows the opposite. In order to get the results they want, they plan to legislate to enforce it. That should tell us much.

Forgive us for being cynical, but we all know that government agencies must submit their budgets each year. What better way to get a healthy shot in the arm than add a climate change agenda to it in order to squeeze $10s or $100s of millions in extra funding. Forget if the agency has absolutely zero relation to climate change like the DOJ. Just tick that box and then hire a bunch of activists to write puff pieces warning us of the grave dangers of a future crime wave if we don’t stop rising sea levels as opposed to defunding the police.

What an absolute farce. What tends to happen is that extra funding often finds its way to line the pockets of those who work within these agencies, especially at the senior levels. Note what happened to our own fire services in Australia who rarely spoke about climate change but got masses of funding which didn’t go to replenishing equipment but salary increases.

We guess the 2020 annual reports will be ALL about the impacts of climate change when it was hardly ever mentioned over the previous decade when it should have mattered.

Just watch department and agency around the world line up one after another at the climate change teat. That tells all we need to know. A bunch of amateurs doing what they do best – behaving as professional politicians.

It’s for our own good, you know! Shut up already.

Fukushima offshore wind farms to be dismantled

From The Japan Times:

The government said Thursday it will remove the two remaining wind power turbines it installed off Fukushima Prefecture citing lack of profit in the project, which cost ¥60 billion ($580 million).

The project was widely seen as a symbol of the reconstruction of the northeastern prefecture following the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters.

The decision came despite Japan’s goal of raising its offshore wind power generation to up to 45 gigawatts in 2040 from a mere 20,000 kilowatts at present as part of efforts to fight climate change. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

At a meeting in Fukushima, industry ministry officials briefed fishermen and other participants about the plan, with local people saying the government had wasted taxpayers’ money and should conduct a thorough study of why the project had failed.

In June, the government removed one of the three turbines installed 20 kilometers off the town of Naraha. It has decided to remove the remaining two in the fiscal year starting April.

The three turbines were constructed in stages from 2012 to support the local economy by creating a new industry based on renewable energy.

To commercialize wind power generation, the operational rate of a turbine must remain at 30% to 35% or more, according to the ministry.

But the rates of the turbines off Fukushima had been around 4% to 36%, according to trading house Marubeni Corp., which participated in the project.”

Germany also gave us a wonderful case study on how its renewables based energy system has backfired spectacularly. 

In 2007, Germany forecasted that 2020 residential electricity prices would be approximately 16 Eurocents with the shift to renewables away from nuclear. Today they trade at c.31 Eurocents. Der Spiegel, a normally left-leaning journal wrote in a two-part series. 

Part 1 – Germany Failure on the Road to a Renewable Future

“But the sweeping idea has become bogged down in the details of German reality. The so-called Energiewende, the shift away from nuclear in favour of renewables, the greatest political project undertaken here since Germany’s reunification, is facing failure. In the eight years since Fukushima, none of Germany’s leaders in Berlin have fully thrown themselves into the project, not least the chancellor. Lawmakers have introduced laws, decrees and guidelines, but there is nobody to coordinate the Energiewende, much less speed it up. And all of them are terrified of resistance from the voters, whenever a wind turbine needs to be erected or a new high-voltage transmission line needs to be laid out.”

Germany’s Federal Court of Auditors is even more forthright about the failures. The shift to renewables, the federal auditors say, has cost at least 160 billion euros in the last five years. Meanwhile, the expenditures “are in extreme disproportion to the results, Federal Court of Auditors President Kay Scheller said last fall, although his assessment went largely unheard in the political arena. Scheller is even concerned that voters could soon lose all faith in the government because of this massive failure.

But never let that get in the way of feeling good about saving the planet.

America’s new climate czar

John Kerry: Joe Biden’s pick for Climate Envoy. The hypocrisy of being lectured to by a man who is hardly setting the example.

Branco takes a dig at California

California’s green madness is legendary. Who could forget when PG&E was forced to admit that while it had 100% breakdowns of the diversity of its staff and suppliers it didn’t have correct data on the state of its aging infrastructure which in many cases caused fires?

Or the time the Democrat controlled state banned those single use shampoo and body soap containers in hotels.

Or regulating water usage to such a degree that residents would need to weigh up doing the laundry, flushing the toilet and taking a shower each day.

At the very least Californians are slowly waking up to the nanny state when they brazenly let off fireworks in violation of an order by LA Mayor Garcetti.

For more A.F. Branco brilliance head to his site.

Warrant served on St Louis couple that defended their home

St Louis law enforcement has served a warrant on the McCloskeys, the couple that defended their home and confiscated the automatic rifle that was used to defend it after 300 protestors trespassed on private property. We wrote about activist DAs here.

How wonderful that the government decided to treat them as the common criminals even though McCloskey had an official permit for the weapon and has no history of committing any felonies.

Presumably the Democratic Mayor and DA can celebrate if the McCloskey family home burns to the ground. They have since had to hire private security.

Talk about government overreach. This is what the Democrats are signaling they want for ordinary, hard working Americans. Shut up and fall into line.

As Mark D Robison once said, “I’m the majority…yet every time something happens we’re the last ones considered and the first ones punished.”

Sydney Lord Mayor thinks we’re stupid

Lord Mayor Clover Moore proudly tweeted the City of Sydney went 100% renewable energy.

Shame 87.3% of the state’s electricity came from coal on the day of that announcement. Or is that how it works? Calculate the total energy consumed in Sydney and claim that any renewable energy across the state of NSW was hers?

Forbes deletes climate alarmism apology

forbes

Below is the article Forbes published then deleted. One imagines it must be hold a certain amount of truth.

Perhaps the climate alarmists – so annoyed at having their platform hijacked by COVID19 and systemic racism – used their collective idle resources to mobilize and gang up on Forbes with all manner of threats. Cancel Climate Culture?

Here is what was deleted

——–

On behalf of environmentalists everywhere, I would like to formally apologize for the climate scare we created over the last 30 years. Climate change is happening. It’s just not the end of the world. It’s not even our most serious environmental problem.

I may seem like a strange person to be saying all of this. I have been a climate activist for 20 years and an environmentalist for 30.

But as an energy expert asked by Congress to provide objective expert testimony, and invited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to serve as Expert Reviewer of its next Assessment Report, I feel an obligation to apologize for how badly we environmentalists have misled the public.

Here are some facts few people know:

Humans are not causing a “sixth mass extinction”

The Amazon is not “the lungs of the world”

Climate change is not making natural disasters worse

Fires have declined 25% around the world since 2003

The amount of land we use for meat — humankind’s biggest use of land — has declined by an area nearly as large as Alaska

The build-up of wood fuel and more houses near forests, not climate change, explain why there are more, and more dangerous, fires in Australia and California

Carbon emissions are declining in most rich nations and have been declining in Britain, Germany, and France since the mid-1970s

Adapting to life below sea level made the Netherlands rich not poor

We produce 25% more food than we need and food surpluses will continue to rise as the world gets hotter

Habitat loss and the direct killing of wild animals are bigger threats to species than climate change

Wood fuel is far worse for people and wildlife than fossil fuels

Preventing future pandemics requires more not less “industrial” agriculture

I know that the above facts will sound like “climate denialism” to many people. But that just shows the power of climate alarmism.

In reality, the above facts come from the best-available scientific studies, including those conducted by or accepted by the IPCC, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and other leading scientific bodies.

Some people will, when they read this imagine that I’m some right-wing anti-environmentalist. I’m not. At 17, I lived in Nicaragua to show solidarity with the Sandinista socialist revolution. At 23 I raised money for Guatemalan women’s cooperatives. In my early 20s I lived in the semi-Amazon doing research with small farmers fighting land invasions. At 26 I helped expose poor conditions at Nike factories in Asia.

I became an environmentalist at 16 when I threw a fundraiser for Rainforest Action Network. At 27 I helped save the last unprotected ancient redwoods in California. In my 30s I advocated renewables and successfully helped persuade the Obama administration to invest $90 billion into them. Over the last few years I helped save enough nuclear plants from being replaced by fossil fuels to prevent a sharp increase in emissions

But until last year, I mostly avoided speaking out against the climate scare. Partly that’s because I was embarrassed. After all, I am as guilty of alarmism as any other environmentalist. For years, I referred to climate change as an “existential” threat to human civilization, and called it a “crisis.”

But mostly I was scared. I remained quiet about the climate disinformation campaign because I was afraid of losing friends and funding. The few times I summoned the courage to defend climate science from those who misrepresent it I suffered harsh consequences. And so I mostly stood by and did next to nothing as my fellow environmentalists terrified the public.

I even stood by as people in the White House and many in the news media tried to destroy the reputation and career of an outstanding scientist, good man, and friend of mine, Roger Pielke, Jr., a lifelong progressive Democrat and environmentalist who testified in favor of carbon regulations. Why did they do that? Because his research proves natural disasters aren’t getting worse.

But then, last year, things spiraled out of control.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said “The world is going to end in twelve years if we don’t address climate change.” Britain’s most high-profile environmental group claimed “Climate Change Kills Children.”

The world’s most influential green journalist, Bill McKibben, called climate change the “greatest challenge humans have ever faced” and said it would “wipe out civilizations.”

Mainstream journalists reported, repeatedly, that the Amazon was “the lungs of the world,” and that deforestation was like a nuclear bomb going off.

As a result, half of the people surveyed around the world last year said they thought climate change would make humanity extinct. And in January, one out of five British children told pollsters they were having nightmares about climate change.

Whether or not you have children you must see how wrong this is. I admit I may be sensitive because I have a teenage daughter. After we talked about the science she was reassured. But her friends are deeply misinformed and thus, understandably, frightened.

I thus decided I had to speak out. I knew that writing a few articles wouldn’t be enough. I needed a book to properly lay out all of the evidence.

And so my formal apology for our fear-mongering comes in the form of my new book, Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All.

It is based on two decades of research and three decades of environmental activism. At 400 pages, with 100 of them endnotes, Apocalypse Never covers climate change, deforestation, plastic waste, species extinction, industrialization, meat, nuclear energy, and renewables.

Some highlights from the book:

Factories and modern farming are the keys to human liberation and environmental progress

The most important thing for saving the environment is producing more food, particularly meat, on less land

The most important thing for reducing air pollution and carbon emissions is moving from wood to coal to petroleum to natural gas to uranium

100% renewables would require increasing the land used for energy from today’s 0.5% to 50%

We should want cities, farms, and power plants to have higher, not lower, power densities

Vegetarianism reduces one’s emissions by less than 4%

Greenpeace didn’t save the whales, switching from whale oil to petroleum and palm oil did

“Free-range” beef would require 20 times more land and produce 300% more emissions

Greenpeace dogmatism worsened forest fragmentation of the Amazon

The colonialist approach to gorilla conservation in the Congo produced a backlash that may have resulted in the killing of 250 elephants

Why were we all so misled?

In the final three chapters of Apocalypse Never I expose the financial, political, and ideological motivations. Environmental groups have accepted hundreds of millions of dollars from fossil fuel interests. Groups motivated by anti-humanist beliefs forced the World Bank to stop trying to end poverty and instead make poverty “sustainable.” And status anxiety, depression, and hostility to modern civilization are behind much of the alarmism

Once you realize just how badly misinformed we have been, often by people with plainly unsavory or unhealthy motivations, it is hard not to feel duped.

Will Apocalypse Never make any difference? There are certainly reasons to doubt it.

The news media have been making apocalyptic pronouncements about climate change since the late 1980s, and do not seem disposed to stop.

The ideology behind environmental alarmsim — Malthusianism — has been repeatedly debunked for 200 years and yet is more powerful than ever.

But there are also reasons to believe that environmental alarmism will, if not come to an end, have diminishing cultural power.

The coronavirus pandemic is an actual crisis that puts the climate “crisis” into perspective. Even if you think we have overreacted, Covid-19 has killed nearly 500,000 people and shattered economies around the globe.

Scientific institutions including WHO and IPCC have undermined their credibility through the repeated politicization of science. Their future existence and relevance depends on new leadership and serious reform.

Facts still matter, and social media is allowing for a wider range of new and independent voices to outcompete alarmist environmental journalists at legacy publications.

Nations are reverting openly to self-interest and away from Malthusianism and neoliberalism, which is good for nuclear and bad for renewables.

The evidence is overwhelming that our high-energy civilization is better for people and nature than the low-energy civilization that climate alarmists would return us to.

The invitations from IPCC and Congress are signs of a growing openness to new thinking about climate change and the environment. Another one has been to the response to my book from climate scientists, conservationists, and environmental scholars. “Apocalypse Never is an extremely important book,” writes Richard Rhodes, the Pulitzer-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb. “This may be the most important book on the environment ever written,” says one of the fathers of modern climate science Tom Wigley.

“We environmentalists condemn those with antithetical views of being ignorant of science and susceptible to confirmation bias,” wrote the former head of The Nature Conservancy, Steve McCormick. “But too often we are guilty of the same. Shellenberger offers ‘tough love:’ a challenge to entrenched orthodoxies and rigid, self-defeating mindsets. Apocalypse Never serves up occasionally stinging, but always well-crafted, evidence-based points of view that will help develop the ‘mental muscle’ we need to envision and design not only a hopeful, but an attainable, future.”

That is all I hoped for in writing it. If you’ve made it this far, I hope you’ll agree that it’s perhaps not as strange as it seems that a lifelong environmentalist, progressive, and climate activist felt the need to speak out against the alarmism.

I further hope that you’ll accept my apology.

Zali Steggall MP back to Roadmap to Zero failure

The great thing to know about our local MP Zali Steggall OAM is that she clearly equates success with pitifully low numbers, presumably a carry over from her skiing days where the law of cutting time was paramount.

Yes, 895 households in Warringah have signed up to the Roadmap to Zero initiative which she believes is “so many“. It equates to a little over 1% of all households. That means the other c.99% of households clearly don’t give a damn.

She should take a leaf out of the cancel culture playbook and start publicly shaming Warringah households for their lack of compliance as they drop their kids off to school in top of the range Range Rover SUVs.

The wonderful feedback she provided includes cafes that have found innovative ways to allow people to use keep-cups during COVID19, endorsed by the equally woke Northern Beaches Council (NBC) which falls in her electorate. Most people would prefer a limit to the spread of coronavirus by putting up with disposables for the meantime until it is all gone.

We noted the pointless efforts made by the NBC here. It declared a climate emergency where its commitments…wait for it…hammered home a mammoth 0.000000000699857% CO2 saving! Yes 9 zeroes.

The largest irony for us was the cover of the NBC 2017/18 annual report which featured a Yamaha VX Waverunner. It has a gas guzzling 3-cylinder 1049cc engine. It gets 9mpg which would be at the absolute bottom on economy per unit of engine capacity across all NBC fleet vehicles.

Way to go with the virtue signaling! With floundering successes like that, who needs failure?