Saturday, 8 December 2012

A summary of the Doha COP18 climate "summit"

By now the Doha COP18 climate festival should be over by now. However, it is difficult to find anything about the end of the conference in mainstream media. Peter Forster's summary in the Financial Post just about says it all:

We can expect the usual last-minute “agreement” — to keep talking — from the UN climate conference in Doha, which comes to a close Friday evening. These massive Conferences of the Parties (COPs), of which this is the 18th, have descended into ritual farce, as naked money-grabbing on behalf of poor countries contrasts with finagling impossible solutions to what is likely a much-exaggerated problem. We may be sure that one issue that has not had much play at the conference is the absence of global warming for the past 16 years, which undermines the computer models on which alarmism is based.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Germany's Der Spiegel interviews "the intellectual father of the environmental movement"

A Der Spiegel journalist has interviewed "the intellectual father of the environmental movement", former MIT professor Dennis Meadows, who co-authored the Club of Rome's "The Limits to Growth" report forty years ago. 

It comes as no surprise that the "environmental guru" completely agrees with the fawning Der Spiegel reporter, who in this uncritical interview pretends that the "the message of the book remains valid today" and "several forecasts you made in the book have come true, the exponential growth of the world's population, for example, and widespread environmental destruction."

The interviewer Markus Becker's last question gives Meadows an opportunity to repaint the future awaiting humanity in dark colors: 

PIEGEL ONLINE: Let's assume that you are right and that the collapse will arrive in this century. What will it look like?
Meadows: It will look different in different places. Some countries are already collapsing, and some people won't even notice. There are almost a billion people who are starving to death these days, and people here basically aren't noticing. And there is the issue of speed: The difference between a decline and a collapse is speed. The rich can buy their way out of a lot of things. The end of fossil energy, for example, will be gradual. But climate change will come to the industrial countries no matter what. And the geological record clearly shows that the global temperature doesn't increase in a linear way. It jumps. If that happens, a collapse will occur. But it would be nothing new, of course. Societies rise and fall. They have been doing so for 300,000 years.

Dennis Meadows probably will go on believing that he was right for the rest of his life, but one wonders why an established magazine like Der Spiegel has chosen to be a megaphone for these claims that have so clearly been refuted by what actually has happened during the forty years since the Club of Rome's fantasies were published. 

For a less uncritical update of Meadows's "magnum opus",'s science correspondent Robert Bailey's article makes great reading:

Forty years ago, The Limits to Growth, a report to the Club of Rome, was released with great fanfare at a conference at the Smithsonian Institution. The study was based on a computer model developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and designed “to investigate five major trends of global concern—accelerating industrial development, rapid population growth, widespread malnutrition, depletion of nonrenewable resources, and a deteriorating environment.” The goal was to use the model to explore the increasingly dire "predicament of mankind." The researchers modestly acknowledged that their model was “like every other model, imperfect, oversimplified, and unfinished.” 

Yet even with this caveat, the MIT researchers concluded, “If present growth trends in world population, industrialization, pollution, food production, and resource depletion continue unchanged, the limits to growth on this planet will be reached sometime within the next one hundred years.” With considerable understatement, they added, “The most probable result will be a rather sudden and uncontrollable decline in both population and industrial capacity.” In other words: a massive population crash in a starving, polluted, depleted world. 

Industrial development: World GDP stood in real 2010 dollars at about $19 trillion in 1972 and has tripled to $57 trillion today. Average per capita incomes rose in real dollars from $5,000 to $8,100 today. Just to explore how incomes might evolve between 1972 and 2000, the researchers simply extrapolated the current growth, investment, and population growth rates to calculate GDP per capita for 10 large countries. They stressed these were not "predictions" but added that if one disagreed then one was obligated to specify which factors changed, when and why. A comparison of their extrapolations with actual GDP per capita (in 2010 dollars) finds U.S. GDP per capita $56,000 versus actual $44,000; Japan's per capita GDP was projected to be $120,000 versus actual $46,000; the now defunct USSR would be $33,000 versus Russia's $2,200; and China's per capita income was supposed to grow to $500, but was instead $1,200. 

Population: The Limits researchers noted, “Unless there is a sharp rise in mortality, which mankind will strive mightily to avoid, we can look forward to a world population of around 7 billion persons in 30 more years.” In addition, they suggested that in 60 years there would be “four people in the world for everyone living today.” In fact, average global life expectancy rose from 60 to nearly 70 years. On the other hand, the global fertility rate (the average number of children a woman has during her lifetime) fell from about 6 per woman in 1970 to 2.8 today and continues to fall.
World population stood at 3.8 billion in 1972, which means that a four-fold increase in 60 years would have yielded a total world population of 15 billion by 2030. Even the latest U.N. high fertility population projection foresees about 9 billion by 2030. The U.N.’s low fertility variant yields a maximum world population of about 8 billion around 2050, falling back to 6 billion by the end of the 21st century. It turns out that the invisible hand of population control correlates very nicely with economic freedom.
Food supplies: According to the data from the Food and Agriculture Organization, global food production has more than tripled since 1961, while world population has increased from 3 billion to 7 billion. This means that per capita food has increased by more than a third. Thelatest figures [PDF] from the United Nations show that as world population increased by a bit over 10 percent between 2000 and 2009, global food production rose by 21 percent.
Read the entire article here

The head of China's delegation in Doha displays sense of humor

There is a widely held belief that China's communist apparatchiks lack a sense of humor. This misconception is refuted by Xie Zhenhua, head  of the Chinese delegation at the UN COP18 climate festival  in Doha:

China said developing nations would need support worth $1 trillion from richer nations, 10 times the $100 billion a year pledged for 2020 from the U.S., European Union and their industrial allies.
“The level of funding is not sufficient,” Xie Zhenhua, the head of China’s delegation, told reporters in Doha. He also sounded an optimistic note, saying, in “finance there has been some progress -- we do see some hope.”
Read the entire article here

Doha COP18: Qatar offers crumbles to the global warming establishment

While nothing of any importance (fortunately) will come out of the UN COP18 global warming festival, a warmist Guardian reporter, entrenched in his luxury hotel, takes some solace from the view:

From my hotel window, I can see 14 monster buildings being built, each to a much higher energy standard than the law demands in the US or most of Europe. Down the road is a new $70m (£43m) test-bed for carbon capture, the beginnings of a 200 megawatt solar power station, a $1bn photovoltaic manufacturing plant, new waste treatment plants, a pilot project to grow food in the desert with saltwater, and a fledgling construction industry with waste plastic.

Yes, the sheiks, bathing in oil riches, are offering crumbles to the global warming establishment, which gratefully accepts the new extremely well paid - of course taxfree - jobs for its carefully chosen high priests: 

The thirst for what Qatar, Abu Dhabi and other oil-rich states call a new "knowledge economy" would partly explain why Qatar on Wednesday committed to set up a global climate change centre in Doha with the German Potsdam Institute. It will employ around 200 researchers and sit beside a dozen other prestigious US, British and other academic centres, including Imperial College, which is now at Doha.
The founder of the institute, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, spelled out what was at stake: "Qatar is the only true desert state in the world with no surface water and 500km of flat coastline, where temperatures are already 45C in summer. With sea level rise expected to be up to 90cm by 2100 in the Gulf region and temperatures expected to rise [by] 5-8C, this place will be unlivable [if climate change is not brought under control]."
The Gulf states' change of direction, he suggested, is being undertaken not out of any desire to be green but sheer pragmatism. What happens here could shape all our futures, says the adviser. "The next stage of modern civilisation can be blueprinted here. Qatar can be a role model for the region and the whole planet."
Read the entire article here

Thursday, 6 December 2012

German government advisor: "Everything we know suggests that Central Europe will suffer comparatively little from global warming"

'Instead of building wind turbines, we should build higher dikes,' says Konrad
(image wikipedia)

Angela Merkel's government has for has for years now been one of the most prominent European voices for climate change alarmism. That's why it is nice to hear German government advisor Kai Konraddirector of the Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance in Munich offer a much more realistic and wise view: 

"At an international level, we can expect that our one-sided measures to avoid emitting climate-damaging CO2 actually serve to suppress reductions other countries might otherwise make. On balance, our well-intentioned behavior is expensive for us and does nothing to protect the climate."
"Everything we know suggests that Central Europe will suffer comparatively little from global warming. Berlin will simply have the temperatures that Rome does today. The adjustments we will have to make are quite manageable."
"A colleague of mine has correctly said: We are spending a great deal of money to protect the children and grandchildren of the same people we're allowing to starve today. The amount we're spending in an attempt to reduce CO2 would be better invested in education and health in the regions that are under threat. Our goal should be to improve economic conditions in developing countries, because that in turn strengthens those countries' ability to adapt to climate change."

Konrad still appears to believe that human caused global warming happens, but his realistic views are most welcome. It is most likely that quite a few leading German politicians agree with Konrad, although they have so far not dared to challenge the holy global warming dogma. Konrad's advice will hopefully make them speak out in order to drastically change the senseless global warming policy of their government and the European Union

Read the entire article here

Daniel Hannan on shale gas: The EU deternined to condemn its peoples to avoidable hardship

Daniel Hannan (MEP), my favorite British Conservative politican, again hits the nail on the head in his latest Telegraph column: 

Now, just when we need it again, we may have access to another source of cheap energy in the form of shale gas. Shale gas extraction is responsible, in no small measure, for nudging the US economy out of its nose-dive (and thus ensuring the re-election of Barack Obama). As energy prices fall, so do production costs. People get more out of less, and the economy grows.
When I made the above speech in the European Parliament, I got a Tweet from a former secondary school teacher: 'YOU SEARCH FOR SHALE IN YOUR BACKYARD YOU RIGHT WING XXXXXX'. The kisses were a sweet touch, and her point was a good one. One of the reasons that the United States has been so quick to make use of its own shale gas reserves is that, broadly speaking, Americans own whatever is underneath their property, and thus have every incentive to 'search for shale in their own backyards'. Britain, which has a similar common law system, could very easily adopt the same approach. The potential benefits are huge since, as a result of North Sea gas, we already have a great deal of infrastructure in place.
Brussels, though, seems determined to place obstacles in our path. MEPs have just voted to impose all manner of restrictions on shale gas extraction, including an outright ban in certain areas. The shale gas deposits that exist across northern Europe – in an arc running from Britain to the Baltic – remain untapped, while Europe continues to depend for its gas on Putin's Russia. Yet again, the EU seems determined to condemn its peoples to avoidable hardship.
Read the entire column here
Yes, the European Parliament - in cooperation with the European Commission bureaucrats - excels in making life difficult and expensive for both citizens and ordinary consumers. Fortunately, more and more people are beginning to realise the sad truth about the failed EU policies. 

Czech President Klaus: A process of creative destruction is needed to save Europe

Czech President Vaclav Klaus has again delivered a sharp criticism of the overregulated European economic and social system and integration model, which has led to economic stagnation and an acute sovereign debt crisis:

The benefits – promised as a result of accepting a common currency – never arrived. The assumed increase in international trade and in financial transaction was relatively small and was more than offset by the costs of this arrangement.
In good weather (in economic sense), even the non-optimal currency areas could function (as all kinds of fixed exchange rate regimes did for some time). When bad weather came – the financial and economic crisis at the end of the last decade – all the inconsistencies, weaknesses, inefficiencies, discrepancies, imbalances and disequilibria became evident and the monetary union ceased to properly function. This can´t be considered a surprise. In the past all fixed exchange rate regimes needed exchange rates realignments sooner or later which is another argument found in every elementary economic textbook.
The expectations, better to say wishes or dreams, that a very heterogeneous European economy would be made homogenous by means of monetary unification were proved to be wrong. The same is true about all – now proposed – banking and fiscal unions.The European economies have diverged, not converged since the introduction of euro. The elimination of one of the most important economic variables – of the exchange rate – from the existing economic system led to an inexcusable blindness of politicians, economists, bankers and all other economic agents.
Klaus laments the fact that the current European leaders still refuse to admit that "one size does not fit all":
The European Union decision-makers do not want to see it. Their way of thinking is based on an almost communist type of reasoning: economic laws do not exist, politics may dictate economics. People like me were raised in an era when such a mode of thinking was dominant in communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Some of us dared to express our disagreement with it already in the past. We were considered enemies then, we are considered enemies now.
Time is ripe for a fundamental decision: should we continue believing in the dogma that politics can dictate economics and continue defending the common currency at whatever costs or should we finally accept that we have to return to economic rationality?
The answer to such a question given by the overwhelming majority of European politicians until now has been YESwe should continue. Our task is to tell them that the consequences of such a policy will be higher and higher costs for all of us. At one moment, these costs will become intolerable and unbearable. We should say NOWe should accept that we find ourselves in a blind alley and in such a case the only possible way out is the way back.
As I said, what we need is not a new summit in Brussels, but a fundamental transformation of our thinking and of our behaviour. Europe has to undertake a systemic change. Coming to such a decision needs a genuine political process, not the approval of a document prepared behind closed doors by a group of EU bureaucrats. It must arise as an outcome of political debates in individual EU member countries. It must be generated by the people, the “demos” of these countries. (There is no demos in Europe, there are just “inhabitants” of Europe.)
We undergo a crisis. But crisis is – in Schumpeter’s definition – a process of creative destruction. Not everything can be saved and maintained. Something must be destroyed or left behind in this process, especially the wrong ideas. We should get rid of utopian dreams, of irrational economic activities and of their promotion by European governments. Part of this implies that even some states must be left to fall. The opponents of such positions keep saying that such a solution would be costly. It is not true. The prolongation of the current muddling through is more costly. The costs the Europeans are afraid of are already here. They are the so-called sunk costs.
Read the entire speech here
The current leaders of the EU countries are prisoners of their own failed policies, and will not be part of the solution. However, there will be a time when a new generation of European politicians are ready for wiser and more realistic ways to cooperate in Europe

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

The Times of India: "Good snowfall gives new life to glaciers"

Great news from the Himalayas. Abundant snowfall in the last three years has rejuvenated almost one thousand glaciers, which are back to almost their "original size":

With high-altitude mountains in Himachal Pradesh experiencing up to 100 cm fresh snowfall in November month after 10 years, the abundance of snow on mountains has rejuvenated nearly one thousand glaciers and has ensured uninterrupted supply of water for drinking, irrigation and hydel projects.

Even after years of research on glaciers and climate of Himalayas, scientists have failed to learn the pattern of the weather here. While scanty snowfall and rising temperature in last decade had sparked the possibilities of fast shrinking of glaciers, good spells of snowfall in last three years have changed the trend with glaciers almost growing to their original size. Some scientists say that despite heavy snowfall in winters, the extreme heat in summers is causing the melting of the glaciers with abnormal speed and others say extreme cold in winters is neutralizing the minor effect of risen temperature in summer. Overall, speed of melting of glaciers has reduced over the past few years only due to good snowfall in winter months.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Germany on its way to become the country with the highest energy prices

Germany is well on its way to become the country with the highest energy prices in Europe. 
The senseless energy transition policy, favoring subsidized, unreliable and ineffective wind and solar power, is making Germany dependent on expensive Russian gas, and now also overpriced Norwegian hydro power:

Germany and Norway have signed a contract for a high-voltage undersea cable aimed at exchanging surplus renewable energy. The project is essential for Germany's plan to phase out nuclear power by 2022.
Construction of the North Sea underwater cable would cost between 1.5 billion and 2 billion euros ($2-2.6 billion), and is expected to be finished by 2018, Germany's state-owned KfW development bank announced Tuesday.

"This project is a major step toward the integration of German wind power in the country's energy grid, and a cornerstone of Germany's shift toward renewable energy generation," TenneT Chief Executive Martin Fuchs said.

The North Sea cable is scheduled to boast a capacity of 1,400 megawatts - the equivalent of a larger plant. It is intended to transport Norwegian hydropower to Germany in times of low wind and solar supply. Furthermore, the country's excess power from renewable sources is meant to be transported to Norway to be stored there in dams for later use back in Germany.
Denmark is already doing what Germany intends to do:
Windy Denmark is able to shift nighttime energy resources for daytime use, while Norway -- which gets almost all its electricity from conventional hydropower -- has reservoirs behind its dams that can easily store that excess power. The arrangement helps Norway mitigate some of the risk from drought and other challenges to its hydro-heavy grid, Miller said.
For Norwegians, the system is a great money-maker as well. They pay their neighbor almost nothing for the nighttime wind energy they take on since demand is so low at that time, but charge Denmark a premium for it at peak pricing hours.
"Norway is making a killing," Miller said. "Danish people pay the highest power prices in Europe."
Energy prices have already risen steeply in Germany creating huge problems for consumers and companies. But that is only the beginning. Wait until the Norwegian energy barons begin to "make a killing"!

Monday, 3 December 2012

Warmist University of Chicago "computational chemist": Sea levels 50 meters higher by 2300

David Archer, "renowned computational ocean chemist and current professor at the University of Chicago", has given a lecture at the University of Connecticut "Audience members seemed to enjoy Archer’s presentation and lecture, and felt comfortable asking questions", reports the The Daily Campus

Perhaps they found professor Archer's closing words particularly enjoyable:

Archer closed his lecture with a series of projections about climate change in the near future, concentrating on sea level rises. Archer illustrated the concept by saying that by 2300, sea level will have risen 50 meters and that 3.5 percent of Earth’s surface will be submerged, displacing approximately 10 percent of the world’s population. Archer also emphasized the role of Americans in this destruction, stating that for every gallon of gas Americans burn, 50 square centimeters of land is lost and that every American essentially “burns away” 1,000 square feet of land each year.

Isn't it amazing what "computational chemists" are able to compute! A rise of 50 meters in 2300! No doubt Archer's taxpayer financed computers give exactly this figure, if they are programmed to do so. But the professor should also have told the audience how many square meters of land was "lost" when he to took a high carbon footprint flight from Chicago to Connecticut, and back.