People talkin’ #16

I promised an open thread, so here’s one to hold all your latest thoughts and wisdom. What’s it to be? Wind power, silly “solar models” built on notch filters and fudge factors, or the abysmal climate politics afflicting our friends across the Tasman? You decide. I only ask that you abide by the comment policy and stay roughly on the climate beat.

147 thoughts on “People talkin’ #16”

  1. I became fed up with Americans saying that China was a bigger polluter than America and so I looked it up on a per capita basis. In tons of CO2 per year per capita. Americans are 18, the EU is 8.2,New Zealand is 7.9 (probably our cattle and our transport is rubbish) and China is 5.3. If China and India catch up with the USA it is game over. Something has got to change and fast.

    1. Not sure where you sourced that data or what year it was. This list
      has the US down a little, to 17.2 for the latest, and China already up to 7.2.
      I think these figures are only for fossil fuel consumption; if you include all emissions, including methane and nitrous oxide from agriculture, and CO2 from forest burnoffs, New Zealand comes out much worse, as do some other third world countries. This is up to 2005:

        1. Christchurch back in the 60s & 70s was pretty ghastly and it’s nowhere near as big as Beijing. Ecan have made some progress. All you can say is that in concentrated areas China’s air pollution is horrendous but we are talking about carbon feetprints. For all their coal power plants and burgeoning car population, they’re still no match for the US or even lil’ ol’ NZ.
          And should we take into account all those Chinese products that litter our shops and homes? Surely the carbon footprint of their manufacture ultimately is the final purchaser’s responsibility?

      1. There is an interactive visualisation of CO2 emissions here that allows you to compare countries

        China appears to be approaching NZ in terms of per capita emissions. I don’t think per capita is always a fair comparison when you compare a very large country with a very small one

          1. Presumably there are economies of scale when you have dense populations. For example, Hong Kong has an excellent underground railway system which is cost effective because of the population density there

            1. And what has that got to do with the price of fish? We are talking about individual countries controlling GHG emissions and how effective they are at meeting the challenge – and on the face of it NZ is not doing very well – despite what Obama and Key seem to think

            2. That is a great question.
              I will respond.

              —- and —- —– —- in case —- —- the —- ——- —- —-

              Since you seem to know what I am thinking, you will be able to fill in the blanks

            3. “I will respond.

              —- and —- —– —- in case —- —- the —- ——- —- —-

              Which is about as sensible as all your other comments

  2. Since dealing with climate change ultimately comes down to individual choices, it is a per capita problem. Sure there are 338 Chinese for every NZer, but it’s still person by person decisions to focus on reducing the carbon consumption.
    Of course, that is the problem. It’s very hard to choose to not take that trip to Europe when all your friends are going, to bike to work when it’s pissing down and the car is sitting in the garage, to not upgrade that home appliance even though they’re on super special at Harvey’s this week only. Believe me!!
    Multiply that by almost everything around you that your great-great-grandparents had no concept of but managed without, the amazing luxuries that cheap fossil energy has bequeathed us and that we have frittered away. Getting our CO2 emissions down ain’t gonna be easy.

  3. AndyS you are being irritating. NZ has bigger greenhouse gas emissions per capita that China. This is not hard to grasp.

    Do you have any real evidence the data is wrong? No, I thought not.

    1. Oh I irritate you, I am sorry

      The fact is that there are economies of scale. We can probably supply a few million Chinese living in Shanghai a lot easier than a geographical spread out community living in Southland

      I drove a friend across the South Island a couple of years ago. We saw virtually no people, no cars and no cattle, and a lot of trees.

      We have an emissions problem, I said

      He laughed

      1. By the way, if you look at the interactive graph I linked above, you will see NZ per capita emissions at 2010 are less than in 1994

        Also, extrapolating China and NZ looks like China should have overtaken NZ on per capita basis by this year

      2. AndyS, I cant see what economies of scale have to do with anything, and your personal, anecdotal observations arent exactly scientific evidence. I believe the thing that pushes us ahead of China in a per capita sense is the simple fact that far more kiwis drive cars etc. You also have the methane thing from cattle but I don’t know if that is in the numbers.

        You are speculating about future trends on China and NZ and are very keen to believe this, while being a sceptic of various other trends you dont like. Right now NZ have higher emissions, this is the only fact.

        1. I gave you a graph upthread. Use that to extrapolate
          If you think China is less polluted than NZ, then there are plenty of cheap flights to Beijing and Shanghai.

      3. That’s partly because you must have been driving across a rather odd part of the South Island rather than through Auckland or any other city at rush hour. Not Canterbury or MacKenzie Country for sure. Wall-to-wall tower irrigators and dairy herds there. Southland had rather more sheep I thought….
        May I quote from Gareth (or it may have been Ange Palmer):
        “In conversations about climate, of which I have many, people often express to me their despair at what WE have done, at what WE need to do, and what WE are unlikely to do, with faces grim and foreheads sagging. And therein lies my message. For me it is not so relevant how WE respond. Ultimately I am only responsible for how I myself tackle climate change and this is where it all begins.”
        Governments can lead the way by sensible carbon taxes and encouragement for alternatives but in the end it’s down to every personal decision.

          1. visited there a month ago – the Mackenzie accord might just save it – but as usual the govt sits on its hands…. in the meantime their mates carry on dairying as hard and as fast as they can. B***teds.

            1. I thought that the plans to put dairy farms on the Mackenzie plains had been shelved a long time ago.

              There are a few dairy conversions on the lower lying lands around Fairlie, but these are pretty small compared with the behemoths in the Ashburton area

    1. We noticed that the Gore Effect has resulted in blizzards at Thredbo

      Someone should send Gore to NZ. We could do with some of the white stuff

      1. Great cartoon. Australian politics just gets wackier and weirder. I still don’t understand how or why Al Gore was sharing a stage with Clive Palmer yesterday. The day before that UNESCO took all of 11 minutes to reject the attempted delisting of 74,000 ha of Tasmanian old growth forest from a world heritage area.

      2. Gotta love First Dog for making it all clear!

        The UNESCO thing was great – love the description of the de-listing attempt as ‘feeble’. Abbott and co.; what were they thinking?

        Very pleased I was to have given GetUp! some cash to splash billboards across Doha – though it would seem people hardly needed persuading! – and to see my old friend Alec Marr – the former national head of The Wilderness Society – there representing Sane Australia.

  4. China has slowed down on building coal plants – it’s down to a gigawatt a fortnight, from a gigawatt a week a few years back.!ctype=l&strail=false&bcs=d&nselm=h&met_y=en_atm_co2e_pc&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&rdim=country&idim=country:FRA:NZL:CHN:SWE:CHE:AUT&ifdi
    Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, and New Zealand all got half or more of their electricity from hydro when the 1973 oil shock hit. Sweden, Switzerland and France subsequently built enough nuclear reactors, in twenty years, to reduce fossil fuel electricity to below ten percent. New Zealand and Austria did not. The graph of CO2 emissions clearly shows the result.
    About forty percent of China’s emissions are probably from making stuff for whitey.

    1. It is a bit more complex than that though isn’t it. Sweden Switzerland and France can all make use of a variety of import/export inter connectors to dump excess generation and to import when needed. Austria paid for a nuclear reactor then did not commission it. An ever present risk with flinging treasure into a discrete grand project like a single nuclear power plant is that it never delivers. Build a duff wind farm and an investor gets their fingers burnt, build a duff nuclear power station and a nation gets its fingers burnt.
      Looking ahead from 1973 and are Sweden France and Switzerland celebrating their foresight by maintaining/increasing nuclear power penetration? No. Has Austria done a face palm and got to work commissioning their already built and paid for nuclear power station? No. You left the UK, USA and Japan off your list of 70s nuclear enthusiasts (perhaps because they did not have the hydro resource of Swedes and Swiss to bolster the ‘below 10% fossil fuel’ bragging) but the subsequent profile of the nuclear sector there has not been stellar either has it.
      If NZ had built one or two nuclear power stations in the 70’s they may well have had an impact on national CO2 emissions (if they were still or ever working) but they would have been a massive money pit even if they stayed on budget, NZ would not be able to trade power across any border, and development of other low carbon such as hydro and geothermal would have been displaced.
      I think your vision of the future has not stood the test of time.

  5. Nuclear in the US generates more power than hydro, wind, solar and geothermal combined, and does so a lot more reliably. The same is true for the UK, and if Germany hadn’t switched off eight perfectly serviceable reactors the same would apply there too. Japan has fifty reactors capable of replacing a third of the coal and gas plants they’re currently using, as soon as they make sure that climate change is a bigger threat than Godzilla.
    When I asked an Austrian friend about Zwentendorf he pretty much did do a face palm. A billion dollar reactor completed, then, after a frenetic fear campaign, nixed by a referendum that crossed the threshold by less than half a percent. The reactor was replaced by two coal plants which are still pumping out thousands of tons of CO2 annually, and by a showpiece solar farm on the site that might generate one percent of the reactor’s output- on summer days.

    1. I agree with you that Austria should have commissioned its nuclear reactor. I agree with you that the Germans accelerated their shut down programme in a manner that was unwise. I agree with you that a properly run (properly run mind you!) Japanese nuclear reactor is preferable to the coal and gas generation it displaces, but sadly (again) wishes are not horses. All these decisions were made and regrettable decisions will be made again leaving all of your eggs in that basket smashed. Regrettable decisions have also been made to proceed, a classic case is the UK THORP plant, a technological marvel to recover the most precious element, except that by the time it was finished you had to pay people to take that same element off your hands. So binning evidence they commissioned it anyway, committing us to the further costs of decommissioning. Add to that they poisoned the few commissions they had by falsifying safety checks, then did not notice a leak of radioactive acid for a long time. Bit of a bigger face palm saga than Austria’s don’t you think?
      Oh and the US experience, GE kept on promising that the next nuclear power plant would deliver the promised returns, they just needed to make it bigger again. Optimism did not triumph, though GE probably did quite nicely. Net result, lots of nuclear power stations built and the promised return not delivered, with the safety systems found retrospectively to be not up to scratch. Cue another several loads of cash for the money pit.
      Now if Carter had not been followed by a president who cut renewable incentives and actually had working solar taken off the Whitehouse roof, there could have been a lot more renewable power in the US – but we will never know will we. I can see the attraction of rewriting history in your imagination, but it is just a daydream isn’t it. It does not get us anywhere and a daydream is not preferable to actually progressing a balanced progressive reduction in CO2 emissions.

      1. We can’t rewrite history (well, we can actually), but it will be interesting for historians of the future to have these facts to hand as they document the decline and fall of the west

      2. THORP -‘..Altogether 83 cubic metres (18,250 imperial gallons) of nitric acid solution leaked from a small fractured feedpipe, which was discovered when a remote camera was sent in to examine THORP’s Feed Clarification Cell on 19 April 2005. All the fluids collected under gravity into the secondary containment, which is a stainless steel tub embedded in 2 metre thick reinforced concrete, capable of holding 250 cubic metres of fluids…No radioactive material leaked to the environment and no one was injured.’ (Wikipedia)
        Dürnrohr Power Station – ( coal powered, built to replace the completed but never used Zwentendorf reactor ) – 750 MW for 27 years at about one ton CO2/MWh ( IPCC ) and a modest sixty percent capacity equates to over a hundred million tons of carbon dioxide. THORP doesn’t compare at all.
        ‘…lots of nuclear power stations built and the promised return not delivered..’ Not quite sure what you mean here. This is the current US reactor status report-
        It’s four pages, almost uninterrupted , of ‘100 percent ‘. In 2012 the German wind industry managed 18 percent ( calculated from the built capacity of the previous year, so that’s generous.) Their solar industry was much worse.
        GE has some innovative reactor designs – the ESBWR is reputed to be capable of providing cheaper power than any current reactor, and the PRISM could run on spent fuel, if they ever build it – but the corporate management shows little interest in promoting the technology. They’re making far more money selling gas turbines.

        1. Thank you for your cut and paste of the Thorpe acid leak from wikipedia. If you read what I wrote I was pointing out that financially, commissioning thorpe was a mistake, a big one, and not one that came as a surprise. At the time the decision to build it was justified but by the time it was built its economic case had reversed, and still they commissioned it. Matters were only made worse by poisoning the few contracts they had (the Japanese having signed up in haste then desperate to get out of it) being torpedoed by falsifying the safety checks – classy! then they had a leak (well done again for copying stuff out from Wikipedia) that just made the money pit a whole lot bigger.
          “Not quite sure what you mean here.” Money! cold hard cash. GE built a spate of ever bigger civil nuclear plants in the expectation that they would be good value, that good value was never realised by the people who paid for them. As for your description of GE’s future nuclear plant proposals “reputed to be capable”, “could” sounds like the old days of ‘damn, that one is not working for the customer the way we said it would, again. perhaps if we just try (again) making it even bigger and more expensive it will deliver, fingers crossed.’
          GE wind turbines are working for their customers, and GE has been investing keep up with the European competition, buying up smaller firms with innovative designs. As well as the steam turbines, GE and their German rivals will also be interested in Areva’s rather good new wind turbine design.

  6. Guess which of John Key’s good friends said this recently:

    The question is not whether we need to act, the question is whether we have the will to act before it’s too late. Because if we fail to protect the world we leave our children, then we fail in the most fundamental purpose of us being here in the first place.

    Hint: They’re not a Vice President of Federated Farmers.

      1. Insouciance? Is that really the best you can do, Andy?

        I would have thought your son deserved better.

        “if we fail to protect the world we leave our children, then we fail in the most fundamental purpose of us being here in the first place.”

    1. That is a rather entertaining story, Thomas, (discussed at the Bishop’s today also)

      Lawson was slapped down for claiming that there is no link between the recent floods in the UK, and climate change

      This is a view also held by the UK Met Office

      Just hilarious

        1. I do however find this..

          “The severe weather in the UK coincided with exceptionally cold weather in Canada and the USA. These extreme weather events on both sides of the Atlantic were linked to a persistent pattern of perturbations to the jet stream, over the Pacific Ocean and North America.

          The major changes in the Pacific jet stream were driven by a persistent pattern of enhanced rainfall over Indonesia and the tropical West Pacific associated with higher than normal ocean temperatures in that region. The North Atlantic jet stream has also been unusually strong; this can be linked to exceptional wind patterns in the stratosphere with a very intense polar vortex.

          As yet, there is no definitive answer on the possible contribution of climate change to the recent storminess, rainfall amounts and the consequent flooding. This is in part due to the highly variable nature of UK weather and climate.

          Nevertheless, recent studies have suggested an increase in the intensity of Atlantic storms that take a more southerly track, typical of this winter’s extreme weather. There is also an increasing body of evidence that shows that extreme daily rainfall rates are becoming more intense, and that the rate of increase is consistent with what is expected from the fundamental physics of a warming world.”

          Not exactly the view of Lawson ol’ son!

          1. As yet, there is no definitive answer on the possible contribution of climate change to the recent storminess, rainfall amounts and the consequent flooding. This is in part due to the highly variable nature of UK weather and climate.

            Which is the point made by Lawson

            Futhernore, Dr Richard Betts of UKMO comments at the Bishops place

            Climate science and climate policy should both be discussed in the media, but the difficulty comes when it is assumed (or claimed) that one automatically leads to the other.

            Most people (including our host, and Lawson) agree on the basic points of the greenhouse effect and human influence on CO2 rise, and most people also agree that the future effects of these are massively uncertain. Trying to justify or criticise climate policy primarily on the basis of science is therefore futile – it all comes down to a matter of opinion on how much risk is acceptable from climate change and whether this justifies the policy.

            Unlike the person who complained to the BBC, I don’t have a problem with Lawson or anyone else being given air time to voice their opinions. If I were to have an issue with the debate on the Today programme, it would be that it kept being framed in terms of whether the science does or does not justify a particular course of action, instead of recognising the uncertainties and the different approaches to dealing with this (the presenter did make an attempt to start this line of discussion, but failed to get it going and didn’t pursue it).

            So one has to be careful to present a view to the BBC that is “correct”, not one that is based on facts

            1. “Which is the point made by Lawson”

              Utter bullshit!

              Lawson claims that there is no climate change – end of story.

              Stop your stupid spinning andy, we can all see through it.

              As for the opinions of Dr Betts – utter piffle! If Policy is devoid of reality then utter chaos can only result. As we are experiencing in this country right now.

            2. I have never heard at any time that Nigel Lawson claims that there is no climate change

            3. No… because your eyes are shut and your ears are closed..

              Quote from the article”
              listeners to Today heard Lawson use most of his air-time to dispute the science of climate change, and argue with Hoskins about the evidence.

              The BBC should not have been surprised that Lawson made inaccurate and misleading statements about the science of climate change as he had done so in previous appearances on its programmes.

              Furthermore, he was no doubt invited to participate in the interview on Today because he rejects the scientific evidence and chairs a campaign group for climate change ‘sceptics’, the Global Warming Policy Foundation.”

      1. Oh Andy, sorry, games up.

        Even Forbes Magazine (usually host to some of the worst clowns of the US Tea Party nutters) is now coming to realize that:

        The denial of man-made global warming is one of the greatest PR campaigns in history. With echoes of the industry-funded research from tobacco companies that denied links between smoking and lung cancer, the well-coordinated PR plan has delayed new regulations for coal and petroleum industries and influenced millions of Americans.
        The deniers have masterfully labeled themselves as “Pro-Business” and “Anti-Government” while painting their adversaries as meddling intellectuals and bureaucrats intent on imposing their unproven beliefs on everyone else.

        It’s a well-funded group. Drexel University completed a study that concluded conservative foundations and others have bankrolled their case with $558 million between 2003 and 2010.

        Yes, Andy, this is Forbes Magazine, June 2014

        Perhaps time Andy, the Rats leave the sinking ship…

        1. Thomas, you found a right wing newspaper that agrees with your position, makes a statement that appears to be a complete inversion of the truth (no surprises there), and you use that as a counter argument to my response, which presumably you haven’t read or chose to ignore

          1. Andy, plse reveal which statement in the Forbes article “appears to be a complete inversion of the truth”.

            Whose “truth” is that, I wonder? The truth derived from scientific observations of the physical world, or that you obtained from a private audience with your own rectum?

            1. The inversion of the truth that I refer to is the idea that there has been this massive PR campaign of “denial”

              The massive PR campaign has come from those pushing the various climate change agendas, and far outweighs those that push the counter-arguments.

            2. You must be on some rather strange brew Andy…. there is a difference don’t you think, between scientists saying it as they see it (what else do we expect them to do!!!) and the vested interests from the fossil fuel industry mounting a campaign worth over half a billion $ to discredit the science in the public eye because what the science says is threatening to their commercial interests:
              Drexel University Study

            3. Yes, Norths book is priceless, at zero dollars.

              I can understand that people have no interest in the history of the EU or the history of anything for that matter,

              History is ugly.

              And boring.

              But someone has to write it down, so we should at least feel grateful for that

            4. Yes, pet, the only difference between your claims and ours being that we have, um, evidence to back them.

            5. Bill, pet, the BBC spent half a million pounds on interviewing a few thousand Asians on their “views” on climate change

              I’m not sure how this can be considered impartial, scientific, or even vaguely worthwhile.

              This is a good example of the climate change propaganda machine that gleefully spends millions of public money, against the pittance that the fossil fuel lobby spends on ” denial”

              I guess you see no problem with this kind of state funded groupthink because you are so convinced you are right. You are convinced you are right because you are surrounded by state funded groupthink.

            6. Blah blah blah. So both your kid’s teacher AND the BBC are in on the conspiracy; who else?

            7. Hundreds of millions is still a fraction of the money involved in the NGO system that permeates Western governments.

              A figure of $100 billion has been attributed to the global warming/climate change agenda

            8. Yeah, that groupthink of aggressively testing the robustness of evidence and then making policy decisions based upon the robust evidence – that groupthink. You don’t get any of that groupthink over at Bishops Hill do you andyS, where the enlightened have the freedom to state wind turbines are ‘inefficient’ without the dead hand of evidence there to constrain them.

            9. An example of lack of groupthink on the sceptic side was the recent issue around Steven Goddards claims that NOAA “fiddled” data, which has been widely discussed at WUWT and elsewhere in the blogosphere

              This of course runs against the claim that ” deniers” never criticize each other, when in fact the complete opposite is true.

              See also Lubos Motls critique of David Evans notch filter theory

            10. Andy: two points. Please provide references for these odd assertions you’re making. I will not pass further comments making unsupported claims of “$100 billion” (or anything else, for that matter).

              Second: the idea that the “sceptic side” is not prone to groupthink is laughable – as indeed is the idea that what passes for debate between cranks is any meaningful equivalent to proper scientific debate. It’s certainly amusing to watch Monckton attempt to savage Eschenbach over Evans latest tripe: must be making it very difficult for Watts to know which way to turn. But the discussion, such as it is, bears no relationship to reality.

              Let me know when any of these people are publishing in the mainstream scientific literature. I won’t be holding my breath.

            11. Lack of groupthink’! Give me a break! Those comment threads are hilarious. These are the “skeptics’? Oh my…

            12. Climate change, 5 times the size of the Manhatten project.

              [Snipped: Richard North is not a credible source.]

            13. So basically andy what you are trying to say here is that the science of AGW and Climate Change is like that of the medical profession with respect to thalidomide. Everything is ok – until oops its not – sorry people.
              Yes there are episodes in the history of science where the “conventional wisdom” is finally proven wrong. Miasma as a cause of cholera is another. But the difference between these examples and that of AGW is huge. There is the fundamental physics for a start. The certain knowledge that CO2 is a GHG. We understand the workings of the Greenhouse effect and to disprove AGW you must first disprove quantum physics. Yes quantum physics makes your head spin in two places at once, but it is well established physics, and it works – it describes reality as perceive it. That is but one piece of the foundation. There is also the physical evidence mounting daily that supports the contention that adding more and more GHG to the atmosphere will cause the Earth to retain more and more heat from that which it receives from the sun; rather than radiating it back into space. Yes there are many scientists around the globe that are reporting findings that support the theory, but to suggest that that is “group think”, is simply ludicrous. You cannot seriously suggest that all these researchers are selecting their data to support AGW – it is just not feasible nor credible.
              Yes science has had its – oops we got that wrong moments – but this is not one of them.

            14. So basically andy what you are trying to say here is that the science of AGW and Climate Change is like that of ….

              No, I am not.

              Furthermore, if the author of the definitive history of the European Union (“The Great Deception”, incidentally now a free pdf download) is not a credible source, then I might as well give up

            15. then I might as well give up

              If the best you can offer in support of your arguments is UKIP-style bollocks, then feel free…

            16. Richard North is highly critical of UKIP and what he calls the “cult of Farage”,

              This is partly due to the fact that he worked with him and the dreadful Godfrey Bloom during his time working at the European Parliament

              His well researched book hasn’t been read by Farage, apparently.

              So I think ” UKIP style bollocks” is a little off the mark

            17. Furthermore, if the author of the definitive history of the European Union (“The Great Deception”, incidentally now a free pdf download) is not a credible source, then I might as well give up

              Priceless! Definitively definitive, no doubt! And feel free…

            18. Andy: I have very little interest in distinguishing between the finer points of fringe right wing views. It’s rather like watching the Monckton/Evans/Essenbach thing, but much less amusing. North’s take on just about anything adds little of any merit to the bigger debate about on what to do to effect emissions reductions.

            19. Dr Richard North’s track record is not great is it andyS. It includes the Sunday Times pulling an article of his and publishing an apology, and the Telegraph having to pay out a lot of money because of his libellous claims they printed in another article of his. I think both papers have learnt lessons regarding North.
              Someone having a spat with Farage or thinking Bloom’s actions buffoonery is hardly uncommon. The fault lies in having had anything to do with those individuals in the first place.
              Definitive history of the EU? To you perhaps but then you do love to clutch at straws.

            20. On the contrary, Beaker, I think Richard North has an excellent track record at taking our ruling classes and their sycophantic criminal servants to task, as does his son.

              Richard and Peter I hold in the highest regard, unlike the forelock tuggers in the Press who feel the need to “apologise”

              As for “definitive histories” I don’t suppose you even have any clue about the EU or it’s history, just as long as their “targets” keep your so called career going.

            21. Did those papers retract the silly articles because they were forelock tugging to the ruling classes, or because the claims made were silly, offensive, unsupported by any evidence and wrong – papers not liking to be shown up as imbecilic and having to adopt the learning position in court. Oh and by the way, you may not have noticed that at the time, the chief exec of the news international papers (Times) had admitted to a parliamentary select committee that they were corrupting police offcers and would do it again. Subservient? Oh andyS, you are a twit.
              There is a fun quote for you from RN on Wiki
              ‘In 2006 North wrote on his blog, “if being wrong gets one closer to the truth – as it does – then it is worth putting up half-formed speculation and letting the debate rage.” ‘ The truth this attitude and behaviour illuminates is North’s reckless desperation to make mud stick and his contempt for evidence. And you hold him in highest regard!

            22. …. the brotherhood of muslingers (North & AndyS)….
              Motto: No Evidence, No Science, No Problem: Throw some mud, rake up some dust, throw some berly in the water and some silly fish will end up on the hook….

            23. Thomas writes:

              …. the brotherhood of muslingers (North & AndyS)….
              Motto: No Evidence, No Science, No Problem: Throw some mud, rake up some dust, throw some berly in the water and some silly fish will end up on the hook….

              Interesting that you base your evidence on some mud that was slung by “Beaker”

              If you read North’s excellent book “Scared to Death”, he cites several food scares in the UK where he was a primary witness as a meat inspection officer with a PhD in the topic.

              You can read this and the excellent and definitive book he wrote about the EU too. They are very well researched and referenced.

              Disgusting indeed.

            24. “…. or that you obtained from a private audience with your own rectum?”… LOL…. would provide a workable hypothesis for the colour of the gollywog…. 😉

              ..and also a hypothesis why not all rats leave ships before its too late…

            25. [Andy: Stop this childish taunting or your comments simply won’t pass moderation. GR]

              I was not defending Goddard.

            26. Your rectum isn’t racist.

              (Did I really just type that? Bloody hell, what is the internet doing to us all?)

  7. Until I read this story today I did not think there would be a future for hydrogen as a vehicle fuel because of the cracking costs, infrastructure costs and sheer danger. Now a couple of UK scientists have changed that prospect. Infrastructure is pretty well in place, a couple of cheap chemical reactions enable a 2 litre cracking device to provide enough hydrogen for a mid-size car. The fuel in the tank is ammonia NH3. one of the most transported chemicals in todays world! It’s early days yet but to me it is a demonstration of the phenomenon that if we take finding answers to our fossil fuels addiction seriously people will try all sorts of ways and some of them will be winners.

    1. Ammonia is already being trialled as an energy store in parts of the US, making it with power water and air when there is an excess of generation, feeding it back into a modified diesel generator when there is demand. Apparently Dutch buses were converted to run off ammonia during WWII to get round the shortage of diesel.
      Add to that Ammonia is a valuable fertiliser so if your energy store starts filling up you can sell fertiliser rather than ‘spill’ power. In parts of the US with deep stoneless soils they can direct inject anhydrous ammonia into the soil. For more stony little islands like UK and NZ, you can have part of your power storage and ammonium nitrate manufacture rolled into one. Far better to build wind turbines in Otago than rip it up for lignite to power a urea plant.

      1. Yes NH3 has a lot of potential. A space to watch carefully. You don’t want a ruptured tank of NH3, but how often do petrol cars blow up these days… so I think it has great potential, especially also as an industrial storage medium.

        However, energy conversion efficiency into NH3 storage is about 60% only. With further conversion losses I would think that you would look into a 50% efficiency max for a conversion of say solar or wind into the output of a fuel cell into the input of an electric motor. Still, the convenience of a liquid fuel plus the ability to drive heavy diesel engines (adapted) looks very promising.

        1. I don’t know the relative merits of ammonia as an energy store for grid use compared to the likes of the flow battery, but it appears to be an interesting tool to add to the mix as 1, we already make ammonia on a very large scale, and 2, the opportunity to divert the excess stored ammonia to N fertiliser production.

          1. Yes the multi-use capability of NH3 is good. I think that with electric plug in hybrids bringing down effective fuel consumption of cars to very low numbers NH3 produced on a communal scale looks interesting. Plus as diesel replacement it can provide the heavy work that batteries at the moment are not great for yet.
            In the end it will be a matter of cost. Just as chasing solar PV efficiency beyond the current status has become no longer a high priority due to the rapid cost decline of the existing technology. If there is a 50% efficiency loss of NH3 generation and use, this is much less of an issue if it can be done cheap with mass produced hardware.

            A good opinion on NH3 and its potential is here:

            And a very detailed presentation of NH3 as energy storage medium and fuel here:

    1. Good grief! Again; and you really credit this nonsense, do you?

      When they turn out to be WRONG, are you going to have a good hard look at yourself and what you’re doing with your life, or just chuck it all down the memory hole and carry on being a wrecker anyway? Because that strategy strikes me as becoming increasingly dangerous…

    2. Oh really Bio, well, are you willing to bet the farm then Bio? 😉

      Now it would rather be odd, don’t you think, if a self proclaimed “rocket scientist” scheming with Australia’s most risible shill Nova would know something (anything) that the established climate science community was unaware off…..
      Dream on. Evans’ stuff has been dismissed well and truly.

      Meanwhile, if you want to know why nutters like the above do what they are doing:
      You have been sold a porky Bio. Obviously your mind provided fertile grounds….

      If you really want to read about the correlation or the lack of the same of the temperature signal and TSI:

      1. Oh they won’t bet THIER farm Thomas, be sure of that. But they are quite keen to gamble everyones welfare in the slim hope that their reactionary hunch will pay off and they can bask in the glory of pretending to be a genius – in the same way a lottery winner is a expert investor. Some have daydreams about a nuclear renaissance, but the deniers, their fantasies / obsessive compulsions are way out there.

  8. Keating’s $10K now up to $30K.

    Now, we’ve already had the objection from andy that they know they’ll never have to pay up because, well, you know, Scottish “Sceptic” did the inverse copycat thing and he clearly won’t accept any evidence of warming, now, will he?

    The difference being that we have the IPCC, NASA, NOAA, NIWA, the BoM, the CSIRO, and all the world’s academies of science (meaning that the Scottish “Sceptic” position is certainly cemented well beyond the reach of mere evidence), while Denial has a handful of renegades, a small army of industry flacks, a sprinkling of right-wing thinktanks, a few miscellaneous kooks, and Fox.

    But that’s not the key asymmetry here. Whatever the chances – let’s face it, zero – of your claiming the cool, hard, Warmist cash, as we’ve seen repeatedly, Denial is an opportunity for the mediocre – those who would otherwise barely merit notice in the mainstream – to shine (albeit in a sordid sort of light).

    Being the first loudmouth to really push the ‘Look; I’ve got A Theory!’ line in an effective-ish, bafflegabby, rube-pleasing sort of a way over at Keating’s might secure a ticket to what the charming Delingpole has described as ‘Rock Stardom’!

    Deniers; your moment in ‘It’s the Sun!’ awaits! Get to it!… Sure, you’ll look ridiculous, and history will despise you, but your fellow-travellers are incapable of noticing, and, hey, who cares?!

  9. Does anyone know where I can find the changes made, to the IPCC AR5 “Summary for Policymakers” scientific drafts, in the final political sessions prior to their approval?

    1. Reminds me of: A blonde and another blonde drive along a paddock in a car. They see a third blonde in the field in a row boat, trying to row in the paddock……

        1. …. its just that the picture of said lady from Louisiana, combined with her grasp of reality (or the lack of the same…) reminded me of the latest blonde joke I had heard…. (I know, stereotypes are not OK!, apologies if I caused offense )
          Punchline of the joke upon request….. 😉

            1. …Oh well then: The blonde driving the car says: I think we should stop and go and tell her that she can’t row in a paddock. The passenger blonde says: I’d like to go and tell her but I can’t swim…
              There you go, you asked for it…, 😉

            2. Oh and I was just told this one: When contemplating sea level rise the village blonde wrote to the paper with the definitive solution: “Whenever I get out of the bath I see the water level drop significantly. Therefore, if we would simply kill all these huge whales and pull them out of the water…. Presto! SLR solved!”

            3. There is a comedy stereotype you are reinforcing here, though it is not the dizzy blond one (smiley face – however thats done).
              Jokes aside, I still fondly remember from the early 1990’s Yorkshire Water fiasco, one poor vox pop participant/victim asked their views could not understand the fuss. If the reservoirs were low why didn’t they just top them up from the mains?

    2. And all you need is a child with a thermometer, no less! How easy it is to bring down the edifice of science…

      Dunning-Kruger in action. The whole Tea Party thing means the GOP’s long-term viability is in serious doubt.

      1. Uh, this is OT, but as I cracked blonde jokes before, here is Tony the Abbottable: “Australia was ‘unsettled’ before the British arrived and owes its existence to Britain’s ‘form of foreign investment’ in the land, Tony Abbott has said.”
        If a New Zealand Prime Minister would have said the same about NZ, he would be gone by lunchtime, so much is clear!
        Somebody should shove a didgeridoo up…..

        1. Yes; and this from the ‘Prime Minister for Aboriginal Affairs’.

          Tony’s popularity is already sub-Gillard – ‘despised’ is getting pretty close. The clique that surrounds him is no more popular, with the exception of the (relatively) sane Turnbull.

          But it won’t help.

          As the old Australianism goes ‘suffer in yer jocks, Tones’. These people were gleeful wreckers in opposition, playing to the overweening sense of entitlement of a largely sullen and irresponsible electorate; then they got elected and kicked these same people – and everybody else – squarely in the teeth in the name of a fake financial crisis. It’s one of the most remarkable pieces of political imbecility we’re ever likely to see…

          Frankly, it’s hard to imagine the Australian political system not now being perennially prey to this kind of volatile stupidity, with people routinely being promised the moon – but assured that they need pay no taxes to fund a space program – every time a sane-ish government gets in power and tries to do the hard-but-necessary things.

          And the climate debate has, indeed, been central in this process. There still seems to be a lot of woolly discussion here (in Oz) based on the notion that somehow the public really has a coherent and half-way rational position on this; from what I see what the polling shows, on the other hand, is that the electorate thinks that climate change is real and acknowledges that, yes, we need to do something about it when asked one set of questions, but won’t support any measures to do anything about it – ‘do nothing’ literally being the most popular option – when pressed on what that something done should be.

          The toxic hand of the Murdochracy and the massive scare campaign against the Great Big New Tax exacerbated the problem, but this trend pre-existed; much of the Australian electorate really needs to wake up to itself.

            1. All homes of a well-known “children’s entertainer”

              This is probably a job title which gives most people the shivers right now

            2. I supposed I should have figured that, but if you’d said ‘Bassendean’ rather than the whole continent I’d have nailed it for sure.

              Here in Adelaide we recently had another well-known ‘childrens entertainer’ from the same era go down much the same route – I suspect the phrase may yet join ‘colourful racing identity’ and ‘tired and emotional’ in the euphemism lexicon.

  10. OK, there was this blonde physicist – of unspecified gender – who was asked whether, if someone was screaming in a vacuum, would anyone be able to hear them?

    The blonde thought carefully for a while, then answered: “Not if the vacuum is switched on”.

      1. The BBC is a bastion of impartiality and morally righteous good people that society looks to for its fine and upstanding representatives.

        Like, for example, Jimmy Savile, Rolf Harris, and Stuart Hall.

        1. Yep, that’s what the entire institution is about, andy, you’ve found them out!

          Doctor Who, Eastenders, House of Cards, Fawlty Towers, The Office, The Thick of It, Life on Mars, Spooks, Yes Minister, Boys from the Blackstuff, Blackadder, Monty bloody Python, Sherlock, The Mighty Boosh, and all those bloody David Attenborough and Simon Schama and Kenneth Clark and Brian Cox and Michael Palin and Louis Theroux and Iain Stewart documentaries – all just one big Warmist enabling front for a couple of ‘children’s entertainers’. Even Top freaking Gear!


          Surely the Beeb is one of history’s best advertisements for state ownership? Along with the ABC here. Particularly when compared to the lumpen dross usually dished out by the liberty-loving commercial networks…

          1. andyS would no doubt prefer it to be transfered to the likes of News International and the ‘ever so humble’ Murdoch. Employing people who later turn out to be vile is obviously a worse crime in a twits eye than telling your journalists that you support their criminal activity, and paying about £6m for the defence of two of your editors after they has admitted to a select committee that they were guilty (sadly select committee evidence is not admissible in a subsequent legal trial).

            1. Seems fine for Beaker to make claims of my opinions with nothing to back them up.

  11. Well, Australia is certainly unsettled now: 3 rallies in – March in March, March in May, and now the March in July – and still thousands are turning out across the country to oppose Abbott and co. and their nasty little budget. Like the last couple of years weather-wise, it’s unprecedented!…

  12. I need a direct quote from some government source to the effect that our emissions are so small that we can’t make a difference … so why bother?

    1. Our CO2 emissions are 0.1% of global emissions

      Why bother when China is adding the equivalent of an entire NZ every few weeks?

      Good question

      1. Andy. If you – for example – were to cheat on your taxes, then, according to the same argument this would not matter, whats a few thousand dollars in a budget of tens of billions!
        However, with the same wicket logic of yours, we all could start cheating on our taxes… at end of which your state would no longer function as it should.
        Kant’s ‘Perfect Duty’ could perhaps enlighten you….
        Besides: If NZ makes the changes we need to do to de-carbonize our society we will be at the advantage of having developed technology and solutions that will be marketable and elevate NZ’s ability to compete internationally in the market for the technology for, arguably, the biggest change in the human enterprise of the century.

        1. Let’s extend your analogy then, Thomas

          Imagine, that as a law-abiding citizen, I dutifully pay my taxes (which I do)

          Should I not feel aggrieved that our glorious leaders are squandering those tax dollars on vanity projects that have no economic value? (Other then, perhaps, to themselves)

          Why should I feel any sense of duty to a ruling class that puts their own self-interest above those they are supposedly representing?

          Furthermore, why should I feel a sense of duty when 99% of the rest of the world do not?

          1. Yes, Andy, that’s exactly what I thought, when I saw the following:

            andyS July 7, 2014 at 2:28 pm

            Our CO2 emissions are 0.1% of global emissions

            Why bother when China is adding the equivalent of an entire NZ every few weeks?


            1. Should we bother pursuing 84 year olds on historic sex charges?

              (Just another non-sequitor)

              The obvious response to Rob’s non-sequitor is that murders in the Congo don’t have a direct impact on people living in NZ, but murders in NZ do.

              However, emissions are global, so China’s emissions cancel out NZ’s efforts in a matter of hours, making the whole exercise completely pointless and a middle-class act of flagellation

              Peter Gluckman also said that our efforts are purely symbolic, which is great if you are well-off but not so great if you are a pleb

            2. andy doesn’t think you can compare large countries with small countries – its so unfair!

            3. “andy doesn’t think you can…”

              What do you know what I think?
              You aren’t interested anyway, so you might as well make something up

            4. Andy, after years of trying to reach some reason behind what would appear to be a rather thick scull of yours, many here have a good idea of what you think and what you don’t more like it! Your silly battle here has been rather revealing….

              But besides this, you don’t seem to get that any solution to the crisis of humanity, crashing into the planetary limits of coping with our actions, will require all of us – and especially those who draw well over their fair share of resources – to make compromises going forward. Everybody.
              If you start to exempt NZ then you must carry on and exempt any person and by extension – all persons. In the end you achieve nothing.

              Andy, your arguments are often at the level of kindergarten level logic (or the lack of the same, to be precise).
              The mind boggles as how you cope in everyday life….

            5. “What do you know what I think?”
              We can never know, but we can get an insight from your activity here and elsewhere to give us a degree of confidence.

            6. I have decided that intelligent, rational and independent thought is a dead end street, and am committing myself to repeating every cliche under the sun in the most predicable and tedious way I can find.

              Even when I admit that is what I am doing, I still seem to get lots of support, which makes me wonder at whether there is any intelligent life left on the planet

              See, for example


            7. andyS June 26, 2014 at 10:00 am
              “. I don’t think per capita is always a fair comparison when you compare a very large country with a very small one”

              I think I know more about what you think than you do andy..:)

            8. Today I gave a presentation on climate change to a group of about 70 senior citizens. I had been advised to stay away from graphs and that half would be asleep in short order. Instead they were on the edge of their chairs, there were graphs, no one fell asleep and when a slide came by titled “The tragedy of the commons” with this statement

              “Our emissions are so small compared to xxxxxx that there is no point in wrecking our economy to mitigate them.”
              by anyone

              followed up by a cartoon that I may have come upon here:

              “And so, while the end-of-the-world scenario will be rife with unimaginable horrors, we believe that the pre-end period will be filled with unprecedented opportunities for profit.”

              They got it no trouble..

              I was surprised at the world ranging questions and by some kind of providence had read up on all of them except one as to whether some equivalent to the American pine beetle was at the Russian forests. I considered acidification affecting oysters only to find an oyster farmer in the audience already aware of the issue. They noticed the care with which I said “global surface warming.”

              There was even a short but impassioned speech from one about nailing down our political parties on the issue. I suspect the Greens have gained some traction with their plan.

            9. I should add that I had that video – walking the dog on endless recycle during the half hour they were milling about before I spoke. It settled them down and set the tone beautifully. They probably all watched it several times.

      2. Why bother? I can only go back to the idea raised early in this discussion, from Angie Palmer
        “In conversations about climate…. people often express their despair at what WE have done, at what WE need to do and
        what WE are unlikely to do, with faces grim and foreheads sagging. And therein lies my message. For me it is not so relevant
        how WE respond. Ultimately I am only responsible for how I myself tackle climate change and this is where it all begins.”

  13. Oh the perils of cut ‘n paste journalism. The Press slobbered a bib-full this morning by uncritically reprinting an article from The Times criticising the BBC for losing climate change balance. Read it in part if you really must at

    My response, which may or may not survive the Press editor’s blue pencil, was:
    “Press loses climate change balance.
    if the Press editors need a guideline for whether an author writing about climate change is talking nonsense, mention of “no warming for X years” is a pretty good start. That claim is invariably about surface only temperatures, carefully ignoring the heat gains of the oceans and is cherry-picked to start the period X from the abnormally high temperatures of a strong El Nino. The BBC have not lost any balance, they have wisely raised the quality of their reporting by carefully checking the credentials of protagonists in any discussion, to avoid creating a false impression of dissent where there is none. “

  14. Here is why we need a solar policy:

    Stolen from NRT

    “Startling news from across the Tasman: the Australian government’s home solar energy policies – a combination of direct subsidies, feed-in tarriffs, and a renewable energy target – are so successful that they are driving coal-fired generators out of business:
    Daytime prices are supposed to reflect higher demand, when people are awake, office building are in use, factories are in production. That’s when fossil fuel generators would normally be making most of their money.

    The influx of rooftop solar has turned this model on its head. There is 1,100MW of it on more than 350,000 buildings in Queensland alone (3,400MW on 1.2m buildings across the country). It is producing electricity just at the time that coal generators used to make hay (while the sun shines).

    The impact has been so profound, and wholesale prices pushed down so low, that few coal generators in Australia made a profit last year. Hardly any are making a profit this year. State-owned generators like Stanwell are specifically blaming rooftop solar.

    Solar is now cheaper than network charges – meaning that it would be more economic even if coal was free. No wonder Tony Abbott hates it and wants to do away with it.”

    1. That’s fantastic! Your dream of putting everyone out of business is coming to fruition

      When the final coal-fired power station shuts down, Australia will be plunged into darkness. The small amount of power that solar generates during the day may provide a few essentials, like boiling the kettle

      Luck country indeed!

    2. Which may explain at least part of why the Nats are so reluctant to get serious about alternative energy (apart from short-sighted stupidity of course). NZ’s energy is predominantly sourced from renewable* hydro so encouraging households and businesses to go solar just reduces the income & tax grab of Government owned power utilities without knocking any dent in our carbon footprint.

      Note that they’re talking about the cost of solar panels dipping below U$0.40/W in the not-too-distant future, has anyone priced NZ costs lately?

      ( * well, renewable up until the hydro lakes silt/gravel up and the storage capacity drops to run-of-the-river, which admittedly is a generation or three away.)

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