Trust in the IPCC

Pachauri

Many people trust the IPCC, that it tells governments around the world the truth about global warming. But their trust is being seriously challenged by accumulating lines of evidence that this is not a good characterisation of the IPCC’s process.

The IPCC is coming under ferocious attack by climate sceptics using documentary evidence of astonishing, widespread disregard of fidelity. Continue Reading →

Cheap, unlimited energy

E-Cat demo module

Mark Gibbs, at Forbes Magazine, introduces, with caution, the E-Cat process, invented by one Andrea Rossi.

This is a room-termperature fusion device, promising almost unlimited energy from relatively small amounts of nickel and hydrogen. Electricity could be produced in every suburb without the need of gigantic power stations, at so little cost it wouldn’t be sensible to meter it.

Some measurement data seem to be available from a demonstration.

An apparently public demonstration in the US planned for October 28 could produce more confirmation.

I hope it proves true and it’s not just another false alarm. H/T Michael Treadgold


UPDATE 1, 20 Oct 2011, 12:25 NZDT: There’s a long, rambling article about the inventor, Rossi, at Pure Energy Systems that includes a graph of machine temperatures and is followed by a bunch of links to articles covering the E-Cat.

NZ shale gas – will we get lucky?

A member of the NZ Climate Science Coalition asked about shale gas exploration in New Zealand. He received the following reply. — RT

I can advise that several petroleum exploration companies are actively looking at shale gas potential in NZ.

At present almost all of the onshore eastern North Island (the “East Coast Basin”, east of the main North Island ranges) is covered by petroleum exploration permits, or by applications for permits. Operators of these permits are investigating shale gas potential as well as more conventional (sandstone) reservoir targets.

More recently there have been applications for new petroleum exploration permits in the onshore Canterbury basin, as well as in Marlborough and Southland, specifically targeting shale gas. It is unlikely that the offshore basins are prospective for shale gas at present, but as the technology develops, it may happen. Across the Tasman, there is also great interest in exploration for shale gas. Continue Reading →

What’s this shale gas gig?

shale rock

Shale gas will save us. It has no nasty emissions like coal does, its modest wellheads sit in our landscapes much gentler than great, ugly, noisy wind turbines, it’s more abundant than oil, it’s easy to extract (with a clever new technique), it’s far cheaper than any “renewable” energy, including nuclear, it could last the world for 250 years and it beats wind and solar handsomely when the wind stops and the sun sets. What’s not to like? Here I’ve somewhat shortened Ridley’s superb summary, but his laconic style is available in full at The Rational Optimist. H/T Bob Carter.

Which would you rather have in the view from your house? A thing about the size of a domestic garage, or eight towers twice the height of Nelson’s column with blades noisily thrumming the air. Over ten years, eight wind turbines of 2.5 megawatts (working at roughly 25% capacity) roughly equal the output of an average Pennsylvania shale gas well (converted to electricity at 50% efficiency).

Let’s make the choice easier. The gas well can be hidden behind a hedge. The eight wind turbines must be on hilltops, where the wind blows. New pylons are needed; the gas well is connected by an underground pipe.

Newspapers

This is an adopted article.

Unpersuaded? Wind turbines kill thousands of birds of prey every year. And bats: the pressure wave from the passing blade just implodes the little creatures’ lungs. You and I can go to jail for harming bats or eagles; wind companies are immune.

Still can’t make up your mind? The wind farm requires eight tonnes of an element called neodymium, which is produced only in Inner Mongolia, by boiling ores in acid leaving lakes of radioactive tailings so toxic no creature goes near them. Continue Reading →

One man’s mission

Will NIWA ever be free of Jim Salinger? What will it take to rid the organisation of his pervasive influence? He was fired long ago for his maverick media mouth, but his spirit never leaves, and the bright ideas of his younger self, not good enough to attract other scientists, still torment NIWA’s management as they strive to defend them. Salinger’s youthful enthusiasm for the then-radical crisis of man-made global warming, hatched by his mates in his old stamping ground at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, has crippled New Zealand with a “scientific” temperature “record” that shows remarkable warming — a feature we now know is entirely reliant on fiction, not on fact. – RT

Jim Salinger

When young geographer James Salinger was at Otago University in 1974, he noticed that a number of the glaciers in the Southern Alps were retreating. So he wrote an article for the journal Nature, contending that New Zealand was warming up.

This made him a noted sceptic, as the scientific consensus then was that the world was rapidly cooling. The news media worldwide were running horror stories, demanding that governments “do something” about the impending ice age. Continue Reading →

Quote of the week

what a thing to say

Global warming reason

“We’re not going to save the planet by putting our country out of business.”

UK Chancellor George Osborne finally displays some common sense in his address to the Tory conference, putting the cat among the Lib Dem pigeons as they squawk over the looming “slow-down” or “turn-around” in Britain’s over-ambitious emissions reduction programme.

Some seem truly to believe that huge new emissions-related expenses will improve industry, boost the economy, produce another golden age and evoke adulation from the populace. It must be really hard for them to keep finding new ways to state such an obvious fallacy.

I earnestly hope that this message, which applies as sensibly to New Zealand as to any country, is absorbed by all those agitating to reduce our industrial emissions, including the climate committee of our Royal Society, some senior climate scientists in public service, Nick Smith, John Key (who probably knows it already but avoids stating it in public), the Green Party, NZ Herald senior journalists, Greenpeace and Jim Salinger.

People at Hot Topic will, I trust, note this unexpected assertion from “the greenest-ever government in the UK” — although nobody could expect them yet to understand or absorb it.

Ocean acidification and then what?

shellfish

The School of Chemical Sciences at the University of Auckland hosted a lecture by Assoc-Prof. Mary A. Sewell, of the School of Biological Sciences, on “Ocean Acidification: Integrating chemistry and marine biology and what it means for you.
 
Our friend Roger Dewhurst, engineering geologist and founding member of the NZ Climate Science Coalition, went along and paid close attention. Then he sent Mary Sewell the following entertaining and informative letter, which he kindly shares with us to provoke conversation.

Past is key to future; CO2 ruined nothing before; there’s no evidence of ruin to come; alarming climate predictions are inconsistent and unconvincing.
Roger Dewhurst writes:

Thanks for an interesting seminar.

Demonstrating that the appendages of a larval echinoderm tend to be stunted when the little beastie is grown in soda water is one thing. To extrapolate that to an absence of oysters, mussels and scallops on the dinner table next year is, in my view, stretching things a little too far. I was reminded of Al Gore’s polar bear on an iceberg!

When I was at Victoria University in the 1960s science was divorced from politics, and zoology, botany and geology were separate subjects. Now zoology and botany are lumped together as biology, and geology has been lumped in with geography as earth science and includes — would you believe it — a strand called ‘feminist geography’. I suppose that feminist mathematics is next in the pipeline. Sic transit gloria [“thus fades the glory of the world” – RT].

I suspect, on the basis of opinions from two universities, that no science student will get a decent degree now without paying obeisance to anthropogenic global warming and its apostles, ‘Piltdown’ Mann and his gang who, I presume, you know as ‘The Team’. This is not science as I know it but the ‘science’ of Lysenko. Continue Reading →

Liquid fossil fuels and climate change

petrol pump

How much does our ETS increase petrol & power prices?

The following passage is from our government’s web page explaining the ETS. It’s only a short piece, but there are numerous examples of non-sequiturs, or illogical derivations from the previous statement.

Anyone convinced it’s based on science or logic? Anyone at all?

The government reasons*

Most forms of travel are fuelled by liquid fossil fuels, such as petrol and diesel, which result in emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

New Zealanders travel frequently and have a high level of vehicle ownership. Our use of freight transport has increased as the economy has grown, and our geographical isolation makes us reliant on ships and planes to connect us and our products to the rest of the world.

Between 1990 and 2006, total transport emissions increased by 5.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, or 64 per cent. If we do not make changes to the ways we travel and transport freight, or to the technology and fuels we use, transport energy use will grow further. Public transport, biofuels, electric vehicles, rail, cycling and walking, as well as improved vehicle efficiency will all help – as will the ETS.

*Of course, this is among the worst of oxymorons.