The Mad Mad Maths of Emissions Targets

Letters to the Editor

12th May 2019

quill pen

Most politicians live in a green fantasy-land where facts and numbers don’t count. They dream up fanciful figures for proposed cuts to industrial and agricultural emissions without any understanding of the remorseless growth of population.

The Australian government has set a target to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by 27% from 2005 levels by 2030, just 11 years away. The ALP opposition plans to cut emissions by a staggering 45% by 2030. Continue Reading →

Sheep and cows on methane roundabout

Letter the Herald declined to publish

Jamie Morton’s recent Herald article How NZ could cut agriculture emissions by to [sic] 10 per cent states:

Nearly half of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture – the main source being methane burped from cattle and sheep.

It’s indeed surprising to again hear this non-factual assertion that methane in ruminant eructation constitutes cumulative emissions, when it’s well established that the methane arises from the digestion of recently-eaten grass as part of a cycle.

One has to wonder where the government gets its scientific advice.

There is no evidence to claim that ruminant methane is one-way traffic, for it moves in a cycle, and has done for millions of years. After a short time in the atmosphere the methane breaks down, the carbon dioxide is released to contribute to more grass growth, the grass is consumed and digested and around it goes again. Nothing is added to beyond wool, milk, meat and the rest of the beast (at slaughter nothing is wasted).

To continue claiming that farmers are in this way adding to global warming signals deep ignorance.

Continue Reading →

Dieu bénisse les gilets jaunes

God bless the yellow vests

For they serve us all  [click pics to enlarge]

The French are turning up in their thousands and hundreds of thousands. They’ve had enough of the aloof, out-of-touch President Macron, his electricity and gas price increases and they disbelieve the climate scare, so when he hiked fuel prices the people finally took to the streets. Continue Reading →

Will the government please please please keep the lights on?

Barry Brill and I condemn the wilful political blindness that contemplates destroying our energy security and risking dry-year blackouts by shutting down the last thermal power plant merely to win polite applause from other nations. Meanwhile, those same nations are brazenly operating a gigantic fleet of 3700 coal-fired power plants and building another 1900.

The Huntly gas and coal-fired power station is NZ’s largest thermal generator. With its coal generation halved to 500 MW and total capacity including gas now 953 MW, or about 5000 GWh/year, Huntly can still provide about 12% of our annual consumption. Genesis intends to remove the remaining coal units by 2022, and there’s an uncertain future for the gas units since the Prime Minister, without consulting interested parties such as the industry or the electorate, banned gas exploration.

Are New Zealand politicians naive? Babes in the wood? Country yokels who don’t understand realpolitik? Continue Reading →

How to fix climate alarm

Economists have proposed really effective solutions to the high levels of anxiety felt by politicians and government officials about the risks of transport sector emissions.

The New Zealand Government’s plan to legislate for “Zero Carbon by 2050” has been accompanied by economic modelling that shows the NPV of the economic costs will be huge. See Putting a price on the hair shirt.

Tailrisk Economics, a private firm, has now delivered a devastating critique of both the quality and veracity of the Government’s modelling and consultation documents. The price of feeling good is a must-read for anybody interested in this issue. Continue Reading →

Kiwis complacent on global warming

Naturally!

Dr Anna Berka

There’s nothing to be done about global warming beyond feeling anxious, if you choose. We’re not causing any harmful warming and the sporadic warming we’ve seen is of no concern.

But once again we’re being hectored, this time by an academic skilled in redistributive environmental policy, inclusive energy governance and conceptualizing community renewables deployment as a form of associative democracy—oh, yes, Anna Berka knows us so well. Continue Reading →

Busting out of climate shackles

Dr Mike Kelly alerted me to Roger Pielke Jr’s thoughtful piece at WUWT titled Opening Up the Climate Policy Envelope. I heartily suggest you read it; below is a sample. As well as improving our thinking about climate policy, Dr Pielke makes it sound perfectly reasonable for convinced climate alarmists and unyielding climate sceptics not only to talk with each other but also to reach common ground. A miracle indeed. But wait, there’s more: the questions he poses are those we’ve been waiting for from our political leaders—questions, if quietly contemplated, that would fit them for the decisions we need from them and only they can give—if only they knew.  –RT Continue Reading →

A goal breathtakingly scant

SEE UPDATE below

2 July, 2018

Dear Prime Minister,

I wish to register my disagreement with your decision to make us reduce our so-called “carbon” emissions to zero by 2050. You commit the nation to this significant goal without knowing, as your joint statement makes quite plain, what it means, how to achieve it or, extending by simple logic, what it might cause. That is unreasonable.
Continue Reading →

Now it’s “carbon-free” farming, but what is it? Why do it?

One of the few valid applications of the well-known propaganda term “carbon emissions” (heard of chemistry?). Listen: it’s called carbon dioxide. In a similar way, we don’t try to call water (dihydrogen monoxide) hydrogen.

Eh?

Basically, we don’t know what carbon-free means, we don’t know how to achieve it and we don’t know what it might cause. But oh, yes, we’re going for it! (Big silly grin.) Welcome to the rabbit hole.

from Scoop (h/t Andy S.)

The new Government has set a goal of New Zealand achieving net zero emissions by 2050. Farming leaders with the support of the Government are stating their support for this goal and the agri-food sector playing its part in achieving it.

This is a very ambitious and challenging target for the agri-food sector. We have agreed that there is more work required to understand exactly what this means and how we can achieve it. – emphasis added

This is utter nonsense. By this blunder alone — and there have been many others — the Peters-appointed coalition government secures its release from power at our earliest convenience. Continue Reading →

Heroic NZ emission cuts versus Chinese colossus

Here’s a harsh dose of reality for the NZ Productivity Commission in attempting to convert us to a “low-emissions” economy. The map shows China’s plans to expand their links with the world in a colossal project that will triple China’s emissions. Their gas discharges already eclipse ours by 250 times so our reductions will be absurdly futile in stemming man-made global warming. The climate won’t notice, but our poor will suffer, while China’s poor rise into the middle class. What do we think we’re doing, cutting back — even banning oil exploration — when we ought to be boosting the economy at full speed?

My friend Dr Mike Kelly kindly sent me a copy of his latest analysis of New Zealand climate policy that he’s just submitted to the New Zealand Productivity Commission in response to its draft report on moving to a Low-emissions economy, which many would describe instead as disabling our productive capacity. Dr Kelly’s unflinching engineer’s eye assesses our Government’s putative policy responses to the climate perils forecast by skittish warmsters and it makes for thoughtful reading.

The New Silk Road

His central message is a revelation: whatever emissions we record over the next 20 years, China’s will be a thousand times larger. In fact, the emissions expected just from their One Belt, One Road, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) are destined to overwhelm all other human emissions for twenty and more years. Continue Reading →

Law student tilting at windmills

Sarah Thomson, a law student, is taking the government to court.

In filing an application for judicial review she hopes to get the government to pledge an emissions reduction target that is, in her words, both “lawful and rational.” In other words, larger — so the world might be properly saved. Miss Thomson recently described her reasoning at The Spinoff. In her Coal Action article (the web site is broken and doesn’t accept comments), Sarah explains: Continue Reading →

Reject Paris pandemonium

A Message from James M. Taylor, Vice President of External Relations at the Heartland Institute

One of the most important battles in the history of the global warming debate will be fought this December at a United Nations climate conference in Paris. The UN is attempting to impose binding carbon dioxide restrictions on the United States and transfer billions of dollars of climate “reparations” from the United States to nations like Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela. Continue Reading →

NZ’s ‘climate change target’ 30% below 2005 levels by 2020

Wahoo! It looks really low (though it should be nil), but how much will it cost?

The government has announced a new climate change target that aims to reduce New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions to 30% below 2005 levels by 2020 and a review this year of the existing Emissions Trade Scheme as part of its policy mix to meet the new targets.

Source: Government sets climate change target to reduce CO2 emissions to 30% below 2005 levels by 2020 | The National Business Review

Stakes on climate change are indeed too high to keep silent

But not in the way the Herald means it.

Phillip Mills and Barry Coates, like good zealots everywhere, loyally maintain the view pushed down our throats by the IPCC that we need to reduce our emissions “to meet the aim of limiting global temperature rise to 2°C.”

They say they can’t stay silent, as the stakes are too high. I actually agree, but they’re thinking nobly of the whole world. I see the stakes a little differently. We’re just a small country and I want to know how much it could cost. Continue Reading →

Assisting the Minister fight the climate

Setting New Zealand’s post-2020 climate change target

Submission to MfE by Climate Conversation Group

Sent today, 20 May 2015

It is a great irony that you should call this a “climate change” target, for the science tells us New Zealand doesn’t change the climate. It is a fact that, were we to reduce our emissions even to zero, thus achieving the greatest possible reduction, though destroying our entire productive capacity, there would be no resulting change in the average global surface temperature. Continue Reading →

For real striving, give up the driving

Comments here from someone who shall remain nameless (thanks a lot, Andy!) forced my twice-yearly drive-by glance at Hot Topic, finding again that its unending invective, rancour, impatience, embarrassing ignorance and sheer mindless chatter is all too irksome.

But a recent post by Renowden calls for comment. He talks about Bill McKibben.

Bill McKibben — that most thoughtful and interesting of climate campaigners — is bringing his very successful Do The Maths campaign to New Zealand next month [June], and will be speaking in Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin. Bill’s argument is straightforward:

The maths are simple: we can burn less than 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide and stay below 2°C of warming — anything more than that risks catastrophe for life on earth. Continue Reading →

NZ climate policies grind uselessly on

Simon asked in comments:

What fundamental central and local government policy decisions have been based exclusively on the 7SS?

The question is too restrictive. Possibly the only “exclusive” policy was the decision to spend $70,000 reconstructing the national temperature record using the wrong method and then ignoring public-spirited citizens who found serious faults in it. Continue Reading →

EU: strengthen energy, not useless climate targets

from The Global Warming Policy Foundation

Financial Times Deutschland, 5 October 2012

The EU Energy Commissioner opposes a tightening of the EU’s climate targets. Instead, energy policy should focus more closely on the needs of European industry. In Berlin, Günther Oettinger made jokes about the green “do-gooders” in his own party.

Günther Oettinger fears the decline of Europe if energy prices continue to rise and competitiveness deteriorates further compared to the United States and other parts of the world. He wants to convince his colleagues in the European Commission to introduce an industrial policy objective instead of new climate targets. At a meeting of the European Christian Democrats (EPP) in Berlin last night, Oettinger said the share that manufacturing contributes to the GDP of the economies of the EU should increase from currently 18 percent to 20 percent. Within the European Commission, he is fighting for a corresponding definition.

His appearance before a few dozen party members in Berlin’s Adlon Hotel was a day of reckoning with the EU’s energy and climate policies. Energy policy had long been climate policy, he said, but in the future it must be industrial policy. Continue Reading →