National security needs eclectic view

Your nation’s security faces a wide range of threats: tanks, planes, storms, climate change and pandemics. But cast your net even wider. Dr Kelly applies engineering discipline in his scrutiny of UK national disaster policy. With lessons for all nations.

Published by permission. First published in The Critic July/August 2020

Warming not the only threat

The vast sums spent in the UK and globally on climate change mitigation have never been subject to a rigorous cost-benefit analysis. To date they have had no measurable impact on the climate, let alone climate change and have thus been a colossal waste of money. Recent events have shown us that climate change is just one of many challenges facing our world today, so it is sensible to ask for every pound spent on climate change, how much money should be set aside to prepare us for other threats: Carrington events (solar electromagnetic storms), pandemics, global financial collapse, volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis and more? What is the appropriate level of global insurance, and where is the insurance for poorer countries? Continue Reading →

To achieve Net Zero, make a plan, good and solid

It is futile if we can’t afford it. The UK can’t afford it, so don’t try to convert these costs, just think “we can’t afford it either.” It might take your mind off the sheer futility of this Zero Carbon agony.

Waterproof engineering analysis from Professor Michael Kelly
– first published at CapX

How powerful this myth of causing climate change has become — or rather, how the powerful have made this myth to flourish.

The world of superfast computing and miraculous hand-held devices that most of us now take for granted did not appear by accident. It was the product of a very clear roadmap, agreed across the electronics industry from 1970 to 2015. An equally clear and widely agreed roadmap will be essential to achieving the target of a net-zero emission global economy in 2050.

Intel founder Gordon Moore’s empirical observation that the transistor count on chips was doubling every two years, while the chips stayed the same size, morphed into an industry-wide target that held for nearly 50 years. By the mid-1980s, a Technology Roadmap became a feature of the whole industry. Continue Reading →

The NZ ambition to replace internal-combustion engines with electric cars

Ever wondered what’s inside the famous Tesla battery? More batteries. Thousands.

— by Dr Michael Kelly,
University of Cambridge, UK.

May, 2020.

Next time you stand for 90 seconds filling your petrol tank, you might think of the enormous energy flow. Chemical energy is entering your tank at typically 17 million joules per second, or a gigantic 17 megawatts.

That’s equivalent to the energy given off by 17,000 one-bar electric heaters (imagine 6 tennis courts covered in them) or 24 hours of average power consumption (24 kWh) for 700 New Zealand households. A full tank (about 1,500 megawatts) would run those 700 houses for three full months. Continue Reading →

Mike Kelly cool, agile under BBC 4 climate grilling

Once a year the BBC invites guest editors onto Radio 4 to assemble the Today programme. The latest batch includes Greta Thunberg, the child climate activist, and Charles Moore, Margaret Thatcher biographer and former Telegraph editor.

Prof Mike Kelly

Professor Michael Kelly

Moore gave a spot on the programme to our friend Michael Kelly, Cambridge Professor of Engineering, Fellow of the Royal Society, Prince Philip Professor of Technology, former chief scientific advisor to the Department for Communities and Local Government, and member of the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

Introducing Kelly’s segment [at 32:22], Charles Moore observes wryly:

One of the subjects that’s very difficult to air on the BBC if you don’t share the prevailing view is climate change.

Continue Reading →

Another pathetic ‘climate emergency’

Image result for wellington

Wellington – a lovely climate

Really? Are you serious? Well, prove it!! Tell us the evidence! Of course you’d first have to ask for some. Oh, and would you care to describe the effect of your silly declaration on the global temperature in 2030, 2050 and 2100?

Source: Wellington Regional Council declares climate emergency and goal to be carbon neutral by 2030 | Stuff.co.nz

The Wellington regional council has declared a climate emergency and thinks it can take action – including on its fleet of diesel buses. The region, as well as the world, has about 10 years to cut its emissions in half to change the course of climate change, the Greater Wellington Regional Council was told on Wednesday. Councillor Sue Kedgley said there had been some comments around the table about whether or not there was actually “an emergency”.

“I can’t understand how we can watch the news and not conclude that we’re in an emergency.”

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 →

In climate believers the river of reason runs uphill

Professor Michael Kelly last night gave a deeply thoughtful presentation full of insight into what has become the perilous intersection between UK policies on energy and climate change. (Thanks to Bryan Leyland and the Auckland branch of IPENZ for hosting the event at the University of Auckland.) This is a brief note; I’ll be saying more about Michael Kelly’s plain and practical message shortly. Continue Reading →

Future energy needs and engineering reality

Prof Mike Kelly

Professor Michael J. Kelly, Kiwi physicist, elected Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1993, has been Prince Philip Professor of Technology at Cambridge University since 2002.

UPDATE 2145, Wednesday 8 April: See below.

Professor Kelly will speak tomorrow evening at the University of Auckland. These are the details as I know them; the room number has not yet been allocated but I presume will be posted at the venue. I’ll post the room number here if I learn it.

Thursday 9th April, 2015, 5:15pm for 5:45pm start
School of Engineering, University of Auckland. Continue Reading →

Prof Michael Kelly censures Royal Society

Prof Mike Kelly

Dr Mike Kelly, Kiwi physicist, elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1993, has been Prince Philip Professor of Technology at Cambridge University since 2002.

RS scientists ‘jeopardise their integrity’

Professor Michael Kelly has published a stinging indictment in the Daily Mail of the performance of the Royal Society. Refusing to mince his words, he says that the Royal Society scientists have adopted a role of ‘lobbying’ and in doing so ‘they jeopardise their purpose and integrity.’ Continue Reading →

Signs of strain in justifying climate predictions

Professor Michael Kelly, Prince Philip Professor of Technology, University of Cambridge, kindly sends us his comments on a letter this month to Nature Geoscience, Test of a decadal climate forecast, by Myles R. Allen, John F.B. Mitchell and Peter A. Stott. I previously commented on the letter in Climate forecasts fulfilled or what? Mike just returned to England after spending seven months as Visiting Professor at the prestigious MacDiarmid Institute, Victoria University of Wellington.

The recent paper of Allen et al. does a careful job of estimating errors in forward projections of global temperatures from earlier calculations on global circulation models of the atmosphere. Given the simple question — are the models doing a good job or not — the increasing level of sophistication needed to defend them is of concern. For many of us, a temperature stasis of 17 years is enough to suggest that the models are not as robust as some of their advocates maintain. Continue Reading →

Prof Kelly shows the middle way

Principled sceptical stance

An extraordinary letter to the Taranaki Daily News (copied to Climate Conversation) from a climate sceptic well-placed to hear and and well-qualified to judge competing sides in the global warming controversy. Professor Kelly’s written testimony to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, for The Reviews into the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit’s E-mails, published on 25 January 2011, set out pointed questions directed to Jones and Briffa. This letter, clear and moderate, is in stark contrast to Miss Stewart’s anguished squalling and offers those who share her beliefs an easy delivery from the gut-wrenching fears of their own alarming predictions: check the facts. We echo Prof Kelly’s appeal for moderate language because so-called climate change has a profound importance for the vast amounts of money in it, the tyranny it’s bringing over our lives and the damage being done in its name to scientific integrity. (I hope the Daily News publishes the letter.)

4 June 2011

Dear Editor,

As a New Plymouth Boy, I would like you to do me a favour and let Rachel Stewart know that I think she is doing journalism a disservice.

I expect better from my home town.

An ancient foot in the mouth

It is perfectly possible to adopt a position, as I have, of ‘a principled climate science scepticism.’ It is based on the fact that every time an engineering-standard analysis is done of the climate data, one ends up contradicting the results of the climate change modellers. I am heavily involved in the debate in the UK.

My views on the East Anglian Science are on the web, and in the UK Parliamentary record. See pp21ff of The Reviews into the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit’s E-mails.

If she cares to take a look at the attached ppt slides, she will see that there is a systematic divergence, now 16 years old, between the modelling results and the actual data on climate temperatures. At what point do we accept the data over the IPCC models?

She might like to look at the recent analysis by Pat Franks which tightens the conclusion that the anthropogenic contribution is at most 0.3°C per century. This concludes that it is rising temperatures that are increasing the atmospheric carbon dioxide, not the other way round. Continue Reading →