Making Scotland the Green Energy Capital of Europe

by James Stafford

Reposted with permission from

We were fortunate enough to have some time with Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond where we discussed a broad range of topics from Scotland’s ambitious renewable energy targets and North Sea oil & gas to Scottish independence and Donald Trump.

In the interview with, Alex discusses:

• How Scotland will achieve its ambitious renewable energy targets.
• The impact North Sea oil and gas revenues would have on an independent Scotland.
• How Scotland can become the green energy capital of Europe.
• Donald Trumps recent tantrum over offshore wind energy.
• The impact Independence would have on the Scottish economy.
• Why companies are continuing to invest in Scotland’s renewable energy sector.
• Why Scotland would establish an oil fund and how it would be used.
• Why the shale revolution will not affect investment in Scottish renewables.
• The recent partnership between Scotland and Abu Dhabi.
• How Scotland will achieve its ambitious renewable energy targets.

Alex Salmond is the First Minister of Scotland and head of the Scottish National Party. He is a champion of green energy and has a vision to transform Scotland into a renewable energy powerhouse whilst aggressively reducing the country’s carbon emissions.

Interview conduted by James Stafford of

James Stafford: If Scotland manages to gain its independence it would receive a 90% geographical share of North Sea oil and gas fields based on a division under international maritime law, roughly 81% of current oil and gas receipts, worth between $9.67 – $19.34 billion annually. Is this income crucial to the SNP’s future economic policies?

Alex Salmond: Even without our offshore oil and gas reserves, Scotland currently has the third highest output per head in the UK, after London and the South-East. And when oil and gas output is included, Scotland’s output per head is 15% above the UK average.

Energy is important to Scotland’s economy. We have world class companies operating in the global oil and gas supply chain while we will benefit from Scotland’s second energy windfall in renewable energy where we have around a quarter of Europe’s potential offshore wind and tidal energy and some 10% of its wave energy resource.

James Stafford: What plans do you have for investing this revenue back into Scotland?

Alex Salmond: In contrast to other oil rich nations, successive UK Governments have failed to take the action necessary to ensure that future generations benefit from the economic windfall from Scottish oil and gas. An independent Scotland would use its oil and gas reserves far more responsibly. Specifically, the Scottish Government would establish an oil fund, once fiscal conditions allow. The development of an oil fund for Scotland would promote economic responsibility and stability. Revenues could be invested, rather than spent on current expenditure, during good financial times, and could counteract the effects of economic downturns.

James Stafford: You have stated that there is no chance of any new nuclear power plants being built in Scotland. Does this anti-nuclear stance go as far as shutting down current nuclear power plants? I saw that nuclear power currently provides up to 33% of Scotland’s electricity generation needs – how soon would you hope to close the plants down, and where would you find the extra power?

Alex Salmond: We have always been clear that as long as the safety case can be made we are supportive of the possible life extension of existing nuclear power stations but that we are opposed to the development of new nuclear build in Scotland. New build nuclear power is vastly expensive and prone to delay – and shut downs in recent times have meant they have not been meeting 40 per cent of Scotland’s energy needs. We do not support subsidies for new nuclear.

Nuclear power will also leave a legacy of waste and vast decommissioning costs for the next generation of Scots – we will not add to the issues of decommissioning by building new nuclear plants in Scotland. The legacy we must leave future generations is a world where invention and innovation is used to harness the earth’s natural resources sustainably. And it is in wind, wave and tidal energy, and in carbon capture and storage, where Scotland has strong competitive advantages, both in terms of capacity and expertise. This is where it makes economic sense to concentrate our efforts, and that is what we are doing.

James Stafford: Scotland is famously doing very well in achieving its renewable energy goals with provisional generation statistics confirming that 2011 was a record year for renewable generation in Scotland, up 28.1 % from the previous record in 2009. Your well publicized target is 100% renewable electricity by 2020. How are you coming along with that? Is this figure really achievable?

Alex Salmond: Our Electricity Generation Policy Statement confirms that our 100% renewable electricity is technically feasible although we are not complacent and accept that it will be challenging. Delivery of the target will require around 16GW of capacity. We currently have almost 5GW operational. With a further 3.3 GW consented or operational and over 20GW in planning or scoping we are confident that the target can be delivered.

James Stafford: If Scotland manages to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2020, will it continue to invest in renewable energy technology and look to become an energy exporter?

Alex Salmond: Scotland is fortunate in having a massive green energy potential. We have the best capacity for CCS in the European Union as well as a buoyant oil and gas regime, with record levels of capital investment. Our wind and seas hold some of the most concentrated potential not only across the UK and Europe, but in the world – our practical offshore renewables resource has been estimated at 206 GW. By harnessing around a third of this resource, installed offshore renewables capacity could reach 68 GW by 2050 – enough to meet Scotland’s own domestic electricity needs seven times. Around 20 per cent of the electricity generated in Scotland is already exported to the rest of the UK and Scotland can go far beyond this to become the green energy capital of Europe.

James Stafford: Offshore wind farms are an important part of Scotland’s renewable energy future, but what do you say about the concerns of small fishing villages, such as those of East Neuk, who fear that their livelihoods will be threatened?

Alex Salmond: “Communities across the country stand to benefit from the development of Scotland’s huge offshore clean energy resources and clearly the fishing industry is right at the heart of many coastal communities, so we aim to strike the right balance between our renewables ambitions and other competing uses for the seas. That’s why Marine Scotland is actively engaged with the industry, for example, through a trilateral policy group, bringing together government, renewables and fisheries, and by ensuring fishermen are represented on two other renewable energy steering groups and where possible engaging them in an operational capacity such as undertaking fisheries liaison duties.. It is also undertaking mapping and research into areas used by the fishing industry, including sensitive fisheries. At an individual project level, Marine Scotland is required by statute to fully consult relevant stakeholders, including the fishing industry, and the public, before any offshore renewable project can be consented or rejected.”

James Stafford: Donald Trump has made a public complaint and set up a campaign to prevent offshore wind farms along the coast of Scotland. I imagine he is more worried about the view from his luxury golf resort than the plight of the local communities, but the local communities do still back him. Do you believe his campaign could receive enough support to prove troublesome, or will you always be able to laugh it off as the tantrum of man who is used to getting his own way?

Alex Salmond: In terms of the local community, I’d simply point out that so far there have been some 460 representations from members of the public supporting the Offshore Wind Demonstrator project, compared to 137 against. Of course, as we have made clear throughout, each project is determined on it merits taking into account views of stakeholders, consultees and members of the public. In general terms, however, several recent surveys have shown strong public support for clean energy, including wind power.

Some 71 per cent of people in Scotland backed wind power as part of our energy mix in a Scottish Renewables/YouGov poll published around the time Mr Trump gave his evidence to the Scottish Parliament Committee. The development of the low carbon economy, driven by a renewables revolution that reindustrialises communities across Scotland, was a clear commitment in the last election which we won convincingly. So, I’m confident that our support for Scotland’s world-leading renewables industry is well welcomed across Scotland. Communities are already benefiting from thousands of jobs and tens of millions of pounds of investment. Over last year, around £750 million of new renewable electricity projects began generating in Scotland, while there is a potential future pipeline of renewable electricity projects with a capital value of around £46 billion.

James Stafford: Angus Armstrong, director of macroeconomic research at NIESR, said that “even with a favourable settlement on future oil revenues, its (Scotland’s) fiscal balances are likely to be volatile with large deficits in some years as a result of its dependence on oil revenues.” He suggested that an independent Scotland’s debt would be about 70% of the country’s gross domestic product. Does this fear have any founding? How do you intend to protect Scotland from an over reliance on oil revenues?

Alex Salmond: As a result of the financial crisis and the management of the public finances by successive UK Governments, the UK has a considerable national debt. Debt that Scotland will have to repay independent or not. If UK debt was allocated on a per capita basis, then for 2010-11 – the last year in which figures are fully available – Scotland’s net debt would be 51% of GDP compared to 60% of GDP for the UK.

Scotland has a broad tax base and is not overly reliant on North Sea revenues. For example even when North Sea revenues fell by 50% in 2009-10, during the global financial crises, Scotland’s fiscal position remained stronger than the UK’s.

James Stafford: The partnership deal with Masdar, the Abu Dhabi clean energy company, could be hugely lucrative and beneficial for Scotland. We know that the agreement covers; offshore and onshore wind, carbon capture and storage, investment in the low carbon economy, and renewable energy research and development, but could you give us a more detailed account as to what Scotland will benefit from, and what Abu Dhabi will benefit from?

Alex Salmond: Globally, we need to make the transition from an economy which largely generates energy from fossil fuels to one based on renewable energy. The issues that Scotland and Abu Dhabi will work on together are among the key challenges that confront the world as it moves to a low carbon future: how to develop commercial onshore and offshore wind projects of scale; how to reduce the cost of offshore wind; the implementation of projects for carbon capture and storage; smart grids; power electronics; bio-energy; building technologies and solar power. Both Abu Dhabi and Scotland know that countries which develop the low carbon technologies to power the planet in the future will gain significant economic benefits, whether it is from the sale of technology, the manufacture of turbines and machinery, or the export of clean electricity itself. The Framework for Action between Scottish Enterprise, Masdar, the 12 Scottish universities of the Energy Technology Partnership and the Masdar Institute for Science and Technology brings together a huge amount of accumulated expertise. Masdar is a very attractive partner because its basic premise is to invest in and develop low carbon technologies and Scotland has massive investment opportunities, for example in offshore wind. Masdar is making significant investments in markets outside the UAE and is ambitious to invest further in the UK. Masdar, which has a number of investment funds which take shares in hi-tech companies, will consider potential investment opportunities in the Clean Technology sector in Scotland. Both Abu Dhabi and Scotland are committed to using our existing expertise in the oil and gas industry to help us in the transition to a low-carbon economy, for example Scotland’s North Sea experience can help cut the costs of offshore wind. Our partnership is also a wider statement of intent that it makes about the role that Scotland and Abu Dhabi intend to play in helping the world to meet its future energy needs.

James Stafford: If Scotland achieves its independence, in what areas are you looking to exert that independence? I have read that you will still keep the pound sterling as your currency, but that means that monetary policies will be set/heavily influenced by the Bank of England.

Alex Salmond: Scottish Ministers have outlined our intention to stay in a sterling zone with the rest of the UK, which would be in the best interests of the Scottish and UK economies.
“The Bank of England has had operational independence from the UK Government since 1997 – a position we would support post independence.

The aim of monetary policy is to provide the overall stable macroeconomic framework that is conducive to growth. What independence would provide is access to the key levers – particularly fiscal policy – which would give the Scottish Government the ability to tailor a full range of policies to meet the specific needs of the Scottish economy. These levers could include the use of taxation and regulation to boost innovation, skills and attract investment.

James Stafford: Do you think that Scottish Independence will be contested in Europe? It could prove a troublesome issue for countries, for example, the regions of Catalonia or the Basque Country could decide to separate themselves and declare their independence from Spain.

Alex Salmond: An independent Scotland would inherit membership of the EU as a successor state, in the same way as the rest of the UK, and Scotland brings a great deal to the EU table. We are a leader in the field of climate change, we are natural-resource rich, we have 10% of Europe’s coastline and 20% of Europe’s seas and we enjoy vast renewables potential, including around a quarter of Europe’s offshore wind and tidal energy resource, and as much as a tenth of Europe’s wave power potential, and in the North Sea Western Europe’s largest oil and natural gas reserves – crucial to the Commission’s objectives for energy security of supply.

Scotland’s constitutional position within the UK is very different from the Spanish context, but in any event Spain have already confirmed that they would have no objections to Scottish independence and membership of the EU. Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo, is quoted in the Spanish newspaper Diario Vasco on 24th February 2012 saying that “If in the UK both parties agree that this is consistent with their constitutional order, written or unwritten, Spain would have nothing to say, just that this does not affect us. No one would object to a consented independence of Scotland.

James Stafford: Is Scottish independence crucial to your renewable energy plans for the future?

Alex Salmond: The Scottish Government has a very strong vision of the opportunities that independence would bring to Scotland in the energy sector. We are aiming for a transformation – a re-industrialisation along the lines of a green economy. The Scottish Government strongly believes that the increasingly integrated EU energy market means it is in the shared interests of Scotland and the rest of the UK to continue with the GB-wide energy and electricity markets after Scottish independence. This would be similar in principle to the many international sharing arrangements which already exist, for example the All-Islands Approach agreed by UK, Scottish and Irish governments. Scotland can continue to play a key role in ensuring security of supply for the UK. The costs of low carbon electricity generation, be it in Scotland, England, Wales or Northern Ireland, to allow us collectively to meet international obligations to reduce polluting emissions, would continue to be spread equally across the consumer base.

James Stafford: Subsidies for renewable energy programs are losing popularity in many countries as expensive startup costs and the shale gas revolution make these technologies economically unfeasible. How are you attracting investors to your various programs?

Alex Salmond: Scotland has a natural competitive advantage in the transition to the low carbon economy given our vast renewable energy resources and our history of technological innovation. We believe that our competitive advantage lies in being at the forefront of technological innovation: this is achievable for a small nation. We want to make Scotland the destination for international investment in low carbon, and for the development of the financial architecture for a global low carbon economy, by operating at the forefront of development of clean energy. You also have to provide investment certainty. In 2009 the Scottish Parliament unanimously passed The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. This groundbreaking piece of legislation sets a world-leading target of at least a 42% cut in national greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 compared to 1990. As well as having all-party support, the Scottish legislation received support from across Scottish civil society such as business organisations, trade unions and environmental groups. The aim of the Act was to provide certainty for businesses and the public about Scotland’s low carbon future. We have backed up the legislation with a comprehensive delivery framework. So business, and investors know that Scotland is serious about leading the low carbon transition and International energy companies are making Scotland their base for research and development in offshore wind and marine energy.

Climate change campaigner and Nobel Laureate Al Gore praised Scotland’s commitment to renewables when he said: “Scotland has not only provided inspiring leadership, you are exploiting one of the greatest resources anywhere on the planet, with wind onshore and particularly offshore, all sorts of variety of windmills – and the new renewable technologies are especially important”. So clearly, major international figures think we have the framework right in Scotland.

James Stafford: Given the SNP commitment to renewable energy independence would you be able to discuss the importance of wave & tidal power in the overall renewable matrix?

Alex Salmond: The Scottish Government sees wave and tidal as playing a central role in the energy mix given their ability to complement and balance other forms of renewable energy generation. In the short term our priority is to develop the industry through small arrays to meet as much as possible of the ambitious plans for over 1GW of wave and tidal in the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters by 2020.

We have also consented a 10 megawatt tidal power array in the Sound of Islay; this is the world’s largest consented wave or tidal stream project. We have launched the Saltire Prize, Scotland’s £10 million energy challenge to the world to push back the boundaries of marine energy innovation will accelerate the commercial development of wave and tidal technology.

James Stafford: Would Edinburgh join the EU? If so, what does that mean for its renewable energy targets?

Alex Salmond: Scotland is and will remain a member of the EU. We already have ambitious targets, above the EU target, so we will take those ambitions to the top table in Europe. Scotland has a target of delivering the equivalent of 100% of domestic electricity demand from renewables – far above the EU target of about 30% for the UK – we exceeded that last year.

James Stafford: Should you gain independence from the United Kingdom, do you believe North Sea oil will give Edinburgh enough cash to shield it from similar debt burdens plaguing the eurozone?

Alex Salmond: Scotland has had a lower fiscal deficit than the UK over the past five years as a whole. Scottish Ministers believe that with the additional economic levers that independence would provide, and the £1.5 trillion asset based provided by Scotland’s remaining oil and gas reserves, an independent Scotland would stand on a strong financial footing.

An independent Scotland would establish a credible fiscal framework to ensure Scotland’s public finances were put on a sustainable footing. In order to facilitate this process, the Scottish Government has recently established a Fiscal Commission Working Group (comprising of Professors Joseph Stiglitz; Andrew Hughes Hallett; Sir Jim Mirrlees; and Frances Ruane) to oversee the crucial work to assist in the design of a fiscal and macroeconomic framework for Scotland which entrenches financial responsibility.

James Stafford: A recent Citigroup research report estimated that to achieve your renewable energy goals you would need to invest between £6 billion to £7 billion a year. Where do you see this investment coming from? As green energy has not delivered good returns for investors in the past.

Alex Salmond: The Citigroup report was widely criticised by industry in Scotland and the proof is that investors are continuing to invest in Scotland. The UK Government estimates announcements more of renewables investment and jobs in 2011-12 in Scotland were £1.7 billion with 4411 jobs, with a potential £8bn and 3313 jobs in the pipeline – that’s more investment in the pipeline than the rest of the UK put together – significantly more. There have been a string of announcements by major domestic and international companies making significant investments in Scotland encouraged by our commitment to the low carbon revolution: Scottish and Southern Energy, Iberdrola Scottish Power, Gamesa, Mitsubishi, Samsung, Gaia Wind, Global Energy Group, Aquamarine Power. And we have seen substantial £7bn of investment in grid connections in Scotland being fasttracked by Ofgem in particular to strengthen the capacity to export green electricity to England – Scotland already exports around a fifth of our electricity generation. And of course we heard recent welcome news that the Green Investment Bank, with capital of £3bn, will have its HQ in Edinburgh.

James Stafford: Alex, thank you for taking the time to go through our questions.

Interview by. James Stafford of

431 responses to “Making Scotland the Green Energy Capital of Europe

  1. Latimer Alder

    Surely its not April 1st?

    Best giggle I’ve had for weeks. Wee Eck”s self-regard is in inverse proportion to his abilities.

    • That is a common trait in mortals.

      Observations “may force astronomers to rethink” energy source that births seven hundred and forty (740) stars per year [The Apeiron J. 19, 123-150 (2012)] !

      Why not climate, nuclear and solar scientists ?

      – Oliver K. Manuel
      Former NASA Principal
      Investigator for Apollo

    • Self-regard (“selfishness, self-centeredness, survival instinct”) is natural; Expressed in childhood as “Me, Mine, No!”

      It (SR) dominates actors/addicts/politicians/world leaders.

      Historically, SR produced Climategate by this route:

      1. National conflicts leading to the Second World War

      2. Bombs that released energy (E) stored as mass (m) from the cores of
      _ U-235 atoms over Hiroshima on 6 Aug 1945
      _ Pu-239 atoms over Nagasaki on 9 Aug 1945

      3. Formation of the United Nations on 24 Oct 1945

      4. Post-1945: Collective world ignorance about the
      _ “Fountain of energy that birthed the world; sustains life
      _ The core composition/energy of atoms, planets, stars, galaxies

      5. A totalitarian one-world government and worldwide enslavement of citizens, as George Orwell correctly predicted in the futuristic novel written in 1948 (probably after being warned by a fellow British writer of science fiction, in ~1946-1947 – Fred Hoyle)

      I regret to say, “That is exactly where we are today.”

      One of my best friends advised today, ” Truth can’t hurt.”

      Whether or not it hurts, I am firmly convinced the events of Climategate will ultimately confirm the wisdom of these ancient scriptures,

      “Truth is victorious, never untruth.”
      Mundaka Upanishad 3.1.6; Qur’an 17.85
      Many other philosophical/religious verses

    • Events between late-1950 and early-1970 almost destroyed the 1945 agreement to Unite Nations:

      a.) The USSR launched Sputnik and threatened to dominate the world in 1957.

      b.) John Kennedy was elected President of the United States in 1960.

      c.) (John’s father, Joseph, was rumored to hate communism almost to the point of prefering Natzism).

      d.) Dwight Eisenhower***or his speech writer warned Americans of science corruption in Jan 1961.

      e.) USSR’s Yuri Gagarin became the first person to travel in space and orbit the Earth in Apr 1961.

      f.) John Kennedy promptly announced United States plans to win the space race; Apollo program in May 1961

      g.) The Bay of Pigs invasion in Apr 1961.

      h.) The Cuban Missile Crisis in Oct 1962.

      i.) The assassination of John Kennedy in Nov 1962.

      j.) Kissinger secretly visits China and agrees to dismantle US space program in 1971.

      k.) Nixon announces that decision in Jan 1972:
      “No more dreams, Mr. President”

      l.) At the Lunar Science Conference in Mar 1972 it was rumored that the Apollo will end; Nixon, Brezhnev, Chairman Mao and/or Chua Enlai will orbit Earth in a spacecraft and sign a world-wide peace treaty.That rumor never materialized.

      *** Eisenhower’s warning in 1961

  2. Scottish independence? :lol:

  3. Latimer Alder says

    “Best giggle I’ve had for weeks”

    Not so funny if you live in Scotland.
    Salmond is clearly delusional.
    The half baked ‘pie in the sky’ politics advanced by him will do great harm to Scotland if implemented.
    The bluff was called recently when asked where the new Scottish currency would be pegged.
    Until recently he was in favour of linking it to the Euro.
    Reality check with Euro crisis forced him to beg to remain in the Sterling area.
    Independent Scotland forced to follow Bank of England orders without any representation on the BoE board.
    How independent is that?
    Readers will have no difficulty in spotting the pitfalls in the reckless energy plans.
    All require subsidies which are hardly affordable at the moment on a UK basis.
    An independent Scotland will have to foot the subsidy bill on its own.
    But Wee Eck will wait till it develops into a full crisis before being flummoxed.
    To think that the Scots have a reputation of being ‘canny’

  4. What happened? Did the King of Abu Dhabi purchase Scotland from the Queen of England?

    • Latimer Alder

      I think your grasp of our constitutional arrangements is ‘rudimentary’ at best. :-)

      We call it the ‘United Kingdom’ for a reason.

      But if you gave the English a vote on whether they wanted to stay united with Scotland it would be a walkover in favour of a split.

  5. The only part that is genuinely interesting (to someone not lusting for huge increases in government) is where Salmond is asked:

    James Stafford: Subsidies for renewable energy programs are losing popularity in many countries as expensive startup costs and the shale gas revolution make these technologies economically unfeasible. How are you attracting investors to your various programs?

    Alex Salmond: We did a King Canute and passed a law saying it had to be so.

    (OK, the last sentence is a paraphrase, but is pretty much what he said.)

    Why shouldn’t crony capitalists continue to pump millions into Scottish wind investments when the government is committed to taking billions in taxes from the poor stupid voters to subsidize them?

    • Replace Scotland with Iowa…

      • “Replace Scotland with Iowa…”

        Not really a laughing matter, and wind turbines are actually providing relief to farmers.
        From “Obama mocks Romney on wind energy in Iowa”

        “Wind power has buoyed Iowa’s economy during a drought that has crippled the state’s agricultural industry. Farmers increasingly have relied on the steady profits provided by wind turbines to make up for the state’s devastated corn harvest. Iowa now ranks behind only Texas in installed wind generation capacity. “

        You can call it a partial subsidy, but energy is still needed and if the farmers can make some money off of providing it, then it does benefit more than just the few that the contrarians claim. That is the way renewable and alternative energy strategies will play out.

      • Latimer Alder

        Maybe Iowa gets a lot of subsidy from the rest of the US.

        But what if Iowa were a standalone country? Where would it get the money to subsidise the farmers? It wouldn’t have the resources available from the rest of the US. Because that is the proposition put forward by Salmond for Scotland.

        Subsidies do not grow on magic money trees

      • “But what if Iowa were a standalone country? “

        Strawman. But apart from that, are you that clueless? Did you not know that Iowa is the best corn-growing land in the USA? They could trade food for X, where X is any resource, including money for subsidies. They make the money in good growing years so they can subsidize technologies that helps the farmers in poor growing years.

        See, agriculture is prone to fluctuations, just like wind! Isn’t it ironic that wind in Iowa is persistent enough to bail out the farmers? Ain’t that a hoot?

        Scotland could trade anything for crude oil, at least while it lasts. That could get them ramped up for new energy technologies. That’s what makes Salmond the right person at the right time.

      • In reply to WebHubTelescope Below.
        “They make the money in good growing years so they can subsidize technologies that helps the farmers in poor growing years.”

        Then why don’t they build proper efficient power stations that can generate electricity much more cheaply than wind turbines that need a lot of other peoples money to be viable?

        “That could get them ramped up for new energy technologies. That’s what makes Salmond the right person at the right time.”

        As elsewhere, output from windturbines = #turbines * amount of wind.
        Ie ZERO when the wind isn’t blowing.
        That’s why Salmond needs to go.

      • For cases where the wind isn’t blowing, rethink your energy storage strategy. Use it to produce hydrogen fuel, for example.

      • David L. Hagen

        Europe is exploring chemical storage in methane.

        One of the more promising ideas comes from a German research effort between the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy & Energy System Technology (Fraunhofer IWES) and the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW). Their so-called “Renewable Methane” approach is based on using excess electricity from renewable power plants to produce synthetic methane, which can later be used to reproduce electricity.

        From Wind and Sun to Gas: Fraunhofer’s “Renewable Methane” Energy Storage Technology

      • lurker passing through, laughing

        Tax payer subsidies of wind mills have provided relief for farmers who are experiencing a loss due to drought conditions that are reducing their ability to grow corn for tax payer subsidized ethanol.

      • Drop all energy subsidies in the US, including any for the oil industry that other industries don’t get, and we’ll see how well those farmers make out.

    • Actually, replace Scotland with Mississippi, a forever sink for UK money which is why devolution would be a disaster for Scotland.

  6. Now where did I read soemthing like this before?


  7. lurker, passing through laughing

    Poor Scotland- too far from heaven, too close to England.

    • Michael Hart

      …and a capital city that “Ought to be in England, but doesn’t deserve to be”, as a Glaswegian once explained to me. One of the best double-edged insults I’ve ever heard :)

  8. Bloke down the pub

    If the Scots vote for independence then the English should cut the cables between the two. Unable to sell his surplus or to import backup when the wind doesn’t blow, it wouldn’t be long before Scots had him swinging from one of his windmills.

  9. To those from outside Scotland not familiar with Alex Salmond, or Mad Alex as Trump has taken to calling him, public support for his delusional desire to gain independence is sinking faster than the Euro. This is after all the man who just a few short years ago compared Scotland’s prospects to that well known “arc of prosperity” Ireland, Iceland and Norway. Within months Ireland and Iceland were bankrupt nations which had to be bailed out.
    This is also the same Alex Salmond who championed the Maldives cause because he believed they were sinking, so clearly not only economically illiterate but scientifically illiterate as well.
    As soon as he loses the vote on independence he will be dispatched to a footnote in history.

    • Trump’s the one who thought Obama’s birth certificate was fake right?

      • Don’t know much about it, but one and the same. We Scots are more preoccupied about how his hair manages to survive the local wind conditions around his links golf course.

      • David Springer

        What birth certificate?

        I wanted to get a passport. They told me I needed a birth certificate. I gave them a link to a picture of my birth certificate on the internet. They said that wasn’t good enough. I said it’s good enough to become president of the United States but it isn’t good enough to get a stupid passport? Then they asked me to leave.

      • Steal melts.

  10. MattStat/MatthewRMarler

    Could you give us a hint why we might want to read this?

    • Latimer Alder


      The last few topics have been pretty serious, so now its comedy time….And at the expense of a deluded Green Scotsman. Bliss!

      Thta’s why

    • David Springer

      Curry is collecting favors. Now James Stafford owes her one.

      One of what not even David Springer knows.

      • Actually, Curry is acutely busy, week before classes start, just about my busiest week of the year, no time for developing new blog material. This landed in my inbox. I thought the Denizens would like to discuss.

      • David Springer

        Yeah, well, you know what thought does. I thought I’d put a feather in the ground and grow a chicken.

      • Judith,

        If you are too “acutely busy” to run this blog properly then maybe it’s time to wind it all up and concentrate on your day job?

        There seems to be precious little, if any coming together of the two sides. Does anyone on this blog feel any closer to the other side than previously? Has anyone actually stepped on to the supposed bridge, never mind crossed it?

      • “properly” is in the eye of the beholder.

        As a not-IPCC dumping ground and rallying point for not-IPCC ditto-heads, it’s working perfectly.

      • Tempterrain,

        Why do you bother making a comment at all if the only thing you have to say is sneering jibes?

      • Why would anyone come onto a blog and demand that the owner, to whom they pay not one penny, wind it up, because said owner has said that they are too busy to look after the blog at present? What sort of person is it that makes snide remarks to people who are doing their best?

        “There seems to be precious little, if any coming together of the two sides. Does anyone on this blog feel any closer to the other side than previously? Has anyone actually stepped on to the supposed bridge, never mind crossed it.”

        I’m guessing nobody from the sceptical side has set foot on the bridge because they can clearly see what awaits them on the other side, people like you. Ill mannered, arrogant and ignorant in equal measure.

      • Latimer Alder


        You can buy a copy of ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie from most good bookstores. It would be a wise investment for you.

        Your posts over recent months have shown an increasing fear-driven hysteria.My initial thought was that you have forgotten to take your medication. But now it seems more likely that you are in the ‘denial’ stage of grief as you try to pretend that all your green beliefs are based on something other than wishful dreams and bear no relationship to the real world.

      • I would suggest turning this into a Twitter hashtag feed. Nothing is indexed by Google and no one can post fully rendered charts and graphs but the owner. It is dominated by trolls that only have 140 characters worth of spew to type at a time anyways — calling Kim for pithy comeback.

        I will do it for you

      • lurker passing through, laughing

        Feeling a bit nastier than usual?
        If it is so bad, don’t let the door hitya.

      • Scott Basinger

        I’ve stepped on the bridge. From here, I can see the absurdity on both sides.

      • This subject has already generated 200 replies since yesterday which is substantially larger than most articles on WUWT and real climate. It’s an interesting topic and surely illustrates the diversity of material on this blog.

        However someone could explain to me why google doesn’t index articles from Climate Etc.

      • John Carpenter

        “Does anyone on this blog feel any closer to the other side than previously?”

        I have answered a variation of this question before more than once,

        I started my interest in reading about and debating AGW from the skeptical point of view and have moved toward the warmer side. I try to take a more central, perhaps lukewarm, position. There are plenty of folks on both extreme sides who are out of touch with reality and will not try to learn new information because they are so convinced of their position… you cannot not reach those types of people. There are many who can and do learn and can and do accept new information that may not have been congruent with their original ideas. IMO, those are the people who will be relevant to any problem solving efforts. I would guess those on the extremes are the ones doing the most talking while those in the middle are doing the most observing and thinking.

      • “However someone could explain to me why google doesn’t index articles from Climate Etc.”

        Because there are too many skeptical climate clowns who turn the science into gibberish. Same reason that Google won’t index auto-generated Japanese-to-English translated pages. Someone at Google (or here) deliberately turned the feature off (or flags on) because they didn’t want to add to the noise in Google. If it was up to me, I wouldn’t want it indexed either.

      • “Why would anyone come onto a blog and demand that the owner, to whom they pay not one penny……”

        I’ll try to answer that.

        Judith’s stated intention, when starting this blog, is to bring the two sides of the argument together, she’s used phrases like “bridge building”. That sounds a laudable intention , of course, but how is climate etc shaping up in this regard?

        I’d suggest it isn’t shaping up at all well. What Judith is created is a forum where two opposing sides slug it out. For it to be any different would require more of a lead from Judith than she seems to have either the time or the inclination to offer. She seems quite content to let nearly all contrarian arguments pass without any comment.

        For instance, it is quite usual when discussing decreasing Arctic ice cover for the sceptics/deniers to tell us that Antarctic ice is actually increasing in area. That should be Judith’s cue to explain why it’s increasing. After all, she’s written in a recent paper:

        The observed sea surface temperature in the Southern Ocean shows a substantial warming trend for the second half of the 20th century. Associated with the warming, there has been an enhanced atmospheric hydrological cycle in the Southern Ocean that results in an increase of the Antarctic sea ice for the past three decades through the reduced upward ocean heat transport and increased snowfall.

        So, if I understand her correctly, Judith is saying in this paper that the increased sea ice cover is actually a counter-intuitive effect of increased sea surface temperatures.

        If she can write that in a scientific paper, why can’t she say so on this blog too? If she hasn’t got the time, which is understandable, or if she just can’t be bothered, then its time for her to wind it all up.

      • Temp –

        Judith thinks you build bridges by throwing red meat to hungry lions.

        That said, I damn near teared up reading John Carpenter’s post. He’s a lonely fella on that bridge, and the wind’s blowin’ hard. I think we should be walking out there to stand with him.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Scott Basinger

        I’ve stepped on the bridge. From here, I can see the absurdity on both sides.

        I suggest starting a mild discussion with Peter Lang on some inconsequential matter on which you are perhaps not in full agreement with him. He’ll shove you off the opposite end of the bridge in no time at all.

      • John Carpenter

        “I damn near teared up reading John Carpenter’s post.”

        LOL, I’m sure you nearly did Joshua… thanks for the kind heartfelt sentiment, I’ll be waiting for you to join me on the bridge.

      • I really did damn near teared up, John – well, metaphorically speaking.

        Seriously, you, BillC, and ….um……er…. well…. and I’m sure a couple of other “denizens,” are the hope of Climate Etc.

        The climate debate could use more of your ilk.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Sorry. My question was too arch. Usually you have a few comments or a preface.

  11. David Springer

    Willam Wallace is spinning in his grave.

    • Latimer Alder

      Perhaps they should attach a magnet to him, stick him in a coil and use him to generate electricity. He would be more use than windmills.

      In the recent spell of ‘quiet weather’ all 3500 windmills in the UK generated a total of 12MW of electricity between them. Our requirement is about 40,000 MW. Simple calculation shows that we could generate 100% of this requirement from wind with just another 11,250,000 windmills. Whether e actually have enough land to build them is another question.

      And it is worth noting that the last time an ‘independent’ Scotland got a collective bout of delusional and wishful thinking (The Darien Scheme, the consequent economic collapse was such that Scotland had to ask for ‘aid’ from its richer and bigger neighbour south of Hadrian’s Wall. It was this disaster that led to the Act of Union, the end of an independent Scotland and the creation of the United Kingdom.

      Salmond has yet to explain exactly why it’ll be different this time….

      • Peter Bocking once told me that if Al Gore’s hair were set on fire, he could provide enough heat and light for a small English village.

      • “In the recent spell of ‘quiet weather’ all 3500 windmills in the UK generated a total of 12MW of electricity between them. “

        Little Latie can’t be bothered to provide links to any of his assertions.
        After doing some digging, the wind energy information is in this linked file based on work done by a student at Oxford interpreting the NETA data.

        I replotted this to give an idea of what the mean output is:

        One can see that the mean is around 1000 MW, and this is 1/3 of the maximum excursions. The low peaks of around this 12 MW level are actually rare when plotted on this scale.

        Listen, everyone knows that wind fluctuates. In fact the localized and regional fluctuation levels are very accurately modeled by using maximum entropy techniques (see my book and website). However, the kinetic energy of wind over the entire world is fairly close to a constant. It has to be for conservation of energy to apply. The key is to figure out more load-balancing techniques and smart grids to take advantage of this resource.

        Rainfall also fluctuates and this doesn’t cause farmers to give up. No, they figure out how to survive poor growing seasons, and then make up for it on the good years. We realize that converting and storing kinetic energy isn’t as easy as storing food, but there are always new strategies coming on line.

        Don’t have a lot of options here, seeing as how much the fossil fuel supplies are declining in the UK. Latie can’t be bothered as it doesn’t affect him.

      • Phillip Bratby

        Rather than rely on a student’s discredited paper, the information Latimer gave comes from real data, logged every 1/2hour. It can be found at It was also widely reported at

      • Latimer Alder

        Thank you Philip.

        I;m sure that Webbie would be the first to be in an operating theatre when one of those ‘rare events’ occur. Or on an electric railway train when all the power and signals and doors and lavatories give up the ghost. Driving around a city centre when all the traffic lights fail. Or any of the other myriad things that require reliable power.

        When the power is off it’s matter how good it was yesterday or might be tomorrow or next week.

      • Number 1, Thanks for providing links that Lazy Latie couldn’t lift a finger to do himself.

        Number 2, I don’t know of any “student’s discredited paper”. What are you referring to? All I know is that this data I plotted was a historical roll-up of all the wind data that is only shown in recent rolling time chunks at the site you provided.

        Number 3, Many of you clods don’t realize how to do real analysis. I recall it was commenter P.E. that challenged me to do wind speed analysis of the Bonneville Power Authority in the Pacific northwest. This was earlier this year (can’t find the link because this site isn’t indexed by Google). In any case, after taking him up on his challenge and pulling in some 700 million or so historical data points, I was able to find an interesting statistical model and have a paper in the works.

        In other words, keep it coming. Like I said to Max_OK, elsewhere in this thread
        “Surprisingly, I also get ideas from devious skeptics because they are usually trying to hide something, and you usually find the good stuff when you start flipping the rocks over.”

        In other words, keep it coming — I feed off of misdirection.

      • Old Latie says:

        “Or on an electric railway train when all the power and signals and doors and lavatories give up the ghost.”

        Weak bladder, eh? Don’t fret, it gets to all of us eventually, if we live long enough.

      • Latimer Alder


        I don’t need to do ‘analysis’ to look out of the window on a calm day and see that the windmills aren’t going round. Even without sophisticated mathematical tools it is bleeding obvious that they aren’t generating any lekky.

        But if I were to do ‘real analysis’ – whatever that may mean in your world, I would check back with the neta figures and see that I was right. When the wind don’t blow the windmills stop working.

        There aren’t many sums you can do – however clever you think they are – that will change that basic and fatal flaw in the wind power delusion

      • Latimer Alder

        @web hub telescope

        Thanks. My bladder is in fine fettle.

        But not everybody’s will be. Children, elderly folk, those who had a hot curry the previous night. And the problem will not be confined only to urinary waste disposal but to other aspects as well. if its a hot day (and still days can be hot too), the stench will soon be overpowering. In UK at least modern trains do not have openable windows. It would not be pleasant to be trapped there for many hours.

      • Latimer Alder


        ‘ he key is to figure out more load-balancing techniques and smart grids to take advantage of this resource.’

        Fine. When you have got them working come back and let’s talk again. But up until then wind power does not provide a practical solution to any real-word problem where time is also important. Paying four times over the odds to ruin the Scottish landscape does not contribute in any way to doing what you describe.

        And you seem to have a hangup about the declining fossil fuel supplies (ie, NSO production). All the more reason to look seriously at shale oil and gas. But we already import a lot of our energy (most NSO was exported, not used domestically). Being self-sufficient is not the same big macho thing it is in the USA. UK is primarily a trading nation and so we do not get so excited about it as you guys do.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Fine. When you have got them working come back and let’s talk again.

        Ditto nuclear power and cleaning up the waste; coal power and scrubbing chimneys/capturing carbon; gas power, sorting out those issues with the Russkies; shale gas, stopping those pesky earthquakes; oil power, get the middle eastern countries to be nice to each other and work out how to plug leaky holes 2 miles under the sea…and bring a nice beeswax candle when you come back (assuming the pesticides haven’t had the bees).

      • Steve Milesworthy,

        Ditto nuclear power and cleaning up the waste;

        OMG! More revelations about your scaremongering.

        Scaremonger on nuclear. scaremonger on catastrophic climate change, ….

        What else are you a scaremonger on? Were you involved in the scaremongering campaign for the DDT bans too, or was that before your time?

        By the way, what nuclear waste are you talking about? Are you talking about the once used nuclear fuel that still has 99% of its available energy just waiting to be used in next generation nuclear power plants – like the IFR that ran in USA for some 30 years before being shut down by Jimmy Carter for political reasons? The IFR that UK is now considering as an option for its next lot of power plants?

        By the way, how many people have been killed by once used nuclear fuel so far?

        And how many fatalities are attributable to nuclear compared with your beloved renewables (per TWh of energy supplied)?

      • Nice list Steve, Don’t forget harvesting Methane Clathrates and burning lignite the quality of peat moss. And processing tar sands once the naturoal gas starts to dwindle. And Bakken oil once the initial diffusional flow transient passes. And do not even bring up oil shale of the Green River quality.

        Perhaps these can add fractional returns compared to what we are accustomed to but at huge financial and environmental cost Alas, we don’t have many options and we can watch how they play out.

      • WHT,
        @ August 16, 2012 at 6:38 am

        There will not be a problem. Because, even if a few diehards continue to agitate for renewable energy and scream anti-nuclear slogans, the rational people will move on. We will adopt and transition to nuclear power over the course of this century – the fossil fuels will stay in the ground.

        The sooner people like you get ‘with it’, the sooner and faster progress will be made.

        The sooner the ‘Progressives’ stop blocking progress, the better for everyone.

      • Latimer Alder

        @steve milesworthy

        Sure. All technologies have problems. Nobody claims otherwise.

        But wind power has one much much bigger problem than most. It is unreliable. It will stop working when you least want it to. And produce too much when you don’t need it. You cannot plan for when it will be out of action. It is uncontrollable. This makes it pretty much useless as a practical source of bigscale electrcity.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Peter Lang

        As usual, you read a little too much of what you want to read than is really there. Latimer points out an issue with wind power which we know we have the technical solution for and uses it to reject wind power. I don’t know his views on other power sources but I don’t see him putting their particular hurdles in their way.

        By the way, what nuclear waste are you talking about? Are you talking about the once used nuclear fuel that still has 99% of its available energy just waiting to be used in next generation nuclear power plants

        If I were to be concerned, I suppose I might start with the multiple waste skips and rooms still held in and around Windscale which hold significant quantities of we-don’t-know-what-but-we-ain’t-going-in-there because when you try to put a detector near them it doesn’t last long enough to give a reading. I know this because I have been peripherally involved in such detector development and have interviewed the BNFL engineers.

        These are clearly the exception, but you cannot deny that there are reasonable concerns that noone has a provable business case for cleaning up a site other than hoping that noone will mind the waste being near them as well as all the unreasonable concerns that you have to get over when you live on a small crowded island. It’s irrational to hope that you can cast aside these hurdles and ignore them in your costings. I spent many years playing with radioactive sources, but they scare the willies out of some people.

      • Peter Lang, We will be waiting for your nuclear-powered airplanes.

        Oh, perhaps we should save some of that precious liquid fossil fuel for future generations? Unfortunately, that’s not the way that the free-market mechanism works to plunder the commons.

        Renewables are immune to this eventuality, and that is why they are favored by progressives, and scorned by the ditto-heads. Perhaps some day fusion will fall into this category. Here is hoping.

      • Steve Milesworthy,

        It is clear you are simply one of the anti-nuclear scaremongers. Why don’t you get objective? Why don’t you make an attempt to ask some objective, rational questions and then attempt to answer them. Here are some suggestions:

        1. How long have we had nuclear power and how many reactor-years of experience do we have with commercial nuclear power operation? (hint: 56 years and 15,000 reactor years of operation).

        2. In that time, how many people have been killed, fatally injured or made sick by radioactive waste?

        3. What is the toxicity of radioactive waste compared with the toxicity of highly toxic chemicals?

        4. How long does radioactive waste last and compare that with the life of the toxic chemicals?

        5. How much radioactive waste have we produced so far and how much toxic chemical waste have we produced so far?

        6. Where is the toxic chemical waste? (hint dispersed in the environment all over the world

        7. Where is the nuclear waste? Held in canisters like this (by the way, those 16 canisters contain all the used fuel from 31 years of operation and 34 TWh of electricity supplied at a life time capacity factor of 74%; the Yankee Rowe plant has been totally decommissioned: .

        8. Got any wind or solar farms with a record like that?

        9. Who in their right mind would want to get rid of the once used nuclear fuel, given it still has 99% of its useable energy remaining for use in the next generation of reactors?

        Steve Milesworthy, if you are half as smart as you think you are, its time to drop your irrational phobia about nuclear power.

        It’s time to start assisting rational people to make progress, instead of assisting the ‘Progressives’ to block progress.

      • @web,

        You’re right that nuclear-powered planes are not likely to be developed anytime soon, however nuclear power can be used to manufacture fuels, such as hydrogen. For example, once the relevant problems with storing hydrogen are overcome, hydrogen-powered planes should become reality.
        As to ‘saving fossil fuels for future generations’, which generations do you imagine are actually going to benefit from this, rather than they in turn saving the stuff for their future generations?

      • So you can use the fluctuating renewable sources to generate hydrogen supplies in the background. Like I said, not your usual BAU thinking.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Peter Lang,

        It is clear you are simply one of the pro-nuclear scaremongers. Why don’t you get objective? Why don’t you make an attempt to ask some objective, rational questions and then attempt to answer them. Here are some suggestions:

        1. How long have we had nuclear power and how many reactor-years of experience do we have with commercial nuclear power operation? (hint: 56 years and 15,000 reactor years of operation).

        What is that as a proportion of the half-life of the currently unusable parts of the spent fuel? If we are so experienced, how come Fukushima was such a foul-up?

        2. In that time, how many people have been killed, fatally injured or made sick by radioactive waste?

        How much radioactive contamination (above background levels) should people be expected to live with?

        3. What is the toxicity of radioactive waste compared with the toxicity of highly toxic chemicals?

        Why is this question relevant? Do I have to choose between the two?

        How do you propose to disperse the waste material all over the world without raising concerns. I don’t believe there is much naturally occurring plutonium.

        7. Where is the nuclear waste?

        I told you. Windscale has skips full of the stuff and it is radioactive enough to destroy the detectors one would like to use to work out what is there.

        9. Who in their right mind would want to get rid of the once used nuclear fuel, given it still has 99% of its useable energy remaining for use in the next generation of reactors?

        What is the current market value of these products – taking into account storage, security and transportation costs? What profitable reprocessing plants exist?

        From your link:

        Yankee’s mission and focus going forward is the safe storage of the plant’s spent nuclear fuel and Greater than Class C waste at the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation until the U.S. Department of Energy meets it’s statutory and contractual obligation to remove the material.

        In other words, we can’t deal with it but don’t worry the tax payer has agreed to pick up the tab, no matter how expensive it turns out to be.

        Now you perhaps won’t be surprised that one of the UK equivalents of the US Mohave desert (place in the middle of nowhere where people want to be allowed to dump crud) is the Highlands of Scotland.

      • Latimer Alder

        @steve milesworthy

        ‘Latimer points out an issue with wind power which we know we have the technical solution for and uses it to reject wind power’


        Which technical solution might that be? The one that generates power when the wind isn’t blowing? Or something else? Where can I see it working on a grid-level scale?

        Being a one-time tekkie myself, I love ‘technical solutions’. But I’m also experienced enough to know that its a very long road from a technical solution in a lab (or worse, just in somebody’s head) to practical working engineering. Which have you got?

      • Steve Milesworthy

        The technical solution to wind *occasionally* blowing too hard (that was the discussion *if* you have forgotton) is to build a bit more grid. If it is cheaper and more practical to build the power source then extend the grid later, meanwhile occasionally compensating the power source builder in the tiny but predictable proportion of time that the grid is not up to it, you do that. If not, you don’t. Simple really.

        Nuclear power runs all night, remember, and because the requirement is below baseload the power is cheap enough to pump water up a mountain. Few people think twice about that these days.

      • Steve Milseworthy,
        @August 17, 2012 at 4:01 am

        You clearly have not the slightest idea what you are talking about when it cones to energy matters, do you?

        But it doesn’t stop you BS-ing about your opinions, does it?

        If you are prepared to present uninformed opinions as facts on this matter, why would anyone believe you on anything else you talk about?

        Taking this further, it seems you are typical of many CAGW zealots (and anti-nuclear, pro renewable, anti rational-economic zealots). So why should people trust anything such people advocate?

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Peter Lang

        You clearly have not the slightest idea what you are talking about when it cones to energy matters, do you?

        Is this the 5 minute argument or the full half hour?

        Till you attempt to give actual *reasons* I’m entitled to believe that you think that all my points are completely correct.

        Steve: These apples are nice!
        Peter: Clearly you are anti-orange.
        Steve: No, just saying they’re particularly sweet. I was going to have an orange, but my oranges appear to have gone mouldy.
        Peter: Oranges have a higher sweetness quotient and are much better for you in every way. Hey everybody, Steve is claiming that apples are the sweetest fruit in the world and that oranges are mouldy and disgusting. He has failed to mention that oranges have more vitamin C, and more fibre. This is evidence for his anti-orange agenda.
        Steve: You are very pro-orange – you do accept don’t you that oranges don’t keep as well as apples.
        Peter: You clearly havent the slightest idea when it comes to fruit matters. I have ten questions about the benefits of oranges that I insist you answer…

      • Latimer Alder

        @steve milesworthy

        Your ‘technical solution’ to the inherent unpredictability and unreliability of wind power is

        ‘build a bit more grid’.


        Can you give just a wee tiny hintette of how you envisage this ‘solution’ working? It is not prima facie obvious how this fixes the problem.

      • Steve Milesworthy,

        Till you attempt to give actual *reasons* I’m entitled to believe that you think that all my points are completely correct.

        I’ve given you answers and reasons ad nausium. But you don’t like them and wont read what doesn’t support your beliefs.

        So clearly, you will believe you are correct. That’s entirely your problem. An apt name for it is “Denial”.

      • David Springer

        WebHubTelescope | August 16, 2012 at 1:04 am | Reply

        “The key is to figure out more load-balancing techniques and smart grids to take advantage of this resource. ”

        The usual route is to figure stuff like that out before you build it not after.

      • We do that anyways to improve the resilience of our electrical power networks against outages and peak demand.

        And perfectly sensible ideas like using prime wind periods for recharging electric car batteries. Things outside BAU.

      • Latimer Alder


        Great idea if you can arrange for the batteries to be OOU when the wind blows.

        ‘Hi Wilma – are you going to see little Webster next weekend?’
        ‘I dunno Betty, I’ll have to see if Friday will be windy so I can charge up the batteries. Webster will go ballistic if I turn up in a proper automobile’

        If you read Homer’s Odyssey you can see how they too had to wait for favourable winds before they could make progress on their journey home from Troy. The story is generally though to be set in about 1200 BC. so we can truly say that your technological ideas are taking us back to the Bronze Age. Nice one

      • True reactionary Latie, invoking some anecdotal bit of Greek legend to get his point across. Some people like to keep up with current technology. A sad spectacle you have made of yourself.

      • Latimer Alder


        ‘Some people like to keep up with current technology’.

        And some people are clever enough to realise that the ‘current technology’ is little better than that of 3000 years ago, was already obsolete in 1900 after the invention of the internal combustion engine, is expensive and inefficient and doesn’t do what most people want it to do even if you bribe them to buy it.

        And they leave the toys to the guys to their wishful thinking powered dreams and fantasies.

        Meanwhile there are 6 or 7 billion people out there who need reliable and affordable energy sources. They ain’t gonna get them form moonbeams or fairies’ breath.

      • “They ain’t gonna get them form moonbeams or fairies’ breath.”

        Can you drill for that in the North Sea, or is that the stuff underneath Blackpool?

        Face it, you are out of ammo when you start spouting off nonsense like that.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        They built Dinorwig just so people could safely have a cup of tea seconds after the country’s favourite soap operas have finished. Now 188MW for 6 hours won’t keep Britain going in a lull but an improved European interconnect and a bit more smart thinking will sort it.

      • “The low peaks of around this 12 MW level are actually rare when plotted on this scale. ”

        I just hope you or your loved ones aren’t in hospital during on of these “rare when plotted on this scale” lows occurs.

        Or would you have 100% backup for these eventualities?

        Which then produces the cheapest/ most reliable power, the windmills or the backup?
        Which would you be better constructing in the first place?

        Last question. How much money have you invested in ‘Greenery’?

      • For example, use this energy to create hydrogen fuel. This process is immune to fluctuations and is only dependent on the mean power level supplied to estimate needs. In the long term, we can depend on the wind — unless of course AGW changes the local climate.

        “Last question. How much money have you invested in ‘Greenery’?”

        Time and effort in writing a book on oil depletion analysis. Nothing more. This is investment in sweat labor AFAIAC.

      • Web

        I have commented elsewhere on the possibility or not of a super grid. In the meantime we have to rely on what we can achieve internally. There are two major concerns with wind in the uk

        Firstly, the wind required tends to be present primarily in our finest upland landscapes. This together with the reality that by definition they are not close to transmission lines, means there is a double degradation of the countryside, from the windmill itself and the transmission lines required.

        Second is that in the uk our calmest and coldest weather comes in winter when high pressure sits over us, sometimes for weeks. This means that no power at all is being generated at exactly the time it is most needed.

    • Frieeeeedmaaaaaaannnnn!!!!

      As in Thomas…..the New York Times..????

      Oh never mind.

    • Not possible – he was hung, drawn and quartered ! Nothing left to spin with :)

  12. There are a number of seeeping assumptions here of which the largest is that Scotland would automatically pick up the lions share of the oil and gas fields. Many of these lie around the Shetland and Orkney islands and there is often friction between them and Scotland.
    It is quite possible-but not certain-that these islands would vote to stay in the UK and drive a better deal to retain more of ‘their’ oil and gas.


    • Latimer Alder

      And, despite Salmond’s confident prediction, it is not at all certain that the EU would admit Scotland as a member. Spain in particular would be very much against such a move. UK would probably abstain. And if the timing were right (or wrong) it could coincide with the break up of the Eurozone anyway. Last thing they”d need would be a small new dependent nation while they’re trying to sort out the existing mess. Or they could make joining the Euro a condition of membership. Either way it’d be a very bad set of circumstances.

  13. lurker, passing through laughing

    “low carbon revolution”: what a cool name for “fleecing the public”.

  14. Would anyone like to make a wager as to whether Scotland will be relying on 100% renewable energy by 2020? I’ll wager any amount that they will not achieve that goal.

  15. Follow the money, Judy. Global warming has become a religion. Don’t get me wrong… I believe global warming is happening, and man is causing it. But it’s just become a complete doomsday religion for some. When you actually look back at the geologic records, it’s clear that global warming is a positive, not a negative. The idea that the coast is about to be swamped by meters of ocean is simply fantasy. We’re told that it’s fires and droughts and deadly heat waves, what about the benefits of a warming climate? Even if we could do something about it (which we can’t), it would be futile anyways. Russia perceives (correctly) that global warming is a benefit to it. So why in the world would Russia, the second largest oil exporter and fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gases, EVER agree to reduce its emissions? This idea we can save the world and all sing Kumbaya around the campfire… oh wait, can’t burn any firewood because that might emit release more carbon… this idea, while romantic, is a complete environmentalist circlejerk. Global warming is NOT the end of the world… sorry Al Gore!

    When you look at the geologic evidence, you can see, however, why the UN is scared… because global warming will upset the traditional power balance. In a globally-warmed world, much of the American Midwest reverts to its native dryland grasses. Australia and southern Europe likewise turn drier. But it’s a complete myth that global warming will impact the developing countries more… to the contrary, if global warming is real, the Sahel reverts to savannah and tropical forest and the Sahara retreats northward. The Middle East and much of southeast Asia become wetter. Northern Canada, Russia, and northeast Europe become wetter and much warmer. Siberia, with an area 1.3 times that of the U.S., turns into a breadbasket.

    • james

      I agree with much of what you have written but can’t agree with your conclusion about the changes to the specific regions you mentioned. The truth is there is zero reliable data to predict what will happen to rainfall in specific areas as a result of it potentially getting warmer.

      • Well, I’m basing these projections off climate models and reconstructions of past climates. Most climate models project the U.S. and the Mediterranean to become drier due to the expansion of the subtropics. This would be consistent with recent warm periods in the earth’s history.

        In any case, the point remains, there will be winners and losers. But we can adapt. I’m just not seeing a compelling case that global warming will be catastrophic. Or that it will even be a bad thing on balance. I do find the evidence to support a warming climate to be fairly compelling — not just the temperature record, but also phenological & cryospheric data, and evidence of sea level rise. But there doesn’t seem to be much support for the fabled catastrophe.

      • Oh, and by sea level rise, I mean the gradual 3 mm/year rise that’s been observed by satellite and tidal gauges. I’m not talking about this 20′ rise by 2050 nonsense that occasionally gets passed off as science.

      • I completely agree that there will be winners and losers. My only disagreement is currently using todays GCMs to make any determination about who will be a winner vs loser. If a model has been demonstrated to provide inaccurate results why use it for predicting the future?

      • Warming will be better overall, with regional winners and losers presently unpredictable with current knowledge. What we are getting, though, is cooling. Who let the dogs out?

      • Warming would benefit insects, spiders, snakes, and other creepy crawly things. It also would help mold and scum.

        Lots of deniers are moldy, so warmer would probably would be good for them.

    • You have it wrong James.. Fires are ok.. the UN says so.. .> 50% of renewable energy used in the world today is biomass. And the UN is fine with that. Used for cooking, warmth etc..

    • Russia perceives (correctly) that global warming is a benefit to it. So why in the world would Russia, the second largest oil exporter and fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gases, EVER agree to reduce its emissions?


      What countries, not dictated to by loony elites, would seriously consider implementing policies that would damage their economy and the well being of their people?

      But there is a way that Russia and the poor and developing countries would cut GHG emissions.

      The way is to make available to them cheaper energy than what they can get from fossil fuels.

      The way is most definitely not to raise the cost of fossil fuels.

      The way is available. It just requires that advocacy of the Left. It needs the anti-nukes to change sides and become enthusiastic supporters of nuclear energy.

      One there is support from the CAGW believers in getting low cost nuclear power, the politicians can give the task to the engineers and regulators to give us low-cost, low-emissions electricity. The academics and school teachers can get on with educating the people and the media.

  16. lurker, passing through laughing

    One last observation:
    This tool in Scotland writes off nuclear power due to its decommisioning issues and waste.
    Yet he brushes past the tremendous ladscape destruction and immense footprint of windmill power, to not even talk about the mess windmills will leave behind.
    Poor Scotland: Too far from heaven, too close to England.

    • He also ignores that the reasons that nuclear power plant construction is often behind schedule and over cost is directly due to changing government requirements and delays in the approval processes

      • Say it again. The cost per installed megawatt of capacity went up in the 1960s by something like a factor of 4. For the most part, this isn’t to make the plants safer, it’s to cover all the risk. If grownups could sit down and work out a plan to migrate to the next generation of nuke technology without all the nuisance lawsuits and regulatory obstructionism, not only would safety and waste issues be substantially addressed, the cost would be competitive.

        The effective moratorium on nuclear power over the past 40 years in the US has managed to slow technological progress to a crawl. If we hadn’t had the attack of the crazies after TMI, we’d be running several “4G” technologies by now.

      • Scott Basinger

        Like molten-salt thorium reactors. God help the US if China develops and gets the patents on them first.

      • I think you overestimate our respect for international patent law.

        You ever hear the story of how we got the railroad?

    • lurker – are you hunter?

  17. If you were to ask us English if we would like to be independent from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland we’d say yes. But don’t expect for things to go on as they have been, we’ll be expecting you all to seek work and homes in your own nations, after all if we are not worthy of your continued prescence within the UK why should you prescence be welcome in our independent English nation? But of course eager nationalists that you all are you wouldn’t want to remain when the home nations are calling! But don’t worry I’m sure we can cope without you all somehow. Oh and we’d fully encourage the Shetland islanders to become independent from Scotland as well, which of course would include the majority of the oil and gas…

    • I’m English but live and work in Wales. Housing in the Valleys is so much cheaper than elsewhere and they get stacks of EU investment in infrastructure, etc.

      In fact the only problem is the Welsh.

      It appears that all those ex-miners that had the get-up-and-go to create Miners Institutes for self learning, etc have got up and gone and have left the workshy behind. Can’t get workmen (plasterers, electricians, plumbers, etc) for love nor money.

      • Latimer Alder

        Reminds me of the old advertising slogan during a pate of arson attacks by Welsh nationalists:

        ‘Come home to a real fire. Buy a holiday cottage in Wales’.

  18. Berényi Péter

    Sad, infinitely sad. I used to hold Scots in high regard, their long history, Stone of Scone and all, but this? It is pure madness.

    Wake up Scotland, I’d say.

    Not to mention the deleterious low frequency noise pollution this lunatic would inflict on Europe, the entire continent if he has his way with industrial scale off shore wind farm development. Waves below 1 Hz can travel thousands of kilometers in the atmosphere unattenuated.

  19. Michael Larkin

    I’m English. The Scots are in general fine people except when they’re drunk and running after one another with axes and/or machetes:

    No: just joking. That’s a crude stereotype. They’re not like that any longer. And Ian Brady, well, he was just an atypical psycho. Actually, they’re all like cuddly Billy Connellys, sae nae betherrrr.

    Salmond is a canny politician but, for all that, daft as a wind-powered brush. If he succeeds in convincing the Scots to vote for independence, well, I for one will welcome the fact that I’ll no longer have to put up with Scottish MPs voting on issues that affect us English. And, presumably, they’ll all want to stay in across the border, lift up their kilts and show us their arses. Fine by me. Lang may the wee gabshites freeze in their caud, energy-light glens.

    Thing is, if they were to get into trouble, I suspect they’d start greeting like the soft wains they are, and it would still all be the fault of the sassenachs.

    Disclaimer: I deny that I am scotophobic. I love haggis, really I do, and even more, Scotch pies. Rest assured, no lochs were pissed in during the making of this post.

  20. Latimer I had the same April fools day thought also while reading. Is this guy for real. All the green is based on oil and gas that he is salivating over.

  21. Politicians and economists are being seduced by the siren song of job creation. For every job created in Scotland thousands are created in Asia and the Asian jobs are often more productive than those in Western democracies so Asia is ahead competitively. For the West to retain standards of living we need fewer more productive jobs, but we are not heading in that direction. Apparently in Scotland, politicians are offering a better future with independence from Britain, based on assumptions of so-called ‘renewable’ energy, but what happens if the wind does not blow? Sure you can build a grid based on renewables but you need a gas or coal fired plant in reserve. Keeping a plant in reserve ready to go is expensive and you soon find that you are better off without the renewables.

  22. Say, Michaek Larkin, mo caraid, yer have a problem with Scots getting drunk and running after each other with axes and /or machetes?
    Hmm, though I will admit Scots are not *always* canny. The ill conceived Darien scheme of 1696 investing half Scotlands money in a disastrous trading company in Panama comes ter mind … and now this!

  23. The comments are revealing and encouraging. A year or two ago, many commenters would have been salivating over another example of how renewable energy is going to save the world. It’s encouraging to see the Denizens here seeing through this nonsense.

    This is relevant:
    Why is wind power so expensive – an economic analysis” Gordon Hughes, GWPF

  24. Jest read Latimer on Darien as well. Sometimes there are lessons ter be learned from history. By its Act of Union with England, Scotland ended up with the best of both worlds, the peace/order benefits of a strong administrative state but freedom from undue interference to develop and innovate, as they did.

  25. This guy from Scotland understands that while the UK has access to crude oil resources from the North Sea and the financial windfall that it provides, that now is the time to start instituting alternative and renewable energy strategies.

    Most of the commenters are apparently naive and don’t understand the significance of this post.

    The following news item just came up the other day:
    North Sea output drop sends key Brent oil to 3-month high

    ” As a result, supply from the 12 North Sea crude streams tracked by Reuters will average 1.573 million barrels per day (bpd) in September, down from 1.905 million bpd in August, according to Reuters calculations on Monday based on loading programmes. “

    What’s interesting is that this trend was long predicted. Here are links from 2005-2006 in which I projected the depletion of UK and Norway crude oil production:

    UK North Sea oil shock model

    Norway North Sea oil shock model

    Both pretty much spot on. More spot on than any AGW predictions because the overall change is like 50% — a relative large dynamic range.

    Both UK and Norway are seeing their North Sea production continue to fall like a rock as natural depletion sets in. There will certainly be new discoveries (especially for Norway) but the course is set.

    This month’s North Sea drop is 15% in production, and economies based on fossil fuels will respond starkly to that reduction — it may take a few months but UK needs to brace itself. That’s why this discussion has significance, and why the interview was posted..


    • Latimer Alder


      On which page of your document can I see that you predicted that the production in August 2012 will be 1.9 million and then decreases to 1.6 million in September?

      If you can’t show me those, then your claim to be ‘pretty much spot on’ is wildly exaggerated.

      JFI what are your predictions for each of the next coming 12 months? Make them now and we can all assess your soothsaying skill during the coming year

      • “If you can’t show me those, then your claim to be ‘pretty much spot on’ is wildly exaggerated.”

        Little Latie,
        I am using some sophisticated math to do the projections, but the basis for the calculations remains the total reserves estimated from the size of the individual discoveries. For the UK, several months ago I did a quick overlay of more recent production data against my original projection:

        Obviously, the production output fluctuates seasonally, as maintenance is usually performed in the summer, when it is easiest to work the platforms. This figure shows the seasonal changes:
        But the output should be rising this late in the season, not dropping.

        I am waiting for you to scoff at this, as it will just point out how devoid of substance that contrarians like you turn out to be.

        You seem to forget that in the late 1990’s, the combined output for the UK and Norway was around 6 million barrels a day. We are talking production declines between 5 to 10% a year over the last decade.

      • Latimer Alder


        You invited me to scoff – and so i won’t disappoint you.

        1. That NSO production has been declining since the late 1990s is neither a shock to us, nor was it unexpected even then. I have no idea what point you are trying to make by repeatedly telling us that it is declining. We know this already

        .2. A deconstruction of the graph you link to is a good exercise to limber up before the Telegraph crossword this morning.

        a. The graph has no labels or date or author. It is not form a website registered to you. There is absolutely no indication who created it, nor what it is supposed to show. It could have been created yesterday by somebody else for another purpose. I was taught that graphs should be labelled and have a date and an author when I was about 10yo.

        Excel provides facilities for adding these to any of your plots. If, like Jones from CRU, these are beyond you, then you could always try printing them out, adding them in ballpoint and scanning them back in.

        b. But let’s be charitable, take you at your word and assume that you really did do this around 2006, and that this is your reconstruction of a few moths ago. I assume also that the blue dots represent reported annual production and that the blurry red line is your forecast. There are also some blurry yellow rectangles (unexplained) and a light blue line (also unexplained).

        Since you say the forecast was made in 2006, we can ignore anything before hand. Lets look at how good a forecast it was. (Since you’ve not provided the actual data points, I’ve had to rely on reading off the graph).

        2006 Forecast 1350 Outcome 1600 Underestimate ~ 20%
        2007 Forecast 1200 Outcome 1600 Underestimate ~ 33%
        2008 Forecast 1050 Outcome 1500 Underestimate ~ 40%
        2009 Forecast 950 Outcome 1400 Underestimate ~ 45 %
        2010 Forecast 800 Outcome 1350 Underestimate ~ 65%
        2011 Forecast 750 Outcome 1100 Underestimate ~45%

        H’mm. I think we’ll have to differ in whether this piece of work (if it is indeed what you claim it to be) does not match up too your assertion that it is ‘pretty much bang on’. When it is out by over 50%, I would say that it seriously falls short of telling us very much at all.

        I suppose that you deserve some minor credit for at least getting the sign of the change (-ve) correct. But we knew that already twenty or thirty years ago.

        I fear that it is unlikely HMG will be appointing you as Chief Oil Soothsayer in the immediate future, If you have booked tickets in anticipation of an interview in the Treasury, I regret that HMG will be unable to reimburse you. But London is pretty much still ‘en fete’ after the Olympics and we still have the Paralympics to come. Enjoy your visit!

      • Latimer Alder


        Caffeine withdrawal

        The remarks above are, of course, directed to you..

      • “That NSO production has been declining since the late 1990s is neither a shock to us, nor was it unexpected even then. “

        Which is why alternative and renewal energy strategies are important. The Scotland guy’s view wins. You lose.

        “a. The graph has no labels or date or author. It is not form a website registered to you. “

        You really are a pill. That is fairly common knowledge about the seasonal fluctuations.
        I grabbed that one off the net because it was convenient.
        here is another chart from a journal article to satisfy you

        Isn’t it funny that you never provide links, but are the first to jump on someone else for actually lifting a finger?

        As to the rest of your critical analysis, it is complete garbage. Everyone with any mathematical experience in calculus knows that when a curve is in a steep decline that the points along that decline become very sensitive to variations in the value of the slope. Further, those of us with experience in the field of depletion analysis understand that it is the area under the curve that will makes the eventual difference. Bumps along that curve occur due to maintenance and accelerated production, but the cumulative will be conserved. The cumulative is essentially close to the original estimate of how much was discovered by the prospectors. Each discovery estimate is summed to provide the what is called the URR. The curve that predicts the trend toward complete depletion takes some modeling skill to produce. I stand by my estimate, along with my estimate for Norway, other regions of the world that I have documented, and the entire world.

        The one caveat to that, for offshore platforms in particular, is that at any time, a rig could get shut-in and cease operation. Offshore platforms are much more expensive to maintain, and unlike onshore rigs, they will get permanently shut-down once the owner finds that it is not producing at a level that will lead to profit. To reopen it will take a completely new platform and a new core, as they cement the old core and the platform becomes a rusting hulk.

      • I noticed that the prime area is near the vicinity of Blackpool, Lancashire. What did the Beatles sing:

        “Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire
        And though the holes were rather small
        They had to count them all “

        Oh yeah, frac’d wells are small alright.

        If it comes to pass, try to dedicate lots of the freshly discovered oil and gas resources to come up with better renewable and alternative energy technologies. It won’t last as long as you think. Don’t squander the commons, as humans are prone to.

      • Latimer Alder


        Blackpool is not Blackburn. The different names are the clue.

        And Lennon’s song refers to roadworks. Not gas drilling.

        Apart from that you’ve made a topical and relevant point.

      • Blackburn is in Lancs, just like Blackpool. I thought someone of your great wisdom would grasp that connection. That’s why I said “near the vicinity of”. The article has a picture of Blackpool in the background. Blackburn is less than 30 miles away, and if that doesn’t have natural gas, the future prospects are “rather small” indeed.

      • “Shale gas and oil will make up the difference if the government allows it to.”

        People don’t want to comprehend the scale of the decline in UK North Sea oil.
        In climate circles, they argue about a 1 degree Kelvin change in comparison to a 300 degree K baseline (rounding up a little). Compare that change to the crude oil situation. In terms of 10,000 barrel units, the UK once produced 300 of these a day. Now they are down to less than 1/2 of this amount. So instead of looking at a 1 in 300 change for temperature, we are looking at a 150 in 300 or 200 in 300 parts change in oil production. There is no doubt that this decrease is real and permanent.

        Scotland is looking at ways of adjusting to the new oil math while they still have energy money from the earlier spoils. The fact that they use AGW as the rationalization is very clever. Risk mitigation for AGW requires reductions in fossil fuel usage which acts as an amplifier in trying out alternative technologies such as wind, tidal, and hydro.

    • All fossil fuel production eventually runs out. Renewable energy is the future. I don’t know why so many people in this thread are opposed to developing renewable means.

      • “I don’t know why so many people in this thread are opposed to developing renewable means.”

        The Good Max,
        Because they are contrarians. To argue is a source of energy; it gives them sustenance, like milk from a teat!

      • I’m stimulated by arguing, but I’m more stimulated by physical exercise, and I believe the exercise is better for me. So I spend more time exercising than arguing.

      • I usually get epiphanies when exercising.
        Surprisingly, I also get ideas from devious skeptics because they are usually trying to hide something, and you usually find the good stuff when you start flipping the rocks over.

      • Web, sleep is good too, and very compelling. Good night.

      • Nobody is opposed to developing renewables. They are opposed to paying for it.

        The fundamental problem in the energy sector always has been ‘how to do cost effective storage’. The average electricity consumption is the US is about 450GW…but we have over 1,000 GW of generating resource.

        The fact that we’ve spent(in todays dollars) in excess of 500 billion dollars on generating resources we wouldn’t need if we knew how to accomplish energy storage should tell us something about where we are in relation to solving the ‘inexpensive energy storage’ problem.

        There is a Nissan Leaf in my office parking lot. Everyday after lunch it gets plugged in since it’s owner wants to make sure he has a ‘full charge’ to get home on.

        People are funny…they prefer the energy to be available when they want to use it rather then arranging their lives around when energy is available.

      • Not developing, people are opposed to bureaucratically applying renewable means, which are at this point expensive and unreliable.

      • I don’t know why they would be opposed to “bureaucratically applying renewable means.”
        When it comes to technology “bureaucratically applying” works, as evidenced by the fact the U.S. has the most advanced weapons the world has ever known.

      • Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Even renewables sometimes (and in some places) work. Mostly it’s lies (about costs and maintenance) and hysteria that skeptics are opposed to. Some things seem to work, but only short-term. Long-term they can be destructive.

        Does it help the people of the U.S. that it has the most advanced weapons? I don’t think so.

      • Latimer Alder


        The windmill was invented around about 1250. The basic technology hasn’t changed since then ..the energy density of moving air remains the same and the windspeeds are much the same. There is no ‘development’ left to do. Like there isn’t much ‘development’ left in The Wheel. Once you’ve got to the point where its round, you’ve finished. You might tinker with the edges a bit with different designs and materials, but you’ve basically cracked the problem.

        And the biggest and most fundamental problem wit windmills is still the same as it always has been. The wind itself doesn’t cooperate. Windmills only work within a narrow band of wind speeds. Too much and they tear themselves apart…too little and they do nothing. No ‘development’ that I know of will ever change this. And it is the height of wishful thinking/stupidity to think that it is a good idea to pay people three or four times over the odds to generate electricity this way because soemhow you are ‘developing’ wind power. You’re not. You are throwing good money after bad. And you aren’t even getting a reliable source of power. You cannot practically power a fridge or an ITU or a website or an operating theatre or winter heating or air conditioning or a rail network from wind energy. Just as the Dutch found that they could not reliably drain their land with wind power and moved to steam power in a hurry when it became available.

        That’s why I am opposed to subsidised wind power. It doesn’t do what you’d like to believe it does. And it ain’t going to either.

      • Latimer Alder


        And with particular reference to Scotland, it is worth noting that tourism is a major part of the Scottish economy…along with golf. It sustains around 200,000 jobs and up to 5% of GDP.

        Much of the appeal used to be the fine scenery and unspoilt countryside. Many come to see where their ancestors emigrated from. Already they are objecting to the ubiquity of the windfarm and how the illusion of Scottish wildness is being ruined. There are seven large windfarms within sight of Callendar (Gateway to the Trossachs) with more to come. Donald Trump may have his own reasons to object to the windfarm off his golf course, but if the tourists don’t come with their golf bags because they hate the view then it is the Scottish economy as whole that loses out. And they surely don’t come for the weather!

      • David Springer

        Edim | August 16, 2012 at 2:42 am |

        “Does it help the people of the U.S. that it has the most advanced weapons? I don’t think so.”

        Maybe you just don’t think. Someone has to have the most advanced weapons. Would you be comfortable if that was Iran or North Korea instead of the US?

      • Well, it will be someone else sooner or later. The monster always eats itself at the end.

      • David Springer

        Historically the monsters stay on top for centuries.

        And so far for the US and the rest of the world’s democracies it’s been a very good thing.

        You’re right though, it’s a tough row to hoe for the United States to be the world’s policemen and last line of defense against facism and communism. We almost spend more than the rest of the world combined and spend more than the next 10 largest spenders put together.

        It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it.

      • Max, I’ve no objections to the development of reliable energy sources.
        However, wind isn’t one of them.
        Nor is solar, as far as the UK’s concerned.
        For reliable, read nuclear.
        What I object to, is the building of these wind subsidy farms, that require up to a 200% subsidy to be viable, where their owners get paid not to provide energy if the wind blows too strongly and the grid is destabilised.
        Where when the 100% subsidy for land-based farms, is threatend with a reduction to 75%, the lobbyists kick into action and a mere 90% subsidy is agreed.
        Where 125m tall turbines are scattered all over our countryside.
        Scotland’s dellusions of independance, depend upon them selling the output of their windmills, to us in England and buying power from us at 1/3rd the price in return.

      • Berényi Péter

        Due to low incoming power flux density, so called “renewable” sources are
        1. disproportionately expensive
        2. their land use is wasteful
        3. do more harm to the environment than any alternative

        Raw land area (including sea surface) is an inherently restricted resource, no future technological development can increase it ever.

        The long term solution to energy supply is obviously nuclear. Not the current pressurized water reactor design, which uses only a percent of the energy or so in fuel and leaves behind lots of waste infested with long half life isotopes, but a proper breeder type, which uses fuel efficiently and radioactivity of its waste products settle back to environmental levels in several centuries (instead of hundreds of thousand years).

        From both nuclear weapon proliferation and fuel abundance aspects the Thorium cycle is preferable to the Uranium one, otherwise the details of technology are not so important. Except passive safety is a must, that is, the reactor has to be able to shut itself down in a graceful manner, if power input is lost, unlike Fukushima (and of course should not explode under any circumstances like the mindless Soviet graphite moderated monster in Chernobyl).

        The basics were already given as experimental designs several decades ago, so we do know for sure this approach is workable. But we are not there yet, because our current nuclear reactors were developed as Plutonium factories (during the Cold War) with energy as a byproduct, while development of all alternative designs were stopped cold by mindless environmentalists.

        Fortunately we have plenty of carbon based geofuel to bridge the gap, especially with the recent upsurge of fracking technology which makes huge locked in shale gas reserves available, at a very reasonable price.

        Even “carbon pollution” can be decreased this way, because Methane has the highest heat of combustion of all geofuels with the same carbon dioxide emission.

        However, we should forget the wicked meme of carbon dioxide being a pollutant and forget it fast. Pollutants are those substances, which are harmful to human health, while current environmental concentration of this gas is at least twenty times lower than the lowest possible safety margin.

        Some time in the future solar power may become viable (the entire biosphere runs on it after all), but the technology is not ready yet. Producing electricity directly is a bad idea for sure, because the sun shines mostly in daytime during summer, while most of the energy is needed in winter nights. The obvious solution is to make and store some non-toxic non-flammable energy rich compound locally, let’s say sugar, using photons and readily avalilable raw materials like carbon dioxide and water. Later on it can generate electricity on demand in closely integrated fuel cells.

        However, we should wait for full fledged molecular nanotechnology to make this solution economic and workable. Even then surfaces available for this purpose should be restricted to dual use ones like rooftops, roads and the like, otherwise it would compete with plants for sunshine, which is a clear case of environmental disaster.

        Oh, one more thing. It will never work in sunny Scotland.

      • Latimer Alder


        You are unfair. It is occasionally sunny in Scotland. And when it is. the landscape can be very fine indeed (if you can find a direction where it is not dominated by windmills). But such days are relatively few. Worth waiting for though. Often it is very calm on such days and the wind farms just pack up.

        And the high latitude does not lead to effective solar energy. NA readers may be surprised to realise that Scotland is as far north as the southernmost part of Alaska.

        Salmond’s ‘plan’ is clearly based on wishful thinking. He is also locked into a timetable for an independence referendum in 2014 (700 years since one of the few Scottish victories in battle at Bannockburn) and IMO is heading for a humiliating defeat. He won’t like that at all.

      • Raw land area (including sea surface) is an inherently restricted resource, no future technological development can increase it ever.

        Yes. So called “Renewables” also use far more non-renewable resources than nuclear. Wind generation uses about 13 times more concrete and 8 times more steel per MWh of electricity supplied.

        That means renewables require far more:
        – mining
        – transport
        – ore processing
        – transport
        – processing (many stages with transport between all/most
        – manufacturing
        – transport
        – fabrication
        – transport
        – construction
        – decommissioning
        – disposal

        And energy required for all steps!

  26. If we could just breed enough hampsters. Think about all those little critters turning wheels hooked up to the grid. Of course, you’d still have to feed em, not sure what that would cost, but still…. Renewables in their present state of developement just won’t cut it. Why do the bright people on this blog keep promoting this baloney.


    • Latimer Alder


      It is not the ‘bright people on this blog’ who keep promoting this baloney.

      It is the wishful thinkers, academics and/or stupid ones.. Bright people with real world experience work out that its all baloney in only a few minutes.

  27. My question was somewhat rhetorical and was pointed directly at those who know renewables won’t work and promote it anyway. I believe this issue is at the very heart of the debate and deserves its own posting on this blog. Let’s have at it!


    • Oh, they’ll work just fine, just like they did when life was nasty, shortish and brute. And this is the dream, make no mistake.

    • I second that motion!

      I’d also urge we have some posts focused on policy.

    • “My question was somewhat rhetorical and was pointed directly at those who know renewables won’t work and promote it anyway. ”

      No offense, but that’s kind of a silly question.

      Progressive welfare not only “didn’t work” in ending poverty, it destroyed the family by requiring that father’s leave the home for the mother and children to qualify for benefits.

      The progressive/socialized education system in the large cities in the US uniformly do not work to educate the children they are supposedly designed to help.

      And yes, alternative energy does not work, in its myriad forms, while no new refineries are built, pipelines are mothballed, and all attempts at exploration and development of oil and gas are stalled of killed.


      Welfare was never designed to help the poor. It was designed to create dependency on government and therefore permanent progressive voters. And it has worked marvelously in that regard.

      Progressive schools are not designed to educate children, but to employ hoards of government paid and unionized employees to serve as permanent voters/campaign workers for progressives. Not to mention funneling hundreds of billions of tax payer dollars through union “dues” to the campaign funds of progressives. In this regard, the public school system in the US is a spectacular success.

      And the alternative energy industry is just one of the progressives’ means of turning their political drive for control of the energy economy into cold hard cash. Al Gore and others have proved that alternative energy in this regard is yet another highly effective program.

      All of these policies are demonstrable catastrophes at achieving the ends claimed by those who push them. But they are a never ending source of power, jobs and income for progressives.

      Progressive polices are never really about “fairness” or “the children.” They are about the lust for power (and wealth) of the progressives pushing them,

  28. Of course you’d need elephants in the industrial areas to do the heavy lifting. Hampsters would be used only in rural areas.


  29. The world’s energy will be satisfied with green energy is like saying its transportation need will be satisfied with horse drawn carts. An expensive silly idea.

    • They wish water to flow upstream. It does not. When are they going to wake up to that fact.

      Technology can only move forward.

      The only old technology I like is hydroelectric dams. Bring it on. But they hate it.

      How do you change the current zeitgeist against man made dams?

      How do you change the current zeitgeist of environmentalism?

      Skeptics, what should we do?

  30. Find another hobby. Look for something more constructive and rewarding.

  31. Max-OK asks why the criticism of renewable energy. The answer is simple.


  32. This is an excellent speech to the Scottish Parliament by Rupert Soames.

    This is what Roger Pileke Jr said:

    Here is a speech that everyone interested in climate and energy policy should watch. Speaking before the Scottish parliament earlier this week, Rupert Soames, CEO of Aggreko — a world leader in temporary energy supply — delivers some straight talk to policy makers. He focuses on Great Britain, but the lessons are of broad relevance. Have a look.

    • The link is to the written speech, but there is also a link to the video of the 20 minute speech if you want.

    • Rupert Soames – head of a power generating company.

      Hmm, impartial?

      • Latimer Alder

        Impartial? Perhaps not.

        But I think we can assume that he and his advisers know quite a bit about power generation. They have to do so to keep their customers happy and make their money. Probably more than the typical ‘green activist’ who is great with slogans but has no practical experience. Or the ivory tower bound academic who needs regularly to prove ‘more research is needed’ to ensure their continued employment.

        Read/watch the speech before you criticise it. Seems to me he draws some very sensible practical conclusions about what policy makers need to do today to keep the lights on in the UK in the coming 10 years.

    • Thanks for linking that, Peter.

      As a piece of rhetoric I think it is quite effective.

      As an advocacy for a particular approach to policy, I think it has some merits.

      And demerits:

      The Third Great Truth is that this fantastic expense has to be financed by Global Capital Markets and paid for by the consumers and businesses who use the electricity. There is no Third Way in Energy Policy…..Do you believe that we can de-carbonise power generation without significant amounts of nuclear power?

      Where in the world has there been a significant use of nuclear power w/o government financing and/or subsidization of nuclear energy? Where has it happened where the description – “financed by Global Capital Markets and paid for by the consumers and businesses who use the electricity” – is accurate and comprehensive?

      Pekka makes a strong argument for Finland as an answer, at least relative to other countries. I’m not entirely convinced of that, but even if it is true, it is the exception rather than the rule. And let us not forget that many woulc consider Finland to be dangerously “socialist” – and many nuclear proponents would certainly object to energy policy developed by such a “socialist” process.

      Now some like to hold “Greens” and “nuclear energy scare mongering” by environmentalists responsible for the intrinsic problems with financing of nuclear energy. IMO – that is facile. The financing difficulties are complicated and mufti-pronged, and fear about nuclear energy the product of much more than simply the advocacy of environmentalists.

      • Joshua,

        Try to keep up so I do not have to keep repeating the same points time and time again.

        I am not advocating we roll out the GW scale nuclear monoliths across the world.

        I am advocating we rollout small modular nuclear power plants – factory built, shipped to site and returned to factory for refuelling.

        To do that we must remove the shackles that are preventing the factory built, small modular nuclear power plants from developing.

        I am advocating we remove the impediments to nuclear we implemented over 50 odd years as a result of the anti-nuclear scaremongering.

        In part it means educate the populations so they get over radiation phobia (I realise some people will not get over it)

        In part it means removing the excessive regulatory ratcheting we’ve imposed that is estimated to have caused the cost of nuclear to increase by a factor of four up to 1990, and probably about doubled again since.

        In part it means removing the regulatory distortions in the energy market such as the mandating renewable energy, feed in tariffs, direct subsidies, tax breaks, unjustifiable proportion of energy research funding being spent on renewables for little commercial return and little prospect of ever getting a commercial return.

        With small modular nuclear power plants, factory built and shipped to site, we would be dealing with generating units of similar size (20 MW to 300 MW), construction period (3 years) and financial risk as gas turbines.

        Remove the shackles in the developed manufacturing countries, and the result is inevitable. The issue is getting the shackles removed.

        By the way, as an example,

        GE Hitachi has offered to build a fast reactor to consume the plutonium stockpile at Sellafield, though not yet the whole kit (the integral fast reactor). It has offered to do it within five years, and to carry the cost if it doesn’t work out.

        It eats your nuclear waste!!

        What more do you want?

        Have a look through these articles by George Monbiot

        Why bury nuclear waste, when it could meet the world’s energy needs?

        The UK’s stockpile of nuclear waste could be used to generate enough low-carbon energy to run this country for 500 years.

        If you think nuclear power is hard to finance and deliver, look at the alternative.

        See more of George Monbiot’s articles on nuclear here:

      • Peter –

        I already addressed facile scare-mongering about anti-nuclear scare-mongering and facile polemics about the difficult of financing. Not sure why you felt compelled to repeat it.

        The rest of my comment was in reference to the speech you linked. If you’d care to respond on that point, I’d be interested.

        And FWIW, if you don’t like repeating the same things over and over, then perhaps you should reconsider whether what you say has relevance to the antecedent.

      • You asked about financing nuclear. I answered. Did you read the links?

        When you respond to the issues I’ve raised in the many comments I’ve posted (and you’ve made silly responses to), then you might be in a position to ask me to respond in a different way to one of your comments. Until then, I consider you a useful idiot.

      • Latimer Alder


        Just a thought. Governments do not their own money. Any money they spend comes either from taxpayers or from debt.

        Whichever way it is the nuclear plants are eventually financed by the consumers (taxpayers) or the capital markets. Unless you’ve invented a magic money tree there ain’t anywhere else.

        The government can act as a (supposedly) virtuous intermediary, between these and the eventual spending, but that is all. It cannot finance big projects independently.

  33. Louise,

    I didn’t say it is impartial. I said it is an excellent speech and would be informative for many of the people. It would be especially informative for those people who have little understanding of electricity system issues and costs, and simply accept whatever the renewable energy advocates, industry representatives and ‘Progressive’ ideologues tell them.

    Did you read it before making your comment, or simply dismiss it because you don’t like power generating companies? If so, is that an indication of your impartiality and open mind?

  34. Salmond is relying on England being forced to act as a sink for Scots’ wind surges whilst supplying standby power, which CO2 emission is not counted as Scots’. It’s a scam.

    The problem he faces is that the IPCC ‘consensus’ is based on incorrect physics so there can be no CO2-AGW**. Therefore, the justification for vast capital investment in windmills etc. is vanishing. Scotland may also find HV lines going South terminated by phase switches, the same way Poland now protects its grid from German wind surges.

    **The IPCC assumes (1) denuded IR bands at TOA prove absorption by GHGs of IR emitted by the Earth’s surface in those bands and (2) that that IR is constant, the black body level for an isolated body in a vacuum.

    However, (1) GHGs self-absorb thermal IR so TOA emissivity in those bands is by definition <<1 and (2) is contrary to a century of experiment which proves, convection and radiation are coupled so the latter can never reach black body level in a vacuum.

    Add in the incorrect assumption that TOA DOWN emissivity = 1, which assumes direct thermalisation of IR not allowed by quantum exclusion, and the models create a 'perpetual motion machine of the 2nd kind', 40% energy increase which, coupled with imaginary cooling by extra cloud albedo, creates imaginary 'positive feedback' by exaggerating ocean evaporation.

    The real GHE is probably because at the Earth’s surface, GHGs reduce emissivity in their IR bands, raising surface temperature because fewer sites are available to transfer energy to adsorbed gas molecules or radiation. The mechanism depends on GHGs being in self-absorption, ~200 ppmV CO2, ~900 ppmV H2O vapour, the latter giving fixed GHE.

  35. Latimer Alder

    The miracle of technology brings us the secret thoughts of one of Salmond’s close advisers

  36. This is sort of on topic, but nothing to do with CAGW. If Scotland tries to seperate from the UK, with whom do they bargain? What, politically, represents the “rest of the UK”, when Scotland tries to go it’s own way? Maybe, Parliament, less all Scottish MPs? Are the Welsh and Northern Ireland Assemblies involved?

    I ask the question, because here in Canada we have the same sort of problem if Quebec seperatists win a referendum in Quebec, and no-one seems to know the answer. What is the “rest of Canada”, if Quebec tries to seperate?

    • Despite all the abject nonsense spouted here and elsewhere by blowhards like Latimer Alder, independence will or will not happen according to what the Scots decide in the referendum, not in Europe and not in the UK parliament. Splitting up will be very easy as most things are independent anyway including the parliament. England and Wales will go it alone. No Enlish workers will be sent back to England and no scottish workers will be sent back to Scotland.

      I guarantee that the Scots wish they had split before London amassed such a stonkingly huge debt pile. Now though they are scared that their share of the debt is too high to pay off alone so they will likely vote no to independence.

      It’s debatable whether an independent Scotland would have got into such a fiscal mess as the UK parliament has done but there seems to be absolutely no evidence that the English are any cleverer or fiscally prudent than the Scots so why do they feel so damn superior? Did anyone here read above about the debt pile that Scotland will inherit thanks to remaining part of the UK this long? The UK is staring bankrupcy in the eyes. Could the Scots really do any worse on their own? Or might they instead have followed the Norwegian example as Salmond so often says he would.

      Norwegians, unlike the UK Labour and Tory politicians, were not fooled into thinking that the free market would prevent financial collapse and not fooled into thinking that useless banks should be bailed out; They acted wisely and are consequently sitting ok. The Irish would have been ok too if they had left their banks to deal with their own debts. Alas the UK was just economically inept.

      • Spartacusisfree

        The bloody cheek of it: which are the most indebted banks – It;s RBS and BOS. I say dump the losses on the Scots’ [I am one by the way] as the negative dowry. Salmond is busily trying to sell you all a new Darien Gap Scheme which will ruin Scotland yet again

      • As Salmold previously said on TV, the money spent on RBS was a small fraction of the taxes RBS had sent to the inland revenue; The real problem is that UK government spent all the tax and borrowed even more, thinking that the stellar GDP wasn’t based on debt at all and even if it was then debt didn’t matter; all the top economists said so didn’t they? Well house prices fell, free-market thinking was shown to be utter nonsense and they reverted to pseudo-Keynesianism and spent money they didn’t have.

        A smart government would not have poured money down the RBS rathole or in any English bank either, as it was plainly a very stupid thing to do. Did it result in the bank lending money to small businesses as was the reason given for the largesse? Some of us here were clever enough to see this disaster looming and i believe Salmond was one of them and certainly Stiglitz, his new advisor, was another.

        Virtually all the big banks are in huge debt but there are alternatives: they were not too big to fail. The UK is the only governement that has bought any banks outright afaik. What a great example of economic foresight that was! how much better Scotland would be with that kind of economic vision!

        And you know sod all about the Darien. Read about why it happened; ie the role of the English in closing down Scotlands European trade routes to force Scotland into an unwanted union.

      • Latimer Alder

        @james g

        Perhaps you are right about the UK government. Just shows what a daft idea it is to let a mad uncontrolled Scotsman loose as first Chancellor (Finance Minister) and then Prime Minister for thirteen years.

        The rest of the UK will breathe a sigh of relief after Scottish independence and you can keep Gordon safely locked up in Kirkcaldy.

        As to the Darien adventure/disaster, I think the big problem was that the whole country fell for an unrealistic misconceived dream told by a conman. And when they actually got to the Promised Land, it was a very different place from the one of their imagination. Shattered dreams and national bankruptcy ensued. A truly self-inflicted catastrophe.

        The English may have played a role in hastening the last rites of an independent Scotland, but the fundamental problem was national wishful thinking.

        Can you draw any parallels with today’s circumstances?

      • Latimer Alder


        I see no ‘abject nonsense’ in my remarks.. Nor do I dispute that a referendum will decide the issue.

        But its worth looking forward just a little further than that glorious day when the spririt of William Wallace leads a proud nation to shake off the English yoke. And Wee Eck takes a grateful populace to freedom.

        Because it is not at all clear that the future will be as rosy as you think. And your argument that it will be is, I fear, leavened with huge amounts of wishful thinking.

        I do agree however that the UK government may have been economically inept. Perhaps you do not see the irony that for 15 of the last 17 years, the Prime Minister and Chancellor (Finance Minister) of the UK have both been Scottish.

      • Latimer
        I do see the irony. Adam Smith was Scottish too so you can’t say it’s a national problem. For what it’s worth I’m sure they’ll say you can keep Brown and RBS too. But I believe Brown’s chief advisor in all this was Ed Balls. So good luck. Salmond was, of course scathing in his criticism of Scottish Labour. Yes they are all economically inept too! I don’t have a dog in either fight since I left Scotland long ago but I do resent all this anti-Scots nonsense as much as I dislike anti-English sentiment north of the border. England and Scotland are like brothers; always fighting but still part of a close family. Nationalism is not about hating the English but about self-determination: They just do not want to be led by the hand any more. They might well get it wrong but telling them to follow the example of UK government is not exactly a winning argument. If England develops shale gas then Scotland will have lost out; having lost all oil revenues to the UK exchequer already and now not gettting a share of the English gas. Worse; being told patronisingly they are being subsidised when it often seems the other way around; (it highly depends what you include and exclude from the sums). In any event they need some kind of energy policy that is not based on oil or expensive nuclear. Perhaps there is a cheap nuclear solution? If so please divulge it – and please don’t forget the decommissioning costs!

      • By the way, I don’t blame Brown or the UK government so much as the bank of England, FSA, the City, Wall Street and the UK and US establishment of economists who collectively seemed to believe in fairies. They continually fed governments the line that Keynes ideas were holding us back in the 70’s and Friedmans free-market, anti-rules thinking was the way forward. They somehow failed to notice that the biggest boom time in the fifties coincided with the establishment of widespread socialist experiments in Europe and the US. I’m no socialist but I don’t blithely ignore inconvenient facts the way that modern economists do.

  37. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Neven’s Arctic Sea Ice weblog is reporting this morning that Greenland melting breaks record 4 weeks early. There’s plenty of terrific discussion on Neven’s forum, as usual.

    Hmmm … so here on Climate Etc, it can only be the case that everyone’s rational Bayesian confidence in the proposition Hansen et al. ‘Climate impact of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide’ (1981) is essentially correct just got adjusted upward.

    For example, for me that confidence-level adjustment is from 75.0% to 75.25% … continuing a long-term secular rise in scientific confidence.   ;)   2¢   ;)   2¢   ;)

    Latimer Alder, Spartacus, Peter Lang, Girma, kim, Berényi Péter, David Springer, “lurker”, “discord”, Wagathon … and many other brand-name Climate Etc denialists … what cognitive adjustments are you making? Don’t be shy, folks … let’s give it up for rationality!  :lol:  :lol:   :lol:

    Seriously, Bayesian verification and validation methods are nugatory unless, at the end of the day, probability assignments get made, and are dynamically adjusted in the face of new evidence. So what *are* those numbers, folks?

    Conclusion  The rationale for green energy policies is growing steadily stronger, eh? As the effects of AGW grows steadily more strikingly evident?

    • Latimer Alder

      @A Fan

      You lost me somewhere along the way with all those long complicated words you academic types like to use to confuse us poor peasants.

      ‘Seriously, Bayesian verification and validation methods are nugatory unless, at the end of the day, probability assignments get made, and are dynamically adjusted in the face of new evidence’

      sounded very good and professorial ,if pretty much incomprehensible.

      But I couldn’t see where the Greenland ice melt was going to ensure that windmills go round when the wind doesn’t blow. Can you explain again for us mortals please?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Latimer Alder, you don’t know the word “nugatory”? Well that explains a *LOT* … it is a common word, down our way!   :grin:   :grin:   :grin:

        Seriously, progress comes when the strongest rational skepticism confronts the strongest climate-related science … that is why cherry-picked arguments and denialist demagoguery — by scientists and skeptics alike — are nugatory, eh?

        See how easy that is, Latimer Alder?   :grin:   :grin:   :grin:

        Seriously, try Frank Kreith’s Bang for the Buck:Energy return on energy investment is a powerful metric for weighing which energy systems are worth pursuing in the May 2012 issue of Mechanical Engineering Magazine.

        `Cuz heck, Climate Etc folks might as well read the analyses that the real power engineers are reading, eh Latimer Alder?   :lol:   2¢   :lol:   2¢   :lol:

        Especially since each passing day, the Bayesians are telling us that James Hansen’s climate-change science is looking more-and-more likely to be right! Isn’t that a common-sense fact, Latimer Alder?   :grin:   :grin:   :grin:

      • Spartacusisfree

        That guy’s peddling the same renewables’ horse-shit we have come to expect, tha ssumption that renewables use no fuel so it’s only capital cost.

        That is only true if you don’t connect them to a synchronous power grid. otherwise wind costs you 10 times more capital ans increases CO2 emissions and solar is worse on capital but better on fuel, because it is less peaky.

        So, please don’t try to con us hardened real engineers who know about ROI calculations and about grids. The IPCC science has been faked to benefit the carbon traders purposes and the Mafia who own renewables and in the absence of lots of hydro, the latter above a small level should only be used on local grids.

      • Latimer Alder


        The paper you lnk to only looks at how much energy you use to build a power source compared with how much you get out.

        Laudable stuff, perhaps, but it takes no account of whether the source is either useful or economic. I’d prefer my power sources to be both. And wind ain’t.

        I understood the individual words (mostly). But a normal (non-academic) writer who wanted his meaning to be clear would have used ‘small’ or ‘insignificant’ instead of the uncommon ‘nugatory’. I can only imagine you used it to obfuscate rather than clarify. But when you put them all together in a sentence I still couldn’t fathom it. Best put down as drivel I think.

    • Fan, you write “Conclusion The rationale for green energy policies is growing steadily stronger, eh? As the effects of AGW grows steadily more strikingly evident?”

      The requirement for “green” energy seems to be the same as “renewable” energy. With this interpretation, I am 100% in favor of as much renewable energy as we can afford. Note I use the word “afford”; any renewable energy must make sense economically.

      The problem with most renewable energy projects, namely wind and solar, is that the energy cannot be stores in large enough quantities; namely gigawatt/months. I know all about “pumped storage”, but there seem to be major engineering problems with this. Until the energy storage problem is resolved, these so-called “green” energies are nothing more than a pipe dream. All the evidence we have shows that the pursuit of wind and solar is the route to economic suicide; cf Spain, Germany, and Ontario here in Canada.

      The only viable, truly renewable, energy source is cellulose ethanol; though I am sure people will disagree with this idea. Whether cellulose ethanol makes economic sense, no-one has the slightest idea; though Poet/DSM may disagree with this statement.

      • Thorium – cheap, abundant and safe without the main drawbacks of uranium, and can be scaled down to local level.

        And thinking outside the box:
        How a battery works –

        But if alcohol preferred for a quick solution –

        “Ford And Diesel Never Intended Cars To Use Gasoline
        Center for Research on Globalization – Canada, 29th August 2005

        When Henry Ford told a New York Times reporter that ethyl alcohol was “the fuel of the future” in 1925, he was expressing an opinion that was widely shared in the automotive industry. “The fuel of the future is going to come from fruit like that sumach out by the road, or from apples, weeds, sawdust — almost anything,” he said. “There is fuel in every bit of vegetable matter that can be fermented. There’s enough alcohol in one year’s yield of an acre of potatoes to drive the machinery necessary to cultivate the fields for a hundred years.”

        Henry Ford’s first Model-T was built to run on hemp gasoline and the CAR ITSELF WAS CONSTRUCTED FROM HEMP! On his large estate, Ford was photographed among his hemp fields. The car, ‘grown from the soil,’ had hemp plastic panels whose impact strength was 10 times stronger than steel; Popular Mechanics, 1941.

        Rudolf Diesel, the inventor of the diesel engine, designed it to run on vegetable and seed oils like hemp; he actually ran the thing on peanut oil for the 1900 World’s Fair. Henry Ford used hemp to not only construct cars but also fuel them.

        As an alternative to methanol, hemp has at least one glowing report: the plant produces up to four times more cellulose per acre than trees. And a hemp crop grows a little quicker than a forest.”

        So even further scale to local level, we can all distil the fuel for our cars..

        Why was hemp demonised by renaming it marijuana and the ban on it beginning the US then spread across the globe?

        The same big business an money interests which brought down the economies of Ireland and Greece, the Icelanders told them to get stuffed. It’s organised crime for a government to make taxpayers bail out private banks. Which banks create money out of nothing.

    • Spartacusisfree

      You are apparently making the mistake of assuming people like me ‘deny’ there has been climate change. I do not deny it. It is a fact. However, when faced with a so-called ‘consensus’ with 6 major science errors, three elementary, the others more subtle, plus the glaring use of imaginary energy to purport positive feedback which experiment proves does not exist, I get very annoyed at science being taken over by politics.

      So, I have set out to construct the real science, a set of axioms which together explain all observations without the need to cheat. That’s the scientific method and if people are annoyed about it, hard luck.

      I do bear in mind that the ‘consensus’ is partially based on meteorology’s false belief in ‘Downwelling :LW’, which does not exist because if it did it would breach the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. However, the only way you can use the concept as a crutch is to get independent estimates of <unity UP and DOWN emissivity at the Earth's surface to get rid of the 40% imaginary energy increase.

      But I suspect this will not be done because with no positive feedback and no CO2-AGW, there's nothing with which to threaten gullible taxpayers.

      So, it'll be the hard way: stop Meteorology and Climate Science teaching incorrect physics or lose accreditation and put the research, still needed because of the risk of CO2 initiating a new ice age by altering ocean flora, under new, competent management.

      • Spartacusisfree

        PS because Sagan’s aerosol optical physics is wrong, the other crutch, to claim aerosols make clouds more ;reflective’ also vanishes. Just look at any thundercloud and you’ll see that high albedo is a large droplet phenomenon, the same that gives Venus high albedo.

        So, Venusian atmospheric physics is also wrong………

    • “As the effects of AGW grows steadily more strikingly evident”

      The globe is on a cooling trend NOW:

    • Fan from you “scientific” blog from Neven, there is the story printed in the Guardian at

      This states “Sea ice in the Arctic is disappearing at a far greater rate than previously expected, according to data from the first purpose-built satellite launched to study the thickness of the Earth’s polar caps.
      Preliminary results from the European Space Agency’s CryoSat-2 probe indicate that 900 cubic kilometres of summer sea ice has disappeared from the Arctic ocean over the past year.
      This rate of loss is 50% higher than most scenarios outlined by polar scientists and suggests that global warming, triggered by rising greenhouse gas emissions, is beginning to have a major impact on the region. In a few years the Arctic ocean could be free of ice in summer, triggering a rush to exploit its fish stocks, oil, minerals and sea routes.”


      I find ” Yet the evidence for this “trend” turns out to be drawn from less than two years worth of data.
      Dr Seymour Laxon of University College London raised the alarm using radar altimeter observations made by the European-funded Cryosat-2 satellite, a project he helped devise. This allows scientists to gain more accurate mapping of the sea floor and also sea ice extent and thickness.
      Cryosat-2 began observing the Arctic ice cap in October 2010, and has been acquiring data since. So scientists have two winter seasons and one summer season on which to base any claims.”

      So this “wonderful” story on your favorite blog turns out to be scientific nonsense. Not that I am surprised.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Jim Cripwell, remember that Nature cannot be fooled, eh?

        As these numerous climate-change “hockey-stick blades” grow longer-and-longer, it becomes harder-and-harder to deny their sobering reality.   :eek:   :eek:   :eek:

      • they are still in denial. See how Steven Goddard spins it

      • O me gawd, it’s the beginning of the next ice age!

      • Think you’ll find it’s the story on the Register that is the scientific nonsense.

        The trend isn’t drawn from “less than two years worth of data.”

        The trend is made up of cryosat and icesat measurements spanning 8 years.

      • lolwot writes “The trend is made up of cryosat and icesat measurements spanning 8 years”

        sarc on/ Wow!!! I am really impressed. /sarc off. I seem to have read somewhere that you need at least 17 years of data before a trend can be established. But then again, if you are trying to show CAGW is wrong, even 17 years is not enough. But if you are trying to show that CAGW is real, 8 years is more than enough.

      • Fact is you jumped to the wrong conclusion due to a high level of confirmation bias on your part. You fell for the misinformation the register published. You showed zero skepticism of the register article, you regarded it as proof.

        Your comment was
        “So this “wonderful” story on your favorite blog turns out to be scientific nonsense.”

        By what train of thought did you make that incorrect assumption? Did you assume that the register article must be right because it was a response? Or did you just cite it because you were desperate to throw any FUD at the subject?

        As for 17 year trends, that concerns the surface temperature record given the noise in that record, not trends in general for other things. As should be obvious. Another round of you trying to throw out climate denial FUD.

    • What the frequently posting Fan does not seem to address is the lack of ANY evidence that the energy policies he advocates will have ANY impact on the conditions he fears.

      • The claim that there is not “ANY evidence” that cutting greenhouse gas emissions will affect global warming is an extraordinary one. Where’s your extraordinary evidence?

  38. Steve Fitzpatrick
  39. At the moment, in Scotland, renewables mean onshore and offshore wind, at some point might include tidal, wave and geothermal as well, but lets look at wind as that is where the game currently is.

    A few of issues:
    Wind plant have no capacity, there are lulls, and these lulls can stretch to days, (in MacKay’s book SEWTHA it was estimated the UK had to plan for 5 days). So any plant either have to be surplus or covered by conventional plant. Wind plant is expensive on a capital costs per MW basis.
    Wind energy is non dispatchable, intermittent and volatile; translation: it costs to integrate it into the grid. These costs are hard to account for, and they are hidden–borne by the other generators, but it is reasonably clear that the energy generated has marginal value. It is for this reason that lifetime levelised costs calculations, that assume all energy generated is of equal value, are highly misleading in regard to wind.
    Wind farms are remote and dispersed, greatly increasing infrastructure and transmission costs.

    Wind is high cost, low value, and at this time, parasitic on fossil fuel based gas turbines. Sorry, but doesn’t look a good deal to me, just a load of ideologically based wishful thinking.

    • Gary Moran is absolutely correct in every statement.

      • Scottish on the rocks,
        Dreamers stubborn as the ox.
        The sands of Dee
        Beckon thee,
        Ye Cow of Loony Lochs.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Yeah! … move along, Climate Etc folks … nothing to see folks … the quantitative engineering is nugatory … trust denialist cognition and its pundits … ignore the supergrids especially!  :grin:   2¢   :grin:   2¢   :grin:

      • Ignore you?
        Blue’s the clue.
        Came to see the egrets,
        Sing now the regrets.

      • Fan

        I wrote an article on renewable energy several years ago. Generally I am a fan of renewables but they have inherent problems which we are not close to overcoming.

        To make best use of the notion that whilst the sun may not be shining or the wind blowing in your particular location it will be doing those things elsewhere, a big enough grid needs to be constructed to tap into energy sources and then distribute it..

        The solar element was envisaged to come from such stable countries as Algeria, Tunisia and Libya-sorry I don’t want to rely on those countries for my energy, we might as well stick with much cheaper oil/gas.

        Other supergrids within Europe may be politically more reliable but lessen the opportunity of capitalising on different weather patterns. High pressure over Britain is likely to mean light winds over much of Europe.
        Personally I favour wave energy and tidal power but whilst a great solution for the UK its not so useful in Switzerland.

        Relying on nature for our energy may sound great in theory but we are an awful long way from it being practical, and in the meantime our energy prices are being deliberately forced upwards making western economies such as the UK-increasingly uncompetitive.

      • Scott Basinger

        I’m a professional electrical engineer with over 16 years of experience in the electrical power industry. As of today, unless we can cheaply solve the energy storage problem, variable renewables like wind are disruptive, let alone useless and should really be treated as such.

        Your previously posted Frank Kreith essay on energy return on energy invested is interesting, but suffers from significant errors of omission. Like many essays of its type cheerleading wind power, It does not account for the negative externalities such as power quality issues and costs of running a backup coal or gas plant on spinning reserve because wind stubbornly refuses to load follow. Worse, wind provides no spinning inertia, so you can have some pretty wild transient stability issues when you have more than a marginal amount on the grid. I guess you can forgive him somewhat as he’s a mechanical engineer, but an electrical engineer would probably be quick to point out these types of problems.

        Time of day use renewables such as solar do have some promise, but the cost is still prohibitive compared to coal and natural gas generation and you still need to construct non time of day dependent generation for nighttime base load, so the future of this is also limited by the energy storage problem.

        So, for those anti-carbon zealot types, nuclear is what you’re left with. I’m a big fan of nuclear energy, but not a big fan of the difficult to deal with waste products that they produce. For those futurists amongst you, molten salt thorium reactors may be the future baseload tree you may wish to bark up – by virtue of their design, they are extremely safe to run and you don’t end up with all the transuranic waste products to deal with.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Scott Basinger I’m a big fan of nuclear energy …

        You and James Hansen *BOTH* (and me too) … and for very much the same reasons, Scott Basinger!   :lol:   2¢   :lol:   2¢   :lol:

        Scott Basinger I guess you can forgive [Frank Kreith] somewhat as he’s a mechanical engineer, …

        LOL … is it not true, Scott Basinger, that every power system (except photovoltaics) has a honkin` big mechanically spinning generator at the heart of it? Regarding which engineer Frank Kreith wrote the book (literally)?   :lol:   2¢   :lol:   2¢   :lol:

        Thank you for your thoughtful, fact-driven remarks, Scott Basinger!   :)   :)   :)

      • Scott Basinger
        August 16, 2012 at 11:45 am

        Excellent comment. I agree with all you say in this comment (however, I’d point out mechanical engineers are essential too).

        As of today, unless we can cheaply solve the energy storage problem, variable renewables like wind are disruptive, let alone useless and should really be treated as such.

        I’d make that statement stronger. Storage is just on part of the problem and solving it, even with free storage, is nowhere near sufficient. Even with free energy storage, renewable energy would still be far too expensive. The generation component alone is around five times the cost of fossil fuel generation and the transmission and distribution system enhancements required would greatly increase the cost of electricity (see Figure 7 here:

        Your previously posted Frank Kreith essay on energy return on energy invested is interesting, but suffers from significant errors of omission.

        Furthermore, energy return on energy invested is irrelevant when one of the options we have available to us has virtually unlimited energy. The amount of available energy is not a constraint. That is the case with nuclear energy. The amount of nuclear fuel in the Earth’s continental crust, at concentrations that will be mineable eventually, would supply the world with 10 billion people consuming energy at the per capita rate in the USA does now effectively indefinitely (in breeder reactors).

        So, for those anti-carbon zealot types, nuclear is what you’re left with. I’m a big fan of nuclear energy, but not a big fan of the difficult to deal with waste products that they produce.

        I agree with the first part of the sentence but not the part about nuclear waste. I see nuclear waste as a social and phobia issue, not a major technical issue. What you call ‘nuclear waste’, I call ‘once used nuclear fuel’. After use in the current generation of reactors the nuclear fuel still has about 99% of its recoverable energy and this will be used in the future (in breeder reactors like the ones UK is now considering for Sellafield The amount of waste will be greatly reduced, and its toxic life reduced to about 300 years. It will then be placed in deep geological storage where it will return to background levels of radioactivity by about 300 years.

        Anyway, the quantity of waste from a nuclear plant is trivial compared with the toxic waste from other electricity generation plants and other industries. Furthermore, nuclear waste is entirely contained, unlike the toxic waste from most other industries, including fossil fuel generators.

        I agree that fossil fuels is excellent and greatly improves the well-being to billions of people. It is indispensible unless there is something better and that means fit for purpose and cheaper! There is potentially a better and cheaper option. It is nuclear. But it’s progress is blocked by ‘Progressives’ and paranoia.

      • Hi Fan

        A supergrid is an additional cost, it will make the capital cost higher and render the value of the energy produced even more marginal.

        There is energy everywhere, but converting it into useful energy is the hard-part. The point–which you seemed to completely miss–is that it simply isn’t clear that wind produces energy that has any real value to the grid. Proof would constitute a real world engineering solution in which the net benefits can be demonstrated. As an example, the figures for the UK last year (approximately) was that wind provided 3% of energy supplied from 6GW, whereas nuclear supplied 18% from 10GW. Now remembering this is the gross energy supplied by wind, and takes no account of the hidden integration costs, then it is clear (to me at least) that the value of wind is marginal.

        When people try and discuss the merits, or not, of wind plant, then eventually someone will reference a paper in which it is modelled that wind really could supply X amount of baseload, or power all of Europe, or something. But these do not constitute proof of any sort–patently. It is mere speculation, chock full of assumptions, simplified models and averages.

        I really don”t care how we power the UK, but before we spend £120 billion, as a tax payer and energy consumer, I think it is reasonable that it is demonstrated that the technology actually produces something of value.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Gary Moran, your polite and rational arguments fail chiefly in consequence of their too-rapid discounting of future harms. As was posted before:

        Good & Reuveny’s On the Collapse of Historical Civilizations (2009) asserts:

        “It is tempting to argue that our societies collapsed because they were myopic, had no resource management institutions, did not grasp their problem, did not pass information over time, or did not notice slow environmental changes. These assertions are essentially circular because the evidence one typically uses in supporting them is the collapse itself. We find that, even if our civilizations had the institutions, understanding, information records, foresight, and SWFs commonly used today, they would still have collapsed. It seems reasonable to assert that these collapses were socially optimal.”

        The provocative answer to the natural question “Under what circumstances do economically rational Good-Reuveny societies *not* collapse?” is embedded in the body of their article:

        “For policy to have any effect on steady-state outcomes, planners need to have a very low discount rate and a long time horizon.  Sacrifices that have long-term benefits are unlikely to be undertaken unless the social discount rate is much lower [e.g., ~0.5% per year] than any rate we can currently motivate empirically.”

        With respect to climate-change the Good-Reuveny Effect means, essentially, that two-century foresight (or longer) is *necessary* to rational economic strategies.

        In essence, Gary Moran, the Tragedy of the Commons guarantees that free-market near-term selfishness is responsible for long-term societal collapse.

        Conclusion  The Tragedy of the Commons is not complicated, Gary Moran … neither is it easy to escape   :cry:   :cry:   :cry:

      • Hi Fan

        I can’t reply to you direct.

        This is nonsensical.

        The point I’m making is simple: It appears to me highly likely that the benefits of wind plant for the supply of electrical energy to the grid is marginal, both in terms of fuel saved [from hydro-carbon plant] and CO2 mitigated. I’ve explained the factors that undermine winds utility, and given some figures from UK DECC to illustrate how it is likely that the value is marginal.
        Your post on the tragedy of the commons is illogical on two counts:
        • My argument is independent of my belief or scepticism of the reality of climate change and is not directed against low carbon technologies per-se.
        • If the value of wind plant is marginal then it will not be a useful technology for the goal of reducing CO2 emissions.
        Some substantive discussion on the points I’ve actually raised would be more useful.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Gary Moran, your post:

        • presented no quantitative reasoning,
        • did not link to quantitative reasoning, yet
        • strongly affirmed a debatable conclusion.

        Although you are perhaps *NOT* a nutjob denialist, with respect to the above three attributes, your post was indistinguishable from nutjob denialism.

        Commendably, your post did not contain the personal abuse, cherry-picking, sloganeering, and conspiracy theories that *also* are characteristic of nutjob denialism. That is good, Gary Moran!   :)   :)   :)

        Please review the wind-energy literature synoptically and dispassionately, calculate for yourself, and *then* post, Gary Moran!   :grin:   :grin:   :grin:

      • Hi Fan
        The integration problems of wind energy that I listed are incontrovertible, the debate is merely around the extent of their impact. I backed these up with approximate figures of 2011 electricity supplied (explaining that for wind this was gross, not taking into account work of integration); the actual figures from the DECC website are from the Dukes 2011 report and are as follows:
        Wind – 12.67 TWh, nuclear 62.70 TWh, UK total 319.6 TWh
        For further real world evidence (as opposed to the numerous, we modelled or used averages tat), then the Bentek – “When more became less” or the “Young report” for the John Muir Trust, are both good and both use high resolution “real world data”.
        I have read everything I can on wind power, which is why I’m so worried that my country is spending so much money on something that may have so little value. What worries me even more, is that there appears to be no effort on the part of DECC, or BERR before it, or the proponents of wind power to simply dig out the real numbers (i.e. NET).

  40. How come “green energy” did not prevent the following from happening?

    Green energy has existed for thousands of years.

  41. Trees are a renewable resource. But surely they have feelings too, right? Don’t trees have rights? Who shall speak for the trees? It’s jungle out here: the Left will be gnawing at the backs of the productive until we are all dead. Either live with it or develop a taste for sucking on rocks because what is left of the founding fathers (embodied in the Constitution and the few customs, traditions and beliefs still left that animated the their creation) did all they possibly could to diminish government and what they left behind is all there is that still has your back.

  42. By the way, Fan, you still owe me a peer reviewed paper on the difference between Arctic and Antarctic sea ice. Antarctic sea ice is ABOVE average in extent, while Arctic sea ice is BELOW average in extent. Where is the peer reviewed reference that proves how CO2 molecules distinguish between the two poles? Or, since I believe no such reference exists, will you be sufficiently of an honorable scientist to admit that no such reference exists?

    • “By the way, Fan, you still owe me a peer reviewed paper on the difference between Arctic and Antarctic sea ice.”

      One’s in the north. The other’s in the south.

      Perhaps you should be presenting some literature about why we should expect them to behave the same way?

      “Where is the peer reviewed reference that proves how CO2 molecules distinguish between the two poles?”

      Weaponized ignorance fail. If you are truly ignorant of all of the ways in which global warming unfolds differently in different places, without needed to invoke sentient CO2, then you have no business arguing about it until you acquire a basic understanding of the science involved.

      If you are aware of the science as to why the Antarctica sea ice behaves differently from the Arctic sea ice (as all the models predicted it would) then you are being disingenuous.

      Why don’t you explain why the sea ice in the two poles behaves differently, according to climate science, and why you disagree with that account, if indeed you do?

      • I posted a link to a peer-reviewed paper the last time you asked the question.

        On other persistent questions, if you actually want answers to your questions about lapse rate and no-feedback sensitivity, why aren’t you asking at SoD?

      • JCH. No you did not. You gave me a reference to a blog, namely skeptical science.

      • Skeptical Science clearly cited the peer-reviewed papers they use in summarizing the state of the science.

        It’s as simple as going to the page and reviewing the papers.

      • I don’t remember doing that. I would rarely do that as I do not very often read Skeptical Science. Sometimes they have graphs from scientific papers, and I do link those.

        But anyway, I linked this. Maybe you missed it.

      • Thanks JCH. A couple of points. When the abstract starts with “Modeling studies “, I am immediately suspicious. Then I find “showing an unexpected increase of 1 % per decade”, but there is no explanation as to why this increase is “unexpected”. Which is precisely what I am looking for. The paper makes no mention of CO2 that I could find. If CO2 is mentioned, would you mind showing me precisely where it is mentioned.

        So far as I can see, the paper shows that the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice are behaving differently, which I already know, but it makes no mention of CO2, or how CO2 molecules differentiate between the two poles. That is the issue. How does CO2 know that it has to treat the two poles differently? You dont seem to know, and nor does Fan.

        So let me repeat. The issue is why do greenhouse gases, namely CO2, treat the sea ice differently in the Arctic as compared to the Antarctic?

      • Jim,

        There is a 25 year-old paper (Bryan et al. 1988), which made, and referred to, predictions of large asymmetry between the poles in a transient CO2 warming scenario.

        A very different response was found in the predominantly land-covered Northern Hemisphere compared to the largely ocean-covered Southern Hemisphere. In the predominantly ocean-covered hemisphere the response of sea surface temperature lags substantially behind the corresponding response in the predominantly land-covered hemisphere. This is consistent with the prediction of Thompson and Schneider (1982) mentioned in the Introduction. However, it is of particular interest that there was almost no response in the polar latitudes of the Southern Ocean four decades after “switch on” [of model scenario]. In fact there was a slight cooling poleward of the Circumpolar Current. The analysis of the heat balance suggests that thia is not just due to the large extent of ocean. In the presence of a Circumpolar Current the response of the ocean is fundamentally different. Dynamic constraints (Gill and Bryan 1971) force a deep downwelling equatorward of the Circumpolar Current and a deepupwelling poleward of the current. The low response at very high latitudes is in part due to the fact that the surface of the ocean is being continually renewed by virgin waters from great depth.

        Now this is obviously a model study, and previous comments suggest you won’t be particularly convinced by this explanation. Of course it’s possible, a priori, that the modelled and observed asymmetries have differing explanations. However, what you should take away is that polar asymmetry from CO2 warming has been a robust feature of climate prediction for over two decades now, with plausible physical explanations. Different models produce different details, and it’s possible none get things exactly right (I haven’t checked), but hemispheric asymmetry is a very common feature.

      • Paul S, you write “Now this is obviously a model study, and previous comments suggest you won’t be particularly convinced by this explanation.”

        A sincere than you for the reference. And you are absolutely correct, I take absolutely no notice whatsoever of any model study, unless the model has been fully validated. It does not surprise me that the proponents of CAGW have a logical explanation for any objections which we skeptics bring up. It is just interesting to find out what these are

      • andrew adams


        So you disregard studies based on models even when they have been proved to be broadly correct?

        And how do you propose that we try to estimate the future effects of, say, global warming on sea ice levels without using models?

      • Steve Milesworthy


        A few years back I was involved at a technical level in a project to construct a new coupled model (atmosphere, ocean, sea ice). In discussions of the scientific and technical requirements with the scientists over around 18 months (including casual chats over coffee etc.) there was *not one* single mention of a) CO2, b) global warming c) climate change d) greenhouse gases e) climate sensitivity.

        Your fixation on the CO2 component as the key actor would therefore appear to be misplaced.

      • Obviously CO2 cannot pick and choose when to do what it does. The climate system can amplify it or nullify it. I did not buy the paper, and I cannot find a free copy, so I do not know if they discussed CO2, but I doubt they did.

        They have a theory for why sea ice is growing in the waters off most of Antarctica, but not all of it.

        There is also a theory about the weight of snowfall forcing floating ice downward into the sea until its surface if flooded with seawater, which makes it more susceptible to freezing as the sea ice is between it and warmer seawater below.

      • JCH, you write “They have a theory for why sea ice is growing in the waters off most of Antarctica”

        I am sure they have. I am not interested in theories, I am interested in hard; measured empirical data. This data shows that the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extents are behaving completely differently. That is a fact; it is undeniable.

        Fan claims that all the melting we are seeing this year in the Arctic this year is an absolutley positive sign that CAGW is real. I dont buy that. If things are happening completely differently at the two poles, then there is no reason to believe that the current melting in the Arctic is caused by CAGW.

        So what I am looking for is a peer reviewed paper which shows that Fan’s claim that the current melting of the Arctic sea ice must be caused by CAGW. And neither he nor yourself can produce one. It is that simple.

      • “I am sure they have. I am not interested in theories”

        Again, you admit you’re not interested in science. All science involves theories.

        So why waste your time making assertions about climate science?

        If you aren’t interested in scientific theories, then your opinion about the validity of a given scientific theory is obviously worthless.

        The only place you will find “facts” without any theories is in a particularly narrow-minded and fanatical religion, or a cult.

        Such an organization would probably be more in line with your natural talents anyway. ;)

      • Old news, Jim:

        * You’ve said you have no interest in science.
        * You’ve said you have no interest in scientific theories.

        Since models are simply ways scientists use math to work through the consequences of scientific theories, obviously you would have no interest in that either!

        How many different way to you need to say “Jim Cripwell is ignorant of science and plans to stay that way”?

        Response: We know you’re ignorant. Why should we care?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Robert, your posts’ gratuitously hostile abuse and non-factual non-verifiable un-helpfulness are *NOT* commendable.

        Q  In what positive respects do purely negative posts contribute to the forum that is Climate Etc?

        A  In no positive respects whatsoever.   :sad:   2¢   :sad:   2¢   :sad:

      • I suggest you read more carefully. My post was not “purely negative,” and by encouraging substantive discussion of the issues, rather than affected ignorance, contributed a lot more to the discussion then, say, repetitive passive-aggressive emoticon spam.

        Evidently you think repeatedly attacking me (along with many others here) is not “negative” if you close with emoticons! :) And many unnecessary exclamation points! :) But I have to say! :) I find your passive-aggressive! :) Fake-cheerful! :) Careless and ill-thought-out nonsense! :) Rather a dull! :) And uninteresting! :) Waste of time! :)

      • Fan, I suggest you take no notice of Robert. He is mad at me because I whipped his arse recently, and he doesn’t like that. I am sure he will be rude to me again after I post this, but I have a hide like a rhineroceros, and I have been insulted by more intelligent people than Robert, so it does not affect me at all.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Jim Cripwell mentions “By the way, Fan, you still owe me a peer reviewed paper on the difference between Arctic and Antarctic sea ice.”

      Jim Cripwell, your thirst for knowledge is commendable!   :)   :)   :)

      Please let me recommend the literature survey that is provided on the web page NSIDC/All About Sea Ice: Arctic vs. Antarctic, which draws from numerous peer-reviewed references.   :)   2¢   :)

      What is your next commendably knowledge-seeking question, Jim Cripwell?   :grin:   :grin:   :grin:

      • Sorry, Fan, I have read your paper. I could not find a single reference to CO2; not one. I dont claim there is no such reference. Merely that I could not find one. Could you direct me to the specific place in the paper you gave me where the proof is provided how CO2 can differentiate between the poles?

      • And here we see the problem with surrendering to weaponized ignorance.

        He doesn’t actually want information.

        If you give him what he says he wants, he will find some excuse to ignore it, and continue to plead total ignorance.

        It’s a tired dodge, Jim. Why don’t you:

        1. Explain to the best of your understanding why scientists think the sea ice is behaving differently in these two different places.

        2. Explain what part of that explanation is unclear to you or that you disagree with.

        We’ll spare you reading more papers which, as you admit, you don’t understand. ;)

  43. Scotland could theoretically get all it’s power from renewables like I could theoretically have sex with every young Hollywood actress. This is a perfectly reasonable post. It exposes the utter lunacy of green energy. The most remarkable thing about it is the anti-independence UK government south of the border is just as crazy on this subject – they make identical statements.

    • Scotland could theoretically get all it’s power from renewables like I could theoretically have sex with every young Hollywood actress.

      I don’t think duct tape and chloroform would help in the case of Scotland.

      I guess they’re just going to have to build wind turbines and stuff.

  44. Scott Basinger

    Here’s a gem that I ran across when Googling for an article that I was looking for on wind energy. The UK Parliamentary webpage has a very lucid set of points relating to wind power:

    I found this point very interesting as this is often glossed over by wind proponents:

    ” 16. In summary, wind generation imposes heavy costs on other parts of the electricity system which are not borne by wind operators. This gives rise to hidden subsidies that must be passed on to electricity consumers. In the interest of both transparency and efficiency, wind operators should be required to bear the costs of transmission, storage and backup capacity needed to meet electricity demand. Only then will it be possible to get a true picture of the costs and benefits of relying on wind power rather than alternative ways of reducing CO2 emissions. “

    • Steve Milesworthy

      This point is actually from a Global Warming Policy Foundation evidence submission which doesn’t believe that CO2 emissions are worth worrying about, so their view will be slanted. As hinted above, nuclear power also has hidden subsidies in the form of government guarantees on construction cost, the cost of cleanup and obviously the cost of any disaster. In reality the market would struggle with many aspects of managing a national grid of diverse and secure energy sources.

      • It seems to me that if you want to reverse the decline of nuclear energy and increase its share of the electricity mix — two things I would very much like to see — a few things need to happen:

        1. We need a few standardized designs that are constructed over and over. An analogy would be passenger jets, which in theory anyone can build but which in practice are built by 2 companies with a very limited number of designs. Important for reliability, cost effectiveness, and safety.

        To achieve this we need some sort of international agreement about safety regulations and safe design, so that every power project doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel.

        2. We need a clear plan to dispose of the waste. Burton Richter points out (in “Beyond Smoke and Mirrors”) that you can radically reduce the amount of long-lived nuclear waste if you recycle the fuel and use it again. The difficulty being that makes the used fuel much more of a proliferation risk. So we would need a broad global agreement on how to track that fuel and prevent diversion.

        3. It would help to have better electrical grid that can send electrical power several thousand miles with minimal transmission losses. Then, if NIMBYism prevents building new plants in densely populated areas where the power is needed, you can build the plants in poorer areas, less densely populated, that value the potential jobs more highly — transmitting the power from there, to where you need it.

        Along with this you can dismantle local utility monopolies, creating a free market in electrical power. This will allow successful power companies to expand their markets.

      • Robert

        You wrote something I largely agree with– the exception being that no international treaty is necessary and seeking one would delay the implementation. In the USA the federal government has to take the lead in establishing criteria that individual states will not add additional regulations on top of or we will make no progress.

      • The question of whether it is better to focus on the US market alone or try and get the agreements in place for a global nuclear boom is complex — I don’t have strong opinions about it.

        The goal should be a single clear regulatory/safety regime over as wide a market as possible.

        Perhaps a successful American standard could be the basis for a later, global agreement.

      • Rob Starkey,
        @ August 16, 2012 at 2:46 pm

        I agree mostly. However, if the USA focuses on the US market, it will focus on the large scale power plants – the >1 GW-scale monoliths.

        These are not suitable for most electricity grids. Australia’s units are mostly less than 500 MW (NSW has standardised on 660 MW for coal, and Queensland has I think two 750 MW units. But the easy units to incorporate are 200 and 300 MW.

        Furthermore, large units take longer to build and have higher investor risk premium.

        I suggest the USA should focus on meeting the needs of the international market. If it doesn’t grab that market, then China, Korea, Japan and Russia will.

        For those who want to cut global emissions, they should agitate for the small modular nuclear power plants, not the big power plants which are only suitable for the major industrial economies. What is needed is a nuclear alternative to the 30 MW to 300 MW gas turbines.

        As I know you know but many others reading this may not, There are many designs e.g. but all held up in the NRC approvals process (and have been for a very long time).

      • John Carpenter

        I agree Robert…. wait, did I just say that? No really, I think you hit on many good points.

      • Robert,
        @ August 16, 2012 at 1:40 pm

        You’ve made some good points (I agree with a lot of this comment, but not all).

        1. Yes. We need to construct the same design over and over. But you don’t need to restrict it to a few designs. Many is better. I’d like to see companies in the manufacturing countries – USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Sweden, Russia, China. Korea, Japan – building small modular nuclear power plants on production lines like aircraft. Small is essential for several reasons:

        a. only small power plants can fit easily into most electricity grids around the world
        b. small units can be ordered ‘just in time’, only once demand is assured
        c. small can be constructed and installed quickly, thus reducing investor risks
        d. small can be built in factories, shipped to site, returned to factory for refuelling
        e. small can be manufactured on production lines like aircraft, turned out rapidly and with good quality control
        f. small leads to faster rate of improvement because more are manufactured and lessons learned are built into the next model more quickly.
        g. More competition between more manufacturers leads to faster rate of improvement

        Regarding the call for more regulation, we already have the International Atomic Energy Agency and the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The US NRC is the de facto international regulatory agency. However, it is bureaucratic, takes decades to approve new designs, and mired in old practices. IMO we need a revolutionary change to nuclear regulation, not an evolutionary change. The new focus should be on reducing cost, not on more safety. Nuclear is already the safest electricity generation technology and about 10 to 1000 times safer than coal (which we accept as safe enough) Therefore, the important issue is cost, not more safety. Requiring ever more safety is what the anti-nukes have been doing for the past 50 years. That’s why progress that should have happened over that period has been blocked.

        Instead of more safety, we need better education to get us past radiation-phobia.

        2. The answer to the nuclear waste issue is to address the public perception problem. Your ‘proliferation issue’ with fast reactors for electricity generation is a furphy.

        3. Transmission is very costly. One of the great advantages of nuclear is that you can have it close to the load centre. You can have it where you need it, not far away.

        The additional cost of transmission to service a mainly renewable powered Australian National Electricity Market would add about $58/MWh to the wholesale cost of electricity, whereas to do the same with nuclear power instead of renewables would add about $4/MWh to the wholesale cost of electricity.

        So, we need to minimise the grid, not maximise it to keep costs down. We need to keep costs down so low emissions electricity generation can replace fossil fuels throughout the developing world. We also need to keep the cost of electricity down low so it will more rapidly replace gas for heating and oil for transport – either directly as in electric vehicles, or as energy carriers produced by low cost electricity.

      • Steve Milesworthy begins with his usual ad hominem comment as an attempt to discredit the source.

        Next, he makes silly remarks comparing the subsidies for nuclear with the subsidies for wind energy. He fails to mention nuclear provides 10 times more electricity than wind. For someone who tries to make us believe he is semi numerate, this is a strange omission. It’s amazing how blinkered people become by their ideological beliefs, eh?

        Not only that but nuclear provides valuable, reliable, on demand dispatchable electricity.

        Conversely, wind provides low value, unreliable, not dispatchable electricity. In fact, wind generated electricity is probably near valueless – Some argue it causes more trouble than its worth.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Peter Lang,

        Saying that the GWPF are an advocacy group is not “ad hominem” because the GWPF are an advocacy group not a man. The impression given was that the quote had some sort of parliamentary approval when in fact any dingbat who likes can submit evidence, and their evidence will be published. Maybe you should try submitting something sometimes then you can cite your beliefs off the parliamentary website – a bit like Monckton’s claim to have addressed parliament.

        Basically, Peter, your technique seems to be to make stories up about people who challenge your (sometimes genuinely held) misunderstandings, and then make your argument with the fantasy version of the person rather than the real version.

        Also I note you can’t resist bolting on irrelevant adverts for your views. Do you have a marketing background? I’m quite pragmatic about the pros and cons of both nuclear and wind where as you have a delusional belief that if you keep repeating yourself everyone will suddenly realise what valuable stuff all this crud is and will be queuing at Windscale to pick through the skips full of utterly deadly slag which I *know* exist because I’ve spoken to the BNFL engineers about how they destroy within seconds any bit of electronics that goes near them.

      • What a diatribe. And still you haven’t actually .

        I do understand, if you don’t like the facts, attack the author or the publisher.

        You a catrastrophist – catastrophic global warming; nuclear power catastrophes.

        As for this bit:
        Also I note you can’t resist bolting on irrelevant adverts for your views. Do you have a marketing background?
        If the shoe fits …

        You’re a joke.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Peter Lang, you are very sensitive to criticism, but are rather vicious in giving out criticism and then playing the innocent when you get a reaction. So lets start again:

        What should we do about the tonnes of deadly dangerous slag at Windscale? Is it acceptable that despite billions of investment we still have that problem? Could a less-well off country adequately deal with a situation? How many times is the Windscale experience repeated in the US and particularly in Russia, the former Soviet bloc countries and China?

        Should we force people to put up with living near a reactor that has popped its top because their fears of contamination are irrational?

        If the risks of problems are backed by the tax payer, are the incentives to prevent problems going to be strong enough or will the profit motive outweigh it, as indicated by all the issues identified at Fukushima?

        Can that Yankee Rowe nuclear reactor truly be said to be decommissioned when the nuclear waste is still awaiting the US Federal government to come up with a scheme for disposing it?

        Can discussion of any of the rational points above be conducted without calling those who raise the issue “catastrophist” in order to avoid the issue?

      • “What should we do about the tonnes of deadly dangerous slag at Windscale? Is it acceptable that despite billions of investment we still have that problem? Could a less-well off country adequately deal with a situation? How many times is the Windscale experience repeated in the US and particularly in Russia, the former Soviet bloc countries and China?”

        Windscale wasn’t powerplant to make electricity. It was designed to make nuclear bombs:
        “In order for Britain to engage in a nuclear weapons treaty with the USA, it had to demonstrate that it was a technological equal. The Windscale facility was built to produce plutonium for the first British atom bomb. After the successful explosion of the atom bomb, the USA designed and exploded a thermonuclear bomb requiring tritium. Britain did not have any facility to produce tritium and decided to use the Windscale piles. Tritium can be produced in nuclear reactors by neutron activation of lithium-6. Higher neutron fluxes were needed for this than for producing plutonium and it was decided to reduce the size of the cooling fins (totalling approximately 500,000 individual fins) on the aluminium fuel cartridges, thereby reducing the absorption of neutrons by this aluminium. By pushing the first-generation design of the Windscale facility beyond its intended limits, tritium could be produced at the cost of a reduced safety factor. ”

        So other countries shouldn’t make nuclear weapons, especially if they in a hurry and trying to save costs?

      • Steve Milesworthy,

        This is another great long rant about irrelevancies.

        If you want to start again go back to here and actually answer (not avoid and obfuscate) the questions I asked you.

        Regarding your latest pile of silliness, answers follow:

        What should we do about the tonnes of deadly dangerous slag at Windscale?

        Please quantify “deadly dangerous”.

        • How “deadly dangerous”?
        • How many fatalities so far”
        • How many fatalities per TWh of electricity supplied?
        • Put this in perspective compared with other electricity generation technologies.
        • Are there any major errors in the comparative figures provided here?

        I’ve already answered you about the nuclear waste in a previous response. Re read it and, this time, read the links. Then show me that you’ve understood.

        There’s no point in me wasting any more time writing answers for you. You don’t have the most basic understanding of the subject and clearly are not interested in learning (e.g. you won’t read reports posted on sites that are not CAGW Alarmist approved sites). Clearly your head is filled with Greenpeace anti-nuclear talking points and you won’t read anything else. That’s a true “Denier”

        Should we force people to put up with living near a reactor that has popped its top because their fears of contamination are irrational?

        Who ever suggested forcing people to stay near a reactor? More strawman tactics! More misrepresentation!. More dishonesty! More from the CAGW activists!

        Try to get some perspective. There’s been three accidents in 56 years with 15,000 reactor-years of operation. Only one – Chernobyl – caused fatalities. Only 31 fatalities in the accident and about 27 since attributable to the accident (WHO). Projected 4000 latent fatalities (WHO) in 70 years in a population of about 200 million. If you are even semi-numerate even you should be able to recognise that this is not distinguishable from background. Furthermore, this projection is likely to be too high.

        The mass evacuation was what caused most of the trauma, health effects and fatalities (WHO). The policy to evacuate has been developed and implemented because of the irrational fears of radiation. And that fear has been developed by people like you and is continued by people like you. It is your anti-nuclear activism and the many like you that are the reason we have global CO2 emissions 10% to 20% higher now than they would have been, and we are on a much slower trajectory to reduce emissions than they would have been if not for the people who share your ideology – the ideologically driven anti-progress “Progressives”.

        If the risks of problems are backed by the tax payer, are the incentives to prevent problems going to be strong enough or will the profit motive outweigh it, as indicated by all the issues identified at Fukushima?

        Our aim should be low-cost energy, not striving for even greater safety. Nuclear is already 10 to 1000 times safer than coal and safer than all other electricity generation technologies. We accept the safety of coal. By requiring and striving for orders of magnitude greater safety for nuclear power than for any other technology, we’ve priced nuclear out of being competitive. That is of course the aim of the anti-nuclear zealots. So now we can’t have the benefits of something that is much safer than what we have now. How dumb is that? But that is what the so called ‘Progressives’ – like you – advocate.

        Have you ever considered how many fatalities anti-nuclear advocacy has caused so far, and how many it will cause by 2050? I challenge you to have a go and let us know what figure you come up with.

        Regarding your Fukushima comment, please remind me how many radiation induced fatalities resulted from Fukushima earthquake and tsunami so far? Please put that in perspective for me, including in perspective with fatalities in the other energy chains. Do you have any idea, or can you admit you don’t have the faintest clue?

        Can that Yankee Rowe nuclear reactor truly be said to be decommissioned when the nuclear waste is still awaiting the US Federal government to come up with a scheme for disposing it?

        Please put this in perspective for me. Where is the toxic waste from other electricity generation technologies held?

        Clearly you haven’t read the links I provided last time I answered your questions about nuclear waste. Boring, repetitious, closed mind.

        Your comments are just Greenpeace talking points. They’ve been discredited a thousand times all over the literature. Go read it if you are interested – Denier!

        Can discussion of any of the rational points above be conducted without calling those who raise the issue “catastrophist” in order to avoid the issue?

        Firstly, your questions are sensational and intended to be such, not ‘rational’. You avoided all the rational questions I asked you here:

        Secondly, I see no indication from you that you have the slightest intention to have a rational or objective discussion. It is clear your mind is locked shut and you’re not prepared to read links that do not support your opinions. You’ve avoided the issue continually.

        If you decide to answer the questions I posed sensibly – with genuine answers to the questions, not avoidance and diversion – then it may be worth continuing. However, if you do actually answer the questions you’ll know a lot more about the important issues, and have them in proper perspective. You’ll then be much better informed. But I doubt your commitment to ideological beliefs would allow you to do that.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Peter Lang,

        As I say, you delight in presenting lists of leading questions, and then object strongly if your readers refuse to be led.

        In your Yankee Rowe example, you failed to understand that the project has essentially hidden costs by passing the unknown liabilities onto the current taxpayer and the tax payer for the next several generations.

        In the case of Fukushima you ignore the financial costs caused by the demand to evacuate large areas for some considerable period, and the power problems that have impacted production in Japan.

        In the case of Windscale, you ignore the cost of the damage that is only now being dealt with. And there is of course the financial failure of BNFL.

        Now no doubt your rational mind will have prevented all this from occurring if you had been in charge, but the world in which I live doesn’t work like that.

      • Steve Milesworthy,

        You are very hypocritical. You state:

        As I say, you delight in presenting lists of leading questions, and then object strongly if your readers refuse to be led.

        You don’t answer my questions but you expect yours to be answered. I have answered yours but you have not answered mine. You avoided them and obfuscated.

        Normally I provide explanations rather than ask question. But that wasn’t working with you because you kept asking silly, irrelevant questions about Greeenpeace’s anti-nuclear talking points. So I changed tack and asked leading questions. If you had attempted to answer them, you wpould have realised how silly are your down in the weeds questions.

        For example you asked about the “deadly dangerous slag” at Windscale. So I asked you haw deadly, dangerous?” you haven’t answered?

        I asked you how many fatalities nuclear waste had caused so far? You didn’t answer that.

        I asked you how many fatalities per TWh of electricity supplied (so you could compare this figure with other electricity generation technologies to get some perspective. The idea was to get you to see how irrelevant and silly and scaremongering are the questions you asked me.

        You said:

        In your Yankee Rowe example, you failed to understand that the project has essentially hidden costs by passing the unknown liabilities onto the current taxpayer and the tax payer for the next several generations.

        Wrong. I do understand that the costs of waste management are included in the cost of electricity from nuclear power plants. The cost has been more than paid for. The power plants are now takilng the government to court for compensation for over payment because the government has delayed progress with Yucca Mountain repository. Furthermore, the used fuel has high future value (some 99 times more value than has already been extracted), so it is not going to be disposed of, no matter what the politics of the time say.

        I suggest it is you that fails to understand. And you fail to be able to see matters in perspective. You are concerned about trivial quantities of used nuclear fuel but don’t seem to be in the slightest concerned about the much larger quantities of toxic wast from other electricity generating technologies. The latter do not decay over time, are vastly larger quantities, some are more toxic. You also seem to have completely ignored that nuclear is already avoiding some 160,000 fatalities per year (assuming nuclear replaced coal), and would avoid over a million per year by 2050 if nuclear replaced all coal generation.

        Your problem is you know next to nothing about this issue and your mind is closed to knowing anything about it. It’s the same closed mind that leads you to believe unquestioningly in CAGW. Zealots and alarmists on one issue tend to be the zealots and alarmists on many. You seem to be a zealot and alarmist of CAGW and nuclear power.

        Instead of me answering for the nth time your comments about Windscale, Fukushima and others, I’d urge again you to attempt to answer these questions I asked before. If you do attempt to answer them honestly, you will definitely learn a lot and getter a proper perspective on costs and risks. Picking out Greenpeace anti-nuclear talking points instead of looking objectively at the important comparisons is keeping your brain locked in anti-nuclear, scaremongering thinking. I’d urge you again to challenge your beliefs. Have a genuine go at answering these questions (I’ve answered yours repeatedly, but you have not yet answered these, other than by obfuscation) Here are the questions (again):

        1. How long have we had nuclear power and how many reactor-years of experience do we have with commercial nuclear power operation? (hint: 56 years and 15,000 reactor years of operation).

        2. In that time, how many people have been killed, fatally injured or made sick by radioactive waste?

        3. What is the toxicity of radioactive waste compared with the toxicity of highly toxic chemicals?

        4. How long does radioactive waste last and compare that with the life of the toxic chemicals?

        5. How much radioactive waste have we produced so far and how much toxic chemical waste have we produced so far?

        6. Where is the toxic chemical waste? (hint dispersed in the environment all over the world

        7. Where is the nuclear waste? Held in canisters like this (by the way, those 16 canisters contain all the used fuel from 31 years of operation and 34 TWh of electricity supplied at a life time capacity factor of 74%; the Yankee Rowe plant has been totally decommissioned: .

        8. Got any wind or solar farms with a record like that?

        9. Who in their right mind would want to get rid of the once used nuclear fuel, given it still has 99% of its useable energy remaining for use in the next generation of reactors?

        If you don’t attempt to answer them honestly, it is a sure sign you are more interested in pushing your ideological beliefs than in wanting to do anything about mitigation.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Peter Lang,

        You are very hypocritical.

        It is rather tiresome discussing things with you when as soon as an apparent point of contention is reached you throw your toys out of the pram with allegations of hypocrisy, alarmism, lack of objectivity and obfuscation.

        You state:

        As I say, you delight in presenting lists of leading questions, and then object strongly if your readers refuse to be led.

        You don’t answer my questions but you expect yours to be answered. I have answered yours but you have not answered mine. You avoided them and obfuscated.

        I do answer your questions by providing counterpoint questions that show why your questions are leading questions. That’s a perfectly normal discussion technique. I don’t really expect you to answer these questions. I expect you to recognize that the leading nature of your questions is transparent.

        I do understand that the costs of waste management are included in the cost of electricity from nuclear power plants. The cost has been more than paid for.

        Just because someone has unwisely agreed to take on your liabilities for an agreed cost does *not* mean the costs have been paid for, particularly when that someone is the government on behalf of all tax payers.

        Regarding your Fukushima comment, please remind me how many radiation induced fatalities resulted from Fukushima earthquake

        It seems to me you are being naive, perhaps deliberately so, in insisting that safety of nuclear should be based on the numbers of radiation-induced death. The safety is also based on the impact of an accident. If that happens at Sizewell, for example, numbers of people measuring in the 10s or hundreds of thousands start to panic. Add in adverse, but not that unusual, weather and big cities get hit by enough low-level radiation to induce panic. The more the government scientists try to placate the people by telling them it is safe, the more people will worry.

        The power plants are now takilng the government to court for compensation for over payment because the government has delayed progress with Yucca Mountain repository

        This would seem to be where your idealism meets political reality. It would seem that the Yucca Mountain repository is more in a “cancelled” state rather than a “delayed” state! Even in a country as underpopulated as the USA they cannot agree where waste should be stored. If the USA cannot sort its nuclear waste problem out, why should I trust my government to be able to deal with the issue.

      • andrew adams


        Are you in the UK?

        It seems this is an issue which continues to be problematic for our government.

    • Roger Caiazza

      The link that Steve provides is an excellent rationale for repealing the production tax credit for wind power. Thanks!

      • Roger Caiazza

        Sorry – It was from Scott. My apologies

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Indeed. Steve was the one who pointed out it came from the Global Warming Policy Foundation. I do not know whether the GWPF have a view on who should provide the financial cover for the nuclear liabilities, do you.

  45. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Jim Cripwell says: “I seem to have read somewhere that you need at least 17 years of data before a trend can be established.”

    Jim Cripwell, the good folks at The Cryosphere Today are happy to provide us with a startlingly clear 33-year ice-loss trend-line.   :cry:   :cry:   :cry:

    Perhaps a disciplined regard for scientific evidence is sufficient reason for the canny Scots to invest in green technologies? Do yah think, Jim Cripwell?   :grin:   2¢   :grin:   2¢   :grin:

    They are not easily fooled, those Scots!   :)   :)   :)

    • Fan, you write “Jim Cripwell, the good folks at The Cryosphere Today are happy to provide us with a startlingly clear 33-year ice-loss trend-line.”

      Fan, you are wonderful on sending me on red herrings. The good folks at Cryosphere Today, have an equally impressive trend line showing ice gain in the Antarctic.
      So what?

      • Fan, you are wonderful on sending me on red herrings. The good folks at Cryosphere Today, have an equally impressive trend line showing ice gain in the Antarctic.

        Wrong in several respects:

        * There is no statistically significant trend in Antarctic sea ice.
        * Antarctica is losing land ice, with a small, non-significant gain in sea ice, long predicted by the models.
        * The idea that the facts are “a red herring” because something different is happening elsewhere is obviously false.

        Have you made any progress in finding evidence for your argument that only sentient CO2 can explain why the two poles are responding differently to global warming?

        Found any sources to support that claim yet? :)

      • measured.

        There do not appear to be graphs of ice mass changes after 2006, but I think meltwater from grounded Antarctic ice continues to show up in sea level rise.

    • Fan, Let me be more specific. The 33 year trend line shows a rate of decrease of summer ice of around 11% per decade; or just over 1% per century. The study referred to claimed that summer ice would disappear in about 10 years. So your Cryosphere Today graph is irrelevant. The study claimed that their 2 year trend, (lolwot says it is 8 years) proves that summer ice will disappear in 10 years or so.
      Your red herrings are amusing, but rather a waste of both our times.

      • Sorry, remove the 1% per century. It should be 100% per century.

      • The 33 year trend line shows a rate of decrease of summer ice of around 11% per decade; or just over 1% per century.

        This is exactly why it’s important to ask deniers to be very specific about their criticism.

        You may find they center on things like not knowing the difference between when to multiply and when to divide.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Jim Cripwell says: “Sorry, remove the 1% per century. It should be 100% per century.”

        Jim Cripwell, the PIOMAS folks give the volumetric Arctic ice-loss trend as ~100% per decade.   :cry:   :cry:   :cry:

        Yikes.   :cry:   :cry:   :cry:

        Not only is the Arctic ice-area shrinking rapidly, what’s left is mighty thin.   :cry:   :cry:   :cry:

        Knowledge beats ignorance, though. Isn’t that correct, Jim Cripwell?

      • holyshit ive been looking at the anomaly one not the absolute one look how lower it is than 2011 at this rate minimum will have half the volume of 2007 – for real? hopefully the model is wrong in the vertical.

      • hmm comment gone, just going to say i find the piomass figures hard to believe. 2012 minimum is going to have half the ice volume as 2007? surely that cant be right. I hope not anyway because I suspect the speed of decline has more implications than merely the date of the first ice free summer day as such a rapid decline suggested by piomas implies a “momentum” that could drive the ice-free portion of the year to rapidly expand after that.

        I mean we aren’t talking about the trend ending once we reach zero ice in summer are we?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Lolwot, yes the recent Arctic sea-ice mass-loss figures are utterly flabbergasting. Of course the US Navy has long appreciated the mind-bending acceleration of Arctic AGW — better than anyone — because for fifty years they have sailed ballistic missile submarines under this soon-to-be gone ice.

        That is why the US Navy is firmly convinced that James Hansen’s explanation of climate-change is essentially correct.

        Yikes.   :eek:   :eek:   :eek:

  46. Dr Curry, I urge you to be cautious of the sincerity of climate skeptics who act concerned about the quality of science or science journalism.

    While such concern can be genuine and noble, it can also be an act to spread doubt about an inconvenient scientific result. Namely by demanding standards be met and then proclaiming a “scandal” that the science hasn’t met these standards. Importantly those proclaiming such scandals have the luxury of not needing to abide by their own chosen standards if they themselves are not doing science. This provides a free court for exploiting such concerns.

    This week an article was published attacking the work done by Dr Seymour Laxon on Cryosat2. The headline “Arctic ICE PANIC sparked by half-baked sat data”

    Dr Seymour Laxon responded in the comments to point out the error in the article. It’s nice to see climate scientists defending their work from online media attacks.

    The author responded with further charges:

    “A cautious scientist would be expected to go through the peer review process. You, by contrast, haven’t even published this work yet. It is not available for scrutiny. Nevertheless, you are willing to appear on the national media making dramatic long-term claims, based on *new* data of less than two years observations.

    You have been anything but cautious.

    Your science may be well turn out be sound, but until it has been independently scrutinized, we just don’t know. Your argument boils own to: “Trust me, I’m a scientist.””

    Going back in time we find another article by the same author attacking Muller and BEST, with a similar complaint:
    “‘Ex climate sceptic’ Muller’s latest BEST stuff is the worst so far”

    Here’s a quote: “However each announcement has been aggressively trialled in the press not only before the peer review process had judged them ready for publication – which may not be a major issue – but also before anyone outside the BEST project could examine the papers at all. This requires the ordinary reader to take BEST’s accompanying press releases on blind faith – which is not a barrier for some journalists, but is far short of acceptable practice.”

    So it seems the author is concerned about “science-by-press-release” and wants a higher standard of journalism and science, to wait until science passes peer review before announcing it in the media.

    Yet then we have this, it’s the same author promoting Anthony Watt’s paper before it had passed peer review, and indeed it was “science by press release”:

    Not only is there no complaint that the paper was trialed in the media before it had been peer reviewed, but the author of the article is far from following his own demanded journalistic standards by promoting it in the media.

    How can the author’s concerns about science and science journalism be taken seriously when the author himself violates those standards?

    Similarly why did Anthony Watts publish results prior to peer review? Wasn’t that a complaint he leveled at BEST?

    It’s one thing to be lectured by people who don’t contribute themselves, it’s another to see that when they do contribute they break their own demanded standards.

    One interpretation is that climate skeptics are not really concerned about the state of the science or the state of journalism at all, but are using that as a stick to try and silence certain messages from reaching the public. This would explain the polar opposite approach to convenient and inconvenient information. It would also explain why they don’t seem all that serious about following their own rules.

    • I forgot to mention the other interpretation of such events that occurred to me. Perhaps it’s a case of a back seat driver discovering driving isn’t so easy when they find themselves behind the wheel and they discover all the rules they had imposed from the backseat just aren’t that necessary or feasible.

      • Latimer Alder


        An alternative is that the ‘science’ has been dragged kicking and screaming out of the hands of activists and academics and into the real world where real decisions about money and livelihoods and economics and lifestyles and all that stuff have to be made. With lawyers and accountants and auditors and public inquiries and pressure groups and a continual need to keep the lights on.

        And in that world it pays dividends to make trebly or qaudruply sure that the work has been done correctly, that the evidence does lead to the conclusions claimed and all that necessary junk we call ‘due diligence’. The difference between me doing a thirty mile bike ride on a Sunday and Bradley Wiggins winning the Tour de France. The basics of riding a bike are the same. but his approach s a lot more painstaking than mine.

        I will make a small wager that the plan for NASA’s recent triumphant landing on Mars went through a considerably more stringent review than a couple of mates looking at it and saying that ‘it felt right’. I’d hope it was completely torn apart and rebuilt several times before they finalised it. And that the went through all the maths a zillion times with a critical eye.

        It was an important and expensive project. It was worth getting it right. IMO climatology should be the same.

      • Your point about the Mars landing is excellent.

        Before we implement high cost mitigation policies we should have at least the equivalent level of analytic rigour, quality of documentation, financial analysis and due diligence as is used for such missions.

    • Lolwot,

      I suggest your comments is missing as important point. The standard of documentation needed for science and peer review is nowhere near good enough to support policies that would require multi trillion dollar investments and policies that would inevitable have serious consequences for human well being across the planet.

      The standard of documentation required is that required in engineering and for financial analyses of very high cost investments. This is required only for the evidence that supports the key parameters, such as:

      Damage parameter, DamCoeff
      Climate sensitivity, T2xCO2
      Total factor productivity, g(TPF
      Price of back stop technology, P(back)

      Ref Table 7-1 and 7-2

      Sciences standard of documentation is nowhere near the level required for proper financial analysis and for due diligence. This is the important point I think you are missing.

    • Latimer Alder


      Anthony Watts explained his press release as follows:

      ‘The pre-release of this paper follows the practice embraced by Dr. Richard Muller, of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project in a June 2011 interview with Scientific American’s Michael Lemonick in “Science Talk”, said:

      I know that is prior to acceptance, but in the tradition that I grew up in (under Nobel Laureate Luis Alvarez) we always widely distributed “preprints” of papers prior to their publication or even submission. That guaranteed a much wider peer review than we obtained from mere referees”

      In UK we say ‘Sauce for the Goose is Sauce for the Gander’

      IMO ‘Peer review’ as a practice grew up in a time when journal publication was limited by physically moving bits of paper around…a time-consuming occupation. The internet and Google has freed us from those limitations.

      We just need to adjust to this new way of doing business not cling on to the old snail mail based ideas.


  47. Alexej Buergin

    “geronimo | August 16, 2012 at 5:57 am |
    Why would anyone come onto a blog and demand that the owner, to whom they pay not one penny, wind it up, because said owner has said that they are too busy to look after the blog at present? What sort of person is it that makes snide remarks to people who are doing their best?”

    Your question cannot be answered, because this “sort of person” is always the one belonging to the category Anthony Watts calls “anonymous cowards”.

    • “What sort of person is it that makes snide remarks to people who are doing their best?”

      climate deniers making snide remarks about climate scientists?

      • lolwot,

        You are trying to defend the indefensible. The whole thing got started with the activist climate scientists and the religious zealot followers, calling other doubters, skeptics, cautions non believers and rational people abusive names – like “Deniers” and much more. Unfortunately the activists and zealots have stepped way outside their area of expertise and want to dictate a whole host of economically irrational and seriously damaging policies. That is really scary. But the activists have not provided a persuasive case to support their arguments for such policies. the policies the zealots want include:
        – world government
        – renewable energy no matter what the cost
        – no nuclear
        – carbon tax and/or cap and trade despite the fact it would be enormously damaging to peoples welfare and achieve next to nothing
        – big government, more regulation, more bureaucracy
        – others can add to this list

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Peter Lang, don’t forget to mention that the US Navy too is firmly convinced that James Hansen’s scientific explanation of climate-change is essentially correct.

        Yikes.   :eek:   :eek:   :eek:

      • Fan,

        What does your comment have to do with my comment that you’ve responded to. Did you understand it? I suspect not.

        And what is with your juvenile pictures you posted on all your comments? Don’t you get any stars from your teacher for your homework?

      • Alexej Buergin

        We see again what kind of arguments are posted by those Anthony Watts calls “anonymous cowards”.

      • “The whole thing got started with…”

        The whole thing got started with scientists discovering that

        1) CO2 is a powerful greenhouse gas that warms the Earth.
        2) Human activity is elevating CO2 levels at a faster rate than any known time in Earth’s history.
        3) CO2 levels are projected to grow far further and induce significant climate change.

        This discovery lead to the realization by policy makers around the world that CO2 emissions needed to be curtailed.

        In response the fossil fuel and mining industries, recognizing that their profits were under threat, used the same tactics as the tobacco industry, funding lobbying and seeding unjustified doubt. Simultaneously anti-government conspiracy theorists perceiving their individualist ideologies under threat by anything that involved government, let alone international co-operation, fueled a wave of climate denial.

      • The whole thing got started with the activist climate scientists and the religious zealot followers

        I think you missed a few key steps there, Peter.

        1) In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

        2) And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

        3) And God said, Let there be climategate, and there was climategate.

        That whole activist scientist/religious zealot follower thing? Didn’t happen until step #3.

      • The hockey stick, upside down Tiljander, “lost” data, hidden or indecipherable code, magic disappearing glaciers, the imminent desertification of the Amazon, the collapse of the Greenland ice sheet, weather stations next to air conditioners and runways, no more snow in England, Peter Gleick lying about Heartland, 10:10 death wish videos; if this is “scientists” doing their best, I’d hate to see what happens when they do their second best.

      • I think you’ll find the quantity x quality of your list is tiny compared to the breadth of knowledge obtained and reported by hard working climate scientists.

      • Not to mention that fact that the majority of the things on his list have nothing to do with climate scientists; he’s lumped together every lazy journalist, map maker, or environmental activist with “scientists.”

        And it’s pretty tame stuff; oh my, some foolish person thought snow in England could be a thing of the past! Fetch my smelling salts!

        Whereas the best “skeptics” can do is: fake graphs, fabricate data, plagiarize scholarship, lie about professional qualifications, steal private e-mail, lie about scientists, threaten to beat and hang climate scientists; threaten to rape children; commit mass murder of “leftist” children attending summer camp.

        Actual “skeptics,” just like Gary, did all those things. Which kind of makes it funny that he thinks people are interested in his take on scientists’ character and methods.

        Here’s a protip for you, Gary: stopping sending death threats to scientists and threatening to rape children; then, in 50 years or so, someone may be interested in what “skeptics” have to say about ethical behavior.

  48. What does your comment have to do with my comment you responded to. Did you understand it? I suspect not.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      The US Navy is interested to complete this sentence: “The sobering reality of accelerating climate change exerts significant Climate Change Impacts on National Security: [your answer goes here].”

      What is your answer, Peter Lang?   :grin:   :?:   :lol:

      More broadly, the events of this summer are increasing every rational person’s Bayesian estimate of correctness of the proposation “James Hansen is Right”.

      Peter Lang, in your view, how should the Scottish government (and other governments and businesses) rationally adapt to these shifting probabilities?

      That is a good question, Peter Lang!   :grin:   :?:   :lol:

  49. The anthropogenic global warming industry is built on a sand castle that removed the oscillation in global mean temperature before the 1970s and claimed the cyclic warming after the 1970s is due to manmade global warming.

    The warming cycle that started in the 1970s had ended and the cooling trend has started as shown below:

    Instead of acknowledging the cyclic nature of global mean temperature, they are rationalizing the current pause is due to increase in aerosols from china or a missing heat under the ocean.

    What a big joke!

  50. I’ve been thinking about the economics of grenn-energy, and I wanted to run some preliminary thoughts out for critcism:
    The significant conclusion (if correct) is that green-energy is actually much more ‘profitable’ for energy as an industry. If this were true, it would obviously be a blow to idea that Big Business is against emission reductions because they want to make more money.
    From my limited industry knowledge, it seems that large+discovered+accesible-with-today’s-tech fossil fuel reserves are controlled by the countries that own the rights, and especially in the case of oil-reliant nations, are going to receive most of the profit that comes from developping the reserves. Clearly, oil companies make money, but it seems to come more from their function in operations – exploration, extraction,delivery, and maybe an ability to make markets and broker int’l agreements in a volatile market. Small profit margin * hugeoperation can = the large profit we frequently hear quoted in politics. But no monopoly as far as I can tell – if anyone engages in price collusion it would have to be mostly nation states,(but in good intentions of course).
    However, when energy becomes a manufacturing game (there are no oil rights to buy) as in the case of wind and solar, the energy company has much more power over its cost at the end of the day. For example, oil men are ready to fall over each other to get into the next foreign mega-reserve that will probably just nationalize in the future, If it really was a simple as keep building and deploying the simple machines that are panels/turbines, I think energy companies would be eager to oblige.

  51. Wind energy avoids less CO2 emissions than commonly believed

    Here is the latest analysis by le Pair on Facts about the savings of fossil fuel by wind turbines in the Netherlands

    Based on these ‘official figures’ we show the actual contribution of fuel reduction to be equivalent to about 4,1% of the installed – ‘nameplate’ – capacity.

    The actual data also provide some insight into the mechanism that causes wind electricity to have such a dramatically small influence on primary fuel consumption

    This supports what I attempted to explain to Pekka Pirila on previous threads – i.e. intermittent renewable energy, such as wind energy, avoids much less CO2 emissions than is claimed by renewable energy advocates.

    • Peter Lang,

      This is a good example of the type of argument that I referred to in my comment below. You seem to be suggesting that the renewables don’t have as much effect on CO2 emissions as some may believe. The implication is that therefore these CO2 emissions can’t possibly have have any adverse impact on the climate!

      • TT,

        This is a good example of how your mind works to put interpretations in your head that support you preconceived beliefs.

        You seem to be suggesting that the renewables don’t have as much effect on CO2 emissions as some may believe.


        The implication is that therefore these CO2 emissions can’t possibly have have any adverse impact on the climate!

        How on Earth did you draw that interpretation? You must be nuts.

        You’ll understand if I don’t answer your silly comments, no matter how hard you attempt to bate.

      • Actually it should be ‘bait’! I can assure you that I wasn’t trying to moderate, or ‘bate’, your comments at all!
        Come on, you’ve been claiming for quite a while now that its not just a scientific mistake that CO2 is being blamed for global warming. Its all part of a wider scam to you. You’ve managed to convince yourself that everything is linked, so why try to deny it now?

    • Latimer Alder

      @peter lang

      In UK, our Department for Energy and Climate Change doesn’t even bother to try to measure/estimate the CO2 reductions.

      In their thinking all ‘renewable energy’ is good by definition and that’s an end to it. Once the windmill is erected or the solar panel is installed, job done. And bugger any evidence to the contrary. It seems that ex-Civil Servant Salmond is infected with the same tunnel vision.

      You’d think that a whole department of 2500 clever people might actually be interested in being able to say the ‘we saved x thousand tonnes of CO2 last year’ But they don’t. They put up windmills and just hope that they do some ‘good’.

      En passant I note that the last three Energy Secretaries (the senior politicans, not the civil servants) have all got degrees in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford. As a one-time Oxford scientist, I wonder if a more technical background would not have led to better policy. Just saying.

      • “In UK, our Department for Energy and Climate Change doesn’t even bother to try to measure/estimate the CO2 reductions.”

        Utter b*ll*cks

        Latimer – you constantly seem to pontificate as if you are the only UK based poster on here. You state as fact ridiculous things such as the statement above which are plainly not true as a quick perusal of DECC’s website would show.

        To all other posters – I would take Lattie’s statements on what does or does not happen in UK with a huge dollop of salt.

      • Louise,

        I think Latimer is probably of the opinion that, as the UK is a relatively small country, the level of their CO2 emissions doesn’t make much difference to the overall picture. So why can’t they be on the high side?

        Its the sort of mis-logic all polluters, of whatever kind, can employ. They can all say that they are individually too small to make much difference.

        And if they aren’t, like the USA and China, they can divide themselves into States and Provinces, and then say that each one of them is too small to make any difference.

        And that’s probably true! So that’s that problem solved then.

      • Latimer Alder


        I think you need to think carefully about what you just wrote.

        It is true that DECC publish estimates of our CO2 total emissions. And have done so for a very long time. No argument there.

        But neither is it anything to do with what I said earlier. I explicitly said CO2 *reductions*. There is no actual measured data to say that ‘we put up ten windmills and we can show that by doing so we saved x thousand tonnes of CO2’. Or solar panels. Or tidal. Or any of their other schemes.

        Since the whole thrust of policy is to reduce CO2, you’d kind of expect them to be able to prove that it was working. Especially when work in other countries is casting doubt upon whether there are actually any savings due to windmills or solar at all.

        And from a UK taxpayer’s perspective, I’d hope that the DECC would have some empirical metrics that ranked the CO2 savings by source type and by value for money. It seems they don’t. They are all lumped into what Steve McIntyre calls ‘Acts of Petty Virtue’.

      • Latimer, I suspect there’s no reduction at all, au contraire! The only reductions that work are economic/financial crises.

      • Latimer is absolutely correct. There is no way to measure the emissions avoided by wind generation.

        But it will come, eventually, if the world decides to go down the carbon pricing route.

        And this will give you an idea of what the cost would be:
        Lang (2012), The ultimate compliance cost for the ETS

      • Saying “There is no way to measure the emissions avoided by wind generation” is very different from Lattie’s accusation that “In UK, our Department for Energy and Climate Change doesn’t even bother to try to measure/estimate the CO2 reductions” so, how can you claim “Latimer is absolutely correct” when he didn’t actually say what you claim he said?

      • Louise,

        My reply was to Latimer Alder’s comment @ August 17, 2012 at 4:44 am in which he said:

        It is true that DECC publish estimates of our CO2 total emissions. And have done so for a very long time. No argument there.

        But neither is it anything to do with what I said earlier. I explicitly said CO2 *reductions*. There is no actual measured data to say that ‘we put up ten windmills and we can show that by doing so we saved x thousand tonnes of CO2′. Or solar panels. Or tidal. Or any of their other schemes.

        Since the whole thrust of policy is to reduce CO2, you’d kind of expect them to be able to prove that it was working. Especially when work in other countries is casting doubt upon whether there are actually any savings due to windmills or solar at all.

        And from a UK taxpayer’s perspective, I’d hope that the DECC would have some empirical metrics that ranked the CO2 savings by source type and by value for money. It seems they don’t. They are all lumped into what Steve McIntyre calls ‘Acts of Petty Virtue’.

        Every statement in that comment is correct, as I said.

      • Latimer Alder


        I will try to phrase my remarks in a way more pleasing to you in future.


        “In UK, our Department for Energy and Climate Change doesn’t even bother to try to measure/estimate the CO2 reductions effected by installing ‘renewable’ power sources’

        convey my meaning better?

        I had thought it was obvious from the context and subsequent discussion, but perhaps not.

        But the important thing is that they don’t do it.

      • Latimer Alder


        And you don’t need to take my word for it. In their own words

        ‘No such analysis has been carried out by DECC’

        See details below if needed

      • Latimer Alder,

        Thank you for that info. We have a similar situation in Australia. I could tell many horror stories too, but probably best not to. :)

  52. This time I’m in sympathy with some of the comments on so-called green energy expressed by our sceptic/denier friends. I too have my doubts about an over reliance on the renewables of wind and solar power. James Hansen talks about ‘greenwash’ and I’d say not without justification. Building a few wind turbines, allows the politicians to give the impression that climate change is being tackled, but in reality the coal fired power stations are putting out as just much, if not more, CO2 as ever.

    I’m not in sympathy, though, with the argument that it’s going to be quite, or even extremely, difficult to move away from fossil fuel usage fast enough, so it follows that CO2 emissions can’t be a problem and therefore we shouldn’t try to reduce them.

    • Please provide a reference to where you saw this:

      difficult to move away from fossil fuel usage fast enough, so it follows that CO2 emissions can’t be a problem and therefore we shouldn’t try to reduce them.

      Is it another strawman argument, or is it your misunderstanding / misinterpretation again?

      • I was under the impression that you were against the necessary measures being taken to reduce CO2 emissions. Have I misunderstood?

      • What do you mean by “necessary” measure?

        I’d suggest you re-read my comments. I suspect you are putting your own interpretation on what I’ve been saying, consistently, for a very long time, e.g. summarised here:.

      • You mean you really don’t know what “necessary” means? Look it up in the dictionary.

        I was wondering why you had linked to skepticalscience for a moment. Until I realised that it was a link to your comment telling us all just expensive, and difficult, it was to reduce CO2 emissions.

        Of course you could be right. It may not even be possible to get everyone the whole world to effectively agree to reduce CO2 emissions in time. That’s a perfectly valid, if somewhat defeatist, line of argument.

        Its also a perfectly valid argument to say the consequences of allowing CO2 emissions to increase out of all control are likely to be dire.

        I suppose there is someone somewhere who is saying both these things, but, almost exclusively, it seems to be those who favour the first one don’t at all favour the second, which isn’t logical as the two issues can’t be linked at all.

    • Latimer Alder


      Steve McIntyre used the memorable phrase ‘Acts of Petty Virtue’ in his lecture yesterday to cover exactly your point yesterday.

      Seems to encapsulate it quite well. They are symbolic, but almost entirely pointless and ineffective gestures.

      We can argue about whether we think CO2 is or isn’t a big problem. But it seems we can agree that windmills ain’t the answer.

    • lurker passing through, laughing

      You are painting yourself into a corner.
      Thanks for the early chuckle,

  53. Meet the second hockey stick.

    This time for the modern instrumental temperature record =>

  54. Vaughan Pratt

    Now that even our moderator has commented on this nontechnical post (if only to excuse it), I suppose we can all pile on.

    The ontogeny of Climate Etc. neatly recapitulates the phylogeny of individualism that arose in the 17th century with the thoughts and perspectives of Thomas Hobbes, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, William Blake, etc. who so articulately raised the alarm about excessive reductionism and scientism.

    A reductionist dropping in here might be put in mind of Vizzini in the first 20 seconds of

    “Have you ever heard of Plato? Aristotle? Socrates? Morons!”

    On Climate Etc., have we ever heard of Gore? Mann? Hansen?

    Have we ever.

    Quite a band of rugged individualists here.

    (Don’t get me wrong. Plato was a moron.)

  55. Re Latimer 17/08 8.12am:
    This study in The Netherlands criticizes the energy models that sold wind power to the Netherlands’ Government because the mopdels neglect the the models neglect factors that increase fossil fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.(pp1-13) One such factor is ramping up conventional plants connected to stand in when the wind isn’t blowing, which is often, and ramping ramping down when it isn’t. Both processes increase fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

    The Dutch study also analyses the efficiency factor in back up generation Coal and nuclear are slow to ramp up and down as are Steam Enhanced Gas Turbines, (CCGT) which are twice as energy efficient as Open Cycle Gas Turbines, (OCGT) However, because OCGT are well suited to rapid ramping, the less energy efficient technology becomes the preferred option of back up.

  56. Well either Scotland achieved 30% energy from renewables as Salmond says or it didn’t. If it did then the anti-wind folk here are out of date and wrong. If it didn’t then point us to the real numbers rather than just bloviating.

    Scotland has ample hydro to store energy when the wind does not blow so it is not ridiculous to propose a higher percentage of renewables and most of the investment money is actually coming from industry. If Salmond is determined not to sideline fossil fuels but instead to use them as a bank for future plans then it does seem that he actually has a credible energy plan that doesn’t need nuclear subsidies; unlike In any event they have about another 20 years before needing new plant, also unlike the

    • Latimer Alder

      @james g

      I can’t find the statistics for 2011, but the graph below from the Scottish Government goes up to 2010 and tells us some interesting things

      1. About half of the achieved 25% renewables comes from hydro. Hydro is sensitive to rainfall.

      2. Wind (lumped in with wave, solar and tidal) manages just over 10% currently. Not insignficant, but still small.

      3. The gap between the total of ‘renewables’ and the total required remains at about 75%. In other words to meet Salmond’s 2020 target would need a trebling of this sector within eight years. Which seems unlikely. Especially with the uncertainty of Scotland’s political future until 2014. Or some very big and persuasive bribes (= subsidies)/

      4. So Salmond slyly moves the goalposts. The target is no longer 100% of renewable electricity consumption, He adds the word ‘domestic’. So now it is 100% of renewable domestic electricity consumption. Neat. Domestic can be defined very narrowly as private households only. So you get rid of a large chunk of the demand at one fell swoop. Out go the remaining Scottish heavy industries. And the airports and street lighting and any commercial premises and supermarkets an golf clubhouses and the Scottish Parliament and the Edinburgh Trams (oops – they wouldn’t be finished by 2020 anyway :-( )

      5. I don’t know how big the total domestic consumption is, but it is sure a lot less than the total demand now. To meet it, it seems unlikely that there are many big new hydro opportunities. Which really leaves wind. Maybe just maybe it is possible to build enough windmills. But at the expense of ruining one of Scotland’s major tourism assets – its landscape. Few come to Scotland to wonder at Glasgow’s architectural marvels. But many want to revel in ‘The Scottish Experience’. Which does not, IMO include seeing windmills on the side of every mountain from Stirling to Inverness.

      • Latimer
        Well they managed a 5 percent increase in 2 years then. 100% is unlikely but they are on course for 70 percent maybe.

        I like the windmills. But then I’m an engineer. The pylons and associated wires are much more ugly. I hope they can stick the wires underground then everyones view of the countryside would improve. I notice nobody complains about eyesores that are regarded as essential.

        Your cherry-picking of Glasgows architecture while ignoring Edinburghs magnificence tells me a lot about you.

        I don’t know if windpower is a goer but Scotland is the best place to try it. Nuclear is too expensive alas and coal uneconomic. So that doesn’t leave much else but renewables or a lucky strike of gas. Or fusion of course :) Or maybe gasification of coal. All talk of C02 aside, renewables are worth a try! They are indeed getting cheaper all the time and some of the arguments here are well out of date.

  57. ‘mopdels’! I like it!1

  58. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    RESOLVED  Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond is (like most Scots):

    • Well-informed  Alex Salmond knows that: (a) Arctic sea-ice volume levels have for 34+ years been decreasing at a shockingly fast pace, and (b) in the last three years the pace of ice-melt has accelerated 2σ+ faster than trend lines, and sea-temperatures in the Arctic have grown so shockingly warm that (b) further ice-melt acceleration is in the pipeline.

    • Canny  Alex Salmond reflects that: (a)  the rational Bayesian odds that “Hansen is right” are steadily increasing, and (b)  as a far-north largely maritime nation, Scotland rational will experience the consequences of “Hansen is right” earlier and more strongly than most nations.

    • Brave  as a well-informed and canny Scot, Alex Salmond does not flinch from the rational conclusion (quoted from Judith’s post):

    “Globally, we need to make the transition from an economy which largely generates energy from fossil fuels to one based on renewable energy. … Countries which develop the low carbon technologies to power the planet in the future will gain significant economic benefits, whether it is from the sale of technology, the manufacture of turbines and machinery, or the export of clean electricity itself.”

    Conclusion  Climate Etc readers can take multiple lessons from well-informed, canny, brave Scots like Alex Salmond!   :grin:   2¢   :grin:   2¢   :grin:

    Questions to ask oneself 

    • Am I WELL INFORMED regarding the facts of climate-change?

    • Am I CANNY regarding the rational Bayesian odds that “Hansen is right”?

    • Am I BRAVE enough to grasp the implications and opportunities?

    Alex Scott scores pretty well by these three criteria, eh?   :grin:   2¢   :grin:   2¢   :grin:

    • Latimer Alder

      @A Fan

      Since you can do telepathy, can you give me this week’s lotto numbers please? A small commission for you when I win.

      Alternatively the first 8 winners at Newbury this afternoon would be good.


    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Neven’s Arctic Sea Ice Blog posts smashing news: Record Dominoes 1: Uni Bremen Sea Ice Extent

      Conclusion  Rhe rational Bayesian odds on the proposition “James Hansen is right, Alex Salmond is right, the US Navy is right, the Pope is right, and Neven is right” have all shifted substantially in the positive direction.

      The rational Bayesian odds on “the denialists are right”  not so much, eh?   :grin:   2¢   :lol:   2¢   :grin:   2¢

      As Neven says: “On to the next domino!”   :lol:   :lol:   :lol:

      Perhaps the next domino to be toppled by Bayesian rationality will be your skepticism, Latimer Alder!   :lol:   :lol:   :lol:

      • Fan, you write “As Neven says: “On to the next domino!” ”

        Maybe the next domino is the hurricane season in the North Atlantic. I seem to remember after 2005, forecasts by the proponents of CAGW of some sort of massive increase in hurricane becausae of CAGW and warmer seas. This year, we have Nino neutral conditons, and, to date, not much activity. I know we do not reach peak hurricane season for about a month. But the last major hurricane to inpact the USA was Wilma in 2005. Are we going to go another whole year before another such event? I am sure out friends south of the border hope so. 7 named storms so far, and an ACE value for the first 6 of 17. Not much sign of heavy hurricane activity, but I know there is lots of time. Maybe the next domnino will be a very sharp uptick in hurricane activity in the NA, and a demostration that, indeed, the forecast of increased hurricane activity in the NA will manifest itself this year.

    • “RESOLVED Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond is (like most Scots):”

      No true Scotsman would be against preparing for the future.

      When Latie brings up William Wallace of Gromit, I have to gag.

      ” Latimer Alder | August 16, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Reply
      But its worth looking forward just a little further than that glorious day when the spririt of William Wallace leads a proud nation to shake off the English yoke. And Wee Eck takes a grateful populace to freedom.”

  59. A lot of what is being discussed as Scotland’s 100% green energy plan is simply a pipe dream.

    Installed MW of wind or solar do not provide steady power – only when the wind blows just right or the sun shines (in Scotland?).

    So all these installed MW will need installed gas-fired standby plants, which operate the 70% of the time when there is no wind/sun. (So it’s not a “100%”, but a “30% green energy” plan.

    Do a majority of the Scots even want a “100% green energy plan” for Scotland, once they find out what it will cost them?

    And I do not believe that there is a real chance that Scotland will become independent of the UK, even if a majority of voting Scots would like this (which is also not clear).

    And, if it did, would Scotland also opt out of the EU (as the other major North Sea energy producer, Norway, has already done)?

    If so, would it no longer be bound by the EU decarbonization commitments?

    Lots of fancy words and good intentions with some fuzzy green logic, but hardly a realistic plan for the future, in my opinion.


    • Latimer Alder


      See ‘Darien’ for an historical parallel

      Fancy words and good intentions abounded……..but the result was a catastrophe.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      See ‘Charles Dickens and the Movement for Sanitary Reform’ for an historical parallel.

      Fancy words and good intentions abounded … and the result was an enduring economic *and* moral triumph for Britain!   :)   :)   :)


      The Sanitary Reform movement *did* substantially raise taxes … and these taxes were fervently opposed by the conservative denialists of the era!   :eek:   :?:   :eek:

      Which was dumb and wrong of the sanitary-reform denialists, eh?   :sad:   :sad:   :sad:

      How did it come about that conservative denialists of Dickens’ time were so dumbly & grossly wrong, manacker and Latimer Alder?   :grin:   :?:   :grin:

      • Fan

        Discussing the sanitary reform actions around Dickens time is a bit off topic here.

        The fact remains that, unlike the sanitation and industrialization of Scotland in the 19th century (arguably enabled to a major extent by the availability of low-cost fossil fuel energy), or its subsequent rise to an major industrial player in the 20th century (enabled by its North Sea fossil fuel energy resources), the green energy proposal for an independent Scotland is a pipe dream (for many reasons, but mainly because it is based only on hot air).


      • Indeed. Transporting and treating sewage is a big energy user. The aerobic treatment processes that are used in municipal systems wouldn’t be possible without readily available energy. And the anaerobic processes aren’t practical on a municipal scale. Plus, the anaerobic processes produce beau coup methane.

        Real life is never as simple as a Dickens novel.

      • Latimer Alder

        A Fan

        What time zone is it in your part of the world? Early start to the weekend entertainment perhaps?

        BTW The sanitation of London is a subject I have studied a bit. The main thing that drove cholera and other epidemic diseases from the city was Bazalgette’s construction of the first proper sewerage system. And the catalyst for that was John Snow’s remarkable first step in epidemiology.


        IMO It seems to me that London should do better to memorialise Bazalgette who was responsible for more of the physical infrastructure than anybody else. He is restricted to a rather poor and small plaque on a little used pavement on the Embankment. But he should be on the plinth at Trafalgar Square.

        But WTF the relevance of this is to Scottish Independence has entirely escaped me. Perhaps you could explain?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        A fan of *MORE* discourse asks  “How did it come about that conservative denialists of Dickens’ time were so dumbly & grossly wrong, manacker and Latimer Alder [also “m”, “P.E>”, etc.]? &nbsp :grin: &nbsp :?: &nbsp :grin:”

        The bobbing-and-weaving of the climate-change denialists here on Climate Etc shows us a key element of the answer: the Dunning–Kruger effect in its science-denying form.

        Denialist claim  Germs don’t cause disease, therefore the Sanitary Reform Movement is a progressive plot to raise taxes.

        Denialist rationale  The sole cause of disease is God; the nobility and wealthy classes are less afflicted by disease; therefore the Sanitary Reform Movement stands opposed to the will of God … and in particular, it is God’s will that taxes stay low!   :roll:   :oops:   :roll:   :oops:   :roll:


        Gosh, maybe denialism has not changed much, eh?   :lol:   2¢   :lol:   2¢   :lol:   2¢

      • Latimer Alder

        @A Fan

        ‘Do not post when pissed or stoned’ is pretty good advice.

        Whatever you are on has caused you to lose all touch with reality. I’ll leave it there until you return to Planet Earth.


      • Seconded. That was a completely non-sequitur non response. It’s pointless to respond to that kind of silliness.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        LOL … Latimer Alder and P.E., have we not all of us heard King Arthur sing the very same song that you are singing? SHUT UP! WILL YOU SHUT UP! SHUT UP! BLOODY PEASANT!!!   :lol:   :lol:   :lol:

        Seriously, the history and literature of the Sanitary Reform Movement holds plenty of serious lessons for the climate-change debate, eh?

        Thank you for demonstrating King Arthur’s denialist cognitive style, thoughtless egotism, and abusive rhetoric, Latimer Alder and P.E.!   ;)   ;)   ;)

      • I thought I had clicked on Climate Etc but it appears that I’ve stumbled into the rehearsals for Monty Python’s ‘Fanalot.’.
        What is going on?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Philosophy does not have to be boring, abusive, or humorless. Quite the reverse, in fact!   :lol:   :lol:   :lol:

      • Latimer Alder



        I had to read it three times, but then I got the joke.



      • Funalot ? surely not
        Nuffalot more likely.

      • What’s going on? Something to do with a killer rabbit, as near as I can tell.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Glad to encounter Python fans here on Climate Etc!   :)   :)   :)

        :Oh, on the planet Fanalot we read Hansen, Chu, and Mann-a-lot!”   :grin:   :lol:   :grin:

        Ah well … it’s a whole lot nicer on the planet Fanalot than on the planet of the High Social Discount Rates, where the top-rated film is
        Dr. Denial-Liebe, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Climate-Change Impacts!   2¢   :cry:   :oops:   :cry:   2¢

      • lurker passing through, laughing

        Are you self medicating again?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        LOL — the punch-line is at 1:05  :grin:   :grin:   :grin:

      • lurker passing through, laughing

        you and your fellow deluded cultists are very entertaining, and I mean that in the best sense of the word.
        Here is nice guy pointing out where you apocalypse junkies are in history- certainly not alone.
        Great skit, by the way.

  60. The blame for ineffective solutions to tackling CO2 emissions on the part of governments is more down to climate denial and lobbying on behalf of special interests, rather than the fault of those campaigning to reduce global CO2 emissions.

    With the threat of climate change universally recognized, it is expedient for governments to be seen acting to reduce CO2 emissions. Yet lobbying from mining and fossil fuel related industries puts pressure on governments not to act to reduce CO2 effectively. The chosen tactic is stay quiet, hidden, but ramp up pressure whenever the threat of effective action draws near. The result is that governments have only been able to go so far. So what we get is ineffective CO2 reduction policies. This is satisfactory for the governments, it gives them the appearance of tackling climate change, while relieving pressure from special special interest groups lobbying them in the background.

    I am drawing all this from such examples as the EU aviation carbon tax, an unilateral policy enacted after the failure of international agreements. Special interests have deemed this carbon tax has gone too far and so the lobbyists creep out of the woodwork to try and stop it. They argue the unilateral actions won’t make any difference globally, yet these forces are precisely why an effective global solution hasn’t been reached. Just one example revealing what is really going on here. We then see threats of like-for-like actions and trade wars. And all this being channeled by governments that would otherwise be happy to continue the illusion that they want to tackle CO2 emissions.

    The same deception that exists at a government level also exists at a corporate level of course and is called greenwash. We see fossil fuel companies and those opposed to action on climate change spending millions on advertising and branding to make it look like they are actually pro-action on climate change.

    It’s the old “If you can’t join em, beat em” maxim.

    So it comes down to this. There will be action on CO2. If you want effective action you need to support global policy. If on the otherhand you want ineffective action, you need to oppose global policy. There is no other choice. Governments will not be seen doing nothing.

    • or rather “If you can’t beat em, join em”

    • lurker, passing through laughing

      Blaming skeptics on the failure of the climate change fanatics to get the laws of nature to cooperate with their loser ideas about CO2 is possibly the funniest idiocy of the day.
      Thank you very much for a nice laugh.
      “With the threat of climate change universally recognized…..” is a close second both for idiocy and humor.
      Thanks again,

      • I don’t blame the skeptics. They have themselves to blame. Their opposition to effective policies has resulted in ineffective policies.

        There will always be policies based on universal acceptance of the climate change threat so long as the scientific understanding of the matter remains as so. If skeptics want to change that they need to engage the science and publish their arguments to peer review.

      • lurker, passing through laughing

        You silly twit, skeptics have had nearly zero impact on climate policy.
        You climate clowns have controlled the debate.
        Blaming skeptics is as silly – and much safer for skeptics- as the bolshies blaming their inability to feed the people under their tyranny on ‘counter-revolutionaries’.
        Your idiocy has not worked because it never will work: the climate will not cooperate, the sun does not shine enough, the wind declines to blow as you want, and you sad pathetic clowns actually have no idea how to do anything excpet to take other people’s money for your deluded self-righteous rent seeking.
        IOW, you are good for laughs in a macabre sort of way.

      • look Hunter,
        YOU might have had zero impact on climate policy, but those fossil fuel interests out there aren’t spending money on lobbying and greenwash for nothing.

      • lurker passing through, laughing

        You silly self-booting joke: Now you think it is a fossil fuel conspiracy that keeps windmills from turning when the does not blow, or solar panels from working when it is cloudy?
        Wow. You guys are a joke-a-post.

    • The blame for ineffective solutions to tackling CO2 emissions on the part of governments is more down to climate denial and lobbying on behalf of special interests, rather than the fault of those campaigning to reduce global CO2 emissions.

      Honestly, I don’t think the lion’s share of the blame rests with either group.

      Rather, it rests with the large majority of people — whether living in democracies or dictatorships — who have trouble planning for the long term, especially when it requires taking on entrenched interest groups today.

      Welfare reform. Education reform. Healthcare reform. Ending an unsuccessful war in Iraq. Balancing the budget. All of these things were recognized as problems a long time in advance of their being addressed (and when Clinton balanced the budget, it was only a few short years before short-term thinkers blew a hole in it again, bigger than before.)

      I think a lot of people have difficulty really concerning themselves with ten or twenty or thirty years in the future. This leaves the field open for people whose economic interest or ideology make them passionate defenders of the status quo. Obviously people aggressively advocating a senseless and destructive attitude of denial have a lot to answer for. But it is really the torpor of the majority that determines the rate of change.

      The good news is that as the damage from climate change becomes more immediate and severe, the torpor will end and people will support action. It’s just a question of how much trouble we as a civilization are going to summon down on our own heads while nature rubs our noses in reality.

      • +1

      • Michael Hart

        Beam me up, Scotty.

      • Latimer Alder


        Been waiting a long time. Any sign yet?

        Hurricanes up: No
        Sealevel accelerating : Nope
        Polies extinct : Nope
        New York underwater: Nope
        50 million climate refugees by 2010? Nope
        Snow a thing of the past in UK? Nope…

        and so on and so forth. There have been more failed alarmist predictions of imminent disaster than I could throw a stick at. And few (=zero so far) that have – even by coincidence – come true.

        Looks like you’re going to have to keep hoping for a bit longer yet…..I guess you were just a youngster when you started, but it looks like you’ll be old and grey before it all kicks off………

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Latimer, “lurker”, and Peter Lang, please reflect that the US military has ships and aircraft — heck, even has admirals and generals! — who are older than any time-frame that denialists care to contemplate.

        Perchance, is that the main reason why the US military thinks James Hansen is essentially correct, and you Climate Etc denialists don’t? The world wonders, eh?   :)   :)   :)

      • lurker, passing through laughing

        Just when I think lolwot has come up with the funniest defense of climate extremism, you come along with some idea that a military leader is an expert on climate. And you use laughably obvious bs dressed up as propaganda to do it.
        Thanks for the chuckle,
        vty etc.,

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        “lurker”, your low opinion of the military accords with denialist prejudices, yet has no basis in fact?

        What further facts may assist your illumination, oh “lurker”?   :)   :)   :)

      • lurker passing through, laughing

        Your inability to engage highlights what another pointed out about you. It was to the effect that you struggle to climb the hill of inanity to achieve the irrelevant but seldom succeed.
        Keep up the good and entertaining work.

      • Been waiting a long time. Any sign yet?

        Yep. Lots. Are you totally ignorant of the science on impacts?

        Shouldn’t surprise me I suppose.

        Go learn about it . . . the reality, not the ludicrous denier fantasy you parrot . . . and maybe we can talk about it.

        Meanwhile, remember that your ignorance is not a superpower. ;)

      • Latimer Alder


        Let me translate your remarks.

        ‘Hi Latimer

        You’re right. None of the above.

        Brgds Rob’

      • “Let me translate your remarks.”

        Given your total incompetence generally, I don’t need your services as a translator, thanks!

        Your proud proclamation of ignorance is a fail.

        Remember that your ignorance is not a superpower. :)

      • Latimer Alder


        You’ll not be surprised to learn that I don’t find your complete lack of presentation of any evidence for ‘climate impacts’ unconvincing.

        When you claim that a phenomenon is occurring, it is usual to present even a teensy weensy bit. Seems that you don’t have any. Thought not.

      • When you’ve so effectively demonstrated your ignorance, there’s no need. You’ve refuted yourself.

        If you want to talk evidence, why don’t you provide a source for the claim that we should expect that “Polies extinct.”

        You sound like an idiot, your assertions are idiotic, your reasoning stupid.

        Your ignorance imposes no obligations on me. I just enjoy you making a fool of yourself. And I need no evidence for that beyond what you’ve so generously provided.

        You lose. ;)

      • Latimer Alder


        Thank you for your rant.

        I will treat it as yet more evidence that my simple approach is hitting alarmist nerves bigtime. You have no sensible answers … just invective.

        You renew my determination to expose the sham of your ‘arguments’.

      • Latimer Alder


        Sorry – buried within your rant was a question abut polies extinction

        Source: Al Gore…An Inconvenient Truth

      • andrew adams

        He said it would happen by 2012?

      • Latimer Alder

        @andrew adams

        Dunno. Was asleep by then. There was all sorts of sobstory stuff about drowning polies and the poor bear looking forlorn on an ice floe. I;d just about lost the will to live…far quicker than the polies were dying.

        But if warming is so bad for them . presumably their numbers will be already dropping after 40 years. Have you some statistics to show this?

        PS discussion about whether individual populations are rising or falling are irrelevant without the numbers behind them.

        Hint. About 40 years ago the total population was estimated at 5,000. Now it is about 25,000. If they are really dying out because of AGW, then a five-fold increase in population is a very strange way to do so :-). Unless you have an explanation?

      • 5,000 polar bears 40 years ago is yet another denialist myth unsupported by the evidence.

        Yet another example of Lattie making unfounded statements as if they were facts.

      • Latimer Alder


        Yet again you don’t have to believe me. But the US Senate agreed in 2008:

        ‘”The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that the polar bear population is currently at 20,000 to 25,000 bears, up from as low as 5,000-10,000 bears in the 1950s and 1960s. A 2002 U.S. Geological Survey of wildlife in the Arctic Refuge Coastal Plain noted that the polar bear populations ‘may now be near historic highs,'”

        Perhaps things have changed since, but you’ll have to show some more up to date numbers than these if you think their remarks are seriously wrong

      • So you didn’t read the link and you assume US politicians know better than scientists and aren’t influenced by lobbyists – you poor niave fool.

        Apologies for the large amount of cut and paste but you can take a horse to water (provide a link)…

        “Steven Amstrup, who led the USGS research on the current status of polar bears, emailed me from the field: “How many bears were around then, we don’t really know because the only studies of bears at that time were in their very early stages — people were just beginning to figure out how we might study animals scattered over the whole Arctic in difficult logistical situations. Some estimated that world population might have been as small as 5000 bears, but this was nothing more than a WAG. The scientific ability to estimate the sizes of polar bear populations has increased dramatically in recent years.”

        (Editor’s note: “WAG” is scientific jargon for “Wild-Ass Guess.”)

        Andrew Derocher of the University of Alberta added, “I have seen the figure of 5,000 in the 1960/70s but it is impossible to give it any scientific credibility. No estimation of any population was attempted until the early 1970s and even then, this was done very crudely for perhaps 10% of the global population and the estimates were highly questionable.”

        Thor Larsen of Norway’s University of Life Sciences was actively involved in bear research back then. He recalls “Most data on numbers from the late 1960s and early 1970s were indeed anecdotal, simply because proper research was lacking. As far as I can remember, we did stick to a world-wide ‘guestimate’ of 20-25,000 bears in these years.”

        Another veteran bear researcher, Ian Stirling, emailed me, “Any number given as an estimate of the total population at that time would simply have been a guess and, in all likelihood, 5,000 was almost certainly much too low.”

        These and other scientists agree that polar bear populations have, in all likelihood, increased in the past several decades, but not five-fold, and for reasons that have nothing to do with global warming. The Soviets, despite their horrendous environmental legacy on many issues, banned most polar bear hunting in 1956. Canada and the U.S. followed suit in the early 1970s — with limited exceptions for some native hunting, and permitted, high-priced trophy hunts. And a curtailment of some commercial seal hunting has sparked a seal population explosion — angering fishermen, but providing populations in eastern Canada and Greenland with plenty of polar bear chow, leading in turn to localized polar bear population growth in spite of the ice decline.

        The scientists also caution that we still don’t have a firm count on these mobile, remote, supremely camouflaged beasts.”

      • Latimer Alder


        OK . Even if we don’t agree on the 5-fold increase and you wish to ignore the independent scientists who work for the Fish and Wildlife Commission it is still notable that – according to your own cut and paste –

        ‘These and other scientists agree that polar bear populations have, in all likelihood, increased in the past several decades’.

        How does this increase square with the predictions of polar bear wipeout by such as Al Gore? How does a population threatened with terminal declining because of AGW manage to increase instead? Please explain.

      • Lattie – read the second last para in my post above. Curtailing hunting (of bears and their prey, seals) has undoubtedly led to an increase in polar bear numbers in the recent past.

        However, a continuing reduction in Arctic sea ice, from which they hunt, will also undoubtedly effect their ability to hunt and ultimately their numbers.

        That you are in denial of this says a lot about your approach to the implications of AGW.

      • Latimer Alder


        So the actual data tells us that numbers have been going up. And it is only speculation that they will go down in the future.

        Experience tells me that very few alarmist speculations turn out as predicted. So you’ll forgive me if I reserve judgement until it actually happens (or not).

      • Well sure, perhaps the polar bears will learn to build rafts from which to hunt from, afterall, plenty of posters here seem to think adaptation will solve all the problems associated with AGW.

      • Latimer,

        We’ve been through it before. I pointed you the the population estimates which showed the numbers are almost certainly declining, you claimed that “we don’t know what the exact numbers are” means “we haven’t got a clue whether they are declining or increasing” and also accused conservation groups of pretending polar bears are endangered in order to get funding. So excuse me if I don’t see this as a productive line if discussion.

      • Great comments by Louise though.

      • Well it’s funny you speak of predictions Latimer.

        This weekend we will likely see a new record for arctic sea ice area minimum on Cryosphere Today.

        If you recall climate skeptics were predicting an arctic sea ice recovery after 2007.

      • Latimer Alder

        I don’t recall having ever made a prediction about Arctic sea ice. It is not a topic of any great interest to me, and I am frankly puzzled as to why so many seem so obsessive about it.

        But then some people like golf and/or religion. I’ve never understood those either. Maybe its just me.

      • One of the reasons some people are interested in Arctic sea ice is the consequences for polar bears, but then if you ever read anything other than denialist blogs you would know that.

      • Embarrassing propaganda, that polar bears international site. It’s stuff like that’s making people skeptical.

      • Latimer Alder


        Is it the change in Arctic ice that has led to the recent increase in PB populations?

      • Robert writes “Welfare reform. Education reform. Healthcare reform. Ending an unsuccessful war in Iraq. Balancing the budget.”

        Spoken like a true bigoted American, who thinks the USA is the only country which has problems and then solves them. Here in Canada. We have no need of welfare reform; it is about as good as we can afford. Education reform; again no problem; money is the only difficulty; Healthcare reform. We have one of the best, taxpayer funded, universal healthcare systems in the world; brought in when Saskatchewan started the process because of pressure from our doctors. Balancing the budget. We are well on the way to completing this by 2014. Our monthly budget deficits are less than 1 billion dollars.

        ‘So, Robert, I suggest you remember this is a blog whose denizens are from all over the world. Not just in the USA.

      • Jim, what is this moronic attack about?

        That I speak from my perspective as an American? That I use examples from the United States?

        Boring personal invectives — a useless waste of time.

        Now I know, because you’ve said so explicitly, that you don’t care about science, and that you don’t care about scientific theories. But that doesn’t mean you need to waste the time of serious people on your irrational whining.

        Jim, I know your little butt is still raw from the whipping I gave you, but it’s over — and now that you’ve “outed” yourself as somebody who doesn’t care about the science, you’re not likely to get a rematch.

        Can you be a man and walk away? Or are you going to keep wasting everyone’s time with pointless, meaningless invective? Are you going to go on yapping like the little poodle you resemble?

      • “Welfare reform. Education reform. Healthcare reform. Ending an unsuccessful war in Iraq. Balancing the budget. All of these things were recognized as problems a long time in advance of their being addressed (and when Clinton balanced the budget, it was only a few short years before short-term thinkers blew a hole in it again, bigger than before.)”

        I love it when Robert pretends to get all factual and then just makes s*** up.

        Welfare reform? Republicans fought for decades to enact welfare reform to undo the devastation progressives had wrought on inner city families by forcing fathers out of the home and dooming generations to dependency on government. Clinton twice vetoed their reform, signing it only when the Republicans had gather veto proof majorities in both the house and senate. Oh, and by the way, Obama just gutted welfare reform. But those of you who rely solely on filtered media wouldn’t know that.

        The balanced budget? Ditto, First, the budget didn’t really balance unless you use progressives faux math to avoid counting everything government spends. But even using progressives voo doo accounting standards, Clinton tried desperately to force ever greater spending, but was stymied by that same GOP congress.

        Healthcare reform? hasn’t happened, and won;t so long as progressives remain in control. Companies across the country are already planning massive layoffs to cope with the massive increase in costs imposed by this “reform.

        And Iraq, that war was won despite the desperate attempts of Barack Obama to stop the surge. We know the war was a success because Obama keeps trying to take credit for it, like Clinton did welfare reform and the reduction in spending the GOP forced on him.

        But hey, I love reading Robert’s revisionist history. I sometimes almost think he even believes it…..


      • Robert has a voluminous history of making s**t up. But that’s what Warmers do. Joshua said he was leaving… twice, but that didn’t take. ‘FAN’ must be unemployed and not so skilled at picking internet monikers.

        That’s pretty much the sum total of what they have “contributed.”


      • You don’t want to know Fan’s day job. You’ll never want to go to the doctor again. But they give him plenty of paid time to dink around on the net.

        I’ll give you a hint: there’s a reason why college tuition has risen at several times the inflation rate.

      • When you say Obama gutted welfare, that is straight out of a misleading Republican ad. If you read up on what he did, he granted waivers on the welfare-to-work requirement to two (Republican) governors for their states, but demanded something equivalent to it. Romney as a governor also wanted such a waiver. For that they say he gutted the welfare-to-work requirement. Incredible. Read other sources before just parroting this stuff in the ads. Glad I could help.

      • Just dumb as a box of rocks. Just because you read it on ThinkProgress, the Huffington Post, or watch it on MSNBC, doesn’t make it so.

        The Obama Health and Human Services Administration reinterpreted that portion of the Social Security Act that contains what used to be welfare reform. The administration “reinterpreted” the Act to allow waivers of the work requirement. This “reinterpretation” is not limited to any “two states.”

        Don’t believe me, read the HHS release for yourself.

        “Therefore, HHS is issuing this information memorandum to notify states of the Secretary’s willingness to exercise her waiver authority under section 1115 of the Social Security Act to allow states to test alternative and innovative strategies, policies, and procedures that are designed to improve employment outcomes for needy families.”

        The waivers will extend to “definitions of work activities.” Meaning sitting on your duff at home can constitute “work” if a bureaucrat says it does.

        Not to get too technical, but the Act allows for waivers only of those provisions contained in section 402. The Republican Congress forced this provision on Clinton, over his veto threat, to prevent exactly what Obama just did. The welfare provisions are in section 407 are thus not waiveable. Obama and his HHS just rewrote the law in their head and enacted the change by fiat.

        Whatever you do, don’t think for yourself. You might sprain something.

      • So why is it only Republicans wanted these waivers? This is what you get for reaching across the aisle and compromising.

      • (not sure how this cpomment posted in the middle of typig it but)..TANF, is now waiverable.

        Sorry, I underestimated you.

        Dumber than a box of rocks.

        Do something you robotic default progressives rarely do, actually look at the source, not some progressive wag’s spin.

        If you look at the HHS announcement of the new policy I linked to, you might notice there is a date on it. That date is July 12, 2012. Given the horrendous paperwork in dealing with any government program, I doubt any state has applied for a waiver of the TANF work provisions yet. Which is the primary response of the progressive drones to date. “Hey, Obama hasn’t waived anything, we just told the states they can apply for waivers (despite the fact the law says they cannot).”

        What was once not waiverable, the express work requirements for tnf

      • I need a new computer. This one apparently has a mind of its own.

      • GaryM, I liked your new handle better, you should have kept it. According to Faux News there is a debate now about whether the Republican governors of Utah and Nevada asked for these waivers, but HHS’s Sebelius said the waiver was a response to interest from states including these. They also emphasize that the idea of getting a job after welfare is still a main condition for the welfare, and maybe states can think of a better way to do it than the government program. This is a case where the Republicans are on the side of federal government inflexibility to state solutions which is novel.

    • Yes. Muller is a shill for the tobacco, oil, coal, and nat gas companies.

    • lolwot said:

      The blame for ineffective solutions to tackling CO2 emissions on the part of governments is more down to climate denial and lobbying on behalf of special interests, rather than the fault of those campaigning to reduce global CO2 emissions.</blockquote.

      I disagree. I believe the blame lies squarely with the ideologues zealots that we may bracket as the 'Progressives' and/or ‘CAGW alarmists’.

      The 'Progressives' / ‘CAGW alarmists’ continually exaggerate their claims and use scaremongering tactics (adjectives like "catastrophic" and "danger" are used commonly). They also insist on economically irrational policies such as mandating renewable energy, blocking nuclear power and advocating carbon pricing (despite it being obvious that it cannot work – the academic assumptions upon which the analyses to support the proposals are based are totally unrealistic and impracticable )

      Furthermore the advocates of high cost, highly damaging carbon pricing policies have stridently objected to due diligence. Due diligence must be done before we commit to huge expenditures, especially given that the majority of rational people believe the mitigation policies advocated by the ‘Progressives’ will have virtually no chance of making any measurable difference to the climate or sea levels.

      If the 'Progressives' see cutting GHG emissions as their main goal (as opposed to simply using CAGW as a means to achieving their other policy goals), I'd urge them to give up on trying to direct the policies that should be implemented to achieve it. Get out of the way on the policies and allow the economically rational to handle the policy design and implementation.

      IMO, it is clear what the policy should be. It must be to allow low-cost alternatives to fossil fuels to be developed and to compete on an equal footing. Allow competition. Remove the mass of regulatory blocks that prevent low-cost, low-emissions energy sources to replace fossil fuels. To achieve this would mean removing the regulations, subsidies and other mechanisms that favour one technology over another (to the extent that it is net beneficial to do so). Some examples are: remove the regulations that mandate renewable energy as ‘must take’ and the massive subsidies for it, and remove the mass of excessive regulatory imposts on nuclear power.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        To help you, I will explain it simply, Peter Lang!   :lol:   :lol:   :lol:

        • Libertarian/freemarket methods failed utterly to protect the ozone layer.

        • These methods will fail utterly to reduce CO2 emissions too.

        • So it James Hansen is right, then libertarian/freemarket methods are wrong.

        These three ideas are simple and obvious, eh Peter Lang?   :lol:   :lol:   :lol:

        If this is why you are sure that James Hansen is wrong, Peter Lang, then *for sure* you are an irrational denialist, not a rational skeptic, eh?   :lol:   2¢   :lol:   2¢   :lol:

        Peter Lang, I hope this simple explanation has helped you!   :lol:   :lol:   :lol:

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        IPCC science says global warming is accelerating =>

        We say the AGW king has no clothes!

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        IPCC science says global warming is accelerating =>

        We sceptics say the trend has not changed since record begun 162 years ago!

        We say the AGW king has no clothes!

    • With the threat of climate change universally recognized

      Please speak for yourself.

      There is no threat of man made global warming.

      If you look at the following data:

      you see the global warming trend has not changed since record begun 162 years ago.

      The CO2 threat is unfounded, as it is not supported by the observed data above.

      • The benefit of the last 1.5C degrees of warming are manifest, as will be evident for the next 1.5C degrees, if we get ’em.

      • If the benefits are not man made, they will soon be gone.

  61. Three events robbed us all of our basic Divine rights** as humans:

    _ a.) To live happy, joyous and free
    _ b.) To know God, Reality, Truth by
    _ c.) Contemplation, experimentation, meditation, observation

    1. Destruction of Hiroshima/Nagasaki on 6/9 Aug 1945
    _ -Generated fear of energy (E) in cores of atoms/stars
    _ -Unrealistic models of atomic and stellar energy (E)
    _ -Decision to eliminate/Unite Nations on 24 Oct 1945

    2. Murder of President John F. Kennedy on 22 Nov 1963
    _ -Ended United States efforts to reclaim independence

    3. Henry Kissinger’s secret visit to China on 9-11 Jul 1971
    _ -Reaffirmed a 1945 accord to promote Uniting Nations
    _ -False models of energy (E) in cores of atoms/stars
    _ -Orwellian government predicted in 1948 for 1984

    **The birthright of all on this beautiful, water-covered planet !

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

  62. Where’s Al Gore?



  63. Alex Salmond thinks Scotland can become the green energy capital of the world proposing off shore wind energy hmm … he’s all at sea with that inordinately expensive option. See below, ‘Electricity Costs: The folly of wind power.’ Ruth Lea Jan, 2012.…0.0…1c.cctXLO5_66g&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=ef02e57bb752642e&biw=1076&bih=861

  64. I am interested In Alex Salmond’s claim that Scots are 15% above the national average in productivity, or something. Weasel words. Last time I looked, Scotland was a huge welfare sink, with claimant rates well above the UK average. Has he explained how his new Utopia is going to pay for that?

    He might also address how punters in his new land of milk and honey are going to pay for heating. Notice how he only talks about the supply side. The consumers, OTOH, are apparently meant to be grateful for having their bills increase roughly in proportion to his grandiosity. Recent reports are that heating bills are causing significant pain. Scottish winters are no joke.

    I guess that, this being a largely US centred blog, most people don’t know or care.

    If you were living in a country that declared that it would be 100% renewables in eight years, and based this on wave power, windmills and carbon sequestration, how would you react?

    It just doesn’t add up.

  65. Usually I don’t discover post on blogs, however I’d like to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do it! Your creating style has been surprised me. Thank you, quite fantastic article.

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