Saturday, June 7, 2014

From Benny Peiser's Global Warming Policy Foundation

"The consequences of the Kyoto Protocol have been immoral"

The green mantra is a European obsession. It's a quasi-religious belief system that is very difficult to shift, very entrenched, in some countries more than others, and it is holding back development. My feeling is, given Europe's economic crisis and the potential economic benefit of shale, it's only a question of time that the Continent will also exploit its resources. It might take one country to lead, but once the shale gas is coming out of the ground in big enough volumes and countries start benefiting from it, others will follow - it's inevitable. --Benny Peiser, Europe Will Come Around, Natural Gas Europe, 21 February 2013

Thanks in large part to Germany's decision to phase out nuclear power and push into green energy, companies there now pay some of the highest prices in the world for power. In the United States, electricity prices are falling thanks to natural gas derived from fracking. Peter Huntsman, chief executive of the family firm, calls the United States the new global standard for low-cost manufacturing. Huntsman is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to expand in the United States, and rapidly closing plants in Europe. That's a dramatic change from just a few years ago, when Germany was held up as a model of manufacturing prowess. --Christoph Steitz and Ernest Scheyder, Reuters, 2 June 2014

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's energy policies - designed to sharply boost the share of renewables in Germany's energy mix, tackle climate change and cut Germany's dependency on foreign gas and oil - are a rising source of concern for the country's industry, particularly energy-intensive companies like Wacker. According to Germany's Chamber of Commerce and Industry, half of the country's industrial companies believe their global competitiveness is threatened by Germany's energy policy, and a quarter of them are either shifting production abroad or considering doing so. --Christoph Steitz and Ernest Scheyder, Reuters, 2 June 2014

The U.K. government will introduce a law to make exploring for shale oil and gas easier. In a speech setting out the government’s legislative plans for the next year, Queen Elizabeth II said a bill would be proposed to “enhance the U.K.’s energy independence and security by opening up access to shale and geothermal sites.” David Cameron’s government wants the development of shale reserves to replace aging North Sea fields and cut energy costs. The U.K. estimates areas in northern England may hold 1,300 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, enough to meet demand for 50 years at an extraction rate similar to U.S. fields. --Nidaa Bakhsh, Bloomberg, 4 June 2014

A group of 50 academics from some of the UK’s leading universities today call on politicians to fast-track a UK shale gas industry, the latest salvo in an increasingly polarised debate around fracking. In a letter to the Guardian on Thursday, the scientists argue there are “undeniable economic, environmental and national security benefits” from shale being produced in the north-west of the country. --Terry Macalister, Damian Carrington and Patrick Wintour, The Guardian, 5 June 2014

The outcome of D-Day was decided not on the beaches of Normandy, but by weather systems in the mid-Atlantic and the ability of rival teams of meteorologists to interpret the forces of nature. The Americans were confident in long-range five-day forecasts. The British were sceptical, believing they could forecast only two days ahead at best. The teams clashed repeatedly. --Simon Pearson, The Times, 2 June 2014

Years of detailed planning went into the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944, but success hinged on one element that no military commander could control—the weather. In the days leading up to the invasion, Allied meteorologists delivered the most important weather forecast in history. If they got it wrong the Allies might have lost tens of thousands of men and World War II might have been lost forever. --Christopher Klein, History, 4 June 2014

Professor Anthony Kelly CBE FREng FRS died on 3 June 2014 aged 85. He is regarded by many as the father of composite materials in the UK. He was a scientist of the old school, who took ‘Nullius in verba’ as a matter of daily practice. He was properly sceptical until the real world data confirmed his or others’ ideas. He was not impressed by the modern tendency to use incomplete data to weave elaborate stories that could be undone by hard data, or worse, were not capable of falsification. He spent his later years as a critic of some aspects of climate science where the consequential actions seemed to him to be doing more harm than good to humanity. --Michael J Kelly, 5 June 2014

This paper aims to show that the measures currently being taken to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels are directly harming the poor, both in the developing and in the developed world. The changes imposed thus far have not dealt with the risks of climate change through a sensible, steady and sustained improvement in energy and other technologies and have therefore failed to address the problems of the here and now, of which the abject poverty of large numbers of people is perhaps the most pressing. In this, the consequences of the Kyoto Protocol have been immoral. --Anthony Kelly, The Global Warming Policy, 6 June 2014

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