Friday, October 31, 2014

From Benny Peiser's Global Warming Policy Foundation

Britain Announces Emergency Measures To Prevent Winter Blackouts
Cold Winter Could Cause Britain’s Lights To Go Out

 Emergency measures to prevent blackouts this winter have been unveiled by National Grid after Britain’s spare power capacity fell to just 4 per cent. --Emily Gosden, The Daily Telegraph, 27 October 2014

The capacity crunch has been predicted for about seven years. Everyone seems to have seen this coming – except the people in charge. --Andrew Orlowski, The Register, 10 June 2014

National Grid has warned that there has been a significant increase in the risk of electricity shortages and brownouts this winter after fires and faults knocked out a large chunk of Britain’s shrinking power station coverage. The grid operator admitted that in the event of Britain experiencing the coldest snap in 20 years – a 5 per cent chance – then electricity supplies would not be able to meet demand during two weeks in January. --Tim Webb, The Times, 27 October 2014

The UK government will set out Second World War-style measures to keep the lights on and avert power cuts as a "last resort". The price to Britons will be high. Factories will be asked to "voluntarily" shut down to save energy at peak times for homes, while others will be paid to provide their own backup power should they have a spare generator or two lying around. --Andrew Orlowski, The Register, 10 June 2014

Big businesses are to be offered money to turn off their power to stop Britain suffering from a winter of electricity power cuts. It follows warnings that the number of power cuts has soared in recent years, amid fears that Seventies-style rationing will be needed to ensure supplies can be maintained. --Matt Chorley, Daily Mail, 26 October 2014

Advanced economies view interruptions to power supply as unacceptable. Therefore they typically operate with a great deal of spare capacity allowing them to absorb a substantial number of unexpected events - say 10. However, going into this winter, UK energy policy had reduced our ability to absorb unexpected events substantially. Unfortunately, the UK has now seen three unexpected events before the clock change. Another one or two could cause a serious security of supply event, and a probable surge in wholesale prices. The odds are still that UK will escape a security of supply crunch this winter. But the mere fact that a security of supply crisis is a material possibility is in itself a sign of huge policy failure in our view. --Peter Atherton, Liberum, 20 October 2014

Britain will struggle to “keep the lights on” unless the Government changes its green energy policies, the former environment secretary will warn this week. Owen Paterson will say that the Government’s plan to slash carbon emissions and rely more heavily on wind farms and other renewable energy sources is fatally flawed. He will argue that the 2008 Climate Change Act, which ties Britain into stringent targets to reduce the use of fossil fuels, should be suspended until other countries agree to take similar measures. If they refuse, the legislation should be scrapped altogether, he will say. Mr Paterson will deliver the lecture at the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a think tank set up by Lord Lawson of Blaby, a climate-change sceptic and former chancellor in Margaret Thatcher’s Cabinet. – Christopher Hope, The Daily Telegraph, 12 October 2014

Scrap Unilateral Emissions Targets, UK Climate Rebels Demand
Ann Widdecombe: The Climate Change
Rebels Were Spot On

It is now 6 years to the day since the House of Commons voted for the Climate Change Bill at Third Reading, by a majority of 465 to 5. The five of us have seen nothing in the intervening 6 years to change our view that the Climate Change Act was a profound mistake. It is time to bring to an end the pointless damage being inflicted on British households, British industry and the British economy by the unilateral commitment to unnecessarily expensive energy, and to suspend the Climate Change Act's unilateral targets until such time as a binding global agreement has been secured. -- Christopher Chope MP, Phillip Davies MP, Peter Lilley MP, Andrew Tyrie MP, Ann Widdecombe (MP 1987 - 2010), 28 October 2014

1) Suspend Unilateral Emissions Targets, UK Climate Rebels Demand
The Times, 29 October 2014

2) Ann Widdecombe: The Climate Change Rebels Were Spot On
Daily Express, 29 October 2014

3) Reminder: Andrew Tyrie MP Leads Tory Rebels On Climate Change Bill
Conservative Home, 10 June 2008

Ben Webster

Laws forcing Britain to cut carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 must be revoked to protect householders and businesses from rising energy costs, say the five MPs who defied an overwhelming majority to oppose the legislation.

Only five Conservative MPs voted against the Climate Change Bill in 2008 even though it required Britain to meet the world’s toughest emissions targets. Since then, only Finland and Mexico have adopted similar targets.

In a statement, Christopher Chope, Philip Davies, Peter Lilley, Andrew Tyrie and Ann Widdecombe, said: “The five of us have seen nothing in the intervening six years to change our view that the Climate Change Act was a profound mistake. The Act was intended as an example to the world which would lead to a binding global agreement. Despite a succession of conferences devoted to this objective, no such global agreement has proved possible.

“The UK accounts for less than 2 per cent of global emissions. It is time to bring to an end the pointless damage being inflicted on British households, British industry and the British economy by the unilateral commitment to unnecessarily expensive energy, and to suspend the Climate Change Act’s unilateral targets until such time as a binding global agreement has been secured. A full reconsideration of the deeply flawed economic methodology to support the Act is also now urgently needed. This served as the justification for so many regulatory and other measures that has forced up energy prices for millions of householders, without any clear long term benefit.”

Owen Paterson, the former environment secretary, voted for the act but has since called for the 80 per cent target to be scrapped.

See also:
Climate Rebels: Climate Change Bill at Third Reading Anniversary Statement

2) Ann Widdecombe: The Climate Change Rebels Were Spot On
Daily Express, 29 October 2014

SIX years ago Parliament passed the Climate Change Act with a mere five MPs, all Conservatives, voting against it. I am proud to have been one of those five MPs and I wonder how many others would join us if the vote were happening now.

This week I returned to the House of Commons to join the other four for an anniversary dinner. Andrew Tyrie, Peter Lilley, Christopher Chope and Philip Davies are still there fighting the nonsense but I have simply joined the ranks of the long-suffering British public who view the increasing “lights will go out” stories with grim foreboding.

Support for the then Labour Government’s bill was all part of Cameron’s campaign to “modernise” the Tory Party. It was the same campaign which saw him driving huskies and putting a ridiculous wind turbine on his roof so he was pretty displeased with the five of us but we were right. Oh, so right.

The wretched Bill committed us, at huge expense, to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions by a staggering 80 per cent. Yet that was supposed to be part of a global agreement and, as was easily foreseeable, there has been no such agreement but we have soldiered on despite accounting for about 2 per cent of all the world’s emissions. We have shunned the obvious answer of nuclear power in favour of vast, ugly, inefficient, bird-mashing wind farms which benefit none but those who take the subsidies from them. The phrase “political correctness gone mad” could have been invented for this stupidity alone.

Meanwhile the science of climate change is robustly disputed where once it was regarded as having all the authority of Holy Writ. So much was this the case that Nigel Lawson, whose book An Appeal To Reason is still the best refutation of the doom mongers, found it difficult to get published. In 1930s Germany they burned books that challenged state orthodoxy: here we just try to bury them.

I am proud to have been one of those five MPs and I wonder how many others would join us i
f the vote were happening now.

3) Reminder: Andrew Tyrie MP Leads Tory Rebels On Climate Change Bill
Conservative Home, 10 June 2008

Yesterday the Commons debated the Government’s Climate Change Bill and a commitment to reduce the UK’s carbon output by at least 60% by 2050. Although the Conservative leadership supported the Bill it only imposed a one line whip fearing a big rebellion from sceptical Tory MPs. Christopher Chope, David Heathcoat Amory, Peter Lilley, John Maples and John Redwood all raised tough questions about the Bill while Peter Ainsworth, Tony Baldry, John Gummer and Tim Yeo spoke in its support. Concern was led by Andrew Tyrie, MP for Chichester. We republish three key extracts from his contribution below.

There is not a scientific consensus: "I note that the only reliable survey that has been conducted of 550 of the world’s leading climate scientists says that two thirds are convinced that most of the observed warming is related to human action. In other words, a third are not convinced of that. It is worth bearing in mind that many of the so-called 2,500 scientists in the IPCC process vehemently disagree with the panel’s conclusions, even though they support the section on the science in the main report on which they have worked."

The dangers of unilateral action: "No other country has been foolish enough to consider such a measure. It is a profound mistake to take the unilateralist route. First, we contribute only 2 per cent of global emissions. Secondly, if we go ahead unilaterally, the UK will be disproportionately hit because we will increase our cost base when other countries have not increased theirs. A third reason is that although UK emissions will fall, they will reappear, probably at even higher levels, as the industries that we closed down with our higher cost base reopen in China and elsewhere. Finally, once we have acted unilaterally, the Chinese will have every incentive to delay an international agreement. That point has not been made at all today. After all, why should they rush to agree anything when they can acquire our industrial base and those of other countries silly enough to go it alone? It is regrettable that the Government have not even thought through the issue enough to make the Bill’s implementation conditional on some action by others. At least the EU approach to cutting carbon emissions contains some conditionality."

The hounding of climate change sceptics: "The subject has acquired some of the characteristics of a religion: apocalyptic predictions abound, and they make good copy. Over nearly 20 years since I first looked at the issue when I was at the Treasury working for John Major, I have become saddened by the way in which the calmer voices of many orthodox scientists and economists, particularly those who do not agree with the current policy prescriptions, have often been drowned out. All the incentives are against speaking up about the subject. Some have described Professor Lindzen of Massachusetts Institute of Technology as the father of modern climate change. He wrote recently that “scientists who dissent from…alarmism have seen their grant funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves libelled as industry stooges, scientific hacks or worse… Only the most senior scientist today can stand up to this alarmist gale.”

I have spoken to a number of the UK’s most senior specialists on the subject, and some feel similarly coerced. I shall read to the House a quotation from one of the major businesses in the UK. It says that “the more one looks behind…climate change policy…the more it is based on patent absurdities… Anybody who reveals the truth is scorned.”

A leading economist has said: “I have learnt that to say anything about the subject is to be assailed by fundamentalist crackpots.” Those people are concerned about speaking up but cajoled into not doing so. That is a bad climate in which to take such decisions as this Bill."

US Midterm Elections
Will Shale Revolution Sink Obama’s Green Party?

The Obama administration and congressional Democrats have struggled to identify themselves with the success of the shale revolution, given the party’s reputation as anti-fossil fuels. If the Democratic Party loses its control of the U.S. Senate following the mid-term elections, a small but significant part of the reason will be because it has found itself on the wrong side of the energy revolution. --John Kemp, Reuters, 27 October 2014

Environmental groups are on track to spend more than $85 million on key races this year, more than ever before, according to an internal memo. The record spending comes as green groups are worried about the fate of the Senate and the future of President Obama’s climate agenda. “The era of climate science denial will soon come to a close, and voters will demand leadership from their elected officials on this pressing threat,” the document states. Whatever the outcome [of the elections] on November 4th, all of the momentum is on the side of climate groups and candidates who want to act. --Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill, 27 October 2014

The green movement has grown into a formidable political force, launching a broad and sophisticated operation this election cycle that rivals many of the most established groups. Still, even as the greens work to expand their influence ahead of the 2016 presidential election, their efforts may only help stanch the bleeding for their Democratic allies this year, who appear likely to lose their majority in the Senate. This [election] certainly looks set to be the biggest test yet of environmental groups’ effectiveness. --Andrew Restuccia and Darren Goode, The Hill, 28 October 2014

San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer has spent a staggering $76 million to promote climate change as a political issue in this year’s elections, but the subject isn’t exactly firing up the electorate. Polls show voters continue to rank climate change at the bottom of their priority lists. Even in races featuring the “Steyer Seven,” the Democratic candidates selected by Mr. Steyer as the chief beneficiaries of his largesse, the issue is barely registering on the campaign trail. --Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times 29 October 29, 2014

Democrats are justifiably worried about holding onto control of the United States Senate in the midterm elections Nov. 4. Most forecasts have Republicans winning seven seats for a 52-48 advantage, which would almost certainly spell doom for any action on climate change. But here's the real catch: Even if Democrats win the Senate by a slim margin, climate action could still be foiled for the next few years by members of their own party. In several critical races, particularly in energy-producing states, Democratic candidates' stated climate change beliefs somewhat echo their Republican opponents'. --Katherine Bagley, InsideClimate News, 21 October, 2014
With only a week to go before the 2014 midterm elections, polling from key battleground states indicates a small but widening advantage for Republicans. A six-seat net gain in the Senate would put both chambers of Congress under GOP control, uniting the two houses in opposition to many of the hallmark policies of the Obama presidency, including rules to curb carbon emissions from the nation's power sector. Whether a Republican Senate could seriously imperil the president's Climate Action Plan, as the party's leadership has promised to do, is another matter. --Nathanael Massey, E&E, 28 October 2014

The risk of blackouts in Europe will grow in the coming winter as thermal power-generating capacity has been shuttered amid the region’s economic slump and a greater reliance on renewables, a study warned. A growing share of renewable energy is pushing out conventional sources of power, reducing the “electricity system’s margin to meet peak demand in specific conditions such as cold, dark and windless days,” the report said. --Tara Patel, Bloomberg 27 October 2014

Please visit the Global Warming Policy Foundation site. 

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