Wednesday, November 8, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: Climate Sceptics Are Winning The Debate

Ipsos MORI:British Public Increasingly Unconcerned About Climate Change

In this newsletter:

1) Ipsos MORI: British Public Increasingly Unconcerned About Climate Change
Climate Scepticism, 1 November 2017

2) Polar Bear Week: Twenty Good Reasons To Celebrate Polar Bear Resilience
Global Warming Policy Foundation, 6 November 2017

3) Energy Experts Confirm GWPF Report: Carbon Capture And Storage Is Uneconomic
CBC News, 4 November 2017 

4) Revealed: EU Wasted £520 Million On Green Projects That Produced Zero Results
Daily Express, 4 November 2017

5) Prominent Environmentalist Proposes Climate Dictatorship
Bjorn Lomborg, 5 November 2017

Full details:

1) Ipsos MORI: British Public Increasingly Unconcerned About Climate Change
Climate Scepticism, 1 November 2017

Ipsos MORI say there has been a steady decline in concern about climate change among the British public – from 82% in 2005 to 60% today.

Today and tomorrow there’s a conference for “environmental communicators” taking place, at Bristol Zoo. See the website or twitter tag.

In a time of unprecedented social, economic and political change we urgently need proactive tools for successfully communicating environmental issues. Communicate goes straight to the interface and asks some difficult questions about current approaches as we explore a shifting landscape of echo-chambers, divisive opinions and fake news.

These events are always mildly amusing – for example they had a session this morning where they all sat around tables together and discussed echo chambers and how to get out of them. This afternoon they are discussing how to change peoples’ minds, while tomorrow among other things there’s a session on fake news and alternative facts, including a talk by a local expert well known for his alternative facts.

But one interesting thing I noticed was this:

Ipsos MORI say that they’ve found a steady decline on concern about climate change since 2005, from 82% to 60%, something they describe as a “worrying trend”.

Full post & comments­

2) Polar Bear Week: Twenty Good Reasons To Celebrate Polar Bear Resilience
Global Warming Policy Foundation, 6 November 2017 

Just in time for Polar Bear Week, the Global Warming Policy Foundation has published a new resource for cooling the polar bear spin.

This week is Polar Bear Week (5-11 Nov 2017). Although few in the media have chosen to report it, polar bears represent a major conservation success story.

Today, the Global Warming Policy Foundation has published a paper by zoologist Dr Susan Crockford, an update to her 2015 paper, which sets out the truth about the long-term improvement in the conservation status of polar bears. Over the last two years, the gap between public perceptions and the truth has only widened further: despite what environmentalists would have you believe, polar bears continue to thrive.

Dr Crockford said: “Almost everywhere we look, we see signs of thriving polar bear populations – fat healthy cubs, and large litters. Polar bears are now doing so well that in some areas there is actually an overpopulation problem, with significant impacts on other species, including man. That is the truth that the public are not being told.”

The new GWPF briefing paper is a useful resource for refuting unjustified pessimism and doom-mongering about the present state and future of polar bears.

As global leaders meet in Bonn for COP23 (6–17 November 2017), it’s time to celebrate the proven resilience of polar bears to their ever-changing Arctic environment.

Full paper (pdf)

3) Energy Experts Confirm GWPF Report: Carbon Capture And Storage Is Uneconomic
CBC News, 4 November 2017 

Following SaskPower saying it is unlikely to recommend government pursue more carbon capture and storage projects because of the high cost, critics are saying pursuing carbon capture and storage was uneconomical from the start.

“It’s not economic, and it was clear at the time it wasn’t economic,” said former SaskWind president James Glennie.

“It cost $140 per megawatt hour,” to produce electricity with carbon capture and storage technology at a coal-fired plant, he said.

“Clearly, then, it wasn’t economic even at the time if that’s what it cost, because that’s substantially more than wind cost back when the investment decision was taken.”

In the fall of 2014, the $1.5-billion Boundary Dam power station near Estevan became the first power station in the world to install carbon capture and storage technology on a commercial scale. SaskPower argued using carbon capture and storage allowed the Crown corporation to reduce emissions while still using coal as a fuel source.

Glennie’s organization started a project in 2012 aiming to build a community-owned wind farm in Saskatchewan. He said that after years of being met with many obstacles, he decided to close down SaskWind and leave the province.

In March 2015, he produced a financial analysis of the Boundary Dam project. He conducted a breakdown of the costs versus revenues of the project over a 30-year time frame.

By his count, the carbon capture facility loses just over a $1 billion once the initial investment, the cost for operations and maintenance, and the parasitic load needed for carbon capture are subtracted.

Altogether, considering the profits and losses of both the power station and the carbon capture facility, his financial analysis shows a total $651-million net financial loss for SaskPower and Saskatchewan ratepayers.

Cheaper options

SaskPower’s president, Mike Marsh, said the economics of power generation have changed since it decided in 2010 to pursue carbon capture and storage.
Marsh said that with falling gas prices, electricity generated from gas now costs about $60 to $70 per megawatt hour.

But according to the levelized cost of energy analysis by the financial advisory firm Lazard, energy from natural gas combined cycle plants cost between $67 and $96 per megawatt hour back in 2010. With carbon capture and storage costing $140 per megawatt hour, natural gas was still the cheaper option in 2010.

SaskPower president Mike Marsh said the lower cost of natural gas makes the economics of ‘clean coal’ difficult. (CBC)

However, there were concerns at the time gas prices would rise.

“There were an awful lot of countries … who essentially pursued policies on the mistaken assumption that gas was going to get a lot more expensive,” said Gordon Hughes, an economics professor at the University of Edinburgh.

“That assumption was wrong. It was probably wrong at the time, it is certainly wrong now.”

Hughes said even with natural gas prices where they were when the decision was made, it didn’t make economic sense to pursue carbon capture and storage.

He analyzed Saskatchewan’s carbon capture and storage power plant, and argued in a report for the Global Warming Policy Foundation that replacing SaskPower’s Boundary Dam carbon capture and storage facility with an efficient gas plant would have also significantly reduced emissions at five to 10 per cent of the cost.

Hughes studied whether carbon capture and storage was likely to become economically viable by 2050.

“Fitting carbon capture to coal-fired plants was unlikely to make economic sense in that time horizon, and would involve, in any case, a very large commitment by governments to go through the learning experience that is necessary to bring the costs down,” said Hughes.

Full story

see also: Government Of Saskatchewan Responds To GWPF Report On CCS

4) Revealed: EU Wasted £520 Million On Green Projects That Produced Zero Results
Daily Express, 4 November 2017

Eurocrats blew £520 million of taxpayers’ cash on a decade-long project to reduce carbon emissions that produced absolutely zero results whatsoever, it has emerged.

An investigation found that Brussels blew the colossal sum of cash on a drive to build underground storage facilities for CO2 emissions – but no such facilities were ever constructed.

This week the architect of the scheme, a former Lib Dem MEP, admitted this was because officials bungled their predictions for the environmental costs facing businesses. […]

The reports concern a Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project the EU set up in 2007, which was designed to help companies reduce their emissions and so save money on Brussels’ green taxes.

Under the scheme businesses could buy pollution permits, or allowances, from eurocrats the proceeds of which would then be spent by the EU on capturing and storing carbon emissions.

However the fund, called NER300, did not support a single such project after officials catastrophically miscalculated carbon emissions pricing in Europe, which they expected to go up but which actually dropped drastically just after the programme was announced.

Reflecting on the scheme he helped create, former Lib Dem MEP Chris Davies told EUobserver:

“The expectation was that the carbon price would rise from thirty euros up to a hundred euros.

“The incentive to not to have to pay a hundred euros a tonne for every tonne of CO2 emitted, was very strong indeed. The assumption was industry would do it, without us requiring any other means. Industry would take all these risks.”

However, he said that when the carbon price crashed – it now stands at just seven euros – the scheme attracted virtually no participants and only ended up funding projects already in the renewable category.

Full story

5) Prominent Environmentalist Proposes Climate Dictatorship
Bjorn Lomborg, 5 November 2017

Prominent environmentalist proposes a climate dictatorship because democracy is just not willing to do his policies.

Svenska Dagblatt, 5 November 2017

The gall of this argument is staggering. It is even more staggering that the Swedish newspaper bringing this large interview today does not clearly mark the viewpoint as extreme and unreasonable. Instead, they seriously have their political analyst muse about whether a climate dictatorship is really necessary, and ending with a conclusion of ‘yeah, possibly.’

The claim comes from Jørgen Randers, professor of climate strategy at BI Norwegian Business School. His main claim to fame is as co-author of the 1972 Limits to Growth book, which scared a generation to believe we would run out of all resources and kill humanity with suffocating air pollution. […]

Now Professor Randers — correctly – tells us that democracy is unwilling and unable to pay the exorbitant amounts that he and many other environmentalists are asking us to pay. Surveys of willingness to pay for climate policies show most people in the US are willing to pay $180 per household or $70 per person. In China, the average willingness to pay is $30 per person per year. (They would all rather use it on education, health, poverty alleviation etc.)

Yet, the current Paris promises will cost each American $500 per year, each European $600 and each Chinese $170.

Of course, most Americans and Europeans are unlikely to elect leaders that will actually incur a much larger cost than most people are willing to pay….

Of course, most smart people would be against paying lots for achieving little or nothing. If anything, this suggests that democracy works just fine.

But Randers instead takes this unwillingness to spend fortunes on little benefits as an argument for ending democracy. ‘if people don’t want my preferred solution, then people are stupid, shouldn’t be allowed to decide their fate, and we should install a climate dictatorship instead.’

The argument literally seems to be: If I can’t have my way in a democracy, I want my way with a dictatorship.

Full post

The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at

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