Sunday, November 26, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: Hooray!

UK Government Bars New Green Energy Subsidies

In this newsletter:

1) Hooray! UK Government Bars New Green Energy 
Energy Live News, 23 November 2017 
2) Here’s Why: Green Levies ‘Will Add £200 To Energy Bills’
Daily Mail, 21 November 2017

3) Deadly Energy Madness: Number Of Winter Deaths Among Elderly Britons Rises By 40%
Daily Mail, 23 November 2017 
4) Germany’s Green Energy Dream Is In Danger Of Falling Apart
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 20 November 2017 
5) Benny Peiser: Deutschlands Klimakirche Ohne Dach
Achse des Guten, 21 November 2017 
6) David Whitehouse: A Poor Analysis Of The Pause
GWPF Observatory, 22 November 2017
7) Rabbi Lord Sacks: Truth Emerges From Disagreement And Debate
BBC Thought of the Day, 10 November 2017 
8) Searching For The Catastrophe Signal: Andrew Montford Interviews Bernie Lewin
GWPF TV, 23 November 
9) And Finally: Fish & Chips May Save The Planet, BBC Reports
BBC News, 23 November 2017 

Full details:

1) Hooray! UK Government Bars New Green Energy 
Energy Live News, 23 November 2017 

Renewable energy project developers have been dealt a huge blow as the government said there will be no new subsidies until 2025.

The budget for support schemes, such as Contracts for Difference (CfDs), has so far been set through the Levy Control Framework (LCF) and since the Spring Budget announcement to end the LCF, the government has been developing its new Control for Low Carbon Levies.

It is designed to limit the green taxes or levies that are added to consumer energy bills.

A document published by the Treasury, alongside the Budget yesterday, suggests the government wants to keep energy costs “as low as possible” and therefore there will be no new low carbon electricity levies “until the burden of such costs is falling”.

It states: “Until the total burden of these costs is forecast to fall in real terms over a sustained period, the Control will not allow for new low carbon electricity levies to be introduced. Based on the current forecast, this will rule out new levy spend until 2025.”

Full story

2) Here’s Why: Green Levies ‘Will Add £200 To Energy Bills’
Daily Mail, 21 November 2017

British Gas claims the cost of funding a switch to green energy and supporting poor families will add £200 to everyone’s bills next year.

The company says it would be a fairer option to shift the cost from bills to income tax or other forms of taxation.

The proposals were outlined by Ian Conn, the boss of parent company, Centrica, who is calling for fundamental changes to bills.

The cost of Government schemes to support a shift away from fossil fuels and boost household energy efficiency is highly contentious.

There is a cost in subsidising the building of new wind farms and solar installations, which are guaranteed high prices for their electricity.

At the same time, energy firms must pay a minimum price for power produced from coal and gas, even if the market price is lower…

Mr Conn called for the switch to renewable energy to be paid for out of general taxation rather than through bills which he said hits the poorest hardest.

Earlier this year, Centrica suggested the figure for this year was £145. And Mr Conn now claims it will be an average of £200 per household bill next year.

Centrica argues these costs should be transferred from bills to general taxation, which take account of people’s ability to pay.

Full story

3) Britain's Deadly Energy Madness: Number Of Winter Deaths Among Elderly Britons Rises By 40%
Daily Mail, 23 November 2017 

Pensioner groups are demanding urgent measures to cut the cost of heat and light after official figures revealed a surge in deaths last winter. There were some 34,300 so-called ‘excess’ deaths during the cold months, according to new figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

The figure equates to 11 pensioners dying every hour and represents a rise of 39.5 per cent – 9,720 – on the year before.

Campaigners are calling for energy companies to slash winter bills to ensure pensioners can afford to keep warm this winter

Many of these relate to health conditions made worse by cold temperatures, such as respiratory diseases.

The total number of excess deaths of 34,300 relates to England and Wales and was the second highest in the past five years. It appears to be have been fuelled by a rise in flu infections.

The figure was a higher 43,850, in 2014/15 when the country was hit by a particularly virulent form of flu.

The ONS figures relate to the number of additional deaths between December and March compared to the average per month for the rest of the year. […]

Research by the price comparison website, Energyhelpine, claims that UK families are now paying the highest energy prices in history – 33per cent higher than six years ago.

Co-founder, Mark Todd, said: ‘With real wages falling, the decision whether to heat or eat is back on the table for at least a million families.’

Full story

Reminder: Benny Peiser -- Heat or Eat? Europe's Failed Climate Policy

4) Germany’s Green Energy Dream Is In Danger Of Falling Apart
Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, 20 November 2017 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s attempt to form a new government failed on Monday, marking the first time in decades that majority political parties have been unable to form a governing coalition.

If no coalition forms, Germany may be forced to hold new elections. But one casualty of Germany’s ongoing political crisis could be the country’s costly plan to promote green energy and fight global warming.

“Germany’s utopian dream of transforming itself into the world’s green powerhouse is collapsing as its political and media establishment is mugged by reality,” Benny Peiser, director of the UK-based Global Warming Policy Forum, wrote in a blog post.

“The country’s climate obsession has turned into one of the country’s biggest political and economic handicaps, making Germany almost ungovernable,” Peiser wrote.

Indeed, environmental issues were a major point of contention among parties Merkel and her Christian Democratic Party wanted to partner with.

“The ecologists wanting to phase out dirty coal and combustion-engine cars, while the conservatives and FDP emphasised the need to protect industry and jobs,” News24 reported.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama often praised Germany’s green energy policy, calling it a model for the world to follow, but recent political upheaval may have planted the seeds of Germany’s reversal on climate policy.

Greens wanted to shut down 10 to 20 of Germany’s 180 coal-fired power plants that still provide 40 percent of the country’s electricity. Conservatives opposed this, fearing massive economic and social upheaval.

Further attacks on coal power could boost the popularity of the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), Peiser noted.

“Its skeptical stance on climate and green energy issues has sent shock-waves through Germany’s political establishment who fear they can no longer afford to appease the Greens without losing further support among their traditional voter base,” Peiser wrote.

“Without the development of new pragmatic policies and a forceful defence of a cheap energy strategy in face of a rapidly fading (and ageing) green movement, Germany is unlikely to free itself from the green shackles that are hindering technological and economic progress, never mind political stability,” Peiser added.

Full story

5) Benny Peiser: Deutschlands Klimakirche ohne Dach
Achse des Guten, 21 November 2017 

Ein Kommentar zur politischen Lage in Deutschland, von Großbritannien aus betrachtet:

Deutschland steht vor einer politischen Krise, nachdem am späten Sonntagabend die Vier-Parteien-Sondierungsgespräche zur Bildung einer so genannten Jamaika-Koalition gescheitert sind. Zum ersten Mal seit der Weimarer Republik (1919-1933) sind deutsche Parteien mit Parlamentsmehrheit nicht bereit, eine Regierung zu bilden. Niemand weiß, was als nächstes passiert oder wie diese sich vertiefende Krise in absehbarer Zeit gelöst werden kann.

Die Unfähigkeit, sich auf strittige klima- und energiepolitische Fragen zu einigen, sowie die Meinungsverschiedenheiten über Migration haben das Ende der Verhandlungen bewirkt. Bemerkenswert: Die gescheiterte und zunehmend unpopuläre deutsche Klimapolitik steht im Mittelpunkt der Krise. Sie signalisiert auch den Zusammenbruch des jahrzehntealten deutschen Klimakonsenses.

Während die Grünen die sofortige Abschaltung von 10 bis 20 der 180 deutschen Kohlekraftwerke forderten, hielt die FDP an ihrem Versprechen fest, die Energiewende radikal zu reformieren und die Subventionen für erneuerbare Energien abzuschaffen.

Hier geht’s weiter

6) David Whitehouse: A Poor Analysis Of The Pause
GWPF Observatory, 22 November 2017
Dr David Whitehouse, GWPF Science Editor

A new paper in Nature Climate Change concludes that the so-called pause in global surface temperatures never happened. The paper has been mentioned in a few media outlets. It claims that new data from the Arctic makes the pause go away – and so it seems until you look at the paper in a little more detail than news headlines suggest.

Xiangdong Zhang of the International Arctic Research Centre and colleagues produce a new estimate of the trend in global temperature that includes their new data on the Arctic. It is 0.112°C per decade, as opposed to a previous 0.05°C per decade, for the period 1998-2012. Once again one notes the unscholarly accuracy of a thousandth of a degree which is unwarranted by the errors in the data. They therefore conclude that the pause never existed.

For the Arctic they give a warming estimate of 0.659°C per decade making it, as expected, the fastest warming region on Earth. Consider for a moment what this means if one accepts the most recent analysis.

Without the Arctic data the global temperature paused, i.e. only one region is contributing to global warming, and a region where it has been estimated about half is due to natural factors.

The trend calculations of surface temperatures carried out in the recent paper are inadequate. Over and over again it has been pointed out that start and end points must be variable, and errors properly accounted for, to obtain a fair estimate given annual variability. Their Figure 2 illustrates this point (click on the image to enlarge.)

Fig 2a is Arctic data, and Fig 2b global data. Note the absence of error bars and the use of a fixed start and end point – 1998 and 2012 – for the trend analysis. If one varies the start and end points by a small amount different results are obtained. It is surprising that a fuller treatment was not required for this paper given the long time it was in review by Nature Climate Change. It was submitted in January 2017 and accepted in October.

The global temperature pause is a fascinating topic in current climate science. Every week new papers explaining its existence and possible causation are being published in leading scientific journals. It is a pity that the papers accepting it and considering its implications do not receive the media attention given to those papers that say it has either gone away or never existed.

It is also a sad comment on the current state of science journalism that media outlets publish uncritical summaries of the new paper in a tone of bashing “sceptics” who who were the first to identify the pause and have researched it ever since. Hundreds of climate scientists have been studying the pause and the latest attempt to deny its very existence is unlikely to change this research interest.

In the meantime, global temperatures have fallen to levels close to what they were before the 2015/16 El Nino and may drop further in the next few months. In short, reports of the death of the global warming pause have been greatly exaggerated.


7) Rabbi Lord Sacks: Truth Emerges From Disagreement And Debate
BBC Thought of the Day, 10 November 2017

Coming in to Broadcasting House this morning I saw for the first time the statue unveiled this week, of George Orwell, with its inscription on the wall behind, “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” How badly we need that truth today.

I’ve been deeply troubled by what seems to me to be the assault on free speech taking place in British universities in the name of “safe space,” “trigger warnings,” and “micro-aggressions,” meaning any remark that someone might find offensive even if no offence is meant. So far has this gone that a month ago, students at an Oxford College banned the presence of a representative of the Christian Union on the grounds that some might find their presence alienating and offensive. Luckily the protest that followed led to the ban being swiftly overturned. But still …

I’m sure this entire movement has been undertaken for the highest of motives, to protect the feelings of the vulnerable, which I applaud, but you don’t achieve that by silencing dissenting views. A safe space is the exact opposite: a place where you give a respectful hearing to views opposed to your own, knowing that your views too will be listened to respectfully. That’s academic freedom and it’s essential to a free society.

And it’s what I learned at university. My doctoral supervisor, the late Sir Bernard Williams, was an atheist. I was a passionate religious believer. But he always listened respectfully to my views, which gave me the confidence to face those who disagree with everything I stand for. That’s safety in an unsafe world.

And it’s at the very heart of my faith, because Judaism is a tradition all of whose canonical texts are anthologies of arguments. In the Bible, Abraham, Moses, Jeremiah and Job argue with God. The rabbinic literature is an almost endless series of Rabbi X says this and Rabbi Y says that, and when one rabbi had the chance of asking God who was right, God replied, they’re both right. “How can they both be right?” asked the rabbi, to which God’s apocryphal reply was: “You’re also right.” The rabbis called this, “argument for the sake of heaven.”

Why does it matter? Because truth emerges from disagreement and debate. Because tolerance means making space for difference. Because justice involves Audi alteram partem, listening to the other side. And because, in Orwell’s words, liberty means “the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

Listen again on BBC iPlayer

8) Searching For The Catastrophe Signal: Andrew Montford interviews Bernie Lewin
GWPF TV, 23 November

Andrew Montford interviews Bernie Lewin about his new book, 'Searching for the Catastrophe Signal: The origins of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change', published on 23 November 2017 by the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

Full interview

9) And Finally: Fish & Chips May Save The Planet, BBC Reports
BBC News, 23 November 2017 
Matt McGrath

Fatty acids released into the air from cooking may help form clouds that limit global warming, say scientists.

Researchers believe these molecules arrange themselves into complex 3-D structures in atmospheric droplets.

These aerosols persist for longer than normal and can seed the formation of clouds which experts say can have a cooling effect on the climate.

The authors say the study will shed new light on the long term role of aerosols on temperatures.

The University of Reading say molecules from burning fat could counteract global warming.

Atmospheric aerosols are one of the areas of climate science where there are considerable uncertainties.

Full story

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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