Wednesday, November 20, 2019

GWPF Newsletter: Europe's Green Suicide

Tata Steel to Cut 3,000 Jobs as Crisis Rips Through Europe

In this newsletter:

1) Tata Steel to Cut 3,000 Jobs as Crisis Rips Through Europe
Bloomberg, 19 November 2019 
2) German Anti-Wind Revolt Sparks Collapse In Construction
Financial Times, 17 November 2019

3) German Wind Industry In Freefall: Turbine Makers Sack Thousands in Mass Layoffs
Stop These Things, 19 November 2019

4) Europe's Green Fall
GWPF TV, November 2019

5) New Science Scandal: ‘Fatally Flawed Hurricane Paper Should Be Retracted’
Roger Pielke Jr., Forbes, 15 November 2019

6) Climate Extremism in the Age of Disinformation
Roy Spencer, 18 November 2019

7) No More Climate Excuses: Environment Agency Ignored Flood Warnings For Years
The Times, 16 November 2019

8) The US could end up running on gasoline forever, leaving electric vehicles to China and Europe
Business Insider, 12 November 2019

Full details:

1) Europe’s Green Suicide: Tata Steel to Cut 3,000 Jobs as Crisis Rips Through Europe
Bloomberg, 19 November 2019 

Tata Steel Ltd. plans to cut as many as 3,000 jobs across its European operations to cut costs in the latest blow to the region’s industry, with the move coming amid a heated general election campaign in the U.K.

About two-thirds of the reductions would be office-based staff, the company said in a statement. While the steelmaker didn’t give a detailed breakdown, Tata Steel Works Council said more than half of the planned cuts would be in the Netherlands. The company also has facilities in the U.K.

“Stagnant EU steel demand and global overcapacity have been compounded by trade conflicts, which have turned the European market into a dumping ground for the world’s excess steel capacity,” Mumbai-based Tata Steel said.

The European steel industry has faced growing headwinds this year amid declining demand, slowing economic growth and the consistent threat of overseas supplies, including exports from Turkey, Russia and China. British Steel Ltd., the U.K.’s No. 2 steelmaker was put into liquidation in May, and has been taken over China’s Jingye Group Co. Apparent demand in the European Union will contract 3.1% this year, lobby group Eurofer warned last month.

The steelmaker’s European operations are facing conditions that are “unprecedented,” said Henrik Adam, chief executive officer of Tata Steel in Europe. Other steps to improve performance include boosting sales of higher-value steels, aiding efficiency and cutting procurement costs.

The company plans to cut 1,650 jobs in the Netherlands, said Frits van Wieringen, chairman of both the European and Netherlands’ Tata Steel Works Council. He expects the move to lead to a conflict after an accord last year that no jobs would be cut until 2021.

Full story

see also GWPF coverage of the EU’s crazy green steel policy

2) German Anti-Wind Revolt Sparks Collapse In Construction
Financial Times, 17 November 2019

Construction of new wind parks in Germany has collapsed over the past year, not least in response to growing resistance from local activists.

Germans protest against further expansion of wind farms. Building of turbines has stalled amid local protests and lack of available land © Alamy

In the first nine months of 2019, developers put up 150 new wind turbines across the country with a total capacity of 514MW — more than 80 per cent below the average build rate in the past five years and the lowest increase in capacity for two decades.

The sharp decline has raised alarm among political leaders, industry executives and climate campaigners. The German government wants renewables to cover 65 per cent of the country’s electricity needs by 2030, a key target in Berlin’s campaign to drive down greenhouse gas emissions and help combat climate change.

It has pledged to shut down the last nuclear power plants in 2022 and phase out coal power by 2038. Without more wind turbines, Europe’s largest economy could soon face an unenviable choice: scrap the climate targets or risk running out of power.

Full story

3) German Wind Industry In Freefall: Turbine Makers Sack Thousands in Mass Layoffs
Stop These Things, 19 November 2019

The manufacturers of turbines and solar panels are dropping like flies, as subsidies are rolled back across Europe.

So-called ‘green’ jobs are a case of easy come, easy go. The wind and solar ‘industries’ that gave birth to those jobs simply can’t survive without massive and endless subsidies, which means their days are numbered.

With the axe being taken to subsidies across the globe, their ultimate demise is a matter of when, not if.

The wind back in subsidies across Europe has all but destroyed the wind industry: in Germany this year a trifling 35 onshore wind turbines have been erected, so far.

Twelve countries in the European Union (EU) failed to install “a single wind turbine” last year.

Danish turbine maker, Vestas is on the brink and was recently forced to axe 600 of its groovy ‘green’ jobs. Its rival Siemens Gamesa, has also been forced to wield the axe, sacking 600 workers in its Danish operations.

Spreading like a contagion, the demise of turbine manufacturers across Europe has taken hold in Germany, with Enercon lining up to sack 3,000 of its workers, in a last ditch effort to stay afloat.

Germany Pulls Plug On Wind Energy… Wind Industry In “Severe Crisis”…Wind Giant Enercon To Lay Off 3000
No Tricks Zone
Pierre Gosselin
10 November 2019

German online weekly FOCUS here reports how cuts by wind energy giant Enercon will lead to 3000 layoffs. According to Enercon chief executive Hans-Dieter Kettwig, “politicians have pulled the plug on wind energy.”

Subsidies cut

Once lavished with huge incentives, the German wind industry is being hit hard after the government recently ended the huge subsidies that were once aimed at expanding the installation of wind energy capacity. Power grid operators had been struggling to keep the grid stable due to erratic feed-in and the subsidized feed-in of wind energy caused German electricity prices to become among the most expensive worldwide.

Fierce opposition from hundreds of protest groups

Moreover, hundreds of citizen protest groups have sprouted and since become a formidable force pushing for the stop of proposed wind projects. Not only have wind parks scarred the German landscape and destroyed biotopes nationwide, they have also been shown to be a real health hazard to humans living in their proximity through the low frequency infrasound they emit. Enough is enough, citizens say.

3000 job cuts in the works

FOCUS reports: “The crisis in the German wind energy industry is worsening. According to the ‘Süddeutsche Zeitung’, hard cuts at the largest German manufacturer Enercon will cost 3000 jobs.”

Full post

4) Europe's Green Fall
GWPF TV, November 2019

Click here or on the image above to watch the video

5) New Science Scandal: ‘Fatally Flawed Hurricane Paper Should Be Retracted’
Roger Pielke Jr., Forbes, 15 November 2019

The new PNAS paper is fatally flawed. It contains several major errors and should be retracted.

Earlier this week a paper published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) by a team of authors led by Aslak Grinsted, a scientist who studies ice sheets at the University of Copenhagen, claimed that “the frequency of the very most damaging hurricanes has increased at a rate of 330% per century.”

The press release accompanying the paper announced that United States mainland “hurricanes are becoming bigger, stronger and more dangerous” and with the new study, “doubt has been eradicated.”

If true, the paper (which I’ll call G19, using its lead author’s initial and year of publication) would overturn decades of research and observations that have indicated over the past century or more, there are no upwards trends in U.S. hurricane landfalls and no upwards trends in the strongest storms at landfall. These conclusions has been reinforced by the assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), U.S. National Climate Assessment, and most recently of the World Meteorological Organization.

In fact, however, the new PNAS paper is fatally flawed. The conclusions of major scientific assessments remain solid. As I’ll show below, G19 contains several major errors and as a result it should be retracted.

The first big problem with G19 is that it purports to say something about climatological trends in hurricanes, but it uses no actual climate data on hurricanes. That’s right, it instead uses data on economic losses from hurricanes to arrive at conclusions about climate trends. The economic data that it uses is based on research that I and colleagues have conducted over more than two decades, which makes me uniquely situated to tell you about the mistakes in G19.

Compare the counts of hurricanes reported in G19 with those that can be found in climate data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

From 1900 to 1958, the first half of the period under study, NOAA reports that there were 117 total hurricanes that struck the mainland U.S.. But in contrast, G19 has only 92. They are missing 25 hurricanes. In the second half of the dataset, from 1959 to 2017, NOAA has 91 hurricanes that struck the U.S., and G19 has 155, that is 64 extra hurricanes.

The AP passed along the incorrect information when it reported that the new study looks at “247 hurricanes that hit the U.S. since 1900.” According to NOAA, from 1900 to 2017 there were in fact only 197 hurricanes that made 208 unique landfalls (9 storms had multiple landfalls).

Part of this difference can be explained by the fact that G19 focus on economic damage, not hurricanes. If a hurricane from early in the 20th century resulted in no reported damage, then according to G19 it did not exist. That’s one reason why we don’t use economic data to make conclusions about climate. A second reason for the mismatched counts is that G19 counts many non-hurricanes as hurricanes, and disproportionately so in the second half of the dataset.

The mismatch between hurricane counts in G19 versus those of NOAA by itself calls into question the entire paper. But it gets much worse.

Full post

6) Climate Extremism in the Age of Disinformation
Roy Spencer, 18 November 2019

Do the global warming wars ever change anyone’s mind?

I suppose there are a few people whose minds have been changed. As I recall, Judith Curry has said Climategate (now “celebrating” its 10 year anniversary) was her wake-up call that institutionalized climate science might not be all it claims to be. She is now a well-informed and unabashed skeptic of the modern tendency to blame every bad weather event on humans.

While I’m sure there are other examples, the unfortunate truth is that fewer and fewer people actually care about the truth

The journalist who broke the Climategate story, James Delingpole, yesterday posted an article entitled The Bastards Have Got Away with It!, James concludes with,

“Climategate was the event when, just for a moment, it seemed we’d got the climate scamsters bang to rights, that the world’s biggest scientific (and economic) con trick had been exposed and that the Climate Industrial Complex would be dismantled before it could do any more damage to our freedom and our prosperity. But the truth, it would seem, is no match for big money, dirty politics and madness-of-crowds groupthink. We’ve lost this one, I think, my friends. And the fact that all those involved in this scam will one day burn in Hell is something, I’m afraid, which gives me all too little consolation.”

You see, it does not really matter whether a few bad actors (even if they are leaders of the climate movement) conspired to hide data and methods, and strong-arm scientific journal editors into not publishing papers that might stand in the way of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) mission to pin climate change on humans, inflate its seriousness, and lay the groundwork for worldwide governmental efforts to reduce humanity’s access to affordable energy.

The folks were simply trying to Save the Earth™, and we all know that the ends justifies the means, right? So what if they cheated? Boys will be boys, you know. The science is sound, and besides, 97% of all scientists agree that… something.

The Roots of Polarization

One would think that the practice of science would be objective. I once believed this, too. As a fresh post-doc at the University of Wisconsin, when I discovered something new in satellite data, I was surprised to encounter NASA employees who tried to keep my work from being published because they feared it would interfere with a new satellite mission they were working toward. I eventually got it published as a cover article in the prestigious journal, Nature.

But the subject I was dealing with did not have the profound financial, political, policy, and even religious import that climate change would end up having. Furthermore, 35 years ago things were different than today. People were less tribal. There is an old saying that one should not discuss politics or religion in polite company, but it turns out that social media is far from polite company.

From a practical standpoint, what we do (or don’t do) about human-caused climate change supports either (1) a statist, top-down governmental control over human affairs that involves a more socialist political framework, or (2) an unconstrained individual-freedom framework where capitalism reigns supreme. So, one could easily be a believer (or non-believer) in the ‘climate emergency’ based upon their political leanings. While I know a few socialists who are skeptical of human-caused climate change being a serious issue, this is the exception rather than the rule. The same is true of capitalists who think that we must transition away from fossil fuels to wind and solar energy (unless they stand to make money off the transition through subsidies, in which case they are financially rather than ideologically driven).

Or, on a spiritual level, a human who desires to worship something must ultimately choose between the Creation or the Creator. There is no third option. I find that most Earth scientists are nature worshipers (showing various levels of fervor) and consider the Earth to be fragile. In contrast, those who believe the Earth was created for the purpose of serving humanity tend to view nature as being resilient and less sensitive to lasting damage. Both of these views have equally religious underpinnings since “fragile” and “resilient” are emotive and qualitative, rather than scientific, terms.

So, I would argue it really does not matter that much to most alarmists or skeptics what the evidence shows. As long as 8 billion people on the planet have some, non-zero effect on climate — no matter how small or unmeasurable — the alarmist can still claim that ‘we shouldn’t be interfering with the climate system’. As a counter example, the skeptical environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg actually believes the alarmist science from the IPCC, but claims that economics tells us it’s better to live in and adapt to a warmer world until we have more cost-effective substitutes for fossil fuels. For this stance regarding policy, he is labeled a global warming denier despite fully believing in human-caused climate change.

Full post

7) No More Climate Excuses: Environment Agency Ignored Flood Warnings For Years
The Times, 16 November 2019

The Environment Agency ignored repeated warnings for more than a decade that a lack of maintenance along the River Don in South Yorkshire would worsen the impact of flooding.

As flooding spread across the country yesterday, the Association of Drainage Authorities said that warnings had been issued each year since 2007 at its annual conference, attended by Environment Agency staff.

The warnings were made by the association’s members in South Yorkshire, including John Duckitt, a farmer and elected commissioner of the drainage board that covers Fishlake near Doncaster, where parts of the village are still submerged more than a week after flooding began.

Speaking from his home yards from the Don, Mr Duckitt, 83, said that his concerns fell on “deaf ears”. He claimed that the agency “chooses to do as little as possible” and had allowed trees and plants to grow on the side of the river narrowing the channel after “ignoring local knowledge”.

“They knew about the problem and chose to ignore it,” he said. “This made the floods worse. Fair enough this flood was unprecedented but the Environment Agency, through lack of maintenance on the river, protracted the flood. It didn’t get away fast enough and did more damage.”

Full story (£)

8) The US could end up running on gasoline forever, leaving electric vehicles to China and Europe
Matthew DeBord, Business Insider, 12 November 2019

In 2010, I was standing in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles to hear Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn proclaim that by 2020, 10% of the auto market worldwide would be electric. The occasion was the introduction of Nissan's Leaf EV, a car that's still on sale today, even though Ghosn's career is in ruins as he awaits trial in Japan on charges of financial malfeasance.

The global market for plug-in electric vehicles — and that's plug-in gas-electric hybrids as well as all-electric battery vehicles, aka BEVs — stands at about 2% on the eve of Ghosn's benchmark year.

A decade is more than enough time for a market to develop for a new type of vehicle. It's happened again and again, with everything from muscle cars to front-wheel-drive sedans to minivans. That EV sales growth has been so weak relative to expectations means people fundamentally don't want the cars.

It gives me no joy to report this. In the US — the most competitive market — people don't want hybrids either. They do want SUVs and pickups. While this trend has been great for automakers' bottom lines (SUVs and pickups are highly profitable), it's not going to rescue the planet from climate change. I have three children, and I don't want them to inherit blistering winds in summer and savage hurricanes in winter.

But I also can't ignore what's happening in the car business. It's true many more EVs are on sale today than in 2010, and most of the big-name automakers are either planning to introduce or have already rolled out a variety of all-electric vehicles. If the market doubles in the next few years, however, we'll still be 6 percentage points shy of Ghosn's prediction.

Consumer reluctance to make the switch from fossil fuels to electrons for automotive transport could be blamed on everything from patchy recharging infrastructure to relatively elevated EV prices to cheap oil. Still, the extremely sluggish growth of the EV market remains vexing.

Or at least it did until I started to think about the US market, in particular, in terms of developments in sensible gasoline alternatives.

That led me to diesel.

I'm old enough to remember when diesel cars, mainly sold by European brands, were being touted as excellent alternatives to gas-powered vehicles. And that was when those diesels were noisy and polluting, belching out black smoke.

I'm also old enough to remember the advent of "clean" diesel, which solved the black-smoke problem. And who can forget Volkswagen's Dieselgate, when we learned that at least some of the clean-diesel revolution was a big fat lie?

That last part didn't really matter much, because of the roughly 17 million cars and light trucks sold in the US annually, a sliver ran on diesel fuel. Auto journalists love diesels. The torque! The acceleration! The MPGs! But apart from the VW Group, almost nobody was selling diesel passenger cars and light trucks in America.

Diesel was a Euro thing. Like with EVs, the arguments in favor of diesels were strong, but ... they were a Euro thing.

Now they might not even be that, as Dieselgate has compelled the VW Group to rethink everything and move toward electrification in its home market.

VW's diesel strategy for the US and Europe is in trouble. AP Photo/Michael Sohn
Still, the template remains instructive. Diesels were, in many ways, better than gas-powered vehicles, but the US wasn't convinced, despite the presence of widespread diesel-fueling options and the entire US freight system running on the stuff.

Gasoline, in other words, is strong in America. That's because of history: Gas was better than diesel for much of the automobile's evolution as personal transportation in the US, where speed was more important than low-end torque. Diesel was for tractors.

That brings us back to EVs and the USA.

For EVs to make up Ghosn's 10% of that market, we'd need to see yearly sales of 1.7 million. In 2018, fewer than 400,000 were sold. But the overall market has supported a 17-million-plus level for about five years now, almost all of it gas-powered. EVs would have to displace those gas sales, as the US market doesn't have much room for new sales growth at its record or near-record levels.

So let's just cut to the bad news, or at least a sad prediction: The US could be gas-powered, mostly, forever. Sure, you'll be able to buy an EV from Tesla, or from Porsche, or from Nissan or a General Motors or Ford brand — assuming those companies can figure out how to make money on the products.

Europe, by contrast, could witness a gradual replacement of diesels by EVs. But like today's small-engine diesels, those EVs could be modest city cars, with small batteries and limited range.

Where does that leave the electric car?

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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