Thursday, June 11, 2020

GWPF Newsletter: EU Ditches Green Deal For Aviation Industry

BBC “Astonished” By Perfectly Usual Arctic Weather

In this newsletter:

1) EU Ditches Green Deal For Aviation Industry
Climate Home News, 9 June 2020

2) BBC “Astonished” By Perfectly Usual Arctic Weather
Not A Lot Of People Know That, 10 June 2020

3) False Alarm: Earth’s Magnetic Field Not On Verge Of Flip
GWPF Observatory, 10 June 2020

4) Tilak Doshi: For The Developing World A ‘Green’ Post-Pandemic Reset Is A Luxury, Not A Necessity
Forbes, 9 June 2020 

5) Francis Menton: Reality Is Gradually Catching Up To Green Energy
Manhattan Contrarian, 8 June 2020

Full details:

1) EU Ditches Green Deal For Aviation Industry
Climate Home News, 9 June 2020

EU member states will back an industry proposal to reduce airlines’ climate obligations in response to the coronavirus pandemic, at the UN aviation forum

Icao, the UN body responsible for aviation, is meeting in Montreal, Canada, this week. (Photo: TDelCoro/Flickr)

The climate plan for aviation is losing its last shred of credibility, after the European Union confirmed it will back an industry proposal to water down the rules, campaigners have warned.

In the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic, the International Air Transport Association (Iata), called on the UN body responsible for aviation to ease airlines’ obligations to offset their emissions growth under a scheme known as Corsia.

Iata urged the International Civil Aviation Organisation (Icao) to change the baseline from which emissions growth will be measured – a move it estimates could save airlines $15 billion in carbon offsetting costs.

At a time when the industry is reeling from grounded flights due to Covid-19, airlines argue current rules risk creating “an inappropriate economic burden on the sector”.

On Tuesday, EU member states backed the baseline change, which could see airlines pay nothing for their climate impact until 2024.

France, Germany, Italy, the UK, Finland, the Netherlands, Spain and Greece will speak in favour of the adjustment at a meeting of Icao’s council this week. That means the rule change could win majority support.

Campaigners say it would further damage the credibility of the offsetting scheme, which is widely regarded as weak and not aligned with the Paris Agreement goals.

“This could be the final blow for Corsia,” Gilles Dufrasne, senior policy officer at Carbon Market Watch told Climate Home News. “It was always a ridiculously weak system, but now it is becoming essentially meaningless. Airlines are just let off the hook one more time.”

 Full story

2) BBC “Astonished” By Perfectly Usual Arctic Weather
Not A Lot Of People Know That, 10 June 2020

Paul Homewood

The BBC have been up to their tricks again, this time with their Arctic heatwave propaganda.

In fact temperatures over 30C are perfectly common events in that part of Russia above the Arctic Circle.

Pesha only has a handful of years of data, but there are plenty of other stations nearby with long, continuous records. (Pesha’s co-ordinates are 66N 47E)

The nearest three with more than 80 years data are:
All three show the same picture, with temperatures over 30C throughout the record:


At Indiga which is the furthest north, for instance, the highest temperature on record is 31.3, set on 26th July 1974.

Although it may sound a bit illogical, high temperatures like these are commonly seen across the Arctic. The reason, as Tony Heller points out, is that during June, the Arctic receives more solar radiation than any place else on Earth.
3) False Alarm: Earth’s Magnetic Field Not On Verge Of Flip
GWPF Observatory, 10 June 2020
Dr David Whitehouse, GWPF Science Editor
There has been much discussion recently about the Earth’s changing magnetic field and not a few dramatic headlines portending dire consequences for humanity.


A series of space probes called Swarm built by the European Space Agency (ESA) has found that in an area stretching from Africa to South America the Earth’s magnetic field is gradually reducing in strength. An ESA press release said that this strange behaviour has geophysicists puzzled and is causing technical disturbances in satellites as they pass through an area called the ‘South Atlantic Anomaly.’ The South Atlantic Anomaly is a well-known region of weaker than normal magnetic field that has caused satellites problems ever since we started putting them into orbit. But there have been more satellite problems in that area than before.

Broadly speaking our Earth is two different planets, one of them nestling inside the other. The outer section is made of rock and is an excellent insulator. Inside our rocky exterior is a world of solid and liquid metal. The inner core is solid iron surrounded by the molten outer core. The motions in the outer core are the origin of our magnetic field via a dynamo effect. This magnetic shield protects us from the harshness of the cosmos. Life on our planet could not have survived without it. The weak region called the South Atlantic Anomaly.

Our magnetic field is not behaving in an unusual way. In fact, it is stronger than it has been on average over the past million years or so, more than twice as strong. Looking at the strength of the Earth’s magnetic field over the past 10,000 years shows it to have been weaker than today until about 2000 BC when in less than a thousand years it greatly increased in strength, at which it has stayed ever since. It has declined a little in the past few hundred years, but that decline is consistent with the up and down variations seen over the past few thousand years. This suggests that the Earth’s magnetic field is not doing anything dramatic at present, despite what the headlines say from time to time.

Our magnetic field does change dramatically from time to time. It weakens to a point where the usual north-south dipole configuration fragments allowing solar particles to strike the Earth’s atmosphere at all latitudes instead of polar ones causing aurorae all over the planet instead at just the poles. It last happened about 800,000 years ago. When the magnetic field grows again it does so with the opposite magnetic polarity.

There are some indications that our magnetic field can also change rather dramatically in shorter periods. About 41,400 years ago, give or take 2,000 years during the last Ice Age something happened to the earth’s magnetic field, something remarkable and very, very swift.
Observations of the magnetic properties of sediments laid down in the Black Sea, and beryllium and carbon isotopes in Greenland ice cores, indicate that a geomagnetic reversal took place with astonishing rapidity. In 250 years the earth’s magnetic field declined by 95%, flipped for 440 years when the north magnetic pole was at the south and vice versa with a rather weak strength prepared to its pre-flip level, and then over another period of 250 years or so things reverted back. Scientists call it the Laschamp event after the Laschamp lava at Claremont Ferrand in the Massif Central in France.

So whilst scientists are always monitoring the strength of the Earth’s magnetic field and chase the exact position of the magnetic poles which wander die to turbulent motions in the outer core, there is no indication of anything unusual at the moment.

4) Tilak Doshi: For The Developing World A ‘Green’ Post-Pandemic Reset Is A Luxury, Not A Necessity
Forbes, 9 June 2020

For the billions of people that have newly emerged from poverty in recent decades and are beginning to enjoy the early fruits of economic growth and technological progress across Asia, Africa and Latin America – among the greatest achievements in human history – the West’s ideological crusade against capitalism and economic growth may seem self-indulgent if not altogether grotesque.

As the world emerges from Covid-19 lockdown we are now being told that the economic recovery from the pandemic-panic needs to be “green.” Political leaders and mass media editors cite the well-known slogan “never let a crisis go to waste,” and claim that massive sums need to be spent on economic recovery plans, and that the spending has to be “sustainable.”

Prince Charles – a prognosticator of apocalyptic climate change – said at the opening of a virtual World Economic Forum event that the global pandemic presented an opportunity to “reset the global economy and prioritize sustainable development.” Using similar language, the founder and chairman of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab calls for a “Great Reset” of capitalism. Seeing a silver lining in the pandemic, he advocates “radical changes” to “create a new economic system” including sustainably green urban infrastructure.

The calls by Prince Charles and Klaus Schwab for remaking capitalism are in lock-step with the stated aims of Christiana Figueres, the former executive secretary of the  U.N.'s Framework Convention on Climate Change. Leading the UN’s climate change juggernaut, she had demanded “setting ourselves the task of intentionally… chang[ing] the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution.”

In discussing the EU’s trillion-euro plan for economic recovery from the pandemic, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen promises to put the European Green Deal “at the centre.” Her political ally German Chancellor Angela Merkel concurs: “With the European Green Deal the EU Commission has shown the way forward … it is important that recovery programmes always keep an eye on the climate, we must not side-line climate but invest in climate technologies.” Across the English channel, UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s £600 billion recovery package to be unveiled next month promises nothing less than a “green industrial revolution.” It will create “green jobs” and supply “clean energy,” consistent with the country’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to “net zero” by 2050.

Across the pond, the Washington Post reports that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is “embracing the Green New Deal's framework, setting a deadline to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and vowing to create a clean-energy economy with new jobs.” Mr. Biden’s support for Green New Deal rhetoric of his party’s left-wing — represented by Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — promises policy proposals including a carbon tax, $1.7 trillion in “green” spending, a ban on oil and gas drilling on public lands, and a carbon tariff on imports.

The developing countries are having none of this. Instead of costly subsidies and infrastructure investments on intermittent and low-density “renewable” technologies, they will opt for further investments in an established energy system that has been developed over the past century. Thus, in a scramble to jumpstart its economy, China approved nearly 10GW of new coal-fired power generation capacity in the first quarter of this year, roughly equal to the capacity approved for all of 2019. A recent report from the International Energy Agency found that “global approvals of new [coal] plants in the first quarter of 2020 (mainly in China) were at twice the rate seen in 2019”, with a long pipeline of projects under construction. Wood Mackenzie, a consulting company, estimates that there will be a net increase in global coal-fired power capacity this year, with 22 gigawatts of closures in Europe and the US more than offset by 49 gigawatts of plants opening in Asia.

For the billions of people who have newly emerged from poverty in recent decades and are beginning to enjoy the early fruits of economic growth and technological progress across Asia, Africa and Latin America — among the greatest achievements in human history – the West’s ideological crusade against capitalism and economic growth may seem self-indulgent. Policy makers in poorer countries are fully aware that their economies cannot do without fossil fuels. Available and affordable energy, deliverable at scale, is the sine qua non of economic development.

Industrialization, urbanization and middle class living standards are not the curse words that they have become for the West’s left-leaning intelligentsia. They are aspirational goals still most likely to be delivered by oil, gas and coal which account for 85% of global primary energy supply.

Many developing countries with large segments of the population living hand-to-mouth have replicated the strict lockdowns of the West, but without the capacity to provide the kind of welfare assistance that developed countries have extended to their citizens. As one of India’s leading industrialists Rajiv Bajaj put it, the country has “flattened the wrong curve. It is not the infection curve, it is the GDP curve.”

Rich countries may well be able to sustain new green spending. Developing countries’ post-Covid-19 recovery plans will undoubtedly stick with what’s proven to work in the past, and continue to emphasize cheap and plentiful fossil fuels.
5) Francis Menton: Reality Is Gradually Catching Up To Green Energy
Manhattan Contrarian, 9 June 2020

Read enough of this green stuff and you gradually realize that almost everything you read about supposed solutions to climate change is completely delusional.

If you dutifully read your U.S. mainstream media, you undoubtedly have the impression that “clean” and “green” energy is rapidly sweeping all before it, and soon will supplant fossil fuels in powering our economy. After all, many major states, including California and New York, have mandated some form of “net zero” carbon emissions by 2050, or in some cases even earlier. That’s only 30 years away. And reports are everywhere that investment in “renewables,” particularly wind and solar energy, continues to soar. For example, from Reuters in January we have “U.S. clean energy investment hits new record despite Trump administration views.” In the New York Times on May 13 it’s “In a First, Renewable Energy Is Poised to Eclipse Coal in U.S.” The final victory of wind and solar over the evil fossil fuels must then be right around the corner.

Actually, that’s all a myth. The inherent high cost and unreliability of wind and solar energy mean that they are highly unlikely ever to be more than niche players in the overall energy picture. Politicians claim progressive virtue by commissioning vast farms of wind turbines and solar panels, at taxpayer or ratepayer expense, without anyone ever figuring out — or even addressing — how these things can run a fully functioning electrical grid without complete fossil fuel backup. And the electrical grid is the easy part. How about airplanes? How about steel mills? I’m looking for someone to demonstrate that this “net zero” thing is something more than a ridiculous fantasy, but I can’t find it.

To stay grounded in reality, there is no better source than the multiple-times-weekly email from the Global Warming Policy Foundation. If you do not already receive these emails, you can go here to subscribe. As is typical, today’s email searches out back pages and specialized sources to bring us multiple pieces showing green energy running into its inevitable wall, with no known way to get past. (Full disclosure: I am on the Board of the GWPF’s American affiliate.)

We go first to green energy champion Germany, where Bloomberg reports on June 5 that “Germany’s Green Power Finance Is Becoming Unaffordable.”

Excerpt: "The German program that’s spurred the nation’s switch to green power is buckling under the weight of surging costs and needs an urgent fix. That’s the assessment of one of the scheme’s chief designers, Hans Josef Fell. . . . Yet the system’s increasing costs have become glaring in the during the coronavirus pandemic, the veteran Green Party lawmaker said. High and guaranteed payments made to investors in clean power plants are the problem Fell said in an interview."

It seems that to get its wind and solar facilities built, Germany put in place guaranteed payments to producers that would kick in if market prices for power were insufficient. The guaranteed payments are divvied up and added to consumer electricity bills. This year, with prices for alternative fossil fuels plummeting, the guaranteed payments are projected to come in at some 26 billion euros — which is around $100 per month for every German household, on top of electricity prices that were already about triple the U.S. average. Of course, Chancellor Merkel is proposing a “fix,” which is a government bailout as part of a supposed coronavirus relief package. That may work for a little while. Then what?

Also from Germany, we have a piece from the Financial Times of June 8 with the headline “Environmentalists on back foot as Germany’s newest coal plant opens.” What?? — Opening a new coal power plant right in the midst of a transition away from fossil fuels?? What happened here is that they are closing all their nuclear plants, and they need something that works all the time, unlike the wind and the solar. Just in January, Germany enacted legislation to completely phase out coal power generation by 2038; and then in May, they went right ahead and opened this new Dateln 4 coal plant. The Financial Times piece quotes Greenpeace activist Lisa Göldner as calling the new plant a “climate crime.” Meanwhile, the crew members of a barge bringing coal to the plant are described as “whooping and whistling in mockery” at environmental protesters seeking to block the opening of the plant.

The fact is that Germany has nowhere further to go by building more wind and solar facilities. When the wind blows on a sunny day, they already have more power than they can use, and they are forced to give it away to Poland (or even pay the Poles to take it). On a calm night, no matter how much wind and solar they build, it all produces nothing. Without the coal plant, the lights go out. Talk about climate virtue all they want, but no one has yet even begun to work on a solution to get past this hurdle.

Which brings me to the most important piece in the GWPF email, from Cambridge Professor Michael Kelly, appearing in something called CapX on June 8, with the headline “Until we get a proper roadmap, Net Zero is a goal without a plan.”Kelly makes the point that seems to me obvious, but that somehow has slipped past the New York Times and all the rest of the MSM, which is that if wind and solar energy are ever going to surpass niche status, there is a gigantic engineering problem to solve.

Somebody has to engineer an electrical system based on the intermittent sources that works 24/7/365. But in fact, even as major states and countries have piously proclaimed commitment to “net zero” energy, nobody has even started the engineering project. And as soon as you start to consider the question, you quickly realize that the whole endeavor is almost certainly impossible. As an example, Kelly addresses batteries:

"Take batteries. It is estimated that current battery manufacturing capabilities will need to be in the order of 500-700 times bigger than now to support an all-electric global transport system. The materials needed just to allow the UK to transition to all electric transport involve amounts of materials equal to 200% the annual global production of cobalt, 75% of lithium carbonate, 100% of neodymium and 50% of copper. Scaling by a factor of 50 for the world transport, and you see what is now a showstopper. The materials demands just for batteries are beyond known reserves. Would one be prepared to dredge the ocean floor at very large scale for some of the material? Should securing the reserves not be a first priority?"

And that’s just one of the issues.

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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