Saturday, April 30, 2022

Net Zero Watch - SOS: UK Govt asks energy firms to keep burning coal as ministers fight to keep lights on


In this newsletter:

1) UK Govt asks energy firms to keep burning coal as ministers fight to keep lights on
The Daily Telegraph, 28 April 2022
2) Australia: Climate war erupts as Nationals MP Matt Canavan declares Net Zero is ‘dead’, 26 April 2022
3) Australia: Net Zero joins the choir invisible
Editorial, The Spectator Australia, 30 April 2022
4) Surprise: China ignores climate pledges, tops list in building new coal plants
Asian News International, 27 April 2022
5) Global coal-fired power at record levels
Axios, 27 April 2022
6) Oil and gas will be around a lot longer than some think, despite climate goals
CBC News, 26 April 2022
7) Russian gas stoppages spur Europe’s race for new energy supplies
The Wall Street Journal, 27 April 2022
8) President Biden’s climate ambitions are all but dead
Bloomberg, 27 April 2022
9) When prophecy fails: John Kerry moves the goal post and re-sets doomsday clock 
Bloomberg, 26 April 2022

10) Report: “No evidence of a climate crisis”
The New American, 21 April 2022
11) And finally: Eat bugs to slow global warming, scientists say
Energy Live News, 27 April 2022

Full details:

1) UK Govt asks energy firms to keep burning coal as ministers fight to keep lights on
The Daily Telegraph, 28 April 2022

Coal-fired power stations have been asked to stay open for longer as part of Government plans to avert an energy crunch amid Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary, has written to the owners of Britain’s three remaining coal-fired power plants to ask them to explore keeping turbines running next winter. The turbines were due to close this September.

It marks a significant change of tone towards the heavily polluting fuel source which is due to be phased out from UK power stations by 2024 in line with the UK’s push to slash carbon emissions.

That timeline remains in place, but the request highlights the potential threat to the UK’s energy market from Russia’s war on Ukraine, as disruption pushes up the price of natural gas which is used to produce more than one third of UK power.

In a letter to coal-fired power station owners EDF, Uniper and Drax at the start of April, Mr Kwarteng said: “The UK is in no way dependent on gas from Russia, however I am mindful that a shortage of gas in Europe could put significant pressure on the European gas market.

“We will of course therefore take all prudent steps to be ready to support National Grid Electricity System Operator in delivering our energy security. Maintaining our remaining coal-fired power stations would provide us with additional backup security while we pursue more enduring solutions.”

In the long-term the country must move to cleaner energy, he added, but the “transition has to be orderly, recognising the critical role fossil fuels will play as we deploy low carbon alternatives”.

Wholesale gas prices leapt 18pc on Wednesday as Russia cut off supplies to Bulgaria and Poland, in a significant escalation of tensions. The UK gets less than 4pc of its gas directly from Russia but prices track those on the continent, which is heavily reliant.
Full story
2) Australia: Climate war erupts as Nationals MP Matt Canavan declares Net Zero is ‘dead’

Scott Morrison is facing divisions over climate change policy with Queensland Nationals senator Matt Canavan defying the Prime Minister to declare net zero by 2050 is “all over bar the shouting”.

Just hours after Scott Morrison insisted the new climate target was “absolutely” Coalition policy he was undermined by outbreaks from the Nationals including Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce who backed the idea there was “wriggle room.”

It followed a Nationals candidate for the Queensland seat of Flynn Colin Boyce declaring that the target was “a flexible plan that leaves us wriggle room.”

“It leaves us wiggle room as we proceed into the future. Morrison’s statement that he has made is not binding. There will be no legislation attached to it,” Mr Boyce told the ABC.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, who is expected to campaign with the Prime Minister on Wednesday, said he understood Mr Boyce’s position.

“We’ve said we’ve set a target, we’re going to try and meet … but I think where Colin’s coming from, it’s completely understandable,” he said.

“Coal remains one of our nation’s strongest exports.”

Speaking in the marginal seat of Herbert on Tuesday, Morrison said Mr Boyce had since “clarified” he was talking about the pathway to net zero, not the target itself.

“Our commitment to net zero by 2050 is a commitment of the Australian government that I made in Glasgow,” the Prime Minister said.

“It is the government’s absolute policy. What he was referring to was our pathway to it and as technologies change and improve, then, of course, we’re going to get there and we’re going to get there by the best method possible.”

However, things escalated further when Nationals MP Matt Canavan, a former minister who is close to the Deputy Prime Minister told the ABC that net zero should be paused anyway.

“The other thing to say is the net zero thing is all sort of dead anyway,” Senator Canavan said.

“Boris Johnson said he is pausing it, Germany is building coal and gas infrastructure, Italy’s reopening coal-fired power plants. It’s all over. It’s all over bar the shouting here.

“We’re talking about something that is 28 years away. What will happen in 28 years’ time, or the policies that will happen in 10 or 20 years, I think, should be up to the Australian people in 10 or 20 years, some of who might not even be voting.”

The Prime Minister has been trying to ramp up a scare campaign about Labor’s commitment to a carbon credits scheme under the safeguard mechanism as a defacto “carbon tax”.

“Just be clear, it not only affects the coal industry, it affects mining and oil and gas production,” Morrison said. “It affects rail freight, it affects cement production, it affects fuel refining, and many other sectors are caught up in those arrangements, which would see them penalised and taxed.”

Under sustained questioning by 2GB radio host Ray Hadley on Tuesday, Mr Albanese agreed to offer the same pledge once uttered by former prime minister Julia Gillard, that “there will be no carbon tax, ever” if he is elected.

But Labor frontbencher Pat Conroy said it was the Liberal Party that was in a mess.

“If you want to talk about divisions in climate policy, we’ve got a spectacular example happening right today between the Deputy Prime Minister backing in his candidate in Flynn saying that their net zero emissions committed by 2050 is optional, that there’s wiggle room, that it’s not binding,’’ he said.
Full story
3) Australia: Net Zero joins the choir invisible
Editorial, The Spectator Australia, 30 April 2022

Net Zero, in short, is not only as dead as a Norwegian Blue Parrot nailed to its perch, it is as dead as a stuffed canary in a disused coal mine.

Senator Matt Canavan, a regular and popular columnist in this magazine, is under attack for having told Australians the truth. Namely, that the concept of Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050 is ‘dead’. 
In fact, to borrow from Monty Python, we can go further and argue that Net Zero has ceased to be, it is expired and gone to meet its maker. Net Zero is bereft of life, pushing up daisies, off the twig, has kicked the bucket, shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. Net Zero, in short, is not only as dead as a Norwegian Blue Parrot nailed to its perch, it is as dead as a stuffed canary in a disused coal mine.

As this magazine argued early last year, the simplest way for the Coalition to win the 2022 election would have been to replicate John Howard’s and Peter Costello’s ‘tough decision’ GST strategy and in the interest of national prosperity and cleaner energy go to the polls with a commitment to revoke the Australian ban on nuclear energy in order to give us the cheap, reliable energy we will require for decades to come and with which we are abundantly blessed via natural resources. Such a policy would not only have given the Coalition something to fight for, it would have been the ultimate ‘wedge policy’ to skewer Labor on and – not that this seems to matter anymore – would actually have been the right thing to do.

Instead, Scott Morrison and his team of quislings, sorry advisers, asked the wrong questions in a motley grab-bag of inner-city focus groups and came up with the worthless and pointless policy of pledging to get Australia to Net Zero without nuclear power. Or indeed without any credible clean base-load energy source. (And please, spare us the Twiggy Forrest/ Mike Cannon-Brookes drivel about green hydrogen. Only the most cynical, corrupt or foolish politician would gamble an entire nation’s future on such an unproven and illogical technology spruiked by billionaire investors.)

All of which is now fairly academic because, as is always the way, events (dear boy) have overtaken political hypotheticals.

Vladimir Putin’s vile invasion of Ukraine has not only killed a tragic number of Ukrainians as well as Russian soldiers, it has also stabbed a bayonet through the heart of Net Zero with all the murderous efficiency of a Zaporozhian Cossack.

European governments like Germany’s, which for the last few decades have pursued the climate cult’s insane goal of obliterating carbon emissions, are now frantically re-opening coal mines and seeking reliable base load energy sources wherever they can find them, whether from fossil fuels or nuclear power. Countries in Scandinavia are suddenly desperate to start exploration and drilling in the North Sea again.

According to Benny Peiser, head of the Global Warming Policy Foundation who is currently visiting Australia and who along with Professor Ian Plimer (another regular and popular contributor to these pages) spoke at length to the Roseville branch of the Liberal party, average household electricity prices in the UK have jumped from a thousand pounds a year to two thousand and are headed for three thousand pounds per annum by this coming British winter. Mr Peiser forecasts many individuals and families will simply not be able to heat their homes. Among British conservative backbenchers there is now a serious push to abandon Net Zero altogether. In the coming months, as war in Ukraine drags on and the energy crisis worsens, the delusional Greens-fuelled commitment to Net Zero may well cost not only Boris Johnson his job, but risks bringing down governments of all hues across Europe.

The task for a re-elected Morrison government, or a minority Coalition government relying on the support of any One Nation, Liberal Democrat or UAP representatives who scrape into the lower house, will be to abandon Net Zero and to rapidly set about promoting a nuclear energy industry in Australia.

The alternative, a Labor/Greens government, does not bear thinking about, but think about it we must. The simple reality is that, much like Joe Biden’s hopeless administration, an Albanese-Marles-Wong-Keneally government (just putting it down in black and white is risible enough) will quickly collapse in popularity as cold hard reality smashes to smithereens their utopian climate fantasies.
4) Surprise: China ignores climate pledges, tops list in building new coal plants
Asian News International, 27 April 2022 

Beijing [China], April 27 (ANI): Putting the pledges to reach net-zero emissions by 2060 at bay, China is still leading the world in building new coal plants, showed a major annual survey.

Global Energy Monitor’s (GEM) eighth annual survey of the world’s coal plant pipeline on Tuesday reveals that China, the world’s top greenhouse gas [emitter], continued to lead all countries in the domestic development of new coal plants, commissioning more new coal capacity in 2021 than the rest of the world combined, reported Straits Times.

Furthering the worries, China’s coal consumption is meant to peak in 2025. China is the world’s largest assembly of coal power plants and this building of new coal plants is posing a critical risk of climate change.

China has just over half the number of coal plants in the world and relies on them to generate about 60 per cent of its electricity.

Lauri Myllyvirta, lead analyst for research organisation Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, which contributed to GEM’s report said, “The power industry’s plan, which appears to have [Chinese] government backing, at least for now, is for coal power capacity to increase until 2030. So new plants are adding more capacity, not just replacing retirements. Last year saw retirements, in fact, slow down.”

By the end of 2021, a total of 176GW of coal capacity was under construction in 20 countries, which is slightly less than in 2020. China represented more than half (52 per cent) of that capacity, and countries in South Asia and Southeast Asia made up a total of 37 per cent.

Flora Champenois from GEM said, “The coal plant pipeline is shrinking, but there is simply no carbon budget left to be building new coal plants. We need to stop, now.”

The report also found that total coal power capacity under development declined 13 per cent last year. Moreover, with the ongoing war in Ukraine, some countries are delaying coal plant retirements as they scramble for energy supplies to keep the lights on.

According to the analysts, this move might temporarily set back global efforts to phase out coal, though soaring coal prices might also prompt some nations to speed up investment in green energy.

Myllyvirta told Straits Times, “The world is experiencing a fossil fuel price shock, leading to overall reduced fossil fuel demand and accelerated plans for clean energy development, reported Straits Times.

“European countries, in particular, have announced very ambitious plans for clean energy and energy efficiency as a part of the effort to end reliance on fossil fuel imports from Russia. These factors will lower coal demand in the coming years,” he added. (ANI)
5) Global coal-fired power at record levels
Axios, 27 April 2022

The big picture: Global coal-fired power rebounded last year to record levels amid high natural gas prices and economic revival from the pandemic, per International Energy Agency and data-tracking green group Ember.
And now the crisis in Europe is pushing in the same direction, even as EU leaders hope to speed their clean energy transition.

"Russia’s invasion...turbocharged the coal market, setting off a domino effect that’s leaving power producers scrambling for supply and pushing prices to record levels," Bloomberg reports.
It notes higher coal-fired power use in China — the world's biggest consumer — and other large users including the U.S., India, the European Union, and elsewhere in Asia.
AP reports China is "promoting coal-fired power as the ruling Communist Party tries to revive a sluggish economy."
Zoom in: The group Global Energy Monitor (GEM) this week published its latest data on coal-fired power plant development and shutdowns.
2021 saw another 18.2 gigawatts (GW) of capacity added to the world's operating coal plant fleet of roughly 2,100 GW, while shut-downs slowed.
Another 176 GW of capacity is under construction, per the report from GEM, the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, the climate think tank E3G and other groups.
China is driving new plant development. But the report also notes some developed nations plan to operate plants "far beyond the deadlines required by climate science."
Full story
6) Oil and gas will be around a lot longer than some think, despite climate goals
CBC News, 26 April 2022


Global ambitions to tackle climate change are being confronted by rising concerns about energy security, according to a new report by RBC, which is why oil and natural gas are going to be used for quite a while.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has sent energy prices soaring, as there are supply concerns for many commodities such as oil, natural gas and coal. As many countries grapple with energy security and affordability issues, there is less emphasis on climate change.

That's why the authors of the report say countries like Canada now have to figure out how to produce more oil and gas in the short term, all the while trying to meet climate goals.

"Short of major additional action, oil and gas will likely remain critical and contentious energy sources for longer than some think," the report notes.

In the last few months, there has been a renewed push by countries like Canada and the United States for more oil and natural gas production. At the same time, some countries in Europe are investing in liquefied natural gas terminals to import more natural gas and also looking at coal and oil-fired electricity to reduce reliance on Russian gas.

Global demand for oil keeps rising and is expected to increase for several more years, according to the International Energy Agency.

The RBC report highlights how many governments around the world are also offering subsidies to offset high gasoline and power prices, including "usual climate leaders" such as Germany, California, and British Columbia.

Climate change is still a priority, said RBC economist Colin Guldimann, but there isn't as much momentum as compared to six months ago after the UN climate conference.

"Many will admit that things have changed markedly, especially in the energy space, in the last couple of months," he said in an interview.

Canada must now thread the needle of meeting climate goals while also meeting energy needs.

Even after oil demand peaks, Guldimann said "the pace of that decline, and the steepness of how quickly that decline happens, is fundamentally uncertain."

Investments in clean energy are happening, but instead of replacing fossil fuels, much of that energy is offset by rising consumption around the world as the population grows.

"We think energy demand is set to surge over the next couple of decades and how we meet those energy needs is really the critical question today," he said.

"I think countries are going to struggle to switch their energy systems over to ones that are non-emitting extremely quickly. Green infrastructure takes time to build, and technologies that can replace oil are still sort of coming to the fore."

The RBC report calls for more ambition to curb emissions, not only from the oilpatch, but other sectors too such as building retrofits, zero-emission vehicle subsidies and more transmission lines to move clean power around the country.

Latest climate report is a 'file of shame,' UN chief says
On Monday, credit ratings agency Moody's said it expects oil producers to generate record profits and free cash flow this year — and oil prices could remain high for the next 12 to 18 months.

Oil prices dropped by more than five per cent at one point on Monday as lockdowns in China are dampening economic activity. As commodity prices fluctuate so wildly, some oil companies could delay production increases.

"I wouldn't be surprised to see if a lot of these companies say 'You know what, let's defer this decision where we have to expand our spending," said Jeremy McCrea, an analyst with Raymond James, "which ultimately will keep oil and gas prices higher, longer."
7) Russian gas stoppages spur Europe’s race for new energy supplies
The Wall Street Journal, 27 April 2022

As the war in Ukraine rages, an energy battle is spreading across Europe, with countries racing to replace Russian fossil fuels while Moscow cuts off gas supplies to some nations and threatens others with the same.

The European Union vowed on Wednesday to continue to phase out purchases of Russian gas, support countries affected by Russian countermoves and speed up the switch to renewable energy in response to Russia’s decision to halt gas flows to Poland and Bulgaria.

Russian energy giant Gazprom PJSC said it had not received payment in rubles for gas sales to Poland and Bulgaria, as required by a new decree by President Vladimir Putin. EU officials accused Moscow of using energy as a political weapon. The speaker of Russia’s State Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, said on Wednesday that Moscow should expand the measures against other nations that it deems unfriendly.

Two months into Russia’s war on Ukraine, EU countries are accelerating their efforts to replace Russian oil and gas. Steps by Germany and other national governments to switch suppliers are now proceeding rapidly, threatening to diminish Russia’s hitherto most lucrative source of foreign earnings.

Germany and the EU have faced much criticism in recent weeks, including from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, for their continued purchases of Russian oil and gas, which help fund Russia’s budget and its war effort.

The EU is debating potential sanctions on Russian oil, including a full but phased-in embargo, but national measures by European countries are creating new facts on the ground faster than the negotiations in Brussels.

Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, said on Tuesday it has all but overcome its need to import oil from Russia, thanks in part to an agreement with Poland over the use of ports and pipelines. Berlin said that phasing out Russian gas would take longer but that it is working on it.

For Moscow, the decision to throttle gas flows to Poland and Bulgaria is a high-risk gamble that could undermine one of main supports of Russia’s embattled economy. Oil and gas sales provide around 40% of the Russian government’s revenues. The EU is Russia’s main gas market.

“Gazprom’s announcement is another attempt by Russia to blackmail us with gas,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday. She said that Bulgaria and Poland are already receiving gas from EU neighbors and that discussions are ongoing on how to prevent significant disruptions.

Analysts at energy consulting firm Rystad said that “Russia has fired the first shot back at the West,” wielding energy as a weapon.

“Russia is trying to shatter the unity of our allies,” Mr. Zelensky’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, said on Telegram.

The Kremlin on Wednesday denied it was using energy as a weapon and said it remains a reliable energy supplier.

Many European countries have been scrambling to line up alternative gas supplies for next winter’s heating season, mainly liquefied natural gas imported from the U.S. and the Middle East, and gas piped in from Norway and North Africa. The EU aims to head into next winter with its gas storage facilities 80% full and to slash its purchases of Russian gas by two-thirds by the end of this year.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, is likely to make proposals next week for a sixth round of economic sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, including an embargo on oil or other measures to cut Moscow’s revenues from oil sales. Several member states including Germany and Hungary have so far resisted a full embargo. But European demand for Russian oil is plummeting anyway.

Russia’s state oil company has had trouble finding buyers for oil in recent days. European refineries are already shifting away from Russian crude oil, even without sanctions.

France’s TotalEnergies SE has stopped buying Russian crude for its four oil refineries in France and Belgium. The company is still buying Russian crude under a supply contract for its refinery in Leuna, Germany, but a company official said the refinery would soon replace that with non-Russian oil brought in from the Polish port city of Gdansk.

Total is still buying some diesel from Russia under previous contracts but says it will end those purchases by the end of the year as the contracts expire.

Exxon Mobil Corp., which owns six refineries in continental Europe, said it has decided not to sign new contracts for Russian crude oil since the Feb. 24 invasion. The company was previously a big buyer of Russian crude.

European officials said they expect Moscow to cut gas supplies to more countries. Before the war in Ukraine, the EU sourced some 40% of its gas from Russia.

Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš said in an interview that Russia’s moves are likely meant as warnings to the EU to slow down or stop its preparations for a full embargo on Russian oil.

“The question is who is more resilient?” Mr. Kariņš said, urging his EU colleagues not to be deterred. “The Ukrainians are paying with their lives, we are paying with higher energy prices.”

Further gas stoppages by Russia would likely send fuel prices higher, analysts said, putting more pressure on the EU’s slowing economy and feeding into higher energy bills world-wide by prompting a race to find gas on international markets. In the U.S., natural-gas prices have doubled this year, in part because producers of LNG are shipping it to Europe at breakneck speed.

Natural-gas prices in Europe are currently below their peak in March but well above their levels a year ago and remain a key source of inflationary pressure in European economies. Benchmark prices jumped 11% on Wednesday.

Mr. Putin demanded last month that countries deemed hostile to Moscow, including EU members, pay for gas in rubles. Gas contracts are usually denominated in dollars or euros. A subsequent Kremlin decree tweaked the order: Customers had to pay in euros or dollars to Russia’s Gazprombank, which would convert the money into rubles and send them on to Gazprom itself. The EU has said its sanctions don’t prevent companies from doing that.

Some European officials said Russia’s move against Poland and Bulgaria was likely not about payment modalities but was a warning aimed at all EU members that are sending weapons to Ukraine.

Germany on Tuesday announced that it would deliver antiaircraft cannon tanks to Ukraine, ditching its previous reluctance to send heavy weapons and joining a growing number of countries, led by the U.S., that are arming Ukraine’s defenders with artillery, armored vehicles and other powerful weaponry.

Russia’s gas stoppage will have limited effect on Poland, which was already set to become independent of Russian gas by the end of this year. Still, Poland was due to receive at least a further 5 billion cubic meters in gas from Gazprom which likely won’t be delivered and will need to be replaced this summer, said James Huckstepp, European gas analyst at S&P Global Commodity Insights. Most of the gas will be pumped across the border from Germany, he added.

The stoppage is a bigger problem for Bulgaria, which gets more than three quarters of its gas from Russia and has few quick or easy options to replace it. A new pipeline from Greece to Bulgaria to deliver gas from Azerbaijan has faced long delays and has yet to be completed, said Tom Marzec-Manser, head of gas analytics at ICIS. Using complex swap arrangements, Bulgaria could replace some of its Russian gas through an existing pipe to Greece, he said.

Bulgaria’s energy minister Alexander Nikolov said on Wednesday that the country has enough gas in storage for the coming month and is looking for alternative deliveries.
Full story 
8) President Biden’s climate ambitions are all but dead
Bloomberg, 27 April 2022
One year after coming into office, Biden's signature climate goal is all but dead.

President Joe Biden came into office with more aggressive plans to fight what he called the “existential threat” of climate change than any of his predecessors. Three months into his presidency, he vowed to cut the carbon emissions of the world’s second-largest emitter in half by 2030, a pledge that helped re-establish American climate leadership on the global stage.

One year on, that signature climate goal is all but dead.

Political allies are now acknowledging what scientists who analyze U.S. policy options have confirmed: There’s virtually no viable path to slashing U.S. emissions in line with Biden’s 2030 target—at least not without major legislation that appears increasingly remote. “I am certainly grateful for the improvements we’ve seen under this administration, but it hasn’t gotten nearly far enough to be considered on track to address the climate crisis,” says Rep. Jared Huffman, a California Democrat who is a leading progressive in the House of Representatives.

At the center of this setback is an evenly split U.S. Senate that puts West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, a Democrat from a coal- and gas-rich state with a personal fortune tied to fossil fuel, in a position to make or break legislation. A proposal championed by the White House to spend around $555 billion on climate and clean-energy measures have stalled, and the approaching midterm elections make passage unlikely.

Without that half-trillion dollars in new spending, the scientists who study pathways for cutting U.S. emissions can’t see a way to deliver on Biden’s promise. “Congress has to act, and they have to act in a pretty substantial way,” says Mike O’Boyle, director of electricity policy at Energy Innovation, an energy and climate think tank in San Francisco. Otherwise, he says, “there is no way.”

The setbacks haven’t been limited to legislation. Last month, the Biden administration ordered the release of 180 million barrels of crude from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve after pleading with both OPEC and U.S. producers in the Permian Basin to bring more oil and gas to market.
A White House that initially paused the sale of oil and gas leases on federal land has resumed those auctions (albeit with much less acreage available for drilling). Candidate Biden may have called climate change “the number one issue facing humanity,” but President Biden has focused more visibly on the immediate challenge of sky-high gasoline prices as Russia’s war in Ukraine drives worldwide energy inflation.

Climate hawks inside the administration still insist none of these reversals will derail Biden’s mission to cut a gigaton of greenhouse gas from the U.S. economy by 2030. White House National Climate Adviser Gina McCarthy acknowledged on April 21 that Europe’s current energy needs had taken precedence over climate goals in the short term. Asked how the administration was balancing the two, she said, “We’re actually not balancing right now.”

“Right now, we’re working on an emergency problem that the EU and we have on energy prices and security,” McCarthy said on the sidelines of a renewable energy summit in Washington. “But our goals remain the same—and that’s clean energy.”

Hard numbers tell a different story. Biden campaigned on creating a 100% clean electrical grid across the country by 2035. But the U.S. burned roughly 25% more coal to keep the lights on in Biden’s first year in White House than in the year prior under the openly pro-coal leadership of President Donald Trump. Output of greenhouse gas in 2021 also surged by an estimated 6% from 2020 levels as the economy recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Rhodium Group, an independent research firm.
Full story
9) When prophecy fails: John Kerry moves the goal post and re-sets doomsday clock 
Bloomberg, 26 April 2022


Countries must fulfill their green goals to limit global warming to at least 1.8 degrees Celsius, U.S. climate envoy John Kerry said Monday, despite his previous assertion that the threshold is insufficient.
Countries need to implement previous climate commitments that an International Energy Agency analysis said could hold the earth’s temperature rise to the equivalent of 3.2 degrees Fahrenheit, Kerry said at the Global Electrification Forum hosted by the Edison Electric Institute.

“We want to stay on that accessible target of 1.8 degrees, and the only way to do it is to fully implement the promises that have been made,” said the U.S. special presidential envoy for climate.
Kerry previously suggested such a level wouldn’t be consistent with the 2015 Paris Agreement’s target to limit warming to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. The climate pact signed at the United Nations summit in Glasgow in November affirmed a goal “to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees.”
“I don’t know what ‘well below’ is to you, but to me it’s not 1.9 or 1.8 or 1.7,” Kerry said at a Confederation of British Industry dinner last November. “‘Well below’ is ‘well below,’ and pretty close to 1.5.”

Full story
10) Report: “No evidence of a climate crisis”
The New American, 21 April 2022
A new report, released this month by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), states that empirical evidence shows that, despite the dire predictions of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), there is “no evidence of a climate crisis.”


Professor Ole Humlum of the University of Oslo laid out his case in his annual State of the Climate Report.
Humlum is a professor emeritus of physical geology and hydrology, with a specific interest in geomorphology and climate variability. He believes that much of the “climate change” that we see is the result of poorly understood but very natural cycles.
Humlum does report some gentle warming of the planet, but finds no cause for the alarm bells being sounded by climate alarmists.
“Air temperatures measured near the planet’s surface (surface air temperatures) are at the center of many climate discussions, but the significance of any short-term warming or cooling should not be overstated,” the report states.
According to Humlum, “Since 1979, lower Troposphere temperatures have increased over both land and oceans, but most clearly over the land. The most straightforward explanation for this is that much of the warming is caused by solar insolation, but there may be several secondary reasons, such as changes in cloud cover and land use.”
So, yes, there has been “gentle warming” of the Earth, most likely caused by the Sun.

Much of the angst and fervor regarding climate change comes from predictive climate modeling, which is based on an incomplete understanding of the Earth’s climate system. Climate models can be a good tool for understanding how certain phenomena affect the climate, but they routinely overestimate the effect of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses. They were never meant to be predictive tools.
“A year ago, I warned that there was great risk in using computer modeling and immature science to make extraordinary claims. The empirical observations I have reviewed show very gentle warming and no evidence of a climate crisis.” Humlum said in a press release.
Humlum’s concern for the overemphasis on climate modeling was shared by GWPF Director Benny Peiser: “It’s extraordinary that anyone should think there is a climate crisis. Year after year our annual assessment of climate trends document just how little has been changing in the last 30 years. The habitual climate alarmism is mainly driven by scientists’ computer modeling rather than observational evidence.”
Among the empirical data shared by Humlum in his report, sea-level rise might not be the emergency that climate alarmists claim: “While the satellite record suggests a global sea-level rise of about 3.3mm per year or more, data from tide gauges all over the world suggest a stable rise of 1–2mm per year. The tide gauges indicate no recent acceleration (or deceleration) of sea-level rise.”
Declining sea ice, which climate alarmists believe could destroy habitat for polar bears, appears to be stabilizing:
“In 2021, global sea-ice cover remained well below the average for the satellite era, but is now increasing.”

And storms and hurricanes don’t appear to be any worse (or better) than they have been throughout history: “The most recent data on global tropical storm and hurricane accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) is well within the range observed since 1970. In fact, the ACE data is highly variable over time, with a significant 3.6-year variation, but without any clear trend towards higher or lower values. The number of hurricanes making landfall in the continental United States remains within the range for the entire observation period since 1851.”

Much more predictably than the climate itself, climate alarmist heads exploded at the thought that anyone might actually believe that so-called climate change might be a natural consequence of natural Earth and solar cycles.

When Steve Baker, a Tory MP in the United Kingdom, shared the report as part of the Net Zero Scrutiny Group in parliament, NGOs in the U.K. attacked him for spreading “climate denialism.”
“The mask has slipped. Promoting climate denial from GWPF is not scrutiny of policies but denying the basis for action. Dangerous and wrong,” said Joe Tetlow, a senior political adviser for the Green Alliance, a climate-alarmist think tank based in London.
But Baker claims that he’s simply listening to a scientist — as we’re all told to do by the climate fanatics. Asked if he agreed with Humlum’s report, Baker said, “I am clear that questions of climate science should be handled scientifically. The last thing we need is politicians and activists twisting the science to their particular ends.”
Baker nails exactly what is going on vis à vis climate change. Politicians, the UN, and far-left green activists control the hysterical narrative on climate change. When you explore the data, scientists are still figuring out whether anthropogenic climate is a serious problem. And, as Professor Ole Humlum thinks, it’s not all that bad.
11) And finally: Eat bugs to slow global warming, scientists say
Energy Live News, 27 April 2022


Replacing animal-source foods with insects could limit the impacts of climate change by 80%, according to a new report

Don’t squash that bug – it could be more important than you think.
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have acknowledged the “great potential” that novel food diets have to reduce the carbon footprint of consumers.

The study analysed future foods such as insect protein and cultured milk.

The scientists believe that the wider adaption of food such as lab-grown meat or ground-up insects could help the planet reduce global warming potential, water and land use by as much as 80%.

They said alternative diets such as vegetarian, vegan or flexitarian had demonstrated multiple benefits, both environmental and health.

“With significant reductions in animal-sourced foods and substitutions with novel or future foods and plant-based protein alternatives, you can have significant reductions in environmental impacts in terms of global warming potential, land use and water use,” said Rachel Mazac, Lead Author of the study.
Full story

The London-based Net Zero Watch is a campaign group set up to highlight and discuss the serious implications of expensive and poorly considered climate change policies. The Net Zero Watch newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at

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