Australia Enrages Activists, Embraces “Technology Neutral” Carbon Credits

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The Boundary Dam CCS power plant in Saskatchewan Canada. Credit: SaskPowerCCS

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Looks like Planet of the Humans might be having an impact on policy; The Australian Government has broadened the scope of activities which can qualify for carbon credits, diverting cash away from renewables.

Fossil fuel industry applauds Coalition climate measures that support carbon capture and storage

Adam Morton Environment editor @adamlmorton
Wed 20 May 2020 03.30 AEST

Environmentalists say the Morrison government is directing emissions reduction funding to polluting companies

Fossil fuel industry groups and companies have applauded new climate change measures proposed by the Morrison government, including support for carbon capture and storage developments.

The government has agreed to 21 of 26 recommendations made by an expert panel review headed by the former gas industry executive and business council president Grant King, who was asked to come up with new ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at low cost.

Recommendations included paying big industrial companies to keep their emissions below an agreed limit, and allowing the government’s main climate policy, the $2.5bn emissions reduction fund, to support carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects.

Angus Taylor, the energy and emissions reduction minister, said the government agreed in-principle that two publicly owned clean energy agencies, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, would be given a “technology neutral remit” – a proposal that has been interpreted as allowing more funding for projects that do not involve renewable energy.

The plan to include CCS in the emissions reduction fund follows oil and gas giant Santos saying access to carbon credits or a similar revenue stream would be critical if it was to invest in a joint CCS project with BHP in South Australia. The Moomba CCS project, in SA’s remote north-east, is promised to capture 1.7m tonnes of carbon dioxide a year released during gas processing.

Richie Merzian, from thinktank the Australia Institute, said the changes backed by the government would increase fossil fuel industries’ access to a limited pool of funding for climate action, and criticised the lack of process behind the review.

He said King’s four-person expert panel was commissioned in October without public visibility, run without public consultation, and its report was held back by the government until it was ready to also release its response.

“Australians have a right to be frustrated by this, not just because of the support for fossil fuels, but by the appalling process,” Merzian said. “We should wake up to the fact that this is happening at a much larger scale with the National Covid-19 Coordination Commission, which will involve the investment of hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ dollars.”

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/may/20/fossil-fuel-industry-applauds-coalition-climate-measures-that-support-carbon-capture-and-storage

I have no problem with carbon capture, other than the waste of providing any kind of carbon credits, as long as it stays remote. I’m very concerned about the risk when people propose putting large concentrations of CO2 next to large concentrations of humans; a sudden large release of CO2 could cause high rates of death over tens of square miles.

What I find really interesting is this rule change might pave the way for Aussie nuclear power. The availability of gigawatts of reliable green nuclear energy would make any renewable energy investment a tough sell. All we need is someone brave enough to take on the bureaucrats and big green, to make it happen.

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May 21, 2020 at 04:07PM

Public Confidence In The Media Collapses To Record Lows

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By Paul Homewood

 

Guido has been tracking the You Gov polls on public confidence in the media during CV. It has been steadily collapsing, and now lies at an incredibly low 23%, while disapprovals have risen to 48%.

In my view, the coverage by most of the media has been utterly scandalous, consistently running the country down, to the extent that those living abroad think we’re some sort of basket case.

Fortunately the public know better.

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https://order-order.com/2020/05/21/public-think-media-coverage-virus-getting-worse

As a prime example of the disgraceful coverage is this from the far left BBC:

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https://conservativewoman.co.uk/panoramas-biased-contribution-to-the-bbcs-project-corona-fear/

 

Unsurprisingly then, the BBC’s rating amongst the public is truly dreadful:

 

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https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.bbc.co.uk

None of this antipathy is new, of course, and I would encourage others to leave reviews on the Trustpilot link.

I also understand from Guido’s post that the Telegraph and others are pulling out of the ABC, which reports on newspaper circulation figures. Apparently the Telegraph’s reader numbers are that dire!

It has become abundantly clear in recent years that the media’s coverage of a whole range of topics has been woefully poor, often because of a reliance on young, inexperienced hacks. I don’t think I am giving away any secrets when I say that Christopher Booker was appalled by much of the childish reporting in the Telegraph, not to mention the juvenile sub editors he was lumbered with.

Nowadays people are beginning to realise that they can get much more informative comment and analysis on the internet.

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May 21, 2020 at 03:39PM

Paging Dr. Fauci …

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Rand Paul Calls Out Dr. Fauci, Shares Chart Showing COVID-19 Mortality Rate Similar To Flu For People Under 60 – True Pundit

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May 21, 2020 at 02:09PM

Calls to add ‘climate change’ to Australian death certificates

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Tasmanian bush fire, 2013 [image credit: Chuq @ Wikipedia]

Climate alarmists yet again strain credulity to the limit, no doubt hoping to stir up guilt in the populace about energy use.
– – –
Heat-related deaths have been “substantially underreported” on Australia’s national records, according to experts from The Australian National University (ANU).  

Researchers say the amount of deaths attributed to excessive natural heat is at least 50 times more than recorded on death certificates.  

Published in The Lancet Planetary Health, figures show over the past 11 years 340 deaths in Australia were recorded as being due to excessive heat but statistical analysis found 36,765 deaths could have been attributed to heat.

“Climate change is a killer, but we don’t acknowledge it on death certificates,” co-author Dr Arnagretta Hunter, from the ANU Medical School, said.

“There is second component on a death certificate which allows for pre-existing conditions and other factors.

“If you have an asthma attack and die during heavy smoke exposure from bushfires, the death certificate should include that information.

“We can make a diagnosis of disease like coronavirus, but we are less literate in environmental determinants like hot weather or bushfire smoke.”

The new analysis suggests Australia’s national heat-related mortality rate is around two per cent.

“Climate change is the single greatest health threat that we face globally even after we recover from coronavirus,” Dr Hunter said.

Full article here

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May 21, 2020 at 01:24PM

Busy Atlantic hurricane season predicted for 2020

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From the “remember, thou art model” department.

Multiple climate factors indicate above-normal activity is most likely

An above-normal 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is expected, according to forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. The outlook predicts a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season, and only a 10% chance of a below-normal season.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a likely range of 13 to 19 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). NOAA provides these ranges with a 70% confidence. An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which 6 become hurricanes, including 3 major hurricanes.

“As Americans focus their attention on a safe and healthy reopening of our country, it remains critically important that we also remember to make the necessary preparations for the upcoming hurricane season,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “Just as in years past, NOAA experts will stay ahead of developing hurricanes and tropical storms and provide the forecasts and warnings we depend on to stay safe.”

The combination of several climate factors is driving the strong likelihood for above-normal activity in the Atlantic this year. El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions are expected to either remain neutral or to trend toward La Nina, meaning there will not be an El Nino present to suppress hurricane activity.

Also, warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, coupled with reduced vertical wind shear, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds, and an enhanced west African monsoon all increase the likelihood for an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. Similar conditions have been producing more active seasons since the current high-activity era began in 1995.

“NOAA’s analysis of current and seasonal atmospheric conditions reveals a recipe for an active Atlantic hurricane season this year,” said Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., acting NOAA administrator. “Our skilled forecasters, coupled with upgrades to our computer models and observing technologies, will provide accurate and timely forecasts to protect life and property.” 

This year, as during any hurricane season, the men and women of NOAA remain ready to provide the life-saving forecasts and warnings that the public rely on. And as storms show signs of developing, NOAA hurricane hunter aircraft will be prepared to collect valuable data for our forecasters and computer models. In addition to this high level of science and service, NOAA is also launching new upgrades to products and tools that will further improve critical services during the hurricane season.  NOAA will upgrade the hurricane-specific Hurricane Weather Research and Forecast system (HWRF) and the Hurricanes in a Multi-scale Ocean coupled Non-hydrostatic model (HMON) models this summer. HWRF will incorporate new data from satellites and radar from NOAA’s coastal Doppler data network to help produce better forecasts of hurricane track and intensity during the critical watch and warning time frame. HMON will undergo enhancements to include higher resolution, improved physics, and coupling with ocean models. 

As the hurricane season gets underway, NOAA will begin feeding data from the COSMIC-2 satellites into weather models to help track hurricane intensity and boost forecast accuracy. COSMIC-2 provides data about air temperature, pressure and humidity in the tropical regions of Earth — precisely where hurricane and tropical storm systems form. Also during the 2020 hurricane season, NOAA and the US Navy will deploy a fleet of autonomous diving hurricane gliders to observe conditions in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea in areas where hurricanes have historically traveled and intensified.

As with every hurricane season, the need to be prepared is critically important this year. “Social distancing and other CDC guidance to keep you safe from COVID-19 may impact the disaster preparedness plan you had in place, including what is in your go-kit, evacuation routes, shelters, and more. With tornado season at its peak, hurricane season around the corner, and flooding, earthquakes and wildfires a risk year-round, it is time to revise and adjust your emergency plan now,” said Carlos Castillo, acting deputy administrator for resilience at FEMA. “Natural disasters won’t wait, so I encourage you to keep COVID-19 in mind when revising or making your plan for you and your loved ones, and don’t forget your pets. An easy way to start is to download the FEMA app today.”

In addition to the Atlantic hurricane season outlook, NOAA also issued seasonal hurricane outlooks for the eastern and central Pacific basins. NOAA’s outlook is for overall seasonal activity and is not a landfall forecast. The Climate Prediction Center will update the 2020 Atlantic seasonal outlook in August prior to the historical peak of the season.  Hurricane preparedness is critically important for the 2020 hurricane season, just as it is every year.

Keep in mind, you may need to adjust any preparedness actions based on the latest health and safety guidelines from the CDC and your local officials. Visit the National Hurricane Center’s website at hurricanes.gov throughout the season to stay current on any watches and warnings.

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May 21, 2020 at 01:10PM

Solar Owners worried Big Brother AEMO wants to turn off their panels at noon in emergencies

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Last November at lunchtime 64% of the entire generation of South Australia was coming from across thousands of small generators that the Grid Managers had no control of, and that clouds could wipe out. This is the junk conglomerate infrastructure that billions of dollars in forced subsidies have created.

The AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) has no control over the vagaries of two-thirds of the electricity generation. Audrey Zibelmen has described it as “”It’s almost like driving without your headlights.” She wants new panels to get “smart inverters” which means they can be dumb servants — controlled by the AEMO, just in case there is an emergency — lest the state suffer another System Black. They also want old panels to get the new style inverters when the next replacement is due.

Who could have seen that coming (only anyone with an engineering degree).

Poor solar home owners are feeling pretty miffed. They didn’t realize their panels were never economic, a burden on the grid, and they’ve been riding on the backs of fellow Australians for years. And after reading this ABC story (below), they still won’t know. So it’s a complete surprise to them that the green electrons they […]

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May 21, 2020 at 12:58PM

Why Tom Burke’s Green Deal Is Pie In The Sky

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By Paul Homewood

 

 

Environmentalist Tom Burke has just written this article for the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Renewable and Sustainable Energy:

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One of the hardest truths about the pandemic, which so abruptly cancelled everyone’s future plans is that, even now, we do not fully understand what this means. Despite a colossal global effort we are still some way from being confident of being able to ensure public health as we release people from the disciplines of lockdown.

It is also true that we do not yet know the full extent of the pandemic’s damage to our economy. We do know that it is deep, potentially deeper than that of the financial crisis of 2008. We also know that recovery will not be quick and we are all being unwillingly inducted into the arcana of ‘V’, ‘U’ and ‘L’ shaped recoveries.

Understandably, the speed, scale, and malignity with which this coronavirus struck has driven other issues from the headlines. Neither politicians nor the public have much residual attention to pay to climate change. This time last year it was dominating the headlines as Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion gave powerful expression to growing public anxiety about the future of the climate.

Through the fog of uncertainties that currently surrounds us, one thing at least remains certain. The build-up of carbon in the atmosphere is continuing to change the climate. The abrupt pause in the relentless growth of the global economy will produce a welcome 7% reduction in carbon emissions – about what we need to achieve each year to keep the climate safe.

But, as Chris Stark, the CEO of the Climate Change Committee points out, all that means is that we have turned down the tap. Carbon is still pouring into the atmosphere, just more slowly. Meanwhile, without attracting much public attention, it is becoming clearer that the impacts of climate change on our wellbeing will be sooner and greater than previously thought.

We are having a brutal lesson in the vulnerability of a global economy that supports nearly eight billion people to disruption. But this disruption is marginal compared to the havoc that failing to build the carbon neutral energy system a safe climate requires will produce. The viral disruption was a sudden and visible shock that commanded, and got, an immediate response. Climate change is a stealth disrupter – concealing its harm until it is too late to prevent – and all the more dangerous for that.

Having tackled the immediate Covid-19 health emergency, political attention is now turning to restoring the health of the economy.

This will require a huge and sustained effort if it is to succeed.

The first priority will be to restore the purchasing power central to the momentum of our consumption driven economy. As has already become evident, this will require an appetite for public borrowing unlike any previously experienced outside of war. Dealing with the resultant debt will put a premium on improving productivity.

It is no more than common sense to ensure that as we restore the economy to health now, we do not also restore momentum to burning fossil fuels and so make future climate disruption worse. Disruption does not have a discount factor. Governments can borrow money more cheaply than anyone else. The current Government has, to its credit, remained staunchly committed to its target of decarbonising the economy by 2050. It now needs to back that commitment with serious amounts of rapidly deployed public spending.

Lockdown has so far led to reduced income for 68% of households and led to a growing struggle to pay their bills. At the same time, the construction industry has had the highest rate of layoffs in any sector following lockdown and one of the highest rates of use of the Government’s job retention scheme. It also has one of the lowest levels of confidence in companies surviving the pandemic.

Accelerating the stalled drive to improve the energy efficiency of our inefficient building stock would bring a double whammy of purchasing power benefits.

It would generate incomes by employing large number of people in construction, widely distributed around the country, more rapidly than other public investments, especially if local authorities were significantly engaged. It would also lower energy bills for households thus increasing disposable income. There is growing evidence that this results in persistent increases in spending on higher value local goods and services.

Our current electricity system has some 90GW of installed generating capacity. During the coldest half hour last year demand peaked at about 55GW. For long periods of the year and a third of every day, it barely reaches 40GW. For most of the year, therefore, most of our expensive generating capacity is earning no revenues and is thus a drag on the productivity of our economy.

A smart redesign of our electricity system to take full advantage of the falling costs of renewables and the huge increases in our capability to balance electricity supply and demand made possible by digitisation would improve productivity.

A rapid ramping-up of both onshore and offshore wind deployment would also accelerate the growth of a new industrial base to replace that being lost from the oil and gas industry.

Applying common sense to our post pandemic economic recovery will ensure that we do not turn the solution to one painful disruption into a contribution to an even greater and much more painful disruption.

Tom Burke is the Co-Founder and Chairman of E3G and Chairman of the China Dialogue Trust.

https://www.praseg.org.uk/contributions/122-efr-tom-burke

 

He makes two arguments:

1) Employ an army of construction workers to retrofit insulation

Leaving aside the question of where these workers will come from and how they will be trained, Burke ignores the very real problem, that somebody has to pay for their work.

He claims that the government can borrow cheaply, but how long will that last if it has to borrow trillions more to finance the green agenda. In any event, the money borrowed still has to be paid back sooner or later.

It is self evident that his claimed energy bill savings do not stack up, otherwise householders would be queuing up to fit insulation.

He also conveniently forgets to mention that low carbon solutions for heating will add considerably to household bills.

 

2) Build more wind farms

This is a classic example of somebody trying to mould the facts to his pre-conceived agenda.

According to the official data, there was actually 105GW of generating capacity at the end of last year in the UK:

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https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/electricity-chapter-5-digest-of-united-kingdom-energy-statistics-dukes

 

As Burke rightly states, this is much more than we actually need. Yet he uses this fact to argue that we build yet more wind farms.

He implies that we should shut down most of our conventional capacity. In the real world, that Burke clearly does not understand, the National Grid still needs 50GW of reliable, dispatchable power, as standby for when the sun does not shine and the wind does not blow.

And his answer to that little problem? A smart redesign of our electricity system to take full advantage of the huge increases in our capability to balance electricity supply and demand made possible by digitisation.

What planet is he on? Digitisation?

If there is any expensive generating capacity that is surplus to requirements, it is wind and solar power. Yet he wants even more!

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May 21, 2020 at 12:27PM

Texas Bureau of Economic Geology Director Scott W. Tinker vs Energy Poverty

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Guest “Switch On!” by David Middleton

New Documentary “Switch On” Combats Energy Poverty

January 14, 2020

For much of the past two years, Bureau of Economic Geology Director Scott W. Tinker has been traveling the world to film a crucial documentary that illustrates the crisis of energy poverty. Some 2.5 billion people live in some form of energy poverty today. Access to secure energy impacts all other major humanitarian issues, including hunger, shelter, clean water, education, healthcare, human migration, empowerment of women, and more. Those who do not have energy access suffer from energy poverty.  

With partner and Emmy-winning filmmaker Harry Lynch, Tinker has produced Switch On, a new film which examines the very human story of energy poverty to raise awareness of this global problem. They traveled to rural villages and urban slums in Colombia, Nepal, Kenya, Vietnam, and Ethiopia to discover some of the creative approaches being deployed to bring electricity, water pumps, cook stoves, and irrigation to those with no energy.  

Switch On builds on the remarkable popularity of Tinker and Lynch’s award-winning global energy film, Switch. Switch On will be screened this spring in limited release, but a trailer can be viewed here: https://vimeo.com/366525473.

“Energy poverty is pervasive,” Tinker said. “Eradicating it will impact the whole world in countless positive ways. It’s not just the right thing to do. It’s the only thing to do.”

For more information about Switch On, visit SwitchOn.org, and to help end energy poverty, contact the Switch Energy Alliance at info@switchenergyalliance.org
 

Bureau of Economic Geology

Scott Tinker even dresses like a geologist…

Scott Tinker
Another geologist

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May 21, 2020 at 12:13PM

New Video : Reopening The Schools

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New Video : Reopening The Schools

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May 21, 2020 at 11:40AM

National Grid Facing Unprecedented Wind Power Surplus

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By Paul Homewood

 

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https://twitter.com/emilygosden/status/1263097072649043968

 

 

With a windy weekend forecast, it sounds like constraint payments will be sky high!

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May 21, 2020 at 11:33AM