Thursday, 9 October 2014

To understand the climate change scare just follow the money

After a radio interview with Naomi Klein, a texter to the radio station said that ‘climate change’ is poppycock. The well-known anti-capitalist author was promoting her recently published book called ‘This changes everything’ mostly about the climate change scare.

The talk show host answered the texter’s comment by saying that the vast majority of scientists agreed it was a big problem. He questioned how such a big conspiracy could exist if it were not true.

Having studied this topic for years I know that the belief in catastrophic anthropomorphic climate change is still strong, despite the relative lack of evidence, irrelevant evidence and much evidence to the contrary. So why is this?

As with many things consider the money flows.
  1. It is not in the interest of climate researchers to downplay the issue. No problem – less research funding. It makes it financially difficult for academics to downplay the risk even if that is what they believe. It could affect their funding or their colleagues’ funding. The number of actual climate scientists is relatively small. It could conceivably cost less to ‘buy’ this issue than a world cup in Qatar.
  2. Insurance is easier to sell if people accept increased risk – Munich Re, the world’s largest reinsurer, is hosting the 9th Extreme Weather Conference in Hamburg this week. No climate change sceptics were invited.
  3. Windmills and other alternative energy technology can only survive with subsidies. People selling these technologies are among the issue’s strongest supporters.
  4. Anti-capitalist protesters want to make doing business more expensive.
  5. Governments can raise additional funding with carbon taxes.
Climate change scare campaigners often accuse fossil fuel energy companies of funding ‘deniers’. However, the amount spent is small compared to amount spent by well-heeled supporters of the belief - George Soros and Richard Branson come to mind.

In any case, some fossil fuel companies can cynically benefit from the scare. They sometimes receive carbon credits. It may make it easier to charge customers more because restrictions imposed to counter climate change can reduce supplies of fossil fuels and increase prices. Restrictions on fracking in Europe and the delay of the Keystone pipeline in North America are two examples.

Fossil fuel companies know that despite all the huffing and puffing people will still need fossil fuels for energy. Also gas producers can use the climate change issue to target coal producers because their product contains relatively less carbon than coal.

Campaigners against the scare are outnumbered and outfunded independent researchers and consumers. The supposedly convincing nature of the overwhelming evidence is never properly explained. The argument that the evidence is unconvincing is usually refuted in the same manner as by the radio host - stating that 97% of scientists agree without looking in detail at what they agree.

A quick look at history will show that the vast majority of scientists have been wrong about issues before – the position of Earth in the universe and others. Scientists are people like everyone else and the majority will put their own self-interest ahead of anything else.


The truth will eventually become apparent and irrefutable. Even before that China, India and even Germany will burn more carbon because it is good for their economies. And in the meantime many people will become richer by exaggerating the problem – from research funding and by selling books, windmills and insurance.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

To save water turn off the water in the shower


Recently a singer was criticised for wasting water while being being filmed in a video with the tap running. But this is nothing compared to the amount of water wasted if people leave a shower running for the whole time. I posted on this issue last year before it was so topical in my post Shower like a submariner
To save water when showering turn off water after wetting yourself while lathering. This simple idea  will save water and energy.
A simple idea is to shower like a submariner. We are all told we should shower instead of taking of a bath to save water. This saves some water. But occasionally when I have stayed in a hotel with a shower in a bath I have put in the stopper to see how much water I used. Often my shower will more than half fill the bath. There is a water saving for showering relative to filling the bath but it is not absolutely massive.

But when showering on a submarine or other naval vessels you have to conserve water. Fresh water is scarce on any sea vessel especially submarines. On ‘Das Boot’ and other WWII submarines there were no showers and sailors shared bunks sleeping in 3 shifts, but modern nuclear submarines are not so cramped. But they can be underwater for weeks on end without surfacing so they do need to conserve fresh water.
So how do they shower? Turn on the water and wet their bodies. Turn off the water and shampoo and lather up. Turn on the shower again to rinse and that’s it. There is a major water saving because the water is not left running while lathering. There is the added benefit that half the soap isn’t rinsed away before it has a chance to soak in properly.
I have started to use a variation of this technique and am saving lots of water, and more importantly, the energy used to heat it. In high summer my solar panels produce enough hot water to waste but now after the autumnal equinox, I have to supplement the solar energy with expensive oil water heating. I wet myself, turn off the water, shampoo and lather, rinse my hair and face only, turn off the water, add conditioner to my hair and rub it in, turn on the water slowly to rinse my face and off again, rub shaving oil on my face, turn on the water slowly to rinse again and shave. Finally, I turn up the water full blast and rinse the conditioner from my hair and the soap from my body.
By learning to use the on off knob in the shower I am saving lots of hot water and it is no sacrifice! Save water and energy. Shower like you’re in a submarine!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

New food purity laws

I heard a radio comment that the food industry’s need to comply with sustainability and carbon emissions rules was bureaucracy. View it instead as necessary religious compliance. If you want to sell food to Moslem countries you have to comply with halal rules. Likewise Jews have kosher rules for food preparation.

Warmism is the new dominant religion of western world leaders with the decline of previous religious adherence. This Gaiaist religion has the central belief that the world is warming catastrophically due to mankind’s emissions of CO2 from burning fossil fuels. This belief is held so strongly that few world leaders will openly question it. The late Vaclav Klaus of the Czech Republic is the only one that comes to mind. He was even isolated by his own government for daring to doubt.

Therefore all manufacturers if they want to sell to European and other Western countries have to comply with these new ‘food purity’ laws.

I have a strong scientific background – a PhD in Chemical Engineering. I have examined much information on this topic for many years. The following information is easy to find if you want to
1.       Antarctic sea ice has reached a record extent.
2.       There has been no increase in world temperatures for ~17 years.
3.       Sea level rise is at the same rate as for recorded history.
4.       Adverse weather events are not increasing in frequency.
5.       Increased CO2 in the atmosphere improves plant growth and yields.
6.       Absorption of infra-red energy by CO2, the so-called greenhouse effect that underlies the belief, will cause ~ 1°C rise in temperature from a doubling of CO2 from preindustrial levels. This is usually referred to as the sensitivity. This is much less than the much ballyhooed target of 2°C with which we need to comply.

So with some good effects, no provable (only suspected) bad effects, no strong underlying principle, even, why is this belief among world leaders so strong?

Barack Obama, Mary Robinson and many more campaign for us to reduce carbon emissions. Even Enda Kenny this week at the UN meeting in New York said Ireland would cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. Supporters of the theory rely heavily on discredited data – Michael Mann’s hockey stick temperature graph, John Cook’s paper that 97% of scientists believe.

With such little strong evidence supporting global warming and relying on such discredited information it is no wonder believers keep repeating that the debate is over. The last thing they want to do is get into a debate with an educated observer of the real facts.

I feel like the little boy in the story of the emperor’s new clothes. Why has no one told me the secret? When Enda and all the world leaders see a beautiful gold gossamer suit, all I see is bollocks. And with this bollocks western industry must comply.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

We are already doing far too much to fight climate change

I heard a promo for a radio programme today (Talking Point with Sarah Carey on Newstalk at 13:00 on April 26, 2014). The promo asks why we are not willing to do more to ‘fight climate change’? The truth is we are already doing far too much. It is not just me that thinks it. An article in Forbes magazine yesterday says the same thing.
     We have a carbon tax. On May 1 the tax on coal will increase to €20 per tonne of CO2 emitted. This amounts to €2.40 per 40 kg bag of coal. This tax is paid by old people on a fixed income who heat their houses with coal. It disproportionately affects those who heat their houses with coal and peat relative to those using gas or oil because of the relative carbon percentages of the fuels.
     We subsidise electric cars, useless playthings of the wealthy, to the tune of €10,000 each. And there is no duty on the fuel so the owners continue to benefit at the expense of the rest of us for the lifetime of the car.
And the perhaps the worst part? Over its lifetime the average electric car will add to carbon emissions instead of reducing them. Because of the energy required to make the batteries each new electric car has the equivalent of 110,000 km more carbon emissions on the clock than a regular car. A driver will have to do a lot of driving to have lower emissions than a regular car over its lifetime. With a range of 100 km or so that is not easy. And I am not even counting the carbon emissions required to make replacement batteries.
     We subsidise environment despoiling windmills that can only generate electricity intermittently. We subsidise biofuels effectively burning food. This increases the cost of food to the world’s poor. It is estimated that the EU has already spent €500 billion fighting climate change with what tangible benefit?
     The truth is that the Earth is not warming as predicted by IPCC models. Remember, catastrophic climate change is supposed to occur as a result of global warming from CO2 emissions. The name change is a hint – the Earth is not actually warming so the name of the problem had to change. The figure shows a comparison of actual temperature with the average of IPCC computer models.
     And it is not just the money. We are scaring our children with the Chicken Licken – Emperor’s New Clothes – fairy tale. We are telling them they are polluting by exhaling carbon dioxide or traveling in a car. We tell them we are killing polar bears even though we aren’t.  
     We are not telling them the good benefits of CO2 emissions – increased agricultural output, reversal of desertification, warming of cooler and temperature regions where people die of the cold. Overall, we are telling them if they consume that are bad people and should stop sinning and repent. It is an old fashioned religious message dressed up in new clothes.

     So what should we do about climate change? Nothing really. But because the lie has been repeated so often now it is accepted as true even though it isn’t. Therefore we have to constantly tell the real story every time a radio programme, newspaper or website tells us we must do more about climate change.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Shower like a submariner


There is much talk that we should conserve water and energy to save the planet. Usually, this involves sacrifice. Let’s face it, apart from masochists, most of us do not like sacrifice. But there are some great energy saving ideas that allow us to conserve with no sacrifice.

A simple idea is to shower like a submariner. We are all told we should shower instead of taking of a bath to save water. This saves some water. But occasionally when I have stayed in a hotel with a shower in a bath I have put in the stopper to see how much water I used. Often my shower will more than half fill the bath. There is a water saving for showering relative to filling the bath but it is not absolutely massive.

But when showering on a submarine or other naval vessels you have to conserve water. Fresh water is scarce on any sea vessel especially submarines. On ‘Das Boot’ and other WWII submarines there were no showers and sailors shared bunks sleeping in 3 shifts, but modern nuclear submarines are not so cramped. But they can be underwater for weeks on end without surfacing so they do need to conserve fresh water.

So how do they shower? Turn on the water and wet their bodies. Turn off the water and shampoo and lather up. Turn on the shower again to rinse and that’s it. There is a major water saving because the water is not left running while lathering. There is the added benefit that half the soap isn’t rinsed away before it has a chance to soak in properly.

I have started to use a variation of this technique and am saving lots of water, and more importantly, the energy used to heat it. In high summer my solar panels produce enough hot water to waste but now after the autumnal equinox, I have to supplement the solar energy with expensive oil water heating. I wet myself, turn off the water, shampoo and lather, rinse my hair and face only, turn off the water, add conditioner to my hair and rub it in, turn on the water slowly to rinse my face and off again, rub shaving oil on my face, turn on the water slowly to rinse again and shave. Finally, I turn up the water full blast and rinse the conditioner from my hair and the soap from my body.
By learning to use the on off knob in the shower I am saving lots of hot water and it is no sacrifice! Save water and energy. Shower like you’re in a submarine!

The Emperor's New Clothes and IPCC AR5 Report


This week's meeting of the IPCC (Intergovernmental panel on climate change) to agree the summary of AR5, the fifth climate change report, reminds me of the problem with the story of the Emperor's New Clothes. I often felt like the little boy and wondered why few others could see the naked emperor. Then I realised that the Hans Christian Anderson story is a fairy tale and fairy tales always have happy endings, unlike real life.

In the story the emperor loved fancy clothes. A pair of chancers exploited this weakness by selling the emperor clothes spun form the lightest, most delicate fabric available - so fine only the most sophisticated people could see it. The emperor and his advisors did not want to be thought of as uncouth so they all 'saw' the clothes. The story of these wonderful new clothes that the emperor was having made went out through the empire. The chancers continues to 'spin' the fabric and 'weave' the clothes and were very well paid for their clothes. On the day the emperor paraded in his new clothes everyone cheered at this fantastic new clothes. Except for one little boy at the back who had been away when the story of the new clothes was going out in the land. He could not understand why the emperor was buck naked and everyone was cheering his new clothes. He said the emperor is naked and then everyone saw it.

This is the fairy tale part.  In real life he would definitely be told by everyone he was unsophisticated and uncouth for not seeing the marvellous clothes. If he persisted he would be ostracised. In a violent country place he might even be lynched.

But the part of the story about the great and powerful seeing invisible clothes, that is not incredible. We only have to look at the global warming crisis, aka climate change, and its associated 'new clothes' like windmills, electric cars, bio fuels, carbon capture, even huge mirrors in space. Many chancers are selling a lot of invisible clothes. And anyone who questions the need to spend money on these 'new clothes' is pilloried and compared with holocaust deniers or others.

David Bellamy is a good example of what can happen to someone who points out the transparency of the issues. For many years David was a prominent nature correspondent on BBC and popular with viewers. But in 2004 he dared to question the climate change crisis. He lost all his work with the BBC and other organisations and was pilloried in pejorative terms by politicians and media. I remember having a discussion with a former classmate a few years later who criticised a radio programme host for interviewing Bellamy as if he were some sort of pariah who had no right to be heard. I scoffed and stated that climate change was BS and expected my classmate, also an engineer to have a similar view. But he asked me what my religion was - was I someone who believed that the Earth was a constant giver! I was shocked that an engineer would respond to the issue in religious terms, but he is employed as a lecturer in a technical college and is involved in Engineering society politics. These areas are ones where belief in this issue is more important.

The number of little boys questioning climate change is growing and many in the media are now questioning. But the emperor and advisors - world governments and EU commissioners still see the fine fabric. They are meeting in Stockholm this week to hammer out the AR5 summary for policymakers without mentioning the fact that temperatures have not risen as predicted by models. This fact undermines the whole thesis that we have to worry about CO2 emissions, that we have to accept windmills on the landscape, that we have to subsidise electric cars, that we have to burn food instead of feeding it to the hungry, that we have to come up with fantastic machines to trap CO2 or radiate sunlight into space.

The emperor will soon look very naked and the advisors very stupid. It is no wonder they are fighting hard to produce a document to perpetuate the story when it is becoming obvious to all that climate change and CO2 emissions are nothing to worry about. But maybe sometime there will be a happy ending.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Wind energy – the future or a blot on the landscape, Wexford Soapbox 8th November, 2010

Tomorrow I travel to Brussels with Monica as a guest of Nessa Childers MEP to visit the European Parliament. This is a prize for placing second in Wexford Soapbox 3 years ago. This was my speech. The content is still relevant.


Windmills are great machines – for decapitating migrating swans and transferring money from electricity customers to investors and land owners.  But, ladies and gentlemen, they are bad machines for generating electricity.  A recent study showed that the UK installed wind capacity of 4 gigawatts generated on average just 368 MW in 2009, or 9.2%.  And this power is only generated when the wind blows at the right speed.  So in addition to the 4GW of wind capacity you also have to have 4GW of conventional power stations that can be turned on on demand when the wind does not blow.  These power stations are much more costly and inefficient than conventional base power stations that generate 24/7.  So you may actually use MORE fossil fuel if you have a large amount of wind generating capacity than if you had only fossil fuel stations.  Large scale wind generation will not be feasible until cost effective electricity storage is developed.

We embarked on this foolish path to build windmills without electricity storage because of a belief in anthropomorphic (man made) global warming or climate change.  This belief, held with a religious fervour by environmentalists, many NGO’s, and some scientists, is that carbon dioxide, a plant fertiliser emitted to the atmosphere when we breath or burn coal is going to cause catastrophic warming of the Earth.  This belief is then exploited by other scientists and politicians to harvest research money and carbon taxes.  Like the Lisbon treaty nearly 100% of politicians unquestioningly support this belief while many of the public are sceptical.  The Dáil committee on climate change never hears the other side.  Climate change is supported as fervently by Simon ‘only electric cars in 2020’ Coveney and Liz ‘Wear a coat indoors if you’re cold’ McManus as it is by the government parties. 

However, it is now clear that climate change is not the big bogey sold by alarmists.  The release of emails last November know as climategate, errors in reports from the UN panel on climate change, a cold winter and a steady stream of sceptical evidence has caused a major decline in public concern.  But it will leave a costly legacy – carbon taxes and alternative energy subsidies will not be quickly reversed by politicians who will not wish to show how gullible they were. And Windmills on the hill tops - giant revolving 3 pronged crosses will remain on the hills for years as monuments to the folly of warmism, with bird sacrifices to the green Earth god littered at their feet.