Category: Daily News

Great Britain September Mean Temperatures Cooling. Also: Models Suggest Harsh, Long Winter Ahead

By Kirye
and Pierre Gosselin

Compiled data show Great Britain early fall has been cooling over the past quarter century and models showing a harsh Europe 2020/21 winter in the works. 

Compiling September data for Great Britain recorded by 14 stations for which the Japan meteorological Agency (JMA) has sufficient data, we plot the trends as follows:

Data: JMA

All 14 stations show September mean temperatures have been cooling or no trend for 25 years. This suggests that fall is approaching earlier instead of later, thus co0ntradicting alarmist claims of warming.

The cause of the cooling cannot be linked to CO2 and is likely driven by natural factors, such as oceanic cycles (Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation) and solar activity.

Source: NCAR UCAR

Frigid European winter in the works?

Meanwhile, the latest CFSv2 forecast for the coming winter suggests frigid conditions for Europe. Hat-tip: SnowFan

Source: Meteociel CFSv2 forecasts winter 2020/21 Europe

The experimental numerical NOAA model CFSv2 sees a cold and long winter in large parts of Europe. The temperatures in about 1500m (850hPa) will be mostly and partly strongly below the WMO mean 1981-2010, especially from January 2021 until May 2021. If these of course still very uncertain repeated cold forecasts come true, it could become a historically cold and especially long winter.

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October 24, 2020 at 08:34AM

Victorious New Zealand PM Urged to Apply Covid-19 Lessons to the Climate Crisis

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who won a historic landslide victory in national elections a week ago on a deep green manifesto, is being urged to apply lessons learned achieving New Zealands’ near total victory over Covid-19 to addressing the climate crisis.

New Zealand PM Ardern urged to apply crisis skills to climate change

Environmentalists urge re-elected leader, who won praise for her handling of the pandemic, to double down on fossil fuel use and farming emissions.

New Zealand’s re-elected Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern should use the skills she honed in successfully crushing the threat of Covid-19 to focus on a green recovery and help farmers tackle climate change’s “nuclear-free moment”, environmentalists said.

Ardern, whose Labour Party won a landslide victory in the general election last weekend, made a name for herself by responding decisively to the coronavirus pandemic and healing the nation after the killing of Muslims by a white supremacist.

Amanda Larsson, a senior campaigner at Greenpeace in Auckland, said Ardern had shown she excelled at leading her nation through a crisis.

The prime minister now needs “to apply the skills that she’s developed from dealing with the unthinkable, to tackling the ongoing, known crises such as climate change and biodiversity loss”, Larsson told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Read more: https://www.eco-business.com/news/new-zealand-pm-ardern-urged-to-apply-crisis-skills-to-climate-change/

Ardern, who previously governed with the help of the Green Party and New Zealand First, now has the numbers to govern without coalition partners. But she seems keen to maintain cordial relations with her green partners.

New Zealanders vote for climate ambition of Jacinda Ardern and Greens 

Published on 19/10/2020, 12:43pm

Jacinda Ardern won a second term as New Zealand leader with a landslide majority, in an endorsement of her government’s net zero emissions goal

By Joe Lo

New Zealand’s voters overwhelmingly endorsed the ambitious climate policies of Jacinda Ardern and her Green coalition partners, in a general election on Saturday.

Ardern’s Labour Party received nearly 50% of the vote and 53% of the seats in parliament, allowing her to govern for a second term without relying on other parties. However, she may still include the Greens in her next administration.

For the last three years, Labour has relied on the Greens and the populist New Zealand First to govern. While the Green Party increased its vote share from 6% to 8%, the climate-ambivalent New Zealand First lost all its seats.

Read more: https://www.climatechangenews.com/2020/10/19/new-zealanders-vote-climate-ambition-jacinda-ardern-greens/

It is anyone’s guess how Ardern’s commitment to ratchet up climate ambition will play out. There is no doubt she has a strong popular mandate for greater climate ambition.

The original Maori inhabitants’ name for New Zealand, Aotearoa, means “land of the long white cloud”. This is a fair description of New Zealand’s normal weather, especially during New Zealand’s long, cold winters, so solar power is probably a non starter.

New Zealand has some very windy places, and with all their tall mountain ranges New Zealand has potentially excellent hydroelectric sites which could be developed. In principle they could also develop their plentiful geothermal opportunities; like Iceland, New Zealand has some impressive volcano complexes, with plenty of strong heat sources accessibly close to the surface.

Of course all of this green development would take lots of money. Money New Zealand does not have. New Zealand might have achieved victory over Covid with their early, hard lockdown, but New Zealand’s economy is a mess.

However New Zealand’s national debt, though deteriorating rapidly, is still a manageable 48% of GDP. So in principle there is plenty of financial room for Ardern to borrow vast sums of money to fund New Zealand’s green transition, should she choose to do so.

I suspect if there is one place in the world where a full hearted “green Covid recovery” will be attempted, that nation is New Zealand.

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October 24, 2020 at 05:49AM

Nordic Noir: Wind Industry Determined to Destroy Sami Reindeer Farmers’ Way of Life

The fact that chaotically intermittent wind power can’t be delivered as and when it’s needed means the destruction of wilderness, landscapes, rural communities, and millions of birds and bats (including plenty of species on the brink of extinction) is pretty hard to justify.

Rural communities are sick and tired of becoming roadkill for the wind industry, and that includes the nomadic Sami – who graze and herd reindeer across northern Europe’s frozen tundra, ranging across the north of Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola Peninsula.

In the frozen North, the Sami are fighting back, in an effort to prevent their homeland from being overrun by the industrial onslaught that is the wind industry.

The wind industry and its political apologists have been feeding the Sami the usual grab bag of myths and lies – to the effect that industrial wind power will somehow save the planet. When nothing could be further from the truth.

With their southern compatriots mounting a successful NIMBY campaign against these things, the Nordic wind industry is targeting the Sami’s traditional rangelands instead, simply because they are few in number and poorer than their urbanised countrymen.

Up against a well-oiled and cynical machine, for the Sami it’s now a case of either dying on their feet or living on their knees.

Wind energy conflicts show how Arctic renewable energy projects can founder
Arctic Today
Kevin McGwin
23 September 2020

At its essence, the Sámi position when it comes to renewable energy in the form of wind turbines and hydroelectric is simple: Herders don’t want their reindeer-herding disrupted by human-made hindrances.

Infrastructure such as railways, roads, dams and wind farms all pose problems for herders in one way or another. In the case of wind farms, the problem is twofold: First, their placement can disrupt migration routes, either forcing reindeer and their herders to find a new path between winter and summer grazing areas or requiring them to negotiate passage with the wind farm’s owner; the second problem is that the turbines themselves can render grazing areas unusable.

The Sámi experience is a case study in how renewable energy projects in the Arctic, depending on how they are executed, can be a source of problems instead of a solution.

“The Sámi aren’t against a greener world, but it’s unfair that we have to pay for it with our culture,” says Christina Henriksen, the president of Sámiráđđi, an organization that represents Sámi interests in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.

Sámi recognize that renewable energy and reduced greenhouse-gas emissions are necessary, but the groups that represent them are opposed to energy projects on Sámi territories that threaten the Sámi way of life — developments that often amount to what some critics have labeled “green colonialism.”

What’s more, they say, some of these projects risk doing more harm to the environment than good.

“Wind power is a renewable energy source that, properly done, can help meet our future energy needs. But improperly placed wind farms are neither environmentally friendly nor sustainable,” Sweden’s Samediggi, that country’s elected Sámi assembly, wrote in its wind-power policy, published in 2009.

Instead of building new energy infrastructure that lays claim to new land in Sápmi, the strategy recommends that existing hydroelectric dams in the region be upgraded.

Wind turbines are a particular concern because, scientific studies confirm, reindeer avoid them. The findings are something the courts appear to have accepted. Earlier this year, a Norwegian court ruled that a group of herders should be paid 90 million kroner ($9.6 million) after they had claimed they were no longer able to graze in the area in what is currently Norway’s largest wind farm.

The decision, according to Henriksen, was welcome recognition of the effects energy infrastructure has on the Sámi, and it may set a precedent they can use when future wind farms come into conflict with herding. The Sámi, however, hardly considered it a victory.

“We had hoped that the court would decide that the permit was given illegally, because the acknowledgement of the fact that these areas are ruined for the reindeer husbandry is very important,” Henriksen says.

Herders also point out that the money — which is go to towards building fences, feeding reindeer during the winter and helping those who must give up herding to find new livelihoods — is limited. The effect of wind farms, they worry, is not.

“If they take the wind turbines down after 25 years, who’s to say they won’t put something else up in its place?” Henriksen says. “It’s also a mental thing: you can pay a herder to feed his animals, but that’s not herding anymore. Eventually the money will run out. What do they do then?”

The Sámi are not alone in their misgivings about renewable energy infrastructure in the wide-open spaces of the North. Some conservancies and land owners argue, for example, that wind turbines cause problems for wildlife or spoil views. But Sámi organizations have remained in the forefront of such disputes, because of how central reindeer herding is to Sámi culture.

“The loss of land is the crucial point,” Henriksen says. “The non-Sámi organizations we ally with are against wind turbines and infrastructure because of its impact on the natural environment. For us, there’s that, but, if we lose our land, we lose our culture.”

In Norway, the Sámi have suggested the national wind power strategy — intended as guidelines for how the country could promote construction of new wind farms — should, first and foremost, state where wind farms may not be built. That, according to Sámediggi, Norway’s elected Sámi assembly, would allay uncertainty amongst herders about the future of the practice.

The rules for how the Sámi should be consulted before a project begins differ across Arctic Europe. In general, Sweden, Norway and Finland provide some form of guarantee to consult the groups who will be affected. Norway goes furthest. It has ratified ILO Convention 169, A UN agreement that guarantees indigenous groups a say in issues that affect them. Still, Henriksen says, the Sámi feel consultation amounts to information-giving followed by negotiations about how to find an agreement that is “less harmful” than what they were originally presented with.

Rasmus Kløcker Larsen, a senior research fellow with SEI, a Sweden-based independent research institute dealing with environmental issues, describes this as the Sámi seeking to get the best out of what they see as a foregone conclusion.

“It’s often presented as if Sámi are happy to have worked out an agreement, but the reality is that they didn’t have much of a choice. In a situation when you aren’t free to enter into an agreement or not, you take when you can get.”

He says the Sámi tend to be marginalized both by a lack of recognition of their Indigenous rights in national legislation, and by a lack of resources to defend violations of their rights. This is especially true when it comes to wind power.

“Wind power is perceived as benevolent amongst the general population, and it has broad political support,” he says.

When decisions are made about where to place new installations, the Sámi might find themselves pitted against powerful people in southern Sweden who don’t want projects placed near their summer cottages. Placing the burden on people who have a weak position in debates over renewable energy is convenient for decision makers.”

Inspired, in part, by the court ruling from Norway this January, as well as one in Sweden, also in January, about Sámi fishing and hunting rights, herders, Henriksen and Kløcker Larsen agree, will increasingly turn to the courts to settle disputes.

“It’s in our favor that interpretations of the law can change — and the law is starting to recognize that Sámi people have rights,” Henriksen says, “but, for now, the system is the same.”

When lawsuits fall out on behalf of the Sámi, it shows, according to Kløcker Larsen, that the courts have started to recognize that decisions must be made out of respect for their rights as an Indigenous group, including their right to influence decisions about projects that affect them. This, he believes, is an acknowledgment that the courts view existing national legislation as outdated in light of advances in international Indigenous rights.

But changing legislation may be a challenge. Sweden, for example, takes a cost-benefit approach towards renewable-energy projects that doesn’t allow for equal treatment of what he calls “the unique and intrinsic values” of an Indigenous culture. When it does, it places it alongside factors that affect more people or involve larger sums of money.

“People like renewable energy, and wind farms are a big business,” he says. “That’s hard for a traditional livelihood to compete against, especially when the playing field is uneven and the rules of the game are dictated by others.”
Arctic Today

Wind industry determined to destroy, forever, another rural way of life.

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October 24, 2020 at 01:32AM

“Over My Dead Body”: Louisiana Senator Responds to Joe Biden’s Proposed Climate Shutdown of the US Fossil Fuel Industry

Democrat Presidential wannabe Joe Biden. By David Lienemann – White House (V011013DL-0556), Public Domain, Link

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

I think it is fair to say Presidential wannabe Joe Biden has stirred up some strong feelings over his plan to “transition” the jobs of millions of ordinary Americans.

Exclusive–‘Over My Dead Body’: Bill Cassidy Torches Joe Biden’s Plan to Shut Down Oil, Natural Gas

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview on Friday that former Vice President Joe Biden would shut down America’s energy industry “over my dead body.”

During Thursday night’s presidential debate between Biden and President Donald Trump, Biden pledged to shut down the oil industry.

“I would transition from the oil industry, yes,” Biden said.

He explained further, saying, “Because the oil industry pollutes. It has to be replaced by renewable energy over time. And I’d stop giving federal subsidies to the oil industry. He won’t give federal subsidies to solar and wind. Why are we giving it to the oil industry?”

Cassidy told Breitbart News that Biden’s promise to close the oil industry exposes Biden and the Democrat Party’s elitism and lack of concern for the working-class families that will lose their livelihoods in the process.

“I think it exposes the elitism of the Democratic Party. I read Joe flew away in his private jet. He will still have the jet fuel; he will just buy it from someplace else. Another 11 million jobs, 250,000 of them in Louisiana in oil and gas, they’re gone,” Cassidy said. “But they’re not his voters. They’re in flyover country. So his coastal elites would do extremely well; they don’t worry about that, they won’t be inconvenienced, they’ll probably repeal the SALT tax so that they have even more money. For the folks back home, who have good-paying jobs because of the oil and gas industry, an asset that everyone can see will be needed for the next 50 years. They’ll be a little harder off.”

Read more: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/10/23/exclusive-over-my-dead-body-bill-cassidy-torches-joe-bidens-plan-to-shut-down-oil-natural-gas/

To be fair Joe Biden has a plan for the “transitioned” oil and gas workers. Biden wants everyone currently working in well paid oil, coal and gas jobs to go on welfare, and accept government handouts, until they get new jobs as professional software developers.

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October 24, 2020 at 12:44AM