Guest Post: Ian Plimer – Renewables in NSW produce 0.0% of all electricity generated

[Update: Some figures in the original post have been corrected. Sinc]

The Climate Change Authority and the Greens want more renewables because apparently, human emissions of CO2 drive global warming. I am a patient chap, was fabulously good looking in the long ago and have a dog that’s never bitten me but please, dear readers, can someone show me from basic science and mathematics that the human emissions (3% total) of plant food (CO2) drive climate change yet the 97% of natural emissions of CO2 do not. This has never been done and I’m still waiting for the proof. It’s easy to show that human emissions of CO2 don’t drive climate change and there are many scientific arguments to show that the total atmospheric CO2 does not drive climate change.

Our dear leader of the Opposition wants 50% of electricity from renewables. How’s he going to do it? What is the current contribution of renewables? Where is the cash going to come from for the immense capital costs or are we to face yet more crippling Labor debt? Numbers give the story about the effective use of renewables and the most populous state in Australia is the best place to start.

In NSW in 2014, there was a mix of electricity generation with coal, natural gas, hydro, wind, diesel and coal seam gas. The table below shows what we already know. If heavy-duty base load power is needed, then coal (10,760 MW; 59.3%) and hydro (4,510 MW; 24.9%) do the heavy lifting 24/7. Gas (2,144 MW; 11.8%) and hydro can be used to increase electricity generation in peak load times. Of the 18,138 MW capacity, wind capacity is 550 MW (3.0%) but, because the wind does not blow all the time, the input into the grid is at best about 110 MW (0.6%). The sugar cane waste (bagasse) only has a 68 MW (0.4%) capacity and electricity generation is seasonal. Diesel (106 MW; 0.6%) is used when required in a remote part of NSW.

More than 71% of electricity in NSW is generated from fossil fuels. In Australia, 65% of Australia’s total electricity needs are produced from 48% of capacity reflecting the predominance of base load demand and the fact that coal provides the main base load demand in Australia.  And so it should, it’s the cheapest.

Let’s face renewable reality. In 2015, NSW had no solar power generation capacity whatsoever and, although there are 5 wind farms, the wind total power input into the grid was 0.6%. This renewable electricity was subsidised with taxpayer’s money and raised the cost of electricity. And at what was the total economic cost? Enough to run a small Pacific island nation. What was the environmental cost? Monstrous. I’m sure that the sliced and diced birds and bats are comforted that their deaths in the name of the environment were for nothing. And what about the people disturbed by sub-sonic infrasound? Where is the precautionary principle when it is needed? If a coal-fired power station input into the grid was 3.0%, a single bird was killed or people suffered health problems, then we’d never hear the end of it from the Greens.

We saw a screaming headline telling us “Wind power generates 140% of Denmark’s electricity demand.”  However, this 140% was for only a brief moment on a windy night at 3 am, which is the time when demand is the lowest. Call up the Danish Electricity Authority site and look at the map of inputs and outputs of electricity from Denmark. There is far more electricity imported to Denmark from conventional sources than is exported from wind. Denmark is not self-sufficient in electricity, wind does not provide enough for consumers and employment-generating industries. Wind-power is inefficient costly ideology. It’s not hard to see that misguided energy policies have exacerbated the economic decline of Europe. If wind power was efficient and reliable, green left media such as the ABC and The Guardian would not have to be misleading and deceptive.

No green left environmental activist in NSW could possibly survive on wind or solar power from the grid. They need fossil fuels to transport food from rural areas or abroad to the cities. Without fossil fuels and dams for domestic and industrial electricity in NSW, there would be no cooling, heating, cooking, refrigeration, transport, employment or communications. If that’s the world that the green left environmental activists want us to live in, then let’s see them lead by example and shout their ideology from the caves on a cold, wet and windy night.

NSW is taking a great step (and economically backwards) in building a solar power plant at Broken Hill in far western NSW. The solar plant has a rated capacity of a glorious 0.29% of NSW’s electricity and will produce up to 0.03% of electricity for NSW. That’s the progress of those who call themselves progressive. The 53 MW capacity plant is privately owned and the capital cost is $166.7 million. Taxpayers via the NSW government and Federal government’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency are providing $64.9 million of the capital cost. Furthermore consumers will be forced to pay extra for this “renewable” energy. In reality, the well-known inefficiencies of solar plants is such that about 5-6 MW will be available from this new solar plant. I often go underground in the zinc-lead-silver mines at Broken Hill. Do I rely on solar-generated electricity when underground at night to keep the safety systems and pumps operating? Will the processing plants be able to operate 24/7 on solar energy? Solar power is not enough to keep the mines operating at Broken Hill. And if there are no mines, then there are no jobs.

Solar power has a low capacity factor. In Germany, it is about 10%. Hence 10,000 MW of solar power capacity is needed to generate the same amount of electricity as a 1,000 MW thermal coal or nuclear power station. Furthermore, when the 10,000 MW solar power generator is producing its maximum of 10,000 MW, the grid system cannot cope with surging and hence huge yet-to-be-invented energy storage systems are needed or the solar power stations need to be shut down. Now that’s efficiency.

Sunny Spain was touted as the perfect place for solar power generation. Spain spent a King’s ransom on constructing solar and wind power generators with generous subsidies. Spain became so clever at generating solar electricity that it even managed to do it at night. Generating solar electricity at night? No, it is not the new physics. It is because subsidies were so incredibly high that solar power companies could make money by illuminating solar panels with floodlights at night. The floodlights were powered by CO2-emitting diesel generators. No wonder Spain is broke.

Whatever the green left environmental activists may desire, the reality is that NSW will continue to have a reliable coal-hydro-gas mix for peak- and base-load electricity. Why? Because it works. Furthermore it’s cheap, clean, provides employment and reliable.

In 2007, Australia had one of lowest electricity costs in the world. Between 2007 and 2013, Australia had a Labor Federal government that brought in a carbon tax and various Federally-funded renewable energy schemes. In 2011, the electricity prices in Western Australia, Victoria, NSW and South Australia were so high that they ranked just behind Denmark and Germany (the most expensive jurisdictions in the world). And what does Bill Shorten want to do with wind and solar? Make our employment-generating electricity more unreliable and more expensive for his workers that he so lovingly pretends to protect. If Shorten actually wanted to build many more dams, most of which have been on the drawing board for decades, then I could warm to his idea.

However, even if I shared a funeral pyre with the Greens, I couldn’t warm to them.

Power Station Location Technology Capacity (MW)
Appin Illawarra Gasa          55
Bayswater Hunter Coal    2,800
Bendeela Nowra Hydro       240
Blowering Snowy Hydro         80
Broadwater North Coast Sugar cane waste         38
Boco Rock Nimmitable Wind      113
Broken Hill Broken Hill Diesel         50
Capital Tarago Wind       140
Condong North Coast Sugar cane waste         30
Colongra Central Coast Gasb      724
Cullerin Upper Lachlan Wind         30
Eraring Hunter Coal   3,000
Eraring Hunter Diesel          56
Gullen Range Goulburn Wind        172
Gunning Gunning Wind           47
Guthega Snowy Hydro           80
Hume Snowy Hydro           70
Hunter Hunter Gasb           50
Liddell Hunter Coal     2,200
Mt Piper Central West Coal     1,400
Murray Snowy Hydro     1,575
Smithfield Smithfield Gasc        175
Tallawarra Illawarra Gasc        435
Tower Point Illawarra Gasa          41
Tumut Snowy Hydro    2,465
Uranquinty Wagga Wagga Gasc       664
Vales Point Central Coast Coal    1,360
Woodlawn Tarago Wind         48

a = coal seam methane;  b = open cycle gas turbine;  c = combined cycle gas turbine

(This article is shamelessly plagiarised from parts of my forthcoming book Heaven and Hell: The Pope condemns the poor to eternal poverty, Connor Court, September 2015)

 


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123 Responses to Guest Post: Ian Plimer – Renewables in NSW produce 0.0% of all electricity generated

  1. Hydro

    Isn’t hydro a renewable?

  2. However, even if I shared a funeral pyre with the Greens, I couldn’t warm to them.

    Very diplomatic, the metaphor i would use is a little more colourful, as in, i wouldn’t p1ss on their heads if their hair was burning.

    Good article.

  3. Baldrick

    I’ve always maintained that renewable energy should be on an opt in or opt out basis and let the market decide how much we should be investing in this technology, instead of government and N.G.O. interference and mandates.

  4. Anne

    That’s close Professor Plimer, but no cigar.

    When are intellectuals like you and the IPA going to start calling this scam for what it is: a mechanism to destroy the Western economies, create crisis and remedy said crisis by ushering in Global Communism under a One World Government?

    Great post. I always enjoy your writings.

    Where is the cash going to come from for the immense capital costs or are we to face yet more crippling Labor debt?

    The same place cash always comes from: the productive citizens.

    However, even if I shared a funeral pyre with the Greens, I couldn’t warm to them.

    That’s a good line. I’m pinching that 😉

  5. duncanm

    Thanks Ian.

    Some real numbers for the family BBQ arsenal.

  6. Anne

    When I bought this house 20 years ago, my first Gas bill was $5.

    Admittedly it was summer and we eat out a lot but seriously, five dollars!

    My last bill was $457.31

    That’s seems a significant increase ’cause the value of my house is not 91 times greater than ’twas then.

    Just sayin’ whinging.

  7. jupes

    Hey check out the deliberately misleading words used by the ABC on this post:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-11/climate-change-what-top-15-emitters-are-promising/6686548

    When they talk about Australian and nations that are actually stupidly cutting CO2 emissions they use these words:

    It has pledged to cut carbon emissions by 26 per cent to 28 per cent of 2005 levels by 2030.

    Yet when it talks about China who are actually increasing emissions, they use these words:

    It was vowed to reduce the carbon intensity of its economy 60-65 per cent by 2030 based on 2005 levels.

    I don’t know what that means but I know what it doesn’t mean: It doesn’t mean that China will be reducing its CO2 emissions. More front than Myers the misleading pricks.

    No one will be surprised to learn that the article makes the point that Australia leads the world in per-capita CO2 emissions. As if that is relevant in any way whatsoever to global warming theory.

  8. incoherent rambler

    Thank you Ian.

    I expect the ABC will report the facts you have stated here (on tonights news?).

  9. Generating solar electricity at night? No, it is not the new physics. It is because subsidies were so incredibly high that solar power companies could make money by illuminating solar panels with floodlights at night. The floodlights were powered by diesel generators. This is madness. No wonder Spain is broke.

    I laughed out loud, but I should probably be crying.

  10. Anne

    That’s seems a significant increase ’cause the value of my house is not 91 times greater than ’twas then.

    Also, I’ve found that protein for protein supermarket meat (for humans) was cheaper than dog food.

    My dog, who shall remain nameless for security reasons, likes pork ribs, slow cooked with just a hint of BBQ sauce. In 2012 ribs cost $10.99. Now they cost $18.99 kilo. Thanks RGR, Halal Scamsters and Companies paying ‘Protection’ money.

    I digress.

  11. Blogstrop

    It’s way past time for the conservative side of politics to shape up and call the big scam for what it is.

  12. Lloyd Dobler

    When I hear another story touting the success of Danish wind I giggle to myself.

    Denmark generates insignificant amounts of wind at night, when the good people of Denmark are sound asleep in their beds,meaning there is bugger all demand.

    So the Danes sell the Norweginas their wind to use for some of their base load at a significant discount.

    The Norwegians then sell the Danes hydro generated power during the day at a significant mark up.

    Resulting in the Danes having one of the highest cost of energy in Europe.

    Did I mention that the Norway was in effect a Danish colony at one stage.

    Schadenfreude is of course German, but the Norwegians embrace the concept.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/denmark/7996606/An-ill-wind-blows-for-Denmarks-green-energy-revolution.html

  13. Anne

    Bloggy,

    It’s way past time for the conservative side of politics to shape up and call the big scam for what it is.

    I’ve come to the sad realisation, (I feel like I’ve lost my virginity!), that they are all the same. There’s no point in appealing to politicians or their proxy media lackeys. Both sides of politics grow Government, grow taxes and infringe, by a thousand cuts, our freedoms.

  14. johninoxley

    Nameplate capacity is as good as a politicians promise. Worthless. I drive past the wind farm at Tarago often. Many broken down, not going at all (no wind) or motoring when freezing and no wind to keep their gearboxes from destroying themselves due to too thicker oil. Would love to know MWhr output for a year.

  15. RMR

    Thanks Ian, always a pleasure to read a logical article based on facts. Now to manage the politics!

  16. David Brewer

    Wrong numbers in article? 550 is 3% of 18 138, not 0.03%, etc.

  17. Chris M

    In 2007, Australia had one of lowest electricity costs in the world

    Utter nonsense.

  18. Also, I’ve found that protein for protein supermarket meat (for humans) was cheaper than dog food.

    The cat eats the cheapest human-grade fresh meat I can find, for the same reasons. Cheap is better for him as it’s fattier, and makes him beautifully glossy.

  19. Old Salt

    Hi Ian,

    Great article but my primary school maths tells me that 550MW/18,138MW = 3%.
    However, if we say that wind factories are about 20% efficient then we have 110MW/18,138 = 0.6%.
    Either way wind factories only contribute to the bank accounts of their owners – pathetic really.
    Look forward to reading your next book.

  20. Lightning Ridge in NSW had the first solar plant for generating electricity via mirror reflectors heating a thermal fluid in Australia. Most of the time the plant was down due to maintenance problems. There was a back up diesel generator supposedly for when the sun did not shine but this worked so hard that at times it was down too. The motel there had its own diesel generator to cover the many outages. After a few years of unprofitable operation it was shut down and a transmission line erected from the Broken Hill (diesel ) power station (originally installed by the mining companies). Some years later the solar plant was converted to photovoltaic (back up came from Broken Hill). This proved to also to be high maintenance and unprofitable and was shut down. Around that time Lightning Ridge and Broken Hill was connected to the NSW grid.
    While technology may have improved in the last ten years the experience is that solar power in NSW is not reliable and is not profitable (both in capital and operating costs) without large government (ie taxpayer) subsidies.

  21. John

    A nice article but what has happened to all the links in it? Each link returns a page not found or an error!

  22. Tom

    It is because subsidies were so incredibly high that solar power companies could make money by illuminating solar panels with floodlights at night. The floodlights were powered by diesel generators.

    Ian Pilmer calls this madness. It is actually a form of criminal dementia, paid for by a bonfire of hard-working people’s taxes. Those who authored this subsidy-mining scam should be in prison with the rest of the confidence tricksters and scam artists who prey on good people’s vulnerabilities.

  23. Anne

    Tom, you’re forgetting the middle men have the guns.

    Next.

  24. If you are going to do an article like this, at least get the maths correct.

    550/18000 = 0.03 = 3%

    FMD.

  25. Damienski

    It is because subsidies were so incredibly high that solar power companies could make money by illuminating solar panels with floodlights at night. The floodlights were powered by diesel generators

    Subsidies and rent seekers. Capitalism at its best. Some moron puts some free money on the table, and wonders why someone else helps themselves to it. Sometimes it’s like taking wheat from blind chooks.

  26. Tom

    Thanks for the post, Ian. One of the best analyses I’ve read this week. PS: Don’t mind the lone Greenfilth troll. The Cat has a trickle of them doing drive-bys from their mudbrick Fitzroy/Glebe/Nimbin pigsties.

  27. mark

    It is all about scale.

    Imagine the world’s atmosphere is the full MCG. 100,000 people. To make it easier to start the calculation, 440ppm equals 44 screaming fans, randomly distributed through the crowd. 44 people in 100000 crowd! Now, of those 44 people, the human component is 4%…1.76 people…almost two people in a crowd! Of those almost two people Australia represents 1.6%…0.286 people….a soiled digit. Now, the government wants to clean that digit by 26%…or…0.0073…a fingernail?….to stop the crowd’s temperature rising by two degrees?

  28. Turtle of WA

    You’re a living legend, Professor Plimer.

    I look forward to Heaven and Hell pt. 2. Loved the 1st edition.

    Great number work. The only problem is that every warmist believer I’ve ever met has been unable to tell me how much warming we’d seen in the last 100 years. I ask them just this one simple question – ‘How much warming has there been? How much have average global surface temperatures increased in the last 100 years? Have a guess.’ When they guess, thy are usually in the range of 2 to twenty degrees. When they say ‘ohh, about 10 degrees’ it is hard, but not impossible, to be polite and not laugh. “No wonder you’re worried!’ I say. No one knows the answer to the most basic question of all.

    The ignorance on renewables out there — and I don’t blame people, they are victims of propaganda — is staggering. So many people believe that wind and sunbeams are sources of free energy. They actually say it -‘It’s free!’. The rebate on solar feed in is one of the main reasons for this misunderstanding. If people knew the facts, there would be no wind farms.

    A guy at a party recently suggested that we start amassing solar panels in the Simpson desert and that eventually these would be a source of free power. I’m not kidding.

  29. Rob MW

    All that Ian says is true but surely there must be an upside.

    I’m thinking traffic lights not working, speed & red light cameras only good for 9 holes, government billing computers sleeping all night, blood alcohol, finger printing & drunk tanks not working, no security devices at government buildings, bank vaults rendered useless, cash registers & eftpos totally fucked after 6.00pm and before 7.00am, toll collection a thing of the past, currency traders finally getting a root and a good night’s sleep, Fairfax & Guardian not being printed, silence at last from Leigh Sales & Tony Jones but probably the best of all, the semi-retirement of government money printing presses, the complete curtailment of politicians making spending promises or commitments and the silence of CentreLink cash registers.

  30. Leigh Lowe

    … but please, dear readers, can someone show me from basic science and mathematics that the human emissions (3% total) of plant food (CO2) drive climate change yet the 97% of natural emissions of CO2 do not.

    A further dissection of the 3% is required into those CO2 molecules emitted by Western developed economies to keep middle-aged white men comfortable, and those CO2 molecules emitted by developing economies who need to have “their turn”.
    Apparently “da atmosphere” can make the distinction between good human emitted CO2 and bad human emitted CO2.

  31. jumpnmcar

    Expect more of the 2012 India blackouts if we keep going.
    600 million without power.
    Only the private coal power consumers were fine.

  32. robk

    The solution is plain to see. Build dams and hydro wherever they will fit(we can use the water anyway). Establish fully vertically integrated nuclear power industry. Renewables can then compete with coal and nuclear.
    A formula for a rosey future.

  33. C.L.

    Renewables in NSW produce 0.0% of all electricity generated.

    We need to dob on this hateful truth-monger.
    Somebody telephone Tim Southpossumass and the day editor at the Daily Telegraph.

  34. cohenite

    Driftforge

    #1764267, posted on August 11, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    If you are going to do an article like this, at least get the maths correct.

    550/18000 = 0.03 = 3%

    FMD.

    NO. The thing about renewable grid power is that the spivs and fanatics and assorted demented pollies who advocate it is that they only refer to the INSTALLED CAPACITY (IC), or what the installation would produce if it were producing electricity at maximum capacity 24/7. The actual electricity produced by wind and solar is called the CAPACITY FACTOR (CF), which is expressed as a % of the IC and averaged over a year. The CF is about 20% which gives Ian’s figure of 0.0% from renewables with errors thrown in.

    0.0% is also confirmed by the RELIABILITY POINT (RP) of renewables. The RP is the probability that the IC will occur at any one time. For wind and solar the RP is about 5-10%. In practical terms the CF of 20% could in 4 or 5 months with effectively no power for the rest of the year.

    Effectively this means the no usable grid electricity is produced from wind and solar.

  35. NO. The thing about renewable grid power is that the spivs and fanatics and assorted demented pollies who advocate it is that they only refer to the INSTALLED CAPACITY (IC),

    Come one. The point is the same whether you get maths correct or not; use the correct numbers. He is clearly discussing installed capacity at that point, and lists the numbers he is dividing through. He unfortunately threw a % sign on the end of the correct 0.03 answer, rather than converting to percentage. It happens. The article loses nothing to have it fixed.

    Furthermore, 20% of 3% is 0.6%, which doesn’t round to 0.0% as you suggest. Don’t compound the error.

    The thrust of the article is correct; the mathematics is not. The mathematics can be fixed without destroying the thrust, and should be.

  36. Austin Mangosteen

    In 2007, Australia had one of lowest electricity costs in the world.

    In 2007, the author of The Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handbook: 77 Essential Skills to Stop Climate Change was actively promoting his book to schools in the USA after the Live Earth Concert of 2007, which he funded.

    In a 2007 interview that is available on the Internet, the author of the said book [Al Gore’s buddy] said that “the science is settled” and a man-made climate change response requires financial contributions from those who are causing the problem. Naturally, being a large beneficiary of any ETS, our author informed the interviewer that all his efforts towards raising the awareness of the need for people to make their fear (fair?) contributions were at great personal cost. But in line with the motto “there is no business like monkey (money?) business” the latest edition of the book sells for around $16.00.

    Celebritynetworth.com still has our author’s wealth listed at $10 billion, which would have to be egregiously incorrect, since the book could not have sold that many copies, even though it is mandatory reading for school children. Running a 1000 ha farm in NZ could not be that profitable either, but then that depends on what has been grown over the last decade or so. He just might even use (Spanish) solar panels and wind turbines to light up his farm house and grow crops of a night (as his buddy Al would, of course).

    The question about Al Gore and wind has often been raised. However, Al refuses to use bird killers, even though some companies that he heads up stand to benefit from an ETS. Al wants us to know that his concern for the environment and the need to protect the species of Gaia are of paramount importance. (Killing birds is such a grotesque sport, even ex-ABC Media Watch host, Jonathon Green, who was compelled by conviction to write “The Year My Politics Broke”, agrees fox hunting is more genteel.) Indeed, it was only after much soul searching that the also-ran, good ol’ Al, went to all that trouble to present humankind with “An Inconvenient Truth”.

    It was published February 28, 2007 that research group in Tennessee, where the former vice president lives, claims that Mr Gore’s 20-room, eight-bathroom home in Nashville consumes more electricity in a month than the average American household uses in a year.

    Yes, Kevin 07 was deeply affected with remorse (and lashing out as he often did), he repented to take up “the greatest moral challenge of our time.” Those were the days, Ian, back in 2007, when Australia had one of lowest electricity costs in the world. But it did not matter how much Labor went into the effort, after that we couldn’t keep the costs down.

  37. J-man

    Not that you need telling, driftforge, but you are correct on all counts.

  38. mundi

    Yeah the math is broken badly. Seems to be using fraction of 1 as a percent, making renewable contribution to installed capacity 100 times smaller than it is.

  39. Sydney Boy

    WA has just commissioned its first wave energy farm. It is also the first commercial scale operating wave farm in the world. We all know how the last two attempts worked out … or not.

    This new one is off the coast of Garden Island, and for the sum of $100M (although, to be fair, that includes 9 years of R&D) the wave energy farm is expected to generate enough electricity to power up to 1500 homes. What a bargain (sarc). Oh, and it was built and installed with $30M of taxpayer’s money ($20M via commonwealth govt and $10M via WA govt). You know, those subsidies than renewables don’t get?

    FMD.

  40. AP

    Centennial Coal just laid off the 300-strong workforce at the only mine approved to supply coal to Mt Piper power station.

    Apparently the State Government was unable to approve a mine extension in under three years.

    The State Government is currently NSW’s biggest threat to energy security.

  41. What Pope Junta and the rest of the European preachies don’t mention is that the EU meets its “renewable” targets by burning imported woodchips, pig farts, canola, trash, cow burps…anything non-fossil that will combust. (Having tramped around rural Europe I can confirm that Europeans away from cities burn every twig, more so with skyrocketing power prices. What looks so tidy is just heavily scavenged. Those green Europeans are burning hard on the micro and macro levels, but it seems we only have to worry about carbon that’s fossil and taxable.)

    By sheer force of spending, the US has recently managed to make wind its largest source of renewable power…but think of how much fossil fuel has been used to mine, process, manufacture, transport, install and, above all, supplement all those whirlygigs. Of course, the US is still incinerating heaps of waste/biomass. As for finding the will and money to renew their more expensive renewables in coming decades…it’s a bit like monorails, isn’t it?

    Now Big Oil/Gas has decided to align itself with Big Green against its real competitors, coal and nukes. Their plan is to be the supplementers of feeble, diffuse and intermittent wind/solar. It’s an eat-me-last strategy that one shouldn’t really try on sharks or green zealots. The problem is the sharks and zealots, not the order of eating.

    Thanks for being forthright, Ian. Don’t know or care if you’re accurate in every detail, but you’re swinging hard in the right direction.

  42. Wayne Job

    The sad thing about all this CO2 abatement BS to stop global warming is we are still in an ice age, albeit in one of the small warm periods. It has been around about the average time already passed for a warm period and we are due for full glaciation, the world does not end but a lot of it gets covered in ice the odd mile or so deep.This global warming stuff is pure political crap.

  43. Ubique

    Thank you Professor Plimer, you must have the heart of a lion to battle against the tsunami of sewage masquerading as science pumped out by what seems like 95 percent of Australian academics and other assorted charlatans on the public payroll. A public lecture tour would be most timely; you would be sure of a great reception in Perth.

  44. mareeS

    Professor Plimer was a powerhouse of intellect at Newcastle University. Outstanding man, outstanding mind.

  45. The left never think through their ideas.
    They believe in equality, yet renewables have the same effect as regressive tax, and a carbon tax is regressive.
    They often (falsely) believe that the key to full employment comes from manufacturing industry. But Labor imposes a carbon tax which industry cannot pass on in the form of higher prices (there is foreign competition) but supermarkets (another huge user of electricity) can. This reduces jobs and push up food prices.
    I suggest a political reason that emissions policies became popular 25 years ago was that about half of global emissions came from the rich capitalist countries with less than a sixth of the global population. They had become rich at the expense of futures of the masses in the third world. The world could be saved by the rich stopping exploiting the future of the masses, and making the world far more equal.
    The left miscalculated. Due to the spread of market-based economies and globalisation, unprecedented economic growth has occurred in China, and strong growth in much of the rest of Asia. This growth has partly been the result of increased usage of fossil fuels. Consequently the differences in per capita income between rich and poor countries has narrowed sharply, and so have per capita CO2 emissions. The world has become more equal in the best possible way – many of the poorer countries enjoying much higher levels of growth than the richer ones. But the left still push their disastrous and pointless policies.
    I graphed the changing relative position on emissions here.

  46. cohenite

    Driftforge

    #1764476, posted on August 11, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    I didn’t express myself well. Due to the CF and the RP renewables don’t produce any electricity which is either reliable enough or of sufficient amount to replace any fossil or hydro. At least if you want current grid amounts. Effectively therefore renewables produce nothing at huge cost. The maths is irrelevant to THAT point.

  47. Toiling Mass

    Jupes,

    No one will be surprised to learn that the article makes the point that Australia leads the world in per-capita CO2 emissions. As if that is relevant in any way whatsoever to global warming theory.

    There is a post over at Blairs showing the list of countries and the amount they have contributed (supposeldy) to changes in temperature.

    Both Australia and the Netherlands are reported to be 0.006C, which means more or less the same amount of CO2 emitted*. But Australia has 24 million people and the Netherlands 17 million, so their per capita emissions must be higher.

    I recall that the Greens used to include the coal we exported (and other countries burned) as our emissions. I suspect theyare still doing it.

    *This on the simplistic assumption that all change in temperature is driven by CO2 and blithely overlooking that there are other causes, interactions and constraints with same casualness that a highschool physics exam tells you to ignore wind resistance when calculating the trajectory of a cannonball – except Greens would also tell you to ignore gravity if they were peddling scares about why powered flight makes Gaia cry.

  48. Fred Lenin

    I move we reduce all politicians ,climateers,and millionaire socialist carpetbaggers by 127:56 per cent by the year 2016, anyone like to second the motion!?

  49. Combine Dave

    I recall that the Greens used to include the coal we exported (and other countries burned) as our emissions. I suspect theyare still doing it.

    The figures I saw on wikipedia didn’t even have Australia in the top ten when looking at per capita emissions caused by industry within Australia…

    Regardless. If carbon emissions were capable of affecting the climate surely the total output is far more important than reigning in a few of the high per capita/low total capita nations while global emissions grow.

  50. Robbo

    Renewable energy is a shockingly expensive hoax. Only idiots support this stupidity.

  51. Mat

    Hi Ian – I’ve got a couple of old booklets here that may interest or be of use to you – ‘The Climate and Meteorology of Australia’ Bulletin No. 1 (Revised Edition 1949), Commonwealth of Australia Meteorological Bureau – and ‘The Climate and Meteorology of Western Australia’ issued Nov 1964, Commonwealth of Australia Bureau of Meteorology. If the Doom Lord gives you my email, drop me a line and I’ll bung them in an envelope for you. These records haven’t been adjusted …

  52. Boambee John

    The phrase “inefficient costly ideology” is incorrect, it should read “inefficient costly theology”.

    Hope this helps!

  53. James Young

    For Johninoxley. If you want to know the output for Tarago or any other wind farm, you can get it on
    energy.anero.id.au/wind-energy or just search for “wind farm output australia”.

  54. Philip Shehan

    “I am a patient chap, was fabulously good looking in the long ago and have a dog that’s never bitten me but please, dear readers, can someone show me from basic science and mathematics that the human emissions (3% total) of plant food (CO2) drive climate change yet the 97% of natural emissions of CO2 do not. This has never been done and I’m still waiting for the proof. It’s easy to show that human emissions of CO2 don’t drive climate change and there are many scientific arguments to show that the total atmospheric CO2 does not drive climate change.”

    It is sad to see a scientist indulging in this kind of misleading rhetoric. Plimer is not stupid. Surely he understands that the 3% is the current yearly additional anthropogenic increase in CO2 emissions due to burning fossil fuels on top of the 97% that is recycled through the biological “carbon cycle”.

    Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, that additional CO2 has increased total atmospheric CO2 from 280 ppm to 400 ppm. A total rise of 43%, not 3%.

    There is no distinction between the effect of the “3%” and the “97%” on climate. Every CO2 mole works as a ‘greenhouse’ gas in precisely the same way, as Plimer certainly understands. And lest Plimer be tempted to indulge in any other red herrings, ( CO2 as plant food, has nothing to do with its physical properties as a ‘greenhouse gas’) yes, we all know that ‘greenhouse gases’ do warm the atmosphere via the same mechanisms as a glassed in greenhouse. It’s an analogy, like the ‘big bang’ or ‘primordial soup’.

    Plimer must surely be aware of where he can find an explanation, with supporting experimental evidence of how the greenhouse gases and CO2 in particular absorb IR radiation and warm the atmosphere.

    To say that this has never been done is breathtaking. And to demand “proof” of this while saying being content with “arguments” to the contrary is less so, but telling.

    Beside these gross misrepresentations, my objection to the demand for “proof” in the empirical sciences rather than evidence may be seen as nitpicking. But the term “proof” should be confined to deductive systems such as mathematics and formal logic. Once a mathematical proof is established, it stands for all time. This is not the case with empirical scientific evidence or theory. So yes skeptics who say science is never settled are right.

  55. .

    Every CO2 mole works as a ‘greenhouse’ gas in precisely the same way

    Um, bullshit. This violates so many laws of physics and chemistry it isn’t funny.

  56. Philip Shehan

    Mr Squiggle, (You have the advantage of me sir. I do not know your name.)

    In the first place my point was that a CO2 molecule is a CO2 molecule, whatever its source.

    Your response seems to lack supporting evidence, so my ability to discuss your objections further is limited.

  57. Philip Shehan

    PS. I will add that having a PhD in nuclear magnetic resonance, I am unaware of any such violations of the laws of chemistry and physics..

  58. Philip Shehan

    PPS. I did my PhD in a chemistry department. As a graduate student I demonstrated to undergraduate students the use of an Infra Red spectrometer. They all learned to recognise the absorption bands caused by the absorption of quanta of IR radiation by the C=O double bond.

  59. Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC

    Shehan:

    Plimer must surely be aware of where he can find an explanation, with supporting experimental evidence of how the greenhouse gases and CO2 in particular absorb IR radiation and warm the atmosphere.

    It’s transparently obvious that you have not read Ian’s earlier work, and are unfamiliar with both the actual impact of CO2 as a greenhouse gas, and its energy saturation curve (to use a term more familiar to most here). Had you been so familiar, you would not have beclowned yourself in the manner you have.

    During the Silurian/Ordovician, atmospheric CO2 levels were ten times those of today – yet far from a ‘global greenhouse’ the planet experienced a global glaciation. This (as well as the empirical data of millions of balloon measurments plus the satellite data) allows us to disprove the computer models of the cli-fi fraudsters (Mann, the proven CRU liars etc).

    Poor old CO2 has been demonised by these frauds and the wheels are now coming off their scam – as Darwin Zero illustrates. And Antony Watts volunteers proved that the cli-fi scammers terrestrial record was also false – they were accounting UHI as CO2-caused (and they proved this by examining very nearly every temperature measuring station in the USA, finding that most of them failed to meet standards for location by being in asphalt carparks, next to air conditioner outlets and so forth. If they have to adjust the raw data (and it’s all one way, those adjustments, up) to ‘prove’ their models correct, then the models are wrong, and their fraud collapses.

    You also have a failure in logic in your argument as you ‘argue from authority’. Such a syllogism automatically invalidates your argument.

    During the Ordovician-Silurian (450-420mya) and Jurassic-Cretaceous (151-132mya), global glaciations occured when atmospheric CO2 levels were over 4000ppmv and 2000ppmv respectively. (Ref: Berner, RA and Kothavala, Z., 2001, GeocarbIII: A Revised Model of Atmospheric CO2 over Phanerozoic Time, American Journal of Science 301, 182-204.)

    Cli-fi fraudsters have not yet been able to explain how their ‘oh, so HOT‘ models survive this small point.

    Ian points this out, and a lot else – climate is a complex system (see the Santa Fe Institutes research on complex systems) and it is not to be explained by ‘da CO2 dunnit’ simplicity of imbecilic greens. CO2 is most certainly not the simple rheostat those idiots claim.

    This is, of course, why Ian is so hated by the swivel-eyes religious freaks of the cult of Gaia AKA ‘The Greens’.

    Oh, it may surprise you to be told that this blog has the highest concentration of postgrads (including PhD’s) of any general blog in Australia. I’m one of them, which is why your argument from authority fails so signally to impress.

  60. Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC
  61. Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC

    Oh, and curse you, Ian!

    I have your earlier book signed by yourself and by Lord Monckton. So I’ll be after a signed copy from you… but how the heck do I get Monckton to sign it as well??

  62. incoherent rambler

    I will add that having a PhD in nuclear magnetic resonance.
    I did my PhD in a chemistry department.

    We have a live one!

    On the NMR and chemistry front, I outrank the troll.
    He is either ignorant or deceptive or both.

  63. incoherent rambler

    s/either/one of/

  64. Rob MW

    “We have a live one!”

    I love the smell of napalm in the early afternoon. Fucking 12 deg here at the moment, thank whatshisname for the Norseman legend, flatout like a black darkish snake under an 18 wheeler.

  65. Philip Shehan

    I am familiar with some of Plimer’s work, but it his contribution here I am discussing.

    Yes I do understand saturation curves. This one shows that we are a long, long way from plateauing.

    I am aware if climate conditions in the waybackezioc eras. And aware that CO2 is not the only mechanism responsible for global temperature. Orbital parameters, solar output (not the piddling variations of current cycles) etc are key operatives over geological timescales.

    Mann was not using models. He was using proxy data which even skeptic Jo Nova endorses. You will have to add another 0.6 C of warming to the proxy data ending in 1950.

    I am familiar with Watts’ complaints and his failure to accept the umpire’s decision as he said he would. No one said the urban heat island effect is caused by CO2. In fact the much despised “adjustments” reduce temperatures in order to account for it.

    Nor do all adjustments increase temperatures. In my neck of the woods, Australia’s BOM homogenisations decreased the frequency of hot days across the continent and replaced a warming with cooling in the north west of the continent. See graphs here.

    Of course climate is a complex system. That is why computer’s are needed to factor in all the variable into climate models. Pencil and paper just won’t cut it.

    My reference to my academic qualifications and experience (eg with absorption of IR radiation by the C=O double bond was not a claim of “authority”. Merely a claim of competence to discuss these matters with some knowledge. When a claim is made that greenhouse gas theory is “bullshit” which violates the laws of physics and chemistry, I am in a better position to say “I don’t think so” than someone who has no training or professional experience with those laws. And it is signal that I will require a bit more evidence than pronouncements of “bullshit” on such matters.

    Now instead tirades about fraud conspiracies etc and your failure to be impressed, how about refuting the specific points I have made? That’s what “one of them” would do.

    And that goes for the aptly named incoherent rambler too.

  66. Bruce of Newcastle

    PPS. I did my PhD in a chemistry department. As a graduate student I demonstrated to undergraduate students the use of an Infra Red spectrometer. They all learned to recognise the absorption bands caused by the absorption of quanta of IR radiation by the C=O double bond.

    Philip – So did I, but I never used an Infra Red spectrometer. The instrument I used was a boring old infrared spectrometer. Not even FTIR. It was slightly worn around the edges because of all of us using it so much. Likewise our old Jeol 60 MHz NMR, which was my close friend. I went through so many NMR tubes it wasn’t funny.

    Philip, you as a scientist should know, as do I, that what happens in the real world is not always what current theory suggests. The idea is to match hypotheses against the empirical data and adjust the hypothesis to it. Unfortunately this is not happening with the climate science field right now because it has been captured by politics.

    If empirical data is matched to hypothesis the hypothesis which fits the data is the low climate sensitivity hypothesis. My analysis (I’ve worked with scientific data in R&D for nearly 35 years now) is empirical equilibrium climate sensitivity is about 0.7 C/doubling, well below the Arrhenius value. In the past five years no one has falsified this analysis, but several other studies using similar approaches have supported it. Indeed my model has had significant skill in prediction, better than the IPCC ensemble models.

    If you do the arithmetic you will know why an ECS of 0.7 C/doubling is completely harmless. Indeed if you know chemistry, as you clearly do, you’ll understand why even the ocean acidification thing is complete garbage. On the other hand the increase in pCO2 is having a real and measurable benefit to biosphere productivity.

    Empirically the breakdown of warming last century is this:

    Solar direct and indirect: 0.33 C
    Ocean cycles: 0.28 C
    CO2 and everything else: 0.13 C

    The solar and ocean cycle forcings have now cyclically reversed to their cooling phases, which is why we have seen flat temperatures since 1997 and slow global cooling since 2001. The solar indicators suggest cooling will accelerate as we come off of the solar cycle peak, which is this year.

    The whole global warming scam is about to unravel under the rude and completely irresistible forces of reality.

  67. incoherent rambler

    It is a tough ask trying to sell AGW during an unusually cold winter.

  68. .

    Phillip

    A change from 397 ppm to 400 ppm has a marginal effect compared to a move from 280 ppm to 283 ppm. The point where we are at now, more CO2 has a highly marginal, non linear, positive but monotonically decreasing effect on temperatures.

    The argument was over concentrations of chemicals yielding different physical and chemical properties.

    No one was arguing that new CO2 is any different. The aggregate effect changes as concentrations do.

    For I am not a scientist, the best way I relate to this is like a dose-response rate in pharmacology. Where we are at now is like taking panadol after you’ve already taken ten of them.

  69. Philip Shehan

    On my “authority”. I was directed here by a post on Andrew Bolt’s blog. I posted this explanation on another blog directing to my comments there:

    I post as “Dr Brian” when discussing science on Mr Bolt’s blog. Brian is my first given name and I tired of responding to comments from the punters like “You clearly know nothing about science/statistics/Popper/etc/etc”, with ” Well, actually I do… (I have a PhD in nuclear magnetic resonance and a graduate diploma in history and philosophy of science). I hoped the “Dr” would at least make them think twice, but it only seems to annoy them more, which is in itself enough reason to keep using it

  70. Bruce of Newcastle

    Yes I do understand saturation curves. This one shows that we are a long, long way from plateauing.

    Philip – That curve is in isolation. In the real world the long wave IR absorption is altered by the water cycle. Atmospheric H2O absorbs the back radiation thereby increasing atmospheric humidity. The water vapour then diffuses to the troposphere where it condenses, thereby reradiating the energy from the latent heat of evaporation out to space. This means the CO2 in most of the air column never “sees” the IR back radiation which it would absorb. That is because water is a much better GHG than CO2 and the phase change chemistry causes the CO2 in the lower atmosphere to be mostly bypassed.

    The IPCC ensemble models don’t correctly model the water cycle so they overestimate the effect of the CO2. To validate the models the modellers then smooge the other degrees of freedom to fit to the 20thC temperature record, especially things like aerosols. But the empirical data just does not support the aerosol W/m^2 values they are using.

    I always used to have the same arguments with the theoreticians in my career. One guy who was a world expert on aqueous thermodynamics used to maintain a certain compound was chemically unstable. I’d have fun arguments with him. Eventually some people at ANSTO did a paper which showed I was right and he was wrong because the complications of the real world rendered the compound stable due to impurities altering the crystal structure. Which prevented its decomposition. CO2 sensitivity is the same – the water cycle pretty much snookers CO2, so it has very little real world effect.

  71. Bruce of Newcastle

    I post as “Dr Brian” when discussing science on Mr Bolt’s blog.

    Hi Dr Brian. 🙂

    You and I have tangled occasionally at Bolt’s. I’m Bruce of Newcastle, or as I sometimes replied to you: Dr Bruce. 😉

    If you would like a discussion of the science, the Cat is a good place for it since the moderators are less painful than Bolt’s, and its possible to have a conversation. A few of the denizens here have strong science quals, so have at it!

  72. Bruce of Newcastle

    Btw Philip, if you keep to three links you won’t go into moderation.

  73. Philip Shehan

    Thanks Bruce. I seem to recall your name from other blogs. A bit busy at the moment to go into a long response but I agree with much of what you write but my objection to Plimer’s rather misleading statements stands. (A long long time since I had anything to do with IR. I was using the capitalization to indicate the abbreviation to those who are unfamiliar with the technique.)

    Yes 0.7 C would be pretty harmless but in looking at all the evidence I tend to think the number is at the low end of the IPCC range of 1.5-4.5 C .

    Thank you for some elaboration from the nameless person. You will note I have referred to the ‘response curve’ for CO2 in my earlier reply. At the risk of speaking authoritatively, I did spend seven years in a pharmaceutical chemistry lab at Monash University. The pharmacologists were a floor up but I get your drift.

  74. jupes

    Hey Phil, what is your opinion of the RSS Satellite data that shows no warming over the last 18 years?

  75. .

    Yes 0.7 C would be pretty harmless but in looking at all the evidence I tend to think the number is at the low end of the IPCC range of 1.5-4.5 C .

    Properly conducted, time series analysis appropriate regression modelling shows the CO2 influence is less than half of the lower range.

  76. Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC

    Well, now bruce has shown up and joined in the fun, I’ll tend to sit back a little and learn.

    May I request the reference in relation to your CO2 saturation curve? I have seen it before (or something very similar) being used as ‘proof’ (by a green) that dat debbil debbil CO2 was going to kill us all.

    Bruce’s point is germane, here. The cli-fi fraudster (per the green aforementioned) will point to one graph, claim proof of position, and try to convince one that CO2 is therefore a rheostat, so more CO2 = higher temperature = “give me public money to spread the Holy Word according to the Goreacle”. This is one source where any educated person’s contempt for cli-fi fraudsters comes from.

    But it’s not as simple as that, we simply do not understand the interreactions of all the variables, and energy transfers between GHG’s vary with temperature and altitude, and that’s before we examine what turbidity does. It’s a deeply complex system we do not understand.

    yet the cli-fi fraudsters claim it’s a simple system we DO understand: however, their ‘solutions’ are the same as these same ideologues proposed when they ran the ‘global cooling’ scam of the 70s – de-industrialisation, centralisation of power in the trustworthy hands of an elite… and guess who formed that elite?

    This is concrete evidence not of scientific discourse but of the political opportunism of totalitarians painted green.

    hence the violent opposition of the cli-fi fraudsters to what they demonise as “climate deniers” (perhaps the most stupid term in existence). Actual science is hardly relevant to them – they are bidding for plitical power here.

  77. jupes

    Hey Phil while you’re at it, as an expert authority PhD on the subject can you help me out with the following questions:

    Is there anything Australia can do that will effect global temperature? If so what?

    What is more important: Total CO2 emissions or CO2 emissions per capita?

    Will more CO2 in the atmosphere cause plants to grow faster and bigger or smaller and slower?

    Why have the models consistently underestimated the amount of global warming?

  78. Bruce of Newcastle

    At the risk of speaking authoritatively, I did spend seven years in a pharmaceutical chemistry lab at Monash University.

    Yeah, yeah, I did couple degrees in chemistry at USyd, then nearly 30 years process chemistry R&D in industry until just now. Lets not do the ab auctoritate thing and stick to the data and papers OK? Inco is like me except even more experienced.

    As with all these things the science is what drives it all. The data I see shows no problem. Therefore expenditure of trillions is unwarranted.

  79. Of course climate is a complex system. That is why computer’s are needed to factor in all the variable into climate models. Pencil and paper just won’t cut it.

    To model anything on computers you first need to understand it fully. There is not a single scientist in the world who will claim to fully understand how climate works, thus all computer models are a best-guess scenario. Further, the sheer number of variables and complexities of what we do understand are so vast that the search space for likely outcomes and forecasts is too large for the mind to even comprehend. Every computer ever invented, networked and powered would take millenia just to come up with a tiny fraction of potential outcomes. In other words, it is currently (until large-scale quantum computing is invented) impossible to accurately model the environment using computers. It doesn’t mean we can’t try but any outputs need to be taken with a very large bucket of salt and since all 100 odd models have so far been shown to be utterly, utterly wrong by a very, very considerable margin your faith in computer models is as warped as your arguments for the global warming scam.

  80. Philip Shehan

    Jupes. I will repost part of a recent comment from Mr Bolt’s blog:

    How about this graph?

    Mr Bolt, like all skeptics, cherry picks RSS data rather than the UAH satellite data or surface data precisely because it is an outlier, and refuses to engage with a mathematical analysis of that data.

    Even for the RSS data there is no statistically significant reduction in the rate of warming compared with the entire satellite record:

    1979: 0.121 ±0.064 °C/decade

    1997: -0.003 ±0.170 °C/decade

    1999: 0.033 ±0.175 °C/decade.

    They are not statistically distinguishable because the trends plus or minus the error margins overlap.

    For UAH data the numbers are

    0.139 ±0.064 °C/decade

    0.102 ±0.173 °C/decade

    0.147 ±0.175 °C/decade

    I won’t go in to statistical significance in detail here but confidence limits inevitably increase with shorter time limits simply because the “noise” ( the variation of data from the trend line) is about the same but the “signal” (the vertical rise of the trend line) is reduced. Thus the signal to noise rato for the data is reduced.

    The shorter the time period, the less trustworthy the trend is.

    So if I were naughty, I could point to the RSS data since 2011 and declare that the trend is 0.412 °C/decade.

    We’re all gonna fry!!!

    But looking at the 2 sigma or 95% confidence limits the trend is actually

    Trend: 0.412 ±0.880 °C/decade

    Meaning that there is a 95% probability that the real trend is between warming of 1.29 and cooling of -0.468 °C/decade.

    Clearly, you can drive a bus between those error margins, so statistically, that trend is not distinguishable from the other RSS (or UAH) trends given above.

  81. .

    So Philip, assuming a normal or binomial distribution, then the longest dataset you noted has an expected value of 0.57 deg C warming per century.

    Which is less than half of the lower end of IPCC estimates.

    There is nothing to worry about, let alone begin start knocking up cost-benefits tests, which have always failed when done honestly and rigorously.

  82. Philip Shehan

    Bruce, mentioning the pharmacy college was a tongue in cheek reference to the comment on pharmacology (which I was assenting to) and references to my “authority”.

    Jupes. I am primarily interested in people on either side of the debate getting the science right.

    As an inexpert opinion, Australia can only make a contribution to a global response to AGW by reducing its own emissions.

    It does not really matter if you are talking about total emissions or per capita emissions.

    Increased CO2 increases plant growth. (A science question.)

    The models have not consistently underestimated the amount of global warming. Fig 9.8 page 768 here. (A science question)

  83. Sinclair Davidson

    I am primarily interested in people on either side of the debate getting the science right.

    Oh rubbish. IIRC you’re the guy who claimed that if a temperature graph included the origin then all temperatures would have to be converted to Kelvin.

  84. Bruce of Newcastle

    Philip – You are making the mistake of doing a linear regression on a multivariate dataset.

    This is a better line of best fit, albeit to HadCRUT 3. Essentially UAH is the same from 1979 anyway. (I do not link to HadCRUT 4 as they have underestimated UHIE).

    HadCRUT 3 temperature anomaly

    As you can see a sinusoidal regression works. The reason for that is that the ~60 year cycle is worth about 0.28 C peak to trough. You can see it clearly in this detrended version of the same graph.

    Now lets look at the detail. In 1906, which is the beginning of the IPCC’s century, during which temperature rose 0.74 C, the cycle was at bottom. In 2005 you can see from the graph that the cycle was at its peak. Therefore about 0.28 C of the temperature rise is an artefact of the cycle. You can readily confirm this by using the WFT graphing function on HadCRUT 3 to see that from 1880 the rise to 2005 was only about 0.5 C. That is because 1880 was at the peak of the same cycle.

    If you remove 0.28 C from the 0.74 C you have dropped derived climate sensitivity by nearly 40% because the IPCC ensemble models do not include the cycle but do validate to the same temperature data. Therefore the variance due to the cycle has been incorrectly assigned to CO2 in those models. This an example of the ‘omitted variable bias’ fallacy. Look it up.

    The same goes when you examine the total indirect solar forcing, which is another 40% off ECS. The solar grand maximum just happened to peak in 2005, which was the top of solar cycle 23. Solar output was the highest for over 9,000 years – I can give citations/links but I want to keep to the limit of 3 for this comment. Let me know if you want the links.

  85. Philip Shehan

    The longest data period shows that since 1979, the most probable or expected rise is 1.21 (RSS) or 1.47 (UAH) C/century.

    Neither the rise in CO2 concentration nor temperature has been linear over the longer time frame, so there is no reason to assume it will be so in the future.

  86. Philip Shehan

    Bruce your comment appeared as I was typing. Yes a linear regression is only useful as an estmate for short term data sets. Not too short so the confidence limits render the exercise pointless, but not too long where a non linear trend better describes the trend.

    Briefly with regard to models and a 60 year period. Bob Carter’s book (among others) makes a good argument that the 60 year PDO has not adequately been incorporated in the models thus far. He fails to notice/ comment that the sinusoid is superimposed on the rising line in the nonlinear fit of temperature data which may be ascribed to warming due to the rising CO2 concentration.

  87. Philip Shehan

    Sinclair. No I did not.

    I have pointed out to those who wish to include a baseline of 0 C on the arbitrary celsius scale in graphs to make the rise look flatter should perhaps use the absolute temperature scale (which is used in scientific formulae, eg PV =nRT) and really flatten the line out.

  88. .

    You have made no mention of cointegraton Philip.

    The best estimates are less than half of the lower end of IPCC claims.

    The longest data period shows that since 1979, the most probable or expected rise is 1.21 (RSS) or 1.47 (UAH) C/century.

    So the expected value is the highest extreme value in an estimation?

    I think you’ve made a mistake, Philip.

  89. Bruce of Newcastle

    He fails to notice/ comment that the sinusoid is superimposed on the rising line in the nonlinear fit of temperature data which may be ascribed to warming due to the rising CO2 concentration.

    Philip – That argument only works if you go peak to peak, thereby zeroing out the cycle. Unfortunately the IPCC ensemble models by using the 1906-2005 period don’t zero it out. They go from trough to peak. If they did their bottom end ECS range would drop below 1 C/doubling. Which would also kill the CAGW bandwagon.

    In the Mann thread just now I made a comment which is pertinent, since his paper Knight et al 2005 (in GRL) shows the cycle is persistent in the data for over a millennium. So it must be included.

    When you do include it the results are as you might expect. The UK Met office did this analysis, somewhat quietly. What they found is this.

    Met Office scale back global warming forecast

    The Met Office says natural cycles have caused the recent slowdown in warming

    So what they found is if they incorporated the PDO/IPO and the AMO (both have a ~60 year period) into a climate model the temperature projection out to 2018 was flat. It is noteworthy that the analysis was done in 2012, so we have 3 more years of data since that time…and the hump they have around 2016 is not occurring. So even with the cycle included they still overestimated.

    If you want I can provide a lot of scientific papers on the other natural component of warming last century, which is the solar indirect effect. I use Butler and Johnson 1996 since I tend to focus on the CET, but others use different proxies for it. Our projections are pretty similar since the proxies are all describing the underlying forcing. Which isn’t included in the IPCC models, yet has now reversed course to cooling too.

  90. Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC

    As an inexpert opinion, Australia can only make a contribution to a global response to AGW by reducing its own emissions.

    This is green boilerplate, ‘we have to DO summat, ee by gum’, so they can preen and feel morally superior on someone else’s dollar.

    I deny this premise. We should not do anything, as Australia is so vanishingly small as a CO2 contributor that there is absolutely nothing we can possibly do to make one iota of difference. The Chinese and Indian governments have expressly rejected the global warming line, and adamantly refuse to change their plans for massive increases in fossil fuel use to lift their populations out of poverty.

    And neither should they, that’s their JOB. Unlike greens (who are racists to the bone), I much prefer to reduce human poverty, as capitalism has been doing consistently since 1820.

    Given the simple facts about China and India (and japan and a bunch of other states), anything we can do is irrelevant.

    Therefore every cent spent is purest waste.

    Therefore ANY other use of that money is superior to it being wasted.

    I’d split it between expanding the RAN, building more and better very large supercritical coal-fired power stations to slash electricity prices and recover our comparative advantage, and funding pure research in physics, chenistry and materials science.

    The greens would rather waste my money so they can feel smug about themselves – there is a reason they are referred to on this site as ‘greenfilth’.

  91. Philip Shehan

    Sorry nameless (don’t mean to be rude but you have given me no form of address). I did make a mistake quoting the wrong value for UAH data from 1979. I quoted the value from 1999.

    The 1979 figure 0.139 ±0.064 °C/decade. This has the lowest confidence limits. So the most probable value is the centre of the normal distribution, 0.139 °C/decade.

    Bruce. Will look at your posts in detail when I have more time. A lot to consider.

  92. .

    Sorry I read the confidence limits like it was in Laotian. Scratch all what I said with regard to that.

    However – you have not addressed any cointegrated regression studies. The IPCC simply overestimate.

  93. Bruce of Newcastle

    Sorry nameless (don’t mean to be rude but you have given me no form of address)

    Philip – we call Dot “Dot”. He’s a bit of a character, being a libertarian.

    You are always welcome here at the Cat since we’re a herd of cats. You need a thick skin and a sense of humour.

  94. .

    Funnily enough I haven’t looked at confidence limits in a while (I didn’t even recognise them) so “polynomial cointegraton” is also new to me. I thought fractional cointegraton was cutting edge!

    https://landshape.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/not-polynomially-cointegrated-so-global-warming-is-not-due-to-agw-beenstock/

    Basically there is no long term effect of CO2 forcing but only short term forcings.

    Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss., 3, 561-596, 2012 http://www.earth-syst-dynam-discuss.net/3/561/2012/ doi:10.5194/esdd-3-561-2012

    Research Article

    Polynomial cointegration tests of anthropogenic impact on global warming

    Received: 06 May 2012 – Accepted: 25 Jun 2012 – Published: 16 Jul 2012

    Abstract.

    We use statistical methods for nonstationary time series to test the anthropogenic interpretation of global warming (AGW), according to which an increase in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations raised global temperature in the 20th century. Specifically, the methodology of polynomial cointegration is used to test AGW since during the observation period (1880–2007) global temperature and solar irradiance are stationary in 1st differences whereas greenhouse gases and aerosol forcings are stationary in 2nd differences. We show that although these anthropogenic forcings share a common stochastic trend, this trend is empirically independent of the stochastic trend in temperature and solar irradiance. Therefore, greenhouse gas forcing, aerosols, solar irradiance and global temperature are not polynomially cointegrated. This implies that recent global warming is not statistically significantly related to anthropogenic forcing. On the other hand, we find that greenhouse gas forcing might have had a temporary effect on global temperature.

    Citation: Beenstock, M., Reingewertz, Y., and Paldor, N.: Polynomial cointegration tests of anthropogenic impact on global warming, Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss., 3, 561-596, doi:10.5194/esdd-3-561-2012, 2012.

    Available at:

    http://www.earth-syst-dynam-discuss.net/3/561/2012/esdd-3-561-2012.html

  95. .

    Come back Phil.

    I’m sorry I insulted our collective intelligence with a gaffe over confidence intervals, but you really ought to answer questions regarding the Beenstock et. al. paper.

  96. cohenite

    FMD; I gave up on Phil when he posted a forcing curve ( in isolation as BON noted) and claimed it was a saturation curve. What Phil is vaguely referring to is the logarithmic effect of extra CO2 which has a declining forcing effect as described by Beer-Lambert’s Law. Saturation is another issue whereby the emissivity of CO2 in the atmosphere effectively ceases.

    Anyway perhaps Phil can enlighten us as to whether he things the decline in forcing by extra CO2 is best described as a logarithmic decline or a negative exponential?

  97. Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC

    Is there a heat and kitchen issue here?

    Cat’s a tough gig if you cleave to any luvvie narrative de jour…..

  98. Rob MW

    “Jupes. I am primarily interested in people on either side of the debate getting the science right.”

    Lol……what from a catastrophic carbon cycle point of view ? Now to the real science of climate…..uhmmm……maybe something to do with bayesian fortified climate computer models being stuck by actually modelling the owner’s ideology.

  99. Philip Shehan

    ‘Dot’ I’s late here have been busy and I have just come in to turn off the computer but I wasn’t offended. I did make an error but I confess to not getting what you meant by cointegration. Will look at the links tomorrow.

  100. evcricket

    Geologist Ian Plimer demonstrates that there are topics apart from climate change he doesn’t understand.

    There is no solar in the AEMO list (which he failed to link to correctly) because at the time the data was collected it was all behind the meter. As a geologist I’ m not surprised he didn’t understand that point.

    Further, since that data was tabulated the Nyngan solar farm has opened. This is built and operated by Australia’s largest emitter and largest owner of fossil fuel powerplants, AGL. Rather than try and operate Lidell powerstation, which was sold to them for $1 AGL thought it made better economic sense to build Australia’s largest solar farm.

    Anyway, another piece from Plimer which makes it very clear he can be ignored in future.

  101. Gab

    Geologist Ian Plimer demonstrates that there are topics apart from climate change he doesn’t understand.

    Says world-renowned climate scientist “evcricket”.

    There is no solar in the AEMO list (which he failed to link to correctly)

    How do you know this if he failed to link it correctly?

    Perhaps you can link it here correctly?

  102. .

    So ev, would you like to comment on the issue of carbon forcing being a non cointegrated variable and thus having no long term effect on temperature?

    Maybe there are statistical matters you do not understand and should not comment on.

  103. cohenite

    FMD now this crickets idiot wanders in and badmouths Plimer. Crickets thinks Nyngan is the bees knees. it is a photovoltaic farm with an IC or name-plate capacity of 102 MW. What are its prospects and what subsidy did it get. Perhaps crickets can enlighten us.

    In the meantime a comparable photovoltaic farm was knocked up at Moree under the Gillard government auspices. Moree had a IC of 150 MW, cost $923 Million of which nearly half was a direct government subsidy. Moree covers 12 square kilometers and to produce the same electricity as Bayswater (say 2600 MW) would need 204 square kilometers. That’s assuming Moree produced its IC of 150 MW. In fact Moree actually produces less than 20% of its IC or about 30MW, which means to produce as much as Bayswater would require 1020 square kilometers.

    In fact Moree has produced no usable electricity in respect of shutting down fossil power plants at all. So that $923 Million goes straight on the electricity bill thanks to green fuckwits like crickets who influence witless pollies.

  104. Bob

    The link to ‘… a screaming headline …’ is wrong. It should link to (it wrongly points to …-power-exceeded-…).

  105. Bob

    The link to Danish Electricity Authority should point to http://www.energinet.dk/EN/El/Sider/Elsystemet-lige-nu.aspx (instead it wrongly points to …/Elsystermet-lige… )

  106. Bob

    The last link in the article, ” Taxpayers via the NSW … $64.9 million of the capital cost ” should point to http://www.agl.com.au/about-agl/how-we-source-energy/renewable-energy/broken-hill-solar-plant, it wrongly points to …/about_agl/… instead.

  107. gbees

    the 140% windfarm power claim is along the lines of the Spanish molten salt (Torresol Enegy) solar farm which greenies claimed now supplied power for 24 hours. Sleight of hand or mouth. Turns out it was able to produce power for 24 hours for 3-4 sunny days in the middle of summer.

  108. gbees

    Choenite – ” thanks to green fuckwits like crickets who influence witless pollies.” … you’re way too polite.

  109. Andrew

    Can we pass a law that the whole of the ABC must run off Solar and Wind power only? No hydro, gas, or coal… they are allowed power storage… I’m sure with the advances in the technology they could run the studios, offices and broadcast towers on those sources alone, couldn’t they? Then perhaps we might believe them that it is viable.

    Just think of it, a truly “green” ABC!

    😉

  110. Philip Shehan

    ‘Dot’ , if you are still checking in, sorry for not getting back to you earlier but have been busy. Got ‘404ed’ on the first two links and the third only has the abstract which you reproduced. Not nearly enough information there and I confess to not understanding what they mean by a ‘polynomial cointegration test’ so I can’t comment on their conclusions.

    Sorry Bruce still have not looked at your stuff in detail.

    cohenite objects to my posting this graph in response to the comment that I am “unfamiliar with both the actual impact of CO2 as a greenhouse gas, and its energy saturation curve (to use a term more familiar to most here)”. A fair enough response of mine to the comment I would have thought.

    Would cohenite care to explain what he means by this: “Saturation is another issue whereby the emissivity of CO2 in the atmosphere effectively ceases.”

    And Bruce’s comment on the curve does not invalidate it’s shape. In fact he endorses it implicitly by giving his own value for the sensitivity parameter, expressed as a fixed rise per doubling of CO2 concentration. A logarithmic (or exponential – same dog, different whiskers) relationship. This involves applying feedback effects, positive and negative to the ” raw” atmospheric heating given by the curve.

  111. Philip Shehan

    PS. I might add that the term “saturation” immediately reminded me of the data curves for NMR data which was the topic of my PhD thesis for which saturation was the term used. The intensity vs time data for an inversion recovery experiment has exactly the shape of the energyvs Co2 concentration curve. The parameter calculated from those curves is the relaxation time of the nucleus, and is analagous to the sensitivity parameter. The relaxation time tells you about molecular motion and structure which is why I was calculating it.

    Relaxation times were calculated from the time/intensity data using either a logarithmic (more prone to error as it relied too heavily on a single value – the intensity of the signal fully recovered from “saturation”), or an exponential formula. Same dog, different whiskers.

  112. .

    Dot’ , if you are still checking in, sorry for not getting back to you earlier but have been busy. Got ’404ed’

    ???

    I just opened them. Again.

    Not nearly enough information there and I confess to not understanding what they mean by a ‘polynomial cointegration test’ so I can’t comment on their conclusions.

    There is more information in the links (which do work).

    The results mean that CO2 is not long term forcing temperatures.

    Any modelling in a time series which does not consider cointegraton and unit roots is likely to result is spurious regressions and estimates.

    Such as all of the IPCC modelling.

  113. Philip Shehan

    Pardon. Was writing from memory after checking the links the other day. Went back and checked and I could open the first link but the links within that link (except for one which again goes to the abstract) which I was hoping would give further information gave me the not found (404) message.

    Can’t see where to get the full paper on the abstract link.

    There is still insufficient information for me to comment.

  114. Andrew Deakin

    An excellent post.

    I want to make one minor comment in relation to the final paragraph, which links renewables and electricity price increases.

    The comment is intended to clarify the reasons for the price increases, and I think is worth making to ensure Ian Plimer’s main point is not undermined by those who would contest his argument about the waste of resources implicit in Australia’s mandatory requirements for investment in renewable energy supplies.

    The comment is this: the substantial increases in electricity prices over the period 2010 – 2015 are attributable mainly to substantial increases in network prices. Generally, prices increased by about 10 per cent over this period because of the mandatory renewables requirements. Other prices increases, of the order of about 50 per cent, are attributable to the increases in regulated network prices.

    Thus, while Plimer’s point about the uselessness of renewables investment stands, it is important to avoid accusations of misleading evidence by disaggregating the sources of the price increases, noting that of the 60 or so per cent increases in prices over 2010 – 2015, about 10 percentage points of this are due to renewables, the balance largely due to network charges.

    The point has ongoing significance. The rate of increases in network charges is now dropping off as the regulator reins in the excess network investment. No comparable constraint is limiting the impact of renewables investment. In fact, the reverse is occurring, and price increases attributable to the renewables mandation will continue, and continue to increase.

    The technical detail on electricity price rises is summarised in annual price reports published on the website of The Australian Energy Market Commission.

    As an aside, it is worth noting that the substantial price increases in network charges over the 2010 – 2015 period were largely unnecessary. They were due to a combination of deliberate gold plating and poor regulation.

    The main culprit was the state-owned networks in NSW. Having lost the battle to resist the transfer of network regulation from a largely compliant state regulator to the energy arm of the ACCC (the Australian Energy Regulator), the network businesses in NSW successfully sought to subvert the power of the regulator by having their state government owner legislate substantially higher statutory service standards for the electricity networks that would require substantial additional investment, and which the ACCC regulator would not be authorised to resist. At the time, the officers of the ACCC regulator were largely blind to the impact these higher service standards would have, and consequently did not contest the elements of the regulatory framework that would leave control of service standards with the state government. The result was substantial and largely unnecessary gold plating of the NSW networks, at considerable cost to the average consumer in the form of much higher electricity prices.

    The problem had been avoided in the network regulatory arrangements in Victoria, where the state regulator had the authority to set service standards based on an estimate of efficient costs to fund acceptable service levels. The Victorian regulator also established a relatively effective efficiency incentive scheme for the Victorian networks which further improved network productivity and provided relatively transparent exposure of the true cost of meeting acceptable service levels. The transfer of network regulation in Victoria to the ACCC muted the efficiency of the regulation of networks in Victoria, but in the absence of state-imposed service standards á la NSW, was not as deleterious.

    The network regulation saga in electricity has been a relatively esoteric matter, but has been gradually addressed as the political costs of excessive increases in electricity prices became too great.

    All that aside, the long term future story for increases in electricity prices will be largely a matter of the impact of the greatly unnecessary and ludicrously ineffective investment in renewables, which Ian Plimer’s post highlights with commendable clarity.

  115. cohenite

    Same dog, different whiskers.

    No. The logarithmic response is quite different from an exponential decline. The IPCC assumes that every time CO2 is doubled, the increase in temperature is the same as the previous increase. This would mean that temperature would ultimately reach infinity as CO2 continued to increase hence the alarmist term runaway and the Venus Syndrome to describe Earth’s fate.

    For an increasing independent variable, CO2, the complement of the exponential has a horizontal asymptote, while the logarithm has none. This is consistent with Radiative Forcing (RF) which is the amount of radiation absorbed, not remaining, that is, not the amount transmitted forward. Therefore if y is the % of Radiation Remaining and C is the CO2 Concentration, then the curve is y = e^-kC, where k is a positive constant.

    If the IPCC were correct about CO2 RF and saturation then CO2 would be ‘capable’ of exceeding its share of the LW IR band! Fortunately the Beer-Lambert Law by definition correctly expresses saturation in each and every IR band.

    The IPCC and its groupies really need to determine whether, and under what conditions the Beer-Lambert Law is valid, and then to find where the atmosphere at the current level of CO2 concentration is on the saturation curve described by the complement of a decaying exponential.

  116. .

    Philip Shehan
    #1767511, posted on August 14, 2015 at 5:45 pm
    Pardon. Was writing from memory after checking the links the other day. Went back and checked and I could open the first link but the links within that link (except for one which again goes to the abstract) which I was hoping would give further information gave me the not found (404) message.

    Can’t see where to get the full paper on the abstract link.

    There is still insufficient information for me to comment.

    No there isn’t. Proper analysis of time series reveals that the C02 forcing is only short term.

    You could do a literature search if you really wanted to,

  117. .

    A primer for those interested:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cointegration

    Basically, without cointegration, you cannot prove there is causation.

  118. cohenite

    For those who are interested in the myth of the correlation between temperature and CO2 this discussion especially VS’s comments is informative.

    Here is a sample:

    In other words, global temperature contains a stochastic rather than deterministic trend, and is statistically speaking, a random walk. Simply calculating OLS trends and claiming that there is a ‘clear increase’ is non-sense (non-science). According to what we observe therefore, temperatures might either increase or decrease in the following year (so no ‘trend’).

    There is more. Take a look at Beenstock and Reingewertz (2009). They apply proper econometric techniques (as opposed to e.g. Kaufmann, who performs mathematically/statistically incorrect analyses) for the analysis of such series together with greenhouse forcings, solar irradiance and the like (i.e. the GHG forcings are I(2) and temperatures are I(1) so they cannot be cointegrated, as this makes them asymptotically independent. They, therefore have to be related via more general methods such as polynomial cointegration).

    Any long term relationship between CO2 and global temperatures is rejected. This amounts, at the very least, to a huge red flag.

    Claims of the type you made here are typical of ‘climate science’. You guys apparently believe that you need not pay attention to any already established scientific field (here, statistics). In this context, much of McIntyre’s criticism is valid, however much you guys experience it as ‘obstructionism’.

    It would do your discipline well to develop a proper methodology first, and open up all of your methods to external scrutiny by other scientists, before diving head first into global policy consulting.

    PS. Also, even if the temperature series contained a deterministic trend (which it doesn’t), your ‘interpretation’ of the 95% confidence interval is inprecise and misleading, at best. I suggest you brush up on your statistics.

  119. .

    That is some excellent and valued commentary you have found cohenite. Explains what I have been banging on about.

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