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Monday, 17 December 2012

New BBC DG on the spot over bias

Date: 17/12/2012 10:49:52
Subject: GWPF Calls For New BBC Seminar On Global Warming And Climate Policy Coverage

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Press Release

GWPF Calls For New BBC Seminar On Global Warming And Climate Policy Coverage

London, 17 December: Lord Lawson (Conservative), Lord Donoughue (Labour) and Baroness Nicholson (Liberal Democrat), three Trustees of the all-Party and non-Party Global Warming Policy Foundation, have called upon the BBC’s new Director-General Designate to convene a new high-level seminar in order to re-assess the BBC’s treatment of global warming and climate policy issues.

Over many years, the BBC’s treatment of climate change issues has been marked by bias, ignorance, credulity and – in the latest episode – unwarranted concealment. The behaviour of the Corporation throughout has failed to measure up to professional standards.

In their letter to Lord Hall, the GWPF Trustees have asked the Director-General Designate also to reconsider the implications of the controversial global warming seminar held in 2006 which has shaped BBC policy on climate-related issues ever since.

In their letter the Trustees write:

“We refer to the now notorious seminar on global warming held in 2006, involving 28 senior BBC staff and 28 outsiders. As the BBC Trust subsequently explained, ‘The BBC has held a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts, and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus [on climate change and climate change policies]‘. Ever since then, the BBC has fought tooth and nail, at considerable public expense, to keep secret the identity of ‘the best scientific experts’.

As you may be aware, it now emerges that, of the 28 present, there were only two (hand-picked) climate scientists; and the bulk of the rest were either green activists (including two from Greenpeace alone) or non-scientists with a vested interest in promoting renewable energy. So the BBC stands convicted not only of culpable imbalance, but also of rank dishonesty.

We hope that, once you have grappled with the more immediate challenges facing the BBC, you will revisit this important issue. We suggest that you might start by convening a new high-level seminar, this time a more balanced one, whose non-BBC participants would be qualified climate scientists, energy and environmental economists, and experienced policy-makers – whose names, incidentally, would be made known. The Global Warming Policy Foundation would be happy to be represented in any such seminar.”


The Global Warming Policy Foundation – 14 December 2012

Dear Lord Hall,

As Trustees of the all-Party and non-Party Global Warming Policy Foundation, we would like to wish you every success in your new and important post of Director General of the BBC. It is clear that you have a number of urgent matters to attend to in your post. But when you have done that, we hope you will find time to turn your attention to a matter which, although not urgent, is of considerable importance: the BBC’s treatment of global warming and climate change issues.

That the BBC recognises the importance of these issues is clear from the lecture given at Oxford University last month by your predecessor but one, Mark Thompson, who opened with an extensive quotation from the Director of this Foundation, Dr Benny Peiser, which he then proceeded to discuss at considerable length. While he was, of course, speaking in a personal capacity, it is reasonable to suppose that his lecture reflected the present view of the BBC on how it should treat climate change issues; and since it is the fullest statement of that view currently available it merits close attention.

We wish to be fair to Mr Thompson. In places his discussion betrays a welcome acknowledgment that perhaps the BBC has not got its treatment of global warming and climate change issues quite right. And he does seem grudgingly to concede that the Global Warming Policy Foundation has a point when it insists that these issues need to be fully and openly debated.

However, against this have to be set a number of less commendable aspects of the lecture. His account of what the Global Warming Policy Foundation is and does is a travesty, wholly ignoring the fact that (as our name clearly implies) our principal focus is the policy response rather than the science. He refers, in patronising terms, to the detailed analysis by Christopher Booker of the BBC’s coverage of climate change issues which we published last year, a fully-documented and peer-reviewed report, without deigning to address any of the serious charges it made.

He also shows (as, it must be said, does the BBC as a whole) considerable ignorance of many of the issues he discusses. In particular, he seems to imagine that the issue is a simple yes-no question, namely, whether man-made carbon emissions are likely to warm the planet. He shows no awareness of the fact that there has been no recorded global warming for the past 15 years or so (despite an accelerated rise in carbon dioxide emissions), no awareness that climate scientists are deeply divided over how great or small any future warming is likely to be, and no awareness of the complexity of what the impact, for good or ill, of any such warming might be.

Above all, he shows no awareness of the crucial question of what the most cost-effective response might be, a matter on which economists are divided and on which scientists have no expertise to bring to bear. Nor, incidentally, does he recognise that what might be a sensible policy for the world as a whole may not be sensible for the UK on its own. These are all distinct issues deserving the most careful scrutiny and debate; yet the BBC appears to maintain that there is one single issue which is no longer a matter for debate at all.

The lamentable report to the BBC Trust, earlier this year, by Professor Steve Jones fell into precisely this error, arguing that the BBC should in future allow even less airtime to dissenters from the conventional wisdom, on the grounds that “For at least three years, the climate change deniers (sic) have been marginal to the scientific debate, but somehow they continued to find a place on the airwaves”.

Curiously, since he was in post when the event occurred, but perhaps revealingly in the light of recent events, Mr Thompson fails to mention what has come to be known as ‘28gate’. We refer to the now notorious seminar on global warming held in 2006, involving 28 senior BBC staff and 28 outsiders. As the BBC Trust subsequently explained, “The BBC has held a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts, and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal [ie more than derisory] space being given to the opponents of the consensus [on climate change and climate change policies]“. Ever since then, the BBC has fought tooth and nail, at considerable public expense, to keep secret the identity of “the best scientific experts”.

As you may be aware, it now emerges that, of the 28 present, there were only two (hand-picked) climate scientists; and the bulk of the rest were either green activists (including two from Greenpeace alone) or non-scientists with a vested interest in promoting renewable energy. So the BBC stands convicted not only of culpable imbalance, but also of rank dishonesty.

We hope that, once you have grappled with the more immediate challenges facing the BBC, you will revisit this important issue. We suggest that you might start by convening a new high-level seminar, this time a more balanced one, whose non-BBC participants would be qualified climate scientists, energy and environmental economists, and experienced policy-makers – whose names, incidentally, would be made known. The Global Warming Policy Foundation would be happy to be represented in any such seminar.

In the light of the public interest in this issue, we shall be posting this letter on the Foundation’s website.


Lord Lawson (Chairman) (Conservative)

Lord Donoughue (Labour)

Baroness Nicholson (Liberal Democrat)

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Saturday, 24 November 2012

BBC Bias exposed

Via Benny Pieser & CCNet.

3) Christopher Booker: The BBC’s ‘Dirty Little Secret’ And The Loss Of Trust

The Sunday Telegraph, 18 November 2012

Unfolding in the shadow of the greatest crisis in the BBC’s 90-year history has been another scandal, rather less publicised, which again reveals how profoundly the BBC has gone off the rails, morally and professionally. Last week, I reported how the BBC had spent large sums of our money fielding an array of lawyers against a pensioner from Wales to hide what I called, with considerable understatement, “a dirty little secret”. But that secret has now been disclosed to the world, confirming how seriously the BBC has been misrepresenting its policy on one of the most far-reaching issues of our time.

A year ago, I published a detailed report attempting to unravel what has long been a serious puzzle. How was it that, over the past six years, the BBC has been so ready to betray its statutory duty to impartiality by such relentlessly one-sided promotion of the scare over global warming and all it entails, such as the Government’s policy on wind farms? No organisation has done more to obscure the truth about an issue whose political and financial implications for us all are incalculable.

The BBC’s decision to defy its charter obligation to report on this subject impartially followed from a secret day-long seminar held at Television Centre on January 26, 2006. It was attended by all the BBC’s top brass, including George Entwistle, the short-lived director-general, then head of TV current affairs, and several executives who have had to “step aside” because of the Savile affair, such as Helen Boaden, then director of news, and Steve Mitchell, then head of radio news.

In 2008, the BBC Trust published a report claiming that this unprecedented decision to flout its charter was taken after a “high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts” on climate change. Among those who tried to get the BBC to identify these “experts” was Tony Newbery, the blogger who recently faced the might of a highly paid legal team which persuaded an information tribunal to uphold the BBC’s right to keep secret the names of those attending this seminar.

When, last week, those names were finally revealed – thanks to another blogger, Maurizio Morabito (see and the Wayback Machine, which stores information deleted from the internet – the result was even more startling than had been suspected. Only three of the “28 specialists” invited to advise the BBC were active scientists, none of them climate experts and all committed global-warming alarmists. Virtually all the rest were professional climate-change lobbyists, ranging from emissaries of Greenpeace and the Stop Climate Chaos campaign to the “CO2 project manager” for BP, one of the world’s largest oil companies.

As shown in my report, “The BBC and Climate Change: A Triple Betrayal” (on the Global Warming Policy Foundation website), the consequences of what this roomful of “climate activists” advocated as BBC policy were devastating. The seminar’s co-organisers, Roger Harrabin and Joe Smith, were later able to boast that one of the first fruits of their good work was the BBC’s Climate Chaos season, a stream of unashamedly propagandist documentaries, led off with two fronted by Sir David Attenborough which featured a string of ludicrous scare stories.

This was merely the prelude to hundreds of further examples, up to the present day, of how the BBC has abandoned any pretence at honest or properly researched reporting – all in accord with the party line agreed on at that seminar, the nature of which the BBC was so desperate to keep secret.

As with the Savile scandal, there seems no end to the further embarrassments the BBC cover-up has been bringing to light. Harrabin and Smith ran a small outfit set up to lobby the media on global warming, funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, WWF and the University of East Anglia (home of the Climategate emails scandal).

Stranger still, their co-sponsor of the BBC seminar was another lobbying group calling itself the International Broadcasting Trust, which in the past seven years has received £520,000 from the Department for International Development’s foreign-aid budget for “media research” – which includes lobbying the BBC on issues such as climate change. This body in turn is part of a “coalition” known as the Broadcasting Trust, and one of its partners in that is the Media Trust – of which the BBC is a “corporate member”.

So our climate-change obsessed governments have given public money to bodies to lobby the BBC, including one closely associated with a body that the BBC itself belongs to – all to ensure that the BBC promotes government policy.

There is a scandal here that is, in its own way, as disturbing as the one over the Savile affair. But whereas that is being looked into by a series of inquiries, we can be sure that no one will inquire into this second scandal. Remember, after all, how the BBC Trust (now chaired by that committed warmist Lord Patten) aided the cover-up with that lie about “the best scientific experts” in its 2008 report – which was, laughably, supposed to be addressing the BBC’s statutory commitment to impartiality.

Isn’t it odd how often, through all this, one word recurs: “trust”?

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Who is killing the electric car?

CCNet – 25 September 2012 The Climate Policy Network Who Is Killing The Electric Car?*************

 *****It's Official: Electric Car Subsidies Are A Waste Of Money And that's the real problem with electric cars: So far, not too many consumers are lining up to buy them. That means electric cars might be doomed -- no matter how much the Department of Energy wants to see them happen. --John Rosevear, Daily Finance,

************17 September 2012 Who killed the electric car? This time round, Toyota did. It said today it will not release its proposed mass-market mini e-car, the eQ. The reason: there's no demand for it, not while battery technology is failing to provide comparable range to a tank of petrol. The natural gas boom in the US has seen prices of the fuel plummet, in turn reducing the cost of electricity generated by burning it. The Japanese car maker said today it will release 21 hybrid gas-electric models in its line-up by 2015. --Tony Smith, Hardware, 24 September 2012*********

********  Toyota Motor Corp has scrapped plans for widespread sales of a new all-electric minicar, saying it had misread the market and the ability of still-emerging battery technology to meet consumer demands. “The current capabilities of electric vehicles do not meet society’s needs, whether it may be the distance the cars can run, or the costs, or how it takes a long time to charge,” said, Uchiyamada, who spearheaded Toyota’s development of the Prius hybrid in the 1990s. --Yoko Kubota, Reuters, 24 September 2012********

************ The Chevy Volt, once touted as the company's Great Green Future, needs thousands and thousands worth of incentives to move a unit … and even at that, is selling so few that they've temporarily shut down the assembly line where they're made. The company's stock price has been stuck in the low twenties for months--which means, for those following along at home, that if the government sold its GM shares today, taxpayers would lock in a $15 billion loss on the money we gave them. --Megan McArdle, The Daily Beat, 24 September 2012********

********    I think incentives for electric-vehicle buyers are dumb. New reports from the U.S. and U.K. back that view. Two non-partisan government agencies — the Congressional Budget Office in Washington, D.C. and Parliament’s Select Transport Committee — conclude that during the next decade at least, the giveaways will have little impact on sales of plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles, or on gasoline consumption and greenhouse-gas emissions. Their main beneficiaries: affluent purchasers who’d buy the vehicles anyway. --Peter Gorrie, Wheels, 24 September 2012************

************  The £11m of public money used to promote electric vehicles is mostly just helping rich Brits buy a second car, a group of MPs said. The Transport Select Committee has published a report questioning the value of spending millions trying to get electric cars on the road, claiming the money is only benefitting a "handful of motorists". "We were warned of the risk that the Government is subsidising second cars for affluent households; currently plug-in cars are mostly being purchased as second cars for town driving," committee chair and Labour MP Louise Ellman said. --Brid-Aine Parnell, The Register, 20 September 2012********

************* The frenzy over shale gas deep under Ohio and other states has the makings of a different kind of rush on the nation's highways. Businesses, cities, metropolitan transit systems and even school districts across the nation are edging toward a switch from diesel and gasoline to natural gas. Converting cars and light trucks to use either gasoline or natural gas is expensive. And heavy trucks designed specifically for natural gas also cost more than conventional diesels. But at current prices, engines that can run on natural gas cut fuel bills in half or better. --John Funk, Cleveland Live, 24 September 2012**********

********For Fiat SpA, Italy's austerity efforts have meant falling sales, stubborn losses and layoffs for thousands of workers. One business, though, has benefited mightily: the division that makes vehicles fuelled by natural gas and propane. Deliveries of those cars in Italy surged 90 per cent, to 114,226 vehicles through August, accounting for 11.6 per cent of the market, compared with 4.9 per cent a year ago. Almost every auto manufacturer that sells in Europe has increased its offerings of natural gas-powered vehicles in Italy, the region's biggest market for such cars. --Tommaso Ebhardt and Craig Trudell, Bloomberg, 25 September 2012***********

******** Cheap, abundant natural gas is changing the game for energy in the U.S., and that means a renewed push for natural gas cars. According to Pike Research, there will be a total of 25 million natural gas vehicles on the roads worldwide by 2019, and the amount of natural gas vehicles sold in North America will grow around 10 percent a year between now and 2019. GE estimates there are 15 million natural gas cars globally today, and around 250,000 in the U.S. --Katie Fehrenbacher, Gigaom 18 July 2012

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Climate Clips from CCNet

CCNet – 18 July 2012 The Climate Policy Network Germany's Green Energy Panic Government Fears Voter Anger About Electricity Prices Explosion Germany's revolutionary switch to renewable energies is stalling and the country's new environment minister has now admitted as much by casting doubt on the ambitious goals set last year. --Spiegel Online, 17 July 2012 Is the green energy transition crumbling? The German government fears the price explosion - and punishment by voters. Concern about rising electricity prices is politically understandable. Because with all due sympathy for nuclear phase-out and green energy - if their own money is involved, many citizens do not care much about their green principles anymore. And since the green energy transformation is one of the key projects of Chancellor Angela Merkel, the voters’ anger about price increases could also be expressed by withdrawing of support for those responsible in the general election in 2013. This is at least what many in the coalition government fear. Philipp Wittrock and Florian Gathmann, Spiegel Online, 17 July 2012 Ministers have delayed plans to axe Government subsidies for wind farms after another disagreement between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. The Government was poised to announce a 25 per cent cut in wind farm subsidies today after warnings from George Osborne that the taxpayer support was too generous. Sources claim that Ed Davey, the Climate Change Secretary, agreed in principle with the cuts — far greater than the 10 per cent reduction initially proposed by a Government review. An announcement was due to be made today but Nick Clegg is thought to have removed Liberal Democrat support for the scheme yesterday. Another compromise deal is being negotiated, which will be announced in the autumn, along with a new gas strategy to replace some wind generation. --Robert Winnett and James Kirkup, The Daily Telegraph, 17 July 2012 Capitol Hill's most powerful Republicans say advocates who have been discussing a carbon tax behind closed doors are wasting their breath. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), speaking through aides, have stated their opposition to the concept in recent days. While their positions are no surprise, the categorical opposition underscores the hurdles facing an ad hoc, left-right coalition of activists and policy wonks who have held a series of meetings in private to discuss the idea. --Ben Geman, The Hill, 16 July 2012 The theory of global warming claims that a trivial warming from CO2 levels will result in more water vapor in the atmosphere and an alleged 'runaway greenhouse effect'. However, satellite observations published in a new paper show that global water vapor has instead declined over the past 12 years despite steadily rising concentrations of CO2. These observations provide further support that the positive water vapor feedback in IPCC models is overstated and therefore claims of future warming greatly exaggerated. --The Hockey Schtick, 16 July 2012 A new analysis of some of the statistical methods used in getting something out of temperature readings from weather stations carried out by Steirou and Koutsoyiannis of the National Technical University of Athens has been gaining some publicity as its conclusions are startling. The researchers say that the statistical manipulation of the data to correct errors often introduces even greater errors, as well as exaggerating positive trends. --David Whitehouse, The Global Warming Policy Foundation, 18 July 2012

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Climate change:Brand or be branded.

A very interesting and valid take on the reasons behind the Climate Change debate from Oil Price .Com See Here

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Benny Pieser & CC Net clips

CCNet –  7 May 2012
The Climate Policy Network

David Cameron Faces Civil War Over 'Wind Turbine Toryism'

David Cameron is struggling to contain civil war in the Coalition following a painful setback in local elections for both Government parties. Last night the Prime Minister was warned to rein in ‘wind turbine Toryism’ as senior Conservative MPs prepared to publish an alternative programme for Government, demanding more radical tax and spending policies. --James Chapman, Daily Mail, 4 May 2012

A battered David Cameron and Nick Clegg will try to halt an outbreak of infighting between the two Coalition parties after both suffered heavy losses in the local elections. Conservative and Liberal Democrat politicians turned on each other as Labour emerged as the big winner from Thursday's contests in 180 authorities. Amid a backlash from his party, the Prime Minister came under pressure to rein in the Lib Dems. Senior right-wingers David Davis and John Redwood will issue an "alternative Queen's Speech" reflecting traditional Conservative values, calling for an end to "wind-turbine Toryism". –Andrew Grice,The Independent, 5 May 2012

Boris Johnson is being tipped to become the next Tory leader following his triumph in the London Mayoral race and a humiliating drubbing at the polls for David Cameron. The Prime Minister has been left struggling to contain civil war in the Coalition with members of his own party demanding a return to traditional Tory values after a loss of 12 councils and 405 seats. Last night the PM was warned to rein in ‘wind turbine Toryism’ as senior Conservative MPs prepared to publish an alternative programme for Government, demanding more radical tax and spending policies.--Daily Mail, 4 May 2012

New moves to reduce subsidies for fitting solar panels on homes are jeopardising Britain's hopes of hitting renewable energy targets and threatening thousands of jobs, David Cameron was warned last night. Some 400 senior figures in the solar energy industry said demand for panels has collapsed since the Government started slashing financial incentives for families that want to go green. --Nigel Morris, The Independent, 7 May 2012

Energy policy is hanging by a thread after the only credible company left to build nuclear reactors in Britain increased the price by 40 per cent to £7 billion each, The Times has learnt. The soaring estimated costs could scupper the French state-backed EDF Energy’s project to build two reactors at Hinkley Point in
Somerset. It would also leave Britain’s nuclear programme — and its energy policy — in tatters. --Tim Webb, The Times, 7 May 2012

CO2 emissions in the
US have been in decline since 2005. That is without a carbon tax, without a cap and trade system, and without mandatory, Kyoto style limits and a global carbon treaty. In Europe CO2 emissions are not falling — and Germany is even moving back to coal.What made the difference? The revolution in natural gas. --Walter Russell Mead, The American Interest, 6 May 2012

Germany’s federal government needs to prepare for the failure of its plans for the expansion of offshore wind power. "The goals are not attainable under current conditions," said Dirk Briese, managing director of Trend Research. Without strong growth in electricity generation in the North and Baltic Seas Germany's goals of its green energy transformation cannot be reached. --Klaus Stratmann, Handelsblatt, 4 May 2012

Winfried Kretschmann (Green Party), the prime minister of the state of Baden Wuerttemberg, is urging Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) to encourage the construction of new gas-fired power plants. Especially in southern
Germany energy security is at risk, according to Kretschmann. --Nikolai Fichtner, Financial Times Deutschland, 3 May 2012

Julia Gillard's frontbench has hit the panic button over the [Australian] carbon tax with senior ministers warning it is "killing" the government, and others touting Greg Combet as a leadership option.Divisions have erupted over the sales pitch and design of the tax, with some demanding the Prime Minister accelerate the planned move from a fixed to a floating carbon price, or boost planned compensation for struggling families. Julia Gillard is standing firm but her frontbench are in despair. "The carbon tax is killing us," a senior minister told The Sunday Telegraph. -Samantha Maiden, The Sunday Telegraph, 6 May 2012

1) David Cameron Faces Civil War Over 'Wind Turbine Toryism' - Daily Mail, 4 May 2012

2) Thousands Of Jobs At Risk After David Cameron Abandons Solar Subsidies - The Independent, 7 May 2012

3) Soaring Costs Threaten To Blow Britains’ Nuclear Plans Apart - The Times, 7 May 2012

4) Free Market Work: US Leads EU In CO2 Reductions - The American Interest, 6 May 2012

5) As Green Europe Turns Against Shale Gas, Gazprom Is Laughing All The Way To The Bank - Bloomberg, 7 May 2012

7) Romania's New Centre-Left Government To Stop Shale Exploration In One Of the Poorest Countries in Europe - FOCUS News Agency, 4 May 2012

8) Green EU Dithers, China And US Join Forces On Shale Gas - Platts, 4 May 2012

9) Germany’s Wind Strategy Doomed To Fail -Handelsblatt, 4 May 2012

10) You Couldn’t Make it Up: Desperate Greens Call For Fossil Fuel Subsidies - Financial Times Deutschland, 3 May 2012


Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Climate clips from CCNet

CCNet –  25 April 2012
The Climate Policy Network

Shale Cars

The New Transport Revolution?

There are more than 13 million natural gas vehicles on the road worldwide. Now companies and researchers are working on infrastructure and technologies to help bring the US's growing stock of natural gas to fuel tanks, including those of long-haul vehicles.  --David Biello, Scientific American, 23 April 2012

From the UK to Argentina, from South Africa to Mexico, countries are waking up to the potential value of domestic shale gas reserves. Suddenly, a new wave of gas producers looks set to emerge that could threaten the old oligopoly. Instead of importing natural gas, the US is beginning to export it. The geopolitical fallout will stretch out over decades. “The world will never be the same again,says Prof Stern. --Guy Chazan, Financial Times, 23 April 2012

There are an estimated 1.1 million taxis in China, 50% of which are already using natural gas engines. However, in the midst of China’s 112 million vehicles it doesn’t look like such a big splash. Whilst neither energy source has huge traction at the moment, natural gas seems to be the clear frontrunner in the race to convert the most vehicles. --Greener Ideal, 25 April 2012

Worldwide, the International Association for Natural Gas Vehicles (IANGV) puts the number of natural gas vehicles (NGVs) over 12.6 million. And globally, there are more than 18,000 natural gas fueling stations. In Asia, the average annual growth rate of NGVs has been 42 percent over the last 10 years. IANGV believes the global NGV fleet will increase at least 10-fold by 2020 – topping 50 million. --Investment U, 15 July 2012

China's leaders are finding it's a lot tougher to create a world-beating electric car industry than they hoped. In 2009, they announced bold plans to cash in on demand for clean vehicles by making China a global power in electric car manufacturing. They pledged billions of dollars for research and called for annual sales of 500,000 cars by 2015. Today, Beijing is scaling back its ambitions, chastened by technological hurdles and lack of buyer interest. Developers have yet to achieve breakthroughs and will be lucky to sell 2,000 cars this year, mostly taxis. The government has hedged its bets by broadening the industry's official goals to include cleaner gasoline engines. --Joe McDonald, Business Week, 24 April 2012

Transportation may be the key frontier natural gas will have to conquer if it is going to dramatically change America's energy future. Traditionally, changing people's driving habits – convincing them of the virtues of alternative-fuel vehicles – is not an easy task. Just look at how many electric vehicles are on the road today, after years of promised "revolutions." Yet natural gas vehicles are catching on, particularly in the one area where alternative-fuel experimentation usually starts -- trucks and commercial fleets. Last year, almost 40 percent of the trash-hauling trucks and 25 percent of the transit buses purchased in the US were fueled by natural gas. --Alexandra Marks, The Christian Science Monitor, 23 April 2012

There is little danger that the technique used to produce shale gas, which is known as hydraulic fracturing, could contaminate ground water provided wells are sufficiently deep, according to a research report published by the U.K.'s Durham University Wednesday.This conclusion is the second piece of good news in a week for the U.K.'s nascent shale gas industry, which has struggled to overcome public fears about its environmental safety. --James Herron, The Wall Street Journal, 25 April 2012

1) Shale Cars: The New Transport Revolution? - Scientific American, 23 April 2012

2) Would converting vehicles from oil to natural gas solve US energy woes? - The Christian Science Monitor, 23 April 2012

3) Will Natural Gas Overtake the Biofuel Car? - Greener Ideal, 25 April 2012

4) China's dream of electric car leadership elusive - Business Week, 24 April 2012

5) Shale Gas Shakes Geo-Political Foundations - Financial Times, 23 April 2012

6) UK Study Shows Little Danger Of Shale Gas Water Contamination - The Wall Street Journal, 25 April 2012

Thursday, 19 April 2012


CCNet –  19 March 2012
The Climate Policy Network

Europe’s Cold War Over Shale
Green Campaigners Accuse Polish MEP Of-Anti-Russian Bias
The environmental group Food & Water Europe has accused the Polish author of a European Parliament report on shale gas extraction of resorting to "Cold War" rhetoric against Russia to support the industry's development. In a statement released on Monday, Food & Water Europe blasted the draft report by MEP BogusÅ‚aw Sonik (European People's Party) on the environmental impacts of shale gas and shale oil extraction activities. Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Europe, also accuses the report's author of anti-Russian bias. --EurActiv, 18 April 2012

The biggest risk for
Russia is not the US shale gas but the potential of the development of similar reserves in neighbouring Bulgaria, Romania, Poland and Ukraine. Natural gas is one of the key economic engines of Russia. Could the boom in shale gas challenge the leadership of Russia in gas? Until now, Moscow and Gazprom have seemingly been nonchalant about the threat. But as the impact of the boom in US natural gas production becomes clear, depressing prices to levels not seen in 10 years and increasing the prospect of the country becoming an exporter, the Kremlin is beginning to pay attention. --Javier Blas, Financial Times, 19 April 2012

The dynamic rise of shale gas has raised alarm bells in the highest reaches of the Kremlin. Why? Because Gazprom’s European customers, tired of being ripped off by Gazprom, are avidly exploring the possibilities of undertaking fracking to develop their own sources of the “blue gold,” and nowhere is interest higher than in the Russian Federation’s neighbors Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and China. Gazprom’s exports to
Europe are already falling because of increased competition. Moscow’s National Research University Higher School of Economics Center for evaluation of commodity assets director Valery Kryukov noted that while Gazprom previously supplied 37 percent of Europe’s natural gas needs, that had slipped to 25 percent and concluded, “Russia risks losing its main source of income - the export of natural gas.” --John Daly,Oil Price, 13 April 2012
American sources have told British counterparts of hopes that their nation's energy security headaches could be transformed by fracking shale formations to release American oil and gas. If all goes well, America could find itself much less dependent on the Middle East and troublesome allies in the Arab world, is the message from Washington. The nightmare scenario for some British government insiders is the reverse. Namely, Britain discovers promising reserves, but then is hobbled by irrational European environmental rules and as a result finds itself stuck in the only rich-world economic block that is still dependent on the Middle East for energy. –Bagehot, The Economist, 17 April 2012

The British government will allow shale-gas exploration to resume in northern
England. This could be the harbinger of some very good news for consumers in the U.K. and throughout Europe. Britain and Europe could be on the brink of a shale revolution—or at least an end to chronic undersupply—if its governments don't stand in the way. On that point, the U.K. isn't the only good-news story. Poland, which is keen to throw off the yoke of dependence on Russian fuel, continues to press forward with shale-gas exploration. Efforts from Greens in the European Parliament to ban or restrict fracking throughout the European Union have gone nowhere. --Editorial, The Wall Street Journal, 19 April 2012

The battle over the development of
France’s unconventional hydrocarbon resources is set to reignite with the publication of a report in favour of research activities in hydraulic fracturing to investigate shale oil and gas resource potential. The release of the report, eight months after France implemented a ban on the extraction of hydrocarbon resources by hydraulic fracturing, comes at a time when the energy mix and energy pricing is playing a heighted role in the French Presidential elections. Speaking to RTL, the Socialist Candidate for President indicated a policy shift from the party's previous unequivocal opposition to shale oil and shale gas development. Francois Hollande commented: "You should never rule out anything, especially if research shows that one can obtain this gas without harming nature." --Natural Gas Europe, 1 April 2012

The case of shale gas development cannot be considered closed in
Bulgaria, according to Energy and Economy Minister Delyan Dobrev. In a Friday interview for the morning broadcast of the Bulgarian National Television (BNT), Dobrev announced that a parliamentary committee would be set up this week to review the shale gas moratorium. The Energy Minister explained that the ban on hydraulic fracturing could be revoked if the ad hoc committee declared the technology harmless. "If it turns out that shale gas is not harmful to the environment and the environmental impact assessment (EIA) comes out positive, then we should really take advantage of it," Dobrev stated. --Sofia News, Agency 2 April 2012

A UK study into hydraulic fracturing offers New Zealand "some reassurance" the process causes only very small, normal-range earthquakes, a GNS scientist says. Head of Petroleum Geoscience at GNS Science, Rosemary Quinn, told TV
ONE's Breakfast the study conducted on the use of fracking in the English town of Blackpool last year found it caused only "very small earthquakes" up to 2.3 magnitude. "We get about 150,000 earthquakes in New Zealand every year that are magnitude 2.3 and above, so that's about 50 a day and most people just don't feel them. That level of seismicity in New Zealand is normal." --TV New Zealand, 18 April 2012

The Independent newspaper wants all shale gas exploration halted, to save the planet. “A new age of shale gas holds the risk that the decarbonisation of the UK energy system, essential if we are to meet our demanding climate change targets, will be pushed back and back,” the paper declares in an editorial. “Mass use of shale gas would make these targets unattainable.” But two recent economic studies prove the opposite. The
UK and Europe could meet their own carbon dioxide reduction targets by replacing dirty coal with cleaner gas and nuclear energy capacity. --Andrew Orlowski, The Register, 19 April 2012

1) EU Shale War: Green Campaigners Accuse Polish MEP Of-Anti-Russian Bias - EurActiv, 18 April 2012

2) Russia Faces Challenge To Gas Supremacy - Financial Times, 19 April 2012

3) Russia Rattled By Rising Importance Of Shale Gas - Oil Price, 13 April 2012

4) After The Elections, France May Join Shale Rush: Socialists In Policy Shift - Natural Gas Europe, 1 April 2012

5) Bulgaria To Review, May Revoke Shale Moratorium - Sofia News, Agency 2 April 2012

6) EU Deadlocked Over Failing Carbon Market - Financial Times, 18 April 2012

BBC Pension Fund, Big Climate Investors Concerned About Green Misinvestment - BusinessGreen, 18 April 2012

Monday, 16 April 2012

Climate Clips from CCnet & Benny Peiser

Britain’s Anti-Green Rollback Accelerating

‘Chris Huhne’s Zealous Ambition Is Being Reined Back’

Ministers are preparing to veto major new wind farms in the British countryside and cut back their subsidies, according to senior Whitehall sources. The decision to pull back from onshore wind farms comes after more than 100 backbench Conservative MPs mounted a rebellion against turbines blighting rural areas. Senior Conservatives have seen an opportunity to re-think policy since Chris Huhne, the former Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary, resigned to fight charges of perverting the course of justice in a speeding case. “Chris Huhne’s zealous ambition is being reined back,” one top Whitehall source said. “There’s already enough being built and developed." --Rowena Mason, The Daily Telegraph, 16 April 2012

Ministers are to scrap plans for a ‘conservatory tax’ following a massive Tory backlash. A senior Government source told the Mail that the proposals are ‘dead in the water’. This latest abrupt U-turn comes only a week after we revealed the move which would force homeowners to fork out hundreds of pounds extra on measures to improve energy efficiency when they build an extension or fit a boiler. Although the Liberal Democrat-inspired plans are still out for consultation, the source said: ‘We are absolutely not going to have a conservatory tax. It is an attack on aspiration and we want nothing to do with it. It will be blocked.’ --Jason Groves,Daily Mail, 16 April 2012

A powerful group of Conservative ministers has launched an attempt to torpedo the coalition’s flagship “green” home improvement scheme in a move which will spark a major new rift with the Liberal Democrats. Leading Tories inside and outside the cabinet believe the £14 billion “Green Deal” – due to start in six months’ time – must be ditched because it risks leaving key “squeezed middle” voters out of pocket by several thousands of pounds. A senior Tory source told The Sunday Telegraph last night: “The Green Deal was Chris Huhne’s baby. He has gone now and this is the right time to kill it off. Forcing people to pay thousands of pounds extra for unwanted home insulation is the last thing hard-pressed families need at the moment. It’s madness.” --Patrick Hennessy, The Sunday Telegraph, 15 April 2012

The recent setbacks reflect deep confusion over the main governing party's direction on green policy. Chancellor George Osborne has repeatedly taken the side against green subsidies. MPs and Lords are under near-constant lobbying [the Guardian's phrase for CCNet] from Lord Lawson's climate sceptic group, the Global Warming Policy Foundation. One prominent Tory MP said: "As someone who's convinced by the science, and wants to tackle climate change, I'm finding myself an endangered species within my own party." --Fiona Harvey, The Guardian, 16 April 2012

It did not take long. Last month, Matt Ridley argued in a Spectator cover story that the wind farm agenda is in effect dead, having collapsed under the weight of its own contradictions. The only question is when our ministers would realise. In an interview with the Sunday Times, climate change minister Greg Barker admits that his department has adopted an ‘unbalanced’ approach to wind farms and will now look at other options.  To Ridley, this was – at root – an intellectual error. An example of how the establishment, and entire government machine, can sponsor something that makes no economic or environmental sense – but no one dares point this out, because the cause is seen as noble. --Fraser Nelson, The Spectator, 15 April 2012

To an almost audible sigh of relief from householders across the land, the Government has now promised to scrap its hare-brained scheme to impose a spurious environmental ‘tax’ on home improvements. The proposal was to force anyone building an extension or conservatory, or installing new windows or a boiler, to spend a small fortune putting in extra insulation. It was all part of the Coalition’s largely bogus Green agenda which also involves covering large swathes of the countryside with pointless wind farms, risking an energy crisis by dithering over building a new generation of nuclear power stations, and trying to tax air travel to death. But while the U-turn marks a welcome outbreak of common sense, why on earth was the tax ever contemplated? --Editorial, Daily Mail, 16 April 2012

Emperor penguins, whose long treks across Antarctic ice to mate have been immortalised by Hollywood, are heading towards extinction, scientists say. Based on predictions of sea ice extent from climate change models, the penguins are likely to see their numbers plummet by 95% by 2100. That level of decline could wreak havoc on the delicate Antarctic food chain. The research is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. --BBC News, 26 January 2009

Nearly twice as many emperor penguins inhabit Antarctica as was thought. UK, US and Australian scientists used satellite technology to trace and count the iconic birds, finding them to number almost 600,000. The extent of sea ice in the Antarctic has been relatively stable in recent years (unlike in the Arctic), although this picture hides some fairly large regional variations. --Jonathan Amos, BBC News, 13 April 2012

Many know Benny Peiser only as the pesky director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation who routinely embarrasses man-made climate change diehards with his weekly compilation of green policy flops -- washouts such as Solon, Q-Cells, Solar Millennium and Solarhybrid. These are all once-thriving German solar energy firms that recently filed for bankruptcy, like America's Solyndra. The irreverent Peiser email report usually consists of a half-dozen or so stinging mainstream news clips with links, chosen partly because they include a "Benny" -- a ready-made, slap-in-the-face headline -- such as the London Daily Telegraph's "Climate scientists are losing the public debate on global warming." But every now and then, a wickedly droll "Double Benny" headline will unexpectedly pop up. --Ron Arnold, The Washington Examiner, 13 April 2012

1) Anti-Green Rollback: Ministers Preparing To Veto Windfarms - The Daily Telegraph, 16 April 2012

2) U-Turn: Government To Scrap Green Tax On Home Extensions - Daily Mail, 16 April 2012

3) Top Tories Try To Torpedo Green Deal - The Sunday Telegraph, 15 April 2012

4) UK Energy Minister Vows: ‘No More Wind Farms’ (On Land) - The Sunday Times, 15 April 2012

5) Fraser Nelson: Downfall - The Spectator, 15 April 2012

6) London Debate Tomorrow: EU Climate Policy – Priority or Backseat? - European Centre for Energy and Resource Security

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Polar bears 'larger population than ever.'

CCNet – 5 April 2012
The Climate Policy Network

Healthy Polar Bear Count Confounds Doomsayers

The debate about climate change and its impact on polar bears has intensified with the release of a survey that shows the bear population in a key part of northern Canada is far larger than many scientists thought, and might be growing. The number of bears along the western shore of Hudson Bay, believed to be among the most threatened bear subpopulations, stands at 1,013 and could be even higher, according to the results of an aerial survey released Wednesday by the Government of Nunavut. The study shows that “the bear population is not in crisis as people believed,” said Drikus Gissing, Nunavut’s director of wildlife management. “There is no doom and gloom.” He said the media in southern Canada has led people to believe polar bears are endangered. “They are not.” He added that there are about 25,000 polar bears across Canada’s Arctic. “That’s likely the highest [population level] there has ever been.” --Paul Waldie, The Globe and Mail, 5 April 2012

A recent aerial survey of Western Hudson Bay polar bears shows the population has increased slightly to about 1,000 animals, according to the Government of Nunavut. A 2006 study hypothesized that if the climate continued to warm, the polar bear population would decline. "If I could convey one message here, it's that polar bears are not endangered,” Drikus Gissing, director of wildlife with the Government of Nunavut, said. “And this confirms it. They are not endangered. There are concerns about the effects of global warming, but they are not endangered." --Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 5 April 2012