Pop quiz: Which OECD country has reduced its carbon emissions the most since 2006?
Most people will probably expect that it is a European country, perhaps Germany. The answer instead is the United States of America.
So, despite constant claims by American environmentalists that America should look to Europe to see how to reduce emissions, America is actually currently having more success in reducing emissions. Continue reading
A couple of days ago the environmentalist Mark Lynas gave an impassioned speech calling for environmentalists to drop their opposition to genetically modified crops. It is perhaps the best summation of the hole the environmental movement has dug for themselves on GM and all sides of this debate should watch it.
07 Mark Lynas from Oxford Farming Conference on Vimeo.
[Update: after some feedback on Twitter, and in the comments I should point out the main objection to the Spectator article I refer to. I probably didn't do a good job making it clear originally. The piece claims wind turbines are an extinction threat for many species. The "threat status" assessments of the species the article refers to indicate that this is probably not the case.]
Wind turbines kill birds and bats. A rather stark and provocative sentence, yet somewhat uninformative. This week’s Spectator however has an article which goes somewhat further. Written by Clive Hambler, of Oxford University, it starts like this:
Wind farms are devastating populations of rare birds and bats across the world, driving some to the point of extinction. Most environmentalists just don’t want to know. Because they’re so desperate to believe in renewable energy, they’re in a state of denial. But the evidence suggests that, this century at least, renewables pose a far greater threat to wildlife than climate change. Continue reading
One of the rare pleasures in life is reading the latest piece of nonsense written by Christopher Booker in the Daily Telegraph. The fact that it is nonsense appears to be subject independent, but talk of wind turbines tends to ratchet things up a level. One of his favoured claims is that the UK will need to build 32,000 wind turbines to meet its 2020 EU renewable energy commitments. Continue reading
I suspect this is not the most closely watched contest, but my nomination for graph of the year has to be this one showing the transformation of the US electricity grid in recent years.
My nomination for quote of the year has to go to Germany’s Environment Minister Peter Altmaier, who said the following at the opening of a 2.2 GW coal plant:
“If one builds a new state-of-the-art lignite power plant to replace several older and much less efficient plants, then I feel this should also be acknowledged as a contribution to our climate protection efforts.”
This is perhaps the best summary imaginable of the absurd nature of Germany’s Energiewende.
I believe it was Christopher Hitchens who suggested that you should always start the day with one thing that will annoy you as a check on whether you still have a pulse. For me, this is reading the Huffington Post. Today’s pleasure was finding them declaring the book Clean Break the Green Book of the year. An award that doesn’t exactly fill me with delight.
I could complain a little more about the inaccuracies in Clean Break, but will consider instead a sentence at the end of the Huffington Post piece.
Germany’s plan is not infallible, of course, nor is it alone in its goal to operate on 80 percent renewable power by 2050 — Scotland recently announced its intention to become 100 percent renewable by 2020. Continue reading