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04 | 11 | 2012

Global Warming the Facts
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We are the Scottish Climate and Energy Forum (SCEF)

Scotland was literally and physically made by our climate: The ice ages formed our valleys; our cuisine of porridge from oats is because our climate doesn't suit wheat, and it was the colder climate of the 1690s & famine that followed, that led to our loss of our independence. According to historians up to a quarter of Scots died in just a few years. Imagine if it happened today: whole villages forced to beg on the streets in places like Edinburgh; parents having to choose which children to feed. Which of your children would you chose to die?

Fortunately, famine is not something we should fear in our lifetime. Cheap energy from abundant fossil fuel has allowed us to grow far more both locally and globally. Even if we saw the same extreme cold as the 1690s, modern transport can bring food for people even if nothing could be grown in Scotland. But cold & fuel poverty is still a killer. According to Age Concern, there are 23,000 extra deaths in the UK each winter. So how can our political elite in Scotland be so heartless that they turn a blind eye to the solid evidence that cold & not warmth is a killer in Scotland?

Of all the countries in the world, Scotland seems to have the least debate about global warming,

[See also The Sceptic View]

 
Kyoto: New Zealand carbon scheme on hold as prices plunge

By Gyles Beckford (reuters)

Government says waiting for post-Kyoto pact before setting new targets

WELLINGTON, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Just two years after expanding a scheme that was feted as the world's only emissions trading scheme outside of Europe, New Zealand has effectively put the scheme on hold, just as other nations step into the carbon trading arena.

The government says it can comfortably meet its 2008-12 emissions target under the U.N. Kyoto Protocol climate pact and will gauge the need for tougher action when it sees what other countries commit to in talks for a new U.N. pact from 2020.

See More Reuters

 
Massive new hydro for Scotland

Highland councillors have given their backing to a proposed new £800m hydro electric scheme.

SSE has put forward details of the 600MW project for Coire Glas, near Spean Bridge, in Lochaber.

The development would be Scotland's biggest ever hydro scheme but objectors warn it could damage tourism.

Highland Council's south planning applications committee considered the proposal on Tuesday after a site visit the previous day.

For More see BBC

 
What is the current state of wind in Scotland

The relentless march of onshore wind farms is at an end, a minister declared last night. Insisting ‘enough is enough’, John Hayes said turbines had been ‘peppered around the country’ with little or no regard for local opinion. He said existing sites and those in the pipeline would be enough to meet green commitments with no need for more.

However the Comments spark a furious coalition row, with Lib Dem Energy Secretary Ed Davey insisting 'I'm in charge' Daily Mail, 31 October 2012

Whilst this leaves the position unclear in Westminster, with renewable energy being devolved, it is as clear as mud from these statements how they effect Scotland. So, let's start at the top. The world agreed a treaty for Carbon dioxide reduction called Kyoto. This commitment ends on the 31st December 2012. As both were signatories, this was binding both on the UK and on the EU. Scotland is not a signatory nor is it a member of the EU.

The EU then passed further legislation which forced other measures including specific CO2 reduction targets. There is no reason to believe these are anything other than UK targets. These targets are not part of the legislation devolved to Scotland. They are international agreements and these are between the UK and other nations, not between Scotland and other nations. However, the way these UK targets are met in Scotland is a devolved issue. What is more Scotland can (and has) opted to have a higher target than it needs (and by excluding Hydro it always meant we were paying 8% more than needed in Scotland). But to be frank, higher targets are just madness because the only result is to take more money from the Scots so that the English don't have to pay as much and don't have to have as many windmills blighting their land.

So, let us suppose that John Hayes is right and it is now the Westminster government view that "enough wind is enough". This does not in itself means they are changing the targets. Indeed, it sounds as if he is saying: "we don't need (English) wind to achieve our target". Paradoxically this could leave enough for the eco-nutters in charge of energy policy in Scotland to allow them to believe they can continue their insane policy despite the worldwide dropping of Kyoto commitments. Indeed, in the same way the Aarhus convention that effectively makes the climate change acts illegal is being ignored, so too England could give up wind and ignore the CO2 targets leaving Scotland to carry on as it is.

So, a much more important issue is how the Scottish public take this announcement. And let us not forget, that energy policy has been an icon of Scottish independence. So, it is inconceivable that the Unionists will not do all they can to suggest the SNP have been economically incompetent.

However, a word of warning this is a complex area and we need further clarification (which I have asked for)


By Mike Haseler

 
Kyoto: Canada-India discussions

An interesting comment comes out of an article on India - Canada trade talks. To put this in context, India is part of the "Basic" countries (Brazil, South Africa, India, China) whose economies have grown so much that they would have their CO2 emissions cut if there ever were another Kyoto-like treaty on CO2. Canada has withdrawn. So, this comment from the Ottawa Citizen (overtly alarmist) is interesting:

In Durban last year, Canada formally withdrew from the Kyoto accord and argued that emerging economies should have greater responsibility in future agreements. India’s environment minister said she was “astonished and disturbed by the comments of my colleague from Canada ... I am disturbed to find that a legally binding protocol to the Convention, negotiated just 14 years ago, is now being junked in a cavalier manner. Countries which had signed and ratified it are walking away without even a polite goodbye. And yet, pointing at others.”

Peter Kent, Canada’s environment minister, dismissed India’s objections as an “overreaction.”
(
Ottawa Citizen)

So, whilst the six day visit of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to India appears to be mostly about trade, with Doha just days away and the end of Kyoto less than two months, it would be next to impossible that they do not discuss it. The position of Canada is pretty clear. They aren't signing up. That of India is more complex. It is noticeable that the Indian press (in English) has had some prominent article on global warming of an overtly warmist nature.

It is also worth noting that Rajendra K. Pachauri head of the IPCC is Indian and Steve McIntyre whose climate audits triggered Climategate is Canadian. There is no indication that either is involved, but the symbolism is hard to ignore so shortly before the end of Kyoto.

 
Opinion: Have Tories out-smarted both Lib Dems And SNP?

For years first labour, then the Tories and SNP in Scotland pursued a dogmatic policy pro-global warming alarmism and pro-wind. With the recent announcement from John Hayes, it seems the Tory tide has turned. Is it just coincidental that both the Lib Dems and SNP are left claiming responsibility for the wind policy as the Tories do a nifty U-turn?

There is a story told of two presidents in a wood. A bear is seen approaching looking like it wants to make a meal of them. Without a gun the situation looks hopeless. Then one president opens up his bag and quickly puts on a pair of running shoes. Surprised, the other president remarks: "But you can't outrun a bear", to which the other replies: "I don't have to outrun the bear, I only have to outrun you".

Has the same happened in wind policy?

The rather nifty way the Tories have done an about turn on wind in the same week both the Lib Dems and the SNP have effused about their support for renewables and all just 60 days from the end of Kyoto, the world's commitment to reduce CO2, doesn't seem to be just coincidence. The announcement was made by John Hayes just before he and Alex Salmond was to address the Scottish Renewables conference in Glasgow and Alex was yet again to make another ridiculous assertion about "leading the world". It was bound to provoke Lib Dem Energy Secretary Ed Davey to react and say "he is in charge" and thereby make the Lib Dems claim responsibility. It is either total happen-chance that just happens to play into the Tory's lap. Or someone thought about it long and hard.

Almost in one move, the Tories have let the SNP and Lib Dems claim responsibility. The Lib Dems now look to be the one in the coalition pushing for more and more wind. The excessively (ridiculous) enthusiasm of the SNP to go way beyond their obligation makes it clear that this policy was led by the SNP in Scotland. As Kyoto falls, the Tories can now just wash their hands of the whole affair leaving the blame with the SNP & Lib Dems.

So, what next?

 
MOUNTAINEERS appeal for wind not to destroy Scotland’s famous peaks

MOUNTAINEERS are appealing directly to energy firms not to destroy Scotland’s famous peaks with “industrial” windfarms.

• Mountaineering Council of Scotland calls on change of policy

• Appeal comes on eve of RenewableUK 2012 conference

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland has approached 89 energy companies ahead of a major renewables exhibition and conference in Glasgow.

The body which represents over 11,000 climbers and hillwalkers in Scotland is calling on them to collaborate on plans to protect the “most sensitive and precious” mountain areas from unsuitable windfarm developments

See more The Scotsman

 
The debate is over - we won!

At the Glasgow debate on Catastrophic Global warming, despite the presence of Jim Sillars, Lord Monckton and Andrew Montford, not one MSP had the guts to attend. Given the quality of the speakers we can understand why. But even so, for not one of dozens of politicians, NGOs & quangos who have profited from this nonsense in the past, to be willing to stand up for it now, speaks more volume than their silence at the debate. The sole representative of the doomsday cult was a one brave individual from the wind industry who as it appears he was more or less arm twisted to come along , it would be entirely inappropriate to criticise someone who did a valiant job making the case which all those others now aren't prepared to do. [Correction Demian Natakhan, the opponent, rather than having his arm twisted, read about the lack of opposition on Bishop Hill and approached Andrew Montford who put him in touch with the organisers.]

For me the most pertinent comment of the whole debate was made by Jim Sillars when he highlighted the way that the old style politicians tended to come into politics through the trade unions or through industry in general and so they had a much more pragmatic view of life. I've commented that sceptics seem to be either engineers, or from engineering type jobs, or at least commercial in some way. In contrast, those who support global warming are predominantly from the public sector: academics, single-career politicians and NGOs. Likewise he made a very good point that "for science to claim absolute certainty, particularly in forecasting (for models) is particularly unscientific".

 
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End of Kyoto
End of Kyoto Treaty 31.12.2012 15:00 57 Days Information