22
Sep
2017

Energy Policy is Getting Nowhere at All

More Revelations of Official False Warming and Falsely Based Policies

Today’s Australian runs a front page story saying that “Australian households are paying 60 per cent more for their power than those in the US and double their Canadian counterparts”. But while Minister Frydenberg acknowledges that our power cost is “still too high”, he claims that most of the price hike occurred under Labor and that the Turnbull government is “taking unprecedented action to reduce pressure on …household bills “(see “Electricity Bills”). Short of subsidising electricity it is difficult however to envisage significant falls. Frydenberg has dug himself so deeply in the Turnbull camp that is difficult to see how he can get out. Readers of my Commentaries will be aware of the widespread scepticism about the various policy changes first being considered by Turnbull and then dropped or put on one side.  As to falls in electricity bills, Frydenberg’s attempt to shift the blame on to Labor seemingly overlooks the recent large increases imposed by my retail supplier AGL and doubtless other similarly large retailers too.

The solution is to first replace Turnbull  with a Coalition member who  recognises the greatly increased uncertainty that now surrounds the supposed “science” of dangerous global warming and can adjust policies accordingly. Contrary to media commentary, a new Coalition government could fairly quickly transform the current “investment uncertainty” problem under Turnbull. It could announce  that it would no longer have policies which deter expansions in coal-fired generators and, while it would therefore also no longer have a stated voluntary objective of 26-28 per cent lower emissions by 2030,it would provide tax incentives when lower emissions are obtained from improved efficiency.

A new Australian policy could be “we lower emissions by lifting efficiency” (as China and others are already doing) and would be accompanied by a withdrawal from the Paris agreement. It would remind voters that the two big emitters, China and India, have not agreed to effect reductions through policies which deliberately deter usage of coal before 2030 (in fact the opposite) but they do encourage improvements in efficiency.

Today’s Australian contains a half page ad by The Climate Study Group which, in effect, supports a new climate policy. It has employed a climate expert to outline falsely based claims or failures to explain events that run counter to the global warming theory. It does so partly by reminding us that, while there is no record in the past of dangerous global warming which cost many human lives, there have been ice ages which did so. Hence “the next ice age should be the most serious climate event for humanity” (see “The Next Ice Age”). Yet there  has been no official modelling or developments  of official policies designed to cope with possible large falls in temperature.

Other specifics in the advertisement refer  to the cooling from 1940 to 1976 despite CO2 levels continuing to rise; and the fact that, while higher CO2 levels in the atmosphere have had a diminishing effect on temperatures, models predicting higher temps have done so by (falsely) assuming the greater CO levels will have a multiplier effect. Yet the failure of models to justify emissions reductions policies has so far been  overlooked. The Turnbull government should subject these models to careful review as part of the current review of the Finkel proposals for higher targets of emissions and renewable.

Another related aspect which has been overlooked is the false claims about temperature changes. Over the past ten years or so the modeling of future temperature increases has been shown to be highly inaccurate. Yet these modeled temperature increases have been used to support the policies which have been adopted to reduce emissions of CO2 and, so it is argued, reduce the threat of dangerous global warming. The failure to accurately predict temperatures suggests that at the least the policies should be modified if not abandoned altogether until more accurate modeling is developed.  The false basis on which temperatures have been predicted is examined in the this False Temperature Measurements Used.

This provides a good example of the failure of modeling to recognize the uncertainty in temperature prediction.  It outlines the evidence given by Professor John Christy from the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) on the 29 March 2017 to the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space & Technology. Christy is best known for his development with Roy Spencer of the measurement of temperatures by satellites, which has provided an important check on the measurement of land surface temperatures. In his testimony Christy showed that over the period from 1977 to 2015  the average of the predicted temperatures was an increase of  about one degree C whereas the average of the satellite measurements shows an increase of only about 0.4C (this includes the natural influences from the Pacific Decadal Oscillation). The graph in the attachment shows vividly the differences between predicted and satellite temps.

The attachment also shows the marked difference between the land surface measurement of the ocean surface temperature and the satellite measurement. It suggests that the higher temperatures from the land surface measurement may reflect the urban heating effect, which does not reflect climate influences as such.

Summing up, the foregoing suggests that there are a number of reasons why existing policies should be changed so as to either eliminate or at least sharply cut back policies which aim to reduce emissions and  which Finkel is unlikely to have taken into account in framing his report. There should be a review of those policies by independent sources asap.

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