New year, new climate madness
The climate is off to a roaring start in 2024, and so is the hysteria. The Trial of the Century is underway as Michael Mann’s libel suit against Mark Steyn has finally begun to be argued in front of a D.C. judge and jury. The greatest victim of the trial so far seems to be Mann’s Hockey Stick graph, which has taken an unholy beating by expert witnesses. In a close second, Mann’s ego has also taken quite a beating. And yet the climate hysteria continues to ratchet up.
This week, we have wind farms getting mad stacks for fabricating their power production numbers, Volvo pulling out of the electric vehicle (EV) racket, Siemens’ CEO saying governments need to do more to prop up his industry with higher power bills, and Joe Biden once again weaponizing government against a red state—this time using the Green New Deal as cover. Also, we have some good news: All that extra CO2 is making the planet greener!
Wind Farms Paid to Produce Hot Air, Padded Bills, Instead of Power
An explosive new report from Bloomberg claims dozens of British wind farms regularly overestimate the amount of power they have the ability to produce. It’s a dicey scheme in which grid operators pay wind farms not to produce power on windy days, so they won’t overload the grid. These extra costs, naturally, get passed on to ratepayers. According to Bloomberg, these “curtailment costs” run into the hundreds of billions of pounds every year. On top of that, some wind farm operators grossly overstate how much energy they intend to produce, which gooses up the amount of “curtailment” payments they receive.
“In effect,” Bloomberg reports, “the grid has paid some wind farms not to generate power that they wouldn’t have produced anyway.”
Nice racket they have going on there.
But yeah, wind power is totally a reliable source of power that helps us decarbonize. Does anyone believe anything touted by green energy anymore?
Bad News for the “Hockey Stick”
The frivolous lawsuit climatologist Michael Mann brought against Mark Steyn for libel has finally made it to trial in a D.C. courtroom, and man is it not going well for Mann. On cross examination by Steyn’s defense, Mann has overstated the supposed damages he’s experienced in the form of lost grants. When Steyn’s defense team questioned the discrepancy, Mann blamed his lawyers for reading his curriculum vitae wrong. Speaking of his CV, it runs more than forty pages.
In another highlight, Steyn brought an expert witness who tore apart Mann’s statistical analysis of the proxies he used to create his historical temperature record in creating the Hockey Stick graph at the center of the controversy.
In response, Mann has used his website to collate all the worst leftist articles by radicals defending him, using strawman arguments and ad hominem attacks against his critics, instead of covering the merits—or lack thereof—of his case against Steyn. It remains unclear how the D.C. court will adjudicate this, but on the merits of the evidence presented so far, Mann has already lost.
Green Energy CEO Says the Quiet Part Out Loud
Joe Kaeser, the CEO of Siemens Energy, channeled his inner Barack Obama when he chided the British government for not doing enough to prop up his industry. Kaeser said energy bills will have to keep rising—or necessarily skyrocket, if you will—in order to pay for the green transition:
“Every transformation comes at a cost and every transformation is painful. And that’s something which the energy industry and the public sector – governments – don’t really want to hear.
“I believe that for a while they need to accept higher pricing.
“And then there might be innovation – about the weight of the blades, other efficiency methods, technology – so the cost can then go down again.
“But the point is, if there is no profit pool in an industry, why should that industry innovate?”
He has a point, although his proposed solution flies in the face of free market economies. Kaeser says the profits need to increase for it to make sense for the industry to innovate and find efficiencies, but proposes to raise profits by screwing ratepayers buying power to run their daily lives.
That’s quite a disconnect for a guy in the power industry.
Volvo Pulls Out of the EV Market
Seems like every week another company decides to get out of the electric vehicle market after losing gobs of money on their investment. According to the Wall Street Journal:
Volvo Car said it won’t provide further funding to Polestar, the electric-car maker it created with Volvo’s Chinese owner Geely—the latest EV retrenchment by the global auto industry.
The auto industry’s pivot to electric vehicles has been rocked by setbacks this year, just as a flood of new battery-powered models is hitting showrooms.
Earlier this week, French automaker Renault said it has decided to cancel the initial public offering of its electric-car unit Ampere. Ford, meanwhile, has slashed production of its electric F-150 Lightning, a pickup truck that has generated major buzz since its launch. Rental-car firm Hertz has said it was dumping about one-third of its EV rental car fleet, replacing the cars with gas-engine vehicles.
That follows on the heels of reports of EVs failing in the cold winter weather in massive numbers, and rental car companies Hertz and Sixt selling off their EV fleets in favor of more reliable gas vehicles. Even Tesla has warned of significantly slower growth predicted for 2024.
Shares of Volvo surged on the news, rising 20 percent the day of the announcement.
Biden Punishes Texas for Defending Its Borders
At the end of last week, the Biden administration announced it would pause the permit process on several liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects, including new export terminals. Up to 17 pending new LNG terminal permits have now been placed in limbo, many of which came from red states in the southeast. Biden will now require the Department of Energy to conduct more rigorous environmental reviews on the projects, to determine their contributions to climate change. Activists, naturally, call these new projects “climate bombs.” Some pundits accused Biden and his cohorts of targeting red states for punishment—namely Texas, which is fighting for its life against the chaos at Biden’s southern border. Even the Washington Post editorial board criticized the decision.
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R–LA) posted on X/Twitter: “You know it’s really bad when you’ve lost the Washington Post Ed Board. Like I’ve always said, freezing LNG export permitting is a payoff to Biden’s political constituencies at the expense of the climate AND energy, economic, and national security.”
Get This: All That Extra CO2 Has Greened the Earth
Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere increased, and you’ll never guess what happened next!
According to a new study, building on stuff we already knew:
The CO2 fertilization effect has been the dominant driver of the global-scale increase in “leaf area index” (LAI), or greening, since the 1980s. Scientists have estimated that CO2’s photosynthesis-enhancing capacity is 70% responsible for the greening trend (Zhu et al., 2016).
Using much more reliable MODIS data, scientists (Chen et al., 2024) can now say the LAI [greening] trend in the 21st century is robustly positive, and that 2001-2020 “global greening is an indisputable fact.”
The satellite data indicate that 55.15% of global areas are greening “at an accelerated rate,” whereas just 7.28% have undergone a browning trend since 2001.
How can they call carbon dioxide both a pollutant and a fertilizer? We may never get to the bottom of it—the propaganda, that is.