"No one wants to leave the house"

Wind turbines and neighborhoods just don’t mix It seems. Would you want one of these to do this when a wind storm comes your way? Wind power has it’s pluses and minuses, just like any energy solution. But like a coal or nuclear power plant. They really shouldn’t be sited next to/within population areas. – Anthony


Wind turbine’s deadly ice shower

From the Peterborough UK Evening Telegraph

Residents were left fearing for their safety after shards of melting ice fell on homes and gardens from the blades of a giant wind turbine.
Pictured, from left, are Peter Randall, Tyson Clark and Andrew Randall with Sophia Nesbitt (10) and Tia Clark (10) with some of the blocks of ice which have fallen off the nearby wind turbine in the McCains factory. (8GM1129018) Pi
Pictured, from left, are Peter Randall, Tyson Clark and Andrew Randall with Sophia Nesbitt (10) and Tia Clark (10) with some of the blocks of ice which have fallen off the nearby wind turbine in the McCains factory.
For about four hours people in King’s Dyke, Whittlesey, had to take cover as huge lumps – some two feet long – showered them from the 80 metre high tower on Saturday morning.

Resident Peter Randall, whose son’s house lies a stone’s throw away from the turbine, said: “Somebody is going to get killed. There was huge lumps of ice shooting off and landing everywhere.

“No one wants to leave the house because they are frightened and worried about the ice falling.

Freezing overnight temperatures had caused the ice to form and after frantic calls to Truro-based firm Cornwall Light and Power, which owns the turbine, the £2 million machine was eventually turned off.

Maria Clark, who owns King’s Dyke Karpets, based yards from the turbine, said: “It has been really frightening, the turbine has been stopping and starting all morning. The ice makes such a loud noise when it shatters we thought a bomb had gone off in the yard.

“It scared a customer away. They were in the shop when it landed and said they did not want to risk their car and ran out.”

This is not the first time the turbine has courted controversy.

Last month The Evening Telegraph revealed how residents had lodged complaints with the environmental health department at Fenland District Council due to alleged noise pollution and had demanded the turbine’s removal.

The huge machine, which measures 80 metres at its hub and 125 metres when one of its three blades is vertical, was put up in August.

A spokesperson for Cornwall Light & Power said: “We received a report of an ice shedding incident near our Whittlesey turbine on Saturday morning and immediately made arrangements for it to be switched off.

“The turbine will remain stopped until we have a clear understanding of what happened and any safety concerns have been fully addressed.

“Cornwall Light & Power is a reputable operator with a proven track record of generating clean electricity safely and we will act quickly to resolve this issue.

“In the meantime, any local residents who have concerns can call us directly on 01872 226930.”

MP for Cambridgeshire North East Malcolm Moss said the turbine should remain closed until a new risk assessment could be made, as the problem could also have national implications.

He said: “I had no idea this turbine was going up, it came out of the blue really and I am surprised they put one so close to homes and businesses.

“I assume that a risk assessment was put with the planning application, but if it was not then a full inquiry should be undertaken.”

Whittlesey councillor Ronald Speechley today said he would by lobbying the council to find out what can be done.

He said: “I have received a lot of complaints and the fact that ice has fallen off should be brought to light. This should have been thought of before they put the turbine so close to houses and the road.”

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155 thoughts on “"No one wants to leave the house"

  1. Last month The Evening Telegraph revealed how residents had lodged complaints with the environmental health department at Fenland District Council due to alleged noise pollution and had demanded the turbine’s removal.
    But more importantly, they probably cause brain cancer. And I can’t wait to see the bleak Environmental Impact Studies for sitings on Public Land and Seas. These large rotors and turbines no doubt not only confuse whales, they bomb them. My friends, I do believe our only moral option left standing will be solar.

  2. I understand that the cost of a KwH is 5.4p for onshore windpower in the UK compared to 2.2p for Gas, 2.3p for Nuclear and 2.5p for Fossil Fuelled.
    Moreover the total output from all the wind turbines (>2000) in the UK is about half of a medium sized power station.
    There are therefore a number of challenges to whether wind turbines are a good solution to the problem of creating cleaner sustainable energy.
    I have also spoken to engineers who think that there is a question mark over the end to end carbon footprint of these machines.
    All in all it’s not looking like such a great solution at the moment.

  3. “My friends, I do believe our only moral option left standing will be solar.”
    Are you kidding? Don’t you realize that the sun is radioactive?!?

  4. The solution to icing ( a problem that should disappear with continued global warming) is to adopt available aviation deicing technology.
    Big jets deice the wings and engine inlets with hot air bled from the engine compressor stages. A small aircraft power unit installed in each wind turbine base would suffice. They could run on piped in natural gas.
    Small recip aircraft use other technology, such as rubber boots (skins, sleeves, …) on the wing leading edges. These can variously bleed antifreeze solution, intermittently inflate to break off growing ice, or be electrically heated.
    There are computerized sensor systems that can detect actual icing, so the whole thing can be automated, or it could be run regardless when the temp/humidity meet specified conditions.
    Or, more cheaply, danger zones could be marked out around the turbines. Insurance should be available for injuries.
    Don’tcha love it?

  5. I have seen the results of a risk assessment for ice throw from a turbine of hub height 80 m and blade diameter 90m. Ice could be thrown nearly 700m. The probability of someone getting hit in an urban area such as this seemed rather high.

  6. Earth to J. Peden… hate to break the news, but wind energy is SOLAR.
    I could suggest Jim that to assuage your moral fears, that you try a little elbow grease energy instead. How about rowing around in a dory or something, to get rid of all that excess energy that comes from too much food.
    But you chaps in the North East Freezeland, will likely have to do something this winter to keep the ice chunks out of your backyards. But hank tough; the fall makes it all worthwhile.
    George

  7. It gets worse. The turbine blades are balanced and if there’s more ice in one of the blades, it can break off and clobber someone. Especially true if our northern hemisphere’s climate gets colder and snow and ice becomes more the norm in winter.

  8. To keep it in perspective, here’s more scary stuff
    Well, that certainly does it for Nuclear, and, of course, the French.
    My friends, let’s all just finally face up to it: it’s simply not safe to be alive, if you didn’t already know it from driving motor vehicles, or climbing ladders, not to mention getting out of bed, or staying in bed*.
    h/t Mark Twain

  9. Wind turbines (bless their hearts) point out one of the intrinsic problems of “renewable green energy”. The turbines maybe have a more pernicuious form of the problem but they nearly all exhibit it.
    The energy comes at a highly non-uniform rate. Now if you have a reservoir for storing water, and it rains intermittently in your area, that isn’t a big deal, the lake will eventually get full if the rainfall exceeeds your usage. The intermittency is not too troublesome except in drought years.
    But normal rational powers stations of the electricity producing kind, are designed to run under constant conditions. With variable output loading, the fuel input (coal, oil, natural gas, hydro water flow, can be controlled by the operator.
    With solar powered systems (besides Hydroelectric), you take the solar energy as it arrives. With PV systems, electroniuc wizardry can convert a reasonable range of generated outputs to the constant AC Violtage needed by the grid.
    Wind turbines on the other hand are at least one more step removed from the incoming solar energy. They are actually gas turbine engines in which solar heating drives the working fluid (the atmosphere), and the propellor pretty much has to take whatever wind shows up. In a dumb system (fixed pitch prop) the unit is designed for some nominal wind speed. If the wind speed drops in half, you have lost 87.5% of your generating capacity. If the wind speed doubles, your fan and tower are subjected to four times the loading that they receive in normal operation.
    Variable pitch props ease the problem somewhat, and nobody would ever build a dumb system at any useful scale.
    This icing problem simply adds a new dimension to the negatives. Worldwide experience with wind turbines indicate that the actual utilization factor isonly 15-25% range, and mostly less than 20%. Lack of wind, and maintenance headaches seem to be the major operational problems. they have a natural self destruct mechanism, due to wind shear. The blade passing at the bottom of the rotation sees a considerably lower wind speed, than the blade going over the top, and the axial thrust on the propellor and tower varies as the square of that wind speed, so each blade is subjected to a once per rotation cyclic thrust variation. The larger system blades are mostly fiberglass or carbon composites, and this constant vibration can ultimately lead to fatigue failure. If you do some simple calculations, you find that the propellors run quite close to mach 1 tip velocity. Well propellor engineering and aerodynamics relegated prop planes to lesser tasks with the development of jets.
    Those big megaWatt class turbines are quite substantial, with maybe 80 tonnes or more of mass in the nacell on top of the tower. If you raise the tower height to reduce the wind shear problem, then the tower becomes increasingly massive and costly.
    So there will be lots more such systems built, and some of these problems will be resolved, but it is always going to be a difficult way to connect to the solar energy spigot. If you work out the Carnot efficiency of the whole system; you will find out justhow poorly connected to old Sol these things are. That translates into more space required; not only for the tower and fan itself, but you need an input duct and an exit duct to allow laminar flow of the working fluid through the system; ergo lots of land in front and rear, that isn’t useable for a lot of things like buildings.

  10. Yesterday, the UK Committee for Climate Change, under the guidance of Lord Turner, produced their proposals for reducing our carbon emissions. As quoted by Lord Turner himself in the Daily Telegraph, “The reductions required can be achieved at a very low cost to our economy: the cost of not achieving the reductions, at national and global level, will be far greater.”
    “He acknowledged that the higher electricity and gas prices created by investment in renewables could push a further 1.7 million households into fuel poverty – but said 400,000 could be lifted out by energy efficiency measures in their homes. ”
    So that’s all right then ! Low income families look like being subsidised by the tax payer. Businesses and middle and higher income earners will be saddled with bearing the costs not just of the subsidies but also the acknowledged higher costs of fuel. Tax payers will no doubt push for higher wages. Businesses, in order to maintain profits will need to pass these higher costs onto their goods and services making them increasingly uncompetitive within both the UK and for their exports abroad !
    And to top it all, because of the inefficiencies of generators such as wind turbines, and with the lack of investment in traditional coal fired generators, we, in the UK can expect a bright future of power cuts !
    Stop the world, I want to get off !!

  11. I don’t know Dan, does this keep this in perspective or do just the opposite? Is anyone proposing using nuclear plants with no containment vessel that have graphite moderators and control systems that don’t have a safe default position?
    Perhaps you are pointing out that, even when something as stupid as Chernobyl is included in the calculations, nuclear still easily beats wind in terms of risk per Kilowatt actually produced?
    Wind power is an environmental disaster in the making, and we haven’t even mentioned the biggest part of this problem… storage.

  12. Reality always seems to intrude on these Green Dreams.
    Windmills are so pretty – and now deadly as well to human life and property {though the effect on birds is by now well known}. In addition to the seemingly high maintenance requirement of windmills, what good are they if there is no wind?
    Rooftop solar panels? Have to keep trees away or trimmed down so they don’t obstruct the sun. And what if you’re in an area where snowfall is commonly measured in feet? Solar panel farms in the desert? Environmental impact studies make that a no-no – the desert is a fragile environment.
    Other than coal, it seems that the alternatives proposed can never amount to anything other than niche providers, where taxpayer funded subsidies mask the true costs of the alternatives.
    Reality can be such an unforgiving thing.

  13. But, but, but, the wind turbine owners are simply trying to save the planet. That is ALL that matters, don’t you see? Saving the planet is required, immediately. If some humans are inconvenienced by this, too bad; they should move. Humans do not count; the planet comes first. SAVE THE PLANET!

  14. AGW/Climate change is a hoax
    Solar, wind and bio-fuels are a hoax solution.
    These alternative energy sources will not be able to fulfill the energy requirements of a modern industrialized society, unless you want to dismantle it.
    People must accept the doctrine of the real agenda behind the UN objectives.
    This objective is to reduce human productivity, human consumption and finally population growth.
    As a consequence the world will be turned into an eco-socialist/communist society.
    The type of society that we were fighting against during the cold war.
    This time the enemies of humanity operate from within.
    In the USA two attempts to serve the eco agenda failed.
    (Gore 8 years ago, Kerry, four years ago)
    Now Obama will lead the UN green agenda and speeding up a process that will destruct the world’s carbon fuel energy system, a doctrine based on lies and pseudo science. The policies will be a disaster on land use and habitat conservation and a disaster for humanity.
    It undermines the ethics of science, the ethics of politics and the ethics of human prosperity. In short, it’s a crime against humanity http://heliogenic.blogspot.com/2008/12/crime-against-humanity.html
    It will cause mass starvation caused by famine and disease.
    It will set back further technological development and end our freedom.
    The future of men will be a return to the dark ages.
    This is what is happening.
    Any questions?

  15. I want to see 200 entries on this thread debating whether the formation of ice on wind turbines ultimately leads to anthropogenic global cooling, warming or no net effect.
    I know you’re up to it ;<).

  16. Flying ice is not the only problem, the noise and light shadow flicker is a problem for those leaving near large turbines.
    Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD, Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Report on a Natural Experiment, a peer reviewed study and soon to be published book
    ABSTRACT
    This report documents a consistent, often debilitating, complex of symptoms experienced by adults and children while living near large (1.5-3 MW) industrial wind turbines, examines patterns of individual susceptibility, and proposes pathophysiologic mechanisms. Symptoms include sleep disturbance, headache, tinnitus, ear pressure, dizziness, vertigo, nausea, visual blurring, tachycardia, irritability,problems with concentration and memory, and panic episodes associated with sensations of internal pulsation or quivering which arise while awake or asleep.
    The study is a case series of 10 affected families, with 38 members age 0-75, living 305 m to 1.5 km(1000 to 4900 ft) from wind turbines erected since 2004. All competent and available adults and older teens completed a detailed clinical interview about their own and their children’s symptoms, sensations,and medical conditions before turbines were erected near their homes, while living near operating turbines, and after leaving their homes or spending a prolonged period away.
    Statistically significant risk factors for symptoms during exposure include pre-existing migraine disorder,motion sensitivity, or inner ear damage (pre-existing tinnitus, hearing loss, or industrial noise exposure).Symptoms are not statistically associated with pre-existing anxiety or other mental health disorders. The symptom complex resembles syndromes caused by vestibular dysfunction. People without known risk factors are also affected.The proposed pathophysiology posits disturbance to balance and position sense due to low frequency noise or vibration stimulating receptors for the balance system (vestibular, somatosensory, or visceral
    sensory, as well as visual stimulation from moving shadows) in a discordant fashion. Vestibular neural signals are known to affect a variety of brain areas and functions, including memory, spatial processing, complex problem-solving, fear, autonomic effects, and aversive learning, providing a robust neural framework for the symptom associations in Wind Turbine Syndrome. Further research is needed to establish prevalence and to explore effects in special populations, including children. This and other studies suggest that safe setbacks will at least 2 km (1.24 mi), and will be longer for larger turbines and in more varied topography.

  17. Climate change juggernaut on the horizon, UN talks told
    “Humankind in its activity just reached the limits of the closed system of our planet Earth,” said Polish Environment Minister Maciej Nowicki, elected to chair the December 1-12 meeting in the city of Poznan.
    “Further expansion in the same style will generate global threats of really great intensity — huge droughts and floods, cyclones with increasingly more destructive power, pandemics of tropical disease, dramatic decline of biodiversity, increasing ocean levels,” said Nowicki.
    “All these can cause social and even armed conflict and migration of people at an unprecedented scale.”
    Nowicki’s warning was underscored by Rajendra Pachauri, head of the Nobel-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which provides neutral scientific opinion on global warming and its impacts.
    Rich countries are historically to blame for most of today’s warming.
    Obama has set a goal of reducing US emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and by 80 percent by 2050, using a cap-and-trade system and a 10-year programme worth 150 billion dollars in renewable energy.
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gTCW-1nX1C78iJTnQTIg3lI-ROwA

  18. Anyone checked the weather in Poznan, just to see if Gore’s Law is working as it should?
    Also, no way could you use solar reliably in Peterborough, they (along with the rest of Britain) haven’t seen the sun since about April…
    Really, in the medium term the only solutions are energy conservation and up-to-date nuclear plants, although it may interest the non-Brits on here to know that even the BBC was speculating on a return to open-cast coal mining to overcome the shortfall in UK energy needs in the next few years.

  19. Terrence, you wrote, “If some humans are inconvenienced by this, too bad; they should move.” Could you recommend another planet? This one appears to have been taken over by special-interest groups.

  20. Earth to J. Peden… hate to break the news, but wind energy is SOLAR.
    Arrrrrrrgh! Seriously, George, thanks for the analyses. That’s mainly why I’m here. I’m even about to give Anthony some money.

  21. “Anyone checked the weather in Poznan, just to see if Gore’s Law is working as it should?”
    Living near Poznan, it’s rather warm as for December- 0’C, but nothing extraordinary. The whole conference got quite a big media coverage, but I see no public interest whatsoever. Polish people are not interested in GW issue (or skeptical), there are many well-known climatologists here who don’t support the agw theory.
    No big ‘enviromental’ grants means the debate is not over 🙂

  22. Retired engineer,
    Are You kidding? We should site wind turbines IN Gore’s house – end the problem of variation in wind speeds and generation. A constant source…
    Mike

  23. “Rajendra Pachauri, head of the Nobel-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which provides neutral scientific opinion on global warming and its impacts.”
    Well there’s a real knee slapper.

  24. Those powermills are destroying the last remaining beautiful vistas in the world. Ted Turner was on television the other day spouting about the wonders of powermills and solar panels, and how the entire west/southwest should be carpeted with them. I wonder if his buffalo will like the as much as the golden eagles?

  25. Oh Geez, this is what happens when you close down the mental asylums and give all of the lunatics a job working for the government.

  26. Pamla Gray — “I see a Bond movie coming with the bad guy being pulverized by a wind turbine.”
    Been done. Mission Impossible with Tom Cruise (can’t recall if 1, 2 or 3) starts out exactly like that.

  27. J. Peden (09:34:51) :
    But more importantly, they probably cause brain cancer. And I can’t wait to see the bleak Environmental Impact Studies for sitings on Public Land and Seas. These large rotors and turbines no doubt not only confuse whales, they bomb them. My friends, I do believe our only moral option left standing will be solar.

    Ah, but billons, or more probably hundreds of billions, of dark panels will surely cause severe albedo changes, absorbing more heat and causing worse climate change than they purport to mitigate. Again, there’s nothing wrong with Coal or NG or nuclear plants.

  28. Only slightly OT but still within the icy clutches of this thread:
    Take a look at the Arctic icecap – to this inexperienced and very presbyopic eye, it lookes like there is appreciably more than last year at this time…
    Mike

  29. Report from Italy but, the usual blame game included.
    Floods turn Venice into one big canal ’…… Meteorologists said the entire country was affected by bad weather, with driving rain, snow, hail and high winds causing flooding “from the Alps to Palermo.’
    And of course. ’ … The growing severity and frequency of the floods is attributed to silt deposits raising the floor of the lagoon AND A RISE IN SEA LEVELS CAUSED BY GLOBAL WARMING’ (So what caused similar floods 22 years ago?)
    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24743931-2703,00.html

  30. Wondering Aloud (10:45:25) :
    > I don’t know Dan, does this keep this in perspective or do just the opposite? Is anyone proposing using nuclear plants with no containment vessel ….
    Aha! Put the wind turbines in containment vessels.

  31. just a thought… Airplanes moved passed prop engines, so why are three blade windmills considered state of the art? …
    I saw a how they do it show where helix shaped windmills were being used on a new energy efficent building. It would turn in very low winds, wouldnt build up ice, and could withstand very high winds without blasting apart, further it did not pose a threat to birds and lacked the vibration of its three bladed counterparts. Instead of destroying open lands with ugly wind and solar farms why not look into using the sheer square footage that major cities already provide?
    There is so much attention on solar and wind power. Have we forgotten that geothermal is an option? The problem here folks is not with being able to get the power… but if they give us the best options, how will they charge us and tax us for it:P

  32. How about warming the blades with the electricity produced by the turbines. Keep them at a toasty 40C and then wont ice up…
    [snip]

  33. There is a lot of talk extolling the advantages of wind turbine power. Why no talk of maintenance? Consider the Altamont installation of 7,000 turbines, the Tehachapi installation of 5,000 turbines and the San Gorgonio installation of 3,000 turbines.
    Just ignore maintenance costs and the cost of the subsidies which are required with turbines as well as for solar, ethanol, bio-mass and other pie-in-the-sky alternative energy sources. When was the last time you filled-up with regular grade alternative energy?
    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/09/60-percent-united-states-wind-turbines-behind-on-maintenance.php
    Lack of Maintenance Leads to Costly Repairs
    The main component causing downtown for turbines is the gearbox, which if it fails can cost 15-20% of the price of the turbine to replace. Furthermore, failure to monitor and replace oil as needed can lead to wear on bearing and gears, causing greater financial loses than simply replacing the part.
    Frontier says that “when a $1,500 bearing fails unnoticed, it can lead to production loss and revenue loss including an unscheduled replacement of a $100,000 dollar gearbox and a unscheduled crane cost of up to $70,000 to access the failed components.”

  34. Re Flooding in Venice
    Sealevel during the last interglacial c. 120,000 years ago was slightly higher than today (though not 4-6 meters as usually claimed, more like 2 meters). Guess at what level you find the last interglacial sealevel in the Venice area?
    A hundred and thiry meters (= 425 feet) below sealevel! That area has been sinking for a loooong time.

  35. If wind was the answer, the world would run on wind.
    Substitute your favorite alternate energy source and see how it stacks up in the real world. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should — Old engineers advice.

  36. Michael J. Bentley (13:28:44) : site wind turbines IN Gore’s house
    Don’t know about wind, you could fill an armada of hot air balloons.
    Pamla Gray — “I see a Bond movie coming with the bad guy being pulverized by a wind turbine.”
    Nat’l Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation did something like this.
    George E. Smith (10:34:49) : Tip velocity. Mach 1 is about 1100 f/s. With a 300 ft diameter, you’d need over 1 r/s. Big guys don’t spin that fast, although the video clip seems a lot faster.
    Solar is good. Makes Barley and Hops grow. Add water and yeast.
    Ric’s containment vessel has to take first prize in this thread.
    (sad part is OSHA may mandate them…)

  37. Due to the complexity of the climate, with so many factors that science has not yet fully explained every single process, it is difficult for a coherent picture to emerge from which we can firmly conclude beyond all reasonable doubt that there is Human-Induced Global Climate Destabilisation (H-IGCD). If it were the case, we wouldn’t be having this debate. But that is not to say there aren’t any indications.
    So let’s tackle this controversy in three different ways.
    1) For millions of years, the Earth’s climate has fluctuated, cycling from ice ages to warmer periods. But in the last century, the planet’s temperature has risen unusually fast. Ever since the industrial revolution began, amplifying our demand for energy, we have used carbon-based fossil fuel to satiate that demand. The increasing consumption of carbon-based energy from industrialised and developing nations causes an increase in the burning of fossil fuel; an increase in carbon emissions; an increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, trapping more of the sun’s radiated energy as heat; intensifying the natural Greenhouse Effect.
    The majority of climate scientists agree upon the concept of GCD primarily caused by human activities such as fossil fuel burning, and post-industrialisation emissions of green house gases having an impact on the climate cycle and environment. And the idea that H-IGCD will continue and worsen if greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced has been endorsed by at least 30 scientific societies and academies of science, including all of the national academies of science of the major industrialized countries. Just pause for a second and think, if you had a horse race and every major betting agency was saying, put your money on that horse, would you do it (just keep it simplistic)? Well, with every major institute in the first world betting on H-IGCD, ask yourself: “Which seems like the smarter bet on which to wager the world?”
    The H-IGCD is the effect of the intensified Greenhouse Effect superimposed upon the normal climate cycle. We have the average increase in temperature (Global Warming), but it is not a uniform Global Warming (hence Climate Change). The Climate Change affects different regions in different ways (H-IGCD). So it’s not the degrees of temperature that matters per se, but the fact that such a quick change in the global average temperature is like throwing a wrench into the climate system. Should it reach a tipping point, the products of the process of H-IGCD will fuel the process; such as increased temperatures melting ice sheets, which increases the size of the ocean, causing more heat to be absorbed into the climate, further melting the ice sheets. The evidence for this is certainly compelling.
    So, what are these indications?
    -Studies of ice cores show a correlation of carbon dioxide levels with temperature variations.
    -Rate of Warming: The rate of average global temperature increase is particularly evident in three ways I will share.
    First off, temperature graphs show the cyclical change – yet H-IGCD is evident, with the cycle of our time being abnormal:
    *“Temperature reconstruction – linear trend for from AD 1000 to 1850,” showing the change in trend since industrialisation: http://www.grida.no/climate/IPCC_tar/wg1/fig2-20.htm
    *And even more striking, the “Temperatures over the last 1.35 million years” showing the abnormal warmth and warming of our time:
    http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/temperature/1.35Myr.small.jpg
    Secondly, the Polar Ice Caps are melting in unprecedented ways. It is now a common theory for the Arctic Ocean to be ice-free in summer by 2040. I have a link which shows how the minimums have dramatically changed.
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f0/2007_Arctic_Sea_Ice.jpg
    Finally, Coral. Although coral reefs have been around for millions of years, the reefs are formed of the corals themselves, which have life estimates of only a few thousand years. Therefore, as climate has gone through its cycle, coral have been able to evolve to deal with changes in temperature. But now, however, it appears, the climate is changing too rapidly for them to evolve:
    Bleaching is where the corals turn white due to a change in the ocean temperature, exceeding that which they can handle. If the temperature returns to normal, they recover. If not, the coral dies. In this way, coral are like a bellwether, sensitive instruments that detect subtle changes of temperature, reflecting both the ocean and overall climate conditions.
    The first coral bleaching on record occurred in 1979. Since then, there have been six events, each of which has been progressively more frequent and severe. In the El Niño year of 1998, when tropical sea surface temperatures were the highest yet in recorded history, coral reefs around the world suffered the most severe bleaching on record. 48% of reefs in the Western Indian Ocean suffered bleaching, while 16% of the world’s reefs appeared to have died by the end of 1998. 2002 was even worse: 60 to 95 per cent of individual reefs of the Great Barrier Reef suffered some bleaching, while reefs in Palau, the Seychelles, and Okinawa suffered 70-95% bleaching. One quarter of the world’s coral has already been lost.
    -9/11: Yes, I’ll get to it further down.
    Global Dimming is basically the antagonist of Global Warming. Both are caused by emissions. Green House Gas Emissions trap heat and result in Global Warming. Other emissions, which are more evident, damage the health of us and the environment, but reflect heat from earth, resulting in Global Dimming. Due to the emissions, Global Warming had the edge, and we detected the GCD as a result.
    We detected those emissions affecting our health first, and thus reduced them first. This reduced Global Dimming, and therefore contributed to Global Warming.
    Airplane vapor trails are a form of Global Dimming. This is where 9/11 becomes a proof of Global Warming. For three days post-9/11, all flights were grounded. For those three days, no airplane vapor trails were produced. For those three days, the average temperature was 1 degree Celsius warmer than other days. This may not sound like much, but 6 degrees colder is the difference between now and the last ice age, when the Ice Sheets extended as far south as London. It’s a huge amount of warming.
    This is just some of the evidence that I find most persuasive. The problem we have is that our knowledge of climactic processes is never 100% complete, but while we debate whether or not our actions are significantly affecting the climate, we are at the same time running the experiment. The billions of people in the world and the technology we use to sustain that population might be having an impact on the planet. And it is also conceivable that we might not be able to recover from the consequences of those impacts. No matter the outcome, we have a stake in it.
    2) Why not change the focus? No one is perfect, so our choices carry a risk if that choice turns out to be a mistake. Given that, which risk would you rather take for H-IGCD? Listen to the activists and take big action now, risking the possible harm to the economy that the skeptics warn us about; or listen to the skeptics and don’t take action, risking the possible destruction and upheaval that the activists warn us about. The bottom line is which is the more acceptable risk? The risk of taking action, or not taking action?
    You might say that the choice is a false one, for the changes in the climate we see are, in fact, not H-IGCD, but part of the climactic cycle (perhaps an extreme part in that cycle, but part of it none-the-less). Are you infallible? No. Could you be wrong? Yes. So the question, which is the more acceptable risk, still applies.
    The best way to present it to you is in the form of a box divided into quarters.
    * http://www.kheper.net/topics/civilization/four.gif
    *Have one of the two rows represent: H-IGCD – True (T), and the other: H-IGCD – False (F).
    Here we can acknowledge that we are far from absolutely certain, or rather far from in agreement, about H-IGCD. All reasonable people should be able to admit to the possibility that they might have a mistake in their understanding of reality.
    *Have one of the two columns represent: Significant Action Taken – Yes (Y), and the other: Significant Action Taken – No (N).
    Obviously, these represent what actions we take.
    *So we now have a grid with four boxes, each box representing a different, plausible future.
    We can now compare these four basic possible scenarios side-by-side, by considering what each of those futures might look like. To determine this, we consider the consequences of the two factors that we are bearing in mind, on the envisioned future, from the perspective of a realistic pessimist.
    Future #1 (F, Y) – Economic cost, no positive benefits: Wasted money in unnecessary investment, opportunity cost of investment, possibly increased taxation, burdensome regulation, inutile bureaucracy, possible costs and problems of replacement technology (from carbon-based technology), retardation of third-world economic development. For the purposes of contrast let’s take it to the extreme, and go so far as to imagine draconian regulation causing massive lay-offs, sparking a recession, spiraling into a global depression which makes the 1930s look like a cakewalk. =(
    Future #2 (F, N) – Didn’t take action, but didn’t need to: we made the right decision, no big economic consequences, continued relative prosperity; sure we had some problems but H-IGCD wasn’t one of them. Everyone celebrates – the skeptics because they were right, and the activists because it wasn’t the end of the world after all. =D
    Future #3 (T, Y) – We took action, and it was a good thing too: the doomsayers were right, we still have the economic cost, but it was money well spent as it allowed as to counteract H-IGCD; it still happened but we managed it so everyone’s ok with that because we saved our bacon. It’s a different world, but it’s livable. Our actions were insurance for the survival and well-being of the human species. =)
    Future #4 (T, N) – We have granted the extreme in every other scenario, and we should here too, and in that case it gets kind of ugly: economic, social, political, and environmental catastrophes on a global scale – a disaster scenario; and the more of these you consider in conjunction, and the greater degree to which we imagine these semi-independently-occurring variables, the more severe the prediction. At the extreme we have an intense situation that makes Al Gore look like a sissy who sugar-coated the bad news, with chain reactions in which problems induce or aggravate other problems:
    Crises ranging from sea-level rise affecting mainland coasts, coastal countries, and river banks, rivers drying up as glaciers melt, changes in wind and sea currents affecting regional microclimates and ecosystems, massive seasonal droughts alternating with wide-spread floods, more intense and more frequent hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, floods, lightening storms, blizzards, and forest fires, expansion of desertification, crop failures from climate change, the breadbaskets in Russia, the US, India, and China converted to dustbowls, extinctions and food chain disruption (vegetation can’t adapt to new conditions, animals migrate, keystone species die, habitats drastically alter, predator-prey balance shifts), population displacement (from coasts and river banks, or from areas which can no longer sustain life), south-ward and north-ward migrating of insects (mosquitoes and locusts) as regions’ climates become able to accommodate them, increased forests fires, deforestation, forest burning, forest death (either from climate change beyond what they can tolerate, or insect plagues), spread of famine and epidemics, warfare over scare resources (compounded by, in certain cases, pre-existing tensions), technology failure (particularly energy such as power grids failing due to weather extremes), and economic collapse from consecutive crises, etc. =(
    Take your pick, mix it up, consider what could induce or intensify another problem, and consider the problems to differing degrees of severity. I actually find it rather interesting to ponder the possibilities.
    Obviously this awfully oversimplifies the complexities. But we can say that the future will fall roughly into one of those four boxes. The debate is about trying to predict which row the future will fall into, which we can’t know for certain until we actually get there. What we can know, because we determine it by taking significant action or not, is which column the future will fall (Y/N) into (or rather which column it won’t). Therefore we can eliminate the risk of one of the columns. It’s like buying one of two lottery tickets. Then we sit back and wait for what the Laws of Physics deal out as a result of our pick.
    This grid attempts to isolate the risk to help us decide what the optimal action to take is. One way or the other we are taking a risk, so which risk is more acceptable? As we can only control which column the future land in, the risks associated with the columns are: (F, Y) for column (Y) – acting when we didn’t need to; and (T, N) for column (N) – not acting when we needed to. Interestingly, the risk (T, N) incorporates the general risk of (F, Y), but with some added bonus features. So the risk is the cost of a mistake, either through deliberate choice or by default of inaction (especially if we’re too busy debating the rows).
    The flaw to this logic is that the same grid argument can be made for any possible threat, no matter how costly the action or ridiculous the threat – the infinite cost of the last square on his grid. Even giant mutant space hamsters. It’s better to go broke building a bunch of rodent traps than to even risk the possibility of hamster chow right? Not quite. The grid by itself allows us to make a decision based on uncertain knowledge by changing the question from ‘are we humans affecting the climate,’ to the superior question, ‘what’s the wisest thing to do, given the uncertainties and the risks?’ To make the logic of the grid more applicable to reasonability, we take into consideration the factor of probability. With this risk management, we need a sense of how likely each row is – an estimate of the certainty of occurrence.
    Waiting for us to gain an even greater understanding of the climate, on which to base a decision, doesn’t avoid the risk; as it is the same as choosing column (N) – which is where we sit right now. This is where the risk of row (T) is increased, or rather made more tangible. There is, of course, the evidence indicating H-IGCD cited above. On top of which we can take recent or concurrent events: for example, prolonged droughts in Africa and Australia, the seemingly delayed seasonal rains in Africa’s Okavango Delta, the flooding in Venice, heat-deaths in Paris, abandonment of sled-hunting in Greenland due to seas not freezing over, Chinese desertification and sand storms, the frequency and severity of major hurricanes this year – Bertha (July), Gustav (August), Ike (September), Omar (October), Paloma (November) – with the 2008 hurricane season (5) breaking 2005’s record (4) of having the most major hurricanes in the 6 months of hurricane season, the accelerated melting of the Chorabari Glacier which feeds the River Ganges in India, etc. Finally we can add that whilst there will almost always be disagreement by dissenting scientists on some scientific issue, we must regard the stance of professional organizations – the more prestigious, the weightier their statements; as they’re staking their reputations on it (which they want to uphold, not tarnish with inaccuracy); from which we have a consensus.
    With organisations like the NAS and the AAAS having both issued statements calling for immediate, significant action in response to H-IGCD, by curbing and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, (along with the indicators cited), we can adjust the size of row (T) based on the relative probability. Think of row (T) as, now, larger than row (F) – in other words, push the line dividing the two rows in the direction that makes row (T) larger. Now the probability of (T, N) has increased, and thus the risk of (T, N) is greater than (F, Y) not just in terms of likelihood, but in damage as well. Unfortunately, our default (inaction) carries the greater risk. And with the projected rate at which this is occurring we’re talking about this plausibly occurring within a relatively short span of time – not abstract grandchildren, but you and I.
    Instead of guessing at rows, we are faced with choosing between the columns, and the arguments lead to the same inescapable conclusion: when faced with uncertainty about our future, the only responsible choice, the only defensible choice, really the only choice is column (Y), in order to eliminate the risk of (T, N) as a possibility; because the risk of not acting significantly outweighs the risk of acting.
    It seems odd that the lack of absolute certainty is holding us back. After all, we buy car insurance over smaller stakes in less probable scenarios. We buy car insurance without being certain we’ll crash or have an accident, because we want to make sure that if it does happen we don’t end up broke. To most, this is enough of a risk (along with the statistics of car crashes) to justify the action of purchasing car insurance. Yet we seem to be insisting that every scientist interviewed agree on H-IGCD, holding out until we understand the physics, and debating the finer points of climate science instead of discussing risk management.
    Why should this matter anyway? Well, this isn’t about the planet – it will still be here a century or two from now, and it can always rehabilitate itself; it’ll do fine on its own. Whether we humans will be here, our wellbeing, and the state of the environment that we need to sustain us, is what we are concerned with. Every single other issue (from the Rainforests, to pollution, from toxic waste, to government waste, from immigration, to diplomacy, from human rights, to abortion) pales in comparison to the worst of H-IGCD coming to pass. It trumps everything else because if the worst were to happen, we’ll be so busy dealing with the fallout, that all other human concerns will seem like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Therefore it needs to be our priority.
    The positive thing is that there’s a lot reasons to be believe that we can fix this problem, and palliate the risk, without even reducing our standing of living, if we act quickly.
    3) I feel it would be negligent not to mention the arguments that mitigate the risk of column (Y). I.e. taking significant action as if H-IGCD were true is more appealing regardless of weather H-IGCD is true or not.
    The American Energy Institute did a detailed study of the likely outcome of offshore drilling for their Annual Energy Outlook 2007 Report, and concluded that the effects of offshore drilling on production and oil prices would not be felt until 2030. Not to mention that rigs and oil pollute. But, and this is probably the biggest thing, the huge cost of drilling investment, could just as easily be put toward a green economy. After all, it will not replace oil in the absolute near future, but, as we need to eventually, we should start now.
    The last three global recessions – in 1974, 1980 and 1991 – were all triggered by an oil shock. Even if companies drill more oil or access it more quickly, there wouldn’t be enough, most experts agree, to have a significant effect on prices. We need to move to green energy, and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80% (close to pre-industrial levels) by 2050.
    Government incentives for alternative energy production (subsidies for solar and wind, regulations on emissions) will facilitate the transition. We can’t drill our way to energy independence, the U.S. consumes almost a quarter of the world’s oil but has less than 3% of the world’s known oil reserves. And most of those reserves are in fragile ecosystems where endangered species reside, species that we can’t be sure aren’t keystone species (species on which an ecosystem is particularly dependant); such as Polar bears in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
    The bigger issue is strategically: The economy of the future can not be relying on oil and coal. We need to reduce our dependence on carbon-energy dramatically. In terms of foreign relations (given most oil reserves are held elsewhere i.e. supply), a green economy, green energy jobs, energy independence. That is why we should invest in Renewable Energy. We don’t want to encourage further oil and coal development when it firstly won’t have any impact for years, and, more importantly, when these are the energy sources that have lead us down the track to H-IGCD and pollution.
    Aside from the environmental and human health factors, the opportunity cost of investing oil is not worth it. We could just as easily invest in a green economy. If we invest in green tech, independent organizations have concluded we will create millions of jobs and stand to gain billions which will strengthen the economy, increase energy independence, and fight H-IGCD. Several institutes that I can name which endorse this are the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), Center for American Progress (CAP), World Energy Efficiency Agency (WEEA), and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDA), etc.
    The comparative economic viability comes from the fact that green is more efficient, thus cheaper in the long term (paying for its investment); the jobs that will be created; that long term oil supplies are diminishing, and short term oil supplies are not secure; that drilling is ineffective as concluded by AEI; that the amount of offshore oil around America is relatively insignificant and accessing it would provide no returns for decades; and that investing in a green economy is not only more cost-effective, it is beneficial to the environment and the health of species including our own.
    Cutting CO2 emissions (and maintaining our current lifestyle) is cheaper than, say, building new coal plants – screwing in CFL lightbulbs, ratcheting up appliance standards, boosting car fuel-economy, recycling the heat wasted from power plants – in Craig, Colorado, one plant was losing two-thirds of fuel energy as heat. The United States could cut of its carbon emissions and actually save money, while satisfying our energy needs. The reduction of emissions required can be achieved at a very low cost to our economy: the cost of not achieving the reductions, at national and global level, will be far greater.
    We require government regulations and investment because the changes we can reasonably expect from consumers are not enough. Policy matters when it comes to going green. Given the benefits of going green, we will have better chances of both enacting environmentally friendly, green economic policies, and producing international pressure for similar action IF there is interest and ability to use that potential.
    The best way to inspire interest is to inform people of this information. The only way we get into column (Y) is through policy change, and that will come about when enough people demand it. We need nothing less than a change in our culture itself. Using our power to persuade others will generate this change. Understanding these arguments helps increase public demand for column (Y). So I’m asking you, whom I’ve never meet, but who’s fate I’m still tied to, to make it part of our thinking and our conversations. Anything less, intentionally or not, is tantamount to choosing column (N).
    Err on the side of caution. If it’s row (F), then the solution to the problem row (T), that I believe is real, is at least a benefit. If the sceptics are wrong, their proposals are jeopardising the well being and survival of all the species on Earth, through pollution and H-IGCD exacting a widening human and financial toll. In other words, I can afford to be wrong. Hopefully this helps ends the debate. How humanity ends up, well, that’s up to you and me. This is likely to be the greatest threat that humanity has so far faced. Think that’s overblown? Maybe; but are you so certain that you’re willing to bet everything? We only get to run this experiment once. Think it won’t happen? That’s the risk you’re taking.

  38. “Due to the complexity of the climate, with so many factors that science has not yet fully explained every single process…”
    Really, isn’t the science settled anymore?
    As for the rest of the bible length post – it would be better bound in leather and clutched to your chest like the ‘scripture’ it is.

  39. Stephen:

    it is difficult for a coherent picture to emerge from which we can firmly conclude beyond all reasonable doubt that there is Human-Induced Global Climate Destabilisation (H-IGCD). If it were the case, we wouldn’t be having this debate.

    We wouldn’t be having this debate if the U.N.’s IPCC had done the right thing from its outset – that is, decided to proceed scientifically
    ~20 years ago, then continue on scientifically. Period…
    Among many, many other things, the IPCC “science” does not try to disprove its own hypotheses, and did not even check the temperature set ups from which surface temp data stems [h/t Anthony Watts] – both of which are among the many, many things which have been left to the “skeptics”, acknowledging especially that they will at least consider what is wrong with their hypotheses, findings, and methods.
    Then you wiffed so frequently in the first few paragraphs, that I stopped reading. But a sincere thanks for your effort.

  40. Stephen, a herculean effort to present a balanced view.
    However, I think that many, if not most of the readers of this blog are probably well aware of the landscape of climate change debate.
    Also, your risk analysis grid fails on essentially the same grounds as Pascal’s Wager (on which it is based, I suspect) – the uncertainties are not confined to the scientific evidence for AGW, but are inherent in whatever actions we may take (including no action).
    Most human actions are undermined to to some extent by the law of unintended consequences, and the larger the action (and with CO2 reduction, we have actions proposed that are, well, unprecedented in scale), the more powerfully the law applies.
    One example. The wholesale rush to biofuels has come about, at least in part, as a response to fears about AGW. Oxfam (hardly a hotbed of fervent ‘denialism’) tell us that the biofuels rush has resulted in 100 million more people in poverty, and a further 290 million whose already marginal livelihoods are in danger.
    Inaction may carry risks, but those risks are unquantifiable, whatever Hansen may say, and the human impact is not expected to be felt for some decades.
    Action is causing real problems on a large scale right now.
    The subject of this blog posting, wind turbines, demonstrates the problem on a smaller (for now) scale.

  41. Stephen it would seem that recent events look a lot like future #1 and if you look close you will see that it hasn’t warmed for a few years. Maybe its time to take another look at your position.
    Matt

  42. Stephen (16:53:20) :
    Human-Induced Global Climate Destabilisation (H-IGCD).
    Interesting term – Google has one hit for “Human-Induced Global Climate Destabilization” and none for “… Destabilisation”.
    I’m going to skip over most of your post and touch on a few things:

    Airplane vapor trails are a form of Global Dimming. This is where 9/11 becomes a proof of Global Warming. For three days post-9/11, all flights were grounded. For those three days, no airplane vapor trails were produced. For those three days, the average temperature was 1 degree Celsius warmer than other days.

    The sources I found say cooler nights and warmer days, e.g. http://archives.cnn.com/2002/TECH/science/08/07/contrails.climate/index.html says
    During the three-day commercial flight hiatus, when the artificial clouds known as contrails all but disappeared, the variations in high and low temperatures increased by 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) each day, said meteorological researchers.
    While the temperature range is significant, whether the jet clouds have a net effect on global warming remains unknown.
    “I think what we’ve shown are that contrails are capable of affecting temperatures,” said lead scientist David Travis of the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater. “Which direction, in terms of net heating or cooling, is still up in the air.”
    So, the average temperature was unchanged, not up.

    … the flooding in Venice, … the frequency and severity of major hurricanes this year

    The Venice flooding was blamed on winds, I haven’t read anything about those winds being linked to global warming, not even in the news accounts.
    Atlantic Hurricanes are an awful, awful proxy to use for climate change. The links to a strong AMO and the storm of the 30s and 40s, plus the sudden up in activity are signs that global warming is not behind them. Besides, if warming implies more El Ninos, that implies fewer hurricanes because El Nino brings wind shear in the Atlantic and that suppresses and tears apart hurricanes.
    For hurricanes throughout the Northern Hemisphere, the total activity is the least in 30 years, see http://coaps.fsu.edu/~maue/tropical/

    With organisations like the NAS and the AAAS having both issued statements calling for immediate, significant action in response to H-IGCD,
    I’ve heard from a NAS member how that statement was forced through the governing board, and very similar tactics were used at the AMS (American Meteorology Society). I’d be reluctant put much faith in them, and I bet they referred to either global warming or climat change, not human-induced global climate destabilisation.

    It seems odd that the lack of absolute certainty is holding us back.

    It’s more the lack of believable science and the unbelievable cost of mitigation.

  43. @Stephen (16:53:20) :
    What is your physical evidence that
    1. Man made emissions of CO2 cause global warming? and
    2. That the warming caused by said emissions will be catastrophic?
    Evidence please.

  44. I would like to assure my dear friends here at WUWT that I have not been affected adversely by any of those nasty windmill things. The only time I go anywhere near them is when driving (yes, in a wicked motor car) to play golf with my brother, but we are old and weak and only play when the sun shines.
    And as for Mr Stephen (16:53:20), thank you for your most entertaining illustration of the precautionary principle. Forgive me for not replying to it in detail but there’s been so much global warming in London that it’s really very cold and I can’t type for long.

  45. “But in the last century, the planet’s temperature has risen unusually fast.”
    Incorrect. Climate recovered from the little ice age over a period of about a century. Such changes in climate are not unusual nor are they unprecedented. The change from the last glacial to the Holocene happened in apparently a shorter period of time and was a much greater change in climate. Climate can, has, and shall make great changes over short periods of time. We can now pretty much dispense with point number 1 but not before I mention that I did get a chuckle out of “Secondly, the Polar Ice Caps are melting in unprecedented ways.” The fact that Earth even HAS ice caps is an anomaly over geological time. Earth generally has never had ice at the poles until the past couple of million years and a few periods here and there.
    And I might remind you that there has been NO warming for the past 10 years and rather dramatic cooling over the past couple of years. So I think we can dispense with the rest of the text you posted. It isn’t a matter of “believing” anything, the data shows that there simply isn’t any warming.
    It was fun to read, though.

  46. Stephen,
    Why don’t you just open your own site and then you can provide a link to your “material” for anyone interested in actually reading it all.

  47. “Well, with every major institute in the first world betting on H-IGCD”
    Well, the Space and Science Research Center (SSRC) in Orlando, Florida, informed Senators John McCain, Barack Obama, Joseph Biden and Governor Sarah Palin a few weeks ago, warning them of the consequences of the next climate change to a period of deep, long lasting and possibly destructive cold weather.
    http://www.spaceandscience.net/id16.html
    Your attempt to suggest a consensus clearly failed.

  48. “But in the last century, the planet’s temperature has risen unusually fast. Ever since the industrial revolution began, amplifying our demand for energy, we have used carbon-based fossil fuel to satiate that demand. The increasing consumption of carbon-based energy from industrialised and developing nations causes an increase in the burning of fossil fuel; an increase in carbon emissions; an increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, trapping more of the sun’s radiated energy as heat; intensifying the natural Greenhouse Effect.”
    I disagree with the temperature rising unusually fast, and I disagree with the intensifying of the natural greenhouse effect.
    This has not be proven, at least to my knowledge, and is, in fact, what people want to debate.
    “The majority of climate scientists agree upon the concept of GCD primarily caused by human activities such as fossil fuel burning, and post-industrialisation emissions of green house gases having an impact on the climate cycle and environment.”
    Please back this up. I don’t believe there is any evidence that “the majority of climate scientists agree” on this point at all.
    I’m not going to challenge all of the rest of the points in your somewhat lengthy post because I believe that your first three paragraphs are flawed.
    JimB

  49. Why worry? We’ve passed peak oil, and with the Chinese and Indians wanting a huge share we’ll be out of oil before we reach any tipping point.

  50. Er, ahem; Stephen. Reality check time.
    Yes, the climate changes. No, we as a species have little or no global influence on climate. If I may quote your own examples to briefly take your rather over long post to task as some small proof of this assertion.
    “-Studies of ice cores show a correlation of carbon dioxide levels with temperature variations. “
    Insofar as proving that CO2 production lags, not leads temperature rises. Here’s a clue; look up ‘outgassing’ as pertaining to the carbon cycle.
    Polar ice caps melting
    An ‘ice free arctic’ was found in the report of a Chinese fleet in 1276. Large leads in the Arctic ice pack are historically well documented. Reports of massive ice shelf collapses have been recorded throughout the 17th, 18th & 19th century as hazards to navigation. Pre SUV and mass transportation.
    Coral bleaching
    Has been most often proven to be caused by local pollution events. For example nitrate pollution and increased sedimentation from intensive agriculture sources and a surfeit of Golf courses (For similar reasons). Over fishing can also be legitimately pointed out as one of the culprits. Ring any bells?
    Yes, we need to control pollution, deforestation and overfishing; but prattling on that it’s all about CO2 rather diverts important attention from more vital environmental issues. The precautionary principle you propose re CO2 does not even come close to addressing key environmental issues.
    Solar, Wind, and other ‘renewable’ energy will not keep us warm in the current cooling cycle of the Earth’s climate, however long it lasts. Properly planned and implemented, Nuclear, gas and coal can provide enough energy for our needs; or would you rather have people freezing to death because new power stations were not built in time? Until some clever chap cracks Nuclear Fusion or another ‘clean’ energy source that is.
    I know none of the above is ‘peer reviewed’ but all the requisite information is readily accessible if you would care to read a little maritime history and do a little basic mathematics. Oh, and might I entreat you to winnow your prose down to size? Brevity being the soul of wit, to quote Shakespeare . On that note, that’s quite enough from me. TTFN.

  51. Stephen:

    So it’s not the degrees of temperature that matters per se, but the fact that such a quick change in the global average temperature is like throwing a wrench into the climate system. Should it reach a tipping point, the products of the process of H-IGCD will fuel the process; such as increased temperatures melting ice sheets, which increases the size of the ocean, causing more heat to be absorbed into the climate, further melting the ice sheets. The evidence for this is certainly compelling.

    Stephen, here’s your ‘quick change in temperatures.’
    Go back to school.

  52. Stephen (16:53:20) :
    -Studies of ice cores show a correlation of carbon dioxide levels with temperature variations.
    *”Temperature reconstruction – linear trend for from AD 1000 to 1850,” showing the change in trend since industrialisation:
    Should it reach a tipping point, the products of the process of H-IGCD will fuel the process; such as increased temperatures melting ice sheets, which increases the size of the ocean, causing more heat to be absorbed into the climate, further melting the ice sheets. The evidence for this is certainly compelling.
    I fail to understand why you people keep recycling obsolete data.
    Ice cores show warming precedes CO2 increases by about 800yrs.
    Manns’ hockey stick has no credibility.
    There is no tipping point. If there were, we wouldn’t be having this debate.

  53. George E. Smith (10:03:21) :
    Wind energy is solar,
    Solar is solar,
    Hydro energy is solar.
    Wave energy is solar,
    Biomass is solar,
    Algae oil is solar,
    Human energy is solar,
    Coal/shale, etc is solar (just very old),
    That leaves the only non-solar energy sources as geothermal, Nuclear and oil drilled from the Earth. ….That is if you believe the Abiotic oil theory, which says that oil forms at too great a depth (unlike coal) for surface biotic material to ever get down that far. Instead, it forms by natural “outgassing” of molecular (??) carbon from the mantle which combines into long chains under great temp and pressure and then gets trapped under certain “rock” formations as it oozes upward, or it just oozes all the way up and you can then move to Beverly Hills like the Klampett’s.
    So if only solar is good, we need to stop nuclear, oil, and geothermal and we’ll have to really crank up on the coal to make up for it.

  54. Stephen (16:53:20) :
    I almost laughed out loud at Stephen’s screed on why we should just surrender and drink the Koolaid of AGW. he must have spent a great deal of time amassing his arsenal of AGW spin. An indicator of the level of scholarship in his diatribe is the first reference which takes one directly to the infamous and discredited “hockey stick” graph. The “argument to authority” is another red flag that there will be no solid science presented. Then we have an interminable exposition on why we should drink the Koolaid even if there is no evidence of AGW. We welcome AGW proponents here but the caliber of your post does not convince. I suggest you post on individual points if you want a proper response. Nobody has time to address your epistle in its entirety.

  55. Forgot about Tide Energy, but that’s sort of Solar also, just gravity solar.
    So Tide Energy is OK, but we need manbearpig’s (I mean Al Gore’s) reading on that.

  56. I’m not a green person, but certainly (IMHO), wind power can supplement our world’s energy needs. If it were the only answer we wouldn’t have a post like this. But, we get enough power from the Sun every day to provide for all of our energy needs. Why not take advantage of that through solar, wave and wind energy collection devices? Of course safety needs are paramount and I have no issue with ensuring that people aren’t endangered by flying ice. Not sure about all the other listed hazards – I’ll have to investigate that further. Change is required at some point since we’re using fossil fuels faster than they are produced by nature. Planning ahead (and taking action) seems prudent since we will need fossil fuels for some things for the forseeable future.

  57. Stephen, before making such a long post please read equally extensively on the skeptical side of the issue. In this way you can more effectively dialoge. Your many statements show a complete ignorance of the counter arguments and it is exhausting to start from scratch on every nuance.

  58. Haven’t we got bigger things to worry about than criticizing wind turbines? I think they’re fantastic.

  59. I don’t know about the USA but over here the Poznan wine and cheese party has hardly got a mention.
    Might it be that the coming ice age / global warming / climate change / climate chaos is now old news and people are beginning to realise that putting food on the table and warmth in the home is more important than a computer generated theory?
    Just asking, I don’t want to sound provocative.

  60. Back to the thread topic.
    The footprint of the proposed oil drilling operation in the (19,000,000 acre) ANWR is 2,000 acres. It could produce as much as 16,000,000 barrels of oil. In contrast, the Altamont Wind Resource Area is 50,000 acres and produces 580 MW (86 acres/MW).
    The American Wind Energy Opposition website reports that the GE 1.5-MW turbine requires at least 48 acres per tower in a single line perpendicular to the wind (32 acres/MW) or 123 acres per tower in an array (82 acres/MW). The Vestas V90 1.8-MW turbine, with a 90-m rotor, requires 78-200 acres per tower (43-111 acres/MW).
    Acre for acre, wind farms are one of the most wasteful and destructive uses of land there is. Deadly to avians. Vegetation taller than 3 feet must be controlled (with herbicides). No crop farming (too dangerous). And as the post demonstrates, no housing either, for the same reason. Near total single-industrial-use of the environment on a vast scale. Not the “green” solution by any means.

  61. Re Stephen 12/2/8 16:53
    You wrote “Just pause for a second and think, if you had a horse race and every major betting agency was saying, put your money on that horse, would you do it (just keep it simplistic)?” I hope you know more about climate science than you do about horse racing. Google Big Brown and 2008 Belmont Stakes. Favorites win about 30% of the time at the race track, put another way they lose 70% of the time. Not exactly the best way to prove your point. So that is not a good analogy for you to use.
    More to the point, literally every ‘fact’ you talk about is debatable and there are different opinions. And what does any of this have to do with the unintended consequences of wind farms??

  62. From Heliogenic Climate Change
    December 2, 2008
    “It seems a bit odd”
    “The objective of the [Kyoto] Accord is to reduce the impact of observed increases in global temperatures using 1990 as the reference year for a target.
    If we take the average global temperature in 1990 as a “zero reference”, the average temperature for 2002 can be seen to be about 0.35°C, and the average temperature for the last 12 months is back down to about 0.05°C.
    The best fit linear trend since 2002 is about 0.025°C/year of cooling, and at this rate we will have met the Kyoto target of 1990 temperature in just two years without having done anything! …
    If the Kyoto target of 1990 global temperature will be met in just two years in spite of the continued increase in CO2 emissions, doesn’t it seem a bit odd that the world leaders are willing to sacrifice the global economy to reduce CO2 emissions as though CO2 emissions reductions, and not global temperature stabilization, was the objective of the Kyoto Protocol?” Norm Kalmanovitch, email to Benny Peiser, CCNet
    Exactly, Norm. Kyoto is designed to throttle industry, not temperature.
    http://heliogenic.blogspot.com/2008/12/it-seems-bit-odd.html

  63. Smokey (20:12:51) :
    Stephen:
    Go back to school.
    Smokey, he probably still is in school. This is the product of current school indoctrination (education).

  64. Stephen (16:53:20)
    “But in the last century, the planet’s temperature has risen unusually fast.’
    By who’s account? Hansen? the hockey stick, Mann?

    ‘an increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, trapping more of the sun’s radiated energy as heat; intensifying the natural Greenhouse Effect’
    The 2.5 amplificiation number/climate sensitivity which leads to a positive feedback heat trapping clouds is STILL an assumption that lives only in computer climate models.
    ‘Finally, Coral. Although coral reefs have been around for millions of years, the reefs are formed of the corals themselves, which have life estimates of only a few thousand years. Therefore, as climate has gone through its cycle, coral have been able to evolve to deal with changes in temperature. But now, however, it appears, the climate is changing too rapidly for them to evolve:’
    I wonder how the coral and the ice caps survived the Holocene climate optimun or Roman warm period?
    And the beat go on………..

  65. @Stephen (16:53:20) :
    If it turns out that you don’t actually have any physical evidence, and want to refer to Climate Models.
    Please provide the number of consecutive years of global cooling that the Climate models predict?
    Please also check temperature data for this century and compare with Climate model predictions.

  66. Regarding massive wind farm installations, has any reader heard of serious investigation into the alteration of weather patterns?
    The law of unintended consequences would seem to imply that, with suitably large wind farms removing energy [ultimately solar] from the atmosphere, the leeward weather patterns may be significantly impacted – and not necessarily for the better.
    Present wind farm installations are probably not sufficient to cause anything significant, but is there any literature on this?

  67. Never heard it on the UK national news. Did any one else? If not no surprise there then.
    John Sargent left “Strictly Come Dancing” ages ago so come on BBC, say something!
    Whoops, my candle has just blown out in the breeze from the wind turbine.

  68. I would like to hear what our visiting SunMaster has to say about this:
    (They did not quite say “Not Global Warming” ~ but “Not The Greenhouse Effect” is creeping up on it…)
    “According to a study in Geographical Research, the droughts are related to the solar magnetic phases and not the greenhouse effect.”
    Sun’s Magnetic Field May Impact Weather And Climate: Sun Cycle Can Predict Rainfall Fluctuations
    ScienceDaily

  69. There have been reports of Wind Turbines shedding ice in the UK for over 20 years. Cars on high roads with their wind screens damaged animals hurt. Through all this the Pro-Turbine lobby have denied it ever happened and as a result planners have been kept in ignorance.
    Now they are getting into an inescapable position of undeniable evidence what will they do. Blame freak weather events, (AGW) that’s what.

  70. In Germany, the land of the wind mills and solar farms, the metal workers got angry with the EU climate policies and went to Brussels to protest.
    Is this the start of substantial opposition against governmental lunacy?
    We could use more of this
    December 2, 2008
    Stop messing with our livelihood!
    “More than 10,000 metal workers, most from Germany, protested in Brussels Tuesday over EU plans to tackle climate change, which they fear will hit their industry.
    The protesters — 11,300 according to police, 12,000 according to organisers, some wearing their hard hats and work clothes — demonstrated around EU buildings in Brussels.
    One group held a coffin aloft as a symbol of their industry’s possible future.” “Over 10,000 metal workers protest EU climate plans”
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081202/sc_afp/eumetalindustryenvironmentclimateprotest
    In Poznan Polish miners clashed with Greenpeace protesters.
    http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/LO147615.htm
    And the weather in Poznan, light snow and temps slightly above zero degrees.
    Who knows the “Gore effect” will descend upon Poznan before the UN Climate Conference ends December 12.
    Germany this morning is hit by a snow front that brings up to 47 cm of snow today from the “Ruhrgebiet” up to Bayern. So, with a little luck…!
    I’ m eager to see the GISS temps for November….

  71. Pete said “Forgot about Tide Energy, but that’s sort of Solar also, just gravity solar”
    Actually I would class that under lunar.
    Reverting back to the Killer turbines that stalk the earth I hardly doubt they will be turned into a Hammer film starring Doug McLure. They’ve got more chance of being killed by the electricity the turbine produces in their own home. I’d love to see the statistics for that 😉 Bet I know which would prove to be safer … inside or outside…
    Regards
    Andy

  72. Just 3 miles from the ice shedding wind turbine, is a Bronze Age excavation called Flag Fen, where humans who lived then, would have seen great changes in climate and environment. http://www.flagfen.com/
    What would our ancestors have done about blocks of ice falling from the sky? Probably have invented an Ice Sky god to worship. 3000 years ago, that would have been a logical explanation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_Fen
    I’ve been the a number of times and one of the more curious facts about Flag Fen is that although it was forgotten for some 3000 years, its ritual aspects were not lost in the memories of later peoples who inhabited the area. Flag Fen is at the meeting point of the three Dioceses of Peterborough, Ely and Lincoln, in the Province of Canterbury, as can be seen at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Dioceses_of_the_CofE.png
    Now, that is bizarre! Archbishops deciding to divide the land 1500 years ago, using myths and legends about holy places. Or, maybe not.
    Regards,
    Perry

  73. Alan the Brit
    Amongst the important news articles – “X factor, Strictly Come Dancing, Jungle….. – Monday nights 10 o’clock BBC news had the customary environmental propaganda broadcast. You might have seen it, it was after the anti-coal article!
    (For everyone outside of UK, the BBC broadcasts an environmental message nearly every night along followed by a weather broadcast which often explains that temperatures are well above/below average for the time of year. The BBC never misses an opportunity. And it is all our fault!!)
    We, yes you and me, are buying wood burning stoves.
    The presenter was sat next to a wood burning stove and had a wee glass of red wine in his hand. Looked very Christmasy.
    He explained “That trees consume CO2 when they grow and the burning of wood is environmentally friendly.” Clearly a form of good man made CO2.
    The presenter explained that we do not need to spend extra to keep warm all need to do is burn more wood.
    Deforestation is not a problem with the BBC, cutting down trees and setting them on fire is environmentally friendly.

  74. Those interested in the reasons why wind power are a silly idea for power supply to an electricity grid may want to read the Annual Prestigious Lecture I had the honour of being asked to provide in 2006.
    It can be read in full at
    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/reprint/courtney_2006_lecture.pdf
    Its Section 14 (pp 12-19) provides a basic assessment of all available and potential ‘renewables’ and its abstract says:
    The UK Energy White Paper was published by the UK’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in May 2003. It proposed the objective of a contribution to reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by use of ‘renewables’ mostly in the form of windfarms (i.e. local assemblies of wind turbines) to provide 20% of UK electricity supply. This objective was endorsed by the UK’s Energy Review that was published by the DTI on 11 July 2006. However, this paper suggests the use of windfarms cannot make significant contribution to reducing the emissions and suggests the construction of tidal coffer dams instead. Windfarms for power generation provide intermittent power so they merely displace thermal power stations onto standby mode or to operate at reduced efficiency while the thermal power stations wait for the wind to change. They make no significant reduction to pollution because thermal power stations continue to use their fuel and to produce their emissions while operating in standby mode or with reduced efficiency that can increase their emissions at low output. And this need for continuously operating backup means that windfarms can only provide negligible useful electricity to electricity grid supply systems. But the large scale use of windfarms requires upgrading of an electricity grid, more complex grid management, and operation of additional thermal power stations to protect against power cuts in time of supply failure. These effects increase the cost of electricity supplied by the grid in addition to the capital, maintenance and operating costs of the windfarms themselves. And the windfarms cause significant environmental damage. Tidal coffer dams would not have these problems and could provide continuous and controllable power supply at similar cost to off-shore windfarms.
    Richard

  75. Stephen,
    I have never seen anyone take so many words to say things that have already been disproven many times.
    Claim: The warming of the last century is unusual. Answer. Not by a long shot.
    Claim: A majority of scientists agree that warming is primarily caused by humans. Answer. Not by a long shot.
    Claim: Records show that temperature correlates with CO2. True. Temperature rises ALWAYS preceded CO2 increases.
    Arctic melting is unprecedented: Only true if your history books only go back two or three decades. Notes from arctic explorers indicate that the Arctic has been this free of ice numerous times in the past. Currently the amount of ice in the Arctic is well above the 30 year average.
    Got tired of reading BS, so I stopped at this point.
    Anthony, don’t you have any size limits on posts?

    REPLY:
    No size limit that I am aware of in WordPress. While verbose and off topic, it was politely framed. The purpose of this blog is to enlighten, educate, and debate, it seems the primary mission has been fulfilled here. – Anthony

  76. >> Never heard it on the UK national news. Did any one else? If not no surprise there then.
    Funny, the same thought occurred to me. It is quite a remarkable story but I didn’t hear or see anything about it in the national news. I read the Daily Telegraph, which is strongly pro-AGW, and not a mention of it. To be fair, they did print a report about how the Arctic ice had rebounded, but in general they print the pro-AGW stuff with never a hint that there is another point of view.
    It is quite ironic that these money-wasting, pointless monstrosities are multiplying almost out of control in order to stop the world getting warmer, when all the signs are that the world is starting to get colder. If these idiots really want the world to be colder then perhaps they should be more careful what they wish for. History repeatedly shows that mankind prospers when the world gets warmer, and that people starve and civilisations fall when the world gets colder.
    There was another perfect irony recently. On the day that Parliament voted on the Climate Change Bill, there was snow on the ground just outside. This was the first October snow in London for seventy years.
    We are now told that the AGW delusion will push up gas and electricity prices in Britain by 25% Let’s hope that sanity prevails eventually, though it may take years. It may also require a colder world, though I suspect that true believers like Gore and Hansen will never admit they were wrong.
    There is hope. As the Observer opinion poll showed, most Britons don’t believe in this nonsense. A more recent poll showed the same in the USA.
    I’m beginning to think that strong AGW is the biggest scientific fraud in history. Trouble is, unlike the Piltdown Hoax, this fraud threatens the future prosperity and freedom of the world. These ridiculous windmills are a very obvious result of this fraud.
    Chris

  77. Forgot about Tide Energy, but that’s sort of Solar also, just gravity solar.
    —————
    Lunar tides are much bigger than solar tides.

  78. But, we get enough power from the Sun every day to provide for all of our energy needs.
    ——
    This is true, but collecting it is another matter. Several studies have indicated that it takes as much or more energy to create the solar cells and their mounting panels than the cells can collect in a reasonable life span.
    ——
    Change is required at some point since we’re using fossil fuels faster than they are produced by nature.
    ———
    At current burn rates, we have well over 1000 years of fossil fuel (oil, coal, tar sands, etc.). Call me in 900 years. We can start worrying then.

  79. It would seem that the only way wind power could possibly be effective would be for each home to have it’s own small windmill to recharge a bank of batteries for it’s own use. It would simply be a supplement to their regular electricity. But you could do that with solar panels (at least in Florida) and skip the maintenance costs. Either way, since each home would have to stay connected to the grid, in order for the power companies to maintain the grid the unit cost of electricity would have to go up due to less usage and therefore less payment by the homeowner.

  80. B Kerr,
    Sorry I missed it. I am wary of watching too much news as it all tends to be bad news & rather depressing with it. A long dull list of what we cannot say or do imho! It missed the BBC’s 6pm news conveniently but obviously they thought they would put in the late-night news when most of us probably miss it!
    I possess a woodburning stove & love it. A great reason to grow more trees I expect! We need to remove some 7 million tons (tonnes if you prefer it’s only a few kilos) from our (UK) woodlands & forests each year just to keep them healthy, that’s before one does anything shameful, terrible, evil, wicked, sinful, human, (delete as applicable) like use (exploit) them as a resource!

  81. Do what they did in the Charleton Heston classic, Soylent Green. Everyone gets a bicycle hooked up to a battery and 1 bare bulb hanging from the ceiling along with a TV. You only get as much power as you can generate via bicycle.
    Just dont eat the Soylent Green! The Soylent Red and Yellow are fine though.

  82. I’ m eager to see the GISS temps for November….
    The majority of land mass particularly in the NH has been warmer than normal. Temperatures in Canada, Western US, Russia and the former soviet states have all been well above average – and South America has got over it’s chill from last year.
    Satellite temperatures are also climbing though it might be December before the recovery from the La Nina really shows itself. The newly developing La Nina could hold temps back but I still fancy 2009 will be warmer than 2008.
    Only weather, I know, but it is interesting to see how how the different metrics track ENSO fluctuations.

  83. Well there’s no stopping the wind farm bandwagon in the UK. This is today”s news:
    “One of the largest offshore wind farms in the world has been approved to be built off the coast of north Wales.
    The 250 turbines of Gwynt y Môr offshore wind farm will be built eight miles off the coast, 10 miles away from Llandudno, Conwy.
    Gwynt y Môr, combined with three other nearby wind farms, will provide enough green electricity to power the equivalent of 680,000 homes.”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/north_west/7762242.stm

  84. I came across a site that claims Tesla had some idea of digging a long tunnel parallel to earth’s spin at 10K ft elevation that would produce a constant wind as a source for energy. I have been unable to find anything other than this sites’ opinion. Has anyone else heard of this? Sounds potentially useful. Here is the site:
    http://www.geocities.com/scifuntubes/index.html

  85. pkatt (15:06:07) : just a thought… Airplanes moved passed prop engines, so why are three blade windmills considered state of the art?
    A common misconception. Nowadays, the propeller is encased in a housing; is many-bladed; and is called a fan, which is driven by a turbojet engine. That’s why many airliners are called fan jets
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turbofan
    helix shaped windmills were being used on a new energy efficient building. It would turn in very low winds, wouldnt build up ice, and could withstand very high winds without blasting apart, further it did not pose a threat to birds and lacked the vibration of its three bladed counterparts.
    The physics of the wind turbine is driven largely by the area exposed to the wind. The helix is effectively an infinitely bladed propeller. Other than that, here is nothing special about it so claims like vibration-free and non-icing are likely untrue. As far as a hazard to birds, they are perhaps a lesser hazard but certainly still pose a threat — ask any bird sucked into a jet engine.
    Instead of destroying open lands with ugly wind and solar farms why not look into using the sheer square footage that major cities already provide?
    1) The fluttering of a flag at the top of a fifteen story building can be heard from the ground. Imagine the noise from multiple turbines.
    2) Wind and solar suffer from the same problem: feast and famine. Until there is a viable way to store produced excess power to even out production, relying on these two alternatives is effectively dreaming. They are at best, supplemental.
    There is so much attention on solar and wind power. Have we forgotten that geothermal is an option?
    There’s a reason why all of the U.S. power isn’t generated entriely by hydroelectric: you have to be near a sufficient water flow. Geothermal also has geographic requirements.
    The only truly viable alternative is nuclear.

  86. Stephan
    Setting aside the many assumptions in your huge post that I find unlikely or false; a question we perhaps should ask is what reason do any of us have to believe that warmer would be worse?
    The idea of a large positive feedback and run away warming is clearly unsupported by the data the physics and the paleo record so what you’re left with is a small possible warming of which much has already occured.
    To me it seems we are proposing to waste trillions, on fixing something about which we don’t really understand how it works. Even if we accidently get it right and the “fix” we works would be making the environment worse. While leaving it alone would have a net benefit for the economy and the environment. Saddly what is actually best for the environment still doesn’t enter into the thoughts of many who claim to be concerned.

  87. First off, thank you to those who replied politely. I realise I am verbose. I am merely trying to expand my understanding through discussion; and in expressing my points, I like to be thorough. I also attempt to never let my attachment to my own particular notions (which I naturally cherish) distract me from trying to make progress in my understanding of both the issue and possible actions.
    I also reserve the right to be completely, and utterly wrong. As I said, all reasonable people should be able to admit to the possibility that they might have a mistake in their understanding of reality.
    Mark Smith – My risk analysis grid in section (2) is not based on Pascal’s Wager. The two grids used are very different. I am an Agnostic for starters (i.e. I don’t use the Wager):
    -There are the assumptions of the premise of Pascal’s Wager that make it a false choice (e.g. that the Supreme Entity in question is God and therefore the benefit is positive – heaven; but what if it weren’t a benevolent SE? Having the pick of a vengeful SE and God, you’d pick the former because the latter would forgive you?). I present the only two options, whether H-IGCD is true or false.
    -There is the Anti-Pascal Wager (you’ll live a more fulfilling life if you don’t believe in the possibility of an afterlife). It circumnavigates the debate (as I, in a sense, do with section (3)).
    -And the proposed inherent risk of the Wager (God exists, not believing) is hell which I actually think can be used as an argument against the existence of the Christian concept of the Supreme Being (i.e. God). i.e. Why would a metaphysical realm exist in which you can never learn anything nor repent (as it is “eternal punishment”) unless the SE in question is sadistic? In other words, PW is self-defeating with the risk rebutting the premise.
    I try to avoid the pitfalls of the grid by evaluating it with probability. “To make the logic of the grid more applicable to reasonability, we take into consideration the factor of probability,” which makes the risk more tangible. For example, the actual probability of giant mutant space hamsters is so low that we take the effective probability of 0 which eliminates the risk involved.
    Flow on: Robert Austin – whilst I dislike the tone of your post, you do note the “argument to authority” I use to increase the risk of row (T). But there is a flaw in this law when applied to this particular circumstance, in that this isn’t a monolithic authority. The major academies of science come from many countries, run by many different people. Yet they all come to the same conclusion; despite presumably different (and perhaps conflicting) agendas. One could relate it to the controversy over Darwin’s Theory of Evolution by means of Natural Selection.
    Mark Smith – “Most human actions are undermined to some extent by the law of unintended consequences, and the larger the action (and with CO2 reduction, we have actions proposed that are, well, unprecedented in scale), the more powerfully the law applies.”
    If the H-IGCD is true, then it is a problem of unprecedented scale. So both the issue itself and its proposed remedies are subject to the amplification of the law.
    The law of unintended consequences runs both ways. Our perspective influences our view, I think. Skeptics note the unintended consequences of action, whereas activists note the unintended consequences of inaction (deliberate or by default); and both (likely) downplay the possible unintended consequences of the side from which they’re advocating – both potentially powerful.
    You have cited one example (biofuels) of the unintended consequences of action. Biofuels from food crops is something I don’t agree with. Keeping in mind I am a self-acknowledged non-expert, I support the use of non-food crops for biofuels.
    Flow on: Mike Dubrasich – I am also not fond of wind turbines. However, as I said in section (3), many of the reasonable actions against H-IGCD are able to have their costs mitigated; and are beneficial regardless of H-IGCD.
    Flow on: Ron de Haan – “doesn’t it seem a bit odd that the world leaders are willing to sacrifice the global economy to reduce CO2 emissions (to) throttle industry, not temperature.”
    Yes, I totally agree with you, except for the extreme view that industry and economy need to be sacrificed to deal with the climate issue. Rather “there’s lots of reasons to be believe that we can fix this problem, and palliate the risk, without even reducing our standing of living,” by transitioning from a carbon-based economy to a clean one.
    Further consideration of green energy sources certainly shows imperfections (not that carbon-based sources are problem-free); but at this point, if H-IGCD is real, we have no silver bullet. Although I note we seem to be looking at the more negative examples. Instead ponder solar panels and mini-wind turbines (using urban heat island updrafts) on sky scrapers to provide power from areas that would otherwise generate nothing, improved building, car, and appliance standards, energy efficiency, conservation of energy sources, geothermal power (Iceland is a great model), tidal energy, non-food crop biomass converted into fuel, solar power satellites, etc.
    Ignoring H-IGCD and emissions, you tackle pollution, and other issues surrounding coal and oil (such as national security in terms of petrol dollars, national image for global influence, habitat destruction and ecosystem disruption in order to obtain carbon-based resources, human health, reducing the economic impact of oil shocks due to dependency, green jobs, energy efficiency saving money, diminishing coal and oil supplies, the costly investment in offshore drilling and on land mining to access resources – both in dollar terms and opportunity cost, and the extended period of time for return on such an investment). So the proposed solution to H-IGCD seems pretty attractive even if H-IGCD is false, as lots of the benefits are independent of H-IGCD.
    Matt – “It would seem that recent events look a lot like future #1”
    Not at all, envisioned Future #1 is caused by the unnecessary action over the non-occurrence of H-IGCD. The recent global recession (which exhibits the same symptoms of, but not the same cause as envisioned Future #1-lite) was caused by the facilitation of the receiving of bad mortgage loans, combined with lax regulatory oversight. From this epicenter the disaster reverberated outward.
    Matt (and Ron de Haan) – “If you look close you will see that it hasn’t warmed for a few years. Maybe its time to take another look at your position.” As I said, “The H-IGCD is the effect of the intensified Greenhouse Effect superimposed upon the normal climate cycle,” “so it’s not the degrees of temperature that matters per se, but a wrench in the climate system;” and there are still indications that the climate cycle has been adversely affected.
    jarhead – ” “Just pause for a second and think, if you had a horse race and every major betting agency was saying, put your money on that horse, would you do it (just keep it simplistic)?” I hope you know more about climate science than you do about horse racing. Google Big Brown and 2008 Belmont Stakes. Favorites win about 30% of the time at the race track, put another way they lose 70% of the time. Not exactly the best way to prove your point. So that is not a good analogy for you to use.” Lol, I am not a better, so that’s new to me. Fortunately however I think that people still understand the gist of the analogy (that, and I’m having a block as to what a better analogy would be). =)
    REPLY: The topic was windmills. – Anthony

  88. Ross wrote:
    Regarding massive wind farm installations, has any reader heard of serious investigation into the alteration of weather patterns?
    The law of unintended consequences would seem to imply that, with suitably large wind farms removing energy [ultimately solar] from the atmosphere, the leeward weather patterns may be significantly impacted – and not necessarily for the better.
    Present wind farm installations are probably not sufficient to cause anything significant, but is there any literature on this?

    I’d posted this link in a different thread. But since you now asked that question here, here’s the link again.
    Mega Wind Farms Could Steer Storms

  89. Stephen (07:39:25) :
    Blah blah blah
    REPLY: The topic was windmills. – Anthony
    Anthony, I’m always impressed with your direct approach! 😀

  90. Katherine (07:41:03) :
    Ross wrote:
    Regarding massive wind farm installations, has any reader heard of serious investigation into the alteration of weather patterns?
    I’d posted this link in a different thread. But since you now asked that question here, here’s the link again.
    Mega Wind Farms Could Steer Storms
    I don’t see how this “is a good thing” Surely moving these storms by hundreds of miles via wind turbine would bring havock to the local eco-systems that rely on the nutrients and water brought in by said storms, not to mention the destination local eco systems that are not set up to cope with storms of this nature.

  91. Alan the Brit
    There are 65,000,000 of us on our way to help you keep your wood land clear!!
    Shouldn’t take too long.
    Perhaps BBC could do a new reality show.
    “Clear the Forest!!” with Dale Winton.
    Back to wind turbines.
    I am fortunate to have 52 wind turbines on my door step.
    However last weekend and the weekend before the temperatures fell to zero and I noticed that the turbines were not turning.
    I said to my wife “It is too cold for the wind turbines to be working. Ha ha ha!” Until now I thought that I was joking.
    What I would like to know is how much electricity is actually generated each year by these wind farms. OK we are told how many homes can be supplied but not how much is generated.

  92. Horizontal Windmills would be far better, but so far, only a few people seem to be making them. They work in much reduced wind speeds and con tolerate high wind speeds better. Don’t kill birds, don’t make as much noise. Probably don’t fling ice either.
    The other thing with windmills, is that the powers that be, seem to think we need to convert wind energy to electrical energy which is highly inefficient. As about 60% of a home’s energy consumption is for heating and cooling, why not use windmills to pump water and make them efficient heat pumps.
    A simple horizontal windmill attached to a Archimedes screw would make a great efficient long lasting heat pump.
    Tell me engineers. Why shouldn’t we be doing this?

  93. The increase in the use of fossil fuel through the 20th Century was constant and large. If the hypothesis that increased C02 produced by humans was true, there should have been a constant increase in temperature throughout the 20th Century. There wasn’t. 1934 was apparently the warmest year, and then it became cooler, getting downright cold about the mid-1970s.
    The AGW concept is nothing but hogwash. Those who have abandoned scientific method see a bit of what can only be called trivia (for which they never looked before), and then suppose that this bit of trivia is a monumental sort of “discovery”, have become common. I would guess that governments pouring out research money for those with degrees who are willing to wave their arms and run about is most of the reason for the abandonment of scientific method. Panicking the common folk with absurdities pays a whole lot better than the use of scientific method would, and scientific method yields but very slow results, if any results at all.
    As I have said many times before, if any of you think there is anything to “trends”, go to Las Vegas and get rich quick, following “trends”. The casino owners will welcome you with open arms.
    The absurd concept of AGW is great for governments (so governments think, but the governments of the world have been wrong far more often than they have been right before) as they can increase taxes hugely if enough of the people are ignorant enough to be panicked by this nonsense.
    A good definition of solar power or wind power is simply power that is so expensive that common people can’t and won’t be able to afford to use it.

  94. Stephen (07:39:25) :
    Indeed, as Anthony politely stated, the subject was wind mills.
    In regard to your response I have concluded that you are turning in circles, more or less like a wind mill which in my optic means “YOU DO NOT LEARN”.
    1. The planet is cooling and it is cooling fast.
    2. CO2 is an innocent trace gas with a minute influence on global temperatures.
    CO2 lags temperatures by approx. 800 years therefore CO2 CAN NOT BE A DRIVER OF TEMPERATURE, THE OCEANS ARE. Therefore the IPCC doctrine is a hoax.
    3. We can afford to continue to burn coal, oil and natural gas as much as we like without any risk of reaching a “critical tipping point” or creating “dangerous global warming” causing rising sea levels, drowning polar bears and super hurricanes.
    4. You can find all debunked IPCC BS on this blog and on http://www.icecap.us
    Please start reading, learn why the IPCC predictions are BS and than return to this blog with comments. Global Warming stopped 10 years ago.
    5. In regard to alternative energy sources:
    A combination of solar, wind and bio-fuels is NOT a viable alternative to fossil fuels at this moment in time: Too expensive, unreliable, low energy output, no storage capacity.
    I personally love the idea of “clean energy” but only if it works.
    Unfortunately this invention still has to be made. Until the invention is there we continue to use fossil fuels without destroying our economies.
    Can we do that?
    Yes we can!

  95. davidgmills (09:25:41) : simple horizontal windmill attached to a Archimedes screw would make a great efficient long lasting heat pump. Tell me engineers. Why shouldn’t we be doing this?
    Mostly because it wouldn’t work. There’s more to cooling and heating than just moving water. A mechanism for removing heat (for cooling) or adding heat (for warming) is also required. That’s where most of the energy needed to run the system goes. Moving the fluid is the easy part.
    Horizontal Windmills would be far better, but so far, only a few people seem to be making them. They work in much reduced wind speeds and con tolerate high wind speeds better. Don’t kill birds, don’t make as much noise. Probably don’t fling ice either
    Power is power. If it turns with less wind force, it generates less power. That old F=ma thing and all. Doesn’t kill birds? How? If it’s making less noise then its likely stopping less wind.
    Nothing is really changed by placing the windmill on its side. In fact, it should lower the efficiency. A completely submersed propeller is far more efficient than a paddle wheel. Ever seen a speed boat use a paddle wheel? Why would you want to use only the diameter of the wheel instead of the entire frontal area? More exposed area = more captured energy. Turning the propeller on its side is effectively making a paddle wheel.

  96. Katherine, thanks for the link.


    After reading the article, I think I agree with Paul Shanahan’s assessment.

  97. When someone plants a windmill seed, that sprouts into a windmill seedling, and eventually grows into a full-fledged windmill, is when windmill farming will be economically viable.
    Until then, it is just tilting at windmills.
    Windmills are good for remote locations, that lack access to grid electricity. In that situation they can supplement the use of a generator, which will still be used for peak demand periods. They are the equivelent of horse transportation, in a world that already has superior methods of transportation. Horses are useful, and much better than nothing, but a large step backward, in terms of productivity and efficency. And waste, in energy production, makes us all poorer.
    One of these days, someone will create a green utopia state, where all the windmill farmers can prosper, without competing against coal, NG, nuclear. I wonder whether the fence will keep people in or out.

  98. Large windmills already have the ability to vary the pitch of the blades. Would it be possible to vary the pitch of the blades as they rotate in order to counteract the differential in thrust caused by slower wind speeds close to the ground?
    Helicopters already do this to counter act the affect of moving forward on their blades.

  99. davidgmills (09:25:41) : simple horizontal windmill
    David,
    The technical University of Delft (Netherlands) has performed a lot of research
    on vertical windmill designs.
    If you paste the following text in the Google search engine you can download a PDF with interesting designs: [PDF] ROTAPEC VERTICAL WIND TURBINE
    In short: 6 advantages of vertical windmills:
    1. No stress on the blades due to the effect of the wind coefficient.
    2. Silent (optimal aerodynamic design) (Noise produced by a windmill blade, an airplane prop or a wing is proof of “bad” aerodynamics)
    3. Placed on a rooftop these kind of windmills have the ability to make use of updrafts which is a common phenomena in urban area’s.
    4. Because of the reduced stress these type of windmills can be used for a period of 25 years without maintenance
    5. Modern high performance direct drive generators and electronics eliminate the use of a gear box.
    6. Relative easy transport and installation (complete rotor unit including blades is transported and installed as a single part.
    The TU Delft also experiments with windmill driven pumps for various applications.
    Another idea is a wind turbine that is kept in the air by a balloon kite (design Wubbo Ockels)
    Because of the (much)higher wind speeds at higher altitudes this type of windmill is up to three times more efficient compared to a conventional concept.
    The costs are much lower because you do not need the tower construction.
    By the way, the TU Delft is also the winner of the Solar Challenge (Lumina) a race across Australia with solar panel powered vehicles.

  100. Stephen
    If the H-IGCD is true, then it is a problem of unprecedented scale.
    False. For example, no one has yet invesigated the benefits of GW, regardless of cause, to anywhere near the same massive extent as they [the ipcc] have hypothesized [mostly disasterized] the detriments. GW might well not even be a “disease agent”! [And GW must also be compared to Global Cooling to further evaluate the whole effect of GW.]
    Stephen, the mistake you are making is that you are presuming that the ipcc “scientists” have done this evaluation of benefits, and in general have acted as true scientists should. I myself had assumed this to be the case, that is, before I actually started looking at the whole thing myself ~8 years ago. I was literally stunned to progressively find out that the ipcc “science” is not science. What it amounts to as presented by to the public by the ipcc is instead a massive propaganda operation directed toward obtaining many other obvious ends, none having to do with actually understanding what is going on so as to take realistic measure to adjust, if necessary.
    So you are making an understandable mistake. But it is a mistake.
    Do you have any scientific background?

  101. Russ R. (10:57:03) :
    “When someone plants a windmill seed, that sprouts into a windmill seedling, and eventually grows into a full-fledged windmill, is when windmill farming will be economically viable.
    Until then, it is just tilting at windmills.
    Windmills are good for remote locations, that lack access to grid electricity. In that situation they can supplement the use of a generator, which will still be used for peak demand periods. They are the equivelent of horse transportation, in a world that already has superior methods of transportation. Horses are useful, and much better than nothing, but a large step backward, in terms of productivity and efficency. And waste, in energy production, makes us all poorer.
    One of these days, someone will create a green utopia state, where all the windmill farmers can prosper, without competing against coal, NG, nuclear. I wonder whether the fence will keep people in or out”.
    Russ, just for fun…
    At this moment the highest yield in terms of calorific energy per m2 land use for bio fuels is made by the production of bio diesel or jet fuel from algae.
    I remember it was 10 times the yield of corn/ethanol
    Recently a complete line of urban micro turbines have been developed.
    The Turby: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hzz609KMtvE
    and a Chinese concept: http://www.inhabitat.com/2007/03/21/micro-wind-turbines-small-size-big-impact/
    The TU Delft has made an inventory of all available technologies but I can’t find the PDF at this moment in time.
    I will put it on the web later.

  102. I am not opposed to new technology, for energy production, distribution, and storage. I just don’t like selecting ineffencient methods, because they are sold as the solution to a problem, that I don’t think stands the test of scrutiny.
    If windmills are a superior solution, then the market will select windmills and reject other methods.
    Until then, they are a fad. Fads are fine, but don’t make the taxpayer foot the bill for them. Windmills should stand or fall, on their own merits.
    While I type this, it is snowing and there is no wind. Later on, the wind will pick up, but by then, the windmill will be iced up. I would like my furnace fan to run, during both times, and have enough electricity to do my work. I don’t see how that happens unless I have a back-up system, which means I have two systems to buy, maintain, and climb on the roof in a storm to knock ice off.
    Tough sell, for many consumers. That is why the free market has not selected this method, so far.

  103. “” Retired Engineer (16:13:23) :
    >>>Deletions<<<
    George E. Smith (10:34:49) : Tip velocity. Mach 1 is about 1100 f/s. With a 300 ft diameter, you’d need over 1 r/s. Big guys don’t spin that fast, although the video clip seems a lot faster. “”
    Hello Retired; I’m not in the habit of making stuff up; So I’ll just mention the front cover article on Wind Turbines in the Nov 03 2008 issue of DESIGN NEWS; which I’m sure as a retired engineer you know about. On page 48 in that issue and article, the author says “On a wind trurbine, these gearboxes act to increase speed rather than to reduce it. Amin says they typically take a 70 or 80 rotor rpm up to 1400 rpm or so to run the generator…” Amin is Parthiv Amin, President of Wineregy Drive Systems, a subsidiary of Siemens Energy & Automation (who makes the gearboxes). They were discussing a 1.5 MWatt turbine with a 100 m diameter rotor at the top of a 100 m tower. Your 1100fps is about 330 m/s if I remember my high school 8th grade physics, so at even 60 rpm they would be pushing mach 1. But I’m with you, and I doubt that they operate over mach 1 and I never implied that; just that they are pushing it.
    And I also took the trouble to ask one of my colleague active MEs if indeed such a gearbox was a problem, and he thought not; that a 20:1 speed up was not a big problem (they weigh 16 tons). Not being an ME myself, I sought the counsel of experts before concluding that the friction in a speed up situation like that would be serious; he says not.
    But I’m with you; they ain’t supersonic; but that barrier is there as a design issue, and definitely a runaway issue if the speed control goes haywire.
    George; just a 50 years operational physicist/mathermatician/Optical designer/Electronic engineer; and non retired.

  104. I agree about the non-commercial viability and other problems re the wind turbines.
    However there is a very different possible way to harvest wind. Dutch researchers have been flying KITES right up into the jet stream to produce electricity at what should be competitive rates over Holland, UK, the best latitude I presume for the jet stream. Apparently the power obtainable is proportionate to the wind speed to the fourth power, so a small increase of wind speed yields a hugely increased efficiency; moreover the jet stream is reasonably constant. See here for the kites on U-tube, plus other natural energy possibilities (eg the new tidal reef concept) that look as if they could be commercially viable alternatives – just as hydroelectric is.

  105. Paul Shanahan wrote:
    I don’t see how this “is a good thing” Surely moving these storms by hundreds of miles via wind turbine would bring havock to the local eco-systems that rely on the nutrients and water brought in by said storms, not to mention the destination local eco systems that are not set up to cope with storms of this nature.
    Ross wrote:
    Katherine, thanks for the link.


    After reading the article, I think I agree with Paul Shanahan’s assessment.

    I agree. I suspect it would also disrupt migration patterns. But the first thing that came to mind was legal battles. No doubt the researchers count diverting a storm from NYC as a Good Thing, but areas affected by the diversion? Or if running the wind farm meant a blizzard would hit NYC, do they choose to allow the blizzard to hit or deprive millions of homes of electricity? I can imagine civil suits filed against the wind farms for damages to property or loss of life either way.

  106. I wish there was a wind turbine outside my house. It is 9am in the morning and already 86 degrees fahrenheit (According to my non-stephenson German made maximum-minimum thermometer under the pergola). We could really do with a breeze this morning. Supposed to reach 90 degrees at the airport, but who lives at the airport? We are always have the temp 5 or 6 degrees higher here in the suburbs. I shall just have to repair to the nearest (5 kilometres away) white sandy beach replete with blue sea for the day (and a six pack, or maybe a twelve pack). Folks! Get on down to Australia today! We will throw a heap of barbies on the BBQ for you!

  107. For Lucy Skywalker; Sorry it doesn’t quite work out that way. other things being equal, the available power would go up as the cube of the wind speed, not as the 4th power; but that is anything but an advantage.
    If you build an 800 KiloWatt unit at some design wind speed, if the wind speed drops in half, which is not a significant changer at all, then you now have only a 100 KW unit, so you just lost 871/2 percent of your generating capacity.
    And the pull on the kite string would change as the square of the wind speed; so if the wind speed doubled from the design speed the tension in the string would go up by a factor of four, so you would have to make the string more than four times as strong as your thought was needed.
    Over a 30 year or so life cycle, the wind speed is going to change by much more than 4:1; much more even that 10 to 1 so thats a 100 to one change in string tesnion, and a 1000 to one change in generating capacity.
    Conventional power plants don’t operate with a completely uncontrolled energy input; let alone a completely uncontrollable one.
    Niche applications at best. The European experience is that the up time on those wind farms is between 15 and 25%, with most under 205. Lack of wind, and maintenance headaches seem to be the problems.

  108. Ron de Han:
    What I actually meant was a vertical windmill and not a horizontal windmill. For some reason I had them backwards. I had to google vertical windmills and find an image. But yes you are right that they are far more efficient and as someone else pointed out do not have the “paddlewheel” problem, unlesss he had vertical and horizontal backwards as I did.

  109. Well I just located and read Stephen’s brief description of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.”
    I wasn’t sure at first, so I got out my copy of AIT which I keep in my office desk, and yes Stepen’s version is shorter.
    So now I know what is wrong with my posts Anthony; I just don’t give enough details for people to grasp what I’m trying to say.
    But Stephen’s tome will serve a valuable purpose if it just communicates one idea to those who read it.
    One of the truest things in Stephen’s essay, and also in Al Gore’s book (see pages 66/67); the correlation between CO2 levels in the ice cores, and the purported temperatures recorded in those ice cores, is absolutely irrefutable, and as is clearly evident in Gore’s book, although he went out of his way to hide that fact; is that the temperature changes ALWAYS occur BEFORE the CO2 changes. People who have that raw data say the correlation coefficient is maximised when you delay the temperature data by 800 years; but if you look closely at those curves, you will see that a second analysis is called for, which isolates the rising edge data from the falling edge data, and does a separate cross correlation, on just the rising edges, and just the falling edges.
    I haven’t done that other than eyeballing the curves, but I believe what you will find, is that rising Temperature edges PRECEDE rising CO2 edges by less than 800 years, but falling Temperature edges PRECEDE CO2 edges by more than 800 years, and you will also find that the CO2 edges fall much more slowly than they rise; the decay time constant is much longer than the rising edge time constant.
    Now the CO2 graph in Gore’s book, has an actual ppm scale, while the temperature graph has no scale at all. So he deliberately scaled the two curves so that the average amplitude of the changes are similar for both curves so they look alike.
    Now that is perfectly fair; if one graph has steps that are 10 times the size of the other, it doesn’t help in a comparison; but since the temperature scale is quite arbitrary, so is the origin of that graph, so if you shift the origin, you can easily overlap the two curves on top of each other rather than vertically separate them, as they are in Gore’s book. That is what any 8th grade science student would have done with that data.
    Then it would be painfully obvious, what the only useful information in those graphs is; namely that the relative timing of the edges shows that the CO2 changes ALWAYS follow the Temperature changes, and by something in that 800 year range.
    When I went to school (longer ago than I care to remember) it was fashionable to have the cause of something happen before the effect of that cause. Having the cause of something not happen until 800 years later than the effect; is bloody unsportsmanlike; it’s not Cricket !
    That relative timing would be a statutory bar to any thesis that CO2 causes global warming.
    Just for Kicks now; we presently have a significantly rising CO2 edge going on right before our eyes. So what if we went back 800 years in time from that rising edge which would put us around 1208 AD; what the hell was going on then to cause the CO2 to rise now.
    Well I do believe that was right in the middle of the Mediaeval warm period from about 900 to 1400 AD. Well Michael Mann says there was no such thing; but what does he know; after all his famous hockey stick curve from IPCC in 2001 or thereabouts says right on it;- “NORTHERN HEMISPHERE”.
    So I guess the hockey stick was just a local anomaly, and not a global effect after all. Later expurgated versions of the hockey stick omit those fateful two words; but you can check the original for yourself.
    I don’t just make stuff up.
    So I know this is a wind farm thread; but when I saw that word ice; I just flipped out I guess.
    Speaking of ice; at Vostock station where many of those cores come from, the temperature has gotten close to -90 C officially, and surpassed that anecdotally. At that temperature, there are NO greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and you have CO2 snow on the ground as well; you are about as close to outer space as you can get on earth.
    Now isn’t that a wonderful place to choose to dig up representative information about the climate of the whole planet?
    Just asking of course

  110. Has anyone read about windturbines killing bats without hitting them?
    “Researchers a the University of Calgary found that the vast majority of bats found dead at a wind farm in Southwest Alberta suffered severe injuries to their respiratory systems consistent with a sudden drop in air pressure – called barotrauma.1 The findings, published in the most recent issue of the journal Current Biology could potentially have far-reaching consequences on bat populations.

    http://cleantechnica.com/2008/08/29/study-finds-high-rate-of-bat-deaths-caused-by-drastic-changes-in-air-pressure-at-wind-farm/
    From what I remember reading a long time ago a bat will almost eat it’s
    weight in insects each night so we are loseing thousands of very usefull
    critters?
    Reply: There’s a post and thread on that, see here. ~ charles the moderator

  111. Stephen (07:39:25)
    Perhaps my tone was a little too abrasive but the “argument to authority” really irks me and many others questioning the AGW hysteria. The ultimate expression of this is “the science is settled”, do not question your betters. As for the vaunted scientific societies taking policy positions on matters of scientific thought, I feel that is disgraceful behavior in an organizations allegedly devoted to the integrity of scientific. It reeks of political coercion. The enthralling thing about this subject is that the educated layman willing to devote some time to the subject can understand the science or lack thereof, and form an opinion. And the opinion of many contributors here is that the climate science to date does not justify any action on limiting man’s emissions of CO2.

  112. Thank you Charles, I guess I need to start remembering
    where I read what, I now remember reading that here also as well
    at other sites about the same time.
    Thanks

  113. About 8 months ago, in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, approximately 400 dead ducks were found in a “tailings pond” in the tar sands area. They were found at the bottom of this pond which is unusual, as dead birds usually float. Our premier, Ed Stelmach, who has been a Greenpeace target since his election, got in a heap of trouble for stating to the media that this was no big deal compared to the 16,000 birds per year killed in the turbine farms of Pincher Creek, Alberta. I smiled and thought “good for you, Eddie!” Then was saddened as Mr. Stelmach was forced to make a public apology for the statement. Apparently , even if politicians want to tell the truth, ….

  114. By the way, ask anyone from Pincher Creek what they think of the wind farms there. Make sure your kids have their ears covered !!

  115. @George E. Smith (19:01:44) :
    George, Brilliantly expressed – and succinct as well.
    The fact that the ice cores are both physical evidence and “repeatedly” demonstrate CO2 lagging temperature – and never the other way around – should not only be the nail in the coffin but also the stake through the heart of the AGW hypothesis.

  116. From Johnnyb (14:00:50) :
    Oh Geez, this is what happens when you close down the mental asylums and give all of the lunatics a job working for the government.
    -end quote
    My thesis, which I call “My Thesis of UN Nincompoops” is that every government in the world did what we did, sent our most non-competent but annoying ‘diplomats’ as far away from our government as we could: to the U.N. We just didn’t expect them to actually get any power to do anything stupid once they were there. Oops!

  117. From Alphajuno:
    I’ll have to investigate that further. Change is required at some point since we’re using fossil fuels faster than they are produced by nature. Planning ahead (and taking action) seems prudent since we will need fossil fuels for some things for the forseeable future.
    =end quote.
    Yes we need change and planning but… The lead time needed is about 10 years, all told, to build most major facilities. We have so many to choose from that there is no energy shortage, and never will be, unless we are so stupid as to let it happen. Hubberts Peak says that the oil took about 100 years to reach peak so it ought to take about 100 years to drop off to near zero, so we have time. Oil production is a bell curve like shape.
    The alternatives, in no particular order, and an idea of the scale available are:
    Coal & related. We have about a 250 to 400 year supply depending on who you trust and what you assume. About 1/3 of the U.S. sits over coal. South Africa runs on coal liquids and it’s a 1940’s invention. Add in the tar sands and oil shales and we have 1000 years plus. Cost is higher than oil, but not by much, for liquid fuels. The biggest barrier to use is cheaper oil.
    Natural Gas. “Lots”. The more we look the more we find. If ocean floor clathrates can be harvested, the potential supply runs to several hundreds to thousands of years.
    Direct solar (thermal or photovoltaic) about a 100 x 100 mile square in the desert to power the U.S. (storage is an issue but solvable at a price via any/all of pumped water, compressed air, thermal storage, flywheels, batteries, etc.) It runs out when the sun runs down. Call it a few billion years.
    Algae farms. About the same area, but best sited near exiting coal plants for CO2 enrichment and sewage plants for nitrogen et. al. enrichment. Same few billion years of sun. Exact area depends on technique used. Open ponds take more, sealed ‘reactors’ less.
    Other biomass. Larger area needed, depending on species, and could range up to a 100 x 1000 mile swath for the U.S. as a whole. A bit much… But at 50 tons / acre / year for some species it can contribute a great deal. Algae is better yield (10 to 100 times better) but trickier to grow than trees and grass.
    Wind. While the whole of the U.S. could be powered by the wind in the area to the east of the Rockies and west of the Mississippi with lots of room to spare, storage is an issue just like for solar and frankly, while I like the looks of windmills I’m personally bothered by the air pressure variations and noise. I’m also not fond of the tendency to murder birds and bats… Australia is the proposed site for a thermal / wind system that solves these problems (air skirt over hot land, central tower with small turbines inside. Don’t know if you would call it an air turbine or a solar collector…)
    Wave / tide. An area of about 100 x 1 miles would power all of California with exiting machine designs (about 1/10 of the U.S. population). Our coastline is far far longer than that. 1000 miles for the west coast?
    Geothermal. “Lots”. Depending on how you define it, it’s highly variable. Is a ground source heat pump ‘geothermal’? It is certainly a good idea… Powering Iceland and parts of California today, among others. The amount is more than needed for the whole world. It’s mostly a matter of how much you want to spend to drill deep enough.
    Trash. One of my favorites. We can easily turn our trash and lawn clippings into liquid motor fuels (gasoline and Diesel) for our existing cars. My best estimate is that what I “produce” each year on my fractional acre is about what our cars eat. I don’t think we’re running out of trash any time soon. This is proven technology in production in the Los Angeles area trash system.
    And last, but biggest and best: Nuclear. Conventional Uranium is about 1000 years+ but isn’t known for sure since no body really cares. Reprocessing moves it out to about 10,000 years with breeders. Add in Thorium reactors and you get to about 20,000 years (Thorium is running right now in several places). Then, the killer: A scientist in Japan invented a polymer that absorbs Uranium from sea water. It can be recovered at about $140/lb. Well inside the economical range, but not presently price competitive with Uranium from dirt. The neat part? More Uranium erodes into the ocean each year than is needed to power the whole planet. We run out of energy when we run out of planet.
    Any proposition of the form “We are running out of energy” or “We must conserve” or “Efficiency we save us” is just fundamentally broken. All we need to do is effectively use the cheapest sources available to improve life for everyone on the planet as quickly as possible. A wealthy society can afford to set large parts of the planet aside for parks; a poor one can not…
    There is no energy shortage and there never will be. There is a shortage of imagination and willingness to act sensibly.

  118. B Kerr said:
    We, yes you and me, are buying wood burning stoves.
    The presenter was sat next to a wood burning stove and had a wee glass of red wine in his hand. Looked very Christmasy.
    He explained “That trees consume CO2 when they grow and the burning of wood is environmentally friendly.” Clearly a form of good man made CO2.
    -end quote
    Fascinating… Here on the Loony Left Coast of the USA, the local Air Quality Police have announced that anyone using wood heat on a forbidden day will be subject to punishment. How one is to know it’s going to become a ‘spare the air’ day when lighting the fire at 5 am is a bit unclear…
    You must [burn | not burn] trees to save the planet!!! Perfectly looney…
    Chris Ward said
    I’m beginning to think that strong AGW is the biggest scientific fraud in history. Trouble is, unlike the Piltdown Hoax, this fraud threatens the future prosperity and freedom of the world.
    -end quote
    Get a copy of “Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds”. Unfortunately, the dictum to “never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity” would argue for AGW as a popular delusion rather than Fraud… except maybe on the part of folks who ought to be smart enough to know better… Tulips anyone?
    For the U.S. at least, windmills can replace natural gas powered turbines for some small percentage of load at not too much increase in management problems. Doesn’t do much for base load coal / nuke displacement, though…
    DAV,
    Your points about storage and geothermal limits are true, but only in the context of cost effectiveness. These problems are all solved AT A COST. It’s just that the cost is well above any reasonable price folks would pay given the alternative (vastly cheaper) oil, coal, and nuclear. We could drill deep enough to power the whole place on geothermal, it is just incredibly stupid to do so with several hundred years of coal and several thousands of nuclear. Similarly we could use wind with storage, at a high cost.
    An example? There is a city in Alaska that has a giant battery bank to keep power going to the city when the generator plant is down. There is no grid out in hellengone so battery UPS becomes cost effective on a city wide scale (they really want electricity to the heater, fan & lights during Alaska nights!).
    A mix of wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, gas turbine, fuel cell, co-generation, nuclear and some storage is possible and manageable. In fact, it’s what Pacific Gas & Electric does now. They have a pumped storage facility in the hills… It all runs great as long as the State doesn’t get involved.
    The exact mix would be best chosen by markets rather than by politicians with law degrees (and little education in engineering or business economics… They are the folks who brought us buying electricity at mini-bar prices from Enron… all priced on the spot market only.)
    The good news is that, post California bureaucracy induced electricity shortages, I have 2 standby generators so I can always use them rather than my wood heater on ‘spare the air days’… at least as long as we have gasoline available… even though it has to be “Special” California gasoline…
    Sigh. Why are governments so stupid? Rhetorical, I know…

  119. Back to the original topic,
    Propeller driven aircraft that are certified to fly in icing conditions have deicing systems for their propellers. Most often it is an electric heating element that is embedded in a rubber sheet that is glued to the leading edge of the propeller. Next time you ride a commuter plane you can see the dark colored boot on the inner third of the prop.
    Since wing turbines generate electricity , there should be plenty of power available to deice the blades in a similar manner.
    I think the problem is that wind turbines are now being installed in more northern climates, a wind turbine in southern California won’t have this type of problem.

  120. E.M.Smith
    Thanks for the quote.
    Please remember that I was watching “The BBC News” at 10 o’clock.
    BBC = British But Crap.
    Sorry if I offended anyone; but that is the BBC.
    The BBC say that wood burning stoves are environmentally friendly so there!!
    You guys out there in the colonies must have it all wrong!
    This is the BBC telling us that wood burning stoves will save us money and that we can stay warm. Mind you we cannot afford to have hot/warm food or have any lighting, but we cannot have everything.

  121. E.M.Smith
    Wait a minute!
    Kicked off the snow and got into my greenhouse.
    I have a black tulip growing between the haggis plants.
    Any offers for a black tulip bulb?

  122. @Stephen.
    CO2 was out jogging one nite, he heard a scuffle down an alleyway and without thinking of the consequences decided to go and investigate.
    Down the alleyway he found Gaia slumped over in a pool of blood with a large knife sticking out of her back.
    CO2 was very fond of Gaia, he pulled the knife from her back and threw it away in disgust, he then tenderly cradled her in his arms – accidentally getting blood all over his hands.
    At that time, the IPCC and GISS showed up and slapped CO2 into handcuffs.
    “Ha” the IPCC said, ” Caught Red Handed”.
    “Your nicked”, said GISS.
    “But it wasn’t me”. implored CO2.
    IPCC and GISS laughed at CO2. “And who is going to believe you – we have all the evidence we need.”
    A few bystanders had gathered, and one said “Find a rope, CO2s not fit to live.”
    “Hang him high” the gathering crowd shouted.
    And in the shadows, a figure strolled into the alley way, scooped up the knife, calmly cleaned it and put it away.
    “Hmmm – proceeeding just as planned.” the figure remarked with a sly smirk as he strolled away.
    Stephen – CO2 is innocent.

  123. B Kerr (11:23:06) :
    > I have a black tulip growing between the haggis plants.
    > Any offers for a black tulip bulb?
    Not if it comes with the haggis!

  124. From Ric Werme (17:47:45) :
    B Kerr (11:23:06) :
    > I have a black tulip growing between the haggis plants.
    > Any offers for a black tulip bulb?
    Not if it comes with the haggis!
    -end quote
    Isn’t the bulb black from the mould? Don’t think I want a mouldy bulb….
    And I didn’t know that haggis grew on plants – I thought it was a Scots dare? Isn’t all Scottish cooking based on a dare ?-) (I’m one of those sick puppies who actually likes haggis, and the pipes, and whiskey, and oatmeal, and mutton stew, and … must be the Gaelic part ‘o me ancestry muckin about…)
    Noow joost how do I goo ’bout getten’ mesilf one o these herrrre haggis plants? It would be save me ( not to mention the sheep) a grrreat deal o fussin aboot ‘n worrrry!
    Obligatory ON T. comment: Has anyone tried teflon coating blades for ice rejection? At least to keep the chunks smaller. Though frankly, I’d expect a wave system to be more productive and less trouble give all the coastline. See: http://www.oceanpowertechnologies.com/products.htm
    for an example of one I find nicely done.

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