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Friday, February 01, 2008

"EIGG-TRICITY" as the media insist it is known locally

The papers & BBC are pushing a story about how a "wind, solar & hydro" renewable system is bringing electricity to the people of the Scots Island of Eigg (pronounced egg). This will all be entirely nice renewable power not the nasty intermmittent stuff they used to get from a diesel generator. What a crock of PR shit. The Scotsman here says

With no electricity connection to the mainland, the 83 islanders on Eigg have been reliant on noisy, costly and environmentally unfriendly diesel generators for their power.

But from today they will switch on to a new era, with supplies to all households coming from renewable sources.

Now despiter the fact that it is being refered to by the BBC as "wind, solar & hydro" in that order in fact it is very much a hydro scheme with some token windmills & solar.
Eigg Electric commissioned Synergie Scotland to manage the project, which involves a 100kw hydro scheme at Laig and two smaller 6kw schemes at Kildonan and the pier; a 24kw wind farm at Grulin and a 10kw solar scheme at Glebe. The design and building contract was awarded to Scottish Hydro Contracting.
I have never heard of Synergie Scotland but it sounds very much like a group of Green lobbyists riding the gravy train while Scottish Hydro do the heavy lifting. I doubt if Eigg Electric is a multinational either. Note that the production disparity is even greater than shown because wind & solar are virtually guaranteed not to be producing that much when needed. Despite hydro being an official renewable the eco-fascists hate it - probably because it actually works.

And the first punch line:
A battery storage system will compensate for short periods when energy from renewable sources is not available. Two 80kw diesel generators have been installed to provide emergency back-up and to supplement supply when necessary
So the diesel generators will be able to provide more electricity than all the "renewable" nonsense put together. It isn't really a renewable system at all, that is just PR fluff.

And how much will it cost. Well fortunately, if the Scotsman is to be believed

"The only public money used was a £17,000 grant from Highlands and Islands Enterprise"

But it isn't because the 2nd punch line is the £1.6 million it costs came from:

"Financial support came from the European Regional Development Fund, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, HIE Lochaber, Highlands and Islands Community Energy Company, the Big Lottery Fund, Scottish Community Household Renewables Initiative, the Energy Savings Trust, Highland Council and the Isle of Eigg Community Trust."

which ALL, with the possible exception of a small fraction of the Eigg trust, are ultimately government money.

Looking at this: £1.6 milliion would, in the commercial world, require a pay back of about 10% annually. ie £160,000. Divided among 83 people this comes to £2,000 per person, plus running costs.

The 3rd punch line is that they could obviously have just put in the 2 new 80kw generators for a small fraction of the price, or better yet put in a cable to the mainland. This would have been far less expensive but:

"We've been talking about it for years but no energy company was going to pay to put miles of cable under the sea" Which means that they went for this ridiculously expensive system because there were no grants for a sensible system.

3rd punch line: Instead of, perhaps £100,000 to cable it to the mainland or put in new diesels the political establishment have insisted on spending £1.6 million (we are told that officially the islander put up £100,000 of it but I am willing to bet that if that gets traced back it comes, through the Trust, from us too) of our money to advertise to us what a wonderful thing windmillery is.

4th punch line:
This is a prime example of how thoroughly domesticated our media is, absolutely willing to distort any "news" the establishment want even when it is quite obvious what is going on. The Wizard of Oz once said "Ignore the man behind the curtain". Unfortunately virtually none of our journalists have 1/10th the guts or integrity of Dorothy, which I think is a very bad thing for our society.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

This graph of global temperature has recently been published:

Using data from eighteen 2000-year-long proxy temperature series from all around the world that were not developed from tree-ring data (which provide significant interpretive challenges), the author (1) smoothed the data in each series with a 30-year running mean, (2) converted the results thereby obtained to anomalies by subtracting the mean of each series from each member of that series, and then (3) derived the final mean temperature anomaly history defined by the eighteen data sets by a simple averaging of the individual anomaly series, a procedure that he rightfully emphasizes is "transparent and simple."

.... "the mean series shows the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) and Little Ice Age (LIA) quite clearly, with the MWP being approximately 0.3°C warmer than 20th century values."

Loehle notes that "the 1995-year reconstruction shown here does not match the famous hockey stick shape," which clearly suggests that one of them is a poorer, and the other a better, representation of the truth. Because of its simplicity and transparency, as well as a host of other reasons described in detail by Loehle -- plus what we have learned since initiating our Medieval Warm Period Record-of-the Week feature -- it is our belief that Loehle's curve is by far the superior of the two in terms of the degree to which it likely approximates the truth.

I love the qualification of "superior" as being only in terms of its truth. That is a scientist not a PR man speaking.

Note that this takes no account of records from weather stations which, a century ago were in open country & are now in the middle of towns, which seems to be the explanation for alleged recently recorded rises.

Coincidentally an article in the New York Times says that those who died during the Black Death were largely already weak.

This was reported by Jerry Pournelle & led me to remember that the period of the Black Death was at the end of the Medieval Warming Period, though prior to the Little Ice Age, when temperatures had fallen to pretty much where they are now. He published my comment & added (in italics) his own.

If the Black Death mainly killed the already weak it suggests that it was an inevitable result of decreased crop production caused by the end of the Medieval Warm Period. We know that there had been a major population rise during the warm period.

Neil Craig

But we all know there wasn't an actual Medieval Warm and there couldn't have been a population expansion. Anyway it was the Gulf Stream, and the Greenland Colonies were tiny, and the Inuit don't really have stories of the times when they were reindeer herders. It's all an illusion.

Monday, January 28, 2008


Seems that the masses aren't exactly worried about it:

The League of Conservation Voters has been tracking the number of questions asked of the presidential candidates on the Sunday news shows and the debates televised by the major networks. Of the more than 2,900 questions asked, only four have mentioned the words "global warming."

But this won't stop our politicians from putting the lights out as happens in other 3rd world countries:

Leading South African gold and platinum mines stopped production today because of a lack of power, as the Government announced emergency steps to deal with outages causing chaos and misery and threatening economic growth.

....The outages have undermined confidence in South Africa, with incidents such as the stranding of hundreds of people on tourism icon Table Mountain because of a power cut gaining international media attention.

"The unprecedented unplanned power outages must now be treated as a national electricity emergency situation that has to be addressed with urgent, vigorous and co-ordinated actions," Public Enterprise Minister Alec Erwin told journalists after a cabinet meeting today.

"We are viewing the next two years as being critical," he said, as government officials unveiled measures, including rationing, price hikes and a massive switch to solar power.

However the EU can be trusted to be ready to spend the money to not produce the power

Few might guess, from the two-dimensional reporting of these plans in the media, just what a gamble with Europe's future we are undertaking - spending trillions of pounds for a highly dubious return, at a devastating cost to all our economies.

The targets Britain will be legally committed to reach within 12 years fall under three main headings. Firstly, that 15 per cent of our energy should come from renewable sources such as wind (currently 1 per cent). Secondly, that 10 per cent of our transport fuel should be biofuels. Thirdly, that we accept a more draconian version of the "emissions trading scheme" that is already adding up to 12 per cent to our electricity bills.

The most prominent proposal is that which will require Britain to build up to 20,000 more wind turbines, including the 7,000 offshore giants announced by the Government before Christmas. To build two turbines a day, nearly as high as the Eiffel Tower, is inconceivable. What is also never explained is their astronomic cost.

At £2 million per megawatt of "capacity" (according to the Carbon Trust), the bill for the Government's 33 gigawatts (Gw) would be £66 billion (and even that, as was admitted in a recent parliamentary answer, doesn't include an extra £10 billion needed to connect the turbines to the grid)

And equally unreported is the EU's drive to get the rest of the world in a trade war with us:

Commission plans to tighten Europe's greenhouse gas reduction regime, presented on 23 January 2008, recognised the risk that new legislation would put European companies at a competitive disadvantage compared to countries with less stringent climate protection laws, such as the US, China and India.....

To address this threat, the draft legislation includes proposals to impose restrictions on imports unless an international agreement subjecting all industrialised countries to similar climate change mitigation measures is reached.

According to the proposal, such a "carbon equalisation system" could take the form of an obligation for foreign companies doing business in Europe to obtain emissions permits alongside European competitors.....

However, the mere fact that the EU is considering such action has already caused outrage among its trade partners.

The United States has warned it would "vigorously" resist any move to introduce a tax on American products based on its position in climate change negotiations. Last week, US Trade Representative Susan Schwab accused the EU of using the climate as an excuse for protectionism.

Legal experts remain divided on whether the EU's proposed measures would be compatible with international trade regulations, as the WTO has no clear provisions on the subject.

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