Reality Checkpoint 2013
News from previous year

The Bulgarian parliament has decided to introduce a 20% levy on revenue from renewable energy projects.

The parliament also voted to limit the amount of energy bought from renewable projects at inflated prices. Over the threshold the energy will be bought at a lower price, set by the official regulator. The threshold will also be decided by the regulator.

The new fee, voted in as part of the 2014 budget approval, is not a tax on profit, but a levy on revenue, so loss-making projects will also have to pay it.

6 Dec 13

According to a new study conducted by Professor Dr. Michael Giberson for the Institute for Energy Research, the government and wind lobby are not telling taxpayers the truth about the cost of wind energy. The study comes at a time when further increases in subsidies look likely.

IER President Thomas Pyle commented: "Despite being propped up by government mandates and billion dollar subsidies for decades, wind power continues to be an expensive and boutique energy source that the American people cannot rely on for power when they need it".

According to the study, wind energy costs taxpayers $12 billion per year, which comes to $109 per megawatt hour; compared with the official government figure of $72.

The study also shows wind power doesn't decrease the cost of electricity; it shifts additional costs onto taxpayers.

More information about this on www.townhall.com

3 Dec 13

At a parliamentary plenum on 31 Oct in Hanover, Dr. Gero Hocker, Free Democrat speaker for Energy, Environment and Climate Protection made a speech containing the following points:

  • Environmentalism is swamped in 'political correctness'.
  • There is intolerance to any views questioning global warming alarmism.
  • Spending 9 million euros on 'climate protection' is a waste.
  • We have to improve our dikes, not spend 9 million euros on "climate protection".

    "Scientists take away the foundation from climate regulators and request a retreat from global alarmism’... This shows one thing: The discussion is taking place everywhere all over society: in the press, among the people, with the experts - and you want to keep this discussion out of the Parliament and prevent the right questions from being asked.

    You are not the thought police of Lower Saxony!

    You are not the Inquisition to hunt down others who think differently.

    You have to come to terms with the fact that there are others who have a different opinion in Parliament and you have to accept this discussion, ladies and gentlemen!”

    There is more information about this speech at notrickszone.com

    2 Dec 13

    Some community groups in the Highlands and Islands have experienced a series of faults with their small wind turbine developments.One of the affected groups is Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn, the community landlord in north Lewis. They erected a 20 kW turbine to power their offices and provide some income. The faults: foundation bolts have sheared, there are cracks in the tailfin, and the mechanical brake does not work.

    The installer for a number of these developments was Shetland Wind, which has now gone into liquidation. This means that any warranty is void, so little can be done.

    24 Nov 13

    Mr. Steve Holliday, chief executive of the National Grid has given a pessimistic summary of our energy situation.

    The next batch of power plants due to come online over the next two and a half years has been delayed because of political rows and uncertainty, increasing the risk of energy shortages in the winter of 2015-16.

    The new plants, principally gas fired power stations, would have been enough to meet 10% of Britain's peak energy demand; around 6GW. The total expected to be installed by March 2016 is now 2.5 GW.

    ..........Meanwhile, household energy bills have soared and are now at the top of the political agenda, along with the increasing row about wind turbines - their enormous expense - and whether their intermittent power is useful to the National Grid.

    22 Nov 13

    BASF's chief executive has said that its Ludwigshafen plant may be forced to close and production moved abroad. The reason: Germany’s rapidly increasing energy costs and the excessive green levies being used to pay for wind farms and other intermittent forms of energy. German energy prices are already twice as high as in the United States and likely to rise much further.

    15 Nov 13

    News from the COP19 conference in Warsaw: Japan has set a new target for carbon dioxide emissions; a 3.1% increase from 1990 levels rather than the previously-negotiated 25%.

    This will not surprise engineers or scientists, bearing in mind that Japan has closed down most of its nuclear power stations; its electricity has to come from somewhere, and fossil fuel is the only realistic option.

    15 Nov 13

    DECC estimates that its policies will add to 33% to the average electricity price paid by UK households in 2020 and 41% in 2030.

    “House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee "Energy Prices, Profits and Poverty Fifth Report of Session 2013–14” p59:"(Para)125:

    "According to Ofgem, environmental charges currently account for around 11% (£59) of average annual electricity bills and 6% (£49) of average annual gas bills. DECC analysis suggests that energy and climate change policies make up approximately 9% (around £112) of the average annual dual fuel bill.267 However this is set to rise sharply in future years, with costs falling largely on the wholesale electricity price. DECC estimates that its policies will add to 33% to the average electricity price paid by UK households in 2020 and 41% in 2030. This significant increase is of particular concern to those households, often fuel-poor, that rely on electric heating systems."

    As I understand it, these estimates do not include the cost of extending the Grid necessitated by an expansion of renewables (cost unknown), or the cost of Smart Meters (£400 per household) - Ed.

    14 Nov 13

    Most of the big energy companies have announced price rices around 10% over the last few weeks. However EDF has directed attention to green surcharges. It has announced a price rise of 4%, to be reviewed if "environmental" levies continue unchecked.

    This is a sensible approach and obliges ministers to think more seriously about the damaging effects of policies based on global warming propaganda.

    It is worth reiterating, for new readers, that when global temperatures increase, more carbon dioxide is released from the oceans. There is a time lag.

    The data show clearly that carbon dioxide is not a causal factor for temperature increase. The cart does not push the horse.

    14 Nov 13

    In front of 50,000 Poles gathered in downtown Warsaw on Monday to celebrate National Independence Day, and millions more watching on television, CFACT president David Rothbard delivered an address celebrating freedom and warning his audience about the dangerous and oppressive climate agenda of the UN.

    In his denouncement of UN global warming policies, Rothbard said he was honored to stand with the Poles in a “new battle for freedom against those who would use environmental and climate alarmism to steal away our liberties and give international bureaucrats control over our energy sources, our daily lives, our prosperity, and our national sovereignty.”

    The address was broadcast live and was covered by a large number of international media outlets. Meanwhile the UN was starting its COP19 climate propaganda conference a short distance away.

      Australia's cabinet ministers have decided to reject any measures of "socialism masquerading as environmentalism" after meeting last week to consider a submission on the position the government would take to the Warsaw conference.

      The federal cabinet has ruled that Australia will not sign up to any new contributions, taxes or charges at this week's global summit on climate change, as it plans to introduce measures to repeal the carbon tax.

      The Australian newspaper has seen part of the document and it declares that, while Australia will remain "a good international citizen" and remains "committed to achieving the 5 per cent reduction" by 2020 of the 2000 levels of emissions, it will not sign up to any new agreement which involves spending money or levying taxes.

      This rules out Australia playing any part in a wealth transfer from rich countries to developing nations to pay them to decrease their carbon dioxide emissions.

    13 Nov 13

    Reported to me by LH, a friend in Ayrshire:

    Local estate agents are advising those in the vicinity of wind turbines wanting to sell their homes to lower the price by 30%.

    8 Oct 13

    Imagine a car going from A to B at an average of 30 mph but doing it like this........accelerate to 60, then slow down to a halt, then accelerate to 60 again, slow down to a halt, and so on. Imagine what that would do to fuel consumption.

    Now consider - this is exactly what happens to the turbines at gas fired power stations every time wind energy or solar energy is fed into the grid, or when it stops being fed in.

    That's why the carbon emissions argument for wind turbines is nonsense.

    7 Oct 13

    The IPCC has released its most recent report. It is even more sure than before that carbon dioxide is causing climate change, apparently.

    But temperatures have remained level for 15 years. How, therefore, can there be increased certainty that carbon dioxide is harmful?

      Richard Lindzen (Atmospheric physicist):

      "I think that the latest IPCC report has truly sunk to level of hilarious incoherence. They are proclaiming increased confidence in their models as the discrepancies between their models and observations increase".

      "Their excuse for the absence of warming over the past 17 years is that the heat is hiding in the deep ocean. However, this is simply an admission that the models fail to simulate the exchanges of heat between the surface layers and the deeper oceans".

    28 Sep 13

    A proposal to build a 387ft wind farm in East Ayrshire has been denied planning permission over concerns about the potential impact on the local community.

    Consent for the Harelaw Renewable Energy Park, which was to be situated on Glenouther Moor, south of Neilston, was refused by energy minister Fergus Ewing.

    The minister acted on advice from the public inquiry reporter that the design of the facility and the height of the turbines would have had a negative impact on the surrounding landscape.

    27 Sep 13

    The good news was that the Labor/Green/Independent coalition which had encouraged massive spending on the basis of 'man-made global warming' was decisively rejected. The Labor vote fell to its lowest level for a century, the Green vote fell 3% and the independents who helped create and support this destructive green coalition are no longer in Parliament.

    The other feature of the campaign was the high public interest in the election and the big dissatisfaction with all major parties. Lots of small single-issue parties were formed and contested the election. Most of them were also opposed to the carbon tax. A few were smart enough to maintain strict discipline among themselves on how preference votes were directed, ensuring that some of them were elected to the Senate.

    There was very support for the anti-coal-seam-gas party.

    It is interesting that Germany’s conservatives also won a massive victory in their latest election. Greens lost heavily, their vote falling from 16% in polls early in the year to 8% now. They polled 11% at the last election. This is reported in Der Spiegel .

    27 Sep 13

    Ed Miliband has said that the Labour Party will fix energy bills until 2017 if re-elected.

    Shares in leading energy firms showed drops of about 5% as the markets reacted to this assertion. Energy firms said limiting prices would halt the investment needed to avoid blackouts and would lead to gas and electricity shortages.

    Miliband blames the energy companies. This is fundamentally dishonest, and he knows it.

    The companies are having to implement green directives, at enormous cost, because of the Climate Change Act which Miliband himself signed when Labour were in power.

    The chairman of Centrica, Sir Robert Carr, called the policy a recipe for disaster, and said that it would not be economically viable for Centrica to continue if it was implemented. It was a recipe for economic ruin. Centrica shares responded by going down by 5% and Scottish & Southern Electricity went down by 4%. If Centrica and SSE cannot make any money supplying electricity to the retail market then it is fairly obvious that they will cease to supply it.

    Angela Knight, of the Energy UK trade association, said that Miliband’s plan would risk jobs and threaten the energy supply.

    Liberal Democrat energy secretary Ed Davey said, correctly, that when price fixing was tried in California it caused an electricity crisis and blackouts.

    No UK government has tried to fix electricity prices since the 1970s.

    26 Sep 13

    The Czech Senate has voted in favour of a bill to remove subsidies for new photovoltaic power plants, and to end support for other types of renewable energy. The bill has been approved by the lower house of Parliament and will become law after President Milos Zeman signs it.

    The Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has said he will support coal as the country’s main energy source in the future.

    14 Sep 13

    "Does my honourable Friend agree that the Climate Change Act is without doubt the most foolish piece of statute that any of us here is likely to see in Parliament?

    Does he further agree that the very principle of unilaterally re-embarking on a crash programme of carbon reduction can only have the effect of exporting our energy-intensive industries to places where they may emit more carbon, and that carbon reduction will have only a nugatory effect on the problem because, as he correctly states, the Chinese are increasing carbon emissions faster than we are succeeding in reducing them?

    Andrew Tyrie MP, House of Commons.

    10 Sep 13

    An artist has found that plans for a 260-foot wind turbine overlooking her cottage in the Scottish countryside devalued her home by £45,000.

    Sue Arbor, 59, who lives near Huntly, Aberdeenshire, put her home up for sale in 2011 after learning of a proposed wind farm about 500 yards from her back garden. The cottage was valued at £130,000, but after two years she was still unable to find a buyer. She suspected the turbine was to blame. Her suspicion was confirmed in June when a woman making an offer for the cottage withdrew it after being informed of the wind turbine by a person at Aberdeenshire Council.

    Eventually Sue put her home up for auction with Glasgow Property Agency, with a fresh valuation of £100,000 and a reserve price of £70,000. This resulted in another firm offer but the man pulled out after learning of the turbine.

    Eventually a cash buyer turned up on the doorstep. He and his girlfriend said they were not bothered by the turbine and they got it for £85,000.

    9 Sep 13

    Australia’s Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott has instructed his new departmental secretary to make preparations to get rid of the carbon tax, which his predecessor introduced after promising not to do so. “A very early item of business is scrapping the carbon tax,” he told Cabinet Secretary IanWatt.
    (......Ben Packham, The Australian)

    8 Sep 13

    SHROPSHIRE, 5 Sep 2013
    Another poll done by the Shropshire Star; the question: would you welcome more wind farms in your area? As usual, the public were not in favour.

    Public rejects wind farm proposals for Shropshire

    6 Sep 13

    The Government has told energy companies to carry out its environmental programmes, telling them to recover the costs from customers through extra levies on bills.

    Subsidies for wind farm and other decarbonization measures, including a new carbon tax and home-insulation programmes, currently make up about £185 of a household’s average dual-fuel bill of £1,247. The green levies have doubled in the last five years and are continuing to increase.

    The consumer body 'Which' has asked the National Audit Office to investigate the legitimacy of green surcharges on domestic energy bills.

    Richard Lloyd, Which's executive director, said that green levies are actually a tax through energy bills, to pay for the upgrade of the Grid. People will not feel confident they are getting a fair deal unless the Government ensures that the costs are subject to robust scrutiny like other forms of taxation.

    In the autumn, the National Audit Office will publish the findings of its inquiry into new subsidies planned for nuclear power, wind farms and other low-carbon plants to be awarded from 2017 under the Government’s new Energy Bill.

    15 Aug 13

    In South Carolina, power company Scana and its partners are investing $11 billion to construct two 1100MW nuclear reactors on roughly 1,000 acres.

    To get the same amount of electricity out of wind, about 2000 turbines would be needed on 200,000 acres.

    The nuclear stations provide reliable base load power, last two to three times as long, and unlike the wind stations, provide power all day and all night irrespective of the weather.

    12 Aug 13

    The Czech government has approved a draft law to end subsidies for new renewable energy projects at the end of this year.

    Subsidies for renewable-power sources, particularly solar plants, have raised prices for Czech energy users in the past three years.

    The Prime Minister Jiri Rusnok says that it threatens the competitiveness of industry.

    11 Aug 13

    Lovely quote from an engineer on the Indie blog, illustrating how the mainstream media are slowly getting the idea.........

    " You can't say Labour did nothing on energy: Ed Millibrain bought in the 2008 Climate Change Act which commits us to suicidal 80% CO2 cuts and wasting £18 billion per year on ruinables for the next 25 years. Needless to say this was passed with almost unanimous support across all parties".

    Meanwhile the millionaire politicians in charge of Energy continue to collect their money from the wind industry.

    10 Aug 13

    Peter Loescher’s enthusiasm for green energy and a number of expensive acquisitions have led to a 22% reduction in the price of Siemens shares since he took over in July 2007.

    Supervisory board officials have asked for him to be removed from office.

    Part of Loescher’s growth strategy was his announcement in 2009 that he would transform Siemens into a “green infrastructure giant”, expanding solar technology and promoting the company as a partner for companies and governments keen to use more renewable energies.

    At the 2010 annual general meeting he called for a green revolution.

    29 Jul 13

    Reported on a blog by 'FB', who complained to British Gas at having to pay the Renewables Levy.

    British Gas said they had no option but to impose the levy because the Government imposed a legal obligation for them to collect it from their customers.

    The company also supplied the following information on costs:

    38% Electricity bought from wholesale market:
    26% Delivery to homes:
    19% Government Green Levy:
    12% Operating costs:
    5% Profits:

    Set against this is the government's policy of supporting renewable energy and reduce energy waste, which is "insulating consumers from the rising cost of fossil fuels”, according to Ed Davey.

    However, environmental charges account for a large fraction of everyone’s gas and electricity bill, whether fossil fuel costs go up or down. On top of that is 5% VAT.

    This is an outstanding example of doublethink: being able to hold two contradictory ideas simultaneously and not recognizing the contradiction.

    We are increasing energy bills in order to cut energy bills.

    28 Jul 13

    Summarised from The Herald, 18 Jul 2013

    In reply to the Energy Minister's letter, the boast that our renewable capacity will be moving from 4GW to more than 14GW by 2020 is hollow, since the majority of it is planned to come from wind power which is intermittent and unreliable.

    The transmission of large amounts of electricity south of the Border may be possible with the addition of extra interconnectors, but in practice this will hardly ever be available at the right time.

    If the 14GW was a mixture of hydro, nuclear and fossil fuel-generated electricity, up to about 10GW could always be available at times of need. If the 14GW capacity is wind driven, 10GW might be available occasionally, (the average would be in the region of 3GW), but there would often be hours or days with no electricity available at all.

    No way to keep the lights on.

    B.M, Castle Douglas.

    18 Jul 13

    The Italian mafia is increasing investment in wind farms to launder money and benefit from EU subsidies.

    Europol reports winds farms and renewable energy in general are the most popular target for money laundering, after analysing the financial activities of Italy's four mafia groups.

    The report said "The Italian mafia is investing more and more in renewable energy, especially in wind farms, to profit from generous European grants paid for by member states which allow them to mix dirty money with legitimate economic activities. (summarised from RT Business)

    10 Jul 13

    Copy of a message sent to me regarding a recent holiday:

    "My partner and I went over to Northumberland for a small holiday on my birthday. Wall-to-wall turbines; a beautiful county just completely wrecked. We won't be going again to this part of the world." (JB)

    28 Jun 13

    When the UN climate talks opened in Bonn last week, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus blocked adoption of the agenda of the “Subsidiary Body for Implementation”, which is the key negotiating track towards signing a UN climate treaty in Paris in 2015. The SBI has been unable to conduct any business in Bonn and has announced that it has suspended its business.

    Many developing nations are not happy at seeing this blocked, because it is a scheme to redistribute wealth in their direction using "man-made global warming" as the reason.

    Russia has raised a much needed question as to whether there is a fundamental lack of fairness and due process at the UN climate talks. The Doha outcome, for example, was supposedly agreed to, but there was no proper vote. Major portions of the outcome of the climate talks were drafted behind closed doors, presented at the 11th hour and then passed on a so-called consensus rather than a recorded vote.

    If the UNFCCC successfully gets its climate treaty in Paris in 2015, the treaty will govern a very large portion of the economic activity of all mankind, amounting to trillions of dollars. This seems to contravene the principles upon which the UN was founded.

    This is discussed in more detail at Climate Talks Collapse .

    14 Jun 13

    David Cameron has said that he may cut subsidies for green energy sources such as solar panels and windfarms, after admitting that consumers ultimately pay for them through increases in their energy bills.

    14 Jun 13

    Summarised from 'Galloway News': 500 objections to the proposed Mayfield development near Kirkcudbright have led to the scheme being rejected on appeal. The original application was turned down by local councillors. It would have involved six 130-metre tall turbines.

    Community Windpower appealed, saying that the development would not have a significant effect on landscape and character of the local area, but the Scottish Government reporter disagreed.

    Iain Urquhart said that he felt there would be significant adverse effects and that the turbines would be dominate the landscape in an inappropriate way.

    13 Jun 2013

    The Conservative MP at the centre of a lobbying controversy is to stand aside from the chairmanship of the Energy and Climate Change Committee. The Sunday Times recently reported that he had boasted of coaching the managing director of a company before an appearance in front of the select committee. He is also alleged to have offered to use his contacts to further the interests of clients.

    Mr Yeo has already faced questions over his financial involvement with the green energy sector. According to the register of members' interests he has earned large sums of money from this sector whilst performing his duties for the Energy and Climate Change Committee.

    There are those who say that this amounts to a conflict of interests.

    12 Jun 13

      UPDATE, 14 Jun 13: The Times reports that Tim Yeo faces the prospect of deselection at a meeting of his local association later this month.

    Ed Davey has recently said publicly that it is wrong for the Press to give a platform to anybody refusing to believe him on man-made global warming.

    The influence of the Press is small compared to that of of the BBC, which, in promoting carbon dioxide propaganda, has dropped any claim to objectivity.

    However, there is a good practical reason for not muzzling intellectual opponents. Either they are right, in which case you shouldn't suppress the truth, or they are wrong, in which case there is nothing to fear from publicising their views, because their errors will be visible to everyone.

    If Mr Davey believes that the truth is on his side, he should encourage his opponents speak in public in public as often as possible rather than criticise sections of the press for printing what they say.

    6 Jun 13

    Piers Corbyn was interviewed on BBC Radio Wiltshire at 9.15am on 30 May. He gave his views on why Tim Yeo MP, Chairman of the UK Parliament Climate Change Committee, had revealed his uncertainty as to whether Climate Change was man-made or natural.

    Piers said "Tim Yeo knows the game is up and he wants the Tories to win the next Election. The Party which is first to ditch the delusional CO2 nonsense and green theft from the public will win. Electricity charges already have a 25% surcharge (they only admit to 10% officially - Ed) to pay for wind farms - or prayer wheels - and it's set to rise to 100%. This theft must end".

    Piers pointed out that there is no evidence that CO2 changes cause any change in climate. Science shows it is the other way around - temperature rises cause CO2 to rise - and that Sir John Beddington, the government scientific adviser had failed to come up with any evidence supporting his case. Piers explained that twice in the past 200 years CO2 levels had exceeded 0.04%, and claims that something special was going on were nonsense and lies.

    "The extremes of recent years are all solar driven and were predicted by WeatherAction.com and nothing to do with CO2", he said.

    When asked if the 'Green' policies were good anyway Piers said: "Of course not unless, you think it's good to burn food - biofuels - while people are starving; mutilate birds by costly useless wind farms; destroy American forests and wild life to fuel UK Power stations while we sit on coal; and impose green taxes and force up energy and food prices while the world heads into a Mini Ice Age".

    He pointed out there is enough shale gas to last 1,000 years.

    5 Jun 13

    Germany’s Environment Protection Agency, the Umweltbundesamt (UBA) and its director Jochen Flasbarth have been criticized by the German media for publishing a pamphlet which many say is defamatory to US and German climate-sceptic scientists and journalists.

    The UBA has named Fritz Vahrenholt, Sebastian Lüning, Dirk Maxeiner, Michael Miersch, Günter Ederer and the ‘European Institute for Climate and Energy’ (EIKE) on a black list.

    Those who were criticized by the state are now responding. Vahrenholt is defending himself in an open letter. Maxeiner and Miersch are also replying.

    The number of media articles criticising the UBA’s tactics is increasing. This response against state authoritarianism and subversion of science is a good sign to scientists and engineers who understand how the public has been propagandised and misled by those who should know better.

    28 May 13

    My friend in Hawkchurch, Devon, reports on the construction of a 'solar farm' outside the village. The proposal to build it was rejected by the villagers but the views of locals were ignored and it was erected anyway.

    The components were made in Germany, and were delivered by German lorries, which were accompanied by workers from eastern Europe who carried out the erection and installation.

    Not one local job was created.

    The solar farm is now earning subsidies, paid for by the taxpayer. It will produce less energy in its lifetime than it took to extract the silicon to make the solar panels in the first place.

    Most photovoltaic cells are net consumers of energy. This means that if carbon dioxide reduction is the objective, solar cells are not fit for purpose.

    10 May 13

    The Japanese government is to speed up the environmental assessment process for new coal-fired power plants. 12 months will be the period for assessing and approving new coal-fired power rather than the current 4 years. Since their switching off of nuclear power stations they are to concentrate on coal as the sheapest energy source. The commitment to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 25% from the 1990 level will be revised.

    28 Apr 13

    MPs criticised the government on 26 Apr for delaying development of shale gas. They said it should now encourage companies to produce more accurate estimates of recoverable reserves. The Energy and Climate Change Committee said that the lack of progress over the past two years in exploration and development of UK shale gas is disappointing and needs to speed up.

    27 Apr 13

    Letter from an engineer, summarized, DT 1 Apr 13
    When I worked in nuclear power in 1995, we were lobbying hard for a new station at Sizewell, at around £7 billion for a twin 1200-megawatt nuclear station, to be running by about 2003.

    The arguments we used: energy security, diversity and carbon dioxide reduction, are identical to the ones being used now to build a £14 billiion station at Hinkley Point, 18 years later.

    PS, Bungay, Suffolk

    1 Apr 13

    The official watchdog which advises the Government on greenhouse gas emissions targets has criticized The Mail on Sunday for reporting, accurately, that alarming predictions of global warming are wrong.

    Although official computer models are still estimating huge rises in world temperatures, there has been no statistically significant increase for about 15 years. As we used to say of computers: GIGO (garbage in, garbage out).

    In spite of this, the Committee on Climate Change still clings to its incorrect predictions and bases policy on them.

    1 Apr 13

    Tourism jobs are under threat because of proposed turbines.

    Borders Network, which opposes inappropriate siting of wind turbines, has consulted university and other studies, including a private sector survey last year.

    Some of the studies show tourism spend is likely to be redistributed away from areas with higher than average numbers of turbines, which will have an impact on employment.

    Lilliesleaf’s Jane Cameron, of Dimpleknowe holiday cottage and golf course, said: “If people know the Borders is being spoilt, they will go somewhere else. The industrialisation of our countryside will inevitably be at the expense of sustainable jobs in tourism."

    30 Mar 13

    The government is carrying out a consultation on 'climate change' policy, it is asking for views from the public, sensing the increased scepticism towards agw propaganda.

    The web link is here: Consultation .

    There are plenty of engineers and scientists looking at this page who are well-qualified to put the scientific case rather than what usually appears on the BBC.

    So - over to the experts ..... max 3000 words; no minimum length.

    Make it good.

    29 Mar 13

    A group of families in a north Cork village is suing a wind farm operator in a landmark case because the huge turbines are affecting their health.

    Seven families from Banteer have been severely affected through noise pollution since the turbines began operating in Nov 2011. The Banteer case is listed for the High Court and has already come before Judge Kevin Feeney. It is currently at the discovery phase, with a likely hearing date in the autumn.

    If the action is successful, it is expected to lead to other cases.

    The turbines were manufactured and are operated by a German company, Enercon Services, which has a base in Tralee, Co. Kerry. The company has been installing turbines in Ireland since 1998.

    27 Mar 13

    On 20 Mar, Ian Marchant, head of SSE, said that Britain is facing black-outs within the next three years because of a lack of electricity generation.

    Today, Didcot power station was switched off, permanently. That's another 2GW gone out of a UK requirement of about 50 GW.

    No replacement capacity has been built.

    22 Mar 13

    Scotland's tourism industry has said that wind farms may have a detrimental effect on tourism. "VisitScotland" is opposing plans for a 10-turbine development at Minnygap, Lockerbie. Its views are contained in a Dumfries and Galloway Council planning committee report due to be considered by councillors soon.

    A further wind farm proposal, Allt Duine, is for 31 turbines to be erected half a mile from the boundary of Cairngorms National Park, another scenic area.

    In the light of Alex Salmond's recent statement that wind farms enhance Scotland's appeal as a country, readers might be interested in the following quotation:

    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

    The originator - Joseph Goebbels.

    16 Mar 13

    The coal-fired power station at Cockenzie in East Lothian has been closed to meet EU rules on nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide emissions.

    The WWF has no expertise in energy matters, but the BBC went straight to Lang Banks, director of WWF Scotland, for an opinion.


    15 Mar 13

    Glyndebourne's wind turbine is unsuccessful judged by the normal rules of economics. 2012 was very windy, but Mill Plain Ringmer, site of Glyndebourne's industrial wind turbine, recorded average windspeeds of 13 mph at hub height 330 feet above Ringmer. Electrical output is negligible below 10 mph, even though the blades rotate.

    Based on 2012 figures, average turbine output would be 166 kilowatts, of which Glyndebourne would directly consume 100 kW and export 66 kW to the grid.

    The system of ‘Feed-in-Tariffs’ pays a guaranteed, inflation-proofed rate of 10.4 pence for every kilowatt hour generated - even if this power is consumed by Glyndebourne itself. Hence Glyndebourne would receive a total of £152,244 for the power it generated, but it only puts two-fifths of this power into the grid. The three-fifths consumed by Glyndebourne is completely ‘free’ – meaning they avoid paying a further £61,682, based on a commercial rate of around 7p per kWh.

    The turbine was purchased by subscription and cost around £1.25million. Glyndebourne’s total benefit represents a return on capital exceeding 17%, tax free and guaranteed for 20 years, via our subsidies.

    The device produced 18.3% of its rated capacity during 2012. Glyndebourne had claimed it would achieve 30%, despite clear evidence to the contrary from rural protection groups and their own anemometer. The output is the poorest for any turbine within a National Park. This futile location should never have been approved.

    (summarised from a letter by TP, Ringmer)

    15 Mar 13

    Britain’s transport minister has asked oil companies to delay introducing a new ethanol-rich petrol which is likely to increase the cost of driving and which may cause damage to certain vehicles. The new fuel is called E-10, and it contains ten percent ethanol, as opposed to the present unleaded petrol which contains up to 5%.

    The ethanol comes from maize grown on land formerly used for food production. That is a problem in itself.

    The oil companies are required to start selling the new petrol under EU directives requiring them to increase the amount of biofuel they sell or face large fines. The idea is that this will reduce the use of fossil fuels and slow the so-called 'global warming', which, incidentally seems to have stopped for the last fifteen years. As with other aspects of energy policy, the consequences have not been thought through.

    Petrol containing ethanol gives fewer miles per gallon. It burns badly in some engines, and it affects rubber (and some plastic) seals. It absorbs water, and gives an unwanted clean to the fuel system, so may cause fuel blockages. There is also a problem with algal blooms, since bio-fuel can provide a home for certain bacteria and other organisms.

    I wrote about this some years ago; see Problems with Biofuel .

    14 Mar 13

    Liberal Democrat Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne was planning to force thousands more wind turbines on Britain. Today, however he starts an 8 month jail sentence for perverting the course of justice.

    The man formerly in charge of imposing the Green Agenda on Britain, and telling us of the benefits of wind energy, is now in prison for lying.

    12 Mar 13

    Received by email........"An engineer I know, was called in as a consultant on the offshore 48-turbine wind farm at Frinton / Clacton, in Essex. He told them that the steel they were planning to use (sourced from China) was not up to the job, and advised the wind turbine company not to use it.

    His advice was ignored; they went ahead anyway.

    The turbines are now buckling and will soon be unfit for purpose. The project started in 2008, so they are 5 years old.

    25 Feb 13

    Russia and China have blocked efforts to have climate change recognised as an international security threat by the UN Security Council (UNSC). China, Russia, India and 100 developing countries oppose climate becoming a UNSC issue because the council does not operate under the principles of Common But Differentiated Responsibility, which underpins the UN climate talks. They are concerned that declaring climate change a security threat would force poorer nations to take action which they could not afford.

    20 Feb 13

    A study by five energy academics has said that Alex Salmond’s green energy targets would be politically unachievable in an independent Scotland. The report was published in Political Quarterly. It says that Scotland relies on electricity consumers in England and Wales paying for Scotland’s wind turbines, and without the subsidies, Scotland’s renewable energy would not happen. (summarized from 'The Scotsman', 17 Feb)

    18 Feb 13

    Italian media have reported that police have arrested five people in eastern Sicily suspected of involvement in Mafia corruption over contracts to build wind farms.

    The charges they face include extortion, fraud and Mafia association. The people involved include the mayor and a councillor in the town of Fondachelli Fantina.

    The investigation began in 2009. It is is linked to sub-contracts awarded to build wind farms near Agrigento, Palermo and Trapani.

    11 people are being investigated, including two managers from a firm which had the contract to build one of the wind farms, installing 63 turbines.

    Enormous amounts of money are involved. The contract was worth £103 billion.

    (summarized from BBC news)

    16 Feb 13

    An interesting incident occurred after the final episode of the recent 'Africa' series by Sir Richard Attenborough. The BBC was unable to justify his assertion that parts of the world have warmed by 3.5C over the last two decades. The untrue statement had to be deleted from the Sunday night repeat, after complaints from viewers.

    14 Feb 13

    Sir Mervyn King has said that the Government is pushing up inflation through green taxes and University tuition fees. Sir Mervyn said that the average household energy bill is now £1,300 a year and has risen about 25 per cent since 2011.

    The Germans began installing wind turbines before Britain. Their energy policy has been disastrous. This year the renewables levy on German electricity bills went up by 47%. Half a million German households now cannot afford to pay their electricity bills.

    Industrial expansion in Germany is coming to a halt. The directors of Germany's large companies are not willing to expand whilst the country remains committed to unrealistic energy policies.

    14 Feb 13

    The Pavilion Gardens in Bradford were completed in 2011. These were advertised as homes of the future, with an eco-friendly design which would keep energy bills low.

    The 45 super-insulated houses cost £5.6 million, or £124,000 each. Twelve of the homes are heated by a communal biomass boiler. The complex also uses air heat pumps and there are solar panels to provide electricity.

    Residents have recently been presented with bills which are twice as big as expected. One resident who shares a three bedroom house on the complex with his wife and three children received a £1,600 electricity bill for six months.

    He recounts that bills are double those which he had at his previous home.

    5 Feb 13

    Lord Lawson (Conservative), Lord Donoughue (Labour) and Baroness Nicholson (Liberal Democrat), three Trustees of the all-Party and non-Party Global Warming Policy Foundation, have called upon the BBC’s new Director-General Designate to convene a new high-level seminar in order to re-assess the BBC’s treatment of global warming and climate policy issues.

    Over many years, the BBC’s treatment of climate change issues has been marked by bias, ignorance, credulity and – in the latest episode – unwarranted concealment. The behaviour of the Corporation has failed to measure up to professional standards.

    In a letter to Lord Hall, the GWPF Trustees have asked the Director-General Designate also to reconsider the implications of the controversial global warming seminar held in 2006 which has shaped BBC policy on climate-related issues since that time.

    More information on the GWPFwebsite.

    1 Feb 13

    The tax-payer funded Green Investment Bank has loaned £100 million to convert the Drax coal-burning power station in Yorkshire to burning wood. This is part of a financial package of one billion pounds to get green approval and renewable energy subsidies and avoid the need to buy carbon credits.

    Each year 7.5 million tonnes of wood chips will be imported from North American forests to replace 4.5 million tonnes of coal. This will consume about three million acres of forest per year. The wood will be cut, hauled, chipped, dried, trucked, shipped and then trucked again to Drax.

    As a result, Drax will produce a fraction of its former output at several times the price.

    You couldn't make it up.

    To put this in perspective - under ideal growing conditions, a square mile of 'sustainable woodland' can give up to 1MW continuous of electrical power. So a 2000MW conventional power station would need a plot of about 45miles x 45 miles.

    There was a project in England to generate power from wood about a decade ago, called Project ARBRE, based on willow plantations. It was abandoned because harvesting the wood was problematic; doing it by hand was too expensive, and machines couldn't do it adequately because they kept getting stuck in mud and scrub.

    25 Jan 13

    The South Gippsland Shire Council has said that the Bald Hills wind farm, currently in the planning stage, has affected the value of nearby properties.

    The rates for these houses have been reduced.

    15 Jan 13

    The Coalition's energy policy shows few signs of heading in the right direction. However, consider the alternative:

    Ed Milliband signed the UK up to decrease carbon dioxide emissions by 34% by 2020 whilst the rest of Europe signed up for 20%. This has contributed to the rapid rise in the cost of energy.

    There are now no aluminium smelters in the UK now because of the high price of electricity; aluminium extraction demands enormous amounts of electrical energy.

    Jaguar Land Rover are increasing the amount of aluminium in their vehicles to save weight. They have recently signed a contract to buy aluminium from Saudi Arabia because they can't get it made here. They may even build cars next to the plant.

    CO2 in the atmosphere is at about 380ppm. 97% of it occurs naturally; this isn't disputed.

    This means that about 11ppm is caused by man.

    The UK is responsible for about 1% of that, so if we banned all transport and lived in caves, the CO2 reduction would be as near to zero as makes no difference.

    Meanwhile the public are becoming more aware that the phrase "tackling climate change" really means "we are taking your money".

    14 Jan 13

    The New York Times has announced the closure of its Environment Desk.

    12 Jan 13

    Official figures have revealed a decline in Scottish tourism for 2012 with tourist spending down by £50m.

    11 Jan 13

    Everyone living very close to a wind farm knows that this has a negative effect on house prices. This is no joke if one's life savings have been sunk into the property.

    The decision by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) to move certain houses close to wind farms into lower council tax bands is official recognition that wind turbines lower the value of homes nearby.

    In a recent case a couple saw the value of their home fall from £400,000 to £300,000. Their house is 650 yards from the Fullabrook wind farm near Braunton, Devon. The pricing was done by a local estate agent, based on local knowledge and the sale of similar properties nearby.

    The VOA moved the property from council tax band F to band E. This gives a small saving in council tax, but obviously it doesn't compensate for the £100K loss.

      Homeowners in Ayrshire and the Scottish Borders have experienced a reduction of 8% in property values over the past year, according to the Nationwide Building Society. It's surprising that the drop isn't larger, but this is probably because it's based on sales and so doesn't include those properties which have become unsaleable.

    25 Jul 12 & 4 Jan 13

    An interesting post appeared on one of the 'telegraph' blogs recently, by a person I'll call 'k'.

    ..........Regarding windfarms, global warming, record rainfall etc., which are all tied in together by the various politicians and "scientists" who rabbit on about such things, I have been keeping accurate records of temperature and rainfall for the last 16 years where I live in the south east. For those interested here are the average annual temperatures from 1997 to 2012. First figure average annual temperature in centigrade; second figure actual rainfall for that year in mm.

    1997 - 12.75°C & 647mm,
    1998 - 12.85°C & 849mm,
    1999 - 13.16°C & 843mm,
    2000 - 12.80°C & 1149mm,
    2001 - 12.65°C & 1048mm,
    2002 - 13.33°C & 801mm,
    2003 - 12.84°C & 664mm,
    2004 - 12.58°C & 751mm,
    2005 - 13.06°C & 595mm,
    2006 - 13.03°C & 747mm,
    2007 - 12.27°C & 879mm,
    2008 - 12.03°C & 852mm,
    2009 - 12.51°C & 713mjm,
    2010 - 11.37°C & 713mm,
    2011 - 13.17°C & 594mm,
    2012 - 12.97°C & 998mm.

    I'm not a weatherman or a scientist, but I see no real pattern here, no upwards trend in temperature nor any pattern at all in the rainfall. The only possible thing you can read into these accurate statistics is that when you get a year with lots of rain, the average temperature tends to be a bit lower, but not always. OK these figures are not over a very long period but they show none of the increases or records that the BBC and others would have us believe.

    4 Jan 13

    Russia has withdrawn from the second phase of the Kyoto Protocol, which started on January 1st 2013. Russia decided to withdraw because the United States, China and India are not participating.

    The Kyoto Protocol’s first stage ended on 01-01-12, leaving the world with 58 per cent more carbon dioxide emissions than in 1990, as opposed to the five per cent reduction which its signatories sought. This is largely due to the rise of industry in China, India and Eastern Europe.

    3 Jan 13

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