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Topic Title: Thanet Wind Farm
Topic Summary: The Thanet Wind Farm will cost us £1.2 bn in subsidies, why are we not building nuclesr power stations to keep the light
Created On: 27 September 2010 05:30 PM
Status: Read Only
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 20 October 2010 01:31 AM
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s0091681

Posts: 5
Joined: 25 July 2008

These 'best models' have singularly failed to predict the lack of warming this century. They cannot predict the weather next week, nevermind years ahead.

He's referring to the same climate models the MET office used to predict the Barbeque Summer and last 3 'mild' winters. Predictions which proved so embarrassingly wrong the MET have now given-up publishing seasonal forecasts altogether.


Umm, weather forecasting and climate modelling are completely different fields. You wouldn't use a climate model to make weather forecasts.

A Climatology is typically described as the 30 year average of a particular weather variable. For example Standard Average Annual Rainfall (SAAR, used in a range of civil engineering calculations) is the the average annual rainfall based upon observations between 1961-1990. The averaging removes the noise of real weather.

A climate model would be used to predict future SAAR say for 2041-2070 , or annual average temperature etc, these models can successfully reproduce historic climate giving confidence in abilities to predict future climate.

A numerical weather forecasting model on the other hand can provide predictions of up to few days in the future, with uncertainties and error in prediction greatly increasing as the horizon moves beyond 48 hours due to the chaotic nature of weather systems and atmospheric physics.

Long range forecasting is yet another field which, as far as I understand, still developing and is not really ready for public consumption. I'm sure the BBQ summer and mild winters predictions would have been accompanied with associated probabilities, incidentally the BBQ summer was warmer than average.
 20 October 2010 08:14 AM
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rogerbryant

Posts: 863
Joined: 19 July 2002

"Sorry but if the introductory chapter is so full of unsupported alarmist nonsense how can you have any confidence in the rest of his analysis? One can only conclude either a) he's an unhinged eco-loon, or b) one of the many consultants in the pay of the Big Green renewable lobby."

Ipayyoursalary, As I asked before have you read the book, it's available on line? I can have reasonable confidence in what he has written as the sources he uses are well referenced so I can trace them back to the original documents, the calculations are shown and the assumtions are stated.

As he says (on page 29 of 383 on my PDF version):
"OK, enough about climate change. I'm going to assume we are motivated to get off fossil fuels. Whatever your motivation, the aim of this book is to help you figure out the numbers and do the arithmetic so that you can evaluate policies; and to lay a factual foundation so that you can see which proposals add up."

If you look at the various scenarios studied in the book he comes to the conclusion that nuclear fission is quite a reasonable option for the future, an unlikely conclusion for a "an unhinged eco-loon, or one of the many consultants in the pay of the Big Green renewable lobby".

Fossil fuels are a finite resource, we are consuming them faster than they are being renewed and therefore they will run out. When this takes place, in 10 years, in 100 years, in 1000 years is hard to estimate as our ability to recover the last drops will improve with time and our consumption will probably also increase with time.
Fossil fuels are also an important resource for many industries and products. Should we just burn them to produce low grade heat?

I am not convinced by man made global warming, but equally I don't think we should waste finite resources the way that we currently do. I do my best to study the data and the arguments and reach my own conclusions rather than quoting secondhand dogma.

Best regards

Roger
 20 October 2010 10:28 AM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

Originally posted by: Ipayyoursalary

I would like to reply to the thoughtful comments of Roger and s0091, but first I must reply to amillar..

Originally posted by: amillar...yelling at the world on an obscure message board.


It's not an obscure message board. It's the discussion forum of the professional institution of which I have been a paying member for over 20 years.

I disagree. I have seen no evidence that any posting here has ever influenced anything. Not that I think that is a problem, just a fact. I am NOT saying the IET is irrelevant, just these forums.

Regarding 'proof' that man-made global warming is not a problem: The null hypothesis is that the climate is changing naturally as it always has. I'm not advocating trillions of dollars of new taxes and drastic reductions in people's standard of living. You are.

I am not. Those who are qualified in this subject are.
Therefore it is up to you to prove your case. Not for me to prove the null hypothesis. There is no proof that MMGW is a problem: We've seen negligible warming this century. The warming last century was well within historic variability. Sea level rise has remained at a negligible 3mm/yr since the little ice age. There's been no increase in the frequency or severity of storms, hurricanes, droughts or floods. It's a non-problem.

I repeat, present this information to those who really, really want to hear it. They will give you money, prestige, and save the rest of us a lot of grief we do not want.

Regarding your faith in 'experts' who's careers and prestige depend entirely upon the climate scare: You say these people have nothing to gain; How about Phil Jones' £13.7M of research grants? How about the millions of state funding for any research linked to 'climate change'?

Peanuts compared to the fossil fuels' industry's research expenditure. And yes, I do have faith in people who understand their subject. I would get very upset if an atmospheric physicist startet telling me how to design analogue filters!

I've had enough to do with environmental campaigning to know that it is not taken seriously by anybody.


You mean campaigns like the 10:10 No Pressure Video in which they advocate the execution of anyone who disagrees with their demands? Trust me - alot of people take that very seriously indeed.

Has this changed government policy?

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 20 October 2010 12:25 PM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

Re the 10:10 video "in which they advocate the execution of anyone who disagrees with their demands", the following APOLOGY was presented by the producers:

Sorry.
Today we put up a mini-movie about 10:10 and climate change called 'No Pressure'.

With climate change becoming increasingly threatening, and decreasingly talked about in the media, we wanted to find a way to bring this critical issue back into the headlines whilst making people laugh. We were therefore delighted when Britain's leading comedy writer, Richard Curtis - writer of Blackadder, Four Weddings, Notting Hill and many others - agreed to write a short film for the 10:10 campaign. Many people found the resulting film extremely funny, but unfortunately some didn't and we sincerely apologise to anybody we have offended.

As a result of these concerns we've taken it off our website.

We'd like to thank the 50+ film professionals and 40+ actors and extras and who gave their time and equipment to the film for free. We greatly value your contributions and the tremendous enthusiasm and professionalism you brought to the project.

At 10:10 we're all about trying new and creative ways of getting people to take action on climate change. Unfortunately in this instance we missed the mark. Oh well, we live and learn.

Onwards and upwards,

Eugenie, Franny, Daniel, Lizzie and the whole 10:10 team


Do you really think these are eco-terrorists who had actually planned to kill people? Or passionate people (as you clearly are) who got it wrong and admitted as much?

Which group has some sense of proportion?

Anyway, I'm going to carry on leaving this to the "so-called experts" (so-called because they are experts). A final thought though, can we as a professional institution really support the idea that those who have reached a level of academic prestige should be considered incompetant merely because we do not understand their field? What does that say about our professionalism? I will have to leave that to be debated here as a) life's too short and b) I am off to consume huge amounts of fossil fuels flying around Europe. (And no, I do not work in, and have no connection with, the alternative energy sector.)

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 20 October 2010 04:13 PM
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Ipayyoursalary

Posts: 265
Joined: 21 November 2009

Originally posted by: amillar Do you really think these are eco-terrorists who had actually planned to kill people?

You watch the video and tell me. They're certainly condoning terrorist murder - some would say inciting it. The message is clear - it's OK to kill those who don't agree with you. And how tasteful to show women and children being executed up by suicide vests - while our soldiers are being killed and maimed by suicide bombers in Afganistan and we're still mourning the victims of the 7/7 bombings.

Re: their 'apology'. If you read closely - it's not much of an apology atall:

"Many people found the resulting film extremely funny" they say. Did it make you laugh? "Some didn't." Only some? Their message boards were inundated with furious comments - many from green campaigners - expressing their horror at being associated with such violent propaganda - saying 10:10 had totally destroyed their support. Their corporate sponsors, Sony and Kyrocera immediately withdrew support and released press statements distancing themselves from 10:10.

And they end with a jolly "we missed the mark. Oh well, we live and learn."

Srsly? Is that it? The one good thing about the video is it's revealed the true colours of many environmental extremists. Professional institutions like the IET should think carefully before hitching their trailer to the eco-facist bandwagon.

Well, if you fancy a laugh after that rather depressing video take a look at this hilarious spoof version here
 20 October 2010 10:09 PM
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Ipayyoursalary

Posts: 265
Joined: 21 November 2009

Originally posted by: s0091681
Umm, weather forecasting and climate modelling are completely different fields. You wouldn't use a climate model to make weather forecasts.

The seasonal forecasts were produced by the MET's unified climate model - the same model they claim can predict the weather next century. It's programmed to respond to CO2 as the primary driver, so it tends to predict warm 'barbeque summers' and mild winters. But what we got was a freezing cold washout.

incidentally the BBQ summer was warmer than average.

This was PR spin put out by the MET office to save face. In reality the night time minimum temps were higher than normal due to all the cloud. But the days were cold, cloudy, and wet. So yes - it was a barbeque summer - but only if you like having your BBQ's in the middle of the night in the pouring rain.

Good points Roger. Maybe I should read the rest of MacKay's book. Maybe he regained his critical faculties after a minor lapse during the introduction - perhaps the rest of the book has some merit. But I'm not sure I can take him seriously after that intro. It would be like reading a book on good financial management by Gordon Brown....
 05 December 2011 11:08 PM
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DrJVYelland

Posts: 1
Joined: 05 December 2011

Simple answer: we are governed by people with degrees in political "science" who have so little understanding of any real science or engineering that they can't understand that they don't understand. Perhaps it's our fault that we haven't learnt to communicate with them at an appropriate level.

It is so unfortunate that the renewables subsidies have been set so high that greed has become the primary motivator.

I am working through a windfarm planning application where the applicants have exaggerated the energy delivered by the plant and the CO2 emission displaced by it by a factor of three - not accounting for the fact that most of displacement will be nullified by OCGT backup emissions anyway. Have its authors really no concept of balancing supply and demand? No chance of making the local planners understand it then - we'll probably rely on bats instead as they can distinguish between a dead bat and a live bat. Hard to predict which they would prefer though...

Seriously, shouldn't we be trying collectively to educate Huhne & co? He's not really stupid, just ignorant. OK, climate change is complex, but wind energy is simple and its problems are obvious and insoluble.
IET » Energy » Thanet Wind Farm

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