Sunday 28 June 2020

Green Programme for Government will be Terrible for the Environment

The top three priorities for the new FF/FG-Green coalition government are housing, climate and the ending of direct provision. 

There is a commitment to increasing the housing stock by 50,000 each year, which means building another Cork city every year. These houses will presumably be needed for the additional million people who will be coming to Ireland in the next decade or two .  If there truly is a housing crisis, then the first thing any logical government would do is "hit the pause button" on immigration. This is simple supply vs demand economics. 

This means more concrete, more electricity, more heating, more power stations, more pylons, more emissions, more cars, more hospitals, more public services, more data centres, more spending, more imported goods, more imported food, more air flights, and increased pressure on water supplies and sewerage infrastructure. It means less green areas, less trees, less plants, more pollution, more waste. 

The housing and immigration policy is directly at odds with their climate policy of raising the carbon tax, the purpose of which is to get people to consume less petrol and home heating oil.

More cities and housing estates will make it more difficult to find small micro solutions to energy and community needs (a popular green concept for a while) .  It will require large scale solutions and projects such as power stations, pylons and motorways.

There are also plans for more wind farms, including offshore wind farms which will have a serious impact on our marine environment. The wide scale industrialization of our environment will be seen in the future as madness. Irish wind farms have already caused irreversible environmental damage.  The 4,000MW of wind farms we have already installed have failed to curb emissions and fossil fuel imports.

The Government plans to enact the Climate Action Bill within the first 100 days. This will set in law a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 51% by 2030 and down to zero by 2050 and a ban on sales of new and secondhand petrol and diesel cars by 2030. 

If you were to buy a basic petrol car such as a Fiat Punto, which does 120 g of CO2 per km, you could drive it for nearly 170,000 km before you would have emitted the equivalent 20 tonnes of carbon dioxide released during the manufacture of an electric car. As Pat Swords pointed out :

if you want to be able to charge 3,000 electric cars in an hour, which is only 0.15% of the number of cars out there, you need a new 300 MW power plant, which is large enough to cover 10% of the current country's demand. It's pretty obvious that unless you string up the country with new power stations and pylons, none of this is going to work, unless the public is prepared to spend a lot of their hard earned cash on electrical vehicles, which they will just have to park most of the time, as they don't have the hours to stand in line, awaiting an opportunity to get a charge in at one of these new 'charging infrastructures'. 

With two million cars currently in Ireland, that means we will need over 600 new power stations to replace the entire fleet of petrol and diesel cars !

Of course, none of this scrutiny is taking place in the media who are grossly incapable of doing their job.

Sunday 21 June 2020

Regional Temperature Variances

The above graph shows the 2020 monthly temperatures until June for three weather stations in Dublin. Phoenix Park has been consistently at least one degree higher than Dublin Airport, only 9km away :

The three weather stations are located like this, with Phoenix Park in the middle of the other two. Casement Aerodrome is about 8km from Phoenix Park.

The mean (average) temperatures for these three stations shows exactly what one would expect, very similar temperatures :

So this begs the question, why have the temperatures diverged so much in recent times ? I cannot speculate as to the reasons for this but surely this is worth investigating by the climate scientists here. The old manual Phoenix Park weather station was replaced in 2003 so we would expect current readings to be very accurate.

It is the higher Phoenix Park temperature readings that are used in climate charts like the one below to show that the average temperatures in Ireland have increased by nearly one degree.

However, when one compares recent Dublin Airport temperatures with the long term average temperatures, there is no observable warming :

And likewise with Casement Aerodrome, you can see a little bit more warming, then a little bit more cooling and so on, but overall, much the same as the mean :

Phoenix Park shows a somewhat different story, with an overall warming trend :

It appears that something is not quite right here. Which weather station in Dublin is the most reliable ? More research is surely needed.