Sunday 31 January 2021

Sweden All Cause Mortality for 2020 Not Significantly Higher

Graham Neary has put together a graph of Swedish all cause mortality rates for 2020. It shows that their decision not to impose a lockdown did not lead to any significant increase in deaths. 

I've plugged the actual 2020 result into my spreadsheets. Result: all-cause mortality is just 3% worse than 2018, and is better than all years prior to 2014. They won't acknowledge it. But this is not what the advocates of lockdown said would happen:

This does not mean that Swedes went about their lives as normal. Presumably, there were some people who felt safer staying at home most of the time or wearing a mask. It just means that the government did not impose restrictions on everyone. People could make their own decisions and civil liberties were protected.  For example, the Swedish government encouraged people to work from home where possible.

Society does not ban smoking, it advises people that smoking is bad for them, and after that leaves it up to citizens to decide for themselves. The long term departure from this societal convention is worrying.

Friday 15 January 2021

Coal and Oil to the Rescue During Cold Weather

Last week was one of the coldest spells of weather here in Ireland of recent years. As usual with very cold periods, wind generation was low. The grid operators struggled to keep the lights on and many amber alerts were issued.

Wind energy contributed about 20% of the power on average. 

Whitegate Gas power station was and still is out of action which is surprising for a modern ten year old power station. Gas power still provided the majority of the power in the grid mix -  around 50%. 

Wind energy last week - only a small portion of the total installed wind capacity of 4,000MW was available at times

Coal provided 12% despite only two out of the three generators at Moneypoint functioning.

An internal ESB memo shows that national grid operator, Eirgrid, asked the company to start up one of its three generators at Moneypoint in Co Clare, which had been shut down, to avoid any possible risk of blackouts [Eirgrid].

Starting up a coal generator takes at least 16 hours to start up from scratch (cold start) so presumably this unit was kept ticking over (warm start). This is what many wind advocates do not understand - you simply cannot switch off a large power station and expect to turn it back on again at short notice. 

Imports were only 1% presumably because UK had no surplus electricity of their own.

This then leaves "Other" at 10%. 

There are only two possibilities for what this comprises now that all but one of the three peat power stations have been discontinued - waste to energy and oil/diesel. Only one waste to energy plant is currently in operation at 62MW. So assuming it was running at max output it was providing about 1.5% of the total fuel mix. Edenderry peat power station now operates at about 60MW also (the other half of it's fuel source is biomass) so likewise about 1.5%. Therefore, unless I'm missing something, about 7% of the fuel mix came from oil and diesel generators. 

Which is roughly the portion of fuel mix from the two peat power stations that were closed down. Oil generation has not contributed this much since the 2000s. This amounts to an indictment of the renewable energy program, in that 4,000MW of new wind energy installed cannot replace 230MW of peat.

Based on that, the expectation that Moneypoint coal power station will close down by 2025 is now looking very unlikely.

Tuesday 5 January 2021

The Real Health Crisis was One Year Ago

2019 was the worst year ever for hospital overcrowding with 118,000 patients left without beds. December 2019 into January 2020 was the worst winter on record for overcrowding. 

53,000 patients went without beds last year, so less than half of 2019. 

Yet here we are in lockdown in a health crisis only half as bad as that of the previous winter. 

There were also no excess deaths this winter, as Leo Varadkar has admitted "no more people have died this winter than any comparable winter for the past five years

Yet nowhere in the hysterical headlines are these simple facts reflected. 

Monday 4 January 2021

Coldest December in Ten Years

 December 2020 was the coldest December for 10 years. 2010 was the coldest winter for many decades which means that since then there were two cold snaps (2010, 2020) and two warm snaps (2015, 2018) so no overall trend of warming or cooling for the darkest month in the past decade. 

The graphs below begin at 2011 but bear in mind that 2010 was way below average as was widely reported at the time :

Perhaps this is another reason for the pressure hospitals are now under as more people are ill due to the cold.