Wednesday, March 7, 2018

GWPF Newsletter: Global Temperatures Keep Falling

Is Germany’s Energiewende Coming To An End?

In this newsletter:

1) Global Temperatures Keep Falling
Paul Homewood, Not A Lot Of People Know That, 3 March 2018
2) Stunned Scientists Discover ‘Supercolony’ Of 1.5 Million Adelie Penguins In Antarctica
Sky News, 2 March 2018

3) Are Humans Responsible for Climate Change?
University College London
4) Is Germany’s Energiewende Coming To An End?
Climate Home News, 5 March 2018 
5) Green Lobby Foe Altmaier Lands Energy Brief
reNews, 5 March 2018
6) GWPF Brief: Last Year, Altmaier Announced End Of Unilateral Climate Policy
GWPF, 11 March 2017

Full details:

1) Global Temperatures Keep Falling
Paul Homewood, Not A Lot Of People Know That, 3 March 2018

UAH report another drop in global temperatures for February, following the sharp fall in January.

It is likely we are just starting to see the effects of La Nina, which began last September. There is generally a lag of between 3 and 6 months before atmospheric temperatures are impacted.

Nevertheless, so far La Nina has been a very weak affair, comparable to 2006, when temperature anomalies dipped to about 0.1C.

What is particularly noticeable this month is how far temperatures have dropped in the NH:

Full post

2) Stunned Scientists Discover ‘Supercolony’ Of 1.5 Million Adelie Penguins In Antarctica
Sky News, 2 March 2018

A massive colony of Adelie penguins has been discovered in Antarctica, surprising scientists who had thought their numbers were in decline.

The habitual climate scare: 
"Adélie penguins are one of two true Antarctic penguins, and they are threatened by a changing climate." National Geographic, 29 June 2016

Researchers are stunned to find such a large number in the remote Danger Islands, seemingly unaffected by climate change.

The 1.5 million penguins were spotted on the Danger Islands, a chain of nine rocky islands off the Antarctic Peninsula’s tip, near South America.

The first bird census there found around 750,000 breeding pairs.

A team led by researchers from the US-based Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution reported their discovery in the journal Scientific Reports.

Image:The penguins can grow up to 70cm tall. Pic: Rachael Herman, Louisiana State University, Stony Brook University

Study co-author Heather Lynch said it had “real consequences for how we manage this region” and that “the Danger Islands weren’t known to be an important penguin habitat”.

This may have been because of their remoteness and the difficult waters that surround them: even in the summer, anyone trying to reach the islands can expect to deal with thick sea ice.

Four years ago, Ms Lynch teamed up with Mathew Schwaller from NASA and examined satellite images that hinted at a curiously large number of penguins in the area.

Image: Adelie penguins are one of five species in the area. Pic: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Determined to verify the find, she set out on an expedition with a team of researchers.

They arrived in December 2015 and counted the birds with the help of a drone that took pictures once every second.

The photos were then stitched together to give a comprehensive picture.

One of those on the expedition, Michael Polito, from Louisiana State University, said the islands “appear to have not suffered the population declines found along the western side of Antarctic Peninsula that are associated with recent climate change”.

Just 100 miles away, on the peninsula’s west, Adelie numbers have dropped by around 70% in recent decades due to melting sea ice, something blamed on global warming.

Image: Adelie penguins can be recognised by the white ring around their eyes

Ms Lynch said: “One of the ways in which this is good news is that other studies have shown this area (the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula) is likely to remain more stable under climate change than the western Antarctic Peninsula.

“So we end up with a large population of Adelie penguins in a region likely to remain suitable to them for some time.”

Full story

3) Are Humans Responsible for Climate Change?
University College London

by UCL Life Ethics Society


- Natalie Bennett, Former Green Party Leader
- Piers Corbyn, Founder of WeatherAction
- Dr. Benny Peiser, Director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation
- Dr. Richard Millar, Climate Scientist at the Environmental Change Institute (University of Oxford)

The UCL Life Ethics Society is proud to host a wide-ranging panel of distinguished guests for a discussion on the human impacts of climate change and environmental policy.

Are humans responsible for causing climate change? If so do we have a responsibility to stop it? How do we balance environmental concerns with economic limitations? What are the ethical implications of climate change on human life? What does the future of climate change look like for humans?

Join us for an unmissable event as we explore the major issues surrounding climate change today and how we can tackle these responsibly.

We look forward to hosting a spectrum of opinions in a moderated debate, followed by an open Q&A session.

Please register for a FREE ticket via Eventbrite below to guarantee entry to the event as spaces are strictly limited. This is a public event and all are welcome to attend!

WHEN: Monday 12th March 2018 @ 6:30PM

WHERE: Anatomy JZ Young Lecture Theatre G29, Anatomy Building, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT

4) Is Germany’s Energiewende Coming To An End?
Climate Home News, 5 March 2018 

Germany’s new coalition deal was a “bitter disappointment” for those looking for a modern climate and energy policy, said outgoing energy secretary Rainer Baake

Germany’s energy state secretary Rainer Baake has quit after four years in charge of the country’s flagship Energiewende policy.

Baake made his stand as Germany’s democratic limbo was finally resolved, 162 days after the 2017 federal election. A grand coalition of conservative and Social Democrats (SPD) will return, along with chancellor Angela Merkel.

Baake, a Green Party politician whose appointment by then economy minister Sigmar Gabriel was a surprise at the time, criticised the new government’s energy and climate plans in a resignation letter seen by Clean Energy Wire.

The plans for the energy transition (Energiewende) in the new coalition agreement were a “bitter disappointment”, Baake wrote to incoming energy and economy minister Peter Altmaier.

The new government was “missing out on the opportunity to thoroughly modernise Germany’s economy”, Baake said, adding that forces who wanted to preserve old and “climate-damaging” structures had apparently been stronger.

During his time in office, Baake oversaw the reform of the core Energiewende legislation, the renewable energy act EEG, which included the shift from feed-in tariffs to a tender system, a move heavily criticised by the renewable energy industry.

Baake, who has been dubbed “Mr Energiewende” by German media for his expertise and his key role in the country’s energy policy, also repeatedly locked horns with utilities and the coal miners’ union. He proposed a “coal levy” in order to cut emissions from coal power plants.

Instead, some lignite plants were transferred to a paid “security standby” reserve, before being closed down permanently.

Ever since Merkel decided to hand the energy ministry in the coalition government with the Social Democrats to her close ally Altmaier, Baake’s future at the ministry had been uncertain. Saxony’s state premier Michael Kretschmer called for Baake’s resignation last week, saying that he was responsible for “ideologically charging up energy policy”.

Full post

5) Green Lobby Foe Altmaier Lands Energy Brief
reNews, 5 March 2018

Former environment minister of Germany Peter Altmaier is set to become the country’s new economics and energy minister in mid-March.

The Social Democratic party (SPD) agreed at the weekend to form another “grand coalition” government with the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), almost six months after the general elections in September.

SPD support also secures Angela Merkel’s reappointment as chancellor, which is expected to take place in the Bundestag on 14 March.

Altmaier was in charge of Germany’s renewable energy portfolio as environment minister during 2012-2013.
He proposed retroactive changes to Germany’s renewable energy feed-in tariff system during his tenure….

6) GWPF Brief: Last Year, Altmaier Announced End Of Unilateral Climate Policy
GWPF, 11 March 2017

Germany has always acted as pioneer and model pupil in climate policy. This role is now coming to an end. Minister of the Chancellery, Peter Altmaier, has denounced climate unilateralism.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Minister of the Chancellery Peter Altmaier; photo: Federal Government of Germany/Kugler

“I am not the most weighty, but the most heavy minister in the Cabinet,” the Minister of the Chancellery, Peter Altmaier, said last Friday at an event in the Hotel Adlon: “I have lost weight, but the gap with others was so great that my leadership was not at risk.”

As usual, Altmaier’s ironic treatment of his diet ensured cheerfulness among his listeners. Soon afterwards, however, the relaxed atmosphere in the Berlin Grand Hall turned into excitement.

For the federal Minister for Special Responsibilities promised the assembled business leaders and managers to fulfill a long-cherished wish: Germany’s expensive go-it-alone climatic policies could soon be over for good.

Thundering applause

“I am firmly convinced that the path of national climate targets is wrong,” Altmaier told the participants of the exclusive “Convention on Energy and Climate Policy” organised by the economic council of the ruling Christian Democratic Party (CDU). Although it is “difficult to cancel existing goals,” Altmaier said, in future “European and international targets” would be required.

Altmaier’s words sparked the first thunderous applause of the day — for a good reason: The Federal Government had always played the role of model pupil and “pioneer” in climate policy. For example, when the EU decided to reduce CO2 emissions by 20 percent by 2020, Germany decided to reduce its emissions by 40 percent. When Europe set itself a green energy target of 20 percent, Berlin had to surpass immediately with a national 35 percent target.

Expensive go-it-alone policies of this kind were not only received badly by German industry given that increasing energy prices and green regulations threaten its competitiveness. Environmental economists also criticised again and again that national unilateralism would not save any extra CO2 under the umbrella of the EU’s emissions trading scheme.

Full story

The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at

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