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Providing Insight
Into Climate Change
Climate Policy
101 Articles

Doctors in the Dark on Energy and Air Pollution

Recently two Alberta doctors made sweeping claims in an op-ed to the Calgary Herald that coal-fired power is causing millions of dollars in health costs and many deaths annually – referring to a report from last year by the Pembina Institute. Their claims were based on computer models and they dismissed critics, like me, who state that models are inaccurate. Policy decisions should be made based on evidence, not erroneous computer models. Dr. Ross McKitrick found it implausible that Pembina’s math would end up attributing half the deaths of Albertans to fine particulate matter. Early closure of Alberta’s coal-fired power plants will damage human health and impose a crushing burden on healthcare.

Power. Full Benefits

The case for conventional power in Alberta, Canada. This report by Friends of Science counters a recent Pembina Institute report that was pushing for a renewable energy in Alberta. The cover shows an image of a billboard in Alberta that proclaims “Global Warming Stopped Naturally 16+ Years Ago.” The case for current forms of renewable energy is rapidly dwindling as new climate evidence shows there has been no global warming in 16+ years despite a rise in CO2. Wind is not so clean, green or cost-efficient, nor does it reduce CO2, or decrease medical costs.

Energy Abundance & Economic Growth

Economic growth in the modern world is fueled by energy. Although the total size of the economy tends to grow faster than total energy consumption, the two nonetheless trend together over the long run. This Fraser Institute study by McKitrick & Aliakbari shows that in Canada, real per-capita income is constrained by policies that restrict energy availability and/or increase energy costs, and growth in energy abundance leads to growth in GDP per capita. Policies that deliberately limit energy availability will likely have negative macroeconomic consequences.

Flawed Climate Models Lead to Costly Public Policy

During a presentation in Calgary recently, economist Ross McKitrick told his audience that we should be more concerned about the flaws inherent in climate models than the current 16-plus year pause in global warming. McKitrick pointed out that historically computer models had had some parity with recorded temperatures, but that changed when the models began to dramatically depart from observed temperatures after 1998. Prior to that, the longest previous span of separation was nine years. The present disparity is now into its 16th year.

The Bonfire of Insanity: Power Station Switching from Coal to Wood

David Rose writes in the U.K. Daily MailOnline about the insanity of converting the huge Drax Power Station in Yorkshire from burning coal to wood pellets transported from North Carolina, U.S. Switching from coal to biomass has cost 700 million pounds. North Carolina's forests are being reduced to pellets at local factories, then shipped 3,800 miles across the Atlantic, then moved by train to Yorkshire. Using biomass for generating power produces 20 per cent more greenhouse gas emissions than coal. Meanwhile, the forest's precious wildlife habitat is being placed in jeopardy. Biomass is far more expensive than coal for electricity generation, but the conversion is being done to meet government renewable energy mandates.

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