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Energy strategy ignores modern science, wastes money

30 August 2011
For immediate release

Energy strategy ignores modern science, wastes money

The New Zealand Energy Strategy 2011-2021 announced by the government today ignores recent climate evidence and portends a huge waste of money at a time when the country can least afford it. This comment today from energy analyst, Bryan Leyland, spokesman for the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition.

“The target of 90% renewable energy is both unrealistic and unnecessary,” says Mr Leyland. “The huge amounts of money on expensive and largely ineffective new renewable energy technologies cannot succeed in controlling the climate.

“First, all the major temperature records tell us the world has not warmed for between 10 and 15 years. The climate models that predicted rapid warming over this period, have proved to be wrong.

“Second, more and more independent climate scientists around the world are in agreement that emissions of carbon dioxide have little or no influence on whether the Earth warms, so the burning of fossil fuels will have no measurable effect on our climate. New Zealand has enough coal and lignite to provide low cost electricity for more than 1000 years, so there is absolutely no need to waste time and money on costly generation methods such as wind turbines and solar panels. Plus, we still have low cost renewable resources such as hydro and geothermal which have not yet been fully exploited.

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“It is now well accepted that sunspots are declining and that we may be heading for a period when there will be no sunspots. Past history tells us that, when this happens, the world cools quite severely. So the sunspots tell us that the world is likely to cool while the climate modelers ignore the evidence and still predict warming, “Mr Leyland continued.

“Recent evidence from an experiment carried out at CERN in Geneva, tends to confirm previous research that cosmic rays trigger the formation of clouds. A 1% change in cloud cover can account for all the temperature variations we have experienced over the last century. Climate models still cannot model cloud formation accurately.

“Given all these uncertainties and the continued failure of the world to warm, the only rational strategy is to put our Emissions Trading Scheme on hold, by zero rating it to remove the costs being imposed on all New Zealanders, but leaving the legislation in place until the rest of the world decides whether such impositions are either effective or justified.

“Meantime, our government should continue to encourage research into all available forms of energy, with special emphasis on those that have a good chance of being economically viable in the near future,” Mr Leyland concluded.


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