Scientists Discover ‘Surprisingly High’ Geothermal Heating Beneath West Antarctic Ice Sheet

antarctic volcanoGeothermal heating from within the Earth’s core ‚Äì as opposed to the possibly warming air or sea ‚Äì has been measured beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet for the first time ever. And, we are told, it is “surprisingly high.” Exactly what the new geothermal heating figures mean for the forecasts remains to be seen, but it is clear that the amount of geothermal heating is a good bit more than scientists had thought. Some of them are still hoping that it’s a fluke result. It’s all a very confusing picture, then, and to make it worse nobody until now has had any idea how much heat might be reaching the possibly-troubled West Antarctic sheet not from the somewhat warmer seas and atmosphere, but from the rock beneath it. –Lewis Page, The Register, 13 July 2015

British officials have drawn up plans to cut the funding for household energy efficiency in the autumn spending review as they seek savings from the energy department’s budget. Officials are also braced for job cuts in the autumn. –Jim Pickard and Elizabeth Rigby, Financial Times, 14 July 2015

Britain’s North Sea oil holding has for years shored up its energy security. Now bargain crude prices are tightening the vice on an industry in an already precarious position. This “domino effect”, wherein British offshore production sees costs rise as fields are abandoned, should be keeping London leadership awake at night. If Britain can’t find a way to balance community concerns about [fracking] with the strategic and economic benefits a shale windfall could bring to the increasingly energy-poor country, then Brits can expect their electricity bills to rise along with their country’s dependence on foreign suppliers. –Walter Russell Mead, The American Interest, 14 July 2015

Consumers will face higher energy bills to keep the lights on this winter as National Grid puts in place plans to ensure there is spare capacity in the system. The closure of some power stations would have left a spare capacity of just 1.2%, and the electricity company has put mothballed plants on standby and is asking some industries to be ready to power down if needed. —Press Association, 15 July 2015

Two prominent Christian peers have rejected the Pope’s recent encyclical on climate change as backwards and more likely to increase not reduce poverty. They accuse the Pope of falling foul of thinking on climate change that hankers for a time before the Industrial Revolution which campaigners paint as simpler and easier, but was in fact more brutal and painful. The comments, by Peter Forster, the Bishop of Chester, and the Catholic Labour peer and former advisor to two Labour Prime Ministers, Bernard Donoughue, come in a paper published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation which lays out a “Christian response” to the Pope’s recent encyclical. –Donna Rachel Edmunds, Breitbart News, 14 July 2015

Leaders of the Church of England declared yesterday that fighting climate change is a holy duty. They called for a new generation of vicars to be trained in ‘ecotheology’ as well as the Bible and ‘eco-justice’ alongside Christian ethics. Churchgoers are to be encouraged to skip lunch on the first day of every month in a fast against climate change after the General Synod, the CofE’s parliament, adopted a wholesale programme of green activism. Steve Doughty, Daily Mail, 14 July 2015

Only six of the 479 Synod members voted against the declaration. But Rochester lay representative and former Green Party activist Martin Sewell said that in the mid-1980s environmental campaigners had claimed that climate change would make the world uninhabitable by 2015. ‘If there was a Nobel Prize for failed apocalyptic warnings, the green movement would win it every year,’ he said. ‘The capitalism we despise has reduced the proportion of the world’s people who are in absolute poverty from 53 per cent to 17 per cent since 1981. This is astonishing. How did it happen? It happened because of two forces ‚Äì cheap energy and free trade. What if the choice is not green energy and helping the poor? What if the choice is between green energy or helping the poor?’ Steve Doughty, Daily Mail, 14 July 2015

The Vatican’s backing of reductions in fossil fuel use would actually reduce human well-being and increase the human impact on the planet. The Vatican’s advisors, however, are correct on one count: climate change is a moral and ethical issue. But it is a strange ethical calculus that justifies reducing existing gains in human well-being, increasing the cost of humanity’s basic necessities, increasing poverty, and reducing the terrestrial biosphere’s future productivity and ability to support biomass. The Vatican’s advisors’moral compassesare apparently broken. –Indur Goklany, Financial Post, 9 July 2015