Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Unbelievably Disgraceful Global Warming Hysteria by the AP

Post below lifted from Newsbusters. See the original for links

The political battle over climate change has clearly taken a dramatic turn for the worse this month, for it now seems media are actually competing to see which outlet can present the most hysterical report concerning imminent planetary doom at the hands of manmade global warming. After ABC News published a disgraceful photo essay featuring computer generated pictures of drowned American cities at its website last Friday, followed by NBC News reporting Monday that Greenland's ice sheets are melting so quickly that it "could ignite worldwide disaster," the Associated Press on Saturday cautioned that "In about a century, some of the places that make America what it is may be slowly erased." Seems almost like they're playing a game of "Can You Top This" doesn't it?

Sadly, as demonstrated by some of the following lowlights from this truly irresponsible piece of detritus, media are clearly putting on a full-court press to scare Americans into believing the world will quickly come to an end if we don't start doing exactly what soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore tells us:
Ultimately, rising seas will likely swamp the first American settlement in Jamestown, Va., as well as the Florida launch pad that sent the first American into orbit, many climate scientists are predicting. In about a century, some of the places that make America what it is may be slowly erased.

Nice way to start an article, wouldn't you agree? Sadly, that was just the beginning:
Rising waters will lap at the foundations of old money Wall Street and the new money towers of Silicon Valley. They will swamp the locations of big city airports and major interstate highways.

Excuse me, but Silicon Valley -- which this author lives just north of -- is nowhere near the Pacific Ocean, hence the term "valley." As such, this warning is absurd, and completely lacking any factual basis. But I digress:
Storm surges worsened by sea level rise will flood the waterfront getaways of rich politicians-the Bushes' Kennebunkport and John Edwards' place on the Outer Banks. And gone will be many of the beaches in Texas and Florida favored by budget-conscious students on Spring Break.... This past summer's flooding of subways in New York could become far more regular, even an everyday occurrence, with the projected sea rise, other scientists said. And New Orleans' Katrina experience and the daily loss of Louisiana wetlands-which serve as a barrier that weakens hurricanes-are previews of what's to come there. Florida faces a serious public health risk from rising salt water tainting drinking water wells, said Joel Scheraga, the EPA's director of global change research. And the farm-rich San Joaquin Delta in California faces serious salt water flooding problems, other experts said.

Honestly, this level of fear-mongering by the world's leading wire service is totally inexcusable, and author Seth Borenstein should be required by his bosses to share views held by the hundreds and likely thousands of scientists around the world who completely contest the hysterical projections he has offered in this abomination.

After all, it is one thing for press outlets to only present one side of this debate. That's was media bias is all about. However, when they begin to offhandedly paint such dire and vivid pictures of imminent disaster, it is certainly incumbent upon them to also offer the views of experts who in no way agree with these alarmist prognostications. Yet, nowhere in this piece, or in the aforementioned reports by ABC and NBC, was one contrary analysis presented. As a result, this isn't close to journalism. This is alarmist propaganda that all involved in the news media should deplore rather than emulate.

It is indeed a sad commentary that three years after CBS News intentionally presented a fraudulent Air National Guard memo during an installment of "60 Minutes," the professionalism and ethics in this industry have actually deteriorated even further. This raises an important question: Just how much worse can this situation get?

Iron fertilization jerks to life again

Scientists are considering a plan to combat climate change by dumping millions of tons of iron into the ocean to alter its chemical make-up. They believe the iron could act as a "fertiliser", promoting the growth of tons of plankton that would soak up carbon dioxide from the surrounding sea water. When the plankton died, their bodies would sink into the deepest waters and sediments, where the carbon would be locked up indefinitely. The theory, known as "ocean fertilisation", has long caused controversy among marine scientists, many of whom doubted that it could work. This week leading researchers will meet at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts for a scientific conference to discuss the idea.

The renewed interest follows experiments by Planktos, an American firm, which seeded the Pacific ocean with 100 tons of iron particles, creating a bloom of plankton earlier this year. "Researchers have carried out a dozen other scientific trials and some have shown interesting results," said Dr Ken Buesseler, a scientist at Woods Hole.

Two years ago he led an expedition that dumped iron fertiliser into parts of the Pacific and measured the impact on plankton. He found that iron fertilisation did cause a surge in plankton, but there were big variations in the amount that eventually got locked into the sea bed. In one area about half the plankton sank into the "twilight zone" where their carbon was locked away, but in others this fell to just a few per cent. "Ocean fertilisation needs a lot more research, but if there is a chance that we could use it to cut atmospheric carbon we have to look at it," said Buesseler.

Buesseler and Scott Doney, a colleague, are hosting the Woods Hole conference which will bring leading scientists together with Planktos and other commercial companies. Russ George, chief executive of Planktos, said adding a single ton of iron could remove as much as 100,000 tons of dissolved CO2 from the oceans. "Historic increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have changed ocean chemistry and reduced iron availability. Replacing iron artificially on a large scale could promote the growth of enough plankton to completely combat climate change," George said.

Dr David Santillo, a senior scientist at the Greenpeace research laboratories at Exeter University, said iron fertilisation was a foolish idea. "There is no proof that the plankton blooms result in carbon being locked into sediments," he said. "Adding iron on such a scale will also damage natural ecosystems."

The Woods Hole conference comes amid increased anxiety over climate change. Tomorrow Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary-general, will convene the largest meeting of world leaders on climate change at a UN general assembly. It will be followed by a meeting in Washington on Thursday and Friday, convened by President George W Bush, for the leading economies to discuss energy security and climate change.



China's focus on industrial growth may frustrate the country's efforts to build an emissions trading system to cut pollution, a top environment official said on Monday, despite Beijing's push for cleaner development. China's Finance Ministry has said the country hoped to launch a pilot scheme for emissions this year likely to cover acid-rain causing sulphur dioxide and other health-damaging chemicals but not greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.

But local government officials or industry could sabotage such a scheme, said Pan Yue, deputy chief of the State Environmental Protection Administration. "With China's heavy and chemical industries developing so rapidly, even if businesses have excess pollution emission rights, I'm afraid they would not sell them in the marketplace," Pan wrote in weekly newspaper the Study Times.

The world's biggest emitter of sulphur dioxide has promised to cut emissions of major pollutants by 10 per cent between 2006 and 2010, but last year failed to meet its annual goal. China is also the number two producer of carbon dioxide, but opposes caps under the UN Kyoto Protocol.

Pan, an outspoken politician who has yoked his environmental agenda to broader calls for political and economic reform, said without rigorous monitoring, businesses and their government patrons would conceal true emissions. "Local protectionism would always mean that for the sake of GDP and other interests, it would allow a business with rights to emit 1,000 tonnes of sulphur dioxide to emit 2,000 tonnes and then report it as only 900 tonnes," he said.

China needs to do more research before it embraces any emissions rights trading, Pan added. Pan's comments reflected the frustration of SEPA officials seeking to contain the country's pollution while many potential policy levers remain in the hands of stronger departments whose priority is stoking economic growth.

Pan advocated a pollution tax, which would charge high-pollution industries and exporters for their right to release emissions. He said a fuel tax would also appear "when conditions are ripe". He also urged special excise duties on imports of high-polluting vehicles and scrap metal.


The enormous costs of "alternative" energy

ANWR's 4 billion, perhaps mythical, barrels shouldn't be drilled because it represents less than a year of gross domestic oil consumption. How many times have you heard that? It is a famous example of statistical misdirection applied by the Haters... of us lovable puppy dog-like oil and gas folk. Using similiar logic, perhaps we shouldn't plant any crops this year because it only represents a years worth of food. Let them eat... Yellow Cake. In any case, I want to share some real stats with you... the kind that are a little harder to "misdirect".

Fun Fact 1) Gasoline contains 116,000 BTU's/gal, and takes around 22,000 BTU's/gal to find, drill, transport, and refine. NET POSITIVE BTU? 94,000 BTU's or a little bit short of 5:1 leverage, or, put another way Return on BTU Investment.

Corn based ethanol contains 76,000 BTU's/gal, and takes 98,000 BTU's/gal to plant, grow, harvest, and refine. NET POSITIVE BTU? Uhhh. None. -22,000 actually. Less than payback. Kinda like saying "we lose money on every deal but we make it up in volume". I implored the oil and gas lobbying organizations to NOT attack ethanol subsidies by pointing out this physical limitation to lawmakers, because farmers get knee jerk defensive when you try to rip their snouts away from their Pork Trough, an item so important that it nearly is equivalent to a breathing tube... they cannot exist wihtout it anymore... and hell, the negative BTUs are gonna come from hydrocarbons anyway, heh heh.

To be fair, I think human ingenuity in the processing realm will eventually make corn-based ethanol a BTU break even or slightly positive energy contributor across the board given time. But chemistry dictates that it will never be as good as oil... and not even Congress can change chemistry, although I am certain they think they can. The REALLY sad fact is that corn-based ethanol approaches the same efficiency of some of the drilling deals I have been involved with lately... and nearly all the MLP's I see right now! I wonder what Enervest's John Walker would say about that? He stood up last week in front of hundreds of I-bankers in Dallas and slammed the current MLP craze. A brave man, Walker. a real Texas Ranger.

So, Fun Fact #2) Getting back to ANWR, I thought it might be fun to calculate how many windmills would be needed to make up ANWR. Probably not the kinda fun YOU have, but it suffices for my puny existence. Seeing that efficiency is the key to all of this, I propose we model the most efficient windmills... large, 2500 KW wind turbines. These bad boys are 3-pronged and have a windmill diameter nearly 250' long. At a nice, optimal 10 MPH average windspeed, these puppies produce around 1 GWh per year... the energy equivalent of a little over 600 BO per year. Giving it the benefit of the doubt, lets round up to 2 BOPD. A straight line 2 BOPD with no decline but a physical equipment life of 20-30 years.

Cap cost per one of these turbines is around $2.5 million, installation north of another $500,000, and the operating cost around 1.5% cap cost per year, or $3,000 per month. I have no idea what the bonus or royalty is, because these are contracts with landowners, not leases, and are not recorded and I have heard they contain very onerous non-disclosure clauses.

OK, us oil and gas guys and anyone else that has the remotest understanding of Net Present Value are already feeling queasy with these numbers because, at, say $75 per barrel, our $150 per day, or $4,500 per month revenue not including royalties is looking pretty mind numbingly bad... $1,500 per month to cover a $3,000,000 capex and site prep investment. That is a 2000 month (167 year) payout for an operation that has an equipment life of 360 months. In other words, the basic proposition is SPECTACULARLY uneconomic. Maybe those MLP's aren't looking so bad after all...

So why would anyone do this kinda deal? Some weird California "sub-prime" wind farm mortgage financing available? No... they do it the old fashioned, big corporation way... they get the government to take away our hard earned dollars by force and give it to them. Corporate welfare... Except that when applied to Green technologies, it somehow become magically transformed into Not Corporate Welfare, although Not Corporate Welfare looks, smells, and behaves exactly like Corporate Welfare.

In order to make this a Break Even proposition, it needs to have Not Corporate Welfare of $8 dollars for every dollar's worth of energy generated at market value. For a rational return of say, 2 points over T-Bills, or 7% IRR, from this, a whole lotta Not Corporate Welfare has to happen. Like nearly $20 dollars for every dollar's worth of energy generated at market value. By turning it around and trying to figure out what cap and site cost would make this economic dictates that a $350,000 cap and site investment would yield non-subsidized break even, and $195,000 would yield a 7% rate of return. This is a LONG way from the $2.5 million GE is getting paid to build energy plants at 20 times market rates.

Let's get back to ANWR. For these magic value destroying beasts, with their 250' wingspan, the most efficient spacing is 1500', or, for the sake of simplicity, 160 acre spacing. 4 windmills per section. 8 BOPD per section. Granted, it doesn't have a decline curve, but...

In order to make up for ANWR's 200 days of production, spread out over 20 years, (the minimum lifespan for the windmill equipment) we need to produce 500,000 BO/D equivalent from wind. So we just need 125,000 sections of windy land to make up for the 1 or 2 sections they propose using in ANWR. The 125,000 sections will contain 500,000 windmills with a cap and fab cost of 1.5 trillion dollars and an annual operating cost of nearly 20 billion dollars. To put this area into perspective, it is a little less than 50% of the area of Texas, twice the area of New Mexico, or the combined area of New York, West Virginia, Maryland, Massachussetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Connectictut, Delware, and Rhode Island.... OK, forget Jersey.

1.9 trillion dollars for 4 billion barrels. That is an all in cost of $475 per barrel of oil that we chose NOT to produce in ANWR, and the trade of the East Coast in exchange for 1 sq mile of never-endangered mosquito habitat. Hmmmm. Maybe not a bad trade. Perhaps I need to rethink this.

The politicians felt so bad about fleecing all the taxpayers with this pork explosion that they chose to include in their new energy bill that domestic oil and gas producers are primarily responsible for paying for crazy Wind costs via extended federal fees and taxes on the stuff we produce for cheap, so that WE specifically have the happy distinction of underwriting General Electric's huge future trillion plus dollars in revenues in the name of Wind Energy. This is tantamount to having bananas subsidize candy bars as "nutritional supplements". I have only one thing to say about this. Blow Me.



The development projects India is undertaking to reduce impacts of climate change is already cutting into its GDP. In 2006-07, India used 2.17% of its GDP on projects that will help communities adapt to climate change and reduce their vulnerability to climate change. This was disclosed on Thursday by Jayant M Mau-skar, joint secretary in the environment ministry, at a conference on climate change organised at the Vatavaran Film Festival here. Mauskar said, "In 2000-01, India was spending 0.63% of its GDP on climate change adaptation and mitigation which has now risen to 2.17%. So we can say that Nicholas Stern's argument (that climate change action does not hurt economy much) is perhaps not true."

Stern, in his report on climate change for the UK, he had stated that taking action to reduce climate change would not hurt the growing economies of countries like India. The official, in a way, has showcased the argument that India could be taking to the negotiating table at the UN meeting on climate change when developed countries ask it to undertake cap on greenhouse gas emissions.

The pressure has been building on India and China to agree to some kind of emission cuts. The EU has been saying that it is the only way to convince the US and Australia to undertake commitments in the new phase of the Kyoto Protocol - something both countries stayed off saying it would hurt their economies without any real gain.

The ministry reached this figure by back calculating and claiming that several government programmes already address the key factors increasing vulnerability to climate change. The government has claimed that 22 programmes in crop management, 19 in drought proofing, 19 in health, six in risk finance, six in disease control, 12 in forestry and 30-odd in poverty alleviation fit the bill.

But some experts have contested these figures, proffered earlier in official meetings. While it is understood that India would use such a line of defence along with other more robust weapons in its armoury to defend any move to push it into commitments, experts have warned that such claims would not pass close scrutiny.

The next battle of sorts on the issue could come at the September 22 US-hosted meeting of major economies on energy security and climate change - what is informally called the meeting of the biggest polluters, the way US defines it - where India is also an invitee. At the last G8 meeting, the PM had laid down India's line that it would, despite its economic development, not exceed the per capita emissions beyond what the developed countries have or reach.



The Lockwood paper was designed to rebut Durkin's "Great Global Warming Swindle" film. It is a rather confused paper -- acknowledging yet failing to account fully for the damping effect of the oceans, for instance -- but it is nonetheless valuable to climate atheists. The concession from a Greenie source that fluctuations in the output of the sun have driven climate change for all but the last 20 years (See the first sentence of the paper) really is invaluable. And the basic fact presented in the paper -- that solar output has in general been on the downturn in recent years -- is also amusing to see. Surely even a crazed Greenie mind must see that the sun's influence has not stopped and that reduced solar output will soon start COOLING the earth! Unprecedented July 2007 cold weather throughout the Southern hemisphere might even be the first sign that the cooling is happening. And the fact that warming plateaued in 1998 is also a good sign that we are moving into a cooling phase. As is so often the case, the Greenies have got the danger exactly backwards. See my post of 7.14.07 and a very detailed critique here for more on the Lockwood paper

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


1 comment:

Tarun Kumar said...

Global warming controversy take new picture when a writer say that temperature increase is actually a good thing as in the past sudden cool periods have killed twice as many people as warm spells. He accepted global warming issues is big but he said not our fault.