Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Numbskull "Chief Scientist" has never heard of Hannibal crossing the Alps with elephants, has never heard of when Greenland was green, has never heard of the days of the dinosaurs and has never heard of vegetation growing in the Antarctic

All of the events above show that the earth has been warmer in the past than it is today. On the last point see here. Yet below is a statement recently made on the record at an official enquiry by Australia's chief scientist, Professor Ian Chubb:

"With respect to this cooling stuff, I have seen the claim, but the evidence that I have seen is that the last decade has been the warmest decade that we have ever had on this planet"

Such profound ignorance as his cannot be mere ignorance, it has to be outright crookedness.


Delaware’s very own Solyndra

Will Delaware and US citizens get stuck with a Bloom Energy fuel cell boondoggle?

By Paul Driessen and John Nichols

Delaware’s political establishment thinks First State electricity consumers should subsidize the manufacturing of super-sized fuel cells, under the auspices of California-based Bloom Energy, to replace natural gas and coal-fired power plants in generating electricity.

The politicos want to build a factory in Newark, where rail service is available to ship Bloom’s 10-ton, 100-kilowatt, “eco-friendly” Energy Servers to presumed eager buyers across America.

Bloom claims its “revolutionary new design” and “breakthroughs in materials science” make its new solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology “clean, reliable and affordable.” Governor Jack Markell, Department of Natural Resources Secretary Colin O’Mara, Department of Economic Development Secretary Alan Levin and assorted legislators insist their plan will create jobs and put Delaware at the forefront of the Green Revolution.

If that’s the case, and if Bloom had a viable business plan, investors would be clamoring to get in on the action. There would be no need to stick Delaware ratepayers with a bloomin’ tariff (“green premium”) that will add at least $600,000,000 to household and business electricity bills over the next 20 years – above what they would pay for electricity generated by combined cycle natural gas plants. There would be no need for the Economic Development Department to contribute another $16,000,000 in startup costs.

Actually, the green premium could be much higher – based on a 2016 “levelized cost” of $215 per megawatt hour for the fuel cell tariff versus $66 for combined-cycle natural gas generators. The $149 difference times 5,200,000 MWh from fuel cells is $774,800,000!

Tariff proponents will likely argue that this cost must be reduced by $426,000,000 in renewable energy certificates (ie, energy taxes) that Delmarva Power is required to purchase under Delaware’s Renewable Portfolio Standards Act. However, this just means the same families and businesses must pay the bill in two ways: as taxpayers and as electricity ratepayers.

In other words, Free State families and businesses will be “free” to pay an extra $600,000,000 to $775,000,000 in any combination of taxes and tariffs they “choose” – for the “privilege” of being able to say part of their electricity comes in a greed or greenbacks shade of green.

Those higher electricity costs translate into higher prices for goods and services. They pull money out of productive sectors of the economy and transfer it to politically connected operators and campaign contributors. In the process, they destroy traditional jobs – as they did in Spain and Scotland, where overpriced “green” energy killed 2.2 to 3.7 jobs for every “green job” created.

Bloom also expects to receive a substantial US Department of Energy grant, if it can get swift approval of the Delaware tariff. That federal grant will come from borrowed money, in the midst of an economic and budgetary crisis, and in the wake of scandalous green energy bankruptcies.

This crony capitalism means Bloom Energy gets risk-free cash, so that it can proceed with an initial public stock offering. As a privately held company, it gets to keep its finances a secret, even as it gets millions in taxpayer aid, with little or no transparency or due diligence in assessing the financial arrangements. That means US and Delaware taxpayers are forced to take another big risk, while families and businesses must pay well above market rates for electricity.

This sweetheart deal is shocking in its audacity. But then, as Green Tech Media reports, “Bloom plays the subsidy game like a pro, receiving more than $218 million in subsidies in 2010 from California’s [Self Generation Incentive Program].” It gets worse.

This time around, Bloom persuaded the Delaware legislature to enact a special provision. If any future legislature ever modifies the Bloom tariff, the company will receive a lump-sum payment of the entire 20-year tariff, which Delmarva Power meantime will tack onto all ratepayers’ utility bills. Without this guarantee, Bloom would have a hard time peddling its IPO.

It’s equally amazing that Bloom can even qualify for renewable energy subsidies. For that it can thank the Delaware legislature, which adopted Markell and O’Mara’s expanded definition of renewable energy, to include Bloom’s natural gas-fueled SOFC Energy Servers.

They pulled this off by enabling only Bloom fuel cells to qualify under the Renewable Portfolio Standard, originally intended for wind and solar facilities, by claiming Bloom’s equipment “could” run on biofuels, like methane from cows or landfills. It never will, but it “could.”

As to being clean and green, Bloom’s Energy Severs require substantial amounts of rare earth elements, like yttrium and cerium. Prices are soaring – by 500-2000% over the past twelve months, according to a recent General Electric report. The United States imports 100% of all the rare earths it uses in countless energy, military, electronics and other applications, with 97% coming from China.

Now the Chinese have restricted rare earth exports, and sell mostly finished products, often using our technology. Worst, the rare earths are mined, processed and turned into these products under health and environmental conditions that severely damage farmland, wildlife habitats, miners and factory workers.

With the shale gas revolution driving natural gas prices down, there should be no need for fuel cells to replace gas-burning generators. With China and India building new coal-fired power plants every week, and emitting far more carbon dioxide than all our job-killing regulations and climate change initiatives can ever offset, even diehards like Al Gore cannot justify Bloom’s systems on global warming grounds.

Then there is Solyndra. One would think that scandalous debacle – $535 million in taxpayer cash blown in two years, and Solyndra executives now pleading Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination – would ensure at least a modicum of sanity, honesty, transparency, accountability, and reluctance to use more taxpayer and consumer dollars to benefit special interests. Apparently not, at least in Delaware and the US Energy Department.

On September 27-29, the Delaware Public Service Commission will conduct public comment sessions on Bloom Energy’s application for special treatment and subsidies. Every American who cares about our economy and unemployment, every citizen who is disgusted with our wasteful, crony-capitalist, bureaucrats-pick-losers system, can send comments to kevin.neilson@state.de.us and then let their elected officials know enough is enough.

That may help inoculate America against the risk of the California and Delaware “green disease” becoming an uncontrollable national Contagion. We need to stop these costly bloom-doggles!

Article received direct from Paul Driessen [pdriessen@cox.net], who further comments:

One would think the growing Solyndra scandal would make politicians and rent-seeking corporations less inclined toward crony capitalism, picking the next winners and (mostly) losers among “breakthrough” companies, and spending billions of taxpayer and consumer dollars to finance allegedly “green” endeavors via “investors” who are deemed most likely to support political campaigns and ambitions. Such optimism is apparently misplaced, especially in Washington, DC and Dover, DE.

My commentary today, co-authored by financial consultant and citizen activist John Nichols of Delaware, blows the lid off a caper that has national implications. Not only is some serious US taxpayer money involved, via as yet unspecified Department of Energy grants. But both Governor Jack Markell and DNR Secretary Colin O’Mara have national ambitions, and green ideologies that they want to “market” (impose?) nationwide. It is truly a Contagion that will spread, if not quarantined and controlled early on.

Thank you for posting the column as soon as possible, to help educate people before the Delaware Public Service Commission’s hearings get underway September 27-29.

EPA: Fundamental Transformation through Regulation

What happens when the information our government's "specialists" provide becomes driven by agenda rather than fact? We are witnessing the answer writ large as the feds shepherd radical environmentalism into mainstream law and regulation.

The EPA, finding organized resistance to its regulating machine, has turned to offering "guidance," which it then enforces as if said "guidance" were the product of regulatory channels. The big difference, of course, is that "guidance" is not subject to the same rigors of accountability and oversight that regulations must meet. These crone-tended kettles at the EPA are really just an end-run around the law.

A particularly offensive bit of "guidance" is the concept of "navigable waters" as relating to the jurisdictions of the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In the Clean Water Act, and through subsequent court rulings, the word "navigable" has been construed too narrowly for the EPA's liking, so the EPA is working on "guidance" that would redefine "navigable waters" to include any water anywhere, as long as it will eventually reach a navigable waterway or has ever been part of such a waterway. According to Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), this broad construction of terms would allow the EPA to regulate everything from storm water runoff to the water coming out of the end of your hose on car wash day.

Clearly, the Corps of Engineers has no business concerning itself with following EPA "guidance" over my lawn sprinklers. But to understand the thinking behind such ridiculous efforts, one must forget about the environment, and water quality, and shift focus to the amassing of raw regulatory power -- power with which the left will continue their regressionist assault on American business and industry.

It's not the agency alone that creates an untenable situation for our economy; it is the toxic combination of far-left environmental groups and overreaching government that causes many industries to lose market share due to dramatically higher costs not borne by overseas competition. One such left-wing pressure group is the Center for Progressive Reform. Essentially a group of lawyers and college professors specializing in environmental law, the Center concerns itself with the policy and enforcement mechanisms of government. In other words, its members are ambulance-chasers who lobby government to create environmental crimes for themselves to litigate.

They have used a grant from the Public Welfare Foundation to create "economic research on the benefits of regulation and analysis of reports about the costs of regulation." It is important to note that they are to analyze reports about costs. They don't care about the costs per se. They want to develop ways to attack the reports about costs, not the costs themselves. America in the 21st century has professional shills for increasing and propagandizing the regulatory burden on its citizens. For this, we raised the debt ceiling.

They issued a report this year urging President Obama to hurry along nine regulatory initiatives that they fear will be defeated if reviewed by a Republican administration. Among these initiatives are the above-referenced expansion of the Clean Water Act. The other eight are similar in scope and overreach. At the outset of the Obama administration, the Center drafted a paper outlining seven agenda items which could be accomplished by executive order in the first 100 days.

These proposed "strokes of a president's pen" range from requiring all agencies of government to measure, report, and reduce their carbon footprint to establishing rules of "environmental justice" aimed at creating protected classes of people and areas for the purpose of providing some form of "affirmative" remediation for past environmental injustices. They also require all agencies of government to adopt an affirmative action regime for implementation of these orders -- i.e., assuming for the government a collective guilt and forcing the convicted departments to keep doing good works until the self-appointed monitors declare equity achieved.

All this naturally brings us back to the ambulance-chasing nature of the Center for Progressive Reform and organizations like it. They are part of the industry of the professionally aggrieved, and it is up to the citizens of this nation to refuse to heed their perennial demands for tribute.

The left is funded to a great extent by our own government, misusing tax revenues to feed their environmentalist protection racket. This must cease immediately. The rule of experts is no more legitimate than the rule of thugs.

Consider this next election as an opportunity to disinfect the foundation of our Republic. The nation we love is being hollowed out by an enemy within, through unrelenting pressure and deception. The EPA isn't about environmental protection, and the Center for Progressive Reform isn't about progress or reform. They are both about power and control. In November 2012, we have what may well be our last opportunity to deny them their aim -- an America "fundamentally transformed."


EPA: Regulations would require 230,000 new employees, $21 billion

The Environmental Protection Agency has said new greenhouse gas regulations, as proposed, may be “absurd” in application and “impossible to administer” by its self-imposed 2016 deadline. But the agency is still asking for taxpayers to shoulder the burden of up to 230,000 new bureaucrats — at a cost of $21 billion — to attempt to implement the rules.

The EPA aims to regulate greenhouse gas emissions through the Clean Air Act, even though the law doesn’t give the EPA explicit power to do so. The agency’s authority to move forward is being challenged in court by petitioners who argue that such a decision should be left for Congress to make.

The proposed regulations would set greenhouse gas emission thresholds above which businesses must file for an EPA permit and complete extra paperwork in order to continue operating. If the EPA wins its court battle and fully rolls out the greenhouse gas regulations, the number of businesses forced into this regulatory regime would grow tremendously — from approximately 14,000 now to as many as 6.1 million.

These new regulatory efforts are not likely to succeed, the EPA admits, but it has decided to move forward regardless. “While EPA acknowledges that come 2016, the administrative burdens may still be so great that compliance … may still be absurd or impossible to administer at that time, that does not mean that the Agency is not moving toward the statutory thresholds,” the EPA wrote in a September 16 court briefing.

The EPA is asking taxpayers to fund up to 230,000 new government workers to process all the extra paperwork, at an estimated cost of $21 billion. That cost does not include the economic impact of the regulations themselves.

“Hiring the 230,000 full-time employees necessary to produce the 1.4 billion work hours required to address the actual increase in permitting functions would result in an increase in Title V administration costs of $21 billion per year,” the EPA wrote in the court brief.

The petitioner suing the EPA is the Coalition for Responsible Regulation, a trade group reportedly linked to domestic chemical companies.


Thermometer Manufacturer Destroys Key Greenhouse Gas Assumption

An independent climate science think tank produces evidence from a leading infrared thermometer manufacturer proving that climatologists were mistakenly taking incorrect readings of atmospheric temperatures. Latest findings are set to trigger a paradigm shift in climate science.

Researchers from Canada, USA, Mexico and Britain this week announce a startling discovery that destroys 20 years’ of thinking among government climatologists.

Climate scientists had long believed infrared thermometers measured thermal radiation from the atmosphere and assumed it was 'proof' of the greenhouse gas effect (GHE). Their assumption was that infrared thermometers (IRT’s) were measuring ‘back radiated’ heat from greenhouse gases (including water vapor and carbon dioxide). But damning new evidence proves IRT's do no such thing.

Now a world-leading manufacturer of these high-tech instruments, Mikron Instrument Company Inc., has confirmed that IRT’s are deliberately set to AVOID registering any feedback from greenhouse gases. Thus climate scientists were measuring everything but the energy emitted by carbon dioxide and water vapor.

One of the researchers involved, Alan Siddons, has analyzed the GHE for over six years. He has long condemned the practice of using IRT’s as a means of substantiating the increasingly discredited hypothesis.

In 2010 Siddons and his colleagues debated the GHE issue with fellow global warming skeptic, and GHE believer, Dr. Roy Spencer. An unmoved Spencer posted the following on his blog (August 8, 2010 at 6:38 AM): “The IR thermometer DOES see the atmosphere immediately in front of it, as well as most of the rest of the atmosphere along its line of sight… The final calibrated brightness temperature can be roughly considered to be the weighted average temperature of all of those layers.”

But Siddons quashes Spencer's assumptions quoting from manufacturers, Mikron Instrument Company Inc (MIC), who state: “Whereas the early IRT's required a broad spectral band of IR [infrared] to obtain a workable detector output, modern IRT’s routinely have spectral responses of only one micron.” [1.].

The company explains why this is so: “instruments necessarily need to have this selective and narrow spectral response to allows the IR thermometer to see through atmospheric or other interference.”

MIC goes further to advise that IRT’s are routinely calibrated for selective spectral responses of only 8-14 microns [2.]. The company says IRT's are set to evade atmospheric moisture over long path measurements. This, they say, is necessary to “avoid interference from CO2 and H2O.”

Yet on August 7, 2010 at 4:04 AM Dr. Spencer asserts the following on his blog: “For an IR thermometer sensitive to wavelengths from, say, 8 to 14 microns, you could plot a weighting function profile that shows the proportions of IR energy being received from different altitudes.”

Clearly, from the above statement Spencer has identified a spectral range in which his instrument CANNOT detect any IR energy from CO2 or water vapor, thus making any such “plot” pointless and absurd for the purpose he is trying to prove.

Thus Siddons ably demonstrates that when Spencer was pointing his IRT at the sky he was deluding himself that he was measuring the energy of ‘greenhouse gases.’ Thus Spencer’s erroneous assumption that infrared thermometers prove the existence of ‘back radiation’ coming from carbon dioxide (CO2) is refuted.

Mexican Study Shows IRT’s Actually Measuring ‘Rising Hot Air’

Professor Nasif Nahle in his latest report on "back radiation” further exposes the shocking misuse of radiometers and Infrared thermometers by climate scientists. Nahle’s study proves, “they merely detect thermal radiation emitted by relatively small hot globules of air rising vertically in the atmosphere.”


Electric cars still going nowhere

U.S. government incentives to spur a market for battery-powered autos aren’t a cost-effective way to cut oil use and tailpipe emissions compared with boosting sales of hybrids and plug-in cars that go short distances on electricity, a study said.

Battery breakthroughs, more-expensive oil and a more- efficient electric power grid will be needed to justify the expense, weight, and assembly-related costs of “large battery pack” cars, according to the review by Carnegie Mellon University, Arizona State University and Rand Corp., published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Hybrids similar to Toyota Motor Corp. (7203)’s Prius and plug-in hybrids that go about 10 miles on battery power offer fuel-use and carbon-exhaust savings similar to more advanced rechargeable models such as Nissan Motor Co.’s electric Leaf and General Motors Co. (GM)’s Volt, and at lower cost, the study found.

“It’s not that large battery packs are bad, it’s that they are not providing as many benefits per dollar,” Jeremy Michalek, an engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh who led the review, said in an interview. “Ordinary hybrids increase fuel economy substantially, and the incremental cost of those systems is getting relatively small.”

The study did not recommend specific models.
Tax Credits

Congress in 2009 approved tax credits of as much as $7,500 for consumers to buy vehicles powered mainly by electricity to help cut emissions tied to global warming and oil imports, along with low-cost federal loans for carmakers to add or upgrade factories to build them. Nissan, GM and startups Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA) and Fisker Automotive Inc. have received loans they’re using to build rechargeable vehicles.

Nissan’s Leaf hatchback, which goes about 70 miles per charge of its lithium-ion battery pack, costs $35,200 before the credit, and GM’s Volt that goes about 35 miles per charge has a $39,145 starting price without the incentive. Prius, averaging 50 miles per gallon of gasoline, doesn’t qualify for a federal tax credit.

Tesla’s electric Roadster sports car costs more than $100,000 even with the credit and can travel more than 200 miles per charge. Fisker’s Karma plug-in model that’s being delivered to U.S. customers costs more than $80,000.

Toyota, the world’s largest seller of hybrid autos, said this month the plug-in version of Prius that goes on sale early next year will travel 15 miles on electricity before the gasoline engine kicks in, when it averages 49 mpg. The car has a $32,000 base price, prior to a $2,500 federal tax credit, the company said.

“Current subsidies to support plug-in vehicle adoption favor large battery packs,” the report said. Such packs “are expensive and heavy” and “are underutilized when the battery capacity is larger than needed for a typical trip,” it said.

Both Toyota and Ford Motor Co. (F), which are working together to develop a hybrid system for light trucks, provide funding for engineering research at Carnegie Mellon University, Michalek said. Neither company was involved in the report released today, which was funded by the National Science Foundation, he said.



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


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