Friday, August 17, 2012

Climate change driving tropical fish south in Australian waters (?)

Any observed change is most likely to be due to closer monitoring but let us give the writers below the benefit of the doubt and accept that tropical species really are in fact spreading into cooler waters. The only thing we can be sure of in the matter, however, is that it is NOT due to global warming. Why? Because there has been no global warming for 15 years. Global temperatures are on a long-term plateau. Something non-existent cannot cause anything

TROPICAL fish are moving south as Australia's marine ecosystems begin to feel the heat of climate change, a study has found.

CSIRO researchers say there is striking evidence of tropical species moving south as sea temperatures rise quickly.

The scientists say large numbers of marine animals and plants are already dying off or migrating.

The Climate Adaptation Marine Report Card 2012, released on Friday, provides evidence of a large-scale redistribution of marine species in waters around the continent.

Dr Elvira Poloczanska, who led the study, says there's a lot of uncertainty about the long-term impacts. "The potential is there for animals and plants to shift, but whether they do or not depends how well they can deal with changes in their current environment," she said.

Some changes could be good, like the establishment of new fisheries.

But there's a lot of concern about food chains and habitats as entire species come into contact with each other for the first time.

Sea urchins usually found north of Bass Strait are now eating Tasmanian kelp forests which provide habitat for many fish species.

Dr Poloczanska says it's important people begin to adapt to the marine changes too.

"Our oceans provide us with a whole load of services - every second breath of oxygen we breathe is provided by marine plants; they provide protein when we eat fish and also relaxation such as when we go swimming, so it's important we make decisions about the future."


Green corruption

In November 2011, Bloomenergy applied for permits to build an energy center in a Delaware protected coastal zone area. The center would employ solid oxide fuel cells powered by natural gas and housed in casings that look like huge boxes – Bloom boxes or “energy servers.”

The application raised alarms among Delaware citizens worried that they were being handed a Pandora’s Box of unwelcome rate hikes and other surprises. Because of my energy, chemistry and thermodynamics expertise, they asked me to review it.

Solid oxide fuel cells have been around for more than fifty years. However, Bloom claims it has improved on their performance, through proprietary breakthroughs in materials science. Perhaps so. But my doubts that its servers are capable of performing at the levels hyped by Bloom grew when the company never provided details about how its mysterious fuel cells actually worked.

As I read through the 163 page application, instead of revelations, I found techno-speak, questionable calculations and outright misinformation. Bloom’s black box technology remains shrouded in mystery, accompanied by boom boxes boasting energy, CO2 and pollution savings, while the company importunes politicians for taxpayer and ratepayer subsidies. It’s an intriguing situation.

The First State of the Union (Delaware) is examining the first state of matter (solid, as in solid oxide fuel cells) and discussing matters of state with heavyweight “venture” capitalists who have some of the best connections imaginable, from both sides of the political aisle. They seek rubberstamp approvals for special tax treatment, electricity rates and environmental permits, for a “green” technology that is still more mythical than scientific.

As I tried to decipher the black box, on page 6 of the application I found the following statement:

“The Red Lion Fuel Cell Installation will provide up to 47 [megawatts] of electrical power that will be connected to the PJM electrical grid. The project will consist of 235 Bloomenergy ES-5700 Energy Server fuel cells that will utilize pipeline quality natural gas. The project will be built in phases, the first phase consisting of 27 MW of capacity, and the second phase an additional 20 MW. Each fuel cell has a base load electrical output of 200 [kilowatts], with a maximum natural gas usage of 1.32 [million] Btu/hr (i.e., 1,282 SCFM [standard cubic feet per minute] at 1,030 Btu/SCF heating value).” [The PJM is an East Coast wholesale power market.]

However, at this rate of fuel use, the Bloom Box would be less than 1% efficient – suggesting that Bloom meant each server needs 1,282 SCF per hour – a careless error. Correcting this reveals that each 200-kilowatt server will need 1,467 SCF per hour – significantly higher than the corrected 1,282 SCF/hour.

On page 161, Tables 1 and 2 revealed that each Bloom box emits 884 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour of electricity (MWHE) generated. Since natural gas yields 117 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per million BTUs of energy used, each Bloom ES-5700 Server needs 7,555,600 BTUs to generate one MWHE. Because the actual energy in one MWHE is 3,412,141 BTUs, the box’s conversion efficiency is only 45.2% – far lower than the 60% efficiency a Bloom representative recently presented to a NASDAQ reporter.

Bloom’s application also explains in detail how much cleaner Delaware’s air will be with 235 ES-5700 Servers generating 47 megawatts of electricity. However, those 235 Bloom black boxes cost the same as one 350-MW combined cycle natural gas generator, which would be 53.3% efficient, using the same fuel, based on its higher heating value in a CC generator.

That means the same taxpayer/ratepayer investment that Bloom wants for its Red Lion Installation could get Delaware eight times more clean electricity, if the money were spent on a CC gas generator.

Table 2 also says its 235 “clean” ES-5700 Servers would emit 22.56 pounds of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) per day. But even paint booths in Delaware auto body shops are prohibited from emitting more than 15 pounds of VOCs per day. Moreover, if the same amount of power had been generated by combined cycle gas turbines, only 0.249 pounds of VOCs would be emitted daily. That’s 90 times less pollution!

Bloom servers also emit 1.2 times more CO2 per MWHE than a Siemens, GE, Mitsubishi or Alstrom combined cycle gas turbine.

These errors and misleading claims make Bloom’s application seriously flawed, and possibly fraudulent, if not corrected. But perhaps the biggest problem is yet to come.

Because of the Bloom servers’ low efficiency and high capital cost, Delaware citizens will pay Bloom over $200 per megawatt hour of power delivered to their PJM grid. But in January 2012 the US Energy Information Agency said the projected “levelized” cost of electricity over the next 30 years from advanced gas-fired combined cycle power stations is $65.50 per MWH.

In other words, Bloom plans to charge First State citizens three times the $65 rate, for dirtier power.

Talk about a carbon tax! How long will Delaware families, businesses, hospitals, schools and churches be able to survive with those electricity rates? How did Bloom Energy pull off this boondoggle? Well …

One Bloom director had the sitting President of the United States over for dinner, and has an ex-Vice President of the USA as a business partner. Another director was formerly Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The current Vice President hails from Delaware. They are all good friends of Delaware’s “green” Governor and Secretary of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC).

The Chinese would call it guanxi (connections). Some Americans would say it’s crony-capitalism on steroids. Less charitable types might suggest that Delaware’s new motto should be: “We don’t tolerate corruption. We insist on it.” Whatever you call it, it works.

It proves the right Delaware political connections can get Bloom the electrical connections, subsidies and rates it wants – even when it submits thermodynamic hogwash in a permit application to convert a protected ecological area into a huge, expensive, inefficient, polluting power station that will send electricity prices skyrocketing. Yes – the same DNREC approved Bloom’s permit on May 4, 2012!

But as John Paul Jones said, “We have not yet begun to fight!” And the fat lady has yet to sing.


EPA’s hazy outlook threatens to bankrupt coal-fired power plants

The nearly five million visitors to the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona each year stare in awe at the canyon’s long 277 river miles that can be up to 18 miles wide and about a mile deep.

However, even amidst this beauty, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is focused on the haze in the national park and says it is coming from a very important electricity source in the area.

The Navajo Generating Station (NGS), a coal-fired power plant that supplies electricity for the 14 pumping stations required to move water to southern Arizona—to about 80 percent of the state’s population—is being blamed for creating poor air quality in the national park.

Currently, this power plant meets all federal clean air guidelines—except the EPA’s interpretation of the Regional Haze Rule.

The goal of the EPA’s Regional Haze Rule is the “remedying of any existing impairment of visibility” at 156 National Park and Wilderness areas throughout the U.S. Congress approved of this amendment to the Clean Air Act in 1977, however, power to set standards of emissions was left to the states—not the EPA. The EPA’s role was to simply provide support.

Now the EPA seems to be trampling on the state’s authority to control emissions standards by creating its own set of standards. Is the EPA really that concerned about cleaning up haze or is this just another aggressive move to push out the coal industry?

If the EPA decides that the NGS power plant needs additional emissions control technology, owners of the power plant can expect to invest $1.1 billion, with no promise of improved air quality in the national park.

Furthermore, the plant is located on land owned by the Navajo Nation. Its long-term lease with the tribe expires in 2019. If the power plant operators can’t guarantee a renewed lease beyond 2019, investing more than $1 billion into the plant isn’t a viable option. Depending on the EPA ruling, NGS might shutdown—costing 1,000 jobs, 90 percent of them belonging to the Navajo tribe.

Not only would this hurt the local economy, already plagued with high unemployment, but it would effectively destroy the water source to southern Arizona—leading to skyrocketing water rates.

How does the EPA get away with destroying communities like this one?

A political game. It is no secret that many environmental groups ally with the EPA. But what if these groups don’t think the EPA is doing its job or going far enough? They sue. The EPA then settles agreeing to fix the problem. Therefore a court-imposed deadline on the EPA leaves it with no other option but to override the state’s regulations and enforce its own controls.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in a report titled, “EPA’s New Regulatory Front: Regional Haze and the Takeover of State Programs,” highlights how the EPA, along with court-mandated deadlines, has wheedled its way into state territory by delaying state plans for emission control.
“By combining this tactic of delaying approval of the state plans with Sue and Settle and a court-imposed deadline to act, EPA has manufactured a loophole to provide itself with the ability to reach into the state haze decision-making process and supplant the state as decision maker. EPA has, effectively, engineered a way to get around the protections of state primacy built into the Regional Haze statute by Congress.”

The report goes on to say, “Since August 2011, EPA has used this method to impose almost $375 million in annual costs on ratepayers in New Mexico, Oklahoma, and North Dakota—over the staunch objection of their governors—by requiring installation of more costly controls than the BART [Best Available Retrofit Technology] controls each state chose.”

The Navajo Generating Station has already installed low nitrogen oxides burners and other technologies to reduce nitrogen oxides by 40 percent at a cost of $45 million. If the state of Arizona approves of this level of emissions then according to Congress and the Clean Air Act, the EPA should as well.

The EPA’s true motive is clear: it is simply following the instructions of its leadership. In 2008, President Obama stated, “if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”

As the EPA and this administration edge closer to their goal of bankrupting the coal industry, states have got to respond and fight back against this abuse of power.

This isn’t just a war against coal. It’s a war that challenges states rights’ and if it is lost will ensure the EPA’s overwhelming authority in just about anything it chooses.


Protecting porpoises' hearing adds millions to wind farm projects

Too bad about people's hearing

Porpoises are adding millions of euros to costs for wind-turbine developers in waters off Germany, delaying the nation’s shift from nuclear energy.

EON and RWE, the country’s two biggest utilities, are using technologies that reduce noise from driving turbines into the seabed after nature groups complained that the work damages the sonar-like hearing of porpoises. Unexploded mines from the Second World War also are holding up work.

“A porpoise is doomed to die if its hearing is shattered,” Kim Detloff, a marine expert at German nature conservation group NABU, told Bloomberg. “The regulator must sanction developers if they repeatedly violate the noise limit.”

The concerns show that wind developers are beginning to face the same scrutiny as oil companies for projects in sensitive places, a trend likely to add costs and slim profit margins that already are razor-thin. That adds another hurdle to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s effort to build up offshore wind as an alternative to atomic power, a program that may cost €39bn (£31bn) by 2020.

“Developing offshore wind in Germany is already more expensive than in other countries as projects are situated further from the coast in deeper waters,” said Fraser Johnston, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “Any additional costs such as delays to grid connections and environmental considerations will put more pressure on already low returns.”

Three years ago, Exxon Mobil, BP and Rosneft curbed seismic surveys that map underground rock structures near the Sakhalin Island north of Japan after the wildlife group WWF International said loud noises were disturbing endangered western gray whales.

Marine Current Turbines, a tidal power company that’s now mostly owned by Siemens, faced objections to installing a device similar to an underwater windmill in Northern Ireland because of potential damage to sealife. The company paid for all-day monitoring of seals, porpoises, birds and sharks at the site for three years before the turbine began running in 2008.

In Germany, the government envisions installing 25,000 megawatts of wind turbines offshore by 2030, which may cover an area of the sea eight times the size of New York city, Bloomberg reported.

“Quite a large proportion of our sea area will probably be used for offshore wind farms,” said Hans-Ulrich Rosner, head of the Wadden Sea Office for WWF in Germany. “This will have a serious impact on nature, which needs to be mitigated.”

By next month, German utility EWE plans to complete work using a sound-reduction system developed by the Dutch engineering company IHC Merwede BV. It’s being installed for the first time commercially on offshore wind turbine foundations at the 108-megawatt Riffgat facility in the North Sea, said Christian Bartsch, a spokesman for EWE.

EWE is placing a double-walled, water-filled steel casing about 11 metres in diameter around the foundation. The system produces a screen of air bubbles to absorb sound. Work started in June. EWE is reducing the intensity and duration of hammering piles into the seabed by using vibrations to seat them in the first 30 metres then driving them in the final 40 metres using traditional methods.

“While developers are generally eager to install foundations as quickly as possible, they’ve come under pressure from regulators and nature groups to protect the porpoise,” Otto von Estorff of the Hamburg University of Technology said. “No developer wants to be seen harming the environment.”

Von Estorff, who heads the university’s modeling and computation institute, is part of a group of scientists that will start measuring noise at the Bard Offshore 1 construction in mid-September in the North Sea. The German Environment Ministry is paying for the project.

Developers are spending about 0.5pc of a wind farm investment on noise reduction, according to industry specialist Hydrotechnik Luebeck GmbH. It’s one of the factors making German wind farms more costly than ones in the U.K.

German projects are developed at costs of between about €4.2m and €4.4m a megawatt. That compares with about €3.7m to €4m for most projects in the UK, according to New Energy Finance.

“We will soon, possibly in the next two months, receive noise test results that should be of interest to the entire industry,” Bartsch said. “Without these measures work would be faster. A crane-ship costs a lot of money each day. We all agree that we need to do this to protect the animals.”

About 231,000 porpoises, which are smaller and stouter than dolphins, live in the North Sea and Baltic Sea, said Sven Koschinski, a German marine biologist and consultant. The population in the Baltic Sea dropped 60pc to 11,000 between 1994 and 2005, he said.

Porpoises use clicking sounds to navigate, locate prey and find mating partners. While sea mammals are coping with increased ambient noise from shipping, driving foundations into the ground can produce sudden sounds as loud as 245 decibels that can lead to physical injuries, Koschinski said.

“In the central Baltic Sea, there is a separate stock of only 400 remaining porpoises, and that’s an estimate from 1994 that could be smaller today,” Koschinski said. “Every dead animal there is threatening the survival of the population.”


Energy Dept. Gambles $500 Million Of Our Money On Projects The Private-Sector Won’t Touch

So, why does the Energy Department have an agency created to gamble away our money - $500 million to date - on schemes it admits are “too risky for private-sector investment”?

On August 2, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced the latest “investment” of its Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) project: $43 million in funding for the development of energy storage technology.

According to a DOE press release, ARPA-E has already doled out $500 million on projects that no self-respecting private business would gamble on (emphasis added):

“ARPA-E was launched in 2009 to seek out transformational, breakthrough technologies that are too risky for private-sector investment but have the potential to translate science into quantum leaps in energy technology, form the foundation for entirely new industries, and have large commercial impacts.”

So, the implications of this program’s mission statement seem to be:

* That the money we pay in taxes is, somehow, more expendable than private-sector money,

* That the government has the right to risk our money on schemes that no prudent private-sector investor or businessman (seeking to maximize profit and minimize risk) would consider,

* That the government can afford to make investments that fail, since it’s playing with our money and can always raise taxes.

“Prior to today’s announcement, ARPA-E has attracted over 5,000 applications from research teams, which have resulted in approximately 180 groundbreaking projects worth nearly $500 million,” the press release states.

DOE Deputy Press Secretary Keri Fulton confirmed to “The Right Views” that the program’s gambling tab has now surpassed the half-billion dollar mark: “ARPA-E has provided over $500 million in funding to groundbreaking projects.”

That’s a half-billion dollars, in just four years.

DOE Secretary Steven Chu has said that the latest recipients of ARPA-E funding “could revolutionize” the way Americans use and store energy.

Unfortunately, “could” does not mean the same thing as “will.” Enter, the “too risky” component of ARPA-E’s mission statement.

So, here we are - a nation that’s $15 trillion in debt, running a trillion dollar deficit, and heading for a “fiscal cliff.”

Can we really afford for the government to be risking our money on schemes that private-sector investors shun?


Climate Lies in Iowa's Supreme Court

By Alan Caruba

Since the climate liars cannot make their case on the basis of the known science, taking it into a court of law with a passionate appeal to emotion in order to impose restrictions on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions has long been a Green goal.

The claim that CO2 causes “climate change” which is the new spin on “global warming” is utterly false, but it may be argued if the Iowa Supreme Court takes the case.

When a similar case was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, the esteemed justices ruled that CO2 was a “pollutant” under the Clean Air Act and not the second most vital atmospheric gas after oxygen, the “food” for all vegetation on Earth.

The Greens have understandably concluded they can get what they want, restrictions on all energy use, in the courts of justice if not in the court of public opinion.

The defendant filing the case is a 14-year-old girl, Glori Dei Filippone. Exploiting minors is old hat to climate liars. They have filled our schools with global warming garbage for decades. The brief filed in her name is joined by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources who ia asking the State Supreme Court to rule on “whether the State of Iowa has an obligation to protect the atmosphere under the Iowa Constitution and the Public Trust Doctrine.”

Federal laws have made it clear that the nation’s air and water must be protected from manmade pollution, but how does a state go about protecting the entire, ever changing atmosphere above it? Can Iowa be sued for allowing the heat wave that roasted its populace and crops? If there is so much rain a flood ensues, is it the state’s fault? Can the state stop dust from other states from blowing in?

In a news release from, the green organization behind the request for a hearing, says the case is critical to determine “whether the people of Iowa have a right to a healthy atmosphere.” This is so absurd that it defies belief.

The last time I checked the Constitution it spelled out a Bill of Rights and none of them make any reference to the atmosphere!

A spokesperson for said the case needs to be argued because “the atmosphere is imperiled and must be protected by State officials.” The Latin phrase to describe this argument is reductio ad absurdum.

The atmosphere is not “imperiled.” It is what it is and the State of Iowa, the United States of America, or all the nations of Earth can do nothing about it. Just as the temperature of the Earth is determined in large measure by the Sun and its cycles, the Earth and its atmosphere has been through many ice ages of greater or lesser intensity and length, as well as warmer periods like the one in which we presently find ourselves. It even has a name—the Holocene.

To put it another way, Mother Nature's message to humans is frequently “Get out of the way. Here comes a flood, a blizzard, a hurricane, a tornado, or a forest fire ignited by lightning. For good measure I will throw in a volcanic eruption and an earthquake.”

Climate changes all the time and has done so for the 4.5 billion years of the Earth’s existence. Or just keep in mind something called “the seasons” from winter to spring, summer to autumn, and back to winter. This is not rocket science. This is funamental climate science and meteorology.

The Iowa Supreme Court should throw out the petition for this case for a very simple reason. As Hans Schreuder explains on, “Carbon dioxide is not a warming gas at all, it is a cooling gas.” Moreover, “In our open-to-space atmosphere, the excellent radiating properties of all so-called greenhouse gases serve to cool the atmosphere, never to warm it.” Schreuder is a retired analytical chemist and a co-author of “Slaying the Sky Dragon”, a collection of scientific papers that debunk global warming.

In the brief before the Iowa Supreme Court, Glori Dei Fillippone argues that “Iowa has a moral obligation to provide my generation, and future generations, with a liveable state. Climate change is the most important moral issue of our time and I hope our Court will also protect our rights.”

Well, no, climate change is not, nor ever was a moral issue and it is most certainly not the most important issue of our time. Like Paul said, “When I was a child I spoke as a child. I understood as a child. I thought as a child, but when I became a man, I put aside childish things.” (1 Corinthians, 13/11)

Using the courts to require states to impose coercive laws on people and businesses using bogus “science” and where no atmospheric “health threat” can be affected by any action of the State is immoral. Using a child to advance that objective is immoral.



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 is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


No comments: