Tuesday, April 30, 2013

1,000 words

This is an iron mine. Steel is made of iron, and wind turbines are predominantly made of steel. So when the anti-uranium brigade bemoans the incurable dangers of mining and then bows to wind turbines, they’re not being straight with you. Mining isn't pretty but thanks to modern technology and smart engineers, it's perfectly safe and absolutely necessary.

Fisker: Free to Make Flashy Cars in Finland

With nearly a year’s worth of exclusive reporting on Obama’s green-energy crony-corruption scandal, you might think we’ve covered them all—but the hits just keep on coming. This week Fisker is in the news due to its failure to meet a Monday payment on their Department of Energy (DOE) loan, with $10 million due, and Wednesday’s House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing: “Green Energy Oversight: Examining the Department of Energy’s Bad Bet on Fisker Automotive.”

Along with researcher Christine Lakatos, who writes The Green Corruption Files, I’ve addressed Fisker before. In last week’s column, I harkened back to an October 2012 report we did on 2009 stimulus-funded projects that were in trouble. We highlighted two companies on that list: Suntech and SoloPower. Suntech was recently put into bankruptcy and, about SoloPower, we said: “SoloPower’s power is waning.” On April 22, the Oregonian’s headline read: “SoloPower moves to power down Portland factory, gut remaining workforce.”

Fisker, the stimulus-funded company making $100,000+ electric cars in Finland, was also on that October 2012 list. At the time, I wrote: “Though the company has balked at Solyndra comparisons, Fisker may well be on ‘death’s door.’”

Despite defaulting “on loans or investment conditions at least four separate times” and squandering more than $1.3 billion in investment capital and government loan money, the company’s founder and former CEO, Henrik Fisker (Fisker left the company in March over  “disagreements with management”), in testimony before the House Oversight Committee hearing on Wednesday, argued that the company was still viable. In both the opening and closing of his testimony, Fisker used the following statement regarding the company that bears his name: “Fisker still has the potential to build on these achievements if the company can secure financial and strategic resources.”

While Fisker’s testimony indicates that he is proud of the company’s “many notable achievements,” Subcommittee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH), declared in his opening statements: “Fisker should have never received taxpayer money; it was rated CCC+...it was a junk grade investment.”  So why did Fisker get the loan in the first place and continue to receive funding even after it “missed a crucial production target?”

?While Wednesday’s hearing didn’t reveal any smoking gun, and Fisker claimed: “I am not aware and do not believe that any improper political influence was used in connection with the company's loan application or subsequent negotiations with the Department of Energy,” experience in reporting on the various stimulus-funded loan guarantee programs, grants and tax credits indicates otherwise.

True, unlike many of the other stories, no one from the Fisker organization itself served on Obama’s (now-disbanded) Jobs Council, nor is there an obvious connection such as a former DOE staffer sitting on the board. But, surprise, there are political connections nonetheless.

In the case of Fisker, the cronyism comes first in the form of the venture capital firm with private investments that needed government funds to make their 2008 investment good. The company in question? Kliener Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB)—which, according to New York magazine, “has both former Vice President Al Gore and John Doerr, a very big-ticket Obama donor, on its board of directors.” Doerr has had roles inside the Obama White House since early 2009, from jobs, to economics, to crafting the energy sector of the 2009-Recovery Act, from which his firm—KPCB—has been rewarded handsomely. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), in 2008, reported that the Fisker deal was “one of the first deals in which former Vice President Al Gore provided advice for Kleiner.” KPCB’s Managing Partner, Ray Lane, told the WSJ that their investment was more than $10 million and was “one of our bigger investments.”

In an earlier report, I said: “Doerr jumped on the Climate Change bandwagon in 2005 and credits Al Gore for his ‘environmental awakening’—though his conversion may have been more financial than spiritual, as he saw green-energy as the ‘mother of all markets’ and ‘the largest economic opportunity of the 21st century.’”

Despite a green-energy push from the White House, these funds haven’t “delivered the returns expected on the timeline expected for most venture capitalists.” In fact, Doerr admitted in a November 2009 speech that the government funding saved them: “If we’d been able to foresee the crash of the market, we wouldn’t probably have launched a green initiative, because these ventures really need capital. The only way in which we were lucky, I think, is that the government stepped in, particularly the Department of Energy. Led by this great administration that put in place these loan guarantees.”

Clearly the Fisker “investment” wasn’t going as well as KCBP expected. In Wednesday’s hearing, a 2009 email from Bernhard Koehler, Fisker cofounder and COO was addressed. In it, he pressured someone inside the DOE, regarding the need for the taxpayer-funded loan, because they couldn’t meet payroll.

The Fisker loan had three specific strikes against it: it had a dismal credit rating—a “junk bond” CCC+; it was initially rejected by the credit review board; and the loan was twice the value of the collateral. While the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) program received 150 applications, only 5 were awarded loans—and all had some political connections or ramifications: Fisker—$529 million; Ford—$5.907 billion, Nissan—$1.448 billion; Tesla—$465 million; and The Vehicle Production Group, LLC—$50 million.

Companies without connections didn’t get approved. In November, I reported on XP Technologies, one of those companies whose loan application was rejected. Alleging that “criminal activities did take place by DOE staff and affiliates,” XP Technologies has filed a lawsuit concerning the DOE’s denial. Following the publication of my column on XP Technologies, another applicant, who also didn’t have any political connections, contacted me. This applicant acknowledged that he really didn’t know the system and, therefore, looking back, wasn’t surprised that his application was denied. However, he told me that he received no help or encouragement from the DOE; they did nothing to make it easier for him. It was like they weren’t really interested in anyone but the favored few. Accepting applications was, perhaps, just for cover.

Fisker’s $529 million loan was approved in September 2009, and the first tranche was funded May 2010. But it took a lot of finagling to get there.

Vice President Biden stepped in to move the loan along—we don’t know why, but we know he did. (We also know more about other green-energy projects in which Biden was involved.) In August 2009, Fisker visited in Delaware a GM factory, which was scheduled to be shut down. According to a 2009 WSJ report, once politicians in the state got wind of Fisker’s possible interest, they ratcheted up the pressure. Saving the plant, according to officials involved in the decision, “gave fresh urgency to the DOE’s quest for Fisker.” However, by August, the December 2008 application still wasn’t approved. “Delaware's governor and congressional delegation began peppering U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu with calls on Fisker's behalf. They also had repeated discussions with Vice President Biden and his staff.” Five days after Governor Merkell had a September meeting with Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, “Chu announced the government had signed a provisional agreement” for Fisker’s loan. Part of the deal included, not just the $529 million DOE loan, but also $21 million in grants and loans from the State of Delaware.

On October 27, 2009, Biden toured Fisker’s Delaware plant to tout the DOE's Loan Program. ABC News reported: “Standing in a shuttered General Motors plant in Wilmington, DE, Vice President Biden proclaimed that a half-billion-dollar Department of Energy loan would transform the idled site into a production line for electric cars.”??“Biden heralded the Energy Department's $529 million loan to the start-up electric car company, called Fisker, as a bright, new path to thousands of American manufacturing jobs,” and stated: “This is seed money that will return back to the American consumer in billions and billions and billions of dollars in good, new jobs.”

Referencing Delaware’s involvement, the state’s chief of economic development, Alan Levin said: “We had in the vice president a secret weapon.”

In addition to Doerr and Gore championing the Fisker Project, and the Biden “secret weapon,” Fisker had a few other friends in high places. The National Legal and Policy Center reports that Fisker was receiving advice regarding their loan application from Debevoise & Plimpton LLC, a law firm with a history of donating to President Obama and other Democrats—which taxpayers also funded. Too bad XP technologies, and other applicants without connections, didn’t know to hire Debevoise & Plimpton.

Now, we all know that Fisker never made one car in Delaware—or anywhere in the US. The Delaware plant is “absolutely empty.” We know that Fisker lost $557,000 on each flashy sports car it sold and has laid off most of its employees. And we know that Fisker will likely be the next taxpayer-funded green-energy project to go bankrupt.

While we do not know all the political connections that got Fisker a free ride to make flashy cars in Finland, we do know there is crony-corruption. As the WSJ reports: “The Obama Energy Department is keeping tight rein on documents, so we don't know.” We just don’t know.


On Global Warming Advocates and Scientific Consensus

By Victor Morawski

Commenting on John Kerry’s recent trip to China and his emphasis on anthropogenic (i.e. man caused) global warming as one of the most significant problems that the two nations should work together on solving, talk show host Rush Limbaugh voiced an opinion on science and scientific truth that the majority of his listeners and a majority of my readers share: that scientific truth is determined by how much our scientific views conform to the way the world actually is and not by mere human agreement.

Striking back at Kerry’s opinion that the science behind manmade global warming (or climate change if you prefer) is “settled” because a supposed “consensus of scientists” agrees that it is happening, Limbaugh said “science is not up to a vote. It either is or isn’t. Whatever it is, it is or isn’t, but it’s not up to a vote. Global warming doesn’t exist because a ‘consensus of scientists’ agree. Manmade global warming either is happening or it isn’t, but it isn’t up to a vote.”

One main reason for the enormous success that Rush has enjoyed over the years is that he speaks for the common man and, of course, woman.  In his analyses of current events he articulates views his listeners may share but are unable to formulate for themselves with the clarity for which he is now famous.  And this issue is a clear case in point.

To be sure, Kerry has spoken with the Chinese and others about a scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming as the official State Department Press Release on his visit bears out in saying that the “two countries took special note of the overwhelming scientific consensus about anthropogenic climate change and its worsening impacts.”

Investors.com notes that the consensus of scientists claim is a line that global warming alarmists repeat endlessly. And who can forget Al Gore’s continuing insistence on such a consensus as part of his claim that anthropogenic global warming is established science.

Yet it may seem unlikely to readers that these alarmists really mean by the claim what they seem to mean.  Could they actually mean what Rush takes them to mean?  Do they subscribe to the unlikely view that scientific truth is to be determined by the most votes?

Surprising though it may be to some, I am convinced that this is exactly what they mean and what many of them ascribe to as their view of scientific truth.

Most of those who point to consensus among the community of scientists as the determiner of scientific truth do not adhere to the sort of relativism that would make any view true if there is a consensus behind it.

Sometimes called “Cultural Relativism,” this view holds all beliefs to be equally valuable if supported by a cultural consensus.  For science, this extreme form of relativism would set a primitive culture’s view that the earth is flat or resting on the back of an elephant on a par with our own culture’s view that the earth is a sphere, hurtling through space and subject to the laws of Newtonian Mechanics.  Consequences like this make this sort of relativism an implausible candidate for a standard of scientific truth.

Most advocates of truth as consensus in science adopt some form of Instrumentalism, a view that judges the worth of scientific theories not by how well they succeed in describing the world as it actually is but by how useful they are at doing things like making successful predictions.  On this view, the task of a theory is to be a useful instrument in scientists’ hands, not a mirror of reality.  For Instrumentalists, some theories really are better than others not because they reflect reality better but because they are more useful.  So, as science progresses, old theories are rejected and new ones are accepted not because what they say better corresponds to things in the world as they are but because they are more useful and less fraught with problems (anomalies) than the older theories.

But who makes the decision to leave an old theory and go to a new one?  And who decides whether an old theory is too full of difficulties to keep around anymore?  Why, the community of scientists, of course.  Here is where consensus comes in.  Instrumentalism adopts the Pragmatists’ view of truth as usefulness.  As I once heard contemporary Pragmatist Richard Rorty put it, truth is a compliment we pay to theories that we find useful.  It is the community of scientists that pays this compliment to theories that it finds useful.  For people like John Kerry, Al Gore, and a supposed consensus of professional scientists, truth is a compliment we should pay to anthropogenic global warming as a theory.

That he indeed thinks that the theory is very useful in its predictions can be gleaned from Kerry’s recent remarks that “We are seeing the science of climate change come back to us now at a rate that is far faster and with far greater levels of damage than anything that scientists predicted 10, 15, 20 years ago,” Kerry said. “Every prediction that has been made is coming true, but coming true bigger and more dangerously.”

Now if truth really is consensus, then maybe Kerry’s followers would agree with him on the truth of his remarks but for those of us for whom truth is conformity with reality, his remarks are simply not borne out by the reality of the situation concerning the abysmal failure rate of modeled predictions on anthropogenic global warming.  My own piece of a few weeks ago here and on Youtube discusses some of these failures in detail.

To return to Rush, in the same show he discussed a recent release by Reuters which points out that in response to the failure of those predictions scientists need to either cling to their theory that human activity has warmed the planet and hope that the warming returns much like an old girlfriend who has unexpectedly left town leaving no forwarding address, give into an opposing view that ocean oscillations might have a lot more to do with global heating and cooling than they figured or abandon their view that CO2 emissions (especially those that are man-caused) are a significant factor in planetary warming.

Fortunately, those who seek a refuge from objective truth in human consensus cannot hide from the truth of failed predictions.  These failures are now making even the Pragmatists wonder whether the theory of anthropogenic global warming is useful enough to keep around.


Greenies would like natural gas  -- if they liked anything

 New data from the Environmental Protection Agency indicates that drilling for natural gas releases significantly less methane (the main component of natural gas) into the atmosphere than previously thought.

Twenty percent less.

This is not seen as good news for the ultra-environmentalists who fervently believe that any fuel made from fossilized plant or animal matter (coal or natural gas) is bad.

Using natural gas as a transportation fuel (especially for heavy-duty trucks, like 18-wheelers) or for the production of electricity dramatically cuts down on greenhouse gasses from burning diesel or coal, but it doesn't cut them to zero.

At one time - "one time" meaning from the year zero to 2009 - the amount of natural gas that America had available was limited. So limited that the chemical and pharmaceutical industry were worried that using it for anything else, like as a transportation fuel or to generate electricity, was a foolish use of a limited resource.

Since the middle of the last century a group called the Potential Gas Committee, that has a connection to the Colorado School of Mines, has issued a biennial report on how much natural gas is available for development in the United States.

Until the 2009 report the PGC's estimates were largely focused on "traditional" natural gas wells. In 2009 the PGC began reporting the amount of natural gas that is available from the huge shale deposits under the continental United States.

In 2007 the PGC reported available reserves as 1,321 trillion cubic feet. In the 2009 report, reserves jumped to 1,836 Tcf - an increase of almost 39 percent.

The conventional wisdom of the time suggested that represented a 100 year supply.

As better geology and drilling techniques have been developed, this year's report suggests reserves of 2,384 trillion cubic feet - another 30 percent bump in the amount of natural gas available under the United States. If the 2009 report represented a 100 year supply, we now have natural gas reserves of more that should last more than 130 years.

We have more energy stored in our natural gas reserves than Saudi Arabia has in its oil.

One of the issues with producing all that natural gas is the amount of methane that is released into the air at the well-head. People who want only battery-operated vehicles (recharged with electricity that is produced solely from non-fossil sources), or hydrogen fuel cells have used this free methane as one of their arguments against using natural gas as a replacement for diesel that is largely made from imported oil.

Oil has a minor role in the production of electricity. According to AP reporter Kevin Bego, "Since power plants that burn natural gas emit about half the amount of the greenhouse gases as coal-fired power, some say that the gas drilling boom has helped the U.S. become the only major industrialized country to significantly reduce greenhouse emissions."

Better mechanical techniques will continue to decrease the amount of methane released into the atmosphere even with more natural gas being recovered.

The EPA reported that 145 million metric tons of methane was released by natural gas drilling in 2011.

The next largest factor? "Enteric fermentation," accounts for another 137 million metric tons of methane released by cows when they … well, when cows are being cows. There is nothing to suggest that cows will become more efficient.

A recent New York Times article recently found that major shippers like UPS are moving away from imported diesel to domestic natural gas. Natural gas is cheaper than diesel, it is about 30 percent cleaner, and it is ours.


Support drilling, fracking, Keystone … and exports

We don’t need to restrict oil or gas exports. We need to open more lands to leasing and drilling

Paul Driessen

The interminable war on drilling, fracking and the Keystone XL pipeline has taken some bizarre turns. Now it’s getting worse, as opponents grow more desperate, and the moon again grows full.

Deepwater drilling, 3-dimension and 4-D seismic (the ability to visualize 3-D over many years), deep horizon horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, and other technological marvels have obliterated environmentalist claims that the United States and world are running out of oil and gas – and therefore we need to switch to subsidized, land-hungry, job-killing wind turbines, solar panels and biofuels.

Thanks to free enterprise innovation on state and public lands – and no thanks to President Obama, who has made nearly the entire federal onshore and offshore estate off limits to leasing and drilling – US oil and natural gas production has set an all-time record. The world is on the verge of doing so, as well.

Long-running geopolitics have been turned upside down, as OPEC, Russia and other oil superpowers wonder what hit them. Plastic and chemical manufacturers, steel makers, bus and fleet vehicle operators, and now long-haul truckers are already cashing in on the natural gas bonanza. So are electric utilities, especially with EPA continuing its war on coal, with more unnecessary heavy-handed air and water rules.

Global warming / climate change hysteria is also foundering on the rocks of reality. Average global temperatures haven’t risen in 16 years, seas aren’t rising any faster than 100 years ago, and storms, floods and droughts are no more frequent or severe than over multi-decade trends during the past century.

Evidence and reality simply are not cooperating with IPCC and Mann-made climate models. “Trust the computer models!” the alarmists plead. “If reality doesn’t comport with our predictions, reality is wrong.”

The US State Department has (yet again) said the Keystone XL pipeline poses few environmental problems and should be approved, to bring Canadian oil sands petroleum to Texas refineries – creating thousands of construction and permanent jobs, and billions in economic growth and government revenue.

Unacceptable! rants the Environmental Protection Agency. “State underestimated KXL’s potential impact on global warming and needs to do its studies all over again,” says EPA. Never mind that oil sands production would add a minuscule 0.06% to US greenhouse gas emissions and an undetectable 0.00001 degrees C per year to computer-modeled global warming, according to the Congressional Research Service. Do it over, until you get the answers we want, demand EPA and environmentalist ideologues.

Some 70% of Americans and 60% of Canadians support Keystone – and energy security (and jobs) outrank greenhouse gas reduction as a national priority by a 2-1 margin among Americans – says Canadian pollster Nik Nanos.

However, haters of hydrocarbons, modern living standards, free enterprise and personal liberty are not ready to surrender. They’ve launched a blitzkrieg flanking attack. This time they are outraged that some Keystone oil could be refined into diesel and other products and exported! to Europe or Asia – while some frack-based natural gas might be converted to LNG and likewise exported! around the globe.

Well, yes. When US refiners transform crude oil into gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, heating oil, asphalt, waxes and petrochemicals, they ship some of these products overseas. Since Americans use less diesel than refineries manufacture (some parts of each barrel of crude can be converted only into diesel), refiners also export their excess diesel to Europe, which uses more diesel than gasoline, and Europeans ship their surplus gasoline to the USA, mostly to East Coast consumers. It’s a win-win arrangement that will be buttressed and safeguarded by Keystone pipeline transport of Canadian oil.

And yes, Cheniere Energy and other companies want to ship liquefied natural gas to foreign markets. It’s hardly surprising that anti-fracking activists would seize on this as yet another excuse for opposing this game-changing technology. It is hardly remarkable that Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA) and other far-Left legislators would sponsor bills to block LNG exports.

What is shocking is that Dow and Huntsman Chemical, Alcoa Aluminum, Nucor Steel and other companies are joining the no-export campaign. They have convinced themselves that such exports will hurt their own selfish economic interests – and for PR reasons have packaged that notion into assertions that exporting any US natural gas is against America’s and the public’s economic interests. Nonsense.

America has barely begun to tap its vast shale gas and conventional natural gas deposits. It has not yet touched its methane hydrates. Together, these deposits will likely last a century or more. In addition, other countries are racing to develop their own conventional, shale and hydrate deposits – while still others will eventually recognize the folly of keeping their own deposits off limits. All this will gradually reduce demand for US natural gas exports, slow and prolong extraction, and keep gas prices low.

This interplay will also help ensure that more factories and power plants in more countries burn natural gas, thereby replacing coal and providing the economic wherewithal to enable China, India and other nations to install modern pollution abatement technologies on their now dirty power plants. That will greatly improve air quality and human health in countless cities, while reducing carbon dioxide emissions and reducing consternation among steadily dwindling numbers of climate alarmists.

American oil and gas development – and exports – will also provide an opportunity for our nation to “give back” to the world community for all the petroleum that our anti-leasing, anti-drilling policies have caused us to take from the world’s petroleum supplies for decades. All this activity will also spur further innovation in technologies to unlock still more energy. It will spur job creation, economic growth and government tax and royalty revenue collection here in the United States … and abroad.

Some 23 million Americans are still unemployed or underemployed; 128 million are dependent on various government programs, including 47 million on food stamps; and the United States is more than $16 trillion in debt. Unemployment in the construction trades is 14.7 percent. Black unemployment was 12.7% when President Bush left office; it soared to 16.7% by September 2011 under President Obama, and remains stuck at 14% today for black adults – and an astronomical 43% for black teenagers!

Drilling, fracking and exports can reverse these horrendous, intolerable, unnecessary statistics.

Misguided industrialists should stop railing against exports. They would do themselves and our nation far more good by putting their lobbyists and public relations staffs to work demanding an end to leasing, drilling and fracking bans that continue to dominate eco-liberal thinking, US energy policy (especially under the current administration).

Of 1.8 billion acres on our nation’s Outer Continental Shelf, only 36-43 million are under lease. That’s barely 2% of the OCS. Offshore territory equal to 78% of the entire US landmass (Alaska plus the Lower 48) is off limits! Even the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill cannot justify that.

Onshore, it’s just as bad. As of 1994, over 410 million federally controlled acres were effectively off limits to exploration and development. That’s 62% of the nation’s public lands – an area nearly equal to Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming combined. The situation has gotten progressively worse, with millions more acres – and vast energy, mineral and economic bounties – locked up in wilderness, park, preserve, wildlife refuge, wilderness study, Antiquities Act and other restrictive land use designations, or simply made unavailable by bureaucratic fiat or foot-dragging.

Drilling opponents claim to be protecting the environment. In reality, they simply detest hydrocarbons, modern living standards, free enterprise and personal liberty. Commonsense policies will rejuvenate our economy, put Americans back to work, and help fund government programs that Messrs. Obama and Reid profess to care so much about – while safeguarding ecological values we all cherish.

Via email

Russian Scientists: ‘We Could Face Cooling Period For 200-250 Years’

Global warming which has been the subject of so many discussions in recent years, may give way to global cooling. According to scientists from the Pulkovo Observatory in St.Petersburg, solar activity is waning, so the average yearly temperature will begin to decline as well. Scientists from Britain and the US chime in saying that forecasts for global cooling are far from groundless. Some experts warn that a change in the climate may affect the ambitious projects for the exploration of the Arctic that have been launched by many countries.

Just recently, experts said that the Arctic ice cover was becoming thinner while journalists warned that the oncoming global warming would make it possible to grow oranges in the north of Siberia. Now, they say a cold spell will set in. Apparently, this will not occur overnight, Yuri Nagovitsyn of the Pulkovo Observatory, says.

"Journalists say the entire process is very simple: once solar activity declines, the temperature drops. But besides solar activity, the climate is influenced by other factors, including the lithosphere, the atmosphere, the ocean, the glaciers. The share of solar activity in climate change is only 20%. This means that sun’s activity could trigger certain changes whereas the actual climate changing process takes place on the Earth".

Solar activity follows different cycles, including an 11-year cycle, a 90-year cycle and a 200-year cycle. Yuri Nagovitsyn comments.

"Evidently, solar activity is on the decrease. The 11-year cycle doesn’t bring about considerable climate change – only 1-2%. The impact of the 200-year cycle is greater – up to 50%. In this respect, we could be in for a cooling period that lasts 200-250 years. The period of low solar activity could start in 2030-2040 but it won’t be as pervasive as in the late 17th century".

Even though pessimists say global cooling will hamper exploration of the Arctic, experts say it won’t. Climate change and the resulting increase in the thickness of the Arctic ice cover pose no obstacles to the extraction of oil and gas on the Arctic shelf. As oil and gas reserves of the Arctic sea shelf are estimated to be billions of tons, countries are demonstrating more interest in the development of the Arctic. Climate change will also have no impact on the Northern Sea Route, which makes it possible to cut trade routes between Europe, Asia and America. Professor Igor Davidenko comments.

"The Northern Sea Route has never opened so early or closed so late over the past 30 years. Last year saw a cargo transit record – more than five million tons. The first Chinese icebreaker sailed along the Northern Sea Route in 2012. China plans it to handle up to 15% of its exports".

As Russia steps up efforts to upgrade its icebreaker fleet, new-generation icebreakers are set to arrive in the years to come. No climate changes will thus be able to impede an increase in shipping traffic via the Northern Sea Route.




Preserving the graphics:  Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here and here


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You should post the Southern Hemisphere graph.


It will mess with the greenie minds.