Monday, October 28, 2013
Kick That Donkey: Expand Jobs Footprint with Coal
Coal means cheap energy; coal means more jobs; coal means America's energy independence.
Every year I celebrate Earth Day with tips and ideas on how readers can expand their carbon footprint. Now, below, you’ll find the newest, top ten ways I recommend to expand your carbon footprint on October 29th, 2013 Anno Domini, to celebrate Count on Coal Day.
10) Take unnecessary trips in your electric car.
Run that battery down to nothing. Electric cars need fuel and that fuel comes from power plants that run mostly on coal. There’s no quicker way to expand your carbon footprint than using that “green” car and powering it up nightly.
9) Use a Metro Light Rail system instead of your car.
“When taken as a whole, then,” writes Cato’s Randal O’Toole, “most transit systems with light rail use more energy and emit more greenhouse gases per passenger kilometre than they did when they operated only buses. Most also use more energy and emit more carbon dioxide, per passenger kilometre, than typical automobiles.”
O’Toole says that light rail only appeals to: 1) downtown real estate interests; 2) Seimens, the light rail contractor; and 3) people who hate autos.
8) Move to Germany!
Yes, the model for renewable energy development in the industrial world has yielded impressive results. And they do it by subsidizing a new, technological breakthrough that’s coming to you very soon. Yes, very soon we’ll all be able to power our electric vehicles through coal-powered plants that supplement coal with the use of wood.
Mmmm. I don’t know about you, but I just love the smell of a wood fire wafting around the city. It makes it smell like Christmas- or Winter Holi-Day for of you who are only “spiritual.” For atheists, the smell can remind you of December 25th, 2012 C.E.
7) Build a wind farm.
You too can find out what rural, depression era residents knew: The widespread adoption of wind power eventually will lead to the creation of a large, nationalized effort to electrify the country with more reliable, fossil or hydro-based electrical generation, just as they did with the Tennessee Valley Authority. Since nuclear and hydro are impossible to permit, prepare for coal-fired and oil-fired plants to come out of mothballs.
There’s nothing like the smell of diesel wafting around a city to remind people that it’s Earth Day, C.E. Infinity or, for those of us who are heretics and apostates, May 22nd, 2013 A.D.
6) Move into Al Gore’s house.
No house in America uses more fossil fuel than Big Al’s. According to one source Gore buys coal left over from the age of Charles Dickens, extracted by Welsh miners, who on average were paid less than a penny per day. It’s transported to America an old diesel powered bulk freighter named I’ll Always Be the Real Number 43.
Gore then uses the black, Welsh, rock to boil water that heats his 23 swimming pools, 271 waterfalls and keep his mountain streams at a constant 77 degrees for the benefit of his pet koi.
There are other ways moving in with Al can help expand our carbon footprint. Can our readers identify them all?
5) Buy a Chevy Volt.
In addition to the massive amount of fossil-fuel generated electricity that Volt uses and the pollution from the manufacture and disposal of the $8,000 battery, there is one other ways that the Chevy Volt expands our earth’s environmental footprint.
While spontaneous engine fires so far have failed to consume an entire Volt, the winner of the 2012 European Journalist award for Car of the Year (C.E.), scientists estimate that a fully consumed GM green car would emit more carbon than another Al Gore run for the presidency.
There, I’ve done it: Gore 2016? I’m super serial. And super awesome. The end.
4) Blog about the vast right-wing conspiracy.
No new technology in the past 30 years has contributed to increasing fossil fuel emissions than the adoption of computer technology. From server farms, to high-speed networks, to computer chip enabled phones, tablets and PCs, the electronic age is consuming more and more electricity.
And since the U.S. has failed to adopt progressive, European renewable energy policies like burning wood in stoves, water heaters and furnaces, the leading sources of renewable hot air in the U.S. comes from blogging.
So plug in those IPhones, tablets and PCs. And write with indignation about Big Oil, while pretending to be green.
“Let’s Pretend,” as we know, is a very important keystone of many liberal policies.
3) Support 420!
Quick: Does anyone know how much carbon is in a gram of weed? Does anyone who cares about weed, care about the environment? If you had to pick between smoking weed and the environment, which would you pick?
That’s right, you’d be eating brownies or drinking tea made from ganja.
Bunch of Tea Baggers.
2) Live in a tiny house.
OK, living in a tiny house will do nothing to expand your carbon footprint. But it would be really funny to see you guys blow out the fuse box of a mini house when you overload the electrical system charging you car, your tablet, your PC, your phone and your E-420 stick, while washing your clothes in a mountain stream.
Actually, I think ALL environmentalists should be forced to register as high-capacity B.S. magazines and forced to live in houses measuring only 200 square feet.
Although I think the right of free speech shouldn’t be abridged, no one should be allowed to dish out as much bull as they do and cause as much damage without some control over how quickly they re-load.
1) Occupy Wall Street, again.
Who can forget the day the people who Occupied Wall Street in order to save the world left behind 26 loads of garbage?
“I pick up garbage [for a living], and these were some of the worst smells I’ve ever experienced,’’ one sanitation worker told the NY Post.
Gives a whole new meaning to carbon footprint.
Washington, D.C. – Several thousand people from America’s coal communities will rally on Capitol Hill October 29, 2013, to protest new regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency that have put their jobs and livelihoods at risk. Company and union employees joined by coal-dependent families and local officials will voice their concerns with members of Congress. For more information, please contact Gill Stevens at email@example.com or Michael Causey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Virginia Gov. race brings out the eco-fascists
In Virginia, green groups homed in on the governor's race because the Republican candidate, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, had emerged as a leading national skeptic of the science of global warming, and of efforts to stop global warming policy.
Overall, Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe has vastly outraised Cuccinelli, hauling in $26 million in contributions to the Republican's $16 million. Energy companies and environmental groups emerged as the biggest spenders – with green groups once again outspending fossil fuels.
Although McAuliffe, a former Democratic fundaiser, is hardly known as a green champion, environmentalists are backing him in order to ensure that Cucccinelli, who came under particular fire from the environmental community after launching a two-year probe into the work of former University of Virginia climate scientist Michael Mann, would lose. After the Democratic Governors' Association, the largest single contributor to McAuliffe's campaign is the Virginia chapter of the League of Conservation Voters, which donated $1.6 million to the Democrat. NextGen gave $674,000. The Sierra Club kicked in $144,000.
"People who don't believe in climate change should lose their jobs," says Casey, the NextGen consultant.
McAuliffe was happy to ride the wave of the green groups' support. Although he's never been outspoken about the need for climate policy--and at times waffled on whether he backed Obama's climate regulations—his campaign did run TV ads bashing Cuccinelli for his probe of climate scientist Mann, and appeared with Mann on the campaign trail.
On the other side, the energy industry donated $922,619 -- more than any other industry group -- to Cuccinelli's campaign. More than half that money -- $509,714 – came from coal companies, in bundles of $50,000 or $60,000. Richard Baxter Gilliam, a major donor to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's 2012 campaign, and the founder of the Virginia coal company Cumberland Resources, donated $100,000. But for once, coal's largesse was outmatched by environmentalists.
Murray Energy Corporation, an Ohio-based coal company that contends that coal has no link to climate change, donated $80,000 to Cuccinelli's campaign. "Mr. Cuccinelli has supported the jobs in the United States coal industry. His opponent has not," wrote Murray spokesman Gary Broadbent in an email to National Journal. Asked why the coal industry had not come close to matching the environmental groups in spending to defeat Cuccinelli, Broadbent wrote, "We have no comment on that."
Do the Math – and Count the Cash
Some years ago, a telegenic televangelist built quite an empire, before publicly falling from grace and adopting a less opulent life style. But back then he liked big homes and Lear jets with Rolls Royce engines and, even though Dennis’s lab primarily did environmental monitoring, his chief pilot came there because he needed demanding analyses on the methanol fuels he used for extra thrust.
The lab did the analyses uneventfully for several months, until it discovered an unpaid invoice. When Dennis inquired about it, the pilot said, “Sometimes he doesn’t pay certain bills, because the Lord told him people could contribute to the ministry in that fashion.” Dennis told him that was OK, but the next time one of those private jets is taking off and the pilot hits the injection fuel switch, the lab couldn’t guarantee that the analysis on that batch of fuel was accurate. The bill was paid in three days.
Do we hear an “AMEN”?
Speaking of televangelists, here’s an interesting experiment that folks can do at home. Find a video sermon with Jimmy Swaggart and, keeping the sound off, watch his body language for 10 or 15 minutes. Then, queue up your personal copy of An Inconvenient Truth and, also with the sound off, watch 10 to 15 minutes of Al Gore. As Mr. Spock liked to say, “Fascinating!”
Mr. Gore also enjoys big energy-hungry mansions and private jets. After all, why would he worry about the size of his carbon butt print, when he’s trying to save the world from other people’s carbon dioxide “pollution”? We’re supposed to listen to what he says, not observe or criticize what he does.
When the “climate cataclysm” televangelist sold his holdings in Current TV to Aljazeera America, another famous environmentalist and self-made victim, Bill McKibben, made some less than supportive comments. (McKibben successfully converted his white, straight, male, middle-class status into pitiable victimhood, by portraying himself and everyone else as “victims” of fossil fuels and climate change.)
The fossil fuel riches from the backers of this bold new “news” media outlet, the kingdom of Qatar, seemed to offend Mr. McKibben. Who else but obscenely wealthy oil-rich Arabs could afford to pay so much for such a questionable business venture? he wondered. Of course, we presume, profits were not a high priority for the Qataris in this particular deal, though we could be wrong.
All these thoughts and stories came back to us recently, because McKibben now has his own film: Do the Math, the movie version of his previous Rolling Stone article and nationwide tour, all intended to save the planet from the climate Armageddon that computer models and previous movies “prove” is coming.
Viewers don’t have to get very far into the film to spot a worn-out, but proven practice. News anchor Diane Sawyer plays her part perfectly, when she informs the world that 2012 was the hottest year ever in the United States. The claim itself is highly doubtful, since we’re talking about hundredths of a degree, scattered thermometers 80 years ago versus much more widespread and sophisticated measuring devices today, and recent measurements that are contaminated by all kinds of urban, AC and airport heat.
All that is irrelevant to Sawyer and McKibben, of course. Once they get the “hottest year ever” into the chatter, it becomes fact – and not just regional, or even national, but global. Regional temperatures are important, and even have national and international implications – but only if the temperatures have gone up. If they’ve decreased or remained unchanged, they are irrelevant in televangelist climate messages.
(Naturally, that reminds us of the Wall Street types who keep regulators amused and busy, by using similarly clever tactics to describe stock and bond markets, and attract unwary investors.)
That’s the “it’s really very simple” routine on which Do the Math is based.
Mr. McKibben had been in a cozy, if not profitable, journey with Mr. Gore – fighting the evil fossil fuel mountain of cash and its presumed hell-bent destruction of Planet Earth. However, it didn’t take Mr. Bill very long to conveniently see the light (he probably flipped a fossil-fuel-powered switch), revealing the oil-funded opportunity for riches. Now that he has moved far beyond his 350.org organization and become a film maker, Mr. McK salivates, can a Nobel Prize and million-dollar payoff be far behind?
Actually, it is mind-numbing to see him rehash his Rolling Stone piece, “Global warming’s terrifying new math” – and divine three magic numbers that he says are absolutely critical if we are to save the planet. Here they are, paraphrased as commandments.
Thou shalt not let planetary temperatures go above 2 degrees Celsius of warming.
Thou shalt not burn more than another 565 gigatons of carbon (or you will violate the first commandment).
Thou shalt not allow corporations to burn the 2,795 gigatons worth of CO2 that they now have in reserve.
The 2 degrees (3.5 deg F) presumes that anything higher risks catastrophe for life on earth. It comes from the civic-minded and unimpeachable folks at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. They said so in their 2007 AR4 report. Therefore, it’s still climate chaos gospel, even though their 2013 AR5 report waffled on this point, IPCC bureaucrats massaged the “science” to make sure it corresponded to their politics and previous proclamations, and IPCC reports are replete with errors, stupidity and fraud.
Indeed, the IPCC’s analyses for biological impacts from any climate changes are purely speculative – but obviously quite profitable for Gore, McKibben and IPCC pseudo-scientists. Predictions of doom mean never having to say you’re sorry, even if you’re wrong every time. Just collect your next paycheck.
In reality, numerous scientists disagree with the IPCC on this (and a lot more), and say such moderate warming would probably be beneficial for humans, wildlife and planet. By contrast, 2 degrees C of cooling could be dangerous or even disastrous, especially by reducing growing seasons and arable cropland, and forcing us to plow a lot more temperate zone wildlife habitats to feed hungry people.
The 565 gigatons presumes that this much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will hit a “tipping point,” beyond which global temperatures would climb uncontrollably. There is no evidence whatsoever for this. Heck, the fact that average global temperatures have not budged in 16 years, despite steadily climbing CO2 levels, underscores how wrong and useless IPCC models, predictions and junk science have been.
Finally, according to McKibben, corporations now have enough oil, gas and coal in their reserves to spew 2,795 gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. And they’re planning to burn it all! (This number does not reflect the enormous growth in petroleum reserves, due to recent discoveries and the ability of hydraulic fracturing to unlock another century of oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids that supply over 80% of the energy that makes modern civilizations, living standards and life spans possible.)
All these numbers and statements are presented with such passion that you’re almost convinced they were written by ancient seers on scrolls discovered in a Middle Eastern cave, foretelling a future plot by Romanum Imperium Petroleum. Or perhaps the mystical numbers were handed down on stone tablets – presumably granite, not anything made from nasty carbon-based rocks like limestone or marble!
Mr. McKibben has had no qualms about jumping in bed with the Middle Eastern fossil fuel industry, to fight the evil Western fossil fuel industry. Aljazeera America seems to be the official home for his so-called “documentary,” to rally True Believers to the cause of fighting “carbon pollution.”
Just because his buddies Al Gore and Rajandra Pachauri made tens of millions of dollars off carbon trading schemes, before the EU carbon market collapsed, is no reason people should be suspicious of Mr. McK’s alliances, numbers or intentions. After all, numbers don’t lie, especially when “green” credentials promote “green” alternative energy schemes and bring in so many “greenback” dollars. Do the math.
Tobacco-industry supporter Al Gore
Asked by the ABC to comment on Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s view that climate change isn’t linked to the Australian bushfires, Big Oil millionaire Al Gore launches into a smearing speech about tobacco corruption:
"Well, it’s not my place to get involved in your politics, but it reminds me of politicians here in the United States who got a lot of support from the tobacco companies and who argued to the public that there was absolutely no connection between smoking cigarettes and lung cancer.
And for 40 years the tobacco companies were able to persuade pliant politicians within their grip to tell the public what they wanted them to tell them."
Gore is far better qualified to talk about politicians in the grip of tobacco companies than he is to discuss Australian fires. As the New York Times reported in 1996:
"Six years after Vice President Al Gore’s older sister died of lung cancer in 1984, he was still accepting campaign contributions from tobacco interests. Four years after she died, while campaigning for President in North Carolina, he boasted of his experiences in the tobacco fields and curing barns of his native Tennessee. And it took several years after Nancy Gore Hunger’s death for Mr. Gore and his parents to stop growing tobacco on their own farms in Carthage, Tenn."
Here’s Gore in 1988:
"Throughout most of my life, I raised tobacco. I want you to know that with my own hands, all of my life, I put it in the plant beds and transferred it. I’ve hoed it. I’ve dug in it. I’ve sprayed it, I’ve chopped it, I’ve shredded it, spiked it, put it in the barn and stripped it and sold it."
You know, it just might be that Al Gore is some kind of hypocrite.
Britain says 'no' to green levies: More than half of voters object to paying eco taxes
Nearly two-thirds of voters oppose planned hikes in green taxes – and back David Cameron in his battle with Nick Clegg to ‘roll back’ the levies.
A total of 60 per cent of voters object to the charges, which will hit households with an extra £270 per year on their energy bills by 2020. Just 18 per cent support the taxes.
The findings, in a Survation poll, come after a week in which double-digit hikes by the energy companies dominated debate at Westminster.
The row over heating bills was galvanised last month when Ed Miliband pledged to freeze bills for two years after the next Election if he becomes Prime Minister.
But our survey reveals Mr Cameron’s promise last week to cut the levies is backed by more people (40 per cent) than Mr Miliband’s freeze (33 per cent). And only seven per cent back Mr Clegg.
The public seem sceptical about whether Mr Miliband’s freeze is workable: a majority, 54 per cent, think the energy companies will just hike their prices before or after the freeze to compensate for lost revenues.
The Mail on Sunday poll shows 61 per cent support for Mr Cameron’s move, against just 11 per cent who want to keep the taxes in place.
The energy firms say the compulsory levies – such as the £33 which the typical family pays each year in subsidies for wind farms and solar parks – have contributed to their price rises.
Last week ex-Prime Minister Sir John Major warned surging bills meant that millions of people would face a choice between ‘heating and eating’ this winter.
A total of 38 per cent of those asked by Survation said they have already had to cut back on essential purchases such as food to afford their heating bills.
This rises to 56 per cent of those in the poorest social groups. If extrapolated to the nation at large, it would mean 19 million people have had to choose between ‘heating and eating’.
It is clear from the poll who voters blame for the hikes: 59 per cent cite the firms while just 15 per cent blame the Government.
The same proportion blames the last Labour Government. The poll has Labour on 35 per cent, the Tories 29, the Lib Dems on 12 and UKIP 17.
Electricity costs are still certain to rise massively over the next seven years to pay for the shift to renewable energy – even if David Cameron succeeds in his plan to trim green levies, writes David Rose.
The reason is the new Energy Bill which commits Britain to colossal increases in subsidies for renewables such as wind and solar power. A Department of Energy and Climate Change document says the subsidies will rise steadily from about £2.35 billion now to £7.6 billion in 2020-21.
Energy expert Peter Atherton, of Liberum Capital, says green levies are likely to cost households an average of £400 a year just for electricity – minus mall reductions Mr Cameron hopes to make by trimming the budget for items such as insulation.
These eye-watering sums are the consequence of Britain’s earlier pledge to cut overall carbon dioxide emissions by 15 per cent by 2020, enshrined in the 2008 Climate Change Act – piloted by then Energy Secretary Ed Miliband.
It is much harder to cut emissions from transport and heating, so almost the entire cut must be absorbed by the power industry. To meet the Act’s legally binding target, it must triple the proportion of electricity made by renewables to 33 per cent, requiring an investment of about £100 billion. A further subsidy is to be paid to fossil fuel power station operators whose plants would otherwise become uneconomic. It is expected this will cost another £15 per home.
But experts say if subsidies look expensive in 2020, they will cost far more ten years later. Under the official ‘Fourth Carbon Budget’, set by the Government’s Committee on Climate Change, the UK power sector is supposed to have cut its emissions from electricity generation by about 90 per cent in 2030. Mr Atherton says this is likely to require more than £300 billion investment in nuclear plants and renewables.
Shale energy 'could supply UK’s gas needs for four years and save jobs’
The chief executive of the shale gas explorer Dart Energy warns that opponents to fracking are putting British jobs at risk
Opponents of fracking are putting British jobs at risk and failing to take advantage of a fuel source that could power the country’s gas needs for four years, the chief executive of the shale gas explorer Dart Energy warned.
John McGoldrick, who last week secured the backing of French energy giant GDF Suez in a £24m deal, said he hoped to begin drilling for shale in early 2015.
The company believes there could be 110 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of shale gas within its licence areas, with 60 tcf in the 13 blocks in which GDF has taken a 25pc stake. These span an area of 500 square miles, from Wrexham to York.
If only 10pc could be recovered, it would be equivalent to almost four years’ worth of UK gas consumption. Mr McGoldrick said its impact could be “transformational”.
Shale gas has the potential not only to ease rising domestic fuel bills but also to help supply crucial chemical feedstocks to struggling industrial plants such as Ineos’s refinery and petrochemicals plant at Grangemouth, he argued.
Grangemouth was saved from closure this week after unions agreed to a survival plan.
Ineos now plans to invest £300m at the site, mainly in a new shipping terminal to bring in cheap US ethane as feedstock, replacing dwindling North Sea supplies.
Mr McGoldrick said that the US market had been transformed by the increasing amounts of feedstock for the chemical industry as a result of the shale gas boom.
He said: “That’s a pertinent thing when you look at Grangemouth and our manufacturing base. If you can’t get the baseload for your chemical factories or plants then you are in trouble.”
He said Britain “absolutely” risked losing more industry if it was not able to exploit domestic shale gas. “Ineos is one of the biggest private companies in the UK and they are terribly fearful of the future because of the feedstock situation,” he said.
“This isn’t just the UK, it’s all of Europe. So from their perspective they want to see shale developed as quickly as they can.”
Such factors were often overlooked when the debate about shale gas focused on its potential use in heating or power generation, Mr McGoldrick said. “A [wind] turbine doesn’t give you feedstock; natural gas does.”
He said there had been “a lot of misinformation and scare tactics” used by opponents of fracking and that, ultimately, these risked endangering jobs.
“The logic is very simple. Unless you have got a competitive energy market, a competitive feedstock market, then by definition you are going to be uncompetitive and you lose jobs.”
Fracking involves pumping water, sand and chemicals into the ground at high pressure to fracture the rock and extract gas trapped within it. Opponents fear this could lead to environmental damage or water contamination.
But Mr McGoldrick said such fears were unfounded and he was confident much of the opposition would “disappear”.
He added: “We have tremendous government support and when people actually see what we do, they will become much more relaxed,” he said. “The thing that generally worries more people in the UK is the energy costs,” he said.
While Britain’s shale resources have “enormous” potential, only drilling will show how much of the gas can actually be extracted.
“That is why we have got to do it quickly,” Mr McGoldrick said.
He dismissed fears that exploration would mean that “the whole country is going to be covered in shale wells”, insisting: “You don’t need that many square miles under development to actually truly transform the energy landscape.
I think through technology and good science we will figure out where the 'sweet spots’ are and that’s how it will get developed.”
Dart’s initial drilling campaign is expected to begin early next year, targeting “coal bed methane”, another kind of unconventional gas, which does not require fracking to extract.
Mr McGoldrick said the company had most of the required regulatory approvals to drill at five CBM sites and were now working with GDF to identify potential “sweet spots” for drilling for shale.
The $36m three-year drilling programme, funded by GDF, will include three or four shale wells depending on cost.
“We have technical work to do, then environmental assessment work to do, then approvals, so it’s unlikely we will see a shale well drilled under this arrangement next year. But thereafter we will be trying to do it as fast as we possibly can, consistent with environmental best practice and the relevant authorisations,” he said.
He welcomed moves by the Government to streamline the authorisations process which he described as “quite tortuous”.
Mr McGoldrick also predicted there would be further deals in the sector. Interest in Dart’s own process to seek a partner had “heated up” after British Gas owner Centrica’s £160m deal to buy into Cuadrilla’s Bowland shale licence in June.
“People realised this was a relatively small playground and with the Centrica-Cuadrilla deal a chunk of it has disappeared.
“The playground has got a lot smaller through our deal but there are bits and pieces still available. I would imagine there is potential for one or two more deals.”
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Posted by JR at 2:05 AM