Monday, April 14, 2014

Astrophysics and climate

For some time I have been aware that there are substantial challenges to the conventional picture of the sun as a gas ball.  I am also aware that the "electric universe" theory has been gaining ground.  As I already track social science, medical science and climate science, however, I have refused to add issues in astrophysics to my plate.  Just this once however I am putting up below something from the "Thunderbolt" project  -- which is the organization principally promoting the electric universe theory

Is Kirchhoff’s Law Valid?

 Kirchhoff’s law of thermal emission (formulated in 1860) is presented and demonstrated to be invalid.  This law is crucial to our understanding of radiation within arbitrary cavities.  Kirchhoff’s law rests at the heart of condensed matter physics and astrophysics.  Its collapse can be directly associated with 1) the loss of universality in Planck’s law (Planck’s constant and Boltzmann’s constant are no longer universal in nature), 2) the collapse of the gaseous Sun as described in Standard Solar Models, and 3) the inability of the Big Bang to act as the source of the microwave background.

Pierre-Marie Robitaille, PhD is a Professor of Radiology at The Ohio State University, with a joint appointment in Chemical Physics. He initially trained as a spectroscopist and has wide ranging knowledge of instrumentation in the radio and microwave bands. A recognized expert in image acquisition and analysis, Professor Robitaille was responsible for doubling the world record in Magnetic Resonance Imaging in 1998. In 2000, he turned his attention to thermodynamics and astrophysics, demonstrating that the universality advanced in Kirchhoff’s Law of Thermal Emission is invalid. He has published extensively on the microwave background, highlighting that this signal arises from water on the Earth and has no relationship to cosmology and has recently published a paper on the Liquid Metallic Hydrogen Solar Model (LMHSM).

Writes PSI President John O’Sullivan:

PSI’s Vice Chair Dr Pierre Latour was a co-speaker at the Thunderbolts Conference where Dr Robitaille gave that address. Latour peer reviewed Robitaille’s science and affirmed it was sound. Latour agrees that what Robitaille has now proven about radiation also applies to –  and discredits – global warming ‘science’ because it shows that the IPCC’s understanding of how radiation warms the climate is wrong.

Robitaille’s science says that when atmospheric temperature increases, then CO2 emissivity goes down. This entirely supports what 350+ PSI experts say. Moreover, Dr Latour affirms this is consistent with Hottel, Perry’s “Chemical Engineer’s Handbook”, 1950. It again shows that experts from the ‘hard’ sciences are better able to adduce what happens within earth’s climate system than those climatologists (mostly geographers) who are ‘soft’ scientists, with inferior knowledge and training in higher physics and chemistry.

Robitaille’s explanation of solar behavior (sunspots, eruptions and wind) fits beautifully with that of PSI consultant and friend, Piers Corbyn, the worlds best independent long range weather forecaster. Dr Laotur reports, “Robitaille’s science points to how Corbyn does it: solar wind drives jet streams which drive climate change. Electric Universe is coming into focus, ions and electrons on the go, electrical and chemical engineering hand in hand. CO2 is innocent.”


UN green police say ditch oil and change your diet

Governments must switch from fossil fuels to nuclear, wind and solar energy to avoid a global-warming catastrophe in a move costing about £300 billion a year, a United Nations report warns.

The study, by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), lays out the pressing need for the world to ditch coal and oil and switch to green energy.

However, the report is likely to spark a new row over the cost of countering global warming. Climate-change sceptics issued a warning to governments not to succumb to a green agenda, alleging that to do so would drive up living costs for the rest of the century.

A leaked draft of the report, obtained by The Telegraph, provides a blueprint on how to tackle climate change, including not only the switch to green energy but even what people should eat. It claims:

 *  An estimated £300 billion a year is needed for investment in low-carbon sources of electricity such as nuclear, wind and solar energy over the next 20 years;

 *  Gas should replace coal-fired power stations as soon as possible to reduce carbon emissions, although gas should eventually be phased out, too;

 *  Nuclear power is an established method for producing low-carbon electricity, although the report notes its use has waned since 1993;

 *  Experts estimate that by 2030, global gross domestic product (GDP) could be as much as 4 per cent lower through measures to combat global warming. By 2100, global GDP could be down by as much as 12 per cent;

 *  Western diets need to become more sustainable and environmentally friendly. This is likely to include a call to eat less meat.

The change of lifestyle is not mapped out in detail but the UN suggests that people living in the richest countries should eat less. That advice will inevitably lead to accusations that the UN is interfering in personal habits.

The central thrust of the report will be a call for “large-scale changes in the global energy system” and increased subsidy for green energy to help countries make the switch from fossil fuels.

The cost of doing so, according to the 29-page draft summary, will require an additional £90 billion a year investment, a rise of a third on estimates of current spending.

That will take the total investment in low carbon energy sources to about £300  billion a year until 2030. Britain now spends about £6 billion a year, trying to cut greenhouse gas emissions through such measures as subsidies for wind farms and solar power. There will be pressure for that figure to rise sharply.

The report warns that to achieve a target of keeping the global temperature rise to within 3.6F (2C) by the end of the century will require spending on alternative energy and a scaling back of fossil fuels that, the report acknowledges, will damage economic growth.

The call for a change in energy policy will inevitably lead to further tensions in the Coalition with many back-bench Conservatives anxious that wind power is too expensive and the turbines unsightly.

Many Tories are pushing for the exploitation of underground shale gas reserves through the controversial process of fracking to extract the gas. Fracking has become big business in the US and driven down the cost of energy.

Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat Energy and Climate Change Secretary, is likely to seize upon the report to resist further demands to cut green energy subsidies.

Senior Tory MPs warned the Government not to succumb to pressure from the UN to plough more money into renewable energy, driving up household energy bills and threatening to make British industry uncompetitive in the process.

Chris Heaton-Harris, a Conservative MP who led a successful back-bench campaign to cut the consumer subsidy to wind farms, said: “This IPCC report is backward looking. We can be a lot greener, emit less carbon and produce cheaper energy if we switch to shale gas rather than ploughing our money into wind farms that plunge the poorest people into fuel poverty.”

Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a think tank that has warned against the cost of switching to green energy, said: “Even if the IPCC assumptions prove correct, it will be much more cost effective and rational to invest in adaptation strategies to deal with climate change than try to decarbonise the world economy.”

However, [geologist] Bob Ward, policy director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change, based at the London School of Economics, said: “This report shows that if we carry on the way we are going, it will be much more expensive and risky to take action later on.”

The IPCC report into man-made climate change is the most authoritative of its kind and forms the basis for policymaking among UN member nations.

Last week, government officials meeting in Berlin were combing through the draft report to come up with a final document countries can agree upon.

World leaders will gather at a specially convened UN conference in New York in September, before approving a new set of international agreements on carbon emissions in Paris next year. The new report will form the basis for those negotiations.


China going hard for shale

Residents of an isolated mountain valley of terraced cornfields in China were just going to sleep last April when they were jolted by an enormous roar, followed by a tower of flames. A shock wave rolled across the valley, rattling windows and a mysterious, pungent gas swiftly pervaded homes.

"It was so scary - everyone who had a car fled the village and the rest of us without cars just stayed and waited to die," said Zhang Mengsu, a hardware store owner.

All too quickly, residents realised the source of the midnight fireball: a shale gas drilling rig in their tiny rural hamlet.

This verdant valley represents the latest frontier in the worldwide hunt for shale gas retrievable by the technology of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. It is a drilling boom that has upended the energy industry and spurred billions of dollars of investment.

Like the US and Europe, China wants to wean itself from its dependence on energy imports - and in Jiaoshizhen, Chinese energy giant Sinopec says it has made the country's first commercially viable shale gas discovery. Its efforts could also help tackle another urgent issue, as Beijing looks to curb an overwhelming reliance on coal that has blackened skies and made China the largest contributor to global warming.

But the path to energy independence and a cleaner fossil fuel is fraught with potential pitfalls. Threats to workplace safety, public health and the environment loom large in the shale gas debate - and the question is whether those short-term risks threaten to undermine China's long-term goal.

The energy industry around the world has faced criticism about the economic viability of vast shale projects and the environmental impact of fracking. But interviews with residents of six hamlets here where drilling is being done, as well as with executives and experts in Beijing, the US and Europe, suggest China's search poses even greater challenges.

In China, companies must drill two to three times as deep as in the US, making the process more expensive, noisier and potentially more dangerous. Chinese energy giants also operate in strict secrecy; they rarely engage with local communities, and accidents claim a high death toll.

The still-disputed incident in Jiaoshizhen has raised concerns among residents. Villagers said that employees at the time told them that eight workers died when the rig exploded that night. Sinopec officials and village leaders then ordered residents not to discuss the event, villagers said. Now, villagers complain of fouled streams and polluted fields.

"There was a huge ball of fire," said Liu Jiazhen, a mustard greens farmer with three children who lives a five-minute walk from the site. "The managers here all raced for their lives up the hill."

Sinopec describes the incident as a controlled flaring of gas and denies anybody died. While the company would not speak in detail about its shale projects, Sinopec said it ran its operations safely and without harm to the environment.

Sinopec president Li Chunguang said last month that nothing had gone wrong in Jiaoshizhen.

The Chinese energy giants have plenty of money to fund efforts. Sinopec has 1 million employees and is the world's fourth-largest company by revenue after Royal Dutch Shell, Wal-Mart and Exxon Mobil; the fifth-largest is China National Petroleum. With their deep pockets, the companies have been investing heavily in North American shale businesses; Sinopec paid $US2.2 billion in 2012 for a 30 per cent stake in Devon Energy's shale gas and oil operations in the US.

In China, workplace safety is a significant concern. Thousands die each year in coalmines, according to government statistics that have prompted a national crackdown in the past decade.

Residents interviewed welcomed the drilling for one reason: money. Sinopec rents land from farmers for 9000 renminbi, or $1543, an acre each year. Farmers earn that much money from growing crops only in the best years, and then after hundreds of hours of labour.


The Times Diary: Blair’s honest moment

Carbon emissions are in the news again, with the EU proposing a hefty reduction, but is this all a lot of hot air? In her new autobiography, The Bird and the Beeb, the broadcaster Liz Kershaw recalls a surprising moment of honesty on the subject from Tony Blair in 2007.

With the microphones switched off, the presenter was chatting about green issues when Blair suddenly sighed. “Liz, we in the UK could shut everything down and turn everything off,” he said. “And within two years all our efforts would have been wiped out by what’s happening in China now.” Kershaw says she hasn’t bothered to switch off her television since.


EU Commission Announced End Of Green Energy Subsidies

Renewable energy subsidies that helped spur Europe’s €48-billion-a-year clean energy industry are to be phased out across the continent, under new market-friendly state aid rules announced by the European Commission Wednesday (9 April).

"It is time for renewables to join the market,” the Commission's competition chief, Joaquin Almunia, said in a statement. “The new guidelines provide a framework for designing more efficient public support measures that reflect market conditions, in a gradual and pragmatic way."

Under the new rules, renewable energy subsidies will have to be replaced by market-based mechanisms for all but the smallest of clean electricity generators by 2017, following a pilot phase that will start next year.

Feed-in tariffs will be replaced by feed-in premiums that expose renewables to market signals, while energy infrastructure and cross-border schemes will also to some extent be protected, and 68 energy intensive sectors will be singled out for subsidies.  Aid may also be earmarked for measures to keep the lights on through capacity mechanisms should power cuts threaten.

More generally though, competitive bidding processes will become the rule, forcing power generators to sell electricity on the market with balancing responsibilities for “short-term deviations” from delivery commitments.

EU states will be obliged to use premiums – top-up’s on the going price – as support instruments to integrate renewables into the market.

 The complicated new regulations emerged from an investigation into the market-distorting potential of Germany’s renewable energy subsidies which were intended to help the country’s transition to a low-carbon economy after the Fukushima disaster.

It was premised, Almunia said, on the principle that “Europe should meet its ambitious energy and climate targets at the least possible cost for taxpayers and without undue distortions of competition.”

Free market limitations

In a sign that the Commission’s free market vision had some limitations though, high-polluting industrise such as the chemicals, metals, paper, and ceramics sectors will be allowed exemptions from paying full market premium support to renewable power generators.

One report by Germany’s respected Öko Institute suggests that these opt-outs could be worth as much as €2 billion. But Gordon Moffat, the director-general of Eurofer said that although the new rules were “appreciated,” the Commission’s proposed 15% minimum contribution to renewable subsidies would “lead to a further substantial increase in energy costs”.  He called for a revision of the EU’s 2030 climate and energy framework.

While welcoming the proposals as “a step in the right direction,” the European Aluminium Association also said that to restore Europe’s industrial competitiveness, they would need more access to public revenues.  

“We regret that the new guidelines still enforce additional burden to the industry,” said the EAA’s director-general, Gerd Götz. “The state aid rules must now be accompanied by appropriate and long-term compensation measures for all costs related to climate and energy policies, also beyond 2020.”

For the Green MEP Claude Turmes though, the industry exemptions were in “complete contradiction” with the Commission’s free market principles.

Free ride for energy intensive industry?

“The energy intensive industry is not just the biggest polluter in Europe, it is a ruthless sponge lobbyist,” he told EurActiv. “If you offer them a finger they will take the hand. If you give them that, they take the arm. If you give them the arm, they will devour you in your entirety.”

“Despite consuming up to 35% of electricity, these sectors will get a free ride, with private consumers and small businesses left to foot the bill of the energy transition.”

The Commission’s announcement was made two days after the United Nations Environment Programme reported a 44% plunge in renewable energy investment in Europe, spreading a sense of gloom among clean energy enthusiasts.

One clause in the new rules lowering the cap on the level of allowed support to energy efficiency measures was described as “astonishing” by E3G, an environmental think tank.

“This seems ironic, if not illogical,” the group said. “Only last month, the European Council concluded that energy efficiency was the first step to take to reduce the bloc’s energy dependency and deliver its energy and climate objectives.”

The new rules may, however, make it more difficult for the UK and other governments  to subsidise nuclear energy projects such as the proposed Hinkley Point reactor, according to Greenpeace.

A general block exemption regulation is still being drafted by the European Commission and, analysts say, could have a significant effect on resource efficient technologies and their cost-effective financing.


CO2 emissions have increased since 2011 despite Germany’s $140 billion green energy plan

Carbon dioxide levels in Germany have been increasing in the last three years despite the government spending nearly $140 billion (100 billion euros) on a green energy since 2005.

The German newspaper Die Zeit writes that Germany won’t be able to meet its emissions reduction target of 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. Currently, the country has only reduced emissions 23.8 percent below 1990 levels.

The “German government wanted to decrease the emissions of CO2 — also through the transition to renewable energy,” writes Die Zeit. “However our chart shows the opposite is the case. Greenhouse gas emissions have been increasing for three years in Germany, 1.2 percent for last year.”

In 2009, Germany emitted 913 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, mainly due to a lagging economy from the global financial crisis. Last year, the country emitted 951 million metric tons of carbon dioxide despite spending about $138 billion to go green in the last decade.

What’s causing the rise in carbon dioxide emissions? Coal power, according to Die Zeit. The newspaper writes that “CO2 emissions continue to rise as more and more coal and lignite power stations” are brought online and natural gas plants remain uneconomical to operate.

German power prices have been driven to three times what they are in the U.S. and 50 percent higher than the rest of Europe because of green energy tariffs. In order to meet its emission reduction targets, Germany has been taxing businesses and households to subsidize green energy sources, like wind and solar.

But the tax to fund green energy has been increasing rapidly, more than fivefold since 2009 — costing Germans $26 billion last year alone. German industries have also been hit hard with rising power costs and are pushing for reform.

The German government is now looking to reform the green energy law that has caused energy prices to spike. The German cabinet approved amendments to the country’s green law on Tuesday that would contain rising energy costs, reports the Wall Street Journal.

But energy analysts are wary that the amendments don’t go far enough to curb rising energy costs. The reform would still exempt many of the same energy-intensive industries from green taxes as it did before, meaning German households would still bear most of the cost of going green.

“Germany says the exemptions are crucial to keeping its energy-intensive industries competitive, but Brussels fears that too many businesses might have benefited from what it considers state aid,” the WSJ reports. “While the exemptions originally focused on such sectors as steel and machinery engineering, they were later expanded to include less obvious beneficiaries, such as railway operators.”

Germany’s energy and economics minister Sigmar Gabriel said the number of exempted companies was reduce to from 2,000 to about 1,600, and that companies that previously benefited from exemptions have to pay 20 percent of the green tax going forward.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

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