Tuesday, August 04, 2015
Obama has a dream -- that his children one day will have hellishly expensive electricity
But it will remain a dream. He will be out of office in 18 months so he won't be able to make it happen. The Donald will probably kick it into the long grass
President Barack Obama will unveil on Monday the final version of his plan to tackle greenhouse gases from coal-fired power plants as he aims to cement his legacy on climate change, a senior administration official said.
The revised Clean Power Plan will seek to slash carbon emissions from the power sector 32 percent from 2005 levels in 2030, a 9 percent increase over a previous proposal.
The regulation will usher in a sweeping transformation of the U.S. electricity sector, encouraging an aggressive shift toward more renewable energy away from coal-fired electricity.
Industry groups and some lawmakers from states that have relied on coal-based energy have said they will challenge it in the courts and through Congressional maneuvers, accusing the administration of a regulatory assault that will drive up energy prices.
The White House was defiant, and said the release of the plan was 'the starting gun for an all-out climate push' by the president and his cabinet.
'My administration will release the final version of America's Clean Power Plan, the biggest, most important step we have ever taken to combat climate change,' Obama said in a video posted by the White House Sunday at midnight.
He said there have been no federal limits to date on carbon pollution from power plants, the biggest source of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
The plan will be central to the United States' contribution to a United Nations agreement to tackle climate change, in which the Obama administration has vowed to play a leadership role.
Each state will be required to submit a plan to the Environmental Protection Agency next year, spelling out how it will meet an emission-cutting goal assigned to it.
Five governors who have opposed the rule have already said they will not comply.
The final version will accelerate the deployment of renewable energy based on updated projections that the share of renewable energy generation capacity in 2030 will be higher at 28 percent, compared to 22 percent in last June's version.
The Obama administration also changed its projection about the share of natural gas in the U.S. power mix in 2020, avoiding what it said would be an 'early rush to gas' away from coal.
'Instead, the rule drives early reductions from renewable energy and energy efficiency, which will drive a more aggressive transformation in the domestic energy industry,' according to a senior administration official.
The revised rule contains two new measures the administration said will 'cut energy bills for low-income families' and drive down renewable energy technology costs, pre-empting arguments by opponents that plan will be too costly.
It will create a Clean Energy Incentive Program to reward states that take early action to deploy renewable energy project before the regulation kicks in 2022.
Why the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets are Not Collapsing
Written by Professor Cliff Ollier
Global warming alarmists have suggested that the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica may collapse, causing disastrous sea level rise. This idea is based on the concept of an ice sheet sliding down an inclined plane on a base lubricated by meltwater, which is itself increasing because of global warming.
In reality the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets occupy deep basins, and cannot slide down a plane. Furthermore glacial flow depends on stress (including the important yield stress) as well as temperature, and much of the ice sheets are well below melting point. collapsing ice sheet
The accumulation of kilometres of undisturbed ice in cores in Greenland and Antarctica (the same ones that are sometimes used to fuel ideas of global warming) show hundreds of thousands of years of accumulation with no melting or flow. Except around the edges, ice sheets flow at the base, and depend on geothermal heat, not the climate at the surface. It is impossible for the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to ‘collapse’.
In these days of alarmist warnings about climate warming, the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica have an important role. Many papers have described their melting at the present times, and dire predictions of many metres of sea level rise are common. Christoffersen and Hambrey published a typical paper on the Greenland ice sheet in Geology Today in May, 2006.
Their model, unfortunately, includes neither the main form of the Greenland Ice Sheet, nor an understanding of how glaciers flow. They predict the behaviour of the Ice Sheet based on melting and accumulation rates at the present day, and the concept of an ice sheet sliding down an inclined plane on a base lubricated by meltwater, which is itself increasing because of global warming.
The same misconception is present in textbooks such as The Great Ice Age (2000) by R.C.L. Wilson and others, popular magazines such as the June 2007 issue of National Geographic, and other scientific articles such as Bamber et al. (2007), which can be regarded as a typical modelling contribution. The idea of a glacier sliding downhill on a base lubricated by meltwater seemed a good idea when first presented by de Saussure in 1779, but a lot has been learned since then.
In the present paper we shall try to show how the mechanism of glacier flow differs from this simple model, and why it is impossible for the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets to collapse. To understand the relationship between global warming and the breakdown of ice sheets it is necessary to know how ice sheets really work.
Ice sheets do not simply grow and melt in response to average global temperature. Anyone with this naïve view would have difficulty in explaining why glaciation has been present in the southern hemisphere for about 30 million years, and in the northern hemisphere for only 3 million years.
A glacier budget
In general glaciers grow, flow and melt continuously. There is a budget of gains and losses. Snow falls on high ground. It becomes more and more compact with time, air is extruded, and it turns into solid ice. A few bubbles of air might be trapped, and may be used by scientists to examine the air composition at the time of deposition.
More precipitation of snow forms another layer on the top, which goes through the same process, so the ice grows thicker by the addition of new layers at the surface. The existence of such layers, youngest at the top and oldest at the bottom, enables the glacial ice toWhen the ice reaches a lower altitude or lower latitude where temperature is higher it starts to melt and evaporate. (Evaporation and melting together are called ablation, but for simplicity we shall use 'melting' from now on). If growth and melting balance, the glacier appears to be 'stationary'. If precipitation exceeds melting the glacier grows. If melting exceeds precipitation the glacier recedes.
How glaciers move
Flow is mainly by a process called creep, essentially the movement of atoms from one crystal to another. The first clues to this came from the study of lake ice, which can flow at a stress much lower than the shear strength of 'regular' ice if the stress is applied parallel to the lake surface. This results from the crystal properties of ice. Ice is a hexagonal mineral with glide planes parallel to the base. Lake ice is almost like a sheet of columnar basalt, with the c-axes vertical and the glide planes all parallel to the lake surface, so a push parallel to the glide planes deforms the ice readily. Much greater stress is needed to deform ice perpendicular to the glide planes.
Another method of flow is important in 'regular' ice. There is constant gain-and-loss of atoms between different crystals in a mass of ice, and in the absence of any stress an individual grain of ice will lose about the same number of atoms that it gains, and so remain unchanged.
But if a crystal is stressed it will lose more atoms than it gains and so shrink, while a nearby unstressed grain will gain more than it loses and so grow. In this way there will be preferential growth of those ice crystals which are oriented in such a way that their glide planes are parallel to the stress, and grains in other orientations will tend to disappear. This is observed in glaciers, where it is found that not only does a marked crystal orientation appear with distance down-valley, but the ice crystals at a glacier snout may have a volume about a thousand times greater than that of the first-formed ice crystals at the source of the glacier. These observations cannot be explained by mechanisms that ignore the crystal structure of ice.
The flow of material in a solid crystalline state is known as creep. There are three laws of creep relevant to the flow of ice:
Creep is proportional to temperature.
Creep is proportional to stress (essentially proportional to the weight of overlying ice)
There is a minimum stress, called the yield stress, below which creep does not operate.
All these laws have significant effects on glacier movement, and on how glacial behaviour might be interpreted. Alpine glaciers differ significantly from ice caps like Greenland and Antarctica, even though the laws of physics remain the same, and care is needed to transfer knowledge of one kind of glacier to the other.
Creep is proportional to temperature
The closer the temperature comes to the melting point the greater the creep rate. In experiments at a fixed stress it was found that the creep rate at -1°C is 1000 times greater than at -20°C. In valley glaciers the ice is almost everywhere at the prevailing melting point of ice, because the latent heat of ice is very much greater than its specific heat. Very little heat is required to raise the temperature of an ice block from -1°C to 0°C; it takes about 80 times as much heat to turn the same ice block at 0°C into water at 0°C.
Because the temperature does not vary in valley glaciers they are not affected by this first law of creep. But ice caps are very different. They are cooled to temperatures well below freezing point, which reduces their capacity to flow very greatly. Ice caps can be kilometres thick, and their warmest part is actually the base, where the ice is warmed by the Earth's heat, and where flow is concentrated.
The drilling of the Northern Greenland Ice Core Project (NGRIP) was stopped by relatively high temperatures near the base and new equipment had to be designed to drill the core from 3001 m to 3085 m. Because ice flows only at the base, great thicknesses of stratified ice can accumulate, as revealed in the ice cores.
The reports about some Greenland cores claim no flow at all! This is presumably the result of cold-based ice. A large geomorphologyliterature describes delicate landforms such as tors and patterned ground in areas that were formerly covered by an ice sheet. The general view is that cold-based ice essentially preserves any pre- existing landforms, and the erosion potential of cold-based ice is zero or minimal. Importantly for ideas of 'collapse', the ice is not sliding. Indeed it is not moving at all.
Greenland differs from Antarctica in that the ice sheet spills out through gaps in the mountain rim, and the glaciers overlie deep narrow valleys. According to van der Veen and others such valleys have higher than usual geothermal gradients, so it might be geothermal heat, rather than global warming, that causes some Greenland glaciers to have higher than usual flow rates.
The overspills have some of the characteristics of alpine glaciers, where evidence of glacier recession is more obvious. In many parts of the world glaciers have been receding since 1895 and with increasing pace since 1930. There is no obvious explanation for this and these dates have no clear counterpart in temperature or carbon dioxide records.
The Inconvenient Truth About Climate Policy
It won't make a lick of difference when it comes to global temperatures
"Climate change is a manmade crisis, and so the need to implement sharp reductions in greenhouse gas emissions is paramount". That summarizes the constant drumbeat of conventional wisdom, which raises an interesting question: If the Obama administration's Climate Action Plan – a 17 percent reduction in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 – were to be implemented immediately, what temperature reduction would that yield by the year 2100?
The answer: 15 one-thousandths of a degree. Yes, you read that correctly. The effect would be too small even to be measured, let alone to affect sea levels and cyclones and all the rest. That number, by the way, is not some screwy calculation from the back of an envelope. It comes from the Environmental Protection Agency's own climate model, not that the EPA has ever admitted this publicly, obviously because it is embarrassing. That is why the EPA's benefit/cost "analysis" of its Clean Power Plan and the other components of its climate policy assumes a deeply dubious array of "co-benefits" in the form of particulate reductions and other impacts that are simply invented out of whole cloth or that already are counted as justifications for other regulatory policies. Without such machinations, the Climate Action Plan would collapse as a regulatory framework, because it is all cost and no benefit. Literally.
But let us ignore that. Maybe the U.S. acting alone cannot do much, but cooperation at the international level would be meaningful. That is the advertised rationale for the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, which has been holding meetings, traveling on jets and feasting at upscale restaurants for 25 years, the forthcoming climax of which will be the 21st "Conference of the Parties" in Paris in December. Let's assume that the agreement between the U.S. and China that was announced last November will be implemented fully, even though the Chinese effectively disavowed it almost immediately, and did so smack dab in the middle of the 20th Conference of the Parties in Lima, Peru. That agreement calls for an additional 10 percent reduction by the U.S. by 2025, with no actual reduction by the Chinese; this additional cut in U.S. emissions gets us another temperature reduction of one one-hundredth of a degree.
But let's not stop there. Let's use our imagination and assume that China reduces its emissions by 20 percent by 2030. That gets us two tenths of a degree. Throw in a 30 percent reduction by Europe and Japan and the rest of the industrialized world, also by 2030. That's another two tenths of a degree, for a grand total of 0.425 degrees, under a "climate sensitivity" (loosely, the effectiveness of greenhouse gas reductions) assumption 50 percent greater than that adopted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its latest assessment report. Is an effect that small worth 1 percent of global GDP, or roughly $600 billion to $750 billion per year, inflicted disproportionately upon the world's poor?
But, you say, isn't there a looming crisis? Aren't the effects of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations already observable and serious? That is the argument heard constantly. But what is the actual evidence on climate trends published by government agencies, by research bodies funded by government agencies and in the peer-reviewed literature? Answer: The temperature record is ambiguous, as is the correlation of greenhouse gas concentrations and the rate of sea-level increases. The Arctic and Antarctic sea ice covers do not differ by a statistically significant amount from the respective 1981-2010 averages. The Arctic ice cover is near the bottom, but within, the relevant range, and the Antarctic ice cover is near the top, and exceeds in some months, the relevant range. Tornado counts and intensities are in a long-term decline. The frequency and accumulated energy of tropical cyclones are near their lowest levels since satellite measurements began in the early 1970s. U.S. wildfires are not correlated with the temperature record or with increases in greenhouse gas concentrations. The Palmer Drought Severity Index shows no trend since 1895. Over the last century, flooding in the U.S. has not been correlated with increased greenhouse gas concentrations. World per capita food production has increased and undernourishment has decreased, both more-or-less monotonically, since 1993.
[READ: Views You Can Use: Cool to Francis' Climate Views]
We continually hear such assertions as "2014 was the planet's warmest year on record [and that] fourteen of the fifteen hottest years on record have all fallen in the first 15 years of this century." Perhaps surprisingly, such factoids are far less informative than many seem to assume. The recent year-to-year differences are almost never statistically significant. More important, the "hottest year" rhetoric is based on the surface temperature record, a collection of data that is deeply problematic, with heat-island effects difficult to expunge from the data, poor placement and shifts in the measurement stations, etc. An example: For over a century, "China" was 137 monitoring stations in four cities, and as those cities grew, "China" warmed. Surprise!
The satellite data tell a different story, which is why the reported surface temperature path is consistently higher than the satellite record. More broadly: The earth has been warming in fits and starts since the end of the little ice age around 1850, and so a warming trend is neither surprising nor informative. The real question is: How much of it has been caused by greenhouse gas emissions? The answer is "more than zero," but beyond that no one knows, and anyone who claims to know is talking out of a hat.
And then there is the temperature "hiatus." Despite increasing atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, there has been virtually no temperature increase since roughly 2002, despite the predictions of the climate models. No one knows why; the science is not settled, nor can it ever be, by definition.
Is it an accident, as Pravda used to put it, that the Clean Power Plan would raise energy costs disproportionately in red states, thus reducing their competitive advantages over blue ones? Do not underestimate the power of wealth redistribution as a force driving policymaking in the Beltway. Such propaganda terms as "carbon pollution" are useful as tools toward that end, as they are designed to end debate before it begins by assuming the answer to the underlying policy question. Carbon dioxide is not "carbon" and it is not a pollutant, as a minimum atmospheric concentration of it is necessary for life itself. By far the most important greenhouse gas in terms of the radiative (warming) properties of the atmosphere is water vapor; why does no one call it a "pollutant"? Presumably it is because ocean evaporation is a natural process. Well, so are volcanic eruptions, but no one argues that the massive amounts of particulates and toxins emitted by volcanoes are not pollutants. The climate debate is desperately in need of honesty and seriousness, two conditions characteristic of neither the Beltway nor the climate industry.
The Unsettling, Anti-Science Certitude on Global Warming
Climate-change ‘deniers’ are accused of heresy by true believers. That doesn’t sound like science to me
By JOHN STEELE GORDON
Are there any phrases in today’s political lexicon more obnoxious than “the science is settled” and “climate-change deniers”?
The first is an oxymoron. By definition, science is never settled. It is always subject to change in the light of new evidence. The second phrase is nothing but an ad hominem attack, meant to evoke “Holocaust deniers,” those people who maintain that the Nazi Holocaust is a fiction, ignoring the overwhelming, incontestable evidence that it is a historical fact. Hillary Clinton’s speech about climate change on Monday in Des Moines, Iowa, included an attack on “deniers.”
The phrases are in no way applicable to the science of Earth’s climate. The climate is an enormously complex system, with a very large number of inputs and outputs, many of which we don’t fully understand—and some we may well not even know about yet. To note this, and to observe that there is much contradictory evidence for assertions of a coming global-warming catastrophe, isn’t to “deny” anything; it is to state a fact. In other words, the science is unsettled—to say that we have it all wrapped up is itself a form of denial. The essence of scientific inquiry is the assumption that there is always more to learn.
Science takes time, and climatology is only about 170 years old. Consider something as simple as the question of whether the sun revolves around the Earth or vice versa.
The Greek philosopher Aristarchus suggested a heliocentric model of the solar system as early as the third century B.C. But it was Ptolemy’s geocentric model from the second century A.D. that predominated. It took until the mid-19th century to solve the puzzle definitively.
Assuming that “the science is settled” can only impede science. For example, there has never been so settled a branch of science as Newtonian physics. But in the 1840s, as telescopes improved, it was noticed that Mercury’s orbit stubbornly failed to behave as Newtonian equations said that it should.
It seems not to have occurred to anyone to question Newton, so the only explanation was that Mercury must be being perturbed by a planet still closer to the sun. The French mathematician Urbain Le Verrier had triumphed in 1846 when he had predicted, within one degree, the location of a planet (later named Neptune) that was perturbing Uranus’s orbit.
He set out to calculate the orbit of the planet that he was sure was responsible for Mercury’s orbital eccentricity. He named it Vulcan, after the Roman god of fire. Once Le Verrier had done the math, hundreds of astronomers, both amateur and professional, searched for the illusive planet for the next few decades. But telescopic observation near the immensely bright sun is both difficult and dangerous. More than one astronomer injured his eyesight in the search.
Several possible sightings were reported, but whether they were illusions, comets, or asteroids is unknown, as none could be tracked over time. After Le Verrier’s death in 1877 the hunt for Vulcan slacked off though it never ceased entirely.
Only in 1915 was the reason no one could find Vulcan explained: It wasn’t there. Newton had written in the “Principia” that he assumed space to be everywhere and always the same. But a man named Albert Einstein that year, in his theory of general relativity, demonstrated that it wasn’t always the same, for space itself is distorted by hugely massive objects such as the sun.
When Mercury’s orbit was calculated using Einstein’s equations rather than Newton’s, the planet turned out to be exactly where Einstein said it would be, one of the early proofs of general relativity.
Climate science today is a veritable cornucopia of unanswered questions. Why did the warming trend between 1978 and 1998 cease, although computer climate models predict steady warming? How sensitive is the climate to increased carbon-dioxide levels? What feedback mechanisms are there that would increase or decrease that sensitivity? Why did episodes of high carbon-dioxide levels in the atmosphere earlier in Earth’s history have temperature levels both above and below the average?
With so many questions still unanswered, why are many climate scientists, politicians—and the left generally—so anxious to lock down the science of climatology and engage in protracted name-calling? Well, one powerful explanation for the politicians is obvious: self-interest.
If anthropogenic climate change is a reality, then that would be a huge problem only government could deal with. It would be a heaven-sent opportunity for the left to vastly increase government control over the economy and the personal lives of citizens.
Moreover, the release of thousands of emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit in 2009 showed climate scientists concerned with the lack of recent warming and how to “hide the decline.” The communications showed that whatever the emailers were engaged in, it was not the disinterested pursuit of science.
Another batch of 5,000 emails written by top climate scientists came out in 2011, discussing, among other public-relations matters, how to deal with skeptical editors and how to suppress unfavorable data. It is a measure of the intellectual corruption of the mainstream media that this wasn’t the scandal of the century. But then again I forget, “the science is settled.”
Spanish windmill company tops list of US corporate welfare hogs
How much welfare Uncle Sam provides companies has long been one of the great mysteries of taxpayer spending. Like a secret underground river, boodles have flowed out of the Treasury and into corporate bank accounts without notice.
Now we finally have a first look at the size of that river and where the cash goes.
The federal government has quietly doled out $68 billion through 137 government giveaway programs since 2000, according to a new database built by a nonprofit research organization, Good Jobs First. It identified more than 164,000 gifts of taxpayer money to companies. You can look up company names, subsidy programs and other freebies at the Subsidy Tracker 3.0 website.
A report the organization released today, “Uncle Sam’s Favorite Corporations,” shows that big businesses raked in two-thirds of the welfare.
The most surprising and tantalizing finding is the identity of the biggest known recipient of federal welfare. That dubious honor belongs to Iberdrola, a Spanish energy company with a reputation for awful service and admissions of incompetence. It collected $2.1 billion of welfare on a $5.4 billion investment in U.S. wind farms from coast to coast.
40 percent discount
Iberdrola, the biggest welfare recipient in the Good Jobs database, says it “is proud of our investment in the United States, the American jobs it has created and the enduring infrastructure it has resulted in that benefits consumers all over the country.”
Dan Hucko, the company’s top American spokesman, called the cash-for-wind program “a remarkable success story for U.S. taxpayers, for local communities and for American jobs” partly because Iberdrola invested $5.4 billion more to collect the money under Section 1603 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act, the 2009 stimulus.
The nearly $2.2 billion of welfare Iberdrola received is effectively a 40 percent discount on its $5.4 billion investment. Think about how well off you would be if you could buy investments and get 40 percent back in cash from the federal government.
The cash payments were made in lieu of tax credits that companies could use to offset profits. During the financial collapse that began in 2007, profits temporarily evaporated at many firms, making the corporate tax credits worthless.
Hucko said, “The federal government uses tax policy to drive private sector investments that create jobs, address the country’s energy needs, reduce the threat of climate change and ensure the safety and reliability of the nation’s electricity and natural gas transmission infrastructure.”
Quite right, but it is also a reminder that America has never had a free market. Government not only makes the rules but also picks winners and losers through tax breaks and cash welfare to corporations. These activities get hardly any attention compared with the constant attacks on Social Security benefits and other so-called entitlements.
Wind farms use fossil fuels for construction and operation
By Gary Johns, commenting from Australia
[Leftist leader] Bill Shorten should have asked a couple of questions before committing Australia to a 50 per cent renewable target. Can you build a wind turbine, or start a wind turbine, without fossil fuels?
The answer is no and no, you cannot. So what is the point of saddling Australia with an increasing load of wind turbines? (Much is also true for solar.)
Whatever one's beliefs on the veracity and level of threat from climate change, what is the point in spending hard-earned dollars on expensive and inadequate-for-purpose technology?
The energy density of wind power is a little over one watt a square metre. As Smaller, Faster, Lighter, Denser, Cheaper author Robert Bryce tells, if all the coal-fired generation capacity in the US were to be replaced by wind, it would need to set aside land the size of Italy. Hydrocarbons are denser energy sources than wind. There is nothing that can overcome that fact.
James Hansen, the former NASA climate scientist, wrote in 2011: "Suggesting that renewables will let us phase out rapidly fossil fuels is almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter bunny."
The other thing about renewables is that they cannot produce the intensity of heat required to not only build turbines but just about anything else that makes the modern world modern.
The material requirements of a modern wind turbine have been reviewed by the US Geological Survey (Wind Energy in the United States and Materials Required for the Land-Based Turbine Industry From 2010 Through 2030). On average, 1 megawatt of wind capacity requires 103 tonnes of stainless steel, 402 tonnes of concrete, 6.8 tonnes of fibreglass, three tonnes of copper and 20ÿtonnes of cast iron. The blades are made of fibreglass, the tower of steel and the base of concrete.
Robert Wilson at Carbon Counter takes us through the -science. Fibreglass is produced from petrochemicals, which means that a wind turbine cannot be made without the extraction of oil and natural gas. Steel is made from iron ore. To mine ore requires high energy density fuels, such as diesel. Transporting ore to steel mills requires diesel.
Converting iron ore into steel requires a blast furnace, which requires large amounts of coal or natural gas. The blast furnace is used for most steel production.
Coal is essential, not simply a result of the energy requirements of steel production but of the chemical requirements of iron ore smelting.
Cement is made in a kiln, using kiln fuel such as coal, natural gas or used tyres. About 50 per cent of emissions from cement production comes from chemical reactions in its production.
Then there is the problem of priming windmills. Large wind turbines require a large amount of energy to operate. Wind plants must use electricity from the grid, which is powered by coal, gas or nuclear power.
A host of the wind turbine functions use electricity that the turbine cannot be relied on to generate - functions such as blade-pitch control, lights, controllers, communication, sensors, metering, data collection, oil heater, pump, cooler, filtering system in gearboxes, and much more.
Wind turbines cannot be built and cannot operate on a large scale without fossil fuels.
As important, wind and solar do not have the energy densities to create an economy. Forget trains, planes and automobiles; your humble iPhones, laptops and other digital devices consume huge amounts of electricity and cannot be made with renewables. That most modern of new economy inventions, the computing cloud, requires massive amounts of electricity.
As Mark Mills wrote: "The cloud begins with coal." The greenies who got into the ears of Labor leaders to convince them that the era of fossil fuels is over should think again.
Reservoirs of methane hydrates - icy deposits in which methane molecules are trapped in a lattice of water - are thought to hold more energy than all other fossil fuels combined.
The Japanese, among others, hope that the reservoirs will become a crucial part of the country's energy profile, as Nature reported in April 2013. A pilot project 80km off the country's shores has produced tens of thousands of cubic metres of gas.
As with any new resources there are risks and much work is to be done for safe extraction, but the UN Environmental Program report in March, Frozen Heat: A Global Outlook on Methane Gas Hydrates, was very keen to "explore the potential impact of this untapped natural gas source on the future global energy mix".
Bill, you are suffering from Big Wind. You have let down the party and the nation.
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Posted by JR at 12:40 AM