Friday, April 29, 2016
Munshi nails it again
Jamal Munshi is a very bright and very skeptical climate scientist. He must have tenure or wouldn't get away with it. His latest paper is a new study of radiocarbon levels -- which shows that the increase in atmospheric CO2 is NOT the result of human activity. Beat that!
Dilution of Atmospheric Radiocarbon Co2 by Fossil Fuel Emissions
Post bomb period data for 14C in atmospheric carbon dioxide from seven measurement stations are available in small samples up to and including the year 2007. They do not support the theory that dilution by 14C-free fossil fuel emissions is responsible for falling levels of 14C in atmospheric CO2. We find instead that the observed decline of 14C in atmospheric CO2 is consistent with the exponential decay of bomb 14C. We also find that the attribution to fossil fuel emissions of the pre-bomb dilution of 14C in atmospheric CO2 in the period 1900-1950 found by Stuiver and Quay in tree-ring data is inconsistent with total emissions and changes in atmospheric CO2 during that period. We conclude that the data for 14C in atmospheric CO2 do not serve as empirical evidence that the observed increase in atmospheric CO2 since the Industrial Revolution is attributable to fossil fuel emissions.
Another failed Greenie prediction
One of the most enduring lies from the Greenies is that "sustainable" power will save you money in the long run. They figure that only by making most unrealistic assumptions, usually ignoring maintenance costs, for instance. But reality does catch up and the promised savings turn into costs. The latest example below
Lake Land College recently announced plans to tear down broken wind turbines on campus, after the school got $987,697.20 in taxpayer support for wind power.
The turbines were funded by a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, but the turbines lasted for less than four years and were incredibly costly to maintain.
“Since the installation in 2012, the college has spent $240,000 in parts and labor to maintain the turbines,” Kelly Allee, Director of Public Relations at Lake Land College, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
The college estimates it would take another $100,000 in repairs to make the turbines function again after one of them was struck by lightning and likely suffered electrical damage last summer. School officials’ original estimates found the turbine would save it $44,000 in electricity annually, far more than the $8,500 they actually generated. Under the original optimistic scenario, the turbines would have to last for 22.5 years just to recoup the costs, not accounting for inflation. If viewed as an investment, the turbines had a return of negative 99.14 percent.
“While they have been an excellent teaching tool for students, they have only generated $8,500 in power in their lifetime,” she said. “One of the reasons for the lower than expected energy power is that the turbines often need to be repaired. They are not a good teaching tool if they are not working.”
The college estimates it would take another $100,000 in repairs to make the turbines function again after one of them was struck by lightning and likely suffered electrical damage last summer.
Even though the college wants to tear down one of the turbines, they are federal assets and “there is a process that has to be followed” according to Allee.
The turbines became operational in 2012 after a 5-year long building campaign intended to reduce the college’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to fight global warming. Even though the turbines cost almost $1 million, but the college repeatedly claimed they’d save money in the long run.
“It is becoming more and more difficult for us financially to maintain the turbines,” Josh Bullock, the college’s president, told the Journal Gazette and Times-Courier last week. “I think it was an extremely worthy experiment when they were installed, but they just have not performed to our expectations to this point.”
Bullock states that the turbines simply haven’t been able to power the campus’ buildings and that most of the electricity wasn’t effectively used.
Lake Land plans to replace the two failed turbines with a solar power system paid for by a government grant. “[T]he photovoltaic panels are expected to save the college between $50,000 and $60,000 this year,”Allee told the DCNF.
Globally, less than 30 percent of total power wind capacity is actually utilized as the intermittent and irregular nature of wind power makes it hard to use.Power demand is relatively predictable, but the output of a wind turbine is quite variable over time and generally doesn’t coincide with the times when power is most needed. Thus, wind power systems require conventional backups to provide power during outages. Since the output of wind turbines cannot be predicted with high accuracy by forecasts, grid operators need to keep excess conventional power systems running.
Wind power accounted for only 4.4 percent of electricity generated in America in 2014, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Alarmists Censoring Sound Science again -- While Silencing Dissenters (of course)
Another recent study dispels the spirited, scaremonger-filled claim that fracking pollutes water supplies. But you probably haven’t heard one iota about it is because the ecofascist lobby wanted it buried. According to University of Cincinnati in Carroll’s Dr. Amy Townsend-Small, who spearheaded a years-long study on the effects of fracking on water reservoirs, “We haven’t seen anything to show that wells have been contaminated by fracking.” Townsend-Small made these remarks in February at a Carroll County Concerned Citizens in Carrollton gathering. But here’s the kicker.
At the same meeting, she gave a remarkably candid explanation for why the study won’t be made publicly available: “I am really sad to say this, but some of our funders, the groups that had given us funding in the past, were a little disappointed in our results. They feel that fracking is scary and so they were hoping this data could be a reason to ban it.” Give her props for honesty. Keep in mind, the study was partially taxpayer subsidized. Remember that next time a government official mentions “settled science.” It’s easy to find a consensus when you cherry the pick data to comport with a narrative.
Fracking is greener and more financially beneficial than alternate methods. This coupled with the aforementioned new research has National Center for Public Policy Research fellow Jeff Stier asking, “Why Are They Hiding the Good News About Fracking?” As he points out, “Back in 2011 … former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson admitted that there hasn’t been a ‘proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water.’ Two years later, current EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy affirmed Jackson’s remark, stating, ‘I am not aware of any definitive determinations that would contradict those statements.’”
If only they’d actually look. “The University of Cincinnati’s fracking research further establishes what myriad studies have already shown: Concerns about groundwater contamination are baseless,” Stier concludes. Meanwhile, here’s another question: Why are greenies opposed to a greener world brought on by increased CO2, anyway? At the very least, Americans should be wondering why groups that once supported natural gas — like the Sierra Club — are suddenly trying to shut down the industry even though science supports it. They know they’re wrong — which is why they want to silence and criminalize climate dissenters. Who are the crooks again?
Obama Breaking U.S. Law to Push Climate Treaty
Current U.S. law prevents the United States from forking over money to a United Nations organization if a group that is not an officially recognized state is also a member. And while it may seem like the rule splits hairs, there’s good reason for it. As The Hill explains, the rule was established so that the Palestinians can’t pull a foreign policy fast one and leverage the UN to declare statehood without first sitting down and negotiating a lasting peace deal with Israel. But peace in the Middle East isn’t as important to Barack Obama as cementing a legacy of climate change policies that pander to ecofascists.
Senate Republicans point out that the U.S. cannot give $10 million a year to the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) because the Palestinian Authority also signed onto the framework. But as the whole climate change treaty wasn’t a treaty when Obama didn’t want to try winning approval from the Senate, Obama says the organization the treaty established is not an organization. “The UNFCCC is a treaty, and the Palestinians' purported accession does not involve their becoming members of any UN specialized agency or, indeed, any international organization,” State Department spokesman John Kirby argued. “Further, we do not believe that it advances U.S. interests to respond to Palestinian efforts by withholding critical funds that support the implementation of key international agreements, which could undermine our ability to pursue important U.S. objectives.” See? The ends justify the means.
But Obama’s arguments don’t hold water, according to The Heritage Foundation’s Brett Schaefer and Steven Groves. The two wrote that UNFCCC is an organization established by the treaty — one that employs about 500 people, similar to organizations like INTERPOL. As a result, Congress should exercise its power of the purse and pull the strings shut on this implementation of Obama’s ecofascist plan.
Welsh village to sue government over 'alarmist' rising sea level claim
A Welsh village is to sue the government after a climate change report suggested their community would soon be washed away by rising sea levels. The document says Fairbourne will soon be lost to the sea, and recommends that it is "decommissioned".
Angry villagers say predictions of that the sea level will rise by a metre a year are alarmist, and have hit house prices and investment in the village.
At a local meeting they voted overwhelmingly in favour of pursuing legal action over the controversial Shoreline Management Plan 2 (SMP2), saying it had "blighted" their community.
The plan for Fairbourne, in Gwynedd, surrounded by the Snowdonia National Park, was commissioned by Pembrokeshire and Gwynedd local authorities and signed off by the Welsh Government. It is not yet clear who would foot the bill should the legal campaign be successful.
Currently, Fairbourne is included in the West of Wales (SMP2) which recommends that, while the village will be protected against flooding over the next few years, in the longer term, as sea levels rise, it will undergo "managed realignment" and Farbourne will eventually be "decommissioned".
As a result, house prices in Fairbourne have plummeted and businesses have struggled for long-term investment.
The SMP2 plan states that Fairbourne will see sea levels rise by one metre in the next century, but Fairbourne Facing Change (FFC), a community action group looking to sustain the coastal village for as long as possible, has always dismissed this data as misleading.
The chairman of FFC, Pete Cole, said: "There are four Shoreline Management Plans for Wales, two of which, including the one covering Fairbourne, used the more aggressive sea level rise predictions of one metre in 100 years.
"The other two used more optimistic forecasts. If these had been used in Fairbourne the timeline would have been extended by many years.
The SMP2 plan states that Fairbourne will see sea levels rise by one metre in the next century
"It's ridiculous that had Fairbourne been separated by two different SMPs, one side of the village would be a metre under water 30 to 40 years before the other half - it's nonsensical.
"The 2016 sea level rise forecast produced by the esteemed National Tidal and Sea Level Facility concluded that sea levels could be exp¬ected to rise 50cm rather than one metre in the next 100 years and with only a modest 20 to 30cm rise in the next 50 years.
"FFC has never accepted the predictions used for our SMP2. Latest scientific evidence proves that we were right."
Seeking 'legal redress', FFC and Fairbourne are hoping to claim back the original value of all the properties and businesses in Fairbourne following the "enormously damaging" claims put forward by the SMP.
"We have been hurt by the actions of the agencies who adopted these plans without thinking of the ramifications," added Mr Cole.
"Serious questions should be asked about the 'due diligence' of these bodies which are overseeing a system which is not consistent across the whole of the country.
"A barrister from Gray's Inn Square Chambers in London, specialising in the fields of planning and local government law, has reviewed our situation and concludes that there could be a potential claim. "We could be looking at a substantial return, tens of millions, but perhaps even £100 million.
"The barrister has offered to undertake the legal work on a fixed-fee basis of around £20,000.
"Public meetings held on Friday, 5 February, agreed overwhelmingly to personally commit to contribute to the funding covering legal costs and that FFC would ask the barrister to proceed with the initial review and application of those facts to the law.
"We have already raised a four-figure sum towards the legal fees, almost a 10th of the amount required."
Greenies trying to stop oil exploration in the Great Australian Bight
It's Greenies doing what Greenies do and compromise is unknown to them. But if drilling is to be banned there, drilling is impermissible anywhere. For most of the length of the bight (over 1,000 kilometers), the land adjoining the Bight is basically desert. There's nothing there. So virtually no people to endanger in any way. The land concerned is not called the Nullarbor plain for nothing. Most people seem to think it is an Aboriginal name but it is in fact Latin -- meaning "No trees". That's how barren it is.
And the minimal runoff from the land means that there is not much to encourage life in the seas there either. There will of course be marine life feeding off marine algae and the like but there is no reason to think any of it is unique, let alone importantly unique. All deserts have creatures in them at low densities so the Greenies can claim that creatures on land and sea there are "endangered" but that is just a reflex. Nobody that I know has shown that there are in fact unique creatures there, let along importantly unique ones. No doubt there are whales etc there but are there any whales there that are not found elswhere? Even the Greenies have not yet claimed that
So if exploration even in a desert area is impermissible, where is it permisible? To Greenies NO oil exploration or new production is permissible but less obsessed people do not have to agree
When executives of the global oil giant BP fronted the company’s general meeting in London this month they knew they faced plenty of upset shareholders.
The mop-up from the catastrophic Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico had just eaten up another $US20 billion ($25bn) of shareholder funds in a major legal settlement, and collapsing world oil prices had smashed the company’s full year profit, causing an investor revolt over an executive bonus scheme that seemed completely at odds with the financial performance.
But when the most senior BP executives faced investors, the level of hostility towards an oil exploration project 16,000km away took them by surprise.
“Gosh, this investment in Australia is not very popular today,” BP chief executive Bob Dudley said. But he couldn’t see why all the fuss. “The country had an area and invited people to participate in a bid,’’ Dudley said. “We do this around the world in exploration; it is not a particularly unusual or harsh area.”
BP’s plans, along with rival oil giants, to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight is highly contentious, but the potential rewards — up to 1.9 billion barrels of oil worth up to $110bn (at today’s depressed prices) are great. But so are the risks. It could be the next Bass Strait, enthusiastic backers claim. Or it could be the next Deepwater Horizon disaster, passionate opponents warn.
At the general meeting, BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg emphasised that the company was not trying to pressure governments. “To run Bight or not run Bight is not a decision for BP,” he said. “It is a decision for Australia.”
Now, as BP plans a $1bn exploration program and a $US750 million drilling rig nears completion in a South Korean shipbuilding yard, the federal Senate is taking a very keen interest.
Today, a Senate inquiry holds its first public hearings, hoping to determine how the contentious drilling permits were issued and administered and whether the great risks in drilling in such a hazardous environment as the Great Australian Bight were properly assessed.
The Bight drilling program is at a very early stage but is vigorously touted as being the next Bass Strait: an area containing billions of dollars worth of oil reserves that could transform Australia from a net importer of crude oil into an exporter.
For risk-hungry explorers it represents one of the world’s great unexplored deepwater oil regions, similar in potential to that of the Niger and Mississippi deltas. Major oil companies, led by BP, Statoil, Chevron and Santos, are lining up for a piece of the action.
But the calamitous events six years ago in the Gulf of Mexico, when an explosion on BP’s Deepwater Horizon well killed 11 workers, spewed 4.9 million barrels of oil into the ocean, killing countless wildlife, ruining fisheries and decimating local communities, mean that the Great Australian Bight drilling plans have put environmental groups on high alert.
Leading environmental groups have spent many months war gaming a major confrontation with BP over its Great Australian Bight plans. The campaign dovetails into a broader agenda to limit fossil fuel developments, most particularly in new frontier and potentially difficult areas like Alaska and deepwater targets such as the Great Australian Bight.
BP says in its submission to the federal Senate inquiry, it wants the matter concluded quickly “given the Senate has taken the unusual step of specifically naming our company and its proposed investments in Australia”.
Global oil and gas production will keep rising over the next two decades, it says, to help meet world demand for primary energy. It points out that Australia has produced oil since the 1960s with a history of drilling in Commonwealth Marine Areas, including the Great Australian Bight. And Australia is a net oil importer, as consumption keeps rising despite domestic oil production steadily falling. The whole nation would benefit from the discovery of a new oil or gas region, and not just through tax and other macroeconomic benefits, BP says.
“Wood Mackenzie, an independent oil and gas analytical firm, estimates the potential resource in the Great Australian Bight to be 1900mmboe (million barrels of oil equivalent) of oil — more than 20 times the entire Australian production in 2014,” BP’s Senate submission says. “A new oilfield development could make a material difference to the balance of payments — and to tax revenues.”
Ironically, BP was granted special tax arrangements over its Great Australian Bight exploration program and can deduct 150 per cent of costs from its royalty obligations. But in response to publicity about the tax arrangements, the company said it “considers transparency an important requirement to increasing trust in tax systems around the world”. The company told an earlier Senate hearing into tax avoidance that BP Australia’s effective tax rate had averaged 28.4 per cent over the past five years with income tax payments alone exceeding $2.2bn.
Given the company’s recent history in the Gulf of Mexico, however, it is not tax matters that concentrate the minds of environmental groups.
The Great Australian Bight is an “extraordinary ocean and coastal environment of global conservation significance”, the Wilderness Society says in its Senate inquiry submission. “It is remote, wild and pristine, with more local marine life diversity than the Great Barrier Reef.
“While scientists are still trying to understand the diverse ecological values of the Bight, we know already that it is a major haven for whales, including the threatened southern right whale, and home to other significant marine wildlife such as the Australian sea lion, giant cuttlefish, dolphins, great white sharks and a vast array of seabirds. All of this life and immense natural beauty supports thriving fishing and tourism industries and a uniquely Australian way of life for the many coastal communities of the Bight.”
Both sides are haunted by the Deepwater Horizon disaster. According to BP, if the Bight was hit by a worst-case scenario — a loss of control of the well resulting in uncontrolled flow of petroleum into the ocean, “oil would take several weeks to reach shore and the direction in which it could drift varies due to seasonal differences in current and wind direction”.
But the Wilderness Society says an oil spill from a deep-sea well blowout could close fisheries in the Bight, Bass Strait and even the Tasman Sea while even a low-flow oil spill could affect all of southern Australia’s coast, from Western Australia right across to Victoria through Bass Strait and around Tasmania.
BP aims to begin exploratory drilling in October and has a $US750m harsh environment, semi-submersible oil drilling rig nearly completed in South Korea and ready to ship to the Bight.
The Senate has a fortnight to investigate but given the looming federal election, it is feasible the Senate may not finish the task. The inquiry terms of reference call for an assessment of the potential environmental, social and economic impacts of BP’s plans, including the risks of something going wrong.
Submissions to the inquiry include local councils and fishing groups. The city of Victor Harbor thinks the risk of an oil spill within the Bight may be low but the consequences potentially catastrophic. It points out that the Bight is a pristine environment and a critical sanctuary for many threatened species that support two significant industries: fishing and tourism.
The South Australian Oyster Growers Association says it does not want to block potentially beneficial oil projects for the Eyre Peninsula and South Australia. But drilling for oil does pose a “significant risk to the currently pristine unpolluted environment and the image of this”.
“These are the features that our reputation and credentials in the marketplace are based upon, and have taken decades to establish and promote,” the association says.
Then there’s damning evidence by the world’s foremost engineering disaster expert, Bob Bea. Bea, nicknamed the “Master of Disaster”, criticises BP, saying there is not “sufficient information to determine if BP has properly assessed the risks”.
“The information that has been presented indicates that BP has apparently integrated the key aspects of what has been learned about drilling in high-risk environments,” Bea says. “However, the information is not available to determine if BP has properly assessed and managed the risks associated with an uncontrolled loss of well control.”
Bea, professor emeritus at the Centre for Catastrophic Risk Management, University of California-Berkeley, has worked for more than 55 years on offshore oil and gas industry operations in 72 countries.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers journal says: “If Robert Bea turns up on your project, it’s not a good sign. Either you’re in the middle of a major disaster or someone is worried enough to send out the nation’s foremost forensic engineer to take a look.”
The Wilderness Society says BP has admitted containment booms and skimmers will not work in the Bight and that the area is “right on the edge of” the reach of helicopters. But of major concern is the level of secrecy imposed by the government-sanctioned approving authority, which has all of the environmental powers of the federal government over the offshore exploration area including endangered and listed marine species.
The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority is an independent statutory authority that is the national regulator for health and safety, well integrity and environmental management for offshore oil and gas activities in Australian waters.
Green groups demand that BP release its environmental plan and that the federal government assemble an independent expert panel to look at oil drilling in the Bight. They claim NOPSEMA does not have necessary environmental expertise. “While we know the Bight is a pristine marine environment with at least 36 species of whales and dolphins, there is still much we don’t know as the GAB Research Project, which BP has partly funded, won’t report until mid-2017,” a Wilderness Society spokesman says.
The Wilderness Society is demanding a transparent process. “Instead, we have an Environment Minister who has handed off his responsibility to protect the environment to a poorly known regulator; one running a highly flawed and opaque process that fails to ensure the protection of our environment or properly assess the cumulative impacts of all potential oil development in the Great Australian Bight.”
BP is no doubt banking on the Senate inquiry falling victim to the electoral cycle. It wants to start drilling in October and the federal government has delegated the decision to its regulator.
In its own Senate submission, NOPSEMA says a final decision on the BP plans for the Bight is yet to be made. It notes that two statutory independent reviews found NOPSEMA to be a “robust, rigorous and competent regulator”.
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Posted by JR at 12:22 AM