Monday, October 17, 2016
HFCs: Mistaking theory for achievement
CFCs and HFCs are the safest gases for use in refrigeration. But in accord with their unfailing agenda of destruction, Greenies have now got both banned. So more dangerous gases will have to be used. Air conditioners that explode or burst into flames coming to a place near you shortly.
And for what? Because HFCs absorb some frequencies of electromagnetic radiation in the laboratory. So the Greenies assume that HFCs warm the earth. But HFCs break down rapidly once they get into the atmosphere so the amount resident at any one point in time is much lower than the amount released. So the calculations of the effect of a ban on HFcs are undoubtedly well wide of the mark.
But the warmists are so caught up the ecstasy of banning something that they even talk of the recent agreement as already working: "this is the largest temperature reduction ever achieved by a single agreement". Whether it achieves ANY effect on temperature remains to be seen, if it can be seen.
The ban on CFCs was driven by similar theory. Banning them was supposed to heal the hole in the ozone layer. It didn't. The hole was bigger than ever late last year. So much for theory.
Nearly 200 nations have reached a deal, announced Saturday morning after all-night negotiations, to limit the use of greenhouse gases far more powerful than carbon dioxide in a major effort to fight climate change.
The talks on hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, were called the first test of global will since the historic Paris Agreement to cut carbon emissions was reached last year. HFCs are described as the world's fastest-growing climate pollutant and are used in air conditioners and refrigerators. Experts say cutting them is the fastest way to reduce global warming.
President Barack Obama, in a statement Saturday, called the new deal "an ambitious and far-reaching solution to this looming crisis." The spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called it "critically important."
The agreement, unlike the broader Paris one, is legally binding. It caps and reduces the use of HFCs in a gradual process beginning by 2019 with action by developed countries including the United States, the world's second-worst polluter. More than 100 developing countries, including China, the world's top carbon emitter, will start taking action by 2024, when HFC consumption levels should peak.
A small group of countries including India, Pakistan and some Gulf states pushed for and secured a later start in 2028, saying their economies need more time to grow. That's three years earlier than India, the world's third-worst polluter, had first proposed.
"It's a very historic moment, and we are all very delighted that we have come to this point where we can reach a consensus and agree to most of the issues that were on the table," said India's chief delegate, Ajay Narayan Jha.
Environmental groups had hoped that the deal could reduce global warming by a half-degree Celsius by the end of this century. This agreement gets about 90 percent of the way there, said Durwood Zaelke, president of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development.
Zaelke's group said this is the "largest temperature reduction ever achieved by a single agreement."
The new agreement is "equal to stopping the entire world's fossil-fuel CO2 emissions for more than two years," David Doniger, climate and clean air program director with the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement.
It is estimated that the agreement will cut the global levels of HFCs by 80 to 85 percent by 2047, the World Resources Institute said in a statement.
Experts said they hope that market forces will help speed up the limits agreed to in the deal.
HFCs were introduced in the 1980s as a substitute for ozone-depleting gases. But their danger has grown as air conditioner and refrigerator sales have soared in emerging economies like China and India. HFCs are also found in inhalers and insulating foams.
Major economies have debated how quickly to phase out HFCs. The United States, whose delegation was led by Secretary of State John Kerry, and Western countries want quick action. Nations such as India want to give their industries more time to adjust.
"Thank God we got to this agreement that is good for all nations, that takes into consideration all regional and national issues," said Taha Mohamed Zatari, the head of Saudi Arabia's negotiating team.
Simplistic ocean acidification scare
Although some researchers have raised concerns about possible negative effects of rising CO2 on ocean surface pH, there are several lines of evidence demonstrating marine ecosystems are far more sensitive to fluxes of carbon dioxide from ocean depths and the biosphere’s response than from invasions of atmospheric CO2. There is also ample evidence that lower pH does not inhibit photosynthesis or lower ocean productivity (Mackey 2015). On the contrary, rising CO2 makes photosynthesis less costly.
Furthermore in contrast to researchers arguing rising atmospheric CO2 will inhibit calcification, increased photosynthesis not only increases calcification, paradoxically the process of calcification produces CO2 and drops pH to levels lower than predicted by climate change models. A combination of warmer tropical waters and coral reef biology results in out-gassing of CO2 from the ocean to the atmosphere, making coral reefs relatively insensitive to the effects of atmospheric CO2 on ocean pH.
Sixty million years ago proxy evidence indicates ocean surface pH hovered around 7.4. If surface pH was in equilibrium with the atmosphere, then CO2 concentrations would have hovered around 2000 ppm, but there is no consensus that CO2 reached those levels. However as will be discussed, there are biological processes that do lower surface pH to that extent, despite much lower atmospheric CO2 concentrations.
Over the next 40 million years corresponding with the rearrangement of the continents and ocean currents, the formation of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and initiation of Antarctic glaciers, the evolutionary expansion of diatoms and their increasing abundance (diatoms are the most efficient algae for exporting carbon to ocean depths), ocean carbonate chemistry was greatly altered. As a result ocean surface pH gradually rose above pH 8. Then for our last 20 million years, ocean surface pH has fluctuated within this new equilibrium between 8.4 and 8.1, as seen in Figure 1 below (Pearson and Palmer 2000). For the past 400,000 years, pH rose to about 8.35 during the depths of each ice age. Then during each warm interglacial period, when both land and marine productivity increased, pH fell to ~8.1 (Honisch 2005).slide1Although it is commonly assumed atmospheric CO2 and ocean surface pH are in equilibrium, studies examining various time frames from daily and seasonal pH fluctuations (Kline 2015) to the millennial scale transitions from the last ice age to our warm interglacial (Martinez-Boti 2015), demonstrate surface ocean pH has rarely been in chemical equilibrium with atmospheric CO2. Because oceans contain over 50 times as much CO2 as the atmosphere, surface pH is more sensitive to changes in the rates of upwelling of low-pH, carbon-rich deep waters. It is the response of photosynthesizing organisms and the food webs they support that largely determines how much carbon is sequestered in the surface layers and then sent to deeper waters (the biological pump).
As discussed in an earlier essay, the “biological pump” modulates how much CO2 is sequestered and how much CO2 will out-gas to the atmosphere. It has been estimated that without the biological pump, pre-industrial atmospheric CO2 would have out gassed and raised atmospheric CO2 to 500 ppm, instead of the observed 280 ppm. Ironically the processes that build coral reefs also increase surface CO2 concentrations and lower regional pH to levels lower than expected by equilibrium with atmospheric CO2.
World’s Oldest Scientific Academy, the Royal Society, to Allow Climate Skeptical GWPF Lecture to Go Ahead Despite Internal Opposition
The Royal Society will be going ahead with the controversial Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) annual lecture next week despite internal pressure to cancel the event, DeSmog UK has learned.
The decision to allow the lecture to go forward was made during the Royal Society’s governing council meeting last week where several fellows and associates of the society raised concern over the climate science denying GWPF’s 17 October event.
As DeSmog UK understands, there was a strong sense among many at the meeting that the Royal Society – the world’s oldest scientific academy, founded in 1660 – had made a mistake in accepting the booking for the GWPF’s ‘by invitation only’ lecture to be delivered by Matt Ridley.
However, there was a divergence in opinion on what should be done in response – for example, cancel it or allow it to continue.
Joanna Haigh, Royal Society fellow and council member who attended the meeting, told DeSmog UK: “The Royal Society has decided that cancelling the booking would give the event an unwarranted higher profile.”
She added that “some scientist experts will attend the meeting and keep check on the accuracy of the statements.”
According to a spokesperson for the Royal Society, a range of views were expressed during the meeting, but their position remains unchanged: “The GWPF is one of many organisations who hire space to hold its own events at the Royal Society. There is no suggestion of endorsement by the Royal Society for the views expressed at these events.”
They continued: “The evidence shows us that the earth is warming and that recent warming is largely caused by human activities. Once that is accepted, there is scope for debate on the policy responses and that is the area that the GWPF claims to be interested in.
“If the GWPF uses this opportunity to misrepresent the scientific evidence it would undermine the legitimacy of its views on policy responses to climate change.”
The GWPF, founded by former chancellor and Conservative peer Lord Nigel Lawson, was forced to split its operations in 2014 after a Charity Commission report found its materials lacked balance and “promoted a particular position on global warming.”
And as DeSmog UK understands, it was a commonly held view by everyone who spoke up during last week’s meeting – which was the majority of those who attended – that the GWPF’s activities are reprehensible.
The fact that the climate denial think tank has a few Royal Society fellows in its ranks was also noted.
As Professor Andrew Watson, a Royal Society Fellow and Royal Society Research Professor at the University of Exeter, who is not on the council, previously told DeSmogUK: “I expect the RS agreed to this [booking] because they didn't want to be accused of censorship, but the GWPF is not just interested in hiring a lecture theatre — they are also hiring the brand.”
This isn’t the first time either that a GWPF event has been held at the Royal Society. In 2012, the group’s annual lecture was delivered at the venue by the climate science denying German electric utility executive Fritz Vahrenholt, where he dismissed the role of CO2 in climate change.
Canada still likes nukes
Today, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) starts Canada's largest clean energy project, the refurbishment of the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station east of Toronto.
"Refurbishment of Darlington will ensure emissions-free nuclear continues to be Ontario's single largest source of power. The project will create up to 11,800 jobs annually and contribute nearly $15 billion to Ontario's economy." said Glenn Thibeault, Ontario Minister of Energy.
"This project is an investment in Ontario's future. It benefits communities across the province, it provides clean, safe and reliable power and will help moderate customer prices," said Jeff Lyash, OPG's President and CEO. "I've been involved in a lot of major projects over the years and I can confidently say, I've never seen one that has had this amount of rigorous preparation and is this poised for success," Lyash added.
The Darlington Nuclear Generating Station is a mainstay of the Ontario economy and its refurbishment will permanently boost the Ontario economy, according to the results of research conducted by the Conference Board of Canada and presented to Ontario Power Generation.
"The boost to economic activity would have far-reaching and long-term stimulative effects on the Ontario economy," said Pedro Antunes, Executive Director and Deputy Chief Economist, the Conference Board of Canada. "The operational expenditures associated with Darlington through 2055 will lift employment by roughly 555,000 person-years in Ontario over the life of the station, with Darlington serving as a critical source of job creation for Ontarians, both within and outside the utilities industry."
A report released last week by Intrinsik Environmental Sciences, Inc. says "continued operations of the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station will remove the equivalent of two million cars a year from Ontario's roads."
"These reports clearly show that Darlington will continue to play a major role in Ontario's future economic and environmental success," Lyash said.
OPG is also planning to continue to operate its Pickering Nuclear Generating Station until 2024. The recent "Speech from the Throne" indicated this will save Ontario's electricity customers $600 million, and provide a clean energy source of electricity when Darlington and Bruce Power units are offline for refurbishment.
OPG generates safe, clean, reliable, low cost power for the province. More than 99 per cent of this power has no greenhouse gas or smog causing emissions. OPG's power is priced 40 per cent lower than other generators, which helps moderate customer bills.
The Darlington Nuclear Generating Station is an essential source of electricity in Ontario. It produces 20 per cent of the province's generation. This output is baseload generation, flowing into the electricity system 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Operating Darlington until 2055 will be the equivalent of removing two million cars from Ontario's roads each year.
In 2014, OPG stopped burning coal to create electricity. It was North America's largest climate change action to date.
The price for the electricity from the refurbished station is projected to cost about 8 cents a kilowatt hour. This is below prices for power from alternate sources of baseload power. The final price will be set by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) after a full public process.
The ongoing operation of Darlington is expected to boost personal income in Ontario by an average of $1.6 billion per year from 2017 to 2055, or by a total of $61.4 billion. Corporate profits before tax will increase by $7 billion over the same period.
The continued operation of Darlington is projected to result in a $9.3 billion increase in Ontario provincial government revenues. The federal government will collect $13.8 billion in revenue, while local municipalities in Ontario will collect $356 million.
OPG will work with the Ministry of Energy, the Independent Electricity System Operator and the OEB to pursue continued operation of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station to 2024. All six units would operate until 2022; two units would then shut down and four units would operate to 2024. Extending Pickering's operation will ensure a reliable, clean source of base load electricity during the Darlington and initial Bruce refurbishments.
Technical studies show that Pickering Nuclear Generating Station can be safely operated to 2024. Extending its operating life will save Ontario electricity customers up to $600 million, avoid eight million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and protect 4,500 jobs across Durham Region.
Stormy climate deception
Continued hype and deceit drive climate, energy agenda – clobbering poor families
Despite constant claims to the contrary, the issue is not whether greenhouse gas emissions affect Earth’s climate. The questions are whether those emissions are overwhelming the powerful natural forces that have always driven climate fluctuations, and whether humans are causing dangerous climate change.
No Real-World evidence supports a “dangerous manmade climate change” thesis. In fact, a moderately warmer planet with more atmospheric carbon dioxide would hugely benefit crop, forest and other plant growth, wildlife and humans – with no or minimal climate effect. A colder planet with less CO2 would punish them. And a chillier CO2-deprived planet with less reliable, less affordable energy (from massive wind, solar and biofuel projects) would threaten habitats, species, nutrition and the poorest among us.
And yet, as Hurricane Matthew neared Florida on the very day the Paris climate accord secured enough signatures to bring it into force, politicians, activists and reporters refused to let that crisis go to waste.
Matthew is the kind of “planetary threat” the Paris agreement “is designed to stop,” said one journalist-activist. This hurricane is a “record-shattering storm that is unusual for October,” said another; it underscores how climate change could “turn seasonal weather events into year-round threats.”
What nonsense. What hubris. Suggesting that humans can control planetary temperatures and prevent hurricanes, tornadoes and other severe weather is absurd. Saying an October hurricane augurs year-long chaos is either grossly ill-informed or deliberately disingenuous.
Matthew was a powerful storm that left destruction and death in its wake, especially in impoverished Haiti. Its slow track up the southeastern US coastline pummeled the region with rain, flooding and more deaths. But it was a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds when it made landfall in South Carolina October 8, and a post-tropical storm as it moved offshore from North Carolina a day later.
Despite the rain and floods, that makes a record eleven years since a major (Category 3-5) hurricane last made landfall in the United States (Wilma in October 2005). The previous record major hurricane hiatus was nine years, 1860-1869, according to NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division.
Only a charlatan would suggest that this record lull is due to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. But plenty of alarmist charlatans claim that any violent or “unseasonal” storms are due to “too much” CO2.
Since recordkeeping began in 1851, the US has been hit by 63 Category 3 hurricanes, 21 Cat 4 storms and three Category 5s (1935, 1969 and 1995). Of 51 hurricanes that struck in October, 15 were Category 3-4. Other significant gaps in major hurricane strikes on US coasts occurred in 1882-86, 1910-15 and 1921-26.
The worst periods were 1893-1900 (8 Category 3-5 ‘canes), 1915-21 (8 Cat 3-4), 1926-35 (8 Cat 3-5), 1944-50 (8 Cat 3-4), 1959-69 (7 Cat 3-5), and 2004-05 (7 Category 3-4 hurricanes in just two years).
There is no pattern or trend in this record, and certainly no link to carbon dioxide levels.
Even more obscene than the CO2-climate deception is the response to Matthew’s devastation. More than a week after the Category 4 version of this hurricane struck Haiti’s unprepared shanty towns, hundreds of thousands still had not received food, water, medicine or clothing.
Just as intolerable, United Nations “humanitarian and disaster relief” agencies were issuing “emergency appeals” for $120 million in “life-saving assistance” funds for the desperate Haitians. This after President Obama improperly diverted $500 million from an economic aid program set up to address disease epidemics – like the Zika and cholera cases that are rapidly rising in Haiti – to the UN’s Climate Action Fund. So Obama and the UN blame hurricanes and diseases on manmade climate change, but refuse to spend money they already have on a hurricane disaster, and instead beg for more money. Incredible!
It is clearly not climate change that threatens the poor. It is policies imposed in the name of preventing climate change that imperil poor, minority, blue-collar, farm and factory families.
A new study by the Institute for Competition Economics concludes that Germany’s “green energy transition” will cost €520 billion ($572 billion) by 2025 – just to switch from gas and coal to renewable electricity generation. These costs will keep accumulating long after 2025, and do not cover “decarbonizing” the country’s transportation, heating and agriculture sectors, the study points out.
This €520-billion bill amounts to a €25,000 ($27,500) surcharge for every German family – and 70% of it will come due over the next nine years. That bill is nearly equal to the average German family’s total net worth: €27,000. It is a massive regressive tax that will disproportionately impact low-income families, which already spend a far higher portion of their annual incomes on energy, and rarely have air conditioning.
Germany is slightly smaller than Montana, which is 4% of the USA, and has just 25% of the US population and 22% of the US gross domestic product. (One-fifth of US families have no or negative net worth.)
All of this strongly suggests that a forced transition from fossil fuels to wind, solar and biofuel energy would cost the United States tens of trillions of dollars – hundreds of thousands per American family.
The impacts of climate change obsession on developing nations would be far worse, if they bowed to President Obama’s suggestions and agendas. African nations, he has said, should “leapfrog” “dirty” fossil fuels and instead utilize their “bountiful” wind, solar, geothermal and biofuel resources. In practice, that would mean having expensive, intermittent electricity and growing biofuel crops on Africa’s nutrient-depleted, drought-stricken lands, with no fertilizer, mechanized farming equipment or GMO seeds.
That is racist. It reflects an elitist preference that the world’s poor should die, rather than emit carbon dioxide “pollution,” drive cars, build modern homes, or engage in other “unsustainable” practices.
Thankfully, few developing countries are listening to such nonsense. Instead, they are using oil, natural gas and especially coal, in ever-increasing amounts, to lift their people out of abject poverty – because the “climate-saving” Paris non-treaty imposes no restrictions on their use of fossil fuels.
But meanwhile, “keep it in the ground” pressure groups are redoubling their efforts to prevent Americans from using their own bountiful fossil fuels to create jobs and prosperity. Even though a new NOAA study confirms that rice growing and meat production generate far more methane than do oil, natural gas and coal production and use – with US operations contributing a tiny fraction of that – these groups use every legal and illegal tactic to block drilling, fracking and pipelines. (Methane is 0.00017% of the atmosphere.)
The dictatorial USEPA nevertheless stands ready to issue tough new methane rules for oil and gas operations, while Al Gore and assorted regulators advocate forcing farmers to control cow flatulence “to combat climate change.” Meanwhile, even Hillary Clinton has recognized that Russia provides millions of dollars in support for anti-fracking and anti-pipeline agitators in Europe and the United States.
Keeping fossil fuels in the ground really means depriving people of reliable, affordable electricity; prolonging unemployment and poverty; having no feed stocks for plastics and petrochemicals, except what might come from biofuels; and blanketing hundreds of millions of acres of farm, scenic and habitat land with biofuel crops, 400-foot-tall wind turbines, vast solar arrays and new transmission lines.
And as the UN’s top climate officials have proudly affirmed, “preventing climate change” is really about replacing free enterprise capitalism with “a new economic development model” and having an excuse to “distribute the world’s wealth” to crony corporatists and other “more deserving” parties.
When taxpayers, consumers, unemployed workers and poor families finally recognize these inconvenient truths, the world will be a far better place – with true freedom, justice and opportunity for all.
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Posted by JR at 1:37 AM