Sunday, December 04, 2016

Total dishonesty about last Thursday's blackout in South Australia

The S.A. government is shrilling that the new blackout had "nothing to do" with the previous big one in September.  I suppose that there is some trivial sense in which that is true but the root cause of both blackouts is the same:  South Australia does not have ANY baseload power of its own.  Had they not decommissioned all their coal-fired stations, neither blackout would have happened.  Their windmills are just not a reliable source of power.  During the latest incident they were delivering only 6% of their capacity.

When the big wind hit in September and shut down the windmills the South Australians could easily have spun up their coal-fired generators to take the load -- if they still had them.  And the same thing applies to the recent loss of supply.

You have got to have hydrocarbon or nuclear powered generators to get reliable supply and S.A. just does not have enough.  All they have are some small gas-fired ones.  They rely on importing power from hydrocarbon-powered generators in Victoria but Victoria has its own problems -- and will soon have much bigger ones with the closedown of the Hazelwood generator.

The South Australians were so proud of themselves for having such a "Green" electricity system but it was a fantasy.  They need to get a couple of their coal-fired generators spinning again or businesses will start leaving the state and taking jobs with them. New investments will CERTAINLY grind to a halt now. See below

South Australia's electricity system separated from the national power grid overnight, prompting a stern warning from BHP Billiton about threats to Australian jobs and investment.

About 200,000 homes and businesses lost power for over an hour, but BHP’s Olympic Dam operations in the north of the state were interrupted for about four hours.

BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie issued an urgent warning to policy-makers after the latest incident, which comes two months after the statewide blackout led to about two weeks of lost production at Olympic Dam.

“Olympic Dam’s latest outage shows Australia’s investability and jobs are placed in peril by the failure of policy to both reduce emissions and secure affordable, dispatchable and uninterrupted power,” he said in a statement.

“The challenge to reduce emissions and grow the economy cannot fall to renewables alone. “This is a wake-up call ahead of the COAG meeting and power supply and security must be top of the agenda and urgently addressed.”

Opposition Leader Steven Marshall said Labor had “chased cheap and reliable power out of South Australia”.

“South Australians are now saddled with the most expensive and least reliable electricity system in Australia,” he said.

“The statement from BHP this morning demonstrates how dangerous this situation has become. The CEO of the world’s biggest mining company has singled out South Australia’s fragile electricity system as a threat to mining in Australia.

“Affordable and reliable power is critical to running a business – it’s not a luxury, it’s an essential!”


Warmists are getting cautious with their prophecies

The authors below show that even with conventional Warmist asumptions the degree of warming to be expected in the near future could be quite low.  The 21st century "hiatus" must be getting to them now that El Nino has finished.  The figures are now in to show that the recent warming was just a blip

Prospects for a prolonged slowdown in global warming in the early 21st century

Thomas R. Knutson et al


Global mean temperature over 1998 to 2015 increased at a slower rate (0.1 K decade−1) compared with the ensemble mean (forced) warming rate projected by Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 5 (CMIP5) models (0.2 K decade−1). Here we investigate the prospects for this slower rate to persist for a decade or more. The slower rate could persist if the transient climate response is overestimated by CMIP5 models by a factor of two, as suggested by recent low-end estimates. Alternatively, using CMIP5 models’ warming rate, the slower rate could still persist due to strong multidecadal internal variability cooling. Combining the CMIP5 ensemble warming rate with internal variability episodes from a single climate model—having the strongest multidecadal variability among CMIP5 models—we estimate that the warming slowdown (<0.1 K decade−1 trend beginning in 1998) could persist, due to internal variability cooling, through 2020, 2025 or 2030 with probabilities 16%, 11% and 6%, respectively.


Dakota Access protesters accused of destroying environment in order to save it

In the name of saving the environment, thousands of green activists fighting to stop the Dakota Access pipeline are making a huge mess.

Those familiar with the camps near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, increasingly are distressed over the pits of human waste and garbage pockmarking the formerly pristine prairie revered by the Standing Rock Sioux as sacred ancestral land.

Rob Keller, spokesman for the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, said the protesters are “saying one thing and doing another” when it comes to safeguarding the environment.

“We’ve seen pictures of trenches and the garbage thrown in there. So that’s protecting the land?” Mr. Keller said. “And then the snow came in, and I’m sure it’s just a muddy mess now, because that’s river-bottom water, which is silt. It will be a mess.”

Even Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II, who has urged protesters to come “stand with Standing Rock” against the pipeline, is disgusted with how the environmental activists living in the camps have treated the federal property.

“Before this entire movement started, that was some of the most beautiful land around,” Mr. Archambault told the news website Vice. “There was a place down there where eagles, over 100 eagles would come and land. There were game down there — deer, pheasants, elk, geese. Now, it’s occupied by people. And when masses of people come to one place, we don’t take care of it.”

What’s especially alarming is that the camps are located in a flood plain, meaning that the waste and garbage will be carried into the Cannonball River and the water supply as the snow melts and submerges the area.

Mr. Archambault compared the environmental damage inflicted by the protesters to that of fossil fuel companies.

“We’re no different than the oil company, if we’re fighting for water,” said Mr. Archambault. “What’s going to happen when people leave? Who has to clean it up? Who has to refurbish it? It’s going to be us, the people who live here.”

National environmental groups backing the protest, including Earthjustice, the Sierra Club, and the Indigenous Environmental Network, did not respond to requests asking for comment, but Greenpeace did.

Greenpeace spokesman Perry Wheeler said the blame for any damage lies with those behind the $3.8 billion, 1,172-mile project, which Energy Transfer Partners is building almost entirely on private land in order to transport oil from the Bakken field in North Dakota to Illinois.

“Any environmental concerns sit at the feet of the pipeline decision-makers,” Mr. Wheeler said in an email.

After issuing an easement for a 1,100-foot stretch of federal land in North Dakota, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is stalling the project as it reviews the tribe’s concerns. The four-state pipeline is about 90 percent complete.

“The best way to ensure the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and our earth are treated the right way is for the Administration to stop what should have never started,” said Mr. Wheeler.

State and local officials say they are worried about the environmental damage to the area, but there’s only so much they can do, given that the camps are on federal land.

Scott A. Radig, director of the state division of waste management, said he sent a letter with photos of protesters dumping and burning waste in pits to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which has jurisdiction over the area, but that he has heard nothing back. That was in September.

“They did not respond to us,” said Mr. Radig. “It is federal land, but even though it’s federal land, they still have to follow state laws on state management practices.”

The Army Corps, Interior Department and Environmental Protection Agency did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

Mr. Radig said he has been in contact with Alison Two Bears, the tribe’s environmental director.

“She said that when the camp was closed that they would send us their plan for making sure the site is cleaned up and restored to its original conditions,” he said.

Despite its hard line on other environmental transgressors, the Obama administration has given the protesters a pass on camps north of the Cannonball River, allowing them to remain illegally for months and insisting the activists will not be removed forcibly if they defy a Monday deadline to leave.

“They’re on [what] I’ll call a federal refuge because the Army Corps and the Obama administration have refused to demand that they leave that federal land,” North Dakota Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley said in a Thursday interview with WDAY-AM’s Rob Port.

“We’ve had no authority to go in and remove them,” said Mr. Wrigley, a Republican. “But now the Army Corps is saying they have to leave by the fifth. We’ll see.”

This week’s snowstorm and subfreezing temperatures have done what the administration has not by motivating many activists to leave their tents, teepees and campers and return home, or at least check into the reservation hotel and casino.

Even some activists are fed up with the sanitation of the camps, criticizing outsiders who have treated the protest as a hippie festival instead of helping keep the area clean.

“When Chairman Archambault talks about the destruction of the land with pitching of tents, digging pits in Mother Earth, the garbage and human waste, he is correct,” Yvette Hatchere wrote on the Red Warrior Camp’s Facebook page.

“How would some of you feel if we camped in your backyard & left garbage behind and left holes in the ground,” she said. “Well, he feels the same way. Pick up your garbage and find ways to get rid of it.”


Climate Reality Deniers Are Trying to ‘Bork’ Trump’s EPA Transition Leader

President-elect Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency transition leader, Myron Ebell, is a huge threat to the green gravy train. Now, with billions of crony dollars at stake, the green slander machine is doing all it can to slime him.

Following their standard tactic, advocates of big government cronyism have picked someone to demonize as the face of small-government, pro-freedom ideals.

Ebell is that face, and he’s enduring the left’s vilification for voicing reasonable thought on climate change policy. Though he bears the burden with grace and humor, there is no excuse for the personal attacks, which are designed to distract attention from the high stakes of the debate.

What’s at stake for big green is billions upon billions of dollars taken from taxpayers and consumers and given to green crony businesses. Just for wind energy alone, grants, tax credits, loan guarantees, and other subsidies add up to at least $176 billion.

What isn’t at stake—contrary to the left’s talking points—is the Earth’s climate.

As costly as our current energy and climate policies are to the economy (they would cost the U.S. a net loss t of 400,000 jobs and up to $2.5 trillion), they are projected to have negligible impacts on global temperatures—even if you believe the questionable climate models of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

When judged by their actual effect, it becomes clear that the real goal of international climate policies is a power and money grab that no one, not even its most vocal supporters, believes will have much impact on the climate.

In fact, Christiana Figueres—until recently the executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change—noted that the goal of those policies was to rearrange the world economy:

This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution.

The big problem for the framework convention, the IPCC, renewable energy hustlers, and climate rent-seekers of all sorts is that Ebell is on to their game. So, out come the daggers of personal attacks and character assassination.

Many in the media are more than happy to abet the groups who perpetrate these attacks. The Media Research Center provides a nice sampler of these attacks and associated yellow journalism here.

It’s not at all clear what the name-callers mean when they call Ebell a “climate denier,” but in a bizarre semantic twist, they appear to mean that he is not a hysterical climate data denier.

Like most skeptics, Ebell recognizes the basic carbon dioxide science: Adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere may somewhat increase warming. But he also recognizes the much more important question: How much is this “somewhat”?

Ebell and those following the numbers know that the Earth’s warming to date is much less than the IPCC models predicted and that the actual data don’t point to a climate catastrophe.

In addition, the unhinged claims of ever-worsening, extreme climate events don’t square with the data either. There are no upward trends in droughts, floods, tornadoes, or hurricanes.

Because knowledge of these facts is such a threat to the climate-industrial complex, anyone who dares to expose the truth comes under threat of personal destruction.

In 1987, “Borking” became a term for getting shot down after the U.S. Senate torpedoed Robert Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court. We should not allow green activists to make “Ebelling” a synonym for “Borking.”


Climate Regs Impede Carbon Reductions

Under the terms of the Kyoto Protocol, participating nations were to pursue a roughly 5% emissions reduction, relative to 1990 levels, by 2012. The endeavor was considered a success by most environmental warriors. As a newly released Breakthrough Institute study notes, “Every country achieved their emissions reduction commitments.” But was the agreement really all it’s cracked up to be? The aforementioned Breakthrough study goes on to reveal that, no, it’s not.

“Overall, the carbon intensity of economies that were party to the Kyoto Accord fell more rapidly in the decade before the agreement was signed than in the decade after,” according to the report. “In the 10 years before signing, the compound annual growth rate for carbon intensity was -0.7%. In the 10 years after signing it was only -0.2%.”

“Similarly,” the study continues, “the low-carbon share of energy was growing at an annual rate of 1.0% in the ten years prior to 1997, and only at a rate of 0.3% annually for the ten years after, meaning deployment of clean energy stalled or slowed in comparison to fossil fuels in these countries after they signed Kyoto.” What’s the explanation? “What becomes clear in looking at climate policy as it has been implemented at the international level is that most countries have only been willing to commit to decarbonization targets that are consistent with expected business-as-usual trends, accounting for measures that they have intended to take in any event.”

Thankfully, America did not participate in this scheme, thanks to the Republican Senate blocking Bill Clinton and Al Gore. And though the Obama administration cosigned the U.S. to last year’s Paris climate accord, past efforts to implement a carbon-reducing system would have fallen short, just like the Kyoto Protocol. According to Reason’s Ronald Bailey, “[T]he Breakthrough analysts conclude that U.S. carbon dioxide emissions have actually fallen faster since 2010 than they would have had the the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade scheme been adopted by Congress. The U.S. trend toward lower carbon dioxide emissions was helped along by the global financial crisis, a weak recovery, and the ongoing switch from coal to cheap natural gas for electricity generation.”

As for what comes next, Breakthrough says, “Even should the next administration withdraw from the Paris Agreement and abandon the Clean Power Plan, the United States might outperform the commitments that the Obama administration made in Paris if it keeps the nation’s nuclear fleet online, continues tax incentives for deployment of wind and solar energy, and stays out of the way of the shale revolution. By contrast, a Democratic administration indifferent to the fate of the nation’s existing nuclear fleet and hostile to shale gas production might ultimately slow US decarbonization trends.”

Given these circumstances, the most pertinent question is this: Why are ecofascists hampering our ability to reduce emissions, which can be accomplished without onerous government regulations?



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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