Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Clean Energy’s Dirty Federal Cronyism

Earth Day started as a protest but has long been a mainstream institution. It’s therefore fitting that the cause it represents often reflects an even older American institution: politicization and cronyism in government spending. In recent testimony to Congress, Independent Institute Research Fellow Ryan M. Yonk explained how the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program exemplifies those unhealthy by-products of government intervention as it creates additional unhealthy by-products.

The loan guarantee program “has been used as a political tool, exposed taxpayers to unnecessary risk, diverted funding from alternative clean energy investments, and primarily benefitted large, politically connected corporations,” Ryan states in his written testimony. Moreover, the program is counterproductive. “The fundamental problem,” he continues, “is that the loan guarantee program makes it more difficult for new ideas to emerge since it further entrenches established ideas.”

Case in point: Solyndra. It was a struggling young company rather than an established firm with large market share, but the solar-systems manufacturer was the darling of a president and energy secretary who were so eager for a political win that federal bureaucrats approved its loan guarantees without completing essential steps required by other applicants. The loan guarantees program also diverts scarce investment funds away from firms who avoid feeding at the public trough. Writes Yonk: “Government support, as a previous chief marketing officer at Tesla Motors complained, may make it easier for those who receive support, but it also makes it more difficult for new ideas to gain private funding and grow.”


New Study Calls EPA’s Labeling Of CO2 A Pollutant ‘Totally False’

A new study published by seasoned researchers takes aim at the heart of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to issue regulations to curb carbon dioxide emissions.

The study claims to have “proven that it is all but certain that EPA’s basic claim that CO2 is a pollutant is totally false,” according to a press statement put out by Drs. Jim Wallace, John Christy and Joe D’Aleo.

Wallace, Christy and D’Aleo — a statistician, a climatologist and meteorologist, respectively — released a study claiming to invalidate EPA’s 2009 endangerment finding, which allowed the agency to regulate CO2 as a pollutant.

“This research failed to find that the steadily rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations have had a statistically significant impact on any of the 14 temperature data sets that were analyzed,” the authors say in the release for the second edition of their peer-reviewed work.

“Moreover, these research results clearly demonstrate that once the solar, volcanic and oceanic activity, that is, natural factor, impacts on temperature data are accounted for, there is no ‘record setting’ warming to be concerned about,” the researchers say. “In fact, there is no natural factor adjusted warming at all.”

The study is intended to bolster a petition Wallace and D’Aleo filed with EPA as part of the Household Electricity Consumers Council (CHECC), asking the agency to reconsider its endangerment finding.

The libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) also filed a petition with EPA to reconsider the endangerment finding. The Trump administration has not indicated whether or not they will reconsider the Obama-era finding. Any challenge would be met with legal action from environmental activists.

CHECC’s petition relies on findings from a 2016 study by Wallace and company that found the three lines of evidence EPA relied on for its 2009 endangerment finding weren’t scientifically sound.

Wallace’s new study makes a similar finding, arguing the “tropical hot spot” EPA claims will occur as humans pump more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere “simply does not exist in the real world.”

EPA issued its endangerment finding for six greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, in 2009. The agency found that greenhouse gases from vehicles “endanger both the public health and the public welfare of current and future generations.”

The finding gave the Obama administration the legal cover it needed to move forward with regulations to clamp down on greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, power plants, industrial facilities and agriculture.

President Donald Trump issued an executive order in March to roll back many Obama global warming policies and directives, but some say the administration needs to eliminate the endangerment finding to keep future presidents from regulating CO2.

“Claims like that rest entirely on the endangerment finding,” said Sam Kazman, CEI’s general counsel.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt told Congress during his January confirmation hearing he saw no reason at the time to review the endangerment finding.

Sources have also told news outlets Pruitt got Trump to strip language from an executive order that would have ordered a review of the endangerment finding.

On the other hand, sources familiar with Pruitt’s thinking on the matter say he wants to review the endangerment finding, but is biding his time.

Wallace and his coauthors want to give Pruitt a reason to update the endangerment finding. Wallace and company say in their release that “there is no published, peer reviewed, statistically valid proof that past increases in atmospheric CO2 concentrations have caused the officially reported rising, even claimed record setting temperatures.”

“And, EPA’s climate models fail to meet this test,” the authors say.


Bill Nye blows gasket when a real scientist schools him on facts about ‘climate change’

Bill Nye, known for his 1990’s science kid’s show who has since become an outspoken advocate on “climate change,” accused CNN of doing a “disservice” to its audience on Saturday by having a real scientist on their network to discuss climate change.

The CNN “New Day Saturday” panel, which included Nye and William Happer, a physicist at Princeton University,” became heated after Happer said the climate change that Nye talks about is a “myth.”

“There’s this myth that’s developed around carbon dioxide that it’s a pollutant, but you and I both exhale carbon dioxide with every breath. Each of us emits about two pounds of carbon dioxide a day, so are we polluting the planet?” Happer, who has advised President Donald Trump on climate issues, said.

“Carbon dioxide is a perfectly natural gas, it’s just like water vapor, it’s something that plants love. They grow better with more carbon dioxide, and you can see the greening of the earth already from the additional carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” he explained.

Nye hit back and said Happer didn’t understand the “rate,” or speed at which carbon dioxide is entering the atmosphere. Then he ripped CNN for not having only climate change alarmists on their network.

“And I will say, much as I love the CNN, you’re doing a disservice by having one climate change skeptic and not 97 or 98 scientists or engineers concerned about climate change,” Nye said.

When asked why he’s a skeptic, Happer — a real scientist — explained that climate change alarmism is built on a dishonest foundation.

“Let me point out that science is not like passing a law,” he said. “You don’t have a vote to say how many are for the law of gravity and how many are against — it’s based on observations. And if you observe what’s happening to, for example, the temperature, the temperature is not rising nearly as fast as the alarmist computer models predicted. It’s much, much less — factors of two or three less. So the whole basis for the alarmism is not true, it’s based on flawed computer modeling.”

Nye, who is not a real scientist, immediately shot back at Happer.

“That’s completely wrong,” Nye shot back. “He’s cherry picking a certain model. The heat ended up in the ocean. This is not controversial in mainstream science, everybody.”

Nye added that he “encourages” everyone to look at the facts.

For years, climate change alarmists said the polar ice caps would melt completely by the mid-2010’s causing the sea levels to rise by meters, which would then put low-lying coastal areas across the world under water. None of these things ever happened. In fact, ocean waters have not warmed on an overall average basis, despite claims made by people like Nye and former Vice President Al Gore.

Not only that, but a recent National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the government agency that monitors the climate, whistleblower said the agency for years manipulated climate data for political reasons — meaning to show that climate change is happening when it really isn’t.

Still, Nye spouted his talking points and lectured Happer for being a “climate change denier.”

He said:

I encourage you to cut this out so we can move forward and make the United States a world leader in technology. We want advanced wind turbines…advanced concentrated energy plants. If we were to do that, we would have at least 3 million new jobs in the United States that could not be outsourced. We would not need to have our military on the other of the world defending what people call “our oil.” We could move forward and we could export this technology. We could be world leaders in this instead of wringing our hands and cherry picking data and pretending that this problem that’s obvious to the scientific community but it is somehow not obvious to you.

Later in the interview, Happer said the Trump administration should back out of the 2016 Paris Agreement, a global agreement made last year on greenhouse gas emissions. Happer compared the agreement to former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s appeasements of Germany dictator Adolf Hitler in 1938, known as the Munich Agreement.

That agreement allowed Hitler to take over territory in what was then Czechoslovakia known as the “Sudetenland.” Hitler said he wanted the territory because it was occupied mainly by Germans and Austrians. We now know, however, that it was just one more step in Hitler’s plan to begin conquering Europe.

The comparison Happer made stunned Nye and the CNN hosts, who demanded that Happer explain his comparison.

“It is an appropriate comparison because it was a treaty that was not going to do any good,” Happer explained. “This treaty also will not do any good. Anyone who looks at the results of doing what the treaty says can see that the effect on the earth’s climate is — even if you take the alarmist computer models trivial — it will not make any difference and yet it will cause enormous harm to many people.”

The contentious exchange came on “Earth Day 2017,” also the same day that people across the world were marching “for science.”


Climate Marches Aren't About Science — They're About Trump

Organizers promised that hundreds of thousands would participate in an April 22 March for Science planned for hundreds of cities worldwide and an April 29 People's Climate March in Washington, DC.

These events have no more to do with science or climate change than do UN programs or the Paris climate treaty. Their own leaders make that perfectly clear.

A climate website asserts that marchers intend to mark President Trump's 100th day in office "with a massive demonstration that shows our resistance is not going to wane." They intend to "block Trump's entire fossil fuel agenda," with Berkeley-style tantrums and riots, most likely.

A science march website says this is "explicitly a political movement, aimed at holding leaders in science and politics accountable" for trying to "skew, ignore, misuse or interfere with science."

That pious language really means they intend to allow no deviation from climate cataclysm doctrines.

It means everyone must accept claims that fossil fuel emissions, not powerful natural forces, now govern Earth's climate; any future changes will be catastrophic; despite growing wealth and technological prowess, humanity will somehow be unable to adapt to future fluctuations; and mankind can and must control the climate by regulating emissions of plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide, regardless of costs.

Equally revealing, former UN climate convention director Christiana Figueres has said the UN goal is to "intentionally change the economic development model" that has reigned since the Industrial Revolution.

"Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection," former IPCC mitigation group co-chair Ottmar Edenhofer has stated. It is about negotiating "the distribution of the world's resources."

Indeed, under the Paris agreement, UN officials will oversee energy and economic "transformations" in industrialized nations, let poor countries develop using fossil fuels, and oversee the collection and redistribution of $100 billion annually in climate adaptation, mitigation and compensation funds.

Developed nations must de-carbonize, de-industrialize, and reduce their growth, job creation and living standards – while sending trillions of dollars over the coming decades to ruling elites in developing countries that are not required to decrease oil, gas and coal use or greenhouse gas emissions.

The Insurance Journal says the worldwide climate change and renewable energy industry is now a $1.5-trillion-per-year business empire. McKinsey & Co. says the world must spend $93 trillion by 2031 to build "climate-resilient, socially inclusive, sustainable, low-carbon" infrastructures.

Millions of politicians, bureaucrats, scientists, activists and corporate executives clearly have a huge stake in advancing this agenda. However, billions of people have other, more vital, even life-or-death interests that must be protected.

Free enterprise capitalism and fossil fuels have lifted billions out of poverty, disease, malnutrition and early death. They must continue doing so. Indeed, says the Energy Information Administration, carbon-based fuels will provide 75-80% of worldwide energy through 2040 – when total energy consumed will be at least 25% greater than today.

The marchers seem determined to block this progress, regardless of the consequences.

In the United States, their "green" energy policies would send gasoline prices soaring and at least double electricity costs – from Ohio rates to California rates. The cost of heat, lights, AC, goods and services would skyrocket for families, hospitals, schools, factories and businesses. Living standards would decline, jobs disappear, drug and alcohol abuse climb, and people die needlessly and prematurely.

330,000 German families had their electricity cut off in 2015, because they could not pay soaring bills. In Britain, 20,000 elderly people die from illness and hypothermia each winter, because they cannot afford proper heat.

Across Africa and India, over a billion impoverished people still have no access to electricity for lights, cooking or refrigeration. Instead, they burn wood, charcoal and dung in open fires. Millions die every year from breathing indoor smoke, drinking contaminated water, eating bacteria-infested food and having primitive healthcare.

The marchers and climate industry ignore this green energy poverty and death. They dismiss hundreds of scientists who present persuasive evidence that humans are not causing climate disasters, as CFACT detailed in its documentary film, "Climate Hustle."

Danish environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg calculates that implementing all provisions of the Paris accord would prevent a virtually undetectable 0.306 degrees Fahrenheit of global warming by 2100. Doing so would cost up to $946 billion annually, from 2030 to 2100 – another $66 trillion in total!

That money should be spent on electricity, clean water, modern housing and agriculture. Free enterprise capitalism will gradually devise reliable, affordable fossil fuel replacements.

The marchers claim they represent "social, economic and climate justice." It's nothing more than a twisted joke.


Drifting Back to Diesel Power

By Viv Forbes & Helpers

When I was a kid on a dairy farm in Queensland, we relied on green energy - horses and human muscles provided motive power; fire-wood and beeswax candles supplied heat and light; windmills pumped water and the sun provided solar energy for growing crops, vegies and pastures. The only “non-green” energy used was a bit of kerosene for the kitchen lamp, and petrol for a small Ford utility. We were almost “sustainable” but there was little surplus for others.

Our life changed dramatically when we put a thumping diesel in the dairy shed. This single-cylinder engine drove the milking machines and an electricity generator which charged 16 lead-acid 2 volt batteries sitting on the veranda. This 32 volt DC system powered a modern marvel – bright light, at any time, in every room, at the touch of a switch. This system could also power Mum’s new electric clothes iron as long as someone started the engine for a bit more power.

There were no electric self-starters for diesels in those days – just a heavy crank handle.

But all that effort, noise and fumes were superseded when every house and dairy got connected to clean silent “coal power by wire”, and coal was used to produce coke for the new slow-combustion stoves. Suddenly the trusty “Southern Cross” diesel engines disappeared from Australian sheds and dairies, AGA cookers displaced the old smoky wood-burning stoves in the kitchen, and clean-burning coal gas heaters replaced dirty open fires in the cities.

In just one life-time, human energy, wood, candles and kerosene were replaced by diesel, which was then replaced by coal via coal-gas, coke, and clean silent ever-ready electricity.

Today, after Aussies have enjoyed decades of abundant reliable cheap electricity from black coal, brown coal and hydro, green energy gambling has taken Australia back to the era which kept a diesel in the shed.

Tasmania is the greenest state in Australia. It once had a vibrant economy that created mines, saw-mills, farms, orchards, oil and metal refineries, dams, hydro-power and railways. It is now a green no-go land. Greens have stopped new hydro developments, opposed mining, crippled the timber industry, prevented new wood-chip developments and will probably celebrate when their last refinery closes.

Tasmanians get their electricity mainly from hydro assets created long ago by their more productive ancestors. But recently a long drought caused a shortage of Tasmanian hydro-energy - they became reliant for up to 40% of their electricity needs on the Bass-link undersea cable bringing electricity from reliable coal-fired stations in Victoria and NSW. However the overloaded Bass Link cable failed, and an old gas-powered station was brought back into service (importing gas from Victoria) to keep the lights on. Subsequently their politicians hurriedly put 150 diesel generators in their shed (costing A$11 million per month).

South Australia is the next greenest state in Australia, hosting about 35% of Australia’s wind turbines. These were force-fed into existence by mandatory green energy targets and tax benefits. In a burst of green destruction they also closed their gas-fired power stations and demolished their coal-fired station. However wind power failed recently and a storm tore down their life-line bringing reliable coal power from Victoria. Now Premier Weatherill is planning to install up to 200 megawatts of diesel generators in his shed. Many residents are following his lead.

As some wag said: Question: “What did South Australians have before candles?”  Answer: “Electricity”.

The UK has been badly infected by the green energy virus. Engineers warned that this intermittent and unpredictable supply had increased the risk of blackouts, so the UK government offered subsidies for emergency backup power. This subsidy, plus consumer concerns, put so many diesels in British sheds that they now provide a major backup capacity for UK electricity.

Many Spaniards found a diesel in the shed was very profitable. Their government had been drinking green-ale and offered attractive subsidies for solar power produced.

The subsidy was very successful - so successful that someone eventually noticed that some suppliers were even producing “solar” power at night. It was coming from diesels in their sheds.

Finally, our green media likes to feature some green energy enthusiast who is “off the grid”. But it usually emerges later in the show that there is a diesel in their shed too.

Those who remember the days of relying on a noisy smelly diesel in the shed and a smoky wood stove in the kitchen have no wish to be dragged back there by green zealots.



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1 comment:

C. S. P. Schofield said...

"Climate Marches Aren't About Science — They're About Trump"

Nonsense. The Marches are not about science OR Trump. They are about ego-bo and virtue signaling and keeping the animals docile. They are en egregious waste of time and energy, even if you agree with the propertied agenda of the organizers.

The Democrat/Liberal/Progressive establishment desperately needs to distract its base from just how badly they screwed up in 2016. I have wondered for a while why so much of the agitation seems calculated to get Trump re-elected in a landslide, and I think the reason is that the Liberal Panjandrums know they haven't got a candidate that has a hope of winning in 202. So they are positioning themselves to be the persecuted crusaders for Truth, for the next (minimally) eight years. With a little luck they won't have to answer any embarrassing questions about how Shrillary got the 2016 nomination, or how she could lose when they were so goddamned sure she would win.