Tuesday, July 25, 2017



America’s climate of crisis

Patrick Allitt looks at the emergence and development of the idea of environmental crisis

Patrick Allitt, Cahoon family professor of American history at Emory University in Atlanta, is a man abroad. Not just as an Oxford-educated Englishman teaching and researching in an American university, but as a sceptical interloper in the world of American environmentalism. The result, A Climate of Crisis: America in the Age of Environmentalism, is an illuminating history of the emergence and propagation of the idea of environmental crisis. So what led this expert in the history of religion and conservatism to turn to the study of climate-change activism? And what does he make of the apocalyptic nature of its claims? Here’s what Allitt had to say…

spiked review: As someone who has previously focused on American religious history and the history of conservatism, what drew you to the history of environmentalism in the US?

Patrick Allitt: Having been an undergraduate in England, I came to America to be a graduate student at the University of California at Berkeley in the early 1980s. And one of the great pleasures of living in California is its setting. I belonged to a river-rafting co-op and I went hiking in the Sierra Nevada mountains. I just loved everything about living in the Californian outdoors, not least because the sun shines for 330 days out of every year – the contrast with England was exhilarating. So, right from the start, I was interested in the actual environment in America.

At first I was struck by the contrast between what seemed to me to be a paradise and what a lot of Americans talked about as a catastrophe. I used to chide my graduate-student friends, saying ‘it’s not all that dreadful is it – and, by comparison with Britain, just look how underpopulated it is’. At first it was just an interest because I was writing about the history of conservatism and the history of religion. Then, in 1988, I was hired by Emory university in Georgia, and the department was looking for somebody to teach environmental history. So I said to my departmental head, ‘I’ve always had an interest in this, maybe I can make a course out of it’. He was enthusiastic about this, so I started teaching a class on American environmental history in the mid-1990s. And, by about 2007, 2008, I became keen on writing about it as well. So that’s what led to me writing A Climate of Crisis, which is a kind of intellectual history of environmentalism.

review: What was your own relationship to environmentalism?

Allitt: I didn’t begin as a critic of the environmental movement. I became steadily more critical as I became more confident. That’s one of the things about living in Berkeley: you’re living in a world that’s miles to the left of centre, and there’s a little bit of an orthodoxy there. And one of the characteristics of that orthodoxy, at least in the 1980s, is that the world was in a catastrophic environmental mess. Things were rapidly getting worse, and we were standing on the brink of disaster. At first I didn’t have the intellectual confidence to say, ‘that’s not true’. But, over time, particularly with the repeated failure of predictions of disaster to eventuate in actual disaster, I started having the assurance to say ‘that’s not true’.

After 1945, it became possible to imagine that the world would come to an end, not through divine intervention, but through human folly

review: A Climate of Crisis really begins with the dropping and high-profile testing of the atomic bomb. Why do you think ‘the bomb’ was so culturally important for the eventual development of the idea of environmental crisis?

Allitt: I think it’s because, certainly in Western history, going right back to the origins of Christianity, there’s always been a fascination with the end of the world. For most of that time, the end of the world has always been something that God will make happen. But after 1945, it became possible to imagine that the world would come to an end, not through divine intervention, but through human folly, or human violence, or human greed. And ever since then we’ve lived in the shadow of nuclear war, and the possibility of a human-induced apocalypse. That certainly led some people to say, ‘yes, that might come about through nuclear weapons, but it might also might come about through environmental blundering’.

Think, for example, of Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb, and the use of the word ‘bomb’ in the title. He’s clearly making an analogy between the atomic bomb and human fertility, claiming that each one in its own way is potentially destructive.

review: What do you make of the paradox of environmentalism’s emergence during the 1960s and 1970s – that at a time of unprecedented improvement in Westerners’ lives (living standards rising, life-expectancy lengthening, infant-mortality falling etc), an influential section of society seemed more disillusioned than ever with industrialisation and economic growth?

Allitt: I think it’s partly because people have short memories. The more you study history, the more you realise how horrible conditions have been in the past, even in what we think of as civilised places today. And the reason that conditions have become so much better is because of industrialisation, which generates the possibility of universal wealth, and a huge decline in death rates, a huge decline in infant mortality and all the rest. Industrialisation does, of course, have dirty side effects. But, by the 1960s, Americans and Western Europeans had reached a degree of affluence and material comfort, that enabled them to look around and ask what is it that now impairs the quality of our life. And one of the answers they came up with was a dirty environment. And that’s when they start trying to improve its quality.

review: Do think environemtnalism is inseparable from a disillusionment with the broader gains of modernity?

Allitt: Not really, no. Environmentalism has an optimistic side, and a pessimistic side, and I’m on the optimistic side. I’m interested in it because I’ve got a great love and enthusiasm for the natural world. I’m also convinced that we’re able to address environmental problems because we’re wealthy. In other words, when you say to desperately poor people, let’s save the environment, they couldn’t care less, because they have a desperate need to find enough to eat and to live. Environmentalism is itself a luxury. We can afford to indulge in it because we’ve solved so many of the more basic problems. And one of the things I try to do in my teaching and in my writing is to try to convince people that it’s a highly desirable luxury, and one that we’re succeeding in bringing to ourselves.

Allitt: It’s clearly an important moment, because the hippy movement and the back-to-the-land movement of the 1960s and 1970s were based on the idea that there is something discreditable about devoting yourself to the pursuit of wealth – that it’s somehow ignoble, a bit shabby, disgraceful. I think it’s clear to me that the people who were attracted to those movements were those who didn’t have to worry about money. They were mainly middle- and upper middle-class people who lived lives of real abundance in the 1940s and 1950s, when they were growing up, and they didn’t foresee the possibility of ever being reduced to starvation or near starvation. And because they didn’t know a lot about the history of the world in earlier ages, they didn’t take seriously just what an incredible struggle it has been simply to keep ourselves fed. I think they underestimated how difficult it is to make food grow out of the ground, especially when you don’t have artificial fertilisers and machines. So the counterculture is wonderfully bracing, and enjoyable, but it’s also disastrously naive.

review: What about the new left? What was its relationship to environmentalism?

Allitt: Interestingly, in the 1960s, the new left was very sceptical towards environmentalism. They felt that there were more pressing problems in America – terrible race relations and the Vietnam War, for instance. They felt that all this ‘all breathing the same air’ stuff was a waste of time. One new left writer called environmentalism a ‘genteel rest home for exhausted liberals’. So the new left was initially contemptuous towards environmentalism. But then, in the 1970s, there’s a realignment, with the new left becoming very pro-environmentalist, and the new right becoming strongly anti-environmentalist. And I think the reason for this is that the obvious villains for environmentalists are big corporations, who are the polluters, so it’s easy to say ‘we condemn capitalism’, and then say ‘we condemn the bi-products of capitalism’. That’s very different from earlier generations of Marxists who took the view that industrialisation was good, but the distribution of its benefits was very bad.

review: It does seem to be quite a shift. Proto-environmentalist views tended, historically, to be associated with the right, that is, with those seeking to preserve the status quo against the forces they saw overturning their ways of life. What do you make of this shift?

Allitt: The decline of class politics plays a role here. It became harder and harder in the late 20th and early 21st century to talk about something called the American working class. Nobody here says that they’re working class. In Britain and most of Europe, it’s still just about a living tradition, although an endangered one. But in America, already by 1950, trade unions were in decline and very, very few people thought of themselves as working men. And also very few people thought of themselves as the upper class. Even people like Bill Gates will say ‘I’m middle class’. So the language of class is just not used in America, and so the left was looking for ways to relocate itself. They tried it with racial minorities, and with women and with young people. And then they tried it with the endangered environment. The environment is a tempting object for the left-leaning. It allows them to say, ‘look at the way capitalism is endangering nature, and therefore endangering everyone whose lives depend on it’.

More HERE




America Needs More Pipelines
     
The domestic energy production landscape has changed markedly in recent years. America surpassed Russia to become the world's top producer of natural gas in 2009. The Environmental Information Agency recently announced that U.S. exports of crude oil and petroleum products have more than doubled since 2010. Despite such increases in domestic production, the development of transportation energy infrastructure has not kept pace. Oil and gas need to travel from the wellhead to their final destination, whether that is storage or processing plant, or customers at the end of the chain.

A more robust pipeline infrastructure would make transportation of oil, natural gas and their products more efficient by reducing transportation costs and offering a more reliable mode of transportation. A well-developed energy transportation network would also reduce regional price differences.

One concern with pipeline projects is safety, specifically the rate of incidents, accidents and casualties. These concerns are part of the reason that increases in pipeline capacity have fallen behind growing energy production.

What happens when existing pipeline infrastructure is insufficient to meet the needs of developing energy production in new locations? Either projects are rendered unprofitable, or producers turn to alternative modes of transportation, often road and rail. These alternative modes will continue to be a part of the energy transportation infrastructure, but from a safety perspective they both have higher incident rates than pipelines.

From 2007 to 2016, per billion ton-miles of oil and gas products transported, there were 0.66 incidents for oil pipelines (i.e., the fewest accidents), 0.73 for natural gas pipelines, 2.20 for rail and 7.11 for road.

Pipelines have been getting safer over time. The rates of "serious" pipeline accidents – those that result in a fatality or an injury requiring inpatient hospitalization – per 1,000 miles of pipeline have fallen substantially. Looking at annual averages over 5-year periods to minimize 1-year fluctuations, the average from 1997 to 2009 was 0.025 accidents per 1,000 miles. This rate halved during the period 2012 to 2016. Operators, in conjunction with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which monitors and administers pipeline safety, have made considerable progress in pipeline safety and oversight of pipelines and should continue to work towards further improvement.

Even these rates understate the safety of pipeline materials and operations. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration supplies data on the underlying causes of serious pipeline incidents. For the longer-range gas transmission pipelines, the leading cause of accidents is excavation damage, generally the result of an agent other than the pipeline operator or a contractor excavating and damaging the pipeline. "Other outside force damage" is tied for the second-leading cause, of which vehicular damage accounts for the vast majority. While "incorrect operation" accounted for 16 percent of these incidents, there were no associated fatalities. The equipment and operation of pipelines is safer than the top-line incident rates suggest, based on the underlying cause data provided. Further gains in pipeline safety could come from developing methods to reduce third-party contact with them.

Interstate natural gas pipelines fall under the purview of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, but in recent months the commission board has not had a quorum. This inhibits the agency's ability to review and decide on major pipeline projects. Restoring a quorum to the board has bipartisan support and would allow the agency to resume normal operations. Until that time, more than 30 major natural gas projects are in a regulatory limbo, and there is a further chilling effect on other would-be projects.

In March, April and May, when the agency was operating without quorum on the board, it certificated no additional pipeline capacity. Before it lost a quorum, the agency had been able to certificate eight projects in February that added more than seven million cubic feet per day of capacity.

Across the different regulatory agencies that affect pipeline proposals, the combination of market forces and the regular review and oversight process should determine the viability of these projects. Ad hoc or irregular delays increase regulatory uncertainty and could deter future development.

The growth in U.S. oil and gas productions represents a substantial economic opportunity for America. However, if pipeline development stalls, America will not be able to monetize all the gains. Some production facilities will no longer be viable or producers will switch to more incident-prone and costly transportation alternatives. That is why it is vital that pipeline proposals be evaluated without delay.

SOURCE





Why Are Older Scientists More Likely to Doubt Climate Alarmism?

Back in 1984, Richard Lamm, then-Democratic Governor of Colorado, gained infamy for having said the terminally ill elderly have “a duty to die and get out of the way.”

Such disrespect for age persists among progressives. Bill Nye “The Science Guy,” a major proponent of global warming alarmism, blames climate skepticism on age.

“Climate change deniers, by way of example, are older. It’s generational,” Nye told the Los Angeles Times, adding, "We’re just going to have to wait for those people to ‘age out,’ as they say.“

Nye might be acting more scientifically if he were to ask himself, "Why are older scientists more likely to doubt climate alarmism?” It is, after all, not quite a rule of thumb that the older you get, the dumber you get. Age has a tendency to bring with it an accumulation of experiences and lessons that enhance rather than diminish discernment.

Had he asked that question, he might conceivably have contemplated the effect of a major change in the process of scientific education that happened in the 1970s and 1980s.

Before that time, computers were huge, fantastically expensive, and, though faster than humans with calculators or slide rules, incredibly slow by today’s standards. The vast majority of a scientist’s education, particularly for advanced degrees, took place working with physical objects, whether in the natural world or in laboratories. Scientists understood that hypotheses must be tested by comparing predictions with real-world observations.

But as computers got smaller, cheaper, and faster in the 1970s through 1980s, science students, especially as they worked on their graduate degrees, spent more and more of their time modeling what they understood about natural phenomena on computers and less and less time working with physical objects in laboratories or natural settings. The result was a high risk of neglecting the need to test hypotheses against observations.

Not having studied other fields of science at equally great depth, I can’t speak with confidence about them, but I can certainly speak with confidence about climate scientists when I say that those who earned their advanced degrees in the 1970s or later are highly prone to that lapse of scientific practice.

 Indeed, as Myanna Lahsen observed in her seminal paper “Seductive Simulations? Uncertainty Distribution around Climate Models,” climate modelers have a difficult time remembering that their modeled oceans and atmosphere aren’t the real oceans and atmosphere. Like kids (and all too many adults) trapped in the virtual realities of their computer games, these scientists, too, inhabit a virtual reality that must not be mistaken for the real thing.

The older scientists are the ones who keep pointing out that the models cannot retrodict global temperature without a large number of ad hoc adjustments, that their predictions of future temperature call, typically, for two to three times more warming than actually occurs, and that none predicted the complete absence of statistically significant warming from early 1997 through late 2015 (a stasis that, though interrupted by the warming caused by the unusually strong 2015–2016 El NiƱo, appears to have resumed from late 2016 to now, stretching it to over 20 years). The inability to accurately predict future temperatures, these scientists point out, reveals a lack of understanding of how the climate system really works.

One more point: Nye’s quip has the characteristics of two logical fallacies. First, his apparent eagerness for older climate scientists to “age out” so they won’t be around to question younger climate scientists’ alarmism smacks of argumentum ad bacculam, appeal to force, for of course the intent of punching one’s opponent in the nose is to shut him up, and what shuts someone up better than death?

Second, it is an instance of argumentum ad futuram, an appeal to the future — “You just wait, in another 20 years when all these old guys have aged out, climate alarmism will have won the day!” But of course we cannot know that alarmism will have won the day. Some of those young alarmists might, with age, gain enough humility (something from which Nye might benefit) to dig deeply into their elders’ critiques and discover their own errors, becoming climate skeptics in the process.

Nye’s contempt for the insight of the older climate scientists and his referring to them pejoratively as “climate change deniers” (with the implicit allusion to Holocaust deniers) are evidence not of his brilliance but of his lack of understanding of how real science works — or should.

SOURCE




GREENIE ROUNDUP FROM AUSTRALIA<>/b>

Three current articles below

Piers Akerman: Climate change is being served up to unsuspecting Australians

IN August 1973, the term Stockholm syndrome was coined after four hostages who had been held in a bank vault during a failed robbery later ­refused to testify against their captor Jan-Erik “Janne” ­Olsson, who, as it happens had been “on leave” from prison when he attempted the heist.

Nils Bejerot, a Swedish criminologist and psychiatrist coined the term.

Brainwashing was not unknown but the manner in which the hostages developed positive feelings toward their captors and negative feelings toward the police or authorities, was something new, Beje-rot guessed. The term took off.

A year after Olsson’s crime (for which he served a term and later committed further crimes), Patty Hearst, the granddaughter of publisher William Randolph Hearst, was taken and held hostage by a drug-addled crew of misfits who called themselves the Symbionese Liberation Army.

Hearst was filmed denouncing her family as well as the police under her new urban guerilla name, “Tania”, and was later seen working with the SLA to rob banks in San Francisco. She publicly asserted her sympathetic feelings towards the SLA.

However, after arrest following a fiery shootout in 1975, her celebrity lawyer F. Lee Bailey said his client was suffering from Stockholm syndrome.

But, until now, the greatest example of Stockholm syndrome was the mass suicide by followers of American cult leader and Communist Jim Jones, who was the founder and leader of the People’s Temple, another loopy group with strong ties to the Democratic Party and the Californian counter-culture.

Jones took his flock to an old plantation in Guyana but when reports of human rights abuses started emerging, he had his followers drink poison, flavoured by the soft drink mix Kool-Aid.

Among the 918 dead were nearly three hundred children.

Stockholm syndrome plus Kool-Aid was a potent ­combination.

But not as potent as the ­global warming — now called climate change — mixture that is being served up to the Australian public by the Greens, Labor and now the Turnbull faux Liberal government.

Swept along by the global hysteria generated by the UN and a claque of compromised scientists who have been ­exposed as manipulating temperature modelling, Australians are in the process of committing mass suicide as they sip the Kool-Aid sweetener of renewable energy.

South Australia — remember Snowtown, the mysterious disappearance of the Beaumont children, the other creepy instances of unsolved crimes involving children — has long worn a reputation for weird but with its closure of its coal-powered fire stations and its embrace of a huge battery to meet its risky energy supply needs, is leading the way in this suicidal endeavour.

Believe me, the world is not following South Australia or Australia, in this insane folly.

Research from the Global Coal Tracker via the Comstat Data Portal uploaded on January 12, 20017, shows that there were 5973 coal-fired power station units globally. A unit is considered to be one or more boilers where coal is burned to create steam, plus one or more turbine generators which convert the steam’s heat ­energy into electricity of a minimum 30MW (megawatts).

NSW’s Liddell power station, for example, has four 500MW units.

Australia has in total 73 units, according to the Comstat Data, China has 2107.

Germany, where we have seen anti-coal demonstrators rioting in recent days, has 155 units. India, who the Adani mine will service with coal, has 877, and Indonesia has 125, while there 783 operating in the US.

The numbers that really highlight the futility of the South Australian lunacy and the madness of Australia signing up this psychosis are those which reflect where the world is heading — the number of coal-fired power units under construction.

China, for example, has 299 power stations in preparation or under construction. India has 132, Indonesia has 32, the Philippines has 22, Vietnam has 34.

In all, the data lists more than 30 nations actively ­engaged in building 621 new coal-fired power units.

That’s more than 10 times more power than the current 26,783MW produced by ­Australia’s 73 units. South Australia’s moonstruck Premier Jay Weatherill thinks that ­installing Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s battery will solve the problems created by his government’s destruction of its coal-fired power plants and its embrace of erratic wind and solar plants.

It won’t. At best, the big battery may have sufficient reserves to power around 30,000 homes while repairs are made to the network.

There are about 730,000 homes in South Australia, almost all of which lost their power last September. The big battery will be connected to a big wind farm but wind is notoriously variable and South Australia consistently records the highest power prices in the nation ­because of its foolhardy reliance on renewable energy.

In fact, it relies on the coal-fired power plants in the rest of the country for constant power. The federal government knows this, that’s why its building a $50 million generation plant to give the submarine building program a reliable ­energy source.

But for South Australians, and the rest of the nation, the Kool-Aid is kicking in.

Despite the flawed data on which the global warmists rest their case, Australia is still ­closing coal-fired power plants as our economic competitors build their coal-fired capacity.

The big battery may ­become a tourist attraction in South Australia but so, in time, will be the mass grave that ­buries Australia’s industry and the economic fortunes of ­future generations.

SOURCE

No Australian weather site has recorded a daily max of 50° this century

WARWICK HUGHES

I had Lance staying overnight and this subject came up – me opining after watching too much ABC TV news for years – that some site must have hit the 50° in the last several years. When Lance pointed out on BoM pages that the last 50° plus was in 1998 – I felt somewhat conned.

We searched Google and sure enough we found this article “The proof Australia is getting hotter” – which includes this rather specific claim – Quote “While Western Australia had a cooler than average year in 2016, some parts of the giant state did hit 50 degrees, Australia’s observation of such heat a first in two decades.”

Well if 50 was hit it was not noticed in official BoM daily data. Screen saved. What an amazing lie – “fake news” indeed. Part of my conning was BoM news early in 2013 of the extension of temperature scales up into the 50’s. Oddly this neat animated map from Feb 2016 does not extend to cool temperatures around -10 that are quite common this winter. What other plus 50’s (122F) are there that the BoM should recognize?



SOURCE

Climate change scaremongering based on ‘minuscule’ sea level rises

THIS weekend on Sky News, Connie Fierravanti-Wells, the Liberal minister for International Development and the Pacific, having just returned from a junket handing out vast sums of our money to beautiful Pacific Islands to “combat climate change”, said: “It’s interesting to see that, according to real data, the changes to (sea) levels are actually very, very minuscule.”

That’s right. Very, very minuscule. Or, perhaps what she really meant to say was “non-existent”. The whole climate-change hype about rising sea levels, as being touted by the likes of Al Gore and his new horror flick – er sorry, “documentary” – about climate change, simply doesn’t tally with reality. This has been confirmed by climate scientists themselves, who are sitting around scratching their heads trying to work out why reality doesn’t match their alarmist modelling.

Here’s my bet: these measurements that show “very, very minuscule” rises in sea levels actually mean nothing out of the normal is happening in the oceans.

Climates do change, and there’s nothing we can do about it. We are handing hundreds of millions of dollars (that we don’t actually have, by the way) to our dear Pacific neighbours for no genuine reason at all.

Also last week, another Liberal MP, Sarah Henderson, mocked the idea that elderly Australians would die this winter because they couldn’t afford to pay their heating bills. This came after one of the only sensible Liberal MPs, Craig Kelly, pointed out on Sky News – to me, as it happens – that our renewables energy policy would kill people.

Mr Kelly, who is chairman of the backbench energy committee, caused a furore by stating what is backed up by real data: more people die in Australia during July and August (the coldest months) than at any other time of the year, and that the numbers have been increasing in direct correlation to rising electricity prices. Those price rises, which ultimately stem from both Liberal and Labor policies demonising coal and making it too expensive to be worthwhile, have seen a record number of household disconnections.

Even the ABC admits: “The first detailed analysis of electricity disconnections in four states paints a grim picture of areas under extreme financial stress, with hundreds of households unable to pay their bills.”

What makes the situation even more maddening is that the Government’s chief scientist, Alan Finkel, admitted to Parliament that all of Australia’s efforts to combat climate change will, in the end, make virtually no difference to global temperatures. So why on earth do we bother?

Five weeks ago, writing on this page, I upset some people by linking climate change zealotry to deaths.

“It’s not climate change that kills. It’s the zealotry of those who believe they are on a Gaia-given mission to save the planet that is capable of causing economic mayhem, poverty, and even death,” I wrote, using the ghastly Grenfell Tower fire in London as “an extreme, but apt, metaphor for climate change alarmism”.

My point – that thanks to excessive climate change alarmism, energy-efficiency (or “green”) requirements tend to get prioritised over safety measures – has yet to be refuted.

My thinking was also driven by Queensland’s horrendous “pink batts” scandal in 2010. I hardly need remind readers that when Kevin Rudd embarked on a harebrained scheme to “save the planet” by installing pink batts into Australian rooftops, four young men tragically lost their lives.

Recently, The Australian reported that: “The owner of a Sydney-based solar-panel maintenance company said he had seen ‘hundreds’ of fires caused by solar panels in the past five years.”

Mercifully, nobody appears to have yet died from such fires, but that doesn’t make the danger of household solar panels, installed again to “save the planet”, any less real.

John Howard – viewed correctly by many as one of our greatest prime ministers – recently confirmed that he remains sceptical about climate change. Who can blame him?

Mr Kelly’s comments not only had Sarah Henderson mocking him by claiming he was “killing her with his humour”, they had Labor minister Mark Butler calling for his sacking “because of his scaremongering”.

Hang on a tick! Labor, the Greens, and even the bedwetters of the Turnbull Coalition, have been “scaremongering” us silly about climate change for the past decade and longer. The entire energy policy of both major parties is built on unproven, scary predictions of catastrophic rising sea levels, deadly droughts, killer storms, fatal floods, murderous cyclones, dying coral, and a whole host of terrifying disasters, all of which rely on the claim that, at some distant point in the future, “people will die”.

Now we learn that rather than being terrifying, those very same impacts from climate change are, in the minister’s own words, “very, very minuscule”. What a joke.

SOURCE

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24 July, 2017

Monday, July 24, 2017



Tesla battery, subsidy and sustainability fantasies

More subsidies from exhausted California taxpayers cannot compensate for hard realities

Paul Driessen

The first justification was that internal combustion engines polluted too much. But emissions steadily declined, and today’s cars emit about 3% of what their predecessors did. Then it was oil imports: electric vehicles (EVs) would reduce foreign dependency and balance of trade deficits. Bountiful oil and natural gas supplies from America’s hydraulic fracturing revolution finally eliminated that as an argument.

Now the focus is on climate change. Every EV sale will help prevent assumed and asserted manmade temperature, climate and weather disasters, we’re told – even if their total sales represented less than 1% of all U.S. car and light truck sales in 2016 (Tesla sold 47,184 of the 17,557,955 vehicles sold nationwide last year), and plug-in EVs account for barely 0.15% of 1.4 billion vehicles on the road worldwide.

In recent months, Tesla sales plunged to nearly zero in Hong Kong and Denmark, as huge government subsidies were eliminated. Now Tesla’s U.S. subsidies face extinction. Once its cumulative sales since 2009 reach 200,000 vehicles in the next few months, federal tax rebates will plunge from $7,500 per car to zero over an 18-month period. The same thing will happen to other EV companies that reach 200,000.

Subsidies clearly drive sales for EVs, which are often double the cost of comparable gasoline-powered vehicles. Free charging stations, and access to HOV lanes for plug-ins with only the driver, further sweeten the deal. For those who can afford the entry fee, the ride is smooth indeed. In fact, a 2015 study found, the richest 20% of Americans received 90% of hundreds of millions in taxpayer EV subsidies.

Where were all the government “offices of environmental justice” when this was happening? How much must we subsidize our wealthiest families, to save us from manmade planetary disasters that exist only in Al Gore movies and alarmist computer models?

Perhaps recognizing the reverse Robin Hood injustice – or how unsustainable free EV stations are for cash-strapped cities – Palo Alto (where Tesla Motors is headquartered) announced that it will charge 23 cents per kWh to charge plug-in vehicles in city parking garages. Others communities and states may also reduce their rebates, HOV access and free charging, further reducing incentives to purchase pricey EVs.

Meanwhile, Lyft and Uber are also decreasing the justification for shelling out $35,000 to $115,000 or even $980,000 for an electric car that gets very limited mileage per charge. Long excursions still need internal combustion engines or long layovers every few hundred miles to recharge EV batteries.

Intent on advancing its renewable energy and climate change agenda, the California legislature recently enacted a new cap-and-trade law that will generate revenues for Tesla and the “bullet train to nowhere,” by increasing hidden taxes on motor fuels, electricity and consumer products – with the state’s poor, minority and working class families again being hit hardest. State legislators are also close to passing a $3-billion EV subsidy program, primarily to replace the $7,500 federal rebate that Tesla could soon lose. Electric vehicle buyers could soon receive up to $40,000 for buying Tesla’s most expensive models! Coal-billionaire and California gubernatorial hopeful Tom Steyer vigorously supports the new subsidy.

We can also expect a battle royale over extending the federal EV subsidy beyond 200,000 vehicles – demonstrating once again that lobbyists are now far more important to bottom lines than engineers, especially when lobbyists can channel enormous contributions to politicians’ reelection campaigns.

As U.S. government agencies prepare to reassess climate change science, models and disaster predictions, it’s a good time to reexamine claims made about all the utopian electric vehicle and renewable energy forecasts, expanding on the land and raw material issues I raised in a previous article.

In his Forbes article on Battery Derangement Syndrome, energy and technology analyst Mark P. Mills notes that Tesla is also getting $1 billion in taxpayer subsidies to build a huge $5-billion lithium battery factory in Nevada. Batteries, it’s often claimed, can soon replace fossil fuels for backing up expensive, intermittent, unreliable, unpredictable wind and solar power. Mills explains why this is … deranged.

In an entire year, all the existing lithium battery factories in the world combined manufacture only enough capacity to store 100 billion Watt-hours (Wh) of electricity. But the USA alone uses 100 times this capacity: more than 10,000 billion Wh per day. Worldwide, humanity uses over 50,000 billion Wh daily.

Focusing on solar power, Mills notes, that means storing electricity for 12 hours a day – to power homes and businesses around the globe for the 12 hours per day that photovoltaic systems will generate power on sunny days in the 100% solar world of the utopian future – would require 25,000 billion Watt-hours of battery power (ignoring future electricity needs to recharge electric vehicle batteries).

Replacing the gasoline in the tanks of 1.4 billion vehicles worldwide with electric power would require another 100 billion Watt-hours. That brings total global demand to well over 125,000 billion Wh of storage. That means it would take 1,250 years of production from every existing lithium battery factory worldwide to meet this combined demand. Or we would have to build 1,250 times more factories. Or we could build batteries that are 10 to100 times more powerful and efficient than what we have today.

Says Mills, the constraints of real world physics on battery storage mean this latter option will not happen.

In a world where we are also supposed to ban nuclear (and most hydroelectric) power, the very notion of eliminating the 80% of all global energy that comes from oil, natural gas and coal – replacing it with wind, solar and biofuel power – is fundamentally absurd. Can you imagine what would happen when the power goes off and on repeatedly while we are smelting iron, copper, aluminum, cobalt or lithium ores … forging or casting metals into components … or running complex fabrication and assembly lines?

In the sustainability arena, has anyone calculated how much lithium, cobalt and other metals would be required to manufacture all those batteries? Where they would be mined – with nearly all the best U.S. metal prospects off limits to exploration and production, and radical environmentalists increasingly rallying to block mining projects overseas? The mines would have to be enormous, and operated by huge corporate consortiums. Will anti-corporate activists on our campuses suddenly have a change of heart?

Will homes, neighborhoods and communities have the electrical service (200 amperes or more per home) to handle all the lighting, computing, entertainment, air conditioning, medical equipment and other requirements of modern living – AND the power required to charge all the predicted electric vehicles? What will it cost to upgrade neighborhood power grids, and home and commercial electrical systems?

Lithium batteries and their component metals pose unique fire and explosion risks. What safeguards will be established to minimize those dangers, in battery factories, homes and public parking garages?

Some factories and batteries will invariably be poorly built, handled or maintained. Some will invariably malfunction – causing potentially catastrophic explosions. The bigger the factory or battery, the bigger the cataclysm. Will we apply the same precautionary principles to them as more rabid environmentalists insist on applying to drilling, fracking, pipelines, refineries, factories, dams and nuclear power plants?

What is the life expectancy of batteries, compared to engines in gasoline-powered cars? Two or three times shorter? What does it cost to replace battery packs compared to engines? Two to three times as much? What is the true overall cost of owning an EV? Four to six times higher than a gasoline car? How will we dispose of or recycle millions or billions of batteries and their dangerous, toxic components?

Is the real goal of all this crony-corporatist wind, solar and battery enthusiasm – and anti-fossil fuel activism – to slash living standards in industrialized nations, and ensure that impoverished nations are able to improve their health and living conditions only marginally?

We would do well to raise – and answer – these and other essential questions now, before we let activists, journalists, legislators and regulators con us into adopting more of their utopian, “planet-saving” ideas.

Via email




Cold spring leaves French grape harvest headed for historic low

Agriculture ministry says wine production from Bordeaux to Alsace has dropped dramatically

Knocked off course by a cold spring snap, French wine production from Bordeaux to Alsace has dropped dramatically this year and could hit “a historic low”, according to the agriculture ministry.

“At 37.6 million hectolitres the 2017 harvest is set to come in 17% lower than in 2016, and 16% below the average of the past five years,” the ministry’s statistics bureau Agreste said on Saturday.

As such, the traditional August to October harvest of the world’s second largest wine producer “could be historically low and inferior to that of 1991, which was also hit by severe frost”.

The cold wrought havoc notably in south-west France, with Bordeaux suffering along with neighbouring Charente, as well as Alsace and Jura in the north-east. Some losses are also anticipated in the Burgundy region, Languedoc and the southeast.

The Mediterranean region was hit by a problem of a different variety as wind and rain caused the phenomenon of “coulure” where grapes, most notably the grenache variety in the Rhone valley, fail to develop properly after vines have flowered.

But wine sommeliers urged a bit of patience, dispelling the gloom with the old wine adage: “August makes the grapes, September makes the wine.”

“It is still too early to draw a conclusion about the quality of the wine this year which will depend on the weather up to the grape harvest, and the conditions of the crop,” said Philippe Faure-Brac, who held the title of world’s best sommelier in 1992.

“At the moment, the weather conditions are not at all bad,” he said, but admitted the quantity of wine production “will be economically very tight, that’s for sure”.

Some vineyards have a system of reserves, like those producing Chablis or Champagne, holding back from selling a part of the production year to year as insurance to help ride out those times of poor grape harvests.

“For instance 2016 was a huge vintage - that will allow some regions to manage their volumes and quality,” said Faure-Brac.

But not all wine regions practise the same system, and only about 25% of French winegrowers have insured against severe weather.

Vineyards “with little stock” and “not much cash flow” after being hit by hail and frost last year, are going to be in a “difficult” situation this year, said Bernard Farges, president of the national AOP/AOC committee.

“We are working with the ministry to put in place measures to improve insurance and savings regimes,” he said – although that will not relieve problems this year.

SOURCE




Greenland turns against Mother Gaia

We've all heard it endlessly: the Arctic ice is melting.  It will soon be open water, and the surrounding islands bare rock.  The Northwest Passage, which lured hundreds to their doom during the Age of Exploration, will at last be a reality.  The polar bears will go hungry.  Eskimo shamans will no longer be able to contact the Ice Goddess.  Manhattan and Long Island will soon be fifty miles offshore...

And so on, certainly one of the most dominant and persistent memes of the global warming movement, despite its not containing so much as an ounce of truth.

The latest evidence for of this fact comes to us from Denmark.  With a consuming national interest in Greenland going back to the beginning of the last millennium, the Danes have kept careful watch on the weather and surface conditions of the island.  Their most recent findings definitively reveal no large-scale ice loss on Greenland.  Quite the contrary: Greenland is piling massive tonnages of ice as if there's no tomorrow – not to mention no such thing as global warming.

Here are the latest figures from the Danish Meteorological Institute in graphic form:



These graphics show three separate representations dealing of ice cover in Greenland – total amount over the past year, as it appears topographically, and in contrast to the amount of ice melt, which is below average for the entire summer season.  It's clear that Greenland is gaining ice cover, contrary to warmist assertions.

This is also borne out by comparing ice cover over the past three years:



There we have it: ice cover in Greenland is steadily increasing, in defiance of rising carbon levels and even greater levels of green rhetoric.

If "global warming studies" were in fact a science, data of this type would mean tossing out the entire theory and starting from scratch.  But of course, it's no such thing.  So instead, we'll simply hear more squealing and chest-beating from the warmists, the media, and the bureaucrats until the data is piled higher than the ice cap itself.  Then it'll just be something else.

SOURCE




New Film Exposes Communist Roots of “Sustainability” Agenda

A powerful new documentary takes a fresh look at the global “green” agenda, often marketed under the misleading label “sustainable development,” and exposes it for the dangerous assault on human freedom that it is. Beyond that, the film shows how the so-called “sustainability” movement of today is little more than a poorly re-packaged version of the murderous “red” communist agenda that supposedly fell along with the Soviet Union — after killing hundreds of millions of people along the way. The film, It’s Easy Being Green When You Have No Choice: Sustainable Development and the End of History, provides a great deal of evidence and information that all supporters of liberty should be familiar with.

At the center of the scheme for global totalitarianism is the increasingly discredited anthropogenic (man-made) global-warming theory, the film and experts interviewed for it point out. And at the center of that theory is the claim that CO2 drives warming — an idea discredited by, among other evidence, the 18 years and counting in which the undisputed satellite and weather balloon temperature records show no warming. But facts and concerns over the climate were never the real issue, as the film documents using a combination of powerful interviews with experts and even quotes from the key individuals and organizations pushing the anti-human, anti-freedom “sustainability” agenda.

“Ever since the failed Bolshevik revolution the managerial class has been searching for a common enemy for people across the world to unite against,” the narrator explains as the film begins. “They have found it. The new enemy is carbon dioxide.”

CO2, of course, is exhaled by humans and is necessary for plant life. So crucial is CO2 to the planet that scientists have often referred to it as the “gas of life.” Human emissions of CO2, meanwhile, represent a fraction of one percent of all greenhouse gases present naturally in the atmosphere. On top of that, growing amounts of evidence — especially the 18 years and counting of no warming even as CO2 concentrations increased — suggest that carbon dioxide plays only a minor role in the global climate system, if it plays any at all. But because CO2 is emitted during every human activity, including breathing, it is the most perfect enemy imaginable to justify totalitarian control over every element of life.

“Human freedom is the problem and the only solution is to limit and control freedom,” explains the film's narrator, radio host and former meteorologist Brian Sussman. “Through careful marketing techniques and propaganda designed for mass consumption the trusting public has been embracing all of Communism's ultimate goals of redistribution of wealth; dictating and regulating commercial production; controlling land, private property, natural resources, and the economy, diminishing Christianity and the general control of society.”

CO2 and the “climate,” the film and the experts interviewed in it explain clearly, offered the perfect excuse to justify the tyranny. “The whole idea of controlling and limiting carbon dioxide is to control human beings,” says Marc Morano, editor of the Climate Depot website and the producer of a soon-to-be released documentary called Climate Hustle exposing the AGW con. “So if sustainable development becomes even more codified and becomes more accepted and becomes implemented, this is a way for central planners to control human freedom. We have been through this before. We have been down this road before. We have seen the age of the super state in the 20th century and frankly I don’t know that humanity is going to survive this latest assault.”

Morano's commentary in the film, like that of other experts interviewed for it, is insightful and revealing. For example, Morano and others interviewed in the documentary explain how global environmentalism has replaced the Cold War as the key justification for so many of the establishment's agendas. “The idea of sustainable development is that there is a common enemy,” Morano explained. “Now, whether you are rich, whether you are poor, whatever nationality you are, whatever race you are, whatever creed you are, religious — we can all unite. And that is what they were looking for. They wanted a common enemy. I mean, short of an alien invasion from outer space, this was it.”  

Other experts interviewed in the film provide equally compelling commentary on the massive threat facing humanity today. Those experts include author Dr. E. Calvin Beisner, a spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, who touches on the anti-Christian element of the global “sustainability” agenda. He also points out how the agenda is completely incompatible with Christianity and a biblical worldview — a major reason why the attacks against Christians and the Bible are accelerating around the world.  

Beverly Eakman, an author and educator well versed in what is happening in the education system, exposes the use of “green” propaganda in schools and the media to push the sustainability agenda. “The idea that educated people are unsustainable is in the mix of the green agenda,” she explains. The film also brings in quotes from official UN documents stating as much. The Obama administration has also been very open about using the government “education” system to push “sustainability” indoctrination and create “green” citizens.

Also interviewed for the film is climate expert John Casey, the president of the Space and Science Research Corporation, who exposes the false claims surrounding AGW. “Clearly, the reaction, the displays by the global warming or the warmist crowd have reached an all time fever pitch in terms of their anger, their frustration, their attacks on not just global warming critics, but anyone with the scientific data that shows they are wrong,” Casey explains. “This is unparalleled, unprecedented in the modern era, to see these kind of ludicrous extreme attacks that are coming from the warmist community.” He also warned that contrary to the UN narrative about warming, “we are actually going into a new cold climate era.”

Population Research Institute chief Steve Mosher, meanwhile, highlighted the role of the population-control zealots in the whole agenda. “The idea that people cause global warming is driving the population control movement, it is certainly driving the radical environmental movement and it’s driving the sustainable development movement,” he said. “So when you ask, what are these people, the population controllers, in the name of sustainable development or in the name of reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, prepared to do? They are prepared to do anything. They are prepared to arrest women for the crime of being pregnant, give them cesarean section abortions and sterilize them for life.”

Cato Institute Senior Fellow Randal O'Toole, who also spoke in the film, noted that sustainability as it is being pushed means much less freedom and much more poverty. He tackles everything associated with so-called “Smart Growth,” which in essence equates to higher prices, less choices, and more government control of housing, food, transportation, and more. The best solution to so many problems, O'Toole also explains, is more freedom and less planning laws at all levels of government.

The film is interspersed with quotes, often from establishment and insider sources, supporting its thesis. For example, one of the key organizations pushing the agenda is the Club of Rome, a pseudo-environmentalist outfit dominated by top globalists and “former” communists. “In searching for a common enemy against whom we can unite, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like, would fit the bill,” the group said in its report on the “First Global Revolution.” “All these dangers are caused by human intervention in natural processes, and it is only through changed attitudes and behaviors that they can be overcome. The real enemy then is humanity itself.”

Another key area in which the film adds value is how it exposes the giant role of former Soviet dictator Mikhail Gorbachev and his allies in the shackling of the planet under the guise of phony environmentalism. Just a few years after the ostensible collapse of Soviet tyranny, for instance, Gorbachev worked with top “capitalists” through the United Nations to create the globalist plan for “sustainable development” known as UN “Agenda 21.”

Unsurprisingly, as the film documents extensively, the agenda was remarkably similar to the agenda pursued by Moscow and the international communist conspiracy just a few years before the 1992 UN “sustainable development” summit in Rio de Janeiro — in some cases even the wording is almost identical. Indeed, Gorbachev himself touted the plan in his Club of Rome-endorsed book Prophet of Change: From the Cold War to a Sustainable World.  

Even in the United States, the shift from Red communism to Green tyranny has become readily apparent. Just consider Obama's former “Green Jobs” Czar, Van Jones, who was forced out after past media interviews surfaced in which he identified himself as a revolutionary communist. The so-called “green agenda,” too, brazenly promotes central planning, government control, and more. Most recently, radical state attorneys general have even launched “investigations” into climate skeptics with a goal of prosecuting them.  

Overall, the film does an excellent job of exposing the totalitarian nature of the “sustainable development” agenda. It also provides an extremely valuable service by thoroughly documenting the “sustainability” jihad's extensive links to the “ideology” and even the individual mass murderers behind global communism. In fact, the two movements are essentially inseparable, the only difference being that each movement was able to attract a slightly different variety of well-meaning zealot to advance the same totalitarian cause — dupes that Soviet dictator Vladimir Lenin would have referred to as “useful idiots.”

"The climate change debate is more than debating what the climate models say and how people come to accept defacto what they are told by the media," said It's Easy Being Green producer Frank Pinski. "This film tries to get across that the desire of men to control his fellow man never ends, it just changes form. This latest attempt uses the constant changes in the climate to instill fear so that people willingly turn over the regulation of all aspects of their lives to the government. This is reminiscent of Communist society and that is what this film tries to explain."

The documentary is a very good primer for those who are not yet familiar with the dangers of the “sustainable development” movement and green-tinged Marxism in general. But even for longtime readers of this magazine and other well-informed people, there is a lot of valuable information presented in the film. It is worth watching and sharing as Americans gear up to fight back against the extremist agenda at the local, state, and federal level.

SOURCE



Melbourne could run out of water in ten years because of population growth and climate change

Wotta lotta bore-water!  For a start, Melbourne already has a big desalination plant that is hardly used.

Secondly, global warming will produce more evaporation off the oceans and hence MORE rain, not less.

Thirdly, the Snowy scheme already pours lots of dammed water into the sea for "environmental" reasons.  That water could easily be diverted inland into the Murray river. There is already a tunnel for that purpose. And again there is already a pipeline linking the Murray to Melbourne's water supply.

The galoots below would seem not to have a clue about the Melbourne water supply.  They are however Greenies so are probably just frauds who want to frighten people. The only threat to the Melbourne water supply is the Greenies who want to send already-dammed water out to sea


One of the world's most livable cities could be facing an acute water shortage problem in the next ten to 15 years time no thanks to climate change and population growth.

Water supply in Melbourne may fall and reach a crisis point if no precautionary methods are taken to contain the problem from today, reports The Age.

The publication says demand for water in the state is expected to exceed the supply by 2028.

According to projections made by City West Water, Yarra Valley Water and South East Water demand for water is projected to surge to about 75 percent in the next 40 years, the publication reports.

Some water corporation produced the probable scenario for the state's water supply, Environment Victoria's acting chief executive, Nicholas Aberle told Daily Mail Australia.

Mr Aberle said there was a bunch of things that Melbournians can do to address the situation by incorporating several water saving habits.

He said people should learn ways on saving storm water and turning that into a valuable water resource. 'During the drought (1997 to 2009) people were managing water efficiency by only using 155 litres a day.

'People should have a behavioural change and use 100 litres of water a day and handle the water resources efficiently,' he said.

Melbourne Water spokesman Joseph Keller told the publication that people living in the state were 'encouraged to limit their consumption to 155 litres per person per day.'

At present Melbourne Water reports that residents in the state use 162 litres of water per person per day in 2016-17.

SOURCE

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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.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here

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Sunday, July 23, 2017



Roman Empire and Chinese Han Dynasty responsible for greenhouse gas emissions 1,800 years before Industrial Revolution

This study concerns methane but other gases produced by civilizational advance would have to be similar in incidence

The Roman Empire and the Chinese Han Dynasty were responsible for significant greenhouse gas emissions, according to a study which contradicts UN scientists’ view that man-made climate change only began with the Industrial Revolution.

Core samples from Greenland’s ice, which faithfully record the planet’s atmospheric conditions, showed that methane levels significantly rose about 2,000 years ago and remained constant for around 200 years, coinciding with the height of the 2 great empires.

Lead author of the study Celia Sapart of Utrecht University told Reuters, “Per capita they were already emitting quite a lot in the Roman Empire and Han Dynasty,” and said that methane was probably released during deforestation to clear land for farming and from the use of charcoal as fuel, for instance to smelt metal to make weapons.

The study, published in the journal Nature, found that rates of deforestation “show a decrease around AD 200, which is related to drastic population declines in China and Europe following the fall of the Han Dynasty and the decline of the Roman Empire.”

The world’s population 2,000 years ago was around 300 million and their contribution to global emissions were significant, but still tiny compared with the emissions of the 7 billion on Earth today.  Sapart estimated that methane emissions until 1800 were about 10% of the total for the past 2,000 years, with 90% occurring since the Industrial Revolution and the great surge in the use of fossil fuels.  She said, “The pre-industrial time was not a natural time for the climate – it was already influenced by human activity.  When we do future climate predictions we have to think about what is natural and what did we add.  We have to define what is really natural.”

The study noted a second rise in methane in the Medieval period, which coincided with a warm period from 800 to 1200 AD, the emergence of Europe’s economy from the Dark Ages, and population growth in Asia and Europe which led to more deforestation for farming.  It fell back again when the Black Death ravaged Asian and European populations.  A third rise in methane levels occurred around the start of the ‘Little Ice Age’ in the 1500s, as populations recovered after the plague.

SOURCE





Ecofascists Needed an Enemy, So They Chose Fossil Fuels

Divestment does not simply focus upon climate change or green living, but rather de-funding the fossil fuel industry.

What began as a single campaign on a college campus in 2010 has grown into a worldwide movement. It does not simply focus upon climate change or green living, but rather de-funding the fossil fuel industry. They call it divestment.

Fossil fuel divestment, the opposite of investment, means the selling of fossil fuel stocks. Recalling the successful 1980s divestment campaign against Apartheid, fossil fuel divestment advocates hope to create both financial and social pressure to ruin the fossil fuel industry, thus preserving the planet. Whether it’s college students protesting for the divestment of the school’s endowment or citizens marching for the divestment of the state’s pension, the movement has become a popular way for people to feel like they’re fighting to save the earth from both the disaster of climate change and the evil of corporations.

Bill McKibben, one of the leading advocates of the divestment movement, co-founded 350.org, a global climate change advocacy group that has held 20,000 rallies in every country in the world except North Korea (wonder why). In 2012, he wrote in Rolling Stone, “A rapid, transformative change would require building a movement, and movements require enemies. … And enemies are what climate change has lacked.”

That’s right — in order to transform the climate change debate into a movement, McKibben and his fellow ecofascists needed an enemy. So he started the divestment movement that casts the fossil fuel industry and those who invest in its companies as the morally sinister destroyers of the environment. McKibben’s admission of creating an enemy to bolster his campaign should delegitimize the moral claims of the movement. But it hasn’t.

GoFossilFree.org, one of the leading voices in fossil fuel divestment, speaks of the supposed moral motivations for its cause:

Fossil fuel divestment takes the fossil fuel industry to task for its culpability in the climate crisis. By naming this industry’s singularly destructive influence — and by highlighting the moral dimensions of climate change — we hope that the fossil fuel divestment movement can help break the hold that the fossil fuel industry has on our economy and our governments.
Go Fossil Free holds the fossil fuel industry responsible for destroying the planet and morally injuring its inhabitants. While McKibben created an enemy, Go Fossil Free has made the fight against that enemy a “moral” one, citing floods and natural disasters allegedly caused by climate change.

However, one study notes that deaths related to climate (flood, drought, storms, extreme heat or cold) have dropped 98% since 1920. The energy industry has facilitated this decline through building better homes, heating, air conditioning, proper irrigation and disaster warning systems. That sort of steals the, er, thunder of the ecofascists’ hyperbolic claims.

Another fallacy upon which the divestment movement relies is that fossil fuels have created extreme amounts of pollution. Yet according to Forbes, air pollution in the U.S. has declined 72% since 1970 despite a 47% total increase in energy use. In addition, developed countries that use fossil fuels have cleaner environments than underdeveloped countries where dumping waste in rivers and streams prevents access to clean water. In fact, one of the key differences between third world and first world countries depends upon access to reliable energy.

Alex Epstein, founder of the Center for Industrial Progress and author of the New York Times bestseller “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels,” notes that there are seven billion people on the planet who need access to inexpensive, reliable energy in order to flourish. Yet three billion people have virtually no energy. For much of the world, lack of energy, not use of energy, has been the greatest barrier to growth and productivity.

While the divestment movement has succeeded in creating both an enemy and a moral cause based upon fear and guilt, the evidence points to the reality that energy has helped hedge against climate-related disasters and provided food and health care to aid human life. Divesters fail to grasp how energy powers every modern convenience from a warm shower (natural gas), to adequate hospital care (electricity), to food (diesel-powered farm equipment), and they offer few, if any, real solutions to our planet’s energy needs. Perhaps they should invest in our future instead of trying to undermine it.

SOURCE





The Stupidity of Mayors Fighting Climate Change

Since President Donald Trump announced America’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, mayors from across the country have announced a renewed commitment to the agreement, promising to achieve its objectives on their own.

“If the federal government doesn’t act, it doesn’t mean we don’t have a national policy; the federal government doesn’t occupy the only place on this,” said Mitch Landrieu, mayor of New Orleans and president of the United States Conference of Mayors.

He’s absolutely right—just not in the way he means to be.

To be clear, these policies will be economic and environmental failures, just as Paris is. States and cities committing to climate plans that regulate affordable, dependable power sources out of existence or subsidize uncompetitive energy technologies distort markets and hurt families, businesses, and taxpayers—all for no meaningful climate benefit in return.

But no matter how expensive or inefficient a policy might be, the federal government shouldn’t stop states from implementing it and facing the benefits or consequences. The voters who shoulder the burden of these policies will ultimately determine the fate of the politicians championing them.

The American government was built on the principle of federalism—the distribution of power among different levels of the government, from federal to local.

If the president can’t or won’t act, Americans don’t have to throw their arms up in despair. Instead, they can fight for change, both good and bad, on another level.

Federalism is enshrined in the 10th Amendment, which assigns to the states and the people all powers not assigned to the U.S. or explicitly prohibited.

These mayors’ promises on global warming are a bad idea, but there’s a silver lining: We have good reason to be skeptical that they’ll actually be kept.

In 2007, when President George W. Bush refused to commit to the goals of the Paris climate agreement’s predecessor, the Kyoto Protocol, more than 1,000 mayors promised to achieve the objectives on their own.

When the carbon reduction deadline rolled around in 2012, however, hardly any city had managed to reach its goals.

Likewise, today’s pledges may prove to be nothing more than hot air. If politicians don’t follow through on their promises, they’ll have no one to blame but themselves.

This isn’t the first time since the election that people have advertently proven the effectiveness of local action, even if directed toward the wrong ends.

In the days following Nov. 8, donations to Planned Parenthood skyrocketed.

Donors intended their actions to be a protest against the possibility of Planned Parenthood losing its federal funding. Instead, they revealed why Planned Parenthood doesn’t need federal funding in the first place: If free individuals truly care about an issue, they’ll put their money where their mouth is. And if they don’t care, they won’t donate.

Expecting the federal government to solve every problem simply passes responsibility, and the check, to someone else.

As former Vice President Al Gore rightly put it, “If President Trump won’t lead, the American people will.” If only he could be right for the right reasons.

SOURCE




Tourists Shun Scottish Regions Hit By Wind Turbine ‘Blight’

More than half of tourists to Scotland would rather not visit scenic areas dominated by man-made structures such as wind farms, a YouGov poll suggests.

A survey carried out on behalf of the John Muir Trust (JMT) found that 55% of respondents were “less likely” to venture into areas of the countryside industrialised by giant turbines, electricity pylons and super-quarries.

Just 3% said they were “more likely” to visit such areas, while 26% said such large-scale developments would make “no difference”.

The poll has rekindled calls for Scottish ministers to increase protection for wild and scenic areas that, it is argued, will protect rural tourism businesses.

It follows a recent decision to approve the 22-turbine Creag Riabhach wind farm in Altnaharra, the first to win consent within a designated wild land area. Each turbine will stand 125m high.

“As schools across England break up for the summer this week and many families flock to Scotland, we must remember that, for many, it’s the ability to enjoy being outdoors in Scotland’s unique, unspoilt natural landscapes that brings them north,” said Andrew Bachell, JMT’s chief executive.

“When a clear majority of people say they’d be put off visiting wild and scenic areas by the existence of large-scale wind farms, giant pylons, super-quarries and other developments, policymakers have to pay attention, before it’s too late.”

SOURCE




More Judicial Overreach Stymies Trump's Deregulation Agenda

The DC Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 ruling, recently reversed the decision by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt of a 90-day stay on implementing new methane emissions regulations created during the final year of Barack Obama’s presidency. Pruitt argued that the stay was needed in order to thoroughly review the financial impact of the new regulations on the fossil fuel industry. Even the EPA estimated the compliance cost to be as high as $530 million, which means it would most likely be far higher. Pruitt further argued that not enough time was given for the oil industry to weigh in before the regulation went into effect.

The court rejected Pruitt’s argument, with the majority stating, “The administrative record thus makes clear that industry groups had ample opportunity to comment on all four issues on which EPA granted reconsideration, and indeed, that in several instances the agency incorporated those comments directly into the final rule.”

But there’s one big problem here that demonstrates yet another example of judicial overreach in the era of Donald Trump. This action taken by the court is extraordinary in that the court itself has recognized that its authority is limited to the reviewing of “final agency actions,” which clearly EPA Director Pruitt’s 90-day stay does not merit. In her dissenting opinion, Judge Janice Rogers blasted the majority opinion, stating, “In contrast to our precedent, the Court’s opinion concludes a particular administration proceeding has innumerable final agency actions, including intermediate decisions. No authority supports this proposition.”

Pruitt can appeal to the Supreme Court, but he won’t get a ruling on it until next year, and in the meantime the Obama-era regulation will go into effect. This is yet another reason for Trump to get busy putting conservative judges on the bench. It’s clear that the Left will continue to appeal to activist judges to block as much of Trump’s agenda as possible.

SOURCE

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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.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here

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Friday, July 21, 2017




I’m a scientist. I’m blowing the whistle on the Trump administration

I think the top Warmists will lean on this guy to shut up. If it comes to a court case he will have to prove that he is right in what he says.  And that will mean that he has to prove the reality of anthropogenic global warming.  And he will fail in that.  So the Warmists cannot afford to have a court adjudicate on that

By Joel Clement

I am not a member of the deep state. I am not big government.

I am a scientist, a policy expert, a civil servant and a worried citizen. Reluctantly, as of today, I am also a whistleblower on an administration that chooses silence over science.

Nearly seven years ago, I came to work for the Interior Department, where, among other things, I’ve helped endangered communities in Alaska prepare for and adapt to a changing climate. But on June 15, I was one of about 50 senior department employees who received letters informing us of involuntary reassignments. Citing a need to “improve talent development, mission delivery and collaboration,” the letter informed me that I was reassigned to an unrelated job in the accounting office that collects royalty checks from fossil fuel companies.

I am not an accountant — but you don’t have to be one to see that the administration’s excuse for a reassignment such as mine doesn’t add up. A few days after my reassignment, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke testified before Congress that the department would use reassignments as part of its effort to eliminate employees; the only reasonable inference from that testimony is that he expects people to quit in response to undesirable transfers. Some of my colleagues are being relocated across the country, at taxpayer expense, to serve in equally ill-fitting jobs.

I believe I was retaliated against for speaking out publicly about the dangers that climate change poses to Alaska Native communities. During the months preceding my reassignment, I raised the issue with White House officials, senior Interior officials and the international community, most recently at a U.N. conference in June. It is clear to me that the administration was so uncomfortable with this work, and my disclosures, that I was reassigned with the intent to coerce me into leaving the federal government.

On Wednesday, I filed two forms — a complaint and a disclosure of information — with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel. I filed the disclosure because eliminating my role coordinating federal engagement and leaving my former position empty exacerbate the already significant threat to the health and the safety of certain Alaska Native communities. I filed the complaint because the Trump administration clearly retaliated against me for raising awareness of this danger. Our country values the safety of our citizens, and federal employees who disclose threats to health and safety are protected from reprisal by the Whistleblower Protection Act and Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act.

Removing a civil servant from his area of expertise and putting him in a job where he’s not needed and his experience is not relevant is a colossal waste of taxpayer dollars. Much more distressing, though, is what this charade means for American livelihoods. The Alaska Native villages of Kivalina, Shishmaref and Shaktoolik are perilously close to melting into the Arctic Ocean. In a region that is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, the land upon which citizens’ homes and schools stand is newly vulnerable to storms, floods and waves. As permafrost melts and protective sea ice recedes, these Alaska Native villages are one superstorm from being washed away, displacing hundreds of Americans and potentially costing lives. The members of these communities could soon become refugees in their own country.

Alaska’s elected officials know climate change presents a real risk to these communities. Gov. Bill Walker (I) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) have been sounding the alarm and scrambling for resources to help these villages. But to stave off a life-threatening situation, Alaska needs the help of a fully engaged federal government. Washington cannot turn its back.

While I have given small amounts to Democratic candidates in the past, I have no problem whatsoever working for a Republican administration. I believe that every president, regardless of party, has the right and responsibility to implement his policies. But that is not what is happening here. Putting citizens in harm’s way isn’t the president’s right. Silencing civil servants, stifling science, squandering taxpayer money and spurning communities in the face of imminent danger have never made America great.

Now that I have filed with the Office of Special Counsel, it is my hope that it will do a thorough investigation into the Interior Department’s actions. Our country protects those who seek to inform others about dangers to American lives. The threat to these Alaska Native communities is not theoretical. This is not a policy debate. Retaliation against me for those disclosures is unlawful.

Let’s be honest: The Trump administration didn’t think my years of science and policy experience were better suited to accounts receivable. It sidelined me in the hope that I would be quiet or quit. Born and raised in Maine, I was taught to work hard and speak truth to power. Trump and Zinke might kick me out of my office, but they can’t keep me from speaking out. They might refuse to respond to the reality of climate change, but their abuse of power cannot go unanswered.

SOURCE




Pruitt Is Cleaning Up the EPA

One of the best decisions Donald Trump has made thus far into his presidency was his choice of Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA may prove to be a textbook example of how corruption works to twist an ostensibly apolitical government agency into a primary proponent of a political cause. But Pruitt is taking the bull by the horns.

The Wall Street Journal recently noted that Pruitt has been aggressively working on replacing Barack Obama-era science advisers. In the month of June alone the EPA notified 38 advisers that their committee appointments would not be renewed. While the Left has claimed that Trump is engaged in a “war on science,” the reality is exactly the opposite. A bit of context is needed to better understand the issue at hand.

For years, the EPA has relied heavily on several non-government advisory boards because it is required to hear an advisory board’s advice before enacting new regulations. The EPA is not, however, required to heed a board’s advice. According to the Federal Advisory Committee Act rules, all advisory boards are required to be balanced and unbiased. Historically, the majority of committee members have come from academia, with some coming from consulting and activist groups. Very few members have come from industry.

One of the EPA’s most prominent advisory boards is the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC). In 1996, the EPA wanted to pass new restrictive regulations on emissions under the guise that these rules were needed to save the lives of thousands of Americans from dangerous air pollution. The problem was that the CASAC countered the EPA’s opinion, saying that research findings did not support the agency’s conclusion. Ignoring the advice, the EPA went ahead with enacting its costly regulations anyway.

Now here’s where the corruption problem begins to rear its ugly head. Ecofascists, frustrated with the independent nature of these advisory committees, worked to stack the deck in their favor. By the mid 2000s two-thirds of all CASAC members were grantees of the EPA. During Obama’s two terms, the number of grantees increased significantly, with hundreds of millions of dollars in research grants being awarded to these “independent” advisers. As The Wall Street Journal describes it, “In effect, EPA-funded researchers are empowered to review and approve their own work in order to rubber-stamp the EPA’s regulatory agenda. This is all done under the guise of ‘independence.’”

By reforming this practice, Pruitt is not working to quash science. On the contrary, he’s promoting it by dismantling a rigged system.

SOURCE




California Doubles Down on Cap-and-Trade

The Golden State’s legislature voted this week to prolong its onerous cap-and-trade scheme under the guise of curtailing global warming. Even more disturbing was the number of Republicans who joined the alarmist bandwagon. The Los Angeles Times triumphantly reports, “In a break with party leaders and activists in California and Washington, eight Republicans joined with Democrats to continue the cap-and-trade program, which requires companies to buy permits to release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.”

The Times continues, “The legislation would keep the 5-year-old program operating until 2030, providing a key tool for meeting the state’s ambitious goal for slashing emissions. Cap and trade also generates important revenue for building the bullet train from Los Angeles to San Francisco, another priority for the governor.” That would be the same bullet train that has turned into a financial debacle yet, for some reason, is considered a California holy grail. The Sacramento Bee dubs it one of the “state projects to offset the effects of climate change.” But it neither offsets climate change nor meets the criteria for frugal taxpayer spending.

In January, another LA Times report stated, “California’s bullet train could cost taxpayers 50% more than estimated — as much as $3.6 billion more. And that’s just for the first 118 miles through the Central Valley, which was supposed to be the easiest part of the route between Los Angeles and San Francisco. A confidential Federal Railroad Administration risk analysis, obtained by The Times, projects that building bridges, viaducts, trenches and track from Merced to Shafter, just north of Bakersfield, could cost $9.5 billion to $10 billion, compared with the original budget of $6.4 billion.”

The finishing touches of the Central Valley track might not occur until 2024 — a far cry from the original timeline: this year. This is emblematic of just how wasteful California is when it comes to allocating tax dollars. And it’s being done by lawmakers who have a vested interest that goes well beyond the scope of climate change. They’re most interested in funding pet projects like a leftist-coveted bullet train. That’s a lot of political capital to wager on a project that, so far, has been a complete failure. Other states, particularly Democrat-controlled ones, should take note lest they further aggravate the blue state exodus.

SOURCE




The Inconvenient Truth About Electric Vehicles

An electric auto will convert 5-10% of the energy in natural gas into motion. A normal vehicle will convert 20-30% of the energy in gasoline into motion. That's 3 or 4 times more energy recovered with an internal combustion vehicle than an electric vehicle.

Electricity is a specialty product. It's not appropriate for transportation. It looks cheap at this time, but that's because it was designed for toasters, not transportation. Increase the amount of wiring and infrastructure by a factor of a thousand, and it's not cheap.

Electricity does not scale up properly to the transportation level due to its miniscule nature. Sure, a whole lot can be used for something, but at extraordinary expense and materials.

Using electricity as an energy source requires two energy transformation steps, while using petroleum requires only one. With electricity, the original energy, usually chemical energy, must be transformed into electrical energy; and then the electrical energy is transformed into the kinetic energy of motion. With an internal combustion engine, the only transformation step is the conversion of chemical energy to kinetic energy in the combustion chamber.

The difference matters, because there is a lot of energy lost every time it is transformed or used. Electrical energy is harder to handle and loses more in handling.

The use of electrical energy requires it to move into and out of the space medium (aether) through induction. Induction through the aether medium should be referred to as another form of energy, but physicists sandwich it into the category of electrical energy. Going into and out of the aether through induction loses a lot of energy.

Another problem with electricity is that it loses energy to heat production due to resistance in the wires. A short transmission line will have 20% loss built in, and a long line will have 50% loss built in. These losses are designed in, because reducing the loss by half would require twice as much metal in the wires. Wires have to be optimized for diameter and strength, which means doubling the metal would be doubling the number of transmission lines.

High voltage transformers can get 90% efficiency with expensive designs, but household level voltages get 50% efficiency. Electric motors can get up to 60% efficiency, but only at optimum rpms and load. For autos, they average 25% efficiency. Gasoline engines get 25% efficiency with old-style carburetors and 30% with fuel injection, though additional loses can occur.

Applying this brilliant engineering to the problem yields this result: A natural gas electric generating turbine gets 40% efficiency. A high voltage transformer gets 90% efficiency. A household level transformer gets 50% efficiency. A short transmission line gets 20% loss, which is 80% efficiency. The total is 40% x 90% x 50% x 80% = 14.4% of the energy recovered before the electrical system does something similar to the gasoline engine in the vehicle. Some say the electricity performs a little better in the vehicle, but it's not much.

Electricity appears to be easy to handle sending it through wires. But it is the small scale that makes it look cheap. Scaling it up takes a pound of metal for so many electron-miles. Twice as much distance means twice as much metal. Twice as many amps means twice as much metal. Converting the transportation system into an electrical based system would require scaling up the amount of metal and electrical infrastructure by factors of hundreds or thousands. Where are all those lines going to go? They destroy environments. Where is that much natural gas going to come from for the electrical generators? There is very little natural gas in existence when using it for a large scale purpose. Natural gas has to be used with solar and wind energy, because only it can be turned on and off easily for backup.

One of the overwhelming facts about electric transportation is the chicken and egg phenomenon. Supposedly, a lot of electric vehicles will create an incentive to create a lot of expensive infrastructure. There are a lot of reasons why none of the goals can be met for such an infrastructure. The basic problem is that electricity will never be appropriate for such demanding use as general transportation, which means there will never be enough chickens or eggs to balance the demand. It's like trying to improve a backpack to such an extent that it will replace a pickup truck. The limitations of muscle metabolism are like the limitations of electrical energy.

Electrons are not a space-saving form of energy. Electrons have to be surrounded by large amounts of metal. It means electric motors get heavy and large. When cruising around town, the problems are not so noticeable. But the challenges of ruggedness are met far easier with internal combustion engines. Engineers say it is nice to get rid of the drive train with electric vehicles. But in doing so, they add clutter elsewhere, which adds weight, takes up space and messes up the suspension system. Out on the highway, the suspension system is the most critical factor.

These problems will prevent electric vehicles from replacing petroleum vehicles for all but specialty purposes. The infrastructure needed for electric vehicles will never exist when limited to specialty purposes. This would be true even with the perfect battery which takes up no space and holds infinite charge.

SOURCE




Debunked Climate Scientist Threatens Legal Action Against his Critics

A Stanford University professor indicated he was ready to take legal action against NOAA researchers who published a recent study critical of his work on green energy.

Emails obtained by National Review’s Robert Bryce show Stanford’s Mark Jacobson hired lawyers “to address the falsification of claims” about his work. Jacobson has not yet filed a lawsuit.

Jacobson sent a June email to Chris Clack , a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) mathematician who helped debunk his widely-cited 2015 research claimed the U.S. could run on 100 percent green energy. Clack and 20 other researchers published a retort to Jacobson’s study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), concluding its “work used invalid modeling tools, contained modeling errors, and made implausible and inadequately supported assumptions.”

“It’s unprecedented for a scientist to do that,” Chris Clack, told The National Review. “We have not attacked him. All the vitriol has come from his side. We have only talked about the substance of the paper.”

I have no comment except to say that any email you have obtained from a third party that has my words on it is copyrighted, and your printing any email of mine would be done without my permission and would be considered a copyright infringement,” Jacobson told The National Review.

Jacobson’s research contained several serious errors, such as overstating the available hydropower in the U.S. by roughly a factor of ten as well as claiming all commercial gasoline powered jetliners would be replaced with hydrogen in thirty years.

Rather than accept any of the criticisms, Jacobson responded with tirades on Twitter and the environmentalists blog EcoWatch. Jaconbson responded to the criticism by claiming “[t]here is not a single error in our paper,” to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Technology Review.

Environmentalists and some Democrats widely hailed Jacobson’s paper, with politicians like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and activist celebrities like Mark Ruffalo citing it. However, even a green energy CEO says that powering everything in modern civilization can rely solely on solar and wind power is a “hoax.”

Power grids require demand for electricity to exactly match supply in order to function, which is an enormous problem for wind and solar power since their output cannot be accurately predicted in advance or easily adjusted. This is the entire reason for Renewable Energy Credits. Wind and solar can also burn out the grid if they produce too much, or not enough, electricity, leading to brownouts or blackouts. Such damage has already occurred in power grids relying too much on solar and wind power — like California and Germany.

When the islands of Tasmania and El Hierro tried to power their economies with 100 percent green energy, both islands quickly switched back to diesel generators after suffering reliability problems and soaring costs. The analysis suggests it would have taken 84 years for El Hierro’s wind and hydropower systems to simply pay back their capital costs.

SOURCE

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