Sunday, July 22, 2018



Fossil fuel industry spent nearly $2 billion to kill U.S. climate action, new study finds

It's always amusing when the Green/Left try to glue some facts on to their half-baked theories.  Below is an example.  As usual, they tell only half the story -- or rather on this occasion only a small fraction of the story.  Rather hilariously, they want to claim that the failure of their crusade is because they don't get enough publicity.

They agonize over the sums various producers of traditional fuels spend on lobbying Congress and say that environmentalists spend a lot less. And that is the only sort of promotional expenditure they mention.  And they don't even show WHAT causes the lobbyists were pushing. They assume that every cent went to promote climate skepticism. But big companies have lots of interests and it is possible that global warming was only a small part of the causes that they were lobbying for.  We don't even know that they mentioned global warming at all.  Greenies have a paranoid conviction that it was all about them but offer no proof of that. So strike one for the first part of the story that they "overlooked"

But the really BIG strike is that they have ignored the Greenie effort at promoting their cause to the PUBLIC.  Lobbying Congress is all well and good but if you have the public on your side, Congress is in your pocket.  And on my count you would be lucky to see one anti-warming article in the media for 50 pro-warming articles.  Skeptics are hugely outnumbered by apostles of the Warmist creed.  So if you look at TOTAL promotional activity, the amounts some companies spend on lobbying Congress are just a drop in the bucket.

Amazing how different it all looks when you look at the whole picture, isn't it?


Legislation to address climate change has repeatedly died in Congress. But a major new study says the policy deaths were not from natural causes — they were caused by humans, just like climate change itself is.

Climate action has been repeatedly drowned by a devastating surge and flood of money from the fossil fuel industry — nearly $2 billion in lobbying since 2000 alone.

This is according to stunning new analysis in the journal Climatic Change on “The climate lobby” by Drexel University environmental sociologist Robert J. Brulle.

The most important conclusion of Brulle’s is that spending by those in favor of climate action was dramatically overwhelmed by the big fossil fuel suppliers and users: “Environmental organizations and the renewable energy sector lobbying expenditures were dwarfed by a ratio of 10:1 by the spending of the sectors engaged in the supply and use of fossil fuels.”

The study serves to help put to rest notion that the effort to pass climate legislation has ever been a fair fight. But then, the big corporate producers and consumers of fossil fuels have hundreds of billions of dollars in annual revenue — thus dwarfing the funds available to major environmental groups and the emerging clean energy sector.

Brulle analyzed the “countervailing power ratio,” which is the total lobbying expenditures by the big fossil fuel trade associations along with the transportation, electric utility, and fossil fuel sectors divided by the total lobbying expenditures of the renewable energy sector along with environmental organizations

“Special interests dominate the conversation, all working for a particular advantage for their industry,” as Dr. Brulle told ThinkProgress in an email. “The common good is not represented.”

Indeed, the other key point of the study is that a truly staggering amount of money has been spent lobbying Congress on climate change this century, more than $2 billion.

The biggest surge came, unsurprisingly, during the 2009-2010 period — when Congress came the closest it ever did to passing serious climate legislation

During 2009 and 2010, total lobbying expenditures on climate change accounted for a whopping nine percent of all lobbying expenditures.

The House of Representatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act, often called the Waxman-Markey bill, by a slim margin in June 2009. At that point, the fossil fuel industry launched an all-out — and ultimately successful — lobbying push to undermine any effort by the Senate to  pass their own version of the climate bill over the next 12 months.

Indeed, of the top nine energy companies with the biggest lobbying expenditures between January 2009 and June 2010, six were Big Oil companies (led by ExxonMobil), and the other three were a coal producer and two coal-intensive utilities.

“It’s clear that when the greatest threat presents itself — like when Congress and the Executive branch are aligned and favorable to and recognize climate change as a major issue,” explained Brulle, “these corporations that engage in the supply and use of fossil fuels work the hardest to upend legislative efforts by increasing their lobby spending ten-fold.”

Finally, it’s worth noting, as Brulle does, that electric utilities, which collectively have spent vast sums lobbying on climate change, were not all lobbying uniformly against the climate bill in 2009 and 2010.

But the biggest carbon polluters at the time, such as Southern Company and American Electric Power (AEP), were among the very biggest spenders.

Also, as the study notes, “several corporations’ apparent support for climate policy is a sophisticated strategy to simultaneously attempt to appear to support such legislation, while actually supporting efforts to undermine it.”

To do this, some companies had memberships in coalitions that both supported climate legislation (U.S. Climate Action Partnership) and that opposed it (American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity).

And it appears to be the case that the opponents of the climate bill were very actively trying to kill the bill, while many of the so-called proponents were mainly lobbying to shape the bill “as a hedge against unacceptable climate legislation in case their first preference (no action) is defeated,” as the study notes.

Post 2010,  the fossil fuel industry has maintained its consistent large edge in  lobbying over environmentalists and clean energy companies.

Sadly, brand new IRS rules from the Trump administration “will no longer force Kochs and other groups to disclose donors,” as the New York Times reported Tuesday. That means major anti-climate groups, like Americans for Prosperity, will  not have to report that it is heavily backed by the Koch brothers, who are billionaire fossil fuel barons.

In short, tracking the role of dirty money in politics just got a lot harder.

The bottom line is that one major reason for the lack of action on climate change is that, for nearly two decades, the opponents of serious action have been vastly outspending the proponents.

SOURCE 





Watching Weather Waves But Missing Climate Tides

Viv Forbes

The climate alarm media, the bureaucracy and the Green Energy industry follow an agenda which is served by inflating any short-term weather event into a climate calamity. They should take a long-term view.

Earth’s climate is never still – it is always changing, with long-term trends, medium-term reversals and minor oscillations (see above graph). Humanity is best served by those who use good science to study geology, astronomy and climate history searching for clues to climate drivers and the underlying natural cycles and trends hidden in short-term weather fluctuations.

For the last 10,000 years Earth has basked in the Holocene Interglacial which is the latest of many warm cycles within the Pleistocene Ice Age. There are small warm and cool cycles within the Holocene. Today we enjoy the Modern Warm Cycle (which started about calendar 1900) following the Little Ice Age which bottomed in about 1750.

What does the future hold? The past gives clues to the future.

In every warm era, glaciers retreat, ice sheets melt and sea levels rise. Coastal land, ports and settlements are lost under the rising seas but tundra, grasslands and forests expand. Some corals manage to grow as fast as the seas rise, but others are drowned in deep water. The warmth drives more carbon dioxide from the seas, plants thrive, deserts shrink and humans are well fed.

Then solar intensity wanes, solar orbits change, less solar energy is received by the big northern lands, and the warm Earth radiates more heat to space. It starts cooling.

As Earth enters a cold era, not all of the winter snow melts over summer. The extra snow reflects more solar radiation, leading to even colder winters. The snow-line and the tree-line fluctuate lower, mountain passes are closed, and advancing glaciers threaten mountain villages. Sea ice expands, ice sheets grow, lakes and rivers are frozen, sea levels drop and coral reefs are stranded above the water line. The cooling seas absorb life-giving carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and crops fail; deserts expand, humans suffer poverty and famine, settlements are abandoned, armies march, empires fall and some species disappear.

This has happened many times before and will probably happen again.

But there are clues to the next big phase for Earth’s climate.

Earth has two natural global thermometers which can reveal short and long term trends – the advance and retreat of glaciers, and the rise and fall of sea level.

If glaciers are growing and ice sheets are advancing and getting thicker, it indicates that average global temperature is falling.

Glaciologists have drilled and analysed many of today’s glaciers. They have been surprised to discover that, outside of Antarctica and Greenland, no glacial ice older than 4,000 years has been found. For example, the Fremont Glacier in Wyoming half-way towards the Equator is only a few hundred years old.

Naturally some of these new glaciers can show melting and retreat during long spells of warm weather, but the mere existence of glaciers today where none existed at the peak of the Holocene warming over 3,000 years ago confirms what other studies show – Earth is gradually cooling towards the next Glacial Cycle.

The second natural thermometer is the changing sea level caused by fluctuations in the volume of ice and snow trapped on land, and by the expansion or contraction in the volume of sea water as it warms or cools. Coastal and near-shore locations show much evidence of past and recent sea level changes. In warm eras, glaciers and ice sheets melt, sea water expands, sea levels rise and offshore coral reefs become submerged and drown. Then as peak warming is passed, ice starts to accumulate on land, cooling sea water contracts and sea levels fall.

Even a moderate cooling event such as the Little Ice Age was sufficient to cause lowering of sea level and stranding of port cities and beaches.

Earth’s natural thermometers are now flashing an amber warning. The long-term trends point to growing glaciers and falling sea level. These warn us that the warm moist bountiful Holocene Era is past its peak. The next chapter in Earth’s History will be a long, hungry, ice-bound era. Only humans who are good at hunting and gathering or have easy access to nuclear power or carbon energy will survive.

People who try to create a “Climate Crisis” out of extreme weather events or short-term climate fluctuations (such as today’s Modern Warm Cycle) are like Lord Nelson – their telescope is applied to the blind eye. They point to the choppy waves from summer storms behind the ship, but fail to see the blizzard approaching on the horizon ahead.

Al Gore was right in one thing – warm cycles coincide with high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The warmth drove CO2 into the atmosphere, and then the cooling oceans removed it again. Carbon dioxide variations are the result, not the cause, of climate changes.

But never once, over eleven warm cycles covering the last million years, have those high levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide prevented the onset of the next glacial cycle.

“Carbon Dioxide..  Causes Global Warming ..   Like Wet Roads... Cause Rain.”

Trying to remove or limit atmospheric carbon dioxide is a futile and costly gesture. Even if it were to succeed, by removing plant food from the atmosphere, it would increase the misery of the approaching cold, hungry era.

We may still have warm decades or even centuries ahead. But even when there is a heatwave in autumn, the winter still comes.

SOURCE. (See the original for links, graphics etc.)




Texas To Become World’s Number 3 Oil Producer, Passing Iran

America is a powerhouse and I mean that literally as well as figuratively. CNN Money reported Wednesday that Texas is set to become the world’s number three oil producer thanks to a boom in production:

Plunging drilling costs have sparked an explosion of production out of the Permian Basin of West Texas. In fact, Texas is pumping so much oil that it will surpass OPEC members Iran and Iraq next year, HSBC predicted in a recent report.

If it were a country, Texas would be the world’s No. 3 oil producer, behind only Russia and Saudi Arabia, the investment bank said.

“It’s remarkable. The Permian is nothing less than a blessing for the global economy,” said Bob McNally, president of Rapidan Energy Group, a consulting firm…

“The industry cracked the code on fracking,” said McNally.

Texas is producing so much oil that it will soon be bumping up against pipeline capacity. Some producers are already selling at a discount because of the limitations. Another problem is a shortage of labor, though that will likely be good news for the state and for people moving to Texas to find work.

The boom in Texas is one reason the U.S. is set to become the world’s number one oil producer. Last week, U.S. production reached an all-time high of 11 million barrels per day:

Reuters reports that if these preliminary numbers are confirmed, the U.S. is currently the second largest producer in the world, just behind Russia:

U.S. crude oil production last week hit 11 million barrels per day (bpd) for the first time in the nation’s history, the Energy Department said on Wednesday, as the ongoing boom in shale production continues to drive output.

The gains represent a rapid increase in output, as the data, if confirmed by monthly figures, puts the United States as the second largest producer of crude oil, just behind Russia, which was producing 11.2 million bpd in early July, according to sources.

“Eleven million would have made us the biggest producer in the world; but actually Russian production in June was above 11 million. So, this is kind of like the space race,” said Sandy Fielden, director of research in commodities and energy at Morningstar.

But we won’t be behind Russia for much longer. The U.S. Energy Information Administration predicted last week that production would near 12 million barrels a day by next year:

EIA forecasts total U.S. crude oil production to average 10.8 million b/d in 2018, up 1.4 million b/d from 2017. In 2019, crude oil production is forecast to average 11.8 million b/d. If realized, the forecast for both years would surpass the previous record of 9.6 million b/d set in 1970. Crude oil production at these forecast levels would probably make the United States the world’s leading crude oil producer in both years.

Of course, gasoline prices are still up a bit thanks to problems in Venezuela and sanctions on Iran. But fracking has made the U.S. the world’s energy powerhouse and that should continue well into the 2020s. This is data the Trump administration should continue to cite as a sign America is resurgent.

SOURCE 





Trump administration introduces proposal to roll back Endangered Species Act protections

The Trump administration is proposing significant changes to the way it enforces the Endangered Species Act (ESA), saying they are a needed modernization of decades-old regulations, but wildlife groups say the changes will put endangered animals and plants at risk.

The proposal would make it easier to delist an endangered species and would withdraw a policy that offered the same protections for threatened species as for endangered species unless otherwise specified.

It would streamline interagency consultations and make it more difficult to protect habitat near land where endangered species live.

The proposed rules also include an interpretation that a species considered endangered would be protected for a “foreseeable future” that extends “only as far” as it can be reasonably determined that “both the future threats and the species’ responses to those threats are probable.”

In a call with stakeholders on Thursday, Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Deputy Director Greg Sheehan called the proposal a way of “providing clarity.”

He said the changes would help the agency meet the Endangered Species Act’s main goal of “species recovery” so that animals and plants could more easily be removed from endangered and threatened species lists.

The move to change the act reflects demands from industry groups and landowners who frequently challenge endangered species protections as overbearing and unsuccessful. Critics of the law have argued that only 3 percent of all species placed on the endangered list have ever been delisted.

Republicans have also pushed for more management at the state level.

Supporters of the law have argued that the main goal of the Endangered Species Act should be to make sure that a species does not go extinct. Wildlife and conservation groups have often pushed for plant and animal species to remain listed to ensure they continue to receive increased habitat protections.

Sheehan, the former head of Utah’s wildlife agency, echoed some of the concerns raised by industry groups and landowners.

“When ESA has done its job and a species is no longer at risk for extinction, it should be delisted,” he said.

He also argued that when a species cannot be delisted easily, it can take resources away from species that need more protections.

“When some of our listing decisions have been challenged, courts have sometimes appeared to set a higher bar for removing a species from a list than putting it on — that takes valuable resources away from species that do need that determination under the act,” he said.

A key issue under the proposal would involve changing the way threatened species are protected under the law, weakening a rule in place for decades that gave threatened species on private land the same protections as endangered species.

The new rule — which was first reported in April — would instead allow for more limited or “tailored” protections for threatened species — a change that environmentalists are calling a major roll-back.

Endangered species are plants and animals at the brink of extinction, while threatened species are likely to become endangered in the near future. Sheehan says that codifying the rule would make it more “predictable.”

Another proposal centers on quickening the consultation process between other federal agencies — such as the Department of Transportation and the Army Corps of Engineers — and the Interior Department on whether planned projects may affect protected plants and animals.

Officials want to explore an “alternative” or “expedited” consultation process, such as completing one consultation for an entire program instead of multiple ones for various pieces of the program.

Interior Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt told reporters on a call Thursday that the revision to consultations would be one of the biggest benefits of the proposed rule.

“I really think when the public goes through these proposals ... that they will see a very serious effort to lay out innovative ideas regarding improving the current interagency consultation process,” he said. “We have some ideas on alternatives to traditional consultation while maintaining the services’ respective roles in those processes.”

Environmentalists and animal conservationists pushed back on the package of changes to the ESA, saying the proposed efforts would ultimately weaken animal protections and benefits industry.

“This proposal turns the extinction-prevention tool of the Endangered Species Act into a rubber stamp for powerful corporate interests,” said Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Allowing the federal government to turn a blind eye to climate change will be a death sentence for polar bears and hundreds of other animals and plants.”

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), the ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee, called the proposed rule a favor to industry.

"The Trump administration doesn’t seem to know any other way to handle the environment than as an obstacle to industry profits," he said Thursday in a statement. "If a single company can make a single dollar from the destruction or displacement of an endangered species, it’s full speed ahead. The public doesn’t demand this; this is part of the endless special favors the White House and Department of the Interior are willing to do for their industry friends."

The proposal comes as the Trump administration and congressional Republicans are beefing up opposition to animal protections across the board.

In May the National Park Service announced it would end an Obama-era protection that prohibited the hunting of bear cubs, as well as wolves and pups in their dens, in Alaska’s national preserves.

In April, FWS employees were told they could no longer advise land developers when they would need to apply for a special permit necessary to maintain endangered species' habitats.

An April 26 letter from Sheehan told staff that it should be left up to builders to decide whether they would need to apply for the permit, which is mandated under the law for those who think their actions may affect the habitat of endangered species.

The House this week passed a spending bill that includes a number of riders aimed at rolling back certain species protections. One of the riders that made it through mandates that any species that is not reviewed by the FWS every five years will be automatically delisted.

SOURCE 





Hippies Are Protesting Efforts To Replace An Old Pipeline With A Safer One

An aging pipeline running through Minnesota has been deemed no longer safe, but environmental groups are protesting efforts to build a newer, safer pipeline in its place.

Line 3 is a crude oil pipeline that stretches 1,097 miles from Alberta, Canada, to Superior, Wisconsin, running through Minnesota along the way. Constructed to help the U.S. meet its growing need for oil, the pipeline still provides around 400 thousand barrels of oil a day.

However, Line 3 is very old. Originally built in the 1960s and put in operation by 1968, the pipeline has experienced serious degradation. Enbridge, the energy company that operates Line 3, says it has been forced to reduce oil output due to corrosion and other defects. The Canadian company now says a replacement pipeline is needed for safety reasons.

While government regulators appear to agree with Enbridge — the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in June unanimously approved their proposal — other groups are sharply opposed to the idea.

“They’re bringing highly toxic, highly poisonous tar sands oil directly through major watersheds and the last standing reserve of wild rice that the Ojibwe have to harvest,” Bill Paulson, a member of the Ojibwe tribe, stated to CNN. “Our culture is the wild rice and gathering and being out in the woods. If there’s a threat to that, then there’s a direct threat to the people.”

Paulson is no stranger to pipeline protests. He previously traveled to take part in the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. However, Paulson doesn’t identify himself as a “protester,” but as a “water protector.”

Numerous environmentalists and Native American groups claim the new pipeline — which will be constructed father south than the current one — will pose a threat to local resources.

Honor the Earth, a Minnesota-based environmental group, will hold its sixth annual, 10-day “Love water, not oil” horse ride tour along the new Line 3 route on July 28. “It is our responsibility as water protectors to prevent this. We will not allow Line 3 to desecrate our lands, violate our treaty rights, or poison our water,” read a statement from the group’s website.

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has already approved the project, however, Line 3 has not yet cleared every hurdle. Enbridge is still required to apply for 29 federal, state and local permits before construction can begin.

SOURCE 

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Friday, July 20, 2018



Not Only Does Banning Straws Not Help The Environment Much, It Hurts Disabled People

Last June, an organization I’ve been affiliated with for a long time — since high school, in fact — held its semi-annual meeting. Allowed a guest, I invited a retiree I know to join me and my then-infant daughter.

Everywhere I walked in the hotel ballroom that day, fellow members greeted me warmly and cooed over my baby. But my guest, who entered with us and was beside me all day, was completely ignored.

Over and over again, people saw his walker and looked away, walked away, or talked only to me, even after I’d introduced him.

It was eye-opening. People I’ve long known and think of as “good people” did this. It showed me how blind we can all be to the disabled, both to their existence and their different needs.

A perfect example of that obliviousness on a large scale is the new push for plastic straw bans. These bans sound eco-friendly, they’re trendy, and they completely disregard the needs of the disabled who live in, work in, or visit strawless locales.

New York City introduced a ban bill in May. Seattle’s ban went into effect on July 1. Starbucks announced their plan to eliminate plastic straws by 2020 on July 9.

And on July 10, Washington DC’s city council introduced its own ban bill, while American Airlines announced its intention to ban “straws and stir sticks from its flights and lounges.”

In case you were wondering, Seattle’s newly implemented ban isn’t going well. Having never discussed the ban proposal with the Seattle Commission for People with disAbilities, a group that exists specifically to advise the city about such issues, implementation has been chaotic.

“[City leaders] seem to be telling restaurant owners in Seattle there’s a total ban and telling disability organizations that there are exemptions,” Lawrence Carter-Long, communications director for the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, told me. “They haven’t taken the time to ask for public comment. It’s pretty clear they haven’t thought it through.”

It’s not clear Washington’s leaders thought their proposed ban through either.

“I need to have access to straws because of muscle weakness. I can’t lift a cup to my mouth,” Andrea LaVant, who works in the District told me. She uses a power wheelchair full-time because she has Muscular Dystrophy. “I’m upset hearing the news, especially because Washington, in particular, is a city that has been recognized for its accessibility in so many different ways, and because of that, the population of people with disabilities is very high, and so it’s an insult, I believe, to completely ignore the needs of a significant part of the population.”

Straw bans have other negative ripple effects. Curt Decker, executive director of the National Disability Rights Network, notes that any ban impacts individuals with medical issues as varied as Cerebral Palsy, Quadriplegia, and Dementia.

As for proposed alternatives, Carter-Long told me there is no real replacement. “Paper straws tend to get soggy and increase the risk of choking … they’re not good for people who chew involuntarily, have excess saliva, or can’t bend because of limited mobility. Silicone straws aren’t flexible … Metal, glass, and bamboo aren’t flexible, which poses obvious dangers for people with Parkinson’s or Cerebral Palsy who can’t control movement.”

Even wheat and silicone straws are problematic — they pose allergy risks. In short, he concludes, “If somebody tells you the options available don’t work for them, listen to them.”

A ban would also seriously inconvenience young families. With three young children, my family doesn’t eat out often. However, when we do, it’s straws (and high chairs) that make those meals possible.

Straws enable my toddler to drink independently, without soaking herself or the restaurant floor. If the District bans straws, we’d travel elsewhere for those family outings.

Personally, I remain somewhat perplexed as to why banning disposable straws has become so urgent. “At most, straws account for about 2,000 tons of the 9 million tons of plastic that are estimated to enter the ocean each year, according to the Associated Press — .02 percent of all plastic waste,” Reason reported. In other words, there are bigger environmental fish to fry.

But here we are. So, in the interest of moderation and sanity, I’d like to offer a proposal.

First, let’s press pause on straw bans until a true alternative exists that won’t inconvenience the disabled.

Second, environmental groups should sponsor a contest, encouraging innovators to create an affordable and environmentally friendly alternative that meets everybody’s needs.

Third, if you live or work in the Washington area, contact the City Council with any concerns. When the Council reconvenes in mid-September and holds hearings, be prepared to testify about ways to improve this bill.

Finally, let’s lead with kindness and common sense. If cities or businesses still want to reduce straw usage, the best short-term strategy is a reduction, rather than complete elimination. As Lawrence Carter-Long suggests, “Say flexible straws are available to people on request.”

Protecting the Earth we’ll eventually leave our children is laudable. But we must also see the people who are in front of us today. Policies intended to help the planet that harms the most vulnerable among us are neither noble nor real long-term solutions.

SOURCE 






Renewable energy seeks demand, investment to survive Trump squeeze

The wind and solar industries hope demand for carbon-free power from U.S. cities, states and corporations can offset headwinds from President Donald Trump’s tax policy and tariffs, developers said this week.

The Trump tax overhaul trimmed production and investment tax credits, and the administration also slapped a 30 percent tariff on imported solar panels. The moves, aimed at boosting manufacturing and economic growth, also dimmed prospects for renewables.

But Trump’s withdrawal of federal support for Obama-era climate goals indirectly helped the industry by inspiring a backlash among U.S. cities, states and corporations, which have grown more ambitious about installing cleaner forms of energy.

Also, investors with years of deals under their belts are less wary about financing solar and wind than they were years ago, and socially responsible funds are actively seeking projects to invest in, according to executives and investors at the Renewable Energy Finance Forum-Wall Street in New York.

Gregory Wetstone, president and chief executive officer of the American Council on Renewable Energy, noted that two big solar projects worth about $2.5 billion total have been canceled or stalled since the tariffs were announced in January. The Solar Energy Industries Association has said the tariffs would result in the loss of 23,000 U.S. jobs.

But some manufacturers and developers have announced new projects in the face of the tariffs. Wetstone noted that solar led all generation sources with 2.5 gigawatts of new capacity in the first quarter of 2018.

‘SEA CHANGE’ IN DEMAND

“There is a sea change in grass-roots demand for renewable energy,” Susan Nickey, managing director at Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital Inc (HASI.N), which invests about $1 billion a year in the sector, said in an interview on the sidelines of the conference on Tuesday.

“More and more corporations and consumers are saying ‘We want 100 percent renewable energy,’” she said, adding city and state governments are adopting renewable-friendly policies to reflect that growing demand.

She cited a survey of financial institutions that showed two-thirds of respondents planned to boost renewable investments this year. Some 89 percent said they would sharply increase planned investments from now to 2030 unless government policies slow demand for renewable energy. (bit.ly/2lsBoRI)

Craig Cornelius, president of NRG Energy Inc’s (NRG.N) NRG Renewables, told a panel at the conference that while Trump’s tax bill was initially worrying, “it has been ultimately easier to work through the repercussions than we anticipated.”

As the bill moved through Congress, Republican lawmakers from states with renewable projects joined Democrats to make changes. The final version kept 80 percent of the investment tax credit and production tax credit values, and dropped a proposed corporate alternative minimum tax that would have made the tax credits less valuable.

“Members on both sides of the aisle stepped out to support us,” Laura Beane, president and chief executive officer of Avangrid Renewables, said on Wednesday. Avangrid is developing the 800-megawatt Vineyard Wind project off the coast of Massachusetts.

DODGING TARIFFS

Quick action helped many developers dodge harm from U.S. tariffs on solar cells, noted Stacey Kusters, president of Berkshire Hathaway Energy Co’s [MEHC.UL] BHE Solar.

“A lot of the projects that were planned went in and bought two years’ worth of panels” before the tariffs, she said.

Meanwhile, the industry is bracing for the scheduled reduction and ultimate expiry of lucrative subsidies on solar and wind power over the coming years, including a 30 percent tax credit on solar installations.

This will make it trickier to finance some renewable projects, said Robert Sternthal, managing director at Rubicon Capital Advisors, who is putting together a team of bankers to advise on renewable deals in North America.

Without the incentives, “pricing may have to go up on the electricity side” for some projects, he said on Tuesday. Yet he also expects growing demand from tech corporations that have pledged to be carbon-neutral and will not rely on wind or solar energy for profits.

“Google, Facebook and Apple don’t have to make 6 to 7 percent returns on these assets,” he said.

Improvements in technology could help make wind and solar more competitive “in terms of cost and sustainability” after tax credits expire, said Rafael Gonzalez, president and chief executive officer of Enel Green Power North America, whose projects include wind, solar, geothermal, and hydropower.

Beane said Avangrid Renewables is betting on prospects for “a lot of demand for offshore wind power in the U.S. Northeast.” The company starts construction on the Vineyard Wind project next year, and it is slated to come online in 2021.

By then, she said, the project may be competitive on its own thanks to improved technology and expertise: “You’ll be very surprised at the prices.”

SOURCE 





Warmists see conspiracy in Trump/Putin dialogue: It's all about them

Eric Holthaus:

Whether Russia meddled in the U.S. presidential election in 2016 is not up for serious debate — numerous intelligence agencies, both foreign and domestic, concluded it did.

During a joint press conference with President Donald Trump in Helsinki on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin went a long way toward answering why.

“I did [want Trump to win] because he talked about bringing the U.S.-Russia relationship back to normal,” Putin said.

That statement was widely covered, but I’m convinced something else Putin said during the press conference is more important.

“I think that we as a major oil and gas power, and the United States as a major oil and gas power, as well, we could work together on regulation of international markets,” he said. “We do have space for cooperation here.”

Some close observers have drawn this connection before, but it’s worth saying again explicitly: There’s no way to understand Trump’s relationship with Russia without putting oil and climate politics at its center. If you’re upset at Trump and Putin for undermining our democracy, just wait until you find out that they are likely colluding to destroy our planet’s climate system, too.

After Monday’s meeting in Helsinki, it’s clearer than ever that we are at a crucial moment in our American democracy as well as in the biggest and most important fight we’ve ever had — the fight against climate change.

Fossil fuels still power 80 percent of the world’s economy, and the leaders of that dying industry might start acting in desperation to stave off its decline. You can see why rapidly eliminating dirty energy sources — exactly what science says we have to do — might be fiercely opposed by politicians who have a substantial stake in their success.

Russia is a petrostate, and the U.S. is now, too. In fact, the two countries are the world’s largest non-OPEC oil producers, extracting nearly as much as all OPEC countries combined. They also own an even greater share of the global natural gas market: Added together the two countries produce six times more natural gas than the rest of the world.

By working together, they can keep the global economy swimming in oil and gas.

And what’s the primary force working against the fossil fuel industry these days? Climate activists. It’s not difficult to see the Trump-Putin alliance as a deliberate attempt to delay action on climate change.

SOURCE 




Let There Be More Than Light

BJØRN LOMBORG

For the well-off in both rich and poor countries around the world, lives are enriched by plentiful access to energy that provides light, fresh food, and clean water, and that powers technology and allows the ability to control the temperature.

Abundant energy provides the same life-transforming labor as hundreds of servants: Without a refrigerator, we would need to locate fresh food daily, store shelves would be half-empty, and a lot of food would go bad before we could eat it – one reason why, in 1930, stomach cancer was the leading cancer in the United States.

Without synthetic fertilizer, which is produced almost entirely with fossil fuels, half the world’s food consumption would be imperiled. Without modern stoves and heaters, we would need to find our own firewood, and we would risk being poisoned in our own houses by killer air pollution. And without fuel-powered trucks, ships, and machines, humans would need to do nearly all the hard labor.

Worldwide, fossil fuels produce two-thirds of all electricity, with nuclear and hydro producing another 27%. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), solar, wind, wave, and bio-energy produce just 9.8% of electricity in the OECD, and this is possible only because of huge subsidies, cumulatively totaling more than $160 billion this year. Even ultra-environmentally aware Germany still produces more than half its electricity with fossil fuels.

Yet there is a disturbing movement in the West to tell the 1.1 billion people who still lack these myriad benefits that they should go without. A familiar refrain suggests that instead of dirty, coal-fired power plants, poor countries should “leapfrog” straight to cleaner energy sources like off-grid solar technology. Influential donors – including even the World Bank, which no longer funds coal energy projects – endorse this view.

The underlying motivation is understandable: policymakers must address global warming. Eventually moving away from fossil fuels is crucial, and innovation is required to make green energy cheap and reliable. But this message to the world’s poor is hypocritical and dangerous. While fossil fuels contribute to global warming, they also contribute to prosperity, growth, and wellbeing.

There is a strong, direct connection between power and poverty: the more of the former, the less of the latter. A study in Bangladesh showed that grid electrification has significant positive effects on household income, expenditure, and education. Electrified households experienced a jump of up to 21% in income and a 1.5% reduction in poverty each year.

Reliance on coal is not ending soon. While we would wish otherwise, it often remains the cheapest, most dependable energy source: the IEA estimates that, by 2040, coal will still be cheaper, on average, than solar and wind energy, even with a sizeable carbon tax.

Over the past 16 years, nearly every person who gained access to electricity did so through a grid connection, mostly powered by fossil fuels. And yet donors say that many of the 1.1 billion people who are still without electricity should instead try solar panels.

Compared with expensive grid expansion, providing an off-grid, solar cell is very cheap. But for the recipient, it is a poor substitute. It offers just enough power to keep a lightbulb going, and to recharge a mobile phone, which is better than nothing – but only barely. The IEA expects that each of the 195 million people with off-grid solar will get just 170kWh per year – or half of what one US flat-screen TV uses in a year.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the first rigorous test published on the impact of solar panels on the lives of poor people found that while they got a little more electricity, there was no measurable impact on their lives: they did not increase savings or spending, they did not work more or start more businesses, and their children did not study more.

Little wonder: 170kWh is not what most of us would consider real access to electricity. Off-grid energy at this level will never power a factory or a farm, so it cannot reduce poverty or create jobs. And it will not help fight the world’s biggest environmental killer: indoor air pollution, which is mostly caused by open fires fueled by wood, cardboard, and dung, and claims 3.8 million lives annually. This is not a concern in rich countries, where stoves and heaters are hooked up to the grid; but because solar is too weak to power stoves and ovens, recipients of off-grid solar panels will continue suffering.

In 2016, the Nigerian finance minister called out the West for its “hypocrisy” in attempting to block Africa from using coal to solve its power shortages. “After polluting the environment for hundreds of years,” she said, “now that Africa wants to use coal, they deny us.”

A Copenhagen Consensus study for Bangladesh found that building new coal-fired power plants there would, over the next 15 years, generate global climate damage eventually costing around $592 million. But the benefits from electrification through higher economic growth would be almost 500 times greater, at $258 billion – equivalent to more than an entire year of the country’s GDP. By 2030, the average Bangladeshi would be 16% better off.

Denying Bangladesh this benefit in the name of combating global warming means to focus on avoiding 23 cents of global climate costs for every $100 of development benefits we ask Bangladeshis to forgo – and this in a country where energy shortages cost an estimated 0.5% of GDP, and around 21 million people survive on less than $1.25 per day.

There is no choice: we must fight energy poverty and fix climate change. But that requires a huge increase in green-energy research and development, so that clean sources eventually outcompete fossil fuels. And it means recognizing that it is hypocritical for the world’s wealthy, who would never accept survival on a tiny amount of power, to demand this from the world’s poorest.

SOURCE 





McDonald’s move to ban plastic straws angers Australians

There is NO justification for this.  Ocean detritus comes from Africa and Asia, not Australia

FIRST it was plastic bag ban rage — now Australians are turning to McDonald’s to take out their anger and frustration.

News the fast-food giant is going to make sipping a thickshake harder has outraged people across the country — and the world — who say the plastic ban is being taken too far, causing them too much inconvenience.

The environmental impact speaks for itself — more than 10 million plastic straws are used in Australia every day.

They contribute to the estimated 150 million tonnes of plastic filling our oceans and by 2050 experts estimate there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.

But news of the McDonald’s move to phase out plastic straws over the next two years has caused people to flood social media in anger, with many joking it is the “last straw”.

One Facebook user said it was “overkill looking for public praise”.

“What about the lid on the drinks that uses so much more plastic,” he said.

“Then we have plastic spoons and knives and forks they give you. This campaign is bordering on insane.”

Many agreed the plan to roll out the change to all 970 restaurants nationwide by 2020 was more about the company’s corporate image than the environment.

“Plastic straws make up less than 0.003 per cent of the plastic in the ocean. The straw ban is f*****g pointless and shifts the blame from corporations systemically destroying the environment to individuals,” said one Twitter user.

Paul Harvey, an environmental scientist at Macquarie University, has previously said without appropriate exemptions, a federal legislative ban on single-use plastic straws could prevent people in need from “accessing a basic medical aid”.

“We need to ensure that we have the right strategy to accommodate those who still depend on single-use plastics,” he said.

Disability rights groups across the world have been vocal in their views, highlighting people with conditions such as cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis need straws to eat and drink.

“Other types of straws simply do not offer the combination of strength, flexibility, and safety that plastic straws do,” said one US group after the move to ban straws there.

Worldwide people have been active in their straw ban campaigns, claiming success when companies announce their changes.

Campaigners claimed victory when Starbucks announced it would stop using plastic straws in its stores by 2020, with a petition to encourage them gaining 150,000 supporters.

Even kids have started their own petitions to encourage giants such as Disney World to ban straws and lids.

Others include a petition to stop Subway with more than 95,000 signatures, and ongoing McDonald’s pushes around the world.

In Australia, McDonald’s will start trialling paper straws in August in two outlets.

The move comes as supermarket giants Woolworths and Coles get rid of free plastic bags.

Woolworths has also said it will stop selling plastic straws by the end of 2018 and will remove plastic packaging from a further 80 fruit and vegetable lines in a bid to appease increasingly environmentally conscious customers.

McDonald’s says the trial is part of a larger, long-term global effort to identify viable, sustainable alternatives to its single-use plastic straws.

“We know plastic straws is a topic our customers are passionate about and we will find a viable solution,” McDonald’s Australia supply chain director Robert Sexton said.

Greenpeace Australia applauded the decision.

“It’s wonderful McDonald’s is making a commitment to reducing consumption of single-use plastic and we look forward to seeing more detail around this proposal to see the overall impact,” Greenpeace spokesman Simon Black said.

McDonald’s paper straws are the same as those it’s trialling in the UK.

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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Thursday, July 19, 2018



IPCC’s Kangaroo Science…Will Ignore Over 600 Papers Showing Sun’s Impact On Climate

The upcoming 6th IPCC Sixth Assessment Report will be a “comprehensive assessment of the science” related to climate change and published in 2022.

However, don’t expect it to be “comprehensive” at all as hundreds of scientific publications showing profound impacts by sun and oceans will go ignored.

Climate science has turned into a religion that centers on a single act of faith. Human CO2 is changing our climate.

In the past, it was always understood that climate was impacted by a vast array of factors, such as oceanic cycles, solar cycles, aerosols, cloud cover, etc. to name a few.

But over the years tremendous resources have been poured into an effort aimed at pinning the blame on man-made greenhouse gases. Models have been grossly distorted and corrupted to make CO2 the 90%+ climate driver.

Despite global temperatures falling by more than 0.5°C over the past two years due to the ending of an El Nino event, IPCC scientists continue to insist that trace gas CO2 is the main driver behi9nd climate warming.

In the IPCC 5th summary report for policymakers, for example, solar and oceanic factors described as having little effect on global temperatures:

With such a disregard for natural factors, it is no surprise that we are already observing the spectacular failure of the climate models.

Not only have ocean cycles been grossly ignored in climate models, but so have solar factors. The sun is not constant in its behavior and has been shown to act in cycles that have profound impacts on the earth’s climate system.

Research showing sun’s impact piles up

Despite all the effort to frame CO2, scientists are still conducting a formidable amount of research on the sun’s impact.

Indeed since the last IPCC report was released in 2013, there have been literally hundreds of scientific peer-reviewed publications showing that the sun, directly and indirectly, has a great impact on the Earth’s climate. Yet IPCC scientists obstinately continue to refuse to acknowledge these in their models.

Back in 2013, I produced a list of 123 paper showing that the sun impacts global climate.

NTZ guest author Kenneth Richard has been busy listing the papers as well. What follows is the list of papers showing the sun impacts global climate.

2012 123 papers had been published and ignored by IPCC 4AR

In 2014, 93 papers were published.

In 2015,  95 peer-reviewed papers were published

In 2016, 133 papers were published.

In 2017,  121 peer-reviewed solar papers were published.

In 2018, so far, ca. 60 papers.

That brings the total of scientific peer-reviewed papers that will be completely ignored by the IPCC to 625. If that isn’t fraudulent “science-based” policymaking, then what is?

Aim: Human society in shackles

The aim of the IPCC is to ignore recognized standards of science, frame mankind for a nonexistent crime, and shackle human society. It’s the next planned slavery. The developing countries, who will be denied cheap and reliable energy, will bear the heaviest chains.

SOURCE 




Green Energy Campaign Has Been a Humanitarian Disaster

Millions of lives were at stake. Hillary Clinton was on board. Money poured in. And yet the big aims behind an effort to tackle the plague of third-world cooking fires has produced only modest gains.

For many decades, it was one of the globe’s most underappreciated health menaces:  household pollution in developing countries, much of it smoke from cooking fires.

The dangerous smoke — from wood, dung or charcoal fires used by 3 billion people in villages and slums across Africa, Central America and Asia — was estimated by health officials to shorten millions of lives every year. The World Health Organization in 2004 labeled household pollution, “The Killer in the Kitchen.” Women and children nearest the hearth paid the greatest price.

If the health costs were not ominous enough, many environmental advocates worried that what was known as “biomass” cooking also had potentially grave consequences for the planet’s climate. Emissions from the fires were contributing to global warming, it was feared, and the harvesting of wood for cooking was helping to diminish forests, one of nature’s carbon-absorbing bulwarks against greenhouse gases.

In 2010, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves was formed to help mount a sustained effort at tackling the threats posed by household pollution. The alliance pledged to help engineer the distribution of 100 million cookstoves, small-scale appliances designed to cut fuel use and toxic emissions in impoverished households worldwide by 2020.

The United Nations Foundation was a founding partner in the effort. Hillary Clinton, then the U.S. Secretary of State, lent the support of the American government, promising money and the resources of a handful of agencies. “Millions of lives could be saved and improved,” Clinton said when the alliance’s formation was announced, adding that clean stoves could be as transformative as vaccines.

Eight years and $75 million later, however, the Alliance has fallen well short of its ambitious health and climate goals.

An array of studies, including some financed by the Alliance itself, have shown that the millions of biomass cookstoves of the kind sold or distributed in the effort do not perform well enough in the field to reduce users’ risk of deadly illnesses like heart disease and pneumonia.

The stoves also have not delivered much in the way of climate benefits. It turns out emissions from cooking fires were less of a warming threat than feared, and that — outside of some de-forestation hot spots — the harvesting of wood for cooking fires only modestly reduces the sustainability of forests. […]

The Alliance’s plans for the future come with something of an ironic twist: It will now make greater efforts to promote and distribute stoves that use propane, a fossil fuel, the same blue-flamed byproduct of gas drilling contained in cylinders under countless American backyard grills. (Outside of the U.S. propane is most commonly called liquefied petroleum gas, or lpg.) These stoves, it turns out, burn much more cleanly and efficiently than nearly all biomass stoves, reducing the harmful smoke given off during cooking while having a negligible impact on the climate.

In an interview last summer, Radha Muthiah, then the Alliance’s chief executive, said the Alliance was never against propane stoves, but should have been more direct about its openness to a fossil-fuel solution. “We really should have been launched as the Global Alliance for Clean Cooking,” she said. “You cannot talk about stoves without talking about fuels. It’s half the equation.”

SOURCE 

 


Climate change is contributing to the migration of Central American refugees

Here is the evidence presented in the article:  "He heard stories from farmers who had faced drought or damaging hurricanes that devastated local communities".  There you have it ladies and gentlemen. THE SCIENCE OF CLIMATE SCIENCE

As immigration issues along the US southern border continue to roil the country, one driving force of migration from troubled Central American countries has received relatively little notice: climate change.

Author and journalist Todd Miller, who has written a new book called, "Storming the Wall: Climate Change, Migration, and Homeland Security," says climate change is a key factor forcing families to flee from Central America and Mexico — and deadly droughts, hurricanes, floods and mudslides are projected to intensify further in the region as global warming increases, which will hit small farmers especially hard.

Miller says statistical data already document the devastating effects of NAFTA and CAFTA (Central American Free Trade Agreement) on small farmers who were suddenly put into direct competition with highly subsidized US agribusinesses and grain movers. Around 2 million small farmers, particularly in southern Mexico, were displaced or could no longer make ends meet, Miller says.

During his research, however, he encountered farmers fleeing for ecological, not just economic, reasons. He heard stories from farmers who had faced drought or damaging hurricanes that devastated local communities, and some people told him that natural disasters and changing climate situations were the primary reason they were heading north.

“In the region that extends from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras into Nicaragua, which is filled with many poor, small farmers who depend on seasonal rainfall, the farmers were expecting rain and there was no rain,” Miller says. “One mayor in a nearby town where these farmers are from said, ‘We are facing an unprecedented calamity.’”

A climate scientist who studies the area told Miller the drought conditions were not an anomaly, but had been occurring for 10 years and were connected to a warming globe. “So, we're looking at a situation in Central America, which already has a number of factors that are displacing people, and we have to look at this ecological aspect to give a holistic analysis of it,” Miller says.

The climate scientist called Central America “ground zero” for climate change in the Americas, Miller says. It is an isthmus, meaning it has large bodies of water on two sides, so it is more vulnerable to sea level rise, powerful storms, hurricanes and large swings between too much and too little rain.

A report on Mexico showed the potential for an equally unstable future. The report predicted that by the year 2050, 1 in 10 Mexicans would be displaced due to climate-related hazards such as sea level rise, hurricanes and drought.

Water scarcity also presents severe problems for Central America and Mexico. Northern Mexico and Arizona, where Miller lives, are in a severe drought already and “the projections for drought going forward are dire,” he says. “Some people don't have running water most of the day or it will run only for a couple hours a day, so they’re already adjusting to really awful situations."

During his research, Miller looked at “a binational … water harvesting project” happening on the US-Mexico border. Guides took him to Silver Creek, which is what’s known as a “dry wash:” no water runs through it for much of the year and then it flows strongly during the monsoon or rainy season. The guides showed him a series of gabions embedded in the stream bed.

A gabion is essentially a steel cage filled with rocks that acts as a kind of sponge, Miller says. The gabions slow down the water during the rainy season and release it at a lower rate while allowing the surrounding landscape to soak in the water and sediment.

Around these gabions, desert grasses and willows and other trees were growing back. Wildlife is also returning to the region. “They told me the most amazing thing that I had ever heard — that [while] this region of Arizona and Sonora was in a 15-year drought, they had raised the water table, due to these gabions, by 30 feet," Miller says. "They were literally reversing a drought in a very small-scale sort of way.”

Miller believes the US would do well to invest in these kinds of projects in the countries that are sending environmental refugees north in search of a means to survive, rather than spending $25 billion building a wall to keep them out. Otherwise, there is no stopping what could be a uniquely troubled future.

Global projections for the number of people displaced by climate change by 2050 range from about 150 million to 1 billion, Miller notes. The precise numbers are still a matter of debate among scientists who do empirical research connecting climate with displacement, but, Miller says “one of the researchers told me, ‘Whatever it is, it's going to be staggering, and it's going to be without precedent in human history.’”

SOURCE 





The Feds Don’t Have A Plan For Hundreds Of Species It’s Supposed To Be Protecting

The federal government has yet to craft a recovery plan and set standards for delisting on nearly a third of species protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead testified Tuesday.

Mead sat before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works during a hearing discussing amendments to the ESA. The draft legislation would be the first “substantive” updates to the law in three decades if it is passed.

Mead, a Republican, has “witnessed some of the ESA’s greatest failings” firsthand from his position in Wyoming.

“It took five lawsuits and fifteen years to delist a recovered gray wolf population in Wyoming. Grizzly bears are embroiled in litigation for the second time,” Mead testified. “Canada Lynx were listed more than 18 years ago and still have no discernable path to recovery. Nearly 30 percent of all listed species have no recovery plan, and litigation dictates U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) priorities and workload.”

More than 1,600 species native to the U.S. have been listed as endangered or threatened under the ESA. Of those species, roughly two percent have been taken off the list as recovered, extinct or erroneously listed because flawed data was used to justify the listing decision.

The ESA has saved 99 percent of the listed species from extinction, supporters of the current law argue.

“We should not forget that the ESA as written has a 99 percent success rate at preventing the extinction of listed species and that 90 percent of species with recovery plans are on track to meet their goals on schedule,” Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Matthew Strickler testified at Tuesday’s hearing.

The proposed legislation gives state and local research greater weight in listing decisions but leaves the final decision in the hands of the secretary of the interior. The legislation also prevents lawsuits seeking to overturn a delisting decision for five years after a species is officially removed from the list.

SOURCE 





Keep Australia’s coal-fired power plants operating, says AEMO report

The nation’s independent energy market operator yesterday called for Australia’s fleet of coal-fired power stations to remain in operation for as long as possible.

Extending the operation of this fleet for as long as they are economically viable represents the “ least-cost option” for the next twenty years, according to the recommendation. It is thought the move would ward off any future price shock, as Australia transitions to a more renewables-involved grid.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack says the report speaks a lot of sense.

“I certainly know that the ACCC report and the AEMO report, they do give hope for investment in coal. Certainly other technologies as well, but coal has to be party of the mix,” he says.

“But we also need to as a nation, know and understand there are some of those coal-fired power stations which could be enhanced, which could be revitalised and expanded. That could also provide a solution if the investment isn’t there for new coal-fired power stations.”

The report and this kind of sentiment is predicted to flare up debate around AGL’s planned 2022 closure of the Liddell power station. McCormack says government should not “ rush in and nationalise things” when it comes to privately operated assets, also reiterating his technologically agnostic stance.

“The ACCC chairman said only last week, that only a technology neutral approach will get prices down. Whenever government prescribes that the technology should be one thing or another, that is when you get higher prices.”

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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Wednesday, July 18, 2018


U.S. CO2 Levels Drop Again — So Why Aren't Green Groups Rejoicing?

Global Warming: Once more, science provides bad news for global warming alarmists. U.S. CO2 levels again declined during 2017, despite overall global output again rising. Credit U.S. fracking and the natural gas boom. But don't worry: the hysteria won't end.

The new report, based on U.S. data, shows clearly the U.S. continuing downward trend.

"The U.S. emitted 15.6 metric tons of CO2 per person in 1950," wrote the Daily Caller. "After rising for decades, it's declined in recent years to 15.8 metric tons per person in 2017, the lowest measured levels in 67 years."

That's right. 67 years. Green groups and leftist climate extremists should be exulting. The U.S. has found a way to produce more GDP — making all of us better off — with less energy.

Meanwhile, Europe has imposed massive economy-deadening regulations on its economies in order to reduce CO2 output. How has that worked?

Last year, European output of CO2 rose 1.5%, while U.S. output fell 0.5%. For the record, the disaster predicted when President Trump left the Paris climate agreement and rejected draconian EPA restrictions on power plants hasn't materialized. On the contrary, the U.S. model has been shown to be superior.

This isn't the first time we've reported the ongoing decline in U.S. CO2. And if current trends hold, it won't be the last. And, to be sure, it is a long-term trend.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration's latest energy report notes that, from 2005 to 2017, U.S. energy related emissions of carbon dioxide plunged by 861 million metric tons, a 14% drop. It's both a result of the decline due to the Great Recession and the fracking revolution.

The EIA forecast expects a slight uptick over the next two  years in the U.S. as the economy continues its Trump boom. But it will still be way below where it was 13 years ago.

Question: Over the same period, how did the rest of the world do? Emissions rose by 21% to 6.04 billion metric tons over the 12 years, mostly due to booming economic growth in India and China, where coal-fired energy output continues to expand.

The truth, and it's proven by the hard data, is that CO2 made in the USA will not choke the world to death or cause it to massively overheat. And you can thank capitalism for that.

Because capitalism, unlike socialism and its welfare-state kin, hates waste. So it does all it can to be efficient. That means using as little energy as possible to make things. And this predates any of the current CO2 hysteria.

In the U.S., the data are clear and utterly convincing: In 1949, it took 1,098 metric tons of CO2 emissions to produce $1 million in GDP in the U.S., after adjusting for inflation. Today, it takes just 301 metric tons to produce that same million dollars, after inflation — a 73% gain in carbon-efficiency.

Indeed, we're actually decarbonizing our economy, and rapidly.

As new technologies continue to emerge, including better battery storage for alternative energy sources, safer nuclear power plants, and the fracking revolution that continues to make natural gas the energy of choice for conventional power plants, U.S. CO2 output is likely to continue to decline for every dollar of GDP produced.

Instead of being harshly criticized by green groups and Euro-socialists, as has been the case for three decades now, we should be the model for green growth. When it comes to CO2, the U.S. is the leader. The rest of the world is the laggard. That's a fact.

If any green groups have had the guts to come forward and laud this truly phenomenal development, we haven't heard it. We did a Google search and couldn't find a single instance of an identifiable green group applauding the U.S.' extraordinary performance on CO2. None.

Green Grumblings

Instead, we continue to hear the same dark grumblings and prognostications of doom that never come true. That includes the mainstream media, too.

You might remind your less-than-informed friends the next time they criticize America's greenhouse gas output: Not only is the U.S. the only major country that is cutting output, but it is providing a roadmap for how to do it.

Time for the green hypocrites to stop talking, and start doing. Or to admit that it has nothing to do with climate change at all, and everything to do with an extreme-left political agenda masquerading as earth-friendly environmentalism.

SOURCE 





Italian forecasters connect solar minimum and global cooling

“It seems something can not be hidden longer…” says Italian geologist Dr Mirco Poletto.

“On ‘Il meteo’, an Italian weather forecast website, they continue talking about solar minimum and cooling,” says Dr Poletto. “The funny thing: they say the sun is “unusually” weak, showing no knowledge about long term solar cycles. Going on in the article, however, they mention Maunder minimum, the little ice age, and other cold periods.”

Here’s my (Robert’s) attempt to paraphrase the Italian website:

The Sun appears unusually tired, because sunspots on its surface are not visible and seems destined to remain rather low for the next days. This continues a trend since the beginning of 2018, because there have already been 108 days this year without stains (without sunspots). That makes us reflect, because all of 2017 had only 110 “spotless” days (without stains ).

Should we be concerned? Well, scholars say there is a close correlation between solar activity and our climate, and an “off” sun could have quite negative repercussions. This is not a fantasy, as it has happened in the past.

Between 1645 and 1715 our planet lived through what was called the ” Maunder minimum “, named after Eward Maunder , a British astronomer. During the Maunder minimum the average global temperature dropped by 1.5 ° C , and it was precisely in those years that Europe endured the harshest winters in memory. In 1709 the port of Genoa froze , the Venetian lagoon turned into a single slab of ice. The consequences were catastrophic, with heavy snowfall in the winter and abnormally cool summers that completely overturned the agricultural activities and breeding .

At present there are no conditions for the return to a ” Little Ice Age “, but climatologists say that we could return to a period similar to that experienced in the 60s of nine hundred (I don’t know what that means), with average global temperatures below current levels.

The implications for Italy may be immediate. There are increasing possibilities of a rather cool and rainy autumn , especially in the northern regions and parts of the central ones, while the South could enjoy a prolonged summer, at least during the month of October. The winter could then present greater snowfall and cold, a bit as happened in the 60s and 70s of the 900, years, in which the activity of the sun was less, just like now .

The climate could be at a really crucial crossroads over the next few years. Big changes seem to be waiting for us, and we could all be witnesses to something very unusual.

SOURCE 





Germany’s “Ticking Time Bombs”…Technical Experts Say Wind Turbines Posing “Significant Danger” To Environment!

As much of Germany’s nearly 30,000 strong fleet of wind turbines approach 20 or more years in age, the list of catastrophic collapses is growing more rapidly. The turbines are now being viewed by technical experts as “ticking time bombs”.

According to a commentary by Daniel Wetzel of online German Daily ‘Die Welt’, the aging rickety wind turbines are poorly inspected and maintained and thus are now posing a huge risk.

Over the past months alone there’s been a flurry of reports over wind turbines failing catastrophically and collapsing to the ground, e.g. see here, here and here.

As the older turbines age, their components and electronic control systems are wearing out and beginning to gravely malfunction. And according to Wetzel, these turbines are not even subject to strict technical monitoring by Germany’s TÜV (Technical Inspection Association), which provides inspection and product certification services.

In Germany industrial systems are required to regularly undergo technical inspections and approvals in order to ensure that they operate safely. However wind turbines are exempt from this strict requirement and so many wind park operators are neglecting to properly inspect, maintain and repair the systems, which is costly. And so it surprises no one that the aging turbines are beginning to fail catastrophically.

As a result, the TÜV is calling for turbines to be treated like any other industrial system, and be required to undergo rigorous inspections as well, Wetzel writes.

In 2016, near in the region of Paderborn, a 100-tonne turbine and its rotors plunged to the earth. The turbine was nearly 20 years old.

“Razor-sharp shards” threat to grazing animals

In another case, earlier this year, near Bochern, Wetzel reports, a brakeless 115-meter tall turbine spun wildly out of control before “two of the 56-meter blades “ripped to shreds ‘in a cloud of glass, plastic and fill material’.”

“Razor-sharp fiberglass shards flew 800 meters,” the Westfalen Blatt reported.

The debris from exploded turbine now poses a threat to the environment. The sharp fiberglass pieces injure grazing animals, says the Hanover School of Veterinary Medicine. “For cattle they can even perforate the stomach.”

Hazard to ground water

Another hazard comes from the hundreds of liters of transmission oil the turbines that seep into the groundwater. Moreover the huge reinforced concrete foundations require tremendous energy for their manufacture and they penetrate deep into the ground, which adversely effects soil and groundwater.

Growing list of disasters

The number of wind turbine disasters is mounting, reports Wetzel. Wind energy opposition group Vernunftkraft keeps a list, which has grown to be pages long. But the German Association of Wind Energy (Bundesverband Windenergie) downplays the incidents, calling them “isolated cases”.

Dealing with “ticking time bombs”

Yet the situation has in reality grown so serious that TÜV is now urgently calling for rigorous inspections and regulations in order to assure operational safety.  TÜV expert Dieter Roas says that we dealing with “ticking time bombs.”

Wetzel writes that many turbines are now approaching their 20-25 year lifetimes and that extending their operating time should require technical approval.

The technical and structural integrity of the turbines in most cases is completely unknown.

TÜV expert Roas warns: “Here we are dealing with significant dangers”.

SOURCE 





The Incredible Scam of Rooftop Solar

We've all heard about "shop local" and "get your food from local farmers, not distant corporate farms."  Lots of people have apple trees in their backyards.  Often they can't begin to eat or give away all the apples.  In the meantime, big supermarkets sell corporate apples for one dollar a pound and up.  I propose that people with backyard apples be able to take them to the supermarket and sell them to the supermarket for the same price at which the supermarket is selling apples.  Furthermore, they should be able to take them at any time and receive payment.  If the store gets too many local apples, it can reduce its purchase of corporate apples.

My apple proposal may seem ill advised, but that is exactly how rooftop solar power works.  The homeowner gets to displace power from the power company, and if the homeowner has more power than he needs, the power company is obligated to purchase it, often for the same retail price at which it sells electricity.  That policy is called net metering.  In order to accommodate the homeowner's electric power, the utility has to throttle down some other power plant that produces power at a lower wholesale price.

The exact arrangements for accepting rooftop solar vary by jurisdiction.  In some places, net metering is restricted in one way or another.

A large-scale natural gas-generating plant can supply electricity for around 6 cents per kilowatt-hour.  Rooftop solar electricity costs, without subsidies, around 30 cents per kilowatt-hour, or five times as much.  Average retail rates for electricity in most places are between 8 cents and 16 cents per kilowatt-hour.  Yet, paradoxically, the homeowner can often reduce this electric bill by installing rooftop solar.

It is actually worse than forcing the power company to take 30-cent electricity that it could get from a natural gas plant for 6 cents.  When the company throttles down a natural gas plant to make room for rooftop electricity, it is not saving six cents, because it already has paid for the gas plant.  All it saves is the marginal fuel that is saved when the plant is throttled down to make room for the rooftop electricity.  The saving in fuel is about 2 cents per kilowatt-hour.  So 30-cent electricity displaces grid electricity and saves two cents.

But where does the other 28 cents come from?  Who pays for that?  Part is paid for by the federal 30% subsidy for solar energy construction cost.  That takes care of about nine cents per kilowatt-hour.  That leaves the homeowner with electricity costing him 21 cents per kilowatt-hour.  The cost comes from his monthly payments on the loan to build the solar system divided by the number of kilowatt-hours generated that month.  If he pays cash for the solar system, then the monthly cost is his lost investment return on the cash he paid.  If he lives in a jurisdiction where electricity costs 11 cents, then he is losing 10 cents for each kilowatt-hour generated (21 cents minus 11 cents).  But if he lives in California, where larger home users of electricity pay 53 cents per kilowatt-hour if they consume beyond a baseline limit, he saves 32 cents for each kilowatt-hour of solar electricity generated.  In that case, the power company is losing kilowatt-hours it could have sold for 53 cents.  Other customers have to pay more to make up the lost revenue.

From the standpoint of society, rooftop solar substitutes 30-cent electricity in order to save two cents.  If the homeowner is at least breaking even, as he usually is, he hasn't lost anything due to the substitution.  The money to pay for the 30-cent electricity comes from the taxpayer-provided subsidy and revenue that is no longer paid to the power company.  The taxpayers and power company pay for 30-cent electricity that could have been obtained for two cents by burning a little more natural gas.  If the homeowner makes a profit on the solar power, then the burden on everyone else is even greater.  Since the power company is guaranteed a rate of return, or at least has to break even, rates have to be raised enough to pay for the overpriced rooftop electricity.  The burden falls on society to pay for the scheme.  The purveyors of rooftop solar, crackpot environmentalists and rooftop solar-owners, are happy.  Everyone else is screwed.

Here is an example of rooftop solar that costs 30 cents a kilowatt-hour.  A 5-kilowatt rooftop system costs about $21,000 installed.  It will generate 7,000 kilowatt-hours per year.  If it is financed over 20 years at 8% interest, the annual payment will be $2,139.  The cost per kilowatt-hour is $2,139/7,000 = $0.306, or 30.6 cents per kilowatt-hour.  Of course, costs and interest rates vary, as does sunshine.  If you think 8% is too high for the interest rate, ask yourself if you would loan your neighbor $21,000 for 20 years for less.  Rooftop solar is expensive compared to utility-scale solar, because it is a small custom installation.  The orientation and slope of the house roof may be less than ideal.  Large-scale utility solar, in contrast, can be as cheap as seven cents per kilowatt-hour.

An increasing problem, already present in California, is too much solar.  The electric grid has a combination of base load power and additional peaking loads.  The base load runs 24 hours a day and is not easy to throttle down.  Solar power peaks around midday.  If there is so much solar as to threaten the base generation, solar has to be curtailed.  In California, this happens in the spring, when sunshine is plentiful but the air-conditioning load is not yet large.  When solar dies, in the hour before sunset, peak power consumption is often being reached.  In that case, solar aggravates the rate at which the rest of the grid has to increase power output to handle the early evening peak.  If the homeowner is at least breaking even, he is probably generating surplus electricity during the middle of the day, adding more solar during the critical midday period and increasing the size of the sudden surge in power demand when the sun fades.

Utility-scale solar costing seven cents is a big waste of money.  Rooftop solar costing 30 cents is insane.  Special interests  – the solar industry and environmentalist crackpots – have convinced legislatures and public utility commissions to stack the deck with net metering and absurdly high tiered electric rates.  The result is to make it profitable for homeowners to invest in what otherwise would be very expensive electricity.  Society as a whole pays for the economic waste, amounting typically to 28 cents per kilowatt-hour of rooftop electricity.

It is foolish to justify rooftop solar on the grounds of reducing CO2 emissions, because if you work the numbers, it costs about $800 to avoid emitting a metric ton of CO2 using rooftop solar.  You can buy a carbon offset that does the same thing for $10.  Reducing CO2 emissions is dubious in any case.  Global warming-climate change ideology is struggling because warming is not remotely meeting expectations.  Believers are starting to lose their faith in global warming.  It is dawning on them that global warming is another scary disaster in a long parade of scary disasters that never materialize but make money for interested parties.  Fewer people want to waste billions on a quixotic quest for renewable power.

The most prominent remaining global warming believers are now advocating nuclear power as the best means of reducing CO2 emissions.  CO2 is plant food that makes plants grow better with less water.  It greens deserts and increases agricultural productivity.  Bring it on.

SOURCE 





Two North Texas wind projects cancelled due to military concerns

Sheppard Air Force Base and the military community is celebrating a win this week as a wind farm company decides to not build near the base.

The base announced that Innergex, a renewable energy company, was considering building wind farms near Byers and Bluegrove.

After information campaigns from the base and Sheppard Military Affairs Committee (SMAC) about how the developments would negatively impact Sheppard’s training routes, the company removing themselves from the permitting process – meaning their interest in the area is essentially over.

“We are grateful for the decision Innergex has made regarding proposed wind projects in Byers and Bluegrove," George Woodward, SAFB Public Affairs spokesperson, said Friday.

"These projects would have had serious negative impacts on our ability to safely manage both civilian and military air traffic in those areas and would also have reduced the overall number of effective flying training days we have each year."

The process, he said, was an effort of both the base and local officials.

“We appreciate the continued support of local civic, business and government leaders on this issue as we continue to work with them and with wind energy advocates to balance military readiness and economic development,” he said.

SMAC President Glenn Barham said this is good news for the Sheppard area.

Wind turbines near low-level military training routes can cause radio interference and be a hazard to the aircraft themselves when the craft are 1,000 feet or closer to the ground.

Barham said Sheppard has focused efforts on keeping turbines out of the low-level flight routes for training pilots at the base.

Currently, there are 17 of these flight routes – three have already been abandoned because of wind farm encroachment.

“There are others proposed that we have learned about that could cause the closure of two more routes. We are looking to educate everybody about encroachment,” Barham said.

Renewable energy is a great innovation that benefits people, but, Barham said, their aim is to mitigate any issues that may arise between the military and wind farm companies.

SMAC, Sheppard and other military bases are testing a more proactive approach with these wind farm companies to help alleviate any unnecessary animosity between the groups.

They are not against renewable energy, Barham said, but want to be part of the planning process sooner to inform companies as to the best locations that will not impact training missions.

For instance, he said, flight training routes are 10 miles wide and companies could chose to locate a farm closer to an edge, rather than the middle, of a training route.

“One day they might fly five miles left of the center line. The next day, two miles right of the center line. They need plenty of maneuvering space,” he said.

When talking with a wind farm company, they may ask them to consider not placing a wind farm right in the middle of a training route, but rather to an extreme edge of the route.

“We believe that, by working together and communicating early in the process, we can reach mutually compatible solutions not only in and around military bases, but also around FAA-designated military training routes and operating areas in Texas and Oklahoma,” Woodward said.

State legislators are already taking notice of the need to change regulation of wind farms to better protect military training bases.

Oklahoma Senate Bill 1576, approved in early May by Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin offers far-reaching regulation to protect routes from encroaching turbines.

Barham said SMAC representatives will be meeting with Rep. James Frank and the next senator-elect after November to consider proposition of similar legislation in Texas.

Such a bill would be “immensely useful” to Sheppard and other military training bases, Barham said.

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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Tuesday, July 17, 2018


Japanese Scientists: IPCC Models Sloppy And Lopsided, Major Factors “Not Adequately Represented”

Another paper titled The Solar Wind and Climate: Evaluating the Influence of the Solar Wind on Temperature and Teleconnection Patterns Using Correlation Maps lends great support to the claim that solar activity plays a major role in driving the Earth’s climate, and that CO2’s impact is being grossly overstated.

The paper, authored by a team of researchers led by Japanese physical chemist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, photo right, examined the influence of changes in solar activity (solar wind in particular) on surface temperatures and major oceanic oscillations such as the Arctic Oscillation and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, which have great impacts on regional and global climate.

The researchers feel that the major drivers of the Earth’s climate are more related to the sun and the oceans, and CO2’s role has been exaggerated.

Sun and oceans play great role

The paper cites, for example, Levitus et al., which found multidecadal temperature oscillations with magnitudes as large as 4°C for the Barents Sea at depths of 100–150m and that the timing of the oscillation coincided with the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), a major factor in the Atlantic Ocean.

IPCC models shoddy, major factors “not adequately represented”

The team of scientists found a clear influence of the solar wind on climate, and thus solar activity “should be considered much more than conventionally believed”.

The authors state, “once its mechanism becomes clearer and incorporated into climate models, it will greatly contribute to policy development.”

“The effectiveness of climate models is greatly reduced when the influence of the sun (and moon) is not adequately represented,” they state in the paper’s conclusion.

Dr. Kimimori Itoh has been a harsh critic of the mainstream, narrow scientific view that trace gas CO2 acts as the main driver behind global climate. He once called it “the worst scientific scandal in history” and that “when people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.”

SOURCE 





Rejecting carbon colonialism

African Development Bank breaks with anti-fossil fuel banks to fund coal power, prosperity

Paul Driessen and David Wojick

We recently explained how Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) use manmade climate change alarmism to justify lending policies that reject funding for fossil fuel electricity generation, promote expensive and unreliable renewable sources, and thereby help keep impoverished nations poor.

Now, in a daring show of humanity and common sense, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has broken ranks with the World Bank and its like-minded carbon colonialist brethren. The AfDB has announced that it will once again finance coal and natural gas power generation projects. As AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina puts it, “Africa must develop its energy sector with what it has.”

In a formal statement, Adesina noted: “The key challenge for Africa is the generation of power. The continent has the lowest electrification rate in the world. Power consumption per capita in Africa is estimated at 613 kWh per annum, compared to 6,500 kWh in Europe and 13,000 kWh in the United States. Power is the overriding African priority.

“The investment is expensive, yes, but the long-term returns will be much greater. To fast track universal access to electricity, the Bank is investing US$12 billion in the power sector and seeks to mobilize $45-$50 billion from other partners.”

Put in understandable everyday terms, those numbers mean the electricity that makes modern lives, jobs, productivity, living standards, health, communication, computers, entertainment and life spans possible is available to Africans a paltry 4.7% per capita of what Americans rely on. Just imagine having electricity available only 1 hour a day … 8 hours a week … 411 hours per year – at totally unpredictable times, for a few minutes, hours or days at a stretch when you have power. And at three times what Americans pay.

Try running your life that way – or with wind and solar systems that are just as sporadic and unreliable – and might increase your per capita electricity to 10 or 15% of US levels.

Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe and many other sub-Sahara African countries have vast coal deposits. South Africa’s state-owned utility Eskom estimates that South Africa’s 53 billion tons of coal reserves could meet its needs for 200 years! Many also have enormous natural gas resources.

Those fossil fuels must not be ignored and “kept in the ground,” to appease eco-imperialists.

The AfDB is being encouraged by the Trump Administration, which may partly account for the new policy. The Trump USAID is now running the Power Africa 2.0 program, a vital upgrade of the Obama era program that promoted renewable energy and strongly discouraged the use of affordable fossil fuels.

USAID says Power Africa 2.0 is “one of the largest public-private partnerships in development history, with more than $54 billion of commitments from its more than 150 public- and private-sector partners.”

The Obama program managed to facilitate financing for just 7,300 MW of electrical generating capacity (15% of what Germany generated with coal in 2016) – and most of that was from expensive, unreliable wind and solar units. Even Bloomberg said President Obama’s “signature initiative for Africa” fell “well short” of its goals, producing less than 5% of the new electricity it promised; and virtually all that power was intermittent, expensive wind and solar – leaving hundreds of millions of Africans “in the dark.”

The only fossil fuel theoretically allowed under the Obama Power Africa con was natural gas. And even then his Overseas Private Investment Corporation refused to support construction of a 130-MW power plant in Ghana that would burn clean natural gas that was being “flared” and wasted.

USAID Administrator Mark Green says the new Power Africa goal is 20,000 MW by 2020, using “affordable, reliable energy,” meaning coal in many cases. More broadly the Trump Administration has spearheaded creating a “global fossil fuel alliance.” Energy Secretary Rick Perry often refers to this as “new energy realism” in global power development, noting that fossil fuels are absolutely essential for developing countries, especially in those where many people still have no electricity. How refreshing.

Even in South Africa, the most electrified and advanced nation in sub-Saharan Africa, insufficient electricity means too frequent brownouts that hamper factory and mining output, and keep hospitals and schools far below optimal levels. Its maternal mortality rates are some 35 times higher than in the US, tuberculosis rates 230 times higher, and thousands still die every year from lung and intestinal diseases.

But World Bank carbon colonialists still rebuffed South Africa when it applied for a loan to finish its coal-fired Medupi power plant, despite its advanced clean coal and pollution control technologies. Claiming the project violated climate change and sustainability goals, the Center for American Progress, Sierra Club and other agitator groups pressured the bank to deny funding. The Obama Administration ultimately voted “present” and the loan was approved by a bare majority of other bank member nations.

Excluding South Africa, sub-Saharan nations “enjoy” a minuscule 181 kWh annual per capita electricity consumption – 1.4% of the average American’s! In fact, Africa is home to 16% of the world’s population – and 53% the world’s people without electricity. It’s no wonder Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania and other countries are taking charge of their own destinies and building dozens of coal-fired power plants.

As Professor Rosemary Falcon points out, clean coal is not just feasible; it is also about the cheapest way to generate electricity on a continent where twice as many people as live in the United States are without power. Her “sustainable coal research group” developed a process that separates poor-quality coal from better fuel, crushes it and removes components that don’t burn well. Burning it in advanced power plants generates more electricity with “less ash, less fumes, more heat and a longer burn.” That’s clean coal.

Every country could do this, if they had the “political will” to do so, says Nigerian Sam Bada, a member of Falcon’s team. “I am tired of being lectured by people in rich countries who have never lived a day without electricity. Maybe they should just go home and turn off their fridge, hot water, laptops and lights. Then live like that for a month and tell us, who have suffered for years, not to burn coal.”

All this helps explain why the AfDB is doing what all MDBs should do. It has committed $12 billion to a “New Deal on Energy for Africa” program. As Mr. Adesina says, “Africa has a lot of energy potential, but potential doesn’t create anything. We cannot continue to accept Africa being referred to as the ‘dark continent.’ We need to … accelerate our plans to light up and power Africa.”

It helps explain why Africa, China, India, Indonesia and others refuse to reject coal and gas – and rely on “green” energy technologies that don’t exist … except in classrooms, computer models, IPCC reports, Al Gore lectures, and renewable energy company promotional literature.

Claims that 97% of scientists agree that we face a manmade climate change “tipping point” are right only if they are talking about the bureaucrats, activists and climatologists who take taxpayer and foundation money and blame humans for supposed climate chaos. Beyond their narrow confines, rational scientific discussions rage over global warming and cooling, floods, droughts, extreme weather, carbon dioxide enrichment and a host of related issues: here, here, here, here, here and here, to cite just a few places.

And how can anyone compare alleged climate problems with very real, immediate, lethal Third World problems caused and perpetuated by being forced to continue relying on wood, charcoal and dung – the fuels of poverty, misery, disease and early death? People in these countries are not expendable laboratory animals, on which to test renewable energy schemes. They must no longer be treated that way.

Many countries signed the Paris treaty because they were promised countless billions in “mitigation, adaptation and compensation” payments. The Green Climate Fund is now all but defunct. Its director has resigned, and virtually no one is contributing to it. That should be another loud global wake-up call.

Developing countries increasingly realize they are largely on their own. Other nations should follow their lead, and end this tragic fascination with green energy pixie dust. The world still needs oil, gas, coal, nuclear and hydroelectric power – the fuels of modern living standards, prosperity, health and life!

Via email





Meaning Nothing – Ireland To Entirely Divest From Fossil Fuels

By Tim Worstall

Ireland has proudly announced that it is the first country to entirely – no, totally – divest from fossil fuels. This means rather less than nothing, as it doesn’t actually mean that Ireland won’t be using any fossil fuels. It just means that the State itself, the funds it controls, won’t be buying shares in fossil fuel companies. Not buying Shell or BP stock is not a great blow against climate change:

"Ireland is set to become the first country to stop public investments in fossil fuels.

The Fossil Fuel Divestment bill was passed by the lower house of parliament, Dáil Éireann, on Thursday.

The bill is expected to pass relatively quickly through the Seanad (senate), and will force the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund to end any investments in non-renewable energy in five years.

Environment activists have welcomed the news"

It’s feel good trivia rather than anything important.

The text of the bill calls for the complete divestment of the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund of fossil fuel companies within five years from the commencement of the bill’s approval. The aim, as expressed in the bill, is “to precipitate a timely decarbonisation process in line with Ireland’s climate change commitments under Article 2 of the Paris Agreement.”

Not buying shares and not using fossil fuels are two rather different things. Owning or not owning Exxon stock makes no difference whatsoever to which fuel people top up with at the petrol station now, does it?

Ireland has lagged behind other European countries in cutting emissions and Irish households emit 60 per cent more carbon than the average EU home, in part because of the use of peat and coal for heating, according to a government study.

“We have had a very carbon-based economy and society for a number of years, so this is a huge change for us, but it has to happen,” said Thomas Pringle, the independent parliamentarian who sponsored the legislation.

“The bill sends a very clear message . . . that the Irish government sees the transition away from fossil fuels as very important,” he added."

The difference this will make to the use of peat and coal is precisely nothing, isn’t it? Unlike, say, that digging up of County Down* going on to put natural gas pipelines in. You know, investing in fossil fuels so as to reduce carbon emissions?

The full bill is here. Signifies nothing, just wind.

*Yes, I know, different country-- In Northern Ireland

SOURCE 





Disposal Of Wind Turbines Proving To Be A Major Environmental Concern

Thousands of aging wind turbines will eventually need to be decommissioned, but the disposal of this “green” technology could prove to be a dirty job for environmental regulators.

Besides a host of problems that occur during a wind turbine’s lifetime — such as intermittent power production and the killing of thousands of large, rare birds — Germany is now dealing with a another pressing issue:  What is to be done with a wind turbine once it’s reached the end of its life cycle? There are over 28,000 onshore wind turbines in Germany. More than one-third of these aging turbines will need to be decommissioned by 2023.

Many in the general public consider wind energy technology to be a completely operable without environmental degradation. However, this is not the case.

The high-tech blades used in wind turbines contain exotic compounds that are laborious to recycle. These rotor blades use carbon fibers and glass, and give off toxic gases and dust — which means burning them is not an option. Additionally, the concrete bases used to uphold wind turbines can go as far as 30 meters deep into the ground, making them very difficult to fully remove.

“The operators of wind farms in Germany [are] beginning to have to ask themselves, ‘What do we do with the assets that come up to the lifetime?'” said Giles Dickson, a wind energy lobbyist in Europe. The problem isn’t just on the horizon, but something that has already been plaguing German regulators for years. The country was forced to deal with 54,000 tons of waste from rotor blades in 2014. (RELATED: Here’s How Renewable Energy Actually Hurts The Environment)

“It will probably be a challenge for technology. It will really be an issue over the next years and decades probably to get old turbines off the field, so I expect industry will find technologies to cope with it,” said Dr. Jan Tessmer, an energy expert, during an interview with Deutsche Welle.

SOURCE 





Australia: Victoria’s Western Front Erupts: Locals Launch All-Out Attack On Hawkesdale Wind Farm Plans

A community meeting at Hawkesdale on Wednesday concerning wind farm growth in the south-west, left local MPs, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) representatives and the national windfarm commissioner in no doubt as to the position of the majority of locals.

The meeting, organised by community members, invited DEWLP members and windfarm commissioner, Andrew Dyer, to town to address community concerns about the planning and application processes for proposed windfarms in the region. The vocal room of around 100 people projected their questions to the panel, which included Mr Dyer, DELWP Executive Director statutory planning services, Jane Homewood and senior planner, Tim Doolan.

“You’ve heard these people today, everything is negative, you should get that from the feel of the meeting,” one attendee said, followed by a large round of applause, showing the panel the united belief of those in the room.

“Nobody wants you here … Go away.”

People travelled from around the region to express concerns and ensure the health, agriculture and social impacts of wind towers was clearly understood.

Mr Doolan began the evening with a presentation on the planning process for windfarm approval.

He explained that windfarm applications had to meet a number of requirements, including a noise assessment, landscape and visual impact assessment, safety, environmental impacts, traffic and road infrastructure impacts, electromagnetic interference and shutter flicker.

“These are all the different types of technical reports that need to be provided for any application for a windfarm” Mr Doolan said.

The senior planner said there were three stages of the windfarm approval process; the application stage, post-approval and amendment.

He said all wind turbines needed to comply with a noise limit of 40-decibels and could not be erected less than 1 km of any dwelling.

Turbines within this range needed consent. If consent was not given, the application was prohibited.

Local residents were advised that the town boundary is not a consideration during planning stages, but that the nearest turbine, which in Hawkesdale will sit around 1 km from the nearest dwelling, was enough to meet Victorian requirements.

Mr Dyer quashed any thought, risen by Penshurst District Pharma and windfarm opponent, Annie Gardner, That There Was a Bill in Parliament’s Upper House to Remove Noise Nuisance under the Victorian Public Health and Well-Being Act.

“The act is an act of Parliament, I don’t think councils had thought about how to make a complaint under the health and well-being act,” Mr Dyer said.

“The act is still there, you can make a complaint this afternoon under the act and Council needs a procedure in place to receive an address that complaint properly.”

Ms Gardner said that she had experienced a number of health issues as a result of the Macarthur windfarm which neighbours her property, and asked the Commissioner to consider low-frequency noise and infrasound when having an acoustician measure turbine noise.

“In the guidelines there is nothing about low-frequency noise or infrasound and this is what is affecting most of us in the sense we are sensitised when we go away from home,” Ms Gardner said. “When we go into a café with air-conditioning or supermarket, our symptoms come back because the issue is cumulative. The low-frequency noise is what we feel in our chest and in our hearts.”

When questioned why the compulsory distance of turbines from dwellings has changed from 2 km to 1 km when the Andrew’s Labor government was elected in 2014, no panel member could provide a satisfactory answer.

“I don’t know why it was changed from 2 to 1 km, but there is a noise decibel level that is based on the New Zealand standard and I’m hearing that it is totally inadequate for you, so we will take that on notice,” Ms Homewood said.

One Cape Bridgewater resident, who lives within 640 m of wind turbines told the Commissioner she was “living a life of misery” as her house was now worthless, to which the Commissioner advised her to move out.

The Cape Bridgewater windfarm was erected before any minimal distance between dwellings was enforced in 2011.

Hawkesdale resident, Liana Blake, told the room the proposed Hawkesdale windfarm would allow for wind towers to be built within 2 km of her house, the closest at 1.1 km.

“That’s our home, that’s where we decided to live and build our business,” she said.

“What are we going to do? Do we just move out because the noise is too much for us?

“You’ve wrecked our lives … these windfarms are wrecking people’s lives.”

Residents also raise concerned about the future growth of the Hawkesdale community, believing windfarms would deter people from moving to the area, “unfortunately, the panels look for evidence and that is difficult if you’ve got a new windfarm,” Ms Homewood told the room.

“It is a requirement of the panel to consider the social and economic impact of the windfarm, when they are considering whether or not the windfarm will go ahead.”

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

*****************************************