Thursday, September 20, 2018

Container ship crosses Arctic route for first time in history due to melting sea ice

The above heading is an example of hiding something in plain sight.  It gives the impression that the transit through the Northeast passage was something new.  In fact it has been one of Russia's commercial maritime trade routes for the past 70 years. So the key thing to note in the heading above is the word "Container".  It was the first CONTAINER ship to go through

And it was certainly no epic triumph.  The ship itself was a mini-icebreaker with an ice-strengthened hull and ice cover in the Arctic is at its annual minimum in September -- but even then the ship needed "help from Russia's most powerful nuclear icebreaker" to get through.  Basically it was a nothing event and the firm behind it does not plan to repeat the exercise

A commercial container ship has for the first time successfully navigated the Northern Sea Route of the Arctic Ocean, a route made possible by melting sea ice caused by global warming.

Maersk Line, the world’s biggest container shipping company, told The Independent its ship, Venta Maersk, was expected to reach its final destination of St Petersburg next week.

The new ice-class 42,000 ton vessel, carrying Russian fish and South Korea electronics, left Vladivostok, in the far east of Russia, on the 23 August.

With help from Russia's most powerful nuclear icebreaker, it followed the Northern Sea Route up through the Bering Strait between Russia and Alaska, before travelling along Russia’s north coast and into the Norwegian Sea.

The route has seen growing traffic during summer months already, with cargos of oil and gas regularly making the journey.


Climate change is real. Welcome to the new normal

An extremely unoriginal bit of Warmism below.  Tony Heller and Joe Bastardi have comprehensively debunked it so I will say no more

By Eugene Robinson

Hurricane Florence has drenched eastern North Carolina with more than 30 inches of rain, an all-time record for the state. Last year, Hurricane Harvey stalled over Houston and dumped more than 60 inches of rain, an all-time record for the whole country. Also last year, Hurricane Maria ravaged the island of Puerto Rico and caused, according to an independent study, nearly 3,000 deaths.

Welcome to the new normal.

Tropical cyclones are nothing new, of course. But climate scientists say that global warming should make such storms wetter, slower and more intense — which is exactly what seems to be happening. And if we fail to act, these kinds of devastating weather events will likely become even more frequent and more severe.

Climate change is a global phenomenon. Authorities in the Philippines are still trying to assess the damage and death toll from Typhoon Mangkhut, a rare Category 5-equivalent storm that struck the archipelago Saturday with sustained winds of 165 mph. Mangkhut went on to batter Hong Kong and now, as it weakens, is plowing across southern China.

Every human being on the planet has a stake in what governments do to limit and adapt to climate change, including leaders who, like President Trump, prefer to believe global warming is some kind of hoax. I doubt the citizens of Wilmington, N.C. — a lovely resort town that was turned into an island by widespread flooding from Florence — feel there is anything illusory about the hardship they’re going through.


North Dakota Is Now Pumping as Much Crude as Venezuela

North Dakota’s oil production surged to a new record in July, putting the mid-western state on par with OPEC member Venezuela.

Home to the Bakken shale play, North Dakota pumped 1.27 million barrels a day in July, according to state figures released Friday. That’s roughly the same output as Venezuela during the month. The South American nation, whose oil industry has collapsed amid a prolonged financial crisis, saw production fall further in August to 1.24 million barrels a day -- about half the level seen in early 2016, according to data from OPEC secondary sources.

Soaring output from shale formations, including the Bakken, helped the U.S. overtake Russia and Saudi Arabia to likely become the world’s biggest oil producer earlier this year, according to preliminary estimates from the Energy Information Administration. At the same time, Venezuela’s output is expected to tumble even lower, to 1 million barrels a day by the end of the year, according to the International Energy Agency.


Pelosi Reignites Obama Push To Shut Down Huge Chunk of Coal Industry

The Left never learn

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is renewing the Obama administration’s war on coal by supporting efforts to attack coal use in America.

On Thursday, the California Democrat criticized the coal industry during a speech at the Global Climate Action Summit in California, NTK Network reported.

“Under President Obama, we went on to pass the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act in the House. But we were stopped in the Senate by the coal industry,” Pelosi said. “For this and other reasons, I’m so grateful to Michael Bloomberg’s ‘Beyond Coal’ initiative working with the Sierra Club. It is so essential.”

On its website, “Beyond Coal” says it wants to “replace dirty coal with clean energy by mobilizing grassroots activists in local communities to advocate for the retirement of old and outdated coal plants and to prevent new coal plants from being built.” Among its objectives is to shutter a third of the nation’s coal plants by 2020.

In a New Yorker interview, Bloomberg said coal’s day is done no matter what anyone says to the contrary.

“Coal will go away in any place where there’s a free market, for sure, because the market just forces that, the economics force it,” he said, “It does not help that our federal government is opposed to some rational things and is putting out some of the drivel that they do.”

Pelosi’s most recent criticism of the coal industry was not the first time in recent weeks Pelosi attacked coal.

In an August speech at the Public Policy Institute of California she praised herself for her efforts against a small coal plant that operated in Washington, D.C., The Daily Caller reported.

“And it really is a moral issue if you believe as I do that this is God’s creation we have to be good stewards of it,” Pelosi said. “We have evangelicals and others with us — er, some, those who believe in God’s creation. So, in any case, this was a big thing for us. I had to fight some Democrats. Senator Byrd had a coal-powered plan fueling the Capitol, you know … and that’s gonna go, with all due respect to West Virginia we’re not gonna have a coal-powered plant floating around.”

Pelosi’s view is contrasted with that of President Donald Trump, who has strongly supported the coal industry, and at a recent rally had a coal miner join him on stage, according to The Daily Caller. Trump was telling the story of a miner who spoke to him about the revitalization of the coal industry.

“He said, ‘Sir, what you’ve done for the coal industry is incredible. Because we were dead, and now we’re vibrant again,’” Trump recalled.

The man then came on stage and talked about how under former President Barack Obama “the coal industry absolutely had the boot of government on its throat.”

“Many, many jobs were lost,” said the miner, whose name was not announced. “And many towns were destroyed by this. It was just a horrible thing. Horrible suffering happened in this country. Really for made-up reasons, I think. And what your administration does — has done — is bringing us back to life.”

In 2016, as part of his effort to change America’s energy sources, Obama pushed for a reduction in coal and other fossil fuels, The Washington Post reported. He said his administration would “push to change the way we manage our oil and coal resources, so that they better reflect the costs they impose on taxpayers and our planet.”

That tone was emulated in the 2016 presidential campaign by Democrat Hillary Clinton who in March 2016 said, “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business,” according to Politico.


California Climate Policies Facing Revolt from Civil-Rights Groups

Hugely expensive green mandates will hit poor Californians the hardest.

In April, civil-rights groups sued to stop some of California’s policies designed to address climate change. Then on Monday, California governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB 100, which requires the state’s utilities to obtain all their electricity from carbon-free sources by 2045. Before signing the bill, Brown said the legislation was “sending a message to California and to the world that we’re going to meet the Paris agreement.” In fact, it will only increase the hardships that California’s climate policy imposes on the poor, as detailed in the lawsuit.

High electricity prices should be a concern for California policymakers, since electric rates in the state are already 60 percent higher than those in the rest of the country. According to a recent study by the Berkeley-based think tank Environmental Progress, between 2011 and 2017 California’s electricity rates rose more than five times as fast as those in the rest of the U.S. SB 100 will mean even higher electricity prices for Californians.

In addition to cost, the all-renewable push set forth in SB 100 faces huge challenges with regard to energy storage. Relying solely on renewables will require a battery system large enough to handle massive seasonal fluctuations in wind and solar output. (Wind-energy and solar-energy production in California is roughly three times as great during the summer months as it is in the winter.) According to the Clean Air Task Force, a Boston-based energy-policy think tank, for California to get 80 percent of its electricity from renewables would require about 9.6 terawatt-hours of storage. This would require about 500 million Tesla Powerwalls, or roughly 15 Powerwalls for every resident. A full 100 percent–renewable electricity mandate would require some 36.3 terawatt-hours of storage, or about 60 Powerwalls for every resident of California.

Increasing reliance on renewable energy also means increasing land-use conflicts. Since 2015, more than 200 government entities from Maine to California have voted to reject or restrict the encroachment of wind-energy projects. In 2015 the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in favor of an ordinance banning large wind turbines in the county’s unincorporated areas. Three other California counties — San Diego, Solano, and Inyo — have also passed restrictions on Big Wind. Last year, the head of the California Wind Energy Association lamented that “we’re facing restrictions like that all around the state,” adding that “it’s pretty bleak in terms of the potential for new development.” The result of the anti-wind restrictions can be seen in the numbers. Last year, California had about 5,600 megawatts of installed wind capacity. That’s roughly 150 megawatts less than what the state had back in 2013.

The land-use problem facing Big Wind in California is the same throughout the rest of the U.S. and Europe: People in cities like the idea of wind turbines. People in rural areas increasingly don’t want anything to do with them. Those rural landowners don’t want to see the red blinking lights atop those massive turbines, all night, every night, for the rest of their lives. Nor do they want to be subjected to the harmful noise — both audible and inaudible — that they produce.

Even before SB 100 passed, though, California’s leaders were already facing a legal backlash from minority leaders over the high cost of the state’s climate policies. On April 27, The Two Hundred, a coalition of civil-rights leaders, filed a lawsuit in state court against the California Air Resources Board, seeking an injunction against some of the state’s carbon dioxide–reduction rules. The 102-page lawsuit declares that California’s “reputation as a global climate leader is built on the state’s dual claims of substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions while simultaneously enjoying a thriving economy. Neither claim is true.”

The gist of the lawsuit is this: California’s high housing, transportation, and energy costs are discriminatory because they are a regressive tax on the poor. The suit claims that the state’s climate laws violate the Fair Employment and Housing Act because CARB’s new greenhouse-gas-emissions rules on housing units in the state “have a disparate negative impact on minority communities and are discriminatory against minority communities and their members.” The suit also claims the state’s climate laws are illegal under the Federal Housing Act, again because their effect is felt predominantly by minority communities. It also makes a constitutional claim that minorities are being denied equal protection under the law because California’s climate regulations are making affordable housing unavailable to them.




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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