Monday, February 24, 2020

Greenpeace Co-Founder Dr. Patrick Moore: ‘Fossil fuels are 100% organic & were produced with solar energy

Prager University video:

"Global Warming activists will tell you that CO2 is bad and dangerous. The EPA has even classified it as a pollutant. But is it? Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore provides some surprising facts about the benefits of CO2 that you won’t hear in the current debate.

Partial transcript:

 “All life is carbon-based. And the carbon for all that life originates from carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. All of the carbon in the fossil fuels we are burning for energy today was once in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide before it was consumed by plankton in the sea and plants on the land.

Coal, oil and natural gas are the remains of those plankton and plants that have been transformed by heat and pressure deep in the earth’s crust. In other words, fossil fuels are 100% organic and were produced with solar energy. Sounds positively green.”

“It has become common to refer to the emissions from burning fossil fuels for energy as ‘carbon’ emissions. That is entirely misleading. Carbon dioxide is not carbon. Carbon dioxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas which is an indispensable food for all living things.

From a big picture perspective, we are actually living in a low carbon dioxide era…

The optimum level of co2 for plant growth, for example, is 4- 5 times what is currently found in our atmosphere…

We are already seeing the positive effects of increased CO2 now. Satellite measurements have noted the greening of the earth as crops and forests grow due to our higher levels of co2. It turns out that carbon dioxide are not dirty words after all. We should celebrate co2 as the giver of life that it is.”


The mad rush to electric vehicles

Will this be another disaster for consumers?

Duggan Flanakin

Tesla’s stock market value is already bigger than Ford and General Motors combined, says a report in Forbes magazine. Elon Musk’s company had already received nearly $5 billion in federal subsidies by 2015, helping him amass a net worth of $31 billion. Who says government cannot make anyone rich?

But hold on. An ascendant Bernie Sanders has called for a massive expansion of government-run electricity production. He claims to be no friend of billionaires and is running against multiple billionaires, including two Democrat candidates and 23 contributors to Mayor Pete’s campaign.

But he sure is helping the rich. Sanders and many other politicos have championed a multi-state effort to end the sale of vehicles with internal combustion (IC) engines. So have several European nations. Related goals include phasing out coal, oil and natural gas for heating, electric power generation and other uses.

As Politico reports, a major part of Sanders’ $16 trillion Greener New Deal  allocates massive new funding for the four existing “power marketing administrations” that are overseen by the Department of Energy, Tennessee Valley Authority and a new federal agency. The money would go to vastly expand their solar, wind and even geothermal power production.

Matt Palumbo, writing in the Bongino Report, says the Sanders plan will need $2 trillion just for infrastructure, dwarfing the cost of the interstate highway system, to add 800 gigawatts of intermittent, weather-dependent wind and solar energy. Right now Sanders insists that he is not “nationalizing” energy production, but merely providing wholesale energy to public and private local suppliers. However, these subsidized government-run facilities will surely control the energy market. That looks like nationalization in all but official nomenclature.

Private companies that now rely on coal or natural gas will be further squeezed by mandated deep cuts in CO2 emissions. Meanwhile, energy demand for a mandated and growing fleet of electric vehicles will soar, requiring still more wind turbines, solar panels, backup batteries, transmission lines, and (as I note in a recent article about electric buses) metals, minerals and mining demands on unprecedented scales – coupled with rampant environmental destruction, child labor, and horrific increases in cancer and other diseases from the absence of workplace safety and pollution control standards.

Americans have expressed great displeasure over subsidizing EVs for the wealthy, a recent American Energy Alliance poll found. Only one in five voters would trust the federal government to make decisions about what kinds of cars should be subsidized – or mandated. Many do not even like, or cannot afford, the innovations already introduced for internal combustion vehicles, as evidenced by data showing that the average age of the U.S. vehicle fleet has increased in recent years.

Who can blame them for being angry? Wealthy EV buyers can get $7500 federal and up to $2500 state tax credits (not just deductions), free or low-cost charging at stations installed at taxpayer and electricity consumer cost, and access to HOV lanes even with no passengers. EV drivers pay no gasoline tax, and thus pay nothing for road construction, repair and maintenance. And as states “go green” and eliminate fossil fuel and nuclear power, average Americans will have to endure the eyesores, noise, habitat destruction and wildlife losses that will come with millions more wind turbines and solar panels.

Nevertheless, despite public qualms, most automakers have joined the EV movement. Like gossip in a small town, proposals and promises to ban or end production of IC engines have spread like wildfire. The Chinese-owned Swedish automaker Volvo announced in 2017 it would stop designing new IC engines. German giant Daimler (Mercedes Benz) followed suit last year. And in the United States, General Motors in 2018 announced plans to offer only battery-powered or hydrogen-powered vehicles in the near future.

These automakers are perhaps just responding to the political climate in Europe. The United Kingdom just moved up its cutoff date for banning sales of new IC vehicles to 2035. The UK ban would even include hybrids! France and other countries are holding to a 2040 date for mandating all-electric fleets, while Norway has set a goal (not a mandate) to eliminate most IC engines (but not hybrids) by 2025. But amazingly California lawmakers actually killed a 2018 effort to ban IC engines by 2040.

Meanwhile, European automakers have moved to profit from EV charging stations. IONITY (created in 2017 as a joint venture between the BMW Group, Mercedes-Benz AG, the Ford Motor Company, and the Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porcshe) has already built over 200 facilities with over 860 charging points. It plans to expand to 400 facilities in 24 countries by yearend 2020. And IONITY is not alone.

Europe today still has over 100,000 petrol and diesel fueling stations, certain to shrink as IC engines are now pariahs. But how do Europeans plan to charge all the electric cars, trucks and buses, if they must rely entirely on intermittent, unreliable, weather-dependent, super expensive wind and solar electricity?

Before February 2020, IONITY was charging a flat, fixed rate of eight Euros (about $8.87) for a fast charging session. That was less than 15 cents per kilowatt-hour for a 60-kW charge that might be good for 210 miles – on a continent where electricity prices are already 25 to 45 cents per kWh. With EU gasoline prices ranging from 1.77 euros/liter ($7.35 per gallon) in the Netherlands to $4.41/gallon in Romania, drivers would need about $31 in Romania or $51 in the Netherlands to drive the same distance (assuming 30 mpg), even at these incredible (and unsustainable) bargain basement electricity prices.

But as of February 1, IONITY switched to unit pricing at a rate of 0.79 euro/kWh (88 cents/kWh), or about $52.80 for a 60-kW charge. That’s a 500% increase in the cost of charging your car, just to travel a couple hundred miles. Suddenly, an EV charge is a whole lot more expensive than a fill-up.

So IONITY is offering discounts that customers can purchase from IONITY partner companies. At home chargers in the EU cost about $18 per 60-kW charge, plus about $1,000 for installation. That’s at the average EU residential rate of 30 cents/kWh (twice the current U.S. average). And that’s before the mad rush to electric cars, trucks and buses – and the mad rush to expensive “renewable” energy.

How will poor and working classes afford this, especially people who must drive to work or must use trucks in their small businesses? Who will subsidize their soaring costs – the EU’s increasingly stretched and impoverished middle class? Its millionaires and billionaires?

Here’s the rub for Americans. If Sanders gets his way, the federal government will control the price and availability of electricity in the USA. California, which wants to mandate EVs only, has already faced multi-day electricity blackouts due to fire concerns, and if there’s no power there’s no charging. Many other countries also lack reliable electric power – and increasing electricity scarcity (almost certain in a fossil fuel-free environment) drives up prices even in government-controlled marketplaces.

After the 1970s oil embargo, the United States opted for a broad-based energy sector, so that shortages in one fuel would not cripple the national economy. But today, many cities have already moved to ban oil, coal and natural gas, nuclear is still taboo, and wind and solar are intermittent. The push toward an all-electric society – plus heavy and rising burdens on the power grid from intermittent power generations and charging all-electric vehicles – looks like a recipe for disaster, at least for the average consumer.

The well-connected always do well enough in controlled economies – at least until government policies send energy prices soaring, and send angry poor and working class protesters into the streets, to rage and rampage, as has happened in Iran, France and Chile.

But what can a We the Governed do but submit to the will of the all-powerful state envisioned by Sanders and his fellow Democrat presidential wannabes? They’re all insulated by their wealth and positions from the impacts of their policies. But what about the rest of us? State and federal ruling classes might be surprised at how liberty and opportunity-loving Americans respond.

Via email

Green Agenda: Nationalize Energy

In addition to universal healthcare, Bernie Sanders wants to nationalize energy, do away with nuclear, and compete with private industry at the taxpayers’ expense.

The privileged political class have some great societies regressing; while in economically freer countries, you see immense progress.

Nationalization has never carried a great connotation. Nationalism is a pretty cultish concept. National Socialists… well we all know how that turned out.

I’d mentioned Elizabeth Warren’s plan to nationalize corporations.

There’s been a lot of talk about nationalized healthcare.

Net neutrality made a strong appearance for making internet services a public utility.

Here’s the thing: these are all major power grabs and these are all part of a pattern akin to failed socialist models.

Now Bernie Sanders is looking to nationalize energy as part of a larger Green Agenda. He wants to get the US off fossil fuels, so he will simply subsidize the energy providers HE thinks should win:

“A Sanders administration would pour funding into the four existing “power marketing administrations” that are overseen by the Energy Department, as well as the Tennessee Valley Authority and one newly created entity, to vastly expand their solar, wind and geothermal power production. Those organizations currently provide power from hydroelectric dams to 33 states, and would be able to sell the increased green energy to local utilities nationwide — creating a sort of “public option” that would compete with the coal, natural gas and nuclear plants owned by privately owned power generators.”

The goal is to be on 100% renewable energy PLUS get off nuclear by around 2030. Currently, sixty nuclear power plants are responsible for over 50% of carbon free energy, yet Sanders is saying that he would not renew nuclears’ operating licenses, but rather allow them to expire.

This all stems from the belief (not fact) that the free market isn’t moving fast enough to save the planet from certain doom. But the free market moves as fast as the consumer base can bear.

A closer examination of environmental policies indicates that many of them are not as “green” as they’d have to believe. The amount of land required to harness enough wind and solar alone is hardly environmentally sound. That wind turbines are not recyclable poses a major issue. The fact that electric cars still rely on coal based electricity and their batteries are the size of half the car is certainly a concern.

I know we are not supposed to look at the price tag — because who can put a price on saving the world — but, $2 trillion dollars is a 50% increase from our current spending. Americans who are already fed up with the reckless waste and spending in Congress now, couldn’t possibly be persuaded to sign on to another $2 trillion in green agenda spending.

When asked about universal healthcare, people loved it… up until they were presented the cost. The support quickly shrunk. This is true on a state level and on a national level.

The same is true for environmentalism. Do people generally support good stewardship of the earth? Sure! Are they willing to pay the taxes associated with this $2 trillion agenda? Unlikely.

Energy analysts, however, caution that Sanders’s 2030 plan would require a federal infrastructure investment not seen since the construction of the interstate highway system. To get close to Sanders’ 100 percent clean energy goal by 2030, researchers estimate the U.S. would need to add about 800 GW of wind and solar resources — about 25 times the amount the federal government expects to be built this year — along with ample amounts of battery storage and transmission. The Sanders camp forecasts that would cost about $2 trillion.

Sanders makes a distinction with his plan in that he is not necessarily “taking over” private energy companies, he’s starting new ones meant to “compete” with the private sector.

The private sector relies on voluntary patronization. They can only charge actual users of their services. The federal government doesn’t answer to any of that. They can just give away energy and undercut the private sector at the taxpayer’s expense.

Here’s the worst part: the private industry players will be forced to pay taxes and basically FUND their competition.

All this nationalization talk should make people take pause. Nationalization is a common practice among developing countries, while privatization is typical of developed countries. When I think about federal control over corporations, banking, energy, healthcare, and food, I can’t help but look at the failed examples around the world.

Venezuela nationalized its railway, oil production, cement industry, steel, rice processing and packaging, six supermarkets, glass manufacturing, and is looking to nationalize food production as well.

Never mind all the nationalized industries around the world. Even in the US, there’s the good ole TSA: nationalization of airport security. Puerto Rico has its commonwealth run utility company, PREPA, which is in horrible disrepair.

Why are so many US politicians trying to emulate the failed policies of undeveloped nations?

Businesses are there to serve and get paid. If people are dissatisfied, then they will show it. One simple example is with the proliferation of more plant-based foods, gluten free foods, and keto/paleo friendly foods. Businesses are absolutely listening and paying attention to demand.

Businesses should not have to please the government with the rate in which they are innovating. If the private sector couldn’t find a way to make sustainable energy profitable, the government volunteering for that undertaking guarantees an operational loss.

If people who KNOW the industry can’t get there from here efficiently, why do politicians think ignorant bureaucrats will do any better?

I’m concerned for the US. These politicians are coming for major sectors of the economy. If you’re in the US, it might be time to look at other options.


Big Green, Inc: The Bloomberg Family Foundation and the Future of American Energy

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is running for President of the United States, but that’s not all he’s up to.

He’s also working to upend our energy-spurred prosperity. The Bloomberg Family Foundation, a $7 billion organization of which he is the benefactor has made obstruction of our energy economy its raison d’etre. Bloomberg himself also presides over the board the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, an international alliance of cities whose mayors back his climate and energy approach. Bloomberg is also the chairman emeritus of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the chairman of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

These organizations claim to be nonpartisan arbiters of the climate risk that businesses face, but in reality, they’re controlled almost entirely by the network of hyper-partisan foundations that fuel the environmental left, and their recommendations reflect this. Unfortunately, the disclosure standards established by the SASB have an air of legitimacy that makes them insidious. They are starting to creep into legislation, and if a bill currently in the environmental resources subcommittee were to pass, the recommendations would be used in place of the decisions of the government regulatory agencies whose rightful purview this is.

This interference is just the tip of Michael Bloomberg’s green influence iceberg. Delving into his foundation’s grantmaking paints the full picture. The Bloomberg Family Foundation is a major cog in influence enterprise we call Big Green, Inc.

Last month, the Institute for Energy Research released the latest update to the Big Green, Inc. database, a project that seeks to shine a light on the whopping sums of money quietly fueling the national environmental lobby and its efforts to restrict affordable, reliable energy.

This update covers 1,583 grants originating from the Heinz Endowments, the Kresge Foundation, and the focus of this article, the Bloomberg Family Foundation.

Grantmaking Basics

The Bloomberg Family Foundation supports mainly large national environmental organizations, and does so primarily through million and multi-million dollar grants. From 2012 to 2016 the foundation gave more than $132 million to groups working in the energy and environment space.

These grants were given to groups like the Sierra Club and the Environmental Defense Fund for a variety of broad energy-hampering goals. Many of the organizations that Bloomberg funds are advocates for the total abandonment of reliable mineral energy in the near term. These organizations fail to understand the real state of American energy, and do not acknowledge the incredible burden that a significant decrease in energy availability would have on everyday life. Because of the intermittency problem, wind and solar can never truly replace coal, nuclear, and natural gas. Reliable generating capabilities are necessary for the maintenance of our energy economy, not just when the sun shines or the wind blows, but when the energy is needed.

From 2015 to 2016, the Bloomberg Family Foundation (BFF) gave $4,800,000 to the Energy Foundation, “[t]o support the coordination and expansion of the beyond coal campaign”.The Beyond Coal Campaign, a project of the Sierra Club with partnerships throughout the environmental movement, seeks to close all U.S. coal plants. Its self-described main objective is 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.” Brazen objectives notwithstanding, the reality is that the reliable baseload power provided by coal cannot be interchanged seamlessly with the intermittent generation of wind and solar.

Natural Resources Defense Council

BFF has also supported the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) with a $1.5 million grant “to reduce carbon pollution”. But what do NRDC efforts to limit carbon pollution look like? According to NRDC, its team of lawyers, scientists, economists, engineers, and activists, is seeking to extend government control of our energy use at all levels of governance: state, local, federal, and international.

NRDC’s advocacy “for deep cuts to carbon pollution by ending our dependence on dangerous, climate-warming fossil fuels” tends to involve a heavy dose of both lobbying and litigation. They claim to “win court cases that allow the federal government to limit carbon pollution from cars and power plants.” What NRDC really means is that they facilitate the reduction of people’s energy choices. The upshot is Bloomberg Family Foundation money is funding NRDC’s full-court press on affordable, reliable energy. Curtailing energy freedom has real impacts on people’s lives that organizations like NRDC tend to intentionally gloss over.

World Resources Institute

BFF also gave $2,950,000 to the World Resources Institute (WRI) in 2015 to “[t]o help governments, businesses and society make better-informed decisions on economic development and climate change”. Unsuprisingly, this organization’s view of climate change mitigation is fundamental economic and lifestyle shifts, so although climate concern may sound moderate and reasonable, in this case it is anything but. Their view is that: “[a]ddressing climate change requires dramatic changes to how we power our homes and factories and build our cities to how we feed our families and move around. Yet countries, businesses, states and cities have yet to make the deep structural economic and societal shifts that are required.” These “shifts” that they talk about are toward more government control of the economy and restriction personal autonomy; they mean less driving, less electricity, less trade, and less freedom. This goal is more about giving the government power over our lives than it is about good stewardship of the resources.

Environmental Defense Fund

The Bloomberg Family Foundation has also given significant amounts of money to the Environmental Defense Fund. One such donation was $100,000 in support of the 2015 Climate Leadership Summit, one of the key gatherings for the big organizations at which outrageous, economically disastrous ideas are generated and circulated. BFF also gave the Environmental Defense Fund $1,509,000 for anti-natural gas initiatives. This includes their state and federal level fights for methane standards, as well as attempts to increase government regulation of air and water. To their credit though, the EDF does acknowledge the role of natural gas in reducing overall U.S. air pollution, and at least does not seek an outright ban on natural gas production.


Without the affordable, readily available energy we now have, much of the modern lifestyle would be deleteriously impacted. Driving, keeping our homes warm, and easily accessing consumer products would all be in jeopardy.

Michael Bloomberg’s and the Bloomberg Family Foundation’s attempts to reinvent our energy mix ignore this reality; to go fully renewable is to go without. Renewables accounted for only 11 percent of U.S. energy consumption in 2018. If that other 89 percent is banned in the next 10, 15, or 20 years, the difference won’t be made up in time to prevent catastrophic negative impacts. Imagine electricity prices that are 10 times their current levels, or possibly much more than that, with widespread reliability issues and serious rationing. That is the reality of 100 percent renewables in the near term, the reality that the Bloomberg Family Foundation is funding.

In his run for president, Michael Bloomberg has echoed the positions of the foundations he funds. His plan for the electricity sector includes plans to “(a)chieve a complete transition from gas to clean energy”, as well as to “embed environmental justice into how the government conducts its work”. “Environmental justice” is all too often a shibboleth for plans to redistribute resources and institute government control. Bloomberg is repeating in his presidential platform the exact same extreme ideas that his foundation has long funded.

Nowhere is this more clear than in his plan for electricity, “Mike will completely phase out emissions in the electricity sector. By 2028, 80% of electricity generation in the U.S. will come from clean sources – moving toward 100% as soon as possible thereafter.” His platform, just like the platforms of the organizations his foundation funds, is attempting to convince the public that a near term renewable energy transition is feasible, despite the economic and technical realities.


Pumped hydro project in  South Australia dies

Pumped hydro is a great Greenie dream but is very costly.  To be viable you have to find two big holes in the ground that are near to one another but at different levels.  Such sites are rare -- with big mines being the only likely source.

AGL had planned a 250MW pumped hydro storage for a SA copper mine site

The mining company had been due to hand part of its Kanmantoo mine over to energy company AGL, but changed its mind after discovering more copper ore nearby.

The ore could only be accessed via tunnels from the bottom of the mine's giant pit, which would become impossible when AGL filled the pit with water for its hydro-electric project.

AGL planned to store water in a dam at the mine site, allow it to flow down into the pit to generate electricity when power prices are high, then pump it back up when prices are low.

The facility would perform the same function as a battery: providing extra power to stabilise the energy network at short notice.

In April 2019, Hillgrove announced it had entered into binding agreements with AGL Energy Limited (AGL), to sell the right to develop, own and operate the Pumped Hydro Energy Storage (PHES) project at the Kanmantoo mine site.

The sale was subject to the satisfaction of a number of conditions which needed to be satisfied within specified timeframes. Several of those conditions remain unsatisfied.

After a period of extensive negotiations, Hillgrove and AGL have mutually agreed to terminate the PHES Project Agreement and associated project documents and effect a clean break without any further obligations on either party.

Since signing the Project Agreement, Hillgrove has conducted work on an underground mining project below the Giant Pit. As announced 30 October 2019, Hillgrove undertook a limited drilling programme, which resulted in the preparation of a new Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) for the Central and East Kavanagh underground area in accordance with the JORC Code 2012 Edition.

The resource estimate is constrained by the extent of the drilling and not by the geology, in both the along strike and down dip directions.

As announced 31 January 2020, Hillgrove received the regulatory approval to commence underground mining. The approval includes expanded capacity of the tailings storage facility, providing optionality for future mining within haulage distance to the Kanmantoo processing and tailings complex.

However, Hillgrove and AGL could not reach agreement on a way forward that enabled Hillgrove to commence underground mining and AGL to progress development of the PHES simultaneously.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

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


No comments: