Sunday, June 14, 2020

Global Warming: Facebook Thinks Its Opinion Is Better Than Yours

Hyperpartisan “Fact-checkers” Appear to Find a Video Loophole in the 2019 Policy Change of Not Blocking Opinion Pieces

The CO2 Coalition of climate scientists today published a Science & Policy Brief by Dr. Patrick Michaels, formerly the president of the association of state climatologists and an expert reviewer and author for the UN’s climate change agency, about the recent censorship by Facebook of his three-million view appearance on the Life, Liberty & Levin television show.

“Facebook Thinks its Opinion is Better than Yours” provides a detailed scientific response, with links to all relevant documents, to the “false” label placed by Facebook in May on Dr. Michaels’ expert opinion that about half of the one degree Celsius global warming since 1900 is natural, with the other half being human-caused, from emissions of carbon dioxide. As the Science & Policy Brief notes, Dr. Michaels’ opinion is shared by the UN’s climate change agency.

A “false” label on Facebook creates a “shadow ban” that blocks distribution and advertisement.

In 2019 Facebook, relying on a group called Climate Feedback as its “fact-checker,” similarly censored an op-ed on computer models of the climate that was published in the Washington Examiner by Dr. Michaels and the CO2 Coalition’s executive director, former statistics professor Caleb Rossiter. After a detailed appeal to CEO Mark Zuckerberg by Dr. Michaels and Dr. Rossiter, Facebook removed the label and adopted a new policy of not submitting op-eds to “fact-checking.”

“There are two issues we are asking Mr. Zuckerberg to address in this new case,” said Dr. Rossiter. “First, Climate Feedback is taking advantage of the lack of clarity in Facebook’s definition of ‘opinion’ that will not be subject to censorship. Why should spoken opinions about scientific judgment be censored when written ones are not? Second, why is Facebook still relying on Eric Michelman’s alarmist Climate Feedback? As Dr. Michaels shows in the Brief, this group has a long history as a biased ‘goon squad’ whose climate science claims are sloppy and weak


Batteries not a sustainable backup for wind and solar: Safety, health & cost

In this second and concluding part on backing up inconsistent wind and solar energy with battery storage, we give these same instructions to the Governors, Utility, and Industry captains. They will joyfully receive the mega-billion dollar contracts for the solar and wind plants. They will be supercharged with storage batteries and they will fail with spectacular short falls, short of tripling customer costs. We also extend this warning signal to the delusional virtue-signaling do-gooders and Sierra Club hypocrites in hiding, who are all well over their ski tips on these misadventures.

The government has approved a billion dollar solar energy facility in the Mohave Desert 30 miles from Las Vegas. Warren Buffett has signed a contract to buy the energy from it for his energy company at a price of 4 cents per Kw for 25 years based on the costs estimated for the facility at, $1,000,000,000. When you get to the end of this article and see the costs we estimate for the solar facility, if it is ever completed, (which is doubtful), you will no doubt break out laughing . But the citizens of Las Vegas will not be laughing. They will be crying as they see their electric bills triple.Batteries not a sustainable backup for wind and solar — Part II: Safety, health & cost

For the same cost we estimate for the Gemini Solar plant, Mr. Buffett and friends could build a nuclear power plant on less ground in the Mohave Desert that would produce four times more energy that would be fully reliable and the safest for mankind and the environment. Nuclear power plant costs have increased to the level of our solar plant estimate due to the exorbitant costs and risks of decade-long licensing restrictions and litigations. Lithium ion batteries in the desert will never have an equal safety assurance.

In Part I of this series, we demonstrated the planet-scale environmental destruction done in the name of “save the planet:” first by switching to wind and solar power then made all the worse by the addition of storage batteries. In this concluding Part II, we demonstrate the health and safety risks to the public resulting from the addition of these lithium-ion storage batteries. We also look at their cost impact that the taxpayers and customers will have to bear. Perhaps we can inspire Michael Moore to make a sequel to his outstanding movie “THE PLANET FOR THE HUMANS” to bring these real costs out in the open.

Here’s what we are talking about. Figure 1 is an illustration of a typical electrical generating plant. In item A, we have a fossil plant providing power to the homes and business shown as item D. The idea now is to add a solar or wind plant, item B, to replace a portion of the power when the wind is blowing, or the sun is shining, thus “reducing” the fossil-fuels burned by item A for a few hours a day. But because solar and wind are intermittent and unreliable, item A cannot be turned off. Instead, it is powered down and kept running on standby in case it has to be brought back to full power in a few seconds to prevent a blackout. In this standby mode, item A is still burning about 90-95% of the same fuel and still producing about the same CO2 and pollutants as if the wind/solar plants were not there.

Now the sought-after goal is to try to eliminate the item A generator altogether and have the sun/wind first charge the item C batteries and, at the same time, produce some electricity for the customers, item D. When they are fully charged, the sun/wind will provide electricity to item D customers. The item C batteries would ideally provide the back up so the fossil plant can be eliminated. But what if there’s no wind or sun for several days and batteries are good for 2, 3 mBatteries not a sustainable backup for wind and solar — Part II: Safety, health & cost 1aybe 4 hours a day? Meanwhile. The homes, businesses, offices, hospitals still need electricity to be safe and stay alive. So, we have all of the ingredients for the formerly famous Rube Goldberg to find an engineering solution with one of his strange complex machines.

But it doesn’t end here? Looking at Figure 2, we are reminded of the many warnings we have seen and heard on the use, storage, and safe disposal of electric lithium-ion batteries.

Safety and health concerns. In Engineering school, we were taught about Murphy’s Law! If anything can go wrong, it will, and at the worst time, and in the worst direction. If you need a reminder, here are some headlines from around the world.

· Bloomberg,[ii] “Another lithium-ion battery has exploded, this time at an energy-storage complex in the US By Brian Eckhouse and Mark Chediak. April 23, 2019, updated on April 24, 2019: Battery exploded at plant in Arizona; two others were shut. Arizona utility regulator calls for ‘thorough investigation.” “At least 21 fires had Batteries not a sustainable backup for wind and solar — Part II: Safety, health & cost 2already occurred at battery projects in South Korea, according to Bloomberg NEF. But this latest one, erupting on Friday at a facility owned by a Pinnacle West Capital Corp. utility in Surprise, Arizona, marked the first time it has happened in America since batteries took off globally.”

From around the world

    South Korea: 3-years ago passed new regulation “To Strengthen Battery Safety Rules After 7 Fires.” From this one web page, you see the many reports on the fire and explosion records in S. Korea related to Lithium-Ion Batteries. Especially check out the YouTube videos.[iii]

    Switzerland: [iv] May 17, 2018, “Swiss prosecutors investigate fatal Tesla crash, suspect ‘thermal runaway’ of battery.”Batteries not a sustainable backup for wind and solar —

    The USA, some recent events:

“Massive Lithium-Ion Battery Fire/Explosion Shows Challenges of Renewable Energy Storage” ( January 29. 2019)[v]

“Lithium-ion Battery Energy Storage Systems – The risks and how to manage them.” [vi]

“Hearing Aid Battery Technology Advances and Cautions,” [vii] and phones[viii]

Examining Lithium-Ion Battery Explosions, Stamford University, May 26, 2017[ix]

    Lithium-ion Safety Concerns[x]

    Safety is a relative term, and in these many articles, it’s used in comparative terms, such as “to make it safer,” or “to improve safety.” It is repeated so often by the many authors that they seem compelled to convince us that the Lithium-Ion batteries are safe.

Electrical utility storage batteries are not unique, and all are built with the same underlying architecture. For example, the latest/most powerful Tesla battery, 102KWh, is made up of about 8,200 individual batteries, each a bit larger than a standard A-A. They are bundled and sealed into a subunit with a cooling system added for safety. Eight or 12 or any number of these subunits are then stacked and connected to make up the required working units. This illustrative 102KWh Tesla battery measures about 7 foot by 4 foot by 7 inches and weighs about 1,200 lbs.

Batteries not a sustainable backup for wind and solar — Part II: Safety, health & cost 4They are costly. For a typical application, say a 450 MW plant, and 1,500MWh, you would need about 16,000 of these Tesla batteries for a total battery weight of about 10,000 tons plus the housings, structures, connecting, and controlling equipment. Then depending on how they are used/cycled, they may need replacement every 3 to 4 years. If we assume 3.5 services years and a plant is designed for 25-year service life, a total of more than 110,000 of these batteries will be needed. Then comes the question, is Tesla using the Gillette model for the sale of the installation batteries, then make a fortune off the subsequent spare batteries?

Let’s do some arithmetic: using Tesla[xi] and IAEA data, table 5.1[xii] here’s what we get for the estimated 25 year life cycle cost (cost of equipment, installation plus fixed and variable operation and maintenance.).

We could provide the cost of electricity by about $2.5 Billion. Then, if we add the solar panel, the cost increases by a factor of two to $5 Billion. If we then add a battery backup, the cost goes up by more than three times to about $8 billion.

Let’s wrap up this insanity. For this one typical plant, we have more than tripled the cost of electricity so that batteries can be used as back up to solar power for a few hours per day. Our industry leaders have doubled-tripled their sales, our politicians got re-elected, our delusional do-gooders are feeling noble, and what did we get for it?

    · Maybe, a 0 % reduction in fossil fuel burned
    · Maybe, a 0 % reduction in CO2 and pollution
    · We lost about 3,000 to 4,000 acres of farmlands and wilderness
    · We have increased the strip-mines by a factor of 10
    · We have increased the environmental damage, reduced public safety, and increased toxicity risk by a factor of 10, or more?

Why? Why the wasted money

Why? The destroyed environment

Why? The increased health and safety risks

Why? Why?

We have all witnessed gigantic cost over runs on government projects, but overrunning the cost 8 fold may be a record. We are quite certain of our numbers.


Another Step for Transparency at EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced yesterday changes they’re making to regulations promulgated under the Clean Air Act. This new reform would ensure that the public would be informed of the costs and benefits of regulations under consideration. In a statement, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said, “Today’s proposed action corrects another dishonest accounting method the previous administration used to justify costly, ineffective regulations.”

Sadly, you did not misread that first paragraph. Up until this point, there was no requirement that the EPA inform the public of the costs and benefits of a proposed regulation. This created massive uncertainty for families and businesses. The only people who could truly understand how regulations might realistically impact them and their finances are those who have the time, money, and resources to do the firsthand research.

This represents the elitist nature of federal regulations. Until recently, EPA operated under a framework they also did not have to disclose the methods they used to come to scientific conclusions. Any first year college student would tell you that publishing a methodology is key to any scientifically reputable study. Findings must be replicable. Thankfully, EPA is in the process of finalizing a rule to minimize the use of “secret science” in their rulemaking. It’s so odd that the same people who oppose both sets of rulemakings are the ones that also claim to be “the party of science.”

Perhaps most importantly, this will allow bureaucrats to be held more accountable by the American people. When the EPA proposes a rulemaking, they invite the public to comment on it, ostensibly to give them a voice in the process. The lack of transparency to this point has hindered their ability to have that voice. They cannot comment on the costs and benefits, nor can they challenge the methods by which the agency came to its conclusions. It was kept behind closed doors by unelected bureaucrats paid with our taxpayer dollars.

This lack of transparency is especially disturbing when you consider the enforcement actions agencies can bring against you. The EPA actually has its own dedicated SWAT team. FreedomWorks Foundation has documented how regulatory agencies like the EPA, and others, can take your property for falling out of compliance with these rules. The least they can do is to provide as much information available to you about them. Yet, these agencies who pretend these rules are so important seem very intent on making sure you can’t understand or comply with them even if you wanted to.

These efforts to increase transparency date back to 2018 and have been a consistent theme of the Trump administration. We don’t only need to regulate less, but we also need to regulate smarter and more openly. Disclosing cost-benefit analyses and methodologies are great first steps in making sure the regulatory state is more efficient and actually serves the people instead of seeking to entrap them.


‘CO2 levels’ and your ‘carbon footprint’ — NOT the problem you’ve been told

Last year a student at a nearby university complained she couldn’t focus in class; she was convinced high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) were the cause. The entire building was immediately evacuated and tested for “toxic levels of this dangerous gas.” After determining the CO2 levels were less than 500 parts-per-million (ppm), the classroom air was considered “safe” and classes again resumed.

Recently, this same school advertised that you can now “offset carbon emissions from previously completed university-funded ground-transportation and air travel trips” — by filling out a “travel carbon offsets” form, available in their “Sustainability Office.” Plus, this school is offering a course on “how to lower your carbon footprint.”

National Association of Scholars is planning a meeting to discuss indoor CO2 levels, because they “may reach levels harmful to cognition by the end of this century, and the best way to prevent this hidden consequence of climate change is to reduce fossil fuel emissions.” A publication this week in Nature Climate Change states that “government policies and human activity data, due to decreases in travel during forced COVID-19 confinements, have decreased daily global CO2 emissions by ~17% to ~25% by early April 2020, compared with mean 2019 levels.”

As I read this nonsense in the news every day, I feel like screaming: “This nonsensical obsession with CO2 and the ‘carbon footprint’ is absolute insanity! Where has common sense gone?” Doesn’t anyone remember — from grade school and high school biology — what they learned about plant photosynthesis requiring CO2 and all animals requiring oxygen (O2) and exhaling CO2? Life on this planet is carbon-based; if we were not carbon-based, the next available tetrahedral element (having four chemical bonds) in Mendeleev’s Periodic Chart is silicon — in which case we would be able to live on the sun’s surface!

CO2 levels in our lungs reach ~40,000-50,000 ppm, which causes us to inhale our next breath. One of the first things medical students learn in respiratory physiology — is that the carotid body (small cluster of chemoreceptor cells, located at bifurcation of the common carotid artery running along both sides of neck) detects changes in arterial blood flow pO2 (partial pressure of oxygen), pCO2, blood pH, and temperature. When the blood pCO2 reaches a critical level, this message is quickly sent to the medulla oblongata in the brainstem, which then sends signals our diaphragm to breathe; more O2 is needed, and excessive CO2 must be expelled.

The human breathing reflex is controlled by blood CO2 levels, not O2 levels. Too little CO2, which can happen from hyperventilating, leads to respiratory alkalosis. This is called hyperventilation syndrome — usually brought on by stress and anxiety. Symptoms include light-headedness; tingling in the fingers, toes and face; and chest pain; sometimes people fear they’re having a heart attack. Treatment for hyperventilation syndrome is to breathe into a paper bag, which increases your blood CO2 back to normal.

As the only physician on a commercial airlines cross-country flight, I was asked to examine a ~35-year-old woman who thought she was having a heart attack; the obvious diagnosis was hyperventilation syndrome (due to anxiety of meeting her inlaws for the first time). I had her breathe intermittently into a paper bag to increase her blood pCO2 levels; within ~20 minutes she was no longer symptomatic. Had no physician been on that flight, they would have diverted the aircraft to St. Louis to a waiting ambulance, rather than proceeding to Portland, OR, the scheduled destination.

Breathing is automatic (controlled by our autonomic nervous system) — meaning that we don’t think about it; it “just happens” about 16 times a minute. This is one of God’s many miracles in all animals with lungs. Heart rate, kidney blood flow, and digestion of our food — are other examples of autonomic-nervous-system regulation that constantly functions while we don’t think about it.

Today’s global atmospheric CO2 levels are about 415 ppm; at these levels CO2 remains a limiting factor for growth of farm crops and trees. Plants today are “at least 25% CO2-starved.” In fact, standard procedures for commercial greenhouse growers are to elevate CO2 to 800 -1200 ppm; this enhances growth and yield ~20-50%. Indoor air routinely ranges between 500 and 2,000 ppm of CO2. Submarines regularly operate with ambient CO2 levels between 2,000 and 5,000 ppm.

In past ages, ice-core data suggest CO2 levels have been as high as 10,000-15,000 ppm (this was before humans; in fact, before mammals evolved), and plant life flourished. In recent times, “normal” CO2 ranges between ~150-180 ppm during Glacial Periods and ~280-300 ppm during Inter-Glacial Periods. Industrialization during the past 130 years has probably increased global atmospheric CO2 levels by ~135 ppm, which has improved crop growth.

To paraphrase Professor Zbigniew Jaworowski (Chair, Scientific Council of Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection; Warsaw, Poland) who testified before the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation in 2004: “The basis — of most conclusions by United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on anthropogenic (man-made) causes, and their projections of climatic change — relies on the assumption that low levels of CO2 in the pre-industrial atmosphere represent the ‘normal’ baseline. From glaciological studies, we know this assumption is false. Therefore, IPCC projections should not be used for national and global economic planning and governmental policy.”

The atmospheric impact of CO2 on climate is overstated. Since the Little Ice Age (1300-1860), Earth has been warming naturally. As temperatures rise, CO2 in the liquid phase (oceans) moves to the gaseous phase (air); we learn this in introductory chemistry. Hence, rising global atmospheric temperatures cause CO2 to increase — not the other way around!

“Carbon emissions” and “carbon footprint” as causes of global warming are nothing more than scaremongering buzzwords — created by global warming alarmists, insincere environmentalists, certain manipulative dishonest politicians, and misinformed journalists. Earth has undergone climate change and local severe weather since its formation ~4.54 billion years ago. Causes of natural variations in climate include: solar activity; cloud type and amount; radiative forcing and insolation (amount of sunlight absorbed vs amount radiated back into space); Earth’s rotation and interplay between its atmosphere and oceans; variations in precession, eccentricity and axial tilt of our planet; gravitational pull of other planets of substantial mass (especially Jupiter); and volcanic eruptions both on land and underwater.

CO2 is an odorless, tasteless, invisible non-polluting gas on which all life on Earth depends. “Smoke” from factory chimneys usually represents water vapor, not CO2. Dirty industrial fossil-fuel pollution is, of course, undesirable and causes health problems. However, many scientific lines of evidence — including geological history and basic radiation-transfer physics — show that anthropogenic CO2 emissions have negligible influence on climate, in comparison to the natural factors listed above.\



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.  

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