Saturday, February 13, 2021

Surge in ozone-depleting CFCs appears to have been reversed, ozone layer recovery back on track

Note the dog that didn't bark in the story below. No mention of what effect the CFC levels actually had on the ozone layer. It is implied that the ozone levels dropped as the CFC levels dropped but no actual ozone levels are given.

The fact is that the oxone levels do NOT follow the CFC levels. One would think that the diminishing levels of CFCs would lead to a steadily diminishing ozone hole. Nothing of the kind has happened. In terms of Dobson units, the ozone hole was at it smallest in 1994 and at its highest during this century in 2019: No progress at all and completely opposite of what the theory would lead us to expect

From the graph below one can see that the post 1994 picture is one of random fluctualions up and down with essentially no trend, though a RISING trend could possibly be fitted

NASA Ozone Watch

The global increase in ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbon-11 (CFC-11) emissions, which was first detected in 2013 and continued to rise in the following years, appears to have been halted.

Data from monitoring stations in South Korea (AGAGE station), Japan (NIES), and Hawaii (NOAA), showed that global CFC-11 emissions began dropping in 2019, after inexplicably surging between 2014-17, according to two research papers published in Nature today.

And preliminary data from late 2019 and early 2020 shows the atmospheric CFC-11 concentration decline during that period was "the fastest since measurements began".

"The increase [in atmospheric CFC-11] we noticed and announced in 2018 was the most surprising thing I'd seen in 30 years of my work here at NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)," lead author of the first paper, Stephen Montzka from NOAA said.

"To tell the truth, these new results were a close second."

The rapid turnaround of a trend that could have seen further damage to the ozone layer is reassuring evidence that the Montreal Protocol is working as intended, said researcher Luke Western from the University of Bristol, the lead author of the second paper.

"It's pleasing to see that the mechanisms of the Montreal Protocol … enabled a rapid and effective response to its first major violation."

The Montreal Protocol was an international agreement made in 1987 to phase out the use of ozone-depleting substances (ODS), principally CFCs used as propellants in things like aerosol sprays, as refrigerants in fridges and freezers, and as blowing agents for foams.

Globally, CFCs including CFC-11 — the second most commonly used chlorofluorocarbon — were completely banned in 2010, after which point researchers expected to see rapid declines in atmospheric levels, according to Dr Montzka. "The Montreal Protocol phased out CFC production in developed countries in the '90s," he said.

"It was post-2010 where we expected it to drop off more rapidly and it didn't, which raised our suspicions."

By analysing the chemical signals from their monitoring stations and combining that with a knowledge of atmospheric circulation, researchers were able to pinpoint the source of around 60 per cent of the new CFC emissions to north-eastern mainland China.

It was suspected that the CFCs were mostly used illegally in the manufacture of closed-cell foams.

Using the leverage of the Montreal Protocol, combined with scientific knowledge and industry expertise, China was asked to crack down on the source of emissions, according to Dr Western.

"In 2018 and 2019, Chinese authorities discovered small quantities of manufactured CFCs and confirmed seizures of the chemicals and closure of factories," he said.

Those reported seizures amounted to tens of tonnes. While not enough in itself to explain the 26 per cent drop in emissions between 2018 and 2019, the message sent by China's crackdown may have had the desired effect on illegal manufacturing.

Although the manufacture of CFCs was banned in 2010, there is what is called a global "bank" of chlorofluorocarbons that will continue to produce emissions into the future, even if our use of new CFCs is zero.

The CFC bank refers to the CFCs already contained in products like refrigerants and foams and which will continue to leak into the atmosphere until their end of life, according to Paul Krummel from the CSIRO.


The Biden Administration’s Attack On Oil And Gas Is Destroying Working-Class Lives

On his first day in office, President Joe Biden, the self-professed champion of unity in the United States, waged a war on the oil and gas industry, effectively destroying thousands of working-class Americans’ livelihoods.

Biden has long sought to destroy fossil fuels. On the campaign trail, the former vice president repeatedly stated his intentions to “transition” to greener solutions and move forward with a progressive approach to energy, completely cutting petroleum hubs out of the picture. At the top of Biden’s list was banning fracking, a promise he made at rallies all around the nation but later denied along with his Vice President Kamala Harris multiple times.

Despite his ever-shifting stance on abolishing oil and gas, Biden quickly moved forward with anti-fossil fuel policies just a few days into his presidential term, postponing new federal leasing of oil and gas resources for at least a year as well as halting the Keystone XL Pipeline project. According to the American Petroleum Institue, policies like these would “shift to foreign sources, cost nearly one million American jobs, increase CO2 emissions and reduce revenue that funds education and key conservation programs.”

Some of Biden’s anti-petroleum executive orders, such as ending the Keystone Pipeline, do nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and merely offer a leg-up to political rivals such as Russia, but Biden signed his name anyway, knowingly eliminating thousands of oilfield jobs staffed by American workers who were already struggling to recover from the government-mandated COVID-19 lockdowns and a pandemic oil bust.

Experts also warn that Biden’s directives will kill American revenue. “What we’re looking at is a huge hit to the economies of these states, massive hits to the tax revenue in Wyoming and New Mexico, because the federal royalty on oil and gas production on federal subsurface rights is shared evenly with the states,” said Myron Ebell, the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s director of the Center for Energy and Environment.

The Biden administration says it wants to prioritize working-class Americans, but all of a sudden, “moderate” Biden is taking steps such as carefully staffing the Department of the Interior and other federal agencies with radical, left-wing, anti-fossil fuel appointees, ensuring the oil and gas industry will be a target of his green energy agenda for years to come.

The Biden administration also doesn’t seem to care about the effect these policies are having on U.S. workers. In a recent press briefing, Biden’s climate ambassador John Kerry said oil and gas workers who lost their jobs due to the new administration’s sudden restrictions should simply make “better choices” and phase into greener industries that build solar panels.

“What President Biden wants to do is make sure that those folks have better choices, that they have alternatives, that they can be the people who go to work to make the solar panels,” Kerry said, ignoring the fact that jobs in wind and solar energy on average pay half of what jobs in the oil and gas industry do.

Ebell thinks Kerry’s suggestion is absurd. “The suggestion that these people will eventually be able to get jobs installing solar panels is outrageous,” Ebell said. “First of all, the jobs in the oil and gas industry and in the pipeline construction industry are high-paying jobs [and] they are high-skilled jobs. … Jobs in the solar industry are low-paying jobs, low-skilled jobs. The idea that somebody is going to take up a 70 percent pay cut so that he can be part of that — the move towards climate Nirvana is just outrageous.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki also recently brushed off concerns about the massive job loss looming over those involved in fossil fuel industries, saying the president knows what he is doing and has a secret magical plan to grant green jobs to workers.

“There are people living paycheck to paycheck. There are now people out of jobs,” said Fox News’ Peter Doocy. “It’s been 12 days since Gina McCarthy and John Kerry were here. It’s been 19 days since that EO, so what do those people who need money now — when do they get their green jobs?”

“Well, the president and many Democrats and Republicans in Congress believe that investment in infrastructure, building infrastructure that’s in our national interests, and the boost the U.S. economy creates, good-paying union jobs here in America and advances our climate and clean energy goals are something that we can certainly work on doing together, and he has every plan to share more about his details of that plan in the weeks ahead,” Psaki said, shortly after snapping at Doocy for the question.

The Biden administration knows the effect these policies are having on communities around the United States, but even after multiple members of Congress, activists, experts, and others in oil-centric areas such as New Mexico, Texas’s Permian Basin, North Dakota, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Louisiana have spoken out about the more than a million jobs threatened by the aggressive green campaign, the executive branch led by the Democratic president continues to push a radical agenda on the American people in exchange for points with progressive politicians and firms.


Here Come the 'Climate Lockdowns'

Since there is no “climate emergency” at the moment, the radical greens have to create one. And the more dire and frightening they can make it, the more powerful they will become. AOC and her cohorts in Congress will do their best but it’s likely that the worst of the “Green New Deal” will never be enacted even with the declaration that climate change is a national emergency.

But suppose President Biden and other western leaders were to declare a “climate lockdown”? In a climate lockdown, “governments would limit private-vehicle use, ban the consumption of red meat, and impose extreme energy-saving measures, while fossil-fuel companies would have to stop drilling.”

As preposterous as that sounds it’s actually being seriously considered in some circles.

The Spectator:

Karl Lauterbach, an MP for the German Social Democratic party wrote in Die Welt last December that ‘we need measures to deal with climate change that are similar to the restrictions on personal freedom [imposed] to combat the pandemic.’ How long before this theory makes its way into news outlets and politicians’ speeches here?

Of course this idea will be explained away as simply ‘following the science’. The lockdowns which began in spring 2020 contributed to what scientists are calling the largest drop in CO2 emissions in years. The largest reason for this was a decrease of approximately 40 percent in automobile and airplane transport. The World Economic Forum praised this figure in a blog post titled ‘Emissions fell during lockdown. Let’s keep it that way.’

John Kerry is telling us that the conditions of the Paris agreement are ‘”inadequate.” This begs the question; what would be “adequate”?

As the global climate elite push eating bugs and staying home to save the Earth on the masses, it’s worth posing the question: what will be adequate? With the Global Economic Forum in Davos approaching in April, we’re going to start hearing terms such ‘Climate Equity’ and ‘Climate Reset’ (a play on the WEF’s Great Reset) more frequently. We’ll probably also start to hear calls for climate lockdowns.

In truth, the real agenda of the global elites in Davos and the ivory tower of academia is to destroy capitalism. This would happen not by government takeovers of industry, such as nationalizing rust belt companies like steel, auto, and rubber, but by simply making their products obsolete.

And the best way to do that is by locking down the economy. Presidents have used the national emergency declaration 70 times since the legislation was enacted in 1976 and the lockdowns due to the COVID crisis could very well be used to justify a climate lockdown.

“This was always the risk with the mass implementation of lockdowns. Once your leaders enforce one under the guise of public health, they will not simply set aside their power to do so again,” writes Stephen Miller in The Spectator.

I’d start stockpiling gasoline if I were you.


Virginia will pay trillions for renewable power

Virginia’s 100% renewables mandate has been estimated to cost its people billions of dollars, but a more realistic estimate is trillions.

Dominion Energy, the big Virginia utility, must know this, but they are hiding it so they can build a lot of expensive wind and solar generating facilities. The more money Dominion spends under the mandate, the more it makes for its shareholders. The Legislature has no clue it is being conned.

The law in question is called the Virginia Clean Economy Act or VCEA. (Does Virginia now have a dirty economy?) It mandates 100% non-fossil fueled power statewide by 2045. Given the old age of their nuclear reactors this could well mean 100% renewables.

Here is a simple back of the envelope estimate of what the real cost might be. For simplicity we initially assume 100% wind power, because wind is the renewables workhorse. We will use big round numbers as they are easier to read and remember.

The huge issue that the public is in the dark about is the astronomical cost of batteries to supply power when the wind generators do not. As a benchmark we will look at the 7 day heat waves that Virginia gets every few years. These heat waves are due to massive stagnant high pressure systems called Bermuda highs.

With temperatures around 100 degrees these are periods of peak power usage. But they are also times of low wind, so low that there is no wind power. The standard wind turbine requires wind speeds of around 30 mph for full power and 10 mph for any. During a week long Bermuda high heat wave folks are lucky to get a 5 mph breeze.

So what might it cost for batteries to supply the desperately needed power to get through one of these awful heat waves?

Here comes the math:

A. Virginia consumes about 100,000,000 megawatt hours a year (rounded down from 118,435,380 MWh in 2019).

B. This works out to about 11,500 MWh an hour.

C. A week has 168 hours which gives roughly 2,000,000 MWh of no wind power.

D. The average cost of grid scale batteries is reported to be around $1,500,000 per MWh of storage capacity.

E. The 2 million MWh of storage required will cost a staggering $3,000,000,000,000

That is THREE TRILLION DOLLARS just for the batteries to get through a heat wave.

Nowhere is this stupendous sum mentioned. Neither the People of Virginia, or their Legislators who passed the VCEA, has heard about the horrendous cost of batteries. Dominion Energy’s plan for VCEA compliance does not mention it, but the numbers are so simple that they must know about them.

No doubt Dominion is happy to let this horror slide, while they build tens of billions of dollars worth of unreliable wind and solar power facilities. After all, the more they spend the greater their profits. Keeping Virginia in the dark is a trillion dollar con game.

The profound ignorance of the Legislature is demonstrated by the truly strange power storage requirements in the VCEA, which deems 2,700 megawatts (MW) of storage to be in the public interest.

To begin with, MW is not a measure of storage capacity. It is actually the discharge rate. It is how fast you can poor the juice, not how much is in the container. It is true that grid batteries come with a MW rating, but this is for when they are used to stabilize the erratic output of renewables generators. For stabilization you need a lot of power really fast so every MW counts. For storage it is the MWh that matter.

Stabilization is not storage so this 2,700 MW number tells us nothing about how batteries might supply a low wind heat wave. However, as a rule of thumb the MWh of battery storage capacity is typically from two to four times the MW of discharge capacity.

So the VCEA batteries might provide from 5,400 to 10,800 MWh of power storage. But we need 2,000,000 MWh to weather our heat wave. This makes the VCEA numbers so small as to be nonexistent. Clearly the Virginia Legislature did not know about this enormous storage requirement.

Also, batteries are sometimes listed by MW in order to make them look like generators, which in fact come in MW. This is a deceptive practice. A 100 MW generator running constantly for 7 days produces 16,800 MWh of juice. A 100 MW battery only produces as much as it holds, typically 200 to 400 MWh. Thus making the battery sound like the generator is extremely misleading. Perhaps the Virginia Legislature was misled.

As for the THREE TRILLION DOLLARS cost estimate, that might come down if grid scale batteries get cheaper. After all, electric vehicle batteries have come down in cost quite a bit. This is due to a combination of innovation, standardization and mass production.

But there are also big reasons why this staggering cost might actually be very low. Here are several looming drivers of higher cost:

1. Our estimate is based on average power usage, but these heat waves create peak power usage, which can easily be 30% greater or more. So we might need 30% or so more batteries.

2. There is also the goal of converting all cars and trucks to electric power. Nationally the energy content of all the gasoline and diesel we use is much greater than the electricity we use. Thus switching to electric vehicles might require more than double the present electric power output. So we might need 100% or so more batteries.

3. In the same way there is the goal of switching all house, building and water heating from natural gas and fuel oil to electric power. This too would greatly increase the need for power, and so also for batteries.

Taking all these power increases together we might need three times as much storage, or 6,000,000 MWh. In that case the cost decreases start from NINE TRILLION DOLLARS, not three trillion.

But there is even more, because once in a while these low wind heat waves last a lot longer than a week, perhaps even two weeks or more. They too have to be supplied and this would by itself double the required storage.

Solar power is not considered here but it too has large scale supply problems. To begin with it produces no power most of every day. Add to that a multi-day snowstorm dumping several paralyzing feet of covering snow with frigid temperatures and the storage numbers will again be enormous.

All of this is, as I said, back of the envelope stuff. What is clearly needed is careful modeling and realistic cost estimating. The one VCEA cost estimate I know of is $84 billion. The reality is likely between ten and a hundred times greater, or one to two orders of magnitude. That is between $800 billion and $8 trillion.

Of course these estimated costs are impossibly large, but that is the reality of the Virginia Clean Economy Act. It would destroy the Virginia economy. Clearly VCEA should be repealed.




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