Tuesday, August 02, 2022

At the bottom of the pacific ocean lies a solution to the imminent battery shortage

The objections below to mining the ocean nodules are totally insubstantial: Just nervous twitches. No facts or reasoning offered. We seem to be expected to serve Greenie neuroses

Scattered three miles deep along the floor of the central Pacific are trillions of black, misshapen nuggets that may just be the solution to an impending energy crisis. Similar in size and appearance to partially burned charcoal briquettes, the nuggets are called polymetallic nodules, and are an amalgamation of nickel, cobalt, manganese and other rare earth metals, formed through a complex biochemical process in which shark teeth and fish bones are encased by minerals accreted out of ocean waters over millions of years.

Marine biologists say they are part of one of the least-understood environments on earth, holding, if not the secret to life on this planet, at least something equally fundamental to the health of its oceans. Gerard Barron, the Australian CEO of seabed- mining company the Metals Company, calls them something else: “a battery in a rock,” and “the easiest way to solve climate change.” The nodules, which are strewn across the 4.5 million-sq-km (1.7 million-sq-mi.) swath of international ocean between Hawaii and Mexico known as the Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ), contain significant amounts of the metals needed to make the batteries that power our laptops, phones and electric cars. Barron estimates that there is enough cobalt and nickel in those nuggets to power 4.8 billion electric vehicles—more than twice the number of vehicles on the road today, worldwide. Mining them, he says, would be as simple as vacuuming golf balls offa putting green.

But conservationists say doing so could unleash a cascade effect worse than the current trajectory of climate change. Oceans are a vital carbon sink, absorbing up to a quarter of global carbon emissions a year. The process of extracting the nodules is unlikely to disrupt that ability on its own, but the very nature of the world’s oceans—largely contiguous, with a system of currents that circumnavigate the globe—means that what happens in one area could have unforeseen impacts on the other side of the planet. “If this goes wrong, it could trigger a series of unintended consequences that messes with ocean stability, ultimately affecting life everywhere on earth,” says Pippa Howard, director of the biodiversity-conservation organization Fauna and Flora International. The nodules are a core part of a biome roughly the size of the Amazon rain forest, she notes. “They’ve got living ecosystems on them. Taking those nodules and then using them to make batteries is like making cement out of coral reefs.”

The debate over the ethics of mining the earth’s last untouched frontier is growing in both intensity and consequence. It pits biologist against geologist, conservationist against environmentalist, and manufacturer against supplier in a world grappling with a paradox—one that will define our path to a future free of fossil fuels: sustainable energy that will run cleaner but also require metals and resources whose extraction will both contribute to global warming and impact biodiversity. So as nations commit to lower greenhouse-gas emissions, the conflict is no longer between fossil-fuel firms and clean-energy proponents, but rather over what ecosystems we are willing to sacrifice in the process.

History is littered with stories of well-intended environmental interventions that have gone catastrophically wrong; for example, South American cane toads introduced into Australia in the 1930s first failed to control beetles attacking sugarcane, then spread unchecked across the continent, poisoning wildlife and pets.


A message from Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Foundation

As you will be aware, Russia's invasion of Ukraine has shaken up 30 years of European climate and energy policy. The shock of Russian tanks rolling into a European nation and close to the EU's borders has blown up the old consensus. The war has triggered a new geopolitical conflict which is overshadowing and gradually demoting Europe's Net Zero agenda.

In short, we are at the beginning of a new energy policy debate that is likely to radically change the climate agenda for years to come.

A new era, marked by growing energy insecurity, resource competition, and geopolitical rivalry is moving Net Zero policies rapidly down on the list of national and international priorities. Russia's invasion is accelerating Europe's worst energy crisis since WWII, exposing the continent's near total reliance on Russia together with its self-inflicted inability to exploit its own domestic energy.

Soaring energy prices and disruptions in Russian oil and natural gas deliveries are subsequently derailing Europe's Net Zero plans and the planned transition away from fossil fuels. Energy bills are skyrocketing with warnings that millions of households will struggle to heat their homes this winter.

Almost overnight, ministers are prioritising energy security and energy costs. Many European nations are shifting back to coal and building new pipelines and LNG terminals to import gas from elsewhere.

For more than 12 years, the GWPF has been at the forefront of public warnings and calls for scrutiny about the inevitable failure of utopian climate policies. Earlier this year, I spoke in Washington DC and numerous other US cities to brief US lawmakers about the unfolding disaster in Europe and to warn Americans not to repeat the disastrous mistakes the EU has been embarking on in recent decades.

In addition, we have also published numerous papers on the futility of unilateral decarbonisation, of relying on unreliable renewables, and on the benefits of domestic shale gas development which would almost certainly help to bring down the cost of energy and significantly enhance our energy security which is now more crucial than ever.

Whether the deepening conflict with Russia will lead governments to gradually water down or move away from Net Zero commitments remains an open question, although signs of significant rollbacks are already evident in the UK and all over Europe.

For years, we have been raising questions about the astronomical costs of Net Zero and the self-harm of shale gas bans. In recent months, a growing number of British MPs and ministers have begun to speak out and our concerns are now widely and consistently covered by mainstream media. This welcome scrutiny signals a new phase in the climate and energy policy debates.



More on the "Inflation Reduction Act"

Naturally, with the economy falling into what might otherwise be a mild recession, Congress led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) are back with President Biden’s $370 billion Build Back Better cacophony of green subsidies and $327 billion of class warfare tax hikes — now the Orwellian-titled Inflation Reduction Act — aimed at higher earners and producers.

The Biden plan doubles taxes on coal per ton, by $0.60 per ton for underground coal to $1.10 per ton, and by $0.30 per ton for surface coal to $0.55 per ton at a time when electricity costs are up 13.7 percent the past twelve months.

And the 15 percent corporate minimum tax would hurt manufacturing, complains the Wall Street Journal editorial board: “Evidence is emerging that the new Schumer-Manchin 15% minimum tax on corporate-book income is especially harmful to U.S. manufacturing firms. An analysis by Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), which is hardly a nest of supply-siders, found that 49.7% of the tax would hit U.S. manufacturers.” Whatever happened to Biden’s plans to increase production to offset the global supply crisis that caused the inflation in the first place?

When you want more of something, subsidize it. And when you want less of it, tax it.

In this case, Biden wants to tax carbon energy production and U.S. manufacturing, and continue the green transformation of the American economy via stakeholder-driven corporatism, strangling supply chains and driving up costs even more at the very moment when Americans are struggling the most to keep their household budgets in check.


Most interesting: Sea levels fall in Northern Australia

I pointed at the time of the big coral bleaching scare of a few years ago to some Indonesian research which suggested that coral bleaching on the Great Barrier reef was probably caused by low sea levels -- but all Australian sources asserted that global warming caused the bleaching. Sea levels were never mentioned

But we now have below official confirmation that sea levels DID fall around that time and that there was an "unusually EXTREME drop in sea level"

So the great bleaching scare was a crock enabled by a big cover-up

In the summer of 2015-16, one of the most catastrophic mangrove diebacks ever recorded globally occurred in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Some 40 million mangroves died across more than 2,000 kilometres of coastline, releasing nearly 1 million tonnes of carbon — equivalent to 1,000 jumbo jets flying return from Sydney to Paris.

After six years of searching for answers, scientists have formally identified what is causing the mass destruction. They hope the discovery will help predict and possibly prevent future events.

Mangrove ecologist and senior research scientist at James Cook University (JCU) Norman Duke was behind the discovery.

Dr Duke found that unusually low sea levels caused by severe El Niño events meant mangrove trees "essentially died of thirst".

"The key factor responsible for this catastrophe appears to have been the sudden 40-centimetre drop in sea level that lasted for about six months, coinciding with no rainfall, killing vast areas of mangroves," he said.

Author assisting with data analysis and JCU researcher Adam Canning said the study's evidence for sea-level drop being the cause was found in the discovery of an earlier mass dieback in 1982, observed in satellite imagery.

"The 1982 dieback also coincided with an unusually extreme drop in sea level during another very severe El Niño event. We know from satellite data that the mangroves took at least 15 years to recover from that dieback," Dr Canning said.


My other blogs. Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM )

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)


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