Friday, August 18, 2017


It seems that the short summer melting season has already ended in Greenland



Top: The total daily contribution to the surface mass balance from the entire ice sheet (blue line, Gt/day). Bottom: The accumulated surface mass balance from September 1st to now (blue line, Gt) and the season 2011-12 (red) which had very high summer melt in Greenland. For comparison, the mean curve from the period 1981-2010 is shown (dark grey). The same calendar day in each of the 30 years (in the period 1981-2010) will have its own value. These differences from year to year are illustrated by the light grey band. For each calendar day, however, the lowest and highest values of the 30 years have been left out.

SOURCE



Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations At 400 PPM Are Still Dangerously Low For Life On Earth

With atmospheric CO2 concentrations reaching the 400 ppm level, the media and a number of alarmist scientists have set off the mega-alarm bells, claiming “record high levels” of CO2 had been reached, and that the planet is on the verge of an overdose. This is based purely on ignorance of the Earth’s history.

Worrying that 400 ppm is too high is like worrying about your fuel tank overflowing when it reaches the 1/8 mark during filling.

From a historical perspective, an atmospheric CO2 concentration of 400 ppm is actually almost scraping the bottom of the barrel. Over the Earth’s history, atmospheric CO2 concentrations have ranged from 180 ppm to 7000 ppm, see Figure 1 below. On that scale we are in fact today barely above the Earth’s record lows.

That 400 ppm is actually dangerously low is a fact the alarmists keep avoiding and suppressing. Below 150 ppm, plant-life dies off on a massive scale. The Earth actually came very close to that point many times over the last 2 million years during the ice ages. At the bottom of the last ice age just 20,000 years ago, life on the planet literally teetered on the brink when CO2 fell to a level of just 180 ppm. Do we really want to live on the brink of extinction?

It’s a fact that biologists have shown that once the atmospheric CO2 level falls below the 500 ppm level, plants really begin to suffer. Many of us have seen the video showing how plants grow faster under higher CO2 concentrations.

Note that at high CO2 concentrations, such as 800 ppm, plants thrive. But as CO2 levels fall off, growth rates really start to plummet once they fall below 500 ppm. History shows that the Earth sustains much more life, i.e. is much greener and fruitful, when CO2 levels are higher, i.e. in the vicinity of 1000 ppm.

No one disputes that man’s activities have helped to increase atmospheric CO2 concentration, and it should not be in dispute that plants and life on the planet are thankful that man has done so. At 400 ppm, the planet is a safer place to be and will be even safer at 1000 ppm.

SOURCE




Government’s Endless Energy Subsidies Must Stop

It’s no secret President Trump is working to create thousands more American energy jobs, reduce regulations on energy producers and restore parity to the tax code. Given these goals, it’s time for Congress to work with the president to end the unfair practice of granting tax incentives favoring one energy sector over another and give more promising American energy technologies a chance to flourish.

In addition, the U.S. solar power industry has fallen victim to government sponsored cyber-thieves operating in China. It has been well documented how an army of cyber-hackers in China raided hundreds of U.S. companies and hacked into intellectual property worth billions. Solar companies were particularly hard hit along with many tech firms, U.S. Steel and other businesses. Subsequently China is now overproducing solar power cells and flooding international markets with cut-rate solar panels.

American solar power companies Suniva and the U.S. division of SolarWorld have filed for bankruptcy due primarily to overproduction of solar cells from China and other foreign competitors. SunEdison and Sungevity have also declared bankruptcy. These failings follow Abengoa’s bankruptcy announcement in 2016, Abound Solar’s collapse in 2012 and Solyndra’s much publicized demise in 2011.

Despite significant problems for the solar industry and the unreliability of wind power, America is leading the way in the development of promising fuel cell technology. Fuel cells are powered by natural gas – something we have plenty of in the U.S. Even more noteworthy is how the fuel cell industry shows strong growth potential. Walmart and the huge mail-order fulfillment operation Amazon are already replacing their antiquated battery powered fork lifts and industrial vehicles with vehicles powered by natural gas fuel cells.

At the Toyota proving grounds in Arizona, hydrogen fuel fuel cells are being tested in 18 wheel trucks. These vehicles have no exhaust emissions. And companies like eBay, AT&T and Home Depot are installing stationary fuel cells to provide secure, onsite electricity for their facilities to ensure that they can remain operational in the event of an electric grid outage.

Natural gas fuel cells are clean, recharge more quickly than outdated electric batteries and are much less expensive to maintain. And because fuel cells are powered by our own abundant natural gas supplies, they don’t rely on environmentally disastrous cobalt and lithium mining operations around the world. Cobalt and lithium are needed to make battery powered vehicles for the U.S. Most of these mines in Africa, Russia and Asia are strip mines and are environmental tragedies. The mining operations have also become horrific examples of human rights abuses for the workers who labor in them – some mine workers are as young as four years old.

The United States is the undisputed leader in fuel cell technology which, if properly developed, would give America a global competitive advantage and would enhance our national energy security. But as with solar power, China hopes to gobble up this technology. So far, China isn’t producing fuel cells, but the question remains, will Congress allow this vital energy resource to be co-opted by China or other foreign competitors?    

Congress must change the arbitrary way it offers businesses tax credits. Such incentives should not be awarded in ways that allow lawmakers or bureaucrats to pick winners and losers. If we wish to continue developing and supporting our energy and manufacturing sectors, we must do so in ways that allow promising technologies a chance to flourish but also with established end-dates for such tax breaks. The days of endless government subsidies must stop.

The U.S. fuel cell industry is growing, it has an established business model and presents an opportunity for our country to create tens of thousands of new energy jobs. Temporary tax incentives can encourage innovation but must include mandates requiring businesses to stand on their own. American fuel cell technology has to be part of our nation’s energy mix, and Congress should work to find commonsense ways of embracing this promising energy resource.

SOURCE



     
REPORT: ‘Many Of The EPA’s Functions Could Be Abolished’

Many Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) programs are redundant and could be eliminated without hurting environmental quality, according to a new report on reforming the federal bureaucracy.

“The EPA needs to be made more transparent and efficient, a goal that can be achieved while continuing to protect the nation’s environment,” reads the report published by the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) on Wednesday.

CEI gave a series of recommendations on how to make EPA more transparent and accountable, including eliminating regional offices and changing science programs.

“Many of the EPA’s regional offices and grant programs are redundant and should be abolished,” reads the short report written by Myron Ebell, who headed President Donald Trump’s EPA transition team.

“Other reform priorities include improving data quality standards for new research and transferring emergency response duties to the Federal Emergency Management Agency,” Ebell wrote.

The group says EPA’s budget “is the most impenetrable of all federal department and agency budgets,” which makes it hard for Congress to know how taxpayer dollars are being spent. CEI wants EPA to do what other agencies do and put forward a budget that “clearly identifies the spender, how much they spend, and the legal basis for the spending.”

No doubt, CEI’s suggestions will be opposed by environmental groups. Activists opposed President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to EPA’s budget and elimination of dozens of agency programs.

“There is no way to sugarcoat this, President Trump has taken a wrecking ball to environmental protection in the US,” Ken Kimmell, president of the Union for Concerned Scientists, told CNN in May. “Frankly I didn’t think this would happen with the severity with this is happening. We have had changes in powers before. Different presidents strike a different balance. But this is a severe attack that we didn’t expect.”

Environmentalists have filed dozens of lawsuits to stop Trump’s policy agenda from going through. Environmental activists even filed suit against the U.S.-Mexico border wall being planned by the Department of Homeland Security, arguing it would hurt endangered species.

Targeting EPA science programs has been on the Republican to-do list for years. Conservative groups and lawmakers worry EPA uses science to back pre-determined policy conclusions.

Republicans have also voiced concerns about the impartiality of outside EPA science advisers, most of whom take agency money to conduct research, creating a potential conflict of interest.

The House passed legislation in March to reform how EPA uses scientific research, but the bill hasn’t gotten much attention in the Senate.

SOURCE





Hot Air from Al Gore Is the Only Global Warming

The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded “to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies and the formation and spreading of peace congresses.” Two recent recipients were U.S. presidents, Democrats of course, Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama. A U.S. vice-president also won the prize, Al Gore, another Democrat.

Jimmy Carter won his prize in 2002, long after his presidency, "for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development." Again, after his presidency and post presidential humanitarian efforts.

Barack Obama won his prize in 2009, just months into his presidency, "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples." Other than a few speeches, he had not done anything of substance. Surprisingly, his prize was not rescinded after Benghazi, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, and ISIS, all highly successful efforts in international diplomacy.

Al Gore received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change."

As a quick aside, of 130 Peace Prize Laureates, only 16 were women. Eight percent. Forget chasing Google. Social justice warriors have a much better target with the Nobel committee. Start the protests and boycotts.

Obama’s prize was awarded “on the come,” a gambling term for betting on cards that may come in the future. Or in business, compensation based on future success. The Nobel prize committee was betting that the “hope and change” media creation would actually pan out in the future.

Similarly, Gore’s prize was a bet “on the come” that lower temperatures would be coming based on Al’s movies, speeches, and carbon credits. The Nobel prize didn’t bring peace but instead brought fabulous wealth to Gore, paving the way for him to potentially become the “world’s first carbon billionaire.”

I never thought I would be giving kudos to the Nobel prize committee for their wise and prescient award to Al Gore. Few American Thinker readers would expect such an acknowledgement either. But credit where credit’s due.

Meteorologist Joe Bastardi, looking at global temperatures over the past twelve years noted something interesting. Temperatures were warmer when Gore won his peace prize in 2007 than they are today. As you can see in the chart below:

Shazam! Al Gore is actually lowering global temperatures. The Nobel prize committee got it right, giving Gore the prize is responsible for lower temps now than the day he won the prize. Or not.

Instead the Nobel prize committee could have awarded the 2007 prize to Mother Nature, who is managing to lower temperatures without the need for books, movies, speeches, or carbon credits. A recently published German study concludes, “We can expect climate cooling for next 50 years!”

Al should be taking credit for lowering global temperatures rather than predicting doomsday. In 2006, a year before he received the famous prize, he predicted that unless we took “drastic measures” the world would reach “a point of no return” within ten years. Now eleven years later his predicted “true planetary emergency” has as much validity as predictions of Hillary Clinton winning the presidential election in a landslide.

If he had just kept quiet, he could now claim success given that global temperatures have dropped since the time he won the peace prize. But no. Instead he has a second movie, doubling down on the failed predictions of his first movie. The new one is called, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power. The only thing inconvenient will be more failed predictions:

“Stronger storms, worsening floods, deeper droughts, mega-fires, tropical diseases spreading through vulnerable populations in all parts of the earth, melting ice caps flooding coastal cities, unsurvivable [sic] heat extremes, and hundreds of millions of climate refugees.”

The left is missing a golden opportunity to bask in the success of Al Gore’s Nobel Peace Prize, taking full credit for lower temperatures today compared to when he won the prize. They could claim that their “green measures,” whatever they may be, are working.

Instead, they are snatching political defeat from the jaws a victory, in apparent imitation of the Republicans, beclowning themselves with silly headlines as recently in the New York Times, “North Korea aside, Guam faces another threat: Climate change.” If I lived on Guam, I would be far more worried about one of Kim Jung-un’s missiles landing on my head than being swallowed up by a rising ocean.

With all the hot air coming from Al Gore and the liberal media, it’s a wonder that all of the polar ice hasn’t yet melted with fish swimming in the streets of New York and Miami. The Nobel committee should give Gore another Nobel Peace Prize, secure in the belief that in ten years, global temperatures will again drop by a fraction of a degree, all due to his winning the prize.

SOURCE

***************************************

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.  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

*****************************************



Thursday, August 17, 2017



Dangerous air pollution from coal-fired power stations  in Australia?

I am interested in the following claim made below:  "People who live within 50km of coal-fired power stations face a risk of premature death as much as three to four times that of people living further away."

I have read the large and glossy report from which that statistic is allegedly taken but can find no mention of it there.  It must be a very fleeting mention if it is there at all. There was certainly nothing like the formal research report that one would expect to underlie such a claim:  No details of sampling or control for demographic statistics, no table of results etc.

With all Green/Left writing the thing to identify is what they do NOT say.  They regularly just leave out information that would damage their case.  As it happens I have some research background in this field so I know what they have left out.  They did not do an attitude study.  They did not try to find out how bothered people were by the alleged pollution.  They put up a few anecdotes about that but anecdotes prove nothing. You can always find people dissatisfied with anything if you look hard for them.

My survey of the effect of living near a coal mine showed that people did NOT have elevated environmental concerns as a result of that proximity.  And my study was an orthodox and fully described one.  So there is no doubt in existence a degree of pollution associated with Australia's coal mines but it is at a level that is only a minor irritant to those affected by it.  My study was of coal mines in 1980 but, as the report below mentions, the power stations at the time were generally located just about on top of the mines

The report is a beat up. Just more Greenie deception. It was put out by Environmental Justice Australia so I had no real expectation that it would be a work of objective science.  It is just propaganda


AUSTRALIA is trailing behind places like China when it comes to pollution standards and those living near coal-fired power stations are three times more likely to die a premature death, according to a new report.

Environmental Justice Australia (EJA) found Australian power stations are allowed to emit far more pollution than those in the US, China and parts of the European Union, and they are not being regulated well enough to protect human health or the environment.

The toxins produced by coal-fired power stations can have a deadly impact on those living nearby. People who live within 50km are about three to four times more likely to die a premature death as those living further away.

The report looked at four pollutants that are extremely harmful to health and have been linked to asthma, respiratory problems, stroke, angina, heart attack and cancer.

It found coal-fired power stations emitted more than 30 toxic substances and are the biggest sources of fine particles PM2.5, sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen.

“The mercury limits for some NSW power stations are 666 times higher than the US limits. This is unacceptable,” the report said.

“In almost all cases the emissions limits applied to Australian power stations are significantly less stringent than the standards in the European Union, United States and China.”

What controls that are in place are also not well monitored and rarely enforced.

The EJA has made eight recommendations including that the Federal Government commission an independent assessment of health impacts, develop national emission standards, ask for better monitoring and commit to not building, financing or approving any new coal-fired power stations.

When it comes to air pollution, the report suggested “ultra-supercritical” or “high efficiency low emission” (HELE) power stations were not very effective at reducing pollution.

“The best improvement ultra-supercritical technology can offer over subcritical is about a 14 per cent reduction in pollution emissions,” the report said.

NSW Central Coast resident Gary Blaschke OAM said a lot of the downside of living close to coal-fired power stations had been swept under the carpet.

“If pollution was purple, people would be up in arms. Because we often can’t see it — whether it’s in the air on in the ground — many people don’t even think about it.”

THE INVISIBLE KILLER

The report Toxic and terminal: How the regulation of coal-fired power stations fails Australian communities mainly looks at four pollutants. They are coarse particles called PM10, fine particles known as PM2.5, sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen.

In particular PM2.5 has been linked directly to health risks including asthma, bronchitis, acute and chronic respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath and painful breathing, and premature deaths.

It’s been estimated that PM2.5 exposure has led to 1590 premature deaths each year in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

These particles can travel long distances so Sydney residents may feel the impacts of pollution produced by Hunter Valley power stations, but local communities are the most at risk.

People who live within 50km of coal-fired power stations face a risk of premature death as much as three to four times that of people living further away.

It’s been estimated that 18 people living near the now-closed Hazelwood power station in Victoria died premature death due to air pollution in one year.

“The annual health costs of coal-fired power stations across Australia has been estimated at about $2.6 billion a year,” the report said.

“These costs are not factored into wholesale electricity prices or licence fees, and are therefore borne by the community rather than affecting the profits of the power station owners.”

SOURCE


UPDATE:

I received the following email from a reader:

I am a follower of your blog.  I saw that you picked up on the outrageous false claims made recently by Environmental Justice Australia.

You may be interested in the results of the Upper Hunter Valley Fine Particulate Matter Characterisation Study undertaken in 2012/2013 by the EPA and CSIRO.

The EPA found (much to their disappointment) the following things:

1.       The dominant source of fine particulate pollution in Muswellbrook is household wood heaters.  Other significant sources are sea salt and biomass smoke.

2.       There is no detectable sulphate particulate pollution from the power stations

3.       There is no detectable unique fingerprint for coal dust in the Upper Hunter Valley.

Indeed, the PM2.5 levels for the Upper Hunter are not too much different from those found in Antarctica (annual average of 4.3ug/m3) when adjusted for factors like wood smoke and biomass burning. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25167815)





Crookedness at the EPA -- and how to hit it

Washington D.C., the hub of the federal government, is notorious for extravagant spending and overpriced salaries. For this reason, President Trump ran on a campaign of “draining the swamp”, the swamp being Washington D.C. seemingly endless federal bureaucracy. Unfortunately, the swamp is much bigger than just D.C. A recent report from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Inspector General highlights the need for a nationwide swamp draining.

According to the EPA website, the mission of EPA is to protect human health and the environment. For the mission, the EPA has deployed employees and offices across the nation. The EPA has divided the nation into ten regions, each with its own regional director. Region 10 is known as the Seattle region, and serves Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and the 271 Native tribes therein. A recent inspector general’s report highlighted several disturbing pay related matters in the region.

Government employees are paid on a bi-weekly basis. The rate of pay depends on their General Service (GS) level. The levels go from GS-1 through GS-15, then on to Senior Executive Service (SES) levels. With each pay rate, there is a pay cap. However, the pay cap may be waived for GS employees while conducting work designated as emergency or mission-critical.

The EPA has given the authority to declare disasters or emergencies to management officials in the regions. If an emergency is located in one spot and not spread across two regions, the Regional Administrator will if the event is worthy of lifting the cap. The Regional Administrator may redelegate the authority to declare an emergency to the Assistant Regional Administrator or Deputy Regional Administrator. After the waiver is requested, it then goes to Human Resources Officer (HRO).

The OIG report showed 79 instances of employees exceeding the pay cap in FY15, FY16, and up to January 7, 2017. However, only one of the instances had a waiver request from the regional administrator or another designee, and the approval of the HRO.

There is also one more problem, what is the emergency? What is the emergency that has been going on for two years that no one has heard about? Have these federal employees been bilking taxpayers for two years? Clearly the system broke down, and taxpayers literally paid the price.

Clearly over payments were made, and several people within the chain of command failed to correct the mistake. Congress should immediately investigate the over payments. The funds do not belong to the federal employees, it belongs to the taxpayer’s and should be treated as such.

Firing a government employee is extremely difficult, but Congress does have two options. The first is impeachment. Congress could impeach the Human Resources Officer or the acting Region 10 Administrator for improper disbursement of funds. This would be a long drawn out process, and highly unlikely. The second option is the best.

This is a chance for Congress to implement the Holman rule. The rule allows Congress to reduce the pay of a specific federal employee, fire specific federal employee, and cut a specific program. This can happen because the rule allows amendments to appropriations legislation. It was reinstated earlier this year after being rescinded in 1983.

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning stated, “This is a perfect opportunity for the Congress to use the Holman rule to defund the salaries of whichever human resources officers failed to follow the rules in administering additional pay. Additionally, then-Deputy Regional Administrator of EPA region 10 Michelle Pirzadeh, now acting administrator, should be replaced and have her salary defunded if she was aware of the overpaying scheme and failed to take action. Federal rules governing pay to federal employees were not followed, resulting in the overpaying of EPA employees in region 10, and those responsible are not entitled to keep their jobs.”

Using the Holman rule would send a clear message to government employees bilking the system. Congress has often complained about improper disbursement of funds in committee hearings, and now they have a chance to act. If Congress truly wants to restore the first branch of government to its’ rightful place.

SOURCE





Global Ocean Cooling Continues

July Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) are now available, and we can see further ocean cooling led by plummeting temps in the  Tropics and the Southern Hemisphere, continuing the downward trajectory from the previous 12 months.

HadSST is generally regarded as the best of the global SST data sets, and so the temperature story here comes from that source, the latest version being HadSST3.

The chart below shows the last two years of SST monthly anomalies as reported in HadSST3 including July 2017.



In May despite a slight rise in the Tropics, declines in both hemispheres and globally caused SST cooling to resume after an upward bump in April.  Now in July a large drop is showing both in the Tropics and in SH, declining the last 4 months.  Meanwhile the NH is peaking in July as usual, but well down from the previous July.  The net of all this is a slightly lower Global anomaly but with likely additional future cooling led by the Tropics and also SH hitting new lows for this period.

Note that higher temps in 2015 and 2016 were first of all due to a sharp rise in Tropical SST, beginning in March 2015, peaking in January 2016, and steadily declining back to its beginning level. Secondly, the Northern Hemisphere added two bumps on the shoulders of Tropical warming, with peaks in August of each year. Also, note that the global release of heat was not dramatic, due to the Southern Hemisphere offsetting the Northern one. Note that Global anomaly for July 2017 matches closely to April 2015.  However,  SH and the Tropics are lower now and trending down compared to an upward trend in 2015.

We have seen lots of claims about the temperature records for 2016 and 2015 proving dangerous man made warming.  At least one senator stated that in a confirmation hearing.  Yet HadSST3 data for the last two years show how obvious is the ocean’s governing of global average temperatures.

SOURCE




Britain Suffers Coldest Summer Holidays In 35 YEARS

BRITAIN is in the grip of its coldest summer holidays for 35 years. Temperatures in London have failed to get any higher than 73F (23C) since schools broke up on July 19. It has been a similar story in Birmingham, while in Newcastle the thermometer has been stuck below a modest 68F (20C).

The depressing figures for July 19 to August 11 show it is the coolest start to the holidays since 1982. Met Office forecaster Charlie Powell said: “As soon as they started it took a bit of a turn for the worse.”

In 20 of the past 35 years, London has seen a temperature of 86F (30C) or more at least once in the first three weeks of the holidays.

Even last year, the top temperature recorded in the capital for the period was 84F (29C). But this year, the country has seen 43 per cent of its usual August rainfall inside the first ten days of the month. It follows the wettest July since 2012. Forecasters say rain will return today with storms later in the week.

SOURCE




 
Trump To Repeal Obama Executive Order On Sea Level Rise

President Donald Trump will rescind an Obama administration policy requiring government agencies to take into account global warming-induced flooding and sea level rise for federally-funded projects.

Trump will repeat the climate order that President Barack Obama signed in 2015 as part of a broader effort to streamline infrastructure permitting. Administration officials said the current process is long and cumbersome.

“For far too long, critical projects have been delayed by duplicative permitting and environmental requirements which added time and unnecessary expenses to much needed projects,” Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said in a statement obtained by Bloomberg.

Trump wants to push a $200 billion infrastructure spending bill through Congress this fall, which he hopes will mobilize $800 billion in state and private funding. A cumbersome permitting process could hold up infrastructure projects.

Furthermore, Obama’s executive order to “improve the resilience of communities and federal assets against the impacts of flooding” could increase the upfront costs or even eliminate projects in the pipeline.

Obama wrote sea level rise and flooding are “anticipated to increase over time due to the effects of climate change and other threats.”

Obama’s order required federally-funded projects to be two feet above the 100-year floodplain. Hospitals and other critical buildings must be three feet above the historic floodplain.

The Obama administration also issued a rule requiring federally-financed single family homes must be built two feet above the 100-year floodplain. The National Association of Home Builders worried this rule could increase construction costs and make it harder to build low-income affordable housing.

Environmentalists were critical of Trump’s plan to rollback the 2015 order, as was the right-leaning R Street Institute.

“Taxpayers have been made to shell out hundreds of billions of dollars in disaster-related spending over the past decade, including more than $136 billion for just the two years from 2011 to 2013,” senior fellow R.J. Lehmann said in a statement.

“By contrast, evidence shows that every $1 spent on disaster mitigation can save $4 in post-disaster recovery and rebuilding costs,” Lehmann said.

SOURCE

***************************************

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.  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

*****************************************


Wednesday, August 16, 2017



Trump: Nukes Are the Greatest Threat to the World, Not Climate Change

Crazy that this had to be said

President Donald Trump said Thursday that contrary to what former President Barack Obama has said, “nuclear” is the greatest threat to the world, not global warming.

When asked what his priorities are as it applies to the nuclear posture, the president said he would like to “de-nuke the world.”

“I would like to de-nuke the world. I know that President Obama said global warming is the biggest threat. I totally disagree. I say that it's a simple one: Nuclear is our greatest threat worldwide. Not even a question, not even close,” Trump told reporters in Bedminster, N.J.

As CNSNews.com previously reported, in 2015, Obama said “there’s no greater threat” than climate change and that it “poses immediate risks to our national security.”

Trump said he wants countries that have nuclear weapons to “get rid of them,” but until then, he wants the U.S. to be “the most powerful nuclear nation on Earth.” He said that’s the first order he gave to his generals.

“So I'd like to de-nuke the world. I would like Russia and the United States and China and Pakistan, and many other countries that have nuclear weapons, get rid of them, but until such time as they do, we will be the most powerful nuclear nation on Earth by far,” he said.

“The first order I gave to my generals, as you know -- you know, Mike -- my first order was:  I want this, our nuclear arsenal, to be the biggest and the finest in the world, and we spent a lot of money, a lot of time, and a lot of effort, and it's in tip-top shape, and getting better and getting stronger,” Trump said.

“And until such time as this scourge disappears, we will be so much better and so much stronger than anybody else, and nobody, including North Korea, is going to be threatening us with anything,” the president said.

When asked what he has changed in the nuclear arsenal, the president said, “We've done a lot of modernization, but we've done a lot of renovation, and we have it now in very, very good shape, and it will be in much better shape over the next six months to a year.”

Trump added, “My first order was, we have to do the military, but before we do the military per se, we're going to do the nuclear, and we are in very strong shape. We are going to be increasing our budget by many billions of dollars because of North Korea and other reasons having to do with the anti-missile.

“So we are going to be increasing our budget by many billions of dollars. We'll probably be able to report that over the next week. As you know, we reduced it by 5 percent, but I've decided I don’t want that. We're going to be increasing the anti-missiles by a substantial amount of billions of dollars,” he said.

SOURCE





N.C. State researchers say solar lobby silencing them

Ron Heiniger just wanted to be a farmer. He encouraged research to avoid solar industry encroachment on North Carolina’s prime farmlands.

But because of his academic study, the respected crop and soil scientist has become an unwilling poster child for anti-solar activists, vilified by the solar lobby, and chastened by his employer, N.C. State University.

“I’ve been called crazy. I’ve been threatened. My job’s been threatened. I really don’t want to advertise my issue very much anymore,” said Heiniger, who works at the Vernon G. James Research and Extension Center in Plymouth.

Left unchecked, Heiniger says, replacing prime farmland with utility-scale solar projects could destabilize a fragile agricultural ecosystem. He warns about soil erosion, leaching contaminants, and ruining soil for future crop growth.

Heiniger and Herb Eckerlin, an N.C. State professor emeritus of the College of Engineering, said they were silenced by the university. Cooperative Extension agents across the state were ordered to cancel popular public forums they had arranged independently to discuss pros and cons of the state’s rapid solar growth.

State lawmakers have jumped in, asking university officials if they have stifled viewpoints that don’t align with those of the solar lobby.

Local officials, higher education watchdogs, and grass-roots observers question whether N.C. State’s North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center is a tax-supported lobbying arm of the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association disguised as an academic pursuit.

Heiniger and Eckerlin had been working with county and municipal governments to understand the complexities of proposed large commercial solar projects. They were encouraged to launch a speaking tour for farmers and other interested parties at county Cooperative Extension offices.

“I vetted my materials through people in my department, and I’ve shared my slides to everybody who’s asked for them,” Heiniger said. “In the university I’ve had nobody argue against what my concerns are. In fact, I’ve had very many people in academics agree 100 percent.”

Neither Heiniger nor Eckerlin, who designed the Solar House at N.C. State, founded its Solar Center, and was instrumental in creating the N.C. Sustainable Energy Association, oppose solar energy. They said they were interested in full disclosure about pros and cons so that government officials and North Carolina residents could make informed decisions about the renewable industry.

They were joined by Tommy Cleveland, renewable energy project coordinator at the Clean Energy Technology Center, on a panel at Fayetteville.

While Heiniger was driving to the event, Tom Melton, Cooperative Extension deputy director, called him and directed him to discontinue the series of scheduled forums. It was too late to cancel the Fayetteville session, but Melton eventually kept Cleveland on the panel, while replacing Heiniger and Eckerlin at future events.

The university and College of Engineering said Eckerlin was putting them in a bad light, according to Melton. To protect the university’s reputation and educational mission, Melton told county Cooperative Extension offices not to allow Eckerlin or Heiniger on their programs.

“It’s been a bit of a painful process for me,” Melton said. “I’ve been doing this job for over 30 years, and I’ve never asked for anyone not to be on a program.”

State Reps. Billy Richardson, D-Cumberland, and Jimmy Dixon, R-Duplin, asked university officials to account for the removal of Heiniger and Eckerlin. “I’ve only heard one side, and even Solomon listened to both women. But I would be concerned if there was anything untoward about asking them to stand down,” Dixon said.

Richardson attended the Fayetteville event. He called it “without a doubt one of the most enlightening, refreshing, and important seminars I ever went to. I would encourage them, if there’s some reason they politically pulled that back, to not do that. … The university’s mission should never be to present one side.”

Melton said forbidding Heiniger and Eckerlin from taking part in the panel forums resulted largely from complaints by Cooperative Extension agents. Eckerlin said agents were eager to work with them to arrange the meetings.

Other complaints were registered by representatives of the solar industry, and the Clean Energy Technology Center, Melton said.

“The North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association contacted the deans of the College of Agriculture, and told them to shut me down, to stop me from talking to anybody,” Heiniger said. “I’m upset that they’re using what should be the freedom of academics to push back against me.”

“I don’t want to embarrass Melton, and I don’t want to embarrass the university. But Melton [is] not representing the people of the state. He’s representing the solar industry,” Eckerlin said.

SOURCE





Green Delusions and the Wind Bully

Green ideology is a collection of beliefs and superstitions that have been elevated into a religious cult.  The green cult is rife with contradictions and dogma.  For example, people in Wisconsin must eat fresh natural food, grown locally...and Wisconsin farmers are still working on the problem of growing lettuce in the snow.

The electric power grid is an essential of modern life.  Take it away, and the consequence would be mass extinction.  The greens are eager to tamper with the grid.  They want to substitute "clean" wind and solar electricity for the "dirty" nuclear, coal, and natural gas electricity.

The word "clean," like the word "green," has a new meaning.  Now "clean" means politically correct.  Something is clean if it conforms to green dogma.

The Panera Bread fast food chain tells us that its food is now "clean."  It means that its food is politically correct, not containing a long list of taboo ingredients.  The greens have their own dietary laws.  Read the magazine Clean Eating for details.

Renewable is another word that has been twisted to conform to green dogma.  Renewable electricity, according to the dictionary, is a source of electricity that is naturally replenished.  The state of California has a definition of renewable electricity that is more complicated.  California collects a variety of green dogmas under the umbrella "renewable."

Fossil fuels are taboo.  Hydro electricity is naturally replenished by the rain, but to California, it is renewable only if it does not interfere with kayaking and fish.  California loves wind and sunlight for generating electricity.  Among greens, anti-nuke hysteria trumps global warming hysteria, so carbon-free nuclear electricity is not renewable.  A 112-page RPS Eligibility Guidebook, Ninth Edition Revised, details the California definition of renewable electricity.

As George Orwell often pointed out, changing the meaning of words is a method of controlling and limiting the ability to think.

California has passed a law that 50% of its electricity is to be renewable by 2030.  Taken seriously, that would be technically impossible.  But California has a method of turning non-renewable electricity into renewable electricity by legal fiat.  Instead of importing electricity, "Renewable Energy Certificates" can be imported from someone generating and selling renewable electricity outside California.  The abstract "renewable attribute" comes with the certificate and can be used to legally turn non-renewable electricity into renewable electricity.  It's modern alchemy.

The wind farmers selling these certificates to California utilities are supposed to sell the renewable attribute only one time.  But there is an incentive to counterfeit certificates.  Renewable electricity auditors police that.  Both the seller and the buyer of the certificate have an incentive to cheat.  The seller is selling a piece of paper that costs him nothing.  The buyer needs the paper just to satisfy a government agency.

The owner of a wind farm in Colorado can sell the electricity to consumers in Colorado and separately sell Renewable Energy Certificates to utilities in California.  The wind farm owner also collects a federal subsidy of 2.2 cents for every kilowatt-hour of electricity sold.

The claim is often made that wind electricity is cheaper than fossil fuel electricity, a claim that can be easily disproven.  Wind electricity is about three times as expensive as electricity produced by the best fossil fuel plants.  A combined cycle natural gas plant can generate power at a cost of 3 cents per kilowatt-hour.  From real U.S. wind farms, wind electricity costs about 10 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Wind electricity is the most important form of renewable electricity.  Other forms of renewable electricity, such as solar, are even more impractical than wind.  Adding wind power to the U.S. grids makes no economic sense.  It just increases the cost of electricity and gains nothing unless you believe that limiting CO2 added to the atmosphere will prevent catastrophic global warming.

Increasing the CO2 in the atmosphere is highly beneficial for plants and agriculture.  Plants grow better with less water if there is more CO2.  Even if you believe in global warming, cutting back on U.S. emissions of CO2 is a waste of time because the heart of increasing CO2 emissions is in China.

In the conventional electric grid, the manager of the grid instructs the generating plants when to generate electricity and how much to generate.  Wind works the opposite way.  When the wind is blowing, the grid is expected to accept whatever wind power is available and adjust the other generators to balance supply and demand.  Wind is a bully that pushes the other generators around to suit its needs.  Wind generators have this power because many states have requirements, like California, that a certain percentage of the power be renewable by certain dates.  The politicians enable the wind bully.  Green propaganda and the wind turbine manufacturers drive the politicians.

According to Disraeli and Mark Twain, there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.  A forth type of lie, green lies, should be added.  The best liar is someone who believes his own lies, and that makes green lies particularly believable.  Goebbels noted that if you keep repeating a big lie enough, people will come to believe it.

An important green big lie is the claim that global warming is affecting the current climate and is responsible for extreme weather events.  According to the best measurements, global warming has been absent for 18 years.  The scientific link between global warming and extreme weather is not just weak, but negative.  Logically, one would expect global warming to make the weather less extreme, because global warming decreases the temperature difference between the poles and the equator that drives weather.

Do not think that the green cult is populated only by hippies with ponytails, driving Volvos and composting garbage in their backyards.  Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York and the 10th richest man in the world is a card-carrying member.  The card is a Sierra Club membership card.  Bloomberg and the former president of the Sierra Club, Carl Pope, wrote a recent book, Climate of Hope.  The book is a demonstration that you can write any ignorant drivel and be taken seriously if you are important and pretend that the drivel is science.

The green cult, especially the global warming branch, is like Lysenkoism in the former Soviet Union.  It is an official scientific ideology that scientists are expected to support.  The scientists who refuse to support it – there are many – suffer the consequences.  Most scientific dissenters keep quiet.  They have families to support.  Thankfully, there are signs that the official support is starting to crumble.

SOURCE




The totalitarianism of the environmentalists

Late last year, I gave a talk about human progress to an audience of college students in Ottawa, Canada. I went through the usual multitude of indicators – rising life expectancy, literacy and per capita incomes; declining infant mortality, malnutrition and cancer death rates – to show that the world was becoming a much better place for an ever growing share of its population.

It seemed to me that the audience was genuinely delighted to hear some good news for a change. I had won them over to the cause of rational optimism. And then someone in the audience asked about climate change and I blew it.

While acknowledging that the available data suggests a “lukewarming” trend in global temperatures, I cautioned against excessive alarmism. Available resources, I said, should be spent on adaptation to climate change, not on preventing changes in global temperature – a task that I, along with many others, consider to be both ruinously expensive and, largely, futile. The audience was at first shocked – I reckon they considered me a rational and data-savvy academic up to that point – and then became angry and, during a breakout session, hostile. I even noticed one of the students scratching out five, the highest mark a speaker could get on an evaluation form, and replacing it with one. I suppose I should be glad he did not mark me down to zero.

My Ottawa audience was in no way exceptional. Very often, when speaking to audiences in Europe and North America about the improving state of the world, people acknowledge the positive trends, but worry that, as Matt Ridley puts it, “this happy interlude [in human history will come] to a terrible end.” Of course, apocalyptic writings are as old as humanity itself. The Bible, for example, contains the story of the Great Flood, in which God “destroyed all living things which were on the face of the ground: both man and cattle, creeping thing and bird of the air”.

The Akkadian poem of Gilgamesh similarly contains a myth of angry gods flooding the Earth, while an apocalyptic deluge plays a prominent part in the Hindu Dharmasastra. And then there is Al Gore. In his 2006 film An Inconvenient Truth, Gore warns that “if Greenland broke up and melted, or if half of Greenland and half of West Antarctica broke up and melted, this is what would happen to the sea level in Florida”, before an animation shows much of the state underwater. Gore also shows animations of San Francisco, Holland, Beijing, Shanghai, Calcutta and Manhattan drowning. “But this is what would happen to Manhattan, they can measure this precisely,” Gore says as he shows much of the city underwater.

It is possible, I suppose, that our eschatological obsessions are innate. The latest research suggests that our species, Homo Sapiens Sapiens, is 300,000 years old. For most of our existence, life was, to quote Thomas Hobbes, “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.” Our life expectancy was between 25 years and 30 years, and our incomes were stuck at a subsistence level for millennia. Conversely, our experience with relative abundance is, at most, two centuries old. That amounts to 0.07 per cent of our time on Earth. Is there any wonder that we are prone to be pessimistic?

That said, I wonder how many global warming enthusiasts have thought through the full implications of their (in my view overblown) fears of a looming apocalypse. If it is true that global warming threatens the very survival of life on Earth, then all other considerations must, by necessity, be secondary to preventing global warming from happening.

That includes, first and foremost, the reproductive rights of women. Some global warming fearmongers have been good enough to acknowledge as much. Bill Nye, a progressive TV personality, wondered if we should “have policies that penalise people for having extra kids.”

Then there is travel and nutrition. Is it really so difficult to imagine a future in which each of us is issued with a carbon credit at the start of each year, limiting what kind of food we eat (locally grown potatoes will be fine, but Alaskan salmon will be verboten) and how far we can travel (visiting our in-laws in Ohio once a year will be permitted, but not Paris). In fact, it is almost impossible to imagine a single aspect of human existence that would be free from government interference – all in the name of saving the environment.

These ideas might sound nutty, but they are slowly gaining ground. Just last week, a study came out estimating the environmental benefits of “having one fewer child (an average for developed countries of 58.6 tonnes CO2-equivalent (tCO2e) emission reductions per year), living car-free (2.4 tCO2e saved per year), avoiding air travel (1.6 tCO2e saved per roundtrip transatlantic flight) and eating a plant-based diet (0.8 tCO2e saved per year).”

And then there is Travis N. Rieder, a research scholar at Johns Hopkins’ Berman Institute of Bioethics, who says that “maybe we should protect our kids by not having them.” He wants tax penalties to punish new parents in rich countries. The proposed tax penalty would become harsher with each additional child.

And that brings me to my final point. Since the fall of communism, global warming has been, without question, the most potent weapon in the hands of those who wish to control the behaviour of their fellow human beings. Lukewarmists like me do not caution against visions of an environmental apocalypse out of some perverse hatred of nature. On the contrary, concern for the environment is laudable and, I happen to believe, nearly universal. But, environmentalism, like all –isms, can become totalitarian. It is for that reason that, when it comes to our environmental policies, we ought to tread very carefully.

SOURCE





Rising British energy bills: the price of green obsessions

It’s government policy, not big business, that’s hiking up energy prices.

Last week, British Gas announced that it was bumping up its electricity prices by 12.5 per cent. Cue outrage from all quarters about the energy industry’s profiteering. At the weekend, the government announced an independent review of energy prices, led by Professor Dieter Helm. But in truth, the best thing the government could do to lower energy prices would be to scrap some of its own wrongheaded policies.

The complaints that energy suppliers are ripping off customers are actually out of kilter with the actual scale of the price rise and the available options to avoid it. British Gas has left its gas prices on hold, so the overall effect of the rise on the average dual-fuel bill will be about 7.3 per cent. To put that into perspective, the rise amounts to about £1.50 per week – another minor source of stress for cash-strapped households, but hardly devastating for most people. Moreover, there are plenty of other suppliers out there in the market. With a bit of initiative, British Gas customers on the standard tariff could save themselves far more than the price rise by switching suppliers. In fact, even just switching to a different British Gas tariff could allow customers to save money.

Nonetheless, the Conservative manifesto for June’s General Election promised ‘a safeguard tariff cap’ for customers on the ‘poorest-value tariffs’. Now, given that the Tories’ effective majority, thanks only to a deal with the DUP, is tiny, tricksy policies like price caps have been quietly dropped, for now. But Helm has previously argued for intervention on energy prices, so some form of government action seems likely to be his recommendation, even if it’s not a price cap.

And yet, profiteering really isn’t the problem here. The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) website provides breakdowns of suppliers’ costs and overall pre-tax profit. According to the latest figures, for supplying gas, the big energy suppliers have done well of late, making a return of 10 per cent before tax. On electricity, however, the companies have actually been losing money – 1.72 per cent before tax. Looking at dual-fuel bills, combining both gas and electricity, the companies have a pre-tax profit margin of 4.26 per cent. That’s higher than in some industries, like supermarkets, where profit margins have fallen to close to three per cent, but it’s peanuts compared with the profit margins of tech companies like Apple, Microsoft or Google, which are more like 26 per cent.

Another figure in those Ofgem tables is more instructive: on dual-fuel bills the cost of ‘environmental and social obligation costs’ is 8.18 per cent – basically double the profit margin. There is also value-added tax (VAT), which comes out at 4.76 per cent in these figures. These costs are imposed by the government – they’re not due to the world price of energy, distribution costs or general company costs. And these are costs the government has it within its power to do something about.

For now, EU rules mean that VAT must be charged, and that could change after Brexit. But those environmental costs could be slashed. It’s one thing to give low-carbon energy sources a helping hand to establish themselves. But why are we continuing to subsidise wind and solar power? Why are we penalising fossil-fuel energy sources? If renewables are rapidly becoming cheaper and more efficient, as green-energy proponents claim, surely they can now compete? Apparently not.

If we don’t do something quickly, things are going to get even worse. As I noted back in March, the Committee on Climate Change – the government’s climate-policy watchdog – says green policies already add an average of £105 to dual-fuel bills. Meeting future targets will pretty much double that cost by 2030. Moreover, rising energy prices affect the cost of everything else we buy. So we’re paying more across the board for those green policies.

Ah, but we have to pay the price to save the planet, right? Well, firstly, the reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions achieved will be trivial on a global scale. The UK currently produces just 1.1 per cent of global emissions. Even assuming that the estimates of temperature rises due to greenhouse gases are correct (and that’s a big ‘if’), at best the effect of UK green-energy policies would be tiny. And secondly, there are more cost-effective ways of achieving those reductions. Switching from coal to gas is pretty cheap, for example, and it’s worth noting that the Conservative manifesto was upbeat about the potential for exploiting shale-gas resources in the UK. Dropping huge subsidies on wind, solar and – in the case of the enormous white elephant that is Hinkley Point C – nuclear, is not remotely sensible.

Apparently, the government would rather scapegoat big energy companies than actually bring prices down.

SOURCE

***************************************

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.  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

*****************************************

Tuesday, August 15, 2017



Scientists uncover Earth's largest volcanic region two kilometres below Antarctic ice sheet

Well, well, well!  For some years now Warmists have been agonizing about bits of melting in West Antarctica.  And equally routinely, I have pointed out that there is evidence of vulcanism in West Antarctica so the melting was most probably the work of volcanoes rather than of Anthropogenic global warming.  So I now stand amply vindicated.  There are not only some volcanoes underneath the ice there, there are BIG ones there.  It is actually Earth's largest volcanic region

Their explanation for the vulcanism is rather pathetic, though.  They appear not to know that the earth is not spherical.  It is flattened at the poles.  So the earth's molten core is closest to the surface at the  poles.  So magma is more apt to break through there.  Which is why there is also huge subsurface volcanic activity in the region of the North pole -- particularly along the Gakkel ridge


A team of scientists unearthed a volcanic region previously hidden under ice sheets, with the geologist who led the team warning of destabilising consequences.

Edinburgh University researchers uncovered almost 100 volcanoes – with the highest almost as tall as Switzerland's 3,970-metre Eiger.

Geologists think the region, which sits two kilometres below ice in west Antarctica, will dwarf east Africa’s volcanic ridge, which is rated as the world's densest concentration of volcanoes.

Glacier expert Robert Bingham, who helped author the paper, warned The Guardian the range could have worrying consequences. 'If one of these volcanoes were to erupt it could further destabilise west Antarctica’s ice sheets. 'Anything that causes the melting of ice – which an eruption certainly would – is likely to speed up the flow of ice into the sea.

'The big question is: how active are these volcanoes? That is something we need to determine as quickly as possible.'

The Edinburgh volcano survey, featured in the Geological Society’s special publications series, examined the underside of the ice sheet for hidden peaks of basalt rock similar to those produced by the region’s other volcanoes.

Over the past century, explorers have reported sightings of their tips, which reach above the ice.

The survey team's youngest member, Max Van Wyk de Vries, is a volcano fanatic who wouldn't stop wondering how many tips lie below the ice.

An undergraduate at the university's school of geosciences, he set up the project with Dr Bingham.

They used ice-penetrating radar carried by planes and land vehicles to analyse measurements made by previous surveys and survey strips of west Antarctic ice.

Dr Bingham explained the results were compared with satellite and database records and geological information from aerial surveys.

'Essentially, we were looking for evidence of volcanic cones sticking up into the ice.'

After collating the results, the team reported 91 previously unknown volcanoes, adding to 47 others discovered over the previous century by explorers.

These newly discovered volcanoes range from 100 to 3,850 metres high. All are covered in ice, sometimes in layers that are more than 4km thick.

Dr Bingham was shocked to find the active peaks concentrated in the west Antarctic rift system, which stretches 3,500km from Antarctica’s Ross ice shelf to the Antarctic peninsula.

'We were amazed. We had not expected to find anything like that number. 'We have almost trebled the number of volcanoes known to exist in west Antarctica.

'We also suspect there are even more on the bed of the sea that lies under the Ross ice shelf, so that I think it is very likely this region will turn out to be the densest region of volcanoes in the world, greater even than east Africa, where mounts Nyiragongo, Kilimanjaro, Longonot and all the other active volcanoes are concentrated.'

The volcanic activity could have crucial implications for Earth. If one erupts, it could further destabilise ice sheets in the region, where global warming has already had an impact.

Dr Bingham's fear is that the Antarctic ocean's meltwater outflows will cause sea levels to rise.

'We just don’t know about how active these volcanoes have been in the past.

'The most volcanism that is going in the world at present is in regions that have only recently lost their glacier covering – after the end of the last ice age. These places include Iceland and Alaska.

'Theory suggests that this is occurring because, without ice sheets on top of them, there is a release of pressure on the regions’ volcanoes and they become more active.'

Significant warming caused by climate change in west Antarctica has already affected its ice sheets.

If they reduce significantly, this could release pressure on volcanoes lying below.

This would lead to eruptions that could further destabilise ice sheets and enhance sea level rises, something Dr Bingham is keen to monitor. 'It is something we will have to watch closely.'

SOURCE






Life in fossil-fuel-free utopia

Life without oil, natural gas and coal would most likely be nasty, brutish and short

Paul Driessen

Al Gore’s new movie, a New York Times article on the final Obama Era “manmade climate disaster” report, and a piece saying wrathful people twelve years from now will hang hundreds of “climate deniers” are a tiny sample of Climate Hysteria and Anti-Trump Resistance rising to a crescendo. If we don’t end our evil fossil-fuel-burning lifestyles and go 100% renewable Right Now, we are doomed, they rail.

Maybe it’s our educational system, our cargo cult’s easy access to food and technology far from farms, mines and factories, or the end-of-days propaganda constantly pounded into our heads. Whatever the reason, far too many people have a pitiful grasp of reality: natural climate fluctuations throughout Earth history; the intricate, often fragile sources of things we take for granted; and what life would really be like in the utopian fossil-fuel-free future they dream of. Let’s take a short journey into that idyllic realm.

Suppose we generate just the 25 billion megawatt-hours of today’s total global electricity consumption using wind turbines. (That’s not total energy consumption, and it doesn’t include what we’d need to charge a billion electric vehicles.) We’d need more than 830 million gigantic 3-megawatt turbines!

Spacing them at just 15 acres per turbine would require 12.5 billion acres! That’s twice the land area of North America! All those whirling blades would virtually exterminate raptors, other birds and bats. Rodent and insect populations would soar. Add in transmission lines, solar panels and biofuel plantations to meet the rest of the world’s energy demands – and the mostly illegal tree cutting for firewood to heat poor families’ homes – and huge swaths of our remaining forest and grassland habitats would disappear.

The renewable future assumes these “eco-friendly alternatives” would provide reliable, affordable energy 24/7/365, even during windless, sunless weeks and cold, dry growing seasons. They never will, of course. That means we will have electricity and fuels when nature cooperates, instead of when we need it.

With backup power plants gone, constantly on-and-off electricity will make it impossible to operate assembly lines, use the internet, do an MRI or surgery, enjoy favorite TV shows or even cook dinner. Refrigerators and freezers would conk out for hours or days at a time. Medicines and foods would spoil.

Petrochemical feed stocks would be gone – so we wouldn’t have paints, plastics, synthetic fibers or pharmaceuticals, except what can be obtained at great expense from weather-dependent biodiesel. Kiss your cotton-polyester-lycra leggings and yoga pants good-bye.

But of course all that is really not likely to happen. It would actually be far worse.

First of all, there wouldn’t even be any wind turbines or solar panels. Without fossil fuels – or far more nuclear and hydroelectric plants, which rabid environmentalists also despise – we couldn’t mine the needed ores, process and smelt them, build and operate foundries, factories, refineries or cement kilns, manufacture and assemble turbines and panels. We couldn’t even make machinery to put in factories.

Wind turbines, solar panels and solar thermal installations cannot produce consistently high enough heat to smelt ores and forge metals. They cannot generate power on a reliable enough basis to operate facilities that make modern technologies possible. They cannot provide the power required to manufacture turbines, panels, batteries or transmission lines – much less power civilization.

My grandmother used to tell me, “The only good thing about the good old days is that they’re gone.” Well, they’d be back, as the USA is de-carbonized, de-industrialized and de-developed.

Ponder America and Europe before coal fueled the modern industrial age. Recall what were we able to do back then, what lives were like, how long people lived. Visit Colonial Williamsburg and Claude Moore Colonial Farm in Virginia, or similar places in your state. Explore rural Africa and India.

Imagine living that way, every day: pulling water from wells, working the fields with your hoe and ox-pulled plow, spinning cotton thread and weaving on looms, relying on whatever metal tools your local blacksmith shop can produce. When the sun goes down, your lives will largely shut down.

Think back to amazing construction projects of ancient Egypt, Greece or Rome – or even 18th Century London, Paris, New York. Ponder how they were built, how many people it took, how they obtained and moved the raw materials. Imagine being part of those wondrous enterprises, from sunup to sundown.

The good news is that there will be millions of new jobs. The bad news is that they’d involve mostly backbreaking labor with picks and shovels, for a buck an hour. Low-skill, low-productivity jobs just don’t pay all that well. Maybe to create even more jobs, the government will issue spoons, instead of shovels.

That will be your life, not reading, watching TV and YouTube or playing video games. Heck, there won’t even be any televisions or cell phones. Drugs and alcohol will be much harder to come by, too. (No more opioids crisis.) Water wheels and wind mills will be back in fashion. All-natural power, not all the time.

More good news: Polluting, gas-guzzling, climate-changing cars and light trucks will be a thing of the past. Instead, you’ll have horses, oxen, donkeys, buggies and wagons again … grow millions of acres of hay to feed them – and have to dispose of millions or billions of tons of manure and urine every year.

There’ll be no paved streets – unless armies of low-skill workers pound rocks into gravel, mine and grind limestone, shale, bauxite and sand for cement, and make charcoal for lime kilns. Homes will revert to what can be built with pre-industrial technologies, with no central heat and definitely no AC.

Ah, but you folks promoting the idyllic renewable energy future will still be the ruling elites. You’ll get to live better than the rest of us, enjoy lives of reading and leisure, telling us commoners how we must live. Don’t bet on it. Don’t even bet on having the stamina to read after a long day with your shovel or spoon.

As society and especially big urban areas collapse into chaos, it will be survival of the fittest. And that group likely won’t include too many Handgun Control and Gun Free Zone devotees.

But at least your climate will be stable and serene – or so you suppose. You won’t have any more extreme weather events. Sea levels will stay right where they are today: 400 feet higher than when a warming planet melted the last mile-thick glaciers that covered half the Northern Hemisphere 12,000 years ago.

At least it will be stable and serene until those solar, cosmic ray, ocean currents and other pesky, powerful natural forces decide to mess around with Planet Earth again.

Of course, many countries won’t be as stupid as the self-righteous utopian nations. They will still use fossil fuels, plus nuclear and hydroelectric, and watch while you roll backward toward the “good old days.” Those that don’t swoop in to conquer and plunder may even send us food, clothing and monetary aid (most of which will end up with ruling elites and their families, friends, cronies and private armies).

So how about this as a better option?

Stop obsessing over “dangerous manmade climate change.” Focus on what really threatens our planet and its people: North Korea, Iran, Islamist terrorism – and rampant poverty, disease, malnutrition and early death among the billions who still do not have access to electricity and the living standards it brings.

Worry less about manmade climate cataclysms – and more about cataclysms caused by policies promoted in the name of controlling Earth’s climate.

Don’t force-feed us with today’s substandard, subsidized, pseudo-sustainable, pseudo-renewable energy systems. When better, more efficient, more practical energy technologies are developed, they will replace fossil fuels. Until then, we would be crazy to go down the primrose path to renewable energy utopia.

Via email




An Inconvenient Split?

In many ways, the climate debate has hardly changed since I got interested in it about ten years ago. Public opinion wobbles up and down with hardly any real change. The same tired arguments and claims come round again: every climate conference is the last chance to save the planet; the Arctic ice is always about to vanish in one or two years, or ten years; climate scientists continue to be accused of selecting data sets to create hockeysticks and manipulating data; and teams of climate scientists keep producing reports saying almost exactly the same thing as the previous reports, which then get misrepresented and hyped by the media.

So when something does appear to change it’s worth taking note of. I have a feeling that a split may be developing on the ‘warmist’ side, between what we might call the ‘extremists’ and the ‘moderates’. Here are three recent examples of this.

Consensus?

Some social scientists believe that telling people that there’s a consensus on climate change acts as a ‘gateway belief‘ leading to public action, even though their own data does not really support this claim.  Others have questioned this, saying that consensus messaging is an unhelpful distraction, see Geoff’s recent post and also this paper that says that other factors such as scientific integrity are more important.

Uninhabitable Earth?

One of the most ridiculous recent alarmist articles was The Uninhabitable Earth, by a journalist for New Yorker magazine, full of doom, terror, alarm, starvation and plagues. Because of this, it got a lot of attention, which presumably was the intention, and it even has its own wikipedia page. While David Roberts at Vox said that trying to scare people in this way was fine, many mainstream climate scientists criticised the article. A team at Climate Feedback (usually used to attack sceptical articles in the media) said that its scientific credibility was low and it exaggerated the risks. New Scientist said that such doomsday scenarios were unlikely to happen, and even Michael Mann thought that the article overstated the evidence.

New Gory film

Al Gore has a new film out, called “An Inconvenient Sequel”. He’s currently in the UK promoting it, which started the recent Lawson kerfuffle.  Apparently his film has been an inconvenient flop at the box office.  It’s no surprise that Bjorn Lomborg in the Wall Street Journal says that the film misses a few inconvenient facts. But what is more inconvenient for Mr Gore is that the Guardian doesn’t like it either, describing it as “desultory and surprisingly vainglorious” and awarding it only two stars. Apparently it is “more a portrait of Gore than a call to arms”.

The left-leaning New Republic writes of The Troubling Return of Al Gore, saying “But not everyone on the left is celebrating Gore’s reemergence—and for reasons that sometimes contradict each other. Some worry he’s too polarizing a figure, and therefore could paralyze progress on climate change.” They also have a paragraph supporting the main hypothesis of this post: “This skepticism about Gore reveals a lot about the climate movement, which has fractured significantly since An Inconvenient Truth. Whereas a decade ago there was a relatively united focus on spreading awareness about climate change, today there is no clear consensus on how to fight it.”

Psychologist and climate activist Adam Corner isn’t impressed either, saying that Al Gore’s Inconvenient Sequel could just make climate rift worse. He says the film preaches to the converted and focuses too much on Gore himself, asking “wouldn’t a smarter choice, in terms of reaching beyond the usual suspects, have been for Gore to remove himself from the picture, dial down the Republican-baiting, and instead provide a platform for new, less politically divisive voices?” And here’s another review from a believer, describing the film as “just middling”.

It’s quite hard to find a positive review of the film. The Boston Globe is reasonably positive, saying that it has a number of memorable moments, but only gives it three stars.

SOURCE




Exactly how much warming can be attributed to human emissions? And exactly how much to known natural causes such as solar activity, ocean currents, etc.?

And how much warming is there, anyway, really?

Gernot Patzel, an Austrian scientist of considerable standing, answers that last question in these words: “Over the past 10,000 years it has been warmer than it is today 65 percent of the time.”

There are other scientists who quibble with the statement. But that just goes to show that the issue of climate change is far from being the “settled science” proclaimed ex cathedra from the presidential podium of Barack Obama, the pages of the New York Times and other thrones of progressivism.

Despite fire ‘n’ brimstone hectoring from liberal pulpits, even the most basic tenets of the climate-change issue continue to be topics of contention. Even the simple question: What’s the temperature, globally speaking?

A recent paper by three scientists — James P. Wallace 3d, Joseph S. D’Aleo and Craig D. Idso — cast doubt on the official temperature assessments of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other agencies.

The paper concluded that “historical data adjustments” removing “cyclical temperature patterns” have produced readings “totally inconsistent with published and credible U.S. and other temperature data.” (Seven other scientists associated with leading research universities endorsed the paper’s conclusion.)

Yes, other scientists vocally contest the paper’s thesis. But this, again, only supports the point that climate change is not the “settled science” that liberal choirs keep singing hosannas to.

Here’s another basic question climate alarmism hopes to avoid by creating noisy distractions: What about China and India? China’s now No.1 in global-warming emissions. And India’s fast moving up the ranks.

What are the chances they’ll be willing to rein in their carbon emissions — which is to say rein in their economies — in a King Canute-like gesture of commanding the planet to cool off?

Another dead giveaway that you’re in the realm of politics here, not science, is the use of lawyer-like verbal contortions, small-print qualifiers to hedge the sweeping claims of alarm.

The headlines herald disaster. But in the footnotes of its scary reports, the U.N.’s IPCC — Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — adds weasel-words walking back its frightening claims.

The panel hedges its cataclysmic scenarios by couching them in terms of “confidence” levels, not actual knowledge. This is the IPCC’ s sneaky way of saying — and hoping you’ll not notice — “We actually don’t know for sure.”

After raising the spectre of soaring temperatures, melting polar caps and rising sea levels, the IPCC goes on to say — tucked away in reams of its own verbiage — that it can’t really quantify with any specificity how much of warming is attributable to nature verses how much to man.

Down below the scary, disaster-movie rhetoric, the IPCC goes on to observe — and the media to largely ignore — that even the most basic parameters of the issue are in some doubt. The IPCC’s scientists state, almost sotto voce, that “confidence in future climate projections remains low,” and the extent to which “regional climate variability will change also remains uncertain.”

Yes, it’s likely that human existence does indeed have some, maybe even significant, effect on climate. After all, even exhalation and flatulence are known to be greenhouse emissions.

Might it not be more sensible, then, to direct government grants away from hysteria-promoting, Chicken Little/Sky Is Falling “research”?

Might it not be smarter to redirect that money into potentially more useful areas? To add it to the ongoing research efforts seeking to improve the efficiency of existing energy? Or to the ongoing research efforts to develop new sources of clean energy?

Is there really a need for the government to go on pouring big sums into “studies” — actually, political manifestos mislabelled “Science” — that use their “findings” as propaganda to expand regulatory bureaucracy and revenue shakedowns?

What purpose do more and more tendentious academic treatises serve in warning us, over and over, that climate apocalypse looms just around the corner?

What purpose other than furnishing university sinecures for prophets of doom who parade around in sandwich boards proclaiming, “The end is nigh!”? What purpose besides affording other activists the opportunity to indulge themselves in self-righteous preening, in virtue-signaling?

A leading article of faith among the climate-change apocalyptics is that “renewable energy” — solar and wind — will be our savior against the Beelzebubs of oil, gas and coal.

You can get an idea how big a leap of faith this is from an Energy Information Agency statistic: Solar and wind now provide a piddling 1.6 percent of the planet’s total energy demands. (And this thanks largely to government fiat artificially driving up the price of gasoline and carbon-fueled electricity to make renewables marginally more competitive.)

Nonetheless, the federal government, and state governments, are rushing out monarch-style edicts decreeing that renewables in short order shall be major sources of energy.

King Canute at least recognized his own limitations.

He commanded the tides to recede not to show off his fanatastic powers but just the opposite — to show his subjects there are things even a king can’t accomplish. Little such humility is evident in high places these days.

SOURCE





The gods must be laughing—at Al Gore

By Tom Harris

Overlooked in the controversies about former Vice-President Al Gore’s global warming films, An Inconvenient Truth (2006) and An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (2017), is that truth is not possible in science. Scientific hypotheses, and even scientific theories, are not truth; they can be, and often are, wrong.

Truth applies to mathematics, chess, and other endeavors in which we write the rules. It never applies to our findings about nature, which are educated opinions based on scientists’ interpretations of observations. Philosophers since ancient times have recognized that observations always have some degree of uncertainty and so they cannot prove anything to be true. Not only are our methods of observing imperfect but, as human beings subject to many influences, we all have biases that affect how we interpret what we think we see.

At first, it was mostly activists and politicians who made claims to certainty about climate change. But increasingly, more scientists now use such language as well. A prime example is scientists who work with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has repeatedly claimed that some of their major conclusions are “unequivocal,” in other words, ideas that cannot be wrong.

For instance, the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report Synthesis Report starts, “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of…”

Although a supporter of the dangerous human-caused global warming hypothesis, Lehigh University philosophy professor Steven Goldman explained in a personal communication that the IPCC statement is faulty. It is “an attempt to persuade extra-logically,” said Goldman. “Strictly logically, no observations can lead to an ‘unequivocal’ interpretation.”

David Wojick, a Virginia-based Ph.D. in the logic and philosophy of science, disagrees with Goldman about climate change but agrees that the IPCC made a serious mistake in the Synthesis Report. “Reasoning from evidence is inductive logic,” said Wojick. “As for unequivocal, that is never the case in inductive logic.”

Yet, in speaking about the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, Working Group I co-chair Dr. Thomas Stocker asserted that “warming in the climate system is unequivocal.” Canadian historical climatologist Dr. Tim Ball calls Stocker’s statement “nonsense.”

The promotion of absolute truths in science has impeded human progress for centuries. For example, when the Greco-Egyptian writer Claudius Ptolemy proposed his Earth-centered system, he did not say it was physical astronomy, a true description of how the universe actually worked. He promoted it as mathematical astronomy, a model that worked well for astrology, astronomical observations, and creating calendars.

It was the Catholic Church that, relying on a literal interpretation of the Bible, promoted the Ptolemaic system as truth to be questioned at one’s peril. This was why Nicolaus Copernicus, a Canon in the Church, waited until he was on his death bed before he allowed his revolutionary book showing the Sun to be the center of the universe to be published, even though the text was completed three decades previous. This is also why Galileo had so much trouble when he claimed that the Church was wrong and that Copernicanism was the truth, a position that Galileo could not really know either.

Later, the assumed, unquestionable truths of Isaac Newton’s laws eventually acted to slow the advancement of science until Albert Einstein showed that there were important exceptions to the laws. When authorities preach truth about science, progress stops.

Einstein once said, “Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of truth and knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.” It might be humorous to the gods, but when eco-activists like Gore succeed in suppressing debate about climate change, one of the most important issues of our age, we all lose.

SOURCE

***************************************

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.  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

*****************************************

Monday, August 14, 2017



Environmental Aspects of Oil and Gas Production

This is big news: A textbook that’s quite in line with the material presented in "Slaying the Sky Dragon", notably by co-authors professor Claes Johnson and Charles Anderson, PhD. Yet it will be ignored by most AGW “skeptics.” I wonder why that is?

Abstract:

Environmental Aspects of Oil and Gas Production

John O. Robertson, George V. Chilingar

Oil and gas still power the bulk of our world, from automobiles and the power plants that supply electricity to our homes and businesses, to jet fuel, plastics, and many other products that enrich our lives.  With the relatively recent development of hydraulic fracturing ("fracking"), multilateral, directional, and underbalanced drilling, and enhanced oil recovery, oil and gas production is more important and efficient than ever before.  Along with these advancements, as with any new engineering process or technology, come challenges, many of them environmental.

Blurb:

More than just a text that outlines the environmental challenges of oil and gas production that have always been there, such as gas migration and corrosion, this groundbreaking new volume takes on the most up-to-date processes and technologies involved in this field.  Filled with dozens of case studies and examples, the authors, two of the most well-known and respected petroleum engineers in the world, have outlined all of the major environmental aspects of oil and gas production and how to navigate them, achieving a more efficient, effective, and profitable operation.

This groundbreaking volume is a must-have for any petroleum engineer working in the field, and for students and faculty in petroleum engineering departments worldwide.

More:

The increasingly corroborated atmospheric mass pressure (gravity) explanation for variances in planetary temperatures – which precludes a significant role for CO2 concentration changes – has now advanced from peer-reviewed scientific journals to university-level textbooks.

The “adiabatic theory” of the greenhouse effect (adiabatic: “the constant decline in temperature of an air parcel as it rises in the atmosphere due to pressure drop and gas expansion”) is capable of explaining the variances in temperatures on planets like Earth, Mars, and Venus using each planet’s atmospheric pressure gradient – and without reliance on the traditional greenhouse effect theory that assigns a governing role to CO2.

As a simplified example, Mars has an atmosphere made up of about 950,000 ppm (95%) CO2 compared to the Earth’s 400 ppm (0.04%), and yet Mars’ average surface temperature is about -75°C colder than Earth’s.  Venus also has an atmosphere with about 950,000 ppm (95%) CO2, but its surface is +447°C warmer than Earth’s.   In addition to each planet’s variable distance from the Sun, the difference in temperature for Mars, Venus, and Earth can be calculated by considering its atmospheric mass (pressure) gradient.  Mars’ atmosphere is 100 times thinner than Earth’s.  Venus’ atmosphere is 92 times heavier (pressurized) than Earth’s.  The CO2 concentration of each planet may therefore be insignificant in determining surface temperature relative to factors (a) distance from the Sun and (b) atmospheric density.

The determinative role of atmospheric pressure in planetary temperatures has previously been asserted by Dr. Oleg Sorokhtin (Russian Academy of Sciences) and other scientists introducing the “adiabatic theory of greenhouse effect”.

Source




Rare insight from a distinguished Warmist:

 MacDonald's opinion about an inhibiting impact of funding, policy and politics on scientific innovation is reflected in this 2003 quote, ”In all science there is a strong 'herd instinct', and interactions occur largely within these herds. They may argue vigorously about details, but they maintain solidarity, or close ranks, when challenged by other herds or individuals. The herd instinct is strengthened greatly if those making funding decisions are members of that herd. Strays do not get funded, and their work, no matter how innovative, is neglected as the herd rumbles on. Herd members will change their views rapidly, however, if the herd leaders change direction. By contrast, if the innovators are not part of the herd it becomes very difficult, or impossible, for them to change the herd's direction.”

SOURCE





AL GORE’S POOR TRACK RECORD

An inconvenient truth: Global temps were warmer when Al Gore won the 2007 Nobel Prize than today, even after the 2015/16 super El Nino.



Follow the Xs




Are you making it up? Al Gore skewered by BBC host for DOOMSDAY climate change claims

AL GORE was skewered by a BBC radio host for his doomsday rhetoric on climate change and the state of the planet.

Justin Webb put it to the environmentalist and former US vice president that he was “joining the dots” and making claims that were “going further” than scientists would.

Mr Gore has hit out at Donald Trump claiming the president has isolated himself over his decision to withdraw the US from the Paris agreement, a pact by 159 nations to deal with greenhouse gas emissions.

Speaking on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4, Mr Gore said looking at current weather conditions was enough to convince work needed to be done. The Nobel Peace Prize winner said: “Mother nature is the chief advocate for fighting the climate crisis right now.”

But Webb hit back and suggested the former vice president’s second film on tackling climate change, An Inconvenient Sequel, exaggerated facts.

He said: “But that’s the problem isn’t it, you make the case that they’re climate related. “If I said to you, it’s a cold day in London right now, so there’s no such thing as climate change, you’d say you’re a moron, it’s an idiotic thing to say.

“Yet in your film, you have repeated shots of storms and you, as you put it, join the dots and suggest that they have to be because of man-made climate change.

“You’re going a little bit further than all the scientists would.”

But Al Gore tried to defend his position and said there was "clear evidence". He said: “Oh no. Of course the Royal Academy of Science here in the United Kingdom and all of the academies of science throughout the world are virtually unanimous on this and have been for decades.

“You’ve had clear evidence here in the UK, just in the last couple of years, the all-time record downpours and the high temperatures and just this past week in southern Europe, the record high temperatures and fires.

“All of these things are consistent with what the scientific community has been saying for decades. “But again, mother nature is a more persuasive advocate.”

Mr Gore, who served under Bill Clinton, lashed out at Mr Trump claiming the US would continue to meet its obligations under the landmark Paris agreement despite the US President pulling out of the deal.

The 2000 presidential candidate, awarded for his work on climate change, said the only option was to “work around” Donald Trump.

Mr Trump controversially pulled the US out of the Paris climate change deal, signed in 2015 by 195 countries, in June.

Formally announcing the decision, he said: “We don't want other countries and other leaders laughing at us anymore. “This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States."

SOURCE




That good ol' "sustainable" power in South Australia

Their Greenie strategy goes from disaster to farce.  They now  plan to burn RIVERS of diesel fuel, which -- dare I mention it? -- is a FOSSIL fuel.  Pity they blew up those coal-fired generators, isn't it?

Generators the Weatherill government is buying to prevent blackouts this summer ahead of the March state election will use 80,000 litres of diesel an hour.

The fleet of generators, currently being shipped from Europe to South Australia, have been used for temporary generation around the world. But those behind the South Australian energy security project, costing taxpayers more than $300 million, yesterday could not say if the generators had ever been used as part of a permanent solution.

In a major revision to his $550m go-it-alone energy plan, Premier Jay Weatherill last week announced nine “state-of-the-art” gen­erators providing up to 276 megawatts would be purchased to provide back-up power for the next two summers.

Rather than build a state-owned gas-fired power station, the generators would be moved to one permanent site in 2019 to become a power plant and be switched to gas.

Yesterday, executives from the Premier’s Department and privately owned electricity distribution company SA Power Networks appeared before parlia­ment’s public works committee. The committee was told the nine hybrid turbines, to be installed at the Adelaide desalination plant in Lonsdale and the Holden site in Elizabeth, would involve “fuel costs in the vicinity of about 80,000 litres an hour for all nine turbines”.

Energy Plan Implementation executive director Sam Crafter said the protocols of when and how to turn the generators on were still being discussed by the Australian Energy Market Operator and SA Power Networks.

Mr Crafter said the objective of the generators was to prevent load shedding, rather than reducing the cost of power, over the next two summers. “This was not part of the plan targeted at affordability; it was around security and reliability ­elements of the plan,” he said.

“However, having a more reliable back-up plan does help with the ability for people to have confidence and contracting, and minimising the risk elements that they put into their contracts.”

Mr Crafter said while a permanent site was yet to be chosen, it would require a gas connection. “We weren’t able to get to a site with a gas connection and also connect to the transmission network by December 1, so that’s why we have landed on the two sites here,” he said.

Project sponsor Nick Smith said the ambitious project was a on a “tight timeline”. “It is a tight schedule ... there are a lot of things that need to be pulled together to make it happen by December 1,” he said.

Technical support manager Paul Godden said the generators were “intended for both temporary and permanent solutions”.

Liberal MP David Pisoni said it was “extraordinary that you are not able to tell this committee where this is being used permanently”. Mr Crafter said while the generators operated in 2000 sites around the world, “I do not have the specifics of how they operate in each of those sites”.

SOURCE

***************************************

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.  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

*****************************************