Sunday, October 02, 2011

Ungrammatical homosexual activist says the science of global warming is incontrovertible

What more authority do you need? And it's a strange claim when even Albert Einstein has just been proven wrong. Al Gore & Co. are smarter than Einstein, apparently. The claim appears on Americablog, a generally hysterical blog run by homosexual activist John Aravosis. His entire argument (if you can call it that) depends on that incontrovertibilty.

And a grammatical howler (switch versus switched) at the begining of the article does not speak well for his erudition...

Excerpt only below

Global warming "denialism" is becoming a tribal marker for Republicanism

You read that right. And tribal markers are always signs that the mind is being switch off, all over the right so to speak.

[Economist-ethicist Clive Hamilton] and others who track what they call "denialism" find that its nature is changing in America, last redoubt of climate naysayers. It has taken on a more partisan, ideological tone. Polls find a widening Republican-Democratic gap on climate. Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry even accuses climate scientists of lying for money. Global warming looms as a debatable question in yet another U.S. election campaign. ... Broecker has observed this deepening of the desire to disbelieve.

Did you catch that? America is Eco-Stupid's last fortress.

The author correctly identifies the cause of this change, and it's not just psychological:

[W]hen [NASA climatologist James] Hansen was called back to testify [before a U.S. Senate committee] in 1989, the White House of President George H.W. Bush edited this government scientist's remarks to water down his conclusions, and Hansen declined to appear.

That was the year U.S. oil and coal interests formed the Global Climate Coalition to combat efforts to shift economies away from their products. Britain's Royal Society and other researchers later determined that oil giant Exxon disbursed millions of dollars annually to think tanks and a handful of supposed experts to sow doubt about the facts.

The writer makes it clear the physics is incontrovertible. (Space and the U.S. Congress do not allow me to quote that section, but please do read for yourself.)


Investors expected to avoid solar energy stocks from now on

Unfortunately — and despite a $535 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy — Solyndra filed for bankruptcy this month, terminating all 1,100 workers. To make matters worse, the FBI recently raided offices, and now Congressional hearings are revealing very sloppy spending in the wake of Uncle Sam’s endorsement.

We can debate the Solyndra failure as a talking point for the 2012 election another time. What investors really should be concerned with is the dark clouds gathering over the entire solar sector. Just take a look at the performance at some of the biggest names in the solar sector:

Evergreen Solar (PINK:ESLRQ) plummeted to about a dollar in late 2010 as it tried to restructure its debt. Now it trades for about a nickel — after a 1-for-6 split in January — and has been relegated to the pink sheets. That recent flop would be bad enough, but when you consider that shares traded for an adjusted price of $12 or so at this time in 2009, the losses look even uglier. Evergreen filed for bankruptcy in August to try and scrape together the $485 million it owes creditors and soon will disappear forever.

First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) is the “leader” among pure-play solar stocks in the U.S., with a market capitalization of almost $6 billion. FSLR stock is down 48% since Jan. 1, 2011. The leader by most measures in the industry, First Solar saw its profits slashed by more than half — from $159 million to $61 million – as Europe’s debt woes resulted in subsidies being slashed. Adding insult to injury, Axiom Capital’s Gordon Johnson slashed his price target for the stock from $75 to $35. That’s another 50% decline from here, and barely a tenth of First Solar’s peak share price of $317 in 2008.

Sunpower (NASDAQ:SPWRA) is next in line among the larger domestic solar players. Its stock has performed “better” than First Solar in 2011, down about 30% in 2011. However, since its peak valuation in 2007 over $130, the stock has flopped almost 95% to under $9 a share as of this writing. Why? Volatile revenue and profit performance makes for a risky bet — and the fact that SPWRA is cruising towards a third-straight quarterly loss has investors leery. What’s more, long-term debt of more than $500 million and total liabilities pushing $1 billion mean there’s not a lot of room for error considering the company’s $900 million market cap. There are serious hurdles to growth, considering the very expensive nature of solar panel manufacturing facilities on top of current debt loads.

Those are three specific stories of three well-known U.S. solar companies — proving Solyndra’s implosion didn’t take place in a vacuum.


Delay to green subsidies puts Britain's renewable energy investment in doubt

Britain's Tory-led government claims to be as Green as grass but we may be seeing a bit of passive resistance to Greenie demands now. Big whine from the "Guardian" below

Investment in the UK's renewable energy infrastructure has been thrown into doubt as an urgent review into the subsidy regime has been delayed.

Renewable energy companies are concerned that the delay of Renewables Obligation Certificate (ROC) reforms – promised this year by the government – will prompt a rethink of the investment plans. The review is crucial for investors as they are currently unable to make long-term business plans without knowing how much support they are likely to receive in future.

Chris Moore, director at biomass plant developer MGT Power, said the delay meant investors were not moving ahead with potential projects. He said: "This is a problem for renewable businesses, and it's very damaging for UK plc. All of renewable energy investment is effectively on hold until the government sorts out the review and its plans."

Gaynor Hartnell, chief executive of the Renewable Energy Association, said the trade body had been "inundated" with inquiries over when the review might take place.

Key to the review is how the subsidies will be "banded", whereby some forms of energy will receive greater support – which comes ultimately from consumer energy bills, rather than government coffers – than others. A new regime would also be expected to provide more targeted support for new technologies.

Last December, the government recognised the need for an urgent review when it brought forward the consultation by a year. Charles Hendry, energy minister, said then that a consultation on ROCs would be carried out over the summer, and that by autumn this year, new plans for the subsidies would be confirmed.

At the time, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) acknowledged: "Under the previous timetable, investors would not have known for certain what support they could have expected to receive until autumn 2012 at the earliest. The government was concerned this might delay early investment in certain technologies and hinder the UK's ability to meet our European Union energy target for 15% of energy to come from renewable sources by 2020."

In accelerating the review, the government said it would "give investors and developers greater certainty, and the confidence to help bring forward the scale of renewable development needed to deliver the EU target, and other important energy and climate change objectives".

This timetable is now impossible to stick to. The consultation will take 12 weeks, as is standard. However, even if the review were to begin immediately, it could not be completed before the end of this parliamentary term. Investors are concerned that this could be the start of a longer delay.

Most at risk are biomass projects, generating electricity from wood and waste byproducts. Several of these are on hold because at current rates of subsidy, they would be uneconomic, and companies are calling on the government to correct this problem. This summer Dorothy Thompson, chief executive of Drax, which was planning to burn more biomass than coal in its massive power station, told the Guardian these plans were in jeopardy because of the government's failure to clarify the subsidies.

DECC said an announcement would be made "shortly" but could provide no further details.

Ministers are thought to be wary of attracting attention to the level of subsidies for green electricity, after a spate of reports in sections of the media and on the right of the Tory party criticising renewable subsidies as a component in energy prices.


Vast overreach by the EPA

By Alan Caruba

The notion that the Environmental Protection Agency uses “science” to justify their regulations is false, just like most of the claims they issue on various aspects of the nation’s environment. Their favorite scam is to estimate the number of deaths they will prevent with some new draconian regulation.

The EPA is the American equivalent of the Gestapo, a ruthless enforcement agency with a very Green agenda that is opposed to the use of many beneficial chemicals, every form of energy, and the right of people to be left alone.

At the top of its list of priorities is the destruction of the nation’s economy with special attention to all forms of energy production. Manufacturing anything comes next, followed by afflicting the nation’s vast agricultural sector. The EPA insists that dust is a pollutant. You can’t farm without generating DUST.

To understand the threat the EPA poses it is necessary to understand that proposed Clean Air regulations are based on the claim that “global warming” is real, is happening, and is caused primarily by carbon dioxide (CO2). The claim is utterly without any scientific merit..

There is NO global warming. At least not the kind Al Gore lies about.

The North and South Poles are not melting; they gain and lose ice in a perfectly natural cycle that has been going on for billions of years. The polar bears are not disappearing. Drilling for oil in ANWR will have zero effect on the caribou. Et cetera!

With our vast reserves of coal and natural gas, the U.S. does not lack for the ability to generate electricity or to refine oil for transportation.

If you want to stay warm this winter, you better hope that utilities keep producing the electricity for your home or apartment’s heating system. Fifty percent of that electricity is produced by cheap, abundant coal and the EPA is hell bent to shut down as many coal mines as possible, leading in turn to the shutdown of utilities that burn coal. Natural gas accounts for just over twenty-four percent of electricity generation and it need hardly be said that the EPA is wary of fracking, the technology to access it.

Blowing the Whistle on the EPA

The big news—the kind even the mainstream media was unable to ignore—was that the EPA’s own inspector general has released a report accusing the agency of cutting corners regarding the “science” cited to justify its effort to declare CO2 a “pollutant.”

Simply stated, without CO2 all life on Earth dies. It is a gas that plants use for their growth. From a blade of grass to a giant redwood, all depend on CO2, as do all the crops grown coast to coast. Enormous quantities of corn and wheat are grown that contribute to the U.S. economy, feeding both livestock and humans in wondrous ways. Take away vegetation and the animals die. Take away the animals that grace our dinner plates and we die.

Absurdly, the EPA says it is a “pollutant”, a dangerous hazard to our health. No, the most dangerous hazard to our health is the EPA.

The EPA insists on ignoring all the other natural sources of CO2 as well as the fact that it constitutes less than one percent, 0.038 percent of the atmosphere. The oceans of the world gather it, store it, and release it. The EPA, though, says that when man is involved, it is pure evil.

Mind you, every human exhales about six pounds of CO2 every day. The fact is that the air Americans inhale daily is clean is due to the agency’s early efforts to mitigate some abuses. Those were the days before the EPA abandoned a rational, fact-based approach to its stated objectives. One of its legacies is the idiotic required inclusion of ethanol in every gallon of gasoline. Made from corn, it actually produces more CO2 to produce and use.

The EPA effort to regulate CO2 came along with the invention of the global warming hoax that claimed CO2 was “trapping” the Earth’s heat. That is why CO2 and others are deceptively called “greenhouse” gases (GHGs). Manufacturing everything from a donut to megawatts of electricity emits GHGs.

Finally, even the EPA’s inspector general blew the whistle on the utterly deceitful way the EPA arrives at its justification for a vast matrix of regulations that has been stifling the economy for years. The IG has charged that the EPA did not meet its own guidelines for peer review to ensure the integrity of the science stated.

Anyone who has been following the rise and fall of the global warming hoax knows that “peer review” has become a highly corrupted practice. Real peer review is critical to the integrity of any scientific study. When major science journals abandoned the peer review process to publish gibberish about global warming, they put all other new scientific studies at risk.

As Marlo Lewis, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, noted, the EPA’s regulation of CO2 emissions would require “230,000 full-time employees to produce 1.4 billion work hours to address the actual increase in permitting functions” that would result if the EPA is allowed to get away with this scandalous hoax. It would cost an estimated $21 billion per year. By contrast, the EPA’s budget request for fiscal year 2012 is $8.973 billion.

The EPA claims that the Clean Air Act gives it the power to regulate CO2, but it does not. It was never intended to, but the Supreme Court in one of its more idiotic rulings opened the door for the EPA claim. In his dissent from Massachusetts v EPA, Justice Antonin Scalia quipped that, as defined by the Court, “everything airborne, from Frisbees to flatulence, qualifies as an ‘air pollutant’”

Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) pointed out that “The EPA’s determination has led to a mountain of Clean Air Act regulations that could cost over a million jobs.” It is noteworthy that Sen. Barrasso said, “EPA administrator Lisa Jackson has regularly assured Congress and the American public that its finding is based on sound scientific practices.” It isn’t. Jackson “should testify immediately,” said Sen. Barrasso, “the American people deserve the truth.”

The EPA has been short on the truth about all of its claims for four decades and needs to be shut down in order to let a truly science-based agency replace it with strict congressional oversight and limitations.

The time is long overdue to pull the plug on the Environmental Protection Agency.


What the Frack is Going on Here?

Paul Driessen

Hydraulic fracturing sends “huge volumes of toxic fluids” deep underground at high pressure, to fracture shale rock and release natural gas, Food & Water Watch claims. “Billions of gallons of toxic fluids” will “contaminate” groundwater and drinking water “for generations.” We need to “Ban Fracking Now.”

Environmentalists used to support “clean natural gas.” Whence the intolerant new attitude?

Oil companies have been using hydraulic fracturing for 60 years to get the most petroleum possible from grudging rock formations deep beneath the Earth. A few years ago, Mitchell Energy and others combined HF with horizontal drilling to tap into hydrocarbon-rich shale deposits that previously refused to surrender their energy riches. Countless fracking operations later, the results have been spectacular.

Tapping the Marcellus, Bakken, Barnett, Haynesville and other formations has created jobs, generated revenues and rejuvenated moribund industries in many states that have shale deposits or manufacture the fluids, pipes and other equipment used in these operations. US natural gas production and estimated reserves have soared, and wellhead prices have dropped from $11 per thousand cubic feet in 2008 to $4 today. Canada is actively drilling, while Poland and Britain are evaluating early exploration results.

The Fort Worth Chamber says fracking supports 110,000 direct and secondary jobs in the region and added billions in property and sales tax revenues. Loren C. Scott & Associates calculates that shale drilling has added $11 billion to Louisiana’s economy. Pennsylvania’s Labor and Industry Department reports that HF has already generated 72,000 jobs and $1.4 billion in state tax revenues, and could bring another $20 billion by 2020. West Virginia and North Dakota report similar success.

Soaring supplies and plummeting prices have persuaded Dow, Shell, Sasol, Ormet and other companies to open, reopen or expand plants to produce ethylene, petrochemicals, aluminum – and more jobs.

That’s excellent energy and economic news, at a time when we sure could use a little good news.

Certainly, with all this activity going on – much of it in states that haven’t seen much drilling in decades, if ever – there is a clear need for regulations and oversight. We need to ensure that drilling and fracking are done properly, and chemicals are handled, disposed of and recycled correctly, to prevent harm to human health, wildlife habitats and environmental quality. While most shale gas deposits are thousands of feet below groundwater aquifers and drinking water supplies, we need to ensure that well casings are properly installed and cemented, so that there is no danger of contamination.

But to ban hydraulic fracturing – and abandon these revenues and jobs? What the frack is going on here?

Think about it. This is free enterprise in action. It pays its own way. It doesn’t need subsidies, mandates, tariffs, or bureaucrats and politicians deciding which companies and industries win or lose. HF generates real, sustainable jobs, plus significant tax and royalty revenue, right here in America. It provides energy that works 24/7/365 … and is far cheaper than land-hungry wind turbine and solar panel installations. In fact, the shale gas revolution is making it even harder to justify these “renewable energy alternatives.”

Natural gas, specifically shale gas, is essential for powering backup generators for unreliable wind and solar installations. However, low gas prices make wind and solar even less competitive. The better solution is just to go with gas, coal and nuclear for electricity generation, and forget about expensive, eco-unfriendly, subsidy-dependent, crony capitalist wind and solar.

HF also demolishes the “peak oil and gas” mantra that we are rapidly running out of hydrocarbon energy, which further demonstrates that geologist Wallace Pratt was right when he said “Oil is first found in the minds of men.” Once companies devised new ways to extract shale gas bounties, vast new reserves became available.

Today, in reality, the only reason we might run out of energy is that government won’t let us drill.

People want and need reliable, affordable power. Many environmentalists support Paul Ehrlich’s opposite sentiment, that “giving society cheap energy is like giving an idiot child a machine gun.”

No wonder unrepentant fossil fuel haters are going ballistic over fracking.

The rest of us just want honest answers, carefully conducted drilling, fracking and production operations – and the benefits that come with them. Thankfully, the facts are relatively easy to find.

The Wall Street Journal laid many out clearly and forcefully in a June 2011 editorial, “The facts about fracking: The real risks of the shale gas revolution and how to manage them.” Whether it’s cancer, drinking water contamination, toxic or radioactive chemicals, earthquakes or regulations – the truth is miles from the misrepresentations, hysteria and fear-mongering propagated by Food & Water Watch and similar groups.

People who want to know how hydraulic fracturing is actually done – and what chemicals are actually used, even in specific states – can find a wealth of information at well-designed industry websites provided by Chesapeake Energy, the Ground Water Protection Council and Halliburton.

As the Halliburton site notes, 99.5% of fracking fluids is water and sand (the sand is carried into fractures, to keep them open and release the gas). However, forcing that fluid mix down wellbores and into solid rock formations thousands of feet underground requires advanced engineering and special chemicals to:

* Keep the sand suspended in the liquid, so that it is carried deep into the fractures;

* Fight the growth of bacteria in the fluid and wellbore, so that gas flows and pipes don’t corrode; and

* Reduce the surface tension of water that comes in contact with the reservoir, to improve gas production.

Different subsurface rock formations and conditions require different formulations for the 0.5% of the HF fluids that involves special chemicals. In the past, diesel oil and various industrial chemicals were used. Today, to an ever-increasing degree, the chemicals are borrowed from the food and cosmetics industry. The technical names sound daunting or even scary (inorganic acids, polysaccharide polymers and sulfonated alcohol, for instance), but these CleanStream chemicals (Halliburton’s terminology) are found in cheese and beer, canned fish and dairy desserts, and marshmallows and shampoo, respectively.

Even these three chemical groups (and other food and cosmetic chemicals) are classified as “hazardous” by the EPA and FDA, because in high doses some can cause cancer and other problems in animals. So you could say Food & Water Watch is technically correct when it tries to scare people by saying fracking fluids contain “toxic chemicals.” But the same point would apply to alcoholic beverages, fruit juices, lip liners, food starch, hand soap and countless other everyday products. Should we ban them too, along with coffee, broccoli and other foods that naturally contain even more potent carcinogens?

In other advanced techniques, instead of chemical biocides to kill bacteria, some systems now employ ultraviolet light, and mobile units now allow crews to treat and reuse water, reducing the amount of freshwater required in fracking. Other improvements are being made on a regular basis, as explained in simple lay terms on websites like those mentioned above. You can even find psychedelic 3-D maps of hydraulic fracturing operations and explanations of other fascinating technologies.

New York and other states, the Delaware River Basin Commission, Canadian provinces, Britain, Poland, the European Commission, and many Asian and Latin American countries are pondering HF as part of the solution to their energy, unemployment, economic and revenue problems. Getting the facts is essential.

Shale gas is an energy policy game-changer. The last thing we need is more laws, regulations and policies based on misrepresentations and fabrications from outfits like Food & Water Watch.


Carbon tax proposal really hurting Australia's Green/Left in the polls

ONE third of voters say they would be more likely to support Labor if the Government dumped its plans for a carbon tax.

In a warning to Prime Minister Julia Gillard only weeks before she plans to push the tax through Parliament, an exclusive Galaxy poll for The Courier-Mail suggests Labor could turn around its collapse in support if it backs down on its plans.

Only 14 per cent of voters said they would be less inclined to vote for Labor if it scrapped the scheme.

The national poll - which surveyed 500 people last Tuesday and Wednesday nights - also found almost 70 per cent of voters thought that Labor would have a better chance of winning the next election if former prime minister Kevin Rudd was restored as leader.

It also recorded widespread opposition to Ms Gillard's border protection plans, with only 14 per cent of voters backing her strategy of trying to press ahead with the doomed asylum-seeker deal with Malaysia.

The findings cast new doubt on key items on Ms Gillard's agenda, but also suggest that Labor could rebuild support by back-tracking on its unpopular climate change and asylum-seeker policies.

But any move to shelve the carbon tax could risk Labor losing the backing of the Greens as well as key independents who helped design the scheme and who prop up Ms Gillard's minority Government.

And a change could also risk a voter backlash similar to the one experienced by Mr Rudd after he deferred his original plans for an emissions trading scheme.

But the poll suggests 32 per cent of voters would accept a backdown and would be more likely to support Labor.

This latest survey is another blow to the Prime Minister, who is already facing damaging speculation that her leadership is under threat. Labor's primary vote has plummeted to record lows under Ms Gillard. The poll found 28 per cent of voters were more likely to vote Labor if Mr Rudd made a comeback as prime minister and only 10 per cent said they would be less likely to back the party if it returned to its former leader.

Mr Rudd - who yesterday gave a foreign policy speech about Australia's role in the G20 at the University of Queensland - declined to buy into the leadership speculation. "People are very kind but I am very happy being foreign minister," he said. "I support the Prime Minister and I believe the Prime Minister will lead us to the election."

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said he did not fear Mr Rudd, despite 75 per cent of Coalition supporters polled saying the former leader had a better chance than Ms Gillard of winning the next election.


Australia: Gas-fired generators to power Sydney homes?

This sop to the Greenies seems quite mad. The capital cost per unit of electricity produced has to be much greater than the cost of reticulated power -- particularly where the transmission lines are already in place

What is needed of course is a big new coal-fired power station on one of the big coalfields that surround Sydney -- but the Greenies would put up such a storm about that that it would take a brave government to do it. So they flail about with expensive follies instead

SUBURBAN homes will be fitted with government-funded mini power generators as part of a series of multimillion dollar trials to reign-in electricity prices and reduce demand.

Up to 30,000 homes in Sydney and Newcastle will participate in one of seven trials to take place in NSW. The Federal Government is providing $100 million towards the cost of them. The trials, to be undertaken by Ausgrid, will look at whether household bills can be lowered while also making the grid more efficient. About 25 households have agreed to have a fuel cell fitted to their home as part of a two-year trial to begin this month.

The cell, in a box the size of a dishwasher, will convert gas to electricity which will be fed back into the grid as part of the first phase of the trial.

Heat produced during the conversion process will be used to provide free hot water to participating families. The second phase will involve the cell powering the family home to determine if it can reduce electricity usage. The cells cost about $50,000 each but Ausgrid believes they would become more affordable in commercial production.

Demand for electricity during peak hours is at a critical level and energy companies are seeking ways to reduce the load on the network.

Ausgrid energy efficiency expert Paul Myors said peak demand was rising two per cent a year across the network. He said a fuel cell could power two homes.

"We're testing whether this type of technology can make the power supply more reliable, reduce peaks in electricity demand and lower household electricity bills," Mr Myors said.

The trial is one of several taking place in coming months. Smart meters will be installed in about 15,000 homes in the coming weeks, allowing homeowners to remotely turn off appliances and monitor their electricity use in real-time on the web.



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1 comment:

John A said...

"Smart meters will be installed in about 15,000 homes in the coming weeks, allowing homeowners to remotely turn off appliances and monitor their electricity use in real-time on the web."

Of course, not just homeowners will be able to do these things.

I had the ability to remotely switch electrical equipment on and off decades ago, though not {then} monitoring ability. I used it mostly to turn on the air conditioning shortly before leaving work. And no computer of the electric company or government would decide to turn it back off via some algorithm that I was not at home - at least not without turning off perhaps twenty percent of the city to do so.