Sunday, February 19, 2012

Wind Energy Versus Keystone

How much power does America's wind industry produce every day? To find out, we started with the U.S. Department of Energy's current estimate of the total installed wind capacity in the United States, as of 30 September 2011. Here, we find a total of 43,635 MW of installed wind power capacity across the U.S.

Next, we borrowed the Coyote's back-of-the-envelope math to estimate how much power that installed capacity is generating from the wind, coming up with an estimate of 314,172,000 kiloWatt-hours per day.

Then, we compared the amount of energy that would have been pipelined through the U.S. if President Obama not arbitrarily rejected the Keystone XL pipeline project: 1,530,000,000 kiloWatt-hours per day. U.S. Current Installed Wind Power Generation Capacity, 30 September 2011

So we see that just this one pipeline project, which would add to the estimated total of 55,000 miles of crude oil trunk lines in the U.S., would outproduce the entire U.S. wind power industry in terms of actual energy production by a factor of nearly 5 to 1. And it's not like major crude oil pipelines don't already criss-cross the entire continent:


Scientific fraud has happened often before

The review below of the book FALSE PROPHETS By Alexander Kohn has obvious appicability to the current global warming mania but the author wisely leaves that subject for future commentators

AMONG the many scientists and doctors whose names adorn the pages of "False Prophets," I have found myself haunted by three in particular: Johnson S. Caulder, Ph.D., Lawrence D. Bergmann, M.D., and Myron C. Filstein, M.D. All three are thanked at the end of a paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1981 - Caulder "for performing the amino acid analyses," Bergmann "for obtaining the heart tissue during pacemaker placement," Filstein "for referring several family members" - and they sound a solid enough trio. The only trouble is that none of them actually exist; they were being invoked to prop up a series of findings which were themselves in all probability fictitious.

Deceptions as blatant as this are -as far as anyone can tell - rare in the annals of science, but they represent only one end of a broad spectrum of possible scientific cheating. At the other extreme are errors that are at least partly the product of wishful thinking or a failure to guard against bias; in between come numerous gradations of what the Victorian scientist Charles Babbage classified as "trimming" and "cooking" (manipulating the data, suppressing inconvenient facts), along with plagiarism, making bogus claims about the probable course of research and the more subtle varieties of Babbage's third category of misconduct, outright "forging."

In "False Prophets" Alexander Kohn surveys the entire field of dishonesty in the natural sciences and medicine, with a side glance at archeology, paleontology and one or two other branches of scholarship. Mr. Kohn tells his story well, and has plainly given it a great deal of thought; in addition to being professor of virology at the Tel Aviv Medical School, he is editor of the intriguingly entitled Journal of Irreproducible Results. (I wish he had said a little about what his editorial duties entail, but he does at least make it clear that the fact that an experiment is irreproducible does not necessarily mean that error or deception is involved.) There are errors, as Mr. Kohn says, that "are nothing to be ashamed of," and he begins by considering some examples - in particular, those cases of collective error where a scientist's initial mistake has been taken up and repeated by other scientists until it assumes the proportions of a mass delusion.

During the 1920's and 1930's, for instance, some 500 publications in reputable quarters were devoted to the phenomenon of "mitogenetic rays" - ultraviolet rays that were erroneously thought to be emitted by plant or animal cells while they were dividing. Mr. Kohn observes that "mythogenetic rays" might have been a better name; but he also tries to account for what it was that predisposed so many scientists to believe in them, and in subsequent mirages such as "polywater" (a supposedly anomalous form of water - one eminent authority, J. D. Bernal, referred to it as "the most important physical chemical discovery of the century") and "scotophobin" (a substance said to induce fear of darkness in rats).

Accusations of cutting corners have been leveled at several celebrated figures in the history of science, including Newton, and Mr. Kohn finds at least some of the charges well-founded. He also discusses a number of instances of charlatanism or controversial conduct in high places, ranging from the fabrications of the psychologist Cyril Burt to the dubious tactics resorted to by the physicist Robert A. Millikan in his successful pursuit of a Nobel Prize.

The case of Trofim D. Lysenko, to whom Mr. Kohn devotes a separate chapter, remains in a class by itself. Mr. Lysenko, it will be recalled, was the Soviet agronomist who led an onslaught against the science of genetics during the era of Stalin and Khrushchev; but if he is now an utterly discredited figure, it is still chilling to be reminded of how much damage he was responsible for - including the imprisonment and in some instances the death of a number of leading Soviet geneticists.

Mr. Kohn gives a fascinating account of some of the cases of indubitable, clearly documented cheating that have come to light in recent years. A few have received a great deal of publicity, like the Summerlin affair, in which skin grafts on mice were simulated by means of a felt-tip pen. Others, no less interesting, are unlikely to be widely known outside professional circles.

The expedient of the felt-tipped pen may seem childish - but then what about the psychiatrist who failed to carry out the pharmaceutical tests he reported, and who first aroused the suspicions of a Food and Drug Administration official who came to audit his data because there was nothing in his consulting room except an executive chair? (The official was forced to sit on a kindergarten chair throughout his visit.) This in turn, Mr. Kohn suggests, raises an unwelcome question - it may be that in the field of drug testing it is only the relatively inept defaulters who tend to be caught, while more skillful ones escape detection. And indeed, how widespread is scientific fraud in general? Some of the evidence Mr. Kohn cites is contradictory, but in the end he is inclined to see the problem as a fairly restricted one. He has confidence in the self-policing system of science, and he argues that if deceptions are more frequently reported than they were in the past, it is not because they occur more often but because there is more open communication between scientists and the public.


Tragedy Unfolding in Europe - Is U.S. Media Trying to Ignore It?

The cold snap in Europe, which began in late January, has killed hundreds and brought deep snow where it hasn’t been seen in decades,” says this article in the Seattle Times.

This should be front page news. Instead, the article doesn’t appear until page eight. And the title, “At least 3 killed in avalanche in Kosovo,” belies the seriousness of the situation.

How about a headline that tells it like it is? "140,000 trapped by snow – Death toll rises past 550"

That headline would give readers a glimpse of what’s really happening in Europe, where snow drifts reaching above the rooftops have kept tens of thousands of villagers prisoners in their own homes.

Now, I’ll admit that once you get past the ho-hum headline and down to the third paragraph, the Seattle Times article gets to the harsh truth.

You learn that in Montenegro, “the heaviest snow in 63 years sealed off hundreds of villages, shut down roads and railways and closed the main airport.” And you learn that “It was the biggest snowfall in the capital since 1949.”

You also learn that “boat traffic on the frozen Danube river — one of Europe’s key waterways — has been unable to move for the longest time in recent memory.” (Italics added.)

The rest of the article is quite informative, and I appreciate that.

But it’s that “cold snap” thing that bugs me. Did all of the world’s journalists go to “cold snap” school?

If temperatures go up by a hundredth of a degree they scream “global warming.” But if, heaven forbid, it’s record cold and record snow? “Well, let’s just call it a cold snap.”

Would you call it a “cold snap” when more than 100 vessels become trapped in icy waters of the Sea of Azov? That’s what Reuters called it. “A fierce cold snap with temperatures of about -25C (-13 F) caused large parts of the Azov Sea to freeze,” said Reuters.

Would you call it a “cold snap” when more than 2,000 roads in Turkey are blocked by heavy snows? That’s what the Google News headline announced. The article itself was very good, speaking of brutal cold and record low temperatures, but – “cold snap”?

Would you call it a “cold snap” when people have to cut tunnels through 15 feet of snow to get out of their homes? “Eastern Europe has been pummeled by a record-breaking cold snap,” says this otherwise great AP article.

Look at these headlines. Are these the result of a “cold snap”?

Serbia cuts power in desperate bid to prevent collapse of national grid. The country’s entire electric distribution system could collapse…

Hundreds of barns collapse in Italy. At least one million farm animals in danger of running out of food.

Villages buried under 4-5 meters of snow – Video

“23.000 people are isolated, how many people and animals have died we don’t know since nobody can reach there.”

Italian villages trapped in more than 9 feet of snow

With the death toll already at 43, another blast of freezing weather…

Danube freezes over – One of the greatest rivers in Europe

Danube wholly or partially blocked in six countries.

Most winter grain destroyed in southern and eastern Ukraine

With temperatures 12 to 17C below average, the situation in Ukraine has became serious.

European death toll rises to 480 – and counting

150 cattle killed when roofs collapse. “It seems more like a war in Europe.”

Code red for agriculture in Tuscany

“Blizzard comes and farmers tremble” – Loss rates up to 50%.

Turkey quake survivors fighting the snow

Walking 300 feet through the snow to reach the nearest toilets.

No, this is no mere cold snap. There’s a tragedy unfolding in Europe, and the world needs to know.


German Public Television Sends Message To Vahrenholt And Skeptics: “You Belong In The Sewer!”

Germans have been "Green" at least since the 19th century, perhaps because they are still not far removed from their forest-dwelling ancestors. When Rome was civilized, they were still primitive war-loving tribesmen. Be that as it may, the Nazis were Green romantics and so are large numbers of Germans today. So they have taken to Warmism like ducks to water. So when their dream is threatened in any way, German Warmists spit incoherent fury

Germany’s media is sick and intolerant at times, seemingly continuing a once infamous tradition [Nazism].

Yesterday NDR German public television had an interview with Fritz Vahrenholt, co-author with Sebastian Lüning of the bestselling book Die kalte Sonne now sweeping through Germany. The NDR piece is dubbed: “Vahrenholt and the ‘CO2 lies’”. The clip first introduces the climate topic and reminds viewers that “that man is causing global warming and storms.”

NDR first questions Hartmut Grassl and Jochem Marotzke, both of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology. Grassl, obviously agitated by Vahrenholt’s skeptical book, crossly replies: " Ach, actually I have no desire to comment on such nonsense.”

If you listen closely, you’ll hear a burst of laughter from some hyena in the background. Jochem Marotzke also takes the same snobby attitude: No one should question AGW. Why the indignant reaction from Marotzke and Grassl? One can only speculate.

Suppressing open debate

Perhaps they feel that a chemistry professor (Vahrenholt) and a geologist (Lüning) have no business doubting their science. But my guess is that they are completely embarrassed, and thus terrified, about having been duped by what is turning out today to be a really dumb and simplistic hypothesis: climate trace gas CO2 rules the climate and other factors play no role. These two scientific men bought into the global warming end-of-the-world catastrophe hook, line and sinker. They have absolutely no desire to have all this exposed by an open debate.

And as Lüning writes at the Die kalte Sonne site here: "One gets the sense they are now trying harder than ever to suppress debate.”

NDR could not resist delivering a low blow to Vahrenholt. The used old footage of him when he was Environment Senator for Hamburg over 20 years ago. The footage shows the young Vahrenholt climbing down through a manhole while the reporter says: “He has opted to descend into another world.” NDR’s message to the viewers is clear: “Skeptics belong in the sewers". Now you know how nasty things can get in Germany.

The NDR interview with Vahrenholt was otherwise well handled.

During the interview, Vahrenholt’s calls out the major error made by the IPCC, not properly taking the sun and ocean currents into account, and falsely assigning all the warming to CO2 from 1980 to 2000. ARD asked Vahrenholt to respond to Mojib Latif’s recent criticism, also indignant. Vahrenholt replied. “He really ought to first read the book.”

They all should read the book. From their comments, it’s clear that they haven’t, and they seem stunningly ignorant of the latest science – or they simply just don’t want to talk about it.

Good news! The book is selling like hot cakes – no. 14 on bestseller list

Here’s a little anecdote. I live in a small town and four weeks ago I ordered two copies of “Die kalte Sonne” from our local bookshop here in town – one for myself and one for the bookshop display window, which the owner kindly allowed. I told the owner that the book was highly controversial and politically incorrect. “What do you mean?” he asked. I told him “the book doesn’t believe in the climate catastrophe!” He just laughed.

Today the bookshop owner sent me a message to let me know that “Die kalte Sonne” is now on the Spiegel bestseller list and that customers have been snapping them up, and that he’s been ordering more copies. Then he told me on the phone that once a book is on the Spiegel bestseller list, then sales pick up. So expect tens of thousands of copies to be sold nationwide!


Green taxes add 15% to Britain's energy bills: Government finally admits how much more families pay to meet emissions targets

Electricity prices are 15 per cent more expensive than they should be because of green policies, Whitehall officials have admitted. Energy costs for hard-pressed consumers have been pushed up by extra charges imposed to help the Government meet pledges to cut carbon emissions.

Projections in Whitehall show that by 2020, the burden for electricity will be an astonishing 27 per cent more than it would otherwise have been. The figure for gas will be 7 per cent higher. The added expense could add up to £200 to the average energy bill by 2020 – unless householders dramatically cut the amount of power they use.

The green taxes will boost energy made from renewable sources by building vast wind farms, nuclear power stations, more solar panels and a new pylon network.

The Coalition claims the taxes will not necessarily push up bills as consumers will cut heating costs thanks to better insulation. But consumer groups insist it is very unlikely that people will be able to cut their energy use enough to keep bills stable.

The paper from the Department for Energy and Climate Change also raises the threat of a ‘high price’ scenario under which wholesale energy prices soar by more than expected. They have calculated that in eight years, the combination of green taxes and wholesale price rises could push electricity prices up by as much as 36 per cent from 2010 levels. Gas costs could rocket by 44 per cent.

If people do not slash their energy use, this ‘high-price scenario’ would see the average gas bill hit £997 and that for electricity soar to £812.

This leaves consumers needing to find more than £500 more than last year when average household bills were around £600 for electricity and £660 for gas.

Emma Boon, for the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said last night: ‘Plans for draconian climate regulations and expensive renewable energy subsidies are going to drive gigantic increases in energy bills in the next decade. ‘Politicians have tried to play down the cost of these green policies but independent estimates have made it clear that there is going to be an affordability crisis. ‘The Government needs to reform climate policy to make it more affordable and not ignore the plight of families facing huge pressure on living standards.’

Clare Francis, site editor at, said: ‘There is no doubt the trend for energy prices is up. ‘The only way people can make savings is to switch to a more competitive pricing plan, which will save them around £200 a year, and reduce energy use and make their homes more energy efficient. ‘Those who do nothing will just see their energy bills climb year after year. Now is the time to fight back as there are simple things people can do to offset rising prices.’

The DECC paper compares the price of a kilowatt hour of electricity in 2011 with what it would have been without climate change policies. Without the green measures, it was 13p but with them in place, it was 14.9p per kWhr, 15 per cent higher. Projections show that by 2020, the differential rises to 27 per cent: 14.4p without green policies and 18.3p with.

If people continue to use the current average of 4 megawatt hours per year, this means green policies will add £156 to the typical electricity bill.

The paper also includes a nightmare ‘high-price’ scenario, where wholesale prices are higher than expected. This could push electricity prices to 20.3p per kWhr in 2020.

The situation is similar for gas, according to DECC’s document which was published late last year. In 2011, gas prices were 4.1p per kWhr, 5 per cent more than they would have been without the green policies. By 2020, the differential rises to 7 per cent: 4.4p without green policies and 4.7p with. If people continue to use the current 16.9 MWhr average, this green differential will increase gas bills by £50 a year.

The projection says gas prices will rise by 15 per cent from 2011 to 2020. But under the ‘high wholesale price’ scenario, gas could cost 5.9p per kWhr in 2020, up 44 per cent.

Other projections on the DECC website show that premium unleaded petrol could breach the 140p per litre barrier as early as 2016. Under the ‘high-price’ scenario, petrol will cost 140.9p a litre in 2016 and 160p by 2028.

A department spokesman said retail energy prices would increase until 2030 ‘driven largely by rising wholesale and network costs and, to a lesser extent, energy and climate change policies’. He added: ‘Our policies will help us become less vulnerable to rises in fossil fuel prices and help people to use energy more efficiently in their homes and businesses.

‘If we don’t invest now to reduce our energy use and our dependence on fossil fuels in the long term, if we have to rely on ever-more expensive imports and leave ourselves at the mercy of international oil and gas prices, the impact on bills will be worse.’


A-fracking we will go, says China

China inching closer to shale gas production. The use of controversial hydraulic fracking is required to tap the gas hidden in shale stone underground. A look at the world's largest shale gas deposits. Infographic from Reuters.

The Chinese government will step into fifth gear this year when it comes exploring for natural gas hidden under thick shale rock beneath the earth’s surface, an official said over the weekend. China’s been promising to move forward on shale gas production for the past two years.

The Ministry of Land and Resources said Sunday that China will strengthen the survey and appraisal of shale gas in 2012 to expedite discovery and development of China shale deposits. The move comes after the recent approval of the State Council in the capital to list shale gas as an independent mineral resource. China is slowly moving towards producing shale gas.

Currently, the country does not have any shale natural gas production, adding to the country’s overall lack of natural gas in its energy matrix. China’s rough terrain and lack of technological know-how has kept it out of the shale gas biz. The country is largely beholden to coal to keep the lights on.

China’s Ministry of Land estimates the country holds around 31 trillion cubic meters of natural gas hidden under shale, equivalent to the total amount of conventional natural gas. If developed, the country’s shale gas output could exceed 100 billion cubic meters by 2020, Land Ministry’s second in command, Wang Min, told reporters during a national geological survey conference in Beijing this weekend.

China’s reserves are almost 50% greater than those of the U.S., according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Shale gas is natural gas trapped within shale rock formations deeper under ground. Shales are fine-grained sedimentary rocks that can be rich sources of petroleum and natural gas.

At the end of of 2011, China energy majors Sinopec (SNP) and Cnooc (CEO) have expressed interest in acquiring a 30% stake in privately held Texas-based fracking company Frac Tech International to operate in the U.S. If that deal ever closed, China would gain the necessarily expertise to pursue shale gas exploration at home.



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1 comment:

Dan Pangburn said...

A simple equation calculates the entire temperature trajectory (since accurately measured) with an accuracy of 88%. When calibrated to measurements prior to 1990, it has predicted temperatures since then with a standard deviation of less than 0.1C. Google “Verification of Natural Climate Change” to discover what works.