Monday, May 01, 2017

An old Greenie scare now looks even more ridiculous

Mainly in the '70s Greenies were wailing that the world's known reserves of potassium compounds -- such as potash -- were not enough to last us much longer.  And potassium is needed for bone health.  So we were all in danger of crumbling bones.  Potash is in fact found worldwide.  The "known reserves" were simply what was most cheaply mined.  But then a big discovery of potash in North Africa was announced, which put the "known rserves" up way beyond scare levels.  So the story below is amusing.  It turns out that even Britain has huge amounts of the stuff under the ground that can economically be mined.  Another Greenie scare has turned out to be a total false prophecy.  Your bones are safe

The Queen is among a clutch of landowners set to share a £3.8bn windfall from the largest mine dug in Britain. Dozens of small farmers in North Yorkshire could become multimillionaires thanks to a gigantic deposit of fertiliser a mile below the moors.

Sirius Minerals lifted the lid last week on the riches that will be unlocked for local people and estate owners by its mine. It broke ground on the project in North York Moors national park this year.

The company aims to tap a 70-metre deep seam of polyhalite, a mineral-rich form of potash. The £2.3bn mine is expected to reach peak production in the mid-2020s.


The economic prospects of advanced coal technologies have never seemed so promising

Despite all of the attention given to wind and solar power, the development and deployment of advanced coal technologies may be far more important in shaping our energy future. Consider where world energy use and research is headed. Coal, and other fossil fuels, remain the backbone of the global energy system and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

If the politics of coal have never seemed so anguished, the economic prospects of advanced coal technologies with higher generating efficiencies have never seemed so promising. Not so far into the future, several new coal technologies are expected to come into greater commercial use in the United States. The best known are new pulverized coal combustion systems, operating at increasingly higher temperatures and pressures, and plants with an integrated gasification combined cycle. Increasing the average efficiency rate of the U.S. coal fleet from 33 to 40 percent using these available technologies would reduce coal-plant emissions by between 14 and 21 percent.

And there may yet be cost-cutting breakthroughs in the development of techniques to capture carbon emissions from power plants – both coal and natural gas units -- and use the carbon to produce petrochemicals, plastics and other useful products. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other leading universities are trying to come up with the answers.

Global warming will continue unless all countries reduce carbon emissions. That's because most countries burn coal, which is responsible for about 45 percent of the world's carbon emissions. The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that even as coal's share of U.S. electricity generating capacity declines, its world use will rise from about 30 percent today to 50 percent by 2035.

Its environmental impact notwithstanding, coal is a practical energy option for fast-growing economies like China and India, which don't have large natural gas resources. These countries are determined to grow their economies and lift millions of people out of poverty, and do it at the least cost possible.

Given the certainty that coal will continue to play a large and indispensable role in electricity production, the way forward requires the deployment of innovative coal technologies to mitigate carbon emissions.

The World Coal Association says that lifting the average global efficiency rate of coal plants to 40 percent compared to 33 percent today would reduce carbon output by an amount equal to India's annual carbon emissions, which are among the highest in the world. Some coal plants operating with ultra-supercritical technology in Europe and Japan are already achieving efficiencies in the 42 to 46 percent range.

Importantly, higher efficiencies are a critical step toward the use of carbon capture, use and storage technology, without which, it is highly improbable that global carbon emissions can be brought down to acceptable levels.

Despite the challenges, several projects have been launched to develop and test processes for capturing and sequestering carbon. Most of this activity is under way in the United States, and its cost is being shared by government and private industry. For example, NRG Energy is pumping carbon dioxide 80 miles by pipeline from its coal-burning Parish power plant in Texas and using it to extract more oil and natural gas from old wells.

Exxon Mobil is a major partner in a carbon mitigation project that uses fuel cells – devices that generate electricity through chemical reactions. The idea is to connect fuel cells to fossil-fuel plants, so that the fuel cells can generate additional power to make up for the cost of sequestering the carbon.

In Alberta, Canada, a company is injecting carbon captured from a natural gas plant and injecting it into concrete. The process reduces the need for composite material when making concrete and makes it stronger. So far it's been put into use at about 50 concrete plants over the past two years.

And in Mississippi, a Southern Company power plant that burns lignite coal strips out about 65 percent of the carbon from gas emissions, then pumps it to other companies for use in enhanced oil recovery.

The basic attraction of coal remains its low cost and abundance. In the next 10 to 20 years, coal's value is likely to grow, as advanced coal plants, including some retrofitted with carbon capture, meet the world's growing need for energy while helping reduce greenhouse emissions.


Liberals have epic meltdown after NYT columnist suggests science behind climate change isn’t certain

Bret Stephens, one of the New York Times’ newest conservative columnists, endured a wrath of anger from liberals on Friday who proceeded to meltdown after his first column for the Times stated that “climate change” isn’t certain.

The general idea of Stephens’ column was that the science behind “climate change” is not certain — despite claims from climate change alarmists that it is — and that when uncertain science is deemed certain it undermines science as a whole.

“Claiming total certainty about the science traduces the spirit of science and creates openings for doubt whenever a climate claim proves wrong,” Stephens wrote.

“None of this is to deny climate change or the possible severity of its consequences. But ordinary citizens also have a right to be skeptical of an overweening scientism. They know — as all environmentalists should — that history is littered with the human wreckage of scientific errors married to political power,” he explained.

To put it lightly, liberals and climate change alarmists lost their minds. They proceeded to lambaste Stephens on Twitter:

“literally go f*ck yourself, new york times. go eat dog d*cks,” wrote another user.

All of the outrage over his column, or his assertion that it’s OK to be skeptical of climate change despite those who claim it to be “settled science,” didn’t get past Stephens.

“After 20 months of being harangued by bullying Trump supporters, I’m reminded that the nasty left is no different. Perhaps worse,” he responded.

However, the hate continued to pour in.

“bret if you think that tweet was “nasty” i have some news for you: you’re a sh*thead. a crybaby lil f*ckin weenie. a massive tw*t too,” wrote one journalist.

“Oh no, someone said you should get fired, how dare they insult you for being a huge piece of sh*t, on record, over and over again,” added another Twitter user.

“f*ck you, crybaby,” said yet another.

In response to the outrage, the New York Times tweeted its coverage of climate change to its followers on Friday.

But for many liberals who are afraid to read anything they disagree with, publishing Stephens’ column was the final straw. Many called the Times’ subscription office to cancel their subscription of the paper.


Appeals panel agrees to delay case on coal plant pollution

The Trump administration has successfully delayed a legal fight over enforcing Obama-era restrictions on pollution from coal-fired power plants.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Thursday granted a request from the Environmental Protection Agency to postpone a planned hearing on 2012 rules requiring energy companies to cut emissions of toxic chemicals. Though the regulations are finalized and already in effect, the new administration told the court it intends to rewrite them.

It is the latest in a string of moves by President Donald Trump's appointees to help companies that profit from burning fossil fuels. Trump has pledged to reverse decades of decline in a U.S. coal industry under threat from such cleaner sources of energy as natural gas, wind turbines and solar farms.


Another stupid Greenie prophecy from Australia:  "The Reef will never be the same again"

This is just straight Greenie propaganda, with no regard to all the facts.  The GBR has had some bleaching events lately but it is nothing compared to Bikini Atoll, which had a thermonuclear device exploded above it.  And Bikini coral is thriving again.  If coral on Bikini can survive that, why should not the GBR survive infinitely lesser stressors?

And attributing the isolated bleaching to global warming is just assertion.  They offer no evidence for it.  The best evidence is that it is due to sea-level changes, not ocean warming.

It does seem that the 2015/2016 summer bleaching was repeated in summer this year (2016/2017).  Since water levels change only slowly, that is to be expected.

And note that, while they are busily attributing the bleaching to global warming, they give not a single number for either the global water temperature or the North Queensland water temperature.

So let me supply some numbers: NASA/GISS Tell us that the global December 2016 temperature (mid-summer) was .77, which was DOWN on December 2015 (1.10)and even slightly down on 2014 (.79).  So in the period at issue, there was NO global warming.  So the guys below are lying through their teeth.  They say that the bleaching was caused by global warming but there WAS no global warming in the period concerned.

And they also don't give numbers for sea levels in the area.  They are zealously hiding the real cause of the bleaching

THE biggest jewel in Australia’s tourism crown will never look the same again — and to fix it, Australia needs a worldwide hand.

Made up of 3000 individual reef systems, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest living organism. It is home to 300 species of coral and a vast array of fish, molluscs, starfish and other marine life.

The Reef also supports a $6 billion tourism industry that provides employment for 69,000 people — all of which is in strife if environmental degradation causes significant, widespread harm.

Already back-to-back coral bleaching episodes have taken their toll, wiping out nearly 600km of coral mostly in the far north.

Caused by rising ocean temperatures that kill food-generating algal organisms inside the coral, no one can say with any confidence that bleaching will not become an annual event.

Even more worrying, scientific data suggests a further two-degree increase in ocean temperatures would wipe-out most of the hard corals.

The man in charge of the Reef Recovery program at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Dr Mark Read, concedes it will never look the same again.

Although some corals will build up a resilience to warmer temperatures, a number of species are facing extinction.

“I think it’s going to end being a real mosaic,” said Dr Read.

“Some parts of the Reef are going to look more classic — hard coral-dominated — that we’re familiar with while other parts will be less dominated by hard coral and more dominated by soft coral and algae.”

While natural habitats are destined to change over time, Dr Read says in the Reef’s case, mankind has contributed to the “current accelerated period of heating” causing coral bleaching.

“We are talking about a global phenomenon,” Dr Read said.

“(Coral bleaching) is happening all around the world where you have hard coral. The Great Barrier Reef has been hit particularly hard, so it’s front of mind.”

Among the strategies being used by his team to aid in the Reef’s recovery, are ensuring activities in the area do not adversely impact the delicate marine environment; tackling the insidious Crown of Thorns starfish; improving water quality and reducing the volume of debris that finds its way into the massive water park.

Together those initiatives will make a difference but Dr Read admits they won’t prevent more episodes of coral bleaching.

“In terms of dealing with the warming per se, that is something that needs to be tackled at that global level,” he said.

“What we do, and what we can do is reduce as many of the direct pressures on the Reef to enhance its capacity to bounce back.”

Those who make a living from the Reef are watching the situation with some trepidation.

Despite chalking up their best tourism season since 1997 in 2016, long-term operators know the back-to-back coral bleaching events that have received global coverage will eventually take their toll.



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