Sunday, May 06, 2018

Someone Send the Coal People the Memo

I am relucant to blame the Russians for anything, considering how much has been misattributed to them lately, but it is true that the Soviets did have an active "disinformation" campaign to undermine the West so the story below from David Archibald is probably factual.  Nothing that the Russians can do however goes anywhere near the unaided destructiveness of the American Left

To put this story into context, let's go back to 1899 and the publication of Johann von Bloch's book Die Zukunft des Krieges (The Future of War).  Bloch was a 19th-century railway magnate who had built the Warsaw to Moscow railway.  In those days, the best and the brightest worked on optimizing the productivity of railroads through operational analysis.  Bloch applied insights from managing railroads to theorizing about the conduct of war.  His big insight, original at the time, was that wars would be won by the country with the biggest industrial output.  This is the same as the Soviet military concept of "the correlation of forces."

When Lenin was exiled in Switzerland from 1914 to 1917, he spent a lot of time in the Zurich and Bern public libraries, reading books on military strategy and electrification.  Library records show that he borrowed The Future of War many times.  But the Soviets didn't start using Bloch's insight in a big way until the 1980s.  The Chernobyl nuclear plant blew up in April 1986.  It was a big disaster for a country with a low standard of living.  The nuclear contamination was equivalent to a nine-megaton ground burst.  Three months later, at a meeting of Warsaw Pact leaders, the Bulgarian prime minister posed the question: how can the Communist Bloc profit from the Chernobyl disaster?  The records of this meeting were accessed in Berlin after the fall of the Wall.

The Soviets had financed the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament for decades, but that Warsaw Pact meeting triggered a new campaign against nuclear power in the West.  Nuclear power was demonized, and the public was primed to accept closures after a nuclear mishap.  Thus, Angela Merkel, herself the fruit of a long-term campaign by East German intelligence, was about to close the German nuclear industry without discussion, with the Fukushima mishap as the excuse.

The biggest and most successful communist disinformation campaign, with the intent of reducing Western industrial capacity, has been global warming.  On June 24, 1988, self-confessed global warming scientist James Hansen addressed a congressional committee and told them that "global warming has begun."  The air-conditioning in the hearing room had been turned off for effect.  Significantly, Hansen's verbiage was transmitted live to a reception at the offices of the European Environment Bureau, funded by the E.U., in Brussels.  Those attending in Brussels were told that this was the start of something big, and so it was.

But why were the Europeans in on Hansen's testimony?  Because they wanted to hobble U.S. industry.  When communism fell apart in 1990, the benchmark for carbon dioxide emissions was set as those of 1990.  Thus, it was easy for the Europeans to comply with the regulations they wanted to impose because power generation in formerly communist Europe had collapsed.

The global warming campaign gained momentum, but last decade, it hit a roadblock in the U.S. Senate, with Republican senators asking why U.S. industry should be hobbled with restrictions when Chinese carbon dioxide emissions were going through the roof.  So President Obama, who had grown up among communists and who was the fruit of another long-term campaign, put a lot of effort into getting China to sign on to a climate agreement.  The Chinese were quite happy to, because U.S. industry was hobbled, and they didn't have to change anything.

Now China has adopted Bloch's insight and is doing what it can to hobble industry in countries gullible enough to believe in global warming.  Thus, there is Greenpeace East Asia, which is headquartered in Beijing.  Any NGO allowed to operate in China does so only at the bidding of the Chinese Communist Party.  So Greenpeace East Asia was active in a campaign in Malaysia in trying to stop the building of a rare earths-processing plant, which would have competed with Chinese production.

So the U.S. dodged a bullet when President Trump declined to sign on to the Paris climate treaty, despite the urgings of globalists Mattis, Tillerson, and Kelly.  French president Macron's urging the signing of that treaty last week in Washington was just the slimy French version of the same.  But the globalist global warming threat remains, and that is why Scott Pruitt has been attracting so much attention from the left-wing press recently.

It's not because of anything that he has done, but because of what he has so far failed to do, and that is to rescind the 2009 endangerment finding on carbon dioxide. Doing so would produce the first government-sanctioned report from anywhere in the world that increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is not a problem.  The era of "settled science" would be over.  Conflicting scientific reports would rip the whole effort apart, and it wouldn't be possible to resuscitate it.  A billion people -- the populations of the United States, Europe, Japan, and beyond – would be set free.  And Chinese connivance in the European plan to hobble the U.S. would be thwarted.

The left want Pruitt replaced because he might end the endangerment finding, if he bothers to get around to it.  Conservatives have no idea what is at stake.

So how do the coal people fit in?  Well, the next Pittsburgh Coal Conference is not being held in Pittsburgh.  It is being held in Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province, China.  This is just a little fragment of China's attempt to gather unto itself all the world's useful intellectual property.  Instead of having to steal it, license it, or otherwise pay for it, in this case, the foreign experts will pay to travel to China and tell all they know and all that is possible.  Someone tell the coal people that we are in a pre-war state with China, and it is time to stop having anything to do with the country.  Just as the experiment in imposing democracy on the Middle East ended in blood and tears, the 20-year-long experiment in drawing China into the community of civilized nations has ended with the Chinese reverting to type -- attempting to subjugate the rest of the world.

The memo to the coal people could be illustrated with satellite photos of Anderson AFB on Guam, where a lot of hardened shelters are being installed, at last, in preparation for that war with China.  In imagery dated January 3, 2018, there are no fighter aircraft evident but a number of new fighter-sized shelters at the southeast end of the runways.  The B-52s are parked far enough apart, but the B-1s on the apron could be taken out two at a time by an incoming DF-26 ballistic missile.  There are some larger hardened shelters being built that could take the B-1s.  They would have to fold their wings back to fit instead of leaving them open as at the moment.


UK in last ditch new nuclear crunch talks as ageing power plants falter

Prime Minister Theresa May faces crunch talks over the future of a new nuclear power station on Thursday, as fresh faults reduce the amount of energy Britain's ageing fleet of reactors can generate.

The Japanese conglomerate behind plans to build a new reactor at the Wylfa nuclear site in Wales is expected to call on the Government to take a direct stake in the new plant, or risk the £27bn project falling through.

The last-ditch talks between Hitachi chairman Hiroaki Nakanishi and the prime minister were scheduled for the same day that fresh cracks in one of the UK’s oldest nuclear plants underlined the need for new investment in low-carbon power.

A string of power plants, including the faltering Hunterston nuclear plant, are set to close by 2025.

Hitachi’s 2.9 gigawatt nuclear project could help to fill the gap created by the closures, but the group is not willing to take on the full risk burden without the backing of other private investors and government involvement.

The conglomerate is planning to back away from the project entirely unless the UK agrees to help finance it or take a stake in the plant alongside investments from the Japanese government, according to local media reports.

The nuclear exit would be a major blow to the UK’s struggling ambitions to build a fleet of low-carbon, nuclear power plants to replace the ageing coal and nuclear plants.

EDF Energy said the new cracks in its 42-year old Hunterston reactor mean that the plant will be closed for much of 2018, meaning more expensive gas-fired power may be required to fill the gap in the UK’s power supplies this summer. Hunterston is scheduled to shut entirely by 2023.

Number 10 has remained tight-lipped over its negotiations with Hitachi, and a spokesman declined to comment on the latest talks.

Hannah Martin, of Greenpeace, said the “information blackout” is “unjustifiable” because of the high costs to be paid by energy users to support the projects.

"The public have a right to know what the government is planning to do with their money and why,” she said.

“Major Western economies are reducing their exposure to nuclear, so why is Britain doing the exact opposite? It would make no sense to waste yet more on expensive and outdated nuclear when technologies such as offshore wind can do the same job faster and cheaper,” Ms Martin added.


Bucking global trends, Japan again embraces coal power

Most of the world is turning its back on burning coal to produce electricity, but not Japan. The nation has fired up at least eight new coal power plants in the past 2 years and has plans for an additional 36 over the next decade—the biggest planned coal power expansion in any developed nation (not including China and India). And last month, the government took a key step toward locking in a national energy plan that would have coal provide 26% of Japan's electricity in 2030 and abandons a previous goal of slashing coal's share to 10%.

The reversal is partly a result of the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, which punctured public support for atomic energy. Critics say it also reflects the government's failure to encourage investment in renewable energy. The coal revival, they say, has alarming implications for air pollution and Japan's ability to meet its pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions, which account for 4% of the world's total. If all the planned coal plants are built, it will "be difficult for us to meet our emissions reduction goals," Minister of the Environment Masaharu Nakagawa noted earlier this year.

Not long ago, coal was on its way out in Japan. In 2010, coal plants accounted for 25% of Japan's electricity, but the powerful Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) planned to reduce that share by more than half over 20 years. The ministry counted on nuclear power to pick up the slack, with its share of the nation's electricity set to increase from 29% in 2010 to 50% by 2030.

But the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident forced a reassessment. All 54 of Japan's reactors were shut down pending compliance with new safety standards. Just seven have restarted. Utilities have turned to liquefied natural gas and coal, which surged to provide 31% of the country's electricity in 2014.

In many other nations, natural gas has replaced coal as a fuel source because gas costs less. But in Japan, "coal is cheap," says Takeo Kikkawa, an energy economist at Tokyo University of Science and a member of an METI advisory council on energy. That's because the nation must import natural gas in its relatively expensive liquefied form.

The new energy plan would cement coal's central role. Endorsed on 26 March by an METI advisory council, and likely to be adopted by the Cabinet later this year, it calls for nuclear plants to be restarted, boosting their share of electricity generation to between 20% and 22% by 2030. Renewable energy's share would rise slightly, to between 22% and 24%, with solar energy alone accounting for 7%. But fossil fuels—coal, oil, and natural gas—would provide 56%.

That reliance on coal will make it difficult for Japan to fulfill its pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 26% below 2013 levels by 2030, and by 80% by 2050. Those cuts will be even harder to achieve if now-shuttered nuclear power plants aren't restarted.

Power industry officials, however, claim they can limit emissions by building so-called clean coal plants and systems for capturing carbon. As an example, they point to Unit 2 at the Isogo Thermal Power Station in Yokohama. Completed in 2009, it uses a so-called ultrasupercritical cycle, which generates steam at very high heat and pressure, boosting the plant's efficiency to 45%, compared with 30% to 35% for conventional plants. The result is the world's lowest emissions per unit of power, according to the International Energy Agency's Clean Coal Center in Paris.

But such plants are costly. And critics note that more than half of the proposed coal stations will use more conventional—and polluting—technologies. The environment ministry projects that if all the planned plants are built, by 2030 coal's carbon emissions would more than offset the cuts Japan wants to make elsewhere. A yet-to-be-published Greenpeace study concludes that if the plants operate for 40 years, they would also emit pollutants that would cause more than 60,000 premature deaths.

Public opposition and projections of declining electricity demand have some utilities rethinking plans for new plants. The Electric Power Development Company of Tokyo announced last week that it is abandoning plans for two new 600-megawatt coal plants near Kobe. In all, companies have now canceled six planned coal plants announced since 2012, according to the environmental group Kiko Network in Kyoto.

Japan's turn to coal represents a missed opportunity for renewable energy, says Tomas Kåberger, an energy specialist at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, and chair of the Tokyo-based Renewable Energy Institute. After the Fukushima accident, he notes, the government adopted incentives for renewable power and started to tweak energy markets to make renewables more competitive. The moves led to a surge of investment in solar power.

But Kåberger says under current rules, Japan's 10 regional utilities can still give their own generating plants priority access to transmission lines, which they also control. This creates uncertainty for those trying to sell renewable power into the grid. Such issues, together with subsidy cuts and other policy changes, last year led to a 32% decline in investment in solar power, says Hisayo Takada, Japan energy project leader for Greenpeace Japan in Tokyo. As a result, Minister of Foreign Affairs Taro Kono said at a symposium last month in Tokyo, "The situation in our solar energy sector today can only be described as lamentable."


Campus Craziness: Cornell Course Examines ‘Derangement’ Of ‘Climate Denialism’

A new seminar at Cornell University is determined to shut down “climate denialism,” claiming that there is “mounting evidence” that “global warming is real.”

Deranged Authority: The Force of Culture in Climate Change, worth four academic credits, is set to be taught in the Fall 2018 semester by cultural anthropologist Jennifer Carlson.

The course description asserts that “climate denialism is on the rise,” suggesting the increase is related to the rise of “reactionary, rightwing [sic] politics in the United States, UK, and Germany.”

The proposed solution to combat such denialism and assumed ignorance is “climate justice,” even though over 30,000 scientists reject global warming alarmism.

Richard Lindzen, MIT emeritus professor of meteorology and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, found the course “an insult to the intelligence of the students.”

He clarified to Campus Reform that many scientists do not argue against slight warming of the Earth after the Little Ice Age (the unusually cool period of the Earth around the 1700s A.D.), nor do those critical of anthropogenic climate change argue that humans have made no impact on the planet, merely that the effect has been small and largely beneficial.

“The point of such courses as are proposed for Cornell, is to replace science with belief,” Lindzen argued, adding that students are “encouraged to replace understanding with virtue signaling.”

Course readings will focus on the question of “authority” in the field of climate science, exploring “climate research, popular environmentalist texts, and industry campaigns aimed at obfuscating evidence of ecological collapse.”

The class is also influenced by Amitav Ghosh’s 2016 book Great Derangement, which, according to the course description, “suggests that the world’s collective failure to meet the challenges of climate change stems from an ongoing crisis of culture and, more fundamentally, of the imagination.”

“More fundamentally, the course moves the question of how our own senses of environmental authority are grounded in ordinary life, shaped by our respective social positions as well as our everyday practices,” the description adds.

While the course aims to push for scientific discourse, it will also teach students to recognize indigenous “ecoauthority” so that they can “become familiar with models for ecological resiliency that do not conform to scientific or ‘expert’ discourses of climate remediation.”

The course is part of the Society for the Humanities’ general theme for the 2018-2019 school year, Authority. Courses under this theme will focus on the consequences of authority in science, law, the arts, and politics.

“In the age of a superabundance of information, what differentiates ‘real’ (authoritative) information from ‘fake news,’ and how one can be interchanged with the other as an ‘equal’ source of authority?” the description of the theme reads.

Stacey Langwick, the director of Undergraduate Studies in the Anthropology department, told Campus Reform that the class is a “one-time opportunity,” and “will never be taught again” because Carlson is a visiting fellow.


UN Says Climate Change Is ‘Single Biggest Threat to Life, Security and Prosperity on Earth’

The United Nations Climate Change Secretariat released its first-ever annual report this week, in which it held up its “Gender Action Plan” as a key to increasing the participation of women in responding to global warming.

“Climate Change is the single biggest threat to life, security, and prosperity on Earth,” said UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa at the roll-out of the report.

“This annual report shows how UN Climate Change is doing everything it can to support, encourage and build on the global response to climate change,” Espinosa said, adding that “UN Climate Change’s mandate is to lead and support the global community in this international response, with the Paris Agreement and the Convention being the long-term vehicles for united global climate action.”

In his foreword to the report, UN Secretary-General António Guterres expressed a similar conviction that global warming poses a singular threat to the world in the third millennium.

“Climate change is the defining challenge of our time,” Guterres warned, “yet it is still accelerating faster than our efforts to address it. Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide are higher than they have been for 800,000 years, and they are increasing. So, too, are the catastrophic effects of our warming planet – extreme storms, droughts, fires, floods, melting ice and rising sea levels.”

The report focuses on the work of COP23 and the resulting Paris Climate Accord as being uniquely effective tools for combatting climate change and its effects.

Yet while there has never been a single documented case of a person being killed by CO2-related “global warming,” real pollution of air, water and land is killing an average of 25,000 people across the globe every single day, according to a major 2017 study by the prestigious Lancet journal.

In a strange disconnect, the Paris Accord never once mentions the word “pollution” in the entire 27-page document, focusing exclusively on the bogeyman of climate change.

In its study, the Lancet revealed that pollution-related diseases were responsible for an estimated 9 million premature deaths in 2015, or some 15 times more than from all wars and other forms of violence combined.

Although environmental activists like to talk of “carbon pollution,” in point of fact carbon dioxide (CO2) is not a “pollutant” at all. CO2 is colorless, odorless and completely non-toxic. Plants depend on it to live and grow, and human beings draw some into their lungs with every breath they take to no ill effect.

Some experts, in fact, such as UN climate scientist Dr. Indur Goklany, have defended rising CO2 levels as a positive thing for humanity. Goklany has argued that the rising level of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere “is currently net beneficial for both humanity and the biosphere generally.”

“The benefits are real, whereas the costs of warming are uncertain,” he said.

So as environmental activists jet around the world complaining of “carbon footprints” and preaching “renewable energy” while insisting that countries be taxed for their CO2 emissions, they are silent regarding the real and present menace that is currently wiping out millions of human beings around the world.

In the most severely affected countries, the Lancet report declared, “pollution-related disease is responsible for more than one death in four.”

Pollution “disproportionately kills the poor and the vulnerable,” the Lancet study found. “Nearly 92% of pollution-related deaths occur in low-income and middle-income countries and, in countries at every income level, disease caused by pollution is most prevalent among minorities and the marginalized.”

Nations have a duty to clean up their air, water, and land. A significant concentration of fine particulate matter in the air is especially dangerous and has been shown to increases the risk of acute lower respiratory infection, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease, stroke and lung cancer.

Nonetheless, this real health damage from pollution “has particularly been overlooked in both the international development and the global health agendas,” the Lancet report stated.

“Although more than 70% of the diseases caused by pollution are non-communicable diseases, interventions against pollution are barely mentioned in the Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases,” it said.

If the United Nations were truly interested in improving people’s health around the globe, they might spare a thought for killer pollution rather than devoting all their time and resources to promoting ideologically driven agendas.




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


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