Monday, April 20, 2020

US judge cancels permit for Keystone XL pipeline from Canada

A U.S. judge canceled a key permit Wednesday for the Keystone XL oil pipeline that’s expected to stretch from Canada to Nebraska, another setback for the disputed project that got underway less than two weeks ago following years of delays.

Judge Brian Morris said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to adequately consider effects on endangered species such as pallid sturgeon, a massive, dinosaur-like fish that lives in rivers the pipeline would cross.

The ruling, however, does not shut down work that has begun at the U.S.-Canada border crossing in Montana, according to attorneys in the case. Pipeline sponsor TC Energy will need the permit for future construction across hundreds of rivers and streams along Keystone's 1,200-mile (1,930-kilometer) route.

“It creates another significant hurdle for the project," said Anthony Swift with the Natural Resources Defense Council, one of the groups that challenged the permit.

“Regardless of whether they have the cross border segment ... Keystone XL has basically lost all of its Clean Water Act permits for water crossings," he said.

TC Energy was reviewing the ruling but remained “committed to building this important energy infrastructure project," spokesman Terry Cunha said.

Officials with the Army Corps of Engineers did not have an immediate response to the ruling.

The Keystone authorization came under a so-called nationwide permit issued by the Corps in 2017, essentially giving blanket approval to pipeline or similar utility projects with minimal effects on waterways.

The cancellation could have broader implications because it appears to invalidate dredging work for any project authorized under the 2017 permit, said attorney Jared Margolis with the Center for Biological Diversity, another plaintiff in the case. It's unclear what projects would be included.

Morris is holding a court hearing Thursday on two other lawsuits against the $8 billion pipeline. American Indian tribes and environmental groups want him to halt the construction at the border while a lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump's approval of the pipeline last year works its way through the courts.


“Demonizing CO2”

It is amazing, appalling, and mystifying to describe the pitiful tale of how carbon dioxide – an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas – which is essential for the production of oxygen, and therefore essential for life on Earth – has been demonized into a harmful, evil “pollutant” – a toxic “emission.”

This tiny, trace gas, which comprises only 400 parts per million of the Earth’s atmosphere, is essential for the proper operation of not only the lungs of humans, but also the breathing apparatus of nearly every living thing on Earth. The amount of CO2 produced by human beings from the burning of fossil fuels (as opposed to the natural outgasing of CO2 from phytoplankton, volcanoes, fires, decaying vegetation, etc,) is even smaller, constituting less than a one fifth of all atmospheric CO2.

Atmospheric CO2 is the critical ingredient in photosynthesis – the chemical process plants use for producing oxygen. At its birth, the Earth’s atmosphere did not contain any significant amounts of oxygen. But CO2 was in abundance. Over billions of years, single celled algae evolved into plants, which then turned the combination of water, sunlight, and CO2 into the oxygen rich atmosphere we have today. The critical ingredient was CO2. No CO2 – no oxygen – no life as we know it. This is simple chemistry – an undeniable fact.

To obtain perspective on how minuscule a component of the atmosphere CO2 actually is, imagine that a slice of the Earth’s atmosphere containing 10,000 molecules of air were placed in a medium-sized basketball stadium, consisting of 10,000 seats. The total number of CO2 fans sitting in that stadium – encompassing all known sources, – would be just four.

That’s it. Four out of 10,000.  And of those four CO2 fans, the number of them which were created by the burning of fossil fuels would be less than one.

Climate Alarmists claim that the addition of that one, single fossil fuel CO2 molecule by the year 2050 – a single “magjc malignant molecule” – will be responsible for bringing about catastrophic warming of the planet.

One single fan, sitting in a stadium of 10,0000 people, will dictate the tragic outcome of the climate and the ruination of the Earth.  Many educated, rational people – overwhelmed by massive amounts of propaganda and misinformation regarding the purported evils of CO2 – now believe in this kind of thinking, even though it flies in the face of the historical record, sound science, and the most basic common sense.

I can provide a recent, personal example.

Several months ago, the Yale Alumni Association of Washington DC sponsored a lecture called “Climate Change: What You Need to Know.” I attended with about 100 fellow alumni(ae) of all ages, almost all of whom appeared to be fervent believers of the current climate orthodoxy. At the end of the lecture, I posed the “CO2 in the basketball court“ scenario to the lecturer, and asked why we should abandon common sense regarding the nature and power of CO2. His response meandered around the notions of “scientific consensus”, “peer reviewed literature”, “precautionary principle”, and other familiar talking points often offered by proponents of man-made global warming (AGW). In other words, he couldn’t answer the question.

After the lecture ended, several people from the audience rapidly approached me to explain what they ”knew” to be the obvious answer to the question. They explained that a single molecule of CO2 derived from the burning of fossil fuels was like a cancer cell, a poison pill, or a cyanide capsule buried in the human body, even a tiny portion of which would cause the host to die.

There it was: the demonization of CO2 – the sincere belief by a group of well educated, rational people that man-made CO2 molecules produced by burning fossil fuels are malignant, cancerous, and toxic.

I was somewhat surprised, but perhaps shouldn’t have been. For years the mainstream media, the academic/consultant industrial complex, and “progressive” thinkers have been spreading, supporting, and promulgating the fiction that CO2 molecules derived from the combustion of fossil fuels are an evil, toxic material that must be removed, or at least radically reduced, from the face of the Earth if the planet hopes to survive.The finding by the Obama Environmental Protection Agency that CO2 is a “pollutant” is Exhibit A of this irrational group think.

Once again, how could such a spectacular fantasy consume the thinking of otherwise rational people?

Sadly, history tells us this kind of mass hysteria and invidious group-think has happened before in our country. It was called Prohibition, and the demonized substance was ethyl alcohol.

The Prohibition movement was so powerful and compelling that it succeeded in causing the 18th Amendment to the Constitution to be ratified in 1920 by 46 of the 48 States. Fully 68% of the House of Representatives, and 76% of the US Senate voted in favor of the Amendment.

It was a masterpiece of Progressive social engineering. First demonize the substance, then criminalize it.

​For over a decade Prohibition gripped the country, with many woeful consequences – crime, corruption, and the destruction of many legitimate businesses. It took almost a generation before reason came to bear and the 21st Amendment to the Constitution was passed in 1933, effectively abolishing Prohibition.

Why is the bogus theory of man-made global warming, like Prohibition, so appealing? For one, it gives the social moralist the opportunity to exhibit personal virtue, as well as intellectual superioty. During Prohibition, virtue signaling was embodied by the “T-Totaller” proudly wearing signs demonstrating abstinence and adherence to this fashionable orthodoxy.

The AGW believer buys an electric car, eschews plastic straws, loudly denounces fossil fuels, and applauds industrial strength solar and wind farms. The more opportunistic ones ride the great green gravy train of cash which fuels the Climate Alarmist movement. Alarmism is also catnip for politicians of all stripes.

But what really engages modern day social moralists, and the crown jewel of virtue signaling, is the figment that they are“saving the planet.”

What a noble cause! Who doesn’t want to save the planet?

It is a grand and fatuous exercise in self deception.


Virginia raises energy costs – tomorrow

Kermit the Frog of Sesame Street fame got it wrong. It is easy “being green.”

Being environmentally green means you can promise “clean” energy in the future, make it sound simple and seamless, and ignore the higher costs and impracticality of it all.

Politicians in the Commonwealth of Virginia are the latest example of promising “carbon free,” renewable energy and “green jobs” decades from now, while they begin the disassembling of the fossil fuel industry and its related jobs.

Talk is cheap and promises of nirvana are easy. When the higher energy bills come due on ratepayers and businesses to bring about this brave green world, it will be far enough into the future. Self-congratulating politicians of today risk nothing by imposing energy mandates, price hikes and jobs losses on tomorrow.

Governor Ralph Northam announced on Easter Sunday that he signed two bills passed by the General Assembly to impose “clean” energy mandates on the state’s residents and businesses over the next three decades. He said this will “propel Virginia to leadership among the states in fighting climate change.”

Gov. Northam, you may recall, last year made a national splash when it was revealed that his personal page in his college yearbook included a racist photo of two students, one in blackface and the other wearing a Klansman hood. The governor initially admitted he was one of the students, but never said which. After apologizing, he changed his initial admission to deny he was either person in the photo (did he photograph two of his buddies?).

It was quite the scandal. The governor refused to resign, in part because Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor, who would take over, had his own simultaneous scandal engulfing him.

The Northam administration lives on, and has since embraced full-blown climate alarmism and the reordering of energy development in the Commonwealth. Green groups are pleased.

The new “Virginia Clean Economy Act” narrowly passed the General Assembly, which reflected sharp division rather than consensus for such radical change. The law will close fossil fuel plants and require electricity be generated entirely from solar, wind and whatever other renewable sources exist by 2050. Nearly all coal-fired plants will close in just four years.

When the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow, how will the lights stay on? Governor Northam did not say. That is a future governor’s problem, along with the citizens of the Commonwealth. The Virginia State Corporations Commission (SCC), which regulates the state’s electric utilities, acknowledged that if the planned electric generating capacity from wind and solar falls short, “all the risk is on the ratepayer.”

The SCC estimated that ratepayers would see an increase of nearly $300 per year (nearly $25 per month) in their electric bills by 2027. However, costs may be higher if the electric utilities have to purchase power from the out-of-state wholesale market or construct gas-fired back-up generation facilities.

Furthermore, the law mandates energy companies “must pay penalties for not meeting their (renewable energy) targets.”  That means ratepayers – individuals and business owners – will “pay penalties” since the energy companies would simply pass through such added costs.

The new Virginia law tacitly acknowledges that energy costs will increase by its inclusion of “energy efficiency pilot programs” to purportedly reduce the burden on those who will be hardest hit – people in low-income households. Two state agencies are directed to “develop recommendations to implement” the programs. Translation: bureaucrats will figure out later how to keep the poor from being slammed with higher energy costs when “fighting climate change.”

Higher costs notwithstanding, “fighting climate change” makes it all worth it, according to “fighters” like state Sen. Jennifer McClellan, who said, “the cost of doing nothing is staggering.” As is so typical, her claim is purely abstract, not quantifiable and therefore meaningless.

That is why “fighting climate change” is another cheap and easy posture from Virginia politicians in support of this law since it provides no specifics and dares not promise—much less define—victory. It cannot.

The Commonwealth of Virginia is a lovely place, but it is a comparative speck on the planet, as is every other state. Forcing Virginians and other states’ residents to purchase more expensive, impractical energy from unreliable wind and solar sources will not dent climate change, much less alter it. The world is too large, and the climate is affected by too many other factors beyond our control since time began.


‘Arctic April’ Is Breaking Hundreds Of Cold Records In America

Record cold and snowfall hit many parts of North America over the Easter weekend, continuing what has so far been a largely Arctic April.

Records were toppled across many U.S. states, with Montana, Iowa, South Dakota, and Colorado seemingly worst hit.

A winter storm system moved through Iowa on Sunday delivering between three inches and a foot to the majority of locations — several northern Iowa towns saw all-time records tumble:

The 3.7 inches that fell at Sioux Gateway Airport broke the record for April 12th; it also made it the second-highest Easter snowfall ever behind the 4.7 inches during Easter 1929.

The town of Ringsted in Emmet County (also Iowa) came in with a record-busting 11 inches.

Robert “Lightning” Petersen was the man to log the accumulation — he uses his back yard measuring equipment to keep track of snow and rainfall. He works in concert with the National Weather Service out of Johnston.

When the snow fell on Easter Sunday, Petersen checked his 12-inch gauge and was shocked to discover the almost 1 foot total, reports

“I was flabbergasted because it was not a blizzard activity during the day,” said Petersen. “But holy smokes, when I got that gauge up on the deck, it was plum full. I thought it can’t be. I must be seeing things.”

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), other Eastern snowfall records tumbled in Rock Valley (7 inches), Hull (6.5 inches), and Rock Rapids (8.3 inches).

Nearby Sioux Falls, South Dakota saw a whopping 5.2 inches on Monday, the most snowfall on any date in the city going back to 1893.

The COLD TIMES are returning, the lower latitudes (where us humans reside) are REFREEZING; in line with historically low solar activity, cloud-nucleating Cosmic Rays, and a meridional jet-stream flow.

Even NASA agrees, in part at least, with their forecast for this upcoming solar cycle (25) revealing it will be “the weakest of the past 200 years,” with the agency correlating previous solar shutdowns to prolonged periods of global cooling here.

Don’t fall for bogus warm-mongering political agendas — our future is one of ever-descending COLD & CROP LOSS.



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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Those who are claiming CO2 is driving the climate subscribe to the theory that the tail wags the dog, though in AGW theory it's the shortest hair on the end of that tail wagging the tail, the dog and it's owner at the end of a fifty foot leash.

Simply put, the total mass of CO2 in the atmosphere lacks the MASS to hold all the additional heat they want to claim it's providing.