Friday, October 30, 2020

Don’t Believe the Lies. Joe Biden Plans to Destroy Every Fracking, Oil, and Coal Job in America

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has spent the better part of the past month Skyping across America—because, you know, it’s much too dangerous for Joe to actually leave his basement—telling everyone who will listen that he pinky swears that a Biden-Harris administration would not “ban” fracking.

It’s all a “lie,” Biden says, cooked up by President Trump and his allies to ruin Biden’s chances in key swing states where fracking plays an important role in the economy, especially Pennsylvania.

Even Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA)—a notorious hater of fracking—has attempted to come to Joe’s defense. During the vice presidential debate earlier in October, telling Americans, “Joe Biden will not ban fracking. That is a fact.”

Actually, Harris, it is absolutely not a “fact.” It’s a political promise, and an incredibly misleading one at that.

Follow the Evidence

Despite his constant pleas to the contrary, the available evidence strongly suggests Joe Biden would put policies into place that would result in the complete destruction of virtually all jobs related to fossil-fuel production in the United States, including the fracking jobs 32,000 Pennsylvania families are currently depending on to pay their bills, and the thousands of other jobs in the state associated with the natural gas and oil industries.

What’s the proof? Well, for starters, Biden has on numerous occasions promised voters on the campaign trail he will put America on the road to the elimination of fossil fuels. (If fossil fuel use is banned, then fracking would be totally unnecessary.)

For example, at a September 2019 campaign event in New Hampshire, he told one young girl, “I want you to look at my eyes. I guarantee you, I guarantee you we’re going to end fossil fuel …”

During the presidential debate on Thursday, Biden admitted he would impose a “transition from the oil industry.”

“Would he close down the oil industry?” Trump asked. “Would you close down the oil industry?”

“I would transition from the oil industry, yes,” Biden said. (“Transition” is political speak for “end,” “dismantle,” and “decimate.”)

Further, Biden’s own campaign website claims, “As president, Biden will lead the world to address the climate emergency and lead through the power of example, by ensuring the U.S. achieves a 100% clean energy economy and net-zero emissions no later than 2050.”

100 Percent Non-Fossil Fuel Economy

Biden’s website further promises, “On day one, Biden will sign a series of new executive orders with unprecedented reach that go well beyond the Obama-Biden Administration platform and put us on the right track. And, he will demand that Congress enacts legislation in the first year of his presidency that: 1) establishes an enforcement mechanism that includes milestone targets no later than the end of his first term in 2025 …”

Imposing an “enforcement mechanism that includes milestone targets” to push the entire country toward a “100% clean-energy economy” would require the end of nearly all fossil fuel use—and, again, that includes the natural gas and oil that comes from fracking.

Anti-Frackers Write Biden’s Energy Plan

Biden has also surrounded himself with environmental radicals who have for years called for truly radical alterations to the U.S. energy industry and American society.

Kamala Harris, for instance, co-sponsored—not merely supported—Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) Green New Deal, and not some watered-down version of it, either. I’m talking about the cow-killing, end-of-air-travel, socialist version of the Green New Deal.

Biden also allowed Ocasio-Cortez, John Kerry, and the leadership of the eco-socialist Sunrise Movement to shape his policy platforms as members of the Biden-Bernie Sanders “Unity Task Forces.”

AOC, Kerry, and the Sunrise Movement, along with other Unity Task Force members, have demanded the end of fossil fuel use around the world—not just the United States—because they believe the carbon dioxide emissions produced by the burning of fossil fuels are creating an “existential threat” to the entire human race.

If Joe Biden is such a big supporter of fracking, why would he permit so many people who loathe fracking and all fossil fuel production to help write his climate and energy platforms? And how, exactly, does Biden plan to keep the fracking industry alive while simultaneously putting policies in place meant to end the use of oil and natural gas?

Costly Carbon-Capture

The only answer that makes even a shred of sense came from Biden at the presidential debate on Thursday, when Biden said he would “make sure that we can capture the emissions from the fracking, capture the emissions from gas.”

Or, put another way, Biden is saying some fracking might be allowed to continue, so long as carbon-capture technology is used to suck up all of the carbon dioxide emissions.

There’s only one problem with this part of Biden’s plan—and it’s a doozy—the cost of carbon-capture technology is so high, and has been for its entire existence, that it would make all fossil fuel use completely unmarketable compared to other kinds of energy production.

So, is Biden planning to “ban” fossil fuels? In some cases, yes, and in other cases, he’s just planning on making them so expensive to use that no one ever will. At the end of the day, the result is just the same as a ban. In Joe Biden’s America, every oil, natural gas, fracking, and coal job will, sooner or later, be eliminated—directly or indirectly—by the federal government.

Jobs Destroyed

If Biden has it his way, millions—not hundreds or thousands—of jobs will be destroyed.

It’s true that some of these jobs will be replaced by gigantic new government programs and subsidies meant to encourage the expansion of the wind and solar industries, but there is absolutely no way Biden can ensure that everyone in industries related to existing conventional energy sources will find work in a wind or solar facility.

The truth is, countless Americans won’t. Many people’s lives will be ruined.

Perhaps even more importantly, because scaled-up wind and solar costs much more and is much less reliable than existing conventional energy, hundreds of thousands—maybe even millions—of additional jobs will be destroyed, never allowed to come to fruition, or shipped overseas to places with lower energy costs.

According to the Center of the American Experiment, if 80 percent of the electric grid were reliant on wind, solar, or battery storage, it would force Americans to spend more than $1.4 trillion in additional electricity costs every single year.

With these costs in mind, it is clear many U.S. businesses, especially energy-intensive ones like those in the manufacturing sector, simply would not survive under Biden’s model.

Joe Biden’s climate and energy plans would devastate America and put the country on the road to economic catastrophe. Hopefully, more Americans will wake up to this reality before it’s too late.

Trump lifts protections for Tongass National Forest, allowing logging, road development

President Donald Trump will strip Alaska's Tongass National Forest from protections put in place nearly two decades ago, opening up millions of acres of pristine wilderness to road development and logging, according to a notice from the U.S. Department of Agriculture posted on Wednesday (Oct. 28).

The Tongass, which covers most of southeast Alaska, is one of the world’s largest remaining temperate rainforests and serves as a major carbon sink, absorbing at least 9% of all the carbon stored in all of the continental U.S. forests combined, according to The Washington Post.

“While tropical rainforests are the lungs of the planet, the Tongass is the lungs of North America,” Dominick DellaSala, chief scientist with the Earth Island Institute’s Wild Heritage project told The Post. “It’s America’s last climate sanctuary.” It's also home to many ancient trees and magnificent wildlife, from brown bears to wild salmon.

Much of the Tongass was protected from logging and road construction by the 2001 Roadless Rule, which was put in place by former President Bill Clinton. But starting tomorrow (Oct. 29), the Tongass National Forest will be exempt from this rule, meaning that logging companies can legally build roads and cut timber throughout the forest.

This exemption is one of the biggest public land rollbacks Trump has enacted, according to The Post. Throughout Trump's presidency, the administration has expanded logging in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, according to The Post. But several of the administration's plans, such as one that would involve the sale of 1.8 million acres (728,000 hectares) of timber on the Tongass's Prince of Wales Island, were thrown out in federal court.

Still, the Trump Administration has reversed, revoked or rolled back more than 70 environmental rules, including climate policies and rules around clean air, water, wildlife and toxic chemicals, according to The New York Times. The administration is currently in the process of revoking a couple dozen more.

The Great Energy Non-Transition

One of the troubling characteristics of today’s civic discourse is the tendency to confuse predictions with reality. Nowhere is this problem more severe than in the debate over supposed anthropogenic climate change and its associated issues.

The last hundred years have seen increasing emissions of carbon dioxide, a natural and benign gas. The slight increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations from 0.03 percent in the nineteenth century to 0.04 percent today has brought only beneficial effects so far, including increased crop yields and greater drought resistance.

Nonetheless, climate alarmists argue that rising temperatures caused by carbon dioxide emissions are bringing catastrophic storms, disease, extinction, flooding, and general misery.

Unlike the benefits of CO2, which are clear and measurable, climate catastrophe remains nothing more than a prediction generated by computer models that have yet to produce accurate forecasts of climate impacts.

Energy Transition, Not!

A frequent corollary of climate alarmism is that the world has undertaken a radical transformation of the global energy system, replacing fossil fuels with zero-carbon, renewable energy.

A Google search of the term “energy transition” yields over 5 million hits, many accompanied by terms such as “unstoppable” and “irreversible.” But is this transition actually taking place? Three arguments are generally offered in favor of the claim this transition taking place—none of them are valid.

First, “energy transition” supporters point to the high growth rates for renewable energy sources, with wind increasing at over 20 percent annually since 2000 and solar at over 40 percent per year, compared to less than 2 percent for fossil fuels. Sounds significant, but the absolute numbers tell a different story.

In 2019, despite forty years and trillions of dollars of subsidies, wind energy contributed about 2 percent of total global energy use and solar just over 1 percent. Fossil fuels accounted for 84 percent, down just two percentage points over the last 20 years.

Second, even highly respected publications, such as the Financial Times, run articles questioning whether oil companies can survive the tidal wave of renewables.

The oil industry is indeed in serious financial trouble as a result of the pandemic-driven collapse of oil demand and the oversupply brought about by technological production advances such as fracking. However, oil is a transportation fuel with very few points of competition with renewables, which are primarily used to generate electricity.

To the extent renewables may be profitable today, it is only because of the huge support they receive from governments in the form of captive markets created by renewable energy mandates and massive subsidies. By comparison, oil companies live or die by the market.

It remains to be seen what will happen with oil company profits when the pandemic ends, but the issue deciding the fate of the industry will be supply and demand, not competition from renewables.

No Significant Electric Car Transition

Finally, the advent of electric cars is increasingly touted as the death of oil.

The US private vehicle fleet is currently on the order of 250 million vehicles, of which approximately 1 million, or 0.4 percent, are battery electric vehicles.

Electric cars are about twice as expensive to produce as comparable gasoline models and, like renewable power generation, depend on massive subsidies for their viability.

Take Tesla, the current darling of the auto industry, for example. In addition to direct subsidies for manufacturing facilities and purchase credits ranging from $2,500 to $7,500 per vehicle, Tesla sells emissions credits to other car companies to meet California regulatory requirements. The sale of these credits totaled more than $1 billion over the past year, accounting for Tesla’s entire free cash flow over the period. Tesla loses money on each car it manufactures.

Via an executive order, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has banned the sale of new gasoline cars beginning in 2035. As with many such political promises, this “ban” is simply a goal, not a policy. Newsom is 53 years old and will be long gone from office by 2035, and the media will lose interest in whether his objective was met or not. For the moment, however, Newsom can bask in the glory of his signaled virtue.

The world may someday transition away from fossil fuels, but it is not happening yet. All we have so far are predictions, wishful thinking, and large amounts of money wasted just to make a small impact on a non-problem.

Australia defies international pressure to set emissions targets

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he will not be dictated to by other governments' climate change goals, declaring he is not worried about the future of Australia's exports despite four of the country's top trading partners adopting net-zero emissions targets.

China, Japan, Britain and South Korea, which account for more than $310 billion in Australian annual trade between them, have all now adopted the emissions target by 2050 or 2060, ramping up pressure on Australia's fossil fuel industry. Coal and natural gas alone are worth more than 25 per cent of Australia's exports, or $110 billion each year.

"I am not concerned about our future exports," Mr Morrison said on Wednesday. "Australia will set our policies here. Our policies won't be set in the United Kingdom, they won't be set in Brussels, they won't be set in any part of the world other than here."

As the Prime Minister spoke in Canberra, the South Korean President Moon Jae-in was addressing his own parliament in Seoul announcing his country would also pursue a net-zero target by 2050.

"Transitioning from coal to renewable energy, the government will create new markets, industries and jobs," Mr Moon told the National Assembly on Wednesday.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a phone call on Tuesday encouraged Mr Morrison to take "bold action" on climate change and "emphasise the importance of setting ambitious targets to cut emissions and reach net zero".

Responding to the UK government's version of the phone call, Mr Morrison said Mr Johnson understood that Australia would make "sovereign decisions" on the targets it set.

"It shouldn't come at the cost of higher prices for the daily things that our citizens depend on," he said.

"One thing the British Prime Minister and I agree on is that achieving emissions reductions shouldn't come at the cost of jobs in Australia or the UK."

Major Australian export companies such as Rio Tinto, BHP, major agriculture groups and multinational food companies are pursuing carbon neutrality, which experts say is a move to avoid being stung with trade tariffs or charges by countries that have set net-zero targets.

The Morrison government has argued it will comply with the terms of the Paris climate agreement by reaching net zero by sometime in the second half of the century but has not set a firm target.

Mr Morrison claimed on Wednesday that Australia's emissions had fallen by 14 per cent since 2005, compared to 1 per cent for New Zealand and 0 per cent for Canada. The comparison of emissions reduction between different countries has been disputed with differences over methods and the use of carryover credits. Mr Morrison said the world would "not really make a lot of progress" without widespread renewable technology to ensure developing economies like India and Vietnam could also reduce emissions.

"Our record on this speaks for itself. When we make commitments in Australia's interests then we will meet those commitments as well," Mr Morrison said.

But top scientists contend that for Australia to honour the Paris agreement - which requires countries to follow the best available scientific advice on how to limit global warming to less than two degrees — the country must reach net-zero emissions before 2050.

The federal government’s opposition to commit to reaching the target by 2050 also puts it out of step with all states and territories, which are pursuing carbon-neutral goals.




Thursday, October 29, 2020

Oil and America's Energy Future

During last Thursday's debate, Joe Biden said his goal as president would be to "transition away from the oil industry." He has also said the future is in cars powered by electricity. Biden would build 500,000 charging stations across the country. It wasn't the first time he attacked the oil and job-producing industry in his worship of the cult of "climate change."

According to Energy Information Administration data, petroleum is America's No. 1 source of energy, providing approximately 40 percent of the nation's power needs. Biden claims oil is also a major pollutant. According to the website IQ Air, the United States ranks 87th out of 98 on a list of the "world's most polluted countries." We have done well in reducing pollutants without the overreaching arm of government forcing us into electric cars. We are also now energy independent.

My car gets 22 miles per gallon and can go 400 miles between fill-ups. As of 2016, there were approximately 111,000 gas stations in the U.S. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says they employ about 900,000 people. Would Biden force us to own electric cars and replace all those stations and convert every employee to jobs making windmills and solar panels?

Current technology does not support battery life sufficient to drive long distances. If a battery dies and no charging station is near, what then? Would Americans willingly give up the freedom the gasoline-powered car has provided for more than a century and embrace the apocalyptic predictions of politicians who likely will continue to enjoy transportation choices?

It is dangerous to predict the future. Americans should not be forced to accept such a radical lifestyle change that would have serious economic, political, and worldwide implications.

It is wise - even fun - to recall past predictions, which were sold at the time as certainties, but were wrong and, fortunately, not embraced by the public. As notes, "According to various experts, scientists and futurologists, we would have landed on Pluto and robots should be doing our laundry by now. Oh, and we'd all be living to 150." Nanobots and ape chauffeurs were also predictions that were said to be the norm by this year.

There are more, which seem laughable now, but were taken seriously by some at the time. In 1800, Dr. Dionysis Larder, professor at University College London, said: "Rail travel at high speed is not possible, because passengers, unable to breath, would die of asphyxia."

In 1859, associates of American businessman Edwin L. Drake mocked his suggestion to drill for oil: "Drill for oil? You mean dig into the ground to try and find oil? You're crazy." Later that year, Drake successfully drilled the first oil well.

In 1876, an internal Western Union memo said of the newly invented telephone: "This telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication." Western Union believed the telephone's inventor, Alexander Graham Bell, to be a competitor.

Reacting to Thomas Edison's invention of the light bulb, Henry Morton, president of The Stevens Institute of Technology, said in 1880: "Everyone acquainted with the subject will recognize it as a conspicuous failure."

The Wright Brothers had their critics, who said humans could not fly. There were people who said moviegoers did not want to hear actors talk, motorcars were only a fad, radio and TV are useless and won't last, there is no reason for anyone to have a computer in the home and online databases would never replace newspapers. If only.

And then there are the wrong predictions of climate catastrophes and other end-of-the-world forecasts that never materialized.

Risking our future on unproven claims and predictions based on wishful thinking has a bad track record. If Biden is elected and follows through on his promises, it would wreak havoc on an American economy that was booming before the virus struck and is on the verge of a major recovery.

Americans Deserve Climate Facts, not Alarmist "Fact-checking"

In a statement submitted to the Senate Commerce Committee for its Wednesday, October 28 hearing on social media censorship, CO2 Coalition executive director Caleb Stewart Rossiter described a year-long censorship struggle with Facebook's climate "fact-checker," a group "founded and funded by long-time climate alarmist Eric Michelman for the express purpose of promoting the climate crisis narrative."

The CO2 Coalition is an alliance of 60 climate scientists and energy economists that was founded in 2015 by President Trump's former climate adviser on the National Security Council, Princeton physics professor William Happer.

Dr. Rossiter noted in his statement that climate science "covers literally everything from A to Z, from atmospheric heat dynamics to zooplankton. Why is Facebook treating varying analyses and opinions in this crucial area of public policy, one of great complexity and uncertainty, as if they were incitement to violence or hate speech? Why do we need fact-checking in the climate field?"

The Coalition's statement also comments on the call of Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI), one of the members of the committee, to ban the CO2 Coalition from Facebook. Senator Schatz claims that arguments that slow down "climate action" can harm public health, and so should be censored.

Rossiter said: "Yes, some mathematical models, based on uncertain scientific and economic assumptions, project that fossil-fueled global warming will harm public health in coming decades and centuries. But restrictions on fossil fuels because of this fear are already harming public health, right now. According to research for the National Institutes of Health, fracking saves 11,000 lives a year in America by making heating affordable. And the World Health Organization estimates that 439,000 Africans die from indoor air pollution each year because they lack electricity and must cook with wood and animal dung."

Via email

Meet the Climate Scientists That Social Media Censors Don't Want You to Know About

Before the Hunter Biden/New York Post/Twitter imbroglio blew up a little more than one week ago, one of the primary targets of social media censors and left-leaning activists was a small nonprofit operating out of Arlington, Virginia. That group is the CO2 Coalition, formed in 2015 to educate policymakers and the public about climate change and the benefits arising from increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide.

The coalition's leadership and members are a who's who of leading scientists studying carbon dioxide and climate change, including atmospheric physicists, climatologists, ecologists, statisticians, and energy experts.

The group's primary mission is stated as "educating thought leaders, policymakers, and the public about the important contribution made by carbon dioxide to our lives and the economy."

There is broad agreement in this diverse group that the 130 part-per-million increase in carbon dioxide over the past 150 years is not in any way harmful.

As you can imagine, these climate-science contrarians are not warmly received by the mainstream media or the social media giants. The mission of these platforms appears to be to silence any discussion that contradicts the so-called "consensus" that carbon dioxide is dangerous.

The mainstream media and social media giants are committed to defending the view that the modest rise in temperature of one degree Celsius over the past 150 years is mostly man-made and leading to catastrophe.

The social media giants' continued ability to stifle those who disagree will come under scrutiny Wednesday during a Senate hearing. More on that later.

Censorship of the CO2 Coalition and its chairman began a little more than a year ago, when the former president of the American Association of State Climatologists, Patrick Michaels, and the executive director of the CO2 Coalition, Caleb Rossiter, co-authored an op-ed in the Washington Examiner titled "The Great Failure of the Climate Models." They showed that the mathematical computer models used to promote global warming fears have been, for years, systematically predicting an exaggerated rate of warming in the tropical lower atmosphere-typically by a factor of three.

Climate Feedback, an organization that Facebook uses to "fack-check" climate-related content, labeled their opinion piece "false," which led the social media giant to block the distribution of the op-ed on its platform.

The CO2 Coalition and the Washington Examiner appealed to Facebook, providing a detailed scientific basis for their opinion. Confronted by the overwhelming body of evidence provided by the researchers, Facebook finally removed the label and again allowed the piece to be viewed and advertised.

One would have thought that would be the end of it, but the prognosticators of climate doom could not let it end.

First, a letter-signed by Stacey Abrams, Tom Steyer, and 13 leaders of groups working to ban fossil fuels-was sent to Facebook demanding that it shut down the Facebook page of the CO2 Coalition and to censor posts of its members' studies and articles on other users' pages.

Soon thereafter, four senators, including Massachusetts' Elizabeth Warren and Rhode Island's Sheldon Whitehouse, sent an open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to censor the CO2 Coalition because "climate change is an existential crisis" and publicizing any view contrary to that claim "puts action on climate change at risk."

The attempts at censorship were not limited to the group itself but extended to its chairman, Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace. His PragerU video, "What They Haven't Told You About Climate Change," which has more than 3.6 million views, was "fact-checked" by Climate Feedback as "misleading." Moore's supposedly misleading statement was: "Of course the climate is changing. It always has. It always will."

Only recently was the misleading label removed after extended appeals by both Prager U and Moore.

The ability of the giant social media companies to continue to target those who dare to present evidence that doesn't "toe the company line" will be tested during a Senate Commerce and Science hearing Wednesday October 28.

The title of the hearing is "Does Section 230's Sweeping Immunity Enable Big Tech Bad Behavior?" The CO2 Coalition will present testimony concerning its views on the role of free speech and censorship.

Twitter, Facebook, and Google should not be the arbiters of truth on complex scientific and societal issues.

Perhaps they should embrace the dictum often attributed to Voltaire: "I may disagree strongly with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Some of us would settle for, "live and let live."

Via email

Negative prices: South Australia solar farms had to pay to produce in September

Perverse. Their output has no relationship to the need for it -- so it is often worthless

South Australia’s three large scale solar farms had to effectively pay to produce in the month of September – as the average price of solar power in the state’s grid fell to minus $9.70 a megawatt hour over the calendar month.

“Record low wholesale prices in September resulted in South Australian solar farms having to pay $9.70/MWh to generate,” the Australian Energy Market Operator notes in its latest Quarterly Energy Dynamics report.

Over the whole quarter, the volume weighted average price of large scale solar was $23/MWh, down some 62 per cent from the same time in 2019, while the average price for all electricity produced in South Australia for the quarter was $40/MWh.

There are several reasons for the negative price of South Australia solar – firstly the increase in output from large scale solar, as Bungala 2 finally reached full output, the continued rapid expansion of rooftop solar, which in turn is dramatically reducing operating demand in the middle of the day, and grid constraints which limited the amount of exports from South Australia into Victoria.

South Australia has three large scale solar farms, the 110MW Bungala One installation near Port Augusta, the neighbouring 110MW Bungala Two (which has only just reached full output after nearly two years of delays due to technical issues), and the 95MW Tailem Bend solar farm near the town of the same name.

Tailem Bend usually ducks negative pricing events, turning its output down to zero under the terms of its long term power purchase agreement with Snowy Hydro.

But the two Bungala solar farms, under long term contracts with Origin Energy, plough through the negative prices. The exact nature of the contracts is not known, but it is not necessarily a bad thing for either party, but it’s not a great market signal for more solar, or for more off-take agreements – although it is for storage.

Across the National Electricity Market, which comprises South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, NSW and Queensland, the average price for solar fell to $29/MWh in the September quarter, and the average price for wind fell to $38/MWh, both representing falls of around 50 per cent from the same period a year earlier.

AEMO’s QED report notes that curtailment of wind and solar farms across the NEM rose to 5.5 per cent in the September quarter, a result of the record levels of negative pricing events in South Australia and Queensland, and newly emerging system strength issues in north Queensland.

In Queensland, two solar farms and one wind farm were told of system strength issues that would cause their output to be reduced significantly, or down to zero, depending on conditions, and then another nine solar farms were told the same thing as new modelling unveiled new problems.

In Queensland, the average constraint for wind and solar over the whole quarter was 49MW, up from 5MW in the same period last year. Ironically, the situation was worsened by increased outages at the state’s coal fired generators. New synchronous condensers may alleviate that issue.

Economic constraints – the decision by generators to “self-curtail” in the face of negative prices – meant that on average there was 50MW of curtailment of wind and solar farms through the September quarter. AEMO says 70 per cent of that curtailment occurred in daytime hours between 7am and 7pm.




Wednesday, October 28, 2020

The Climate Crisis Can’t Just Be Another Soapbox for the Left

By framing climate action as a progressive issue, the left is guaranteeing its failure.

The Warmist below has a moment of insight

For an established scientific fact, Europe’s take-it-or-leave-it approach to anthropogenic climate change and its associated dangers is an odd one. In my naive way I had hoped that impending environmental and societal collapse would be enough to snap politicians out of their murderous inaction and force them to collaborate. Alas, no. Even as Europe dries up and burns down, it seems the climate crisis has become just another victim of petty gammon-and-snowflake factionalism.

This isn’t to say politicians are silent on the subject. On the contrary, progressives across Europe and further afield proudly tout their green credentials. The past few years have seen various national parties and organizations propose Green New Deals with the ambitious aim of saving the planet by revolutionizing the economy along leftwing lines.

The urgency and ambition of these proposals are to be welcomed. However, by framing climate action as an inherently progressive concern, the left is virtually guaranteeing its failure. The combination of environmental measures with anti-capitalist or pro-union rhetoric—valid though the rhetoric may be—creates a political package that will almost certainly flounder when it comes to achieving the widespread political support it needs to be enacted. When politicians on the left present such unworkable environmental solutions like this, we can be forgiven for wondering if their hearts are really in it, or whether they see the climate crisis as just another soapbox.

At least the left is making the correct noises. Far less excusable are the actions of those on the political right, who have willingly handed the climate agenda over to the left in order to dust their hands of any environmental responsibility. The worst offenders are of course the climate change deniers, who promote such a thoroughly anti-science position that they might as well claim that the earth is flat. One such example is Bulgarian politician Neno Dimov, who inexplicably served as the president of the EU’s Environment Council in 2018. He had previously dismissed climate change as a “fraud used to scare people.”

Little better are the majority of outwardly sane conservatives who accept the reality of climate change but choose to do nothing about it. Their unwavering support for fossil-fueled industries is a green light to our species’ suicidal environmental practices, and their lazy attacks against the specter of cultural globalization thwart the concerted global action that is needed to save the planet.

“The left needs to stop combining urgent environmental measures with other progressive agendas.”

As a result of the political inertia caused by this polarization, the world’s ecosystems unravel at an ever-faster rate while we do next to nothing to effectively combat it. Meaningful action on climate change is far more likely if both the left and the right abandon the tit-for-tat partisanship that has allowed environmentalism to be seen—and, for many, dismissed—as just another progressive concern.

The left needs to stop combining urgent environmental measures with other progressive agendas that currently have no chance of achieving cross-party support, and instead propose practical legislation in a spirit of cooperation and collaboration.

The results won’t be perfect—such is the bittersweet fruit of compromise—but they will be better than nothing, and can serve as a foundation for further legislation.

“The right needs to grow up and accept some responsibility for this planet it calls home.”

The right, meanwhile, needs to grow up and accept some responsibility for this planet it calls home. One of the most frustrating things about the right’s squeamishness towards environmentalism is that there’s nothing inherently left-wing or right-wing about climate action. If anything, you’d have thought that conservationism and conservatism would go hand in hand. This was actually the case in the early 20th century, when European conservatives, alarmed by the accelerating rates of deforestation, soil erosion and desertification around the world, laid the foundations for the modern conservation movement. Think how much simpler climate legislation could be today if the right were willing to reclaim this heritage.

'Economic Death Sentence': Trump Slams Biden's Energy Plan in Pennsylvania

Speaking during the first of three campaign rallies in Pennsylvania Monday morning, President Donald Trump slammed former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris for their policy positions on American energy.

"I want to begin today by discussing an issue of existential importance to Pennsylvania. Very very important. Last week Sleepy Joe Biden made perhaps the most shocking statement ever uttered in the history of presidential debates. In other words, he blew it," Trump said. "Joe Biden confirmed his plan to abolish the entire U.S. oil industry. That means no fracking, no jobs, no energy for Pennsylvania families, Texas, all the others."

"The Biden energy shutdown would inflict deep pain and misery on Pennsylvania. Mass layoffs, constant black outs and brown outs, soaring gas prices. It's nice to have that $2 gasoline isn't it? Surging energy bills, no air conditioning during the summer, no heat during the winter and no electricity during peak hours," he continued.

Trump also slammed the Paris Climate agreement, which Biden has vowed to rejoin.

"Biden's plan is an economic death sentence," Trump said. "He will eradicate your energy and send Pennsylvania into crippling depression."

During the final presidential debate in Nashville last week, former Biden dared Trump to produce footage of him saying he would ban fracking. Trump obliged and the Trump campaign has been hammering the issue.

NY County opts out of green-energy tax exemption

Tuesday night at the Niagara County Courthouse, opponents of the proposed Bear Ridge Solar project in Cambria/Pendleton showed their support of a county law denying property tax exemptions to local solar and wind energy generation projects.

For Niagara County Legislator David Godfrey, Tuesday night's legislative battle over opting out of a state-authorized property tax exemption for solar and wind energy systems had nothing to do with going green.

Godfrey, R-Wilson, said the issue was "local control" versus a "top down" set of alternative energy incentives passed on from Albany. Legislator Dennis Virtuoso, D-Niagara Falls, argued those alternative incentives were not about local control but, rather, economic development.

"I'm worried about economic development," Virtuoso said as the legislature debated the opt-out proposal. "If there's one thing that unites this legislature it's economic development."

And Virtuoso suggested that the local lack of alternative energy incentives authorized in state law would have a harmful effect on the county's efforts to lure an Amazon distribution center.

"They are committed to solar energy. That means they're going to have solar panels on top of that distribution center," Virtuoso said. "Are they gonna say, 'We're outta here' 'cause we can't get a tax break if we put solar panels on our building?"

Legislator Chris Robins, D-Niagara Falls, echoed Virtuoso's concerns. "In today's day and age of climate change, I'm not sure this is something that we, as a county, should do," Robins said.

But Godfrey and Legislator John Syracuse, R-Newfane,, the co-sponsor of the opt-out local law, pushed back, saying tax breaks could be given to developers by the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency.

"(The IDA) can guide (developers) to locations (for alternative energy projects)," Godfrey said. "We are sending a message. If a project comes to Niagara County and has no community support, there will be no tax breaks."

The local law, Godfrey said, would bring back home rule to municipalities where energy companies are courting farmers to use their land for large-scale clean energy projects.

“I don’t care if it’s a landfill or a brownfield,” Godfrey said. “We will provide a pamphlet of conducive sites where such projects would be of benefit. Don’t take our farmland.”

Syracuse criticized Virtuoso's concerns, suggesting he would place economic development over the will of community residents.

The local law was approved by a 9 to 5 vote.

Scientists all at sea with alarmist barrier reef warning

Fancy theories preferred to the real world

A new scientific paper, received with great fanfare among inter­national media and Australia’s public broadcaster, the ABC, claims half the corals of the Great Barrier Reef are dead.

The paper is by academics at James Cook University’s ARC Centre for Excellence for Coral Reef Studies. It is a scary headline. But is it true?

This finding is not based on any tried and proven method. Rather, the researchers from James Cook University have come up with a new method of statistical analysis based on a complicated “proxy” to estimate “colony size”.

The study itself was undertaken in 2016 and 2017, just after a coral bleaching event at cyclone-damaged reefs. If they had used traditional methods and longer time frames, it would likely be found that there is actually nothing wrong with the Great Barrier Reef.

Great Barrier Reef photographer Julia Summerling wrote recently about how a section known as North Direction Island, saying that the island’s corals were “savaged beyond recognition” due to Cyclone Ita in 2014, cyclone Nathan in 2015, and a coral bleaching event in the summer of 2016. So it was probably not the most representative time to be sampling. But the headlines are based on proxy measures from just a few reefs at that time.

She now says those areas have since recovered. “What I saw — and photographed — I could hardly believe. Young dinner-plate-sized corals were crammed into every available space on the limestone plateau as far as I could see, bristling with iconic fish life, from maori wrasse and coral trout to bumphead parrotfish and sweetlips. I swam a long way on the dive, checking to see how far the coral shelf stretched. The further I swam, the denser the coral fields became.”

For a new Institute of Public Affairs film, in January this year I visited the Ribbon reefs with Emmy award-winning photographer Clint Hempshall to follow the edge of Australia’s continental shelf to find and film coral bleaching. It was meant to be one of the worst-affected regions — 60 per cent dead from bleaching, which the same scientists say is caused by climate change. But we could not find any significant bleaching. We mostly found jewelled curtains of coral, appearing to cascade down underwater cliff faces. So colourful, so beautiful, all in crystal clear and warm waters.

The problem for Professor Terry Hughes, who co-authored the research, is that his study was undertaken in 2016 and 2017 then extrapolated out to cover other years. All of the research and subsequent media attention points to a narrative that the Great Barrier Reef is at risk of imminent collapse from climate change.

It was for questioning this claim, and the quality of science behind it, that Dr Peter Ridd was eventually sacked from James Cook University. Part of those claims by Ridd were that a lot of the science coming out of JCU’s ARC Centre for Excellent in Coral Reef Studies “is not properly checked, tested or replicated, and that is a great shame because we really need to be able to trust our scientific institutions, and the fact is I do not think we can anymore.”

Neither James Cook University, nor Hughes, have ever rebutted Ridd’s criticisms of the research.

This is what objective observers need to put into context when examining Hughes’s most recent claims. Ridd also said: “I think that most of the scientists who are pushing out this stuff, I think that they genuinely believe that there are problems with the reef, I just don’t think they are very objective about the science they do. I think they’re emotionally attached to their subject and you can’t blame them the reef is a beautiful thing.”

One quick glance at Hughes’s Twitter account and you will find he is critical of the Morrison government’s gas-led recovery, cheerleading for a royal commission into the Murdoch media and constantly criticises the Adani Coal mine.

The new paper by James Cook University scientists claims both the incidence of coral bleaching and cyclones is increasing, but there is no evidence to support ­either contention. The available data from 1971 to 2017 indicated there has actually been a decrease in both the number and severity of cyclones in the Australian region.

Coral-bleaching events tend to be cyclical and coincide with periods of exceptionally low sea levels. As discussed in a new book, Climate Change: The Facts 2020, there were dramatic falls in sea levels across the western Pacific Ocean in 2016. These were associated with an El Nino event.

Until recently, coral calcification rates were calculated based on coring of the large Porites corals. There are well-established techniques for coring the Porites corals and then measuring growth rates. So why do Hughes and his colleagues stray from these tried and tested methods?

Since 2005, the Australian Institute of Marine Science has stopped using this technique to measure how well corals are growing at the Great Barrier Reef. The few studies still using the old technique suggest that, as would be expected, as water temperatures have increased marginally, coral growth rates have also increased.

But rather than admit this, key Great Barrier Reef research institutions have moved from such ­direct measures to new and complicated “proxies”. They thus have more flexibility in what they find because the measurement is no longer one that represents coral growth rates or coral cover.

As proxy votes are something delegated, this gives the researchers at JCU the potential to generate what might be considered policy-based evidence. And yet without question, the media reporting of the most recent research is that “there is no time to lose, we must sharply decrease greenhouse gas emissions”.

Far too frequently, climate science has demonstrated noble cause corruption — where the ends justify the means. We will only know exact coral calcification rates, and changing trends in coral cover, when our once esteemed research institutions return to more traditional methods of measuring such important indicators of coral health and growth.

We need a return to real science that is based on real observations and real measurements and then we may find written in journals what we see in the real world when we jump off boats and go under the sea.




Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Trump Explains the Middle East Peace deal in terms of energy independence

In the debate last night, President Trump finally talked about the most important impact of his energy policy. Energy independence means much more than low prices at the gas pump and on your utility bill. The widespread use of natural gas is also great for the environment and has lowered our carbon emissions. These are both great outcomes but they don’t hold a candle to the impact on foreign policy.

In ten seconds, President Trump gives the money quote:

“We are energy independent for the first time. We don’t need all of these countries that we had to fight war over because we needed their energy. We are energy independent.”

This obvious outcome is the secret sauce in President Trump’s success in the Middle East. While it is reasonable to assume that technology will eventually lead us away from sole reliance on fossil fuels, the United States becoming energy independent forced petrol-economies in the Middle East to start considering a future where their primary export was less in demand.

As such, there is far less incentive for the United States to spend blood and treasure in the region to mitigate centuries-old conflicts. The very idea that this expenditure would turn the Middle East into democratic states was simply absurd. The primary religion in the region discourages democratic elections and is prone to some form of theocracy. To think we were going to exchange American lives and expenditures on oil for a complete rejection of core tenents of the Muslim faith has been a fool’s errand since 1979.

Certainly, our post-World War II success in Europe, Japan, and the former Soviet Union fueled these fever dreams. However, the “experts” could never solve the significant cultural differences between the West and the Middle East. In reality, they did not even solve the region’s overwhelming cultural differences when it was carved up into countries with arbitrary borders.

As a result, the United States and the world have been dragged into these conflicts to preserve access to their rich reserves of oil. President Trump’s energy policy freed the United States from being one of the largest importers of Middle Eastern oil. This change caused the region to confront the idea that their economies must modernize to meet the challenge of evolving energy technologies at some point in the future.

For example, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has seen steady progress towards a workable solution for nuclear fusion. In September, MIT announced a significant breakthrough in the design of SPARC, a precursor to a practical, emissions-free power plant:

SPARC is planned to be the first experimental device ever to achieve a “burning plasma” — that is, a self-sustaining fusion reaction in which different isotopes of the element hydrogen fuse together to form helium, without the need for any further input of energy. Studying the behavior of this burning plasma — something never before seen on Earth in a controlled fashion — is seen as crucial information for developing the next step, a working prototype of a practical, power-generating power plant.

It appears much of the Arab world is choosing economic progress and modernization over continued wars. Israel has positioned itself as an entrepreneurial and technology-driven economy. The idea of technology transfer for economic growth as well as for water desalination is winning. It was most certainly helped along with less dependence from the United States on foreign oil.

The Trump administration’s putting an end to Iranian appeasement was also key to moving the Arab world in the right direction. The entire world saw Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speak in from the United States Congress to warn of the danger Iran posed during the Iran Deal negotiation. Apparently, many of their Arab neighbors also see Iran as an existential threat.

By gutting decades of failed Middle Eastern policy, the Trump administration made significant gains toward peace. As if we needed further proof, President Trump announced this morning that Sudan will be normalizing relations with Isreal. The Arab nation will be joining Bahrain and United Arab Emirates as Muslim nations leading a reframing of diplomatic relations with Isreal.

Ultimately, the Biden energy plan will reverse all of the gains in the region. Just like California imports fossil-fuel energy from Arizona and Nevada when their green energy is not sufficient, the United States will return to a dependence on Middle Eastern oil when wind and solar are insufficient to serve our high-density urban centers and industrial economy.

This is why the warmongers from both parties are coalescing around Biden. So, if you are tired of endless wars and endless investment in foreign nations rather than at home, another four years of the Trump policies will solidify a different approach. A vote for Biden simply turns back the clock.

Biden's 'Transition' From Oil Comment Becomes a Big Fracking Problem in Pennsylvania

Joe Biden campaigned in Pennsylvania on Saturday and in three separate interviews by local media, was pressed about his comments during the debate about wanting to “transition” from fossil fuels to wind and solar power. He was also closely questioned about his views on fracking, that he still has trouble answering.

This has become a genuine issue in Pennsylvania, an energy-producing state with tens of thousands of jobs in the industry.

Fox News:

“Look I’m from Scranton, Pennsylvania. My great grandfather was a mining engineer. So I come from coal country. And I’m not talking about eliminating fracking, I just said no more fracking on federal lands,” Biden told CBS Philadelphia. “With regard to gas, oil, coal all of it, the transition is taking place having nothing to do with anything I’m proposing. The fact is that the fastest growing industries in the country are solar and wind. We can move in a direction where the transition takes place, so that people are not left behind, and we we got to invest in the new technologies.”

First of all, Biden said he would ban fracking, period.

Regarding fracking, Biden has been inconsistent with his long-term goals. He has regularly said that he only intends on banning new fracking on federal lands, but during a 2019 Democratic primary debate, he took a much more sweeping approach. The former vice president was asked whether there would be “any place for fossil fuels, including coal and fracking, in a Biden administration?”

Biden’s response: “No, we would — we would work it out. We would make sure it’s eliminated and no more subsidies for either one of those, either — any fossil fuel.”

Secondly, even as president, he might not have much to say about it. It’s a certainty that Biden will name a radical green to run the EPA. They will ban fracking as a first order of business. And the rest of the party will obediently fall in line.

And the “transition” from fossil fuels will not go quite as smoothly as Biden is letting on.

“What I said was, we’re gonna stop the subsidies for oil, which is about $40 billion. We’re going to take that money, invest it in new technologies for what they call carbon capture. We’re going to still need oil. We’re gonna still have combustion engines, We’re still going to need oil for many things, but what’s happening is you have to do it, and we can work toward getting it done so you can capture the carbon that comes from that gas and that oil. That’s what has to be done.”

We are going to see “creative destruction” on a scale not seen since the replacement of steam with oil and gas. There is going to be nothing orderly about it. Workers will lose their jobs. Companies big and small will disappear.

There will be blackouts, gas shortages, perhaps even heating oil shortages during the winter. It will happen because the government won’t let it happen as a matter of course. They will force the issue, picking and choosing winners and losers. There will be a lot of blood on the floor in corporate America and in the workshops and on the line in American factories. It will not end well for many.

To so cavalierly talk about such a massive shift in our economy without even mentioning a downside is irresponsible.

Biden's War on Oil Causing Headaches for Democrats in Tight Races

At Thursday night's presidential debate, Joe Biden came out in support of eliminating the oil industry, albeit not overnight. Previously, Biden had come out against fracking and fossil fuels. But the Democratic nominee made it known on Thursday that he's in lockstep with AOC and the far left's plans to ban the entire industry, which close political observers already knew.

Biden's outing as an anti-oil candidate sent shockwaves across battleground states where Biden's fellow Democrats are in tight congressional races and are now having to explain away Biden's vow to eliminate oil. Millions of jobs would be terminated if Biden wins the election and kills oil.

(Via The Hill)

Biden has rolled out nothing short of an entirely left-wing economic agenda and has never been forced to defend it on a public stage until Thursday,” said Josh Holmes, a Republican strategist and McConnell’s former chief of staff.

Holmes said Biden’s comments on oil could have “profound effect” in states such as Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Texas and others were there is what he called “a culture of energy production.”


Biden’s remarks will give Republicans a chance to put the economy and regulation in the spotlight for the final 10 days of the campaign, something they’ve wanted to do for months.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) released a new television ad in Maine attempting to tie Democratic candidate Sara Gideon to “liberal out-of-staters” who “want a green new deal raising taxes on home heating oil.”

Biden walked right into the Republican talking points by pledging to end federal subsidies for the oil industry. One such subsidy, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is especially popular in Maine.


The former vice president tried to soften his statement after the debate, telling reporters as he was boarding his plane: “We’re not going to get rid of fossil fuels.”

“We’re not going to get rid of subsidies for fossil fuels,” he added.

Biden flips back and forth when questioned about his position on oil, a telltale sign he's lying. Couple his flip-flops with his candid remarks at the debate, and rest assured that Biden won't get in the way of his party's war on oil.

Biden's running mate, Kamala Harris, the most liberal member of Congress, has endorsed AOC's Green New Deal. The Democratic Party wants to follow California's lead and ruin the entire country to fight "climate change." California has done the most to fight climate change and by their own admission, it isn't working. California's leaders blame "climate change" for the worst wildfire season on record. So why should America follow California off the cliff by adopting similar ruinous policies that clearly don't work?

The economy needs to be rebuilt from the lockdowns. President Trump took the economy to new highs while Joe Biden presided over the slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression for eight years. Putting the oil industry out of business and continuing the lockdowns are not what America needs for the next four years.

Fracking Has Made America Great Again – We are Energy Independent for the First Time Since 1957

Fracking has become public enemy No. 1 in Democrat circles. It continues to be characterized as a “dangerous, new extraction technology.”

The spread of such misinformation in part fuels fears about hydraulic fracturing -- the real name of what is a decades-old practice in the petroleum industry to increase the yield in oil and gas wells.

Much like driving a wedge into a log, hydraulic fracturing involves pumping a gelled suspension of sand, sintered bauxite or some other proppant under pressure into an oil or gas well. The pressure generated by the pumping forces the fracturing fluid into the cracks and crevasses in a petroleum-rich formation increasing a well’s yield.

The fracturing fluid – really a gel - ultimately breaks and is pumped back to the surface leaving the proppant behind to maintain open the newly formed fissures.

During the oil boom in the 1980s, when almost every farm in Texas and Oklahoma had an oil well on its land, I was working with a team of chemists in the laboratories of Dynamit Nobel of America. We developed and patented a technology to delay the gelling of hydraulic fracturing fluids that allowed them to be pumped into the ground with less friction.

What I learned was that the fears over fracking “injecting dangerous chemicals” into the ground were unfounded.

Ponder the irony: A reservoir of naturally occurring petroleum is on its face, a cavern filled with dangerous chemicals, consisting largely of a “flammable mixture of hydrocarbons and other organic compounds.”

In contrast, the three main constituents of a fracturing fluid are water, an inert proppant and some form of guar gum, a common thickener used in many foods including ice cream to improve mouth feel.

The results of a published study in the Aug. 13, 2014 issue of Chemical and Engineering News concluded that “[the] chemical additives typically make up only about 0.5% of the fracking fluid, which is mostly water and sand… [F]ew of the roughly 90 commonly used compounds are toxic to people.”

It is no wonder that a 2016 EPA report on the potential for contamination of drinking water by hydraulic fracturing was inconclusive.

While there is risk in the adoption of any technology on a large scale – planes crash and kill people as do automobiles – we still drive and fly.

The trade off to any perceived risk with fracking – real or otherwise – is that in 2019, America became energy independent for the first time since 1957.

As misguided environmentalists clamor for an end to fracking, American Exceptionalism pushes ahead with technology that has made modern automobile engines more fuel efficient. And despite pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, we continue to lead the way with the largest carbon footprint reduction of any developed nation in the world.

That’s great for all of us.




Monday, October 26, 2020

The Biden Family Green New Deal

Some will profit, while most people’s life, living standards and environment take a big hit

Paul Driessen

Some 90% of all US wells are now hydraulically fractured. Fracked wells in shale formations open up vast supplies of oil, natural gas and petroleum liquids that previously were locked up and inaccessible. Fracking conventional wells expands and prolongs production, leaving less energy in the ground.

Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, AOC, the Democrat Party and US environmentalists are determined to make climate change, the Green New Deal, and replacing fossil fuels with wind, solar, battery and biofuel power the centerpiece of their foreign and domestic policies. They would ban fracking outright – or price and restrict it out of existence through a slow, painful death of a thousand regulatory cuts.

That would cost millions of jobs and billions of dollars in annual royalty and tax revenues, send energy prices soaring, and end America’s newfound status as the world’s foremost oil and gas producer.

It would also hammer environmental quality, especially in sunny and windy locations, such as Western, Midwestern and coastal states. Their fossil fuel revenues would disappear; their wind and sunshine would be exploited; their open spaces, scenic areas and wildlife habitats would be blanketed with wind turbines, solar panels, transmission lines, and warehouses filled with backup power batteries.

But some would benefit greatly – including those with financial and other interests in mining, mineral processing and manufacturing related to wind, solar and battery technologies.

Hunter Biden’s email trove and growing cascades of other evidence continue to reveal fascinating Biden Family connections to China, Russia and Ukraine: countries that would profit mightily from a US Green New Deal, because they supply most of the metals, minerals and components that are absolutely essential under any GND vision.

Many news media, social media and search engines routinely spike, censor or bury stories that could harm the Biden candidacy, sow doubt about manmade climate chaos, or undermine claims that the GND transition would be easy, affordable, ecological, sustainable and painless. It would not be.

Wind and sunshine are certainly clean and renewable. Harnessing them to power America is not.

Fossil fuels still provide 80% of US energy. In 2018, they generated 2.7 billion megawatt-hours of electricity. Another 2.7 billion MWh worth of natural gas powered factories, emergency power systems, and furnaces, ovens, stoves and hot water heaters in restaurants and homes. Cars, trucks, buses, semi-trailers, tractors, bulldozers and other vehicles consumed the equivalent of another 2 billion MWh.

That’s 7.4 billion megawatt-hours per year that the GND would have to replace! We’d also have to generate another 142 million MWh per year to charge batteries for each week of windless, cloudy days.

The more we try to do so, the more we’d have to put turbines and panels in low quality wind and solar sites, where they’d generate electricity only 15-20% of the year: 80-85% below “nameplate capacity.”

That means this transformation to an all-electric nation would require millions of onshore wind turbines, thousands of offshore turbines, billions of solar panels, millions of vehicle battery modules, billions of backup energy storage battery modules, thousands of miles of new transmission lines, millions of vehicle charging stations, tens of billions of tons of concrete, steel, copper, plastic, cobalt, rare earth elements and countless other materials – and digging up hundreds of billions of tons of overburden and ores!

Even if the United States and world could somehow mine, process and smelt enough metals and minerals – and manufacture, transport and install all those turbines, panels, batteries and transmission lines – the GND would require the greatest expansion of mining, manufacturing and land use in human history.

With Democrats and Greens still adamantly opposed to mining anywhere in the USA – even though the USA likely has all those metals and minerals literally beneath our feet – America would be dependent on China, Russia and Ukraine for the critical materials that make wind turbines, solar panels and rechargeable batteries possible. US foreign and domestic policies would be held hostage.

Nearly all this mining, processing and manufacturing would require gasoline, diesel, natural gas and coal ... in foreign countries ... because those operations cannot be conducted with wind, solar and battery power. Global CO2 and other emissions would increase. Global atmospheric carbon dioxide levels would continue to rise. They would simply come from locations outside the USA.

Moreover, that overseas mining, processing and manufacturing would mostly take place under nearly nonexistent workplace safety, fair wage and child labor laws. The horrors we already see Africa’s Congo region would be minor compared to what would accompany GND demands for cobalt and other materials.

Replacing oil and gas for petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and plastics would require importing those feed stocks or planting millions of acres in canola, soybean and other biofuel crops. The water, fertilizer, pesticide, tractor, harvester, processing and transportation requirements would be astronomical.

The wind, solar, battery and biofuel facilities would impact hundreds of millions of acres of America’s croplands, scenic areas, and plant and animal habitats. Raptors, other birds, bats, and forest, grassland and desert wildlife would suffer substantial losses and even be driven into extinction in many areas.

The GND would also mean ripping out perfectly good natural gas appliances, replacing them with electric models, installing rapid charging systems for vehicles, and upgrading household, neighborhood, state and national electrical systems to handle the extra loads. That would require still more raw materials.

Would Biden AOC & Co. require “responsible sourcing” for all GND materials and components, meaning certified compliance with all US wage, workplace safety, child labor and environmental laws?

Would they require that wind and solar companies go through an extensive, multi-year NEPA environmental review process for every industrial installation and transmission line? Demand compliance with the Endangered Species Act, Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Clean Water Act and other laws that have been strictly enforced for decades for other industrial facilities?

Or will they claim all those turbines, panels, batteries and power lines are needed to “save the planet from imminent climate cataclysms,” and thus must be exempted from wildlife and environmental laws? Will they claim killing birds, bats and other wildlife is “inadvertent” and “unintentional,” and thus should be excused or legalized – exempting even the massive slaughter associated with GND-scale installations?

Families, factories, hospitals, schools and businesses accustomed to paying 7-11¢ per kilowatt-hour for electricity would pay 22¢ per kWh as they already do in “green” US states – or even 35¢ a kWh as families now pay in Germany. Gasoline and natural gas prices would also skyrocket, until the GND banished those fuels. How many businesses would survive? How many jobs would disappear? How many people would have to join the ranks of those who must choose between heating and eating?

When electricity supplies cannot meet demand, or when California-style rolling blackouts hit, who would get cut off first? Politicians who imposed the GND and Deep State bureaucrats who operate it? Big Tech servers? Environmentalist groups and schools whose teacher unions backed the Biden-Harris-AOC Deal? Or innocent hospitals, factories, workers and families? Who would get to make those decisions?

If states or counties are forced to erect wind turbines, solar panels and transmission lines, can they decide to meet their own needs during shortages, before exporting electricity to progressive states and cities? Could they declare themselves fossil fuel sanctuaries and refuse to close mines and power plants?

Who will design and enforce the GND income confiscation and redistribution schemes, in the name of “social, environmental and economic justice” – with much of the redistribution likely going to ruling elites and their corporate and activist allies? Do we really want to further enrich the originators of COVID?

All these issues demand open, robust debate – which too many schools and universities, news and social media outlets, corporate and political leaders, and Antifa mobs continue to censor and cancel. America deserves answers, before November 3, and before any actions are taken on any Green New Deal.

Via email

EU to pass law to change the weather, they hope

EU leaders may flatter themselves that they’re doing something that matters, but it’s wildly optimistic to think the climate could be changed – at vast expense – by passing laws based on unproven shaky theories. What planet are they on?
– – –
European Union environment ministers meet in Luxembourg on Friday to seek a deal on a landmark climate change law, but they will leave a decision on a 2030 emissions-cutting target for leaders to discuss in December, reports Yahoo News.

The climate law will form the basis for Europe’s plan to slash greenhouse gas emissions, which will reshape all sectors, from transport to heavy industry, and require hundreds of billions of euros in annual investments.

It will fix in law the EU target to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and define the rules for how future EU climate targets are decided, if new scientific evidence requires more ambitious aims.

Ministers, who take decisions by majority, will seek a deal on these parts of the law on Friday.

A decision on the most politically sensitive part of the bill – a new 2030 emissions-cutting target for the EU – will be left for EU leaders to agree, unanimously, at a meeting in December.

The law will give Brussels “the legal possibility to act when those who make promises don’t deliver on the promises,” said EU climate policy chief Frans Timmermans at Friday’s meeting, which is taking place in person, despite much of the continent restricting gatherings as coronavirus infections surge anew.

The price of permits in the EU carbon market climbed by more than 5% on Friday in anticipation of the ministers’ deal. The EU’s climate targets are expected to tighten the supply of permits in the market.

Minnesota just suffered its Largest Early-Season Snowstorm in Recorded History

Global cooling

By the close of Tues, Oct 20, many Minnesotans had received a taste of what the Grand Solar Minimum has to offer, as a record-busting early-season shot of polar cold and snow blasted the Midwestern U.S. state.

As of late Tuesday evening, the Minnesota State Patrol reported that 1,100 crashes and spinouts had occurred amidst the unseasonable conditions: between 11AM and 8:30PM, there had been 493 crashes, 614 spinouts, and 22 jackknifed semi-trucks — all resulting in 48 injuries.

The wintry storm system, which dropped up to 9 inches of snow in parts of metro, has officially gone down as Minnesota’s largest early-season snowstorm in recorded history, in books dating back around 140 years.

As reported, 9 inches were reported in Lakeville; 8.9 inches in Ellsworth, Wisconsin; 8 inches in Granite Falls; 8 inches in Red Wing, 7.4 inches at MSP Airport; and 7.1 inches in Woodbury.

In addition to this being the largest early-season accumulations in history, Tuesday’s dumping was also the second largest October snowstorm on record, coming a close second to 1991’s historic Halloween blizzard.

All this fresh powder only adds to the heavy falls witnessed in MN over the past week-or-so, it also contributes to an already above average start to the Northern Hemisphere’s 2020-21 snowpack season.

And just look at what’s on course to hit starting this weekend (linked below). There’s every chance this next round of early-season snow could break the all time October record held by the historic Halloween blizzard of 1991.

The COLD TIMES are returning, the mid-latitudes are REFREEZING in line with historically low solar activity, cloud-nucleating Cosmic Rays, and a meridional jet stream flow.

Both NOAA and NASA appear to agree, if you read between the lines, with NOAA saying we’re entering a ‘full-blown’ Grand Solar Minimum in the late-2020s, and NASA seeing this upcoming solar cycle (25) as “the weakest of the past 200 years”, with the agency correlating previous solar shutdowns to prolonged periods of global cooling here.

Furthermore, we can’t ignore the slew of new scientific papers stating the immense impact The Beaufort Gyre could have on the Gulf Stream, and therefore the climate overall.

It’s Not Just Fracking

The second and final debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday, October 22 covered several concerns of interest to the American public. One of the most important issues discussed was the issue of “fracking,” which is colloquial shorthand for hydraulic fracturing – a method of extracting petroleum resources deep-seated in geological formations via high-pressure liquid blasting.

The topic was part of a larger discussion about “climate change,” energy policy and where the two candidates stand in terms of vision and approach. When the subject of fracking came up, the former vice president seemed caught in past conflicting statements – an opening which President Trump seized, and where a number of commentators and analysts have suggested Biden fumbled. As Biden attempted to clarify shifting positions on the future of fracking, the president went on to name several states where fracking – and the fossil fuel energy business writ large – constitutes a significant portion of the economy. At least one of these states – Pennsylvania – has emerged as perhaps the most pivotal state this election cycle.

Targeted messaging in energy states is critical politically, particularly when a candidate has not been clear on their position and how their approach would impact real people.

But it’s not just fracking.

The purposeful dismantling of one particular industry – or, in more palatable but deceptive parlance, “transitioning” – would result in wide-arcing circles of economic erosion. What about the truckers, and railroads who transport the oil from the fields to the refineries? Or the mechanics and machinists who service the oil-fields – or the H.R. and placement companies who help find good people to work good jobs? Or the geologists who identify and sample new fields? How about the miners, processers and transporters of silica sand – which is used as a medium in the hydraulic fracturing process – along the Mississippi River? What about the manufacturers of specialized equipment and tools – who form a part of the economy that we’re trying desperately to rebuild – and their role in the energy business? The list of affected businesses and people goes on and on.

In fact, when you start to look at how important American energy independence is – and the contribution of fracking to that independence – one quickly realizes how dependent the rest of the economy is, across all 50 states, on this entire industry. One need look no further than the global economic slowdown and its impact on an energy state like North Dakota to see what a purposeful dismantling of the energy business across the country would look like.

In any modern dynamic free market economy, one particular industry or business does not exist in a vacuum. They are interdependent, where the exchange of goods and services is both competitive and complimentary, and where other companies develop and expand to support one another and meet demand. Out of this, communities grow, roots are cemented, and livelihoods flourish. Reversing that course through the systematic elimination of a core industry – such as fossil fuel extraction – can be devastating.

And let’s be honest – “transitions” are never as easy as they’re made out to be. Fanciful are the notions that when a core industry is eliminated, everyone previously employed will immediately find a job, or that ancillary businesses can simply be re-directed to other markets in a short amount of time. Some trades might be able to shift to new ground – but only if that alternative prospect already exists and is looking to hire – and not everyone laid off will find a new gig. Even if a business transition took six months – a relatively short time – for a person out of work, that’s six months of bills, anguish, and pressure. The natural competition of business in America is tough enough – why should politicians make things more difficult by instituting policies that target parts of the economy – often arbitrarily – for “transition?”

And this is where the rubber of Washington DC policy meets the real road in America: What sounds great on paper in a government or campaign office on Pennsylvania Avenue doesn’t always play out in Pennsylvania the State. And it doesn’t play out in other states that weave together America’s energy sector – California, Alaska, New Mexico, Louisiana, Wyoming, Montana, and the Dakotas, or Mississippi, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Minnesota – or Texas, Oklahoma and Ohio as the President suggested in the debate.

The oil and gas business has always been an extraordinarily complex, lifeblood industry that has made fortunes, built nations, driven prosperity, and determined the course of wars. For anyone who has read “The Prize”, Daniel Yergin’s monumental and outstanding Pulitzer Prize winning history of the oil industry, these facts should not be foreign. And so, when politicians suggest or hint they are open to eliminating or reducing American industries through government policy, don’t forget that with those purposeful changes come innumerable consequences for a multitude of Americans.

We all need to remember that it’s not just fracking.




Sunday, October 25, 2020

Trump, Biden clash again over fracking, oil industry at final debate

President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden clashed again Thursday night over energy policy and how reform would impact American workers.

During their debate in Nashville, Tenn., Trump accused Biden of embracing a radical environmental agenda that would ban fracking and destroy the oil industry.

"He was against fracking," Trump said. "He said it ... until he got the nomination, went to Pennsylvania, then he said -- but you know what Pennsylvania, he'll be against it very soon because his party is totally against it."

"Fracking on federal land, I said, no fracking and/or oil on federal land," Biden shot back.

The exchange highlighted a point of contention that has come up numerous times in the race as fracking has been credited with providing hundreds of thousands of jobs in the U.S.

During a 2019 Democratic primary debate, Biden was asked whether there would be "any place for fossil fuels, including coal and fracking, in a Biden administration?"

Biden's response: "No, we would -- we would work it out. We would make sure it's eliminated and no more subsidies for either one of those, either -- any fossil fuel."

During Thursday's debate, Trump pressed Biden on whether he would shut down the oil industry.

"I would transition from the oil industry, yes," Biden responded.

Biden has also endorsed the Green New Deal, which calls, among other things, for dramatic reductions in carbon emissions by 2050. Conservatives have criticized the plan, arguing it would impose burdensome costs on U.S. families and businesses.

However, Biden and others on the left maintain that the country faces catastrophic consequences if it doesn't act to combat climate change. They've also forecasted massive economic benefits from the associated investments in infrastructure and other energy projects.

Biden's website claims his investments would create "millions of good, union jobs rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure" in addition to "1 million new jobs in the American auto industry."

Support Next Generation Nuclear Power Generation with Better Regulation

Nuclear fusion is always 20 years away, or so goes the saying. Yet scientists are convinced that this time, it is closer than ever. A group of researchers at MIT recently published a series of seven papers purporting to prove the viability of a compact nuclear fusion reactor that the former are developing. As opposed to fission plants that split uranium atoms to release energy, fusion reactors mimic the sun’s energy production by colliding hydrogen atoms. This “fusing” process releases four times more energy than a fission reaction, while producing far less radioactivity and waste. If the MIT research is accurate, then the future of nuclear energy is very bright indeed.

Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), a type of next-generation nuclear fission technology, are also being developed, largely through private sector leadership. Though not as revolutionary as fusion technology, these smaller nuclear plants promise to be cheaper, faster to build, and safer than their older counterparts. Importantly, the fission technology is already fully established and commercially viable.

Much of the optimism surrounding nuclear advancements pertains to private-sector innovations being generated and fine-tuned by scientists and engineers around the world. Indeed, these innovators are rightly seen as the flag-bearers of the most revolutionary energy source discovered by humanity. Yet, it is impossible to overlook a crucial hurdle for any kind of innovation: the regulatory process. And while it’s typically best to keep bureaucracies away from new innovations, it is here that the government has the opportunity to learn from past mistakes, and be both bold and pioneering.

The major problems facing next-generation nuclear power, be it fusion or small modular reactors, are the licensing and regulatory requirements prescribed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). For decades, the only commercially viable nuclear plants have been large, light water-cooled reactors that have more or less remained stagnant in terms of design. The NRC has taken a prescriptive regulatory approach to these existing technologies. That means that the agency creates specific safety features and designs that each project must adhere to, rather than setting safety standards that allow companies to experiment with the most effective design, to submit for approval.

Not only does such an approach stifle innovation in reactor designs, but it also is representative of a better-safe-than-sorry, over-zealous regulatory regime. Studies show that nuclear regulations introduced in the 1970s increased the quantity of concrete per megawatt by 27 percent, electrical cable by 36 percent, steel by 41 percent, and piping by 50 percent.

One of the reasons why regulators have taken such a heavy-handed approach to nuclear power is the perceived danger of nuclear accidents. While the safety concern is overblown even for traditional designs—studies indicate that nuclear power is responsible for the fewest fatalities of any energy source—the NRC approach is downright absurd for next-generation nuclear reactors. Indeed, both fusion and SMR designs build in passive safety mechanisms that automatically shut down a plant in case of an accident. Applying an outdated, existing regulatory framework to a new generation of different, advanced reactor technologies is the surest way to stifle much-needed innovation and scale.

While SMRs have already been going through this process with the NRC, at great cost in money and time, regulatory streamlining is needed to further boost the rollout of these small reactors, and provide fusion designs a smooth path to commercial viability. Ensuring certainty in the regulatory process is crucial to the future of nuclear energy.

First, it is vital that any licensing process designed by the NRC be performance-based and technology-inclusive, rather than prescriptive. Indeed, as the British scientist Matt Ridley and I have pointed out on this website before, innovation thrives off of experimentation, trial and error, and creativity. Allowing various reactor designs to compete for cost-effectiveness and safety will place upward pressure on innovation, and downward pressure on both time and cost.

Second, as has been called for by the Director of the Fusion Industry Association, nuclear fusion and fission should be entirely separated in the regulatory process. Given fusion reactors’ inherent safety designs, it would be counter-productive to confine them to the regulatory paradigm of fission reactors. A specific framework must be devised that only applies to nuclear fusion reactors, and avoids entangling older generation regulations with newer, safer plant designs. This framework should take into account fusion’s dramatically lower risk profile.

Ultimately, innovation comes from the private sector and scientists, but can only thrive when unencumbered by government distortion. While it is of course sensible for politicians to ensure that next-generation nuclear reactors are safe, a more market-based, light-touch regulatory framework is necessary to avoid stifling innovation. A clear pathway that provides regulatory certainty for decades to come is crucial in ensuring that the United States stakes its place as the world-leader on next-generation nuclear technologies.

World wheat crop tips record

Greenies are constantly warning that we about to run out of food. We're not

Thomas Malthus, Adolf Hitler and Paul Ehrlich are the best known prophets of food shortages but there are many others. It is a perennial scare

IMPROVED late-season yield prospects in greater Europe and Australia have lifted the estimate for global wheat production by 5.9 million tonnes (Mt) from the previous Agricultural Market Information Systems (AMIS) estimate released last month.

The lift was offset by a total 1Mt decline in projections in Canada and Argentina.

The net 4.8Mt increase lifts the forecast for the world 2020-21 wheat crop to a record 764.9Mt, pipping by just a few million tonnes the previous records set in 2019-20 and 2017-18 (chart 1).

This month’s upward revisions included Australia and the EU, both up 2.2Mt from last month’s estimate, a 1Mt lift for the Russian Federation, and Ukraine up 500,000t.

Utilisation in 2020-21 is expected to grow at a slightly faster pace than projected earlier, supported by stronger feed use in China.

Trade in 2020-21 (July-June) is also expected to grow following brisk import demand, especially by China and Egypt.

Stocks ending in 2021 are lifted by almost 3Mt following this month’s upwards revisions in the EU, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine.

Conditions mostly favourable

In Argentina, conditions are mixed, with recent rainfall in the south improving conditions. However, in the north and west regions, crop conditions are poor and mostly irreversible due to prolonged dryness throughout the season.

In Australia, conditions are generally favourable except for Queensland which experienced persistent dryness and Western Australia following a dry September.

By contrast, New South Wales is showing exceptional conditions with an expansion of sown area.

In Canada, spring wheat harvest is progressing under favourable conditions with slightly above average yields expected.

In the EU, winter-wheat sowing has begun under generally favourable conditions except for France and Romania where dryness from the summer persists.

In the Russian Federation, spring-wheat harvesting is wrapping up under favourable conditions. Winter-wheat sowing is progressing under dry conditions, particularly in the south, which is hampering emergence and more rainfall is needed before winter dormancy.

In Ukraine, sowing of winter wheat is beginning under mixed conditions due to drought across much of the country, which is delaying sowing for much of the crop.

In the US, sowing of winter wheat is ongoing under favourable conditions.

Cleaner Faster? Trump to Let Dishwashers Use More Water

The Trump administration has finalized plans to release a new rule allowing one class of dishwashers to clean a load in less than an hour.

Dishwashers on average take about two and a half hours to wash a load of dishes because of government regulations, more than twice as long as it took the appliances to clean plates, glasses, utensils and other items a generation ago, according to data from Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free-market think tank.

The Energy Department finalized the rule Monday, and the actual regulatory text will be posted in the Federal Register by the Department of Energy in two weeks, according to administration officials.

“President Trump has once again made good on his promise to free Americans from ludicrous government regulations—this time bringing a commonsense reform to dishwashers,” Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought said in a public statement. “Dishes now washed in an hour or less! This is yet another example of President Trump’s promises made, promises kept on deregulation.”

The Department of Energy received a petition from the Competitive Enterprise Institute to define a new class of products under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act for residential dishwashers.

The new product class would cover dishwashers with a cycle time, for the “normal” cycle, of less than one hour from washing through drying, according to the Office of Management and Budget.

The Energy Department published the petition and request for comments in the Federal Register on April 24, 2018. The department granted the petition for rulemaking and proposed the new product class.

The Energy Department will consider appropriate energy and water use limits for such a product class, if adopted, in a separate rulemaking, according to OMB.