Thursday, December 31, 2020

Egg on Their Faces: 10 Climate Alarmist Predictions for 2020 That Went Horribly Wrong

Long before Beto O’Rourke claimed the world only had 10 years left for humans to act against climate change, alarmists had spent decades predicting one doomsday scenario after another, each of which stubbornly failed to materialize. It seems climate armageddon has taken a permanent sabbatical.

Many of those doomsday predictions specifically mentioned the annus horribilus of 2020. Those predictions also failed, some rather spectacularly.

Steve Milloy, a former Trump/Pence EPA transition team member and founder of, compiled ten climate predictions for 2020 that fell far off the mark.

1. Average global temperature up 3 degrees Celsius

In 1987, the Star-Phoenix in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, quoted James Hansen of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. His model predicted an average temperature increase of “between one-half and one degree Celsius by the end of the ’90s.”

“And within 15 to 20 years of this, the earth will be warmer than it has been in the past 100,000 years,” Hansen said. According to the Star-Phoenix, his model predicted that “by the year 2020 we will experience an average temperature increase of around three degrees [Celsius], with even greater extremes.”

Milloy cited former NASA climatologist Roy Spencer, whose data suggest global temperatures have risen 0.64 degrees Celsius since 1987. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) shows an increase of about 0.5 degrees Celsius from 1987.

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2. Global emissions

In 1978, The Vancouver Sun cited a paper in the journal Science. University of Washington researcher Minze Stuiver predicted that the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere will have doubled by 2020. “We learn that if present trends continue, with economics the only limit on the exploitation of fossil fuels, the CO2 concentration will have doubled by 2020. Forty to 80 years after fuel burning peaks — that will come mid-century — the CO2 concentration will be five to 10 times its present level.”

Yet the CO2 in the atmosphere hasn’t come close to doubling since 1978. According to NOAA, in March 1978 when the Sun published this article, there were 335 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere. In February 2020, NOAA reported 413 parts per million in the atmosphere. That represents an increase of 23 percent, a far cry from doubling the concentration (which would be 670 parts per million).

3. Emissions from India and China

In December 2009, The Springfield News-Leader reported that India and China had pledged to cut emissions by 2020. “The developing world, for the first time, is offering its own actions — not straight reductions, but clean-energy projects and other steps to slow the growth of their emissions.”

“China says it will, by 2020, reduce gases by 40 to 45 percent below ‘business as usual,’ that is, judged against 2005 figures, for energy used versus economic input. India offers a 20 to 25 percent slowdown in emissions growth.”

While these projections were more promises than predictions, they fell wide of the mark. India and China increased their carbon emissions since 2005. According to the World Bank, India emitted 1.2 million kilotons of CO2 in 2005 and 2.4 million kilotons of CO2 in 2018, the last year data is available, a 200 percent increase. China, meanwhile, emitted 5.9 million kilotons in 2005 and 9.9 million kilotons in 2016, a 168 percent increase.

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4. No snow on Mount Kilimanjaro

In 2001, The Vancouver Sun reported, “Snows of Kilimanjaro to vanish by 2020.”

“‘At this rate, all of the ice will be gone between 2010 and 2020,’ said Lonnie Thompson, a geologist at Ohio State University. ‘And that is probably a conservative estimate.”

Al Gore’s 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth also predicted that there would be no snow on Kilimanjaro in 2020.

Yet in February 2020, The Times of London reported that the “Staying power of Kilimanjaro snow defies Al Gore’s gloomy forecast.”

“The snow has certainly got my clients talking,” Methley Swai, owner of the Just-Kilimanjaro trekking company, told The Times. “Many people have made Kilimanjaro a bucket list priority because of the Al Gore deadline but when they get here they are pleasantly surprised to find lots of snow.”

5. Rising sea levels in the Sunshine State

Miami Herald report predicting sea-level rise of 2 feet in Florida by 2020.

In 1986, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Jim Titus predicted that the sea level around Florida would rise two feet by 2020, The Miami Herald reported.

According to NOAA, the sea level at Virginia Key has risen by about 9 centimeters, which works out to 3.54 inches.

6. People will become unfamiliar with snow

In March 2000, David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit of the University of East Anglia in England, predicted that winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event,” The Independent reported. “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” Viner said.

Heavy snow will return occasionally, Viner predicted, but the Brits would not be prepared for it when it does. “We’re really going to get caught out. Snow will probably cause chaos in 20 years time,” he said.

About that. Snow is still very much a thing in the United Kingdom, and Scotland’s snowplows — called “gritters” — have been very much up to the task. Scotland had gotten about 10 centimeters of snow in some places by early December 2020, the Daily Record reported. “Traffic Scotland says that its current winter fleet consists of 213 vehicles that are available for ploughing and spreading salt.”

7. Pacific islands economies devastated

In October 2000, a Greenpeace report predicted that global warming “could cause a massive economic decline across at least 13 tiny Pacific nations in the next 20 years,” the Australian newspaper The Age reported. Global warming would devastate most of the Pacific’s coral reefs, devastating the tourism and fishing industries of tiny Pacific nations.

“Under the worst-case scenario examined, by 2020 some Melanesian nations would lose from 15 to 20 per cent of their gross domestic product, valued at about $1.9 billion [in American dollars] to $2.3 billion, while other mainly Polynesian nations are even more vulnerable and could lose between $4 billion and $5 billion due to climate change,” the report warned.

“The study shows that the most vulnerable Pacific nations are Tuvalu and Kiribati, the host of this year’s Pacific Islands Forum, followed by Cook Islands, Palau, Tonga and French Polynesia,” The Age reported.

Yet according to the government of Tuvalu’s Ministry of Finance, “Revenues collected from fisheries access increased from approximately $10 million [Australian dollars] in 2012 to $13.6 million in 2014 to the current situation in which annual revenue is more than $30 million.”

“The 2019 budget reports that Tuvalu has enjoyed an unprecedented six consecutive years of economic growth ‘on the back of increasing revenues from fishing licenses and back-to-back infrastructure projects that were-funded and administered by development partners,'” the ministry reported.

Kiribati has also enjoyed healthy GDP growth in the past five years. As with so many predictions of climate armageddon, the great demise of Pacific economies has failed to materialize.

8. Global conflict and nuclear war

In 2004, The Guardian reported on a Department of Defense report predicting that climate change could be America’s greatest national security threat. Among other things, the report predicted nuclear war, endemic conflict over resources, and European cities underwater by 2020.

The Pentagon report claimed that peace occurs when resources increase or when populations die off. “But such peaceful periods are short-lived because population quickly rises to once again push against carrying capacity, and warfare resumes.” In modern times, the casualties have decreased, but “all of that progressive behavior could collapse if carrying capacities everywhere were suddenly lowered drastically by abrupt climate change.”

As endemic warfare resumes, it will escalate to nuclear war, the report predicted. “In this world of warring states, nuclear arms proliferation is inevitable.”

Not only has nuclear war failed to materialize, but the world has become more peaceful in the past 30 years. Mathematicians at the University of York created an algorithm to measure battlefield deaths and discovered an “abrupt shift towards a greater level of peace in the early 1990s.”

9. The end of Arctic ice

In April 2013, the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette reported that NOAA scientists predicted “ranges for an ice-free Arctic from 2020 to after 2040.”

“It is reasonable to conclude Arctic ice loss is very likely to occur in the first rather than the second half of the 21st century, with a possibility of loss within a decade or two,” the paper claimed.

According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado-Boulder, there were 3.9 million square kilometers of sea ice in the Arctic Sea at its annual minimum in September 2020.

10. Glaciers gone at Glacier National Park
In March 2009, U.S. Geological Survey ecologist Daniel Fagre predicted that the glaciers in Montana’s Glacier National Park would disappear by 2020.

“Fagre’s current research reveals that temperatures in Glacier National Park have risen higher than was predicted in 1992. The Montana glaciers are now expected to be gone by 2020,” The Los Angeles Times reported.

By 2010, Glacier National Park erected signs warning that its signature glaciers would be gone by 2020. This year, the park rushed to change the signs as the glaciers still existed. In truth, the U.S. Geological Survey warned the park back in 2017 that the forecast model no longer predicted a glacier-less 2020, but a park spokeswoman told CNN that the park didn’t have enough money to change the signs.

The park altered the most prominent placards in 2019, but it was still waiting for budget authorization to update signs at two other locations.

The new signs will say, “When they will completely disappear depends on how and when we act. One thing is consistent: the glaciers in the park are shrinking.”

Climate alarmists have been forecasting doom for more than 50 years, and their predictions fail again and again. In 2018, the tiny Maldives Islands were scheduled to sink beneath the waves due to climate change — yet the islands have actually grown in recent years!

The truth of the matter is, climate is an extremely complicated science that remains far less than fully understood. While it stands to reason that carbon emissions may have an impact on the global climate, there is little concrete evidence to prove it — and nearly every prediction made on this hypothesis has proven false.

My New Year’s climate resolution

Andrew L. Urban

My New Year’s resolution for 2021 is to go full bore whacko religious on climate change.

No more Mr Science Guy. No more using reason and real science when debunking climate alarmist voodoo. No more articles appealing to reason, facts and no more debunking of a fake consensus. That means, instead, ridiculing the warped gospel of the Church of Climate Change.

Q: What’s the difference between the Church of Scientology and the Church of Climate Change?

A: It’s not rationally measurable.

Both belief systems claim a superior, infallible moral authority. Both impose severe penalties on apostates. In the case of Climatism, the penalties include public vilification and career damage, whether in science, academe, politics, most of the media and in many corporations who have signed up to it. In the case of Scientology dissent provokes intense long term harassment.

Both try to enforce their belief system aggressively in any society that allows them to thrive. Both of them threaten their critics with derogatory excess. Neither of them tolerate satire and generally lack a sense of humour.

Q: What’s the difference between L Ron Hubbard, the High Priest of Scientology and Al Gore, the High Priest of Climatism?

A: Hubbard is dead.

Q: How to challenge those scientists who claim that anthropogenic warming is not proven?

A: Invite an angry 16-year-old girl to address the Pope, the World Economic Forum, the European Parliament and the UN General Assembly to prophesy the warming apocalypse (8 – 12 years to go) …”I want you to panic”

Q: How does government forecast negative climate effects in the future?

A: Appoint a climate prophet (such as wombat expert Tim Flannery).

Q: How to sell climate change as dangerous?

A: Show archival photos and videos of raging bushfires, drought-stricken land and overlay text or commentary, blaming it all on climate change.

Q: How to appear politically pro-active on climate change?

A: Provide massive subsidies for renewables, enabling rent-seekers to make fortunes.

Q: If renewables don’t deliver energy when required, what’s to blame for the shortfall?

A: Climate.

Q: Why have all global warming models been so badly wrong?

A: The Church of Climate Change has full confidence in ‘the science‘. Its science.

Q: If research data conflicts with the ruling orthodoxy on global warming, what’s the most effective course of action?

A: Adjust the data.

Q: How to respond to arguments that question the basis of climate alarmism?

A: Ignore the arguments, silence the ‘deniers’, demonise scientists who challenge the ruling orthodoxy, preferably have them sacked.

Q: Even if governments believe that carbon dioxide emissions cause global warming, why do they impose massive disruption on Australia’s economy and energy prices when our emissions total some 1.3% of the world’s total?

A: The Church of Climate Change is guided by ‘the science’. Its science.

Q: How do climate ‘sceptics‘ characterise alarmists?

A: Brainwashed fools.

Q: How do climate alarmists characterise ‘deniers’?

A: Evil bastards.

China recolonizes Africa

Western policies damage Africa and the planet, kill millions, and open doors to China

Duggan Flanakin

Joe Biden has pledged that one of his first acts as President will be rejoining the Paris Climate Treaty – which gives China a complete pass on reducing emissions until at least 2030. Even Biden’s designated “climate envoy,” former Secretary of State John Kerry, says the existing treaty “has to be stronger,” but then claims China will somehow become an active partner, instead of the competitor and adversary it clearly is. His rationale: “Climate is imperative, it's as imperative for China as it is for us.”

As to China employing more Green technology and abiding by (much less strengthening) the Paris agreement, the evidence is at best spotty, at worst completely the opposite. President Trump pulled the United States out of Paris, but between January 2017 and May 2019 the US had shuttered 50 coal-fired power plants, with 51 more shutdowns announced, bringing the total shutdowns to 289 (330 once announced shutdowns also take place) since 2010, soon leaving under 200 still operating.

Meanwhile, as of 2019, China had 2,363 active coal-fired power plants and was building another 1,171 in the Middle Kingdom – plus hundreds more in Africa, Asia and elsewhere. A CO2 Coalition white paper by Kathleen Hartnett White and Caleb Rossiter reveals that China now has modern pollutant-scrubbing technology on over 80% of its coal-fired power plants, but no scrubbers at any Chinese-built coal-fired power plants in Africa (or likely anywhere else) – and none anywhere that remove carbon dioxide.

Harvard University China specialist Edward Cunningham says China is building, planning or financing more than 300 coal plants, in places as widespread as Turkey, Egypt, Vietnam, Indonesia, Bangladesh and the Philippines. India, South Korea, Japan, South Africa and even Germany [From%09Subject%09Received%09Size%09Categories]are also building hundreds of coal-fired power plants. No matter how many the USA closes down, it won’t make any global difference.

Boston University data indicate that China has invested over $50 billion in building new coal plants overseas in recent years, and over a quarter of new coal plants outside the Middle Kingdom have some commitment or offer of funds from Chinese financial institutions.

“Why is China placing a global bet on coal?” NPR wonders. That’s a 40 or even 50-year commitment, the life span of coal-fired units. The NPR authors even quote the Stinson Center think tank’s Southeast Asia analyst, who says “it’s not clear when you look at the actual projects China is funding that they are truly Green.” They’re obviously not green, and more is obviously going on than their poor eyesight can perceive.

China knows it and the world will need oil, natural gas and coal for decades to come. It sees “green” as the color of money and is happy to extend credit under terms very favorable to China. Communist Party leaders seek global military and economic power – and global control of electricity generation, raw materials extraction, and manufacturing of wind turbines, solar panels and battery modules they will sell to address the West’s obsession with the “manmade climate crisis” and “renewable, sustainable” energy.

Party leaders also know its production of “green” technologies is a good smokescreen for all this coal power – and few Western governments will dare to criticize China sharply over this or Covid.

A recent Global Warming Policy Foundation report lambasts environmentalists (like John Kerry) as “useful idiots” who “praise the scale of Chinese ambition on climate change, while paying lip service in criticizing China’s massive coal expansion.” It notes that China rarely honors its international agreements and has no intention of reducing fossil fuel consumption.

But what are Africa and other developing nations to do? The West will not fund even clean coal projects that would eliminate pollution from dung and wood fires, while providing reliable, affordable electricity for lights, refrigerators, schools, shops, hospitals, factories and much more. China will – and despite the heavy price, their demand for energy requires that they get electricity by any means necessary.

With 1.1 billion people, Sub-Saharan Africa remains the world’s poorest region, despite massive mineral resources and a young, energetic population with an affinity for entrepreneurship. Dutch economist Wim Naudé says Africa must industrialize, which means it must have affordable, reliable electricity, if it is to overcome poverty and disease, create jobs and discourage terrorism.

Unfortunately, outrageously, US, EU, UN and World Bank policies have stymied African energy resource development. As White and Rossiter note, US policies since the Obama era oppose Africans using the continent’s abundant coal and gas to fuel power plants, on the ground that carbon dioxide from fossil fuels might exacerbate climate change.

African Energy Chamber executive chairman NJ Ayuk recently reported that the United Kingdom has also decided it will stop funding new oil, gas and coal projects as of November 4, 2021, the fifth anniversary of the Paris treaty. The decision kowtows to Green opposition to UK Export Finance support for a Mozambique terminal to export low-CO2 emissions liquefied natural gas.

Ayuk had been touting natural gas as an increasing option for African power plants, boasting that Africa is home to four of the world’s top 20 crude oil producers (Nigeria, Angola, Algeria and Libya); Algeria and Nigeria are among the top 20 natural gas producers; and Mozambique also has huge gas reserves.

“It is troubling,” Ayuk said, “that an aggressive foreign-funded anti-African energy campaign continues to undermine the potential of making Mozambique an oasis for gas monetization and meeting our increasing energy demands.” Despite this setback, he continued, “we must continue to be unwavering in our commitment to stand up for Africa’s energy sector, its workers, reducing energy poverty, and those free-market values that will make our continent attractive to committed energy investors.”

In much of Africa, electricity demand far outstrips supply. “In factories, businesses, government buildings and wealthy neighborhoods in every African country,” White and Rossiter observe, a cacophonous symphony of soot-spewing backup diesel engines erupts when the grid goes down, which is usually every day.” In fact, says the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation, many African countries spend more on dirty backup power than on electricity for the grid itself; in West Africa, backup kilowatts equal 40% of total grid kilowatts.

In Sudan, which gets 30% of its energy from dams on the Nile River, diesel-based pumps run constantly to lift river water for irrigation, even at the confluence of the Blue and White Niles. In Nigeria, hotels ban guests from jogging because of health dangers from breathing soot from their diesel backup generators, which kick in repeatedly as neighborhoods go dark. In Southern Africa, construction sites simply run generators all day, filling nearby streets with noxious clouds. Universities rely on diesels to run old, inefficient air conditioning units.

White and Rossiter note that American clean coal technology, exemplified by the Turk power plant in Arkansas, virtually eliminates health hazards from sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulates. They urge the U.S. to support proposals by African governments to import this technology, noting that electricity is “the central nervous system of a modern economy and modern life expectancy. Africa’s electricity deficit translates directly into its life-expectancy deficit of 15 years per person.”

Millions die needlessly every year, from countless diseases of energy and economic poverty.

But under a Biden-Harris Administration, with John Kerry at the forefront, there is little hope that these African and other pleas will be heard. With European allies in myopic puritanical lockstep, China will continue to get a total pass on complying with Green demands – and will have free rein to turn sub-Saharan Africa into a giant Chinese colony, despite the environmental damage, monstrous debt, slave and child labor under horrific workplace conditions, and likely modest benefits to Africans.

It is eco-imperialism and eco-manslaughter at its worst. Where are the vaunted guardians of climate and environmental justice?

Via email

The revolutionary green technology using old car tyres to make steel that could spell the end of Australia's coal exports

This is a big laugh. The cost problem is acknowledged but there are many other difficulties.

Biggest of all is that electric arc furnaces are big users of electricity and that current has to be delivered in a stable way. So where will they get all that electricity? From coal-fired power stations, almost certainly. So they are still using coal to make steel but in a more complicated way!

Also amusing is that the newspaper's copy reader does not know the difference between an ark and an arc. Noah's arc would be amusing

The heating up of old car tyres to make steel could one day spell the end of coal - threatening one of Australia's key exports to China.

University of New South Wales engineering and science professor Veena Sahajwalla has pioneered world-first 'green steel' technology where hydrogen and solid carbon are extracted from waste rubber to make metal.

The former judge on the ABC's New Inventors show told Daily Mail Australia her innovation, also known as Polymer Injection Technology, had the potential to one day make metallurgical coal redundant.

'Oh, absolutely. Absolutely,' she said. 'We are certainly looking at a future where the dependency on coal for steel making is completely eliminated.

What is green steel technology?

Green steel technology involves extracting hydrogen and carbon from waste tyres to make metal

This method, also known as Polymer Injection Technology, relies on an electric ark furnace instead of a traditional blast furnace powered by coking coal

'So the goal very much is to say that we want to get to zero coal and coke in the process of making steel.'

China, Australia's biggest trading partner, last year bought $10billion worth of Australia's metallurgical coal exports and it still relies on old-fashioned blast furnaces that are heavily dependent on this fossil fuel.

'It's basically asking the question: "Where will the tipping point be for many countries like China and others?",' Professor Sahajwalla said.

Most of the world's existing steel production involves heating coking coal in a blast furnace at 1,000C, but green steel technology is about phasing this out and replacing it with a new method of making liquid steel.

'A traditional blast furnace will always have coke not just from a heat point of view but coke also provides a structure - it is a solid product that sits inside a furnace,' Professor Sahajwalla said.

'The traditional coke that is used as a source in a furnace, we're talking about replacing that coke with, of course, waste tyres.

'The science shows that it works.'

A smaller proportion of steel production involves electric ark furnace which uses high-current electric arcs to melt scrap steel and convert it into liquid steel.

Green steel production relies on this method to turn rubber tyres into metal.

Newcastle mining materials supplier Molycop, a former division of Arrium, uses green steel technology to make replacement metal wheels for Waratah trains servicing Sydney, Newcastle, the Central Coast, the Blue Mountains, and Wollongong.

Michael Parker, the company's president, said its manufacturing, combining coking coal and oil with crumbed tyre rubber and the use of renewable solar energy - to power an electric ark furnace - produced 80 per cent less carbon emissions than traditional steel making.

The green steel method, for now, has significantly reduced the need for coal in steel production but is has not completely eliminated it.

'This polymer injection technology allows us to substitute probably about half of that with crumbed rubber,' Mr Parker told Daily Mail Australia.

'Use the carbon and hydrogen out of waste tyres to replace virgin, raw materials.'

As part of the green steel production, tyres are put into a high-temperature electric ark furnace to extract hydrogen so iron oxide can be turned into iron as part of a chemical transformation. 'It's the rubber that contains all these other elements,' Professor Sahajwalla said.

'It's the tyres that give you these other molecules like hydrogen which then participates in the reaction and that's what allows us to convert the iron oxide into iron which is what becomes steel.'

The finished product sold to customers depends on added alloys and additives.

Though rubber tyres can replace the need for coking coal, a lot of the success of green steel will also rely on recycling existing scrap metal.

Mr Parker said waste metal was unexpectedly in short supply. 'There's not enough scrap steel in the world to replace the demand for new steel,' he said.

British billionaire Sanjeev Gupta hopes to use renewable energy and scrap metal recycling to turn the old Whyalla steelworks in South Australia into a major supplier of new green steel.

He has a long-term plan to phase out old-fashioned blast furnaces and replace them with electric ark furnaces.

His GFG Alliance bought Arrium, which previously owned Molycop, before American private equity group American Industrial Partners rescued it in 2017.

Professor Sahajwalla said green steel was slowly replacing coking coal. 'Ultimately, the goal is full replacement,' she said. 'Are we already on that journey? The short answer's yes.'

Unlike coking coal, tyres can also produce hydrogen, which can be turned into gas or a liquid.

Nonetheless, Mr Parker conceded green steel production, involving an electric ark furnace instead of a traditional blast furnace, was still a costlier method of making steel than coal or iron ore-derived methods.

'The issue is the cost of producing hydrogen through electrolysis is very high so there's got to be some breakthrough technically to get it down to a cost where you can afford to use hydrogen to make or produce iron ore to go into something like an electric ark furnace,' he said.

Making steel out of old tyres at least solves the problem of landfill. 'It's about being clever, let's use it in a way that maximises value from this waste,' Professor Sahajwalla said.




Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Bill Gates Has an Insane Idea to Save the Human Race From Global Warming

Bill Gates, the computer nerd-turned-billionaire-turned left-wing activist wants to save humanity.

He wants to dim the sun.

That’s right, the founder of Microsoft apparently thinks that the sun is the Blue Screen of Death in the sky and is funding research at Harvard University into dimming the sun to cool the earth. The solar geoengineering project, called Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment (SCoPEx), will be flying a test balloon above Sweden next year as part of this research. The plan is to eventually release 2 kg of calcium carbonate dust into the atmosphere in a year or two to study how what impact it may have.

You read that correctly. They want to put chalk dust in the atmosphere. Are you old enough to have ever cleaned blackboard erasers for your teacher? That nasty cloud of chalk dust you inhaled during that process is what they want to put into the atmosphere.

What could possibly go wrong?

Who would have thought that the answer to “man-made climate change” would be more man-made climate change?

That said, environmentalists aren’t entirely on board. “There is no merit in this test except to enable the next step. You can’t test the trigger of a bomb and say ‘This can’t possibly do any harm’,” said Nicklas Hällström, director of the Swedish green think-tank WhatNext?

Of course, Hällström’s biggest issue with this concept is that he thinks that it will create the impression that we can still use fossil fuels.

There are several problems with this whole thing.

For starters, radical environmentalists can’t seem to decide whether man-made climate change is causing the earth to warm or cool. That’s why what was once referred to as “global warming” is now called by the more vague term “climate change.”

Second, even if you ascribe to the idea that climate change is man-made and not part of a natural cycle, even the most radical of predictions refer to its impact of fractions of a degree over many, many decades. Dimming the sun would likely have a more dramatic impact on global temperatures. It is widely believed that the reason why dinosaurs were wiped out was an asteroid impact that released particles into the atmosphere, blocking the sun and causing a dramatic drop in global temperatures. Is this really something we want to try ourselves?

Third, how would adding particles in the air contribute to the greenhouse effect? Do we really want to find out?

New York can’t buy its way out of blackouts

Battery nonsense

New York City will soon be home to the world’s biggest utility-scale battery system, designed to back up its growing reliance on intermittent renewables. At 400 MWh this batch of batteries will be more than triple the 129 MWh world leader in Australia.

The City of New York’s director of sustainability (I am not making this title up), Mark Chambers, is ecstatic, bragging: “Expanding battery storage is a critical part of how we advance momentum to confront the climate emergency while meeting the energy needs of all New Yorkers. Today’s announcement demonstrates how we can deliver this need at significant scale.”

In reality the scale here is incredibly insignificant.

In the same nonsensical way, Tim Cawley, the president of Con Edison, New York’s power utility, gushes thus: “Utility scale battery storage will play a vital role in New York’s clean energy future, especially in New York City where it will help to maximize the benefit of the wind power being developed offshore.”

This puts the Con in Con Edison.

Here is the reality when it comes to the scale needed to reliably back up intermittent renewables. For simplicity let us suppose New York City is 100% wind powered. Including solar in the generating mix makes it more complicated but does not change the unhappy outcome very much.

NYC presently peaks at around 32,000 MW needed to keep the lights on. If Mr. Biden makes all the cars and trucks electric it might be closer to 50,000 MW but let’s stick to reality.

This peak occurs during summer heat waves which are caused by stagnant high pressure systems called Bermuda highs. These highs often last for a week and because they are stagnant there is no wind power generation. Wind turbines require something like sustained winds of 10 mph to move the blades and more like a whistling 30 mph to generate full power. During a Bermuda high folks are happy to get the occasional 5 mph breeze. These huge highs cover many states so it is not like we can get the juice from next door.

So for reliability we need, say, seven days of backup, which is 168 hours. Here’s the math:

32,000 MW x 168 hours = 5,376,000 MWh of stored juice needed to just make it. Mind you for normal reliability we usually add 20% or so. Did I mention electric cars?

It is easy to see that a trivial 400 MWh is not “significant scale.” It is infinitesimal scale. Nothing. Nada. Might as well not exist.

More specifically, 5,376,000 divided by 400 = 13,440 so only 13,439 more to go.

On the other hand, this measly 400 MWh battery array may well cost half a billion dollars, which is significant, especially to the New Yorkers who will pay for it. No cost figures are given because the system is privately owned, but EIA reports that the average utility scale battery system runs around $1.5 million a MWh of storage capacity. That works out to $600 million for this insignificant toy.

So what would it cost to reliably back up wind power, at this MWh cost and NYC’s scale? Just over $8,000,000,000,000 or EIGHT TRILLION DOLLARS. I have not seen this stupendous sum mentioned in the media. Perhaps Con Ed has not mentioned it.

Then too, New York State has the same problem. Only much bigger if New York City is included, which it often is.

But hey, maybe the cost will come down a few trillion. Not if we create a seller’s market by rushing into intermittent renewables, which is certainly where we are headed. After all, this is just New York City. Imagine what backing up America with batteries might cost. Don’t bother because it is impossible.

I should also add that we have no idea how to make 5 million MWh of batteries work together. The tiny 400 will be a challenge. It may not be possible.

Maybe fracked geothermal, the reliable renewable, is the answer. Or how about coal, oil, gas and nuclear power? Too bad they are all out of fashion.

All of this battery backup hype is a scam, and not just in New York either. The papers are full of this con, from coast to coast. The utilities know perfectly well that these loudly touted battery buys are a hoax, but they are getting rich building the wind and solar systems the politicians are calling for.

The voters are oblivious to these impossible numbers, since they are told that intermittent wind and solar are cheaper than reliable coal, gas and nuclear. Only when the sun shines bright and the wind blows hard, which is not all that often.

Reality is just sitting there, waiting. It can’t work so it won’t work. At this point it is just a question of how and when we find out the hard way

Joe Biden Is Building A Secret EPA

We already have an Environmental Protection Agency, and we don’t need another one pulling strings for radical climate activists behind closed doors.

This week, President-elect Joe Biden announced a slate of nominations and selections for a variety of environmental positions within his administration. Unsurprisingly, these announcements were met with open arms by the media. But, if Biden is so proud of his upcoming environmental actions, why is he building a new environmental office within the White House? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) exists for a reason – and it’s not to operate in secret from the White House.

In appointing Gina McCarthy to lead the newly created Office of Domestic Climate Policy, Joe Biden is placing his controversial environmental agenda out of view from the American people. McCarthy is set to join former Sen. John Kerry in a questionable environmental role which doesn’t require Senate confirmation, meaning less congressional oversight. However, when you look at McCarthy’s previous experience, you might understand why Biden doesn’t want her in front of any congressional committee.

McCarthy would join the Biden White House after leading the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an environmental organization that faced scrutiny for their relationship to Chinese entities. Of course, the “solutions” for which the NRDC routinely pushes just so happen to have the potential to destroy American energy independence in favor of Chinese-made solar panels, but I’m sure that’s just a coincidence.

Less than three months ago, and while McCarty was leading the NRDC, members of Congress called for an investigation into the ties between foreign actors on environmental non-profits in the United States. Specifically, they called for an examination of the “Sea Change Foundation,” which has given millions to the NRDC.

To anyone paying attention, it’s clear Joe Biden is trying to play us for fools … again.

After spending the last six months trying to convince us that he doesn’t support extreme ideas like a full ban on fracking and the Green New Deal, Biden is creating bureaucratic positions for leaders that are fully behind those disastrous proposals. His awkward inability to appear as an environmental moderate while still appeasing the radical eco-left like Aleaxandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders led to more than few embarrassing moments during his campaign.

Now that he looks to govern, how will Biden strike the balance between the eco-left’s insane demands and the moderate image he needs to project? His solution is simple, yet misleading — he’ll have the EPA attempt to pacify the public, and his secret environmental office do the bidding of radical environmentalists. Again, if Joe Biden is so proud of what he’s going to implement, he shouldn’t shy away from Congress and the public.

The terrible reality is that Gina McCarthy will help form a direct line between her former questionable employer and the White House, leaving America’s energy workers without a voice.

There is too much at stake for our country to allow Joe Biden to create a secret EPA that will operate behind closed doors.

No, Weather Channel, 2020 Did Not Bring Unprecedented Climate Disasters

An article published by the Weather Channel tries to link climate change to a variety of environmental “disasters,” that struck around the world in 2020. The article cites limited evidence for any link. In reality, none of the asserted disasters are tied to supposed human-caused climate change.

In the Weather Channel article titled, “2020’s Worst Environmental Disasters, and How Climate Change Played a Role,” the author writes, “In a year of unprecedented disasters, much of the damage done to our planet in 2020 was self-inflicted.”

Historical records and data show none of the disasters discussed in the article are, in fact, unprecedented.

Among the environmental tribulations the Weather Channel discusses are oil spills, dams breaking, and wildfires.

Regarding oil spills, humans have indeed caused some oil spills, but these have occurred either through human error or poor equipment maintenance. Climate change plays no role in oil spills, regardless of the Weather Channel’s unsubstantiated speculation.

Regarding dam failures, floods from unexpectedly heavy rainfall can undoubtedly combine with poor maintenance or poor government decision-making to result in dams failing, but there is no scientific link to climate change. As pointed out in Climate At A Glance: Floods, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) acknowledges having “low confidence” in any climate change impact regarding the frequency or severity of floods. This includes “low confidence” in even the “sign” of any changes—meaning, it is just as likely that climate change is making floods less frequent and less severe.

In addition, a study on the climate impact on flooding for the USA and Europe, published in the Journal of Hydrology, Volume 552, September 2017, Pages 704-717, found: “The number of significant trends was about the number expected due to chance alone. Changes in the frequency of major floods are dominated by multidecadal variability.”

Regarding wildfires, the IPCC has found across the mid-latitudes (including the U.S.) there has been a modest but measurable increase in moisture, which mitigates wildfires.

The Weather Channel points to Australia’s tragic 2019-2020 wildfire season as proof of warming-induced wildfire expansion. The Weather Channel failed to note that before the 2019-2020 wildfire season, the continent had for nearly a decade experienced above-average rainfall. At the same time, Australia’s government had decided not to manage its brush and trees, the fuel load for wildfires. These two factors combined to create tinder box conditions which exploded when Australia’s normal drought cycle reoccurred.

In California, the situation is much the same, with the article admitting, “Particularly in California … decisions on forest management and fire suppression, and expansion of homes and businesses into less-developed areas have combined to make the 2020 fire season one of the most destructive in recorded history.” The Weather Channel blamed a “human caused global warming,” as well, but the best available data indicate no such link exists. The article says, “[v]egetation left dry by climate change is fueling unprecedentedly large wildfires,” yet vegetation is not being left dry by climate change.

Indeed, As reported in Climate at a Glance: Drought, the IPCC reports with “high confidence” that precipitation has increased over mid-latitude land areas of the Northern Hemisphere (including the United States) during the past 70 years.

Moreover, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports America is currently is undergoing its longest period in recorded history with less than 40 percent of the country experiencing “very dry” conditions. Also, the United States in 2017 – and then again in 2019 – registered its smallest percentage of land area experiencing drought.

As reported in Climate at a Glance: Wildfires, long-term data from the U.S. National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) show wildfires have dramatically declined in number and severity in recent decades. Reporting data on U.S. wildfires from as far back as 1926, NIFC documents that the number of acres annually burned recently is only1/4th to 1/5th of the annual acres burned in the 1930s.

The wildfires burning in the U.S. West in the past few years are more appropriately labeled, “Greenie Fires, Not Climate Fires,” as James Taylor wrote in a recent Climate Realism article discussing the issue.

As Taylor notes, “The reason why wildfires in the U.S. West, and especially in Pacific Coast states, are becoming more severe in recent years is because federal, state, and local governments have followed environmental extremists’ demands that we no longer actively manage our forests. Proactive forest management requires thinning of forests, prescriptive burns, thinning of underbrush, and removal of dead trees that serve as super-fuel for forest fires. Environmental extremists have largely blocked these activities during the past 30 in the U.S. West, leading to explosive wildfire conditions that defy global trends.”

2020 was undoubtedly a bad year for environmental disasters, but contrary to the Weather Channel’s assertions, assertions made without citing supporting evidence, there is limited if any proof that climate change contributed to the problems.




Saturday, December 26, 2020

Hit the rich, say Greenies

World leaders should aggressively reduce the carbon footprint of the wealthiest to curb the effects of climate change, experts have said.

It comes after a UN report found that the wealthiest 1 per cent pump more than twice times as much carbon into the atmosphere as the bottom 50 per cent.

It is hardly the first time that wealthy figures have been accused of driving climate change with their lavish lifestyle choices.

Orlando Bloom, Katy Perry and Leonardo DiCpario were among a slew of well-heeled celebrities criticsed for attending a Google climate summit in Italy last year - arriving on private jets and yachts that left an estimated 800-tonne carbon footprint.

DiCaprio, a UN climate ambassador, has previously been criticised for speaking out on the issue despite frequently flying on private jets, renting a yacht from an oil baron, and owning four houses.

Oxfam's Confronting Carbon Inequality report singled out SUVs and frequent flying as two of the biggest drivers of the '1 per cent' carbon footprint, with many billionaires known to own private jets.

Like the UN report, published this week, it found the top 1 per cent contribute significantly more to climate change than the bottom 50 per cent.

Jeff Bezos, the world's richest man, is known to get around on a $65 million Gulfstream jet and in October 2018 was pictured taking an SUV to the airport with then-mistress Lauren Sanchez before hopping on board the aircraft.

Billioanaire Mark Cuban owns three jets - a Gulfstream that he uses as private transport and two Boeing business jets, one that he rents out as a charter and another that he uses to fly his basketball team around, Business Insider reported.

And despite producing eco-friendly electric cars via Tesla, Elon Musk's love of private jets has previously made headlines after he flew 150,000 miles using a Gulfstream jet in 2018.

Other billionaires to own polluting vehicles are Russian oligarchs Roman Abramovich and Alisher Usmanov, owners of two of the world's largest private yachts.

According to the UN, the richest will need to shrink their CO2 footprints significantly to avoid dangerous levels of global warming this century.

The annual study, carried out by the UN Environment Programme (Unep), highlights the gap between the levels emissions should be at to keep temperatures down and current real-life levels.

It found that the world's top 10% of earners devour about 45% of all energy consumed for land transport worldwide and 75% of that used for aviation.

The world's poorest 50% of households, meanwhile, consume just 10% and 5% respectively.

'This elite will need to reduce their footprint by a factor of 30 to stay in line with the Paris Agreement targets,' Unep executive director Inger Anderson wrote in a foreword to the report.

Better batteries for electric cars from Toyota


The Japanese giant was due to unveil a working prototype of its new electric-car tech at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, which was cancelled due to the pandemic. But according to Asian business publication, the Nikkei, this is now due some next year.

A solid state battery is a huge advancement over the current lithium-ion batteries used in electric cars.

In simple terms, a solid-state battery is smaller, faster to charge, more energy dense and less likely to catch fire than current batteries. The main reason is because the battery uses a solid electrolyte instead of a liquid or gel.

Estimates put range at more than 800km and up to 1000km, with the ability to charge in under 10 minutes.

These advancements would enable electric cars to be more practical than most petrol- or diesel-powered cars.

The batteries provide other benefits such as a roomier cabin and greater efficiency due to a lower vehicle weight.

Toyota is aiming for its next-generation batteries to hold about 90 per cent of their charge for up to 30 years, much longer than lithium-ion examples.

Reports in the Nikkei say Japanese manufacturers are gearing up to start producing the battery tech in greater numbers. The Japanese government has set up a special decarbonising fund worth about $25.5b to help develop the new batteries.

The first working prototype vehicles fitted with a solid state battery are expected to break cover in 2021, although full production isn’t expected for several years at least.

Toyota isn’t the only brand working on the groundbreaking tech.

American electric car start-up Fisker has previously said it has been investing heavily in solid state battery tech. It is looking to fit the new tech to its low-volume EMotion luxury electric sedan.

Volkswagen and Nissan are two other conventional car makers working on developing the new electric car fuel cell, but both are behind Toyota.

Time to Finally End Solar and Wind Subsidies

Famed Chicago School economist and Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman often said, “There is nothing so permanent as a temporary government program.” Each year, when it comes time to pass an omnibus spending bill, taxpayers get a firsthand view of just how prophetic Friedman’s words were. This year is no different as Congress negotiates end-of-year spending and a potential COVID relief package. Programs and subsidies that should have gone by the wayside years ago once again find themselves squarely on the table.

Such is the case with the production tax credit (PTC) and investment tax credit (ITC) for both the wind and solar industries. The American taxpayer has been burdened enough by the rampant spending of the past year combatting the coronavirus and the deleterious effects of the associated lockdowns. Both the PTCs and ITCs for these industries – that have long since become mature enough to stand on their own – are sad testaments to government waste.

Another troubling provision would potentially mandate 100 percent renewable power. According to the American Energy Alliance, “The word on the street is that there are negotiations taking place to try and jam a pre-negotiated energy bill into the year-end spending bonanza. AEA obtained a page from the discussion draft that appears to include a provision from the House Green New Deal lite version of energy legislation, H.R. 4447, making is a ‘Sense of Congress’ that calls for 100% of power demand to come from ‘clean, renewable, or zero-emission’ energy sources.” This type of mandate would open the floodgates of taxpayer subsidies and raise energy costs.

Wind and solar subsidies are already estimated to cost American taxpayers a shade over $60 billion in just this decade alone. Extending these wasteful tax credits would add another $13 to $19 billion to that tally. Given that the United States is facing debt and deficit numbers never before seen in the nation’s history, the refusal of Congress to reject these extensions outright is patently absurd.

Not only is Congress’s profligate spending absurd, it is also thoroughly unnecessary in this case. These subsidies have been in place since 1992. Since 2010, the cost of onshore wind has dropped 40 percent and solar has dropped a staggering 80 percent. If, at this point, neither industry can stand on its own two feet without the ITC and PTC given to them by the federal government – and thus the American taxpayer – perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate them as viable energy sources moving forward.

Congress initially intended for the ITC and PTC to expire in 1999, a mere seven years after their debut. However, they have since been extended on 12 separate occasions. This year’s omnibus would mark the 13th such extension if allowed to go forward. This present extension would be particularly unnecessary given that even the industries involved have admitted to some extent that they no longer need these tax credits.

Last year, the Vice President of Federal Affairs for the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) announced he would no longer be advocating for “wind-specific incentives” in the year-end package. Sadly, he changed his tune and decided to renew his call for wind tax credits ostensibly to compete with the solar industry. Ironically enough, the solar tax credits were not extended that year.

The solar industry continues to thrive without the tax credits, for the time being. In 2019, it became “the number one source of new electric generating capacity installed in the United States, representing 40% of all new capacity installed. Over the last 10 years, solar deployment has grown an average of 48% every year.” The same holds true for the wind industry. It has tripled in size and is expected to continue to grow even if the tax credits are phased out.

To be clear, the emergence of alternatives to traditional energy sources should be applauded. All honest lovers of the free market enjoy healthy competition for services. If wind and solar can finally stand on their own two feet, it will make the market for electricity and energy a far more vibrant one. However, free marketeers also know that no marketplace can be truly free if the government constantly has its thumbs on the proverbial scales.

Taxpayers should also be concerned with proposed language seeking to mandate the use of wind and solar. The decades of Congress reapproving PTCs and ITCs for these technologies have proven that our elected officials are bad at predicting the future. Boxing ourselves into a corner with mandates for today’s technology serves to only limit our options in terms of reducing emissions going forward.

These tax credits no longer represent a key lifeline for emerging alternative sources of energy. Instead, they have become just another form of government cronyism and – like most other forms of cronyism – crawl out into the limelight to get mindlessly shepherded through the halls of Congress without anyone second guessing the necessity of it. Let 2020 finally be the year that these programs are allowed to expire as they should have over 20 years ago.

The Green/Left nightmare

Below is what the World Economic Forum has in mind for us

As Brexit and Donald Trump’s victory show, predicting even the immediate future is no easy feat. When it comes to what our world will look like in the medium-term – how we will organise our cities, where we will get our power from, what we will eat, what it will mean to be a refugee – it gets even trickier. But imagining the societies of tomorrow can give us a fresh perspective on the challenges and opportunities of today.

We asked experts from our Global Future Councils for their take on the world in 2030, and these are the results, from the death of shopping to the resurgence of the nation state.

1. All products will have become services. “I don't own anything. I don't own a car. I don't own a house. I don't own any appliances or any clothes,” writes Danish MP Ida Auken. Shopping is a distant memory in the city of 2030, whose inhabitants have cracked clean energy and borrow what they need on demand. It sounds utopian, until she mentions that her every move is tracked and outside the city live swathes of discontents, the ultimate depiction of a society split in two.

2. There is a global price on carbon. China took the lead in 2017 with a market for trading the right to emit a tonne of CO2, setting the world on a path towards a single carbon price and a powerful incentive to ditch fossil fuels, predicts Jane Burston, Head of Climate and Environment at the UK’s National Physical Laboratory. Europe, meanwhile, found itself at the centre of the trade in cheap, efficient solar panels, as prices for renewables fell sharply.

3. US dominance is over. We have a handful of global powers. Nation states will have staged a comeback, writes Robert Muggah, Research Director at the Igarapé Institute. Instead of a single force, a handful of countries – the U.S., Russia, China, Germany, India and Japan chief among them – show semi-imperial tendencies. However, at the same time, the role of the state is threatened by trends including the rise of cities and the spread of online identities,

4. Farewell hospital, hello home-spital. Technology will have further disrupted disease, writes Melanie Walker, a medical doctor and World Bank advisor. The hospital as we know it will be on its way out, with fewer accidents thanks to self-driving cars and great strides in preventive and personalised medicine. Scalpels and organ donors are out, tiny robotic tubes and bio-printed organs are in.

5. We are eating much less meat. Rather like our grandparents, we will treat meat as a treat rather than a staple, writes Tim Benton, Professor of Population Ecology at the University of Leeds, UK. It won’t be big agriculture or little artisan producers that win, but rather a combination of the two, with convenience food redesigned to be healthier and less harmful to the environment.

6. Today’s Syrian refugees, 2030’s CEOs. Highly educated Syrian refugees will have come of age by 2030, making the case for the economic integration of those who have been forced to flee conflict. The world needs to be better prepared for populations on the move, writes Lorna Solis, Founder and CEO of the NGO Blue Rose Compass, as climate change will have displaced 1 billion people.

7. The values that built the West will have been tested to breaking point. We forget the checks and balances that bolster our democracies at our peril, writes Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch.

8. “By the 2030s, we'll be ready to move humans toward the Red Planet.” What’s more, once we get there, we’ll probably discover evidence of alien life, writes Ellen Stofan, Chief Scientist at NASA. Big science will help us to answer big questions about life on earth, as well as opening up practical applications for space technology.




Thursday, December 24, 2020

No more guilt trips? Revolutionary process converts carbon dioxide into jet fuel using cheap catalysts for emissions-free flights

Ya gotta laugh! Adding a hydrogen atom to CO2 to make a hydrocarbon seems obvious chemistry but it is not so easy in practice. So the scientists below deserve some credit for their achievement.

But where does the hydrogen atom come from? The usual source of hydrogen is natural gas, which is a "FOSSIL FUEL". So those dreaded fossil fuels are still being used to create the new "non-fossil" fuel. The non-fossil fuel comes from fossil fuel. Follow that? Clarity of thought is not to be expected from Greenies

Creating jet fuel for planes out of carbon dioxide – which could make flying guilt free – could soon be a reality.

The process from a team at Oxford University uses cheap iron catalysts to capture CO2 from the air and converts it into fuel for aeroplanes.

The academics have labelled their innovation a 'significant social advance' in how the abundant greenhouse gas is converted and its potential to make flying more environmentally acceptable.

The chemical reaction takes CO2 out of the air, and converts it into jet fuel, which is then emitted by the plane in flight.

As there is no need to extract oil from the ground, the process is carbon neutral.

Aviation is a large and growing contributor to the greenhouse effect – with its gases labelled by Boris Johnson as creating a 'toxic teacosy' around the earth.

It contributes around 10 per cent of the UK's greenhouse gas emissions, and is growing as air traffic rises here and abroad.

Flying has as a result become an environmental and political battleground – with environmentalists opposing expansion of air travel – for increasing CO2 emissions.

Teenage activist Greta Thunberg sailed across the Atlantic to the USA to avoid getting in a plane, and celebrities such as Emma Thompson and Harry Potter actress Emma Watson have been lambasted for lecturing the public on the evils of global warming, while regularly jetting round the world.

But the UK is legally bound get to 'net zero' carbon emissions by 2050, so to do this a new form of carbon neutral fuel must be found.

The issue for aviation is that its fuel breaks down and spews out CO2 and water, and both of these products are emitted into the atmosphere.

However, the new technique would capture the gas already in the atmosphere and create fuel, negating the need to fill up with new fuel extracted from the ground.

CO2 is highly stable, but the researchers led by Peter Edwards of Oxford University managed to convert it back into fuel by using a chemical reaction powered by an iron-based catalyst – at low temperatures – and adding hydrogen.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Professor Peter Edwards said the breakthrough could put Britain at the forefront of a revolutionary new green industry.

He said: 'This is a really exciting, potentially revolutionary advance, the most important advance in my four decade career.'

Professor Edwards said he expected it could scale up in two to three years to create jet fuel in large quantities.

He added: 'Our vision is that the world can see that captured CO2 can be used as energy carrier to enable sustainable aviation.

He added that the team are in advanced discussions with UK industries to set up a pilot plant demonstration.

'With government support this would provide the stimulus to grow a new UK synthetic aviation fuel manufacturing industry .

'This advance offers post – Brexit Britain a chance to lead the world in climate change , boost our science base and enhance our reputation.

'These scientific advances must now lead to break-through technology and innovation. We mustn't miss this opportunity.'

Writing in the respected journal Nature Communications, the authors said that their discovery could 'mitigate carbon dioxide emissions but also to produce renewable and sustainable jet fuel'.

Protect low-income and senior households by protecting natural gas

With such uncertainty in our lives today, the cost of energy should not be another problem people have to worry about. While the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic fallout has stricken people throughout the country, it is unfortunate that access to affordable energy is often overlooked. This is an especially troubling dynamic as cold winter weather looms, and the public faces an unprecedented $24 billion in electric and gas debt.

Environmental activists often ignore the human cost of energy inequity in our society as they advocate for bans on the use of natural gas in the home. They also fail to acknowledge the pivotal role that natural gas plays in providing reliable, affordable energy to seniors and low-income communities. Unfortunately, this has led to some communities forcing consumers to convert from natural gas. These mandates to ban gas in favor of an all-electric infrastructure will lead to higher energy costs and increase the financial burden for consumers nationwide without accomplishing their intended goals for the environment.

Policy-driven bans on natural gas will increase the average household energy bill by between $750 and $910 per year. But high energy costs and the lack of energy affordability already affect families across the country. Californians, for example, face some of the highest energy bills in the nation — which is notable, as the majority of natural gas bans have been proposed or enacted in the state. California residents are already required to pay tens of billions of dollars in extra costs related to renewable-energy mandates and transmission-system upgrades before even considering the costs associated with poorly conceived natural gas bans.

Before cities in California fast-track electrification policies, they must consider the economic ramifications of these hastily implemented natural gas bans on low-income families and communities. Not every Californian can afford the cost of these bans when compared to their speculated benefit. The median household income for Californians in places that have banned or restricted natural gas use is 78% higher than the national average and 45% higher than the California median.

Unfortunately, a one-size-fits-all approach to energy plans that ban consumer choice often affect low-income communities the hardest. What’s more, as the California Energy Commission explains, low-income renters are often unable to convert away from natural gas due to upfront costs or a lack of homeownership. While the policies in higher-income areas may not have as large an effect on low-income Californians now, they can be a slippery slope to an energy future that leaves the most vulnerable citizens unable to foot the bill.

Moreover, senior citizens, who often live on fixed incomes and face difficult financial decisions each month, are also vulnerable to the burden of high energy costs — and with close to 6 million seniors, the state of California is projected to age faster than the rest of the nation. While only 10.5% of California’s seniors currently live below the federal poverty line, as the senior population continues to grow, so too will the number of seniors who face financial strain. Compounded with increasing energy bills from natural gas bans, seniors could struggle to make ends meet each month.

Unfortunately, the issue of blindly banning natural gas isn’t confined to California. Similar natural gas bans are taking shape in New York, Massachusetts, and Oregon. We must ensure policymakers at every level of government are aware of the burden anti-natural gas policies place on their constituents, particularly those living on a low- or fixed-income, working families, and seniors.

Our energy future is more complex than wholesale bans. Utilities and environmental groups can work together toward a cleaner energy future that doesn’t disproportionately affect communities based on wealth. Gas utilities place a high priority on benefiting the environment and helping those who are most vulnerable. These priorities are an important part of our mission, especially the mission of public gas utilities nationwide.

Those advocating for natural gas bans also disregard the role natural gas can play in achieving climate-change goals. Gas utilities have led the nation in reducing greenhouse gas emissions for decades, adding 30 million new residential customers since 1970 with virtually no increase in emissions. Natural gas plays a valuable role in addressing climate change, all while remaining affordable.

The nation’s energy infrastructure shouldn’t create barriers and financial burdens for hardworking families, especially when it comes to how they heat their homes, cook their food, and fuel their appliances. As the nation braces for winter weather and continues to deal with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, energy affordability must be a priority. To make progress on climate goals while offering families a fair price on their energy bill, policymakers should protect consumers’ ability to choose affordable, efficient, and reliable natural gas.

How Subsidized Wind and Solar Power Threatens our National Grid

New book, "The Looming Energy Crisis: Are Blackouts Inevitable?"

(From the Introduction)
There is an ideology that threatens the grid. This book will examine how federal regulators, state governments, utility companies, and the operators of the grid themselves are imposing their beliefs about climate change on all Americans and placing the grid in great jeopardy. Unelected bureaucrats and self-imposed intelligentsia are making decisions that place all Americans in danger.

It can be argued that the actions these people are taking are making electricity more costly and less reliable and placing Americans at risk for little or no reason. The Looming Energy Crisis will show you why we must continue to use fossil fuels and why we must protect the grid from the actions of those who are imposing their personal beliefs on the rest of us. Our objective should be low-cost reliable electricity available for everyone. Reliability is a national security issue.

(From Chapter 1: The Grid)
The basic components of the grid consist of the equipment that generates the electricity, the equipment that carries the electricity across the country, and the distribution of electricity to the homeowner or business...

Traditional methods of generating electricity, other than hydro, are built to operate 24/7, year round, and are referred to as baseload power. Attempting to have these plants follow load, with load increasing and decreasing, has negative effects of a varying nature.

Nuclear plants can't be cycled up or down when demand varies. Coal-fired plants are damaged by the expansion and contraction of component parts when they try to follow load, due to the varying temperatures created with increasing and decreasing steam flows. Natural Gas Combined Cycle (NGCC) plants are more flexible and can adjust output more readily. Natural gas peaking units can ramp up and down rapidly. Their purpose is to provide electricity during peak periods of demand. Wind and solar PV, on the other hand, only operate when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining and can't be relied on to generate electricity when needed...

Storage has become an issue as attempts are made to use more wind and PV solar on the grid. Lithium-ion batteries have become the battery of choice. Lithium-ion batteries have to be replaced ever ten years or so, which adds to the cost of storage...

Capacity factor (CF) is an important measurement for evaluating different types of generation. CFs for the various methods of generating electricity are: Nuclear: 91 percent; Natural gas combined cycle: 87 percent; Coal-fired plants: 85 percent; Onshore wind: around 34 percent; PV solar: 12-25 percent, usually based on location...

(From Chapter 2: Framework for Mandates)
It's been demonstrated that capturing CO2 from a coal-fired power plant results in derating the plant by around one-third. In other words, a plant rated at 300 megawatts becomes a plant rated at 200 megawatts. Derating is the result of using about one-third of the power plant's output to run the equipment requires to capture and compress the CO2 so it can be transported and sequestered underground...

In pursuit of clean energy, many states have established renewable portfolio standard (RPS) that utilities must follow...The RPS usually begins with a small requirement, say 5 percent, and then increases until it reaches a fairly large requirement by 2050.

(From Chapter 3: Clean Electricity Mandates)
These twelve states listed in Table 1, plus any others that adopt 100 percent clean electricity goals, have unwittingly mandated three outcomes:

Substantially higher costs for electricity for every resident;
Less reliable service with more frequent interruptions;
Increased risk for extended blackouts.

While it's not easy to estimate the cost for a state or city, the cost for the entire country to replace fossil fuels is nearly $20 trillion, about equal to our national debt. Plus, most of this cost is repeated every ten years as batteries and equipment wear out and have to be replaced.

The increased cost of electricity will be substantial. Germans already pay four times more than the average American, and they have only cut their CO2 emissions by 31 percent. Imagine how much more they will pay when they start to add more than token amounts of storage...

(From Chapter 8:Market Structure)
At the direction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 1999, regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and independent system operators (ISOs) were established covering two-thirds of the population of the United States...We will establish that the integrity and reliability of the grid as well as the low-cost objective have been jeopardized by politicians at both the state and federal levels who have been pursuing policies based on political agendas. The fear of climate change, with the objective of cutting GHG emissions, is central to these political agendas. In essence RTO/ISOs have rigged the market to ensure that wind and solar replace fossil fuels.

(From Chapter 10: Rigged Auctions)
Real-time auctions (Note: in which RTO/ISOs buy power from power plants) operate in a similar manner to day-ahead auctions. Both have three immediate consequences.

First, they result in nuclear and coal-fired power plants being retired, which reduces the availability of baseload power...

Second, they encourage the building of unnecessary power plants. Wind and solar plants are built because they get subsidies and can always win these auctions, even though there may not be a need for the electricity they produce other than to meet renewable portfolio standards required by some states. Utilities and independent power producers are building these wind installations to take advantage of the tax credits.

Third, the levelized cost of electricity from wind and solar is higher than from NGCC, coal-fired, and nuclear power plants...

Wind and solar have a competitive advantage because they can bid zero and still have their costs covered by an out-of-market payment - a payment hidden in the bidding process.

This is skewing the bidding so that wind and solar can always win any bid they enter.

(From Chapter 12: Supply Must Meet Demand)
To protect against the collapse of the grid when wind or solar fail to produce electricity (there must be) gas turbines standing by in spinning reserve, ready to come online at a moment's notice.

This may not be possible during the winter in northern states where the supply of natural gas is unavailable to NGCC power plants because natural gas must go to homeowners for heating purposes before it can be used to generate electricity.

There are some areas, such as in New York and New England, where state government have prohibited the construction of pipelines, preventing the availability of sufficient supplies of natural gas in those areas.

This problem is migrating to other areas of the country as state governments prevent the construction of pipelines to meet the growing demand for natural gas. Protesters are preventing the construction of pipelines by using the courts to block construction for a variety of reasons. Many of these pipelines are essential if there is to be a guaranteed supply of electricity in certain areas of the country.

(From Chapter 20: Recent Trends)
In 2020 Professor Judith Curry drew three main conclusions from her latest paper, "Plausible scenarios for climate change: 2020-2050."

We are starting to narrow the uncertainty in the amount of warming from emissions that we can expect out to 2050.

All three modes of natural variability - solar, volcanoes, and internal variability - are expected to trend cool over the next three decades.

Depending on the relative magnitude of emissions driven warming versus natural variability, decades with no warming, or even cooling, are more or less plausible." (Net warmest scenario: +.7 degrees Celsius; Net moderate scenario: +.11 C; Net coldest scenario: -.5 C.)

The latest science has established we have nothing to fear from increases in atmospheric levels of CO2 and methane...

There is every reason to believe that we are not facing an existential threat, and that actions to curtail CO2 and methane will cause severe harm to Americans.

Email from The CO2 Coalition:

Virtue signalling and the hatred of coal

Comment from Australia

There has been more than one virus attacking the fibre of our society over the past 12 months as virtue signalling has leapt from business to business and executives have scrambled to join the race to be “woke.”

We are all now expected to conform to whatever shallow, vacuous position is currently in vogue and embrace every demand made by the chattering class lest we be condemned on social media.

Mackay small business man David Hartigan is the latest casualty of this crusade by the corporate world to beat its collective chest and show the world it has a social conscience.

His company provides engineering advice to mining companies. “Good on you, mate,” you might say, for creating jobs and doing your bit to help grow the national economy.

Not so in the world of the woke with his insurance company telling him that he cannot make more than 40 per cent of his income from thermal coal mining clients if he wants coverage.

This, of course, is so the insurance company can proclaim to the world that it cares about climate change

The large number of financial institutions now too frightened to cover mining businesses has lessened competition and allowed those still in the business to ramp up their premiums, Mr Hartigan’s increasing by 300 per cent over the past four years.

Can someone please explain to me how screwing a small businessman in regional Queensland is going to save the planet.

It is stupidity writ large and goes hand-in-hand with the insistence by the woke warriors that no one is building coal fired power plants anymore, thus ignoring the inconvenient truth that Germany commissioned one this year, Japan will build 20 over the next five years and the Chinese are building them faster than you can count.

The truth? They can’t handle the truth, preferring to project an image of heartfelt care confected by a marketing consultant while damaging the economy.

Whatever happened to that once treasured Australian trait of declaring in a loud voice that if it looks like bull…t and smells like bull…t, the chances are it’s bull…t? Have we lost the ability to mock poseurs and impostors who wear their false virtue like a robe?




Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Tesla to become the most valuable company EVER to join the S&P 500 when it debuts Monday after its stock hit an all-time high in Friday trading

This is a classic stockmarket bubble. When enough people realize that electric cars are no good in Northern winters, the stock could collapse to just a few dollars. Anybody who buys in now is in for a big loss

Tesla shares hit a lifetime high in anticipation of its addition to the S&P 500 next week closing up six percent at $695 on Friday.

The electric car maker will on Monday become the most valuable company to be ever added to Wall Street's main benchmark, accounting for 1.52 percent of the index.

The electric car maker's shares had already surged about 60 percent since mid-November, when its debut in the S&P 500 was announced.

California-based Tesla's stock has skyrocketed almost 700 percent year-to-date, putting its stock market value at over $650 billion.

It makes it the sixth most valuable publicly listed U.S. company, with many investors viewing it as wildly overvalued.

Its grand entrance was expected to be preceded by a huge trade, with an unprecedented $80 billion of the electric car maker's stock predicted to change hands by the end of the session on Friday so their portfolios correctly reflect the index.

It would be the largest rebalancing in the history of that index.

Those funds would simultaneously have to sell other S&P 500 constituents' shares worth the same amount to accomodate Tesla's entry.

'Index managers will need to sell a large position across the other S&P 500 constituents in order to fund the addition of TSLA, which could lead to substantial impact across the entire index,' Virtu ITG Canada's head of index research, Ivan Cajic, wrote in a report this week.

In addition, Friday was also quadruple witching day, Wall Street-speak for the quarterly expiration of stock options and futures contracts, which forces traders to tie up loose ends in contracts they hold, leading to particularly heavy trading volume.

'This is an unusual day because we have Tesla entering the S&P and it´s quadruple witching day,' said Andrew Slimmon, portfolio manager at Morgan Stanley Investment Management.

Actively managed funds that benchmark their performance against the S&P 500, many of which until now have avoided investing in one of Wall Street's most controversial stocks, were forced this week to decide whether to own Tesla.

While some investors view Musk as a visionary entrepreneur, others worry about missed production targets and corporate governance risk after Musk was forced to step down as chairman to settle fraud charges in 2018.

Tesla's meteoric rise has made it the most valuable auto company in the world despite production that is a fraction of rivals such as Toyota Motor, Volkswagen and General Motors.

Its stocks have surged roughly 14,000 percent since it went public a decade ago, the New York Times reports.

According to Forbes, some analysts believe Tesla's shares could rise as high as $780.

Tesla is by far the most traded stock by value on Wall Street, with $18 billion worth of its shares exchanged on average in each session over the past 12 months, easily beating Apple, in second place with average daily trades of $14 billion, according to Refinitiv.

Apple is currently the largest holding in the S&P 500 with a weight of about 6.5 percent.

Tesla still stands well in front of Ford with 0.12 percent of the index and General Motors with a weight of 0.17 percent.

A blockbuster quarterly report in July - where the company banked $566 million - cleared a major hurdle related to profitability that had prevented Tesla's inclusion in the S&P 500.

The company has posted four straight quarters of profits despite the pandemic, the main requirement needed in order to be included in the S&P.

It was aided by its sales of regulatory credits to other automakers how don't yet hit the government requirements for annual production of EV cars.

About a fifth of Tesla's shares are closely held by Musk, the chief executive, and other insiders.

His wealth has already swelled since the S&P announcement making him the second richest person in the world worth $149billion.

The 49-year-old began the year worth $26.6billion.

Since the S&P 500 is weighted by the amount of companies' shares actually available on the stock market, Tesla's influence within the benchmark will be slightly diminished compared to its overall value.

The stock is now trading at over 170 times the average analyst estimate for Tesla's adjusted net income over the next 12 months, among the highest valuations on Wall Street.

Thirty-five analysts cover Tesla, on average rating it 'hold'. Their median price target is $424.50, which is 35 percent below Tesla's price of $655.90 on Thursday.

Nuking the anti-nuke crowd

Experts agree the tide has turned in nuclear power’s favor, but obstacles remain

Duggan Flanakin

How has the Trump Administration fared in meeting the multiple challenges that have slowed the growth of nuclear energy in the U.S. to a near-halt? And what are the prospects for nuclear energy in a Biden-Harris Administration? It’s time to nuke the anti-nuke crowd, and it seems to be happening.

It is now seventy-five years since the U.S. ended the war against Japan by dropping nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (both currently thriving). Eight years later, President Eisenhower, in his world-famous “Atoms for Peace” speech before the United Nations, invited citizens to the debate over using nuclear science and technology for power generation.

President Kennedy switched the nation’s attention from nuclear to the space program but, beginning in the Nixon Administration and augmented following the 1973 oil embargo through the Three Mile Island incident in 1979, the U.S. authorized most of the 61 plants and 99 nuclear reactors still operating in 2017. As President Trump took office, the Aspen Institute issued a report stating, “Nuclear power in the U.S. is at a moment of existential crisis. If the present challenges are not addressed, the future of nuclear energy may be far less promising and superior U.S. nuclear expertise diminished.”

President Obama’s Clean Energy Plan provided funding for nuclear energy, including creating the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN). In 2012, despite objections by the chairman, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) authorized Southern Company to build and operate two new reactors at its Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia, the first in the USA since 1979.

The Aspen report boldly asserted that the U.S. needs a strong domestic nuclear program to maintain its exceptional competence to address safety, threat reduction, and nonproliferation issues. They courted the environmental community by noting that nuclear is a necessary component in the war against climate change, if we are to also maintain an adequate supply of affordable electricity. “A world without nuclear power,” the authors concluded, “would require an incredible – and likely unrealistic – amount of renewables to meet climate targets.”

The Aspen authors observed that Americans are generally supportive of nuclear power but concerned about nuclear waste. Worse, far too many nuclear power plants in development have broken budgets and fallen behind schedule. Given the lack of political will or a national energy crisis at the time, the authors placed their hopes on advanced reactors that use new types of coolants, operate at different pressures and temperatures, or are smaller and more modular.

Many now view nuclear waste as an overhyped, unscientific issue. In a 2019 paper, Aspen Institute trustee Bill Budinger argued that the fear of nuclear waste is largely unfounded – an issue “hugely exaggerated when we were trying to scare people away from nuclear.” The total amount of nuclear waste accumulated over the past 60 years from all U.S. nuclear power plants would fit inside a two-story building covering one city block. Unfounded fear applies to power plant radiation, as well.

Cost overruns and delays are largely the product of anti-nuclear attitudes that have driven regulation to extremes that are inappropriate for newer reactor designs.

In April 2020 President Trump unveiled his Strategy to Restore American Nuclear Energy Leadership and competitive nuclear advantage. The first step outlined in the plan is to revive and strengthen America’s uranium mining industry, support uranium conversion services, end reliance on foreign uranium enrichment, and sustain the current fleet of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines.

Other objectives include creating a Uranium Reserve, streamlining regulatory reform and land access for uranium extraction (cutting red tape), supporting the National Reactor Innovation Center and Versatile Test Reactor, demonstrating the use of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) and micro-reactors to power federal facilities, and adding protections to prevent future uranium dumping into the U.S. market.

In November, the Associated Press reported that the Idaho National Laboratory was the Energy Department’s first choice for constructing and operating the Versatile Test Reactor (VTR). This first new test reactor built in the U.S. in decades would give the nation a dedicated “fast-neutron-spectrum” testing capability. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette explained that the VTR “continues to be a high-priority project for DOE to ensure nuclear energy plays a role in our country’s energy portfolio.”

Meanwhile, Llewellyn King reports that an active community of entrepreneurs is promoting reactors of various designs (including molten salt modular reactors), using seed money for SMRs provided through the Obama-era GAIN program. The increase in private investment in nuclear technology and development is a strong sign that nuclear may have finally overcome the media-induced stigma resulting from Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima.

In reality, the Chernobyl accident happened largely because a test procedure started going wrong when senior technicians were off duty and less experienced technicians made wrong decisions that rapidly compounded the disaster, nuclear physicist Kelvin Kemm explains. Environmentalist Michael Shellenberger notes that radiation from Chernobyl “will kill at most 200 people, while the radiation from Fukushima and Three Mile will kill zero people.” Moreover, despite the fact that hundreds of thousands of women aborted their babies after the Chernobyl incident, UCLA researchers found that children born near Chernobyl had no detectable abnormalities.

Further advancing President Trump’s efforts to establish a U.S. national strategic uranium reserve, the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee recently approved a bipartisan bill, the American Nuclear Infrastructure Act (ANIA). Uranium Energy Corp CEO Amir Adnani called it “broad-reaching legislation, important for supporting the U.S. nuclear fuel industry, national security, and clean energy.”

Under ANIA, the Department of Energy may only buy uranium recovered from facilities licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission or equivalent agreement state agencies; uranium from companies owned by, controlled by or subject to the jurisdiction of Russia or China would be excluded.

According to several prognosticators, the presumed Biden Administration will carry on or even accelerate Obama and Trump efforts to revitalize and prioritize U.S. nuclear energy programs. The primary difference between Trump and Biden nuclear policies, says progressive policy analyst James Conca, is that Biden’s is part of a climate change agenda, while Trump’s focus was on national security concerns.

“Leading climate scientists” say we cannot address climate change without significant nuclear power, Conca contends. So supporting nuclear power – or not – is a clear signal about how serious candidates are about manmade climate change and “how serious they are about supporting science over mere activism.” He added, “if Democrats want any clean energy plan to succeed at all, it better include nuclear.”

Washington Examiner energy reporter Josh Siegel says “Biden’s support for nuclear power … promises to be one of the rare instances of energy policy continuity between the incoming and outgoing administrations.” Democrats, he believes, finally realize that wind and solar alone are insufficient to decarbonize the power grid and are starting to give up their longstanding opposition to nuclear energy.

Of course, all this will also require a new reality-based public attitude about the risks of radiation, be it from nuclear power plants, nuclear waste storage or other sources, says energy journalist Robert Bryce.

There is one more huge caveat. Should Kamala Harris for any reason replace Biden as Commander-in-Chief, her support for nuclear power is far less assured. Asked during the 2020 Presidential campaign whether she supported nuclear energy, she replied on multiple occasions: “Yes, temporarily, while we increase investment into cleaner renewable alternatives.”

That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement, nor even an acknowledgment of the growing bipartisan energy reality. And it certainly doesn’t explain how millions of wind turbines, billions of solar panels, billions of battery modules – and massive increases in mining, metals processing and manufacturing, to build those technologies – are “clean, green, renewable or sustainable” alternatives to fossil fuels.

Via email

President-elect Biden announces climate change team

See this video:

Some comments from a reader

It is Biden boasting about putting an American Indian and more "people of colour" and women on his Biden- Harris cabinet, going to combat climate change, fires, hurricanes, droughts, floods, air pollution, build back better, creating unionized jobs, reduce electricity consumption, make more electric vehicles, re-join the Paris Agreement, have a "carbon pollution" free electricity sector by 2035

It all sounds a bit daft to me. At the end he says: "The Obama-Biden administration reduced the auto industry, shh, blu, should say rescued the auto industry"

So he will suck up to the UN, and I expect he will have union troubles, China may try to bully him like it is trying to bully Australia; General Kim will probably test him too; and I won't be surprised if America's left will resent him even more than they did Trump.

I wonder if the middle East agreements with Israel that Trump helped achieve will last?

Windfarm operators blamed for the big blackouts of 2016

Allegedly, the operators should have had in place cut-out switches etc that would have prevented the disaster, even though the storm was an exceptional event.

The real problem was the state's heavy reliance on wind after scrapping its coal-fired generators. It was the Greenie government that had no backup against rare events

A South Australian wind farm operator has been fined $1 million for contravening national electricity rules in the three years leading up to the 2016 statewide blackout.

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) launched legal action against Snowtown Wind Farms last year and was accused of supplying power to the grid when the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) had not approved it to do so.

The Federal Court today ordered the company — which has 90 wind turbines in the SA's mid north — to implement a compliance program and provide a written report to the court after six months, to ensure there is not a repeat.

Justice Richard White also ordered Snowtown Wind Farms to pay the regulator's court costs of $100,000.