Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Hybrid cars can use FOUR TIMES more fuel than makers claim and could be costing owners £450 more a year than expected

Consumer watchdog Which? tested the mpg ratings of 22 popular hybrid cars. On average, the cars were 61 per cent less fuel-efficient than claimed, they said

Plug-in hybrid electric cars can use four times more fuel than makers claim, costing owners an average of £462 per year more than expected, Which? has warned.

The consumer watchdog tested 22 popular hybrid models over 62 miles (100km) and found that they had all been advertised with unrealistic fuel efficiency figures.

On average, hybrid cars were found to be 61 per cent less fuel-efficient than promised.

The worst offender, the BMW X5, was 72 per cent less efficient than claimed, and could cost its owner up to £669 more each year in fuel expenses.

Meanwhile the Toyota Prius, the 'best' of the rest, was still 39 per cent below its official fuel economy rating and could cost up to £171 more to run each year.

Which? said that their tests were tougher than the official ones, because they better represented real-world driving conditions.

A recent report from Greenpeace and Transport & Environment called hybrid cars a 'wolf in sheep's clothing', as they emit 2.5 times the CO2 in reality than in tests.

'A fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid vehicle is an attractive feature for prospective buyers, as many will expect to spend less on fuel and reduce their carbon footprint,' said Which? head of home products and services, Natalie Hitchins.

'Yet our research shows many hybrid models are not as efficient as the manufacturers claim, which means motorists could be spending more on fuel than they anticipated.

'It is clear that the standard set for calculating fuel consumption is flawed and should be reviewed to better reflect real-life driving conditions.

'This would ensure manufacturers advertise more accurate figures and consumers have a better understanding of how much they should expect to spend on fuel.'

The fuel consumption figures advertised by car manufacturers are calculated via the so-called Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) and include consideration of the given model's electric driving range.

This means that the miles per gallon figure achievable in real-world conditions can be much lower than the test figures, resulting in drivers consuming more fuel than they might expect.

Other poor performers in the consumer watchdog's tests included the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, which was found to be 71 per cent less efficient than claimed.

According to BMW, this vehicle can cover 156.9 miles per gallon (mpg), whereas Which? concluded that it could only do 44.8 mpg and would therefore cost £1,081 a year to fuel, or £772.08 more than the £309 based on the manufacturer's mpg figure.

The Mercedes-Benz B-Class plug-in hybrid, meanwhile, was found only able to cover 78 of the promised 256 miles per gallon, adding an extra £411 to the annual fuel bill.

Annual fuel costs were calculated based on average fuel costs of 121.8p for diesel and 118.5p for petrol and an annual mileage of 9,000 — roughly the average distance travelled by respondents in the Which? annual car survey.


Predicting and planning for the next polar vortex?

We say we can predict and plan for climate chaos 50 years out, but not an imminent vortex?

Duggan Flanakin

Americans know a lot about planning for hurricanes, and about voluntary and mandatory evacuations. They also know that some hurricanes bring major damage to urban and rural areas, and that sometimes (Katrina comes to mind) people’s failure to heed calls to “get outta Dodge” can have disastrous results.

The National Weather Service website explains, whenever a tropical storm forms in the Atlantic or eastern North Pacific [or central North Pacific], the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Hurricane Center issues tropical cyclone advisories at least every six hours. Once a hurricane watch or warning is issued, the advisories come every three hours.

When evacuation orders are issued, there are always a few who opt to “ride out the storm,” for fun and excitement, or fearing the theft of their property more than their possible loss of life. Even then, rescue teams risk their lives in dangerous weather to save those losing their crazy gambles with storms.

On January 11, National Geographic warned, “The polar vortex is coming – raising the odds for intense winter weather,” caused by a sudden major rise in temperatures in the stratosphere above Siberia. This polar vortex “could mean frigid winter weather pummeling the U.S. Midwest and Northeast and the mid-latitude regions of Europe.” Not a word about intense cold in the American southwest.

On January 28, NOAA’s website announced, “The POLAR VORTEX is coming!!!!!” NOAA explained that the impetus for this extremely rare event was a “sudden stratospheric warming” [SSW] that occurred on January 5. Such an event happens about six times per decade, NOAA says.

NOAA acknowledged that parts of Europe had already seen very cold weather in the north and stormy weather in the south, but gave no specific warning that disaster was imminent in any specific parts of the United States.

Shortly thereafter, meteorologist Joe Bastardi predicted in his Twitter feed that “Texas is going to be tested on so many levels” by the coming storm. He acknowledged that NOAA’s own forecasting model prompted comparisons to the disastrous 1899 polar vortex incident that dropped temperatures below zero in every U.S. state.

On February 3, Jennifer Gray at CNN announced, “It’s about to get so cold that boiling water will flash freeze, frostbite could occur within 30 minutes, and it will become a shock to the system for even those who are used to the toughest winters.” She went on to say “the coldest air of the season will be diving south, not leaving anyone out. Every single state in the U.S. – including Hawaii – will reach below freezing temperatures on Monday morning” [February 8].

The next day, Austin’s KXAN-TV issued its own “First Warning: Extended Arctic blast coming to Texas.” Emmy-winning meteorologist David Yeomans noted that his actual first warning had come a month earlier – the day the SSW event had occurred.

Yeomans said the cold front would likely slam into Texas by February 9, “cooling us off dramatically by the middle of next week.” While “this pattern may last for an extended amount of time,” Yeomans predicted just “4 to 5 days where local temperatures will remain in the 30s and 40s into Valentine’s Day weekend.” He concluded that, while “some precipitation appears possible … it is too soon for specifics on this Arctic outbreak and potential winter storm.”

But he did not foresee the impending disaster; nor did most others in the field. And yet actual lowest temperatures in Austin reached 9o F (-13 C) – the lowest in 32 years and just the fifth single-digit low in a century. Not until Valentine’s Day did the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) declare an “energy emergency alert three” that mandated rolling outages.

Texans were clearly not prepared by their federal, state or local governments, or even their local news media outlets, let alone ERCOT, for the magnitude of this polar storm – or for the devastation it could and did cause. People get a warning to prepare prior to hurricanes. But this time there was no urgent demand that people lay in food, turn off or otherwise secure water pipes against a deep freeze, expect water cutoffs, plan for lengthy power and heating outages, and be ready for horrific driving conditions.

Lone Star State public officials are getting slammed for their lack of foresight. But Texans are not alone in this disaster. Over 100,000 Oregonians went all week without electric power days after a snow and ice storm swept through that region. Portland General Electric (PGE) spokesperson Dale Goodman, noted that over 2,000 power lines were still down two days after the storm. “These are the most dangerous conditions we’ve ever seen in the history of PGE,” he lamented.

This is after PGE had worked tirelessly to restore power for over half a million other customers who’d been affected by the polar storm. As in Texas and elsewhere, people there died from carbon monoxide poisoning, food spoiled, and many of the 200,000 Oregon customers who lost service were told they may not get their Internet back for weeks. Oregon is much smaller than Texas, with fewer people and colder weather. Portland’s average February temperature is 10o F cooler than Austin’s.

In the aftermath of this massive storm – which also caused major power outages in Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky and West Virginia – there will be plenty of time to evaluate where forecasts went wrong, assess blame, and determine what damages can and cannot be recovered. Job one right now, however, should be to get people back into their homes, their jobs, their hospitals and their lives. (One Austin hospital lost power and water.) Blame-throwing only gets in the way of human rescue.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has called for an investigation of ERCOT, acknowledging that the power grid curators have been “anything but reliable” over the previous 48 hours. “Far too many Texans are without power and heat for their homes as our state faces freezing temperatures and severe winter weather,” he added. “This is unacceptable.” Well, DUH! But they aren’t the only guilty parties.

Worst of all, the nightmare is far from over. The damages are widespread, and it will be some time before anyone can calculate the actual costs – and the avoidable costs – of this supposedly rare event. Will Texas shrug its shoulders and simply say, “This can’t possibly happen again.” Will Oregonians? Will the entire nation, which will suffer the effects of this loss of energy production and economic vitality in Texas?

Any investigation must begin with the fact that hardly anyone paid attention to warnings that this storm could have major impacts. Perhaps big winter storms need names, like hurricanes do, so that they stand out and can compete with partisan political bickering. Maybe we need a thorough review of all disaster preparedness, including spring floods, summer fires, and summer-autumn hurricanes and tropical storms.

We certainly need better prediction, prevention and preparation – including thinning overgrown forests and clearing out dead, diseased and intensely flammable trees.

Will the American people get this kind of response from their elected officials – or from those charged with direct oversight of our land, water and infrastructure, and increasingly our lives and livelihoods? Or will we spend the next two, four or ten years bickering over trivial matters, like a modern Nero fiddling as our nation falls apart and becomes even easier pickings for Mother Nature and predator nations?

We’ve spent billions on wind turbines and solar panels that were useless when people most needed electricity, instead of on winterizing baseload power generation. We’ve spent billions on “climate crisis” models and fear-mongering – but can’t seem to get winter storm forecasts and warnings right. Too many are paying with their lives. When will we get it right?

Via email


Biden-GM Urge Electric Vehicle Transformation, But Experts Say Climate Case Is Weak

As the Texas power grid shudders in part under renewable power, the auto industry is also facing an uncertain transition to green energy. General Motors dropped a bombshell last month that it will build only electric vehicles by 2035. The commitment comes as the Biden administration stocks up on climate activists to transform the economy to fight global warming.

The administration is in line with governments from Europe to China that have declared EVs the future and - for the first time - are mandating which powertrains automakers must use.

But as GM and other automakers spend billions to bring electrics to market, prominent auto and climate experts say they are a solution in search of a problem.

Physicist Frank Jamerson, one of the architects of GM’s EV program, wrote in a 2020 Society of Automotive Engineers paper there is no evidence that gas-fired transportation is changing the climate. An advocate of nuclear power and hydrogen fuel cell development, GM’s ex-chief of electrochemistry said in an interview that “fossil fuels can be used until they run out, in hundreds of years.”

Center for Automotive Research Chairman David Cole, a leading Michigan research firm, concurs: “The climate data has been pushed aside by the politicians. This (climate crisis) idea is being pushed to save the world, and it’s a mistake.” Cole, Jamerson, and Weather Channel founder and meteorologist Joe D’Aleo plan an SAE warming conference in April.

Cole says the enormous investment in EVs, which make up less than 2 percent of U.S. sales today, is creating a two-tiered industry of haves and have nots. Big players like GM, Toyota, and Volkswagen have the resources to invest in a battery-mandated future whereas other companies do not.

“The haves can play that game, and the have-nots cannot. The big boys are investing so that if government is pushing autos towards electrification, they will be the winners.”

Veteran climatologists like John Christy, who oversees satellites that monitor global temperature data, says the EV push is disconnected from scientific evidence.

“There is no climate crisis. If you apply the proposed government regulations to the auto industry, they will have no climate impact,” said Christy, professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Alabama-Huntsville, in an interview. “Indeed, if you eliminate the U.S. economy from the face of the earth, it will have no impact on global temperature.”

Decades of scientific data indicate that global warming alarms have been inaccurate - including the predicted retreat of the Great Lakes in the Detroit automakers’ back yard.

Still, Big Auto has done an about-face on climate regulations after backing the Trump administration’s challenge to California's controversial CO2 emissions rules.

GM's view now aligns with the Biden campaign which asserts “humans’ contribution to the greenhouse effect is indisputable” and poses an “existential threat to . . . human life.” America’s largest auto manufacturer, GM’s reading of the political tea leaves echoes past strategic moves to align itself with Washington trends.

With the U.S. mired in Iraq in 2008, for example, the General supported the Bush administration’s transition to ethanol-fueled cars by 2022 to reduce foreign oil dependence.

A nuclear physicist by training, Jamerson worked at GM for over 30 years, becoming assistant program manager of the U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium in 1990. The alliance of GM, Ford, Chrysler, and the Department of Energy aimed to pool resources for a new generation of battery-powered cars.

The consortium was driven in part by concerns over climate change– fears data no longer support, the ex-GM exec says. Jamerson said batteries have progressed since his team developed GM’s first EV prototype, the Impact - but electrics still suffer from range challenges.

“There is no reason to deny the use of fossil fuels,” he said. “Let the marketplace decide.”

Climatologist Christy said mandating EVs would have no impact on climate: “1) The US is only 14 percent of global emissions so what we do won’t affect much. And 2) climate is not as sensitive to CO2 as the models say it is.”

Warming orthodoxy has been challenged by real world evidence. With Great Lakes levels at cyclical lows in 1988, climate alarmists like then-NASA scientist James Hansen projected man-made warming would cause shrinking coastlines. But lake levels today are back to historic, 30 year-cycle highs. Climate models have also erroneously predicted disappearing polar ice caps and record hurricanes.

James Taylor, president of the Chicago-based Heartland Institute, said in an interview that Biden administration plans to power an electrified vehicle fleet with wind turbines in the next decade would require nearly half the land mass of the United States – “the most environmentally ruinous plan we can think of.”

The contrarian data has not slowed political pressure on automakers. The governors of California and Massachusetts have set a ban on gas-powered cars by 2035. Biden promises rules “ensuring 100 percent of new (vehicle) sales . . . will be electrified."

Auto analyst Cole said that, despite years of climate alarmism and government subsidies, consumers have not embraced EVs. Even in England, one of the most popular countries for electrics, EVs made up only 7.4 percent of sales in 2019.


Biden Energy 'Pipe Dream' Will 'Bankrupt' Us

President Joe Biden's unwinding of American energy independence under the Trump administration will ultimately "bankrupt the country," according to Trump economic adviser Stephen Moore.

"The idea that we are going to eliminate fossil fuels is a pipe dream," Moore said Sunday during an appearanc on "The Cats Roundtable" on WABC 770 AM-N.Y. "We're not going to go from 80% fossil fuels down to zero in the next 15 years, or else we will bankrupt our country."

Democrats are arguing for renewable energy, but Moore said America can allow the technology to evolve and become better and more affordable as we use the resources that have made America energy independent under former President Donald Trump.

"We need to use the energy that we have," Moore told host John Catsimatidis. "We have more oil, more gas and more coal than any other country. We've got 500 years worth of coal. We have at least 200 years of natural gas. We’re not running out of this stuff."

Moore said Biden needs to get with the "program."

"Trump used to say to me, 'I don't want America to be energy independent; I want America to be energy dominant,'" Moore said. "And we should. "We should be the energy-dominant country in the world."

Even the electric cars environmentalists are seeking are going to require use of fossil fuels in generating the electricity, Moore said.

"I don't have a problem with electric cars, but people have to realize you have to have electric power to charge the batteries for electric cars," he said. "That takes coal and oil.




Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Biden regime obstructs huge copper mine

Australian mining giants Rio Tinto and BHP’s plan to build an enormous new copper mine in Arizona has faced a setback after the United States government reversed a decision to allow a necessary land swap.

On Tuesday morning, the US Forest Service rescinded its publication of an environmental impact study that cleared the way for the transfer of a 980-hectare parcel of land at Oak Flat, Arizona, to the miners’ Resolution Copper joint venture.

Resolution, which is 55 per cent owned by Rio Tinto and 45 per cent owned by rival BHP, said it was evaluating the Forest Service’s decision.

“In the meantime, we will continue to engage in the process determined by the US government and are committed to ongoing consultation with Native American Tribes and local communities,” it said in a statement.

Resolution Copper says its proposed underground copper mine has the potential to supply nearly 25 per cent of US copper demand for 40 years.

But the project is being fought by the San Carlos Apache tribe, which fears the mine will impact sacred and actively utilised religious land at Oak Flat, known as Chi’chil Bildagoteel.

The San Carlos Apache Tribe, which has 17,000 members, is one of 11 Native American tribes with land within or near the land exchange, including the Oak Flat camp ground, Apache Leap,

After receiving “significant input” from stakeholders and the wider public, the US Department of Agriculture said it had directed the Forest Service to withdraw the earlier decision and conduct a “thorough review”.

“The [department] has concluded that additional time is necessary to fully understand concerns raised by Tribes and the public and the project’s impacts to these important resources and ensure the agency’s compliance with federal law,” it said.

Under the US National Environmental Protection Act, consultations with Native American groups to date concerning the area’s historical, cultural and religious significance have been the responsibility of the US Forest Service, not Resolution Copper.


Is an electric car better for the planet?

Only under optimistic assumptions. So why bother?

Which is better for Earth: an electric or gas-powered vehicle? The answer to this question might seem blindingly obvious: Of course electric cars must be better for the environment, because they don’t have exhausts and so don’t emit greenhouse gasses as they drive. However, electric vehicles (EVs) aren't perfect, and they come with their own set of polluting problems. Notably, their batteries contain components, such as lithium, that require a significant amount of energy to source and extract.

But battery production is just one part of an electric car's life span. A 2014 study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences looked at the entire life cycle of an EV's emissions, from mining the metals required for the batteries to producing the electricity needed to power them, and then compared this with the average emissions of a gas-powered vehicle. The team found that when electric vehicles are charged with coal-powered electricity, they’re actually worse for the environment than conventional gasoline cars.

In much of the world, however, national grids are now clean enough for EVs to beat their gasoline-powered counterparts when it comes to pollution and greenhouse-gas emissions during their lifetimes.

"Only when connected to the dirtiest, coal-heavy electric grids do gasoline internal combustion engines become comparable to EVs on a greenhouse gas basis," said Colin Sheppard, a researcher with expertise in energy and transportation systems engineering at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California.

There are very few places where electric grids are still supplied entirely or mainly by coal. China is one of them; in 2019 it was estimated that 58% of the country’s power supply came from coal and it’s likely that some parts of China are still entirely supplied by coal. However, China’s grid is improving with more investments in renewables – for example, it has twice the wind energy capacity as the U.S. and it builds more solar panels per year than any other countries, according to Nature magazine.

This pattern of improvement — more renewable energies and fewer fossil fuels — is a global one and it helps to boost the environmental credentials of electric vehicles, said Gordon Bauer, an electric vehicle researcher at the International Council on Clean Transportation in San Francisco. "As grids become greener during the lifetime of an electric vehicle, it's only going to get better."

In a study published this month in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, Sheppard modeled a hypothetical future scenario in which all cars were electric. "We wanted to understand what the energy, infrastructure and emissions implications might be if all passenger vehicles are electrified," Sheppard told Live Science. Bauer also collaborated with Sheppard on the project. Their findings come out strongly in favor of an electric vehicle future.

For example, Sheppard calculated that if all privately owned vehicles in the U.S. were electric, it would reduce greenhouse-gas emissions in the country by 46% annually (0.5 gigatons of carbon dioxide) compared with conventionally gas-powered cars. This reduction could be increased even further if those vehicles were subject to so-called "controlled charging," a technique also known as "smart charging," in which vehicles are recharged at strategically chosen times to minimize the financial cost of generating electricity. (For instance, charging at night is often less pricey than during the day; this strategy also favors more efficient energy-producing plants that produce cheaper electricity.) If all privately owned electric cars were charged in such a way, the emissions savings could rise to 49% annually.

These estimates are based on what Sheppard admits is an "ambitious" imagining of the U.S.'s future energy portfolio. This future envisions a country with a lot more renewable energy, but which still hasn't reached the goal of zero carbon, or having a national grid that doesn't contribute to climate change, he said. There is a considerable amount of political will and practical change that needs to happen to make this scenario possible, but it’s still helpful to map out the full theoretical potential electric vehicles under these circumstances.

In short, it's far easier to argue in favor of buying an EV than a gas- or diesel-powered vehicle from an environmental perspective. But what about cost? Aren't electric vehicles too expensive for most people to afford?

A 2020 report from the consumer rights group, Consumer Reports, suggests this is also changing. The paper estimated that the per-mile repair and maintenance costs over the lifetime of an EV is a little less than half that of traditional vehicles with internal combustion engines. This is largely because electric motors have just one moving part, compared to traditional engines which often have dozens. This means fewer components need to be replaced in an EV, resulting in significant savings albeit not at the point of sale.

"It may sound radical right now, but by the time 2030 rolls around, I think the problem will be about how quickly manufacturers can make them," Bauer said.

In a recent U.S.-wide analysis carried out by Bauer, he concluded that the high rate of depreciation for new electric vehicles will lead to larger benefits for lower-income households that are more likely to buy used cars. This, along with other factors driving price reductions, such as technological innovations and increased supplier competition, will mean that an EV should cost the same as a conventional gasoline-powered car for almost all income levels by approximately 2029, Bauer found. Furthermore, Bauer calculated that by 2030, low-income households in the U.S. stand to save $1,000 per year from fuel savings if they were to switch to an EV.


Why Greenies and the Liberal Media Don't Want You to Read About Canada Amid Texas' Deep Freeze

As Texas has plunged into a deep freeze due to widespread power outages after a historic and brutal winter storm, maybe we should look to Canada regarding how they keep their power grids running amid frigid conditions. It’s not what you think. It actually proves our point about energy production, which is why the liberal media and the environmental Left probably don’t want you to read this thread about Alberta, Canada.

How are they able to keep the lights on? It’s simple: coal and gas. The two sectors the Left wants to ax from our production capacity. I’ve seen all the so-called fact checks. Wind power isn’t why Texas lost power. Renewable energy isn’t the reason, except that it is. Sorry, the facts are the facts. This push for heavily subsidized wind energy that’s wholly unreliable is what caused the blackouts. The turbines did freeze up. and the wind was responsible for over 40 percent of Texas’ energy. In short, the California model is a good foundational policy to give your residents unreliable energy. The Wall Street Journal torched this green energy push, aptly noting that this policy has put more people in danger than so-called global climate change.

“Wind’s share has tripled to about 25% since 2010 and accounted for 42% of power last week before the freeze set in. About half of Texans rely on electric pumps for heating, which liberals want to mandate everywhere,” they wrote. “But the pumps use a lot of power in frigid weather. So while wind turbines were freezing, demand for power was surging.”

Alex Epstein had a good thread about how Alberta keeps the power running, noting that its grid is run on 43 percent coal and 49 percent gas.

“The media want you to believe that TX's failure to handle spiking demand during cold temps proves that a fossil-fueled grid can't handle such a challenge,” Epstein wrote on Twitter. “They don't want you to know about Alberta, CA--where a fossil-fueled grid handled a far bigger challenge with relative ease.”

Alberta also endured a record-high energy demand. The province managed because they invested in fossil fuels and not wind, which Epstein noted is “unreliable.” And both Texas and Alberta work on isolated grids. This is a very fixable issue.

“Alberta proves with 100% certainty that coal and gas plants can easily run in far more adverse conditions than Texas had. That's why the anti-fossil fuel media do not want you to know the story of Alberta,” he added.

Nothing will beat fossil fuels in terms of efficiency and reliability. It works. What doesn’t work are these so-called alternatives that conk out when some snow hits.


Global warming could plunge Europe into a deep freeze (??)

The Atlantic Ocean current that drives the Gulf Stream is at its weakest for more than 1,000 years - and human-induced climate change is to blame.

Known formally as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), it is the driving force which brings warm water from the Gulf of Mexico up to the UK and is responsible for mild winters in Western Europe.

Scientists determined that in 2015 it to had slowed by at least 15 percent since 1950, but the latest work paints a picture of how it will develop long term.

Experts warn that by 2100 the AMOC could weaken by as much as 45 per cent, bringing humanity dangerously close to a 'tipping point', resulting in devastating weather conditions across the world.

Western Europe would face colder winters, while droughts, storms and heatwaves will become more common. Sea levels would rise along the eastern US coast, with potentially disastrous consequences.

The AMOC was key to the plot of the 2004 film 'The Day After Tomorrow,' which depicted the current coming to an abrupt stop and triggering catastrophic storms worldwide.

Although the movie is deemed science fiction, the study by scientists from the Potsdam Institute, Ireland's Maynooth University and University College London suggests it could become a reality if greenhouse emissions are not curbed.

Study author Stefan Rahmstorf from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research PIK said: 'The Gulf Stream System works like a giant conveyor belt, carrying warm surface water from the equator up north, and sending cold, low-salinity deep water back down south.

'It moves nearly 20 million cubic metres of water per second, almost a hundred times the Amazon flow.

Professor Rahmstorf added: 'If we continue to drive global warming, the Gulf Stream System will weaken further - by 34 to 45 percent by 2100 according to the latest generation of climate models.

'This could bring us dangerously close to the tipping point at which the flow becomes unstable.'

His colleague Levke Caesar explained: 'The northward surface flow of the AMOC leads to a deflection of water masses to the right, away from the US east coast.

'This is due to Earth's rotation that diverts moving objects such as currents to the right in the northern hemisphere and to the left in the southern hemisphere.

'As the current slows down, this effect weakens and more water can pile up at the US east coast, leading to an enhanced sea level rise.'

Direct data from the AMOC is hard to obtain so researchers collected information from a variety of proxy sources dating back around 1,600 years.

It backs up previous findings from the same team which found in 2018 that the ocean current has slowed by 15 per cent since the mid-20th century.

'In 20 to 30 years it is likely to weaken further, and that will inevitably influence our weather, so we would see an increase in storms and heatwaves in Europe, and sea level rises on the east coast of the US,' Professor Rahmstorf said.

The new study puts this figure into stark perspective by comparing its meandering pace with that of the last millennium and a half.

Until the 1800s, it was relatively stable but the current declined after the so-called 'Little Ice Age' ended in 1850.

Temperatures dropped low enough that the River Thames completely froze over and records show Londoners crossing the waterway on foot.

The last total shutdown of the AMOC is believed to have occurred at the end of the last proper Ice Age around 12,000 years ago, where temperatures in western Europe plummeted by up to 10°C.

This was likely not due to human impact as the Industrial Revolution had yet to reach full tilt.

But by the 1950s the AMOC had slowed severely as huge amounts of pollution disrupted its formation.

Increased rainfall and enhanced melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet caused by global warming add fresh water to the ocean which reduces the salinity and density of the water.

This subsequently prevents the warm water which has travelled north from sinking as it cools and this breaks the convection cycle, ultimately weakening the flow of the AMOC.




Monday, March 01, 2021

Amidst Global Warming Hysteria, NASA Expects Global Cooling

Please consider "NASA Sees Climate Cooling Trend Thanks to Low Sun Activity".

“We see a cooling trend,” said Martin Mlynczak of NASA’s Langley Research Center. “High above Earth’s surface, near the edge of space, our atmosphere is losing heat energy. If current trends continue, it could soon set a Space Age record for cold.”

The new data is coming from NASA’s Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry or SABER instrument, which is onboard the space agency’s Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED) satellite. SABER monitors infrared radiation from carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitric oxide (NO), two substances that play a vital role in the energy output of our thermosphere, the very top level of our atmosphere.

“The thermosphere always cools off during Solar Minimum. It’s one of the most important ways the solar cycle affects our planet,” said Mlynczak, who is the associate principal investigator for SABER.

The new NASA findings are in line with studies released by UC-San Diego and Northumbria University in Great Britain last year, both of which predict a Grand Solar Minimum in coming decades due to low sunspot activity. Both studies predicted sun activity similar to the Maunder Minimum of the mid-17th to early 18th centuries, which coincided to a time known as the Little Ice Age, during which temperatures were much lower than those of today.

If all of this seems as if NASA is contradicting itself, you’re right — sort of. After all, NASA also reported last week that Arctic sea ice was at its sixth lowest level since measuring began. Isn’t that a sure sign of global warming?

All any of this “proves” is that we have, at best, a cursory understanding of Earth’s incredibly complex climate system. So when mainstream media and carbon-credit salesman Al Gore breathlessly warn you that we must do something about climate change, it’s all right to step back, take a deep breath, and realize that we don’t have the knowledge, skill or resources to have much effect on the Earth’s climate.

Incredibly Complex Systems

See the problem? Alarmists take one variable, CO2 that is only a tiny part of extremely long cycles and make projections far into to the future based off it.

When I was in grade school, the alarmists were worried about global cooling. Amusingly, I recall discussing in science class the need to put soot on the arctic ice to melt it to stop the advance of glaciers.

The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report said we have only 12 years left to save the planet. It triggered the usual frantic and ridiculous reactions.

NBC News offered this gem: “A last-ditch global warming fix? A man-made ‘volcanic’ eruption” to cool the planet.” Its article proclaimed, “Scientists and some environmentalists believe nations might have to mimic volcanic gases as a last-ditch effort to protect Earth from extreme warming.”


Biden Increases the Cost of Carbon, Setting the Stage for Drastic Climate Rules

For four long years, Democrats were out of power. It must have seemed like an eternity to them, given the frenetic activity they’ve been engaged in since January 20.

Like a starving man walking into a banquet room full of food, Democrats can’t seem to decide what to eat first. So, they’re trying to eat everything at once.

The next three months will see an unbelievable amount of cash getting shoveled out the door in Washington. Two trillion for pandemic relief, another 2 trillion for a massive infrastructure bill, an attempt to reinvent Obamacare, an immigration bill, student loan debt — and they’ll just be getting started.

Indeed, it’s not just the president and his Congress who will be busy. The green geeks at the Environmental Protection Agency have had 4 years to watch the planet heat up and sizzle. That’s got to eat at them. They have so much pent-up energy, we should probably figure out a way to tap into it and run Los Angeles or New York for a couple of days.

The EPA is about to become very, very busy.


President Joe Biden on Friday restored an Obama-era calculation on the economic cost of greenhouse gases, a step that will make it easier for his agencies to approve aggressive actions to confront climate change.

But the administration stopped short, for now, of boosting the cost figure to higher levels that economists and climate scientists say are justified by new research.

The interim figure — $51 for every ton of carbon released into the atmosphere — is well above the $8 cost used under former President Donald Trump, who declined to factor the global impacts of climate pollution into his calculation. It’s on par with a price based on analyses undertaken between 2010 and 2016 under former President Barack Obama, whose administration was first to calculate the figure known as the social cost of carbon.

People who hate capitalism are calculating how much the capitalists have to pay for “polluting” the planet with CO2? I smell a rat. A slimy, green, rat.

I confess to not having any expertise when it comes to calculations like this. I’m sure Biden’s green-eyeshade guys could trot out their charts, and graphs, and calculations showing us all exactly what they are basing their estimate of $51 per ton of carbon dioxide emissions on. There is probably no silliness like factoring in racism and oppression or gender inequities into the cost of CO2. So we have to take Biden at his word that his staff really thunk this through.

The social cost of carbon is an effort to quantify the economic and societal damage from greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades. The figure will be baked into the administration’s number-crunching on the costs and benefits of a wide array of regulations.

Friday’s notice, posted on the Office of Management and Budget website, fulfills a promise Biden made on Inauguration Day when he signed an executive order on climate change that called for a recalculation of the social cost of carbon, which the Trump administration had sharply reduced.

The “social cost” of carbon? Maybe I spoke too soon about the silliness.

“This is to be celebrated for getting the social cost of carbon out from being a political football, which is what Trump did, but it’s Step One. Step Two is restore a transparent process and to return the social cost of carbon to the frontier of climate science and economics,” said Michael Greenstone, a University of Chicago economist.

When you’re talking about other people’s money, being at the “frontier of climate science and economics” is so easy. There’s no need to be careful or even realistic in your estimates. You’re on the “frontier.” There’s no time to be cautious. The earth is in danger and only the ministrations of the high priests of climate can save us.

Using carbon as a whipping boy for our climate problems is more political than scientific. But that’s what climate change advocacy has degenerated into and it will continue to grind us down until they get their way.


US imperialism goes green

Environmental activists and NGOs are demanding that the president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, be investigated by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for the possible crime of ecocide – that is, for devastating the Amazon rainforest and its indigenous inhabitants, with knock-on consequences for global warming were the rainforest to be turned into savannah due to excess logging.

Given the putative urgency of tackling climate change, it is worth asking whether the lengthy legal process of indicting and extraditing a sitting president of a major power really is the most expeditious and effective means of addressing global warming. From another point of view, however, the attempt to charge Bolsonaro for international crimes could not be better timed.

In Washington, DC, the newly installed administration of President Joe Biden is looking for ways to restore the credibility of the US as a global leader following the inward turn of Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump. The reputation of liberal globalism that was championed by President Barack Obama, under whom Biden had previously served as vice president, has since been badly tarnished. This is due, not least, to the legacy of ruinous wars across North Africa, the Horn of Africa and the Greater Middle East. In his closing address as US president, Donald Trump pointedly noted that he was the first US president since Jimmy Carter not to launch any new wars during his term in office.

The wars launched by Trump’s predecessors were all variously justified by liberal idealist aims of relieving human suffering, liberating women from Islamist tyranny, overthrowing dictatorship, protecting embattled ethnic minorities, and spreading democracy and human rights. These war aims were so broad and nebulous, and so inattentive to the most basic questions of power and conflict, that they inevitably metastasised into ‘forever wars’, in which war became the justification for more war. The failure of earlier cycles of liberal intervention justified further intervention to rectify the problems caused by previous campaigns, thereby creating the doom loop of endless conflict. Given this disastrous legacy, the prospect of recycling liberal humanitarian globalism as green globalism offers the Biden administration some distinct opportunities for political gain.

Consider the political opportunities afforded by green globalism. Global problems necessitate and justify global power and a global reach, and there is no grander global challenge than climate change. Climate change provides the perfect pretext for the global ambitions of a superpower eager to re-establish its globalist credentials. It is well known that climate change threatens poor developing countries the most, as they are the least able to adapt – thereby providing a potential pretext for far-reaching oversight over poorer countries, as well as providing a writ for interference in their internal affairs should they fail to abide by internationally imposed climate standards. Just as many liberal globalists saw international law and mega transnational trade deals as too important to be left in the hands of voters, so too the dangers of climate change demand that new, remote institutions be established at the global level – a level that also happens to be safely remote from the electoral vagaries of popular accountability.

Green globalism would also offer some advantages over the old liberal globalism. Given the scale and likely duration of global warming across this century, climate change provides an indefinite justification for prolonging US globalism far into this century. The vast scope of climate change also has the added benefit that there is no single figurehead – no Saddam, no Gaddafi, no Soleimani – whose death or overthrow risks undercutting the justification for continued projection of power.

Much like liberal globalism, green globalism can also be justified by reference to easing the plight of beleaguered minorities – the more powerless and beleaguered the better, as this makes it far easier to speak on their behalf. In this respect the indigenous peoples of the Amazon offer an advantage over, say, the Kurds, as the Amazonian tribes have no desire to establish an independent state – and therefore claiming to act on their behalf does not risk the same kinds of geopolitical shocks that sponsoring secessionist movements does.

The attempt to fuse liberal intervention and green globalism has been brewing for a while. The staunchly interventionist former French foreign minister and founder of Medecins Sans Frontières, Bernard Kouchner, called for military intervention in Myanmar back in 2008 under the terms of the liberal ‘responsibility to protect’, claiming that the Burmese junta of the day was unable to deal with the devastating aftermath of Cyclone Nargis in the Irrawaddy delta. There has been plenty of discussion of potential deployments of ‘green helmets’ to protect the planet, analogous to the way that the UN’s ‘blue helmets’ peacekeepers protect people trapped in conflict. Legal theorists have even advocated repurposing the old trusteeship institutions of the UN. Originally conceived as supranational mechanisms of tutelage that would substitute for the old colonial empires in overseeing dependent peoples in their transition to national self-government, it is suggested that such trusteeship could be now be justified afresh on environmental grounds rather than on the grounds of the alleged political immaturity of specific peoples.

Seen in this light, the script being used to indict Bolsonaro is a familiar one: a neo-fascist strongman, insensitive to international opinion, is cruelly trampling over the rights of minorities in his country and threatening global stability in the process. If we imagine transplanting this scenario from Latin America to the Middle East, we can very clearly see that we have been here many times before, and it is precisely this very same script that has legitimated forever wars in Iraq, Libya and Syria. We should be strongly suspicious of attempts to recreate globalist power projection in new guises. To be sure, Brazil is too large to invade, and liberal globalists always preferred preying on relatively small and isolated nations such as Libya and Iraq. Nonetheless, what we are seeing in the attempt to prosecute Bolsonaro through the ICC is a clear portent of a new morally charged green globalism.

As the experience of the past 30 years makes clear, the Manichean denunciation, criminalisation of national leaders and moralisation of international relations heads in one direction only. Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal of the 1930s and 1940s went in tandem with the US’ emergence as a global superpower. Does Joe Biden’s Green New Deal presage a new green empire today?


UK: The Cumbria coal mine must go ahead

The green blob's attempt to reverse a democratic decision is a disgrace.

When plans for a coal mine were recently given the go-ahead by Cumbria County Council, green campaigners, journalists and quangocrats were outraged. They demanded that MPs, ministers and the prime minister intervene, and overrule the decision. They complained that if the decision is allowed to stand, Britain will be unable to meet its 2050 Net Zero target. And, worse still, Britain will lose credibility at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) to be hosted in Glasgow later this year, they said. In response to all the green outrage, Cumbria County Council has stated it will be reviewing its decision.

This demonstrates the undue influence of the green lobby in British politics. And it shows why its power to distort policymaking priorities needs to be reined in.

The planned coal mine is a remarkable proposition, given the predominance of green orthodoxy in UK politics. In 2019, for instance, Cumbria County Council was one of many to declare a ‘climate emergency’. Yet the same council’s development control committee also granted approval for the coal-mine development – twice – in 2019. Though this may seem like a contradiction, as it does to many greens, the planning consent was granted by a democratically appointed council that believed the proposed mine could be built in accordance with its Net Zero commitments, and that ‘it provides national, local or community benefits which clearly outweigh the likely impacts’. Whereas greens see only CO2 emissions, local governments, despite overbearing green ideology, are still occasionally forced to think about jobs, the economy and industry.

Everyone should be happy. The planning consent for the project, which will create 500 jobs, requires the mine to close by 2050. And the coal mined from under the Cumbrian coast will not be used in Britain’s power stations, but in steel production. You can’t build wind turbines without steel, the production of which requires coking coal. And with the Net Zero agenda requiring the near doubling of Britain’s wind-farm fleet – and likely more – that new steel is a necessity.

But the chair of the Climate Change Committee (CCC), John Gummer (aka Lord Deben), disagrees. ‘It is not the CCC’s role to act as a regulator or a planning authority’, said Gummer in a letter to communities secretary Robert Jenrick, but the new coal mine ‘will commit the UK to emissions from coking coal, for which there may be no domestic use after 2035’.

Gummer’s objection stems from the CCC’s Sixth Carbon Budget, in which it insists ‘that UK ore-based steelmaking be near-zero emissions by 2035’. This will be achieved through a ‘combination of hydrogen direct reduction and electric-arc-furnace technology’. Green academic activists also contend, in a letter to the prime minister, that these experimental technologies, if successfully developed, could ‘produce fossil-free steel by 2026’.

Innovation in the field of fossil-free steel production is surely a good thing. But it should be clear that a mere promise to deliver is a poor basis for strategic policymaking. Green technocrats and green activists alike put the cart before the horse in two respects. First, technology should be delivered, and second it should be proven economically viable, before being included in policymaking decisions. The technocrats at the CCC, and the assorted academic activists, have no skin in this game. They are unaccountable should technological development, as is likely, come up short.

The potential shortcomings are not trivial. Even if developments, such as the use of hydrogen in steel making, do arrive, the problems of producing hydrogen in sufficient quantities and at an economic price have yet to be solved. No matter what green ideologues claim, coal is always going to be cheaper, barring government intervention, than hydrogen produced by renewable energy sources. Moreover, the electrification of everything (from transport to domestic heating) mandated by Net Zero will then create enormous demand and competition for electricity among an ever-increasing number of consumers, from electric vehicle owners to hydrogen producers. The prospect of Britain being left underpowered, economically paralysed and globally uncompetitive is extremely real.

The whole of climate policy to date has put the cart before the horse: emissions targets are set before the existence of a means to achieve them. Likewise, policies, with far-reaching consequences, are made law before there is public support for them. As I pointed out on spiked, the UK Climate Assembly was one such after-the-fact attempt to manufacture consensus for the Net Zero agenda. One of the academics at the centre of the assembly, Rebecca Willis, is also one of the academics behind the letter to the prime minister, urging him to cancel the coal mine. She used to be the director of the Green Alliance, which has also published a briefing document for MPs, authored by Willis, which repeats the claims that steel can be made fossil-free, on the basis of experimental technologies.

Yet Willis only has to look as far as the Green Alliance blog to find a robust argument for the limited utility of hydrogen – it is expensive, unwieldy and unfeasible. Moreover, Willis also proposes using natural gas in furnaces. But gas from where? Not from fracking, obviously, given the Green Alliance ruled that out, too. The likely result of Willis et al’s lobbying will be net-zero domestic energy production, net-zero domestic steel production and net-zero domestic wind-farm manufacturing – it all being displaced by Net Zero policies to where production is possible.

Yet, it does not matter to Willis and the Green Alliance, or Gummer and the CCC, that their inconsistent claims rest on unproven technologies, or that the consequences of basing policy on incautious speculation may be hardship for millions. The fate of the coal mine is only of symbolic significance to them. It is a means for them to assert their political power. If it really were a debate about which industrial techniques best serve society’s needs, green technocrats, academics and lobbying organisations would accept the shortcomings of their arguments and the prematurity of their preferred technologies with respect to the policy-target deadlines they themselves demanded were made law.

Despite local support for the coal mine and the opportunities it will create, it looks likely that Cumbria County Council’s decision will be made for them by the sheer weight of the billionaire-backed green blob. If it was not for that powerful, unaccountable and self-serving lobby, and its influence over the UK government, the routine decision-making of a humble local council would be of no consequence to even the next county, let alone the international community.

Let’s hope, though, that Cumbria County Council does not give in to the pressure of international agreements and the Net Zero agenda, and the nexus of academia and lobbying that support them. There is a debate to be had about climate change and how we deal with the problem, including weighing up the pros and cons of coal use. But that debate has been distorted by the hysterical framing of the problem by greens, and the implausible solutions they offer.

Glasgow may be the place that the green blob has decided to congeal this year, but it is in Cumbria that the reality of what it decides in Glasgow is exposed.




Sunday, February 28, 2021

As clean as electricity: Porsche to start making synthetic fuel next year that could slash petrol-engined cars' CO2 emissions by 85%

I get the idea. It is to build up a fuel from basic components rather than modifying an existing fuel. It would have to be very expensive

And I can't see how it would help. The fuel will still be a hydrocarbon and burning a hydrocarbon gives off CO2

The whole thing is very light on detail -- probably for good reasons

Porsche has outlined plans to begin trials in 2022 that could save its high-performance petrol cars from extinction.

The German sports car maker has been developing its own synthetic fuel - or eFuel - that it claims would cut CO2 emissions produced by internal combustion engines by as much as 85 per cent.

The fuel would not require any modifications to a car and be compatible with both current and older vehicles - and it could make existing motors as clean as electric cars, when you take into account the carbon footprint created during production and supply.

Porsche has been working in partnership with Siemens Energy and other international companies since last year to develop and implement a pilot project in Chile designed to yield the 'world's first integrated, commercial, industrial-scale plant for making synthetic climate-neutral fuels'.

Last week, the company's head of motorsport, Dr Frank Walliser, provided an update on the plans ahead of the unveiling of the new £123,100 Porsche 911 GT3.

With a 4.0-litre naturally-aspirated flat-six engine that can rev to a wailing 9,000rpm and produce a maximum 503bhp, it's no slouch - accelerating from 0-to-62mph in 3.4 seconds and to a top speed of 199mph.

But while it might be quick, it won't be particularly good for the planet when using traditional unleaded petrol. Porsche quotes CO2 emissions of 283 to 304g/km, depending on the car's specification.

With strict carbon targets set for manufacturers to meet and the impending ban on new petrol and diesel cars across various nations - it comes in from 2030 in the UK - it will spell an end to Porsche's internal combustion engine sports cars.

Porsche has already started its own transition to electric vehicles, with the launch of the impressive Taycan - priced from £70,690 in the UK - from 2019.

However, Walliser says the brand is set to begin trials of its own synthetic fuel next year that Porsche believes could make its high-performance petrol cars just as economical as an electric vehicle.

He explained that the company, working with partners in South America, will 'for sure' start trials in 2022, though they will be 'very small volume' initially.

'It's a long road with huge investment, but we are sure that this is an important part of our global effort to reduce the CO2 impact of the transportation sector,' he added.

In December, the company announced a new partnership with energy firms Siemens Energy, AME and Enel and the Chilean petroleum company ENAP.

The aim is to build a plant specifically for the commercial production of synthetic fuels in Chile, which will use the location's blustery environment to produce eFuels with the aid of wind power.

If operational in 2022, Porsche says it could be producing 55 million litres of greener synthetic fuel by 2024, and as much as ten times that amount two years later.

Commenting on the plans last year, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume reaffirmed that 'electromobility' remains the top priority at Porsche but eFuels for cars are a 'worthwhile complement to that' – as long as they’re produced in parts of the world where a 'surplus of sustainable energy is available'.

'They are an additional element on the road to decarbonisation,' Blume said in December. 'Their advantages lie in their ease of application: eFuels can be used in combustion engines and plug-in hybrids, and can make use of the existing network of filling stations.

'By using them, we can make a further contribution toward protecting the climate. As a maker of high-performance, efficient engines, we have broad technical expertise. We know exactly what fuel characteristics our engines need in order to operate with minimal impact on the climate. Our involvement in the world’s first commercial, integrated eFuels plant supports the development of the alternative fuels of the future.'

Speaking last week at the premier of the 911 GT3, Walliser added: 'The general idea behind these synthetic fuels is that there is no change to the engine necessary, unlike what we have seen with E10 and E20, so really, everybody can use it, and we are testing with the regular specs of pump fuel.'

'It has no impact on performance - some horses more, so it's going in the right direction - but emissions are way better; we see less particles, less NOx - so that's going in the right direction'.

Explaining how they work, Walliser detailed: 'Synthetic fuels have around eight to ten components, where today's fuels have between 30 and 40.

As it's an artificial, synthetic fuel, you have no by-products, so it's way cleaner - everything positive for the engine
'As it's an artificial, synthetic fuel, you have no by-products, so it's way cleaner - everything positive for the engine.'

He added: 'At full scale, we expect a reduction in the CO2 impact of around 85 per cent.

'If you consider well-to-wheel, where we have to transport fuel, we have a global supply chain, everything around that - you have efficiency across the whole process. In a well-to-wheel consideration, it is on the same level as an electric car.'


Real Threats to Threatened Species

Paul Driessen

Many activists, politicians and regulators are convinced our Earth and its wild kingdoms are threatened by fossil fuels, conventional farming, modern living standards, and catastrophic climate change resulting from the aforementioned human activities. They promote these fears to gain ever-greater control over energy and economic systems, circumscribe personal freedoms, and silence questions and dissent.

Few of them could likely hunt, gather or grow sufficient food for their families, or be a lucky protagonist in an episode of the Weather Channel’s Could You Survive? series – much less endure Mary Draper Ingles’ harrowing 800-mile walk through the 1755 wilderness to escape captivity by Shawnee Indians.

They are strident in their opposition to synthetic herbicides, insecticides and fertilizers, and unbending in their mistaken belief that organic farmers don’t use pesticides – or at least none that aren’t perfectly safe for people and wildlife. They ignore the widespread use of “natural, organic” chemicals like copper sulfate, which is toxic to humans, deadly to fish, harmful to avian and mammalian reproductive systems, poisonous to sheep and chickens, and highly persistent and bioaccumulative in soil and water.

Their obsession with “dangerous man made climate change” ignores reality. Their computer models run hot, consistently predicting planetary temperatures significantly warmer than are actually measured. The warning they fuss over may have begun around the industrial age, but it also coincides with Earth’s emergence from the 500-year-long Little Ice Age – a completely natural phenomenon.

The extreme weather events they blame on fossil fuels and rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are not increasing in frequency or intensity. Above all, no credible science supports their claims that today’s weather and climate are entirely human-driven ... and unrelated to the natural processes and fluctuations that caused glacial epochs, warm periods, and extreme weather events and cycles throughout history.

Their gravest error by far, however, is their insistence that wildlife and their habitats would be saved by eliminating fossil fuel for electricity generation, transportation, heating and cooking. In reality, the biggest threats plants, animals and habitats face are not from climate change. They are from energy policies and programs implemented in the name of stabilizing Earth’s never-stable climate.

The current rush to employ executive orders, Green New Deals and infrastructure bills to shut down fossil fuel production and use – and get all of America’s energy from wind, solar and biofuel power – will result in millions of acres of scenic areas, wildlife habitats and croplands blanketed by huge industrial facilities, to provide the energy that makes America’s jobs, health and living standards possible.

Coal, oil and natural gas now generate over 2.7 billion megawatt-hours of electricity per year. Vehicles consume the equivalent of another 2 billion MWh annually, while natural gas provides an additional 2.7 billion MWh for home, business and factory heating, water heating, cooking and industrial processes.

That’s 7.5 billion MWh, just for the United States. It’s an enormous amount of power – and it doesn’t include oil and gas feed stocks for plastics, pharmaceuticals and countless other petrochemical products (which is where corn, soybeans and other biofuel crops enter the replace-fossil-fuels picture). It also doesn’t include power to charge backup batteries for sunless, windless hours, days and weeks.

“Renewable” energy advocates and lobbyists want us to believe we can do this with very few wind turbines and/or solar panels – on a relatively small swath of the USA. One calculated it would require just 1,939 square miles (1,240,000 acres; Delaware) of solar panels to meet existing US electricity needs; another said 10,000 square miles (Maryland); a third estimated 40,223 square miles (half of Ohio).

Another figured we could replace current electricity generation with just 1,260,000 wind turbines on only 470 square miles of land, assuming a quarter-acre per turbine and all generating power 40 percent of the year.

It’s unclear what pixie dust these folks were sprinkling, but these are not real-world numbers. You need space between panels for access and maintenance; you can’t jam them into one enormous array. And bear in mind, Dominion Energy alone is planning 490 square miles of panels just for Virginia, and just for a portion of its electricity market in the state.)

72,000 high-tech sun-tracking solar panels at Nevada’s Nellis Air Force Base cover 140 acres and generate only 32,000 MWh per year: 33 percent of rated capacity. Low-tech stationary panels get far less than that. The 355 turbines at Indiana’s Fowler Ridge industrial wind facility cover 50,000 acres (120 acres/turbine – nowhere near 1/4 acre) and generate electricity only 25 percent of the time.

I calculate it would take over 17 billion Nellis-style solar panels – on 53,000 square miles (34,000,000 acres or half of Nevada) to replace all 7.5 billion MWh of US fossil fuel energy and charge batteries for a week of sunless days, under the Team Biden Green New Deal. Using standard, stationary panels would double or triple the land area and number of panels.

Using Fowler Ridge as a guide, and assuming just 50 acres per turbine, it would take some 2 million 1.8-MW wind turbines, sprawling across 155,000 square miles of scenic, crop and habitat land. That’s all of California. And it assumes every turbine generates electricity 25 percent of the year. Go offshore, and we’d need over 300,000 monstrous 10-MW turbines along our Great Lakes and seacoasts.

We’d also need thousands of miles of new transmission lines to connect all these facilities and cities.

But the more wind turbines we install, the more we have to put them in sub-optimal areas, where they might work 15% of the year; and the more we install, the more they affect wind flow for the others. Land, habitat and wildlife impacts could easily double; millions of raptors, other birds and bats would be killed. The more solar panels we install, the more they must go in low-quality areas, and the more we need.

Energy analyst Willis Eschenbach has calculated what would be required to get the world to zero-emission electricity generation by 2050 – and ensure sufficient peak power for the hottest summer and coldest winter days. He uses solar or wind, in conjunction with nuclear power plants as backup/actual generating capacity, for sunless and windless days, and assumes 35% capacity/efficiency. Adjusting his numbers to account for only US needs, America would require:

* 350,000 square miles of solar panels (Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico combined) plus 1,760 new 3000-MW nuclear power plants. Adding space for access and maintenance would at least double this. Or

* 10.5 million 2-MW wind turbines, on 820,000 square miles of crop, scenic and wildlife habitat land – over one-fourth of the Continental USA, plus 1,760 new 3000-MW nuclear power plants. (Using 1.8-MW instead of 2.0-MW turbines, we’d need 11.6 million turbines on 30 percent of the Lower 48 states.)

Biofuel production to replace all those petrochemicals would require millions more acres.

All these turbines, panels, backup batteries, electric vehicles, biofuel processing plants, nuclear power plants and transmission lines would require millions of tons of metals, minerals, plastics and concrete – from billions of tons of overburden and ores. That will result in astronomical land, air, water, wildlife and human impacts from mining, processing and manufacturing. Most of this will be overseas, out of sight and out of mind, because Team Biden won’t allow these activities in the United States. So a lot of people won’t care and will happily focus on these new energy sources being zero-emission ... here in the USA.

These estimates are not etched in stone. But they underscore why we need full-blown, robust environmental analyses and impact statements on every GND concept, proposal and project – before we head down the primrose path to ecological and economic hell, paved with (presumably) good intentions.

There must be no expedited reviews, no shortcuts, no claiming the ecological impacts can be glossed over because they are “inadvertent” or less important than “saving the planet” from climate chaos.


Here are some issues that need to be included in the equation getting to Biden’s end-state of, “100% clean energy economy and net-zero emissions no later than 2050.”

Excerpt from "GLACIERS IN IOWA"

WIND: First of all, the green folks would have us all believe that wind and sunshine are free. Well, technically yes, but to harness them certainly is not.

There are about 240,000 operating wind turbines in the world, producing about 4% of the required electricity. When it comes to wind turbine construction, there are a lot of numbers out there. I believe this set fairly captures the story.

The American Wind Energy Association says it takes somewhere in the range of 200 to 230 tons of steel to make a single wind turbine. The steel tower is anchored in a platform of more than a thousand tons of concrete and steel rebar, 30 to 50 feet across and anywhere from 6 to 30 feet deep. Add to that 45 tons of nonrecyclable plastic blades and 2 tons of rare-earth elements. Then after a life-cycle of around 20 years, start over.

If we want wind to produce half the world’s electricity, we will need to build about 3 million more turbines. Three million turbines at 230 tons of steel each equals about 690 million tons of steel. To produce steel for one turbine requires about 150 tons of coking coal and about 300 tons of iron ore, all mined, transported and probably producing hydrocarbons.

More bad news. It should be pointed out that cement is the number one carbon contributor in the world. The production of one pound of cement also produces one pound of CO2. Then there are the emissions from all the trucks, trains, ships, bulldozers, cranes, and other equipment involved in turbine construction.

We are constantly being fed unattainable projections about power production from wind turbines. Wind proponents describe capability in terms of “capacity.” That is, if the turbine was fully active 24/7 it would produce X amount of power. The truth is that because of varying weather conditions, a turbine’s output averages barely a quarter of its “capacity.”

That fact brings us to another disturbing question; what do we do for power when the wind doesn’t blow? The most obvious answer is that we must maintain, at all times, a fully operational backup power source. Or do we just heat half the houses, run half the manufacturing plants, recharge half the cell phones? Because of the requirement for near 100% backup, some experts predict a wind farm’s power will actually cost around $25,000 for every home it powers.

Another downside to wind is that the turbines are so preposterously expensive that no one would dream of building one unless they were guaranteed a huge government subsidy, also known as tax dollars.

After we dig out of the earth millions of tons of raw materials, transport it, manufacture and construct the turbines all of which will likely cause huge carbon emissions, what is the net carbon reduction? Researchers believe the actual CO2 reduction is so insignificant that one large windfarm saves less in a year than is given off over the same period by a single jumbo jet flying daily between the U.S. and England.


No matter how many wind turbines and solar panels we build for the world, there will always be the need for substantial on-call backup around the world for when the sun doesn’t shine and/or the wind doesn’t blow. Right now, battery backup would fall woefully short and may never be a feasible alternative. The U.S. is successfully converting coal-fired production to clean burning natural gas because we have the greatest supply of natural gas in the world which makes our backup doable, albeit very expensive. What do the nations that have zero natural gas do?

I am a proponent for wind, solar, electric vehicles and whatever science can come up with to produce power. What I am not for is false hope. I get frustrated with the “well, let’s get on with it and just hope for the best” crowd. Hope is not a process. False hope is demoralizing and destructive. Our environment and the future of this planet is too important to be toyed with by political sound bites and unfathomable green fantasies.


A record dry in Australia

Suggesting global cooling. Warming would produce MORE rain, not less

Overlooking the old family farmhouse on Gerard Walsh's farm is a hill covered in hundreds of dead ironbarks.

"Two years ago, they would have all been alive and flourishing. Basically every tree has died," Mr Walsh said.

Across all of 2019, his property at Greymare in southern Queensland recorded just 144 millimetres of rain — the driest in 100 years.

"Certainly the rainfall has changed, all for the lesser," Mr Walsh said.

For more than a century, the Walsh family have been recording rainfall on their farm Coolesha for the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM). "My mother Margaret Walsh, she would have done the weather for some 60 years, her parents before that," Mr Walsh said.

The long service was recently recognised with an award from the BOM.

The voluntary role has meant the Walsh family have been able to observe up close those effects of climate change on the Southern Downs region.

Rainfall at Coolesha has been below average for seven of the past 10 years, consistent with the BOM's most recent State of the Climate report.

"Income was more than halved during most of that period of time," Mr Walsh said.

Like many in the region, less rain has meant less feed for cattle and the Walshes have had to reduce cattle numbers.

Farmers in the Southern Downs are dealing with declining winter rainfall and the prospect of back-to-back droughts.




Tuesday, February 23, 2021

New York City/New Jersey subway PM2.5 levels 77 times greater than EPA standards; No bodies found

Huge pollution with no visible effect found

A new study reports on PM2.5 (soot/dust) levels in subway stations. The New York City and New Jersey PATH system had a mean level of 779 micrograms per cubic meter — 65 times higher than the EPA’s outdoor air standard of 12 micrograms per cubic meter.

The highest level measured (1,499 micrograms per cubic meter) is almost 50% higher than the worst air in any Chinese city that we know about. Onboard air quality PM2.5 measurements were lower but still on average 30 times higher than EPA standards.

In 2018, PATH carried 81.7 million passengers, about 280,000 per week day. Keeping in mind that the EPA says that any exposure to PM2.5 can kill you within hours, where are the bodies? Why aren’t governments calling for an immediate shutdown of subway service?

Recall that Harvard researchers just claimed this week that PM2.5 kills more than 8 million people per year and much lower outdoor air exposures. PM2.5 is the biggest demonstrable science fraud of our time.

The abstract:

PM2:5 Concentration and Composition in Subway Systems in the Northeastern United States

David G. Luglio

OBJECTIVES: The goals of this study were to assess the air quality in subway systems in the northeastern United States and estimate the health risks for transit workers and commuters.

METHODS: We report real-time and gravimetric PM2:5 concentrations and particle composition from area samples collected in the subways of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Boston, Massachusetts; New York City, New York/New Jersey (NYC/NJ); and Washington, District of Columbia. A total of 71 stations across 12 transit lines were monitored during morning and evening rush hours.

RESULTS: We observed variable and high PM2:5 concentrations for on-train and on-platform measurements during morning (from 0600 hours to 1000 hours) and evening (from 1500 hours to 1900 hours) rush hour across cities. Mean real-time PM2:5 concentrations in underground stations were 779 ą 249, 548 ą 207, 341 ą 147, 327 ą 136, and 112 ą 46:7 lg=m3 for the PATH-NYC/NJ; MTA-NYC; Washington, DC; Boston; and Philadelphia transit systems, respectively.

In contrast, the mean real-time ambient PM2:5 concentration taken above ground outside the subway stations of PATH-NYC/NJ; MTANYC; Washington, DC; Boston; and Philadelphia were 20:8ą9:3, 24:1ą9:3, 12:01 ą 7:8, 10:0ą2:7, and 12:6 ą 12:6 lg=m3, respectively.

Stations serviced by the PATH-NYC/NJ system had the highest mean gravimetric PM2:5 concentration, 1,020 lg=m3, ever reported for a subway system, including two 1-h gravimetric PM2:5 values of approximately 1,700 lg=m3 during rush hour at one PATH-NYC/NJ subway station.

Iron and total carbon accounted for approximately 80% of the PM2:5 mass in a targeted subset of systems and stations.

DISCUSSION: Our results document that there is an elevation in the PM2:5 concentrations across subway systems in the major urban centers of Northeastern United States during rush hours. Concentrations in some subway stations suggest that transit workers and commuters may be at increased risk according to U.S. federal environmental and occupational guidelines, depending on duration of exposure.

This concern is highest for the PM2:5 concentrations encountered in the PATH-NYC/NJ transit system. Further research is urgently needed to identify the sources of PM2:5 and factors that contribute to high levels


Study warns solar farms could unleash unintended consequences on the environment, including global warming

A new study finds there could be unintended consequences of constructing massive solar farms in deserts around the world. The eye-opening research claims that huge solar farms, such as in the Sahara, could usher in environmental crises, including altering the climate and causing global warming.

The study was carried out by Zhengyao Lu, a researcher in Physical Geography at Lund University, and Benjamin Smith, director of research at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment at Western Sydney University. The results of their research were published in a Feb. 11 article in The Conversation.

Solar panels are darker colors such as black and blue to attract and absorb more heat, but they are usually much darker than the ground around the solar panel. The post cites an article that claims most solar panels are between 15% and 20% efficient in converting sunlight into usable energy. The researchers assert that the rest of the sunlight is returned to the surrounding environment as heat, "affecting the climate."

The article notes that in order to replace fossil fuels, solar farms would need to be enormous — covering thousands of square miles, according to this article. Solar farms of this magnitude potentially present environmental consequences, not just locally but globally.

Authors of a 2018 study say that climate models show that installing ample numbers of wind turbines would double precipitation in the Sahara desert, and solar panels would increase precipitation by 50%. The researchers came to this conclusion by determining that the solar panels and wind turbines would decrease the albedo on the land surface. Albedo is the fraction of light that is reflected by a body or surface.

From The Conversation:

The model revealed that when the size of the solar farm reaches 20% of the total area of the Sahara, it triggers a feedback loop. Heat emitted by the darker solar panels (compared to the highly reflective desert soil) creates a steep temperature difference between the land and the surrounding oceans that ultimately lowers surface air pressure and causes moist air to rise and condense into raindrops. With more monsoon rainfall, plants grow and the desert reflects less of the sun's energy, since vegetation absorbs light better than sand and soil. With more plants present, more water is evaporated, creating a more humid environment that causes vegetation to spread.
Turning the Sahara desert into a lush, green oasis could have climate ramifications around the planet, including affecting the atmosphere, the ocean, the land, changing entire ecosystems, altering precipitation in Amazon's rainforests, inducing droughts, and potentially triggering more tropical cyclones.

The good-intentioned effort to lower the world's temperature could potentially do the opposite and increase the planet's temperature, according to the researchers.

Covering 20% of the Sahara with solar farms raises local temperatures in the desert by 1.5°C according to our model. At 50% coverage, the temperature increase is 2.5°C. This warming is eventually spread around the globe by atmosphere and ocean movement, raising the world's average temperature by 0.16°C for 20% coverage, and 0.39°C for 50% coverage. The global temperature shift is not uniform though – the polar regions would warm more than the tropics, increasing sea ice loss in the Arctic. This could further accelerate warming, as melting sea ice exposes dark water which absorbs much more solar energy.

The authors conclude their article by stating renewable energy solutions "may help society transition from fossil energy, but Earth system studies like ours underscore the importance of considering the numerous coupled responses of the atmosphere, oceans and land surface when examining their benefits and risks."


Climate Change Keeps Changing

Winter storms…in WINTER?!?! Can you believe it? Next thing you’ll tell me is it gets hot in the summer. It’s clearly climate change, and because of it we need to sacrifice our liberties and economic future on the altar of what really amounts to another hidden space ship hidden in the tail of the Hale-Bopp comet. And Democrats are ready to do just that.

I know you’ve heard it before, but it’s worth repeating that in the last 50 years liberals have gone from warning about the coming ice age to global warming, before settling on the catch-all phrase “climate change.” Curiously, when the “problem” shifted 180 degrees from what they said it was, the “solutions” remained the same – new regulations, higher taxes, and more power to them. Normally, when you find out the problem you’ve been working on isn’t the problem but the exact opposite of the problem, the solution changes too. Not here.

The promise of future doom and gloom is merely a delivery device for policy changes liberals have wanted since the progressive movement started.

You’ve got to hand it to the left; they’re great at marketing – offer salvation from an un-disprovable collective future pain in exchange for some individual liberty today. It’s a bargain at twice the price.

Only, they’ve been wrong about everything. We’ve been through three, ten-year windows where the coasts were supposed to be flooded and all other manner of destruction rained down on us and it hasn’t happened.

That doesn’t stop the left from playing that card every chance they get. Nor has it prevented the media from declaring each new event to be the latest “proof” of a pattern only they get to choose what it’s constituted of, ignoring everything else to the contrary.

Winter weather in Texas is rare, not unique or new. Droughts happen. They always have. Tornadoes have always occurred in the same place, which is why it’s called “tornado alley” and not “a pleasant place where no bad weather ever happens.” Hurricanes have been battering the Caribbean for centuries before the first SUV was invented or the first gallon of gas burned.

In other words, the climate has always changed. Not just with the seasons, but anomalously throughout our history. Do yourself a favor and look up the “tiny ice age” or the “medieval warm period.” Both were curious swings of weather for extended periods of time long before fossil fuels could be blamed for them.

The left has done their best to wipe these events from memory, and they’re rarely, if ever, talked about in the media or academia. But you can find out about them, if you try, and you should.

Now everything is climate change, no matter how absurd. Heavy snow or the lack of it. Heavy rains or none. Some are grumbling that the outdoor hockey game between Colorado Avalanche and Las Vegas Golden Knights being delayed for hours because the ice was too soft is a sign of climate change. But that game was played in Lake Tahoe, right on the water. But the average temperature in Lake Tahoe in February is 45 degrees, and they dropped the puck in the middle of the day.

The level of stupid to which leftists will go to make their case knows no bounds. That so many believe it because so many parrot it is a testament not only to just how successfully the education system has been in transforming into an indoctrination factory but just how committed the left is to get their hands on that power.

Anyone who wants power that badly, who is willing to go to such great lengths to obtain it, should be denied it at all costs.

Until Republicans learn to recognize the scope of the indoctrination and how to counter it (because Republican politicians are horrible at messaging), expect even more naturally occurring events to be blamed on this boogeyman.

But you should also expect cold in winter, heat in summer, rain sometimes and not others. Hurricanes will happen, so will tornadoes. Playing hockey outside between California and Nevada at noon will remain unwise, regardless of the time of year. And you should always remember that our temperature has a lot more to do with that big ball of fire in the sky than it does anything else.


Under Biden, Green Job Lies Flow Instead of Oil; Unemployment May Soon Be the Only Gusher

Even as they are putting people in coal, gas, and oil fields out of work, President Joe Biden and his climate policy team keep telling lies about how their policies will create enough good-paying green energy jobs for the newly unemployed.

For instance, at a Jan. 27 press conference held to announce multiple executive orders (EO) issued by the president to fight climate change, his climate envoy John Kerry said that coal, gas, and oil workers who are being forced out of their jobs because of the EOs should have made “better choices” concerning their field of work. Fortunately, Kerry went on to say that coal, natural gas, and oil workers can “go to work to make the solar panels.”

Kerry’s arrogant, politically tone-deaf statement falsely implies coal miners and oil and gas workers can smoothly transition to jobs in the fast-growing wind and solar power industries. Government reports show this is untrue.

While The Washington Post has been a reliably pro-Biden voice since before the election, even it is calling out Kerry’s green jobs claims. The newspaper gave Kerry’s statements two Pinocchios, a rating indicating that even if Kerry wasn’t outright lying, his statements represent “a great example of how some ‘facts’ can be misleading when taken out of context.”

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports there won’t be nearly enough green jobs created by Biden’s policies to replace those of coal miners and oil and gas field workers made unemployed due to his inane effort to prevent climate change.

The wind and solar industry have grown at a rapid rate in recent years. However, BLS estimates by 2028, 10,400 new wind turbine technician and solar panel installer jobs will be created in total. During the same time period, Biden’s climate policies are expected to put more than 50,000 workers in the coal industry, and tens of thousands of more workers in the oil and gas industries, out of work. Biden’s Keystone XL pipeline shutdown and his prohibition on new oil and gas leases on public lands has already resulted in layoffs of more than 1,000 workers.

Nor would the switch from jobs in the coal, oil, and gas industries to wind and solar positions be instantaneous. BLS reports solar installers require “moderate-term on-the-job training,” and wind turbine technicians require “long-term on-the-job training.”

Also, wind and solar jobs don’t pay as well as jobs associated with fossil fuel production. The median wage for coal miners in 2019 was $59,000 annually. This is $8,000 above the average annual national private sector salary of $51,000. By comparison, BLS data show the median pay for solar installers in 2019 was approximately $45,000 ($6,000 below the national average), and the median wage for wind technicians was $53,000 annually.

The pay differential between solar and wind jobs and jobs in the oil and gas industry is even greater. The Department of Energy reports that oil and gas industry jobs pay $112,000 per year on average—more than double the average salary of a wind technician, 148 percent higher than that of a solar installer.

So much for jobs in the wind and solar industry representing “better choices” for workers.

This leads us to Biden’s other lies concerning all the new jobs his climate policies will create. Biden said one of his executive orders will “harness the purchasing power of the federal government to buy clean, zero-emission vehicles that are made and sourced by union workers right here in America. … This will mean one million new jobs in the American automobile industry. One million.” One million jobs is more than the total number of jobs manufacturing cars and trucks today!

The Associated Press, which is normally a reliable voice in support of climate alarmism, pointed out that Biden’s claim was false. AP reported that Biden’s electric vehicle job creation claims omit “important context and used fuzzy math” and, as a result, Biden’s policies “probably will mean fewer net auto-making jobs.”

Why? Because as U.S. automakers shift toward making more electric vehicles, they will be making fewer gasoline-powered cars and trucks. Thus, rather than creating new manufacturing jobs, workers will simply shift from assembling vehicles with internal combustion engines to cars and trucks with large battery packs.

However, it’s not a one-for-one job switch. As Kristin Dziczek, vice president at the Center for Automotive Research, explained to the AP, “[As] electric vehicles generally have 30 percent to 40 percent fewer parts and are simpler to build, fewer workers will be needed to assemble them.”

In addition, it’s easier to automate battery pack construction and installation, meaning robotic machinery will replace many workers on the shop floor. And the jobs remaining after Biden’s electric vehicle pipe dream comes to fruition will pay less. The AP discovered “automakers pay workers who assemble batteries less than they pay those who manufacture vehicles.”

To sum up, Biden’s forced shift to electric vehicles from gas-powered cars and trucks, which people evidently prefer based on the numbers purchased absent government coercion in the market place, will result in fewer well-paying jobs in the auto industry, not more.

Biden’s climate policies are a disaster for U.S. energy independence, which former President Donald Trump’s policies brought about, and for workers. Shame on Biden and Kerry for betraying American workers and the public and for lying to them about it.