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.




Sunday, February 21, 2021

Will blue gas kill Tesla? New emission-free hydrogen manufacturing process can fuel a car

"Blue" gas is just normal hydrogen. Hydrogen can be produced by cracking water or by cracking hydrocarbons such as methane (CH4). The latter is not new. Methane is a component of natural gas and cracking that gas is the normal commercial source of hydrogen

But when it is obtained by cracking methane it becomes "blue" apparently. Why not green?

But the drawbacks of hydrogen cars are well-known -- principally the massive pressure vessel needed to hold the gas. This is no challenge to Tesla

Note also that the energy used to produce hydrogen exceeds the energy that can be recovered from it

Tesla is poised to become a powerhouse in the automobile industry as the world ditches fossil-fuel powered vehicles for their electric counterparts.

However, a new technology comes with the potential to overthrow the Elon Musk-owned company and its battery-driven electric vehicles.

Dubbed blue gas — or blue hydrogen — this clean fuel is made by combining hydrogen production from natural gas (methane) with carbon capture and storage.

The resulting product can be used in electric vehicles with hydrogen fuel cells to produce power with no harmful emissions — only that of water vapour.

Blue gas can propel vehicles some 300 miles (483 km) on a full tank, while Tesla's power system only provides up to 250 miles (402 miles) on a full battery, on average.

This fuel does not need lithium or rare earth elements to use, takes less time to fuel up and lasts longer than battery-powered vehicles — making it a potential 'Tesla killer.'

Parts of the US and the globe are planning to eliminate gas-powered vehicles as early as 2023, in a bid to reduce emissions and combat climate change.

In the UK, for example, the government has announced a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars which will come into effect from 2030 onwards.

The move is predicted to not only be of benefit to the environment, but also one that will prove a boon to electric car manufacturers like Tesla.

However, the ascendancy of Tesla predicted by industry experts could now be threatened by the headways being made around blue gas.

This is one of the names given to hydrogen gas which is manufactured in a carbon-neutral process — unlike conventional, or 'grey' hydrogen production, in which carbon by-product is released into the atmosphere.

It is produced by one of two processes — dubbed 'steam methane reforming' and 'autothermal reforming' — in which methane and water are converted into hydrogen and carbon monoxide.

The carbon-based product of this reaction is then captured and stored, rather than being dumped into the atmosphere to contribute to global warming.

Instead of giving off polluting exhaust like fossil fuel-powered vehicles, those that run on blue gas emit only water and heat, SpaceCoastDaily reports.

These vehicles possess fuel cells in which the hydrogen is combined with oxygen in a so-called electrochemical reaction.

This produces electricity which can be used to power an electric motor and/or recharge a battery, depending on the design of the car in question.

Blue gas seems like the fuel source the world has been waiting for, but the issues with the innovation is that we will have to wait for it. The fuel is still in its infancy and companies are learning how to move forward with it in a way its customers will want to buy in.

Along with only being in the early phases of development, hydrogen fuel stations are far from widely available at present.


What America can learn from Texas’s green energy failure

The coal-fired generators are the only ones that kept right on working

As millions of Texans remain without power, many are wondering if renewable energy sources are to blame for the crisis that has killed at least 47 people. Not surprisingly, many on the Left and the main stream media are quick to defend green energy. But energy experts say renewable energy is fundamentally a less reliable source than traditional sources such as coal and natural gas and are blaming it for the massive power outages that have crippled the state.

Texas Lt. Gog. Dan Patrick told Fox News’ Laura Ingram last night he wants an investigation into what went wrong to ensure this never happens again.

“I’m angry, like people are angry, and they deserve to be angry. This should never have happened in Texas. We’re gonna’ find out what the hell went wrong, and we’re gonna’ fix it.”

The Wall Street Journal editorial board weighed in with this explanation of what went wrong in Texas:

The problem is Texas’s overreliance on wind power that has left the grid more vulnerable to bad weather. Half of wind turbines froze last week, causing wind’s share of electricity to plunge to 8% from 42%. Power prices in the wholesale market spiked, and grid regulators on Friday warned of rolling blackouts. Natural gas and coal generators ramped up to cover the supply gap but couldn’t meet the surging demand for electricity—which half of households rely on for heating—even as many families powered up their gas furnaces. Then some gas wells and pipelines froze.

In short, there wasn’t sufficient baseload power from coal and nuclear to support the grid. Baseload power is needed to stabilize grid frequency amid changes in demand and supply. When there’s not enough baseload power, the grid gets unbalanced and power sources can fail. The more the grid relies on intermittent renewables like wind and solar, the more baseload power is needed to back them up.

But politicians don’t care about grid reliability until the power goes out. And for three decades politicians from both parties have pushed subsidies for renewables that have made the grid less stable.

Start with the 1992 Energy Policy Act signed by George H.W. Bush, which created a production tax credit to boost the infant wind industry. Generators collect up to $25 per megawatt hour of power they produce regardless of market demand. The credit was supposed to expire in 1999, but nothing lasts longer than a temporary government program, as Ronald Reagan once quipped.

Dan Kish is a senior vice president for policy at the American Energy Alliance. He has more than 25 years of experience on congressional committees focused principally upon natural resource and energy policies. He says both political parties are responsible for the green energy policies that have failed Texas.

“[Texas] has gone from a relatively small amount of wind, to the nation’s largest producer where they produce 28% of the nation’s wind power,” explained Kish. “But wind is intermittent and you cannot count on it. What we’ve got here is the logical outcome of a stressed system,” Kish added. “Some parts of the system ended up producing a lot more energy to meet the demand, but the wind side of thing basically fell right off the cliff.”

Kish blames poor energy policies on what he calls “soft-headed Republicans” and Democrats who “bought into the idea that American energy production is bad.” He also points to “a slick campaign” by the green energy lobby that has swayed the opinions of many Americans in favor of green energy.

But he said this Texas disaster is a cautionary tale for the rest of the country, “Renewable sources sound good, but at the end of the day, they don’t work. They will drive prices up because you end up making really complicated systems to accommodate for the built in inherent weaknesses of intermittent sources like wind and solar, that only come on occasionally, and must be backed up with other sources.” He explained that because those backup sources are only used part time, the cost to operate and maintain them is more expensive.

In addition, Kish warned that America’s green energy industry is almost wholly reliant on China because it controls the supply chain for batteries, solar panels, and windmills. “It is a cautionary tale of a system that is being messed around with by politicians who I wouldn’t let screw in a light bulb in my house,” Kish concluded.


Let's Review 50 Years Of Dire Climate Forecasts And What Actually Happened

Here are 21 headlines from various news sources regarding dire climate predictions over the last 50 years. Many of the predictions are outrageously funny.

Climate Forecast Headline Predictions
1967 Salt Lake Tribune: Dire Famine Forecast by 1975, Already Too Late

1969 NYT: "Unless we are extremely lucky, everyone will disappear in a cloud of blue steam in 20 years. The situation will get worse unless we change our behavior."

1970 Boston Globe: Scientist Predicts New Ice Age by 21st Century said James P. Lodge, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

1971 Washington Post: Disastrous New Ice Age Coming says S.I. Rasool at NASA.

1972 Brown University Letter to President Nixon: Warning on Global Cooling

1974 The Guardian: Space Satellites Show Ice Age Coming Fast

1974 Time Magazine: Another Ice Age "Telling signs everywhere. Since the 1940s mean global temperatures have dropped 2.7 degrees F."

1974 "Ozone Depletion a Great Peril to Life" University of Michigan Scientist

1976 NYT The Cooling: University of Wisconsin climatologist Stephen Schneider laments about the "deaf ear his warnings received."

1988 Agence France Press: Maldives will be Completely Under Water in 30 Years.

1989 Associated Press: UN Official Says Rising Seas to 'Obliterate Nations' by 2000.

1989 Salon: New York City’s West Side Highway underwater by 2019 said Jim Hansen the scientist who lectured Congress in 1988 about the greenhouse effect.

2000 The Independent: "Snowfalls are a thing of the past. Our children will not know what snow is," says senior climate researcher.

2004 The Guardian: The Pentagon Tells Bush Climate Change Will Destroy Us. "Britain will be Siberian in less than 20 years," the Pentagon told Bush.

2008 Associate Press: NASA Scientist says "We're Toast. In 5-10 years the Arctic will be Ice Free"

2008 Al Gore: Al Gore warns of ice-free Arctic by 2013.

2009 The Independent: Prince Charles says Just 96 Months to Save the World. "The price of capitalism is too high."

2009 The Independent: Gordon Brown says "We have fewer than 50 days to save our planet from catastrophe."

2013 The Guardian: The Arctic will be Ice Free in Two Years. "The release of a 50 gigaton of methane pulse" will destabilize the planet.

2013 The Guardian: US Navy Predicts Ice Free Arctic by 2016. "The US Navy's department of Oceanography uses complex modeling to makes its forecast more accurate than others.

2014 John Kerry: "We have 500 days to Avoid Climate Chaos" discussed Sec of State John Kerry and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabious at a joint meeting.

The above items are thanks to 50 Years of Failed Eco-pocalyptic Predictions.

The article has actual news clips and links to everyone of the above stories


Biden’s Electric Vehicle Mandate Won’t Improve Environmental Outcomes – But Will Raise Energy Costs

Since taking office in January, President Biden has issued an unprecedented number of Executive Orders aimed at undoing President Trump’s signature deregulatory agenda, namely issuing a suite of climate related executive orders including re-entering the Paris Climate Accord, cancelling the Keystone XL Pipeline, freezing new oil and gas leases on federal lands, and directing the federal government to replace its nearly 600,000 vehicle fleet with electric vehicles (EVs).

Citing climate change as an existential threat, Congressional Democrats have their own green agenda to push electric vehicles, introducing legislation to extend major tax credits for EVs along with credits and subsidies for solar and wind energy. Democrats hope these policies will accelerate their planned transition from gas to electric and eventually, force consumers into electric vehicles. Already, several individual states including California have mandated that residents will only be able to purchase electric vehicles by 2035.

However, like many other environmental policies being advanced as necessary to address climate change, the true impact of policies to advance electrification isn’t being discussed. The truth of the matter is that EVs are not as “environmentally friendly” as their proponents would have you believe – and adoption of a fully electric vehicle fleet would mean higher energy costs and higher sticker prices in a market where new cars are already cost prohibitive for many middle-class families.

Electric vehicles are not “green” simply because they aren’t gas powered. EVs are charged from the electric grid in the respective state you live in. America’s electric grids still get the majority of their power from burning fossil fuels including coal and natural gas. Estimates from the U.S. Energy Information Administration indicate that more than 60% of total electricity is from fossil fuels, with coal being the second largest source. In addition, even with aggressive policies that push wind and solar, the EIA has estimated that fossil fuels will still be used as our main source of energy well into the future. For these reasons, Americans shouldn’t be misled into thinking that simply because an EV is not directly powered by gas that it is “carbon neutral.”

EVs also pollute the environment through the production of the batteries used to power them, which require mining for critical minerals like cobalt and lithium. Mining and processing of these minerals causes significant air pollution from dust and toxic water pollution. Because it is difficult to get the necessary permits to mine for critical minerals in the United States, much of the production for minerals necessary to make EV batteries happens overseas in countries like China and the DRC, with troubling human rights records where forced child labor is often used for mining.

For all the environmental and human costs of producing EV batteries and the greater strain on the electric grid that charging them creates, you’d think the reduction in emissions would be worth the trade off, right? Think again. One study from the Manhattan Institute estimated that the overall reduction in U.S. emissions from adoption of zero emission vehicles would be less than one percent of the total forecast energy-related CO2 emissions through 2050. In other words, mandating that consumers purchase EVs would have almost no impact on climate change.

Beyond the lackluster environmental impact of EVs, additional strain on the electric grid from charging electric vehicles would almost certainly make household energy costs more expensive. In California, where EVs will be mandated in the next ten years, electric rates are already higher than the rest of the nation. Furthermore, new electric vehicles are on average 45% more expensive to make than gas powered vehicles. If EV mandates pass, how will middle and working class families be able to afford a new car? Unfortunately, many will simply keep driving older cars, which are less efficient and more polluting than new cars on the market.

Finally, the Biden Administration completely fails to take note of the innovative new products like renewable diesel fuel which produce even fewer emissions overall than an electric vehicle. By arbitrarily promoting one path forward, the government is putting its thumb on the lever in a way that will discourage innovation and leave Americans with higher costs and fewer choices.

While reducing emissions and addressing climate change are laudable goals, when climate policies are completely untethered from a true cost-benefit analysis, American taxpayers are fooled about what the tradeoffs entail. Smart policymaking takes into account emissions reductions balanced against how many jobs will be killed, environmental pollution beyond just GHG emissions, how much energy prices will rise, and impacts on quality of life.

As the Biden Administration moves forward with its environmental agenda, it must keep in mind that no source of energy is completely without environmental impact. Policies that embrace a balanced energy mix and encourage innovation are the best way forward.




Saturday, February 20, 2021

Bill Gates can't win

He wants to focus on improved technology to reduce atmospheric CO2. The Greenies (below) don't like that at all

You might think that the decision of Bill Gates to throw his resources, energy and intellect into the infernal problem of climate change would be universally welcomed by those who have been battling the issue for a generation.

This week’s publication of Gates’ new book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster, has revealed an intellectual and philosophical schism in the climate field, one most pronounced between those who have battled in the field for a generation, and newer entrants like Gates.

In his book Gates does an admirable job in breaking down the complex problem of climate change into understandable building blocks.

“When I started learning about climate change, I kept encountering facts that were hard to get my head around,” he writes. “For one thing, the numbers were so large they were hard to picture ... Another problem was that the data I was seeing often appeared devoid of any context.”

Gates provides the context, explaining that reaching net zero by 2050 to avoid the worst impacts of climate change means working out how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 billion tonnes annually.

Gates breaks the figure down further, explaining that 31 per cent of the emissions are caused by making things such as steel, cement and plastic, electricity production causes another 27 per cent and agriculture 19 per cent. Transport and heating and cooling cause another 16 per cent and seven per cent respectively.

With the impact of climate change tangibly evident in recent record temperatures, in catastrophic fires in the American west and in Australia, no one would argue with Gates’ analysis, nor with his new sense of urgency.

“We have no time to lose,” he told Good Weekend.

However, Gates is being criticised by some of the world’s leading climate scientists and environmentalists for his view on how we should use what time we have left to act, and how best to direct resources.

Gates argues that American policymakers should dedicate their efforts to research and development of new technologies to drive down what he calls “the green premium”. This premium, he explains, is how much more it costs people to use a green alternative over an existing technology - the price difference between, say environmental fuel for his jet versus conventional jet fuel.

In a tetchy rejoinder in The New York Times this week the renowned climate author and journalist Bill McKibben begins, “First things first — much respect to Bill Gates for his membership in the select club of ultra-billionaires not actively attempting to flee Earth and colonise Mars.”

He goes on to argue that Gates makes the common mistake of underestimating the tools we already have to hand to reduce emissions. Solar power is the cheapest power in human history according to the International Energy Agency. As factories producing solar panels have become more efficient, their drop in price over the past decade has been, McKibben points out, 50 to 100 years ahead of what the IEA was forecasting in 2010.

According to McKibben, every time we double the number of panels installed, the price drops another 30 to 40 per cent. Batteries, he says, are following a similar price curve.

Underestimating the potential of existing renewable technology, he says, leads Gates to overestimate the significance of the green premium. He argues that the future tech Gates wants the world to focus on will be critical in future in mopping up the last few percentage points of greenhouse gasses, while renewables must do heavy lifting now.

At the heart of some of the criticism of the efforts of Gates - and other billionaires - in the climate field is their support for what is known as carbon dioxide removal, or CDR, technologies.

In theory if effective CDR machines could remove and store enough carbon, climate change could be solved by technical innovation.

CDR’s critics dismiss it as fantastical at best and dangerous at worst, as it provides an excuse for inaction.

Speaking with the Herald earlier this week the leading climate scientist Professor Michael Mann - whose book The New Climate War has also just been published - was blunt in his criticism of Gates’ approach.

“We don’t need new magic new technology, like Bill Gates says [we do], we don’t need a miracle. We have the tools necessary, with wind and solar, geothermal et cetera, to decarbonise our economy. It is a pretty clear path forward.”


As nation freezes, fossil fuels are keeping the lights and heat on

Much of the Midwest and the Mountain States are seeing subzero temperatures and blizzard conditions sweep through. As far south as Dallas, a polar vortex has caused temperatures to dip into the 20s, with ice and snow. In parts of Minnesota, temperatures dipped to near their lowest levels in a century. There are now rolling blackouts in some parts of Texas because of power supply shortages at a time when the deep freeze causes peak demand.

Many states are at a dangerous point of running out of energy at any price to meet demand as the cold spell rolls on.

This story isn’t so much about the weather as it is about a grand failure of public policy. Because of the political left’s war on fossil fuels, and “renewable energy mandates” that require 20 percent to 30 percent of a state’s power supply to come from wind and solar power, the power grid is squeezed to the brink. Wind and solar don’t generate much power when temperatures plummet.

The Center of the American Experiment, a Minnesota-based think tank, reports: “Wind turbines are shut down when temperatures are below -22° F because it is too cold to operate them safely. This means it will be too cold for the wind turbines built by the power companies to generate any electricity.”

It’s worse than that, however. According to the Minnesota think tank, “Wind turbines will actually consume electricity at these temperatures because the turbines use electric heaters in their gearboxes to keep the oil in the housing from freezing. During the 2019 Polar Vortex, wind turbines were consuming 2 MW of electricity. Wind turbines are a liability on the grid when the power is needed most.”

Solar power is even less reliable in severe weather conditions. Snow and ice during frigid temperatures often disable the panels. And when temperatures drop way down at night — when the sun goes down — is when the energy for heat is in highest demand.

Meanwhile, natural gas has had supply problems too. Normally, natural gas is the most reliable of energy sources, but some pipelines are freezing at the very time demand is soaring. According to an analysis by ZeroHedge, the mid-continent gas spot price “exploded from $3.46 one week ago, to $9 on Wednesday, $60.28 on Thursday and an insane $377.13 on Friday, up 32,000 percent in a few days” — something that makes the rise in GameStop stock look like child’s play. As the ZeroHedge article explains, “there simply is nowhere near enough product to satisfy demand at any price, hence the explosive move.”

What we are experiencing is the “perfect storm” disrupting our energy supply and creating an extreme stress test for the power grid that is being pushed to the limits. Yet, there is one source of energy that is, thankfully, keeping us from mass power outages and keeping the lights and the heat on: coal.

Longtime energy expert Terry Jarrett, who has served on the board of the national utility commissioners, explains what is going on: “The Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) — which oversees power transmission in 15 states … is reporting that coal is currently generating more than half of its overall electricity.”

Here are the daily numbers during the big freeze in the 15-state Midwestern region: Coal is producing roughly 41,000 megawatts of electricity; natural gas is providing 22,000 megawatts; wind and solar are roughly 3,000 — or about 4 percent of the power. This points to the foolishness of states requiring 30, 40 or even 50 percent of their power to come from wind and solar. Even with normal weather patterns, when wind and solar are working, coal-fired plants are almost always necessary as a back-up when the wind isn’t blowing or the sun not shining.

We should have learned our energy lessons from Germany. In the early 2000s, the Germans went all in on green energy and largely abandoned fossil fuels. It caused massive price spikes throughout the country, and manufacturing began to leave for nations with much lower power costs. Germany wisely ditched the all-in green energy movement. Now as a polar vortex has hit Europe, the German are getting much of their energy from ... coal.

But the environmental movement is succeeding in moving America in the opposite direction on energy. Imagine for a moment that we had in place today the Biden national goal of near-zero fossil fuel energy in America. Millions of Americans might be facing power outages — no heat, no lights — in the middle of blizzard conditions; power costs would soar.

What is happening today across much of the country should be a wake-up call that safe and reliable “all of the above energy” — including coal — isn’t just a convenience. It’s a matter of life and death.


American K-12 science education gone bad

By David Wojick

I don’t often write an article about someone else’s article but Shepard Barbash’s deeply researched piece “Science betrayed” deserves a wide readership. His subtitle says it all: “The propaganda infecting K–12 science curricula, especially on the environment, won’t go away.”

Barbash first looks at the history, then where we are today. The entrenchment of the great green message really got going in the 60’s and 70’s, to the point where it is now just business as usual in teacher education and the textbooks. No wonder millions are marching.

But now it is getting systematically much worse. The so-called Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) govern over a third of America’s K-12 public school students, with more on the way. State science standards say what will be taught in each grade. The conventional state standards have been relatively neutral when it comes to green propaganda, while the NGSS are full of it. They also don’t care much for scientific knowledge.

The article is full of great quotes. On the history side here is a good one from 1983:

“For the moment at least, ecological doomsayers rule the cultural roost. Fire-and-brimstone logic is combined with fear-and-doomsday psychology in textbooks around the country. [The story] could be retold tens of thousands of times, about children in public and private schools, in high schools and at elementary levels, with conservative and with liberal teachers, in wealthy neighborhoods and in poor. A tidal wave of pessimism has swept across the country, leaving in its wake grief, despair, immobility, and paralysis. . . . Why should our students be misled?“

That “moment” has lasted for almost 30 years and the doomsaying just gets worse with the onset of climate change hysteria.

Here is Barbash’s succinct summary: “This fear has suffused curricula since the 1970s with an ever-growing list of alarms: pesticides, smog, water pollution, forest fires, species extinction, overpopulation, famine, rain forest destruction, natural resource scarcity, ozone depletion, acid rain, and the great absorbing panic of our time: global warming.

These premises inform everything about environmental education: the standards of learning that states impose on school districts; the position statements from the associations of science teachers; the course work and texts in education schools; the training that educators receive throughout their careers; and the textbooks, lesson plans, field trips, and homework assigned in all grades.”

The NGSS really pile on the climate change hysteria. Here is how Barbash explains it:

“The phrase “climate change” appears in the document as a “core idea” for middle and high school. The phenomenon is presented as fact, as are its supposed consequences—loss of biodiversity, species extinction, changing rainfall patterns, disruption of the global food supply, glacial ice loss, and mass migration due to rising sea levels. Nowhere do the standards say that both the nature of the phenomenon and its consequences are matters of pitched debate, or that rival theories to explain climate change exist—put forth not by flat-earthers or disbelieving parsons but by serious scientists.“

In most conventional state standards, climate change is a minor topic taught in the high school Earth Science class, which is an elective that many students do not take. The NGSS make the climate scare a required topic in middle school, when most students are too young to question it. To date 19 states have adopted the alarmist NGSS.

Barbash says the Feds are also very active in pushing green climate propaganda:

“At least 15 federal or federally funded websites offer free teaching materials about climate change and its dangers. The entities include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Energy, and U.S. Global Change Research Program. The sites offer thousands of resources, including lesson plans, games, and videos for all grades. No website funded by government or universities or K–12 education groups is devoted to teaching about the scientific debate.”

How the NGSS teaches science in general also gets a good look:

“The Next Generation Science Standards are so convoluted that it is hard to imagine how they would help anybody teach any science at all, much less a fast-changing, contested science like climatology. Many concepts are too generic. Here’s one for third through fifth grade: “People’s needs and wants change over time, as do their demands for new and improved technologies.” Many performance expectations are unclear. Here’s one for kindergartners: “Analyze data to determine if a design solution works as intended to change the speed or direction of an object with a push or a pull.” What kind of data will a five-year-old analyze? Other standards pack too much science into one statement, often without sufficient instruction from earlier grades. This one for high school would challenge a graduate student: “Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth systems.”“

I too think the NGSS are a big step backward when it comes to teaching science. In many places they replace the detailed scientific knowledge called for in the state standards they replace with hopelessly vague concepts.

Even worse, these vague concepts are embedded in a 3-D matrix. In addition to substituting abstract concepts for scientific knowledge, the NGSS have a three dimensional structure. They do not realize that if each dimension has just 20 concepts there are 8,000 combinations. If 100 concepts each then 1,000,000 combos.

Thus the NGSS are a prescription for confusion. In fact I think they are having trouble with the testing. In the NGSS case there should be national or international test scores becoming available at the state level, so we can see how well or badly the teaching under these strange new standards is doing.

In short the green propaganda in K-12 science education has been a growing problem for decades. But now under the Next Generation Science Standards it is quickly getting a lot worse. There is much more on this green wave in Barbash’s article so I recommend it highly.

American science education is transitioning and not in a good way.


Australia: Liberal party frustrated as National party's energy revolt gains another backer

A Nationals revolt on climate change has gained support from the party’s Senate team in a challenge to Prime Minister Scott Morrison on whether to allow a new $1 billion fund to invest in coal and nuclear power.

Nationals Senate leader Bridget McKenzie is joining the push to amend the government bill to set up the fund, arguing the law should be “technology neutral” rather than limiting options.

The move throws support behind former party leader Barnaby Joyce, who infuriated the Liberals on Tuesday night by preparing an amendment in the lower house to allow the fund to invest in high-efficiency, low-emissions coal-fired power stations.

Senator McKenzie told Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack of her plans on Tuesday night and has support from upper house colleagues including former resources minister Matt Canavan.

The Nationals senators were preparing to make their move on Wednesday to test the government on whether to allow the changes to a bill that has been planned for months, but the divisions forced a delay in the debate.

The government withdrew the bill from debate and is considering whether to bring it to Parliament in weeks or months to come, with some backbenchers speculating it could be delayed until May.

Liberal MPs are privately fuming at the Nationals’ move, arguing federal funds should not be put into new coal-fired power stations, but are avoiding public comment on the grounds a stoush would hurt the government.

Senator McKenzie said the government amendment needed to be changed. “The amendment is too narrowly focused, backing only one energy source for emission reduction,” she said.

Mr Joyce opened the policy dispute by lodging a formal amendment in Parliament to use a $1 billion Grid Reliability Fund, administered by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, to build a coal-fired power station.

Mr Joyce said his bill did not compel the CEFC to fund coal power but removed a restriction which prevented it from backing the energy source. “It’s not an obligation to do so, people can make a choice,” Mr Joyce said of his coal amendment. “But it shouldn’t be ruled out.“

Mr Joyce’s amendment would permit high-efficiency low-emissions coal plant projects to apply to the fund, which he said would boost greenhouse gas reductions. “Our largest sale as a nation is fossil fuels, like it or not, and I can’t see anything to change that,” he said. “The greatest thing we could do for emissions reduction is devise a technology for efficient use of coal.”

The bill the Nationals want to amend was brought to Parliament in August by Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor.

It would enable the CEFC to administer a new Grid Reliability Fund, which he said was needed to develop new energy projects and support reliability in the electricity network.

Mr Taylor told Parliament the bill would “not divert the CEFC’s existing $10 billion allocation” but would create a “trusted counter-party to investments, allowing the CEFC to support private sector involvement” in energy generation.

The CEFC welcomed the proposed changes, saying “critical infrastructure could be funded through the fund to improve the energy grid’s generation capacity and reliability”, and noted gas investments “may be technically eligible for funding” even without changes to legislation.

Labor climate change and energy spokesman Chris Bowen said delaying the bill was a “humiliating backdown” for the Morrison government.

“This now means the government is divided over exactly how many fossil fuel technologies the Clean Energy Finance Corporation should support – just gas, as proposed by Taylor, or gas and coal,” he said.

“The government announced the Grid Reliability Fund 15 months ago. Now, let alone deliver reliable cheap energy for Australians, the government can’t deliver a debate on the fund in the Coalition-controlled House of Representatives.”




Thursday, February 18, 2021

Sea level data confirms climate modeling projections were right

Ya gotta laugh. The journal article is "Reconciling global mean and regional sea level change in projections and observations" by Wang et al.

The key sentence in it is "The central values of the observed GMSL (1993–2018) and regional weighted mean (1970–2018) accelerations are larger than projections for RCP2.6 and lie between (or even above) those for RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 over 2007–2032, but are not yet statistically different from any scenario"

In other words the data is consistent with even extreme scenarios, implying that no specific scenario predicted it. ALL of the projections were "right". That's a remarkably loose definition of "right". As the showman said: "You pays your money and you takes your choice"

Projections of rising sea levels this century are on the money when tested against satellite and tide-gauge observations, scientists find.

Climate model projections of sea-level rises in the early 21st century are in good agreement with sea level data recorded in the corresponding period, a recent analysis has found.

And the scientists who crunched the numbers say the finding does not bode well for sea level impacts over coming decades if greenhouse gas emissions are not reined in.

In an article published recently in Nature Communications, the scientists from Chinese and Australian institutions including UNSW Sydney examined the global and regional sea level projections of two reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) and Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC).

They compared the reports’ projections with the observed global and coastal sea level data gathered from satellites and a network of 177 tide-gauges from the start of the projections in 2007 up to to 2018. The scientists found that the trends of the AR5 and SROCC sea level projections under three different scenarios of greenhouse gas emissions “agree well with satellite and tide-gauge observations over the common period 2007–2018, within the 90 per cent confidence level”.

Study co-author and leading sea-level expert, Professor John Church, says while he thought the projections from modelling would be accurate at the global level, he was pleasantly surprised that they were as accurate at the regional and local level.

“Our analysis implies that the models are close to observations and builds confidence in the current projections for the next several decades,” says Prof. Church, who is part of UNSW’s Climate Change Research Centre.

But he adds a caveat that because the available comparison period is short, at just 11 years, he would be hesitant to extend the same degree of confidence over the longer term – from the end of this century and beyond – where acceleration of ice-sheet contribution to sea-level rise is less understood and could lead to larger rises.

“There remains a potential for larger sea level rises, particularly beyond 2100 for high emission scenarios. Therefore, it is urgent that we still try to meet the commitments of the Paris Agreement by significantly reducing emissions,” Prof. Church says.

The analysis looked at the three different emissions scenarios in the IPCC’s reports that corresponded to three different climate futures depending on what greenhouse gas mitigation strategies were adopted – known as Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) scenarios.

The lowest scenario (RCP2.6) examined is for strong mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, about in line with 2oC of global warming by 2100 but still larger than what is required to meet the Paris Agreement of well below 2oC.

The middle scenario (RCP4.5) requires stabilisation of radiative forcing in the latter half of this century and results in warming well above the Paris Target.

And the highest scenario (RCP8.5) is for large greenhouse gas emissions resulting in ongoing rapid warming and implies a commitment to large sea level rises.

“The analysis of the recent sea level data indicate the world is tracking between RCP4.5 and the worst case scenario of RCP8.5,” Professor Church says.

“If we continue with large ongoing emissions as we are at present, we will commit the world to metres of sea level rise over coming centuries.”

Next the group will attempt to gain a greater understanding of the processes determining regional sea level rise.

Press release from Uni NSW.


Winter Storm Causes Frozen Turbines, Massive Blackouts In Texas

So much for "sustainable" power from windmills. No power at all for many Texans. A coal-fired generator would have none of these problems

A large portion of wind turbines in Texas are frozen due to the historic winter storm conditions in the area.

The freezing wind and ice storms have rendered the turbines inoperable as a contributing source of energy, according to Dallas Morning News. This has led to peak record levels of demand for energy in the state.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has asked residents and businesses to conserve energy and limit their electricity use in order to help lower the stress on the compromised electrical grid.

“We are experiencing record-breaking electric demand due to the extreme cold temperatures that have gripped Texas,” said ERCOT President and CEO Bill Magness in the press release.

“At the same time, we are dealing with higher-than-normal generation outages due to frozen wind turbines and limited natural gas supplies available to generating units. We are asking Texans to take some simple, safe steps to lower their energy use during this time,” Magness continued.

President Biden issued a federal state of emergency for Texas on Sunday at the request of Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Most of the current weather warnings for Texas will stay in place until Tuesday at noon according to

The unusual winter storm has also left millions of Texans without power as of Sunday, with rotating blackouts still ongoing as of Monday morning.

In 2019, wind surpassed coal as an energy source in Texas, ranking just below natural gas, according to CNN. Wind power contributes to 22% of the state’s energy production. Texas continues to lead the nation as the top producer of wind power in the United States.


Expert: Gas Prices Have Surged Since Election, Here's How Much Americans Could Pay Under Biden

Energy industry executives are sounding the alarm on President Joe Biden’s disastrous policies and warning that they will force Americans to pay higher prices for gas and other utilities.

Steven Kopits is a longtime oil industry executive who’s currently the managing director of Princeton Energy Advisors. He’s horrified that since Election Day, gas prices have soared 18 percent, while the price of oil has rocketed almost 50 percent, the Washington Examiner reported Thursday.

Kopits said Biden’s reckless embrace of expensive, ineffective “green-energy” initiatives will hurt all Americans financially and could also damage the president politically.

“Biden has substantial political risk heading in the 2022 midterms,” he told the Examiner.

“He would do well to articulate a more balanced energy package because we may well see gasoline prices above $4 a gallon, and Republicans will not hesitate to finger the moratorium on leasing as the cause,” Kopits said.

Dan Naatz is a senior vice president at the Petroleum Association of America. He said Biden has shown that he doesn’t care about American workers based on his destructive move to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline, resulting in the loss of 11,000 jobs.

“The Biden administration’s plan to obliterate the jobs of American oil and gas explorers and producers has been on clear display with cancellation of the Keystone XL Pipeline, the initial announcement of a 60-day freeze on federal leasing and permitting,” Naatz told the Examiner.

Another industry expert who chose to remain anonymous said Biden’s epic incompetence has dramatically set the country back and made it less competitive on the world stage.

“In four years [under President Donald Trump], we had made the U.S. energy-independent and denied the bad guys the ability to control global oil prices,” he said. “The Democrats undo it in two weeks. Just incredible.”

Last month, Biden came under fire after he halted new drilling permits on federal lands on his second day in office.

In the lead-up to the election, the career politician had flip-flopped on fracking depending on which audience he addressed.

Biden opposed fracking when pandering to the far-left faction of the Democratic Party, which claims fracking is bad for the environment. However, he supported fracking when pandering to moderates.

Once he got installed as president, Biden blocked oil and gas drilling on public lands, freezing such leases for at least 60 days.

Energy experts have repeatedly warned that a ban on fracking would dramatically increase energy costs and decimate millions of jobs.

Last month, Marty Durbin of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Energy Institute issued a statement warning that Biden’s move to “impose an indefinite ban on new energy production on federal lands and waters is bad policy and counterproductive to the goals of supporting the economy and combatting climate change.”

Other GEI executives said banning fracking will erode America’s competitive edge, compromise national security and cause energy prices to soar.

“By 2022, 14.8 million jobs could be lost, gasoline prices and electricity prices could almost double, and each American family could see their cost of living increase by almost $4,000,” the Global Energy Institute warned.

Karen Harbert, a former GEI executive, is the CEO of the American Gas Association. She said a ban on fracking is a dangerous slippery slope on multiple fronts.

“It’s easy for politicians and activists to call for an end to hydraulic fracturing, but now we know what the consequences could be,” Harbert said.

“Without fracking, the U.S. would surrender our status as a global energy superpower. … Beyond that, banning fracking would make America much more reliant on foreign sources of energy, weakening our national security.”

Harbert warned: “Every American family could face higher prices for the energy they consume and the products and services they buy, and almost 15 million Americans could be out of work. These extreme and irresponsible proposals should not be considered.”


A new $20m hydrogen plant in Australia is part of an ambitious green agenda

We read: "LAVO™ is a solar sponge, using patented hydride to store hydrogen in metal alloy to enable the world’s first, long term capture, hydrogen battery within a secure vessel."

From what I can gather this is an extremely inefficient way to store low voltage DC current. Who would want that? It's a clever way to bypass the need for a massive pressure vessel but the "battery" is a massive object too and it would be hard to use the output

An Aussie firm that has pioneered one of the world’s first hydrogen energy storage systems plans to establish a foothold just outside Brisbane.

We learned on Monday that Sydney-based tech outfit LAVO expects to start production next year at a $20 million plant at Springfield.

Work on the facility, which will kick off later this year and create about 200 jobs, is just one part of a larger and highly ambitious green agenda promoted by Springfield City Group co-founder and boss Maha Sinnathamby.

Costing nearly $35,000, LAVO’s batteries are about the size of a big refrigerator, last up to 30 years and can be connected to solar panels, using the power to create hydrogen from water. The company also makes hydrogen-powered household goods.

They are part of a fast-growing global shift to renewable power, with the current $US150 billion a year spent on hydrogen expected to soar to $US2.5 trillion by 2050.

LAVO’s new outpost will be based at Springfield’s 40ha Vicinity business park and help the city achieve the lofty goal of producing more energy than it consumes by 2038.

“LAVO has the first and only commercial-ready hydrogen energy storage system in the world designed for everyday use by residential homes and businesses,’’ Sinnathamby said.

“We will work closely with LAVO to identify co-development opportunities, including the integration of LAVO technology into utility scale solar farms developed in Springfield City.”

Late last year Sinnathamby, in collaboration with French power group ENGIE, vowed to commit $3.1 billion to make Springfield “the world’s greenest city’’.

That means the current population of 46,000—which is expected to triple over the next 20 years—will all get their power from renewable sources and have access to electric vehicle charging stations.

Hydrogen-powered buses will provide public transport, solar panels are set to proliferate and at least a third of the city should remain as green space.

Meanwhile, Sinnathamby is also ramping up pressure on the federal government to help fund a range of initiatives that could create 20,000 jobs and help kickstart the post-COVID recovery.

He lobbied deputy PM Michael McCormack in person late last week for Commonwealth financial backing for at least a dozen shovel-ready projects in a planned new 120ha “knowledge and innovation district’’ expected to pump around $12 billion in to the economy by 2026.

McCormack, the Minister Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, toured Springfield for the first time and pored over a model of the city with Sinnathamby and his colleagues.

Accompanied by Senator Paul Scarr, he also met with a group of two dozen players in the health, education, defence and IT spaces across Queensland.

McCormack seemed pretty impressed with what he called the “national and internationally significant development going on in Greater Springfield’’.