Tuesday, August 31, 2021

What’s the Value of Natural COVID Immunity?

A huge new study offers hope that previous infection is better than vaccination.

A large study in Israel gives some information that most American “experts” and media parrots have been ignoring: The 39 million Americans with recorded cases of COVID (and who knows what the actual number of COVID cases has been) are likely better immunized than the nearly 170 million Americans who are fully vaccinated. Some number of people have had both COVID and the vaccine, and they have greater immunity still.

(It’s important to note that the statistics here don’t disprove the anecdotes we all know. Your mom or your uncle had the shot and still got COVID, or your cousin had COVID twice. Yes, those cases still happen, but the data is what it is.)

“The natural immune protection that develops after a SARS-CoV-2 infection offers considerably more of a shield against the Delta variant of the pandemic coronavirus than two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine,” reports Science magazine. “The newly released data show people who once had a SARS-CoV-2 infection were much less likely than never-infected, vaccinated people to get Delta, develop symptoms from it, or become hospitalized with serious COVID-19.”

Immunologist Michel Nussenzweig expressed the reason that no doubt motivates much of the suppression of this type of information: “What we don’t want people to say is: ‘All right, I should go out and get infected, I should have an infection party.’” Fair enough. It’s not far-fetched to imagine that such a thing is exactly what some folks might do, and COVID does, in fact, still kill people.

A huge caveat is that the Israeli study is observational and not a randomized controlled trial, which would provide a more accurate picture by better isolating variables. The same bias toward observational studies is what has millions of Americans re-saddled with mask mandates, despite the fact that over a dozen randomized control studies show masking is ineffective and possibly counterproductive.

As researcher Jeffrey Anderson explains, “Observational studies are not only of lower quality than RCTs but also are more likely to be politicized, as they can inject the researcher’s judgment more prominently into the inquiry and lend themselves, far more than RCTs, to finding what one wants to find.”

If that’s the case, does the Israeli study matter? Yes, for many reasons. It involved 700,000 people, so it’s statistically significant. It backs up results from 14 other studies, and it comports with what is known about COVID and other viruses in other studies. “For many infectious diseases,” Science magazine says, “naturally acquired immunity is known to be more powerful than vaccine-induced immunity and it often lasts a lifetime.” Ask the CDC if you should receive the chicken pox vaccine if you’ve already had chicken pox. Go ahead — ask.

The Israeli study is also important because so many mandates completely disregard all variables. If you’re human, you must mask up, socially distance, test for COVID, etc. Many companies are requiring vaccines regardless of prior infection. The Pentagon has done likewise, and many schools may be next.

Dr. Anthony Fauci says, “Mandating vaccines for children to appear in school is a good idea.” If the science above is correct, Fauci at least needs to admit the nuance and caveats. He doesn’t, and we suspect it’s because Joe Biden’s dictum is vaccinating every American. Fauci may be a bureaucrat, but he’s also a political animal. That’s why he shrewdly blames criticism of him on the “politicization of what should be a purely public health issue.” Who politicized it, again? Vaccines aren’t the problem; mandates are.

The bottom line is that our COVID policies have generally been a mess. We’ve not done enough to protect the most vulnerable, while at the same time masking and quarantining the most healthy, which has delayed the process of reaching herd immunity. The result is prolonging misery during a never-ending pandemic


The political extremism of the left: a religion

The fact that the left can go too far has become taboo. It is not right-wingers or conservatives that fall afoul of this standard — they are “deplorables” after all. No, it is people in the centre-left who find themselves cancelled for not agreeing with the extremes on their side of the aisle. This is something that even Waleed Ali has noticed.

Winston Marshall — for those not following the story — was the banjo player in the hugely successful band Mumford & Sons who quit the band after receiving backlash from a Tweet endorsing a book.

The book that got him cancelled was Andy Ngo’s investigation into extreme left violence perpetrated by the group ANTIFA. Winston Marshall, in an interview for Unherd, expressed that he had no idea that saying that the journalist was brave — which considering the physical danger he put himself in to document ANTIFA is a well-warranted description — would be so controversial.

He was shocked to find out that acknowledging that the left can go too far is a cancelable offence.

The film Better Left Unsaid directed by and starring Curt Jaimungal and produced by Desh Amila explores political extremism and how the cocktail of ideas held by the modern radical left could go badly wrong.

The Sydney based producer, Desh, is no stranger to controversy. His previous film, Islam and the Future of Tolerance, explores religious extremism. As far as hot button topics go one would think – particularly in the aftermath of Charlie Hebdo, Islam would be it. However, in an interview with Megyn Kelly, Desh reveals that the distribution company that worked with him on his previous film didn’t want to take on this one.

In that interview, they also describe all manner of difficulty getting through the Big Tech gatekeepers that control movie streaming platforms such as Apple TV and YouTube — and is why everyone should view the film directly on the website: https://betterleftunsaidfilm.com

However, unlike Winston, Desh and Curt walked into this knowing their film on political extremism would be controversial.

A taboo often shows more about a society than the people that transverse it — and what an illuminating taboo this is.

Theocratic societies have blasphemy laws to protect the state mythology. Liberal democratic societies historically use social coercion to protect it’s mythology (think historically how acts like burning the flag or defacing monuments would be viewed – compare that to today).

Evolutionary psychologist Gad Saad refers to the set of principles that undergird the modern left as the DIE — diversity, inclusion and equity — religion. One could even go so far as to call it a state religion considering how many government departments in many different countries subject their employees to diversity training or put these up as the organisational values which everyone who works there must hold.

One possible explanation to why pointing out the problems of the extreme left has become taboo is that it shows that taking any one of these DIE values and making it an absolute, the results are not more prosperity and freedom but oppression and want.

The most obvious example of the above is the pursuit of equality at the expense of any other value. That is not to say that equality is not a virtue, but they can never be the only value pursued and definitely not absolute equality. That is exactly what fanaticism looks like. The 1900s is full of examples from Russia to China to Cambodia to Cuba (and many many more) of the pain and suffering that pursuit of radical equity above all else causes.

To point out that the cardinal values that are so foundational to government departments and big corporations are not absolute and can even produce suffering when taken to their logical (though extreme) conclusion is akin to telling a theocratic ruler that their god doesn’t exist – it threatens the entire mythology of institutions.

Those that point out where these values can go too far — particularly those that identify with the left side of politics – are the heretics of our time.

Winston Marshall, Andy Ngo, the Better Left Unsaid crew, and everyone that dares to transgress this new taboo is truly counter-cultural. They are the new punk!


Also see my other blogs. Main ones below:

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com/ (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS


Liability for $Millions in Damages to Noise Nuisance Victims

No one has to suffer endless sleepless nights caused by wind turbines without redress or compensation. It’s the law.

On that score, a group of farmers has turned the tables on the wind farm operator who has been driving them mad since March 2015. Back then, Japan’s Mitsui and Co speared 52, 2 MW Senvion MM92 turbines into Victoria’s Bald Hills generating a cacophony of thumping, grinding soul destroying low-frequency noise.

The farmers surrounding the Bald Hills in Victoria’s Gippsland have been driven mad by wind turbine noise.

But they didn’t take it lying down. Instead, they lawyered up. Engaging the feisty and tenacious Dominica Tannock.

Starting in April 2016, Dominica went after the South Gippsland Shire Council which, under the Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 has responsibility for investigating nuisance complaints and a statutory obligation to remedy all such complaints within its municipal district.

After a series of brilliant tactical victories against the Council, Dominica helped local farmers institute proceedings in the Victorian Supreme Court, based on common law nuisance and seeking substantial damages from the operator, Mitsui.

Initially, the action involved six plaintiffs. Since then, four of them have settled their claims.

STT hears that those who have settled will pocket very substantial settlements from their tormentor (based on other settlements reached with farmers in Victoria, each of them will receive well over $1million).

The remaining plaintiffs are hell-bent on extracting aggravated and exemplary (punitive) damages from the defendant and, given Dominica Tannock’s renowned tenacity, are odds-on to get them.


Climate Regulations Reach Critical Turning Point in Pennsylvania

If an independent panel votes down proposed regulations to limit carbon dioxide emissions in Pennsylvania, state lawmakers will have added leverage to prevent Gov. Tom Wolf from joining a multistate initiative to address climate change.

However, if the panel approves the regulations in a meeting Wednesday, Wolf’s executive agencies likely would gain latitude to move forward with plans to implement cap-and-trade rules in step with 11 other states in New England and the mid-Atlantic that are part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

Either way, September is shaping up to be a critical month for the future of carbon taxes and other anti-carbon measures that have drawn bipartisan opposition in the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

Since the commonwealth is No. 2 only to Texas in oil and gas production, according to government figures, the final decision on the cap-and-trade proposals will have significant ramifications across state lines.

Even if Pennsylvania’s five-member Independent Regulatory Review Commission votes yes on the carbon dioxide regulations, the state’s Office of Attorney General has 30 days to review their legality.

The General Assembly also could adopt a resolution opposing the regulations, despite the commission’s OK. Since legislative committees already have expressed disapproval of Wolf’s climate regulations, such action is likely.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection cannot publish a regulation while the General Assembly considers such a concurrent resolution designed to block it. However, Wolf, a Democrat, could veto the resolution, forcing lawmakers to muster the votes to override.

‘No Legal Authority to Table’

The General Assembly created the Independent Regulatory Review Commission in 1982 to determine whether agencies have the statutory authority to adopt regulations and whether regulations are consistent with legislative intent. The commission evaluates regulatory measures under criteria set forth in the state’s Regulatory Review Act.

“We’re very lucky in Pennsylvania to have such a thorough review process,” David Sumner, the commission’s executive director, said in a phone interview with The Daily Signal.

“There’s an opportunity for public input, there’s an opportunity for legislative input,” Sumner said. “You’ll also be hearing from the agencies. This process gives everyone a say at the end of the day. As a result, most of the regulations we see are changed, and we believe improved, from the time they are proposed to the time they are implemented.”

Sumner said he expects a full house Wednesday for the meeting in Harrisburg, where advocates and opponents will have their say. The commission previously recommended that the 20-member Environmental Quality Board delay implementing the carbon dioxide regulations by one year in response to lawmakers’ concerns about the legality of executive action under the state’s Air Pollution Control Act and the potential economic costs to Pennsylvania.

In July, however, the Environmental Quality Board, charged with adopting the Department of Environmental Protection’s regulations, voted in favor of rulemaking to implement a cap-and-trade program.

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, widely known as RGGI, currently includes Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia.

Government regulators in those 11 states compel electric utilities to purchase carbon allowances at quarterly auctions whenever the utilities surpass the cap on carbon dioxide emissions established by the multistate agreement.

Sumner said he expects the commission to take decisive action at the conclusion of the meeting. Four of the five commissioners are appointed by the Legislature and one by the governor.

“We have no legal authority to table anything,” Sumner said of the commission, adding:

If it’s on the agenda, we will vote, and RGGI is on the agenda. If there’s an approval, we’ll deliver an approval order to the [state Environmental Protection Department] and to the General Assembly, and it’s then in the hands of the General Assembly. If the commissioners vote to disapprove, they will likely explain why at the meeting and we will issue a formal order explaining why it was disapproved during the meeting.


Green hydrogen could be the fuel of the future. Here's why it's not yet a silver bullet

One potential form of clean energy is green hydrogen -- which can be derived from sources like water, rather than fossil fuels, and is produced with renewable energy. It can be used to power heavy industry and fuel large vehicles, like planes and ships.

Facilities to produce this cleaner form of the gas have popped up across the globe -- in the United States, western Europe, China, Australia, Chile and South Africa, among other countries. The burgeoning global green hydrogen market is projected to be worth $11 trillion by 2050, by Goldman Sachs' estimates.

But critics of green hydrogen say using solar or wind energy to produce another fuel right now is a waste of precious renewables, as the world struggles to transition away from fossil fuels. At the same time, plans to use blue hydrogen -- which is produced using fossil fuels -- are coming under increasing scrutiny.

Why do we need green hydrogen?

A big part of the shift away from fossil fuel involves electrifying some of the everyday machines we use that are powered by oil and gas -- cars and local transport, and heating for homes in some countries, for example. For those already electrified, like computers and home appliances, electricity from nuclear and renewables like wind and solar are replacing coal.
But there are some industries that require so much energy that traditional renewables can't meet their demand. That's a problem, because those industries are among the top emitters of greenhouse gas.

This is where experts say green hydrogen has huge potential.
"Electricity from sources such as wind, solar and nuclear is essential for decarbonising our energy system -- but it cannot do it alone, and long-distance transport and heavy industries are home to the hardest emissions to reduce," said Uwe Remme, an energy analyst at the International Energy Agency.

"Hydrogen is versatile enough to fill some of these critical gaps -- in providing vital feedstocks for the chemicals and steel industries or crucial ingredients for low-carbon fuels for planes and ships," Remme said.

Operating a plane or a large ship, for instance, requires so much energy that any battery used to store electricity from solar or wind would likely be too large and heavy for the vessel. Green hydrogen, on the other hand, can come in liquid form and is lighter. According to Airbus, which is developing a zero-emissions commercial aircraft, the energy density of green hydrogen is three times higher than jet fuels we use today.

While liquid green hydrogen would emit zero carbon, it has some limitations. When burned in the open atmosphere it releases a small amount of nitrous oxide, which is a potent greenhouse gas. If the hydrogen is fed through a fuel cell, however, it will only emit water and warm air.

Some small planes have managed to fly with hydrogen-fed fuel cells, though the technology hasn't yet been scaled up commercially.


Paris cuts speed limit to 30km/h to encourage walking and cycling

There’s no more zipping past the Eiffel Tower or through the Latin Quarter without slowing down to soak in the sights: the speed limit across nearly all of Paris was on Monday cut to 30km/h.

The city wants to encourage walking, cycling and use of public transport, deputy mayor David Belliard told local media.

The new speed limit should help reduce pollution, noise and the number of serious accidents, he said.

“This is not an anti-car measure,” Belliard said. “We want to limit [vehicles] to essential travel.”

It’s the latest initiative by a city trying to burnish its climate credentials and transform people’s relationship with cars.

City officials say it’s also aimed at cutting pollution, reducing accidents and making Paris more pedestrian-friendly.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, who won a second six-year term in 2020, has built kilometres of new bike lanes, banned old diesel cars and made the Seine riverbanks car free. She is also reducing parking space in the city in a bid to limit car use.

City hall has said police will be lenient in applying the new speed limit in the first weeks.

Even so, car owners and commuters are fuming. Delivery drivers say it will create longer waiting times for customers. Taxi drivers say it will drive up rates and hurt business.

“So if I drive at 30km/h, the client starts complaining. If I drive at 50km/h, I get arrested by the police. So I don’t know what to do,” said Karim Macksene, seated in his cab outside the iconic Cafe de Flore on the Left Bank. “People take a cab because they’re in a hurry. At 30km/h, they might as well walk.”

However, polls suggest most Parisians support the idea, notably in the hope that it makes the streets safer and quieter.

Already, cyclists often move faster than cars in the densely populated French capital. Only action stars like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible can realistically pick up speed on winding, medieval Parisian streets that are barely more than one car wide.

The 30km/h limit already applied to about 60 per cent of the Paris area, but it will now cover the entire city. However, a few major thoroughfares such as the Champs-Elysees will be exempt, with the speed limit remaining at 50km/h.

Other French cities with a 30km/h speed limit include Bordeaux, Strasbourg and Toulouse.

Elsewhere in Europe, Brussels imposed a 30km/h limit on much of the city earlier this year and about 80 per cent of Berlin’s streets have the same rule.

Madrid has had speed curbs on most of the city centre since 2018, with a nationwide rule in Spain this year putting a 30km/h limit on all one-way urban roads, a measure aimed at reducing air and noise pollution and increasing traffic safety.

Residential neighbourhoods in Amsterdam, including its famous canal neighbourhoods, cap speeds at 30km/h, and the city is proposing to expand that to larger roads.


My other blogs. Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM )

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)


Monday, August 30, 2021

The World’s Climate Is Changing, so What Should We Do?

Earlier this month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a report (AR6—the Sixth Assessment Report) that human-caused climate change is accelerating and that radical changes to human behavior are needed to avert disaster. U.N. Secretary General António Guterres said of the report that “alarm bells are deafening” and the situation is “code red for humanity.”

I hesitate to respond to U.N. statements about climate change because it’s so predictably alarmist. The “debate” between alarmists and skeptics reminds one of a shouting match between two kids: “’Tis so!” “’Tis not!” But as I wrote just a few months ago, we can’t afford to let error triumph through the technique of persistent repetition.

To anyone relatively new to this issue, there are many important truths to understand. Following are just a few:

Yes, the climate is changing. It always has and always will.

Yes, Earth is a degree or so Celsius (C) warmer now than in the mid-1800s. This is not, by the way, the hottest the world has gotten “in over 100,000 years,” as reports about AR6 claim. On the contrary, according to the Greenland ice core records and other proxies, today still isn’t as warm as the Medieval Warm period 8 to 10 centuries ago, which in turn is another degree C less than the Roman Warm Period two millennia ago, which in turn is another 1.5 degrees C cooler than the Minoan Warm Period between three and four millennia ago. The salient point here is that we should be delighted about the warming since the 1800s, because that is when Earth emerged from the harsh Little Ice Age. Today’s moderately warmer climate has led to longer growing seasons and greater agricultural productivity.

Yes, carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere has increased significantly, and, yes, the human use of burning fossil fuels has augmented the increase from ~290 ppm in the 19th century to 415 ppm today.

And contrary to claims by Guterres that deforestation is a growing problem, the CO2 enrichment of Earth’s atmosphere in recent decades has led to a planetary greening—a net addition of areas covered by vegetation that is over twice as large as Australia.

It is also important to realize that the IPCC is a political, not a scientific body (hence its name, the Intergovernmental Panel …). The political powers behind the IPCC have explicitly stated that their main goal is to transform the global economy. We should also realize that the charter that governs the IPCC explicitly grants discretionary power to the political overseers of the project to modify statements made by scientists to fit the desired political narrative and agenda. What we desperately need—especially in light of the broken peer review process (one Nobel Prize winner calls it “very distorted” and “completely corrupt,” with some asserting that published scientific research is “untrustworthy”; then there’s the corrupting influence of government money) is a separation of science and state.

With all that having been said, let us acknowledge two sobering realities: One, the climate will continue to change. Whether the temperature will be warmer or cooler in coming centuries, I don’t know and neither do the world’s climate scientists, but it definitely will change. Two, extreme weather events will continue to batter humanity periodically regardless of what the overall climate is.

So, what should we (the human race) do about climate change?

The IPCC, U.N., and progressive politicians want us to try to limit how much Earth warms by limiting human emissions of CO2. There’s a fundamental problem with this approach: We don’t know nearly enough about what causes climate change to even dream about controlling it.

The U.N. bases its recommendations on scenarios produced by computerized climate models. But the various models they use disagree with each other, and not one of them has yet come close to explaining recent past temperatures, so how could they predict future temperatures?

Also consider that by one count there have been as many as 25 occurrences of sudden global warming in the last 120,000 years, with up to 15 degrees C warming over a period of decades. Nobody knows why, but we can say definitively that those sudden changes happened with zero contribution from human fossil fuel consumption. Basically, Mother Earth is going to do what it does, and we don’t have much of a say about that.

So, here we are, flying blind, with politicians urging us to retool our lifestyles and to spend hundreds of trillions—over $100 trillion just by 2050 to shift to non-CO2 energy sources and over $500 trillion to extract CO2 from the air—to maybe shave a few-tenths of a degree off world temperatures.

Let me propose an alternate course of action. My approach might be called “environmentalism as if people matter.” Here, the news is good, even great: Over the past century, climate-related deaths have been falling in spite of a significant increase in the world’s population. Check out this graphic from Bjorn Lomborg.

The reason for the decline in fatalities is a combination of better technology and more durable structures, both powered by increased prosperity. Instead of bleeding hundreds of trillions of dollars out of the economy in a quixotic attempt to regulate CO2, let the people keep that wealth and use part of it for greater safety.

Rather than spend hundreds of trillions of dollars in a vain attempt to regulate the climate, let’s spend some trillions over the coming decades to achieve some environmental goals that are actually attainable. Again, with “environmentalism as if people mattered” being the priority, it makes sense for us to take better care of the world’s water. Specifically, we should make serious investments in cleaning up and protecting the oceans, and also take major steps to ensure that the world’s people have enough fresh water for our growing needs.

In short, there is no reason (certainly no climate-related reason) to restructure the global economy according to some socialistic plan. As rational beings, we need to recognize the various weather-related threats that exist and to wisely prioritize which threats to combat. Addressing the world’s water-related needs is both more affordable and more achievable than some pie-in-the-sky plan to try to control Earth’s unruly, unpredictable climate.


Rising electricity demand is keeping coal alive

As people ventured out from their pandemic cocoons this year, they gobbled up more electricity than they did before COVID-19 shut the world down. But there still isn’t enough clean energy to meet rising demand, so coal is making a comeback. Global electricity demand climbed 5 percent above pre-pandemic levels in the first six months of 2021, according to an analysis published today by London think tank Ember. Electricity grids turned to more coal to meet that demand, and power sector carbon pollution rose 5 percent compared to the first half of 2019.

“Catapulting emissions in 2021 should send alarm bells across the world. We are not building back better, we are building back badly,” Dave Jones, global program lead at Ember, said in a statement today. “The electricity transition is happening but with little urgency: emissions are going in the wrong direction.”

China drove 90 percent of the rise in electricity demand and most of the uptick in coal. While China is already the biggest carbon emitter in the world, that’s been mitigated by the fact that its per capita emissions are less than half that of the US, which is currently the second biggest climate polluter. But China’s per capita electricity demand is also rising rapidly, Ember’s report shows. That highlights how important it will be for the planet for China to get its emissions in check.

None of the 63 countries Ember analyzed, which account for 87 percent of the global electricity production, saw a “green recovery” in the first half of 2021. Ember’s criteria for “green recovery” included lower power sector emissions and higher electricity demand, a sign that more electricity was being generated by clean energy sources like solar and wind. Some countries like the US had slightly cleaner power sectors compared to 2019 as electricity demand stayed relatively flat, but their emissions are expected to rise again with demand.

Renewable energy did have a growth spurt in the early part of 2021. Together, wind and solar generated more than a tenth of the world’s electricity — doubling their share in 2015 and surpassing nuclear power plants for the first time this year. But solar panels and wind turbines were still only able to meet 57 percent of the rise in electricity demand, leaving coal — the dirtiest-burning fossil fuel — to provide the rest.

A clean power sector is one of the most crucial steps to achieving global climate goals. Countries are working together under the framework of the Paris climate agreement to limit global warming to about 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial temperatures, which could significantly limit the damage we’re already beginning to see as a result of climate change.

Planet-heating carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector need to fall by 57 percent this decade to meet that goal, regardless of a rise in electricity demand, according to a recent analysis by the International Energy Agency. Much of that reduction could come from completely cutting out coal — but the Ember analysis shows that the opposite is happening.

In the future, clean power grids could also translate to clean transportation, housing, and building sectors. All-electric vehicles, homes, and buildings are one way city planners and policymakers have sought to bring down greenhouse gas emissions. But the power sector has a long way to go to provide them all with carbon pollution-free energy.

During the height of the pandemic last year, carbon dioxide emissions fell across the board for electricity, transportation, and other energy-hungry industries. That clearly hasn’t been enough to stave off climate change-fueled disasters like worsening droughts, explosive wildfires, record-smashing heatwaves, and severe storms. Moving forward, CO2 cuts will have to come from intentional changes to how the world does business — not because a pandemic put things on pause.


The harrowing story of the world’s first CO2 pipeline explosion

The H2S was probably added to give a warning smell during any leak

Last year, a pipeline carrying compressed carbon dioxide mixed with hydrogen sulfide ruptured, engulfing the small town of Satartia, Mississippi, in a green haze, leaving many residents convulsing, confused, or unconscious. That explosion serves as a vivid warning about the risks posed by what could be the next generation of pipelines to crisscross the US, in a new investigation by HuffPost and the Climate Investigations Center.

“It was almost like something you’d see in a zombie movie,” Sheriff’s Officer Terry Gann tells journalist Dan Zegart about what happened that night. Zegart pieces together the events of February 2020 through harrowing 911 calls and the voices of family members racing to reach others before the toxic haze could overcome them.

CO2 is the most high-profile greenhouse gas driving the global climate crisis. To keep CO2 from doing its damage in the atmosphere, some lawmakers and big green groups are pushing for new technology to capture carbon dioxide from the air or from smokestack emissions. That captured carbon dioxide would ultimately need to be transported to places where it can be stored underground. It’s an idea that’s gained so much steam recently that the bipartisan infrastructure package making its way through Congress includes billions of dollars to develop the technology and the network of pipelines that would come with it.

Fossil fuel companies are also big backers of carbon capture technologies, selling it as a way for them to clean up their emissions while still selling oil and gas products responsible for climate change. They already move and use concentrated CO2 in a process called enhanced oil recovery: they shoot CO2 into the ground to help them extract more from their wells. The Denbury pipeline that exploded was transporting CO2 for that purpose.

Despite the growing support for carbon capture, there’s not a lot of information out there for the public about what this proposed new infrastructure could mean for communities like Satartia. None of the residents Zegart spoke to had heard about plans to build more CO2 pipelines across the country — even as officials eye the Gulf region as a potential hub for carbon capture in the US.

CO2 might sound harmless — it’s in the air we breathe, after all — but at high concentrations, it’s an asphyxiant. Did you know that CO2 accidents kill around 100 workers globally each year? I did not, and I report on this kind of stuff for a living. What happened in Satartia is the world’s first known example of mass outdoor exposure to piped CO2, according to the World Health Organization’s Climate Change and Environmental Determinants of Health Unit. It might not be its last.


Asia’s fossil fuel plans oblivious to UN’s climate scare

Asian demand for fossil fuels is unlikely to be deterred by the United Nations’ Aug. 9 fearmongering climate report.

Asian countries like India and China are increasing their production and consumption of fossil fuels. India — one of the largest energy consumers — is not only a big importer of fossil fuel but is also a key investor in oil exploration projects in other countries. This aggressive development of oil, gas, and coal stands in stark contrast to the mainstream media’s narrative of a so-called green revolution.

The media and many political leaders consider the reports of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to be the definitive authority on climate and its impact on society. The reports usually contain a summary that serves as a guide for policymakers who influence energy development across the world.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the latest report a “code red for humanity“. NPR’s headlines read, “Major Report Warns Climate Change Is Accelerating And Humans Must Cut Emissions Now”. NPR also quoted a report author who warned, “Unless there are immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions of all greenhouse gases, limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees will be beyond reach.” Most climate policy recommendations prescribe reduction of CO2 emissions.

Though the world’s nations have agreed to cut down on emissions, their commitments on quantity and time frame vary. India and China have espoused a twin investment strategy that includes the development of both fossil fuels and renewable energy resources.

India, though with a population similar to China’s, is far behind China on the economic ladder. The subcontinent has made clear that it won’t be adopting policies adversely affecting domestic energy programs and continues to accelerate the expansion of its fossil fuel sector.

As the U.N. works to impose its vision of a carbon-free economy on the world, India is expanding its carbon footprint in new territories. The country is in talks with Russia to invest $3 billion USD in Russian oil and gas assets. While Russia has offered a number of oil fields to India, the latter is particularly keen on investing in the Vostok Oil project in the Arctic, which is expected to have annual crude production of about 100 million tons.

Indian public sector oil and gas companies like Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation and Oil India Limited are among the biggest investors in Africa’s oil sector. The Indian government’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has invested billions of dollars in Africa.

ONGC has “35 oil and gas assets in 15 countries.” Producing 15 million metric tonnes of oil equivalent in 2019-20 from these countries, ONGC provided more than 50 percent of India’s foreign oil production. ONGC’s African investment was originally set at around $16 Billion USD and is likely to grow as domestic demand increases.

India also relies heavily on oil imports from Iraq, U.S., and Africa. India’s oil imports were at a three-year high last year with December 2020 registering imports of 5 million barrels a day. Despite the Net Zero noises in the U.S., it is a global leader in oil exports, and India is the fourth largest importer of U.S. crude. India could very well move higher up the rank as the first quarter of 2021 witnessed a historic increase in U.S. product.

The International Energy Agency says, “India will make up the biggest global share of energy demand growth from now until 2040” — well ahead of China. Industry experts believe that oil from the Middle East will meet a major proportion of this energy demand.

In order to reduce its dependency on imports (85 percent of Indian oil demand is supplied from abroad), India is expanding its domestic production fields. More than 20 new oil fields are up for grabs and investors are likely to pour in around $400 million USD during the ongoing Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP) Bids.

These recent investments were made despite India’s being a part of the Paris agreement. With such aggressive plans in place to meet oil demand, India’s commitment to produce more will not be deterred by “code red” declarations. The situation is unlikely to change in the next 10 years.


My other blogs. Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM )

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)


Sunday, August 29, 2021

Global Coffee Supply Dealt Fresh Blow by Vietnam’s Virus Curbs

Every year or so we have a panic about coffee shortages, but coffee is very widely grown so there is never any overall shortage -- as with most commodities exposed to world markets

World coffee supplies are suffering a fresh setback from stringent travel curbs imposed in second-biggest grower Vietnam to control the worsening spread of the infectious delta variant of the coronavirus.

The government is keeping the city of Ho Chi Minh, the exporting hub, under lockdown because of a surge in virus infections, and has tight movement controls in place in some key producing areas of the Central Highlands.

Exporters are struggling to transport beans to the ports for shipment, according to traders and suppliers. That’s adding to a raft of other logistical problems such as a dire shortage of containers and soaring freight rates.

Trade groups, including the Vietnam Coffee-Cocoa Association, have petitioned the government to ease the curbs, which they say cause delays, raise costs and put shippers at risk of having to compensate buyers for late delivery.

In response, Transport Minister Nguyen Van The this week ordered authorities in the south of the country to do everything possible to facilitate the transport of farm products, such as coffee and rice. He told local governments they must avoid all unnecessary requirements and burdensome paperwork.

Global coffee prices have been on a tear amid mounting threats to supplies from South America to Asia. Drought and frost ravaged crops this year in top grower Brazil, which produces the premium arabica variety, adding to the widespread logistics issues in Vietnam and Indonesia.

While some roasters decided to switch to cheaper supplies of robusta beans from Vietnam after the frost destroyed production in Brazil, soaring prices and shipment woes now make that option far less appealing.


UK: Boris Johnson’s wind delusion poses national security risk

The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF) today urged Boris Johnson to respond firmly to China’s increasingly threatening geopolitical power shift by accepting that the government’s prioritisation of wind and solar energy is now standing in the way of an effective and affordable energy system based on natural gas and Small Modular Reactors (SMRs).

Without moving towards a thermodynamically competent and thus affordable generation of both heat and electricity, the United Kingdom, and the West more generally, will rapidly concede global economic leadership and political dominance to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

This is no mere theoretical speculation. In the last few days, the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) has commenced construction of the first Small Modular Reactor (SMR), based on China’s own ACP100 (Linglong One) Pressurised Water Reactor (PWR) design, and with a capacity 125 MW.

Reports predict a 95% load factor, and an annual output of 1,000,000 MWh of electrical energy.

China has some 19 other nuclear power stations under construction.

In spite of some encouragement in recent announcements (“Government progresses demonstration of next generation nuclear reactor”), there are concerning signs that Mr Johnson’s government does not fully appreciate either the potential or the urgency of ensuring that SMRs are deployed more rapidly to prevent China from dominating the global market for nuclear generation, as well as reaping the rewards of the cheap energy it will provide to industry.

Global electricity demand will more than double by 2050, with this growth almost entirely in developing and emerging markets. The global market for nuclear power could triple by 2050, but as Britain and the US go green they are fast losing the race for the nuclear power market to China and Russia. Source: Third Way – Mapping the global market for advanced nuclear

For example, the government’s Hydrogen Strategy published earlier this week acknowledges the potential for the use of nuclear power for high temperature electrolysis and the probably superior thermochemical routes to the production of hydrogen. However, it simultaneously proposes the creation of an elaborate subsidy mechanism, based on the Contracts for Difference scheme, to support high cost renewable methods producing so called “Green” Hydrogen.

This would in effect provide yet more non-market support for the wind industry, a sector that already costs UK consumers about £6.1 billion a year in subsidy (£1.7 billion to onshore wind; £4.4 billion a year to offshore).

Government has not yet decided on the details of the subsidy scheme, but it seems likely that it will be funded from a levy on natural gas consumption, presenting yet another regressive burden on British households.

The creation of further subsidies in the energy sector is not only undesirable, but also needless. Small Modular Reactor (SMR) designs actually available for construction today have the potential to deliver both warm electrolysis and the very high temperatures needed for the thermal decomposition of water.

Both routes would produce low cost and genuinely subsidy-free hydrogen for use in decarbonised transport and heat, not least industrial process heat where low-cost energy is critical to retaining and expanding industrial manufacturing in the United Kingdom in the face of intense and strategically motivated competition from Chinese firms.

In order for the UK economy to remain competitive and to head off China’s bid for nuclear energy dominance, radical reform of the UK Govt’s unsustainable and self-defeating green energy priority is urgently required.


Another Peak Demand Hour and Wind is Missing

As we have come to expect in Ontario, “peak demand” generally occurs on hot summer days and the hour ending at hour 17 on August 20th was the most recent occurrence coming in at # 8 of “peak demand hours” so far this year.

Demand at the above hour reached 21,569 MW and the bulk of that needed demand was supplied by Nuclear, Hydro and Natural Gas generators. At that hour gas plants supplied 25.9% (5,587 MW) of demand while wind generators managed to produce only 0.45% (98 MW) of demand and the bulk (53 MW) of that came from the Greenwich Renewable Energy Project a 99 MW station located Northeast of Thunder Bay so none of their generation was useful in the well populated areas of the province. The other 40 plus wind turbine generating stations scattered throughout the province produced only 45 MW which probably didn’t even cover their consumption during that hour.

The foregoing fact is something you will not hear from the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) whose push is to close out gas plants. The OCAA’s push to close gas plants has reputedly been endorsed by 30 Ontario Municipalities representing over 50% of the province’s population.

In an effort to push the alarm button further the OCAA has called for all their followers to: “Please contact Ontario’s new Minister of Energy, Todd Smith, and ask him to direct the IESO to develop and implement a plan to achieve a complete phase-out of our gas-fired power plants by 2030.”

What Jack Gibbons the Chair and CEO of OCAA doesn’t seem to understand is that the events of hour 17 are frequent during the very hot days of summer and the very cold days during the winter. If Minister of Energy, Todd Smith, followed through with the OCAA’s recommendations Ontario’s ratepayers would be faced with numerous brownouts and even full blackouts during the dead of winter and the heat of summer.

I would suggest the ratepayers of Ontario should write a letter to the councils of the 30 municipalities informing them of the above facts and recommending they rescind their endorsement to shut down Ontario’s gas plants by 2030 as proposed by the OCAA.


The Left’s Long March Tramples Rotary

I guess it had to happen – the green/left has now captured Rotary International, headquarters for 1.2 million members of 35,000 clubs. Rotary leaders and activists have side-stepped Rotary’s constitutional ban on engaging in politics, and swung Rotary against fossil fuels and cheap coal and gas-fired electricity.

Rotary’s switch illustrates Quadrant’s John O’Sullivan’s First Law that “All organizations that are not actually right-wing will over time become left-wing.”[i]

From last month, and for the first time, Rotary Foundation’s $US1.1 billion fund began accepting applications from clubs for international climate projects. These are premised on “climate change and climate disruption” and can include renewables for villages, support for communities hurt by alleged global-warming-influenced droughts, storms and floods and promoting “community-based advocacy initiatives” for the environment.

Rotary’s creators were determined it should and must stay out of politics. The Standard Constitution , proving as effective as wet Kleenex, says clubs

* shall not “express an opinion on any pending controversial public measure” (Article 14/1)

* “shall neither adopt nor circulate resolutions or opinions and shall not take action dealing with world affairs or international policies of a political nature.” (Section 3,1a: “Non-Political”).

* “shall not direct appeals to clubs, peoples, or governments, or circulate letters, speeches, or proposed plans for the solution of specific international problems of a political nature.” (Section 3, 1b). (My emphases).

The paradox is that Rotary International would inflict added harm on close to a billion Third- and Fourth Worlders with higher costs for fossil fuels.[ii] These mainly-African unfortunates toil without electricity and mechanisation. The Rotary activists accuse their defeated conservative opponents of being “politicizers” for resisting green/Left illusions about climate “disruption”. It’s as if they themselves are non-partisans innocently seeking overthrow of centuries of capitalist progress. The activists are literally rejoicing at Rotary International’s “glorious announcement”. They cite Mexican Rotarian Salvador Rico:

I am in tears of joy, gratitude, and full of hope! I know that we are going to save the planet, all living beings, and all of humanity!

Things aren’t actually so rosy at the Rotary fund:

Foundation Funding Crisis: For the second time in two years the World Fund is likely to run out of money to provide matching dollars to Global Grant applications. Last year the funds ran out in May but this year the outlook is more dire … To compound the problem there will be a big waiting list of projects for the new area of focus supporting the environment.”

Meanwhile outdoors, there’s another temperature pause under way (no global warming for seven years). “Science” journal conceded last month that the climate models exaggerate actual and forecast warming, the UN’s 26th annual gab-fest in Glasgow is unravelling like all its 25 predecessors, and Chinese and Indian coal power is swamping everything the West does on renewables.

Climate aside, Rotary’s actual emergency is that membership has stalled at 1.2m for 20 years, diminishing its community presence. Fortunately the 35,000 Rotary clubs operate almost independently. A club can plug on with its art shows and sausage sizzles, and spend the money on whatever good works it prefers. The problem is that Rotary’s official tone has changed, and the activists will now widen their political breach.

The shift to “progressive” is already under way. Rotary’s big conference last June was “inspired” by speaker Ms Vanessa Nakate from Uganda, young, black, female and a climate-doom fanatic on the junket circuit.

In Uganda, however, there are priorities other than 1degC century’s warming. Only 10 per cent of peasants have mains electricity while girls are openly sold for the sex trade. Ms Nakate presumably opposes her desperate country’s $US16 billion development of its proven oil and gas reserves. She likes COVID lockdowns for a “complete turnaround” in climate lifestyles even as lockdowns worsen starvation in Kampala slums.

Ms Nakate is a revolutionary leftist on the governing council of Progressive International. Its manifesto includes:

We are workers, peasants, and peoples of the world rising up against the reactionary forces of authoritarian oligarchy … Our aim is to break with the patriarchy while disrupting the binary structure of gender on which it relies … Fossil fuel industries are driving us into climate catastrophe … Capitalism Is the Virus. We aspire to eradicate capitalism everywhere.

Likewise, Rotary is now striving to align its goals with the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030. UN bun-fights among 120 NGOs in 2015 whittled 1400 proposed goals down to 17 feel-goods plus 169 targets. Denmark’s Bjorn Lomborg has eviscerated the SDG follies.

The Rotary Action Group, with its 1300 members in 70-80 countries,[iii] wants connections with the UN Environment Program (UNEP), a body founded by the UN’s Maurice Strong, who was caught red-handed in 2005 over an illicit South Korean cheque for $US998,885.

Australians helped push Rotary’s switch to woke. President (2017-18) Ian Riseley, who chaired the Environmental Issues task force, hails from Sandringham, Melbourne. Dr Chris Puttock, chair of the Action Group, is Maryland-based but worked for 35 years in Australia. Melbourne PhD candidate (RMIT) Patricia Armstrong is chair-elect.

Rotary leaders and activists alike have relied on long-debunked tales of starving polar bears, drowning coral islands, and millions of imaginary climate refugees.[iv] The Rotary Environmental Action Group founder/leader Karen Kendrick-Hands of Wisconsin is still pushing the melting-Himalayan-glacier errors from the IPCC 2007 report. Publishing that alarmist nonsense almost got IPCC chair Rajendra Pachauri fired and forced a corrective audit of IPCC processes.

The 2018-19 president Barry Rassin’s oft-repeats claim that the Bahamas will be under water in 50 years from the two metres of rising seas by 2100. The IPCC models’ likely range is actually 0.26 to 0.82 m by 2081-2100.

Action Group’s leader Dr Chris Puttock led off a major presentation in June with someone’s pic of three fat polar bears on a beach. As a polar bear whisperer, he explained,

These three polar bears look as though they’re asking someone for ice, perhaps. The ice is disappearing for these polar bears and it is not there for them. This is something humans are doing to the world to endanger these species.

In the real world Polar bears are thriving and any ice loss is no bother to their hunting. The rest of his talk was equally misguided.


My other blogs. Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM )

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)


Saturday, August 28, 2021

China set to begin first trials of molten salt nuclear reactor using thorium instead of uranium

Scientists in China are about to turn on for the first time an experimental reactor that's believed by some to be the Holy Grail of nuclear energy — safer, cheaper and with less potential for weaponisation.

Construction on the thorium-based molten salt reactor was expected to be finished this month with the first tests to begin as early as September, according to a statement from the Gansu provincial government.

Thorium is a metallic element with radioactive properties, close to uranium on the periodic table, which was considered as an alternative fuel source when the US was first developing nuclear energy technology in the 1940s.

The Americans even developed an experimental thorium-based molten salt nuclear reactor at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, but the US shut it down and abandoned thorium in favour of uranium in the early 1970s.

The new reactor, built at Wuwei on the edge of the Gobi Desert in northern China, is an experimental prototype designed to have an output of just 2 megawatts.

According to a paper published in the Chinese scientific journal Nuclear Techniques by the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, the longer-term plan is to develop a series of small molten salt reactors each producing 100 megawatts of energy, enough for about 100,000 people.

Molten salt plants don't use water for cooling like traditional nuclear power plants and so can be built in desert areas, the paper says, such as China's sparsely populated western regions.

The first commercial plants using the new technology are reportedly planned to come online in 2030.

President Xi Jinping has pledged to make China carbon neutral by 2060.

Nigel Marks, an associate professor of physics at Curtin University, said China pushing ahead with thorium as a nuclear fuel was an exciting development. "They've effectively reactivated a research program that the US mothballed back in the 60s," Dr Marks said. "Who knows, maybe in a different climate with some different economics they could make it work."

Thorium — named after Thor, the Norse god of thunder — has a few key advantages over uranium. The radioactive waste from thorium only needs to be stored for about 500 years, compared to several thousand for uranium.

It's also much more difficult and time consuming to make weapons-grade uranium out of thorium.

Some thorium advocates have even speculated that the US only went with uranium rather than thorium because it was more useful to make nuclear weapons.

However, Dr Marks said this was "all bollocks". "The main reason that uranium has been used since the first reactor back in the early 40s is just because everything works so easily for uranium," he said. "There's only one element that can naturally produce a fission reaction out of the box, and that's uranium.

"Thorium, in principle, you can release the energy but it's nowhere near as easy as it is with uranium."

For example, thorium is fertile rather than fissile, which means it needs another nuclear technology, typically a uranium reactor, to kick start the thorium chain, he said.

"Chemically it's a very different element," he said. "So things that just happen to be simple for uranium, just happen to be complicated for thorium."

India, which was unable to access uranium for nuclear power plants until 2008, had been trying for decades to develop thorium power but never got it to work, he said.

He said the main thing holding back thorium as a potential fuel source was the expense and risk of developing a new technology that may not ultimately work or be cost-effective.

Dr Marks said the same molten salt technology could just as easily be used with uranium as thorium. Using molten salt instead of water means a reactor can't melt down in the same way as traditional water-cooled reactors.

Molten salt reactors are also potentially cheaper because they don't need to be pressurised to keep the coolant water from turning into steam.

Dr Marks said China's approach was not to "keep all their eggs in one basket". "They've got a couple of different technologies, and there's loads of different reactor designs they're pursuing across their whole nuclear sector," he said.

"So they're giving it a good shot, and I'm really interested to see what happens."


The hockeystick is back

Although climate scientists keep telling that defects in their “hockey stick” proxy reconstructions don’t matter – that it doesn’t matter whether they use data upside down, that it doesn’t matter if they cherry pick individual series depending on whether they go up in the 20th century, that it doesn’t matter if they discard series that don’t go the “right” way (“hide the decline”), that it doesn’t matter if they used contaminated data or stripbark bristlecones, that such errors don’t matter because the hockey stick itself doesn’t matter – the IPCC remains addicted to hockey sticks: lo and behold, Figure 1a of its newly minted Summary for Policy-makers contains what else – a hockey stick diagram. If you thought Michael Mann’s hockey stick was bad, imagine a woke hockey stick by woke climate scientists. As the climate scientists say, it’s even worse that we thought.

Curiously, this leading diagram of the Summary of Policy-Makers does not appear in the Report itself. (At least, I was unable to locate it in Chapter 2.) However, it is clearly the progeny of PAGES2K Consortium (Nature 2019) and Kaufman et al (2020), both of which I commented on briefly on Twitter (see here).

It’s hard to know where to begin.

The idea/definition of a temperature “proxy” is that it has some sort of linear or near-linear relationship to temperature with errors being white noise or low-order red noise. In other words, if you look at a panel of actual temperature “proxies”, you would expect to see series that look pretty similar and consistent.

But that’s not what you see with the data used by the IPCC. You’d never know this from the IPCC report or even from the cited articles, since authors of these one- and two-millennium temperature reconstructions scrupulously avoid plotting any of the underlying data. It’s hard for readers unfamiliar with the topic to fully appreciate the extreme inconsistency of underlying “proxy” data, given the faux precision of the IPCC diagram.

Many of the series discussed in this post, including nearly all of any HS-shaped series, have been previously discussed in Climate Audit blog posts (tag/pages2k) from 2, 5, 10 or even 15 years ago or in tweets from 2019 and 2020 (see here).

The PAGES2019 is not a “random” selection of proxies, but winnowed through ex post criteria. As Rosanne d’Arrigo explained to the NAS panel many years ago: if you want to make cherry pie, you first have to pick cherries.

The PAGES2019 dataset consists of 257 proxies, selected from the prior PAGES2017 dataset consisting of 692 proxies, which had previously been selected from thousands of proxy series accumulated by many authors over the years.

In order to give readers an overview of the underlying data – not the massaged final product, I’ve plotted three batches of 11 randomly selected series from each of PAGES2017, PAGES2019 and then PAGES2019 North American tree rings and then commented on each batch. (The samples were selected by R formula sample(1:K, 11) where K is the size of dataset being sampled.) In each case, there were usually series that I had already studied plus numerous non-descript series, which are notable and important to show precisely because the majority of proxies are non-descript and you need to see this to understand it.

MORE here


Australia: Port Kembla power proposal deemed critical for the environment

This is tokenism. The new plant will rely 95% on natual gas -- a "fossil fuel"

A hydrogen-gas turbine power station proposed for the Illawarra region of NSW has been declared "critical state significant infrastructure", meaning the project will be fast tracked.

The plan by businessman Andrew Forrest to build the $1.3 billion project at Port Kembla will still need environmental approval, but will not be subject to third party appeal rights.

The project is in an area marked as a potential hydrogen gas hub.

The proposed power station has committed to using up to five per cent cent green hydrogen.

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the plant was a step towards safeguarding the state's energy needs while providing jobs.

"The Port Kembla power station will be a game changer, not just for NSW but Australia," Mr Barilaro said in a statement.

"It will provide the energy capacity our state needs as existing coal-fired power stations reach their end of life, and household power bills will be the big winner as the project maintains downward pressure on prices."

The coal-powered Liddell Power Station near Muswellbrook, in the NSW Hunter region, is due to come offline in 2023.

Planning Minister Rob Stokes said the proposed power station would produce up to 635 megawatts of electricity on demand and create 700 construction jobs.

"The Port Kembla power station will be a critical part of the NSW energy mix as we move to cleaner, greener renewables," Mr Stokes said.

The power station would sit adjacent to the import terminal the Forest-owned Squadron energy group is already building. It has the capacity to handle both LNG and green hydrogen.

The federal government has previously committed $30 million to support initial works for the Port Kembla power station, and has shortlisted it for future funding support.

The final approval will rest with Mr Stokes.


Australian court makes key climate change ruling

A court has ordered NSW's Environment Protection Authority to develop goals and policies to ensure environment protection from climate change.

The landmark ruling came after a challenge from a community organisation founded in the ashes of a devastating bushfire that swept through Tathra in 2018.

Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action had argued the EPA had a duty to protect the environment from significant threats and climate change was a "grave" and "existential" threat.

The EPA had failed to do this, BSCA contended in the NSW Land and Environment Court, with whatever instruments the agency had developed to ensure environment protection were not enough or even intended to deal with the threat of climate change.

The government said its current measures were adequate, including measures that incidentally regulate greenhouse gas emissions such as methane in landfill. But first and foremost, it said its environmental protection duty was a general duty and wasn't a duty to ward off particular threats, such as climate change.

Chief Judge Brian Preston on Thursday found none of the documents the EPA presented to the court was an instrument that showed it was ensuring the protection of the environment from climate change.

He ordered it develop environmental quality objectives, guidelines and policies to meet their duty on climate change.

But the EPA will maintain discretion on how it fulfils its duty, as the judge knocked back the BSCA's wish for specific objectives including the regulation of sources of greenhouse gas emissions consistent with limiting a global temperature rise to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

"This is a significant win for everyone who has been affected by bushfires," BSCA president Jo Dodds said in a statement.

"Bushfire survivors have been working for years to rebuild their homes, their lives and their communities. This ruling means they can do so with confidence that the EPA must now also work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state"

The Nature Conservation Council said most people would be astonished to learn the EPA had not regulated greenhouse gas but the ruling should "a chill through the state's most polluting industries, including the electricity and commercial transport sectors".

"Allowing politicians to set greenhouse gas emission targets and controls rather than scientific experts has led us to the precipice," NCC chief executive Chris Gambian said.

In a statement, the EPA said it was reviewing the judgment.

It described itself as an active government partner on climate change policy, regulation and innovation and was involved in work that "assists with and also directly contributes to measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change".

"The EPA supports industry to make better choices in response to the impacts of climate change," the agency said.

Last month, a federal judge ruled federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley had a duty of care to protect children from future personal injury caused by climate change.

Ms Ley is appealing the decision, which resulted from her involvement in the approval of the expansion of a northern NSW coal mine.


My other blogs. Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM )

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)


Friday, August 27, 2021

Families forced to eat locusts as Madagascar famine deepens

I am 78 and as far back as I can remember there have been pictures of starving African children in the media. In Africa, like everywhere else, there are climate cycles, with drought and rain alternating. But Africans generally do nothing about it. Creating water storages in wet times to store water for use in dry times seems to be mostly beyond them.

Australia too has long periods of savage drought but no Australians have to eat locusts. Australians live a typical Western lifstyle thanks to the proliferation of dams they have built to store water.

So blaming African starvation on climate is absurd. The only ones who are to blame are Africans themelves

Children in Madagascar are forced to eat locusts and cactus leaves as the climate-led famine worsens.

The UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that 30,000 people in the island nation are enduring the highest internationally recognised level of food insecurity – level five – and the number will only grow over the coming months.

Southern Madagascar is experiencing its worst drought in four decades, forcing thousands of people to leave their homes in search of food, while those remaining have resorted to extreme coping measures for survival

Tamiry lives with her three children Torovelo, 12, Mbahomamy, six, and Manenjina, four, in Fandiova, one of the hardest-hit villages. To cope with extreme hunger, people are eating survival foods like locusts, cactus leaves, and a plant called ‘faux mimosa’ which is usually used to feed cattle.

She said: “In the morning, I prepare this plate of insects. I clean them up as best as I can given the near-total absence of water.

“Today we have absolutely nothing to eat except cactus leaves," added Bole, a mother of three.

She said her husband had recently died of hunger, as had a neighbour, leaving her with two more children to feed.

"What can I say? Our life is all about looking for cactus leaves, again and again, to survive."

WFP says it urgently needs US$78.6 million to provide life-saving food in southern Madagascar during the next lean season from September 2021 to March 2022.


Wildfire smoke may be contributing to premature births

This resesarch showed that there were slightly more preterm births in AREAS that got a lot of smoke exposure. There were no data on PEOPLE who got a lot of smoke exposure. So if poor people were more likely to live in polluted areas the results could simply reflect the characteristics of poor people, not the effects of smoke

As wildfires ravage the West, burning through millions of acres, they are producing blankets of smoke that are spreading far beyond the boundaries of the fires themselves. Now, new research indicates that the air pollution is endangering some of the most vulnerable: the unborn.

The findings, published this month in Environmental Research, suggested that from 2007 to 2012 in California, about 7,000 preterm births, or nearly 4 percent of all such births during those years, were associated with exposure to wildfire smoke.

It is the latest sign of the potential health risks of smoke from wildfires, which can include not only the soot and ash from burning trees and undergrowth but also the chemicals that are released when homes, cars and countless other things go up in flames when wildfires race through towns and neighborhoods.

Wildfire smoke can blunt the body’s immune response, causing anything from mild but annoying sore throats or coughing to serious cardiovascular and respiratory problems. Research published this month found that exposure to wildfire smoke last summer could be associated with thousands of additional Covid-19 infections and hundreds of deaths in the pandemic.

And by nearly every metric, wildfires in the United States are worsening. They are growing larger, spreading faster and reaching higher elevations. Their plumes are also reaching farther. Last month wildfire smoke from Canada and the West stretched across the United States, prompting health alerts in cities as far east as Toronto and Philadelphia.

The new research into premature infants, which focused only on California, found that a week of exposure was associated with a 3 percent increase in the risk of a preterm birth. In 2008 — the worst smoke year in the study period — the researchers found that wildfire smoke exposure was associated with more than 6 percent of all preterm births in California.

“We knew air pollution increased the risk of preterm birth, but this new work highlights the importance of pollutants associated with wildfire smoke, which might be different from other sources of air pollution, and are becoming more of an issue with climate change,” said Lara Cushing, an environmental health scientist at the U.C.L.A. Fielding School of Public Health who was not involved with the research.

Wildfire smoke contains high levels of the smallest, most dangerous type of soot. Exposure to these particles, known as PM 2.5, is believed to cause inflammation within the body, putting strain on the immune system and decreasing blood flow to organs, including the placenta, which can trigger contractions and delivery.

Preterm births, or births that occur between 20 and 36 weeks of pregnancy, are associated with a range of developmental delays and respiratory, vision and hearing problems and can contribute to chronic diseases into adulthood. They account for 10 percent of all births in the United States and are one of the leading causes of infant mortality.


Radical Environmental Groups Petition Government Agencies to Undermine Legal Hunting

Radical environmentalist groups that actively back Democrats have hunting in their crosshairs. And unsurprisingly, they’re exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to target this pastime.

The Center for Biological Diversity and Natural Resources Defense Council, two organizations who’ve made suing the government a cottage industry, are directly petitioning the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to undermine wildlife management practices, including hunting, here in the U.S.

If accepted by the government, they’ll undermine the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation that’s allowed our nation to successfully recover imperiled species and restore critical habitat.

CBD and NRDC are urging Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and USFWS Principal Deputy Director Martha Williams to “use their authority under the Lacey Act, Endangered Species Act, and Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species to move the petition forward.”

What does this mean? The groups desire to circumvent the legislative process via regulatory fiat to achieve their goals of undermining hunting.

“Pandemics caused by zoonoses – infectious diseases that jump from animals to people – are entirely preventable,” the USFWS petition reads. “These actions are necessary to help prevent the introduction and spread of zoonotic diseases into the United States, curtail the ongoing loss of biological diversity, and protect against calamitous consequences for both people and wildlife.”

The CDC one states, “The CDC has a significant opportunity to decrease the likelihood of zoonotic disease introduction and transmission in the United States and prevent future public health emergencies, but the agency must act boldly to address the wildlife trade, one of the root causes of zoonotic disease introduction and transmission. In addition, reducing trade in wildlife will reduce the exploitation of wildlife, which is the secondary driver of biodiversity loss, which also poses a significant threat to human health.”

Where does the threat to hunting appear? The petitioners believe “killing wildlife” poses a “grave disease risk”:

While dead animals and animal parts present a lesser risk of direct disease transmission, the process of capturing and killing wildlife to create wildlife parts and products maintains the overall risk associated with live animal trade.

What will stop this? Why, more government funding! They argue, “By prioritizing U.S. conservation funding and capacity building to transition jobs away from exploitation of mammals and birds the United States will be investing in an international effort that reduces disease risk.”

And from where? A bite out of U.S. conservation dollars, including the $1.1B generated last year, deriving from hunting and fishing expenditures? Bingo.

True Conservation Groups Respond

Conservation groups, including hunting organizations, have sounded the alarm.

Ducks Unlimited warned their followers and members about this effort, writing:

Anti-hunting groups want to infringe on your time-honored hunting traditions. If they have their way, you won’t be able to take game meat of any kind across state lines. What’s more, they want to send conservation funds - largely paid for by hunters - overseas. Don’t let them use the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to upend your out-of-state hunting traditions.

Bruce Tague, vice president of governmental affairs at Sportsmen’s Alliance, said the contents appear harmless until readers comb through the details.

“Once those rules get modified—in this case, adding all mammals and almost all birds except for, like parakeets or a couple birds that are exempt—and then when you combine it with the current rules of the Lacey Act, it would ban interstate commerce, Tague said.

“You go deer or duck hunting or whatever out-of-state, and you cannot bring the hides, horns, feathers, carcasses, or meat back across those state lines, right?,” Brian Lynn, vice president of communications and marketing at Sportsmen’s Alliance, added. “It'd be a huge, huge blow to conservation, to hunting, and to wildlife management conservation.”

Lawrence Keene of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) also explained, “The petition doesn’t discriminate between a ban on species harvested internationally. It also targets hunters who take animals in other states and transport them home, even if they’ve been professionally prepared by a butcher or taxidermist to safeguard against the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease.”


Hunting is the original socially-distanced activity.

There are multiple campaigns dedicated to “responsible recreation” encouraging it. In fact, the sport helped Americans cope with lockdowns and saw a much-needed resurgence in 2020.

This egregious move to undermine hunting through rules changes should infuriate everyone — hunters and non-hunters alike.

Secretary Haaland and Director Williams must do the right thing and reject these petitions. The future of conservation will be undermined if they proceed.


So much for a "green transition": Carbon emissions from power sector soar

Global carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector have surged past pre-pandemic levels to reach new highs, a new report examining trends during the first half of 2021 finds.

Why it matters: The report from Ember, a London-based environmental think tank, shows that the energy transition that needs to happen to limit the severity and pace of global warming is not taking place fast enough.

Instead of renewables, the economic recovery is being powered largely by carbon-intensive coal in many countries, particularly in Asia, while clean energy is gaining ground elsewhere but not at the rates required to meet the Paris Agreement's temperature targets.

The big picture: Global power sector emissions bounced back strongly from lows seen during the first half of 2020 to reach about 5% higher than the first half of 2019, the report finds.

The data indicates that while 57% of the growth in electricity demand compared to 2019 has come from wind and solar power, a large fraction — 43% — has been met by firing up coal power plants, especially in China.

Growth in clean energy use in many countries failed to keep pace with the increased emissions coming from coal power plants in countries such as China, Bangladesh, India, Mongolia and Vietnam, the report states.

According to the report, not a single country out of the 63 nations analysts examined has achieved a so-called "green recovery" for their power sector, which would entail both higher electricity demand and lower emissions.

Context: When compared to the International Energy Agency's roadmap for bringing global emissions to net zero by 2050, global electricity demand would need to rise by 50% by 2030, while simultaneously cutting power sector emissions by 57%.

Most of the emissions cuts prior to 2030 in the IEA's modeling would come from ending coal power, the Ember report notes, bluntly stating: "Coal power is rising when it needs to be rapidly falling."

The U.S., Japan and Australia do not meet Ember's definition of a green recovery, with a simultaneous increase in energy demand and decrease in emissions, though temporary factors, such as heavy rains boosting hydropower production, helped put Norway and Russia on their way there for now.

Mongolia had the fastest growth in electricity demand of the 64 countries in Ember's analysis, and 77% of its 17% increase in demand being met with increased coal use.

China had a similar increase in electricity demand compared to 2019, with a 14% increase. This meant that even a large addition of clean energy couldn't keep pace, with more than two-thirds of the increase in demand met with coal power.

Threat level: By the end of the year, power sector carbon dioxide emissions could be even higher, given that such emissions were 7% higher in June 2021 compared to the same month in 2019, Ember found.

The report left out some countries that might add even more to power sector emissions, such as Indonesia and the Philippines.
Yes, but: There is some hope for those looking for signs of an increasingly robust renewables sector, and that is that for the first time, wind and solar produced more than a tenth of global electricity, overtaking nuclear power.

The bottom line: While wind and solar are on the way up, the increase simply isn't fast enough to get to net zero emissions by 2050, and have a better chance of meeting the Paris targets.


My other blogs. Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM )

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)


Thursday, August 26, 2021

E.P.A. to Block Pesticide Tied to Neurological Harm in Children

It is safe when used within its guidelines

The Biden administration announced on Wednesday that it is banning a common pesticide, widely used since 1965 on fruits and vegetables, from use on food crops because it has been linked to neurological damage in children.

The Environmental Protection Agency said this week it would publish a regulation to block the use of chlorpyrifos on food. One of the most widely used pesticides, chlorpyrifos is commonly applied to corn, soybeans, apples, broccoli, asparagus and other produce.

The new rule, which will take effect in six months, follows an order in April by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that directed the E.P.A. to halt the agricultural use of the chemical unless it could demonstrate its safety.

Labor and environmental advocacy groups estimate that the decision will eliminate more than 90 percent of chlorpyrifos use in the country.

In an unusual move, the new chlorpyrifos policy will not be put in place via the standard regulatory process, under which the E.P.A. first publishes a draft rule, then takes public comment before publishing a final rule. Rather, in compliance with the court order, which noted that the science linking chlorpyrifos to brain damage is over a decade old, the rule will be published in final form, without a draft or public comment period.


Another dry, late summer in California, another year in which the state burns and towns get incinerated

Large, out-of-control fires have become a yearly occurrence in the Golden State. The fires may be so bad in 2021 that they run straight through the dry season and up until December, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

While the California fires get the most attention and have caused the most destruction, the giant forest fire problem has been hitting most of the Western states ferociously hard in recent years.

As usual with what should be an unexpected occurrence at this point, many are quick to pin this somewhat recent phenomenon on climate change. Certainly, a hotter environment creates more severe fire conditions. But the reason why large parts of the West have become so susceptible to huge blazes is the other crucial element in starting fires: fuel.

Pinning this on climate change may be politically convenient for many on the left, but it’s clear that it doesn’t fully explain the surge of Western fires.

It’s impossible to ignore the near half-century mismanagement of public land by the state and especially the federal government. In a misguided attempt to be more environmentally conscious, politicians and government agencies created a catastrophe.

When former President Donald Trump made this point, he was attacked and mocked. But Trump was right and his critics were wrong.

As I’ve written about in years past, the Forest Service made some dramatic changes in land management practices starting in the 1970s. While not all land management policies of the early 20th century were good or successful, there was at one time a greater emphasis placed on actively clearing forests of trees and clearing dead, dry material on public land.

Since that time there has been a steady uptick in the size of fires, culminating in the massive, apocalyptic ones we see today.

California’s Dixie Fire has so far destroyed more than 1,000 buildings, 500 homes, and has covered more than 2,000 square miles, according to The Associated Press. It’s the largest fire in California history.

And it’s just one part of the mosaic of fires hitting the state in 2021.

“Through Thursday, fires tracked by Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service had burned 1,470,637 acres—far surpassing the 920,165 scorched through that date in 2020,” the New York Post reported.

And because more people are likely to live in areas susceptible to these fires today, in part because of the high cost of living in California’s urban center, this means there is a significant toll on property and life as a result.

Large parts of the West, especially California, have always been susceptible to drought and dry conditions. That’s not new. What has changed is the policies dealing with them.

“Once upon a time the U.S. Forest Service’s mission was to actively manage the federal government’s resources,” explained The Wall Street Journal in 2018. “Yet numerous laws over the last 50 years, including the Endangered Species Act and National Environmental Policy Act, have hampered tree-clearing, controlled burns, and timber sales on federal land.”

This was the wrong way to go, as it has become clear that active land management turns out to be better for people and the environment in general.

Perhaps ironically, the environmentalist move away from forest management has ended up not only doing severe damage to life and property, but has also hurt the environment. For those concerned about climate change, the towering infernos in the West cause far more carbon emissions than automobiles.

Even the left-leaning Los Angeles Times has acknowledged that there is a lot of evidence that clearing the forests is an important way to deal with the yearly fire crisis:

Forest management has long been touted as essential to fighting wildfires, with one new set of studies led by the University of Wisconsin and the U.S. Forest Service concluding that there is strong scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of thinning dense forests and reducing fuels through prescribed burns.

Certainly, there are positive examples of small-scale entities taking control of managing their local forests. Some Native American tribes have effectively managed their land by harvesting old growth and timber.

Some environmental policy experts have even advocated the creation of “charter forests” that would—much like charter schools—be publicly owned but privately run to do a better job of taking care of vast swaths of land currently lying fallow.

The advantage of having local entities take over forest management is that they can quickly respond to the unique needs of their forests. Large federal agencies like the Forest Service, on the other hand, often move at a glacial pace at best even when a change is desperately needed.

In 2019, even California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, said he would begin to invest more in fire prevention in his state, and hashed out a deal with Trump to partner with the federal government to do so.

Unfortunately, a report by CapRadio accused Newsom of misleading the public and revealed that little has been done to fulfill the deal.

When the deal was made, Newsom said the state “fundamentally has to change” in how it approached the huge fires. It appears little if anything has changed.

The problem in California and throughout the West is enormous. A half-century of poor management will be difficult to undo. But failing now will leave future generations at the mercy of these fires and little to build on but soot and ashes.


Biden’s Two-Faced Energy Policies

Shortly after the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its latest apocalyptic report, the Biden administration sent a formal request to OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, asking the cartel’s members to expand oil production to help control fuel prices.

The OPEC appeal makes it clear that President Biden wants to have it both ways. He wants to be seen as a card-carrying “green,” a champion of clean energy. But he also realizes that the green policies he’s pushing, given current technologies, will drive up the cost of energy and punish consumers, a political liability for the administration and his party. With the price of regular gasoline now averaging more than three dollars a gallon nationwide, the political danger is very real.

Crude oil prices (now hovering around $70 per barrel) have been pushing up prices at the pump since the post-Covid economic recovery began. The upward pricing pressure was reinforced by the administration’s early decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have carried oil from the Bakken Shale deposits in Canada and the Dakotas to Gulf Coast refineries. Ironically (or not), while canceling Keystone XL, the president gave a nod of approval to a similar pipeline, Nord Stream 2, to carry natural gas from Russia to Germany.

Canceling Keystone XL wasn’t the president’s only concession to the greens. The administration also canceled leases for oil production in Alaska, suspended oil leasing on federal lands (despite a federal court ruling that the moratorium is illegal), proposed higher fuel-economy standards for cars, and invoked the Endangered Species Act to limit or stop drilling on private land in the West.

It doesn’t take a Ph.D. economist to predict that such actions will limit energy supplies and drive prices up. No one should excuse the results as “unintended.”

The administration and its congressional allies likewise want to pass a Clean Electricity Standard that would shift the country to 80 percent emissions-free power by 2030 and 100 percent clean energy for homes and offices by 2035. The likely consequences are also predictable because the proposed pivot to government-mandated renewable power is happening when the existing electric grid’s reliability is declining.

Blackouts already have become a persistent threat in California and Texas. The Western Electricity Coordinating Council, which oversees grid operations in the western half of the country, has warned that there may not be enough reserve power to keep lights and air conditioners on if a persistent heat wave stretches across multiple states and sends electricity demand soaring. In fact, rolling blackouts could be the only option for keeping the Western grid from collapsing.

Integrating renewable power into the electric grid is extremely challenging. California is a case in point. Abundant solar power during daytime hours is followed by declining power supplies as the sun sets, even as temperatures and electricity use remain high. Ensuring sufficient backup power to maintain reliability all day every day is proving to be a nail-biting experience for grid operators. As one California legislator remarked after rolling blackouts last summer, “Today we have a grid that is increasingly expensive, unreliable and unavailable when the people of California need it the most.” Texas last winter proved that grid reliability can be a problem during unusual cold snaps as well.

What is particularly troubling about the problems in California is that green advocates hold the Golden State up as a model for the entire country. California was supposed to be charting a path forward for the rest of us. If anything, it’s charting the course not to follow.

Increased generation of clean electricity makes sense when it can be done cost-effectively without government subsidies. But it shouldn’t be pushed without having a comprehensive energy policy in place to protect consumers against grid failures, blackouts, and wild price spikes.

The administration’s war on U.S. fossil fuel production and distribution, especially cheap, abundant, clean-burning natural gas, shows that no such policy exists. By encouraging OPEC and Russia to boost oil and gas production, the administration seems to acknowledge the continued importance of fossil fuels—but only, apparently, if we’re dependent on imports to meet our needs.

Until we have the technology to store massive amounts of renewable energy and to move massive amounts of excess power from one region of the country to another, the responsible approach to the energy transition is not to treat our existing resources as a problem, but as the foundation on which to build renewable power.


UK: The true cost of wind power is staggering – the cost of offshore wind power is astronomical: the latter is more than six times the cost of gas-fired power.

We present what may be the first estimate of the levelised cost of floating offshore wind.

Last year, I wrote a blog post setting out the financial situation of Hywind, the UK’s first commercial floating offshore windfarm, and indeed the first in the world. It was an ugly tale, with a hugely lossmaking operation kept in the black only by a vast transfer of subsidies. However, Hywind has recently published its second set of financial results since it became fully operational, and so we can now start to get a handle on its operational performance and underlying costs, and publish what I believe is the first estimate of the levelised cost of floating offshore wind.

Situated off Peterhead, in what appears to be something of a sweet spot for wind, it is unsurprising that Hywind’s performance is rather better than your typical offshore windfarm. Renewables advocates are keen to point out that its capacity factor (the electricity generated as a percentage of the theoretical maximum) has reached 57%. However, in 2020/2021, that fell back to just 51%, which is only a few points ahead of recent fixed offshore windfarms.

Meanwhile its costs are extraordinarily high. We already knew that its capital cost, at £8.9m/MW. was around three times that of fixed offshore wind. But its opex costs are also much higher than might be expected. As a rule of thumb, fixed offshore wind opex starts at around £100,000/MW per year, and then rises from there as the turbines age. However, Hywind seems to have started out from a much higher base – its opex costs have averaged over £200,000/MW per year since it became operational.

With only marginally better operational performance than fixed offshore, and costs that are several times higher, there is no hope that Hywind’s overall levelised cost will be anything other than disastrously expensive. I estimate the LCOE figure as £224/MWh, a value that is unchanged since last year, suggesting that the value is reasonably robust. This is approximately double that of fixed offshore wind, and perhaps five to six times what we would expect for electricity from gas turbines. (As always when comparing wind and gas, we should note that the comparison is misleading since wind should carry a considerable extra cost burden because of its intermittency, which is expensive to correct).

There can therefore be little doubt that Hywind is a failure. Kincardine, the UK’s second floating offshore windfarm, looks as though it will be more expensive still. It seems beyond doubt that floating offshore wind is a financial disaster.

Unsurprisingly, the government is ploughing ahead with it regardless.


My other blogs. Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM )

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)