Saturday, January 22, 2022

This ship's cargo will make world history when it leaves an Australian port next week - and there are high hopes it'll be a great leap forward in the fight against climate change

This is a heap of nonsense. Hydrogen itself is a non polluting fuel but producing is needs LOTS of energy and emits lots of CO2. We read:

"Hydrogen produced in this way is not a zero-emission fuel. Carbon dioxide is emitted through the combustion and thermal decomposition reactions, and is also a product of the reaction between carbon monoxide and water to make hydrogen and carbon dioxide."

The Suiso Frontier, will depart the Port of Hastings in Victoria next week en-route to Japan with the world's first ever cargo of liquified hydrogen from the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) project in the La Trobe Valley.

Under the HESC project Victorian brown coal will be converted to hydrogen using a gasification process before it is loaded onto the Suiso Frontier for exporting.

The $500million project is being led by a mix of Japanese and Australian companies including Japan’s energy giant J-Power, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Shell and AGL.

The ship will undergo a two-week journey to Kobe, loaded with Australian-made hydrogen, in a world-first shipment of liquid hydrogen to hit an international market.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the initiative as a 'world-first that would make Australia a global leader' in the hydrogen industry.

'A successful Australian hydrogen industry means lower emissions, greater energy production and more local jobs,' Mr Morrison said in a statement on Friday.

'The HESC project puts Australia at the forefront of the global energy transition to lower emissions through clean hydrogen, which is a fuel of the future.'

The project has received $100 million from both the Victorian and federal governments. An additional $7.5m in funding was also announced to support the $184m next stage of the project which aims to make 225,000t of carbon-neutral hydrogen each year. Another $20m has also been pledged for the next phase of the CarbonNet project.

This would reduce global emissions by 1.8m tonnes a year, according to the Morrison government.

Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the Suiso Frontier's arrival was a huge milestone in Australia's commitment to reducing emissions.

'The HESC project has the potential to become a major source of clean energy which will help Australia and Japan both reach our goals of net zero emissions by 2050,' he said.

However, the initiative has been criticised for using a coal-based process when cleaner and renewable methods can be used to produce hydrogen.

Under the current process only three tonnes of hydrogen can be produced per year from 160tonnes of brown coal.


Global agency sows fear with misinformation

A recent report by the World Meteorological Organization claims that there has been a dramatic increase in the number of natural disasters over the last 50 years. According to the WMO Atlas of Mortality and Economic Losses from Weather, Climate and Water Extremes (1970 – 2019), there were more than 11,000 reported disasters attributed to these hazards globally, with just over 2 million deaths and U.S. $ 3.64 trillion in losses.

The report claims that the number of disasters “has increased by a factor of five” since 1970 and that human additions of carbon dioxide are to blame. Referring to this data, WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas stated:

“The number of weather, climate and water extremes are increasing and will become more frequent and severe in many parts of the world as a result of climate change. That means more heatwaves, drought and forest fires such as those we have observed recently in Europe and North America.” He further warned: “The warming of the oceans has affected the frequency and area of existence of the most intense tropical storms.”

The claims of increasing numbers of these severe weather events should generate alarm if they were correct. Fortunately for the peoples of the world, the facts fly in the face of the reporting. The WMO and its authors chose to misrepresent disaster data as gathered by one of the most reputable agencies in the world, the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) in their EM-DAT database.

The claims of a five-fold increase in the numbers of disasters appears to be supported by a significant increase in calamities from 1970 until 2000 and a decline over the last twenty or so years. Why the change from increasing disasters over the first 30 years of data and a decline thereafter?

It turns out that the period from 1970 to about 2000 are the years in which CRED was building a data collection system that depends heavily on external reporting. Please note that the title of the WMO chart is “Number of reported disasters,” not “number of disasters.”

That the chart was driven by reporting rather than numbers was confirmed by CO2 Coalition Science Research Journalist Kip Hansen when he first questioned the validity of the data after its publication in 2019. At the time, he emailed Regina Below, CRED database manager and documentalist, asking her to confirm that the increase in the early period represented an increase in reporting, rather than an increase in actual natural disasters. Her response via email?

“Thank for your e-mail. You are right, it is an increase in reporting.”

In other words, the CRED system’s counts rose as it received reports from more and more sources over the years. Comparing totals from the 1970s with 21st century data is not only inappropriate, but also a blatant misuse of statistics to bolster a pre-ordained conclusion of increasing destruction.

To restate: The WMO released a “study” claiming climate disasters were increasing based on numbers that the authors knew were misleading at best. The actual numbers of disasters since proper reporting has been in place show a decline in disasters over the last twenty years, exactly opposite the hyperbolic claims of the WMO.

The World Meteorological Organization should immediately retract this flawed study and issue a formal statement publicly correcting the record.


Climate industrial complex left clueless as fossil fuels proliferate

It has been a little more than a month since the United Nations climate meeting at Glasgow, yet global use of fossil fuels has increased rapidly.

For instance, U.S. President Joe Biden cancelled domestic oil projects and vowed to stop funding for international fossil fuel projects. But as fuel prices rose, Biden responded to his self-induced energy insecurity by releasing 50 million barrels of oil reserves and even called for an increase in domestic oil production.

Within a span of a few months, the U.S. president went from being a climate savior to climate villain. Though many may classify his actions as temporary solutions (to a non-existent problem), the rest of the world sees through the veneer of climate politics and the hypocrisy within.

There is nothing that the climate industrial complex can do about the situation in the U.S. or other parts of the world. In fact, in Asia, production of fossil fuels is proliferating.

India and China Go Full Throttle on Coal

As climate doomsayers met in November in Glasgow for the annual U.N. meeting, Asian political leaders promoted policies that sought to increase fossil fuel production — largely because of lessons learned from acute coal shortages in India and China earlier in the year.

The Indian government has opened more coal mines and has allocated new mines to private players through auctions. India’s coal minister has asked the government’s coal production arm, Coal India Limited, to meet an annual target of 1 billion tonnes by 2024.

Meanwhile, China is taking similar measures to ensure its coal supply. Coal production for November hit record highs as Beijing scrambled to ensure enough of the fuel to meet winter needs. October 2021 witnessed the highest monthly production since March 2015. Overall, the first 11 months of this year accounted for 3.67 billion tonnes of coal, which is 4.2% higher than 2020.

Though India and China have managed to overcome the recent shortage in coal reserves, domestic production must be complemented by imports. Hence, the price of coal from Australia and Indonesia remains high. With the Omicron variant expected to have only a minimal impact on the economy, we can expect sustained demand for coal through 2022.

Oil Futures on a high and India cashes in on imports

India is also keen on securing its oil sources as OPEC has forecasted a high global demand in 2022. Oil from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iraq were bought in large quantities by Asian countries.

India’s Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas reported that the country would acquire “massive additional areas for oil exploration and production” by 2025. “As far as the government of India is concerned, we are going to step on the accelerator in terms of exploration and production in a very big way,” said the minister in November.

An UAE firm owned by India’s richest man is all set to import crude oil, petroleum, and petrochemical products in December. The country’s major state-owned oil firms and refineries have already secured supply for the first half of 2022.

Gas prices at fuel stations remained high in India throughout the year. However, the federal government intervened by releasing millions of barrels of oil from strategic reserves, prices have come down drastically. Meanwhile, the country’s aviation minister has made an open call to states to reduce jet fuel prices in order to “increase air-traffic.”

So, if anyone is thinking that fossil fuels are dead, they should think again. The 2.6 billion people in India and China will continue to use fossil fuels as their primary energy source until 2070. Even the most advanced European and Scandinavian countries are witnessing a revival of the fossil fuel sector.

It is as if the anti-fossil climate conference never happened this year. As if promises to end fossil fuels are nothing but vapors from the incense offered at the altar of climate drama — only to be consumed by an inescapable energy reality.




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