Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Would YOU accept less anesthetic during surgery to save the planet? Doctors say it could reduce world's carbon footprint... by up to 0.1%

First they wanted us to eat bugs -- and now this. Warmists are a danger to civilization

Researchers are asking doctors to use less anesthesia on their surgery patients in the name of climate change.

Doctors from the Henry Ford Health in Detroit, Michigan, said it could significantly reduce the carbon footprint of hospitals in the US.

Research suggests that inhaled anesthesia accounts for up to 0.1 percent of the world's carbon emissions.

Dr Mohamed Fayed, a senior anesthetist at the Henry Ford, said: 'Global warming is affecting our daily life more and more, and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions has become crucial.

'No matter how small each effect is, it will add up. As anesthesiologists, we can contribute significantly to this cause by making little changes in our daily practice — such as lowering the flow of anesthetic gas — without affecting patient care.'

He made the comments at the American Society of Anesthesiologists annual event last Friday in Orlando, Florida.

Henry Ford fesearchers gathered data from 13,000 patients over the seven months from March to September 2021. They set a goal of reducing anesthesia use to under 3liters of anesthesia every minute (L/m) per surgery when possible.

Trying to reduce the overall use of anesthesia in the hospital, the team instructed physicians to dial back the amount used in between those portions of the procedure.

This is only for inhaled anesthetics, not sedation or localized anesthetics used in smaller procedures.

At the start of their research, only 65 percent of surgeries fell under that threshold. After months of instruction, they had reduced the figure to just seven percent.

Now, they want to reduce anesthesia use to below 2L/m in as many operations as possible.

'For a long time, there was a notion that the greenhouse effect caused in health care settings was an inevitable and unavoidable cost of providing patient care,' said Dr. Fayed.

'But we have learned that reducing anesthetic gas flow is one of the many ways health care can lessen its contribution to the global warming crisis, along with reducing waste, turning off lights and equipment when not in use and challenging practice habits, as long as they don't compromise patient care.'

The amount of anesthesia a person receives during surgery depends on their weight and other factors such as time in surgery, age and potential risk factors

Surgical anesthetics are made up of multiple chemicals, including nitrous oxide halothane, isoflurance, desflurance, sevoflurane.

An hour of using anesthesia can cause the equivalent impact on the atmosphere as someone driving a car for nearly 500 miles, researchers say.

The Henry Ford research team, which presented their findings at ADVANCE 2023, in Orlando, Florida, this week, explains that surgical anesthesia requires fresh gas at the start and end of procedures.

Use of high levels of anesthesia does come with risks. While it is safe in nearly all cases, too much anesthesia can deprive cells of oxygen and cause stroke, brain injury, coma or even death.

There are risks from not receiving enough anesthesia too, though. A person could always wake up during surgery, which can be painful and highly traumatic.


Climate and Human History

image from https://files.constantcontact.com/c9e43177001/0e9449f1-8762-453c-aba6-11d2505e962d.jpg

We are being told that continued warming will lead to catastrophic events. Human history tells quite a different story. In the previous much warmer periods, humanity flourished.

The rise of the first great civilizations occurred during a period known as the Bronze Age. Great empires arose and life flourished around the Mediterranean (Mycenaean), in Egypt (Old Kingdom), China (Xia dynasty), Mesopotamia (Hittite, Syrian & Babylonian) and in the Indus Valley of India (Harrapan). In this period, humanity saw early advancements such as the inventions of the wheel, writing, bronze smelting and wine making.

Minoan era temperatures are mainly known from ice cores and other proxies. We know that the crop millet was grown in southern Scandinavia and the Tibetan Plateau -- areas far from the tropical and subtropical regions that are home to the grain now. Comparing today’s average annual temperature in Denmark to that required to grow millet indicates that the temperature was at least 2 degrees Celsius (3.6°F) warmer during the Minoan period than today.

Despite temperatures much higher than the most-likely rise predicted for the 21st century by the IPCC, there was no tipping point or cascade of climate catastrophes. Rather, Earth and humanity thrived.



Are You Really Against Fossil Fuels? Read this Before You Answer

By Vijay Jayaraj

It is easy for anyone to say that they are against fossil fuels. Opposition to coal, oil and natural gas is fashionable and will prompt heads to nod and even hands to applaud in most places.

But are people aware of the extent to which their lives are dependent on fossil fuels? Do they know that more than 90 percent of things used in their everyday lives are derived from fossil fuels?

From your toothbrush to your car tire, a majority of the things you use today has been made possible because of fossil fuels. Shoes, refrigerators, washing machines, coffee makers, furniture, pens, eating utensils, eyeglasses, commodes, medical gear, camping equipment, and the list goes on and on.

Consider the computer or the phone from which you are reading this article. They are made of glass, metal, plastic, lithium and silicon – all of which require fossil fuels to mine, process or manufacture. While some are chemical derivatives of fossil fuels, all depend one way or another on their combustion for electricity generation, process heat or transportation.

You wouldn’t have the iPhone, Android or MacBook without fossil fuels. Imagine the irony of typing out “end oil” from a phone that is made from fossil fuels! Or supporting climate activism by relaying video that was recorded with a camera made from fossil fuels! Of course, this sort of irony is displayed regularly and missed constantly.

In short, the most fundamental necessities – and the most cherished conveniences – of daily life are products dependent on the use of fossil fuels.

Electricity and Transportation

The industrial era was a time of great change, and the use of fossil fuels played a big part in that. From the early 1800s to the mid-1900s, coal was the primary fuel source for industry and transportation. Oil and natural gas became much more prominent in the latter half of the 20th century.

Cars, trucks, planes, ships, and trains use oil. If you go electric, the electricity for the vehicle is again predominantly generated from coal or gas. Even wind, solar, nuclear and hydro power are dependent on manufacturing and mining processes reliant on fossil fuels. If you intend to start a new life on the planet Mars or the moon, the rockets you use need fossil fuels.

While the use of fossil fuels as a source for electricity generation and transportation fuel has been discussed widely, their role in the manufacturing and farming sectors is seldom highlighted.

Cement, Steel, and Plastic

Cement, steel, and plastic are essential materials that are used in the construction, transportation and manufacturing industries, playing a key role in the development of modern civilization.

Being the primary ingredient of concrete, cement is the most frequently used construction material in the 21st century. It is used in the construction of homes, roads, bridges, commercial buildings and other infrastructure. The manufacture of cement is one of the most energy intensive processes, requiring the mining of limestone and other minerals that are eventually heated in kilns at temperatures of 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit.

Another common construction material is steel, which is preferred for its immense strength compared to its volume and weight – a quality desirable for the structural frameworks of tall buildings, industrial facilities and bridges. Steel is also used in the reinforced concrete of roads and in the manufacture of vehicles, machinery, tools and appliances.

Paints, resins, fiberglass, coatings, varnishes, adhesives, and thousands of other materials are all made from fossil fuels. It is likely the clothing that you are wearing now was made using fossil fuels. In fact, most carpets, fabrics, coatings, cushions, upholstery, drapes, spandex and other textiles are made with the help of fossil fuels.

Fossil fuels are used as raw materials in the production of many chemicals and plastics. Lightweight, durable and versatile, plastics are used in a wide range of products, from packaging and consumer goods to automotive parts and medical devices.

Food Production

Fertilizers – produced with the help of fossil fuels – replenish the soil with essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, improving soil structure and fertility. Fertilizers have played a crucial role in meeting the global food demand by increasing crop yields by as much as 50 percent.

According to OurWorldInData, which compiles information from the United Nations and World Bank, “From 1961 to 2014, global cereal production has increased by 280 percent. If we compare this increase to that of total population (which increased by only 136 percent over the same period), we see that global cereal production has grown at a much faster rate than the population.”

Not only do fossil fuels enable us to meet the bare necessities our everyday lives, but they are also the reason for the worldwide improvement in the quality of life since the 1950s.

The campaign against fossil fuels focuses on their use in the generation of electricity. However, every part of our material life is made better by fossil fuel derivates. They help us live more efficiently, safely and in an environmentally friendly way, reducing poverty and helping billions enjoy decent and safe lives.


Here’s Why The World Is Producing More Food

by Vijay Jayaraj

Countries all over the world are surpassing previous records for production of food crops. This is good news that stands in stark contrast to the apocalyptic picture that the media paints daily in reports on climate and weather.

Because food is fundamental to human survival, even a slight increase in its price can significantly affect millions – even billions – of people. “When food fails, everything fails,” said Geraldine Matchett, Co-Chair of the CEO Alliance on Food, Nature and Health.

So, it is not surprising that the purveyors of fear present climate change as the biggest threat to the world’s food security. Endlessly recycled articles and TV programs constantly peddle the misinformation that a supposedly dangerously warming Earth poses a risk to crops or is already destroying them.

However, in the real world, data show historically high crop production all over the globe. This is because climate change has aided in the proliferation of food crops, as well as other vegetation. Abundant harvests continue to affirm this. As in previous years, 2023 is expected to produce records for agricultural production in many countries.

Wheat is a major source of calories, protein and essential nutrients, and it is relatively easy to grow and store. A reliable source of food in many regions, wheat is the staple crop for an estimated 35% of the world population.

After a year of supply uncertainty due to the war in Ukraine, wheat production is slated for a global increase.

In the UK, for example, wheat production in 2022-23 is expected to increase by 450,000 tons from the previous year. In the U.S., winter wheat has been planted across nearly 37 million acres, up by 11% from the prior year and the highest in eight years.

In Africa, Zimbabwe produced a record 375,000 tons of wheat in 2022, making the country self-sufficient. The new record is 13% higher than the previous year and surpasses 50-year-old records. This saves the country 300 million dollars that otherwise would have been spent on wheat imports.

India is second only to China in wheat production. The Indian government reports that wheat production will reach an all-time high of 112 million tons in the 2022-23 crop year.

“The prospect of the wheat crop is better due to current weather conditions and slightly higher acreage,” The Economic Times reported.

In fact, globally, there has been a steady increase in yields of wheat as measured in tons per hectare, with some of the highest being in China.

Crop yields in the 21st century have been increasing due to a combination of factors. Among them are the use of modern technologies, the development of high-yielding crop varieties through plant breeding and genetic engineering and the application of fertilizers.

Nonetheless, the level of production would not have been possible without the post-Little Ice Age warming of the earth since the 18th century and the modern increase of atmospheric CO2.

Greater warmth has allowed for longer growing seasons and the cultivation of a wider variety of crops. Higher CO2 concentrations have helped plants to photosynthesize more efficiently, resulting in increased growth and crop yields.

Even in the worst-case scenarios of alarmists, where temperatures rise sharply, global agriculture can adapt through genetically advanced food crop varieties that are resilient to extreme droughts and high temperatures.

There is simply no reason for alarm over climate’s impact on global food production either today, next year or in 100 years. In fact, climate is aiding crop growth and helping the world to feed growing populations.


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)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

http://jonjayray.com/blogall.html More blogs


Monday, January 30, 2023

Partisan ‘Fact Checkers’ Spread Climate-Change Misinformation

By Bjorn Lomborg

Partisan “fact checks” are undermining open discourse about important issues, including climate change. Earlier this month I wrote an accurate post on Facebook about the growing polar-bear population. The post undercut alarmist climate narratives, so it was wrongly tagged as a falsehood.

Activists have used polar bears as an icon of climate apocalypse for decades, but the best data show that far from dying out, their numbers are growing. The official assessments from the leading scientists who study these animals—the Polar Bear Specialist Group within the International Union for Conservation of Nature—peg the global population today at 22,000 to 31,000. That’s higher than the 5,000 to 19,000 polar bears scientists estimated were around in the 1960s.

The main reason has nothing to do with climate. An international agreement enacted in 1976 limits polar-bear hunting, always the key threat to polar bears’ numbers. Polar bears survived through the last interglacial period, 130,000 to 115,000 years ago, when it was significantly warmer than it is now.

None of that means climate change isn’t real or doesn’t affect people or the planet. But to deal effectively with these problems, we need to use good data rather than defaulting to ideologically inspired narratives. It does more good for polar bears, and the rest of us, if those trying to help them use accurate facts.

Agence France-Presse, the world’s oldest news service, has found new relevance in marketing itself as an online “digital verification service.” It stamped “MISLEADING” over the top of my post and declared I’d used “unreliable data.” Other media platforms quickly followed suit, with Facebook flagging multiple posts and newspaper columns in which I made these points as “partly false” and “could mislead.”

But the AFP is verifiably wrong. It based its finding almost entirely on an interview with a retired scientist, Dag Vongraven. He accepts that I referenced the correct findings, but claims that because of the scientists’ limited ability to track animals back then, the 1960s data are “guesswork” that can’t be trusted. The implication is that the rise in the estimated number of polar bears reflects improved tracking, not real population growth.

That’s a politically convenient smoke screen. The 1960s data come from the First International Scientific Meeting on the Polar Bear, in 1965, and are based on three peer-reviewed estimates that extrapolate their totals from well-documented regional populations of polar bears. The pattern is borne out in other data, including a 1970 finding from the International Union for Conservation of Nature and five other sources I referenced. All show that the number of polar bears has risen. AFP and Mr. Vongraven never offer up an alternative estimate; they simply reject the best data available because they don’t match their political narrative.

Even if you throw out all the 20th-century data, the Polar Bear Specialist Group in its latest (2021) report documents that polar-bear numbers have increased over the past two decades. AFP simply ignores this, and instead emphasizes that estimates are difficult.

Yet AFP quickly loses its sense of caution about data extrapolation as soon as it’s politically convenient. Midway through the article, the outlet inserts a huge graphic that declares that polar bears “could be extinct by the end of the century.” AFP doesn’t clearly indicate a source for this claim, but it likely comes from a 2020 article in Nature that was widely reported as demonstrating the potential extinction of polar bears. Here, again, AFP oversteps the data. Even in its worst-case scenario, the Nature article doesn’t show that polar bears would become extinct.

Relying on the data I referenced used to be uncontroversial. When a CNN science journalist did an investigation similar to AFP’s in 2008, he spoke to numerous scientists and they agreed “that polar bear populations have, in all likelihood, increased in the past several decades.” When polar bears in 2008 were listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, the decision noted that the population “has grown from a low of about 12,000 in the late 1960’s to a current worldwide estimate of 20,000-25,000.” The data here haven’t changed, only the media’s willingness to disregard annoying facts.

The result is that the public is denied access to accurate data and open debate about these very important topics. Ridiculous points on one side are left standing while so-called fact-checking censors inconvenient truths. If we’re to make good climate policy, voters need a full picture of the facts.

Besides, even today some 700 polar bears are killed by hunters each year. If we want to help polar bears, why not stop shooting them?


North Asia cranks coal imports to fuel industrial reboot

Thermal coal imports into China, Japan and South Korea - three of the world's largest coal users - hit their highest combined total in 16 months in December as the North Asian manufacturing powerhouses primed their economies for growth in 2023.

Economic momentum in these countries - which collectively accounted for nearly half of all thermal coal imports in 2021 - was subdued in 2022 as China's strict zero-COVID measures stifled industrial activity across the world's largest manufacturing base.

Japan and South Korea have extensive supply chain ties with China which meant that each country suffered slowdowns in both productivity and demand growth in 2022 as China's COVID-19 curbs stifled movement of goods and people over much of the year.

But thanks to a slew of stimulus and easing measures passed by Beijing that are designed to kickstart a revival in China's economy this year, factories and industries throughout North Asia are now also primed for a pick up.

To feed that anticipated sustained rise in output and consumption, each country has stepped up imports of thermal coal, which generates power for electrical grids as well as plants producing everything from cement and ceramics to refined metals, chemicals, heavy machinery and fertilizers.

Combined thermal coal imports by the three countries totalled 43 million tonnes in December 2022, the highest monthly tally since August 2021, ship-tracking data from Kpler shows.


A Sorry Set of Anniversaries That Will Cost Americans

Many if not most Americans were up in arms when news broke that an obscure federal regulatory agency was considering a ban on natural gas stoves. Rightly so. A government that meddles in Mama’s kitchen for no good reason clearly has gotten too big

But here’s the problem: This kind of regulatory activity is now happening almost every day, whether it makes headline news or not.

Two years ago, on Jan. 20 and 27, President Joe Biden signed two executive orders—EO13990 and EO14008—to deploy an “all of government” regulatory agenda designed to rapidly phase out the production and consumer use of conventional energy. The goal is to halve U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 (relative to 2005 levels) and ultimately reach “net zero” emissions by 2050.

If that still sounds obscure, think about how your phone alarm woke you up on time, how you made breakfast, got to work or school today, and enjoyed entering a temperature-controlled room. Every step (and dozens more) required energy, and it’s only the start of the day.

Nearly 80% of Americans’ total energy needs are met by coal, oil, and natural gas—the very energy resources targeted by Biden’s executive orders.

With those two orders in the first week of his term, Biden could take his hands off the wheel and let regulatory agencies do the rest of the job via even more obscure rule-makings, guidance, reports, standards, and bureaucratic forms.

Creating Climate Agencies

Perhaps the most obvious upshot of the two executive orders: the immediate cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline’s cross-border permit and new lease sales for oil and gas production on federal lands and waters.

But between then and the recently considered, infamous gas stove ban have been dozens of regulations targeting private sector investment, exploration, production, distribution, and consumer use of conventional energy in the long term.

Environmental Protection Agency (not one, not two, but three).

Executive Orders 13990 and 14008 have turned the Pentagon, Federal Reserve, Securities and Exchange Commission, and others into climate agencies that regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

These regulations are designed for the long term—that is, to keep new energy infrastructure and use from being “locked in.” At some point, the effect will catch up with Americans.

The Heritage Foundation attempted to model these effects using a replica of the Energy Department’s energy model and found the Biden administration’s climate commitment would reduce the nation’s gross domestic product by $7.7 trillion by 2040. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s multimedia news organization.)

That reduction in GDP is about $87,000 in lost income for an average family of four. Importantly, it will do nothing to reduce global temperatures by the end of the century.

The “net zero” climate policy unleashed by Biden’s two executive orders isn’t possible or desirable. The same wrongheaded perspective created Europe’s catastrophic dependency on Russian energy and energy infrastructure.

The Deeper Problem

As a presidential candidate, Biden made clear he was running to “eliminate fossil fuel.” Americans shouldn’t be surprised this is exactly what they’re getting.

But here’s the deeper problem that should concern all Americans, be they conservative or liberal, climate catastrophist or realist: Nearly every agency has become a climate agency, regardless of its statutory mission established by Congress.

Some agencies are stretching their statutory authority beyond recognition to become climate regulators.

Queue up, for example, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s infamous proposed rule on disclosing greenhouse gas emissions. What do emissions have to do with the SEC’s mission “to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation,” anyway?

Other agencies are ignoring the job that Congress tasked them to do. For example, although the Interior Department is required by law to hold quarterly oil and gas lease sales, it took many rounds of court cases and another act of Congress just to get a modicum of compliance from the Biden administration.

Outskirts of Lawlessness

“Lawless” is a strong word that should be used judiciously, but this kind of regulatory activity is approaching it. The Supreme Court and Congress will have to decide.

Most Americans wouldn’t have a clue what “EO13990” and “EO14008” refer to, for good reason: They are busy living their lives and being productive.

Without a single act of Congress or even a debate by their elected representatives, Biden’s two executive orders put in motion an all-of-government regulatory agenda that is only just beginning to impact Americans’ everyday lives.


Activism as a performance, a hideous theatre of the absurd

Activists’ sound and fury signify that the world is being overrun by posturing idiots.


The idea that the world is a stage upon which we mortals act out our lives is an ancient one, popularised by Shakespeare. In the digital age, we seem to have flipped this, so that instead of attempting to solve even the world’s most complex problems, we turn them into endless pantomimes and sideshows, just for entertainment and self-­aggrandisement.

Those who claim there is an ­existential threat to life on this planet bely their own alarm by ­expressing it through confected theatre sports. Stunts and memes have replaced rational debate; slacktivism has usurped real commitment and practical efforts.

Imagine, for instance, that an inspired satirist might attempt to mock the global elite and their climate fearmongering. Could you conceive of a better spoof than sending an Al Gore impersonator to the climate-controlled luxury of the World Economic Forum’s annual talkfest in the Swiss alpine village of Davos, where billionaires and politicians turn up in private jets to lecture the world on what sacrifices others must make.

You could just see this impersonator of the multi-millionaire former US vice-president (a man with a vast carbon footprint whose alarmist predictions have stubbornly failed to materialise) portraying him getting ever angrier and more hysterical. He might have Gore equating our carbon emissions to “600,000 Hiroshima-class atomic bombs exploding every single day on earth” and ranting about “boiling the oceans, creating these atmospheric rivers, and the rain bombs, and sucking the moisture out of the land, and creating the droughts, and melting the ice and raising the sea level and causing these waves of climate refugees predicted to reach one billion in this century”.

Apart from having your audience falling in the aisles, this act would expose the hypocrisy and hysteria of the self-appointed ­climate elites. But I guess you know where this is going – yes, that is exactly what the real Gore did, and said, last week.

These people are beyond ­parody.

Greta Thunberg, the teenage activist who passed out of her teens earlier this month, turned up at Davos just days after being ­arrested at a coalmine protest in Germany, where she posed, smiled, and joked with the arresting officers while the media got their pictures. Theatre.

At Davos, Thunberg rattled off all the well-worn socialist cliches that might have been uttered by her parents in the 1960s or 70s: “self-greed”, “corporate greed”, “short-term profits”, and “profits before people”. Thunberg said the people at Davos were the same ones “fuelling the destruction of the planet”.

Sitting there, as she was, in the Swiss ski village, Thunberg noted that “the people who we really should be listening to are not here”. You can say that again.


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)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

http://jonjayray.com/blogall.html More blogs


Sunday, January 29, 2023

Big winners from Biden's climate law: Republicans who voted against it

They didn’t vote for it, they don’t like it and they’re working to undermine it — but Republicans are reaping the benefits of Democrats’ climate law.

In the five months since the Inflation Reduction Act became law, companies have announced tens of billions of dollars in renewable energy, battery and electric vehicle projects that will benefit from incentives in President Joe Biden’s signature law, aimed at expanding domestic manufacturing in clean energy and reducing dependence on Chinese imports.

In fact, roughly two-thirds of the major projects are in districts whose Republican lawmakers opposed the Inflation Reduction Act, according to a POLITICO analysis of major green energy manufacturing announcements made since the bill’s enactment.

The dynamic has prompted a tricky balancing act for the GOP: Tout the jobs and economic benefits coming to their states and districts, but not the bill that helped create them. The results are also potentially awkward for Democrats who expended political capital and more than a year of wrangling to enact the bill, only to see Republican lawmakers and governors sharing in the jobs and positive headlines it’s creating — although Democrats say they also see longer-term benefits for the nation in building GOP support for alternatives to fossil fuels.

Republicans insist their positions on the bill and the jobs are not in conflict.

“Just because you vote against a bill doesn’t mean the entire bill is a bad bill,” said Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.), who was the top GOP member of Democrats’ Select Climate Crisis Committee in the last Congress. “I go out there and advocate for our district to try and get transportation funds, to try and get energy funds. That’s my job. I am not embarrassed about it. I don’t think it’s inconsistent with my vote.”

To Democrats, the slate of new investments stand as proof that they were correct that the Inflation Reduction Act, H.R. 5376 (117), would expand the reach of clean power to rural and conservative areas — a promise that failed to sway a single Republican vote to support the bill.

“It’s hard not to point out the hypocrisy for people who fought tooth and nail against the bill, those very incentives that are now creating opportunities in their [Republican] districts they are now leading,” said Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.). “We just have to point out, thanks for your kind words, but this didn’t just happen. It happened despite your best efforts.”

Smith attended an October ribbon-cutting in her state for Canadian solar panel maker Heliene’s expansion of its manufacturing facility — an effort that was started prior to the Inflation Reduction Act’s passage and that has drawn praise from Rep. Pete Stauber (R-Minn.), whose district is home to the plant that will be one of the largest panel makers in the country.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm welcomed the news that Republican districts were drawing the investments. “Great, that is fantastic,” she told reporters at the Monday White House briefing. “We want to be able to see energy — clean energy — produced in every pocket of the country. Blue states, red states, really it helps to save people money, so it’s all about green.”

Democrats’ climate law includes billions of dollars to spur green energy technologies and cut greenhouse gas emissions, including a new tax credit for manufacturing the components crucial for solar, wind and electric vehicles, as well as additional incentives for using domestic content in projects.

Republicans, though, have moved to slash funding of the Internal Revenue Service, the central agency charged with implementing the climate law’s incentives, over concerns that Democrats have expanded its mandate. And Friday, former President Donald Trump urged GOP lawmakers to target “billions being spent on climate extremism” in their fight over the debt limit.

Supporters of the Inflation Reduction Act say its success is due in part to the way it provides long-term certainty for companies looking to place a footprint in the U.S.

The bill is a “fundamental element” of the recent spate of manufacturing announcements, said Abigail Ross Hopper, the president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association. “There certainly were a number of plans being evaluated and discussed [prior to the bill]. But I think the vast majority were contingent upon the passage of the IRA.”


Giant Wind Turbines Falling Over

A rash of recent wind turbine malfunctions are occurring across the U.S. and Europe, ranging from failures of key components to full collapses. Some industry veterans say they’re happening more often, even if the events are occurring at only a small fraction of installed machines. This article opens with an account of a remarkable failure in Oklahoma:

On a calm, sunny day last June, Mike Willey was feeding his cattle when he got a call from the local sheriff’s dispatcher. A motorist had reported that one of the huge turbines at a nearby wind farm had collapsed in dramatic fashion. Willey, chief of the volunteer fire department in Ames, 90 miles northwest of Oklahoma City, set out to survey the scene. The steel tower, which once stood hundreds of feet tall, was buckled in half, and the turbine blades, whose rotation took the machine higher than the Statue of Liberty, were splayed across the wheat field below. The turbine, made by General Electric Co., had been in operation less than a year. “It fell pretty much right on top of itself,” Willey says.

This article reports that the race to add production lines for ever-bigger turbines is cited as a major culprit by people in the industry. “Rapid innovation strains manufacturing and the broader supply chain,” GE CEO Larry Culp said on an earnings call in October. “It takes time to stabilize production and quality on these new products.”


Evidence Says Offshore Wind Development Is Killing Lots of Whales

The recent deaths of seven whales off New Jersey, mostly humpbacks, got a lot of attention. The federal NOAA Fisheries agency is responsible for whales. An outrageous statement by their spokesperson got me to do some research on humpback whale deaths.

The results are appalling. The evidence seems clear that offshore wind development is killing whales by the hundreds. Here is the statement as reported in the press:

“NOAA said it has been studying what it calls “unusual mortality events” involving 174 humpback whales along the East Coast since January 2016. Agency spokesperson Lauren Gaches said that period pre-dates offshore wind preparation activities in the region.” Gaches is NOAA Fisheries press chief.

The “unusual mortality” data is astounding. Basically the humpback death rate roughly tripled starting in 2016 and continued high thereafter. You can see it here.

But the claim that this huge jump in mortality predates offshore wind preparation activities is wildly false. In fact it coincides with the large scale onset of these activities. This strong correlation is strong evidence of causation, especially since no other possible cause has appeared.

To begin with, offshore lease sales really geared up 2015-16, with nine big sales off New Jersey, New York, Delaware and Massachusetts. These sales must have generated a lot of activity, likely including potentially damaging sonar.

In fact 2016 also saw the beginning of what are called geotechnical and site characterization surveys. These surveys are actually licensed by NOAA Fisheries, under what are called Incidental Harassment Authorizations or IHA’s.

There is some seriously misleading jargon here. IHA’s are incidental to some other activity, in this case offshore wind development. They are not incidental to the whales. In fact the term “harassment” specifically includes injuring the whales. That is called “level A harassment”.

To date NOAA has issued an astounding 46 one-year IHA’s for offshore wind sites. Site characterization typically includes the protracted use of what I call “machine gun sonar”. This shipboard device emits an incredibly loud noise several times a second, often for hours at a time, as the ship slowly maps the sea floor.

Mapping often takes many days to complete. A blaster can log hundreds of miles surveying a 10-by-10 mile site. Each IHA is typically for an entire year.

Here is a list of the IHA’s issued to date and those applied for.

There are lots of ways this sonar blasting might cause whales to die. Simply fleeing the incredible noise could cause ship strikes or fish gear entanglements, the two leading causes of whale deaths. Of the whales could be deafened, increasing their chances of being struck by a ship later on. Direct bleeding injury, like getting their ears damaged, is another known risk, possibly leading to death from infection. So there can be a big time difference between blasting and death.

Note also that these deaths need not be in the immediate vicinity of the sonar blasting, so spatial correlation is unlikely. Humpbacks in particular are prodigious travelers. One group was tracked traveling 3,000 miles in just 28 days, over 100 miles a day on average. Another group routinely migrates 5,000 miles. Both are winter-summer migrations which can happen twice a year.

Thus a sonar blasting, site characterization in one place could easily lead to multiple whale deaths hundreds of miles away. If one of these blasters suddenly goes off near a group of whales they might go off in different directions, then slowly die.

The point is that the huge 2016 jump in annual humpback mortality coincides with the huge jump in NOAA Incidental Harassment Authorizations. It is that simple and surely NOAA Fisheries knows this.

Nor is this just about humpbacks. Some of the dead whales off New Jersey are endangered sperm whales. And of course there are the severely endangered North Atlantic Right Whales, on the verge of extinction.

Even worse, the IHA’s are about to make a much bigger jump. There are eleven pending IHA applications and eight of these are for actually constructing 8 different monster wind “farms”.

Driving the hundreds of enormous monopiles that hold up the turbine towers and blades will be far louder than the sonic blasters approved to date, especially with eight sites going at once. These construction sites range from Virginia to Massachusetts, with a concentration off New Jersey and New York.


Energy chaos: the shape of things to come

Australian governments have made energy policies focused on achieving higher shares of renewable energy that they claim is the cheapest source of power. The Commonwealth government is planning for renewables to reach 82 per cent of supply by 2030, while the Liberal Party’s plan is for 85 per cent by 2050 and 61 per cent by 2030. State governments have additional plans. In pursuit of these goals, governments around Australia are being sucked into a vortex requiring ever-increasing controls, while seeing mounting cost increases.

Subsidies that amount to $6.9 billion per year have propelled wind and solar, which had virtually no market presence 20 years ago, to their current market share of 27 per cent. The CSIRO and other bodies claim that these are the cheapest forms of electricity, but the absurdity of this is demonstrable – the market shares of wind and solar would be negligible without these subsidies. And the subsidies themselves amount to over one-third of what electricity generation would cost if renewable requirements did not push up prices.

A recent study from the UK identifies a similar magnitude of costs to support renewables (which now provide 36 per cent of the nation’s electricity). The hidden subsidies to renewables amounted to 13 billion pounds ($24 billion) in 2021, a little over three times Australia’s $6.9 billion cost for a population two and a half times greater. Among major countries only Germany, which has gone even further down the renewables path, has higher energy prices

As in Australia, the UK’s growth in subsidised renewables has brought an accelerating increase in prices. That process in both countries predated the Ukraine War. This contradicts Mr Albanese’s response, ‘News Flash!!! There has been a war in Europe that has had a global impact!’ to a question from Chris Kenny on why electricity prices had failed to meet the ALP’s projected price fall $275 of per household, but instead had risen by that magnitude.

In fact, European gas and coal prices, though still much higher than a year ago, have fallen (in the case of gas to a quarter of their June-October 2022 levels). That is in spite of a very strong increase in stored reserves. Reasons for this included customer demand response and supply response of non-Russian sources (and Russian sea-borne sources), to high prices, a mild winter and shift from gas to electricity (including coal-generated electricity).

Australia’s ballooning energy costs are entirely self-inflicted. They are caused by years of bowing to green ideology by:

* increasing taxes on coal and gas;

* discrimination against coal and gas by requiring increasing quantities be incorporated in consumers’ supplies, this month amplified by obligating an additional 30 per cent cut in emissions from the 215 firms that account for some 28 per cent of electricity demand;

* governmental legislative and policy impediments on new mines for coal and gas (as well as the embargo in nuclear) and by government appointed judges’ rulings on new mine proposals;

* government electricity purchasing that excludes supplies generated by coal or gas.

Australia, like many other countries, is dreaming up new restraints on the use of hydrocarbons. Among these are bans proposed (and already legislated in South Australia) on gas ovens. The rationale for these bans is that, though gas has lower CO2 emissions than coal, an electricity supply comprising solar/wind generation is claimed to have no emissions.

Governments, panicked by the failure of their interventionist energy policies to bring about the low costs they and their advisers confidently projected, have now introduced price caps on coal and gas. With no sense of irony, the objective is to maintain hydrocarbon generators that are being driven out of business by governments’ discriminatory energy policies.

The measures exemplify a Hayekian ‘road-to-serfdom’ process, whereby interventions require consequential additional measures. Having seen policies preventing hydrocarbon developments bring shortages and ballooning prices, the Commonwealth implemented price caps. Predictably, the price caps cause supply shortages from an industry that has been prevented from developing new supplies by government embargoes that have been in place for over a decade. So, governments move on to further control involving specifying levels of production that they think are attainable.

Unsurprisingly, governments working with ‘high-level’ policy advisers are even botching price cap and associated domestic reserve process.

Companies are unable to interpret the Commonwealth regulations delegated to the ACCC.

New South Wales, working with the Albanese government, is seeking to reserve 22 million tonnes of coal for local consumption. This ex post facto imposition of reserve tonnage requirements will have damaging effects on the reputation of Australia for political certainty and by causing investors to place a premium on future costs, will lower future income levels.

Moreover, much of the planned coal to be reserved for domestic use is of a more valuable quality than that used in domestic power stations. Redirecting it to domestic uses would be wasteful in itself. This would be compounded since burning this higher quality coal in domestic power stations would likely cause damage unless other costs were incurred.

In addition, planning 22 million tonnes of coal to be redirected from exports is evidence of incompetence since even with the Liddell power station open (it is supposed to close in April) only 15 million tonnes were used last year. And if Liddell’s output is replaced by that of the remaining four power stations (Bayswater, Vales Point, Eraring, and Mount Piper) their greater efficiency would mean even less coal required.

Imprisoned by the green policies they have set in train, instead of abandoning the embargoes and taxes favouring their preferred renewable sources, governments are doubling down on the restrictions. Yet, each new layer of interventions proves to be inadequate and the mirage of low-cost reliable wind/solar electricity constantly recedes to the horizon.


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)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

http://jonjayray.com/blogall.html More blogs


Saturday, January 28, 2023

What? Giant iceberg breaks off from Antarctica, but not due to climate change

A rare event! An admission that most icebergs "have nothing to do with climate change"

There’s a new iceberg off the coast of Antarctica. The yet-to-be-named, 600-square-mile (1550-square-kilometre) iceberg broke away from the nearly 150-metre-thick Brunt Ice Shelf on Sunday during a particularly high tide known as a spring tide, according to a news release issued by the British Antarctic Survey.

The calving event is “part of the natural behaviour of the Brunt Ice Shelf” and “not linked to climate change,” BAS glaciologist Dominic Hodgson said in the news release.

Satellite imagery captured the break, which occurred about 10 years after satellite monitoring detected growth in a previously dormant crack in the ice known as Chasm-1, and almost two years after a slightly smaller iceberg named A74 separated from the same ice shelf. A chasm is a crack in the ice shelf that extends all the way from the surface to the ocean underneath, while an ice shelf is a floating piece of ice that extends from glaciers formed on land.

Ted Scambos, a senior research scientist at the University of Colorado at Boulder, wrote in an email that while the iceberg “is a huge mass of ice, about 500 billion tons ... it is far from being the largest iceberg ever seen, which rivalled Long Island.”

The calving event is not expected to affect the BAS’s Halley Research Station, which was relocated further inland in 2016 as a precaution after Chasm-1 began to grow.

However, “the new fracture puts the base within about 10 miles of the ocean, and new cracking could occur over the next few years, forcing another expensive move of the station,” Scambos wrote. The new iceberg is expected to follow a similar path to that of A74 into the Weddell Sea and will be named by the US National Ice Centre.

Unlike some previous icebergs and collapsed ice shelves that have been linked to climate change, the BAS press release said the break is a “natural process” and there is “no evidence that climate change has played a significant role.”

Rather, the chasm started to grow due to “stresses building up . . . because of the natural growth of the ice shelf,” said Hilmar Gudmundsson, a glaciology researcher at Northumbria University, in a 2019 BBC story.

Scambos compares the calving of the iceberg to a chisel on a board of wood. “In this case the chisel was a small island called ‘MacDonald Ice Rise,’” Scambos wrote. “The ice was driven against this rocky seamount by ice flow, forcing it to split and eventually break off the floating ice shelf.”

“These large iceberg calvings, sometimes as large as a small state, are spectacular. But they’re just part of how Antarctica’s ice sheet works,” Scambos said. “Most of the time they have nothing to do with climate change.”


The PFAS scare rumbles on

Remember the H1N1 pandemic where everyone overreacted, including the wasteful slaughter of 300,000 Egyptian pigs because the clickbait term “swine flu” was used instead of just H1N1? Even CBS struggled to defend media sensationalism at the time.

It’s happening again, but with something a bit more important to daily life.

So-called progressive environmentalists and their lawyers have taken aim at perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (or PFAS for short), chemicals which they insist will end life on our planet as we know it – and time is running out. (Isn’t it always though?)

The offending legislation right now is the PFAS Action Act, which would direct the Environmental Protection Agency to designate the substances as hazardous.

As stated, the problem is that PFAS are supposedly “forever chemicals,” that accumulate over time in soil, water, and eventually human bodies. Any potential damage must be “remediated” with government control of 5,000 types of chemicals. Sounds like a good goal, but broad bans like this inevitably cause more problems than they fix.

It’s important to keep our environment as clean as possible – and, spoiler, it’s gotten cleaner and cleaner as time has gone on. But the outcome of the PFAS Act would be overregulation, litigation, discontinuation, and finally appreciation for the product that had previously been such an integral part of daily life.

PFAS are used in a variety of industries – according to the EPA, which does not include them among common sources of drinking water contaminants – including food packaging, commercial household products, raincoats, paints, and so on.

In fact, Minnesota-based manufacturer, 3M, recently published a full list of nearly 15,000 different products containing PFAS.

The substances are critical components in commercial electronics, notably cell phones. PFAS are involved in the production of semiconductors, help cool data centers for cloud computing, and stabilize cell phones. Given that we are already in the midst of a global shortage of semiconductors, banning PFAS will only make matters worse – especially if China exploits the lacuna of strength in the White House right now to invade Taiwan.

PFAS are also crucial components in medical equipment. The same thing that supposedly makes PFAS an environmental bane – a “forever chemical” – is that they are chemically inert and durable. That means they’re useful for creating contamination-resistant products like gowns, drapes, and face masks.

They are also used in implantable, life-saving medical devices like vascular grafts, surgical meshes, and catheter tubes. Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN) wanted the PFAS Action Act to include an exemption for medical devices, but the Democrats shot him down.

What would he know – he’s just a heart surgeon. Trust The Science™, not science.

PFAS can also help people from needing to see the doctor, as they’re useful in fire retardants. Call me selfish, but if there are alternative chemicals that are dramatically worse at extinguishing flames, sign me up for the good stuff.

Due to the threat of bad faith “science” discussions and regulatory action, 3M took the proactive step of announcing it would be discontinuing its use of PFAS by 2025.

Now is where the rubber meets the road (and yes, PFAS is in rubber). An important ingredient that is used in countless products is now going to be phased out by a large supplier at a time when the supply chain needs to be shored up. Will we see an orderly transition or more cherry-picked data in the hands of greedy lawyers and overzealous lawmakers?

Only time will tell, but if the progressives and environmentalists continue to push ridiculous unfounded regulations upon us, I hope everyone got everything they wanted for the holidays this year because we might not be able to get them come December 2023.


Are gas stoves dangerous to your health? Here’s what science says

People either swear by gas stoves or say they’re harming our health. But what is the science behind the debate?

The fury was reignited earlier this month after reports that a commissioner of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission was considering a ban on natural gas stoves. The chairman of the commission has since clarified that there’s no move to ban gas stoves, but they are seeking ways to make them safer.

The main health concern with gas stoves is that they emit nitrogen dioxide. This gas can trigger inflammation in the airway and irritate the lungs, potentially exacerbating respiratory illnesses such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in adults and children, according to environmental-health scientists and doctors.

For the approximately 38 per cent of US households that cook with gas, there are ways to reduce exposure. You can use a range hood when you cook with gas, provided you have one that vents air outside rather than recirculates it. And open your windows when possible.

Assessing the Risks

The debate stemmed in part from a December study in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, which is a peer-reviewed journal. It analysed previous studies on gas stoves as well as US census data and concluded that nearly 13 per cent of US childhood asthma cases can be attributed to gas stove use.

That study used data from a 2013 meta-analysis – or review of the existing research – which found that children who live in a home with a gas stove have a 42 per cent increased risk of having asthma symptoms and a 24 per cent increased risk of being diagnosed with asthma. The December study also used data from a 2018 Australian study, which found that 12 per cent of childhood asthma cases there can be attributed to gas stoves.

The Rubin Report host Dave Rubin says World Economic Forum attendees have an “obsession” with how other people live their lives while they… “certainly will not partake in that”. “These people I assure you will not be giving up their gas stoves that their very expensive Michelin Star More
A meta-analysis is statistical analysis that looks at multiple studies on the same topic. Researchers often conduct them to evaluate the body of evidence on a particular topic.

“This was sort of a first step in trying to quantify this burden,” says Brady Seals, a co-author on the study and manager of the carbon-free buildings program at RMI, a Colorado-based clean-energy research organisation.

Public and environmental-health scientists say the recent study merely confirmed what they’ve known for more than a decade.

“There’s no uncertainty about the basic premise that burning natural gas is bad for you,” says Darby Jack, an associate professor of environmental health at Columbia University Medical Center in New York. “The emissions are bad for you.”

Gas-stove emissions

Nitrogen dioxide can trigger asthma symptoms in people who already have the condition and is associated with the development of new cases, says Curtis Nordgaard, a paediatrician at Hennepin Healthcare in Minneapolis and an environmental-health consultant.

Exposure to nitrogen dioxide won’t cause asthma in everyone, but in certain people who are more vulnerable to developing it, chronic inflammation and stress in the airway might be one trigger, says Dr Nordgaard.

The level of risk in a home depends on a number of factors, says Dr Jack, including the ventilation in the kitchen, how old and well-maintained the stove is and how you’re using it.

“For somebody cooking on a late model, well-maintained stove with a good hood and good ventilation, concentrations (of natural gas) are going to be pretty low and the risk is pretty low,” says Dr Jack.

Researchers say other appliances that use natural gas, such as furnaces and boilers, are less of a concern when it comes to nitrogen dioxide because they are required to vent directly outdoors.

What about when the stove is off?

Stoves can emit gas even when you’re not using them, but the gas emitted is largely methane, says Rob Jackson, an environmental scientist and professor at Stanford University. Methane is a greenhouse gas linked to global warming, but the levels emitted from a stove aren’t considered harmful to human health, he says.

“The methane emissions are not a health issue indoors at the concentrations we find,” says Dr Jackson. He was senior author on a 2022 study in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, which found that three-quarters of the methane emitted from gas stoves takes place when they are turned off.

Reducing the risk

If you’re moving into a new home or renovating your kitchen, consider an electric or induction stove, health experts say.

If you are using a gas stove, the best thing to do, they say, is to get a good range hood and ensure it’s venting air outside rather than recirculating it back into your kitchen. Make sure you use your hood while cooking. Open your windows, too, to improve ventilation.

Fixing or running a kitchen exhaust fan, or replacing a gas stove with an electric one, led to a 7 per cent reduction in serious asthma events in the homes of children with asthma, found a 2014 study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

“You can get appreciable health benefits if you improve ventilation in the kitchen or remove the gas stove as a source,” says Jon Levy, professor and chair of environmental health at Boston University School of Public Health, who conducted the study along with co-researchers.

Being farther from the kitchen when using a gas stove also helps, says Dr Levy, as nitrogen-dioxide levels can remain elevated for an hour or more if the kitchen lacks good ventilation.

He recommends keeping young children and other people who might be vulnerable away from the kitchen while you’re cooking. Even cooking on the back burner results in less exposure, he says.

Some doctors suggest buying a countertop induction burner to use for some simpler tasks – such as boiling water for tea or pasta – rather than always using your stove.


Climate Activists Alarmed That Twitter Under Musk Allows More Dissenting Views on Global Warming

An organization that says it is a coalition of “climate and anti-disinformation organisations” says Twitter under CEO Elon Musk is allowing more dissenting views on climate change.

Climate Action Against Disinformation (CAAD), released a Jan. 19 study (pdf), accusing Musk of allowing misinformation about the climate crisis to spread on the social media platform.

The study accused Twitter of boosting the hashtag “#ClimateScam” to users when searching the word “climate,” as its top search result.

The hashtag has suddenly spiked on Twitter search results since July 2022, with its appearance increasing ever since, according to CAAD.

The report said that “in 2022, denialist content made a stark comeback on Twitter in particular.”

Twitter Search

CAAD alleged that at least 91,000 Twitter users reported the #ClimateScam hashtag more than 362,000 times by December.

“The source of its virality is entirely unclear, and re-emphasises the need for transparency on how and why platforms surface content to users,” said the study’s authors.

They said that term appeared to be trending despite “data that shows more activity and engagement on other hashtags such as #ClimateCrisis and #ClimateEmergency.”

The research team claimed that the rise of the term in search results could not be explained by user personalization, the volume of content, or popularity.

“A basic search for ‘climate’ on Facebook did not autofill with overtly sceptic or denialist terms; searching explicitly for #ClimateScam only showed 1.5k users mentioning the term, versus 72k for #ClimateEmergency and 160k for #ClimateCrisis.”

CAAD complained that the source of the #ClimateScam hashtag was unclear and that there was a need for transparency on how the search result came up.

“Equally, TikTok returned no search results for #ClimateScam, but instead suggested the phrase ‘may be associated with behaviour or content that violates our guidelines.’”


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)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

http://jonjayray.com/blogall.html More blogs


Thursday, January 26, 2023

It Is Not A Conspiracy – Bugs Are, in Fact, on the Menu

This past weekend, the World Economic Forum wrapped up, and the main issue in the press was not some of the daft things proposed by the global elites. No, what had the press bothered is that those of us on the right noticed the inanities.

As noted prior, things began to go sideways early in Davos, Switzerland, when a panel allegedly addressing disinformation was headed up by the famed practitioner of that craft, Brian Stelter. But more speeches and more proposals were trotted out, and the press appears to be rather bothered by the fact that these details were reported on by conservative media.

"In increasingly mainstream corners of the internet and on conservative talk shows," writes Sophia Tulp of the Associated Press, "'The Great Reset' has become shorthand for what skeptics say is a reorganization of society, using global uncertainty as a guise to take away rights. Believers argue that measures including pandemic lockdowns and vaccine mandates are tools to consolidate power and undercut individual sovereignty." She appears bothered by the use of this phrase, except it was not created out of whole cloth. "The Great Reset" was coined by the WEF in 2020.

Tulp resorts to an "expert" who guides us through the pitfalls of quoting the things spoken at the WEF. "This isn't a conspiracy that is playing out on the extreme fringes," said Alex Friedfeld, a researcher with the Anti-Defamation League who studies anti-government extremism. "We're seeing it on mainstream social media platforms being shared by regular Americans. We were seeing it being spread by mainstream media figures right on their prime time news, on their nightly networks."

Tulp goes on to cite that Fox News, in particular, has been attached to that phrase, invoking the term as much as 60 times in 2022. Imagine the obsession, alluding to "The Great Reset" barely more than once a week!

Joining in on the condemnation of the right-wing press noticing things was Oliver Darcy, the man bequeathed CNN's media watchdog duties when his mentor Stelter had been dispatched last Fall. Darcy, in a recent "Reliable Sources" newsletter entry, is bothered by all of the talks of nefarious proposals being made at the conference. He references a Glenn Beck interview where he entertained a guest "who claimed, unchallenged, that the gathered world leaders want you to eat insects rather than meat." He was echoing Tulp, who also insisted this was a right-wing conspiracy. "Social media users claimed leaders wanted to force the population to eat insects instead of meat in the name of saving the environment."

Why was there the need to challenge someone when the WEF has been doing precisely that?! There are a number of articles attesting to the very goal of getting people to transition to a bug-based diet, touting the merits of this foodstuff and listing off its benefits. And Oliver, Sophia? These were all found on the WEF website.

Last week, the CEO of Siemans spoke at the Davos conference, and he proposed that we, as a planet, need to move 1 billion people off of eating meat. "And I predict that we will have proteins not coming from meat, in the future."

This is not even something being looked at as a future enterprise – it is happening right now. This month, the European Union approved the use of insect-based protein powder for commercial food production, authorizing the placing on the market of Acheta domesticus (house cricket) partially defatted powder as a novel food. This cricket powder is now acceptable to be used in the production of foods such as multigrain bread, crackers, cereal bars, biscuits, beer-like beverages, chocolates, sauces, whey powder, soups, and other items "intended for the general population."

Yep, those crazy conservatives are at it again, noticing when the authorities are acting in a manner that the press claims is just a fantasy. Seriously, how can allegedly professional journalists pretend they are deluding people with their deflecting accusations when this is easily verifiable information?! But, pretend they do, and they seek out sycophantic "experts" to push their claims.

"When we have very high levels of ambiguity, it's very easy to fill in narratives," said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, who is the director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. Well, Ms. Jamieson, one might suggest that when you have these very high levels of ambiguity delivered by heads of state, business executives, cultural trendsetters, and representatives from international organizations who gather for a global conference, the blame should rest with those elites for not being clear enough in their proposals. (For the record, I am one of those "ones who might suggest"”)

These high-minded elitists are suggesting global change, yet they are the same who utter unfocused proposals. That ambiguity may, in fact, be by design, as the open-ended plans leave open numerous possibilities down the road. You are mad at those filling in the blanks but not those who originally laid out those blank spaces.

Then you have the very evidence arising that dispels the claim of conspiracies being weaved. That subsequent proof, of course, makes for inconveniences in the reporting – so it is the decision to not report on them at all. This way, the accusations stand, and the outrage is justified.


Ozone hole recovery claims may be premature and over-optimistic, science writer warns

Large recent holes

Claims by a UN-backed panel of experts that the ozone layer is healing and on track to full recovery may be premature and over-optimistic, Net Zero Watch’s science editor, Dr David Whitehouse, has warned.

Any internet search will find hundreds of news stories announcing that the ozone hole over the Antarctic is slowing filling and that by about the middle of this century mankind’s vandalism of this natural atmospheric layer will have been remedied.

The ozone hole has become an icon of anthropogenic interference in the natural world — and a hopeful signpost that there is a way back. But is the ozone hole really healing? Not by as much as many headlines suggest, it would appear.

The ozone layer — the portion of the stratosphere that protects our planet from the Sun’s ultraviolet rays — thins to form an “ozone hole” above the South Pole every September. Chlorine and bromine in the atmosphere, derived from human-produced compounds, attach to crystals in high-altitude polar clouds initiate ozone-destroying reactions as the Sun reappears at the end of Antarctica’s winter.

Unusual behaviour for three consecutive years

The Antarctic ozone hole usually starts opening during the Southern Hemisphere spring (in late September) and begins to develop during October, usually ending during November. But this has not been the case in the past few years. Data from the last three years show a different behaviour: during this time, the ozone hole has remained larger than usual throughout November and has only come to an end well into December.

The 2022 Antarctic ozone hole was again relatively large and its closure took longer than usual, like 2020 and 2021. This is a different behaviour from what had been seen in the previous 40 years. No one is quite sure what is happening.

Speculating on the cause of this new behaviour Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service Director, Vincent-Henri Peuch said:

"There are several factors influencing the extent and duration of the ozone hole each year, particularly the strength of the Polar vortex and the temperatures in the stratosphere. The last three years have been marked by strong vortices and low temperatures, which has led to consecutive large and long-lasting ozone hole episodes. There is a possible connection with climate change, which tends to cool the stratosphere. It is quite unexpected though to see three unusual ozone holes in a row. It is certainly something to look into further."


Investors Plow Into Renewables, but Projects Aren’t Getting Built

Even as developers plan an unprecedented number of grid-scale wind and solar installations, project construction is plummeting across the U.S.

Despite billions of dollars in federal tax credits up for grabs and investors eager to fund clean energy projects, the pace of development has ground to a crawl and many renewables plans face an uncertain path to completion. Supply-chain snags, long waits to connect to the grid and challenging regulatory and political environments across the country are contributing to the slowdown, analysts and companies say.

New wind installations plunged 77.5% in the third quarter of 2022 versus the same period the year before, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. New utility-scale solar installations likely fell 40% in 2022 compared with 2021, according to a report from the Solar Energy Industries Association and research firm Wood Mackenzie.

The decline belies enormous demand for renewable projects. The industry is ready to launch a would-be building spree after last year’s spending and climate law, the Inflation Reduction Act, extended and increased tax credits for wind and solar projects and introduced new incentives for green hydrogen and battery storage for the electric grid. The success of the IRA, the Biden administration’s climate targets and many state decarbonization plans hinge on adding massive amounts of renewable energy into the grid.

More than $40 billion in wind, solar and battery projects were announced in three months late last year—as much as the total clean-energy investment for all of 2021, according to the industry group American Clean Power Association. Large corporations with climate targets are among the most eager buyers of green power, contracting for enough wind and solar capacity last year to power more than 1,000 data centers.

“Ten years from now there’s going to be a huge shift in the landscape where there is going to be a significant amount of electricity coming from renewables,” said Matt Birchby, president of renewable-project developer and owner Swift Current Energy LLC. “But getting from A to B is inherently going to be messy.”

Supply-chain and trade issues have complicated planning. Average lead times for securing high voltage equipment have risen from 30 weeks to more than 70, Mr. Birchby said.

Sourcing solar panels has turned into the stuff of spy stories as companies try to avoid running afoul of trade regulations and navigate risks and complications of global shipping. “You almost feel like you’re in a Tom Clancy novel,” Mr. Birchby said. Swift Current Energy has contracted to purchase nearly $1 billion in American-made solar panels, he said.

Efforts to create a domestic solar supply chain to meet U.S. project demand are expected to take a few years. Meanwhile, panel imports, 80% of which come from Chinese and other Asian makers, have slowed following U.S. legislation aimed at cracking down on labor abuses in China. Several thousand shipping containers of solar panels have been detained by U.S. Customs near ports such as Los Angeles, according to some estimates.

The wind industry has struggled to overcome pandemic-related supply-chain and logistics challenges in delivering its massive equipment, but uncertainty over the details of federal tax policy has been a significant factor slowing installations. Companies are waiting on Treasury Department guidance to outline the specifics of how a project can qualify for tax credits in the Inflation Reduction Act.

Even in battery storage, an industry which saw more installations in 2022, supply-chain problems have slowed some construction plans by as much as a year, developers say.

A bigger unknown is the time and cost to get new batteries or solar or wind farms connected to the grid, as grid operators and interconnecting utilities must study the projects’ likely impact on the power system and any needed network upgrades before signing off on them.


The failure of Britishvolt is a surprising success for sound business

No one greets failure with quite as much relief as we do in Britain, so let’s chill the champagne, for we have another reason to celebrate. Last week the start-up Britishvolt went into administration, with the loss of 200 jobs. The company had vowed to become the £3.8bn cornerstone of the British electric vehicle sector, by building a battery “gigafactory” in Red Wall Blyth.

The news is desperately disappointing for the employees who have lost their jobs in a region that Westminster has ignored for decades, but at the risk of sounding callous, the rest of us may breathe a sigh of relief. For this failure is actually a surprising success.

Britishvolt executives had reportedly made use of private jets, while scrambling to buy in the manufacturing technology they needed from Germany. The company had no market-ready technology, no customers and no assets beyond a large field in Northumbria. Nevertheless, it besieged the Government for £100m in funding to tide it over to 2024, when it said the first battery packs would roll off its still-unbuilt production lines.

However, with private investors notably wary, officials were unconvinced. Britishvolt failed to meet the thresholds they demanded. So for once, the system has actually worked as it should. While ministers are being chided by their Labour shadows for not doing more, we know we won’t have another DeLorean to rue. But can we be confident this rigour will be the default in the future? I’m not so sure.


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)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

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Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Swiss right-wing party to call referendum in bid to block climate change law

Switzerland's right-wing Swiss People's Party (SVP) will within a few days call a referendum aimed at blocking a draft law to cut greenhouse gas emissions, party officials said.

The SVP, a member of the ruling coalition in Bern, is campaigning against the law to make Switzerland carbon-neutral by 2050 but has so far failed to attract backing from other parties.

The proposed legislation would accelerate CO2 emissions cuts and the rollout of renewables, notably solar energy, backed by 2 billion Swiss francs ($2.2 billion) of funding.

The SVP argues that imposing further reductions would be counterproductive during the current energy crisis, triggered across Europe after Moscow cut off most gas deliveries in response to Western sanctions imposed over Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

In Switzerland, proposed referendums require the support of 50,000 signatures to be activated.

SVP energy spokesperson Monika Rueegger told a webcast interview on Sunday that numbers "well in excess" of that total had signed up and that the party would probably announce the referendum on Monday.

A party spokesperson declined to confirm how many signatures had been gathered and said it planned to call the referendum as scheduled on Jan. 19, the deadline for acceptances.

The SVP, which also favours tighter curbs on immigration, is the biggest group in Switzerland's 200-member federal parliament, but no other party has supported its referendum,.

However, the new draft anti-CO2 law also faces hurdles.

It too will require approval in a referendum to become law and is a watered-down version of a draft that failed to pass in 2021.


South Korea curbs plans for renewables in push for more nuclear

South Korea will boost nuclear power generation and downgrade its plans for renewable energy as the nation overhauls its electricity mix to meet emissions reduction targets.

Nuclear plants are now expected to account for almost one-third of generation capacity by 2030 up from about 24% forecast in earlier draft proposals, according to government documents published Thursday. Renewable sources are seen generating about 21.6% by the same date, lower than a previous estimate of 30.2%.

The 10th Basic Plan for Long-Term Electricity Supply and Demand follows the country’s move in 2021 to bolster its climate action. South Korea is aiming to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from 2018 levels by the end of the decade.

President Yoon Suk Yeol, who took office last year, has focused on nuclear power as a key tool to curb emissions rather than solar, wind or hydro. Yoon touted atomic energy throughout his presidential campaign and has called for the building of more reactors — a clear reversal of former President Moon Jae-in’s anti-nuclear policies.

The role of coal and liquefied natural gas will continue to dwindle under the plans. LNG will be required for about 9% of electricity generation and coal for 14% by 2036, according to the energy ministry forecasts.

South Korea is also aiming to use hydrogen and ammonia for co-firing in its existing coal power plants, the ministry said. The two fuels will together make up more than 7% of the power mix in 2036.


US greenhouse gas emissions rose again in 2022 despite climate goals

US greenhouse gas emissions rose again in 2022, putting the country further behind its targets under the Paris climate agreement despite the passage of sweeping clean energy legislation last year.

Emissions increased by 1.3 per cent last year, according to preliminary estimates by environmental consultancy Rhodium Group, led by sharp increases from the country’s buildings, industry and transport. The electric sector emitted slightly less, largely due to natural gas replacing coal in power stations and increased use of renewable energy.

The 74mn-tonne increase in the US’s carbon dioxide equivalent emissions last year was greater than the total emissions of some European countries, but far smaller than the 6.5 per cent leap (350mn tonnes) recorded in 2021 after authorities eased lockdowns imposed during the coronavirus pandemic.

The emissions trend puts the US further out of sync with the administration of Joe Biden’s climate goals, Rhodium said in a report. Total US emissions of 5.6bn tonnes in 2022 maintain the country’s status as the second largest source of greenhouse gases after China.

“With the slight increase in emissions in 2022, the US continues to fall behind in its efforts to meet its target set under the Paris Agreement of reducing GHG emissions 50-52 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030,” the authors said. Last year US emissions were just 15.5 per cent below 2005 levels.


Australia: Green superannuation funds are 2022’s underperformers

A bad year for super fund returns has spelt a serious setback for “green” funds as coal and oil stocks soared and clean tech shares dropped sharply.

Overall returns in super were down nearly 5 per cent – but returns were regularly twice as bad at green funds which completely missed the energy sector rebound. The average balanced fund – where most investors have most of their money – dropped by 4.8 per cent last year, the fourth negative year recorded by such funds since 2000, according to the SuperRatings group.

Top-rated green funds such as Australian Ethical had nowhere to turn when the tech sell-off accelerated in the second half of 2022. The Australian Ethical balanced fund was down 9 per cent over the year.

Australian Ethical has been the fastest growing super fund in the market in terms of member accumulation over the last five years, according to KPMG.

Some of the worst performers were new funds that target younger investors with green products: Spaceship Super, a fund which has a focus on global technology, reported a minus 15 per cent return on its growth fund.

Younger investors have clearly been attracted to the Spaceship fund – its annual report said it had an 80 per cent growth in membership last year.

Future Super, which focuses on “climate conscious super”, reported an 11 per cent drop in its balanced fund while the group’s more specialised funds did even worse: The group’s Renewables Plus Growth fund fell by 13 per cent over the year.

Cruelty Free Super, the super fund which is a “happy supporter of the vegan community”, did a little better, though its returns were still below average at minus 7.25 per cent. The fund also managed to get hit with a fine from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission this month, which was concerned over “what may have been false and misleading statements”.

“It has been a tough period for all funds, but particularly funds where ESG (environment, social and governance) settings may have meant a concentration on technology investments,” says Kirby Rappell of SuperRatings.

Major funds that managed to navigate the parallel boom in fossil fuel stocks and a ferocious sell- off in technology stocks included Hostplus, the best performing fund in the local market over the longer term. Hostplus managed to hold negative returns at minus 2.5 per cent – around half the average return of its peers.

Industry funds dominate the top performers in the market, but it was a retail fund – Perpetual’s Wealthfocus – that topped the 12 month tables with a positive return of 1.7 per cent.

Perpetual was joined by First Super’s balanced fund as the only other fund with a positive return – the First Super balanced fund managed a very slender positive return of 0.1 per cent

The Australian Retirement Trust (created through the merger of Q Super and SunSuper) ranked seventh with a minus 2.6 per cent return.


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)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

http://jonjayray.com/blogall.html More blogs


Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Welcome to Green Britain: Affordable electric cars ‘not viable’, car maker warns

A mass market in affordable electric cars will not happen soon because of the difficulty of producing them on a commercially viable basis, one of the largest makers of zero-emission vehicles for British drivers has warned.

Paul Philpott, UK chief executive of Kia, the fast-growing South Korean car company, said it had no immediate plans for a mass-market electric product.

Some fear there is a prospect of a society of haves and have-nots in the electric car revolution because of the sheer cost of buying or financing a zero-emission vehicle.

Philpott’s prediction also threatens to undermine the government’s ban on selling petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030.

With price inflation roaring ahead in the past couple of years, there are only a handful of electric cars available below £30,000, compared with the less than £20,000 that motorists would expect to pay for mass market or entry-level petrol cars. Even the smallest electric car, the zero-emission version of the Fiat 500, starts at about £30,000.

This month the Advanced Propulsion Centre, the government’s automotive electrification agency, significantly cut electric car forecasts for 2025 because “buyers are expected to stick with cheaper options for longer”.

While European and Asian manufacturers have been stepping up production of electric vehicles, they have been concentrating on more expensive models to make healthy profit margins on the cost of installing electrified systems. The battery pack is the costliest component of an electric car. The smaller the car, the larger the proportion the battery in its production cost.


UK: New peak rates mean charging electric cars more expensive than petrol

New peak pricing at electric car chargepoints can leave consumers worse off than if they stuck to traditional petrol-engined vehicles, according to new analysis from the AA.

Previous analysis by motoring organisations has showed the cost of charging electric vehicles has soared in recent months, driven by rising energy prices partly triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last February.

Rapid charge points used by motorists topping up on long drives are now nearly £10 more expensive than filling up a car with petrol, the RAC revealed last week.

But research from the AA published on Monday finds that recharging an electric car even using a slow public charger at peak times can be more expensive, per mile driven afterwards, than for refuelling a comparable petrol car.

Peak and off-peak rates have been introduced by major networks including Ubitricity, the UK’s largest public charge-point operator.

Jack Cousens, the AA’s head of roads policy and recharging, said: “While pump prices are falling, electricity prices are going in the other direction, but we are hopeful prices could tail off later this year.”

News that electric cars could be more expensive to run than petrol or diesel alternatives will strike a blow at the Government’s target of reaching net zero CO2 emissions by the year 2050.

AA analysts compared a 1.2L petrol Vauxhall Corsa with the e-Corsa, the manufacturer’s electrically-powered alternative.

Topping up the e-Corsa’s charge by 80pc on a slow charger at peak times results in a cost of 16.18p per mile.

The AA said: “A continued fall in the pump price of petrol now places the running costs [of a petrol Corsa] at around 14.45 pence per mile, meaning that a petrol combustion engine vehicle is cheaper to run per mile than an EV.”


Green, cold & poor: Relying on wind power means Britons must get used to cutting energy use, says National Grid

Households will be paid to cut their electricity use at certain times more often in future as Britain relies on wind power as part of the push to net zero, National Grid has signalled.

Craig Dyke, head of national control at the electricity system operator, said it “strongly believes” in consumers becoming more flexible about when they use electricity as the energy system is overhauled.

It comes as households are paid to reduce electricity usage between 5pm and 6pm tonight as National Grid deploys its new scheme to help avert blackouts for the first time outside of testing.

Asked if similar schemes could become a “feature of British life” and be used regularly, Mr Dyke told the BBC: “It’s something we strongly believe in.

“As we take that step whereby people are far more engaged in the energy they use, and as we drive towards that net zero position with people moving to electric vehicles and taking up heat pumps, for example, consumer engagement around this is key.

“It provides that additional flexibility as well - not just for the system, but for all consumers themselves.

“So we see this as a growing market, we see this as a world-leading step into this space.”

The push to net zero means that electricity demand will rise as households switch to electric cars and heat pumps.

Meanwhile, more electricity is coming from wind turbines and solar plants, which are intermittent.

This makes power supplies more complicated to manage compared to the historic system dominated by large coal-fired and gas-fired power plants which can easily adapt to demand.

With less control over electricity supplies, National Grid hopes therefore to have more control over electricity demand.


Norwegian shipping company bans electric vehicles over fire fears

The company says that its ships are not equipped to fight a lithium-ion battery fire at sea

Norway’s Havila Krystruten is one of two shipping companies that sails between the coastal cities of Bergen and Kierkenes and says that it will no longer carry electric or electrified vehicles on its ships following the results of an external investigation.

The company mostly carries passengers and goods on the route, but now says that it will only carry private vehicles with internal combustion engines. Havila Krystruten cited fire safety as the main reason for its decision.

While it is not clear what led the company to run the external investigation, fears of fires on ships were stoked by a recent incident in the Atlantic.

The Felicity Ace caught fire at sea last year and, although the cause of the fire has not been determined, there were vehicles with batteries aboard the ship, leading to speculation that they may have been responsible for the blaze.


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)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

http://jonjayray.com/blogall.html More blogs