Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Hormesis: An Overview of the Pubmed Literature

Hormesis is when some things that are bad for you in high doses are actually good for you in low to medium doses -- including radioactivity -- which upsets Greenie scares about leaks of radioactivity.

On balance, it's probable that the Chernobyl meltdown did more good than harm, even to life in the surrounding area. Life is certainly flourishing there better than ever these days. Pesky!

Dr. Ronald N. Kostoff


The purpose of this Op-ed is to provide a broad overview of the Pubmed literature in Hormesis (a biphasic dose-response phenomenon characterized by a low-dose stimulation and a high-dose inhibition). A unique query was developed to retrieve this literature, and many Hormetins (any stress condition that is able to induce Hormesis) were identified. Hormesis has been a controversial topic because of its potential for modifying exposure limit regulations. Critical articles addressing both sides of this issue are also presented in the next section.


“Hormesis is a biphasic dose-response phenomenon characterized by a low-dose stimulation and a high-dose inhibition”. “Specific aspects of this general nonlinearity phenomenon have been described using various terms mainly addressing the shape of the dose-response curve, as biphasic, bimodal, bitonic, U shaped, inverted U-shaped, J-shaped, nonmonotonic, functional metabolism and stimulatory inhibitory, among others…..

Furthermore, terms such as adaptive response, preconditioning, autoprotection, heteroprotection, paradoxical and others have also been used to describe the shape of the dose-response patterns”. “Hormesis is a special type of biphasic dose-response relationship that has well-defined, quantitative features, including the magnitude and the width of the stimulatory zone and the relationship of the stimulatory zone to the traditional toxicological threshold (no-observed-adverse-effect level)…..

The hormetic dose response also must be seen within a temporal context–that is, as a dose-time-response relationship. The reason for incorporating a temporal feature in hormesis is that it also may be described as a modest over-compensation response following an initial disruption in homeostasis…..The hormetic dose response therefore represents the effects of a reparative process that slightly or modestly overshoots the original homeostatic set point, resulting in the low-dose stimulatory response…..The assessment of the dose response therefore is a dynamic process. Whereas harmful agents may induce toxicity in affected biological systems, the organism or biological system is not a passive entity but, rather, will respond to damage signals with a coordinated series of temporally mediated repair processes. This dynamic aspect of toxicological assessment requires the inclusion of not only a broad range of doses but also a series of temporal evaluations (i.e., repeat measures). Only by assessing the dose-response process over time can an accurate assessment of the dose-response relationship be determined, within which the hormetic dose response is best revealed.” .......


Hormesis is a biphasic dose-response phenomenon characterized by a low-dose stimulation and a high-dose inhibition. Hormetins are substances that produce Hormesis. The present Op-ed identified many hundreds of candidate Hormetins, and provided arguments that showed many more candidate Hormetins could be identified with a well-resourced study. Fifty candidate Hormetins were evaluated, and 45 of the fifty were validated as Hormetins, a 90% success rate. Each of the 45 Hormetins was briefly addressed, in describing the evidence that linked the substance to Hormesis.

The main categories of Hormetins (candidate and validated), based on numbers of studies published, appear to be ionizing radiation, agrochemicals, soil pollutants, water pollutants, air pollutants, medications, food pollutants, heavy metals, industrial chemicals, foods, physical activities, etc. From my perspective, the main limitations are the criteria the authors use for Hormetins, and the spatiotemporal omissions of most studies reported. Typically, the authors will select a few biomarkers, examine changes in their magnitude and direction related to the application of the candidate Hormetin, and if the changes go in a specific direction, conclude that the substance resulted in Hormesis. This is very limited.

If the results of these studies are to be used in health policy-making, as some leaders in the field have suggested, then the spatiotemporal boundaries need to be expanded significantly to ensure safety. More biomarkers need to be selected to ensure global maxima of benefits are obtained rather than local maxima (e.g., short-term, single stressor). For heterogeneous populations, one would expect a distribution of susceptibility to these stressors, where some members could experience positive Hormetic effects and other members might experience negative impacts. In other words, generalizability to whole populations needs to be established. More studies need to be done including combinations of candidate Hormetins, and combinations of candidate Hormetins with real-world substances operating at toxic levels. Additionally, they need to be performed over the long-term, not limited to short-term, as many of the studies reviewed here are. Most of all, because of the limited applicability of animal studies to humans, long-term studies on humans would be required for these myriad combinations. This would require many decades of well-controlled studies on humans, to ensure longevity is not impacted adversely and diseases of old age are not enhanced.


Inside the Meltdown at the Sierra Club

image from https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ9XJPTqpPciw7FCs_HEP5cTlbTOduNWZozTA&s

Ben Jealous

Last year, the Sierra Club faced a $40 million funding shortfall and “significant fundraising uncertainty due to overall economic trends,” a spokesperson for the legacy environmental group explained over email in May.* Top management—helmed by then recently appointed Executive Director Ben Jealous, a former president of the NAACP, Maryland Democratic gubernatorial candidate, and venture capitalist—accordingly embarked on massive layoffs as it went about “creating new positions, eliminating some old positions and re-imagining others” to deal with the organization’s financial realities.

Layoffs were intended to be part and parcel of a restructuring of the organization and new strategic vision, a “50-state strategy,” by which club staff would be reorganized into work across four distinct regions, with a focus on red states. Employees who had spent years, in some cases, leading campaigns with the national organization were reshuffled into new roles. Some were reassigned to state chapter organizations or a new “field team” that runs the regional offices that serve as intermediaries between states and the national organization.

“Having a 50-state strategy is critical for us,” Jealous told Time. “In this moment, when the power grid will be changed in all 50 states, when we are building green industry in all 50 states, the Sierra Club must be as effective and impactful as possible in all 50 states.”

Nearly a year on, employees across the organization report widespread uncertainty over the strategic direction of the green group and the responsibilities required of new roles, offices, and departments. The Sierra Club has yet to finalize a 2024 budget. Managers in both the national organization and state chapters say they only have access to a few weeks’ worth of budgetary information at a time, which has made longer-term planning extraordinarily difficult. “They don’t tell us anything about the budget. There’s very little transparency,” one manager at a state chapter told me. “A lot of us just want to run functional campaigns and do power-building work, and it’s just tough when, from the top, there’s a lack of structure, a lack of organization, and a lack of communication.”

This is in addition to the increasingly contentious bargaining between management and the Progressive Workers Union, which represents a portion of Sierra Club staff. The PWU has filed multiple unfair labor practice charges, or ULPs, with the National Labor Relations Board against the Sierra Club.

Asked about criticisms of the restructuring process, Sierra Club’s deputy director of communications, Jonathon Berman, said that “numerous communications” at the outset made clear that “this would be a multistep process which would proceed over multiple months, and for some portions, more than a year.

We continue to follow that process, adjusting and tweaking based on feedback from a wide array of stakeholders as we return the organization to a position of growth.” Asked about the organization’s overall financial health, Berman said that the Sierra Club “continues to make the necessary reforms to ensure our fiscal health and ability to meet our core goals and mission. Just a year ago, leadership was confronted with navigating a potential $40 million deficit. Our work has remained focused on ensuring that such dangers to our fiscal health do not materialize as we finalize the 2024 budget.”

Several Sierra Club employees—who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation—were told that between 50 and 100 people could soon be laid off. “Sometimes I show up to work wondering if I’m going to have a job today,” another employee said. “Am I going to be able to log into my Sierra Club account?”

Several high-level staff have left the organization in recent weeks, including from the new field team that was purportedly built out to support chapters and drive the 50-state strategy forward. Members of that team, Sierra Club’s largest, have gotten questions from chapters that they can’t answer. Most pressing among those are questions about their budgets: While chapters can and often do raise their own funds, most rely on the national organization.

A document from spring of 2023, provided to PWU by Sierra Club via an information request, show that the top 10 earners at the Sierra Club, meanwhile—the group’s executive team—earned a combined 14.4 percent more ($3,236,620) at that time than what the same team had earned the prior year. Asked about these figures, Berman said he could not comment on the document without reviewing it. “There have now been multiple efforts by those seeking to spread misinformation to create numbers to fit their narrative,” he added. I responded that those figures had been provided to PWU by the Sierra Club but did not hear back from Berman in time for publication.

Last year’s layoffs kicked off a round of bargaining between the Sierra Club and the Progressive Workers Union, which represents staff in the green group’s state chapters and at the national level who are each covered under separate collective bargaining agreements. That “impact bargaining,” i.e., regarding who would be laid off, how they would be selected, and the terms of their severance, was followed a few months later by bargaining over a new contract. The contract for employees of the national organization is still underway.

The unfair labor practice charges PWU has filed against the Sierra Club include one last year alleging that leadership intended to prolong contract negotiations and provoke a strike, after which it would fire striking workers. Sierra Club management have repeatedly called the ULPs filed against them by PWU baseless.

In an emailed statement, PWU wrote that “management has made it clear that they are committed to their efforts to bust our union and gut integral provisions in our existing contract. Now, in the middle of ongoing negotiations and less than one year since the last massive layoff and restructure package threw the organization into disarray, rumors are swirling about proposals from senior management for further layoffs. It is time for the Board to take action to avoid layoffs and investigate the grievous mismanagement of the organization by Jealous and his Executive Team.”

When he arrived at the Sierra Club, Jealous also brought with him a largely new executive team. “There’s been 100 percent turnover in senior leadership before I got here, and there were a bunch of vacancies we had to fill,” he explained to E&E News last year. New hires included people that Jealous had previously worked with in his gubernatorial campaign, at the NAACP, and at People for the American Way, another progressive nonprofit focused on advocacy.

Throughout the Sierra Club, employees tasked with carrying out strategies made by the executive team say that rapid turnover, along with job reassignments and budgetary uncertainties, have made their work exceedingly difficult. One employee said that the email they received outlining their new job assignment was sent without critical information filled in. “Somebody messed up a mail merge, so it said, ‘You’re blank, you’re doing blank.’” After receiving their job assignment, the same employee learned they’d been demoted, after having been with the Sierra Club for more than five years and spending much of that time developing highly specific expertise. They described the news as a “gut punch.”

“I feel like the culture has shifted from feeling confident, cutting edge, and kicking ass to, ‘scared of our own shadow, not sure what’s going to happen tomorrow, and not sure who to trust,” they said. “The Sierra Club was a fabulous place to work because we have work-life balance and respect for the fact that we were moms and daughters and spouses and partners. There’s none of that right now. I think people would be afraid to share what they were going through.” Another employee, who’s represented by PWU, said that “what’s really sticking out to me right now is this feeling that you can’t trust anyone. There’s just a lot of fear around what’s going on and what could potentially happen.”

Another employee who has worked closely with the new executive team said it feels like that team “came in with an us-versus-them mentality. You either are on board with them and you’re the yes people or you’re not.” Top leadership at the Sierra Club reportedly call meetings about how to deal with the union “war room” meetings. Asked about this allegation, Berman said that “the Sierra Club does not have a war room.”

With the exception of chief legal officer Erica McKinley, the Sierra Club’s executive team has largely not been present for bargaining over this contract, PWU has said. They’re represented instead by several hired attorneys. The Sierra Club has declined to disclose how much it pays those lawyers, amid massive budget shortfalls, but employment lawyers have been known to charge from $300 to $1,500 per hour per attorney if billing hourly.

Management-level employees have been made to attend anti-union presentations that include point-by-point rebuttals of union demands, according to screenshots of slides from one such presentation shared with The New Republic. “We must balance managing the organization to maximize impact while also offering as flexible and worker-friendly [an] environment as possible,” one slide pertaining to PWU salary demands read.

One management-level employee who attended that presentation told me that the implication seemed to be that PWU and the workers it represents were interested only in salary raises, rather than saving the environment—an opinion this employee does not share: “The sense I get from the executive team is that PWU is trying to hamper the Sierra Club or to stop us from doing our work,” that employee said. But people “don’t come to work here because they hate the environment.”

Employees, including those who’d worked under previous executive directors, described an executive team less open to collaboration and operating with a more “corporate vibe,” as one employee put it. “Before there was just a lot more of a relationship with the executive level. We used to have town halls and open spaces to communicate with those higher up,” an employee represented by PWU said. “It’s just very cold and impersonal,” another relayed, noting that most employees receive only sporadic communication from Jealous and the executive team.

Around the time that layoffs were announced, PWU members joined all-staff Zoom meetings displaying union logos and symbols of solidarity. Shortly thereafter, the chat function in those meetings was disabled. Now all-staff meetings are held as webinars, where only the screens of presenters are visible and attendees cannot communicate with one another. (This change was the subject of another unfair labor practice charge filed by PWU.)

Asked how Sierra Club might confront low morale in the organization and fears about layoffs, Berman responded that a “core component of ensuring a strong Sierra Club is combating misinformation about who and what we are. We are not an organization that tolerates—and certainly not one that encourages—retaliation against our own employees, and the suggestion that we are without any proof has no other purpose than to try and divide the Sierra Club at a critical juncture,” he added. “We take pride in our employees and their work, which is why despite navigating a difficult economic environment we have continued to invest in our employees through overall benefits that are comparable to those offered by more wealthier corporations.”


German Officials Said To Have Manipulated Documents To Support Nuclear Power Phase Out

A bombshell report in Germany released this morning by Cicero, a German media outlet, has uncovered that government officials manipulated documents to enable Germany’s phase out of nuclear power plants.

Top officials of Germany’s Green party, as per Cicero, manipulated expert reports to enable the shutdown to occur. Top officials from both the economics and environment ministries are said to have falsified the reports, leading to information being withheld from Economics Minister Robert Habeck.

One example of falsified reports include an internal note from the Environment Ministry in 2022, which was led by Steffi Lemke of the Greens. The note consists of an expert explanation on why the continued operation of the nuclear plants in Germany would be possible from a safety perspective. However, the note was re-written in a manner that was misleading, with the re-written note stating that the plants should not be extended for even months and that the suggestion should be “rejected for reasons of nuclear safety.”

Cicero summarizes the ordeal by stating, “The expertise of the experts in the own ministry, who were paid with taxpayers’ money, hardly played a role. Most of the time they weren’t even asked. The leadership circle of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of the Environment, which is responsible for nuclear safety, made up of Green party soldiers, has agreed on all the essential steps among themselves. When the specialist departments of both ministries were allowed to share their assessment, it was usually ignored – or deliberately falsified.“

It seems the Green party wanted to push through with the nuclear phase-out, regardless of the cost, and despite it defying economic and scientific reason.

And as it turns out, there is still hope for nuclear energy in Germany – expert opinions, which were previously not released, have indicated that at least five of the last six German nuclear power plants could be reactivated and begin generating power once again. Two different political parties in Germany, the CDU and CSU, have already indicated they intend to do as much should they return to power.


Shareholders Reject Petroleum Giant Woodside’s Climate Plan

Shareholders of Australian petroleum giant Woodside Energy have turned down a climate plan proposed by the company’s management amid pressure from climate activists.

During Woodside’s annual general meeting on April 24, its shareholders voted on a number of issues, including the chairman position and an action plan to help the company transition to net zero.

While the incumbent chairman, Richard Goyder, was re-elected with 83.4 percent support, 58.4 percent of the shareholders turned down its climate plan.

Despite the vote on the climate plan being non-binding and purely advisory, it showed that most of Woodside’s shareholders disagreed with the company’s vision about its decarbonisation toward net zero emissions.

According to the most recent version of Woodside’s climate action plan (pdf), the company achieved a reduction in direct and indirect (scope one and two) emissions of 12.5 percent below the starting base in 2023.
The petroleum producer set targets to slash its scope one and two emissions by 15 percent by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030.

It also planned to lift the amount of investment in new energy products and lower carbon services from $335 million (US$218 million) in 2023 to $5 billion by 2030.

After the vote, Mr. Goyder expressed his disappointment with the shareholders’ decision.

“Naturally, we’re disappointed, but respect the result,” he said.

“The vote reflects the challenges and complexities of the energy transition, and today’s outcome is one that we take very seriously.”

The chairman also noted that before the April 24 meeting, he had over 80 meetings with Woodside’s shareholders and proxy advisors in the past year where they had honest and open discussions on the climate action plan.

“We would love to be investing more money in renewable energy right now, if only we had the customers, and current customers were prepared to make the trade-offs, particularly financial,” he said during the meeting.

Nevertheless, Mr. Goyder acknowledged that many of Woodside’s customers were incurring substantial costs due to their energy transition.


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, April 29, 2024

Pledges and Endorsements: Should science societies and journals take political positions?


Earlier this year, at its annual meeting the American Meteorological Society announced that the organization was signing a climate “pledge” along with EarthXTV, promising that it would work to mitigate climate dis/misinformation:

“Addressing climate change must be a top priority, if humanity and all life is to thrive. Therefore, the undersigned scientific societies and media organizations commit to working together to inform all audiences about the challenges and opportunities facing humanity at this point in the 21st century by signing a joint pledge to work together on all fronts from a science-based position to mitigate today's prevalent dis/mis-information about climate change.”

More than 15 other scientific societies signed the pledge — including the American Geophysical Union and meteorological societies from 9 other countries and regions. What exactly the pledge means in practice is not clear, but battles over misinformation are typically about politics more than information.

Scientific societies are membership organizations which are created to allow people to associate with others with similar interests or in similar professions. One function of membership organizations is to advance the shared interests of their members, and such advancement typically includes participating in politics, whether through communication and advocacy or more formally as lobbying.

Consider the third “A” in the largest scientific society in the United States, the AAAS — the American Association for the Advancement of Science.1 Scientific societies are interest groups which are absolutely essential to the functioning of a healthy democracy — exactly as envisioned by James Madison in Federalist 10.2

One answer to the question of whether science societies should take political positions in the form of pledges to this or that cause, or even endorsements of political candidates or platforms is — Sure, go for it. Interest groups comprised of likeminded people appealing to their fellow citizens and government for outcomes they believe to be in their group interest is the lifeblood of democracy.

However — and it is a big however — scientific societies also perform public interest functions that may be compromised by their special interest political positioning. Specifically, I am referring to the role that scientific societies play in overseeing peer-reviewed journals where scientific claims are made, challenged, debated, and collectively make up a significant part of what we consider to be scientific knowledge.3

The pursuit of special interests by a scientific organization could compromise its effectiveness as a public interest forum, in the words of Nature’s mission statement:4

“. . . to ensure that the results of science are rapidly disseminated to the public throughout the world, in a fashion that conveys their significance for knowledge, culture and daily life.”

Nature does not exist to serve only its subscribers or even the broader scientific community, but “the public throughout the world.” I assume that editors of virtually all scientific journals would agree.5

This creates a situation of potential conflict — Scientific societies exist to serve the special interests of their members whereas the journals that they host exist to serve the common interests of the public.6 What happens when special interests conflict with common interests?7

We do not have to speculate on the answer.

In 2020, Nature endorsed candidate Joe Biden in the U.S. presidential election.8 Several years after, Floyd Jiuyun Zhang of Stanford University explored the consequences among U.S. citizens of the endorsement on measures of trust in Nature and the broader scientific community.9

What Zhang found should have set off alarm bells in any editorial board or scientific organization looking to become more political:

This study shows that electoral endorsements by Nature and potentially other scientific journals or organizations can undermine public trust in the endorser, particularly among supporters of the out-party candidate. This has negative impacts on trust in the scientific community as a whole and on information acquisition behaviours with respect to critical public health issues. Positive effects among supporters of the endorsed candidate are null or small, and they do not offset the negative effects among the opposite camp. This probably results in a lower overall level of public confidence and more polarization along the party line. There is little evidence that seeing the endorsement message changes opinions about the candidates.

Zhang found that the endorsement of Joe Biden by Nature made polarization worse, decreased trust in the scientific community, and did not change views on the candidates. Other than that, how was the play Mrs. Lincoln?

Nature responded to the study by doubling down on its commitment to make political endorsements, regardless the consequences:

. . . the study does question whether research journals should endorse electoral candidates if one implication is falling trust in science. This is an important question, and there are, sadly, no easy answers. The study shows the potential costs of making an endorsement. But inaction has costs, too. Considering the record of Trump’s four years in office, this journal judged that silence was not an option.

Nature’s October 2020 editorial was an appeal to readers in the United States to consider the dangers that four more years of Trump would pose — not only for science, but also for the health and well-being of US society and the wider world. . .

The fact that just under half of U.S. voters who voted in 2020 voted for Donald Trump is clear evidence that the special interests of Nature (a London-based journal) conflicted with the interests of almost half of those who voted.

What action by Nature might have been more consistent with common interests? Not endorsing a candidate.

By not endorsing a candidate the common interests being served would have been helping to sustain and reinforce trust in the scientific community and not serving to compromise or polarize that trust. For scientific organizations, appeals to special interests at the expense of common interests is a choice.

Scientific membership organizations have every right to act as politically as their members desire — though here too I’d urge evidence-informed caution. But scientific journals are different, simply because they have a public interest focus.

Stronger institutional firewalls are needed between societies and the journals that they host. Journals have one job, and that is to provide a forum for publishing peer-reviewed research, which I’d note, will in individual papers will often reflect political agendas, arguments, and biases.

Journal editors should eschew the lure of and demands for playing interest group politics and stay focused on their core mission — that will better serve both common interests and the special interests of the scientific community to serve all people, no matter who they vote for.


‘Environmental Pollutant’—How a Key Climate Agenda Tool Harms Endangered Species

As the Biden administration expands its offshore wind projects as part of its goal to reach a carbon-free energy system, whales and other marine life may become collateral damage, according to new research.

Two independent studies measuring ocean wind turbine construction noise found that the sound emitted by vessels mapping the seafloor was significantly louder than estimated, and that noise protection for whales and other sea creatures during wind turbine pile driving doesn’t work.

Intense noise causes hearing loss in whales, other marine mammals, turtles, and fish, compromising their ability to navigate, avoid danger, detect predators, and find prey, according to scientific studies.

Robert Rand, an acoustics consultant with 44 years of experience, took underwater readings of the sonar survey vessel Miss Emma McCall off the coast of New Jersey. He also recorded acoustic readings of pile driving for Vineyards Wind 1, an offshore wind farm project under construction 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard.

In his pile-driving report, published March 28, Mr. Rand found that even the most advanced sound-dampening technologies didn’t adequately control harmful noise. The pounding was just as loud as seismic air gun arrays used for oil and gas exploration, long known to cause injury, hearing loss, and behavioral changes in fish and marine mammals.

Furthermore, the noise made by the construction vessel itself, which is not monitored, was almost as loud as the pile driving. Mr. Rand found that the standard formula used by the National Marine Fisheries Service to calculate how noise, over a period of time, affects a mammal’s hearing, significantly underestimates the sound levels experienced by dolphins and whales.

“These are real data,” Mr. Rand, who testified at a Congressional field hearing on January 20, told The Epoch Times. “I measured it. This is not a computer model. This is not a political press release. These are data.”

Many environmentalists fear that noise related to ocean wind farm construction is contributing to “unusual mortality events” affecting whales. From 2016 through April this year, 220 humpback whales have died, according to data collected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
“Elevated humpback whale mortalities have occurred along the Atlantic coast from Maine through Florida,” since 2016, the NOAA states.

“The numbers have been decreasing, especially since 2017, when offshore operations really swung into gear,” Mr. Rand said.

“From my experience in noise control, that’s not a coincidence. Noise is an environmental pollutant. In human terms, it’s measured in life years lost.”

The North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium estimates 350 North Atlantic right whales exist in the world’s oceans today.

The completed wind farm project will comprise 62 wind turbines in the Atlantic Ocean, spaced one nautical mile apart. The project is estimated to provide power to more than 400,000 homes and businesses.

The offshore wind farm is owned by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners of Denmark and Avangrid Renewables, part of the Spanish company, Iberdrola.

At the construction site in November 2023, Mr. Rand said an 874-foot crane ship called the Orion was using a massive hammer to pound a monopile foundation for a wind turbine into the seabed.

The monopile is a steel pipe 31 feet in diameter, 279 feet long, and weighs 1,895 tons, according to the manufacturer, EEW Special Pipe Constructions.

Vineyard Wind 1 implemented two sets of noise controls. The first is a “hydro sound damper,” which Mr. Rand said, is a vertical net in the water around the monopile that’s covered with foam or rubber blocks and balls.

The second is a “double bubble” curtain. These are two weighted hoses lying on the seafloor in concentric circles around the monopile. The radius is roughly 492 to 656 feet.

The hoses have holes in them, and compressed air from a support vessel is forced through the hoses, causing bubbles to rise to the surface. The bubbles are supposed to mitigate the sound pressure created by the pile driving.

“These are advanced techniques,” Mr. Rand said. “They aren’t used anywhere else.”

Unfortunately, the noise mitigation techniques don’t work, he said.

Mr. Rand dropped a research-grade, omnidirectional hydrophone into the water at six locations, starting at 4.10 nautical miles from the pile driving and moving closer to 0.57 nautical miles.

Analyzing the data, Mr. Rand found that even with sophisticated noise mitigation in place, the pile driving is as loud as multiple seismic air guns.

“People have been protesting and the government has been rigorously regulating seismic air gun arrays for years, if not decades, because of their sonic intensity and hazard for endangered species—for whales and other marine species,” Mr. Rand said.

“This pile driving is as loud as an array of air guns.”

The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) makes it illegal to kill, hunt, capture, or harass a marine mammal. Killing or injuring a mammal is considered a Level A harassment under the 1972 law. Level B harassment includes actions that disrupt an animal’s normal behavior, including migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering.

The National Marine Fisheries Service provides a guide to marine acoustic thresholds, which are considered harassment at certain levels.

“Acoustic thresholds refer to the levels of sound that, if exceeded, will likely result in temporary or permanent changes in marine mammal hearing sensitivity,” the website states.

The Fisheries Service notes that Level B harassment is reached when continuous noise, such as a ship engine running, hits 120 decibels, or impulsive or intermittent noise, such as pile driving, hits an average of 160 decibels.

The agency says marine mammals can suffer permanent hearing loss at 173 to 219 decibels of continuous sound, or 202 to 232 decibels of impulsive sound.

Based on his data, Mr. Rand estimated the pile driving noise at the source at 241 decibels. Loudness decreases as sound waves move away from the source. Still, Mr. Rand measured peak sound levels ranging from 180 decibels at a distance of 0.57 nautical miles from the ship to 162 decibels at 4.10 nautical miles.

He also found that the continuous noise of the Orion’s propulsion and positioning thrusters exceeded 120 decibels at a distance of 3.7 miles from the ship.


Interconnectors and their impact on the GB power market

Kathryn Porter:

We are keen to receive review comments for our new paper which is now available for open peer review (pdf)


The GB electricity market has become increasingly reliant on interconnection with other European markets. Interconnectors are seen as key to managing periods of low wind output in an electricity system increasingly dependent on intermittent renewable generation. But what if the markets at the other end of those interconnectors are also experiencing dunkelflaute conditions?

As most of them (with the exception of Norway) share similar weather to the UK, and (with the exceptions of Norway and France) share similar wind-led de-carbonisation strategies, can we really rely on interconnectors to ensure security of supply?

And what about the effects of energy nationalism which has been increasing since the war in Ukraine? Can we rely on countries being willing to export at all times when GB needs to import?

Submitted comments and contributions will be subject to a moderation process and will be published, provided they are substantive and not abusive.


Australian Greens want free IVF, label Liberals policy 'conservative and exclusionary'

This is a step in the right direction, given the falling birthrate. To support an ageing population, Australia needs all the babies it can get. And we know that IVF babies will be well treated and so fulfil their potential. It is however odd that the Greens support the idea. They used to be in favour of population reduction

The ACT Greens want assisted reproductive services to be free, condemning the Canberra Liberals policy as "conservative and exclusionary".

The Liberals announced this week they would pay up to $2000 towards IVF and certain fertility treatments for those who are deemed medically infertile.

The territory government has already fired back and said they are working on their own policy, after promising to explore options in late 2022. Labor is also expected to reveal a policy as part of its health commitments in the election campaign.

The Greens say they believe assisted reproductive services should be included in the public health system and it should be free.

"Assisted reproductive healthcare is expensive. Whether you have fertility issues, have a disability, are in an LGBTQIA+ relationship or no relationship at all, everyone should have choice and free access to start a family," ACT Greens health spokeswoman Emma Davidson said.

"The ACT Greens want a fairer public health system - where assisted reproductive services are available to everyone, for free, without the emotion toll that comes from fitting into an exclusionary definition of infertility."

Under the Liberals scheme, same-sex couples and individuals will only be able to access the rebates if they are medically infertile.

However, Ms Davidson said this would mean a person would be put through a distressing process and treatments such as IVF should be available to everyone.

"The ACT Liberals policy relies on a conservative and exclusionary view of what a family is. Canberra is incredibly diverse, and we need initiatives that reflect this to create a truly inclusive and fair community," she said.

"Not everyone can fall pregnant and it's not always because they are medically infertile. Under the Liberals policy, people will still need to go through a costly and lengthy process to be considered medically infertile which can be distressing on the individual, their partners and family."

The proposed rebates from the Liberals will cover out-of-pocket expenses of up to $2000 when undergoing IVF or certain assisted reproductive technology and up to $1000 for intra uterine insemination. The party says they are not considering a public service as part of their pitch to voters.

Opposition health spokeswoman Leanne Castley said the party had chosen to only open the scheme to those who were medically infertile as it was the biggest cohort in need of assistance.

"This is open for all Canberran families that have fertility challenges," she said this week.

"We hear from families who are struggling with infertility and believe that's the biggest cohort who do need assistance and it's just a small way we can help those families who are struggling with infertility."


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, April 28, 2024

Pope Francis uses first ever US TV interview to slam climate change deniers as 'fools' and insists 'climate change exists'

He does generally seem to prefer Green/Left doctrine to Roman doctrine

Pope Francis spoke out against climate change deniers, calling them 'fools' in his first ever interview on American television.

The often 'progressive' pontiff spoke with CBS News' Norah O'Donnell at the Vatican this week to give his thoughts on violence in Ukraine and Gaza and other important subjects.

However, he made a pointed effort to express his displeasure with those who deny climate change when asked what he says to those who deny it by O'Donnell.

'There are people who are foolish, and even foolish if they show you them research. they don't believe it,' he said through an interpreter.

'They don't understand the situation or because of their interest, but climate change exists,' he added.


Geoengineering Test Quietly Launches Salt Crystals into Atmosphere

The nation's first outdoor test to limit global warming by increasing cloud cover launched Tuesday from the deck of a decommissioned aircraft carrier in the San Francisco Bay.

The experiment, which organizers didn't widely announce to avoid public backlash, marks the acceleration of a contentious field of research known as solar radiation modification. The concept involves shooting substances such as aerosols into the sky to reflect sunlight away from the Earth.

The move led by researchers at the University of Washington has renewed questions about how to effectively and ethically study promising climate technologies that could also harm communities and ecosystems in unexpected ways. The experiment is spraying microscopic salt particles into the air, and the secrecy surrounding its timing caught even some experts off guard.

"Since this experiment was kept under wraps until the test started, we are eager to see how public engagement is being planned and who will be involved," said Shuchi Talati, the executive director of the Alliance for Just Deliberation on Solar Geoengineering, a nonprofit that seeks to include developing countries in decisions about solar modification, also known as geoengineering. She is not involved in the experiment and only learned about it after being contacted by a reporter.

"While it complies with all current regulatory requirements, there is a clear need to reexamine what a strong regulatory framework must look like in a world where [solar radiation modification] experimentation is happening," Talati added.

The Coastal Atmospheric Aerosol Research and Engagement, or CAARE, project is using specially built sprayers to shoot trillions of sea salt particles into the sky in an effort to increase the density — and reflective capacity — of marine clouds. The experiment is taking place, when conditions permit, atop the USS Hornet Sea, Air & Space Museum in Alameda, California, and will run through the end of May, according to a weather modification form the team filed with federal regulators.

The project comes as global heat continues to obliterate monthly and yearly temperature records and amid growing interest in solar radiation modification from Silicon Valley funders and some environmental groups. It also follows the termination of a Harvard University experiment last month that planned to inject reflective aerosols into the stratosphere near Sweden before it was canceled after encountering opposition from Indigenous groups.

Solar radiation modification is controversial because widespread use of technologies like marine cloud brightening could alter weather patterns in unclear ways and potentially limit the productivity of fisheries and farms. It also wouldn't address the main cause of climate change — the use of fossil fuels — and could lead to a catastrophic spike in global temperatures if major geoengineering activities were discontinued before greenhouse gases decrease to manageable levels.

The University of Washington and SilverLining, a geoengineering research advocacy group involved in the CAARE project, declined interview requests. The mayor of Alameda, where the experiment is being conducted, didn't respond to emailed questions about the project.

The secrecy surrounding the landmark experiment seems to have been by design, according to The New York Times, which, along with a local newspaper, was granted exclusive access to cover the initial firing of the spray cannons.

"The idea of interfering with nature is so contentious, organizers of Tuesday's test kept the details tightly held, concerned that critics would try to stop them," the Times reported. The White House also distanced itself from the experiment, which is being conducted with the cooperation of a Smithsonian-affiliated museum.

The project team has touted its transparency, noting that visitors to the USS Hornet, which now serves as a floating museum, will be able to view the experiment.

"The world needs to rapidly advance its understanding of the effects of aerosol particles on climate,” Kelly Wanser, the executive director of SilverLining, said in a press release. "With a deep commitment to open science and a culture of humility, the University of Washington has developed an approach that integrates science with societal engagement, and can help society in essential steps toward advancing science, developing regulations, promoting equitable and effective decision-making, and building shared understanding in these areas."

The CAARE project is part of a larger coastal study that the University of Washington consortium is planning to pursue. The second phase of that effort would take place on a pier around a mile offshore in a coastal environment, according to a study description the school released Monday.

While a peer review of that proposal was generally positive, the scientists also flagged some transparency shortcomings.

"One reviewer noted that it would help to have more information on the site location," said a Washington-University-commissioned report. "Is there local resistance or concerns (whether founded or unfounded) around issues like local air quality, etc.? How many options exist, and how do different options affect the field study plan?"

The study plan also made no mention of its potential ecological impacts, a key consideration recommended by a 2022 Biden administration marine cloud brightening workshop. That's a significant oversight, according to Greg Goldsmith, the associate dean for research and development at Chapman University.

"History has shown us that when we insert ourselves into modification of nature, there are always very serious unintended consequences," said Goldsmith, who studies the implications of climate change for plant structure and function. "And therefore, it would be prudent to listen to what history has shown and look for consequences."


Hertz To Sell Off Even More EVs As Depreciation Losses Mount

The whole plan, it must be said, had the best of intentions.

American rental car giant Hertz saw the way the car market was going and decided to invest in building the largest electric vehicle rental fleet in North America back in 2021. That meant hundreds of thousands of EVs from Tesla, General Motors, Kia, Polestar, Volvo and more. It even got Tom Brady involved in the whole thing.

Unfortunately, a complicated confluence of events—including rapid-fire EV price cuts in 2023 that led to massive depreciation and higher repair costs—have led to nothing but headaches for Hertz. The company has endured massive losses, said goodbye to the CEO behind the move and has since spent the past few months offloading those EVs at fire-sale prices.
This week, the company announced that it's not even done. Hertz's first-quarter financial statement reveals that the company is increasing the amount of EVs it plans to sell privately this year by 10,000 units, aiming for a goal of 30,000 EVs sold in 2024. And it also admitted how much it's been stung by depreciation.

"The company incurred a $195 million charge to vehicle depreciation to write down the EVs held for sale which were remaining in inventory at quarter-end to fair value and recognize the disposition losses on EVs sold in the period," Hertz officials said. It added that depreciation costs are up $339 per vehicle now, and that "of the $339 per unit increase, $119 was related to EVs held for sale."

When you look at the situation on paper, Hertz's retreat from its aggressive EV makes financial sense. Post-pandemic travel is still going strong and so is the rental car business, even with increased competition from rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft or even Turo. Hertz's own Q1 revenue was $2.1 billion, up 2% from 2023. But thanks in large part to huge depreciation costs—almost a third of which it blames on EVs—Hertz's adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization still amounted to $567 million in quarterly losses. In other words, ouch.

First and foremost, last year's round of constant EV price cuts and discounts, led by Tesla, have had a profound impact on the value of cars. That includes private owners, but for companies like Hertz that drive significant revenue from a constant churn of cars in and out of the fleets, it was a major roadblock. And then you had other problems, like higher repair costs after mishaps from customers not used to electric acceleration and trouble sourcing parts from companies like Tesla and Polestar.


Biden’s Latest Power Plant Power Grab

Almost two years after a similar rule was rejected by the Supreme Court, the Biden administration on Thursday released another final rule for regulating America’s power plants.

Under the rule, coal-fired power plants and most new natural gas-fired power plants would have to eliminate 90% of their carbon emissions by 2039 or close down in 2040.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s new rule would raise electricity costs for Americans, kill manufacturing jobs, and disproportionately affect the poor, farmers, and small business.

EPA’s rule, if it overcomes legal challenges, would result in the closure of coal-fired power plants that now produce 16% of Americans’ electricity. It would make natural gas power generation, which produces 43% of electricity, more costly and increase the incidence of blackouts.

Under the rule, America would become a less attractive location for energy-intensive manufacturing and Americans’ electricity bills would rise.

This is the latest in a series of government attempts to reduce emissions—and power—from the nation’s energy-generating sector.

EPA’s Clean Power Plan, proposed in 2015 under President Barack Obama, stated that if emissions exceeded the agency’s requirements, a state or group of states would be required to shut down power plants or install renewable energy sources.

But although the Clean Air Act allows EPA to set maximum levels of new and existing emissions sources, the Supreme Court ruled 6–3 in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency that the law does not allow EPA to shut down power plants.

Specifically, EPA can’t move from regulating individual power plants to regulating regional emissions, as it did in the rejected Clean Power Plan. The high court’s opinion cited the major questions doctrine, according to which Congress must “speak clearly if it wishes to assign to an agency decisions of vast economic and political significance.”

That’s why President Joe Biden’s EPA is trying another tactic to regulate emissions with this latest rule.

Rather than shutting down power plants by regulating regional emissions, as in 2015, the power plants would either have to comply with an unproven technology to sequester, or bury, 90% of their carbon dioxide emissions, or they would have to close down.

Obama issued his Clean Power Plan as a regulation because, despite sizable Democratic majorities in both chambers, Congress didn’t pass legislation to reduce emissions from power plants.

The American Clean Energy and Security Act (introduced in 2009 by Reps. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Edward Markey, D-Mass.) and the American Power Act (introduced the next year by Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Joe Lieberman, D-Conn.) would have accomplished this, but neither proposal became law.

In the same way, Biden’s plan to close power plants would not pass Congress, so he is trying to bring out a regulation to achieve the same goal.

However, this term the Supreme Court is reconsidering the so-called Chevron doctrine, which now gives government agencies wide leeway to interpret laws. That decision is due in May or June.

If the high court overturns the Chevron doctrine, as predicted, EPA’s new power plant rule will be on weaker grounds, because it relies on an ambiguous interpretation.

In 2022, the Supreme Court found the first Clean Power Plan to be an example of “agencies asserting highly consequential power beyond what Congress could reasonably be understood to have granted.”

Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Roberts argued that “EPA claimed to discover an unheralded power representing a transformative expansion of its regulatory authority in the vague language of a long-extant, but rarely used, statute designed as a gap filler. That discovery allowed it to adopt a regulatory program that Congress had conspicuously declined to enact itself.”

Justice Neil Gorsuch concurred, saying: “The framers [of the Constitution] believed that the power to make new laws regulating private conduct was a grave one that could, if not properly checked, pose a serious threat to individual liberty.”

Severe, government-imposed cuts in carbon emissions raise the cost of electricity and American-made goods. Under EPA’s new rule, power plants would have to invest in more costly equipment or close down.

Cleaner air and efficient power generation are worthwhile goals. But so is the security that comes from a healthy economy and the rule of law.

The Supreme Court, which struck down Obama’s power plant rule in 2022, could well strike down Biden’s version in the future.


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, April 25, 2024

Climate Change is Class Warfare

The climate is up the spout and we’re to blame. The planet is boiling like a pan of porridge. We face the possible extinction of all life on earth. ‘Science’ says so. Anyone who questions it is a demonic scoundrel. The climate catastrophe is a 100% solid-gold, slam-dunk irrefutable fact.

Hmm. And yet, it is clear to anyone who has paid the slightest attention, that the tired, hysterical predictions of the climate alarmists (made repeatedly over four decades and based on their hypothetical computer-models) have proved to be spectacularly wrong, again and again and again. It does not take much digging (we have the internet these days) to discover that the outlandish claims of climate alarmists are flatly contradicted by lots and lots of perfectly good scientific evidence and data. We’re not talking here about fringe science put about by whackos. We’re talking about official data – mainstream science, published in respected journals. (Some of it is featured in my ‘climate-denier’ film, Climate: The Movie, available for free online).

The world is not boiling. We are, as any geologist will tell you, in an ice age – one of the coldest periods in the last 500 million years. The level of CO2 in the atmosphere is not unnaturally or frighteningly high. Compared to the last half billion years of earth’s history it is extremely low. And there is no evidence that changing levels of atmospheric CO2 (it has changed radically many times in the past) has ever ‘driven climate change’. If there had been, Al Gore would have said so in his silly film, but he didn’t. Hurricane activity is not increasing, nor are the number of wildfires, nor are the number of droughts, and so on and so on. This is what the official data say. You can look it up.

Of course this is all a bit embarrassing for the science establishment. The climate alarm is worth billions to them in climate-related funding. A lot of jobs depend on it. A lot of reputations are at stake. And it’s deeply awkward for the renewables industry, which turns over around a trillion dollars a year.

The climate alarm is not supported by scientific evidence. It is supported by bullying, intimidation and the censorship of anyone who dares to question it. Climate catastrophism is politics, shamelessly dressed up as science.

The climate scare was the invention of the environmentalist movement, which stands opposed to vulgar, dirty, free-market capitalism. They say there are too many people, consuming too much. We must be restrained and contained, for the sake of Gaia. The solution to the global, existential climate problem is higher taxes and more regulation.

At any social gathering, you can pretty confidently predict who will think what about climate, by asking them about taxes and regulation. People who love the Big State can’t get enough of climate chaos. People who want lower taxes and less regulation will roll their eyes and say rude things about little Greta.

Across the Western world, the state has grown enormously over the last century, vastly increasing the number of people whose livelihoods depend on state-spending, and whose jobs are related, directly or indirectly, to government control. In the U.K. and U.S. both, more than twice as many people now work in government as work in manufacturing. And this does not include all those (in the third sector etc.) who rely indirectly on government largesse.

These people depend on government. They are paid for out of taxation. In such circles to proclaim the joys of a small state, lower taxes and less government is a breach of social etiquette. You have crossed a moral line. You will be suspected of liking Donald Trump, of voting Brexit, of hating lockdown and compulsory vaccination, of defending the Second Amendment, of being a climate denier.

And indeed all this may well be true. These views tend to hang together. As do the views of those on the other side. To repeat, the climate alarm is in fact politics dressed up as science. We are, as more people are beginning to realise, engaged in a class war. On one side, the tax-consuming regulating class that feeds from taxation and bosses us about. On the other, the rest of us in the private sector, who rather resent paying taxes and being told what to do and how to live our lives.

This is the real basis for the consensus on climate change. The consensus exists among our sprawling, tax-consuming establishment. This is not a small group of people. It is an entire class. It is, if you will, the ruling class. It controls our civil service, our schools and universities, large parts of our arts and science establishments and much of the media. It is an intolerant class, deeply aware of its own interests. The taboo that surrounds climate scepticism is a reflection of its power.

It would be nice to think that politely pointing to the actual scientific data might put an end to all the climate chaos nonsense. Sadly it won’t. Because this ain’t about science.


The Federal Phase-Out of Gasoline Cars Has Begun

If these nutcases remain in charge -- unlikely -- there will one day be a vigorous trade in used ICE cars. Your old car will be a valuable asset

The Biden administration last week rolled out new emissions regulations that the New York Times said will “transform the American automobile market.”

In what the paper called “one of the most significant climate regulations in the nation’s history,” the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is mandating that a majority of new passenger vehicles sold in America be hybrids or EVs by 2032.

The Biden administration and defenders of the policy argue that the EPA’s regulation is “not a ban” on gas-powered cars, since carmakers are not prohibited from producing gas-powered vehicles. Instead, automakers are required to meet a government-mandated “average emissions limit” across their entire vehicle line, to force them to produce more EVs and fewer gas-powered cars.

It’s a clever ruse in that it allows the Biden administration to use regulatory power to force automobile manufactures off of gas-powered vehicles while denying that they are banning them.

Whatever one chooses to call the regulation, its purpose is clear.

“Make no mistake,” the Wall Street Journal noted. “This is a coerced phase-out of gas-powered cars.”

This might be music to the ears of those who see fossil fuels as evil, but economics and history suggest the White House’s plan to force Americans off of gas-powered cars could be a disaster.

What’s Holding Up EV Adoption?

A major reason why the White House is forcing this “transformation of the American automobile market” is that Americans aren’t voluntarily adopting EVs quickly enough to satisfy the White House.

Though Americans purchased more than a million EVs last year, that still represents less than 8 percent of total vehicle sales in the US. The government’s current target is 56 percent. (If the White House was serious about speeding up this transition, it might consider eliminating the 25 percent tariff on cars built in China — which accounts for some 60 percent of global EV sales — but that would be too easy.)

Despite massive subsidies encouraging consumers to purchase EVs, Americans didn’t buy them as rapidly as predicted, causing auto companies to pump the brakes. Ford recently announced it was halving production of its most popular EV, the F-150 Lightning. General Motors, the largest US automaker, and Toyota, the second-largest US automaker, followed suit, announcing significant reductions in EV production.

The weak demand for electric vehicles no doubt has several sources, but the BBC identified a few primary reasons, two of which appear over and over in consumer surveys: price and charging reliability.

Ford’s F-150 Lightning starts at $50,000. Its popular Mach-e starts at $40,000, and that’s after a recent $8,100 mark-down. GM’s top-selling EV, the LYRIQ, starts at $59,000. On average, EVs sell for about $5,000 more than similar gas-powered cars. And EV prices are going up, not down, researchers point out.

“In 2011, the inflation-adjusted price of a new EV was near $44,000. By 2022, that price had risen to over $66,000,” said Ashley Nunes, a senior research associate at Harvard Law School, in her testimony to Congress in 2023.

The second problem is that Americans have serious concerns about how they’ll charge their EVs. A 2023 survey conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago found that 77 percent of respondents cited concerns about charging stations as a reason for not purchasing an EV.

This is not an irrational concern.

When Americans drive their gas-powered cars, they are not worried about where they’ll fill up when their fuel runs low. Gas stations are plentiful in the US and easy to find. Charging stations are another matter.

Bloomberg reported last year that, despite steady growth in recent years of EV charging stations, there is just one quick-turn electrical vehicle charge station in the US for every 16 gasoline stations.

Federal efforts to expand charging infrastructure, including $7.5 billion in new spending to build half a million stations, have been embarrassingly slow.

‘Subsidizing EVs With Profits From Gas-Powered Cars’
Since Americans are not voluntarily adopting EVs as quickly as the government would like, the EPA is trying to hasten the transition. This could be a disastrous move.

As the Journal noted, Ford last year lost nearly $5 billion on its EV business. Yet the company still managed to generate a $4.3 billion profit in 2023. It doesn’t take a math genius to deduce how this happened.

“[Automobile] companies are heavily subsidizing EVs with profits from gas-powered cars,” the Journal notes.

Forcing automobile companies to expand production of their least-profitable product lines at the expense of their best-performing ones is economic madness. It calls to mind collectivized agricultural policies in the Soviet Union, where central planners embraced the worst farming methods.

While Stalin’s collectivization of farms in 1929 was a massive failure that led to the deaths of millions, agriculture in the USSR of course continued during and after his lifetime. But two distinct sectors emerged: a tiny private sector that produced a bumper crop of food, and a massive collectivized sector that produced very little.

The late economist James D. Gwartney (1940–2024) explained that families living on collectives in the USSR were allowed to farm on small private plots (no more than one acre) and sell their produce in a mostly free market.

Historians point out that in the 1960s these tiny private farms, which accounted for just 3 percent of the sown land in the USSR, produced 66 percent of its eggs, 64 percent of the potatoes, 43 percent of its vegetables, 40 percent of meat, and 39 percent of its milk.

Gwartney and economist Richard Lyndell Stroup note that by 1980, private farms accounted for just one percent of sown land in the USSR, but a quarter of its agricultural output.

“The productivity per acre on the private plots was approximately 33 times higher than that on the collectively farmed land!” they wrote.

In a free-market economy, farmers within the Soviet Union would have been allowed to shift toward private production — just like US automakers today would be allowed to shift away from EVs until the industry becomes more profitable.

But… the Environment?

Supporters of the Biden policy are likely to respond that we have no choice but to transition to EVs because of climate change. There are several problems with this argument.

For starters, EVs are not the green panacea they seem to be. Electrical vehicles actually require a massive amount of energy and strip mining. Half a million pounds of rock and minerals have to be mined to build just one battery, on average. EVs require far more energy and cause far more pollution when they are manufactured than gas-powered automobiles.

“[I]t’s true that the production of a BEV (battery electric vehicle) causes more pollution than a gasoline-powered counterpart,” the New York Times admitted in a 2022 article headlined “EVs Start With a Bigger Carbon Footprint. But That Doesn’t Last.”

If you weren’t aware that EVs cause more pollution on the production side than gas-powered cars, don’t be embarrassed; few do. It’s one of the dirty secrets of EVs: they start with an enormous carbon footprint. At a climate summit a few years ago, Volvo noted its C40 Recharge had to be driven about 70,000 miles before its total carbon footprint was smaller than the gas-powered version.

As the Times says, the footprint of EVs shrinks over time. But not as fast as many think. One big reason for this is that the bulk of the electricity produced in the US is produced by… you guessed it… fossil fuels. As the Energy Information Administration points out, fossil fuels generate about 60 percent of the electricity in the US, which means that most people charging their EVs are using electricity generated from fossil fuels.

Reducing that carbon footprint is also exacerbated by the fact that people tend to rack up fewer miles with EVs than gas-powered vehicles, which makes it more difficult to offset the large carbon footprint on the production side.

“[Our] data show that electric vehicles are driven considerably less on average than gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles,” researchers at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley noted in a 2019 study. “In the complete sample, electric vehicles are driven an average of 7,000 miles per year, compared to 10,200 for gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles.”

All of this helps explain why a 2023 Wall Street Journal analysis found that shifting all personal US vehicles to electric power would barely make a dent in global CO2 emissions, reducing them by less than 0.2 percent.

Who Chooses?
Forcing US automakers to expand their least-profitable autolines is backward economics. It puts automakers at risk, not to mention their workers and shareholders.

The higher profits automakers are reaping from gas-powered vehicles isn’t an accident. It’s a signal that consumers prefer them at the prices being offered, and heeding consumers is what separates capitalism from the failed collectivist systems of the past.

The Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises explained that in a free-market economy, it’s the consumers who ultimately call the shots, not the state or even the corporations. This idea is known as consumer sovereignty.

“The real bosses [under capitalism] are the consumers,” Mises wrote in Bureaucracy. “They, by their buying and by their abstention from buying, decide who should own the capital and run the plants. They determine what should be produced and in what quantity and quality.”

The real question here isn’t about which is better, gas-powered cars or EVs. It’s about who gets to choose.

By allowing unelected regulators to decide what kind of cars are built instead of consumers, the US is crossing an ominous line.

This kind of central planning failed miserably in the 20th century. Don’t expect it to be any different this time around.

This piece was originally posted on AIER.org, you can find it here.


Climate Change Is Normal And Natural, And Can’t Be Controlled

NASA claimed that “Earth is warming at an unprecedented rate” and “human activity is the principal cause.”

Others proposed spending trillions of dollars to control the climate. But are we humans responsible for climate change? And what can we do about it?

“The climate of planet Earth has never stopped changing since the Earth’s genesis, sometimes relatively rapidly, sometimes very slowly, but always surely,” says Patrick Moore in Fake Invisible Catastrophes and Threats of Doom. “Hoping for a ‘perfect stable climate’ is as futile as hoping the weather will be the same and pleasant, every day of the year, forever.”

In other words, climate change is normal and natural, and you can forget about controlling it.

For instance, a major influence of weather and climate are solar cycles driven by the Sun’s magnetic field over periods of eight to 14 years. They release varying amounts of energy and produce dark sunspots on the Sun’s surface. The effects of solar cycles on Earth vary, with some regions warming more than 1°C and others cooling.

Climatic changes occur as a result of variations in the interaction of solar energy with Earth’s ozone layer, which influences ozone levels and stratospheric temperatures. These, in turn, affect the speed of west-to-east wind flows and the stability of the polar vortex.

Whether the polar vortex remains stable and close to the Arctic or dips southward determines whether winters in the mid-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere are severe or mild.

In addition to solar cycles, there are three Milankovitch cycles that range in length from 26,000 to 100,000 years. They include the eccentricity, or shape, of Earth’s elliptical orbit around the Sun. Small fluctuations in the orbit’s shape influence the length of seasons. For example, when the orbit is more like an oval than a circle, Northern Hemisphere summers are longer than winters and springs are longer than autumns.

The Milankovitch cycles also involve obliquity, or the angle that Earth’s axis is tilted. The tilt is why there are seasons, and the greater the Earth’s tilt, the more extreme the seasons. Larger tilt angles can cause the melting and retreat of glaciers and ice sheets, as each hemisphere receives more solar radiation during summer and less during winter.

Finally, the rotating Earth, like a toy top, wobbles slightly on its axis. Known as precession, this third Milankovitch cycle causes seasonal contrasts to be more extreme in one hemisphere and less extreme in the other.

Moving from outer space to Earth, ocean and wind currents also affect the climate.

For instance, during normal conditions in the Pacific Ocean, trade winds blow from east to west along the Equator, pushing warm surface waters from South America towards Asia. During El Niño, the trade winds weaken and the warm water reverses direction, moving eastward to the American West Coast.

Other times, during La Niña, the trade winds become stronger than usual, and more warm water is blown towards Asia. In the United States and Canada, these phenomena cause some regions to become warmer, colder, wetter, or drier than usual.

In addition to El Niño and La Niña, there is also the North Atlantic Oscillation, which is driven by low air pressure in the North Atlantic Ocean, near Greenland and Iceland (known as the sub-polar low or Icelandic low), and high air pressure in the central North Atlantic Ocean (known as the subtropical high or Azores High).

The relative strength of these regions of low and high atmospheric pressures affects the climate in the Eastern United States and Canada and in Europe, affecting both temperatures and precipitation.

Similarly, Hadley cells are the reason Earth has equatorial rainforests that are bounded by deserts to the north and south. Because the Sun warms Earth the most at the Equator, air on either side of the Equator is cooler and denser.

As a result, cool air blows towards the Equator as the warm, less dense equatorial air rises and cools, releasing moisture as rain and creating lush vegetation. The rising, drier air reaches the stratosphere blowing north and south to settle in regions made arid by lack of atmospheric moisture.

These and other phenomena influencing our climate are well beyond the control of humans.


Silicon Valley Artificial Intelligence Is Running on Eastern Coal

When your cell phone gets hot, that means its processors are computing faster or you have a lot of apps open. The same is true for “server farms,” which Gigabyte.com explains are “a large number—up to thousands—of servers grouped together to provide better functionality and accessibility.”

It takes a lot of energy to run those hot servers and air-conditioning to keep them cool. Artificial intelligence (AI) requires even more servers and energy. As The Real Deal reported, “Silicon Valley vies with SF as ‘AI capital of the world.’” So far, California remains ahead of everyone else, including Communist China, in the race for AI dominance.

So where would San Francisco and Silicon Valley AI companies, conscious of the need for energy from such renewable sources as wind and solar power, get the energy for their AI servers? Surely from California energy companies, especially Northern California’s PG&E?

Actually, there’s another, unexpected, source:

“Internet data centers are fueling drive to old power source: Coal,” headlined the Washington Post on April 17. Datelined Charles Town, W.Va., it reported surveyors are “eyeing space for yet another power line next to the property—a line that will take electricity generated from coal plants in the state to address a drain on power driven by the world’s internet hub in Northern Virginia 35 miles away.

“There, massive data centers with computers processing nearly 70 percent of global digital traffic are gobbling up electricity at a rate officials overseeing the power grid say is unsustainable unless two things happen: Several hundred miles of new transmission lines must be built, slicing through neighborhoods and farms in Virginia and three neighboring states. And antiquated coal-powered electricity plants that had been scheduled to go offline will need to keep running to fuel the increasing need for more power, undermining clean energy goals.”

Note the number: 70 percent of global digital traffic. This is being processed in Northern Virginia, the center of the U.S. government and a major location for these server farms.

Silicon Valley Hypocrisy

This affirms what I have written several times in The Epoch Times: The world isn’t following California’s obsession with ending all reliance on carbon-based energy. Communist China certainly isn’t, as I detailed recently in, “‘Green Innovation’ Study Shows California CO2 Policies Mainly Help China.”

Now it’s obvious our own globe-leading computer, internet, and AI industries are not following that anti-progress development, either. That’s despite almost all of Silicon Valley and San Francisco backing Gov. Gavin Newsom and his mandate to achieve 100 percent zero-emission vehicles by 2035.

In his 2022 reelection, Mr. Newsom, a Democrat, received 59.2 percent statewide to 40.8 percent for Republican opponent Brian Dahle. But Mr. Newsom garnered 85.4 percent in San Francisco. And for Silicon Valley, it was 75 percent in San Mateo County and 70 percent in Santa Clara County.

In the 2020 presidential election, President Joe Biden grabbed 63.5 percent statewide to 34.3 percent for former President Donald Trump. But President Biden got 85.3 percent in San Francisco, 77.9 percent in San Mateo County, and 72.7 percent in Santa Clara County.

By contrast, in West Virginia, President Biden won just 29.7 percent to former President Trump’s 68.6 percent.

Silicon Valley might back green energy, but its business benefits from coal. The reason it can advance this hypocrisy is because of the vast network of fiberoptic cables crisscrossing the country. They hook up everything from computer companies to all kinds of businesses, and probably the computer network in your home. I’m writing this using Google Fiber.

TechTarget explains, “Fiber optics, or optical fiber, refers to the technology that transmits information as light pulses along a glass or plastic fiber.” And light, of course, travels at the speed of light: 299,792,458 meters, or 186,000 miles, per second.

The whole world also is entwined in fiberoptic cables, as well as signals from satellites. So computer servers are all around the world. But it makes sense for Silicon Valley and San Francisco companies to plant their servers in the United States, because our country is well-defended by the U.S. military. Since the cables between California and West Virginia traverse our vast continent, they can’t be cut by a foreign sea power like undersea cables.

Computer Money Talks

As the Washington Post reported, coal use to generate power continues, even in Virginia, despite the state “fully embracing” clean energy. The server farms bring in massive revenues to local governments from the state’s property tax, which applies to land and equipment. “With Amazon Web Services pursuing a $35 billion data center expansion in Virginia, rural portions of the state are the industry’s newest target for development.

“The growth means big revenue for the localities that host the football-field-size buildings. Loudoun collects $600 million in annual taxes on the computer equipment inside the buildings, making it easier to fund schools and other services. Prince William, the second-largest market, collects $100 million per year.”

President Biden won Virginia 54.4 percent to 44.2 percent for former President Trump. But President Biden won Loudon County with 61.9 percent and Prince William County with 62.8 percent.
Northern Virginia might be liberal Democratic now. But as in California, green activists walk, but AI money talks.


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


Wednesday, April 24, 2024

A Long-Running ‘Paradox’: Evaporation Is Declining Even As Temperatures Rise

Evaporation is supposed to increase with warming. But, per a new study (Jin et al., 2024), “observation results around the world have shown that evaporation has been steadily declining since the 1950s.”

This is referred to as the anthropogenic global warming “evaporation paradox” problem, where models and assumptions are contradicted by observations.

According to the IPCC (AR6) and the most seminal paper on the subject (Trenberth, 2011, with 3800 citations), “anthropogenic forcings will drive an increase in global mean evaporation over most oceanic areas (high confidence),” as “increased heating leads to greater evaporation.”

However, the new paper once again points out that observations conflict with the anthropogenic global warming narrative.

“Paradoxically, against the backdrop of rising global temperatures, terrestrial observation results around the world have shown that Epan has been steadily declining since the 1950s…”

“The ‘evaporation paradox’ phenomenon has been reported in many studies on regional or global scales.”

The authors acknowledge it is “widely proposed” that there will be “increased evaporation in open water bodies” with warming. So their results, which show declining evaporation since the 1950s, may “seem surprising.”

“At first glance, these results may seem surprising, since the near-surface air temperature has been rising, and it is widely proposed that warming climate will make the air drier and promote the hydrological cycle, which will lead to increased evaporation in open water bodies, including pan evaporators.”

If it can indeed be established that evaporation increases with warming, and simultaneously, evaporation trends can be shown to be declining, at what point do we question if there has indeed been sufficiently significant warming in the regions where evaporation is declining?

Why is referring to these trends as a surprising “paradox” that can perhaps be explained away with more assumptions the better option?


Wrong, BBC and Reuters, No Evidence Proves West African Heatwave Is Unprecedented

Multiple media outlets, including the BBC and Reuters, claim that a recent West African heatwave would be “impossible” without global warming. This is claim is misleading and not supported by real-world data. The study cited in both articles is merely an attribution modelling study, which is not proof of the influence of climate change.

In their article on a recent heatwave in West Africa and the Sahel, Reuters reports “[t]emperatures soared so high in Mali and Burkina Faso they equated to a once in 200-year event, according to the report on the Sahel region by World Weather Attribution (WWA).”

Reuters continues: “The severity of the heatwave led WWA’s team of climate scientists to conduct a rapid analysis, which concluded the temperatures would not have been reached if industry had not warmed the planet by burning fossil fuels and other activities.”

One of World Weather Attribution’s statisticians even went so far as to say that heat waves of that intensity wouldn’t happen at all in the region in a “pre-industrial climate.” This claim is utterly unfounded, as those parts of Africa are known for being at least semi-arid, subtropical, and prone to drought and heatwaves. While temperature records are not very lengthy or complete for many parts of Africa, April is known to be the hottest month of the year for Burkina Faso in particular, and many parts of the Sahel region in general, where temperature maximums on average are above 40°C – which is what the recent heatwave brought, meaning there is not justification for claiming the recent heatwave is historically unprecedented.

Climate Realism has frequently noted that WWA’s “rapid attribution” studies are more in the realm of fantasy than fact, as they depend on virtual models of climate conditions that do not actually exist in real life. The model of the climate that an event like the recent Sahel heatwave is compared against is one which represents how the scientists guess things would have been had it not been for the burning of fossil fuels. All of their modelling begins with the unscientific assumption that any given weather event WAS influenced in a dangerous direction by climate change. It proves absolutely nothing, because the “control group” is entirely fictional.

The BBC produced a slightly more balanced story, acknowledging that other climate experts say that El Niño is mostly to blame for at least some of the bad weather in Africa this year. Despite spending the vast majority of the article linking the heat wave to climate change, as Reuters does, the BBC at least acknowledged, “[a] separate study on drought in Southern Africa said El Niño was to blame, rather than climate change.”

So, as the Daily Sceptic pointed out in reporting on the BBC’s coverage, “… the headline could have read: Southern African drought “impossible” without El Niño. But it didn’t.”

El Niño has a wide range of effects that are often delayed in hitting Africa, lately it has been causing heatwaves and rainfall in cocoa producing countries like Ghana, which is acknowledged in other articles having to do with cocoa bean production.

In another Climate Realism post about cocoa production, H. Sterling Burnett also points out that this kind of weather is normal for the region, writing “across the region making up West Africa, it is common, not rare, for it to have heatwaves and heavy rains, interspersed with periods of drought.” He points out that “wet heatwaves” are not uncommon.

Once again, attribution science is hardly science and proves nothing about climate change. It certainly can’t determine whether human activities caused or even contributed to any given weather event. All of this is speculative at best. Frankly the enthusiasm with which supposed journalists and prominent media outlets embrace attribution modelling studies with no questions or skepticism whatsoever is an embarrassment to the profession. The BBC and Reuters ought to know better, and they should brush up on the facts before hyping scare-stories.
Wrong, BBC and Reuters, No Evidence Proves West African Heatwave Is Unprecedented

Multiple media outlets, including the BBC and Reuters, claim that a recent West African heatwave would be “impossible” without global warming. This is claim is misleading and not supported by real-world data. The study cited in both articles is merely an attribution modelling study, which is not proof of the influence of climate change.

In their article on a recent heatwave in West Africa and the Sahel, Reuters reports “[t]emperatures soared so high in Mali and Burkina Faso they equated to a once in 200-year event, according to the report on the Sahel region by World Weather Attribution (WWA).”

Reuters continues: “The severity of the heatwave led WWA’s team of climate scientists to conduct a rapid analysis, which concluded the temperatures would not have been reached if industry had not warmed the planet by burning fossil fuels and other activities.”

One of World Weather Attribution’s statisticians even went so far as to say that heat waves of that intensity wouldn’t happen at all in the region in a “pre-industrial climate.” This claim is utterly unfounded, as those parts of Africa are known for being at least semi-arid, subtropical, and prone to drought and heatwaves. While temperature records are not very lengthy or complete for many parts of Africa, April is known to be the hottest month of the year for Burkina Faso in particular, and many parts of the Sahel region in general, where temperature maximums on average are above 40°C – which is what the recent heatwave brought, meaning there is not justification for claiming the recent heatwave is historically unprecedented.

Climate Realism has frequently noted that WWA’s “rapid attribution” studies are more in the realm of fantasy than fact, as they depend on virtual models of climate conditions that do not actually exist in real life. The model of the climate that an event like the recent Sahel heatwave is compared against is one which represents how the scientists guess things would have been had it not been for the burning of fossil fuels. All of their modelling begins with the unscientific assumption that any given weather event WAS influenced in a dangerous direction by climate change. It proves absolutely nothing, because the “control group” is entirely fictional.

The BBC produced a slightly more balanced story, acknowledging that other climate experts say that El Niño is mostly to blame for at least some of the bad weather in Africa this year. Despite spending the vast majority of the article linking the heat wave to climate change, as Reuters does, the BBC at least acknowledged, “[a] separate study on drought in Southern Africa said El Niño was to blame, rather than climate change.”

So, as the Daily Sceptic pointed out in reporting on the BBC’s coverage, “… the headline could have read: Southern African drought “impossible” without El Niño. But it didn’t.”

El Niño has a wide range of effects that are often delayed in hitting Africa, lately it has been causing heatwaves and rainfall in cocoa producing countries like Ghana, which is acknowledged in other articles having to do with cocoa bean production.

In another Climate Realism post about cocoa production, H. Sterling Burnett also points out that this kind of weather is normal for the region, writing “across the region making up West Africa, it is common, not rare, for it to have heatwaves and heavy rains, interspersed with periods of drought.” He points out that “wet heatwaves” are not uncommon.

Once again, attribution science is hardly science and proves nothing about climate change. It certainly can’t determine whether human activities caused or even contributed to any given weather event. All of this is speculative at best. Frankly the enthusiasm with which supposed journalists and prominent media outlets embrace attribution modelling studies with no questions or skepticism whatsoever is an embarrassment to the profession. The BBC and Reuters ought to know better, and they should brush up on the facts before hyping scare-stories.


New Jersey's 3 nuclear power plants seek to extend licenses for another 20 years

The company that owns New Jersey's three nuclear power plants said Wednesday it will seek federal approval to operate them for another 20 years.

The move comes as New Jersey makes a strong push to become the East Coast leader in offshore wind. But the three power plants run by PSEG Nuclear LLC provide nearly half of New Jersey's electricity, and a licensing extension represents a potential hedge against not enough wind projects being available to meet the state's needs.

An extension would enable the plants to run beyond 2050.

The company said it has notified the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission of its intent to seek renewed licenses for the Salem Generating Station Units 1 and 2, and the Hope Creek Generating Station. All are located on one site on Artificial Island in Lower Alloways Creek Township, Salem County.

It plans to file the extension request in the second quarter of 2027 but needed to alert the commission far in advance to allow it to prepare for the review. If approved by the NRC, the licenses for Salem Units 1 and 2 would be extended from 2036 and 2040 to 2056 and 2060, respectively, and Hope Creek station would be extended from the current 2046 expiration to 2066, the company said.

“For more than five decades, the nuclear generating stations in south Jersey have safely generated reliable, always-on carbon-free energy," Charles McFeaters, president and chief nuclear officer of PSEG Nuclear, said in a statement. “Seeking to renew our licenses signifies our commitment to continuing to contribute to New Jersey’s clean energy future and serving as a vital economic engine for the local community."

Beginning this year, a nuclear production tax credit included in the federal Inflation Reduction Act will provide nuclear generators with nine years of financial support through 2032.

And New Jersey officials also approved a $300 million customer-funded subsidy for the state's nuclear industry in 2019 despite its utilities board determining that the industry was “viable” and not in need of a subsidy.

Both incentives were designed in part to support clean energy sources as an alternative to burning fossil fuels, which contribute to climate change.

The company's move to extend its operating licenses drew bipartisan support Wednesday from New Jersey lawmakers.

"Nuclear power is a clean resource that provides reliability and diversity to the state’s supply of energy,” said state Sen. John Burzichelli, a Democrat.

“South Jersey’s nuclear plants consistently, reliably and affordably deliver power for our state, day and night, regardless of the weather,” added Sen. Michael Testa, a Republican.


Sims: don’t saddle Australia with high cost solar panels, wind farms

Former competition tsar Rod Sims has warned that embracing an ad hoc “Made in Australia” approach to the net zero transition by 2050 could “destroy” the chances of Australia becoming a clean energy superpower.

In an address to the Melbourne Economic Forum, the former chair of the ACCC warned against the nation embracing flawed approaches to achieving net zero and took aim at those who belonged to the “Made in Australia” camp as well as those whom he regarded as “market fundamentalists.”

Mr Sims, the chair of the Superpower Institute – a body dedicated to helping the nation capitalise on the opportunities of the green energy transition – used the address to warn against saddling the nation with high cost solar panels and wind farms.

But he also made clear there was a role for government in helping the nation make the most of the coming green revolution. However, he said any government support needed to be finely geared towards areas where Australia had a comparative advantage – such as in green iron.

He also listed a series of conditions that would be needed to govern any taxpayer support for industry.

First, he said assistance should be aimed at the so-called “superpower industries” where Australia “has or will have a comparative advantage due to the net zero transition.”

READ MORE: ‘Made in Australia’ sets new, dangerous course for Labor | What’s the point of PM’s flagship policy? | Future budget deficits to be Made in Australia | PM ‘betraying Hawke reforms’ |
Second, the purpose of any assistance needed to be clearly defined to address well-understood problems.

Third, there should be clear “qualification rules” for assistance and, fourth, support needed to be fully funded to ensure the nation maintained a strong budget position.

Mr Sims used the address to take aim at the proponents of the Made in Australia philosophy, arguing it was unclear – at this stage – what the policy was about or how it would work.

“We have the ‘Made in Australia’ group. The problem here is that it is unclear what this group seeks. Make everything we need, import nothing? What is the framework in this slogan for deciding what Australia does, and does not, make in Australia?”

He expressed grave concerns that simply throwing money at any green energy project would “destroy the Superpower opportunity.”

“Should government support be provided to ensure we make our own computers, cars, clothing?” he asked. “Without a clear framework Australia will take a series of ad hoc measures that invite rent seeking by businesses, raise Australia’s cost structure and lower our productivity.”

“The government’s current rhetoric around “Made in Australia” suggests there is a focus on projects relevant to the net zero transition. But again, what does this suggest we do? Is it ‘any green project deserves taxpayer support?’”

Mr Sims asked how the nation could achieve “low cost renewable energy if we are saddled with high cost solar panels, wind farms and electrolysers through a ‘buy local’ imperative?”

“Under this form of “Made in Australia” approach, Australia will not achieve the lowest cost inputs to the supply of such goods, so Australia will not be cost competitive in their supply, and the green traded products will not be as cost competitive with existing fossil fuel-made products.”

Mr Sims said such an approach would be damaging for three reasons – it would remove Australia’s ability to make the most of its comparative advantage in making green energy-intensive exports, it would displace budget dollars that could be better allocated and force labour into unproductive areas of the economy during a worker shortage.

His preferred approach to making the transition to net zero would only allow for goods to be made in Australia “where the economics have ‘flipped’.”

For example, Mr Sims said Australia was a leading exporter of iron ore, coal and gas.

“The “Made in Australia” camp, as some are expressing it, would have us use all these Australian ingredients and make iron metal in Australia now,” he said.

“There is no logic to government intervening in the choices the market has made; it seems best for Australia in the fossil carbon world to do as we are.

“We would undermine the advantages of other industries and see lower wages by having workers in always struggling industries who would be constantly lobbying government for help.”

But Mr Sims said it was sensible to make green iron in Australia, because this was an area where the nation had a comparative advantage.

“Green iron will very likely need green hydrogen as the reductant that gets the iron ore into iron metal,” he said. “Green iron should be made in Australia because the economics flip.”

“All overseas studies that I am aware of suggest that Australia is likely the cheapest place in the world to make green iron. And those seeking to make green iron by importing hydrogen, those studies say, will be uncompetitive.”

Mr Sims concluded that the world needed Australia to make many green products because the nation had more low cost renewable energy resources than its needed. By contrast, Japan, Korea, most of Europe and China did not have sufficient renewable energy resources to make all the electricity they needed.

“They will need to either import renewable energy, ammonia as a derivative of hydrogen and/or use nuclear energy – all at great cost – to meet their domestic electricity needs,” he said.

He concluded by arguing the government had not clarified what it meant by its “Made in Australia” agenda.

If it amounted simply to a suite of ad hoc measures that invited rent seeking by businesses and raised Australia’s cost structure while lowering productivity, the Made in Australia vision would only “kill the superpower ambition.”

“Australia cannot afford to follow this lead. Nor will it suit the world for this to happen,” he said.

“If the government is ... targeting producing goods in which Australia now has a comparative advantage in the net zero world, through clear qualification mechanisms that address well defined market externalities, the government must be applauded.”

“We will wait and see on May 14, budget night, which group they are in.”


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