Monthly Archives: March 2015

Secretary Kerry Earns 4 Pinocchios From Fact Checker


Several days ago, David Middleton’s takedown of Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech to the Atlantic Council was posted on this site. There are so many things out of kilter in Kerry’s speech that this posting will highlight some additional issues.

Earning 4 Pinocchios From The Washington Post Fact Checker

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Science Lessons For Secretary Of State Kerry


David Middleton has written a Guest posting in the WattsUpWithThat (WUWT) blog titled “Science lessons for Secretary of State John F Kerry”. Middleton opens with this: “Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s recent remarks on climate change at the Atlantic Council were so scientifically illiterate that I find it difficult to believe that he managed to barely get a D in geology at Yale University.  As a US citizen and geoscientist, I feel it is my patriotic and professional duty to provide Secretary Kerry with a few complimentary science lessons.”

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Wind Subsidy Defeated In The Senate


misc-wind-power-tower-falling-downThe wind producers Production Tax Credit (PTC) extension was voted down in the Senate. The PTC awards a tax credit of $0.023 for each kilowatt-hour (KHW) produced. The PTC expired at the end of last year. This subsidy began in 1992 with the idea that it was a temporary assist for renewable energy to become competitive with traditional sources of electricity. The subsidy was initially set  at $0.015 per KWH. It is adjusted annually. It has been renewed many times. Twenty-two years of subsidies and the PTC wind and solar are still not competitive.

Unfortunately about half of the States have renewable energy mandates that require the State to buy a certain percentage of its total power from renewable sources. This will keep some amount of renewable power in business.

Wind and Solar produced electricity can’t be reliably scheduled.  Wind doesn’t blow all the time and the sun is on average only available for something in the range of half a day, given no clouds. The nations power grids must balance supply and demand on a moment-to-moment time frame for its customers. Until (and if) a reliable and economic way to store the electricity generated by renewables is developed, fossil fuel generated power back-up is necessary to quickly adjust to changes in supply and demand.

These subsidies allow crony capitalism to exist.   Favored groups are selected and the subsidies allow them to make money. Because the government doesn’t have any money except what they can take from the taxpayers, this means we are the ones that pay. And on a continuing basis the homeowners pay for high priced power.

Well, before we think we have made at least one step toward sanity because the PTC was voted down in the Senate, remember that the advocates of the PTC have found ways to get it renewed year after year. The vote in the Senate was 51 against the PTC and 46 for. Not a big margin. Especially considering that three Republicans voted for its renewal. It will not be renewed if there is a vote on the PTC all by itself. But there will be many opportunities to bundle the PTC into some big bill everyone wants passed.

cbdakota

The 2014-2015 El Nino Is Not Living Up To Predictions


The 2014-2015 El Nino was forecast to be powerful.   The warmers hoped that this El Nino would make a significant upward change in the Global temperature. This they believed would put an end to the 18+ years of no 137115995343014077901601197_CS_El_Ninostatistical increase in global atmospheric temperature, known by many as the “pause”. Even if it does, it does not seem to correlate with the rise in atmospheric CO2, so it could be considered just another natural forcing agent. The NoTricksZone posting of: “Spiegel: NOAA “Embarrassment” Over “Four Years Of Failed El Nino Forecasts”…”Numerous Buoys Have Ceased To Function”* relates the views of the Spiegel Science Editor journalist Axel Bojanowski.

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Jay Leno Wants To Ban Ethanol In Gasoline


Jay Leno says that putting ethanol in gasoline results in fires in older model automobiles.   As many of you know, Leno is a collector of classic jaylenoaw_20150302p10 Leno-Ethanol-1cars, most of which are old cars. In a posting in Autoweek, March 4,2015 titled “Jay Leno hates ethanol” he says:

“There have been a lot of old-car fires lately. I went through the ’70s, the ’80s and most of the ’90s without ever having read much about car fires. Suddenly, they are happening all over the place. Here’s one reason: The ethanol in modern gasoline—about 10 percent in many states—is so corrosive, it eats through either the fuel-pump diaphragm, old rubber fuel lines or a pot metal part, then leaks out on a hot engine … and ka-bloooooie!!!”

 Once in my business career, I was the manager of our methanol-in-gasoline program. The company spent in the high six figures on laboratory work to determine the safety of methanol (not to be confused with ethanol) as a gasoline additive.  The program tested fuel lines, gaskets, fuel tanks, etc. Basically everything that this blend would encounter. The concentration of the methanol in the mix was an important factor. The work was completed and we got EPA approval to use. We knew that some of the older vehicles  owners might need to be alerted about the properties of the mix. At that time there was no Renewable Fuels Standard so people were not going to be forced to use the blend. Not too long after getting the EPA approval, the company decided to go out of the methanol business. End of story.

Jay has several more complaints about ethanol blended in gasoline at 10%:

“There’s more. I find that gasoline, which used to last about a year and a half or two years, is pretty much done after a month or so these days. If I run a car from the teens or ’20s and fill it up with modern fuel, then it sits for more than two months, I often can’t get it to start.     Ethanol will absorb water from ambient air. In a modern vehicle, with a sealed fuel system, ethanol fuel has a harder time picking up water from the air. But in a vintage car, the water content of fuel can rise, causing corrosion and inhibiting combustion.

Leno believes the Renewable Fuel Standard has done more harm than just that of damaging his and other people’s cars.   He says:

“Blame the Renewable Fuel Standard. This government-mandated rule requires certain amounts of ethanol and other biofuels be blended with gasoline and diesel fuel. “I just don’t see the need for ethanol. I understand the theory—these giant agri-business companies can process corn, add the resulting blend to gasoline and we’ll be using and importing less gasoline***. But they say this diversion of the corn supply is negatively affecting food prices, and the ethanol-spiked gas we’re forced to buy is really awful.

The big growers of corn have sold us a bill of goods. Some people are making a lot of money because of ethanol. But as they divert production from food to fuel, food prices inevitably will rise. Now, if you don’t mind paying $10 for a tortilla…”

He would like some action here:

“It’s time for us as automobile enthusiasts to dig in our heels and start writing to our congressmen and senators about the Renewable Fuel Standard, or we’ll be forced to use even more ethanol. Most people assume, “Oh, that’ll never happen. They’ll never do that.” Remember prohibition? In 1920, all the saloons were closed. It took until 1933 before legal liquor came back.”

At most marinas, gasoline containing no ethanol is supplied as small craft engines can be destroyed by the ethanol-gasoline mix. So boaters might want to join Leno and the automobile enthusiasts.

Leno has more to say about this issue and you can read it by clicking here on this website:

http://autoweek.com/article/car-life/jay-leno-hates-ethanol

***Actually I believe he means “importing less crude oil” rather than “gasoline” but it doesn’t alter his point of view. These days we have plenty of domestic crude oil so we don’t really need the ethanol to stretch our gasoline supplies.

cbdakota

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Potential Shutdowns Of Fracking Wells Looms–But Not Caused By Low OPEC Prices


Some of the Texas and North Dakota fracking oil wells were thought to not be profitable at the low crude oil prices that Saudi Arabia had engineered. But most of them have weathered the storm.   Drilling has slowed down however. World wide, except for the Middle East, rig count is down.

shale gas plays

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Silencing Skeptics – Financing Alarmists: Will Congress, media examine government, environmentalist and university alarmist funding?


Again as I did yesterday, I am reblogging a terrific posting from cooling is the new warmgingimagesWattsUpWithThat by Paul Driessen.  I have covered these topics on a number of occasions, but Driessen lays out the case about as well as can be done.

Guest opinion by Paul Driessen

Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA), other senators and Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) recently sent letters to institutions that employ or support climate change researchers whose work questions claims that Earth and humanity face unprecedented manmade climate change catastrophes.

The letters allege that the targeted researchers may have “conflicts of interest” or may not have fully disclosed corporate funding sources. They say such researchers may have testified before congressional committees, written articles or spoken at conferences, emphasizing the role of natural forces in climate change, or questioning evidence and computer models that emphasize predominantly human causes.

Mr. Grijalva asserts that disclosure of certain information will “establish the impartiality of climate research and policy recommendations” published in the institutions’ names and help Congress make better laws. “Companies with a direct financial interest in climate and air quality standards are funding environmental research that influences state and federal regulations and shapes public understanding of climate science.” These conflicts need to be made clear, because members of Congress cannot perform their duties if research or testimony is “influenced by undisclosed financial relationships,” it says.

The targeted institutions are asked to reveal their policies on financial disclosure; drafts of testimony before Congress or agencies; communications regarding testimony preparation; and sources of “external funding,” including consulting and speaking fees, research grants, honoraria, travel expenses and other monies – for any work that questions the manmade climate cataclysm catechism.

Conflicts of interest can indeed pose problems. However, it is clearly not only fossil fuel companies that have major financial or other interests in climate and air quality standards – nor only manmade climate change skeptics who can have conflicts and personal, financial or institutional interests in these issues.

Renewable energy companies want to perpetuate the mandates, subsidies and climate disruption claims that keep them solvent. Insurance companies want to justify higher rates, to cover costs from allegedly rising seas and more frequent or intense storms. Government agencies seek bigger budgets, more personnel, more power and control, more money for grants to researchers and activist groups that promote their agendas and regulations, and limited oversight, transparency and accountability for their actions. Researchers and organizations funded by these entities naturally want the financing to continue.

You would therefore expect that these members of Congress would send similar letters to researchers and institutions on the other side of this contentious climate controversy. But they did not, even though climate alarmism is embroiled in serious financial, scientific, ethical and conflict of interest disputes.

As Dr. Richard Lindzen, MIT atmospheric sciences professor emeritus and one of Grijalva’s targets, has pointed out: “Billions of dollars have been poured into studies supporting climate alarm, and trillions of dollars have been involved in overthrowing the energy economy” – and replacing it with expensive, inefficient, insufficient, job-killing, environmentally harmful wind, solar and biofuel sources.

Their 1090 forms reveal that, during the 2010-2012 period, six environmentalist groups received a whopping $332 million from six federal agencies! That is 270 times what Dr. Willie Soon and Harvard-Smithsonian’s Center for Astrophysics received from fossil fuel companies in a decade – the funding that supposedly triggered the lawmakers’ letters, mere days after Greenpeace launched its attack on Dr. Soon.

The EPA, Fish & Wildlife Service, NOAA, USAID, Army and State Department transferred this taxpayer money to Environmental Defense, Friends of the Earth, Nature Conservancy, Natural Resource Defense Council, National Wildlife Fund and Clean Air Council, for research, reports, press releases and other activities that support and promote federal programs and agendas on air quality, climate change, climate impacts on wildlife, and many similar topics related to the Obama war on fossil fuels. The activists also testified before Congress and lobbied intensively behind the scenes on these issues.

Between 2000 and 2013, EPA also paid the American Lung Association well over $20 million, and lavished over $180 million on its Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee members, to support agency positions. Chesapeake energy gave the Sierra Club $26 million to advance its Beyond Coal campaign. Russia gave generously to anti-fracking, climate change and related “green” efforts.

Government agencies and laboratories, universities and other organizations have received billions of taxpayer dollars, to develop computer models, data and reports confirming alarmist claims. Abundant corporate money has also flowed to researchers who promote climate alarms and keep any doubts to themselves. Hundreds of billions went to renewable energy companies, many of which went bankrupt. Wind and solar companies have been exempted from endangered species laws, to protect them against legal actions for destroying wildlife habitats, birds and bats. Full disclosure? Rarely, if ever.

In gratitude and to keep the money train on track, many of these recipients contribute hefty sums to congressional candidates. During his recent primary and general campaign, for example, Senator Markey received $3.8 million from Harvard and MIT professors, government unions, Tom Steyer and a dozen environmentalist groups (including recipients of some of that $332 million in taxpayer funds), in direct support and via advertisements opposing candidates running against the champion of disclosure.

As to the ethics of climate disaster researchers, and the credibility of their models, data and reports, ClimateGate emails reveal that researchers used various “tricks” to mix datasets and “hide the decline” in average global temperatures since 1998; colluded to keep skeptical scientific papers out of peer-reviewed journals; deleted potentially damaging or incriminating emails; and engaged in other practices designed to advance manmade climate change alarms. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change based many of its most notorious disappearing ice cap, glacier and rainforest claims on student papers, magazine articles, emails and other materials that received no peer review. The IPCC routinely tells its scientists to revise their original studies to reflect Summaries for Policymakers written by politicians and bureaucrats.

Yet, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy relies almost entirely on this junk science to justify her agency’s policies – and repeats EPA models and hype on extreme weather, refusing to acknowledge that not one Category 3-5 hurricane has made U.S. landfall for a record 9.3 years. Her former EPA air quality and climate czar John Beale is in prison for fraud, and the agency has conducted numerous illegal air pollution experiments on adults and even children – and then ignored their results in promulgating regulations.

Long-time IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri has resigned in disgrace, after saying manmade climate change is “my religion, my dharma” (principle of the cosmic order), rather than a matter for honest, quality science and open, robust debate. The scandals go on and on: see here, here, here, here and here.

It’s no wonder support for job and economy-killing carbon taxes and regulations is at rock bottom. And not one bit surprising that alarmists refuse to debate realist scientists: the “skeptics” would eviscerate their computer models, ridiculous climate disaster claims, and “adjusted” or fabricated evidence.

Instead, alarmists defame scientists who question their mantra of “dangerous manmade climate change.” The Markey and Grijalva letters “convey an unstated but perfectly clear threat: Research disputing alarm over the climate should cease, lest universities that employ such individuals incur massive inconvenience and expense – and scientists holding such views should not offer testimony to Congress,” Professor Lindzen writes. They are “a warning to any other researcher who may dare question in the slightest their fervently held orthodoxy of anthropogenic global warming,” says Dr. Soon. Be silent, or perish.

Now the White House is going after Members of Congress! Its new Climate-Change-Deniers website wants citizens to contact and harass senators and congressmen who dare to question its climate diktats.

Somehow, though, Markey, Grijalva, et al. have not evinced any interest in investigating any of this. The tactics are as despicable and destructive as the junk science and anti-energy policies of climate alarmism. It is time to reform the IPCC and EPA, and curtail this climate crisis insanity.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org), author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death, and coauthor of Cracking Big Green: Saving the world from the Save-the-Earth money machine.

Watch EPA secretary demonstrate that she is in over her head.

cbdakota