Category Archives: Environment

Nuclear Energy Is The Energy Source Of The Future–So Why Is It Dying Now?


A posting by Michael Shellenberger, “Clean Energy is on the Decline — Here’s Why, and What We Can Do About It”  discusses the demise of nuclear power plants. He notes that while low natural gas prices have undercut the economics of nuclear plants, the real problem they face is the bias against nukes. He notes than many State regulations refuse to class nukes as “renewable” energy thus not getting subsidized as do solar and wind energy. These same state regulations require a mix of solar and wind generated energy be part of the mix sold by utilities but specifically do not include nuclear power as part of the required mix. Why he asks does nuclear, an energy source that emits no carbon dioxide (CO2), get excluded. And further, nukes are base-load plants. Meaning when put on-line they produce power whether the sun shines or the wind blows.  And an added benefit, nukes produce enormous amounts of power while occupying very little space.

Shellenberger says:

“Consider that in the U.S., utilities have either closed or announced premature closures of seven plants in three years. At least eight more are at risk of early closure in the next two years. In 2011, Germany announced it would close all of its nuclear plants. Swedish utility Vattenfall announced late last year that it would be forced to close several reactors prematurely.”

The irony of this, for example in Germany, is that the nukes are being replaced by brown coal fueled power plants. Brown coal is probably the biggest emitter of CO2 per KWh of any normal power source.

“Everywhere the underlying reason is the same: anti-nuclear forces, in tandem with rent-seeking economic interests, have captured government policies. On one extreme lies Germany, which decided to speed up the closure of its nuclear plants following Fukushima. In Sweden the government imposed a special tax on nuclear. In the U.S., solar and wind receive 140 and 17 times higher levels of subsidy than nuclear. And states across the nation have enacted Renewable Portfolio Standards, RPS, that mandate rising wind and solar, and that exclude nuclear.”

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Great Lakes’ Weather Becomes Global Warming And Then Reverses


Warmers are eager to see global warming in any weather event that seems to have a negative effect.   We all have seen their contradictory claims that global warming causes dangerous warming, and dangerous cold, and dangerous floods and dangerous droughts, etc. .

Another one of their variable weather happenings that was declared proof of dangerous global warming has  come unglued.  A Breitbart Posing “Great Lakes Go From ‘Climate Change-Induced’ Low Water Levels To Record Highs In Three Yearsillustrates this point:

Between 2010 and 2013, residents of the states surrounding the Great Lakes were told that climate change was permanently altering their environment and the record low water levels being recorded in the lakes may be the new normal. But now, only three years later, news reports are worried about beach erosion because the lakes have rebounded to record high levels of water.  “implications for the environment and the economy.”

This week, throughout the Chicago media landscape, as well as in reports in Michigan and Wisconsin, stories about a loss of swimming areas on public beaches are filling airwaves and newspaper pages. Residents and city officials are warning citizens that water levels in Lake Michigan and the other lakes are so high that the shallow swimming areas have been reduced as the water rises. Reports are also express worry over beach erosion and fears that the rising water is a danger to other infrastructure like roads.

In Chicago, for instance, notes that water levels have risen a whopping four feet since 2013 and the new water is “swallowing up beaches.”

The Chicago Tribune reports that the northern suburb of Evanston is losing beachfront property. “All our beaches are shrinking,” Evanston parks director Lawrence Hemingway said.  For its part, Chicago’s Fox affiliate worries that the city’s lakeshore bike path is being destroyed by the higher water levels. The Detroit Free Press also noted that the high water is erasing beaches and the water is at highs not seen since the 1990s.

These report are starkly different than those from the 2011 to 2013 timeframe. Then the news reports were warning that the:

lakes were irreversibly shrinking and that climate change was desolating both commerce and the environment“.

In 2013, for instance, Chicago’s Public Television WTTW bemoaned a “dramatic” change in the climate that was warming the lakes, lowering water levels, and threatening to destroy commerce and the environment.

The local PBS story also went national as the PBS Newshour ran stories on the environmental disaster the lakes were experiencing. In 2012 National Geographic sonorously warned that the “climate-related trend” was on the verge of laying waste to the region. Crain’s Detroit was also writing in 2013 that communities living on the edges of the region’s monumental bodies of water were going to have to “adapt” to the new normal of climate change.

 Naturally, far left sources were absolutely sure that global warming was drying up the lakes. In 2013 far left website Think Progress worried its readers with claims that climate change was “damaging” the lakes and would present. The Natural Resource Defense Council even contemplated lawsuits to prevent cities on the lakes from tapping into them as a source of water.

Still, it is amazing to see the difference in coverage. Today, with water levels hitting record highs, news reporters and city officials worry over their loss of beachfront property and not a word is mentioned of climate change. Yet only three years ago the same officials and news reporters were sure that climate change was here to stay and we’d better get used to the shrunken Great Lakes.

What a difference a few years makes.

I will bet that in a year or two, all the stories about low water levels being a definite indicator of catastrophic global warming will be forgotten and the narrative will be that the rising waters are a definite indicator of catastrophic global warming.

cbdakota

 

 

 

Climate Hustle – The Movie


The new movie produced by Marc Morano, “Climate Hustle” was in theaters on May 2 all over the country. The movie shows the skeptics side of the argument about CO2 and global warming,  aka Climate Change.  Many notable skeptics are in the cast.

The target audience, as I see it, was for the relatively low information people that get their global warming news from the main stream media.   If you are into this topic daily or often,  most of it will be review.   I think Morano did a very good job in assembling the topics and the players.  So I recommend it.    If there was something I would like to see expanded was the part where warmer predictions were examined.  About 10  predictions were discussed briefly. I would like to have seen more emphasis.

As part of the film and as an “extra” was a panel  that discussed current issues especially those of the current attempt to criminalize discussion of skeptic views. Bill Nye is feature in it and comes off looking pretty small minded.  The panel moderator was Brett Bozell and the panel consisted of Sarah Palin, David Legates and Marc Morano.   David Legates stood out.

Looking at Morano’s blog, “Climate Depot”,  the attendance was good, nation-wide.   I went over to  Delaware and my estimate was that about 50 people were in the theater.

This was a one night showing and I am not sure what the plans are for this movie.  It may see a general release or perhaps be available in places like Netflix.

cbdakota

Denying The Climate Catastrophe: Feedbacks (Warren Meyers Essay)


This is the third of six “chapters” of my reblog of Warren Meyers essay on catastrophic climate change.  In the previous posting he discussed greenhouse gases warming potential using just CO2.  Now he looks at the multiplier that the warmers uses to get their scary global temperature forecasts.  This chapter is pretty long but it is vital to understand how the warmers get those elevated, scary global temperature predictions.  Once you understand what they are doing, you will be much more at ease about the global’s future.

cbdakota

We ended the last chapter on the greenhouse gas theory with this:

So whence comes the catastrophe?  As mentioned in the introduction, the catastrophe comes from a second, independent theory that the Earth’s climate system is dominated by strong positive feedbacks that multiply greenhouse warming many times into a catastrophe.

Slide15

In this chapter, we will discuss this second, independent theory:  that the Earth’s climate system is dominated by positive feedbacks.  I suppose the first question is, “What do we mean by feedback?”

Slide16

In a strict sense, feedback is the connection of the output of a system to its input, creating a process that is circular:  A system creates an output based on some initial input, that output changes the system’s input, which then changes its output, which then in turn changes its input, etc.

Typically, there are two types of feedback:  negative and positive.  Negative feedback is a bit like the ball in the trough in the illustration above.  If we tap the ball, it moves, but that movement creates new forces (e.g. gravity and the walls of the trough) that tend to send the ball back where it started.  Negative feedback tends to attenuate any input to a system — meaning that for any given push on the system, the output will end up being less than one might have expected from the push.

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97% Claim Meant To Keep You From Looking At The Facts Of Climate Change


An editorial by the Washington Post has gotten wide spread coverage in the main stream media. The headline for the editorial is “Research shows there’s no debate” with a subtitle, “Study shows experts do agree on climate change”. The subject is a new paper by John Cook claiming the support for man-made global warming is indeed at 97.1%. Cook is no more than a spin doctor. One of my comments in a letter I wrote to a local newspaper was “The warmers need him, desperately, to direct the climate change discussion away from the facts. “

The facts I used were the global temperature and the global sea level to demonstrate how far off the mark the warmer’s science is when compared to the actual data.

David Legates has written an excellent, detailed rebuttal to the Cook paper.

From the website WUWT, Legates’ posting follows:

cbdakota

H/T Dick Waughtal

Deep-sixing another useless climate myth

Guest Blogger / April 10, 2016

The vaunted “97% consensus” on dangerous manmade global warming is just more malarkey

by Dr. David R. Legates

By now, virtually everyone has heard that “97% of scientists agree: Climate change is real, manmade and dangerous.” Even if you weren’t one of his 31 million followers who received this tweet from President Obama, you most assuredly have seen it repeated everywhere as scientific fact.

The correct representation is “yes,” “some,” and “no.” Yes, climate change is real. There has never been a period in Earth’s history when the climate has not changed somewhere, in one way or another.

People can and do have some influence on our climate. For example, downtown areas are warmer than the surrounding countryside, and large-scale human development can affect air and moisture flow. But humans are by no means the only source of climate change. The Pleistocene ice ages, Little Ice Age and monster hurricanes throughout history underscore our trivial influence compared to natural forces.

As for climate change being dangerous, this is pure hype based on little fact. Mile-high rivers of ice burying half of North America and Europe were disastrous for everything in their path, as they would be today. Likewise for the plummeting global temperatures that accompanied them. An era of more frequent and intense hurricanes would also be calamitous; but actual weather records do not show this.

It would be far more deadly to implement restrictive energy policies that condemn billions to continued life without affordable electricity – or to lower living standards in developed countries – in a vain attempt to control the world’s climate. In much of Europe, electricity prices have risen 50% or more over the past decade, leaving many unable to afford proper wintertime heat, and causing thousands to die.

Moreover, consensus and votes have no place in science. History is littered with theories that were long denied by “consensus” science and politics: plate tectonics, germ theory of disease, a geocentric universe. They all underscore how wrong consensus can be.

Science is driven by facts, evidence and observations – not by consensus, especially when it is asserted by deceitful or tyrannical advocates. As Einstein said, “A single experiment can prove me wrong.”

During this election season, Americans are buffeted by polls suggesting which candidate might become each party’s nominee or win the general election. Obviously, only the November “poll” counts.

Similarly, several “polls” have attempted to quantify the supposed climate change consensus, often by using simplistic bait-and-switch tactics. “Do you believe in climate change?” they may ask.

Answering yes, as I would, places you in the President’s 97% consensus and, by illogical extension, implies you agree it is caused by humans and will be dangerous. Of course, that serves their political goal of gaining more control over energy use.

The 97% statistic has specific origins. Naomi Oreskes is a Harvard professor and author of Merchants of Doubt, which claims those who disagree with the supposed consensus are paid by Big Oil to obscure the truth. In 2004, she claimed to have examined the abstracts of 928 scientific papers and found a 100% consensus with the claim that the “Earth’s climate is being affected by human activities.”

Of course, this is probably true, as it is unlikely that any competent scientist would say humans have no impact on climate. However, she then played the bait-and-switch game to perfection – asserting that this meant “most of the observed warming of the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.”

However, one dissenter is enough to discredit the entire study, and what journalist would believe any claim of 100% agreement? In addition, anecdotal evidence suggested that 97% was a better figure. So 97% it was.

Then in 2010, William Anderegg and colleagues concluded that “97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support … [the view that] … anthropogenic greenhouse gases have been responsible for most of the unequivocal warming of the Earth’s average global temperature” over a recent but unspecified time period. (Emphasis in original.)

To make this extreme assertion, Anderegg et al. compiled a database of 908 climate researchers who published frequently on climate topics, and identified those who had “signed statements strongly dissenting from the views” of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The 97–98% figure is achieved by counting those who had not signed such statements.

Silence, in Anderegg’s view, meant those scientists agreed with the extreme view that most warming was due to humans. However, nothing in their papers suggests that all those researchers believed humans had caused most of the planetary warming, or that it was dangerous.

The most recent 97% claim was posited by John Cook and colleagues in 2013. They evaluated abstracts from nearly 12,000 articles published over a 21-year period and sorted them into seven categories, ranging from “explicit, quantified endorsement” to “explicit, quantified rejection” of their alleged consensus: that recent warming was caused by human activity, not by natural variability. They concluded that “97.1% endorsed the consensus position.”

However, two-thirds of all those abstracts took no position on anthropogenic climate change. Of the remaining abstracts (not the papers or scientists), Cook and colleagues asserted that 97.1% endorsed their hypothesis that humans are the sole cause of recent global warming.

Again, the bait-and-switch was on full display. Any assertion that humans play a role was interpreted as meaning humans are the sole cause. But many of those scientists subsequently said publicly that Cook and colleagues had misclassified their papers – and Cook never tried to assess whether any of the scientists who wrote the papers actually thought the observed climate changes were dangerous.

My own colleagues and I did investigate their analysis more closely. We found that only 41 abstracts of the 11,944 papers Cook and colleagues reviewed – a whopping 0.3% – actually endorsed their supposed consensus. It turns out they had decided that any paper which did not provide an explicit, quantified rejection of their supposed consensus was in agreement with the consensus. Moreover, this decision was based solely on Cook and colleagues’ interpretation of just the abstracts, and not the articles themselves. In other words, the entire exercise was a clever sleight-of-hand trick.

What is the real figure? We may never know. Scientists who disagree with the supposed consensus – that climate change is manmade and dangerous – find themselves under constant attack.

Harassment by Greenpeace and other environmental pressure groups, the media, federal and state government officials, and even universities toward their employees (myself included) makes it difficult for many scientists to express honest opinions. Recent reports about Senator Whitehouse and Attorney-General Lynch using RICO laws to intimidate climate “deniers” further obscure meaningful discussion.

Numerous government employees have told me privately that they do not agree with the supposed consensus position – but cannot speak out for fear of losing their jobs. And just last week, a George Mason University survey found that nearly one-third of American Meteorological Society members were willing to admit that at least half of the climate change we have seen can be attributed to natural variability.

Climate change alarmism has become a $1.5-trillion-a-year industry – which guarantees it is far safer and more fashionable to pretend a 97% consensus exists, than to embrace honesty and have one’s global warming or renewable energy funding go dry.

The real danger is not climate change – it is energy policies imposed in the name of climate change. It’s time to consider something else Einstein said: “The important thing is not to stop questioning.” And then go see the important new documentary film, The Climate Hustle, coming soon to a theater near you.

Are The UK Greens This Looney? Hydrogen For Cooking?


The following is a posting from the UK Telegraph by Christopher Booker.  He pretty well summarizes the inanity of this proposal to replace natural gas (primarily methane) with hydrogen.  Brooker does a nice job of pointing the flaws in this scheme.  The Government group that funded this study apparently did not recognize that much of the energy in the methane would be lost in the conversion to hydrogen. They should have recognized all of the fatal flaws. And just think that  paid £300,000 for a study that any engineer would recognized from the beginning to be a non-starter.   From Booker’s posting:

Some publicity has alighted on the latest brilliant idea from the “greenies” as to how we can comply with the Climate Change Act by “decarbonising” our economy. Ofgem paid £300,000 for a study suggesting that, instead of cooking with CO2-emitting natural gas, we should switch to carbon-free hydrogen. A £2 billion pilot project for Leeds would show how natural gas, or methane, could be converted to hydrogen by piping away all its nasty CO2 to be buried in holes under the North Sea.

 

This scheme has already been smiled on in principle by the green zealots of the Committee on Climate Change, run by Lord Deben (aka John Gummer), their only real reservation being that it would be rather expensive. But there are one or two other practical problems that would have to be taken into account. One is that the technology to bury the CO2 under the North Sea has not yet been invented, and probably never will be. Another is that, extrapolating from the £2 billion needed to convert 320,000 homes in Leeds by requiring them all to buy new cookers, the cost of extending the scheme across Britain could be a staggering £162 billion.

A third is that, thanks to the absence of carbon, the calorific value of hydrogen in volumetric terms is so much lower than that of methane that we would need very much more of it. A fourth is that the molecules of hydrogen are so tiny that they would escape through any minute crack in the pipework, potentially requiring complete replacement of all gas mains. A fifth is that hydrogen is so inflammable – it has the highest Category 1 industrial risk rating – that, inevitably, it would lead to some rather nasty explosions, bringing the scheme to an abrupt end.

But the really worrying question this raises is why the Government should allow its chief adviser on such matters to be a Committee on Climate Change so technically illiterate that it could not immediately have recognised all this for itself?

H/T  WUWT

cbdakota

Small-Scale Renewables Program Failure.


Operation of a small-scale wind farm was undertaken at Lake Land College** about 4 years ago. Now the College is planing to tear down the two wind turbines because of high maintenance cost and the wind farm’s inability to provide the College’s power requirements.

According to a Daily Caller posting, the turbines returned a negative 99.6% return on investment. The posting tells us the  College got  $987,697.20 in taxpayer support for the wind power. The turbines were funded from a $2.5 million grant from the US Department of Labor.

two wind mills

The college has spent $240,000 in parts and labor attempting to keep the wind turbines in operation. But they are now inoperable with an  estimated cost of $100,000 to get them back online.

From the Daily Callers posting:

“School officials’ original estimates found the turbine would save it $44,000 in electricity annually, far more than the $8,500 they actually generated. Under the original optimistic scenario, the turbines would have to last for 22.5 years just to recoup the costs, not accounting for inflation. If viewed as an investment, the turbines had a return of negative 99.14 percent.”

“Even though the college wants to tear down one of the turbines, they are federal assets and “there is a process that has to be followed” according to Allee. (Allee is the Director of Public Relations)

“The turbines became operational in 2012 after a 5-year long building campaign intended to reduce the college’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to fight global warming. Even though the turbines cost almost $1 million, but the college repeatedly claimed they’d save money in the long run.”

But the College nor the US Government are not through with renewable power despite this lesson. According to the Daily Caller posting we learn that they are going solar:

“Lake Land plans to replace the two failed turbines with a solar power system paid for by a government grant. “[T]he photovoltaic panels are expected to save the college between $50,000 and $60,000 this year,”Allee told the DCNF.”

Because the wind farm was planned to be a teaching tool for the College students. It could be that some of maintenance was done be the students. However, maintenance must have been lead by professionals.

Third world countries have vast and legitimate needs for electricity for their people. But the greens tell the third world countries that they do not want to provide them with fossil fuel powered plants. And the World Bank says it will not provide them funding for fossil fuel plant. A study done in a remote part of India found that spreading solar cells around did not work because they needed many trained people distributed through out the area the solar cells were being placed and they just did not have that kind of talent. Enough talent can be concentrated in a power plant. Someday these countries, as they advance, will develop these people but they do not exist now. The people in this part of India, of course did not like loosing power every night, either.

You also wonder who in the Department of Labor determines the appropriateness of these awards. Already having put $2.2million in renewables, they are going for more.

I hope the College knows that they wont have power in the evening. (sarc)

cbdakota.

**Lake Land College, located in Mattoon, Illinois, is a two year community college.