What are the factors contributing to the reduction in U.S. carbon emissions?

by Judith Curry

The U.S. was the largest emitter carbon dioxide (CO2) until 2006 when China’s emissions exceeded the U.S.  U.S. CO2 emissions from the consumption of fossil fuels peaked in 2007 and have declined significantly over the past five years.  – John Miller

The Energy Collective has an article entitled Which Government Policies and Other Factors Have Reduced U.S. Carbon Emissions?

Total U.S. CO2 emissions increased continuously since the early 1990’s and peaked at 6023 million metric tons (MMT) per year in 2007.  Increased carbon emissions were primarily due to an expanding economy and population, and increased consumption of coal & petroleum fuels up until the mid 2000’s.  Natural gas consumption was relatively flat during this period.  The development of innovative ‘hydraulic fracturing’ and ‘horizontal/branch’ drilling technologies led to a new boom in natural gas domestic production after 2006.

The reduction in petroleum and coal consumption has been impacted by a number of Federal policies or regulations since the mid 2000’s and the 2007-09 economic recession.  Recent Federal regulations, including the EPAct 2005EISA 2007, and the ARRA 2009 (Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Research  and Investment section), have successfully supported the expansion of many renewables and significant energy efficiency improvements.  Besides funding increased R&D of renewables and alternatives to petroleum fuels, these regulations have provided substantial subsidies and loan support for commercial development of clean energy technologies.  In addition, the Federal regulations expanded existing energy programs such as vehicle CAFE fuel efficiency standards and ‘renewable fuels standards’ that mandated biofuels blending.

Other factors that have impacted and directionally reduced the consumption of coal and petroleum fuels are the U.S. economy and energy markets.  Prior to the 2007-09 economic recession, coal and petroleum consumption were increasing at 0.6% and 1.1% per year respectively (1997-2007).  The EIA AEO 2008 report projected continuous growth in all fossil fuels consumption between 0.5-1.0% per year through 2030.  During 2007-12 the average actual retail market prices of coal and petroleum fuels increased by about 30% and the cost for natural gas declined by 50%; considerably different than the AEO 2008 ‘reference case’ assumptions.  As a result of these net increased fossil fuels market costs, the 2007-09 economic recession and resultant increased unemployment, decreased GDP, and reduced Household’s discretionary income, overall U.S. energy consumption did not grow as projected, but declined 2007-12.

Factors That Have Reduced the Power Sector’s Emissions – The reduction in Power Sector CO2emissions is due to a number of factors including reduced consumption or demand, expanded renewables power supply, and fuels switching from coal to cleaner and more efficient natural gas.  Analysis of all End-Use Sector’s power consumption (EIA data) found an average demand reduction of about 2% during 2007-12.  This End-Use Sector power consumption reduction appears to be due in part to energy efficiency improvements.  In recent years improvements have been made by increased buildings insulation, and increased major appliances (HVAC, refrigerators, etc.) and electronics (TV’s, computers, etc.) energy efficiencies.  The 2007-09 economic recession also reduced discretionary power demand of most End-Use Sectors.  The Industrial Sector experienced the greatest drop in power consumption overall largely due to the drop in durable goods demand-manufacture during and since the recession.

The major factors that have impacted Power Sector generation mix are expanded renewables power supplies and fuels switching.

During 2007-12 substantial amounts of coal and petroleum were displaced by natural gas and renewables such as wind and hydroelectric power.  Although Solar PV grew by over 600% during the past five years, its contribution towards total U.S. power generation today is still very small (0.1%).  Of total added renewables power increases 2007-12, wind power clearly is the most significant.

Government Policies and Economic Factors Impacts – Many Government energy regulations or policies and general economy factors have affected the Power Sector’s primary energy consumption and generation since 2007.  These include expanded ‘baseload’ renewable power (hydroelectric, biomass, and geothermal), ‘variable’ renewable power (wind & solar PV) and fuels switching to natural gas (NG).  In addition, declining total power demand has significantly contributed to reduced Power Sector carbon emissions over the past 5 years.

Analysis of EIA data indicates the Power Sector’s coal consumption has been substantially reduced due to a combination of natural gas fuels switching, reduced power demand, and being displaced by baseload and variable renewables power.  While coal-to-natural gas fuels switching is clearly the largest source of Power Sector reduced carbon emissions (45%  of the total), followed by reduced demand (27%), variable wind power has also made very significant progress over the past five years in reducing Power Sector emissions (almost 25% of the total).  The major influencing factors on power generation mix changes are due to: the free market development of natural gas production, a combination of efficiency improvements and the recent recession, and Federal and State policies that have strongly supported expansion of wind power generation capacity.

Government Policies and Other Factors That Have Most Reduced U.S. Carbon Emissions –Based on the previous data and analysis the most significant policies and factors that have impacted U.S. carbon emissions have been identified.  Refer to the following bar chart:

energy

Coal-to-natural gas fuels switching is clearly the largest contributing factor towards reduced total U.S. carbon emissions over the past five years.  Assuming the Transportation Sector’s reduced petroleum consumption is only due existing to CAFE standards makes this Government policy the second largest factor towards reduced carbon emissions.  As previously described, separating other Government policies impacts from the economic recession’s impacts on U.S. carbon emissions is complex and difficult to accurately determine.  A very rough estimate of the split between ‘energy efficiency improvements and the economic recession’ impacts could possibly be a ration of 50:50.  This rough estimate indicates that the impacts of Government policy energy efficiency improvements could essentially be equal to the ‘added wind power’ benefits (or about -94 MMT/yr. each).

Following the very significant carbon emission reduction impacts of ‘added wind power’ capacity over the past five years, the impacts of other Government policies such as ‘RFS2 biofuels’, ‘added hydro/bio/geo’ and ‘added solar power’, appear to be relatively small.

Future Federal Energy Policies Should Build on Past Successes – Based on the above analysis domestic natural gas production and consumption is clearly the most important factor, closely followed by CAFE standards, to reducing total U.S. carbon emissions.  Unlike most other clean energy supplies supported by various Government policies, natural gas production has recently increased to historic highs generally without significant Federal Government support.  Not included in this analysis are the impacts of recent and planned EPA regulations that will severely restrict the use of future coal power generation.  Both these actions will substantially increase the need for added future increased natural gas consumption and power generation.  Further increased wind power generation capacity will also definitely help displace existing coal power capacity in the future, but this increase in variable-renewable power supply will also soon require increasing levels of intermediate/peaking backup natural gas power capacity in order to maintain existing power grid reliabilities.

Increased CAFE standards will be critical to future U.S. reduced carbon emissions.  The recent new standards will further help reduce future Transportation Sector’s petroleum consumption.  These latest standards still need to be further increased beyond 2025.  CAFE standards have the duel advantage of reducing both U.S. carbon emissions and improving energy security by reducing the need for oil imports.

Wind power past successes should also continued to be built on in the future.  This may require some combination of continued subsidies that should be phased out based on a ‘fixed’ schedule, and possibly adopting some form of a Federal ‘renewable power standard’ in the future.  To be reasonably successful the Federal Government should change their past-current random, non-specific approach to supporting future wind power expansion.  One possible option would be to update and fully complete a past study that covered developing a strategy to achieve 20% wind power, and make this more fully detailed plan the basis for a future expanded wind power energy policy or ‘renewable power standard’ and associated Government support.

Other (non-wind/solar) renewables should also be supported in future Government energy policies.  Renewables such as hydropower, biomass (wood & bio-waste) power and geothermal have the advantage of reliably producing electric power and directly displacing baseload coal power.  This reduces the growing need to intermediate/peaking natural gas power required for increased penetration of variable wind/solar PV power generation into existing power grids.

The current RFS2 renewable biofuels regulation should be critically re-evaluated.  Current ethanol and biodiesel is produced almost totally from corn and soybean feeds-stocks and consume about 80% fossil fuels during overall cultivation-production stages compared to the finished biofuel.  Until huge (cellulosic/algae) technology breakthroughs and innovations become an actual and reasonably economic reality, future expansion of RFS2 mandates appear to be very inefficient-wasteful towards reducing U.S. carbon emissions.

The combination of future priorities to further reduce U.S. carbon emissions, the EPA’s planned shutdown of substantial coal power, and the need for backup natural gas power as wind power levels increase will only add to the importance and need for further substantial increases in domestic natural gas production and consumption in the future.  The Federal Government needs to critically re-evaluate its recently developing regulatory policies that tend to put up barriers, rather than supporting future domestic natural gas production increases; and in an environmentally responsible manner.  This policy change consideration-evaluation should also include opening up Federal on-/off shore reserves to new natural gas future production.

JC comments:  I find this analysis to be very illuminating.  Here are the main take home points that I see.  Some government policies are effective at reducing emissions (e.g. wind power subsidies, CAFE standards) while others are not (e.g. biofuels).  The biggest impact comes from a wild card, market driven technology -fracking; seven years ago fracking wasn’t even on the radar screen.  This very significant reduction occurred in spite of U.S. lack of participation in the Kyoto Protocol.  And finally, this reduction occurred without any particular ‘pain’ to the U.S. population and economy (other than that associated with the recession).

I would be interested in similar analyses for other countries.

Update:  From Roger Pielke Jr. via email:

Fracking as wild card … was actually the result of far-sighted gov’t R&D policies, plus public/private collaborations see:

http://thebreakthrough.org/archive/shale_gas_fracking_history_and

 

349 responses to “What are the factors contributing to the reduction in U.S. carbon emissions?

  1. The first paragraph states that “The development of innovative ‘hydraulic fracturing’ and ‘horizontal/branch’ drilling technologies led to a new boom in natural gas domestic production after 2006.” It has been reported that hydraulic fracturing has been in use since 1947 and that over 1,000,000 wells have been “fracked.” http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/2011/05/03/hydraulic-fracturing-is-it-safe/

    The EIA reports that horizontal/branch drilling achieved commercial viability in the late 1980’s http://www.eia.gov/pub/oil_gas/natural_gas/analysis_publications/drilling_sideways_well_technology/pdf/tr0565.pdf

    These are hardly new technologies with little or no history as is implied in the first paragraph. These are technologies that have been in use for a long enough period of time to have good data describing the successes and problems that these technologies have encountered in use. The debate should be based upon these data rather than mis-leading arguments such as those set forth in “Gasland” and its ilk.

    • RayG | April 21, 2013 at 5:03 pm |

      Y’know, a 1947 car had essentially the same technology as a 2007 car, but in the eight generations of technical advancement in the auto sector there were such dramatic changes as no one would mistake even the most stripped-down 2007 car for a 1947 model. The same of refrigerators and televisions, telephones and typewriters.

      And even where fracking has remained in essense the same process at its core, in the same way as a car remains a car, the new places fracking is applied, closer to homes and farms and livestock and watersheds, is new and some evidence suggests ample cause for better research.

      I mean, thalidomide was around for a half century before people started giving it to pregnant women to treat morning sickness, right?

    • Really? You’re seriously unaware of this commonplace comparison?

      http://www.npr.org/2011/09/29/140872251/the-trouble-with-health-problems-near-gas-fracking

      Unlike the more or less completely bogus claims of health effects from living near windmills, there appears to be substance to many fracking health claims.. but it’s not easy to get the facts because everyone involved in fracking hides the data and lobbies for laws making this evasion legal.

      http://nofrackohio.com/quick-facts-on-fracking/

      Of course, some of the claims are from a very Looney Left. But just because a source of a claim is suspect doesn’t make their facts invalid. It’s merely more difficult to tell, due laws endorsing industrial secrecy about chemicals used in fracking. If the CRU hid their data half this well, Mosher and McIntyre would still be mired in gag orders and no one would ever have heard of Climategate.

      http://ourlongmont.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Theo-Colborn-Peer-Reviewed-Article-on-Public-Health-Perspective-on-Natural-Gas1.pdf

      Some rare sources are reliable, bona fide, verifiable and quite severe in their implications.

      Try getting data without running into a wall of red-tape, legislated silence, and persiflage.

      And since when is contrary evidence to the claims of a topic threadjacking?

      • There no legitimate health problems with fracking. Wind turbines do cause problems.

      • Curious George

        Claims .. I remember a plenty of “scientifically validated” claims that living near power lines was a fast ticket to a grave. Ditto for cellphone radiation. I am afraid I don’t have a crystal ball for weeding out wacky claims. Do you?

    • sunshinehours1 | April 22, 2013 at 7:37 pm |

      No legitimate health concerns.. and that doesn’t concern you?

      In the past seven years, of the over 650 industrial deaths at fracking sites, about half are due vehicle accidents on site, and the rest a mixture of crush, burn, etc. casualties.. but not a single even hint of chemical exposure leading to any health effects at all.

      In the entire USA, not a single successful court case has ever had a determination of health effect (though no one tracks the number of cases settled under seal, or findings under seal). There are multiple states with laws forbidding medical personnel from disclosing any health findings. The industry is excluded from epidemiologic study by government agencies. All this even though some three dozen chemicals known to be used in fracking, from the MSDS filings, are teratogens, mutagens, carcinogens, volatile aromatic hydrocarbons with known toxicity, or a combination thereof. Some of these chemicals are malignant in parts per billion, in the lab. One of them is the real-life neurotoxin that Nicholas Cage’s character in The Rock said, ‘We really wish we could un-invent it.’

      How is it possible that in the half century since the first frack in 1949, in the decade since the radical changes in fracking practice started the new fracking boom, not a single health effect has ever in the field been recorded?

      Do you not find any reason to be skeptical in that fact pattern?

      There may be zero health effects. There may be insignificant health effects. The point is, this information is carefully suppressed and unavailable to a shocking degree; it is anaethema to everything we have heard said about open research and access to data and hiding data since Climategate. Why are you not outraged about this?

    • sunshinehours1 | April 23, 2013 at 12:06 pm |

      You wave around a couple of links, the first affirming something I already said, the second with no apparent meaning at all.

      Could you try a bit harder for lucidity?

      Because no matter how hard I read what you posted, I can’t find any meaning in it at all.

      Do you mean that you’ve found the legitimate health problems of fracking you’d earlier denied existed, or that surely so thorough an agency of the US government as the Bureau of Labor Standards would miscategorize or miss industrial health effects?

      Because I’m pretty sure there’s some firefighters who would dispute that claim.

    • WHT – Fracking has been used heavily since the ’50’s. You opine on subjects of which you know very little.

      • jim2, you come out of the woodwork to support monied oil interests. How predictable.

        “Fracking has been used heavily since the ’50′s. You opine on subjects of which you know very little.”

        If I know so little, explain why a typical fracked oil well produces 900 barrels per day initially, but falls to over 400 barrels per day after one year, and then to 150 barrels after two years.

        http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2013/04/ornstein-uhlenbeck-diffusion.html

        So, yes indeed, it has been known about for years. The problem is that it is resorting to bottom-of-the-barrel strategies to get the last available oil. This is all about acknowledging the fact that we are now in the phase of squeezing blood from a turnip.

      • Well, you know WHT, money rules the world … well, if it’s Koch money. Soros money apparently doesn’t count. At any rate, the performance of wells is highly individual. As I’ve noted many times before, $90 buck a barrel crude has kept applied research in the area hopping. I expect yields to continue to improve apace.

  2. This very significant reduction occurred in spite of U.S. lack of participation in the Kyoto Protocol. And finally, this reduction occurred without any particular ‘pain’ to the U.S. population and economy (other than that associated with the recession).

    In point of fact, keeping US dollars at home, energy self-reliance, power of the government to level the playing field for the Market by domestic policy, new efficiencies in the Market, greater safety of NG over other carbon fuels, and the untapped growth potential for NG-based technology as compared the tapped-out limits of coal or petroleum are all additional benefits of the move to NG.. (though of course some of the costs of novel technologies for NG extraction are as yet ill-understood), one could add the dollar value of these benefits to the balance sheet for action on climate change, and instead of referring to pain or cost of switching from carbon could rightfully say the revenue of carbon reduction.

    So solar is at the point NG was ten years ago. The same amount of land set aside as the Keystone pipelines are expropriating, dedicated to solar in the sun belt, the same capital as invested in pipeline building, and solar would do far more than wind.. and once wind technology advances just a bit more, it will certainly do far better than it has yet. If Americans want high tech jobs at home, they’ll develop high-tech renewable resources.

    The USA doesn’t need much to reduce carbon emission to pre-1950 levels, and then it can lead the world and reap the bounty of leadership. Or, it can wait for others to take the lead and let them make the profits.

    • “So solar is at the point NG was ten years ago.”

      Yeah…uh…no.

      This is where natural gas technology was in 2003.

      http://www.fossil.energy.gov/news/techlines/2003/tl_baglanbay.html

      The technological advancements that have been so dramatic wrt natural gas have been in extraction technology. We already knew how to convert it to electric power economically long ago. Solar and wind and other fairy dust “solutions” to the horrors of coal and oil are nowhere near natural gas. And do not appear likely to be for decades, if at all.

    • steven mosher

      mmm. solar technology needs a breakthough.. artificial photosynthesis.
      PV — expect only evolutionary improvement. don’t feed it another dime. folks will use it where it makes sense. Put your dollars on market disrupters..

      • R. Gates aka The Skeptical Warmist

        Artificial photosynthesis is exactly what will be the next revolutionary technology. We already have a large fusion reactor at a safe distance with zero maintenance. Artificial photosynthesis will allow us to use the energy of that reactor with zero negative effects on our environment.

      • Steven Mosher

        yup.. gates gets it

      • R. Gates aka The Skeptical Warmist | April 21, 2013 at 11:39 pm |

        Well, “zero negative effects” may be a slight overstatement. Any large enough industrial process will have an environmental cost of some sort.

        And if the efficiency of artpho becomes competitive or integrated with hybrid CPV/CST, so much the better.

        The difficult technical challenges are what make the field advanced technology. Advanced technology jobs are great for an economy.

        You can keep investing in obsolescence while the rest of the world gets the advanced technology jobs, or you can advance.

        Which is the wiser policy?

      • solar technology needs a breakthough.. artificial photosynthesis.

        There is some work going on involving introducing carboxysomes into C3 plants [e.g. Price et al. (2012)]. I’ve also heard rumors that human solar power extraction is over an order of magnitude more efficient than photosynthesis. If so, it could be used to produce hydrogen directly through electrolysis, which could be fed directly into the Calvin Cycle (“dark” biosynthesis). At any reasonable pressure, the reduction of NADP by hydrogen is a downhill reaction.

        Price et al. (2012) The cyanobacterial CCM as a source of genes for improving photosynthetic CO2 fixation in crop species by G. Dean Price, Jasper J.L. Pengelly, Britta Forster, Jiahui Du, Spencer M. Whitney, Susanne von Caemmerer, Murray R. Badger, Susan M. Howitt and John R. Evans

      • ‘artificial photosynthesis’

        There is this thing called entropy. The photosynthetic centers have evolved over 4 billion years and are quite good at what they do. However, they need constant maintenance and probably only last about a week or so before they are yanked out of the membrane and digested. Respiratory proteins are highly complex but are the cellular equivalent of a Nissan Versa and not a Ford Expedition. Cheap and cheerful and not costly but rugged is the way biology has gone.
        Light and oxygen are just so nasty together.

  3. Mark in Toledo

    Bart, you are dreaming. Short of incredible advances in solar, we are still FAR away from it being a significant part of our energy solution. Wind is looking more and more like a non-starter.

    • Mark in Toledo | April 21, 2013 at 5:19 pm |

      In Toledo, sure, solar would be idiotic except for domestic hot water (which in Toledo, it’s cheaper than coal); in Arizona, with only marginal improvements — already in the technology pipeline in the form of hybrid multijunction solar — it’s quite achievable. If you count the cost of pipeline subsidy in the price of tarsand, solar is competitive.

      And that ‘non-starter’ wind powers between 10% and 23.5% of several states already, before resort to novel technologies.

      Sure, not every new technology will work. But then, not all old technologies remain the best choices either yet remain in use due lobbying by vested interests with sunk costs. This drag on the Market needs to be watched for and pruned away mercilessly, not coddled.

  4. From what I understand it would take the entire state of North Dakota filled with wind turbines just to power New York City. If this is an accurate estimate of its efficacy, we are a long way from wind making any appreciable dent despite the claims you made. Regardless, wind energy is terribly inefficient in many respects and maintenance of turbines (not to mention the manufacturing, transportation and installation) is a big headache. They are cool in SMALL numbers, but if you have ever driven through an area like West Texas where there are Thousands of them, it is amazing that environmentalists give them a second thought. Frankly, they are hideous and arguably worse than the “problem” they are attempting to address.

    • From what I understand it would take the entire state of North Dakota filled with wind turbines just to power New York City.

      No amount of wind turbines could power New York, because power is needed all the time and the wind doesn’t blow all the time – even if the wind turbines are distributed across the nation (which of course would mean enormous transmission costs)..

      • On again off again, intermittant, inefficient wind turbines
        can reduce energy output when the wind isn’t jest goldi-
        locks -right. At wind speeds below 8MPH the massive
        blades don’t turn, above 16MPH they are designed to
        lock so they won’t be destroyed by high winds.

        Number Watch, UK (J Brignell, 20/12/06) claims that
        80% of the time the UK turbines produce no power
        at all.

        … Of course, when the turbines won’t turn and back
        up ramping via coal based energy is required, no Co2
        emissions are saved … au contraire.

      • Peter Lang

        it would take the entire state of North Dakota filled with wind turbines plus several large gas-fired power plants to cover the 70+% of the time when the wind is either too weak or too strong just to power New York City.

        Makes more sense now.

        BTW, NYC apparently has a power demand of around 35,000 MW

        A “super-sized” gas-fired power plant can generate up to 5,000 MW, so it would take seven “super-sized” gas plants.

        And the largest gas turbines generate around 300MW so it would take around 120 of these.

        Max

      • Beth

        You got it right.

        At best around 25% of the CO2 from fossil fuels is saved by installing wind turbines (probably much lower in most parts of the world).

        Counting the loss of efficiency when fuel-fired plants are run intermittently, the CO2 savings is probably even lower.

        And the investment is a total loss.

        Bad deal (except for the purveyors of wind power plants who are laughing all the way to the bank).

        Max

      • Max,

        Well at least some one benefits.
        Those purveyors gotta eat too …
        I guess.

        Beth

      • Wayne2 | April 21, 2013 at 9:02 pm |

        Not surprising results, for 5-year means.

        You may want to look into whether the results suggest what start-end month combinations are likeliest to skew trend negative/positive.

        It begins to get interesting when you get outcomes for how likely 5-year means of various levels disqualify the various runs of the GCMs.

    • Really?

      Someone’s finally found a use for North Dakota?

      Well, makes the plan to put windmills offshore seem silly now, by comparison.

      And for the 24% of the time offshore wind might not cover the full load covered by current sources, have people never heard of Niagara Freaking Falls Hydroelectric Power? James Freaking Bay Hydroelectric Power?

      You don’t need to replace all carbon with only wind, and no one has made a claim you do.

      Didn’t we cover ‘oversimplification’ last thread?

      • I can make a prediction that in another dozen years, North Dakota will produce more energy from wind than from the Bakken oil fields.

        In Minnesota, we have a prevailing wind expression for our neighboring states — NoDak blows and Wisconsin sucks.

      • Bart R, A bit off-topic, but your remark in a previous thread about BART in R intrigued me. So I found the R package that implements BART (BayesTree) and installed it. It’s only at release 0.3, and I generally avoid low-numbered releases, but I’m glad you brought my attention to it. It looks very interesting and useful.

        I tried it on the (global) GISS data, leaving all settings at default values, and when I graph results it looks like they suggest that we’ve been basically flat since mid-1997. In 2007 and 2009, we were as much as 0.2 C higher (comparing 5% quantile to 95% quantile for worst-case), but as of mid-2010 we were back to 1997-1998 levels.

        This isn’t the method you’d recommended I try. (Haven’t gotten around to that yet.) But it was a fun exercise and has me started playing with a package that I hadn’t tried before. Thought you might like to know.

      • Steven Mosher

        Wayne2.

        How’s it compare to RPART and TREES. I’m playing around with a CART problem ( actually building a classifier for “well sited sites”) and just at the exploratory stage.. before I hit the textbooks..

      • Yeah, the oil companies have found a use for north Dakota, the Bakken Shale. This along with the Eagle Ford Shale are the true game changers when it comes to revitalizing the US oil production. If there was any one hope for energy independence – not likely -, it is in North Dakota.

      • WebHubTelescope the Bakken topped 600,000 bbls per day last year. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-14/north-dakota-s-bakken-oil-output-passes-600-000-barrels-a-day.html. one barrel equals approx 1.7 megawatt hours. http://www.conversion-website.com/energy/megawatt_hour_to_barrel_of_oil_equivalent.html So 600,000. So the Bakken could produce 1,020,000 MWh. Alta, the biggest land wind farm in the world, has a name plate capacity of 1,550. And true efficiencies are around 36%. http://jap.aip.org/resource/1/japiau/v105/i10/p104908_s1?isAuthorized=no or about 558 Megawatts. I think you can do the math from here. But N. Dakota producing more wind energy than oil, especially given that this does not count associated and unassociated gas production.

      • WebHubTelescope

        Bakken production has hit a pause. The pause is different than the warming pause in that the Bakken pause is permanent.

        Search for the terms infill drilling and downspacing. This is secondary recovery terminology. The latter is drilling between previous sites and is the sign of diminishing returns.

        Get it while it lasts.

      • WebHub You are one of the writers I usually pay attention to, (or I would have dropped this discussion after the first rejoinder) but unfortunately you are only focusing on the literature about the Bakken that has a strong political bias. Infill drilling and downspacing are positives not negatives. In this case we are not talking about secondary recovery i.e. water flooding, but optimization of primary production. It suggest not the last gasp of a reservoir, but that the reservoir is even richer than previously thought. Frequently on a play like this one, operators will use a sparse drilling pattern to prove the limits and variability of the reservoir and hold as much acreage as possible. Later they go back and access the best patterns for production. Here is a pretty good explanation http://seekingalpha.com/article/1248431-bakken-the-downspacing-bounty-and-birth-of-array-fracking I understand that the nature of productivity decline can be confusing, you might look at hard analysis rather than the peak oil crowd. http://seekingalpha.com/article/1286011-bakken-update-depletion-of-the-top-20-oil-producing-wells-in-the-bakken

      • Why link to Seeking Alpha?
        Why did Seeking Alpha ban Mark Anthony?

    • Apparently, ramping up , love that phrase, conventional
      plants connected ter stand in when the wind isn’t blowing
      and ramping down when it is, both increase fuel consumption
      and CO2 emissions. An analysis of wind data at Schipol,
      (C le Pair 2009,) on an average windy day, 28/08/11 found
      that back up ramping over 21.5 hours of low winds,
      increased gas imput, adding 117.9 tons of CO2 emissions
      into the atmosphere.. tsk!

      • No wonder gaseous T. Boone was pickin’ that renewable bone.

      • Say, It’s an ill wind that don’t blow some
        good somewhere, fer someone.

      • Thx mosomoso, we both have the same reference
        re turbine intermittency.

      • Beth,

        There is an even better paper than the Le pair paper. This one is currently in press (a pre-submission version is linked below). It is important because it shows that wind power is an analysis of empirical data in a near ideal grid for the analysis and it show wind power is much less effective at reducing emissions than claimed by the proponents. And the effectiveness decreases as the proportion of wind power increases. Wind power supplied 17% of Ireland’s electricity in 2011 and was just 53% effective at reducing emissions (c.f. 100% claimed by wind power advocates)
        Joseph Wheatley “Quantifying CO2 savings from wind power: Ireland

        http://docs.wind-watch.org/Wheatley-Ireland-CO2.pdf

      • Peter

        Thx fer that. I will read the paper. There is jest so much
        evidence that wind turbines are inefficient, energy wise,
        cost wise, and also environmentally not what they were
        set upter be.

        (And this, seems ter me, ought ter be clear ter
        see by denizens on both sides of the fence.)

        Beth the okker cg

    • @Beth Cooper: above 16MPH [wind turbines] are designed to lock so they won’t be destroyed by high winds.

      In defense of Beth Cooper one can point to those like David Springer who misinform by three orders of magnitude. Beth here is off not by three orders of magnitude but merely by a factor of 3.5, see e.g. this link which says

      The turbines start producing power at wind speeds of 8 m.p.h., the optimal production speed is between 29 to 31 m.p.h. and the turbine shut down when wind speeds reach 56 m.p.h.

      What I’d love to know is what motivates these misinformers like Springer and Cooper. Are they merely contrarians with an eagle eye for every scrap of data supporting fheir position and a complete rejection of any daa to the contrary, or are the conspiracy theorists like John Mashey right that there’s more to this than meets the eye?

      • Here’s a study from the Netherlands criticizing the
        energy models that sold wind power to the Netherlands
        Govt because the models neglect factors re cycling that
        increase fossil fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

      • Didn’t work. le Pair study

        http://www.clepair.net/windSchiphol.html

      • WebHubTelescope

        Much more to it than meets the eye. Why all the poetry but to deflect and crowd out the real scientific discussion.

      • Vaughan

        Looks like Beth got you on that one.

        So it is rather silly of you to refer to her as a “misinformer”.

        Mashey, maybe. Cooper, naw.

        First of all, you should never call a lady a name and second, that kind of thing can backfire on you.

        Max

      • Honi soit qui mal y pense, Descartes , mon ami

        Say, Descartes, I recognise, as a fallible serf, that I frequently
        succumb ter confirmation bias, though I have
        perused,earnestly and laboriously, the confliicting
        arguments of the debate. Mais alors … Descartes,
        have you yourself not succumbed ter some of the
        errors of engagement cited in the previous thread?.
        …I do keep reading, this today .

        http://www.wind-power-program.com/turbine_characteristics.htm

        Jest – a – fallible – serf.

      • Something that makes me lol, Vaughan is yer phrase
        ‘In defence of Beth Cooper.’ Heh. heaven protect
        us from this kind of ‘defence’ …Title fer a Hercule
        Poirot novel, The Case of the Barbed Defence.’

        Say, I think ‘defence’ here is used as a noun VP )
        BC

      • In defense of Vaughn Pratt, between Stephen Lewandowsky and John Mashey, it’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world out there.
        ===================

      • David Springer

        Vaughn Pratt,

        GPS systems with sub-millimeter accuracy:

        http://www.gpstk.org/pub/Documentation/GPSTkPublications/precision-gps-hhstt-ion-gnss-2006.pdf

        The accuracy you mention without WAAS to bring it down to <1 cm in real time is for mobile devices i.e. navigation not surveying. GPS position-fix accuracy improves the longer you care to wait at a fixed position. Errors are averaged out over time. Average for a week and you get sub-millimeter accuracy if you need it. WAAS coverage is near total for North America and pretty good for Central America so for surveying there's generally no need to wait for satellite-only errors to average out.

        GPS stands for Global Position System not Global Positioning Satellites. WAAS is part of the system. So as usual you are full of chit and just embarrass yourself in the attempt to correct me. Grow up.

        Thanks for playing.

      • David Springer

        I see Beth already gave Pratt the spanking he asked for. Maybe Vaughn should check out the specs of more than one wind turbine system next time. Anyone with any engineering expertise would have realized that wind turbines are be tweaked for best performance in prevailing winds and then self-protect by feathering and/or locking when wind speed becomes excessive. Like duh.

      • The Trimble R10 can get you 3 mm for GNSS surveying, but only 0,25 m for positioning:

        http://trl.trimble.com/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-625158/022543-544B_TrimbleR10_DS_0413_LR.pdf

        It touts its HD-GNSS processing engine.

        What is the sound of a GPS with no GNSS clapping?

        ***

        I don’t think Vaughan had this kind of tool in mind when he said:

        > David Springer is claiming that an accuracy of 300 inches obtained using GPS even when augmented with WAAS is better than the 0.1 inch accuracy routinely obtained by surveyors you can hire to check out your property.

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/04/17/meta-uncertainty-in-the-determination-of-climate-sensitivity/#comment-314527

        Big Dave seems to agree with the following sentence:

        > The accuracy you mention without WAAS to bring it down to <1 cm in real time is for mobile devices i.e. navigation not surveying.

        the “without WAAS” would deserve due diligence, and the modality Vaughan had in mind should be emphasized. Vaughan’s point is that your iPhone is still less precise than a surveyor.

        I don’t think that Vaughan had in mind a surveyor using a Trimble R10.

        ***

        Besides, all this digression was to evade MattStat’s point that GPS is a model-based measuring system, a point which directly follows from the terminology over there:

        http://www.gps.gov/technical/ps/1995-SPS-signal-specification.pdf

        To claim that:

        > GPS is the most accurate measure […]

        conflate measuring with calculating:

        > A GPS receiver calculates its position by precisely timing the signals sent by GPS satellites high above the Earth.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Positioning_System#Basic_concept_of_GPS

        Big Dave should beware of basic concepts.

        ***

        Please do continue, Big Dave. It might provide motivation someone to pay due diligence to Papundits crap.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Beth claims without qualification that wind turbines shut down at wind speeds of 16 mph (7 m/s). Her sources however appear to be aimed at discrediting wind power, raising the interesting questions of whether more neutral sources make this claim, and whether it holds for all wind turbines.

        A more reliable source would be the manufacturers’ datasheets for their models. This article analyzed the datasheets for 57 models of wind turbines made by 45 manufacturers. Section 4.4 tabulates the cut-out speeds of these models.

        * 54% of them don’t cut out at any speed.
        * 36% cut out at various speeds above 20 m/s (45 mph).
        * 7% have cut-out speeds in the range 15-20 m/s (34-45 mph).
        * Only a mere 3% cut out above 10 m/s (22 mph).

        The surveyed models would appear not to include any models that cut out at 16 mph!

        Draw your own inference about the reliability of sources claiming that “above 16MPH [wind turbines] are designed to lock so they won’t be destroyed by high winds.”

        Or google for the following:

        “wind turbine” “56 mph”

        This yields plenty of sources talking about wind speeds in that vicinity.

        Here’s a video of a wind turbine shutting down in a storm as the wind rises above 25 m/s (56 mph), see 2:06.

      • Meanwhile I just noticed the link

        http://www.wind-power-program.com/turbine_characteristics.htm

        that Beth cited, which gives 56 mph as a cut-out speed for a “typical wind turbine”. I tip my hat to Beth for that. Judging by the comments it seems like no one else noticed she’d done this.

      • Ockers like Beth don’t know how to use numbers. Nice, develop a persona with a built-in excuse. The way of the WUWT.

      • Well, the peak speed of turbines generally is much less than the cut-out wind speed. Peak speeds are as low as ~ 30 MPH.

        http://www.rensmart.com/Products/WindTurbines

      • Web – hub – telescope, if that is what you are…
        7.2 m per sec= 23.5 feet per sec = 25 km per hour.
        I have said that I keep reading, VP , my response
        re Ad hom attributions still holds.
        B C

      • Vaughan

        Don’t buy a used wind turbine from the guy that gave you that sales pitch.

      • 16MPH ????

        I rode double centuries faster than that. Don’t even talk about alternative energies unless you get your facts straight.

      • I think Beth and Vaughn also may have made an innocent mistake. In the article referenced by Beth, the 16 MPH was the wind speed at which the turbine began to take measures to reduce the load on itself. I believe the term used was “feathering,” where the blade angle is changed so as to catch less energy.

      • jim2, no, she had a unit conversion error in her spread sheet. Not like we lost another mars lander or global economy this time.

      • @DS: GPS stands for Global Position System not Global Positioning Satellites. WAAS is part of the system. So as usual you are full of chit

        Since it’s actually Global Positioning System, it should follow that DS must be the chitful one. GPS (full name NAVSTAR-GPS) had grown to 24 satellites before being augmented with WAAS, which is not part of GPS itself but rather one of several implementations of WADGPS, Wide Area Differential GPS.

        @DS: GPS is the most accurate measure of latitude and longitude that’s available today.

        This is simply false. What is true is that differential GPS with sufficiently short baselines can measure (estimate, determine, whatever) length to high accuracy. It is simply a convenient alternative to laser rangefinders, tape measures, chains, etc. for measuring length. All high accuracy GPS systems, including those cited by DS and willard, use GPS only to measure length accurately, not absolute position which is determined without GPS.

        Given two benchmarks (monuments, triangulation points) with known latitude and longitude, one can then determine the latitude and longitude of other nearby points by triangulation using any length-measuring method including differential GPS. It therefore cannot be any more accurate than the benchmarks themselves, whose coordinates have been derived (directly or indirectly) without using GPS.

        Wide Area Differential GPS such as WAAS (Americas), EGNOS (Europe) and MSAS (Japan etc.) can be understood as satellite-based differential GPS with very long baselines, which limits the accuracy of the baseline lengths to several meters. The advantage is that communication between receivers is via WAAS satellites instead of directly between receivers, yielding a particularly simple implementation of differential GPS since all communication is then purely satellite-to-receiver.

        For all lengths of baseline, short or long, the underlying principle of differential GPS is that nearby receivers experience essentially the same errors. This is because the varying-density atmosphere above them distorts the path of the signals to each receiver in approximately the same way. This has the effect of locating the receivers accurately relative to a coordinate frame whose latitude and longitude however is not accurately known. This principle becomes less accurate with increasing length of baseline because the path distortions at the receivers at each end of any given baseline become less well correlated.

        Positioning two or more receivers at benchmarks fixes the coordinate frame. Those receivers are the static ones or base stations. The others, the mobile or roving ones, can then be moved around to determine (estimate, measure) coordinates, by triangulation in the case of two static and one mobile receiver, or by least squares fitting when there are more than two base stations (the over-determined case). One way to enhance accuracy therefore is with more base stations, further improved by using shorter baselines, i.e. a more closely packed group of receivers.

        Baseline accuracy is yet further improved by interferometry, namely comparing the phases of signals from different receivers. This can yield very high accuracy, but again only for length, not absolute coordinates, whose precision can only be as good as the benchmarks to which they are referred. Those benchmarks are therefore intrinsically more accurate than GPS, which introduces additional large or small errors depending on the setup.

      • From my book:
        Data from Germany

        Wind speeds are cut-out and governed less than 5% of the time, and even at high wind speeds which occur only 1% of the time they collect about 7/8 of the potential power. Not hard to read and interpret the data.

        Winds are statistically very predictable because they follow closely the Rayleigh Maximum Entropy probability distribution.

    • Steven Mosher | April 21, 2013 at 11:37 pm |

      This likely means I have to change my moniker to pd2Bart R, or worse, go back and re-learn R and start using it again regularly so I can keep up with the conversation.

  5. Biofuels are carbon neutral, just as humans and animals are. The carbon that they contribute was obtained by utilizing crops which removed the same amount of CO2.

    • Wrong. The fuels used in the production process are fossil fuels, and they amount to 80% of the energy in ethanol (at least!).

    • Philip Haddad | April 21, 2013 at 5:49 pm |

      I think of ethanol as no more than a scam, a way to subsidize beef on the hoof through byproducts of ethanol production, of subsidizing large corn operators over small farmers, and of providing an incentive to fossil fuel by stretching the supply with a complementary good.

      They’re far from carbon neutral, as if they hadn’t been burned, they’d have been in effect sequestered carbon until they composted out.

      • Bart R

        Agree with you that corn ethanol is a scam for many reasons.

        Max

      • David Springer

        I see ethanol from corn as a stepping stone. E85 engines are in mass production with some 10+ million on the road in the US today.

        Motor Trend Magazine recently had a feature article about Audi in a joint venture with MA-based Joule Fuels building a third generation ethanol/biodiesel production plant in Hobbs, NM. The plant is supposed to be in operation in 2013. Gen-3 biofuel production uses only non-potable water, sunlight, CO2, and non-arable land to produce fuel. Target price for initial production is $70/bbl equivalent and will improve as the infant field of synthetic biology progresses. This is just first baby steps in realizing the fruits of being able to custom design and program bacteria to build anything we want cheaply and quickly of any arbitrary complexity from carbon compounds using only air, water, and sunlight as inputs. Ethanol and biodiesel are just simple molecules with no macro-structure, are in critical demands, so they are the logical entry-level product for synthetic biology.

        http://blogs.motortrend.com/audi-deals-co-develop-alternative-fuels-26189.html

        The above article appeared in the dead tree version of Motor Trend. I read it in the waiting room of a doctor’s office just yesterday.

        Motor Trend isn’t exactly Reader’s Digest in terms of circulation but it’s very popular with over 1 million paid subscriptions in the United States and most of those I reckon’ are in waiting rooms where many people read the same individual copy.

      • Attended my grad school alumni dinner a couple weeks ago and the guest speaker was a grad who works at the Energy Bioscience Institute. Very interesting topic. One of the interesting bits was finding out that a couple of the biofuel proposals often touted are likely dead ends. The two I recall were drop in fuels and algal based fuels. Another issue with biofuels is water usage. A reason they are experimenting with agave as an energy crop. Although on the latter, having drinks the next day with a fellow grad who did not go to the dinner, when mentioning agave, he said that the current demand for tequila is so great, they can’t grow enough agave to meet it. If true, forget about food riots. I know some folks who would get mighty pissed if their tequila went up drastically in price.

        http://www.energybiosciencesinstitute.org

  6. The US emissions of CO2 obviously decreased starting at the end of 2008, because of the change in administration.

    Obama promise CHANGE, didn’t he?

    • The peak vehicle mileage in the USA occurred late 2007 and early 2008.

      Also the transition from oil to natural gas was out of Obama’s control.

      These are all indicators of the world economy’s transition from a mainly crude-oil-driven economy to a mix of lower-grade fossil fuels and alternative energy sources.

  7. On a hot day in July 2012 ,influenced by a stationary front over the East Coast of Lake Huron, the windmills were not turning and downtown Toronto was sweltering. Power for air conditioning came from Niagara Falls as well as Bruce Nuclear on the shores of Lake Huron. The end user cost of Bruce Nuclear was $ 0.07 CnD per Kilowatt hour.

    Several days later, the high pressure region moved on and the wind mills started and stopped and started and stopped and started again at an end user cost of $ 0.21 CnD per Kilowatt Hour. As Bruce Nuclear couldn’t be suddenly shut down and still maintain the grid, electricity was sold “down South”; i.e. to the USA at a loss.

    One method that utilities in collusion with regulators have employed to mask the rising cost of “renewable” energy, they have been allowed to geometrically escalate the “Distribution” charge. So the price of energy has escalated through other fees.

    Does this remind you of credit card companies and their plethora of “fees”?

    As for coal, the EPA Endangerment Finding can be viewed as the most costly and destructive tax at any time in our history. Prohibition doesn’t come close.

    • RiHo08 | April 21, 2013 at 6:12 pm |

      Huh. So now all payments by polluters are considered ‘tax’?

      What about fines by speeders?

      Amounts determined in civil suits, are those taxes, too?

      The price of commodities?

      Ontario’s energy mismanagement woes go back many decades, and it’s gross oversimplification to try to sum them up by comparing a single pair of cherry picked days.

      • Bart R

        “Ontario’s energy mismanagement woes go back many decades, and it’s gross oversimplification to try to sum them up by comparing a single pair of cherry picked days.”

        You are certainly correct about Ontario Hydro and its legacy.

        The first statement about polluters should pay is a tax; good, bad, or indifferent.

        The rest of the statements are mixing apples with …. They are all not the same.

        My fundamental issue is with the EPA and the Endangerment Finding as a way to tax coal fired electricity out of existence. It has the same rationale as Prohibition had 100 years ago. Moral imperative.

        In the attempt to make coal go away, alternative energy like wind and solar are substituted for coal at a huge premium. So the people of Ontario are paying incrementally higher energy costs to subsidize a non-competative energy source. Wind and solar are inherently noncompetitive for the fore-seeable future.

        To hide the cost per kilowatt hour price increase, alternative fees are added and escalated, just like the credit card bank companies.

        That is my point. We can look at our neighbor and observe how goofy EPA’s equivalent rules have become. Why go down that road? we can see that it doesn’t work. Invest the money allocated by EPA to Endangerment Finding into research: better health statistics than the ones bandied about by EPA which have little or no credibility, or addressing fine respirable particulates from cars, trucks, and things that go. Stationary sources and scrubbers make immense sense.

        Just learn from what isn’t working.

    • RiHo08 | April 22, 2013 at 10:53 am |

      “Polluters should pay is a tax,” is your contention?

      Meaning that pollution is, to you, not a wrong needing to be punished, but a right that comes with a price, no different from retail purchase or hunting or driving a car or owning real estate?

      We diverge on that. Pollution is a wrong, and polluters paying is not merely a payment but also condemnation of their negligence and trespass.

      This is not a moral imperative, but a defense of more fundamental rights. It is the end of the polluted-against’s innocent nose where the polluters fist loses its lesser and more limited right to be swung. This is not a prohibition, but a protection.

      Coal isn’t bad because it’s “evil”; coal is bad because its lucrative users must also exploit without payment the scarce resource of the carbon cycle, and any time a government gives away for free its citizens property to a few free riders, that’s simply theft. Price CO2E by the Law of Supply and Demand, and pay every citizen per capita, and the problem of theft is somewhat absolved. Of course, there’s still the problem of expropriation without due process or consultation, but one bridge at a time.

      What really isn’t working in Ontario is management by the semi-competent interfered with by meddling incompetent provincial politicians who couldn’t get elected at even the abjectly minor-league national level in Canada.

      • Bart,

        At first I thought you had something there, and then you say: “This is not a moral imperative, but a defense of more fundamental rights.” And these rights come from where? the divine voice speaking through the human spirit? …moral imperative, conjured up inside a person’s mind.

        In some legal systems, tort law, as there is no way to make someone whole after an injury, money is substituted. Money is transferred from the perpetrator to the victim commensurate with the perceived injury. Certainly in the victim’s eye there is wish to exact a pound of flesh. The plaintiff’s lawyer is motivated by the fee. And the government’s role is to place the boundaries in which the system can operate.

        When there is pollution, particularly when the item or items have been previously unregulated, government sets the limits of the pollution. In the case of CO2, EPA is proposing to regulate something that has never before been identified as a pollutant. The whole cap & trade scheme is nothing more than a tax: polluter’s pay.

        Tax is a government’s way to implement the scheme. The punitive aspect resides in the hearts and minds of the warmistas. The reality is: you will never be whole, because the perceived injury resides in your mind.

      • Bzzzzzt! TILT!
        ======

      • The tax schemes are revivals of the (former) Soviet “Turnover Tax”. Different implementation; same ideology: government control of consumption.

      • Pooh, Dixie

        Bart, we’ve been here before. You consistently refer to CO2 as a “pollutant”. It is not, at anywhere near current levels. The EPA had power to declare it a “pollutant” only by a sloppily-written Act of Congress.

        SCALIA, J. (Dissenting, Page 10 footnote 2): (Referring to the then-current EPA ruling): Not only is EPA’s interpretation reasonable, it is far more plausible than the Court’s alternative. As the Court correctly points out, “all airborne compounds of whatever stripe,” ante, at 26, would qualify as “physical, chemical, . . . substance[s] or matter which [are] emitted into or otherwise ente[r] the ambient air,” 42 U. S. C. §7602(g). It follows that everything airborne, from Frisbees to flatulence, qualifies as an “air pollutant.” This reading of the statute defies common sense.

        Justice Stevens. “MASSACHUSETTS ET AL. V. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY ET AL.,” April 2, 2007.

        http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/06pdf/05-1120.pdf

    • RiHo08 | April 23, 2013 at 9:55 am |

      Yet another person who believes systems of laws can deliver justice or morality.

      All the processes of laws can deliver is rules and rights, and if there is any morality involved it generally leads to worse laws and infringed rights.

      And when you reveal your ignorance of what has or has not been identified as a pollutant and when, you only compound your errors.

      When I read something, I generally ask myself, “Is the writer trying to make me smarter, or trying to make me stupider?”

      Try for smarter, next time.

      • Bart R

        Thank you for your reply:

        “Yet another person who believes systems of laws can deliver justice or morality.”

        I see I was not clear. I said nothing about justice or morality, concepts derived from: philosophy, religion, and culture; constructs of the mind.

        Taxes on the other hand are tangible assets transferred from one party to another, usually citizen to government, with the implicit contract that the citizen will get some thing or service in return: police & fire protection, a court system to adjudicate disputes.

        The EPA proposed tax system, regulating their declared pollutant CO2, is to transfer wealth of coal producing shareholders and consumers of electric power to an alternative method of power generation. The proposed tax has the immediate and long term objective to regulate to death, the coal industry. The tax being proposed falls within the rules government has enacted unless those tax code rules are modified by a court of law. There is no morality or justice implied. Justices working within the rule of law, in this case, tax law. Nothing more.

        As for making you smarter, wiser, or more intelligent, I have no such power, nor inclination. I wish to inform; have you cogitate a bit; have you consider. I can’t make you smarter, nor stupider for that matter. You are in charge.

    • RiHo08 | April 23, 2013 at 3:06 pm |

      Simply put, the EPA lacks the statute power to tax, even in Texas.

      You are technically incorrect on the facts.

      You are using words with meanings other than apply.

      This does not imply consideration, nor cogitation, nor does it inform.

      Polluters are trespassers; trepassers are wrongdoers; wrongdoers ought pay for the wrong they inflict on others.

      You pee in the well, you pay a penalty.

  8. A factor that was not mentioned in the report: the recession, the closing down of factories, the export of some manufacturing activities (and their emissions) to other countries.

    In all, the reduction in emissions was small, random, and insignificant. WSome reductions were acheived at significant cost, and not by methods that can be ramped up and render big reductions.
    So, it’s much ado about nothing.

  9. A better indicator than simply tons of CO2 emitted is the carbon efficiency (or effectiveness) = GDP (or affluence) generated by an economy per ton of CO2 generated by that economy.

    In the USA real GDP increased slightly from 2007 to 2012 (after a four-year slump): from ~13.1 to ~13.5 $ trillion.

    In 2007 the USA emitted 6.02 billion metric tons CO2; in 2012 this was only 5.2 billion tons.

    So the “carbon efficiency” increased from around $2,200 per ton CO2 to around $2,600 per ton of CO2: an increase of 18%.

    The “top 4 nations” (no surprise) were Switzerland, Sweden, France and Norway, all above $5,000 per ton CO2.

    As a comparison, the EU averaged around $3,200 and Japan around $3,400, while Brazil, China, Russia, India and the OPEC nations all averaged well below $1,000.

    Taking into consideration such local factors as population density, availability of hydroelectric power, policy on nuclear power, etc., it appears that the more economically developed nations are also those with the highest carbon efficiency.

    And, if we look at the past record, it appears that carbon efficiency is increasing across most of the economies of the world as they develop.

    So, to get back to the lead post (what are the factors contributing to the reduction of CO2 emissions?), it appears that economic development, itself, is a key factor.

    This should be “good news” for everyone.

    Max

    • Rosenfelds law states that the energy required to produce the same amount of GDP reduces at 1% per annum.

      • Steven Mosher

        ha. art will enjoy knowing that folks at Judy’s quote him.

      • Max and Maks: Do the figures about carbon efficiency and (Steven’s famous buddy he’s on a first-name basis with, Art ;^{) Rosenfeld’s law take into account the offshoring of manufacturing, and the resultant energy and carbon offshored into inefficient and highly polluting developing countries? Thanks

      • maksimovich

        Rosenfeld’s law sounds interesting.

        The USA increased its “carbon efficiency” (GDP generated per ton of CO2 emitted) by 18% over a five-year period (2007-2012), so this is at around three times the rate predicted by Rosenfeld.

        But let’s look at the global figures over a longer time period.

        Nominal global GDP rose from $27.5 trillion in 1990 to $71.8 trillion in 2012 (1990 dollars) [Wiki]. This is ~2.6x, or a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.5% per year.

        CO2 emissions grew from 22.6 GtCO2 in 1990 to 35.6 GtCO2 in 2012 [CDIAC]. This is ~1.6x, or a CAGR of 2.1% per year.

        So carbon efficiency (GDP per ton CO2) increased from $1217 in 1990 to $2017 in 2012. This is an increase of 1.7x, or a CAGR of 2.3% per year.

        This is roughly twice the estimate based on Rosenfeld’ Law.

        [Of course, these figures only include fossil fuel use, rather than total energy consumption. But, even so, I believe that the Rosenfeld estimate is on the low side.]

        Max

      • David Springer

        @Howard

        The original quote by Arthur H. Rosenfeld is:

        From 1845 to the present, the amount of energy required to produce the same amount of gross national product has steadily decreased at the rate of about 1 percent per year. This is not quite as spectacular as Moore’s Law of integrated circuits, but it has been tested over a longer period of time. One percent per year yields a factor of 2.7 when compounded over 100 years. It took 56 BTUs (59,000 joules) of energy consumption to produce one (1992) dollar of GDP in 1845. By 1998, the same dollar required only 12.5 BTUs (13,200 joules).

        I’m sure the Gordster, a Berkeley graduate BTW, will be relieved to know his law is still more spectacular than Art’s. Mrs.G will probably roll her eyes as she always does. I’ll let him know when I see him at his great grand-nephew’s bar mitzvah if not sooner. ;-)

      • David Springer

        @Howard

        The original quote by Arthur H. Rosenfeld is:

        From 1845 to the present, the amount of energy required to produce the same amount of gross national product has steadily decreased at the rate of about 1 percent per year. This is not quite as spectacular as Moore’s Law of integrated circuits, but it has been tested over a longer period of time. One percent per year yields a factor of 2.7 when compounded over 100 years. It took 56 BTUs (59,000 joules) of energy consumption to produce one (1992) dollar of GDP in 1845. By 1998, the same dollar required only 12.5 BTUs (13,200 joules).

        I’m sure the Gordster, a Berkeley graduate BTW, will be relieved to know his law is still more spectacular than Art’s. Mrs.G will probably roll her eyes as she always does. I’ll let him know when I see him at his great grand-nephew’s bar mitzvah if not sooner. I hope Barry doesn’t show up this time. Last time he cornered me and talked my ear off until Michelle saw my distress and interrupted. ;-)

      • David Springer

        Oops. I guess when I come back the next moring and see a comment composed on the screen I shouldn’t assume I hadn’t posted it the day before. Good embellishment added though, huh?

    • Max, it is only “good” news as long as GDP increases more slowly than efficiency, which is not a given, otherwise emissions continue to go up which is not good news.

      • Jim D

        Increased global GDP (= affluence) is a positive thing, especially for those many nations, which are not yet at the same level as we are in the industrially developed economies. Quality of life increases, as does life expectancy.

        Increased energy efficiency is also a good thing. A finite resource (fossil fuels) is used more efficiently and emissions are reduced.

        Both are happening today, as the figures show.

        This is good news, whether or not the latter increases at a greater rate than the former.

        Right?

        Max

    • Howard

      The figures for GDP per ton of CO2 take into account everything that is going on, including the items you mention plus higher energy efficiency in the more developed countries.

      It appears that all nations become more energy efficient as their economies develop (i.e. GDP grows more rapidly than CO2 emissions), so it is really a global phenomenon.

      And with higher GDP comes increased quality of life and longer life expectancy, so it is a “win-win” situation.

      There is good reason to be optimistic.

      Max

      • Thanks Max. I think Jim’s point is that global CO2 discharge increases because we are creating more wealth (and CO2) by taking advantage of increased efficiency and the rapidly growing developing world making lots of stuff we like to buy.

        While I agree with your “sunny” outlook, it’s partly rooted in my personal opinion (no more than a swag) of an ECS~1.7-deg C. It’s also due to my mental illness that makes me believe in the Market Fairy. Jim might not be as optimistic because he may believe in a higher ECS, in line with scientific consensus.

        After reading that paper Maksimovich linked to in the Meta-Uncertainty thread that shows the steep fall into the Black Hole of Hell in the ECS-feedback equation,

        http://www.atmos.ucla.edu/tcd/PREPRINTS/Hannart&co-Uncertain_future-2cols.pdf

        I have become a bit more sympathetic towards folks who believe in the consensus. Because if they are correct, it could lead to dangerous climate instability and runaway heating. I don’t believe it’s possible, in fact, I think it’s impossible, but I’ve been wrong before.

        Cheers

      • Howard

        Thanks for reply and for link to “uncertain uncertainty” paper.

        Your “SWAG” of a 2xCO2 ECS ~1.7C appears to be firming up, based on several recent independent studies, which are at least partly observation-based, rather than simply based on model predictions, as the earlier 3.2 C estimate of IPCC was.

        These new studies (Lewis 2013, Berntsen 2012, Schlesinger 2012, van Hateren 2012, Lindzen 2011, Schmittner 2011, Masters 2013 – not yet published) arrive at an average range of 1.2°C to 2.4°C, with a mean value of 1.8°C, so your SWAG appears to be not far off from the latest estimates.

        As you can see, I do not share Jim D’s pessimism. A 2xCO2 ECS of 2°C or less would essentially put an end to the CAGW premise as outlined by IPCC in its AR4 report.

        Max

  10. While fracking is adding to my wealth (I own mineral rights), I am not quick to dismiss concerns about the environmental costs of this method. I am optimistic, however, about fracking’s future.

    • Max_OK

      Fracking is not new technology – it has been practiced safely and environmentally soundly for decades.

      The new aspect is that with newer horizontal drilling technology it opens up the possibility to extract larger amounts of hydrocarbons from tight formations.

      Like you, I am optimistic about fracking’s future.

      Max_CH

      • Max_CH, years ago we had a water well ruined by a seismograph crew shooting near the farm. The water became discolored from clay and unfit to drink. When you start doing things below ground, you must be careful. Water supplies are vulnerable. Hopefully, environmental opposition to fracking will make the industry very careful.

    • A reasonable position.

  11. “variable wind power has also made very significant progress over the past five years in reducing Power Sector emissions (almost 25% of the total)”

    That sounded like a wildly exaggerated number. Given that wind counts for roughly 6 percent of electricity generated in this country.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-18/u-s-wind-power-accounted-for-6-of-generation-capacity-in-2012.html

    Maybe it’s Keynesian physics. You get a 400 percent multiplier because that’s what the progressives assume.

    But I don’t suppose anyone has actually “measured” it.

    • You get that they said 25% of the reduction in emissions was from converting to wind power, don’t you?

      • Actually, no, I read it too quickly.

        Just call me Emily Litella.

        Though I approach such “estimates” with caution anyway. I doubt anyone can attribute CO2 reductions with any kind of accuracy. LIke climate science, it’s just a little more complicated than they let on.

  12. Doug Badgero

    Eastern Wind Integration and Transmission Study from NREL available here:

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/research/events/seas/Sep2010/Corbus_NOAA.pdf

    Per that report 15-30 billion per year for 20 and 30% wind energy penetration respectively in the eastern interconnect alone. Note that the cost of integration is not linear because of the increasing costs of compensating for winds intermittent output.

    Nat gas is already over $4.00, CO2 emissions will go back up. It was inevitable, producers were not going to continue to produce gas below replacement cost.

  13. I also found the wind power claim unbelievable. It just doesn’t jive with anything else I’ve heard about the difficulty wind power is having in penetrating, and with the necessity for other power sources to cover its intermittent nature. I would imagine that it might not lead to a net decrease of CO2 at all. Can someone who knows more work out the details of this?

    • A Dutch study analyses the efficiency factor in back up
      generation (C le Pair 20099 Electricity in the Netherlands)
      finds that coal and nuclear are slow to ramp up and down,
      as are steam enhanced gas turbines, CCGT, which are
      twice as energy efficient as open cycle gas turbines,OCGT.
      Because OCGT are well suited to rapid ramping, however,
      the less efficient technology becomes the preferred option
      as back up.

  14. Combined cycle power plants are very adept at maneuvering. However, at around 50-60% load, the emissions control equipment generally is unable to comply with regulations.
    Note to Bart R: I lived in Toledo. Solar water heating is just plain wildly impractical and not even close to being cost effective. Your grasp of energy economics is badly warped.

    • Mike Keller | April 21, 2013 at 9:51 pm |

      Please, by all means, explain it to me.

      Start with solar hot water in Ohio. How much installation costs, payback time, maintenance costs, for typical homes in the best situated 50% of locations. Forget Ohio’s incentives and tax rebates and so forth, just the unsubsidized market costs, since my poor little noggin likely can’t handle all the complicated math.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        $2000 minimum supply only in Central Queensland where they are likely to work just fine. As opposed to $800 and up for an off-peak system. The off-peak system uses base load power that would otherwise be shed – and there is therefore no change in greenhouse gases.

        The solar system will occasionally – even in Queensland – use peak power to boost the system. There is also much more sunk emissions in the larger and more complex system. The maintenance costs are higher and the replacements more frequent.

  15. Scott Scarborough

    I don’t believe CAFE standards have had the results claimed in this article. Do you really think that an average 2013 model year vehicle puts out that much less CO2 than an average 2007 model year vehicle? If you do, I’ve got a bridge I want to sell you!

    • Doug Badgero

      Not CAFE standards, persistently high gas prices. Gasoline demand is elastic, just with a long time lag. As cars are replaced, they are replaced with more efficient models due to high gas prices.

      • Doug Badgero | April 22, 2013 at 7:21 pm |

        With an appropriate marketing campaign, resistance to high fuel costs in inefficient vehicles has in the past been overcome.

        When Edsel Ford faced similar strict standards in the past, for example, he simply went into the business of making SUVs that skirted the standards, and convinced mothers that their children would burn in fiery wrecks unless they bought Ford’s wonderful invulnerable family safe SUV products. At the same time, product placement in movies captured the male demographic that identified with action stars and drug dealers. Brilliant strategy, and the government standards didn’t stand a chance.

        All it takes to defeat government regulation is a good marketing campaign and some lobbying built on terror, misinformation, human weakness and stupidity. Or have you not followed the gun control debate?

      • Doug Badgero

        WT………….does that have to do with my supposition that people are buying less consumptive cars because gas is expensive? Gas had been dropping in price in constant dollars for two decades, now it is getting more expensive catching back up to the trend line. Not rocket science or gov’t regulations that mostly haven’t taken effect yet, just economics.

      • Doug Badgero | April 22, 2013 at 11:13 pm |

        It’s also dropped in tax rate as a percentage of overall price, and by a huge factor. Name something else that has had its tax lowered nearly so much in the past four decades (if at all).

      • Doug Badgero

        Because gas is taxed by volume and not price. So what?

      • Doug Badgero | April 23, 2013 at 8:15 pm |

        And its effective tax rate has dropped 60% in a quarter century.

        How is that a ‘so what’?

        If the US government had that 60%, the deficit would disappear, and income taxes could be lowered at the same time.

        Favoring gas while punishing everyone else with unfairly large taxes, giving a free pass to the most lucrative industry in the country, how is that a “so what”?

      • Doug Badgero

        Ignoring the inherently arbitrary nature of all taxes……….Your claims that we could lower income taxes and make the deficit disappear if we just raised gas taxes with the price of gas are off by a couple of orders of magnitude.

        Similarly ignoring your non-sequitur claim that raising taxes on consumers somehow punishes the oil majors……….your outrage is mis-directed:

        Corporate profit margins:
        XOM – 10.5%
        CVX – 11.76%
        BP – 3.08%
        AAPL – 25.35%
        GOOG – 20.92%
        MSFT – 21.58%

      • Doug Badgero | April 24, 2013 at 10:58 pm |

        How hilariously API of you.

        A third of the businesses with over $100 billion USD annual income globally are in the Oil & Gas sector.

        Six of the top seven such businesses (the lone exception, Wal-mart, is 3rd on the list) are in Oil & Gas.

        While the API and others make silly “we’re poor, don’t tax us!” claims, they hold no water.

        If the industry paid its full share of taxes (which it effectively dodges more successfully than any other legal industry on the planet) in the USA, then yes, the deficit would be wiped out.

        If the industry bore the full burden of having the carbon cycle it so wastefully abuses paid for by consumers of CO2E at fair market prices, then the stimulus to its competitors would drive an era of innovation like that seen in the mobile communications industry boom, like Youtube, like denim.

        And this would not end the industry, any more than land line phones have disappeared, or movie theaters have folded, or corduroy has.. well, maybe a bad example.

        The Oil & Gas Industry would merely take its rightful place in the Market, as determined by consumers.

        Why do you oppose Capitalism?

  16. Opponents of British Columbia’s revenue-neutral carbon tax do an about-face

    The following quote is from The Globe and Mail, April 11, 2013

    “Today’s NDP approach to this represents something of a dramatic conversion on the road to the gas fields because it was just four years ago that Mr. Dix and the NDP ran an entire campaign opposed to the carbon tax, and yet here they are not only embracing it, but planning for its expansion, eliminating any notion of revenue neutrality,” he told reporters in Surrey.“Today’s NDP approach to this represents something of a dramatic conversion on the road to the gas fields because it was just four years ago that Mr. Dix and the NDP ran an entire campaign opposed to the carbon tax, and yet here they are not only embracing it, but planning for its expansion, eliminating any notion of revenue neutrality,” he told reporters in Surrey.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/bc-ndp-would-broaden-carbon-tax/article11117327/

    • I apologize for the duplication in my previous post.

      • In line with my policy of not sticking my nose into the politics of foreigners.. I think it would be a shame from the point of view of observing the progress of this revenue-neutrality experiment to see it messed up.

    • Max,

      You should check out the Auditor General’s report on BC’s carbon tax program. It sure isn’t sounding like it’s working.

      Note: I’m not arguing specifically on the pros and cons of a carbon tax – just pointing out that the way it is being implemented in BC is looking like a loser.

      • Max,

        Your definition of trouble is rather broad.

        Three letters – let’s review:

        One letter is from Attorney General Shirley Bond to James Tansey, chief executive officer of Vancouver-based Offsetters Climate Solutions about the upcoming Doyle report.

        Another letter amounts to a resignation statement to Pacific Carbon Trust officer Scott MacDonald from University of Ottawa law Prof. Stewart Elgie, an environmental law expert. Elgie’s letter states he stepped down as an expert adviser for Doyle’s carbon neutral audit and has terminated his position.

        The final letter is from David Antonioli, chief executive officer of Washington D.C.-based Verified Carbon Standard, an international company founded to provide quality assurance standards that projects could use to quantify greenhouse gas emissions and issue credits in voluntary markets.

        A letter responding to someone who has reason to object to any adverse reporting. A resignation letter from a guy who feels his advice was being ignored (and who may possibly have a conflict of interest on the issue). And a letter from a consulting group who has issues with how the audit was using information.

        Out of the three only the latter might involve anything of substance.

        Read the report and then compare it to this. If this is what you have to discredit the audit report, then I’d say you are spitting into the wind.

  17. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘“We’re making, I think, difficult decisions in the sense that we’re announcing tax increases now, before we announce our spending, not after the election,” Ralston said. “I think those are difficult and challenging decisions and I think the public, frankly, will appreciate that.”

    ‘Just as the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) Economics had guessed, Canada’s federal and provincial net debt passed the $1.1 trillion mark on October 3rd, 2011. Now that’s a lot of zeroes! On a per capita basis, the combined total debt translates into $31,850 per person.

    Did you know?
    Canada’s federal and provincial net debt increased 10% or $100 billion since late spring 2010
    BC’s total debt is nearly $1.2 billion which translates to $26,078 per person

    On its current course debt levels will continue to get worse before they get better. It won’t be until mid-decade before federal and provincial debt levels are expected to fall, and then only if economic conditions are favourable.

    Out-of-control government spending, fuelled by debt, has sent Greece to the brink of bankruptcy and the BC government has also been on a debt-fuelled spending spree. CFIB is calling on all levels of government to get serious about controlling and reducing debt. Today’s debt is tomorrow’s taxes!’

    BC’s energy sector greenhouse gases declined by 4.8% 2007 to 2010. The US 12% to 2010. Both governments will need to increase taxes today and increase taxes tomorrow. Not so much socialist but governments committed to bread and circuses.

  18. Chief Hydrologist says

    “BC’s energy sector greenhouse gases declined by 4.8% 2007 to 2010. The US 12% to 2010.”
    _______

    HOLY COW ! Does that mean B.C.’s taxpayers were able to pollute more than American taxpayers and got money back for doing it? That sounds too good to be true.

    Or does it mean B.C. was polluting less to begin, making a reduction more difficult to achieve?

    Or does it mean something else?

    Or is it a meaningless comparison?

  19. Chief Hydrologist said:

    ” … Canada’s federal and provincial net debt passed the $1.1 trillion mark on October 3rd, 2011. Now that’s a lot of zeroes! On a per capita basis, the combined total debt translates into $31,850 per person.
    ______

    Those Canadians are so damned frugal !

    I just read that each of us Americans owes $53,337.79.

    Maybe I should relocate in Canada, so I will owe less. I will move to Vancouver or Victoria because I like B.C.’s revenue neutral carbon tax.

    • Max_OK

      Don’t know where you live now, but take an umbrella.

      Max_CH

      PS We just had another 6 inches of (global warming induced) snow, with 2.5 feet in the mountains, so BC rain sounds pretty good to me right about now

    • Max_OK

      It’s not my debt, it’s yours.

      But let’s put the USA government spending into perspective.

      President Obama’s proposed budget is roughly $3.8 trillion.

      How much is that?

      A US dollar bill has a thickness of 0.11 mm (0.0043 inches)

      So if the $3.8 trillion were stacked up in dollar bills, the stack would be 418,000 km high.

      The average distance to the moon is 384,000 km.

      So the stack of bills would reach a bit higher than the moon.

      Hard to imagine – but let’s look at it historically

      Ramses II, Pharaoh of ancient Egypt, lived from 1304 BC to 1213 BC, so he died 3225 years ago (1,178,000 days).

      If you spent $3 million per day every day since Ramses II died, you would have spent a total of $3.53 trillion, or a bit less than President Obama;s proposed budget for next year.

      But hey, it’s your money, not mine.

      Max_CH

  20. Chief Hydrologist

    Maxamilian,

    You seem to be well past the point where you have anything useful to add to the discussion – and have descended to maligning Australians and to the odd angry snark. I suggest that Canada is the perfect place for you – in fact anywhere but Australia is the perfect place for you. I can assure you that Central Queensland for one is hell on earth – crocodiles, sharks, drop-bears, stingrays, poisonous snakes, cuddly little platypus with vicious and poisonous spurs, lion fish – we have it all. You definitely wouldn’t like it. We mix our black label Jack Daniels with diet coke.

    We know that the US deficit is utterly out of control and increasing by a trillion dollars per year – and this is perhaps a generational problem for the US people.

    As is quite evident – a ‘revenue neutral’ carbon tax would not be quite so neutral under the increase in tax that was the subject of your post. If the tax is set is set at $30/tonne – it is quite marginal in its effect. The US declines were much more proportionately to the inconsequence of a Canadian provincial economy without the hint of a tax. If set at a level sufficient to cause substitution then the revenue dries up, no one is compensated, tax is permanently higher and economic productivity lower. TT trumpets this as a triumph but I am quite sure rational people would not.

    • Chief,

      “We mix our black label Jack Daniels with diet coke.”

      Repugnent.

      Neat, on the rocks, maybe a splash of water (soda or plain). But hey, I believe in a person’s right to drink whatever they want any way they want to. Should you come to my house, I’ll serve your scotch with coke. May verbally abuse you a bit.

  21. Chief Hydrologist | April 22, 2013 at 12:44 am | Reply
    Maxamilian,

    “You seem to be well past the point where you have anything useful to add to the discussion – and have descended to maligning Australians and to the odd angry snark.”
    _____

    You don’t have to pay off the American debt, so why are you complaining about it. I don’t gripe about your Australian debt.

    I don’t like foreigners criticizing my country. Mind your business at home. Your country will be lucky to avoid becoming China’s lapdog.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Maximilian,

      What you like or don’t like is of supreme indifference. The US is one step away from being the Greece of the New World and the single biggest owner of US debt is China . We don’t have any debt to speak of despite the best efforts of the minority Labor government – which will be terminated shortly for utter incompetence and corruption.

      We don’t mind selling resources to China, India, Indonesia etc. None of them can afford to have their supply lines cut – great friends with skin in the game we can play off against each other. What we don’t want is to be Deputy Sherriff to a clumsy, blustering and accident prone ex-superpower with continuing delusions of global relevance and no wealth, ability or will to project power beyond Disneyland.

      • Chief Hydrologist it’s a shame you are anti-American after all the U.S. has done for your country. I hope most Australians are more grateful. If you were an American (perish the thought) you probably would vote with the GOP ( Grumpy Old Poots), a political party that appeals to cranky fuddy-duddies and stick-in-the-muds.

        I applaud Australians for being environmentally responsible. I hope America follows your countries lead by taxing carbon emissions. I don’t know a lot about Australian politics, but your dislike of the minority labor government likely means it’s a good one. It probably would be best for your country if every candidate you vote for in the next election loses.

        BTW, You are misinformed in thinking “the single biggest owner of U.S. debt is China. Americans are the single biggest holder. As of April 2, 2013, only 47% of the nation’s $12 trillion public debt was held by foreigners, with China and Japan each holding about $1.1 trillion.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        China is the biggest foreign holder of US debt. I am not anti-American. Just anti vulgar, arrogant and stupid Americans who call Australians criminals and lap dogs.

        With a 10 point lead in the polls – http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/polling – you can be assured that the minority Labor government will be massively defeated in September – and the carbon tax is history. It is history anyway. They made a song and dance about tying it to the EU market a couple of months ago – only of course to see the prospect of a massive blowout in deficits as the EU market collapses. Along with all the other massive blow outs.

        The Labor Party is dead on its feet. One of the items that Australians object to was a promise before the last election that no carbon tax would be implemented – only to be sold out to the massively unrepresentative greens to form the minority government. We don’t generally have minority governments – and will certainly not after the next election. Australians don’t like deficits and don’t like being lied to.

        Labor Party making Ministers and supporters rich -http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/former-nsw-minister-ian-macdonald-minister-gifted-a-mine-licence-to-entrepreneurs/story-e6freuy9-1226599678922 – http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-04-22/government-questions-labors-multi-millions-racing-qld-contracts/4642416

        You can be assured that people are going to goal.

        Stay out of things you don’t understand – which seems to be quite a lot.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        After all the US has done for us? Seriously – we have supported the US in every God-forsaken battlefield on the planet over the past 70 years. We stayed the distance longest in Vietnam and were the first to pledge support in Afghanistan and Iraq. The price we have paid for this alliance is in the blood of our sons and daughters. It is the price we have willingly paid for the freedom that you belittle and mock. It is a price we will remember at dawn services all over the country this week. You can be assured that the pissant left in Australia is bitterly opposed to this alliance that has cost us so much.

        Btw – I would have voted for Obama in 2008 just as I voted for Julia Gillard – the symbols of the first black president and first woman prime minister were compelling.

        But the dysfunction of the US political system is obvious worldwide – Americans should get their own house in order before giving ill informed advice to a stable and cautious system in Australia.

      • Chief Hydrologists has already forgot about WWII and how the U.S. saved Australia from becoming a Japanese colony. Usually, advancing age means loss of short-term memory, not loss of long-term memory, but poor Chief may be losing both.

        In his 3:OO AM post on April 22, chief said “the single biggest owner of US debt is China.” Apparently, he doesn’t know the U.S is by far the biggest holder of U.S. debt. holding almost 5 times as much as China.

        Twelve hours later in his 3:09 PM post, Chief said “China is the biggest foreign holder of US debt, forgetting his earlier statement.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You have really such a limited repertoire Maxanonsequillian. Old age, stairways, I own mineral rights and a conception of markets that comes straight out of the green/left playbook. When I suggest that free markets are not a matter of having no regulation but of the freedom of people to buy and sell as they chose – your response is oh goody I think I will build aeroplanes. Good news – you may build as many aeroplanes as you like as long as you are willing to stump up the cash. I suggest you start small – say 1 to 200 scale.

        You have such an ill considered view of history as well. In the current environment – America needs us much more than we need America. Of the Battle of the Coral Sea John Curtin wrote at the time.

        ‘Events that are taking place today are of crucial importance to the whole conduct of the war in this theatre . . . I should add that at this moment nobody can tell what the result of the engagement may be. If it should go advantageously, we shall have cause for great gratitude and our position will then be somewhat clearer. But if we should not have the advantages from this battle for which we hope, all that confronts us is a sterner ordeal and a greater and grave responsibility. This battle will not decide the war; it will determine the immediate tactics which will be pursued by the Allied forces and by the common enemy.’

        We are made of sterner stuff than to depend on Americans for our freedom. The immediate tactics by the Japanese involved a push along the Kododa track in Papua New Guinea which remain our proudest and most terrible moments and which turned the tide of the Japanese advance across the Pacific in their first serious defeat on land.

        I am a little older than Barack Obama and at the height of my career and earning power. I am an engineer and a scientist – I run computer models – I understand maths, science, economics and have a broad cultural awareness. My brain is at the peak of its powers – confident, experienced and educated. Truly I think you are 15 years old – a pimply adolescent whose parents haven’t imparted a sense of respect or civility and whose only mineral rights is a bottle of baby oil.

      • America needs us much more than we need America.

        heh. You do amuse, chief, you do amuse.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You are seriously ill informed as usual Joshua – http://www.anti-bases.org/campaigns/NMD_PineGap/Map_of_US_Military_Bases_in_Australia.html

        Really – the discussion in Australia is whether there is any remaining benefit in remaining entangled with a clumsy, blustering and accident prone ex-superpower with no ability, wealth or will to project power beyond Disneyland. Tell me why we need the US at all?

        You decide to beat your chest in defence of US jingoism? You are beyond pathetic.

      • Chief – Australia is a pimple on the “South Pacific” of the U.S. economy It isn’t that I have such a high opinion of U.S. power, it’s that Australia is so insignificant from a global perspective.

        Don’t get me wrong – I love your country and the irreverence and gregariousness of your countrymates. I’ve only spent about a month there and I’d love to go back – probably will some day.

        But dude, you think that the U.S. “needs” Australia.

        Oh. My sides..

      • “But dude, you think that the U.S. “needs” Australia.

        Oh. My sides..”

        Indeed Josh
        I tell you what needs Australia is this here blog. If it wasn’t for Kim, Chief, and all the others from down there, we would see a fraction of the inane comments. Guffaw and chortle.

      • Kevin in hardware
        Burnt up the MGTF.
        Melbourne beach seaweed.
        ==============

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The lack of strategic understanding is I suppose par for the course for pissant progressives. What I said was we don’t need you at all – you need us for all sorts of strategic reasons. Your carrier fleet would last 5 minutes against the Chinese – or indeed against us in our neck of the woods. Whereas you present a clear and present danger to us in absurd posturings you can’t possibly match on the ground. We do not need you at all – and I am of the opinion that we don’t want you at all. We get on well with China, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and all of our other regional partners. There strategic interest for them is to keep trading with us. The US strategy is to bluster and posture, make error after blunder – and then withdraw to leave shattered regions to pick up the pieces. There is nothing more dangerous than an ex-superpower that fails to understand their diminished place in the world. The Australian/US alliance is a friendship that has ceased to have any benefit at all to us – it is a disadvantage in many of our markets. It is a matter of time before we withdraw. It is a matter of time before NATO is disbanded. America the friendless as a result of arrogance, bluster, blunders and now an absolute inability to project power beyond Disneyland except with the Gameboy drones killing civilians in far away places. These too would last less than 5 minutes against advanced defences. Where you are not hated – you are a joke.

        I might be kinder in telling the truth – but it seems you may need some harsh truth to curtail the idiotic arrogance of many Americans. Even it is odd to say amongst pissant progressives who have no taste at all for American adventurism. Cruel to be kind as they say.

        ‘Treasurer Wayne Swan recently noted that Australia now has the world’s twelfth largest economy. This suggests it has moved up three places during Labor’s period of office, and regained the three places it had lost during the Howard government’s tenure.

        Swan boasted that:

        “In the past five years, Australia’s economy has surpassed the economies of South Korea, Mexico and Spain. Our economy has grown around 11% since the end of 2007, while the US has grown only around 1.75%. Many European countries are still substantially smaller due to the massive recessions they have suffered. Inhabiting a place among the top dozen largest economies on the planet is particularly impressive when you consider that we rank 51st in terms of population.”’

        Our population hit 23 million yesterday and is adding a million every 3 years. And we are perhaps the only country in the world with a trade deficit with the US. It is software and armaments.

        Is Kim Australian? If so – well done. The average IQ of this blog would drop 30 points if we left due almost entirely to the presence of webby.

        Joshua. Max and webby – you guys are just laughably incompetent as usual – a joke in poor taste – apparently loons chortling away at their keyboards amidst the wreckage of American power and culture. More than a little mad it seems.

      • “Your carrier fleet would last 5 minutes against the Chinese – or indeed against us in our neck of the woods.”

        As soon as any conflict goes as far as wiping out a US carrier fleet it will go nuclear. At which point the US no longer needs a carrier fleet.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Laughably stupid numbnut. A pissant progressive posturing about global Armageddon? Nice one. Put the fleet at risk and trigger World War III. You know what they say? WW3 will be fought with nuclear bombs and WW4 with sticks and stones.

        That’s why you need forward staging posts for conventional weapons across the Pacific. Such as our airforce facilities and the newly proposed US Marine base in Darwin – which we seem to be paying $1.6 billion for. Go figure.

      • That’s a good thing, a US base will generally make an area much safer.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Safer from what? We have military ties with Indonesia and across the region. China cannot afford to stop trading with us. At present we have the US and China eying each other off for top dog – but that’s such a stupid game in which the region gets swatted in proxy battles far from the homeland of either. Our biggest risk factor is the US military. Disneyland is the place for the US military – they are quite incapable of anything more than a few bombings runs over neutral territory. Even then you can barely keep half a dozen bombers in the air.

        We have seen the future – and it is not American.

      • Josh,

        It is sounding like you probably should stay out of discussions regarding the role and relationship of Australia with regard to the US’s international security needs. They are far from being a pimple.

      • Chief,

        I agree with much of what you are saying on the US Australia relationship. However this:

        “Your carrier fleet would last 5 minutes against the Chinese – or indeed against us in our neck of the woods.”

        is hyperbole.

      • Heh.

        “Your carrier fleet would last 5 minutes against the Chinese – or indeed against us in our neck of the woods.”

        This gets better by the post.

        Chief actually boasting about Australia’s military power? Too funny.

        And “delusions of global relevance?” Seriously? That the U.S. has “global relevance” is a “delusion?”

        How delightfully absurd. America has great power economically, militarily, creatively, scientifically and any other “…ly” that you can think of.

        Certainly the world has is in flux, and certainly the position of the U.S. globally is in flux as the world changes. Certainly, this is a country with many flaws. Certainly, the typical arrogance of the self-important concept of “American exceptionalism” is overwrought in addition to being obnoxious.

        But what’s fantastic about Chief’s babbling is that he’s actually freakin’ serious.

        I have to say that even funnier than Chief’s belief that he’s a “poet” are his political beliefs.

        Absolutely spectacular.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Depends on who you read – http://mobile.defensenews.com/article/303120015

        The challenge is to avoid facing off in the Pacific with China. It is nothing anyone wants. Especially those of us at ground zero in a proxy battle.

      • tim –

        Here you go, kid. Knock yourself out explaining this nonsense:

        “blockquote>they are quite incapable of anything more than a few bombings runs over neutral territory.

        and this?:

        Even then you can barely keep half a dozen bombers in the air.

        I am no supporter of the disproportionate spending on the American military, but seriously, you think there is any credibility in Chief’s ranting?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Seriously Joshua – you are boasting about a half dozen ponderous targets that the Chinese might have the capability to destroy in a flash but which we certainly do from a number of platforms.

        ‘To put it simply, if naval exercises in the last two decades involving foreign diesel-electric submarines had been actual combat, most if not all, U.S. aircraft carriers would be at the bottom of the ocean: as many as 10 U.S. aircraft carriers have been reported “sunk” in these exercises.

        The analytically conservative Congressional Budget Office was alarmed enough to officially report that “some analysts argue that the Navy is not very good at locating diesel-electric submarines, especially in noisy, shallower waters near coastal areas. Exercises with allied navies that use diesel-electric submarines confirm that problem…[For example,] Israeli diesel-electric submarines, which until recently were relatively old, are said to always ‘sink’ some of the large and powerful warships of the U.S. Sixth Fleet in exercises. And most recently, an Australian Collins-class submarine penetrated a U.S. carrier battlegroup and was in a position to sink an aircraft carrier during exercises off Hawaii in May 2000.”

        There have been many such exercise “sinkings” since then, including aircraft carriers Reagan and Lincoln.’

        Read more: http://nation.time.com/2012/12/04/more-than-the-navys-numbers-could-be-sinking/#ixzz2RL3kDzGR

        Then what would you do? Send over a few drones and a stealth bomber or 2? Where from – all your carriers are on the bottom of the ocean. These are not beliefs but simply the ways things are for even US military planners.

        It is a moot point – what are you going to do – station the carrier fleet off Sydney? It would be as crazy as stationing them off China.

        As I say – the US has not the wealth, capacity or will to project power past Disneyland. You have enough of a generational struggle to repair the economy – something your legislators are being appallingly incompetent at. This is just the way it is.

        But now I am a little bored with having discussions with pissant progressives on things they understand so little of and merely with to flail about incoherently chortling madly at their keyboards.

        A bush poet alone lay,
        In bushland at the end of day,
        In the dying light that lingers,
        In the cluster of his fingers,
        Lay a treasure most supreme,
        A brilliant shining gleam.

        In his hand he held his heart
        In the booklet of his part.
        To this he whispered his requiem.
        Ro friends, amigos para sempre,
        In words are found diamonds and pearls,
        In song there is laughter.

        It’s the savants of the schrublands
        Who can answer to the challenge,
        Can stir the soul with poetry,
        Of bunyips, sheep and chenopodidae,
        Can fill your soul with wisdom precious,
        Not make you groan with waffle pretentious.

        So lift the halls with boisterous laughter,
        And the arm with foaming cheer,
        Though my day has fled so fast
        And in the sunlights paling grasp,
        I must make a meeting with the dark.
        Content if I have left a passing mark.

        Part of ‘A Ballad of the Darkening Bush’

        Perhaps I will leave a little mark on history. Perhaps not. It is not why I do it. I do it because it is what I love most.

        I don’t know why you insist on having such a petty mind Joshua. Do you think it is becoming or seemly? Do you think that it replaces gravitas? Do you think you can impress with your mad chortling when your wit is so little? Do you think that verbiage is a substitute for content and context? Do you think that sour attempts at mockery are will suffice for intellect, culture and learning? Whatever it is – I have no care for such small minded trivialities.

      • Chief –

        Seriously Joshua – you are boasting about a half dozen ponderous targets…

        I’m “boasting” about nothing. I’m laughing at your comments.

        And as I said, they get better with each post.

        Perhaps I will leave a little mark on history.

        See what I mean?

      • Here ya’ go, Chief –

        http://www.globalfirepower.com/countries-listing.asp

        Well behind such global superpowers as Thailand, just behind the dominant Ukraine, and just ahead of Poland.

        Yeah, you might make history, all right. I’ve already nominated you for the comedy hall of fame.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Perhaps I will leave a little mark on history. Perhaps not. It is not why I do it. I do it because it is what I love most.

        All you can think to do is quote selectively – without context? Regardless I would guess that a poet is someone who writes poetry. It is utterly bizarre that you think I need to justify anything to you Joshua.

        I doubt either that anyone is appreciative of your mad chortling – laughing at you rather than with you seems more likely.

        JCH – you posit a drone submarine as the answer to carrier vulnerability? Sure – send as many as you like.

      • You see, Chief –

        It is utterly bizarre that you think I need to justify anything to you Joshua.

        This is the type of comment – so common from you – that makes you so amusing.

        Where did I ever indicate, at any level, in any way, that I think you “need to justify anything?” And what makes you think, even if your fantasy were true, that I would believe that anyone who pushes the nonsense you push would be capable of justification?

        Pure imagination on your part, a complete projection – and you’re absolutely convinced your fantasized reality is 100% real. Rather like your your house of mirrors perspective on the military power of the U.S. and the comparative military power Australia.

        You move from one baseless comment (say the one about me boasting) to the next (such as your fantasy about me expecting justification). You shirk accountability for your baseless comments and freewheeling fantasies when your errors are pointed out, and simply wash, rinse, and repeat. And wash,rinse, and repeat.

        Don’t get me wrong – it never gets old even though it’s so repetitive because you take yourself so seriously.

        Don’t take yourself so seriously, Chief. Get over yourself. You’re an obsessive blog-commenter – a dime a dozen.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I don’t think we are planning on invading Poland. The question was whether carriers were vulnerable to the Chinese – and there are obvious vulnerabilities.

        http://thediplomat.com/flashpoints-blog/2012/09/18/why-aircraft-carriers-sail-on/

        You can be assured that our capabilities – radar, surface to ship, air to ship and ship to ship – are focused to defending sea lanes. We can most certainly sink aircraft carriers if we’d a mind – severely limiting the ability of anyone to project power – or to move, supply and support troops – as far as our shores.

        Yet – Joshua – you keep babbling on about what is it exactly?

      • The question was whether carriers were vulnerable to the Chinese

        More of your fantasies, Chief. One after the other, without ever showing accountability.

        Here is what I was laughing at, Chief.

        America needs us much more than we need America.

        and

        they are quite incapable of anything more than a few bombings runs over neutral territory.

        and

        “Your carrier fleet would last 5 minutes against the Chinese – or indeed against us in our neck of the woods.

        and

        Disneyland is the place for the US military – they are quite incapable of anything more than a few bombings runs over neutral territory.

        Even then you can barely keep half a dozen bombers in the air.

        and

        delusions of global relevance and no wealth, ability or will to project power beyond Disneyland.

        Now it should have been quite obvious what the “question” was that I was commenting on. The “question” I was commenting on was whether you had any awareness of how amusing your rants were.

        Try focusing on what I write instead of you fantasies. That would be the first step towards being accountable.

        And for god’s sake, don’t take yourself so seriously, chief.

        Anyway, time to hit my sac.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I have to say that even funnier than Chief’s belief that he’s a “poet” are his political beliefs.

        It is all so personal and petty. Joshua move from one insane insult after another – and from one absurd claim to the next in a way that has no substance at all. Can I be bothered going back over the vulnerabilities of aircraft carriers, the size and strength of the Australian economy, my pretentions to poetry – that I don’t need to justify to Joshua – the problems of the American polity and economy, the distaste of Americans for more military adventures, the recklessness of nuclear warfare, etc etc.

        Joshua is a pissant progressive certainly opposed to any more military adventures but perversely insists that the US has a bigger swinging dick than Australia. Well I am sure he could invade – but you would find battles in our oceans, deserts and jungles an order of magnitude more difficult than Afghanistan. But he strikes me as more ridiculous than threatening.

      • Nice DARPA list there JCH. Got my PhD thanks to gallium arsenide … back in the day, they said it was the “material of the future, and always would be”. Yet, it made its mark.

        Guess which “The Ones to Watch” project I am involved in.

        Throwdown to The Chief, the “obsessive blog-commenter” as Josh put it so well.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Stealth Planes: It’s probably the best example of DARPA fulfilling its remit to come up with “surprise” technologies – even the US Air Force was surprised by the idea. The first prototype, Have Blue, was tested in the late 1970s and became the precursor to F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter.

        http://www.defencescienceinstitute.com/content/passive-radar-workshop-30-31-january-2013

        We have leading capacities in passive radar. And – really – drone submarines that might or might be a reality one day in the distant future? To reduce aircraft carrier vulnerabilities?

        But the ‘failed projects’ seem more fun.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Ones to watch

        Robot Cars: DARPA’s Grand Challenge competitions have aimed to foster the creation of driverless cars capable of travelling long distances across difficult terrain and even through busy traffic.

        Thanks to the competitions, some impressive vehicles have already been produced and surely it won’t be long before DARPA’s robot cars are used in real military or civilian scenarios.

        Z-man: The aim: to allow soldiers to scale vertical walls without ropes or ladders at a rate of 0.5 metres a second. The solution: mimic the microscopic hairs, or “setae”, that allow geckos to stroll up walls and across ceilings. Small robots that climb using synthetic setae have already been demonstratedMovie Camera, but DARPA hopes to extend this technology to humans.

        Underwater Express: Troop-transporting torpedoes could travel at speeds of up to 100 knots thanks to a phenomenon called supercavitation. This occurs when an object moves fast enough to vaporise the water around it into a single enveloping bubble.

        With virtually no contact between the torpedo and the water, drag is reduced by up to 70%. But tests so far have been restricted to un-manned drones.

        Bionic Limbs: DARPA wants prosthetic limbs that are “fully functional, neurologically controlled and have normal sensory capabilities” and is funding scientists who are making serious progress.’

        Underwater express I’d guess. Suitable for a silly motor mouth.

        I don’t think you have a PhD webby. I think you dropped out as a result of disagreements with your supervisor. I recall you saying so. Care to elaborate?

      • “I don’t think you have a PhD webby. I think you dropped out as a result of disagreements with your supervisor. I recall you saying so. Care to elaborate?”

        Part of that WUWT trademarked style of making up stuff I imagine.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        So you don’t care to elaborate? I suppose I could find your name again – Peter something or other I seem to recall. If I could be bothered.

        The DAPRA was supposedly about unmanned submarines with a capability of finding diesel-electric subs and so protecting aircraft carriers. What do you imagine it was about?

        Don’t bother I have had enough dishonesty for today from AGW space cadets.

      • OMG what a long thread! I’m replying ter Chief Hydrologist
        @ 24/04 4..14am.

        ‘For a bushman knows that trying
        Booth the living and the dying
        Is made much easier by lllllaughter…’
        Dear Chief, Kim and meself would agree…
        what else can yer do?
        Btcg

      • JCH,

        Nice link on DARPA projects. Ever see the video on the mechanical horse / mule?

        On the ASW drone – I can see it offering better detection rates, but not by a lot. You have two choices in ASW. Active or passive detection. For surface vessels passive is somewhat problematic due to own ship noise. That is why towed arrays are often used. By being able to operate further from the vessel it is protecting a drone should have improved passive detection capabilities.

        The best ASW platform is another submarine.

        Chief,

      • Hit post by mistake.

        I was going to continue with

        Chief,

        Any sub is a threat to a surface ship. That is why every sub sailor knows that in reality there are only two types of ships. Submarines and targets. However when evaluating the vulnerability of a carrier task force, it is not diesel electric subs which represent the biggest threat. They most certainly represent a threat in confined waters, where the task force lacks room to manuever and the advantages of its sensor systems are reduced. But out in the open ocean, the threat drops off considerably.

      • Chief, It’s all DARPA TTO stuff. Related to the interesting work that Vaughan Pratt was involved with.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘While passive radar can perform detecting, locating, and tracking functions, it may also be able to perform target identification (ID). Under development are methods to conduct target imaging using multistatic UHF-band Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar. Additionally, existing passive ID
        measures, such as DF/ESM, will likely augment passive radar. If successful at creating a target track and ID, passive radar could provide cueing for surface-to-air and airborne weapons systems in order to enable acquisition. Weapons system cueing requires communications infrastructure; for a covert system, this means a local area network for ground-based weapons and an LPI data link for airborne platforms.’

        http://www.ndu.edu/press/lib/images/jfq-55/22.pdf

        In principle it is simple enough.

        The F-35’s are a decade late and more than 100% over budget. Everyone is looking for an alternative.

    • Max,

      Chief isn’t anti-American. Bart often sounds that way, but not Chief. He wouldn’t care about increasing US debt if he hated us. In fact he’d be cheering us on.

      • timg56, I’m not sure I would agree. The following statement by Chief Hydrologist in his April 22 3:00 am post sounds anti-American to me.

        ” What we don’t want is to be Deputy Sherriff to a clumsy, blustering and accident prone ex-superpower with continuing delusions of global relevance and no wealth, ability or will to project power beyond Disneyland.”

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I love America – but you do seem to have a problem with pissant progressives infesting this blog.

      • Max_OK

        Read what Chief wrote again (maybe twice, to make sure you really understood).

        He writes that what he does “not want is to be Deputy Sherriff to a clumsy, blustering and accident prone ex-superpower with continuing delusions of global relevance and no wealth, ability or will to project power beyond Disneyland.”

        Neither would I.

        He does NOT write that the USA fits that description today (I’d agree that it does NOT).

        But maybe he fears that this is where the USA is headed, in view of its debt crisis and chronic inability to control its government spending.

        I am personally not so pessimistic for the USA, since I believe that the shale oil and gas development (which is coming to the USA as sure as anything) will help the USA become essentially energy self-sufficient and unleash a new boom. While President Obama is no friend of oil and gas, he will not cut off his nose to spite his face IMO – a US boom as he leaves office would be a nice part of his legacy. Think of it: “the President whose leadership helped turn a major recession into a boom” (what the hell, he might even get his face in Mt. Rushmore).

        Max_CH (a friend of USA)

        .

      • Chief Hydrologist

        No – they have been blundering into wars for decades and then making a balls up of it and we are the front line of any war with China.

        They seriously have no money, capacity or will for another adventure any time soon, the aircraft carriers are lumbering dinosaurs, most of their stealth bombers are out of service at any time, the technology is probably obsolete anyway and they haven’t had a new idea since the 1970’s. And that was to tune in, turn on and drop out. Think Apocalypse Now.

        Really – the only thing they are capable of is annoying the Chinese enough to attack US bases on Australian soil before regrouping at Fantasyland.

        If telling the truth is anti-American – take me straight to Gitmo do not collect $200. Now there’s another success story.

      • Chief,

        I have read your acknowledgements here at CE
        re the United States as an historical beacon fer
        democratic and open society values. When I
        watched the superb television series, ‘John Adams,’
        the documented speeches and actions of what I
        think of as ‘the great generation’ of founding fathers
        of America, Adams, Franklin, Washington, and
        Jefferson, I am dismayed, that as in my own country,
        the grand founding principles of open society have
        been compromised by centralist idealogues and
        inducements from the public purse, exchanging
        patrimonny ferliberty.

        Bts

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Eh – these pissant progressives are such unworthy heirs to such a grand heritage. It is almost as grand as Australia’s – if only they could understand what that means for a nation born in fear and chains.

        Such is life.

        Just for you – I will finish my bush ballad

        A ballad of the darkening bush

        A bush poet alone lay,
        In bushland at the end of day,
        In the dying light that lingers,
        In the cluster of his fingers,
        Lay a treasure most supreme,
        A brilliant shining gleam.

        In his hand he held his heart,
        In the booklet of his part.
        To this he whispered his requiem.
        To friends, amigos para sempre,
        In words are found diamonds and pearls,
        In song there is laughter.

        It’s the savants of the schrublands
        Who can answer to the challenge,
        Can stir the soul with poetry,
        Of bunyips, sheep and chenopodidae,
        Can fill your soul with wisdom precious,
        Not make you groan with waffle pretentious.

        So lift the halls with boisterous laughter,
        And the arm with foaming cheer,
        Though my day has fled so fast
        And in the sunlights paling grasp,
        I must make a meeting with the dark.
        Content if I have left a passing mark.

        There are no lips to sing me to my sleep,
        or arms to hold me in the deep.
        No more for me the drinking chum,
        No more the horses thrum
        of feet on paths both fleet and new.
        Still the mulga holds no fear.

        For a bushman knows that trying,
        Both the living and the dying,
        Is made much easier by laughter.
        So I’ll not regret the blather,
        or that blasted Irish banter,
        At my horses lively canter.

        It wasn’t serendipitous,
        When ‘e kicked you on the withers,
        With the jockey still unconscious,
        since ‘e copped in on the bonkers.
        That horse you bought for thirty quid
        Will see you to your grave.

      • Oh timg56 | April 23, 2013 at 8:11 pm |

        I’m not Anti-American; I’m anti-hypocrisy.

        Why do you confuse the two?

        Though perhaps you’re confusing anti-collectivism, anti-socialism, anti-communism, anti-Big-Governmentism, anti-tax, anti-corruption, anti-ignorance, or something else I’ve expressed with anti-Americanism?

        Which value do you so thoroughly associate with America that I’ve written against makes you believe it is representative of the American ideal?

      • > Which value do you so thoroughly associate with America […] ?

        Bullet-proof logic:

      • Chief,

        I’m a former submarine sailor. I am very familiar with at least one aspect of a carrier task force’s vulnerability. They are pretty well suited for dealing with threats on or above the surface. The one possible threat the Navy is concerned about their ability to deal with is ballistic misssile attack. One of the reasons they keep upgrading the Standard missle system. The other – real – threat is a sub. US submarines routinely shred task force defenses. It is not unusual for the exercise judges to reclassify the aggresser force sub as a diesel electric, meaning it is restricted in the speeds it can move at and has to periodically come to periscope depth to simulate battery charging. Under those conditions, ASW has a chance. Otherwise, the first sign that will tell you of a submarine threat are the detonations of 2 – 4 Mk48 ADCAP torpedoes.

        I’m less up on our strategic bomber force readiness. From a capability standpoint they are not obsolete. NATO found out during the Balkans conflicts just how far behind technologically they are to the US. It is a simple fact that no one else is even close in the ability to apply force around the world, in greater numbers or with more accuracy and precision than the US. That does not mean we do not value or need our allies and the number of nations that are better allies and friends to the United States than Australia is exactly zero.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        A great deal of effort is put into carrier defences against missiles. How successfully remains an open question – I did reference a story on China’s ‘carrier buster’.

        ‘The system Cassidian proposes, however, wouldn’t be fooled by standard stealth cloaking techniques because it takes advantage of a range of signals which surround us constantly. There’s no need to fire out signals and look for their reflections — instead, the detector system looks at a host of signals floating in the atmosphere already (like aforementioned radio and mobile phone signals) and looks for how they’re blocked or altered by having to pass through or around objects. Triangulating several different sources can build up a picture of a landscape or airspace, with stealth planes and ships just as visible as everything else.

        Even more worrying for commanders, too, is that because passive radar stations don’t emit anything, there’s no way to track them down. The tactic of sending in a stealth bomber to take out enemy radar capabilities before sending in the conventional planes wouldn’t work — passive radar detectors can be small and spread out over a large area.’ We are quite good at passive radar. – http://www.defence.gov.au/teamaustralia/radar_PRISM_Electronic_Surveillance_Measures.htm

        But getting into a p_ss_ng match with China would be the ultimate in stupidity. China is no threat – they are always much more concerned with development and trade.

        These pissant progressives are hugely bizarre. One threatens nuclear war – the ultimate in big swinging dick I suppose. A supreme incongruity when one considers the climate impacts. Nuclear winter anyone?

      • Dude’s got a serious case of butthurt. I think some progressive must had stolen his lollypop, or something.

        It is interesting that he hasn’t threatened to take his ball and go home in a while. I wonder if it’s because he noticed that no one cared?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Joshua – I chose to read you read you or not – mostly not as your comments are inevitably trivial insults with no content at all. You object to being called a pissant progressive? I get that. Stop acting like one.

      • You object to being called a pissant progressive?

        Not in the slightest, chief. Be my guest. It’s quite amusing, and it offers good insight into your mindset. What’s also funny is that you think that somehow I “object.” Why do you fantasize about me so?

        My guess is butthurt.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Joshua – you seem to be the one responding with another irrelevant rant about a quick review of defence technology that was aimed at someone who talks a rational game. Someone not you it goes without saying.

        You must object to something – pissant progressive seemed obvious. ‘I think some progressive must had stolen his lollypop, or something.’ Typically trivial, personal and ultimately supremely pathetic.

        What is it that distinguishes you? Mad chortling at the keyboard? Seething with rage as you invent ever more juvenile – insults like ‘butthurt’ -quite insane for a grown man. Is this the ultimate pissant progressive insult to imply that I am a homo…ual? Much as the redneck Springer did? I refuse to confirm or deny. It is quite beneath me to respond to such nonsense – it is egregiously homophobic and it is none of your damn business.

        Really – you just bore me Joshua.

      • David Springer

        Oh look. A handbag fight.

        zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……….

      • Is this the ultimate pissant progressive insult to imply that I am a homo…ual?

        heh. Nope.

        http://lmgtfy.com/?q=butthurt

        I’m merely saying that your obsessive need to rant about “pissant progressives” might be because of some deep psychic injury. Hard to come up with any other explanation.

        But as always, you do amuse.

      • It is quite beneath me to respond to such nonsense – it is egregiously homophobic and it is none of your damn business.

        You see, chief – once you start down your fantasy highway, it only gets worse.

        Get a grip on yourself. Get over yourself. Stop taking yourself so seriously. Enjoy some of Beth’s poetry.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Really Springer – you excel only in self-aggrandising nonsense and redneck BS. What is it that makes you feel you have to make homophobic remarks at any opportunity? It is supremely pathetic – and again not something I intend to countenance with any denial at all. Your ideas are simplistic and forgettable – your personal style regrettable and your redneck values appalling.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Oh I see. Regardless of usage butthurt remains profoundly culturally insensitive. But the usage seems top fit you to a T.

        ‘Use of this is an instant way to let the entire online world that you’re a complete idiot. Originally a crass way to make fun of someone who is irrationally upset about something, is now used by total d…..bags who don’t have a creative or original bone in their body to troll on someone who expresses the slightest displeasure in anything.’ http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=ButtHurt

        Such as saying pissant progressive? As far as I know it is a term I originated – but who really knows. Perhaps it was just a spontaneous emergence.

        http://holgerawakens.blogspot.com.au/2011/08/video-pissant-progressive-marxist-takes.html

      • Steven Mosher

        ” Triangulating several different sources can build up a picture of a landscape or airspace, with stealth planes and ships just as visible as everything else.

        Even more worrying for commanders, too, is that because passive radar stations don’t emit anything, there’s no way to track them down. The tactic of sending in a stealth bomber to take out enemy radar capabilities before sending in the conventional planes wouldn’t work — passive radar detectors can be small and spread out over a large area.’ We are quite good at passive radar.”

        A bit misinformed. A few points.

        Triangulation from passive systems of lo observable aircraft can work in two cases.
        A) the lo platform is emitting RF
        B) the atmospheric conditions allow for IR detection.

        In the RF regime, for example the PRISM system you mentioned, the lo platform has to be emitting where you are looking (X band) . And it has to be transmitting for long enough times for you to get a fix on it. With a lo probability of intercept radar ( like the B2 and F22 have) that does frequency hopping ( randomly shifting frequency from pulse to pulse) it is very difficult since they dont have a characteristic PRF.

        Without revealing anything I can tell you that it is possible to turn your ESA radar on, see and track your enemy and launch without alerting PRISM type devices.

        A network of land based passive systems can only see an lo system if it is emitting. For a typical B2 mission the radar might never come on so there is nothing for a PRISM type system to see. Now assuming the penetrator did go active and the ground system was able to get AOA ( you cant get range except as an estimate based on received power which is tough when the radar has lo probability of intercept modes than change power as well as PRF ) you could use several stations to triangulate. ( the math actually used to be classified.. go figure) In fact running stealth aircraft against such ground networks was part of the design. For the ground system to work they have to be able to communicate with each other, and this communication time delay greatly complicates the tracking process. The ground communication is highly interceptable so you can actually tell when you light the ground system up. For other platforms like the F22 the penetration altitude and speed was speced in such a way to defeat ground based networks from tracking them. Basically you fly so fast by the time the system can respond you are no longer targetable. Now, assuming that you’ve been dumb enough to turn your radar on and assuming that you’ve turned it on in active mode, and assuming that you’ve turned it on long enough for the network to figure out where you are, and assuming that you continue to travel in a straight line, then the passive system can get a weapons quality tracking solution. A weapons quality tracking solution gives you enough information to fire a weapon. There are three types of weapons you could fire.

        A) IR
        B) Active RF
        C) Passive RF

        well, unless you have something really advanced ( Say ASRAAM) you wont be firing an IR weapon without a IR signature and given the penetrating altitude and ingress airspeed, whatever you fire will run out of propellent or battery life before it catches the airplane.
        If the mission profile is low-low-low or a variant then the low altitude IR threat is more of a problem. Guess what profile you never fly unless you have to? duh.

        Option B Active RF. Well your passive RF system might be able to see a lo platform if it goes active mode on its radar, but to launch a successful Active RF weapon and have it guide to impact the missile radar has to be able to see the target with active scan. If you know how to do the radar range equation and have even a good guess at the typical DBsm for an lo aircraft you’ll see how enormously difficult it is for the tiny radar in a missile head to see something that is the size of a …. . And once that missile goes active against the lo platform you have a variety of options.
        1) ECCM
        2 beam and drag
        3) chaff

        Option C. Passive RF guided missile. very hard to employ against a non cooperative air target.

        Looking at the aussie AOB I do see that you guys are looking at replacing the rapier with a new missile that will use components from ASRAAM.

        What can I say. When the B2 and F22 were designed, platforms like ASRAAM ( we called it aim9-x ) and AMRAAM were used as the threat. Basically we had to design the airplanes to beat what we called an “advanced soviet threat.” How did we know what the advanced threat would be? we didnt. we looked at what we were planning for 2010 and had to design against that.

        Now, talk about attacking the carrier group. The whole concept of projecting power using a carrier group is a joke. In every war game I ever participated in where red got to attack the CAG, the CAG got its butt kicked. Big floating target.

        I suppose this will start an air force navy fight.

      • Steven Mosher

        Ah Chief,

        I notice that you guys are getting the

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AGM-158_JASSM

        your welcome. Where does something like the JASSM begin?
        well, it started in a windowless brick building at northrop hawthorn division back in the 80’s.. At that point in time it was a covert program with a cover program known as tacit rainbow (google that ) the cover program is pretty much just there to fool people who wanted to know what was going on in the windowless brick building. So we would be read into tacit rainbow, my boss thought I was working on tacit rainbow, but when I enter the brick building I then go through a series of doors and guards and end up in a black covert program. That project ( TSSAM) eventually got cancelled ( the PM sucked and I left the project as fast as I could) and all the technology ended up in the AGM-158. Basically the stuff you are buying today was conceived of, and designed back in the late 80s.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Passive radar has the same ability to pick up microwave energy, but it does not transmit it. Instead, is uses reflections from other objects and the original source to gather information about targets, working passively rather than actively to identify objects in its vicinity. Using this information, the device can provide information about range, velocity, and location which can be used to make decisions. Passive radar on an aircraft, for instance, might be used to identify other aircraft in the area for the purpose of avoiding them.’

        Passive radar depends on microwave signals bounced off the target rather than IR or radar detection. ‘The term “passive radar” is sometimes used incorrectly to describe those passive sensors that detect and track aircraft by their RF emissions (such as radar, communications, or transponder emissions). However, these systems do not exploit reflected energy and hence are more accurately described as ESM systems.’ Wikipedia

        I seem to have mistakenly linked to an ESM system.

        http://www.defencetalk.com/cassidians-passive-radar-detects-stealth-aircraft-43859/

        We are still flying F/A-18’s that have been in service since 1985 – and have only just retired the F-111 – while waiting for 100 odd F-35 Lightning II if Lockheed Martin ever get their act together. I did say we were the only country in the world with a trade deficit with the US. The customer is always right – you can thank us for the business later.

      • Steven Mosher

        Chief

        “‘Passive radar has the same ability to pick up microwave energy, but it does not transmit it. Instead, is uses reflections from other objects and the original source to gather information about targets, working passively rather than actively to identify objects in its vicinity. Using this information, the device can provide information about range, velocity, and location which can be used to make decisions. Passive radar on an aircraft, for instance, might be used to identify other aircraft in the area for the purpose of avoiding them.’

        Chief, yes I am familiar with bi static passive systems. The two technologies that presented the biggest challenges in design were bi statics and UWB. You can track with bi statics but getting a weapons solution is more diffilcult if your just using ellipsoid type algorithms.. a kalmen filter will help. Tracking however and getting a weapons solution, doesnt solve the guidance to end game problem.
        Basically, using a bi static you can detect the lo platform.. using a good kalmen filter you can get a solid track ( position, rate and acceleration)
        and that information can be used to launch a weapon, but in the end
        that weapon, unless continuously guided to intercept, must guide itself to endgame. Take amraam for example. after launch you have to update the missile till it hits the window. at the window ( or basket) it takes over guidance.. and turns its radar on. So, at this stage if its radar cannot see the target all your bi statics are good for nothing.
        Take a look at those missiles. Take a look at the attenna.. you dont have to know a lot to figure out what it can see.

        http://www.radartutorial.eu/01.basics/rb13.en.html

        focus on variable A ( aperature area ) and plug in values from other radars ( like gain )

        Then you can do sensitivity analysis on these values.. and you’ll be a junior threat analyst

        ########################

        “We are still flying F/A-18′s that have been in service since 1985 – and have only just retired the F-111 – while waiting for 100 odd F-35 Lightning II if Lockheed Martin ever get their act together. I did say we were the only country in the world with a trade deficit with the US. The customer is always right – you can thank us for the business later.”

        F-35 is a broken concept. It was broken from the very beginning back in the 80s when we called it the NATF and JSF. It was just stupid trying to design something to satisfy so many different customers..

        F/A-18 is a great bird, once upon a time I got assigned to the F/A-18 sales team that called on Korea to do the threat analysis.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘While passive radar can perform detecting, locating, and tracking functions, it may also be able to perform target identification (ID). Under development are methods to conduct target imaging using multistatic UHF-band Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar. Additionally, existing passive ID
        measures, such as DF/ESM, will likely augment passive radar. If successful at creating a target track and ID, passive radar could provide cueing for surface-to-air and airborne weapons systems in order to enable acquisition. Weapons system cueing requires communications infrastructure; for a covert system, this means a local area network for ground-based weapons and an LPI data link for airborne platforms.’

        http://www.ndu.edu/press/lib/images/jfq-55/22.pdf

        In principle it is simple enough.

        The F-35′s are a decade late and more than 100% over budget. Everyone is looking for an alternative.

        posted in wrong place

  22. The future is an undiscovered country:

    http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/er/pdf/0383er(2013).pdf

    • I note in the intro, Bart, it states,
      ‘To provide a basis against which alternative cases and
      policies can be compared the AE02013 Ref case generally
      assumes that current laws and regulations affecting the
      energy sector remain unchanged ….[and[ enable policy
      analysis with less uncertainty.’ Hmm, how do mere
      ‘assumptions’ enable policy with less uncertainty?
      Beth

      • Beth Cooper | April 22, 2013 at 11:58 am |

        That’s an interesting thought.

        Using the principle of reading with goodwill, let’s take the authors to mean (as they certainly clarify elsewhere) that it is the analysis that has less uncertainty due its properly devised assumptions; if indirectly then due the analysis being more robust (which we hope is the motivation for the selection of their assumptions) the policy decisions are enabled to result in less uncertainty, that’s a nice thing to have, but not the most apparent conclusion from a goodwill reading.

        As for assumptions being better or worse, there are entire books written and university courses taught on “mere ‘assumptions'” and their handling. As a general assumption, ceteris paribus (ie “current laws and regulations affecting the energy sector remain unchanged..“) is a fairly standard approach, and well-founded.

        How is this your most pressing issue, absent a goodwill reading of the entire document and specific reference to where it leads to probable errors or weakens the validity of the conclusions?

        Perhaps if you read harder?

  23. John Miller’s article http://theenergycollective.com/jemillerep/211171/government-policies-and-other-factors-have-reduced-us-carbon-emissions says:

    The reduction in Power Sector CO2 emissions is due to a number of factors including reduced consumption or demand, expanded renewables power supply, and fuels switching from coal to cleaner and more efficient natural gas.

    I suggest the contribution of wind and solar power to the emissions reduction may be overstated.

    The second table in the article shows that, from 2007 to 2012, electric power net generation by wind and solar power increased by 110 TWh/yr and emissions decreased by 96 Mt/yr. That means the analysis assumes these intermittent renewables are 100% effective at reducing emissions. That assumption is not correct. The calculations assume that 1TWh of wind and solar generation abates the CO2 emissions from 1 TWh of fossil fuel generation. However, whereas 1 TWh of wind and solar does substitute for 1TWh of generation by other sources, it is not fully effective at displacing the emissions, for a number of reasons. There are many papers on this matter and, as many would argue, the stuidies that have analysed empirical data are the more reliable. Two recent analyses of empirical data are:

    Joseph Wheatley (in press) ’Quantifying CO2 savings from wind power: Ireland’

    http://docs.wind-watch.org/Wheatley-Ireland-CO2.pdf

    Daniel T. Kaffine, Brannin J. McBee, and Jozef Lieskovsky (2013) “Emissions Savings from Wind Power Generation in Texas”, IAEE, Volume 34 – Number 1

    http://www.iaee.org/de/publications/journal.aspx

    For Ireland’s EirGrid in 2011, wind generated 17% of electricity and was 53% effective at reducing emissions. Effectiveness decreases as wind’s proportion of electricity generation increases. [I think this is a good analysis and good paper on the subject]

    For Texas, wind generated 4.7% of electricity and was 82% effective at reducing emissions.

    The Kaffine et al. abstract says: ”The environmental benefits from emissions reductions in ERCOT fail to cover government subsidies for wind generation.

    It’s interesting to estimate the abatement cost with wind power. I don’t know the total amount of subsidies so I’ll assume $50/MWh. The claimed emissions avoided (wind’s share) are about 93 Mt/a; that is by 106 TWh/a of wind generation. Therefore, the claimed emissions avoided were = ~0.9 t/MWh. Using these figures the abatement cost is about $55/t CO2, which is more than ten times the EU carbon price. If wind ius only 80% effectgive (as for Texas ERCOTT), the abatement cost would increase to $70/t CO2. These rough estimates of the abatement cost are consistent with the Kaffine et al. abstract statement:

    The environmental benefits from emissions reductions in ERCOT fail to cover government subsidies for wind generation.

    • rogercaiazza

      I agree with Peter. With all due respect this study looks to me like something that had a specific result in mind and found the data to prove the point. Consider the graph Peter mentions – US 2007 – 2012 reduced CO2 emission factors. The description notes “Following the very significant carbon emission reduction impacts of ‘added wind power’ capacity over the past five years, the impacts of other Government policies such as ‘RFS2 biofuels’, ‘added hydro/bio/geo’ and ‘added solar power’, appear to be relatively small.”

      I frankly could not figure out how those numbers were calculated but I did go the EIA monthly energy review (http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/index.cfm) and downloaded Table 1.2. Primary Energy Production by Source. If you compare 2007 to 2012 Quadrillion Btu data, that is to say what energy was actually produced, then I am uncomfortable with the relative size of the wind CO2 reduction. The total energy production of wind increased from 0.5% of the total to 1.7% of the total whereas coal dropped from 32.9% of the total to 26.1% and natural gas (dry) increased from 27.7% to 31%. If however you calculate the carbon emission reduction impacts by looking at capacity as mentioned in the text, then the relative size of the bars in the graph makes sense.

      However, capacity is not the real test of an energy source. The ultimate requirement for any electrical energy source is the capability to provide dispatchable (i.e., electric energy generating units that provide power when requested as opposed to intermittent power like wind and solar that only provides power when the wind is blowing or sun is shining) energy and there is a current need to invest in new electric generation facilities that must be evaluated against that criterion.

      If you want to repower a coal-fired power plant you must compare the total energy produced. The equivalent energy from a 440 MW combined cycle turbine (90% capacity factor) compared to wind turbines with 30% capacity factor is 1320 MW of wind turbine capacity. If the wind turbines are in the same region you also need storage because the wind correlates well over at least 100 miles. Consider that when you repower an existing power plant the transmission infrastructure is already in place but the wind turbine transmission lines have to be built. Wind turbine life expectancy is less than a combined cycle turbine. Wind energy as a replacement is a loser.
      As a result I think that this analysis was an attempt to justify wind against the alternatives and the only way to do that is to ignore expected energy production.

      • Pooh, Dixie

        “With all due respect this study looks to me like something that had a specific result in mind and found the data to prove the point.”
        Sounds like some versions of “Climate Science”.

  24. Say, Bart,
    The future ain’t what it used ter be.’
    H/t Yogi Berra
    BC

    • Beth Cooper | April 22, 2013 at 3:25 am |

      Just what we need more of, sports references.

      So. What did you think of the ideas in the link?

    • Bart R

      Yogi Berra’s philosophical thoughts were a lot more than “sports references”.

      For more insight, I can recommend Nasim Taleb’s The Black Swan, which Beth has cited a few times.

      Points out the fallibility of long-range predictions, especially those made by “experts”.

      A good read.

      Max

  25. Specious correlation between CAFE and actual reductions. It could also be, like in the early 1980s, people are simply choosing smaller vehicles.

    • David Wojick

      Indeed, this CAFE claim ignores the fact that fuel prices jumped dramatically and have stayed high causing people tobdrive less and buy smaler cars. $3-4 dollars per gallon for gas and diesel.

  26. David Wojick

    The switch from coal to gas started in 2000 due to regulatory pressures on coal. We built about 200,000 MW of new generation in a few years almost all gas fired.

    • Check out the WaPo which seems to suggest that our lowered coal use is from harsher CAFE standards, and suggests we grab the baton from the Euro runner, togged out in green, and dogged out before his lap is over.

      Sometimes I wonder about that rag.
      ===============

      • kim

        Forget about the “European runner”.

        He’s running around in circles: his French part is nuking up like crazy while the German part is trashing all nukes, slapping up windmills (but secretly adding brown coal plants to provide the electrical power the wind turbines can’t) and the Spanish part (already broke) has just realized he’s wasted a bunch of Euros on a super solar plant that doesn’t meet the specified output.

        Sort of like placing your bet on a three-legged horse.

        Max

    • David Wojick

      “Regulatory pressures” (Obama’s “war on coal”) may have hampered the construction of new coal-fired plants in the USA, but plain old economics also make gas-fired plants looks pretty good today.

      Lower investment cost, no expensive flue gas cleanup and economically competitive fuel delivered by pipeline.

      I doubt that the current low gas price in the USA will continue indefinitely, but right now gas can compete very well with coal, based on the figures I’ve seen (plus the AGW crowd should love it because of the lower CO2 emissions).

      Sounds almost like a “win-win” situation.

      Max

  27. David L. Hagen

    The US Government invested about $100 million into developing massive hydraulic fracking.
    Early on, fracking got injection of federal funding, tax breaks>Early on, fracking got injection of federal funding, tax breaks
    US Government Role in shale gas fracking. March 2, 2012 | Alex Trembath
    The Gas Technology Institute was involved in that research.

    • Nice return. When has guv evah been so smart?
      ========

      • David L. Hagen | April 22, 2013 at 11:30 am |

        kim, David is far too modest. The Canadian and Alberta governments invested 4,000 times that much in the tarsands, much of it into work related to the patents David now profits from, and fracking-like activities in general.

        Oh. Wait. As a RoI calculation, adding 40 billion to the figure on bottom.. with more due for expropriations and subsidies on pipelines, and many saying the Carbon Bubble may leave these sunk cost investments high and dry, the guv doesn’t look nearly so smart.

      • Bart R

        Looks to me like the guv has been real smart as kim wrote.

        Good investment with a win-win result.

        You are prophesying that this may turn sour because of a hypothesized future “Carbon Bubble”.

        “Carbon Bubble?”

        Huh?

        Fuggidaboudit, Bart.

        Max

      • Your Oilsands Royalty Primer:

        > The question of whether we should raise royalties is, for the most part, a two-part issue. First, it’s a distributional question – who should get the rents? Second, it’s a development strategy question – higher royalties imply, all else equal, slower development, lower pre-royalty costs per barrel, and a host of other effects. The important thing to remember is that royalties do not determine the value of the bitumen, but rather they determine whether it will be produced and who gets the value/rents***.

        http://andrewleach.ca/oilsands/your-oilsands-royalty-primer/

        Here’s where the *** leads:

        > *** When economists use the term rent, they refer to profits over and above a market return on capital. There are potential rents in finite resources because that natural capital is finite and so the owners of it have market power (firms can’t simply decide to extract oilsands in Manitoba because Alberta charges royalties).

      • manacker | April 23, 2013 at 9:30 pm |

        The guv looks smart. Truly, said by someone who has never met an Alberta politician.

  28. David L. Hagen

    Unlocking The Potential Of Unconventional Gas: Special To Pipeline & Gas Journal March 2013, Vol. 240, No. 3

    In 1990, unconventional gas accounted for approximately 10% of total production. Today, it accounts for nearly 60% of total production, with gas shales driving this growth. Gas shale already accounts for one-third of North American natural gas production, and is anticipated to reach 49% of U.S. production by 2035. . . .
    When GTI began its coalbed methane R&D in the early 1980s, production across the U.S. was less than 50 Bcf per year. It is now upwards of 1,800 Bcf per year.

    Unconventional Gas R&D

    DOE Coalbed Methane R&D 1978-1982, $30 million
    DOE Shale Gas R&D, 1978-1992, $137 million
    GRI/Gas R&D 1978-2004 $565 million

    However, shale gas production drops off much faster than conventional gas.
    See Tad Patzek Unconventional Resources in US:
    Potential & Lessons Learned
    2011

    Gas production from the Barnett shale follows closely
    a multi-Hubbert curve model (Patzek, 2007, 2008, 2009), (Patzek & Croft, 2010)
    The post-2008 (right-most) Hubbert curve is very steep and its area (cumulative gas produced) is small; not a good sign

  29. David L. Hagen

    Conversely consider perverse EU central planning:
    Europe is becoming a green-energy basket case

    the market for carbon permits has all but collapsed. . . .
    Germany is irrationally shutting its nuclear power plants — which produce lots of steady, reliable electricity and no carbon dioxide emissions — and promising that renewables will somehow pick up the slack. Perversely, that approach has led power companies to ramp up coal burning, the dirtiest fossil fuel,. . .
    European governments have proved themselves to be incompetent central planners, counter-productive and wary of thinking pragmatically. . . .
    [The US] is now burning less coal even as Europe burns more.

  30. Out of curiosity I ran a search and found the following: Boxcar Energy and Energy storage breakthroughs on the horizon

    The biggest problem with all the energy technologies is that the energy they produce is intermittent: thus storage becomes much more important.

    • There are a couple of storage methods that have promise. The Zinc Air battery which is actually a fuel cell, has a high energy density and zinc is a relatively sustainable resource. Ammonia/urea also has potential and can be used directly as a transportable fuel in IC engines or fuel cell. Warm climate limits, but it is an effective way to store energy without getting into exotic resources.

      • Vehicles may be more difficult, but a simple, cheap, energy storage system that could be put in somebody’s basement would tremendously increase the value of rooftop PV, home windmills, etc.

        Technologies for storing energy from concentrating solar power (CSP) are already in use, as are those for trading-off between CSP and fossil-fired heat. Increased use of “waste” heat from such power for desalination could be a major support for desert agriculture. In fact, there’s a host of potential synergies involving solar power, many of which could mitigate the impact of its intermittent nature. Much energy is used for pumping water for irrigation or even drinking. With increased reservoir space such pumping could be done intermittently, when sunlight permits.

  31. Some extracts from a Roger Pielke Jr. article and my comments: http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2013/04/22/Europes-ETS-Good-branding-poor-substantce.aspx

    In the US, a revolution in technologies for natural gas extraction has led to an unexpected increase in rates of decarbonisation and significant reductions in emissions, while underpinning economic growth and cheaper energy costs.

    That’s a win-win-win-win outcome. A true ‘No Regrets’ result.

    However, broader expansion of gas technologies faces opposition, as does nuclear power which holds even greater promise for large quantities of carbon free energy, often from those same lobbies pressing for action on climate change.

    How hypocritical of the alarmists and doomsayers (doomsayers on climate and doomsayers on nuclear power).

    Decisions about energy technologies matter a great deal: the IEA observed in a report released last week that the carbon intensity of global energy generation has not changed in 20 years, despite the rapid increase in solar and wind technologies. The lesson here is that markets don’t change carbon intensities, technology does. So long as debates over climate policies focus on trying to reify esoteric carbon markets and their associated politics, it is highly unlikely that the future will see policy outcomes any different than those observed to date.

    In short, the solution is in technology, not legally binding international agreements, targets and timetable with penalties for breaches of agreements, and economic instruments like carbon pricing.

    • RPJ’s reference is to artificial government constructs rather than markets in general. Most innovation and technological advance is driven by free market competition, with the constant need to provide a better offering than your competitor. Another argument against a centralised, government-driven approach, whatever the problem.

      • Yesterday I found an exquisitely silly green rag, Australia’s own Business and Climate Spectator. If you thought the Guardian was comical, check out the B&C Spectator’s article on painting the world’s roofs white. (“What are we waiting for?”) While Australia has avoided the worst of the GFC – Labor says massive and rushed “stimulus”, others say greatest mining boom in history – Silly Green Rag now smugly predicts a long term levelling of electricity demand, as if that were a revelation and a good thing. Price of electricity soaring through the (white) roof…and electricity demand slumps? Give those journos a Walkley Award or something! After all, they gave Krugman a Nobel for knowing what every bar fly and cab driver knew.

        Faustino, I’m thinking of doing some serious journalism connecting Australian food production/retail problems and the quadrupling of the cost of refrigerant gases. If I don’t mention insane centralist government policies, do you think I’ll be considered a genius? Whoops! I just said insane centralist government policies, didn’t I?

    • Peter,I note the ‘lesson here is that markets don’t change
      carbon intensities, technology does.’

      And here on the costs and inefficiencies of wind energy.

      http://www.masterresource.org/2010/01/peter-lang-on-australias-windpower-costs-and-small-emissions-gains/

      Faustino, read yr letter, 23/04/13 The Australian, arguing
      scrapping all those *costly* emission reduction actions.

      Thanks both of you fer yr insightful, experience backed
      comments here on CE

      A serf.

    • Peter Lang

      Sounds to me like the Chinese are starting to go for shale gas in a big way.

      http://money.cnn.com/2013/04/11/technology/fracking-china-shell.pr.fortune/index.html

      According to this Fortune article there are more than 6,000 trillion cubic feet of recoverable shale gas worldwide (~170 trillion cubic meters), and China has the largest chunk of this resource.

      Technology (horizontal drilling and fracking) will be the solution (as you write) and several large oil companies are getting into the game.

      Good news for everyone.

      Max

      • Yep. Good news for everyone. A richer world is a happier and more peaceful world. The faster the world can get cheaper energy the better for everyone.

      • Shale gas is a minor patch at best in the big picture. If this is all used up by 2100, it can account for, by my quick estimate, only 10% of the global demand during that period, so the big question is where the other 90% will come from, and what we do after it has gone. On the good side, it all only adds 25 ppm CO2 to the atmosphere, a decades worth, or a couple of tenths of a degree to the temperature.

      • Naw, Jim.

        There is every indication that shale gas will be a game-changing biggie.

        WEC 2010 refers to a “top down” study in 1997 by Rogner estimated a total of 16,000 trillion cubic feet (450 trillion cubic meters) world wide and states that IEA estimated in 2009 that 40% of this would be recoverable with current technology. Note that these reports were written before the recent major discoveries in China.

        And it’s good for everyone: clean, no pollution, easy to use, generates less CO2 than other fossil fuels, etc.

        Enough there to last well over 100 years (by which time who knows what new energy sources have been developed?)

        What’s not to like?

        Max

      • Jim D

        Assuming that there are 210 trillion cubic meters recoverable shale gas worldwide (part of the ~400 trillion cubic meters estimated total inferred recoverable natural gas resource), this would generate around 420 GtCO2 when burned.

        Assume 50% of this “stays” in the atmosphere, this adds 27 ppmv (checks with your estimate).

        At IPCC’s mean 2xCO2 ECS of 3.2C, worldwide shale gas would add theoretical global warming at equilibrium of:

        3.2C*ln(700/673) / ln(2) = 0.18C (also checks with your estimate).

        So it has a beneficial impact on human energy needs with a negligible impact on global warming. Plus it’s clean.

        win-win-win!

        Max

      • manacker, I am glad you get similar numbers. What is your estimate of how much other energy is needed in addition to shale gas? I reckoned ten times as much, even if it is all consumed by 2100, and this could still come from fossil fuels, and less efficient ones at that.

      • Jim D

        You ask for my estimate of how much total fossil fuels will be consumed?

        We have an upper constraint based on the total amount of fossil fuels still available on our plant.

        The WEC2010 estimates on this show that we still have remaining “inferred total recoverable resources” of:
        Coal: 1,900 Gt
        Oil: 5,100 billion bbl
        Gas: 490 trillion cubic meters

        These would generate a total of 9,290 Gt CO2, and represent ~85% of all the potentially recoverable fossil fuel resources that were ever on our planet (i.e. we’ve “used up” 15% of the total up to 2008, when the study was made). [Note that many other studies (Hubbert, etc.) estimate lower remaining fossil fuels.]

        15% got us from 280 ppmv pre-industrial CO2 level to 385 ppmv in 2008.

        So the remaining 85% would get us to an absolute maximum of ~980 ppmv.

        This checks with the 9,290 Gt CO2 estimate, assuming 50% of the emitted CO2 “stays” in the atmosphere, as is now the case.

        At present consumption rates this would last us close to 300 years.

        But, assuming consumption will increase with expected population growth plus an increase in per capita fossil fuel usage of 30% over the next 80 years despite some efforts to switch to alternates, such as nuclear (it increased by 20% since 1970), this should last well over 150 years.

        Based on this growth assumption, we would reach an atmospheric CO2 level of ~640 ppmv by 2100.

        If we take the average of the IPCC “scenarios and storylines” in AR4 (none include implementation of Kyoto climate measures) we arrive at ~680 ppmv by 2100. So this gives a reasonable check.

        So my guess-timate would be

        640 ppmv CO2 by year 2100
        and
        980 ppmv CO2 approached asymptotically in 150-200 years (as fossil fuels are totally replaced with something new and less costly and remaining reserves are used for higher added-value end uses than combustion).

        Do you have any better figures?

        Max

      • Jim D

        A quickie check on total energy content of an estimated 210 trillion cubic meters of shale gas compared to all the energy contained in all the WEC 2010 estimated recoverable resources shows that shale gas is roughly 7% of the remaining total – so your quick estimate (of no more than 10%) is close to mine.

        Max

    • Perhaps reductions in emissions are also because
      the poorer half of the population can no longer afford
      ter run their cars.

      • A connection between broke people and fewer emissions? I can buy that, serf. Of course, that’s just taxable emissions they’re talking about. Nobody measures your emissions when you are forced to burn the furniture. It’s a bit like all those billions of people who burn dung and twigs. If it’s not taxable, it never happened. A bit like making methane in a crowded lift: nobody owns it.

      • mosomoso,
        ‘Tis passing strange that the great protectors of the poor
        do not support cheap energy, the basis of prosperity.
        ‘Let them burn dung!’
        A serf.

      • Beth

        You may be right: if the governing elite begin to squeeze the “serfs” in their energy consumption too much they will also reduce the wellbeing of the “serfs”.

        After all the wellbeing of the “serfs” (quality of life, average life expectancy, etc.) all increased with the increase in energy consumption (before the governing elite found they had to control or tax this); in fact, the two almost increased in lockstep.

        And it is very easy to see that in those places where the “serfs” have not yet had the opportunity of having access to a low-cost, reliable source of energy, life is short and brutal, as it was in our countries 150 to 200 years ago.

        Let’s not forget what got us out of that misery and allow the governing elite to move us “serfs” back to those days. (Best way: replace the governing elite).

        Yer fellow serf Max

    • Faustino, Mosomoso, Beth and Manacker, thank you for the supportive comments.

      It seems most Climate Etc. denizens are losing interest in discussing the policy aspects and implications of C/AGW.

      • “It seems most Climate Etc. denizens are losing interest in discussing the policy aspects and implications of C/AGW.”

        Losing interest because the move to energy alternatives is in place, independent of what AGW holds in store. This is what happens when a global economy is built around a finite, non-renewable resource.

      • WHT

        Economically competitive non-fossil fuel alternatives for most of the energy demand (electrical power) already exist today (nuclear fission). New nuclear fission technologies, which have already been tested and proven, can essentially eliminate the spent fuel problem.

        Sure, there is also work on solar and wind, but this is more limited by virtue of its low reliability.

        And you are right in saying that there is a lot of work going on to find competitive non-fossil fuel alternatives for the smaller transportation segment. Hybrid cars already exist which are competitive. Exxon-Mobil has an algae project, Chevron has non-food based biofuels projects, and there are several projects supported by various government agencies.

        Human ingenuity will undoubtedly come up with all sorts of new solutions long before we run out of fossil fuels.

        Until then, it will be “drill, baby, drill!” and “frack, baby, frack!”.

        Max

      • A lot of fracking and drilling going on in Switzerland, Max.

        Depending on the climate we have the Grande Dixence to help with our energy needs. Save for one glitch, it has been pretty reliable.

      • Manacker,

        Sure, there is also work on solar and wind, but this is more limited by virtue of its low reliability.

        And the very high cost. Don’t ever forget the very high cost. Here is some perspective for the benefit of other readers.

        [Note: Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE) is the best way to compare the life cycle cost of generation of different technologies. However, a simpler way to compare the cost of plants, where most of the cost is due to the capital cost (like wind, solar and nuclear), is to compare the cost per average watt delivered. This provides an approximate comparison.]

        Nuclear costs around $4 to $5 per average watt delivered for the new AP1000 plants being built in USA. How does solar thermal with storage compare?

        Ivanpah (USA):

        ~$19/Watt average electricity delivered.

        This is >3x the cost of some recent nuclear powerplant builds that most environmentalists have accused of being prohibitively expensive.

        The heliostats used in the project weigh in at 30,000 tonnes. That’s 262 tons of heliostats per MW electric average. That’s just for the heliostats, not even the foundations, not to mention the tower and power block.

        The powerplant area that had to be bulldozed over is much larger than a nuclear reactor 20x the average (real) capacity (twin unit AP1000).

        Gemasolar (Spain):
        $23/W
        $35 per average W delivered

        Tonopah (USA):
        ~$9/W
        ~$18 per average W delivered

        Compare Tonapah and AP1000 nuclear for same capital cost: nuclear has 2.5 more capacity, produces 4 times more energy, requires 1/24 the land area, and about 1/10 the materials (steel, concrete, glass etc).

        For total system cost, comparing nuclear with a mix of wind, solar thermal, solar PV, and gas turbines fueled by either biofuel or natural gas, see this (and for a quick comparison see Figures 6, 5 and 7):

        http://oznucforum.customer.netspace.net.au/TP4PLang.pdf

        On any criteria nuclear is far superior.

      • Further to above, residential PV cost about $30 – $40 per average watt delivered.

      • Web

        Not much fracking here yet, although there is a brouhaha going on about proposed fracking for gas near Lake Geneva.

        But some rig operators, like Transocean, have there headquarters here, so maybe they see some future plays nobody else knows about.

        (Or could it be for tax reasons?)

        Max

      • Peter Lang

        Thanks for figures on nuclear vs. solar, wind, etc.

        Since the back-up gas-fired plant would have to produce the power the 70+% when solar or wind is out of service, this means that these renewable solutions create more CO2 than nuclear, as well.

        Oh, my!

        Max

      • Yes, Manacker, you are dead right. A mostly renewable electricity system (with some gas) would produce more emissions than a mostly nuclear system (with some gas). Figure 5 here http://oznucforum.customer.netspace.net.au/TP4PLang.pdf shows the comparison; the text explains.

  32. Tomas Milanovic

    And finally, this reduction occurred without any particular ‘pain’ to the U.S. population and economy (other than that associated with the recession).

    I would be interested in similar analyses for other countries.

    I have not an identical synthetic study handy for France. But gathering several studies over the last 6 years, the conclusions are very similar.

    The factor N°1 influencing CO2 emissions is the economic growth.
    As France has 75% of its electricity produced by nuclear, the elasticity of emissions is very small on this sector which is the main emission.

    The factor N°2 is outsourcing. France has lost over 1 million of industrial jobs (e.g generating emissions) during the last 10 years. This lead to a decrease of emissions too even if those emissions are mostly relocated elsewhere.

    The factor N°3, far behind the former 2, is the diplacement of gasoline cars by diesel cars. 70% of new private cars in France are diesel.
    This is a consequence from a fiscal policy which consisted to tax gasoline much more than diesel (in Europe taxes are 50-60% of the fuel price depending on countries). This decision has been taken in the 70ies long before the climate craziness and the reason was to protect transport companies and fishers against large tax increases in the wake of the 2 oil shocks in the 70ies.

    Everything else is negligible (e.g solar, wind , bio).

    Of particular note is that there is a discussion right now whether the carbon emission permit trading should be “saved” or not.
    A permission to emit 1 T of CO2 fell below 3€ and the market is clinically dead. The reason is that most countries decreased their emissions as consequence of the crisis and outsourcing and nobody wants to buy permits. The “idea” of the EU comission (that is the central bureaucracy) is to artificially increase the prices by state intervention. This is opposed by many and notably Germany.
    What you can take home is that the CO2 permit market in Europe is dead and no measure based on economic freedom can revive it.

    • Tomas Milanovic

      the CO2 permit market in Europe is dead and no measure based on economic freedom can revive it.

      I say, “let it rest in peace”.

      (And it looks like that is what is going to happen, in view of all the much more serious and pressing problems the EU has today.)

      Max

    • Was the permit market ever live? It performed like a parasite-infested zombie corpse from the beginning. Even the government lipstick was badly plastered on.

  33. Pingback: Tre letture tre | Climatemonitor

  34. BartR and Max_OK referred to pollution and polluters. Such references perpetuate the meme that CO2 is dangerous. I submit that CO2 is dangerous only by act of Congress, as exploited by bureaucracy.

    Justice Stevens. “MASSACHUSETTS ET AL. V. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY ET AL.,” April 2, 2007. http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/06pdf/05-1120.pdf

    (In 2003, the EPA had ruled that it lacked authority to rule that CO2 was pollutant. Massachsetts et al brought suit to force the EPA to reconsider. The Supreme Court ruled that everything in the atmosphere was subject to the Clean Air Act. The CAA was so broadly written that bureaucratic / political “Scope Creep” was inevitable, IMO. The Supreme Court explicitly declined to rule that CO2 was a pollutant because of “Global Warming”.
    Page 30 (Opinion): “Under the clear terms of the Clean Air Act, EPA can avoid taking further action only if it determines that greenhouse gases do not contribute to climate change ….” I.e, prove a negative.

    Page 26 (Opinion): The statutory text forecloses EPA’s reading (of no authority). The Clean Air Act’s sweeping definition of “air pollutant” includes “any air pollution agent or combination of such agents, including any physical, chemical . . . substance or matter which is emitted into or otherwise enters the ambient air . . . .” §7602(g)
    On its face, the definition embraces all airborne compounds of whatever stripe, and underscores that intent through the repeated use of the word “any.”[25] Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and hydrofluorocarbons are without a doubt “physical [and] chemical . . . substance[s] which [are] emitted into . . . the ambient air.” The statute is unambiguous.

    Page 20, 21 (Opinion): Causation: “EPA does not dispute the existence of a causal connection between man-made greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. … But EPA overstates its case….”
    SCALIA, J. (Dissenting, Page 10 footnote 2): “Not only is EPA’s interpretation (in opposition to Massachusetts’ suit) reasonable, it is far more plausible than the Court’s alternative. As the Court correctly points out, ‘ all airborne compounds of whatever stripe,’ ante, at 26, would qualify as ‘physical, chemical, . . . substance[s] or matter which [are] emitted into or otherwise ente[r] the ambient air,’ 42 U. S. C. §7602(g). It follows that everything airborne, from Frisbees to flatulence, qualifies as an ‘air pollutant.’ This reading of the statute defies common sense.”

    • Bart R and Max_OK may be “scared” of CO2.

      Too bad for them.

      I’m not.

      Max

      • manacker | April 23, 2013 at 9:10 pm |

        When someone defames me with terms like “scared”, “frightened”, “alarmed” or the like, I cringe not at the patent insult, but at the failures of reading comprehension and imagination the exhibit in such absurd displays of misapprehension of what I have actually written.

        There may be alarmed people. There might be scared people. I haven’t met a whole lot of them, and from reading I don’t see the majority of correspondents to be alarmed by climate change, nor to be seeking to actively engage in behaviors to heighten alarm.

        I do not find much evidence (though a little) for Margaret Thatcher’s fear that “Global warming ‘provides a marvelous excuse for worldwide, supra-national socialism.” There’s far more supra-national socialism in Lomborg (whom, I observe, you are a huge fan of) and his politburo approach to rating and budgeting human suffering and leaving the ones who don’t make his list out in the Ukrainian cold.

        By comparison to Lomborg’s pet rationales for collectivism, global warming’s a terrible excuse of socialism: it’s full of science, and who likes that? It’s hard to explain; and how is that useful in propaganda? Religious zealots will dig in against it because it implies God isn’t sending disasters to punish the wicked, which is one of their favorite things about being religious. Unions will object to it for fear of losing power over their members as they leave lower skill jobs for jobs that require them to think more, and thinking is the enemy of socialism. It’s a marketer’s nightmare, and Dame Thatcher was very ill-advised by whatever ‘science adviser’ conjured this goblin.

        I tire of urging people to READ HARDER; in your case it clearly is doing little good. Which of those words you have trouble understanding, I cannot guess. So I urge, instead, get used to not being taken very seriously, ever.

        Let’s move onto the failures of imagination. As we have clearly established “scared of CO2″ is an utterly inept characterisation, perhaps we could help you to imagine a fearless few possible other causes for the positions I take:

        1. I like math, and I despise mathematical errors. You make so many mathematically impossible claims, it’s unsurprising I speak up.

        2. I’m a Market Capitalist: advocates of collectivist, socialist, corporate communist, Marxist or like measures ought expect from me a vigorous rebuttal of their arguments.

        3. I want my money. Global warming and climate change make the world more expensive than it otherwise would be and use up my share of the scarce carbon cycle resource without my consent: that’s money out of my pocket, and I want it back.

      • Bart R

        OK. Correction. You are NOT “scared of CO2″ as I wrote you and Max_OK might be

        But you seem angry and want “your” money.

        Huh?

        Max

      • manacker | April 24, 2013 at 4:11 am |

        “Seem angry”?

        What, I can’t demand my money back and seem rational?

        What is it with you and having to paint everything with emotions?

        It’s better than painting everything with emoticons, I suppose, but not by much.

        Why not address the content of what is said with goodwill, instead of dressing it up with imaginings?

        Why not read things without a dogged effort to read into things that which is not there?

        If people are going to the trouble of trying to communicate, why work so hard to obfuscate? It seems unproductive, and frankly malicious.

        Why do you seek to spread hate everywhere you write? (Hrm. Now I’m doing it. Tch. I’ll have to watch for that; I have enough bad habits already what with all the terror and anger, I don’t need to add more.)

        ;) :D ;) :) ;)

      • The sun claims the lion’s share of the hydrogenated part of the cycle, jackals like you are paid in the oxygenated coin.
        =================================

      • Bart owns the Carbon Cycle, but I own Gravity, and am erecting giant hotels on it.
        ===========

      • Bart,

        3. I want my money. Global warming and climate change make the world more expensive than it otherwise would be and use up my share of the scarce carbon cycle resource without my consent: that’s money out of my pocket, and I want it back.

        This is a pretty definitive statement. It is also the component of the debate I’m probably most interested in. The issue I’m having is that the evidence supportting this statement is not exactly strong. It is more costly in terms of required energy to maintain climate in cold regions than it is in warm. Humans are better at dealing with warm temperatures than with cold. “Renewable” energy is more expensive. A lot of utilities offer “green” energy programs. The one I work for does. Want to take a guess at how much you can expect your bill to increase a month? (For us it’s about 12%.) The only way you can get numbers which show climate change costing more is by extrapolating out model predictions and then pricing the actions needed to address them.

        So if sea level rise were to dramatically increase above the 3 mm/year rate, one might be able to reasonably claim a higher cost. If storms, drought, floods, etc increase in frequency and intensity, then yes, there could very well be increased costs. If we find ourselves having to deal with spreading tropical disease and 50 million climate refugees, well your point takes on merit. Care to enlighten us with which of these is occuring?

        PS – speaking of defaming ; this from the guy with the “cold dead hands” and “manliness” cracks. Glass housing Bart. Glass housing.

      • timg56 | April 24, 2013 at 4:06 pm |

        If you only look at the weakest of the evidence, and pretend the rest doesn’t exist, it’s unsurprising you draw incorrect conclusions.

        New York and New Jersey don’t deem the evidence of costliness weak. Farmers hit by drought — some of them natural outcomes of man-made jet stream changes, and some of them natural, and some of their duration and range expanded directly by man-made climate change — don’t deem the cost small, or the evidence growing less strong.

        Humans are better at dealing with warm temperatures than with cold, is frankly backwards. Air conditioning is three times more energy intensive than heating. Contagion outbreaks are worse in relatively warmer than cooler conditions. Poverty is endemic in the hottest climates far more than in colder ones.

        The only way you can get numbers which show climate change costing more is by extrapolating out model predictions and then pricing the actions needed to address them.

        Excuse me? Did you just say that the consequence of predictions is that you show man-made climate change costs more?

        Well, yes. That’s the point. That higher cost costs me money of mine. I didn’t consent to that higher cost. I don’t acknowledge any benefit from it, I don’t get paid from the lucrative activities that cause it, and it’s my money that has gone missing while Free Riders sock away uneconomic returns.

        I want my money.

        You appear also confused about glass houses and defamation. The difference between my remarks and defamation is that defamation is untrue.

      • Max_CH, how can you suspect I’m scared of CO2 when I love the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere right now. I wouldn’t have it any other way.I don’t want more, I don’t want less.

        It’s kinda like the way I feel about beer.

        1 bootle is way to little
        2 bottles is not enough
        3 bottles is better
        4 bottles is OK
        5 bottles is enough
        6 bottles is more than enough
        7 bottles is too much
        8 bottles is way too much
        9 bootles is way way too much
        10 bottles is regrettable

      • Max_OK

        So you like the “jes’ fine” Goldilocks CO2 level of ~400 ppmv?

        Great!

        Glad to hear you’re not one of the gullible types that fell for “coal death train” James E. Hansen’s doomsday postulation that 350 ppmv was already at the “dangerous level”.

        I like 400 ppmv, too, and I wouldn’t mind it increasing up to 1000 ppmv, especially since this would be a boon to crop yields.

        And, hey, if we got a little more arable land plus longer growing seasons at higher latitudes as a result of some modest warming, I wouldn’t mind that, either.

        I’ll go with the flow either way.

        Just don’t do anything to start a prolonged cooling trend.

        Max

      • Max_CH, Hansen just thinks some wiggle room. He’s a prudent, responsible, play-it-safe kind of guy.

        You on-the-other hand are a wild man who wants to gamble with mankind’s future (” I wouldn’t mind it increasing up to 1000 ppmv” ), since you know you won’t live long enough to suffer the consequences of a bad bet.
        IMO, you are a danger to society’s future, and belong in jail.

      • Max_OK

        I “belong in jail” because I am not alarmed at the idea of higher CO2 levels?

        How silly!

        Get serious, Okie.

        Max_CH

        PS I also don’t think Hansen “belongs in jail” for trying to scare everyone with his CO2 hobgoblin nor do you, just because you like CO2 at 400 ppmv.

        Jail is for crooks.

      • Cool? Cool? Pretty cool thread over at the Bish’s Big Top for all Bobo’s OK.
        ========================

      • manacker said on April 25, 2013 at 4:49 am|
        Max_OK

        I “belong in jail” because I am not alarmed at the idea of higher CO2 levels?
        _____
        You want to put my grandchildren at risk with your 1000 ppmv experiment, the consequences of which you won’t be around to see. There’s no way you can be brought to justice after you are dead, so I say put you behind bars now. Better yet, put you on a chain gain busting rocks. Hard labor might help you see the light.

      • Werkin 4 the Mane Gain!
        =======

      • Back on the Chain Gang The Pretenders live in London

      • Max_OK

        Didn’t know you had any grandchildren, Okie, but I don’t think they will give a fiddler’s f*** about atmospheric CO2 levels in their lifetimes – unless ol’ grandpappy Okie tries to terrorize the s*** out of them with scary hobgoblin stories.

        And if he does, HE belongs in jail for child abuse.

        Max

      • We wish the Blessing of grandchildren on all Maxes and other actors.
        ========================================

      • Max_CH, I think you know I am just joshing you about jail, but I am serious in disapproving of your willingness to put future generations at risk. We haven’t been where you want to go. We can’t say what the outcome will be. And we will never know, because it’s beyond our life expectancies.

        It’s past my bedtime. Goodnight.

      • Bart,

        Credit for stepping up to the plate.

        But striking out earns you nothing.

        New York and New Jersey – I take it you are referring to Sandy. Strike one. You have no evidence to support that Sandy was a result of human impacts on climate. Believing that “extreme” climate events will be a result of a warmer climate is not the same as proving it. Storms such as Sandy have hit the NE in the past and will do so again.

        Farmers and drought – You are referring to last summers midwest drought? Strike two. Attributing that particular event to human induced climate change is another unsupported claim. The drought (and flood) meme is a loser, since the records show there is nothing unusual happening.

        Your Contagion and poverty argument – pop foul, into the catchers mitt. The contagious disease argument only holds up if you ignore the array of measures available to combat disease. Even in poor nations great strides have been taken to battle malaria. And playing the poverty card only illuminates your poor understanding of economics (or more likely your willingness to ignore what you know). Can you provide an example where the primary cause of poverty is related to temperature?

        In summary, you have not provided a single credible example of the high cost of human induced climate change. You are a smart guy (if not a particularly classy one). you ought to be able to come up with at least one. Even a bunt single. Yet all I see is the might Bart strick out.

    • Pooh, Dixie | April 23, 2013 at 11:08 am |

      This word, “meme“; you use it unlike anyone I have ever seen use it before. So I availed myself of wikipedia, which informed me:

      A meme (pron.: /ˈmiːm/; meem) is “an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.” A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, or practices that can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate, and respond to selective pressures.

      Yet pollution is not a meme. It’s a real thing with a real meaning.

      Me, I just use the word ‘polluters’ in the phrase “payments by polluters” because it is the apt, on its face literal, term and a reference by implication to the ‘polluter pay principle’. Do you dispute the accuracy of this phrase as I used it (Bart R | April 21, 2013 at 10:26 pm | Reply )? Is not the entire passage you take issue with actually devoid of any reference to actual harm at all?

      So, how does one leap from pollution to dangerous, absent an argument of harm? I don’t allude to catastrophe. I don’t allude to danger. I don’t try to alarm anyone. I call up the apt and proper polluter pay principle to discuss what is and what is not a tax. You’ve built a strawman.

      The danger is in people calling legitimate payment for wrongdoing a form of tax; in implying that wrongdoing ought go unpunished. That wrongdoers ought be protected from lawful payment for their trespass. That’s dangerous indeed, undermining the fabric of our rights.

      Ought not the meme you dread be, instead, the meme that everything is a tax? Or more directly the meme that anyone is entitled to trespass without taking responsibility for their own actions?

      Speaking of memes, the “Frisbees to flatulence” meme is a fine bit of potkettling.

      In 2003, the EPA under the Bush administration was negligent in execution of its lawful duties, as determined by the Supreme Court in 2007, notwithstanding your opinion and sophistry.

      Even in vigorous dissent, Justice Scalia unambiguously failed (“JUSTICE SCALIA does not (and cannot) explain why Congress would define “air pollutant” so carefully and so broadly, yet confer on EPA the authority to narrow that definition whenever expedient by asserting that a particular substance is not an “agent.” At any rate, no party to this dispute contests that greenhouse gases both “ente[r] the ambient air” and tend to warm the atmosphere. They are therefore unquestionably “agent[s]” of air pollution.“) to lift the burden of action from the EPA.

      While the dissenting opinions primarily buttress and defend the courts against aggressive judicial activism, and that is significant and in my opinion not only good but almost the only good of the dissent, the remainder of the dissent is not especially significant in precedency and you lend it too much weight in your argument.

      • In Bart’s world, generating electricity is a wrong doing.

        Providing people with freedom of transportation is a wrong doing.

        Making it possible for goods to circulate around the world and the increases in choice it provides is a wrong doing.

        What’s next? Seeing as we are all walking point sources of pollution, perhaps a breath tax is in order. Who knows, it may help with getting rid of all those troublesome humans so many people who identify as environmentalists seem to think we have.

      • Pooh, Dixie

        Bart R at http://judithcurry.com/2013/04/21/what-are-the-factors-contributing-to-the-reduction-in-u-s-carbon-emissions/#comment-315119

        Bart. You write “This word, ‘meme'; you use it unlike anyone I have ever seen use it before…. Quoting Wikipedia, “an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture…. A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas…. Yet pollution is not a meme. It’s a real thing with a real meaning.”

        You are correct, in that I did not refer to “pollution” specifically, and did not explain the “meme” to which I did refer.

        Global Warming has been observed since 1850.
        Arrhenius shows by lab experiment that additional CO2 warms the air column.
        Anthropogenic Global Warming is caused by CO2, emitted by humans, and affects surface and atmospheric temperatures.
        Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) is inevitable, since sensitivity to CO2 is very high.
        Climate Change by CAGW is dangerous, and therefore must be regulated by government policy.

        So, here’s the meme: “Climate Change” means “Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming” means CO2 is dangerous and must be regulated as a “pollutant”.

        However, “Climate Change” also includes “Catastrophic Global Cooling”.
        “I think I know enough of hate
        “To say that for destruction ice
        “Is also great
        “And would suffice.”
        — Robert Frost. Fire and Ice,

    • Pooh, Dixie

      Too much or too little of what’s necessary for life can be dangerous. CO2 is necessary, oxygen is necessary, water is necessary, but too much of any of these can be bad.

      Whether you agree with me about CO2 or not, I don’t think you will deny burning fossil fuels results in many kinds of air pollutants.

      • Max,

        It is easy to agree that burning fossil fuels creates pollutants. Where some people take issue is with what gets classified as a pollutant or with the setting of limits.

        Can you reference the basis upon which CO2 was declared a pollutant? Are you aware that the EPA’s Inspector General determined the agency failed to follow its own rules during the process with which they made their determinination?

        Perhaps you are ok with regulations which based on political positions and not science. Maybe it doesn’t bother you when limits are substances (Mercury) that are not only the result of questionable studies, but far below what occurs naturally in our environment. I see a problem with stuff like this. Can you explain government regulations which set ultra low emissions standards for something, yet at the same time push for use of a product which contains an amount of the same substance far above what is allowed to be emitted?

        In other words Max, it isn’t so simple. I’m sure we could reach agreement on a considerable number of points regarding what the EPA regulates. That does not mean everything they do can go unquestioned. Do a little research into how they reached their determinations on CO2 and Mercury. It is hard to be completely trusting in the agency after seeing how they operated on these two.

      • Max_OK

        Too much water (in the wrong place – like the lungs) is deadly for humans.
        Too little water is also fatal.

        Don’t know about too much oxygen, except as a fire hazard. Breathing pure oxygen for extended periods can cause oxygen toxicity, which can be fatal in extreme cases.
        Too little oxygen is deadly.

        What about CO2?

        WEC 2010 estimates suggest that the total inferred recoverable fossil fuel resources still remaining on our planet (an estimate that is more optimistic than most) represent around 85% of all the recoverable fossil fuels that were ever on our planet, enough to elevate the atmospheric CO2 to just below 1000 ppmv when they have all been completely used up.

        Too much CO2 for plants?
        This article points out that enhanced CO2 levels have many benefits for plants:

        http://www.plantsneedco2.org/default.aspx?menuitemid=225

        Literally thousands of laboratory and field experiments have conclusively demonstrated that enriching the air with carbon dioxide stimulates the growth and development of nearly all plants. They have also revealed that higher-than-normal CO2 concentrations dramatically enhance the efficiency with which plants utilize water, sometimes as much as doubling it in response to a doubling of the air’s CO2 content. These CO2-induced improvements typically lead to the development of more extensive and active root systems, enabling plants to more thoroughly explore larger volumes of soil in search of the things they need. Consequently, even in soils lacking sufficient water and nutrients for good growth at today’s CO2 concentrations, plants exposed to the elevated atmospheric CO2 levels expected in the future generally show remarkable increases in vegetative productivity, which should enable them to successfully colonize low-rainfall areas that are presently too dry to support more than isolated patches of desert vegetation.

        Elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 also enable plants to better withstand the growth-retarding effects of various environmental stresses, including soil salinity, air pollution, high and low air temperatures, and air-borne and soil-borne plant pathogens. In fact, atmospheric CO2 enrichment can actually mean the difference between life and death for vegetation growing in extremely stressful circumstances. In light of these facts, it is not surprising that Earth’s natural and managed ecosystems have already benefited immensely from the increase in atmospheric CO2 that has accompanied the progression of the Industrial Revolution; and they will further prosper from future CO2 increases.

        Although all plants improve growth at higher CO2 levels, studies show that C3 plants (most plants, including most human crops) seem to benefit more from enhanced CO2 levels than C4 plants (corn, sugar cane, millet, and sorghum plus most grasses and weeds)

        Plant growth and drought resistance seems to improve up to 1000 ppmv, after which the improvement slows down.

        Too little CO2 for plants? Low levels of CO2 (below 200 ppmv) have been show to halt vigorous growth of many plant types.

        To much CO2 for humans? Studies have shown no adverse effects up to several thousand ppmv, however if CO2 exceeds 10,000 ppmv for an extended time period, hypercapnia (over-acidification of the blood) will occur, leading will to respiratory failure and then death.

        So, all in all, it looks like there is no problem at the CO2 levels we are talking about.

        Hope this helps.

        Max

      • timg56, we can find many definitions of pollute an pollutant. I like the following definition from Wiki:

        A pollutant is a substance or energy introduced into the environment that has undesired effects, or adversely affects the usefulness of a resource. A pollutant may cause long- or short-term damage by changing the growth rate of plant or animal species, or by interfering with human amenities, comfort, health, or property values.
        _______

        I don’t want my climate to be warmer. It would interfere with my comfort. More CO2 means a warmer climate. Therefore, I call more CO2 a pollutant. However, the amount of CO2 we have right now is OK.

        So to be accurate I should not say CO2 is a pollutant, I should say more CO2 is a pollutant. However, calling CO2 a pollutant annoys skeptics/deniers, which I like to do, so I will continue to call CO2 a pollutant.

      • Re manacker’s post April 25, 2013 at 2:02 am

        Max_ C, as a ex-farm boy, I know exceptionally hot summers are not good for crops. I have witnessed the damage heat can do. More CO2 will mean more exceptionally hot summers. I am very skeptical that the enhancing effect of more CO2 on plant growth would offset the adverse affect of the hotter weather.

        Let’s look at this another way. Suppose atmospheric CO2 over the next 100 years rose to projected levels and average global temperature remained at its current level. We cannot know with certainty what effect this would have on the quantity, variety, and quality of food produced. But suppose it did result in more food for more people, and world population grew at a much faster rate than it would have otherwise. Why would that be good?

      • Max_OK

        You wrote

        But suppose it [higher CO2 concentration] did result in more food for more people, and world population grew at a much faster rate than it would have otherwise. Why would that be good?

        I’ve posted this before on an earlier thread, but over the period 1970-2010 we had the following observed changes:

        1970
        Population: 3.7 billion
        Global temperature (HadCRUT3 anomaly, 10-year average): -0.12 °C
        Atmospheric CO2: 324 ppmv
        Global yields of major crops (million tons corn/wheat/rice): 788

        2010
        Population: 7.0 billion (up 1.9x)
        Global temperature: +0.42 °C (up 0.54 °C)
        Atmospheric CO2: 390 ppmv (up 66 ppmv or 20%)
        Global yields of major crops (million tons): 1912 (up 1124 Mt or 2.4x)
        In addition, global starvation rates were down significantly and (despite HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa) world average life expectancy increased from ~55 years to ~68 years (up by 13 years).

        http://bigpictureagriculture.blogspot.com/2011/04/how-does-need-to-double-world-crop.html

        So over 40 years with a 20% increase in CO2 we’ve seen a 2.4x increase in crop yields and an improvement in overall quality of life for a population that grew by 1.9x.

        Population growth rate is expected to slow down sharply this century to around one-fourth the exponential rate seen from 1970 to 2010 (slowdown has already started).

        There is no reason to believe that more food will necessarily result in an equivalent growth in population, and it looks like the past has already shown this.

        Don’t worry, Okie, we’re not going to overpopulate the planet because of higher crop yields. We’re just going to be better off.

        Max_CH

      • Max_CH says:

        “So over 40 years with a 20% increase in CO2 we’ve seen a 2.4x increase in crop yields and an improvement in overall quality of life for a population that grew by 1.9x.”
        ______

        Max_CH suggests that over 40 years a 20% increase in CO2 caused a 240% increase in crop yields resulting 190% increase in population and better quality life.

        Of course, this is BS. Who has a better quality of life than he or she had 40 years ago?
        _____________

        Max_CH also says:

        “There is no reason to believe that more food will necessarily result in an equivalent growth in population, and it looks like the past has already shown this.”

        ______________

        Ireland’s past shows the opposite, but anyway if Max_Ch is right, obesity will spread from the U.S. to other countries. The world will be inhabited with fat blobs, butter balls, blimps.

      • Max_OK

        Of course, this is BS. Who has a better quality of life than he or she had 40 years ago?

        Someone who’s 41?

        Your second point about population growing in lockstep with agricultural productivity has been answered by both Beth and myself, with examples showing why this “ain’t necessarily so” in today’s world.

        Keep smilin’

        Max_CH

      • Max_OK

        Not too many fat blobs, butter balls, blimps in places like Burundi, Chad, Eritrea or the Democratic Republic of Congo.

        http://www.ifpri.org/publication/2010-global-hunger-index

        But the number of hungry people world wide is decreasing slowly:

        Organizers are proud to note that while the number of hungry people surpassed 1 billion in 2009, that number dipped to 925 million this year — a small, but considerable, improvement.

        Max_CH

      • Max,

        Wiki references are not that impressive, but I can accept your choice as the starting basis of discussion. So the next logical step is to identify the undesired or adverse effects and damage. What can you present? Assume you are in front of a judge, so that you have to provide evidence. For the most part all I ever see are arguments similar to what Bart tossed out – claims that at best are supported by speculation (which even if from scientists is still speculation).

        Should we move on to the part of the definition which covers “interfering with human amenities, comfort, health, or property values”? Maybe you don’t want your climate to be warmer, but based on demographic trends over the past 40 years, you are most definitely in the minority of Americans. And what about everyone else? Does your comfort outweigh the benefits of bringing electricity or clean water to some 2 + billion people who currently lack them? Why do you think India and China blow off attempts to limit or make more expensive carbon emissions? (And at the end of the day, even if all of us believe that “climate change” is mankinds most pressing problem , nothing we do matters without those two nations participating.)

        You say that the amount of CO2 we have right now is OK. Perhaps you should change your moniker to Goldielocks. Taking such a position pretty much eliminates you as someone with which to engage. I can see the Max I know thinking like this, but he’s 9. And this statement – “calling CO2 a pollutant annoys skeptics/deniers, which I like to do, so I will continue to call CO2 a pollutant.” – certainly sounds like something a 9 year old would say.

        So, are you interested in having a serious discussion or do you just want to “annoy” people?

    • timg56 | April 24, 2013 at 3:47 pm |

      You appear confused. In Bart R’s world, bearing false witness would be a wrong.

      But that’d be an issue for you to consider in the privacy of your own conscience.

      • Not confused at all Bart.

        Being up on that high horse of yours does not equate to the moral and intellectual superiorty you project. Except maybe in “Bart R’s world”.

    • Little known facts, there. Even the EPA itself resisted the push to demonize CO2 for a while, but once forced to ride that horse, has taken to whipping it with gay abandon.

  35. Not to be a completely Negative Nancy…. but aren’t the estimates of carbon dioxide production based on models and not actual, empirical measurements? Has Steve “audited” the models yet?

  36. To All,

    In assessing the relative impact of (i) regulatory measures,(ii) increased natural gas production and related price reductions, and (iii) recession on US carbon emissions reductions, note that the impact of economic troubles for most Americans has extended beyond the official end of the recession (2009). The Pew Research Center today released information about net worth increases in the US showing that post-recession net worth increases in 2009-2011 were confined to a very limited number of high net worth Americans (http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/04/23/a-rise-in-wealth-for-the-wealthydeclines-for-the-lower-93/). The Pew report states:

    “During the first two years of the nation’s economic recovery, the mean net worth of households in the upper 7% of the wealth distribution rose by an estimated 28%, while the mean net worth of households in the lower 93% dropped by 4%, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of newly released Census Bureau data.

    ****

    These wide variances were driven by the fact that the stock and bond market rallied during the 2009 to 2011 period while the housing market remained flat.

    Affluent households typically have their assets concentrated in stocks and other financial holdings, while less affluent households typically have their wealth more heavily concentrated in the value of their home.”

    From this data, we can infer that the 93% of households suffering a continued decline in new worth continued to limit their driving and other energy consumption even after the official end of the recession in 2009. The economic pressure on those households remained intense until at least 2011 (the last year for which US Census data is currently available) and thus overlaps the period of carbon emissions reductions more than seems to have been accounted for in the Energy Collective analysis. That conclusion raises questions about the reliability of the Energy Collective’s “very rough estimate [that] the split between ‘energy efficiency improvements and the economic recession’ impacts could possibly be a ration [sic] of 50:50.” The shallow nature of US post-recession growth has implications for how to apportion the continued decline in US carbon emissions among regulatory measures, increased gas production and economic weakness, and whether the declines we are currently seeing are sustainable if and when the return of US growth extends more deeply into the economy.

    If anyone can point me to an analysis that takes account of this view of the post-recession US economy, I would grateful.

    I hope this is useful.

    MK

  37. Curious George

    The real problem is not fuels, but the way we use them. Imagine a little pile of grass that is a cow’s food for a day. Now dry it and burn the resulting hay in a combustion engine. How far would it propel you?

    Yet the cow somehow not only survives on it, but it also moves, produces milk and offspring. How? It does not burn the fuel. Its digestive system would better be described as a fuel cell.

    There are two inefficiencies with a combustion process. First, the Carnot limit of a conversion of a heat energy to a useful work, (TH-TA)/TH, where TH is a high temperature achieved by combustion, and TA the ambient temperature – usually around 300 degrees K. To achieve a high efficiency (ideally approaching 100%) you have to make TH as high as possible, let’s say 900 K for a 67% efficiency. Cylinders and pistons will be too hot at that temperature, and also a lot of harmful nitrogen oxides will be produced.

    This brings us to the other inefficiency – we don’t use pure oxygen; air contains four molecules of nitrogen for every molecule of oxygen. We have to heat all those free-riders, severely limiting our ability to achieve high temperatures even far away from cylinder/piston walls.

    Instead of burning bio-fuels together with fossil fuels, we have to develop a fuel cell technology for everyday, dirty fuels. Not an easy task; we are struggling even with pure hydrogen-oxygen fuel cells. But a cow knows how to do it.

    • Curios

      Yeah.

      But the cow generates a lot of by-product methane, a GHG 20 times as powerful as the much-maligned CO2.

      Max

      • Max,

        Then you collect the methane to run the stove (or grill) that you use to cook the cow.

        If biofuels are ever going to work, I suspect it will require breakthroughs in digestion chemistry. Which is what researchers are working on. I’m not holding my breath.

      • timg56

        I like your cow methane to operate grill approach.

        Looks like the Argentines (big beef eaters) have developed a backpack system for capturing the gas, so an easy operable, fully self-sustainable system may soon be available on Amazon.

        http://phys.org/news135003243.html

        Max

      • Max,

        I feel for the guy they give the backpack to in order to collect the methane. I wonder if he’s told to say nice soothing statements to the cow while trying to insert the collector.

      • it’s a hazardous job – but somebody’s gotta do it.

      • A bogus figure. And most comes from belching, not flatulance. The whole meme is bogus.

  38. Sorry Curious George – I chopped off your name.

  39. Thye usual typos (
    Pardonnez moi.

  40. Just publshed:
    Energy intensities, EROIs (energy returned on invested), and energy payback times of electricity generating power plants

    Abstract

    The energy returned on invested, EROI, has been evaluated for typical power plants representing wind energy, photovoltaics, solar thermal, hydro, natural gas, biogas, coal and nuclear power. The strict exergy concept with no “primary energy weighting”, updated material databases, and updated technical procedures make it possible to directly compare the overall efficiency of those power plants on a uniform mathematical and physical basis. Pump storage systems, needed for solar and wind energy, have been included in the EROI so that the efficiency can be compared with an “unbuffered” scenario. The results show that nuclear, hydro, coal, and natural gas power systems (in this order) are one order of magnitude more effective than photovoltaics and wind power.

    [my emphaisis]

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544213000492

  41. Max,
    The thing about population growth, stats show that as
    people become more afluent, everywhere, they have
    smaller families.
    Hans Roslings of Medecine sans frontiere background
    who has studied global trends reveals the myths we
    accept about third world development.
    TED talks.
    Beth

    • Beth

      Thanks fer that.

      Ah wuz feelin down, ’cause Okie wuz gonna pass me the “go to jail” card fer not bein all skeered outa mah britches bout more of that ther see-oh-too in the air, lahk he is (pore feller).

      Now Ah feel lots better.

      Yore feller serf Max

    • Beth, so that’s why my children born while I was unemployed grew to six feet, those born while I had a decent income were only five feet two. A mystery explained.

    • The Low Band (the only one that’s ever correct) of the UN Population Survey predicts peak <8bn around 2045. Depopulation thereafter. That will be the real crisis and kicker.

  42. Max_OK, ??? Hmmm …
    I’m afraid you – you – are – not!
    A serf .

    • Beth, if you are saying that Max is not a serf, it must be true, there are no serf-boards on or near Lake Geneva.

      • Yer quick with te repartee, Faustino.
        The Max who- is -not is Max -oh – Kay!
        Not Max the serf.
        The other serf.

  43. I got faith in these expectations but am uncertain it’s settled. A more measured estimate awaits.
    ====================

  44. It’s been cold, snowy and miserable around here so far this year.

    Now the newspapers tell us why.

    http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/wissen/natur/So-wenig-Sonne-wie-seit-30-Jahren-nicht-mehr/story/16882856

    So far this year there have been only half as many sunshine hours as normal, a 30-year low.

    “It’s the sun, stupid!”.

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  47. Pooh, Dixie

    The Clean Air Act gave EPA the authority to declare anything airborne to be a pollutant. (Bart R http://judithcurry.com/2013/04/21/what-are-the-factors-contributing-to-the-reduction-in-u-s-carbon-emissions/#comment-315119 )

    There have been claims that the EPA decision was based upon “Science”. Alan Carlin disagreed. Here are a few readings suggesting Politics drove the decision to dictate that CO2 was a pollutant.

    Carlin, Alan. “Comments on Proposed EPA Endangerment Technical Support Document.” Scientific Blog. Carlin Economics and Science, July 9, 2009. http://www.carlineconomics.com/archives/1

    “On June 25th the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) released a draft copy of my report critical of the science underlying EPA’s proposed position on Endangerment under the Clean Air Act and the role of CO2 in global warming saying:

    “The released report is a draft version, prepared under EPA’s unusually short internal review schedule, and thus may contain inaccuracies which were corrected in the final report. While we hoped that EPA would release the final report, we’re tired of waiting for this agency to become transparent, even though its Administrator has been talking transparency since she took office. So we are releasing a draft version of the report ourselves, today,” said CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman.
    CEI noted that: Internal EPA email messages, released by CEI earlier that week, indicate that in their view the report was kept under wraps and that I was silenced because of pressure to support the Administration’s agenda of regulating carbon dioxide.”

    Carlin, Alan. “Why the UN GHG Hypothesis Should Be Rejected on Scientific Grounds.” Scientific Blog. Carlin Economics and Science, August 9, 2009. http://www.carlineconomics.com/archives/172

    “Accordingly, using this hypothesis has no scientific basis based on current knowledge concerning these four comparisons. Attempts to argue that it is anything more than a religious or superstitious belief must show that the data used in each and every one of these tests (as well as others that may be proposed in the future) is wrong.

    “Accordingly, using the UN hypothesis as a basis for formulating policy is not useful or relevant from a scientific viewpoint. Attempts to do so are likely to lead to scientifically unsound policy. Given that the current proposed “solution”–radically reducing CO2 emissions–would cost many tens of trillions of dollars, it is particularly incumbent on those advocating this very large expenditure (for which there are many other uses if it should actually become available) to show that their solution should not also be rejected since it is based on a hypothesis that should be rejected.”

    Kazman, Sam. Letter to Environmental Protection Agency. “Re: Proposed Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases Under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0171,” June 23, 2009. http://cei.org/cei_files/fm/active/0/Endangerment%20Comments%206-23-09.pdf

    “Email # 3: March 17 email from Mr. McGartland to Mr. Carlin, stating that he will not forward Mr. Carlin’s study.
    “The time for such discussion of fundamental issues has passed for this round. The administrator and the administration has decided to move forward on endangerment, and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision.
    …. I can only see one impact of your comments given where we are in the process, and that would be a very negative impact on our office.”

    Alan Carlin retired or was retired. His site is still active, as is he.

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