Week in review – energy and policy edition

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

The #Hydropower #Methane Bomb No One Wants to Talk About  [link]

The EPA’s clean power plan oversteps federal authority [link]

This device made at Georgia Tech turns light into electrical current [link]

New York’s revolutionary plan to remake its power utilities  [link]

Seven practical steps to protect our cities from the effects of climate change|[link]

The lack of functioning weather service creates major hole in planning, esp for poor, climate-vulnerable countries [link]

Turning human feces into car fuel? An idea that great deserves a MacArthur genius award, and it got one. [link]

Focus on the here and now, rather than on apocalyptic warnings of the future [link]

CO2 Malthusian Buzzkill: Global poverty rate falls to record low amid record high population  [link]

“Donald Trump’s Base Energy Plan: 25 Inconvenient Truths for Al Gore – Forbes” [link] …

The Ganges River Is Dying Under the Weight of Modern #India
[link]

Oversupply and competition between clean energy and fossil energy [link]

Vast #solar plant in Spain uses molten salts to produce #energy after dark. [link]

You know about net neutrality. Meet grid neutrality. [link] …

“Court blocks Obama’s @EPA water rule nationwide” [link]

Paris Climate Summit May Fall If Developed Nations Don’t Deliver, India Warns  [link]

India’s symbolic “climate commitment” allows country to triple CO2 emissions by 2030 [link]

“Four more carmakers join diesel emissions ‘scandal’: Mercedes, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi  [link]

Paris all about future of capitalism, not climate [link]

Consensus German Professor: Europe’s €6 TRILLION Climate Policy Is “Very Expensive,Counter-Productive,Does Nothing For Climate [link] …

#Chile’s “third way” of climate change [link]  …

“Climate stalemate”. Oliver Geden’s review of John Vogler’s excellent book “Climate Change in World Politics” [link]

India Rejects Draft Text For UN Climate Deal [link]

#Scientists Turn Green Algae Into #Biofuel at $50 a Barrel [link] …

How much progress has the UN made on forging a climate deal?. [link]

Experts urge G20 to co-ordinate carbon pricing to quell competitiveness fears | [link]

California builds the country’s largest solar desalination plant [link] …

Court in Pakistan rules the country must protect its citizens from climate change [link]

New IPCC chief touts role for business [link]

“The German Coal Conundrum” [link]

Westinghouse announces new reactor technology frontier [link]

 

147 responses to “Week in review – energy and policy edition

  1. Pingback: Week in review – energy and policy edition | Enjeux énergies et environnement

  2. The Renewables Future – A Summary of Findings
    http://euanmearns.com/the-renewables-future-a-summary-of-findings/

    An excellent post and contains links to 24 previous posts on renewables matters. There’s a lot of useful information in these for people who are struggling to sort out what’s important and relevant.

    In short they show why renewables care a massive wast o of money and cannot provide much of the worlds energy. Therefore, they cannot make much of a contribution to cutting global GHG emissions.

    Renewable advocacy is another example of massive group think, just like CAGW.

    This new post is also interesting, as are some of the comments: http://euanmearns.com/a-note-on-uk-renewable-load-factors/

    • Peter

      So are you advocating that work on renewable energy (or non fossil fuel energy) be a low priority? Imo–that would be poor policy

      • Rob,

        No. That is definitely not what I was meaning I was meaning public funding for applied research should handed out in proportion to the likely return on investemtn over the long term. Clearly research on nuclear energy has a potemntially enormous return on investment whereas funding for renewables has negligible return on investment because it can never achoieve much. have you read “The Catch 22 of energy storage”http://bravenewclimate.com/2014/08/22/catch-22-of-energy-storage/

      • I was meaning public funding for applied research should handed out in proportion to the likely return on investemtn [sic] over the long term.

        You were meaning “public funding for applied research should handed out” for what you like, not for what you dislike. Then you make up BS “proofs” why what you like will have a better “return on investemtn [sic] over the long term.

        All of those “proofs” based on straw men, like the one you linked above.

        Perhaps there shouldn’t be any “public funding for applied research to be “handed out”. Perhaps things should be set up so that any technology that can be made to work makes a profit. In proportion to how well it works. Let private investors, lots of them with potentially different opinions, decide which R&D to fund.

    • Rob: there is a difference between doing research on something and implementing something that does not work because it makes one feel virtuous.

    • Let’s take a look at your first link above: The Renewables Future – A Summary of Findings. This pretty much downbeat post references (among many others) one specific prior post: Renewable Energy Storage and Power-To-Methane. (Both by Roger Andrews.)

      In short they show why renewables care a massive wast o of money and cannot provide much of the worlds energy. Therefore, they cannot make much of a contribution to cutting global GHG emissions.

      What they actually represent is a straw man argument against “renewables”.

      Reading these posts, it’s clear to see that the entire “unworkability” of the 100% “renewable” plans depends on the supposed “unworkability” of the “Power-to-Methane” approach. And here’s what he says about that:

      The technology must be commercialized: This will be a major undertaking because at present there is only one small commercial power-to-methane plant in operation in the world – the 6.3MW ETOGAS plant in Germany, which produces methane by chemically combining hydrogen from electrolysis with CO2 from a neighboring biogas plant. The electrolysis process works with intermittent renewable energy – an advantage – but while the plant consumes 6MW of electricity it outputs only about 3MW worth of methane.

      […]

      And when this energy loss is allowed for we find that over five thousand ETOGAS-sized plants will be needed to fuel the 17GW of gas-fired capacity ADEME considers necessary to support 100% renewables generation (which itself appears to be an underestimate. 17GW of capacity would have to operate at a 166% capacity factor to generate the 19,000GWh projected in February – see ADEME Figure 34 above.) An energy storage system that works at only 50% efficiency – less when downstream losses are taken into account – is of course inefficient but still preferable to having no storage system at all.

      CO2 feedstock for the methane plants must be obtained: This is another potential roadblock. If ETOGAS consumes 2,800 tons of CO2 a year then roughly 15 million tons of CO2 will be needed to support 2050 methane production. ADEME claims that this CO2 will be obtainable from “numerous possible sources” but there are actually only two –biogas and carbon capture & storage. By 2020 France is projected to have 740 biogas generation plants with 315MW of installed capacity, but these would still supply only about 150,000 tons/year of CO2 even if all of it were captured, and CCS isn’t applicable even if it could be commercialized because ADEME’s 2050 scenario doesn’t allow for any. [my bolding]

      In addition there are comments regarding pipelines and financial incentives. Both are valid, but both represent problems to be solved, not insuperable obstacles.

      It’s in the paragraph about “CO2 feedstock for the methane plants” that he constructs his gloomy straw man. Look again at the bolded part above:

      […] there are actually only two –biogas and carbon capture & storage.

      This is, at best, negligent deception. There is, of course, another very important option: ambient CO2 capture. In fact, Roger Andrews need have looked no farther than one of your favorite blogs: Zero emission synfuel from seawater by John Morgan.

      Applying the capital, operating expense, and cost of energy assumptions made by the Navy researchers gives a carbon capture cost of about $114 per tonne CO2, using Navy nuclear electricity at 7.0 c/kWh. If sequestered – perhaps by injection into spent offshore oil or gas fields, as this is a marine process – this would be offset by any carbon price that might apply, currently $23/tonne in Australia, for a net $91 per tonne (exclusive of sequestration costs).

      […]

      Not everyone has the Navy’s interest in manufacturing at sea. What if the process were operated from a land based site? The largest capital component in the Navy costing is the floating platform, which adds a huge $650m to a 200 MWe power plant. If the platform cost were taken out, the fuel cost drops to a bargain basement $0.79 per litre, and the carbon capture cost drops to $37 per tonne!

      Now remember, this is using current off-the-shelf technology, prior to economies of scale, learning curve, and a few decades of technological improvement.

      So, based on current costs, the claim might be made that it’s not competitive with fossil fuel. But it’s certainly scalable. And if the cost of solar PV keeps dropping as it has been, even with a 30% turnaround efficiency (between power at the PV cell and power at the output of a CCGT generator), it could soon (2-3 decades) be cheaper to use solar power to create gas and liquid fuel than to dig it out of the ground.

      And it’s quite likely that not only the cost of solar PV will continue to decline, but also the newer technologies for extracting CO2 and converting it (and H2) to gas/liquid fuel. There appears to be a general trend for technologies to decline in cost with increasing production [Nagy et al. (2013) ref here]

      And that’s before you even figure in whatever fossil carbon externality costs/subsidies/percentages are applied.

      And if solar PV fails to continue its exponential cost decline? It will work fine for nuclear. Essentially, then, fossil neutral energy is completely doable, and if solar is up to it, will be cheaper than fossil fuels, while even if it isn’t, won’t be that much more expensive. Perhaps not at all, depending on how much the cost of nuclear fission can be brought down through enlightened regulatory rationalization.

      • AK,

        Sorry, I gave up reading your rubbish at the second paragraph where you wrongly accuse the author of a strawman when it was actually you that used a strawman.

        What they actually represent is a straw man argument against “renewables”.
        Reading these posts, it’s clear to see that the entire “unworkability” of the 100% “renewable” plans depends on the supposed “unworkability” of the “Power-to-Methane” approach.

        You totally misrepresented the post. You continually display intellectual dishonesty. You make no attempt to debate in good faith.

      • You totally misrepresented the post. You continually display intellectual dishonesty. You make no attempt to debate in good faith.

        That’s just an excuse to avoid buckling down and showing how I supposedly “totally misrepresented the post.” Pot:kettle:black.

      • Two nuclear power plants provide 7% of California’s electricity. Two provide 20% of the state of Georgia’s electricity. Isn’t that peachy? Kind of pithy…

      • ” if solar is up to it, will be cheaper than fossil fuels, while even if it isn’t, won’t be that much more expensive. ”

        Solar will never be up to it… once you factor in the MANDATORY storage, as soon as the penetration goes above its capacity factor, the whole cost of it, and social acceptability goes wrong, and PV stops right there.
        Just look at Spain, or Italy, sunny countries where as soon as the “incentives” have been reduced or removed practically nobody has installed PV anymore.
        Italy has gone from being the first country on the planet for installations (in 2011, 9 GWp) at a time when incentives were at the level of 30 Eurocents/kWh, to installing only 127 MWp in the first 6 months of 2015… when the “incentives” have been reduced to a mere 50% recovery of the cost in 10 years (tax break).

        PV will go down as one of the biggest scams in human history… a Ponzi scheme that like all Ponzi schemes will collapse sooner or later… it is just a matter or time.

  3. The #Hydropower #Methane Bomb No One Wants to Talk About [link]

    Not one word about breathing air quality due the the methane from these dams.

    Methane and CO2 have caused no measurable warming. They only create warming in climate model output that does not match real data.

    We must divert some the money to study natural variability. The temperature over the most recent ten thousand years has been regulated in amazing tight bounds, the same in both hemispheres, in spite of huge changes to the solar input to the North and the South.

    http://popesclimatetheory.com/page85.html

    • What I find amusing / alarming about that article is the author’s total lack of recognition that leaves, vegetation, etc. are going to decompose anyway and if they do so on land more of the decomposition products – CO2, methane… – are likely to be released to the atmosphere than if they decompose in the water.

      • That would depend on the relative fractions of decomposition that’s aerated. Most land is aerated, into the actual soil, much less leaves and other detritus on top of it.

      • I am still wondering why the Moon isn’t buried in many feet of cosmic dust. Someday it will all make sense.

      • Curious George

        No one realizes that coal is produced in a non-aerated environment. We have a powerful carbon sink here.

      • “What I find amusing / alarming about that article is the author’s total lack of recognition that leaves, vegetation, etc. are going to decompose anyway”
        Indeed – if we extrapolate the author’s view further, all lakes are bad.
        Evil Lake Pollution!

      • We have a powerful carbon sink here.

        Most likely not since “roughly 300 million years ago”. Apparently, at that time the “white rot” fungus families evolved and underwent highly successful adaptive radiation, putting an end to the coal ages.

        “White rot” fungus uses digestive enzymes based on fungal class II peroxidases, which includes a peroxide group which can oxidatively attack lignin in ways that more typical enzymes usually can’t.

        Recent work has suggested that it’s more complex than that (it always is), but the general pattern still seems to be “that the origin of lignin degradation might have coincided with the sharp decrease in the rate of organic carbon burial around the end of the Carboniferous period.

      • Curious George

        Most brown coal deposits (a major source of energy for Germany) formed during the Tertiary period, less than 66 M years ago. I wonder why environmentalists fight a carbon sink.

      • Most brown coal deposits ([…]) formed during the Tertiary period, less than 66 M years ago. I wonder why environmentalists fight a carbon sink.

        I’d forgotten that “brown coal”, lignite, wasn’t really coal:

        Lignite, often referred to as brown coal, is a soft brown combustible sedimentary rock formed from naturally compressed peat. It is considered the lowest rank of coal due to its relatively low heat content. It has a carbon content around 25-35%. It is mined in all around the world and is used almost exclusively as a fuel for steam-electric power generation, but is also mined for its germanium content in China. About 26.3% of Germany’s electricity comes from lignite power plants,[1] while in Greece, lignite provides about 50% of its power needs.

        Indeed, there has been considerable work, and speculation regarding geo-engineering, involving peat (sphagnum) bogs. For instance, from 2009: Peat and Repeat: Can Major Carbon Sinks Be Restored by Rewetting the World’s Drained Bogs?

        “Peatlands only cover about 3 percent of the Earth but they accumulate more carbon than tropical rainforests,” says biogeochemist Nancy Dise of Manchester Metropolitan University in England. “In terms of sitting there kind of quietly year after year packing away massive amounts of carbon, nothing tops these peatlands.”

        […]

        Belts of land where peat forms circle the globe in its boreal regions—in Canada and Russia, primarily, but also Alaska and Scandinavia. It also forms in the tropics—Indonesia, Brazil and the Congo—and in the far Southern Hemisphere where there is land—Chile, Argentina and various Southern Ocean archipelagos. The key is humidity, which is, of course, linked to the global climate and weather patterns. “Peat is conserved because of humid conditions,” explains peat scientist Hans Joosten of the University of Greifswald in Germany. “Peatland is 95 percent water. This means that peat is wetter than milk but you can walk over it. It’s the closest you can get to Jesus Christ.”

        […]

        And the primary thing humans do to peatlands is drain them, often by cutting canals—65 million hectares of peatlands worldwide have been transformed this way. In the Netherlands a millennia or more of drainage has taken land that ranged from five meters above to 10 meters below sea level and necessitated the development of such Dutch technologies as polders (low-lying patches of land encircled by embankments) and windmills to keep or pump the water out. In essence, ditches are cut into the peat in order to drain it for conversion to farmland, to float out logs or for other human activities. The peatland subsides and the ditches become shallower. To continue draining, the ditches have to be dug deeper and the cycle begins anew. “They call this the Devil’s circle of peatland exploitation,” Joosten notes, and it is occurring globally, including millions of hectares drained in Russia and Scandinavia to boost forest growth.

        As you can see, drainage of bogs and peatlands has been a major contributor to CO2 emissions (perhaps in the same league as fossil fuel burning), and has been done for reasons of economic development.

        Far from objecting to such a carbon sink, environmentalists are fighting to preserve and restore them.

      • Curious George

        From http://www.australianminesatlas.gov.au/education/fact_sheets/coal.html:
        “Most [black coal deposits] are of Permian age (about 250 million years old), but lower-rank, younger deposits of Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous ages are also important.”

      • “I am still wondering why the Moon isn’t buried in many feet of cosmic dust. Someday it will all make sense.”

        Actually… the moon’s surface IS buried in dust.

  4. The #Hydropower #Methane Bomb No One Wants to Talk About [link]

    I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and IMO there’s a pretty good market-based solution:

    First, cover most of the surface of these reservoirs with floating solar PV. Within a few years, the cost of the ancillary mounting and connection for floating PV on still fresh water will be lower than standard ground-based utility PV. This will shade most of the water, reducing algae growth that produces most of the detritus that decays.

    Add pumping and increased generating capacity to use the existing reservoirs for storage as well as base generation.

    Next, use a little of that power to keep the water stirred and aerated: this will substantially reduce anoxic decay that produces methane. This could be done at times when the solar production is at its peak, or whenever the cost of energy is lowest, depending on specific circumstances.

    Third, set up an industry pumping sediment from the bottom, and selling it for use in agriculture. (Note that electric power will be available for this.) This will prevent most of the remaining decay, and (AFAIK) provide a useful source of fertilizer as well.

  5. Also, while on the surface Exxon denies much effect from global warming, in their back rooms they plan for it, because it affects their economics, especially what they do in the Arctic. It’s another case of don’t listen to what they say, watch what they do, to know what they really think.
    http://graphics.latimes.com/exxon-arctic/

    • Looks like the research of the scientists hired by Exxon amounted to a lot of potential this and potential that. The article says of scientist Croasdale:

      “He did not recommend making investment decisions based on those scenarios, because he believed the science was still uncertain.”

      What exactly would you expect Exxon to do with that advice, yimmy? Stop selling oil? The science is still uncertain. Stop whinging and grow TF up, yimmy.

    • re: “Conservationist says apocalyptic views about climate change don’t work to change minds” So he is recommending making all kinds of other unsubstantiated claims of more immediate impact like “Climate change is making your wines taste bad.” ~rolling my eyes~

      • Don’t know why that comment above went in there but anyway re Exxon, so what? Their scientists said it might happen, it might not happen and they prepare for either eventuality. Smart business not some grand conspiracy to defraud us and destroy the Earth.

      • Little yimmy thinks that upon hearing that there was potential for this and that sort of climate change, the Exxon BOD and corporate execs should have dressed in sackcloth, rolled around in ashes and shut down the oil wells. Of course, they would have been lynched. But that’s not yimmy’s problem.

    • Also, while on the surface Exxon denies much effect from global warming, in their back rooms they plan for it, because it affects their economics, especially what they do in the Arctic

      You know what, Jim? I’m calling you on this one. Produce the press release, stockholders report or corporate memo from Exxon where they deny global warming. Prove that, FOR ONCE, you’re not just regurgitating HuffPo anti fossil fuel conspiracy theories. If Exxon really is a part of the ‘Koch Funded Denial Machine’ then they must have Denied something at some point, right. Alternately, your claim could just be the ravings of another True Believer of the Klimate Kool-Aid Drinkers Society.

  6. Going to graduate from college with a usable skill? Forget degrees in Advanced Government Funding of Radical Environmental Conservationism. One Word: Westinghouse.

    Beyond electricity generation, [lead-cooled nuclear reactor] applications could include hydrogen production and water desalination. Also, the plant’s load-following capabilities will work in with the increased use of intermittent renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.

  7. David L. Hagen

    Pakistan/Indian famines vs anthropogenic climate change
    By what authority can courts coerce (aka “legislate”) governments to perform policies when neither understand historical natural droughts/floods and famines, nor the anthropogenic contributions to recent climate change? e.g. see: Edward R. Cook et al. Asian Monsoon Failure and Megadrought During the Last Millennium

    The Asian monsoon system affects more than half of humanity worldwide, yet the dynamical processes that govern its complex spatiotemporal variability are not sufficiently understood to model and predict its behavior, due in part to inadequate long-term climate observations. Here we present the Monsoon Asia Drought Atlas (MADA), a seasonally resolved gridded spatial reconstruction of Asian monsoon drought and pluvials over the past millennium, derived from a network of tree-ring chronologies. MADA provides the spatiotemporal details of known historic monsoon failures and reveals the occurrence, severity, and fingerprint of previously unknown monsoon megadroughts and their close linkages to large-scale patterns of tropical Indo-Pacific sea surface temperatures. MADA thus provides a long-term context for recent monsoon variability that is critically needed for climate modeling, prediction, and attribution.

    Science 23 April 2010: Vol. 328 no. 5977 pp. 486-489 DOI: 10.1126/science.1185188
    Per Wikipedia’s wisdom:

    Famine had been a recurrent feature of life in the Indian sub-continental countries of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and reached its numerically deadliest peak in the late 18th and 19th centuries. Historical and legendary evidence names some 90 famines in 2,500 years of history.[1] There are 14 recorded famines in India between the 11th and 17th centuries. Famines in India resulted in more than 60 million deaths over the course of the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries.

    Murton, Brian (2000), “VI.4: Famine”, The Cambridge World History of Food 2, Cambridge; New York, pp. 1411–27, OCLC 44541840
    Pakistan’s judicial climate ruling is Noble Cause Corruption, coercing without authority what neither the court nor the government nor climate science can quantify, nor verify, nor validate.
    Instead, the most effective actions will be to increase use of fossil fuels to increase Pakistan’s economy, increase food production, and provide major food storage to buffer famines from monsoon “failures” (droughts). Compare the effectiveness of Joseph in preparing for famine in ancient Egypt. Genesis 41.
    Far more serious than “climate change” (an equivocation for catastrophic major anthropogenic global warming”) is ground water depletion.
    See Third of Big Groundwater Basins in Distress

    the Arabian Aquifer System, an important water source for more than 60 million people, is the most overstressed in the world.
    The Indus Basin aquifer of northwestern India and Pakistan is the second-most overstressed, and the Murzuk-Djado Basin in northern Africa is third. California’s Central Valley, used heavily for agriculture and suffering rapid depletion, was slightly better off, but was still labeled highly stressed in the first study.

    It is critically important to implement ultra efficient water, efficient water capture and storage and desalination to address this problem.
    Pakistan has had better water collection and management than India. Yet, Pakistan would do well to seek and implement the most efficient water management technologies from Israel. e.g.:
    Israel: Innovations overcoming water scarcity

    Currently, Israel annually requires almost a billion cubic metres per year (MCM/year) more water than average natural replenishment provides. Nevertheless, average annual sustainable natural water consumption has been achieved, while nevertheless providing for all of the country’s water needs, via innovations that have involved overcoming extensive engineering, biological and logistic challenges. These innovations include:
    • A visionary, nationwide water conveyance system, constructed from 1955-64, to deliver water from the natural reserves in the north throughout the country, including the dry south;
    • Treatment and reuse of almost all of the nation’s domestic waste water for irrigation in the agricultural sector;
    • Highly advanced irrigation methods such as moisture-sensitive automated drip irrigation directly to plant roots;
    • Development of new crop strains that provide 10 times higher yield with the same amount of water;
    • Pioneering work in drilling exceptionally deep wells, reaching 1,500 metres and pump settings as high as 500 metres;
    • Large-scale desalination of seawater and brackish groundwater;
    • Controls of algae blooms in reservoirs for reused water;
    • Innovative, multi-tiered water safety methods, early warning systems and other technologies;
    • Innovative methods for minimising non-revenue water loss

    • David L. Hagen: By what authority can courts coerce (aka “legislate”) governments to perform policies when neither understand historical natural droughts/floods and famines, nor the anthropogenic contributions to recent climate change?

      The global warming alarmists and the strong proponents of divesting from fossil fuels do not seem to have been much moved by their ignorance of the natural processes of the climate.

  8. Vast solar plant in Spain uses molten salts to produce energy after dark.

    The article states that this plant will supply the power for 500,000 people. Andasol 1,2,3 combined supply about 450GWH (450,000MWH) per year of power. That would be about 900KWH per person per year. See: http://www.power-technology.com/projects/andasolsolarpower/

    By comparison, the average US home consumes about 10,000 KWH per year, and the average household contains about 2.5 persons, for an annual per capita household consumption of about 4,000 KWH. So in the US this plant could supply the home power for only about 45,000 households or roughly 113,000 citizens. Remember this is only home usage, not the electrical power required in their respective workplaces to generate the wealth required to support their lifestyles. BTW, Andasol cost about 900 million euros to build in 2008-2011, or about $1.2 billion US at the time. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andasol_Solar_Power_Station

    Of course, the home usage in this region of Spain is less than for the average US home. And reading more carefully, the author merely states that it will supply power to 500,000 people, not ALL the power they require. As with any article about a “green” subject, make sure to read between the lines

    On the other hand…. Molten salt heat storage can reduce the severity of the “duck curve” created by PV generation.

    • Curious George

      “The third plant [Andasol3] was commissioned in September 2011. Andasol 3 is expected to produce 165 million kilowatt hours of electricity every year.” Any real-life data since 2011?

    • Last time I looked, Andasol cost $19/W average power supplied – i.e. about four times the cost of nuclear. And nuclear can provide full power for 90% of the time – Andasol cannot go close to that.

  9. Re: Bio Fuel article
    I am convinced that algae to hydrocarbons is the new water fueled carburator.

    • It’s an extremely poor analogy.

      • All depends on your experience.
        Those with no experience think somehow a ridiculously hard to scale, inefficient, and biota destroying theory can work.
        Algal production of hydrocarbons is right up there with oceanic fish farming in terms of sheer destructiveness.
        Even if an algae were to be somehow magically genetically engineered to produce gasoline directly, the input costs would be ruinous much less the harvest issues. Like corn ethanol production but worse.

  10. #Scientists Turn Green Algae Into #Biofuel at $50 a Barrel [link] …

    That looks a little premature.

  11. My knee-jerk reaction is that this is a poor study, but I don’t have the full paper and at any rate I’m not a statistician. Why don’t these people ever study the effect of living near rave venues or something.
    From the article:

    Conclusion: Prenatal residential exposure to unconventional natural gas development activity was associated with two pregnancy outcomes, adding to evidence that unconventional natural gas development may impact health.

    http://journals.lww.com/epidem/Abstract/publishahead/Unconventional_Natural_Gas_Development_and_Birth.99128.aspx

    • Personally I wouldn’t get excited about any study that has a result of only 1.3 [95% confidence interval = 1.1, 1.7]). That is so close to one as to be only worthy of using as preliminary data for applying to some agency for a bigger grant to do a larger study. You can get that kind of thing just from some other random association the authors may not have controlled for. The article is behind a pay wall and I can’t get at it from my institution yet so I can’t be sure.

      • I was thinking people living near a fracking operation might be farmers, ranchers, or poor. There’s got to be a lot of things the brainiacs didn’t take into account.

      • Exactly. We used to get invitations to do epidemiological studies of electromagnetic radiation zones from environmental groups trying to stop building of power lines. They would offer us money to do the study, so we would, and then they would get upset when we didn’t find any association. One group even demanded their “grant” back but we always had a clause in the contract that we published what we found, they had no veto and couldn’t take the money back. I suspect this is the same thing, the anti frackers being the money source.

  12. I came across this on Slashdot. It struck a chord with me.

    There was some discordance between the Linxu kernel group and an Intel developer working on Linux. She was upset because the kernel group were crude, told sexist and homophobic jokes, and generally weren’t in the tea sipping set. She complained to Linus Torvalds, the guy that wrote the Linux kernel and heads up the kernel group. He basically told her she should accept the kernel developers as they are.

    AFAIK, I’ve never met a Finn. But my repect for Finns has shot up after reading this. Torvalds stood up for being a man, being a Finn, and not being PC.

    We in the West need to learn from this. He mentioned that being told to be more “professional” is nothing more than a manipulative tool. We in the West are targeted with manipulation all the time. We should feel guilty for being well off or white. The environmentalists wave “the children” like some kind of talisman to invoke guilt in society at large. Women do this against men, races do it against each other, and of course the PC police make up new ways to make us feel guilty for being ourselves all the time.

    In the case of the West, I think it’s become imperative that we become very tribal and focus our collective resistance to militant Muslims who are in no way compatible with Western values. Our very survival depends on it.

    From the article:

    Bullshit.

    The thing is, the “victim card” is exactly about trying to enforce
    your particular expectations on others, and trying to do so in a very
    particular way. It’s the old “think of the children” argument. And
    it’s bogus. Calling things “professional” is just more of the same –
    trying to enforce some kind of convention on others by trying to claim
    that it’s the only acceptable way.

    http://marc.info/?l=linux-kernel&m=137392506516022&w=2

  13. I came across this on Slashdot. It struck a chord with me.

    There was some discordance between the Linxu kernel group and an Intel developer working on Linux. She was upset because the kernel group were crude, told sexist and homophobic jokes, and generally weren’t in the tea sipping set. She complained to Linus Torvalds, the guy that wrote the Linux kernel and heads up the kernel group. He basically told her she should accept the kernel developers as they are.

    AFAIK, I’ve never met a Finn. But my repect for Finns has shot up after reading this. Torvalds stood up for being a man, being a Finn, and not being PC.

    We in the West need to learn from this. He mentioned that being told to be more “professional” is nothing more than a manipulative tool. We in the West are targeted with manipulation all the time. We should feel guilty for being well off or white. The environmentalists wave “the children” like some kind of talisman to invoke guilt in society at large. Women do this against men, races do it against each other, and of course the PC police make up new ways to make us feel guilty for being ourselves all the time.

    In the case of the West, I think it’s become imperative that we become very tribal and focus our collective resistance to militant Muslims who are in no way compatible with Western values. Our very survival depends on it.

    From the article:

    The thing is, the “victim card” is exactly about trying to enforce
    your particular expectations on others, and trying to do so in a very
    particular way. It’s the old “think of the children” argument. And
    it’s bogus. Calling things “professional” is just more of the same –
    trying to enforce some kind of convention on others by trying to claim
    that it’s the only acceptable way.

    http://marc.info/?l=linux-kernel&m=137392506516022&w=2

    • We see this play out here, when certain denizens call Dr. Curry a hypocrite, say she is inconsistent, or use other manipulative characterizations to discredit her.

  14. The EPA may one night come knocking on your door and stick a gun in your face. From the article:

    The Environmental Protection Agency has spent millions of dollars over the last decade on military-style weapons to arm its 200 “special agents” to fight environmental crime.

    Among the weapons purchased are guns, body armor, camouflage equipment, unmanned aircraft, amphibious assault ships, radar and night-vision gear and other military-style weaponry and surveillance activities, according to a new report by the watchdog group Open the Books.

    “Protecting the environment just got real. With millions of dollars spent on military style weaponry, the EPA is now literally ensconced with all institutional force,” said Adam Andrzejewski, founder of Open the Books and the author of the report.

    PHOTOS: See Obama’s biggest White House fails

    “Our report discovered that when the EPA comes knocking they are armed with a thousand lawyers, arrest/criminal data, credit, business and property histories, plus a ‘Special Agent’ with the latest in weaponry and technology,” Mr. Andrzejewski added.

    The agency spends nearly $75 million each year for criminal enforcement, including money for a small militia of 200 “special agents” charged with fighting environmental crime.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/oct/10/epa-spends-millions-on-military-style-weapons-repo/

  15. AUGUST 21, 2015 | OPINION
    CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE NEXT GREAT RECESSION

    Talk of climate change tends to focus on future catastrophes in distant places, but rising temperatures may already be hitting our productivity.

    In a bid to cement his legacy as a champion of the environment, President Obama’s administration recently unveiled regulations aimed at tackling climate change by fostering our use of clean, renewable energy. While we applaud the federal government for taking a stand on one of the most important issues of our time, we believe the most pressing issue of climate change is economic.

    An emerging body of research suggests that rising temperatures are eating into our productivity right now, in part due to the fact that human beings haven’t evolved to operate well at climatic extremes. If we continue to move at our present pace, the possible future economic impact is equivalent to an endless Great Recession.

    http://www8.gsb.columbia.edu/ideas-at-work/publication/1756

    • Yep. I know I don’t do as well at 4pm after the temp has increased from 75-85F. No chance folks who grow up with a .8C warmer ‘global climate’ will be able to work 75 years from now. /sarc off

    • Rising temperatures are eating into our productivity? In the old South 100 yrs ago it got too hot to work at times, but my farmer friend plows his fields in an air-conditioned tractor. Who exactly suffers from the heat at work today (in developed countries)? I doubt if more than a handful do, and they can take a break somewhere and get cooled off and sip on a slushy.

    • Re: climatic extremes.

      No mention of the economic impact or change in productivity from less cold (warmer) winters.

    • Josuha,

      For your education:

      The Left – from its official, organised top to its nihilistic, lawless bottom – does not have a programme for running the country. It has a set of grievances that range from the inchoate and indefinable to pious dissatisfaction with whatever unsatisfactory conditions may prevail in any area of life. It is now an alliance of convenience between self-serving vested interests and the flotsam of wildly disparate protest

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/11924403/Theres-no-such-thing-as-Left-and-Right-any-more-can-we-all-agree-on-that.html

    • bedeverethewise

      You posted this as an example of ridiculous nonsense, right? Surely you can’t be serious.

  16. Seven practical steps to protect us from ‘climate change’
    I get it now
    ‘climate change’ is the new phrase for bad weather and disasters
    bad weather and natural disasters were caused by nature
    ‘climate change’ is caused by us
    gosh … I’m feeling too guilty to prepare

    • LOL! Now we can fight climate change by having our three day emergency supply in place. That is just dandy!.

      • seriously
        after what, two centuries of enlightened thinking?
        where we stopped blaming everything on sin
        we’ve come full circle
        it’s our fault again

      • rebelronin

        Good news! I am the officially approved Climate Etc ‘Indulgences’ reseller.

        Buy as many as you want to absolve your carbon sins.

        tonyb

      • tonyb
        :)
        I can think of no one better for the job
        Lordy
        isn’t that exactly the carbon tax?
        this may not be the warmest historical period, but I predict an unprecedented increase in hilarity
        love you man

      • rebelronin,

        I haven’t got any carbon tacks.

        Can I sell you some carpet tacks instead?

      • Uber-rich mega-consumer, Russell Brand, has made jet trails to Australia to, er, condemn uber-rich, mega-consuming jet trail makers.

        Tonyb can make do all the special offers he likes, but wherever the Sunsilk Kid buys his indulgences…that’s the one-stop carbon shop for me!

  17. From the article:

    “The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil. We see before us a huge community of producers the members of which are unceasingly striving to deprive each other of the fruits of their collective labor—not by force, but on the whole in faithful compliance with legally established rules. In this respect, it is important to realize that the means of production—that is to say, the entire productive capacity that is needed for producing consumer goods as well as additional capital goods—may legally be, and for the most part are, the private property of individuals.

    I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals. In such an economy, the means of production are owned by society itself and are utilized in a planned fashion. A planned economy, which adjusts production to the needs of the community, would distribute the work to be done among all those able to work and would guarantee a livelihood to every man, woman, and child. The education of the individual, in addition to promoting his own innate abilities, would attempt to develop in him a sense of responsibility for his fellow men in place of the glorification of power and success in our present society.

    Albert Einstein

    http://monthlyreview.org/2009/05/01/why-socialism/

    • Jim

      Reading this quickly I thought you were continuing with your occasional postings about presidential candidates and this was a speech by bernie sanders! He’s quite left wing, especially for Americans but seems popular.

      Tonyb

      • Tonyb,

        “He’s quite left wing, especially for Americans but seems popular.”

        Yes, with the left. However, many mainstream Democrats find themselves without a candidate and feel compelled to either support Bernie or risk a loss of the presidency to the Republicans. The odd thing is that not-in-jail -yet Hillary Clinton polls well against some of the Republican candidates. I guess some democrats think their own crook is ok. Whatever. On the plus side, Hillary is not an ideologue – she can be bought.

      • JW,
        “On the plus side, Hillary is not an ideologue – she can be bought.”
        So name one (a politician) to whom this would not apply.

      • I am in moderation. Mystifying.

      • Danny, I’ve known many, though they are thinner on the ground now. The late Senator Peter Walsh is a fine example.

      • Faustino,
        I’m sure there are more, but singling out one (Hillary) is not quite optimal.

        Who knows what’s really going on out there? http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/10/us-usa-clinton-benghazi-idUSKCN0S40ZC20151010

        Is the truth what we’re told, what we’re not told, or somewhere in between?

      • Moderation: justin, it makes you wonder!

      • Danny, I thought that Justin was suggesting that Hilary’s ideology being tempered by venality was a positive, unlike a dyed-in-the-wool full bore ideologist, it is possible to get her to shift her position. Let’s hope so.

      • Faustino,
        I’m hoping she’s truly a pragmatist as I think she just might be driving the bus soon (based on how things seem to be progressing).

      • Singling out Hillary is not optimal??? Danny, has it escaped your attention that she wants to be President??? This is more than enough reason to focus on her and point out her many warts!! Really, Danny.

      • Jim2,
        Yes, she should be examined with a magnifying glass. But she should not be ‘singled out’. Everyone who’s applying for that position deserves the same treatment. Surely you don’t have an issue with that.

      • Faustino,

        “Danny, I thought that Justin was suggesting that Hilary’s ideology being tempered by venality was a positive, unlike a dyed-in-the-wool full bore ideologist, it is possible to get her to shift her position. Let’s hope so.”

        Unfortunately, her “flexibility” is not a positive. I think we are finding out , via the emails she tried to hide, that big donors to her foundation were getting special face to face access to the highest level of the government while she was the secretary of state. Read this WaPo article and do some googling. Something is very rotten in Denmark and I smell a rat. If not for cowardice of the Obama AG, the candidacy would be lost, the candidacy would be lost…she deserves extra scrutiny from the department of justice.

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/how-hillary-clinton-kept-her-wealthy-friends-close-while-at-state-department/2015/10/05/5cfbe884-6930-11e5-9223-70cb36460919_story.html

      • JW and Faustino,
        First, thanks for the link. I have zero doubt that money opens doors in politics in our country in such a way that an average Joe is at a distinct disadvantage. I’ve no issue with taking a long hard look at Hillary and having such a public (First Lady, Senate, Sec. of State) life the tools such as the 30K e-mails are certainly due inspection (as the article indicates has been done). My issue is that we ‘single out’ any one of the candidates. Any one who chooses to run for office of the POTUS deserves the same kind of scrutiny. To imply that money only allows access to one candidate at the exclusion of others is simply improbable.

        Excerpts from the article state: “The e-mails that mention donors — numbering a few dozen out of the thousands of pages of messages released so far — do not show that financial supporters were able to alter policy decisions.”

        And further in that paragraph: ” her public business as secretary inevitably brought her in contact with private interests that helped boost her family’s philanthropy and income.” It seems this is the way it works in D.C. Congresspeople become lobbyists, incomes are padded, and powerful friends in high places have access. Focusing all on one while turning a blind eye to others? Not the best approach to evaluations.

      • One other point re: singling out is that the msm is full bore on not only singling out, but distorting in virtually any imaginable/negative way any position republican candidates take while providing cover for the likes of hillary – either through direct support or failing to examine her actions with the same microscope used for republicans. We are in serious trouble for many reasons, which include the clear bias of the msm and the continuing dumbing down of the US electoric.

    • And yet, Einstein had to flee from a socialist country.
      It is ironic that the smart man could not see that no one is smart enough to figure out how much of what to produce and where to send it or what price to price it. That is why socialism (pure socialism) always fails. In addition, no one is as motivated as an individual working in the hope of reward, whether within a company or as an owner. That is why productivity of government entities (think “post office”) is so low–no reward for better performance, so why bother?

    • It should come as no surprise to you that Bernie isn’t so popular with me. Trump is still powering along. Despite all the whining from … well … just about everywhere, I think he would make a good President.

      Obumbles, on the other hand, also a socialist, has now put us in a position to war against Russia. Something Einstein would find frightening and deplorable, I would think.

    • See Janet Daley (post below) for a much superior alternative view. Your quote demonstrates how brilliance in one field need not translate to simple common sense in another.

    • “The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” Margaret Thatcher, as someone who actually ran a country which Einstein never was.

  18. From the article:

    Joule Achieves U.S. EPA Registration for CO2-Recycled Ethanol
    09/30/2015
    Bedford, Mass
    Joule, the pioneer of liquid fuels from recycled CO2, today announced that its fuel grade Sunflow®-E ethanol has been registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for commercial use in E10 and E15 gasoline blends.

    “We are approaching commercialization with a technology that is first of its kind, able to convert CO2 directly into multiple drop-in fuels. It is critical to prove its readiness by meeting government and industry requirements. Having secured EPA registration, our fuel grade Sunflow-E ethanol is now cleared for use,” said Serge Tchuruk, President and CEO of Joule.

    http://www.jouleunlimited.com/joule-achieves-us-epa-registration-co2-recycled-ethanol

      • They have already made diesel and gasoline. They have stated they can make other chemicals as well, so butanol should be doable for them.

        They have been operating a pilot plant, they are supposed to commercialize sometime next year, I believe. But, OTOH, they’ve said that before.

        Nevertheless, I think they are for real.

    • The EPA mandates how much advanced biofuels must be purchased by refineries each year.

      So even if an advanced biofuel $100/gallon to produce and has a negative return on energy invested there is a market for it.

      Of course any energy source with a negative return on energy invested is a road to ruin…but we can say that about lots of government regulations.

      But investors should pay attention…advanced biofuel makers with EPA approval are guaranteed to make a profit.

  19. I think Peter and I could get along just fine: (A few excerpts)

    “Peter Kareiva, director of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, who’s known for his advocacy of harmony between environmentalism and the forces that would tend to harm the environment, told audience members that the apocalyptic version of climate change no longer works.”

    “”Our scientist worked with their engineers,” Kareiva said. “We asked questions of practical operations. What can we as people who know about the ecosystem and nature tell you that will help you? We looked at protecting coastal habitats, planting trees for ozone mitigation, (protecting) the river. The DOW Chemical company needs cleaner water than we need for drinking. We came up with solutions. It took three years.”

    “Specific to the oil and gas industry, Kareiva said there are ways to consider the environment, if groups are willing to work with the industry instead of beat it with a stick.”

    “There’s no getting around the energy industry if we want the world we live in now, he said. Cell phones, cars, toys, are all possible through fossil fuels”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/research/markets/news/article.asp?docKey=600-201510041041KRTRIB__BUSNEWS_29459_30144-1

    • “Peter Kareiva … who’s known for his advocacy of harmony between environmentalism and the forces that would tend to harm the environment.” What about environmentalism’s conflict with forces that do not harm the environment, such as nuclear power, capitalism, free trade … Kareiva seems to have done some good work, but the divisions are not all subject to sweetness and light reconciliation. I recall the economists who signed-up with good heart to Bob Hawke’s attempts to deal with economic and environmental aspects of policy conjointly, only for the environmentalists to flatly refuse to accept that the economists’ framework had any merit, validity or application. And I recall physicist Ian Lowe, later founder of the so-called think tank the Australia Institute and green-left activist abusing me in public fora for daring to suggest that economists might have a contribution to make to the resolution of environmental problems. That was 1990-91, but the mindset continues to prevail.

  20. richardswarthout

    Naomi Oreskes new article in the NYT: Exxon’s Climate Concealment

    Lots of anger and short on substance.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/10/opinion/exxons-climate-concealment.html?ref=opinion&_r=0

    Richard

  21. The very first link is mind blowing.

    Hydropower needs to be classed the same as fossil fuels. I quit reading after a few paragraphs once it became obvious the guy was an ecoloon, so I didn’t see if he bother to differentiate between shallow reservoir dams and deep impoundment damns. It is well know that the former are a source of methane.

    So no fossil fuel fueled energy, no nuclear and no hydro. What the f*#k do these people think our energy will come from? Don’t answer, as it is retorical. They think that the planet has far too many people alive – i.e. far exceeding its “carrying capacity”. So the solution is obvious. Get rid of the people. Of course they expect this will apply to everyone except them and perhaps the people they like the most. Everyone else is sh!t out of luck.

    What is really ironic is that the Holy Father is taking advice from people like this.

    • Third act, third scene, Pope enter stage Left. It’s all in the program. Job, too old he says…Dr. Love & President Hope, you get the drift.

    • “As we stood on our boards and paddled away from the cove at Malpais and turned south past the wave-break, I felt a rush of what Costa Ricans call pura vida—“pure life.”

      You see, it’s about what sort of world we want to leave to the children and grandchildren of well-off paddle-boarders who like their outdoor experiences to be untinged by human need and human industry.

      It’s about making the world a fit place for Green Bwana and Oxfam Gringo.

      • Mosomoso,
        Hmm. Didn’t notice a statement of any kind within the article which described the mode of transportation used by the author in order to reach Costa Rico.

      • Danny, while moso is a fount of commonsense, he has also produced many works of fiction – at least 50 short stories, I don’t know what else. Maybe this is prosaic licence, or maybe he has a source, or sauce even (bamboo-derived).

      • Fresh bamboo shoot minestrone was today’s lunch. And if this faint drizzle turns into proper rain I’ll be pickling a whole vat of shoots soon. Sometimes Nino forgets to read his instructions…or maybe the serfs’ dancing does the trick.

    • It is upon such lunacy that that the loon Glen Beck wrote his science fiction/future dystopia book known as Agenda 21. (BTW though I detest Glen Beck in general as a fan of dystopia fiction I really enjoyed that book. It was well written.)

  22. My heroine Janet Daley on the left in the UK:

    The Left – from its official, organised top to its nihilistic, lawless bottom – does not have a programme for running the country. It has a set of grievances that range from the inchoate and indefinable to pious dissatisfaction with whatever unsatisfactory conditions may prevail in any area of life. It is now an alliance of convenience between self-serving vested interests and the flotsam of wildly disparate protest, whose permanent condition of unfocused rage is channelled into screams of “Tory scum!” … Both of these positions, the unreconstructed Left and the ruthless Right, are effectively dead and recognised to be so by every rational being on the scene. …

    What remains is an understanding of what works. We now know how to get rid of real poverty within the country: the kind that involved mass malnutrition and vast tracts of housing that were unfit for human habitation. We have solutions that eliminate starvation and subsistence levels of income on a global scale, too. The miraculous formula involves the opening up of competitive markets that are tempered by regulation and administered by democratic consent. It can be successful pretty much anywhere except in places where tribal or religious war makes it impossible to install. It is not dogmatic but it does have certain basic precepts that are essential, such as property rights, personal freedom and the mobility of capital.

    The alternative doctrine of a command economy, state ownership of the means of production and the abolition of private property has been utterly, definitively trounced. It should have disappeared from the debate when Communism collapsed at the end of the last century but that large portion of the Western intellectual class who had invested in it – or who did not know any other way to talk – could not afford to lose face (or academic credibility). …

    – Some of Janet’s arguments are pertinent to the policy discussions here. She is an American long-domiciled in the UK.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/11924403/Theres-no-such-thing-as-Left-and-Right-any-more-can-we-all-agree-on-that.html

    • This Daley person has understood.

      Of course, we persons of quality naturally resent the general democratisation of goods and services, a far worse threat to elites than bolshies ever were. When discussing the servant problem we often have cause to curse Yankee rabble-liberators like George Westinghouse, Henry Ford and Luther Burbank. What happened to good old desperation?

      On the bright side, we persons of gentle condition see Big Green as a positive step back to a healthy negation of the human. We’re already seeing the aspirationals and middle classes fearful of breeding. Won’t be long till we have lots of yummy serfdom again!

    • Very nice Faustino.

      • jim2

        First thing on the radio this morning was a 15 minute profile of Bernie Sanders, proving that left and right still flourishes in America.

        His appeal to a modern Brit (me) is hard to discern with the same tired and failed old socialist arguments we have endured here in Britain all my life. He is a terrible speaker but I suppose his great strength is his ‘authenticity.’

        Compare him to the plastic and manufactured and untrustworthy Hilary Clinton and his appeal becomes obvious to those who won’t have to pick up the bills.

        I was intrigued to learn his brother is domiciled here in the UK and his politics are similar to Bernie. His brother is a member of the distinctly left wing and rather mad Green party. He is coming over to America to help out with Bernie’s election campaign and sincerely believes he can become President.

        Be Afraid. Be very afraid…

        tonyb

      • richardswarthout

        Tony

        The USA has Bernie and many other progressives, some of whom are extremely wealthy. The Center for American Progress (CAP) is well funded progressive propaganda machine; led, until recently, by John Podesta. Podesta himself is extremely wealthy; lives in and has much influence in Washington DC, with strong connections to the DC lobbies. He and CAP are part of the DC-Money-Enviro-Global Governance Cabal, and that cabal is being rejected today by Americans. Bottom Line: The progressive movement (of which Bernie and Hiilary belong) have a decades long strategy of taking over universities, distorting the truth, and corrupting the government (using wealth to help its own). If you are in the movement you win, if not you lose. Americans, startling with the tea party movement, now see the deception and are fighting back, and often are winning. The next 13 months will be interesting. It is a war between the progressive movement and the tea party movement.

        Richard

      • Richard

        According to bernie sanders, as quoted in Time magazine, the 15 wealthiest people in America saw their net worth grow 170 billion dollars in the past two years and 99 percent of all new income today goes to the wealthiest 1 percent.

        I find these figures scarcely credible but if correct they explain some of the anger at the establishment that bernie is tapping into. Clinton by contrast must appear a fat cat, quite apart from her poor record, her server deceit and her flip flopping over the new pacific trade deal.

        Sanders looks very credible in light of those credentials

        Tonyb

      • Clinton, The Bill variety, saw the number of people making over $ 1 million grow by 300% , going from 60,000 to 240,000. That was after he increased taxes on the 1%. Income inequality exploded under that Democrat after taxes were increased on the top income earners, giving lie to the Liberal myth that higher marginal tax rates will reduce income inequality.

      • Tony
        I just looked at the IRS data for 1993, 2000, 2008 and 2013 the latest year available. Those making over $500,000, which is close to top 1%, got 10% of the increase in income since 2008, 16% of the increase since 2000 and 25% ofthe increase since 1993.

      • richardswarthout

        Tony

        The progressive movement (including Bernie) do not like the US Constitution and individual freedom. They favor redistribution of wealth, which has never worked (as you know). Their strategy is to target low information voters with propaganda; it is documented in Rule for Radicals by Saul Alinsky, to be used by community organizers, and probably used by Obama when he was a community organizer in Chicago.

        Bernie, Obama, and the Prgressives are trying to create a class war. It is in keeping with Alinsky’s directive; create chaos and then create a new government with central planning.

        More to the point of your comment. My favorite economic educator, Thomas Sowell has a new book out that I think will enlighten readers on the truths regarding income disparity; Wealth, Poverty and Politics. I haven’t read it but have read a review and have read his book Basic Economics. He writes that figures showing static aggregate incomes miss the truth; households move up the income ladder over time and the truth is that income level increases as a person gets older, gains experience, and becomes more valuable to his/her employer, or is able to start a new business.

        Another point to consider: The wealth of the wealthy does not reside under a mattress or in a private safe. It is invested, creating businesses, and improving the lives of those who are not wealthy. Even the money spent on luxuries benefits those who create the luxuries.

        Regards

        Richard

    • Reminds me of the words of another great person from Great Britain: “problem with socialism is eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

      +1 btw

    • Faustino and Richard, more than a serf deserves…
      she must try ter be her best … nevah let it rest …

  23. UNCERTAINTY MONSTER on Net Benefits of GHG abatement policies

    The long debate with Jim D on another thread over the past few days about whether or not abatement cost is projected to be more or less than the hypothesized benefits over this century has caused me to return to and refresh my understanding of the inputs and assumptions used in making these projections.

    [Refer to this comment and for a summary of the main point of contention: https://judithcurry.com/2015/09/30/the-uncertainty-of-climate-sensitivity-and-its-implication-for-the-paris-negotiations/#comment-735677, Jim D’s comment that I disagreed with and we then argued about was

    why not support [mitigation] policies whichever side you are on. It is neither hopeless to try nor ineffective in outcome.

    ].

    The key point is that around 75% of projected abatement costs occur this century and just 17% of the hypothesized benefits (both discounted at the same rate). The actual amounts vary depending on the actual mitigation policy scenario analysed.

    What has occurred to me is that if we implement a mitigation policy the costs of that policy can be estimated with much greater certainty than the hypothesized benefits. As soon as we commit to a mitigation policy we commit to the costs of that policy. But the probability of achieving the hypothesized benefits (i.e.avoided climate damages) is arguably extremely low. And highly uncertainty.

    Therefore, the risk of committing to GHG mitigation policies – other than true ‘No Regrets’ policies is huge.

    Please ask the Uncertainty Monster for an informed opinion of this and for a quantified risk assessment.

    • There is a finite pool of money. The more money spent to “abate” a manufactured problem is money that can’t be used to abate hunger, lack of potable water, lack of energy, disease, etc. Too much time, energy, and resources focused on the wrong problem.

      • Actually, pmhinsc, it’s worse than that. The wealth-destroying anti-GHG policies (and in Australia unutilised desal plants) has reduced the rate of growth in many countries and the world at large: we have less resources now than we would have, and will have less going forward (Aaaaghh! a Gillardism!) than if we hadn’t embraced futile emissions-reduction and related policies. So, whether or not alleged CAGW proves to be a problem, we will have fewer resources to deal with the future, whatever it is. Moving from low-cost effective energy sources to expensive ineffective ones means an ongoing net loss.

      • I agree

      • pmhinsc,

        I agree with both your comments.

      • If they prick us do we not bleed?

      • There is a finite pool of money.

        Not true. The economy is a non-zero-sum game.

      • AK: Not true. The economy is a non-zero-sum game.

        The wealth can’t grow to infinity in finite time.

        When decisions are being made (levee repair versus high speed train, etc) the pool of available money (like the pool of labor) is finite.

      • The wealth can’t grow to infinity in finite time.

        True. But it can grow at a variable growth rate, depending on how it’s spent.

        When decisions are being made (levee repair versus high speed train, etc) the pool of available money (like the pool of labor) is finite.

        At any one time. But the size of the pool at time T+i depends on how the money in the pool at time T was spent.

      • Actually, the number of units of currency doesn’t matter. It’s the value produced by an economy that matters.

    • From: Nordhaus, A Question of Balance, p62, http://www.econ.yale.edu/~nordhaus/homepage/Balance_2nd_proofs.pdf

      UNCERTAINTY

      If global warming is the mother of all public goods, it may also be the father of decision making under uncertainty. In terms of model structure, every equation (except for the identities) contains major unresolved questions. Some of the important ones are, What will be the pace of world economic growth? What will be the damages in different regions, and how steep will those damages be if global warming proceeds beyond 2 or 3°C? How expensive will noncarbon backstop technologies prove to be? How difficult will it be to forge and sustain an international agreement on mitigation? How fast will developing countries move their labor forces and economies out of agriculture? What would be the economic benefit of a competitive, low-carbon energy source? There are major differences among scientists and economists on the answers to these questions, and it seems fair to conclude that there are unlikely to be definitive answers in the next few years. Moreover, we do not know how fast these uncertainties will be resolved, or what kinds of investments in learning would help resolve them.

      The current version of the DICE model takes the first step of analyzing the economics of global warming under the assumption of perfect foresight or certainty equivalence.

      • There is no uncertainty about current hunger, lack of potable water, lack of energy, disease, etc.

      • “under the assumption of perfect foresight or certainty equivalence.” Which we know to be absolute tosh.

      • There is also the question of new technology, given that DICE is going out 300 years to get the supposed climate induced damages from today’s emissions. (DICE is one of the three absurd models used in calculating the so-called US social cost of carbon.) 300 years ago George Washington was not even born. Those folks could not possibly have envisioned life today. Why believe that we can do better when it comes to 300 years from now? We cannot, so this kind of modeling is just nonsense when it comes to policy making. Yet SCC is being used everywhere in Federal decision making.

  24. renewable energy is a great need of time…

  25. Interesting green PNAS paper on why the US should be building a lot of offshore wind farms. http://www.pnas.org/content/112/39/11985.full
    I still wonder what happens when a cruise ship full of people runs into a generating wind farm in the fog? It would make a spectacular horror movie.

  26. *** Albedo regulation of Ice Ages, with no CO2 feedbacks ***

    My analysis of Ice Age initiation and propagation is now up on the Warwick Hughes site. It speculates that the primary feedback for Ice Ages was actually albedo, not CO2. The overwhelming power of albedo was only overcome when CO2 dropped to dangerously low levels, resulting in widespread plant dieback and several millenia of dust storms. These dust storms reduced the albedo of the ice sheets, and allowed the Interglacial warming periods.

    But Interglacial warming only happened when the precessional Great Year’s summer season increased insolation in the northern hemisphere. So several components are necessary for an Interglacial — very low Co2, plant dieback, dust storms, low ice albedo, and a Great Year summer season. So CO2 does falicitate Interglacial warming, but only by getting so low that all the plants die !!

    http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?p=4019
    http://www.warwickhughes.com/agri15/ralph_ellis_oct15.html

    Ralph

  27. From the article:

    Washington (AFP) – Republican US presidential frontrunner Donald Trump branded Angela Merkel’s welcoming of migrants to Germany “insane” and said the policy will only spark riots in the country.

    Related Stories

    Turkey’s Erdogan, EU’s Tusk say they discussed Syria ‘safe zone’ AFP
    Trump would send home Syrian refugees AFP
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    No US decision yet on Syria no-fly zone AFP
    Turkish PM at UN calls for refugee ‘safe zone’ in Syria AFP
    “What’s happening in Germany, I always thought Merkel was, like, this great leader,” Trump said in comments aired Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

    “What she’s done in Germany is insane. It’s insane.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/trump-brands-merkel-migrant-policy-insane-172608141.html

  28. Oil finally made a significant move up.

    OIL 49.82
    BRENT 52.78
    NAT GAS 2.524
    RBOB GAS 1.4236

  29. Just out of curiosity, but if the dams in Costa Rica cause methane emissions from the reservoirs, what about the Amazon River, particularly during the wet season? How about swamps? OMG, we Need to turn the planet into a desert!

  30. I assume this article about Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) from Jerry Taylor’s Niskanen Center will be discussed in the next Week in Review — Energy & Policy Edition:
    https://niskanencenter.org/blog/bad-news-carbon-capture-and-storage-money-is-going-back-to-the-treasury/

    It discusses an remarkable remarkable requirement by a federal funding agency: failure results in losing your future funding grants. That would be an interesting approach to apply to climate model funding, among other things.