Week in review – energy and policy edition

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

The Limits of the ‘Tobacco Strategy’ on Climate Change [link] …

Charles Moore: The Obsession With Global Warming Will Put The Lights Out All over Britain [link]

China is building nuclear reactors quickly and cheaply—about 5 years per reactor and $2000 to $2500 per kilowatt [link]

Overview of Republican candidates perspectives on climate change [link]

China burns much more #coal than reported, complicating climate talks [link]

500 new coal plants under construction in Asia because… coal’s cheap. [link]

RICO-teering: How climate activists executed their plan to blame oil companies (Exxon) for warming. [link]

Obama’s Court Quagmire: Green Agenda At Risk [link]

How India’s economic blockade of Nepal may cause more severe floods in #Bihar [link]

BP sees technology nearly doubling world #energy resources by 2050 |  [link]

Priorities for the African continent: energy, industrialization, integration and job creation [link]

Targeting fossil fuels from supply vs demand side [link]

Does cheap oil weaken the case for stricter fuel-economy rules? [link]

World’s largest floating windfarm gets green light in Scotland [link] …

Finally, America is building its first wind farm in the ocean. [link] …

What California can learn from Saudi Arabia’s water mystery [link] …

Back To The Dark Ages: Top French Weatherman Fired Over Climate Change Book [link]

Copper foam might revolutionize batteries [link]

Can solar pumps step in where rain can’t for farmers in #India? [link]

NASA Bombshell: Global Groundwater Crisis Threatens Our Food Supplies & Our Security [link]

The future of nuclear energy in the Western world: slow, inexorable decline [link]

Nature: Combined climate pledges of 146 nations fall short of 2 °C target [link]

India & Africa Ask Developed Nations To Pay Up, Reduce CO2 Emissions [link]

 

India’s rising demands for cooling make it a hot topic [link]

How super low natural gas prices are reshaping how we get our power [link]

Likely outcomes for the Paris climate talks: [link]

.@carbonpulse has the lowdown on draft rules for China’s national carbon market: [link] …

Obama Cancels Lease Sales in Arctic; Cedes Arctic to Russia [link]

Restorative #ocean farming? #seaweed as next super food [link]

Solar power to light the way for Africa as low-carbon campaign launches [link] …

Too cool for fuel:  inside nuclear fusion reactor Wendelstein 7x stellarator [link]

Who will pay for climate change? [link]

All eyes on China as climate summit approaches [link]

Did ExxonMobil lie about climate change? [link]

Obama rejects Keystone pipeline [link]

EPA used Monsanto’s research to give RoundUp a pass [link]

 

 

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

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

  2. 500 new coal plants under construction in Asia because… coal’s cheap.

    The article is comparing to cost of domestic coal to the cost on imported natural gas.

    The cost of liquefying, shipping and de-liquefying natural gas adds approximately $3/MMBtu to the cost of natural gas via ship. On a heat content basis it is equivalent to adding $60 to the price of a ton of coal.

    Nuclear power competes reasonably well for baseload electricity with coal at approx $80/ton($4/MMbtu) and natural gas at approx $6/MMbtu.

    • LNG/natural gas is also pretty hard to store, whereas coal can be piled up anywhere. The Polar Vortex showed just why this can matter.

      • ticketstopper,

        And nuclear fuel is even better than coal. It requires orders of magnitude less volume to store the same final energy content (i.e. in MWh of electricity generated). Because nuclear fuel (when used in an LWR) is 20,000 times more energy dense than coal, it requires 20,000 less shipping, port facilities, trains, rail infrastructure, etc. to transport the same final energy content and also requires a comparatively minute volume and area for storage.

        What’s really significant about this is that it means every country can afford to store many years or decades of nuclear fuel at little cost. This means countries can have much greater security of energy supply than they can ever hope to have with fuels that have to be transported (e.g. fossil fuels).

        For those concerned about safety, nuclear fuel is perfectly safe. It’s not dangerous until it’s been in an operating reactor. The fuel rods hang from girders in the ceiling of the warehouse and you can walk among them with nothing bu a lab coat.

  3. Re: China nuclear power plants
    Amazing what the absence of local NIMBY plus EDF/NRDC lawsuits can do to lower nuclear power plant construction costs.

    • Yup, a Chinese nuclear plant is $2500 of less per kilowatt vs $5400 or more per kilowatt for a USian nuclear plant.

      • Which shows that irrationals regulations imposed by governments as a result of 50 years of scaremongering by the anti-nukes has increased the the cost of nuclear power by more than a factor of two.

        It’s actually much more than this because the regulatory ratcheting caused by the developed world, which IAEA has implemented, has caused all nuclear power everywhere to have been increased by about a factor of eight over what it would have been if not for the irrational anti-nukes.

  4. The revelation that China has emitted 900+ million tonnes more CO2 that previously realised, since 2000, doesn’t just ‘complicate climate change talks’ as the NYT states, transparently trying to downplay it.

    It complicates climate change science.

    Every single calculation, prediction, projection etc, every IPPC Assessment Report, has been based on a profound underestimation of the presence of CO2. Way more CO2 logically, inevitably, renders CO2 sensitivity is lower than previously believed.

    Game changer, it seems to me. Climate change talks won’t just be ‘complicated’ they’ll be ridiculous. COP21 in Paris starting Nov 30 will be a theatre of the absurd.

    • Hidethedecline

      Yes, presumably the vast amount of additional co2 must have had a temperature consequence if you believe the Ipcc viewpoint. Mind you there are probably other large emitters that don’t keep very accurate coal accounts which would add another twist to the carbon budget.

      Tonyb

      • No other emitter quite like the Chinese, though, Tony.

        And I’ll add more power to them, literally. I like power. Reliable base load power for all, that’s my motto. You can get it with coal, gas and nuclear. And with largescale hydro. All the rest, the inaccurately named ‘renewables’ like wind and solar are just rubbish in comparison. And as for burning ‘biomass’, well, thats simply disgraceful.

    • Sinks growth continues to accelerate as emissions growth remains stable or diminishes and well mixed concentration growth levels off.

      • Hang on Aaron, emissions growth has not remained stable. That’s the whole point of the Chinese revelation that they’ve emitted 900+ million tonnes more CO2 since 2000 than previously disclosed.

        It’s more accurate to say:

        Either sink growth has accelerated as emissions growth has accelerated or CO2 just does not have the warming effect that climate science via the IPCC says it does.

        China emissions = game changer.

    • Decline,

      Isn’t CO2 concentration based on atmospheric sampling, not calculations based on burning of fossil fuels?

  5. Terrific Saturday morning reading Ms Curry.

    1. India burns what it has.
    2. China builds what it needs.
    3. Britain plays the fool.
    4. The US tries to orchestrate a hollow Paris victory.
    5. Ecozealots try to overreach w Exxon.

    Saving the battery article for latter.

    The good

    Cheaper cleaner reliable energy is good.

    The bad

    Make believe monsters are for children.

    The really bad

    Confidence in the scientific method is eroding.

    Possible solution

    Pound the table for independent analysis.
    Transparency of the raw data.

    People still know the difference between nonsense and the truth.

    • People still know the difference between nonsense and the truth.

      I’d like to see the statistical support for for that conclusion. ;-)

      • Opo

        Hi 5 …

        All humans are biased and we all need help getting there, but it is possible.

        Clicking my ruby slippers 3 times.

  6. It was good to see BP acknowledge (even if indirectly) that oil and gas exploration isn’t about to yield good results in the future. Now the debate shifts to “new technology”, what it can accomplish increasing recovery in known reservoirs, and what it costs. I have yet to see anything that supports BPs statement. So now I’ll wait to see what they put on the table.

  7. Judith, as a Canadian and given my understanding of your comments on global warming, I ask what your thoughts are today concerning the looming Paris climate meeting and agenda and Obama’s rejection of Keystone XL on Friday. With a new Liberal government in Canada (and a new NDP leftist government in Alberta) and its stated objectives to elevate climate change, federally and provincially, I fear significant overzealous and scientifically unsupported, expensive policy changes everywhere, assuming that the Paris fiasco is successful in attaining a legal, binding commitment to eliminate use of fossil fuels (and maybe capitalism as well, if you believe the Vatican and Naomi Klein) . Canada’s contribution to GHG’s is minuscule and I believe that the US governments’ position is desperate and political – not founded in proven science and staged for Paris and legacy! In all of this seeming hypocrisy and desperation, where is the objective science?? I am running out of patience in a social media, junk evidence, hypocritical, politically nuanced world. My only recourse earlier was that more objective researchers like you, might come together with influence and challenge the NGO’s and the alarmist activism along with the threats from those people with entrenched benefits in supporting immediate, material, expensive climate change policies. Muzzling scientists seems to be in favour and I would respect your position if you can’t reply. I’d like to know where you are in terms of objective, compelling scientific evidence for the case that man-made warming is evident and accelerating (CO2, methane, ozone, water vapour) as atmospheric GHG sensitivity has been properly measured and is not low. Also, since such “beta” should reflect quantum physics (translational, vibrational and rotational sensitivity), what science has irrefutably proven such an apparently dangerous nexus that has created a mob mentality leading to Paris? Are periodic, increased solar flux (intensity), natural variability and habitable zone orbital decay contributing factors, as in a case for rising sea levels or continental subsistence? Could it be that the behaviour is simply reinforced within groups that don’t require good science and join in for crowd, social, or moral justification (Vatican)? The newly elected Environment and Climate Change Minister (McKenna) in Canada is being advised on the file for Paris and will follow the party line (Trudeau) on climate change; The NDP were insulted on Friday as Canada now turns to an Energy East pipeline to benefit economically from western energy. Without material energy projects, Canada will face a material decline as it has nothing else significantly advanced that will promote economic growth (the flight of capital is growing as investment leaves Canada for better returns). Setting aside the global repricing of hydrocarbons, the better view for me is a cautious phase-transition off fossil fuels using engineering and technology, given the perceived lower sensitivities of atmospheric gas compounds. The developing world expects the west to finance the UN’s “Climate Fund” ($100B for “green” projects) since the west caused the problem. I need to know that there is a real, material problem specifically caused by humans since I doubt that there is in the foreseeable future – as a mathematician, I do understand the capabilities and limits to forecasting models (“Climategate”). Thank you.

    • I’m not Judith but I’d like to contribute.
      Ignore if I’m intruding.
      This is a link to French Math Society article.
      Nicely done and you’ll probably dig it being a math man and all.

      http://iceagenow.info/2015/10/french-mathematicians-blast-absurd-costly-pointless-crusade-against-global-warming/

      Entire link is halfway down. Couldn’t find a straight up link.

      Re Pipeline. Don’t fret too much. The US will still take your oil via rail. It’s already being done. It a stupid choice considering the risk, but the oil will flow.

      How far has Canada gotten with the Northern Gateway pipeline ?

    • You have summed up fairly well my own concerns as a Canadian (from Calgary) at the election of an NDP (socialist) government in Alberta and a Liberal (left of centre) government in Ottawa. It does not bode well.

      You have raised a lot of questions that are difficult to answer. I won’t try, but will throw in this link. For those with the fortitude to untangle Rex Murphy’s verbosity, it is relevant and worth a read.

      • Possible clue to the mass movement. Hoffer’s True Believer written in the pre 1950s gives insight.

        Perhaps the elites (1%) and esp their demigod admired children have grown disillusioned with their own happiness. Bored if you will. Consumed with making a mark or driven by internal conflict.

        Oblique evidence

        Waiting lists for 15K dollar Birken handbags.

    • Jim,

      Paragraphs are your friend. I stopped half way thru even though interested in your thoughts.

    • Trudeau’s 3+ year plan of infrastructure stimulus borrows heavily against an agenda to cut GHG emissions

  8. Regarding the Monsanto-funded studies of Roundup:

    But the fact that these labs depend upon the large corporations that employ them as evaluators can’t help but skew their findings, according to critics of the system. “They know who’s buttering their toast,”…

    It’s a good thing that, when it comes to climate change research, government agencies and federal contractors are completely immune to the effects of self-interested bias. Buttered toast is only served by oil companies like Exxon.

    • Opo

      Totally messed up situation.
      Independent and transparent review need to be reclaimed.

      1. Replicable data
      2. Known rate of error
      3. Experimental design not skewed to affirm.

      Daubert factors ….

      First rule of reclaiming science

      If you won’t show me your raw data, you should be mocked and shamed.

    • I have some EPA experience with surface disinfectants. Their approach is very much like the FDA approval process with respect to drug trials done by drug companies. Rigorous review of protocols, resulting data, statistical interpretation. Frequently the studies are only begun after consultation with the responsible agencies concerning protocols and endpoints. EPA does not give Monsanto a pass. They give approvals after being satisfied the whatever science was done correctly and reproducibly and passes EPA muster. The article is profoundly misleading and naive.

      • In my experience with EPA, it completely depends on whether there is a political agenda in the background. Consider, second-hand smoke, radon in homes, superfund cleanup for starters.

  9. The Prieto copper sponge battery thing is likely a puff piece written to get financing. And running on a weak Bronsted Lowry acid like citric means no current density.
    Nanostructured 3d battery materials have been around for decades in the lab. One of A123’s claims to fame was self assembled 3d interfaces in its LiFeP materials system. They went bankrupt.

    • I can’t speak to the validity of “self assembled 3D interfaces for LiFeP”, but I do have direct experience with LiFeP batteries. Unlike other Li-ion types, at least thus far, the LiFeP seem to have severe issue with inconsistency in behavior. Significant percentages of LiFeP batteries from the same batch behave very differently – which is a pretty severe problem for systems they’re supposed to power.

    • Intel is tossing some cash at Prieto copper sponge battery thing which is likely what brought a 2 year old story to the surface.

      The smart phone market is huge…and the person who can deliver twice the battery power in the same density is going to be making $10’s of billions a year for the life of the patent….so inventing $10 or $20 million in something with a 1% chance of success(995 chance of failure) is good odds.

      • I did some more research. What Prieto is trying to do is really hard. Copper form is commercial, but they need much smaller pores. It serves as the 3D current collector substrate. Then, they are electroplating a very thin layer copper antimonide on the foam to serve as the 3D anode, rather than traditional graphite. That part is probably not too hard. The linked article is wrong. Citricacid is used facilitate this electroplating step; it os not the electrolyte. Then they are electrodepositing a film of polymer electrolye. That certainly exists, but has never been deposited this way; uniformity is key. Then they are electrodepositing some form of separator. That seems really hard to do right. Has to be porous to lithium ions, but pinhole defect free to prevent shorting. Traditional separators are stretched polymers; LG Chem patented a fine ceramic powder additional coating for safety. That patent is a main reason LG Chem won the Chevy Volt battery business. So there will have to be a LOT of safety testing on this new approach. Then they somehow pack the remainer of the fowm pore with conventional cathode materials. Those are usually fine powders. Maybe some sort of slurry process? They have been at this since 2009, and the first Intel deliverable is not until 2016. High risk, high return. Prieto has not been at any of the energy storage conferences I have gone to since 2009, and were not among the several speculative lithium battery companies that have attracted substantial venture funding noted in the guest post on grid storage.

  10. The Limits of the ‘Tobacco Strategy’ on Climate Change

    It is now axiomatic that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer. Further, questioning the science basis of this medical fact, is cause to be labeled a “denier” if one questions any portion of this consensus agreement amongst medical and scientific and media and public officials and the general public at large. It is widely known that Big Tobacco hide these medical facts and manipulated the public into believing there were still questions about this association. In spite of serious questions in the minds of some scientists about the science of cigarette smoking, the US Attorney General was able to extract a Tobacco Settlement of hundreds of billions of dollars, which when given to the states for tobacco education and quit smoking programs was otherwise squandered on pet state projects like giving a tax break to middle class tax payers as in my state.

    Today, we have what I would call the Climate Liability folks who use the tobacco case and settlement as a way to point to the resistance of tobacco companies being similar to current climate change denial.

    What has been troubling for the science of tobacco smoking and lung cancer is, it is known that 20 years.

    Another fact, now troublesome for physicians and scientists, 25% of lung cancer occurs in people who never smoked cigarettes, nor were these lung cancer patients exposed to second hand smoke, or were engaged in other occupations or had environmental exposures that may predisposed to acquiring lung cancer. Interestingly, two thirds of these lung cancers being recognized in never cigarette smokers are in women.

    “Couraud S, Souquet PJ, Paris C, et al. BioCAST/IFCT-1002: epidemiological and molecular features of lung cancer in never-smokers. Eur Respir J 2015; 45: 1403–1414.”

    Most of these lung cancer/cigarette smoking questions were already known, just not acknowledged.

    The failings of the Tobacco Strategy in Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming political messaging may be the same failing in both: the science is at least incomplete. Bits and pieces of the science are true as far as we know, yet there a lot of unanswered questions that are relevant and may be “game changing.”

    I am not advocating for people or Sprague Dawley rats take up cigarette smoking. What I am saying, there are still lots of unknowns and uncertainties around cigarette smoking just like climate change. Basing political and economic strategies on at best charitably labeled incomplete science, leads to wasteful, impractical, at times harmful and expensive policies which miss by a wide mark the intent of the messaging, because the science is spotty.

    I am reminded of a CBS 60 Minutes out-take by Ed Bradley on people who live > 100 years, he interviewing a women who claimed her good fortune to drinking a bottle of Vodka and smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.

    • Any discussion concerning public policy should start with an accounting of the influence by special interests.

      Here is a lively site if you’ve never hear of it

      https://www.opensecrets.org

      National Trial Lawyers Association is a good place to start.

      • Knute,

        Opensecrets is a great website.

        Did you know that the biggest contributors to political campaigns are unions and left wing orgs and not corporations? Truly amazing and surprising!

        Check it out …

        https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php

      • Yup, it should be a rule. Maybe a blinking light on the necktie. I’m with Big Pharm, I give to the GOP. Im with Oil, we are friends of the GOP. I’m with Wall Street … we give equally to both. I’m with the Steel Union and Auto we give to Dems and on and on and on.

        The turn of the phrase and perhaps one of the best marketing shifts of the past 10 years is the creep of NGOs into the game. How brilliant was it to paint yourself as a grass roots group other the normal red flag phrase of special interest ? They moved fast and struck quick.

        Let’s take this one …
        http://earthjustice.org/the-wild/arctic#

        Now why is it “OK” for a special interest group to be molding and executing public policy ?

      • TThx JW.

        Hey take a look at top 3 donors and amounts to Demo/Libs.

        Search for an organization:
        Find Your Representatives
        Top Organization Contributors

        Totals on this page reflect donations from employees of
        the organization, its PAC and in some cases its own
        treasury. These totals include all campaign contributions
        to federal candidates, parties, political action committees
        (including super PACs), federal 527 organizations, and
        Carey committees. The totals do not include contributions
        to 501(c) organizations, whose political spending has
        increased markedly in recent cycles. Unlike other political organizations, they are not required to disclose the
        corporate and individual donors that make their spending
        possible. Only contributions to Democrats and Republicans
        or liberal and conservative outside groups are included in
        calculating the percentages the donor has given to either
        party.

        NOTE: Federal law prohibits the use of contributor information for the purpose of soliciting contributions or for any commercial purpose.
        To Democrats /Libs:
        1 Service Employees International Union – $222,520,804
        2 ActBlue – $193,985,073
        3 American Fedn of St/Cnty/Munic Employees –
        $93,739,954

      • Knute, as in Knute Hoffer? That’s pretty funny! Anyway, “The True Believer” is a good book. Daniel J. Flynn (Blue-Collar Intellectuals…) claims Hoffer’s past is a fabrication. I dunno, his book speaks for itself. Lots of true believers following all sorts of kooky things out there. I’m glad I have never followed anything except my own curiosity.

      • Bts, you are welcome…from the other serf.

        Nothing but peasant in this boy’s genes, unless some ancient landlord asserted his priority without my knowledge.

        Iac, did you notice, on the opensecrets page I linked, the % oing to Dems v. Repubs? Very telling. Things aren’t what they seem but the power of shared delusions is astonishing. That works in the Dems favor. Can anyone find the Kochs on that list?

      • 8 out of the top 10 donors gave more than 93% of their donations to demoncats. 2 out of the top 10 favored repubs but, of those, one, the Realtor’s Assoc. , gave 52% to the repubs. Of course, everyone remembers that Obumbles raised more dough than any candidate in history. Upside down world we live in. George Orwell understood …

      • Knute, in Australia a vast amount of campaigning funds and campaign material comes from wealthy trade unions and the left-wing campaigning group Get-Up!, who are outside the electoral spending limits imposed on political parties. Get-Up! still runs Kevin Rudd’s absurd line that “Climate change is the great moral issue of our time.” So great that Rudd dropped his “signature” Carbon Tax when in a funk.

    • Corrections: it seems that some of my abbreviations caused word & sentence deletions.

      What has been troubling for the science of tobacco smoking and lung cancer specifically is: what is known, it takes more than 20 years of smoking 2 plus packs of cigarettes a day for less than 15% of these smokers to develop lung cancer. That is, for the long time heavy cigarette smokers the risk of lung cancer is less than 15%. If cigarette smoking causes cancer, and to some degree it does, why are more than 85% heavy cigarette smokers spared lung cancer? And more recently acknowledged, if the prevalence of cigarette smoking has been declining since the 1960’s, why has the lung cancer rate been increasing?

      • I would note that, at least in the tobacco smoking case, there are a whole lot of other health factors besides lung cancer. Heart attack, stroke, and emphysema rates are also very elevated in smokers, so to just focus on the cancer aspects isn’t totally valid either.
        As far as the numbers: what I recall is heart attack: 2x smoker vs. non-smoker. Emphysema: 6x smoker vs. non-smoker. Stroke: 2x smoker vs. non-smoker.
        Is there a genetic component to the lung cancer? I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised, but even if the 85% who don’t get lung cancer could be predicted, the public health effects are quite clear.
        In contrast – the net effects of climate change are incredibly difficult to determine if they even positive or negative, certainly for the ECS 2.5 and below range.
        Its as if climate change activists are 5 year old children where there is only white or black, right or wrong.

      • ticketstopper

        “As far as the numbers: what I recall is heart attack: 2x smoker vs. non-smoker. Emphysema: 6x smoker vs. non-smoker. Stroke: 2x smoker vs. non-smoker.”

        You’re right of course, the numbers that have been accumulated by the scientists tell a definitive outcome, except of course: the 1/3 rd or so people who develop pulmonary emphysema who never smoked; or that 1/2 the people dying of cardiovascular disease have normal cholesterol; or…should I go on?

        Just like climate change, most of us don’t know enough that we don’t know enough; the unknown unknowns. Is the science halfway there? partly? mostly? or does the science we need to make informed decisions have a very very long way to go? I’m betting the latter.

      • ticket, “Is there a genetic component to the lung cancer? I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised, but even if the 85% who don’t get lung cancer could be predicted, the public health effects are quite clear.”

        Utah has always had the lowest smoking population at less than 15% but its COPD rate isn’t exceptionally low compared to the rest of the western US. Which side of the Mississippi you live on appears to be a bigger factor than smoking. Minnesota and Washington appear to be the safest states. Maine is about the same as Georgia.

      • The numbers you cite for non-smoking emphysema are nowhere near sufficient to account for the disparity in emphysema between smokers and non-smokers.
        The cardiovascular, closer but still not obvious. After all, there are many other factors contributing to cardiovascular disease – principally being seriously overweight.
        It would be interesting to see what cardiovascular death rates might be for seriously overweight smokers – that would be a tiebreaker.

    • “I am reminded of a CBS 60 Minutes out-take by Ed Bradley on people who live > 100 years, he interviewing a women who claimed her good fortune to drinking a bottle of Vodka and smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.”

      Bacon seems to be another secret to longevity. Smoking is definitely not a recommended habit, but anytime something is deemed “bad” it seems to automatically bias research. Several of the older second hand smoking studies indicated other indoor air quality problems a long time before IAQ was even a thought in the average scientist’s head. IAQ had its moment but then became lost in other “causes”. Now IAQ is getting some more attention, but mainly in the third world because of fossil fuel emissions.

      Fabric fibers, cleaning solutions, dust and water combine to make some amazing science projects with health consequence related more to air conditioning and energy conservation than anything else. Outside of the home road wear, tire wear, break wear, construction dust along with natural particulates, molds etc. set a baseline that you rarely see anyone try to tease out of their pet project research.

      The sad thing is if you mention the confounding factors you are labeled a pawn of some industry and if you are crass enough to weigh advantages of some of the villains against the dangers you are anti-science. BHT is a great example. As a synthetic antioxidant if you test it you will find that it tends to promote cancers if over used. However, it tends to reduce bacterial growth in packaged foods. The big C has the all natural all organic gang up in arms, but all antioxidants will tend to increase cancer growth rates because the oxidants are part of the natural cancer defense mechanisms. Now try convincing the alternate medicine crowd that their cures are sometimes causes and that preservatives aren’t really a bad thing in moderation.

      • Capt’nDallas

        There you go again, saying everything should be viewed in moderation. Pretty soon you’ll be saying CO2 emissions in moderation are beneficial. And then, what will the politician NGO’s do? My goodness, what will you think of next?

      • Capt’nDallas

        “Another interesting statistic is the number 3 cause of death. If you combine medical error and Hospital Acquired Infection into hospital errors, you have around 120K to 400K deaths in the US per year….”

        This issue is a mixed bag as far as I am concerned. Patients complain when there is no “laying on of the hands” i.e., lack of physical contact “..he didn’t even examine me…” includes not only physicians and nurses and on down the chain of command, except I guess the person cleaning out the toilet.

        There is plenty of opportunity to transfer bad bugs let alone the lapses in drug monitoring; i.e., rate of Intravenous Infusion; given that the correct drug in the correct concentration made it up to the hospital floor and was checked by the nurse upon arrival against the orders initiated by the provider: doctor with the correct credentials, nurse practitioner; physician assistant.

        And then there are the stray wannabes and drug seekers substituting the real thing with a placebo; again, doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and a host of nurses, respiratory therapists, occupation therapists, physical therapists; a whole menagerie of contact persons and things plus the usual suspects stopping by to say “hello” and cheer you up; the chaplain making his/her rounds from nursing home to home visit to hospital congregation member.

        Since the priest isn’t medical, hand washing becomes perfunctory, and their clothe and robes have visited all the places of benediction, they are a carrier of what is laying around; including the Holy Bible. Far be it from me to say that Aunt Sally, who has just had her hip replaced, should not have the benefit of social and spiritual solace. Yet it is the Orthopod decked out in his space suit in the operating suite that is blamed for the now septic hip that needs to be removed. A few of these events a year will bankrupt Our Lady in Sorrow Hospital.

        I am encouraged by the more recent literature that points out that hospital re-admissions may not be a fault of the hospital sending the patient home, the home care program initiated, nor the fault of a dithering spouse/daughter or other in home care provider.

        Re-admissions mostly are the fault of the now decrepit body that has been compensating as one ages until that fateful day when we trip and break out hip. Every defect that was covered up by our ambulatory self is now revealed and becomes another stumbling block to recovery. We just crumble away.

        There are of course the extreme birth infants who consume many resources in their brief lives that reveals organ systems that haven’t had a chance to develop. That issue for me is for another day.

      • RiHo08, They way they are jumbling up the stats I guess it is hard to tell. I was helping a guy with a new disinfection/sterilization system and read up on the infection side of things. I recommended he hire an infection control nurse for his sales team because it can get pretty complicated.

        The medical error and infection issues seem to be mainly in meds and reusing parts of catheters/tubes on dialysis and such. I imagine shifting around between providers isn’t helping the situation much.

        I am pretty glad to be a semi-retired fisherman after reading up though.

      • btw, on the disinfection side of things, it seems a city in California water department changed their purification procedure and because of more sediment in the river water they end up with disinfection by-products, trihalomethanes, after chlorination which are little over the EPA minimums. They are class b carcinogens, so don’t let the Spraung-Dawley rats drink the water. Anonymous, the real Anonymous not your regular anonymous got wind of it so this could end up being exciting. Another great reason to fish.

    • ==> “What I am saying, there are still lots of unknowns and uncertainties around cigarette smoking just like climate change. ”

      How do they compare to the knowns?

      Just curious as to whether you’d disagree with any of this:

      Cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer. In the United States, cigarette smoking is linked to about 90% of lung cancers. Using other tobacco products such as cigars or pipes also increases the risk for lung cancer. Tobacco smoke is a toxic mix of more than 7,000 chemicals. Many are poisons. At least 70 are known to cause cancer in people or animals.

      People who smoke cigarettes are 15 to 30 times more likely to get lung cancer or die from lung cancer than people who do not smoke. Even smoking a few cigarettes a day or smoking occasionally increases the risk of lung cancer. The more years a person smokes and the more cigarettes smoked each day, the more risk goes up.

      People who quit smoking have a lower risk of lung cancer than if they had continued to smoke, but their risk is higher than the risk for people who never smoked. Quitting smoking at any age can lower the risk of lung cancer.

      Cigarette smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in the body. Cigarette smoking causes cancers of the lung, mouth, nose, throat, voicebox (larynx), esophagus, liver, bladder, kidney, pancreas, colon, rectum, cervix, stomach, blood, and bone marrow (acute myeloid leukemia).

      • Joshua

        “Cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer. In the United States, cigarette smoking is linked to about 90% of lung cancers. Using other tobacco products such as cigars or pipes also increases the risk for lung cancer. Tobacco smoke is a toxic mix of more than 7,000 chemicals. Many are poisons. At least 70 are known to cause cancer in people or animals.”

        You will read such assertions in textbooks like Harrison’s Principles of Medicine or Merck Manual Professional Edition, chapters in which are written by the expert chosen at the time to write the chapter whose final draft submitted reflects what was common knowledge a few years before the final draft. If one then looks at the references in say Harrison’s, one finds a summary from Travis et al: Cancer 75-191, 1995. Summary writings have significant editing such that “…linked to about 90% of lung cancers” comes from an original estimate of 65% to 90%.

        Your citation that you are using mixes facts with assertions and conclusions that are a long reach from the research data; i.e., opinions.

        What is mostly wrong in your citation is the dose response relationship; i.e., the so called “chippers” (occasional or few cigarettes, less than 10 per day) are at an increasing risk of lung cancer with increased number of cigarettes smoked. Those numbers are extrapolations from the viewpoint that there is no safe cigarette smoking. If one uses threshold criteria, there may be some data that isn’t just subjective opinion that one crosses some cigarette smoking number threshold that may be quite individualistic and result in lung cancer. And now, with the genetic and epigenetic research pipeline revved up, we may find that those who develop lung cancer from cigarette smoking are a special group. Differences in people are more likely than not, more than skin deep. Thud, another liberal paradigm face-plant.

      • The nameless one, “In the United States, cigarette smoking is linked to about 90% of lung cancers”

        For some odd reason that number gets lower every year. In reality it is a big number around 60% to 80% and the people that get cancers related to smoking as well as other health issues tend to die around eight years earlier than the average population. As Charles the Mod pointed out that is an individual issue not a societal issue. Processed meats including bacon may knock off a year or two, promiscuous sex around a decade, a career in hair styling around 5 years, alcohol is about the same as smoking and improper dental hygiene is around 20 years. In fact the dental hygiene issue could be a much larger factor.

      • Actually, smoking and other bad habits can be counteracted by moving to a zip code with a higher life expectancy:

        http://abcnews.go.com/Health/map-reveals-life-expectancy-vary-widely-zip-code/story?id=19711680

      • Don, with a new zip code and a sex change a guy could live to 130 :)

      • I bet if one looked into it in depth, one would find that if one moved to a heavily Republican zipcode one could smoke, drink, engage in promiscuous sex while eating bacon and live a long and very happy life.

      • Don,

        While it might possibly not be long, it sure sounds happy.

        I wonder if a putz like Josh has ever been happy.

      • Don,

        I’m with you:

        “I bet if one looked into it in depth, one would find that if one moved to a heavily Republican zipcode one could smoke, drink, engage in promiscuous sex while eating bacon and live a long and very happy life.”

        Except the older you get the more the smoke, drink and bacon out weigh the sex part (promiscuous or otherwise).

      • Try cutting back on the smoking and drinking and increase the bacon intake, Mark. That should help.

      • I believe the putz with no name is reform and partakes of the bacon free from the strictures of scriptures, tim. So there is that.

      • Bacon would make even promiscuous sex better!

      • RiHoO8

        ==> “Thud, another liberal paradigm face-plant.

        Interesting that you’d inject politics into a discussion of the risks of smoking. What’s up with that?

        So…you’re apparently familiar with the literature and I’m certainly not…so based on your feedback what we’ve now got is:

        “Cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer. In the United States, cigarette smoking is linked to about 90% probably somewhere between 65% and 90% of lung cancers. Using other tobacco products such as cigars or pipes also increases the risk for lung cancer.

        There is clear evidence that supports a dose dependent relationship between smoking cigarettes and risk for lung cancer, but it’s theoretically possible that there is some cut off level below which any increase in pathological risk is not meaningfully significant. Of course, we have no idea what that theoretical cut off point might be. And there may be some people who could be excluded from risk due to their genetic makeup. Of course, we have no idea who they might be or how many of them there might be, and of course it’s probably exceedingly unlikely that those same individuals might also be similarly excluded from increased risk for myriad other forms of cancer that are associated with smoking, along with, of course, increased risk for chronic and/or fatal comorbidities such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

        Would that be accurate?

        Here are some applicable aspects of a useful framework, IMO:

        Strength (effect size): A small association does not mean that there is not a causal effect, though the larger the association, the more likely that it is causal.

        Consistency (reproducibility): Consistent findings observed by different persons in different places with different samples strengthens the likelihood of an effect.

        Specificity: Causation is likely if there is a very specific population at a specific site and disease with no other likely explanation. The more specific an association between a factor and an effect is, the bigger the probability of a causal relationship.

        Temporality: The effect has to occur after the cause (and if there is an expected delay between the cause and expected effect, then the effect must occur after that delay).

        Biological gradient: Greater exposure should generally lead to greater incidence of the effect. However, in some cases, the mere presence of the factor can trigger the effect. In other cases, an inverse proportion is observed: greater exposure leads to lower incidence.

        Plausibility: A plausible mechanism between cause and effect is helpful

        Coherence: Coherence between epidemiological and laboratory findings increases the likelihood of an effect.

      • Arrrggghhh!

        RiHoO8

        ==> “Thud, another liberal paradigm face-plant.”

        Interesting that you’d inject politics into a discussion of the risks of smoking. What’s up with that?

        So…you’re apparently familiar with the literature and I’m certainly not…so based on your feedback what we’ve now got is:

        Cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer. In the United States, cigarette smoking is linked to about 90% probably somewhere between 65% and 90% of lung cancers. Using other tobacco products such as cigars or pipes also increases the risk for lung cancer.

        There is clear evidence that supports a dose dependent relationship between smoking cigarettes and risk for lung cancer, but it’s theoretically possible that there is some cut off level below which any increase in pathological risk is not meaningfully significant. Of course, we have no idea what that theoretical cut off point might be. And there may be some people who could be excluded from risk due to their genetic makeup. Of course, we have no idea who they might be or how many of them there might be, and of course it’s probably exceedingly unlikely that those same individuals might also be similarly excluded from increased risk for myriad other forms of cancer that are associated with smoking, along with, of course, increased risk for chronic and/or fatal comorbidities such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

        Would that be accurate?

        Here are some applicable aspects of a useful framework, IMO:

        Strength (effect size): A small association does not mean that there is not a causal effect, though the larger the association, the more likely that it is causal.

        Consistency (reproducibility): Consistent findings observed by different persons in different places with different samples strengthens the likelihood of an effect.

        Specificity: Causation is likely if there is a very specific population at a specific site and disease with no other likely explanation. The more specific an association between a factor and an effect is, the bigger the probability of a causal relationship.

        Temporality: The effect has to occur after the cause (and if there is an expected delay between the cause and expected effect, then the effect must occur after that delay).

        Biological gradient: Greater exposure should generally lead to greater incidence of the effect. However, in some cases, the mere presence of the factor can trigger the effect. In other cases, an inverse proportion is observed: greater exposure leads to lower incidence.

        Plausibility: A plausible mechanism between cause and effect is helpful

        Coherence: Coherence between epidemiological and laboratory findings increases the likelihood of an effect.

      • The nameless one I responded to got me into moderation. Are you a bad boy?

        The face-plant remark refers to the political decision to not use women in medical research since the Thalidomide debacle of the 1960’s. Hence, women’s health is just beginning to be studied 50 years later, by and large, via the Nurses Longitudinal Health Study. Nurses are not exactly a representative sample of the whole women’s population. One gets what one gets.

        The problem seems to be that women haven’t been studied intensively before, and now that glass ceiling has been opened a bit, women are being identified as having all sorts of maladies that hitherto fore have been reserved for men. Lo and behold, women are found to get lung cancer with and without cigarette smoking. More likely than not, this is catch-up findings for five decades of hands off by researchers.

        As far as the line-out of your citation, your first effort is more correct. What should be taken from your citation: ” Cigarette smoking is:” Nothing else has merit since most of the items true are few and commingled with much which is opinion, expert consensus (sound familiar with climate change?), and assumptions which are invalid. Assumption such as that there is a linear response for lung cancer to cigarette smoking. No data, just scare mongering. (does this also sound familiar?).

        What may be true, that there is a population of people at risk for lung cancer from cigarette smoking that is a threshold response. These people have a lower threshold for developing lung cancer from epithelial cells going amuck. Epithelial cells do go amuck but usually die and are sloughed off airway surfaces, tossed out at our next cough.

        Threshold limits may be true as the body is dynamically responsive to the continued threat of non-like dividing cells. We have multiple surveillance systems busy at work 24/7 catching and killing these bad actors. The surveillance system is not perfect and can be denigrated say by HIV or other influences. When a combination of “promoters” and “initiators” get together in one cell, with the right combination to fool the surveillance system by providing a protective surface coat that looks like self, then bad things begin to develop.

        If you want to believe your citation, be my guest. If you want to understand mass marketing of an ideology, look closely at the tobacco story and climate change. Same old same old.

      • Nameless one, “In the United States, cigarette smoking is linked to about 90% probably somewhere between 65% and 90% of lung cancers, ”

        Nope 60% to 80% is a better guess though it is looking more like 50% to 75% based on COPD statistics. Basically, 25% of the population is at risk of some chronic respiratory malady if there were no tobacco products of any kind. Smoking in excess would double or triple your risk, which would reduce smokers lifespan by about eight years, but that number is decreasing thanks to chemo and radiation therapy. Current smokers are generally excluded from heroic cancer treatments, you have to be swear to dog “former” smoker for that, but radiation therapy is surprisingly effective for smokers that can pony up $8K to $12K for an additional 5 years.

        Another interesting statistic is the number 3 cause of death. If you combine medical error and Hospital Acquired Infection into hospital errors, you have around 120K to 400K deaths in the US per year that may have been written off as complications of whatever caused the visit back in the day. Personally I think hiring infection control nurses is a better use of time and money than playing holier than smoker all the time.

        http://www.hospitalsafetyscore.org/newsroom/display/hospitalerrors-thirdleading-causeofdeathinus-improvementstooslow

    • Kokai: Most people would accept that smoking causes harm to the smoker. You took issue … with people who suggest that smoking harms other people who are around the smoker.

      Staddon: Well, there are two ways — perhaps three, let’s say three ways — in which something like smoking could harm others. It could change the behavior of the smoker, the way alcohol can change the behavior of a driver, to make him or her dangerous. Well, smoking doesn’t do that. Clearly, it has no effect of that sort. The second way that it could affect others is that the smoke itself — passive smoke — is dangerous. Turns out, the evidence for that is weak to zero. If you look carefully at the studies, they’re not statistically significant, and they’ve been thrown out by the courts.

      And finally, the third way in which you can harm other people is via the social cost. That is, if society as a whole contributes to medical payments through Medicare or the state health service as they have in England — if smokers cost more in that department than nonsmokers — then we’re all paying for their particular vice. The main point of my talk was that, in fact, several careful studies have shown that far from increasing, having increased health-care costs, because smokers do die a little bit younger than nonsmokers — about eight years, seven … eight years — because they die younger than nonsmokers, the medical costs that they incur are actually quite a bit less — 30 or 40 percent less than the so-called healthy-living cohort. So in other words, smoking does not cost the rest of us. Of course, it costs the smoker. There’s no question about it; smoking is bad for you. I would recommend against it. But, from a societal point of view, it does not incur a cost.

      http://www.carolinajournal.com/exclusives/display_exclusive.html?id=5412

      His quote misses the fact that lung cancer is primarily a disease of retired seniors and there is additional cost savings to the Social Security system in the US or retirement plans elsewhere.

      There are no valid “costs to society” for any smoking restrictions, just costs to the individual.

      • Let’s not forget that all those tobacco tax dollars are funding Lotto around the country.

      • God I wrote a long comment then the browser dies.

        http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/30/6/1496.full

        So is it tobacco, butter, salt or just depression?

      • Hugh
        “So is it tobacco, butter, salt or just depression?”

        You forgot to mention: un-intended consequences of medical intervention.

        The statin Liptor was developed to reduce serum cholesterol levels and statins as a group do lower cholesterol. However, the statin benefit went way beyond the effect of a modest lowering of cholesterol.

        Statins have an ant-inflamatory component as well and several other body system effects which seem quite beneficial including markedly reducing all cause mortality. Yes, that’s right, all cause mortality: heart, stroke, cancer, dementia you name it and statins seems to play a beneficial role. Now the question is why and maybe to what degree. And, the answer is: not known; speculated upon; but, unknown.

        The Brits of course restricted Lipitor availability because of its expense to a very limited group; i.e., those who failed diet and exercise and a host of inexpensive hearsay remedies. Of course, in Great Britain, the all cause mortality benefit was not observed until friends across the pond pointed it out to them.

        Expense by the way will also limit breakthrough advances in medical care as a lot of new therapies are “me too” and of marginal benefit. Yet, there are breakthroughs just waiting to happen. If Warren Buffet knew which ones were going to emerge, you can be sure Berkshire Hathaway would gobble the company up. No one knows which breakthrough will come or even how we will know it. It is still a trial and error system we have.

  11. Regarding: The Limits of the ‘Tobacco Strategy’ on Climate Change

    One overlooked link between the old tobacco war and the current climate war is that EPA/activists could not show a link between cancer and second-hand smoke (environmental tobacco smoke, ETS) without ignoring lots of null hypothesis results (aka, no effect). Even relying on cherry-picked data they had to loosen the significance level to 0.10 instead of the medical research standard of 0.05. It was, I suppose, good enough for government work.

    If they had approached ETS as a nuisance issue or a property rights issue (you do, after all, own your own body) they could have made a legitimate, logical argument to restrict public smoking. But they knew “cancer” was a particularly fearsome risk to most people so they pushed that angle against their own evidence.

    Today, climate activists over-promote scary scenarios intended to convince people that we are all at catastrophic risk from global warming. Thus far, they haven’t found the magic phrase (like “cancer”) that will stampede the public in their direction. But just imagine the elation in climateville if a Cat 5 hurricane makes landfall before the 2016 elections.

    • “But just imagine the elation in climateville if a Cat 5 hurricane makes landfall before the 2016 elections.”

      Do Hillary and Trump hug a la Christie and POTUS ?

      Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Really really sorry but both parties need a good spanking concerning how they manipulate the emotions of the public.

  12. Re: China burns 17% more coal than previously reported.

    HuffPo reports that this is in some ways good news, proof that China is becoming more “transparent” in its reporting. Has anyone thought that China is merely boosting its apparent consumption of coal today, so that 10 years from now they can report they are burning 17% less than 2015?

    Greenpeace award for China!

    It is no wonder that Stalin said the western capitalists would sell the Communists the rope used to hang them.

    The western liberal eco-green have inherited the subnormal intellect of their 19th century Rouseauian forefathers. How genetic failure is caused by listening to fantasists over mulled wine with a cheese ball is hard to fathom, but worthy, I suspect, of a George Mason University study.

    • Easy there Bill.
      It gets so messy when ad homs are thrown at ad hommers.
      It’s hard work to be above some of our more ugly human tendencies.
      Permission to remind me for a good flogging if you catch me slipping.
      As a nation, Americuns are taking the bait and being increasingly segregated based on political lines … fed a daily diet of raw meat.

    • I believe it was Khrushchev who said that.

  13. Likely outcomes for the Paris climate talks: [link]
    They wrote:
    These are not fantasies dreamed up by some Hollywood studio. They’re ripped from the pages of sober scientific journals and official reports. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which operates under the auspices of the United Nations, foresees environmental impacts that are “severe, pervasive, and irreversible.” The World Bank has warned that humanity may not be able to adapt to this warmer world.

    “sober” I don’t believe this junk was written by a sober person.

  14. Finally, America is building its first wind farm in the ocean.

    “Block Island Power Company, creates electricity by floating diesel tankers across 18 miles of water on the ferry and then burning it in generators. That’s dirty, noisy, and very expensive…”

    How expensive? Must be very expensive because. It is…

    “During the peak summer season, the utility charges generation fees of 24 cents per kilowatt-hour, which is very high.”

    So the windfarm will be cheaper than this “very expensive” method? Nope, in fact…

    “Deepwater Wind has inked a 20-year power purchase agreement with National Grid to sell the power, starting at 24 cents a kilowatt-hour.”

    So it will be more expensive, because STARTING AT vs PEAK PRICING.

    BTW, doesn’t England “follow and fill” behind wind power using diesel generation? I guess BI Power should hang on to those dirty generators. Oh, wait….

    “the company is also building a new cable that, for the first time, will connect Block Island to the mainland. The cable will tie into the infrastructure of National Grid, which serves a big chunk of New England, allowing for electricity to move in both directions…”

    Well, dang! Could they not just build the cable and let the island have power foe about 1/5 the generation cost, without building the wind farm?

    Gotta love the circular logic of the big green machine.

    • Sciguy,

      I’ll place a bet that the justification for capital cost of transmission cable is either the tax credits or meeting a renewable mandate. Meaning they need the wind generation project to get the cable. It doesn’t have to meet common sense standards, just regulatory driven accounting practices.

      • timg56, its all circular, and Lewis Carroll would be proud.

        The wind-farm is justified by comparing the projected cost/KWh with the cost/KWh of the existing diesel generators.

        The projected cost/KWh is only low enough if they build the cable and force the mainland grid to buy the intermittent power left-overs at 5-6 times the cost of present reliable grid power plus use cheap grid power to supplement the wind power and allow BI Power to retire the diesel generators on the island.

        Of course they do not mention the obvious third possibility: just install a cable to the island and retire the diesel generators. This would almost certainly be the most cost-effective alternative, and possibly the least CO2 intensive.

        The extra costs of the wind-farm plus cable over the cable alone are simply additional costs of “renewable” power for which there will never be a proper accounting. But this is how the “New Energy Economy” works.

  15. China and India burning lots of coal? Now Germany’s Energiewende has made a sharp wende back to coal. New Tiger Poland never even bothered to fudge its coal consumption. Just like Japan and the Asian Tigers. There is this suspicious connection between coal and production and prosperity which the geniuses of NYT and Reuters might want to probe further. Could it be that if you like reading the Guardian on an iPhone while you sit in the back of a ride-shared Prius someone had to burn coal to put you on that pinnacle of smug consumption?

    Maybe Shanghai’s Maglev, built with German expertise, is the best reason not to fear coal. You make something which is so bloody fast and efficient that the question of energy source just recedes. You stop wasting human energy, you stop wasting mineral energy, you stop wasting time and momentum. If you build something green, risky, expensive and innovative, make it POTENT. Don’t punt on something which sucks even before you start. Punt on something like this:
    http://www.travelchinaguide.com/cityguides/shanghai/getting-around.htm

    Instead of phasing out coal, phase out waste.

  16. Given the huge waves of criminal immigrants, this probably won’t be enough to save conservative and libertarian values in the US, but coal policy is having an impact on elections right now. From the article:

    That chain of support for Democrats in a swath of Appalachian counties — dating back at least to the New Deal — has been broken in the past two statewide elections as voters switched their support to Republican candidates for U.S. Senate and governor.

    There is visceral disgust with President Barack Obama, and his environmental policies have been widely denounced by locals as anti-coal.
    Republicans stirred the backlash, denouncing Obama for waging a “war on coal” through stepped-up regulation of coal-fired power plants. Now the GOP is tapping into the discontent to win coal counties that once seemed out of reach.

    Kentucky Democrats are left with a diminished map from which to build winning statewide coalitions.

    “I think we’ve done a lot to build the Republican Party in Kentucky, but on this one I give the credit to the president of the United States,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “This is a transformative event.”
    The recent trend started in the 2010 Senate race, when Republican Rand Paul nearly ran even with Democrat Jack Conway in a large swath of eastern Kentucky long controlled mostly by Democrats. By 2014, McConnell dominated the region. The state’s pre-eminent Republican won several Appalachian counties for his first time ever in securing a sixth U.S. Senate term. McConnell successfully tied his Democratic challenger, Alison Lundergan Grimes, to Obama.

    That newfound GOP momentum continued Tuesday, when Republican Matt Bevin swept most of the eastern coalfields, including Pike County, in winning Kentucky’s governorship. On the down ballot, Republicans picked up the auditor’s and treasurer’s offices as the GOP moved closer to consolidating political power in state government after years of dominating federal elections.

    http://apnews.myway.com/article/20151107/us–election-kentucky-a3631d6b16.html

  17. China is building nuclear reactors quickly and cheaply—about 5 years per reactor and $2000 to $2500 per kilowatt [link]

    Soon, China will be the world leader in everything except stupidity. We are winning that with little competition. Germany did lead us in this field, but that is changing faster and faster with each Obama directive.

  18. AGW was an unsuccessful attempt to end economic inequality by limiting the size of the per capita CO2 exhaust around the globe. This noble cause will fail because it is based on a falsehood: THE SUN – NOT CO2 – CONTROLS EARTH’S CLIMATE.

    It may be a Herculean task to return society to contact with reality, but we must try. Yesterday, the Whitehouse finally admitted the biggest threat to the survival of civilization is NOT AGW, but a SOLAR EMP:

    http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/white-house-prepares-for-emp-that-would-wipe-out-power-render-cellphones-and-internet-useless_11062015

    The communications and electrical power grids of modern civilization are NOT NOWshielded from natural eruptions of our pulsar-centered Sun [See: “SOLAR ENERGY”] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/280133563 . . . because politicians wanted to end an inequality by convincing the public AGW causes climate change.

    The communications and electrical power grids of modern civilization must be shielded from eruptions of our pulsar-centered Sun.

    SOLAR ENERGYhttps://www.researchgate.net/publication/280133563

    Dr. Kenneth M. Towe of the Smithsonian Institution may have carried that message back to the Whitehouse after a length, and brutally honest, discussion of the lack of convincing evidence for AGW on ResearchGate:

    https://www.researchgate.net/post/Is_there_convincing_evidence_of_AGW

  19. David L. Hagen

    Obama’s climate policy is driving away voters in coal country.
    http://apnews.myway.com/article/20151107/us–election-kentucky-a3631d6b16.html
    Republicans capitalize on anti-Obama fervor in coal country

    Blackburn, whose family backed Democrats for generations, supported McConnell and Bevin. It was a vote against Obama, he said.
    “He’s taken our economy away completely,” Blackburn said this week. “He just all at once put the EPA on us so hard that we can’t mine coal. It’s on his shirt tail, I’d say, the Democrats got beat this time.”

    • Obama is unpopular with large numbers of white voters across the South — even in states that produce no coal. Having grown up there, I can assure you that racism is still a motivating factor — if no longer THE motivating factor it once was.

      I also note a ray of hope for the future in that regard: University of Mississippi students voted to remove the racist (literally) state flag from campus, home of the “Ole Miss Rebels” and white riots during desegregation. http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2015/10/ole-miss-confederate-flag-mississippi/412354/

      The next generation seems ready to shed some of the liabilities of the past. Good for them.

      • I heard that on the radio the other day and just smiled. Had to be sea level rise that done it.

      • Ah the poor image the southerners have to live with. Throwing shade on the southern man for finally giving up his flag is distracting from the primary issues behind CAGW politics. Ascribing to the enlightened wisdom of their children is perhaps even more distracting. It’s emotional bait. Gets people all charged up. Much ado …. I can hear it now. Blah blah .. NYC schools are more racially divided than any city in Ameruca. But but, the black man has little or no opportunity due to institutional racism in the south. 95 plus percent of blacks voted for Obama cause they identified with his color, but that’s not racism. Such a messy subject. Black lives matter, but they really matter more when a policeman kills a black man than when a black man kills a black man. And don’t call me black. I’m African American, except that’s not catchy when your marketing a phrase. It’s gross and the whole tone of the conversation is to bait the listener. Distract him. Seduce him.

        CO2 is now a pollutant. As of this point, attainment levels have not been set by the regulatory agencies. Once you set CO2 attainment levels at the regional levels you will have those communities in compliance and those that are not. The current POTUS didn’t invent this story. Good ole Bill and the Clintons had the ah ha moment back in the late 90s when the first stab at carbon credits hit the idea board.

        Protected classes will be eligible for disparate impact (wiki does a good job of describing this concept) and the trail attorneys will have a presto chango new cottage industry. The political group that puts dollars into the hands of the protected classes will vote for that political group. The Dems have protected classes as their favorite voting block, the GOP has their garden variety industrial/military base.

        The above is very likely one of the main reasons CAGW is morphing into more and more of a partisan issue. Whatever the flavor of your skin or even the preference of your sex partner will matter when CO2 disparate impact cases start rolling across the land. A gay black man living in a CO2 nonattainment zone (industrial area) gets a check. Perhaps the household gets a double check is he’s living with a latina woman.

        It’s stupid. CO2 doesn’t make people sick (despite silly claims such as asthma) and the science definitely is unproven concerning a causation to CAGW. CO2 has become the boogeyman because dust, dirt and grime associated with urban or industrialized living wouldn’t stick in a lawsuit.

        Try this mental exercise.

        Imagine taxing the protected classes (instead of them being eligible for a check under disparate impact) under the guise of CO2 being good for them and see if you don’t see utter rebellion in the streets. Hey, you have too much of that fabulous, non toxic CO2. You have to pay. And please don’t wip out high lethal doses of CO2 cites .. displacement of 02 is not what we are talking about.

        The reason this connection is not widely discussed is because race and sexuality based discussions are paralyzed by emotional baiting. The politicians and lawyers like it this way. If the public starts talking about it too coherently, clear headed people might connect the dots and stupid will be exposed.

  20. The WaPo piece on low cost natural gas actually understates the incentive to scrap old coal stations in favor of natural gas fired CCGT. Take GE’s Flex 500, a modern medium sized CCGT. 61% efficient at 100 percent load, 58% at 40% load. So can displace peakers, not just provide baseload. Average US coal fleet is 34% efficient. So near double the thermal edficiency. Nat gas has about twice the heat content per pound of US thermal coal (~21000 btu/# versus ~10000 for Powder River coal). Finally for CO2, combusting 2 oxygen molecules produces 2 CO2 from coal, 1 CO2 plus 2 H2O from natural gas (methane). So half the CO2. Combine twice the energy content, near twice the thermal efficienty, and half the CO2 means about 15% compared to coal. And CCGT takes three yars to construct compared to USC coal at 4. And costs maybe $1200/kw of capacity versus coal at over $3000/ kw. Its a utility no brainer when you look at the several decades of abundance that the Marcellus and Utica shales will provide, even if nat gas goes back to $6/mbtu– which it probably will as the glut works off..

    • It depends on how far you are from Gillette Wyoming.
      Mine mouth coal prices in Gilette are less then $1/MMBtu.

      GE’s flex 500 isn’t going to be 58% efficient doing load following.

      Running at 40% load for 8 hours is completely different then ramping from 40% to 100% in 5 minutes.

  21. Curious George

    COP21: Let’s face it, the reason is losing. Again. Has been losing for over 4,000 years. And still I would not want to live in year 1015.

  22. What California can learn from Saudi Arabia’s water mystery [link] …
    NASA Bombshell: Global Groundwater Crisis Threatens Our Food Supplies & Our Security [link]

    The water situation is getting pretty serious. Rather than debating climate change fantasies we need to address how to jack the CO2 level to 500 PPM as soon as possible to cut crop water losses.

    Subsidizing coal consumption is one way to boost CO2 emissions so we don’t have to wait half a century or more to get to 500 PPM.

    It would be a shame to have drought caused starvation because we didn’t pump out enough CO2 fast enough.

    • CO2 level of 500ppm hasn’t been seen for tens of millions of years. Highly dangerous.

      • N…please provide supporting data. Not models. Not theories. Facts. I bet you cannot, because the planet was nearing CO2 starvation until we helped out. Else why would C4 plants have evolved?

      • Highly dangerous.

        You have a higher chance of a zombie apocalypse numbnuts.

      • <blockquote[…B]ecause the planet was nearing CO2 starvation until we helped out. Else why would C4 plants have evolved?Come on Rud, surely you understand ecosystem evolution better than that.

        Whether in a little pond or a global ecosystem, evolving lineages compete for scarce resources, and those with an advantage in extracting them use that advantage to draw down the supply until those with less advantage are squeezed (partly) out.

        The evolution of C4 grasses (and algaes, sensu latu), and the ecosystems dependent on them was a coordinated process with the draw-down of CO. This probably (IMO) first occurred during the Carboniferous [Edwards et al. (2004)]:

        During the Carboniferous Period, about 300 mya, a large decline in CO2 levels and an increase in O2 levels occurred, according to geochemical mass balance models (7). This change provided conditions for significant levels of photorespiration, such that a CO2 concentrating mechanism (CCM), which enhances the ratio of CO2 to O2 around Rubisco, would be advantageous in both terrestrial and aquatic environments. It is suggested that there were multiple origins of CCMs among microalgae during the Carboniferous period (5). Although there is no supporting evidence, if land plants independently evolved CCMs during this period, these concentrating mechanisms may have been lost during the great extinction, or plants may have reverted to photosynthesis without a CCM because of a subsequent rise in CO2. Alternatively, these plants may have escaped recognition by scientists studying CCMs. During the late Tertiary Period, approximately 65 mya, CO2 levels were again thought to be low enough for conditions to be favorable for evolutionary selection of CCMs and C4 photosynthesis.

        Many aquatic photosynthetic organisms evolved CCMs in response to the limiting inorganic carbon and the 104 higher diffusive resistance of CO2 in water compared with that in air. In the aquatic environment, cyanobacteria, algae, and some angiosperms evolved multiple mechanisms to actively accumulate inorganic carbon around Rubisco by use of membrane transporters and carbonic anhydrases (1a, 4, 5, 14a, 49a, 53a). In contrast, terrestrial plants, and a few aquatic macrophytes, evolved a biochemically and anatomically complex organic carbon pump, called the C4 pathway, along with the entire carbon fixation process commonly referred to as C4 photosynthesis.

        Because the actual amount of CO2 in the atmosphere depends on a complex interaction of pseudo-equilibrium reactions, the supposed “geological control knob” for atmospheric CO2 is a ridiculous myth.

        CO2 and Ca+/Mg+ are released by vulcanism and erosion, flow through the atmosphere, groundwater (for Ca+/Mg+) and ocean and in and out of various local sinks/sources, and end up as sedimentary CaCO3/MgCO3. But that’s only one of the “control knobs” for CO2 on a geological time-scale.

        Other major “control knobs” are the various “biological” pumps, including deposition of reduced carbon in the sea from both calcareous and siliceous algae (e.g. coccolithophores and diatoms respectively) and terrestrial sinks such as sphagnum (and coal in the past). The rates of flow of CO2 in many of these situations is dependent not only on the current pCO2, but also on evolutionary history.

        Any substantial increase in atmospheric pCO2 will change the competitive balance among major constituents of the C4 grassland ecosystems, with the risk of sudden, unpredictable, ecosystem changes. Similar changes (and risks) probably apply to marine environments.

        This in addition to possible sudden, unpredictable, changes to climate when the CO2 level climbs to points not experienced prior to the closure of the Isthmus of Panama, the modern extent (and probably height) of the Himalaya/Tibetan Plateau complex, and the northward movement of the Andean Cordillera to its current position.

        I’m not saying any of these risks are existential, even to civilization, much less our species. But they do exist, it’s arguably the better course to reduce those risks (by limiting and perhaps reversing the dumping of fossil CO2 into the global system), if it can be done without serious impact to energy prices or free-market capitalism.

        Ref:

        Edwards et al. (2004) Single-cell C4 photosynthesis versus the dual-cell (Kranz) paradigm by Gerald E. Edwards, Vincent R. Franceschi, and Elena V. Voznesenskaya Annual Review of Plant Biology Vol. 55: 173-196 DOI: 10.1146/annurev.arplant.55.031903.141725

      • “I’m not saying any of these risks are existential, even to civilization, much less our species. But they do exist, it’s arguably the better course to reduce those risks (by limiting and perhaps reversing the dumping of fossil CO2 into the global system), if it can be done without serious impact to energy prices or free-market capitalism”

        And thus the rub.

        We jump from unvalidated risk to painful solutions and slap urgency on the risk to push thru the solution. Horrible risk management.

        1. Design the experiment without bias.
        2. Publish all the raw data
        3. Figure out the known rate of error

        The scientific method requires that the proposer prove the theory, not that the others disprove your theory. We’ve turned the process upside down.

        What has happened is scientists identified a potential risk and projected their risk tolerance onto risk management decisions. Along the way, scientists (and other manipulators) figured out that people will believe what they say because they are scientists.

        The debate has been reduced to:

        Ad homs
        Cherry picking
        Correlations and not causations

        Fast forward 20 years and we have :

        1. The temp has barely changed in almost 20 years and is well within a normal range and error. Plus we argue about it because raw data is not being released.
        2. CO2 has been identified as a dangerous gas. If you are not shocked by this, you’re not awake.
        3. Extreme weather events are well within historical norms.
        4. We argue about short term changes in global ice and cherry pick land based glaciers to demonstrate urgency.
        5. We allow far more risky transport of oil via train and kill safer pipelines.
        6. We put up massive windmills that kill countless birds.
        7. We burden our consumer with up to double the cost of energy (Britain and Germany)
        8. We ignore real problems and waste limited resources.

        The list goes on and on. It’s downright ridiculous.

      • (corrected)

        […B]ecause the planet was nearing CO2 starvation until we helped out. Else why would C4 plants have evolved?

        Come on Rud, surely you understand ecosystem evolution better than that.

        Whether in a little pond or a global ecosystem, evolving lineages compete for scarce resources, and those with an advantage in extracting them use that advantage to draw down the supply until those with less advantage are squeezed (partly) out.

        The evolution of C4 grasses (and algaes, sensu latu), and the ecosystems dependent on them was a coordinated process with the draw-down of CO. This probably (IMO) first occurred during the Carboniferous [Edwards et al. (2004)]:

        During the Carboniferous Period, about 300 mya, a large decline in CO2 levels and an increase in O2 levels occurred, according to geochemical mass balance models (7). This change provided conditions for significant levels of photorespiration, such that a CO2 concentrating mechanism (CCM), which enhances the ratio of CO2 to O2 around Rubisco, would be advantageous in both terrestrial and aquatic environments. It is suggested that there were multiple origins of CCMs among microalgae during the Carboniferous period (5). Although there is no supporting evidence, if land plants independently evolved CCMs during this period, these concentrating mechanisms may have been lost during the great extinction, or plants may have reverted to photosynthesis without a CCM because of a subsequent rise in CO2. Alternatively, these plants may have escaped recognition by scientists studying CCMs. During the late Tertiary Period, approximately 65 mya, CO2 levels were again thought to be low enough for conditions to be favorable for evolutionary selection of CCMs and C4 photosynthesis.

        Many aquatic photosynthetic organisms evolved CCMs in response to the limiting inorganic carbon and the 10^4 higher diffusive resistance of CO2 in water compared with that in air. In the aquatic environment, cyanobacteria, algae, and some angiosperms evolved multiple mechanisms to actively accumulate inorganic carbon around Rubisco by use of membrane transporters and carbonic anhydrases (1a, 4, 5, 14a, 49a, 53a). In contrast, terrestrial plants, and a few aquatic macrophytes, evolved a biochemically and anatomically complex organic carbon pump, called the C4 pathway, along with the entire carbon fixation process commonly referred to as C4 photosynthesis.

        Because the actual amount of CO2 in the atmosphere depends on a complex interaction of pseudo-equilibrium reactions, the supposed “geological control knob” for atmospheric CO2 is a ridiculous myth.

        CO2 and Ca+/Mg+ are released by vulcanism and erosion, flow through the atmosphere, groundwater (for Ca+/Mg+) and ocean and in and out of various local sinks/sources, and end up as sedimentary CaCO3/MgCO3. But that’s only one of the “control knobs” for CO2 on a geological time-scale.

        Other major “control knobs” are the various “biological” pumps, including deposition of reduced carbon in the sea from both calcareous and siliceous algae (e.g. coccolithophores and diatoms respectively) and terrestrial sinks such as sphagnum (and coal in the past). The rates of flow of CO2 in many of these situations is dependent not only on the current pCO2, but also on evolutionary history.

        Any substantial increase in atmospheric pCO2 will change the competitive balance among major constituents of the C4 grassland ecosystems, with the risk of sudden, unpredictable, ecosystem changes. Similar changes (and risks) probably apply to marine environments.

        This in addition to possible sudden, unpredictable, changes to climate when the CO2 level climbs to points not experienced prior to the closure of the Isthmus of Panama, the modern extent (and probably height) of the Himalaya/Tibetan Plateau complex, and the northward movement of the Andean Cordillera to its current position.

        I’m not saying any of these risks are existential, even to civilization, much less our species. But they do exist, it’s arguably the better course to reduce those risks (by limiting and perhaps reversing the dumping of fossil CO2 into the global system), if it can be done without serious impact to energy prices or free-market capitalism.

        Ref:

        Edwards et al. (2004) Single-cell C4 photosynthesis versus the dual-cell (Kranz) paradigm by Gerald E. Edwards, Vincent R. Franceschi, and Elena V. Voznesenskaya Annual Review of Plant Biology Vol. 55: 173-196 DOI: 10.1146/annurev.arplant.55.031903.141725

      • We jump from unvalidated risk to painful solutions and slap urgency on the risk to push thru the solution. Horrible risk management.

        Straw man.

      • Have I misrepresented the idea of CAGW and it’s call to action ?

    • Subsidizing coal consumption is one way…

      Is PA a nom de guerre for Peabody & Arch?

    • Rather than debating climate change fantasies we need to address how to jack the CO2 level to 500 PPM as soon as possible to cut crop water losses.

      I think you are living in a fantasy world if you think we are going to purposefully try to increase CO2 emissions.

      • Joseph, it actually isn’t a bad idea at least as far as the US goes. We can call it a war on cold, mandate a 500 minimum and there is no way in hell we will win.

      • Joseph,

        You do realize that treating Xbox computer game results as science is textbook fantasy world.

        Of course you don’t.

      • Joseph – go check on what the Chinese intend to do. The intend to jack up the CO2 concentration A LOT.

      • China’s stated goal it to cap CO2 emissions by 2030 and coal emission by 2020. They need to do more but I wouldn’t call that purposefully trying to increase CO2 emissions. But you can join PA in fantasy land, if you want..

    • http://www.jstor.org/stable/2995622?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
      700 PPM reduces stomatal conductance 21% to 51% over 350 PPM.

      There are 200 molecules of water lost for each molecule of CO2 incorporated. More CO2 increases water conservation and increases the optimum photosynthesis temperature.

      China’s underreported of 1 GT/Y of emissions which was disclosed this week, mean that environmental absorption has averaged 6.7 GT the last 5 years. With current emissions being 10,8 GT/Y that means 62% of CO2 emissions go into the ground or water. Global warmers act like there aren’t plants in the ocean or on land that eat the CO2. The high level of environmental absorption means that global warmers need to put down their bong, wait until their head clears, and look at the numbers realistically.

      Our problem isn’t runaway CO2. The increasing population is going to consume arable land with asphalt. Agriculture is going to be squeezed between limited land and limited water.

      This runaway CO2 fantasy isn’t funny any more. It is threatening the lives of people in the future. We need to produce more food with less land and less water. More CO2 is a vital element in assuring reliable future food supplies. Covering arable land with windmills or black glass is indefensible.

      We need to discuss increasing the CO2 level so we can feed the people of the future. People can tolerate it 1-2°C warmer. Their tolerance for starvation has been tested and found wanting.

  23. Judith,

    I’m neither a scientist nor an academic, I’m just a normal bloke trying to make some sort of sense of GW, AGW, Climate change, or whatever it’s called in the moment. I have been trying to understand what’s going on since global freezing was predicted in the 70’s, and I still have no clue what’s happening, or what’s likely to happen. (I quoted that event to an ‘informed believer’ who responded that there were 20 papers published on the subject, opposed to tens of thousands of papers published on GW, what I thought of later was that there was no internet at the time!)

    Amongst the turmoil, I listened to, and watched some of your interviews, and read some of your articles over the past few days, and consider you an unquestionably informed participant who approaches the subject in a reasonable and considered manner.

    I was better educated by your speech at The George C. Marshall Institute on the logic of the whole subject than I have been by innumerable articles for and against climate change by both rabid Cooters (my shorthand,for CO2 disaster proponents) and rabid deniers (no shorthand for them).

    I have never seen a scientist shrug their shoulders and honestly tell an audience that there is simply not enough data on which to make an informed judgement on what the climate is going to do. You rather confirmed my earliest feelings on the subject and bravo for that single response, it revealed you as the normal human being most people want to deal with.

    Your description of how the IPCC ignore the ‘data poor’ subjects and focus on what they present as their comprehensive knowledge of (what seems to me) two over simplistic measurements, CO2 and temperature, as the route to human salvation was both enlightening and damning in a single argument.

    You also explained the single policy route the IPCC is taking very succinctly. It clearly explained there is no provision for deviation in the event they are wrong, no plan B if you like. If governments and NGO’s follow their dogmatic formula, it had better be right, if not we have more problems on our hands than we had with uncertainty.

    I wish I were clever enough to engage in the science of the subject but I’m not, I need an expert, a trusted advocate to do that job, as do millions of other laymen.

    Thank you,

    David.

    • Heavens, that’s lucid.
      =======

    • Cooters!!!! :) Consider it stolen!

    • “I have never seen a scientist shrug their shoulders and honestly tell an audience that there is simply not enough data on which to make an informed judgement on what the climate is going to do”

      because that isn’t true. The climate is going to continue warming. A lot.

      You are asking the wrong question anyways. You should be asking if the unprecedented changes humans are causing to the earth are safe from catastrophic consequences.

      Scientists will then shrug their shoulders and tell you there isn’t enough data to prove that it is.

      • No, nebakhet. You are wrong.

        You are jumping to conclusions.

        There is no “evidence” yet that humans are causing unprecedented changes to the earth. Heck, there isn’t even agreement of the warming that has happened – have you read Prof Curry’s posts about the hiatus and the temp data etc etc?

        There is just 19thC physics and chemistry which finds CO2 can cause warming in a vacuum. That is the scientific basis for climate science’s focus on warming. From that climate science has extrapolated far too wildly to develop a theory of forcing that isn’t supported by real world temp data, or hurricane data or rainfall data etc etc.

        You are welcome to your religious beliefs in catastrophic climate change, but really that’s all they are. Zealotry. Not science.

      • My, you are persistent, n. “Climate will continue warming a lot”. Please show your homework. Because the climate has not warmed at all this century, except when Karl fiddled SST and his boss hid that fact and is facing contempt of congress. And none of the other predicted warmunist stuff has come to pass either. You are shooting factual blanks. Noisy and harmless, showing only your ignorance of the facts and adherence to the warmunist ‘religion’. Ma Nature is a tough cookie. She appears not to be on your side.

      • “There is no “evidence” yet that humans are causing unprecedented changes to the earth.”

        yes there is. The CO2 record.

        You are in denial of science like creationists are in denial of evolution.

      • “Please show your homework. Because the climate has not warmed at all this century”

        False. Simply false.

        You are like creationists acccusing scientists of fraud because they can’t admit transitional fossils exist.

        Waste of time arguing with folks who are motivated to deny a science because of a strong religious like dislike of plain facts.

      • nebakhet your blind faith in CO2 forcing is much closer to creationism than my skepticism of it. The science does not support it.

      • nebakhet, I’m a left-wing, agnostic, Darwinist, AGW sceptic.
        Should I see a doctor?

  24. Cato has included all the ppts and videos from their recent meeting on what to expect from Paris. Richard Tol’s keynote is also available in video and well worth watching:

    http://www.cato.org/events/preparing-paris-what-expect-uns-2015-climate-change-conference

    • Mark. Now that Dr. Evans has finally presented his grand theory, what do you think of it? My gut feeling is that when energy concentrates somewhere, that increases its potential to disperse more rapidly. So, if CO2 tends to increase energy at some place in the climate system, it makes sense that energy would “seek” another way out.

      • J2, see my comment there to post # 18. Cannot argue Evans theoretical math, cause clear and ‘correct’. Can argue his parameterization values, and even moreso some of his conclusions. Simplest response to ’25 meters’ average WVEL makes all the sensitivity difference is, you have to be kidding. Something is wrong, or something is missing. 25 meters WVEL makes that much difference in a turbulent 10 km troposphere average that varies from more than 12 at the equator to less than 10 at high latitudes? The result defies common sense. More PseudoPrecision.

      • Saw that. There are other hypothesized routes to space. I appreciate his effort, nonetheless.

      • jim2 and Rud,

        I have to admit I am a bit lost on the reference to Dr. Evans theory……..can you help me out?

        On the other hand, I am becoming more and more disenchanted with debates over the “science”. Richard Tol’s scathing indictment of the UNFCCC/IPCC process puts it in perspective. As much as the science still fascinates me I am distressed to conclude that at the end of the day it hardly matters when juxtaposed on the political moralistic BS that is the Green Mafia. I am ready to sign up for Mosomoso’s revolution.

      • I am disheartened at the degree to which the US is in the socialist tank. We have so many forces arrayed against us, it’s difficult to hold out hope anymore.

      • jim2,

        Thanks for the link. I have been following this but had not seen 17 and 18. I saw Rud’s comment and Evans’ reply. I wanted to ask Judith for her views on this work at the Cato conference but never got the opportunity. Maybe she can comment here.

        I like what Evans and JoNova are doing. Evans has said several times that he has 2 papers currently in peer review (for what thats’ worth given the history in climate science) and his purpose in the blog series is to get the work out and get comments and suggestions to help guide further development. He seems to be getting a lot of good comments including Rud’s. I would think that issues and sensitivity to the internal parametrizations could be studied with his model.

        It will be interesting to see how the publication process plays out.

        Sorry for my unbinding cynicism. I was cynical before Cato and Tol’s talk, but now I am ready to man the barricades.

      • When energy accumulates in the oceans, with ACO2 levels going up, energy cannot cannot disperse rapidly. It stays in the oceans longer and longer and longer, and then you get the “irrigation” boost. Oh no.

      • Rud – the mean may be 25 meters, but what about the “standard deviation?” The WVEL will change from day to night. Maybe the DVEL is in the details.

      • JCH:

        When energy accumulates in the oceans, with ACO2 levels going up, energy cannot cannot disperse rapidly. It stays in the oceans longer and longer and longer, and then you get the “irrigation” boost. Oh no.

        I don’t know about oh noes, but it might be useful for realise, that the picture showing sea level rise on my screen and the physical sea level rise are about 1:1. That is, the graph is about 70 mm high on my display and the sea level rise claimed during the period is about 70 mm. Next I wish everyone takes a walk to sea shore see how high the waves are right now. Just to get some perspective on what we talk about.

  25. “1) the rate of warming over a particular period of at least 10 years is not statistically significant from zero”

    Which is irrelevant if it isn’t statistically significant from 0.3C/decade either

    • nebakhet,

      You may have noticed the surface has cooled since it was molten.

      CO2 levels have also dropped. Are you really prepared to believe that falling CO2 levels cooled the surface, or do big molten blobs of rock manage to cool all by themselves?

      The Moon, as just one example, managed to cool without any appreciable atmosphere at all. The surface also heats up more quickly, and to higher temperatures, than the Earth’s, in sunlight. No atmosphere, no impediment to insolation. Higher surface temperature.

      So would wrappIng the Moon with CO2 cool it to Earthlike surface temperatures? Of course it would! You’ve just got it backwards, like all foolish Warmists who deny physics!

      Cheers.

      • So would wrappIng the Moon with CO2 cool it to Earthlike surface temperatures? Of course it would!

        It couldn’t do any difference, because the Moon can’t hold any atmosphere to talk about. You’d need a much more massive ball of iron and rock to hold an atmosphere, and in that case the gravity would make a big difference by allowing 1000 mbar at surface in 285K. And the question would be how much atmosphere you’d add. 500 mbar? 1500 mbar?

        However, the Moon would be very hot on dayside and very cold on the other side.

  26. Does anyone get the impression that New Republic writers are frustrated novelists?

  27. From Charles Moore’s article on UK energy problems:

    ” The second qualification is disclosed in another news story this week. The New York Times revealed that China has been burning 17 per cent more coal per year than it previously thought. Since the whole edifice of global climate change reduction depends on what the Bali conference of 2007 called “measurable, reportable, verifiable” figures for emissions, the fact that a quantity larger than the entire annual fossil fuel consumption of Germany could previously have been missed suggests that the figures are nearly meaningless.

    “Like most people – possibly everyone – who takes part in the global-warming debate, I do not know what will happen to the temperature of the Earth in a century’s time. What I do know, because it is plainly visible, is that the attempt to run the world as if we can control our eco-fate 100 years hence is statistically fantastical, politically impossible, economically ruinous and morally bogus. “The lights are going out all over Europe,” lamented Sir Edward Grey in 1914. That was because of a war. Now we are doing our best to put them out all over again, in the name of the common good.”

  28. Priorities for the African continent: … the resounding consensus was that strategies for poverty reduction and inequality must be redirected, with a focus on energy, industrialization, integration and job creation. “If Africa is to transform, we need reforms to take advantage of opportunities lying in external factors, with emphasis on human capital and industrialization,” said the UN’s Lopes.

    What about a focus on the rule of law, property rights, the removal of kleptocracy and changes of government not involving drawn-out civil wars?

    If you want the investment needed for the objectives listed, you must first have a reasonably settled society with little in the way of arbitrary decision-making and property seizure.

    • Yep, the world-class problem solvers remind me of a Steve Martin joke: Yes, you too can be a Millionaire!! First, get a million dollars.

    • And what do you expect the UN to do about that? And if they can’t do anything about the governments, they should do nothing??

      • Good idea, Joseph! Interventions tend to be negative, they’ve often propped up the regimes which are the main problem. I recall a few years ago seeing that if the all the aid given to Mozambique over several decades had been invested instead, per capita income would we five times what it actually was. How much aid to bad regimes has ended up releasing funds to buy more weapons to help maintain the regime?

      • Joseph,

        You’re right, of course. The UN (and the US) should do nothing.

        Otherwise, you might get wonderful results such as the Korean War, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya etc. etc.

        Cheers.

      • Joseph, which is easier? (1) sort out the long-running problems which underlie your country’s problems; (2) seek a bucket of money from the UN (which is mainly funded by the US). The incentives will often be to pursue option 2. Take that away, and you might have to resolve the real problems.

  29. ‘Obama rejects Keystone pipeline [link]’

    Where’s the imagination these days? We could piggyback with pipelines of fresh arctic water to arid regions. Something for everybody; something worthy of the Romans.

  30. timg56, its all circular, and Lewis Carroll would be proud.

    The wind-farm is justified by comparing the projected cost/KWh with the cost/KWh of the existing diesel generators.

    The projected cost/KWh is only low enough if they build the cable and force the mainland grid to buy the intermittent power left-overs at 5-6 times the cost of present reliable grid power plus use cheap grid power to supplement the wind power and allow BI Power to retire the diesel generators on the island.

    Of course they do not mention the obvious third possibility: just install a cable to the island and retire the diesel generators. This would almost certainly be the most cost-effective alternative, and possibly the least CO2 intensive.

    The extra costs of the wind-farm plus cable over the cable alone are simply additional costs of “renewable” power for which there will never be a proper accounting. But this is how the “New Energy Economy” works.

    • My reply to timg56, above, landed in the wrong place. I have copied it to the proper location.

      • Sci Guy
        Could you fill the in the blanks ?

        Both Britain and Germany have served as pilot nations for windmills and solar alternatives. The average rate for power in Germany has increased ____ %, while the average rate for Britain ____ %.

        If numbers cant be teased out the larger circular accounting, are you aware of a smaller regional area that can serve as a pilot ?

        Do you have a cite ?

        I’m developing a top ten list of CAGW facts

        1. No temp change in 18 years despite an increase in CO2.
        2. Extreme weather events fall within the historical norm
        etc.

        Trying to develop one for alt energy costs to consumer.

      • Knute

        Electric rate increases due to green policies will be very difficult for you to ferret out, and intentionally so.

        Lots of data from the UK here:
        https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/electricity-statistics

        There are studies of relative cost to generate power, assuming a new plant is built today:

        https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/223940/DECC_Electricity_Generation_Costs_for_publication_-_24_07_13.pdf

        Be aware that the cost of gas turbines shown there are inflated almost 30% with a “cost of carbon” added to the top. OCGT capital costs are multiplied to reflect projected low utilization rates. This cost should be allocated to the intermediate renewables instead. Also the fraction associated with fuel cost is overstated in the current energy marketplace.

        But the cost to generate is just the beginning for consumers. The entire grid will require upgrading to allow for load leveling, transfers, storage, etc as ever-increasing quantities of intermittent power come online. This all costs money and adds uncertainty, which leads to additional investments by utilities and consumers to reduce risk in the face of uncertainty.

    • Do I need a permit to harvest fowl from the windmill.
      I’m trying to decide on a chicken coup or the windmill.

    • I understand this. At 24 cents / kWh I will guess that the roi for connecting Block Island ( which was one of our nav points in and out of New London) does not pencil out. But when you add in the externalities created by “renewable” mandates, NG can make it work for ratepayers, regulators and investors.

      In other words, they play according to the rigged reality.

  31. Re. Nature: Combined climate pledges of 146 nations fall short of 2 °C target

    This article is truly bizarre stuff and I’m surprised it’s published—in Nature of all places ^^—for all to see.Simply pledge and implement and disaster will be avoided.

    Also it’s an amazing coincidence that maximized pledges will result avoiding specifically a 2 °C threshold.

  32. “The virtuous cycle has begun.

    “It’s a self-reinforcing cycle. As more renewables are installed, coal and natural gas plants are used less. As coal and gas are used less, the cost of using them to generate electricity goes up. As the cost of coal and gas power rises, more renewables will be installed. “(Because of the increasing cost differential.)

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-06/solar-wind-reach-a-big-renewables-turning-point-bnef

    Interesting argument. Running down efficiency portrayed as “virtuous cycle”.

    • It seems there’s simply nothing which can’t be spun around to have a completely different meaning.

  33. Republican denial of science is strong. It’s based on denial of facts because of a desire to hold onto cherished beliefs, often with religious zeal. This is why one republican candidate last week claimed that the Egyptian Pyramids were grain silos or some other rubbish. Facts don’t matter to these people.

    They’ll tell you the grand canyon was formed by the biblical flood, or that rising CO2 doesn’t cause warming.

      • If you change your opinion every time an idiot happens to agree, you will be very busy, indeed.

      • Republicans on evolution? What’s that got to do with anything? Well, I can play this game. I find it entertaining that climate alarmists like JimD are so credulous they wholly believe Michael Mann’s completely nonsense history of unchanging temps, the hockey stick.

        Alarmists = ignorant of history and always nasty.

      • Actually the Democrats follow the progress of the science and see that the HS has gone through some modifications recently but maintains the long downward and short upward tilt parts.

      • Gone through some modifications? JimD that’s putting it rather too politely.

        The HS is a joke. A fake history of temperatures that made it through peer review because of pure partisan hackery. And Democrats fell for it, hook line and sinker.

        Seriously, does it not shame you to be on the side of Al Gore? I am not sure there’s a bigger laughingstock anywhere on the planet although Michael Mann certainly is clownish.

      • It is still within the error bars of recent studies, much as the skeptics want to cast it aside.You can look at Marcott and Oceans2k for more recent examples using more data.

      • It is just a fact that the group that is associated with a belief that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old, and that humans did not evolve from other species, is strongly associated the group of people that have a lower level of concern about ACO2 emissions. And both groups are associated with a particular ideological orientation.

        Ain’t no way around that fact.

        Make of it what you will. Personally, I think it says nothing particularly about the reasoning of that group relative to other groups, or about the level of scientific knowledge of that group relative to others. Establishing causality behind those associations, or identifying moderators or mediators in the relationship between a rejection of mainstream scientific views on evolution and mainstream scientific views on climate change is obviously complicated. Personally, I think that what it tells us is that views on climate change, like views on evolution, tell us more about who someone is (and how they identify ideologically and socially) than what they know.

      • From the article:
        Spreading Pseudoscience: 5 Ways Liberals Are As Bad As Conservatives

        Walk into a Whole Foods grocery store – which can be found in just about any over-privileged, predominantly white neighborhood – and you’re bound to find two things: overenthusiastic liberals and homeopathic remedies for everything from the flu to cancer.

        It’s a fact that all new agey, crystal worshipping, astrology-believing loonies are always and without a doubt diehard liberals.

        For 20 years scientists have genetically modified foods (e.g., corn, soybean) to be more resistant to things like disease and insects, while richer in nutrients and healthier overall. Essentially, their genetic tweaks are creating superhero plants, which regrettably look more like scary mutants in the eyes of the fearful. But this time the fearful predominantly consists of liberals rather than conservatives, who hold the belief that any gene-tinkerings will produce Franken-foods capable of causing illnesses and tumors.

        Out of all the anti-science movements being driven predominantly by liberals, none is more dangerous than that which claims vaccinations are harmful or unnecessary.

        Some popular alternative therapies with the latte-sippin’ hippy lib crowd include energy medicine, acupuncture, aromatherapy, and crystal healing. Hopefully I need not explain to the reader exactly why mystical energies, tiny needles, scents, or neat looking crystals all fail to cure the sick.

        http://scienceissexy.com/2014/11/15/spreading-pseudoscience-5-ways-liberals-are-as-bad-as-conservatives/

      • I’ve read some work on looking for an ideological signal in public views on GMOs, vaccinations, etc. Kahan has looked at the issue rather extensively.

        Although such an association is often asserted, I haven’t seen solid evidence of such.

        Try using The Google with “Prison Planet and GMOs”

      • From the article:

        Opponents of genetically modified organisms are sounding the alarm statewide over a new California law they contend could derail local efforts to regulate or ban not just GMOs, but all plants, seeds or crops grown in the state.

        The controversy has drawn in the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, who are divided over whether to seek immediate action, and put North Coast lawmakers on the defensive over why they voted for the bill.

        That includes state Sen. Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa, who has long sought to label products in California that contain GMOs. The senator last week expressed dismay over the notion she may have unwittingly supported legislation that is now anathema to GMO opponents.

        http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/3079218-181/opponents-of-genetically-modified-crops

    • Would you like to share with us a “fact” about what the temperature will be in 2100? Thrill me with your acumen. Or your clairvoyance.

      • What is your guess on the CO2 level, and then I will give you a temperature. The CO2 level is unpredictable because it depends on things like human behavior and responses to change.

      • Jim D

        I wasn’t picking on you. It was bak of the hat above you who I was asking. I know you get my point, but let’s see if he gets it.

      • Upon further reflection since that nobakyet “Facts don’t matter to these people.” feller might not stop by, I might not have any fun.

        You may have a guess, belief, forecast, projection, prediction, conjecture, speculation about what the temperature will be in 2100, but you won’t have a fact. That means unless that feller is channeling the Great Poobah in the Sky, he doesn’t have any more “facts” than the Republicans.

      • The point was, if they deny facts like evolution or geological history, it is perhaps no surprise that they deny climate science too.

    • Do you really think that it’s only some particular group of people who are slaves to their beliefs?
      The truth is, we all are. We all resist any challenge to what we believe.
      The fact that many of our beliefs agree with the actual facts is beside the point.

    • nebakhet, try this:

      Democrat mischaracterisation of science is strong. It’s based on denial of facts because of a desire to hold on to cherished beliefs, often with a religious zeal. That is why POTUS Obama this week rejected the Keystone oil pipeline claiming he had to because otherwise this generation of people will all die from climate change, or some such rubbish.. Facts don’t matter to these people.

      They’ll tell you New York City is going to flood because of SUVs, or that the Chinese are more green than ever.

    • This is simply wrong.

      There are statements from both Republicans and Democrats that just make your jaw drop.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090312115133.htm
      http://www.cnn.com/2006/EDUCATION/05/02/geog.test/index.html?_s=PM:EDUCATION
      Science literacy in this country is just pathetic and is almost as bad as geography (2/3rds of Americans still don’t know where Iraq is).

      Democrats make all sorts of dumb statements:
      ”We have to pass the (health care) bill so you can find out what is in it.”

      ”I’ve now been in 57 states — I think one left to go.”

      ”Why would you want to put people in charge of government who just don’t want to do it? I mean, you wouldn’t expect to see al Qaeda members as pilots.”

      And they have integrity problems:
      ”What about saying she’s a whore?” (Brown staffer discussion about anti Meg Whitman tactics).

      And they have a delusional view of the opposition:
      ”It’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

      The Democrats calling Republicans stupid is like someone in a ethical sewer claiming the moral high ground.

      http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2012/09/10/are_democrats_really_the_pro-science_party_115367.html
      The stupid Democrat statements about Fukushima/Nuclear Power/GMO/Renewable Energy/Fracking/Climate Science that are simply wrong would fill a book.

      Planning Engineer has fended off a number of “2+2 =5″/”water flows up hill” comments about renewables. Democrats tend to have less practical experience doing anything useful than Republicans

      And then there is the UCB 22 PPM = 0.2 W/m2 study.
      Still haven’t seen anyone (link appreciated if I am incorrect) compare this to the modeled 2 meter forcing from 370 to 392 PPM. That generally means the result is ugly. Between this and the quasi-linear CO2 concentration vs absorption curve CAGW is precluded (either one would preclude CAGW)..

      Many Democrats believe in CAGW so just how bright can they be?

    • Dear numbnuts,

      I am registered as Republican and have a graduate science degree. While I focused on water and soil quality, I did take both atmospheric physics and chemistry. I am aware of and accept the following facts:

      1 increasing concentration of CO2 in our atmosphere will lead to increased warming, all other conditions remaining static.

      2 there has been a rough correlation between rise of CO2 concentration and average temperature

      Those two are pretty much the extent of the facts which support your rant.
      So please tell us what other facts we are supposedly denying.

  34. With nearly 1/3 of the global population depending on groundwater abstraction and hundreds of millions of acres used for irrigation and hundreds of millions of acres deforested and hundreds of millions of acres paved over, is it any surprised that groundwater water levels are being depleted so quickly? That groundwater is adding to GMSL rise and may be contributing to local rates due to subsidence greater than currently thought. The natural groundwater recharge cycle is being disrupted by factors other than CO2. Water is running off the continents faster than a spilled beer off a table.

    • Rush asked me to tell you that puny little men could never change something so big as the oceans.

      • Also, ACO2 means those plants don’t need to be irrigated.They’re drought resistant. Soon, they won’t need no stinkin’ water at all. Pour on the coal. Coal for Christmas.

      • I know it’s stressful trying to live up to the expectations of the Pee wee Herman lookalikes McKibben and Nye, but at some point you will have to get off the Gerber gravy train and start thinking for yourself. The thermosteric component of SLR has been overstated and the gw contribution understated since it has gone from a net negative to an ever increasing positive. These kinds of changes are remarkably easy as evidenced by the study on the Antarctic last week contradicting the IPCC .27 mm/yr supposedly from the Antarctic to zip. All of a sudden the cataclysmic SLR from down under vanishes. Poof. Gone in an instant. Easy come easy go.
        So let’s just change the budget for SLR and add a few mm from gw and reduce the thermosteric part and gone is Trenberth’s missing heat. Just like that a few mysteries have been solved. Colombo would be proud.

  35. “NASA Bombshell: Global Groundwater Crisis Threatens Our Food Supplies & Our Security”

    Quote:
    “The groundwater at some of the world’s largest aquifers — in the U.S. High Plains, California’s Central Valley, China, India, and elsewhere — is being pumped out “at far greater rates than it can be naturally replenished.”
    The most worrisome fact: “nearly all of these underlie the word’s great agricultural regions and are primarily responsible for their high productivity.”
    And this is doubly concerning in our age of unrestricted carbon pollution because it is precisely these semiarid regions that are projected to see drops in precipitation and/or soil moisture, which will sharply boost the chances of civilization-threatening megadroughts and Dust-Bowlification.”

    Very naughty, increased forcing of the climate increases positive NAO/AO, which is associated with La Nina, and a colder AMO. Both of which increase rainfall in the US Great Plains, India/Indonesia, north China, Australia, and drier parts of Africa.
    Though the observed decline in groundwater, if directly affecting surface soil moisture levels in these regions, will naturally be causing surface temperatures to rise.

  36. From the article:

    There is a theory about snow in Siberia during the month of October: If there is a lot, it can mean a particularly wicked winter in the northeast United States.

    Last month, Siberia experienced record snowfall and the worst blizzard in a decade.

    Above-average snow cover in Siberia is believed to affect the now-famous polar vortex and send bitterly cold temperatures to the Northeast. This happens when the Arctic Oscillation, a climate pattern, shifts.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/11/07/record-siberian-snow-could-bode-ill-northeast/75224060/

  37. Now that I see the emergence of a new consensus where Lukewarmers — the last refuge of pampered Western commies joined by aging capitalists who are getting a bit pinkish around the middle as they begin to draw transfer payments from the government in retirement — we’ve got to appeal to all sides even if it means accommodating those who are willing to prostitute science to justify stealing from others. So, my suggestion for something with appeal to all: instead of windmills we begin building nuclear power plants on the ocean floor.

  38. From Bill Nye, the Science Lie, he makes the Cooters on the blog here look like brain surgeons.

    My goal is to change the world! Really, that’s what I’m trying to do. Obviously, this book isn’t going to change the world, but it is part of the bigger idea that we all have to think optimistically about this. We’ve got to go into this knowing we have a hard challenge but that we’re going to win this fight, and we’re going to save the earth for humanity.

    Yeah, you’re leading to my next point. Part of the solution to this problem or this set of problems associated with climate change is getting the deniers out of our discourse. You know, we can’t have these people – they’re absolutely toxic. And so part of the message in this book is to get the deniers out of the picture, and along that line – I’ve been saying this a lot the last few weeks as I listen to the Republican debates – maybe one of these people will go out on his or her own, thinking for him or herself, and say, “You know, I’ve been thinking about this and climate change is a very serious problem. So if I’m president, we’re going to address climate change.”

    First of all, politically, it would engage what everybody loves right now, the millennials. And then it would have some potential for influencing everybody, no matter who wins the presidential election, to address climate change. And the reason it’s so important for us in the United States is that we are the world leaders. You can hate the U.S., you can hate everything we do, but the U.S. still is the world leader in all sorts of policies, climate change being among them. So it’s all the more reason to get going!

    First of all, in the notorious cases, it’s put natural gas in people’s sinks, which is horrible and lawsuits ensue, and it’s thoughtless and mean-spirited and all these things. But in the bigger picture, fracking has driven down the price of natural gas by making it abundant, especially in the U.S., which is the largest user of all this stuff. But it has slowed the development of renewables, like wind and solar, because gas is so cheap. And it has caused an increase in fugitive natural gas, which is bad for the atmosphere. The costs, in other words, clearly outweigh the benefits. Most of the confusion on fracking has to do with economics and the mean-spirited callous attitude of certain oil companies

    They’re going to have to be displaced, and I’m talking about the United States, the developed world. But in the bigger picture, there are people all over the world who are not going to be able to move fast enough. They’re going to have to abandon their material possessions; they’re going to have to abandon their farms, and they’re not going to be able to get clean water for agriculture in general.

    But if we continue to talk about it, things will get done. If you want to make a difference, these next few months and the election in general have the potential to become a huge turning point. Not just for the U.S., but for humankind.

    http://www.salon.com/2015/11/06/bill_nye_demolishes_climate_deniers_im_not_a_scientist_therefore_im_not_going_to_use_my_brain/

    • Bill Nye has dove head first into the deep end.

      And since he appears to have a single cell organism for a brain, he probably can stay under for a long time before needing to come up for air.

      What is sad was listening to our son, 29, college grad and commissioned as a Marine lieutenant, with a technology job, say that Nye is one if his sources for info on climate change. I almost choked at the dinner table.

      The good news is he doesn’t really care about the subject. Or about voting.

    • JIM2

      I know nothing of Bill Nye other than I have heard him referenced on the Big Bang Theory.

      Reading up on him I see that he is a former mechanical engineer who used to make comedy science shows for kids on TV. Hmmm

      Tonyb

  39. NASA AND NOAA AND ALARMIST CLIMATE SCIENTISTS CONVINCED OUR PRESIDENT, THE POPE, OTHER LEADERS AROUND THE WORLD THAT ANTARCTIC WAS MELTING FASTER AND CAUSING INCREASING SEA LEVEL RISE.

    Now, they say they were wrong.
    http://www.earthweek.com/2015/ew151106/ew151106a.html

    I said that ice on land was increasing, several years ago. I was right.
    I say oceans are dropping. We shall see.

  40. The productive are the earners, the makers and the candlestick burners. The blood, sweat, toil and sacrifice of the productive is going to this evergreen army of Western bureaucrats whose justification for existence is that they used attorneys, courts, juries and the politics of fear and envy to gain a choke hold over sectors of the economy. One after the other on top of others the Left has driven up tax revenues on everything from alcohol, tobacco, gaming and fuel to transcations in goods and servies of nearly every kind, from hotel bills to utility payments like telephone and electric bills. Call it the ‘tobacco-model;’ and, it’s not one wit different from the British tax on tea.

  41. The price of oil has jumped around a lot lately, but still ended up around $45. Some shale producers, at current labor and service company prices, produce shale oil at $30/bbl.

    11/06/15
    OIL 44.56
    BRENT 47.70
    NAT GAS 2.378
    RBOB GAS 1.3779

    Surely, the price of WTI must come up significantly within the next 6 months!

  42. FYI, China is the fourth largest oil producer in the world. From the article:

    By 2020, China—the world’s largest energy consumer—aims to produce 30 billion cubic meters of shale-gas a year, up from the current level of 1.3 billion cubic meters, Chen Weidong, renowned energy expert and research chief at China National Offshore Oil Corp., or Cnooc, said at the International Petroleum Week conference on Wednesday.

    That would take fracking output from just 1% of all of China’s gas production to 15% in five years.

    “Last year, China drilled 200 new wells [bringing the total to 400], and we’ll add a few hundred a year for sure. No problem,” he said, confirming earlier government goals of reducing heavy dependence on coal, which accounts for about two-thirds of the country’s energy consumption.

    The call for spicing up China’s energy mix with cleaner fuels comes as the capital, Beijing, battles with high levels of pollution, evidenced by frequent “orange” smog alerts. In January, pollution reached a level that was 20 times the limit recommended by the World Health Organization, prompting many people to wear masks. There is even a Twitter account called BeijingAir that sends out daily reports on the smog levels—on Wednesday it was “unhealthy for sensitive groups”.

    China has been planning for the shale-gas revolution since 2012, when the government declared it would start fracking its reserves—the largest in the world—and produce 60 billion to 80 billion cubic meters a year by 2020. However, that goal proved to be too ambitious and it was scaled back to 30 billion cubic meters in 2014 as the drilling conditions turned out to be more difficult than anticipated.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/chinas-shale-ambition-23-times-the-output-in-5-years-2015-02-11

  43. Well here is a good question. What do you do with old nuclear power stations?
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/zcy3r82

  44. Not sure how many will be able to see this video, but there may be other ways for those outside the UK, if you do a search
    “Britain’s Nuclear Secrets: Inside Sellafield”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/zcy3r82

  45. @ RCP article on Keystone XL: The president said: “Allowing the Keystone pipeline to be built requires a finding that doing so would be in our nation’s interest … which are served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution ….(however) he did not assert the pipeline would “significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.” He also did not mention the State Department study concluded that the Canadian crude will be delivered to U.S. by rail anyway, and exported to other world markets. There is no significant effect on carbon emissions. Department of Transportation and Office of Hazardous Materials Transport statistics say that fatalities-per-billion-ton-miles for crude transport by rail been 0.100 versus 0.004 by pipeline, so the risk loss of American lives is 25 times greater transporting by rail versus pipeline.* Keystone XL, at 1,179 miles long, represents only 0.2% of the U.S. crude and hazardous material pipeline system. The American Association of Railroads has said that as a result of the rapid growth in domestic oil production and constraints in pipeline infrastructure, the number of crude rail cars has expanded by 20X since 2009, from 20,000 in 2009 to over 400,000 today, often traveling through highly populated areas. (* Crude transport by pipeline is $10/barrel cheaper than by rail, so the president’s ecision does, have substantial economic impact on American citizens. The Keystone XL decision has been driven solely by politics and to support the president’s legacy. The only issue that is important and not marginal is health and safety. It is no surprise the decision was announced on the eve of the upcoming COP21 climate conference in Paris in a few weeks. Will the president tell the climate conference his rejection of the Keystone pipeline was based on careful consideration of the need to protect the lives and property of American citizens?

    * Furchtgott-Roth, Diane. ”Pipelines Are Safest For Transporting Oil and Gas”. Manhattan Institute for Policy Research: Policy Brief 23, June 2013 (updated 2015)

  46. Excellent post Wolfe
    THAT article went into my favorites.

  47. Sooooo far behind so forgive if I’ve missed on this, but for P.E. and others can you provide insight on this process? http://www.apexcaes.com/caes

    It’s being touted in Austin, Texas as a candidate for off peak energy. Lot’s of limestone in the area so plenty of porous storage spaces.

    Thanks

    • I just don’t know about this. It seems it could cause earthquake or, worst case, even explode!! We need to apply the precautionary principle to this and to be on the safe side – just don’t use it!!!

    • Danny – I have had some involvement with the “CAES Plant in Alabama that became operational about 25 years ago. . It uses a solution mined salt dome for the storage or compressed air. It’s fairly easy to solution mine a salt caverns and they are very strong. (I’m not up on limestone storage capabilities.) The Alabama unit works in conjunction with gas turbine technology. It was put in to capitalize on the excess coal generation available at night.

      Off peak electricity compresses air into the cavern. During peak hours escaping air (think balloon) supplements the gas turbine operation to turn the turbine. For every MWH put in I think you get a MWH back, but it is produced by both the compressed air and the gas fired combustion turbine. If you assumed the combustion turbine operating as a combustion turbine with typical efficiencies, I’d estimate you get 80% of the energy back that’s put into compression. Not that different from pumped hydro.

      The project had a few bugs at the start that were worked out and it works fine. By the time it was built the excess cheap coal energy at night was no more. The cost of construction was offset by aid from EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute). From the owners point of view (ignoring the subsidy) they would have been better served spending their money on two plain combustion turbines than the CAES plant.

      I’m not sure here and just speculating about comparisons to pumped storage hydro. Both need locations that work and often can’t be found where you want them. Operationally you get a little more flexibility from pumped hydro (easier standby, starts and stops). Don’t need any fossil fuel for pumped hydro. Maybe somewhat cheaper for CAES with a good site Germany has one as well.

    • Well…

      It is kind of dumb. But then so is renewable energy so things can’t get much worse.

      1. The CAES systems are up to 70% efficient.
      2. They use natural gas to heat the air on discharge. Yup – clean, renewable backup system creates emissions.
      3. It would localize the cost of making renewable energy dispatchable instead of burying the cost in the grid by making other energy sources more expensive.
      4. It would provide renewable energy at the daily consumption peak whereas you can’t count on jack from conventional renewables.
      5. Additional capital cost for storage is on top of the existing renewable energy capital cost.

      It is kind of wasteful and dumb. But renewable energy is kind of wasteful and dumb. At least it makes some of that renewable energy useful and can mitigate some of the problems of stupidly putting uncontrollable power sources on the grid.

  48. Just an article worth sharing showing the variety of viewpoints: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/15/magazine/the-secrets-in-greenlands-ice-sheets.html