Week in review – energy and policy edition

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week

Why is nuclear excluded from clean energy mandates & subsidies? Nice WSJ shout-out [link]

Coal’s Future Shifts To Developing World [link]

Air pollution and infant health in Mexico City [link] …

How can we reduce concrete’s hefty carbon footprint? [link]

Finding a United Front as Methane Becomes Key Climate Battle [link]

World Bank to spend 28% of investments on climate change [link]

Green energy dropping out of mix in developing world [link]

Alex Epstein’s recent Congressional Testimony in defense of fossil fuels [link]

The most important mystery about U.S. climate change policy: its whether increased oil and gas methane emissions are undermining cutbacks in coal [link]

People’s Fission: A supporter’s plea for Sanders to change his mind and embrace nuclear energy. [link]

10 Years of #Fracking: Its Impact on Our Water, Land & Climate [link]

UN’s Figueres: “It’s a simple relation: more carbon equals more poverty.” [link]

Why its time to dispel myths about nuclear power [link]

Political storm clouds outlook for Brazil’s climate change plan [link]

How Obama could leave a president Trump or Cruz stuck with the #ParisAgreement on climate [link]

US FUEL ECONOMY standard delivering smaller gains than expected due to cheap oil: [link]

Those ambitious global warming goals? The world may not know how to reach them [link]

Kenya’s dwindling Lake Turkana as Ethiopian dam begins operation [link]

The world’s biggest floating solar farm powers up outside London [link]

German Government ‘Plans To Stop And Reverse Wind Power’ – [link]

Eight Cities That Are Improbably Running out of Water [link]

Report: America’s Western Power Grid Is Totally Vulnerable To Attacks [link] …

This is very interesting: Ontario Society of Professional Engineers on why C02 emissions will double as we add wind and solar plants [link]  …

Tiny Kosovo faces a big energy dilemma [link]

Chinese dams blamed for exacerbating Southeast Asian #drought: [link]

An empty table?  Food-climate-conflict connections in Paris [link]

Climate change will wipe $2.5tn off global financial assets: study [link]  — NatureClimate in the news

How an Army of Ocean Farmers are Starting an Economic Revolution – this is a very interesting read [link]

“Taxing food that is responsible for high greenhouse-gas emissions” – Nature [link]

China is responsible for 10% of human influence on climate change, study says [link]

“Efforts to curtail world temps will almost surely fail” – new paper in Energy Policy [link]  …

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

  1. My top story : GE Global Research is testing a closed-loop type unit where the turbine is driven by “supercritical carbon dioxide.

    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/601218/desk-size-turbine-could-power-a-town/#/set/id/601229/

    • Curious George

      Critical temperature of carbon dioxide is 88F (31C). Anything above it is supercritical.

    • Curious George

      The level of knowledge of this article is best illustrated by a sentence “The unit’s compact size and ability to turn on and off rapidly could make it useful in grid storage.”

    • Stephen Segrest,

      I read the article. I was surprised to note that CO2 has added another amazing property to its repertoire. Another state of matter, neither liquid nor gas – and not plasma either. Warmist Wonders never cease!

      You might have noticed the requirement for a serious heat source to drive the equipment to compress and heat the CO2 to drive the turbine to produce electricity to compress the CO2 . . .

      It’s an attempt to compete with batteries, as you will note. Not economically viable at present – but good for including in your grant funds application.

      Cheers.

      • I was surprised to note that CO2 has added another amazing property to its repertoire. Another state of matter, neither liquid nor gas – and not plasma either.

        You were surprised because you’re an ign0rant fool.* The critical point has been known since 1822.

        *Unless you’re a false-flagging warmist pretending to be an ign0rant fool.

      • AK,

        You are correct. I am wrong. I forgot about supercritical fluids (as opposed to liquids) which have the properties of both gas and liquid. I am of course aware of critical points, and a few other properties of CO2. The magical warming effect property of CO2 still eludes me. Having never been measured or demonstrated, it obviously eludes others less foolish than myself.

        “supercritical fluid (SCF[1]) is any substance at a temperature and pressure above its critical point, where distinct liquid and gas phases do not exist. It can effuse through solids like a gas, and dissolve materials like a liquid.”

        “Supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO. 2) is a fluid state of carbon dioxide where it is held at or above its critical temperature and critical pressure.”

        I hope I can at least aspire to a high standard for ignorant foolishness. Obviously, I would need long and intensive training from the Warmist Church of Latter Day Scientism.

        Thanks for the correction.

        I think the rest of my comment about usefulness still stands.

        Cheers.

    • Power plant generator that uses compressed CO2 instead of water for the ‘steam’ to spin it. Should work in any power plant that generates power from heat. Coal, Gas, Nuclear, even Geothermal if it’s hot enough to push the operating temperature (up to 700’C. No min listed in article)

      It’s a closed loop system, so the CO2 isn’t released. Basically just an efficiency improvement for power plants, then.

      • schitztree,

        Not cost effective at present. First you have to heat and compress the CO2. Or you could use the energy involved to generate electricity.

        About as practical (at present) to use heat sources such as you have mentioned to provide light to generate electricity from solar cells at night.

        Practical use is no doubt “just around the corner. More research needed . . . ” I believe I’ve heard this before.

        Cheers.

    • Mike Flynn, the “magical warming effect of CO2” and water vapor also, is something that pretty much any competent IR laser instrument design engineer can calculate for you. You just give ammunition to opposing viewpoints with such statements.

      • Doug Mackenzie,

        I disagree, of course. Nobody has managed to raise the temperature of anything at all (without an internal heat source) by surrounding it with any GHG. Not even “. . , pretty much any competent IR laser instrument design engineer . . . ”

        Real experimenters, from John Tyndall onwards, show that the less gas you place between a heat source and a target, the more heat reaches the target. Choosing a gas which is relatively opaque to the frequencies in question will enhance the effect.

        Tyndall calculated the relative absorptivities of many gases. No magic heat enhancing effects noted.

        As to your comment regarding lasers, may I gently point out that CO2 in CO2 lasers, works no more magically than say, ruby, in a ruby laser. Or hydrogen, in a maser, using appropriate stimulating frequencies.

        One might even claim that CO2 possesses innate cooling properties. All carbonated drinks contain CO2. All will cool if allowed to do so, as in a refrigerator, for example. This is not the result of any magic property of CO2.

        So you might care to ask your favourite “. . . competent IR laser instrument design engineer . . . ” the temperature of CO2 in his laser before the power is turned on. No different to the temperature of everything surrounding the CO2. No warming ability at all, just like a ruby.

        No GHE. In sunlight, things warm up. At night, things cool down.

        Cheers.

    • Stephen, many of the regulars here at CE believe it’s a waste of time and money to try to replace fossil-fueled power and nuclear power with anything that would reduce CO2 emissions. It would be interesting to explore the reasons for their “can’t do” attitude.

      • I should say with anything that would reduce CO2 emissions other than nuclear power.

      • I should say with anything that would reduce CO2 emissions other than nuclear power.

        And even that perhaps modified to:

        I should say with anything that would further reduce CO2 emissions other than nuclear power.

  2. These two are good articles.
    -Those ambitious global warming goals? The world may not know how to reach them
    -“Efforts to curtail world temps will almost surely fail” – new paper in Energy Policy
    Yes, the targets in terms of temperature are ambitious and a little ill-defined. I would prefer targets in terms of CO2 levels, like 450 ppm, which are much better defined and more directly connected to emissions, but still tough to achieve. This target gives a timeline for zero net emissions, and dictates a pace of reduction as a goal. For example reducing emissions by 1 GtCO2 per year can achieve close to the 450 ppm target with zero net emissions in 40 years. A less optimistic 500 ppm target gives 0.5 GtCO2 per year and extends this reduction out to 80 years. Defining metrics in terms of CO2 level in this way gives us a much better idea of how we are doing.

    • There are major problems with that analysis. First, it demonstrates selection bias: from the Highlights:

      • Non-renewable energy sources are projected to peak around mid-century.
      • Renewable energy must provide 50+% of total energy by 2028 to maintain <2 °C warming goal.
      • Renewable energy must provide 87+% of total energy by 2100 regardless of climate concerns.

      I wonder why would Energy Policy publish a paper that is so obviously biased.

      I’ll leave the others so as not to provide an easy opportunity to divert from this key point.

    • Targets are good. We should aim for CO2 levels of 750 PPM (the point at which C3 plants are on equal footing with C4).

      That is a good target. Ending the CO2 starvation of C3 plants will benefit the planet.

      But “sigh” not achievable.

      The current CO2 level is below RCP4.5, not RCP6 or RCP8.5.

      At the way the CO2 level is separating from the RCPs we could achieve RCP3.0 or RCP2.6 by doing nothing. Since doing nothing is working for us now it is reasonable and prudent strategy to continue. We have a good experience base at doing nothing and the cost of doing nothing is relatively trivial.

  3. How Obama could leave a president Trump or Cruz stuck with the #ParisAgreement on climate

    More likely they would postpone compliance, as Obama has with Obamacare; or ignore it outright as Obama has with parts of the immigration law. The Congressional resolution, such as it was, could be easily repealed with a Republican president and Republican majorities in the Congress.

    • No need to do anything about it, it’s not legally binding – and if it is, then it requires ratification, without which, it is not binding on the US.
      Besides which, you can create a target of whatever you like, however you like, and define for yourself how to measure and reach it. You are not required to continue using the same system over the life of the agreement.
      So Trump could say “we’ll be measuring net emissions”, then after a pause, “our information is that the USA is a net sink of CO2, therefore the UN (EU) owe us $100/ton for the C02 we are removing from the atmosphere, which we calculate as $100 billion”

  4. People’s Fission: A supporter’s plea for Sanders to change his mind and embrace nuclear energy.

    Bernie is carrying a lot of people’s fantasies on his shoulders. Did he work to keep Vermont Yankee in operation another 20 years, as approved by the Feds? As far as I can tell from some superficial googling, he advocated shutting it down.

  5. How can we reduce concrete’s hefty carbon footprint?
    Do we need to reduce concrete’s hefty carbon footprint?

  6. “How can we reduce concrete’s hefty carbon footprint? [link]”

    “This project aims at reducing the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere by dissolving CO2 into an alkaline solution [economically produced fricking how?] and mixing with a solution of Mg [ economically produced fricking how?] to precipitate Magnesium carbonates.

    Both sources of CO2 and Mg could be wastes from industrial processes (e.g. an exhaust gas stream from a plant and a brine from a seawater desalination process). [Who knew the world was awash with so much magnesium wastes equal to the worlds concrete needs, for crying out loud]”

    Twaddle.
    Notice the marvellous “could” word. But not “could economically”.

    A high school chemistry class could produce dozens of such pitiful ways to scrub CO2. Only a professor who wants/needs global warming funding would profess a pitiful pretence that he can change the world’s building structures with one of the hypothetical products.

    There’s nothing wrong with the chemistry, that I can see. It’s just an economic and energetic utter fail. How very green.

    • SkyMine got a $25 million DoE grant to develop a commercial pilot. Idea was use off peak electricity to electrolyze salt for the Sodium hydroxide, then use the ‘Drano’ to capture CO2 and convert it into soda ash (used in glass making). At the chlorine and soda ash market prices, claimed this would be cost neutral CCS. Only one detail. Unless the electricity comes from nuclear, the chemistry produces as much CO2 as it captures. A dog chasing its own tail. Wrote the example up in The Arts of Truth, which was about anything but truth.

      • Curious George

        Wind and solar also qualify.

      • Curious George

        Do we have a comparison of these artificial (chemical/electrical) carbon sinks to natural ones – a forest, a meadow, a vegetable garden – per acre?

  7. “10 Years of #Fracking: Its Impact on Our Water, Land & Climate” This is one of the most concentrated container of lies I’ve seen in a long while, this in spite of the fact I read CE often!

    • Well, two packs of lies in one post. Wow!

      UN’s Figueres: “It’s a simple relation: more carbon equals more poverty.”

    • RE CE. Referring to the comments, not Judy’s posts.

    • jim2

      That article is pure fracking nonsense pinched out by a biased, advocacy NGO. Just look at the ‘About Us’ page and poke around, there’s no there there.

  8. David Wojick

    The methane fight is heating up fast. EPA is about to “adjust” its estimates of oil & gas emissions way up, to justify nasty new rules. See https://www.sciencenews.org/article/epa-underestimates-methane-emissions

    Then there is the scientific mystery. See http://www.cato.org/blog/you-say-meethane-i-say-meth-ane-lets-agree-we-dont-know-where-its-coming

    EPA is picking the emissions science they like, to hammer the gas industry. Ignoring other studies that say the methane increase is bio-based.

    Bryce Johnson even questions whether methane is an important GHG, saying this on my Cimatechangedebate.org listserv:
    “Every article I read says methane causes more greenhouse heating per molecule than CO2. That is not true! Why are they not being called on it?
    Modtran allows calculation of heat generated by equal PPM values of these two. Modtran shows that methane generates less heat deposited, hence less atmospheric temperature. Methane may be a more powerful absorber for the photon energies that it absorbs. However, methane absorbs way out on the extremity of the IR spectrum where there are relatively few photons to begin with. Water also absorbs at these same frequencies diluting methane’s effectiveness. CO’s main absorption is at the peak of the spectrum, with little competition there. That’s why CO2 is more powerful per molecule and there are over 200 times as many CO2 molecules in the atmosphere as methane.”

    Interesting combination of science and energy policy issues. The methane mess.

    • The sooner the Dimowits don’t control the Presidency, the better.

    • DW, no, since 1980 CH4 has gone up by 200 ppb (0.2 ppm) while CO2 has gone up by about 50 ppm. The forcing effect of the CH4 has been around a quarter of the effect of the CO2 in that time with 250 times less molecules added. So, per molecule added, it is much more effective, likely because it affects the emission from the upper atmosphere where there is little water vapor.

    • Methane may be a more powerful absorber for the photon energies that it absorbs. However, methane absorbs way out on the extremity of the IR spectrum where there are relatively few photons to begin with.

      Not way out. Black-body flux for 294°K is perhaps a third of the max.

      Water also absorbs at these same frequencies diluting methane’s effectiveness.

      Well, except that almost all the water is close to the surface, where the temperature is too high for much greenhouse effect. Methane is well-mixed, AFAIK, at least in the Troposphere.

      • David Wojick

        I would say that is way out compared to CO2. Not much out there, is there?

        I thought that most of the GH effect occurred down where most of the molecules were. How not?

      • I thought that most of the GH effect occurred down where most of the molecules were.

        The GH works to reduce radiative heat/energy loss by reducing the effective temperature of the source of the radiation.

        Take a specific wavenumber (or wavelength/frequency), for instance one where both water and methane have strong interaction. Absent either, the flux would be that for the ground (or other surface).

        Let’s say there’s sufficient water vapor that the effective height of the flux source is 2Km. Then the flux will be (roughly) equivalent to that for the atmosphere at 2Km, perhaps 6-20°C cooler, depending on local conditions. Meanwhile, the flux from the ground is absorbed before it gets to TOA.

        Now add sufficient methane that the effective height of the flux source is at 10Km, while the higher flux from 2Km is absorbed before it reaches TOA. Now the effective temperature of the flux source (viewed at TOA) is roughly that for a height of 10Km, perhaps -60°C. This is a far lower flux, corresponding to a stronger GE.

      • Steven Mosher

        “I thought that most of the GH effect occurred down where most of the molecules were. How not?”

        No. just the opposite.

        At some level in the atmosphere the GHG concetration ABOVE that height is small enough that the radiation can escape to space.

        That level is called the ERL. or effective radiative level.

        When you add GHG that level is raised.. earth radiates back to space from a higher altitude.

        Since we have a negative lapse rate the earth is radiating from a higher and hence colder region.

        Radiating from a colder level means the rate of loss is Lower.
        The radiation to space slows.

        The surface responds by warming

        here is a cartoon version

        https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CCUQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.aos.wisc.edu%2F~aos121br%2Fradn%2Fradn%2Fradn.ppt&ei=3cpfVLi-NYKrogS3_IDYAg&usg=AFQjCNFcOGKCqGjyppanj5GIQ5yL0rG4mQ&sig2=uxb92AaHbSoQ_pTAniopIg&bvm=bv.79189006,d.cGU&cad=rja

      • “The surface responds by warming”

        And yet it hasn’t done so to the extent it should have, right?
        So this would appear to be an incorrect assumption. It seems the earth has other ways to deal with the extra that don’t require surface warming. Say, increased moist convection – that could transport heat from the surface to the upper troposphere regardless of how much GHG there was, right? And it fits the consensus theory of increased evaporation too, doesn’t it? And this effect is not in the models, is it? Oh dear…

      • For the last 60 years, it has been warming at a rate consistent with 2 C per doubling. Raw data tells you this much.

      • Stephen Mosher,

        Your linked cartoon is more caricature than not.

        Uses the good ol’ flat Earth, with the constantly shining Sun, and CO2 performing its usual miracle. The cartoon states –

        “Climate depends on radiation from sun
        Because CO2 acts as a blanket, surface and lower atmosphere cool by infrared radiation to space from upper troposphere (ERL= effective radiating level)”

        It also states –

        “In Balance:
        Energy flow in = Energy flow out”. Why? Because you say it is so! The fact that the Earth has demonstrably cooled over the past four and a half billion years, might indicate to any reasonable person that the energy flow out has exceeded the energy flow in.

        You may be about to say that’s the non scientific version which doesn’t really mean what it says, in the usual Warmist fashion. Why link to it, if it’s not true?

        Your comment is generally nonsensical. Radiation is both received from space, and emitted to space, by the surface, at all wavelengths longer than those sufficiently energetic to be totally absorbed in creating ozone, for example. Satellites receive radio frequencies from the surface, and take photographs of the surface through the atmosphere in the visible, and infrared spectra.

        Heat also travels directly to space, where remote sensing satellites use it to determine surface temperatures.

        A practical case of the surface emitting energy directly to space occurs at night, where the surface cools. The atmosphere does have a mild insulating effect, which slows the rate of cooling at night, and slows the rate of heating during the day.

        No miraculous CO2 warming. Just real physics (as opposed to realclimate physics).

        I am tempted to exhort you, in the finest Warmist tradition, to think harder, but I won’t. I am sure you are thinking as hard as you can.

        Cheers.

      • Your comment is generally nonsensical. Radiation is both received from space, and emitted to space, by the surface, […]

        The warmist false-flagger strikes again. Nobody could be that ill-informed and still spout off about a subject they don’t understand.

      • Steven Mosher

        Wrong kneel.
        The theory says the surface will warm.
        Basic physics.
        What is uncertain is this.
        1. How fast will it warm
        2. What will the spatial pattern of warming be.
        3. How much warming can be sequestered in the ocean and for how long.

        THAT is where good skeptics argue.
        If you argue that then people may listen..
        If you argue that co2 cannot warm, then u are basically
        Anti science.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Steven Mosher | April 16, 2016 at 10:49 pm |

        The theory says the surface will warm.
        Basic physics.

        Dear heavens, another person who thinks that merely saying “basic physics” actually means something in an immensely complex system.

        As to what “theory says”, it definitely says that an increase in CO2 will lead to increased downwelling radiation.

        However, there is no “basic physics” that says that an increase in atmospheric longwave absorption will perforce result in surface warming.

        What occurs instead of the “basic physics” nonsense is that the system RESPONDS to the increased forcing by a commensurate increase in the emergent heat-reflecting-and-removing phenomena, and the surface doesn’t warm.

        See dust devils as one example among many where if you believe in “simple physics”, you’ll go way, way wrong in figuring desert surface temperatures. At some point, DESPITE INCREASING FORCING, more downwelling energy simply results in increasing the number and size of the dust devils, and the surface doesn’t warm as your bozo “basic physics” mantra predicts …

        w.

      • “THAT is where good skeptics argue.
        If you argue that then people may listen..
        If you argue that co2 cannot warm, then u are basically
        Anti science.”

        Read harder Steve.
        I did not say it cannot warm, I said it appears it has not warmed, and suggested one reason why that may not be. Note that I did not say that your “basic physics” is wrong, only that the response you predicted from it does not appear to have been accurate – likely, it is incomplete rather than incorrect.
        You can stick your head in the sand and ignore reality in favour of models and “basic physics” if you want, but there’s more to be learned from “that’s odd” than there is from “just as I suspected” – anomalies are opportunities, not things to be homogenised away!

      • Mosher says (in his usual, pompous, arrogant way):

        Wrong Kneel
        What is uncertain is this.
        1. How fast will it warm
        2. What will the spatial pattern of warming be.
        3. How much warming can be sequestered in the ocean and for how long.
        THAT is where good skeptics argue.
        If you argue that then people may listen..

        Wrong Mosher! That’s what alarmists want to argue about. They want to avoid addressing what’s relevant. Those points you want to talk about are irrelevant if the alarmists can’t answer, quantitatively, the question “what are the impacts?” If there is no net negative impact, the points you you want to argue about are of no significance and therefore of no relevance other than as a matter of interest to scientists.

        You’ve consistently dodged addressing the important issues and instead dodge and weave and try to divert debate to the irrelevancies you want to argue about … incessantly and indefinitely.

      • AK,

        You wrote –

        “The warmist false-flagger strikes again. Nobody could be that ill-informed and still spout off about a subject they don’t understand.”

        You seem to be perturbed by something I wrote. Maybe if you quote what I wrote, and then explain why I am wrong, we will all learn something.

        Maybe you didn’t like “Radiation is both received from space, and emitted to space, by the surface, . . .”

        Much of the Suns radiation is received by the surface. It obviously travels through space (and through the atmosphere) to reach the surface.

        By the same token, pictures taken from satellites in space, showing the Earth’s surface, are of course, the result of radiation emitted by the surface.

        Which statement are you disagreeing with, and why?

        Cheers.

      • David Wojick

        Willis is right. All the GH effect does necessarily (via basic physics) is warm the air near the absorbing molecule, via kinetic collision. What happens after that is a complex system function. Likewise, how much this effect happens is a complex system function.

      • What happens after that is a complex system function.

        That’s actually what Mosher was saying.

    • David Wojick

      Bryce Johnson sends the following responses to the early comments above:
      Jim D.: You can’t compare different GHGs starting from different levels with different increments.  That doesn’t account for the different degree of saturation for your compared molecules.  If you start at any concentration x for both CO2 and CH4 and increase each by the same increment y, CO2 will show greater energy absorption increase than CH4 for any combination of x and y.  Check it out.  CO2 is already well saturated at 400 ppm and and CH4 has but begun to saturate at 1.7 ppm. Before CH4 gets to a level where it can be comparable to CO2, its increase will also be diminished by saturation. Its increase will never catch up with that of CO2

      Steven Mosher: Complexity, as in line-by-line, LBL does not guarantee accuracy.  Check out
      http://climatemodels.uchicago.edu/modtran/modtran.doc.html
      for a comparison of measurement with Modtran calculations.  

      The match is very good at the regions of both CO2 and CH4 absorption, certainly more than adequate for comparing total energy absorbed.  And this is with the 1990 version.  I didn’t see any measurement comparison in your 1998 reference.  Is there one? 

      It’s hard to compare my results with those of your 1998 reference when there are no concentrations listed for the GHGs it used.  Your reference said the concentrations were those given in the 1995 IPCC report.  But I checked out that reference as listed and it talked all about GHG concentrations, but never listed any value for any of them.  Can you provide these or at least provide a reference that actually lists a numeric value with a date.

      If your 1998 reference describes what you are calling the “right tool,” it should at least be sufficiently explicit so its results can be checked. 

       AK: You state: “Well, except that almost all the water is close to the surface, where the temperature is too high for much greenhouse effect.”  

      Do you have a reference for that?  All the studies I have performed or that I have seen show that GH activity is inversely proportional to the distance from the surface.

    • David Wojick

      If there is a fundamental difference between the ModTran and LBL model results then that is very interesting in itself and worth pursuing. A battle of models perhaps. Or maybe the GH effect of CH4 is highly sensitive to some physical process. If so then the question is which model captures it?

  9. “More carbon equals more poverty”??? I don’t think so.
    /Users/edwardcaryl/Pictures/Photos Library.photoslibrary/Thumbnails/2016/04/16/20160416-190330/OeJw6AISSfOUDGGUgE27Sg/thumb_The Social Value of CO2 Emissions_1024.jpg

  10. WaPo on Obama and COP21 is very muddled analysis. Yes, the agreement has opt out only after 3 years. Yes, it is likely to get sufficient approvals to go into effect. So what? There are only voluntary INDCs that can be unvolunteered at anytime. The key thing is to get CPP overturned on grounds its unconstitutional. That process is largely independent of Obama except for his SCOTUS nominee, and has already started.

  11. My work is designing gas plants and gathering systems for oil companies. I can guarantee that great effort is made on the part of 9 out of 10 oil companies to SELL every bit of methane they possibly can. Wasteful Venting of natural gas by energy companies is an urban myth seized upon by researchers, politicians, and eco-groups to further their fundraising efforts.

    • True Doug, true.
      For completeness, we should point out that “possibly can” includes economic costs – obviously, if it costs more to capture, store and transport the gas than you can get for selling it, it’s not economically possible to sell it and you are better off flaring it (nobody just vents it on purpose, that’s much too dangerous. Safer to flare it (burn it)).

      • Also for completeness, lest someone interpret kneel63 as saying the HC energy industry ignores responsibility when uneconomic, I can point to many existing energy company projects where flaring has been virtually eliminated by use of acid gas injection and other technologies, that were basically not economically viable but part of a “good neighbor” policy, or part of a regulatory regimen that both industry and government had agreed was a practical approach to overall resource conservation.
        Some issues exist in say North Dakota, where oil production increases have outrun the ability to put associated gas production.into gas pipelines and SELL it. But in say Texas, US, and Alberta Canada. having existing gas infrastructure in place, the venting of methane at a facility due to normal operations is a fraction of a tenth of a percent of the facility throughput, with higher levels being only for emergency and maintenance issues. So for the most part Obama and Trudeau agreeing on methane reduction legislation is just them jumping in front of an existing parade hoping someone will label them as parade leaders in a press release.

      • “Also for completeness, lest someone interpret kneel63 as saying the HC energy industry ignores responsibility when uneconomic,…”

        Oh no, I was NOT saying that, merely that this is one aspect that also needs to be considered. For land based wells, this sort of recovery is much easier (and cheaper!) to do. For (especially deep) water based, it is harder (ie, more expensive). This cost can always be offset by govt legislation – if ya hafta, ya hafta!
        I was thinking of stuff that Tony B might know about – North Sea platforms, where some decades ago they limited flaring to 1.2M cu. ft per platform per day. Huge amounts to the lay person and hard to believe it’s not economic to recover, but:
        1) you can’t use a pipeline;
        2) that amount of storage costs a *lot* of money!

  12. One of the links leads to a report that a number of cities, includingLondon, are going to run out of water shortly.

    London has a 60 mile long ‘ring main’ round the capital which distributes water effectively. For the last 30 years the concern was that rising ground water levels would waterlog buildings and cause them to collapse, therefore an expensive and elaborate scheme was set up to try to control and stabilise the levels.

    The rising levels are due to greatly reduced levels of abstraction as the heaviest users-industry- moved out of the capital.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/429468/2015_London_GWL_Report_online.pdf

    They have now stabilised.

    There was a parallel but unrelated campaign to persuade Londoners to cut their water usage by installing smart meters and increasing prices. This, together with the ring main and stable ground waters levels means londons water is very well managed and unlikely to run out any time soon.

    There is plenty of scope to reduce water consumption should the need ever arises by the same mechanism that our energy consumption has been forced down- by raising prices substantially.

    Tonyb

    • Thanks TonyB. I knew that the Miami data were off and that each city had its own circumstances. The whole subject of general (not specific loacational) fresh water scarcity is fraught with problems, starting with the definition of ‘withdrawals’. The three great errors are: (1) that withdrawals do not equate to water actually lost. As just one example, most simple rural/town/ city ‘living’ use is recycled through the greywater and sewage systems. Same is true for most industrial water use. That is about 1/3 of withdrawals. And (2) about 2/3 of withdrawals are for agricultural irrigation. Which does get lost to evapotranspiration. But irrigated crops are only about 20% of arable land. 80% relies on ‘available precipitation’ meaning whatver rain fell through the growing season plus whatever soil moisture carries over from spring thaws. And (3) the concept of virtual water, most obvious in trade of agricultural goods. Egypt imports 2/3 of its wheat cause there isn’t enough water to grow that in a mostly desert country. That wheat is all virtual water. If California has to shut its 5 million acres of alfalfa to feed its large dairy industry (itself only a product of milk price subsidy distortions, as California is a long way from zero Madison Wisconsin), then two things will happen. First, Wisconsin will grow more alfalfa and sell it to them. Virtual water. If that isn’t economic, California dairy farms will contract, Wisconsin’s will expand, and we will ship them milk, butter, and cheese. All virtual water.
      A whole chapter in Gaia’s Limits exploring these alarmist logic errors. Math says a planet of 30 billion humans (unimaginably horrible thought) would still not run short of freshwater at present per capita ‘consumption’ including indirectly via agriculture.

  13. I Read the link about the worlds largest floating solar array being opened in London.

    It sits on a reservoir and is designed to power the installations needed to run the reservoir.

    Solar in the UK is very heavily subsidised, primarily because we don’t get much sun to power such a scheme, with winter light levels in particular being too low to create any worth while amounts of power.

    I am not against solar energy as such, when used appropriately. On a reservoir in sunny Australia it might make economic sense with the added value that it would reduce evaporation.

    Tonyb

    • Like yourself, tonyb, I’m an enthusiast for energy alternatives and innovations. Having lived with solar I’d be happy to see millions spent even on a failed experiment with this now old but useful-in-niches technology. The prospects of improvements and new niches are downright exciting.

      But it breaks my heart to see billions spent on mainstreaming what is known from the start to be diffuse, intermittent, expensive, grid-incompatible and heavy on perishable, imported hardware.

      Amazingly, the people boosting this ruinous fad for clunky antique tech think they are in the forefront of something.

      Raise that green banner high and advance to the rear!

    • TonyB,

      I am not against solar energy as such, when used appropriately. On a reservoir in sunny Australia it might make economic sense with the added value that it would reduce evaporation.

      Solar is nowhere near being economically rational in Australia. Electricity from new commercial solar farms in Australia costs around $180-$190/MWh. That’s about 6 times the average cost of electricity from coal generators.

      But it’s much worse than that. You need to add about $30/MWh for a pile of network costs. And the cost of the fossil fuel generators has to go up too because they have higher O&M costs; plus they also get a lower capacity factor so have to sell at a higher price to pay for the fixed costs.

      The current price of RECs (Renewable Energy Certificates) is $85/MWh. That’s the subsidy that the electricity utilities have to pay to the renewable energy generators. The renewable energy generators get the wholesale price (say $40/MWh) plus the $85/MWh for the RECs. If the utilities do not buy the prescribed amount of renewable electricity from the RE generators, they have to pay $96/MWh penalty to the Commonwealth Government Agency (that is in legislation!) for the energy deficit.

      The whole RE nonsense is just crazy. It’s based on uninformed, irrational ideological beliefs. It’s because people believe renewables must be good because they are renewables – which of course they are not.

      There is so much more to know about the real costs and real environmental impacts of renewables, TonyB.

      • Peter

        We are stuck with renewables as the politicians like them. I am not ideologically against renewables that work and are something approaching cost effective.

        However, if solar is wildly ineffective even in the Australian climate, unless there is some technological breakthrough I am unaware of, it seems that we should be learning some lessons and look for something much better.

        Solar is completely pointless in the UK climate but we do have a very long coastline and should be actively developing wave/tidal energy. Which is not to say it will ever be cost effective but we need to at least give it a fair shot.

        However, in the meantime, we are in urgent need in the UK of cost effective, practical and proven power stations that can be delivered quickly, as we are rapidly heading for an energy shortfall.

        tonyb

      • Tonyb

        Thank you. Responses to your points below:

        We are stuck with renewables as the politicians like them.

        That is a circular argument. It’s not a rational argument. It is circular because it is saying that we should endorse the economically irrational policies that support them and support the economically irrational policies that impose enormous impediments on nuclear, which is the one option that can provide all our energy indefinitely. Nuclear would be 1/10th to 1/20th the cost it is now if not for the success of the anti-nuke movement over the past 50 years.

        I am not ideologically against renewables that work and are something approaching cost effective.

        No, but your support for them is not rational. I am not ideologically opposed to renewables. But I am opposed to economically irrational and irresponsible policies.

        Weather dependent renewables cannot make a significant contribution to supply global electricity, let alone global energy needs. Here’s one of several reasons why: https://bravenewclimate.com/2014/08/22/catch-22-of-energy-storage/

        Therefore, renewables can have little effect on reducing global GHG emissions, for those who want that. And more importantly, can do little to improve human well-being and reduce the fatalities caused by pollution from fossil fuels.

        Do you follow the economic disaster EU bureaucracy has created with its renewable targets?

        Energy Policies and Electricity Prices: Cautionary Tales From the EU http://www.economics21.org/commentary/energy-policies-electricity-prices-cautionary-tales-eu
        Wind and Solar Capacity and Electricity Prices, Select Countries, 2012

        However, in the meantime, we are in urgent need in the UK of cost effective, practical and proven power stations that can be delivered quickly, as we are rapidly heading for an energy shortfall.

        Yes you are. And the cause of the problem is that people have been advocating for renewable energy and anti-nuclear and anti coal for decades. That’s what I suggest you need to understand and then start explaining to others. The technological solution is nuclear. The political answer is keep muddling along. If you want to help to push for the best solution, I suggest you start reading up on the background. You could have very much cheaper nuclear than Hinkley Pont C, (also safer than any other electricity generation technology) but the public doesn’t understand that thanks to 50 years of anti-nuclear propaganda. Did you read my recent post here on cost of decarbonizing GB electricity: https://judithcurry.com/2016/01/19/is-nuclear-the-cheapest-way-to-decarbonize-electricity/

      • Tonyb,

        Here are some of today’s news on examples of various responses to the EU energy crisis:

        1) Polish Government Plans To Kill Wind Industry
        Financial Times, 18 April 2016 http://www.ft.com/cms/s/d8362bac-030b-11e6-9cc4-27926f2b110c,Authorised=false.html?siteedition=uk&_i_location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ft.com%2Fcms%2Fs%2F0%2Fd8362bac-030b-11e6-9cc4-27926f2b110c.html%3Fsiteedition%3Duk&_i_referer=&classification=conditional_standard&iab=barrier-app#axzz46AqwzgYb

        2) German Government Bill Threatens Renewable Energy Revolution, Green Lobby Warns
        Solar Server News, 18 April 2016 http://www.solarserver.de/solar-magazin/nachrichten/aktuelles/2016/kw16/bee-eeg-reform-2016-schneidet-hart-ins-herz-der-energiewende.html

        3) Norway To End Renewable Subsidy Scheme By 2021
        Reuters, 15 April 2016 http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL5N17I2XE

        4) Europe’s Energy Crisis Poses Warning For The U.S.
        Breitbart, 14 April 2016 http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/04/14/europes-energy-crisis-poses-warning-u-s/

      • TonyB,

        I am sorry if my comment at 2012 came across as rude. I didn’t realise until I just happened to reread it the it might come across that way. All the “you” in my last paragraph should be replaced by “GB’.

  14. Air pollution and infant health in Mexico City [link] …

    “While studies of the US can help change our perspective about what can or cannot work in developing countries, they may not necessarily be a perfect substitute, given the different contexts and institutional structures.”

    Kinda intuitive, study the problem where the problem exists, otherwise, the study you cite and its specifics, which pertains to the developed world, may not be all that helpful in the developing world.

    Didn’t Willie Sutton the bank robber say something like this: “Go where the money is”?

    Using a thermal inversion over Mexico City, a city of 21 million located in the valley of a sunken lake bed at 7,350 ft elevation, measuring the City’s air pollution is a technique that should be validated; that, the thermal inversions are similar in duration and effective in blocking the pollutants from dispersing. The author’s use of this meteorological phenomenon to then attribute the air pollution to excess infant deaths implies a precision in measurement that may not be justified:

    “our estimates imply that 1µg/m3 increase in 24-hour particulate matter (PM10) results in 0.23 weekly infant deaths per 100,000 births. Similarly, a 1ppb increase in the 8-hour maximum for carbon monoxide results in 0.0046 weekly deaths per 100,000 births.”

    The authors go on to say that what may work in a developed country like the US does not always work in an developing country. The authors elected to use the instance of neonatal resuscitation of newborns in US intensive care units compared to the newborn resuscitation situation in developing countries is a bit lame. Clean facilities, staffing, equipment, supplies, laboratory backup, financial support are the relevant issues in neonatal resuscitation to begin with.

    The call for more research in developing countries is valid al la Willie Sutton.

    Solar ovens are better example of what works on a back packing trip in the US and the use of solar ovens for 2 billion people living on <$2/day, the comparison is illuminating.

    Yes, it is plausible that intermittent outdoor air pollution may lead to worsening of infant mortality rates. It is likely that his descriptive study's conclusions over-reached the ability of the data to speak.

  15. Ontario Engineers:
    “The policy to eliminate coal in Ontario reduced the carbon reduction benefit of wind and solar by 2.5x because gas is cleaner than coal.”
    Wind and Solar says, I am not as bad as Coal. Coal leaves. Wind and Solar now must argue against primarily only Natural Gas. Loss of the 3rd best option might mean the 2nd best options will be scrutinized more.

    • Ragnaar

      I didn’t mean to step on your comment… it must have posted while I was reading comments and writing my own.

  16. from: Ontario Society of Professional Engineers on why C02 emissions will double as we add wind and solar plants

    “Undertaking engineering analysis and simulation studies before policies are set, will help to ensure we have the lowest cost and [lowest] emission grid achievable.”

    Leave it to engineers to state the obvious. Leave it to politicians and law-makers to ignore or intentionally obfuscate the obvious.

    • Sarah Palin said Nye was no more a scientists than she is. For once, she got something right. He’s an engineer. Not that engineers know nothing about science or know no more about science than Palin.
      But we can’t expect engineers to be anything other than engineers. We can’t expect them to be scientist. Engineers are best at addressing here and now problems with tried solutions, which is good because there are lots of problems that need solving. In a fast moving world, engineering skills and knowledge rapidly become obsolete. Older engineers may have to struggle to stay abreast of latest developments and retired engineers lack the incentive to keep up.
      Would “out-of-date” describe many of the engineers who frequent ClimateEtc?

      • Scientist and engineer are both big encompassing terms. Technically to call yourself an engineer you should be licensed but often the term is applied more broadly. The term “scientist” is employed more ambiguously and many engineers should fall within the definitions commonly used to denote a scientist. I find Bill Nye to be embarrassing lately, but disqualifying him because he got a degree in engineering or did engineering work (dont know if he’s licensed) seems unfair if you would accept someone who studied the same material with a much less rigorous curriculum as part of “science” program.

        I would say this for most reasonable definitions of a scientist: Not all engineers are scientists, but some are. Not everyone with scientific training is a scientist either. Leonardo DaVinci was all of the above and an artist as well.

        Your post seems to suggest that if you know about “A” then you can’t be “B” or be knowledgeable about “c”. But actually, being good at one thing often (not always) means you are likely to be good at something else as well. Worst case even group tendencies are not individual shackles.

        Also there are some engineering skills that transcend technologies. Technicians (some engineers end up being technicians) are likely to be out of date if they don’t keep up. But good engineers have value beyond.

      • The only people I pay attention to when it comes to the science are the experts who publish their research and have the potential to impact our understanding of the science. Bill Nye might not be a climate scientist, but I think his statements are just a reflection of the common mainstream understanding of the science. Expertise I think comes into play when you try to introduce new ideas and change our current understanding of the science.

      • Max

        You wrote: “Engineers are best at addressing here and now problems with tried solutions”

        I would argue that we do entrust Engineers to do exactly that. Along those lines we should listen to them when they tell us that a technology which we are deploying en-mass is not the most efficient way to go.

        This does not argue to stop all development of a technology, it just means that we are squandering resources when we deploy production quantities of certain extant technologies. This is something that most politicians and many activists do not want to admit, or are not knowledgeable enough to know.

        You further wrote: “Would “out-of-date” describe many of the engineers who frequent ClimateEtc?”

        A bit of online research will allow any engineer, young or old, to see claims made for a host of energy technologies. Engineers with decades of experience will remember many broken promises of breakthroughs in cost, efficiency, and performance. Many of such claims came from self-interested parties, but some were from well-respected sources. It seems to me that breath-of-experience does not become out of date, and is quite useful to help separate the wheat from the chaff.

      • Add an understanding of what engineering is to the long, long list of stuff you are clueless about max.

        But you had to say something to get to your main point about old white guys.

      • Thanks for all the comments. Anyone can declare he is a scientist or engineer. But it doesn’t mean much unless he is degreed and/or can find employment as a scientist or engineer.

        I could call myself a scientist or an engineer because I can do some science and engineering work, but I very much doubt any employer would hire me in one of these occupations. I could, however, say I am a self-employed scientist or engineer.

        Several of my friends are degreed engineers, none of whom display the negative attitudes I have seen here at CE. But I suspect they are younger than the engineers who hang out here. If negative thinking is more prevalent among the elderly, why?

      • max1ok,

        You wrote –

        “Anyone can declare he is a scientist or engineer. But it doesn’t mean much . . .”

        Very true. Anyone can declare he is a climate scientist, or even a climatologist. Indeed, many do. Anyone can claim they are a Nobel Laureate, but it doesn’t mean much if it’s not actually true.

        Facts are facts.

        Cheers.

      • I suppose anyone can claim to be an engineer the same as someone could claim to be a medical doctor or a military veteran. But it is a regulated title and you could be subject to various sanctions. I don’t think it’s the same at all for the term scientist.

        I work with engineers that range from their early twenties on up. Can’t say I’ve seen the “negative” trend differentiated by age as you reference. Certain not we have a vested interest in getting the most we can out of the most knowledgable people and having our decisions driven by our very best understandings of the world. But cynics might expect the old guard keeps the best and brightest down- but that theory needs some muscle behind it to be taken as credible.

      • PE, the old guard could be less than receptive to new ideas from the younger generation of engineers. The younger generation also could be diplomatic enough to avoid confrontation with the seniors. Sucking up to the boss can be good for advancement.

        sciguy54 says about engineers “we should listen to them when they tell us that a technology which we are deploying en-mass is not the most efficient way to go.”
        I don’t think anyone would argue that this is not useful information, but it could be more useful if engineers also addressed negative externalities, which I get the impression they frequently avoid.

        Am I imaging things or are engineers reluctant to deal with negative externalities? If there is a reluctance, why?

      • MAX10K – Some background on my previous answer. I’m facilitating a team now that is made-up of various millennials within my company for strategic planning. We’re doing our best to squelch any critique and challenges as regards their views as we brainstorm in order to bring out their best, most honest, most unobstructed understandings on issues like where do they think we are on track, where might we be going off track and missing opportunities. I don’t understand the motivation for being self-satisfied and wrong. Let’s get the ideas out there.

        Some more cynical have asked “what do you expect from the millennials? They can’t give prescriptive answers and articulate a coherent strategy.” My answer is that, even if that is true – I want to know what they are seeing that others may be missing.

        Our millennials are bright capable young people with rigorous degrees from good schools. I don’t fine them more optimistic about the “new”. They seem not to be overly charmed by the hype. (If you want to classify me that way, some are more negative than I am. Challenged as they are to advocate for new technologies – I think I would be extremely resourceful in bringing “potential” benefits to the table.) It’s likely if I had a panel of sociology majors they would be markedly less negative than old guard engineers.

        We are an industry where the rubber meets the road. Perhaps there are protected feilds where fealty to the old guard is a path to advancement. I haven’t seen that except in very limited circumstance and for very short time periods. Outright rudeness and lack of tact can certainly stunt a career, but I’ve never know honest advocacy for ideas to be a long term stumbling block.

    • sciguy54,

      from: Ontario Society of Professional Engineers on why CO2 emissions will double as we add wind and solar plants

      The CO2 emissions intensity of electricity generation in France is 44 g/kWh (2014 and 2015). If France reduces nuclear’s share of electricity generation to 50% (from about 75% now), the emissions intensity will increase to about 150 g/kWh – i.e. a threefold increase.

      • Peter,

        Yes, that makes sense.

        Conversely, take a look at weeks 42-45 for 2015 here by selecting 2015, weekly, conv. > 100-mw:

        https://energy-charts.de/energy.htm

        Let’s suppose that Germany decides to multiply both solar and wind capacity equally until they can meet the demand of those four weeks (or weeks 8-11 in 2016) . It can be seen that to cover the energy needs of Germany for that 4-week period would have required about 200,000 wind turbines of 2mW nameplate capacity, as opposed to roughly the 25,000 currently in place. This against about 140,000 square miles of onshore area in the entire country.

        Think of your favorite vista in Germany. Imagine standing on the north shore of Worthsee on a clear spring day and looking across the lake southward 30 miles to the Alps. Now insert several hundred spinning wind turbines, 80 meters in diameter with hub heights of 90 meters or so, into that view. Visualize the grid and the support roads needed to connect them and make them useful. Consider the carbon investment to put them all in place, and another 199,700 more across the countryside. Don’t forget the noise and vibration. Also remember to multiply the existing solar installations by a factor of 8.

        Now you know why western Europe will always need hydro, natural gas, coal, and/or oil to supplement wind and solar if it refuses the nuclear option.

      • Sciguy54,

        I agree with all that. And we must keep remind people that there is very limited additional viable hydro capacity available in Europe.

  17. “China is responsible for 10% of human influence on climate change, study says “.

    I think this figure gives a pretty good view about CO2 emissions.

    It seems that United States and China are the greatest plant fertilizers.
    Thank you!

    • I notice that we have the greasy “emissions per capita”, which for a country like Australia, which exports large amounts of energy intensive products (minerals such as iron ore and bauxite, as well as coal and LNG, plus lots of wheat, beef and other foodstuffs) is a gross distortion – we are saddled with the emissions for stuff other people are getting the benefit from! Doing the “right thing” and decreasing total emissions by, for example, exporting aluminium instead of bauxite (not only are our power stations more efficient, the reduction in freight fuel use is substantial), penalises the source country! This is typical of the EU do-gooders – make themselves look good at others expense (eg, export your manufacturing to China, then claim you are “good” for reducing emissions, despite the fact the in total, emissions actually increase for the same end result (end product))

      • kneel63,

        Excellent point. If CO2 per capita is a relevant figure (I am not persuaded it is, other than for advocacy and blame games), then it should be on the basis of consumption of embodied emissions per capita, not the emissions improperly attribute to the country that exported the fuel. The emissions are produced in the countries that purchased and used the fuel to manufacture the products that consumers want. When countries are compared on the basis of consumption of embodied emissions, the ranking of the top 20 is (t CO2/person in 2013):

        1 Luxembourg 41.72
        2 Qatar 29.96
        3 UAE 26.42
        4 Kuwait 23.57
        5 Singapore 21.17
        6 Brunei Darussalam 19.45
        7 USA 18.51
        8 Saudi Arabia 18.13
        9 Canada 16.88
        10 Australia 16.58
        11 Belgium 16.47
        12 Hong Kong 16.24
        13 Trinidad and Tobago 15.89
        14 Switzerland 15.81
        15 Oman 15.53
        16 Estonia 13.07
        17 Finland 12.87
        18 South Korea 12.86
        19 Bahrain 12.38
        20 Malta 12.09

        Source: Global Carbon Atlas: http://www.globalcarbonatlas.org/?q=en/emissions

  18. “Taxing food that is responsible for high greenhouse-gas emissions” – Nature

    How about taxing the stupidity by United Nations and Governments in bringing about expensive energy and energy poverty?

    Ahh – silly me – that is already being done!

  19. Willis Eschenbach

    From the “How an Army of Ocean Farmers are Starting an Economic Revolution – this is a very interesting read” …

    “So I kept searching and ended up on Long Island Sound, where there was a program to attract young fishermen back into the industry by opening up shell-fishing grounds for the first time in 150 years. I signed up, leased some grounds from the state of New York, and re-made myself as an oysterman. I did this for seven years. Then the storms hit. Hurricane Irene and Hurricane Sandy thrashed the East Coast. Two years in a row the storms buried 90 percent of my crops in three feet of mud, and 40 percent of my gear was washed away in a sea of death. At the same time, lobster were being driven northward by warming waters, and acidification was increasing faster than at any other time in 300 million years, killing billions of oyster seed up and down the American coast.”

    In my years of working on commercial fishing boats of a host of kinds, I’ve heard a lot of guys blame a lot of things for the fact that they are unsuccessful at commercial fishing.

    But this wimp takes the cake, he blames global warming for his pathetic failure. Then he talks like “Superstorm” Sandy was some big surprise that jumped out of nowhere and washed away his fishing gear in a “sea of death” … hey, if you don’t know how to read a dang weather report, don’t blame global warming.

    That’s not the bizarre part, though. Now he claims he invented or discovered how to grow seaweed and other crops up of the ocean floor, just like ocean farmers around the world have been doing for centuries.

    His economic ideas MIGHT make sense, but again he seems to think he invented the idea of cooperatives … and for cooperatives to work, fishermen need to … well … cooperate …

    Overall? He’s repackaging old ocean farming technologies and old economic ideas as if they were new. Will they work? Possibly … but it’s not something new.

    w.

    • I thought the same Willis.

    • W, plus many. I do not have the ocean fishing knowledge you do, but did know that oysters, clams, and seaweed have been grown in Japan using similar ‘vertical’ methods for centuries. Lived there for two years.
      Just order Kakanabi (Miyagi oysters, seaweed, lettuce, plus hot water broth in an iron hot pot) at your nearest authentic Japanese restaurant. You just ate a vertical sea farms produce ( well, ok, not the lettuce).
      Any cultured pearl from Japan is grown similarly (vertically).

    • Al Gore apparently invented the Internet.

      Why can’t this chap invent seaweed, oyster farming and cooperation? He’d make a good Warmist, I reckon. He’s got his “sea of death” (no doubt caused by evil carbon), just as Hansen has his “trains of death”, caused by the same carbon.

      I won’t even mention the icy “spiral of death”. All this talk of death is scaring me. Maybe the Warmists are right, and we are all doomed,

      Cheers.

    • Danny Thomas

      No argument with the ‘blame’ comment but gotta give him some credit for sticktuitiveness. Apparently he loves the sea and is seeking a way to make it work for him to stay with his passion. For this, I admire the guy.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      Danny Thomas | April 16, 2016 at 8:42 pm | Reply

      No argument with the ‘blame’ comment but gotta give him some credit for sticktuitiveness. Apparently he loves the sea and is seeking a way to make it work for him to stay with his passion. For this, I admire the guy.

      Hard to argue with a man who loves the sea, and I do admire him sticking to it … I just wish he wasn’t trying to take credit for things that have been long practiced.

      w.

      • Danny Thomas

        Willis,

        Had a feeling there might have been a bit of a soft spot of a fellow lover of the waters. Sometimes credit is due just for the reminders if not the innovation. :)

  20. I will post this again as it is relevant in this thread. Basically, not only did Exxon know and early, but the American Petroleum Institute knew and even earlier according to some more research into internal memos.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/oil-cover-up-climate_us_570e98bbe4b0ffa5937df6ce?utm_hp_ref=climate-change

    • Jim,
      Exactly what do you think you are presenting us with?

      So a couple of researchers publish an article in 1968 that warns about all the bad things that “might” happen from increasing CO2 emissions. That is your evidence for claiming the evil oil companies”knew” their product was dangerous and ignored overwhelming evidence?

      There is a very big tell in the article you linked to. When the headline refers to “evil” oil companies, you can be sure it is a hit piece by a third rate journalist. (and I may be giving the guy too much credit by calling him 3rd rate).

      Did you catch the part about how all the stuff the two authors warned about has come true? Yeah, sure it has. And I can like my eyebrows.

      • That was supposed to read lick.

      • The Exxon story developed in the same way. Investigative journalism and a paper trail. It’s early days yet.

      • From Jim D,

        “Investigative journalism and a paper trail. It’s early days yet.”

        In other words, you got nothing.

      • Danny,

        I bet you picked at scabs when you were a kid, the way you repeatedly engage with certain commenters.

        Like this one – “Joseph,
        I’m guessing you’re plenty sharp enough to understand the concept.”

        How can you possibly guess that? Just reading the entire exchange makes it obvious Joseph is about as sharp as a bowling ball.

    • Basically, not only did Exxon know and early, but the American Petroleum Institute knew and even earlier according to some more research into internal memos.

      What did they know? That there was a risk that couldn’t be quantified that increased fossil carbon burning would lead to higher temperatures.

      We know so much more than that today.

      • That they had to work against the basic science in the public arena. That is what they knew, and they did.

      • That they had to work against the basic science in the public arena.

        No, they didn’t “work against the basic science in the public arena.” What they worked against was a false certainty trumpeted in pursuit of an ideological/political agenda.

      • Of course, that research could also qualify as hedging their bets. Perhaps they just wanted to be very sure it wasn’t the sun before betting their corporate existence on the need to allow for “global warming”.

      • It’s a parallel path to tobacco. They knew what the science said was most likely true, but decided to oppose that view for reasons of convenience and profit. It is typical corporate thinking to suppress knowledge where needed. The next step is buying politicians and then they’re off to the races.

      • They knew what the science said was most likely true, but decided to oppose that view for reasons of convenience and profit.

        Several problems with that:

        For instance, even today we don’t know whether “what the science said” is true, or even “most likely true”. Taking votes doesn’t have anything to do with science.

        Also, what they chiefly opposed was “solutions” that wouldn’t have worked, just as Kyoto didn’t work. They highlighted the uncertainty, and everybody with a modicum of sense realized that the risk had to be balanced against the risk of st00pid socialist “solutions”.

        As long as they can prove they dabbled in solar (which they can), and funded R&D towards other solutions such as carbon capture (which they did), all the barratry is just socialist anti-corporate persecution.

        Hopefully they’ll be able to collect against their persecutors, and whatever government agencies get involved in this fiasco. Hopefully, every “attorney general” and other public official involved will end his/her life in bankrupt penury. And well deserved.

      • Yes, we know that there is no climate data supporting the statement
        “That there was a risk that couldn’t be quantified that increased fossil carbon burning would lead to higher temperatures.”

      • There’s “climate data supporting the statement”, just not enough to quantify the risk.

      • AK, I don’t think they opposed it for political anti-socialist reasons, but for corporate profit reasons, but that’s just my opinion. Politics wasn’t even an issue back then in the 40’s to 60’s. No IPCC, no green energy, pre-Hansen and Gore, etc.

      • AK, I don’t think they opposed it for political anti-socialist reasons, but for corporate profit reasons, but that’s just my opinion.

        Well, since their fiduciary responsibility was to that “corporate profit” it’s hard to see how they did anything wrong.

        When it comes to profits several decades or more down the road, it’s more the opinions of major stockholders than the science that should be governing their actions.

        Politics wasn’t even an issue back then in the 40’s to 60’s.

        You’re being very vague about timing. Are we talking about the ’40’s to ’60’s, or the ’80’s when they had studies predicting solar wouldn’t be cost-competitive till 2012-15, or the ’90’s and ’00’s when they were resisting stupid socialist solutions?

        Stipulating (me, not their lawyers) that they had access to science about “global warming” in the ’40’s through ’60’s, what should they have done about it? Other than invest in whatever solar technology was available at the time?

      • AK, this is exactly why you have take anything a fossil-fuel-invested corporation says about climate change with a pinch of salt. To do otherwise is just naive. They set up their Smoke and Fumes committee very early with the aim of swaying public and political opinion. This was a precursor to today’s skeptical thinktanks that are also only there to serve corporate interests, no other reason.

      • Thing is, they understood the science much better, even then, than you do today.

      • What they worked against was a false certainty trumpeted in pursuit of an ideological/political agenda.

        It’s ironic that you say that when large sums of money have been given by Exxon and other fossil fuel interests to numerous ideological/political organizations who promote their own agendas. Not to mention the vast sums of money spent on lobbying and campaign contributions to Republicans.

      • Danny Thomas

        Joseph,

        No sense of fairness whatsoever within your comment. Chastisement for funding of “ideological/political” organizations while ignoring sponsorship of universities? How about playing both sides for political expediency? Sounds like good ‘business’ and I’d suggest that’s pretty much all it is.

      • organizations while ignoring sponsorship of universities?

        I have a problem with their”ideological/political” activities and can’t “sponsorship” activities also be self serving?

      • Danny Thomas

        Joseph,
        “I have a problem with their”ideological/political” activities and can’t “sponsorship” activities also be self serving?” (certainly their sponsorship is self serving, corporations don’t just give about shareholder money w/o expectation of a ROI).

        How about rephrasing? I have a problem with their ‘sponsorship’ activities and can’t their “ideological/political” activities be self serving?

        To be clear, I’m not suggesting either just that there are equal issues.

      • Sounds like good ‘business’ and I’d suggest that’s pretty much all it is.

        What makes it “good business?”

      • Danny Thomas

        Good business=promotion!

        Alternatively known as hedging one’s bets.

      • Ok so how do funding ideological activities enable them to “hedge their bets?”

      • Danny Thomas

        Joseph,
        Paving the pathway for the future. Playing both sides of the same coin.

        Don’t auto companies do the same? Make giant trucks for that market, while manufacturing eco zippy cars for that one, and electric cars for that segment?

        Any difference? It’s all survival.

      • You aren’t really answering my question So how (specifically) does funding conservative ideological/political think tanks and other enable them to hedge their bets?

      • Alright, if you can’t or won’t answer my question that’s fine, Danny.

      • Danny Thomas

        Joseph,
        I’m guessing you’re plenty sharp enough to understand the concept.

      • It’s ironic that you say that when large sums of money have been given by Exxon and other fossil fuel interests to numerous ideological/political organizations who promote their own agendas. Not to mention the vast sums of money spent on lobbying and campaign contributions to Republicans.

        Presumably they consider such donations to be in the interests of their stockholders.

        And any stockholder who disagrees is free to divest.

      • “Good business” has also led to other forms of pollution.

      • Ok so how do funding ideological activities enable them to “hedge their bets?”

        What justification do you have for calling research into, say, the role of solar “constant” variations on climate “ideological activities”?

      • Sounds like good ‘business’ and I’d suggest that’s pretty much all it is.

        I was talking about funding of ideological/political think tanks not scientists, AK

    • Danny Thomas

      JimD,
      Hypothetically, were one to be a pioneer in climate science during that time only to find a Nasa scientist suggest cooling might be looming, would it not be reasonable to be reserved in one’s evaluation?

      Not at all wishing to traverse old ground, just trying to maintain reasonable mind sets of the time.

      Only suggested to soften the tone. That was then, this is now. Evaluate the stance based on the times.

      • What they do is not keep an open mind in the face of uncertainty, but took one side, and opposite to the one they first thought of, and for obvious reasons that had nothing to do with the science of the time.

      • Danny Thomas

        JimD,

        Wait. Now Exxon is ‘open minded’ and no longer the bad guy? But when they were the ‘bad guy’ contrary evidence existed (if one accepts a peer reviewed work by a Nasa guy as evidence during the time).

        And now, ‘uncertainty’ is a bad word having nothing to do with the ‘science of the times’?

        Ah, yes. Climate.

      • If you have seen their climate statement, Exxon are more than open-minded. They are pro-active.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,

        Went looking for their climate statements when I first got in to this found it to be fairly proactive, but how does it jive with business interests? :”A group of shareholders in ExxonMobil urged the oil giant on Tuesday to detail the resilience of its business model to climate change, a month after the Paris agreement set the world on course to transform its fossil fuel-driven economy.”

        ““As shareholders, we want to know that Exxon is doing what is needed to prepare for a future with lower carbon emissions. The future success of the company, and its investors, requires Exxon to assess how it will perform as the world changes.”

        How much financial influence do those shareholders represent, and how much are they willing to forgo in ROI?

      • That’s their problem. If they want to keep their shareholders and keep people from divesting, they need a modern-age plan, and to acknowledge things have changed. They either evolve or go the way of the dinosaurs. It’s a legitimate concern.

      • Danny Thomas

        JimD,
        Preach to me Jim: https://www.google.com/finance?q=philip%20morris&ei=l-sSV-nFFZCT2Abk8reABw

        or https://www.google.com/finance?q=reynolds+tobacco&ei=musSV_HLIOeHjAGFqZqABw
        (one of your favorites)
        “Acting responsibly towards the individual human being, society and the environment is at the core of our business.

        We therefore align our business activities with the conduct you should expect from a responsible market leader. We do this for two reasons: because it sustains our business; and because we believe it is the right course of action.

        We are dedicated to reducing waste and emissions from our factories, and we are committed to making our working conditions ever safer. In communities where we operate, we strive to be a good and responsible corporate citizen.

        We acknowledge that tobacco products are different from other consumer products. We believe that smoking is for adults only, and we don’t work to increase the number of smokers or to grow the total market of tobacco.”

        If you think it’s about anything more than dollars and shareholders I fear you’re mistaken. Don’t think this has as much to do with climate and social consciousness as it does big finance. “http://www.st-group.com/en/our-responsibilities

        Modern age plan? What, exactly, has big tobacco done evolution wise?

        Don’t fool yourself here.

      • As with other regulated activities, they would have been happy to go on as they were going until the effects of their products were called out by the medical community. They only changed because they got caught. Some businesses are moral, but not the ones who deny the science.

      • Danny Thomas

        ” Some businesses are moral, but not the ones who deny the science.”
        Jim, seriously? What % of business are ‘moral’, and how is that defined? Which science?

        Do you drive a car and use FF in any way? Is this really a discussion you wish to have?

        This is a terrible tangent. Please step away.

      • I think it is at the center of the issue, but anyway, step away if you don’t want that discussion. Corporations versus science. Laissez faire versus regulations. Profit versus public interest, etc. Central issues.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,

        I’ll have it all day. Start with self and address the questions I asked. Are you divested of FF’s? Simple and short. Individuals vs. ‘science’. Hypocrite or not? Are you any better than Exxon?

      • Exxon, Shell and a lot of FF companies are trying to make a go of moving on, and I support that, but I support renewable energy more. When we see corporations put themselves ahead of the public interest, we complain, right? And it works when the science backs it up. It’s not just corporations either. Local governments like in Michigan tried to save a buck, and look at what happened there. When we see these things we call them out so that they don’t get repeated. These people used delay tactics like requesting more testing rather than taking measures that they thought costly. It’s moral values.

      • Danny Thomas

        JimD,

        So your self protecting orientation is that your continued use of FF is in support of the changing business environment of these organizations?

        You support renewables more? Do you have solar on your house having disconnected from the grid? Do you have a water catchment system for runoff from your roof? Are you biking to work?

        When we see individuals of the public put themselves in front of the common good of society when ‘science’ suggests divestment from FF is a necessity (not saying from where that divestment should occur so why not individuals?) then why not hold individuals accountable?

        Corporations, state governments, local governments……….where does that responsibility line end?

        ” When we see these things we call them out so that they don’t get repeated. These people used delay tactics…………” Let’s not be hypocritical. “It’s moral values.” Do we apply them only to others, or also to ourselves? (It was your preference to mosey down this pathway, I’d rather not continue as I don’t care for how it makes YOU look, but it’s up to you.) (Wincing as I press post as I don’t care for this kind of conversation, but it is honest.)

      • We live in 2016. We use the technology we have, not the technology we would wish to have some time in the next few decades. This is about making that shift as technology allows it, and recognizing that the shift is necessary, and that it takes a global effort. Do I complain about people driving FF cars? No. Like I said this is 2016. That’s the way to get around. Humvees may be stupid, but for other reasons.

      • Danny Thomas

        JIm D,

        “Do I complain about people driving FF cars?”

        No, can’t say that you have. But you do complain about the activities of the suppliers of the FF’s, right?

        What ‘other reasons’ are Humvee’s stupid?

        Based on this argument: “We live in 2016. We use the technology we have, not the technology we would wish to have some time in the next few decades.” there is no reason to change. Yet, for some other reason, you chose to bring up morals.

        So again, do you chose to apply some level of morals to Exxon and disregard your personal choices?

        If ‘technology’ allows a shift which does not reduce emissions presumably that would then be morally acceptable? I’m not getting your argument.

      • Moral values are very important in planning and policy. Several decisions were made for things like acid rain, the ozone layer and now emissions. Some industries did not like that, and depending on their moral values took various political stances against changes. So, yes, that matters too. Does it affect what I drive or how I fuel my car? No. It might for some people, and I have no complaint about them, nor do I complain when someone buys Exxon fuel. These are petty things in the big picture of politics. There is very effective activism against palm oil and deforestation, but it doesn’t need me to take part. Etc.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,
        Where we completely disagree is in personal responsibility.

        If the collective actions of a few billion individuals don’t make a difference, why then are we bothering with the discussion.

        Petty? Letting individuals off the hook is petty IMO. As long as you sleep well accepting zero responsibility.

        Imposing responsibility on others while accepting none yourself? Still wanna talk about morals?

        Based on this, it seems you’re a-okay with the individual decisions of the individual board members of Exxon as long as they’re not in any way considered part of some sort of collective.

        A part of the argument I just do not get.

      • I am realistic. What I do doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. It might make a political statement to the world if I go green, bicycle to work, grow my own vegetables, get off the grid, use solar panels etc. On the other hand, what the government does is very consequential. Things will move forwards. Maybe combustion engines will be old-fashioned in ten years, or many more people will have solar energy, and I am for that type of advance and will happily move along with it. I am not like those people who hold on to their inefficient incandescent light bulbs when better options come along. It’s about better options in the future. I don’t resist change for the greater good. Success is having everyone moving forward with the flow, including me, not just me on my own.

      • Danny Thomas

        JImD,
        Rationalization?
        “Success is having everyone moving forward with the flow, including me, not just me on my own.”
        But if others are ‘moving forward’ and you’re not part of that flow? So I take it you’re a follower and not a leader? All while professing others must ‘submit’ to the whims of ‘government’ in order to address that which is concerning to you as an individual?

        You may not ‘resist change for the greater good’ but apparently don’t wish to sacrifice in advance of.

      • The global pace of change is measured in decades. I will be doing my part if I also change at that rate, and I also won’t complain if others do the same. Kudos to those who want to move faster. I respect their effort, because it is an effort with some sacrifice to move faster than the flow.

      • Danny Thomas

        Okay. Just so I understand. It’s acceptable for everyone to move at their own pace. Corporations, governments, and individuals and each pace is morally within bounds.

        Got it.

      • Individuals. Governments, corporations do have to think of the global commons because they impact it, which is what this is all about, by the way. That’s where the planning comes in, and hopefully a lack of denial that things need to be done so that the people can move along at a reasonable pace. Corporations, including especially innovative new industries, provide the wheels for moving along and governments may oil them. Without these advances we are all stuck, however much we may want to move.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,

        “That’s where the planning comes in, and hopefully a lack of denial that things need to be done so that the people can move along at a reasonable pace.”

        Leaves personal responsibility out of the equation. What, do you think, makes up governments, corporations, or entities of any other persuasion?

        There is an “I” in team, no matter what you suggest otherwise.

        Gather you’ll stand alone when all is said and done.

      • I believe in individual freedom (as long as it doesn’t impact others negatively) and national responsibility. Which of these do you disagree with?

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,

        What happens when the ‘national responsibility’ runs counter to the individual freedom? If the ‘national responsibility’ includes disallowing that which invades individual freedom, such as your choice to drive whatever you chose even if it ‘harm’s’ others due to emissions, how does that jive with the imposition of the ‘nations’ ability to override that individual freedom in order to meet your preferred climate goals?

        The two may indeed be mutually exclusive. So in that case, which do YOU disagree with? (Nice attempt at boxing me in).

      • In terms of climate, the national responsibility is part of the global responsibility because decisions affect everyone. This is what Paris was about – a globally responsible path. Changing the way nations produce energy or improve other efficiencies is part of that and will play out over the next few decades, and this filters down to us all through the choice we end up having in what we drive and it decides where our energy comes from. This is a trickle-down approach that does affect individuals down the road, and maybe that’s the part you are not happy about. I am trying to gauge where your problem is. Do you like the energy system the way it is now so much? Is it perfect, or are there things you would address?

      • “Corporations versus science.”
        Do you think ExxonMobil got to where it is by denying science, or ignoring it?

      • Ragnaar, if we take them for their word in their climate statement, they are now accepting that action is needed, and using the social cost of carbon in their planning. It’s a major turnaround, and the AGU were OK to accept them for it.

      • JimD: national responsibility?

        I have never heard of that.

        Is that in the US constitution somewhere?

        What is a nation responsible for?

        Please explain.

      • RA, global too. See the IPCC Paris agreement. This is a responsibility to consider climate change in planning. It is similar to other responsibilities the government has to guard its people against things like pollution, hurricanes or other threats. Most governments take this responsibility seriously.

      • “When we see corporations put themselves ahead of the public interest, we complain, right?”

        And who gets to define public interest Jim? Or what which moral values should be upheld and which can be tossed?

      • Who gets to define the public interest? The public of course. If your air or water is being polluted you need a recourse. In that case the public interest becomes your own interest, and you look for some way to defend yourself, which is regulations, clean-up, etc. These are roles for the government and law. This shouldn’t be controversial.

      • JimD said “RA, global too. See the IPCC Paris agreement. This is a responsibility to consider climate change in planning. It is similar to other responsibilities the government has to guard its people against things like pollution, hurricanes or other threats. Most governments take this responsibility seriously.”

        Non-responsive.

        the IPCC Paris agreement is non-binding. May not Shall – so that is not a responsibility, national or otherwise.

        According to this quiz: https://quizlet.com/126063333/us-constitution-state-and-national-responsibilities-flash-cards/

        the responsibility to provide for public safety (guard against hurricanes) falls to the States in the United States of America. The States fulfill this responsibility by issuing warnings and weather reports (which most people ignore anyway). Yes – the USA also chimes in with warnings and weather reports – but just for fun, as this is not their job.

        Pollution – that does fall to the EPA (or the NEP as Trump calls it). But CO2 is not a pollutant at current or projected levels. No more than H20 or O2 or N. I think in due course, the EPA will get slapped back for its foray into CO2 regulation (like pretending stationary CO2 emissions are moving emissions from an automobile, or regulating how much CO2 a building can emit). We have to pass a new law (or amend an old one) if we want to squeeze CO2 in under the EPA’s jurisdiction (in my opinion). The president’s executive order is probably illegal, and even if it is not – it will be rescinded by the next Republican president. That is no way to run a good government policy (in my opinion).

      • RA, since the US has no jurisdiction over the world, non-binding is the best we can hope for from the UN (despite what all those tin-hat world government fearers say).
        Hurricanes – it is not called the National Hurricane Center for nothing. It would be very inefficient for each state to have to forecast hurricanes and issue the warnings themselves. That is a national responsibility, same with tornadoes. The warnings can cross state boundaries and trigger state responses, but the states don’t decide when to warn.
        EPA – yes, pollution is a national responsibility because it does cross state boundaries. CO2, like stratospheric ozone, can affect large scale areas, and their atmospheric levels need regulation to control those impacts. As with ozone, there is a historically normal level that we would like the world to stay near. It’s important, and that’s why you pay attention to it and read this blog to get continuous information after all, so I don’t have to tell you how important it is.

    • This is just another Alinskyesque attack on companies that have powered civilization to the lofty heights we now enjoy. It shows a crass lack of gratitude and a form of social psychosis.

      • The corporations have apologists who choose to ignore their poor moral choices.

      • It seems moral to me to give poor people coal power plants rather than only windmills, solar and some batteries. It’s like food production. How erratic or expensive do you want to make it?

      • Or at least give poor people enough money to easily buy their fuel.

      • JimD, so, are you willing to give up 50% of what the government doesn’t already take (of your money, not mine.)

      • jim2, depends what the government does with it, but it would have to be a lot for that price. Free education, free healthcare, comfortable retirement pay, modern infrastructure, good roads, clean cities, and it could buy a lot more. So, it depends on the deal you get.

      • They could also heavily subsidize energy and fuel costs with that kind of revenue.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        Yes, Jim 2,
        What is reprehensible is that the attacks are coming from people who read as if they have never been in the positions that they criticise. FWIW, I worked for several years at the policy/approval level for major industrial projects wanting clearance from government to proceed, so I have directly seen and discussed mindsets from the several classical parties at work.
        It is often overlooked that both corporations and governments are comprised of individuals and individuals have preferences, motivations, best courses of action. The main arena where individuals prostitute their ideals is the green world, where prominent repetition of lies is considered desirable activity by their peers. That is, the green leaning individual has less concern for personal honesty.
        I cannot recall ever meeting a senior person from industry who was willing to forego personal principles for community wellbeing in favour of a corporate agenda. The assertion that they mostly do, is wrong, it is the stuff of dreams by angry people.
        At the end of the career, one gets value from knowing that what was taken out of the system was much less than what was put into it.
        That is, thinking people, as opposed to promulgators of known mistruths, are more likely to be relaxed, to sleep well at night.
        Also, they refrain from showing ignorance by excessive, unsupportable writing on blogs.

  21. The long term sustainability of nuclear fuel has just gone up another notch:
    From WNA: http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles/countries-o-s/russia-nuclear-fuel-cycle.aspx

    Russian proposal for nuclear fuel leasing and recycling

    At the World Nuclear Fuel Cycle conference in Abu Dhabi, a new concept of nuclear fuel leasing was highlighted. For several years the Khlopin Institute in Russia has been developing for Tenex a new fuel recycling model. REMIX (from Regenerated Mixture) fuel is produced directly from a non-separated mix of recycled uranium and plutonium from reprocessing used fuel, with a low-enriched uranium (LEU, up to 17% U-235) make-up comprising about 20% of the mix. This gives fuel initially with about 1% Pu-239 and 4% U-235. Over four years it can achieve burn-up of 50 GWd/t.
    The used REMIX fuel is then reprocessed and recycled again, after low-enriched uranium top up. The wastes (fission products and probably minor actinides) are vitrified, as today from reprocessing for MOX, and stored for geological disposal. REMIX-fuel can be repeatedly recycled with 100% core load in current VVER-1000 reactors, and correspondingly reprocessed many times – up to five times according to Tenex, so that with less than three fuel loads in circulation a reactor could run for 60 years using the same fuel, with LEU recharge and waste removal on each cycle. As with MOX, the use of REMIX-fuel reduces consumption of natural uranium in reactors by about 20% at each recycle as compared with open fuel cycle. REMIX can serve as a replacement for existing reactor fuel.

    Tenex suggests this as a form of fuel leasing from a supplier to a utility, with repeated recycle between them. It has the virtue of not creating any accumulation of reprocessed uranium or (especially) separated plutonium. The increasing concentrations of even isotopes of both elements is compensated by the fresh uranium-235 top-up, presumably at increasing enrichment levels. Rosatom plans to load experimental REMIX fuel assemblies into Balakovo unit 3 in June 2016, subject to Rostechnadzor licence.

    While the concept is initially for both power plant and fuel cycle set-up in Russia, it can be applied to a power plant in another country, with the utility paying for both enriched uranium top-up and disposal of vitrified waste in Russia as well as the processing. A further extension of the model could be in line with tentative findings of the South Australian Royal Commission on the Nuclear Fuel Cycle: if that utility wanted to acquire uranium from Australia with the benefit of being able to send its high-level wastes for disposal in Australia, an Australian entity would own the uranium throughout the whole REMIX cycle and also the eventual vitrified high-level wastes. In this case Russia (or France, UK or Japan) simply handles reprocessing, enrichment of fresh uranium, and fuel fabrication, all on some toll basis.”

    • Curious George

      Peter – your link leads to a very long article. My first impression is that there is no new proposal for a spent fuel recycling; please point out if there is. The idea of reusing the “spent” nuclear fuel (which may originally have more than 100% of usable energy contents) is hardly new, or Russian.

      • Curious George,

        Sorry if my introduction to the quote was misleading.

        My main take-away point is that Russia is offering a new commercial service that may or may not be attractive for countries that are stalled because of public opposition to nuclear power because they fear the waste management issues cannot be resolved.

        My reason for including the quote and for my introductory comment was to point out again – for those who believe that availability of nuclear fuels is very limited – that in fact nuclear fuel is effectively unlimited. We’ll adapt to recycling technologies when it becomes commercially beneficial to do so.

        Have I adequately addressed your point?

      • Curious George

        Have you ever read of “activists” stopping trains loaded with “spent” nuclear fuel? The problem is not a commercial one; it is a political one.

      • Curious George,

        You seem to be arguing irrational anti-nuke nonsense. I misunderstood you’r point – I thought you were asking a serious question. Everyone understands that there is an enormous irrational paranoia about nuclear power and radiation. It’s thank’s to 50 years of anti-nuke scaremongering by activists and organisations like Greenpeace and the so called ‘environmental NGOs’. If you believe and simply repeating their nonsense, then it’s a waste of time discussing your loaded questions. I’ve been hearing their nonsense for 35 years. The key point is to separate the rational debate that addresses the technical and economic issues from the politics, and emotive issues. They need to be dealt with separately. I am more interested in the former than the latter. Little progress will be made with the latter for as long as the Luddites (mostly the self appointed ‘Progressives’), stop blocking progress.

        Did you read this and follow the comments: https://judithcurry.com/2016/03/13/nuclear-power-learning-rates-policy-implications/

        “Main Points:

        – Learning rate is the rate costs reduce per doubling of capacity. Until about 1970 learning rates for nuclear power were 23% in the US and 27% to 35% in the other countries studied, except India.

        – Around 1970, learning rates reversed and become negative (-94% in the US, -82% in Germany, -23% to -56% in the other countries, except South Korea); clearly something caused the reversal of learning rates for nuclear power around 1970.

        – If the positive learning rates from 1953 to 1970 had continued, nuclear power would cost less than 1/10th of current cost.

        – If nuclear deployment had continued at 30 GW per year from 1980, nuclear would cost much less than 1/10th of what it does now; furthermore the additional nuclear generation would have substituted for 85,000 TWh of mostly coal-generated electricity, thereby avoiding 85 Gt CO2 emissions and 5 million fatalities.

        – In 2015, assuming nuclear replaced coal, the additional nuclear generation would have replaced half of coal generation, thus avoided half of the CO2 emissions and 300,000 future fatalities.

        – If the accelerating rate of deployment from 1960 to 1976 had continued, nuclear would have replaced all baseload coal and gas generation before 2015.

        – High learning rates were achieved in the past and could be achieved again with appropriate policies.

      • A fundamental problem with the nuclear discussion is the lack of common sense and deception by anti-nukers.

        We need to rename used nuclear fuel just what it is: used fuel.

        The average used car (first sale from rental company as guide) has around 40,000 miles and a life expectancy of 150K-200K miles. It has lost 20-27% of its expected service and 73-80% of its residual service life remains.

        Used fuel has only lost 3% of its value and has over 90% remaining. It isn’t “spent” by any reasonable common-sense definition of the word. It makes no more sense to call it spent than to called first user cars for sale “spent cars”. In theory 30 future owners could get as much satisfaction as the original owner of the used fuel.

        It is a much better deal than a used car. We don’t scrap used cars after one use. Scrapping nuclear fuel is certifiably insane.

        Used fuel is a resource not a problem.

      • Danny Thomas

        PA,
        “We need to rename used nuclear fuel just what it is: used fuel.” Nope. Current ‘used’ nuclear fuel is current fuel for advanced capability nuclear. No where near used yet.

      • http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/nuclear/waste/

        http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/01/pictures/110119-nuclear-waste-train-castor-antinuclear-protest-germany-power-energy-pictures/

        They delay and harass (they call it “monitoring”) shipments.

        Have you ever read of “activists” stopping trains loaded with “spent” nuclear fuel?

        Yup.

        These criminals should be in jail and not harassing nuclear shipments.

      • Danny,

        The generally used term is “used fuel”. http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/nuclear-fuel-cycle/introduction/nuclear-fuel-cycle-overview.aspx The US calls it “spent fuel” probably for political reasons, similar to the reasons why they blocked recycling. It is definitely not “spent” for the reasons PA pointed out.

      • Danny Thomas

        Peter,
        Agreed. One man’s ‘used fuel’ is another man’s treasure.

      • Anyone interested in answers to Curious George’s original comment might like to read three comments just posted by Roger Clifton on BraveNewClimate. Feel free to ask questions of a technical nature there (read the comments policy). https://bravenewclimate.com/2015/10/25/open-thread-23/#comment-455316.

  22. This link contains several presentations on ERoEI and its significance for human well-being: ‘ Science for Energy Scenarios: 3rd Science and Energy Seminar at Ecole de Physique des Houches, March 6th-11th, 2016http://science-and-energy.org/slides-videos/.

    I’d welcome comments and discussion about these two:

    1. Jessica Lambert ‘Examining The Relation between Quality of Life and Biophysical vs Economic Conditionshttp://science-and-energy.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/EcoleDePhysiqueDesHouches_JGL_2016_03_08.pdf charts Human Development Index versus EROEI (for society). If this analysis is correct, it shows how significant achieving a high EROEI (society) is for improving human well-being.

    However, it seems to me many of the presentations are using energy intensity as a proxy for ERoEI and in fact are simply plotting energy intensity and calling it ERoEI. Lambert has not shown a plot of HDI versus Energy Intensity; I suspect that chart would be identical or near identical to the charts she has shown of HDI v EROEI. The authors are experts on this subject and there is a lot of background to the analyses. I’d welcome comments on this.

    2. Daniel Weißbach, et al. ‘ The EROIs of Power Plants – why are they so different?http://science-and-energy.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/EROI_LesHouches2016.pdf is very interesting, IMO. I’d like to hear comments and discussion from others about the methodology, because it is differences in methodology and assumptions that are reason for the large differences in ERoEI estimated by different authors.

    The second last slide summarises the ERoEI for the different technologies (including ‘buffering’, i.e. storage, for renewables):
    • Wind and solar: 1-4
    • Fossil fuels: 30
    • Hydro: 35
    • Nuclear (today’s LWRs): 75
    • Nuclear theoretical limit: 10,000

    Weißbach includes his spreadsheet here: http://tinyurl.com/z7329lh

    Also see other EROEI presentations linked in my first link above.

  23. “Alex Epstein’s recent Congressional Testimony in defense of fossil fuels”

    In defense of Alex Epstein I would like to point out that the only empirical evidence presented that relates warming to fossil fuel emissions is a spurious correlation between cumulative values.

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2725743

  24. chaamjamal,

    The First Commandment of the Warmist Church of Latter Day Scientism is “Thou shalt worship the Correlation above all else.”

    The Second Commandment is “If the Correlation should break, thou shalt employ Mike’s Nature trick to make it whole again.”

    Warmists are somewhat deluded, but the faithful are quite capable of ignoring inconvenient facts. Who needs facts, if you have a correlation?

    Cheers.

  25. From the article:

    The worldwide reliance on burning fossil fuels to create energy could be phased out in a decade, according to an article published by a major energy think tank in the UK. Professor Benjamin Sovacool, Director of the Sussex Energy Group at the University of Sussex, believes that the next great energy revolution could take place in a fraction of the time of major changes in the past. But it would take a collaborative, interdisciplinary, multi-scalar effort to get there, he warns. And that effort must learn from the trials and tribulations from previous energy systems and technology transitions. In a paper published in the peer-reviewed journal …

    https://science.slashdot.org/story/16/04/16/1259249/fossil-fuels-could-be-phased-out-worldwide-in-a-decade-says-study

    • Professor Sovacool analyses energy transitions throughout history and argues that only looking towards the past can often paint an overly bleak and unnecessary picture.

      Moving from wood to coal in Europe, for example, took between 96 and 160 years, whereas electricity took 47 to 69 years to enter into mainstream use.

      But this time the future could be different, he says — the scarcity of resources, the threat of climate change and vastly improved technological learning and innovation could greatly accelerate a global shift to a cleaner energy future.

      Evangelicalism runs deep in the Christian tradition, and during the 18th century it became secularized.

      The possibility, and ease, with which the crusaders can painlessly “transition” humanity and other societies to the ideal society is of course always in the glorious future, and never in the past or present.

      Inordinate cruelty and indifference to human suffering invariably become part of these forced transitions, as human nature and culture are never as maleable as the crusaders believe they should be.

  26. A defective radiation-risk standard holds back our most important low-carbon energy source.
    By HOLMAN W. JENKINS, JR in The WSJ

    The public fears nuclear power is unsafe. Jenkins proposes lowering nuclear power safety standards to make nuclear more acceptable.

    Jenkins is a pin-head. Where does the WSJ find these people?
    ______

    Coal’s Future Shifts To Developing World
    By Graham Lloyd, in The Australian

    Lloyd sees a bright future for coal. Lloyd is a moron.
    _______

    Alex Epstein’s recent Congressional Testimony in defense of fossil fuels

    Epstein is author of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuel, which is good to know if you think fuels, like drugs and alcohol, can be immoral. A sequel could be The Moral Case for Negative Externalities, after Epstein wakes up to the fact they exist.
    _____________
    Low Gas Prices Expose Flaw In U.S. Fuel Economy Standards, As Gains Fall Short Of Expectations
    By Sam Ori, in Forbes

    Sri reminds us short-sighted American car buyers extrapolate no change in gas prices.
    This may be one reason ExxonMobile favors a revenue-neutral carbon tax.
    ______________
    Ontario Society of Professional Engineers on why C02 emissions will double as we add wind and solar plants

    Given current technology the Society sees 100% nuclear power as the only solution to rising CO2 emissions.

    Looks like Ontario could use some American and German engineers.
    _______

    • Says our resident pinhead.

      Where did you pick up your vast pool of knowledge about radiation and risks, max?

      • I’m all for safe nuclear power, but if conventional nuclear power is safe, why do citizens of countries who rely on it so heavily (Japan and France) want to rely on it less? If you are going to say it’s because they are irrational, have you considered it might be you who is irrational?

      • max1ok,

        Re France –

        “A poll had shown that 67% of people thought that environmental protection was the single most important energy policy goal. (However, 58% thought that nuclear power caused climate change while only 46% thought that coal burning did so.)”

        According to the citizens, build more coal fired power stations to stop the climate changing?

        The citizens of WarmWorld do quite nicely without worrying about reality, facts, or the concept of rational thinking.

        What do you think?

        Cheers.

      • The anti-nukers use high dose exposure to predict lose dose harm.

        This is no different than using tactical nuke test data to predict the effect of annual exposure to a room fan. The net cumulative overpressure is about the same.

      • PA,

        Thanks for the heads up about cumulative over pressure. I’ve just leapt into action, and turned all my ceiling fans off. I think it’s called employing the precautionary principle. You can never be too safe, especially when low dose over pressure is concerned.

        I’ve given up eating bananas, as well. Low dose radiation danger! feel so much better now. The tinfoil hat will probably block alpha and beta particles, but it also blocks visible light radiation. I keep crashing into things.

        Must be the insidious poisonous effects of low dose CO2. If it keeps on like this, I might just go back to living life as usual.

        Somebody told me everyone dies eventually, anyway! Bugger! Is there no end to the bad news?

        Cheers.

      • Mike Flynn digs up a poll conducted in France back in 2003:

        “A poll had shown that 67% of people thought that environmental protection was the single most important energy policy goal. (However, 58% thought that nuclear power caused climate change while only 46% thought that coal burning did so.)”
        _____

        Flynn wants to believe the French people are as yesterday as him and haven’t learned anything in 13 years. Ha Ha, what a silly oldie he is.

        Just kidding Mike, but you really should try to keep up with the times. Did you see where France gets 75% of its electricity from nuclear power but will reduce the dependence to 50% by 2025? When a country which leads the world in its reliance on nuclear starts backing away from it, what are we to think?

        My guess is the Fukushima disaster not only soured Japan on nuclear power, but France, Germany, and some other countries as well. Let’s face it, one more Fukushima and nuclear power’s goose is cooked.

      • max1ok,

        My point is that today’s polling may well be considered just as silly in 13 years from now. Maybe I was a bit subtle for you.

        Your point about what will happen in 9 years from now, in 2025 is about as relevant as what people thought would happen 13 years in the future from 2003.

        Warmists always assume that the future is knowable. I think they confuse assumptions with facts, or maybe they really believe in their psychic abilities.

        ‘A poll of 439 college students conducted in 2006 by researchers Bryan Farha of Oklahoma City University and Gary Steward of University of Central Oklahoma, suggested that college seniors and graduate students were more likely to believe in psychic phenomena than college freshmen.[28] 23 percent of college freshmen expressed a belief in paranormal ideas. The percentage was greater among college seniors (31%) and graduate students (34%).[29] The poll showed lower belief in psychic phenomena among science students than social science and education students.”

        It seems pretty obvious that Warmists might well fall into the categories of believers in the paranormal, unless they are all possessed of a supernatural ability to avoid being human.

        I assume Solyndra didn’t want to go broke, nor did SunEdison set out to declare bankruptcy when they pitched to potential investors. Peabody Energy’s ability to see into the future? Maybe not so good.

        As to the reasons for the population becoming averse to nuclear power generation in some countries (only some), it’s apparent that people are given to bouts of irrationality and illogical behaviour at random intervals.

        Believe as you wish – your assumptions may well reflect the future. I’ll stick with my view that the future is unknowable in any real sense, and continue to do what I think is reasonable at the time.

        So far, so good!

        Cheers.

  27. Concrete a bit naughty?

    I believe your average wind turbine requires over 115 tons of CO2 emissions for the concrete alone.

    Seems a lot, but Green Blob requires many a grisly sacrifice upon its altar. It especially enjoys wasted money and wasted emissions. Pure waste shows pure faith.

    Conservationists and skeptics need to just shut up and adore the Blob in all its pagan glory.

    • The 350 kg of rare earths and 100 tons of mostly stainless steel, and 20 tons of composites per MW don’t improve the situation.

      Given the pollution and energy required to build a wind turbine it is surprising people call it “clean” energy. Perhaps they have been misinformed.

  28. The original version of the following post didn’t clear moderation. I suspect it was because of one word. I have changed that word to see if it’s the culprit. If so, I will never use it here again

    A defective radiation-risk standard holds back our most important low-carbon energy source.
    By HOLMAN W. JENKINS, JR in The WSJ

    The public fears nuclear power is unsafe. Jenkins proposes lowering nuclear power safety standards to make nuclear more acceptable.

    Jenkins must wear a tiny hat. Where does the WSJ find these people?
    ______

    Coal’s Future Shifts To Developing World
    By Graham Lloyd, in The Australian

    Lloyd sees a bright future for coal. Lloyd is not very bright.
    ________

    Alex Epstein’s recent Congressional Testimony in defense of fossil fuels

    Epstein is author of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuel, which is good yo know if you think fuels, like drugs and alcohol, can be immoral. A sequel could be The Moral Case for Negative Externalities, after Epstein wakes up to the fact they exist.
    _____________
    Low Gas Prices Expose Flaw In U.S. Fuel Economy Standards, As Gains Fall Short Of Expectations
    By Sam Ori, in Forbes

    Ori reminds me how short-sighted American car buyers extrapolate current gas prices. Is this one reason ExxonMobile favors a revenue-neutral carbon tax?
    ______________
    Ontario Society of Professional Engineers on why C02 emissions will double as we add wind and solar plants

    The Society is a nuclear advocate. Given current technology the Society sees 100% nuclear power as the only solution to rising CO2 emissions.

    Looks like Ontario could use some American or German engineers.

    • Alex Epstein has to be the bravest person on the planet – he’s risking criminal prosecution by promoting the benefits of fossil fuels.

  29. It’s good to see the WSJ article http://www.wsj.com/articles/climate-crowd-ignores-a-scientific-fraud-1460758426 highlighting the issue about the cost of nuclear power and attributing it to the ridiculously low allowable radiation limits. Well done WSJ. Thank you.

    • Peter Lang,

      You would be aware. Others mightn’t. Evil and deadly radiation sources –

      “Food and drink-
      mostly from naturally occurring radioactive potassium-40 and polonium-210. Some foods concentrate more radioactivity than others, although generally not enough to make a significant difference to this total.

      Terrestrial radiation-
      long-lived radioactive materials like uranium and thorium occur in the environment. They emit ionising radiation that contributes 600 μSv a year to your average terrestrial radiation dose. This radiation comes from rocks and soils,and from building materials like bricks, mortar, concrete and tiles. Radon and thoron are naturally occurring radioactive gases. Both these gases are present in the air you breathe.
      The major part of your average terrestrial radiation dose (200 μSv a year) therefore derives from the decay of radon and thoron in your lungs. In the open, these gases are diluted by the wind mixing them in the atmosphere. Indoors they may concentrate in still air.”

      – Australian Nuclear science and Technology Organisation.

      You can always reduce your radiation exposure by eating less bananas. You have to convert sieverts to BEDs. Not joking –

      “A banana equivalent dose (BED) is an informal expression of ionizing radiation exposure, intended as a general educational example to indicate the potential dose due to naturally occurring radioactive isotopes by eating one average-sized banana.”

      We’re all doomed! (or maybe not?)

      Cheers.

    • Geoff Sherrington

      Peter,
      Which leads to a repeat of someone else on this blog, like that all the world’s spent waste could be put on an area of a football field, with a fence around it, there to be safe to people forever.
      OK, it is a bit to one extreme of expression, but far closer to the best available knowledge than these extremist assertions that waste has to be managed for 250,000 years. Why do people continue to lie when the case that they are lying is so strong?

    • By the banana standard (120 Bq/kg) nuclear power is pretty safe. Many common vegetables are around 120 Bq/kg such as carrots and potatoes and some leafy vegetables, Lima beans are worse. The banana equivalent dose is 0.1 μSv. The 20,000 bananas it would take to get a potentially lethal one time dose (2 Sv) makes it an impractical method of suicide. 2 Sv/year merely bumps up your cancer risk a little.

      By the Brazil nut standard (444 Bq/kg) nuclear power is even safer.

      The NIH 2011 study of American caught tuna that had migrated from Japanese waters indicated that only about 1/500th of the dose was from Fukushima. 499/500ths absorbed dose was from the 12300 Bq/m3 natural radioactivity of sea water (12.5 Bq/kg).

      http://physics.isu.edu/radinf/natural.htm
      Wood is 3330 Bq/kg and is one of the more radioactive building materials.

      It is a good thing we don’t eat wood.

      Dirt averages 400 bq/kg.

      The Fukushima scare was really a farce and the evacuation is believed to have killed more people than it saved, perhaps much more.

      • PA,

        Thank for that. Your comment could have been more easily iunderstood by those not familiar with radiation if you’d stated that average radiatioin dose from natural causes and the maximum dose received in various polaces around the world.

        Also, I understand houses made of bricks give much higher radiation doses than those made of wood. Of course granite, a common building material in many places, is much higher still.

      • The yearly dose limit for US nuclear workers is 50 ms/Y (5 REM).

        The average annual dose in the US is around 3.6 ms/Y.

        That is 1/3 of a CAT scan of your abdomen and pelvis (10 ms, 20 ms with repeat contrast scan). And worse, the CAT scan is a single dose (in less than one day, in this case a few minutes) or literally millions of times the intensity of the background radiation dose..

        The average dose varies location, altitude, the number of plane flights you take, and how much time you spend in your basement.

        Denver is about 6 mS/Y.

        Montana dirt from some university student field tests is over 2.5 times the 400 mS/Y average.

        Some places like Ramsar, Iran have spots where people are living where the dose from natural radiation is over 200 mS/Y (the Ramsar average is in the 30s).
        http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0531513104018461
        >i>Data from the Ramsar Health Network show that both crude lung cancer rate and adjusted lung cancer rate in one district with the highest recorded levels of external radiation and radon concentration are lower than those of the other seven districts. It can be concluded that lung cancer rate may show a negative correlation with natural radon concentration.

        There is a running debate about the low continuous dose harm point between 200 ms/Y and 2 S/Y. Because of hormesis some cancers go up and some cancers go down. Above 2 S/Y it is pretty universally agreed that radioactivity is negative. The average cell repairs 1,000,000 or so DNA breaks a day and the effects of low dose radiation just disappear in the woodwork, and actually appear to stimulate the repair process.

        The linear-no-threshold model of radioactivity was a creature of an anti- nuclear activist and isn’t scientifically or reality based.

        Position paper from the Health Physics society:
        http://hps.org/documents/risk_ps010-2.pdf
        There is substantial and convincing scientific evidence for health risks following high-dose exposures. However, below 50–100 mSv (which includes occupational and environmental exposures), risks of health effects are either too small to be observed or are nonexistent.

        .

      • PA,

        I think you got your units mixed up. ms is milliseconds. I think you meant mSv.

      • Yup, should have been mSv.

        Quoted enough stuff with mSv that I should have noticed.

        But ms isn’t a radiation unit.

        But I’m not as bad the Fukushima alarmists. They quote radioactivity in tons of water, that isn’t even an attempt to use the correct SI unit..

    • It’s a nice little article with an unfortunately antagonistic title/headline. I can’t share that with others of a poor choice of headline.

  30. From the article:

    NEW YORK – The collapse of a Spanish-based multinational renewable energies company could cause election-year embarrassment not only to President Obama, Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation and the Democratic Party, but also to Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz and his wife Heidi, through their ties to Goldman Sachs.

    Announced Tuesday, Seville-headquartered renewables multinational firm Abengoa plans to sell off four solar photovoltaic power plants in Spain for a collective value of $65.13 million, $57.26 million and a net cash flow of $13.9 million, helping the company meet its debt-restructuring targets set out in its feasibility plan.

    http://www.wnd.com/2016/04/collapse-of-spains-solyndra-poses-election-year-embarrassment/

    • More from the article:

      The bankruptcy, the largest in Spain’s history, was triggered after Gonvarri, an arm of Spain’s industrial group Gestamp, decided in November 2015 against a plan to invest $371 million into the company.

      Last November, after the Abengoa bankruptcy was announced, Reuters reported the company’s bonds were “virtually worthless,” as its share price plummeted 54 percent in a single day.

      In a separate move Tuesday, a local court in Mexico ordered the seizure of all Abengoa assets in the country in an effort to settle an action by bondholders seeking to prevent the company from selling the Mexican assets without paying the bondholders.

      Abengoa’s stock closed Tuesday at $1.49 per share, down 68.46 percent since Sept. 4, 2015, underperforming S&P 500 by 75.78 percent.

    • Yet one more example of the “vastly improved technological learning and innovation” which Professor Sovacool speaks of in your link above?

  31. Looking at the article about 8 cities that are running out of water…

    Though the U.N. looked at the issue across the globe, the solutions it recommended—capturing rainwater, recycling wastewater, improving sewage and plumbing, and more—need to be implemented locally. Some of the greatest challenges will come in cities, where bursting populations strain systems designed to supply far fewer people and much of the clean water available is lost to waste and shoddy, centuries-old infrastructure.

     

    Isn’t it obvious that the solution is the need for more not less affordable energy?

    • Waganthon,

      I don’t think utilitarianism plays much of a role in the value system of the environmentalists.

      When it comes to values, they seem to march to a different drummer, not unlike this one:

      The Catholic Church holds it better that the entire population of the world should die of starvation in extreme agony…than that one soul, I will not say should be lost, but should commit one single venal sin.

      — Medieval Roman theologian

    • More affordable energy and better water management. Birth control and related education might also be helpful.

  32. After a decade of subsidies, solar and wind industries still whine for more. From the article:

    The British solar industry barely existed at the turn of the decade, with a tiny 65MW of capacity installed across the country. The introduction of the generous feed-in tariff (FiT) aid scheme in 2010 kickstarted a revolution. By 2011 around 1GW of solar had been installed, with this figure doubling over the next 12 months even though FiT rates had been cut in half.

    By 2013, helped in part by the use of another subsidy scheme set up for wind, the renewables obligation (RO), large ground-mounted arrays began to be put in place. Solar capacity had burst through the 3GW level, rising to 9.2GW by the end of 2015. The industry now believes the figure is close to 10GW and could hit 11GW by the end of 2016.

    But over the last year both the RO and FiT support mechanisms have been either removed or wound dramatically further down – with the government arguing the industry should largely be fending for itself while bill payers should be spared unnecessary cost.

    But the solar industry argues it is being abandoned at the worst possible moment – just a few years before becoming self-sufficient, and at a time ministers seem prepared to back much more expensive nuclear or offshore wind power projects.

    As many as 2,000 solar jobs are estimated to have been lost over the last 12 months and Decc’s own worst case scenarios warn of 18,700 jobs on the line.

    The industry that will come together on 26 April for a clean energy summit at Twickenham stadium is angry.

    The key to any debate about solar is cost – but assessing like-for-like figures is complex and hotly disputed. The price of energy from any new Hinkley nuclear reactors has been pinned at £92.50 per megawatt hour (MWh) over a 35-year period.

    By comparison, Lightsource says it won a “contract for difference” deal in a recent auction under a government scheme at the competitive subsidy price of £79.82 over 15 years. But Decc estimated in 2013 that large solar will generally cost about £160 per MWh, offshore wind £115 – and gas only £80.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/apr/16/solar-power-clouds-gather-six-years-success-uk

  33. From the article:

    Nationalisation removes political risk thereby cutting the sector’s cost of capital. Together with the savings from abolishing retail competition, it would cut average bills by around £72 a year now, and £92 from 2020. By contrast, ditching the renewables target and returning the sector to the market would save households around £214 a year, assuming gas replaces renewable power. The saving would be greater using coal, which is now around 45 per
    cent cheaper than gas. This option would depend on securing a permanent opt-out from the EU renewables directive and any successor policy imposing targets on individual member states.

    https://www.cps.org.uk/files/reports/original/150313101309-HowrenewablesubsidiesdestroyedtheUKelectricitymarket1.pdf

  34. WRT the EPA asking us to believe them, from the above linked article:

    “The numbers in this report don’t lie,” Rachel Richardson, director of Environment America’s Stop Drilling program and co-author of the report, said. “For the past decade, fracking has been a nightmare for our drinking water, our open lands and our climate.”

    Well, who are you going to believe, the EPA, or the EPA and Yale?

    Here is Yale:
    Yale researchers have confirmed that hydraulic fracturing – also known as “fracking” – does not contaminate drinking water.

    Here is the EPA:

    We did not find evidence that these mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States. Of the potential mechanisms identified in this report, we found specific instances where one or more mechanisms led to impacts on drinking water resources, including contamination of drinking water wells. The number of identified cases, however, was small compared to the number of hydraulically fractured wells.

    Meanwhile, is the EPA worthy of our trust? Excerpt from Michael Crichton (RIP) essay:

    In 1993, the EPA announced that second-hand smoke was “responsible for approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths each year in nonsmoking adults,” and that it ” impairs the respiratory health of hundreds of thousands of people.” In a 1994 pamphlet the EPA said that the eleven studies it based its decision on were not by themselves conclusive, and that they collectively assigned second-hand smoke a risk factor of 1.19. (For reference, a risk factor below 3.0 is too small for action by the EPA. or for publication in the New England Journal of Medicine, for example.)

    Furthermore, since there was no statistical association at the 95% confidence limits, the EPA lowered the limit to 90%. They then classified second-hand smoke as a Group-A Carcinogen.

    This was openly fraudulent science, but it formed the basis for bans on smoking in restaurants, offices, and airports. California banned public smoking in 1995. Soon, no claim was too extreme. By 1998, the Christian Science Monitor was saying that “Second-hand smoke is the nation’s third-leading preventable cause of death.” The American Cancer Society announced that 53,000 people died each year of second-hand smoke. The evidence for this claim is nonexistent.

    In 1998, a Federal judge held that the EPA had acted improperly, had “committed to a conclusion before research had begun”, and had “disregarded information and made findings on selective information.”

    The reaction of Carol Browner, head of the EPA was: “We stand by our science; there’s wide agreement. The American people certainly recognize that exposure to second hand smoke brings a whole host of health problems.

    Full disclosure, I’m an ex smoker starting 20 years ago. Ex smokers are usually the most vocal anti-smokers around. I don’t like 2nd hand smoke, but I like freedom and truth more.

    References:

    EPA: https://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/hfstudy/recordisplay.cfm?deid=244651
    Yale: http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/17525/20151014/fracking-contaminate-drinking-water-yale-study-confirms.htm
    Brilliant Crichton Essay: http://www.s8int.com/crichton.html

  35. Re Nuclear power plants. The shining, poster-boy example of modern, best-available-technology, the EPR (European Pressurized Reactor with 1600 MWe output) being built (ever so slowly) in Finland at Olkiluoto 3, is now hoped to start up sometime in 2018. That is a full 13 years from start of construction. The cost is a bit murky, though, because the various parties are feuding over who owes who what and how much. Some published numbers put the cost thus far at around US$11 billion. This low cost is in an era where bank lending rates are at historic lows. When interest rates rise again, one can expect the cost to build will also escalate.

    The same EPR technology in Flamanville, France has serious issues with the quality of the alloy steel in the reactor vessel. France must decide what to do with a reactor vessel that has less strength than their nuclear code requires.

    Those who argue for nuclear power costing only $3000 to $4000 per kW conveniently ignore the actual facts that are before them: the Olkiluoto plant is approximately $7000 per kW – if it indeed is finished for $11 billion.

    Roger Sowell

    • The Olkiluoto plant is a first of it’s kind.

      Shall we discuss the cost of the first 10 solar panels/windmills that come off of an assembly line?

      VC Summer Units 2&3 are better examples…we are still talking single digits of a kind however.

      https://www.scana.com/docs/librariesprovider15/pdfs/blra-status-reports/2015-q4-blra-quarterly-report.pdf?sfvrsn=2

    • Geoff Sherrington

      Roger,
      Thank you for your description of the chaos that can be produced by non-qualified people making ignorant statements that disrupt the free flow of commerce. Just imagine how low the cost would have been without anti-nuclear activism!!
      It beats me why you continue with your own activism when you can see the negative consequences.

      • Geoff Sherrington, well said. It beats me too why the anti nuke zealots like Sowell continue their campaign. It seems they hate humanity. Geoff, did you see this thread: https://judithcurry.com/2016/03/13/nuclear-power-learning-rates-policy-implications/

        Main Points:

        • Learning rate is the rate costs reduce per doubling of capacity. Until about 1970 learning rates for nuclear power were 23% in the US and 27% to 35% in the other countries studied, except India.

        • Around 1970, learning rates reversed and become negative (-94% in the US, -82% in Germany, -23% to -56% in the other countries, except South Korea); clearly something caused the reversal of learning rates for nuclear power around 1970.

        • If the positive learning rates from 1953 to 1970 had continued, nuclear power would cost less than 1/10th of current cost.

        • If nuclear deployment had continued at 30 GW per year from 1980, nuclear would cost much less than 1/10th of what it does now; furthermore the additional nuclear generation would have substituted for 85,000 TWh of mostly coal-generated electricity, thereby avoiding 85 Gt CO2 emissions and 5 million fatalities.

        • In 2015, assuming nuclear replaced coal, the additional nuclear generation would have replaced half of coal generation, thus avoided half of the CO2 emissions and 300,000 future fatalities.

        • If the accelerating rate of deployment from 1960 to 1976 had continued, nuclear would have replaced all baseload coal and gas generation before 2015.

        • High learning rates were achieved in the past and could be achieved again with appropriate policies.

    • http://world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles/countries-a-f/china-nuclear-power.aspx
      http://nextbigfuture.com/2013/09/nuclear-reactor-costs-in-china.html

      China’s nuclear construction times are in the 40-59 month range and dropping.

      Further:
      China, Russia, India and South Korea are where 50 out of the 69 world nuclear reactors are being built. They all have construction costs under control and tend to be 2 to 3 times cheaper than in Europe or the USA.

      Western democracies are incompetent when it comes to building nuclear power plants. We should have the Chinese build our nuclear plants like we are currently having them build our windmills and black glass.

  36. From the article:

    A summit in Doha between the world’s largest oil producing countries ended without an agreement on Sunday, as country leaders failed to strike a deal to freeze output and boost sagging crude prices.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2016/04/17/doha-oil-producers-meeting-ends-without-an-agreement.html

  37. Democratic AGs, climate change groups colluded on prosecuting dissenters, emails show

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/apr/17/democratic-ags-climate-change-groups-colluded-on-p/?page=1

  38. From the article:

    The digital Gilded Age: DC faces Silicon Valley’s riches – and ever-growing power
    Through charities, lobbying groups, and head-to-head fights with the FBI, tech titans like Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook wield influence comparable to that of Andrew Carnegie and John Rockefeller

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/apr/17/zuckerberg-trump-silicon-valley-power-gilded-age

  39. A friend just sent me this link to a video of the decommissioning of the 23,000 tonne Russian nuclear powered submarine ‘Typhoon Shark’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAVFMDoaUd0&ebc=ANyPxKoH9PMPYiQdeApXJew74odn3KruhTlWFHDHgVwMKeVOrrv3hn-ircpsxL2fA0M26iyjLdg6wA1IKo4NMekXN-Owf05-bg&nohtml5=False . I made some notes to record my reaction as the video progressed. For what it’s worth, these were my reactions at the time.

    [PL] Very interesting. A great engineering success story. Well done the Russians. Shows that decommissioning nuclear power plants is no big deal at all.

    [PL] Sensational commentary, word selection, voice tone and music.

    – “Radioactive disaster”

    – “Not one but two nuclear reactors”
    [PL] so what? What’s bad about that?

    – “Mini Chernobyl. Killing, poison”

    – “Oversize junk yard”

    – “Loss of a bygone era”

    [PL] Much repetition of scaremongering commentary.

    [PL] Note that for nearly all the movie, workers were in supposedly hazardous operation and wearing no protective clothing and mostly no face masks. Clearly, not considered to be dangerous.

    – “Highly radioactive, dangerous, not one but two reactors”

    – “Deadly radioactive leak”

    – “Enough uranium in one fuel rod to kill everyone in the city”
    [PL] Yea, right – just like there’s sufficient water in a swimming pool to drown everyone in the city, and enough sperm in one ejaculation to make a million women pregnant.

    – “A speck of Cs the size of a pin head can kill a human within minutes” – [PL] BS

    – “Could contaminate the local area for centuries”
    [PL] so what? Is there any significant risk of negative health consequences? The correct answer is probably not.

    – “Plastic cover is to stop leaks”
    [PL] we use plastic covers to prevent leaks of asbestos too. So, apparently, the risk was considered no more dangerous that removing asbestos from a house.

    “Collision with dry dock could cause a radioactive leak”
    – [PL] perhaps true if the collision was at 10 knots.

    [PL] According to the scaremongering commentary everything is “deadly dangerous”. Yet the workers are wearing no masks throughout nearly all the operations. This is the typical negative message sent by the anti-nuke propagandists, scaremongers.

    Imagine how an alternative commentary could have been presented to highlight a major engineering success story and show that decommissioning is achievable and no big deal at all.

    Around 70 civil nuclear power plants have been decommissioned around the world so far with no major problems. Here’s a short time lapse photo sequence of the decommissioning of Yankee Rowe http://www.yankeerowe.com/

    For an alternative view of the risks of radiation and nuclear power, here is an excellent video presentation by Wade Allison, Emeritus Professor of Physics at Oxford University: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZ6aL3wv4v0

  40. Peter Lang,

    I feel your pain.

    I wonder how this sort of thing compares –

    2014.

    “It’s a chilling reality – one often overlooked in annual mortality statistics: Preventable medical errors persist as the No. 3 killer in the U.S. – third only to heart disease and cancer – claiming the lives of some 400,000 people each year. At a Senate hearing Thursday, patient safety officials put their best ideas forward on how to solve the crisis, with IT often at the center of discussions.

    Hearing members, who spoke before the Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging, not only underscored the devastating loss of human life – more than 1,000 people each day – but also called attention to the fact that these medical errors cost the nation a colossal $1 trillion each year.

    “The tragedy that we’re talking about here (is) deaths taking place that should not be taking place,” said subcommittee Chair Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in his opening remarks”

    400,000 people a year? Preventable deaths? I’ll take my chances using nuclear generated electricity, and try to stay away from US hospitals and doctors!

    Cheers.

  41. Here is another example of the high cost of weather dependent renewables as penetration increases.

    Energy Policies and Electricity Prices: Cautionary Tales From the EU

    Wind and Solar Capacity and Electricity Prices, Select Countries, 2012

    Ref. http://www.economics21.org/commentary/energy-policies-electricity-prices-cautionary-tales-eu

  42. Excellent article by Robert Rapier: Natural Gas Bankrupted The U.S. Coal Industry.

    http://www.energytrendsinsider.com/2016/04/13/natural-gas-bankrupted-the-u-s-coal-industry/

  43. More policy from the bench. More over-regulation from the aptly named Dimowit-in-Chief. From the article:

    An environmental standoff at the Missouri River near Cannon Ball, North Dakota is brewing between a Dallas-based pipeline company and the Standing Rock Sioux with increasing support from the Obama Administration.

    “It is important to note that the [pipeline] does not cross any reservation land” the spokesperson said, adding that the company has reached out to “various tribes” in the area, making “mutually agreeable easement” deals where necessary.

    http://www.breitbart.com/texas/2016/04/18/north-dakota-tribe-obama-epa-move-block-dallas-based-oil-pipeline/

  44. Vox has an interesting article (really, the story’s links to studies like from MIT) on the future of solar: http://www.vox.com/2016/4/18/11415510/solar-power-costs-innovation

    What piqued my interest was use of the term, “value deflation”.

    Would like if especially Planning Engineer could weigh in on this Grid concept — especially the statement: “when solar penetration rises from zero to around 15 percent of a given grid system, the value of solar falls by roughly half.”

    Especially in competitive electricity markets (economic dispatch), this value deflation is occurring as higher penetration is picking off lower and lower marginal cost existing generation. (note: believe this is what’s happening in the Northeast U.S. with nuclear units (e.g., Entergy) closing early because of low natural gas units)

    Also as the MIT Study articulates — increasingly, the intermittency of solar is being addressed by “flexible fossil generators (e.g., combined cycle NG), demand management, CSP, hydroelectric facilities, and pumped storage.” I would of course, also throw in the concept of ELCC.

    The MIT paper is at: https://mitei.mit.edu/system/files/MIT%20Future%20of%20Solar%20Energy%20Study_compressed.pdf

  45. From the article:

    Solar energy company SunEdison filed for creditor protection on Thursday, making it one of the largest bankruptcies by asset value involving a non-financial company in a decade.
    This story is developing. Please check back for further updates.

    The company has secured commitments for new capital totaling up to $300 million in debtor-in-possession financing. The new financing will support day-to-day operations during reorganization.

    Once the fastest growing U.S. renewable energy developer, SunEdison embarked on an aggressive acquisition strategy that left it struggling with $12 billion in debt as of Sept. 30.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2016/04/21/sunedison-files-for-bankruptcy-protection-report.html