Week in review – energy, water and politics edition

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

The real problem with fusion energy [link]

The case for more ethanol: why green critics are wrong [link]

Could new #MIT breakthrough in #Solarthermophotovoltaic be a #GameChanger for #renewables [link]

Why China is having so many problems ramping up wind power [link]
Printing the way forward: World’s first 3D-printed office building completed in #Dubai [link]

UNFCC: ‘Spirit of Paris’ Lives as Governments Get Down to Implement Landmark Agreement [link]

The argument for incrementalism in international climate negotiations [link]

Exxon and climate change: Why it’s better to engage than divest [link]

Breaking the fragility trap [link]

Ted Nordhaus:  Energy access without development: concerns about micro-interventions [link]

The deadliest environmental problem is still indoor air pollution — killing 4 million a year [link]

As drought grips South Africa, a conflict over water and coal [link]

AFRICOM’s (Africa-security) environmental engagement [link]

Prepare for more dust storms: Climate exodus expected in Middle East and North Africa [link]

Managing rising sea levels [link]

Water and Security Hotspots to Watch in 2016 [link]

Good water management could lead to six percent increase in global GDP by 2050 according to @worldbank [link]

Does feeding cattle antibiotics contribute to global warming? [link]

We need better ways to cut greenhouse gases from agriculture [link]

 

99 responses to “Week in review – energy, water and politics edition

  1. Pingback: Week in review – energy, water and politics edition – Enjeux énergies et environnement

  2. Judith, re “Exxon and Climate Change: Why It’s Better to Engage than Divest.” My IE11 browser didn’t show a link on your WP page (only for this specific item) so I did a search and found on Climate Change News… http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/05/25/exxon-and-climate-change-why-its-better-to-engage-than-divest/

  3. The association of drought with AGW appears to be a total falsehood.

    For Africa, anyway, desertification was evident during the cold LGM.
    Increased vegetation was observed during the warm Eemian and HCO
    .

    I believe that the range of seasonal wandering of both the jet streams as well as the ITCZ, caused by radiance patterns account for this, not temperature, but even so, the observational evidence contradicts the meme.

  4. Amazing Factoid:

    * If sea levels were to rise 36 inches, the midrange increase through 2100 projected in the most recent study by the National Research Council, water would wash into San Francisco’s Ferry Building twice daily at high tide.

    We’ve got to do something!

    • By the year 2100, it is almost a certainty that one of the faults in the Bay Area (probably Hayward or San Andreas) will uncork a really big earthquake. So maybe they should wait a while before spending any more money on the Ferry Bldg.

      • This might be considered for your ‘Sky Box’, from which will be able to watch the predicted unfolding disaster?

        https://scripps.ucsd.edu/news

        Lots of parking!

      • “Professor Niklas Mörner, who has been studying sea level for a third of a century, says it is physically impossible for sea level to rise at much above its present rate, and he expects 4-8 inches of sea level rise this century, if anything rather below the rate of increase in the last century. In the 11,400 years since the end of the last Ice Age, sea level has risen at an average of 4 feet/century, though it is now rising much more slowly because very nearly all of the land-based ice that is at low enough latitudes and altitudes to melt has long since gone.” (Christopher Monckton)

        http://www.iceagenow.com/Sea-level_rise_will_be_less_than_3_inches.htm

  5. one Model X owner from California has had enough. According to the
    Courthouse News Service, via Teslarati, Barrett Lyon recently filed a
    Lemon Law claim against Tesla, arguing that the car’s problems are
    unfixable and that it’s ultimately unsafe to drive. In addition to
    finding that the front door would often slam shut on his leg, Lyon’s
    suit details a slew of other problems, including Auto Pilot problems,
    touch screen freezes and more.

    https://news.slashdot.org/story/16/05/27/2029254/model-x-owner-files-lemon-law-suit-against-tesla-claims-car-is-unsafe-to-drive

  6. From the article:

    The Senate Intelligence Committee has overwhelmingly voted for a new – as yet secret – bill that would allow security agencies to examine a wider range of private data without obtaining a search warrant from a court. One senator has expressed outrage.
    “This bill takes a hatchet to important protections for Americans’ liberty. This bill would mean more government surveillance of Americans, less due process and less independent oversight of US intelligence agencies,” wrote Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden on his personal website after being defeated in a 14 to 1 vote by the 2017 Intelligence Authorization Act committee this week. The legislation is now headed for a full Senate vote.

    “Worse, neither the intelligence agencies, nor the bill’s sponsors have shown any evidence that these changes would do anything to make Americans more secure. I plan to work with colleagues in both chambers to reverse these dangerous provisions.”

    https://www.rt.com/usa/344647-nsl-senate-bill-fbi/

  7. Good water management could lead to six percent increase in global GDP by 2050 according to @worldbank [link]

    Here’s hoping.

  8. From the article:

    Much amusement around and about the place as Donald Trump tells California that there is no drought and that when he’s President then there will be plenty of water for everyone. The amusement being that of course, how could anyone spout such nonsense, everyone knows that California’s had a drought for years now!?! Except, of course, that Trump is actually correct here. There is no existential shortage of water in the state, not at all. What there is is misallocation of water and that misallocation is because water is incorrectly priced there. The solution therefore is to get the pricing right: then the allocation will be. We also know something more about this: it doesn’t matter what the current or original allocations are. Getting the price right will solve the problem.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2016/05/29/but-donald-trump-is-right-about-california-water-the-problem-is-the-price-not-the-drought/#11668d71236a

    • ” Except, of course, that Trump is actually correct here. ”

      Except, Trump wasn’t correct.

      Yes, there is indeed a drought, and yes, there are problems with California’s water management. They can, and do, have both. These aren’t mutually exclusive concepts.

  9. CAGW requires the Brits reject Brexit.

    “Jeremy Corbyn and Ed Miliband will publicly join forces to warn that Britain’s membership of the European Union is vital in the fight against climate change.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/jeremy-corbyn-ed-miliband-eu-referendum-climate-change-join-forces-labour-leaders-a7050461.html

    Britain is lead by Catastrophic Anglophobic Globalist Wimps

    • Wait! Mosher said there is no C in front of AGW!! This article can’t be right! Send an email immediately to the author to withdraw the article! They will be so embarrassed.

  10. The deadliest environmental problem is still indoor air pollution — killing 4 million a year [link]

    A while back, maybe 4.5 decades ago there was an OPEC oil embargo with the resurrection of using wood burning stoves (WBS) became popular for indoor heating in the US. Forests had replenished themselves from colonial days and early US industrial revolution deforestation, so wood was now available to reduce home heating costs. The initial WBS was just like grandma’s and the pot-belly stove at commercial and eating establishments. Later, higher efficiencies were incorporated by partitioning firebox and hot gas combustion such that remarkable 60 – 70% efficiencies were obtained.

    Soon, there was an awareness of increased health risks from WBS, especially for children who coughed and hacked their way to media attention and governmental regulatory bodies. WBS, European imported as well as US manufacturers were made to change to reduce indoor and outdoor air pollution, many, now sporting new catalytic converters on the chimney side of the WBS. Eventually, manufactures realized that just by opening the firebox door to throw in another log, changed the indoor composition of inhaled particles and gases by 1000% for a 30 second refueling. The solution was a remote, i.e., outside WBS with circulated hot-water heating for the home.

    The “canary in the coal mine”; i.e., the children who were made sick by the family’s new WBS were now became fewer and fewer because of the hassle of using wood as well as OPEC opening up the spigots of oil again. Now there are many pediatricians no longer aware of WBS source of indoor air pollution.

    A while later, the Harvard School of Public Health in their 6 Cities Studies identified gas stoves as a source of indoor air pollution making children sick. This new recognition resulted in manufacturers stop using continuous burning pilot lights for ignition to piezo ignition systems. The NOx from using gas as a fuel remains a source of indoor air pollution, especially in modern “air tight” homes; however there are enough air exchanges in most homes that indoor air pollution from “cooking with gas” no longer is a public health issue in the US.

    After the recent US experiment in burning wood for home heating, in the under-developed countries, those 1.2 billion people, it became evident that they have the same health issues, including suppressed immune systems from indoor air pollution and vulnerability to local infectious diseases with premature death.

    I have real problem with people raising obstacles for people without, to obtain electricity for cooking and boiling their water. The carbon fixated folks seem to me at least, to be the criminals in this other-world scenario. Hurting others in the namesake of ideology.

    • The deadliest environmental problem is still indoor air pollution — killing 4 million a year [link]

      A while back, maybe 4.5 decades ago there was an OPEC oil embargo with the resurrection of using wood burning stoves (WBS) became popular for indoor heating in the US. Forests had replenished themselves from colonial days and early US industrial revolution deforestation, so wood was now available to reduce home heating costs. The initial WBS was just like grandma’s and the pot-belly stove at commercial and eating establishments. Later, higher efficiencies were incorporated by partitioning firebox and hot gas combustion such that remarkable 60 – 70% efficiencies were obtained.

      Soon, there was an awareness of increased health risks from WBS, especially for children who coughed and hacked their way to media attention and governmental regulatory bodies. WBS, European imported as well as US manufacturers were made to change to reduce indoor and outdoor air pollution, many, now sporting new catalytic converters on the chimney side of the WBS. Eventually, manufactures realized that just by opening the firebox door to throw in another log, changed the indoor composition of inhaled particles and gases by 1000% for a 30 second refueling. The solution was a remote, i.e., outside WBS with circulated hot-water heating for the home.

      The “canary in the coal mine”; i.e., the children who were made sick by the family’s new WBS were now became fewer and fewer because of the hassle of using wood as well as OPEC opening up the spigots of oil again. Now there are many pediatricians no longer aware of WBS source of indoor air pollution.

      • A while later, the Harvard School of Public Health in their 6 Cities Studies identified gas stoves as a source of indoor air pollution making children sick. This new recognition resulted in manufacturers stop using continuous burning pilot lights for ignition to piezo ignition systems. The NOx from using gas as a fuel remains a source of indoor air pollution, especially in modern “air tight” homes; however there are enough air exchanges in most homes that indoor air pollution from “cooking with gas” no longer is a public health issue in the US.

        After the recent US experiment in burning wood for home heating, in the under-developed countries, those 1.2 billion people, it became evident that they have the same health issues, including suppressed immune systems from indoor air pollution and vulnerability to local infectious diseases with premature death.

        I have real problem with people raising obstacles for people without, to obtain electricity for cooking and boiling their water. The carbon fixated folks seem to me at least, to be the criminals in this other-world scenario. Hurting others in the namesake of ideology.

  11. Dr Judith Curry

    I am in moderation, trying to address cooking stoves in the 3rd world, using the US experience after OPEC oil embargo 5 decades ago.

    • A while back, maybe 4.5 decades ago there was an OPEC oil embargo with the resurrection of using wood burning stoves (WBS) became popular for indoor heating in the US. Forests had replenished themselves from colonial days and early US industrial revolution deforestation, so wood was now available to reduce home heating costs. The initial WBS was just like grandma’s and the pot-belly stove at commercial and eating establishments. Later, higher efficiencies were incorporated by partitioning firebox and hot gas combustion such that remarkable 60 – 70% efficiencies were obtained.

      Soon, there was an awareness of increased health risks from WBS, especially for children who coughed and hacked their way to media attention and governmental regulatory bodies. WBS, European imported as well as US manufacturers were made to change to reduce indoor and outdoor air pollution, many, now sporting new catalytic converters on the chimney side of the WBS. Eventually, manufactures realized that just by opening the firebox door to throw in another log, changed the indoor composition of inhaled particles and gases by 1000% for a 30 second refueling. The solution was a remote, i.e., outside WBS with circulated hot-water heating for the home.

      The “canary in the coal mine”; i.e., the children who were made sick by the family’s new WBS were now became fewer and fewer because of the hassle of using wood as well as OPEC opening up the spigots of oil again. Now there are many pediatricians no longer aware of WBS source of indoor air pollution.

      A while later, the Harvard School of Public Health in their 6 Cities Studies identified gas stoves as a source of indoor air pollution making children sick. This new recognition resulted in manufacturers stop using continuous burning pilot lights for ignition to piezo ignition systems. The NOx from using gas as a fuel remains a source of indoor air pollution, especially in modern “air tight” homes; however there are enough air exchanges in most homes that indoor air pollution from “cooking with gas” no longer is a public health issue in the US.

      After the recent US experiment in burning wood for home heating, in the under-developed countries, those 1.2 billion people, it became evident that they have the same health issues, including suppressed immune systems from indoor air pollution and vulnerability to local infectious diseases with premature death.

      I have real problem with people raising obstacles for people without, to obtain electricity for cooking and boiling their water. The carbon fixated folks seem to me at least, to be the criminals in this other-world scenario. Hurting others in the namesake of ideology.

    • Dr. Curry

      Making the post smaller still resulted in portions ending up in moderation. Obviously, I have triggered a naughty word that WordPress is unhappy about.

      Enlighten me?

  12. Do I have change my position once again on ethanol? My 30 year old motorcycle rarely if ever sees ethanol. Seals and other things are suggested to not do well and perhaps break down. Perhaps a reason for another flip flop is the aromatics displaced by ethanol. Between moonshine and aromatics, the nod goes to moonshine. I don’t know if the politician Wirth mentioned transportation costs? Ethanol just pops up in Minnesota which has no oil wells. We have at least one crude oil refinery in Minnesota. Where I am going with this is we transport in X amount of oil and the Y amount of ethanol is already here. Thank you Canada. It’s not that I am looking to be a refining powerhouse, just buying in to another kind of distributed network. One thing we do extremely well is Corn. But to continue that, we’re going to have restore more carbon to our soil. Wirth also mentioned the byproduct of ethanol – dried distillers grains. Livestock feed. Keeping some of the corn as a production input where the livestock is. Not having to transport corn so far but rather ending up with higher value products like ethanol (and I still haven’t figure out where the vodka is) and meat can bring greater efficiencies. All this said, it’s still difficult to separate the talking points, and regional interests from the economics. Also of interest to me is the Koch Brothers ethanol plants. Perhaps that explains some of the criticism of ethanol.

  13. “The real problem with fusion energy [link]”

    A technology that is always in the future is the perfect solution for a problem that is always in the future. And with one bound, the global-warmers were freed from their angst.

  14. Trump told voters California’s AGW-induced drought is a falsehood.

  15. From the article:

    Rebutting Climate Alarmism with Simple Facts

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/05/28/rebutting-climate-alarmism-simple-facts/

  16. Why we need better ways to cut greenhouse gases from agriculture
    This is a typical application of Anhydrous Ammonia:

    The farmer may be planting seeds, it’s hard to tell. Here’s the molecule used:

    It is typically released from the back of the submerged spring tooth plow having got there through one of many plastic tubes. High pressure gas sees normal pressure upon its release and solidifies for the most part into fertilizer nodules the plants will use. These rolling tanks are considers essential and it’s standard practice to apply ammonia to most acreage of corn in Minnesota. A minor alternative to ammonia is a corn/soybean rotation as that legume fixes some amount nitrogen into the soil, but most is still injected. However, corn produces more dollars per acre than soybeans on average. There is a huge amount of inertia with tried and true corn/soybean rotation.

  17. From the article:

    Earlier this month a judge refused to throw out a class action complaint against Facebook for using facial recognition software to identify people without their permission and then inviting their friends to “tag” them. Now that suit’s lawyer says a so-called “Biometric Information Privacy Act” will actually swap in new definitions for “photograph” and “scan” that will apparently shield Facebook and Google from liability.

    https://tech.slashdot.org/story/16/05/28/1720258/is-facebook-sabotaging-a-face-recognition-law

  18. Managing rising sea levels [link]

    For those who worry about sea level rising, what do you thing about St. Michael’s Mount, a half mile off the Cornish coast. Been there for over 1000 years. You could say: “Much a do about nothing.” You could say that of course, but, who is listening?

    http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20160523-a-medieval-castle-that-floats

    • I’m in the uk and get an error message “unable to access from the uk” etc. What is this, the BBC are her to serve the UK, not some dodgy commercial excuse organisation. They really do need to be brought to heel and remember who they are here to serve…

      • Chris Quayle

        I tried the link again and it worked. I am not sure what to do about BBC and its censorship policy.

      • Jimd

        Here is the official NOAA data.

        http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends.html

        Why on earth would you use north Carolina as a global proxy? Sea levels vary wildly according to ocean basin and land movements. Some levels are dropping Whilst others are rising.

        Why would you be surprised that there are historic variations in sea levels? During the warm centuries of the roman period and the MWP ice melted And sea levels rose. During the dark ages and LIA cold periods it fell as ice became locked up. The glaciers started melting again around 1750 and will continue to do so until the next extended cold period . Let’s hope that is not in our lifetimes. However as temperatures have been rising for getting on 300 years I can see no reason why it should reverse at present.

        Tonyb

      • You can use local data if you account for subsidence. The realcimate article mentions more caveats about local data.

    • I am pretty sure the causeway was not designed to flood at high tide, so this makes the case for sea-level rise if anything.

      • The last paragraph suggests otherwise. Some defensive aspects to that I imagine.

      • I am saying that the causeway probably was built above the high-tide level. Why would they do otherwise? Tourism?

      • tonyb had a history of this. In 1700 the forest around the island went underwater. They had a port there, so the causeway may have originally been built to transport goods from ocean-going ships to the mainland. In 1879 they added one foot to the height of the causeway. If defense was a main concern, you don’t build a highway for the enemy. In the early days of WW2 the USMC attacked a well-defended island called Gavutu. Gavutu was connected by a causeway to a nearby island called Tanambogo. The enemy figured it would be crazy for the Marines to charge down a narrow causeway to get at their defensive positions, which is exactly what the Marines did.

      • 1700 BC… makes a slight difference.

      • “I am pretty sure the causeway was not designed to flood at high tide, so this makes the case for sea-level rise if anything.”
        Of course it was!
        Same as Lindesfarne and other places like it.

      • JCH. The harbour is small and is dry at low tide. At high tide the water is up to chest height while standing on the causeway.
        Here is google walking towards the island. The harbour is to the right.
        https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@50.1205493,-5.4754804,3a,75y,212.69h,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sJKobzF-7Sy53FNzdGkszlA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1?hl=en
        You might get an ocean going vessel in there at high tide but you had better unload it fast.
        https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@50.1195008,-5.477238,3a,75y,246.96h,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1syBSq3pwnNgd9Mr1R_fug-g!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1?hl=en
        Large vessels would unload in Penzance harbour 4km away.
        https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@50.1167507,-5.5293934,3a,75y,275.7h,72.11t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sF0RLS4EY-5MhgxxsegPN7g!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1?hl=en
        As you can see it is very defensible you can’t have an army camped out at your gates. Not unless they have gills.

      • I have been there. Walked out, took a boat back.

      • Then how can you come out with such drivel
        “I am pretty sure the causeway was not designed to flood at high tide, so this makes the case for sea-level rise if anything.”
        How sure? The causeway was built to safely cross the wet sand at low tide.
        or
        “I am saying that the causeway probably was built above the high-tide level. Why would they do otherwise? Tourism?”
        ‘Probably’? Wrong!
        As you can see in google low tide sea level is below the causeway. The sand is wet and probably difficult for a cart.
        Do you misinterpret everything you see? Even at fist hand?

      • How difficult would it have been to build it a few feet higher? Did they lack manpower or materials. Did it subside? What seriously would be the reason?

      • No point. From the middle of the causeway it looks like the harbourside is about 12 feet higher (safely above high tide mostly?).That is a lot of rock, labour and expense for the convenience of travelling to the island at any time of day.
        The causeway does what it was intended to do. Allow safe passage occasionally at low tide. I doubt the monks needed 24/7 access to the mainland when they have all that chanting to do.

      • Jimd

        I think you have misunderstood the antiquity and purpose of the causeway. I wrote about it at great length in an article here some five years ago. This is the extended version.

        https://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/document.pdf

        The story of the mount begins around page five but there is useful background in the preceding pages.

        The prime purpose of the harbour at the mount was to load tin ingots. This is a useful harbour and one of few that offers a secure anchorage as much of the coast is quite wild and very subject to wind direction

        ” the Phoenicians visited as did the Romans. It was said that britains supply of tin was a prime reason for the roman invasion.

        The sea rose sharply several thousand Years ago when the scilly isles were inundated and many romantic stories of lost lands arose.

        Sea levels peaked around the time of the Romans and again in the 12 th and 16 th centuries. It remains slightly below those levels today but of course things are complicated by land movement.

        Tonyb

      • The causeway depth is not accounted for by sea-level rise alone anyway. In 1000 years, sea level has risen about 15 inches, more than half of that since 1900. Sand is very fluid, and subsidence would be a factor for anything built on it.

      • Jimd

        Not so as I explain in the article. Go to page 23 onwards where there are three graphs. All show higher sea levels in roman and mwp times than today. In the article I cite multiple sources for this

        Tonyb

      • But we see this from North Carolina, which looks more plausible as a global trend.

        It comes from here where they say it should be within 10 cm of the global value.
        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/06/2000-years-of-sea-level/

      • The level of the causeway has zero to do with sea level. It wasn’t built to be permanently above the sea at high tide nor below the sea at low tide. It was built for safe passage over soft sand.

      • The way sea level comes into it is the fraction of time it spends above water level. It probably used to be much more because sea level appears to have risen by at least half the tide range there.

      • Probably I should say a good fraction of the tide range, rather than at least half.

      • The tidal range there is 6 metres
        http://www.tidetimes.co.uk/penzance-newlyn-tide-times
        If as you say the sea level has risen 15 inches (0.381m) in 1000 years you don’t seem to have your sums quite right. It would seem to be 1/18th of the tidal range or 20 minutes in 12 hours different to 1000 years ago.

      • High tide is now maybe three feet above the causeway. It used to be much less. Sea-level rise and maybe subsidence.

      • If high tide is only 3 ft above the causeway why did they build a harbour? There wouldn’t ever be any water in it when it was built.

      • OK, so when you said “At high tide the water is up to chest height while standing on the causeway.” maybe you were just kidding?

      • I should have said at least. We got there late after a morning in the Lost Gardens of Heligan. The tide was coming in but we decided to go for it. By the time we got half way across the water was above my middle (I’m 6″3′). They should have nets there because the number of shoals of fish going past was startling. We got to the harbour and it still had sand and beached boats in it. We wandered about for a while and later caught a boat back. I didn’t have a tape measure with me. A great day was had by all and I highly recommend anyone going there for a visit :)

      • I also don’t recall 15 feet elevation of the causeway above the water, but the open water was a long way off at the time. It was certainly not 15 feet above the nearby sands.

      • Qe D it was never built to be permanently above the high tide. Not in 1897 nor 1000 years ago. It was built to safely cross wet sand some time other than high tide.
        It makes no case for or against sea-level rise.

      • Ahhh, but if only they had built it three feet (or probably less due to these other changing factors) higher, it would have been so much more useful, if that is true. I won’t judge them.

      • Why? At what cost? For what benefit?
        They needed a way of getting safely across wet sand. Probably with an ox and cart with the building materials for the abbey, castle and occasional bulk supplies. For frolic journeys they can use a boat, the harbour fulfils that with only as much stone as it would take to pave 1/8th of the causeway to a height of a foot. All needs covered unless they need 24/7 access by an ox and cart. To a tiny island???
        What could be more useful? A causeway which does what a causeway does or a bloody great wall that would probably be broken in the next 30 year storm?

      • OK, so what was the sea level angle that got this started?

      • You can look back at the original post about sea level rise and then you piping up with
        “I am pretty sure the causeway was not designed to flood at high tide, so this makes the case for sea-level rise if anything.”
        “I am saying that the causeway probably was built above the high-tide level. Why would they do otherwise? Tourism?”
        Complete bollox of course. And you have even been there and seen it with your own eyes!!!

      • The original post was that a place has been there for 1000 years, so we don’t have to worry about sea levels. See anything wrong with that? Perhaps sea levels have affected some coastal areas including that already submerged one. It stood out to me that a submerged area was held up as something that means we don’t have to worry about sea level when actually it would be affected most.

      • “The original post was that a place has been there for 1000 years, so we don’t have to worry about sea levels. See anything wrong with that?”
        I see something wrong with you being there with the sea air in your nose and the seagulls in your ears and finding a ‘problem’ that can’t be fixed with a few paving stones.
        You have a serious disconnect between your eyes and your brain!
        To avoid a few paving stones or these days a foot of concrete you are advocating things like this http://www.tidallagoonswanseabay.com/ which will mine millions of tons of granite not far from this causeway and ship it to Wales to create a lagoon at a cost of BILLIONS to generate overpriced electricity guaranteed at something above nuclear cost, will probably silt up, won’t be beneficial to local wildlife and will line the pockets of a bunch of politicians that don’t give a damn about the environment.
        It would be easier and cheaper to carry by hand the granite over the hill and put it on the causeway. Work it out. Three monks each day with 1 foot cube blocks of granite could raise that causeway high enough to stave off the sea level rise for the next 1000 years. Chanting all the way they would love it!!

      • Not sure, because I didn’t read it all, but that looks like a deflection.

      • And I am sure you sir are a slithy tove gyring and gimbling in the wabe

  19. From the article:

    Ling Zeng got celebrity treatment at this week’s Donald Trump rally in Anaheim.

    One after another, dozens of Trump supporters approached to snap pictures of Zeng and her friends, who wore matching T-shirts that read: “Chinese Americans love Trump.”

    After a campaign staffer invited the group to stand directly behind Trump’s podium, the candidate took note.

    “Look at this, Chinese Americans!” Trump bellowed as he shook Zeng’s hand.

    […]

    Like Zeng, an immigrant from China who lives in San Diego, many of Trump’s Chinese American supporters are relatively recent arrivals from mainland China with strong nationalistic leanings, a certain reverence for wealth and a firm belief that U.S. immigration laws should be followed.

    http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/05/28/trumps-leadership-resonates-with-chinese-americans-political-correctness-isnt-a-thing-in-china/

  20. Why China is having so many problems ramping up wind power [link]

    http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2016/05/cleveland_wind_project_awarded.html#incart_more_business

    Its really hard fooling so many people about the advantages and economy of wind energy when the reality is:

    Without subsidies, wind is…ephemeral; i.e., “will of the wisp.”

    $40 million goes a long way to the bottom line, and, who pays this piper? Ratepayers.

  21. dougbadgero

    Regarding fusion:
    The progression from fission to fusion weapons progressed quickly, only about a decade. The progression from fission weapons to fission power also progressed rapidly, only about one generation.

    Fission reactors are controllable because fissionable material produces delayed neutrons. Although only about 65 of 10,0000 neutrons are “born” delayed, they increase the neutron generation lifetime to a value that allows reactor control. Recall that criticality is each fission producing a neutron that causes exactly one fission in the next generation. If all neutrons are born prompt, essentially instantly upon fission, then the reactor time constant would be extremely short.

    I don’t know what work has been done to control the fusion reactor, perhaps metering in the fusionable material.

  22. dougbadgero

    Should be 10000 not 100000.

  23. “Instead of dissipating unusable solar energy as heat in the solar cell, all of the energy and heat is first absorbed by an intermediate component, to temperatures that would allow that component to emit thermal radiation. By tuning the materials and configuration of these added layers, it’s possible to emit that radiation in the form of just the right wavelengths of light for the solar cell to capture.”
    When I run my A/C, I want to take the dissipating unusable heat and convert it to light, just like the MIT thingy, and have a solar cell capture the energy. And use that to lighten the A/C electrical draw. What’s the problem? My A/C might run 200 hours a year. My refrigerator runs more though.

  24. “Exxon and climate change: Why it’s better to engage than divest [link]”

    “97 percent of Shell shareholders at its annual meeting on Tuesday rejected a resolution to invest profits from fossil fuels to become a renewable energy company
    Van Beurden said all the top 10 solar companies in the world represent $14bn in capital employed and invested $5 billion in solar energy last year, but none had so far paid any dividends”

    Does anyone know of a successful green energy only fund, non subsidized, that I can invest my pension in?

  25. Whew. Lots of vivid and detailed reportage on stuff that hasn’t happened yet. Those red skies over minarets really do the trick. Nothing like some hot mosques to boost the message (about anything these days). Good one, warmies.

    I guess the reality of sea level rise, for example, is so drearily pedestrian you have to fictionalise and dramatise a lot. Just don’t turn the yarn into another loss-making eco-message movie with Costner or Clooney. Promise me you won’t, warmies. Enough cheese is enough, already.

  26. Red skies above the
    minarets. Cli-sci missing
    hot spot – or not?

    • Bad dust storms, drought and high heat for North Africa – no, it’s not the 1970s-80s. That actually happened. Like the heat and drought that wrapped right round the globe in the late 1870s and sent the Nile to its lowest level in half a millennium (1877). That actually happened too, so it’s far too boring a subject for our climate mullahs.

      No word yet on the effect of AGW on transgender dunnies and on the shelf life of Tim Tams…but I’ll bet it’s worse than we thought.

  27. Re: Could new #MIT breakthrough in #Solarthermophotovoltaic be a #GameChanger for #renewables [link]

    A strong hint that it’s not: ratio of content over number of hashtags is very low.

    If the researchers found a way to convert residual heat into electricity, why not apply it to every surface, including the boilers of thermal power plants? Oh, I know: Massive funding for research around renewables, zip for everything else.

    • Curious George

      The Second Law of Thermodynamics limits what you can do. “Thermo” is not the way to a breakthrough; you can get several percent more in efficiency at best.

  28. David L. Hagen
  29. Robert Braunohler

    No; $65,000/12 per month.

  30. “The case for more ethanol: why green critics are wrong [link]”

    A “scientific article” written by paid lobbyists for big agriculture?

    • My theory is that if we would only give the small farmer the same tax-advantages he had in the late sixties everything would be normal again. This ‘scientific article’ came from the free wear zone.

  31. David L. Hagen

    Trump Makes Sense on Energy

    “From an environmental standpoint, my priorities are very simple: clean air and clean water.” With these words, he relegated back to the land of abstraction the abstraction known as climate change.

  32. I’ve been trying to describe what’s in this article:
    http://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-06-01/global-warming-alarmists-you-re-doing-it-wrong?cmpid=yhoo.headline&yptr=yahoo
    Economists models don’t work. Or might be more fair to say, they work a little bit. After years of work, they couldn’t do better than a random walk. The writer opines that this is similar to climate models. One may argue that economic models have to capture peoples decisions. That’s difficult. Getting small enough grid sizes to capture everything that’s going on, say small enough with 7 billion grid cubes. Each of the grid cubes are in ways like people. Impossible to capture in all material attributes to three significant digits.

  33. Support for a carbon tax:
    http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2016/05/denying-the-climate-catastrophe-9-a-low-cost-insurance-policy.html
    He proposes something like this:
    A carbon tax with an equal payroll tax reduction. This would be much more straight forward than the current hodge podge of favors for select groups. Fuel is taxed period. Everything goes away. I don’t imagine he meant income taxes and do think he meant the FICA tax. Social Security plus Medicare taxes. This is going to make labor more competitive. Recall the employer picks up half of these taxes. It could be a small move. Rolled out as a small carbon tax with some money now flowing into the FICA funds which might be reassuring given the problems with those funds. Take home pay would increase and the same credit given to one’s social security future benefits.

    • David Wojick

      If people have more money they will pay the higher cost of gasoline and electricity, so the carbon tax has no effect.

    • Peter Lang

      Any form of carbon pricing will not succeed over the long term. http://anglejournal.com/article/2015-11-why-carbon-pricing-will-not-succeed/
      Therefore, the economic cost is very high for no benefit.

    • Coyote’s idea seems to be that scientific realities don’t justify any CO2 abatement policies, but domestic political realities do. It thus becomes an exercise in adopting the least onerous public policy possible, given the political realities.

      Trump’s energy adviser Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) came to a similar conclusion:

      Meet Donald Trump’s New Energy Adviser.
      Kevin Cramer calls himself a climate-change skeptic yet he might support a carbon tax

      http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/meet-donald-trump-s-new-energy-adviser/

      Ignored in Coyote’s post is the quesiton of whether the health of the aggregate economy can be decoupled from a supply of abundant, cheap energy. Placing a carbon tax on fossil fuels will drive the cost of energy up, because the so-called “green” energy supplies are not cost competitite with fossil fuels. They are more expensive.

      So the bottom line is that Coyote’s plan would make the economy less efficient, which is antithetical to Progressivism, since its holy grail is economic efficiency.

      An efficient action will be one that moves mankind closer to the ultimate goal, the elimination of scarcity, the arrival at a full state of material abundance….

      — ROBERT H. NELSON, Economics as Religion

      How does putting fossil fuels off limits by penalizing their use, forcing the use of less efficient and more costly to produce energy sources, advance this goal?

      It doesn’t, of course.

      If the cost of energy goes up, then the cost of labor has to go down if the cost of end-use commodities is to remain the same. This is simple math.

  34. David Wojick

    http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/jun/2/calif-bill-prosecutes-climate-change-skeptics/

    This is getting serious. If skeptics are going to use a First Amendment defense then they will have to make the case that climate is different from tobacco, which lost its RICO case. This is not as easy as it sounds because it requires the Courts to recognize skepticism, something they have been generally unwilling to do. Upholding EPA’s endangerment finding is probably the flagship case.

  35. Peter Lang

    Another example of the irrational, anti-progress policies advocated by those who like to call themselves “Progressives”.

    Exelon announces closure of two US plants
    Exelon has announced that it will move forward with the early retirements of two nuclear power plants in Illinois – Clinton and Quad Cities – due to continued financial losses totaling $800 million over the past seven years, despite them being two of the utility’s best-performing plants. Clinton is a single 1065 MWe reactor, Quad Cities twin 940 MWe units, total 2945 MWe. The state’s Next Generation Energy Plan was before the state General Assembly, but failed to pass by the end of May.

    The Plan would promote zero-carbon electricity, create and preserve clean-energy jobs, and establish a more equitable utility rate structure. It would make Illinois one of the first states to recognize the zero-carbon benefits of nuclear energy as well as boosting energy efficiency programs and the development of solar power in the state. A state report earlier concluded that closing the Clinton and Quad Cities plants will increase wholesale energy costs for the region by $439 million to $645 million annually. That report also said keeping the plants operating would avoid $10 billion in economic damages associated with higher carbon emissions over ten years.

    Exelon said it would submit permanent shutdown notifications to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission within the next 30 days. It will also terminate capital investment projects required for the long-term operation of both plants. It will immediately take one-time charges of $150 million to $200 million for 2016, and accelerate some $2 billion in depreciation and amortization through to the announced shutdown dates of June 2017 and June 2018.

    The NEI said that “The loss of Clinton and Quad Cities is a tragedy. Pending legislation would have advanced the state’s clean air goals while making it possible for Clinton and Quad Cities to continue operating. This can be prevented for other nuclear power plants and the Illinois legislature should act quickly to pass legislation that best serves the people of Illinois.”

    The short-term nature of deregulated electricity markets with heavily subsidised solar and wind inputs coupled with low gas prices have left other US nuclear power plants at risk of premature closure for economic reasons, despite their long-term future potential and their contribution to achieving greenhouse gas emissions targets. In April, Entergy announced that its Pilgrim plant in Massachusetts will close permanently in May 2019, while its FitzPatrick plant in New York State is to close in January 2017.
    WNN 2/6/16. US nuclear NP
    http://world-nuclear-news.us1.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=140c559a3b34d23ff7c6b48b9&id=63d081a425&e=a3b55276e6


  36. The real problem with fusion energy

    It will never work economically. Ever.

    The case for more ethanol: why green critics are wrong

    Brazil shows it can work. Greens have tied themselves in a knot on ethanol which is fun to watch.

    Could new #MIT breakthrough in #Solarthermophotovoltaic be a #GameChanger for #renewables

    Yadayadayada (no)

    Why China is having so many problems ramping up wind power

    same problems that they are having with rolling out their perpetual motion machines

    Printing the way forward: World’s first 3D-printed office building completed in #Dubai

    World’s highest concentration of money available for useless gimmicks

    UNFCC: ‘Spirit of Paris’ Lives as Governments Get Down to Implement Landmark Agreement

    Spirit of Paris is an undead zombie

    The argument for incrementalism in international climate negotiations

    Camel’s nose in the tent

    Exxon and climate change: Why it’s better to engage than divest

    Better still, mind your own damn business

    Breaking the fragility trap

    A country is poor and fragile? Give them affordable energy in the form of power stations that also provide a skills training base.

    Ted Nordhaus: Energy access without development: concerns about micro-interventions

    Californians need wind farms (and frontal lobotomy). Africans don’t.

    The deadliest environmental problem is still indoor air pollution — killing 4 million a year

    Rural electrification should be based on small modular 4th generation nuclear reactors.

    As drought grips South Africa, a conflict over water and coal

    Stirred up as always by parachuting in eco-missionaries

    AFRICOM’s (Africa-security) environmental engagement

    Use your resources on rescuing child soldiers and clearing mines, not engaging with eco-missionaries

    Prepare for more dust storms: Climate exodus expected in Middle East and North Africa

    The earth is greening from CO2 fertilisation. Which exerts a cooling effect. The next climate exodus will be south at the next glacial inception.

    Managing rising sea levels

    Managing delusional fantasies

    Water and Security Hotspots to Watch in 2016

    Look out for those climate-refugee scrotum-nibbling toilet pythons

    Good water management could lead to six percent increase in global GDP by 2050 according to @worldbank

    There’s a bold prediction if ever I saw one!

    Does feeding cattle antibiotics contribute to global warming?

    All cows are weapons of gastric ruption – should be banned, or eaten

    We need better ways to cut greenhouse gases from agriculture

    No, we don’t, people need food and the atmosphere-biosphere needs CO2.

  37. The real problem with fusion energy

    It will never work economically. Ever.

    The case for more ethanol: why green critics are wrong

    Brazil shows it can work. Greens have tied themselves in a knot on ethanol which is fun to watch.

    Could new #MIT breakthrough in #Solarthermophotovoltaic be a #GameChanger for #renewables

    Yadayadayada (no)

    Why China is having so many problems ramping up wind power

    same problems that they are having with rolling out their perpetual motion machines

    Printing the way forward: World’s first 3D-printed office building completed in #Dubai

    World’s highest concentration of money available for useless gimmicks

    UNFCC: ‘Spirit of Paris’ Lives as Governments Get Down to Implement Landmark Agreement

    Spirit of Paris is an undead zombie

    The argument for incrementalism in international climate negotiations

    Camel’s nose in the tent

    Exxon and climate change: Why it’s better to engage than divest

    Better still, mind your own damn business

    Breaking the fragility trap

    A country is poor and fragile? Give them affordable energy in the form of power stations that also provide a skills training base.

    Ted Nordhaus: Energy access without development: concerns about micro-interventions

    Californians need wind farms (and frontal lobotomy). Africans don’t.

    The deadliest environmental problem is still indoor air pollution — killing 4 million a year

    Rural electrification should be based on small modular 4th generation nuclear reactors.

    As drought grips South Africa, a conflict over water and coal

    Stirred up as always by parachuting in eco-missionaries

    AFRICOM’s (Africa-security) environmental engagement

    Use your resources on rescuing child soldiers and clearing mines, not engaging with eco-missionaries

    Prepare for more dust storms: Climate exodus expected in Middle East and North Africa

    The earth is greening from CO2 fertilisation. Which exerts a cooling effect. The next climate exodus will be south at the next glacial inception.

    Managing rising sea levels

    Managing delusional fantasies

    Water and Security Hotspots to Watch in 2016

    Look out down below for those climate-refugee toilet pythons

    Good water management could lead to six percent increase in global GDP by 2050 according to @worldbank

    There’s a bold prediction if ever I saw one! Talk about sticking your neck out!

    Does feeding cattle antibiotics contribute to global warming?

    All cows are weapons of gastric ruption – should be banned, or eaten

    We need better ways to cut greenhouse gases from agriculture

    No, we don’t, people need food and the atmosphere-biosphere needs CO2.