Archive for April, 2009

CO2 — the new renewable alternative fuel

04/30/2009

“CONVERTING a greenhouse gas into a clean-burning fuel offers two benefits for the price of one. That’s the thinking behind a novel process for converting carbon dioxide into methanol at room temperature, developed by a team at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in Singapore (Angewandte Chemie International Edition, DOI: 10.1002/anie.200806058).

Molecules of CO2 are very stable, so processes that convert the gas to methanol normally require high temperatures and pressure. They also use catalysts containing toxic metal ions. “Our catalyst isn’t toxic, and the reaction happens rapidly at room temperature,” says team leader Jackie Ying. …

“Potentially, it’s a means for taking carbon dioxide out of the air and making it into something useful,” says Dongke Zhang, director of the Centre for Petroleum, Fuels and Energy at the University of Western Australia in Perth.” “How to turn greenhouse gas into a clean fuel” h/t Hall of Record

Earth to New Scientist: methanol fuel may be a benefit, but removing life-giving CO2 from the atmosphere is NOT!

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It's not broke, DON'T FIX IT!

04/30/2009

“Given the current global cooling now in its 8th year, declining ocean heat content at least in its 5th year, sea level rises which have slowed or stopped, record rising Antarctic ice extent and rapidly recovering arctic ice since the 2007 cycle minimum, a sun in a deep slumber, increasing evidence that CO2 is a harmless gas that is in reality a beneficial plant fertilizer, you would think that this proposed [cap-and-tax] legislation and [EPA’s “endangerment”] ruling would, in a sane world, have no chance of passing. But there is a huge political and NGO machine and all too compliant media and carbon crusaders like Al Gore and James Hansen and literally many billions of dollars behind making carbon evil and subsidizing unwise energy and carbon control solutions.” “Precious Few Months to Stop Disastrous Action

U.S. gas bonanza

04/30/2009

“CADDO PARISH, La. — A massive natural-gas discovery here in northern Louisiana heralds a big shift in the nation’s energy landscape. After an era of declining production, the U.S. is now swimming in natural gas.

Even conservative estimates suggest the Louisiana discovery — known as the Haynesville Shale, for the dense rock formation that contains the gas — could hold some 200 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. That’s the equivalent of 33 billion barrels of oil, or 18 years’ worth of current U.S. oil production. Some industry executives think the field could be several times that size. …

Huge new fields also have been found in Texas, Arkansas and Pennsylvania. One industry-backed study estimates the U.S. has more than 2,200 trillion cubic feet of gas waiting to be pumped, enough to satisfy nearly 100 years of current U.S. natural-gas demand. …

Just three years ago, the conventional wisdom was that U.S. natural-gas production was facing permanent decline. U.S. policy makers were resigned to the idea that the country would have to rely more on foreign imports to supply the fuel that heats half of American homes, generates one-fifth of the nation’s electricity, and is a key component in plastics, chemicals and fertilizer.” “U.S. Gas Fields Go From Bust to Boom” h/t CCNet

It's the Sun

04/30/2009

“Abstract: Solar activity is regulated by the solar dynamo. The dynamo is a non-linear interplay between the equatorial and polar magnetic field components. So far, in Sun–climate studies, only the equatorial component has been considered as a possible driver of tropospheric temperature variations. We show that, next to this, there is a significant contribution of the polar component. Based on direct observations of proxy data for the two main solar magnetic fields components since 1844, we derive an empirical relation between tropospheric temperature variation and those of the solar equatorial and polar [magnetic field] activities. When applying that relation to the period 1610–1995, we find some quasi-regular episodes of residual temperature increases and decreases, with semi-amplitudes up to not, vert, similar0.3 °C. The present period of global warming is one of them.” “Episodes of relative global warming” h/t CCNet

Green zealots on parade — hilarious

04/30/2009

“Earth Day is past now, but this article is so popular we’re pinning it at the top of the home page today so everyone looking for it can find it.

For the next 24 hours, the media will assault us with tales of imminent disaster that always accompany the annual Earth Day Doom & Gloom Extravaganza.

Ignore them. They’ll be wrong. We’re confident in saying that because they’ve always been wrong. And always will be.

Need proof? Here are some of the hilarious, spectacularly wrong predictions made on the occasion of Earth Day 1970.

“We have about five more years at the outside to do something.”
• Kenneth Watt, ecologist

“Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”
• George Wald, Harvard Biologist

We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.”
• Barry Commoner, Washington University biologist
(more…)

Britain going full speed ahead on coal plants

04/30/2009

In Britain they’re playing a funny game. The government knows costly alternative energy schemes can’t possibly supply Britain’s future energy needs, it knows coal (or nuclear) is the only viable option, but it is also a professed true believer in the AGW religion, which views coal as Satan himself. What to do? Well (wink, wink), they’ll permit new coal-fired power plants now on the condition they can be retrofitted [later] with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology within five years of 2020 – subject to the technology available (link). This is a loophole big enough to drive a truck through. Future promises, coal-fired power now. The green fanatics will be apoplectic:

“Liberal Democrat environment spokesman Martin Horwood said the government’s proposal were subject to “a dirty great loophole” – that new stations will only have to implement the retrofitting of CCS if the technology is ready.

“The technology does need to be proven,” Mr Miliband insisted.

“It needs to work. I believe it will work. But we need to discuss the conditions if it doesn’t.”” “Another step towards Kingsnorth” h/t CCNet

“So the government will give the go-ahead to new coal power station before the technology is proven. And then there will be the mother of all lobbying battles over a future decision by the Environment Agency over whether CCS must be installed.

The interim proposals make the companies happy since they mean power stations get the go-ahead now. Environmental groups are pleased at the safeguards, but ultimately nervous CCS may never be passed fit for service. And the chance of carbon capture becoming commercially viable? And what happens to the new coal-fired power stations if it doesn’t?” “The cold reality of today’s energy strategy” h/t CCNet

CCS is a terrible idea for two reasons. First, it doubles the cost of electricity and halves electricity output (the other half is consumed by the CCS process). Second, it deprives Earth’s CO2-impoverished atmosphere of the vital life-giving trace gas. What idiocy.

Polish Academy of Sciences breaks with EU, IPCC

04/30/2009

“5. The current warming is accompanied by an increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere: water vapour is dominant among them, and in smaller quantities there are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxides and ozone. This has always happened because it is an occurrence that accompanies cyclical warming and cooling. The periodic increase in the number of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, sometimes a value even several times larger than at present, has accompanied previous warming even before man inhabited the Earth.

6. Over the past 400 thousand years – even without human intervention – the level of CO2 in the air, based on the Antarctic ice cores, has already been similar 4 times, and even higher than the current value. At the end of the last ice age, within a time of a few hundred years, the average annual temperature changed over the globe several times, in total, it has gone up by almost 10 °C in the northern hemisphere, therefore the changes mentioned above were incomparably more dramatic than the changes reported today.

7. After a warm period in the past millennium, by the end of the thirteenth century, a cold period had begun and it lasted up to the mid-nineteenth century, and then a warm period in which we are living had begun. The phenomenon observed today, in particular the temporary rise of global temperature, are the result of the natural rhythm of climate change. Warmer and warmer oceans have a smaller ability to absorb carbon dioxide, and reducing the area of the long term permafrost leads to more rapid decomposition of organic compounds in the soil, and thus to increased emissions of greenhouse gases. …

8. A detailed monitoring of climate parameters has been carried out for slightly over 200 years; it only regards parts of continents, which constitute only 28% of the world. Some of the older measuring stations established – as a result of progressive urbanization, in the peripheries of the cities, are now within them. This factor, among other things, is the reason for the rise of the measured values of temperature. The research of the vast areas of the oceans has only been launched 40 years ago. Measurements taken for this kind of short periods of time can not be considered as a firm basis for creating fully reliable models of thermal changes on the surface of the Earth, and their accuracy is difficult to verify. That is why far-reaching restraint needs to be kept regarding blaming, or even giving the biggest credit to man for the increased level of emissions of greenhouse gases, for such a theory has not been proven.” CCNet April 24

Makes Bernie Madoff look like a pickpocket

04/30/2009

“At the cap-and-trade hearings, it was revealed that not everyone will suffer from this growth-killing energy tax. A congresswoman wanted to know why sea levels aren’t rising but Gore’s bank account is.

When Gore left office in January 2001, he was said to have a net worth in the neighborhood of $2 million. A mere eight years later, estimates are that he is now worth about $100 million. It seems it’s easy being green, at least for some. …

Last Friday, Gore was the star witness at the hearings on cap-and- trade legislation before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Blackburn asked Gore about Kleiner-Perkins, noting that at last count they “have invested about a billion dollars invested in 40 companies that are going to benefit from cap-and-trade legislation that we are discussing here today.” …

[Gore] also is co-founder of Generation Investment Management, which sells carbon offsets that allow rich polluters to continue with a clear conscience. It’s a scheme that will make traders of this new commodity rich and Bernie Madoff look like a pickpocket. The other founder is former Goldman Sachs partner David Blood.

As Stephen Milloy, author of “Green Hell,” points out, Goldman Sachs is lobbying for climate change legislation and is part owner of the Chicago Climate Exchange, where carbon credits from cap and trade would be traded. …

Gore has not taken a vow of poverty even as he advocates legislation that will push millions into it. He has said greed and corporate profits are behind the studies disproving his alarmism. Maybe it’s his desire for profits that’s behind his manipulation of the truth.” “Cap-And-Trade: Al Gore’s Cash Cow

CO2 — the new renewable alternative fuel

04/30/2009

“CONVERTING a greenhouse gas into a clean-burning fuel offers two benefits for the price of one. That’s the thinking behind a novel process for converting carbon dioxide into methanol at room temperature, developed by a team at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in Singapore (Angewandte Chemie International Edition, DOI: 10.1002/anie.200806058).

Molecules of CO2 are very stable, so processes that convert the gas to methanol normally require high temperatures and pressure. They also use catalysts containing toxic metal ions. “Our catalyst isn’t toxic, and the reaction happens rapidly at room temperature,” says team leader Jackie Ying. …

“Potentially, it’s a means for taking carbon dioxide out of the air and making it into something useful,” says Dongke Zhang, director of the Centre for Petroleum, Fuels and Energy at the University of Western Australia in Perth.” “How to turn greenhouse gas into a clean fuel” h/t Hall of Record

Earth to New Scientist: methanol fuel may be a benefit, but removing life-giving CO2 from the atmosphere is NOT!

It’s not broke, DON’T FIX IT!

04/30/2009

“Given the current global cooling now in its 8th year, declining ocean heat content at least in its 5th year, sea level rises which have slowed or stopped, record rising Antarctic ice extent and rapidly recovering arctic ice since the 2007 cycle minimum, a sun in a deep slumber, increasing evidence that CO2 is a harmless gas that is in reality a beneficial plant fertilizer, you would think that this proposed [cap-and-tax] legislation and [EPA’s “endangerment”] ruling would, in a sane world, have no chance of passing. But there is a huge political and NGO machine and all too compliant media and carbon crusaders like Al Gore and James Hansen and literally many billions of dollars behind making carbon evil and subsidizing unwise energy and carbon control solutions.” “Precious Few Months to Stop Disastrous Action