Archive for October, 2009

Biofuel insanity

10/29/2009

“A new generation of biofuels, meant to be a low-carbon alternative, will on average emit more carbon dioxide than burning gasoline over the next few decades, a study published in Science found on Thursday.

Governments and companies are pouring billions of research dollars into advanced fuels made from wood and grass, meant to cut carbon emissions compared with gasoline, and not compete with food as corn-based biofuels do now.

But such advanced, “cellulosic” biofuels will actually lead to higher carbon emissions than gasoline per unit of energy, averaged over the 2000-2030 time period, the study found.

That is because the land required to plant fast-growing poplar trees and tropical grasses would displace food crops, and so drive deforestation to create more farmland, a powerful source of carbon emissions.

Biofuel crops also require nitrogen fertilizers, a source of two greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide (CO2) and the more powerful nitrous oxide.

“In the near-term I think, irrespective of how you go about the cellulosic biofuels program, you’re going to have greenhouse gas emissions exacerbating the climate change problem,” said lead author, Jerry Melillo, from the U.S. Marine Biological Laboratory.” “Advanced Biofuels Will Stoke Global Warming: Study

Biofuel insanity

10/29/2009

“A new generation of biofuels, meant to be a low-carbon alternative, will on average emit more carbon dioxide than burning gasoline over the next few decades, a study published in Science found on Thursday.

Governments and companies are pouring billions of research dollars into advanced fuels made from wood and grass, meant to cut carbon emissions compared with gasoline, and not compete with food as corn-based biofuels do now.

But such advanced, “cellulosic” biofuels will actually lead to higher carbon emissions than gasoline per unit of energy, averaged over the 2000-2030 time period, the study found.

That is because the land required to plant fast-growing poplar trees and tropical grasses would displace food crops, and so drive deforestation to create more farmland, a powerful source of carbon emissions.

Biofuel crops also require nitrogen fertilizers, a source of two greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide (CO2) and the more powerful nitrous oxide.

“In the near-term I think, irrespective of how you go about the cellulosic biofuels program, you’re going to have greenhouse gas emissions exacerbating the climate change problem,” said lead author, Jerry Melillo, from the U.S. Marine Biological Laboratory.” “Advanced Biofuels Will Stoke Global Warming: Study

Greens on jihad against RBS

10/21/2009

” Environmental campaigners have today vowed to seek an appeal after a High Court judge blocked their attempt to bring legal action against the Treasury and RBS [Royal Bank of Scotland] over the taxpayer-controlled bank’s continued investment in carbon intensive businesses …

"Green" energy policies impoverishing Britons

10/21/2009

“Official figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) showed the number of fuel poor in the UK have doubled from 2 million in 2004 to 4 million in 2007. During the same period domestic energy prices rose by up to 80 per cent.

Households that are forced to spend more than 10 per cent of income on energy bills are considered “fuel poor”.

DECC estimated that the number of fuel poor in England alone will rise from 2.8 million in 2007 to 4.6 million in 2009.

Watchdogs Consumer Focus said if the increase is applied to the UK, the total number of households in fuel poverty in the UK could be as high as 6.6 million this year. The Government’s own advisers the Fuel Poverty Advisory Group said the total could reach 7 million within 18 months.

Charles Hendry, energy spokesman for the Conservatives, said the number equated to one in four homes.

“High energy bills are a serious problem for millions struggling with the consequences of Gordon Brown’s recession. The number of people living in fuel poverty has tripled in the last five years, yet warm words are all Ministers have offered the millions of families who are falling into debt to heat their homes,” he said.” “One in four households will be pushed into fuel poverty this year fear campaigners

Harper afraid to be honest

10/21/2009

“Prime Minister Stephen Harper is too clever by half on global warming.

Politically, he’s taken the smart position — Canada will match whatever U.S. President Barack Obama does. …

The problem is with the centrepiece of Obama’s plan — creating a U.S. cap-and-trade market in carbon dioxide emissions into which Canada will be sucked, along with the rest of the world.

This is the wrong policy for a resource-rich, energy-exporting country, like Canada. Cap-and-trade will cost Canadians jobs. It will make Canadians poorer. It will slow our recovery.

It will hike not just the cost of electricity far beyond what governments are already doing under the guise of “going green,” but the cost of everything.

It will give speculators and giant energy corporations undeserved profits.

It will create the potential for destabilizing financial bubbles, because the price of a “carbon credit,” the stock on which cap-and-trade is built, is vulnerable to corruption and fraud.

Finally, cap-and-trade will do nothing for the environment.

This isn’t speculation. It’s the reality of Europe’s five-year-old cap-and-trade system.

Harper knows all this. Back when he was opposition leader, he correctly denounced the Kyoto accord, the political deal that is driving cap-and-trade, as a socialist, money-sucking, wealth-redistribution scheme.

He should be warning Canadians about that now and urging Obama, since he won’t abandon cap-and-trade, to at least proceed with extreme caution.

But Conservatives have convinced themselves if they talk honestly about this folly it will cost them at the polls, leaving them vulnerable to charges from the left they don’t care about the planet.

Sadly, many Conservative voters have bought into this logic — arguing Harper has to pay lip service to what he doesn’t believe in to win a majority government — and then try to minimize the economic damage.” “Harper’s inconvenient truth

Carbon cult sacrifices Navajos to Gaia

10/21/2009

The proposed 1,500-megawatt Desert Rock facility near Shiprock, NM has been sent back to the EPA for a new air pollution permit. (1) The EPA originally issued a permit in 2008, but under the new administration appealed to the Environment Appeals Board for permission to rescind the permit and the permission was granted on September 25. Needless to say, opponents of coal-fired power plants around the country were quite pleased.

This appears to be the plan for the future. No new coal plants, no new nuclear plants; rather rely on wind and solar for energy while prices go through the roof.

What did the Navajos think about this latest turn of events? The president of the Navajo Nation joined other Native American leaders in assailing environmentalists who have sought to block or shut down coal-fired power plants that provide vital jobs and revenue to tribes in northern Arizona.

“These are individuals and groups who claim to have put the welfare of fish and insects above the survival of the Navajo people when in fact their only goal is to stop the use of coal in the US and the Navajo Nation,” said Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr., who presides over America’s largest Indian reservation, which sprawls over three states and claims a population of about 250,000. (2)

In 2005, environmentalists successfully closed the Mojave Generating station in Laughlin, NV after a pollution lawsuit. That shutdown cost the tribe more than $6.5 million per year, and closure of the Navajo Generating Station would wipe out another $11 million. (2)

At this point in time the Navajos would be much better off if they were located in Europe or Asia. Europe, which has led the way in implementing Kyoto Protocol accords will have 40 new coal-fired power plants by 2015. Germany plans to build 27 coal-fired electrical generating plants by 2020 and Italy plans to double its reliance on coal in just five years. (3)

China is building a new coal-fired power plant every week and India will double its coal-based electricity generation by 2020. (3) The combined carbon emissions from the new coal-fired power plants that China and India are building between now and 2012 are five times the total savings of the Kyoto accords. (4)” “Inequalities About Coal-Fired Power Plants” h/t Junk Science

Media, alarmist blogosphere, breathless over Baffin

10/21/2009


Many of you have probably read the breathless media reports ( here, here, here) trumpeting that “changes occurring at a remote Arctic lake are unprecedented over the past 200,000 years and likely are the result of human-caused climate change, according to a new study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder”. Of course, the alarmist blogosphere went predictably nuts. Patrick Michaels takes the reports apart (read his entire post):

“There is a bit of press covering a just-published paper that concludes that the current climate and ecological conditions in a remote lake along the north shore of Canada’s Baffin Island are unique within the past 200,000 years—and anthropogenic global warming is the root cause. Which of course, spells t-r-o-u-b-l-e.

Somehow, that temperatures there were several degrees higher than present for a good third of the past 10,000 years and that there has been virtually no temperature trend in the area during past 50 years—the time usually associated with the greatest amount of human-caused “global warming”—was conveniently downplayed or ignored.

Go figure. …

Figure 1 shows the summer (June, July August) average temperature from the weather station located at Clyde, Northwest Territory, which is located on Baffin Island very near the site of the lake. There is no trend here from 1943 to 2008, the period of available data. The most remarkable events are a couple of very cold summers and one very warm summer—all in the 1970s. Summers in the most recent decade are little different than summers in the 1950s—hardly a sign that human-caused “global warming” has made environmental conditions there particularly unique.” “Baffling island

Greens on jihad against RBS

10/21/2009

” Environmental campaigners have today vowed to seek an appeal after a High Court judge blocked their attempt to bring legal action against the Treasury and RBS [Royal Bank of Scotland] over the taxpayer-controlled bank’s continued investment in carbon intensive businesses …

"Green" energy policies impoverishing Britons

10/21/2009

“Official figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) showed the number of fuel poor in the UK have doubled from 2 million in 2004 to 4 million in 2007. During the same period domestic energy prices rose by up to 80 per cent.

Households that are forced to spend more than 10 per cent of income on energy bills are considered “fuel poor”.

DECC estimated that the number of fuel poor in England alone will rise from 2.8 million in 2007 to 4.6 million in 2009.

Watchdogs Consumer Focus said if the increase is applied to the UK, the total number of households in fuel poverty in the UK could be as high as 6.6 million this year. The Government’s own advisers the Fuel Poverty Advisory Group said the total could reach 7 million within 18 months.

Charles Hendry, energy spokesman for the Conservatives, said the number equated to one in four homes.

“High energy bills are a serious problem for millions struggling with the consequences of Gordon Brown’s recession. The number of people living in fuel poverty has tripled in the last five years, yet warm words are all Ministers have offered the millions of families who are falling into debt to heat their homes,” he said.” “One in four households will be pushed into fuel poverty this year fear campaigners

Harper afraid to be honest

10/21/2009

“Prime Minister Stephen Harper is too clever by half on global warming.

Politically, he’s taken the smart position — Canada will match whatever U.S. President Barack Obama does. …

The problem is with the centrepiece of Obama’s plan — creating a U.S. cap-and-trade market in carbon dioxide emissions into which Canada will be sucked, along with the rest of the world.

This is the wrong policy for a resource-rich, energy-exporting country, like Canada. Cap-and-trade will cost Canadians jobs. It will make Canadians poorer. It will slow our recovery.

It will hike not just the cost of electricity far beyond what governments are already doing under the guise of “going green,” but the cost of everything.

It will give speculators and giant energy corporations undeserved profits.

It will create the potential for destabilizing financial bubbles, because the price of a “carbon credit,” the stock on which cap-and-trade is built, is vulnerable to corruption and fraud.

Finally, cap-and-trade will do nothing for the environment.

This isn’t speculation. It’s the reality of Europe’s five-year-old cap-and-trade system.

Harper knows all this. Back when he was opposition leader, he correctly denounced the Kyoto accord, the political deal that is driving cap-and-trade, as a socialist, money-sucking, wealth-redistribution scheme.

He should be warning Canadians about that now and urging Obama, since he won’t abandon cap-and-trade, to at least proceed with extreme caution.

But Conservatives have convinced themselves if they talk honestly about this folly it will cost them at the polls, leaving them vulnerable to charges from the left they don’t care about the planet.

Sadly, many Conservative voters have bought into this logic — arguing Harper has to pay lip service to what he doesn’t believe in to win a majority government — and then try to minimize the economic damage.” “Harper’s inconvenient truth