Biofuels

By Andy May – Re-Blogged From WUWT

According to Exxon-Mobil, 9% of the world’s energy came from biofuels in 2017. They do not expect this percentage to increase by 2040, and it may go down. For the most part it is a developing world fuel. Primary biofuels include dung, wood, wood chips and pellets. Secondary, or manufactured biofuels include ethanol and biodiesel, which derive from several agricultural products, mainly corn, sugar cane, palm oil, soybeans and canola. The main advantage of using locally sourced wood and dung are their low cost and wide availability.

Using imported wood or wood chips for generating electricity, as is done in Europe, is more problematic. Due to the economic and environmental costs of farming the trees, making the wood pellets or chips and shipping them to the powerplants; wood is not a competitive fuel for most powerplants. The energy density is too low. However, if the source of the wood is within fifty miles of the plant, it can be competitive with coal and it may produce fewer greenhouse gases than coal, estimates vary. Ethanol and biodiesel are also more expensive than fossil fuels and must be subsidized to be competitive.

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Brazil Set To Post Record Harvest

From The GWPF – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Brazil’s 2019-20 grain and oilseed crops are poised to reach record production of 245.8mn metric tons (t), boosted by an increase in acreage and a recovery in the soybean crop, which will also likely break a record.

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The number would mark an increase of 1.6pc from the last cycle. The total area planted is also expected to reach a record of nearly 64mn hectares (158mn acres), up 1.1pc from last year’s season, the country’s agricultural statistics agency (Conab) said today in its first report on the new season.

Farmers have already started planting soybean and corn in some southern and west-central areas of the country. Both commodities – including the winter corn crop, sowed after the soybean harvest – account for 90pc of all Brazil’s grain and oilseed crops. Other crops included in the total are sunflower, barley and peanuts, among others.

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Farmers Feed Their Cows And Pigs Leftover Baked Goods, Expired Pet Food Due To Corn Price Surge

By Whitney Tipton From The Daily Caller – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Matt Cardy/Getty Images

August 02, 2019 6:14 PM ET
High corn prices have made U.S. farmers look for low-cost substitutes for livestock feed including crops from South America, day-old bakery products and expired pet food.

A historic spring corn planting delay has driven up local prices of corn, which is used to feed hogs, cattle and poultry, forcing farmers to seek alternatives including outdated baked goods, Reuters reported.

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Bill to Reinstate Obama Pesticide Ban Ignores Science

By Paul Driessen – Re-Blogged From WUWT

House legislation to ban neonicotinoids in wildlife refuges would hurt bees and wildlife

The battle over neonicotinoid pesticides rages on. In response to one of many collusive sue-and-settle lawsuits between environmentalist groups and Obama environmental officials, in 2014 the Department of the Interior’s Fish & Wildlife Service banned neonic use in wildlife refuges.

Following a careful review of extensive scientific studies, the Trump Interior Department concluded that neonics are safe for humans, bees, other wildlife and the environment. In August 2018 it reversed the ban.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #366

The Week That Was: July 6, 2019, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “There are some ideas so wrong that only a very intelligent person could believe in them.” – George Orwell [H/t John Dunn]

Number of the Week: 2012

Beauty in Physics: On his web site, The Reference Frame, string theorist Lubos Motl had a long post reporting his search for the terms beautiful, beauty, and pretty in the Feynman Lectures on Physics (1963). Richard Feynman was a co-recipient of the 1965 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in Quantum Electrodynamics and an exceptional lecturer who insisted on teaching students introductory physics. Perhaps it is his expression of finding exceptional explanations of complex problems beautiful that makes Feynman’s lecturers so memorable. Fortunately, they are available to read online. One of the many examples Molt gives is on Kepler’s laws:

Here are the promised Kepler’s laws.

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The Setup is like 1315

By David Archibald – Re-Blogged From WUWT

The area planted for corn and soybeans this season is well below historic averages. This was mostly due to waterlogged fields and flooding which precluded planting. The planting windows for corn and soybeans are now closed. The USDA crop progress reports provide weekly updates by state. For example this is the state of the corn crop in Indiana to Monday June 17:

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Figure 1: Indiana corn crop progress to Monday June 17.

The emerged crop is one month behind where it was in 2018. Which means that maturity will be one month later at best, assuming that the rest of the summer isn’t abnormally cold.

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The latest USDA crop data shows ‘a difference of opinion on what reality is’

By John Roach, – Re-Blogged From AccuWeather

corn flooding

In this May 29, 2019 photo, corn is seen in a field flooded by waters from the Nishnabotna River near Anderson, Iowa. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

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Palm Oil Was Supposed to Help Save the Planet. Instead It Unleashed a Catastrophe

By Paul Homewood – Re-Blogged From WUWT

This is a long, but very readable piece from the New York Times Magazine:

I have only included the opening section, plus a few relevant paragraphs, but I would recommend reading it in full:

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The fields outside Kotawaringin village in Central Kalimantan, on the island of Borneo, looked as if they had just been cleared by armies. None of the old growth remained — only charred stumps poking up from murky, dark pools of water. In places, smoke still curled from land that days ago had been covered with lush jungle. Villagers had burned it all down, clearing the way for a lucrative crop whose cultivation now dominates the entire island: the oil-palm tree.

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Remember when climate alarmists told us global warming was going to kill the U.S. corn crop? Never mind.

By Anthony Watts – Re-Blogged From WUWT

You may remember seeing scare stories like these in the media.
Claim: Climate Change will Cause a Global Corn Crop Failure 

Global Warming Will Cut Crop Yields – Assuming No Adaption

Reality bites in two ways; 1. Actual data shows yield increases, and 2. New study says warming has actually helped corn yields.

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Claim: Climate Change will Cause a Global Corn Crop Failure

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Another global warming food security study based on unrealistic assumptions.

The global corn crop is vulnerable to the effects of climate change

By ADAM WERNICK

Corn, also known as maize, is the world’s most-produced food crop. But it could be headed for trouble as the Earth warms.

A new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America finds that climate change will not only increase the risk of food shocks from world corn production but that these crop failures could occur simultaneously.

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Greg Weldon: Stock Market “As Overextended As Anything I’ve Ever Seen”

By Mike Gleason – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

Mike Gleason: It is my privilege now to welcome in Greg Weldon, CEO and President of Weldon Financial. Greg has over three decades of market research and trading experiencing, specializing in the metals and commodity markets and even authored a book in 2006 titled, Gold Trading Boot Camp where he accurately predicted the implosion of the U.S. credit market and urged people to buy gold when it was only $550 an ounce. He’s a highly sought-after presenter at financial conferences throughout the country and is a regular guest on many popular financial shows, and it’s great to have him back here on the Money Metals Podcast.

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Likely Coldest April Since 1895

Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Farmers are suffering as the cold, wet spring has put a stunning halt to agriculture. Ice Age Farmer Report – 19 Apr 2018

Soil temperatures are below normal, and not conducive to planting yet.

“Temperatures going down, greenhouses going up. Crop losses continue globally, and we must all be preparing for the times ahead.”

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #290

By Ken Haapala, President, The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

Academic Threats? On November 3, the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) released what may be the final climate report of the Obama Administration. The USGCRP was established 1989 by an executive order by President George H.W. Bush and was “mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act (GCRA) of 1990 to assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.” It comprises 13 Federal agencies and had a 2016 enacted budget of $2.6 billion and a 2017 requested budget of $2.8 billon. [These numbers are out of date, but more recent data was not found in a search of its web site.] The current executive director is Michael Kuperberg, who was appointed by President Obama in July 2015.

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DC Swamp Denizens Strike Back

By Paul Driessen – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

While demand for biodiesel is down, senators and crony corporatists deep-six proposed EPA reductions in biodiesel mandates

Despite what I thought were persuasive articles over the years (here, here and here, for example), corn ethanol and other biofuel mandates remain embedded in US law. As we have learned, once a government program is created, it becomes virtually impossible to eliminate, revise or even trim fat from it.

This year, it looked like this “rule of perpetuity” might finally change. The Trump-Pruitt Environmental Protection Agency proposed to use its “waiver authority” to reduce its 2018 biodiesel requirement by 15% (315 million gallons) and (possibly) lower the 2019 total down to the 1-billion-gallon minimum mandated by Congress. The proposed action would not affect corn or other ethanol production and blending requirements, despite growing problems with incorporating more ethanol into gasoline.

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Study Finds: Corn Better Used as Food Than Biofuel

By Anthony Watts – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

From the UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN and the “don’t burn your food” department.

Corn is grown not only for food, it is also an important renewable energy source. Renewable biofuels can come with hidden economic and environmental issues, and the question of whether corn is better utilized as food or as a biofuel has persisted since ethanol came into use. For the first time, researchers at the University of Illinois have quantified and compared these issues in terms of economics of the entire production system to determine if the benefits of biofuel corn outweigh the costs.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #267

By Ken Haapala, President, The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

Joint Petition to Reconsider: Although not discussed in prior TWTWs, SEPP joined the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) in filing a joint petition to the EPA to reconsider its 2009 finding that greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide, endanger public health and welfare. The petition was filed on February 17, 2017, and slightly revised on February 23.

Such actions fall under the “right to petition” stated in the 1st Amendment of the Constitution. The petition has added weight because both CEI and SEPP originally objected to the endangerment finding. The filing has been in the news, but TWTW has mentioned it only in passing. The legal issues were handled by CEI. The chance of success is not high, but the action is important.

By necessity the petition is short, and concise. It focuses on the strongest empirical science available in January, but not available in 2009, that contradicts the assertion that CO2 endangers public health and welfare. The testimony of John Christy on February 2, 2016, was chosen. [Christy’s written testimony to the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee on March 29, 2017, was even stronger evidence, but did not yet exist.]

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Biofuel Madness: Another Disastrous Impact of Global Warming Deception

By Dr. Tim Ball – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

There are many deadly and disastrous stories associated with the deception that human CO2 is causing global warming. Some are more obscure than others, but no less deadly in the unnecessary damage and destruction they caused. One was the myth of what was called “Arab Spring.” It never occurred, but what happened was a result of ‘green’ policies based on non-existence science. Unintended consequences are the inevitable result of actions and must not be used to inhibit action and progress. However, there is a difference if the objective was based on evidence and provides benefits or was based on concocted evidence and was mostly detrimental.

I was on a radio program recently, when a listener called to ask who was responsible for more deaths than anyone in history. The word responsible is important because probably none of those most people identify, including Hitler, Stalin, and Mao Zedong, ever actually killed anyone themselves. Many people now realize that the list includes people society tend to glorify, such as Alfred Nobel, who was so mortified by the death and destruction of his invention that he created prizes for advancing knowledge, understanding, and peace.

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How Prices Get Set

By Ted Butler – Re-Blogged From http://www.Gold-Eagle.com

In the quest to explain something that may be complex into something easily understood, please allow me to reference a recent issue most in the US are now familiar with: i.e. the shocking rise in price for EpiPens, produced by the Mylan drug company. An EpiPen is a life-saving medicine in injectable form for those suffering a food allergy attack. Since many of the victims are children unknowingly ingesting what to them is poison, Epipens are prevalent in schools and have become a vital part of life for many families.

Shocking and persistent price increases of many hundreds of percent over the past several years for a drug that hasn’t changed much had finally reached the boiling point of public and political consciousness and all manner of discussion has erupted. This is not a matter, by any means, limited to Mylan, as there have been many recent cases of skyrocketing prices on a variety of drugs. Having gotten my interest, I was sure that when I looked into the matter, I would discover a case of unbridled greed on the part of Mylan. While I wasn’t disappointed by my preconceptions, I also came away with the opinion that it wasn’t quite as simple as that.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #188

The Week That Was: July 18, 2015 – Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

The Sun? Last week’s TWTW discussed a new paper published by the Royal Astronomical Society announcing a “new model of the Sun’s solar cycle is producing unprecedentedly accurate predictions of irregularities within the Sun’s” 10 to 12 year solar cycle. “The model draws on dynamo effects in two layers of the Sun, one close to the surface and one deep within its convection zone. Predictions from the model suggest that solar activity will fall by 60 per cent during the 2030s to conditions last seen during the ‘mini ice age’ that began in 1645.”

The conditions last seen during the “mini ice age”, also known as the Little Ice Age relate to low sunspot activity, particularly as applied to the Maunder Minimum roughly from about 1645 to 1715, depending on interpretations of data. This period roughly included the Little Ice Age, roughly from about 1500 to 1850. The article did not predict a return of a Little Ice Age, which was added by others. Unfortunately, adherence to the hypothesis that carbon dioxide (CO2) is the control knob of the Earth’s temperatures clouded this distinction by using a logical “red herring” and claiming that the Little Ice Age was European event, thus the model was false.

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Will 2015 be the Year of Renewable Fuel Standard Reform?

By Marita Noon — Re-Blogged From http://www.CFACT.org

The fact the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee is attacking the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) management—er, mismanagement—of the federal renewable fuel standard (RFS) is indicative of the growing frustration over both the agency and the RFS itself.
The federal diktat has been late coming and unachievable every year. The EPA Administrator,  was grilled by Senators from both sides of the aisle. Senator James Lankford (R-OK), who chaired the Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management, opened the hearing by calling the RFS “unworkable in its current form.” In her comments, Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) claimed that the EPA’s management of the RFS ignored “congressional intent,” while creating “uncertainty” and costing “investment.”