BBC: Green Energy Plant Threat to Wilderness Areas

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

“If we let these developments go ahead, the biodiversity will be gone long before climate change starts affecting it”

Climate change: Green energy plant threat to wilderness areas

By Matt McGrathEnvironment correspondent

Wind, solar and hydro power installations pose a growing threat to key conservation areas, say researchers.

Researchers found that over 2,200 green energy plants have been built within the boundaries of the Earth’s remaining wilderness.

They say that around 17% of renewable facilities globally are located in protected regions.

A further 900 plants are now being developed in key areas of biodiversity.

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Climate Alarmist Banks Go Carbon-Colonialist

By Paul Driessen and David Wojick – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Africa must move forward without them, using fossil and nuclear energy to build prosperity

Africa has the world’s lowest electrification rate. Its power consumption per capita is just 613 kilowatt-hours per year, compared to 6,500 kWh in Europe and 13,000 in the United States, African Development Bank (AfDB) President Akinwumi Adesina observed in July 2017. That’s 9.4% of EU and 4.7% of US electricity consumption. It’s equivalent to Americans having electricity only 1 hour a day, 8 hours a week, 411 hours per year – at totally unpredictable times, for a few minutes, hours or days at a stretch.

It’s actually even worse than that. Excluding significantly electrified South Africa, sub-Sahara Africans consume an almost irrelevant 181 kWh of electricity per capita – 1.4% of the average American’s!

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Why Renewables Can’t Save the Planet

When I was a boy, my parents would sometimes take my sister and me camping in the desert. A lot of people think deserts are empty, but my parents taught us to see the wildlife all around us, including hawks, eagles, and tortoises.

After college, I moved to California to work on environmental campaigns. I helped save the state’s last ancient redwood forest and blocked a proposed radioactive waste repository set for the desert.

In 2002, shortly after I turned 30, I decided I wanted to dedicate myself to addressing climate change. I was worried that global warming would end up destroying many of the natural environments that people had worked so hard to protect.

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Texas Town’s Environmental Narcissism

By Chuck DeVore – Re-Blogged From For News

Political leaders in a college town in central Texas won wide praise from former Vice President Al Gore and the larger Green Movement when they decided to go “100 percent renewable” seven years ago. Now, however, they are on the defensive over electricity costs that have their residents paying more than $1,000 per household in higher electricity charges over the last four years.

That’s right – $1,219 per household in higher electricity costs for the 71,000 residents of Georgetown, Texas, all thanks to the decision of its Republican mayor, Dale Ross, to launch a bold plan to shift the city’s municipal utility to 100 percent renewable power in 2012 when he was on the city council.

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Children’s Climate Case

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Don’t mention the “N” word – top economist Joseph Stiglitz has urged the US government to impose economically painful taxes to penalise fossil fuels, to facilitate a switch to renewables and energy efficiency technologies which have not yet been developed.

Nobel-Winning Economist to Testify in Children’s Climate Lawsuit

Joseph Stiglitz writes in a court brief that fossil fuel-based economies impose ‘incalculable’ costs on society and shifting to clean energy will pay off.

BY GEORGINA GUSTIN
JUL 11, 2018

One of the world’s top economists has written an expert court report that forcefully supports a group of children and young adults who have sued the federal government for failing to act on climate change.

Joseph Stiglitz, who was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize for economics in 2001 and has written extensively about environmental economics and climate change, makes an economic case that the costs of maintaining a fossil fuel-based economy are “incalculable,” while transitioning to a lower-carbon system will cost far less.

The government, he writes, should move “with all deliberate speed” toward alternative energy sources.

Stiglitz has submitted briefs for Supreme Court cases—and normally charges $2,000 an hour for legal advice, the report says—but he wrote this 50-page report pro bono at the request of the attorneys representing the children. It was filed in federal district court in Oregon on June 28.

Read more: https://insideclimatenews.org/news/11072018/joseph-stiglitz-kids-climate-change-lawsuit-global-warming-costs-economic-impact

Although the report repeatedly mentions and references former NASA GISS director James Hansen, who is a fan of nuclear power, Stiglitz himself does not directly mention the nuclear option, instead urging carbon taxes and “support” for the development of renewable alternatives to fossil fuels.

Moving the U.S. economy away from fossil fuels is both feasible and beneficial, especially over the next 30 years (as technological and scientific evidence discussed below makes clear). Defendants could facilitate this transition with standard economic tools for dealing with externalities, for example a tax or levy on carbon (a price on the externality) and the elimination of subsidies on fossil-fuel production. Relatedly, decisions concerning the transition off of fossil fuels can be reached more systematically and efficiently by revising current government discounting practices, the methodology by which future costs are compared to present costs. Current and historical government decision making practices based on incorrect discount rates lead to inefficient and inequitable outcomes that impose undue burdens on Youth Plaintiffs and future generations.

There are many reasons to be optimistic that emissions could be curtailed further than previously thought. These benefits are a result of continued technological development in the renewables sector. Because of technological improvements, the costs of renewables and storage are decreasing. The price of solar panels has dropped by more than half in recent years (80 percent reduction from 2008 to 2016). In 2016 alone, the average dollar capital expenditure per megawatt for solar photovoltaics and wind dropped by over 10 percent. As these technologies continue to improve and the efficiency increases, while manufacturing costs drop, these technologies will more easily substitute for existing fossil fuel infrastructure.

With the oil crises of the 1970s, recognition of the risks of dependence on oil was developed (though these risks were markedly different from those with which we are concerned today). Even then, it was clear that there were viable alternatives, and with the appropriate allocation of further resources to R&D, it is likely that these alternatives would have been even more competitive.

Read more: https://biotech.law.lsu.edu/blog/document_cw_01-2.pdf

In my opinion there is a lot wrong with Stiglitz’s effort – surprising given his reputation.

Stiglitz seems to be committing the economic sin of treating future projections of technological advances and climate impacts as if they were high confidence.

Extrapolating renewable costs into the future is risky. Renewables may never achieve anything resembling cost parity with existing technology, or even large scale viability. In 2014, Google researchers discovered to their horror there was no viable path to a 100% renewable future using anything remotely resembling current technology. Betting the future economic wellbeing of the nation on solving serious problems which may not be solvable is a wild gamble.

Stiglitz claims substantial fossil fuel “subsidies” are arising due to inadequate treatment of externalities. Externalities are costs which don’t show up on your balance sheet. For example if your business keeps costs down by dumping trash on your neighbour’s property, you aren’t paying the true cost of dealing with with the trash – the cost of dealing with the trash is an externality, because it doesn’t show up on your balance sheet, at least until your neighbour figures out who has been dumping trash on their property.

But the claimed externality costs of CO2 only apply if CO2 emissions cause future harm. We’re not talking about trash which causes an immediate smelly mess, we’re talking about an invisible trace gas which may or may not cause a future problem.

As climate scientists themselves occasionally admit, the climate models which predict future harm are not scientifically falsifiable – they cannot be adequately tested except by waiting to see if they do a good job of predicting the future. Older models are not doing a good job of predicting future climate – as the controversy over the failings of James Hansen’s models demonstrates, relying on expert opinion in place of scientific falsifiability simply isn’t good enough.

Stiglitz solutions, even if they were viable, would be economically painful. Carbon taxes hurt poor people worst of all – a fact Stiglitz admits, though he qualifies his admission with claims that short term harm is worth the future benefit.

Nevertheless short term harm is no laughing matter, particularly when the harm is visited on society’s most vulnerable. You would want to be absolutely certain of the desperate need to impose increased hardship on people who are already struggling, you would want to thoroughly explore possible alternatives to hurting poor people, before concluding hurting the poor was the only available option.

Which is why Stiglitz’s omission of direct mentions of nuclear power is puzzling.

France converted 75% of their electricity to nuclear power in the 1970s. They kept costs down by standardising and mass producing nuclear plant components, and reprocessing nuclear fuel. French electricity is affordable, dispatchable and produces very low CO2 emissions. The cost of low emission French power doesn’t hurt poor people.

According to the EIA, US power plants emitted 1744 million tons of CO2 in 2017. Nuclear power currently produces just under 20% of US electricity. Copying the 1970s French nuclear programme, raising nuclear power to 75% of US electricity production, would reduce power plant CO2 emissions to 1744 / 80% x (100% – 75%) = 545 million tons per annum, saving over a billion tons per annum of CO2 emissions.

For shame Joseph Stiglitz. If CO2 is the serious issue Stiglitz claims, ignoring the possibility of avoiding harm to poor people by converting US electricity production to affordable nuclear power seems a very curious oversight.

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Freeze, Reduce or Eliminate CAFÉ Fuel Standards

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

Too many small, lightweight cars cause too many deaths and injuries to justify tighter mpg rule

A 2002 National Academy of Sciences study estimated that automotive mileage standards had helped cause as many as 2,600 extra fatalities in 1993 – at a relatively lenient standard of 27.5 miles per gallon. Other studies reached similar conclusions. And yet, in 2012, the Obama Administration began ratcheting the standards upward, with the goal of hitting 54.5 mpg by 2025.

What are the Grounds for Concern About Global Warming?

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

This is an answer to the Geological Society of London position statement on “Climate Change: evidence from the geological record,” published in November 2010, and the addendum published in December 2013. They can be found at:

https://www.geolsoc.org.uk/climaterecord

This article was first written as a long comment contributing to a discussion over the Geological Society statement at the energy and climate blog Energy matters. Scientists of the Geological Society that authored the statements participated in the discussion to defend their views.

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Keystone is Anti-Hydrocarbon Zealotry

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

Radical environmentalists prefer dangerous, inhumane, ecologically destructive alternatives

The Nebraska Public Service Commission (NPSC) recently voted to approve the state’s segment of the 1,200-mile Keystone XL Pipeline. While that would appear to allow construction to move forward, more obstacles loom before KXL can finally bring North Dakota and Canadian crude oil to Texas refineries.

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Politicized Sustainability Threatens Planet and People

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

Foreword:
It seems nearly everyone wants to advance sustainability principles. The problem is, no one really knows what they are. Real sustainability means responsible conservation and stewardship of natural resources. The public relations variety is mostly image-enhancing fluff. Politicized sustainability – the version that’s all the rage on college campuses and among government regulators – insists that we may meet the needs of current generations only to the extent that doing so “will not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their needs.”

The problem with this infinitely malleable definition is that it requires us to predict both unpredictable future technologies and their raw material demands. Even worse, we are supposed to protect those future needs even if it means ignoring or compromising the undeniable needs of current generations – including the needs and welfare of the most impoverished, politically powerless people on Earth today. That’s why this irrational, unworkable, environmentally destructive idea deserves to land in history’s trash bin.


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Britain’s Energy Policy Keeps Picking Losers

By Matt Ridley – Re-Blogged From Global Warming Policy Forum

The liberalised energy markets introduced by Nigel Lawson in 1982, embraced by the Blair government and emulated across Europe, delivered both affordability and reliability. But they were abandoned. All three parties share the blame for Britain’s policy fiasco.

Shortly before parliament broke up this month, there was a debate on a Lords select committee report on electricity policy that was remarkable for its hard-hitting conclusions. The speakers, and signatories of the report, included a former Labour chancellor, Tory energy secretary, Tory Scottish secretary, cabinet secretary, ambassador to the European Union and Treasury permanent secretary, as well as a bishop, an economics professor, a Labour media tycoon and a Lib Dem who was shortlisted for governor of the Bank of England.

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U.S. Becomes Global Fossil Energy Giant

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

U.S. evolves into coal, gas and oil global energy giant supplying world’s hungry energy markets

David Middleton’s excellent WUWT article addressing the resurgence of the American coal industry as well as the growing role of U.S. natural gas production in creating global gas export markets hits the nail on the head in demonstrating how dominant the U.S. has become in producing and supplying global energy markets at home and abroad with growing demands for fossil fuels.

The IEA agency clearly recognizes the U.S. as the global driver of a huge transformation of the world’s natural gas energy markets.

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California Dumps Millions of Dollars of Unusable Renewable Electricity to Other States

By Larry Hamlin – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

California’s renewable energy policy pushing huge mandated increases in wind and solar so the state’s globally irrelevant greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets can be met has it’s citizens providing and paying millions of dollars for unusable renewable energy to be sent to other states – and this problem will likely only grow in the future.

clip_image002

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California Once Again Tops the U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

The featured image is a photo of a greenschist from the French Alps.

For some reason, the following article from EcoWatch and the NRDC made me think of something that sounds like greenschist:

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Renewables Won’t Work – Even If Climate Claims are True

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Imagine for a moment that all the wild claims of climate driven future weather disasters will occur as predicted. In this imaginary future climate dystopia, how will wind power cope with super storms? How will solar power cope with hail, tornadoes, cyclones and floods? How will hydro power cope with endless droughts? How will biofuel crops cope with storm damage, droughts and unseasonal heatwaves?

wind-turbine[1]

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Apocalypse Cancelled

By Willis Eschenbach – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Estimates of future atmospheric CO2 values as a result of future emissions, called “scenarios”, fall into two camps—demand driven, and supply driven. A recent paper entitled “The implications of fossil fuel supply constraints on climate change projections: A supply-driven analysis” by J.Wang, et al., paywalled here, has a good description of the difference between demand and supply driven scenarios in their abstract:

ABSTRACT

Climate projections are based on emission scenarios.The emission scenarios used by the IPCC and by mainstream climate scientists are largely derived from the predicted demand for fossil fuels, and in our view take insufficient consideration of the constrained emissions that are likely, due to the depletion of these fuels.This paper, by contrast, takes a supply-side view of CO2 emission, and generates two supply-driven emission scenarios based on a comprehensive investigation of likely long-term pathways of fossil fuel production drawn from peer-reviewed literature published since 2000. The potential rapid increases in the supply of the non-conventional fossil fuels are also investigated. Climate projections calculated in this paper indicate that the future atmospheric CO2 concentration will not exceed 610 ppm in this century;

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Why I Deny Big Climate Alarmism

By Walter Donway – Re-Blogged From Savvy Street

What leads an objective non-scientist, examining the arguments, to reject “global warming,” a.k.a., “Big Climate alarmism”?

A couple weeks ago, my wife and I had dinner with a long-time friend of hers and her boyfriend. My wife had been friends with this woman for years, but never introduced me. Now, it seems, the woman wanted to meet me and to bring along her boyfriend. My wife warned me that they were “very Left,” “big Sanders supporters, now Hillary supporters,” and “politically correct.” I hoped that the restaurant’s cuisine would be endlessly fascinating material for conversation, but, just in case, I boned up on Jane Austen’s novels.

It is a sign of our times, however, that the one topic of conversation once reliably safe and boring—the weather—is now more treacherous than an abandoned mine field. (Let’s not get into that.) The global warming/climate change Gestapo (just kidding, will explain) sought out the ugliest epithet of modern times—Holocaust denier—and tailored it to fit their intellectual adversaries. It reflects, I suppose, their scientific temperament of openness to challenge and maintaining an atmosphere of objective discourse. About as much as if I, observing their bully boy tactics toward all opponents, referred to them as the Gestapo of global warming. But I don’t.

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The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels

By Andy May – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

The best-selling book The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels was first published November 27, 2014 by Penguin. The author, Alex Epstein, took a BA in Philosophy from Duke University in 2002. He is the President of the Center for Industrial Progress, a former fellow of the Ayn Rand Institute and an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute. He was also named as one of the top 10 in Rolling Stone’s 2013 “Global Warming Denier Elite.” High praise indeed! He was fourth on the list.

Epstein presents a very well written discussion of the climate change debate. He destroys the 97% consensus myth, explains that the carbon dioxide greenhouse effect decreases logarithmically with concentration and shows that the climate computer models used to compute man’s influence on climate have never successfully predicted anything. He also shows that global warming has not increased extreme weather of any kind and that the dangers from extreme weather are less today than at any time in man’s history largely due to fossil fuels. He discusses Craig Idso’s pioneering research proving that increasing carbon dioxide acts as a powerful fertilizer for many plants. But readers of this review know these facts, so we will focus on his discussion of the merits of fossil fuels. He is a good writer and has superhuman skills at laying out a compelling logical argument. He would have put Daniel Webster and Clarence Darrow to shame. I highly recommend the book.

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Japan Plans To Meet Paris Commitments, By Building Coal Plants

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Japan, which hilariously defined investment in high efficiency coal plants as “climate finance“, now plans to meet Paris commitments, by building even more coal plants.

In the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster Japan mothballed its fleet of nuclear reactors, relying on fossil fuel imports to meet energy demand.

But last week prime minister Shinzo Abe said these would need to be switched back on to meet energy demand.

“Our resource-poor country cannot do without nuclear power to secure the stability of energy supply while considering what makes economic sense and the issue of climate change,” he said.

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Greens Terrified Cheap Energy Will Kill Wind and Solar

By Andrew Follett – Re-Blogged From http://www.CFACT.org

Cheap coal, oil and natural gas are outcompeting wind and solar power despite massive government support, and environmentalists are really upset about it.

“I believe low energy prices may complicate the transformation, to be very frank, and this is a very important issue for countries to note; all the strong renewables and energy efficiency policies therefore may be undermined with the low fossil fuel prices,”  Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), told reporters in Brussels.

Americans are spending less on energy than they have at virtually any other point in recent history. Energy prices dropped by 41 percent in 2015 due to innovative new techniques to extract hydrocarbons, like hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.

Wind and solar big

Environmentalists are also terrified that the rise of cheap conventional energy will hurt wind and solar.

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Green Energy ‘Steals’ From the Biosphere

An Opinion Piece by
Viv Forbes, BScAppGeol, FAusIMM
Scientist, mineral economist and grass farmer.

Earth has only three significant sources of energy.

First is geothermal energy from Earth’s molten core and decaying radioactive minerals in Earth’s crust. This energy moves continents, powers volcanoes and its heat migrates towards the crust, warming the lithosphere and the deep oceans. It can be harvested successfully in favourable locations, and radioactive minerals can be extracted to provide large amounts of reliable heat for power generation.

Second is energy stored in combustible hydrocarbon minerals such as coal, oil, gas, tar sands and oil shale. These all store solar and geothermal energy collected eons ago and they are the primary energy sources supporting modern industrial societies and the vast populations dependent on them.

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Another Me-Too Climate Statement by a Non-Climate Body

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Several concerned senior members of the medical profession in Australia have contacted the Lord Monckton Foundation to express their disappointment at an opinion survey on climate change circulated by the Association’s President, who proposes to promulgate what would be yet another me-too “Position Statement on Climate Change”.

Though, as one doctor has pointed out, it is welcome that before the Association commits itself to any position statement it is first consulting its members [which is more than can be said for most scientific societies that have issued “me-too” statements on climate change], members are dismayed that they are being consulted on a subject that is wholly beyond the scientific competence or remit of the medical profession.

An eminent specialist at a tertiary training institution put it thus: “I have no expert knowledge in the sciences associated with climate, meteorology etc. I very much doubt if many members of the AMA have the relevant knowledge to come out in support or protest of any particular climate stance … any noise generated by the AMA carries no more weight than any other trade grouping.”

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Anthropogenic Global Warming and Its Causes

By Clyde Spencer – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Unless you have been in cryogenic suspended animation for several decades, you are aware of the extreme polarization about the role that CO2, particularly from burning fossil fuels, assertedly plays in warming the planet. I will attempt to provide a fresh perspective on the issue below.

It seems that many people think of global circulation models (GCMs) as being a virtual reality, or at least some kind of scientific ‘truth.’ What is generally unappreciated is that the GCMs are, instead, complex and convoluted working hypotheses. As such, they are a part of the Scientific Method. However, they should be subject to careful scrutiny, evaluated against reality, and modified as appropriate to conform to reality. That is the essence of the Scientific Method! Any hypothesis that does not have utility as an explanation, or have reliable predictive powers, does not achieve the purpose of scientific theories.

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End Energy Subsidies

By Chris Edwards – Re-Blogged From http://www.downsizinggovernment.org

The energy industry has been heavily regulated and subsidized by the federal government for decades. The Department of Energy’s array of subsidy programs grew out of atomic research efforts of the 1950s, responses to the energy crisis of the 1970s, and concerns about conservation and global warming in recent decades.

The department spends about $9 billion annually on civilian energy research and subsidies. The following are some of the major program areas with the 2008 spending levels listed:

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