Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #394

The Week That Was: January 11, 2020, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “The only thing more dangerous than ignorance is arrogance.” – Albert Einstein

Number of the Week: 79% up 16% in two years

Green Arrogance: Regardless of the political system, or ideology, arrogance can lead to destructive actions contrary to the interests of the public. History produces many examples, including major wars. We are seeing examples of arrogance in so called “green” laws and regulations which are actually contrary to nature. Humans can modify and use nature for their benefit but cannot regulate it. Unfortunately, politicians frequently ignore limits of power when passing sweeping laws and regulations. This week, three examples of arrogance, or hubris, are evident: 1) bushfires in Australia; 2) closing the Crescent Dunes power plant in Nevada; and 3) the continuation of a 2.5 gigawatt (GW) off-shore wind project off the coast of Virginia Beach ordered by the governor of Virginia.

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US Set Record for Energy Consumption in 2018

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Every now and then, Real Clear Energy carries a story relevant to energy…

DECEMBER 23, 2019
In 2018, the United States consumed more energy than ever before

Primary energy consumption in the United States reached a record high of 101.3 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2018, up 4% from 2017 and 0.3% above the previous record set in 2007. The increase in 2018 was the largest increase in energy consumption, in both absolute and percentage terms, since 2010.

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Reform USAID Energy Aid Policies Now!

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

Apparently unable to grasp the cruel irony, USAID Commissioner Mark Green boasts that “electricity enables access to refrigeration to store fish, milk and vaccines. Electricity brightens the night and helps schoolchildren study. Electricity allows businesses to stay open later and makes communities safer.”

Abundant, reliable, affordable electricity absolutely does all of this, as developed countries prove daily. Expensive, intermittent power does none of these things. Unpredictable, on-and-off power cruelly promises refrigeration, heat, light, factories, businesses, jobs, modern schools and hospitals, better living standards, longer and healthier lives – then takes them all away, for hours, days or weeks at a time.

President Trump should direct USAID to support coal and gas, not just wind and solar

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Subsidizing The Epocalypse

By Willis Eschenbach – Re-Blogged From WUWT

I take as my subject for this post a claim made over at Forbes Magazine, viz:

I saw that and said “Whaaaa”? My urban legend detector light started flashing bright red at that claim that we’re on the primrose path to the epocalypse.

Me, I always want to go the actual study instead of the media interpretation. In this case, the underlying study is by the IMF, the International Monetary Fund. It uses a most unusual definition of “subsidy”. Normally, subsidies are divided into direct and indirect subsidies.

A direct subsidy is money given to a producer or consumer. It’s actual cash.

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A Second US Industrial Revolution

  By Bob Shapiro

Retail prices for electricity vary widely in the US, from about 8 cents per kilowatt hour in Washington and West Virginia to 19 cents in California. But you wouldn’t know even from the 8 cent price that there is an ongoing revolution in what it costs utilities to generate all that power.

A new generation of combined cycle, gas fired power plants now produce electricity for well under 2 cents per kilowatt hour, while the utilities’ cost to build the power plants has fallen to well under $1000 per kilowatt hour (KwH). While these facilities emit much less CO2 than coal fired power plants, greens concerned about climate change still don’t like the combined cycle gas fired variety because they put out any CO2. You can’t please some people.

Now, a new technology is emerging which will be competitive with the combined cycle versions on cost to build and cost to produce electricity, and the newer plants will emit ZERO CO2! Actually, since part of their process will remove some CO2 from the atmosphere, you could call these negative emission power plants.

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Bloomberg: RCP8.5 Climate Catastrophe is Unlikely – Because of Cheap Renewables

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Heatwaves will become a daily occurrence over summer in some regions even if global warming is kept to 2°C. CREDIT Anna Jiménez Calaf on Unsplash

According to Bloomberg columnist Noah Smith, untold suffering is pretty much locked in, but we won’t have to dismantle Capitalism, because cheap solar energy will soon eliminate the need for fossil fuel.

Worst Case for Climate Change Doesn’t Look Realistic

A major overhaul of energy production is still needed, but not a dismantling of capitalism. By Noah Smith

But a growing chorus of climate scientists and energy policy analysts has begun to question whether the dreaded RCP8.5 scenario should be taken seriously. The scenario assumes that after a brief flirtation with natural gas and renewable energy, the world returns to fueling industrialization primarily with coal. But it seems vanishingly unlikely that the global coal industry will increase sevenfold, as RCP8.5 envisions, even if natural gas proves to be a temporary phenomenon.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #391

The Week That Was: December 21, 2019, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.” ― Bertrand Russell, Unpopular Essays

Number of the Week: 1/1,000,000,000,000 (One part per Trillion)

The Greenhouse Effect – With Clouds: The CO2 Coalition has published a paper by Richard Lindzen addressing climate sensitivity trying to explain why US climate models do so poorly when tested against observations from nature. Until climate models can describe what is occurring in the atmosphere today, there is no reason to accept projections / predictions from such models about the future. Lindzen’s approach to the problem is different from those by Wijngaarden & Happer, and Roy Spencer discussed in the previous two TWTWs.

Among other things, Lindzen includes the influence of high-level cirrus clouds, which form above the tropopause, where water vapor freezes out. As Lindzen states:

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