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.

Screen-Shot-2019-10-12-at-14.43.02

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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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 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 – A Gift or a Curse?

Re-Blogged From WUWT

Oil palm is alternatively seen as a gift from god or a crime against humanity; according to science, it is neither

Norwegian University of Life Sciences

IMAGE: The view of an oil palm plantation in Indonesia. Credit: Douglas Sheil

IMAGE: The view of an oil palm plantation in Indonesia. Credit: Douglas Sheil

Oil palm is neither the devil’s work, nor a godsend to humanity. Its effects on its surroundings largely depends on case-specific circumstances. Those who ask to boycott all palm oil due to its contribution to deforestation should also consider boycotting coffee, chocolate and coconut if they wish to be consistent.

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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:

image

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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China in Water Crisis

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

China’s environmental and food logistics problems may be far worse than they are letting on.

China’s hunger for soybeans is a window into an encroaching environmental crisis

BY JEFF NESBIT

How China’s desperate efforts to source soybeans from all over the world is explained by the country’s fear of running out of water.

China approached Peru and Brazil with an extraordinarily ambitious proposition several years ago. It would build a 3,000-mile railroad from the western coast of Peru to the eastern coast of Brazil to handle commerce and trade from the interior of South America to China.

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China May Have to Resume US Soybean Purchases in Weeks

By Thomson Reuters – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

China may have to start buying U.S. soybeans again in coming weeks despite the trade war between the two countries as other regions cannot supply enough soybeans to meet China’s needs, Hamburg-based oilseeds analysts Oil World said on Tuesday.

In July, China imposed import tariffs on a list of U.S. goods, including soybeans, as part of the trade dispute with the United States. China is the world’s largest soybean importer and has been seeking alternative supplies, especially in South America, where supplies available for export are down.

Tariffs on U.S. Soy Will Strengthen Brazil’s Hand in the Chinese Market

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Highlights

  • In the short term, China remains in a stronger position than the United States in terms of the soy market, with numerous alternative suppliers and substitutes for U.S. product available.
  • Still, the large share of the Chinese market held by U.S. soybean exporters means that Beijing likely will be unable to shut off all U.S. soy imports.
  • Tariffs will accelerate an existing trend that has led to increasing Brazilian soy exports to China.

Workers load imported soybeans onto a truck at a port in Nantong in China's eastern Jiangsu province. Chinese soybean stocks are at a 10-year high, which could help China absorb the loss of U.S. imports brought on by tariffs.

(AFP/Getty Images)

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Q3 GDP Growth was Hogwash

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From http://www.PentoPort.com

Since most everyone is focused on the upcoming US elections, many investors may not have had the time to peel back the onion on the third quarter US GDP report. So, if you just glanced at the headline GDP number of a 2.9% annualized growth rate, you may have concluded that the US economy was finally on its way to sustainable growth.

That 2.9% read was the biggest in the last two years…and it also beat the median forecast of 2.6%. However, to put that number in perspective, average GDP growth over the past four quarters was only 1.5%, and the average for first three-quarters of 2016 is just 1.7%.

So before you get out your party hats and declare this economic malaise over, there were a few notable concerns in that Q3 GDP report.

First off, consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity and just under 70% of GDP growth, fell significantly during the quarter to an annualized rate of 2.1%. That 2.1% is a little bit over half the level of spending posted in the previous quarter. Also, spending on durable goods fell three-fold from Q2 levels.

Third-quarter growth was also flattered by a buildup in business inventories, as re-stocking shelves added 0.61 percentage points to GDP.

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