Global Warming-Energy-Environment

global warming, Climategate, environment, environmentalists, activists, scare tactics, greens, Kyoto, carbon dioxide, facts and myths, greenhouse gases, United Nations report on climate change, Debunking, Energy, Oil, Gas, Fracking, EPA, Energy, oil drilling, gas, nuclear power, food scares, genetically modified food, organic food

Finally, some commonsense western fire policies

President Trump promised to bring fresh ideas and policies to Washington. Now Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue are doing exactly that in a critically important area: forest management and conflagration prevention. Their actions are informed, courageous and long overdue.

Westerners are delighted, and I’ve advocated such reforms since my days on Capitol Hill in the 1980s.

By Paul Driessen - Sunday, September 17, 2017 - Full Story

The Hunt for October

Submarine warfare systems are in a class of their own. You may have seen the 1990 espionage thriller movie The Hunt for Red October. It portrays a late Cold War era encounter of various submarines. Suffice to say, a real suspense flick.

In WWI, German U-boats (submarines) were highly successful in sinking ships of foreign navies and merchant vessels. Initially the sudden loss of those vessels was unexplained but the then novel submarine warfare technology was quickly recognized and countered with other technology.

By Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser - Saturday, September 16, 2017 - Full Story

Wind Turbines Reduce the Productivity of Surrounding Vegetation

Many of wind energy’s problems, such as its intermittent nature; its slaying birds, bats and other animals; its noise pollution; its degradation of vistas; and its higher costs compared to traditional technologies are well known. The latest study, however, shows that it also reduces the productivity of surrounding vegetation. The study finds that wind turbines elevated both day and night temperatures, which suppressed soil moisture and enhanced water stress, decreasing local vegetative growth and productivity. Further, wind requires 5 to 6 times more land than traditional technologies (coal, natural gas and nuclear) for the same amount of capacity and 12 times more when generating capability is also considered.

A number of recent studies discuss these issues and are highlighted below.

By Institute for Energy Research - Friday, September 15, 2017 - Full Story

Temperature Record Shenanigans

If you heard that a temperature record had been set, how long would you expect that temperature to hold: 1 hour, 30 minutes, 10 minutes,1 minute? In 2008, Lin and Hubbard argued it should be 7 minutes, that even a 5 minute averaging was not long enough to avoid some warming bias in maximums and cooling bias in minimals. 1

No so in Australia! There the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) will write it in Australia’s record books even if the heat lasts one second, and if the temperature a minute before was more than a whole degree cooler. 2

By Jack Dini - Friday, September 15, 2017 - Full Story

Amplifying Oren Cass’s Critique of a Carbon Tax, Part 2

In my last article, I explained that two years ago the Manhattan Institute’s Senior Fellow Oren Cass wrote a masterful critique of the typical arguments for a U.S. carbon tax. His essay, “The Carbon Tax Shell Game,” is so good that I decided to spend two posts here at IER amplifying some of his strongest points. As I’ve been illustrating over the years with my own work (e.g.,¬†here and here), the case for a carbon tax falls apart once you start picking at it.

In the previous post, I focused on Cass’s claim that the carbon tax in U.S. politics is a “shell game,” because its proponents promise contradictory things to different groups. In this post, I’ll focus on Cass’s sophisticated critique of superficial justifications for a U.S. carbon tax based on the concept of a “negative externality.”

By Institute for Energy Research - Friday, September 15, 2017 - Full Story

The $10 Trillion Resource North Korea Can’t Tap

North Korea may not have proved petroleum reserves, but it’s estimated that the secluded belligerent nation sits on reserves of more than 200 minerals—including rare earth minerals—worth an estimated up to US$10 trillion.

Of course, there are no official reports on how much North Korea’s mineral wealth really is, but according to rough estimates from earlier this decade, Pyongyang’s deposits of coal, iron ore, zinc, copper, graphite, gold, silver, magnesite, molybdenite, and many others, are worth between US$6 trillion and US$10 trillion, as per South Korean projections reported by Quartz.

By Oilprice.com -- Nick Cunningham- Thursday, September 14, 2017 - Full Story

Devastating hurricanes have plagued Texas long before the industrial revolution

BALTIMORE — The alta-left pundits of the East Coast media elites — The New York Times, Washington Post, NBC, CNN and their many satellites — wasted no time in rushing to judgment.

Torrential rains were still flooding a huge area of southeast Texas when they proclaimed Hurricane Harvey a prime example of devastating climate change. 

They received standing applause from Al Gore and his legion of federally-funded climate alarmists across the country; but they were jarringly wrong!

By Guest Column -- Whitt Flora- Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - Full Story

Unique Israeli research reveals why honeybees are dying

If you give a “menu” to a bee, it will instinctively choose dishes that provide the right balance of nutrients: sugary nectar plus pollen full of protein, fatty acids and micronutrients.

That’s one of the findings of groundbreaking experiments performed at Israel’s Benjamin Triwaks Bee Research Center at Hebrew University’s Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture in Rehovot.

By ISRAEL21c - Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - Full Story

Trump Administration Working Hard to Undo Obama’s Onerous Regulations

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke are hard at work undoing the Obama administration’s onerous regulations against the fossil fuel industry. From the Clean Power Plan to the methane rule on natural gas wells, the Obama administration waged a war on coal-fired power plants and oil and gas facilities.

Scott Pruitt has indicated that he will carry out the functions of the EPA based on the laws enacted by Congress. EPA released the proposed volumes for the Renewable Fuel Standard for 2018 on time1 and Pruitt has announced a plan to restore EPA’s Superfund cleanup program to its rightful place as a top agency priority. Over 1,300 cleanup sites have been designated and Pruitt will reprioritize and accelerate action to remediate them.2 He is also planning on having an open, transparent discussion on climate change—a red team/blue team exercise.3

By Institute for Energy Research - Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - Full Story

The Hurricane Harvey Hustle

“When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight,” English essayist Samuel Johnson observed 240 years ago, “it concentrates his mind wonderfully.” That’s certainly true in the climate change arena.

After ending US participation in the Paris climate treaty and abolishing many government restrictions on fossil fuel use, the Trump Administration began preparing red team-blue team examinations of the science behind claims of “dangerous manmade climate change.” Asian, African and even European countries are building still more coal and gas-fired power plants. A recent poll found that only 28% of Americans think climate scientists understand the causes of global climate change “very well.”

By Paul Driessen - Sunday, September 10, 2017 - Full Story

Scary Sea Level Rise? Check Your Science

“Sea level has been overall rising since the last ice age, with some ups and downs. Sea level has been rising for the past 200 years….Humans are not going to stop sea level rise on the time scale of a few centuries by ceasing emissions of CO2.”—Judith Curry, “The Blame Game.” Climate Etc. August 14, 2017.

Judith Curry is the personification of “one plus the truth equals a majority.” This esteemed climate scientist and erstwhile professor changed her views from climate alarmism and (government) forced energy transformation, a story told elsewhere.

By Institute for Energy Research - Saturday, September 9, 2017 - Full Story

Hulk Actor Mark Ruffalo issues death wish: Urges ‘Fly Rush Limbaugh to Hurricane Irma!’

Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo has issued a death wish for conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh. Ruffalo urged a “gofund me campaign” to “fly Rush Limbaugh to Hurricane Irma!”

Ruffalo’s death wish for Limbaugh follows a long line of climate activists who have issued similar calls for harm to come to climate skeptics. See:

By Marc Morano - Friday, September 8, 2017 - Full Story

Amplifying Oren Cass’s Critique of a Carbon Tax, Part 1

Somehow I missed it when it first ran, but two years ago the Manhattan Institute’s Senior Fellow Oren Cass wrote a masterful critique of the typical arguments for a U.S. carbon tax. His essay, “The Carbon Tax Shell Game,” is so good that I’m going to spend two posts here at IER amplifying some of his strongest points. As I’ve been illustrating over the years with my own work (e.g., here and here), the case for a carbon tax falls apart once you start picking at it.

By Institute for Energy Research - Thursday, September 7, 2017 - Full Story

President Donald Trump SPEECH on TAX REFORM in North Dakota 9/6/17

By News on the Net - Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - Full Story

A Look Inside the DOE Grid Study

If you are looking for a report that provides a comprehensive overview of today’s electricity markets, the principal causes of coal and nuclear retirements and the issues surrounding electric grid reliability and resilience, check out the Department of Energy’s Staff Report to the Secretary on Electricity Markets and Reliability. The grid study identifies low-cost and abundant natural gas as the main contributor to coal and nuclear plant retirements, but also notes other factors that include relatively flat electric demand, environmental regulations and the growth of intermittent renewable energy that is heavily subsidized. According to the report, renewable energy negatively affects the economics of baseload power plants, primarily due to “wholesale market impacts and distortions” from state renewable portfolio standards and federal tax credits for wind and solar.

The report makes eight recommendations, including directing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to expedite the study of wholesale market structures; promoting research and development for grid resilience, reliability, modernization and renewables integration technologies; and examining infrastructure permitting and regulatory processes. It recommends that FERC accelerate efforts to improve energy price formation in wholesale power markets and create fuel-neutral markets that adequately compensate resources for essential reliability services to the grid.

By Institute for Energy Research - Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - Full Story

Hurricane Irma - now a Cat 5 storm - is massive, stronger than Harvey, and headed for Florida

Batten down the hatches folks.  Hurricane Irma is currently working its way past Cuba and Haiti and is expected to make landfall on the US East Coast as early as this weekend.

The storm has just been upgraded to a Cat 5, with winds exceeding 175mph, making it the strongest such weather event to come out of the Atlantic basin in a decade. At the moment it appears to be bearing down on Florida, though experts say that track could still change.

By Robert Laurie - Tuesday, September 5, 2017 - Full Story

How EIA Guestimates Keep Oil Prices Subdued

The EIA has once again undercut its previous estimates for U.S. oil production, offering further evidence that the U.S. shale industry is not producing as much as everyone thinks.

The monthly EIA oil production figures tend to be more accurate than the weekly estimates, although they are published on several months after the fact. The EIA just released the latest monthly oil production figures for June, for example. Meanwhile, the agency releases production figures on a weekly basis that are only a week old – the latest figures run up right through August.

By Oilprice.com -- Nick Cunningham- Tuesday, September 5, 2017 - Full Story

Revisiting wind turbine impacts

It’s amazing, though hardly surprising, how quickly some used Hurricane Harvey’s devastation to claim that fossil fuel emissions are driving catastrophic climate change and weather. Their proffered solution, of course, is to replace those fuels with “clean, sustainable, renewable” energy.

I’ve criticized this supposed solution many times, on multiple grounds. Unfortunately, a hasty numerical calculation for a recent column was way off base, and readers properly chastised me for the error. I just blew it, using megawatts instead of megawatt-hours to derive the number of wind turbines…and amount of land…it would take to replace the world’s 2016 electricity entirely with wind energy.

By Paul Driessen - Sunday, September 3, 2017 - Full Story

Yet another renewable energy boondoggle

Wilkinson Solar has filed papers requesting permits for a 74-megawatt solar electricity facility about 35 miles east of Greenville, NC. If approved, 288,120 solar panels would blanket 600 acres (0.94 square miles) of now scenic, serene farmland next door to the Terra Ceia Christian School near Morehead City.

The company wants to catch the solar wave, and make a lot of money under “net metering” policies that require payment for electricity added to the grid, whenever it is generated and regardless of whether the electricity is needed at the time. Electricity generated from these new panels would not be sold in the local area; it would be exported to Virginia, Raleigh-Durham and other locations.

By Paul Driessen - Friday, September 1, 2017 - Full Story

The Wrong Way to Save Nuclear Power

Earlier this month, Jeremy Carl and David Fedor of Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, released a book showcasing the dire state of America’s nuclear energy industry. Keeping the Lights on at America’s Nuclear Power Plants highlights the problems facing the beleaguered power source and offers a range of proposals to save America’s nuclear reactors. And while some of their proposals would make meaningful headway toward transforming nuclear power into a viable power source, others would merely make the nuclear energy industry dependent on government largesse and raise costs on consumers in the process.

As I discussed in my previous article, the authors support reforming the federal government’s expensive licensing restrictions which make it harder for newer and cheaper reactors to reach the market. In particular, they call for ending the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s requirement that nuclear developers complete a decade-long application before any approvals are made. In its place, they support shifting the NRC’s licensing process towards a “test-then-license” system in which the commission would grant companies faster step-by-step approval as they wade through the process.

By Institute for Energy Research - Thursday, August 31, 2017 - Full Story