Global Warming-Energy-Environment


Watch: Is throwing rice at weddings bad for birds?

WASHINGTON—Many people believe that throwing rice at weddings is harmful to wild birds. Supposedly, the rice expands in the birds’ digestive systems and injures them. This myth has become widespread after appearing in places as varied as an “Ann Landers” column and an episode of “The Simpsons.” In this video, Reactions uses some hands-on chemistry to demonstrate that rice is no more harmful than other grains and that this misconception is for the birds:

By American Chemical Society - Friday, November 9, 2018

Canadian Crude Oil Sells at Record Discounts

Canadian Crude Oil Sells at Record Discounts
Canadian crude oil is selling below U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil by a record $52.50 per barrel based on records that go back to early 2007. The huge discount is mainly due to a lack of pipeline capacity to move the oil to markets. But, also contributing are growing production from Canada’s oil sands and a reduction in demand due to U.S. refinery maintenance shutdowns.The widening price differentials are costing Canadian producers and governments upward of $40 million a day. A setback for the Canadian oil sector is a court’s overturning the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion approval.

By Institute for Energy Research - Friday, November 9, 2018

Fraudulent science behind radiation regulations

Fraudulent science behind radiation regulations
The 2018 elections underscore the need for bipartisan efforts to address scientific frauds that promote and justify ever more stringent regulations—often to the great detriment of people, patients and society.

In fact, world-renowned toxicology expert Dr. Edward Calabrese has now discovered and documented fraud behind the award of the 1946 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. The prize was given to Hermann Muller for his claimed discovery that even small or infinitesimal amounts of radiation can cause cancer. It is the ridiculous assertion that there is no threshold below which any kind of radiation is safe.

By Paul Driessen & Dr. Jay Lehr- Friday, November 9, 2018

The when, where and what of air pollutant exposure

The when, where and what of air pollutant exposure
Scientists have linked air pollution with many health conditions including asthma, heart disease, lung cancer and premature death. Among air pollutants, fine particulate matter is especially harmful because the tiny particles (diameter of 2.5 μm or less) can penetrate deep within the lungs. Now, researchers have integrated data from multiple sources to determine the personal exposure of people in peri-urban India to fine particulate matter. They report their results in ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology.

By American Chemical Society - Thursday, November 8, 2018

Washington State to Vote on a Carbon Tax Again

Washington State to Vote on a Carbon Tax Again

Washington state’s ballot in 2016 included a provision asking voters if they would approve a carbon tax, but the initiative failed with 59 percent of the voters opposing the measure. This November, the state will try again to solicit favorable votes from the state’s electorate for approval of a tax on carbon dioxide. The carbon tax plan would require fossil-fuel companies to pay $15 per ton of carbon dioxide they release into the atmosphere starting in 2020. The tax would increase by $2 annually (plus inflation) until 2035, when it would reach about $55 per ton. The goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 million metric tons (about 25 percent) by 2035. That would equate to reducing global emissions by 0.02 percent in 2035.

By Institute for Energy Research - Saturday, November 3, 2018

Monitoring air pollution after Hurricane Maria

Monitoring air pollution after Hurricane Maria
When Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017, the storm devastated the island’s electrical grid, leaving many people without power for months. This lack of electricity, as well as other storm-related damage, prevented air-quality monitoring in many areas. Now researchers have shown that low-cost sensors that run on solar energy can be used to monitor air pollution after a disaster. They report their results in ACS Earth and Space Chemistry.

By American Chemical Society - Saturday, November 3, 2018

Wither Tidal-Current Power?

Cape Sharp Tida
In 2016, with considerable fanfare, the Cape Sharp Tidal (CST) company launched its “long-awaited” underwater test turbine in the Bay of Fundy. CST, co-owned by Nova Scotia’s Emera Inc. (EI), and the Irish co. OpenHydro Ltd. (OH), a subsidiary of the French co. Naval Energies, (NE), have hit the end of the road. Both CST and OH have now filed for bankruptcy.

“Undersea turbines aim to harness the legendary tidal power off Nova Scotia,” Bay of Fundy; photo by OpenHydro

By Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser - Thursday, November 1, 2018

Wind Farms Could Cause Surface Warming

Wind Farms Could Cause Surface Warming
A Harvard University study suggests that, under certain conditions and in the near term, increased wind power could mean more climate warming than would be caused by the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity. The study found that if wind power supplied all U.S. electricity demands, it would warm the surface of the continental United States by 0.24 ˚C, which could significantly exceed the reduction in U.S. warming achieved by decarbonizing the nation’s electricity sector this century—around 0.1 ˚C. The warming effect depends strongly on local weather conditions, as well as the type and placement of the wind turbines.

By Institute for Energy Research - Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The “Carbon Capture Syndrome” (CCS) — Part-2

The Carbon Capture Syndrome
The CCS needs to be examined more closely, particularly in view of a very recent paper with the title “Carbon capture and storage (CCS): the way forward,” published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science, available for free at

This 114-page report, authored by no less than 30 people from 20 or so research institutes, university departments, and companies also makes proclamations on such things as “key negative emission technologies (NETs)”, “bioenergy with CCS (BECCS),” and “direct [CO2] air capture (DAC).” Lead author is Dr. Mai Bui of the Imperial College London, UK.

By Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser - Sunday, October 28, 2018

U.N. Attacks the Transportation Sector in the New IPCC Report on Climate Change

Transportation Sector
A new report by the U.N.‘s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) advises that warming needs to be limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius to avoid catastrophic climate change. The report indicates that the goal is possible within the laws of chemistry and physics but doing so would require unprecedented behavioral changes and massive funding. The 1.5-degree scenario would require cutting carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 45 percent over the 20-year period from 2010 to 2030 and to a net zero by 2050, which means that all carbon dioxide released would need to be captured and stored or reused. The cost would be $2.4 trillion every year until 2035. Given that last year, the total spent on renewable energy was $333.5 billion, it appears that the $2.4 trillion number is not very doable. The IPCC report admitted as much: “These options are technically proven at various scales, but their large-scale deployment may be limited by economic, financial, human capacity and institutional constraints.”

According to the IPCC, a tax on carbon dioxide emissions would need to be as high as $27,000 per ton at the end of the century. That is equivalent to a $240 per gallon tax on gasoline in the year 2100. In 2030, the carbon tax would need to be as high as $5,500, which is equivalent to a gasoline tax of $49 per gallon. As a result, the IPCC envisages a future where people travel independently less, use forms of transportation like car sharing, and hybrid and electric cars, and use vehicles swaps and mass transit.

By Institute for Energy Research - Sunday, October 28, 2018

A looming technology-security minerals crisis?

A looming technology-security minerals crisis?
In 1973 OPEC countries imposed an oil embargo to retaliate for US support of Israel during the Yom Kippur War. Drivers endured soaring gasoline prices, blocks-long lines, hours wasted waiting to refuel vehicles, and restrictions on which days they could buy fuel. America was vulnerable to those blackmail sanctions because we imported “too much” oil—though it was just 30% of our crude.

The fracking revolution (horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing) and other factors changed that dramatically. The United States now produces more crude oil than at any time since 1970.

By Paul Driessen - Sunday, October 28, 2018

United Nations IPCC Climate Agenda Ignores Cost

United Nations IPCC Climate Agenda Ignores Cost
In a previous IER post, I explained the enormous disconnect between the work of newly-anointed Nobel laureate William Nordhaus, and the United Nations’ new “special report” calling for drastic government measures to limit global warming to 1.5°C. Specifically, Nordhaus’ “DICE” model—which was chosen by the Obama Administration as a state-of-the-art pioneer in the field—showed that doing nothing at all was a better policy than what the U.N. is currently demanding.

In the present article, I’ll use the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) own published reports—which ostensibly codify the peer-reviewed literature in several fields, in order to show policymakers and the public what the “settled science” is—in order to show that the latest calls for a 1.5°C target would be ludicrously expensive. And this is why the latest IPCC report does not present the actual cost of its proposals. It simply takes the 1.5°C ceiling as a given. There is literally no attempt to use the existing body of literature to show that the benefits of the proposals outweigh their costs.

By Institute for Energy Research - Saturday, October 27, 2018

Proponent of Alberta Carbon Tax Misleads the Public

Proponent of Alberta Carbon Tax Misleads the PublicOne of the problems with a carbon tax is that it hits poorer households particularly hard. By raising the prices of electricity, heating, and transportation—which is the whole purpose, not an unintended side effect—a carbon tax falls disproportionately on lower-income people, not in absolute dollar terms but as a proportion of their monthly budget. The advocates of a carbon tax try to fix this problem by recommending a “rebate” of its proceeds, and in some cases (such as Alberta) they even target the rebate to poorer households. They present calculations showing that poor people “make money” from a carbon tax, and so are allegedly better off.

Even if we accept these figures at face value, they don’t prove what they claim. I explained this fallacy with regard to comparable claims from the U.S.-based Climate Leadership Council (CLC). Namely, even if a particular household pays less in carbon taxes than it receives in dividend rebates, it could still be worse off, because the carbon tax makes energy (and other goods) more expensive. (That’s what taxes do, folks.) A poor household can reduce the amount it pays in carbon tax by changing its behavior, such as using less electricity and taking the bus instead of owning a car. The calculations depicting a household as a “net financial winner” from a carbon tax assess the money flows after the household adapts to the higher prices (particularly for electricity and gasoline) due to the tax.

By Institute for Energy Research - Wednesday, October 24, 2018

But what will take its place?

But what will take its place?
In high school and college, I competed in debate tournaments across the state and country. I clearly remember many occasions when a debate team’s plan would include abolishing some government program. Inevitably, the opponents would ask, “What will you replace it with?”

Only once did I hear any debater respond with, “Nothing at all. Government shouldn’t be doing that at all.” Everyone in the room was stunned, and that team lost.

By Greg Walcher - Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Anti-fracking chaos in Colorado

Anti-fracking chaos in Colorado
The anti-fracking folks are trying a clever new strategy in Colorado. Instead of banning fracking, they just make it impossible. In fact, they make nearly all oil and gas development and production impossible—which is exactly what radical “leave it in the ground” eco factions demand.

However, the Colorado focus seems to be fracking (horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing) because, being new, it is the scariest. And people sure are being scared.

By David Wojick, PhD - Wednesday, October 24, 2018