Two more raging infernos in California have burned an area nearly ten times the size of Washington, DC. Wildlife and habitats have been torched. Over 8,000 homes and businesses, and nearly the entire town of Paradise, are now ashes and rubble.
A number of researchers have predicted that a weak sun and El Nino events may create a colder and snowier than normal winter season in much of the eastern half of the US.
The early winter storm presently being experienced in much of eastern US might lead one might to believe these folks.
Marijuana, i.e. the cannabis plant, is all the rage right now. Occasionally dubbed Mary-Jane (one of numerous slang names for it) or simply MJ, it is in the process of widely finding lawful acceptance as a recreational drug. As a result, many companies have sprung up to commercially produce or distribute it and various governments are hopeful to garner substantial tax revenues from that kind of business.
The question is—which is more deadly for humans—heat or cold? The alarmists would have us believe that warming is to be avoided at all costs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlepdf/2018/ee/c7ee02342a
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.
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.
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.
One 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.
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?”
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.
Oil prices are down a bit, but are still close to multi-year highs. That should leave the shale industry flush with cash. However, a long list of U.S. shale companies are still struggling to turn a profit.