Daily Archives: August 19, 2011

EPA uses phony statistics to justify costly air-quality rules

MILLOY & DUNN: Air-pollution scare debunked
EPA uses phony statistics to justify costly air-quality rules
Steve Milloy and Dr. John Dale Dunn

What if today’s levels of air pollution didn’t kill anybody? That certainly would be bad news for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which has spent the past 15 years stubbornly defending its extraordinarily expensive and ever-tightening air-quality regulations.

The EPA claims airborne fine particulate matter kills tens of thousands annually and that the prevention of those deaths will provide society $2 trillion annually in monetized health benefits by 2020.

But we can debunk those claims with more than mere criticisms of EPA’s statistical malpractice and secret data. We have actual data that simply discredit the EPA’s claims. (Washington Times)

Imagine that, reliance on bed nets to curb malaria is a failing strategy

Mosquito resistance to bednets fuels malaria worries

Mosquitoes can quickly develop resistance to insecticide-treated nets, a study from Senegal shows, raising fears that a leading method of preventing the disease may be less effective than previously thought. (Reuters)

Given that DDT resistance takes the form of excitation and avoidance – making it absolutely perfect for malarial defense – the situation can still be recovered, in fact improved by switching to indoor spraying as a front line defense. Never mind, bednets are an insufficient strategy so let’s move on.

Human trials within months for breakthrough malaria drug
Kelsey Munro

HUMAN trials of a potentially world-changing malaria vaccine invented by Australian researchers are just six months away, the lead scientist on the project says.

Researchers led by Griffith University’s Professor Michael Good have produced a patented vaccine that inoculated mice against at least two strains of malaria, a deadly disease that infects up to 500 million people in 100 countries and kills about a million children annually.

”This parasite kills more children than any other single disease; it’s a major, major killer. So it has enormous significance,” Professor Good said.

If the trials succeed, Professor Good plans to manufacture the vaccine in a dedicated facility on the Gold Coast.

Although it took many years to develop the vaccine, Professor Good said the technology to manufacture it commercially was ”dead simple”.

”There’s no point making a vaccine if it’s going to be expensive, because this is a disease that occurs in the poorest parts of the world,” he said.

”My view is that this vaccine will be incredibly cheap … The only issue will be, does it work as well in humans as it does in mice … We’re confident about it.” (SMH)

Funny how wannabe social engineers can never see they are the cause of planetary “crises” rather than any solution

A Planetary Crisis Is A Terrible Thing to Waste
Christian Schwägerl

There are striking similarities between the current economic and ecological crises — both involve indulgent over-consumption and a failure to consider the impacts on future generations. But it’s not too late to look to new economic and environmental models and to dramatically change course. (e360)

Idiot! Humanity’s and the bulk of genuine environmental problems are the direct result of lack of development and wealth generation. We do need to change course and get rid of the Left’s current dominance.

I thought long and hard about posting this but… I think they’re serious

Aliens may destroy humanity to protect other civilisations, say scientists
Ian Sample, “science correspondent”

Rising greenhouse emissions may tip off aliens that we are a rapidly expanding threat, warns a report for Nasa (Guardian)

Critters respond to prevailing conditions. Who knew?

Humans and their agriculture tend to encroach from valley floors toward ridges (i.e., from lower to higher elevations). How was this habitat loss controlled for in this dopey meta study? Sigh…

Further, faster, higher: Wildlife responds increasingly rapidly to climate change

New research by scientists in the Department of Biology at the University of York shows that species have responded to climate change up to three times faster than previously appreciated. These results are published in the latest issue of the leading scientific journal Science.

Faster distribution changes. Species have moved towards the poles (further north in the northern hemisphere, to locations where conditions are cooler) at three times the rate previously accepted in the scientific literature, and they have moved to cooler, higher altitudes at twice the rate previously realised.

Analysing data for over 2000 responses by animal and plant species, the research team estimated that, on average, species have moved to higher elevations at 12.2 metres per decade and, more dramatically, to higher latitudes at 17.6 kilometres per decade.

Project leader Chris Thomas, Professor of Conservation Biology at York, said: “These changes are equivalent to animals and plants shifting away from the Equator at around 20 cm per hour, for every hour of the day, for every day of the year. This has been going on for the last 40 years and is set to continue for at least the rest of this century.” (EurekAlert)

New Paper Under Discussion On Multi-Decadal Tropical Tropospheric Temperature Trends

New Paper Under Discussion On Multi-Decadal Tropical Tropospheric Temperature Trends By Ross McKitrick And Timothy Vogelsang

There is a new paper that has been submitted for publication which is open for discussion. [I will be glad to post guest posts on my weblog regarding the analysis in this paper].

The paper is

McKitrick, R. and Timothy J. Vogelsang, 2011: Multivariate trend comparisons between autocorrelated climate series with general trend
regressors

Ross sent out the announcement of the paper with the following summary e-mail: (Roger Pielke Sr.)

Uh-huh… all those declining emissions

U.S. carbon emissions jumped nearly 4 percent in 2010

U.S. emissions of the main greenhouse gas rebounded nearly 4 percent last year as factories ran harder while the economy recovered and as consumers boost air conditioning during the hot summer, the government said on Thursday.

U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of oil, coal and natural gas, which accounts for about 80 percent of U.S. overall greenhouse gas output, rose 213 million tonnes, or 3.9 percent, last year, the Energy Information Administration said.

It was the first rise in the emissions blamed for global warming since the recession pushed them down in the previous two years and the largest increase since 1988. (Reuters)

Sketchy emission reports revealed by Empa measurements at Jungfraujoch
Fudging in greenhouse gas stats?

Fluorinated hydrocarbons are potent greenhouse gases, emission of which must be reduced under the Kyoto Protocol. If you rely on the official reports of the participating countries, the output of trifluoromethane (HFC-23) in Western Europe is indeed significantly decreasing. However, pollutant measurements carried out by Empa now reveal that several countries under-report their emissions. For instance, Italy emits 10 to 20 times more HFC-23 than it officially reports. (EMPA)

Sabotage of the US oil & gas industry continues unabated

Exxon, U.S. Government Duel Over Huge Oil Find
RUSSELL GOLD

Exxon Mobil Corp. is fighting with the U.S. government to keep control of one of its biggest oil discoveries ever, in a showdown where billions of dollars hang in the balance for both sides.

The massive Gulf of Mexico discovery contains an estimated one billion barrels of recoverable oil, the company says. The Interior Department, which regulates offshore drilling, says Exxon’s leases have expired and the company hasn’t met the requirements for an extension. Exxon has sued to retain the leases. (WSJ)

Collateral Damage: Lost Gulf Rigs from Obama Obstructionism (10 down, more to go?)
by Kevin Mooney
August 18, 2011

“The Gulf Spill of 2010 maybe be remembered as much or more for the economic damage it did because of the Obama’s regulatory overreaction than for the environmental damage it wrought. Two wrongs do not make a right.”

Ten oil rigs have left the Gulf of Mexico since the Obama Administration imposed a moratorium on deepwater oil and gas drilling in May 2010 and others could follow soon, a detailed July 2011 report from Sen. David Vitter’s (R-La.) office shows.

The ten rigs named in the document are: Marinas, Discover Americas, Ocean Endeavor, Ocean Confidence, Stena Forth, Clyde Bourdeaux, Ensco 8503, Deep Ocean Clarion, Discover Spirit, and Amirante. The rigs have left the Gulf for locations in Egypt, Congo, French Guiana, Liberia, Nigeria and Brazil.

It gets worse.

Several of the remaining rigs could be relocating soon, according to the report. These include the Paul Romano, the Ocean Monarch and the Saratoga. Moreover, eight other rigs that were planned for the Gulf have been detoured away, Don Briggs, President of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association (LOGA), points out.

“When you have companies that would be spending hundreds of millions of dollars, or some cases, billions of dollars, they need certainty,” Briggs explained. “We don’t have that now and I don’t expect that we will anytime soon. We will be in a deteriorating position until this changes.” (MasterResource)

Imagine that, fracking hit-piece was actually only a fracking hit-piece

New Shale Study Refutes Cornell: Shale Gas Better Than Coal
Thursday, 18 August 2011 12:02 Donald Gilliland, The Patriot-News

Marcellus gas has less impact on global warming than coal, according to a recent study by scientists at Carnegie Mellon University.

The peer-reviewed study published Aug. 5 in “Environmental Research Letters” appears to be a direct refutation of an April study from researchers Robert Howarth and Anthony Ingraffea at Cornell University that indicated that shale gas was worse for global warming than coal.

The Cornell study had a number of faults — acknowledged by its authors — including sketchy data that did not directly apply to Marcellus drilling operations.

The Carnegie Mellon study looks specifically at Marcellus and the “life cycle greenhouse gas emmissions” associated with its production and consumption.
Marcellus gas is essentially no different than conventional natural gas, the study found, and 20-50 percent cleaner than coal for producing electricity. (GWPF)

If you’re going to have an energy policy it should at least insist on delivery of abundant, affordable and reliable energy supply

SCHNARE: Campaign advice for ‘all of the abovers’
Wind power can be more expensive and dirty than we think
David Schnare

As most of the Republican presiden- tial hopefuls stake their posi- tions to win the hearts of the party’s base, the Tea Party has made it safe for honest conservatives to stand up and demand more than spin.

If we can demand fiscal responsibility, however, we also should demand fiscal honesty. And, if there is a subject where Republicans should be willing to be honest, it is on environmental and energy policy – in particular, climate change. After all, environmental policy does not sway voters, as it always ranks last on surveys that ask about domestic priorities. Republicans don’t get any of the hard “green” voters and never will, so they should be honest about today’s hallmark environment and energy issue.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is just the latest to state that he doesn’t believe the science on climate change is settled – a nice start. Unfortunately, all the candidates say they support an “all of the above” energy policy, which is problematic. Are they talking about options available within the free market or about an outcome determined by bureaucrats to be forced on the public?

If the candidates understand what “all of the above” has meant traditionally, they would know that it is often “greenwashing” code for reduction in fossil fuel use and support for mandates and subsidies for renewables such as wind as a replacement. That means they oppose the increase in use of cheap, affordable energy in favor of continued heavy intervention by government. We’ve seen how well that turns out. (Washington Times)

Quietly burying the nonsense of “green” energy

U.S. States Begin Dismantling Green Energy Sector
Thursday, 18 August 2011 07:49 Don Hopey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

State governments are beginning to dismantle green energy sector, cutting green jobs as they focus on shale gas boom

The Corbett administration is de-emphasizing renewable energy and energy conservation, eliminating programs created by previous Democratic and Republican administrations as it focuses on natural gas energy from booming Marcellus Shale.

Quietly but systematically, the administration has all but shut down the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Energy and Technology Deployment — the state’s primary energy office — and removed directors and reassigned staff in the Office of Energy Management in the Department of General Services and the Governor’s Green Government Council.

It has also forbidden state executive agencies from signing contracts that support clean energy supply. (GWPF)

Solar thermal failing badly, switching to PV to continue receiving corporate welfare

World’s biggest solar power plant shifts technology

The company behind what is expected to one day be the world’s largest solar power plant on Thursday said the California project will use photovoltaic technology instead of solar thermal power because of the dramatic drop in the price of solar panels.

Germany’s Solar Millennium AG said it will convert the first 500 megawatts of its 1,000 MW Blythe solar power plant in the Mojave desert to PV. It will decide what technology to use for the second half of the project at a later date. The company did not name a PV panel supplier for the project. (Reuters)

Does this president actually represent Americans?

Sun Sets On The President’s Policies

Power: As a White House-favored green-energy company files for bankruptcy, the Export-Import Bank announces $500 million in loans for solar energy projects — in India. America is being thrown under the president’s bus.

It’s bad enough we lavish and often waste huge subsidies on green companies like the now-bankrupt Evergreen Solar, based in Marlborough, Mass., trying to promote an energy source that would not be able to compete in the marketplace without them.

We’re even promoting such failures abroad. The U.S. Export-Import Bank, an independent agency of the federal government, has announced $500 million in loans for new solar energy projects in India. This is on top of about $75 million already approved for similar projects in fiscal 2011.

One would think that with the bankruptcy of Evergreen Solar, and the loss of more than 800 jobs after the expenditure of $43 million in taxpayer money by the state of Massachusetts, government would learn the lesson that it can’t pick energy winners and losers. (IBD)

Obama Pours Taxpayer Dollars Into Solar, Up 626% – Payback Is Loss of Jobs & Bankrupt Companies

Read here. Obama and his team think they can pick green energy technology winners. They have increased the subsidies to solar companies by 626% while trying to reduce subsidies to fossil fuels. (C3 headlines)

Of course, it’s the greenies themselves who have strangled rare earth production in Western countries

The China Problem: Renewable Energy & Green Technology At Mercy of ‘Rare Earth’ Prices

Read here and here. The problem of rare earth supply is one even shared by China’s own wind turbine manufacturers. The prices have risen so sharply that production of high demand wind turbines has to be curtailed to the detriment of Chinese producers and international turbine customers.

With the massive government subsidization of renewable energy projects, the supply of rare earth production has tightened, and has become especially acute since China production represents 95% of the world’s supply. Despite this known death grip on supply, the Obama administration and other western countries have done little to solve the China problem. (C3 Headlines)

Now, if they can only deliver

Wind Cheaper Than Natural Gas, Hydro in Brazil Power Auction
Stephan Nielsen

Wind is becoming the cheapest source of energy in Brazil, beating natural gas and hydroelectric power.

Developers of 44 wind farms in Brazil agreed to deliver electricity to utilities for an average of 99.58 reais ($61.93) a megawatt-hour in a government-organized auction, the national energy agency Empresa de Pesquisa Energetica said yesterday in a statement. Two gas plants signed contracts for an average of 103.26 reais a megawatt-hour and a hydroelectric project for 102 reais.

The auction marks the first time that wind farms won on price against conventional power plants in a head-to-head contest in Brazil. The price makes it the most cost-effective source of electricity in the country and is the cheapest anywhere for wind, said Eduardo Tabbush, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s London office.

“These are the lowest power-purchase agreements for wind energy in the world,” he said today in an interview.

Prices below 100 reais a megawatt-hour would have been “unthinkable until recently,” EPE president Mauricio Tolmasquim said today in a statement.
The costs promised by the wind-farm owners were 24 percent lower than developers agreed to in a similar auction a year ago. (Bloomberg)