House GOP leaders outline sweeping attack on EPA rules
By Ben Geman
House GOP leadership on Monday outlined plans to delay or kill a suite of environmental rules in coming months, signaling an expansion of legislative and political attacks against regulations that business groups call burdensome.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), in a memo to GOP members, outlined a legislative schedule for thwarting “job-destroying” regulations that includes a number of Environmental Protection Agency rules. (E2 Wire)
DuPont gets OK for insecticide trait combo
DuPont said the Environmental Protection Agency has approved a new use for an insecticide trait for corn seeds that will fight above-ground pests only.
The company’s Pioneer agricultural unit has received approval to sell its Optimum AcreMax Xtra insect protection as part of its “refuge-in-a-bag” offering for corn farmers.
The product is scheduled to launch in time for the 2012 growing season, DuPont said. It will let farmers combat above-ground pests, rather than rival products which fight above- and below-ground pests. (Reuters)
We’d Be Crazy To Turn Backs On Oil Sands
ROBERT J. SAMUELSON
When it comes to energy, America is lucky to be next to Canada, whose proven oil reserves are estimated by Oil and Gas Journal at 175 billion barrels. This ranks just behind Saudi Arabia (260 billion) and Venezuela (211 billion) and ahead of Iran (137 billion) and Iraq (115 billion).
True, about 97% of Canada’s reserves consist of Alberta’s controversial oil sands, but new technologies and high oil prices have made them economically viable. Expanded production can provide the U.S. market with a source of secure oil for decades.
We would be crazy to turn our back on this. In a global oil market repeatedly threatened by wars, revolutions, and natural and man-made disasters — and where government-owned oil companies control development of about three-quarters of known reserves — having dependable suppliers is no mean feat.
We already import about half our oil, and Canada is our largest supplier with about 25% of imports. But its conventional fields are declining. Only oil sands can fill the gap. Will we encourage this? Do we say “yes” to oil sands? Or do we increase our exposure to unstable world oil markets? (IBD)
Eight Reasons to Love the Keystone XL Pipeline
by MARLO LEWIS on AUGUST 26, 2011
Hydraulic Fracturing: The State of the Art
By Michael J. Economides
Fundamentally, propped hydraulic fracturing is a process used to make oil and gas wells produce oil and gas faster. It does not create hydrocarbons or increase formation permeability – it simply makes wells produce existing reserves more quickly. In almost all cases in North America and many other parts of the world with long history of oil and gas production, hydraulic fracturing means the difference between an economic and a sub-economic well.
It took many years for the industry to realize that, by pumping hydraulic pressure into a subsurface hydrocarbon filled rock, one could create a crack that would make it much easier for oil, or gas, to flow out of the rock. Today virtually all wells require this process to produce commercial quantities of gas (or oil). It has taken the industry the last 20 years to figure out that horizontal wellbores combined with hydraulic fracturing are the key to producing commercial quantities of natural gas from shale formations.
This realization, combined with advancements in the ability to pump multiple fracture treatments in tight rock and shale formations has led to a huge boom in gas production. Shale and tight gas now account for over 2/3 of the daily gas produced in the United States, and this has led to 87% of US natural gas supply to be produced domestically. It is important to realize that this gas production wouldn’t be possible without hydraulic fracturing. (Energy Tribune)
Economic Downturn Takes Solar Winds Out Of Green Energy Sail
Sunday, 28 August 2011 08:19 Tony Glover
As governments cut back on public spending in response to the downturn in the global economy, the clean energy industry is facing a funding crisis.
The US credit downgrade by rating agency Standard & Poor’s and the economic problems now facing a growing number of western nations has raised a huge question mark over the future financing of clean-energy projects.
The annual growth rates of around 25 per cent in some western countries’ clean energy sectors have until now been fuelled by large government subsidies. But these are now under threat, something that could prove disastrous for the future of wind and solar projects. (GWPF)
Analysis: Solar shakeout will bring more failures, few deals
Rick Perry’s $7 Billion Problem (Texas wind transmission project 38% over budget–$270+ for every citizen in the state)
Robert Bradley Jr.
“He has been a stalwart in defense of wind energy in this state — no question about it.”
- Paul Sadler, executive director of the Wind Coalition, quoted in Kate Galbraith, “As Governor, Perry Backed Wind, Gas and Coal,” New York Times, August 21, 2011, p. 21A.
Texas curtailed electricity customers this Wednesday in the face of abnormally high temperatures and insufficient capacity. And as is to be expected this time of year, windpower is producing at its yearly lows–on Wednesday, about 9 percent of capacity (880 MW out of nearly 10,000 MW capacity), down from 18 percent earlier in the week.
As Texas revs up mothballed plants, one can only imagine how much state-of-the-art, high-utilization capacity the state could have ‘bought’ instead of wind power, which produces most of its juice when it is not needed. (MasterResource)
Cut looms for wind turbines in subsidy switch
Lawrence Solomon: Science getting settled
New, convincing evidence indicates global warming is caused by cosmic rays and the sun — not humans
The science is now all-but-settled on global warming, convincing new evidence demonstrates, but Al Gore, the IPCC and other global warming doomsayers won’t be celebrating. The new findings point to cosmic rays and the sun — not human activities — as the dominant controller of climate on Earth. (Financial Post)
Video: CERN News – CLOUD
More confirmation of Svensmark’s theory?
Another Climate Forecast Paper Masquerading As A Robust Scientific Result
Readers of my weblog know I have been very critical of peer-reviewed papers and research projects that present multi-decadal global climate model predictions as robust science; e.g. see
A New AGU EOS Article Titled “Guidelines For Constructing Climate Scenarios” By Mote Et Al 2011 Which Inadvertently Highlights This Flawed Climate Science Approach
The models predictions used to create these scenarios cannot even be verified until decades from now, and, even in a hindcast mode, they have never been able to satisfactorily predict regional climate variability under the current climate, much less how the regional weather features would change under human climate forcings. (Roger Pielke Sr.)
New Study Shows that Florida’s Reefs Cannot Endure a ‘Cold Snap’
Scientists detail unprecedented loss of coral reef species during 2010 cold weather event
August 26, 2011
Miami — August 26, 2011 — Remember frozen iguanas falling from trees during Florida’s 2010 record-breaking cold snap? Well, a new study led by scientists at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science shows that Florida’s corals also dropped in numbers due to the cold conditions. (U Miami)
New paper finds corals and molluscs transplanted to CO2 vents calcify and grow faster than normal
A paper published in the September 2011 edition of Nature Climate Change finds that corals and molluscs transplanted to ‘acidified’ areas along CO2 vents in the Mediterranean were surprisingly “able to calcify and grow at even faster than normal rates when exposed to the high CO2 levels projected for the next 300 years.” To add the requisite alarmist spin for publication in Nature, however, the scientists returned to the laboratory where they cranked up the ‘acidification’ along with heat to find they could then decrease calcification slightly. (Hockey Schtick)
Climate Alarm Debunked: Mosquitoes ‘Disappearing’ In Some Parts Of Africa
Sunday, 28 August 2011 11:52 Matt McGrath, BBC News
Contrary to UN predictions – Malaria-carrying mosquitoes are disappearing in some parts of Africa, but scientists are unsure as to why.
Figures indicate controls such as anti-mosquito bed nets are having a significant impact on the incidence of malaria in some sub-Saharan countries.
But in Malaria Journal, researchers say mosquitoes are also disappearing from areas with few controls.
They are uncertain if mosquitoes are being eradicated or whether they will return with renewed vigour.
Data from countries such as Tanzania, Eritrea, Rwanda, Kenya and Zambia all indicate that the incidence of malaria is dropping fast. (GWPF)
Hurricane Fatalities, 1900–2010: Context in these Stormy Times
Guest post by Indur M. Goklany
Despite the press given to hurricanes on the dangers they pose to life and limb, in the larger scheme of things, their contribution to U.S. mortality (less than 0.01% on average each year) verges on the trivial. More importantly, death rates are substantially lower today than they were in decades past.
In the following, I am assuming that the catastrophic failure of the levees after Hurricane Katrina should be attributed to hurricanes in general, rather than human failure–a questionable assumption. Also, I am assuming 1,525 deaths from hurricanes in 2005 (see below).
Figure 1 shows that 46% of all deaths from extreme weather events in the U.S. from 1993-2006 were from excessive cold, 28% from excessive heat, 10% from hurricanes 7% from floods, and 4% from tornadoes. Together they were responsible for an average of 1,301 deaths each year. To put these numbers in context, they constitute only 0.05% of the 2,367,000 deaths that occurred each year in the U.S., averaged over 1993-2006. Thus, hurricanes contribute, on average, about 0.006% to total U.S. mortality. (WUWT)
Nature says apocalyptic theater piece is ‘an accurate reflection of the state of our world’
The September 2011 edition of Nature Climate Change has a rave review of a theatrical production in which a dozen workers from the IPCC “struggle to carry on work as usual, while the world around them tips toward disaster.” The stage then tips vertically and all the scientist’s files and office furniture fly off to oblivion. Next, the scientists are choked by wildfires and rising flood waters. Nature raves that the apocalyptic production is ‘an accurate reflection of the state of our world.’ (Hockey Schtick)
UVA goes all in on Climate Gate FOIA coverup
Christopher C. Horner
The University of Virginia has joined a list of institutions claiming that there has been an actual inquiry into, and even ‘exoneration’ of, scientists exposed by the November 2009 “ClimateGate” leak, while simultaneously through its actions making a mockery of the idea. (Washington Examiner)
Hiding The Decline Of Academic And Scientific Transparency
Sunday, 28 August 2011 16:26 Paul Chesser, The American Spectator
That’s what University of Virginia continues to do, as my colleague at American Tradition Institute Chris Horner explains today in Washington Examiner. Earlier this week UVA — as required by a court order — delivered records relating to Climategate “Hockey Stick” chart creator Michael Mann that ATI asked for in January under a Freedom of Information Act request. Except the records provided — less than half of the 9,000 or so records that UVA says are responsive to our request — were of minimal relevance to Mann’s research. (GWPF)
Vitamin pills can lead you to take health risks
Trials show that people who think they’ve done something healthy, even if they haven’t, smoke more and believe they are invulnerable to diseases
You think you’ve done something healthy, so you permit yourself a ‘treat’.
We all have irrational fears – flying is plainly scarier than getting in a car – and we all have odd rituals that we use to manage them. But what if we believed our own hype about these rituals and became cocksure, perhaps even harming ourselves?
Here is a concrete example. In the study of risk perception, people talk about “the licensing effect”: when you take a vitamin pill, for example, you think you’ve done something healthy and wholesome, so you permit yourself to eat more chips and have a cigarette. It sounds like a nice idea, but a bit vague. (Guardian)