Monday, July 24, 2017



Tesla battery, subsidy and sustainability fantasies

More subsidies from exhausted California taxpayers cannot compensate for hard realities

Paul Driessen

The first justification was that internal combustion engines polluted too much. But emissions steadily declined, and today’s cars emit about 3% of what their predecessors did. Then it was oil imports: electric vehicles (EVs) would reduce foreign dependency and balance of trade deficits. Bountiful oil and natural gas supplies from America’s hydraulic fracturing revolution finally eliminated that as an argument.

Now the focus is on climate change. Every EV sale will help prevent assumed and asserted manmade temperature, climate and weather disasters, we’re told – even if their total sales represented less than 1% of all U.S. car and light truck sales in 2016 (Tesla sold 47,184 of the 17,557,955 vehicles sold nationwide last year), and plug-in EVs account for barely 0.15% of 1.4 billion vehicles on the road worldwide.

In recent months, Tesla sales plunged to nearly zero in Hong Kong and Denmark, as huge government subsidies were eliminated. Now Tesla’s U.S. subsidies face extinction. Once its cumulative sales since 2009 reach 200,000 vehicles in the next few months, federal tax rebates will plunge from $7,500 per car to zero over an 18-month period. The same thing will happen to other EV companies that reach 200,000.

Subsidies clearly drive sales for EVs, which are often double the cost of comparable gasoline-powered vehicles. Free charging stations, and access to HOV lanes for plug-ins with only the driver, further sweeten the deal. For those who can afford the entry fee, the ride is smooth indeed. In fact, a 2015 study found, the richest 20% of Americans received 90% of hundreds of millions in taxpayer EV subsidies.

Where were all the government “offices of environmental justice” when this was happening? How much must we subsidize our wealthiest families, to save us from manmade planetary disasters that exist only in Al Gore movies and alarmist computer models?

Perhaps recognizing the reverse Robin Hood injustice – or how unsustainable free EV stations are for cash-strapped cities – Palo Alto (where Tesla Motors is headquartered) announced that it will charge 23 cents per kWh to charge plug-in vehicles in city parking garages. Others communities and states may also reduce their rebates, HOV access and free charging, further reducing incentives to purchase pricey EVs.

Meanwhile, Lyft and Uber are also decreasing the justification for shelling out $35,000 to $115,000 or even $980,000 for an electric car that gets very limited mileage per charge. Long excursions still need internal combustion engines or long layovers every few hundred miles to recharge EV batteries.

Intent on advancing its renewable energy and climate change agenda, the California legislature recently enacted a new cap-and-trade law that will generate revenues for Tesla and the “bullet train to nowhere,” by increasing hidden taxes on motor fuels, electricity and consumer products – with the state’s poor, minority and working class families again being hit hardest. State legislators are also close to passing a $3-billion EV subsidy program, primarily to replace the $7,500 federal rebate that Tesla could soon lose. Electric vehicle buyers could soon receive up to $40,000 for buying Tesla’s most expensive models! Coal-billionaire and California gubernatorial hopeful Tom Steyer vigorously supports the new subsidy.

We can also expect a battle royale over extending the federal EV subsidy beyond 200,000 vehicles – demonstrating once again that lobbyists are now far more important to bottom lines than engineers, especially when lobbyists can channel enormous contributions to politicians’ reelection campaigns.

As U.S. government agencies prepare to reassess climate change science, models and disaster predictions, it’s a good time to reexamine claims made about all the utopian electric vehicle and renewable energy forecasts, expanding on the land and raw material issues I raised in a previous article.

In his Forbes article on Battery Derangement Syndrome, energy and technology analyst Mark P. Mills notes that Tesla is also getting $1 billion in taxpayer subsidies to build a huge $5-billion lithium battery factory in Nevada. Batteries, it’s often claimed, can soon replace fossil fuels for backing up expensive, intermittent, unreliable, unpredictable wind and solar power. Mills explains why this is … deranged.

In an entire year, all the existing lithium battery factories in the world combined manufacture only enough capacity to store 100 billion Watt-hours (Wh) of electricity. But the USA alone uses 100 times this capacity: more than 10,000 billion Wh per day. Worldwide, humanity uses over 50,000 billion Wh daily.

Focusing on solar power, Mills notes, that means storing electricity for 12 hours a day – to power homes and businesses around the globe for the 12 hours per day that photovoltaic systems will generate power on sunny days in the 100% solar world of the utopian future – would require 25,000 billion Watt-hours of battery power (ignoring future electricity needs to recharge electric vehicle batteries).

Replacing the gasoline in the tanks of 1.4 billion vehicles worldwide with electric power would require another 100 billion Watt-hours. That brings total global demand to well over 125,000 billion Wh of storage. That means it would take 1,250 years of production from every existing lithium battery factory worldwide to meet this combined demand. Or we would have to build 1,250 times more factories. Or we could build batteries that are 10 to100 times more powerful and efficient than what we have today.

Says Mills, the constraints of real world physics on battery storage mean this latter option will not happen.

In a world where we are also supposed to ban nuclear (and most hydroelectric) power, the very notion of eliminating the 80% of all global energy that comes from oil, natural gas and coal – replacing it with wind, solar and biofuel power – is fundamentally absurd. Can you imagine what would happen when the power goes off and on repeatedly while we are smelting iron, copper, aluminum, cobalt or lithium ores … forging or casting metals into components … or running complex fabrication and assembly lines?

In the sustainability arena, has anyone calculated how much lithium, cobalt and other metals would be required to manufacture all those batteries? Where they would be mined – with nearly all the best U.S. metal prospects off limits to exploration and production, and radical environmentalists increasingly rallying to block mining projects overseas? The mines would have to be enormous, and operated by huge corporate consortiums. Will anti-corporate activists on our campuses suddenly have a change of heart?

Will homes, neighborhoods and communities have the electrical service (200 amperes or more per home) to handle all the lighting, computing, entertainment, air conditioning, medical equipment and other requirements of modern living – AND the power required to charge all the predicted electric vehicles? What will it cost to upgrade neighborhood power grids, and home and commercial electrical systems?

Lithium batteries and their component metals pose unique fire and explosion risks. What safeguards will be established to minimize those dangers, in battery factories, homes and public parking garages?

Some factories and batteries will invariably be poorly built, handled or maintained. Some will invariably malfunction – causing potentially catastrophic explosions. The bigger the factory or battery, the bigger the cataclysm. Will we apply the same precautionary principles to them as more rabid environmentalists insist on applying to drilling, fracking, pipelines, refineries, factories, dams and nuclear power plants?

What is the life expectancy of batteries, compared to engines in gasoline-powered cars? Two or three times shorter? What does it cost to replace battery packs compared to engines? Two to three times as much? What is the true overall cost of owning an EV? Four to six times higher than a gasoline car? How will we dispose of or recycle millions or billions of batteries and their dangerous, toxic components?

Is the real goal of all this crony-corporatist wind, solar and battery enthusiasm – and anti-fossil fuel activism – to slash living standards in industrialized nations, and ensure that impoverished nations are able to improve their health and living conditions only marginally?

We would do well to raise – and answer – these and other essential questions now, before we let activists, journalists, legislators and regulators con us into adopting more of their utopian, “planet-saving” ideas.

Via email




Cold spring leaves French grape harvest headed for historic low

Agriculture ministry says wine production from Bordeaux to Alsace has dropped dramatically

Knocked off course by a cold spring snap, French wine production from Bordeaux to Alsace has dropped dramatically this year and could hit “a historic low”, according to the agriculture ministry.

“At 37.6 million hectolitres the 2017 harvest is set to come in 17% lower than in 2016, and 16% below the average of the past five years,” the ministry’s statistics bureau Agreste said on Saturday.

As such, the traditional August to October harvest of the world’s second largest wine producer “could be historically low and inferior to that of 1991, which was also hit by severe frost”.

The cold wrought havoc notably in south-west France, with Bordeaux suffering along with neighbouring Charente, as well as Alsace and Jura in the north-east. Some losses are also anticipated in the Burgundy region, Languedoc and the southeast.

The Mediterranean region was hit by a problem of a different variety as wind and rain caused the phenomenon of “coulure” where grapes, most notably the grenache variety in the Rhone valley, fail to develop properly after vines have flowered.

But wine sommeliers urged a bit of patience, dispelling the gloom with the old wine adage: “August makes the grapes, September makes the wine.”

“It is still too early to draw a conclusion about the quality of the wine this year which will depend on the weather up to the grape harvest, and the conditions of the crop,” said Philippe Faure-Brac, who held the title of world’s best sommelier in 1992.

“At the moment, the weather conditions are not at all bad,” he said, but admitted the quantity of wine production “will be economically very tight, that’s for sure”.

Some vineyards have a system of reserves, like those producing Chablis or Champagne, holding back from selling a part of the production year to year as insurance to help ride out those times of poor grape harvests.

“For instance 2016 was a huge vintage - that will allow some regions to manage their volumes and quality,” said Faure-Brac.

But not all wine regions practise the same system, and only about 25% of French winegrowers have insured against severe weather.

Vineyards “with little stock” and “not much cash flow” after being hit by hail and frost last year, are going to be in a “difficult” situation this year, said Bernard Farges, president of the national AOP/AOC committee.

“We are working with the ministry to put in place measures to improve insurance and savings regimes,” he said – although that will not relieve problems this year.

SOURCE




Greenland turns against Mother Gaia

We've all heard it endlessly: the Arctic ice is melting.  It will soon be open water, and the surrounding islands bare rock.  The Northwest Passage, which lured hundreds to their doom during the Age of Exploration, will at last be a reality.  The polar bears will go hungry.  Eskimo shamans will no longer be able to contact the Ice Goddess.  Manhattan and Long Island will soon be fifty miles offshore...

And so on, certainly one of the most dominant and persistent memes of the global warming movement, despite its not containing so much as an ounce of truth.

The latest evidence for of this fact comes to us from Denmark.  With a consuming national interest in Greenland going back to the beginning of the last millennium, the Danes have kept careful watch on the weather and surface conditions of the island.  Their most recent findings definitively reveal no large-scale ice loss on Greenland.  Quite the contrary: Greenland is piling massive tonnages of ice as if there's no tomorrow – not to mention no such thing as global warming.

Here are the latest figures from the Danish Meteorological Institute in graphic form:



These graphics show three separate representations dealing of ice cover in Greenland – total amount over the past year, as it appears topographically, and in contrast to the amount of ice melt, which is below average for the entire summer season.  It's clear that Greenland is gaining ice cover, contrary to warmist assertions.

This is also borne out by comparing ice cover over the past three years:



There we have it: ice cover in Greenland is steadily increasing, in defiance of rising carbon levels and even greater levels of green rhetoric.

If "global warming studies" were in fact a science, data of this type would mean tossing out the entire theory and starting from scratch.  But of course, it's no such thing.  So instead, we'll simply hear more squealing and chest-beating from the warmists, the media, and the bureaucrats until the data is piled higher than the ice cap itself.  Then it'll just be something else.

SOURCE




New Film Exposes Communist Roots of “Sustainability” Agenda

A powerful new documentary takes a fresh look at the global “green” agenda, often marketed under the misleading label “sustainable development,” and exposes it for the dangerous assault on human freedom that it is. Beyond that, the film shows how the so-called “sustainability” movement of today is little more than a poorly re-packaged version of the murderous “red” communist agenda that supposedly fell along with the Soviet Union — after killing hundreds of millions of people along the way. The film, It’s Easy Being Green When You Have No Choice: Sustainable Development and the End of History, provides a great deal of evidence and information that all supporters of liberty should be familiar with.

At the center of the scheme for global totalitarianism is the increasingly discredited anthropogenic (man-made) global-warming theory, the film and experts interviewed for it point out. And at the center of that theory is the claim that CO2 drives warming — an idea discredited by, among other evidence, the 18 years and counting in which the undisputed satellite and weather balloon temperature records show no warming. But facts and concerns over the climate were never the real issue, as the film documents using a combination of powerful interviews with experts and even quotes from the key individuals and organizations pushing the anti-human, anti-freedom “sustainability” agenda.

“Ever since the failed Bolshevik revolution the managerial class has been searching for a common enemy for people across the world to unite against,” the narrator explains as the film begins. “They have found it. The new enemy is carbon dioxide.”

CO2, of course, is exhaled by humans and is necessary for plant life. So crucial is CO2 to the planet that scientists have often referred to it as the “gas of life.” Human emissions of CO2, meanwhile, represent a fraction of one percent of all greenhouse gases present naturally in the atmosphere. On top of that, growing amounts of evidence — especially the 18 years and counting of no warming even as CO2 concentrations increased — suggest that carbon dioxide plays only a minor role in the global climate system, if it plays any at all. But because CO2 is emitted during every human activity, including breathing, it is the most perfect enemy imaginable to justify totalitarian control over every element of life.

“Human freedom is the problem and the only solution is to limit and control freedom,” explains the film's narrator, radio host and former meteorologist Brian Sussman. “Through careful marketing techniques and propaganda designed for mass consumption the trusting public has been embracing all of Communism's ultimate goals of redistribution of wealth; dictating and regulating commercial production; controlling land, private property, natural resources, and the economy, diminishing Christianity and the general control of society.”

CO2 and the “climate,” the film and the experts interviewed in it explain clearly, offered the perfect excuse to justify the tyranny. “The whole idea of controlling and limiting carbon dioxide is to control human beings,” says Marc Morano, editor of the Climate Depot website and the producer of a soon-to-be released documentary called Climate Hustle exposing the AGW con. “So if sustainable development becomes even more codified and becomes more accepted and becomes implemented, this is a way for central planners to control human freedom. We have been through this before. We have been down this road before. We have seen the age of the super state in the 20th century and frankly I don’t know that humanity is going to survive this latest assault.”

Morano's commentary in the film, like that of other experts interviewed for it, is insightful and revealing. For example, Morano and others interviewed in the documentary explain how global environmentalism has replaced the Cold War as the key justification for so many of the establishment's agendas. “The idea of sustainable development is that there is a common enemy,” Morano explained. “Now, whether you are rich, whether you are poor, whatever nationality you are, whatever race you are, whatever creed you are, religious — we can all unite. And that is what they were looking for. They wanted a common enemy. I mean, short of an alien invasion from outer space, this was it.”  

Other experts interviewed in the film provide equally compelling commentary on the massive threat facing humanity today. Those experts include author Dr. E. Calvin Beisner, a spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, who touches on the anti-Christian element of the global “sustainability” agenda. He also points out how the agenda is completely incompatible with Christianity and a biblical worldview — a major reason why the attacks against Christians and the Bible are accelerating around the world.  

Beverly Eakman, an author and educator well versed in what is happening in the education system, exposes the use of “green” propaganda in schools and the media to push the sustainability agenda. “The idea that educated people are unsustainable is in the mix of the green agenda,” she explains. The film also brings in quotes from official UN documents stating as much. The Obama administration has also been very open about using the government “education” system to push “sustainability” indoctrination and create “green” citizens.

Also interviewed for the film is climate expert John Casey, the president of the Space and Science Research Corporation, who exposes the false claims surrounding AGW. “Clearly, the reaction, the displays by the global warming or the warmist crowd have reached an all time fever pitch in terms of their anger, their frustration, their attacks on not just global warming critics, but anyone with the scientific data that shows they are wrong,” Casey explains. “This is unparalleled, unprecedented in the modern era, to see these kind of ludicrous extreme attacks that are coming from the warmist community.” He also warned that contrary to the UN narrative about warming, “we are actually going into a new cold climate era.”

Population Research Institute chief Steve Mosher, meanwhile, highlighted the role of the population-control zealots in the whole agenda. “The idea that people cause global warming is driving the population control movement, it is certainly driving the radical environmental movement and it’s driving the sustainable development movement,” he said. “So when you ask, what are these people, the population controllers, in the name of sustainable development or in the name of reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, prepared to do? They are prepared to do anything. They are prepared to arrest women for the crime of being pregnant, give them cesarean section abortions and sterilize them for life.”

Cato Institute Senior Fellow Randal O'Toole, who also spoke in the film, noted that sustainability as it is being pushed means much less freedom and much more poverty. He tackles everything associated with so-called “Smart Growth,” which in essence equates to higher prices, less choices, and more government control of housing, food, transportation, and more. The best solution to so many problems, O'Toole also explains, is more freedom and less planning laws at all levels of government.

The film is interspersed with quotes, often from establishment and insider sources, supporting its thesis. For example, one of the key organizations pushing the agenda is the Club of Rome, a pseudo-environmentalist outfit dominated by top globalists and “former” communists. “In searching for a common enemy against whom we can unite, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like, would fit the bill,” the group said in its report on the “First Global Revolution.” “All these dangers are caused by human intervention in natural processes, and it is only through changed attitudes and behaviors that they can be overcome. The real enemy then is humanity itself.”

Another key area in which the film adds value is how it exposes the giant role of former Soviet dictator Mikhail Gorbachev and his allies in the shackling of the planet under the guise of phony environmentalism. Just a few years after the ostensible collapse of Soviet tyranny, for instance, Gorbachev worked with top “capitalists” through the United Nations to create the globalist plan for “sustainable development” known as UN “Agenda 21.”

Unsurprisingly, as the film documents extensively, the agenda was remarkably similar to the agenda pursued by Moscow and the international communist conspiracy just a few years before the 1992 UN “sustainable development” summit in Rio de Janeiro — in some cases even the wording is almost identical. Indeed, Gorbachev himself touted the plan in his Club of Rome-endorsed book Prophet of Change: From the Cold War to a Sustainable World.  

Even in the United States, the shift from Red communism to Green tyranny has become readily apparent. Just consider Obama's former “Green Jobs” Czar, Van Jones, who was forced out after past media interviews surfaced in which he identified himself as a revolutionary communist. The so-called “green agenda,” too, brazenly promotes central planning, government control, and more. Most recently, radical state attorneys general have even launched “investigations” into climate skeptics with a goal of prosecuting them.  

Overall, the film does an excellent job of exposing the totalitarian nature of the “sustainable development” agenda. It also provides an extremely valuable service by thoroughly documenting the “sustainability” jihad's extensive links to the “ideology” and even the individual mass murderers behind global communism. In fact, the two movements are essentially inseparable, the only difference being that each movement was able to attract a slightly different variety of well-meaning zealot to advance the same totalitarian cause — dupes that Soviet dictator Vladimir Lenin would have referred to as “useful idiots.”

"The climate change debate is more than debating what the climate models say and how people come to accept defacto what they are told by the media," said It's Easy Being Green producer Frank Pinski. "This film tries to get across that the desire of men to control his fellow man never ends, it just changes form. This latest attempt uses the constant changes in the climate to instill fear so that people willingly turn over the regulation of all aspects of their lives to the government. This is reminiscent of Communist society and that is what this film tries to explain."

The documentary is a very good primer for those who are not yet familiar with the dangers of the “sustainable development” movement and green-tinged Marxism in general. But even for longtime readers of this magazine and other well-informed people, there is a lot of valuable information presented in the film. It is worth watching and sharing as Americans gear up to fight back against the extremist agenda at the local, state, and federal level.

SOURCE



Melbourne could run out of water in ten years because of population growth and climate change

Wotta lotta bore-water!  For a start, Melbourne already has a big desalination plant that is hardly used.

Secondly, global warming will produce more evaporation off the oceans and hence MORE rain, not less.

Thirdly, the Snowy scheme already pours lots of dammed water into the sea for "environmental" reasons.  That water could easily be diverted inland into the Murray river. There is already a tunnel for that purpose. And again there is already a pipeline linking the Murray to Melbourne's water supply.

The galoots below would seem not to have a clue about the Melbourne water supply.  They are however Greenies so are probably just frauds who want to frighten people. The only threat to the Melbourne water supply is the Greenies who want to send already-dammed water out to sea


One of the world's most livable cities could be facing an acute water shortage problem in the next ten to 15 years time no thanks to climate change and population growth.

Water supply in Melbourne may fall and reach a crisis point if no precautionary methods are taken to contain the problem from today, reports The Age.

The publication says demand for water in the state is expected to exceed the supply by 2028.

According to projections made by City West Water, Yarra Valley Water and South East Water demand for water is projected to surge to about 75 percent in the next 40 years, the publication reports.

Some water corporation produced the probable scenario for the state's water supply, Environment Victoria's acting chief executive, Nicholas Aberle told Daily Mail Australia.

Mr Aberle said there was a bunch of things that Melbournians can do to address the situation by incorporating several water saving habits.

He said people should learn ways on saving storm water and turning that into a valuable water resource. 'During the drought (1997 to 2009) people were managing water efficiency by only using 155 litres a day.

'People should have a behavioural change and use 100 litres of water a day and handle the water resources efficiently,' he said.

Melbourne Water spokesman Joseph Keller told the publication that people living in the state were 'encouraged to limit their consumption to 155 litres per person per day.'

At present Melbourne Water reports that residents in the state use 162 litres of water per person per day in 2016-17.

SOURCE

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Sunday, July 23, 2017



Roman Empire and Chinese Han Dynasty responsible for greenhouse gas emissions 1,800 years before Industrial Revolution

This study concerns methane but other gases produced by civilizational advance would have to be similar in incidence

The Roman Empire and the Chinese Han Dynasty were responsible for significant greenhouse gas emissions, according to a study which contradicts UN scientists’ view that man-made climate change only began with the Industrial Revolution.

Core samples from Greenland’s ice, which faithfully record the planet’s atmospheric conditions, showed that methane levels significantly rose about 2,000 years ago and remained constant for around 200 years, coinciding with the height of the 2 great empires.

Lead author of the study Celia Sapart of Utrecht University told Reuters, “Per capita they were already emitting quite a lot in the Roman Empire and Han Dynasty,” and said that methane was probably released during deforestation to clear land for farming and from the use of charcoal as fuel, for instance to smelt metal to make weapons.

The study, published in the journal Nature, found that rates of deforestation “show a decrease around AD 200, which is related to drastic population declines in China and Europe following the fall of the Han Dynasty and the decline of the Roman Empire.”

The world’s population 2,000 years ago was around 300 million and their contribution to global emissions were significant, but still tiny compared with the emissions of the 7 billion on Earth today.  Sapart estimated that methane emissions until 1800 were about 10% of the total for the past 2,000 years, with 90% occurring since the Industrial Revolution and the great surge in the use of fossil fuels.  She said, “The pre-industrial time was not a natural time for the climate – it was already influenced by human activity.  When we do future climate predictions we have to think about what is natural and what did we add.  We have to define what is really natural.”

The study noted a second rise in methane in the Medieval period, which coincided with a warm period from 800 to 1200 AD, the emergence of Europe’s economy from the Dark Ages, and population growth in Asia and Europe which led to more deforestation for farming.  It fell back again when the Black Death ravaged Asian and European populations.  A third rise in methane levels occurred around the start of the ‘Little Ice Age’ in the 1500s, as populations recovered after the plague.

SOURCE





Ecofascists Needed an Enemy, So They Chose Fossil Fuels

Divestment does not simply focus upon climate change or green living, but rather de-funding the fossil fuel industry.

What began as a single campaign on a college campus in 2010 has grown into a worldwide movement. It does not simply focus upon climate change or green living, but rather de-funding the fossil fuel industry. They call it divestment.

Fossil fuel divestment, the opposite of investment, means the selling of fossil fuel stocks. Recalling the successful 1980s divestment campaign against Apartheid, fossil fuel divestment advocates hope to create both financial and social pressure to ruin the fossil fuel industry, thus preserving the planet. Whether it’s college students protesting for the divestment of the school’s endowment or citizens marching for the divestment of the state’s pension, the movement has become a popular way for people to feel like they’re fighting to save the earth from both the disaster of climate change and the evil of corporations.

Bill McKibben, one of the leading advocates of the divestment movement, co-founded 350.org, a global climate change advocacy group that has held 20,000 rallies in every country in the world except North Korea (wonder why). In 2012, he wrote in Rolling Stone, “A rapid, transformative change would require building a movement, and movements require enemies. … And enemies are what climate change has lacked.”

That’s right — in order to transform the climate change debate into a movement, McKibben and his fellow ecofascists needed an enemy. So he started the divestment movement that casts the fossil fuel industry and those who invest in its companies as the morally sinister destroyers of the environment. McKibben’s admission of creating an enemy to bolster his campaign should delegitimize the moral claims of the movement. But it hasn’t.

GoFossilFree.org, one of the leading voices in fossil fuel divestment, speaks of the supposed moral motivations for its cause:

Fossil fuel divestment takes the fossil fuel industry to task for its culpability in the climate crisis. By naming this industry’s singularly destructive influence — and by highlighting the moral dimensions of climate change — we hope that the fossil fuel divestment movement can help break the hold that the fossil fuel industry has on our economy and our governments.
Go Fossil Free holds the fossil fuel industry responsible for destroying the planet and morally injuring its inhabitants. While McKibben created an enemy, Go Fossil Free has made the fight against that enemy a “moral” one, citing floods and natural disasters allegedly caused by climate change.

However, one study notes that deaths related to climate (flood, drought, storms, extreme heat or cold) have dropped 98% since 1920. The energy industry has facilitated this decline through building better homes, heating, air conditioning, proper irrigation and disaster warning systems. That sort of steals the, er, thunder of the ecofascists’ hyperbolic claims.

Another fallacy upon which the divestment movement relies is that fossil fuels have created extreme amounts of pollution. Yet according to Forbes, air pollution in the U.S. has declined 72% since 1970 despite a 47% total increase in energy use. In addition, developed countries that use fossil fuels have cleaner environments than underdeveloped countries where dumping waste in rivers and streams prevents access to clean water. In fact, one of the key differences between third world and first world countries depends upon access to reliable energy.

Alex Epstein, founder of the Center for Industrial Progress and author of the New York Times bestseller “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels,” notes that there are seven billion people on the planet who need access to inexpensive, reliable energy in order to flourish. Yet three billion people have virtually no energy. For much of the world, lack of energy, not use of energy, has been the greatest barrier to growth and productivity.

While the divestment movement has succeeded in creating both an enemy and a moral cause based upon fear and guilt, the evidence points to the reality that energy has helped hedge against climate-related disasters and provided food and health care to aid human life. Divesters fail to grasp how energy powers every modern convenience from a warm shower (natural gas), to adequate hospital care (electricity), to food (diesel-powered farm equipment), and they offer few, if any, real solutions to our planet’s energy needs. Perhaps they should invest in our future instead of trying to undermine it.

SOURCE





The Stupidity of Mayors Fighting Climate Change

Since President Donald Trump announced America’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, mayors from across the country have announced a renewed commitment to the agreement, promising to achieve its objectives on their own.

“If the federal government doesn’t act, it doesn’t mean we don’t have a national policy; the federal government doesn’t occupy the only place on this,” said Mitch Landrieu, mayor of New Orleans and president of the United States Conference of Mayors.

He’s absolutely right—just not in the way he means to be.

To be clear, these policies will be economic and environmental failures, just as Paris is. States and cities committing to climate plans that regulate affordable, dependable power sources out of existence or subsidize uncompetitive energy technologies distort markets and hurt families, businesses, and taxpayers—all for no meaningful climate benefit in return.

But no matter how expensive or inefficient a policy might be, the federal government shouldn’t stop states from implementing it and facing the benefits or consequences. The voters who shoulder the burden of these policies will ultimately determine the fate of the politicians championing them.

The American government was built on the principle of federalism—the distribution of power among different levels of the government, from federal to local.

If the president can’t or won’t act, Americans don’t have to throw their arms up in despair. Instead, they can fight for change, both good and bad, on another level.

Federalism is enshrined in the 10th Amendment, which assigns to the states and the people all powers not assigned to the U.S. or explicitly prohibited.

These mayors’ promises on global warming are a bad idea, but there’s a silver lining: We have good reason to be skeptical that they’ll actually be kept.

In 2007, when President George W. Bush refused to commit to the goals of the Paris climate agreement’s predecessor, the Kyoto Protocol, more than 1,000 mayors promised to achieve the objectives on their own.

When the carbon reduction deadline rolled around in 2012, however, hardly any city had managed to reach its goals.

Likewise, today’s pledges may prove to be nothing more than hot air. If politicians don’t follow through on their promises, they’ll have no one to blame but themselves.

This isn’t the first time since the election that people have advertently proven the effectiveness of local action, even if directed toward the wrong ends.

In the days following Nov. 8, donations to Planned Parenthood skyrocketed.

Donors intended their actions to be a protest against the possibility of Planned Parenthood losing its federal funding. Instead, they revealed why Planned Parenthood doesn’t need federal funding in the first place: If free individuals truly care about an issue, they’ll put their money where their mouth is. And if they don’t care, they won’t donate.

Expecting the federal government to solve every problem simply passes responsibility, and the check, to someone else.

As former Vice President Al Gore rightly put it, “If President Trump won’t lead, the American people will.” If only he could be right for the right reasons.

SOURCE




Tourists Shun Scottish Regions Hit By Wind Turbine ‘Blight’

More than half of tourists to Scotland would rather not visit scenic areas dominated by man-made structures such as wind farms, a YouGov poll suggests.

A survey carried out on behalf of the John Muir Trust (JMT) found that 55% of respondents were “less likely” to venture into areas of the countryside industrialised by giant turbines, electricity pylons and super-quarries.

Just 3% said they were “more likely” to visit such areas, while 26% said such large-scale developments would make “no difference”.

The poll has rekindled calls for Scottish ministers to increase protection for wild and scenic areas that, it is argued, will protect rural tourism businesses.

It follows a recent decision to approve the 22-turbine Creag Riabhach wind farm in Altnaharra, the first to win consent within a designated wild land area. Each turbine will stand 125m high.

“As schools across England break up for the summer this week and many families flock to Scotland, we must remember that, for many, it’s the ability to enjoy being outdoors in Scotland’s unique, unspoilt natural landscapes that brings them north,” said Andrew Bachell, JMT’s chief executive.

“When a clear majority of people say they’d be put off visiting wild and scenic areas by the existence of large-scale wind farms, giant pylons, super-quarries and other developments, policymakers have to pay attention, before it’s too late.”

SOURCE




More Judicial Overreach Stymies Trump's Deregulation Agenda

The DC Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 ruling, recently reversed the decision by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt of a 90-day stay on implementing new methane emissions regulations created during the final year of Barack Obama’s presidency. Pruitt argued that the stay was needed in order to thoroughly review the financial impact of the new regulations on the fossil fuel industry. Even the EPA estimated the compliance cost to be as high as $530 million, which means it would most likely be far higher. Pruitt further argued that not enough time was given for the oil industry to weigh in before the regulation went into effect.

The court rejected Pruitt’s argument, with the majority stating, “The administrative record thus makes clear that industry groups had ample opportunity to comment on all four issues on which EPA granted reconsideration, and indeed, that in several instances the agency incorporated those comments directly into the final rule.”

But there’s one big problem here that demonstrates yet another example of judicial overreach in the era of Donald Trump. This action taken by the court is extraordinary in that the court itself has recognized that its authority is limited to the reviewing of “final agency actions,” which clearly EPA Director Pruitt’s 90-day stay does not merit. In her dissenting opinion, Judge Janice Rogers blasted the majority opinion, stating, “In contrast to our precedent, the Court’s opinion concludes a particular administration proceeding has innumerable final agency actions, including intermediate decisions. No authority supports this proposition.”

Pruitt can appeal to the Supreme Court, but he won’t get a ruling on it until next year, and in the meantime the Obama-era regulation will go into effect. This is yet another reason for Trump to get busy putting conservative judges on the bench. It’s clear that the Left will continue to appeal to activist judges to block as much of Trump’s agenda as possible.

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here

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Friday, July 21, 2017




I’m a scientist. I’m blowing the whistle on the Trump administration

I think the top Warmists will lean on this guy to shut up. If it comes to a court case he will have to prove that he is right in what he says.  And that will mean that he has to prove the reality of anthropogenic global warming.  And he will fail in that.  So the Warmists cannot afford to have a court adjudicate on that

By Joel Clement

I am not a member of the deep state. I am not big government.

I am a scientist, a policy expert, a civil servant and a worried citizen. Reluctantly, as of today, I am also a whistleblower on an administration that chooses silence over science.

Nearly seven years ago, I came to work for the Interior Department, where, among other things, I’ve helped endangered communities in Alaska prepare for and adapt to a changing climate. But on June 15, I was one of about 50 senior department employees who received letters informing us of involuntary reassignments. Citing a need to “improve talent development, mission delivery and collaboration,” the letter informed me that I was reassigned to an unrelated job in the accounting office that collects royalty checks from fossil fuel companies.

I am not an accountant — but you don’t have to be one to see that the administration’s excuse for a reassignment such as mine doesn’t add up. A few days after my reassignment, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke testified before Congress that the department would use reassignments as part of its effort to eliminate employees; the only reasonable inference from that testimony is that he expects people to quit in response to undesirable transfers. Some of my colleagues are being relocated across the country, at taxpayer expense, to serve in equally ill-fitting jobs.

I believe I was retaliated against for speaking out publicly about the dangers that climate change poses to Alaska Native communities. During the months preceding my reassignment, I raised the issue with White House officials, senior Interior officials and the international community, most recently at a U.N. conference in June. It is clear to me that the administration was so uncomfortable with this work, and my disclosures, that I was reassigned with the intent to coerce me into leaving the federal government.

On Wednesday, I filed two forms — a complaint and a disclosure of information — with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel. I filed the disclosure because eliminating my role coordinating federal engagement and leaving my former position empty exacerbate the already significant threat to the health and the safety of certain Alaska Native communities. I filed the complaint because the Trump administration clearly retaliated against me for raising awareness of this danger. Our country values the safety of our citizens, and federal employees who disclose threats to health and safety are protected from reprisal by the Whistleblower Protection Act and Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act.

Removing a civil servant from his area of expertise and putting him in a job where he’s not needed and his experience is not relevant is a colossal waste of taxpayer dollars. Much more distressing, though, is what this charade means for American livelihoods. The Alaska Native villages of Kivalina, Shishmaref and Shaktoolik are perilously close to melting into the Arctic Ocean. In a region that is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, the land upon which citizens’ homes and schools stand is newly vulnerable to storms, floods and waves. As permafrost melts and protective sea ice recedes, these Alaska Native villages are one superstorm from being washed away, displacing hundreds of Americans and potentially costing lives. The members of these communities could soon become refugees in their own country.

Alaska’s elected officials know climate change presents a real risk to these communities. Gov. Bill Walker (I) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) have been sounding the alarm and scrambling for resources to help these villages. But to stave off a life-threatening situation, Alaska needs the help of a fully engaged federal government. Washington cannot turn its back.

While I have given small amounts to Democratic candidates in the past, I have no problem whatsoever working for a Republican administration. I believe that every president, regardless of party, has the right and responsibility to implement his policies. But that is not what is happening here. Putting citizens in harm’s way isn’t the president’s right. Silencing civil servants, stifling science, squandering taxpayer money and spurning communities in the face of imminent danger have never made America great.

Now that I have filed with the Office of Special Counsel, it is my hope that it will do a thorough investigation into the Interior Department’s actions. Our country protects those who seek to inform others about dangers to American lives. The threat to these Alaska Native communities is not theoretical. This is not a policy debate. Retaliation against me for those disclosures is unlawful.

Let’s be honest: The Trump administration didn’t think my years of science and policy experience were better suited to accounts receivable. It sidelined me in the hope that I would be quiet or quit. Born and raised in Maine, I was taught to work hard and speak truth to power. Trump and Zinke might kick me out of my office, but they can’t keep me from speaking out. They might refuse to respond to the reality of climate change, but their abuse of power cannot go unanswered.

SOURCE




Pruitt Is Cleaning Up the EPA

One of the best decisions Donald Trump has made thus far into his presidency was his choice of Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA may prove to be a textbook example of how corruption works to twist an ostensibly apolitical government agency into a primary proponent of a political cause. But Pruitt is taking the bull by the horns.

The Wall Street Journal recently noted that Pruitt has been aggressively working on replacing Barack Obama-era science advisers. In the month of June alone the EPA notified 38 advisers that their committee appointments would not be renewed. While the Left has claimed that Trump is engaged in a “war on science,” the reality is exactly the opposite. A bit of context is needed to better understand the issue at hand.

For years, the EPA has relied heavily on several non-government advisory boards because it is required to hear an advisory board’s advice before enacting new regulations. The EPA is not, however, required to heed a board’s advice. According to the Federal Advisory Committee Act rules, all advisory boards are required to be balanced and unbiased. Historically, the majority of committee members have come from academia, with some coming from consulting and activist groups. Very few members have come from industry.

One of the EPA’s most prominent advisory boards is the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC). In 1996, the EPA wanted to pass new restrictive regulations on emissions under the guise that these rules were needed to save the lives of thousands of Americans from dangerous air pollution. The problem was that the CASAC countered the EPA’s opinion, saying that research findings did not support the agency’s conclusion. Ignoring the advice, the EPA went ahead with enacting its costly regulations anyway.

Now here’s where the corruption problem begins to rear its ugly head. Ecofascists, frustrated with the independent nature of these advisory committees, worked to stack the deck in their favor. By the mid 2000s two-thirds of all CASAC members were grantees of the EPA. During Obama’s two terms, the number of grantees increased significantly, with hundreds of millions of dollars in research grants being awarded to these “independent” advisers. As The Wall Street Journal describes it, “In effect, EPA-funded researchers are empowered to review and approve their own work in order to rubber-stamp the EPA’s regulatory agenda. This is all done under the guise of ‘independence.’”

By reforming this practice, Pruitt is not working to quash science. On the contrary, he’s promoting it by dismantling a rigged system.

SOURCE




California Doubles Down on Cap-and-Trade

The Golden State’s legislature voted this week to prolong its onerous cap-and-trade scheme under the guise of curtailing global warming. Even more disturbing was the number of Republicans who joined the alarmist bandwagon. The Los Angeles Times triumphantly reports, “In a break with party leaders and activists in California and Washington, eight Republicans joined with Democrats to continue the cap-and-trade program, which requires companies to buy permits to release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.”

The Times continues, “The legislation would keep the 5-year-old program operating until 2030, providing a key tool for meeting the state’s ambitious goal for slashing emissions. Cap and trade also generates important revenue for building the bullet train from Los Angeles to San Francisco, another priority for the governor.” That would be the same bullet train that has turned into a financial debacle yet, for some reason, is considered a California holy grail. The Sacramento Bee dubs it one of the “state projects to offset the effects of climate change.” But it neither offsets climate change nor meets the criteria for frugal taxpayer spending.

In January, another LA Times report stated, “California’s bullet train could cost taxpayers 50% more than estimated — as much as $3.6 billion more. And that’s just for the first 118 miles through the Central Valley, which was supposed to be the easiest part of the route between Los Angeles and San Francisco. A confidential Federal Railroad Administration risk analysis, obtained by The Times, projects that building bridges, viaducts, trenches and track from Merced to Shafter, just north of Bakersfield, could cost $9.5 billion to $10 billion, compared with the original budget of $6.4 billion.”

The finishing touches of the Central Valley track might not occur until 2024 — a far cry from the original timeline: this year. This is emblematic of just how wasteful California is when it comes to allocating tax dollars. And it’s being done by lawmakers who have a vested interest that goes well beyond the scope of climate change. They’re most interested in funding pet projects like a leftist-coveted bullet train. That’s a lot of political capital to wager on a project that, so far, has been a complete failure. Other states, particularly Democrat-controlled ones, should take note lest they further aggravate the blue state exodus.

SOURCE




The Inconvenient Truth About Electric Vehicles

An electric auto will convert 5-10% of the energy in natural gas into motion. A normal vehicle will convert 20-30% of the energy in gasoline into motion. That's 3 or 4 times more energy recovered with an internal combustion vehicle than an electric vehicle.

Electricity is a specialty product. It's not appropriate for transportation. It looks cheap at this time, but that's because it was designed for toasters, not transportation. Increase the amount of wiring and infrastructure by a factor of a thousand, and it's not cheap.

Electricity does not scale up properly to the transportation level due to its miniscule nature. Sure, a whole lot can be used for something, but at extraordinary expense and materials.

Using electricity as an energy source requires two energy transformation steps, while using petroleum requires only one. With electricity, the original energy, usually chemical energy, must be transformed into electrical energy; and then the electrical energy is transformed into the kinetic energy of motion. With an internal combustion engine, the only transformation step is the conversion of chemical energy to kinetic energy in the combustion chamber.

The difference matters, because there is a lot of energy lost every time it is transformed or used. Electrical energy is harder to handle and loses more in handling.

The use of electrical energy requires it to move into and out of the space medium (aether) through induction. Induction through the aether medium should be referred to as another form of energy, but physicists sandwich it into the category of electrical energy. Going into and out of the aether through induction loses a lot of energy.

Another problem with electricity is that it loses energy to heat production due to resistance in the wires. A short transmission line will have 20% loss built in, and a long line will have 50% loss built in. These losses are designed in, because reducing the loss by half would require twice as much metal in the wires. Wires have to be optimized for diameter and strength, which means doubling the metal would be doubling the number of transmission lines.

High voltage transformers can get 90% efficiency with expensive designs, but household level voltages get 50% efficiency. Electric motors can get up to 60% efficiency, but only at optimum rpms and load. For autos, they average 25% efficiency. Gasoline engines get 25% efficiency with old-style carburetors and 30% with fuel injection, though additional loses can occur.

Applying this brilliant engineering to the problem yields this result: A natural gas electric generating turbine gets 40% efficiency. A high voltage transformer gets 90% efficiency. A household level transformer gets 50% efficiency. A short transmission line gets 20% loss, which is 80% efficiency. The total is 40% x 90% x 50% x 80% = 14.4% of the energy recovered before the electrical system does something similar to the gasoline engine in the vehicle. Some say the electricity performs a little better in the vehicle, but it's not much.

Electricity appears to be easy to handle sending it through wires. But it is the small scale that makes it look cheap. Scaling it up takes a pound of metal for so many electron-miles. Twice as much distance means twice as much metal. Twice as many amps means twice as much metal. Converting the transportation system into an electrical based system would require scaling up the amount of metal and electrical infrastructure by factors of hundreds or thousands. Where are all those lines going to go? They destroy environments. Where is that much natural gas going to come from for the electrical generators? There is very little natural gas in existence when using it for a large scale purpose. Natural gas has to be used with solar and wind energy, because only it can be turned on and off easily for backup.

One of the overwhelming facts about electric transportation is the chicken and egg phenomenon. Supposedly, a lot of electric vehicles will create an incentive to create a lot of expensive infrastructure. There are a lot of reasons why none of the goals can be met for such an infrastructure. The basic problem is that electricity will never be appropriate for such demanding use as general transportation, which means there will never be enough chickens or eggs to balance the demand. It's like trying to improve a backpack to such an extent that it will replace a pickup truck. The limitations of muscle metabolism are like the limitations of electrical energy.

Electrons are not a space-saving form of energy. Electrons have to be surrounded by large amounts of metal. It means electric motors get heavy and large. When cruising around town, the problems are not so noticeable. But the challenges of ruggedness are met far easier with internal combustion engines. Engineers say it is nice to get rid of the drive train with electric vehicles. But in doing so, they add clutter elsewhere, which adds weight, takes up space and messes up the suspension system. Out on the highway, the suspension system is the most critical factor.

These problems will prevent electric vehicles from replacing petroleum vehicles for all but specialty purposes. The infrastructure needed for electric vehicles will never exist when limited to specialty purposes. This would be true even with the perfect battery which takes up no space and holds infinite charge.

SOURCE




Debunked Climate Scientist Threatens Legal Action Against his Critics

A Stanford University professor indicated he was ready to take legal action against NOAA researchers who published a recent study critical of his work on green energy.

Emails obtained by National Review’s Robert Bryce show Stanford’s Mark Jacobson hired lawyers “to address the falsification of claims” about his work. Jacobson has not yet filed a lawsuit.

Jacobson sent a June email to Chris Clack , a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) mathematician who helped debunk his widely-cited 2015 research claimed the U.S. could run on 100 percent green energy. Clack and 20 other researchers published a retort to Jacobson’s study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), concluding its “work used invalid modeling tools, contained modeling errors, and made implausible and inadequately supported assumptions.”

“It’s unprecedented for a scientist to do that,” Chris Clack, told The National Review. “We have not attacked him. All the vitriol has come from his side. We have only talked about the substance of the paper.”

I have no comment except to say that any email you have obtained from a third party that has my words on it is copyrighted, and your printing any email of mine would be done without my permission and would be considered a copyright infringement,” Jacobson told The National Review.

Jacobson’s research contained several serious errors, such as overstating the available hydropower in the U.S. by roughly a factor of ten as well as claiming all commercial gasoline powered jetliners would be replaced with hydrogen in thirty years.

Rather than accept any of the criticisms, Jacobson responded with tirades on Twitter and the environmentalists blog EcoWatch. Jaconbson responded to the criticism by claiming “[t]here is not a single error in our paper,” to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Technology Review.

Environmentalists and some Democrats widely hailed Jacobson’s paper, with politicians like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and activist celebrities like Mark Ruffalo citing it. However, even a green energy CEO says that powering everything in modern civilization can rely solely on solar and wind power is a “hoax.”

Power grids require demand for electricity to exactly match supply in order to function, which is an enormous problem for wind and solar power since their output cannot be accurately predicted in advance or easily adjusted. This is the entire reason for Renewable Energy Credits. Wind and solar can also burn out the grid if they produce too much, or not enough, electricity, leading to brownouts or blackouts. Such damage has already occurred in power grids relying too much on solar and wind power — like California and Germany.

When the islands of Tasmania and El Hierro tried to power their economies with 100 percent green energy, both islands quickly switched back to diesel generators after suffering reliability problems and soaring costs. The analysis suggests it would have taken 84 years for El Hierro’s wind and hydropower systems to simply pay back their capital costs.

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here

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Thursday, July 20, 2017



What an airhead!

The fantasy below is by Ida Auken, a Member of the Parliament of Denmark and a priest of the Church of Denmark.  She is a member of a radical Leftist party and as Green as they come



Her fantasy set out below reminds one powerfully of an earlier fantasy, which predicted that "the state will wither away" (Marx, Engels, Lenin) -- which was a very bad prophecy. The State in fact grows rather than recedes.  She thinks private property will wither away, which is also Marxist and just as improbable. Her prophecy dismisses almost the whole of human experience.

Ida's idea seems to be that a coming era of robotics will abolish the need to work.  But that prophecy has been made many times as machines became more and more sophisticated.  Yet the proportion of the population working remains much the same through all these changes.  People's needs and wants expand as the possibilities do.

And private property is now way more extensive than ever before.  Kitchen gadgets alone have proliferated enormously.  I have an electric crockpot, an electric can-opener, an electric rice-cooker, a microwave oven, an electric sandwich maker etc.  My parents had none of those even in their declining years.

The actual trend in society is massively opposite to what the poor deluded woman hypothesizes.  The brain beneath her blonde hair clearly has some twisted bits in it.  She is high on dreams.  Her no. 1 passion seems to be recycling, which is quite labor-intensive.  One wonders how that fits in with her dream of idleness below


Welcome to the year 2030. Welcome to my city - or should I say, "our city". I don't own anything. I don't own a car. I don't own a house. I don't own any appliances or any clothes.

It might seem odd to you, but it makes perfect sense for us in this city. Everything you considered a product, has now become a service. We have access to transportation, accommodation, food and all the things we need in our daily lives. One by one all these things became free, so it ended up not making sense for us to own much.

First communication became digitized and free to everyone. Then, when clean energy became free, things started to move quickly. Transportation dropped dramatically in price. It made no sense for us to own cars anymore, because we could call a driverless vehicle or a flying car for longer journeys within minutes. We started transporting ourselves in a much more organized and coordinated way when public transport became easier, quicker and more convenient than the car. Now I can hardly believe that we accepted congestion and traffic jams, not to mention the air pollution from combustion engines. What were we thinking?

Sometimes I use my bike when I go to see some of my friends. I enjoy the exercise and the ride. It kind of gets the soul to come along on the journey. Funny how some things seem never seem to lose their excitement: walking, biking, cooking, drawing and growing plants. It makes perfect sense and reminds us of how our culture emerged out of a close relationship with nature.

"Environmental problems seem far away"

In our city we don't pay any rent, because someone else is using our free space whenever we do not need it. My living room is used for business meetings when I am not there.

Once in awhile, I will choose to cook for myself. It is easy - the necessary kitchen equipment is delivered at my door within minutes. Since transport became free, we stopped having all those things stuffed into our home. Why keep a pasta-maker and a crepe cooker crammed into our cupboards? We can just order them when we need them.

This also made the breakthrough of the circular economy easier. When products are turned into services, no one has an interest in things with a short life span. Everything is designed for durability, repairability and recyclability. The materials are flowing more quickly in our economy and can be transformed to new products pretty easily. Environmental problems seem far away, since we only use clean energy and clean production methods. The air is clean, the water is clean and nobody would dare to touch the protected areas of nature because they constitute such value to our well being. In the cities we have plenty of green space and plants and trees all over. I still do not understand why in the past we filled all free spots in the city with concrete.

The death of shopping

Shopping? I can't really remember what that is. For most of us, it has been turned into choosing things to use. Sometimes I find this fun, and sometimes I just want the algorithm to do it for me. It knows my taste better than I do by now.

When AI and robots took over so much of our work, we suddenly had time to eat well, sleep well and spend time with other people. The concept of rush hour makes no sense anymore, since the work that we do can be done at any time. I don't really know if I would call it work anymore. It is more like thinking-time, creation-time and development-time.

For a while, everything was turned into entertainment and people did not want to bother themselves with difficult issues. It was only at the last minute that we found out how to use all these new technologies for better purposes than just killing time.

SOURCE





Almost middle of summer and still no Northwest Passage

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.






Marin, San Mateo counties sue Big Oil over climate change

Two Bay Area counties and a Southern California city concerned about rising sea levels sued 37 of the world’s biggest oil and coal companies Monday, claiming the fossil fuel giants should pay for damages wrought by climate change — a first-of-its-kind challenge that some liken to the high-stakes litigation of the tobacco industry in the 1990s.

Marin County, San Mateo County and Imperial Beach (San Diego County) filed separate but nearly identical lawsuits in their respective Superior Court offices that seek to tie fossil fuel development to climate-related problems in coastal areas. Lawyers for the three communities worked together to document such effects as more frequent flooding and beach erosion as well as the possibility that water will eventually inundate roads, airports, sewage treatment plants and other real estate.

The lawyers contend that the oil companies knew about the damage their actions were causing, denied it and sought to discredit scientific findings that greenhouse gas emissions were heating the Earth’s atmosphere.

The suits are the latest in a small but growing effort to hold Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP, Shell and other major energy companies accountable for the effects of global warming. Legal experts say the challenge is more comprehensive than previous endeavors, and is based on better climate science and more evidence to support a claim of conspiracy among oil company executives.

SOURCE

Steve Goddard comments:  "Apparently no one told these left-wing morons that sea level isn’t rising in the San Francisco Bay.



And as far as San Diego county goes, sea level there has hardly changed in 145 years. Please put me on the witness stand. I will have the plaintiffs crying for mercy in about five minutes. King Canute must be rolling in his grave at the stupidity on display by Democrats




The magic of 59 degrees -- where did it go?

Just exactly how much has the climate changed in recent decades? Longtime New York Times readers can be forgiven if they are now thoroughly confused on the matter.

Anyone old enough to have been a Times reader in the late 1980s may recall a series of stories that helped educate the public on how cool our planet used to be. Here’s one report from March of 1988:

"One of the scientists, Dr. James E. Hansen of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Institute for Space Studies in Manhattan, said he used the 30-year period 1950-1980, when the average global temperature was 59 degrees Fahrenheit, as a base to determine temperature variations."

The paper returned to the topic in June of that year, and reminded readers of the planet’s colder past:

"Dr. Hansen, who records temperatures from readings at monitoring stations around the world, had previously reported that four of the hottest years on record occurred in the 1980’s. Compared with a 30-year base period from 1950 to 1980, when the global temperature averaged 59 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature was one-third of a degree higher last year."

The following year, the paper reported a new record high in global temperatures and affirmed its climate history, which seemed to be the consensus view—at least among scientists quoted by the Times:

"The British readings showed that the average global temperature in 1988 was 0.612 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the long-term average for the period 1950 through 1979, which is a base for comparing global temperatures. The average worldwide temperature for that 30-year period is roughly 59 degrees Fahrenheit, the British researchers said."

In 1991, the Times reported yet another record high, and published yet another reminder of how cool the planet used to be:

"The Goddard group found that the record average surface temperature for the globe was eight-tenths of a degree Fahrenheit above the 1951-1980 average of 59 degrees. The British group found it seventh-tenths of a degree higher than the 1951-80 average."

By that point a reasonable consumer might have been ardently hoping to return to that magical era in which global temperatures averaged just 59 degrees. But in the ensuing years it must have been difficult for Times readers to stay hopeful. As the years and then the decades rolled by, The Times routinely reported record or near-record highs as global temperatures appeared to march ever higher.

In January of this year, the newspaper published a feature entitled, “How 2016 Became Earth’s Hottest Year on Record.” The Times noted the disturbing news that “2016 was the first time that the hottest year on record occurred three times in a row.” And things could be about to get much worse. “We expect records to continue to be broken as global warming proceeds,” climate enthusiast Michael Mann told the Times.

Is there any way to return to the salad days of 59 degrees? Well, it turns out to be easier than you might think. In January, as the government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was reporting the third consecutive year of record highs, it noted that the average global temperature in 2016 had surged to a sizzling... 58.69 degrees.

Over the years researchers seem to have concluded that the planet was not as hot as they thought. Oops.

The most important facts in the climate debate are subject to frequent revisions. This doesn’t mean the global warming thesis is wrong, but it argues for skepticism. The Journal’s Holman Jenkins noted in 2015:

"By the count of researcher Marcia Wyatt in a widely circulated presentation, the U.S. government’s published temperature data for the years 1880 to 2010 has been tinkered with 16 times in the past three years."

While waiting for the science to settle, this column’s advice to Times readers is to go ahead and fly around the world on the newspaper’s luxurious jet—if you don’t mind the company.

SOURCE





Australia: Who’s afraid of the big bad climate monster?

IN Al Gore’s latest cinematic dose of climate scaremongering, a young Asian man is crying.

“I feel so scared” he wails, before vision of solicitous uncle Al patting his hand in an attempt to soothe away his fears of the apocalypse.

Scaremongering is what Gore does best, and fear is the business model that has made him rich, though his every apocalyptic scenario has failed to materialise.

In Australia last week to spruik his upcoming movie An Inconvenient Sequel, the former US vice president tried it on again, claiming Mother Nature was “screaming” and the world would ­descend into “political disruption and chaos and diseases, stronger storms and more ­destructive floods” unless we buy his snake oil.

Silly Labor premiers bought that snake oil last week, pledging alongside the grinning Gore that Victoria, Queensland, the ACT and South Australia would embrace renewables to produce zero net emissions by 2050.

They haven’t learned the lesson from SA’s extreme green experiment with renewable energy that has produced nothing but crippling blackouts and the highest electricity prices in the world.

Any normal person with such a woeful record of accuracy as Gore would be ashamed to show his face. Eleven years after his Inconvenient Truth movie scared little kids witless, his warnings of climate armageddon have come to nothing.

“Unless we take drastic measures the world would reach a point of no return within 10 years,” he told us then. Wrong. In fact the world has just been through almost 20 years in which there has been a hiatus in global warming, even as carbon dioxide has increased: an “inconvenient pause” as some wags put it.

Around the world people are waking up to the fact that their leaders have been crying wolf, while their electricity bills go through the roof.

Australia’s prosperity is built on the reams of cheap, abundant fossil fuel under our feet, and yet green zealots have forced us into an energy crisis.

But when Liberal backbencher Craig Kelly last week pointed out the logical fact that Australians will die because of high power bills, he was slammed as a “scaremonger” by the very people who worship at Al Gore’s feet.

Yes, cold kills, and electricity prices have doubled in the past decade, as uncertainty plagues the energy sector, and cheap coal-fired power is priced out of the market by government subsidies for unreliable renewable energy production.

The states, which bear much of the blame, continue with the fantasy that you can replace coal with wind and solar while simultaneously banning the development of onshore gas fields.

The iron-clad law of ­energy supply is that more ­renewables force out baseload power, which you need when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.

Yet SA is pretending that the world’s biggest battery built at huge taxpayer expense by another global green huckster, Elon Musk, is going to save the day.

The diabolic task facing federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg is to wrangle agreement on something approaching a rational energy policy out of the recently ­released Finkel Review.

Unlike Donald Trump, this government doesn’t have an electoral mandate for pulling out of the Paris treaty.

Tony Abbott was a climate sceptic yet he signed us up to the Paris renewable energy target of slashing emissions by 26-28 per cent by 2050.

That was all he could get through Senate where even mining millionaire Clive Palmer had been got at by Al Gore. So this is where we are.

Appointing Alan Finkel as chief scientist was one of Malcolm Turnbull’s first tasks after he deposed Abbott. Like Turnbull, Finkel is a climate true believer who drives an electric car and powers his South Yarra home on ­renewables.

He’s also an accomplished scientist and entrepreneur with a PhD in electrical ­engineering.

He’s smart but he has produced a report bullish on renewables and bearish on coal.

Finkel is right that wimpish investors have deserted coal in Australia and that electricity prices have soared because of the uncertainty that ensued since Labor’s vandalism from 2007.

But coal is nowhere near obsolete. As the Australian Minerals Council points out, coal is the world’s leading source of electricity and will be till at least 2040.

In our region countries are busy building new clean coal plants. In East Asia alone 1250 new plants are under construction or planned.

Yet in the past eight years in Australia not a single new baseload coal or gas generation unit has been built.

That has to change.

Turnbull has now come around to that realisation, telling the Liberal National Party state convention in Brisbane yesterday: “Those people who say coal and other fossil fuels have no ­future are delusional.”

Fossil fuels are here to stay, despite Al Gore.

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017


Warmists take note: Scientists are stunned by corals as big as cars and thriving marine life at Bikini Atoll site where 23 atomic bombs were dropped

Corals and much else are not in danger anywhere on this  evidence.  It is also evidence that the harm from radiation has been much exaggerated

Bikini Atoll, the former paradise island used by the US to carry out 23 nuclear weapons tests 70 years ago, is now teeming with life, scientists have found.

The Pacific Ocean island has blooming populations of plants and animal life, filled with fish such as snapper, sharks and tuna while boasting corals as big as cars.

Crabs the size of hubcaps are said to be feasting on coconuts filled with radioactive groundwater as part of an ecosystem described by experts as 'remarkably resilient'.

Scientists are now sequencing the DNA of the Bikini Atoll coral to better understand how they are able to survive.

The study may help researchers better understand how certain DNA can combat genetic diseases, such as cancer.

During the Cold War, the US detonated 23 nuclear bombs at Bikini Atoll, including a device in 1954 that was 1,100-times more powerful than the Hiroshima atom bomb.

The blasts, detonated in the years between 1946 and 1954, exposed corals and other species to persistent, high levels of radioactivity.

At the time of the tests, residents of the islands were moved to other locations, and the site has remained uninhabited  beyond a handful of caretakers since.

A 2012 report to the United Nations stated that there was 'near-irreversible environmental contamination' to the former nuclear site.

But scientists have found that populations of coral, crabs, fish and sharks are thriving at Bikini Atoll.

A researcher told the Guardian that fish populations are thriving because they have been left alone - 'in a strange way they are protected by the history of this place'.

The findings, led by scientists at Stanford University in northern California, featured in an episode of Big Pacific aired on June 28, a natural history TV series on PBS.

The five-part series, which looked at strange wildlife populations in the Pacific Ocean, did not air in the UK but will be available to buy on DVD later this year.

The study focused on reports of mutant sharks that are missing their second dorsal fin around a submerged hydrogen bomb crater near the island.

Professor Steve Palumbi, a marine scientist at Stanford whose team have been studying the effects of radiation poisoning on marine life, said the bizarre ecosystem is 'remarkably resilient'.

He said that, to the naked eye, the crabs, fish and corals around Bikini Atoll look perfectly normal, and some of the coral has been around for decades.

During the Cold War, the US detonated 23 nuclear bombs at Bikini Atoll, including a device in 1954 that was 1,100-times more powerful than the Hiroshima atom bomb.

The blasts, detonated in the years between 1946 and 1954, exposed corals and other species to persistent, high levels of radioactivity.

The researchers discovered plentiful schools of fish at a lagoon near the Micronesian island, located halfway between Hawaii and Australia.

Professor Palumbi told the Guardian that fish populations are thriving because they have been left alone - 'in a strange way they are protected by the history of this place'.

'It is a remarkable environment, quite odd,' he said.

The fish spawn around the island's waters using an abundant population of coral that seems unaffected by the deadly radiation at the site.

Professor Palumbi and his team are now sequencing the DNA of the Bikini Atoll coral to better understand how they are able to survive.

The study may help to develop research into genetic diseases, such as cancer, in humans.

'The terrible history of is an ironic setting for research that might help people live longer,' Professor Palumbi said.

'By understanding how corals could have recolonised the radiation-filled bomb craters, maybe we can discover something new about keeping DNA intact.'

Although local wildlife appears to be flourishing, the Bikini Atoll site is still considered dangerous to humans.

A 2012 report to the United Nations stated that there was 'near-irreversible environmental contamination'.

'This is the most destructive thing we have ever done to the ocean, dropping 23 atomic bombs on it, yet the ocean is really striving to come back to life,' said Professor Palumbi.

'The fact there is life there and the life there is trying to come back from the most violent thing we've ever done to it is pretty hopeful.'

SOURCE




Russia suspected of using Bermuda shell company to exploit American anti-fracking activists  

Russia’s propaganda schemes and shell companies are so complex that investigators call them “matryoshkas” for the Russian nesting dolls that hide one inside the other. Capitol Hill lawmakers say they are now wrestling with one that appears to have twisted American oil and gas policy in Moscow’s favor.

Adding fresh intrigue to the multiple Russia probes underway across Washington, top Republican lawmakers are demanding that the Trump administration immediately investigate a Bermuda-based shell company with suspected Kremlin ties that is accused of working in the shadows to move millions of dollars to anti-fracking activists across the U.S.

Capitol Hill investigators say the Bermuda fracking case underscores the complexity of recent Russian influence operations that attempt to use Americans as pawns in money laundering or propaganda schemes.

“If you connect the dots, it is clear that Russia is funding U.S. environmental groups in an effort to suppress our domestic oil and gas industry, specifically hydraulic fracking,” Rep. Lamar Smith, Republican Texas, said in a statement.

The fracking revelations dovetail with a recently declassified report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that concluded that Russia’s state-owned media outlet Russia Today, or RT, also engaged in a vigorous anti-fracking campaign to benefit the leading Russian state-owned energy firm Gazprom.

In recent years, NATO chiefs have criticized Russia for conspiring to undermine technology in Europe by supporting anti-fracking protesters in Romania and Bulgaria. Former NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has claimed Russian President Vladimir Putin was behind the efforts.

Fracking involves blasting shale rock with water, sand and chemicals to release trapped natural gas. Although it has led to a boom in U.S. gas production, environmental groups have voiced opposition, saying it contributes to global warming.

Russia has aligned itself with the anti-fracking movement for fear that aggressive U.S. fracking will cut into Moscow’s global gas profits, analysts say.

An investigator speaking to The Washington Times on the condition of anonymity for security reasons said Moscow does not care whether it’s using Democrats or Republicans in an influence campaign.

“The Kremlin seeks to influence American debate in ways that look natural,” the investigator said. “To do this, they use what we call ‘useful idiots,’ or people who are unaware they are being used.”

Shell companies

On Capitol Hill, worries over the Russian anti-fracking scheme led Mr. Smith, who chairs the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, to send a letter late last month to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

The six-page letter asks Treasury officials to investigate “what appears to be a concerted effort by foreign entities to funnel millions of dollars through various nonprofit entities to influence the U.S. energy market.”

Co-signed by Rep. Randy K. Weber Sr., Texas Republican, the letter targets the San Francisco-based environmental group the Sea Change Foundation, which is alleged to have taken $23 million in 2010 and 2011 from Bermuda-based shell company Klein Ltd., which reportedly has ties to Russian oligarchs.

According to IRS documents, Sea Change Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private foundation.

After receiving funds from Bermuda, Sea Change is suspected of passing millions of dollars to U.S.-based environmental groups opposed to fracking, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters.

Last week, Klein Ltd. responded to the Capitol Hill accusations and denied funneling Russian money to environmental groups.

“Our firm has represented Klein since its inception, and we can state categorically that at no point did this philanthropic organization receive or expend funds from Russian sources or Russian-connected sources and Klein has no Russian connection whatsoever,” Klein attorney Roderick M. Forrest said in an email to The Times last week.

House investigators, led by Mr. Smith, believe the scheme potentially violates federal statutes pertaining to agents of foreign governments or those lobbying on behalf of domestic and foreign interests, but others on Capitol Hill are less sure. They note that private U.S. foundations may accept foreign contributions and that Moscow might have exploited that loophole in this particular case.

The League of Conservation Voters also denies all charges that it has any Kremlin associations.

“This seems like nothing more than an attempt at distraction away from the Trump campaign’s well-publicized interactions with Russian interests to influence the election,” league spokesman David Willett said in an email. “We have no connections to Russia and have been an effective advocate for environmental protection for over 45 years.”

Other environmental groups have blasted the House Republicans’ call for an investigation as “pathetic,” and Klein insists all its work is legal and operates within Bermuda’s strict regulations against money laundering.

Long shadows

Russia’s propaganda shadow has hung over environmental groups for some time. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is on record calling out Russia for creating “phony environmental groups” opposed to pipelines and fracking.

“We were even up against phony environmental groups, and I’m a big environmentalist, but these were funded by the Russians to stand against any effort — ‘Oh that pipeline, that fracking, that whatever will be a problem for you’ — and a lot of the money supporting that message was coming from Russia,” Mrs. Clinton said in a June 2014 speech.

House investigators are unsure how much more they will be able to unearth about Sea Change, which was first exposed in a 2014 report by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. That report closely connected Klein with Russia’s state-owned oil giant Rosneft and Russian energy investment groups including Firebird New Russia Fund and VimpelCom Ltd.

The report singled out that Sea Change functioned as a “pass-through” financing organization. Investigators say such opacity is what they confront when they attempt to prosecute complex international Russian schemes.

One investigator compared the Sea Change probe to a recent Interpol investigation into a suspected Russian mafia money laundering operating that infiltrated Portugal’s top football teams. Because of the Portuguese scheme’s complexity, which included multiple shell companies, tax fraud, corruption and forgery of documents, Portuguese law enforcement code-named the case Operation Matryoshka Dolls.

SOURCE



Tired of Being Wrong, Climate Alarmists Move Doomsday to Next Century

If the climate alarmists weren't still so politically powerful and represented in Congress by their devoted cult members, it would almost be easy to pity them. Why? Because they're so spectacularly wrong about so many things.

They keep the hype coming regardless, as in this article that cites the fact that it's hot in the desert in the summertime to say that air travel may be doomed.

The cult's leader — Al Gore — said in 2009 that there was a 75 percent chance that the entire arctic polar ice cap would melt by 2014.

It's still there.

The year before the North Pole was supposed to be gone, noted climate scientist Hans von Storch went against cult orthodoxy in an interview with Spiegel Online in 2013 and had some interesting things to say about the climate prediction models so revered by the alarmists.

After noting that “climate change seems to be taking a break,” von Storch had this to say about the models:

“If things continue as they have been, in five years, at the latest, we will need to acknowledge that something is fundamentally wrong with our climate models. A 20-year pause in global warming does not occur in a single modeled scenario. But even today, we are finding it very difficult to reconcile actual temperature trends with our expectations.”

He followed that up with this after being asked what might be wrong with the models:

There are two conceivable explanations — and neither is very pleasant for us. The first possibility is that less global warming is occurring than expected because greenhouse gases, especially CO2, have less of an effect than we have assumed. This wouldn't mean that there is no man-made greenhouse effect, but simply that our effect on climate events is not as great as we have believed. The other possibility is that, in our simulations, we have underestimated how much the climate fluctuates owing to natural causes.

After so many swings and misses while attempting to predict doomsday as being just around the corner, the alarmists have decided to provide themselves a little cover:

Climate alarmist James Hansen's prediction of Manhattan being underwater by 2018 seems to not be happening, so he's moving his own goal posts and saying “50 to 150 years” now.

That's the beauty of being one of the “we believe in science” people: there's never any penalty for being wrong. Every prediction that doesn't come true isn't a cause for reflection about perhaps adjusting the conclusion; it's merely an opportunity to pull a new prediction out of thin air.

Perhaps they are finally getting embarrassed, though. Tossing all of the predictions a century down the road at least saves them from having to be around when those are proved wrong.

Unless, of course, the real scientists who are working on aging and extending life have some big success soon.

SOURCE





Swiss Physicist Concludes IPCC Assumptions ‘Violate Reality’…CO2 A ‘Very Weak Greenhouse Gas’

A Swiss scientist known to have published hundreds of scientific papers in physics journals has authored a new scholarly paper that casts serious doubts on the effectiveness of CO2 as a greenhouse gas influencing Earth’s temperatures.

This paper has been added to a growing volume of peer-reviewed scientific papers that seriously question estimates of a high climate sensitivity to significant increases in CO2 concentrations.

Below are some of the key user-friendly (non-technical) points from Dr. Reinhart’s paper entitled Infrared absorption of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

A summarizing conclusion from the calculations may be that if we doubled today’s concentration (400 ppm) to 800 ppm, the consequent temperature response would be less than 1/4th of a degree Celsius.  Even with a ten-fold increase in today’s CO2 concentration (400 ppm) to 4,000 ppm, the resulting temperature change would amount to just 0.8°C.

Based on all these facts, we conclude that CO2 is a very weak greenhouse gas. We emphasize that our simplifying assumptions are by no means trying to minimize the absorption potential of CO2. To the contrary, they lead to overestimating the limiting values. The assumption of a constant temperature and black body radiation definitely violates reality and even the principles of thermodynamics.

Our results permit to conclude that CO2 is a very weak greenhouse gas and cannot be accepted as the main driver of climate change. The observed temperature increase since pre-industrial times is close to an order of magnitude higher than that attributable to CO2. We find that the increase of CO2 only might become dangerous, if the concentrations are considerably greater than 4000 ppm. At present rates of increase this would take more than 200 years. Therefore, demands for sequestering CO2 are unjustified and trading of CO2 certificates is an economic absurdity. The climate change must have a very different origin and the scientific community must look for causes of climate change that can be solidly based on physics and chemistry.

SOURCE




Australia: Plastic bags are GOOD for the environment -- compared with the alternatives

News that Australia’s two largest supermarkets were completely phasing out single-use plastic bags was met with praise from environmental groups on Friday.

The move will affect shoppers in NSW, Victoria and WA, bringing them into line with South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT, which already have statewide bans on plastic bags. A statewide ban in Queensland comes into effect next year.

From next year, shoppers will have to pay 15 cents each for heavier, reusable plastic bags.

Jon Dee, managing director of environmental lobby group Do Something and founder of the National Plastic Bag Campaign, called on the federal government to institute a nationwide ban. “Such a national ban would reduce Australia’s plastic bag use by at an estimated six billion bags a year,” he said.

Woolworths chief executive Brad Banducci said the supermarket handed out more than 3.2 billion plastic bags a year and “hence can play a significant role in reducing overall plastic bag usage”.

“Today’s commitment shows we are committed to taking our environmental and community responsibilities seriously,” he said.

The problem with scrapping plastic bags, however, is it increases use of bin liners.

In 2012, a review of South Australia’s bag ban found just 15 per cent of consumers purchased bin liners before the ban, compared with 80 per cent after, “increasing some scepticism about the broader environmental benefit”.

The review suggested that “any future initiatives should include a focus on changing household bin liner behaviour”. That’s because bin liners “do not break down well in modern, highly compacted landfills”, a 2014 WA government study noted.

In 2011, a report by the UK Environment Agency found single-use plastic bags actually had the lowest overall environmental impact in eight out of nine categories compared with heavier options, when the entire production and transport life cycle was taken into account.

A paper bag would have to be reused seven times to have the same “global warming potential” as a traditional plastic bag used as a bin liner, a heavy-duty plastic bag nine times, a tote bag 26 times and a cotton bag 327 times.

That study calculated that just over four in 10 of all lightweight plastic bags were reused in the place of heavier bin liners.

With 90 per cent of households using either bin liners or plastic bags to line their bins, plastic bags being phased out and bin liners discouraged, the natural question becomes — what exactly are you meant to use?

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here

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