Recently in Anti Environmentalism Category

Snowflakes of a different sort - DAPL

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Talk about cognitive dissonance. They lost big time but they believe that "we won" - from The Daily Caller:

Dakota Protesters Declare Victory As Pipeline’s Construction Nears Completion
Activists evicted from various Dakota Access Pipeline protest campsites in North Dakota are claiming victory even as the highly-contested oil project nears completion.

Protesters believe they can take what they learned from the so-called anti-DAPL demonstrations and apply them to other areas of the country where pipelines are being constructed. They also believe their efforts successfully brought the oil project to the public’s attention.

Meanwhile, the adults are spending their time cleaning up the trash that these little children left behind. They packed it in - they certainly had the resources to pack it back out again.

More here: Cleanup Of Pipeline Protest Site To Take Weeks

So near and yet so far - coal in the news

There is an area North of Bellingham called Cherry Point. It was set aside for heavy industry and was created so that all of the environmental concerns could be kept in one location. It hosts a petroleum refinery and an Alcoa Aluminum plant.

Recently, there has been a push to add a coal terminal.  The Western states are sitting on several hundred years worth of coal reserves and China is hungry for the energy.

Needless to say, this has been a cause celebre for the environmentalists. People who have never seen a coal mine are wailing about how evil and dirty coal is. Lulu and I toured a coal mine when we went to the Blacksmithing conference in South Dakota and coal is perfectly clean. Adding to the irony, even our oldest coal-burning plants are orders of magnitude cleaner than the plants that China is building so it would be better for the environment to burn it here.  [set rant=off]

Anyway, our friends to the North have grown tired of waiting for us to act. From Reuters:

Canada's largest port approves $15 mln coal transfer project
Port Metro Vancouver, Canada's largest port, said on Thursday it has approved a new facility to transfer coal from trains onto barges at Fraser Surrey Docks, a decision that followed lengthy public scrutiny over the project's environmental and health impact.

After a permitting process lasting more than two years and including environmental impact, air quality and other human health assessments, the port said it found no "unacceptable risks" in allowing the $15 million project to move forward.

The Fraser Surrey Docks terminal would handle up to 4 million metric tonnes of coal from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Co (BNSF) each year, loading it on barges bound for Texada Island, north of Vancouver, where it would be transferred to large vessels for export.

Every ton of coal that moves through that terminal will be taxed. Every ton of coal that moves through that terminal will need people to move it - hundreds of jobs. Our county just lost out on a major economic boon.

From Anthony Watts:
Wackadoodle 350.org protesters disappear their KKK moment
Last weekend I pointed out that 350.org leader Bill McKibben had endorsed the antics of some 350.org members in Texas that adopted tactics of the Klu Klux Klan � showing up at somebody�s house with mask covered faces, torches, and a threat:

20140214-micats-vigil.jpg

It seems the well deserved ridicule of these cowards has had an effect, they have disappeared that photo from their website.

Fortunately, I have a copy of the entire web page before that disappearing act took place.

See the PDF: Tar Sands Blockade � Enbridge

No apology, just down the memory hole. What a bunch of cowardly and pathetic people they are. That goes for Bill McKibben too who thought this was a good enough idea to promote with a tweet rather than condemn it.
Anthony closes with the image of a tweet from Bill McKibben in favor of the demonstration, not opposing it. Where is the love and tolerance?

alt.energy in California

How could they not see this coming -- from The Wall Street Journal:

The $2.2 Billion Bird-Scorching Solar Project
A giant solar-power project officially opening this week in the California desert is the first of its kind, and may be among the last, in part because of growing evidence that the technology it uses is killing birds.

U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz is scheduled to speak Thursday at an opening ceremony for the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Station, which received a $1.6 billion federal loan guarantee.

The $2.2 billion solar farm, which spans over five square miles of federal land southwest of Las Vegas, includes three towers as tall as 40-story buildings. Nearly 350,000 mirrors, each the size of a garage door, reflect sunlight onto boilers atop the towers, creating steam that drives power generators.

Geee - $1.6 billion. With 350 million people in the USA and with 50% of these not paying any taxes at all, this ammounts to about $9 of my tax money being spent for this boondoggle. More:

Utility-scale solar plants have come under fire for their costs -- Ivanpah costs about four times as much as a conventional natural gas-fired plant but will produce far less electricity -- and also for the amount of land they require.

Oh Noooeeessssss!!!

BrightSource wants to build a second tower-based solar farm in California's Riverside County, east of Palm Springs. But the state Energy Commission in December proposed that the company instead use more conventional technologies, such as solar panels or mirrored troughs.

One reason: the BrightSource system appears to be scorching birds that fly through the intense heat surrounding the towers, which can reach 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

The company, which is based in Oakland, Calif., reported finding dozens of dead birds at the Ivanpah plant over the past several months, while workers were testing the plant before it started operating in December. Some of the dead birds appeared to have singed or burned feathers, according to federal biologists and documents filed with the state Energy Commission.

And you know that if they are admitting to "dozens", the real number is probably in the hundreds if not thousands. There is no temperature gradient to warn the birds as they fly, it is normal air temp and then blammo. There was already a huge flap about the Ivanpah Desert Tortise and how they had to relocate it. From Bloomberg's Businessweek:

Where Tortoises and Solar Power Don't Mix
For a sense of how complicated it is to combat climate change without collateral damage, consider the $56 million spent so far to rescue and relocate desert tortoises from the upheaval caused by the construction of a Mojave Desert solar plant.

I can't hear you! From the New Bedford, MA South Coast Today:

Our View: There is no debate on climate change
The "debate" over the reality and cause of climate change stopped being scientific long ago. Today, the "debate" is nothing more than a distraction that serves a political purpose for those who would stand to lose the most by policies that would curtail the release of carbon from its restful, stable location below the surface of the earth, in the form of fossil fuels, into our environment.

One hundred percent of the current and former UMass Dartmouth scientists participating in an editorial board meeting at The Standard-Times on Tuesday agree both that climate change is occurring and that human activity - particularly the combustion of fossil fuels - has a significant impact on it.

The point was made in the meeting that it is not typical that scientists would agree so broadly. There's a reason for that: Theories aren't agreed upon in the scientific community, but facts are.

The author drones on for a while and then cites a couple of proofs that Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming is happening in front of us. Here is the first:

Acidification: Carbon from human activity of burning fossil fuels is being absorbed into and changing the pH of our oceans, thus affecting the growth of corals and the ability of mollusks to make their shells. Scientists are unclear on how ocean creatures will adapt to the rapid changes.

Abject bullshit -- Carbon has zero effect on the ocean's pH. It is Carbon Dioxide that can do this but... ask someone who maintains a salt-water aquarium. I posted on this back in June, 2009:

Environmental bullshit in the media
If the globe is not warming, let's look at other ways to hamstring CO2 production (and thereby capitalism)

If CO2 goes into the atmosphere, it will cause the Oceans to acidify and this will cause the coral reefs to deteriorate.

This pseudo-science piffle can be found at the Australian branch of News.com:
Acid seas 'attacking shellfish, corals'
From correspondents in Bonn, Germany

CLIMATE change is turning the oceans more acid in a trend that could endanger everything from clams to coral and be irreversible for thousands of years.

Seventy academies from around the world urged governments meeting in Bonn for climate talks from June 1-12 to take more account of risks to the oceans in a new UN treaty for fighting global warming due to be agreed in Copenhagen in December.

The academies said rising amounts of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas emitted mainly by human use of fossil fuels, were being absorbed by the oceans and making it harder for creatures to build protective body parts.

I cited two more examples of the CO2 twaddle and one example of where a reef has been making a spectacular recovery. I then wrote:

Now: CO2

If you show an Aquarist, especially someone who specializes in tropical reef habitat aquariums the above two news stories, they will snort their coffee out through their nose and call you an idiot (or worse).

Check out this section of the Marine and Reef Aquarium Supply  home page:

marine_reef_co2_systems.Png

There is a whole section on hardware for the specific purpose of adding gaseous CO2 to freshwater and saltwater aquaria. The CO2 in freshwater tanks is plant food - if we did not have CO2, we would not have plants. When it comes to Reef tanks, things get interesting.

Here is a quote from the Drs. Foster and Smith site:
Calcium Reactors
Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

What They Do� How They Work In nature, seawater bathes coral reefs in many minerals and elements. Of all the minerals and elements present in natural seawater, no mineral is consumed as quickly or in as large of amounts as calcium. Hard corals, which are the building blocks of the coral reef, demand large amounts of calcium to build their skeletons. Providing enough calcium to meet the demands of all the corals, invertebrates, and algae in a closed ecosystem creates a real challenge for the hobbyist.

To help you meet this challenge, consider adding a calcium reactor to your aquarium system. Calcium reactors automate the process of replenishing calcium as well as other minerals and trace elements.

A calcium reactor is essentially a chamber full of aragonite, which is the crushed skeleton of ancient hard corals. Aquarium water is pumped through this chamber along with pressurized carbon dioxide (CO2). The CO2 lowers the pH in the chamber to an acidic level, which dissolves aragonite into the aquarium water. In addition to dissolving the calcium, this process also dissolves nearly all the minerals and trace elements the coral used in order to grow. Therefore, a calcium reactor takes much of the guesswork out of adding trace elements to your reef aquarium, because it replenishes these minerals and elements in the near exact proportions that the corals need to thrive.
Emphasis mine - these 'reactors' are mimicking the chemistry that normally happens on a reef. Again, reefs are not static, they are dynamic, they change. Old reefs die, new reefs are born and the presence of Carbon Dioxide gas in the water is the vital transport mechanism to this ancient cycle.

Sure, you can bubble CO2 through a flask of some seawater until you have a saturated solution and then drop in a chunk of coral, that coral will dissolve. BUT it will have been turned into food for new corals. Your little experiment in the lab may support your pet theory but it in no way represents the dynamics of reef life and what goes on in the real world.

The other concerns that the South Coast Today printed are equally as ludicrous and disproven. Whomever wrote that needs remove their head from the echo chamber, get some education and print a retraction. Otherwise, their credibility is blown to smithereens...

From Bj�rn Lomborg writing at the UK Telegraph:
The great biofuels scandal
Last week, the EU missed an opportunity to end the most wasteful green programme of our time � one which costs billions of pounds annually and causes at least 30 million people to go hungry every year. By failing to agree a cap on the use of biofuels, the Council of Ministers has given tacit support for a technology that is bad for both taxpayer and environment. Legislation will now be delayed until 2015.

The biofuel story is a perfect example of good intentions leading to terrible outcomes. Moreover, it is a lesson on how powerful, pseudo-green vested interests can sustain a bad policy. Hopefully, it will also be a story of how reason can prevail in the divisive climate debate.

Greens initially championed biofuels as a weapon against global warming, claiming they would emit much less CO2 than fossil alternatives. As plants soak up CO2 while growing, the subsequent combustion simply releases the CO2 back into the air, resulting in zero net emissions.

But the dream has become a nightmare, as environmentalists turn against it. Even Al Gore claims biofuels are a �mistake�.
Much more at the site -- political agenda meets unintended consequences and nobody wants to go on the record as admitting that they were ever wrong on something. Much more at the site and the 70+ comments are worth reading as well.

About those drowning Polar Bears

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Remember this animated scene from An Inconvenient Truth:
Turned out to be 100% fabrication and the "scientist' who came up with the 'data' has been fired. From Anthony Watts:
Al Gore�s �polarbeargate� scientist forced to retire
WUWT readers may recall our coverage of Charles Monnett, whose antics with polar bear sitings and attribution led Al Gore to put this famous animated video clip into An Inconvenient Truth and make wild claims about polar bears drowning for lack of sea ice.

Monnett�s legal case is over, and he has been forced to resign.
Heh - more at the site including links to the investigation and the settlement agreement. He gets to keep his cushy Federal retirement package.

That Climate meeting in Poland

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A wonderful post mortem on the 19th Conference Of Parties meeting in Warsaw, Poland. From The Pointman:
COP19 � the grubby truth behind it all
It must have been a weekend because I was about. The kids rushed in and I had the �Dad, Dad, he�s hurt� and their miniature hands plucking at me like a flock of birds pecking and pulling me urgently out of the house sideways. They do that, you know it�s important because in their sub three-foot world, they always know when it�s time to kick a biggie problem over to the grownups.

I got there quick and the kid was unconscious. Nine, ten year old boy. Airways clear, breathing good, pulse good, pupils responsive so someone at home in there, a clean blood check and no breaks that I could feel. I sent a runner back to tell my wife to call an ambulance. While we wait for it to arrive, I try to find out what happened but they�re all too excited and scared to get any sense from. I think he just might have fainted or perhaps it was an epileptic episode. It don�t matter, he�s stable.

The ambulance arrives and the professionals start having a look at him. The Mum waddles up in no great hurry and accompanied by a posse of kids. Unkempt, untidy, overweight and a mouth breather. At a glance, fifth generation welfare class. She does all the wrong things, by which I mean she doesn�t do a single one of the right things. She doesn�t go near him, try to touch him or even try to talk to him. Just stands around flat-footed like the rest of the spectators, maintaining a social distance and gawking at the action. Instead, as they get him into the vehicle, she fixes me with a stare and tells me she came out of the house so quickly, she didn�t bring any money. How was she ever going to get home from the hospital?

You�re on the receiving end of that extended pause, that slightly eyes wide stare, that silent smug expectation that you�ll dig into your pocket and give them money, just to get out from under that social pressure and you tell them � �You can always walk home, you look like you could do with the exercise.� You�ve never seen a face go from a lazy approximation of needy martyrdom to raw naked hate so fast. The ambulance jockeys, two clued up guys who�ve been keeping an eye on the proceedings, snigger and after confirming the kid�s name and address, and as she�s no real interest in travelling to hospital with him, depart.

In a lovey dovey, climate conferency sense, the exact equivalent of that was precisely what happened in Warsaw at the recent climate conference.

As predicted by all but the most deluded pundits, it actually was a complete waste of time and taxpayer�s money. It was never going to result in a Warsaw Pact. Nothing of any significance was signed up to except where the next one is to be held. However, some very important decisions were made, whether the climate alarmists refuse to acknowledge it or not.

The first one was that the developed countries, all rhetoric aside, were not going to sign on the dotted line to some unlimited and continuous liability to pay the conniving sharpies of the developing world for damages caused by emitting carbon dioxide. Did they really expect the all growed up countries to hand them a book of blank cheques like that? Sorry maties but nobody is actually that stupid.

The next proposition they went after was an immediate contribution of thirty billion Yankee dollars with an ongoing annual contribution of one hundred billion per annum in climate damage reparations. The bottom line of two weeks of earnest negotiation about those ideas was they were told to Foxtrot Oscar by the grown ups. In response, they stormed out of the supposed negotiations, led by China. What happened next was truly stunning.

Nobody came chasing after them.
Heh -- the more these petty kleptocrats are shown for what they are, away from the protective 'aura' of the United Nations, the sooner we can return to doing real work. Pointman is a good writer -- his site is a weekly check-in for me.

Greenpeace's comeuppance

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An excellent essay from Fred F. Mueller writing at Watts Up With That:
Is Greenpeace facing its Warsawgrad?
In large-scale wars, there are sometimes prolonged periods of fierce clashes with neither side being able to place the decisive blow that will ultimately tilt the balance in its favor. Then all of a sudden, certain events occur that mark the decisive turning point where one side definitely loses the strength to continue posing a threat to its opponents. From that decisive moment on, it will lose the initiative, being largely confined to defensive actions and hoping to be able to force its opponents to accept a peace agreement instead of having to face the enormous costs of a prolonged war. One of the most famous turning points in World War II was the battle for Stalingrad, where the seemingly unstoppable German onslaught could finally be brought to a standstill. The outcome is well known: Hitler's annihilation a few years later.

Switching to our times, one might well get the impression that in the decades-long war of Greenpeace, WWF and their countless NGO brethren for control of the public opinion about the so-called global warming threat allegedly caused by human CO2 emissions, such a turning point has been reached. The UN meeting in Warsaw (Poland), where further measures to curb these emissions should have been laid on keel, has seen a number of leading countries bluntly refusing to continue supporting the scam while many others stayed on the sidelines, paying lip-service to the noble cause of saving the climate and the planet while abstaining from any sizable commitments. Maybe historians wanting to highlight the real dimensions of the blow dealt to the CO2 alarmists might coin the word Warsawgrad later on. Having failed to reach any substantial accord on the main question, the focus of the event has instead shifted to financial aspects, with third world countries trying to extort as many billions as possible from developed nations under the pretense that they should be held liable for each and any natural disaster happening on their territory. Upon seeing the related list, one wonders why they haven�t come up with claims to include asteroid impacts, earthquakes, tsunamis and volcano eruptions as well. But there might still be room for improvement�
Much more at the site -- an interesting analysis of how organizations like Greenpeace shift their talking points when their primary focus turns out to be irrelevant. It was always about money and power, never about the environment. Started off differently but Jerry Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy took control relatively soon.
Jerry Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy:
Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people":
First, there will be those who are devoted to the goals of the organization. Examples are dedicated classroom teachers in an educational bureaucracy, many of the engineers and launch technicians and scientists at NASA, even some agricultural scientists and advisors in the former Soviet Union collective farming administration.

Secondly, there will be those dedicated to the organization itself. Examples are many of the administrators in the education system, many professors of education, many teachers union officials, much of the NASA headquarters staff, etc.
The Iron Law states that in every case the second group will gain and keep control of the organization. It will write the rules, and control promotions within the organization.
Writ large in Washington, D.C. these days.
From the UK Telegraph:
Wind farm being torn down for scrap
The four wind turbines, measuring 45 metres high, were put up in the 1990s but haven�t worked for years.

Campaigners said the turbines �turned the area into an industrial graveyard� as they celebrated news of the removal of the rusty machines, which will be used as scrap metal.

Locals said they had blighted the landscape and hadn�t worked for three quarters of the time they had been at the site in the Yorkshire Dales.

Peter Rigby, who helped set up the Parishoners Against the Chelker Turbines, said: "It's been a hell of a fight but we have proved it is possible to stop wind farms.

�In recent years the turbines have hardly ever worked - they have turned the area into an industrial graveyard and look like rotting tooth stumps.�
Good news -- there was a nice condition in the contract:
Ian Swain, development control officer at Craven District Council, said one of the conditions of the turbines being granted planning permission in the 1990s was that they would be removed if they stopped working.

He said: �The council was looking to enforce that requirement of the conditions because the turbines had been unused for a period of time. We understand that the level of maintenance required had become so great that they had become unviable.�
Wish this was enforced in the USA -- there are lots of dead windmills around here. Windmills only work when the wind is blowing at a very specific range of speeds. They are programmed to shut down if the wind is too slow or too fast. The utility needs a source of backup power that can respond to these changes when they happen and the only kind of generator that can respond that quickly is a gas turbine running on hot standby -- it is actually running even when the wind turbine is contributing power, only not as fast and it is not consuming as much fuel. The turbines themselves require a large amount of electricity even when they are not being run -- windpower's dirty little secret...

The Greenpeace ship

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Remember those poor fools from Greenpeace that stormed the Russian oil platform? They were arrested and charged with piracy and are presently in a Russian jail. Some interesting news about their ship -- from BBC:
'Hard drugs found' on Greenpeace ship seized by Russia
Russian investigators say they have found what appear to be hard drugs on board the Greenpeace ship seized during a protest in the Arctic last month.

"During a search of the ship, drugs (apparently poppy straw and morphine) were confiscated," Russia's Investigative Committee said.

Poppy straw, or raw opium, can be used to produce morphine or heroin.

Greenpeace said in a statement that any suggestion of illegal drugs being found was a "smear".
This does not surprise me one bit. I was involved with Greenpeace back in my youth (I was stupid back then) and pot use was rampant. I stopped working with them because the science they used was horrible. All emotion and zero fact.

About those 'green' buses

From the New York Post:
MTA hasn't purchased a hybrid bus in three years - and new diesel engines could make a return
The MTA�s electric revolution is grinding to a halt.

The agency hasn�t purchased an electric-diesel hybrid bus in three years, and as many as 389 � 23 percent of all its hybrids � could be retrofitted with new diesel engines soon, MTA officials revealed to The Post.

Union officials warned that the switch will come with a great cost � to the public�s health.

�It�s a slap in the face if they start going back to diesel again,� said a skeptical transit-union source. �It�s not good for people�s lungs.�

But the city may not have a choice, since hybrids haven�t worked very well, an insider says. Maintenance workers �constantly� have to repair hybrid engines.

�The electric-traction motors are burning out,� the source said. �They�re so expensive to replace that it�ll be cheaper to stick a diesel engine in there.�

A July 2012 contract between the MTA and Indiana-based engine manufacturer Cummins Inc. confirms that the MTA is evaluating how to convert hybrid buses to a �diesel-engine-only application.�

The switch comes at a time when both President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg are calling on government to reduce emissions by using cleaner fuel sources and adopting more efficient fuel standards.

But the MTA argued that new diesel engines are actually cleaner than hybrids, which conform to 2004 Environmental Protection Agency emission standards, according to Henry Sullivan, the MTA�s chief maintenance officer for buses. The new diesel engines conform to stricter 2007 standards.

�When we first went with the hybrid in 2004 that was the way to go,� he said. The diesel is �better than the hybrid now.�

The new diesels �approach or exceed the emissions profile of a hybrid electric,� added spokesman Charles Seaton. �In high-speed operation, they work better.�
There has been a huge push to clean up diesel exhaust and the gains have been major in the last ten years. Makes total sense that a diesel from today would be a lot cleaner than one from 2004. The efficiencies of hybrids are ephemeral at best -- you save energy when you are coasting or going downhill but that energy is spent again when accelerating or going uphill. You can pre-charge the batteries (plug-in hybrid) but that just shifts the production from diesel to coal. I would be interested in seeing the wages of a diesel bus driver v/s those of a hybrid driver -- the union is squawking and I bet that this is the underlying reason.

The truth comes out - Oregon GMO wheat

A few weeks ago (May 31st, 2013 to be exact), I posted this story:

Just wonderful - GMO plants in the wild in Oregon

Going to be an interesting lawsuit for sure - from the New York Times:
Modified Wheat Is Discovered in Oregon
Unapproved genetically engineered wheat has been found growing on a farm in Oregon, federal officials said Wednesday, a development that could disrupt American exports of the grain.

The Agriculture Department said the wheat was of the type developed by Monsanto to be resistant to the herbicide Roundup, also known as glyphosate. Such wheat was field-tested in 16 states, including Oregon, from 1998 through 2005, but Monsanto dropped the project before the wheat was ever approved for commercial planting.

Now this -- from Reason Magazine:

Was the Biotech Wheat Found in Oregon Surreptitiously Sowed by Anti-GMO Activists?
Glibert Ross, who works with the American Council on Science and Health has published an op-ed today over at Canada's Financial Postsuggesting possible activist involvement:
There is no other explanation for the Oregon discovery. Roundup is Monsanto's glyphosate herbicide or weed-killer, among the commonest used since 1974; a Roundup Ready crop means it is gene-spliced to be resistant to the chemical, while the target weeds are killed by it. Monsanto has strenuously denied having any RR wheat trials in Oregon over the past nine years, and tests of over 30,000 wheat specimens in that region in 2011 showed no evidence of the trait.

Considering that this could cause a problem with exports (some countries are knee-jerk against GMO foods and will not accept crops if there is even the faint suspicion of a potential taint), the financial impact could be quite large. Will this be investigated and the people brought to justice? There will be a lot of hacked-off wheat growers if this was willful sabotage.

From Bj�rn Lomborg writing at Anthony's:
Lomborg: Californians are paying ridiculous subsidies for electric cars
I�ve said electric cars get subsidized too much. Turns out I was wrong.

In California, they are subsidized ridiculously too much.

Tesla gets $45,000 for each car it sells in state and federal subsidies. The Tesla S starts at $69,000, so about 40% of its total cost is subsidies (Tesla isn�t making any big profits).

This is because the California Air Resources Board has mandated that zero emission vehicles should comprise 15% of new-car sales by 2025 � up from less than 1% now. This forces other car companies that can�t comply to pay for credits from Tesla.

�At the end of the day, other carmakers are subsidizing Tesla,� says one analyst.

Remember, the Tesla avoids perhaps 10 tons of CO2 (more likely, with its large battery pack it avoids nothing or even *increases* total CO2 emissions). That means Americans pay at least $5,000 per ton of CO2 avoided � about a thousand times more than the price in the European Trading System.

It also avoids local air pollution (which is presumably the Air Resources Board�s objective), but over the entire lifetime of the car, this is worth around $500.
More at the site including links to corroborating data. The CARB is a perfect example of a bureaucracy that has overstepped it's original charter. The L.A. smog is no more, cars run a lot cleaner. You did an excellent job but now it is time to close up shop and go home.

Fun times in North Korea

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From Tyler at Zero Hedge:
Two North Korean Submarines "Disappeared"
Chosun TV is reporting that South Korean military have lost contact with two North Korean submarines that left their naval base in Hwanghae Province a few days ago.

There has obviously been a lot of changes between last week and now and South Korean military officials suggested that while maneuvers in February were nothing meaningful, now it is provocation.

The two 'torpedo' subs are small 130-ton, 30-meter, 10-man machines that can stay submerged for three-to-four days.
Curiouser and curiouser. I would not rule out a Red October scenario, life is pretty brutal in the workers paradise. So nice that Barry Obama has been gutting our military for us. We really need to be brought down a couple notches in the world's view. Yeah, and I have some oceanfront property in Montana to sell you...
Somebody needs to get Dr. James Hanson off the public payroll. From the New York Times:
A Scientist�s Misguided Crusade
Last Friday, at 3:40 p.m., the State Department released its �Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement� for the highly contentious Keystone XL pipeline, which Canada hopes to build to move its tar sands oil to refineries in the United States. In effect, the statement said there were no environmental impediments that would prevent President Obama from approving the pipeline.

Two hours and 20 minutes later, I received a blast e-mail containing a statement by James Hansen, the head of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies at NASA � i.e., NASA�s chief climate scientist. �Keystone XL, if the public were to allow our well-oiled government to shepherd it into existence, would be the first step down the wrong road, perpetuating our addiction to dirty fossil fuels, moving to ever dirtier ones,� it began. After claiming that the carbon in the tar sands �exceeds that in all oil burned in human history,� Hansen�s statement concluded: �The public must demand that the government begin serving the public�s interest, not the fossil fuel industry�s interest.�

As a private citizen, Hansen, 71, has the same First Amendment rights as everyone else. He can publicly oppose the Keystone XL pipeline if he so chooses, just as he can be as politically active as he wants to be in the anti-Keystone movement, and even be arrested during protests, something he managed to do recently in front of the White House.

But the blast e-mail didn�t come from James Hansen, private citizen. It specifically identified Hansen as the head of the Goddard Institute, and went on to describe him as someone who �has drawn attention to the danger of passing climate tipping points, producing irreversible climate impacts that would yield a different planet from the one on which civilization developed.� All of which made me wonder whether such apocalyptic pronouncements were the sort of statements a government scientist should be making � and whether they were really helping the cause of reversing climate change.
Sometimes, I really wonder how Hansen feels -- there is enough of a body of evidence that global warming is an absolute scam that some of it has to have trickled into his brain. How does it feel to be a complete tool?

A perfect example of why our "political betters" need to get a real life.

From the Seattle Bike Blog:

State lawmaker defends bike tax, says bicycling is not good for the environment
Representative Ed Orcutt (R. Kalama) does not think bicycling is environmentally friendly because the activity causes cyclists to have 'an increased heart rate and respiration.'

This is according to comments he made in an email to a constituent who questioned the wisdom of a new bike tax the legislature is considering as part of a large transportation package.

We spoke with Rep. Orcutt to confirm the email's authenticity and to get further clarification.

"You would be giving off more CO2 if you are riding a bike than driving in a car," he said. However, he said he had not "done any analysis" of the difference in CO2 from a person on a bike compared to the engine of a car (others have).

"You can't just say that there's no pollution as a result of riding a bicycle."

First of all, Carbon Dioxide is not a pollutant. It, literally, is the gas of life. Without CO2, there would be no plant life on this planet. None. It is a key element of photosynthesis. Next, the amount of CO2 given off is minuscule compared to a single driver (still breathing but not as much) driving a 2,000 pound vehicle. The wonderful people at Slashdot picked up the story-- the comments are a fun read. My fave?

By his own reasoning, Rep Ed Orcutt needs to lower his CO2 production by keeping his mouth shut. He would do both the planet and his colleagues a favor.

Word...

David Suzuki cannot face the press

I had posted about this wonderful article in BC Local News yesterday. Now this -- from CNEWS:
Sun News Network booted from David Suzuki speech
Fans of David Suzuki who paid $15 for tickets to see the eco-activist speak in Ottawa got a free screening of the theatre of the absurd this week -- organizers threatened to call the cops when Sun News showed up.

The event was announced in the Parliamentary Press Gallery notices, so, Sun News Network reporter Jessica Hume went with cameraman Andrei Filippov to ask Suzuki some questions.

However, Rev. David Illman-White ordered them both to leave the church and cover the event from the sidewalk, despite other reporters being there.

"Out, out, get out," Illman-White said. He also sarcastically remarked "great journalism" when Hume said she would wait until after the event to ask Suzuki questions.

When Hume explained it was an open media event, an organizer from a local bookstore stormed over and ordered them out also, grabbing the camera lens.

"Can someone use their cellphone to call 911? We have media here who will not leave!" the woman who said her name was Lisa shouted at the gathering.

Event moderator and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May swooped in and restored calm.

"Whoa, only Rob Ford calls 911 on the media," she joked before embracing Hume.

"I certainly thought an event at a church sponsored by an independent book store could manage a reporter and a cameraman," May said in an e-mail. "I thought some humour could diffuse the situation. I didn't think twice."

Suzuki eventually emerged from a back room after Sun left the building. His spokespeople did not return calls for comment.
So what is it David -- afraid of some inconvenient questions? You do know that the wheels are coming off the Global Warming wagon. Time to start drumming up something new to cry wolf about... And of course, the reporter in question -- Jessica Hume -- has published her side of the events. From The Sun News:
HUME: The real nature of things with David Suzuki
You can tell a lot about a person by the way they respond to being challenged.

Those with courage of conviction and the confidence that comes with real intellect will back their positions and rise to the occasion. Those whose sense of ego is mightier than their strength of character will retreat, resort to insults or not respond altogether.

So when David Suzuki � environmental guru, would-be benevolent dictator and all-around perfect human � arrived in Ottawa Tuesday evening to tell a church filled with a paying audience what a sustainable future looks like, he shocked his own loyal supporters by aggressively refusing to speak with this reporter and a cameraman (who�d only arrived after a media release about the event from the Green Party was sent to the national press corps).

When we first arrived we were welcomed, asked how long we�d like with the good doctor and where we should set up our shot. When it was revealed we represented Sun News, we were no longer welcome.

David Suzuki didn�t just refuse to speak to us. He refused to appear altogether, sending a handful of hostile event organizers to remove us from the premises. They would, eventually, but not before creating a real drama in front of a real audience that exposed the real nature of David Suzuki.
Read the whole thing as she deftly rips the good doctor a new one. Suzuki should realize that the more he avoids certain reporters, the greater traction they are going to gain and the more they will rip down his facade. This is a zero-sum game.

From the London Daily Mail:

Eco-tastrophe! How MPs in the pay of subsidised eco-firms set insane new carbon targets that send your bills sky-rocketing... and drag us to a new Dark Age
Like all MPs, Tim Yeo is paid 65,000 a year. But he never has to make do with just that. Last year alone, three "green" companies paid the Conservative MP for South Suffolk 135,970.

For this, he usually did just a few hours' work a month. Yet he may be the firms' most valuable asset, as Mr Yeo is chairman of the Commons Select Committee on Energy and Climate Change, and so plays a key role in shaping the green economy in which his sometime employers - AFC Energy, Eco City Vehicles and TMO Renewables - operate.

And he may be about to perform his most valuable service yet.

Mr Yeo has moved an extraordinary amendment to the Energy Bill that would set a crippling and binding target for the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by generating power in 2030. It would transform the electricity industry and bring huge benefits to the business sector, which has so generously rewarded Mr Yeo.

For the rest of us, however, the effects will be very different. It will cause already high energy bills to soar further and could lead to more power cuts. The effect on business is likely to be even more dramatic.

Sounds like Mr. Yeo would fit right in in Washington D.C. And of course, the wind farms are not a universal panacea - from the UK Telegraph:

Wind farms will create more carbon dioxide, say scientists
The finding, which threatens the entire rationale of the onshore wind farm industry, will be made by Scottish government-funded researchers who devised the standard method used by developers to calculate "carbon payback time" for wind farms on peat soils.

Wind farms are typically built on upland sites, where peat soil is common. In Scotland alone, two thirds of all planned onshore wind development is on peatland. England and Wales also have large numbers of current or proposed peatland wind farms.

But peat is also a massive store of carbon, described as Europe's equivalent of the tropical rainforest. Peat bogs contain and absorb carbon in the same way as trees and plants - but in much higher quantities.

British peatland stores at least 3.2 billion tons of carbon, making it by far the country's most important carbon sink and among the most important in the world.

Wind farms, and the miles of new roads and tracks needed to service them, damage or destroy the peat and cause significant loss of carbon to the atmosphere, where it contributes to climate change.

Excellent excellent article and a harbinger of what is in shore for us in the US if we don't wake up.

Wind turbines in the news

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I had posted earlier today about the wind turbine collapse in England. Ran into this wonderful website detailing all the wind turbine accidents, fires, collapses, etc... Check out WIND TURBINE SAFETY:
While few would contend that turbines are a major threat to public safety (most deaths and injuries are suffered by those transporting, erecting and maintaining turbines), the wind industry is marked by both a reluctance to admit to accidents and a tendency to cover up the failings of the technology.

In the last five years there have been some 1,500 reported accidents/�incidents� in the UK resulting in 4 deaths and a further 300 injuries to workers.

Many accidents are not reported and examples of industry cover-ups abound.

The wind industry always tries to play down the frequency of turbine accidents: for example, in Cornwall in 2006, �Part of a wind turbine blade weighing more than half a ton snapped off and crashed into a field during high winds. Operators Cumbria Windfarms said the site has been running since April 1993 and nothing like this had happened there before.� It had, as several locals pointed out: in 1993, a month after the turbine park opened, they had had a similar accident.

Just recently, we had a spokesperson for Scottish Power quoted as saying of a blade accident at Whitelee, �This is a highly unusual situation. I've not heard of this kind of incident happening in 30 years.�

This may fool some of the public, but, as is evident from this page, blade failures are fairly common and there have been several instances just in the North East and Borders, when very few turbines were operating in the area.

The Danes are rather more honest. The Technical Approval Authority at the Ris� National Laboratory revealed in 2008 that they had recorded just the collapse of a wind turbine on 10 to 15 occasions in the previous three years. There were about 5,000 working turbines at the end of 2008.

A Dutch company whose core business is blade repair admits that, �Rotor blade lightning damage is a common problem.�.
Much more at the site -- it is UK centered but they list a lot of US incidents too. They post this wonderful little slide show (no audio):

Windmills - a two-fer

The British are going bonkers for wind power. First - from the Beeb:

Ireland to build 'giant' wind turbines to power UK homes
UK and Irish ministers will today sign an agreement that could see some of the world's largest wind turbines built across the Irish midlands.

Stretching more than 600 feet (180 metres) in the air, the towers are set to generate energy for millions of UK homes from 2017.

The companies involved say the Irish power is a cheaper form of renewable than UK offshore wind.

But environmentalists have described the scheme as "crazy".

They say it risks damaging Ireland's landscape.

Read the whole article -- the location is relatively windless so they are proposing turbines 600 feet tall. Next -- the Met pushes back a bit -- from the London Daily Mail:

Wind farms can interfere with forecasts says Met Office as it lodges complaints against planned sites
The Met Office has objected to the construction of a giant wind farm -- claiming its turbines could affect the accuracy of its weather forecasts.

It says interference from dozens of giant blades would result in "false warnings of severe and hazardous weather being issued", while heavy rainfall and flood alerts could be missed.

The weather agency has written to planning authorities to register its opposition to the site, which would see more than 20 turbines dotted in the Welsh mountains near one of its weather stations.

It is not like they have any great claim to accuracy these days. Looking for an out? They need to pull the plug on their models and their hot supercomputer and get back to traditional methods that work.

From Bloomberg:
Carbon Fee From Obama Seen Viable With Backing From Exxon
Exxon Mobil Corp. is part of a growing coalition backing a carbon tax as an alternative to costly regulation, giving newfound prominence to an idea once anathema in Washington.

Conservative economists and fossil-fuel lobbyists united in 2009 to fend off climate-change legislation that would have established a cap-and-trade mechanism. They are now locked in a backroom debate over a tax on carbon-dioxide emissions that could raise an estimated $100 billion in its first year.

A carbon tax would force electricity producers, refiners and manufacturers to pay a fee for the greenhouse gases they emit. It is gaining interest as lawmakers and President Barack Obama pledge to simplify the corporate tax code and raise revenue to narrow the deficit. The devastation from superstorm Sandy following the wildfires and drought of this summer have also increased concern about global warming.
Another perfect example of unintended consequences. This 'tax' may raise $100B but it will impose that plus another $100B on consumers in the form of higher prices for trucked items (everything), higher fuel costs, higher electricity costs, etc... Our Federal Government spends about $10B each day so this added revenue will last us less than two weeks out of the fiscal year. A drop in the bucket.

IPCC on the skids?

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From Gulf Times:
Climate Change panel chief says �not invited to COP18�
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will not be attending the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP18/CMP8) in Doha, chairman Dr Rajendra K Pachauri has said.

�For the first time in the 18 years of COP, the IPCC will not be attending, because we have not been invited,� he told Gulf Times in Doha.

COP18 is to be held from November 26 to December 7.

The IPCC, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore, former vice president of the US and environmental activist, is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change. Currently 195 countries are members.
Buh Bye! Remember, 1998 was the warmest year in recent history. Earth has been cooling ever since. The sun's output is also very very low. At least Dr. Pachauri still has his literary career to keep him in the lifestyle he has become accustomed to...
From FOX News:
PETA Thanksgiving billboard asks kids: Would you eat your dog?
A billboard that will be placed outside Nevada public schools is sure to make for interesting Thanksgiving dinner conversation, that is, if kids let the turkey make it to the table.

PETA plans to place a billboard that reads, "KIDS: If you wouldn't eat your dog, why eat a turkey? Go vegan," with a picture of a dog head on a turkey body, near Reno public schools.
From President Obama's book: Dreams from My Father
With Lolo, I learned how to eat small green chilli peppers raw with dinner (plenty of rice), and, away from the dinner table, I was introduced to dog meat (tough), snake meat (tougher), and roasted grasshopper (crunchy).
Happy Thanksgiving...
From South Florida's radio station WIOD:
ExxonMobil Reports Huge Oil Discovery In Gulf
ExxonMobil is touting a new oil discovery in the Gulf, 250 miles southwest of New Orleans, as "one of the largest...in the Gulf of Mexico in the last decade."

The company announced two major oil discoveries and a natural gas discovery in deep water after drilling its first post-moratorium deepwater exploration well. The oil giant says a new well in 7,000 feet of water reportedly has the potential to deliver more than 700 million barrels of oil.

Lafourche Parish President Charlotte Randolph termed the report, "probably the best news our local local oil and gas industries have received since the moratorium was lifted."

Drilling at the site has been serviced out of Port Fourchon as ExxonMobil uses several Louisiana companies including Edison Chouest to support the exploration activity.

The secretary of the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, Scott Angelle called it "a great day for the Gulf of Mexico offshore energy industry and a great day for America."

The discoveries were made in the Keathley Canyon blocks where a number of wells are located.
As the cries of Peak Oil fade off into the distance...

Luddites on parade

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A bunch of idiots wrote to Obama -- from the Washington Examiner:
Big Green groups tell Obama to tell Canada to Drop Dead
A coalition of 89 Big Green environmental groups is urging President Obama to reject Canada's efforts to secure U.S. approval for construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would bring millions of barrels of oil extracted from Canadian shale formations.

In their letter, the anti-oil groups based their case on these arguments:
"When filled to capacity, Keystone XL would import up to 900,000 barrels per day of the world�s dirtiest form of oil and open a new economic drain to send more of our money to Canada.

"The pipeline would drive further destruction of Canada�s boreal forest, bring the threat of dangerous oil spills through America�s heartland, exacerbate air quality problems in communities surrounding the refineries that the pipeline would service, and significantly increase the carbon intensity of U.S. transportation fuel, which would undercut the emissions reductions achieved by increasing U.S. automobile efficiency.

"Keystone XL would transport some of the most corrosive and acidic oil in the world through sensitive lands and aquifers that provide drinking water and a way of life for millions.

"Already, TransCanada is using eminent domain against farmers and landowners who do not want a dangerous pipeline on their own properties. It�s time to stop giving a free pass to oil companies to increase profits at the expense of Americans.

"TransCanada�s own analysis even says the �strategy [with Keystone XL] would be intended to raise the price� of Canadian oil, especially in the Midwest, to increase oil company profits. America does not need this dangerous and expensive pipeline."
You can read the full letter here on Politico. It's release was timed to coincide with Canadian Prime Minister Stephan Harper's meeting Friday with President Obama. The issue of the pipeline approvals was expected to be a major topic of discussion at that gathering.
How did these morons get such a foothold in our political system? They are completely out of touch with reality...

Copenhagen demonstrators

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A trenchant comment from Lord Monkton:
Hitler Youth indeed. History is repeating itself before our eyes...

Do as I say, not as I do

Our betters are certainly being treated well. From the UK Telegraph:

Copenhagen climate summit: 1,200 limos, 140 private planes and caviar wedges
On a normal day, Majken Friss Jorgensen, managing director of Copenhagen's biggest limousine company, says her firm has twelve vehicles on the road. During the "summit to save the world", which opens here tomorrow, she will have 200.

"We thought they were not going to have many cars, due to it being a climate convention," she says. "But it seems that somebody last week looked at the weather report."

Ms Jorgensen reckons that between her and her rivals the total number of limos in Copenhagen next week has already broken the 1,200 barrier. The French alone rang up on Thursday and ordered another 42. "We haven't got enough limos in the country to fulfil the demand," she says. "We're having to drive them in hundreds of miles from Germany and Sweden."

And the total number of electric cars or hybrids among that number? "Five," says Ms Jorgensen. "The government has some alternative fuel cars but the rest will be petrol or diesel. We don't have any hybrids in Denmark, unfortunately, due to the extreme taxes on those cars. It makes no sense at all, but it's very Danish."

The airport says it is expecting up to 140 extra private jets during the peak period alone, so far over its capacity that the planes will have to fly off to regional airports - or to Sweden - to park, returning to Copenhagen to pick up their VIP passengers.

This is not climate science, this is political theater pure and simple. Fscking hypocrites...

Local asshats topple tower

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Talk about anti-environmentalism writ large... Earth Liberation Front is a domestic terrorist group whose actions purport to save the environment but they don't ever really think about the consequences of their actions and they generally have a significantly negative overall effect.

One that hit close to home was the 2001 fire at the Center for Urban Horticulture which destroyed a delightful library, 25% of the worlds population of an endangered plant and the work of a Professor who was hybridizing Poplar Trees.

It was the last item they were protesting saying that Bradshaw was releasing genetically modified trees back into the wild. Bradshaw was not doing GM, he was doing plain old hybridization -- breeding plants that had the characteristics he wanted and cultivating the offspring. Compare the corn we now enjoy to the corn of 100 years ago and you can see how successful this is... Well, ELF is at it again.

From CNN:

Activists topple towers, claim dangers of AM radio waves
A group cited by U.S. officials as a domestic terrorism threat claimed responsibility Friday for knocking down two radio station towers in Snohomish County, Washington.

The Earth Liberation Front (ELF) issued a statement saying opponents of the towers argue that "AM radio waves cause adverse health effects including a higher rate of cancer, harm to wildlife, and that the signals have been interfering with home phone and intercom lines."

"When all legal channels of opposition have been exhausted, concerned citizens have to take action into their own hands to protect life and the planet," Jason Crawford, a spokesman for the group, said in a news release.

Emphasis mine -- what a crock of abject hooey. There has been a long-standing unnatural fear over the effects of high voltage transmission lines popularized by books like Paul Brodeur's Currents of Death and The Great Power Line Cover-Up. Unfortunately, these all stem from a failed epidemiological study by Nancy Wertheimer and Ed Leeper published in 1979. For more information (and links) read: Power Lines and Cancer: Nothing to Fear

Radio waves cause zero harm -- if they did, we would all be dead from the normal leakage from our microwave ovens, from the powerful radars at airports, from our cell phones and television sets... Radio waves are all around us and to have an irrational fear of them is just that -- irrational. I am willing to bet that none of the mokes who toppled the tower have taken any hard science classes in high-school let alone college level.

Fscking morons...

Some amazing photography. Check out the Boston Globe's Big Picture: Wildfires in Southern California Also, this interesting bit of information -- from Google/Associated Press:
Feds didn't clear brush in wildfire area
Federal authorities failed to follow through on plans earlier this year to burn away highly flammable brush in a forest on the edge of Los Angeles to avoid the very kind of wildfire now raging there, The Associated Press has learned.

Months before the huge blaze erupted, the U.S. Forest Service obtained permits to burn away the undergrowth and brush on more than 1,700 acres of the Angeles National Forest. But just 193 acres had been cleared by the time the fire broke out, Forest Service resource officer Steve Bear said.

The agency defended its efforts, saying weather, wind and environmental rules tightly limit how often these "prescribed burns" can be conducted.

Bear said crews using machinery and hand tools managed to trim 5,000 acres in the forest this year before the money ran out. Ideally, "at least a couple thousand more acres" would have been cleared.

Could more have been done to clear tinder-dry hillsides and canyons?

"We don't necessarily disagree with that," Bear said. "We weren't able to complete what we wanted to do."

Some critics suggested that protests from environmentalists over prescribed burns contributed to the disaster, which came after the brush was allowed to build up for as much as 40 years.

"This brush was ready to explode," said Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, whose district overlaps the forest. "The environmentalists have gone to the extreme to prevent controlled burns, and as a result we have this catastrophe today."

Prescribed burns are intended to protect homes and lives by eliminating fuel that can cause explosive wildfires. The wildfire that has blackened 140,000 acres � or nearly 219 square miles � in the forest over the past week has been fed by the kind of tinder-dry vegetation that prescribed burns are designed to safely devour.
Emphases mine -- the unintended consequences of the enviros actions are far greater than the "environmental catastrophe" they succeeded in preventing -- ie: the controlled burns. In Nature, fires like these happen every couple of years; the underbrush gets cleared out and life goes on. If you actively suppress the fires when they start, the underbrush is going to grow more and more and during times of dry weather it becomes an incredibly rich fuel source. A bit more:
Figures from the California's South Coast Air Quality Management District suggested even less was protectively burned.

The agency said it granted six permits sought by the Forest Service to conduct prescribed burns on 1,748 acres in the forest this year. The agency reviews such requests to ensure air quality in the often-smoggy Los Angeles area will not be worsened by smoke from intentional fires.
And one more:
Steve Brink, a vice president with the California Forestry Association, an industry group, said as many as 8 million acres of national forest in California are overgrown and at risk of wildfire. He said that too few days provide the conditions necessary for larger, prescribed burns and that the Forest Service needs to speed up programs to thin forests, largely by machine.

"Special interest groups that don't want them to do it have appeals and litigation through the courts to stall or stop any project they wish. Consequently, the Forest Service is not able to put a dent in the problem," Brink said.
Turns out to be a great idea -- sign here to invest in this wonderful snake oil gasoline alternative... From Edmunds Green Car Advisor:
EPA Put Faith in Fraud, Now Cellulosic Goals Falling Short - Very Short
Here's one for the "every cloud..." file, or perhaps the "caveat emptor" file. Take your pick.

When the EPA recently issued a report anticipating 100 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol production in the U.S. by 2010, it was including 70 million gallons from an Alabama company called Cello Energy.

That's 70 percent of the total U.S. production from one relatively small company, per the EPA.

Bad Move

The government didn't factor in ethanol fraud.

Turns out the Cello was just found guilty in a federal court in Alabama of civil fraud for lying to a major investor about the state of its ability to make ethanol from grass and other woody, non-food materials.

The jury ordered Cello principals to pay $10.4 million in damages after witnesses testified that the "cellulosic" fuel the company was showing to investors was actually fuel derived entirely from petroleum.

Cello apparently has one plant capable of annual production of 20 million gallons of biofuel - if its system really works - and three that it was planning to build and that the EPA credited with 50 million gallons of cellulosic fuel by 2010.
Emphasis mine -- when you are talking about this kind of quantity and this kind of money, wouldn't it make sense to have an independent and bonded laboratory run some tests? I sure would require this if it was my money being invested but, it was just taxpayer money funding that subsidy and if we blow it, there is always more. Idiots...
From the UK Guardian:
Carbon emissions trading system 'seriously flawed'
The system of trading carbon emissions at the heart of the ambitious low-carbon plan announced by the government last week is seriously flawed and close to becoming irrelevant, according to researchers behind a new analysis.

So-called "hot air" carbon credits � those which do not result in any actual emissions cuts � could be so numerous that companies covered by the EU Emissions Trading Scheme would not have to make any cuts to their own emissions until 2015, says the report from climate campaign group, Sandbag. The hot air permits result from the over-allocation of emissions allowances and from those going unused as the recession cuts economic activity.
It was never about the climate and regulating carbon. It is all about making a few people and corporations very very rich.

Climate bullshit - reef edition

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Seems like Dr. J. E. N. 'Charlie' Veron needs to get on some meds... The guy has an awesome C.V. but is dead wrong about the effects of CO2 on the environment (IMNSHO). From the London Times:
Great Barrier Reef will be gone in 20 years, says Charlie Veron
The Great Barrier Reef will be so degraded by warming waters that it will be unrecognisable within 20 years, an eminent marine scientist has said.

Charlie Veron, former chief scientist of the Australian Institute of Marine Science, told The Times: �There is no way out, no loopholes. The Great Barrier Reef will be over within 20 years or so.�

Once carbon dioxide had hit the levels predicted for between 2030 and 2060, all coral reefs were doomed to extinction, he said. �They would be the world�s first global ecosystem to collapse. I have the backing of every coral reef scientist, every research organisation. I�ve spoken to them all. This is critical. This is reality.�
I said this once and I Will say it again, Coral Reefs benefit from an increased level of CO2. Putting more CO2 into the atmosphere will cause them to grow faster and larger. I covered this back on June 1st of this year with this post: Environmental bullshit in the media There are people out there whose business is to grow pieces of coral for use in salt-water aquaria. There are companies that supply the hardware used by these people. Here is an excerpt from the online catalog page of Marine and Reef Aquarium Supply:
marine_reef_co2_systems.Png
In the June post I went on to say:
There is a whole section on hardware for the specific purpose of adding gaseous CO2 to freshwater and saltwater aquaria. The CO2 in freshwater tanks is plant food � if we did not have CO2, we would not have plants. When it comes to Reef tanks, things get interesting.
I go on to explain that the dissolved CO2 lowers the pH of the salt water and causes the dead corals to dissolve. The resultant trace minerals are taken up by the live corals. Sure, CO2 will cause coral to break down but it is the dead coral that is vulnerable. The result of this is that the live coral feed off of the nutrients that are released. It is not death, it is recycling. Once the coral is dissolved, the pH rises which is why CO2 needs to be continuously applied.
Interesting set of articles from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer regarding the Boy Scouts of America selling off vast tracts of forest lands that were given to them by people expecting them to be maintained. The money goes to sustain a lavish lifestyle for the executives with salaries up to $350K to $500K all the while the grunt work is being done by unpaid volunteers... A non-profit?
Michael Scarpitti, commonly known as Tre Arrow, is now back in Portland Oregon having been released by the Canadians. From Portland station KGW:
Eco-arsonist Tre Arrow settles into Portland halfway house
Fresh from a medium-security prison in California, radical environmentalist and arsonist Tre Arrow flew into Portland and then bicycled to a halfway house where he's assigned to finish the last six months of a prison sentence.

Arrow calls himself a political prisoner and says setting fire to cement and logging trucks was in protest of government policies.
tre_arrow.jpg
Political prisoner my Sainted Aunt Charlotte -- he got his rocks off burning trucks and destroying equipment. He was a member of the Earth Liberation Front. There are ways to practice environmentalism. ELF isn't one of them. They are bullies, cowards and glory seekers each and every one of them. He should do his part to reduce his carbon dioxide output and stop breathing...
From George Will writing at the Charlotte Observer:

Green jobs carry high price
The Spanish professor is puzzled. Why, Gabriel Calzada wonders, is the U.S. president recommending that America emulate the Spanish model for creating 'green jobs' in 'alternative energy' even though Spain's unemployment rate is 18.1 percent -- more than double the European Union average -- partly because of spending on such jobs?

Calzada, 36, an economics professor at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, has produced a report which, if true, is inconvenient for the Obama administration's green agenda, and for some budget assumptions that are dependent upon it.

Calzada says Spain's torrential spending -- no other nation has so aggressively supported production of electricity from renewable sources -- on wind farms and other forms of alternative energy has indeed created jobs. But Calzada's report concludes that they often are temporary and have received $752,000 to $800,000 each in subsidies. Wind industry jobs cost even more, $1.4 million each. And each new job entails the loss of 2.2 other jobs that are either lost or not created in other industries because of the political allocation -- sub-optimum in terms of economic efficiency -- of capital.
The idea is noble. The rhetoric is mellifluent. The models say great things. The only problem is that it flat does not work. The model is bogus and the numbers simply do not pencil out. It happened in Spain, it will happen here too. Nuclear power now.
You got it the wrong way around if you believe that steaming load. From Bloomberg:
Big Oil�s Answer to Carbon Law May Be Fuel Imports
America�s biggest oil companies will probably cope with U.S. carbon legislation by closing fuel plants, cutting capital spending and increasing imports.

Under the Waxman-Markey climate bill that may be voted on today by the U.S. House, refiners would have to buy allowances for carbon dioxide spewed from their plants and from vehicles when motorists burn their fuel. Imports would need permits only for the latter, which ConocoPhillips Chief Executive Officer Jim Mulva said would create a competitive imbalance.

�It will lead to the opportunity for foreign sources to bring in transportation fuels at a lower cost, which will have an adverse impact to our industry, potential shutdown of refineries and investment and, ultimately, employment,� Mulva said in a June 16 interview in Detroit. Houston-based ConocoPhillips has the second-largest U.S. refining capacity.

The same amount of gasoline that would have $1 in carbon costs imposed if it were domestic would have 10 cents less added if it were imported, according to energy consulting firm Wood Mackenzie in Houston. Contrary to President Barack Obama�s goal of reducing dependence on overseas energy suppliers, the bill would incent U.S. refiners to import more fuel, said Clayton Mahaffey, an analyst at RedChip Cos. in Maitland, Florida.
We have two refineries here which are big drivers of the economy. A lot of people live in towns like ours and drive 40 miles to the refinery to work. A local community college has an excellent welding program and graduates get excellent job offers from the refinery. If the refinery closes, there will be a lot of ancillary jobs that will be lost. The politicians do not know what they are doing -- they are so out of touch with reality it makes my eyes bleed...

Who profits from the CO2 cap and trade

An interesting bit of research from Lawrence Solomon at the Financial Times:
Lawrence Solomon: Enron's other secret
We all know that the financial stakes are enormous in the global warming debate � many oil, coal and power companies are at risk should carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases get regulated in a manner that harms their bottom line. The potential losses of an Exxon or a Shell are chump change, however, compared to the fortunes to be made from those very same regulations.

The climate-change industry � the scientists, lawyers, consultants, lobbyists and, most importantly, the multinationals that work behind the scenes to cash in on the riches at stake � has emerged as the world�s largest industry. Virtually every resident in the developed world feels the bite of this industry, often unknowingly, through the hidden surcharges on their food bills, their gas and electricity rates, their gasoline purchases, their automobiles, their garbage collection, their insurance, their computers purchases, their hotels, their purchases of just about every good and service, in fact, and finally, their taxes to governments at all levels.

These extractions do not happen by accident. Every penny that leaves the hands of consumers does so by design, the final step in elaborate and often brilliant orchestrations of public policy, all the more brilliant because the public, for the most part, does not know who is profiteering on climate change, or who is aiding and abetting the profiteers.

Some of the climate-change profiteers are relatively unknown corporations; others are household names with only their behind-the-scenes role in the climate-change industry unknown. Over the next few weeks, in an extended newspaper series, you will become familiar with some of the profiteers, and with their machinations. This series begins with Enron, a pioneer in the climate-change industry.

Almost two decades before President Barack Obama made �cap-and-trade� for carbon dioxide emissions a household term, an obscure company called Enron � a natural-gas pipeline company that had become a big-time trader in energy commodities � had figured out how to make millions in a cap-and-trade program for sulphur dioxide emissions, thanks to changes in the U.S. government�s Clean Air Act. To the delight of shareholders, Enron�s stock price rose rapidly as it became the major trader in the U.S. government�s $20-billion a year emissions commodity market.

Enron Chairman Kenneth Lay, keen to engineer an encore, saw his opportunity when Bill Clinton and Al Gore were inaugurated as president and vice-president in 1993. To capitalize on Al Gore�s interest in global warming, Enron immediately embarked on a massive lobbying effort to develop a trading system for carbon dioxide, working both the Clinton administration and Congress. Political contributions and Enron-funded analyses flowed freely, all geared to demonstrating a looming global catastrophe if carbon dioxide emissions weren�t curbed. An Enron-funded study that dismissed the notion that calamity could come of global warming, meanwhile, was quietly buried.

To magnify the leverage of their political lobbying, Enron also worked the environmental groups. Between 1994 and 1996, the Enron Foundation donated $1-million to the Nature Conservancy and its Climate Change Project, a leading force for global warming reform, while Lay and other individuals associated with Enron donated $1.5-million to environmental groups seeking international controls on carbon dioxide.

The intense lobbying paid off. Lay became a member of president Clinton�s Council on Sustainable Development, as well as his friend and advisor. In the summer of 1997, prior to global warming meetings in Kyoto, Japan, Clinton sought Lay�s advice in White House discussions. The fruits of Enron�s efforts came soon after, with the signing of the Kyoto Protocol.

An internal Enron memo, sent from Kyoto by John Palmisano, a former Environmental Protection Agency regulator who had become Enron�s lead lobbyist as senior director for Environmental Policy and Compliance, describes the historic corporate achievement that was Kyoto.

�If implemented this agreement will do more to promote Enron�s business than will almost any other regulatory initiative outside of restructuring of the energy and natural-gas industries in Europe and the United States,� Polisano began. �The potential to add incremental gas sales, and additional demand for renewable technology is enormous.�
Lawrence prefaces this by saying it is: First in a series. More. Faster. Please. I especially love the line: An Enron-funded study that dismissed the notion that calamity could come of global warming, meanwhile, was quietly buried. Can't go around telling the truth now, can we...
At least in Australia -- I hope this spreads. From Australia's The Age:
Greenpeace heads into red as costs bite
It's not only regular companies that are under pressure. Even multinational stunt outfit Greenpeace is feeling the pinch.

The latest accounts of Greenpeace Australia Pacific show it has slumped into the red after a big jump in personnel expenses.

The company suffered a $1.5 million turnaround, losing $193,992 and ringing up a $438,475 deficit on the operating cash-flow front.

Judging from accounts for calendar-year 2008, the eco-political concern will need to pay attention to its soaring wages, salaries and superannuation bill, which jumped 31 per cent and swallowed up $7.6 million.

The personnel costs take a decent chunk of money raised from Greenpeace's supporter base, which, over time, has been falling alarmingly. Six years ago the outfit had nearly 130,000 supporters but the latest accounts said the base was "approximately" 100,000.

Greenpeace recently copped flak for "auto-upgrading" some regular donations, without specific permission from contributors. "We are not the first organisation in Australia to try this," fund-raising heavy Chris Washington-Sare reportedly said at the time.
The auto-upgrading was quite the bit of a scandal when it happened. A person would sign up for an automatic deduction of $15/year from their credit card only to find that this had been "upgraded" to $25 or $30. Greenpeace sent them a letter first but if there was no reply to the letter, that was taken as a tacit approval of the higher contribution. Considing that probably the majority of their constituants are younger people on tight budgets, this really put them into a bad light. And a bit more:
The donations were swallowed up by what Greenpeace described as "fund-raising expenditure" of $7.2 million, "campaigning expenditure" of $11.5 million and "organisational support" at $1.9 million.
So they raise $20 million and spend $7.2 million doing this. That is 36% - from the ever excellent BoardSource:
How much should be spent on overhead and fundraising costs?
Because most donors want to ensure that their gifts are well spent, many are concerned about the level of expenditures on overhead and fund-raising. In other words, how much money is spent providing programs and services, and how much is spent on renting an office, paying staff, and sending out fund-raising appeals?
yadda - yadda - yadda

Many organizations boast that they spend only five or six percent of their funds on overhead; other well-known and effective nonprofits spend 25 or 30 percent on overhead.
So Greenpeace is above the very high-side of what would constitute a well managed fund raising campaign. And one bit more:
Travel looked to have soaked up a pretty penny, with Greenpeace personnel visiting Tokyo, Niue, Pohnpei, South Korea, Poland and Papua New Guinea, while Greenpeace vessel MV Esperanza toured seven east-coast Australian cities and treated more than 5000 visitors to its take on climate change.

The Esperanza also was involved in the Forests for Climate tour in Papua New Guinea.
I find it telling that one of the two people who founded Greenpeace, left the group and now embraces sustainable logging and nuclear power. Pournelle's Iron Law again...
Say what you may about Al Gore's devotion to Anthropogenic Global Warming (and the serious money he stands to make from promoting it), the man is seriously intelligent. Errr... Maybe not so. From Noel Sheppard at Newsbusters:
Al Gore Got a D in Natural Sciences at Harvard
Want to know why Nobel Laureate Al Gore likely doesn't want to debate any of the myriad of scientists and politicians that have challenged him to such a t�te-�-t�te regarding his manmade global warming theories?

Could it possibly be because Gore was a terrible science student, and clearly never excelled at anything relating to what folks in Norway and in the media consider him to be so expert at?

The following was reported by the Washington Post on March 18, 2000 -- and conveniently ignored by media ever since Gore began lecturing the world about subjects he practically flunked as a student! -- in an article marvelously titled "Gore's Grades Belie Image of Studiousness" (h/t NBer dscott, and tangentially Greenie Watch):
For all of Gore's later fascination with science and technology, he often struggled academically in those subjects. The political champion of the natural world received that sophomore D in Natural Sciences 6 (Man's Place in Nature) and then got a C-plus in Natural Sciences 118 his senior year.
I have said it before and will say it again. It is not about the environment, it is about power and control.

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