Recently in Environmental Category

Trying to outrun a pyroclastic flow

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Short but intense:

From the YouTube description:

Boat outracing Stromboli volcano eruption (August 28, 2019)
This is wild - boat fleeing from the eruption of the Stromboli volcano in Italy (08/28/19). A giant explosion from an Italian volcano sent locals and tourists running for cover.

It is obvious that they survived (otherwise, no video) but still... Need some new underwear.

Cleaning out the crap

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Great court decision - from Legal Insurrection:

Court declares Obama’s EPA “Waters of the United States Rule” unlawful
Back in 2015, we covered the Obama administration’s far-reaching Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule and the pushback it received at the time.  States’ suits are making their way through the courts, and there is good news to report!

U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood has handed a victory to the state of Georgia and nine other states that sued the federal government (and to the rest of the nation) by declaring that the  WOTUS Rule is unlawful.

Wood stated that the rule, which was intended to provide better protection of the nation’s water, violated the Clean Water Act and the Administrative Procedure Act, and she remanded it back to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers for further work.

She wrote that while the agencies have authority to interpret the phrase “waters of the United States,” that authority isn’t limitless, and therefore their decisions in doing so do not fall under what’s called Chevron deference, a matter of case law in which — for lack of a better phrase — the tie goes to the agency.

Legal Insurrection readers may recall that implementation of the rule led to a Wyoming farmer being fined $37,500 a day for constructing a stock pond on his own property.

Good - get these useless feel-good regulations off the books and into the dustbin of history where they belong.

Remember

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20190819-prepper.jpg

Good news - opening public lands

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From the Washington Examiner:

'Git-R-Done': Trump opens 1.4 million federal acres to hunters, anglers
President Trump isn’t much of an outdoorsman, aside from golf.

But maybe more than any president since Teddy Roosevelt, he understands the importance of others getting outside to boat, hunt, fish, shoot, and hike and their demands for access to federal lands and waterways.

“He’s basically said, ‘Git-R-Done,'” said Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, who is spearheading the opening of 1.4 million acres and elimination of 7,500 regulations limiting access.

“The president fundamentally gets that hunters and anglers are the true conservationists in our society. He understands that history and that we need to act in efforts to expand hunting and fishing while at the same time being respectful of private land rights, respectful of state law,” added Bernhardt.

All the early environmentalists were hunters, campers and fishermen who wanted to preserve our range of lands for hunting, camping and fishing. Overdevelopment (open pit mining, clearcut logging, etc.) was a bad thing - raping the earth. From John Muir to Teddy Roosevelt. It is the current crop of so-called environmentalists who have lost touch with nature and want to regulate and control it from a Lobbyist's office on K Street. Gang Green.

From Medical Express:

Two hours a week is key dose of nature for health and wellbeing
Spending at least two hours a week in nature may be a crucial threshold for promoting health and wellbeing, according to a new large-scale study.

Research led by the University of Exeter, published in Scientific Reports and funded by NIHR, found that people who spend at least 120 minutes in nature a week are significantly more likely to report good health and higher psychological wellbeing than those who don't visit nature at all during an average week. However, no such benefits were found for people who visited natural settings such as town parks, woodlands, country parks and beaches for less than 120 minutes a week.

Makes perfect sense - moving out of Seattle was a great boost to my emotional state and physical health. Living in a city is stressful - I would never move back.

This is from Patrick Moore who co-founded Greenpeace but left them when they went from scientific to political.

Some fine folks at the ifo Institute for Economic Research in Munich did a study on CO2 emissions for electric cars. All of the emissions. From The Brussels Times:

Electric vehicles emit more CO2 than diesel ones, German study shows
When CO2 emissions linked to the production of batteries and the German energy mix - in which coal still plays an important role - are taken into consideration, electric vehicles emit 11% to 28% more than their diesel counterparts, according to the study, presented on Wednesday at the Ifo Institute in Munich.

Mining and processing the lithium, cobalt and manganese used for batteries consume a great deal of energy. A Tesla Model 3 battery, for example, represents between 11 and 15 tonnes of CO2. Given a lifetime of 10 years and an annual travel distance of 15,000 kilometres, this translates into 73 to 98 grams of CO2 per kilometre, scientists Christoph Buchal, Hans-Dieter Karl and Hans-Werner Sinn noted in their study.

The CO2 given off to produce the electricity that powers such vehicles also needs to be factored in, they say.

When all these factors are considered, each Tesla emits 156 to 180 grams of CO2 per kilometre, which is more than a comparable diesel vehicle produced by the German company Mercedes, for example.

Here is the website for the Institute: ifo Institute for Economic Research

Here is the website for the study: ifo Schnelldienst: Electric Vehicles are not a Panacea for Climate Change

And to think of all of our tax dollars that have gone into subsidizing alt.energy and Tesla in general.

From Seattle station KIRO:

Northwest region is currently in an ‘earthquake drought’
Everyone once in a while it’s good to check in on the health of tectonic plates, and see if we need to add a few more cans of beans to our emergency supplies.

“The tectonic plates are always in motion, but they move really slowly overall. We like to say that they move at about the same rate as your fingernails grow,” Harold Tobin, director of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network told Seattle’s Morning News.

“So give it a year, see how long your fingernails would get — that’s how far the North American plate has moved out toward the Pacific. The problem is of course that they get stuck at the edges, and where they’re stuck together they build that strain up.”

While most earthquake news is all doom and gloom, local seismic activity is rather tepid of late. There’s nothing immediate to worry about, but there’s nothing to feel better about, either.

“We don’t have any short-term — short-term meaning weeks to months to years — precursors that we’re seeing. The general background rate of earthquakes globally is steady and even,” Tobin said. “In our region, we’re in something informally called the ‘earthquake drought,’ meaning there haven’t been so many earthquakes over the past decade or two.”

More at the site. I have been a prepper for the last 30 years or so - casual at the start and more serious and organised now. Working with emergency amateur radio communications and the search and rescue people have shown to me just how fragile our infrastructure really is. The best definition I have heard is this:

Disaster: an event that outstrips your ability to cope.

That says it in a nutshell. You do not have to do this all at once - next time you go grocery shopping, pick up an extra couple cans of beans or tuna fish. Keep doing this and make sure to rotate through the oldest first and you will be all set in six months. Be sure to include a favorite book or some games to keep yourself occupied.

In the dark - environmentalists

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Cheap energy is what lifted us from a grinding life of poverty with the average lifespan being less than 50 years. It fueled the industrial revolution and formed the basis for the technological revolution. Environmentalists want us to throw that all away for "The Planet". From the Financial Post:

Joe Oliver: The climate alarmists are keeping poor people in the dark — literally
I recently returned from a Petroleum and Energy Summit in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (PNG), which put into stark relief the moral imperative of developing fossil fuels, especially for the poorest people in developing countries. By implication, it reinforced the profoundly unethical stand of climate-change alarmists who are working to rid the world of hydrocarbons, irrespective of the harm to economic growth, employment and a decent standard of living for billions of people.

A mere 13 per cent of Papua New Guineans have access to electricity. The government’s goal is to extend electrification to 70 per cent by 2030, an ambitious precondition to substantially raising GDP per capita above its current $2,400.

PNG is far behind in electricity usage among larger Asia-Pacific countries. There is a strong correlation between GDP and energy consumption, which requires affordable power sources. Energy mix varies considerably in the region and has been critical to growth. For example, coal supplies 64 per cent of energy in Australia and 55 per cent in Indonesia, while gas represents 63 per cent in Thailand.

PNG imports heavy fuel oil and diesel for 40 per cent of its energy, but does not access its abundant coal reserves.

Joe gets to the meat of the issue:

Over a billion people lack access to electricity and another billion and a quarter have insecure access. It is impossible to elevate people in dire need to a decent standard of living without very inexpensive electricity. Depriving them of the opportunity to escape grinding poverty would be inexcusable, without an existential justification.

Alarmists claim to have that justification. However, failed predictions about temperature change, disappearing polar bears, ice melting, islands sinking into the sea and extreme weather events have seriously undermined their scare tactics and moral preening. The evidence simply does not substantiate the apocalyptic prophesies. Nobel prize winner and theoretical physicist Richard Feynman commented that “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.” He could have added, it doesn’t matter how many people agree with you.

Much more at the site. Environmentalism is a radical religion and radical religions do not tolerate conflicting truths.

The great George Carlin had a wonderful routine about this:

Talk about a useless gesture - from Fast Company:

EU to ban plastic plates, cups, and cutlery by 2021
The European Union is taking the lead in saving the world. The EU parliament has voted to ban single-use plastic cutlery, plastic cotton swabs, straws, and coffee stirrers as part of a sweeping law aimed at fighting the plastic waste that pollutes oceans and beaches. The ban on single-use plastics will go into effect by 2021 in all EU member states (and maybe the U.K., depending on what happens with Brexit).

The countries aren’t stopping there, either: EU member states will also have to reduce the use of plastic food containers and plastic coffee lids. The new legislation also states that by 2025, plastic bottles should be made of 25% recycled content. According to Bloomberg, the new legislation also sets an admirable target of recycling 90% of plastic bottles by 2029–as well as a goal of making them out of 30% recycled material by 2030.

The EU's plastic output is a drop in the bucket compared to China and India - this is pure virtue signalling making the EU bureaucrats look good to the EU proletariat. All about looking good instead of doing good.

Penn and Teller has an excellent video in their Bullshit series:

Bogus statistics passing as news

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Talk about a whopper - from Fortune:

The Average American Uses 3 Rolls of Toilet Paper Each Week—And It's Devastating Forests
A new report on paper use says Americans are flushing away Canadian forests.

Stand.earth and the National Resources Defense Council just released a report describing the “tree-to-toilet” pipeline, concluding that “[t]he consequences for Indigenous Peoples, treasured wildlife, and the global climate are devastating.”

The U.S. consumes more toilet paper than any other country, almost three rolls per person each week. And the brands they choose to use aren’t sustainable, with hardwood trees being pulped to create the soft toilet paper consumers want. Following the United States’ annual use of 141 rolls of toilet paper per capita is Germany with 134 rolls and the United Kingdom with 127. Japanese consumers average 91 rolls annually, while the Chinese average just 49.

This is idiotic to anyone who knows anything about paper and paper production. There are specific requirements for paper pulp and you simply do not go willy-nilly cutting down anything you can. The pulp trees are grown on plantations expressly for paper production. It is a farm, just on a longer scale - the crops are harvested after ten years, not every fall.

The three per week is ludicrous too - I keep a roll of paper around to use as tissues as well a roll in the wall holder for it's original use. I go through maybe a roll every two or three weeks. This number does not pass the "sniff" test.

This is not a scientific report, it is a partisan hit piece disguised as one. Hammer home that narrative.

Recycling - highly overrated

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Recycling is a giant tax money rat hole that lets people feel good but does not really do anything. The only standout to this is aluminum cans - these can be recycled into new aluminum cheaply and efficiently. Everything else? Plastic? Paper? Glass? Usually a landfill somewhere.

From The Atlantic:

Is This The End of Recycling?
After decades of earnest public-information campaigns, Americans are finally recycling. Airports, malls, schools, and office buildings across the country have bins for plastic bottles and aluminum cans and newspapers. In some cities, you can be fined if inspectors discover you haven’t recycled appropriately.

But now, much of that carefully sorted recycling is ending up in the trash.

For decades, we were sending the bulk of our recycling to China—tons and tons of it, sent over on ships to be made into goods like shoes and bags and new plastic products. But last year, the country restricted imports of certain recyclables, including mixed paper—magazines, office paper, junk mail—and most plastics. Waste-management companies across the country are telling towns, cities, and counties that there is no longer a market for their recycling. These municipalities have two choices: pay much higher rates to get rid of recycling, or throw it all away.

Most are choosing the latter. “We are doing our best to be environmentally responsible, but we can’t afford it,” said Judie Milner, the city manager of Franklin, New Hampshire. Since 2010, Franklin has offered curbside recycling and encouraged residents to put paper, metal, and plastics in their green bins. When the program launched, Franklin could break even on recycling by selling for $6 a ton. Now, Milner told me, the transfer station is charging the town $125 a ton to recycle, or $68 per ton to incinerate. One-fifth of Franklin’s residents live below the poverty line, and the city government didn’t want to ask them to pay more to recycle, so all those carefully sorted bottles and cans are being burned. Milner hates knowing that Franklin is releasing toxins into the environment, but there’s not much she can do. “Plastic is just not one of the things we have a market for,” she said.

Penn and Teller did an excellent look at recycling:

Like they said - bullshit.

The joys of not thinking something through to its final conclusion - from The Federalist:

How The Green New Deal Would Exploit Poverty-Stricken People Across The Globe
Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal resolution mentions the words “indigenous peoples” six times, with an emphasis on the “historic oppression” these communities have experienced throughout history.

Ironically, Ocasio-Cortez and co-sponsoring Sen. Ed Markey are apparently oblivious to the plight of indigenous communities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Argentina, Bolivia, and China that suffer daily from the mining of cobalt, lithium, nickel, and other metals essential to electric car batteries.

In reality, the Green New Deal would decimate the communities Democrats claim to respect, while creating a dangerous amount of pollution and needless death throughout the globe.

Electric Vehicles Create Environmental Problems
Currently, approximately 5 percent of total car sales in the United States are electric, and Democrats plan on “overhauling transportation systems in the United States” to primarily electric cars and high-speed rails. However, the batteries in electric vehicles (EV) rely on extracting cobalt, lithium, and other metals to ensure this energy source functions safely. According to Financial Times, “metals account for about 25 per cent of the battery cost” and one market analyst states “There will be no EV industry without DRC cobalt.”

Yeah - that bad. Ironically, we have abundent reserves of rare earth minerals in the USA but have not been able to mine them because of environmental activists. The funny thing is that if we did mine these, we would be doing it in a much more environmentally safe manner than any other mine in any other country. The Global environmental impact would be a lot lower.

Great article by James Dellingpole at Breitbart:

Delingpole: Green New Deal Is a Revamped Communist Manifesto
A few years ago at the height of the global warming scare I wrote a book which set out to answer one of the key questions of our time: if climate change isn’t really a problem why do so many people act as though it is?
The answer, I discovered, is that environmentalism is just a fashionable mask for the usual leftist obsessions with state control and wealth redistribution.

That’s why I called the book Watermelons: green on the outside, red on the inside.

Not everyone who believes in man-made climate change is a full on Commie. Some are merely useful idiots. But whatever reason people may have for supporting the scam – greed, stupidity, virtue-signalling, idiot leftist teachers – the net result is the same: bigger government, higher taxes, more regulation, lower standards of living. Exactly like you’d get under communism, in fact.

So color me completely unshocked by the Green New Deal. It looks like a revamped Communist Manifesto because that’s exactly what it is.

If implemented, the size of government would increase to levels never before seen in a Western economy. The state’s control of everything from wage levels to how businesses are run to your personal freedoms would be total. There’s no mention of gulags or political prisoners or secret police but of course those would inevitably follow because how else would the state have a hope of enforcing measures which freedom loving Americans would naturally resist?

Much more at the site including this bon mot:

And, yes, right now it’s true that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey and the rest of the Democrats pushing this insanity have done Trump 2020 the biggest favor imaginable.

So true - they are out of touch and the consequences of this will bear fruit spectacularly in 2020.

Used to work for them - they used to be science based but for the last 30 years, they are just political and narrative driven.

From The Daily Caller:

GREENPEACE’S ICONIC ‘RAINBOW WARRIOR’ SHIP CHOPPED UP ON A THIRD-WORLD BEACH, SOLD FOR SCRAP
Greenpeace quietly admitted in November one of its “Rainbow Warrior” boats was “scrapped on a beaching yard in Bangladesh” — a method it spent years campaigning against.

“We have made a mistake, one that we have tried to correct,” Greenpeace International, based in Amsterdam, admitted in mid-November, adding it allowed Rainbow Warrior II “to be scrapped on a beaching yard in Bangladesh, in a way that does not live up to the standards we set ourselves and campaigned with our allies to have adopted across the world.”

However, the embarrassing admission from one of the world’s largest and most prominent environmental groups flew under the radar of major news outlets. Greenpeace quietly put out a press release on its international website, which few noticed.

Seems that they are not doing that well - a bit more:

Indeed, Rainbow Warrior II’s fate is only the latest in a string of embarrassments and scandals to plague Greenpeace in recent years, including admitting in 2014 it had lost millions in donations betting on currency speculation.

That same year, Greenpeace came under fire from the Peruvian government for damaging the ancient Nazca Lines. Activists damaged the world-famous site with giant protest banners advocating for solar energy and calling for countries to fight global warming.

Lots of asbestos and carcinogenic PCBs in the environment now - thanks Greenpeace. Here is Greenpeace's co-founder Dr. Patrick Moore talking about the organization:

The organization I co-founded has become a monster. When I was a member of its central committee in the early days, we campaigned – usually with success – on genuine environmental issues such as atmospheric nuclear tests, whaling and seal-clubbing.

When Greenpeace turned anti-science by campaigning against chlorine (imagine the sheer stupidity of campaigning against one of the elements in the periodic table), I decided that it had lost its purpose and that, having achieved its original objectives, had turned to extremism to try to justify its continued existence.

Now Greenpeace has knowingly made itself the sworn enemy of all life on Earth. By opposing capitalism, it stands against the one system of economics that has been most successful in regulating and restoring the environment.

Truth.

Meanwhile, at the White House

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A lot goes on that does not get media coverage because, well, it doesn't fit the narrative.
Consider this Executive Order signed by President Trump last Friday:

EO on Promoting Active Management of America’s Forests, Rangelands, and other Federal Lands to Improve Conditions and Reduce Wildfire Risk
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. It is the policy of the United States to protect people, communities, and watersheds, and to promote healthy and resilient forests, rangelands, and other Federal lands by actively managing them through partnerships with States, tribes, communities, non-profit organizations, and the private sector. For decades, dense trees and undergrowth have amassed in these lands, fueling catastrophic wildfires. These conditions, along with insect infestation, invasive species, disease, and drought, have weakened our forests, rangelands, and other Federal lands, and have placed communities and homes at risk of damage from catastrophic wildfires.

Active management of vegetation is needed to treat these dangerous conditions on Federal lands but is often delayed due to challenges associated with regulatory analysis and current consultation requirements. In addition, land designations and policies can reduce emergency responder access to Federal land and restrict management practices that can promote wildfire-resistant landscapes. With the same vigor and commitment that characterizes our efforts to fight wildfires, we must actively manage our forests, rangelands, and other Federal lands to improve conditions and reduce wildfire risk.

BAM - problem identified and fixed. More at the site including dealing with invasive species and selling 600 million board feet of timber from DOI-administered lands to help pay for this. It also deals with salvaging remaining timber from fire ravaged land.

Big quake in Alaska

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Reports of Mag7 earthquake - more as the news comes in.

From the Anchorage Daily News:

Large earthquake, aftershocks, strike Southcentral Alaska, damage reported around region
A large earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.0 struck Alaska near Anchorage early Friday morning, damaging roads and buildings, knocking out power and sending people fleeing from buildings and to safety beneath door jambs.

The epicenter was just north of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, according to the Alaska Earthquake Center. It violently shook the most populous region of the state as people were settling in to work and school.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

There were several aftershocks, including a sharp jolt felt widely in Anchorage around 10:26 a.m. and another series of aftershocks just before 11 a.m. At least three of them were 5.0.

Sending prayers out to the Alaskan people and critters. Not fun Temperature is down to 26°F - not a good time to be toosed out of your warm house.

Told 'ya - Global Warming Cooling

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From Investor's Business Daily:

Don't Tell Anyone, But We Just Had Two Years Of Record-Breaking Global Cooling
Inconvenient Science: NASA data show that global temperatures dropped sharply over the past two years. Not that you'd know it, since that wasn't deemed news. Does that make NASA a global warming denier?

Writing in Real Clear Markets, Aaron Brown looked at the official NASA global temperature data and noticed something surprising. From February 2016 to February 2018, "global average temperatures dropped by 0.56 degrees Celsius." That, he notes, is the biggest two-year drop in the past century.

"The 2016-2018 Big Chill," he writes, "was composed of two Little Chills, the biggest five month drop ever (February to June 2016) and the fourth biggest (February to June 2017). A similar event from February to June 2018 would bring global average temperatures below the 1980s average."

Isn't this just the sort of man-bites-dog story that the mainstream media always says is newsworthy?

In this case, it didn't warrant any news coverage.

In fact, in the three weeks since Real Clear Markets ran Brown's story, no other news outlet picked up on it. They did, however, find time to report on such things as tourism's impact on climate change, how global warming will generate more hurricanes this year, and threaten fish habitats, and make islands uninhabitable. They wrote about a UN official saying that "our window of time for addressing climate change is closing very quickly."

Reporters even found time to cover a group that says they want to carve President Trump's face into a glacier to prove climate change "is happening."

In other words, the mainstream news covered stories that repeated what climate change advocates have been saying ad nauseam for decades.

Of course the media are not going to cover stories like these - they do not fit the narrative and as everyone knows, you have to protect the narrative. Pesky numbers be damned.

Looks like Governor Brown of California agreed with President Trump on the problem of poor management of California's forests. From the Santa Cruz Sentinel of August 31st, 2018:

Gov. Jerry Brown proposes easing logging rules to thin forests
Faced with the worst summer fire season in 10 years, Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing broad new changes to California’s logging rules that would allow landowners to cut larger trees and build temporary roads without obtaining a permit as a way to thin more forests across the state.

The proposal — which has the support of the timber industry but is being opposed by more than a dozen environmental groups — would represent one of the largest changes to the state’s timber harvesting rules in the past 45 years.

The legislative session ends for the year next Friday. On Thursday, the details were still being negotiated by legislative leaders and the governor’s office behind the scenes and had not yet been formally introduced in a bill or put up for a vote.

“They are trying to get to some kind of a deal,” said Rich Gordon, the president of the California Forestry Association, a timber industry group. “They are looking at what can get done politically.”

If he was doing this as recently as last August, why did he hammer President Trump when Trump said the cause was poor forest management? He could have pointed to this legislation and say - I knew and I was trying.  A perfect out. But no, Brown had to play the Global Warming card and say that President Trump didn't know what he was talking about.

The Camp Fire started on November 8th - this news article is from eight days prior.

Just wonderful - California fires

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This little bit of joy from Zero Hedge:

SoCal Fire May Have Ejected "Incredibly Dangerous" Radioactive Particles Into The Atmosphere
The 95,000 acre Woolsey fire which has coated Southern California with an apocalyptic orange glow may have released a toxic stew of radioactive particles and toxic chemicals into the air, after scorching the land on closed-down government weapons testing facility in Simi Hills known to be heavily contaminated from decades of experiments.

Commencing operation in 1947 for Rockwell's Rocketdyne Division, a government contractor for the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), the Santa Susana Field Lab (SSFL) has a checkered safety record, to put it lightly. In addition to several nuclear accidents - including the worst nuclear meltdown in US history, toxic materials have accumulated on-site from years of dumping, just miles from thousands of residents.

It was the site of several nuclear accidents, including the worst nuclear meltdown in US history when, in 1959, facility operators intentionally vented nuclear material from the site’s “Sodium Reactor Experiment” to prevent it from overheating and exploding. By the time the leaks were closed, the site had released 459 times more radiation than was leaked during the better-known 1979 meltdown at Three Mile Island.

The lab property, now owned by airplane manufacturer Boeing, stretches for 2,800 acres in the Simi Hills, and remains contaminated with toxic materials. Thousands of people live within two miles of the site, and roughly half a million live within 10 miles, according to an investigation by NBC 4 Los Angeles. -Quartz  

California officials with the state's Department of Toxic Substances Control said that as of Friday, November 9, an area of the SSFL site which was scorched by the Woolsey fire posed no danger, stating "Our scientists and toxicologists have reviewed information about the fire’s location and do not believe the fire has caused any releases of hazardous materials that would pose a risk to people exposed to the smoke." 

Time will tell. Amazed they didn't do a superfund site.

The California fires

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An article from just before - Sacramento Bee, October 3, 2018:

Is PG&E going too far in cutting trees for fire safety? A Sacramento group says yes
Criticized for its role in several catastrophic California wildfires, state utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric is on a mission to clear trees near power lines that could topple and hit lines causing fires.

But is the giant utility going too far? A group of Sacramentans is saying yes.

Some members of the Save the American River Association and the American River Parkway Coalition and others are fighting to stop PG&E from cutting down what they estimate could be 100 cottonwood and oak trees near a major electricity transmission line that runs through the parkway near Discovery Park.

A bit more:

The utility company has been criticized in the last year by residents and state officials after a bevy of wildfires tied to downed power lines swept through the state in October 2017.

Investigative reports in May and June from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection linked PG&E to 16 fires in 2017 that killed 18 people and destroyed thousands of homes and other buildings. The PG&E service area covers much of northern and central California, and includes 18,000 miles of power lines. It will spend up to $70 million this year to clear vegetation near those lines, a spokesman said in an email.

Those clueless environmentalists again - they do not see the big picture, just their personal agenda.

Terrierman's Daily Dose is a daily read for me and today, he reminds us of California's weather history with a quote from John Steinbeck - East of Eden:

Fire, like drought, is a failure of memory and a longage of people.

In East of Eden, Nobel-prize winning author John Steinbeck's (1902-1968) put it well:

I have spoken of the rich years when the rainfall was plentiful. But there were dry years too, and they put a terror on the valley. The water came in a thirty-year cycle. There would be five or six wet and wonderful years when there might be nineteen to twenty-five inches of rain, and the land would shout with grass. Then would come six or seven pretty good years of twelve to sixteen inches of rain. And then the dry years would come, and sometimes there would be only seven or eight inches of rain. The land dried up and the grasses headed out miserably a few inches high and great bare scabby places appeared in the valley. The live oaks got a crusty look and the sagebrush was gray. The land cracked and the springs dried up and the cattle listlessly nibbled dry twigs. Then the farmers and the ranchers would be filled with disgust for the Salinas Valley. The cows would grow thin and sometimes starve to death. People would have to haul water in barrels to their farms just for drinking. Some families would sell out for nearly nothing and move away. And it never failed that during the dry years the people forgot about the rich years, and during the wet years they lost all memory of the dry years. It was always that way.

The ignition of the Camp Fire was from a malfunction at a PGE electrical tower. The reason the fire escalated so rapidly is because of the huge fire load caused by poor forest managment. We should have learned our lessons from the Yellowstone conflagration thirty years ago but noooooooo...

Curious happenings - San Andreas Fault

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From the Los Angeles Times:

A San Andreas fault mystery: The 'slow-moving disaster' in an area where the Big One is feared
The San Andreas fault begins its dangerous dance through California at the Salton Sea, at a spot that seismologists long have feared could be the epicenter of a massive earthquake.

But in recent months, this desolate location where the North American and Pacific plates rub together has become the focus of intense interest for a type of movement that is less the Big One than the Slow One.

A muddy spring mysteriously has begun to move at a faster pace through dry earth — first 60 feet over a few months, and then 60 feet in a single day, according to Imperial County officials.

More at the site. The acceleration of movement is curious and vexatious - it stands to take out a major rail line as well as a major fiber optic cable and a highway.

Coal is King

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Despite all the demonization, coal has its uses and with current technology, it is clean to use. From Forbes:

The U.S. Coal Export Boom To Asia
There are many, many falsehoods out there about coal. The biggest, of course, is that "coal is dead," an organized effort to scare away potential investors of the world's most vital source of electricity. Indeed, the reality is quite different than what some insist that you believe. In fact, coal is still the main source of power in a leading 18 U.S. states, and still supplies almost 30% of American power. " Does that sound like an energy source that is...."dead?"

Globally, coal is even more alive. "Think the Big Banks Have Abandoned Coal? Think Again." Even a solar magazine admits: "China to add 259 GW of coal capacity, satellite imagery shows." For reference, 259 GW is more than twice the amount of power capacity that mighty Texas has FROM ALL SOURCES.

Now Asia - which accounts for close to 80% of total global coal usage - is increasingly turning to the U.S. to supply coal. We are still the world's third largest coal producer. The U.S. supplies both types, met coal to produce steel and steam coal to produce electricity. "U.S. coal exports increased by 61% in 2017 as exports to Asia more than doubled."

Nuke - specifically LFTR - is the way of the future but we have about 400 years of coal in the ground that we now know about. Here is a great edited video explaining LFTR in five minutes.

Poor Japan

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First the storm and now this - from the Express:

Japan earthquake: Sapporo ROCKED by 6.7 earthquake - landslide traps people in homes
The Magnitude 6.7 quake struck 70 miles south of Sapporo on the island of Hokkaido, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).

The tremor triggered a landslide which covered homes in the rural town of Atsumi trapping residents inside.

People in Sapporo were woken up by strong shaking shortly after 7pm BST (3am Thursday local time) as the earth moved for around 20 seconds.

Japanese TV showed damaged buildings and quoted police as saying some people had been trapped in collapsed structures.

A very bad week for a wonderful nation.

Prayers going out to Japan

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From the London Daily Mail:

Typhoon Jebi smashes Japan: Giant waves and 135mph winds rock the country as train station roof COLLAPSES during the worst storm in 25 years and a MILLION are told to evacuate
A powerful typhoon slammed into western Japan on Tuesday, killing at least nine people and injuring scores of people as more than a million people were told to evacuate amid the worst storm to hit the country in 25 years.

Typhoon Jebi, reportedly the strongest typhoon to make landfall in Japan since 1993, headed north across the main island of Honshu toward the Sea of Japan.

Giant waves and winds of up to 135mph lashed the country, inundating the region's main international airport and blowing a tanker into a bridge, disrupting land and air travel and leaving thousands stranded.

The storm hammered the west coast as it made landfall in the latest severe weather to hit the country this summer following rains, landslides, floods and record-breaking heat that killed hundreds of people.

Some horrible photos and videos at the site. 

This is just ridiculous - the USA is not anywhere near the top of the plastic pollution heap. We are number 20 on the list and China is by far the worst offender (hard numbers here and here)

20180903-plastic.jpg

Of course, given the source, it is easy to understand the hyperbole - from Mother Jones:

Flushing Your Contacts Does Terrible Things to Our Land and Oceans
For a lot of people, contact lenses are a daily necessity. Market research shows 45 million Americans, about one in eight, wear contacts, meaning the United States alone consumes somewhere between five and 14 billion lenses annually. And now, new research shows all those contact lenses may end up as micro-plastic pollution in our soil, rivers, and oceans.

An estimated 20 percent of contact-lens wearers, studied as part of a 400-person online survey, flush their lenses down the sink or toilet, as opposed to placing them in the trash as industry experts recommend. That amounts to 20 metric tons of plastic, or 20,000 kilograms (about 44,000 pounds), flushed per year—about the weight of a small airplane. The biggest culprit? Daily-use lenses, which occupy about 40 percent of the market.

These people are crazy - there is no other condition that could account for their behaviour. Right out of DSM:

DSM-IV 301.95 Progressive Personality Disorder
A pervasive pattern of progressive political and inter-personal thought and action, rooted in discredited leftist (neo-Marxist) beliefs, beginning in early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by at least five of the following (individual must be at least 18 years of age to qualify for the diagnosis of Progressive Personality Disorder, as many of the criteria are age-appropriate for adolescents). This disorder often coexists with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

      1. Utopian thinking, e.g. a delusional belief that there exist simple, linear, side effect-free solutions to all social problems.
      2. Lack of historical knowledge and perspective, and repression of personal memories dissonant with this belief system. e.g., the national mood post 9-11, including that of PPD patients, is suppressed in order to avoid conflict with subsequent reversal of beliefs as the PPD delusions were reinstated - hence the downplaying of terrorism as a threat and the obsessive concern for the "rghts" of temporarily feared and hated terrorists. (Note to clinician: please differentiate between mere historical ignorance, e.g., a doctorate in history from an elite university, vs. neurotic or psychotic delusions necessary to sustain these beliefs. )
      3. Anthroplastic delusion, e.g. The delusion that behavioral conditioning performed by the government or some other collective will cure all behavioral and social problems, rooted in denial of fixed human nature. Implicit in this delusion is the idea that human beings are infinitely malleable and subject to behavioral manipulation leading to perfect control and predictability. Free will, personal conscience, and objective morality are denied, devalued or denigrated.

More at Tiny Vital - brilliant satire.

Very nice - Purina dog food

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Purina is one of the better companies out there. Well run, great products and now this - from Sporting Classics Daily:

Purina Commits $1 Million to Ducks Unlimited
Ducks Unlimited and Nestlé Purina PetCare Company have partnered to protect and improve 1,600 acres of wetland and grasslands across Iowa over the next three years through Ducks Unlimited’s Living Lakes Initiative, promoting healthy soil, healthy crops and healthy wildlife habitat.

Purina, which operates three pet food manufacturing facilities in Iowa (in Clinton, Fort Dodge and Davenport) and sources high-quality ingredients for its dog and cat food products from farms across the state, has committed $1 million to help promote sustainability of the supply chain and improve recreational use of wetlands and lakes across the state’s Prairie Pothole Region.

“Purina and Ducks Unlimited are joining in Iowa’s efforts to help improve our state’s water quality, and I applaud this partnership,” said IowaGovernor Kim Reynolds. “These organizations represent farmers, conservationists and outdoors enthusiasts who all have a stake in preserving our natural resources for the livelihood of Iowans and wildlife.”

And Ducks Unlimited is not a shabby organization either - founded in 1937, it is one of the few environmental groups that actually use hard data and science to steer their agenda.

Smoke gets in your eyes

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The wildfire smoke was really bad last week and now it is moving in again. From Cliff Mass:

Smoke Now Pushing Into Western Washington
During the next 12 hours there should be a major influx of wildfire smoke into the lower elevations of western Washington.

The MODIS satellite imagery around noon showed very dense smoke over eastern WA and the north Cascades, with lesser but substantial smoke now over northwest Washington, with a thinning from Seattle southward.

Looking at being worse than last week - the setting sun was blood red tonight. Beautiful but not good.

I really wish that the US Government managed our forests better - more in tune with nature. The number of large fires would drop. Sure, we would have a lot more smaller fires but they would burn themselves out and the forest would be rejuvenated. Now, we prevent fires at all cost while the fire load (available fuel) ratchets up year after year until there is a huge conflagration.

Got him - great news

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The little turd was hiding in Cuba but we extradited his a** and he is standing trial. From The Seattle Times:

Ecosabotage suspect linked to Olympia arson arrested in Cuba after 12 years on run
After more than a decade as a fugitive, a former Seattle resident has been taken into federal custody to face criminal charges that he joined in ecosabotage attacks in Washington, Oregon, and California.

In an initial court appearance Friday in U.S. District Court in Portland, Joseph Dibee pleaded not guilty to charges that he helped set fire in 1997 to an Oregon meatpacking plant and was ordered detained as a flight risk.

He also faces federal charges in Western Washington for his alleged role in planning a June 21, 1998, arson attack at a U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service facility in Olympia.

Dibee, in an indictment filed in 2006, was accused of being part of a group of 12 people linked to a string of Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front arson and other attacks between 1995 and 2001 that caused more than $45 million in damages.

Members called themselves “The Family,” and their targets included the University of Washington’s Center for Urban Horticulture that was destroyed by arson on May 21, 2001, according to the Justice Department.

The Center for Urban Horticulture fire destroyed a lovely library and also wiped out one fourth of the worlds supply of a very rare plant being propagated at the lab.

The Environmental Protection Agency just owned up to it. From The Daily Caller:

EPA RELEASED A LONG-DELAYED REPORT SHOWING ETHANOL HURTS THE ENVIRONMENT
An extensive report from the Environmental Protection Agency found that including ethanol into the U.S. gas supply is wreaking havoc on the atmosphere and soil.

In a study titled “Biofuels and the Environment: The Second Triennial Report to Congress,” the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determined that ethanol derived from corn and soybeans is causing serious harm to the environment. Water, soil and air quality were all found to be adversely affected by biofuel mandates.

“Evidence since enactment of [the Energy Independence and Security Act] suggests an increase in acreage planted with soybeans and corn, with strong indications from observed changes in land use that some of this increase is a consequence of increased biofuel production,” read a portion of the 159-page report.

A bit more:

“[A]ir quality modeling suggests that production and use of ethanol as fuel to displace gasoline is likely to increase such air pollutants as PM2.5, ozone, and SOx in some locations,” read a section of the report pertaining to air quality. While traditional gasoline contains more CO2, ethanol-based fuels have more nitrogen oxides (NOx), which can be more harmful to human health. NOx can exacerbate asthma by causing inflammation of the respiratory airwaves, with long-term exposure resulting in decreased lung function.

Long delayed?

The EPA study, published on June 29, came after a long delay. Federal law calls for the EPA to conduct a study on the Renewable Fuel Standard every three years, but the government was four years late this go-around. The agency’s previous ethanol study was published in 2011.

Ethanol in fuel is a scam delivered to us by the corn lobby. It is especially bad on small engines - lawnmowers, string trimmers, generators, etc... Those engines only last 200 hours or so running on E10 where they basically run forever on full gasoline. Ethanol absorbes water from the air and eats up gaskets and hoses. Great stuff in a wine glass but not in an engine...

Heh - bad news for anti-Frackers

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From Jazz Shaw at Hot Air:

The Study You Won’t Be Hearing About: No Impact On Groundwater From Fracking
Protests by environmentalists against hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) have been going on for years now, along with the Hollywood efforts of serial fabulists such as Josh Fox. One of the biggest concerns surrounding the process is the possibility of contamination of groundwater. While a previous study in Pennsylvania by the state Department of Environmental Protection revealed zero instances of this happening (except for surface spills during transport of hydraulic fluids), critics discounted the study and the protests continued.

The study was published at Springer - from the abstract:

We found no relationship between CH4 concentration or source in groundwater and proximity to active gas well sites. No significant changes in CH4 concentration, CH4 isotopic composition, pH, or conductivity in water wells were observed during the study period. These data indicate that high levels of biogenic CH4 can be present in groundwater wells independent of hydraulic fracturing activity and affirm the need for isotopic or other fingerprinting techniques for CH4 source identification.

And Jazz brings up one serious point:

Another attack frequently launched by the “keep it in the ground” crowd consists of questioning the bias of the study participants or the source of funding. This testing was done on a completely independent basis and the funding came from two sources. One was the David & Sara Weston Foundation, a group whose mission is to, “enrich and strengthen underserved communities in… the arts, environmental conservation and social services.” Additional funding was provided by a grant from the Deer Creek Foundation, which seeks to “enrich the cultural and artistic quality of life in the St. Louis metropolitan area.”

In other words, we’re not talking about flunkies for ExxonMobil here.

Of course, the mainstream media is all like:

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crickets

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Russian meddling

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Now this is interesting - from Newsweek:

PUTIN IS FUNDING GREEN GROUPS TO DISCREDIT NATURAL GAS FRACKING
Forget about allegations of Russian interference in U.S. presidential elections for a moment, or even “collusion” between Russian officials and Trump campaign operatives.

The real action is in the European and U.S. energy markets, according to a letter from two Texas congressmen to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that details what they call “a covert anti-fracking campaign” with “little or no paper trail.”

A bit more:

Smith and Weber quote sources saying the Russian government has been colluding with environmental groups to circulate “disinformation” and “propaganda” aimed at undermining hydraulic fracturing. Commonly called fracking, the process makes it possible to access natural gas deposits.

Russia sells Natural Gas to the rest of their world. This is one of their larger sources of hard currency. They will do anything to prevent anyone else from tapping into this market. They have been selling Natural Gas and Propane to the USA and Canada for a long long time - here is an article from May 15th, 2008:

MTUSA to Subscribe for 100% of Capacity in North American LNG Terminal
Gazprom Marketing & Trading USA, Inc. (GMTUSA) and the Rabaska partners, Gaz Métro (TSX: GZM.UN), Enbridge Inc. (TSX, NYSE: ENB) and Gaz de France (Euronext Paris : GAZ) announced today that they have signed a Letter of Intent outlining the major terms under which GMTUSA will become an equity partner in the proposed Rabaska liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification project and contract for 100 percent of the import terminal’s capacity. The parties expect to execute definitive agreements before the end of this year.

Using the Rabaska terminal, GMTUSA, a wholly owned subsidiary of OAO Gazprom, expects to import Russian LNG supplied from the Shtokman liquefaction project currently under development by OAO Gazprom, which anticipates initial production of LNG from Shtokman in 2014. The Shtokman gas and condensate field, discovered in 1988, is located in the central part of the Barents Sea, approximately 450 kilometers northeast of the city of Murmansk, Russia. The Rabaska terminal is designed to be capable of receiving, storing and re-gasifying imported LNG with a nominal natural gas send-out capacity of 500 million cubic feet per day.

Like I said, their natural gas industry is a major source of revenue for Russia and they will do anything to prevent anyone else from taking their rice bowl away - what's a couple million cash to some environmental groups. That is pocket change when you look at the money at stake.

Great news re: cars

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From The New York Times:

E.P.A. Prepares to Roll Back Rules Requiring Cars to Be Cleaner and More Efficient
The Trump administration is expected to launch an effort in coming days to weaken greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy standards for automobiles, handing a victory to car manufacturers and giving them ammunition to potentially roll back industry standards worldwide.

The move — which undercuts one of President Barack Obama’s signature efforts to fight climate change — would also propel the Trump administration toward a courtroom clash with California, which has vowed to stick with the stricter rules even if Washington rolls back federal standards. That fight could end up creating one set of rules for cars sold in California and the 12 states that follow its lead, and weaker rules for the rest of the states, in effect splitting the nation into two markets.

What is actually happening is that Obama's heightened CAFE Standards (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) are being rolled back to a more reasonable requirement. A bit more:

The rules, aimed at cutting tailpipe emissions of carbon dioxide, a major contributor to global warming, were one of the two pillars of Mr. Obama’s climate change legacy. Put forth in 2012, they would have required automakers to nearly double the average fuel economy of new cars and trucks to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

First of all, carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, it is plant food. Without CO2, there would be no photosynthesis and therefore no plant life.

Second of all, the CAFE Standards are responsible for a marked increase in traffic fatalities. To increase the fuel efficiency (mileage), the manufacturers need to reduce weight - they do this by using thinner metal in the car bodies making them more dangerous in a collision. Data to support this: here, here, here, here, here and here

News from California - water

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California is running out of water so they are planning to do this - from the San Francisco Chronicle:

Recycled water from sewers coming to California taps
Water that once coursed through city sewers may soon find new life coming out of your home faucet.

New regulations approved Tuesday by the California State Water Resources Control Board allow treated recycled water to be added to reservoirs, the source of California municipal drinking water.

The regulations specify the percentage of recycled water that can be added and how long it must reside there before being treated again at a surface water treatment facility and provided as drinking water, according to the Water Board.

California has plenty of water. What they lack are places to store the winter snowpack and rains until they are needed during summer. They used to build dams but then the environmentalists got into the picture.

About that clean coal

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Great news on the Energy front - from Don Surber (a daily read for me):

Trump revives coal
The War on Coal ended on November 8, 2016. I will give you a guess about which side won.

"The U.S. last year produced 773 million short tons of coal, 45 million more than 2016. That was the largest year-to-year increase in nearly two decades, government numbers show," the Washington Times reported.

It gets better. Europe imported a record amount of coal from the USA in 2017.

Don provides links to the data - sensible energy is back again. The abject myth of carbon being bad is getting stuffed back into the trashcan where it belongs. Without CO2, there is no plant-life - photosynthesis relies on Carbon Dioxide.

You may have heard that California is toying with a new law that would make customers have to ask for a soda straw when they are being served a drink. If the waiter brings an unasked straw, said waiter can be fined $1,000 and there is an option for jail time. The reason for this odious piece of legislation comes from some reasearch done by a nine year old boy. No. Really. Christian Britschgi has the facts and also links to multiple cases of the media taking this number at face value.

15 Times Major Media Outlets Used a Statistic about Plastic Straws Based on Research by a 9-Year-Old
Yesterday, I reported that the oft-cited, debate-driving statistic that Americans use 500 million plastic straws a day was the product of a 9-year-old's guesstimations. Despite those shaky factual foundations, the 500 million figure has quickly spread, virus-like, across the media landscape and even into our shops and schools.

Visitors to the D.C. tea house Teaism—just a short walk from Reason's D.C. office—will be confronted with the questionable fact on a small poster adorning the restaurant's single-use straw dispenser, replete with a picture of a cute sea turtle. Meanwhile, impressionable children at the Mount Vernon Community School in nearby Alexandria, Virginia, are coming home with "Straw Wars" handouts citing the same dubious figure.

It's easy to understand how the school could have been led astray, given how ubiquitous this claim is in the media. Please see below for a list of just a few of the news outlets that have cited this "fact"—or otherwise quoted people saying it without any critical pushback—in their reporting:

Unreal. Christian also links to several environmental groups and then offers this comment:

Attempts to ban plastic straws—or indeed any plastic product—have as much to do with signaling your environmentalist bona fides as they do with actually cleaning up the oceans or saving the planet. So people pushing the claim have little incentive to investigate it. And the media have every incentive to hype the impact of a phenomenon they're covering.

Let this serve as a reminder: A statistic's popularity does not prove its accuracy.

So true - it's all about Virtue Signalling. Here is a link to Milo's page: Be Straw Free Campaign 
Eco-Cycle is a Boulder, Colorado based recycling company.

The consequences of their actions

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The environmentalists shut down the coal burning plants because of the pollution (coal is actually a very clean fuel if you use high-grade anthracite) and they shut down nuclear because... nuclear!. Now, they are paying the consequences. From the Conservative Tribune:

New England Liberals Shut Down Coal Power Plants, Now They’re at Risk of Freezing
Because of years of left-wing environmentalism being forced on power companies in New England, these energy suppliers are now struggling to fulfill the demands of local residents seeking to merely stay warm during this intense winter.

“Officials at ISO-New England, operators of the region’s power grid, said energy demands during the recent arctic weather have placed major pressures on energy generators, forcing power companies to rely more on coal and oil to produce electricity,” the Hartford Courant reported this week.

The Courant further noted that though energy industry officials have for years recommended that New England fix its energy problems by, at the very least, constructing new natural gas pipelines, such proposals have “been blocked or withdrawn” mainly because of opposition from environmental groups.

This post does a nice synthesis of the problems and the causes leading up to this winter with links to corroborating stories. The greenies are trying to have their cake and eat it too without thinking of the consequences of their actions. Especially as we are heading into a period of markedly cooler weather. Here is today's post from ISO-New England:

Power Systems Update: New England grid operations through recent bitter cold weather and preparation for winter storm
As of Sunday, January 7, New England’s bulk power system continues to operate reliably during this extremely frigid weather covering New England and the Northeast. Nevertheless, managing the region’s power system through these conditions continues to be challenging, primarily because of fuel availability.

During this extreme cold, some power plants have either tripped offline or had to reduce their output, while other oil-fired and dual-fuel generators are quickly depleting their fuel supply. As a result, ISO New England has taken steps to conserve fuel by ‘posturing’ units, which means that the ISO is postponing the operations of certain generation for later in the day or week, and using other generating resources instead to produce electricity. Consequently, some facilities will operate ‘out-of-merit’ which means these resources will be compensated to operate when the ISO requires them.

While the ISO is continually assessing the reliability of the system, other conditions continue to make grid operations difficult. Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station remains out of service, some oil-fired generation is nearing emissions limitations, and other power plants are awaiting fuel deliveries that were postponed because of Thursday’s storm. But these deliveries will not begin before tomorrow at the earliest.

With temperatures expected to warm up this week, the ISO expects power grid conditions to improve for the region, and offer a window for fuel replenishment. Such fuel replenishment is critical to handle any future cold snap. In the meantime, the ISO will continue to issue these updates if system conditions warrant.

In other words, New England is hanging on by its short and curlies and if they do not get a resupply during the coming warm spell, they are S.O.L.

An outbreak of common sense in Norway

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From Hart Energy:

Norwegian Government Wins Arctic Oil Lawsuit
An Oslo court approved Norway’s plans for more oil exploration in the Arctic on Jan. 4, dismissing a lawsuit by environmentalists who had said it violated people’s right to a healthy environment.

The case, brought by Greenpeace and the Nature and Youth Group, had argued that a 2015 oil licensing round in the Arctic that gave awards to Statoil, Chevron and others was unconstitutional.

“The environmental organizations’ argument that the plan violates the Constitution’s Article 112 has not succeeded,” Oslo district court ruled. “The state, represented by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, is exonerated.”

The court ordered the environmental groups to pay the state’s legal costs of 580,000 Norwegian crowns (US$71,687). It was not immediately known if they would appeal against the ruling.

Norway is Western Europe’s largest producer and exporter of oil and gas and plans to keep pumping for decades despite its support for the 2015 Paris climate accord, which aims to end the fossil fuel era this century.

Good - time to push back against these marxists who want to hamstring our growth and prosperity. Abundent and cheap energy is the best thing anyone can do for this planet and all creatures who dwell upon her. I remember back when Greenpeace actually did good solid scienced-based work.

California - no surprises there

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The wildfires have mostly been caused by overhead power-line arcing. Yes, there was one homeless camp whose cooking fire started a wildfire but that was it - one.

Turns out the Governor Moonbeam actually vetoed a bill which would have required the public utilities to relocate power lines underground in high-risk areas. From Larry Hamlin writing at Watts Up With That:

Jerry Brown vetoed enhanced requirements for undergrounding power lines, blames CA wildfires on nebulous “climate change”
In September 2016 California Governor Brown vetoed Senate Bill 1463 which enhanced requirements for the CPUC and state Forestry and Fire Protection to facilitate the undergrounding of power lines in high fire risk areas across the stately by requiring the states involvement with cities and counties facing high fire risks and by requiring the prioritization of high fire risk regions.

The vetoed Bill would have provided enhanced requirements for how the CPUC was to lead this effort by mandating involvement of the states cities and counties along with prioritization of high fire risk regions.

Overhead power lines have been linked to a number of major California wildfires including the 2007 Witch Creek fire in San Diego County which destroyed 1141 homes with 21 deaths and in 2015 are also suspected of being the cause of the Northern Ca. wine country fires as well. Wind damaged overhead power lines are suspected as a potential cause of some of the most recent large and tragic fires in California this year.

Much more at the site including screen-captures and links to other information. The Californian government is so dysfunctional and clueless it hurts. The 5% elite controling the lives of the 95% real people.

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