The Case for Fossil Fuels

Below is an excerpt from a large study: “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels” by  Alex Epstein, Center for Industrial Progress.

Read the full study here, 11 pages.

What does it mean to be moral?
This is an involved philosophical question, but for our purposes I will say: an activity is moral if it is fundamentally beneficial to human life.

By that standard, is the fossil fuel industry moral? The answer to that question is a resounding yes. By producing the most abundant, affordable, reliable energy in the world, the fossil fuel industry makes every other industry more productive—and it makes every individual more productive and thus more prosperous, giving him a level of opportunity to pursue happiness that previous generations couldn’t even dream of. Energy, the fuel of technology, is opportunity—the opportunity to use technology to improve every aspect of life. Including our environment.

Any animal’s environment can be broken down into two categories: threats and resources. (For human beings, “resources” includes a broad spectrum of things, including natural beauty.) To assess the fossil fuel industry’s impact on our environment, we simply need to ask: What is its impact on threats? What is its impact on resources? The moral case against fossil fuels argues that the industry makes our environment more threatening and our resources more scarce.

But if we look at the big-picture facts, the exact opposite is true. The fossil fuel industry makes our environment far safer and creates new resources out of once-useless raw materials.

Let’s start with threats. Schoolchildren for the last several generations have been taught to think of our natural environment as a friendly, stable place—and our main environmental contribution is to mess it up and endanger ourselves in the process. Not so. Nature does not give us a healthy environment to live in—it gives us an environment full of organisms eager to kill us and natural forces that can easily overwhelm us.

It is only thanks to cheap, plentiful, reliable energy that we live in an environment where the air we breathe and the water we drink and the food we eat will not make us sick, and where we can cope with the often hostile climate of Mother Nature.  Energy is what we need to build sturdy homes, to purify water, to produce huge amounts of fresh food, to generate heat and air-conditioning, to irrigate deserts, to dry malaria-infested swamps, to build hospitals, and to manufacture pharmaceuticals, among many other things. And those of us who enjoy exploring the rest of nature should never forget that oil is what enables us to explore to our heart’s content, which preindustrial people didn’t have the time, wealth, energy, or technology to do.

The energy we get from fossil fuels is particularly valuable for protecting ourselves from the climate. The climate is inherently dangerous (and it is always changing, whether we influence the change or not). Energy and technology have made us far safer from it. The data here are unambiguous. In the last 80 years, as CO2 emissions have risen from an atmospheric concentration of .03% to .04%, climate-related deaths have declined 98%. Take drought-related deaths, which have declined by 99.98%. This has nothing to do with a friendly or unfriendly climate, it has to do with the oil and gas industry, which fuels high-energy agriculture as well as natural gas-produced fertilizer, and which fuels drought relief convoys. Fossil fuels make the planet dramatically safer. And dramatically richer in resources.

Broken: a new murder mystery by Lonni Lees

My wife,  Lonni  Lees,  often  has  murder  on  her  mind. Check out the Lonni’s Murder Mystery Page to see her other books.

Broken:

A series of seemingly unrelated murders rattles a small desert town. As one death follows another, the only common thread is that all of the victims had their necks broken. When clues begin to point to one of the two cops on the case, the officers become more determined than ever to find the real killer.

A skeletal hand, buried in the desert, holds a clue.

Available on Amazon

 

Review ‘Helvetia-Rosemont: Arizona’s Hardscrabble Mining Camp’

I was invited to write a review of a new paper by fellow geologist David Briggs.

This review appears in Arizona Geology e-Magazine.

David Briggs tells a compelling story of the Helvetia-Rosemont Mining District in the Santa Rita Mountains of southern Arizona from the 1690s to the present day. The paper describes the history of the Helvetia subdistrict on the west side of the mountains and the Rosemont subdistrict on the east side of the mountains. It is a well-told story of the people, conditions, conflicts, businesses, and development of transportation and mining technology in the area.

LINK: Helvetia-Rosemont: Arizona’s Hardscrabble Mining Camp

The story includes the ups and downs of mining ventures, fortunes made and lost, and politics of the region. Briggs gives us a glimpse of what life was like in the mining towns, describes some of the colorful characters, and what conditions miners endured within the mines.

The paper includes a brief explanation of porphyry copper deposits in general and the specific geology of the mines. He describes the smelter which processed ore from the district and ore imported from other areas. There is a section on the historic production of the area. There were three main periods of copper production, one from 1900 until 1910, a second during World War I and a third that began during the early 1940s and continued until 1960.

Briggs provides a history of regulation in the area beginning with establishment of the Santa Rita Forest Reserve in April 1902. Augusta Resources acquired the properties in 2005 and after extensive exploration sold them to Hudbay Minerals in 2014. Briggs describes their modern exploration and the still on-going regulatory controversies.

Historic and contemporary photos and maps enhance the narrative. The story is well-documented by an extensive list of references.

As a whole, the story of the Helvetia-Rosemont area is very interesting and presents a picture of the colorful history of mining in Arizona.

Briggs ends his story with this: “A victim of competing visions of Arizona’s future, efforts to resume production in the Helvetia-Rosemont remain on hold as appeals work their way through the courts. Only time will tell, whether the Helvetia-Rosemont Mining District remains Arizona’s hardscrabble mining camp or assumes its hard-earned place as one of America’s largest  copper producers.”

Reviewer Jonathan DuHamel is a retired exploration geologist.

Citation: Briggs, D.F., 2020, Helvetia-Rosemont: Arizona’s Hardscrabble Mining Camp. Arizona Geological Survey Contributed Report CR-20-A, 65 p.  http://repository.azgs.az.gov/uri_gin/azgs/dlio/1950

Mines, Minerals, and “Green” Energy: A Reality Check

Mines, Minerals, and “Green” Energy: A Reality Check
by Mark P. Mills, Manhattan Institute
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
As policymakers have shifted focus from pandemic challenges to economic recovery, infrastructure plans are once more being actively discussed, including those relating to energy. Green energy advocates are doubling down on pressure to continue, or even increase, the use of wind, solar power, and electric cars. Left out of the discussion is any serious consideration of the broad environmental and supply-chain implications of renewable energy.

This paper turns to a different reality: all energy-producing machinery must be fabricated from materials extracted from the earth. No energy system, in short, is actually “renewable,” since all machines require the continual mining and processing of millions of tons of primary materials and the disposal of hardware that inevitably wears out. Compared with hydrocarbons, green machines entail, on average, a 10-fold increase in the quantities of materials extracted and processed to produce the same amount of energy.

Among the material realities of green energy:
Building wind turbines and solar panels to generate electricity, as well as batteries to fuel electric vehicles, requires, on average, more than 10 times the quantity of materials, compared with building machines using hydrocarbons to deliver the same amount of energy to society.

A single electric car contains more cobalt than 1,000 smartphone batteries; the blades on a single wind turbine have more plastic than 5 million smartphones; and a solar array that can power one data center uses more glass than 50 million phones.

Replacing hydrocarbons with green machines under current plans—never mind aspirations for far greater expansion—will vastly increase the mining of various critical minerals around the world. For example, a single electric car battery weighing 1,000 pounds requires extracting and processing some 500,000 pounds of materials. Averaged over a battery’s life, each mile of driving an electric car “consumes” five pounds of earth. Using an internal combustion engine consumes about 0.2 pounds of liquids per mile.

Oil, natural gas, and coal are needed to produce the concrete, steel, plastics, and purified minerals used to build green machines. The energy equivalent of 100 barrels of oil is used in the processes to fabricate a single battery that can store the equivalent of one barrel of oil.

By 2050, with current plans, the quantity of worn-out solar panels—much of it nonrecyclable—will constitute double the tonnage of all today’s global plastic waste, along with over 3 million tons per year of unrecyclable plastics from worn-out wind turbine blades. By 2030, more than 10 million tons per year of batteries will become garbage.
(Download full report)

Hydroxychloroquine-based COVID-19 Treatment, A Systematic Review

Hydroxychloroquine-based COVID-19 Treatment, A Systematic Review of Clinical Evidence and Expert Opinion from Physicians’ Surveys
by Leo Goldstein
Abstract
During the current COVID-19 epidemic, most of the evidence is collected by treating physicians, most of whom do not report their results in peer reviewed journals. Hence, there appears to be an especially broad gap between field experience and academic coverage of hydroxychloroquine-based COVID-19 treatments. The objective of this study is to bring field evidence into the academic literature.

Four relevant, non-academic surveys of physicians, in the US and globally, have been identified and checked for quality, statistical significance, coverage, and conflicts of interest. To avoid uninformed and unduly influenced opinions, only surveys conducted from April 4 to April 19 have been considered. These surveys were answered by thousands of physicians, who treated tens of thousands of COVID-19 patients.

The results: 85% of doctors said that hydroxychloroquine is at least somewhat effective for COVID-19. Hydroxychloroquine was the most utilized treatment for COVID-19 patients. 35%-40% of the doctors using the drug called it very effective or extremely effective against COVID-19. 65% of doctors said they would prescribe hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 to their family members.

Read full paper at Wattsupwiththat

 

Read more at: Times of India which reports that  hydroxychloroquine  used as a preventative has been successful.

An Epidemic of Lunacy

The radical left is not letting a crisis go to waste and are using it to foment the destruction of the United States as a Constitutional Republic. We now hear cries to “defund the police,” and claims about “white privilege and “systemic racism.” We have portions of cities taken over by radical groups and destruction of private property with little response from officials in charge of the cities.

I recommend that you read the following commentaries about our current situation (click on the titles for the full article).

The True Plight of Black Americans

by Walter E. Williams, Townhall

While it might not be popular to say in the wake of the recent social disorder, the true plight of black people has little or nothing to do with the police or what has been called “systemic racism.” Instead, we need to look at the responsibilities of those running our big cities.

Some of the most dangerous big cities are: St. Louis, Detroit, Baltimore, Oakland, Chicago, Memphis, Atlanta, Birmingham, Newark, Buffalo and Philadelphia. The most common characteristic of these cities is that for decades, all of them have been run by liberal Democrats. Some cities — such as Detroit, Buffalo, Newark and Philadelphia — haven’t elected a Republican mayor for more than a half-century. On top of this, in many of these cities, blacks are mayors, often they dominate city councils, and they are chiefs of police and superintendents of schools. ☼

In a world of sheep-like conformity, Hillsdale College takes a stand

By Andrea Widburg

Concluding paragraph: “There is a kind of virtue that is cheap. It consists of jumping on cost-free bandwagons of public feeling — perhaps even deeply justified public feeling — and winning approval by espousing the right opinion. No one who wishes the College to issue statements is assumed to be a party to such behavior. But the fact that very real racial problems are now being cynically exploited for profit, gain, and public favor by some organizations and people is impossible to overlook. It is a scandal and a shame that compounds our ills and impedes their correction. Hillsdale College, though far from perfect, will continue to do the work of education in the great principles that are, second only to divine grace, the solution to the grave ills that beset our times.” ☼

Class, Not Race, Divides America

By Victor Davis Hanson, American Greatness

Nothing is stranger in these tense days than the monotony of the inexact and non-descriptive mantra of “white privilege” and “white solidarity”—as if there is some monolithic white bloc, or as if class matters not at all.☼

Reds Exploiting Blacks: The Roots of Black Lives Matter

by James Simpson, Accuracy in Media

The Black Lives Matter movement casts itself as a spontaneous uprising born of inner-city frustration, but is, in fact, the latest and most dangerous face of a web of well-funded communist/socialist organizations that have been agitating against America for decades. Its agitation has provoked police killings and other violence, lawlessness and unrest in minority communities throughout the U.S. If allowed to continue, that agitation could devolve into anarchy and civil war. The BLM crowd appears to be spoiling for just such an outcome. ☼

Three generations of brainwashing are paying off for the left

By Newt Gingrich, Fox News

As we watch radicals tear down statues, deface monuments, intimidate people who want to stand for the national anthem, and demand the firing of people who write or say something deemed inappropriate to the Leftist Anti-American Theology, it is utterly clear that many Americans today hate America. ☼

Every Drop of Blood

By Dan Truitt, American Thinker

America’s sin debt for slavery was paid for long ago. Between 1525 and 1866, about 388,000 Africans were shipped to North America as slaves. The commonly accepted death toll for participants in the American Civil war which freed the slaves is 618,000. That figure was recently reliably revised upward to 750,000. ☼

Read more here: https://wryheat.wordpress.com/people-for-the-west/2020-archive/2020-07-july/

No Reduction of Atmospheric CO2 Due to Economic Slowdown

Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is continuously measured by several observatories such as that at Mauna Loa, Hawaii. So far, the reduction of emissions due to the pandemic-induced economic slowdown has not resulted in a lower carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere.

As explained by Dr. Roy Spencer: “Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) continue to increase with no sign of the global economic slowdown in response to the spread of COVID-19. This is because the estimated reductions in CO2 emissions (around -11% globally during 2020) is too small a reduction to be noticed against a background of large natural variability. The reduction in economic activity would have to be 4 times larger than 11% to halt the rise in atmospheric CO2.” (Source) This means that carbon dioxide is an insignificant driver of global warming.  It also shows that reducing carbon dioxide emissions will have very little effect on global temperature.

See also: A Review of the state of Climate Science

New study shows that carbon dioxide is responsible for only seven percent of the greenhouse effect

Did China Commit an Act of War?

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” —Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Biological warfare, while it may kill the enemy, is generally designed to cause many casualties and disruption. Those surviving victims of the biological agents will need the attention of many other people and resources. Biological warfare may also cause panic and disruption of a region’s economy. These are some of the things I learned during my two years as an officer in the Army Chemical Corps where I was specifically trained in CBR: chemical, biological, and radiological warfare.

As the story goes, the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China, was conducting research on corona viruses when by accident (?) some of the virus escaped into the city and infected some of the citizens. China immediately quarantined the city and stopped travel within China. They could possibly have prevented spread of the virus if they had also stopped international travel and warned the world of what happened. But they didn’t. Perhaps the Chinese Communist authorities realized they had an opportunity destroy the economies of western countries. Because international travel was not immediately stopped, infected, asymptomatic people carried the virus around the world. China lied and people died. People and governments panicked.

It seems that the Chinese Communist authorities were paying attention to Sun Tzu.

Much of the panic was caused by computer models which predicted millions of deaths. These models were based on bad assumptions and insufficient data (very similar to climate models). For more on that subject, see: The Danger of Letting Lab Coats Run the World

and: Fauci’s Song and Dance

and: Blinded by Doomsday Predictions Masquerading as Science

and: Imperial College model Britain used to justify lockdown a ‘buggy mess’, ‘total unreliable’, experts claim

See also: Coronavirus- The Truth (and Lies) Dr. David Williams

Comments on the alleged megadrought

During the past few weeks, media have been hyping alarm about a new study  that claims that the Southwestern US is entering a megadrought and that the drought is made more severe by human-caused global warming. That claim is based on tree-ring analysis and computer modeling speculation.

Droughts have occurred due to natural cycles, but there is no physical evidence that carbon dioxide emissions play a significant role is controlling global temperature or precipitation. The new paper presents no evidence that alleged “human-caused” global warming is making the drought worse, it is just speculation. In fact, many droughts are associated with cooler periods.

Let’s put things in perspective. Here are the data for the past 1,200 years. It seems that “megadroughts” have occurred naturally, without any human influence.

These data show that the 20th century was wetter than normal. However, the next graph shows that there have been droughts. But, rather that entering a megadrought, we seem to be emerging from a dryer period according to NOAA.

The graph above comes from a 4-minute video posted by Tony Heller, on his “Real Climate Science” blog. This video destroys claims that the western United States is currently experiencing a nearly unprecedented megadrought. Video: https://youtu.be/W9xCWDZmUT4

 

Related:

Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect

The Broken Greenhouse – Why CO2 is a minor player in global climate

A Review of the state of Climate Science

Drought in the West

The Scientific Case for Vacating the EPA’s Carbon Dioxide Endangerment Finding

This 24-page report by Patrick J. Michaels and Kevin D. Darayatna of the Competitive Enterprise Institute shows why the EPA’s “endangerment finding” was based on bad science and should be repealed.

Executive Summary

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2009 “Endangerment Finding” from carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases grants the agency a legal mandate that can have profound and far-reaching effects. The Finding is based largely on a Technical Support Document that relies heavily upon other mandated reports, the so-called National Assessments of global climate change impacts on the United States.

The extant Assessments at the time of the Endangerment Finding suffered from serious flaws. We document that using the climate models for the first Assessment, from 2000, provided less quantitative guidance than tables of random numbers—and that the chief scientist for that work knew of this problem.

All prospective climate impacts in the Endangerment Finding are generated by computer models that, with one exception, made systematic and dramatic errors over the climatically critical tropics. Best scientific practice would be to emphasize the working model, which has less warming in it than all of the others.

Instead, the EPA relied upon a community of wrong models.

New research compares what has been observed to what is forecast, and finds that warming in this century will be modest—near the lowest extreme of the prospective range given by the United Nations.

The previous administration justified its policy choices by calculating the Social Cost of Carbon [dioxide]. We interfaced their model with climate forecasts consistent with the observed history and enhanced the “fertilization” effect of increasing atmospheric concentrations of CO2. We find that making the warming and the vegetation response more consistent with real-world observations yields a negative cost under almost all modeled circumstances.

This constellation of unreliable models, poor scientific practice, and exaggerated estimates of the Social Cost of Carbon argue consistently and cogently for the EPA to reopen and then vacate its endangerment finding from carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

The full document is available on the Competitive Enterprise Institute website at https://cei.org/content/scientific-case-vacating-epas-carbon-dioxide-endangerment-finding

See also: Dump EPA endangerment finding