Harvard study shows that wind power could cause more warming than coal

As reported by James Temple in the MIT Technology Review:

A new study by a pair of Harvard researchers finds that a high amount of wind power could mean more climate warming, at least regionally and in the immediate decades ahead. The paper raises serious questions about just how much the United States or other nations should look to wind power to clean up electricity systems.

The study, published in the journal Joule, found that if wind power supplied all US electricity demands, it would warm the surface of the continental United States by 0.24 °C. That could significantly exceed the reduction in US warming achieved by decarbonizing the nation’s electricity sector this century, which would be around 0.1 °C.

“If your perspective is the next 10 years, wind power actually has—in some respects—more climate impact than coal or gas,” coauthor David Keith, a professor of applied physics and public policy at Harvard, said in a statement. “If your perspective is the next thousand years, then wind power is enormously cleaner than coal or gas.”

The core problem is that wind turbines generate electricity by extracting energy out of the air, slowing down wind and otherwise altering “the exchange of heat, moisture, and momentum between the surface and the atmosphere,” the study explains. That can produce some level of warming. The new research suggests we can’t put too many turbines to close together or the whole group become far less efficient. That means we need 5 – 20 times as much land as previously thought (at least as thought by academics) Read more

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Why You Should Vote NO on Arizona Proposition 127, the renewable energy mandate (Update)

Proposition 127 is very bad policy because: 1) wind and solar generation of electricity are both expensive and unreliable; 2) wind and solar generation can be dangerous to wildlife, human health, and the environment; and 3) the perceived need for more wind and solar generation is based on the false assumption that carbon dioxide emissions are a major cause of global warming.

The method of generating electricity should not be determined by one-size-fits-all government mandates, but rather by local market conditions and resources.

In the following summary I explain the problems with renewable energy. More background is available in the references at the end of this post.

Arizona proposition 127, dubbed “The Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona Amendment” will amend the Arizona Constitution to require affected electric utilities generate at least 50% of their annual retail sales of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030. The amendment defines renewable energy sources to include solar, wind, small-scale hydropower, and other sources that are replaced rapidly by a natural, ongoing process (excluding nuclear or fossil fuel). Distributed renewable energy sources, like rooftop solar, must comprise at least 10% of utilities’ annual retail sales of electricity by 2030. The Amendment allows electric utilities to earn and trade credits to meet these requirements. (Read full text)

Arizona currently produces half of its renewable energy from hydropower generated at the large dams on the Colorado River, but, according to the proposed amendment, this electricity is not to be counted toward the 50% mandated goal. According to the Energy Information Administration, power plants in Arizona generate more electricity than the state consumes, and Arizona generating stations supply electricity to consumers throughout the southwest.

 

Expensive:

Promoters of proposition 127 claim that (based on computer modeling) more renewable energy generation will decrease the price of electricity. The computer model claims that “average electricity bills in 2030 would be three dollars a month lower if Arizona pursues a high-renewables future, and five dollars a month lower in 2040.”

Contrary to claims of proposition promoters, real-world experience shows that the price of electricity can triple as the percentage of wind and solar generation increases. According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Arizona’s existing 7 percent renewable power mandate (on its way up to 15%) cost the average Arizona household $304 in higher electricity charges in 2017. At 50 percent renewables, as required by prop. 127, that could rise to an additional $2,179 per year compared to present electricity costs. (Source: The Heartland Institute) Higher electricity rates disproportionally impact the poor. (See this story)

My own electric bill from Tucson Electric Power is running at the rate of an extra charge of $230 per year due to the renewable energy mandate. A curious thing: These charges used to be listed on the bill as “Green Energy Charges” but since March, 2017, they are listed merely as “Surcharges.”

Electricity produced by wind and solar turns out to be much more expensive than electricity produced from coal and natural gas. That is mainly because wind and solar are unreliable, they can’t respond to demand. Therefore they need nuclear or fossil fuel generated electricity as backup which causes the fossil fuel plants to run inefficiently which is more expensive (and produces more carbon dioxide).

Europe has been a world leader in using wind and solar energy. The price, however, is high. Real operational data show that the more installed solar and wind capacity per capita a country has, the higher the price people pay for electricity. (Source) In some European countries electricity prices are triple the average cost in the U.S. Ironically, carbon dioxide emissions in those countries are rising while in the U.S. emissions are decreasing. Also ironically, according to the New York Times, renewables are helping to push nuclear power, the main source of zero-emissions electricity in the United States, into bankruptcy.

Australia has been flirting with replacing coal generation with renewables. Australian engineers warn 55% renewables will add $1400 to electricity bills, an 84% increase in electricity rates. (Source) The state of South Australian generates about 50 percent of its electricity from wind and solar power. South Australia’s consumer electricity prices are the highest in the world and electric reliability is one of the worst in the developed world. (Source)

California: According to Environmental Progress, a pro-nuclear advocacy group:

Between 2011 and 2017, California’s electricity prices rose five times faster than they did nationally. Today, Californians pay 60 percent more, on average, than the rest of the nation, for residential, commercial, and industrial electricity. California’s high penetration of intermittent renewables such as solar and wind are likely a key factor in higher prices. (LinkHad California spent an estimated $100 billion on nuclear instead of on wind and solar, it would already have had enough energy to replace all fossil fuels in its in-state electricity mix according to a new analysis by Environmental Progress.

study by the left-of-center Brookings Institution found replacing conventional power with wind power raises electricity prices 50 percent, and replacing conventional power with solar power triples electricity costs.

From the Brookings report:

Costs are much higher for three reasons. First, the cost per MW [megawatt] of capacity to build a wind or solar plant is quite high (and much greater than that of a gas-fired plant). The cost per MW of solar capacity is especially high. Reductions in the cost of solar-voltaic panels have reduced the cost of building a solar plant by 22 percent between 2010 and 2012, but further reductions are likely to have a lesser effect because the cost of solar panels is only a fraction of the total cost of a utility-scale solar plant.

Second, a wind or solar plant operates at full capacity only a fraction of the time, when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining. For example, a typical solar plant in the United States operates at only about 15 percent of full capacity and a wind plant only about 25 percent of full capacity, while a coal plant can operate 90 percent of full capacity on a year-round basis.

Third, the output of wind and solar plants is highly variable—year by year, month by month, day by day and hour by hour—compared to a coal-fired plant… Thus more than six solar plants and four wind plants are required to produce the same output with the same degree of reliability as a coal-fired plant of the same capacity.

The Institute for Energy Research (IER) is a not-for-profit organization that conducts intensive research and analysis on the functions, operations, and government regulation of global energy markets. They conclude: “As a means of producing useful electrical power, wind and solar are very expensive generating technologies because of their low capacity factors and because of their non-dispatchability and intermittency.” (Source)

It has been proposed that the intermittency problem with wind and solar can be solved by battery storage. But an MIT Technology Review article says that would be too expensive: “The $2.5 trillion reason we can’t rely on batteries to clean up the grid: Fluctuating solar and wind power require lots of energy storage, and lithium-ion batteries seem like the obvious choice—but they are far too expensive to play a major role.” The $2.5 trillion battery system would provide just 12 hours of storage for the entire U.S. (Link)

Dangerous:

Utility scale wind and solar installations require vast expanses of land that affect local habitats. Wind turbines chop up birds and bats, including endangered species. Solar installations burn up birds and other flying animals. Low frequency sound from wind turbines causes a variety of human ailments. The manufacturing and disposal of solar panels put dangerous chemicals into the environment. For example, many PV solar panels rely on polysilicon being manufactured in large quantities and at high quality. A byproduct of polysilicon production is silicon tetrachloride, a highly toxic substance that poses a major environmental hazard. Wherever silicon tetrachloride is dumped, the land becomes totally infertile. A major environmental cost of photovoltaic solar energy is toxic chemical pollution (arsenic, gallium, and cadmium) and energy consumption associated with the large-scale manufacture of photovoltaic panels. Does that sound like “clean energy”?

recent study shows that solar modules cause more greenhouse gas emissions than modern coal power plants. It turns out that because of the emissions of extraordinarily potent greenhouse gases nitrogen trifluoride and sulfur hexafluoride and energy requirements of manufacturing solar modules, solar energy ends up being worse for the climate than burning coal.

(See references 5 & 6)

Another danger is that proposition 127 is intended to be an amendment to the Arizona Constitution rather than a statute. It will therefore be much harder to repeal once its utter folly is realized.

The false assumption:

The push for renewable energy, especially wind and solar generation, is based on the contention that carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels are a significant cause of global warming.

This claim is not based on physical evidence but only upon garbage-in, garbage-out computer models, the results of which diverge widely from observations. The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the major promoter of the human-caused global warming scare. Yet, in five major reports, the IPCC does not provide any physical evidence that carbon dioxide emissions play a significant role in global warming. I have asked several university climate scientists who support the claim to cite supporting physical evidence. Although they are alleged experts in the field, they could not cite any physical evidence. They devolve to computer modeling. On the other hand, there are several lines of physical evidence that show carbon dioxide emissions do not enhance the dread greenhouse effect. (See references 1, 2, 3, 4, 8 & 9) Many scientific studies present physical evidence showing that carbon dioxide is but a bit player among the many factors influencing climate change. (See these references: link)

A report from the Science and Public Policy Institute estimates the temperature savings theoretically obtained by stopping all carbon dioxide emissions for each state and for the U.S. as a whole. According to SPPI, if Arizona stopped all carbon dioxide emissions, it would theoretically prevent a temperature rise of 0.0014°C by 2050 and 0.0029°C by 2100. If the U.S. stopped all carbon dioxide emissions, it would theoretically prevent a temperature rise of 0.172°C by 2100. (Link to report) Do you think that’s worth the higher electricity prices and disruption of the electric grid?

In the entire geological history of the planet, there has been no known linkage between CO2 and temperatures other than that temperature controls the solubility of CO2 in the oceans. (See reference 8) The war on carbon dioxide tries to cure a problem that does not exist.

Generating more electricity from solar and wind is just a very expensive exercise in political correctness that will have little impact on carbon dioxide emissions, but a big impact on your wallet, and an adverse impact on electric grid stability and the environment. (See reference 7) If you really want low/no emissions generation of electricity, we should invest in more nuclear generation which is always there when you need it.

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed and hence clamorous to be led to safety by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” – H. L. Mencken

Note: This article is based upon my own observations and research. I have had no dealings with any of the several PACs organized for or against the proposition. This article may be reprinted provided credit is given to the author and link back to the original.

References:

1. A Simple Question for Climate Alarmists

2. Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect

3. Failure of climate models shows that carbon dioxide does not drive global temperature

4. Health Effects of global warming on humans

5. Avian mortality from solar farms

6. Health Hazards of Wind Turbines

7. The high cost of electricity from wind and solar generation

8. An examination of the relationship between temperature and carbon dioxide

9. What keeps Earth warm – the greenhouse effect or something else?

10. Audit of main temperature database used by IPCC finds multiple errors

 

Testing Basic Assumptions of the CO2-induced Global Warming Hypothesis

This is a repost of a paper review by CO2Science.org which shows there is no correlation between temperature and carbon dioxide.  See the post in its original here:

http://www.co2science.org/articles/V21/sep/a9.php 

Paper Reviewed
Liu, X. and Chen, J. 2017. CO2 seasonal variation and global change: Test global warming from another point of view. Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions 9: 0046-0053, DOI: 103724/SP.J.1226.2017.00046.

In this posting we review the work of two Chinese scientists, Liu and Chen (2017), who performed a significant and thorough investigation of the relationship between atmospheric carbon dioxide and temperature, challenging the fundamental argument of the IPCC that rising atmospheric CO2 is causing rising global temperature. For the past year and a half a printout of this article has remained buried under a pile of papers on a desk in our office intended for review and posting on CO2Science. Now, after a long wait (and overdue cleaning of our office), this important work gets the attention it deserves.

Setting the stage for their work, Liu and Chen note that “the core theory of CO2-caused global warming proposed by the IPCC is based on three assumptions: (1) The Earth acts like a greenhouse, and the greenhouse effect of increasing CO2 is capable of raising temperature. (2) The available instrumental temperature records over the last century accurately reflect global temperature trends. (3) The rising atmospheric CO2 is the result of the increasing consumption of fossil fuel.” And they go on to say that “the conclusions by IPCC are logical deductions that should be tested and proven (or challenged) by facts.”

As their contribution to science, the two scientists thus proceed to present just such a challenge by examining the relationship between temperature and CO2 using data from Mauna Loa, Hawaii and other observing stations across the globe. Their analyses revealed several important findings, which are discussed in detail below, often using direct quotes from the authors’ paper.

Finding #1. “The monthly variations in CO2 and temperature at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, do not correlate with each other (R2 = 0.0355). From 1958-2013, CO2 rose while temperature remained flat. Hence, we seriously question whether CO2 is the driving force behind temperature variation.”

Finding #2. “Both the instrumental CO2 and temperature records at the Mauna Loa, Hawaii, station show seasonal rises and falls. But there is a 6-month difference in seasonal CO2 and temperature fluctuations between the records in the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere. As we know, the reversal of seasons is determined by the changes in solar radiation. Thus, it is most likely that these seasonal rises and falls of both CO2 and temperature are driven by changes in solar radiation.”

Finding #3. “By studying the monthly relationship between CO2 and temperature over several decades, we established a theoretical transfer function between CO2 and temperature. Using this function, the rise of 81.86 [ppm] in CO2 at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, between 1958 and 2012 should have resulted in a 72.86 °C rise in temperature, when in fact the temperature only rose -0.62 °C. Thus, we submit that changes in atmospheric CO2 may not be the cause of global temperature changes.”

Finding #4. “In contrast to [the] IPCC’s suggestion that global temperature rose 0.85 °C over the last century, from 1958 to 2012, temperatures at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, did not rise over this period. Mauna Loa is far from cities, where temperature variations are most affected by the urban heat island effect. Independent studies in North America, Europe, Australia, and China have shown that the urban heat island effect could lead to recorded temperature rises <1 °C. Thus, we suggest that the IPCC’s 0.85 °C temperature rise over the last century could be sufficiently explained by the urban island heat effect.”

Finding #5. “The global monthly mean temperature produced by GISS (2013) shows a high correlation with Hawaii CO2 (R2 = 0.7655). However, R2 = 0.024 is obtained by 188 selected records from individual stations around the world. This test indicated global monthly mean temperature showing high correlation with Hawaii CO2 (R2 = 0.7655) was inappropriately corrected and calculated during data process[ing].”

In light of all the important findings listed above, Liu and Chen conclude their paper by writing “an untrue picture is therefore created [based on global monthly mean temperature], that CO2 emission by human activity drives global warming.”

Case Studies of Flood Impacts to Development on Active Alluvial Fans in Central Arizona

The Arizona Geological Survey has made available for free download an new report on alluvial fans near the Phoenix area. The report shows how development on the fans fared.
The full report may be downloaded here. The report contains many photos from pre-development through developed stage.

Here is a summary from AZGS:

Flooding issues and drainage problems associated with historical development on four active alluvial fan study sites in central Arizona were examined to document the effectiveness of engineered flood protection measures and floodplain management policies. The study sites are located in the metropolitan Phoenix area and include (1) Ahwatukee-City of Phoenix, (2) Pima Canyon-City of Phoenix/Guadalupe, (3) Reata Pass-Scottsdale, and (4) Lost Dog-Scottsdale. The four study sites have experienced different types of urbanization, including master-planned communities, single lot residential development, public transportation and utility networks, and major engineered drainage structures such as channels, detention basins, culverts, and dams. The engineered drainage systems at the four historical alluvial fan study sites have performed adequately during the 30-year period of record, at least with respect to controlling the flow path uncertainty and sedimentation normally associated with active alluvial fans. Significantly, no homes have been damaged by alluvial fan flooding at any of the study sites, and no avulsions* have occurred in the developed portions of the alluvial fans. Two floods exceeding the 100-year design storm occurred on two of the fans, but many of the flood control measures on the other fan sites remain untested by large floods. The absence of flood damages is likely due to lack of debris flow potential at any of the sites, low rates of sediment yield at the fan sites, channelization and encroachment that increase sediment transport off the fan surface, and to some degree, the relatively short period of record since development first occurred.

*Avulsions: An abrupt change in the course of a stream that forms the boundary between two parcels of land resulting in the loss of part of the land of one landowner and a consequent increase in the land of another.

Check the Article Index page for more stories of Arizona geology.

Hurricane Florence and Fake News

It seems that Trump Derangement Syndrome infects everything, even hurricanes. With the approach of Hurricane Florence to the U.S. east coast, the fake news media are saying that the policies of President Trump, such as leaving the Paris Climate Accord, are contributing to global warming which, they claim, makes hurricanes stronger and more frequent.

A typical example is the Washington Post: “Another hurricane is about to batter our coast. Trump is complicit.”

Perhaps the “Posties” should pay proper attention to the science which shows that there is no relationship between warming and frequency or strength of hurricanes.

Even the often politically correct National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says: “In summary, neither our model projections for the 21st century nor our analyses of trends in Atlantic hurricane and tropical storm counts over the past 120+ yr support the notion that greenhouse gas-induced warming leads to large increases in either tropical storm or overall hurricane numbers in the Atlantic.” (Source)

Research meteorologist Dr. Ryan N. Maue (website: http://wx.graphics/tropical/) keeps track of hurricanes and tropical cyclones. His data show, that as earth warmed from the cold spell in the 1970s (when the media were predicting return to another ice age) there has been no increase in frequency nor in the overall trend of energy in these storms.

 

 

In related article #1 below we find that “catastrophic hurricane strikes were more frequent 1,000 to 2,000 years ago than in the most recent 1,000 years.”

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” –Aldous Huxley

“The great tragedy of science – the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.” –Thomas Henry Huxley

Related articles:

1. Why Hurricanes Can’t Be Blamed On Global Warming

2. Houston’s long history of flooding

Climate Madness 12, California is craziest

Climate on this planet has been changing all by itself for about four billion years. Now, either through ignorance or presumed political advantage, some politicians think they can stop climate change. That policy represents the real danger of global warming. Their magic formula is to stop carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels. Instead, they promote generation of electricity mainly from utility-scale solar or wind installations. As I have written before, solar and wind generation cannot respond to demand and are ultimately very unreliable and very expensive for ratepayers. Solar and wind would not exist without mandates and subsidies.

(See Vote NO on Arizona proposition 127 the renewable energy mandate and the references in that article.)

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has produced five major reports none of which contain any credible proof that carbon dioxide emissions are the principal cause of global warming. In the third report, the IPCC admits: “In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”

Following are some of the most recent manifestations of climate madness. We start with California climate craziness.

Climate Activists Want Gov. Brown To Shut Down Fossil Fuel Production In Calif.

By John Glennon

On the heels of Judge William Alsup’s decision to dismiss San Francisco’s and Oakland’s climate change lawsuits, local California officials are turning to new symbolic tactics, including pressuring Governor Jerry Brown ahead of his Global Climate Action Summit.

A group of 150 local elected officials sent an open letter to Governor Jerry Brown last week to chastise him for not completely shutting down fossil-fuel production in the state.

In the letter, the local officials demanded that Governor Brown pursue a meaty list of harmful and unrealistic policies:

“Recognizing that we are in a climate emergency, as you have rightly done, and given the grave public health and environmental justice consequences of fossil fuel production in California, we respectfully urge you to make a new statewide commitment and lay out a plan for California to achieve the following:

“End the issuance of permits for new fossil fuel projects, including permits for new oil and gas wells, infrastructure for fossil fuels, and petrochemical projects in California.

“Design a swift, managed decline of all fossil fuel production, starting with a 2,500-foot human health buffer zone around all occupied structures, public parks, and farms to protect public health and vulnerable communities.

“Commit the state to 100% clean, renewable energy, starting with significant investments in disadvantaged communities and areas that are already suffering the most from the negative impacts of fossil fuel extraction.” Read more Update: By a vote of 44 to 33, lawmakers in the California State Assembly passed SB 100, a bill that calls for the state to transition to emissions-free electricity production in less than three decades. Under the guidelines of the legislation, California must obtain 60 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. The state’s electricity generation must be completely carbon free by 2045. The bill still needs to pass the CA senate. (Source)

 

Analysis: California’s Solar Panel Mandate Lowers CO2 Emissions by 0.32%

By Elizabeth Harrington

California will mandate solar panels on new homes out of concern for climate change, a policy that will raise prices in the most expensive home market in the country and does little to decrease the state’s carbon footprint. MIT reports: “California estimates that the new rule will cut emissions by 1.4 million metric tons over three years, which is a small fraction of the 440 million tons the state generated in 2015.” Emissions would be reduced by 0.32 percent. Read more

 

Utility blaming climate change, not its fallen power lines, for California wildfires

By Thomas Lifson

My cable news viewing is frequently interrupted by commercials instructing Northern Californians that climate change is responsible for the state’s current ordeal with multiple large wildfires. This is a contemptible attempt by utilities to evade responsibility for the damages caused by their power lines located near combustible forests (made much more combustible by policies preventing harvesting “old growth” and clearing deadwood). Read more

 

California and the L. A. Times latest climate alarmist absurdities

by Larry Hamlin

The Times article fails to note the UN IPCC conclusions regarding the undisputed inadequacy of “climate models” which it described in its AR3 climate report as “In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”

The Times article provides speculative alarmist “model driven” assertions about future coastal sea level rise contained in the state’s report which it characterizes as “Until recently, scientists and state policymakers worked with a projection that sea level rise by the end of this century could amount to about 5.48 feet in California under the worst case scenario. But the latest reports and state policies are now accounting for the extreme possibility that sea level rise could exceed 9 feet.”

Of course as is always the case with these wild and absurd sea level rise claims actual California coastal sea level rise measured NOAA tide gauge data with records going back more than 100 years is completely ignored by the state and L. A. Times because it shows absolutely no coastal sea level rise acceleration occurring at the states coastal locations with sea level rise occurring at steady rates between about 3 to 8 inches per CENTURY. Read more

 

Other climate madness:

UN Appointed Climate Science Team Demands The End of Capitalism

by Eric Worrall

A team of scientists appointed by the United Nations has reported that a free market system cannot provide the economic transition required to defeat climate change. Read more

 

You can now bet for and against “global warming” with an online “climate bookie”

by Anthony Watts

Things just got stranger in the already strange world of global warming/climate change. You can now wager on it. Yes that’s right, you can put down money on temperature futures. An outfit called “PredictIt” is running a book on this question: “Will NASA find 2018’s global average temperature highest on record?” Read more

 

REPORT: How The Billion-Dollar-A-Year Climate Industry Weaponized State Attorneys General

by Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller

A new report based on documents collected over two-and-a-half years through open records requests outlines an “elaborate campaign” by the “billion-dollar per year climate industry” to weaponize state attorneys general (AGs) in service of the global warming agenda.

That campaign culminated in what the report labels “law enforcement for hire” because it allows political donors to pay for state prosecutors “in the service of an ideological, left-wing, climate policy agenda.”

“It represents private interests commandeering the state’s police powers to target opponents of their policy agenda and to hijack the justice system as a way to overturn the democratic process’s rejection of a political agenda,” Competitive Enterprise senior fellow Chris Horner wrote in his report, a copy of which was given to The Daily Caller News Foundation. Read more

Somewhat related:

Smart meters: Data spy or key energy device

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has handed down a landmark ruling, stating that data collected by smart meters is protected by the Fourth Amendment.

The court pointed out that the smart devices, in fact, collect information for a deeper insight which can be obtained by thermal imaging tech. Furthermore, the court held that residents have a reasonable expectation of privacy and government access of this data constitutes, in essence, a search.

Jamie Williams, staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said: “The Seventh Circuit recognized that smart meters pose serious risks to the privacy of all of our homes, and that rotely applying analog-era case law to the digital age simply doesn’t work.”

This has shone the spotlight on whether or not smart meters can be used to spy on consumers. Through the collection of usage data at high frequencies (every five, 15 or 30 minutes), a clear picture can be garnered of activity occurring on the property.

Individual lifestyles can be examined, such as predicting daily routine, sleep patterns, meal times and periods away from the property. Read more

 

Previous climate madness articles:

Climate Madness 1

Climate Madness 2

Climate Madness 3

Climate Madness 4  

Climate Madness 5

Climate Madness 6

Climate Madness 7

Climate Madness 8

Climate Madness 9

Climate Madness 10

Climate Craziness, Politics, and Hypocrisy

Vote NO on Arizona proposition 127 the renewable energy mandate

Arizona proposition 127, dubbed “The Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona Amendment” has qualified for inclusion on the November ballot although it is still being challenged in court. If this amendment to the Arizona Constitution actually reaches the ballot it would, if passed, require affected electric utilities to provide at least 50% of their annual retail sales of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030. The amendment defines renewable energy sources to include solar, wind, small-scale hydropower, and other sources that are replaced rapidly by a natural, ongoing process (excluding nuclear or fossil fuel). Distributed renewable energy sources, like rooftop solar, must comprise at least 10% of utilities’ annual retail sales of electricity by 2030. The Amendment allows electric utilities to earn and trade credits to meet these requirements. (Read full text)

Arizona currently produces half of its renewable energy from hydropower created by the large dams on the Colorado River, but, according to the proposed amendment, this electricity is not counted in the 50% mandate. According to the Energy Information Administration, power plants in Arizona generate more electricity than the state consumes, and Arizona generating stations supply electricity to consumers throughout the southwest.

In my opinion, this amendment is very bad policy. It is stupid, dangerous, and expensive. In the following summary I explain. More background is available in the references at the end of this post.

Stupid:

The push toward renewable energy, especially wind and solar generation, is based on a false premise: the contention that carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels are a significant cause of global warming, and that global warming is dangerous. Utility scale wind and solar installations would not exist were it not based on this false assumption, mandates, and subsidies.

This claim is not based on physical evidence but only upon garbage-in, garbage-out computer models, the results of which diverge widely from observations. I have asked several university climate scientists who support the claim to cite supporting physical evidence. Although they are alleged experts in the field, they could not cite any physical evidence. On the other hand there are several lines of physical evidence that show carbon dioxide emissions do not enhance the dread greenhouse effect. (See references 1, 2, 3 & 4)

Dangerous:

Utility scale wind and solar installations require vast expanses of land that affect local habitats. Wind turbines chop up birds and bats, including endangered species. Solar installations burn up birds and other flying animals. Low frequency sound from wind turbines causes a variety of human ailments. The manufacturing and disposal of solar panels put dangerous chemicals into the environment. For example, many PV solar panels rely on polysilicon being manufactured in large quantities and at high quality. A byproduct of polysilicon production is silicon tetrachloride, a highly toxic substance that poses a major environmental hazard. Wherever silicon tetrachloride is dumped, the land becomes totally infertile. A major environmental cost of photovoltaic solar energy is toxic chemical pollution (arsenic, gallium, and cadmium) and energy consumption associated with the large-scale manufacture of photovoltaic panels.

new study shows that solar modules cause more greenhouse gas emissions than modern coal power plants. It turns out that because of the emissions of extraordinarily potent greenhouse gases nitrogen trifluoride and sulfur hexafluoride and energy requirements of manufacturing solar modules, solar energy ends up being worse for the climate than burning coal (assuming the greenhouse global warming hypothesis is valid). (See references 5 & 6)

Expensive:

Electricity produce by wind and solar turns out to be much more expensive than electricity produced from coal and natural gas. That is mainly because wind and solar are unreliable, they can’t respond to demand. Therefore they need nuclear or fossil fuel generated electricity as backup which causes the fossil fuel plants to run inefficiently which produces more carbon dioxide.

Europe has been a world leader in using wind and solar energy. The price, however, is high. The more installed solar and wind capacity per capita a country has, the higher the price people pay for electricity. In some European countries electricity prices are triple the average cost in the U.S. Ironically, carbon dioxide emissions in those countries are rising while in the U.S. emissions are decreasing. Also ironically, according to the New York Times, renewables are helping to push nuclear power, the main source of zero-carbon electricity in the United States, into bankruptcy.

 

Generating more electricity from solar and wind is just a very expensive exercise in political correctness that will have little impact on carbon dioxide emissions, but a big impact on your wallet and an adverse impact on electric grid stability and the environment.

 

References:

1. A Simple Question for Climate Alarmists

2. Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect

3. Failure of climate models shows that carbon dioxide does not drive global temperature

4. Health Effects of global warming on humans

5. Avian mortality from solar farms

6. Health Hazards of Wind Turbines

7. The high cost of wind and solar generation of electricity

 

The Hothouse Horror (Ho Hum)

A new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) speculates on major warming in our future. It has sent the gullible, alarmist press into a twitter of claiming that we must do something immediately. Trouble is, this very speculative paper says major warming may, might, could, perhaps occur sometime within the next few centuries to thousands of years.

Here is the abstract:

We explore the risk that self-reinforcing feedbacks could push the Earth System toward a planetary threshold that, if crossed, could prevent stabilization of the climate at intermediate temperature rises and cause continued warming on a “Hothouse Earth” pathway even as human emissions are reduced. Crossing the threshold would lead to a much higher global average temperature than any interglacial in the past 1.2 million years and to sea levels significantly higher than at any time in the Holocene. We examine the evidence that such a threshold might exist and where it might be. If the threshold is crossed, the resulting trajectory would likely cause serious disruptions to ecosystems, society, and economies. Collective human action is required to steer the Earth System away from a potential threshold and stabilize it in a habitable interglacial-like state. Such action entails stewardship of the entire Earth System—biosphere, climate, and societies—and could include decarbonization of the global economy, enhancement of biosphere carbon sinks, behavioral changes, technological innovations, new governance arrangements, and transformed social values. [full paper here]

 

What? Me worry? Dr. Judith Curry (retired Professor and Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology) opines: “A paper about climate outcomes on a millennial time scale would seem to be completely irrelevant to any conceivable policy. Even if our understanding of all of these climate processes were certain (reality check: we are dealing with deep uncertainty with regards to future climate outcomes), geologic and solar wild cards will almost certainly come into play to produce climate surprises.”

The horrid hothouse described in the paper is actually the normal temperature for planet Earth according to geological evidence (except during ice ages). Current global average surface temperature is about 57°F (14°C) versus a “normal” temperature of 77°F (25°C) as shown on the graphic below:

 

During times of “normal” (very warm) temperatures life was abundant and robust. If (or when) we return to those temperatures we will have to adapt as it gets warmer and sea level rises.

My impression of this paper is that its sixteen co-authors are taking advantage of the political climate to get their names on a paper published in a professional journal, something very important to academics.

On the other hand, we might first have to adapt to colder temperatures. Scientists who pay attention to solar cycles have noticed that the magnetic strength of the sun is declining with each cycle. This means that more cosmic rays will enter the atmosphere and produce more clouds and hence more cooling. The graphic below shows the gradual decline of temperature during our current inter-glacial period and the cyclic nature of warm-cold periods. Speculation is that we are about to enter one of the cold spells of the Holocene or even that the relatively benign inter-glacial period is coming to an end.

Here is an example:

The Next Ice Age

By Dr. S. Fred Singer

While most people still worry about global warming, I am more concerned about the next Ice Age. A glaciation would present a serious problem for survival of our present civilization, akin to a nuclear winter that many worried about 30 years ago.

Natural warming of the Earth reached a peak 65 million years ago. The climate has been generally cooling ever since. Antarctic ice sheets started growing 25 million years ago. In the last 2.5 million years, the Earth entered the period of Ice Ages [the geological name is The Pleistocene] and has been experiencing periodic glaciations where much of the land was covered by miles-thick ice sheets.

There have been about 17 glaciations, each lasting approximately 100,000 years, separated by short inter-glacials lasting about 10,000 years.

We are approaching the likely end of the present warm inter-glacial, called the Holocene. It’s time to prepare for the next glaciation to see how we can overcome it – or at least postpone its onset. Read more (Singer is a physicist and a Professor emeritus of environmental science, University of Virginia.) I’m with Fred.

If Dr. Singer is right, then we all should triple our “carbon footprints” assuming you believe that carbon dioxide emissions play a significant role in controlling global temperature.

An article in Science 2.0: “Not As Scary As It Seems: Planet At Risk Of Heading Towards “Hothouse Earth” State” [link] Gives a summary and comments on the paper. They say “Hothouse earth does not make us extinct – still a very habitable planet” and “In short, it is a hypothesis not yet supported by evidence.”

Eminent Domain versus Private Property Rights

Can the government take your private property? Yes, the federal government can take private property under certain conditions. The last clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states “…nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” This has become known as the “taking clause.”

The original intent of this clause was that the federal government can buy private property if it was needed to build something like a fort in time of war. However, over the years this “taking clause” (aka “public use clause”) has morphed into licence for states and local governments to take private property for any reason they see fit.

This came to a head when the city of New London, Connecticut, appropriated private land so that a private developer could build on it. The owners sued and in 2005 the case went to the supreme court. In Kelo v. City of New London, the Supreme Court held that “economic development” constituted a “public use” that justified the taking of private property through eminent domain. According to this decision, the government can utilize eminent domain to seize your property whenever the government deems it necessary for “economic development.”

This was, in my opinion supremely wrong (see my 2005 essay below). The U.S. House of Representatives has made several tries to make things right, but the U.S. Senate never followed through. The most recent try was in July, 2018, when the House unanimously passed the Private Property Rights Protection Act (see summary and full text). We should write to our senators (and senatorial candidates) urging them to take up this legislation when they return from August recess.

Here is my essay, written at the time of the Supreme Court decision:

Supremely Wrong

by Jonathan DuHamel

The United States Supreme Court, by its recent decision in Kelo vs. The City of New London, has just put your house up for sale, and your business, and your church.

The U.S. Constitution says “.. nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation,” and “nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”

In the past “public use” has meant things like highways, reservoirs, or other public works. But now, according to the “Kelo” decision, “public use” can mean anything a local government says it means.

The Kelo decision says that government, any government, has the right to condemn your private property and transfer titles to another private party simply to encourage economic development and a larger tax base.

The implications of this decision are made clear in the dissent written by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor: “Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random. The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms. As for the victims, the government now has license to transfer property from those with fewer resources to those with more.”

This is not what the founders intended for “public use.”

Justice Thomas wrote, “Today’s decision is simply the latest in a string of our cases construing the Public Use Clause to be a virtual nullity, without the slightest nod to its original meaning. In my view, the Public Use Clause, originally understood, is a meaningful limit on the government’s eminent domain power. Our cases have strayed from the Clause’s original meaning, and I would reconsider them.” Thomas goes on, “The Constitution’s text, in short, suggests that the Takings Clause authorizes the taking of property only if the public has a right to employ it, not if the public realizes any conceivable benefit from the taking…. The Takings Clause is a prohibition, not a grant of power….”

Increasingly, the cost of perceived societal goals are not borne by society as a whole, but by individual property owners. This has long been the case under the Endangered Species Act and increasingly so under the principle of Eminent Domain.

This situation is nothing more than legal plunder, or as Frederic Bastiat put it, “See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.”

With the “Kelo” decision, municipalities, counties, and states seem to have a license for legal plunder, especially since the term “public use” is now so vague. Beware whenever government proposes a project “for the public good” because usually all the “public” does not share equally in all the “good.”

The “Kelo” decision is supremely and fundamentally wrong because it subjects us to the tyranny of the majority, or the whim of a city council, rather than protect our individual rights as guaranteed by our republican form of government.

Justice O’Connor points out that now “The specter of condemnation hangs over all property. Nothing is to prevent the State from replacing any Motel 6 with a Ritz-Carlton, any home with a shopping mall, or any farm with a factory.”

 

Related articles:

Federal land grabs hurt economy and trample property rights

Private Property Rights vs Environmental Feudalism

Property Rights and Freedom

Vegan energy – greener than green

Only in England. A British energy company, Ecotricity, is promoting “vegan energy.”

So called “green energy” is that produced by harnessing power from solar, wind, wave and tidal sources. Ecotricity claims that some green energy companies, mostly those that burn biomass, also burn animal byproducts. The horror. The Ecotricity website lists those offending British companies.

Ecotricity claims, “We’re the only energy supplier in the UK that’s registered with The Vegan Society for our green electricity. We’ve verified all of the energy sources that go into making our electricity to ensure we aren’t inadvertently using animals in our energy production.” Read more

See more madness here:

Climate Madness 1

Climate Madness 2

Climate Madness 3

Climate Madness 4  

Climate Madness 5

Climate Madness 6

Climate Madness 7

Climate Madness 8

Climate Madness 9

Climate Madness 10