People for the West -Tucson
PO Box 86868, Tucson, AZ 85754-6868 email@example.com
Newsletter, May, 2016
by Jonathan DuHamel
Energy and climate policies are closely associated as governments attempt to be “green” and reduce the use of fossil fuels in the mistaken belief that carbon dioxide emissions are causing dangerous climate change in spite of the lack of evidence for that contention.
Following are some examples of this delusional energy policy and its consequences.
Busted Wind Turbines Give College a Negative 99.14% Return On Investment
Lake Land College (Mattoon, Illinois) recently announced plans to tear down broken wind turbines on campus, after the school got $987,697.20 in taxpayer support for wind power. The turbines were funded by a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, but the turbines lasted for less than four years and were incredibly costly to maintain. During their four-year life, the turbines generated $8,500 worth of electricity. Read more
Europe’s Energy Crisis Poses Warning for the U.S.
by Terry Jarrett
Europe has a problem that may soon become ours. Countries like Germany, Spain, and England are finding that their recent “green energy” experiments are proving too costly to continue. Between 2005, when the European Union adopted its emissions trading scheme, and 2014, residential electricity rates in the EU increased by an average of 63 percent. In Germany, rates increased by 78 percent; in Spain, by 111 percent; and, in the U.K., by 133 percent. Over the same decade, residential rates in the United States rose only 32 percent.
Across Europe, the cost of electricity has been rising, thanks to a well-intentioned but mistaken plunge into “renewable energy.” And what’s happening in the EU portends a troubling lesson for the United States. Simply put, green energy is proving to be an expensive failure. Yes, green energy works when heavily subsidized by the taxpayer. But Europe’s taxpayers can no longer afford the experiment.
What did our European friends get for their exercise in green energy exploration? Power shortages, job loss, and the bankruptcy of major green energy giants like Spain’s Abengoa, which received more than $2 billion in loan subsidies from the Obama Administration. In fact, Spain is now confronting $27 billion in debt from failed wind and solar projects, thanks to a program estimated to have eliminated at least two jobs for every “green” job it created. Read more
The Green War Against the Working Class
by Stephen Moore
There was a time in America, and it wasn’t even so long ago, that liberals actually cared about working class people. They may have been misguided in many of their policy solutions (i.e., raising the minimum wage) but at least their heart was in the right place.
Then a strange thing happened about a decade ago. The radical left wing environmentalists took control. These are people who care more about the supposed rise of the oceans than the financial survival of the middle class. The industrial unions made a catastrophic decision to get in bed with these radicals and now they, and all of us, are paying a heavy price.
The latest evidence came last week when another coal giant in America, Peabody Energy Corp., declared bankruptcy. This is the same fate suffered by Arch Coal Inc., Alpha Natural Resources Inc., and other coal producers that have filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors.
This was largely a policy strategy by the White House and green groups. They wanted this to happen. This was what Clean Power Plant rules from the Environmental Protection Agency were all about.
The EPA set standards by design that were impossible to meet and even flouted the law that says the regulations should be “commercially achievable.” This was a key component of the climate change fanaticism that pervades this White House. Read more
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) was supposed to be the solution to burning coal, but no one has yet demonstrated that such a scheme is “commerically achievable.” See what happened to the largest such plant in North America:
Big Problems At Canada’s CCS Plant (Carbon Capture and Storage)
By Paul Homewood
From the outset, the power plant’s capacity had to be reduced from 139 MW to 100 MW. But, to make matters worse, much of this power is used in actually operating the CCS unit itself. This is known as parasitic load, and it has been estimated to take away 25% of the electricity produced in the first place.
This is one of the things I always find most remarkable about arguments in favor of CCS. We are constantly told about the evils of pollution from coal plants (real pollution, not CO2), yet proponents of CCS want to burn even more coal, and thereby emit yet more pollution, just to run the CCS unit!
It was claimed at the outset that 90% of the CO2 produced would be captured. However, expert analysis suggests that only about half of this is permanently stored, with the rest either lost during the process, or lost during processing at the Weyburn oil field, where it is put to use.
Perhaps most damningly of all, internal documents from SaskPower revealed that there were “serious design issues” in the carbon capture system, resulting in regular breakdowns and maintenance problems that led the unit to only be operational 40% of the time.
SNC-Lavalin had been contracted to engineer, procure, and build the facility, and the documents asserted that it “has neither the will or the ability to fix some of these fundamental flaws.” The low productivity of the plant had in turn meant that SaskPower was only able to sell half of the 800,000 tonnes of captured carbon dioxide that it had contracted to sell to Cenovus Energy for use in enhanced oil recovery at a cost of $25 per tonne. In addition to the lost sales, this meant that SaskPower had been forced to pay Cenovus $12 million in penalties. Source
Taxpayers Are Footing Bill for Solar Project That Doesn’t Work
by David Kreutzer, The Daily Signal
As every 10-year-old who ever got a sweater for a birthday present has been told, “it’s the thought that counts.” That seems to be the guiding principle at the Department of Energy and the California Public Utilities Commission when it comes to solar power.
The latest example is the $2.2 billion Ivanpah solar thermal plant in California. (Note: Solar thermal plants do not use solar panels to directly convert sunshine to electricity; they use sunshine to boil water that then drives conventional turbines.)
Here’s the story so far:
Ivanpah is owned by Google, NRG Energy, and Brightsource. They received $1.6 billion in loan guarantees from the Department of Energy. They are paid four to five times as much per megawatt-hour as natural gas-powered plants and are paid two to three times as much per megawatt-hour as other solar power producers.
The Ivanpah plant has burned thousands of birds to death, has delayed loan repayments, and is seeking over $500 million in grants to help pay off the guaranteed loans.
The plant burns natural gas for 4.5 hours each morning to get its mojo going.
Brightsource, which is privately held, is owned by a virtual who’s who of those who don’t need subsidies from taxpayers and ratepayers.
In spite of all this, Ivanpah has fallen woefully short of its production targets. The managers’ explanation for why production came up 32 percent below expected output is the weather. In addition to raising questions about planning for uncertainty, it is not all that clear how a nine-percent drop in sunshine causes a 32-percent drop in production.
More bizarrely, the natural gas used to get the plant all warmed up and ready each day would be enough to generate over one quarter of the power actually produced from the solar energy. Read more
Green Energy may have Just Cost Britain 40,000 Jobs
by Eric Worrall
Tata Steel has announced an immediate withdrawal from Britain, threatening 4000 steel working jobs, and 40,000 jobs in dependent industries. The main reason given for abandoning Britain, is the high price Tata is forced to pay for energy, thanks to Britain’s green energy policies. Read more
Europe Lets Its Citizens Freeze To Death …40,000 Dead In Winter 2014 As “Energy Poverty” Explodes!
By P Gosselin
The latest story on “green energy” here at the German online FOCUS weekly news magazine actually shocked me. Europe’s energy policy is, under the bottom line, costing the lives of tens of thousands of citizens – all at the holy altar of “climate protection”. The title of the FOCUS article:
“The grand electricity lie“: Why electricity is becoming a luxury. One of the sickest things about Europe and its disconnected leaders is that often it takes a full-scale disaster to happen before policy gets corrected. Read more
The World’s Largest Green Energy Company Is Facing Bankruptcy
by Michael Bastasch
SunEdison, which bills itself as the world’s largest green energy company, may soon file for bankruptcy protection, according to a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing, as the company faces “liquidity difficulties” despite getting millions in government subsidies. SunEdison and its subsidiaries got nearly $650 million in subsidies and tax credits from the federal government since 2000. Read more
It seems that politically correct alternative energy does nothing but suck money away from productive enterprise. And it is all based on the unproven assumption that we must reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
by Jonathan DuHamel
More stories from the mad, mad world of global warming.
Scanning the news, we find both amusing and politically ominous stories about global warming.
Climate alarmists may be painting themselves into a corner: Australian Attorney General George Brandis has stirred the climate pot down under, by asking a simple yet devastating question. “If the science is settled, why do we need research scientists to continue inquiring into the settled science?” “Wouldn’t it be a much more useful allocation of taxpayers’ money and research capacity …to allocate its resources to an area where the science isn’t settled?” (Source)
Brandis is right: this whole global warming scam is diverting taxpayer dollars from useful research and projects. It is a colossal waste.
Here are some global warming stories that caught my eye.
This month’s winner for craziest proposal:
Ecosystem Translocation: The latest Climate Engineering Brainstorm
Stephanie Boyer, senior lecturer at UNITEC Institute of Technology (New Zealand) is worried that plants and animals can’t move fast enough to survive climate change. His solution: give nature a helping hand, by digging up entire ecosystems, and moving them hundreds of miles, to maintain optimum climatic conditions. Read more
Claim: Climate Change will Stop Women from Wanting Sex
Women don’t like to sweat while having sex, so they are less likely to have sex in warm weather, according to the latest climate health claim. While it is very difficult to isolate and measure the impact of temperature on our sexual patterns, an American academic said this connection could become increasingly important. Alan Barreca, an associate professor at Tulane University in New Orleans, is one of three economists who studied almost 80 years of weather and birth data between 1931 and 2010, and found a strong link between weather and birth rates. Read more
(If that claim is true why are the highest birthrates in the world in the tropics?)
Climate Change Politics Threaten National Security
By Leigh Thompson
The EPA’s Clean Power Plan makes carbon reduction, not reliability, price, or safety the priority of the electric grid. But, forced closure of coal-fired power plants, making up nearly 40 percent of the nation’s electric generation, will undermine the stability of the entire electric grid and present a significant threat to our national security. Read more
Former Army General Completely Dismantles Claim Global Warming Causes War
by Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller
Former U.S. Army Gen. Robert Scales took on claims by the Obama administration that global warming is America’s biggest national security threat and that rising temperatures will cause more violent conflict to break out around the world. “The administration’s new-found passion to connect climate change to war is an example of faulty theories that rely for relevance on politically-correct imaginings rather than established historical precedent,” Scales told senators during a hearing on environmental policy. “The point is that in today’s wars, politically-correct theories inserted into a battle plan might well extend war needlessly and get soldiers killed.” Read more
Costs of Paris Agreement
According to a new Heritage Foundation study by Kevin Dayaratna, Nicolas Loris, and David Kreutzer, implementing the Paris climate agreement would result in $2.5 trillion in lost GDP by 2035. Possible impact on climate: using the Model for the Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Induced Climate Change developed by researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, even if all carbon dioxide emissions in the United States were effectively eliminated, there would be less than two-tenths of a degree Celsius reduction in global temperatures. In fact, the entire industrialized world could cut carbon emissions down to zero, and the climate impact would still be less than four-tenths of a degree Celsius in terms of averted warming by the year 2100. Read study
Another Climate Alarmist Admits Real Motive Behind Warming Scare
From former United Nations climate official Ottmar Edenhofer:
“One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with the environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole,” said Edenhofer, who co-chaired the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change working group on Mitigation of Climate Change from 2008 to 2015. So what is the goal of environmental policy? “We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy,” said Edenhofer.
Read more from Investors Business Daily.
Judge Orders U.S. to Address Climate Threat to Wolverines
SALMON, Idaho — A federal judge rejected a decision by U.S. wildlife managers to deny wolverines Endangered Species Act protection, ruling the government erred in discounting the threat posed by climate change to the weasel-like predator of the Northern Rockies.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2013 proposed an endangered species listing for the estimated 300 wolverines believed to still inhabit the Lower 48 states, most of them in the snowy peaks of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. The Interior Department agency said then that human-caused global warming was lessening mountain snows needed by wolverines for building dens and storing food. But the Fish and Wildlife Service abruptly reversed itself in 2014, deciding against special protections for wolverines on grounds that it lacked sufficient evidence that climate change was harming the animals.
Read more This one can set a dangerous precedent if it proceeds.
Runner-up for craziest scheme:
US Senate Considering Albedo Modification Geoengineering Proposal
The US Senate is considering funding for albedo modification geoengineering experiments – pumping particles or aerosols into the stratosphere, to reflect sunlight back into space, and counter the alleged impact of elevated CO2 levels on global climate. In essence, this proposal would put more pollution into the atmosphere . It is difficult to imagine a more ridiculous waste of taxpayer’s money. The US spends taxpayer’s money regulating coal plants, forcing any coal plants which survive Obama’s war on energy, to fit expensive scrubbers, to remove particulates from their emissions. (Source)
Attack on Free Speech: CEI Subpoenaed over Global Warming Skepticism
by Eric Worrall
The Competitive Enterprise Institute has just been subpoenaed, as part of Al Gore’s Climate Witch hunt. This is a move which so blatantly reeks of McCarthyite abuse of power, even some proponents of climate action are horrified at the attack on freedom which this subpoena represents.
CEI has long been a champion of sound climate change policy, and opposed previous attempts to use McCarthy-style tactics by officials aiming to limit discussions between nonprofit policy groups and the private sector regarding federal policies. CEI has not broken any laws, they just disagree with official policy and are being punished for that disagreement.
You don’t have to be a climate skeptic, to recognize that an attack on freedom of speech, in whatever guise, is an attack on everything which America stands for.
More than anything, this authoritarian, un-American attempt to silence dissent betrays the weakness of those perpetrating this attack on the CEI. In a Republic, people who have a compelling case to offer, don’t have to intimidate their political opponents into silence, to win the argument. Read more
Criticizing the mainstream is highly risky: Young scientists forced to conform to established models to avoid putting careers at risk
By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt
Young university researchers are quasi forced to submit themselves to the trends of the day, i.e. the overriding mainstream in any particular scientific field:
The principle is ultimately always the same: Foremost one has to be an often published and often cited figure in his/her scientific field in order to be able to contribute to the ranking of a university. But how does one often publish or become often cited in respected journals of his own field? The most important principles are: Adaptation to the mainstream and do not question any established theories or models. All submitted articles first must go through a peer-review process where champions of the scientific discipline evaluate it. Under these circumstances a young researcher has no option but to go along with the mainstream theories represented in the top journals and to use the empirical processes that are currently in trend. Only in this way does he/she have any chance of having enough publications to make him/herself eligible to be a professor. Through this very kind of pressure to conform applied by top journals is science obstructed rather than promoted. (source)
An Overheated Climate Alarm
by Bjorn Lomborg
The Obama administration released a new report this week that paints a stark picture of how climate change will affect human health. Higher temperatures, we’re told, will be deadly—killing “thousands to tens of thousands” of Americans. The report is subtitled “A Scientific Assessment,” presumably to underscore its reliability. But the report reads as a political sledgehammer that hypes the bad and skips over the good. It also ignores inconvenient evidence—like the fact that cold kills many more people than heat. (Read more from WSJ)
MORE CLIMATE NEWS
NASA: Carbon dioxide fertilization greening Earth, study finds
From a quarter to half of Earth’s vegetated lands has shown significant greening over the last 35 years largely due to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change on April 25. Results showed that carbon dioxide fertilization explains 70 percent of the greening effect. The second most important driver is nitrogen, at 9 percent. Read more
Droughts Are Not Getting Worse And They Are Not Causing Wars
A new briefing paper published by the London-based Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) examines environmentalists’ statements about droughts and heatwaves and finds them to be highly misleading.
Claims that droughts are getting worse are not supported in the scientific literature. This is true for both on a global level and for the UK, where historical records indicate much longer and more severe droughts occurred long before human carbon dioxide emissions became significant.
Moreover, claims that “climate change” was behind the conflicts in Darfur and Syria are shown to be based on highly partisan scientific studies that ignore a host of conflicting evidence.
Full paper (pdf): Parched Earth Policy: Drought, Heatwave and Conflict
Early Forecast: Veteran Meteorologist Predicts Harsh 2016/17 Winter, And Worst Hurricane Season In 10 Years!
By P Gosselin
Global Weather Oscillations (GWO) has issued the most accurate hurricane and El Niño predictions by any organization over the past 8 years, and was right on the money with the United States winter predictions and California drought the past 3 winters.
With the El Niño transitioning to what is called “Neutral Conditions” and then to a weak La Niña by fall, the GWO says weather patterns will change rapidly during the summer and fall – bringing back weather patterns that caused active Atlantic Basin hurricane seasons from 2010 through 2012 – and a much harsher winter in some areas from the United States to parts of Europe and Asia. Read more
Why are U.S. Taxpayers Supporting Numerous Duplications of Effort in the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP)?
by Bob Tisdale
There are numerous duplications of effort in the US Global Change Research Program: from multiple U.S.-funded climate-modeling groups, to multiple producers of the same climate-related data. Why are taxpayers supporting all of those duplications of effort?
According to the 2014 Climate Change Expenditures Report from The White House, costs to U.S. taxpayers of the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) run about $2.5 billion annually.
Climate models are the basis for long-term prognostications of the impacts of human-induced global warming and climate change. Unknown to most climate laypersons, climate models are not simulating Earth’s climate as it existed in the past, as it exists now, or as it might exist in the future.
None of the models used by IPCC are initialized to the observed state and none of the climate states in the models correspond even remotely to the current observed climate. In particular, the state of the oceans, sea ice, and soil moisture has no relationship to the observed state at any recent time in any of the IPCC models. Moreover, the starting climate state in several of the models may depart significantly from the real climate owing to model errors. Read more
Our Climate in Perspective
by Jonathan DuHamel
I recently came upon a graph that puts our current climate in perspective, take a look:
We are currently in an interglacial period called the “Holocene.” The top panel shows inferred global temperatures of the glacial epoch-interglacial cycle for the past 450,000 years. The center panel shows the same data for the Vostok station in Antarctica. The bottom panel shows global ice (the scale is inverted).
Notice that the previous four interglacial periods were all warmer than our current interglacial period.
The next graph shows the Holocene in more detail. Compared to temperatures in the Holocene as a whole, our current “global warming” pales to insignificance.
Chilton Vs. The Center For Biological Diversity: Truth Rides A Cowhorse
by J.P.S. Brown
This book exposes the betrayal of trust of federal agencies and the skullduggery of a radical environmental group. I enjoyed reading this story. And remember, as Jim Chilton says, “Every day is Earth Day to a rancher.” This is because his economic well-being depends upon keeping the range productive and in good shape.
Amazon Synopsis: Truth Rides a Cowhorse is the story of a cowboy’s fight to defend his livestock against activist environmentalists who spend millions of dollars in a campaign to rid the world of the cow while it spends more millions on a campaign to save the whale. Which of these two great animals has done more for mankind?
“This is the true story of the legal battle and the VICTORY of the Chilton Ranch in Arizona. Jim and Sue Chilton took on the legal battle to fight against the environmentalists and prove that the Chilton Ranch is the best example of a well run organization that cares not only about it’s cattle, but the ranch and the Chilton name and in doing so they honor all three.”
“Amazing story by one of the great story tellers of our time. Not a unique situation involving manipulation of endangered species and grazing laws to feed the appetite of an ever inflated bureaucracy. Joe Brown is worth checking out. This is how the ‘west was won.’”
The book is available from Amazon in both print and electronic versions.
Points to Ponder
The Paris climate treaty:
“It is absolutely astounding that with the various problems currently facing America – many of which could be addressed with the money the president wishes to assign to international income distribution – President Obama would make the centerpiece of his presidency a treaty that will have no positive impact on our environment whatsoever but will have a considerable negative impact on our economy.” -Jay Lehr, Science Director, The Heartland Institute
“The president obviously does not know that he is participating in one of the greatest scientific hoaxes in history.” -Walter Cunningham, Apollo 7 Astronaut and Author
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“If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.” – Justice Robert Jackson, West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943)
“The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out… without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, intolerable.” – H. L. Mencken
“When an issue becomes a vital part of a political agenda, as is the case with climate, then the politically desired position becomes a goal rather than a consequence of scientific research.” – Richard Lindzen (see context)
“Unfortunately, after World War II, the U.S. abandoned the concepts of total and hard war and adopted a more politically correct view of war. Subsequently we have never again won a war.” -Lt. Col. Kent S Ralston USMC (Ret.)
“History affords us many instances of the ruin of states, by the prosecution of measures ill suited to the temper and genius of their people. The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy.” —Benjamin Franklin (1774)
“Some people regard private enterprise as a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look on it as a cow they can milk. Not enough people see it as a healthy horse, pulling a sturdy wagon.” —Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)
“If there is one thing that is bipartisan in Washington, it is brazen hypocrisy.” -Thomas Sowell
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People for the West – Tucson
PO Box 86868
Tucson, AZ 85754-6868
Jonathan DuHamel, President & Editor
Dr. John Forrester, Vice President
Lonni Lees, Associate Editor
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