Energy

Earth Hour: A Dissent

Reblogged from WUWT

Earth Hour: A Dissent

by Ross McKitrick

Ross McKitrick, Professor of Economics, Univer...

Ross McKitrick, Professor of Economics, University of Guelph, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

In 2009 I was asked by a journalist for my thoughts on the importance of Earth Hour.

Here is my response.

I abhor Earth Hour. Abundant, cheap electricity has been the greatest source of human liberation in the 20th century. Every material social advance in the 20th century depended on the proliferation of inexpensive and reliable electricity.

Giving women the freedom to work outside the home depended on the availability of electrical appliances that free up time from domestic chores. Getting children out of menial labour and into schools depended on the same thing, as well as the ability to provide safe indoor lighting for reading.

Development and provision of modern health care without electricity is absolutely impossible. The expansion of our food supply, and the promotion of hygiene and nutrition, depended on being able to irrigate fields, cook and refrigerate foods, and have a steady indoor supply of hot water.

Many of the world’s poor suffer brutal environmental conditions in their own homes because of the necessity of cooking over indoor fires that burn twigs and dung. This causes local deforestation and the proliferation of smoke- and parasite-related lung diseases.

Anyone who wants to see local conditions improve in the third world should realize the importance of access to cheap electricity from fossil-fuel based power generating stations. After all, that’s how the west developed.

The whole mentality around Earth Hour demonizes electricity. I cannot do that, instead I celebrate it and all that it has provided for humanity.

Earth Hour celebrates ignorance, poverty and backwardness. By repudiating the greatest engine of liberation it becomes an hour devoted to anti-humanism. It encourages the sanctimonious gesture of turning off trivial appliances for a trivial amount of time, in deference to some ill-defined abstraction called “the Earth,” all the while hypocritically retaining the real benefits of continuous, reliable electricity.

People who see virtue in doing without electricity should shut off their fridge, stove, microwave, computer, water heater, lights, TV and all other appliances for a month, not an hour. And pop down to the cardiac unit at the hospital and shut the power off there too.

I don’t want to go back to nature. Travel to a zone hit by earthquakes, floods and hurricanes to see what it’s like to go back to nature. For humans, living in “nature” meant a short life span marked by violence, disease and ignorance. People who work for the end of poverty and relief from disease are fighting against nature. I hope they leave their lights on.

Here in Ontario, through the use of pollution control technology and advanced engineering, our air quality has dramatically improved since the 1960s, despite the expansion of industry and the power supply.

If, after all this, we are going to take the view that the remaining air emissions outweigh all the benefits of electricity, and that we ought to be shamed into sitting in darkness for an hour, like naughty children who have been caught doing something bad, then we are setting up unspoiled nature as an absolute, transcendent ideal that obliterates all other ethical and humane obligations.

No thanks.

I like visiting nature but I don’t want to live there, and I refuse to accept the idea that civilization with all its tradeoffs is something to be ashamed of.

Ross McKitrick
Professor of Economics
University of Guelph

Will Trump rein in regulation?

Have we just witnessed a second American revolution; one that repudiates the policies of the political establishment of both Republicans and Democrats? We had a hint of this when Trump beat out establishment Republicans in the primary.

Trump will have much to deal with. In this article I will concentrate on the EPA, an agency whose regulations have trampled private property rights, and killed much inexpensive electricity generation.

What if, in his inaugural address, Trump were to issue an executive order that says something like “no federal agency shall regulate carbon dioxide emissions from burning of fossil fuels and all existing regulations to that effect are null and void?” Even the EPA admits that the possible effect on climate of its “Clean Power Plan” is prevention of just 0.03°C by the year 2100. That would be a great positive step in quelling the climate madness. It would also boost our economy. EPA regulations on particulate matter have no basis in science (see references below).

The EPA itself could be phased out and replaced by the environmental agencies of each state.

The EPA’s “Waters of the United States” rule (WOTUS, see here and here) impacts private property rights because the rule has become so invasive that it regulates every puddle and rill that may occur on or pass through a property.

In addition to the above:

The U.S. should withdrawal from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, from the Paris climate agreement and from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC). These agencies and agreements suck money and provide no benefit. In the thousands of pages from reports by the IPCC, they have never produced any physical evidence that carbon dioxide emissions play a significant role in controlling global temperature.

The U.S. should also terminate all federal government subsidies for climate change research and for “renewable” energy. Let the solar and wind turbine companies test the demand for their product on the free market without any artificial markets produced by mandates and subsidies.

Endangered species listings based on projected climate change should be rescinded. In fact, the Endangered Species act should be amended or replaced with something that is more science-based and provides a positive incentive for conservation.

I hope Trump can “drain the swamp” and make the government serve the people once again.

 

See also:

EPA Clean Power Plan is Junk Science

EPA’s own human experiments debunk health claims

EPA claims on dangers of particulate matter are false

EPA Clean Power Plan is Junk Science

Replace the Environmental Protection Agency

EPA targets wrong cause of haze in Grand Canyon

The Flaws in the Endangered Species Act

 

 

Carbon dioxide is necessary for life on Earth

Earth’s climate has been changing for at least four billion years in cycles large and small. Few in the climate debate understand those changes and their causes. Many are fixated on carbon dioxide (CO2), a minor constituent of the atmosphere, but one absolutely necessary for life as we know it. Perhaps this fixation derives from ulterior political motives for controlling the global economy. For others, the true believers, perhaps this fixation derives from ignorance.

Greenpeace co-founder Dr. Patrick Moore has written an excellent summary of the history of carbon dioxide on Earth titled, “The Positive Impact of Human CO2 Emissions On the Survival of Life on Earth.” In this 24-page paper, Moore notes that we came dangerously close to losing plant life on Earth about 18,000 years ago, when CO2 levels approached 150 ppm, below which plant life can’t sustain photosynthesis. Currently, atmospheric CO2 stands at about 400 ppm which is about one-third the level for optimum plant growth.

Phanerozoic temp CO2 moore

Here is the executive summary of Moore’s paper:

This study looks at the positive environmental effects of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, a topic which has been well established in the scientific literature but which is far too often ignored in the current discussions about climate change policy. All life is carbon based and the primary source of this carbon is the CO2 in the global atmosphere. As recently as 18,000 years ago, at the height of the most recent major glaciation, CO2 dipped to its lowest level in recorded history at 180 ppm, low enough to stunt plant growth.

This is only 30 ppm above a level that would result in the death of plants due to CO2 starvation. It is calculated that if the decline in CO2 levels were to continue at the same rate as it has over the past 140 million years, life on Earth would begin to die as soon as two million years from now and would slowly perish almost entirely as carbon continued to be lost to the deep ocean sediments. The combustion of fossil fuels for energy to power human civilization has reversed the downward trend in CO2 and promises to bring it back to levels that are likely to foster a considerable increase in the growth rate and biomass of plants, including food crops and trees. Human emissions of CO2 have restored a balance to the global carbon cycle, thereby ensuring the long-term continuation of life on Earth.

Moore presents a concise history of CO2 beginning in the Cambrian Period 540 million years ago when CO2 was about 7,000 ppm. He follows that with a discussion of how carbon is distributed today between the atmosphere, oceans, plant life, and rocks.

In his concluding remarks, Moore briefly discusses the politics of CO2 and notes: ” Lost in all these machinations is the indisputable fact that the most important thing about CO2 is that it is essential for all life on Earth and that before humans began to burn fossil fuels, the atmospheric concentration of CO2 was heading in a very dangerous direction for a very long time.”

There is no physical evidence that our CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels will produce catastrophic climate change. Moore asks, “Given that the optimum CO2 level for plant growth is above 1,000 ppm and that CO2 has been above that level for most of the history of life, what sense does it make to call for a reduction in the level of CO2 in the absence of evidence of catastrophic climate change?”

You can read Moore’s full paper here.

Also of interest is a 40-page paper published by the Canadian Friends of Science Society entitled “A Confluence of Carbonbaggers.” – great title. Here is part of the executive summary:

Given that in most industries, margins of error are required to be small, this paper reviews the substantial failings of the IPCC in everything from the original premise that human activity producing greenhouse gases was the primary cause of recent warming, to vast statistical errors in climate models that are 500 and 600% off trend.

Few average citizens have any knowledge of these goings on – despite the fact that billions of their tax dollars are vanishing every year on causes proclaimed by this august organization and echoed around the world by enthusiastic Environmental Non-Governmental Organizations (ENGOs) who find climate catastrophe predictions the easiest way to raise money to ‘save the planet’ – all the while demonizing traditional industries that have provided jobs, energy and resources that have created our modern, industrialized world.

This report is a compilation of errors, false and wildly exaggerated predictions, and the IPCC’s claim that it in fact ‘makes no recommendation of any kind on any topic’ – effectively washing its hands of responsibility for the damage its reports and meetings have done in the Western world. National economies have been ruined, investment markets distorted, industries devastated, thousands have died prematurely due to sharp rise in power prices across the UK and Europe as the poor and middle class have been pushed into ‘heat-or-eat’ poverty – and yet governments still persist in designing faulty climate and economic policies based on flawed documents from the IPCC – cited as ‘the authority on climate change.’

See also:

Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect

A Modest Proposal: Triple Your Carbon Footprint

Climate Madness 3

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.

Proposals and claims from academia where research grants and salaries may depend upon there being a climate crisis:

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?)

Politics and National Security:

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.

Environment:

Judge Orders U.S. to Address Climate Threat to Wolverines

By REUTERS

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)

Free Speech:

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

Related:

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)

More junk science:

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)

 

See also:

Climate madness 2

Global Warming – The Madness of our Age

The Bankruptcy of Climate Science

Uranium – unlocking tomorrow’s innovations

The National Mining Association has produced an informative info-graphic for uranium which can be used as a teaching aid in schools.

Besides energy, uranium is used in several medical technologies. In the United States, uranium is mined primarily in Wyoming, Nebraska, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Utah.

You can download a PDF version of the info-graphic here.

NMA_Uranium_Infographic

See more NMA info-graphics:

Gold in modern life

How we use rare earth elements

Importance of Copper

Importance of domestic mining to manufacturing

Iron – critical to nearly every industry

Minerals vital to modern life – a short video

Molybdenum

Permitting, Economic Value, and Mining part 2

Platinum group metals fight pollution and cancer

Potash and Phosphate help feed the world

Silver: The Versatile Metal Powering American Innovation

Zinc the building block of summer fun

Renewable energy causes electricity cost to skyrocket

President Obama recently said that he wanted 28% of America’s electricity to come from renewable energy by 2030, mainly by increasing the use of wind and solar power. Currently about 10% of US energy is produced by renewable energy sources.

But, of that 10%, half comes from burning biomass, 26% comes from hydroelectric generation, and 22% comes from solar and wind power combined which means just 2.2% of total energy generation comes from wind and solar according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Differentiating between total energy and electricity production, the EIA says that in 2014, solar produced 0.4% of the nation’s electricity while wind power produced 4.4% of the nation’s electricity for a combined total of 4.8% of electrical generation. (EIA)

energy_consumption_by_source_2014-large

Current average electricity cost in the U.S. is 12.95 cents per kilowatt-hour (kwh), according to the EIA. See EIA reported costs by state and region here.

So what happens as a country increases the amount of electricity generated by renewal sources (mainly wind and solar) as the European Union has been doing? As renewable energy becomes a larger percent of electricity generation, costs per kwh rise from about 12 cents per kwh to 32 cents per kwh.

EU electricity cost vs renewables

Here are the costs of electricity by country in the European Union. The highest costs are in the countries with the most renewable energy capacity.

EU electricty prices

Under Obama’s plan, if the U.S. follows the European Union example, electricity costs will nearly triple in the next 15 years. Obama is keeping a campaign promise. Remember he said that under his plan electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. That is the reality of the war on coal and other fossil fuels.

And that’s not our only expense. According to the EIA, for just the period 2010-2013, we taxpayers have subsidized wind power to the tune of $5.5 billion together with $4.5 billion for solar installations.

Julian Morris of the Reason Foundation opines: “The Clean Power Plan is a centralized plan for electricity generation in the United States that is likely to harm public health, increase energy bills for households and businesses, destroy American jobs, and cause blackouts in communities across the country.” (Read article)

The proposed reductions in CO2 emissions will have the grand effect of preventing warming of about 0.02 C. (Source)

In my opinion, Obama’s power plan is a foolish, even criminal, waste of resources.

(H/T to Paul Homewood of Not A Lot of People Know That for the graphs.)

See also:

Capitalism is not a zero sum game

Climate and Communism

Environmental Sophistry

The Collectivist Mind

How NEPA crushes productivity

Sustainability indoctrination invades our colleges

According to the National Association of Scholars (NAS) “‘Sustainability’ is a key idea on college campuses in the United States and the rest of the Western world. To many, sustainability is just a new name for environmentalism. But the word has come to mean something much larger: an ideology that demands new limits on economic, political, and intellectual freedom as the price that must be paid to ensure the welfare of future generations.”

NAS has just released a study critical of the “sustainability” movement in our colleges. The report is titled “Sustainability – Higher Education’s New Fundamentalism.” This 260-page report may be downloaded as a whole or by chapter from http://www.nas.org/projects/sustainability_report.

Before getting to the NAS report, here is some background on “sustainability” taken from an article on my WryHeat blog:

“Sustainable development” and “sustainability” have become mantras of environmentalists, the UN, federal, state, and local governments, and even some corporations that strive to be politically correct. The City of Tucson has an Office of Conservation and Sustainable Development. Perusal of that site shows that City bureaucrats and administrators have swallowed carbon-dioxide flavored Kool-Aid and sing Kumbaya to each other.

Sustainable development (aka Agenda 21) has its origins in a United Nations program. Henry Lamb of Sovereignty International traces its history in an article in Canada Free Press:

Agenda 21 was developed over a period of time, traceable from the 1972 U.N. Conference on the Environment, which identified “environmental protection” as the world’s greatest problem, and gave the world the U.N. Environmental Programme, followed almost immediately by Nixon’s Executive Order that created the EPA.

Then came the 1976 U.N. Conference on Human Settlements, signed by the U.S., which proclaimed that “Public control of land use is…indispensable.” The next major step was the creation of the U.N. World Commission on Environment and Development in 1983, chaired by Gro Harlem Brundtland. The commission issued its final report in 1987, called Our Common Future. This document produced the concept and defined the term “Sustainable Development” to be: “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

This rather ambiguous definition was spelled out in great detail in a 40-chapter, 300-page document titled Agenda 21, signed and adopted by 179 nations in 1992 at the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro.

A document from that 1976 UN conference states: “Land…cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice…”

To repeat the definition: “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

On the surface, that sounds all warm and fuzzy, perhaps even prudent. But below the surface we find impracticality and an assault on private property rights and liberty.

Sustainable development invariably involves giving some central authority control over the economy. The former Soviet Union is a good example of how badly that works.

The reason central planning doesn’t work is that we cannot know what the needs of future generations will be. The concept of sustainable development is actually one of arrogance.

The NAS report excerpts:

“This report is the first in-depth critical study of the sustainability movement in higher education. The movement, of course, extends well beyond the college campus. It affects party politics, government bureaucracy, the energy industry, Hollywood, schools, and consumers. But the college campus is where the movement gets its voice of authority, and where it molds the views and commands the attention of young people.”

“We also examine the financial costs to colleges and universities in their efforts to achieve some of the movement’s goals. Often the movement presents its program as saving these institutions money. But we have found that American colleges and universities currently spend more than $3.4 billion per year pursuing their dreams of ‘sustainability’ at a time when college tuitions are soaring and 7.5 percent of recent college graduates are unemployed and another 46 percent underemployed. In addition to the direct costs of the movement, we examine the growing demands by sustainability advocates that colleges and universities divest their holdings in carbon-based energy companies without regard to forgone income or growth in their endowments. What makes ‘sustainability’ so important that institutions facing financial

distress are willing to prioritize spending on it? In this report, we examine that question.”

“To the unwary, ‘sustainability’ is the newer name for environmentalism. But the goals of the sustainability movement are different. They go far beyond ensuring clean air and water and protecting vulnerable plants and animals. As an ideology, sustainability takes aim at economic and political liberty. Sustainability pictures economic liberty as a combination of strip mining, industrial waste, and rampant pollution. It pictures political liberty as people voting to enjoy the present, heedless of what it will cost future generations. Sustainability’s alternative to economic liberty is a regime of far-reaching regulation that controls virtually every aspect of energy, industry, personal consumption, waste, food, and transportation. Sustainability’s alternative to political liberty is control vested in agencies and panels run by experts insulated from elections or other expressions of popular will.”

How pervasive is the “sustainability” movement? NAS reports:

“There are upwards of 50 professional bodies to serve the intellectual and career interests of sustainability experts. There are 1,438 sustainability-focused academic programs at 475 campuses in 65 states and provinces to credential those experts.”

“Hundreds of millions of dollars in private philanthropy have been channeled into sustainability research. Government agencies, too, have poured billions into academic research aligned with the sustainability movement’s agenda. The EPA alone has spent more than $333 million in the last 15 years sponsoring sustainability fellowships, predominantly for college and university professors, in addition to another $60 million in sustainability research grants. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration records show more than $3 billion in grants for climate science research since 1998 (more than $89 million in 2014), while the National Institutes of Health has granted in the last four years alone $28 million for research on climate change and another $580 million on ‘Climate-Related Exposures and Conditions.’ The National Science Foundation records show more than $1.7 billion since 1998 in sustainability research grants. The National Endowment for the Arts invested $2 million over the same period. The disparity in date ranges available in government grant databases makes direct comparisons difficult. But these numbers indicate an average of $465 million in federal funding for sustainability and climate change research each year—though in recent years government funding for climate research has increased substantially.”

Could you think of some better use for those funds, time, and energy?

The NAS report concludes with 10 recommendations in the form of advice to colleges and universities to uphold with greater vigor their traditional standards.

See also:

Capitalism is not a zero sum game

Climate and Communism

Environmental Sophistry

The Collectivist Mind

How NEPA crushes productivity

EPA’s Clean Power Plan would disproportionally hurt the poor

According to a study commissioned by the National Black Chamber of Commerce, the EPA’s “Clean Power Plan” would have “serious economic, employment, and energy market impacts at the national level and for all states, and that the impacts on low income groups, Blacks, and Hispanics would be especially severe.”

The report is entitled “Potential Impact of Proposed EPA Regulations On Low Income Groups and Minorities.” You can read the full report here (127 pages).

The report abstract reads as follows:

“EPA is proposing new regulations, including guidelines to reduce CO2 emissions from existing fossil-fueled power plants. These regulations would have serious economic, employment, and energy impacts at the national level and for all states, and the impacts on low-income groups, Blacks, and Hispanics would be especially severe. The EPA rules would: 1) Significantly reduce U.S. GDP every year over the next two decades – over $2.3 trillion; 2) Destroy millions of jobs; 3) More than double the cost of power and natural gas to over $1 trillion; 4) Require the average family to pay over $1,225 more for power and gas in 2030 than in 2012.”

“The EPA regulations will increase Hispanic poverty by more than 26% and Black poverty by more than 23%. The energy burdens for Blacks and Hispanics will increase and large numbers of both groups will be forced into energy poverty and Black and Hispanic household incomes will decline by increasing amounts each year. There would be increasing job losses: By 2035, cumulative job losses for Blacks will total about 7 million and for Hispanics will total 12 million. Most job losses would occur in the states in which Blacks and Hispanics are most heavily concentrated.”

The report provides analysis of impact nationally and by state.

In concluding remarks (page 103) the report warns:

“The EPA regulations will significantly increase the energy burdens for Blacks and Hispanics and increase the numbers of Blacks and Hispanics suffering from “energy poverty.” The regulations will greatly increase energy prices and set off repercussions throughout the economy, but nowhere do high prices bring consequences as swiftly and harshly as in low-income and minority households. For the tens of millions of low income households, the higher energy prices will intensify the difficulty of meeting the costs of basic human needs, while increasing energy burdens that are already excessive. At the same time, the EPA regulations will threaten low-income access to vital energy and utility services, thereby endangering health and safety while creating additional barriers to meaningful low-income participation in the economy. While home energy costs average about four percent per year in middle class households, they can reach a staggering 70 percent of monthly income for low-income families.”

The government’s campaign to reduce carbon dioxide emissions has no basis in science or economics; it is essentially a method for obtaining power and making citizens more dependent on government. As Dr. Indur Goklany writes, “…it is a strange moral calculus that endorses policies that would reduce existing gains in human well-being, increase the cost of humanity’s basic necessities, increase poverty, and reduce the terrestrial biosphere’s future productivity and ability to support biomass, all in order to solve future problems that may not even exist or, if they do, are probably more easily solved by future generations who should be richer both economically and technologically. Moreover, because food, fibre, fuel and energy – basic necessities – consume a disproportionately large share of the income of the poorest, they would also pay the highest price for these policies.” Goklany is the author of a paper “The Pontifical Academies’ Broken Moral Compass.” Read full paper here.

See also:

EPA versus Arizona on regional haze issue

EPA war on coal threatens Tucson water supply

EPA fuel standards costly and ineffective

EPA targets wrong cause of haze in Grand Canyon

Electricity supply endangered by EPA regulations

Impact of new EPA ozone rule

EPA experiments on humans debunk their ozone and particulate matter health claims

EPA conducted illegal and potentially lethal experiments on children

The EPA is destroying America

Replace EPA

American Energy Renaissance Act

Development of energy resources in the United States is subject to many impediments from the federal government. To help remedy this situation, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-OK-1 have introduced the American Energy Renaissance Act which they say will “create good-paying American jobs, spur economic growth and expand opportunity.”

Since I have seen nothing about this in the Arizona Daily Star, I will reproduce the major elements of the act from a press release from Senator Cruz for Tucson readers. The Act proposes the following:

Leave regulation of hydraulic fracturing in state hands. Hydraulic fracturing is driving the American Energy Renaissance. States have proven they can oversee hydraulic fracturing in a responsible, safe manner, and they should be allowed to continue. The American Energy Renaissance cannot thrive if the federal government disrupts this effective framework and impedes the jobs and economic growth hydraulic fracturing is already providing.

Streamline the permitting process for upgrading existing and building new refineries. The operating capacity of U.S. refineries has remained essentially stagnant for three decades. In order for the American Energy Renaissance to reach its full potential, barriers must be removed from expanding or constructing new refineries in the United States and the private sector jobs they will create.

Phase out and repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) over five years. The RFS has proven unworkable and costly. Its mandate that an increasing percentage of renewable biofuels be blended into gasoline and diesel each year ignores the reality there are insufficient amounts of some biofuels to meet the standard. It imposes significant costs, and offers few, if any, benefits. The RFS should be phased out so producers and refiners can focus on maximizing domestic resource potential.

Immediately approve and allow the private sector to build the Keystone pipeline. According to the U.S. State Department, constructing the Keystone XL pipeline could result in 42,000 jobs. Keystone has undergone five environmental reviews since its initial application in 2008, and none has found a significant negative impact on the environment. President Obama’s former Energy Secretary admitted that the decision as whether to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline is a political one, and not a decision founded in science.

Exclude greenhouse gases from regulation by the EPA and other federal agencies. Proposals to regulate greenhouse gases are very expensive and threaten hundreds of thousands of jobs. The authority to regulate such gases should only occur with explicit authority from Congress.

Stop certain EPA regulations that will adversely impact coal and electric power plants. In 2008, President Obama promised to bankrupt coal. As of October 2014, there were already 381 coal units closed or closing in 36 states because of EPA policies. These 381 closures amount to a total of more than 60,100 megawatts of electricity generation no longer being available. Job losses as a result of coal units being affected by EPA regulations could amount to more than 50,000 direct jobs in the coal, utility, and rail industries, and an indirect job loss figure exceeding 250,000.

Require Congress to approve and the President to sign EPA regulations that will have a negative job impact, rather than allowing them to hide behind bureaucrats who are assumed to be responsible for them now. Certain planned and proposed EPA regulations could cost more than 2 million jobs. Increasing regulatory restrictions more broadly could cost nearly 2.8 million jobs over the next decade.

Expand energy development on federal lands by providing states the option of leasing, permitting and regulating energy resources (oil and gas, wind and solar) on federal lands within their borders. Onshore and offshore federal land lands have about 43 percent of America’s proven oil reserves and 25 percent of natural gas reserves, but not all of the land is available for energy development. Leasing and producing oil and natural gas on federal land could create more than 1 million jobs.

For those states opting not to self-regulate, federal leasing, permitting, and regulating must be reformed by:
Streamlining permitting and expanding development on federal lands by requiring decisions regarding drilling permit applications to be made within 30 days (which can be extended), requiring an explanation for any denial, and deeming applications to be approved if no decision has been made within 60 days, unless there are existing incomplete environmental reviews.
Improving certainty in the leasing and development process by instituting a presumption that certain land will be leased and by prohibiting the government from withdrawing a lease for any energy project, unless there is a violation of terms of the lease.

Expand energy development in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska and on Indian Lands. The mean estimate for conventional oil in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska is 895 million barrels of oil and 52.8 trillion cubic feet of gas. West of the Mississippi River, Indian reservations contain almost 30 percent of the nation’s coal reserves, 50 percent of potential uranium reserves, and 20 percent of known oil and gas reserves.

Open up the Coastal Plain of Alaska (ANWR) for development. ANWR consists of 19 million acres in northeast Alaska. Its 1.5-million-acre Coastal Plain is viewed as a promising onshore oil prospect with potentially 7 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil.

Expand the offshore areas of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) available for development. Despite the potential for significant oil and gas development off the coasts of the United States, the Obama Administration has severely limited access to such resources by essentially prohibiting energy exploration and development off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

Streamline the permitting process for additional offshore exploration. Regulatory barriers to obtain leases and permits to explore and develop offshore areas of the Outer Continental Shelf should be removed by requiring lease sales within 180 days of enactment of the legislation and every 270 days thereafter, and requiring approval or disapproval of drilling permits no later than 20 days after an application is submitted.

Expand LNG exports by facilitating permits. As of March 3, 2015, the Dept. of Energy had approved only nine export permits to non-Free Trade Agreement countries. More than twenty applications are currently pending.

End the crude oil export ban. Last year, U.S. crude oil production increased 27 percent but many American refineries cannot handle the additional crude for technical and capacity reasons. The United States is missing out on export opportunities that could produce good paying private sector jobs in the United States.

Prevent excessively broad environmental review of coal export terminals. As the EPA makes it harder to use coal as a source of energy for electricity in the United States, there are opportunities to export coal to other nations. Removing excessive environmental reviews can help promote coal exports that will help keep coal jobs in the United States.

Direct all additional revenues generated by exploration and drilling on federal lands (excluding the share allocated to the states) exclusively to national debt reduction. The U.S. national debt was approximately $18.2 trillion in December 2014. As we free the development of U.S. natural resources to spur economic and job growth, we should prevent revenues from being used to further expand government programs and instead use it to free taxpayers from the debt burden that hampers the nation’s incredible potential.

That is the crux of the bill. Read the entire bill here.

Of course, these sensible provisions are very contrary to Obama policy and the orthodoxy of radical environmentalists. It will be interesting to see if this bill gets anywhere.

See also:

How President Obama has increased our energy costs

Obama Clueless on Energy – Part 2

Obama Clueless on Energy – Part 1

Obama says Drill Baby Drill

Obama administration still clueless on energy

Obama, the Keystone Cop-out

Obama’s Climate Action Plan is Clueless and Dangerous

Obama’s April Fools Joke