A tale of two overkills

http://www.tms.org/pubs/journals/JOM/9511/Binczewski-9511.fig.5.large.gifThe pyramid of aluminum shown in the photograph figures greatly in our nation’s history. This once rare metal was so prized that it was placed into a national monument by a grateful nation. Can you guess where? Now, aluminum is so common, thanks to an electrical refining process and plentiful, cheap electricity, that we throw it away in soda cans.

Two seemingly unrelated events on opposite sides of the globe occurred this past week.

One was the closure of an aluminum plant in Montana, and the other is the president of a European metals association threatened to move production overseas citing environmental rules and energy costs escalating due to emissions trading schemes.

Both stories are presented below. At the end, is the story of our “Aluminum Pyramid”, now in a  national monument.

cfalls_aluminum_co_aerial_lg

The Columbia Falls Aluminum Company in Montana - click for larger image

Google Map of above is here

First, Montana.

How They Are Turning Off the Lights in America

by Edwin X. Berry

On October 31, 2009, the once largest aluminum plant in the world will shut down. With it goes another American industry and more American jobs. The Columbia Falls Aluminum Company in Montana will shut down its aluminum production because it cannot purchase the necessary electrical power to continue its operations.

How did this happen in America? America was once the envy of the world in its industrial capability. America’s industrial capacity built America into the most productive nation the world had ever known. Its standard of living rose to levels never before accomplished. Its currency became valuable and powerful, allowing Americans to purchase imported goods at relatively cheap prices.

America grew because of innovation and hard work by the pioneers of the industrial revolution, and because America has vast natural resources. A great economy, as America once was, is founded on the ability to produce electrical energy at low cost. This ability has been extinguished. Why?

Columbia Falls Aluminum negotiated a contract with Bonneville Power Administration in 2006 for Bonneville to supply electrical power until September 30, 2011. But, responding to lawsuits, the 9th US Circuit Court ruled the contract was invalid because it was incompatible with the Northwest Power Act. Therefore, the combination of the Northwest Power Act and a US Circuit Court were the final villains that caused the shutdown of Columbia Falls Aluminum.

But the real reasons are much more complicated. Why was it not possible for Columbia Falls Aluminum to find sources of electricity other than Bonneville?

We need to look no further than the many environmental groups like the Sierra Club and to America’s elected officials who turned their backs on American citizens and in essence themselves, for they too are citizens of this country. These officials bought into the green agenda promoted by the heavily funded environmental groups. Caving to pressure, they passed laws and the environmental groups filed lawsuits that began turning off the lights in America. The dominos stated to fall.

They began stopping nuclear power plants in the 1970′s. They locked up much of our coal and oil resources with land laws. They passed tax credits, which forces taxpayers foot the bill for billionaire investors to save taxes by investing in less productive wind and solar energy projects.

In 1988, the Environmental Protection Agency called a meeting of atmospheric scientists and others with environmental interests. I remember well the meeting I attended in the San Francisco Bay Area. The meeting was in a theater-like lecture room with the seating curved to face the center stage and rising rapidly toward the back of the room. Attending were many atmospheric scientists whom I knew from Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, Stanford Research Institute and some local colleges.

The room became silent when a man walked up to the lectern. He told us that the next big national problem was global warming. He explained how human carbon dioxide emissions were trapping the earth’s radiation like a greenhouse and causing the atmosphere to heat beyond its normal temperature. He said this will lead to environmental disasters. He finished by saying the EPA will now concentrate its research funding toward quantifying the disasters that would be caused by our carbon dioxide.

The room was silent. I was the first to raise my hand to ask a question, “How can you defend your global warming hypothesis when you have omitted the effects of clouds which affect heat balance far more than carbon dioxide, and when your hypothesis contradicts the paper by Lee in the Journal of Applied Meteorology in 1972 that shows the atmosphere does not behave like a greenhouse?”

He answered me by saying, “You do not know what you are talking about. I know more about how the atmosphere works than you do.”

Not being one to drop out of a fight, I responded, “I know many of the atmospheric scientists in this room, and many others who are not present but I do not know you. What is your background and what makes you know so much more than me?”

He answered, “I know more than you because I am a lawyer and I work for the EPA.”

After the meeting, many of my atmospheric science friends who worked for public agencies thanked me for what I said, saying they would have liked to say the same thing but they feared for their jobs.

And that, my dear readers, is my recollection of that great day when a lawyer, acting as a scientist, working for the federal government, announced global warming.

Fast forward to today. The federal government is spending 1000 times more money to promote the global-warming charade than is available to those scientists who are arguing against it. Never before in history has it taken a massive publicity campaign to convince the public of a scientific truth. The only reason half the public thinks global warming may be true is the massive amount of money put into global-warming propaganda. The green eco-groups have their umbilical cords in the government’s tax funds. Aside from a few honest but duped scientists living on government money, the majority of the alarms about global warming – now called “climate change” because it’s no longer warming – come from those who have no professional training in atmospheric science. They are the environmentalists, the ecologists, the lawyers and the politicians. They are not the reliable atmospheric scientists whom I know.

Nevertheless, our politicians have passed laws stating that carbon dioxide is bad. See California’s AB32 which is based upon science fiction. (For readers who take issue with me, I will be happy to destroy your arguments in another place. In this paper, we focus on the damage to America that is being caused by those promoting the global-warming fraud.)

In the year 2000, America planned 150 new coal-electric power plants. These power plants would have been “clean” by real standards but the Greens managed to have carbon dioxide defined legally as “dirty” and this new definition makes all emitters of carbon dioxide, including you, a threat to the planet. Therefore, using legal illogic, the Sierra Club stopped 82 of these planned power plants under Bush II and they expect it will be a slam-dunk to stop the rest under Obama.

And now you know the real reason the Columbia Falls Aluminum Company had to shut down. America stopped building new power plants a long time ago. There is now no other source where the company can buy energy. Our energy-producing capability is in a decline and it is taking America with it.

I used to belong to the Sierra Club in the 1960′s. It used to be a nice hiking club. In the late 1960′s the Sierra Club began turning its attention toward stopping nuclear power. Then I quit the Sierra Club. It continues to prosper from the many subscribers who think they are supporting a good cause. What they are really supporting is the destruction of America brick by brick. The Sierra Club and similar organizations are like watermelons – green on the outside, red on the inside. They are telling us we have no right to our own natural resources, and in doing so they are sinking America.

Inherent in ecology are three assumptions: “natural” conditions are optimal, climate is fragile, and human influences are bad. Physics makes no such assumptions. By assuming climate is fragile, the global warming supporters have assumed their conclusion. In fact, the climate is not fragile. It is stable. The non-adherence to physical logic in the global-warming camp is what makes many physical scientists say that global warming is a religion.

So we have a new age religion promoted by environmentalists, incorporated into our laws and brainwashed into our people that is now destroying America from the inside.

Like a vast ship, America is taking a long time to sink but each day it sinks a little further. The fearsome day awaits, when America, if not quickly recovered by its real citizens, will tilt its nose into the water to begin a rapid and final descent into oblivion … her many resources saved for whom?

Edwin X Berry, PhD [send him mail] is an atmospheric physicist and certified consulting meteorologist with Climate Physics, LLC in Montana. Visit his website.


Now, Europe

 

From Heliogenic Climate Change:

Economic death march in Europe

“European non-ferrous metals producers may move to countries where environmental legislation is less strict unless the impact of forthcoming measures is reduced, an industry spokesman said on Thursday.

Javier Targhetta, president of Eurometaux, said the industry was concerned over high and unpredictable power costs [and] the added cost of a new emissions trading scheme (ETS) in 2013 …

Targhetta was particularly concerned over what he said was the reluctance of utilities to sell power for terms of three years or more following deregulation for heavy users in Spain last year.

“This increases long-term insecurity and leads to a halt in investment. If we carry on like this, the industry is destined to disappear,” he said.

Eurometaux estimates a new phase of the ETS could hike its power costs by an unsustainable 150-200 million euros ($221.1-294.8 million), and may prompt “carbon leakage,” or relocation to countries where emission costs are low or nil.

“Carbon will still be produced, it will still be producing the greenhouse effect, but a European plant will have been lost,” Targhetta said.”

Electricity accounts for an average of 35 percent of production costs for non-ferrous metals — 60 percent for aluminum — and producers say big differences in policy between European countries and lack of interconnection make power more expensive.

Source: Reuters, “Europe metals producers warn of relocation

Read the Eurometaux press release here (PDF)


About the “Aluminum Pyramid”, here it is being set:

 

File:Washington Monument-setting the capstone.jpg

From Wikipedia:

The building of the monument proceeded quickly after Congress had provided sufficient funding. In four years, it was finally completed, with the 100 ounce (2.85 kg) aluminum tip/lightning-rod being put in place on December 6, 1884. It was the largest single piece of aluminum cast at the time. In 1884 aluminum was as expensive as silver, both $1 per ounce.

Over time, however, the price of the metal dropped; the invention of the Hall-Héroult electric refining process in 1886 caused the high price of aluminum to permanently collapse. The monument opened to the public on October 9, 1888.

Still confused? It is the Washington monument.

Read the history of the aluminum cap here:

The Point of a Monument: A History of the Aluminum Cap of the Washington Monument

About these ads
This entry was posted in Energy. Bookmark the permalink.

192 Responses to A tale of two overkills

  1. timetochooseagain says:

    Napoleon the third is said to have had aluminum cutlery at state banquets.

  2. _Jim says:

    Hmmm … BILLIONS for the banks (bailouts) and states (stimulus?) to continue to carry on their socilaist programs, but nary a penny for a power plant to CREATE a single (or hundreds of) job(s) …
    .
    .

  3. Gene Nemetz says:

    But, responding to lawsuits, the 9th US Circuit Court ruled the contract was invalid because it was incompatible with the Northwest Power Act.

    The infamous 9th US Circuit Court. It covers California, Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and the Northern Marianna Islands. But it is mostly controlled by California. Most cases in this circuit are heard in Pasadena, San Francisco, ans Seattle. There is a movement to split this court in to 2 or 3 smaller circuit courts which would suit Montana well since I think it’s safe to say that Montana doesn’t want any of those three cities mentioned deciding their fate. Those cities are dominated by far left politics which includes a heavyhanded environmentalism.

    This plant closure is exactly what America doesn’t need right now. Unemployment nationwide is over 10%.

  4. Gene Nemetz says:

    _Jim (18:13:48) :

    You see _Jim, what you are saying makes sense. But when you think of the politicians that are currently elected think in terms of agendas not sense. Then the pieces will fall in to place for you.

  5. Mick J says:

    Another smelter located in Wales UK has also closed for energy reasons.

    http://www.theonlinemail.co.uk/bangor-and-anglesey-news/local-bangor-and-anglesey-news/2009/08/19/hundreds-to-lose-jobs-with-anglesey-aluminium-closure-66580-24467566/
    and
    http://www.anglesey-hidden-gem.com/anglesey-aluminium.html

    A middle east company ” The Emirates Aluminium Company” is offering jobs to the former employees so as well as benefiting from obtaining trained staff will also now perhaps supply Anglesey Aluminium’s former customers.

  6. John F. Hultquist says:

    “I used to belong to the Sierra Club ….” Edwin X. Berry

    Me also!

  7. Douglas DC says:

    No creation of wealth-no economy….

  8. Hugh says:

    I am a lawyer too. I guess that means I know more than all you scientists. Well, I think global warming is a bunch of nonsense. We should be building modern nuclear power plants by the gross. Modern designs would be safe, efficient, and less expensive than the old designs (of course, greens would do their best to delay the construction and make it as expensive as possible.

    Let’s not forget New York State which completed construction of a Shoreham nuclear powerplant but was never able to license it and put it into operation because of the greens. Their opposition to the plant caused it to cost several times what it otherwise would have cost -$6 billion-money that was all wasted.

    The irony is, an identical powerplant was built in nearby (across the Long Island Sound in Connecticut) for a fraction of the cost ($110 million). That plant safely provided power for several decades, was retired, decommissioned, and demolished.

    Read the Wikipedia article and weep: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoreham_Nuclear_Power_Plant

    To quote one commentator: “We are doomed. DOOMED!”

  9. Curiousgeorge says:

    There are millions of people in the US who are only waiting for someone to step up and lead the Nation. There will be a backlash against this destruction of the country by the left, and when it strikes it will be ferocious indeed.

  10. Jeff L says:

    That first article makes me so mad I want to scream!!!

    Berry fully understands what is going on but the general public that backs “global climate legislation & regulation in general” has no clue they are supporting exactly what Berry states – the dismantling of a great country , brick by brick. I am going to be completely politically incorrect (as political correctness has let ideas that are net-negative to our great country get a foothold to start with) and say that those who promote these eco-ideas are the perfect example of the saying “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”. Although I guess in their heart of hearts, most eco-types really think they are doing the right thing, the reality is they are driving a great country into the ground. It has to stop. Plain & Simple. For all the people today. For all of the people of tomorrow. For all of the people of our past – With Veterans Day coming up this week, I can say that our forefathers did not fight & die for our great country so some eco-wing nuts could dismantle it, brick by brick. Until the general public understands this, we have serious problems ! As the audience on this blog is generally sympathetic to the points of view presented by Anthony, forward a link to this article to everyone you know so we can collectively raise public awareness & defeat what is a truly evil movement in our society.

    If you don’t agree, sorry, but I am not going to candy coat how I view the situation for any one!

  11. J.Hansford says:

    Excellent article Anthony.

    Our civilization depends on cheap, plentiful energy. Any restriction to this has consequences to our freedom and way of life.

    … For example. I am about to get in my car, to drive 40 kilometers to catch fish for a day’s recreation and then drive home the next day… and all around me, will be people doing similar activities.

    ….. The eco fascists of the world want to put a stop to that kind of freedom and lifestyle. If we think that they aren’t ….. then we are blind.

  12. Michael Alexis says:

    More “Atlas Shrugged” fiction coming true.

  13. Adam from Kansas says:

    China and India are going to be the bearers of most of the world’s GDP and wealth at this rate.

    You can count your blessings that we don’t have Cap & Trade in the US yet, otherwise this country could see a lot more jobs lost than that aluminum plant like what’s currently being seen in Europe

  14. GP says:

    Further to Mick J’s post above …. re Aluminium and Anglesey

    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/search/label/aluminium

    (for those interested following the links in the article could be of interest)

    and

    http://www.chinamining.org/News/2009-08-14/1250231253d28058.html

    the latter being quite ironic, though I understand that the Chinese have similar issues about energy costs.

    Given the way that the Middle Eastern, et al, countries are using their current income to diversify and become more self sufficient the next step would presumably be to buy up the countries that must be giving up wealth to fund the post oil development of the desert areas.

    More logical in the long term would be the idea of moving from a desert area to somewhere a little more hospitable. After all that is how things have always been in terms of human development.

  15. gt says:

    Just too sad. A nation willfully throws away its (remaining) manufacturing base is destined to destruction.

    You can’t blame that on Muslims.

  16. Smokey says:

    A fine article, Mr Berry. Agree 100%.

  17. Patrick Davis says:

    “Hugh (18:52:38) :

    Let’s not forget New York State which completed construction of a Shoreham nuclear powerplant but was never able to license it and put it into operation because of the greens. Their opposition to the plant caused it to cost several times what it otherwise would have cost -$6 billion-money that was all wasted.”

    Thankyou Hugh. This was the power plant I was thinking about some threads ago, and I got it confused with another plant. $6bil to build, never sold one watt of power and was dismantled.

    It’s beyond madness.

  18. kuhnkat says:

    Plants closing due to energy cost/supply.

    Yet, enviros swear that wind and solar power can replace nuclear and coal. Where are they??

    Can I say they are a lying bunch of (self snip)

  19. NikFromNYC says:

    Recent news claimed that a new process for converting white paint (titanium dioxide) to titanium metal has been developed. Is titanium refinement also being ruined in the USA I wonder? It’s actually easier to machine than aluminum since it’s not so soft an prone to clogging up cutting tools. And like aluminum, it is corrosion resistant.

  20. Robert E. Phelan says:

    Don’t you folks understand that you have too much stuff? That the never-ending cycle of materialist greed is destroyng the earth and impoverishing your souls? You need to emulate the untutored wisdom of the peasant, living to the rhythm of the seasons in harmony with nature.

  21. Alec Rawls says:

    I would just qualify Dr. Berry’s assertion that the climate is stable. It is stable in the warming direction, but not in the cooling direction.

    In particular, the albedo effect of ice and snow is strongly assymetric with respect to cooling and warming. As it gets warmer and ice and snow retreat to higher latitudes, the reduction in albedo rapidly gets smaller. The surface area involved gets smaller and smaller, and the sun hits these more polar regions more and more obliquely.

    Just the opposite for cooling. As snow and ice move to lower latitudes, the land areas involved rapidly become huge (especially in the northern hemisphere) while the sunlight that gets reflected away becomes progressively more direct. We know that this cycle can run away in the cooling direction because it regularly causes the earth to plunge into 100,000 year long ice ages.

    We face a real and present danger of global cooling, which unlike warming, is not benign. We ought to be doing everything we can to not just massively develop fossil energy sources (for the tiny bit of warming we can get from CO2), but we should also be moving towards actual dirty coal for wintertime energy production in the far north, to lessen the albedo effects of winter snow. More pro-soot at my link.

  22. Robert E. Phelan says:

    oh. [/endsarc]

  23. Smokey says:

    Patrick Davis & Hugh,

    It’s not only nuclear power plants. Another example is the Auburn dam in N. California, which was shut down by the enviros after more than a $Billion was spent on its construction, exacerbating the current water shortage.

    Those treacherous anti-American watermelons make John D. Rockefeller look like a Luddite. The Chinese government must be screaming with laughter.

  24. TimJ says:

    I’m totally on the side of denier/sceptic, however this story has more to it than meets the eye. BPA have/had supplied a number of aluminimum smelter plants over the years. Some very dodgy long term deals have been agreed at very low rates. Aluminmum companys have closed and sold that elecicity that they purchased at market rates which under law they are allowed to do. The profits made by selling the energy at at greatly higher price than they paid is far greater than using it to produce aluminimum. Go figure and go Google……..

  25. Paul Hanlon says:

    It really saddens me to hear that. I’ve seen the same thing happen to our nearest neighbour Britain, which shares a very similar economic system to America. The decimation of its manufacturing base, leading to more imports than it exports. It has been able to make up some of the slack with its financial centre, still the biggest in the world in some aspects like forex, and its tourism industry, and by focusing on high tech. And then there’s foreign direct investment and North Sea oil. But just like a household, a country cannot sustain its way of life if it is not bringing in more as a result of its own productivity than it is sending out. I just hope that the powers that be in America come to their senses before its too late.

  26. Tom in Texas says:

    Robert E. Phelan (19:46:00) :

    Don’t you folks understand that you have too much stuff? That the never-ending cycle of materialist greed is destroyng the earth and impoverishing your souls? You need to emulate the untutored wisdom of the peasant, living to the rhythm of the seasons in harmony with nature.

    Robert E. Phelan (19:46:21) :

    oh. [/endsarc]

    Darn, you were being sarcastic. I wanted to join your cult.

  27. Barry L says:

    The next question is who is going to be buying the ore that can’t be processed localy, and where is it going?

    My guess is China. They will use the free market to scoop up every resource available. This is happening on every level of industry.

    Even without loosing a war, NAM will be owned by China before we know it, and we will be enslaved to serve the new owners. As money talks.

  28. Ron de Haan says:

    The Obama’s and the Solana’s in this World already have got what they want to put Europe and the US on ice.

    Did you catch this article about the Health Care Bill which is up for a vote next week:
    http://republicans.waysandmeans.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=153583

    In short:
    Someone who is without Health Care needs to buy a 15.000 dollar policy.
    Who stays without a policy has to pay with a fine with a maximum of 250.000 dollar or five years in jail.

    How will people pay for Health care if they are without a job?

    If factories are closing because of a lack of availability of energy it won’t take long before 25% of the US Population will be in jail!

    Where are they going to send those people. Will they be send to Siberia, a single trip to no where, because those people have become “obsolete”?

    The idea of helath care for everybody was to create an efficient and affordable health care insurance for those currently without.

    The Bill in front of the Senate now is a rip-off bill which turns you into a criminal if you can’t afford the payments.

    Is this the scheme Government puts in place to decide who is productive and useful and who is obsolete? Is this a scheme put in place for selection purposes.
    Is the USA turning into the USSR?

    The economies of the USA and Europe have started their death march.
    Could it be that the jobless without health care are up for a death march too?

    You better contact your Senator and tell them what you don’t want.
    No Copenhagen, No World Government, No Population Control, No energy restrictions, No Cap and Trade, No criminalization as a result of health insurance, but Freedom and Free Markets and Small Government.

  29. tokyoboy says:

    As an electrochemist I find the first story quite heartbreaking.

  30. Hard Rain says:

    In South Africa we can’t produce enough steel and aluminum to feed the demand from India and China. Nearly 100% of our exports in these materials goes to those two countries alone.

    The “developed” world is missing out on huge slices of pie because of institutionalized protectionism and aversion to actively competing on a global market…

  31. John F. Hultquist says:

    In the State of Washington:

    http://www.bpa.gov/power/pl/regionaldialogue/aluminum_industry_impact_2005.pdf [7 pages; released, May, 2006]

    “In recent years a large part of the aluminum industry in Washington State has been forced to shut down because of weak aluminum prices and high electricity costs. Of the seven major aluminum plants that were operating in 1998, only two are still in business, …”

  32. John F. Hultquist says:

    I don’t know why this part won’t stay with the rest. But after ‘industry’

    _impact_2005.pdf

  33. crosspatch says:

    This is so sad. And to think, we have the technology currently available and proven to produce practically unlimited amounts of electrical power AND recycle the waste. This is pure idiocy.

  34. evanmjones says:

    The whole situation is looking more and more like a slow-motion Atlas Shrugged. Especially all these horrible plans that will supposedly “save” us.

  35. Gavin Leigh says:

    Even though it is listed as “once” the worlds largest Aluminum Plant it only employed 145 people? That seems a small amount of employees. Is this number right?

  36. Jeremy says:

    Bin Laden would be proud. What he was unable to achieve – the destruction of the economic engine of the West – is being achieved by a brigade of eco-fascist green terrorists – dismantling piece by piece, bit by bit the entire economic livelihood of their children and grandchildren. When there are only lawyers and politicians left then what will our children do to make ends meet?

  37. rbateman says:

    … her many resources saved for whom?

    Saved for export to those whom we now outsource to. When a nation produces nothing, it has nothing left to barter with but it’s resources.
    And they want them. And they will get them for ridiculouly cheap crumbs in return.

  38. mr.artday says:

    An unintended consequence of going back to peasantry is that their life expectancy was 45 yrs. and most of their children died young. Just what the watermelons want to save the planet.

  39. crosspatch says:

    It isn’t a slow motion Altas Shrugged from my perspective. It is an intentional hamstringing of American economic output. While China, India, France and Japan greatly expand their nuclear power generation, we look for power generated by unicorns, rainbows, and baby ducks.

  40. rbateman says:

    When they say “save us”, they mean their elite company.
    They do not mean “save America”.
    No, no, no.
    Remember, only YOU can save America from WildBudget Fires.
    Wild Thing….you make my wallet scream…
    You make ev-ry-thing…. expensive.

  41. Bulldust says:

    The aluminium industry worldwide is in pretty grim shape and this has more to do with prices than anything else. When the GFC hit prices of just about every metal (except gold obviously) plummeted precipitously and alumina/aluminium was no exception. Of course, the other major factor in both alumina refining and aluminium smelting is energy – makes up a massive proportion of the budget (more so than just about any other mineral process – possible exception being silicon metal processing).

    Alcoa put a fair bit of capacity into care and maintenance, but a lot of the other operations around the world are run by quasi-governmental corporations and are very unlikely to shut down even if they are near the top of the cost curve.

    Older smelters and refineries (interestingly the nomenclature is backwards in the aluminium industry) owned by commercial corporations are the first to go. Luckily in Australia, and particularly Western Australia, Alcoa is breaking even or doing slightly better as a group, but lets not forget that we have an ETS pending and the smelters in Victoria run off brown coal power generators. Interesting times ahead to say the least.

    Note: Under the Australian ETS the aluminium industry is relatively well protected as an EITE (Energy Intensive Trade Exposed) industry and will therefore receive most of its CO2 emission permits for free. The astute observer will say… where is the incentive to reduce emissions? Perhaps they will be able to sell some permits back, but I doubt it because energy efficiency is something that is always zealously pursued in aluminium refining and smelting, so most of the “low-hanging fruit” in terms of energy savings has already been plucked.

    PS> One area that is promising is the carbon capture in the refinery residue (“red mud”) which helps to both stabalise and neutralise the residue with the added benefit of locking the carbon into carbonates… win-win-win.

  42. crosspatch says:

    It is a shame the company can’t buy a pair of these and run for another 100 years on the site.

  43. Ron de Haan (20:30:14) : “Did you catch this article about the Health Care Bill which is up for a vote next week:
    http://republicans.waysandmeans.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=153583

    Ron: a search of the relevant document, which I believe is:

    http://docs.house.gov/rules/health/111_ahcaa.pdf,

    reveals that there is no “section 7203.” The number 7203 doesn’t even appear in the document. I suspect somebody has fallen victim to disinformation.

    http://docs.house.gov/rules/health/111_ahcaa.pdf

    The bill IS almost 2000 pages, so a lot of nastiness could be in there, but I’m not going to buy into your link unless you can give the the actual page number of the text the link refers to. Please provide; I’m all ears. Okay?

  44. Sunfighter says:

    Humans are a weird breed.

    We expend a ton of energy to create nations and empires. Then we marvel at our work, and rest. Then we take what we built for granted and let it decay to the point that it collapses.

    Then we start over again….

    This cycle of build, marvel, complacent, decay, rebuild is a massive waste of energy.

    How much farther would human culture and tech be if we werent going though this cycle repeatedly.

  45. Ron de Haan says:

    Boycott companies in support of Cap & Trade:
    http://www.nocapandtrade.com/boycott/

  46. Robert Wood of Canada says:

    The destruction of the US and all “industrial” economies is exactly what Maurice Strong has worked for, since Rio and beyond.

    Mo Strong is an EVIL CANADIAN, if you can get your head around such an implausible concept.

    http://www.taxtyranny.ca/images/HTML/Maurice-Strong/article1.html

  47. Robert Wood of Canada says:

    Sunfighter (22:17:38) :

    This cycle of build, marvel, complacent, decay, rebuild is a massive waste of energy.

    Exactly why I fight for Western Philosophy and culture.

  48. Ron House says:

    Robert E. Phelan (19:46:00) :

    Don’t you folks understand that you have too much stuff? That the never-ending cycle of materialist greed is destroyng the earth and impoverishing your souls? You need to emulate the untutored wisdom of the peasant, living to the rhythm of the seasons in harmony with nature.

    Robert E. Phelan (19:46:21) :

    oh. [/endsarc]

    That’s better then. This stuff is so deranged when it’s deadly serious that it can’t be satirised, so we have to be told in black and white.

  49. Tim says:

    Another sad example of environmentalism run amok. I consider my self an environmentalist – let’s protect the environment and keep it clean yes, but destroy our country’s manufacturing in the process? NO! We have to have balance – at present, all we have is the scales sliding far to the left – a true irony in a conservative country.

    How have we let the enviro-lefties grab so much power? It is ruinous.

    If anyone here doubts this is the case, ask the thousands of unemployed farm workers in California’s Central Valley who have lost their jobs because we have to protect the endangered Delta Smelt fish.

    There is an “environmental crisis” alright – a crisis of sanity among so-called environmentalists who are driving our country into ruin.

  50. D. King says:

    TimJ (19:59:19) :

    Heard this before. So, let me get this straight, some moron
    makes a bad deal on energy rates and we have to shut down
    all aluminum production. They used the same logic for shutting
    down water to the San Joaquin Valley in California. Some idiot
    (government stooge) made a bad deal on water rights. Getting
    tired of the lies, it’s time to shut these people down, they are
    traitors.

  51. MartinGAtkins says:

    Evergreen Solar moves manufacturing to China.

    The Marlborough-based solar panel maker (Nasdaq: ESLR) said that it would refocus the Devens plant, built in 2007, to production of the solar wafers but it would construct panels in China through a contract manufacturing agreement with Jaiwei Solarchina Co. Ltd.

    http://www.masshightech.com/stories/2009/11/02/daily41-Evergreen-Solar-moves-manufacturing-to-China.html

    The reality of The Green Jobs Revolution.

  52. Gene Nemetz says:

    Robert Wood of Canada (22:40:37) :

    Sunfighter (22:17:38) :

    “Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness.”

    ~~George Washington

  53. Pieter F says:

    Aluminum was also used in ceiling decorations of the Library of Congress.

  54. helvio says:

    Anthony Watts for president!

  55. Craigo says:

    Everyone “knows” that there are thousands of green jobs that will replace these nasty polluting apocalyptic industries. In Australia our PM announced 50 000 new green jobs. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/pm-kevin-rudd-admits-50000-green-jobs-not-new/story-0-1225756946631

    OK so they weren’t actually new jobs, just existing traineeships or apprenticeships or even work for the dole and they weren’t even jobs – just some short term training like how to pick up litter on the highway or plant trees for greening Australia.

    In similar news, smelters were shut down in South Africa due to a shortage of electricity http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/bhp-billiton-to-start-closing-richards-bay-smelter-on-tuesday-2008-03-20-1. Interestingly, this was at a time when South Africa was exporting electricity to support the Mugabe government in Zimbabwe. Just shows that if it isn’t one thing, it’s another and politics really does not make business sense.

  56. Gene Nemetz says:

    “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.”

    ~~Benjamin Franklin

  57. MangoChutney says:

    anybody have an open link to the Lee paper 1972?

    tia

  58. Martin Brumby says:

    In addition to the closure of the Anglesea smelter, the biggest UK smelter at Lynemouth is also under immediate threat:-
    http://widdrington.journallive.co.uk/news/lynemouth-smelter-to-continue-to-run-below-capacity.html
    This is also largely because of the abject failure of the Government’s “Energy Policy” and all the nonsense of “Carbon Credits” and the commercial uncertainty that comes with it. The plant uses electricity produced from an adjacent coal fired power station which is under threat from the EU Large Combustion Plant Directive, making investment in the plant difficult to justify.)
    More jobs to be exported.

  59. rxc says:

    Two corrections to the comments on Shoreham. First of all, it did receive a license to operate, at up to 25% power. It actually operated for one day at 5% power, in order to try to convince its opponents that it was a fait accompli, but they held on and continued to defy it. In the end, the US govt picked up a large chick of the $6B cost, in the form of tax writeoffs. The people of Long Island continue to pay the rest of the cost. Ironically, by irradiating the fuel for a day, LILCO made its eventual disposal much more expensive, and in the end, LILCO’s successor (after bankruptcy) had to pay another utility to take the fuel away, so that it could be used in another plant near Philadelphia.

    I know these things because I actually issued the license for Shoreham when I worked at the NRC.

    And the plant across LI Sound that was referred to is Millstone 2, which is still in operation. I think the poster was thinking about Millstone 1, which predated it quite a bit, and which could still be in operation, if the utility that owned it had not lost track of its design basis. Too bad – it would have been a very valuable asset.

    We live in a strange, rich country, where we have few qualms about throwing away $6B investments, and we continue the march to de-industrialization because we don’t want to do anything dirty any more, like actually make stuff. Instead, we just want to sit around the campfire, taking care of one another, singing songs and telling stories.

  60. John Peter says:

    A message to the American people from a European who owes his freedom to US intervention in Europe against Nazi Germany and then keeping the the Sovjet Union at bay until its collapse. With the closure of The Columbia Falls Aluminum Company in Montana how many aluminium plants will survive in USA? When they are all gone, how will the US Air Force get aluminium to build combat and support aircraft? Many navy ships also are dependent on aluminium in their construction. I wonder how you protect your national security without a dependable supply of such a vital raw materials. I think we are gradually seeing a decline of a once proud and powerful nation mostly acting in the interests of mankind as opposed to so many other powerful nations in the past.

  61. Juraj V. says:

    “Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?”
    - Maurice Strong, founder of the UN Environment Programme

    “A massive campaign must be launched to de-develop the United States. De-development means bringing our
    economic system into line with the realities of ecology and the world resource situation.”
    - Paul Ehrlich, Professor of Population Studies

    “Complex technology of any sort is an assault on human dignity. It would be little short of disastrous for us to
    discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy, because of what we might do with it.”
    - Amory Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute

    “The prospect of cheap fusion energy is the worst thing that could happen to the planet.”
    - Jeremy Rifkin, Greenhouse Crisis Foundation

    “My three main goals would be to reduce human population to about 100 million worldwide, destroy the industrial infrastructure and see wilderness, with it’s full complement of species, returning throughout the world.”
    -Dave Foreman, co-founder of Earth First!

    „One America burdens the earth much more than twenty Bangladeshes. This is a terrible thing to say in order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say, but it’s just as bad not to say it.“
    - Jacques Cousteau, UNESCO Courier

    Political left behaves like psychiatric patient, inflicting self-harm.

  62. Falstaff says:

    Hold on, I was also irritated upon reading about the CFAC closure, but then I checked out the backgroud. Someone should have done some more homework. I read:
    1. The lawsuits and court decisions were about CFAC receiving SUBSIDIZES for its power from Bonneville, subsidies meaning of course that everyone else had to pay the difference. The court said, sorry, no more, CFAC pays at cost like everyone else.
    2. The price of Al has dropped in the recession – no planes, cars, homes going up at the moment.
    3. Look at that google map again. CFAC is “…far from raw materials, far from markets, far from ports.” -Missoulian. Maybe CFAC could justify that to get hdyro power 50 years ago, but not now.
    4. The plant technology is old compared to its peers.
    5. “Payroll easily undermined by newer Chinese smelters.”

    So I have to say blaming enviros for this one is crack pottery.

  63. Ron de Haan says:

    Robert Wood of Canada (22:37:38) :

    “The destruction of the US and all “industrial” economies is exactly what Maurice Strong has worked for, since Rio and beyond.

    Mo Strong is an EVIL CANADIAN, if you can get your head around such an implausible concept.

    http://www.taxtyranny.ca/images/HTML/Maurice-Strong/article1.html

    Looks like a fascist to me

  64. Jari says:

    Bonneville Power Administration’s other customers have been subsidizing Colombia Falls Aluminum electricity bill.

    The subsidies have now ended.

    The company is unable to produce aluminum and make profit if they have to pay market price for their electricity. So it shuts down. What is wrong with that?

  65. Ron de Haan says:

    Interesting read.
    Alcoa has started a gigantic aluminum smelter in Iceland.
    It opened in 2007.
    http://www.alcoa.com/iceland/en/home.asp

  66. Richard says:

    It is sad, and in many ways incomprehensible, this economic death march of America and Europe. Billions of dollars being spent on research on a self sustaining myth. Energy is the life blood of modern civilisation and we are choking it and switching it off. We are becoming societies that consume without producing and are trying to sustain this consumerism by printing money. Soon the producers will not accept these worthless bits of paper and will demand their pound of flesh.

    The warmists in their madness and stupidity claim that we will sacrifice our future generations unless we pay tithes to their new god climate change aka anthropogenic global warming and sequester their new devil, CO2. Ideology and not economics now dictate how we spend our money.

    By these idiotic policies we are indeed sacrificing our future and those of future generations to one of serfdom to nations who have the intelligence to, among other things, install the power plants that western nations wont.

    We will not be able to maintain our armies and civil institutions if we go bankrupt. We have founded our societies on democracy and the freedom and equality of all men and women. We could defend these freedoms when we were strong. But when we are weakened by these idiotic policies our freedoms are in peril.

  67. Thomas J. Arnold. says:

    A dismaying story, what would Andrew Carnegie make of it?
    We have had a plant closed down in Britain for similar reasons, do these politicians not consider the human costs as well, peoples livelihoods and lives?
    Plus the cost to the nation?
    I despair sometimes and we in Britain can not afford to lose more industrial capacity but the EU disagrees, there have been some dark dealings going on here between Mr. Deripaska and the British government concerning Aluminium smelting rights.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1080678/Did-oligarch-use-power-Kremlin-Business-Minister-past-immigration-right-papers.html

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/6035552/EU-directives-will-close-down-most-of-Britains-aluminium-industry.html

    Aluminium is vital to the USA and to Britain, why then do we close down plants????
    Something smells…… .

  68. Jason says:

    What we need is a day, a global day where everyone who doesn’t buy into this shame around the world can strike. Not go to work, one day to show the governments around the world that they need to abandon this myth.

  69. Leon Brozyna says:

    The immediate future may well be as Ayn Rand described in Atlas Shrugged, but, as she noted in her essay, “The Anti-Industrial Revolution”, it won’t be a slow and gradual process but a crash; what will then follow will be a slow, long drawn-out death rattle. The ultimate destination? She also wrote about that in a very short novel that you can read in an hour (it’s only just over 100 pages in hardcover) — Anthem.

    And perhaps one day our great great grandchildren will curse us for saving the planet as they find themselves dying at the ripe old age of 45.

  70. Ron de Haan says:

    Here is the problem, the American Public is played for fools and if you want to have it differently you will need another administration because the current one has other plans:

    http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/2009/11/energy-abcs-playing-americans-for-fools.html

    http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=f7bd7b77-ba50-48c2-a635-220d7cf8c519

  71. Fall of the Republic says:

    Nice symbolism there with the pyramid’s cap stone and all – novus ordo seclorum…

    But no worries, the scientists & politicians know what they’re doing and everything is going according to the plan; ObamaCare, Copenhagen, WHO pandemic, crap & trade, NAU etc. – ordo ab chao…

    BTW – the only way USA can be destroyed is from within – and looks like soon the only hope left to prevent it from happening are the oath keepers…

  72. Mike Lorrey says:

    “to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign AND DOMESTIC”…

    That’s from the oath every serviceman and public official takes (or is supposed to take, who knows what crap they are oathing these days) when they begin service. All of us who are veterans remember that, but our military training never took the time to define what a domestic enemy to the Constitution was. I suppose they didn’t want us to get ideas in our heads about righting the wrongs in this country militarily, despite the fact that there have been times in our history when that has been necessary, such as the Battle of Athens, Tennessee. Most people don’t want to think about what that oath means, because when it comes down to it, none of us want to put our lives on the line to remove a clear and present danger, to take on what we may see as a government in the hands of traitors. We have zero faith that any fellow Americans will take that oath as seriously as we do, and we are pretty much convinced that all that will happen is the media will brand us and our families as right wing extremists if we who revolt are white, and leftist if otherwise….

    Today’s America has moved way beyond Atlas Shrugged. The bankers intentionally destroy every great nation in which they find purchase. They force the industry to move elsewhere, they bankrupt the public coffers, they convince the public of their own ineptitude and lack of virtue. They most definitely do not believe in the exceptionalism of any single culture other than their own globalist culture of think tanks, jet setting, etc etc.

    Claire Wolfe said, in 1992 over the Ruby Ridge and Waco incidents, “It is too late to work within the system, and too early to start shooting the bastards.” It has been 17 years since she said that. One wonders when people are going to start showing the scrotal fortitude to take action on the second part…

    We can Tea Party it up all we want, we’ve seen what happens there, the character assassination by the media. The politicians are not scared of losing an election because for the most part it doesn’t matter which party wins. Most Democrats are socialists who don’t know it or refuse to admit it, and most Republicans will adopt any environmental policy if it neutralizes that flank of their opponents voters, those who are not just Republicans In Name Only. Both parties have rigged the election laws so that it is entirely impossible for a third party to win an election beyond the local or state legislative level, levels which are entirely powerless and don’t matter. “It’s too late to work within the system…”

    You can “Relovution” it all you want with darkhorse candidates, as many did with Ron Paul last year. It’s feel good and neutralizes the anger of many by convincing them that they had their say in the process. Neither party will ever nominate a candidate who stands for the things Ron Paul does, because he is a real American who knows what it means to be a real American. “It’s too late to work within the system…”

    You can comment on public requests for comment all you want. Your opinions will be noted in the database for future use and you will then be completely ignored and denied any federal contracts or jobs in the future. Your opinion DOES NOT MATTER to them because they are going to do what they want no matter what you think. Get that through your thick skulls. YOUR OPINION, EXPERT OR OTHERWISE, DOES NOT MATTER. “It’s too late to work within the system…”

    You cannot win through the courts either. The british ruling about AGW being a religion is funny, but thats not a Supreme level ruling, that judge will get overruled, and it will not matter here. Access to the courts here in the US is expensive and time consuming and the lawyers are generally not people interested in doing pro bono work for causes such as ours because in Our kind of America, they would have a lot less work to do and no say in the legislative process. Any one of them typically knows enough about the system to bring things to a halt if they so chose to do so but none of them ever will do that because they’d never win another case after that, the brotherhood of the bar won’t allow it. The judges have seen some lawyers in recent years who are more or less self trained take on the system and are now wise to it, they shut down any insurgency in court against their fascist control. “It’s too late to work within the system…”

    So, what are we left with? I leave that as an exersize for the reader.

  73. M White says:

    “EU directives will close down most of Britain’s aluminium industry ”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/6035552/EU-directives-will-close-down-most-of-Britains-aluminium-industry.html

    Presumably they will close down most of Europes aluminium industry?

  74. F Rasmin says:

    All empires end by internal machinations.

  75. JimH says:

    Read Atlas Shrugged people, its all in there. Socialism comes in many guises, this version is green tinged.

  76. ian middleton says:

    Question: How do we stop all of this BS without another civil war?
    The first victim will be our civil rights the next our freedom. I’ve planted my standard and will defend it to the end. If they call me a sceptic then so be it, I am proud to be one. Bring it on. This may get ugly.

    Ian
    Australia.

  77. Johnny Bombenhagel says:

    If I would be one of the 10% workless in the USA, I would start a riot and plunder Al Gore’s house.
    This tricky liar Al Gore makes millions with his scams and innocent workers are workless because of this.
    Kopenhagen in december will be the place for politicians to decide: Betray the working class and install eco-socialism or to stop that spook.

  78. LouMac says:

    Amazing!
    So no more aluminium smelters for the US.

    But then again, I always maintained humans are basically stupid and superstitious.
    (most of present company excluded)

  79. Taipan says:

    I recently saw an enviromentalist in the street promoting a rally as a sign of support for copenhagen and to stop climate change.

    He was having a nice day. Initially i laughed at him and roll my eyes when he invited me to attend. i walked off to the bank – see i work for a living.

    I came back 5 minutes later and gave him a very big piece of my mind, and offered to go toe to toe on the science for the next 4-5 hours.

    I also promptly told him that climate change was the biggest scam out, and left saying “you have a nice day”, as he stood their shocked, his jaw hanging down, surprised that anybody after all this attempted brain washing could be so vigorously against it.

  80. JamesG says:

    The real story is here:
    http://www.manufacturing.net/News-Montana-Aluminum-Plant-To-Shut-Down-102209.aspx

    “The company had been able to buy discount electricity from the Bonneville Power Administration, a quasi-governmental outfit that for decades sold at-cost electricity to big industrial customers. But with an increase in population came an increase in demand for cheap hydropower, pitting industry against other users.

    The amount of at-cost power available to industry was diminished and eventually was replaced entirely by a subsidy that helped the aluminum company and others buy down the cost of electricity.

    Critics successfully argued that the subsidy was too large and came at the expense of other rate payers, and in December a court ordered the Bonneville Power Administration to end its subsidy to Columbia Falls Aluminum.”

    You conservatives are really funny; you just don’t know what to argue. Usually it’s this:
    Government subsidies to support industry are bad. Companies that aren’t competitive need to close and make way for companies which are – creative destruction. Manufacturing where it is cheaper is the basis of capitalism, a reflection of the free market and high wages in the USA. Artificially propping up these jobs would be protectionism which is contrary to the free market. etc, etc ……

    But then you all go and turn everything you supposedly believe in because it’s convenient to blame the environmentalists for something that has absolutely nothing to do with them. Note that without environmentalists being on the case you might have been drinking aluminum byproducts in your water. Oh but I forgot you still are : water fluoridisation was a convenient way for the aluminum industry to get rid of a waste product by funding studies that claimed fluoride was ok to drink – as opposed to just putting it into toothpaste.

    But let me get this straight; government subsidies are good when it’s an aluminium plant employing 88 people and taking electricity due to others and bad when it’s a wind or solar plant employing 88 people who produce electricity for others. Is that the wingnut position for today?

  81. sylvain says:

    What is interesting with this story is that capitalism is coming to back to bite us in the ass.

    With the emergence of investment funds, compose of millions of little owner, in the last 20-30 years the ugly face of the highest return at any cost lead to the search for the lowest salary, environmentally, cheapest operational cost possible.

    As long as there is a market for development of job in tertiary sectors the situation is not to bad. But once this market is saturated, the negative commercial balance comes to bite back any country that let its manufacturing capacities go away.

    The USA wouldn’t be the first SuperPower to throw away its economy. The spaniards in modern europe did the same thing, so did the roman Empire in the antiquity.

  82. John Peter says:

    The problem is that we Europeans and you Americans have been all too happy to export industrial production to China and other socalled developing countries and they have made the proliferation of cheap goods at a much bigger cost to the environment compared to a lower quantitative output at higher costs in our own countries. Just look at this UK Sunday Times article entitled Vanishing glaciers jolt smokestack China

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6907919.ece

    I am sure you get the idea that soot deposited on the glaciers and absorbing heat is the main culprit.

  83. John in Spain says:

    jorgekafkazar (22:17:11) :

    (Quote)

    Ron: a search of the relevant document, which I believe is:

    http://docs.house.gov/rules/health/111_ahcaa.pdf,

    reveals that there is no “section 7203.” The number 7203 doesn’t even appear in the document. I suspect somebody has fallen victim to disinformation.

    http://docs.house.gov/rules/health/111_ahcaa.pdf

    The bill IS almost 2000 pages, so ………….. (unquote)
    —————————————————–

    I hope Ron does not mind me jumping in here, but you will find section 7203 is related to “THE INTERNAL REVENUE CODE OF 1986″, not Health Bill H.R. 3962.

    Just Google to get the IRS web page and then search for “7203″. This gives you Bulletin No. 2006-15 April 10, 2006 a pdf in which you can find references to 7203.

    Ta ta.

  84. bill says:

    In the UK to some the care of livestock is important. There are many campaigns lead by people who see the welfare of the animal as important (They are not always Greens). However many people would find it difficult paying prices that well cared for stock demands. They opt for the £1.50/chicken and ignore the suffering intensive farming brings, or they import from countries where there is no control.
    Who is correct?
    Tesco Chain in UK Continues to Import Chicken from Charoen Pokphand Foods.
    Publication: Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
    Date: Friday, February 6 2004

    The EU/Uk also have dislike of possible dangers and controls are put in place to prevent contamination of the food chain by hormone injected meat, insufficiently tested GM crops, Food with additives. This stops the import of some seeds/foods
    Is this correct? Is this a Green issue or a health issue?

    US to sue EU at WTO over import ban on ‘chlorinated chicken’
    by Richard Allison
    Monday 16 June 2008 01:00
    The US may sue the EU at the WTO over its continuing ban on imports of US “chlorinated chicken”, after EU vet experts voted overwhelmingly against a proposal to lift the ban.
    This EU ban was put in place 10 years ago due to health concerns about antimicrobial agents used by American processors.

    Some things are consumer price lead:
    Computers
    Car parts
    AV equipment
    Light Bulbs
    etc
    I have worked in the reseach department of a UK car subsytem manufacturer. They used to manufacture the parts in this country – too expensive says the consumer- Manufacture is now in 3 eastern countries. The research is done in this country, although a new research facility has been built in China. Jobs are safe they say!!! oh yeah!
    are these green issues? or greed issues?
    Did the Greens or the public opt for a reduction of 20% in vehicle costs?

    Good used to be designed and manufactured in the west. But costs of looking after employees, costs of environmental controls, costs of environmentally safe waste disposal pushed up the costs. The “east” has none of theses concerns yet – life is cheap, the environment is no concern (yet) etc. The Great Western Consumer votes with its wallet and pays £300 for a TV instead of £400 and so Western jobs , manufacturing disappear to the East.
    Is the environment important? Is this just Green agenda?
    Are employees more than just disposable labour?
    These are not green issues they are humanity issues. Would you want to live in the waste land created by some eastern companies?

    Sustainability:
    A major question should be are we living in a sustainable society. It would be very easy for us to say never mind the future, I want cheap energy so I can go fishing, live where it would be uncomfortably hot without AC, Drive a vehicle that consumes 2 times the fuel that it should just for a status symbol etc.
    But we ARE consuming resources that ONE day will be exhausted, oil and gas are not being created.
    Is it right that we should turn a blind eye to the future and let them sort out problems of our making?
    Should we be pushing waste radioactives onto the UNKNOWN future?
    Renewable energy is unlikely to provide base load requirements – there will be a need for fossil fuel power stations for a long time. But every watt of energy produced renewably means that most of the fossil fuel that would have been used is preserved for the future – a form of energy storage!
    In the UK some industries obtain cheaper energy by accepting disconnection at peak times. In the UK they are known as (wiki) “NG Frequency Service, National Grid Reserve Service or reserve service participants. These are large power users such as steel works, cold stores, etc. who are happy to enter into a contract to be paid to be automatically disconnected from power supplies whenever grid frequency starts to fall. An example of such a participant would be a large steel melting furnace”
    cannot Al smelters use renewables in such a way?

  85. Sean Houlihane says:

    Well, I got this published in the letters page of physics world. I have some hope that people are starting to think, even if very slowly.

    I was dismayed by the number of pages in October’s Physics World dedicated to the propaganda of climate alarmism. This is purely a political issue, not science. Cleaner energy, practicalities of sustainability, yes, but please stop trying to force us to accept that it is proven that today’s planetary energy balance is leaving the world warmer than it has been for thousands of years. It seems that we simply don’t know how much warmer it was 1000 years ago – all we can say with any certainty is “not much”. Too much weight is being placed on the belief that we are responsible for what we currently think we observe – and that we can change what we guess is happening.

  86. In British Columbia we have an additional layer of protest to cut through and that is the Native Indian population who have seized on the environmental message to put weight behind their positions.

    BC Hydro is trying to complete a deal with Alcan (Rio Tinto) in Kitimat to expand and secure an electrical supply for the Northern part of the province. You see here in Canada we allowed the aluminum smelter to build its own hydro power station as so to not impact supply for the province. Alcan constructed a Hydro facility and will expand it to help with the growing power needs in BC.

    Except that the river flows through native lands. It is a 2 Billion dollar project on hold.

    Here is a two point Electrical Energy Plan for North America because Canada is a net exporter of Electricity to the US.

    1) Reduce the cost of energy by 20% over 10 years to make manufacturing more competitive. Energy = Production.

    2) Simply create a Standard that any NEW power generation be 25% cleaner based on intensity (800Mw facility being replaced by a 1Gw Facility would have the same emissions level) than what it is replacing perpetually, in return remove current obstacles to deployment of these projects to reduce cost of development which will spur new projects and create JOBS.

  87. bill says:

    A quick google brought this up:
    http://www.missoulian.com/news/local/article_5d5dad54-be72-11de-b9f2-001cc4c03286.html

    “The prices (of electricity) have gone way up, way beyond what you can make aluminum at,” said company spokesman Haley Beaudry.
    Traditionally, big power users such as CFAC (at its height the plant consumed about 25 percent of all electricity used in Montana) received cut-rate prices from Bonneville Power Administration.
    A quasi-governmental outfit, Bonneville markets power produced at the region’s federal hydroelectric dams, and for decades sold at-cost electricity to big industrial customers. It was considered a sort of economic development, as the smelters provided hundreds of jobs in a region short on diversified employment.

    But as population boomed and economies modernized, general demand for the cheap hydropower skyrocketed, pitting industry against other users. The amount of at-cost power available to industry was whittled away, and eventually was replaced entirely by a small subsidy that helped CFAC and others buy down the cost of electricity.

    General consumer advocates, however, still cried foul, arguing that the subsidy was too large and came at the expense of other ratepayers. The court agreed, and in December 2008 ordered BPA to end its subsidy to CFAC.

    Bonneville and the aluminum producer quickly cobbled together a “bridge agreement,” Beaudry said, which carried the company through Sept. 30, 2009. CFAC has been operating at 10 percent capacity since that agreement.

    The litigants again sued, however, successfully challenging the bridge agreement.

    So who forced the closure?
    Not the greens
    Not lack of power stations
    Just the great american public requesting lower cost electricity!

  88. phlogiston says:

    There should be a name for the anti industry anti-intellectual liberal faction that rules western Europe: the Khmer Vert.

  89. Sam the Skeptic says:

    Well off topic I’m afraid, but is anyone else having trouble with Firefox? I’ve been trying to load this page (and Booker’s Telegraph articles) for over 10 minutes and I’ve had to switch to IE8.

  90. JamesG says:

    In juxtaposition to the gentleman who linked to the Anglesey smelter closure and the other gentleman who argued about cheap nuclear power, the history of the Invergordon smelter is pertinent:

    “When the British Aluminium Company decided in 1968 to build an aluminium smelter at Invergordon on the Cromarty Firth, it was on the understanding that nuclear power could be purchased at a price which would allow it to compete with producers overseas. The company therefore signed a contract with the Hydro-Electric Board, its suppliers, whereby in return for contributing towards the construction cost of the South of Scotland Electricity Board’s Hunterston ‘B’ nuclear power station, it would receive a tranche of nuclear electricity up to the year 2000 at a price of 0.263 pence per kilowatt-hour plus escalation. Experts assured the company that the latter would never be more than general inflation. In fact by 1981, at a time when the world price of aluminium was falling, the price of Hunterston ‘B’s electricity had soared to 1.354 pence per kilowatt-hour, well over twice the rate of inflation. British Aluminium was now making a loss of [pounds]2 million a month, …”

    Lessons to learn; a) never trust nuclear industry projections. b) If you want cheap electricity for aluminium smelting it’s best to sort out your own hydro-power or geothermal station (eg in Iceland).

    Nuclear environmentalist protests/delays were non-existent in Scotland and in most UK nuclear construction. The only exception was against the use of the more “unsafe” US-designed PWR at Sizewell B. Nuclear power of course collapsed in the UK entirely due to the ever-rising costs and nothing whatsoever to do with environmentalists. On coal in the USA I wouldn’t comment but coal-plant construction in the UK was stopped because natural gas power was far cheaper and simpler. ie for better or worse it was the free market, not environmentalists.

  91. Smokey says:

    JamesG (05:20:21),

    When the government is a business partner, it is no longer a free market.

    Both Socialism and Fascism employ government control of business. They are both anti-ethical to the free market.

  92. D. King says:

    JamesG (05:20:21) :

    Lessons to learn; … b) If you want cheap electricity for aluminium smelting it’s best to sort out your own hydro-power or geothermal station (eg in Iceland).

    Thanks, I’ll pass on you simple solution.

  93. Paul J says:

    I reply to JamesG + others.

    If you are buying any products in bulk it is reasonable to expect that you will get discount. Electricity is no different.

    While this plant was no doubt marginal at best it should serve as a warning that the US + Europe are already losing large chunks of industry to other countries because of high energy costs, taxes and regulation. As energy costs go even higher and cap + trade comes in we will lose a hell of a lot more.

    The loss of this capacity will do absolutely nothing to reduce CO2 as the Chinese, Indians + other emerging countries will have no desire to castrate their industries with CO2 restrictions.

  94. E.M.Smith says:

    bill (04:38:27) : Sustainability:
    A major question should be are we living in a sustainable society.

    By definition, yes. Until “stuff” is sent into outer space via rocket, it does not leave the planet and so it is still here for use. “Stuff” never goes away. And we have an effectively infinite supply of energy (though, it would seem, a shortage of intelligence.)

    But we ARE consuming resources that ONE day will be exhausted, oil and gas are not being created.

    Well, even ignoring for the moment the evidence that there is some reasonable evidence that oil and gas are created where carbonate rock is subducted and nature does a natural FT process on it; ignoring that, we can make all the oil we want at about $80 $100 bbl.

    Look, this whole “consumption” and “running out” meme is just broken.

    Stuff never leaves the planet. Every ounce of copper ever mined (modulo the few tons in satellites, but even then most of them will reenter and burn up at some point…) is still here and natural processes of concentration are still working. We don’t run out. There is no shortage. Ever. Period.

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/05/08/there-is-no-shortage-of-stuff/

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/03/20/there-is-no-energy-shortage/

    And back at the “oil from rock subduction” (links in the link given), look at where there is lots of subduction and you find oil. California. Saudi Arabia. Indonesia. The Russians are finding lots of oil using this methodology. It is a novel thesis, but has reasonable lines of reasoning backing it. There are also some ‘depleted oil fields’ that seem to refill (and the newer oil has a different isotopic signature that seems to indicate deep sources.

    But even if none of that were true, we have about 400 years of coal and oil proven and an effectively infinite reserve of Uranium.

    Is it right that we should turn a blind eye to the future and let them sort out problems of our making?

    “Mu”. We are making solutions, not problems. Every year we have more resources, not less, because we used what we had to figure out how to make more, cheaper.

    Should we be pushing waste radioactives onto the UNKNOWN future?

    At one point in my life I was adamantly against nuclear power due to the “store waste for 25,000 years” issue. Later I found out that was time to decay to ‘normal background’, or basically zero. If you set your standard to “Decay to the level of the original ore body, you need to store the waste for 250 years or less. So it isn’t an “unknown” future, it’s my grandkids future. And they will quite able to not go dig up the one little mountain where the stuff out to get buried.

    But every watt of energy produced renewably means that most of the fossil fuel that would have been used is preserved for the future – a form of energy storage!

    And just why would we want to store it? In “depleted” oil wells, roughly 1/2 the total oil is still in the ground. In 200 years, we we are close to “running out” do you not thing recovery technologies will improve? This has happened a couple fo times already. Closed fields reopened with newer technology.

    In the UK some industries obtain cheaper energy by accepting disconnection at peak times. cannot Al smelters use renewables in such a way?

    In fact, that was the original rational for what some have called a subsidy. The aluminum company could consume lots of power “off peak” when the hydro guys needed to keep rivers flowing, but everyone was in bead with the lights, stove, and TV off. So the Alu guys would suck it up, but cheap. That the total electric demand is so close to capacity that even hydro at midnight is being bid up is a worrisome point!

    The Alu guys could also shut down fairly quickly or on an odd as needed (Salmon Run, stop work!). They got cheaper rates for taking the disruption.

  95. Paul Coppin says:

    While I agree mostly with Berry’s sentiments, his rant reads like a typical physiscist/engineer’s diatribe, (with apologies to the more astute physicists and engineers here), being long on noise and light on substance. To wit: “Inherent in ecology are three assumptions: “natural” conditions are optimal, climate is fragile, and human influences are bad.” Balderdash. No ecologist worthy of the title thinks like this. Self-absorbed environmentalists might, just as self-absorbed physicists (and their newly minted “climate scientist” kin) have their dilettantes too.

    This ignorance is the curse of the working biologist. If the physicists et al would actually take the time to learn some biology, they would find that the fundamental tenet of life is its robustness. The wails of the climate scientists and the handwringing of the “environmentalists” (who are not, and never will be, biologists) about fragility are laughable to most biologists. Evolution has imbued tremendous capacity for adaptability in biological systems. To be sure, some systems are fragile, but then so is the engineered crystal glassware on my dinner table. Doesn’t mean the whole dinner is going to hell in a handbasket.

  96. My only comment is to suggest that people read “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand. It is entirely related to all of this.

  97. Mark_0454 says:

    Falstaff and some of the others.

    I see your point that a large part of this can be connected to a fall in the price of aluminum. But what about going back several steps further? to the law of supply and demand. What would be the generating capacity of this area of Montana and what would be the price of electricity had the market been able to develop without unnecessary environmental interference? Maybe the price of electricity would be at a point where the company would be competitive. Mr. Berry says the court was the “final” villain

    We stopped building nuclear plants in about 1980. How many should we have by now? If we want to have a stimulus plan how about cheap energy?

  98. R Dunn says:

    I thought one of the more interesting lines in the first piece was: “How can you defend your global warming hypothesis when you have omitted the effects of clouds which affect heat balance far more than carbon dioxide, and when your hypothesis contradicts the paper by Lee in the Journal of Applied Meteorology in 1972 that shows the atmosphere does not behave like a greenhouse?”

    When I get into a discussion about “global warming,” I always ask the person, “What makes you think the atmosphere behaves like a greenhouse?” That is usually the end of the discussion, because I badger them about, ” Where is the roof, where are the vents. What controls them. Where is the door? ”

    Anyway, I could not find the actual article from “The Journal of Applied Meteorology,” but there are many references to it. Here is one of the better ones -

    Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics
    http://www.tech-know.eu/uploads/Falsification_of_the_Atmospheric_CO2_Greenhouse_Effects.pdf

    Excerpt:

    “The authors express their hope that in schools around the world the fundamentals of physics will
    be taught correctly, not by using shock-tactic ‘Al Gore’ movies and not misinforming physics
    students by confusing absorption/emission with reflection, by confusing the tropopause with the
    ionosphere and by confusing microwaves with shortwaves.”

    Abstract

    The atmospheric greenhouse effect, an idea the authors trace back to the traditional works of
    Fourier 1824, Tyndall 1861 and Arrhenius 1896, but which is still supported in global climatology,
    essentially describes a fictitious mechanism by which a planetary atmosphere acts as a heat pump
    driven by an environment that is radiatively interacting with but radiatively equilibrated to the
    atmospheric system.

    According to the second law of thermodynamics such a planetary machine can never exist.
    —————
    Gerlich and Tscheuschner reference Lee’s paper as being published in 1973

    I am not a scientist, but I play one when arguing with idiots.

    R Dunn
    (I wish there was a preview function here)

  99. imapopulist says:

    If one believes in free markets then yes this plant should close. Its cheap electricity was essentially being subsidized by other users whose costs will now go down as a result. And yes aluminum production should go elsewhere if someone else can produce electricity more cheaply or is located more closely to raw materials.

    If the plant was closed by environmentalists, that is wrong. But if the plant closed because it could not compete on a level playing field. It is so.

  100. Mr Lynn says:

    bill (04:58:41) :
    . . . So who forced the closure?
    Not the greens
    Not lack of power stations
    Just the great american public requesting lower cost electricity!

    Right. So it was competition for cheap electricity that killed the deal Columbia Falls Aluminum Co. had for at-cost (and later subsidized) electricity from Bonneville.

    But that is just the proximate cause of the plant’s closing. It misses the point of Dr. Berry’s article, which is encapsulated in this question:

    . . . Why was it not possible for Columbia Falls Aluminum to find sources of electricity other than Bonneville?

    Demand for electricity is increasing steadily. But the supply is not. Why not? Why are we not building new power plants to meet the greater demand? The fault lies squarely at the feet of the enviros.

    It was in 1988, over 20 years ago, that the EPA lawyer smugly declared he “knew more” than the atmospheric scientists gathered in that room. That’s because he knew the agenda, and the scientists did not. James Hansen did; Al Gore did; and so did a small clique of global power brokers. They are now on the verge of fulfilling that agenda, of which the closure of manufacturing plants for want of cheap energy is the harbinger. The aim is the de-industrialization and the defeat of the Western world and Western democracy.

    It is way past time to fight back.

    /Mr Lynn

  101. Pascvaks says:

    We once had the “Age of Reason”, the “Industrial Revolution”, the “Gay (ancient def.) ’90s”, the “Roaring ’20s”, now we have: “The Age of Stupidity”. Ages come and go. Empires rise and fall. Take a long look at who today’s idols, stars, heros, teachers, professors, clergy, managers and leaders are and you’ll see where the country is going. Stupidity is contagious. Worse than H1N1 (the Spanish Flu version 90 years ago). The Utopians are in the majority and aren’t smart enough to know the damage they’re doing; the stupid masses stand in a daze with their eyes blankly looking at nothing. It must be the fluorine we’ve been adding to the water supply during the past several decades. No? Maybe it’s the hike in sunspot activity since 1909?

  102. Mr Lynn says:

    The references to Dr. Berry’s article were omitted; here they are:

    References:
    * R. Lee: “The ‘greenhouse’ effect” J. Appl. Meteor. 12, 556-557 (1973)

    Gerhard Gerlich and Ralf D. Tscheuschner: “Falsification of the Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics,” Version 4.0 (January 6, 2009)

    International Journal of Modern Physics B, Vol. 23, No. 3 (2009) 275-364.

    http://www.worldscinet.com/ijmpb/23/2303/S02179792092303.html

    Page 37: “Lee’s paper is a milestone marking the day after which every serious scientist or science educator is no longer allowed to compare the greenhouse with the atmosphere.”

    http://www.climatephysics.com/TurningOutLights.html

    Any chance of getting and posting a legit copy of R. Lee’s paper?

    /Mr Lynn

  103. Jeff Id says:

    Does anyone here think we’ll use less aluminum and save CO2 from this?

    The leftists rejoice at this kind of horror.

    I see people offering solutions to cleaner electricity here too. While I’ve got no problem with less pollution, there have been no demonstrated problems from our current electric generation. In addition our cutting back 20% on CO2 does not one bit toward CO2 levels globally. The problem is not solved.

    Why do we look for solutions to a problem which may not exist? Unnecessary cost is unnecessary cost and we will suffer from the destruction of heavy industry in the future. Currently the propogation of the American way of life is under attack from all over the earth. They are wrong, we are right.

    It seems like the public has lost sight of the reality of America. That aluminum plant is a big reason why we were world leaders, Not overvalued E-businesses.

  104. Jim says:

    Let’s take a look at some of the so-call environmentalists. They like to cry over dead trees. We can’t let our country be run by irrational people like this.

    http://biggovernment.com/2009/11/08/sunday-open-thread-gaia-worship-edition/

  105. Jim says:

    **********************
    imapopulist (06:24:09) :
    If one believes in free markets then yes this plant should close. Its cheap electricity was essentially being subsidized by other users whose costs will now go down as a result.
    **********************
    You are dreaming if you think we execute business in a free market in the US. If the markets were truly free, we would have those 150 coal plants and a whole slew of nuclear plants besides. We don’t because of irrational environmentalists. They and the politicians who kowtow to them have become adept at taking a reasonable-looking desire, e.g. the desire for clean water, air, and food; and twisting it to their other unstated goals – like taking us back to the 16th century when man was more “integrated” with the environment.

  106. Craig Moore says:

    As a native Montanan I have watched this plant since the 50′s. You can see it clearly from the top of Big Mountain if you ski. It has been a symbol of American “can” do attitude and industry. Hungry Horse dam has been it’s power source. In recent years Columbia River salmon have taken priority over the dammed waters over power generation. What comes next is underwhelming. Between Cut Bank and Shelby Montana is a large new wind farm. Recently in high winds some of the blades snapped. Not exactly reliable and “sustainable” as the Hungry Horse power. Now they plan to build another wind farm monstrosity to the north on the ancient rim rock that served as “buffalo jumps” for the Blackfeet before they had horses.

  107. Kevin Kilty says:

    Yes, aluminum is cheap enough to throw away, but we don’t generally do so. Most aluminum is recycled, as is most (98%) lead.

    Now in regard to the topic of this thread, when and if we have a large fraction of our power supplied by solar and wind (a big if) then our energy costs will be at least twice as high as they are now, maybe higher. Wind, which is the cheaper of the two renewables, takes around 900 tons of concrete and 500 tones of steel to build a 1Mwatt plant, concrete and steel are both voracious users of energy and have a big carbon “footprint”. The latest large wind project (in Texas) will cost about $2,500 per kW of installed capacity–coal costs around $200 per Kw.

    Once our energy costs are high, those countries still using cheap sources of power such as coal, will take energy intensive manufacturing away from us. It happened to Spain already, a country that very foolishly embraced renewables without thinking of the economic consequences. Of course, we can “wall ourselves off” and then in addition to paying a lot for energy, we will be poor. Cap’n’trade, renewables–it all has a lot to offer.

  108. bill says:

    E.M.Smith (05:58:57)
    your artcle is typical America-think.

    1. Nuclear stations consume “radiation” that will not be recovered.
    2. Are there a never ending source of trees in a forest unless you replant. Are they replanting in the rainforests?
    3. Fish is there an infinite resource of fish. Cod is on quota. Whales are not slaughtered because of declining numbers.
    4. At some point the energy used to extract, clean, separate, etc. oil/gas will equal the energy derived from its use. Is this not an end point?
    5. you can predict 250 years into the future ? Did you predict Chernobyl, wars in Iraq / Iran / Eastern Europe / Africa? Did you not warn the Aluminium smelters that the subsidy of their electricity would be removed.
    6. Have you done an energy budget for extraction of oil from shale/semi depleted wells that you can post please.

  109. John Phillips says:

    One hockey stick creates another.

    Fabricated global temperature trend = Real unemployment trend

  110. ralph says:

    Someone been reading Dan Brown recently?

    According to DB it says “Praise God” on it (in Latin), but the photo shows that it says a great deal more.

    Full translation?

    .

  111. Perry says:

    Oh man! This is getting heavy!

    Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

    “When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called a Religion.”

    “Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitudes. Its having the right attitudes that is hard!”

    “You look at where you’re going and where you are and it never makes sense, but then you look back at where you’ve been and a pattern seems to emerge. ”

    “Of course, the laws of science contain no matter and have no energy either and therefore do not exist except in people’s minds. It’s best to be completely scientific about the whole thing and refuse to believe in either ghosts or the laws of science. That way you’re safe. That doesn’t leave you very much to believe in, but that’s scientific too.”

    Robert M. Pirsig

  112. DeWitt Payne says:

    I can’t take seriously anyone who cites G&T as a valid reference. G&T are apparently reputable physicists, but that paper is utter tripe, fit only to line a bird cage. The governing equations for the atmosphere are the MHD equations? Pull the other one. It’s almost as bad as the one by the doctor who insists that we’ll all die if the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere exceeds 426 ppm.

  113. Smokey says:

    bill (04:38:27):

    “Sustainability:
    A major question should be are we living in a sustainable society.”

    Nah. That’s not a ‘major question’. It’s not even a question. Our society easily sustains itself. The enviros’ use of a completely inappropriate word confirms their typically fuzzy thinking.

    “Sustainability” is used as a code word for: “Let’s destroy the technology that brought about long life spans, healthy inhabitants, and which ended the drudgery of doing laundry by hand and cutting wheat with a scythe.” But I notice that no eco-wingnut hypocrite ever does their laundry on river rocks.

    The country should immediately end subsidies for “alternate” forms of energy production. If someone wants to use solar panels, fine. But the rest of us should not have to pay to subsidize eco-stupidity:

    http://www.energytribune.com/articles.cfm?aid=2469

  114. Douglas DC says:

    ” Craig Moore (07:58:45) :

    As a native Montanan I have watched this plant since the 50’s. You can see it clearly from the top of Big Mountain if you ski. It has been a symbol of American “can” do attitude and industry. Hungry Horse dam has been it’s power source. In recent years Columbia River salmon have taken priority over the dammed waters over power generation. What comes next is underwhelming. Between Cut Bank and Shelby Montana is a large new wind farm. Recently in high winds some of the blades snapped. Not exactly reliable and “sustainable” as the Hungry Horse power. Now they plan to build another wind farm monstrosity to the north on the ancient rim rock that served as “buffalo jumps” for the Blackfeet before they had horses”

    As a native Eastern Oregonian-I concur.We are infested with those infernal
    Wind Turbines.Can’t wait for the next big winter storm to have it’s way with
    them.I was at a local meeting for the local(Union Co. Oregon)wind project
    someone had the temerity to ask:”What about Ice storms?” the reply from the
    windpower drone:”Can’t happen here.” Ok…
    “Split Atoms not Birds.”

  115. crosspatch says:

    Well, I know with certainty that electric power right now is a hot commodity. It is THE limiting factor right now in large data center builds. Large facilities are moving to places out in the middle of nowhere that have power to spare. Companies such as Google, Yahoo and Microsoft will pay a premium over other industry for electricity. When the power company wanted to raise electricity rates for the aluminum plant from $35/mWh to $50/mWh, it put the plant out of business but that utility can now sell that power to computer data center operations.

    It will get to the point where Facebook and Youtube are sucking up our electric power but we won’t be able to build the computers with which we use those services.

  116. Craig Moore says:

    Douglas DC, the power from the present wind farm is being sold to San Diego. That’s the key, keep the economic benefits locally and sell the expensive power somewhere else. The power from the proposed second wind farm, I believe, will be sold to Alberta. As to the first wind farm, the little town of Ethridge in US 2 is directly in the path of ice bombs that may be launched from the spinning blades. Time will tell.

  117. crosspatch says:

    Here is an example of Google displacing aluminum manufacturers for power. What Google seems to be doing lately is going directly to hydroelectric operators and contracting directly for power and bypassing the local utilities. They will buy 10 years of power production directly from the dam operators. This prevents others from moving in.

    Here is one of Apple building a huge facility in North Carolina. Again, power plays a huge factor. They have contracted for 100 kilowatts at an estimated $40/mWh from Duke Energy. Why would Duke want to sell to someone at $35/mWh when they can get $40/mWh for it?

    But what has baffled me over the years is the amount of power wasted in data center operations. Imagine the power consumed by literally millions of fans running to blow air around. And these fans become less efficient over time as heat sinks coat with dust and the fans wear. You might have a half a dozen fans per server. Fans in the rack. Fans in the air chiller units. The heat from the CPU must be ejected from the case into the rack. The heat from the rack must be ejected into the room. The heat from the room must be exchanged to chilled water and piped out of the building where another fan exchanges the heat to atmosphere. It doesn’t have to be that way.

    An operator like Google buys enough stuff that they can dictate manufacturing. There should be a reliable liquid cooling designed where the servers have liquid cooled sinks rather than air cooled. Chilled liquid pulls the heat directly from the heatsink to a manifold where it is sent directly out of the building and the heat dumped to atmosphere. One or two pumps instead of millions of fans. The data center doesn’t need to be so cold and it will be SILENT. No fans.

    The military (Navy) has been using water cooled electronics for at least a half a century.

    A lot of energy is wasted in data center design running these fans and it also makes the data center environment uncomfortable and possibly hazardous (hearing loss hazard) to work in over the long term.

    There is a better way possible and I can’t see why nobody has done it on a large scale.

  118. bill says:

    Smokey (09:32:17) :
    Nah. That’s not a ‘major question’. It’s not even a question. Our society easily sustains itself. The enviros’ use of a completely inappropriate word confirms their typically fuzzy thinking.
    “Sustainability” is used as a code word for: “Let’s destroy the technology that brought about long life spans, healthy inhabitants, and which ended the drudgery of doing laundry by hand and cutting wheat with a scythe.” But I notice that no eco-wingnut hypocrite ever does their laundry on river rocks.

    Are you being serious?
    As just one example Cod (and other species) can be fished at a greater rate than it reproduces
    It is not sustainable.

    technology has given us much, including the ability to destroy the environment, reduce species diversity and kill ourselves.

    No environmentalist I know suggests give up the good parts just limiting/eliminating the bad parts.

    If energy is cheap – why insulate your house – an enviro would say insulate to conserve.

    If energy is cheap why not use a 4×4 to travel metalled roads to work – an enviro would use a smart car / public transport and use half the fuel.

    etc.

    It is interesting that you agree that the subsidised power to your aluminium smelter should have been cut. You should also remember there are massive subsidies given to nuclear concerns. Perhaps these should die also.

    What are the subsidies given to coal mines in the US?
    Perhaps these should be closed. China can supply much cheaper.

  119. _Jim says:


    JamesG (04:17:04) :

    The real story …

    “The company had been able to buy discount electricity from the Bonneville Power Administration, a quasi-governmental outfit that for decades sold at-cost electricity to big industrial customers

    You conservatives are really funny; you just don’t know what to argue. Usually it’s this:
    Government subsidies to support industry are bad.

    Inconsistant use of logic; inability to comprehenfd the facts or reading comprehension problem (don’t know which); lack of how things work in the real world (power generation, transmission, distribution both commercial and residential, commercial and residential billing and collecting etc.)

    Or, typical liberal?

    Shame that a BIG consumer of a resource should be able to buy it at cost, without added ‘overhead’ to ‘help’ subsidize the other consumers of electricity that require a LOT more molly-coddling in the way of construction and maintaining of the required neighborhood distribution network, the bill collection (‘meter reading’) and customer service operations (meter hook up/disconnect).
    .
    .
    .

  120. crosspatch says:

    What are the subsidies given to coal mines in the US?
    Perhaps these should be closed. China can supply much cheaper.

    China is a net importer of coal. Build nukes, recycle the fuel. Modern power plants are MUCH safer, simpler, cheaper, and faster to build than the 1960′s/1970′s designs currently in operation.

    Part of our problem is that much of our environmental regulations were put into place due to recovery practices in use in the 1970′s and 1980′s. Techniques have advanced since then. We can drill several oil wells in several different directions from one central location now which greatly reduces the environmental impact.

    Our laws do not take technological advance into consideration. An activity that might have been damaging in 1975 might not be nearly so damaging today with modern practices and technology. So a law enacted 30 years ago to stop a practice that was state of the art at that time might have no real bearing today. The laws are used to simply prevent an industry to operate at all, they are not used for environmental protection. Environmental protection is the “hook” used to prevent these industries from operating.

    The American Chestnut Foundation is working with the coal mining industry, for example, to return a blight resistant strain of the American Chestnut to Appalachia on land reclaimed from strip mining. I would, by the way, urge people to support the ACF as their program of producing a blight resistant tree and returning them to their natural range makes news every month. The American Chestnut might be described as Appalachia’s redwood and dominated forests there until the turn of the century.

    But anyway, the real problem is that we need to constantly look at the current state of various technologies and apply them where they can be applied with impact that is greatly reduced from the practices that spawned the original regulation.

  121. _Jim says:

    <blockquote
    bill (11:12:40) :

    technology has given us much, including the ability to destroy the environment,

    Assertion without cite; without example.

    It would be so ENLIGHTENING to have one example demonstrating this (aside from, say a Hiroshima type event; and even there things recovered).

    (I do note that bill uses the word “ability”; this is the constuction of child-like ‘what if’ scenario that is just a step away from being fantasy)
    .
    .
    .

  122. _Jim says:


    Mike Lorrey (02:36:32) :

    Claire Wolfe said, in 1992 over the Ruby Ridge and Waco incidents

    Was Claire Wolfe clairvoyant/could she see into the future?

    (Mike, make a note, Waco happened in 1993, with the investigation beginning in 1992 under Bush I)

    Was what Claire wrote in “Backwoods Magazine” or in an issue of “Outlaw Living”?
    .
    .
    .

  123. Paddy says:

    I fail to understand how closure of non-ferrous metal smelters in the US benefits the planet. The production will simply shift to other countries, most of whom have no regard for environmental protection. The net effect upon the environment is probably negative. The net effect upon the US from harm to our strategic and economic interests is extensive and can become irreparable.

  124. Logan says:

    There are several energy wild cards at the research level. The Peswiki website offers a “top 100″ technologies list –

    http://peswiki.com/index.php/Congress:Top_100_Technologies_–_RD

    Some of the proposals may not be economic, etc. Still, this shows that the oil price surge of recent years has stimulated a lot of activity, and a baseload fusion system, for example, might be possible. There appears to be three non-governmental hot fusion schemes looking for funding.

    The list is actually conservative — there are some omitted concepts, such as Carlo Rubbia’s accelerator driven Thorium reactor proposal, which can, in theory, be engineered to eliminate all the objections to conventional fission plants.

    If any of the radical ideas work, the implications would be extensive, and the alarmists-socialists would find it hard to stop the revolution.

  125. Martin Brumby says:

    @bill (11:12:40)
    “What are the subsidies given to coal mines in the US?
    Perhaps these should be closed. China can supply much cheaper.”

    I would be amazed if coal production in the US is subsidised. It certainly isn’t in the UK. Indigenous coal is significantly cheaper than imports (mainly from Russia, nowdays. So it won’t just be gas supplies that Putin will use to twist out tails.) But The UK Coal industry can no longer meet our domestic energy production requirements.

    And did you try to buy coal from China in recent years? See Crosspatch’s comment above!

    And since ‘sustainability’ is your big thing, how sustainable is it to ship coal from the far east?

  126. _Jim says:


    crosspatch (11:09:18) :

    … There should be a reliable liquid cooling designed where the servers have liquid cooled sinks rather than air cooled. Chilled liquid … heat directly from the heatsink … sent directly out of the building and the heat dumped to atmosphere. …

    The military (Navy) has been using water cooled electronics for at least a half a century.

    Do you have any idea of the technology and complications that would be involved here?

    Leaks in QD (quick disconnect) couplers, bubbles in the coolant, what acts to perform as an agent to prevent corrosion? The pumps, the many pumps or one pump? Backup to the main pump?

    And, it is more than just the ‘heatsink’ for the CPU that requires cooling: how about the I/O management chipset, the power supply to name a couple items. Presently, in a design at work we heatsink-cool five (5) FPGAs (big BGA chips that are Field Programmable Gate Arrays), the CPU, the I/O controller plus the CPU and power supply!

    In the 80′s – 90′s timeframe we built a Silicon Oil cooled/insulated TWT-based
    RADAR transmitter for an airborne app (the Panavia Tornado aircraft) … don’t need to tell you what fun that technology was (degreaser tanks, the transmitter ol-fill procedure, the moisture bake-out cycle …) not to mention the inevitable seepage from gaskets along the mating flanges …
    .
    .
    .

  127. John G says:

    Re. healthcare, I haven’t read the bill so I can’t quote chapter and verse but it’s been all over the news that it includes a requirement that everyone either buy health insurance or get it through work. It also forbids insurance companies to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions. The two go together since ‘no denial for pre-existing conditions’ requires everyone have health insurance or everyone would wait until they get sick to buy insurance. This, in turn, requires there be stiff penalties for not having insurance including jail time. You don’t need to read the bill to know that has to be the case, and also the only reason the insurance companies will go along with it.

    Forcing Americans to buy health insurance is likely to be unconstitutional but should that be the ruling once healthcare becomes law it only means the insurance companies would all be out of business and the government option would immediately become the only option. If it’s ruled constitutional, the government option will win anyway, it will just take longer. Welcome to socialized medicine.

  128. bill says:

    _Jim (11:53:17) :

    The Dust Bowl in Canada and the United States (1934-1939)

    Minamata disease – mercury poisoning in Japan (1950s & 1960s)

    Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine

    Love canal

    December 3, 1984. The worst industrial chemical disaster ever, Bhopal
    July 10, 1976. A plume of tetrachlorodibenzoparadioxin (TCDD) contaminated vapors is released from a pesticide plant in the town of Seveso, Italy.

    the Mississippi delta is the world’s dirtiest coastal ecosystem, worse than the Ganges or Mekong. The runoff from farms has lead to a persistent “dead zone” at the foot of America’s mightiest river.

    Deforestation without replanting

    Aral sea shrinking

    Over fishing with “factory ships”

    etc.

  129. Craig Moore says:

    Instead of the US importing coal from China, it appears the flow is the other way : http://www.railwayage.com/breaking-news/bnsf-served-montana-mine-tests-market-in-china.html

    ============
    Signal Peak Energy, an expanded coal mining operation near Roundup, Mont., with a new 35-mile link to the BNSF Railway mainline, has confirmed reports that it will send an undetermined number of coal cargoes to China on a trial basis by the end of this year.

    It has been unofficially reported that two Panamax cargoes, 60,000 to 70,000 deadweight tons, and a Capesize cargo, 125,000 tons, could move through Vancouver, B.C., by year-end.
    =============

  130. bill says:

    Martin Brumby (12:26:59) :
    I would be amazed if coal production in the US is subsidised. It certainly isn’t in the UK. Indigenous coal is significantly cheaper than imports (mainly from Russia, nowdays. So it won’t just be gas supplies that Putin will use to twist out tails.) But The UK Coal industry can no longer meet our domestic energy production requirements.
    And did you try to buy coal from China in recent years? See Crosspatch’s comment above!

    Coal in the UK – 2008
    The UK consumed 58.2 million tonnes of coal in 2008, including 47.8 million tonnes in power stations.
    Coal imports to the UK were 43.9 million tonnes…Indigenous production increased by 5.3% to 17.9 million tonnes….
    Almost a third of the UK’s electricity was produced from coal (gas 47.5%, coal 32.1%, nuclear 12.9%, others (including renewables) 7.5%).
    UK imports 225Ktonnes of coal from china:
    Belgium/Luxembourg 1
    Denmark 7
    Estonia 66
    Germany 13
    Irish Republic 23
    Italy 7
    Latvia 130
    Netherlands 170
    Poland(1) 130
    Spain 11
    Australia 4,745
    Canada 1,662
    Colombia 3,872
    Indonesia 1,455
    Norway 42
    People’s Republic of China 255
    Republic of South Africa 7,729
    Russia 20,106
    United States of America 2,523
    Total all countries 42,975

  131. bill says:

    During the fiscal years of 2002-2008 the United States handed out subsidies to fossil fuel industries to a tune of 72 billion dollars, while renewable energy subsidies, during the same period, reached 29 billion dollars
    The subsidies are provided through tax breaks and direct funds provided for research and development
    http://news.mongabay.com/2009/0921-hance_subsidies.html

  132. F. Ross says:

    Though “green” has five letters, it has become a four letter word to me.

    Sadly, I must agree with the many posters who here write that we are witnessing the fall of our nation. It will not be pretty.

  133. Vincent says:

    Bill,

    “During the fiscal years of 2002-2008 the United States handed out subsidies to fossil fuel industries to a tune of 72 billion dollars, while renewable energy subsidies, during the same period, reached 29 billion dollars.”

    But what proportion of US electricity is generated by fossil fuels compared to renewables? Now, instead of gross dollar amounts, tell me the subsidies of fossil and renewables per gigawatt hours of electricity generated.

    I am sure you will be looking at an entirely different situation.

  134. Vincent says:

    Bill,

    You gave a list of environmental disasters caused by man. Can you now name one environmental disaster caused by man’s emission of CO2?

    And yet, it is the race to curb CO2 emissions that is leading to a worsening of the very environmental disasters you have listed, viz: rainforest destruction to grow biodiesel, commandeering more and more land to grow ethanol crops, pollution caused by “carbon leakage” as manufacturing migrates to China and India.

    CO2 mitigation is an example of the destructiveness (and stupidity) of humans.

  135. Richard says:

    Falstaff (01:05:21) : Hold on, ….CFAC receiving SUBSIDIZES for its power …. The price of Al has dropped in the recession – no planes, cars, homes going up at the moment…CFAC is “…far from raw materials, far from markets, far from ports.” .. The plant technology is old compared to its peers… “Payroll easily undermined by newer Chinese smelters.”

    So I have to say blaming enviros for this one is crack pottery.

    bill (04:58:41) :
    So who forced the closure?
    Not the greens
    Not lack of power stations
    Just the great american public requesting lower cost electricity!

    Falstaff the closure of the Aluminium plant is a symptom. A symptom of the loss of power generating capacity of America and the west.

    Bill if the “great american public” requests lower cost electricity they are NOT going to get it with wind power (or solar power for that matter), which is costly to put up, does not generate when there is less wind and snaps when there is too much. They will get lower cost electricity by putting up coal power plants which are the cheapest and most reliable.

    China is putting up 2-3 coal power plants per week to feed their huge manufacturing expansion. Here you are contracting your manufacturing and fighting over your contracting per capita electricity generation, which happens when there is not enough of anything. I dont know about Al but China already produces more than twice the amount of steel than the US

  136. crosspatch says:

    Do you have any idea of the technology and complications that would be involved here?

    Yes, in fact I do. I have worked on liquid cooled systems for military use.

    Leaks in QD (quick disconnect) couplers, bubbles in the coolant, what acts to perform as an agent to prevent corrosion? The pumps, the many pumps or one pump? Backup to the main pump?

    All problems that were solved decades ago. Double-sealed quick connections, self-purging designs that use gravity. And I said *liquid* cooled, not water cooled. There are a lot of things that can be used as a coolant besides water. Generally two pumps are enough. Each one on a different power circuit with either of the pumps sufficient to do the job. You only need a high pressure side for the supply and a low pressure side for the return. It doesn’t need to be high pressure. It is actually quite simple.

    And, it is more than just the ‘heatsink’ for the CPU that requires cooling: how about the I/O management chipset, the power supply to name a couple items. Presently, in a design at work we heatsink-cool five (5) FPGAs (big BGA chips that are Field Programmable Gate Arrays), the CPU, the I/O controller plus the CPU and power supply!

    Yup, and liquid heatsinks are available for all of them. In fact, you can buy a liquid-cooled PC for home use and bleeding edge gamers and other “overclockers” use them.

    Last time I checked there was not a single fan in a submarine for electronics cooling. They make noise. I am not talking about new technology, I am talking about technology that has been in use for decades.

    It isn’t as difficult as you make it sound. You can have quite reliable quick disconnects that don’t leak and are self-purging. All you need is a catch reservoir on the return side that collects the bubbles. Every so often you open the cock to let out the air that has collected.

    And the more it is put into practice, the better and cheaper it becomes as competitors innovate to capture market share.

  137. Zeke the Sneak says:

    The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is the most overturned court in the country. Perhaps with enough interest from the public, this case could go further, and get their power contract back.

  138. Zeke the Sneak says:

    Sorry, I should have read this first, before commenting:

    The company had been able to buy discount electricity from the Bonneville Power Administration, a quasi-governmental outfit that for decades sold at-cost electricity to big industrial customers. But with an increase in population came an increase in demand for cheap hydropower, pitting industry against other users.

    The amount of at-cost power available to industry was diminished and eventually was replaced entirely by a subsidy that helped the aluminum company and others buy down the cost of electricity.

    It’s still the fault of the environmentalists–they hate dams. Here locally they are even talking about tearing down a dam on the Columbia and returning the river to its natural state. These greens talk about clean energy nationally, but locally, you will find they oppose ALL power production.

  139. chmd says:

    Quote: “You gave a list of environmental disasters caused by man. Can you now name one environmental disaster caused by man’s emission of CO2?”

    That is precisely what we, the “alarmists” are trying to avoid. There is still time, but not much.

    In the meantime, avoiding the following would be an added bonus:

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/207445

  140. Eric A says:

    Instead of falling for the BS in the featured article, it is worthwhile to do a little research on this subject.

    http://justdigging.wordpress.com/2009/09/23/endangered-specie-us-aluminium-smelters/

    “I attended Habor Intelligence’s Aluminium Market and Price Outlook in Chicago in June this year. One of the speakers was consultant who gave a presentation aluminium output costs which led him to identify the most profitable production locations throughout the supply chain. One of his conclusions was that in the mid- to long-term vertically integrated production in the United States would become unprofitable due to rising power costs. The most viable scenario for North American production is to locate downstream processing operations in the US and to supply those with aluminium produced in Canada.

    As mentioned earlier, US smelters are vulnerable to rising energy costs. The unavailability of power and uncompetitive pricing were to blame for some smelters closing amid rising aluminium prices in the recent past. Considering the history of temporary shutdowns related to energy issues at the Wenatchee (Alcoa), Goldendale (Goldendale Aluminium which is owned by Glencore), Frederick (Alcoa-Eastalco) and Ferndale (Alcoa-Intalco) aluminium smelters, I assume that 23.9% of US nameplate capacity is vulnerable to rising power costs.

    In sum, primary aluminium production in the US pretty much deserves to be labelled as old, fat and unfit. With vertically integrated production in the US likely to become less and less profitable relying on Canadian aluminium production is the sensible thing to do. The integration of the aluminium industry at the North American level is without a doubt well underway with the extruders gathered in a single North American trade association, and the US being Canada’s most import export destination for aluminium. The US should probably bet on the advantage that it has in recycling operations relative to Canada. In a context of GHG emissions being regulated this would give the United States a serious advantage as aluminium recycling consumes 5% the energy and 5% of the emissions that primary aluminium smelting produces.”

    The reason the Columbia plant closed was that the subsidy it was getting for electric power costs was discontinued.
    http://www.flatheadbeacon.com/articles/article/cfac_to_shut_down_by_end_of_the_month/13705/
    “…The company had been able to buy discount electricity from the Bonneville, a quasi-governmental outfit that for decades sold at-cost electricity to big industrial customers. But with an increase in population came an increase in demand for cheap hydropower, pitting industry against other users.

    The amount of at-cost power available to industry was diminished and eventually was replaced entirely by a subsidy that helped the aluminum company and others buy down the cost of electricity.

    Critics successfully argued that the subsidy was too large and came at the expense of other rate payers, and in December a court ordered the Bonneville Power Administration to end its subsidy to Columbia Falls Aluminum…”

    This is a case of an inefficient company losing a subsidy. Other sources of Aluminum, including recycling will replace these factories. I feel sorry for the workers but that is the way markets work.

    The blogger who wrote the article is off base to blame this on environmentalists.

  141. crosspatch says:

    “In sum, primary aluminium production in the US pretty much deserves to be labelled as old, fat and unfit. ”

    I would say that power production and distribution in the US is old, fat, and unfit. Power costs would not be so high if we could build a power plant. Power production isn’t “rocket surgery”. It takes a given amount of power to extract a given amount of aluminum no matter where it is produced. Canda can still build power. The US can’t. Don’t blame the aluminum manufacturer.

    In case of a national emergency where we might need a lot of aluminum in a hurry, having that production in Canada doesn’t do us any good. The US government can’t order a Canadian plant to produce squat.

    Pull down that dam and build a nuke facility there. Let the fish swim free and make aluminum.

  142. chmd says:

    Thanks Eric. Great research. But someone is going to tell you that it’s the enviros fault that energy cost is rising. So it’s still their fault, no matter what.

  143. David says:

    EM Smith and other replies to those who pointed out the subsidy of the plant were spot on. The question to be asked is why are energy costs so high?

    Max Weber, a contemporary of Lennin stirred up great hate for capitalism. In Weber’s later years, he eventually perceived Lenin’s ideal of inserting a hierarchical mode of organization society, as an attempt to enslave the common man. Weber “ believed that workers in socialist society still would work in hierarchy, but this time in much worse form of it, fused with government power“ The bureaucratic tendency of socialist systems is immense and often unstoppable waste. As the US has moved towards socialism it is not immune from this concern. As one small example the Department of Energy was instituted on 8-04-1977. It’s purpose was to lessen US dependence on foreign oil. Currently, 32 years later, the budget for this “necessary” department is 25 billion a year with 16,000 federal employees and 100,000 contract employees. Energy, the life blood of any economy is not so complicated. The incredible benefits of inexpensive readily available energy are well documented in numerous studies and lead to cleaner energy, lower population, and increased wealth available for real needs and problems. Currently the enslaved people (producers employed in the private sector) in the US earn only fifty percent of the income compared to those who receive paychecks from the government. As an earlier commentator mentioned “Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness.” ~~George Washington

  144. Mike Lorrey says:

    Ok wrt the Bonneville Power Authority’s argument that the Aluminum plant’s power is ‘subsidized’, that is clearly false. Have you seen how BPA calculates the cost of the power it provides? I have. First they take the miniscule actual cost (75% of the costs of any renewable energy typically are capital costs, given there hasn’t been a new dam built in the Columbia River basin in over 50 years, it is safe to say that the capital costs of BPA power were long since paid off, leaving us 25% or less), then tack on capital costs which no longer exist but are still billed. Then tack on the administrative overhead of the BPA bureaucracy, and the Dept of Energy bureaucracy in the region (this includes Hanford Nuclear Reservation). Then tack on BPA subsidies for funding renewable (solar and wind) energy production facilities, and subsidies for funding energy conservation, both industrial, educational, residential, and for local governments.

    Once all that crap is tacked on, you have the base rate. These rates are charged to industrial customers like this Aluminum plant (this is just the last one, there were once dozens on the Columbia feeding off the hydropower, they’ve been gradually all getting shut down since the early 1990′s), and to local public and commercial power utilities like Seattle Power and Light, Pacific Gas and Electric, etc. who then tack on their own overhead. The local utilities and the public utilities boards thought it unfair that these industrial concerns were not customers in their districts, paying the retail rates (or some wholesale rate like companies like Boeing does), without any logic to justify said argument.

    See the local customers have been hornswoggled, hook, line, and sinker, as to the value of subsidizing energy conservation and wind/solar programs with DoE dollars. The locals did not want to bay for these programs “themselves”, but felt it okay if the DoE budgeted money because that would be taxpayer money coming in from all over the US. The BPA however still bills power utilities as if all the subsidy money is coming from the region, PLUS they tack on their and DOEs bureaucratic overhead, so conservation funding in BPA territory has an effective economic impact of about forty cents on the dollar upon delivery.

    The more conservation/renewables money that was consumed, the higher local electric rates would rise. So then the “people” got it in their thick heads that it was unfair that they, who were “doing their part” to conserve energy, were paying so much more per kwh than those wasteful aluminum smelters on the river. The smelters of course did consume a crapton of energy, its the prime ingredient of the refining process for Aluminum. There are hard physical limits as to the minimum energy to refine aluminum, and the state of the art is pretty much at that limit. You can’t conserve more than that.

    Which reminds me of how I know all this. I was a guy who invented the worlds best exit sign, it used a electroluminescent lamp, and came as a kit you could use to retrofit your existing exit sign with. The lamp consumed 1/3 of a watt and lasts for 30 years, so you save 10 times more on not having to change bulbs than in energy but thats a separate subject. BPA offered/offers a flat rebate fee on exit sign retrofits through the local utilities. All you had to do was reduce your exit sign consumption from 40 watts or more down to 20 watts. If you bought my product, which saved 99% of the rest of the energy too, you still only got the flat rebate, which damaged our sales and competitiveness. A few, like Seattle power and light, understood what we were doing and provided a graduated rebate based on energy saved, partly because they generated most of their own power from dams on Seattle owned reservoirs and could afford it, whereas most utilities did not own much of their own power generation capacity.

    The people of the northwest willfully shut down the Trojan Nuclear Plant, prematurely in 1992 before its license expired! This reduced the Northwestern region from a situation of energy surplus to one of deficit, yet they continue to claim it was forced closed by “market conditions”. BS!!!!

    The fuel is sitting in pools onsite, it could be restarted again, perhaps with some upgrades to the turbine generators and other work to ensure none of the systems are degraded. Will the government allow the Aluminum company to take over Trojan and restart it? Hell no.

  145. Mr Lynn says:

    bill (08:11:15) :
    E.M.Smith (05:58:57)
    your article is typical America-think. . .

    Yep, it is. America-think is what led America to become the greatest, most innovative, most productive, and the free-est nation in the history of the world. America-think looks to a bright future of ever-increasing growth and prosperity, reaching ultimately to the rest of the Solar System and the stars.

    America-think knows that human ingenuity can solve any problem, and that ever-increasing energy is the secret to continued progress. For America-thinkers, the Star Trek vision of the 24th century is not fiction, but a future we can achieve, and a lot sooner than three centuries from now, if we put our minds to it.

    The eco-Luddites are the polar opposite of America-thinkers. They are head-in-the-sand regressives, who insist upon scarcity and deprivation as a way of life, whose vision of the future is a world that has renounced technology, and lives in the squalor and misery of the deep Middle Ages, all in the name of ‘sustainability’.

    I prefer America-think, for me and my grandchildren, thank you.

    /Mr Lynn

  146. Kevin Kilty says:

    J.Hansford (18:56:07) :

    Excellent article Anthony.

    Our civilization depends on cheap, plentiful energy. Any restriction to this has consequences to our freedom and way of life.

    Not only these, but sustainability requires lots of cheap power, which inturn makes recycling of everything possible. Even half a billion people permanently without adequate power is not a pretty prospect for the environment.

  147. old construction worker says:

    chmd (15:21:27) :
    ‘That is precisely what we, the “alarmists” are trying to avoid. There is still time, but not much.’
    Please state your case that CO2 drives the climate. I don’t want to hear that coal, cars, manufacturing, other CO2 producing wiggets are bad.
    CO2 lags temperature, hockey stick is broken and up side down, the heat in the oceans ran off with the hot spot in the atmosphere and can’t be found.
    So please, state your case that CO2 drives our climate.

  148. evanmjones says:

    I agree with most skeptics that CO2 has a small, underlying effect. But I do not think it is particularly significant. Probably less than 1C per century.

    I completely agree with those who blame the environmental movement for the current cost of energy. Energy policy has been irrational and self-destructive (and not even helpful to the environment).

  149. enough says:

    To Wyoming Citizens

    Immediately build coal plants locally to generate your own electricity.

    Pass a law making it illegal to sell power to Oregon, Washington, or California.

    Elect a state Attorney General to prosecute all members of the EPA and supporting cast of violation of the Hatch act when they complain about CO2.

    Sue all non-profit organizations that have hyped AGW for tax evasion.

    File a complaint to remove all Dams on the Columbia to allow Salmon access to all tributaries.

    Here is suit:
    http://cases.justia.com/us-court-of-appeals/F3/175/1156/637300/

  150. Mike Lorrey says:

    In re: question about the inscriptions on the photo of the capstone:

    http://www.glasssteelandstone.com/BuildingDetail/353.php

    Much has been written about the phrase “Laus Deo” appearing at the capstone of the Washington Monument. In fact, so much has been written that it’s taking on the appearance of an urban legend. While, technically, it is true that the Latin phrase meaning “Praise to God” is engraved at the top of the monument, it is disingenuous to state that fact without putting it into context: The phrase is just a very small part of a much larger series of engravings.

    * The north side of the monument has this inscription:
    Joint commission at setting of capstone.
    Chester A. Arthur.
    W.W. Corcoran, Chairman.
    M.E. Bell.
    Edward Clark.
    John Newton.
    Act of August 2, 1876.

    * The east side of the monument has this inscription:
    Laus Deo

    * The west side of the monument has this inscription:
    Corner stone laid on bed of foundation July 4, 1848.
    First stone at height of 152 feet laid August 7, 1880.
    Capstone set December 6, 1884.

    * The south side of the monument has this inscription:
    Chief engineer and architect, Thos. Lincoln Casey, Colonel, Corps of Engineers.
    Assistants: George W. Davis, Captain, 14th Infantry. Bernard R. Green, Civil Engineer.
    Master Mechanic: P.H. McLaughlin.

  151. Mike Lorrey says:

    _Jim (12:01:28) :

    Mike Lorrey (02:36:32) :

    Claire Wolfe said, in 1992 over the Ruby Ridge and Waco incidents

    “Was Claire Wolfe clairvoyant/could she see into the future?

    (Mike, make a note, Waco happened in 1993, with the investigation beginning in 1992 under Bush I)

    Was what Claire wrote in “Backwoods Magazine” or in an issue of “Outlaw Living”?”

    LOL sorry you are correct, it was 1993. As I recall, I read about her recollecting saying that in a piece on her blog in 2003 or so… The earliest citation I can find in Google in June 9, 1999 on TheFiringLine.com forums:
    “America is at that awkward stage.
    It’s too late to work within the system,
    but too early to start shooting the bastards.”
    –Claire Wolfe

    Used as someones sigline.

    I suspect this is only because google isn’t much older than this citation… Wikipedia credits the line to her book “101 Things to Do Til The Revolution”, published in 1996. She also attributes it to the book as well on her blog site, so I suppose that is the correct date. I am not sure if the book is a compilation of articles published previously or not…

  152. TD says:

    DeWitt Payne (08:39:00) :

    If you have something to say then say it.

    The minute you decide that others are beneath your contempt you are the problem.

    R Dunn (06:11:25) :

    IR emission from the colder upper atmosphere does not violate the second law of thermodynamics

    If the claim was being made that the IR emissions from the colder upper atmosphere were raising the temperature of the surface then that would be a violation.

    The IR emitted from above merely slows the cooling of the warmer lower layers and the surface.

  153. jorgekafkazar says:

    John in Spain (04:21:12) :

    jorgekafkazar (22:17:11) :
    (Quote) ‘Ron: a search of the relevant document, which I believe is:
    http://docs.house.gov/rules/health/111_ahcaa.pdf,
    reveals that there is no “section 7203.” The number 7203 doesn’t even appear in the document. I suspect somebody has fallen victim to disinformation.’

    http://docs.house.gov/rules/health/111_ahcaa.pdf
    (unquote)
    —————————————————–

    “I hope Ron does not mind me jumping in here, but you will find section 7203 is related to “THE INTERNAL REVENUE CODE OF 1986″, not Health Bill H.R. 3962.”

    Thanks, John in Spain. Quite so. The IRS Code is Title 26 USC § 7203. There is no reference to Title 26 USC § 7203 in HR 3962, thus the draconian measures cited by Ron appear to be disinformation on someone’s part. You find a lot of that kind of thing on the Internerd.

  154. chmd says:

    Quote: “Please state your case that CO2 drives the climate. I don’t want to hear that coal, cars, manufacturing, other CO2 producing wiggets are bad.
    CO2 lags temperature, hockey stick is broken and up side down, the heat in the oceans ran off with the hot spot in the atmosphere and can’t be found.”

    I could not, and would not dare to try. I am not a climatologist, nor even a physicist. Neither are you, I suspect. I’ll just say this. I have yet to read something that can convince me that we can change the composition of the atmosphere and not expect an impact on the climate. Yes, it is true that CO2 amounts to less than 1% of the atmosphere, but that is precisely why, given its major effect on the global temperature, doubling its amount (which we are on course to doing within the next few decades) seems like a crazy experiment to me. And if doubling it is not enough, should we go on and triple it? Just to see what’s happening then? I hear the science, and I can detect around me the signs that global warming is happening. Where I live, in PA, winters are not what they used to be. In Belgium, where I come from, it’s the same thing. I’ll admit that I don’t feel that summers are hotter, but winters are definitely warmer. Pictures of retreating glaciers all over the world are startling. Arctic summer ice will soon be a thing of the past (http://www.reuters.com/article/scienceNews/idUSTRE59S3LT20091029?sp=true). Even if in the future science determines that after all it’s not truly caused by CO2, I don’t see the harm in shifting to a low carbon/sustainable economy. There are about 3 billions people in the world that are currently on a fast track to reach the standard of living that 1 billion people currently enjoy, and one does not need to be a brain surgeon to see where this is heading: conflicts and wars over dwindling finite resources, including fossil fuels. Caution is a conservative virtue, and I can’t fathom why conservatively minded people would edge their bets on unknown future solutions to resolve these predictable problems, unless their loathing of everything painted as “liberal” or their rage against a “socialist takeover” makes them lose their senses. The left has its crazies too. For similarly misguided sentiments (but against different targets, such as “big corporations”), they’re against progressive solutions, such as genetically modified food, vaccines, etc. It’s all completely ridiculous. The truth is that we will soon be 9 billions people on this earth, and that it increasingly feels crowded. Our societies are going to have to become a lot more sophisticated if we want to give everyone a fair living, and preserve the ability of future generations to do the same.

    BTW, I will agree with one of the points made earlier, which is that we need a lot of energy. Ultimately, lots of energy is essential to a sustainable economy, because (in addition to manufacturing and all the other needs) recycling raw materials uses a lot of it. I just think that it needs to come from other sources than fossil fuels. I’m not against nuclear power, but increasingly there seems to be solutions with renewables. Offshore wind and concentrated solar power (http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/04/14/solar_electric_thermal/index.html) seem to hold great promises.

  155. Smokey says:

    chmd:

    Aside from the fact that CO2 ["carbon" to you] has negligible to zero effect on the climate, and the fact that almost all the tiny effect of CO2 already occurred in the first 20 ppm, even doubling CO2 from its current level [an extremely unlikely scenario] will not cause more than a fraction of a degree increase in temperature, you still say:

    “Even if in the future science determines that after all it’s not truly caused by CO2, I don’t see the harm in shifting to a low carbon/sustainable economy.”

    Do you see how completely illogical that statement is? You’re saying that even if CO2 is not the cause of a problem, we should still blame it for the problem. Particularly if blaming CO2 for a non-problem destroys our economy [including your job]. That is enormous ‘harm’ to the economy, wouldn’t you say?

    Apparently you are not aware of the fact that CO2 has been more than twenty times higher in the geological past, with no ill effects on the planet. Or of the fact that the current increase in CO2 is almost all the result of natural processes, and not from human activity.

    And our current economy is completely ‘sustainable’: it functions just fine, by providing all the necessities and luxuries that people want, without polluting the air and water; we’re not anything like mainland China, which always gets a free pass from the enviros.

    You are correct in saying that we need a lot of energy. But windmills and solar will never come close to replacing fossil fuels and nuclear power, which are absolutely necessary to maintain our national wealth.

    Finally, ‘retreating glaciers’ are always being blamed on CO2 by enviro propagandists. But that canard has been repeatedly debunked. Glacier advance and retreat is a function of precipitation [snow] at higher altitudes. If CO2 was the cause of glacier retreat, then all of the glaciers would be retreating.

    But out of the planet’s 160,000 glaciers, some are always advancing and some are always retreating. Glaciers are one of the easiest things to cherry-pick, which is why the alarmist crowd likes to select a few retreating glaciers, and claim that those particular glaciers are representative of all glaciers, and that their cherry-picked retreating glaciers prove that a change in a tiny trace gas is the cause. Even you would have to admit that is simply bogus AGW propaganda.

  156. Vincent says:

    Chmd,

    You say you “I could not [state the case that CO2 drives the climate], and would not dare to try. I am not a climatologist, nor even a physicist. Neither are you, I suspect.”

    But you see Chmd, if you do not dare to embrace the science, then on what premise can you argue that CO2 is dangerously warming the climate? Is this an appeal to authority? Many skeptics have started out from the alarmists position, but then have “dared” to look at the science, and what we have found has shocked us. We have “dared” to look behind the curtains and found the smoke and mirrors.

    I could quote from among peer reviewed literature, papers by Lindzen, Pielke, Christy, Spencer, Eschenbach, Scafetta, Myhre, Akasofu, Douglass, McIntyre all of whom have robustly challenged the dogma of a few cloistered warmists. These are not “big oil shills” as some try to claim, nor are they nutters. They are all eminent climate scientists who are showing that observations do not support the hypothesis that CO2 is significantly warming the planet, a hypothesis that is predicated on the false premise that historical climate has remained fixed for millenia, in contradiction of overwhelming evidence that temperatures were warmer than today a thousand years ago. I could point to 200 more papers that show that the medieval warm period was real, global, and warmer than today – a mountain of evidence against the warmists broken hockey stick.

    If you still do not “dare” to look behind the curtains, that is up to you, but please don’t dismiss the arguments of those courageous enough to do so.

  157. old construction worker says:

    chmd (22:33:17) :
    ‘Even if in the future science determines that after all it’s not truly caused by CO2, I don’t see the harm in shifting to a low carbon/sustainable economy. There are about 3 billions people in the world that are currently on a fast track to reach the standard of living that 1 billion people currently enjoy, and one does not need to be a brain surgeon to see where this is heading: conflicts and wars over dwindling finite resources, including fossil fuels.’

    Just as I thought. The end justifies the means.

  158. Mr Lynn says:

    chmd (22:33:17) :
    . . . I’ll just say this. I have yet to read something that can convince me that we can change the composition of the atmosphere and not expect an impact on the climate. Yes, it is true that CO2 amounts to less than 1% of the atmosphere, but that is precisely why, given its major effect on the global temperature, doubling its amount (which we are on course to doing within the next few decades) seems like a crazy experiment to me. . .

    CO2 is currently at about 380 parts per million, which is 3.8 hundredths of one percent, .038%. That is a lot “less than 1%.” And the human contribution, from burning fossil fuels, making concrete, etc., is at most 5% of that, or .019%.

    Considering that CO2 has been much greater in the geological past, with no detectible effects other than more luxuriant plant growth (CO2 is vital plant food), this contribution is trivial. And considering that no one has shown empirically that CO2 causes any warming whatsoever (it’s purely theoretical, and ‘confirmed’ only by models into which it is built as an assumption), continuing to burn fossil fuels hardly seems like much of a ‘crazy experiment’ to me.

    They want to scare you, don’t you see? Scared people can be manipulated and herded, maybe into ‘global governance’.

    /Mr Lynn

  159. Vincent says:

    Mr Lynn,

    Your calculation 5% of 0.038% should be 0.0019% not 0.019%.

    As you correctly point out however, burning fossil fuels is not an experiment. To refer to the life blood of civilization in this way is to trivialize the problem. It is the same sort of nonsense as when people talk about being “addicted to oil” (or is it only foreign oil that counts as an addiction?) It’s all rhetoric and sophistry, designed to replace reasoned argument with snappy sound bites for the credulous.

  160. chmd says:

    The common thread in the statements above is the belief that CO2 is not a problem, because it’s too small in quantity, or has been much higher in the past, etc. I would normally have no reason to believe differently (i.e., it’s “common sense” that something that’s only 380ppm in the air would not have a major impact), except that the vast majority of scientists tell me otherwise, and convincingly so. I have encountered the objections raised here, and investigated them in order to form my opinion, only to seem them debunked to orbit. At the end of the day, we all have to separate the wheat from the chaff, and make a choice as to whom we believe. Trust in contrarians like those mentioned here, instead of in the mainstream scientists, is generally accompanied with what seems to me like paranoid fixations (Al Gore, the UN, a take over by green commies, greatest hoax in history, etc.). It’s as if those beliefs have to be supported by other (sinister) factors in order to be, well, believable. Sorry, but I don’t buy it. Science has a good track record of adopting out of the mainstream ideas, *if* they can stand on their own merit and prove successful. It may take some time and encounter resistance, but the best ideas eventually win. Ask Einstein or Niels Bohr, (or Fred Hoyle for that matter).

    In the meantime, we need to do something. There are plenty of low hanging fruits to pick first, before we commit to large scale infrastructure changes, starting with efficiency and the reduction of waste.

  161. Smokey says:

    chmd,

    You label scientific skepticism as a “belief”, despite the complete lack of any empirical evidence supporting the hypothesis that CO2 causes catastrophic AGW [CAGW]. But scientific skepticism does not operate on beliefs, like the purveyors of catastrophic AGW do. Skeptics simply say, “Prove it.” Or at least provide solid, empirical evidence to support the CO2=CAGW conjecture. But there is no real world, empirically measurable evidence of a global temperature rise attributable to human emitted carbon dioxide. There are human programmed computer models, and erudite opinions. But there is no measurable, empirical evidence.

    If you want skeptics to accept your hypothesis, then you need to provide some solid, real world, verifiable and reproducible evidence that shows a direct correlation between a rise in CO2 and a subsequent rise in global temperatures. Since global temperatures have been flat to declining for most of the past decade, good luck with that.

    Regarding CO2 causing CAGW, you say:

    “… the vast majority of scientists tell me otherwise, and convincingly so. I have encountered the objections raised here, and investigated them in order to form my opinion, only to seem them debunked to orbit. At the end of the day, we all have to separate the wheat from the chaff, and make a choice as to whom we believe. Trust in contrarians like those mentioned here, instead of in the mainstream scientists…” etc.

    It sounds like you’ve been listening to the self-reinforcing echo chamber realclimate. They are the real contrarians. They refuse to engage in any neutral, moderated debate, and they censor opposing points of view. That’s not science, that is political activism. The fact that the planet is falsifying their CAGW alarmism is enough for most folks. Why do you believe the rent-seeking grant hogs at realclimate, over what planet Earth is clearly telling you?

    Your claim regarding “mainstream” scientists is also completely wrong. For one example, more than 31,000 U.S. scientists have already signed the OISM Petition, which states:

    The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.

    There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth. [my emphasis.]

    Dr Frederick Seitz, past President of the National Academy of Sciences, wrote the petition’s cover letter. You can not get more ‘mainstream’ than Dr Seitz. Yet you futilely attempt to marginalize the tens of thousands of scientists who signed that statement. Compare that number with the fewer than a hundred political appointees who put together the UN/IPCC’s Assessment Reports, and you will begin to understand where the true scientific “consensus” exists.

    And we do not, in your words, “need to do something.” Even the Hero of the Alarmists, Al Gore, has now backed away from his claim that CO2 will cause catastrophic global warming. Gore has his finger to the wind. He understands that the only “evidence” that CO2 will cause CAGW comes from always-inaccurate computer models, and from grant-seeking authors who get papers published that cite other like-minded grant seeking authors, in a self-confirming circular argument. But none of that is empirical evidence. Real world evidence is raw data, none of which supports the CO2=CAGW claim — and their putative ‘evidence’ is routinely withheld. They are saying in effect: “Trust us.” But their mounting dishonesty makes that impossible. We need to see their claimed evidence.

    The alarmist crowd always turns the Scientific Method on its head, by trying to convince folks that it is skeptical scientists who have something to prove or disprove. But the Scientific Method says that skeptical scientists [which includes all honest scientists] have nothing to prove. Skeptics only ask for solid, verifiable evidence sufficient to falsify any proposed hypothesis.

    According to the Scientific Method, it is those purveying the CO2=CAGW conjecture who have the burden of showing that it explains reality better than the long accepted theory of natural climate variability. They have failed to do so. The fact that climate alarmists reject the Scientific Method means that they are political advocates first, and mendacious scientists second.

    The demonizing of a tiny trace gas, which is entirely beneficial and necessary to life, is all about money and control, my friend. But if you have solid empirical, reproducible and measurable evidence that CO2 will cause runaway global warming and climate catastrophe, by all means, post it here. You will be the first to have done so.

  162. Mr Lynn says:

    Vincent (05:54:45) :
    Mr Lynn,
    Your calculation 5% of 0.038% should be 0.0019% not 0.019%.

    Oops! That human contribution is even more trivial!

    /Mr Lynn

  163. Eric Barnes says:

    Eric A (15:31:51) :

    Eric, I’m afraid you didn’t look back far enough. As a Montanan, I’m especially bitter about electricity deregulation. There has always been more than enough power in Montana for Montanans. Before 2000, Montana Power was a regulated power company that produced power for much less than current rates.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/02/06/60minutes/main539719.shtml
    After deregulation, Montana Power company’s executives and a a few political turncoats (Marc Racicot) cashed in and permanently damaged economics in the state.

    I’m still waiting for “Market Economics” to start paying us back on that one. It’s been about 10 years now.

  164. bill says:

    Lets look at 2 gases
    a poison – Hydrogen Sulphide H2S
    And a benificial to all life nutrient – CO2

    H2S
    http://www.drthrasher.org/toxicology_of_hydrogen_sulfide.html
    10 ppm
    Beginning of Eye Irritation
    50-100 ppm
    Slight conjunctivitis and respiratory tract irritation after one hour
    100 ppm
    Coughing, eye irritation, loss of sense of smell after 2-15 minutes. Altered respiration, pain the eyes, and drowsiness after 15-30 minutes followed by throat irritation after one hour. Several hours exposure results in gradual increase in severity of symptoms and death may occur within the next 48 hours.
    200-300 ppm
    Marked conjunctivitis and respiratory tract irritation after one hour exposure.
    500-700 ppm
    Loss of consciousness and possibly death in 30 minutes to one hour of exposure.
    700-1000 ppm
    Rapid unconsciousness, cessation of respiration, and death
    1000-2000 ppm
    Unconsciousness at once, with early cessation of respiration and death in a few minutes. Death may occur if individual is removed to fresh air at once.

    The most dangerous aspect of hydrogen sulfide results from olfactory accomodation and/or olfactory paralysis. This means that the individual can accomodate to the odor and is not able to detect the presence of the chemical after a short period of time. Olfactory paralysis occurs in workers who are exposed to 150 ppm or greater. This occurs rapidly, leaving the worker defenseless. Unconsciousness and death has been recorded following prolonged exposure at 50 ppm.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10998771
    There were 80 fatalities from hydrogen sulfide in 57 incidents, with 19 fatalities and 36 injuries among coworkers attempting to rescue fallen workers.

    CO2
    Carbon dioxide is an asphyxiant. It initially stimulates respiration and then causes respiratory depression.
    High concentrations result in narcosis. Symptoms in humans are as follows:
    EFFECT: CONCENTRATION:
    Breathing rate increases slightly. 1% (10,000ppm)
    Breathing rate increases to 50% above normal level. Prolonged
    exposure can cause headache, tiredness.
    2%
    Breathing increases to twice normal rate and becomes labored. Weak
    narcotic effect. Impaired hearing, headache, increased blood pressure
    and pulse rate.
    3%
    Breathing increases to approximately four times normal rate, symptoms
    of intoxication become evident, and slight choking may be felt.
    4 – 5%
    Characteristic sharp odor noticeable. Very labored breathing,
    headache, visual impairment, and ringing in the ears. Judgment may be
    impaired, followed within minutes by loss of consciousness.
    5 – 10%
    Unconsciousness occurs more rapidly above 10% level. Prolonged
    exposure to high concentrations may eventually result in death from
    asphyxiation.
    10 – 100%

    http://yarchive.net/med/co2_poisoning.html
    All true, but the subjective distress is almost entirely caused by
    the high CO2. Humans don’t have good hypoxia sensors, and people have
    walked into nitrogen filled rooms and died, before they even realized
    there was anything wrong. You can breathe into a closed circuit which
    takes out the CO2 until you pass out from hypoxia, without much
    discomfort at all. On the other hand, in a submarine or someplace
    where CO2 is building up but there’s plenty of oxygen, it’s intensely
    uncomfortable, and feels like dying. So does breathing that 5% CO2 95%
    O2 medical mix they treat CO victims with.

    And when the CO2 hits about 7% to 10% of your ambient air, you DO
    die. Even if the rest is O2. It’s CO2 narcosis, and it shuts you
    down. 5% CO2 is about 40 Torr, your normal blood level. So if you
    breath that, you go up to 80 Torr, enough to black you out unless you
    hyperventilate. Double your minute volume and you can get down to 60
    Torr, but you feel crumby. At 10% there’s no way to keep below about
    90 Torr, and (unless you’re a chronic COPD patient who’s used to high
    CO2s and has a high bicarb and other compensatory mechanisms) you black
    out. Then quit hyperventilating. Then quit breathing entirely.

    http://www.therhondda.co.uk/gases/carbon_dioxide.html
    included to show that the combined effects of carbon dioxide and a shortage of oxygen are much more intense than either of the two conditions alone,

    So firstly it is not benign above 50,000ppm
    Secondly it is not poisonous but it kills:

    deaths :
    Look up “choke damp” in mines
    look up lake nyos 2000 deaths / lake monoun 37 deaths

    So please cut the stuff about how CO2 is the stuff of life.

  165. Phlogiston says:

    chmd (22:33:17)

    “In Belgium, where I come from, … winters are definitely warmer.”

    I live in Antwerp, still in Belgium last time I looked. Last winter was unusually cold – several subzero spells including one a month long. The lake near our flats froze solid for several weeks, people were ice skating on it, a rare event.

    It was getting warmer till about 2004, now its getting colder, due to natural ocean-driven cycles (various Atlantic and Pacific decadal oscillations).

    I agree its worrying in principle that CO2 may have been significantly increased by fossil fuel burning (although even this is disputed scientifically – ocean temperature change and volcanic activity are other possible culprits). However the scientific case for late 20th century warming to be CO2-related and thus anthropogenic is very weak indeed.

    And higher CO2 might even have positives – faster plant growth for example. (The idea that marine corals are damaged by current CO2-related ocean acidification is falsified by the flourishing of corals in previous geological periods with much higher atmospheric CO2 than today.)

    Consider also – the presence of oxygen in the atmosphere is due to the activity if living organisms, changing a reducing atmosphere to an oxygen rich atmosphere 2 billion years ago. Not such a bad thing as it turned out.

    Cooling toward glaciation is what we should really be worried about, climate-wise, not warming.

  166. bill says:

    Smokey (01:07:29) :
    Apparently you are not aware of the fact that CO2 has been more than twenty times higher in the geological past, with no ill effects on the planet. Or of the fact that the current increase in CO2 is almost all the result of natural processes, and not from human activity

    This value for CO2 in the past is of course produced by a simulation (geocarb3) and I thought you did not believe in any climate simulations?

    Assuming CO2 was this high with no detriment to the planet, then perhaps you would also acccept the change in sea levels accompanying these levels of CO2?

    I think you will find most warmists do not expect the world to end if the CO2 level doubles. Certainly, what I expect is simply climate change – some hotter some cooler some drier, some wetter locations in the world coupled with more extreme weather.
    A couple of deg C rise will not be disastrous for some of the world but unfortunately the ice caps on Greenland for example will shrink and the sea levels will rise.
    A few metres rise will cause many western locations to hit problems – remember it is not just the simple rise but also the increased erosion caused by sea hitting normally unexposed land. If the rise is similar to the periods in prehistory you seem to lust after then western civilisation we wish to preserve will be all but destroyed (again life will not extinct, the world will still be here).

    A further point is of course all those nuclear reactors providing nearly free electricity will all be submerged (they are usually built close to sea level for cooling water). Sizewell B’s idyllic sea front location:
    http://img83.imageshack.us/img83/5627/sizewelbam4.jpg

  167. Vincent says:

    Smokey,

    You have answered chmd’s post eloquently. I would add that the biggest victory of the alarmists movement is to convince the world that their view represents the consensus of mainstream science. They have been so utterly successful that this has become a truism. Nobody in their right mind would question that would they?

    Well, let’s try. The IPCC claims that 3,800 scientists agreed on the CAGW position. However, many have been counted twice or more as lead authors, contributors and reviewers, so the figure is actually 2,500 individuals. But the vast number have nothing to do with greenhouse gases. The number of authors that contributed to chapter 9 number only 53. Think about that number for a moment. There are only 53 scientists who have written papers that the IPCC referenced in chapter 9 to support their case. There are easily that number of scientists who do not take the same view and have contributed to contrary papers that have never been cited in the IPCC report because it does not support their hypothesis.

    So far there are 6 problems with the CO2 hypothesis that have not been resolved:
    1) Lack of accumulation of joules of heat in the oceans since 2003.
    2) Lack of mid tropical troposphere hotspot
    3) Confirmed existence of prior warm periods supporting the null hypothesis of natural variability.
    4) Lack of correlation between sea surface temperatures and outgoing radiation as measured by Lindzen and Choi.
    5) Over reliance on unsupported positive feedbacks in the climate models
    6) Poor correlation between CO2 levels and average global temps.

    This is common knowledge and the warmists have no answer, or at best resort to arm waving appeals to “heat in the pipeline” etc.

    Call me a skeptic.

  168. Vincent says:

    bill,

    I don’t know what your point is. So CO2 is toxic at 2% . Are you suggesting that such a level could exist as even a remote possibility?

    Even oxygen is toxic at about 1.8 bar and as any diver knows, nitrogen becomes toxic around 6 bar. And yes, CO2 underpins the entire ecosystem, so technically, it is the stuff of life, as is nitrogen and oxygen.

    BTW, if CO2 is as dangerous as you claim, then the last thing we should be trying to do is concentrate it into its pure form and inject into the ground.

  169. Vincent says:

    bill,

    “A few metres rise will cause many western locations to hit problems”

    Where did the figure of a few metres rise come from? The IPCC predicts a rise of between 18cm and 59cm by 2100. And since AR4 was published, new research has shown the rate of sea level rise to be falling, so the lower estimate seems the more likely.

    http://sciences.blogs.liberation.fr/home/files/Cazenave_et_al_GPC_2008.pdf

    But why let facts spoil a good yarn?

  170. Smokey says:

    bill:

    “This value for CO2 in the past is of course produced by a simulation (geocarb3) and I thought you did not believe in any climate simulations?”

    You misrepresent my post. Re-framing the argument is a favorite tactic of alarmists.

    I stated that there is no empirical evidence for catastrophic AGW [CAGW]. But there is plenty of empirical evidence for fluctuating CO2 levels, such as the Vostok ice cores [and as you can see, rises in CO2 follow rises in temperature].

    Furthermore, the fact that sea levels are rising much less than the average since the LIA has been repeatedly verified here. As CO2 levels increase, the sea level rise has decreased, negating your scary prediction of a giant sea level rise. [Nice picture, though. And note that Al Gore's latest mansion is even closer to the water.]

    Your hand-wringing cut ‘n’ paste regarding the lethality of CO2 is so completely unrelated to AGW that it should be ignored. But I’ll help you understand:

    You exhale about 40,000 ppm of CO2 with each breath. [Contrast that with the alarmism over less than 390 ppm of atmospheric CO2.] But when someone is given mouth to mouth CPR, that 40,000 ppm of CO2 does no damage at all.

    My boy was in the Navy for six years, serving on a nuclear attack sub. CO2 levels below 5,000 ppmv are routinely considered safe — and sometimes the submarine stayed submerged for months at a time.

    Your alarmism over CO2 levels that are high enough to cause asphyxiation have no place in a discussion about atmospheric trace gas levels. But when that’s the argument you’ve got, I guess that’s the argument you have to go with.

    In truth, CO2 is just as necessary to life on Earth as H2O. You can drown in water, and you can suffocate in CO2. But that has nothing to do with the CO2=CAGW claim, or with *very* slowly rising sea levels.

    If rising CO2 caused abnormally rising sea levels, we would see it in the raw data, since CO2 has been rising for more than a century. But the data falsifies that alarming claim. So you can relax.

  171. David Porter says:

    bill (10:30:22) :
    Lets look at 2 gases
    a poison – Hydrogen Sulphide H2S
    And a benificial to all life nutrient – CO2

    Bill, you have just got to be kidding me. That is just the most ridiculous analogy I’ve seen in a long time. Too much of anything will cause major problems or death. Lets start with a room full of nitrogen, or a room full of hydrogen, or maybe we should just fill the room full of H2O.

    Someday you are going to have to look at life in terms of the positive not the negative. We are not doing damage to the earth, we are merely living on it. It is much bigger than we are and it can look after itself. Start to think in terms that chemicals have given you the quality of life that you currently enjoy now. You concentrate far too much on the dark side.

  172. Stas Peterson says:

    Bill is ignorant. You are wasting your time trying to argue with a non-sentient follower of a Southern televangelist bible thumper. His ersatz Druid religion provides him all the dogma that his little mind can possibly ingest.

    Notice how he trots out his list of eco-catastrophes, non of which are catastrophes at all. Indeed outside of Chernobyl direct environs, I can’t think of a single place that is a catastrophe. And that problem is a problem because it was created by the evil prophets of his Druid religion, Socialist bureaucrats.

    Eventually when the Ukraine is wealthier, Chernobyl will be cleaned up, the Transuranics actinide burned, and the fission byproducts allowed to decay to background levels in a hundred years, in a designed for the purpose repository. For now we accept that the Ad hoc repository is doing the job.

    The only world-wide eco-catastrophe was the Plant strangulation of the Pre-Cambrian explosion. Bill is so ignorant he doesn’t list it because he doesn’t know of it; as I am sure the Gorebull knot head doesn’t know of it either. Since teh knotheads Science training is non-exsitent too.

    Plants altered the composition of the atmosphere. They ate-out most of the atmospheric CO2 which was as much as 25% of the atmosphere until there was only a trace amount of that nutritious gas remaining. The Plants at the same time excreted and liberated vast amounts of this corrosive gas called free Oxygen. That made it possible to destroy vast areas of plant life in conflagrations called “Forest fires”. It also led to a rise in life forms that thrived on the corrosive gas.

    CO2 reductions stunted plant growth to the level we see today from the previous luxuriant levels once common. The Plant’s eco-catastrophe unleashed a new life form which lives on devouring and destroying plant life. The Plants I assume called them ultimately evil. We call them animals; and from our animal point of view that wasn’t a catastrophe at all.

  173. David says:

    Bill said “So please cut the stuff about how CO2 is the stuff of life.”
    Bill you said this after a very long post showing the “dangers” of absurd levels of CO2. By this logic water is also not the “stuff of life” as if you inhale to much you will drown.

    Really, I am sorry, but a long pointless post it was.

  174. James Sexton says:

    Wow, so little time and so much to say. This site never disappoints me. I usually drop by to learn something heady about science. Today, I learned. Oddly, there wasn’t much science that hasn’t been stated repeatedly here. Some of the things I learned today reading this article and subsequent posts: teh = the, except angrier. Factual discovery is almost impossible without Google. And the most amazing discovery is how literally ignorant(not the insulting kind) are people in regard to energy production, price, availability, distribution, consumption and the effects the laws we are attempting to pass on previously mentioned aspects. PLEASE EDUCATE YOURSELVES!!! bbl

  175. MMR05 says:

    I just want to agree with some posters above:
    a) conservation is by definition a conservative value, and eating ceaselessly through resources – whether or not they are renewable – is not a good idea.

    b) alternate forms of energy DO hold a lot of promise. It’s not a zero sum game – we can support the burgeoning of an entire new industry and not decimate everybody else. I disagree with environmentalists who want to crush nuclear power and fossil fuel production, but don’t you think that crushing emerging energy sources is just as stupid?

    c) changing the composition of the atmosphere is a risky prospect, whether or not the “greenhouse effect” per se is ever firmly disproven. Shall we wait another 20 years and see where we’re at? Another 50? Another 100? If it becomes too late, how will we know? Also, to the poster who said “obviously the environment is nothing like a greenhouse. Where’s the door?” – was that sarcasm?

    d) “America think” is awesome, and it got us to be a great power beginning in the very late 1800s. Britain-think worked pretty well for them for the whole 19th century. France-think was really the way to go in the 1700s, supplanting Spain/Portugal-think, which was pretty damn successful before that. All of these nations lost their premier status because they refused to change with changing times, not because of rogue elements within the state who encouraged new paradigms that might successfully compete with the existing way of doing things. Can anybody name a superpower from any point in history that collapsed because it was too progressive and too willing to adapt to new circumstances rather than the exact opposite?

  176. Phlogiston says:

    Stas Peterson (13:27:56)

    I visited the Chernobyl reactor 4 in 1993, I have a photo of myself standing 400 yards from the sarcophagus. The whole 30km zone was one of the richest wildlife parks I have seen, the birds, deer and other wildlife free from human interference. (Someone forgot to explain to them the radiation was supposed to be harmful.) We were collaborating with a Kiev radiological lab to develop SSNTD passive detection of transuranics.

    If you want to find the wealth of Ukraine, check out this link:

  177. old construction worker says:

    chmd (06:03:07) :
    ‘In the meantime, we need to do something. There are plenty of low hanging fruits to pick first, before we commit to large scale infrastructure changes, starting with efficiency and the reduction of waste.’
    Where have you been. We have been picking “the low hanging fruit”
    since the late 70′s and we are getting better at with out any type of CO2 regulations or CO2 Cap and Trade tax scam.
    So, tell me again why we need to regulate CO2.

  178. bill says:

    David Porter (12:20:09) :
    We are not doing damage to the earth, we are merely living on it. It is much bigger than we are and it can look after itself.

    The anology was ludicrous, yes, but it was in response to the equally ludicrous statement that more CO2 is better.
    Life has acclimatised to the current atmosphere. Change the composition and you change life. Some plants will thrive and some will suffer. But which ones?

    The Earth is not an infinite dumping ground or source of hydrocarbons, or radioactives, or wild life.
    Many fish/mammals/birds have been brought to the edge, and further, of extinction by our actions. I’m sure you are capable of googling these.

    Stas Peterson (13:27:56) : sad, so angry!

  179. bill says:

    Phlogiston (15:21:31) : just keep taking the Radithor!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioactive_quackery

  180. Mr Lynn says:

    bill (16:21:26) :
    David Porter (12:20:09) :
    We are not doing damage to the earth, we are merely living on it. It is much bigger than we are and it can look after itself.

    The anology was ludicrous, yes, but it was in response to the equally ludicrous statement that more CO2 is better.
    Life has acclimatised to the current atmosphere. Change the composition and you change life. Some plants will thrive and some will suffer. But which ones?

    So the current climate and biota of the Earth c. AD 2009 is the supreme, ideal, never-to-be-surpassed, perfect arrangement, and we must make every effort to preserve it, as if it were a little Christmas scene embedded in glass—except those, of course, are usually snowy.

    Not to mention that there is no single climate on this Earth—Melanesia is quite different from Milwaukee, and that from McMurdo Sound. But is the congeries of climates on the Earth of today preferable to that of the Medieval Warm Period? Or maybe you would prefer the Younger Dryas?

    Not to mention that the notion we can materially affect the climate of the Earth by modifying the tiny quantity of CO2 in our atmosphere is quite fanciful, and the hypothesis that we are unwittingly doing so has no evidence in its favor.

    However, there has been evidence adduced on this site that the modest increase in atmospheric CO2 has improved agricultural production over the last few decades (though the signal may be hard to detect because of great improvements in agricultural production—the Green Revolution). Greenhouse owners regularly increase the CO2 inside to foster better growing conditions.

    Mankind thrives in warmer conditions; they would be a boon if we could create them, but alas, that is yet beyond our power.

    /Mr Lynn

  181. E.M.Smith says:

    @Mr. Lynn: Thanks!

    bill (08:11:15) :
    E.M.Smith (05:58:57)
    your artcle is typical America-think.

    Why, Thank you! I’ve tried very hard to maintain that capacity. Mum was a Brit, though, so I sometimes wander down those thought paths as well ( I drink tea with the pinky out, like scones, spell “behaviour” and a few other the Brit way and when I was a child folks told me I had a mild British accent – picked up from mum..) But I’m old, and my Mother was born about 1923 ? or so. She came from a ‘can do’ pre socialist Britain. So some of my “America-think” is undoubtedly a bit of ancient “Empire-think”… Guess that’s evil too. Oh well, my cross to bear… I like bearing crosses… ;-)

    But, to your “points”:


    1. Nuclear stations consume “radiation” that will not be recovered.

    Um, no.

    Nuclear stations liberate radiation from intact atoms. You get more radiation at the end of the fuel cycle, not less. What is consumed is the U and Th atoms. But since more washes into the ocean each year than is needed to power the entire planet and since it CAN be extracted at economic prices, this is not a problem. You really ought to read the links, it would save my typing this the thousandth time and the moderators reading it the thousandth time.

    We run out of Uranium when we run out of planet. Literally. A few million years from now. (Then we can start using the Thorium ;-)

    And please don’t spout that this can’t be. Go follow the links. All the work is done and proven. Citations of Japanese researchers, links to tests in the ocean off Japan. India making Thorium fueled reactors. The works.


    2. Are there a never ending source of trees in a forest unless you replant. Are they replanting in the rainforests?

    Is there a never ending source of cows if you don’t let them mate?

    Your question is just as silly. Of course you replant them. And we do. Vast acreages of them. The bulk of all paper products in America come from tree farms. In New Zealand and Australia you will find wonderful Pine and Red Wood farms. Similarly, check out http://www.treepower.org/ getting about 54 tons of yield Per Acre Per Year. Oh, and Poplar is now a very common construction wood thanks to very high yield cottonwood / poplar clones that also grow at about 54 tons / acre / year. Full sized trees in about 10 years. ( I had one, a species about 1/2 the growth rate of the hybrids, the made it to about 18 inches in diameter in about 5 years. Just amazing. Smooth wood, finishes nice, burns well.)

    But yes, you do have to plant them (or let them sucker from the roots).

    Oh, and yes, folks do replant rain forests. There are whole organizations who buy up land and replant it. Contributed to one once (who’s name escapes me…

    But frankly, if you plant a few of the hybrid fast growth species in tree farms, the pressure to use the rain forest drops and you can just keep the ones you have. Oh, and the FASTEST way to kill the rain forest is to promote “Carbon Credits for REFORESTATION”. Why? Because the rules let you cut down the old growth, then replant to get the “credits”. Carbon Credits == Rain Forest Destruction.

    I am 100% for setting aside all the old growth left on the planet and preventing any further consumption of it. We just don’t need to do it. Tree farms are more productive and yield, in many cases, better common lumber. (Specialty woods are still an issue, but folks are working on it).


    3. Fish is there an infinite resource of fish.

    Not quite infinite in annual yield, but infinite in total yield (i.e. never ends), but it can be expanded a great deal more.

    Again, please read the links. It is covered there. In a word: Aquaculture. We can grow more total mass of fish than the total mass of all people on the planet, and then some. It’s just not an issue. (AND you get 10 x more fish per pound of feed than you get beef per pound of feed. Fish will be the LAST thing to become short supply. Cows first… )

    Cod is on quota.

    Yes. We hit “peak fish” from the ocean about 20 years ago. At this point, roughly 30% of fish consumed world wide is from aquaculture operations.

    We can double that a few more times before we need to “get fancy” and use some of the more interesting techniques. Interestingly enough, the Salmon Fishing operations on the west coast of the USA are really peeved at the Salmon Farmers. Cut the prices so low it’s hard to justify fishing the oceans.

    One recent accomplishment was the culturing of Abalone in California. Each year another species or two is ‘figured out’ and the fishing pressure comes off the ocean just a little more. Tilapia, shrimp, salmon, oysters, clams, catfish, trout.. Don’t know where cod is on the list, but I think it was being looked at.

    You know, I can get trout at Costco for about $2.40 / lb. When I was a kid, it was about $15 / lb IF you could find it. Aquaculture is a marvelous thing. What was once the most expensive and limited fish in the store is now the most common and cheapest. Gotta love it.

    Whales are not slaughtered because of declining numbers.

    Strange, last I looked their numbers were rising due to protection. So we’re wasting our time on all this conservation effort? Gee, who knew… /sarcoff>

    Here I thought they were not slaughtered because we figured out they were intelligent sentient beings and deserved protection… Besides, with trout and salmon so cheap from aquaculture, there isn’t really any economic reason to hunt whales. It’s mostly a cultural thing. Talk to the sociology department…


    4. At some point the energy used to extract, clean, separate, etc. oil/gas will equal the energy derived from its use. Is this not an end point?

    An end point for what?

    Look, there is an infinite supply of energy. Forever. Get over it. Wrap your mind around it. Embrace it. Then you can start to see what really is, instead of the “Limits to Growth” Club of Rome excreta.

    You are about to run down the whole Energy ROE / ROI thing. Pointless.

    Yes, for any given level of technology there is an energy breakeven point. But then technology changes and advances… So fields are ‘shut in’, then someone develops ‘steam stripping’ and they reopen. Then they close again after a few billion more bbls are pumped out. Then someone invented “Liquid CO2 flooding”. (Guess why Oil Companies are gung ho for mandatory CO2 sequestration… they get their competitor, Coal, to pay them to take the CO2 they would otherwise have to pay to get… CO2 sequestration == MORE OIL used, not less.)

    At the end game, you no longer use the oil for energy, you use it for raw materials. At that point you use nuclear electricity to lift the oil and you are using it as a chemical feedstock, not prime energy source. But that point is about 200 years away. (And please, don’t run off to the “need it for petrochemicals – SAVE IT” thing. We don’t. ANY carbon source can be – and is- used. Coal, Nat gas, algae, wood, trash, ‘poo’, …)

    I don’t even think we can rationally say what energy needs will be in 200 years. I’m pretty sure, given the advances in battery technology, that cars won’t be running on dino juice then (unless it is Diesel from Algae).

    And then, after 200 years, we might, just maybe need to use any one of a half dozen already proven ways to GROW CRUDE OIL using a variety of plants including your choice of trees, algae, grass, bacteria, or even just feeding trash to the “oil factory” as is being done now in Los Angeles by a company whose stock I own… (RTK, SYNM, SYMX, PSUD, OOIL just a few of the stock tickers for companies doing this right now. I own some stock of the first 4 ) Cost to produce ranges from about $50 / bbl to $80 / bbl and dropping.

    Eventually this will cross under crude oil costs and the wells will be shut. But not for lack of oil…


    5. you can predict 250 years into the future ?

    Yes. Not perfectly, but well enough.

    Did you predict Chernobyl,

    No. Wasn’t looking that way. Did know the Russian design had that risk, though. It’s a tacky design. The Westinghouse (now owned by Toshiba? somebody like that) passive design is much better. They can’t melt down.

    wars in Iraq / Iran

    Yes and yes. But folks didn’t want to listen to me.

    BTW, I predict a bigger and nuclear war in the axis connecting Israel, through Iran, to Pakistan and on to China and ending in North Korea. When? 10 years or less. Who? That gets a bit harder. It’s a race condition between North Korea and Iran. I think Iran wins it, unless Israel does what it is so good at doing… (IF Pakistan destabilizes, it’s an India / Pakistan thing. About 20% odds right now, and rising… at least 10 years out, though, so not in the first round.) I’d give it about 15% odds we can avoid it. And dropping…

    Don’t know what this has to do with Aluminum, though. And has even less to do with power. Those folks are swimming in power sources and resources.

    / Eastern Europe / Africa?

    What? You want me to spend my days writing the whole future history of the planet? I try to concentrate on those areas that will make some money for me… (Used to ‘use the gift’ for entertainment, but nobody would listen. Now I just predict political economic process and invest on it. It’s a living. It’s how I make my lunch money…)

    OK, you insist: Eastern Europe: No war soon. The European issue will be Russia in Georgia. Eastern Europe continues rapid economic advance and eventually joins the E.U. White Russia may hold back and stick with Mother Russia. Africa: ALWAYS will be wars. Too tribal and too greedy to do otherwise, and all the external countries are willing to feed those behaviours for their own gain. Most wars will be as in Sudan. Religion, race, or tribal traditional driven.

    Did you not warn the Aluminium smelters that the subsidy of their electricity would be removed.

    Nope. Not my job. Folks don’t listen anyway. BTW, it was not a subsidy, as pointed out above, it was a free market bargain. Lower costs surplus electricity in exchange for lower reliability and swing consumer status. But thanks to “no nukes” and coal being suppressed, there is no longer surplus off hours electricity. So the “deal” falls apart.

    Didn’t invest in them though. You can see that any energy intensive industry will move to China (at least until the nutty wind and solar and nothing else fad breaks it’s teeth on a cold freeze winter; and we get back to building nukes and clean coal plants again). Harder to predict that one. Could be 10 years, but plus or minus 5. It will have a gradual ‘fade in’ with regional variations that makes a single number kind of hokey. Metals and refining are early on the list to go. Once gone, they do not return.

    Given present social (i.e. socialist) trends in the USA, it is not a long term investment location for at least the next 5 years. People are very slow to learn and it will be a generational shift to tilt as back to decent capitalism. Might take up to 20 years. Depends on how fast the economy and society reach collapse.

    Coal MINING and railroads win on the deal. BNS Burlington Northern SantaFe (that I now own thanks to BRKA BRKB Birkshire Hathaway buying them) is a coal hauling railroad. They are signing deals, as is BTU Peabody Coal, to mine and ship coal to China for decades to come. I’d own a Chinese aluminum company if I was buying aluminum; but I’m buying copper instead. And NOT in the USA. Energy and tax costs are too high. PCU Southern Copper in Chile and FCX Freeport copper and gold mostly mining in Indonesia are well placed. Avoid US operations of any company needing significant energy.

    6. Have you done an energy budget for extraction of oil from shale

    Yes. Breakeven is at about $75 to $100 bbl of oil equivalent. Not going to happen for about 40 years. Tar sands beat it until then, and frankly, algae has a shot at taking the $80 position and making it pointless to do at all in about 5 years. Don’t bet on shale. Too much other cheap energy around.

    BTW, oil shale can be burned as is without extraction. Just crush it and burn it. Lots of ash, but it works. Cost works out to about 3 x coal. Energy / ton about 1/3 coal, but well past break even on energy basis. Worth doing in about 300 years when the coal get ‘slim’.

    /semi depleted wells

    No. Field is too specialized and fairly secretive. I just buy stock in the guys who are good at it… Apache APA is one of the better ones… Makes profit when other folks walk away.

    BTW, a recent advance in “tight shale” has put about 50 to 100 years supply of Natural Gas on the market dirt cheap. Crashed nat gas prices from $15 to $5/ unit.

    Look for lots of natural gas vehicles. (And yes, I own some stock in CLNE the T.Boone Pickens company pushing natural gas stations and vehicles. The man knows how to make money…)

    In the 1970′s in “The Limits to Growth” by Meadows et.al. they predicted (pardon, projected) heck with it: They SAID we would run out of natural gas in 10 years. All their computer exponential curves said so… Sound familiar? Same folks pushing the same “stuff”, but with a different demographic now…

    I strongly suggest you get off the Club of Rome “Limits” band wagon. They really do not know how the physical world works… (Though I must admire their ability in propaganda, social manipulation, fad creation, and general political skill.)

    that you can post please.

    No. Not the topic of this blog, and this is not my home, it’s Anthony’s.

    And frankly, I think I’ve probably already pushed the limit of “Off Topic” too much with this reply as it is.

    You want more, hit the links to my site. I’m willing to talk resource economics more there. (It’s my turf and I can do so without causing moderators to have eyestrain and be bored with a non-weather non-tech topic…)

    Be advised: I’m an economist who has focused on energy and resource issues since about 1973. I’m really really into energy and resource economics and technologies. I did make most of my money in computer programming / management, though. Why?

    The first thing you learn in Economics is the Law of Supply and Demand and that it is inviolate.

    The second thing you learn is that there is a very large supply of economists and almost no demand … ;-)

    So I’ve “had a day job” to fund the resource economics interests…

    But if you ‘want to go there’, well, I’ve only got 1/4 century of study and focus in it. Including a university level class in “The Economics of Ecology” where we studied “The Limits” and all it’s implications and bogosity plumb to death… (Sometimes I shudder when I remember the 200 entry bibliography for the reading material only… but it was a great class.)

  182. E.M.Smith says:

    crosspatch (21:37:51) : It is a shame the company can’t buy a pair of these and run for another 100 years on the site.

    Way Cool! Nice to see a second player in the thorium fuel market! (I’ve got a chunk of what was Thorium Power, but had a name change to LTBR Lightbridge; also doing thorium fuel cycle work. They have fuel bundles about to go into burn in a few test reactors around the planet:

    MCLEAN, Va., Oct 15, 2009 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) — Lightbridge Corporation (LTBR) , the leading developer of non-proliferative nuclear fuel technology and provider of comprehensive advisory services for civil nuclear energy programs, today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Russian Limited Liability Research and Development Company (“SOSNY”). SOSNY will serve as Lightbridge’s prime contractor in Russia to manage the research and development activities related to the lead test assembly (“LTA”) program for Russian-designed VVER-1000 reactors.

    So it looks like the Thorium Fuel Cycle is about to “go live” one way or the other. There is at least as much Thorium as Uranium on the planet. There are whole beaches of the sand in the Carolinas and piles of the stuff in India. No one knows how much, for sure, since the market for it was basically non-existent due to nobody having a licensed fuel bundle. Yet.

    Well, looks like that 11,000 thousand years of nuclear power life from “on land Uranium lifetime” just got extended to about 30,000 to 40,000 years. Guess the ‘extraction from the ocean’ couple of million years of fuel will have to wait a while ;-)

    And folks wonder why I’m not worried about any energy shortage (other than politically caused…)

    BTW, there are also other potential fuel cycles and burnable isotopes. Just nobody sees any reason to even start investigating them with that kind of conventional and easy fuel supply overhang. And yes, putting a micro-nuke next to an aluminum refiner / smelter is a great idea.

    China is making a modular pebble bed reactor for just that kind of thing. Passively safe design, too. We created the technology some many years ago and had one (Ft. St. Vrain?) some decades ago… VW cooked up a way to use the nuclear process heat from such a HTGCR to drive a coal to methanol process. About 3/4 of the energy in the fuel tank of the (VW) car would come from the nuke. Price was about $.75 / gallon of gasoline equivalent (that in todays dollars ought to be somewhere around $2.5 – $3 / GGE).

    My personal fantasy design is a nuke, driving an aluminum smelter, that makes large chunks of aluminum for an “Aluminum / Air Battery” powered car. You fuel up by swapping out a bucket of AlO for a lump of Aluminum. The Al / air batteries are already used in UPS devices for commercial scale computer rooms, so the size needed already exists and is proven to work … All it would take is cheap electricity to power the Al company…

    Some times I miss the days when folks could just do stuff instead of begging permission from the government… Now you can’t even adjust your fuel system or exhaust pipe without a permit… Guess that’s why the interesting stuff is happening in China, Russia, and India. Strange to think that freedom is surviving there…

    Oh Well.

  183. Vincent says:

    bill,

    “Many fish/mammals/birds have been brought to the edge, and further, of extinction by our actions. I’m sure you are capable of googling these.”

    We have all googled these, I’m sure. And you know what? Those animals are being brought to the edge of extinction through habitat destruction, illegal hunting, “voodoo” trades in tiger bones, rhino horn etc, over fishing. None that I know of are endangered because of CO2.

    And how do we prevent these bad things from endangering still more animals? Well, for starters, we don’t want to burn down still more rain forest to plant biodiesel; we can provide affordable electricity from a power station so impoverished people can stop ripping up their environment for fire wood: we can educate people so they learn that tiger bones have no medical benefits; we can build more fish farms to relieve the pressure on the oceans.

    These are just some of the ways to help the environment. There are many more. Those people that are pushing for CO2 reductions at the expsense of all else, are not “green” in any sense of the word that I can recognise – they are anti-green.

  184. Phlogiston says:

    bill (16:37:41) :
    “Phlogiston (15:21:31) : just keep taking the Radithor!”

    Now thats quite unusual for an AGW proponent to be talking or thinking about events as much a 100 years ago. Past history is somewhat politically incorrect for global warming science, one is meant to tacitly bury the whole discipline of palaeo-climate for example and overwrite it with hockey sticks from Mann and Briffa for instance. (There are even AGW papers that extrapolate climate backwards from recent measurements e.g. Pollock and his bore-holes.)

    But the subject raised here is relevant since there are direct parallels between the scientific community’s treatment of radiation biology and carcinogenesis, and that of climate and climate change. In both cases a theme is involved that has been discussed several times on WUWT – the inductive or deductive nature of scientific inquiry and Karl Popper’s writing on this. In both scientific fields, an established body of data obtained in generally a deductive manner – experimental measurements and direct conclusions, have been suppressed and a highly inductive body of theory, based on elaborate models and multiple interdependent assumptions, is imposed with all previous science on the subject consigned to oblivion.

    In the case of climate science, the whole field of palaeoclimate, with voluminous evidence for the Roman Warm Period (just this week deleted from Wikipedia), the MWP, the LIA etc, not to mention the Vostok and other cores, have been airbrushed out in favour of a handful of highly dubious tree ring based hockey sticks (e.g. Mann, Briffa). Furthermore, predictions of future climate are mandated to be made only from complex computer models built around the GHG hypothesis, and well established natural cycles such as the oceanic decadal oscillations, and solar and orbitally related cycles are politically off-limits. And behind it all is the anarchic-anticapitalistic liberal faction purchasing this “science” on tap for their political objectives.

    Exactly the same thing happened in the subject where I did my PhD: radiation biology. The same anarchic-anticapitalistic, not to mention anti-intellectual, class-war driven faction decided to destroy the nuclear industry. I remember anti-nuclear activists at University with bagdes ridiculing nuclear power with the slogan “Nuclear Pah – O K Yah”. It wouldn’t take a PhD in socio-psycology to see where that is coming from.

    Our group in the UK looked at certain natural radionuclides. I found a natural model – the Canadian caribou, where natural levels of these nuclides in bone and other tissues were up to several thousand times higher than in humans, due to their subsistence on lichens during the long Tundra migrations. However this research became uncomfortable for the radiation community because, here were animals running round with levels of alpha radioactivity (the same category as uranium, plutonium etc.) but with no evident ill effects – in their albeit shortish lives. I once attended a press conference purely as a spectator for some grandoise announcement of a newly discovered molecular mechanism of radiation hazard – which apparently now made radiation more dangerous than it was before this discovery. I was minding my own business during a coffee break when a woman approached me – I remember she had a strange walk rather like a duck, and started saying something that I could not at first understand. She mentioned the phrase “caribou-free zone”. Then I twigged – she was telling me to keep my mouth shut about my research involving caribou and their sky-high natural radioactivity levels.

    The message was clear – if I wanted to continue to receive funding for radiation biology research I needed to stay on message – it was deadly at the tiniest levels and all funded research must show this. Well I didn’t – and it wasn’t.

    I am sure many contributors to this site who work in climate related research have had their own duck-woman incidents.

    O there’s a thought – Bill – are you duck-woman by any chance? Perhaps you would like to reveal your identity to us?

    I discovered later some very important studies that had been actively suppressed by the radiation community. One was possibly the closest to a perfect epidemiological study – the shipyard workers study in the USA. In epidemiology you look at groups of people to see if your pet hazard such as radiation or smoking or mobile phones etc. is having a harmful effect by comparing groups with different exposure. But a huge problem is confounding factors – things like socio-economic status and many other factors can introduce artificial differences. So ideally you need two groups where the only difference is the thing you want to study. So in the USA they looked at two shipyards, one dealing with nuclear powered ships and the other with non-nuclear. They studied the workforce heath records over many years. And they found no negative health effects whatsoever except in the highest dose categories. This and much other research pointed to a threshold – a level below which radiation exposure is practically harmless.

    But a threshold is politically unacceptable when your agenda is to destroy the nuclear industry, since most population exposures are below the threshold. So instead elaborate models are created based on cell biology and molecular data, which show a zero threshold – i.e. harm all the way down to zero. This makes it possible to legislate punitively and prohibitively against nuclear activities.

    As in the case of climate science, an established body of experimentally derived knowledge using a deductive approach is ignored and suppressed, and a new highly inductive approach is taken making elaborate models based on many interdependent assumptions. The models can be easily designed to show what you want to show, with complete contempt for what happens in the real world.

  185. old construction worker says:

    MMR05 (15:00:43) :
    ‘Can anybody name a superpower from any point in history that collapsed because it was too progressive…..’
    Just to name two where progressive tax and spending was the down fall.
    Egypt. Pyramid building was nothing more than a government work program that led to their down fall. Egypt went broke with their progressive taxing and spending.
    Roman Empire. They could no longer pay for what was promised to their army.
    I once watched an archeology dig (history channel) on the west coast of South America where a 10,000 year old stone foundation of a building was un-earthed. There were hundreds of rooms. The commentator made the comment, “This must have been a government building.” I really doubt it was a Holiday Inn but it could have been.

  186. old construction worker says:

    bill (10:30:22) :
    ‘CO2
    Carbon dioxide is an asphyxiant. It initially stimulates respiration and then causes respiratory depression.
    High concentrations result in narcosis. Symptoms in humans are as follows:
    EFFECT: CONCENTRATION:
    Breathing rate increases slightly. 1% (10,000ppm)
    Breathing rate increases to 50% above normal level.’

    bill do you want to make a bet. I’ll bet you a $1000.00 If you put me in a room with 10,000ppm Of CO2 along with a supply of Oxygen to maintain 18-21% Oxygen level and none of your CO2 “Symptoms” will accrue. Do you want to take me up on it?

  187. Vincent says:

    Phlogiston,

    That was interesting about the caribou – I had no idea. This is an example of what I love about this site – you get to talk to people with real in depth knowledge in certain areas and come away learning something that you would never have learnt anywhere else.

  188. John in Spain says:

    jorgekafkazar (21:26:50) :

    (quote) Thanks, John in Spain. Quite so. The IRS Code is Title 26 USC § 7203. There is no reference to Title 26 USC § 7203 in HR 3962, thus the draconian measures cited by Ron appear to be disinformation on someone’s part. You find a lot of that kind of thing on the Internerd. (unquote)
    - – - – - – — –

    The writers of the Bill do not need to mention details such as 7203 in this Bill, they merely AMEND the existing IR Code as shown at:-

    line 18 page 296 of H.R. 3926 “(a) IN GENERAL.—Subchapter A of chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by adding at the end the following new part: …………….”

    followed by the actual amendment: Section 59B of H.R. 3962 (starts page 297).

    Basically, if a US taxpayer is without acceptable health care in a given tax year then he incurs an additional tax liability of $15,000 (estimated cost of acceptable health care coverage in 2016).

    If the taxpayer does not pay this amount to the IRS and the IRS finds about this failure to pay, then penalties will be applied. The penalties will be in the range of “mild” to “draconian” depending on the way the IRS reacts to this failure to pay.

    For more information on penalties I suggest you read the JCT letter which can be recovered from the link given in Ron’s original post

    http://republicans.waysandmeans.house.gov/UploadedFiles/JCTletter110509.pdf

    which runs through the various civil and criminal penalty options available to the IRS but in particular see letter page 3 and also footnote 3.

    Toodle pip

  189. Mr Lynn says:

    Vincent (06:39:21)

    Ditto about this site, even the stuff that’s over my head (love hearing pros talk shop).

    Phlogiston’s account of the similarity between the faux science that killed nuclear power and the agenda-driven ‘climate science’ of today is revelatory. It’s really worth an article in a major publication.

    And of course EM Smith is as expert as usual; reminds me of Heinlein with his conversational but intriguing lectures.

    /Mr Lynn

  190. Smokey says:

    bill (16:21:26) says that his…

    “…anology was ludicrous, yes, but it was in response to the equally ludicrous statement that more CO2 is better.”

    More CO2 would be beneficial, yes: Agricultural yields would improve. And since CO2 at trace gas levels is completely harmless, more in a starving world is better. After all, the current increase in CO2 has had zero detrimental effects.

    If bill believes that the recent increase in CO2 has been harmful, he needs to provide some solid real world evidence.

  191. Sam Wilson says:

    I also was a member of the Sierra club but stopped paying my dues to
    them when they were using their funds to promote the morning after
    pill. I consider myself a common sense environmentalist, but the Sierra
    Club extremists were just a little too much for me to take. I strongly feel they
    are just as dangerous to our economy as any other terrorist group…

    Sam Wilson

Comments are closed.