Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

THIS WEEK:
By Ken Haapala, Executive Vice President Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
This week the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment of the US House of Representatives held a hearing entitled: “A Rational Discussion of Climate Change: the Science, the Evidence, and the Response.” We attended the first two panels of three panels of this almost 4 hour long hearing. A video of the entire hearing can be found at: http://www.c-span.org/… and the submitted testimony at http://science.house.gov…

Since the new Congress does not convene until January, the hearing was held under a House controlled by the Democratic Party. The following are a few impressions of the proceedings.

Several members commented how unusual it was to have one dissenter on each panel. The usual practice has been one dissenter for the entire hearing. This change, no doubt, was in response to the elections. Chairman Brian Baird (D) of Washington chose not to run again in a contested district and Ranking Member Bob Inglis (R) of South Carolina lost his primary election to a tea party candidate. Both Baird and Inglis expressed great concern over ocean acidification from increased carbon dioxide.

Returning Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R) from Maryland advocates electricity from alternative sources. Among other reasons he believes in “peak oil” and that a Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) is needed to compete with China as well as for national security. Apparently, he is unaware that only 1% of electricity is generated from oil and RES will do virtually nothing to lessen dependence on foreign oil.

Also returning are Rep. Ralph Hall (R, Texas) and Rep Dana Rohrabacher (R, CA). Hall read into the record a statement questioning global warming claims and supporting industry. Rohrabacher stayed for much of the portion we attended, asking questions from the witnesses and submitting into the record President Eisenhower’s farewell address to the nation in which he cautions the public of the dangers of a military-industrial complex and a scientific-technological elite controlling public policy.

On the first panel the advocates were represented by Ralph Cicerone, President of the National Academy of Sciences, Gerald Meehl of National Center for Atmospheric Research (NACR), and Heidi Cullen of Climate Central. The dissident was Richard Lindzen of MIT.

In the oral testimony and the Q & A Cicerone and Meehl were typical, both relying heavily on models and authority. Both asserted that warming causes changes in cloud cover (clouds are a feedback). Cicerone claimed sea level rise is increasing. Meehl asserted increases in climate extremes and temperature extremes in the past decade. He ignored the 1930s. Politely described, Heidi’s comments are forgettable.

In the oral testimony and the Q & A, Lindzen was exceptional. He asserted that the wrong question is being asked – the key consideration is climate sensitivity. He outlined areas of general agreement, for example, that the calculated effect of a doubling of CO2 will likely result in an increase in temperatures of about 1 deg. C and observations indicate one half that. He pointed out that the different models use different values for aerosols [values which are not empirically determined] but are adjusted by the modelers. Lindzen asserted the influence of clouds is some 20 times the influence of CO2. When asked how much cooler would the earth be would be without CO2, Lindzen said about 2.5 deg. C. The others questioned this estimate but gave no meaningful rationale for their doubt.

The advocates on the second panel were Benjamin Santer of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Richard Alley of Penn State, and Richard Feely of NOAA. The dissident was Patrick Michaels of Cato.

The Q & A during the second panel was quite interesting Michaels held his own against Santer, who obviously believes that anyone who disagrees with him is absolutely, totally, undeniably wrong.

No doubt some of the committee members were disturbed by the testimony and comments by Richard Feely of NOAA. He claimed ocean acidification has increased 20% which is resulting in dire coral die off, and if it continues, millions of species will become extinct. Feely claimed sea organisms are already becoming smaller. During the Q & A he asserted that a pH of 7.7 [a base] will cause the Arctic and Antarctic oceans to become corrosive from top to bottom. No doubt under the current administration, “ocean acidification” is becoming a big push from NOAA as one of the scary consequences of increasing CO2.
[Fortunately, the website CO2 Science continues to compile the largest online database on ocean acidification. Craig Idso states: “for the degree of pH decline that is projected, we do not find the disaster that is promulgated by the alarmists.” Populations of some organisms may decline, but populations of many others will likely grow. See http://www.co2science.org/data/acidification/acidifi…

Evidently, Rep. Inglis is so taken by the term “ocean acidification” that he produced an egg in which the shell had been dissolved by a combination of water and vinegar, which is an acid. Apparently, he believes oceans will become an acid rather then become less alkaline.

The advocates repeated the slogan: multiple lines of evidence. What is meant by lines of evidence is not clear.
#######################################
November 20, 2010 marks the one-year anniversary of the appearance of the Climategate emails. Thus far, there are no official announcements of who did the deed – a leaker or a hacker. Over the year, the transformation is remarkable. A year ago it appeared likely that an international agreement would be reached whereby Western nations, at least, would permit an international organization to control the use of fossil fuels. Today it appears unlikely for many of these nations. A year ago the slogan was Climate Justice, which is rapidly disappearing. As importantly, after two decades of propaganda a monolithic belief has been cracked and in many circles open questioning of this belief is permitted. Please see the articles referenced under Climategate
#######################################
Of course there are some organizations in which the monolithic belief continues, including Science Magazine, which reviewed a defamation of character of those who questioned this belief as a serious work of history and refused to publish the rebuttal by the only surviving member of those defamed. Please see Article # 1.
#######################################
Scientific American conducted a poll of its readers and is discovering that many of its readers are not thoroughly indoctrinated in the belief that humans are causing unprecedented and dangerous global warming. Please see Article # 2
#######################################
The efforts to conduct a thorough investigation of some of the legal issues raised by the Climategate emails continue. Please see Article #3.
#######################################
The US EPA continues its march to impose highly restrictive regulations on a nation that is suffering from high unemployment. One new effort is the issuance of a Best Available Control Technology (BACT) policy guidance to state agencies for issuing permits power plants and other stationary sources of greenhouse gases.

By issuing vague guidance rather than clear rules, the EPA cleverly manipulates the system. First, the comment period is very short Second, it allows the EPA arbitrary power to what complies with the guidelines and what does not. Third, it may allow-third party green industry groups to sue to develop friendly out-of-court settlements that ignore the affected parties. The last is common in environmental regulations such as “wetlands.” It appears that Texas is refusing to go along. Please see articles under EPA on the March.
#######################################
THE NUMBER OF THE WEEK is 4.7 GWe to 8.5 GWe, or the nominal electrical generating capacity of wind installed in China in 2008 as compared to that installed in the US. So much for the claim that China is leading in wind – at least in installed capacity. (For wind generation, installed capacity is not a particularly meaningful measure because nature, not human operators, controls the amount of electricity generated at a specific time. Thus, wind is unreliable and requires expensive and inefficient back-up.)

Summarizing the actual electricity capacity being installed in China as compared to the US:

Nuclear power plants under construction: China 24, US 1
Hydroelectricity capacity added in 2008: China 20.1 GWe, US ZERO.
Coal fired electricity capacity added in 2008: China 658 GWe, US 0.7 GWe.
Wind generated electricity capacity added in 2008: China 4.7 GWe, US 8.5 GWe.

Contrary to what politicians and alternative energy promoters claim, China is not in a race with the US to build alternative sources of electricity. It is in a race to build all the affordable, reliable electricity-generating capacity it can from traditional sources for the benefit of its citizens, their children, and grandchildren.

The sources for the above are the Department of Energy and the World Nuclear Association.
#######################################
ARTICLES:
For the numbered articles below please see: The Week That Was
1. A Response to “The Climate Change Debates”
By S. Fred Singer, Energy & Environment, Vol. 21. Num. 7, Dec 2010
http://multi-science.metapress.com/content/6n2126010….
[SEPP Comment: The rebuttal Science Magazine refused to print.]

2. A New Consensus
Editorial, IBD, Nov 12, 2010 [H/t Tom Sheahen]
http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/553….

3 The Global Warming Court Battle
By S. Fred Singer, American Thinker, Nov 14, 2010
http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/11/the_global_wa….

4. An Energy Drink for the GOP
The Republicans have yet to make the billons wasted on job-killing subsidies to green energy projects a top issue
By Kimberley Strassel, WSJ, Nov 19, 2010
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704104….

5. Obama Plays 3-Card Monte In Gulf
Editorial, IBD, Nov 18, 2010
http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/554….

6. The Renewable Electricity Standard Con
By Kenneth Haapala, American Thinker, Nov 13, 2010
http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/11/the_renewable….


NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Climategate Continued
November 20, 2009: The Day “Global Warming” Ended
By Alan Caruba, Warning Signs, Nov 17, 2010
http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/2010/11/day-glob….

Climategate – still the issue
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Nov 20, 2010
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/20/climategate-st….

Climategate: One Year and Sixty House Seats Later
By Marc Sheppard, American Thinker, Nov 20, 2010 [H/t Cooler Heads Digest]
http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/11/climategate_o….

The year climate science was redefined
The 12 months since the leaking of emails written by climate-change scientists have seen major shifts in environmental debate
By Mike Hulme, Guardian, Nov 16, 2010 [H/t ICECAP]
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/nov/15/ye….

What Does Climategate Say About Science?
By Terence Kealey, GWPF, Nov 19, 2010
http://thegwpf.org/opinion-pros-a-cons/1886-terence-….

Challenging the Orthodoxy
From Global Warming To Global Climate Disruption
The Scientific Alliance, Nov 19, 2010 [H/t ICECAP]
http://scientific-alliance.org/…

Kracked Up Over Krakatoa: Models Have It All Wrong
By Patrick Michaels, World Climate Report, Nov 17, 2010
http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2010/11/….

Another AGW argument bites the, er, dust
By Ed Morrissey, Nov 12, 2010, Hot Air
http://hotair.com/archives/2010/11/12/another-agw-ar….

Canada dodges carbon suicide
By Peter Foster, Financial Post, Nov 18, 2010 [H/t ICECAP]
http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/11/18/peter….

Dependence on borrowed research has cost us, says Jairam Ramesh
The Hindu, Nov 18, 2010 [H/t Tom Sheahen]
http://www.allvoices.com/s/event-7363076/aHR0cDovL3d….

Defending the Orthodoxy
ABC admits it’s a propaganda arm of government
By Joanne Nova, Nov 20, 2010
http://joannenova.com.au/…

Carbon price now or we’ll pay later
By Julia Gillard [Prime Minster] Sydney Morning Herald, Nov 17, 2010 [H/t Des Moore]
http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/carbon-price-….
[SEPP Comment: Raising electricity costs is the path to prosperity -for whom? Since businesses do not know if Australia will tax electricity from coal, it is imperative to do it now. Will businesses then know taxes will not be raised in the future?]

As Kyoto plan collapses, Plan B emerges
By Dalibor Rohac, Washington Times, Nov 12, 2010
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/nov/12/as-k….

IPCC Official: “Climate Policy Is Redistributing The World’s Wealth”
Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection, says the German economist and IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer. The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated.
By Bernard Potter, Neue Zurcher Zeitung, Transl. Philipp Mueller, Nov 14, 2010 [H/t Marc Morano Climate Depot]
http://thegwpf.org/ipcc-news/1877-ipcc-official-clim….

Climate Wars: Nick Stern Threatens U.S. With Trade Boycott
By Ben Webster, The Times, Nov 19, 2010 [GWPF]
http://www.thegwpf.org/uk-news/1883-nick-stern-threa….

Deutsche Bank, Al Gore And The $10 Billion Climate Fund
By Christian Hiller, Transl. Philipp Mueller, Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung, Nov 10, 2010
http://thegwpf.org/international-news/1860-deutsche-….
[SEPP Comment: What's wrong with making money when we're saving the planet?]

Cost-effective ways to address climate change
By Bjorn Lomborg, Washington Post, Nov 17, 2010 [H/t Donna Bethell]
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article….
[SEPP Comment: Assume the most extreme claims are probable; then less extreme claims are rational.]

Seeking a Common Ground
Soul searching enviro-journalists admit they look duped and should have talked to skeptics
By Joanne Nova, Nov 9, 2010
http://joannenova.com.au/2010/11/soul-searching-envi….

BP Oil Spill and Aftermath
The ecological monster who said … peep
Why the Gulf oil spill didn’t spread to the voting booths
By Ben Lieberman, Washington Times, Nov 18, 2010
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/nov/18/the-….

White House edits stain its reliance on science
By Dina Cappiello, AP, Nov 10, 2010
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101110/ap_on_bi_ge/us_g….

Energy Issues
Disarmament In America’s Energy Security Battles
By Larry Bell, Forbes, Nov 18, 2010
http://www.forbes.com/2010/11/18/energy-nuclear-clim….

Report: Energy Storage Technology Development Critical for National RES
Power News, Nov 17, 2010
http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/3185.html?hq_e=el&….
[SEPP Comment: A report from the American Physical Society supports RES while recognizing that commercially viable storage and a better grid are necessary.]

US wants China to reciprocate green energy subsidies
By Staff Writers, Energy Daily, APF, Nov 15, 2010 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/US_wants_China_t….

Let Ethanol Subsidies Die
By Ronald Bailey, Reason, Nov 16, 2010
http://reason.com/archives/2010/11/16/congress-let-e….

Clean energy: Economic key to 21st century
By US Senators Debbie Stabenow, Kay Hagan, and Mark Udall, Politico, Nov 17, 2010
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1110/45261.html….

Leaking underground CO2 storage could contaminate drinking water
By Tim Lucas, EurekAlert, Nov 11, 2010 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-11/du-lu….
[SEPP Comment: No matter how much is spent, Carbon Capture and Storage may go the way of Yucca Mountain.]

EPA and other Regulators On the March
EPA is offended by Texas’ successful permit rules
By Katheleen Hartnet White and Mario Loyola, Washington Examiner, Nov 17, 2010
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns/Op….
[SEPP Comment: EPA and Texas are headed for a showdown as EPA attempts to exceed its regulatory powers. First of three parts with other parts referenced in the article.]

Cap-and-tax is dead but Kyotoism is alive and well at the EPA
By Marlo Lewis, Washington Examiner, Nov 15, 2010
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns/Ca….

EPA Issues GHG BACT Guidance
Power News, Nov 17, 2010
http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/3180.html?hq_e=el&….

Subsidies and Mandates Forever
DOI Approves 500-MW Solar Plant
Power News, Nov 17, 2010
http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/3184.html?hq_e=el&….
[SEPP Comment: A German firm gets $1 Billion in tax credits, which may be cash, for providing 180 to 200 permanent jobs, or $5,000,000 per job. This does not include other subsidies such as loan guarantees and higher rates through RES.]

California Dreaming
California’s Destructive Green Jobs Lobby
Silicon Valley, once synonymous with productivity-enhancing innovation, is now looking to make money on feel-good government handouts.
By George Gilder, WSJ, Nov 16, 2010
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703305….

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC
For a full list of articles see NIPCC Report
Biological Effects of “Ocean Acidification”
Reference: Vézina, A.F. and Hoegh-Guldberg, O. 2008.. Effects of ocean acidification on marine ecosystems. Marine Ecology Progress Series 373: 199-201.
http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2010/nov/17nov20….

Intensified El Ninos in the Central Equatorial Pacific
Reference: Lee, T. and McPhaden, M.J. 2010. Increasing intensity of El Niño in the central-equatorial Pacific. Geophysical Research Letters 37: 10.1029/2010GL044007.
http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2010/nov/17nov20….

ENSO Activity and Climate Change
Reference: Langton, S.J., Linsley, B.K., Robinson, R.S., Rosenthal, Y., Oppo, D.W., Eglinton, T.I., Howe, SS., Djajadihardja, Y.S.. and Syamsudin, F. 2008. 3500 yr record of centennial-scale climate variability from the Western Pacific Warm Pool. Geology 36: 795-798.
http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2010/nov/17nov20….

Tropical Cyclone Intensity Discrepancies
Reference: Song, J.-J., Wang, Y. and Wu, L. 2010. Trend discrepancies among three best track data sets of western North Pacific tropical cyclones. Journal of Geophysical Research 115: 10.1029/2009JD013058.
http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2010/nov/16nov20….

Other Scientific Subjects
Human brain has more switches than all computers on Earth
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore, Cnet, Nov 17, 2010 [H/t A. J. Meyer]
http://news.cnet.com/8301-27083_3-20023112-247.html#….

Scientists isolate ‘anti-atom’ for study
Looking for first antimatter
By Frank Jones, Washington Times, Nov 18, 2010
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/nov/18/scie….

Other Issues that May Be Of Interest
What’s driving Obama’s subsidies of Chevy Volt
By George Will, Washington Post, Nov 14, 2010 [H/t Randy Randol]
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article….

Cap-and-Trade Exchange Calls It Quits
By John Collins Rudolf, NYT, Nov 17, 2010
http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/17/climate-fu….

- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -

BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
As Glaciers Melt, Science Seeks Data on Rising Seas
By Justin Gillis, NYT, Nov 13, 2010 [H/t David Manuta]
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/14/science/earth/14ic….

US PV Market Has Incredible Upside To Growth Potential
By Jose Ignacio Briano, SPX Eclareon, Nov 17, 2010 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
http://www.solardaily.com/reports/US_PV_Market_Has_I….

About these ads
This entry was posted in Climate News Roundup. Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

  1. Garry says:

    The China nuclear power plans are even more ambitious than indicated, according to the Work Nuclear Association, which is the global trade association for the nuclear industry:

    China Reactors Construction: 23
    China Reactors Planned: 29
    China Reactors Proposed: 120

    USA Reactors Construction: 1
    USA Reactors Planned: 9
    USA Reactors Proposed: 22

    The UK numbers are utterly pathetic, and are actually exceeded by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

    http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/reactors.html

  2. Enneagram says:

    There is a big business opportunity for a candles manufacturing facility :-)

  3. jack morrow says:

    Garry says:
    Don’t worry about all this Garry because we have really intelligent and caring elected and appointed officials. We can all sleep like babies and let them take complete care of us. (Sarc off.)

  4. E.M.Smith says:

    Take a look also at ‘coal under contract’. China is buying up access to coal around the world and in the USA. It’s not just the power plants being built, it’s the 20 and 30 year contracts for coal delivery being signed. China is in love with coal, and for good reason.

    Warren Buffet bought Burlington Northern rail road based in part on their projections of great ongoing revenue from hauling Wyoming coal to ports for shipment to China.

    IMHO, we ought to be using US coal in the USA, not selling it to China to be used outside of “controls”…

  5. James Barker says:

    OT, but when I look at Tips and Notes, the comment block does not appear, also for most of the day, the last tip I could see was sent at 5:40AM???

  6. Pascvaks says:

    “EPA-itis”, a virulent form of top-down government by unelected hacks, is spreading this week as evidenced BIG SIS’s TSA crackdown on Dick and Jane Plumber and their kids at all the nation’s airports. Sooooo.. we have the Chinese buying up all our coal (when they already have plenty) and we have the Federals kicking in all our doors and strip searching the wife and kids like a bunch of Brown Shirts molesting people on sidewalks and smashing windows in Munich. Meanwhile, the weather and climate is pretty much as expected for this time of year and we still have a heck of a lot of people in bread lines and selling apples and walking around in a daze.

  7. Doug Badgero says:

    “Coal fired electricity capacity added in 2008: China 658 GWe, US 0.7 GWe.”

    I believe it should be ‘65.8’ not ‘658’. Sadly, the .7 is correct.

  8. Mike Jowsey says:

    Thanks for this excellent wrap-up of the week, Ken, complete with a very interesting list of “recommended reading”. Particularly liked your synopsis of the Congressional hearing.

  9. Green Hornet says:

    With the recent statements made to Congress, I am convinced that you cannot rationalize with the environmental radicals because every issue is hysteria, in which no contrarian debates are allowed; obviously, the science is “settled”. When this type of approach is taken, no rationale solutions can be derived. The left is not interested in the environment, only in stifling debate. The conclusions of the IPCC are far, far from being settled, but every spineless salivating politician is now seeing dollar signs from all the potential taxes they feel they are now morally obligated to collect, in the name of the environment. There is a distinction between environmental issues and Global warming. But you would be hard-pressed to identify that nuance among the press, or the many governments and institutions all jumping on the GW bandwagon. It would be naive to believe that altruism is the only motivating factor for theses parties, i.e. international governments whose only interest is in Uncle Sam dispensing out checks, every time an American turns on the lights, or the willingness of many scientists to compromise their scientific integrity, by issuing hyperbolic statements about the peril of the planet that they know to be BS and borderline absurd.

    We want to seek cleaner alternate energy sources- I’m all for that! But this religious fervency, with which the left has framed this issue, is morally repugnant, and bordering on McCarthyism. It is unfortunate that this brand of fear fanaticism has spread to the masses of people, whose unfortunate circumstances in life are now given a new focal point for their disenfranchisement. It is especially vile when the message is intended to magnify the fears of children, who are the most vulnerable to this propaganda. Because the majority of people cannot or are not inclined to delve in the specifics of the science, we are left to the mercies of mercenary scientists, who are paid handsome sums of grant money to perpetrate the climatological status quo”. Many are not even aware, that the IPCC report has downgraded their original assertions from the catastrophic scenarios originally espoused, to the more moderate predictions, which really should cause one to wonder- OK- what is the fuss all about? More and more, there is published data from other sources, other than IPCC, which show evidence that the causes of the warming have been incorrectly assigned toward humans. Again, do not count on the many members of the fourth estate to highlight these contradictions, since they are both lazy and complicit in the misdirection.

    The way the argument is framed, rather obnoxiously I would say, is “How can you not accept that the earth is warming?” Well, the argument should be positioned to ask “How can you not accept that earth is ever dynamic?” It is apparent to most scientists by now, that the claims from that ridiculous Gore movie, are way over the top, and most, sheepishly shy away from the outlandish claims made by Mr. Gore. He will perhaps find a better audience among the mis-informed pop culture icons and their worshipers. The unfortunate part of all of this, is that legitimate environmental concerns will not be properly addressed, while solutions to non-existent problems are approached with the typical politically correct demagoguery of the few, with no consideration of the consequences, intended or otherwise, to the lives of the billions of inhabitants of this planet. America is complicit in this hyperbole, by acquiescing to the diatribes of the more radicalized factions of greenies, bent on stifling scientific debate, and feeding the hysteria with messianic overtones. Our politicians are totally gutless, and adverse to any position, regardless of principles, that will make them appear as though they are questioning the tenants of AGW. The greenies and the radical left have succeeded in shaping the argument to make it seem that debating AGW is akin to questioning the purity of mom, apple pie, or the loyalty of a fine dog. Long Live Political correctness.

  10. David Ball says:

    The term “self-fulfilling prophecy” seems to be at work here. What I mean is that by trying to warn us of impending doom ( global climate diswhatsis, peak-a-boo oil, ocean arsification, etc.), the doom-sayers are actually going to bring it about (with China’s help[?]). The road to hell and all that. Meanwhile Co2 seems to be causing catastrophic normalcy.

  11. harrywr2 says:

    E.M.Smith says:
    November 21, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    “China is in love with coal, and for good reason.”

    Blame Japan Steel.
    They can only make 12 nuclear core forgings/year, up from 4 in 2008. As the Chinese are projected to build 120 nuclear power plants in the next 10 years that is pretty much ‘all their is’.

    By the time Wyoming coal is shipped over the Rockies and Cascades, put on a boat etc etc it ends up being somewhere in the neighborhood of $100/ton delivered to China.

    One 1,000 megawatt coal fired plant burns 3 million+ tons a year. So $300 million a year in fuel costs. A 1,000 megawatt nuke plant in China costs about $1.9 billion to build. Pretty much a no-brainer building nuke plants in China with a 7 year return on investment.

    Of course, since China needs 1,600 nuke plants and the Japanese can only make 12 cores per year then they would have to wait 100 years to get enough parts. Hence, 30 year contracts to buy coal. At some point the Chinese will work out how to manufacture nuclear cores themselves, then we won’t be able to give coal away.

  12. Dan in California says:

    Garry says: November 21, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    USA Reactors Construction: 1
    USA Reactors Planned: 9
    USA Reactors Proposed: 22
    ————————————————
    That one under construction (Watts Bar 2) was started in the 1970’s, stopped, then construction restarted in 2007. There have been ZERO new construction starts in the US in the past 30 years.

    And of the 9 reactors planned in the US, that number is DOWN in the past year. Go to that URL and click on Feb ’10 or earlier. The number was 11 planned, but financing problems caused two of them to drop out.

    Then, there’s the price problem. China is building 6 reactors on one site for $10 billion USD, http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf63.html whereas the price each in the US is about $7 billion. And that’s for the SAME reactor (Westinghouse AP 1000). The price difference is the years-long approval process and insurance for the inevitable protests from environmental groups. FYI, the gross income of a single reactor is about $400 million per year and the fuel is cheap.

  13. Brian H says:

    One of my major reasons for hope is the recent classic observation that, “If something can’t go on forever, then it won’t.” The stupidity of renewamania is self-limiting economically, as every country that is massively overpaying for feed-ins etc. is in the process of discovering, as are those who are actually trying to get usable power out of wind and solar installations — which seem to top out at some fraction of 1% of demand before they have to be “backed up” (duplicated) by conventional sources.

    And not all the idiocy or gormlessness of the Greens can change an iota of that. Facts is facts.

  14. pat says:

    There is simply nothing as stupid as a progressive. They live in a world of make believe and delusion. Delusions that they are smart, superior, and aware of vastly superior knowledge. Delusions of what others believe. A willingness to always put their society at fault, but somehow, not themselves. Delusions that competing countries and ideologies are superior regardless of the obvious fact otherwise. The the firm belief that they themselves must be privileged to afford them the opportunity to shape the world. The adoption of progressive ideals can contaminate scientists in a flash.

  15. Mytch Rider says:

    Lindzen failedto mention that another side effect of no CO(2) is no more of those plants.

  16. 899 says:

    Lindzen asserted the influence of clouds is some 20 times the influence of CO2. When asked how much cooler would the earth be would be without CO2, Lindzen said about 2.5 deg. C. The others questioned this estimate but gave no meaningful rationale for their doubt.
    For the following reason, Prof. Lindzen is incorrect: Without CO2, there would be NO plant live. And, without plant life, the Earth would be a barren wasteland, largely tan to dark brown in color.

    In such a world, the entirety of it would become one large UHI.

    Ergo, without CO2, the temperature would be WARMER, and NOT cooler.

  17. u.k.(us) says:

    It’s the windmills.
    I just can’t justify the expenditures.
    Billions of dollars of rotating inefficiency, to assuage a guilty conscience.
    Where has reason gone.

  18. BFL says:

    Excellent overall review and reference. I think that, slowly but surely, the public is beginning to see the MSM for the ruse that they are and could explain the continuing improved support for on-line non-MSM news sources that are more factual. Hopefully the tide will continue turning until these economically destructive groups are overridden by the howls of protest that they deserve. Even at this point I would give Obama only a 50-50 chance in the next election.
    Once, I saw an estimate that a letter/E-mail to a congressman equaled the approximate equivalent of 100 constituents because so few actually cared to provide input on anything that the representative did, implying that this avenue of response could also have substantial effect.
    Unfortunately, the political oppositions downside is their belief in hands off, no oversight, just trust them, freewheeling Corporate operations that led to the last near disaster, and maybe the next, depending on how an estimated 500+ Trillion dollars of casino style Derivatives trend. In the end I am not sure that there ever will be any level of government competence/moral turpitude unless the general public get their noses out of sports and TV, start taking an interest in some of the corporate rule and governance effecting their very lively hood and then begin complaining en masse.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/derivatives-are-the-new-ticking-time-bomb

    What is really irritating is that nearly all of the Hill people attend Church nearly every Sunday, which is usually of no benefit to their electors as most actively believe in the complete separation of Church and their ego state.

  19. Frank K. says:

    What I’d like to know is why Ben Santer (of all people) was selected to testify at the House sub-committee hearings. Lest we forget one of his “greatest hits”

    Dear Phil,

    I looked at some of the stuff on the Climate Audit web site. I’d really
    like to talk to a few of these “Auditors” in a dark alley.
    They seem to
    have no understanding of how science is actually done – no appreciation
    of the fact that uncertainty is an integral part of what we do. Once
    again, just let me know how I can help….

  20. Doug Badgero says:

    899

    Dr Lindzen was referring to the direct effect of removing CO2. That is, removing the radiative effects of CO2 and keeping all other forcings and feedbacks constant.

  21. morgo says:

    its sad that the western world is going down in a death sprial we have reached a point of no return wake up before its to late the young generation is too worried about texing and ipods thay dont seem to worried about there future god help them

  22. Kforestcat says:

    Gentlemen

    A couple of side observations:

    A) Regards the House’s “changing of the guard”; the news is better than outlined above. While you have correctly identified Representative Baird as the chair of the house committee on the “Energy and Environment”, what your readers might not know it that this committee is a subcommittee of the House “Committee on Science and Technology”.

    The higher level committed is currently chaired by Representative Bart Gordon (Democrat). Mr. Gordon represents the Tennessee’s 6th District which surrounds Nashville (Al Gore’s home town). Representative Gordon announced his retirement prior to the elections. Further, Mr. Gordon’s seat was lost to the Republican Party; hence, Mr. Gore’s lucrative link to this committee is coming to an abrupt and timely end.

    You might also note that the ranking Republican member of the Committee on “Science and Technology”. Is Representative Ralph Hall… of Texas. It looks like Mr. Hall will be assuming the chairmanship. Personally, I have been very impressed with Mr. Hall’s insistence on the need for integrity in the pursuit of science within the federal system. We’ll see how this turns out.

    B) While watching this week hearing (entitled “A Rational Discussion of Climate Change: the Science, the Evidence, and the Response.”). My recollection is that Dr. Feely (NOAA) stated he knew that acid acidification was caused by manmade source due to isotope tracing. (I am paraphrasing from memory here; so, please refer to his exact words -see time 2:15 – 2:17 on the hearing video tapes).

    I am assuming he’s referring to the ratio of C13/C12. I found his statement more than a bit peculiar given its widely know that the C12/C12 ratio associated with “fossil fuels” can also be traced to natural sources such as: 1) natural coal seam fires, 2) natural oil/gas seeps, 3) seeps deposits of natural methane clathrates (both oceans and freshwater), 4) volcanoes, and 5) aged decaying plant matter (for example bogs and thawed tundra).

    Further, it is my recollection that Dr Roy Spence (University of Alabama) investigate this matter and has gone on record stating “The long-term increase in carbon dioxide concentration that have been observed at Mauna Loa since 1958 could be driven more by the ocean than by mankind’s burning of fossil fuels”. For further reference see Dr. Spence’s site at http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/01/increasing-atmospheric-co2-manmade%E2%80%A6or-natural/

    Dr. Spence’s observation makes sense to me, given that the ratio of C13/C12 is driven by the “age” of the CO2. Hence, CO2 retained by the ocean and then re-emitted by the same (possibly century’s later) would expect to have a “fossil” like signature.

    I was also more than a little disturbed when Dr. Feely indicate that “all” the acid acidification data went thru his lab and that his lab “made all the corrections in the data set” (see video time 2:16 – 2:17). I believe we have been here before. I’m not all that keen to have NOAA processing and correcting all of the data. After all, NOAA’s track record on the temperature surface data set hasn’t been terribly impressive.

    Regards,
    kforestcat

  23. pat says:

    Kforestcat
    True enough. It is clear that NOAA is no longer interested in actuall data other than to ‘homogenize’ it. Code word for making it conform to a failing political agenda.

  24. Pofarmer says:

    Just this week, Associated Electric here in MO announced the beginnings of the permitting process for a second reactor at the Callaway site. The permitting process alone will cost 40 million dollars, and take an indeterminate amount of time. Also, power company executives the other day indicated that we have taken 30,000 MW of coal fired power off line in the last year, with no new generation to offset it. We are headed on a course where the U.S. will probably see electricity scarcity before enough new generation can be brought on board.

  25. wws says:

    It’s rather hilarious to see Joe Romm and the rest of the Green’s lifting Bob Inglis up as some kind of scientific truth teller. In fact, he has always been a hard core fundy who admits that 12 years ago he spent several months in a deep depression because God wouldn’t remove Bill Clinton from the Presidency. (I’m not kidding; Inglis actually said that)

    This is one of the guys who used his radical social conservative (ie, fundamentalist) views to trick people into thinking he was also an economic conservative. He wasn’t, he *never* was. That finally became clear to the voters in his district, which is why he got bounced out of the office in a primary election where he only got 27% of the vote. (a total repudiation by his onetime supporters) He’s finished in Washington; he doesn’t even have a chance as a lobbyist, since the new majority despises him. Maybe he can get work as a Walmart Greeter, I don’t think he’s qualified to do anything else anymore.

    And THIS guy, a man who knows nothing of science and who is a lifelong hard core fundamentalist, THIS is the man that Joe Romm now wants to say is a paragon of Scientific Virtue?

    Well Joe, you can have him!!! Invite him over, the two of you can explore the depths of sad loserdom together.

  26. Kforestcat says:

    Ooh foot.

    Sorry folks. The words “acid acidification” in my comment above should read “ocean acidification”.

    I suffer from a mild case of dyslexia, so the words I think I’ve written don’t always turn out to be the words I actually wrote. A bit, madding but I cope.

    Regards, Kforestcat

  27. Lennart says:

    What happened to the paper by Lindzen and Choi about feedbacks? Was it rejected or what?

  28. Gordon Walker says:

    One thing that I find strange in this debate is the focus on electrical power. Here in France energy consumption breaks down as
    20% Electrical
    20% Transport
    60% The rest
    I guess that most developed nations are similar in energy distribution.
    I leave to one side the fact that France generates 95% of its electricity without any CO2 production.
    My point is how can anyone think that decarbonisation of the energy economy can be effected by the use of measures that leave 80% of it untouched? Please do not mention rich mens’ toys such as the Prius!

  29. harrywr2 says:

    Gordon Walker says:
    November 22, 2010 at 3:42 am

    “I guess that most developed nations are similar in energy distribution.

    In the US the energy ‘inputs’ to produce electricity end up being about 40% of the total.
    If I then look at how much electricity is used it is only about 15% of the total.
    Thermal plants(coal/gas/oil/nuclear) are only 30% efficient.
    If I look at this chart from Lawrence Livermore Labs, 58% of the energy is ‘rejected’ energy, I.E. waste heat.

    https://str.llnl.gov/Sep09/simon.html

    The old saying, ‘Liars never figure, figures never lie’ falsehood is particularly appropriate in energy discussions. There is no shortage of people comparing input energy(MWt) and output energy(MWe)(Apples and Oranges) to make the case for X,Y or Z policy.

  30. 899 says:

    Doug Badgero says:
    November 21, 2010 at 7:39 pm
    899

    Dr Lindzen was referring to the direct effect of removing CO2. That is, removing the radiative effects of CO2 and keeping all other forcings and feedbacks constant.

    That’s irrelevant. If CO2 is removed entirely, then there is no food for plants.

    No plants = Massive UHI on all land surfaces.

    Regardless of what the good professor was wanting to say, the point here is just this: NO CO2.

    More CO2 –up to a point– is good. Less is bad. None is death.

  31. Wow says:

    Echoing what Green Hornet said, are you climate change skeptics or denialists? (and can you appreciate the difference between the two?) Seems there’s a lot of entrenched positions here against climate change science. I don’t understand this given every major scientific association’s position statement says we are affecting the climate: National Research Council, American Geophysical Union, Royal Society UK, national science academies of China, Russia, U.S., etc etc. Somehow, all of you armchair climatologists have punched holes in all of these experts’ analyses, but when I read your comments, I really don’t see a very good grasp of the science.

    Example: the ocean is still basic, how can anyone say ocean acidification? But isn’t OA a change in the ocean’s buffering capacity accompanied by a drop in pH. A drop in pH = acidification. Kind of like dropping an ice cube in a cup of hot water. Water is still hot, but it has undergone some cooling. No scientists studying OA are concerned with what you call it- ocean acidification, ocean-less-basicification, etc. And pH is an arbitrary scale anyway with neutrality set at 7.
    Another example, Kforestcat questions whether 13C/12C is really indicative of fossil fuels. Seriously? The isotope ration of carbon is affected by all manner of processes, but the evidence of fossil fuel burning adding carbon to the atmosphere is obvious, recorded, and well-understood (look up C13 Suess effect). Most skeptics don’t even debate this- they debate whether this extra carbon has any effect on climate.
    Example 3, Rep. Bachmann: CO2 is a natural byproduct of nature.

    Many of you are up in arms about defending coal and oil as energy sources, naysaying renewables as inefficient and incapable of meeting our energy needs. Does this mean we should abandon renewables? No. If we invest in the technology, we improve it. Look at solar panels 10 years ago to now. Look at what Brazil has done with its biofuels and the advances made with drop-in biofuels. Nobody (rational) is saying give up coal/oil tomorrow, but rather invest/improve alternative fuel sources.
    And what about reducing energy consumption?
    Maybe we should stick with the status quo and continue sending money to oil-rich despots (Iran, Venezuala, Russia)?
    National security, green jobs, addressing climate change are all benefits of reducing our dependence and consumption of fossil fuels. Why such entrenched animosity? Why such strong denialism to climate change when experts keep telling you it’s real? Who has the most to gain from your doubt and from maintaining the status quo.

Comments are closed.