Expensive Energy Kills Poor People

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Lesotho (pronounced “Leh – soo – too”), is a mountain fortress of a country, totally surrounded by South Africa. The people there, the Basotho (pronounced “Bah – soo – too), are tough as nails, and you’d have to be. It’s high desert country, cold in the winter, not much water. The Basotho are fiercely independent.

Back in the early days, they fought off the Boers who tried to take their land. The Boers then drove them off of the fertile lowlands and into the arid mountains. So their King cut a deal with the British Queen Victoria for the country to be a British Protectorate … very clever, one of the few parts of Africa that was never conquered and was never a colony of anybody. These days, curiously, most of the time the country is populated by old folks, and women and kids—the only real employment for hundreds of miles around are the mines of South Africa … including the coal mines. So the men are all at work in South Africa, and the country runs on the money that the miners send home.

Of a wintry morning in Maseru, the capital, there’s a haze across the city from the thousands and thousands of coal fires. By and large, these fires are warming poor women’s shacks and shanties, and cooking what passes for their kids’ breakfasts. They burn coal because it’s what they have. There are no forests, so they can’t burn wood. There are no great herds of cattle, so they can’t burn dung.

maseru coal smokePhoto Source

And as a result, Maseru mornings have that curious acrid smell that only comes from coal, and the haze that comes from coal burnt in leaky stoves and open three-stone fires.

I bring up this image of dirt-poor people in a dirt-poor country to provide a clear context for the New York Times report of the latest lethal IPCC recommendation, which they describe as follows:

To stand the best chance of keeping the planetary warming below an internationally agreed target of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) above the level of preindustrial times, the panel found, no more than one trillion metric tons of carbon can be burned and the resulting gas released into the atmosphere.

Just over half that amount has already been emitted since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and at the rate energy consumption is growing, the trillionth ton will be released somewhere around 2040, according to calculations by Myles R. Allen, a scientist at the University of Oxford and one of the authors of the new report. More than three trillion tons of carbon are still left in the ground as fossil fuels. SOURCE

First, the “internationally agreed target” of 2°C? I don’t recall any international agreement on that, except perhaps among attendees at one of the IPCC’s annual moribund quackathons held in Rio or somewhere.

But lets look instead at the important issue, the numbers that they give for carbon. They say we’ve burnt a half-trillion tonnes, and that we should stop when we’ve burned another half trillion tonnes, and leave the other two-and-a-half trillion tons of fossil fuels in the ground. Leave it in the ground … the mind boggles. Never happen.

So in a scant few decades, the women of Maseru are supposed to just stop burning coal? And do what? Burn their furniture? They could pull up the floorboards and burn them … if they had floors …

Dont’cha love these guys? Don’t they understand that their policies KILL PEOPLE! I apologize for shouting, but they seem to be congenitally blind to the results of their actions, so perhaps their ears still work. Do they have a plan in hand for fueling Maseru, and a thousand other Maseru’s around the world? Wind won’t do it. Sun won’t do it. So in a couple decades … what?

Here’s what they avert their eyes from.

Artificially increasing energy prices for any reason harms, impoverishes, and kills the poor.

Yes, kills. People die from the cold. If the women of Maseru have to pay more for coal, they have less money to pay for food. So they will buy a bit less coal and a bit less food, and somewhere in there, in the hidden part that far too many people don’t want to think about, kids are dying. It’s already happening. The World Bank and the US are currently refusing to fund coal-fired power plants around the world … rich people refusing cheap energy to poor people, on my planet that is disgusting and criminal behavior.

Can’t say much more than that without excessively angrifying my blood, thinking about rich 1%ers like the IPCC conclave and Myles R. Allen trying to make all fossil fuels more expensive, and blithely ignoring the lethal consequences of their actions. So I’ll leave it there, but spread the word.

Expensive energy kills poor people.

Best to all,

w.

About these ads

106 thoughts on “Expensive Energy Kills Poor People

  1. “But they have no bread.” Marie Antoinette responds, “Let them eat cake.”
    Marie’s head was eventually removed, and it is doubtful she even said the above. Regardless, will current world leaders lose their heads over brainless and heartless policies, founded upon a bunch of scientists who just want to keep their jobs?

  2. Think you mean Boers, rather than Germans. Afrikaans is indeed a Germanic language, descended from 17th century Netherlandish dialects, but Afrikaners don’t consider themselves German. They did however use Mausers against the British during the second Boer War.

    [Thanks, smilodon. You are correct, fixed. -w.]

  3. Perhaps Myles Allen should go to Lesotho and live in their shoes (if they have any) for a while. I think I’m right in saying that Prince Charles’ off-spring are regular visitors there so they might like to educate him on the facts.

  4. You don’t even need to look that far, Willis.

    According to the UK Government’s own figures (after changing the calculation to remove 1 million households), there are 2.5 million households in the UK suffering fuel poverty and a 2012 report suggested that could increase to 10 million by 2016 because of price increases.

    People are already freezing to death in the United Kingdom every year because they have to choose between food or heat. Maybe that’s considered a small price to pay for saving the planet, but I don’t recall anyone asking those who are suffering if they’d mind making that sacrifice.

  5. It’s OK, Willis. Steven Mosher links to the debt-saddled, intermittent solution for all poor people from 2 years ago. Crisis averted

  6. Riigghht; Winters at -20°C (more likely F) are really going to spare those windmills and hydro dams. I perdicks a slip or two betwixt cup and lip.

  7. Nice one, Willis.
    One nit-pick, though – “British King” not “English King”. In 1707, by the Act of Union passed by both Scottish and English Parliaments, England and Scotland both ceased to exist as sovereign nations and joined together to become “Great Britain”.

  8. Greens kill. They are killing right now as we write. One example: VAD, vitamin A deficiency. The lack of vitamin A in diets blinds hundreds of thousands of children in the developing world every
    year.. Blindness condemns most of these children to death, a horrible death.
    There is a remedy, golden rice and a new strain of bananas which supply adequate amounts of vitamin A to prevent the blindness. Because they are genetically modified crops the greens oppose both. While I am cognizant of the risks of GM crops, what the greens are doing is conflating these small risks to stop the prevention of the obvious horror of childhood (and adult) blindness. Yet these zealots have the nerve to tell us “think of the children”. There is no circle of Dante’s Inferno COLD enough for these soulless people.

    I hope I have not angrified your blood, Willis.

  9. I read somewhere the cumulative additional cost in the EU for renewable energy over the last 10 years is $200 billion. In the US the cost is mostly hidden by subsidies paid by the federal government.

  10. The New York Times does not give a rat’s ass about a bunch of poor people in Africa. Getting other people to curtail carbon dioxide emissions will make the folks at the New York Times feel much, much better about themselves. That is the only real objective.

  11. Steven Mosher, many thanks for that information. Hydropower is my favorite kind of power, so that’s good news about the electricity generation. But generation is only part of the problem, as they say:

    The majority of the population (76%) lives in rural areas, but has strong links to urban centres in both Lesotho and neighbouring South Africa. The majority of these villages lack electricity and the probability of connecting them to grid electricity in the foreseeable future is very low. Grid electricity, being a commercial form of energy, requires users to have a regular income. The income levels in rural areas are generally lower than those in urban areas due to higher unemployment and underemployment levels.

    Those “irregular income” and rural folks will be running on coal until forever.

    I find the following overview of energy in Lesotho:

    Oil and gas in Lesotho

    The small Southern African republic of Lesotho has no known oil or gas reserves and therefore no upstream oil industry. Exploration for oil was undertaken in the 1970s in the Mahobong area but proved unsuccessful. Since then no further exploration has taken place and therefore the possibility of Lesotho reducing its reliance on South Africa for energy is limited.

    The country is dependent on surrounding South Africa for 95% of its imports, including all of its energy requirements. These include refined petroleum products, electricity, coal and fuelwood. Coal is the major energy source consumed in Lesotho supplying 87% of its commercial energy needs with oil only supplying 6,5%. In the downstream oil industry, consumption of liquid fuel products in 1997 was 103 000 metric tons.

    and this

    Lesotho is an independent kingdom which lies landlocked within South Africa. Power is supplied and distributed by the Lesotho Electricity Corporation (LEC) which was established in 1969 under the Electricity Act No 7 (which permits it to generate, transmit, distribute and supply electricity).

    The main hydroelectric scheme is the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP), a joint venture with South Africa. The scheme has a planned capacity of 200 megawatts from the underground hydroelectric plant at ‘Muela in the Butha-Buthe district.

    All power to Lesotho was supplied by ESKOM in South Africa in 1995. However, the Muela hydroelectric power station, built during phase 1A of the LHWP, opened in September 1998. The resulting electricity production ended Lesotho’s previous dependence on imported electricity from South Africa and resulted in Lesotho’s self-sufficiency in electric power.

    Fully operational since January 1999, the plant has a capacity of 80 MW, but this is due to increase to 110 MW if Lesotho and South Africa agree to carry on with Phase II of the LHWP. Phase 1B of the project was scheduled for completion in 2003. This phase included the construction of the Mohale Dam and transfer tunnel and the Matsoku Weir and transfer funnel. Both of these will feed into the Katse Dam. Currently there are plans to privatize the operation of the plant, although no specific time schedule has been established.

    Interesting, that they have achieved self-sufficiency in electricity. As I said, fiercely independent folks. They ride horses and wear Mexican-style ponchos, very proud.

    Always more for me to learn. When I was there all of the electricity was from SA. Coal haze over Maseru hasn’t changed, though.

    Thanks for your detailed information,

    w.

  12. And further to my post above, by the time you are talking about, the British Monarch had no political power of any kind – the deal was between the British Government, or at least the local representative thereof) and the King of Basutu ( or however you want to spell it.)
    End of nit-pick.

  13. Yep…just keep electing those socially correct lefty progressive hate mongering control freaks. Do as I say, not as I do to the sheeple ingorant masses with their hand out for more freebies who will back stab each other into oblivion. Welcome to the new “norm.”

  14. oldseadog says:
    September 27, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Nice one, Willis.

    Hey, Dawg, good to hear from you. Your hospitality, and your generosity in showing us the Falkirk Wheel and providing weary travelers with a place to say, are warmly remembered.

    One nit-pick, though – “British King” not “English King”. In 1707, by the Act of Union passed by both Scottish and English Parliaments, England and Scotland both ceased to exist as sovereign nations and joined together to become “Great Britain”.

    Indeed you are right … and upon doing the research I should have done earlier, I find it was actually the British Queen Victoria … go figure.

    I’ve corrected that in the head post … and as another commenter said, it was the Boers, fixed that as well.

    All the best,

    w.

  15. oldseadog says:
    September 27, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    And further to my post above, by the time you are talking about, the British Monarch had no political power of any kind – the deal was between the British Government, or at least the local representative thereof) and the King of Basutu ( or however you want to spell it.)
    End of nit-pick.

    Ah, but you forget … Lesotho was a Kingdom. And Kings treat only with other Kings and Queens. So the King of Lesotho wrote directly to Queen Victoria, asking for her protection against the bad Boer boys. She and her advisers saw that the British Government could thumb their dastardly rivals-in-theft in the eye on the cheap … voilá, the deal was done.

    At least that’s the story I heard when I was there … revisions gladly accepted.

    w.

  16. …oh yes Mr. W., the history is always very interesting and fascinating. :) Sad it repeats in such a negative manner through the unstoppable greed trains. The power mongers always rule. One goes away, a new version steps in.

  17. Naturally, living in South Africa
    I studied if I could identify an increase in the the pattern of warming during the the dry winter months,when everyone is burning stuff and there are many veld fires which would cause a dramatic increase in CO2 in the atmosphere.

    http://blogs.24.com/henryp/wp-admin/post.php?post=21&action=edit

    http://blogs.24.com/henryp/wp-admin/post.php?post=20&action=edit

    Clearly, the global cooling pattern is caused by natural causes

    http://blogs.24.com/henryp/2013/04/29/the-climate-is-changing/

    Live with it.

  18. Good Post. Increasing the cost of fossil fuel will have harmful consequences in almost every part of the world, not just among obviously poor populations, but among the poor in “rich” countries.

    About this: The Basotho are fiercely independent.

    So, what should they do next? Wait for someone to build them a bunch of gas-powered electric generators to boost their electricity supply? If there are entrepreneurs who need and can make use of more electricity, I’d recommend that they at least price out current PV panels instead of waiting for some sort of consortium to build the large centralized power plants and pipelines. It would probably require more than 5 years and more than the dollar cost of generators themselves just to get through the permitting process.

  19. This post is about only a fragment of the overall agenda. The unseen parts of the plan deal with payments and grants for all poor nations funded by richer countries when the opportune time comes to make a raid on that wealth. It will come on a late night vote near a long holiday and with many thousands of pages of provisions so as to stun and confuse long enough to spread out any negative impact on perception. It will also be called “for the children.”

  20. Steven Mosher: However, the Muela hydroelectric power station, built during phase 1A of the LHWP, opened in September 1998. The resulting electricity production ended Lesotho’s previous dependence on imported electricity from South Africa and resulted in Lesotho’s self-sufficiency in electric power.

    Fully operational since January 1999, the plant has a capacity of 80 MW, but this is due to increase to 110 MW if Lesotho and South Africa agree to carry on with Phase II of the LHWP.

    That is good news. As long as electricity from hydropower continues to increase, the solar option probably is too costly.

  21. Yes Willis, he wrote to Victoria but the answer, although perhaps signed by her, was that of the Foreign Office. She had to do as she was told, just like all of them for the last two hundred years or so.
    But your bottom line of “expensive energy kills people” still hold good. (or indeed holds bad.)

  22. Sean Peake says:
    September 27, 2013 at 11:47 am
    It’s OK, Willis. Steven Mosher links to the debt-saddled, intermittent solution for all poor people from 2 years ago. Crisis averted

    ###########

    the links were provided to make more information accessible for people who want to read.
    Im not endorsing it, just linking. Kinda like linking to realclimate. doesnt mean you endorse it.j

    some of the claims, specially about dung, seemed wrong to me, and its well known that other countries are working to bring local renewables to africa, so I took 15 seconds to search.

    As a good capitalist I see that other sellers of stuff are looking to help africa not because they are altruistic but because they need consumers.

  23. oldseadog says:
    September 27, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    OK, to pick an even smaller nit, in 1867, Queen Victoria was monarch not just of Britain but of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Ireland (by Acts of Union of 1800-01). In the next decade, she became Empress of India as well.

    While not officially Queen of England, she could be called an English queen, because she was born in England, although her ancestry was almost entirely German (however her father & grandfather, George III, were born in England). She had one Stuart great-great-great-great-great-great-mother, Elizabeth of Scotland, b. 1596 & older sister of Charles I, upon whom her dynasty’s claim to the throne ultimately lay.

  24. Notice how the discussion has drifted from the poor being without power to the total supply of power? If 75% of the people live in small villages at the side of some hill, are they the electrical power consumers, or their “betters” in Maseru?

  25. The power grid in Lesotho is all but non-existent outside the city cores where about 25% of the population lives. Using Google Earth to fly over the country one of the missing landmarks is power lines. They have a serious last-mile problem for electricity – there is little rural demand for electricity because they have no devices, and they have no money to buy devices to create that demand. 25% of the population is HIV positive, the life expectancy is about 52 years, and most of the jobs are in local mines or SA. The resident population is predominantly female as their mates are away at jobs in SA. I am unable to find any installed wind turbine farms. The water projects are principally intended to provide water to SA and electricity secondarily. They are a net importer of energy despite the billions spent on water projects.

    They have little in the way of sewer systems, hence the popularity of “biomass” energy, a cute name for sewage waste.

  26. “..rich people refusing cheap energy to poor people, on my planet that is disgusting and criminal behavior.”

    On top of that, the rich, while denying the 3rd world access to their own energy resources like coal, the very SAME kind of energy resources that blessed those rich countries and fueled the creation of their current wealth, are now using their wealth to buy up the food and or food growing resources of the 3rd world, (and from other places thus increasing food prices worldwide as well), to feed their automobiles back in the EU and USA.

    So biofuel is another vile criminal behavior, one by rich Marxist eco-elitists that’s starving people in the third world. And worse, I think death is the very purpose they had in mind from the beginning because they HATE the idea of the third world ever coming out of poverty and stabilizing it population the way we did via free market capitalism. It’s all a study of how they are trying to do to the third world what Stalin did to the Ukraine but without anyone really noticing or caring what’s going on.

    Why seize farms from poor people by force like Stalin did when you can just buy the food right out of the mouths of their starving children to get the same ultimate result – genocide?

  27. Willis: the energy policies currently favored by the political classes will prove a catastrophe worldwide. It will certainly be an issue in Africa which is sadly subject to a myriad of different human tragedies.

    In the western world, our obsession with “green” energy is leading to all manner of stupidity and it will undoubtedly cause real economic and social damage. Millions will be inconvenienced and see their standard of living fall. However, this mischief is unlikely to result in death on a massive scale.

    However, I worry most about the developing world (areas like India and China). Billions of people will be seriously impacted and their ability to adjust and cope is far less well developed than in the USA and Western Europe. If enacted there, these policies will harm billions. The direct deaths will be substantial but most likely minor compared to that which results from the subsequent violence and war. Of this I am 96% (more than the IPCC) certain!

  28. Given the lack of an electrical power grid, coal makes even more sense for Lesotho. Coal-burning furnaces in houses, schools & other buildings are an appropriate technology, even with rough roads for the delivery trucks.

  29. Dear Willis,

    I did read you article, but I only had to see your title, I just thought YOU ARE IS SO BL**DY RIGHT!! Cheap energy should be a primary goal of a benificent government. Pollution has to be controlled. Education to get the most from ths coal, cast iron stoves with combined heating for hot water ( which provides sanitation) or other improved methods of combustion would improve the lives of our common sisters and brothers in humanity .

    Please excuse the capitals but I wished to emphasise my support for your view

  30. just a minor point regarding electricity su7pply (however generated) – and that is, the poor rural folk will need power lines, domestice circuitry AND electric appliances to be able to use it! (Is that part of the 9bn investment – or shall I take out shares in an electric cooking appliance manufacturer who will doubtless make a killing extracting vast sums of cash for poorm people who will have to buy botht eh electricy AND the appliances!??)

  31. Steven Mosher says:
    September 27, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    http://www.undp.org.ls/energy/renewable_energy.php

    UNDP? Sorry, not impressed. Here’s one from the page:

    UNDP Lesotho hosted the first training on Climate Change and Gender for Media

    Monday the 20th of February was a day for Basotho journalists to commit to effectively report on Climate Change and Gender issues in Lesotho.

    As a part of a 3-day Training on Climate Change Adaptation Journalism under the Africa Adaptation Programme (AAP), 20 local journalists were trained on linking climate change and gender issues.

    I’m sure they’re cranking out lots and lots of words about renewable energy in Lesotho …

    w.

  32. Milodonharlani,
    I say again, from 1707 “English” is not a nationality because England ceased to exist as a “Nation State” in that year. Victoria was “British” by nationality and birth.
    Would you say that President Bush was American or Texan (or whatever US State he was born in)?
    But enough – my head is hurting from watching the BBC News reporting the antics in Sweden. I need another dram.

  33. oldseadog says:
    September 27, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Yes Willis, he wrote to Victoria but the answer, although perhaps signed by her, was that of the Foreign Office. She had to do as she was told, just like all of them for the last two hundred years or so.
    But your bottom line of “expensive energy kills people” still hold good. (or indeed holds bad.)

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    On a tangent,but the Queen of Australia (we are a constitutional monarchy) holds certain reserve powers.
    The most important being the power to force the government to have an election if the senate and the house of representatives become deadlocked on passing legislation.

    (She also happens to be the queen of Britain, and the 14 other countries.)

    http://www.royal.gov.uk/monarchandcommonwealth/overview.aspx

  34. Willis, Many thanks.

    The greenies get wild- eyed when confronted with the tragic result of their onerous thinking.
    They’ll usually rationalize how much better we’ll be with a lot fewer people on the planet.
    They then get positively huffy when you suggest to them, a tall bridge.

  35. Friends:

    In hope of ending this side-track, I write to support Felflames.

    The monarch of Great Britain and Northern Ireland plus several Commonwealth countries has important powers in Britain.

    Each Tuesday the Prime Minister (PM) has an audience with the monarch. PMs are politicians and would have abandoned this practice long ago if the monarch had no power.

    No Bill passed by Parliament becomes Law until it obtains the Royal assent (i.e. is signed by the monarch who wears the Crown).

    Each year HM Government provides a document called the Queen’s Speech which lays out what the government intends to do in that Session of Parliament. At the Opening of Parliament the monarch reads those parts of the Speech which the monarch agrees to give Assent if passed by Parliament. The government usually does not want a Constitutional problem (potentially a crisis) so does not pursue items omitted when the monarch reads the Queen’s Speech. Hence, in effect the monarch has right of veto of a matter before it is presented to Parliament because the government would not waste time on the matter. However, in the last century two Bills were passed by Parliament but were not granted the Royal Assent: both proposed abolishing the House of Lords.

    HM Queen Elizabeth II is the most experienced politician in the world having sat on the throne since 1952. Long may she reign (she has done well and we get Charles next).

    So, it is extremely likely that Queen Victoria would have personally replied to the King of Lesohto after having consulted her advisors who would have included her Consort, Albert (who was a German), and the then PM supported by Her government and its Civil Service. Importantly, for Lesotho to have been granted British Protectorate status would have required her agreement.

    Richard

  36. So in a scant few decades, the women of Maseru are supposed to just stop burning coal? And do what? Burn their furniture? They could pull up the floorboards and burn them … if they had floors …

    Dont’cha love these guys? Don’t they understand that their policies KILL PEOPLE!

    Argumentum ad misericordiam.

    In a “scant few decades” Lesotho will not be the same as it does now. The Lesotho in the picture certainly doesn’t look like it did a “scant few decades” ago. I think you are presuming a lot if you expect that the poor women of Lesotho will still be dependent on burning coal in open fires. I’d expect to see them living in much better insulated houses, cooking on electric ranges, and heating their homes with reticulated gas. I also expect the electricity and gas will probably come from the nearby coalfield. But who knows – maybe they’ll have nuclear energy in Lesotho by then. Africa could be about to take off economically and Lesotho could be the African Singapore.

  37. Willis said:

    I’m sure they’re cranking out lots and lots of words about renewable energy in Lesotho …

    Oddly, and in a rather intelligent surprise, hydro is considered a renewable resource in Lesotho unlike here in Washington State where hydro is not so considered. That is a political view – the science says we have lots of rain in the Pacific Northwet, and our watersheds fail us only during periods of glaciation. Doesn’t matter – our leadership wants unreliable, expensive wind energy. Our leadership could learn from their leadership.

  38. Matthew R Marler says:
    September 27, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Good Post. Increasing the cost of fossil fuel will have harmful consequences in almost every part of the world, not just among obviously poor populations, but among the poor in “rich” countries.

    About this: The Basotho are fiercely independent.

    So, what should they do next? Wait for someone to build them a bunch of gas-powered electric generators to boost their electricity supply? If there are entrepreneurs who need and can make use of more electricity, I’d recommend that they at least price out current PV panels instead of waiting for some sort of consortium to build the large centralized power plants and pipelines. It would probably require more than 5 years and more than the dollar cost of generators themselves just to get through the permitting process.

    Good question … I’ll make it the subject of my next post. Short answer? 12V …

    Regards,

    w.

  39. The grand strategy of deep greens is depopulation. Well they will get their wish no matter what, given the current demographic curve. The decline could be further accelerated by world war, a cooling emergency, a cosmic threat or a combination of these. Also there is the looming antibiotic crisis.

  40. cynical_scientist says:
    September 27, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    So in a scant few decades, the women of Maseru are supposed to just stop burning coal? And do what? Burn their furniture? They could pull up the floorboards and burn them … if they had floors …

    Dont’cha love these guys? Don’t they understand that their policies KILL PEOPLE!

    Argumentum ad misericordiam.

    No, argumentum pro the poor among us experiencing the manifold miseries of expensive energy.

    Are you seriously arguing that saving poor people in 50 years is worth impoverishing and even killing poor people now? You’re in favor of denying electricity and heat to the poor peasant farmers of the world?

    w.

  41. Have to agree with you on this on Will, (normally I’m a strong solar supporter)… but isn’t that all the more reason for the developed countries to invest in smarter and cheaper technologies like wind and solar, to cut their emission so that these poorer counties can continue to burn coal while keeping the global within the carbon budget?

  42. Furthermore, there is this whole argument of energy efficiency vs cheap energy… the way I see it is that I prefer energy efficiency any day of the week (and twice on sundays) – as it’s like that good old Christian saying – give man a fish and you’ll feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you’ll feed him for a lifetime… i.e. insulate a house properly and you won’t need to be dependant on burning that much coal, a much better solution in the long term.

  43. Well written article,Willis. The argument that we should kill people now, because our computer models say that will save more people in the future seems rather a stretch of the cautionary principal. I would prefer “Primum non nocere” (first, do no harm).

  44. Willis:
    Are you seriously arguing that saving poor people in 50 years is worth impoverishing and even killing poor people now? You’re in favor of denying electricity and heat to the poor peasant farmers of the world?

    No I’m not arguing that. Indeed I didn’t argue that. Please don’t put words in my mouth. Apart from anything else I don’t believe that stopping the burning of coal will save enyone except perhaps for a few coal miners killed in industrial accidents.

    I was mostly quibbling with your “scant few decades” scenario which in my opinion lacked appreciation for the rate at which places like Lesotho change. Given that the people of Lesotho are as fiercely independent as you say, they are NOT going to give up burning coal on open fires unless they have something better. But in a “scant few decades” I think it is extremely likely that they will have better.

    The real question is not whether the poor women in Lesotho will be denied coal to burn in their open fires and will be ripping up their floorboards to burn and keep warm. It is whether the Lesotho of the future is going to end up buying a Chinese built ultra high temperature coal fired power station or a Chinese built thorium fueled nuclear power station.

  45. Mike M says:
    September 27, 2013 at 1:34 pm
    On top of that, the rich, while denying the 3rd world access to their own energy resources like coal, the very SAME kind of energy resources that blessed those rich countries and fueled the creation of their current wealth
    ==============
    too true. Until the 1950’s most of the houses in North America had coal bins to heat the house.

  46. The World Bank and the US are currently refusing to fund coal-fired power plants around the world
    ===========
    exactly what happened with DDT. it was “legal”, but you couldn’t get it without your funds being cut off. Having used DDT to cleanup the their own malaria problems, the wealthy nations became fearful that the poor nations would do the same.

    Contrary to popular belief, malaria is NOT a tropical disease. 100 years ago it was global.

  47. As an attendee at the December 2012 meeting in Maseru to discuss the promotion of small scale renewable energy projects I can confirm that the main problem long term is economics.

    Save for hydroelectric power the rest is to expensive to subsidise. Funds are of course, as a genuflection, being spent on ‘wind’. Electricity can be genera but the distribution is expensive. Once reaching a site the homes are spread out. Connection cost is an issue and imaginative solutions implemented. But high quality energy (electricity) just isn’t cheap. Subsidising it for one means taking money out of the pockets of many.

    Upland cooking fuels are dung and brush. Trees are sold individually and a recognized investment vehicle. Money literally grows.

    Coal is an important and inexpensive fuel and there is no reason not to promote vastly improved coal burning products which reduce smoke virtually to zero as is presently being done in Ulaanbaatar.

  48. cynical_scientist says:
    September 27, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Willis:

    Are you seriously arguing that saving poor people in 50 years is worth impoverishing and even killing poor people now? You’re in favor of denying electricity and heat to the poor peasant farmers of the world?

    No I’m not arguing that. Indeed I didn’t argue that. Please don’t put words in my mouth. Apart from anything else I don’t believe that stopping the burning of coal will save enyone except perhaps for a few coal miners killed in industrial accidents.

    My point exactly. You don’t see that stopping the burning of coal will cause impoverishment and death among the poor. You think you can argue for making coal expensive or stopping coal use entirely, without the pain and suffering that comes with it.

    w.

  49. Crispin in Waterloo but really in Yogyakarta says:
    September 27, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    As an attendee at the December 2012 meeting in Maseru to discuss the promotion of small scale renewable energy projects I can confirm that the main problem long term is economics.

    Save for hydroelectric power the rest is to expensive to subsidise. Funds are of course, as a genuflection, being spent on ‘wind’. Electricity can be genera but the distribution is expensive. Once reaching a site the homes are spread out. Connection cost is an issue and imaginative solutions implemented. But high quality energy (electricity) just isn’t cheap. Subsidising it for one means taking money out of the pockets of many.

    Upland cooking fuels are dung and brush. Trees are sold individually and a recognized investment vehicle. Money literally grows.

    Coal is an important and inexpensive fuel and there is no reason not to promote vastly improved coal burning products which reduce smoke virtually to zero as is presently being done in Ulaanbaatar.

    I’m constantly amazed by the breadth and depth of the experience of the WUWT readership. No matter what I discuss, someone out there has the latest information and experience. It’s great.

    Thanks for the information, Crispin. Cheap energy is the path to development. It’s very tough in places like Lesotho, which is why cheap coal is so important to the poor.

    w.

  50. ferd berple says: “too true. Until the 1950′s most of the houses in North America had coal bins to heat the house.”

    Yes, heating homes was one aspect. Larger IMO is once the steam power came on line, getting the coal out of the ground became much cheaper. Once it was cheap, visionary entrepreneurs like Carnegie saw the opportunity to get rich making cheap steel via the cheap coal. Having cheap steel to buy allowed the masses to benefit from cheaper rail service and later, factories, automobiles, domestic running water, sewer pipes, steel bridges, etc. It saved the forests from being cut down for heat per your observation but also saved them from being virtually the sole building material for things like ships and bridges.

    We owe our very way of life today to coal and crude oil. Without them we’d still be an agrarian society living in the 18th century riding a horse drawn cart to buy dry goods at the general store once every few weeks. Speaking of horses, coal powered train service and gasoline (later) saved the lives of thousands of horses who died of heat exhaustion every summer on the streets of US cities because they had to keep hauling food and ice – no matter how hot it was. (“Beating a dead horse” wasn’t some humorous criticism back then, many poor animals died on the hoof but were held almost erect by others in their team.) Kerosene and piped natural gas (later) saved the whales from being slaughtered for lamp oil.

    The know-it-all econazi pinheads don’t acknowledge squat about all THAT stuff in US history. They whine about needing to stop fossil fuel to cure their precious hoax but have nothing of substance to take its place… other than abject economic failure and misery for the masses that are sure to follow in their wake.

  51. I think you will find that a large part of the drive to stop using fossil fuels, and also to replace them with renewable energy, is because governments believe that fossil fuels will eventually run out, and so there needs to be a longer term or alternative energy source available to replace them.

    The short term negative consequences on the poor, such as at Lesotho which you point out, they argue, is an unavoidable short term negative, but the phasing out of fossil fuels, sooner rather than later, reduces and addresses a much greater negative effect in the future, when the fossil fuels are no longer available. They also say that there is a danger that the market cannot really account for this or properly anticipate it, and some kind of severe market crash is possible regarding the declining availability of fossil fuels in the future, unless steps are taken to reduce reliance on fossil fuels now.

    Furthermore, they argue that fossil fuels are dangerously polluting the atmosphere, which is what all the IPCC is about.

    Mind you I’ not sure I agree with any of this, this is just what they believe. So don’t jump on me just yet.

    For one, it isn’t clear that fossil fuels will ‘run out’ in the next few hundred years, at least, swe may not have anything to worry about. (There is the possibility of utilising vast amounts of methane hydrates on the ocean floor, for example).

    Secondly, I don’t think they are dangerously polluting the atmosphere to cause dangerous climate change.

    But thirdly, and this is perhaps even the most important and least understood, the fact that something runs out in the future doesn’t necessarily mean that one shouldn’t use it in the short term. The best example I can think of regarding this is the extraction of most metallic minerals in localised ‘mines’ (where nature has already concentrated the mineral for us mostly through heat and pressure, they are in fact just another form of stored energy, just like fossil fuels); these ALL run out eventually ((the biggest mines today last about 100 years or so), yet people don’t stop mining them just because individually they run out, because the short term gain is highly net positive, and moreover, one can switch to either another area to mine, or an alternative mineral source, if necessary. Minerals themselves, as whole, moreover can NEVER run out on a global scale, there is just too much of them in the earth’s crust, but they can and do ‘run out’ locally, but as mentioned, this doesn’t stop people from utilising them locally and gaining a positive benefit. In fact, in this particular case-mineral extraction as a whole-there is NO alternative, societies require minerals of some kind to function, which leads me to conclude that a certain degree of non sustainability and adaptability is built into our natures and our evolution. And that all the fuss over the IPCC is more about the deeper issue of how we as humans deal with change and certain aspects of non sustainability built into both nature and energy itself.

  52. Excess cold deaths are not discussed. I spent a winter in Northland ,New Zealand and almost froze to death in unheated, uninsulated rooms. I lost 10# from the cold in just a month and being unable to easily drive to find food after a cyclone, as the roads were all closed. People burn kerosene in the homes with space heaters. The houses have no insulation. Some people find shelter by setting up tents inside peoples garages, like camping out. It tends to be from 40-60 degrees F, pouring rain, in the winter.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/461848/NZ-catches-death-of-cold-study.

  53. Unlike energy, metals are recyclable. This may mean that we start mining old dump sites at some point in the future to get metals once the mines finally give out.

    Renewables come with a circular prerequisite. You cannot destroy your fossil fuel energy capacity because they are needed to fill in when renewables fail. Like when the sun goes down or the wind stops blowing, or when the blades freeze or all of above. The cost of keeping unused equipment churning over 24/7 (you can’t just stop and start these big machines at the whim of the wind) goes up because there are fixed costs you can’t get rid of with this arrangement. In effect we would be paying the plant operators to not generate electricity.

    Until someone comes up with a way to cache renewable energy (like we do with nuclear, diesel generators, coal and natural gas generators where it fuel is available on demand) we’re not going to be rid of fossil fuel power.

  54. “Expensive Energy Kills Poor People”

    That’s a good thing, isn’t it? Stops them from breathing out CO2 and endangering the planet.

  55. Willis,

    I have been spotlighting this particular facet of the lack of humanity of the AGW do-gooders for years now and will continue to do so every opportunity I am able. It is the absolute pinnacle of their hypocrisy, although for many who propagate Sustainable Development it is much more sinister than simple hypocrisy. Those wolves know full well the negative ramifications of their agenda and think of humanity as a plague upon the Earth. As for the multitudes of sheep they steer, many in the flock truly believe they are “saving the world” and doing it “for the children.” It is a pretend Utopia they have been fooled to believe in and as I have said many times the promise of the wolves is only of Sustainable Misery.

    While much progress has been made in turning the worm and many fence-sitters have stood up, this war is far from over and those who are desperate to maintain this miserable trajectory as it implodes before their eyes will, I’m afraid, turn to desperate measures to move it forward. But sir I believe we will stop them. My confidence is due to the undeniable thirst to be free and the unquenchable desire to have a better life for ourselves and our children. We have really only been at it for a short time and the progress has been truly remarkable.

    But the wolves want to stop that progress. They do not want a robust and expanding middle class, especially on a global scale. They aim to stop us in our tracks and, most dubiously of all, their primary target is the 80% of the world’s population who live in “Annex 2″ countries, the relatively poor of the world who these mother bleepers claim to want to help! As I say in that diatribe at The Air Vent, their golden child Sustainable Development will cripple developing countries such as Lesotho such that THEIR WEALTH WILL BE CUT IN HALF!

    Sorry. It’s contagious and infuriating. Angrified blood is the cost of empathy and I’m all right with that. WE SHOULD BE ANGRY. Injustices like this are intolerable. Instead of allowing humanity this century to get it’s you-know-what together and finally achieve progress that is “unparalleled in history” these @%$&!s aim to cut the natural growth of economic activity in the year 2100 by $200 trillion! And that’s their figure, like their proud of it, since of course the pastoral lives of our great-grandchildren will be all the richer because they’ll be such good people who really care and wear their collective poverty as a badge of honor.

    Save that for some Basotho woman struggling today and likely tomorrow and next year and who will struggle to even see 2050. These wolves dare condemn the poor to Sustainable Poverty with their unnatural restraints against natural growth, their contempt for the “useless eaters” laid bare by their anti-human actions. They are dangerous control freaks with infinite tentacles with which they wish to dictate most everything we do. Their army of self-deluded useful idiots march forth with a smug self-righteousness that belies the ignorance of their advocacy.

    In that last link, on the heels of introducing “massive income redistribution and presumably high taxation levels” the IPCC speaks of “significant and deliberate progress toward international and national income equality.” Equality by destroying wealth rather than creating it. Great prescription. The “massive” redistribution is not to the poor as their own figures bear out. It is to themselves and to the appetite of their hoped-for totalitarian mechanisms of global governance. Their subsequent Conferences of Parties have attempted to reframe the real goals by emphasizing “poverty eradication” but that turn was only taken because developing countries told them to go to hell and more and more people woke up to realize that what they were being fed tasted pretty awful. The stewards of supposed sustainability thought they could stop progress by brainwashing us into thinking we’re doing good by living without and accepting punishment for our carbon sins, but that’s where confidence comes back into the picture. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. If ever there was an “unalienable” mandate it is that. Try as they might, we cannot be stopped.

    Willis, you are a hell of an advocate for the Golden Economic Age. Please keep fighting for the poor and for what’s right. We need many voices echoing this message, this transparent reality. It is much easier to destroy than create and these neo-Luddites with their promises of hair shirts and personal methane monitors would rather shield themselves from the realities of their own failures by destroying what others have created than join in our natural development toward true economic freedom and environmental stewardship. I think I just coined a phrase that counters Sustainable Development rather nicely (though topping the Golden Economic Age is a tall order). What about Natural Development? Keep the gears turning sir. We’ll solve this conundrum yet. Cheers!

  56. dp says: “Unlike energy, metals are recyclable”.

    Yes, but metals also rust and degrade, and the rust process (oxidation) is not reversible (at least economically and practically-from memory it requires vast amounts of energy to reverse/negate the rusting process). This means that metals also eventually ‘run out’ (or can no longer be used), similar to energy.

    Moreover, even the mine dump sites you mention run out of metal as well. All mines eventually get to the point where it is no longer profitable to extract the mineral, so the mine shuts. Note the metal/mineral in the ground hasn’t usually run out, it just gets to the point where the grades are not high enough to continue extraction. Different areas compete with each other, so one area shuts down whilst another area starts up. This process goes on continually, and is market forces in action.

    But a thing few people understand, especially most academics, is that you can’t actually ‘run out’ of minerals on a world scale, even though you can on a local scale. You never ‘run out’ of minerals even locally, it just gets to the point locally where it isn’t economic to extract, but over time this frequently changes due to economics, technology and demand, which is why mining areas often re-open years later. There are vast amounts of all metals, just sitting in the ground now, but nobody mines them because they aren’t economic to extract. But the available size of the resource is vast eg. >10,000 years at current extraction rates of aluminium, and pretty much all other metals are the same, they will only ‘run out’ when we run out of rocks-in other words never.

    But my point generally in bringing up mining, is that essentially it is little different to fossil fuels. All the arguments about fossil fuels, availability, sustainability, pollution, alternative sources, poverty such as at Lesotho etc etc are really much the same. Mineral concentration in the ground occurs by ultimately much the same processes-heat and pressure (and sometimes organic action). People don’t argue about minerals the same way they argue about fossil fuels perhaps partly because there is more money involved in fossil fuels, but the concepts and issues are much the same. One can learn from what goes on all the time in mining, for example, such as over-blown claims of pollution, alternative sources and poverty etc, and apply it to much of the IPCC’s reports. There is nearly always an out of touch group who makes bold and often wrong claims who fail to understand the science behind the issue. The whole thing with climate change and the IPCC is essentially a claim about mineral extraction (in this case fossil fuel-which is just another mineral technically) and the effect on the environment, this occurs with every mine that gets approved/non approved.

  57. Sure. As has been said before, the IPCC and friends are asking (forcing) those in developing countries to let their children die so that the grandchildren they will never have leave a “better planet” for the grandchildren of those in wealthy countries.

  58. My progressive Boulder acquaintances told me repeatedly that conservatives lack creativity. Maybe they know a way to prevent the population from burning coal and grow forests instead:

    And this is how Genghis Khan, who repeatedly wiped out entire settlements, was able to scrub more carbon from the atmosphere than any other despot.

    ‘We found that during the short events such as the Black Death and the Ming Dynasty collapse, the forest re-growth wasn’t enough to overcome the emissions from decaying material in the soil,’ explained [Dr.] Pongratz.

    ‘But during the longer-lasting ones like the Mongol invasion… there was enough time for the forests to re-grow and absorb significant amounts of carbon.’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1350272/Genghis-Khan-killed-people-forests-grew-carbon-levels-dropped.html

  59. richardscourtney says:
    September 27, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Correct in all things except Prince Albert, who was already dead in 1867. Queen Victoria’s consort, that is, not the American Prince Fat Albert.

  60. Crispin in Waterloo but really in Yogyakarta:

    I write to support your comment at September 27, 2013 at 5:51 pm. You say

    Coal is an important and inexpensive fuel and there is no reason not to promote vastly improved coal burning products which reduce smoke virtually to zero as is presently being done in Ulaanbaatar.

    Yes, when I was working at the UK’s Coal Research Establishment (CRE) we invented and developed the downdraft stoves which consume their own smoke. Distribution of such stoves is a useful and cheap interim measure for reduced pollution and increased health until rural areas can be connected to a grid supply.

    Indeed, CRE developed one design of downdraft stove for use by nomads. It can cook an entire sheep once a year and is transportable by horse.

    Incidentally, the Mongolians did not pay for the first stoves and I think that bill is still owed to UK government who obtained all of CRE’s assets when CRE was closed in 1995.

    Richard

  61. milodonharlani:

    Thankyou for the correction you provide to my comment in your post at September 27, 2013 at 11:44 pm. I should have checked the date of Albert’s demise but did not. Mea culpa.

    Richard

  62. Mosher
    I do not have a knee-jerk opposition to alternative energy per se. I am opposed to its forced imposition. The people of Lesotho looked at alternatives without pressure (1998 hydro power station opened.) Take Kenya and geothermal power in the Rift Valley for example. They aim to get 26% of their energy from geothermal by 2030 and its making good progress with 2 plants at Olkaria and another under construction.

    PS India and China are making up for the shortfall in any co2 emissions from coal. :-)

  63. Absolutely! Expensive energy kills poor people. Well done, Willis.

    Greenies are too bloody stupid to wrap their feeble brains around the concept. Or they don’t give a rat’s patootie about their fellow human beings. Or both.

  64. We are in a race against time with regards to population. When people of developing countries get access to electricity, can educate more girls and see an improvement in their general standard of living they tend to have fewer children. Apparently watching soap operas on TV helps reduce fertility!

    The Breakthrough Institute – May 8, 2013 – Martin Lewis
    “In a recent exercise, most of my students believed that India’s total fertility rate (TFR) was twice that of the United States. Many of my colleagues believed the same. In actuality, it is only 2.5, barely above the estimated U.S. rate of 2.1 in 2011, and essentially the replacement level. (A more recent study now pegs U.S. fertility at 1.93.)…..

    …In today’s world, high fertility rates are increasingly confined to tropical Africa…..

    …fertility rates are persistently declining in almost every country in Africa, albeit slowly. Many African states, moreover, are still sparsely settled and can accommodate significantly larger populations. The Central African Republic, for example, has a population of less than 4.5 million in an area almost the size of France……

    …As it turns out, the map of female literacy in India does exhibit striking similarities with the map of fertility. States with educated women, such as Kerala and Goa, have smaller families than those with widespread female illiteracy,…..

    …Thus while the education of women is no doubt significant in reducing fertility levels, it is not the only factor at play……

    That television viewing would help generate demographic stabilization would have come as a shock to those who warned of the ticking global population bomb in the 1960s…..

    To return to our first map, fertility rates remain stubbornly high across tropical Africa. The analysis presented here would suggest that the best way to bring them down would be a three-pronged effort: female education, broad-based economic and social development, and mass electrification followed by the dissemination of soap-opera-heavy television……”

    http://thebreakthrough.org/index.php/programs/conservation-and-development/population-bomb-so-wrong/

    http://geocurrents.info/population-geography/indias-plummeting-birthrate-a-television-induced-transformation

    http://geocurrents.info/cultural-geography/television-and-fertility-in-india-response-to-critics

  65. Kings and Queens still do have power in a constitutional monarchy, its just rarely exercised. Those occasions when it is exercised usually provoke a lot of excitement, e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1975_Australian_constitutional_crisis

    If a constitutional monarch were ever to declare the government unconstitutional, and demand the army obey its oath of fealty to the monarch, the result could well be civil war – though one could imagine such an event would only occur in a desperate emergency, to depose an already deeply unpopular government.

  66. ecology has nice goals….save the planet, save the trees the bees, the sees and so on..but they just know a way to achieve it : let s be poorer… and they don’t understand why poorest people disagree…

  67. Genocide. You aren’t on a list. There isn’t a list, just reduction. Don’t take it personal.
    Sand the edges, the high spots. No one will notice, too late when they do.

  68. There is an issue that the World Bank and the US have to consider then denying loans to countries to build coal fired power stations. Deforestation. Willis has talked about this before and showed us a photo of the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic – deforested Haiti, greener DR. My point is that if you stop people from burning coal they will burn something for cooking (with exception of solar cookers – no use on an overcast day.) Deforestation and loss of habitat with massive releases of co2 anyway is often the result. The cure could be worse than the disease.

  69. Mosher — “The Lesotho highlands power project (LHPP) will generate 6,000 megawatts (MW) of wind power”

    Maybe it will work being in the highlands I don’t know. What I do know from the article is this:
    “Lesotho is to harness the power of wind and water in a $15bn (£9bn) green energy project”
    “Nearly half of the 2 million population struggle to live on less than $1.25 a day
    “Construction is expected to take between 10 and 15 years

    Will the half of the population get the electricity subsidized? Lots of things are possible in this world, the issue is cost and efficiency.

  70. “Expensive energy kills poor people.”
    I couldn’t agree more. It’s not just wrong, it’s immoral.

    A few years ago I was set to be a life-long Conservative voter. But no longer, I’m proud to be a UKIP voter now, like many other ex-Conservatives. I will never vote for a party whose energy policies are intended to push up the price of energy.

    Of course, in the rich West we are far better placed to withstand this immoral nonsense, compared to large parts of the developing world, where there is real poverty. But even in Britain, these policies are killing old people who can’t afford these ridiculous energy bills.

    At the very least, if I return to the Conservative fold they will have to scrap the Climate Change Bill. Not only is it the most expensive suicide note in history, the morons who voted it in are guilty of mass murder. And that means you, Cameron, Clegg, Miliband and Davey.

    Chris

  71. In Britain the Government has a Plan

    “This is because the government imposed closure program of coal and oil capacity is running to time, whilst the replacement new build program of low carbon generation is running 3 years late.”

    Yes the plan is to close the countries power generation capacity faster than it will be replaced.

    http://www.liberumcapital.com/pdf/AbwjyzrV.pdf

    This is Ed Miliband, leader of the opposition, possibly Britains next prime minister, he also has a plan.

    He’s just told those who would invest in new power stations that the country needs – You may not get your money back

  72. @Jimbo
    “Apparently watching soap operas on TV helps reduce fertility!”

    That’s a terrible price to pay for reducing the birthrate.

  73. Willis,

    Once again the Panicists ignore the inconvenient truth that carbon dioxide emissions must include the industrial consumption of limestone. Limestone is used to create Cement, Pig Iron (the limestone is used as a flux and is converted into slag) and Glass (the calcium oxide lime is created from limestone by thermal decomposition).

    These industrial processes are used to create the concrete steel and glass buildings of our modern cities. They all rely on limestone as a feedstock to the chemical processes that creates the materials and the limestone so consumed emits into the atmosphere carbon dioxide gas from a non-fossil fuel source.

  74. Philip Mulholland says:
    ‘…the limestone so consumed emits into the atmosphere carbon dioxide gas from a non-fossil fuel source’

    I have always wondered why we cant extract c02 from the atmosphere and just make limestone. (I suppose it is too energy intensive, but I haven’t looked into it). It took a long time to figure out the Haber process, whereby nitrogen is taken out of the atmosphere to make fertiliser, so why cant we take c02 out as well, and just have massive new deposits of limestone? Obviously there must be a good reason, otherwise someone would have thought of it already.

    Also, I suppose nobody has done the sums, but the amount of limestone has increased over geological time, so that has taken some c02 out of the atmosphere over time, reducing the earths temperature. There are loads of it in places, kilometres thick.

  75. thingadonta:

    At September 28, 2013 at 6:31 am you say

    I have always wondered why we cant extract c02 from the atmosphere and just make limestone. (I suppose it is too energy intensive, but I haven’t looked into it).

    The US Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) funded a project to evaluate that idea a decade ago: it was part of their ‘Zero Emissions Project’ for coal-fired power. CO2 is more easily extracted from its high concentration in flue gases than from its lower concentration in air.

    The idea is technically feasible but economically ridiculous especially now frac-gas is available.

    And I think it is a bad idea to sequester CO2 (i.e. plant food) from the environment.

    Richard

  76. Philip Mulholland says:
    September 28, 2013 at 6:16 am

    Once again the Panicists ignore the inconvenient truth that carbon dioxide emissions must include the industrial consumption of limestone. Limestone is used to create Cement, Pig Iron (the limestone is used as a flux and is converted into slag) and Glass (the calcium oxide lime is created from limestone by thermal decomposition).

    These industrial processes are used to create the concrete steel and glass buildings of our modern cities. They all rely on limestone as a feedstock to the chemical processes that creates the materials and the limestone so consumed emits into the atmosphere carbon dioxide gas from a non-fossil fuel source.

    I (somewhat) disagree; They DO know about the concrete (actually “cement production” requires the continuous mining, shipping, crushing, burning, packing and re-shipping of the limestone) and steel industries, but are attacking them less publicly. No less effectively, just much less publicly – and yet MORE effectively! – because these industries are second-tier and third-tier suppliers in a deliberaltey lower producing economy. (Besides, buildings, roads, and parking lots ARE the “enemy” and should be destroyed and blown up in these people’s minds.) As second and third tier industries in the more-commercialized west, the extra costs, extra supply delays, and extra unneeded restrictions are “hidden” in the higher prices more generally required by these peoples’ desires to kill the world’s peoples in general, and western economies in particular. Also, since people don’t “see” the costs of higher price concrete and steel in their month-to-month bills, and don’t “see” the impact of higher-priced buildings and have already “got” the sewage pipes and sewage treatment plants and water pipes underground, politicians can re-regulate them almost at will in the CAGW schemes for the west.

    As primary industries in the second and third world, higher prices and less production of steel, concrete, railroads, bridges, power lines, dams, irrigation canals and tunnels and buildings IMMEDIATELY restricts the ability to provide the roads, bridges, rails and power lines to START providing clean water and reliable transportation and sewage and heat and food. Make sense? The feedback loop pointed out above several times STARTS with the restriction of CO2 “globally” as “A VERY GOOD THING” by the global community’s propaganda.

    The deaths required by the CAGW religion occur far away from its supporters.

    The sewage and water investments of the 1920’s in the US and Europe FOLLOWED the localized power lines and localized good roads of the 1910 and early 1920’s. Trolleys, street cars, railroads came first, then good roads. Then highways well later. Rails were common across the US by 1850, and that industry was worldwide before electricity was “invented” as a service in the 1890’s.

  77. Thingadonta

    Limestone is the Earth’s natural safe store of carbon dioxide gas in a solid mineral form. Limestone is formed in the oceans from dissolved calcium. The presence of excess calcium in solution is the reason why the oceans are alkaline. The calcium comes from the mineral breakdown of igneous basalt rock. The limestone rocks of Earth are the reason why our planet is not and never will be like Venus.

  78. Expensive energy kills people, so does deindustrialization and energy reduction schemes.

    The deindustrialization and reduction in power production and power generation resulting in the strangulation of our economies. As this process continues we will not be able to support our current populations.

    In fact the current policy of deindustrialization and reduction of energy use will result into a slaughter house.

    The proof of this claim is not only written down in scientific reports that studied the connection between energy use and prosperity and population health.

    All one has to do is take a look at the history, starting with WW II which in 1943 saw the Morgenthau Plan surface as a permanent solution to disable Germany’s capacity to wage war.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgenthau_Plan

    “The plan’s program, the memorandum concluded, “is looking forward to converting Germany into a country primarily agricultural and pastoral in its character.”[2]
    News of the existence of the plan was leaked to the press.[3] President Roosevelt’s response to press inquiries was to deny the press reports.[4]
    In wartime Germany, Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels was able to use the plan to bolster the German resistance on the Western front.[5]

    In occupied Germany, the thinking behind the Morgenthau plan was reflected in the U.S. occupation directive JCS 1067[6][7] and in the Allied Industrial plans for Germany aimed at “industrial disarmament”,[7] designed to reduce German economic might and to destroy Germany’s capability to wage war by complete or partial deindustrialization and restrictions imposed on utilization of remaining production capacity. By 1950, after the virtual completion of the by then much watered-down “level of industry” plans, equipment had been removed from 706 manufacturing plants in the west and steel production capacity had been reduced by 6,700,000 tons.[8]

    Partly for the sake of lowering German standards, restrictions were also enacted on food relief imports.

    According to some historians the U.S. government formally abandoned the Morgenthau plan as promoted occupation-policy in September 1946 with Secretary of State James F. Byrnes’ speech Restatement of Policy on Germany.[9]

    Unhappy with the Morgenthau-plan consequences, former U.S. President Herbert Hoover remarked in a report dated 18 March 1947:

    “There is the illusion that the New Germany left after the annexations can be reduced to a ‘pastoral state’. It cannot be done unless we exterminate or move 25,000,000 people out of it.” [10]

    It is argued that it was Hoover’s March 1947 statements in his report that led to the end of the Morgenthau plan and to a change in U.S. policy.[10][not in citation given]

    In the seventies, after the Club of Rome produced her “doom report” about the future of human kind and the ecology of the planet, not being able to sustain unlimited population growth due to pollution and lack of resources, the UN again pulled the concept of deindustrialization from the shelf again resulting in the 1975 Lima Declaration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nG6yoqVZXdk

    Because earlier treaties like the 1933 treaty of Montevideo (about a frame work of responsibilities of Nations) and the UN declaration of Human Rights have created a legal framework of human rights, protection from Government violence and the punishment of those responsible for genocide, the establishment had to find a way to escape any legal consequences of a structural reduction of the world population. The economic collapse of the Global Economy, creating a situation of absolute chaos and the creation of a “higher moral argument (Saving the Planet) read “Green Agenda, Agenda 21, have created the basis for a planned genocide of mind boggling proportions.

    The fact that UN papers describe the use of euthanasia in order to prevent further “pain and suffering” of those who have become “obsolete or starving” speaks for its self.

    It is no accident that the UN chapter of Human Rights is under siege from Islamic member states and it is no accident that the establishment has allowed Islamic extremism to advance western immigration policies and by the planned process of “replacement of government” as we observed in countries like Iraq, Libya, Tunis and Egypt and the western support of the Muslim Brotherhood. All contribute to chaos and the collapse of the Western civilization

    There is absolutely no limit to the evil mind set of those in power and those of you who still believe that the atrocities committed by the the regimes from Stalin, Hitler, Mao and Pol-Pot during times of war but also during times of peace, have been the darkest events in history of human kind, think twice.

    Our darkest day’s are still ahead of us.

    Never in the history of human kind there have been so many means available to exterminate people and never in the history of human kind there have been so many technological developments to control humanity and prevent opposition. Central control over all these assets by people with a dark and evil mindset, people who, despite a total lack of scientific evidence still believe human civilization and population growth is a cancer to the planet IMO is a guarantee for a pending genocide.

    As we have learned from the Morgenthau Plan the current policy of deindustrialization and the policy plans for continued reductions in energy consumption should be regarded as clear evidence of the real intentions of our current establishment as all these measures now have been casted into laws, regulations and penalty system in case of non complience (Europe).

    The current process to corrupt science and sustain a belief system only underlines the current process underway.

    The reality is that the doors of the next slaughterhouse already have opened.

    The knives have been sharpened, the guns and the ammunition has been produced and stored, the suppression machinery well trained and equipped, divide and rule doctrines in place and smoke curtains laid.

    The establishment has openly declared war on humanity and those who are bound to die soon still don’t get it.

    This won’t be a war with heroes.

    This will be an act of cold extermination where people will be fleeced from any human dignity.

    The status of people reduced to a status less than that of a chicken in a factory farm.

    If we fail to change the mindset of the current powers in control of the UN and our Governments, if we fail to restore the process of corruption of science, the corruption of our “free” press, the corruption of our financial institutions, if we fail to defeat the current political leadership of our nations, who stopped representing the interest of their people a long time ago and if we continue to accept the continuing process destroying our privacy, our civil rights and the constitutions of our nations, we’re done.

    The gun has been fired, the bullet is underway…

    Time is running out quickly.

  79. Steven Mosher @ 27, 2013 11:37/39 am

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/oct/31/lesotho-harness-wind-water-energy

    http://www.reegle.info/policy-and-regulatory-overviews/LS

    Inspired to dig deeper, I headed off to that font of all basic knowledge – The CIA Fact book.

    As one might expect, I’m now more confused than ever. (all numbers are from The CIA Fact book unless otherwise stated) …

    The Grun article talks of 10 GW (6 Wind and 4 Hydro) installed capacity. Ok so far except that their total consumption is 293 million kWh (2009 est). Worse still the country exports 0 kWh (2010 est.) but imports 121 million kWh (2010 est.). The Grun article is dated October 2011 so we
    can give and take on the numbers.

    As somebody competent in mathematics you see my problem already and that is just electricity…

    let’s not go to ‘fossil fuels’ … it has none and apparently uses next to none.

    I’m suspecting an unregulated economy where, for example, Coal is brought home via ‘gassed up’ SA registered trucks and none of it is ever seen in the statistics.

    Something is severely wrong with ‘the facts and figures’. Why would they install 10GW capacity (2011) to service a demand of 293 million kWh (2009) for example?

    I’m confused and if anyone has any newer and more reliable figures then I will gladly look.

  80. dp: The power grid in Lesotho is all but non-existent outside the city cores where about 25% of the population lives.

    Not to dispute (which I do on other occasions), but do you have a link? Lack of grid is another factor in the solar option, which I write about for niche applications and places without grids. It takes longer to get the permitting for the gird than for the other parts of large, centralized systems. Most of their hydropower must be exported along with the water.

  81. Excellent points, Willis. With the US and the World Bank not funding coal or gas fired electrical generating plants for poor countries, I’m surprised there isn’t some foundation or another willing to go ahead with just such a project. Have all the so-called philanthropist funds been co-opted by the Malthusian green socialists? I know many have been. Why would Belinda Gates’s, Turner’s, Rockefeller’s and other prominent “philanthropist” organizations toe the line on this stuff. What use is curing people of AIDS or malaria or what have you if you are prepared to freeze impoverished people or deny them access to economic development? How can the UN and other aid agencies in good conscience commit this heinous crime.

    Where are the protesters who would be out there on every campus and in front of government, embassy and industry headquarters if a mine’s tailings were to contaminate a poor country’s drinking water, but have no problem with officially denying access to life giving electric power and an acceptable economic level for these people. I think that it is high time some organization held a conference in Africa or created a new fund and an information newspaper to inform poor countries of this unconscionable consensus policy that is apparently designed to save the grandchildren of elitists by sacrificing the children today of the poor. Hello, is anyone there?

  82. “Yes the plan is to close the countries power generation capacity faster than it will be replaced.”

    Don’t worry. They’re apparently now paying companies millions and millions of pounds a year to keep diesel generators ready to come online when they close the real power plants and the windmills aren’t working.

    The stupidity of replacing coal and nuclear plants with diesel generators is just mind-boggling.

  83. Climate Solutions in Seattle is doing their damnedest to stop development of coal export terminals. They base their actions on AGW, coal dust, and long trains through our “neighborhoods”.

    I have to wonder what their thoughts would be if those trains were moving grains? I am sure they would say that is a good thing, right?

    So we can ship them grain but not the energy to process it???

  84. Oh Willis, haven’t you learned anything. Expensive energy means we can return to the simpler times of the primitive noble savages. The groundbreaking thesis Dances with Wolves explains this all very clearly. We don’t need oil to heat our furnaces because we will be wrapped in the warmth of love and peace.

    Now obviously this utopia is more for you than me, I don’t particularly want to die at 50 so I’ll partake in the massive carbon producing hospitals and evil big “pharma”. But I’ll curse their evil ways until the end. It might be hard for you to understand now how this de-evolution is good for you now, but trust us… We know what’s best.

  85. Willis,

    Thanks for this and your many other thoughtful interesting articles. Glad you, your beautiful ex-finace’ and daughter had a nice trip.

    Rich

  86. @richardscourtney
    >I write to support your comment at September 27, 2013 at 5:51 pm. You say
    >>Coal is an important and inexpensive fuel and there is no reason not to promote vastly improved coal burning products which reduce smoke virtually to zero as is presently being done in Ulaanbaatar.

    Thanks. Some of the best work on coal is or has been done in the WB/ADB/MCC/UB City projects in Ulaanbaatar – and for good reason. The situation is critical.

    >Yes, when I was working at the UK’s Coal Research Establishment (CRE) we invented and developed the downdraft stoves which consume their own smoke.

    I did the same in UB from 2007 and immediately demonstrated that the problem is not the fuel (wet lignite) but the wood stoves that are used to burn it. The DD stoves were much cleaner than an modern power station. At present there is no DD stove included in the rollout of subsidized improved stoves which are mostly TLUD’s. The required minimum performance (smoke) improvement is 90% in order to be included in the choice offered. Subsidy is large (>90%) with one ticket per homestead. City pollution last winder was Distribution of such stoves is a useful and cheap interim measure for reduced pollution and increased health until rural areas can be connected to a grid supply.

    It is unlikely that any alternative to domestic coal combustion exists in the next 30 years in Ulaanbaatar. The problem is not the fuel, it is the devices used to burn it. It is somewhat like putting diesel into a gasoline engine. Much smoke results from the incompatibility.

    >Indeed, CRE developed one design of downdraft stove for use by nomads. It can cook an entire sheep once a year and is transportable by horse.

    Would you please link me to that project and yourself either by link here or private post via the mods?

    >Incidentally, the Mongolians did not pay for the first stoves and I think that bill is still owed to UK government who obtained all of CRE’s assets when CRE was closed in 1995.

    That money is gone! However if there is something to implement, I will see that it is given some attention. A stove design course will be established at the Mongolia University of Science and Technology, attached to the SEET Laboratory (which tests and rates performance). The good stoves are all producing zero PM emissions from sometime after ignition and the best of the best can strip all ambient PM out of the air that goes into them, while burning lignite. These are world class devices.

  87. richardscourtney:

    “And I think it is a bad idea to sequester CO2 (i.e. plant food) from the environment.”

    Yeah I agree, I don’t think it actually needs to occur anyway, since I don’t believe that dangerous climate change will occur AGW.

    You say it is ‘economically ridiculous’ to extract it during coal power production. But how about this idea, just to appease the alarmists.

    Outback Australia has an abundance of uranium resources (the largest deposit in the world is in South Australia at Olympic Dam), in a politically and tectonically stable environment. You build large scale nuclear power plants to provide the energy required to extract C02 from air, using billions of $$$ re-redirected from keeping the IPCC going. The c02 forms limestone which is laid out flat in a polygon 1000x1000km wide by 500m high across the barren Australian desert, and you re-name it The IPCC Plateau. You cover it with weathering resistant material. Wella, you have removed vast amounts of c02 from the air, and created thousands of green jobs. Better than the end of the world with just a few people scraping a living in Iceland or somewhere. (Which I don’t believe, but we may never get rid of those who do).

  88. People not only freeze to death in the UK because they can’t afford to heat their homes, they also suffer from malnutrition because, when energy costs go up, so do the costs of everything that moves on energy – including food.
    And meanwhile that Marie Antoinette in the White House, with her 30-person entourage that follows her everywhere, and her $100 million vacation, and her gardens on the White House lawn, says “let them eat arugula!”

  89. Steven Mosher says:
    September 27, 2013 at 12:53 pm
    the links were provided to make more information accessible for people who want to read.
    Im not endorsing it, just linking…
    #####
    Steven, I was being somewhat cheeky with my post. Somewhat. I believe the renewable solutions for developing nations are simply a form of economic Imperialism. It will saddle those countries with too much debt that will ultimately be exchanged for control of resources at cut-rate prices to meet obligations. The salvation for these nations is access to cheap energy not elitist technologies from the Western world.

  90. Forget the third world. In the UK winter deaths are up by about 50% thanks to the green energy levies.

Comments are closed.