The worst consequences of the global warming scare

Guest essay by David Archibald

During World War II, one Russian physicist realized that the United States was working on an atomic bomb when articles about high energy nuclear reactions disappeared from the physics journals he subscribed to. As an interested observer of coal-to-liquids (CTL) developments, I got the same feeling when reading the programme for the World CTL Conference 2013 held in Shanghai on 16th April. There was almost nothing about China’s CTL projects.

We all know that China has building coal-fired power stations at the rate of one a week. They are also building a number of CTL projects. News on these projects now seems to come largely from Western equipment suppliers. For example, the MAN Group of Germany announced the sale of compressors for the Shenhua Ningxia CTL project. The compressors will be used to make 40,000 tonnes per day of oxygen which equates to CTL production of 120,000 barrels per day.

Shenhua is China’s largest coal company. The Shenhua website doesn’t mention the Shenhua Ningxia CTL project which would have a capital cost of the order of $10 billion. In fact the company’s news section on its website hasn’t been updated for a year. It seems that news on CTL projects in China has gone dark.

Why would that be? Let’s go on to look at the state of fill of the Chinese strategic petroleum reserves as outlined in this document. China has accelerated the rate of build and fill of its strategic petroleum reserves in the last few years. It could reach its formal target of almost 700 million barrels, equivalent to the US strategic reserve, by 2015. This graph shows the comparative size of the US, Japanese and Chinese strategic petroleum reserves:

clip_image002

I believe that the reason China has gone dark on its CTL projects is because it considers that they give the country a competitive advantage. Shenhua has stated that its first CTL plant, a direct liquefaction facility in the Ordos Basin, has an all-in cost of $60 per barrel and that it is very profitable. Now any company, and any country, in the world that has coal deposits could copy Shenhua’s successful example and start making money from their own CTL projects. That isn’t happening. Why might that be?

A big clue is in the quote following from an interview with an International Energy Agency analyst. The role of the International Energy Agency, based in Paris and largely funded by the United States, is to talk down the oil price as a counterpoint to OPEC. It is not to be confused with the Energy Information Administration, part of the US Government.

“During a recent briefing in Washington, D.C., IEA analyst Laszlo Varro was pessimistic about CTL. “Essentially, energy policy needs to replicate a war blockade,” he said. “The only country that has meaningful investments in coal to liquids is China.”

Varro added, “It’s a big carbon dioxide factory.”

With the EPA in the United States hell bent on closing down existing coal-fired power stations using carbon dioxide emissions as the excuse, getting funding for a new coal-burning facility of any sort is going to be a difficult sell. The consequence of that is that the United States is denying itself its largest potential source of liquid transport fuels commercially viable with current oil prices and technology (that definition allows me to avoid mentioning the Green River Shale).

Let’s put the potential for liquid fuels from coal in the United States into perspective. In the four weeks up to 17th May, the Unites States produced an average of 7.315 million barrels per day which is an annual rate of 2.670 billion barrels. In those same four weeks, the United States had net petroleum imports that were slightly higher at 7.324 million barrels per day which is an annual rate of 2.673 million barrels. All up that is an annual consumption rate of 5.343 billion barrels. For those who still think that the Bakken Formation in North Dakota has untold wealth and should be factored in, the United States Geological Survey recently released an assessment of that formation’s potential of 7.4 billion barrels of undiscovered, potentially recoverable oil. So the potential of the Bakken accounts for about one and a half years of the current consumption rate.

The United States currently burns about one billion tonnes of coal per annum in power stations. Put through CTL plants, that one billion tonnes could make 2.2 billion barrels of liquid transport fuels, largely replacing the imported component of oil demand and making the country energy independent. It is not the price of oil that is stopping that from happening. It is the witchcraft and voodoo of official climate science. Of course the electric power coming from coal would have to come from another source, but that is doable too.

Now let’s go back to that quote from the International Energy Agency analyst: ”energy policy needs to replicate a war blockade.” and “the only country that has meaningful investments in coal to liquids is China.” It seems that one of the reasons that China is investing in coal-to-liquids is that it expects to be subject to a war blockade in a war that it will start itself. On the other side of the Pacific, the United States, which will do the heavy lifting in any such war started by China, is handicapped by denying itself a potential supply of liquid transport fuels and the optimum allocation of its resource endowment. That, dear readers, is the worst consequence of the witchcraft and voodoo that is the current state of official climate science.

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Congrats to Europe. Welcome back.

michael hart

It sounds like good news, but green-politics is so deeply ingrained that I won’t believe it until I see some more tangible results.

richard

looks like they are salvaging something from the wreckage.

Mike jarosz

The goal was to turn the world population into serfs owned by the government by using high cost energy as control. It appears unlike their ancient ancestors they do not have the stomach for it. Capitalism is still alive and kicking.

RESnape

Don’t bet on it Bob. We in the UK are still subjected to the Climate Change Act and are ruled by a metropolitan elite like Cameron/Clegg and their climate change acolytes who don’t want to know anything about the real world.
http://www.theccc.org.uk/tackling-climate-change/the-legal-landscape/global-action-on-climate-change/
R E Snape

Mike jarosz

Just noticed. the hockey stick is back. see electricity prices graph.

Bloke down the pub

Don’t forget that the EU budget that was accepted recently allocated 25% of its funding to green issues. The EU has a long history of re-running votes until the ones in control get the result they want. Whither democracy?

AleaJactaEst

you honestly think that a ruling elite who ban the use of olive oil in a bottle on a restaurant table unless it has the required packaging, labeling and source, will change anything based on this?
Straight bananas anyone?
We just need a Greece, Cyprus or Spain to say enough is enough. Unfortunately I only see a civil war doing this.

Ray

R E Snape
Not to worry, sooner or later reality will rise up and bite your elites, and bite them hard. The problem is the continuing harm being done to the innocent during the interim.
Ray

It’s no blo.dy surprise. Summer starts in few days time, in SW London today temperature at midday was only 11C, for tomorrow forecast is 9 to 10, with snow showers in the west of England. Daily max temperatures have been in steep fall for some months now.
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET-Dmax.htm

johnmarshall

Wait until things happen before you jump for joy. I see more rules and regulations imposed if fracking is undertaken which will render costs higher than ever. It is the EU way.
The idea of the EU was drempt up by two French communists so do not expect any common sense policies promoted by democratic vote. You only have to see the new rules about olive oil to see what a bunch of idiots they are in Brussels.

Bill_W

Since the US levels of CO2 production have dropped due to natural gas, it is possible to have both lower energy prices and a drop in CO2 production.

RockyRoad

If they want to help the biosphere, they’ll burn as much CO2-producing, plant-greening, biosphere-expanding fossil fuels as they want. (“Want” defined by free market forces, of course.)
Besides, it will help get them out of the clutches of Russia, who isn’t going to be committing economic suicide with stupid green policies but rather is trying to gouge Europe with their over-inflated gas prices. Promoting shale gas development in their own countries simply removes Russia’s hangman’s noose from around the necks of the EU and makes them more prosperous.
Someday they’ll start tearing down that horrible forrest of windmill turbines they’ve allowed to fester their once-beautiful landscapes. That will probably happen right after those less-than-efficient, inferior-duty machines start falling apart.
I hope the EU has budgeted for the cleanup.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7

If the EU actually reverses course and embraces cheaper energy over “sustainability”, will the 10:10 campaign folks be running adds showing rogue commissioners exploding?

What’s significantly missing is any acknowledgment that global warming ain’t what it was cracked up to be – the media refuses to acknowledge their huge part in creating climate hysteria. So what else is new?

Here in Scandinavia all the politicians and the MSM are all global warming zealots. It is going to be interesting to see how this is presented in the media.
Cheaper energy led to more jobs. Gosh, who would have thought?

Love it or hate it, the most cheapest source of energy is still fossil fuels. Other chemical methods may be developed (and soon), but none are yet available on a large enough scale.

Disko Troop

I will believe it when I see it. There will be much wailing and knashing of teeth from the greenatic fringe. Cameron has all the backbone of a field of corn in a stiff breeze. His glove puppet, Clegg, has so much green on him he is going mouldy. Ed Davey has his head so far up his own jacksy that he uses a leather belt for a tie. Until a few more MP’s grow a pair they will do nothing for fear of losing their cushy little all expenses (+) paid velvet seats and having to go and get a real job.

GlynnMhor

It will take another lustrum, or perhaps even two, of no warming before the CAGW paradigm finally collapses and politicians turn away from their panic-stricken carbon strangulation policies.

observa

It’s the same in Australia with the millions squandered on solar and wind ‘reshiftable’ power bills and now listen to the gall of the leader of the Greens who along with Labor in coalition have implemented a carbon tax to deliberately raise the price of energy-
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/federal-election/greens-promise-electricity-prices-to-drop-under-proposed-review/story-fnho52jl-1226649500714
Their answer to the train wreck is to set up another Gummint agency to monitor rising power prices. Unfreakingbelievable!

“From a common point in 2005, three lines diverge widely to reflect the fact that prices in Europe are now 37 per cent higher than those in the US, and almost 20 per cent higher than those in Japan.”

That is not correct. The chart was normalized to prices of 2005, in order to show diverging recent trends; however, the absolute prices in Europe were already higher as of 2005.

michael hart

Michael Palmer says:
May 23, 2013 at 8:06 am
“From a common point in 2005, three lines diverge widely to reflect the fact that prices in Europe are now 37 per cent higher than those in the US, and almost 20 per cent higher than those in Japan.”

That is not correct. The chart was normalized to prices of 2005, in order to show diverging recent trends; however, the absolute prices in Europe were already higher as of 2005.

Good point, Michael Palmer. Eurocrats weren’t born yesterday, and have plenty of minions to make statistics look less unfavourable. They’ve been playing this game longer than most of us.

Peter Stroud

Now go the whole hog and return to using coal fired stations. Here in the UK the idiots are converting from coal to imported wood clippings.

kakatoa

I wonder what the USA graph would look like if PG&E’s increased costs for electrical energy was removed from the graph as the costs for PG&E in the residential market look a lot like Europe’s:
PG&E Rates over time (E-1 residential rates)
Date AVG
Jan-05 0.12229
May-06 0.13733
Mar-10 0.15818
Jun-10 0.18895
Nov-11 0.18259
12-Jan 0.18299
7/1/2012 0.18703
5/1/2013 0.19362

RockyRoad

philjourdan says:
May 23, 2013 at 7:15 am

Love it or hate it, the most cheapest source of energy is still fossil fuels. Other chemical methods may be developed (and soon), but none are yet available on a large enough scale.

According to a Ragone plot, gasoline is one of the best energy sources around when compared to “other chemical methods”. However, another energy source outdistances any “chemical method” known by at least an order of magnitude, and likely several!
This source is illustrated on the Ragone plot comparing it with most others here:
http://pesn.com/2013/05/20/9602320_VINDICATION–3rd-Party-E-Cat_Test-Results-show-at-least-10x-gain/

kakatoa

I copied and pasted my spreadsheet of PG&E AVG E-1 residential rates incorrectly above: The corrected Avg price for a kwh of electrical energy from PG&E (E-1 rate schedule) is noted below:
Date AVG
Dec-97 0.12229
Jan-05 0.13733
May-06 0.15818
Mar-10 0.18895
Jun-10 0.18259
Nov-11 0.18299
12-Jan 0.18577
3/1/2012 0.18703
7/1/2012 0.1859
5/1/2013 0.19362

@ RockyRoad says: May 23, 2013 at 8:32 am
I just read about E-Cat (perhaps we read about it at the same place?). It is too early to tell if that will have practical applications and usage. But it does look very promising!

RockyRoad

Yes, philjourdan–I’m waiting with bated breath, too. Physicists have ignored weak forces while experimental chemists have embraced them. It will be interesting to see what wins the energy competition–hot fusion that’s always 20+ years in the future, or LENR that may be realized this year or next.
We live in exciting times.

William Astley

Old news: Stupid is as stupid does.
Anti-industry EU policies/regulation, deficit spending on scams; Resultant: EU 27 million unemployed. Three EU countries facing bankruptcy. EU consumer subsides to ‘green’ energy 400 billions euros since 2004. Estimated ultimate Germany subsidy to ‘green’ energy based on current policy 1 trillion euros.
This is new: The environmentalists are at least applying basic arithmetic analysis to energy requirements of the developing world Vs soft energy.
Predicted out come, post epiphany (understanding of reality) that soft energy does not work, nuclear energy only viable option if there is a climate crisis?
Lesser of two evils. Climate crisis disappears.
… mainstream environmental movement teetering between apocalyptic thinking and utter disarray. Plunging headfirst into this challenge comes PANDORA’S PROMISE, … …acclaimed documentary filmmaker Robert Stone that recently premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Three years in the making and filmed on four continents, this meticulously researched and beautifully crafted film asks whether the most viable option we have to tackle climate change might be the one technology we fear the most: nuclear power.
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/pandoras_promise_2013/
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/pandoras_promise_2013/

For all you posting from the EU, let me tell you what the situation looks like from Texas, where I am. (In the Natgas biz, of course) Over here, we HOPE your leaders continue to pay lip service to your problems while doing nothing, and we HOPE that your governments don’t figure out how to start taking advantage of all the cheap energy they could have if they were competent. You know why? Because every week now, another manufacturing plant shuts down in the EU and moves to Texas, to take advantage of our unlimited energy supplies. This has put us in one of the biggest economic booms I have ever seen! Just saw the numbers, state population increased by 465,000 in just the last 12 months. Imagine how much economic activity it takes to build the facilities to feed and house that many people – it’s like having to build a new city for half a million people every year! If anybody out there needs a job and doesn’t know how to find one, well Texas is the place you need to be!
Any acts of rationality on the part of the EU leadership might slow things down here, but I’m pretty sure that we’re safe from that happening anytime soon – and when it does happen we’ll be so far ahead of you economically that you’ll never catch up.
Oh, and for the Aussies out there reading, if you didn’t know, Ford is shutting down all of its Australian plants soon because of your carbon tax. They’ll mumble other reasons, but that’s the big one. Guess you’ll buy all of your cars from China now. Congratulations!

observa says:
May 23, 2013 at 7:42 am
It’s the same in Australia …

Didn’t I just read that Ford is closing its plants in Australia. One of the reasons being “high costs”?
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/23/australia-ford-announcement-idUSS9N0C402820130523?feedType=RSS&feedName=rbssEnergyNews&rpc=43

DirkH

Any reduction in green subsidies will be more than compensated in tax hikes. Do not expect prices for customers to drop. The EU is insolvent and will take all they can and then some.

JimF

Looks like this is the new trend:
http://www.powerlineblog.com/
ENVIRONMENTALISTS FOR NUCLEAR POWER
Very interesting, short article.

Now, here in the US, we’ll just see whether Der Fuehrer (aka Obomination) of Summary Executions, Benghazi, IRS, AP/Fox, HHS Protection Racket, EPA CO2 Pollutant, and Crony Capitalist fame will recant his green idiocy. Not likely, methinks, with all his gauleiters in Congress (e.g., Boxer and Whitehouse) crying global warming behind the Oklahoma tornado.

glen martin

If Congress had gone along with Obama’s demands for limits on CO2 emissions the U.S. would have ended up as the only country whose economy was handicapped by this B.S.
Which is exactly what the so-called paranoids were claiming would happen back when the Kyoto protocols were being pushed.

Ian Evans

But how many years lost, how much competitiveness lost, how many jobs lost, and how much will it cost to put right the damage to our environment, our economies and our lives?

Louise

“In a report on the Electricity Market Reform published today, the Committee on Climate Change presents new analysis showing that there are significant economic benefits from investing in a portfolio of low-carbon technologies through the 2020s rather than investing in gas-fired generation.
The report finds that investment in a portfolio of low-carbon technologies could save consumers £25-45 billion, rising to £100 billion with higher gas and carbon prices.”
from http://www.theccc.org.uk/pressreleases/government-commitment-to-support-investment-in-low-carbon-technologies-would-secure-significant-savings-for-uk-consumers-23-may-2013/

This is so good to hear, and yes, of course it’ll take time. The point is they have woken up and are looking to get things in motion for a shift away from Green. This shift in mind-set is a must and should be celebrated.
I bet the Greens are feeling a bit… er… green right now, and not with envy, either. Poor dastards.

DirkH

Louise says:
May 23, 2013 at 11:55 am
“In a report on the Electricity Market Reform published today, the Committee on Climate Change presents new analysis showing that there are significant economic benefits from investing in a portfolio of low-carbon technologies through the 2020s rather than investing in gas-fired generation.”
And? Do you believe them, Louise?

Finally something sensible comes out of the EU.

Louise

DirkH, in the spirit of open debate, I thought I would just point out that there are other views. How to choose which of them to believe is a different issue altogether. The description of the make-up of this committee can be found here http://www.theccc.org.uk/about/structure-and-governance/committee-on-climate-change/. They don’t appear to be leftist/greenpeace/activist people but others can judge for themselves. That’s why I posted – debate should include positions and information from all aspects.

Julian Flood

Re CCC report: Nice to see that Mr Yeo and Lord Deben are earning their money.
JF
http://www.rolls-royce.com/news/press_releases/2013/power_generation_contract.jsp
(48% efficient if electric only 78% IIRC as combined heat and power. Quick to build. Burns gas. Saves letting the lights go out, rationing, riots. Obviously a non-starter then.)

J Martin

Encouraging words from Cameron. Lets hope they were inspired by the arrival of common sense rather than driven by the kick up the butt that the recent successes of UKIP at the polls delivered to the Conservatives, Labour, Liberals.
Indeed the swing to UKIP not only came from nowhere but was so great that the 3 main parties might have begun to fear that UKIP could go from nowhere to a majority in parliament in one hit. The next general election might actually be interesting.
I guess for those of you on the other side of the pond that would be like the Tea Party on steroids, but in the end the American public wimped out so it was more like the Tea Party on valium. Maybe at the next UK election the UK public might also wimp out, we’ll see.

J Martin

Ian Evans said “But how many years lost, how much competitiveness lost, how many jobs lost, and how much will it cost to put right the damage to our environment, our economies and our lives?”

Certainly ten years perhaps a generation.

Gary Hladik

Louise says (May 23, 2013 at 12:25 pm): “That’s why I posted – debate should include positions and information from all aspects.”
No debate necessary. If “investment” in “green” power requires government “encouragement” (i.e. mandates and/or taxpayer money), then it’s not economically viable. If the market chooses “green” without government intervention, then it is.

Billy Liar

Louise says:
May 23, 2013 at 12:25 pm
They don’t appear to be leftist/greenpeace/activist people but others can judge for themselves. That’s why I posted – debate should include positions and information from all aspects.
You are naïve if you believe that the members of the CCC don’t have vested interests or are not activists. Just google ‘Deben conflict of interest’.

Stephen Brown

It’s the 23rd May, 2140hrs GMT and in here in Selsey, southern England the air temperature is 6C with a stiff breeze blowing. My house is cold but I cannot afford to put the heating on because I burned my annual heating budget in the first three months of this year. Electricity and gas ( not petrol, for US readers) prices have risen to levels many can no longer afford.
The sector of the population most likely to turn out to vote here is the over-50s, we are the ones, those on fixed incomes, who are most impacted by the ever-rising costs of any form of energy. Gas is up, electricity is up, even petrol costs more than US$2 per litre.
Our increased energy prices have driven up the price of almost all foods, public transport, such as buses and trains, is no longer affordable but the cost of simply staying alive rises inexorably.
Everyone in my age group with whom I speak is vociferous in their condemnation of the Climate Change Act and the Greens who foisted it upon us. Our big three political parties are losing massive numbers of supporters because of their unwillingness to repeal the one Parliamentary Act which is devastating this country. Some are turning to the nascent UKIP party, others are leaving this country whilst others are simply turning their backs on the whole political process and will no longer vote for anyone.
This link shows how “resilient” our energy policy really is:- http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2297296/British-gas-reserves-run-dry-36-HOURS-freezing-householders-turn-heating-up.html

And here’s one of the many news articles which serve to fuel the rising disgust which we British have for our ‘Government’. “They couldn’t run a whelk stall ” is a very common opinion!
http://www.berwick-advertiser.co.uk/news/local-headlines/fallago-rig-wind-turbines-start-turning-1-2939469

cd

The head of states of the EU don’t really matter. What Germany wants Germany now gets. Even the French who once thought that through the EU they could ride the German industrial machine to greater world influence now accept their junior role. The German’s didn’t want this primacy but they now have it. In Germany, the Greens often hold the balance of power so even though they get only a few percentage of the total votes they wield a huge amount of power.

Peter Miller

It is just possible the EU bureaucracy, with its well-deserved reputation for idiocy and expensive dictats, may have seen the light. Since the beginning of the year some reasonably sensible stuff has been emerging out of Brussels – the recent banning of olive oil jars in restaurants being an obvious exception.
The EU has for so long been a promoter of bureaucracy, unnecessary expensive regulations and dangerous greenie fads that it is difficult to believe it can change.
However, shale gas, may be the Eurozone’s only hope for economic salvation.
Pampered lifestyles for pointless bureaucrats in Brussels are going to require economic salvation – and they know this all too well. Hence, the change of heart about fracking.