End of Renewables? Open Industry Push for Gas as a Climate Change “Destination Fuel”

This is gas flaring. CREDIT
Jeff Peischl/CIRES and NOAA

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

As public realisation grows that renewables are not delivering results, oil companies are confidently pushing for policy makers to recognise gas as a permanent part of the solution to climate change, rather than viewing gas as a “transition fuel”.

Big Oil Pushes Gas as Fossil Fuel Answer to Global Warming

By Kevin Crowley , Rachel Adams-Heard , and Naureen S Malik
29 June 2018, 09:00 GMT+10 Updated on 30 June 2018, 07:59 GMT+10

To reduce emissions and provide affordable electricity, the world needs to burn more fossil fuels, not less.

That’s the message being delivered by the world’s biggest energy companies at the World Gas Conference in Washington this week, where they championed natural gas as the fuel of the future, rather than one that simply bridges the gap toward renewables.

The world is facing the twin challenge of growing power supply — which Royal Dutch Shell Plc says needs to increase five times over the next 50 years — and reducing emissions to meet climate change targets. Energy companies see gas doing double duty: it has half the carbon emissions of coal when used in power generation, is abundant and relatively cheap.

The “big challenge for us in the industry is helping people recognize gas as a destination fuel, not just a transition fuel,” BP Plc Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley said during a panel discussion. “There’s another camp, a surprising camp, that is intent on discrediting gas as an option.”

Pushed by consumers, governments and some shareholders, big energy companies, especially those in Europe, have been investing in renewables. BP said Thursday it plans to acquire the U.K.’s largest electric vehicle charging company, while Shell and Total have bought utilities. Norway’s Equinor ASA links employee pay to cleaner energy production from the executive level down, among other metrics.

While Equinor will “remain an oil and gas company for the foreseeable future,” the company is “always pursuing new and tougher emissions targets” alongside profitability, Tor Martin Anfinnsen, executive vice president for marketing, midstream and processing, said in an interview.

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-28/natural-gas-pushed-as-a-fossil-fuel-answer-to-global-warming

Pushing gas is potentially a clever strategy, especially in places like Europe or green US states, where politicians are facing the growing nightmare of unwinding their renewable policy mistakes. As recently as February this year BP were talking up their plans to invest more in renewables, so pushing for policymakers to consider transition to gas as part of a permanent climate target rather than aiming for a 100% renewable climate target seems quite a shift in direction.

Update (EW): the oil companies aren’t (yet) pushing for the complete elimination of renewables, updated the post to make this clear

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107 thoughts on “End of Renewables? Open Industry Push for Gas as a Climate Change “Destination Fuel”

      • meaning Laura, if your business is selling oil and gas, you can sell the tired old gullible wamring emissions bullsh!t story to encourage the replacement of coal with your more expensive product for baseload generation.

        Until now the story has been ‘as a transition fuel’ to appease the greenblob and the useful idiots who vote for it. You know, while we use gas (and liberate less thin air than with coal), the boffins willbe figuring out how to make unreliables work, how to make batteries that last forever, how to extract extract energy from unicorn flatulence and maybe even crack fusion as we make the glorious energy transition.
        Now that people are losing interst in the green blob’s gullible warming story, the oil companies are emboldened enough to say, ‘let’s make gas our permanent clean energy’. They’ll be flogging this dead gullible warming horse as long as possible to snatch as much of coal’s market share as they can before the penny drops and the majority of the electorate finally work out that CO2 doesn’t matter.
        The shrewd operators will also keep flogging the idea of wind and solar as long as they can get away with it, because then a lot of the complimentary new reliable generation will neccessarily be open cycle gas turbine (OCGT) peaking plants (that can respond to the intermittencies of wind and solar) and then even when the investment in unreliables is finally stranded (when consumers demand their grid regulators deliver reliable affordable electricity instead of worthless virtue signalling), the investment will already have been made in OCGT powerplants and associated gas infrastructure that aren’t readily converted to burn coal* and will have to be kept going despite their inefficiency until that investment is amortized.
        As a bonus to ‘energy’ companies, if one is to waste natural gas generating electricity, OCGT are about the least efficient way to do so, meaning gas consumption and therefore profit are maxmized for a given generation.

        Of course the true believers in the ‘energy’ industry are still cooking up the hydrogen fairytale (which is brilliant; throw away a third of the energy potential of the natural gas feed stock, double the price of the fuel as delivered and jackup the demand even more by virtue of having to run the associated CCS boondoggles in order to make gas reformation ‘carbon neutral’ – all for no other reason than to appease the mythical gullible warming cause. But hey, you can continue to use the existing gas infrastructure, so it’s all good!).
        The only reason the lobbyists loitering around Brussels aren’t vigorously pushing this for now is that for now is it might be seen to undermine currently fashionable virtue signalling efforts in wind and solar.
        The push will come though because even the most strident supporters of unreliables in the ‘energy’ industry aren’t quite stupid enough to actually believe that birdmincers or mirrors have a snowball’s chance in hell of ever delivering reliable grid electricity as the moonbats at Greenpeace or IPeCaC keeping promising. The decision makers in ‘energy’ companies aren’t that far removed from proper engineering as to actually believe such utter horse sh!t, no matter what they may claim when opening their next subsidy mining park, but they are proficient in the art of separating fools from their constituent’s money, hence the short term ‘investment’ in unreliables.
        *one could burn micronised coal in an OCGT, but at the cost of higher blade erosion

        • Its not even clear cut if gas is actually a transition fuel although as long as everyone thinks so the gas / energy companies will clean up as a fast start backup for unreliable renewables. In Australia they are creaming it to the point that AGL will happily write off some of its coal fired assets to manipulate the market and capitalise on high price peaking gas plants they own (not to mention there stable of renewable assets). The not clear cut part is that there are studies suggesting the leakage of methane (a far more potent greenhouse gas) from cracked gas pipes and so on actually increase emissions. A classic case of perfect in a laboratory setting but not in the real world.

    • Gee. Oil and gas companies support gas as the energy solution?

      Who’d a thunk it.

  1. Funding to undo the disinformation program against nuclear would be better, but renewables as currently used are not a practical solution.

  2. Take the blinders off. CO2 does not now, has never had and will never have a significant effect on climate. (Numbers in brackets [ ] are reference numbers in http://globalclimatedrivers2.blogspot.com)

    1. In the late Ordovician Period, the planet plunged into AND WARMED UP FROM the Andean/Saharan ice age, all at about 10 times the current CO2 level [3].
    2. Over the Phanerozoic eon (last 542 million years) there is no correlation between CO2 level and average global temperature (AGT) [3, 4].
    3. During the last and previous glaciations AGT trend changed directions before CO2 trend [2]. This demonstrates that CO2 change follows temperature change and not the reverse.
    4. Since AGT has been directly and accurately measured world wide (about 1895), AGT has exhibited up and down trends while CO2 trend has been only up. [2]
    5. Since 2001, average temperature uptrend calculated by GCMs which assume CO2 causes AGW is about twice measured.
    6. Analysis of CO2 and Temperature data 2002-2008 shows a close correlation between dCO2/dT and lower tropospheric temperature. This also demonstrates that CO2 change follows temperature change and not the reverse. [30]

      • As opposed to CO2, which correlates with nothing and therefore proves that it doesn’t drive the Earth’s climate.

        The only place CO2 drives climate is in that special place that the computer models work in; Not Earth.

        • Cyber-climate? It would be awfully nice to be able to put all of the CO2 myths and superstitions out of sight and out of mind so the talents of the knowledgeable and talented scientists and engineers can back up and take up the real problems that are out there on some distant temporal horizon.

          The sun is the origin of virtually all of the heat energy that we have on Earth — some of it came from the sun hundreds of millions ago and has since its arrival been stored in chemical form as fossil fuels. Start from there and go step by step until you see what the real problem is for which our descendants will need solutions if they are to live the same civilized lives as those which we are currently able to enjoy.

      • Yes, correlation does not prove causality.

        Strangely, a lack of correlation does not prove lack of causality. For instance, if I throw a snowball at somebody, the position of the snowball will not correlate with the position of my hand.

        Given the complexity of the climate system, I would not accept a single six year period as proving anything.

        • “if I throw a snowball at somebody, the position of the snowball will not correlate with the position of my hand.”

          We have a Newton Denier!

          • And any major league pitcher will refute that easily, as will any good major league batter.

          • If you thwow a wock at a wabbit, it is the position of the wock in relation to the position of the wabbit that’s important, not whether the position of the wock correlates with the position of your hand. Elmer.

          • Oh no, I’m not denying Newton.

            The problem is the way correlation is normally defined and calculated.

            While I’m holding the snowball, my hand position correlates perfectly with the snowball’s position. Once I let go, and for the rest of the snowball’s trajectory, there is zero correlation between my hand’s position and the snowball’s position.

            In any event, for the vast majority of the snowball’s trajectory the snowball’s position and the hand’s position do not vary together. Hence there is no correlation.

            Here’s a link that gives a method to calculate correlation. For ease of arithmetic you could plot your hand’s x position vs. the snowball’s x position.

            Spreadsheets have a CORREL() function.

            Column A represents my hand’s x position.
            0 #hand at rest
            -1 #windup position
            0 #hand moves past head
            1 #forward position, snowball released
            0 #hand returns to rest position
            All the other rows are zero.

            Column B represents the snowball’s x position.
            0 #same as hand
            -1 #same as hand
            0 #same as hand
            1 #same as hand, release point
            2 #the value increases by one for each row

            1000 #no way can I throw a snowball that far.

            If I do =CORREL(A1:A25,B1:B25), it gives a value of about 0.04, a quite low correlation.
            If I do =CORREL(A1:A1000,B1:B1000), it gives a value for all intents and purposes of zero.

            You and I know that I threw the snowball. I might be able to convince some climate scientists that I did not because of a lack of correlation.

        • A lack of correlation us sufficient proof of lack of causation.

      • a close correlation demonstrates something.

        in this case a close correlation where temperature LEADS CO2 demonstrates that CO2 cannot ’cause’ temperature rise, since causes precede effects…

        Of course apples falling does nor ‘demonstrate’ ‘gravity’ either.

        However the theory works well and has never been refuted, although it has been slightly modified.

  3. Funny thing that. Carbon dioxide has a relatively short half life and the oxygen is back in the atmosphere as oxygen molecules. The other byproduct of hydrocarbon combustion, water, though precipitated out of the atmosphere in days is practically eternal. We won’t see that oxygen back as oxygen molecules in the atmosphere until the human race has evolved into something else.

    Not that I see a problem either way, If Carbon dioxide accumulation or oxygen depletion were to ever become a problem it would happen so slowly that we would have time to deal with either.

    • Carbon dioxide has a relatively short half life …

      That just won’t do for the IPCC.

      … the atmospheric residence time of the greenhouse gas � is a highly policy relevant characteristic. Namely, emissions of a greenhouse gas that has a long atmospheric residence time is a quasi-irreversible commitment to sustained radiative forcing over decades, centuries, or millennia, before natural processes can remove the quantities emitted. link

      The IPCC’s preferred option is that every single molecule of CO2 ever emitted by humans is still in the atmosphere and will be forever. In fact, it’s the only way their arithmetic works. Otherwise it would be clear that they have a very weak understanding of the CO2 budget. Guess what …

      The error bars on their measured values are huge and yet they purport to balance the CO2 budget within 1%.

    • Oh dear.

      Oh dear oh dear.

      What do you think plants exude when they take carbon dioxide and water, and turn it into hydrocarbons and oxygen?

      • Thomas and Wussell and Leo….
        ………I think that in Photosynthesis that the Oxygen comes
        from the water molecules and not the CO2 molecules……………….
        but I could be wong ( Elmer ! )
        “The oxygen weleased during photosynthesis comes from the splitting of water during the light-dependent weaction. . Wemember, the electwons lost from the weaction center in photosystem II must be weplaced. The splitting of water serves to weplace these lost electwons.”
        Nope ! I’m Wite !

  4. Con la eólica y solar “no se llega a ninguna parte”. Nuclear “es una “bomba de tiempo”. Carbón “contamina y mata”. Petroleo “contamina,pero hay que agradecerle por todos sus beneficios” pero para generar Energía “ni una gota mas”. Hidroeléctrica, “mas es el daño que el beneficio”. Geométrica “mas es el gasto que el beneficio”. Biomasa “ni pensar”. El GAS es interesante….no contamina y es barato…..PERO… esta por salir un SISTEMA para generar ENERGÍA LIMPIA que es EXTRAORDINARIO,no contamina,no produce gases de efecto invernadero,no afecta la vida de ninguna persona,no le afecta la sequía,las inundaciones,los terremotos,los huracanes,puede funcionar las 24 horas los 365 días del año…..es sencillamente EXTRAORDINARIO.

  5. Ouroboros: The renewables snake that eats its own tale?
    “We must have zero CO2 emission renewable energy because CO2 is overheating the planet…. and the only way we can stop that is to have zero CO2 emission renewable energy because CO2 is overheating the planet therefore we must have zero CO2 emission renewable energy because …… (iterate ad infinitum).”

    Implementing an unreliable and expensive solution for a non problem is insane.
    The plants need more CO2. Feed the Plants!

  6. Good to see them finally catch up to me.

    Said it before, I will say it again.

    Much easier to push a positive agenda of more nukes,
    More gas, than to push a nut job agenda of the science is a hoax.

    • Climate Change/Global Warming is propaganda, and easy or difficult, it needs to be quashed. No ultimate good can come from allowing the misinformation to continue.

      • Sure there is. You have zero chance of being wrong about Gas and Nukes.
        You are most definately wrong on the science of AGW.
        being sketical of the science is an unforced unnecessary error.
        and it makes conservatives look like dopes.

        At best you should have argued to reserve judgement about c02. Instead, you have to defy science with mostly stupid arguments. and you never had to. unforced error.

        • History will prove you wrong just as nature has proved overly-hysterical scientists wrong time and time again. The actual science of CO2 itself says very little when viewed overall (eg by the IPCC) rather than by individual ‘worse than ever’ papers. It was always fully dependent on unknown/unmeasurable feedbacks and inadequate models. The hype though based on this guesswork has had its best days.

          Conservatives appear more ‘evil’ than ‘dope’ to irrational liberals and no argument from them would ever be listened to. Pielke’s iron law still rules though and the faint-green hypocrites will still use fossil fuels until they actually are cheaper.

        • ….coming from the King of stupid arguments

          You’re slams make you look like the dope…..LOL

        • Recognizing that models are not science makes us look like dopes?
          Sure it does. Just keep telling yourself that.

    • You used capital letters and punctuation! It’s a miracle!

      … And you’re right about nukes & natural gas. To the extent CO2 emissions need to be reduced, it’s the only viable pathway.

      • It is the only pathway that can be sustained without being “subsidized” by money that is produced as gross profits by economic endeavors that are powered by fossil fuels.

        If fossil fuels companies are interested only in their gross revenues, they should be pushing for renewables. With current technologies, increased usage of “renewables” results in an increase in the amounts of fossil fuels that must be used in order to be able to provide the subsidies. The easy example is adding ethanol to otherwise perfectly good gasoline. My experience with the cars that I have fueled has been that adding 10% ethanol results in about a 20% decrease in miles per gallon versus the gas mileage provided by the unadulterated gasoline. Thus I am burning some part of the gasoline that I use just to provide the energy that is necessary for the combustion of the ethanol.

    • Steven, I was VERY tempted to give you another +1, and then you had to go and ruin it by your “nut job” comment. Being skeptical of both the “science” and the “data” of CAGW advocates such as Mann and Karl hardly qualifies me as a “nut job”.

        • Except, David, he quit using caps halfway through the post. And the other day he wrote “your” when he meant “you’re.” Irritating in the general public but unforgivable when done by an English major.

          As for, “being sketical (sic) of the science is an unforced unnecessary error.” Didn’t they ever teach him that being skeptical of the science is what scientists DO. Or rather, what they are supposed to do. I guess that was not part of the English Lit curriculum.

        • It’s sad how low a bar we have to set in order to find something to congratulate him on.

    • “I hope you’re not right about the lack of warming lasting till 2020 and beyond”
      Dr Phil Jones. UEA CRU IPCC lead author in a Climategate email.
      ^We have lots of evidence that ‘the science is a hoax’.
      Dr. Hansen: >“The West Side Highway [which runs along the Hudson River] will be under water.” And we have lots of evidence that Warmists are ‘nut jobs’.
      Let me know which bit of that isn’t clear to you.

  7. So unintended consequences bites them in the ass again, and again. Sad part is they were told and chose to listen to the social justice warriors, rent seekers, and politicians…… but I repeat myself.

  8. The “big challenge for us in the industry is helping people recognize gas as a destination fuel, not just a transition fuel.” –BP Plc Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley

    There’s no reason to beat your head against a wall. There will be less resistance from the warmists if you continue to call gas a transition fuel. Just don’t tell anybody that the transition period will likely last hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

  9. Coal must remain part of the mix unless nuclear makes a big comeback as well. The only thing that will keep natural gas prices in check is coal/nuclear. Without competition and relying only on the massive use of natural gas, gas prices will increase at a very rapid rate. Oil companies have been championing the Green Agenda to get rid of coal. Access to affordable energy ten years down the road will likely be no better than electricity from windmills if gas has no competition.

    • The oil companies who are championing the green agenda do so because the green agenda results in an increase in the amounts of their products that must be used which enhances their sales volume which enhances their top line sales revenues. It seems that ‘sanity’ took a hike and got lost about 30 or 40 years ago — especially among those who suffer from the delusion that civilization can thrive if we just have the right politics in force.

      • ThomasJK:
        I take your point about the “green agenda” but I would disagree about
        WHO it is who is championing it ! …………… It is definitely THE LEFT !
        However , your next comment :
        “— especially among those who suffer from the delusion that civilization
        can thrive if we just have the right politics in force.”
        It is NOT A DELUSION. Without the CORRECT POLITICS in place then
        there will be no thriving and precious little future , as “we” enjoy it !
        Considering that “The Western Civilisation” , that “we” are so fortunate to
        have inherited , is being UNDERMINED so rapidly and meeting with such
        little opposition is THE MAJOR CONCERN
        that “we”should be attending to NOW !
        What “we” have today is THE BEST SYSTEM ever devised by mankind !
        ( A few tweaks is ALL it needs ! Don’t allow them to throw the
        baby out with the bath-water ! )
        xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
        AGW , CAGW , CO2 Pollution , CC , Feminism , Gender-Politics , Eqity,
        Diversity , Equality of Outcomes , “fairness” ,”safe-spaces” ,”Hate-speech”,
        Refugee crises , LGBTQIAPK and all the other “bunches of initials”
        are a mere distraction for a Post-modernist Neo-Marxist Left-wing
        Movement intent on implementation of their Ideological Agenda to
        destroy our current life-style , legal system , belief and value systems
        so they can establish their delusional , murderous , socialist “Utopia” !
        “We” should be cleaning-out “our” schools and universities and
        bureaucracies and environmental movements of all the “activists”
        who are working against “our” best interests while “we” still have a
        strong nucleus of educated people to replace them !
        Not spending half our lives debating whether CO2 is good or bad !
        It’s JUST A DISTRACTION !
        Your TIME and INTELLIGENCE could find BETTER APPLICATION
        IN THE REAL WORLD !
        Not meaning to belittle WUWT but it will all come to nought in
        a Post-modernist Left Wing World “where NOTHING IS REAL ”
        even if you can prove it ( which you can’t because in that World
        “we” can’t even communicate ! ), so please make your CHOICES
        and do your best to HANG ON TO WHAT WE’VE GOT !
        xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
        Sorry if that got “a bit off topic” but I feel very strongly about the
        things that you also seem to value !
        Regards , Trevor.

  10. Unless and until the world embraces nuclear power or invents an efficient and economical way to store large amounts of wind & solar energy, fossil fuels are absolutely essential. Among those available, natural gas for power wins hands-down, and is the only one practical to back-up wind and solar.

    • There is no way to fix the needs of solar and wind for millions of km^2 of land it needs. Do y’all know that each wind mill also needs a huge root of concrete to hold it up, that steel aluminium, fibre glass manufacture and the mining of the raw materials for a renewables world would take 100sGt of coal/natural gas/petroleum to make this stuff. You cant use windmills and solar to make steel, aluminum and glass that uses ~15kWh/kg to mine make, deliver and and install? Aluminium takes 15kWh to make alone. Tufting and glazing the earth with these materials is no done WITH renewables.

  11. Gas is the long term solution….until something cheaper comes along. Funny how that works…

  12. Natural gas is good for heating buildings,or in some manufacturing processes that require heat, but it should not be used for anything else.

    • Natural gas is preferred for several different uses — electrical power, heating, and raw material for chemical manufacturing. Increasing use probably will drive its price out of reach for some of these activities, regardless of how much gas is recovered.

    • About half of the human race depends on natural gas for food… The Haber-Bosch process feeds about 3 billion people.

        • Interesting, thank you David and Thomas. Bottom line:

          With average crop yields remaining at the 1900 level the crop harvest in the year 2000 would have required nearly four times more land and the cultivated area would have claimed nearly half of all ice-free continents, rather than under 15% of the total land area that is required today.

          [The Haber-Bosch process was developed before WW1].

  13. Nope. the objective is to constrain humans committing sins against the environment. The great evil satan is of course the US and we have lots of natural gas. Therefore, the answer can’t be natural gas. The question will be revised until it produces a correct answer that constrains sinners, esp U.S., and produces a huge wealth transfer to a huge global government. Furthermore, Europe doesn’t appear to have lots of natural gas and socialist Europeans sit all over international organizations; so they won’t go for natural gas either.

  14. To put it WAY too crudely, there are at least 3 camps;
    1. The “Committed” CAGW scientists and commentators (Mann, et al)
    2. Skeptics (the “prove it” community).
    3. Those with a commercial interests who are trying to feel out which side “the public” (their customers) are on and attempt to straddle the middle ground.

    My take is that the fossil fuel Industrialists who have tried to play a PR game are realizing that the alarmist side of the fence is getting too tenuous and are trying to reposition.

    The war is going to be a long one, but “our” side may have just won a few battles.

  15. “There’s another camp, a surprising camp, that is intent on discrediting gas as an option.”

    Can there be truly anyone knowledeable in the field of energy today that finds this surprising! It is no secret what the main objective of all this renewable stuff is all about. Google Christiane Figueres late head of UNFCC or Maurice Strong, a very clever high school drop out who grabbed on to this global warming schtick to bring down western economies. He invented the UNFCC, the Kyoto Accord, the Rio Summit, Agenda 21 and even the 1960s Stockholm Accord or whatever it is. What is surprising is that after Strong breathed life into this Trojan horse, it was taken up vigorously by the NGOs and useful tools who dont even know who this man was (died in Beijing about 10 years ago) and turned into the climate industry, or clime syndicate as Mark Steyn like to call it.

    • Maurice Strong passed away shortly before COP 21, 2015

      And he had plenty of willing hands to help put over his UN agenda. Including Canadian PMs and help from U.S. VIPs.

  16. Oh and windmills cant make nitrogenous fertilizers, plastics, textile materials. The idiocy of people out protesting O&G projects wearing polyester parkas, “rubber” soled boots, runners, staying in tents, eating and drinking from plastic dishes and cups,
    thermoses….

    Ive also been noticing in posts over the past several months that the orgs that create all the clamour are шнутеs who organize and promote. Oh they inviegle and even pay people of other гасеs to carry placards and shout but it is baldly a шнутые enterprise. Even diversity is their invention. How do they get away with this иеосолоиiалiзм?

  17. It’s interesting to see BP paying more lip service to ‘renewables’ because they axed their solar power business around 2011 if I remember correctly. Politics, I guess.

      • …..And in the end, the subsidies and tax breaks are paid for by the consumers of the products that are produced by fossil fuel companies.

        If you take the time to look at and decipher an oil company financial report at the SEC edgar web site, (try XOM, Exxon-Mobil) you will find that the amount of the total tax take of all kinds of taxes by all governments from oil companies is several times greater than the amounts of the after-taxes earnings that the companies get to keep and use to pay out dividends to shareholders, etc.

  18. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbT1k5DYYds

    It’s a gas ! Gas ! GAS!

    WE’LL PROBABLY NEED OIL, COAL AND NATURAL GAS TO SURVIVE. THE WORLD LIVES ON FOSSIL FUELS.

    GET USED TO IT!

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/02/05/fear-and-loathing-for-california/#comment-73212

    [excerpt]
    Fossil fuels (oil, coal and natural gas) comprise over 85% of global primary energy – the remainder is mostly nuclear and hydro. Wind, geothermal and solar don’t amount to much, and neither do biofuels. It is ironic that so many people in the developed world loath energy companies, and yet fossil fuels are essential to keep them and their families from freezing and starving. Many Europeans and North Americans have bought into this irrational hatred – as they huddle in their homes during this cold winter, perhaps some of them will realize that rational energy policies and capable energy companies are essential for their survival.
    Regards, Allan

  19. When Obama came in there were (and still are) companies trying to get truckers to switch to compressed or liquified natural gas, and to build a network of charging stations. Another option would have been to encourage consumers to switch from oil heating to natural gas (in locales dense enough to justify pipelines). This would have cut a lot of CO2 emissions quickly and cost-effectively (truck engines would last longer and be easier to maintain, and cost less to fuel), but to the purist ideologues Obama hired half-measures were no good. They instead wanted householders to switch to electrical heating. So eight years were lost.

    • PS: Trump could make a splash and win votes and deflect criticism of his business as usual stance by making a big push for natural gas for tricking and heating. Plus he’d make his climate-crusader enemies gnash their teeth. Where have his advisers been on this?! Hellooo, Roger Stone!!

  20. Certainly worth noting, and I surprised no one has noted yet, that the US is hitting is “emissions targets” due to fracking & abundant / cheap nat gas. If countries want to hit these “targets”, nat gas is an easy way to get there ,and it also doesn’t destroy your economy. Regardless of the science, the ideas of nat gas as a “destination fuel” ought to be viewed as a win-win. The alarmist hit their “targets”. And with no adverse effects on the economy / people’s well being / freedoms.

    • . . . the US is hitting (is) its “emissions targets” . . .

      What are those? Can you link to a document that explains what they are and where they came from?
      Or, are you referring to a green dream?

      • I think he means the ’emissions targets’ embedded in the Paris Climate Non-agreement. Thanks again POTUS Trump, for ending our financially bankrupting participation in that fraud!

    • I ask seriously: Do we and should we care about the fate of our descendants who will be born decades to centuries after we are no longer living? The availability of fossil fuels precipitated the end of slavery in Western societies — Will the end of fossil fuels precipitate a return of institutionalized slavery?

  21. Because renewables are intermittent and they can’t be scheduled or dispatched onto the grid it is impossible to reliably use them to generate electricity for the distribution system. Practical necessity demands all arguments are deployed to justify conventional, dispatchable generation.

    The grid can’t operate without it. ALL possible arguments have to be used and will be used because blackouts are intolerable.

  22. One thing that should be clear is that nuclear and renewables are in conflict. They compete for scarce energy storage resources. Nuclear wants storage so that it can efficiently run full speed. Renewables obviously want storage because of variability. Of course, adequate storage does not exist, so they also need backup. When this variability is mixed with nuclear, it can be a problem. Here’s a disturbing story about a german nuclear plant being damaged by having to adjust to variable renewables:

    https://www.euractiv.com/section/electricity/news/german-nuclear-damage-shows-atomic-and-renewable-power-are-unhappy-bedfellows/

  23. There is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate. There is no such evidence in the paleoclimate record. There is plenty of scientific rationale to support the idea that the climate sensitivity of CO2 is zero. There are many good reasons to be conserving on the use of fossil fuels but climate change is not one of them. The biggest problem with the use of fossil fuels is that their abundance is finite. Before the fuel runs out we must switch to alternate forms of energy and to reduce out population so that the alternate forms of energy will be enough to supply our needs.

    • Wiliam Haas, there is no need to reduce population. Nuclear power can supply all needed electricity. Better living conditions for everybody will stop population growth.

    • The next FF to be exploited will be Methane Hydrates, once the other FFs become scarcer their price will go up and MH extraction will become competitive.
      There are 100s of years of MH to use.
      Add in more modern Nuclear and there are no Energy problems in the future.

    • “Before the fuel runs out”

      OK, that’s a minimum of 500 to 600 years. I would not advise panicking just yet.

  24. The Stone Age didn’t end because of a lack of stones. It ended because something better was found to make tools out of.

    The Green Age won’t end because of a lack of renewables. It will end when something better is found. If that something better is only ten or twenty years away, is there any point in the colossal spend currently being made on renewables?

  25. Okay My latest lightbulb. According to the DOE graph on the carbon cycle which is on the Wikipedia website, the atmosphere has 800 Gigatons(Gt) of carbon. To get the amount of CO2 you multiply by 3.67. But for sake of convenience we will talk in terms of ppm since everybody knows that the atmosphere has 410 ppm by volume of CO2. That means roughly 1ppm CO2 = 2Gt of carbon

    Since NOAA doesnt seem to have an up to date graph of the carbon cycle here is NASA’s.

    https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/CarbonCycle/

    You will see that they copied the one from WIKI which came from DOE.
    Humans are emitting 8 Gt per year by burning fossil fuels and 1 Gt per year by land use changes.
    So you see that humans put 9Gt/2 =4.5 ppm into the atmosphere but the atmosphere increases only 2ppm per year. The atmosphere changes 45ppm with the oceans every year. The atmosphere also exchanges 60ppm each year with the soil via microbial respiration and decomposition and plant respiration with the opposite effect of photosynthesis. So in total, 105ppm is exchanged by nature and man adds 4.5ppm. So man’s contribution of total exchange is 4.1% and nature’s is 95.9% which is 23.4 times what ma’s contribution is.

    To give you an example of why you should not never read the web site Skepticalscience.com They had an explanation of this whole concept as follows. I will quote

    “It is true that an individual molecule of CO2 has a short residence time in the atmosphere. However, in most cases when a molecule of CO2 leaves the atmosphere it is simply swapping places with one in the ocean. Thus, the warming potential of CO2 has very little to do with the residence time of CO2. What really governs the warming potential is how long the extra CO2 remains in the atmosphere.”

    Don’t forget that that quote is NOT from an individual poster. That is a direct quote from the site’s managers. The stupidity boggles the mind. On the one hand he is not questioning that CO2 has a short lifetime in the atmosphere, but in the last sentence he is stating that the warming potential depends on how long. He contradicts himself, but he is also wrong in that the exact residence time doesnt really matter as long as there is a reasonable turnover. As long as there are new CO2 molecules going in and others going out, then there is a turnover. In this case there is a reasonable turnover of more than 25%. The residence time in this case to get down to 1% of original CO2 remainng is ~ 16 years. after 1 year there is only 75% of original CO2 left and after 3 years there is only 42% of the original CO2 left. The IPCC gives hundreds of years for residence time.

    Apparently the IPCC cant do math. So since photons dont know the difference between man made ppm CO2 and nature ppm CO2, nor the difference bewteen old CO2 and new CO2, the factor that counts is the ratio of the turnover vis a vis manmade vs nature. The alarmists argue that before man burned fossil fuels there was no increase in CO2 therefore the extra CO2 is all caused by man and thus all temperature changes are caused by man. We know that the temperature ( before man burned fossil fuels) went up and down. The world had flat CO2 emissions for 3 years 2014-2016 and the CO2 levels in the atmosphere still went up at the same rate of increase. Since we burn only 8Gt per because of fossil fuels, then fossil fuels are only causing 4ppm/109ppm = 3.6 % of the turnover. So the actual multiple is 96.4/3.6 = 26.7 So even though we can’t prove that man’s addition to the CO2 levels are not causing a temperature increase , in the last 30 years there has definitely been an increase in the greening of the earth. So that may explain the difference between the 4.5 ppm man causes to be added and the net of 2ppm in the atmosphere each year.

    Even though we have no proof that increased CO2 in atmosphere causes warming, let us assume for this exercise that the CO2 causes all the warming if indeed there has been warming and that man has caused this extra 2ppm each year. Since the rate of increase is 2ppm per year that is 0.5% increase. even if we accept that these increases are upsetting the balance of the CO2 cycle and it is all man’s fault , then mankind cant be causing more than 0.5% per year of any increase. If there is no increase in CO2 levels then the temperature cant increase because of CO2 because there would be a temperature equilibrium established. Since everybody agrees that the May figures from UAH results in a 1C per century increase, (the June figures may lower or raise it) then mankind is causing a 0.01 C per year increase. Put it another way it will take an extra 200ppm to achieve an increase of 1C. If it was to remain at 0.005 increase of ppm it would take another 80 years to achieve this 200 ppm increase. So the temperature is actually going up slower than the CO2 increase would indicate. In Canada I will gladly take that increase.

  26. Small, modular, molten salt nuclear reactors. – Need to develope high temperature resistant materials.

    • What do you view as the deficiencies of currently available materials? The test reactor ran for 20,000 hours without issue and was finally shut down when the program was cancelled.

  27. In the article, energy companies state that natural gas (predominantly methane) has half the carbon emissions of coal when used in power generation. What is meant by “carbon emissions”; being that carbon is a nonmetallic & tetravalent element & black in colour? Are weasel words being used to manipulate minds?

    Methane combustion is summarised as CH4 + 2 O2 → CO2 + 2 H2O, with the heat of combustion at 55.5 MJ/kg. I see two end products, carbon dioxide & water, both essential for plant life & therefore us. At slightly over 400 ppm for CO2, I don’t see a problem.

    Signs of intoxication have been produced by a 30-minute exposure to CO2 at 50,000 ppm [Aero 1953], and a few minutes exposure at 70,000 to 100,000 ppm produces unconsciousness [Flury and Zernik 1931]. It has been reported that submarine personnel exposed continuously at 30,000 ppm were only slightly affected, provided the oxygen content of the air was maintained at normal concentrations.

    https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/idlh/124389.html

    • The only reason NG has half of the emissions of Coal is because of the fact that no US utility is building the newest generation Ultra Super Critical coal fired plants. China is light years ahead of the US in their use and development. And, now coal is cheaper than NG, with 200 – 250 years of Known reserves. These CCGT’s are the same as they built years ago and only used for “Peaking” units due to the high cost of NG. Wait till the cost of NG goes through the roof.

  28. It should be obvious at this point that small modular molten salt/Thorium reactors are the future of energy. Totally safe, cheaper than any other power technology, rapidly deplorable, load following. can be sited anywhere (no need for bodies of water for cooling).

  29. I’ve always thought that swamp gas could be the end destination that should satisfy everyone about CO2 – ie a source of methane that doesn’t need much time to produce naturally and is genuinely carbon neutral. The mentalists would be free to move onto some other, perhaps genuine, threat rather than flog the CO2 dead horse.

  30. Wyoming says wind is the way to go. They are killing eagles, destroying the environment and make a mockery of the oil and gas industry that keeps the state afloat. It’s suicide by green but since Wyoming is a joke of a state anyway, the residents (soon to be leaving for greener pastures) don’t care.

    Natural gas will never replace the green’s renewables because politicians are virtue signalers who just want to be loved by the press. If oil and gas states are stupid enough to brag about installing renewables, there is no hope.

    • I’ll believe that they are serious about wind power, when they start putting turbines in national parks.

      • How many thousand of them outside of national parks are we to be buried under while you think no one is serious?

  31. If an IMMEDIATE end to CO2 emissions is needed to save the world, building windmills is not a very smart intermediate step.

    We constantly hear alarms that “we have five years to act!” Well, what is the CO2 payback period on a windmill? Windmills are made from steel and concrete. A lot of it. How much CO2 is emitted as part of the construction process. and how many years does it take for the CO2 reductions from wind power to break even? I haven’t heard anyone say the number, but my guess is that it’s more than five.

    Fortunately, every five years we get another five year extension.

    • Look at the foundation that supports these towers. Massive is almost an understatement.

  32. In the end there will be only nuclear energy left that is capable of powering a devloped nations grid at the level required.

    It’s juts a matter of how we get there, and whether we have to wait for the gas to be exhausted. I would keep gas for direct heating where the process is now over 90% efficient, CCGT is “only” 60%. And electrical heat energy is still 4 times the price of gas. Nuclear elelctricity needs to get a lot cheaper before it can do the heating job, and will with serious volume build out.

  33. They (IPCC) want to cut CO2 emissions to ZERO? Okay, let’s start with them and the Howling Ecohippies FIRST getting their mouths sewn shut and being required to go around with rebreathing apparatus so that they aren’t polluting the atmosphere with CO2.

    Just a question: since chemophiles produce methane, a carbon-based molecule, constantly, and they do it everywhere including in the Earth’s crust, how are these nincompoops going to shut that down???? It’s a natural process, mind you, and goes on all the time, so what were they planning to do? Ticket those chemophiles and make them pay fines?

    I’d like to see that!

    Seriously, those people are so money-grubbing greedy and stupid that they don’t even know they’re alive.

  34. Renewables like solar and wind power often require natural gas power as backup to be of practical use. Thus oil and gas companies have no reason to want renewables eliminated. Renewables promote the use of natural gas over nuclear and coal.

  35. No state or utility in the US is rolling back CO2 or renewable energy goals.

    In the GHG modeling groups, there are ongoing battles about renewable energy vs nuclear.

    And a push to more appropriately value the resiliency attributes of onsite fuel storage that coal and nuclear plants provide.

    But every time a renewable energy goal is revised, it is increased and accelerated. None have been reduced or delayed.

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