hcubed's WunderBlog

"Non-believers" pick up a new name - pirates.

By: hcubed, 2:53 AM GMT on November 30, 2011

Arr, matey - there be deniers here...

It seems that Penn State will be part of a seminar - "An Ethical Critique of the Climate Science Disinformation Campaign":

"...Dear Attendees of COP-17:

On Tuesday, November 29th, in a seminar organized by Penn State University and the University of Washington on the ethical dimensions of climate change join us to look at two issues.

One, an ethical analysis of the climate change disinformation campaign. We will examine whether this is a new kind of crime against humanity?..."

***Wait - now those who don't fully buy in to the THEORY of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Climate Disruption may be accused of CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY?

Wow.***

"...Second, we will look at the piratical significance for negotiations in Durban if climate change is understood to create human rights violations..."

***Piratical. Had to look that up. "Characteristic of pirates"

So there's two ways to read this.

If people disagree with the "consensus", they could be seen as a pirate - one who preys on others; a plunderer.

Of course, another way to see this is, talk about our stuff or we'll take over (mutiny) - bringing up the other meaning - to take (something) by piracy.

So look for the following words to make their way through the reports on this:

buccaneer, corsair, freebooter, rover, despoiler, looter, marauder, pillager, plunderer, raider, robber, privateer.

Sure beats denier, aye.

BTW - I think that parrot is dead...

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The "travelling circus" comes to town.

By: hcubed, 5:56 AM GMT on November 29, 2011

Well, the delegates are gathering in Durban for the annual Climate meeting.

BTW, that headline comes not from me, but from comments made by Artur Runge-Metzger, the EU’s negotiator at the summit. He said both developing and developed countries had to make firm commitments to emissions caps this year or risk the public “losing confidence in this travelling circus”.

Article here

By Aislinn Laing, Durban and Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent

As delegates arrived in the coastal South African city of Durban on Sunday, dark skies gave way to thunder and lightning storms and torrential rain which waterlogged parts of the city’s conference venue and swept away tin shacks in townships on the outskirts of the city, killing eight people.

***Which, on cue, they'll promptly blame on CO2, and move on***

On Monday, many of the estimated 15,000 delegates packed into the main hall for the opening session, only to be kept waiting for 40 minutes by South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma.

Aides to the president blamed the president of Chad, saying Mr Zuma arrived on time but was forced to wait for him.

The 17th Conference of the Parties summit represents the last chance for developed nations to sign up to a second term of the Kyoto Protocol, which specifies legal limits for their carbon dioxide emissions, before it expires at the end of next year.

***It's also the last chance for the developing countries to say they want no controls on their emissions, just like they currently have under the Kyoto Protocol. Must be rough for the developing countries - when the Kyoto Protocol expires, so does their "protection" from the rest of the world***

Speaking at the opening session of the talks, Christiana Figueres, the UN’s chief climate change official urged all parties to be flexible, and quoted South Africa’s former president Nelson Mandela in telling them: “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, South Africa’s Minister of International Relations, who is chairing the 12-day, 194-nation meeting, said the world’s poorest countries – many of them in Africa – were dependent on swift action to stave off the catastrophic effects of global warming which affect them most.

“We are in Durban with one purpose: to find a common solution that will secure a future to generations to come,” she said.

But within hours of the summit’s start, most of the major players made clear their unwillingness to negotiate their positions.

The European Union led a positive charge to revive Kyoto, saying it would sign up for a second term. But it stipulated that the world’s two biggest polluters, the United States – the sole developed country to shun Kyoto – and China – still classed as a developing country – should also agree to legally-binding emissions cuts before 2015.

***Good luck in getting China to agree on controls***

Artur Runge-Metzger, the EU’s negotiator at the summit, said both developing and developed countries had to make firm commitments to emissions caps this year or risk the public “losing confidence in this travelling circus”.

The US said that China signing up to a such a deal was a “basic requirement” for its own participation but even then, it offered no guarantees.

***See, even the US said "We'll sign if China does". Leaves them a "way out"***

Meanwhile China and the G77 group of developing nations said that they would insist on developed nations signing a second Kyoto term before agreeing to any global deals themselves.

***And China says "No, you first. THEN we'll consider signing"***

Canada has already said it will not commit to a second term and yesterday it emerged that it could withdraw before the original deal expires. The country’s national broadcaster said it would be announced next month that Canada will withdraw from the protocol – a move its Green Party warned would make it a “global pariah” at Durban.

***Pariah: one that is despised or rejected, outcast. Simply because they're seeing their economy falter trying to meet the limits, while seeing China and India have no limits at all***

Within the European Union grouping, which speaks at the summit with one voice, cracks were already beginning to emerge after the publication of a report suggesting the UK was backing a controversial plan by Canada to extract oil from swampland – something the EU has made clear it is against because of the levels of greenhouse gas emissions.

***This is those "tar sands" coming up. The US environmentalists want the pipeline to stop, preventing the sale of the fuels in the US. So Canada said they'd sell to the world's largest emitter instead. They'll still get burnt, but in a country with less emissions controls***

Those watching the talks begin said it was an inauspicious start. “It is headed towards a real impasse in Durban, frankly, there is no way to gloss over it,” one veteran participant said.

“There are very few options left open to wring much out of the meeting unless the position of these major countries softens considerably.”

***They may need to build a bigger tent. The circus will need all three rings...***

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Tilting at rusty windmills...

By: hcubed, 2:59 PM GMT on November 23, 2011

Tilting at windmills is an English idiom which means attacking imaginary enemies, or fighting unwinnable or futile battles. The word “tilt”, in this context, comes from jousting.

The phrase is sometimes used to describe confrontations where adversaries are incorrectly perceived, or courses of action that are based on misinterpreted or misapplied heroic, romantic, or idealistic justifications.

So it's only fitting that this article comes up:

14000 Abandoned Wind Turbines In The USA

Yes, you read that right - there are at least 14 thousand abandoned windmills in the US alone.

"...The US has had wind farms since 1981:

Some say that Ka Le is haunted - and it is. But it’s haunted not by Hawaii’s legendary night marchers. The mysterious sounds are “Na leo o Kamaoa” – the disembodied voices of 37 skeletal wind turbines abandoned to rust on the hundred-acre site of the former Kamaoa Wind Farm…

The ghosts of Kamaoa are not alone in warning us. Five other abandoned wind sites dot the Hawaiian Isles — but it is in California where the impact of past mandates and subsidies is felt most strongly. Thousands of abandoned wind turbines littered the landscape of wind energy’s California “big three” locations — Altamont Pass, Tehachapin, and San Gorgonio — considered among the world’s best wind sites...California’s wind farms — comprising about 80% of the world’s wind generation capacity — ceased to generate much more quickly than Kamaoa. In the best wind spots on earth, over 14,000 turbines were simply abandoned. Spinning, post-industrial junk which generates nothing but bird kills..."

In other places, wind turbines have had to curtail night-time operation to save endangered bats, or (as mentioned here), forced to shut down for motnths at a time:

"...Altamont’s turbines have since 2008 been tethered four months of every year in an effort to protect migrating birds after environmentalists filed suit. According to the Golden Gate Audubon Society, 75 to 110 Golden Eagles, 380 Burrowing Owls, 300 Red-tailed Hawks, and 333 American Kestrels (falcons) are killed by Altamont turbines annually. A July, 2008 study by the Alameda County Community Development Agency points to 10,000 annual bird deaths from Altamont Pass wind turbines. Audubon calls Altamont, “probably the worst site ever chosen for a wind energy project..."

Depending on wind turbines to create enough energy to take us off the "big oil" dependency - "To Dream the Impossible Dream", indeed.

Maybe Don Quixote had it right, after all:

"...Just then they came in sight of thirty or forty windmills that rise from that plain. And no sooner did Don Quixote see them that he said to his squire, "Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished. Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them. With their spoils we shall begin to be rich for this is a righteous war and the removal of so foul a brood from off the face of the earth is a service God will bless..."

Cervantes, Don Quixote — Part 1, Chapter VIII.

Update: Since some people might think of the "toryaardvark.com" site as some kind of extreme site, here's the link to where they got their info:

zimbio.com

And in there, they credit Andrew Walden (the founder of Hawaii Free Press). He is a columnist for AmericanThinker.com.

So we can tie it back to here:

Wind Energy's Ghosts

No matter where it came from, the underlying theme is the same:

If the "obsolete" windmills cannot be repowered, take them down:

"...Our research and that of others show that turbines' non-operation and public fear of wind farm abandonment is still a critical issue, and it therefore behooves the wind industry to return to the 'big three' wind farm sites (Altamont, San Gorgonio, and Tehachapi) and to ensure that these areas are operating as efficiently as possible, and all turbine arrays which do not contribute significantly and conspicuously to power production are either replaced or, if necessary, removed..."

Taken from R. Thayer, "Wind Farm Siting Conflicts in California: Implications For Energy Policy," Center for Design Research, University of California, Davis, 1991, page 39.

So here, then is the future of wind power:



Abandoned wind farm on South Point, Hawaii.

Updated: 6:02 AM GMT on November 24, 2011

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More stuff from the IPCC report

By: hcubed, 8:07 AM GMT on November 20, 2011

"...A changing climate leads to changes in the frequency, intensity, spatial extent, duration, and timing of extreme weather and climate events, and can result in unprecedented extreme weather and climate events. Changes in extremes can be linked to changes in the mean, variance or shape of probability distributions, or all of these. Some climate extremes (e.g., droughts) may be the result of an accumulation of weather or climate events that are not extreme when considered independently. Many extreme weather and climate events continue to be the result of natural climate variability. Natural variability will be an important factor in shaping future extremes in addition to the effect of anthropogenic changes in climate..."

Once again, nice to see that it's not just CO2.

"...The impacts of climate extremes and the potential for disasters result from the climate extremes themselves and from the exposure and vulnerability of human and natural systems. Observed changes in climate extremes reflect the influence of anthropogenic climate change in addition to natural climate variability, with changes in exposure and vulnerability influenced by both climatic and non-climatic factors..."

See? It's not just CO2.

"...Rapid urbanization and the growth of megacities, especially in developing countries, have led to the emergence of highly vulnerable urban communities, particularly through informal settlements and inadequate land management (high agreement, robust evidence)..."

Gee, who would've thought that some of the vulnerability to climate extremes could be worse because of man's ability to manage the land (and not even mention CO2)?

"...There is evidence from observations gathered since 1950 of change in some extremes..."

Agreed.

"...Confidence in observed changes in extremes depends on the quality and quantity of data and the availability of studies analyzing these data, which vary across regions and for different extremes..."

This is EXACTLY what the whole issue has been on, and one area that the Scientists and alarmists have been trying to push - statements that the instrumental record is flawless, or that the errors are not important.

My, how things change...

"...Assigning “low confidence” in observed changes of a specific extreme on regional or global scales neither implies nor excludes the possibility of changes in this extreme. Extreme events are rare which means there are few data available to make assessments regarding changes in their frequency or intensity. The more rare the event the more difficult it is to identify long-term changes..."

Once again, this has been something that the "denialists" have been stating - that the instrumental record is just too short to see any meaningful trend.

"...Global-scale trends in a specific extreme may be either more reliable (e.g., for temperature extremes) or less reliable (e.g., for droughts) than some regional-scale trends, depending on the geographical uniformity of the trends in the specific extreme..."

"...It is very likely that there has been an overall decrease in the number of cold days and nights, and an overall increase in the number of warm days and nights, on the global scale, i.e., for most land areas with sufficient data. It is likely that these changes have also occurred at the continental scale in North America, Europe, and Australia. There is medium confidence of a warming trend in daily temperature extremes in much of Asia. Confidence in observed trends in daily temperature extremes in Africa and South America generally varies from low to medium depending on the region. In many (but not all) regions over the globe with sufficient data there is medium confidence that the length or number of warm spells, or heat waves, has increased..."

Amazing. Areas with low amounts of instrumental data actually can have low confidence. Again, we knew this, as shown by the massive holes of no data when using GISS "un-extrapolated" data.

More later...

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Selected exerpts from latest IPCC report

By: hcubed, 3:40 AM GMT on November 19, 2011

Since people seem to believe everything that the IPCC puts out, maybe people should see exactly what's buried in the latest "Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation" or SREX.

"...Climate extremes, exposure, and vulnerability are influenced by a wide range of factors, including anthropogenic climate change, natural climate variability, and socioeconomic development..."

Not just CO2.

"...It evaluates the influence of natural climate variability and anthropogenic climate change on climate extremes and other weather and climate events that can contribute to disasters, as well as the exposure and vulnerability of human society and natural ecosystems..."

Not just CO2.

"...Climate change may be due to natural internal processes or external forcings, or to persistent anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere or in land use..."

Not just CO2.

Let's break in here and talk about a big change in their thinking.

Read the following statements carefully:

"...Climate Change: A change in the state of the climate that can be identified (e.g., by using statistical tests) by changes in the mean and/or the variability of its properties and that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer. Climate change may be due to natural internal processes or external forcings, or to persistent anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere or in land use.

[INSERT FOOTNOTE 2: This definition differs from that in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), where climate change is defined as: “a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.” The UNFCCC thus makes a distinction between climate change attributable to human activities altering the atmospheric composition, and climate variability attributable to natural causes.]..."

So the IPCC and the UNFCCC have different definitions of what climate change means.

No consensus between parts of the UN. But at east they're starting to agree that some of the "climate change" can be due to NATURAL INTERNAL PROCESSES or LAND USE CHANGES.

And not just CO2.

More later...

Updated: 3:50 AM GMT on November 19, 2011

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U.S. Federal Investments in Energy R&D: 1961-2008

By: hcubed, 5:58 PM GMT on November 14, 2011

Interesting paper I found:

"...ABSTRACT: This paper documents nearly a half century of U.S. federal government support for energy research and development (R&D). Data on energy R&D expenditures disaggregated by major program area are presented here for the first time for the period 1961-2008. This paper also documents U.S. federal government spending on key large scale energy R&D programs that were initiated in response to the oil crisis of the 1970s. Since 1961, the U.S. government has invested nearly $172 billion (in inflation adjusted 2005 US dollars) for the development of advanced energy technologies and for the necessary underlying basic science. Over this period, nearly 24% of the total federal investment in energy R&D occurred during the short seven-year span of 1974-1980. From 1977-1981, energy R&D investments briefly rose above 10% of all federal R&D; however, since the mid-1990s energy R&D has accounted for only about 1% of all federal R&D investments..."

Again, one section "...Over this period, nearly 24% of the total federal investment in energy R&D occurred during the short seven-year span of 1974-1980..."

From the paper itself:

"...1974-1980: The Arab Oil Embargo which began on October 19, 1973 sparked a fundamental reassessment of the nation’s vulnerability to imported energy and also forced a reassessment of the role that energy R&D could play in helping secure the nation against hostile acts like the Oil Embargo.

Federal investments in energy R&D more than doubled in real terms in the short interval between 1973-1976 and nearly doubled again between 1976-1980. Federal investments in energy R&D rose from $2.45 billion in 1974 to $7.47 billion in 1980 (in constant, inflation adjusted 2005 US$). The largest absolute gains were in the fossil energy R&D programs which grew an order of magnitude in real terms during this period rising from $143 million in 1974 to $1.41 billion in 1979. The Synfuels Program grew more than 3.5 times in real terms during this period. Nuclear energy programs also saw significant absolute growth during this period. For example, the Liquid Metal Fast Breeder Reactor program’s annual appropriations grew by slightly more than a billion dollars between 1973 and 1977 (increasing from $643 million to $1.69 billion during these five years).

In the immediate aftermath of the 1973 Oil Embargo, not only did federal investments in energy R&D grow dramatically in areas like coal and nuclear power where it had already established programs, the portfolio of federal energy R&D activities also became significantly broader and more diversified. That is, the broadly diversified federal energy R&D portfolio of that has been in place for decades and is often taken for granted as an obvious way to organize the government’s efforts to develop new energy technologies emerged in response to the chaos caused by the energy crises more than 30 years ago..."

And yet, 30 years later, we still have a strong reliance on foreign oil - and a refusal to use our own resources.

More here on other "green" ideas that have had problems:

http://www.downsizinggovernment.org/energy/subsid ies#11

More on that one later...

Updated: 6:02 PM GMT on November 14, 2011

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Another Green Scheme folds - not enough participation.

By: hcubed, 6:39 AM GMT on November 13, 2011

Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s ClimateSmart program, which lets the utility's customers go "carbon neutral" for a price, will close at the end of the year after signing up far fewer people than expected.

Begun in 2007, ClimateSmart gives participants a way to offset greenhouse gas emissions from the power plants that supply their electricity.

PG&E customers who joined the program pay a little extra on their monthly bills - about $3.30 for a typical homeowner. PG&E uses the money to fund projects that fight the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as preserving forests from logging or capturing methane from cow manure.

But the program attracted just a fraction of the roughly 168,000 customers that PG&E predicted. Enrollment peaked in 2008 at just under 31,000. By the end of last year, it had slipped to 29,623.

ClimateSmart was created as a three-year experiment, and California energy regulators extended it until the end of this year despite concerns about weak participation. PG&E did not seek a second extension, said company spokeswoman Katie Romans.

The program, she said, accomplished its most important goal, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 1.3 million metric tons. Participants contributed a total of about $10 million over four years, she said..."

10 million over four years, and the max they had on the list was just under 31,000.

Never have so few given so much for so little return.

"...It was a demonstration program, and it's successfully concluding after meeting its goals," Romans said. "Certainly we would have loved for more customers to have participated."

Those who did will receive a notice in their November utility bills thanking them for joining the program. The company also posted a notice on its website last week saying the program will end this year.

For much of its brief history, ClimateSmart was dogged by criticism that it wasted PG&E customers' money. Although participation in the program was voluntary, all of the utility's customers paid for its administrative and marketing costs, which totaled $16.3 million for the entire four-year run..."

They got 10 million from the 38,000, and yet managed to spend 16.3 million - in which ALL customers paid.

"...Critics also questioned whether the money coming from participants actually made a difference.

A report this year by the nonprofit news organization California Watch argued that some of the forest projects funded by ClimateSmart had already received taxpayer money from the state government, meaning PG&E customers paid twice for the same forests. PG&E insisted that the money from ClimateSmart helped save more trees and sequester more carbon dioxide than would the state funding alone.

In addition, under rules imposed by the California Public Utilities Commission, PG&E was obliged to hit the program's target of cutting greenhouse gases by 1.3 million metric tons even if the money collected from participants wasn't enough to reach that goal. Any shortfall would have to be covered by PG&E shareholders, said Matt Freedman, staff attorney for The Utility Reform Network. So contributions from ClimateSmart participants merely reduced the amount of money PG&E itself would have to spend on greenhouse gas reductions, he said.

"We're not opposed to giving customers choices that will improve their environmental footprint," Freedman said. "But you have to look very carefully at what's being offered to see if it will make a meaningful difference."

E-mail David R. Baker at dbaker@sfchronicle.com.

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Chinese solar cell manufacturers illegally "dumping" products on the American market

By: hcubed, 5:16 AM GMT on November 10, 2011

One of the complaints with solar is their high price.

Yet, when a company finds a way to get their product to market at lower prices, the investigations start.

This time, it's a Chinese company that's "illegally" dumping products.

Remember, one of the reasons that several American solar cell manufacturers have gone bankrupt (and forfeiting on their Gov't guaranteed loans), was exactly because the Chinese can do it cheaper.

"...NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The U.S. Commerce Department said Wednesday that it would investigate allegations that Chinese solar cell manufacturers are illegally "dumping" their products on the American market at excessively cheap prices.

A group of American manufacturers led by SolarWorld Industries America argued in a complaint last month that Chinese firms are offering solar cells at prices well below what it costs to make and ship them thanks to subsidies from the Chinese government. The artificially low prices, the complaint claims, are pushing American manufacturers out of the industry..."

Good for American consumers, good for the environment, but no profits for American solar cell makers.

"...We believe the Department of Commerce investigation will show that Chinese government and Chinese solar manufacturers are -- and have been -- engaged in illegal practices that threaten to decimate a vitally needed renewable energy industry," SolarWorld president Gordon Brinser said in a statement.

"China's continued practice of scoffing at international and U.S. trade law and failing to meet requirements of the WTO, including reporting its vast array of subsidy programs, are extremely disruptive to business plans of countless employers who are dependent on Chinese imports."

The complaint calls on the government to slap stiff tariffs on Chinese solar cells to level the playing field for American producers.

Others in the industry who rely on cheap solar cells, though, fear the action could drive up prices for solar power and put American jobs at risk.

"Protectionism harms the future of solar energy in America and negatively impacts consumers, ratepayers, and over 100,000 American solar jobs," another industry group, the Coalition For Affordable Solar Energy, said in a statement. "We urge policymakers to find a resolution to this dispute that ensures the continued growth of the entire U.S. solar industry and encourages continued investment in solar energy."

The Commerce Department investigation is contingent on a determination by the U.S. International Trade Commission on whether it believes Chinese imports are indeed threatening the American industry. That ruling is expected early next month..."

WHAT American solar industry? The only way they've managed to get anywhere is with the help of the Gov't - the same thing the Chinese are being accused of.

"...Assuming the investigation goes ahead, Commerce will release its preliminary findings early next year.

Part of the decision for the ITC will be to determine whether thin film solar manufacturers like First Solar (FSLR), which did not sign on to the complaint, are part of the same industry as crystalline silicon producers like SolarWorld, the Washington Research Group said in an analysis on Wednesday.

Chinese firms including Suntech, Yingli and Trina are among those targeted in the complaint.

China's Chamber of International Commerce warned the U.S. against implementing new tariffs last month, saying the move would "negatively affect both the Chinese and U.S. solar industries", Chinese state media reported last month.

Imports of Chinese solar cells were worth an estimated $1.5 billion in 2010, the U.S. Commerce Department said. SolarWorld says these imports rose more than 300 percent from 2008 to 2010..."

Again, we see the threat of "Big China"...

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China threatens release of potent GHG unless payment is made

By: hcubed, 4:41 PM GMT on November 08, 2011

China, a "developing" country, the biggest releaser of CO2, threatens to release large quantities of a "super GHG" unless the world pays them not to.

Link

"...WASHINGTON, Nov. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- In the run-up to the international climate negotiations in Durban later this month, China has responded to efforts to ban the trading of widely discredited HFC-23 offsets by threatening to release huge amounts of the potent industrial chemical into the atmosphere unless other nations pay what amounts to a climate ransom.

China's threat comes after the European Union and other nations moved to ban HFC-23 credits from internal carbon markets in recognition of the perverse incentives created by these credits under the UN Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The vast amounts paid for HFC-23 offsets have led factories in China and elsewhere to manufacture far more HCFC-22 and its HFC-23 by-product than necessary, just to maximize the amounts paid to destroy HFC-23 through the UN-backed carbon trading scheme..."

So saving the world from the deadly GHG's is a noble cause until it cuts into someone's profits.

Money IS the basis behind their threat - from here:

"...In a shocking attempt to blackmail the international community, Xie Fei, revenue management director at the China Clean Development Mechanism Fund, threatened: "If there's no trading of [HFC-23] credits, they'll stop incinerating the gases" and vent them directly into the atmosphere..."

"...China's claim belies the fact that HFC-23 can be destroyed for just 0.20 cents per CO2e tonne. The destruction of one CO2e tonne generates one Certified Emission Reduction (CER) under the CDM, which historically has been sold on carbon markets at an average price of $18 -- 70 times the actual cost of destroying HFC-23..."

So when the European Union and other nations moved to ban HFC-23 credits from internal carbon markets, China rebelled. If they can't make a profit from destroying HFC-23, then why even try to control HFC-23 emissions?

"...Because of these vast profits, China has repeatedly rejected attempts to destroy HFC-23 emissions through the Montreal Protocol. At the 2009 and 2010 Meetings of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, China blocked progress of a North American proposal to pay the actual costs of destroying HFC-23 emissions at plants not currently covered by the CDM, which account for over half of developing country HFC-23 production..."

Why pay them the 20 cents per ton it actually costs to destroy it, when they can make about 17.80 in profit for destroying the same amount?

How much profit is saving the world worth?

"...With a 65 per cent tax on CDM projects, the Chinese Government has already received $1.3 billion -- enough to destroy all the HFC-23 it produces for decades to come. Despite this, China still vents at least as much HFC-23 as it destroys, since about half of its HCFC-22 production is ineligible for CDM funding. Xie Fei's statement makes it clear that preventing emissions is not nearly as important for China as continuing the enormous CDM revenues that benefit its government and industry alike..."

So they've made a 1.3 billion dollar profit for destroying half of their HFC-23 production.

"...China has failed to use any of the windfall revenues from the sale of HFC-23 credits to address emissions of HFC-23 at Chinese plants not covered by the CDM. Virtually every manufacturer of HCFC-22 in the world outside of China or not covered by the CDM voluntarily captures and destroys HFC-23 by-product as standard business practice, including manufacturers in the EU and the US..."

Looks like we have more to fear from "Big China" than we do from "Big Oil".

Updated: 4:47 PM GMT on November 08, 2011

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New data shows history of several multi-decade droughts in Southwest US

By: hcubed, 8:28 PM GMT on November 05, 2011

So it's being theorized that the current drought in Texas is the worst ever (clarified to state "in recorded history").

As scientists make an effort to expand the history, they're turning to that infallible source, tree rings.

You remember tree rings - that data that "proved" we are at the warmest we've ever been in past billion years.

Well, it seems tree rings are also great proxies for precipitation amounts.

UA scientists find evidence of Roman period megadrought

*** OK so far, we've all heard of the Roman Warm Period. But earlier reports said that it wasn't global in nature. And even then, it wasn't that severe.

Data from this report says otherwise. ***

"...Almost nine hundred years ago, in the mid-12th century, the southwestern U.S. was in the middle of a multi-decade megadrought. It was the most recent extended period of severe drought known for this region. But it was not the first.

The second century A.D. saw an extended dry period of more than 100 years characterized by a multi-decade drought lasting nearly 50 years, says a new study from scientists at the University of Arizona..."

*** A 50 YEAR DROUGHT, in the southwestern U.S.

Now, before the "was it peer-reviewed" comment is asked, does Geophysical Research Letters count as a peer-reviewed journal? It has before...

Anyhow, back to the press release. ***

"...In our chronology for the south San Juan mountains we created a record that extends back 2,200 years," said Routson. "It was pretty profound that we were able to get back that far."

*** Even better, they were able to use the preferred tree, the bristlecone pine, to support their study. The same bristlecone pines that have been used as "treemometers". ***

"...The chronology extends many years earlier than the medieval period, during which two major drought events in that region already were known from previous chronologies.

"The medieval period extends roughly from 800 to 1300 A.D.," said Routson. "During that period there was a lot of evidence from previous studies for increased aridity, in particular two major droughts: one in the middle of the 12th century, and one at the end of the 13th century."

"Very few records are long enough to assess the global conditions associated with these two periods of Southwestern aridity," said Routson. "And the available records have uncertainties."

But the chronology from the San Juan bristlecone pines showed something completely new:

"There was another period of increased aridity even earlier," said Routson. "This new record shows that in addition to known droughts from the medieval period, there is also evidence for an earlier megadrought during the second century A.D."

"What we can see from our record is that it was a period of basically 50 consecutive years of below-average growth," said Routson. "And that's within a much broader period that extends from around 124 A.D. to 210 A.D. – about a 100-year-long period of dry conditions."

"We're showing that there are multiple extreme drought events that happened during our past in this region," said Routson. "These megadroughts lasted for decades, which is much longer than our current drought. And the climatic events behind these previous dry periods are really similar to what we're experiencing today."

The prolonged drought in the 12th century and the newly discovered event in the second century A.D. may both have been influenced by warmer-than-average Northern Hemisphere temperatures, Routson said: "The limited records indicate there may have been similar La Nina-like background conditions in the tropical Pacific Ocean, which are known to influence modern drought, during the two periods."

Although natural climate variation has led to extended dry periods in the southwestern U.S. in the past, there is reason to believe that human-driven climate change will increase the frequency of extreme droughts in the future, said Routson. In other words, we should expect similar multi-decade droughts in a future predicted to be even warmer than the past..."

*** So even if the future CO2 threat is reduced, the natural climate variation will continue to create mega droughts in this area. Just as it has in the past. ***

Updated: 1:52 PM GMT on November 07, 2011

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Going green also is harmful to the earth.

By: hcubed, 4:35 PM GMT on November 04, 2011

It's already been shown that using corn for biodiesel has caused food prices to rise.

Now it's shown that another source of biofuel (oil palms) causes more damage to the environment than previous studies predicted.

A team of scientists from the University of Leicester "...established that the scale of greenhouse gas emissions from oil palm plantations on peat is significantly higher than previously assumed. They concluded that a value of 86 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per hectare per year (annualised over 50 years) is the most robust currently available estimate; this compares with previous estimates of around 50 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per hectare per year. CO2 emissions increase further if you are interested specifically in the short term greenhouse gas implications of palm oil production – for instance under the EU Renewable Energy Directive which assesses emissions over 20 years, the corresponding emissions rate would be 106 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per hectare per year.

The findings have been published as an International White Paper from the ICCT [International Council on Clean Transportation].

Ross Morrison, of the University of Leicester Department of Geography, said: “Although the climate change impacts of palm oil production on tropical peatland are becoming more widely recognised, this research shows that estimates of emissions have been drawn from a very limited number of scientific studies, most of which have underestimated the actual scale of emissions from oil palm. These results show that biofuels causing any significant expansion of palm on tropical peat will actually increase emissions relative to petroleum fuels. When produced in this way, biofuels do not represent a sustainable fuel source”.

Dr Sue Page, Reader in Physical Geography at the University of Leicester, added: “Tropical peatlands in Southeast Asia are a globally important store of soil carbon – exceeding the amount stored in tropical forest vegetation. They are under enormous pressure from plantation development. Projections indicate an increase in oil palm plantations on peat to a total area of 2.5Mha by the year 2020 in western Indonesia alone – an area equivalent in size to the land area of the United Kingdom...”

*** Just quick note, then. At the conservative estimate of 86 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per hectare per year, that estimated 2.5Mha (2.5 million hectares) will release about 215 million tonnes of CO2 by the year 2020. So much for being green. ***

"...Growth in palm oil production has been a key component of meeting growing global demand for biodiesel over recent decades. This growth has been accompanied by mounting concern over the impact of the oil palm business on tropical forests and carbon dense peat swamp forests in particular. Tropical peatland is one of Earth’s largest and most efficient carbon sinks. Development of tropical peatland for agriculture and plantations removes the carbon sink capacity of the peatland system with large carbon losses arising particularly from enhanced peat degradation and the loss of any future carbon sequestration by the native peat swamp forest vegetation.
Although there have been a number of assessments on greenhouse gas emissions from palm oil production systems, estimates of greenhouse gas emissions from land use have all been based on the results of a limited number of scientific studies. A general consensus has emerged that emissions from peat degradation have not yet been adequately accounted for.

The results of the Leicester study are important because an increase in the greenhouse gas emissions associated with biodiesel from palm oil, even if expansion on peat only occurs indirectly, will negate any savings relative to the use of diesel derived from fossil fuel.

If these improved estimates are applied to recent International Food Policy Research Institute modelling of the European biofuel market, they imply that on average biofuels in Europe will be as carbon intensive as petrol, with all biodiesel from food crops worse than fossil diesel and the biggest impact being a 60% increase in the land use emissions resulting from palm oil biodiesel. Bioethanol or biodiesel from waste cooking oil, on the other hand, could still offer carbon savings..."

*** Who could have possibly guessed that increased demand for the "green" alternative fuel (biofuel) could be more harmful to the earth? ***

BTW, the article is here:

Link

Updated: 7:41 PM GMT on November 05, 2011

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"No statistical evidence that flood magnitudes increase with increasing CO2"

By: hcubed, 4:52 PM GMT on November 03, 2011

Peer reviewed papers - gotta love 'em.

Abstract

Statistical relationships between annual floods at 200 long-term (85–127 years of record) stream gauges in the coterminous United States and the global mean carbon dioxide concentration (GMCO2) record are explored. The streamgauge locations are limited to those with little or no regulation or urban development. The coterminous US is divided into four large regions and stationary bootstrapping is used to evaluate if the patterns of these statistical associations are significantly different from what would be expected under the null hypothesis that flood magnitudes are independent of GMCO2. In none of the four regions defined in this study is there strong statistical evidence for flood magnitudes increasing with increasing GMCO2. One region, the southwest, showed a statistically significant negative relationship between GMCO2 and flood magnitudes. The statistical methods applied compensate both for the inter-site correlation of flood magnitudes and the shorter-term (up to a few decades) serial correlation of floods.

Citation:

Hirsch, R.M. and Ryberg, K.R., 2012. Has the magnitude of floods across the USA changed with global CO2 levels? Hydrolological Sciences Journal, doi: 10.1080/02626667.2011.621895.

Ok, so where's the "it's gonna get worse - much worse" theme fit in here?

Or will people go straight to trashing the author, the editors, the journal - anything they can use to distract people from the OBSERVED FACTS.

This wasn't some model. This is a group of scientists, looking at the data, and writing a paper based on the facts. From their study of the observed data, they found "...The only strong statistical result is the negative relationship between GMCO2 and flood magnitudes in the SW region. The results are suggestive of a positive relationship in the NE region. The other two regions were not suggestive of a relationship in one direction or the other..."

They also commented as follows: "...The working hypothesis of this study is that change in GMCO2 is a dominant factor in driving changes in flood behaviour for these watersheds. However, human influences associated with large numbers of very small impoundments and changes in land use also could play a role in changing flood magnitude..."

Which is what some people have been saying for a while. You build in flood plains, you stop long-established waterways, you add barriers where none had been before, you create a chance that "normal" water flow becomes "unprecidented" floods.

Of course they're unprecidented. Some areas didn't flood until you put up barriers, forcing water to seek new paths.

Full paper can be seen here:

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02626 667.2011.621895

Let the trashing begin...

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About hcubed

Living in Biloxi MS, have been here since '85 (first Hurricane was Elena).