Raymond Richman - Jesse Richman - Howard Richman
Richmans' Trade and Taxes Blog
Washington Post Condemns European Climate Policies
The Washington Post editorial board condemns Europe's mis-managed greenhouse gas emissions policies in an editorial today. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/europe-is-becoming-a-green-energy-basket-case/2013/04/21/4b1b81d0-a87e-11e2-b029-8fb7e977ef71_story.html
Europe's failed effort to implement a continent-wide cap on greenhouse gas emissions managed through a market for carbon permits is the central focus of the editorial...
Estimating Climate Sensitivity
A recent article in the Economist reviews recent research suggesting that the sensitivity of the climate to changes in carbon dioxide levels. Various estimates suggest that the sensitivity is lower than the IPCC previously estimated, while the role of natural variability in climate may be larger than had previously been estimated...
The Obama administration may be fudging the climate records
In his inaugural speech, President Obama promised to “restore science to its rightful place.” He might have been referring to a place subservient to politics. Two disturbing reports suggest that his administration is fudging the climate records.
Fudging of the Sea Level Record
Professor Professor Nils-Axel Mörner of the University of Stockholm reported in a December 7 paper published by the Science & Public Policy Institute (Sea Level is Not Rising). Here is his summary of his main points:...
Honda sets too high a price on its 2013 Civic Natural Gas
For 2013, Honda raised the prices for almost all of its Civic models by $160. The one exception was the Civic Natural Gas which it reduced in price by $160. Its manufacturer's suggested retail price will start at $27,255.
Although this was a step in the right direction, it did not go far enough. Honda only reduced the approximately $6,000 price differential between its gasoline and natural gas models by a measly $320 even though a CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) vehicle costs about the same amount to manufacture as a gasoline vehicle. The vehicles are very similar except that the CNG vehicle requires an expensive fuel tank while the gasoline vehicle requires an expensive catalytic converter.
But, at the present price differential, even if a commuter could save $1,000 per year by buying less expensive CNG instead of gasoline, it would still take more than 5 years to recoup the huge difference in purchase price.
Last year, Honda made the Civic Natural Gas available at dealerships countrywide. If, this year, it had reduced its natural gas model's price significantly, there would have been a huge increase in the size of a the CNG car market which Honda currently monopolizes. More CNG filling stations would spring up and the American economy would benefit from the substitution of domestically-produced natural gas for imported oil.
Fortunately for America, other companies are moving much more aggressively than Honda to take advantage of CNG's potential growth. For example, in July GE announced that in a about two years they will market a reasonably priced home filling station for natural gas vehicles. Specifically:...
No trend in severity of hurricanes since 1900
The U.S. main stream media gave the 2012 election to President Obama by pretending that Hurricane Sandy could have been the result of man-made global warming. If they had wanted to present the truth they would have pointed out that there has been no trend whatsoever in hurricane severity since 1900.
This point was made again on November 27 by Roger Pielke Jr., a professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Click here to read his blog entry and see his graph....
Honda and Clean Energy offer $3000 fuel rebate for 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas
Automobile companies have been pricing their CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) models at such a high price that buyers have been unable to save much money by buying them, despite CNG being priced at about 60% of the price of gasoline.
Though GM and Chrysler are marketing pick-up trucks that run on either gasoline or CNG, Honda is the only company currently marketing a CNG car in the United States. The 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas car is priced about $6,000 higher than its gasoline-powered equivalent. But that is starting to change....
Will the trend toward CNG continue?
CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) is increasingly being substituted for gasoline and diesel oil as a motor fuel. Though the number of vehicles that have switched is still tiny, compared to the numbers running gasoline and diesel oil, the trend is clear. Commercial fleets of trucks and buses have been switching. The number of available CNG filling stations has been increasing. But will the trend continue?
It is possible to predict that a continuing disparity between the prices of natural gas and crude oil will cause demand for CNG to increase. Take gasoline, for example. Gasoline first became more expensive than CNG in March 2006 when both were priced at $2.34 per gallon. Although gasoline was briefly priced lower than CNG in November 2008, due to a worldwide recession, by the end of March 2009 gasoline had again become more expensive than CNG. At the end of May 2012, the price differential was $3.58 for a gallon of gasoline and $1.72 for the equivalent in CNG (calculated as the price of natural gas to commercial consumers plus 70¢), as shown in the graph below:
Academia forces changes at the IPCC. EPA should be next.
Until recently, the United Nations IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has been largely ignoring cosmoclimatology (effects of the sun and cosmic rays upon climate), attributing climate variability to GHG (Green House Gas) concentrations in the Earth's atmosphere.
But on June 27, IPCC issued a press release stating that it had just completed implementing the August 2010 recommendations of a prestigious academic group called the InterAcademy Council, which had excoriated the IPCC for its unscientific procedures, recommending that in the future its authors and review editors give "due consideration ... to properly documented alternative views" (p. 18) and ensure "that genuine controversies are adequately reflected in the report" (p. 21).
The theory that solar activity is correlated with climate was given a tremendous boost by the finding that the length of one solar cycle negatively correlates with the earth's temperature during the next cycle, especially temperature in those regions that are far from the equator. According to this theory, the earth is expected to cool significantly, especially in the higher Northern latitudes and lower Southern latitudes during the eleven years following 2013. For more info on this theory, see:
The theory that cosmic rays strongly influence Earth temperature over periods of time greater than 22 years took off after Shaviv and Veizer's 2003 paper which showed a close correlation between ice ages and greenhouse ages of the last 500 million years based upon movement of the solar system through areas of high and low cosmic ray concentrations. Follow the following link to read their paper:
In 2009, Jasper Kirkby gave a lecture at the CERN (Europe's premier research center) in which he reviewed the accumulating literature linking cosmic ray inflow variability with climate variability. Studies have correlated cosmic ray inflow with Earth temperatures whether the scale is hundreds of millions of years or hundreds of years. Follow the following link to watch that lecture:
The cosmic ray theory was given a confirmed mechanism by an experiment conducted by Kirkby and his colleagues at the CERN. In 2011, they found that ground-level cosmic-ray concentrations can increase the rate that cloud condensation nuclei form by a factor of between 2 and 10.
Although the IPCC is being forced to consider alternative theories in its future reports, the EPA (the US Environmental Protection Agency) still appears to be ignoring them. When it gave itself power to regulate carbon dioxide in 2009, it ignored an internal report by its own employees which urged, among things, for it to look into the growing evidence for cosmoclimatology. Specifically, the internal EPA report stated:
Piers Corbyn makes his July USA solar-based weather forecast public
Piers Corbyn, the British astrophysict who has been using his solar-based techniques to successfully predict weather in Great Britain, has been predicting weather in the United States for the last few years. He usually requires that subscribers pay for his forecasts in advance, but this month, he is making his June 29 forecasts public due to the extreme nature. Here are some quotes from his press release about his predictions for the U.S.A. in July. First he notes his success with predicting June weather back at the end of May:
On June 29, he made the following predictions for July in the USA:
Obama doubles down on green energy
Until recentily, Spain was the leader in renewable green energy investment. When President Obama got elected, he sought to emulate the Spanish model, as he noted in his remarks to the press after meeting with Spanish President Zapatero on October 13, 2009:
So how is Spain doing economically as a result of its huge investment in green energy. Not very well. It currently leads the eurozone with 24.1% unemployment accompanied by $58.1 billion trade deficits (according to statistics published in the May 5, 2012, issue of The Economist).
Why? A study by Gabriel Calzada Alvarez and his colleagues at Madrid's King Juan Carlos University calculated that Spain lost 2.2 jobs in other industries for every government-subsidized green job that was created. The problem is that renewable energy, being more expensive, wastes government resources while raising the overall cost of energy for local manufacturers. In the concluding section of their study, Alvarez and his colleagues explained:
Does global warming cause extreme weather? - we're published in today's American Thinker
Here's how we begin:
To read it, go to:
Solar activity caused recent extreme weather in USA
If you watch the above April 2, 2012, you-tube video (click here if you can't see it) from Piers Corbyn's www.weatheraction.com, you will find at the 5:30 mark that he correctly predicted March's extreme weather in the USA:
Later in the video, Corbyn predicts more tornadoes and other extreme events coming to the American midwest between April 22-24, which precisely coincides with the huge winter storm that is arriving tomorrow, precisely the day he predicted.
He holds that the current extreme weather is due to a certain configuration which appears every 60 years, plus or minus 5 years, causing the same sort of extreme weather each time. He explains:...
Is Nuclear Energy Safe after Fukushima? by Michael Natelson
[Note from Howard: We just published a new working paper by Dr. Michael Natelson. Michael is a retired nuclear scientist from Westinghouse Corporation and a member of the Board of Directors of Ideal Taxes Association. Here is how it begins.]
“In the beginning” there was Einstein’s land mark 1905 paper on Special Relativity. He was primarily concerned with putting the laws of electricity and magnetism on the same bases as the laws of mechanics. They should be the same in all inertial frames of reference. (In an inertial reference frame an object at rest stays at rest, and an object moving with at constant velocity maintains that velocity.) Einstein succeeded making use of the assertion (resulting from the Michelson-Morley experiments (1887)) that the speed of light c (300 million meters/second in vacuum) is the same in all inertial reference frames. The key result in Einstein’s paper relative to “Nuclear Energy” is E=Mc2 , the most widely known equation to the educated public. To see how it applies to energy release it is better written as DE=DMc2 , the change in kinetic energy of participants in an inelastic collision (as apposed to an elastic (billiard ball) collision) is equal to the change in mass of the participants times the speed of light squared. Given the magnitude of the speed of light, it is easy to imagine a collision that resulted in a modest loss of mass would yield a huge increase in kinetic energy of the final constituents. When Einstein published his papers on this result no such collision (reaction) had been identified, but this did not inhibit people from imagining such a reaction and its possible consequences.
In early 1914, H. G. Wells published his novel The World Set Free. He wrote that in1932 we would discover a means of controlling the rate of radioactive decay of heavy elements, thus releasing large quantities of “atomic energy”. This abundant, and cheep, new energy source would revolutionize the world economy. Not all for the good, massive unemployment of manual laborers would result. Also, “atomic bombs” could be constructed, and with economic/social unrest a cataclysmic “atomic” world war between nation states would take place in the 1950s. As a result of this terrible war, Wells envisioned that the surviving leaders would see that a world governing process was an absolute necessity for mankind’s survival, and that wars between nation state having these weapons would be an anathema.
All Wells’ predictions are not right on the money, but in the large they are remarkable. Einstein’s “equation” did lead to an abundant (if not “cheap) new energy source. And, this “energy source” could yield terrible weapons, which having been used in war once, has lead to some international institutions devoted to world peace and controlling these weapons. Wars between nation states having these weapons have been avoided. One could assume, as I believe Wells would, that this is because of mutual recognition of the horrible consequences of their use (by design or accident).
It is a remarkable coincidence that Wells chose 1932 for the breakthrough development of the mechanism of “atomic” energy release. For in fact James Chadwick discovered the neutron in1932. In 1911 Chadwick’s mentor and colleague Ernest Rutherford had determined that most of the mass of atoms was concentrated in a compact positively charged nucleus surrounded by a cloud of much smaller negatively charged electrons. The make up of the nucleus was not initially understood, which is easily seen by noting that: The lightest atom (element), hydrogen, has one electron. It’s positively charged nucleus is called a proton. The next lightest atom, helium, has two electrons. But it’s nucleus, with twice the positive charge of a proton, has approximately four times the mass of a proton. Chadwick’s neutron has no charge and is slightly more massive than the proton. With a short range, attractive force it can be part of an atomic nucleus, aiding in holding the protons together (At distances larger than the diameter of an atomic nucleus positively charged protons repel, but like the neutron at small distances they also exert an attractive force.). Thus, in the above example, the helium nucleus (referred to as an alpha particle) has two protons and two neutrons.
Now why is the discovery of the neutron the “breakthrough development”? The Hungarian physicist and friend of Einstein, Leo Szilard first saw the answer to this question. A neutral, uncharged, neutron should be able to readily penetrate a nucleus in an inelastic collision, cause the nucleus to split, fission, with a loss of mass and a release of much energy and possibly additional neutrons so as to cause more fissions, i.e. to initiate a chain reaction. Even though fission had not been observed in the early thirties, Szilard prepared a patent based on this idea for a nuclear reactor and assigned it the British government in 1936. (Rutherford had speculated about an energy liberating fission reaction, but with knowledge of only positively charged protons and alpha particles as initiators, he thought these particles would need so much kinetic energy to penetrate a positively charged nucleus that the net energy release would not be of practical use.)
With the discovery of the neutron, the Italian physicist Enrico Fermi began experiments bombarding naturally occurring heavy elements (e.g. Uranium) with neutrons to produce new heavy (transuranic) elements. He received a Nobel prize for this work in 1938. However, the German chemists Hahn and Strassman determined that Fermi had produced lighter elements. Hahn’s long time associate Lisa Meitner and her nephew Otto Frish identified Fermi’s process as fission, and reconciled it with a physics model of a heavy element nucleus absorbing a neutron and becoming unstable, splitting into high kinetic energy lighter elements (fission products), additional neutrons (2 or 3) , high energy electromagnetic radiation (gamma rays) and electrons/anti-electrons (beta particles)....
Rick Santorum was never fooled by the global warmers' hype
If you haven't been reading Anthony Watt's Watt's Up with That Blog, linked to on our sidebar, you have been missing some gems:
If you were taken in by the anthropogenic global warming theory, it wasn't your fault. The adherents even had Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney persuaded. To his credit, Senator Santorum was never fooled.
Switching fleets to CNG is a no-brainer
When I was in Boston for my youngest daughter's college graduation, I noticed that all of the within-airport buses were running on CNG (Compressed Natural Gas). They looked the same as other buses, except that they did not give off diesel smoke. Since CNG burns cleaner, their engines will probably last longer without requiring oil changes.
The switch of Boston Airport buses to CNG is part of a growing switch of fleets to CNG. Eventually, the increasing number of CNG filling stations will make it possible for households to switch to CNG. (Click here to see the GM pick-up truck that I plan to buy once a CNG filling station opens up in my area.)
The main drawbacks of CNG are: (1) filling stations are not readily available everywhere, and (2) the fuel tanks take up more room on the vehicle. Neither of these drawbacks applies to public buses. In a January 18 blog entry on the Pike Research website, Anissa Dehamna (In D.C., Running on Natural Gas) suggests that the switch-over can save the public transportation companies money, even if they have to build their own filling stations:...
Canada Abandons Kyoto Treaty. The U.S.( Not a Member!) Should Abandon It Also.
Canada withdrew as a party to the Kyoto treaty on December 12, 2011, a few days ago. It appears likely that other countries will soon follow. The U.S., which is not a party to the Kyoto treaty has been behaving under Clinton, Bush, and Obama as though it were. Although the Senate of the United States refused to approve becoming a party of the treaty, the U.S. government has been cooperating and acting as a full party to the treaty without authorization from the American people. It has been foolishly wasting billions of dollars—no, hundreds of billions—costing American workers hundreds of thousands of jobs and delaying the recovery of the U.S. economy from the recession. Moreover, the billions spent by the federal and state governments have had no effect on climate change. The money spent was completely wasted and succeeded only in reducing the living standards of American worker.
The actions taken under the treaty, the huge subsidies to inefficient wind and solar power, and biofuels have cost American workers hundreds of thousands of jobs and reduced their standards of living all in the name of a doubtful theory of man-made global warming (AGW). Dissenting scientists are convinced that global warming is a natural phenomenon and that man-made emissions play a very small role. But even if the theory were valid, the costs of the measures taken in its name were totally unjustified because they exceeded any possible benefits. And it is a fact, acknowledged by every responsible authority, that the expenditures have not contributed anything of benefit to humanity. The vast sums spent would have been better spent on weather problems we can do something about: hurricanes, tornadoes, cyclones, droughts, and a myriad of other climate problems needing our attention.
China calls Canada's decision 'preposterous'. It is only a coincidence that China is the leading exporter of solar panels and parts for windmills and is the world’s largest emitter of carbon gases. It was exempted by the Kyoto treaty from its obligations as an emerging country! Canadian Greenpeace joined China’s criticism and a spokesman said the country is protecting polluters instead of people. To the contrary, the windmills are noisy, unreliable, and kill migrating birds. They have to be shut down when the winds are too strong and do not generate enough electricity when there are no winds. So fossil fuel plants must be built to back them up. When not built on public lands, neighboring farmers have to be paid thousands of dollars to accept the noise. And they all need to be subsidized because they cannot compete on their own. They require huge subsidies from both the states and the federal government for any entrepreneur to undertake their construction. In addition, the federal government obliges the electric utilities to buy electricity from them and they are permitted to pass the higher cost on to consumers in the form of higher prices. Not only do they not contribute to economic growth but they hamper economic growth.
The Canadian environment minister, Peter Kent, said meeting the country's Kyoto treaty obligations would cost each family $1,600. In our view that is a gross understatement. But he is right that it would impose on Canadian workers and on Canadian companies an intolerable burden. More than that, economic studies have shown that Canada would benefit and the U.S. would suffer little harm from global warming.
Larry Bell in a Forbes article, August 23, 2011, entitled “The Alarming Cost Of Climate Change Hysteria” calculated some of the costs. These do not include the billions in subsidies granted by the states and the burdens borne by workers and consumers. He writes: “ The U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) can't figure out what benefits, if any, taxpayers are getting from the many billions of dollars spent each year on policies that are purportedly aimed at addressing climate change.” Neither can we. Here are some of the costs he reported :...
Gov. Perry is On Track to Create a Million Jobs -- We're published in this morning's American Thinker
Follow the following link to read it:
Gov. Perry Is On Track to Create a Million Jobs. Could Be Several Million
Maria Recio reported in the McClatchy Newspapers on Friday, October 14 (my birthday! And it was a nice gift!) that Presidential candidate Gov. Rick Perry released an energy-centric program to expand offshore drilling and domestic oil and gas exploration that he claimed would create 1.2 million jobs. Perry, who spoke at a suburban Pittsburgh steel mill said he would move to open federal lands to drilling, including Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and curtail the Environmental Protection Agency's regulatory powers.
Perry calls the plan “Energizing American Jobs and Security” and claims that it will “kick-start economic growth and create 1.2 million jobs." Perry said, “We are standing atop the next American economic boom ... energy." “But we can only do that if environmental bureaucrats are told to stand down," he said. "America has proven but untapped supplies of natural gas, oil and coal. America is the Saudi Arabia of coal, with 25 percent of the world's supply. Our country contains up to 134 billion barrels of oil and nearly 1.2 quadrillion cubic feet of natural gas." We said the same on this site several times that removing the restrictions on the drilling of oil on public lands and offshore would create a million jobs. Together with the drilling of natural gas in our abundant shale deposits, it would create an economic boom and millions of additional jobs.
Perry's energy proposal drew fire from President Barack Obama's campaign and environmental groups. "Gov. Perry's energy policy isn't the way to win the future, it's straight out of the past -- doubling down on finite resources with no plan to promote innovation or to transition the nation to a clean energy economy," Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said. Daniel Weiss of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, said Perry's plan "ignores a clean tech future while returning to a fossil fuel past. ... The Perry plan should be stamped 'Made By Big Oil.” Texas Democratic Party spokeswoman Rebecca Acuna said Perry "wants to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency and run the federal government like he runs Texas." This is the kind of garbage the ultraleft uses to attack the ideas of opponents instead of debating the issues. ...
Obama contributing taxpayer money to global warming god
At a California fundraiser, President Obama explained why his contributions of billions of taxpayer dollars to bankrupt and near-bankrupt solar power producers are worthwhile. According to Obama, if appeased, the global warming god will cause the rains to come in their season, and thus prevent droughts and fires like the ones currently occurring in Texas. Specifically, he said:
But the high priests of global warming haven't proven to be a very successful in their prophesies:...
A SolarTheory of Global Warming Casts Doubt on Man-Made Global Warming
No doubt the ban-carbon-emissions-lobby will find arguments that belittle the CLOUD research at CERN, Europe's leading nuclear research center, the results of which were published last week in Nature magazine. But one thing is certain, the CLOUD experiment has confirmed that there is an alternative theory to the current theory that man-made-carbon emissions cause global warming. Al Gore, former v-p of the United States, embraced and fostered the theory and made repeated statements that the global warming science was settled. He made a movie which created widespread fear of global warming which he alleged was the result of the industrial world’s emissions of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. From 2007 on, he knew that there was an alternative theory. That was the year in which a Danish scientist, Henrik Svensmark, affiliated with the Center for Sun-Climate Research at the Danish National Space Institute, published a paper describing his theory that climatic changes on Earth were the result of solar activity through the latter’s effects on cosmic rays bombarding the earth.
Svensmark theorized that cosmic rays causes clouds to form cooling the earth or impeded the formation of clouds leading to global warmings. When the sun experiences strong magnetic activity, it diverts the cosmic rays heading for the earth preventing the formation of clouds and when there was a weak magnetic effect, cosmic rays bombarded the earth’s atmosphere, seeding the clouds and facilitating cloud formations. When the sun’s magnetic activity is weak, cosmic rays cause clouds to form and cool the earth. When the sun’s magnetic activity is strong, the reduction in cosmic rays bombarding the earth’s atmosphere creates global warming. ...
Governor Romney may have been brainwashed by the global warmers
Governor Mitt Romney, the leading Republican candidate for President, claimed earlier this month that man-made global warming is real. He said:
I don’t speak for the scientific community, of course, but I believe the world’s getting warmer. I can’t prove that, but I believe based on what I read that the world is getting warmer. And number two, I believe that humans contribute to that . . . so I think it’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and the global warming that you’re seeing.
His endorsement of the 20th century theory comes, unfortunately for him, at the same time that scientists are switching to the 21st century theory that climate change is mainly due to extra-terrestrial activities, mainly cosmic rays and solar activity.
For example, in the April 7 Financial Post Australian mathematician and engineer David Evans (Carbon warming too minor to be worth worrying about), a former proponent of the 20th century theory, revealed that the global warming models were disproved even before global temperatures peaked in 1998:...
Why Cancer Preventing Sunscreen can Increase the Prevalence of Skin Cancer
The FDA is poised to approve new regulations on sunscreen. One of the questions being asked in the public debate is why skin cancer prevalence has been increasing even as the use of sunscreen as also simultaneously been increasing. In this brief note I show why a sunscreen that substantially REDUCES the degree to which a given hour of sun exposure will lead to skin cancer can none the less INCREASE the prevalence of skin cancer if the sunscreen reduces the discomfort caused by sitting in the sun even more.
Suppose each person has a certain degree of tolerance for sunburn and the discomfort associated with sitting in the hot sun while the skin bakes. For simplicity, let's say this tolerance is for one unit of solar discomfort.
Further, suppose that a sunscreen is effective at reducing solar discomfort, allowing the individual to sit in the sun ten times as long as he or she otherwise would before the solar discomfort level is reached. Thus, instead of ten minutes, an individual wearing this sunscreen can now sit in the sun for 100 minutes.
Suppose further that this sunscreen allows the individual to substantially reduce the incidence of cancer, reducing by five times the degree to which sitting in the sun for a given number of minutes increases the risk of cancer. Before sunscreen, the cancer risk from ten minutes in the sun was one cancer risk unit. After sunscreen the risk from ten minutes in the sun is .20 cancer units.
A quick and naive look at this problem would lead one to think that making the sunscreen available will reduce the incidence of cancer. The sunscreen is in fact known to be effective at preventing skin cancer! This is, however, totally wrong.
Now do the math.
President Obama announces that his administration will temporarily stop blocking drilling for oil
Here is a selection from the AHN summary of his announcement:
His statement does not address the steps taken by his administration to stifle natural gas and coal production, just oil. He is saying that "oil companies will now have time to meet higher safety standards."...
How to Switch to CNG while Saving Taxpayer Money -- we're published in this morning's American Thinker
Here are some of the graphs that accompanied our commentary. This one compares the price at the pump for Compressed Natural Gas and Gasoline:
This one shows why natural gas has been coming down in price, relative to oil. It shows how proven U.S. reserves for natural gas and oil compare:
Our point was that if the U.S. govenrment purchased only CNG new vehicles, that would save the government about $1.60 per gallon at the pump and at the same time cause CNG filling stations to pop up all over the country making it possible for consumers and businesses to switch.
To read the article, go to: http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/05/how_to_switch_to_cng_while_sav.html
Unlike other fuels, the Opportunity Cost of using Uranium for Electricity Generation is Negligible
[Michael Natelson Ph.D. is a Nuclear Engineer and a member of Ideal Tax Association's Board of Directors]
As a result of the tragic events in Japan much has been written and broadcast concerning the future of nuclear power. Scenarios have ranged from modest delays in deployment of new plants to forgoing in time the nuclear option entirely. Many of the benefits and costs/risks have been discussed, but a key grand scale motivation for pursuing nuclear energy from fission reactors is omitted. Uranium, and ultimately Thorium, fueling reactors could supply the bulk of humanity’s electrical energy needs for several thousand years. This is possible because these elements are abundant in the earth’s crust, and the reactor technology to exploit them has progressed to an industrial scale and continues to improve.
The “motivation” I refer to above, however, is based on the fact that Uranium and Thorium have negligible substitution-value. They have no other significant economic application.
This is not true for other sources of electrical energy. Obviously, coal, oil and natural gas are excellent chemical feed stocks. It is already clear that it makes no sense to burn oil to generate electricity. It is much more valuable as an energy source for transportation. Burning gas in combined cycle turbine generators with thermal efficiencies of~60% is attractive at today’s gas prices, but with modern home heating furnaces at better than 90% efficient this use might be a better choice if we are to burn this finite resource.
One can also think about “substitution-value” as applied to the resources needed for electrical energy generation from “renewable” sources. The land needed per Watt for solar, biomass and wind farms could have other uses....
EPA disses Congress
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrators are refusing to come to Congressional hearings on new EPA regulations. Here's a selection from an article by Robin Bravender posted at Politico.com:
Meanwhile, Congresssional Republicans with some Democratic support are doing their best to rein in the agency. An editorial (EPA's days as 'rogue agency' are numbered) in the Washington Examiner reports:...
Foolish Economic Stimulus Policies Aggravate the Trade Deficits
The U.S. international trade deficit unexpectedly widened in January 2011 to US $46.34 billion compared to $40.26 billion in December 2010. Both imports and exports increased but imports increased at a substantially faster rate than imports. An increase in exports(X) shows up as a contribution to the Gross Domestic Product while an increase in imports(M) shows up as a subtraction from GDP. To refresh the reader’s memory, if he or she took a course in economics, GDP = C + I + G + X – M, where C is the sum of consumer goods and service produced in the country, I is the sum of investment goods (Machinery, buildings, and the like), G is the sum of goods and services purchased by governments, and X equals exports of goods and services and M equals imports of goods and services.
The U.S. has not had a favorable balance of trade in decades. In 1992, X-M amounted to $39 billion; by 2000, the last year of Pres. Clinton’s second administration, it had grown to $379 billion in spite of the fact that the federal budget was in balance that year. We mention that because many believe that our budget deficits are responsible for our trade imbalances. By 2008, the last year of Pres. G.W. Bush’s second administration, it had grown to $699 billion. The trade balances are no respecter of the President’s party affiliation.
Nearly all academic economists gazed passively on the growing trade deficits. Many were aware that it was costing American workers millions of good factory jobs and that it was accelerating the decline of manufacturing. But they considered that a price that had to be paid in the interest of their ideology, free trade. The fact that it was contributing to a worsening of the U.S. distribution of income, they refused to admit. They argued instead that it was the poor education of the American worker that denied him access to good jobs. As though the workers abroad whose products we were importing were better educated rather than lower paid....
Must Read: Saleri's Opinion Piece in WSJ 3-9-11
In the WSJ, today March 9, 2011, Nansen G. Saleri, President and CEO of Quantum Reservoir Impact in Houston, Texas, in an opinion piece entitled “Our Man-Made Energy Crisis” argues that, “At current rates of global consumption, there are sufficient oil and gas supplies to last well into the next century.” He writes:
Global panic as green energy sector collapses due to fading government subsidies
John Sullivan has the story. He writes that England has decided to cut off its subsidies for wind and solar energy in April 12 and that this is just the last in a chain of countries to reduce their subsidies:
In today's WSJ, Congressman Fred Upton opposes EPA carbon regulation
Upton is the incoming Republican Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. His commentary was co-authored with Tim Phillips of Americans for Prosperity. Here is a selection:
Interview with Piers Corbyn
In our American Thinker commentary on Monday, my father and I named Piers Corbyn the "Best Climate Predictor of the Year." You can watch an interview with him:
Here's a selection:
You can read the entire commentary at:
A New Solar Plant Shows the Economic Dangers of US Commitment to Environmentalist Foolishness
Two news items that appeared just before Christmas demonstrate the inability of our leaders to learn the dangers to America’s economic future of our espousal of so-called green energy sources. The federal government is taking a huge risk in subsidizing the construction of alternative energy sources like solar and wind power. The federal government wasted hundreds of billions of dollars in Pres. Obama’s $800 billion economic stimulus plan by such subsidies and, as seems clearly evident, created very few jobs.
The first news item appeared in the Wall Street Journal, headlined “Spain’s Cuts to Solar Aid Draw Fire”. It reported that a group of international investors has called on the Spanish government to reconsider its plans to cut costly subsidies for solar power, “including existing power plants”. . In Spain, the government pays the extra cost “roughly 10 times the price utilities pay for power produced from conventional sources such as gas and coal”. Last year, the government paid out €2.6 billion. Now it wants to reduce the existing subsidies. But investors who have acquired a vested interest in continuation of the inefficient subsidies want them continued. Apparently, our leaders are committed to the same foolishness. ...
Winner of this year's 'Best Climate Predictor' Award
It's time to choose the winner of this year's "Best Climate Predictor" award. There are five nominees: (1) Al Gore, (2) Arnold Schwarzenegger, (3) the IPCC of the United Nations, (4) Piers Corbyn and (5) President Hu.
Gore, Schwarzenegger and the IPCC made their mark through their dramatic predictions of catastrophic sea level rise due to increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Al Gore once predicted that sea level would rise by 20 feet over the century. Last year, Governor Schwarzenegger unveiled a map showing world sea level rising by 1.5 meters over the next century. In 2001 the IPCC predicted that sea level would rise by 3 feet over the next century. The actual rise over the last 18 years is 1.85 inches, which works out to 10.4 inches per century. This is similar to the 20th century's rise of 8 inches, but much less than the average rise of 4 foot per century for the last 10,000 years as the glaciers left by the last ice age continue to melt.
The chart below shows how these predictions stack up against 18 years of accurate satellite measurements:
Al Gore's prediction is clearly the best of these three. He was awarded a million dollar Nobel Peace Prize for bringing this issue to the attention of the world. The IPCC's prediction is second. At the Cancun Conference this month they won a huge expansion of the UN bureaucracy. Schwarzenegger's prediction comes in third since it is not yet clear whether he will get the global warming spokesman job in the Obama administration that he is angling for.
British astrophysicist Piers Corbyn is the clear loser. He still works out of a drab office that the Sydney Morning Herald calls "undistinguished":...
Obama halts US drilling in Chukchi Sea
Investor's Business Daily has been following the story. In a May 29, 2009, editorial they reported:
Back in July, when IBD first interviewed the then-little-known governor, Palin emphasized developing Alaska's Chukchi Sea resources. Under those icy waters, it was then believed, was enough oil and gas to supply America for a decade.
"It's a very nonsensical position we're in right now," Palin told us. "(We) ask the Saudis to ramp up production of crude oil so that hungry markets in America can be fed, (and) your sister state in Alaska has those resources."
At the time, it was thought that Chukchi's waters northwest of Alaska's landmass held 30 billion cubic feet of natural gas.
Today, Science magazine reports that the U.S. Geological Survey now finds it holds more than anyone thought — 1.6 quadrillion, or 1600 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered gas, or 30% of the world's supply and 83 billion barrels of undiscovered oil, 4% of the global conventional resources.
That's enough U.S. energy to achieve self-sufficiency and never worry about it as a national security question again....
China agrees to modify export subsidies
According to United States Trade Ambassador, Ron Kirk, China has agreed to eliminate or modify its export subsidy program. His office reports:
"I am very pleased that today we have signed an agreement with China confirming full elimination of the numerous subsidies we identified as prohibited under WTO rules. This agreement demonstrates President Obama's commitment to ensuring that American workers, farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and producers get a fair chance to compete for business around the world, to sell more goods to global consumers, and to bring jobs and other benefits of our trade agreements back home," said Ambassador Kirk. "This outcome represents a victory for the full spectrum of U.S. manufacturers and their workers, given the reach of these Chinese industrial policy initiatives. We are pleased that the WTO dispute settlement mechanism has worked as intended, enabling the parties to reach an appropriate resolution," Ambassador Kirk added.
China's actual actions, however, may not be so sweeping. The same article also reports:
Under the agreement, China confirms that it has taken steps either to eliminate the measures of concern or to modify them to remove any provisions related to export-contingent brand designations and financial benefits.
Journal of Economic Literature:
Atlantic Economic Journal: