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Climate and Climate Change

Climate and Climate Change

Climate Change

Two days before Halloween, 2011, New England was struck by a freak winter storm. Heavy snow descended onto trees covered with leaves.  Overloaded branches fell on power lines.  Blue flashes of light in the sky indicated exploding transformers.  Electricity was out for days in some areas and for weeks in others. Damage to property and disruption of lives was widespread.

That disastrous restriction on human energy supplies was produced by Nature.  However, current and future energy curtailments are being forced on the populace by Federal policies in the name of dangerous “climate change/global warming”.  Yet, despite the contradictions between what people are being told and what people have seen and can see about the weather and about the climate, they continue to be effectively steered away from the knowledge of such contradictions to focus on the claimed disaster effects of  “climate change/global warming” (AGW, “Anthropogenic Global Warming”). 

People are seldom told HOW MUCH is the increase of temperatures or that there has been no increase in globally averaged temperature for over 18 years.  They are seldom told how miniscule is that increase compared to swings in daily temperatures. They are seldom told about the dangerous effects of government policies on their supply of “base load” energy — the uninterrupted energy that citizens depend on 24/7 — or about the consequences of forced curtailment of industry-wide energy production with its hindrance of production of their and their family’s food, shelter, and clothing. People are, in essence, kept mostly ignorant about the OTHER SIDE of the AGW debate.

Major scientific organizations — once devoted to the consistent pursuit of understanding the natural world — have compromised their integrity and diverted membership dues in support of some administrators’ AGW agenda.   Schools throughout the United States continue to engage in relentless AGW indoctrination of  students, from kindergarten through university.  Governments worldwide have been appropriating vast sums for “scientific” research, attempting to convince the populace that the use of fossil fuels must be severely curtailed to “save the planet.”  Prominent businesses — in league with various politicians who pour ever more citizen earnings into schemes such as ethanol in gasoline, solar panels, and wind turbines — continue to tilt against imaginary threats of AGW.  And even religious leaders and organizations have joined in to proclaim such threats.   As a consequence, AGW propaganda is proving to be an extraordinary vehicle for the exponential expansion of government power over the lives of its citizens. 

Reasoning is hindered by minds frequently in a state of alarm.  The object of this website is an attempt to promote a reasoned approach; to let people know of issues pertaining to the other side of the AGW issue and the ways in which it conflicts with the widespread side of AGW alarm (AGWA, for short).  In that way it is hoped that all members of society can make informed decisions.

Not Zero - ORIGINAL CONTENT

The Biden Administration has set a goal of achieving Net Zero US annual CO2 emissions by 2050. To accomplish this goal, the Administration has decreed that all coal-fired electric generation would cease by 2030; and, that all natural gas fueled electric generation would cease by 2035. The Administration has also decreed that all new vehicles sold in the US after 2035 would be electric vehicles. There is also an effort underway to end the use of natural gas for applications other than electric generation, including virtually all residential, commercial and industrial end uses. Incentives have been put in place for EVs and electric appliances and equipment, as well as for wind and solar generation and electricity storage.

Achieving the Administration’s goals would result in a US energy economy based solely on electricity, generated by a mixture of renewable generation sources including hydro, biomass, geothermal, wind, solar and possibly some nuclear generation.

However, the US Energy Information Administration, an agency of the US Department of Energy, in its Annual energy Outlook 2022 (AEO  2022) projects a very different US energy future, as shown in the graphs below.

 

U.S. electricity generation and shares from selected fuels and renewable sources

 

EIA projects that US electricity generation will increase by approximately 32% through 2050, or approximately 1% per year. Natural gas electricity generation would increase to approximately 1,800 billion kilowatthours, or by approximately 20%. Coal generation would decrease to approximately 530 billion kilowatt hours. Renewable generation would increase to approximately 2,400 billion kilowatthours, or nearly 500%.

Virtually all the growth in renewable generation would consist of wind and solar. Wind generation would increase from approximately 344 to approximately 750 billion kilowatthours, though its share of generation would decrease from 43% of renewable generation to approximately 31%. Solar generation would increase from approximately 450 billion kilowatthours to approximately 1,200 billion kilowatthours and its share of renewable generation would increase to approximately 51%. EIA projects virtually no growth for geothermal, hydroelectric and biomass generation.

These EIA projections are fundamentally inconsistent with the Administration’s goals of Net Zero CO2 emissions and an all-electric energy economy by 2050. Coal generation decreases, but not to zero. Natural gas generation increases, rather than decreasing to zero. The projected 1% per year growth in US electricity production is consistent with historical electricity demand growth, driven by increasing population and GDP, but not with a major transition to an all-electric energy economy.

EIA’s projections regarding natural gas show an approximate 20% increase in consumption in the Reference case, and approximately 50% in the High Supply case, as shown in the graphs below.

 

U.S. renewable electricity generation, including end use AEO2022 Reference case

 

The EIA projections do not contemplate the effects of the Administration’s push for all-electric everything, which would require expansion of electricity generation from the projected 5,400 billion kilowatthours in 2050 to approximately 17,000 billion kilowatthours. Growth of this magnitude would require not only increases in generation, but also massive increases in and expansion of transmission infrastructure and major upgrades to existing distribution infrastructure to accommodate the increases in individual customer demand and consumption.

 

Tags: Electric Power Generation, Net Zero Emissions, Natural Gas, Renewable Energy

Feasibility for achieving a net zero economy for the U.S. by 2050 - Highlighted Article

  • 3/23/23 at 07:00 AM


From: Climate Etc.

By: Michael J. Kelly

Date: March 4, 2023


Feasibility for achieving a net zero economy for the U.S. by 2050


I imagine that I have been appointed the first CEO of a new agency set up by the Federal Government of the United States of America with the explicit goal of actually delivering a Net Zero CO2 Emissions Economy by 2050. My first task is to scope the project and to estimate the assets required to succeed. This is the result of that exercise, and includes a discussion of some consequences that flow from the scale and timescale for meeting the target.


Executive summary

The cost to 2050 will comfortably exceed $12T (trillion) for electrification projects and $35T for improving the energy efficiency of buildings, a work-force comparable in size to the health sector will be required for 30 years, including a doubling of the present number of electrical engineers, and the bill of specialist materials is of a size that for the USA alone is several times the global annual production of many key minerals. On the manpower front one will have to rely on the domestic workforce, as everywhere else in the world is working towards the same target. If they were not so working, the value of the USA-specific target is moot. The scale of this project suggests that a war footing and a command economy will be essential, as major cuts to other favoured forms of expenditure, such as health, education and defence, will be needed. Without a detailed roadmap, as exemplified by the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors that drove the electronics revolution after 1980, the target is simply unattainable. (continue reading)

 

Feasibility for achieving a net zero economy for the U.S. by 2050

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

Lessons Learned? - ORIGINAL CONTENT

The past two years have provided unpleasant lessons for several electric utilities and their customers. The challenge remains for those utilities and the utility industry to learn from those lessons and take actions to prevent their recurrence. Because of the nature of the electric utility industry, these lessons must also be learned by state and federal utility regulators who largely control the utilities' actions.

California utilities are dealing with aggressive state efforts to transition the state utility grid from fossil and nuclear generation to wind and solar generation with energy storage. However, the state has pushed for rapid shutdown of natural gas and nuclear generators before storage was available to replace the output of those generators during periods when wind and/or solar generator output was reduced. The result has been insufficient conventional capacity to replace the output of wind and solar generators, particularly during periods of peak demand.

Texas utilities experienced a very cold period in early 2022. The cold caused freezing of water in gas lines supplying gas turbine generators, freezing of coal piles at coal generating stations and icing on the blades of a significant portion of the state’s wind generation capacity. The combination of these effects resulted in a significant grid failure which took several days to resolve. The issues with the gas and coal plants are relatively easily resolvable with improved maintenance and insulation, but preventing icing of the wind turbine blades would require a major refitting with blades which could be heated.

The US Southeast experienced extremely cold weather on Christmas Eve, 2022. Duke Power in North Carolina was forced to institute rolling blackouts to keep the grid from failure. The shortage of generating capacity was the result of control failures at two natural gas plants and one coal plant, aggravated by the fact that the coldest period occurred in the very early morning, before sunrise, so no solar generator output was available. Again, the issues at the fossil fuel plants are relatively easily resolvable. However, dealing with the solar issue would require significant storage. Duke’s problem was exacerbated by the failure of neighboring utilities to provide power for which Duke had contracted, since those utilities were also affected by the extreme cold.

TVA also experienced problems during that very cold period with both coal and natural gas generators. TVA experienced demand approximately 35% higher than on a typical winter day, its highest demand ever. This forced rolling blackouts by some of the utilities TVA serves at wholesale. Again, the issues with the fossil fuel plants are relatively easily resolvable with improved maintenance and insulation.

Each of these situations highlights the necessity for high level maintenance of utility infrastructure, particularly during periods of expected peak demand. The California, Texas and North Carolina experiences also highlight the importance of backup generation during periods of low/no wind and solar generation availability. As intermittent renewable generation capacity increases, it will be necessary to develop new contract arrangements to assure that natural gas is available in sufficient quantities for the natural gas generators.

 

Tags: Backup Power, Electric Power Reliability, Electric Power Dispatchable

Reliable vs. Intermittent Generation: A Primer (Parts I and II) - Highlighted Article

  • 3/16/23 at 07:00 AM


From: Master Resource

By: Bill Schneider

Date: March 1, 2023


 

Reliable vs. Intermittent Generation: A Primer

Part 1     ---     Part 2


“Why should a thermal plant spend money in a government-rigged market that threatens a reasonable profit? Why should the plant even remain in the market under these conditions?”

“For IVREs it’s a no-risk deal, with markets guaranteed and taxpayers country-wide adding profits. But what about the need for reliable power?”

 

This two-part post (Part II here) is a follow-up to Robert Bradley’s recent IER article, “Wind, Solar, and the Great Texas Blackout: Guilty as Charged.” His article discussed how regulatory shifts and subsidies favoring Intermittently Variable Renewable Energy (IVRE) producers resulted in prematurely lost capacity, a lack of new capacity, and upgrade issues with remaining (surviving) traditional capacity. These three factors–“the why behind the why”–explain the perfect storm that began with (or was revealed by) Storm Uri.

Part I below describes how the market was originally meant to work–but has not worked given the governmentally redesigned power market, beginning with generation. The change was caused by:

Investment monies lured away from developing baseload capacity by government subsidies and special tax incentives, and
Operating opportunities lured away by “first-use” mandates. First-use mandates are especially pernicious as grid operators must purchase from IVREs whenever they are producing, leaving the reliable generators idle. (continue reading)

 


Reliable vs. Intermittent Generation: A Primer

Part 1     ---     Part 2

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

Positive Weather News - ORIGINAL CONTENT

Weather events which cause significant loss and damage include tropical cyclones, tornadoes, floods, drought and some wildfires. The consensed climate science community has projected that each of these weather events would become more frequent, more powerful or of longer duration as the result of anthropogenic climate change. These projections have been based on the output of climate models. Recently, the consensed climate science community has begun claiming that portions of the damage caused by these weather events can be attributed to climate change, based on the outputs of attribution models. However, there is little or no evidence that the projections have been correct or that the purported attribution is accurate.

 

Tropical Cyclone Season

The 2022 tropical cyclone season was projected to be more active than average. However, the Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE), which combines frequency, intensity and duration for tropical cyclones globally was approximately 29% below average according to the NOAA National Hurricane Center data, as shown in the graph below from Colorado State University. There is no apparent upward trend in global ACE over the past 42 years.


 
Accumulated Cyclone Energy

 

 

Tornado Season

The US tornado season in 2022 was slightly more active than average, as shown in the graph below.

 

U.S. Tornadoes
 

While there is an upward trend in the number of tornadoes reported, some of this trend is attributed to the availability of satellite imagery which permitted detection of tornadoes which might otherwise not have been reported.

However, there is a definite downward trend in the frequency of strong tornadoes, as shown in the graph below.

 

U.S. Annual Count of Strong to Violent Tornados (EF#+), 1970-2020


 
Global Weather Losses

The trends in both global weather disaster frequency and losses from global weather disasters, are shown in the graphs below.

 

Global Losses from Disasters

 

Total Count of Global Disasters


 
There is clearly no upward trend in global disaster numbers or losses which could be associated with anthropogenic climate change.

 

Droughts and Floods

Historical data regarding droughts and floods are limited on a global basis. There appear to be no clear trends in frequency, duration or severity attributable to anthropogenic climate change, though the climate models project future increases. The IPCC reports that precipitation has increased over the mid-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere but notes no specific instances of reduced precipitation. The IPCC also has low confidence that there has been an increase in flooding globally. There have been increases in the severity of flooding, though much of the change is attributable to increased areas of impermeable surfaces, which reduce soil absorption and increase runoff. There is also an increasing trend in financial damage from flooding, but most of that increase is attributable to increased property values and continued construction in known flood plains.

 

Wildfires

Wildfires are often discussed in association with weather. However, the only weather-related cause of wildfires is lightning. Other causes of wildfires include electricity transmission line failures, accidental ignitions and arson. There has been a dramatic decrease in wildfire acres burned in the US, as shown in the graph below.

 

Wildland Fires: Number of Acres Burned in the USA
 

Some of the severity of wildfires is attributable to changes in forestry management, including failure to remove forest debris.

In summary, the good news about weather is that it does not appear to be worsening over time as the result of climate change.

 

Tags: Severe Weather, Drought, Floods, Forest Fires

Climate Uncertainty & Risk: the presentation - Highlighted Article

  • 3/9/23 at 07:00 AM


From: Climate Etc.

By: Judith Curry

Date: February 24, 2023


Climate Uncertainty & Risk: the presentation


A 20 minute presentation on Climate & Uncertainty and Risk (including some content from my forthcoming book)


This was presented at the ICCC Conference.  Here is a link to my complete presentation with audio [presentation].  Lindzen and McKitrick also gave excellent presentations in this session (I assume the presentations will be made available online in a few days).

Most of this material will be familiar from previous blog posts, here is the text of my presentation with some images.

 

What we know, versus what we don’t and cannot know

Even people that don’t know much about climate science have heard that 97% of climate scientists agree.  But exactly what do they agree on?  Not nearly as much as is portrayed in the media.  Everyone agrees that:

  • Surface temperatures have increased since 1880
  • Humans are adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, and
  • Carbon Dioxide and other greenhouse gases have a warming effect on the planet


However, there is disagreement on the most consequential issues:

  • How much of the recent warming has been caused by humans
  • How much the planet will warm in the 21st century
  • Whether warming is ‘dangerous’
  • And how we should respond to the warming, to improve human well being


The first two points are in the realm of science, requiring logical arguments, model simulations and expert judgment to assess “whether” and “how much.” The issue of “dangerous” is an issue of societal values, about which science has little to say. Whether reducing CO2 emissions will improve human wellbeing is an issue of economics and technology. This is also contingent on the relative importance of natural climate variability versus human-caused global warming for the 21st century. (continue reading)

 

Climate Uncertainty & Risk: the presentation

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

Positive Climate News - ORIGINAL CONTENT

 

Climate Sensitivity

The IPCC has recently lowered its estimated range of climate sensitivity to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration. The IPCC AR6 estimated range is 2.5-4.0, with an expected value of 3.0. However, studies conducted by several researchers have produced estimates at or below the bottom of the range estimated by AR6.

 

Resource Consumption Pathways

The IPCC has recently acknowledged that RCP8.5 represents an implausible future. IPCC is now using RCP4.5 as the “business as usual” future pathway, which reduces the expected range of potential global warming.
However, RCP8.5 is still being used as the basis for numerous studies intended to produce “scary scenarios” of the effects of future climate change. Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr. reports that such studies are being published at the rate of approximately 20 per day. Such studies add nothing to the understanding of the science and consume funds which could be far more usefully applied.

 

Satellite Sea Level Rise

A paper published in Nature Scientific Reports determines that the much-discussed acceleration in sea level rise supposedly measured by NASA satellites is instead an artifact of sequentially combining the output of measurements made from four different satellites. The study determined that, after correction, the supposed acceleration in sea level rise was not significantly different from zero at the 95% confidence level.

 

Satellite Based Sea Level from Four Satellites
 
However, the rate of sea level rise reported from satellite measurements is still approximately twice the rate of rise in the much longer tide gauge measurements. Regardless, sea level has been rising since the trough of the Little Ice Age at a consistent rate, with no indication of climate change driven acceleration.

 

Satellite Tropospheric Temperature Anomaly

The satellite tropospheric temperature anomaly record shows the development of another “pause” in atmospheric warming, now stretching to 8 years 4 months, as shown in the graph below. The previous “pause”, which extended from 1998 – 2013, was controversial, resulting in more than 60 studies explaining its cause and other studies claiming it had not happened. The current “pause” is not as controversial, though it would likely become more controversial if it extended to 15-year duration. The previous pause was arguably triggered by the 1998 super El Nino and ended by the runup to the 2016 super El Nino. The current “pause” was arguably triggered by the current triple La Nina and will likely end with the end of the La Nina.

 

UAHv6 Global Mean Temperature Change: 100 months September 2014 to December 2022

 

Near-Surface Temperature Anomaly UHI Distortion

Dr. Roy Spencer has begun a series of analyses of the effects of urbanization and the resulting Urban Heat Island effect on the near-surface temperature record. His analysis of US East Coast cities suggests that the rate of temperature anomaly increase in the near-surface temperature data is approximately 50% too large. The UHI effect appears to have the greatest impact on daily low temperatures, as heat absorbed by urban infrastructure during the day is released to the surrounding atmosphere, partially offsetting normal nighttime cooling.

 

Summary

Each of the situations above strongly suggests that there is no climate crisis and that the effects of climate change will likely be far less adverse than projected by the “scary scenarios”.

 

Tags: Temperature Record, Temperature Anomaly, Sea Level Rise, Sea Level Change

Net Zero or Good Enough? - Highlighted Article

  • 3/2/23 at 07:00 AM

 

From: Climate Etc.

By: Russell Schussler and Roger Caiazza

Date: February 9, 2023


Net Zero or Good Enough?


This good enough plan may get you to net zero before the more ambitious ones.  It is likely to have less carbon emissions than the more aggressive plans over time.  It certainly will be more reliable and affordable.

Electric generation plans need to be well crafted and carefully considered. Because of concerns around  climate change many politicians have become galvanized to hastily enact legislation to target  net-zero anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.  The authors argue that the more seriously you take climate change, the more important it becomes that you have a good plan for electric generation in the near and midterm planning arena.  Taking foolish actions in the near to mid-range time periods will not help with CO2 reductions or climate change and may be far worse than doing nothing.  Maybe we all could compromise and find a less grand strategy that has more likely benefits with far fewer threats to reliability, affordability, and overall environmental impacts.

The authors have both been writing about the proposed net-zero transition by 2050 for years.  Schussler (aka the Planning Engineer) has been writing about the challenges of “green energy” since 2014 at the Judith Curry’s Climate Etc. blog.  Caiazza has focused on New York energy and environmental issues at Pragmatic Environmentalist of New York blog since 2017.  Since the original proposal for New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) in 2019, he has written over 280 articles about that plan to transition to net zero by 2050. (continue reading)

 

Net Zero or Good Enough?

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

The New Normal? - ORIGINAL CONTENT

The US electric utility industry has historically sought to achieve “four nines” (99.99%) reliability of service. One key to achieving very high system reliability has been maintaining an approximate 20% capacity reserve margin compared to peak system demand, which typically allowed peak demand to be met even in the event of failure of the utility’s largest single generator.

Achieving this goal is being complicated by the addition of intermittent renewable, non-dispatchable wind and solar generation capacity. Federal and state incentives and the lack of a requirement for dispatchability make the output of these generation sources the lowest cost alternative when available. Federal and state regulation require that their output be used when available. Their output displaces the output of conventional generation when it is available, but cannot replace conventional generation because it is not dispatchable and is subject to rapid and unpredictable fluctuations in output which must be supplemented by the conventional generators or, if available, by storage.

Periodic power outages resulting from severe weather, accidental damage to power poles and lines, and equipment failure have been normal events. However, as intermittent, non-dispatchable renewable generation proliferates, offsetting progressively greater portions of conventional generation output and increasing the cost per unit of the remaining output, conventional generators are being idled or even shutdown to control operating expense.

Conventional generators maintained at hot idle can be brought into service relatively rapidly in the event of a rapid decline in wind or solar output. However, natural gas combined-cycle generators which have been shut down require several hours to be returned to service and coal plants require several days. The utility might not retain the ability to respond to rapid and unpredictable reductions in wind and solar output as rapidly as the renewable output declines, resulting in the potential for grid failure.

The utility response to such situations is brownouts or rotating blackouts. The geographic extent and duration of these responses is a function of the magnitude and duration of the generation shortfall and/or of the demand spike and the time required for the utility to bring additional conventional generating capacity online.

This issue can be further aggravated by the permanent shutdown of conventional capacity due to age and condition, or to unacceptable operating economics resulting from market conditions or contractual provisions, or to government mandates. It becomes critical when the utility no longer has sufficient dispatchable capacity to replace the intermittent renewable capacity at the demand peak with the coincident failure of the utility’s largest capacity generator.

This situation prevailed over much of the US upper Midwest and East coast during winter storm Elliott, resulting in the implementation of rolling blackouts by numerous utilities in the regions. These rolling blackouts were certainly inconvenient, but were also dangerous due to the very cold temperatures and high winds, which combined to produce sub-zero windchill factors over much of the affected regions.

Hopefully, rolling blackouts will not become the “new normal” for electric utility service as the transition to renewable generation proceeds.

 

Tags: Electric Power Generation, Electric Power Reliability, Electric Power Dispatchable

Climatologist David Dilley: ‘We’re Going Into A Global Cooling Cycle Now’ - Highlighted Video

  • 2/23/23 at 07:00 AM

 

From: Climate Change Dispatch

By: Tom Nelson

Date: January 24, 2023

 

Climatologist David Dilley: ‘We’re Going Into A Global Cooling Cycle Now’


Government agencies say that carbon dioxide levels are rising entirely due to human activity and the burning of fossil fuels. But are they?

Professor Dilley will show that today’s temperatures and carbon dioxide levels are very close to where they should be based on historical cycles. [emphasis, links added]


He will also show that we are sliding into a long-term global cooling cycle. Global warming begins and ends at the poles—and global cooling is now occurring in the Arctic and Antarctic. (contrinue)

 

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

US Coal Generation - ORIGINAL CONTENT

The US currently has approximately 1,250GW of electric generating capacity. Approximately 200GW of that capacity is coal generating capacity, of which approximately 50GW is scheduled to be retired through 2029. The remaining approximately 150GW is currently scheduled to be retired between 2030 and 2048. However, the Biden Administration has “committed” to ending coal generation in the US by 2030, which could force closure of approximately 150GW of dispatchable generating capacity before the end of its useful life.

US peak electricity demand is approximately 725GW, or approximately 60% of total generating capacity. However, approximately 200GW of the total generating capacity is comprised of wind and solar generation, which is not dispatchable, has a capacity factor of approximately 30% and requires 100% backup to assure adequate capacity on peak. Current coal generating capacity is essentially equal to the 100% backup required by the current wind and solar generation. However, all of that coal generating capacity would be out of service by 2030 if the Administration is to meet its “commitment”.

Replacing current coal generating capacity with wind and solar by 2030 would require installation of approximately 650GW of wind and solar nameplate generating capacity, plus the storage capacity necessary to backup that generation during periods of low/no wind and/or solar availability. However, storage capable of providing backup for more than 4 hours is not currently available and might not be available by 2030.

The retirement of 200GW of coal generation and the commissioning of 650GW of wind and solar generation would result in a grid with total nameplate generating capacity of approximately 1,700GW (1,250 – 200 + 650), of which only 50% would be dispatchable, essentially matching the capacity of the wind and solar generation requiring backup in the absence of appropriate electricity storage. That would leave no capacity margin on peak compared to the typical 20% capacity margin currently maintained by the electric utility industry. This situation could easily lead to increased grid instability and the likelihood of rolling blackouts to prevent grid collapse.

The early retirement of approximately 150GW of coal generating facilities creates another issue for the plant owners, most of which are electric utilities. Assuming typical electric utility 40-year straight line depreciation of assets, average original plant cost of $1 billion per GW and average 10-year premature retirement, generating assets with a remaining book value of approximately $35-40 billion would be stranded. It is uncertain how the federal government, which is forcing the premature retirements, and the various state utility commissions would deal with the financial impact of these stranded assets on the plant owners.

Beyond 2030, the availability of adequate long-duration electricity storage capacity becomes critical. Wind and solar generation continue to increase while the Administration “commitment” forces closure of approximately 550GW of dispatchable natural gas generation capacity over the following 5 years, leaving only approximately 250GW of nuclear, hydro, geothermal and biomass generation as dispatchable backup. Clearly, the Administration “commitment” can not result in a reliable grid without massive, long-duration storage.

The above scenario assumes no load growth over the period, though population growth and the Administration push for “all-electric everything” would certainly cause load growth.

 

Tags: Coal, Electric Power Dispatchable, Electric Power Generation

A Critical Examination of the Six Pillars of Climate Change Despair - Highlighted Article

  • 2/16/23 at 07:00 AM

 

From: Watts Up With That

By: Doug R Rogers

Date: January 19, 2023

 

A Critical Examination of the Six Pillars of Climate Change Despair


World still ‘on brink of climate catastrophe’[1]
World close to ‘irreversible’ climate breakdown[2]
Large regions of the world are becoming unlivable – lethal for 3 to 5 billion of us[3]
…slaughter, death, and starvation of 6 billion people[4] – Roger Hallam, Extinction Rebellion

    In 2023 it’s hard to avoid seeing images and headlines like these. The result for many is a deep seated fear[5], anxiety[6] [7], and pessimism[8] [9] about the future. The topic of Climate Change (CC) has seeped into nearly every facet of our lives, and never in a positive way. It’s always present as a dark cloud hanging over society; a source of guilt for those who indulge in some of life’s most basic pleasures, the basis of moralistic judgments by those who like to signal their concern, and the cause of nihilism[10] [11] and hopelessness[12] felt by many in the youngest generations.

    Why does CC have such deeply negative connotations and harmful effects on people’s mental well being? Because we are constantly reminded of the six dark and destructive consequences of CC:

      1) heat will cause millions to die or live in misery

      2) tens of millions (some say billions) will be forced to migrate

      3) a million or more species will become extinct in just a few decades

      4) sea level rise will have disastrous world-wide consequences

      5) agricultural production will be devastated, causing widespread famine

      6) humanity will suffer floods, droughts, and other terrible natural disasters

    These are the six pillars of climate change despair that activists and the media obsess over. The activists do it because they think they are saving the planet; the media do it because bad news gets more clicks than good news. Plus, they both do it to appear virtuous. They both keep ramping up the rhetoric so that with each passing year the predictions about each of these consequences become even more frightening and apocalyptic. There are some lesser concerns (eg. Arctic and glacier melting), but these six are the catastrophic ones.

    No wonder so many people are depressed and pessimistic about the future. It shouldn’t be surprising there’s an epidemic of “climate change anxiety”. (continue reading)

 

A Critical Examination of the Six Pillars of Climate Change Despair

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

Tropical Cyclone Attribution - ORIGINAL CONTENT

Tropical cyclones (hurricanes in the Atlantic and Northeast Pacific basins and typhoons in the Pacific and Indian Ocean basins) are weather events which involve wind, rain, thunderstorms and storm surge and can trigger tornadoes. The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale rates tropical cyclones based on their maximum sustained wind speed. Storms are rated in categories 1-5 based on maximum wind speed range, which is associated with the extent of expected damage to infrastructure in the path of the storms.

Each tropical cyclone is unique because of the myriad of weather conditions each storm encounters throughout its duration. Each storm begins as a tropical depression which might or might not develop into a tropical storm, which then might or might not develop into a tropical cyclone. In the current satellite era, each tropical depression is identified and tracked throughout its duration.

The intense global focus on climate change and its potential effects on weather events such as tropical cyclones, tornadoes, floods, droughts and heat waves has led to the development of climate model-based attribution studies which attempt to identify the extent to which climate change might have affected the frequency, intensity and other characteristics of weather events. These attribution studies have recently evolved into attempts at “instant attribution”, which permits estimates of potential climate change affects on severe weather events to be reported while the weather event is still in the news and fresh in the public’s minds.

The attribution studies for tropical cyclones focus on storm frequency, intensity, speed, associated rainfall and track. One recent example is the attribution of a 10% increase in rainfall associated with Hurricane Ian. This attribution was based on analysis of those characteristics for similar storms in the past. However, our limited understanding suggests that these attributions are premature.

While the focus of attribution studies has been on the damage caused by tropical cyclones, there has been little focus on other potential attribution issues related to tropical cyclones. These issues include whether climate change has any impact on the frequency and timing of the formation of tropical depressions, or the frequency with which tropical depressions develop into tropical storms and tropical storms develop into tropical cyclones. There has also been little focus on the potential affects of climate change on the paths of tropical cyclones or the frequency with which tropical cyclones dissipate at sea.

The 2022 hurricane season is a case in point. The map below shows the tracks of all named tropical storms in the Atlantic Basin in 2022. The season was originally predicted to be above average, but was nearly average on most metrics, though accumulated cyclone energy was significantly lower.

 

2022 Named Storms
 

The media predictably focused on the loss of life and financial damage caused by Hurricane Ian. However, Ian’s track and potential landfall location were predicted accurately well in advance of landfall, allowing ample time to secure properties and evacuate. The financial damage, while major, was consistent with historical norms on a GDP adjusted basis, because of the continuing construction of expensive infrastructure in areas subject to hurricane landfalls.

 

Tags: Severe Weather

“Rare Earths,” Electrification Mandates, and Energy Security (Part II) - Highlighted Article

  • 2/9/23 at 07:00 AM

 

From: Master Resource

By: Mark Krebs

Date: January 12, 2023

 

“Rare Earths,” Electrification Mandates, and Energy Security (Part II)


“What we have is one-way bureaucratic command-and-control making poor decisions with funding derived from captive consumers and one-sided radical agendas. Accordingly, the environmental zealots demonize fossil fuels, while maintaining that only wind and solar are ‘green’ enough to ‘save the planet.’ This itself is greenwashing.”

Like Rob Bradley’s “Renewable Energy: Not Cheap, Not ‘Green’” (see Part I), my colleague Tom Tanton wrote a major piece about the over-regulation of the rare-earth extraction industry in the U.S.: “Dig it!  If you want more information on the importance of rare earths within the U.S economy, this would be a good place to start.

The long-term feasibility of this transition to renewables simply assumes sufficient raw materials exist for it at all. Professor Michaux of the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) has studied these issues, probably more extensively than anyone else and thinks not. Professor Simon Michaux took on these issues via the following ground-breaking work:

It’s Time to Wake Up – The Currently Known Global Mineral Reserves Will Not Be Sufficient to Supply Enough Metals to Manufacture the Planned Non-fossil Fuel Industrial Systems

The upshot of Professor Michaux’s work is that “we need a new plan” as there are not enough raw materials to sustain this transition nor can recycling or reprocessing mining waste make up for the shortfall.  Since the success of free market economies is predicated upon informed citizens, I urge you to visit Professor Michaux’s website or, at a minimum, view the following YouTube: (continue reading)

 

“Rare Earths,” Electrification Mandates, and Energy Security (Part II)

 

Tags: Highlighted Article

Climate Change Extremes - ORIGINAL CONTENT

They're rioting in Africa
There's strife in Iran
What nature doesn't do to us
Will be done by our fellow man.

The Merry Minuet, Sheldon Harnick


Mother Nature has been providing the earth with numerous types of severe weather and climate events over the millennia. Heat waves, cold waves, droughts, heavy rains, tropical cyclones and tornadoes are all part of weather history. Ice ages and warm and cool periods during interglacials accompanied by rising and falling sea levels are part of climate history. These weather and climate events have occurred almost exclusively without human influence.

However, since the inception of the industrial revolution, humans have been emitting “greenhouse gases” (GHGs) including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide to the atmosphere. The addition of these anthropogenic GHGs is believed to have contributed to a warming of the global climate, though it is not possible to measure the relative contributions of anthropogenic emissions and natural climate variability to this warming.

There exists an alarmist faction which insists that most or all of the recent warming has been anthropogenic, that it poses an existential threat to life on earth and that the burning of fossil fuels must be halted rapidly to avoid climageddon. This faction also asserts that this anthropogenic warming is increasing the frequency, severity and duration of severe weather events. Both the threat assessments and the attribution assertions are based on unvalidated and unverified climate models.

Virtually all of the nations of the globe have agreed to take steps to reduce GHG emissions, though the specific steps and their timing varies greatly among the nations. The developed nations, which have been accused of responsibility for the recent warming, have focused on achieving net zero GHG emissions by 2050. Their programs have included closing coal and natural gas electric generating stations, incentivizing renewable electric generation, limiting or eliminating oil and gas exploration and production, banning new natural gas end uses and requiring production of electric vehicles. Some have even suggested closure of farms to reduce GHG emissions, threatening food supply, while others are restarting coal plants to deal with a perceived energy crisis.

Developing nations, while giving lip service to emissions reductions, remain focused on economic development, including expansion of electric service based on coal and natural gas generation. Nations in Asia, including China, India, Indonesia and South Korea are in the process of constructing more than 175 GW of new coal generating capacity. Numerous nations in Africa are expanding coal and natural gas production for both local consumption and sale. Several nations have expressed a willingness to consider pursuing lower emissions trajectories if the developed nations fund the programs.

Assuming a general agreement to reduce global annual CO2 and other GHG emissions, the contrast between massive coal-fired generation increases in the developing nations and plans to close farms in the developed nations is awe-inspiring. The experience of Sri Lankan agricultural failure after its ban on the use of synthetic fertilizers to limit nitrous oxide emissions should cause national governments to carefully evaluate steps to reduce agricultural GHG emissions.

 

Tags: Severe Weather, Greenhouse Gas, Net Zero Emissions
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