Archive for the ‘Emissions’ Category

India objects to, and chastises Kerry for, his climate bullying

November 23, 2015

It is -12ºC outside my window right now on a bright winter’s day, but it is -29ºC in the North of Sweden and I am not complaining. There has been no “global” warming for 19 years while fossil fuel utilisation has almost doubled. If “climate change” is about global warming, then why the panic? And if “climate change” is not about global warming, then why the panic?

We have had a couple of months of concentrated, strident, alarmist propaganda in the media and from the global warming mafia as preparation for the Paris climate conference beginning at the end of this week. It is reaching a crescendo this week. That the mainstream media led by The Guardian, and followed slavishly by Swedish media, have been particularly alarmist is not so surprising. Today the Guardian runs an article claiming that the “Paris climate change conference can save the planet”. It happens to be by Ed Miliband which is less than convincing since his judgements are more than a little suspect. The rich and the famous have been “harnessed”, like so many talking puppets, to parrot “the cause”. (Childhood memories of “Francis, the talking mule” come to mind). Yesterday it was first the Swedish King calling on people to stop bathing and then Prince Charles stated that global warming (euphemistically “climate change”) was one of the causes of the Syrian conflict. He could just as well claim that the terrorist attacks in Paris were due to “climate change”. (In fact someone has already done that). John Kerry wanders around the globe intimating that his foreign policy problems would disappear if only governments would do as he says.

(I have to admit that for almost any proposed action in any field, having Prince Charles’ support, is proof positive for me that that the action is going to be counterproductive. John Kerry with his blunders in Syria and in the Ukraine is approaching the same class).

I don’t pay too much attention to the hype. Ultimately, after 2 or 3 decades of global cooling, the pointlessness and futility of the fight against “carbon emissions” will become obvious. Of course vast sums of money would have been wasted. Global growth and the elimination of poverty would have been hampered for a time – but so what? Coal, oil and gas production and utilisation by the developing world will only continue, and continue to spread.

I don’t much care about Paris either. It has almost become irrelevant. Especially since “success” at the Paris conference will actually mean that the doubling of carbon dioxide emissions over the next 15 years will have been assured and sanctioned. China and India have already won. The “success” of Paris would provide them with official sanction to increase their use of fossil fuel under the cloak of reducing emissions per unit of gdp growth. The developed world will effectively commit itself to increased costs and reduced growth to no purpose. While this will depress global growth (mainly Europe) it should make the developing world even more competitive and that will be some mitigation. The US is somewhat immune since it can just ramp up the use of gas.

But the constant nagging by the global warming brigade is getting irritating and coercive. The sanctimonious preaching by John Kerry has finally crossed the line. So much so that India has had to resort to formally chastising him,

The Hindu:

India has reacted strongly to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement that the country will be a “challenge” in the coming climate change talks in Paris.

“It is in a way unfair to say that India will be a challenge. It is actually not doing justice to India,” Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar told PTI. “The U.S. is our great friend and strategic partner. His [Kerry’s] comment is unwarranted and unfair. The attitude of some of the developed countries is the challenge for the Paris conclusion,” the Minister said.

Mr. Javadekar said there was no question of compromising on India’s stand on climate change. He blamed the “attitude” of the developed countries for the problem. India was trying to “proactively” forge a consensus on the issue. ……..

…… While the developed world has been looking at increased emission cuts from developing countries, the latter — including India — have sought common but differentiated responsibility. Shorn of jargon, it means that the developed world has been the prime polluter since its early lead in industrialisation and stays way ahead in emissions per capita to this day, meaning that it cannot expect nations now industrialising to forget this skew.

I really do dislike those who know best what others should do.

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Carbon credits used for “printing money”

August 25, 2015

I first realised that the “carbon credit” schemes were essentially money-making scams sheltering under the “environmental” umbrellas of the UN and the EU in the mid 1990s. The misguided and meaningless Kyoto protocol was established in 1992 and fuelled a whole raft of “environmental entrepreneurs” who soon became expert at milking the funds available. I was visiting some of the former Soviet countries to discuss their power generation needs (with a view to selling power plant equipment) and soon realised that all the discussions had nothing whatever to do with meeting energy needs, but were for bureaucrats and politicians to find ways to tap into the carbon credits available via UN and EU schemes for – ostensibly – reducing carbon emissions that didn’t exist. Sometimes the discussions were quite openly about how to show that carbon emissions were much higher than they actually were and then claiming credits for running quite normally. As an example, a district heating scheme actually using Russian gas had combustion equipment capable of burning heavy fuel oil or even coal. “Normal” emissions were then “certified” by the Ministry of Energy as being from the use of the worst possible fuel, and then carbon credits were claimed for “emissions reductions” by “switching” to gas.

The “cost of carbon” as reflected in carbon taxes and carbon credits have nothing really to do with reduction of emissions and even less to do with climate. They have all been schemes for milking very many taxpayers for the benefit of a few “environmental entrepreneurs”. Carbon credits have achieved little beyond promoting fraud.

Now, finally, 20 years after the event, the truth about carbon credits is beginning to surface:

BBC:Carbon Credits like “printing money”

The vast majority of carbon credits generated by Russia and Ukraine did not represent cuts in emissions, according to a new study. The authors say that offsets created under a UN scheme “significantly undermined” efforts to tackle climate change.

The credits may have increased emissions by 600 million tonnes. In some projects, chemicals known to warm the climate were created and then destroyed to claim cash.

As a result of political horse trading at UN negotiations on climate change, countries like Russia and the Ukraine were allowed to create carbon credits from activities like curbing coal waste fires, or restricting gas emissions from petroleum production.

Under the UN scheme, called Joint Implementation, they then were able to sell those credits to the European Union’s carbon market. Companies bought the offsets rather than making their own more expensive, emissions cuts.

But this study, from the Stockholm Environment Institute, says the vast majority of Russian and Ukrainian credits were in fact, “hot air” – no actual emissions were reduced.

They looked at a random sample of 60 projects and found that 73% of the offsets generated didn’t meet the key criteria of “additionality”. This means that these projects would have happened anyway without any carbon credit finance.

It is not just Russia and Ukraine of course.

And the fraud continues. No carbon tax or carbon credit scheme has ever been monitored for effect. No scheme has ever had any impact on climate. Every carbon credit or carbon tax scheme has only put general taxpayers’ money into the pockets of a few “environmental entrepreneurs”. And that applies to virtually every country in Europe and every former Soviet Republic.

Reality bites as EU backs away from climate goals

January 22, 2014

The European Commission’s new climate change and energy policy is due to be published today. Leaked reports have been circulating and it is clear that reality and the financial crisis are focusing minds and that expensive “feel-good” policies  are being dumped. After 2 decades, meaningless “climate policy” and emissions (read carbon dioxide) limitations have proven to be profligate and counter-productive. Climate has not been influenced in the slightest and European electricity prices are the highest in the world.

It is expected that binding national targets will be scrapped and instead there will instead be EU-wide “goals” or targets.

BBC:

  • Binding national targets on renewable energy are expected to be dropped from new EU proposals due to be unveiled on Wednesday.
  • The EU executive will also outline a goal on emissions cuts for 2030, set to be 35 or 40% below 1990 levels.
  • A source within the Commission said that going forward, there would be a EU wide target on renewable energy for 2030, but it was likely that there would not be binding national targets. 
  • As well as proposals on emissions cuts, the Commission will set out its thinking on shale gas. It is likely that they will suggest a series of non-binding recommendations as opposed to a EU wide regulation. 

  • The Commission will also outline an effort to reform the EU emissions trading scheme (ETS). 
  • The Commission’s proposals will go forward for consideration at heads of government meetings in March and June this year. ……  that the climate and energy plan may be watered down even further at these meetings.

Popeye approves of carbon dioxide

June 19, 2013

From the HockeySchtick comes news close to Popeye’s stomach (which is of course the way to his heart).

Popeye like CO2, like spinach

Spinach like CO2, Popeye like CO2

A new paper published in Advances in Space Research finds increased levels of CO2 promote spinach productivity and accumulation of vitamin C in spinach leaves. According to the authors, “High light and high CO2 independently one from the other, promoted spinach productivity, and the accumulation of ascorbic acid [vitamin C], while their interactive effect limited the accumulation of nitrate and oxalic acid in the spinach leaves.” Decreased oxalic acid is beneficial for human nutrition because oxalic acid blocks absorption of essential minerals.

Influence of the interaction between light intensity and CO2 concentration on productivity and quality of spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) grown in fully controlled environment

Author(s): Simona Proietti , Stefano Moscatello , Gene A. Giacomelli , Alberto Battistelli

Abstract: The effects of the factorial combination of two light intensities (200 and 800 μmol m-2 s-1) and two CO2 concentrations (360 and 800 ppm) were studied on the productivity and nutritional quality of spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) grown under controlled environment. After 6 weeks within a growth chamber, spinach plants were sampled and analyzed for productivity and quality. There were no statistically significant interactions between the effects of light and CO2 for all of the variables studied, except for the nitrate and oxalic acid content of the leaves.High light and high CO2 independently one from the other, promoted spinach productivity, and the accumulation of ascorbic acid [vitamin C], while their interactive effect limited the accumulation of nitrate and oxalic acid in the spinach leaves. The results highlight the importance of considering the effects of the interaction among environmental variables on maximizing production and the nutritional quality of the food when cultivating and modeling the plant response in controlled environment systems such as for bioregenerative life support.

Three decades of needless “green” energy has cost some 15 million jobs in Europe

June 2, 2013

It has been a pointless waste. Just to pander to the superstition that controlling carbon dioxide emissions can control global temperature.

Temperatures have been flat since 1997 while human emissions of carbon dioxide have risen around 30%. Carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere have also increased but have had little impact on global temperature – if any at all.

graphic Bert Rutan via WUWT

graphic Bert Rutan via WUWT

graphic source: WUWT

The last three decades have seen the vilification of carbon dioxide and the combustion of fossil fuels but it has been a pointless and expensive exercise. The profligate subsidies in favour of renewable energy and the shameless taxation of fossil fuel use and the consequent increase of energy prices have made their contributions to the economic slowdown and loss of jobs – particularly in Europe. The cowardly adoption of political correctness and of “green” energy is proving expensive – and has been quite needless.

Today electricity prices in Europe are at least 50% higher and perhaps twice as high as they need to be. The curbing of fossil fuel use and the hysteria about nuclear power together with the renewable profligacy are responsible for that. The cost of electricity is a fundamental parameter in our economies which feeds its way into every aspect of economic activity. It is the availability of affordable electricity which has been the driver of growth for over 100 years. A simple estimate of the growth that has been prevented by having unnecessarily high electricity prices gives the cost as being about 15 million jobs within the European Union.

Gerald Warner writes in The Scotsman: (my emphasis)

…. As the bottom falls out of the man-made climate change industry, those who were among its most bullish investors at the height of the scam are now covering their positions in a bear market.

Great damage was done to this much-hyped imposture by Climategate (“Hide the decline!”), by the discredited “hockey stick”, by the farce over “melting” Himalayan glaciers and the “decrease” in the polar bear population from 5,000 in 1970 to 25,000 today. Yet what has chiefly discredited the climate change superstition is the basic, inescapable fact that there has been no global warming since 1997.

The official face-saving response is that this is a “pause” in an otherwise menacing trend – a pause of a decade and a half. The warmist fanatics will freeze to death in their solar bunkers before they will admit defeat; but the more worldly wise, especially scientists anxious to preserve a vestige of academic credibility, are now striving to effect a withdrawal in good order.

Even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change began to ratchet down its more extravagant predictions as early as 2007. In 2010 the Royal Society reviewed its stance on the Anthropogenic Global Warming theory and assumed a more neutral position. Since then, it has been like the retreat from Moscow: last month Oxford scientists, albeit in Delphic language, moderated forecasts of climate disaster. …..

….. The global warming hysteria began in the 1880s but was discredited when its prediction that CO2 would increase the mean global temperature by more than 1C by 1940 was not borne out. What gave it fresh life over the past two decades was the realisation by governments that it could provide a pretext for taxing citizens to unprecedented levels and by private entrepreneurs that government subsidies could supply a dripping roast. Of all the damage that politicians have inflicted on the public, the “green” scam has been among the most extreme.

The Renewables Obligation, introduced in Scotland in 2002, was scheduled to end in 2027, by which time UK energy customers will have been robbed of £32 billion. It has now been extended to 2037 for new projects. By 2011 Ofgem confirmed that 10 per cent of every electricity bill went towards “renewables”. Proliferating wind turbines are blighting the landscape despite being a wholly inefficient source of energy. Turbines operate at just 24 per cent of capacity – for more than a third of the time at only 10 per cent – and conventional power stations have to remain in service as backup: two energy systems pointlessly working in tandem. ……

…… South of the Border a modicum of sanity has entered government thinking since UK energy minister John Hayes’ “Enough is enough” remarks. In England and Wales turbines are falling out of favour. 

Not so in Scotland. ……. 

Local objections to wind farms are routinely overruled by central government (that would be the listening, accountable Scottish Nationalist government). At the end of last year only ten out of Scotland’s 32 local authorities admitted to knowing how many wind turbines were sited in their areas.

They could cover every inch of Scottish soil with Martian whirligigs and the lights will still go out, due to the SNP’s refusal to replace Hunterston B, due to close in 2016, and Torness, closing in 2023. All this to satisfy a superstition: if all mankind stopped producing CO2 (try selling that idea in China and India), 96.5 per cent would remain. The climate Anabaptists will never recant, but their mad creed is doomed all the same.

Wind turbines and solar energy have their place in the energy mix we should use.  But not at the expense of fossil fuel and nuclear use.

Composition of exhaust gases from humans and from fossil fuels

April 13, 2013

It occurred to me when carrying out some combustion calculations that what humans breathe out is pretty close to the flue gas from a gas-fired, gas turbine combined cycle plant.

In a gas turbine combustion chamber, fuel is burned typically at an excess air level of about 200% (the amount of oxygen available in the combustion air compared to that which is needed for complete oxidation of the fuel). This means that about one third of the oxygen available is used and converted to carbon dioxide and water while about 2/3ds just passes through (i.e of the 21% oxygen in air, about 6-7% is “consumed” and about 14 -15% passes through unused). In coal-fired plants the excess air levels are usually only about 25% which leads to about 15 -16% of the incoming 21% oxygen being consumed with about 5% passing through. The amount of oxygen actually consumed depends on the fuel composition and the oxygen demands of the elements which are oxidised during the combustion process. Carbon, hydrogen and sulphur (giving CO2, H2O and SO2) are the main oxygen consumers. All the other constituents of air pass through – heated up of course – but otherwise unchanged. Minute quantities of the fuel- nitrogen and the nitrogen in the incoming air can – depending upon the combustion temperature – be “fixed” to create the nitrogen oxides – nitrous oxide (N2O) and nitrogen dioxide (N2O). The higher the combustion temperature the greater the “fixing”. Too low a combustion temperature – for example with very wet fuels and bio-mass – can give “incomplete combustion” with some carbon monoxide (CO) and even some dioxins and hydrocarbons with a particularly poor combustion process. Internal combustion petrol engines essentially run at stoichiometric conditions (zero excess air) and there is no oxygen in the exhaust. However combustion is never quite complete and around 1% carbon monoxide is usually present (which is why suicide by exhaust fumes becomes possible). Diesel engines on the other hand have 10% oxygen in the exhaust when idling and this reduces to 1 or 2% when fully loaded.

All fuels essentially contain carbon and hydrogen as the main energy releasing elements when oxidised. Most industrial combustion processes happen fast and speed of combustion – which is desirable for complete combustion – has to be tempered by the need to keep temperatures at levels which can be handled by the materials used. The human use of the same elements of carbon and hydrogen for the release of energy however is by a relatively slow oxidation processes. Not all the water produced leaves the human body with our expelled breath since some part of it leaves in liquid form with urine. But from the composition of the waste gas we breathe out it seems that the carbon/hydrogen ratios in our food intake cannot be so very different to the natural gas burned in gas turbines (and not very surprising considering that plant-life is the ultimate source of both).

exhaust gas compositions

 

Since human exhaust gases emit the same concentration of carbon dioxide as gas turbine, combined cycle power plant perhaps we should penalise every human as well?

 


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