American Elephants


New Nuclear Plants? Not So Fast! by The Elephant's Child

Last Tuesday, President Obama announced loan guarantees worth $8.3 billion for two new nuclear reactors in Georgia.  Great fanfare and hoopla.  This supposedly makes good on his promise in the State of the Union speech,  to renew federal support for nuclear power as one component of his drive towards “clean energy”and “energy independence.”

Our nuclear policy has been tied up in reams of regulatory  red tape demanded by environmentalists in the wake of the 1979 Three Mile Island Incident which effectively ended new nuclear plant construction.   Loan guarantees could help the industry raise capital for what has been a risky investment.

Mr. Obama’s budget proposal also ended funding for Nevada’s Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository.  This leaves America with no long-term solution for storing spent nuclear fuel.  Without a solution to the storage problem, there will be no nuclear power.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the formation of a  “blue-ribbon commission” to develop recommendations for developing a safe, long-term solution to managing the nations’ used nuclear fuel and nuclear waste.  (This was already accomplished, as Yucca Mountain was designated as the safest and most effective repository in the United States, good for at least 10,000 years). This is, of course, payback for Obama’s environmental supporters.

With Yucca Mountain off the table, nuclear energy is off the table.  Once again, President Obama’s pronouncements are not credible.

Clean energy needs redefining.  Most of “clean” was the faulty idea that anything emitting or connected to carbon was “dirty.” This is no longer tenable.  “Energy independence” has always been a fallacious idea based on the idea that we get most of our oil from enemies in the Middle East, which just isn’t the case.



Texas is Suing the Federal Government. by The Elephant's Child

More on the Environmental front.   Texas Republican governor Rick Perry is suing the federal government, challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s CO2 endangerment finding. From the governor’s press release:

The state’s legal action indicates EPA’s Endangerment Finding is legally unsupported because the agency outsourced its scientific assessment to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has been discredited by evidence of key scientists’ lack of objectivity, coordinated efforts to hide flaws in their research, attempts to keep contravening evidence out of IPCC reports and violation of freedom of information laws. . . .

“With billions of dollars at stake, EPA outsourced the scientific basis for its greenhouse gas regulation to a scandal-plagued international organization that cannot be considered objective or trustworthy,” Attorney General Abbott said. “Prominent climate scientists associated with the IPCC were engaged in an ongoing, orchestrated effort to violate freedom of information laws, exclude scientific research, and manipulate temperature data. In light of the parade of controversies and improper conduct that has been uncovered, we know that the IPCC cannot be relied upon for objective, unbiased science – so EPA should not rely upon it to reach a decision that will hurt small businesses, farmers, ranchers, and the larger Texas economy.” (emphasis added)

The press release goes on to point out that Texas’ $106 billion agriculture industry, which represents 9.5 % of Texas’ total gross state product, would be disproportionately damaged by the proposed regulations, as well as the effects on business and the energy sector.  Ordinary Texas families would face an estimated $1,200 in increased annual living costs during a depressed economy.

In a sane world, the lawsuit should succeed. “Regulation” of CO2 would accomplish nothing except to destroy more jobs and deepen the recession. Carbon dioxide is not the cause of global warming, but one of the building blocks of life. The globe is not warming, but cooling, as finally even CRU’s Phil Jones has admitted.



Senator Boxer, Congressman Waxman, What if There Is No Carbon To Offset? What If The Planet’s Just Fine? What then? by The Elephant's Child
January 6, 2010, 6:36 pm
Filed under: Environment, Law | Tags: , ,

A New study from the University of Bristol shows that the airborne fraction of anthropogenic CO2 emissions has stayed approximately constant since 1850. What if there is no carbon to offset?

All that “settled science”, the “consensus” — nevermind.  Wolfgang Knorr of the  Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol in England has followed the data where it led, instead of trying to manipulate it to ” hide the decline” in global temperatures that we have been experiencing for the last decade.  Investors Business Daily says:

The new study, published in the online journal Geophysical Research Letters, does not deny that increasing amounts of CO2 have been generated as the world has industrialized, eradicated disease, produced agricultural abundance and improved man’s standard of living.  It shows that only 45% of man’s  emissions, not 100% as warmers claim, stays in the atmosphere and that includes the carbon emissions of the private jets that flew to Copenhagen last month and the limos that drove the occupants around.

This suggests that the oceans and terrestrial ecosystems have a much greater capacity to absorb CO2 than had been previously expected.  The proportion of CO2 that is absorbed has remained constant, even as the amount of CO2 has increased.

Patrick Michaels notes, at World Climate Report that:

In other words, like we have repeated over and over, if the models can’t replicate the past (for the right reasons), they can’t be relied on for producing accurate future projections.  And as things now stand, the earth is responding to anthropogenic CO2 emissions in a different (and perhaps better) manner than we thought that it would.

There remains much to learn about why this happens.  Scientists derided as “skeptics” or “deniers” (see here) do not deny that there has been warming.  They have concluded that the earth’s climate is a result of many complex interactions and processes that are not completely understood.  Clouds, solar cycles, cyclical ocean currents and even cosmic rays have been documented as playing a role in the earth’s climate and weather. We don’t understand all this well,  but it seems to be normal processes of warming and cooling.

AccuWeather.com chief meteorologist and expert forecaster Joe Bastardi says this could be the worst winter in 25 years.  And many regions of the country are reporting record snowstorms.



Only a Tiny Amount of CO2, and They Want to Rearrange the Entire Economy! by The Elephant's Child
October 28, 2009, 3:12 am
Filed under: Energy, Politics, Progressivism | Tags: , ,

The percentage of carbon dioxide (CO2) is the atmosphere is really very small.  The percentage of the CO2 that is derived from human causes is very, very small.  Most of the CO2 in the atmosphere rises from the sea and has nothing to do with people at all.

You know in the videos that you see about global warming, they always show great black factory smokestacks belching out grey-white clouds of horrible pollution?  Not pollution.  It’s water vapor — steam.  Most of the “greenhouse gasses” aren’t CO2 at all, they are water vapor in the form of clouds, mist and fog.

The Waxman-Markey House climate bill is estimated to cut Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by a cumulative $9.4 trillion by 2015.  Emission permit costs for energy  could top $300 billion a year by 2035. A typical family of four could pay $829 more annually just for electricity, and up to $4,600 for energy, food and consumer goods.

This is a massive wealth transfer to carbon traders, bureaucrats, activists and other preferred groups from hydrocarbon users.  Massive job killer.  According to European experience in Spain and Germany, the much touted “green jobs” come at the expense of two jobs in the regular economy for every green job.

All for perfectly natural global warming and cooling — which the planet has always done, warming and cooling.  It has been vastly warmer in the past— the finest weather known to man — and a lot cooler too.  This is a phony crisis, for a very tiny amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  Carbon dioxide is essential to life.  Without it, we wouldn’t be here.  Do you suppose that Waxman, Markey, Boxer and Kerry all flunked high school biology?




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