News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Saturday, September 28, 2013

19 Arizona firefighter deaths on June 30 not due to global warming, due to malfunctioning gov. radios, 33 min. communication blackout at crucial time, hapless gov. fire retardant plane didn’t know where to drop retardant-AP

9/28/13, Radio problems link to fire deaths, AP via MSN UK

“A three-month investigation into the deaths of 19 firefighters battling an Arizona blaze has cited poor communication between the men and support staff, and reveals that an air tanker carrying flame retardant was hovering overhead as the firefighters died.

The 120-page report found that proper procedure was followed and assigned little blame for the worst firefighting tragedy since the terrorist attacks of September 11 2001. All but one member of the Granite Mountain Hotshots crew died on June 30 while protecting the small former gold rush town of Yarnell, about 80 miles north west of Phoenix, from an erratic, lightning-sparked wildfire.

While maintaining a neutral tone, the investigation found badly programmed radios, vague updates and a 33-minute communication blackout just before the flames engulfed the men. Investigators did not consider whether better communication might have saved the men.


The report provides the first minute-to-minute account of the fatal afternoon. The day went according to routine in the boulder-strewn mountains until the wind shifted at around 4pm, pushing a wall of fire that had been receding from the Hotshots all day back toward them.

After that, the command centre lost track of the 19 men. The firefighters either ignored or did not receive weather warnings. They left the safety of a burned ridge and dropped into a densely vegetated valley surrounded by mountains, heading toward a ranch. The report states that they failed to perceive the “excessive risk” of repositioning to continue fighting the fire.

The command centre believed the Hotshots had decided to wait out the weather change in the safety zone. They did not find out the men were surrounded by flames and fighting for their lives until five minutes before they deployed their emergency shelters, which was more than a half hour after the weather warning was issued.


Without the guidance of the command centre, the men found themselves in a location that soon turned into a bowl of fire. The topography fostered long flames that bent parallel and licked the ground, producing 2,000-degree Fahrenheit (1,093-degree Celsius) heat. Fire shelters, always a dreaded last resort, begin to melt at 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit (649-degree Celsius).

As the flames whipped over the men, a large air tanker was hovering above. But perhaps because of an early miscommunication about where the Hotshots were headed, the command centre did not know where to drop the flame retardant, the report said.

“Nobody will ever know how the crew actually saw their situation, the options they considered or what motivated their actions,” investigators wrote.

Though the report points to multiple failures, investigators approached the incident “from the perspective that risk is inherent in firefighting”. They recommend that Arizona officials review their communications procedures and look into new technologies, including GPS, that might help track firefighters during chaotic situations.

The Arizona State Forestry Division presented the roughly 120-page report to the men’s families ahead of a news conference in Prescott.

When it began on June 28, the fire caused little immediate concern because of its remote location and small size. But the blaze quickly grew into an inferno, burning swiftly across pine, juniper and scrub oak and through an area that had not experienced a significant wildfire in nearly 50 years.

The fire ended up destroying more than 100 homes and burned 13 square miles before it was fully contained on July 10….


Some family members hope the investigation will bring closure. Others say it will do nothing to ease their pain.”…










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Shellenberger and Nordhaus in Sept. 2013 say US is global climate leader thanks to 35 years of gov. spending on shale revolution and big drop in coal use, not because of CO2 tax or cap and trade which wherever used have not helped climate. Note Germany has increased coal use and CO2 emissions, NRDC and Sierra Club obstruct best ways to help climate

9/26/13, "Climate Skeptics Against Global Warming," thebreakthrough.org, Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus

"What Conservatives Can Teach Liberals About Global Warming Policy"

"Over the last decade, progressives have successfully painted conservative climate skepticism as the major stumbling block to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Exxon and the Koch brothers, the story goes, fund conservative think tanks to sow doubt about climate change and block legislative action. As evidence mounts that anthropogenic global warming is underway, conservatives’ flight from reason is putting us all at risk.

This week's release of a new United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report opens another front in the climate wars. But beneath the bellowing, name-calling, and cherry-picking of data that have become the hallmark of contemporary climate politics lies a paradox: the energy technologies favored by the climate-skeptical Right are doing far more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions than the ones favored by the climate-apocalyptic Left.

How much more? Max Luke of Breakthrough Institute ran the numbers and found that, since 1950, natural gas and nuclear prevented 36 times more carbon emissions than wind, solar, and geothermal. Nuclear avoided the creation of 28 billion tons of carbon dioxide, natural gas 26 billion, and geothermal, wind, and solar just 1.5 billion.

Environmental leaders who blame "global warming deniers" for preventing emissions reductions point to Germany's move away from nuclear and to renewables. "Germany is the one big country that’s taken this crisis seriously," wrote Bill McKibben. Other progressive and green leaders, including Al Gore, Bill Clinton, and Bobby Kennedy, Jr., have held up Germany's "energy turn," the Energiewende, as a model for the world. 


But for the second year in a row, Germany has seen its coal use and carbon emissions rise — a fact that climate skeptical conservatives have been quick to point out, and liberal environmental advocates have attempted to obfuscate. "Last year, Germany’s solar panels produced about 18 terawatt-hours (that’s 18 trillion watt-hours) of electricity," noted Robert Bryce from the conservative Manhattan Institute. "And yet, [utility] RWE’s new coal plant, which has less than a 10th as much capacity as Germany’s solar sector, will, by itself, produce about 16 terawatt-hours of electricity.

Reagan historian Steven Hayward, formerly of the American Enterprise Institute, noted in the conservative Weekly Standard earlier this week, "Coal consumption went up 3.9 percent in Germany last year. Likewise, German greenhouse gas emissions — the chief object of Energiewenderose in Germany last year, while they fell in the United States."

Emissions fell in the United States thanks largely to a technology loathed by the Left: fracking. From 2007 to 2012, electricity from natural gas increased from 21.6 to 30.4 percent, while electricity from coal declined from 50 to 38 percentthat's light speed in a notoriously slow-changing sector. And yet the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, and most other green groups are working to oppose the expansion of natural gas.

Hayward and Bryce are two of the most respected writers on energy and the environment on the Right. Both are highly skeptical that global warming poses a major threat. Both regularly criticize climate scientists and climate models. Both men are regularly attacked by liberal organizations like Media Matters for working for organizations, the American Enterprise Institute and Manhattan Institute, respectively, that have taken money from both Exxon and the Koch brothers. And yet both men are full-throated advocates for what Bryce calls "N2N" — accelerating the transition from coal to natural gas and then to nuclear.

Arguably, the climate-energy paradox is a bigger problem for the Left than the Right. One cannot logically claim that carbon emissions pose a catastrophic threat to human civilization and then oppose the only two technologies capable of immediately and significantly reducing them. And yet this is precisely the position of Al Gore, Bill McKibben, the Sierra Club, NRDC, and the bulk of the environmental movement.

By contrast, there are plenty of good reasons for climate skeptics to support N2N. A diverse portfolio of energy sources that are cheap, abundant, reliable, and increasingly clean is good for the economy and strengthens national security - all the more so in a world where energy demand will likely quadruple by the end of the century.

Why then is there so much climate skepticism on the Right? One obvious reason is that climate science has long been deployed by liberals and environmentalists to argue not only for their preferred energy technologies but also for sweeping new regulatory powers for the federal government and the United Nations.

But here as well, the green agenda hasn’t fared well. Those nations that most rapidly reduced the carbon intensity of their economies over the last 40 years did so neither through regulations nor international agreements. Nations like France and Sweden, which President Obama rightly singled out for praise earlier this month, did so by directly deploying nuclear and hydroelectric power. Now the United States is the global climate leader, despite having neither a carbon price nor emissions trading, thanks to 35 years of public-private investment leading to the shale gas revolution. Meanwhile, there is little evidence that caps and carbon taxes have had much impact on emissions anywhere.

In the end, both Left and Right reject a more pragmatic approach to the climate issue out of fear that doing so might conflict with their idealized visions for the future. Conservatives embrace N2N as a laissez-faire outcome of the free market in the face of overwhelming evidence that neither nuclear nor gas would be viable today had it not been for substantial taxpayer support. Progressives seized on global warming as an existential threat to human civilization because they believed it justified a transition to the energy technologies – decentralized renewables – that they have wanted since the sixties.

The Left, in these ways, has been every bit as guilty as the Right of engaging in "post-truth" climate politics. Consider New Yorker writer Ryan Lizza's glowing profile of Tom Steyer, the billionaire bankrolling the anti-Keystone campaign. After Lizza suggested that Steyer and his brother Tom might be the Koch brothers of environmentalism, Steyer objects.  The difference, he insists, is that while the Koch brothers are after profit, he is trying to save the world.

It is telling that neither Lizza nor his editors felt it necessary to point out that Steyer is a major investor in renewables and stands to profit from his political advocacy as well. Clearly, Steyer is also motivated by green ideology. But it is hard to argue that the Koch brothers haven’t been equally motivated by their libertarian ideology. The two have funded libertarian causes since the 1970s and, notably, were among the minority of major energy interests who opposed cap and trade. Fossil energy interests concerned about protecting their profits, including the country's two largest coal utilities, mostly chose to game the proposed emissions trading system rather than oppose it as the Koch brothers did.

As Kathleen Higgins argues in a new essay for Breakthrough Journal, it's high time for progressives to get back in touch with the liberal tradition of tolerance, and pluralism. "Progressives seeking to govern and change society," she writes, should attempt to "see the world from the standpoint of their fiercest opponents. Taking multiple perspectives into account might alert us to more sites of possible intervention and prime us for creative formulations of alternative possibilities for concerted responses to our problems."

As Left and Right spend the next week slugging it out over what the climate science does or does not tell us, we would do well to remember that science cannot tell us what to do. Making decisions in a democracy requires understanding and tolerating, not attacking and demonizing, values and viewpoints different from our own.

Conservatives have important things to say when it comes to energy, whether or not they think of it as climate policy. Liberals would do well to start listening." via Tom Nelson

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Among comments: Two exchanges, one in which Michael Shellenberger responds by again noting obstructionism of Sierra Club and NRDC; another from a Minnesota resident with high hopes wind turbines in the Dakotas and solar in the Southwest can power most of the US with some hydro and geothermal backup:

 
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First commenter has hopes set on renewables and leadership from China. Michael Shellenberger's response follows:

"Sure, I get it. But the U.S. today isn’t 1970s Europe. Heck, Europe today isn’t 1970s Europe! I’d like to think we can move from nuclear retrenchment to renaissance in both places. Next generation reactors are promising, but not ready for prime-time. Maybe there’s more going on in other countries like China to give us hope. But since we’re not there yet, I’m not sure it’s helpful to frame nuclear/gas vs renewables as an either/or contest. Technology tribalism can only get you so far.  

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—Daniel

By Daniel Roberts on 2013 09 26"
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Reply by Michael Shellenberger:

"I agree with you. We are in favor of all the low-carbon energies, including renewables. It’s the Sierra Club, NRDC and much of the rest of the environmental movement that is against the two technologies that avoided 36 times more emissions than renewables.

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By Michael Shellenberger on 2013 09 27"
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Second comment, Minnesota resident optimistic about wind and solar, says we just have to set aside our political affiliations. Another commenter responds:
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"There’s enough wind in the Dakotas alone to power the entire US… and there’s enough sunshine in 100 miles by 100 miles of the southwest to do it all over again. Even if we don’t aim for 100% renewables…70 or 80 percent is easily within reach…especially with the help of hydro and enhanced geothermal for base load supply.

We can do this people…just have to set our political affiliations aside and get to work.

By Jon Silvester on 2013 09 27"
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Reply to Minnesota resident by commenter Jay Maynard on 2013 09 27:
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"Jon, the problem is that the wind in the Dakotas, and the sunshine in the Southwest, simply aren’t there all the time. I live in southern Minnesota, not far from the Buffalo Ridge that’s full of windmills for power. There are plenty of times that the wind just isn’t turning them. The 100-square-mile plot you speak of in the Southwest will run afoul of not only maintenance issues with blowing dust, but also environmentalist objections to destroying habitat for whatever bugs and weeds they can get their hands on to stop the project.

And then there’s the reality that electricity does not work well for many uses we have for energy. For example, nobody in the northern part of the country - you know, where it snows regularly and often - heats with electricity, simply because it’s too expensive compared to natural gas. Then there’s the electric car, which is making great strides, but is nowhere near what many users like me need: the ability to go 300 miles on a charge at 70 MPH with an SUV-load of people and stuff, then be ready to do it all over again in 15 minutes, indefinitely. And there are even harder problems: an electric-powered replacement for light aircraft is a much longer ways off."...



By Jay Maynard on 2013 09 27"
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Comment: Thanks to the authors for giving us a voice for at least a few minutes. Not mentioned is the global CO2 number which is said to be the problem. Assuming for the moment that human CO2 is killing the planet, China is the only country that can do anything about it. Everyone knows it, the numbers are public. US CO2 has plunged over many years (as the authors note) and is now dwarfed by China's CO2. Nothing the US government can do at this point will significantly lower global CO2. The US gov./political class knows this but is enacting additional strict measures anyway against a population in a permanently depressed, part-time economy. Regarding the UN. Its personnel are unelected, unaccountable, can't be prosecuted for any crime anywhere in the world, and are supported in large part by the earnings of the US taxpayer. UN personnel can take the money given to them each year by US taxpayers and put it in personal Swiss bank accounts without consequence or complaint. That isn't even the biggest problem. The biggest problem is the US political class thinks this is fine.
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Two citations about the UN:
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4/16/09, "Report: U.N. spent U.S. funds on shoddy projects," USA Today, Ken Dilanian

"Federal prosecutors in New York City were forced to drop criminal and civil cases because the U.N. officials have immunity....

The Afghanistan country director for the U.N. Office for Project Services (UNOPS), which served as the contractor on the project 

for the U.N. Development Program (UNDP), 

spent about $200,000 


in U.S. money to renovate his guesthouse.

Witness names were withheld by USAID.” 


Do UN "agencies have immunity "if they siphon (their U.S. grants) all off into Swiss banks? Is that accurate?

They will be totally immune, no matter what they do with the money?" "My understanding is, yes," Gambatesa replied." (item near end)
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4/12/13, "Despite sequester, State Department ups support for the UN," George Russell, Fox News

"State Department contributions to “International Organizations and Programs” include a 30 percent hike, to $13 million, for the U.N.-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), whose assessments of global warming have been sharply criticized by skeptics.

Secretary of State Kerry is, if anything, more fervent than President Obama himself in his support of urgent—and expensive—action to combat “climate change.” As he puts it grandly in his introductory budget letter, “We must have the foresight and courage to make the investments necessary to safeguard the most sacred trust for our children and grandchildren: an environment not ravaged by rising seas, deadly superstorms, devastating droughts, and the other hallmarks of a dramatically changing climate.”... 


Even those total big-ticket categories, of course, vastly understate the amount of money that the U.S.. showers on the U.N. each year, which includes food aid, health and humanitarian assistance that are channeled through U.N. agencies, which claim administrative fees for handling the aid -- though often not especially well. ...

Even as the mandated sequester bites into U.S. federal spending -- and newly appointed Secretary of State John Kerry boasts that he is cutting his budget by 6 percent -- the State Department is planning to boost spending on the United Nations in 2014 by more than 4 percent to at least $3.6 billion.

That is likely to be far from the final tally of Obama Administration support, as hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. development, health and other funds are usually channeled through U.N. agencies and institutions -- with the U.N. agencies taking administrative fees as part of the deal. The most recent tally on the website of the White House Management and Budget website, for example,
lists support for the U.N. at $7.7 billion -- in 2010."...








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Friday, September 27, 2013

Since at least 1980 the US government has diverted US taxpayer dollars for an alleged CO2 problem. No 'science' needed. IPCC is just another US gov. excuse to steal from its citizens who even pay 50% of IPCC expenses

Over 30 years ago the US began diverting taxpayer dollars in the name of human caused climate change terror–before the UN IPCC or celebrity climate scientists even existed. "Action" against human caused atmospheric and environmental change has been mandated in US law since 1990 binding at least 13 federal agencies. CO2 is mentioned near the end by George Bush #1 in section 204, #4. Politics, not science. Just a way to transfer money. UN IPCC officials freely admit this. 

Citation for 30+ years of US gov. climate terror spending:

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12/14/2005,Climate Change: Federal Expenditures for Science and Technology, CongressionalResearch.com
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Climate Change: Federal Expenditures for Science and Technology,Michael M. Simpson,  Specialist in Life Sciences, Resources, Science, and Industry Division, John R. Justus, Specialist in Earth and Ocean Sciences Resources, Science, and Industry Division, Congressional Research Service, ˜ The Library of Congress
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  “For over 25 years there have been federal programs directly or indirectly related to climate change. This report identifies and discusses direct climate-focused scientific and research programs of the federal government, as well as an array of energy programs that relate indirectly to climate change.”…
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The Hill reports US taxpayers give $12.5 million a year to the UN IPCC so they can jet set around and lecture us that we must reduce our lifestyle:

2/19/11, "Republicans attempt to defund 'nefarious' global warming research group," The Hill, J. Ryan

"The IPCC receives about $12.5 million per year from the government. The Republican's proposal would entirely defund it."...

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(Ed. note: The billions US taxpayers already give the UN every year weren't enough).

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9/23/13, "Warming Plateau? Climatologists Face Inconvenient Truth," Der Spiegel, by Axel Bojanowski, Olaf Stampf and Gerald Traufetter

"For a quarter of a century now, environmental activists have been issuing predictions in the vein of the Catholic Church, warning people of the coming greenhouse effect armageddon. Environmentalists bleakly predict global warming will usher in plagues of biblical dimensions -- perpetual droughts, deluge-like floods and hurricanes of unprecedented force."...

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IPCC History,” IPCCfacts.org

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established in 1988 by two United Nations Organizations, the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme to assess “the scientific, technical and socioeconomic information relevant for the understanding of the risk of human-induced climate change.” Review by experts and governments is an essential part of the IPCC process. For its first task, the IPCC was asked to prepare, based on available scientific information, a report on all aspects relevant to climate change and its impacts and to formulate realistic response strategies. 

The first assessment report of the IPCC served as the basis for negotiating the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).”…

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Change in global CO2 US v China, 2005 to 2011, energy related, US EIA (US Energy Dept.), WSJ, April 2013
 

4/18/13, Rise in U.S. Gas Production Fuels Unexpected Plunge in Emissions,” WSJ, Russell Gold

U.S. carbon-dioxide emissions have fallen dramatically in recent years, in large part because the country is making more electricity with natural gas instead of coal.”…
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6/10/13, 2012 US CO2 continues to drop. Chart from IEA report, China continues to rise. (Above chart is thru 2011) :
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1/29/13,China Uses Nearly as Much Coal as Rest of World Combined, EIA Says, Wall St. Journal, Cassandra Sweet
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6/4/12, Climate change stunner: USA leads world in CO2 cuts since 2006, Vancouver Observer, Saxifrage
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“Not only that, but as my top chart shows, US CO2 emissions are falling even fasterthan what President Obama pledged in the global Copenhagen Accord.”…Here is the biggest shocker of all: the average American’s CO2 emissions are down to levels not seen since 1964 –over half a century ago….Coal is the number two source of CO2 for Americans. Today the average American burns an amount similar to what they did in 1955, and even less than they did in the 1940s. …It is exactly America’s historical role of biggest and dirtiest that   makes their sharp decline in CO2 pollution so noteworthy and potentially game changing at the global level.”...
  • ———————————————————–
News of US CO2 plunge has been described as:

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1/18/13,“Climate change: scientists puzzle over halt in global warming,” Der Spiegel, by Axel Bojanowski (translation from German)

The British Met Office forecast even more recently that the temperature interval could continue at a high level until the end of 2017 – despite the rapidly increasing emissions of greenhouse gases. Then global warming would pause 20 years.”…”The exact reasons of the temperature standstill since 1998, are not yet understood, says climate researcher Doug Smith of the Met Office.“…
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US July 2013 net power generation drops 5.5% from 2012 due to cooler weather per EIA

9/23/13, "EIA: July net power generation drops 5.5% from 2012," power-eng.com

"Net power generation in the U.S. decreased 5.5 percent in July 2013 compared to July 2012 because of lower temperatures in 2013, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's Electricity Monthly Update.

"This decrease in electricity generation occurred because July 2012 was the hottest July on record,” the EIA stated in the report. “This caused a significant increase in electricity generation last July, leading to a year-over-year decrease in generation when July 2013 is compared to July 2012.”

The report notes that the Southeast saw the largest percentage drop in generation compared to 2012, with the West being the only region of the country with an increase in electricity generation compared year-to-year.

The report also stated wind generation increased in all regions from July 2012 to July 2013 because of increased wind capacity, with Texas, the West and the Central U.S. seeing the largest absolute increases in wind generation."

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Ed. note: The article doesn't says how many years are involved if a temperature is the hottest "on record" nor who collected and maintained the temperature data. Climate "records" can be any number you can imagine.  







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North Carolina company Net Power designs power plants that use coal and natural gas but emit no CO2-BBC. No further need for UN IPCC nor perpetual confiscation of US taxpayer dollars to fund it

9/27/13, "Could power plants of the future produce zero emissions?" BBC

"Despite the development of renewable technologies, fossil fuels are still used to generate the overwhelming majority of the world's power, and it is likely they will continue to do so for many years.

In the US, about 70% of the country's electricity comes from burning fossil fuels. Other major economies, such as China, are even more dependent.

But now Net Power, based in the US state of North Carolina, believes it can redesign the power plant so it can still run on coal or natural gas, but without releasing harmful fumes.

Rodney Allam, chief technologist at 8 Rivers Capital, which owns Net Power, says: "The perception has been that to avoid emissions of [carbon dioxide] CO2, we have to get rid of fossil fuels.

"But unfortunately, fossil fuels represent over 70% of the fuel that's consumed in the world and the idea that you can get rid of that in any meaningful sense is a pipe dream."

The Net Power system is different from currently operating power plants because carbon dioxide, normally produced as waste when making electricity, would become a key ingredient when burning the fuel.

Diagram of Allam cycle Designers of the Allam Cycle say their model would be cheaper to operate than existing power plants.
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Carbon dioxide would be put into the Net Power combustor at a very high temperature and pressure along with the fuel, such as natural gas or coal, and oxygen.

Using the carbon dioxide as a so-called working fluid - used to make the turbine function - it would pass through the system in a loop, to be recycled and used again.

Mr Allam says: "I've developed a system where we can actually make use of the impurity itself to try and assist the removal of that impurity from the power system."

In addition, Net Power believes its technology would be cheaper to operate than current power stations. 

Mr Allam says: "It was my ambition to create a cycle which would be cheaper - or at least as cheap - as existing technology without CO2 capture, and yet go for 100% CO2 capture."

The system is geared to enable a process called carbon capture and storage (CCS), which would see the excess carbon dioxide from the fuel combustion funnelled into a pipeline or a tanker instead of being released into the air.

Mr Allam says that because the whole cycle happens at a high pressure of about 320 atmospheres, the gas emerges with a pressure and level of purity that is "capture ready" - or ideal for storage.
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This is different from the carbon dioxide produced by other kinds of power plants, which is mixed with gases such as nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide."....

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6/15/12, "Toshiba Joins NET Power, Shaw, and Exelon to Develop New Power Generation Technology," prnewswire






 

Climate scientists say little chance Colorado floods caused by human CO2, cause was unusual confluence of atmospheric events-CS Monitor

9/25/13, "Were Colorado floods result of global warming? Probably not." CSMonitor.com, Amanda Paulson

"The statistics for the storm that produced the Colorado floods are stunning. But there was a very similar storm in 1938, suggesting nature can surprise even without human help."

"The record-breaking storm that caused the Colorado floods has been called a “thousand-year event,” leading to speculation about whether the storm and flooding owed anything to climate change. The answer, of course, is impossible to know for sure. But according to a panel of climate scientists from Colorado, the storm likely had little to do with climate change and more to do with an unusual confluence of atmospheric events.

It’s possible that some shifts due to climate change, such as increased water vapor in the air, may have exacerbated the effects of the storm slightly.
But a storm in September 1938 was very similar in its footprint, its timing, and the type of rainfall (which was not the brief, intense thunderstorms typical here).
  
Having seen the September 1938 analog should somewhat humble us, and remind us that nature has a way of delivering without human intervention in the climate system,” says Martin Hoerling, a research meteorologist at NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colo. “Climate change is operating, there’s no question about that, and water vapor has gone up,” but in this instance, climate change “really wasn’t a factor.”Most striking about the recent storm was the sheer amounts of rain that fell in some areas. It set a new one-day record for rainfall in Boulder, 9.08 inches, that is almost double the previous record of 4.8 inches, set in 1919. The town, which averages just over 20 inches of rainfall in a year, has received 17.59 inches so far in September.
 
The storm was caused by a confluence of several unusual factors. A low-pressure system along the Utah-Nevada border helped pull a heavy plume of tropical moisture up from Mexico, a high-pressure system to the east pushed up even more moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, and a stalled front generated lift. All those factors set up a “blocking pattern” that helped keep the storm hovering over the same period for a long time.

Those events combining are highly unusual, said Klaus Wolter, a NOAA climate researcher who spoke at a panel discussion hosted by the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado and NOAA."
,,,via Junk Science







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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Major peer reviewed study of ocean CO2 uptake finds NASA satellites may have missed 50% or more of Southern Ocean phytoplankton vital to carbon capture estimates-Journal of Geophysical Research

9/24/13, "Algorithm finds missing phytoplankton in Southern Ocean," TerraDaily.com

"NASA satellites may have missed more than 50% of the phytoplankton in the Southern Ocean, making it far more difficult to estimate the carbon capture potential of this vast area of sea.

But now, new research published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, Three improved satellite chlorophyll algorithms for the Southern Ocean (doi:10.1002/jgrc.20270), has led to the development of an algorithm that produces substantially more accurate estimates of Southern Ocean phytoplankton populations.

That research from the University of Tasmania's Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) was led by PhD student Rob Johnson and Associate Prof Peter Strutton.

"This new algorithm allows us to detect changes in plankton numbers that have previously gone unnoticed," said Mr Johnson.

"This better understanding of the phytoplankton population will, in turn, allow us to gain a much more accurate idea of how much carbon this ocean can take up."

The importance of phytoplankton and their role in our planetary ecosystem cannot be underestimated. 

They form the base of the marine food chain, produce half the oxygen on Earth and are partly responsible for the ocean uptake of at least a third of total human induced CO2 emissions.

So it was important to understand why existing ocean colour satellites systematically underestimated the chlorophyll concentration (a proxy for phytoplankton biomass) of the Southern Ocean and Antarctica.

To get the observations needed to make valid comparisons and develop the algorithm, the researchers used more than 1000 Southern Ocean phytoplankton samples collected over 10 years and compared these to satellite measurements.

The majority of the samples used in this study were collected by the French Antarctic vessel MV L'Astrolabe through a collaborative and long-term monitoring program between the CSIRO, the Australian Antarctic program, and the French Antarctic Program.

Once this observational data was collected, the new algorithm was used to process satellite data and make comparisons. It quickly became clear that the algorithm produced a much closer estimate of phytoplankton numbers than past satellite measurements.

"Our improved satellite chlorophyll algorithms will be used to produce higher-accuracy observations on the vitally important phytoplankton of the Southern Ocean and Antarctica," said Assoc Prof Peter Strutton.

"This will go a long way towards improving our understanding of how the Southern Ocean works and how the movement of carbon is changing in these remote waters."" via Climate Depot




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Antarctic sea ice hit 35-year record high Saturday, 9/21/13. Second year in a row of record large Antarctic sea ice extent baffles scientists, computer models-Washington Post

9/23/13, "Antarctic sea ice hit 35-year record high Saturday," Washington Post, Jason Samenow

"Antarctic sea ice has grown to a record large extent for a second straight year, baffling scientists seeking to understand why this ice is expanding rather than shrinking in a warming world.

On Saturday, the ice extent reached 19.51 million square kilometers, according to data posted on the National Snow and Ice Data Center Web site.  That number bested record high levels set earlier this month and in 2012 (of 19.48 million square kilometers). Records date back to October 1978.

The increasing ice is especially perplexing since the water beneath the ice has warmed, not cooled.

“The overwhelming evidence is that the Southern Ocean is warming,” said Jinlun Zhang, a University of Washington scientist, studying Antarctic ice. “Why would sea ice be increasing? Although the rate of increase is small, it is a puzzle to scientists.
 
In a new study in the Journal of Climate, Zhang finds both strengthening and converging winds around the South Pole can explain 80 percent of the increase in ice volume which has been observed.

“The polar vortex that swirls around the South Pole is not just stronger than it was when satellite records began in the 1970s, it has more convergence, meaning it shoves the sea ice together to cause ridging,” the study’s press release explains. “Stronger winds also drive ice faster, which leads to still more deformation and ridging. This creates thicker, longer-lasting ice, while exposing surrounding water and thin ice to the blistering cold winds that cause more ice growth.”

But no one seems to have a conclusive answer as to why winds are behaving this way.

“I haven’t seen a clear explanation yet of why the winds have gotten stronger,” Zhang told Michael Lemonick of Climate Central.

Some point to stratospheric ozone depletion, but a new study published in the Journal of Climate notes that computer models simulate declining – not increasing – Antarctic sea ice in recent decades due to this phenomenon (aka the ozone “hole”).

This modeled Antarctic sea ice decrease in the last three decades is at odds with observations, which show a small yet statistically significant increase in sea ice extent,” says the study, led by Colorado State University atmospheric scientist Elizabeth Barnes."...via Junk Science

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Big year in 2012 as well:

9/28/2012, "Antarctic sea ice reaches greatest extent so late in season, 2nd largest extent on record," Washington Post, Jason Samenow





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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

China has 459 'cancer villages' and counting, 70% of China rivers and lakes are polluted, authorities continue to deny, use threats to enforce silence-UK Guardian

6/4/13, "Inside China's 'cancer villages'," UK Guardian, Jonathan Kaiman

"Yanglingang residents count their home as one of China's "cancer villages" – small communities near polluting factories where cancer rates have soared far above the national average. Chinese media, academics and NGOs estimate that the country is home to 459 of them, spread across every province except far-western Qinghai and Tibet.

New cases seem to emerge monthly, each a painful reminder that China's past three decades of breakneck economic growth have carried a tremendous human cost. Yanglingang is home to only a few hundred people and at least 11 have died of cancer since 2003. Xie's neighbour, Liu Shudong, is dying of oesophageal cancer. Another neighbour, Wang Jinlan, died of breast cancer in 2010. Last year, stomach cancer claimed his friend's 30-year-old wife.

In February, the ministry of environmental protection mentioned cancer villages in its latest five-year plan – the only ministry-level acknowledgement of the issue since it was first reported in 1998. Chinese NGOs and activists hailed the report as a much-needed step towards environmental transparency. Yet interviews in three cancer villages across two provinces revealed that many central and local authorities continue to treat the issue as they long have: with denial, intimidation and silence.  

Even the environmental ministry's acknowledgement was a mistake, said Chen Wanqing, deputy head of China's national cancer registry. The ministry has been reprimanded.

Health and environmental officials organised a joint meeting during the National People's Congress, a political gathering in March to renounce the report's wording.They sent missives to provincial officials urging them to restrict usage of the term in local media. 

"This is a medical issue – it can't be acknowledged from outside the ministry of health," Chen said. "The statement was not correct, or not appropriate."

However, the link between pollution and poor health is well established. Cancer mortality rates in China have risen 80% over the past 30 years, making it the country's leading cause of death.
In cities, toxic air is a primary suspect; in the countryside, it's the water. More than 70% of the country's rivers and lakes are polluted, according to government reports; almost half may contain water that is unfit for human contact.

"Fundamentally, the situation isn't getting any better," said Liu Lican, a Guangzhou-based journalist who has published a book about cancer villages. Pollution-related cancer, he said, can elude detection for years. "So even if the cancer was caused by pollution that's already gone, maybe gradually more and more of these villages will emerge."...

Despite abundant anecdotal evidence for China's profusion of cancer villages, scientific proof has been elusive. When Wu Yixiu, toxics campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia, first visited Yanglingang in 2010, she assumed that establishing a causal connection between its pollution and cancer problems would be fairly straightforward – its population is so tiny, the disease so widespread, the pollution so caustic. "It's unimaginable that their health will not be affected by the quality of this water," she said.

Yet there are too many specific chemicals involved and too many types of cancer; diagnoses are spread over too many years. "You need to establish the fact that it's a certain chemical that's causing certain cancers, and this chemical is being discharged from this very factory," she said. "This would require years of observation and tracing disease records."...

Government-approved researchers have visited Wuli, but most seem keen to debunk Wei's claims....They have tested the water, but refuse to publicise their results. After Wuli received a flurry of media attention in early April, local authorities threatened residents with unspecified consequences for their outspokenness....


Petitioning was useless, he said. The county environmental bureau denied the cancer rate was a problem, and the town courthouse would not hear their case.

Thugs detained the farmers near a higher court in Funing County and followed them to the highest provincial court in Nanjing – where the lawsuit was ultimately discarded.

Then in 2010, without giving a reason, the factory closed. Wheat and rice harvests, which markets once refused to buy, are sellable again. Villagers have accepted the status quo; in any case, they've run out of alternatives. "No matter how much we talk about this, they won't compensate us," Shu said. "So we don't talk about it any more.""

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9/17/13, "China Has over 200 “Cancer Villages” due to Water Pollution: Expert," China-wire.org, Caijing


"Heavily-polluted underground water system has resulted in the existence of over 200 “cancer villages” across China – small communities where cancer rates have soared far above the national average, a water expert said.

55 percent of monitored water stations report polluted underground water, mostly in provinces of Gansu, Qinghai, Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, Hubei, Hunan and Yunan, Wang Hao, a fellow with the Chinese Academy of Engineering, told a forum held by Cajing on Tuesday.

More than 120 residents were diagnosed with cancer in a cancer village in the northern part of Tianjin city, said Wang, who also director of a water resource institution at China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research.

China is in desperate need to treat polluted water, Wang said, suggesting that more advanced techniques should be adopted to reduce the cost of sewage treatment, and companies shall be given harsher punishment for illegal emissions.

Earlier in the year, the Ministry of Environment Protection said in a statement that toxic chemicals had caused man environmental and social problems, including the emergence of cancer villages."

"Other Articles:

  1. ‘Cancer villages’ alarm water pollution crisis
  2. China’s mainland home to 247 ‘cancer villages’
  3. Cancer prone villages exist: govt
  4. Study reaffirms ‘cancer villages’
  5. Beijing to build more water recycling plants
  6. Six ministries rally behind water plan
  7. Govt invest 13b to fight water pollution
  8. China fines 88 companies for polluting water
  9. Beijing probes water pollution reports
  10. Vision for saving water"
=========================



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Monday, September 23, 2013

As Muslims kill children in Nairobi, Kenya, Muslims in NY City chant, "We are Muslims, mighty, mighty Muslims" at Muslim Day Parade, 9/22/13

9/22/13, ""Mighty" Muslims," Urban Infidel

During slaughter in Nairobi, Muslims at "Muslim Day Parade" in Midtown Manhattan, NY City chant:

"We are Muslims, Mighty, Mighty Muslims," Urban Infidel video, 1:31



Numerous black flags of jihad at the parade (photo below) as well as white flags with same message. 

======================================

9/23/13, "Flag of Jihad raised on Madison Avenue, NYC during Kenya Jihad Massacre and All Saints Church bombing," Pamela Geller, Atlas Shrugs 

Jihad flag on Madison Ave., 9/22/13
"At the same time as devout Muslims were separating Muslim children from non-Muslim children and executing them in cold blood in an upscale mall in Kenya, Muslims marched down Madison Avenue under the flag of jihad (the same flag the Muslims in Kenya were killing under)."....image from Urban Infidel

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9/22/13, "PHOTOS: Jihad in Kenya, Death toll hits 68 in Muslim Massacre at Westgate Mall," Atlas Shrugs, Pamela Geller

Pamela posts a good selection of photos many of which are by Reuters via UK Daily Mail articles.

9/21/13, "'Five of the Kenyan mall massacre gunmen are American': Special forces storm in to free 'most' hostages following two-day stand-off with Muslim terrorists that has left 68 dead and wounded 175 more," UK Daily Mail, By Louise Boyle, Ellie Buchdahl, Stuart Woledge and Ryan Gorman









9/21/13, photo by Reuters via UK Daily Mail

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9/23/13, "(NY City Police Chief) Ray Kelly smiles (and doesn't say much) at a Muslim Day parade," capitolNewyork.com, Azi Paybarah

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2013 Muslim Day Parade Theme (Not a Joke), "Islam's Contribution to Human Civilization," muslimdayparade.com























===========================

They do the same thing every year:
 
12/4/12, "11 Days After Benghazi, Jihad Was Proclaimed on the Streets of New York," fellowshipoftheminds.com
"Hate and Intolerance for America was on parade September 23, 2012, at the NYC Muslim Day Parade."

===========================

Youngest killed in Nairobi was aged 2:

 9/23/13, "3 Islamic militants dead, more hostages freed in Nairobi mall terror attack," Fox News

"The victims ranged in age from 2 to 78, Reuters reports. Nineteen people, including at least four children, died after being admitted to Nairobi's MP Shah hospital."... 







.

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