Monthly Archives: October 2012

North American Energy Independence.

North America is heading towards a new independence day; the day in the not too distant future when it will once again be self-sufficient in oil and natural gas supplies.

In the 1960’s the US congress had laws against dependency on foreign oil supplies. As these laws were relaxed and restrictions were introduced on drilling on state owned lands the US became dependant on oil from the Middle East and suffered from the inevitable geopolitical fall out.

Shale gas, shale oil and oil shale have changed all that. New extraction techniques have made the US self-sufficient in gas, confounding predictions that the US would have to import LPG (liquid petroleum gas) from abroad and making the coastal gas terminals (built in anticipation of this requirement) redundant.

Natural gas in the US is around $3 per million BTUs in Europe that is $11 and in Pacific East Asia the price is $15. The numbers speak for themselves.

With Canadian tar sands and Mexican deep water oil production, North America can bask in a new found energy security while Europe are looking at increased dependency on Russian Gas and Middle Eastern oil. Both regions will not hesitate to extract every last ounce of political leverage from their energy strangle hold.

Watch out for a resurgent US and diminishing European Union and a new “New World Order”.

More on this

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Michael Mann – Nobel Laureate?

Michael Mann is in the news again for making more outrageous claims, this time of being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Quote:

“Dr. Mann is a climate scientist whose research has focused on global warming… As a result of this research, Dr. Mann and his colleagues have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize…”

A quick call to the Nobel Prize offices will disabuse you of this spectacular falsehood. The claim is made in his legal action against Mark Styne of the National Review mentioned in a previous post. His argument goes something like this.

In 2007 the Nobel Peace prize was jointly awarded to the IPCC and AL Gore “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change”. Michael Mann contributed to the IPCC report that lead to them getting the prize, ipso facto Michael Mann was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Now let’s see – hmmmm? In 2012 The European Union was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize “for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe”… I live in the Union and I have been part of that reconciliation and stuff – hells bells, I’ve been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize!! I’ll just ring the Nobel Prize Office to check. Oh, I haven’t won the Nobel Peace Prize. How disappointing.


Global Warming. What Global Warming?

Professor Phil Jones  – keeper of the world’s temperature, darling of the environmental movement, centre of the Climategate scandal, well, he has slipped some interesting figures onto the internet in the last week, very quietly, hoping no one will notice. Yes its official, from the Hadley CRU (via the British Meteorological office) which has been stoking the fires of Global warming hysteria these past few decades – Global Warming has stopped!

For 16 years now the World’s average temperature has remained static at 14.5 deg. C. Now I am not one to be too impressed by an average world temperature as it so happens. I think that an average world temperature is about as useful as an average of the numbers in a telephone book. I am also highly sceptical of the accuracy of the current temperature record. But that aside, for the shock troops of the army of Global Warming alarmism to admit that, even by their own biased figures, the World has not warmed in the last 16 years – hells bells this is some admission.

This disclosure has huge ramifications for people who are making claims about the effect on our environment of Global Warming. If Global Warming is not taking place, what credibility does that give to the research and claims that these individuals and organisations are making?

Now Phil Jones has qualified these inconvenient results. He points out that despite the temperature ‘pause’ that he believes that this decade will end up significantly warmer than the previous two.

Now let’s analyse this particular piece of double speak:

If I was driving a car at 30 miles an hour for one mile, then 50 miles an hour for a second mile and 60 miles an hour for a further half a mile and then told you that if I continue at 60 miles an hour for another half mile that the third mile would be travelled at a significantly higher speed than the previous two miles, would you be surprised? No of course you wouldn’t, in fact you would probably think I was treating you like an idiot for stating the obvious. Well, this is exactly what Jones has done. He has stated the obvious, but he has also been economical with the truth, because he, like the rest of his cadre, have been projecting a linear increase in the average world temperature in line with the (strangely) linear increase in the CO2 content of the atmosphere. His computer models (call them guesses) are shown to be wrong based on these latest figures.

Why is the north polar ice melting – well clearly it has nothing to do with Global warming.

Why is the south polar sea ice increasing – well nothing to do with Global warming, and so on and so on.  What will it take to put the brakes on this runaway trillion dollar global industry?

For more see here.

 


Sun Sets on China’s Solar Industry

Gordon G. Chang

By Gordon G. Chang, Forbes

In last two years, shares of Chinese solar cell producers have fallen by about half, and more price declines are on the way.  The prospects for these manufacturers are poor.

It’s not that Chinese technocrats did not accomplish their ambitious goals.  They set out to create an industry that would dominate the world, and they succeeded.  They aided solar cell manufacturers with easy credit from state banks—perhaps as much as $18 billion of cheap loans—and, some say, subsidies.  As a result of central and local government support, Chinese manufacturers began to expand rapidly.  Chinese competitors now own 70% of the world’s wafer-producing capacity.

EU ProSun, a subsidiary of SolarWorld of Germany, has filed a complaint with the European Commission alleging China’s subsidies were illegal.  The Commission is already investigating charges that Chinese producers have been dumping production in Europe.  In July, ProSun filed an anti-dumping complaint with the Commission.  European solar panel makers say Chinese companies have been selling at 80% below their cost.

Chinese producers are clearly worried about the investigations in Brussels.  Europe, the world’s largest solar market, accounted for $27 billion of their sales last year.  That was about a third of their production and 7% of all Chinese exports to the European Union.

The U.S., on the other hand, takes around 7% of China solar exports, and what is left of the American industry is filing trade actions against Chinese producers as well.

Chinese producers are already bracing for the imposition of stiff penalties on both sides of the Atlantic.  As a first step, they are using components manufactured elsewhere.

In any event, Chinese manufacturers know they will have to come up with more permanent solutions to avoid crippling trade penalties.  Their latest tactic is to buy European competitors.  Guangdong Aiko Solar Energy this summer purchased Scheuten Solar of the Netherlands, and Hanwha SolarOne Co. recently announced plans to acquire Germany’s Q-Cells, a move Hanwha said was designed to avoid European trade sanctions.

The only problem is that locating manufacturing to Europe won’t work due to the high costs—40% higher than China.  There are, of course, alternatives.  China Sunenergy Co. said it would move panel assembly lines to Turkey this year, and analysts expect Chinese companies will shift production to Thailand, India, and Sri Lanka as well as Taiwan.  Yet costs of production will still rise for Chinese producers.  In Taiwan, for instance, costs are still 15% above those across the strait in China.

The industry-wide unprofitability means that Chinese technocrats have to throw their world-dominating industry a lifeline.  In the last week of September, the China Securities Journal reported that the state-run China Development Bank, which is specifically tasked with implementing Beijing’s policies, would be giving priority to 12 of China’s largest solar companies.

The only real solution is closing production lines to get capacity in line with demand.  Suntech Power is shutting down about a quarter of its capacity to manufacture solar cells, and it appears that Trina Solar will also slim down its operations in coming months.

The powerful National Development and Reform Commission wants to see two-thirds of panel makers go out of business.  Only the largest producers, which are presently unviable, will survive.


Greenland Ice Sheet Project. Very interesting.

The following brief article (taken from Dr John Ray’s excellent blog) has one of the most compelling graphs I have seen when it comes to making an argument against rising CO2 levels being a contributor to human induced global warming. It is everything Michael Mann’s Hockey Stick graph is not – a contiguous temperature record up to the present day with no ‘tricks’ to hide any inconvenient declines. It also reflects the peaks and troughs of civilisation’s documented rises and falls, something that Dr Mann has attempted to airbrush from the record.   

The Importance of Long-Term Temperature and CO2 Data
Volume 15, Number 40: 3 October 2012
While perusing a paper recently published in the Journal of Archaeological Science (Drake, 2012), we read the author’s account of how most of the Greek palatial centers of the Late Bronze Age were either destroyed or abandoned between the 13th and 11th centuries BCE, and how thereafter – during what has come to be known as the Greek Dark Ages – the people affected by this climatic cooling suffered significantly in multiple ways until the advent of the Roman Warm Period.
But that is not what this editorial is about. What we found to be of most interest is something that has been known (by us and many others) about earth’s climate for quite some time now; and that is the long-term temperature record produced by the Greenland Ice Sheet Project (GISP2), which is depicted below, as plotted by Drake but based on data reported by Alley (2004).
Figure 1. The past 5,000 years of the GISP2 temperature history of the Greenland Ice Sheet, adapted from Drake (2012), who denoted the general locations of the Late Bronze Age (LBA), the Roman Warm Period (RWP) and the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) in their original work.
In viewing this history, it is most interesting to note (and know) that over its first 4,800 years (that’s 96% of the record) – when the temperature varied all over the place – the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration was extremely stable, hovering between about 275 and 285 ppm; while over the last 200 years (the remaining 4% of the record), when the temperature shows but a fraction of a degree warming, the air’s CO2 concentration rose by well over an extra 100 ppm.
Clearly, the air’s CO2 content is not a major driver of earth’s temperature. In fact, it may not even be a minor driver.
Sherwood, Keith and Craig Idso

References Alley, R.B.  2004.  GISP2 Ice Core Temperature and Accumulation Data.  In: Data Contribution Series #2004-013.  NOAA/NGDC Paleoclimatology Program.  IGBP PAGES World Data Center for Paleoclimatology, Boulder, Colorado, USA.

Drake, B.L.  2012.  The influence of climatic change on the Late Bronze Age Collapse and the Greek Dark Ages.  Journal of Archaeological Science 39: 1862-1870.


Sea levels fall – It’s official. But don’t get too excited.

Sea levels have been rising inexorably since the end of the last Ice age about 10,000 years ago. We are currently in an interglacial period which will end in the not too distant future (in geological terms that is). We have also just exited a warm century – the 20th – in fact it is the only century that has passed since the end of the little ice age (approximately 1300AD to 1850AD) so one would expect it to have been warmer than the 8 cold centuries that preceded it. So far the 21st century has been slightly cooler than the 20th– on average – though the sea level fall reported by NASA may only be temporary.

This article makes it clear that this temporary fall is due to short term weather cycles specifically a switch from El Nino to La Nina conditions. But could there be other factors? The Antarctic ice cap is thickening which (unlike the record sea ice levels in Antarctica) means there is less water going into the oceans and is not a temporary effect. Either way we are not looking at beach front property disappearing under the type of sea rises predicted by Al Gore (or any of his alarmist chums) in the near future.

Falling sea levels, record sea ice levels (Antarctic only), falling temperatures, record low levels of hurricanes, flooding – it would appear that the 21st Century is becoming rather inconvenient for  the global warming industry.