The United Nations Paris agreement to stop dangerous global warming could cost $12.1 trillion over the next 25 years, according to calculations performed by environmental activists.
“The required expenditure averages about $484 billion a year over the period,” calculated Bloomberg New Energy Finance with the assistance of the environmentalist nonprofit Ceres.
That’s almost as much money the U.S. federal government spent on defense in 2015, according to 2015 spending numbers from the bipartisan Committee For Responsible Federal Budget. The required annual spending is almost 3.7 times more than the $131.57 billion China spent on its military in 2014.
Bloomberg’s estimates are likely low, as they exclude costly energy efficiency measures. The amount spent to meet global carbon dioxide emissions reduction goals could be as high as $16.5 trillion between now and 2030, when energy efficiency measures are included, according to projections from the International Energy Agency. To put these numbers in perspective, the U.S. government is just under $19 trillion in debt and only produced $17.4 trillion in gross domestic product in 2014.
President Barack Obama’s 2009 stimulus package contained $51 billion in spending for green energy projects, including funding for failed solar energy companies such as Solyndra and Abound Solar.
Jimmy Carter famously declared the world would run out of natural gas by the year 2000. His solution? Use taxpayer money to subsidize windmills (he was also anti-nuclear). How many Obama windmills will still be around when the subsidies dry up?
I haven't heard from the "peak oil" doomsayers in a while, but I'm sure they're working to solve the "problem" of climate change.
In January, 2006 — when promoting his Oscar-winning (yes, Oscar-winning) documentary, An Inconvenient Truth — Gore declared that unless we took “drastic measures” to reduce greenhouse gasses, the world would reach a “point of no return” in a mere ten years. He called it a “true planetary emergency.”
Well, the ten years passed today, we’re still here, and the climate activists have postponed the apocalypse. Again.
Gore’s prediction fits right in with the rest of his comrades in the wild-eyed environmentalist movement. There’s a veritable online cottage industry cataloguing hysterical, failed predictions of environmentalist catastrophe. Over at the American Enterprise Institute, Mark Perry keeps his list of “18 spectacularly wrong apocalyptic predictions” made around the original Earth Day in 1970.
Robert Tracinski at The Federalist has a nice list of “Seven big failed environmentalist predictions.” The Daily Caller’s “25 years of predicting the global warming ‘tipping point’” makes for amusing reading, including one declaration that we had mere “hours to act” to “avert a slow-motion tsunami.”
But for sheer vivid lunacy, nothing matches this Good Morning America report from 2008: The images show Manhattan shrinking against the onslaught of the rising seas — in 2015. Last year. Gasoline was supposed to be $9 per gallon. Milk would cost almost $13 per gallon. Wildfires would rage, hurricanes would strike with ever-greater intensity. By the end of the clip I was expecting to see the esteemed doctors Peter Venkman, Egon Spengler, and Ray Stantz step forward to predict, “Rivers and Seas boiling!” “Forty years of darkness!” And of course the ultimate disasters: “Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together . . . Mass hysteria!”
Can we ignore them yet? Apparently not. Being a climate hysteric means never having to say you’re sorry.
Reuters- French nuclear group Areva (AREVA.PA) won several long-term contracts last year from four U.S. utilities for uranium enrichment services worth more than $300 million, the group said on Tuesday.
"These contracts are recognition of AREVA’s expertise in providing enrichment services and demonstrate the company’s commitment to ensuring security of supply for its customers," Olivier Wantz, a senior vice president for Areva said in a statement.
The head of Iran’s atomic energy organization announced on Tuesday that the Islamic Republic, with assistance from Russia and China, will move forward on the construction of two new nuclear power plants, according to comments published in Iranian state-controlled media.
Ali Akbar Salehi, who heads the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, told Iranian reporters that construction on these new nuclear plants will begin in the “near future,” according to Fars News Agency.
“Construction of two 1000-MW power plants will start soon,” Salehi was quoted as saying. “We will build two other small power plants too in cooperation with China,” he added.
A handful of European and Asian countries have expressed renewed interest in cooperating with Iran to help develop its nuclear industry now that the landmark nuclear agreement has been implemented, according to Salehi.
“Certain European and Asian states, including China, Japan and South Korea, are ready for cooperation, and conditions have changed compared with the past,” Salehi said.
Iran announced in December that it would begin construction on another new nuclear plant that is being built by Russia, which signed a contract to build two reactors in the country.
Iran is permitted under the nuclear agreement, as well as by the United Nations, to continue building nuclear reactors, despite worries from some experts that the technology could be used to clandestinely continue weapons research.
More HEU for Centrus?
VIENNA (AP) — A landmark nuclear deal with Tehran moved closer to implementation Monday, with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announcing that tons of enriched uranium that could potentially be turned to use in atomic arms were on a ship heading from Iran to Russia.
Kerry hailed the development as "one of the most significant steps Iran has taken toward fulfilling its commitments" under the July 14 nuclear agreement, in comments that expanded on information The Associated Press received from a senior Russian diplomat earlier in the day.
That envoy, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to be cited by name, said Iran had permitted Russia to take possession of and ship out most of its low-enriched uranium. Low-enriched uranium is suitable primarily to generate nuclear power and needs substantial further enrichment for use in the core of a nuclear warhead.
But Kerry said that the shipment also included the remaining stock of Iranian uranium that already had been enriched to higher levels, just a technical step away from what is needed to form the fissile core of a nuclear bomb.
From a financial blog:
Keystone XL was thrown under the bus of Obama’s egotistical climate “legacy,” as the man who single-handedly rolled back the oceans and healed the earth. The problem for Obama was that Keystone XL could have had no effect on climate, as the State Department pointed out numerous times. So his decision was purely political. Indeed TransCanada’s notice to submit a claim under NAFTA leads with the words of Obama’s own press secretary: “I would venture to say that there’s probably no infrastructure project in the history of the United States that’s been as politicized as this one.” The NAFTA arbitration, which would not begin for six months and could drag on for years, will be fascinating not just for its size and scope, but for the fact that it might lead to an airing of the state of climate science, which is looking more and more like that Soviet tractor every day.
—Peter Foster, Financial Post, 8 January 2016
Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant (Russian: Ленинградская атомная электростанция; Ленинградская АЭС) is a nuclear power plant located in the town of Sosnovy Bor in Russia's Leningrad Oblast, on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland, some 70 kilometres (43 mi) to the west of the city centre of Saint Petersburg. It consists of four nuclear reactors of the RBMK-1000 type. These reactors are similar to reactors No. 1 and 2 of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Two units of the VVER-1200 type are under construction at Power Plant II to replace the current RBMK reactors when they reach the end of their service lives.
In a boiling water reactor the steam is also the reactor coolant.
The panic followed the emergence of pictures showing a cloud of vapour pouring from Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant, some 50 miles from St Petersburg.
The authorities insisted that the was no radiation leak after a 'defect' which caused a steam emission from the turbine section of the station - the most westerly in Russia - but people did not believe the 'no danger' claim.
Dec 19, 2015: Accident occurred at Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant (PHOTO) — Eyewitnesses of the accident and the inhabitants of the Russia’s northern capital are scared. The second unit was stopped at the station… The accident occurred at the second power unit when a pipe with steam cracked in turbine hall yesterday. The steam filled the room, and leaked beyond the power plant. The employees of the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant (LNPP) had to go home… According to specialists, the release was radioactive, because the waste steam entered the so-called loop reactor coolant. However, the population was encouraged not to panic.
The Clean Energy Incentive Program, or CEIP, is the EPA's latest attempt to coax states into complying with its much bigger program, the Clean Power Plan, which critics argue will raise energy costs and make the electrical system less reliable.
Most people know the Clean Power Plan. But the incentive program was not made public when the Clean Power Plan was drafted more than a year ago. Instead, it came out when the rule was finalized in August.
The power plan requires states to reduce their emissions by one-third by 2030. The incentive program aims to give states a leg up on meeting that goal by incentivizing renewable energy development before the Clean Power Plan goes into effect in 2022. The program would issue emission reduction credits to states for renewable energy.
However, states, the energy industry and others say establishing a system to track credits to make sure emissions are being credited correctly could be so expensive as to make the incentive program not worth the effort.
Under the Clean Energy Incentive Program, the EPA would provide matching allowances, or credits, to states that provide their own credit programs. Those credits would be given to renewable energy producers that can sell them to fossil fuel power plants to help them comply.
I don't know if the EPA thinks nuclear is "clean" or "dirty" this week. I know Hillary is very anti-nuclear.
A very smart blogger observed:
In most political morality, tales a band of courageous reformers take on a corrupt city hall and -- for a while at least -- triumph until an evil human nature reasserts itself. But in actuality, the impetus for moderating political excess often comes from the elites themselves when mismanagement finally becomes so bad it threatens the survival of everyone.
Until things reach the point of failure, mismanagement has the effect of leaving voters no alternative but to content themselves with the opposition party. Republican voters may have been disappointed and outraged at the perceived sellout by a Paul Ryan-led Congress to the Obama administration. "It was another Republican 'compromise' meaning Democrats got every item they asked for," said the Drudge Report. The left-leaning Slate crowed that "the new speaker’s first big deal is just like all of the ones that infuriated conservatives under Boehner. ... In other words, it’s a compromise, something Democrats usually accept as part of the process while Republicans scream bloody murder."
But what were the Republican voters going to do? Vote for Hillary Clinton? While the money lasts, voter outrage has remarkably little effect on the political elites. They may stand with their fists balled and teeth clenched but the system serenely goes on and on.
The most notable environmental rule issued in 2015 was the climate rule for power plants, an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation designed to cut carbon emissions from the power sector.
The rule is the centerpiece of Obama’s climate change agenda, and the biggest promise he took with him to the United Nations climate talks. It’s designed to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.
Environmentalists hailed the rule, but it has met with scorching opposition from Republicans, commodity groups, businesses and utilities. Opponents have argued that, while the rule will cut carbon emissions, it will do so at the expense of jobs and American energy bills, which could go up as states shift to cleaner energy mixes.
Dozens of opponents sued against the rule the day in October that it hit the Federal Register, arguing the EPA went beyond its legal authority in assigning states carbon reduction targets.
“EPA’s rule is flatly illegal and one of the most aggressive executive branch power grabs we’ve seen in a long time,” West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said. “The EPA cannot do what it intends to do legally.”
The EPA defended the rule as one with “strong scientific and legal foundations” and has sought to protect it from the lawsuits. Opponents want federal judges to issue a stay on the rule and, with legal filings on the matter due on Dec. 23, the first judicial skirmish over the rule is set for early 2016.
Days before the U.N. conference on climate change took place in Paris, the Senate held a hearing and passed resolutions designed to let the world know that Obama did not have the support of the U.S. Senate—which would be needed for any legally binding treaty. While Obama would surely veto any such legislation, the New York Times reported: “proponents believe their defiance will have diplomatic repercussions.” In a statement following the vote, Senator Inhofe said: “The message could not be more clear that Republicans and Democrats in both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House do not support the president’s climate agenda and the international community should take note.”
The plan was successful; the “international community” took note. It is believed that the Republican drumbeat, prompted the European Union to back off of its insistence that any carbon goals in the final agreement need to be legally binding. The agreement that was ultimately reached in Paris is, according to the New York Times, “essentially voluntary.”
Polls taken just days before the Paris conference indicate that only 3 percent of Americans believe that climate change is the most important issue facing the country and that a wide majority of voters “oppose the government investigating and prosecuting scientists and others including major corporations who question global warming.”
Climate models used by scientists to predict how much human activities will warm the planet have been over-predicting global warming for the last six decades, according to a recent working paper by climate scientists.
“Everyone by now is familiar with the ‘pause’ or ‘slowdown’ in the rate of global warming that has taken place over the past 20 years of so, but few realize is that the observed warming rate has been beneath the model mean expectation for periods extending back to the mid-20th century—60+ years,” Patrick Michaels and Chip Knappenberger, climate scientists at the libertarian Cato Institute, write in a working paper released in December.
Michaels and Knappenberger compared observed global surface temperature warming rates since 1950 to what was predicted by 108 climate models used by government climate scientists to predict how much carbon dioxide emissions will warm the planet.
What they found was the models projected much higher warming rates than actually occurred.
“During all periods from 10 years (2006-2015) to 65 (1951-2015) years in length, the observed temperature trend lies in the lower half of the collection of climate model simulations,” Michaels and Knappenberger write, “and for several periods it lies very close (or even below) the 2.5th percentile of all the model runs.”
Climate models fail to predict warming
Source: The Cato Institute
To further bolster their case that climate models are over-predicting warming rates, Michaels and Knappenberger looked at how climate models fared against satellite and weather balloon data from the mid-troposphere. The result is the same, and climate models predicted way more warming than actually occurred.
Satellites show even less warming
Another Study Exposes NOAA Temperature Fraud
What happens when devious politicians team up with complicit scientists? You get man-made global warming. Literally. Just ask the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. We've documented how the agency artificially increases the temperature trend so it appears steeper than it actually is. And NOAA's not the only one. Likewise, both Australia and Switzerland have fraudulently adjusted temperature data. A new analysis from a research group looks deeper into one of the myriad ways NOAA accomplishes this. James Delingpole provides this concise summary:
While satellite records have shown no global warming for at least 18 years, the land based data sets like the ones maintained by NOAA for the US Historical Climate Network (USHCN) continue to show a warming trend. One reason for this discrepancy, the study suggests, is that NOAA has been cherry-picking its raw data. That is, it has ignored the evidence from those weather stations showing little or no late Twentieth century warming and instead placed undue emphasis on the ones that do show warming. But the ones that do show warming also happen to be the least trustworthy. These are the ones, the study shows, which have been most corrupted by the Urban Heat Island effect — and other environmental factors."
As we wrote in October, the ClimateGate fraud is bigger and more malicious than anyone realizes. So it's little wonder why NOAA refuses to turn internal communications over to the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology: Because it's quite possible those communications provide concrete evidence of the very fraud exposed above.
(AP) -- Security researcher Brian Wallace was on the trail of hackers who had snatched a California university's housing files when he stumbled into a larger nightmare: Cyberattackers had opened a pathway into the networks running the United States power grid.
Digital clues pointed to Iranian hackers. And Wallace found that they had already taken passwords, as well as engineering drawings of dozens of power plants, at least one with the title "Mission Critical." The drawings were so detailed that experts say skilled attackers could have used them, along with other tools and malicious code, to knock out electricity flowing to millions of homes.
Wallace was astonished. But this breach, The Associated Press has found, was not unique.
About a dozen times in the last decade, sophisticated foreign hackers have gained enough remote access to control the operations networks that keep the lights on, according to top experts who spoke only on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the subject matter.
The public almost never learns the details about these types of attacks - they're rarer but also more intricate and potentially dangerous than data theft. Information about the government's response to these hacks is often protected and sometimes classified; many are never even reported to the government.
These intrusions have not caused the kind of cascading blackouts that are feared by the intelligence community. But so many attackers have stowed away in the systems that run the U.S. electric grid that experts say they likely have the capability to strike at will.
And that's what worries Wallace and other cybersecurity experts most.
"If the geopolitical situation changes and Iran wants to target these facilities, if they have this kind of information it will make it a lot easier," said Robert M. Lee, a former U.S. Air Force cyberwarfare operations officer. "It will also help them stay quiet and stealthy inside."
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The nation's most polluted nuclear weapons production site is now its newest national park.
Thousands of people are expected next year to tour the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, home of the world's first full-sized nuclear reactor, near Richland, about 200 miles east of Seattle in south-central Washington.
They won't be allowed anywhere near the nation's largest collection of toxic radioactive waste.
"Everything is clean and perfectly safe," said Colleen French, the U.S. Department of Energy's program manager for the Hanford park. "Any radioactive materials are miles away."
The Manhattan Project National Historic Park, signed into existence in November, also includes sites at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and Los Alamos, New Mexico. The Manhattan Project is the name for the U.S. effort to build an atomic bomb during World War II.
At Hanford, the main attractions will be B Reactor — the world's first full-sized reactor — along with the ghost towns of Hanford and White Bluffs, which were evacuated by the government to make room for the Manhattan Project.
The B Reactor was built in about one year and produced plutonium for the Trinity test blast in New Mexico and for the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, that led to the surrender of the Japanese.
Starting in 1943, more than 50,000 people from across the United States arrived at the top-secret Hanford site to perform work whose purpose few knew, French said.
The 300 residents of Richland were evicted and that town became a bedroom community for the adjacent Hanford site, skyrocketing in population. Workers labored around the clock to build reactors and processing plants to make plutonium, a key ingredient in nuclear weapons.
The park will tell the story of those workers, plus the scientists who performed groundbreaking research and the residents who were displaced, said Chip Jenkins of the National Park Service, which is jointly developing the park with the Energy Department.
Renewable energy stocks are beaming. First, the historic Paris climate change summit and now Congress’ vote to extend federal subsidies for renewable energy have perked up the space.
Solar and wind energy got a major boost from Wednesday’s environmental tax credit extension that came as part of the $1.15 trillion federal spending bill, which prevented a government shutdown and lifted the 40-year-old ban on exporting American crude oil.
The legislation entails solar power companies to keep claiming federal investment tax credits ("ITC") at 30% of the price of solar energy systems installed by businesses or homeowners. ITC, which was set earlier to expire at the end of 2016, will look good through 2019. This is because the latest deal approves an additional five years of ITC. However, the credit will start to decline, slashing it to 10% in 2022. The deal still needs approval from lawmakers, which is expected as soon as this week.
Additionally, the wind sector also benefited significantly from the production tax credit (“PTC”) extension. The PTC pays 2.3 cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity generated and technically expired at 2014 end due to Congressional gridlock. Now, the PTC will be extended through 2020 but will be gradually decreased over the next four years before being completely phased out.
After a hiatus of more than two years, the LHC was fired up again in June to continue smashing particles together - this time at record-breaking energy levels of around 13 trillion electron volts. (In case you’re wondering, an electron volt is a unit of energy equal to approximately 1.602×10-19 joules, and 6.5 trillion electron volts is twice the energy level used to detect the Higgs boson for the first time in 2012.)
Since then, both the CMS and ATLAS detectors at the LHC have recorded a spike in activity at a particular energy level, corresponding to around 750 giga electronvolts (GeV) - or roughly 750 billion electron volts.
Found hidden in the debris of proton-proton collisions, this unexplained signal could be the sign of a new particle that resembles the Higgs boson, only it’d be around 12 times heavier, with a mass of 1,500 GeV.
"When all the statistical effects are taken into consideration ... the bump in the Atlas data had about a 1-in-93 chance of being a fluke - far stronger than the 1-in-3.5-million odds of mere chance, known as five-sigma, considered the gold standard for a discovery," Dennis Overbye writes for The New York Times. "That might not be enough to bother presenting in a talk, except for the fact that the competing CERN team, named CMS, found a bump in the same place."
That said, the statistical significance of what they found was still very low, with Davide Castelvecchi reporting for Nature that ATLAS detected about 40 pairs of photons above the numbers expected from the standard model of particle physics, and CMS saw only 10. When you consider that’s based on data collected from some 400 trillion proton-proton collisions, it’s safe to say these particles are either super rare, created under extremely difficult-to-recreate conditions, or don't exist.