ENERGY AND ECONOMIC PROSPERITY

A few weeks ago, I commented on a post on LinkedIn by Donna Castro. My question was, “I wonder what the correlation is between Economic Prosperity and Energy Use”. So, to answer my own question I did a little research and here is the result of that search.

The “Visual Capitalist”(1) published the graphic above Dec. 21, 2021. I have been interested in the relationship of energy use to fuel Economic Prosperity for many years and liked this graphic.

The total world GDP is projected to be 94 Trillion Dollars. Only 18 countries have greater than a 1% share of the total world economy. The U.S.A. and China comprise about 42%. The ten largest economies are:

So, back to my curiosity of relating energy use to economic output, I thought it would be useful to show the top ten countries ranked by total energy use. Statista and other organizations list these. I used the chart from Statista. Not surprisingly, the data from all sources show the largest economies use the greatest quantity of primary energy. China is the world’s largest manufacturer and they produce over 50% of the world’s steel and aluminum. Primary metals production is very energy intensive, thus, it is expected that China will use the greatest amount of primary energy and they do.

Chart by Statista.com

The Net-Zero Carbon Emissions Policies of America brings to mind the threat to our economic prosperity and our comfortable life styles. I have written my thoughts on Net-Zero Carbon, the War on Coal, War on Carbon and my opinion of Net-Zero Carbon, in other posts on my Blog.

A new book by Donn Dears is available which has lots of background and details with fresh information of why the Net-Zero Carbon policies of the Biden Administration are harmful to the U.S.A. I recommend his book for anyone who is interested in the relationship of Economic Prosperity and Reasonable and well thought out Energy Policy. Net-Zero Carbon and the current “Green” initiatives in Congress are not reasonable and not well thought out by people who understand energy and electricity generation.

The Net-Zero Carbon Emissions Policies of America brings to mind the threat to our economic prosperity and our comfortable life styles. How can we reshore more manufacturing and become energy independent again by following anti-American energy policies as laid out in the path to Net-Zero Carbon? I have written my thoughts on Net-Zero Carbon, the War on Carbon and my opinion of this policy on this Blog and other publications. However, Mr. Dears has done a very nice job of condensing many issues of Net-Zero Carbon into about 100 pages.

Donn Dears.org

Note the Sub-Title: Which correctly states, “The Climate Policy Destroying America”

The theme and title of this post is “Energy and Economic Prosperity” the current U.S. Climate Policy is weakening America and Mr. Dears is correct with his choice of sub-title.

I recommend his book and the information available on his web page for reference on Energy Policies that affect our Economy and our life styles:  https://ddears.com

I have been concerned about the war on coal and now the war on carbon for many years. Not only is Net-Zero carbon harmful to the U.S.A. but it is also slowing down Human Development of countries in the Developing World. Going back to the first illustration above, note that the U.S.A. and China comprise 42% of the World’s GDP and that only 18 countries exceed 1% of the total 94 Trillion Dollars of World GDP. 

Energy and Human Development Index

The Illustration below is available on the ExxonMobil(3) website and is based on U.N. data.  Note that 50% of the world’s countries and 20% of the world population do not have fuel for cooking. I personally have experienced walking down the streets of cities in numerous Developing countries. I have witnessed heavy pollution which stings the eyes. Such pollution is not found in the U.S. Many Asian countries still use cow dung for indoor cooking.

My point: The Net-Zero Carbon Path that the U.N. has adopted does not serve the Developing countries very well either.

Let me show another of my favorite illustrations of Energy Poverty in the world. This is the NASA Composite Photo, “The Earth at Night”. These night time photos show the differences of energy and electricity abundance or shortages by the illumination that is visible from space. First let’s look at Africa and Europe: 

NASA, Earth at Night Composite Photo

NASA, Satellight Photo at night showing Europe and the continent of Africa. Also apparent in the Human Development Chart above showing Yemen and Nigeria as two Developing countries that have a low HMI (Human Development Index) with a corresponding low energy consumption.

Compare this to the United States at night below:

Conclusions:

  1. The U.S. President & Congress’ quest to enact Net-Zero Carbon into law will weaken America’s capability to sustain our economy and our life styles.
  2. Energy and Economic Prosperity are inextricably linked and restricting energy production and development weakens our country. Don’t forget the Fossil fuels needed for our Nations Defense. F-22’s and F-35’s require high quality Jet fuel.
  3. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) both of which are worldwide, are harmful to Developing Countries as well as OECD countries.
  4. The only winners in the UNFCC and IPCC agreements (if they are fully implemented) is China and Russia.

For more details, I suggest reading Mr. Dears books on the subject. He has written several excellent texts.

Dick Storm, January 3, 2022

References:

  1. Visual Capitalist:  https://www.visualcapitalist.com/visualizing-the-94-trillion-world-economy-in-one-chart/
  2. Statista.com for ranking of energy use by country: https://www.statista.com/statistics/263455/primary-energy-consumption-of-selected-countries/
  3. ExxonMobil Outlook for Energy 2021: https://corporate.exxonmobil.com/-/media/Global/Files/outlook-for-energy/2021/2021-Outlook-for-Energy-fundamentals-infographic.pdf
  4. NASA, “The Earth at Night” composite photo: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/ContentFeature/NightLights/images/media/BlackMarble_2016_EuroAfrica_composite.png
  5. https://eoimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/images/imagerecords/79000/79800/dnb_united_states_lrg.jpg
  6. NASA Earth Explorer: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/map#6/40.000/-100.000

Facts Matter: Even Trade Journals Provide a “Woke” Spin on Energy

Yesterday I looked at a recent article in POWER Magazine on power generation capacity additions planned for 2022-2023. I have always respected POWER Magazine and I even give them credit for sparking my interest in electric power generation when I started reading POWER while in college. I have been a contributing editor for POWER and have had numerous articles I wrote published. So, when I see POWER Magazine becoming Politically Correct or “Woke” like many other respected publications, I become concerned.

Here below is the chart they published:

POWER Magazine, December 2021

It looks innocent enough and it is backed up by the EIA as being factual. I think it is more important to lift up what is not said. That is that 78.3 Gigawatts is about 7% of the U.S.A.’s total generation “Capacity” but renewables are not Dispatchable and have low capacity factors when they are producing. For example, let me show a graph (below) from the EIA Real Time Grid in October 2021. Note that of the total generation of about 534,000 MW only about 5% is generated by solar and of course, this was during the daytime. Wind was slightly more but 80% of the generation of Bulk Power was from conventional gas, coal and nuclear. These are all Dispatchable forms of Bulk Power. Conventional, Dispatchable Bulk Power Generation is what powers American Industry and our lives. America depends on reliable power.

Lets go back to last January in the PJM Interconnection (Northeastern U.S.A.) Here is a screen shot of the electric power production during January 31, 2021. Remember January 2021? It was colder than normal and just a few weeks later Texas had their Backouts largely because of dependence on too much wind and solar capacity that was not available (not Dispatchable and not available due to ice and snow). The PJM Interconnection total generation at this moment was 123,512 MW. Renewables were 6,864 MW and most of the renewable power generation was from Hydro.

Getting back to POWER Magazine. They were kind enough to publish my Commentary from March 2021 which is here: https://www.powermag.com/blog/all-fuels-are-important-but-thermal-power-generation-is-still-number-1/ I stand behind these comments.

Also in January of 2021, another publication that I have great respect for, the Wall Street Journal produced a video on energy and electricity generation. I took a screen shot of that video and used it in my course at USCB-OLLI. It is copied below:

Screen shot from WSJ video on EnergyC

Conclusion:

Facts matter and even respected publications seem to have become Politically Correct or as is commonly referred to today as “Woke”. My concern is that irreparable harm has been done to America’s energy infra-structure and planning for the future. Why do I say this? Because if we look back on the past year, and the list of ten items below are from Andy May’s Blog site (11) these are some of the policies that have been thrust on the people:

  1. European wind died, and they had already closed their coal plants, thus forcing natural gas prices to skyrocket.
  2. In Texas, windmills providing 30% of their power froze and the Texas grid came within minutes of total failure. More than 200 people died due to the storm and four million were left without power.
  3. The UK Cop26 president, Alok Sharma, called on the world to “consign coal to history.” Instead, Russia, China, and India put off ending coal until after 2060. Joe Manchin ended Biden’s plan in the U.S.
  4. In one of the worst timed policy moves in history, Biden promised to ban fracking and he canceled the Keystone XL pipeline. He ended up on his knees begging U.S. oil and gas companies, the Saudis, and anyone else he could find to produce more oil and gas.
  5. The U.S.-based Nature Conservancy sold phony carbon offsets to publicly traded companies, like Blackrock, Disney, and JPMorgan.
  6. Joe Manchin vetoed Biden’s plan to federalize the U.S. electricity grid, which would have allowed him to outlaw producing electricity with fossil fuels.
  7. Western wildfires burned up Microsoft’s carbon offsets, which were forests in Oregon.
  8. Blackrock says sustainability (environmental) investing is nonsense.
  9. The Federal Reserve staff says no to Biden’s idea to use the Fed to kill lending to the fossil fuel industry.
  10. An Associated Press poll says the public is not interested in paying more to stop human-caused climate change.

Dick Storm, December 30, 2021

References:

  1. EIA Real Time U.S.A. Grid Electric Production: https://www.eia.gov/electricity/gridmonitor/dashboard/electric_overview/US48/US48
  2.  EIA Short Term Outlook, Oct 2021: https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=49976
  3. EIA Electricity Explained, Total U.S.A. Electric Generating Capacity 2020: https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/electricity/electricity-in-the-us-generation-capacity-and-sales.php
  4. PJM Interconnection Real Time Electricity Production by Fuel: https://www.pjm.com
  5. Dick Storm Short Course at USCB-OLLI Feb 2021, Energy and Electricity Generation
  6. Net Zero Watch Press Release, News of Energy Policy  Failure in UK: https://mailchi.mp/c65f20c55714/declare-an-energy-emergency-or-risk-economic-disaster-boris-johnson-warned-185978?e=9e46528ac6
  7. POWER Magazine Commentary, March 2021: Getting back to POWER Magazine. They were kind enough to publish my Commentary from March 2021 which is here: https://www.powermag.com/blog/all-fuels-are-important-but-thermal-power-generation-is-still-number-1/ I stand behind these comments.
  8. Power Magazine December 2021 Article on Solar, Storage and Renewable Power: https://www.google.com/url?q=https://ai.omeclk.com/portal/wts/ucmcmsbyFjmbbEjs%255EcyzgrmcFjfNqFbdj3jgnzBHFHl&source=gmail&ust=1640952340990000&usg=AOvVaw3mbcbw4_Er9kDluBBUKOwV
  9. Washington Free Beacon article on Solar Loan Guarantees: https://freebeacon.com/biden-administration/biden-megadonor-scores-500-million-federal-loan-for-solar-company/
  10. Junk Science Website on Environmental Policy Failures of 2021: https://junkscience.com/2021/12/unsung-zeroes-the-top-10-under-reported-climate-flops-of-2021/
  11. Andy May Climate Change Blog: https://andymaypetrophysicist.com/2021/12/28/climate-change-2021/amp/

World Affairs Council, Their Take on the Importance of Coal for Electricity Generation

I joined the Hilton Head Chapter of the “World Affairs Council” and as a member, I get daily Newsletters. Today I received the message below on the world’s addition to coal (36% of Electricity Generation). The article included the SME Link to their web page on the Importance of Coal to the World. Energy, Food Production and Economic Prosperity are all inter-related. America has steadily used about 100 Quadrillion Btu’s each year for about twenty years. Fossil Fuels provide about 80% of the energy we depend on. Our quality of life and Freedom (especially freedom of travel) depends on reliable, reasonable cost energy. You probably already know this, but I suspect most of the Democrat elected officials (except Joe Manchin) and (D) voters do not.  Just saw yesterday in WSJ the impact of high fertilizer costs on farming. (High Natural Gas Prices Cause Rise in Fertilizer and Food Prices, Dec. 16, 2021: https://www.wsj.com/articles/surging-fertilizer-costs-push-farmers-to-shift-planting-plans-raise-prices-11639580768?mod=itp_wsj&mod=djemITP_h )

Dick Storm,

December 17, 2021

The article below is copied from the “World Affairs Council” Newsletter which was published today

Dec. 17, 2021 World Affairs Council

A Global Addiction

At the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow last month, more than 40 countries pledged to phase out their use of coal. Richer countries expect to end coal burning in the 2030s, the BBC reported. Developing nations have set a 2040s deadline.

China, India and the US didn’t opt into the agreement, however. India agreed to “phase down” rather than “phase out” coal, for example, wrote National Public Radio. Diplomats viewed the shift as a compromise. Environmentalists were deeply disappointed. Coal is one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.

The black, combustible sedimentary rock that helped fuel the Industrial Revolution in Europe and the US in the late 18th and early 19th century is proving to be a thorny subject for world leaders, businesses and activists. Nearly everyone agrees that the world must wean itself off coal. But doing so is easier said than done. As the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration explained on their website, “Coal is the most abundant source of electricity worldwide, currently providing more than 36 percent of global electricity.” Link to Coal is Important to the World: https://www.smenet.org/What-We-Do/Technical-Briefings/Coal-s-Importance-in-the-US-and-Global-Energy-Supp#:~:text=Coal%20is%20the%20most%20abundant,“home%20grown”%20energy%20source

In the long term, the future of coal is bleak. China has stopped funding the construction of coal plants overseas. The US has done the same. But today, after significant reductions in emissions during the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, coal-burning has surged back along with world economic growth, Deutsche Welle reported. Even as the US and Europe decrease their coal burning, Asian countries will likely pick up the slack as they race to develop their economies, added the World Economic Forum.

Low coal supplies helped cause electricity shortages as the pandemic waned in China, which accounts for more than half the world’s coal consumption, CNN wrote. Factories were forced to cut production. Reports of folks stuck in elevators embarrassed leaders in Beijing. It’s not surprising that Chinese officials promptly ordered up more mining.

Such problems are not limited to Asia. North Macedonia is planning to import coal from Kosovo to deal with energy shortages in its antiquated energy grid, according to Reuters. Household electricity prices in North Macedonia, meanwhile, are slated to rise by 10 percent in the new year.

Change is coming, however. In Australia, where Prime Minister Scott Morrison has long defended the country’s powerful coal industry, homeowners are forecast to install rooftop solar panels on nearly half the country’s houses in the next decade, Bloomberg reported. Australia is therefore expected to cut coal consumption faster than earlier estimates suggested. Morrison is now in the odd position of pledging not to shutter coal-fired plants too quickly, the Guardian explained.

He and other leaders are hanging on tightly when many believe it’s time to let go.”

In my opinion the “War on Carbon” is the most successful Hoax ever thrust on World. Perhaps during the coldest months of winter 2022, people will wake up? Memories are short regarding last years Blackouts in Texas and the fact that had over 6,000 MW of coal power generation NOT been retired, the Blackout and resulting deaths did not need to happen. This is my personal opinion, Dick Storm, Dec. 17, 2021

References for additional support

  1. World is depending on coal power during this time of energy shortages: https://oilprice-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Coal-On-Track-To-Break-Records-Despite-Efforts-To-Curb-Production.amp.html

World of Hurt from Climate Policies-Part 4

This is an excellent review of the relationship of energy and prosperity. Especially in Africa where reasonable cost coal plants could lift millions from poverty.

Science Matters

CO2 and COPs

This is a fourth post toward infographics exposing the damaging effects of Climate Policies upon the lives of ordinary people.  (See World of Hurt Part 1Part 2, and Part 3 )  And all of the pain is for naught in fighting against global warming/climate change, as shown clearly in the image above.  This post presents graphics to illustrate the fourth of four themes:

  • Zero Carbon Means Killing Real Jobs with Promises of Green Jobs
  • Reducing Carbon Emissions Means High Cost Energy Imports and Social Degradation
  • 100% Renewable Energy Means Sourcing Rare Metals Off-Planet
  • Leave it in the Ground Means Perpetual Poverty
The War Against Carbon Emissions Diminishes Efforts to Lift People Out of Poverty

world-population-in-extreme-poverty-absolute
The OurWorldinData graph shows how half a billion people have risen out of extreme poverty in recent decades.  While much needs to be done, it is clear that the world knows the poverty…

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King Coal is Dead. Long Live the King!

Coal has been important to lift people from poverty to good lives for about 150 years. The Developed world made great progress from 1900 to present day thanks to reasonable cost coal power. The Electric Utilities once educated the public on power generation and “Living Better Electrically” Any of us born before 1950 can remember the Edison Electric Institute Mascot, “REDDY KILOWATT”. What a wonderful benefit that was for Humankind. As a high school student I actually knew where electric power came from and the basics of Thermal Power Plants.

Then ironically, about the time of the 1973-74 Arab Oil Embargo, I was working for Carolina Power and Light Company. A responsible and efficient Electric Utility headquartered in Raleigh, NC. I remember as a fact, CP&L cut the Public Relations Budget which included killing programs in schools to teach Home Economic Students the benefits of “Living Better Electrically”. Also, TV and Newspaper articles to explain the importance of electricity. So, what filled the void? The Environemntal Extremists filled the void. Then in the 1990’s Bill Clinton’s Presidency began the “War on Coal”. Later the war on coal morphed into the war on carbon.

Thank you Ron Clutz for writing your article. I will post a couple pictures of life without Fossil Fuels. As John Kerry flies around the world professing to save the Planet, I suppose this is what he and the Biden Administration wish for us to do, return to muscle power. This is preposterous considering we are well into the Digital and Space Age!

An Amish Teenage Girl with Team of Horses Plowing circa 1960

Without new thinking on nuclear power, (anti Carbon) climate policy can’t succeed

This is copied from the Tennessee Star Tribue Newspaper Opinion page, Nov. 11 2021. Full credit is given to the author, Mr. John Windschill. Thanks also is given to my friend Don Spellman for forwarding to me. I thought this is well researched and well written. As for myself, I believe Climate Change is mostly from natural forces, but if a reduced carbon society is desired and our quality of life and freedom is to be continued, then nuclear power must be included along with all other fuels.

The perceived dangers are overestimated. 

By John Windschill

From Dick Storm course at USCB-OLLI on the Future of Energy and Electricity Generation

A summer of destructive flooding, fires and drought across the planet, coupled with a sobering update from the United Nations climate panel, indicates that we are likely not making adequate progress addressing climate change. And our climate change ambivalence is especially obvious when it comes to nuclear power.

Despite nuclear power having potential to greatly reduce the fossil-fuel emissions that are responsible for about 70% of U.S. transportation- and electricity-related carbon emissions, and despite nuclear power being among the safest means of electricity production we have (as reported in Forbes, the Lancet and the Journal of Cleaner Production), many well-run nuclear plants are being retired.

In the last eight years, 11 nuclear reactors were retired in the U.S. This year four more are scheduled for permanent closure. These plants collectively represent 14,700 megawatts of electrical supply — enough electricity for 10 million people.

Consider the experiences of Germany, France and Sweden. Germany’s decision to forgo nuclear power has resulted in its falling far short of its carbon emission goal. France, which receives 72% of its electricity from nuclear, has less than half the carbon emissions of Germany, and electricity prices that are 40% lower. Sweden’s electricity is 40% nuclear, with prices 35% below Germany’s and per capita carbon emissions that are 57% lower.

Critics of nuclear power identify fear of accidents and a belief that a solution for waste disposal does not exist as reasons to oppose nuclear power. Neither of these is valid. People are afraid of nuclear power because it pushes all the wrong emotional buttons. As a result, the very low risk that nuclear power entails is not appreciated.

At the core of the fear of nuclear power is a fear of ionizing radiation (hereafter simply referred to as radiation). Radiation is extremely common in our environment. It is a straightforward substance to monitor and control, and its impact on public health is well understood. Each second natural background radiation interacts with our bodies more than 10,000 times. These natural sources account for about half of the radiation dose the average American receives, with the remaining half coming from medical procedures. The 60 operating nuclear power plants in the U.S. contribute less than 0.01% from routine operations.

The two basic ways a nuclear power plant can increase public radiation doses are accidents and waste disposal. Three accidents have occurred that affected the public. These, in increasing order of severity, were Three Mile Island in 1979 in Pennsylvania, Fukushima in 2011 in Japan, and Chernobyl in 1986 in Ukraine. This history of nuclear power over 42 years proves how safe nuclear power is.

At the Three Mile Island accident there were no health effects. Nuclear Regulatory Commission reports indicate the average radiation dose received by members of the public living near the plant was far below natural background radiation levels.

Fukushima released more radioactive materials than Three Mile Island, but because of effective emergency response efforts, public radiation doses were low. The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation and the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded that there would be no observable health effects in the public from the accident.

The Chernobyl accident was basically the most severe nuclear power plant accident that is possible. International Atomic Energy Agency and WHO reports indicate that the only cancer that has been detected from the accident is thyroid cancer, which has led to 15 related fatalities. Among initial responders, 28 tragically died of acute radiation poisoning at the time of the accident.

Based on conservative estimates, it is possible that a few thousand might die within 50 years of cancers not epidemiologically detectable among the background cancer rate. This puts a cap on the worst-case result. A few thousand people die each day in the world due to air pollution from fossil fuels and also from auto accidents. With more than 37,000 fatalities worldwide since the Three Mile Island accident, commercial air travel has about a 10 times larger impact on public health and safety.

For comparison among electrical generating sources, the fatality rate per billion kilowatt-hours generated is: coal, 25; natural gas, 2.8; global nuclear, 0.074 (includes an assumed 4,000 future deaths from Chernobyl); wind, 0.035; hydro, 0.024; solar, 0.019; and U.S. nuclear, 0.0001.

And the lessons learned from the three accidents described above have been effectively applied to make safe nuclear power even safer.

Regarding high-level nuclear waste, James Conca (who has Ph.D. in geochemistry from California Institute of Technology) says, “We know where to put nuclear waste, how to put it there, how much it will cost, and how well it will work.” An oft-repeated phrase is that high-level waste is dangerous for tens of thousands of years, but the fact is that high-level waste loses 99% of its toxicity within 600 years. And while high-level waste is very toxic material, it is less hazardous than gasoline.

The U.S. produces 50 times more lethal doses of gasoline each year than lethal doses of high-level waste; we carry our gasoline with us pretty much everywhere we travel, and it is stored much less carefully than nuclear waste.

The very small volume of high-level waste allows meticulous control to be achieved. Each U.S. resident’s lifetime share of high-level waste would fit in a single can of Coke. Kilowatt for kilowatt, solar power waste has 10,000 times greater volume than nuclear waste, and wind’s total is 500 times larger, each involving large amounts of toxic metals in panels and batteries. Also, nuclear waste is an inert solid within a metal casing (i.e., spent nuclear fuel), not green, oozing goo.

And yet, wind and solar get an environmental hall pass, but nuclear power is labeled as exceedingly dangerous.

The current concept is to secure the solid waste in highly robust steel containers, and to store the containers in an accessible manner that allows routine monitoring and inspection in a deep underground repository free of groundwater that has been geologically stable for millions of years. Yucca Mountain north of Las Vegas was selected for study.

Prof. Bernard Cohen of the University of Pittsburgh calculated that if all the electricity in the U.S. were provided by nuclear power, it would result in 0.3 deaths per year in the U.S. due to waste storage. Should we be concerned with tiny quantities of nuclear waste migrating from a very remote, highly engineered and easily monitored facility sometime in the far distant future, or with the millions of tons of carbon dioxide and harmful particulates we currently pump into the air to breathe and cause our planet to heat up?

Yet in 2011 President Barack Obama defunded the Yucca Mountain project. Again, faulty risk assessment and politics won out over science and sound public policy.

We should be insisting that our government more vigorously pursue this valuable technology that could be a difference maker for addressing climate change. Bill Gates has helped form a new company, TerraPower, whose mission is to bring nuclear power plant design forward to the next level of safety and economic performance. In a recent quote from Forbes, he said “there are only three ways to solve the electric grid problem: one is a miracle in [energy-battery] storage, the second is nuclear fission, and the third is nuclear fusion.”

Wind and solar have a vital role to play, but we should not be putting total reliance on a miracle.

IPCC Data: Rising CO2 is 75% Natural

I have always believed Climate Change was mostly natural, here is a more scientific presentation showing 75% Natural forces are the cause of Climate Change. Thank you Ron Clutz for your analysis..

Science Matters

A previous post reprinted later below raised the question Who to Blame for Rising CO?  It provided synopses of three studies challenging the IPCC orthodox explanation that humans are the cause by burning fossil fuels.  This post brings the research up to date with a 2021  publication by Edwin Berry.

The graph above summarizes Dr. Berry’s findings.  The lines represent CO2 added into the atmosphere since the 1750 level of 280 ppm.  Based on IPCC data regarding CO2 natural sources and sinks, the black dots show the CO2 data. The small blue dots show the sum of all human CO2 emissions since they became measurable, irrespective of transfers of that CO2 from the atmosphere to land or to ocean.

Notice the CO2 data is greater than the sum of all human CO2 until 1960. That means nature caused the CO2 level to increase prior to 1960, with no reason to…

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Glasgow, COP-26 Elitists and Special Interests Promote China First, America Last, Why? Because Energy Savvy Engineers Were Not Successful In Educating The Public and Politicians on the True Facts

Well, that is at least one reason we have such a mess of energy policy now.

Once a “War on Carbon”, Has now Morphed into a “War on Freedom”, “War on our Rights”, “War on Capitalism” and an assault on much of What “We the People” Have Worked Hard For. The clowns in Scotland are spending our tax dollars and restricting our freedoms as best they can. Essentially putting China and the rest of the world first, America last. All on our dime.

Meanwhile, U.S.A. High Gas Prices, Super Market Shortages, Inflation , Oil and Gas Jobs are Killed and Winter Energy Supplies may be limited. The American people did not vote for this

America has been a leader by example in reducing carbon. The U.S.A. has reduced our carbon emissions by over 50% since 2005. How? By releasing the power of free markets and American innovation. At the end of President Trump’s term, America was energy independent. He did that in four years only to have Joe Biden reverse his policies.

The War on Fossil Fuels is not new and the intentions have always been to raise energy costs so that “Green Power” will become competitive. Yes, the intentions of President Biden, John Kerry, Al Gore and the rest of the Green Extremists (Reminder, the War on Coal started in the Clinton-Gore Administration. Obama just continued and accellerated anti American energy policies Clinton-Gore began) The war on carbon is intended to make Exploration, Development, Production and use of oil, gas, coal and even nuclear, more expensive and harder to use. All of this as the world’s people still depend on Fossil Fuels and nuclear together for almost 90% of our total energy. How can our leaders be so ignorant and insensitive? Well, back in the 1990’s when bill Clinton started the “War on Coal”, I did my best to educate the public and the students of public schools and several Colleges on energy and electricity generation. I am proud of my efforts, small as they seem in the grand scheme of things. There is still a need for Energy Engineers to become active in PR for Energy!

I copied the Oct. 2011 Commentary(Below) from POWER Magazine’s web page. Kindly note my last line: I sure wish the readers of POWER and many other engineers took the suggestion to educate the public on energy and electricity generation more seriously. If we had, perhaps we would not have the mess we have in Washington today.

(From Oct. 2011)

Shaping America’s Energy Policy

America’s energy and environmental policies have been dysfunctional for decades. Obsessively moving toward “green” has made America weaker and has damaged our economy. During POWER’ s first 100 years (1882–1982), the magazine chronicled the U.S. growing into the strongest industrialized economy in the world. America designed and built products for the world using raw materials and energy from within our own borders. Now we are in a recession and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “War on Coal” continues. Does anyone get the connection? Ever-worsening regulations are killing jobs by the thousands.

Past Turning Points in U.S. Energy Production

Remember when America took risks and led the world in energy innovation? Let’s review some of the past milestones.

The pace-setting power stations Eddystone and Philo are ultrasupercritical power plants that were designed in the 1950s. Hailed as the most efficient coal power plants in the world when they were launched, these plants were designed for over-40% thermal efficiency.

Then Admiral Hyman G. Rickover and President Dwight D. Eisenhower followed through on the “Atoms for Peace Initiative” to commercialize the success of the Navy nuclear propulsion systems, which were to be applied to electricity generation for peaceful purposes. The Shippingport nuclear power plant began operations in the early 1960s, and larger commercial nuclear plants were on the drawing boards. By the mid-1960s, it was said that nuclear power was such a technological breakthrough that “electricity will be too cheap to meter.” America went on to build more than 100 commercial nuclear plants, most of which are still operational. U.S. nuclear plants remain economical and have earned an enviable safety record.

Then came oil embargos, followed by volatile natural gas prices. The high oil and gas prices resulted in a surge in building new coal plants from 1975 to 1985. The nuclear fleet grew until 1978, when the Three Mile Island accident created a major setback. In recent years, nuclear power morphed into the politically correct, carbon-free fuel. However, the tsunami in Japan in March and the resurgence of anti-nuclear groups around the world seem to have once more stalled future nuclear plant development.

The Need for Energy Policies That Promote Our Economy

U.S. energy policy should promote the use of all fuels. America is the Saudi Arabia of coal. If mining permits, EPA regulations, and common sense energy policies were practiced, then power engineers could replace our aging coal plants with new clean coal plants exceeding 40% thermal efficiency. This would be an efficiency improvement of about 7 percentage points above the existing coal fleet.

It is absurd that environmental activists can shape the U.S. energy policy based on ideology alone, with little concern for keeping electricity prices reasonable and our economy growing. Why don’t environmental activists embrace new, more efficient clean coal plants? America should be replacing our aging fleet with new, more efficient, clean coal plants. Will we ever learn?

My concern is that the same type of political correctness that nearly killed nuclear power after Three Mile Island may harm the future of clean coal plants. If the U.S. rebuilt the aging 300+ GW coal fleet with all new, clean ultrasupercritical coal plants, it would employ well over three million Americans. Jobs and a strong America are related to the utilization of homegrown energy, including the mining of coal and raw materials; construction; and the production of steel, cement, copper wire, generators, boilers, balance-of-plant equipment, and environmental controls. Compare the number of jobs created to build, operate, and maintain new coal plants with the “green jobs” of erecting foreign-built windmills or solar power facilities.

If we want to restore economic prosperity and renew manufacturing in America, then we need reasonably priced electricity to supply power to manufacturing plants. Keeping electricity costs reasonable for residential consumption is nice, but to restore manufacturing jobs in America, reasonably priced wholesale electricity, which is available on a 24/7 basis, is needed. This point seems to be forgotten in the national dialog on America’s energy future.

Educating the American Public About Electric Power Production

I think each of us who understands power production has a responsibility to educate our friends, neighbors, and elected officials. There are millions of citizens who believe reasonably priced, reliable electricity is an entitlement. The right thing for human advancement is to use the God-given natural resources that have made “living better electrically” a way of life in the developed world.

In my opinion, we should build green power where it is practical and economic to do so, such as on the roofs of buildings and parking garages. I support the building of nuclear plants and combined cycle gas plants, where economically justified. Energy engineers understand that when the sun sets and the wind is calm, the U.S. needs reasonably priced, dispatchable power to energize what is left of America’s manufacturing might.

I urge the readers of POWER to do your part in educating the public and our elected officials on the true facts of how we can continue to “live better electrically” and keep America strong. I promise to do my part. Will you?”

— Richard F. “Dick” Storm  (was in 2011 ) CEO/senior consultant of Storm Technologies Inc. in Albemarle, N.C.

Reference:

  1. POWER Magazine, Oct. 2011 Commentary: https://www.powermag.com/shaping-americas-energy-policy/#.YYIdCBf0vsM.linkedin
  2. Ron Clutz, Science Matters, Climate Change is 75% Naturally Caused by IPCC Data: https://rclutz.com/2021/11/06/ipcc-data-rising-co2-is-75-natural/#like-22392

Make This The Year to Get in the Classroom: Especially Energy Education

A Ryan Zorn post inspired me to write on the need for us to become involved in public education. Ryan Zorn suggested “Make this the year to get in the classroom”.

I have been retired for a number of years but became interested through my Rotary Club on Hilton Head Island. Yes, Ryan is correct, all of us Energy Savvy engineers should become involved with helping to educate the public and especially K-12 students that may otherwise be indoctrinated. Check the link below in references for Ryan’s PPT.

A separate message I got in reviewing LinkedIn posts and especially focused on education was the need to pass on the soft skills that many successful people used to reach comfortable retirement. The big question, “Can we teach the Virtues that helped us get here, to K-12 students?” It occurred to me that about twenty years ago I compiled a list of 55 Virtues for my sons and later shared with the employees of Storm Technologies. I will list these below. Perhaps many would think they are corny and old fashioned? In my view looking back, they worked very well for me. I hope that the sharing of these with some young people will inspire them to use these to contribute to their success in their careers.

Back to energy education, I will post  a presentation of my version of educating the public on energy and electricity generation for the future on a future post. For now, here are my 55 Virtues, which I tried to practice and live by:

  1. Always do your best. Be the best in what you do!
  2. Continuously study, stretch, and learn new skills.
  3. Tithe to the church and other worthy charities. Be active in the charities you choose in order to know your gifts are well spent.
  4. Pray daily.
  5. Be active in church. Seek and do leadership activities. Teach Sunday School, chair a committee. You would be surprised how this develops confidence and public speaking skills.
  6. Practice balance in your life.
  7. Control your nutrition.
  8. Stay physically fit. Exercise a minimum of 30 minutes at least 4 times/week.  Use the YMCA!
  9. Do not judge others. Use the standard of being the best, fairest, and the example of Christ. 
  10. Remove all thoughts of “Envy” of others from your mind. Do not compare what you have to what others have. Remember only those that are less fortunate than we are and do what is possible to help them to have an improved situation.
  11. Treat family with reverence, respect, and love. Think before saying hurtful words, especially be aware of respect for each other!
  12. Take at least 2 days (16 hours) of continuing education each year.
  13. Present at least one technical paper each 3 years.
  14. Be active in professional associations.
  15. Be active in the community, serve in important positions on the school board, a civic club, or a worthy charity.
  16. Enjoy your work and make it enjoyable for all of your co-workers, peers, subordinates, and family. (If you do not enjoy your work, find work that you do enjoy). Anyone who works 8-12 hours per day should be enthusiastic and feel that he/she is making a positive contribution. Work should be exciting and fun, not dreaded. Think about the “golden rule” for people you supervise.
  17. Practice and show good manners by example. Including; when in meetings only speak one person at a time, same for conference calls, do not initiate side bar conversations when in a meeting or teleconference, develop extraordinary good manners so that you are remembered for them as well as your other good and professional qualities.
  18. Lead by example in neatness of your dress, your cleanliness of your car/truck, the order of your office and home.
  19. Be organized – office, home, vehicle, calendar/schedule.
  20. Be disciplined in balancing life’s priorities.
  21. Help others.  Be a good neighbor, friend, confidant, good Samaritan.
  22. Pass these virtues on to your sons and daughters because we have “so much” and because we love our children – we do not want to ruin their chances to be all that they are capable of being.
  23. Form alliances and friendships with schools, shops, businesses.  Nurture and build these for mutual benefit.
  24. Control your temper.
  25. Manage your finances to minimize debt to others.
  26. Make time to enjoy your wife/husband periodically. Do special trips and weekends on occasion.
  27. Plan and execute family vacations at least once per year to spend at least 7 days at a fun location with your family.
  28. Be honest and reliable, always. Keep your word! Let your words and promises be your bond.
  29. A reputation is earned over many years. Practicing Integrity beyond reproach is one major factor in building a good reputation.
  30. Do the “little extra” in all that you do. (Do what is expected, “And Then Some”)
  31. When doing something special, consider doing a “little extra” to completely surprise the person toward whom the kindness is directed.
  32. Be careful with controllable expenditures.
  33. Be generous with others. Yet, practice “Tough Love” and provide a growth opportunity to up and coming people to earn their way to an improved situation.
  34. Develop pride and high esteem in yourself and all that you do. Know that you have done the best! While having Pride is important, keep your Humility.
  35. Always PREPARE! Whether for a Sunday School lesson, a speech, or presentation, know your subject well. Be prepared.
  36. Be humble. Balance PRIDE and knowing you are the best; have prepared the best, with humility. Others will recognize quality, achievement of any type.
  37. Read for recreation, read books in your free time, and when traveling on airplanes. Improve your vocabulary, continuing education, and understanding of history, the world, cultures, politics, philosophies, and current events.  Be informed. Remember, a large part of fiction books are based on facts.
  38. Develop outside interests and hobbies. Prepare for “retirement” by finding some enjoyable, outside interests. Remember, this is part of keeping the “balance!”
  39. Become active in politics. Good, right-living people must be involved or else the “wrong” people will continue to rise to positions of influence and power.  Know the issues, be an informed voter. Influence others through factual education.
  40. Always have a clear list of tasks “to do” for subordinates. Use their time wisely by preparation, planning and careful delegation.
  41. Keep a pocket calendar or electronic “to-do” list of goals for yourself.  You will be surprised at the progress that can be achieved by a written “punch list” of tasks to be done. Review your list daily.
  42. Respect your wife/husband’s wishes of to-do items.  Place them at equal priority with yours.
  43. Teach a course or seminar. The teacher always learns the most from the necessary preparation.
  44. Welcome the opportunity to volunteer and provide service to others. Control this to be joyful when the opportunity arises. In other words, do it, but do not get yourself over-committed (Balance)!
  45. Develop a habit of annual physical exams. “Work” toward a healthy height/weight as clearly defined by your family doctor and insurance company recommendations. We owe it to our loved ones to practice healthy lifestyles. Some of our family genes are good, some not so good. We know how to take advantage of the good genetics.
  46. Know your body, know your body’s sensitivities.  For example, if sugar makes you tired, be careful about too much sugar when driving long distances at night. Control alcoholic consumption. Be disciplined. Do not let momentary pleasures of any sort ruin your’s or someone else’s life.
  47. Think safety at all times. Remember, most accidents happen at home. Last year (2001, this was originally written in 2002), “Engineering News Record” reported 852 on-the-job industrial fatalities and said this was a “terrible record.” Compare this with 42,000 people killed in automobile accidents. Be wary and aware of the safety of your family, your co-workers, and yourself – at all times.
  48. Nurture and develop the continued support of your wife. The continued and unwavering support of your wife is absolutely essential for professional and business success. Earn their support by your respect and interest in you wife and family – again, BALANCE!
  49. Stick to your principles.
  50. Be professionally, politely, but positively aggressive. Develop business potential with more customers than can be handled and then do business with those that are the most compliant with your terms, desires, profitability and your core strengths.
  51. Lead others. Especially those who work for you. Be an enthusiastic Mentor and teach young up and coming employees on how to improve their capabilities on the job and how to improve themselves in general. The best way to do this is by setting a good example.
  52. Be an “Encourager”. Always encouraging others to do a little better, do a little more.
  53. Always be Enthusiastic in the good works that you do. Enthusiasm is contagious and can inspire those around you.
  54. Have a Long-Term Vision and Plan for the Future, both Professionally and personally.
  55. In all that you do, work to make this a better world than you found it.

Let’s all get out and do our best to support education. Think of it this way, in about 5 years the average Middle School Student will become a voter.

Dick Storm, October 26, 2021

References:

  1. Ryan Zorn LinkedIn  page https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6857865078927097856/
  2. Ryan Zorn Energy PowerPoint for 5th Graders: https://onedrive.live.com/view.aspx?resid=A9BFEC5505E02879!111957&ithint=file%2cpptx&authkey=!ABKjrBh6NHC3AzM
  3. Energy Strong LinkedIn Page https://www.linkedin.com/company/energy-strong-usa/
  4. Energy Strong Web Page: http://www.energystrong.com

The War on Carbon, How it Came to be:

Climate Change has been going on since well before the Romans. Certainly well before coal was burned for power generation. Yet, the main stream news is fixated on Climate Change being the result of the Developed World’s use of Fossil Fuels over the last 100 years. The MSM has completely blown off the possibility that Climate Change is mostly Natural. I am a proponent for reasonable cost, abundant energy and the resultant improved quality of life. I am also interested in protecting the environment, and I love nature just as much as any environmentalist does. Reasonable cost Energy improves quality of life and is referred to by some as improving the “Human Developmet Index”. It concerns me that the most reasonable cost and proven sources of energy have become somewhat socially unacceptable. Such as coal, oil, gas and nuclear. Ironically, these four forms of energy are the one’s that provide about 90-96% of the Developed World’s energy. Many Financial Institutions are reluctant to loan money to Developers of mines, fossil fueled power stations or refineries. Even though there are still almost a Billion people on the planet that have limited or no access at all to electricity. Energy and Economic prosperity go together.

A slide from a recent course I presented. The data are from the UN, Our World in Data and ExxonMobil’s Outlook for Energy

So, this begs the question: Why would so many in the MSM, Entertainment, Politics, Education and the General Public be against the very things that make our high quality of lives possible? As I was thinking about this, it occurred to me that perhaps it would be helpful to remind folks of how we have arrived at this absurd place in history. Here are my thoughts and research of how the “War on Carbon” came to be. This is purely Politically Driven, not based on science or protection of the planet.

The UN Agenda 21

It was 1993 and Bill Clinton was President of the U.S.A. with Al Gore as Vice President. Executive Order #12858 was signed.(1) This is my understanding of the beginning of the “War on Coal”. The U.N. Agenda 21 began in a conference in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. It brought together concerns for our environment, Socialism, Secular Humanism, and the world banking cartels. U.S.A involvement began in 1992, with then good intentions, by President George H.W. Bush. Bush #41 referred to Agenda 21 as encompassing “Sacred Principles”. Then the good intentions deteriorated into viscious, effective and well funded attacks on coal. The cost to Americans was blunted due to the near simulateous successes of the Shale Gas Revolution which greatly increased production of Domestic natural gas and drove natural gas prices downward. In the short term, the low natural gas prices actually hurt coal power more than the extremists and Democrat’s smear campaigns. However, the damage was permanent with no new coal plants being built in the U.S.A. since about 2012. Many older coal plants have been irreversibly decommissioned and hundreds demolished. Many of these plants could have been operating now had they been maintained. I hate to say the Environmental Extremists have won, but it looks like they have. But, who benefits from the Environmental Extremists apparent success? In my view, the only beneficiaries are China, Russia and other adversaries of the U.S.A.

Now, natural gas prices are escalating and even the Left Leaning MSM talk of expected high energy bills in winter and possible energy shortages. Therefore, given this scenario, I thought it was timely to review, from my vantage point, just how this madness came to be.

War on Coal 1993-2012

The Democrat’s have hated coal for many years. The only reason I can rationalize their hate, is because the well funded Environmental Groups usually support Democrat’s. Here below is an excerpt from Wikipedia on the “War on Coal”(6)

“A goal of the Sierra Club is to replace coal with other energy sources.[31] Through its “Beyond Coal” campaign, the Sierra Club has set a goal to close half of all coal plants in the U.S. by 2017. American business magnate and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg donated $50 million to the Sierra Club’s anti-coal work in 2011, and announced another $30 million gift to Sierra’s Beyond Coal campaign in 2015.[32]The Beyond Coal campaign says 187 coal plants have been closed since 2010.[33] Other funders of the Sierra Club’s anti-coal campaign include the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.[34] The CEO of Chesapeake Energy, a natural gas company, donated $26 million to the Beyond Coal campaign between 2007 and 2010.[35]

The Sierra Club is also opposed to nuclear energy.[36][37] “

Then, piling on with the MSM and the environmental organizations comes the allying of the public schools and teaching (indoctrinating) extreme green policies to our teenagers many of which have now grown up to be adults.

In addition to demonizing of carbon in Public Schools the general public is bombarded with “Save the Planet” propaganda by entertainment personalities, and the  MSM.  Here is a short history of the War on Coal by Politico(7)https://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2015/05/inside-war-on-coal-000002/ 

The Democrat’s hated coal and then that hate has morphed into hate of all Fossil Fuels. The (D’s) are supported by Environmental organizations (4,5) that mostly, also hate nuclear. So, the Democrat’s and Environmentally (Like Bush 41, they have good intentions) conscious citizens tend to oppose the one carbon-free form of power that is efficient, reliable, proven and capable of Dispatchable operation at high-capacity factor. The generation (it has been 28 years since Clinton signed EO) of youth that were indoctrinated to hate coal and nuclear are now voters.

This is my summary of “How the War on Carbon” has brought us to Congress working on a Stupid and anti-American Path to Net Zero Carbon. A path that only benefits adversaries of the U.S.A. The best word I can think of to describe these policies is “Stupid”.

A better path would be to continue energy independence using Hydraulic Fracturing and production of all of America’s oil and gas, including pipelines for safe transport of oil and gas. Build many more new nuclear plants to produce more nuclear power generation for both electricity generation and for hydrogen production. Also, build new highly efficient coal plants with the future capability for CCUS (Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage) Called HELE (High Efficiency Low Emissions)

In closing, my view is that all forms of energy are important including; nuclear, coal, oil and gas. By the way, another reason that supports this is the fact that about 96% of America’s energy is provided by conventional energy as shown below. Disrupting the supply chain of Domestic energy will weaken America.

These views are my own and not those of any organization that I have been part of. I take full responsibility for these opinions and they are based on my personal experiences in the electric power industry over many decades.

Richard F. (Dick) Storm, PE

PS I just came across this post by the GWPF (Global Warming Policy Foundation) A reminder that all the meetings and hype are strictly Political, not about getting Results:

References:

  1. Living with Agenda 21, Surrendering Our Freedoms by Dr. H. Lawrence Zillmer, Copyright 2012
  2. U.N. Agenda 21 Info: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/Agenda21.pdf
  3. U.N. Sustainable Development Report, 2021: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/UN-DESA_Back_Common_Future_En.pdf
  4. Capital Research Center, Report on Climate Dollars https://www.climatedollars.org/full-study/a-short-history-of-global-warming-fears/
  5. The NEW Leviathan, Crown Forum, NY 2012 Check Appendix X and summary of $9 Billion in Assets
  6. Wikipedia, “War on Coal” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_on_coal
  7. Politico, “War on Coal” https://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2015/05/inside-war-on-coal-000002/
  8. War on Coal, Issues in Science and Technology: https://issues.org/real-numbers-president-obamas-war-on-coal/
  9. An Excellent video of some very smart Patriots, The Right Stuff Climate Team (Retired NASA Engineers): https://www.therightclimatestuff.com
  10. Donn Dears well written and practical articleshttps://ddears.com/donns-articles/
  11. Michael Shellenberger on John Shanahan Website. Solar Panels make more waste than nuclear: https://www.allaboutenergy.net/energy/238-energy/today/wind-and-solar/north-america/862-100-percent-renewable-energy-rested-on-a-lie-michael-shellenberger-environmental-progress-mark-jacobson-usa
  12. Armstrong Economics, Great article on CO2 and the politics of the “War on Carbon” aka, “Manmade Climate Change” https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/world-news/climate/3rd-attempt-to-publish-this-google-interferes/

Believer in Freedom to use of Energy for sustainable high quality lives