Monthly Archives: January 2013

China’s Coal Consumption Nearly Equals The Rest Of The World

Chinese usage of coal is about equal to the usage by the rest of the world.  Two blogs, one for the present and one for the future make it clear that North America, Europe and Australia could stop using fossil fuels and it would not make much difference in the grand scheme of things.
The Daily Beast posted “China’s Coal Usage is Blowing the Kyoto Protocol to Shreds”.   Remember the Kyoto protocol?   The chart below shows that China current coal consumption nearly equals the consumption of the rest of the world.
Tallbloke’s Talkshop shows a chart of  projected world coal-fired capacity based upon data from the World Resources Institute.  China and India will be installing  77% of the projected 1,401,334 MW of  new coal-fired capacity.  Click here to see the graphic of projected world electrical production from coal.

Promised Land Sinks At The Boxoffice

“Promised Land”, the Matt Damon and UAE nation of Abu Dhabi production, has dropped off the list of most attended movies.  This weekend was the 4th week since its release.  It may be available soon on DVDs.  But it probably wont get much play there either.
Intended to strike a blow against fracking, this movie which got extensive media coverage has bombed.   Little things like this give me hope that we may be getting through to people and restoring some amount of sanity.
To see more about this movie, “Matt Damon’s Anti-US Oil Companies Film Financed by Abu Dhabi”   click here.

Scientists Baffled By The Stop In Global Warming

P.Gosselin of No Tricks Zone provides climate news from Germany in English. He has done this and incorporates his excellent insights, when he reviews Der Spiegel’s, (a major German newpaper) article titled “Klimawandel: Forscher rätseln über Stillstand bei Erderwärmung” (Trans…Climate change: scientists baffled by the stop in global warming).
Gosselin says that:
 “The big question now circulating through the stunned European media, governments and activist organisations is how could the warming stop have happened? Moreover, how do we now explain it to the public?”
My equally as stunned reaction is why aren’t the American media, etc also stunned? I guess perhaps it is because the US is the mother load of grant money.


The US is making progress in becoming self-sufficient energy-wise.  The posting “Energy Charts of the Day” on the American Enterprise Institute blog site shows a projection  that 83% of the energy used in the US was produced in the US.  Behind this improvement has been State and private ownership of oil and gas plays.  To achieve a permit to drill in North Dakota takes 10 days.  The federal government take 307 days to process a permit to drill.


From the AEI blog we have:

1. Thanks largely to the recent significant increases in the domestic production of fossil fuel energy (oil and natural gas), the U.S. was more energy self-sufficient in 2012 than at any time in the last two decades.  Based on data for the first nine months of 2012, the U.S. last year produced more than 83% of the energy it consumed for the first time since 1991 (see chart above).


2. From the article “Economics of the Bakken Oil Boom: What the Rest of the Nation is Missing,” in today’s Canada Free Press:

The Bakken development in North Dakota should be an example for the nation, indicating what could be accomplished with the right energy policies to decrease unemployment, raise government revenues, increase per capita income, decrease poverty, and help produce the nation’s major energy source.

So far, the hydraulic fracturing revolution that has created these positive economic developments is largely confined to production on private and state lands, due to governmental policies reducing opportunities on federal lands and a punitive federal regulatory environment. Even though there are massive shale oil and oil shale resources on federal lands, federal policies are choking off any production increases. Here’s one illustrious example: it takes the federal government 307 days to process a permit to drill, but it only takes North Dakota 10 days (see chart below)

See also “President’s Pants On Fire……”


The Warmers Are Punishing The Poor

A recent posting on WUWT by Willis Eschenbach titled “We Have Met The 1%, and He Is Us” illustrates that the  people that get hurt the most by energy rationing are the poor.   Eschenbach’s experiences as a sailor got him to many parts of the globe where living is a daily struggle and the high cost of energy, if it is even available, doom those people to suffering and short lifespans. I recommend that you read his posting which can be accessed by clicking here.
I recently ran across a story that helps illustrate how the zeal of the warmers is punishing the poor. The West Bengal government wants to provide electricity to 1076 Sundarbans villages. The government believes there will be a 10 to 20 fold increase in electricity demand between 2010 and 2020. However the environmental groups oppose this action because the grid will supply coal based electricity.

Does Al Gore Think Glenn Beck Is More To Be Feared Than An Oil Nation?

Al Gore’s syndicate is selling the Current TV Network to Al Jazeera, the Qatar-owned news network, for something like $500 million. Glenn Beck had earlier tried to buy Current TV but he was turned down with the stated reason being that Current TV wanted to sell to someone that shared their views and Beck didn’t.  However it seems that Qatar does have the same views.  This is difficult to get your mind around.   Gore has made a fortune bashing anyone associated with crude oil and the products from crude like gasoline (petrol) thus fossil fuel-financed Al Jazeera would seem an unlikely candidate.  One can only conclude that if Gore has to decide between money and principal, money wins.  Gore is reported to get $100 million from this sale.
A little background.  Current TV was founded in 2005.  Current TV has been a ratings disaster.  It had access to some 40 million households via contracts with companies like Time-Warner Cable but its programing was so dismal that it has been said that total daily views were in the 50,000 range.  Time-Waner Cable cancelled their association with Current TV following the announcement of the sale to Al Jazeera.
We know how Gore feels about fossil fuels, but how does Al Jazeera match up with Gore’s liberal views that would not let him sell to conservative Glenn Beck.  USA Today reports that some people are skeptical about this being a good thing. The following are excepts from their report which can be read in its entirety by clicking here.
Media watchers in the Middle East say the Arabic news network Al Jazeera is well known for promoting radical Islamist causes overseas, but it remains to be seen how it will present the news on its newly purchased U.S. cable channel.
Itamar Marcus, director of Palestinian Media Watch, an Israeli research institute that studies Palestinian society and the Arab world through their media and educational materials, said there is “a big difference” between Al Jazeera’s Arabic programming and its international English-language broadcasts.
“The Arab broadcasts very often promote a very radical Islamist approach,” said Marcus.
“What’s brilliant,” Marcus said, is the way the company “binds this in with all the latest technology and even occasionally interviews with differing opinions, including Israeli leaders.” This creates a “perception” of balanced reporting, Marcus said, “but in fact, the overall underlying agenda is very radical.”
Daoud Kuttab, the Jordan-based director of the Community Media Network, a Middle East media group, said Al Jazeera’s Arabic-language programming “is very different” from its English counterpart.
 Al Jazeera was begun in 1996 and owned by the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa, an Arab monarch who has offered support to Hamas, the U.S.-designated terrorist group in Gaza, and presides over an authoritarian regime.
Freedom House, a U.S.-based group that monitors repression worldwide, has given Qatar its lowest rating of “Not Free.” Homosexuality is a crime in Qatar, journalists are sometimes jailed and non-Muslims are discriminated against.
The news media watchdog Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America or CAMERA, which frequently takes U.S. outlets to task over errors in reporting on Israel, says the network has been assailed for bias even in the Middle East.
In 2004, interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi temporarily shut down Al Jazeera’s broadcast in Iraq because he said it was inciting violence and racial hatred. In 2008, former ABC-TV Nightline reporter Dave Marash, brought on to anchor Al Jazeera English for American audiences, quit after two years and said the anti-American bias at the station was “reflexive.”
The agreement by Al Jazeera cable television network to buy Current TV is not necessarily a plus for U.S. cable operators or their audiences,” said Andrea Levin, president and executive director of CAMERA. Al Jazeera Arabic “is not the Middle East equivalent of CNN, as it is often but mistakenly described,” Levin said.
CAMERA says one of the network’s most popular programs is Shariah and Life, hosted by Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a former “spiritual guide” of the Muslim Brotherhood. Al-Qaradawi has called for conversion of Europe and North America to Islam and a Muslim-led genocide of Israel and the Jews, Levin said.
Al Gore is an opportunist.  His stardom in the green movement came about from the movie, “An Inconvenient Truth” despite the fact that it is full of half truths and deceptions.  He has recently said he made a mistake backing the ethanol fuel initiative.  When I heard this, I thought that perhaps he was finally getting it.  But in view of this sale, I have to wonder if he was taken off the payroll by the ethanol producers and he got back at them by saying it was wrong to mandate ethanol into gasoline.

NASA Revises Cycle 24 Sunspot Prediction.

David Hathaway, NASA solar cycle expert, has a revised forecast for Solar Cycle 24 Sunspot number and Maximum timing.  In May 2012, he forecast the smoothed sunspot number maximum at 60 and the timing of the maximum as the spring of 2013.  His January 2013 Cycle 24  revised forecast is for 69 spots and maximum in the Fall of 2013.  He adds:
“ We are currently over four years into Cycle 24. The current predicted and observed size makes this the smallest sunspot cycle since Cycle 14 which had a maximum of 64.2 in February of 1906.”  
       Hathaway’s  NASA Revised January 2013 Sunspot Number Prediction

Global Temperatures 12th Highest In The Last 34 Years

Satellite temperature measurements began 34 years ago.  The satellites are the most comprehensive measurements of global temperatures and largely can avoid the errors so pervasive in the land-based measuring devices.
Accordingly, they are the gold standard of atmospheric global temperature recorders.
For 34 years these satellites have been managed by the University of Alabama at Huntsville.  Principals in this effort have been Dr.s Roy Spencer and John Christy.   They report that the year 2012 was the 9th warmest globally in the 34 years of satellite measurement.  The temperature anomaly for 2012 was +0.161.  The warmest year in the 34 years was 1998 followed, in order, by 2002,2003, 2005, 2006, 2007,2009,and 2010.  From that list, one can see that the trend for the global temperatures is downward.

2012 Volt and Leaf Sales

The 2012 Volt sales were 23,461 which surpassed by a wide margin the 2011 sales of 7,671.  As reported, Californians were responsible for more than half of the 2012 sales. The HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lanes now allow the Volt even if there is only one person in the vehicle.  Initially, the Volt emission levels weren’t low enough when operating on gasoline to qualify for driving in the HOV lanes. This problem was corrected. If you have ever driven in California, you know just how packed roads can be out there.

My wife and I have been driving South several times a year. We use the HOV lanes when driving south out of Washington, DC, around Charlotte, North Carolina and through downtown Atlanta, Georgia.  Two things are noticeable;  one is that we hardly have to slow down from normal interstate driving speeds and  the other is that ours is often the only vehicle in the HOV lane. The vast, and I mean vast majority of the cars, trucks, etc, have only one person in the them. I can understand the allure that driving in the HOV lane must have in Los Angles.

In addition GM worked up an attractive leasing program for the Volt.  According to Money.CNN website:”….. the Volt has also been helped by aggressive leasing incentives offered in 2012. Last year, GM was offering the car for $289 a month with a $2,800 down payment. That was far less than a car with the Volt’s nearly $40,000 purchase price would ordinarily lease for, even factoring in a $7,500 plug-in car tax credit.”

The Nissan Leaf improved over last years sales by about 1.5% with total 2012 sales of about 9,800 vehicles.

The sales of the Volt,  along with the Toyota Prius are the most successful hybrids on the market, are really not that impressive when you consider  2012 total vehicle sales in the US of 14.5 million. EVs, like the Leaf, are even less impressive.  My guess is that gasoline prices are not going to skyrocket in the near term because of the continued world-wide recession and the introduction of a lot of new fossil fuels from fracking.  Low fuel prices will depress hybrid and EV sales.  And one has to wonder how long GM will be willing to subsidize the Volt.