Monthly Archives: August 2013

Bloom Box Surcharge Increases 570%, Stunning Delaware Utility Customers

In 2012 the Governor of the State of Delaware, Jack Markel, entered into a long-term contract with Bloom Energy.  The contract obligated Bloom to begin manufacturing their “Bloom Boxes” in the closed Chrysler Assembly plant.  Delaware was obligated to subsidize Bloom to the tune of the difference of the cost of the electricity produced by Bloom Boxes and the cost of open market electricity.  That subsidy rose from $0.67 in October 2012 to $3.83 for September 2013, a 570% increase, where it increases each ratepayers month’s bill. Delaware has mandated a requirement to buy renewable energy produced electricity that grows to 25% of the total energy used in the State by 2025.  The open market electricity price has been dropping due to the increased availability  of  natural gas from fracking operations around the Nation. The natural gas is becoming the major source of energy for producing electricity.   Natural gas is not considered a “renewable” form of energy.  But the State passed an exception to their renewable energy law that allows  Bloom Box energy  to be called “renewable” even though these boxes use natural gas as their energy source.  The irony here is that the electricity  produced using natural gas the standard way, the electricity is much less expensive than electricity produced by Bloom Boxes.   But remember, the State has a law  that demands the use of “renewable” energy produced electricity.

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There Is A Difference Between “Warm” And “Warming”

The National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its State of the Climate in 2012: Highlights on August 2. The report says:

Many of the events that made 2012 such an interesting year are part of the long-term trends we see in a changing and varying climate—carbon levels are climbing, sea levels are rising, Arctic sea ice is melting, and our planet as a whole is becoming a warmer place,” said acting NOAA Administrator Kathryn D. Sullivan, Ph.D.   

The report itemizes those things from which they have developed the theme that the planet is becoming a warmer place. The first on the list was this one:

Warm temperature trends continue near Earth’s surface: Four major independent datasets show 2012 was among the 10 warmest years on record, ranking either 8th or 9th, depending upon the dataset used. The United States and Argentina had their warmest year on record.  

Now you are forgiven if you interpret that item as saying that the Earth is getting warmer, and indeed most of the media jumped to that conclusion.  But what are the facts?  Look at the HadCrut* temperature chart for the period from 1998 to 2012 that NOAA made this claim:

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US Congress–Take Back Your Constitutional Rights From President Obama

The President’s Organizing for Action (OFA) committee has been embarrassed by lack of interest by libs, greens and NGOs in the OFA’s  “Action August” events.   In early August, the OFA had a Virginia kick off meeting touting Obamacare and only one person showed up and at last week’s DC kick off meeting supporting the Obama climate change agenda, no one showed up.

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Is Greenpeace Behind Destruction Of Field Trials Of Golden Rice?

Philippines’ environmental groups destroyed a “Golden Rice” development test plot. Golden Rice is genetically modified rice that is being developed to combat vitamin A deficiency in the developing world.  The Hellen Keller International organization says the around 670,000 children world-wide will die each year from vitamin A deficiency and about 350,000 will go blind from the lack of vitamin A.  It is reported that one cup of Golden Rice will supply half an adult’s recommended daily intake. The International Rice Research Institute reports that: “The rice has been modified by adding extra genes that turn on the plant’s ability to produce beta-carotene, which humans can convert into vitamin A.”

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Mars Rover’s First Birthday Celebration At NASA

On 5 August 2012, the NASA Curiosity Rover landed on Mars.  NASA has provided several videos to commemorate Curiosity’s yearlong exploits.    The first video condenses 12 months of images taken in “rover’s eye view” down into two minutes:

Click here                    12 months in 2 minutes

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Svensmark Theory—Cosmic Rays Contribute To Lower Global Temperatures

The previous posting closed with: Low Sunspot numbers and low F 10.7 indicate low solar activity.  How this activity translates to cooler weather is not clear.  The correlation between low activity and cooler weather has been know for several hundred year (or perhaps longer— recently read that the Chinese recorded Sunspot numbers many century’s ago and reported this correlation.)

One possible explanation is the Svensmark theory. This theory begins with high energy galactic cosmic rays (GCR) entering the Earth’s atmosphere where they collide with atmospheric molecules of oxygen. The collisions shatter the molecules and the resulting particles become nuclei for cloud droplets from which clouds are formed. Clouds reflect a significant amount of the Sun’s radiation back into space.  The weaker the Sun’s magnetic field (low solar activity),  the more GCR enter the atmosphere.  The more clouds, the more cooling.   This is opposed to the situation where the Sun’s activity is high, fewer GCR result in fewer clouds.

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Solar Cycle 24 July Update

NASA predicts a solar magnetic field reversal in about 3 to 4 months.  When that happens, Solar Cycle 24 will have reached what is known as the cycle maximum.  After that the Sunspot numbers will decrease with time. There is a possibility that a  short period of none at all  will happen before Cycle 25 kicks in. NASA has produced a video that discusses the mechanism and the implications of the solar magnetic field reversal.  The video can be viewed by clicking here.

The July charts for Sunspots and F10.7 cm Radio flux are shown below.


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Study Forecasts Sea Level Rise That Is 10X Actual Rise In Last Century

A recent study “Rapid Accumulation of Committed Sea-level Rise from Global Warming” asserts that some 1700 US cities and towns will be below sea level by 2100. The study was authored by Benjamin H Strauss for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  The study is behind a paywall.  Dr Don J Easterbrook has reviewed the claim and he has spelled out his thinking in a Climate Depot posting. (Those views will constitute the body of this posting.)  Easterbrook says:

The accelerated rise is based on postulated accelerated warming but there has been no warming in the past 15 years and, in fact, the climate has cooled during that time. So no climatic warming means no accelerated sea level rise as postulated by Strauss…the huge rise of sea level rates proposed by Strauss are absurd and that the maximum sea level rise by 2100 will be less than one foot.”

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July Satellite Global Temperature Update

The UAH satellite program for measuring global temperatures reports the July anomaly was +0.17°C which is a drop of 0.12°C from last month’s report.  Dr Spencer points out that this reading is from two new satellites.  He says that the old version would have read a smaller positive temperature anomaly but he believes that is due to an uncorrected diurnal drift in satellite NOAA-18.  That satellite’s reading are not in the current version.



July EV Sales Down But Still Some Hope For 100,000 Sales By Year End

July sales for the leaders, Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf were off compared to their June sales.  The Volt sold 1,788 in July versus 2,698 in June.  The Leaf sales were 1,864 in July versus 2,225 in June.

The table below shows the models having sold more that 1000 vehicles year-t0-date.  (Tesla would be in this table but they only report sales quarterly.)

Nissan Leaf 1,864 11,703
Chevy Volt 1,788 11,643
Toyota Prius Plug-In     817   5,035
Ford  C-Max Energi    433   2,915
Ford Fusion Energi    407  1,991
Ford Focus Electric    150  1,050

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