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How progressive: ship dead trees 5,000km and burn them (use £450m for kindling)

It would make any hunter gatherer proud.

[The Times] Britain is wasting hundreds of millions of pounds subsidizing power stations to burn American wood pellets that do more harm to the climate than the coal they replaced, a study has found.

Chopping down trees and transporting wood across the Atlantic Ocean to feed power stations produces more greenhouse gases than much cheaper coal, according to the report. It blames the rush to meet EU renewable energy targets, which resulted in ministers making the false assumption that burning trees was carbon-neutral.

The UK tribes can thank chief Huhne (Energy and Climate secretary) for the 7.5 million tonnes of dead trees otherwise known as biomass — which  mostly come all the way from the US and Canada.

Naturally, doing something this improbable takes a lot of money.

Drax, Britain’s biggest power station, received more than £450 million in subsidies in 2015 for burning biomass, which was mostly American wood pellets.

Curiously, there are over 200 trillion cubic feet of dead trees stored under Lancashire. They may have been very very small trees, like algae sized, but nonetheless, 4,999 kilometers closer. Apparently when all the trees of Canada and the US are used up, and the UK moves out of the Wood Age, it will have some spare gas  to heat UK homes for the next 1,200 years.

The climate debate has now moved on to arguing whether trees are renewable. There’s a kind of death-spiral bickering between different varieties of “renewables” beasts. If it takes 200 years to grow a tree back, and you believe the models that are 97% wrong, oceans might boil before the carbon is back in the tree.This is just another carbon accounting bun-fight.

The report author, Mr Bracks, calls the subsidies ridiculous, but only because the money could have gone to “zero carbon” wind or solar instead. Shame he didn’t point that out then, when he was the special advisor to Chris Huhne.

Having poured countless millions into Biomass, by a remarkable coincidence, three months after Huhne got out of jail for lying about speeding fines, he was appointed European Director of a company called Zilkha Biomass.

Wood pellets fuel Huhne’s journey into private sector

He is not the only one to follow this gravy laden career path:

Several other former energy ministers have gone on to lucrative jobs in the sector. Sir Ed Davey, the Lib Dem who replaced Mr Huhne as energy and climate secretary but lost his seat in 2015, advises three companies on low-carbon energy projects. Lord Barker of Battle, the Tory former energy minister, took up posts advising a renewable heat business and a solar panel company. The appointments of both were approved by Acoba.

Pretending to save the world can be a lucrative career.

 They claim to reduce greenhouse gases,
From mulched trees as burnt bio masses,
By importing wood pellets,
The renewable zealots,
Are behaving like right silly asses.

 – Ruairi

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How progressive: ship dead trees 5,000km and burn them (use £450m for kindling), 9.7 out of 10 based on 90 ratings

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157 comments to How progressive: ship dead trees 5,000km and burn them (use £450m for kindling)

  • #
    Gerry, England

    The stupid truth of the matter is that Drax had little choice but to do this. Ever increasing taxes on ‘carbon’ to create the pretence that renewables is some how getting to be economically viable were set to close Drax despite it being an efficient power station – and that is beyond being able to operate 24/7. So with taxpayers’ cash on offer to convert and then pay above the sensible rate for the electricity generated why would the management not take it. Sad that they then have to lie about it all rather than admit what they have done but I suppose if you want to keep the taxpayers’ cash coming you don’t bite the hand that rewards you. The only hope is that it can be converted back once the madness has passed.

    413

    • #
      Oliver K. Manuel

      The ultimate cost is exceedingly high for those who accept government propaganda that has been disguised by the UN and the UNAS with Nobel and/or Crafoord Prizes and officially labelled as 97% consensus science,” like the AGW fable promoted by the UN’s IPCC and Al Gore.

      131

      • #
        Environment Skeptic

        ….Hi !
        “97% consensus science,”
        That should be identified as
        ‘Mob Rule Science’ (MRS)

        This is a bit like a football game where there are only two sides. In its simplest form, it is one side playing with itself and other team members that might reflect a different point of view on the playing field are removed for not being on the same side…………. Mob Science Rules..

        And i have to keep reminding everyone that the first ‘Greens’ were passionate about protecting the remianing complex ecosystems from toxic chemicals, and you get the drift. There are still some of the original greens left. (pause)…… What we have now is a new environmental species called the ‘Carbon Green’

        A completely and utterly different genetically modified clone/animal.

        The main concern of the Carbon Green in its purest form is in hypothetical survival of humans in the future when ice caps melt and of course a single molecule called carbon and so on.

        Any species of forest that are still complex ecosystems like state forest (native forest) is privatised and completely logged out as having a complex environemt does not fit with the simple, clorophyl and CO2 science model.

        And that is why all remaining ecosystems are removed as quickly as possible by whatever means available so that they can be converted over into what is called Carbon Sink technology.

        Unless the forest is removed, so that new baby trees can be planted, the forest cannot be called ‘renewable’ so that the baby trees can be converted into carbon Credit technology. here in Gippsland, Victoria Au i have seen trucks every four to ten minutes carrying away the last mature trees from state forest. The traditional greens before the Carbon greens came along designated gippsland as part of what was then called the “Green Wedge”, but now that the Carbon Greens have come along it is converted into the Carbon Green wedge and any native forest has to be removed/exterminated so that the plantation forest, Carbon Green renewable environment can be created. In it’s own image.

        Here is a great recent video of the Orrovile Dam malfunction showing aerial video of the vast timber felling operations that surround the dam like a Carbon Green plague of ‘Mob Rule Mice’ (MRM).


        “Oroville Dam: Possible collapse update”

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaw3feQA9Xo

        53

        • #
          Environment Skeptic

          The video above is probably showing a similar phenomena behind the “dead tree” phenomena i have been claiming for some time has never been worse since the Carbon Greens came along and in my opinion accelerated the destruction of the last remaining complex ecosystems while everyone was distracted, talking about the weather

          74

          • #
            Environment Skeptic

            One thing i do understand now about the debate.

            The significance of which resides in the first principal which is fromulated somewhat, that the devils greatest trick was in convincing sheep that it did not exist…….(pause)………But the formulation is deeper and be further elaborated by the idea that the essence of the phenomena/spirit/ is something like the fairy tale in which the good queen broke the evil dwarf’s power over her by guessing his name.

            Without accurate language/thought/identification, the adversary can never be made objective and seen in broad daylight as it were with disguise removed like the emperor without clothes …(pause) and so it is crucial to cease calling this psychic phenomena by a false name being the name “green”. Instead it can only be revealed to others if the words “Carbon Green” is used or something better that some one can come up with.

            Confusing this animal with another is part of its disguise and deception is its specialty.

            43

        • #
          Greg Cavanagh

          The Green movement was hijacked long before Carbon became a thing. It’s simply a feel good Socialist movement without society at its heart. A movement of authoritarianism if you will, where the 1% browbeat the passive majority into following their little escapades.

          The environment (whatever that is), people, society, social good ect. They are not the message, but simply the message carrier. A means to an end, nothing more.

          62

          • #
            el gordo

            After the fall of the Berlin Wall the far left in Australia decided to penetrate main stream political parties.

            The Balmain Greens were the soft underbelly, the free radicals began the takeover of the well meaning environment movement.

            Meanwhile the ALP didn’t see them as a threat and then it became too late to eradicate them, the story goes that one even became PM.

            It is what it is, where to from here?

            31

            • #
              OriginalSteve

              I’d suggest a form of “balanced” McCarthyism to stop communists holding positions of power in either govt or the APS….

              McCarthy understood the problem well, but his execution was a bit off….

              10

          • #
            Environment Skeptic

            “The Green movement”…………………………

            “Mob Environmentalism Rules”

            I think it was the collective phenomena called the “Ozone layer” back then from memory which may not be super accurate….(big pause)

            Tony could probably help verify that it could all have been solved without using R134a which is a bogglingly expensive refrigerant gas (ozone friendly) that is allegedly nice to the ozone layer. Instead ordinary garden variety R600a refrigerant (Butane) (rant) gas could have been used without the price tag as it already is now used a few years later because it gets a very high star rating also

            ….(Pause)……it gets a higher star rating than R134a…so ordinary butane gets a higher star rating than the specialy designed and patented R134a refrigerant gas when garden variety Butane was already available. ….as is formulated…..”go Figure”

            41

            • #
              el gordo

              Dupont benefitted from a vague theory.

              50

            • #
              Greg Cavanagh

              The 50 year IP for CFC was coming to an end. It was about to be open for everyone to make without royalties. Dupont funded some science, found that CFC’s depleted ozone, and convinced the government to ban their product (preventing it from becoming open licence). And of course Dupont had a brand new IP for a new refrigerant with a fresh 50 years or royalties.

              Dupont had nothing to lose and everything to gain, and they gained big time. More shoddy science wins the day.

              30

    • #
      James Murphy

      I know what you mean, and I doubt any other company would have done anything different, but they did indeed have a choice in the matter, just as so many climate “scientists” have a choice to apply rigorous scientific methods to their work, or not, as the case may be.

      130

      • #
        Oliver K. Manuel

        Scientists, artists and musicians, guided by their own natural fire of creativity,” are perhaps mostly social misfits, like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

        My own research mentor was somewhat like that, or a man without a country, and I will be forever grateful that Paul Kazuo Kuroda recruited me to research, “The origin of the solar system and its elements” in May 1960, after I had independently decided that post-graduate research would destroy my natural creativity.

        By 1 April 2017, the Centennial Celebration of Kuroda’s birth, I hope to publish another note on the powerful impact Kuroda has had on the professional careers and personal lives of his students:

        https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/TRIBUTE_TO_KURODA.pdf

        51

    • #
      Peter Miller

      Even most greenness believe burning American Wood chips in British power stations is a bit goofy.

      But when you want to go beyond goofy, you can rely on the UK’S Liberal Democrats, which is why this insane project happened and why they must never be let anywhere near government again.

      None of us who comment here really understand how the mind of an ecoloon or a greenie actually works, or rather doesn’t work. More worrying a good 20-30% of our populations fall into this category, namely of not having a clue how the real world functions.

      Ed Daley was rewarded for being an inept ecoloons, who cost the country dearly and that is what is so very very wrong.

      310

      • #
        Leonard Lane

        Peter, I think I have a way you might start to gain insight into the mind of an ecoloon.
        1. Figure out the best, most honest, fairest to most, most economical, least likely to harm people or the environment, technology, process, or political stance.
        2. Start with #1 and reverse each of these words and phrases,e.g. worst, most dishonest, etc. until you come to the end of your list of all the best things (and your list might run to pages, not just 2 items as in my example.
        Then throw in several things that are blatantly false , totalitarian, discriminatory, racist, anti-religious, anti-decent, and so on and on.
        Well you get the idea. Look at the worst you could do on everything and then make them all twice as bad.
        When you have accomplished the above, ponder them and you might begin to understand a small part of the ecoloon mind. But remember, every evil, illogical, dishonest, etc. etc. thing or idea you had is only a fraction of the ecoloon’s mind.
        This method might also be helpful in trying to understand a fraction of the minds of Democrats, Warmunists, Communists Socialist, and on and on.
        But one strict rule. As you ponder your lists never, never, believe anything you have created or you might go insane.

        50

        • #
          Richard Ilfeld

          The simplest way to understand this is the concept of projection; in a few words:
          They are guilty of what they accuse you of.
          Works for most of the greeness and political ‘isms’ out there.

          40

    • #

      Well said Gerry. The only issue that it is not taxpayer subsidies that fund the extra cost of the wood chips. Instead it is added as an additional cost of supply and recharged onto electricity bills. The irony is that this is a regressive charge (it hits the poor hardest) introduced by the progressives.

      20

  • #
    Spetzer86

    A shame that neither wind nor solar are “zero carbon” as they don’t make back the full amount of energy that goes into their manufacture. Also a shame the damage being done to US forests to meet these stupid demands.

    261

  • #

    But at least wood pellets are renewable energy, as the trees once replanted will grow back. Unlike all other renewable energy (except nukes and hydro) its availability is not intermittent as long as you have enough available forest to rotate harvest and regrow areas properly. Its a lot more earth friendly than wind or solar. Cheers -

    627

    • #
      Spetzer86

      Except the hardwoods being harvested will be replaced by softer, faster growing trees. This will lead to loss of the original hardwoods and potential species loss. Not to mention the accompanying damage to waterways and animal habitats. https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/southeast-biomass-exports-report.pdf

      300

      • #

        Indeed. The greens are very good at protecting the dead stuff underground.

        Not so good with the living.

        280

      • #
        bobl

        They could just regrow the hardwood weeds that cover Australia, frankly ironbark springs up like weeds each spring at my place and mature in 20 years or so, irrigated maybe 15. I have a 5 Y/O specimen which is probably big enough to pelletise.

        70

        • #
          Annie

          Likewise the river redgums around our place. Magnificent as marure specimens are to look at (when they aren’t shedding huge heavy branches on your head) their saplings are in ridiculous numbers and very fast growing in this area.

          40

  • #

    the fact of the matter is, even government isn’t so stupid they couldn’t see the unintended consequences of an idea this stupid; it actually makes ethanol look like an almost good idea, which it isn’t.

    210

  • #

    Wood chips will be renewable in 60 – 100 years, when the trees have regrown – but that will be to late, cause we all will have died bc. of of internal loss of heat aka human climate change

    /sarc

    130

    • #
      Richard Ilfeld

      no sarc — the wood being shipped is pulpwood, & renews in less than 20. Plum Creek (now weyerhauser) has farmed
      fast growing pulpwood trees for years. They assumed paper use would be down (probably not) and participated in creating this market.
      For coal substitution domestically, where shipping is low and there is other wood waste to fill in, made economic sense, especially
      as a combination of pulpwood and burnable waste consumed 100% of the tree cut and replaced for the paper industry. Efficiently environmentally
      friendly as originally conceived to supplement coal with a waste or surplus product in a cost effective way.

      That’s why pellets were available for the British idiocy.

      30

  • #
    Lionell Griffith

    The good intentions derived from a noble cause are sufficient justification without respect to the negative consequences therefrom derived. Such consequences can more than negate the intended good to be accomplish but are not to be considered. Only the warm and fuzzy feeling of pretending to do good is all that is necessary. You get to pay for the negative consequences and they are remain unaccountable for anything but the good that happens or that is pretended to have happened.

    It is total and complete madness beyond all madness. Sadly, we have allowed them to get away with it.

    210

  • #
    Ron in Austin

    There’s a joke here somewhere about taking coals to Newcastle but I’m not smart enough to find it.

    90

    • #
      Dennis

      Something about not seeing the wood for the seams?

      90

    • #
      Yonniestone

      Its true, you can’t see the wood for the greens.

      80

    • #
      toorightmate

      The costs will come down very soon as the wood will be able to be sourced from the forests of Greenland – Wil Steffan told me and the Chief Scientist is looking into it.

      80

      • #
        bobl

        OK, how about we do it this way, put the wood into a high pressure oven, cook out the volatiles anoxicly leaving behind the carbon, then we can pipe the volatiles out as natural gas and crush up the carbon to feed boilers in power stations.

        Oh, Hang on, isn’t that what mother nature does for us for free making Coal seams and CSG….

        80

        • #
          KinkyKeith

          Bob

          You should patent that one!!!!!!

          KK

          30

        • #
          gnome

          Someone (with a longer attention span than mine) needs to point out that there is a progression in combustion efficiency from wood to lignite to dirty (unwashed) bituminous coal to bituminous coal to anthracite, and even though you need more of the lower order stuff the combustion products are effectively the same, including mercury, sulphur etc.

          When someone says chinese dirty coal is more CO2 polluting because it contains more ash and you have to burn more to run a boiler, they are effectively trying to say the ash burns to CO2 as well as the combustible components.

          40

          • #
            Graeme No.3

            It is more polluting because it was, and to a lesser extent, is still used for domestic cooking and heating and in old fashioned power stations with no scrubbers. Hence the smog (pollution) in big chinese cities. CO2 being invisible is still blamed by the ignorant or confused Greens .
            The new high efficiency Coal fired power stations the Chinese are building emit less pollution (and less CO2 per unit of power) and will help clean up the cities. Don’t forget that London was notorious for pollution until the late 1950′s as was Los Angeles.

            The ash can be removed from air by “scrubbers” – electrostatic and wet – before the exhaust gas goes up the chimney. NOTE that is usually straight sided and the vapour is not visible, unlike the water vapour coming out of the cooling towers which the Greens delight in photoing with the sun behind to make the water vapour look black.

            50

            • #
              Graeme No.3

              Should have mentioned that often the ash is collected and graded and the light weight fraction used for concrete. A large scale business even in Australia.

              50

    • #
      Geoffrey Williams

      You can take coals to Newcastle but you can’t make ‘em burn!
      GeoffW

      40

    • #
      Yonniestone

      Newcastle had a little mine,
      its face was black as charcoal,

      until the day production stopped,
      due to troughing a……s.

      60

  • #
    Ruairi

    They claim to reduce greenhouse gases,
    From mulched trees as burnt bio masses,
    By importing wood pellets,
    The renewable zealots,
    Are behaving like right silly asses.

    451

  • #
    Curious George

    Let’s see if the Brits tolerate skyrocketing electricity prices as stoically as Germans do. Probably not; Brexit is a positive sign.

    120

    • #
      Rereke Whakkaro

      Nah, Brexit is just running away from the problem.

      If the Brits had more bottle, they would have stayed in. The Brits have seen Germany off, twice before. They ought to have stayed in, and forced Germany to leave.

      That way, the Brits could have won the trifecta, and thus molded the EU to dance to their drum.

      10

      • #
        Annie

        RW. They would then be totally lumbered with all the problems of Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Spain, Portugal and France. Still a good idea?

        50

      • #
        clipe

        Actually, three times. (English are Brits)

        If we must have vulgar, Boche-baiting xenophobia, let it be done with a little real wit. As the game in Bloemfontein approaches, some of us recall with a suppressed smile what Vincent Mulchrone of the Daily Mail wrote on the morning of the 1966 World Cup final. “West Germany may beat us at our national sport today, but that would be only fair. We beat them twice at theirs.”

        https://newrepublic.com/article/75866/look-whos-afraid-the-three-lions

        30

  • #

    They should burn disposable nappies, just think how many are thrown away each day. Unintended consequences? Never!

    80

  • #
    Dennis

    “Drax, Britain’s biggest power station, received more than £450 million in subsidies in 2015 for burning biomass, which was mostly American wood pellets.”

    Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday Sun …

    120

  • #
    Steve Richards

    As long as politicians are not engineers or scientists, this sort of mess will keep happening.

    120

  • #
  • #
    Neville

    We all must admit that this UK woodchip idiocy takes some beating.
    But what about the entire Paris COP 21 fiasco that will cost endless trillions of $ until 2100 for ZIP measurable change in temp at all? IOW the entire world has gone barking mad and yet very few dare to state this obvious fact. King’s new clothes anyone?
    But when Rudd Gillard govts held the reins they brought in a co2 tax with one side of their brains and then exported record tonnages iron ore, coal and gas to any country that wanted it.
    This bi-polar approach to so called dangerous co2 emissions takes some beating and of course they will do it all again if people are stupid enough to vote these labor donkeys into power in a couple of years.
    These people couldn’t care less about co2 emissions, so long as it isn’t Aussies getting the RELIABLE benefits from the use of OUR OWN COAL and GAS.
    If anyone can think of anything more brainless and stupid I’d like to hear it.

    110

  • #
    Cephus0

    This kind of thing makes me literally cringe. I know that politicians are forever screwing up over foreign wars and ill-advised foreign policy but when they make such clearly lunatic decisions over something so blindingly physically obvious to anyone with a spare neuron it is enough to make you despair. Nothing seems to matter anymore except political correctness and virtue signalling. The UK is one of the worst offenders and we like to extra sooper dooper virtue signal by ‘gold plating’ all of the more egregiously lunatic green crap.

    The only UK politician to stand up and say the Emperor has no clothes is Nigel Farage. Now Trump has done the same in the US but these two cannot be the only ones who know that the whole alarmist thing is a complete and utter crock.

    140

  • #

    So the collection of drunks, busy-bodies, mediocrities, lobbyists and trough-swillers who run the crummiest German Empire to-date think it’s okay to incinerate American forests for electricity in England. To be fair, all those fake tans do require a more reliable power source than solar panels at 40 to 50 degrees north.

    And at least it takes their minds off invading Russia in the winter.

    131

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      mosomoso:

      Russia exports 800,000 tonnes of wood pellets every year to the EU.
      With the news that the increase in wood burning is reducing the air quality in London back towards that of the 1950′s it is obvious that Russia is encouraging the Germans to use subsidies to make their atmosphere so cloudy that they can’t see their way to the border. Or maybe that the Russians are sending so many trainloads west so that the panzers will get stuck at the rail crossings.

      150

      • #
        mikewaite

        Last (English) spring we spent a few days walking near Grassington , Upper Wharfedale , North Yorks .
        Beautiful scenery , decent weather , not a wind turbine in sight, and no wind, but a haze over the village and
        air not as easy to breathe as you would expect for a village as far from major cities as one can get in England.
        The reason , I realised, was the smoke from all the fashionable wood burning stoves in the holiday homes and B&Bs in the area.
        Not good.
        It reminded me of the days long ago when, to the delight of we children in the street, someone’s chimney caught fire.
        Well, there was no television then.

        90

      • #
        Dennis

        Last year on a very cold winter’s night I stayed in a small country NSW town motel and after dark walked to a local pub for dinner. Walking back with smoke from wood heaters hanging in the valley air it was breath taking.

        30

        • #
          Annie

          Driving through Healesville on a cold winter evening is a bit of a smokey experience. The trouble is that there are good and bad wood heaters and properly seasoned and poorly seasoned wood. There are also people who really don’t know how to use them properly.
          I have nothing against woodstoves per se but they do need to be operated correctly. We have woodstoves but season our wood very carefully. Our recent use is with three year old wood.

          10

          • #
            Annie

            Actually, our favourite little stove burnt Welsh anthracite. Wonderful stuff, very efficient. The stove was multi-fuel but we found that the anthracite gave marvellous results (this was back in England of course).

            10

  • #
    Homersan

    Such stunningly poor decisions being made about how to supply energy all because of a Fear of CO2. What a bazaar World we have been living in for the last few decades, hopefully there is a light at the end of the tunnel….

    160

  • #
    n tesdorf

    Some of the schemes which are the most damaging to the environment are those dreamed up by the Ecoloons of CAGW Alarmism. Ethanol from corn raises corn prices and spreads poverty and hunger, wind and solar power are sporadic, unreliable and do not pay back the full amount of energy and cost that was required for their manufacture. Wind also kills large numbers of birds and bats. The detestable boondoggle above, using American Wood Pellets is a similar distortion of environmentalism, endangering tree populations. Then there are those fashionable biomass and wood burning stoves spreading filth around themselves in pursuit of a Mindless Stone Age Nirvana. These major wastes of money are abetted by tidal-power, geo-thermal and the rest of the bankruptcy fodder schemes promoted in the pursuit of the solution to the non-existant CO2>warming Nexus/’problem’.

    90

  • #
    John F. Hultquist

    If it takes 200 years to grow a tree back, …

    From what I can see, the trees that are planted to “grow back” are not the sorts of trees that grew there – that is, the eastern deciduous types. [The age of what is first cut is unknown to me.]
    A couple of types of trees can be grown and harvested for pulpwood in under 10 years.
    Loblolly pine, also called yellow pine, is a fast growing tree (> 2 feet/year) and is primarily used for pulp and paper but also for lumber and plywood. This is a SE USA tree.
    Poplar trees have been grown and studied for biofuel use.
    http://articles.extension.org/pages/70456/poplar-populus-spp-trees-for-biofuel-production

    Where I live the native type is western black cottonwood (P. Trichocarpa) but hybreds do better, and better than the common Aspens.

    50

  • #
    Glenn999

    I want to be green and really really rich!

    10

    • #
      Greg Cavanagh

      I’ll say anything you want for a billion dollars. Might be a little shy on the “do anything you want”, but I’ll try really hard.

      30

  • #

    There’s something in this which eludes me completely.

    The difference between good Carbon Dioxide and bad Carbon Dioxide. (isn’t it all just Carbon Dioxide)

    We are told that the emissions of Carbon Dioxide are what is contributing to Climate Change. Carbon Dioxide!

    Forget the fact of the emissions of CO2 in the harvesting of the trees in the U.S. Forget the fact of the CO2 emissions in the preparation of the trees to wood pellets. Forget the fact of the emissions of CO2 to get the trees to the preparation plant and then the pellets to the wharf. Forget the fact of the emissions of CO2 in transporting the pellets across the ocean. Forget the fact of the emissions of CO2 getting the pellets from the wharf to Drax. Forget all of that.

    Drax then burns the pellets and emits CO2, in fact at a higher rate than if it was burning the coal itself.

    CO2 is still being emitted by Drax.

    And yet, we are persuaded to believe that is OK, because it is somehow a cycle. The trees sequester CO2 during the growing process, so they are cut down prepared, transported and then burnt. The CO2 emitted from Drax then magically finds its way back across the Atlantic to be sequestered by trees grown to replace the ones which have been harvested.

    Drax is emitting CO2 by burning those wood pellets.

    Climate Change enhancing CO2 is STILL being emitted.

    I somehow cannot figure that out, and hey, if the trees sequester the CO2 for the long life and death of the tree, why not just leave it all there inside those trees in the first place.

    I must have missed something somewhere.

    Tony.

    191

    • #

      …..and hey, if the trees sequester the CO2 for the long life and death of the tree, why not just leave it all there inside those trees in the first place.

      You know, like they expect us to do with coal!

      Tony.

      140

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Even better?????? In Germany and the UK, and as far as I know elsewhere in the EU, burning rubbish for fuel doesn’t count as emissions. So nearly two thirds of Germany’s reduction in emissions comes from that (cheap fuel supply right?). So presumably that is alright because the rubbish grows again.

        50

    • #
      Gordon

      Well TonyfromOz it works like this; Ya take some of these and put them over there, then you take some of those and put them there, no not there, THERE! When that is done you get this. See!? It works.

      20

  • #
    TdeF

    When you start discussing this, the Global Warming, carbon neutral idea is based on three things which I cannot concede. Unfortunately in the interest of appearing reasonable and to get on with the argument, many people concede them

    1. That CO2 is a green house gas
    2. that more CO2 is responsible for any warming
    3. that the steady increase in CO2 is due entirely from fossil fuel, even if there is no correlation at all as stated by Prof. Salby.

    I see no reason to concede these.

    CO2 is a very poor greenhouse gas in tiny concentration compared to water, the major greenhouse gas.
    It is agreed that CO2 could not produce even the small warming observed.
    So the miracle of water assisted heating was invented where a small increase evaporated more water and produced a larger warming. Cute. Totally disproven by the complete lack of a hot spot over the equator. There is no correlation between rising CO2 and flat temperatures, but the facts never stop the Greens.

    The third one is demonstrably wrong. There is negligible fossil fuel CO2 in the air. You can confirm this easily by C14.
    That should be the end of the fossil fuel warming theory let alone the carbon neutral idea.

    Why? The level of CO2 is set by rapid equilibrium with the huge oceans which contain dissolved 98% of all CO2.

    Personally I think the deceit is based on the idea that people do not understand equilibrium in physical chemistry. However their personal experience is that fish breathe underwater, so there must be an adequate supply of fresh oxygen in the water. It is estimated that half of the new oxygen still comes from the phytoplankton, the first plants. Their food is CO2. Banning new CO2 is almost mad but that is the concept behind carbon neutral wood burning.

    There was a time before plants on earth where all the oxygen came from plants in the water alone, so the system was self replenishing. How much CO2 is in the air is set by the massive equilibrium systems and it is human arrogance that our piffling contribution to CO2 determines long term aerial CO2. Like a fart in an elevator, it will stay there forever. Fortunately that is wrong.

    CO2 is produced by all fish, animals, insects, birds and even plants when there is no sunshine. At night even plants produce energy and thus CO2 using their own energy storage system for solar, their own carbohydrate battery backup. CO2 is the stuff of life for carbon lifeforms. Every living thing is made from CO2, almost entirely.

    The equation is so simple CO2+sunlight+H2O => (CO2)m(H2O)n, carbo-hydrates. This was the greatest invention of all time.

    The Greens deny CO2 is life on earth. In fact more CO2 is much better. Green Chlorophyll is a long chain hydrocarbon made from CO2. However for science ignorant Greens, CO2 is poisonous ‘pollution’ which is why Hazelwood, the ‘most polluting’ power station must close in a few weeks. It must not close. We must remove the massive carbon tax which is the RET, the Clean Energy Authority and repeal the Renewable Energy(Electricity) Act (2000). It, not CO2, is killing us.

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      TdeF

      Actually, people usually concede 1 &3 and argue about 2. Without 1&3 there is no point arguing about 2.

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        TdeF

        So perhaps better presented as the presumed facts

        1. That CO2 is a green house gas
        2. that the steady increase in CO2 is due entirely from fossil fuel, even if there is no correlation at all as stated by Prof. Salby.

        and the debated topic

        3. that more CO2 is responsible for any warming

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    el gordo

    ‘More than 300 scientists have urged President Trump to withdraw from the U.N.’s climate change agency, warning that its push to curtail carbon dioxide threatens to exacerbate poverty without improving the environment.

    ‘In a Thursday letter to the president, MIT professor emeritus Richard Lindzen called on the United States and other nations to “change course on an outdated international agreement that targets minor greenhouse gases,” starting with carbon dioxide.’

    The Washington Times

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      Dennis

      How many are political science professors such as the one New Zealand has appointed to represent their country at the IPCC?

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      KinkyKeith

      Fantastic

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        el gordo

        Indeed, here is a little more from Lindzen.

        ‘Challenging the catastrophic climate change narrative, Mr. Lindzen describes carbon dioxide as “plant food, not poison.”

        “Restricting access to fossil fuels has very negative effects upon the wellbeing of people around the world,” he says in his letter.

        “It condemns over 4 billion people in still underdeveloped countries to continued poverty.”

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    Dave in the States

    When I first heard of this practice a couple years ago I was so stunned and angered at the utter stupidity of it, I didn’t really know what to say. Things haven’t changed.

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      Annie

      Dave, as a Yorkshire-born Englishwoman I have to agree with you entirely. The stupidity of it when Drax is sitting over great quantities of perfectly good coal is almost impossible to comprehend.

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    Yonniestone

    Apologies OT, a very informative Oroville Dam update 21-02-2017 from Juan Browne who is allowed an onsite visit giving us an insightful perspective of what has occurred.

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    Doug Proctor

    How much energy is there in 450 million pounds worth of American one dollar bills? American bills are made of renewable plant fibres.

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    Mark M

    This comment is about trees.

    As I can’t comment at the conversation …
    How do we keep gardening in the face of a changing climate?

    If I could ask a question, it would be “when does the author think Australia will no longer be able to grow and pick cherries, knowing that future climate change is here, now?

    Best climate: unless you live in a cold climate zone such as mountain areas, cool inland tableland districts such as Young and Orange in NSW, or cool parts of Tasmania or Victoria, you won’t have much luck growing cherries.

    Growing tips: cherries need a cold climate and well-drained soil. The best time to plant them is in winter, when they are bare-rooted.”

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      Mark M

      “As I can’t comment at the conversation …”
      Here is the page exclusively for me.

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        Ted O'Brien

        They retain submissions which they don’t publish. If you get published, click on your name, and I think it will lead you to every submission you ever made.

        However it sometimes appears to me that the blackball process is applied.

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      Annie

      In fhis area the cold late spring has been more of a problem. We did, several times, manage to buy some good local cherries and our newly planted little cherry tree produced its first few too.

      Cold nights have been a problem hereabouts most nights this ‘summer’. We live in North Central Victoria.

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    Bob in Castlemaine

    “The report author, Mr Bracks, calls the subsidies ridiculous, but only because the money could have gone to “zero carbon” wind or solar instead.”

    Oh yeah… one has to ask was this the same Mr. Bracks (Then Victorian Premier, now jobs for Labor mates Chairman of CBUS, the collector of workers default super billions) who spruiked the merits of a Vestas “blade manufacturing factory” in Portland, Victoria long ago, C2005.
    Needless to say the much vaunted blade factory along with Labor’s illusionary green jobs has long since gone the way of the Dodo.
    As someone once said, and if they didn’t they should have, beware of Lebanese bearing gifts.

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    Andrew

    Being “carbon neutral” is so much cheaper than burning coal that sits in a seam right next to Hazelwood – the next PM is on a national roadshows to tell us how much we can save by following South Oz.

    Seems remarkable that Drax never thought of cutting down Vermont forests to burn in their retrofitted boilers before. Why did they have to be dragged by GBP450m of subsidies into doing the cost efficient thing?

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    Robert Rosicka

    When you hit peak stupidity and then get 97% of scientists to find a way to prove that you haven’t yet reached peak stupidity by digging deeper and find that the hole isn’t deep enough to prove the models and you need funding for an excavator to dig even deeper .
    What’s this called again ?

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      TdeF

      As I commented further down, this is not even carbon neutral, chopping down ancient forests. It is quite the reverse, no different to 150million year old coal.

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    TdeF

    For science, it is hard to beat the extrme leftist spokespeople with their favorite stories

    In this event genes are irrelevant in determining gender. “One’s gender identity is enough to show what gender they are.”

    “When asked if you could identify as another race, Petkanas answered that you can’t, and dismissed this as a “silly” hypothetical.”

    So genes determine race and you cannot identify as another race. That’s silly.

    In this new fake science world, whether carbon neutrality or identity, you believe whatever suits you and get angry with anyone who disagrees. It’s as if the development of rational thinking and the enlightenment never touched universities.

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      TdeF

      I mean you can change your gender at will but not your race? These are magic genes.

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        Bob in Castlemaine

        TdeF not so. At 1% you can apparently become a self identifying erhh.. Gillian won’t allow me to elaborate.
        But to quote a published news comment….

        Warren Mundine did an opinion piece in the Australian recently about shifting Australia Day to a different date to which the following excellent reply/comment was posted.

        On 26 January 1788 when the First Fleet ships unloaded their c1200 convicts, Royal Marine guards and officials not a shot was fired. As they looked around what’s now Circular Quay they saw nothing other than bush. Not a single building, planted field, domesticated plant or animal – nothing at all. It was the same across the continent. It was “terra nullius” – a vacant land.

        There was no Aboriginal Army to defeat in battle. There was nothing to claim as the spoils of victory. There was just wild bush. The few Aborigines who came out to have a look at these strange people were completely illiterate and innumerate and those on the south side of the harbour spoke a language completely unitelligible to those on the north side of the harbour and they’d been constantly at war with each other for as long as anyone can remember.

        There was no “invasion”.

        Captain Phillip was instructed by the government in London to treat the natives “with amity and kindness” and he did. No Aborigines were shot; no platoon of Marines fixed their bayonnettes or loaded their muskets or took a shot at anyone who emerged from the bush to see what was going on. Instead they offered them gifts and friendship.

        Most people now “identified” as “indigenous” – like myself and my children and grandchildren have European – mostly British – ancestry to a greater or lesser extent. I recently had a DNA test done that shows I’m 48% Irish, 20% English, 30% Scandinavian, 1% Spanish and 1% Aboriginal. The absurdity is that, in this time of identity politics, I am an “Aborigine” by virtue of the fact that one of my Irish ancestors married and Aboriginal woman 6 generations ago.

        There is no reason to change Australia Day. It was the day “Australia” came into being and had it not been for those British coming ashore on 26 January 1788 I wouldn’t exist and neither would Mr Mundine. The name “Mundine” is as English as a cold pork pie or fish-n-chips wrapped in newspaper.

        It’s time for all indigenous people to get over what happened 229 years ago and stop playing the victim.

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          TdeF

          Completely agree. Governor Phillip kept a complete record in his diary which stayed with him at all times, even when he moved to become Governor of Jamaica. It was the time of Rousseau and the ‘noble savage’. This victimization has been invented as continues today. The early settlers wanted peace, a good life, freedom from the endless ravages of European wars and poverty and food. They did not come to invade and take what the aborigines had.

          I am puzzled with the 1% aborigine. that is 1/64th, which is 2^8th, so 8 generations ago, 200 years and first fleet stuff.

          The new ‘science’ of flexible genetics though means you can wish yourself to be a different race or gender and it becomes reality. Mind controlled genetics. Of course this is nonsense, which is the point of my quoted piece.

          If Australia Day is to be moved to commemorate the day of a new life for everyone and a far better life for aborigines without the endless internecine slaughter, they should move to a day in the aborigin*l calendar. Perhaps the foundation of the aboriginal nation or a day of the year important in their old culture?

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    pat

    24 Feb: UKDailyMail: Christopher Booker: Pure idiocy! How spending billions on subsidising an efficient coal-burning power station to burn wood is actually WORSE for the planet than before
    Almost exactly four years ago, I revealed details in the Daily Mail of what I described as the perfect symbol of Britain’s ‘mad energy policy’.
    It demonstrated more vividly than anything just how far the politicians in charge had become so lost in ‘green’ make-believe that their behaviour amounted to collective insanity.
    What I was writing about in 2013 was development plans for Yorkshire’s giant Drax coal-fired power station, then the largest, cleanest and most efficient of its kind in Europe, supplying some 7 per cent of Britain’s energy needs…READ ALL
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4255010/Idiocy-replacing-coal-power-stations-burning-wood.html

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      TdeF

      This highlights the insanity of ‘carbon neutral; forest being burned by Greens. Not only are the ancient forests devastated, if the trees take 300 years to grow and are burnt in a day, it will be 300 years before the carbon is back in a tree. So these power stations are only carbon neutral after 300 years. Right now they contribute as much to CO2 as any coal fired power station. Of course if the forest is never replaced, this was just Green destruction of ancient ecosystems to save them.

      Of course you could replace the ancient forest with fast growing bushfire prone gums or pines and turn an ancient ecosystem into a regular disaster, where it all burnt down in a day. Ancient hardwoods do not reproduce by bushfire.

      So destroy an ancient ecosystem forever in the name of saving the planet. Or build bushfire central, which is far worse. Logic and the Greens are enemies. Someone though is making a lot of money while being being paid to destroy what the Greens are supposed to care about.

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    Hello Joanne,
    Impressed by your work.
    I am involved with rainmaking and the latest Infrared device needed a wooden frame as it was large and needed to be mobile on a trolley.
    After purchasing the pine timber from Bunning’s (where else?) and peeling off the bar code I happened to notice the label said ‘product of Estonia’ – pardon?
    Here we are with huge pine plantations in all States yet we import our Pine from Estonia and now just how crazy is that?
    All that effort to export/import a product that is readily available here gives me an impression that somebody in the middle here is making all the money and it’s not the producer nor the customer.

    If anybody is wondering about the rainmaker, there is one similar at work in Western Australia and mine will be the second and it joins an arsenal of some 24 active devices using 11 known technologies.
    Primary Physics at its best.
    All the best.

    David G (Smokey)

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      Estonia? Bizarre. How does that make sense?

      Rainmaking sounds very ambitious, sorry I don’t know anything about that…

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      TdeF

      Economics is an odd thing. Ships carry all the trade from places like Australia. In tonnage nothing much goes on planes.

      However ships need a load in both directions. Our old terrace house (1887) has beautiful Baltic Pine floorboards. Yes, Norwegian wood and possibly Estonian. The terrace has Cast Iron Filigree lacework, British iron. As most of the trade was wheat, ore, dairy, coal the reverse trade was subsidized, as it is today. Even 40% of all our fish is from SE Asia while the Greens keep expanding Marine Parks to stop Australians catching their own fish, but the Greens never make sense.

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        TdeF

        Plus wool. Australia’s wealth grew on the backs of sheep. It may not weigh a lot but it is bulky.

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        Peter C

        Two years ago I travelled through Latvia, Estonian and Lithuania.

        The first thing I noticed as the airplane came in to land, at Vilnius, was the immense amout of forrest and the relatively small amount of agricultural land.

        Part of the reason is the very small populations of these countries. The whole three countries have a combined population of 6.1M and Estonmia has the smallest population of 1.3M. What is more the population of all three couintries is declining. Possibly the Russian emigrees are going back home.

        The forests have been harvested for centuries.

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          TdeF

          Having travelled around Russia, the forests are endless. Much bigger than Brazil, it is the lungs of the world. However it is also very cold. The Russians get hot water piped to every home and they use it for everything, including heating. Outside a fixed radius, no hot water, no houses. So they are surrounded by real forest. Tigers and bears and wolves. It is not France or Spain or Australia. In these far Northern countries, forests rule. It is also a great resource and most of the houses are made, often elaborately from wood. Ekaterinberg, anywhere in Sibera. Beautiful carved wooden houses. Light blue, light green, pretty, so different from the Stalinist bunkers.

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            TdeF

            You will notice the airports are carved into the forests, even in Moscow. End of airport means the start of the forest. In Vladivostok the jet taxied through what looked like a farm gate and down a road through a forest, just clearing the trees on both sides. Russia is a different place and you are right, few people can live through their terrible winters. St. Petersberg is 60 degrees North. Only the water of the Baltic saves them. Water in all its forms controls our weather, not tiny CO2. Both are combustion products and clearly, both are pollution.

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      Peter C

      Please David D describe the phgysics of rain making. Ignore Yonnie’s sarcatic remark!

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    pat

    23 Feb: New Scientist: The EU’s renewable energy policy is making global warming worse
    by Michael LePage
    “It is not a great use of public money,” says Duncan Brack of the policy research institute Chatham House in London, who drew up the report. “It is providing unjustifiable incentives that have a negative impact on the climate.”
    The money would be better spent on wind and solar power instead, he says…
    Supporters of bioenergy claim the industry is only using waste from sawmills and such, rather than whole trees. Producing energy from genuine wood waste that would otherwise be left to rot can indeed be better than burning fossil fuels.
    But in reality, there simply is not enough waste wood to meet demand. What waste there is often contains too much dirt, bark and ash to burn in power plants, or is already used for other purposes. Instead, there is substantial felling of whole trees for energy, the report says.
    “I think the evidence is pretty strong,” says Brack. Official definitions are so poor that companies can cut down whole trees and count them as waste, he says.
    There is also no evidence that new forests are being planted to meet demand for bioenergy, as some bioenergy enthusiasts claim. For instance, forest area in the southern US, which provides much of the wood pellets burned in the EU, is not increasing…
    “Many countries are increasing use of biomass as renewable energy,” Mary Booth of the US-based Partnership for Policy Integrity and a reviewer on the report, said in a statement. “Alarmingly, the Chatham House report concludes that uncounted emissions from the ‘biomass loophole’ are likely large, and likely to significantly undermine efforts to address climate change.”
    https://www.newscientist.com/article/2122115-the-eus-renewable-energy-policy-is-making-global-warming-worse/

    the Bloomberg spin:

    23 Feb: Bloombrg: U.K. Claim That Burning Biomass Is Clean Seen as `Flawed’
    by Anna Hirtenstein
    The U.K. Renewable Energy Association released a statement rejecting the paper’s claims, saying the authors misunderstood to role of biomass in supporting forests that absorb carbon.
    “The system as a whole has led to a doubling of forest cover in the USA over 50 years,” the REA said in the statement. “The fact is that biomass cuts carbon, supports forests, and delivers reliable energy at a lower cost.”…
    The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy reiterated its stance on the fuel in response to the report. Coal is the dirtiest way to generate electricity, and converting coal plants to biomass will facilitate a faster transition away from coal.
    Biomass, “when correctly managed, as it is in this country, yes it is carbon neutral,” Alec James, a spokesman for the agency, said by phone. “We take very careful precautions to make sure it is, in regards to the sourcing of material.”…
    “This report clearly shows that burning wood is not a climate change solution,” said Gareth Redmond-King, head of climate and energy at the WWF-UK environmental group. “Bioenergy only makes sense when using wastes and residues, not wood or crops.”
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-23/u-k-claim-that-burning-biomass-is-clean-seen-as-flawed

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    pat

    24 FeB: Mashable: Europeans are cutting down U.S. forests for so-called ‘sustainable’ energy
    By Andrew Freedman
    European nations, including the UK, are making a grave accounting error that will result in the emissions of more planet-warming greenhouse gases, according to a new report from an independent London think tank…
    “The Paris temperature goal is in peril because of the way we’re dealing with bioenergy,” William Moomaw, a professor at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, said in an interview…
    With the Trump administration wavering on its support for the climate pact, the policies adopted by other nations and groups of countries have taken on an increased importance…
    The study found that despite being responsible for several million tons of carbon emissions in 2016, the UK did not log any emissions from burning wood pellets because of accounting loopholes…
    Regarding the accounting rules that are incentivizing bioenergy without fully accounting for the carbon emissions, Moomaw said: “Somebody has to stand up and tell the kids there is no Santa Claus.”
    http://mashable.com/2017/02/24/europeans-burn-forests-bioenergy-climate/#6Z1vY.qyEaq2

    can’t access any more of the following:

    24 Feb: WSJ: The Carbon Tax Chimera
    The Shultz-Baker proposal sounds better than it would work.
    The climate may change but one thing that never does is the use of climate change as a political wedge against Republicans. Also never changing is the call from some Republicans to neutralize the issue by handing more economic power to the federal government through a tax on carbon. The risk is that Donald Trump takes up the idea, which would hurt the economy with little benefit to the environment…
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-carbon-tax-chimera-1487979109

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    pat

    24 Feb: Reuters: EU ministers ‘bracing for battle’ on carbon market reform
    Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel, Tom Koerkemeier and Waverly Colville
    EU environment ministers are bracing for a tough debate on Tuesday to find a compromise on reforms to the carbon market, EU sources said, with nations split over how to balance climate ambitions with protection for energy-intensive industry…
    “It’ll be negotiations until the death,” one EU diplomat quipped. Another said: “Most EU countries want a deal as soon as possible but positions are still far away from each other.”…

    Pushing for measures to shore up permit prices are some eight EU nations led by France, Sweden and Britain, EU sources said.
    They back the parliament’s proposal to double the rate at which the scheme’s Market Stability Reserve soaks up excess allowances. They are also mulling a plan to scrap permits above a set ceiling and an expiration date to cancel surplus permits after five years.
    For other member states such as Germany, Italy, Austria and Greece, priority is being given to measures for ensuring that the regulation does not spur big industry to relocate abroad.
    They want more permits to be freely doled out to industry rather than put for auction if a cap on overall allocations that slashes free allowances across the board, known as the cross-sectoral correction factor, is triggered.
    Poorer member states in Central and Eastern Europe, for which coal remains a large share of the energy mix, are keen to get the most generous provisions possible to help modernize their economies – prompting other nations to seek limits…

    Thomson Reuters carbon analyst Anders Nordeng said failure to reach a compromise on Tuesday would be bearish for markets as it would signal a tough stance by Poland and other countries that are keen to water down the reforms.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-eu-carbon-idUSKBN1631SC

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    pat

    no surprise Huhne gets in a Trump insult; Ch4′s Newman has a go at Brack near the end for saying subsidies should go into wind because she’d checked the grid the day of the interview and, even tho it was the windiest day of the year, wind was providing less than nuclear. Newman then throws it to Huhne who makes a fool of himself by criticising wind only for Newman to bring up all the wind he’d approved when he was minister:

    VIDEO: 8mins24secs: 23 Feb: Channel 4: Biomass burning debate with Duncan Brack and Chris Huhne
    Presenter: Cathy Newman
    Britain has spent £450m subsidising power stations to burn American wood pellets that are as bad for the environment as the coal they replaced. That’s the findings of a new report by a former Government adviser who questions years of environmental policy. Earlier we spoke to the author of the report – the former Government adviser Duncan Brack and from Paris by his former boss – the former Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne.
    https://www.channel4.com/news/biomass-burning-debate-with-duncan-brack-and-chris-huhne

    24 Feb: Daily Mail: Daniel Martin: Money to burn! Disgraced minister Chris Huhne works for company that benefits from wasteful subsidies he championed while in office
    Chris Huhne works for a firm which benefits from subsidies he championed
    He supported payments to power stations for burning wood instead of coal
    The ex-energy secretary was jailed for perverting the course of justice but has now been released
    Now, he is working for a US wood pellet supplier called Zilkha Biomass
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4255126/Chris-Huhne-works-wood-pellets-supplier-Zilkha-Biomass.html

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    pat

    check the pic of Happer chosen to illustrate this piece. the opening Holdren stuff so confused me, I thought he was referring to Happer. read all:

    24 Feb: Wired: Benjamin Sanderson: Potential Trump Science Adviser says climate change is great
    (Benjamin Sanderson is a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado)
    The new US administration has taken its time in employing a science adviser. Back when Barack Obama was elected in 2008, science adviser John Holdren was nominated a month before inauguration. I had the honor of meeting him last December, and I’ve never been more intimidated or impressed by someone’s sheer intellectual presence. His commanding knowledge of every conceivable aspect of physical science—hurricane physics, ecophysiology, glaciology, and aerosol chemistry—was simply awe-inspiring. It made me feel like there was little I could tell the guy that he didn’t already know.

    The rumored frontrunner for the same position for the Trump administration is William Happer, a physicist from Princeton. Happer’s academic science credentials are solid, but he’s earned a reputation as a climate-change skeptic, with good reason. He recently told the Guardian, “There’s a whole area of climate so-called science that is really more like a cult. It’s like Hare Krishna or something like that. They’re glassy-eyed and they chant. It will potentially harm the image of all science.”
    The Benefits of Carbon Dioxide
    Broadly, Happer isn’t a climate denialist per se, rather he’s a climate change enthusiast, firmly believing that further elevated CO2 levels would be beneficial for humanity. He also professes to care deeply about the scientific method. So, in this spirit, I’ll challenge these assumptions with a mind ***open to his viewpoint…

    Happer’s potential appointment is in some ways more worrying than the administration’s hires to date, such as the appointee for EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, who simply denies scientific consensus on climate, making his position easy to dismiss in rational debate. Happer’s background in science and his selective consideration of the data give his opinions a veneer of respectability. If he is going to champion the principles of the scientific method and rational discourse, he must be able to defend his positions in the light of the overwhelming evidence for the significant risks associated with anthropogenic climate change. And that’s a fight he can’t win.
    https://www.wired.com/2017/02/potential-trump-science-adviser-says-climate-change-great/

    Sanderson is a bit of a media darling and has anti-Trump form:

    27 Dec: WaPo: Scientists just ran the numbers on how much Trump could damage the planet
    By Chris Mooney
    A new commentary article published in Nature Climate Change on Monday presents some additional calculations that tend toward a similar conclusion.
    Written by Benjamin Sanderson of the National Center for Atmospheric Research and Reto Knutti of ETH Zurich, the paper uses climate models to determine what the consequences would be if an eight-year delay in U.S. climate action, led by Trump, reverberates globally. The paper also considered a doubly bad scenario in which the United States also cuts back on clean energy research and then the world follows suit, and a triply bad scenario in which it also burns more fossil fuels and the world follows.
    “Any delays to mitigation or cuts to renewable energy research by the U.S. will likely render the 2 °C target unachievable if a global precedent is set,” the authors write.
    Let’s take this in pieces…blah blah
    Granted, the authors admit that this is a thought experiment only based on a particular set of assumptions — Trump’s policies don’t exist yet, so they cannot be evaluated directly. Nor can the world’s response to them. “We caution against overinterpreting the numbers of this analysis because of the large uncertainty in how the economic and ideological shift in U.S. governance will affect greenhouse gas emissions,” they write.

    Benjamin M. Sanderson
    I obtained my D.Phil under the supervision of Myles Allen at the University of Oxford’s Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics
    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/ccr/bsander/

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    pat

    this is as much as I can access. perhaps someone else can excert some more:

    24 Feb: WSJ: Amy Harder: Donald Trump to Call for Repeal of Obama-Era Water Regulation, Carbon-Emission Cuts
    In planned executive orders, the U.S. president seeks to roll back environmental and climate rules
    WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump is planning to sign as soon as Monday an executive order calling for the repeal of a major Obama-era water regulation and directing a halt to the legal defense of the rule, according to a draft viewed by The Wall Street Journal.
    The order is one of at least two executive orders Mr. Trump is set to issue in an attempt to roll back the highest-profile environmental and climate regulations of former President Barack Obama’s tenure. The second would call for the repeal of a rule aimed at…
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/donald-trump-to-call-for-repeal-of-obama-era-water-regulation-carbon-emission-cuts-1487960654

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    pat

    24 Feb: NPR: Scott Horsley: Trump Orders Agencies To Reduce Regulations
    President Trump signed an executive action on Friday aimed at reducing red tape. It directs each federal agency to set up a task force to identify costly regulations that could be scaled back.
    “Every regulation should have to pass a simple test,” Trump said. “Does it make life better or safer for American workers or consumers? If the answer is no, we will be getting rid of it — and getting rid of it quickly.”…

    “This executive order is one of many ways we’re going to get real results when it comes to removing job-killing regulations and unleashing economic opportunity,” Trump said.
    Of course, one person’s job-killing regulation is another’s lifesaving rule. Environmentalists warned the president could go overboard in his deregulatory zeal…

    Some regulated industries are eager to see rules rolled back. American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard says oil and gas producers faced a “regulatory onslaught” in recent years under the Obama administration…
    “Today’s action by President Trump will unleash innovation across the nation, and it will allow our economy to grow, help lower energy costs for consumers, and help American workers,” Gerard said.

    White House strategist Steve Bannon told the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday that one of the administration’s top goals is dismantling the regulatory framework that previous Democratic presidents have put in place.
    “The way the progressive left runs is, if they can’t get it passed, they’re just going to put in some sort of regulation in an agency,” Bannon said. “That’s all going to be deconstructed.”
    http://www.npr.org/2017/02/24/517059327/trump-orders-agencies-to-reduce-regulations

    24 Feb: API: Michael Tadeo: API’s Jack Gerard applauds administration action aimed at unleashing innovation, creating jobs
    “In the past few years, our industry has faced a regulatory onslaught with 145 new rules and regulations aimed at hindering the development of our nation’s energy resources,” said Gerard. “Today’s action by President Trump will unleash innovation across the nation, and it will allow our economy to grow, help lower energy costs for consumers, and help American workers.
    “We are the number one producer and refiner of oil and natural gas, and we are leading the world in lowering carbon emissions. In order to continue our nation’s leadership on these critical issues, we must have smart, common-sense regulations that will continue to drive innovations in technology and support America’s energy renaissance.”
    API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 625 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 30 million Americans.
    http://www.api.org/news-policy-and-issues/news/2017/02/24/jack-gerard-applauds-administration-acti

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    Roy Hogue

    I wonder who is really president of the United States.

    Or should I wonder at the “accuracy” of this article? Maybe it’s both. I may be just an old curmudgeon nobody wants around anymore but I can still think and I think Donald Trump does not work for Jared Kushner.

    And now you see the problem. Either way, Trump has changed his position in the eyes of the public. And why we should care a hoot about what the rest of the world cares about our commitment to Paris is beyond me to understand.

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    cedarhill

    There are reasons the Brits English have all those great descriptive phrases:
    Barking mad, baying at the moon, knuckle dragging, daft, nutter, ….

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    CheshireRed

    This is a massive story yet it appears the UK Guardian just can’t bring itself to cover it! Wonder why?

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    UK Sceptic

    I agree with everything you have said, Jo. However, speaking as a Lancastrian, I can tell you that the Drax power station is situated in Yorkshire (which also has huge coal deposits), not Lancashire.

    Carry on the good wowrk.

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    Eddie

    Wood pellets you say ? Nice work that oblivion when you can set it up from a Ministerial Portfolio.
    Huhne cartuhne, by Josh

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    RAH

    It’s even worse than Jo has shown. This: https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2017/02/23/protected-forests-in-europe-felled-to-meet-eu-renewable-targets-report/
    is a report from Paul Homewood. Now I have a question. How can a forest be considered “protected” if a government can come in a clear cut for Biomass energy generation requirements?

    Being a student of military history it kind of reminds me of something I read about the war of 1812. One reason why the super frigates of the diminutive US Navy were so dominant against their frigate counterparts in the Royal Navy , which was by far the most powerful in the world at the time, was wood! The European powers, had been fighting and maintaining great fleets for centuries and in doing so had denuded their forests of the best woods for ship construction. By the time of the Napoleonic wars they had to rely on substitutes, sometimes imported from their colonies. The US having a plentiful domestic supply of quality woods of the best types used for naval construction, like the live oak used for the heavy structural components of the hulls of their large 1st class frigates, could produced stronger built ships of superior quality.

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      TdeF

      This was referenced in the excellent film Master and Commander with Russell Crowe. Set around 1805 in the long series of wars with the French, the French ship was made in the US from oak. It was impenetrable to English cannon balls.
      Prior to the discovery of coal turned into coke, pure carbon to replace charcoal, it took 10 acres of forest to produce one tonne of steel. Of course entire countries were stripped, noticeably Finland where no tree is over 200 years old. Coal saved the world’s forests and all the pollution from wood burning.

      This whole business of coal produces CO2 produces warming has gone on for 30 years now. It was a long chain of improbable logic driven by a need to justify the UN’s IPCC. After thirty years, every step of the logic has been disproven, but they rely on decades of misinformation and hysteria when it is now obvious the seas have not risen, the storms are no worse, the polar bears are fine and the caribou just wandered off and millions are not dying of thirst in India or Perth. In fact is there a single prediction which is even slightly true? As far as I know, until corrected, no climate has changed by any definition. No one has even bothered to justify the ‘extreme’ weather prediction. It is said that it was a conclusion of the same models which were wrong.

      With the wisdom of hindsight now and tens of trillions of wasted dollars, can the nonsense please stop? Then prosecute those leading figures who cost our country so much because at some stage they knew it was wrong. Worse, in court a jury of your peers is not a group of peer reviewing climate catastrophists.

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        RAH

        Here’s some mostly forgotten history for you TdeF.
        http://www.robertsarmory.com/gas.htm
        Australia, and many other countries during WW II used coal, coal gas, wood, and charcoal fired cars in abundance in the civilian sector due to the shortage of petrol. The Japanese, which were short of oil to run their war machine for the entire war, used many charcoal fired vehicles in their military. From what I’ve read, they’d get you there, but you had better have a very low range gear if you were going to climb a hill of any significant size.

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    clipe

    Thunder Bay Biomass Plant

    Nominated for: Most Expensive Norwegian Wood (Isn’t It Good?)

    Cost:$40 million(annually)

    Ontario’s Auditor General uncovered the wasteful conversion of a Thunder Bay coal plant into a biomass facility.

    In 2013 the Minister of Energy Bob Chiarelli decided that the Thunder Bay coal plant would be converted to burn forestry by-products. The Ontario Power Authority(OPA)advising the government against it after a review that showed the conversion wouldn’t be cost effective.

    The plant is a peaking resource that only operates the equivalent of five full capacity days a year while employing 60 full time staff. At a cost of $40 million a year it will only generate 15,000MWh, putting electricity costs from that plant at $1,600 per megawatt hour, which is approximately 25 times more expensive than electricity from the average biomass facility.

    Originally, the hope was that jobs would be created in Ontario’s forestry industry – but the biomass plant was not able to use ordinary wood chips readily available in Northwestern Ontario, so it is required to import special wood chips from Norway.

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    Tom O

    The concept of burning wood being “carbon neutral” is truly anal. The energy content of wood, compared to coal, is just not there, so to get the same amount of energy as the coal you are trying to replace requires burning far more wood.

    The acquisition of the wood, turning it into pellets, transporting it to the end user, all cost energy, basically created by carbon fuels. It is doubtful that you could get enough energy out of the wood to replace these outlined costs, if there was a way to actually do so – haven’t seen an electrically driven freighter yet, or one with a pellet burning boiler, to say nothing about efficient clear cutting equipment, and transportation to and from the chipping and pelletizing mill that also needs considerable power.

    I don’t understand how any intelligent, thinking person could buy this BS, and yes, in spite of how they act, politicians are reasonably intelligent and able to think. The carrot being held out in front of them has to be something far greater than “saving GAIA from mankind.” There must be plenty of “scratch” being handed out to get them to think that “trained seals” will be considered desirable in the depopulated world. They won’t have any more future in the Elite’s world than does the commoner.

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    [...] How progressive: ship dead trees 5,000km and burn them (use £450m for kindling) ~ Jo Nova (Australian science author/speaker/former TV host) highlights the goofy lengths the [...]

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    TdeF

    Internecine

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