Fiddling While Sumatra Burns

Photo CBC news - see link below
So here we are, spending billions upon billions on marginal power generation schemes while  in Indonesia the whole of the UK Carbon Dioxide emissions per year are more than duplicated due to a mixture of slash and burn farming, illegal logging and yet another green energy scam (Palm Oil). Currently the whole of South East Asia is choking beneath the smoke ( See Here ) ( And Here )

Here are the total UK Carbon Dioxide emissions for 2011 and 2012. ( Taken From Here )

See this recent research paper ( Here ) by Hooije, Page et al. The true horror of the current Peat/rain forest burn in Indonesia is revealed. Based on what has already happened in Indonesia and particularly Sumatra they predict the following:

If current rates and practices of peatland development and degradation continue, CO2 emission is expected to peak at 745 Mt y-1 in 2015

But don't think that it stops there. Although the figure steadily drops, annually it will still be above 2011 UK emissions until 2030. But concentrating simply on Carbon Dioxide misses out the horrendous mass pollution that is also being endured by the people of South East Asia.

We buy into the Palm Oil scam which is the main crop which is causing this obscenity in the Far East. Meanwhile we spend well over a billion a year in subsidy for the wind turbine scam which (assuming you believe their figures - See this Post) even the wind energy industry reckon to save less than 1% of our annual carbon dioxide emissions, while causing enormous distress to the communities on who these useless totems are imposed.

A fashion statement energy policy that squanders huge amounts of resources on ineffective feel good generation while disregarding the engineering, science and real politik is a disgrace.

We should put a ban on using palm oil for energy and divert a fraction of the money wasted on wind turbines to direct loans to dirt poor Indonesian peasants. This would not only reduce Carbon Dioxide  but significantly reduce smoke pollution as well.

No doubt the green cults, especially the WWF  ( See Here ) would be up in arms and protest about how their Palm Oil is "sustainable" (yea right ). Just don't ask them what happened to the Peat and Rain-Forest that used to be on their dodgy oh-so-green plantations.

Fiddling around the edges, while lining the pockets of the greedy and appeasing a luddite clique is never going to prevent mass pollution. Either here or in Indonesia.

In fact it could well be argued our obsession with ridiculous green energy scams is mostly to blame for this on going tragedy in Indonesia, as well as damaging our own local environment.

Dead Germans Don't Count

At least not to the German Government or the Green lunatics who call the tune over there.

Angela Merkel caused a flurry when she buckled to Green lunacy and ordered the safe and boringly reliable German Nuclear fleet to be shut down.

Consequently she is going to kill a lot of Germans.

When asked how they were going to make up the shortfall from closing the nuclear plant the German government just mumbled and looked at their shoes. Then we found out that their grand plan involved building 5800 MW of Lignite burning coal plant.

That's right. They are building Lignite burning coal plant to replace nuclear....

A German government minister enthused that the new coal plant would be easier to throttle than older coal plant so could be used in conjunction with wind and solar.....

No I'm not making this up. (honest)

But there is also another 12.2 GW of nuclear yet to close. I expect a lot more mumbling and shoe viewing from the German government in the near future.

Anyway, back to the main thrust of this post.

How many Germans are going to be killed by this madness?

Well, Professor Hansen of the Goddard Space Research Center (one of the most respected scientists in the world) has calculated how many respiratory deaths have been averted by nuclear power. The number is currently 1.85 million (and rising).

But of course, you can always work the figures back the other way and figure out how many people you will kill by replacing nuclear plant with dirty Lignite burning coal plant.

Professor Hansen in his paper (HERE) references another peer reviewed paper by Markandya &  Wilkinson (HERE) and particularly this table.

Notice that for every TW/hr of nuclear you replace by Lignite you kill an extra 32.6 people per year. You also cause 298 cases of severe cardio-vascular distress and over 17000 lesser illnesses.

These Lignite burning monsters are new. So their capacity factor should be around 70%.  So we get about 36 TW/hrs of power in a year from them.

Every year, this madness (so far!) is killing (32 x 36) 1150 people and causing 11,000 more serious respiratory illnesses. Minor illnesses come in at over half a million. That is EVERY YEAR.

AND that is just these few new stations that do not even make up the current deficit from closing the 8 nuclear plants in 2011 !!

The German nuclear Fleet is/was 20GW in total. Replacing that lot is going to need a helluva a lot of Lignite. And a mountain of dead Germans.

Clearly, it will not just be the German Nuclear Industry that will have it's name followed by the initials R.I.P. in the near future.

Fracking saves Thousands of Lives in USA

A few days ago I posted about how Dr Jim Hansen and his colleague Pushker A. Kharecha have produced a ground breaking paper showing how nuclear power has literally saved millions of lives. (Post HERE) (Paper HERE)

I became aware from their research that while nuclear is clearly a life saver, the replacement of coal generation with Gas will also save many lives. Due to the adoption of fracking in the USA, literally thousands of lives have been saved. Also a huge amount of illness, both serious and minor has been prevented.

As part of their research Hansen and Kharecha refenced a peer reviewed paper published in the "The Lancet" (The Lancet is a Medical journal of unquestionable integrity)

The paper "Electricity generation and health" by Anil Markandya & Paul Wilkinson.( Copy Of Paper HERE) gives us figures for the number of deaths from different electrical generation fuels.

Here is the crucial table.

Notice that the table indicates that the death toll from using coal powered generation is around ten times that of gas. So for every TW/hr of power generation transferred from coal to gas will save the lives of about 22 people.

Now look at these Annual Energy generation figures from the EIA in the USA. (Link HERE)

Total USA energy generation has only increased by about 4% from 2003 to 2012.

But notice how gas use (due to Fracking) has doubled from 2003 to 2012. Due to this increase in gas usage, coal use has fallen by 30%.

Nothing else is responsible for this. Nuclear is stationary and will remain so until new plant is built. Renewables are shown as minor bit part players, virtually irrelevant to the total output.

So in 2012, Fracking caused a reduction in coal generation of around 600 TW/hr.

This equates (for 2012 alone) to a reduction in the death toll of around 13200 people.

If you look at the table you will also see that Fracking have caused truly massive falls in serious and minor illness associated with coal powered electrical generation.

Couple that to a 60% GHG emission reduction for those 600 TW/hr and you find the USA is the only country in the world to significantly reduce its GHG emissions. All due to Fracking.

Clearly, while nuclear generation is still the most healthy option, Gas (from Fracking or otherwise) comes a close second. Wind and Solar, even after close on to 20 years of huge subsidies in the USA are still incapable of making a significant impact on electrical generation.

Next (or maybe next) I will explore how many Germans are going to be killed by the replacement of the safe and reliable nuclear  with dirty lignite burning coal stations.

Safe In their Hands

Now then, my grubby little Englanders, I want to ask you a few pertinent questions.
  • Would you (with your family) get into a plane where the pilot was confident but lacked any formal training?
  • Would you let a person install a gas boiler in your house when you knew that the installer only had the vaguest notion of what they were doing?
  • How about putting your kids onto a school bus where the driver could recite the highway code but had never actually driven a bus before?
Well how about this then. 

Lets look at Energy Policy. You know that boring old subject about keeping the lights on, people in jobs, old folk NOT freezing to death etc. etc.

Particularly let us look at those who have (or aspire to hold) the title of "Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change",

Milliband, Huhne and Davey all studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics.

Sadly it looks like they wouldn't know a Joule from a Seivert.

I should point out there is a rumour that Huhne might now be able to change a light bulb (on a good day). They teach you a lot of new skills in prison these days.

Meanwhile the current Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Caroline Flint, has a BA in American Literature and History combined with Film Studies.

So while she probably could recite the script from the Chine Syndrome she might confuse Spinning Reserve with some sort of pool of political propaganda.

There is not a one engineer on the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee.

But there is some good news.

Luckily there is John Robertson MP. He did a technical apprenticeship for Post Office Telephones and is the sole technically qualified person on the committee. However poor old John tends to be a lone voice as the only informed advocate of nuclear power.

Seriously I'm not making this up.

One of the most urgent and life changing aspects of our society (aka Energy policy) is being decided by a bunch of over confident (dare I say arrogant) buffoons who know little or nothing about the subject they are in charge of.

God help us all.

(Hat tip to commentator "phasing" on this Telegraph Article )

The Damage Done by Wind Power

The above picture shows a turbine blade that ended up in a daycare centre in Oklahoma during a recent tornado. (thanks to @Ginger_Zee on twitter).

But this post is not about how turbines are being built too close to peoples homes.

Neither is it about people being driven from their homes or seeing their one major asset (their home) devalued.

Neither is it about greedy landowners backed by ruthless corporations making illgotten fortunes for no effort. Except for the effort that is expended in selling out their neighbours.

Finally this post is not about how utterly useless IWT's are for providing dispatchable electricity.

This post is about how public perception regarding the scientific debate regarding Global Warming has been utterly poisoned by the disgrace that is the wind turbine fraud.

I have spoken and corresponded with many people who have had their lives impacted by the sleasy gold rush that epitomises wind energy. Initially these folk have no idea how ineffective, costly and down right counter productive IWT's are. Then due to the imminence of this blight
appearing in their neighbourhood, they do some reading. I expect they are mostly seeking reassurance. Sadly they get none. The transparent spin from the wind industry soon gets blown away. Then they see the ugly truth.

The wind turbine scam is all about fanatics, corporate and individual greed and has little or nothing to do with Carbon Dioxide emissions.

They see the zealots, the crooks and the carpet baggers all lining up and bleating about global warming as some super justification for their arrogance and excess. The people (ordinary bog standard two kids and a mortgage people - the folks so hated by the zealots) end up despising the sham.

But beyond this justifiable rejection of greed and bigotry, they also reject the science used as a prop by the wind turbine carpet baggers.

The end result is that the science surrounding Global Warming is now as despised and derided as the wind turbine scam itself. Which is much more than a shame.

We all need to keep an open mind on global warming and not let the poisonous con job that is the wind industry turn us against the science that the wind industry has so ruthlessly exploited for their own ends.

Global Warming may need us to take (useful) action, then nobody would happier than me if it were proved to be wrong.

But I think it would be foolish to disregard the current scientific opinion simply because of the ugly wind turbine fraud that has exploited it.

Pandora's Promise

"What if what you have been thinking all this time - is wrong?"

This film was made by Robert Stone. He is a multi-award-winning, Oscar-nominated and Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker. (Biography HERE ) His film, Pandoras Promise has received enormous accolades. In preview showings it has caused a storm. Indulge me. Watch the trailer.

The film relates to a journey of discovery  made  by Stone and a number of very prominent and very famous environmentalists. That the journey they question their preconceptions about nuclear power.

It is, I am told not only an eye opener but is a powerful moving and ground breaking expose against the ignorance and pseudo science that surrounds the environmental lobby today.

If you want to read a fistful of reviews go to the bottom of This Link - The unofficial guide to Pandoras Promise They are quite enlightening.

General USA Release June 12th 2013. Due for UK release later in the year ( I'll let you know when I find out)