Canada chooses Energy and Jobs over Global Warming Alarmism, Says ‘No’ to a New Kyoto

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 26th, 2011

Week in Review

The Environmentalists in the European Union are wringing their hands together in angst.  Because the Canadians don’t want to play global warming anymore.  Apparently the Canadians found a new game to play.  And it involves wringing oil out of sand (see European politician warns Canada being left behind on Kyoto by Mike De Souza, Postmedia News, posted 11/23/2011 on The Vancouver Sun).

A visiting member of Europe’s Parliament says he is puzzled by Canadian government policies and fears the world may be forced to leave Canada behind as it moves forward in addressing climate change.

“It’s a very strange position for Europe, because really, for us, Canada is a dear partner,” said Kriton Arsenis, from the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, the second-largest group in the European Parliament. “It’s an ally in the way that we share values for the environment, social values, how we imagine the state of the world and we somehow feel left alone…”

Canada appears to be the only country attempting to lobby the European Parliament in order to weaken its climate policies, Arsenis said. But he warned that the Canadian government’s position may isolate it from efforts to expand and extend the Kyoto Protocol which set legally-binding targets on developed countries’ greenhouse gas emissions as a first step toward preventing dangerous changes in the atmosphere…

Canada, Russia and Japan have all said they will not accept new targets when the existing commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2013, leaving the world without any binding requirements for countries to reduce emissions.

This is strange.  Why would Canada go from Kyoto-embracing to Kyoto-eschewing?  What could have happened to bring about this 180-degree change?  Hmmm, what could it be?  Was it those leaked emails from the University of East Anglia confirming the hoax of global warming?  Did they see through the EU Emission Trading Scheme for what it was?  An extralegal tax to prop up bankrupt governments in the EU?  Or was it something else?

But Oliver attempted to blame the NDP for allowing Arsenis to promote European climate policies that would discourage consumption of fuels with above-average environmental footprints such as synthetic crude oil from Western Canada’s natural deposits of bitumen, also known as oilsands.

“Now (New Democrats) are hosting today a session that is giving support for the European Fuel quality directive which will single out the oilsands for bad treatment,” said Oliver. “It’s based on an unscientific and discriminatory approach. Here they are again opposing the creation of Canadian jobs and economic growth for the country.”

It was something else.  Which can be summarized succinctly and simply as follows:  Money talks and bull [excrement] walks.

These Canadian oil sands are a national blessing.  One of the largest energy deposits ever found in an energy hungry world.  Creating lots of good jobs in a depressed economy.  And energy independence for Canada.  And if the European global warming alarmists think they’re going to take that all away from Canada they’re mad.  Let them find other ways to pay for their excessive government spending.  And not use global warming alarmism to scare people into some new tax and regulatory scheme.


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Federal Investigators looking into Chevy Volt after Second Battery Fire

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 26th, 2011

Week in Review

Why did we pick gasoline to be the fuel for our cars?  It takes little special handling.  And the energy it contains is highly concentrated.  One full tank could take you hundreds of miles.  And if you ran out of gas you could walk to a gas station.  Fill up a gallon can.  Walk back to your car.  Pour it in your tank.  Drive back to the gas station.  Fill up the tank.  And travel hundreds of miles more.  Of course this rarely happens.  Because our fuel gauge is a pretty good gauge.  It usually gets us to the gas station before we run out of gas.

It’s a little different with electric cars.  The ‘fuel gauge’ tells you how much charge is remaining.  But it doesn’t really tell you how far you can go.  Because the same amount of charge will take you different distances.  Depending on what else will be on.  Will you have your headlights on?  The heater?  If so, that charge will take you far less than it would without the headlights or heater on.  And if you run out you just can’t fill up your battery.  No.  That car will be little more than one very large paperweight.  You’ll either look for ways to kill a few hours (4-6) to recharge the battery.  Or you’ll be taking alternate transportation home.  And making arrangements to tow your electric car home.

Gasoline is a perfect fuel.  It’s stable at ambient temperatures.  It doesn’t freeze.  Stores easily.  A little of it goes a long, long way.  And it’s safe.  To get that explosive energy from it to move engine pistons you first have to convert it to a vapor, mix it with air and ignite it with a spark plug.  Things that just don’t accidentally happen.  Even after an accident.

If an accident is severe enough an automatic fuel shut-off valve will close.  Keeping the gas from feeding any fires that happen to break out.  Afterward the car can be towed.  And locked safely at an impound yard.  Without the fear the gasoline will spontaneously start a fire.  Apparently not the case with a battery (see Formal Defect Inquiry of Volt Battery Begins posted 11/26/2011 on The New York Times).

Federal safety regulators on Friday said they have begun a formal defect investigation of the Chevrolet Volt because a second battery caught fire after a crash simulation.

The regulators have been examining batteries in several plug-in cars since a June fire involving a Volt that had been heavily damaged in a government crash test.

On Thursday, a Volt battery pack that was intentionally damaged Nov. 17 as part of that testing caught fire, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said. The agency also recorded a temporary temperature increase in another battery pack one day after it was damaged, and a third pack “began to smoke and emit sparks” after it was damaged and then turned upside down to simulate a rollover crash.

“N.H.T.S.A. is not aware of any roadway crashes that have resulted in battery-related fires in Chevy Volts or other vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries,” it said in a statement. “However, the agency is concerned that damage to the Volt’s batteries as part of three tests that are explicitly designed to replicate real-world crash scenarios have resulted in fire.”

The key to a successful electric car is making a long-lasting battery.  One that can match the range of a gasoline engine.  Easier said than done, though.  Because gasoline and the engine are stored separately in a car until that energy is needed.  Then and only then do they come together.  Not so with a battery.  The chemicals inside a battery are always in contact.  When charging.  When the car is parked and not charging.  And when the car is being used.  At all times that chemical energy is there and has to be used.  Or contained.

G.M. attributed the June fire, which occurred at a storage facility three weeks after the car was crash-tested, to a failure to deactivate the battery. In July, it began publicizing postcrash safety protocols to emergency personnel that call for the battery to be isolated from the rest of the car via a disconnect switch and then depleted by the company.

The company says it believes the June fire was a result of crystallized coolant that leaked out of the battery’s cooling system and pooled on another portion of the pack when it was rotated as part of the crash test, a G.M. spokesman, Rob Peterson, said in an interview last week.

The N.H.T.S.A. said the testing last week that resulted in the more recent fire included damaging the battery compartment and rupturing the coolant line.

One of the byproducts of energy conversion is heat.  Gasoline-powered cars use antifreeze circulating through the engine block to remove the heat from the engine.  Then pumps it through a radiator to dump that heat into the atmosphere.  Of course, all of this happens only when the engine is running.  Apparently a car battery needs to be cooled even when the ‘engine’ isn’t running.  And the bigger we make these batteries (to match the range of gasoline engines) the more cooling they will require.  And the more critical that cooling will be to overall safety.

The advantage of gasoline is that it’s stored separately from where it is combusted to produce energy.  Whereas a battery stores chemicals together where they also produce the energy.  And the push to make batteries with greater ranges means more powerful batteries.  Potentially making these electric cars more prone to fires.  And more dangerous.


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At Harvard Energy and Environmentalism are One and the Same

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 26th, 2011

Week in Review

Harvard is working on our energy solution.  And it coincidentally happens to mesh with their environmental agenda (see Harvard Study Calls for Radical Increase in U.S. Energy Innovation Spending by William Pentland posted 11/23/2011 on Forbes).

The U.S. government could save the economy hundreds of billions of dollars annually by 2050 by expanding support for energy innovation, according to the results of a three-year research project at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Okay, two problems can be noted from the get-go.  The report is from Harvard.  And it’s by the Kennedy School at Harvard.  Two names that don’t jump to anyone’s mind when you think of profits and energy.  No.  What you typically think of when you hear these names are liberal causes.  At our expense.  Increasing the cost of daily life with their regulatory policies.  To drag Americans kicking and screaming into a world we don’t want.  But one that they believe is in our best interests.

The U.S. federal government should implement policies that create market incentives to develop and deploy new energy technologies, including policies that have the effect of creating a substantial price on carbon emissions, and sector-specific policies to overcome other market failures.

There are no such things as market failures.  They like to use that term when their market tinkering doesn’t produce the results they want.  That is, when their policies have failed.  But they can never blame their policies.  So they blame the market.  Call their failures market failures.  So they can create more policy to correct their past failures.

The price on carbon emissions would the biggest tax ever levied on the American people.  And that’s why they want to levy it.  For the money the government can spend on other liberal folly.  And the control they could use to strangle the American economy when it fails to do as they wish.

The U.S. government should take a strategic approach to working with the private sector on energy innovation, expanding incentives for private sector energy innovation, and focusing on the particular strategies likely to work best in each case.

In other words, they think the government should pick the winners and losers in energy.  Just like they did with Solyndra.  Where the government can reward political campaign donors with lucrative government loans.  Just like they did with Solyndra.

The U.S. government should undertake a strategic approach to energy RD&D cooperation with other countries, to leverage the knowledge, resources, and opportunities available around the world, incorporating both top-down strategic priorities and investment in new ideas arising from the bottom-up.

Sort of a Kyoto writ large.  Only with more bite.  As the global warming agenda passed at Kyoto had very little bite.

Anytime you see an energy report coming out of Harvard consider the source.  And their ulterior motive.  One world, liberal government.  With them at the top.  And the rest of us doing what they tell us to do.


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Despite Resetting Relations with Russia Things Actually Look Worse Now

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 26th, 2011

Week in Review

It doesn’t look like Barack Obama is making the world any safer than George W. Bush made it (see Medvedev: Russia may target missile defense sites by the Associated Press posted 11/23/2011 on Yahoo! News).

Russia will deploy new missiles aimed at U.S. missile defense sites in Europe if Washington goes ahead with the planned shield despite Russia’s concerns, President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday…

Medvedev also warned that Moscow may opt out of the New START arms control deal with the United States and halt other arms control talks if the U.S. proceeds…

Medvedev warned that Russia will deploy short-range Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad, a Baltic Sea exclave bordering Poland, and place weapons in other areas in Russia’s west and south to target U.S. missile defense sites.

Medvedev added that prospective Russian strategic nuclear missiles will be fitted with systems that would allow them to penetrate prospective missile defenses.

And this after Hillary Clinton pressed the ‘reset’ button early on in the Obama administration?  To tell the Russians that George W. Bush wasn’t around any longer to make the world a less safe place?  How can this be?  Do they not love and respect Barack Obama?

I guess not.


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Our Keynesian Mess isn’t as Bad as Europe’s Keynesian mess

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 26th, 2011

Week in Review

As the Keynesian policies fail the Keynesians circle the wagons (see Treasury potatoes posted 11/22/2011 on The Economist).

TREASURY bond yields fell today as the supercommittee failed to agree on a deficit reduction plan. Paul Krugman says this means the market can’t be worried about long-term deficits. More likely, they are worried about near-term austerity (since the supercommittee’s failure makes an extension of the payroll tax cut less likely). Ezra Klein makes a similar point here about the stock market’s drop.

I don’t really know why bond yields fell today, though I’d guess it has more to do with what’s going on in Europe than America. Still, I wouldn’t dismiss the possibility that fears of deficits and default lead to lower, not higher, bond yields. In a liquidity trap, government bonds behave increasingly like money and will reflect not just the usual drivers of expected inflation and deficits, but the demand for liquidity and safety…

The Keynesian economists are wrong.  As usual.  So why do investors keep buying American bonds even after S&P downgrades their credit rating?  And when the supercommittee punts?  Much like the full House did?  The Keynesians say it’s not the debt or the deficit that scares them.  It’s that government may stop spending recklessly.  That’s what a Keynesian thinks an investor fears most.  The goofballs that they are.

Here’s a thought.  Could Keynesian economics have failed so grandly in the Eurozone that by comparison our Keynesian failures here look less risky?

If we keep spending like we are we will end up like Greece.  Italy.  And all of the other Eurozone countries that are desperately trying to avoid bankruptcy.  Note the key is ‘will end up like’.  Meaning that we haven’t.  Yet.  Which is why American bonds are more attractive than these others.  Because our Keynesian mess isn’t as bad as their Keynesian messes.  Yet.


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