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ORNL Carbon Dioxide Information Center to Shut 9/30/17. View the Emissions Data While You Can.

One of the earliest thinkers to reflect on climate change was the great engineering scientist Alvin Weinberg, who headed the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) from 1955 until 1973, when he was fired by the Nixon Administration.

Here is one of his papers, from 1977 on the subject of climate change How long is coal's future?

In case you're laboring under the illusion that coal has, um, gone away, ORNL maintains a database of carbon emissions from various sources, which, now that we live in a world ruled by liars and lies, will disappear forever on September 30, 2017. (Welcome to the future). Here is the webpage of this database: CDIAC, Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Fossil Carbon Dioxide Emissions

By clicking on this link, one can be directed to a page with links to spreadsheets, papers, and other data about how we're doing with carbon dioxide emissions. Global Carbon Project - Full Global Carbon Budget (1959-2015)

Let's click together on November 2016's carbon budget xls file to see how we're doing with doing away with coal. To do this click on the tab on the bottom, "Fossil Fuel Emissions by Fuel Type." The numbers you see are in millions of tons of carbon. To convert this to carbon dioxide one should take the ratio - assuming you're not in Greenpeace and therefore can do math - between the molecular weight of carbon dioxide (44.0098 amu) and the atomic weight of carbon (12.011 amu), which as noted in the header, leads to a factor of 3.664.

Doing this, one can see that the world total for carbon dioxide emissions from dangerous fossil fuels now stands at 36.262 billion tons (with a few billion tons thrown in to make concrete). This is the highest emission rate ever observed since the data started being tabulated in 1959.

Carbon dioxide emissions from coal peaked in 2014, and fell by 0.279 billion tons, or by 1.8% in 2015 to 15.030 billion tons. However we were emitting 170% of the coal waste carbon dioxide in 2015 than we were in the year 2000, and emitting 239% as much coal waste as we were in 1976 when Amory Lovins predicted that the world would soon be saved by conservation and so called "renewable energy."

The decreases in carbon dioxide from dangerous coal were more than made up by increases in carbon dioxide emissions from petroleum, (+0.225 billion tons) and dangerous natural gas (+0.115 billion tons). Thus 2015 was the worst year ever, which is also reflected in the readings at Mauna Loa where we passed 400 ppm in 2015. No one alive will ever see a reading lower than 400 ppm, and the reason is we lie to ourselves.

If you've been checking in to this forum over the years - I started in the early 2000's - you've been reading all kinds of happy horseshit about "solar breakthroughs" "world's largest solar plant" "wind briefly produces 60% of Spain's electricity on 'such and such a date'." So on and so on.

Maybe these kinds of announcements made you happy.

Everybody loves so called "renewable energy" except a few cranks like me. It, um, didn't work. It's not working. And as noted recently in a paper in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change, it won't work.

(They phrase it far more diplomatically than I do by writing:

Despite the extraordinary growth rates of wind and solar in recent years, greatly accelerated expansion is required in the next decades. Most scenarios have limited scope for large-scale hydropower expansion due to geophysical constraints. Further, most scenarios indicate strong growth in nuclear energy, but there is renewed uncertainty from the drop in public support since the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi accident. Scenarios indicate that renewables alone may not be sufficient to stay below 2 °C given physical constraints to large-scale deployment and the need to offset emissions in some sectors20, such as agriculture.

The um, "extraordinary growth" to which they refer, represented a two trillion dollar investment in wind and solar alone over the last ten years. Wind and solar combined, do not supply even 5 of the 570 exajoules of energy humanity generates and consumes each year.)

Their gentle phrasing doesn't stop me from saying that "renewable energy" won't work, and, um, it won't. (The reason is physics, with a little bit of materials science thrown in.)

The nuclear "disaster" at Fukushima Daiichi mentioned by the Nature Climate Change paper's authors was a trivial event, given that 7 million people die each year from direct health effects of air pollution, deaths from climate change not included. One has to love selective attention; it does such wonderful things, at least if you're into maintaining jobs in the coal industry. If 1000 people were to die from Fukushima radiation - they won't - it wouldn't represent even two hours worth of air pollution deaths from dangerous fossil fuels and biomass combustion, deaths that continue unabated hour after hour, day after day, and decade after decade with no hope for ending them in sight.

The public, though, doesn't support nuclear energy.

Alvin Weinberg saved more than a million lives that otherwise would have been lost to air pollution by overseeing the invention the pressurized water nuclear reactor. Other work of his is popular in pro-nuclear circles, the famous liquid fluoride thorium reactor. (I used to be a big fan of this reactor myself, but I changed my mind. Better reactors are possible and were even built - albeit using primitive technology - years before the MSRE - Molten Salt Reactor Experiment.)

Anyway. Don't worry. Be happy. If you find yourself being fond of lies, like, um "coal is dead" you're hardly the only one, as we all know by observing the orange slime mold that's infected the White House.

Have a nice evening.

January 2017 (+3.61) was the worst ever recorded for increases in carbon dioxide concentrations.

The fact that 2016 proved to be "only" the second worst year ever recorded for carbon dioxide increases, at 2.99 ppm over 2015, which in turn was the worst ever, at 3.03 ppm over 2014 is something of an artifact of the December 2016 reading, was "only" the third worst December in recorded history, at +2.63 ppm.

December 2016 was one of only two months in which the increase over the same month of the previous year was below 3.00 ppm. Two months recorded readings above 4.00 ppm. Six months set records for their month in 2016, three were the second worst.

Although January of 2016 was only the fourth worst, January 2017, last month is the absolute worst at 3.61 ppm. The previous worst was 2.94 ppm, in 1998, when the fires set in Malaysia and Indonesia to clear rain forest to make palm oil plantations for biodiesel went out of control.

The list for the months of 2016 other than December above is as follows.

January 2016 (2.56 ppm) was the 4th worst January in recorded history.

February 2016 (3.75) was the worst February in recorded history.

March 2016 (3.31 ppm) was the worst March in recorded history.

April 2016 (4.16 ppm) was the worst April in recorded history - and, in fact, the worst month of any month in history.

May 2016 (3.76 ppm) was the worst May in recorded history - and, in fact, the third worst month of any month in history.

June 2016 (4.01 ppm) was the worst June in recorded history - and, in fact, the second worst month of any month in history.

July 2016 (3.09 ppm) was the third worst July in recorded history.

August 2016 (3.09 ppm) was the second worst August in recorded history.

September 2016 (3.39 ppm) was the second worst September in recorded history.

October 2016 (3.28 ppm) was the second worst October in recorded history.

November 2016 (3.37 ppm) was the worst November in recorded history.

Don't worry be happy. February 2017 may come in - if the weekly trends hold as "only" the 4th or 5th worst in recorded history. It's always nice to go from apocalyptic to mere disastrous.

Whatever we think it is we're doing to fight climate change is failing spectacularly.

Have a nice Sunday.

Choose your bicycle route carefully, if you use one, to protect your lungs.

As I often state in this space, air pollution - even free from the effects of climate change - remains to this day one of the major environmental causes of human mortality, responsible for about 7 million deaths per year.

A comparative risk assessment of burden of disease and injury attributable to 67 risk factors and risk factor clusters in 21 regions, 1990–2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 (Lancet 2012, 380, 2224–60: For air pollution mortality figures see Table 3, page 2238 and the text on page 2240.)

Overall, the most serious air pollution deaths are centered in Asia, as the graphic below shows:

I posted this graphic in another earlier in this space: Nature: China's annual air pollution deaths now stand at 1.4 million per year.

The original paper from which this post derives is here: The contribution of outdoor air pollution sources to premature mortality on a global scale (Nature 525, 367–371 (17 September 2015)

Even though the post generated no comment here - we'd rather crow here about how wonderful so called "renewable energy" is even though it hasn't worked, isn't working and won't work to save lives from air pollution - it still represents a serious, if ignored issue.

Although Asia looks terrible, one with a small amount of reflection, will notice that Western Germany and the Netherlands are in very bad shape, as is Southern England with regions running above or close to 1000 deaths per 100 km[sup]2[/sup], and in fact the entire so called "renewable energy" wonderland countries of Germany and Denmark exceed 300 deaths per 100 km[sup]2[/sup]. In all of Europe, only South Central France, and Central Spain (except for Madrid) have air pollution death rates lower than 50 deaths per km[sup]2[/sup].

If one copies the graphic into some software program that allows it to expand - Powerpoint will work - one can see the fine details of the United States. Death rates at or around 1000 deaths per 100 km[sup]2[/sup] are observed in the Northeast corridor (where I live), Ohio, the Chicago area, the San Diego - LA corridor and San Francisco Bay area. What appears to be Denver and Phoenix isn't pretty either.

I used to live in the LA area, and for about 3 years despite the fact that it was then - and probably still is - a car CULTure paradise, I engaged in a one man war against the internal combustion engine by bicycling everywhere. I commuted, for those who know the LA area, between Hermosa Beach and Harbor City, at first along Pacific Coast Highway, a huge wide congested strip mall in those days - or even worse - the refineries on Crenshaw Avenue, all by bicycle.

I, um, lost the war, by the way, and now am a suburban asshole with a lawn and a car.

One could feel the pollution in one's lungs if one got up to speed. Ultimately it was bad enough - and the cars threatening enough - that I chose, despite the huge inclines, to climb over Palos Verdes. It took longer, required more strength and being in better shape, but it was very, very, very healthy.

In some ways, although I was miserable in many other important ways, I miss those times.

I was catching up some reading, and came across an old paper in a journal I used to read quite a bit but from which I drifted away when Princeton University cut off their subscription Science of the Total Environment. The paper was written by scientists from that "renewable energy" paradise, the offshore oil and gas drilling hellhole Denmark, and it quantifies how one can do as I did, and choose bicycle routes that will slow the rates at which air pollution will kill you.

The paper is here: A proper choice of route significantly reduces air pollution exposure — A study on bicycle and bus trips in urban streets (Hertel, et al, Science of The Total Environment Volume 389, Issue 1, 15 January 2008, Pages 58–70)

Some excerpts:

The introduction:

A large number of studies have shown strong associations between ambient air pollution levels and adverse health effects; see e.g. the review by (Brunekreef and Holgate, 2002).Studies of long-term exposure to air pollutants have suggested an increased risk of chronic respiratory illness (Folinsbee,1993), cardiopulmonary mortality (Hoek et al., 2002) and of developing various types of cancer (Pope et al., 2002), whereas higher prevalence of bronchitis (Karakatsani et al., 2002), acute cardiovascular decease (Urch et al., 2005), asthma and other symptoms (Sunyer et al., 1997) have been associated with short-term exposure to air pollution during periods with enhanced concentration levels. Inside the urban area, the dispersion of pollutants emitted from traffic is strongly suppressed by the presence of building obstacles. The traffic density is at the same time often substantial in the urban areas, and in cities like Copenhagen it has even been increasing in recent years. Traffic is thus source to significant air pollution levels in urban areas in general, but especially inside the busiest streets. People living and/or working in the urban areas are therefore exposed thigh levels of air pollution, especially when they are travelling in the trafficked streets...

The questions the paper purports to answer:

In Denmark, the bicycle is a common mean of transport over short distances e.g. in urban areas. When the air pollution levels vary significantly between streets and even between street sections, there must be a significant difference in air pollution exposure depending on the choice of route through the city. This consideration is the background for the present study, where we investigate the influence of choosing high and low exposure routes in urban streets when commuting between home and working place. The main questions that we address in this paper are therefore:

• Is it possible to significantly reduce air pollution exposure during a daily bicycle trip between home and work by taking low exposure route through a city, as an alternative to taking the shortest possible route?

• Can the air pollution exposure be significantly reduced by travelling outside rush hours’ time periods compared to travelling during the rush hour?

• To what extent is the exposure during travels in urban areas dominated by the urban background contribution, and the contribution from local traffic emissions, respectively?

• How is the air pollution exposure for the same travel from home to working place when you take the bus compared to taking the bicycle?

• Is there a potential for developing a green route planner to help the public in choosing the route through the city with the lowest air pollution exposure?

Lots of good science is described in the paper, including measurement of the major outdoor health related pollutants, PM[sub]10[/sub], PM[sub]2.5[/sub], NO[sub]x[/sub] in general and NO[sub]2[/sub] specifically.

The conclusion which was, um, obvious to me on my bicycle route along the Hermosa/Redondo Strand bike bath, and either Pacific Coast Highway (dangerous) and Palos Verdes (less dangerous), all those years ago is this:

The presented study has demonstrated that it is possible to significantly reduce the accumulated air pollution exposure during the daily bicycle route between home and working place by following the low exposure route instead of following the shortest possible route. The difference in accumulated air pollution exposure is significant for the primary pollutants. When the street contribution is considered the difference in accumulated air pollution exposure is significant for both primary and secondary pollutants. Travelling outside the rush hour time periods significantly reduces the accumulated air pollution exposure along the routes through the city. The effect is seen to be especially pronounced for the morning rush hours, whereas the effect isles pronounced for the rush hour in afternoon. The population may therefore be advised to travel outside the rush hour time periods.

I think I'll go bicycling today, just for old times sake. We have wonderful bike paths in this part of New Jersey.

I wish you as pleasant a weekend as mine.

A physicist, an engineer, and a statistician out hunting.

The physicist calculates the trajectory using ballistic equations, but assumes no air resistance, so his shot falls 5 meters short. The engineer adds a fudge factor for air resistance, and his shot lands 5 meters long. The statistician yells "We got 'em!"

A man is on his first visit to Boston, and he wants to try some of that delicious New England seafood that he'd long heard about. So he gets into a cab, and asks the driver, "Can you take me to where I can get scrod?" The driver replies, "I've heard that question a thousand time, but never in the pluperfect subjunctive."

Nerd Jokes...got hundreds of 'em.

Time after time.

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You are aware, aren't you, that the Danes keep a database of all their wind turbines...

...ever built in their offshore oil and gas hell hole of a country online. Aren't you?

No, probably not.

There are two kinds of people who deign to discuss energy on websites like this one: There are those who repeat what they heard somewhere and those who actually find things out by looking deeply into available primary sources and drawing conclusions from them by thinking critically.

I believe that anyone and everyone who makes the claim that a huge array of wind turbines is equivalent to a nuclear plant is the former type and very clearly not the latter.

A rational person - as opposed to those who get their energy "facts," or um, perhaps "alternative facts" from journalist/"environmental editors" named Timmy and Markos who happen to lack a shred of scientific or engineering training - would bother to search out the Danish Energy Agency's website and database of every wind turbine they've ever built to see whether or not the failed, ridiculously expensive, and ineffective wind industry is "equivalent" to nuclear energy.

A person who wishes to simply repeat meaningless pablum, um, wouldn't.

The Danes do have such a database on their Energy Agency website:

Master Data Register of Wind Turbines

The most comprehensive description of the existence, the precise location, the date of commissioning and/or decommissioning, actual energy output and rated peak power is available as an Excel file on this webpage: Data on operating and decommisioned wind turbines (as at end of December 2016). Uploaded 26/01/17

The first tab gives "existing wind turbines." The second gives "decommissioned wind turbines."

In cell BP6152, the total energy produced in 2016 by all the wind turbines in the entire nation of Denmark is given in kwh, a unit of energy as opposed to a unit of peak power often cited by the liars in the so called "renewable energy" industry when they try to represent wind plants as being equivalent to nuclear plants, is given. It is 12,749,380,409 kwh.

The are 3,600,000 joules in a kwh, meaning that for the entire year in the entire off shore oil and gas drilling hellhole nation of Denmark, produced 4.58978 X 10[sup]16[/sup] Joules of energy, 4.59 PJ of energy. There are 86400 seconds in a calendar day, and 365.25 days in a year. It follows by simple division and multiplication that the average continuous power output of all of the wind turbines in Denmark in 2016 was 1454 MW. However, the data for 2016, but not earlier years, is given as monthly as well as annual data.

Using this, and the number of days (converted to seconds) for each month, we see that there was considerable variability from month to month. The most average continuous power for all the wind turbines in Denmark was highest in January, 2016, 1963 MW, and lowest in July of 2016, when their average continuous power was 930 MW. Thus the month to month variability in power output spanned a factor of 2.

The number of wind turbines required to produce this energy at highly variable power was 6,131. The total rated peak power for all of the turbines in Denmark listed on the "existing turbines" tab, made by summing column C on the spread sheet and dividing by 1000 to convert kW to MW, was 5,242 MW. Thus the capacity utilization of all the wind turbines in all of the offshore oil and gas hellhole country Denmark was 27.7%

The database of decommissioned wind turbines is illustrative too as to whether all of the wind turbines will turn into garbage heaps that future generations - near future generations - will need to clean up because we never gave a shit about their lives in our generation.

The calculations for the average lifetime of a Danish wind turbine are somewhat laborious, as I know having done them before. I'm not going to repeat it for the current spreadsheet and this comment, but I will refer to what I wrote in an earlier posting elsewhere on the internet for an earlier version of this same spreadsheet from the Danish Energy Agency website.

If one downloads the Excel file available in the link for reference 29 one can show that the Danes, as of the end of March 2015, have built and operated 8,002 wind turbines of all sizes. Of these, 2727, or 34.1% of them have been decommissioned. Of those that were decommissioned, the mean lifetime was 16.94 years (16 years and 310 days). Twenty-one of the decommissioned wind turbines operated less than two years, two never operated at all, and 103 operated for less than 10 years. Among decommissioned turbines, the one that lasted the longest did so for 34 years and 210 days. Among all 2727 decommissioned wind turbines, 6 lasted more than 30 years.

Of the 5,275 turbines still operating there are 13 that lasted longer than 34 years and 210 days, the longest, having operated (as of March 31, 2015) for 36 years and 303 days. The mean age of operating Danish wind turbines is 15.25 years, 15 years and 92 days.

Sustaining the wind, Part 1

Let's turn to nuclear.

By contrast with wind plants, nuclear power plants, are designed to have better than 90% capacity utilization; the majority of them in the United States do so regularly.

In China, according to the World Nuclear Association reactor database, between 2006 and today, China built 28 nuclear reactors: World Database of Nuclear Reactors, China, 2006-2017

Ten of them are rated at 1000 MWe, two are rated at 1012 MWe, three are rated at 1061 MWe, two are rated at 1007 MWe, and four are rated at 1018 MWe.

Any two of these reactors described in the previous paragraph can easily out produce all of the Wind turbines in Denmark, and do so without requiring any dangerous fossil fuel to back them up during any month when the wind doesn't blow much, like say July of 2016 in Denmark.

Of course, there is a fantasy land that claims that Wind energy's costs do not include the fact that they require redundant power plants to back them up, nor do they include the external costs in climate and health involved with the fact that many of these wind plants are backed up by plants utilizing dangerous fossil fuels.

You say:

"When estimates started at 14 billion, yeah you want to stay involved.
25 billion is a lot to pay for a 1200Mw plant."

Maybe you think China paid $25 billion for each of the 28 nuclear reactors they built and now operate in the last ten years?

Being a true example of a person who would never be banned at Daily Kos for telling the truth, you provide no reference for this claim about which you claim you want to be involved, although I don't know what credentials you have that should qualify or allow you to be involved.

If you were a critical thinker, you might ask yourself if China can build 28 reactors in ten years without paying 28 X $25 billion = $700 billion dollars, why should any reactor anywhere cost that much?

You might also wonder how it is that the United States built more than 100 reactors in a period of about 25 years ending about 30 years ago, using technology that is now about 50 years old, while saving hundreds of thousands of lives that otherwise would have been lost to air pollution, this while providing its citizens with some of the lowest price electricity in the world.

But you don't.

You simply blurt out a nonsense statement stating that wind plants are superior to nuclear plants.

The Hinkley C reactors if built should not cost what they are projected to cost, reported on the Wikipedia web page - which may or not be accurate - as 29.7 billion British pounds. Something is wrong if they do. The rated power is for this price is 3,200 MWe, meaning that they will produce easily, twice the power of all the wind turbines in Denmark in two relatively small buildings.

But if they are built at this cost, they are still designed to run 80 years. Like all nuclear plants they are gifts from one generation to several following generations. But we don't give a shit about future generations, apparently, and thus we claim that doing anything for the long term is "too expensive."

From where I sit, they're cheap, no matter how much they cost, because they reflect something call "ethics."

We're awful, awful, awful people who history should not and will not forgive. We have no ethics. Rather than care for future generations, we just blurt out very, very, very, very stupid "alternate facts" like 6000 wind turbines is the precise equivalent to a nuclear reactor in a single building.

Give my best regards to those assholes Timmy and Markos when you're over at their website gobbling up this depressing and frankly very dangerous horseshit about wind being the equivalent of nuclear.

As I said in our earlier interaction, when you reminded me of how many days I've been "bojoed" from my perspective, those guys aren't "better Democrats." In fact, their kind of Trumpian in their willingness to ignore reality, the reality being that we just spent in ten years two trillion dollars on wind and solar, and we just raced past 400 ppm at the fastest rate ever observed.

It's pretty amusing how people on the putative left morph into "free marketeers" whenever nuclear energy is discussed, but don't care if billions of dollars are spent, and 1,600 hectares of the beautiful desert are trashed to build crap like the Ivanpah solar thermal plant which has trouble producing even 100 MW of average continuous power.

Congratulations on demonstrating your qualifications for "getting involved." Reviewing them, I personally hope you don't but unfortunately I've discovered that ignorance, while it kills, is awfully good at "winning," even though all future generations will lose.

Have a nice President's day.

Trump's New "Science" Pal: Robert F. Kennedy Junior.

Trump's 'not going to back down' from vaccine safety commission, RFK says after new White House talks

One of the greatest human triumphs in health care was the discovery of vaccination. It is unbelievably stupid, criminal really, to oppose vaccination. The fact that all of the world's smallpox viruses - which in other times killed tens of millions of human beings - ended up in two freezers is a function of vaccination.

There was a wonderful lecture by Dr. Adel Mahmoud recently at the Princeton Plasma Physics lab on the importance of vaccination, and why a refusal to vaccinate - although he put it more graciously -is a crime against humanity. Unfortunately, PPPL has not yet put up the video of the lecture - they will - yet, and thus it is currently not available:

Science on Saturday: Imperative of Vaccination Nationally and Globally

Of course in Trumpland, this great scientist who led the development of many important vaccines, doesn't count as a human being since he's an Arab.

One of the most powerful slides in the talk was a picture of wall to wall iron lungs. When I was a child, we stood in very, very, very long lines to get the Polio vaccine, since this picture was well known. (My mother in law was one of the last people in America to get polio, so I know something about it.)

I'm a Roosevelt Democrat, and of course, as one, I've had little use for the Kennedy clan, although I did come to respect Ted at the end of his life when he stopped being such a sybaritic flake, but of all the Kennedys, Robert F. Kennedy Junior may be one of the worst.

Robert F. Kennedy's god father was Senator Joe McCarthy - that Joe McCarthy - and RFK's unbridled ignorance shows that this choice was appropriate.

It's unsurprising to find him consorting with the equally stupid and equally uneducated moron Trump.

They are evil.

Rush Holt Speaks Up For Scientists.

Rush Holt is my former Congressman, a physicist.

I'm an old man, and I can honestly say that in my lifetime I was never so proud as to have him as my representative. There are some things on which he and I disagreed, but I was always impressed by his thoughtfulness, his integrity, and his high ethical standards.

He went out of his way many times to do unpopular things to help people - Muslims come to mind - during trying times, for example, after 9/11.

He retired from Congress a few years back, and accepted leadership of the AAAS, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, publishers of the important scientific journal Science.

He recently wrote an editorial in Science on the Muslim ban. The link is here:

Act for Science (Science 355 (6325), 551, 2017)


This year's American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS, the publisher of Science) Annual Meeting in Boston (16 to 20 February) promises again to be one of the world's most recognized forums for communicating the excitement, beauty, power, and relevance of science. Attendees from dozens of countries, from nearly every field of study, and from all sectors will share ideas and build collaborations. Attendees share a cherished understanding that science practiced with diligence and reverence for evidence illuminates the human condition, leads to measurable progress, and provides the best insurance against error and deception. These amazing benefits depend on open communication as a fundamental ingredient of science. This is why President Trump's recent immigration ban has been a jolt across the global scientific enterprise...

...As I write this, I understand that a Sudanese scientist who is to be recognized for excellent work by women in developing countries will not be present for her award. Furthermore, the head of The World Academy of Sciences, also from Sudan, has cancelled his trip to Boston. There are an unknown number of other such cases. The denial of entry is a detriment for the individuals, and it is also an affront to science. To me, the very real damage to science outweighs the very thin claim of enhanced national security.

For science to be effective and provide its benefits to people, some fundamental principles must be observed and defended—among them, the freedoms of open communication, collaboration, and diversity of perspectives, all of which are disrespected by such travel restrictions. Scientists and others see a variety of troubling signs surrounding science...

... the unwarranted restrictions on communication by federal scientists with other scientists and the public, and most troubling, policy-making that is based on ideological assertion rather than on verifiable evidence. Public officials citing “alternative facts” leave scientists dismayed...

...To fight the immigration order would mean stepping into political terrain, a scientist will say; taking part in a public event to promote science could tarnish science or appear confrontational. Based on a long career in science, with a substantial interlude in elected office, I say that these are excuses for inaction. Taking action is the best course when science is threatened or when science can illuminate public issues. Scientists should not fool themselves with the misconception that politics is dirty compared to the scientific enterprise, and they should therefore avoid the fight. Nor should scientists think that by standing back and letting the facts speak for themselves, they allow reason to prevail and proponents of flawed policies to wilt...

Damn I miss Rush Holt. I always thought he belonged on a bigger stage than the 12th Congressional District of New Jersey, but that was not to be. He did run for the Democratic Senatorial nomination, but much to the loss of our country, he didn't get it.

Ivanpah solar plant, built to limit greenhouse gases, is burning more natural gas

Ivanpah solar plant, built to limit greenhouse gases, is burning more natural gas

The most recent numbers from the California Air Resources Board show that in 2015, the plant’s second year of operation, carbon emissions from Ivanpah’s gas use jumped by 48.4 percent to 68,676 metric tons.

That’s more than twice the pollution threshold for power plants or factories in California to be required to participate in the state’s cap-and-trade program to reduce carbon emissions.

Carbon emissions data for 2016 won’t be available until the end of this year, but data made public by the U.S. Energy Information Administration show that natural gas consumption at the plant increased by about 7 percent during the first three quarters of 2016 when compared to the same period in 2015.

Elsewhere, another report, from "Breaking Energy" reports that the plant, which cost $2.2 billion to build, most of it supported by Federal Loan Guarantees, "Increased its production by "170%" in 2015 over 2014. This percent talk is typical of excusing the failure of solar energy to meaningfully address climate change.

Here's the breaking energy link:

Ivanpah Solar Production Up 170% in 2015

Here's some text from the article:

According to the EIA, Ivanpah 1 and 3 together produced about 290 GWh by the end of 2014, just a few weeks shy of a full year of operation, equivalent to 45 percent of the annual PG&E contract quantity. To hit 70 percent (895 GWh) for the first two-year measuring period, it appears the units combined will need to generate about 605 GWh this year, or nearly 95 percent of the single-year contract quantity. Ivanpah 2 fared poorer in its first full year, producing 134 GWh (40 percent of the annual contract quantity). That means the unit would have to produce 336 GWh – 100 percent of the single-year target – to meet the contract minimums noted to in the SEC filings.

290 GWh means that the average continuous power of the plant in 2015 was 33 MW, trivial on the scale of power plants.

The 2.2 billion plant required a huge stretch of pristine desert to be trashed.

Have a nice day today.

Foreign Investors Becoming Skittish About Buying US Treasury Securities.

Foreigners are pulling back from U.S. debt like never before

The biggest foreign creditors of the United States are suddenly having second thoughts about financing the U.S. government.

In Japan, the largest holder of Treasuries, investors culled their stakes in December by the most in almost four years, the Ministry of Finance's most recent figures show. What's striking is the selling has persisted at a time when going abroad has rarely been so attractive. And it's not just the Japanese. Across the world, foreigners are pulling back from U.S. debt like never before.

From Tokyo to Beijing and London, the consensus is clear: few overseas investors want to step into the $13.9 trillion U.S. Treasury market right now. Whether it's the prospect of bigger deficits and more inflation under President Donald Trump or higher interest rates from the Federal Reserve, the world's safest debt market seems less of a sure thing — particularly after the upswing in yields since November. And then there is Trump's penchant for saber-rattling, which has made staying home that much easier...

Our so called ruler of the United States has a very good brain he says, and the quality of his very good brain is reflected by his very good diplomacy.

The dictator wannabe doesn't recognize, apparently, that the rest of the world is not just going to lay down at his command. They can hurt the US, and the quicker they discover that, the harder it will be for us.

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