Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Here’s some good news on climate change and the U.S. energy picture

Was it a breakdown of distribution components? Did information editors snooze through this big news? What was it that caused the recent important news about climate change to not be widely distributed?

Normally, when data show a new hottest year on record; or a big increase over the previous month, or the same month in the previous year; or represent a sequence of warming months or years, that’s a big story. But not this time. What’s up with that?

Well, the answer is that the climate change news did not fit with the climate change narrative preferred by those who promote cataclysmic damage to the Earth’s atmosphere unless we make dramatic, inconvenient, expensive, harmful, and virtually useless changes to the way we live and work.

Since the Little Ice Age ended in the 1880s the Earth has warmed by about 0.8 degrees C, a level of warming that many regard as serious, even catastrophic. However, that same approximate level of warming occurred three times prior to this one, in the Minoan, Roman and Medieval warming periods. Somehow, the Earth managed to not blow up, and its plant and animal life survived. And the fact that Earth survived runs contrary to the manic warnings of the alarmist faction about our fate under such conditions.

The recent news that hardly anyone is aware of demonstrates how Earth’s temperatures fluctuate; alternately rising and falling, over varying lengths of time, and has occurred for at least thousands of years.

The most recent available data comes from the GISTEMP Team, 2018:GISS Surface Temperature Analysis. The source for this report is NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and the data shows that from February of 2016 to February of 2018, global average temperatures fell by 0.56 degrees C. That was an even larger drop than the previous two-year drop from 1982-1984, when the global temperatures dropped by 0.47 degrees C.

The recent temperature drop, called the Big Chill, represents the reversal of about 70 percent of the previous 0.8 degree C increase in global temperatures over the last approximately 120 years. This is important; however, two years of lower temperatures are not sufficient to label it a complete reversal of the warming trend. But it does demonstrate the changeable nature of global temperatures.

Other relevant information not widely reported consists of an analysis of computer climate models as designed by the climate scientists on the alarmist side of things. Writing for Investors Business Daily, Nic Lewis’ and Judith Curry’s study shows the alarmists models are tilted upward on the temperature scale. The planet, they say, is far less sensitive to increases in CO2 than the climate models predict. The result is that Earth will warm less than the models predict, even if the levels of CO2 we put into the atmosphere do not decrease.

Thus, the global warming scare that we are continually being beaten up with is not currently a looming danger. Instead, it is an exaggerated picture of normal temperature fluctuations.

The majority of the information media, which largely sides with the predictions of catastrophe for our environment, mostly reports information about climate when it suits their political perspective.

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On the energy front, there is also good news. Bloomberg Markets reports, “Selling more than two million barrels a day of U.S. crude overseas may soon be the new normal.”

The U.S. exported 2.33 million barrels a day in the third week of April, which is the highest export number in the last 25 years, according to the Energy Information Administration. That is a significant increase from earlier in the month, when average exports were 1.76 million barrels a day. U.S. total output has increased to 10.6 million barrels a day, Bloomberg reported.

This increase is attributed to the shale production revolution, which largely comes from light, sweet West Texas crude.

The U.S. is moving from the world’s largest importer of crude oil, and is about to displace Russia as the largest producer of crude in the world.

The coal picture, while improved from the over-reaching Obama administration, does not look as good as the oil picture. However, a new discovery could produce some positive impacts.

The American Geosciences Institute notes: "Rare-earth elements (REEs) are used as components in high technology devices, including smart phones, digital cameras, computer hard disks, fluorescent and light-emitting-diode (LED) lights, flat screen televisions, computer monitors, and electronic displays. Large quantities of some REEs are used in clean energy and defense technologies."

A new project with the goal of being able to extract rare earth elements from acid mine drainage at coal mine sites in the country holds some promise. West Virginia University and the National Energy Technology Laboratory are focusing on developing a less expensive method for extraction, and to increase domestic supplies of these elements, which now are primarily available only from China.

If successful, this project will not only provide a strong domestic supply of the increasingly valuable and useful elements, but will also have a positive impact on the waste produced from past and present coal mining operations.


Allen Peters said...

After losing what should have been a pretty winnable election, it would make sense for Hillary Clinton to sit down with her team and assess what happened and why they lost. It would be useful information for anybody that wants to challenge Trump in 2020. However, that kind of self-reflection would be grounds for accepting responsibility for something and Hillary Clinton does not do that.

Instead, Hillary chose to blame James Comey. In revealing what is either a stunning lack of self-awareness or just her innate penchant for blaming others for her troubles, she decided to attempt to make the case to donors the reason she lost states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio was due to letters sent by FBI Director James Comey to members of Congress about her emails

James Shott said...

Excellent comment, and thanks for posting it.

As a not-Hillary-supporter, I do have to say that Comey's crazy behavior likely did have a negative impact, but it was she who initiated it by her own careless (probably illegal) behavior.