Who Planned Pipeline Attack ?

[ UPDATE 3 : Israel has said it has already prepared for just such an Egyptian disruption scenario, and won’t suffer from shortages of gas… http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=206940 ]

[ UPDATE 2 : The Jerusalem Post says that it was reported that explosives were detonated at the terminal… http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=206940. Why does the Jerusalem Post article contain a history of gas production in the region ? Part of the gas that comes through Egypt has come from Gazan wells http://www.joabbess.com/2010/08/01/natural-gaza-3/. If that supply fails, then countries round about will have to buy their gas from Israel’s new wells… Israel will probably blame Iran for the Egyptian gas terminal explosion http://blogs.forbes.com/christopherhelman/2011/02/05/egypt-pipeline-explosion-cuts-gas-supply-to-israel/. Apparently the gas supply to Israel may not have been damaged http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-05/egypt-gas-pipeline-feeding-israel-explodes-in-sinai-desert-arabiya-says.html, but they’ve turned the taps off anyway, as a precautionary measure http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/crisis-in-egypt/pipeline-blast-in-egypt-shuts-off-gas-flow-to-jordan-israel/article1895902/?cmpid=rss1 ]

[ UPDATE : We now learn it was not an attack after all… http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/egypt/8305962/Egypt-crisis-Sinai-explosion-blamed-on-gas-leak.html. Notice the propaganda – we are reminded in the video report that there may be dark fundamentalist forces at work, even whilst being told that this was not in fact the case.]

An unidentified group has taken advantage of all the turmoil in Egypt, gone undercover, and attacked a gas pipeline, which means that supplies to politically moderate Jordan (and the more hardline Syria) will be cut off.

Who planned this ? It’s probably too early to say, but I can think of several possible answers to the question, and none of them are pretty.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5huw-ts1Q5jlhNQ2IOUlli6gjl5gw?docId=CNG.36fe9f8bbc762c3ed9f469e5f80934c5.8f1

“Saboteurs attack Egypt gas pipeline to Jordan”

http://af.reuters.com/article/investingNews/idAFJOE71407020110205

“Jordan gas supplies to be halted a week after blast”

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704843304576125510103424894.html

“Egypt Gas Pipeline Attacked”

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/02/05/egypt.pipeline/?hpt=T2

“Gas pipeline to Jordan, Syria set ablaze in Egypt…Unless the pipe is repaired quickly, it could become a big problem for Jordan, a country already spending heavily in fuel subsidies, a Jordanian senior official said….”

Fossil Fuel Aid

Video Credit : Peter Sinclair

Creating a level playing field for Renewable Energy by removing Fossil Fuel subsidies is an excellent idea, as mooted by the International Energy Agency :-

http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/1802530/iea-reveals-fossil-fuel-subsidies-usd550bn

“IEA reveals fossil fuel subsidies top $550bn : Report warns kick-backs for fossil fuels are skewing energy markets and holding back renewables investment : By Andrew Donoghue 08 June 2010 : The global fossil fuel industry currently enjoys subsidies worth more than $550bn (£382bn) a year, according to a major new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) that will increase pressure on world leaders to phase out fossil fuel subsidies ahead of a crucial meeting of the G20 group of nations later this month. The research, which was released at a meeting of G20 finance ministers in Busan, South Korea over the weekend, reveals fossil fuel subsidies amounted to $557bn in 2008 – up from $342bn in 2007. Enormous subsidies are skewing energy markets and inhibiting the uptake of more sustainable energy sources, the IEA warned. “The IEA analysis highlights that the price signal from subsidy phase-out would provide an incentive to use energy more efficiently, and trigger switching from fossil fuels to other fuels that emit fewer GHGs,” the report said…”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-07-29/fossil-fuel-subsidies-are-12-times-support-for-renewables-study-shows.html

“Fossil Fuel Subsidies Are 12 Times Support for Renewables, Study Shows : By Alex Morales – 29 July 2010 : Global subsidies for fossil fuels dwarf support given to renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power and biofuels, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said. Governments last year gave $43 billion to $46 billion of support to renewable energy through tax credits, guaranteed electricity prices known as feed-in tariffs and alternative energy credits, the London-based research group said today in a statement. That compares with the $557 billion that the International Energy Agency last month said was spent to subsidize fossil fuels in 2008. “One of the reasons the clean energy sector is starved of funding is because mainstream investors worry that renewable energy only works with direct government support,” said Michael Liebreich, chief executive of New Energy Finance. “This analysis shows that the global direct subsidy for fossil fuels is around ten times the subsidy for renewables.”…”

Here are some relevant documents :-

http://www.iea.org/weo/docs/second_joint_report.pdf
http://www.worldenergyoutlook.org/docs/G20_Subsidy_Joint_Report.pdf
http://www.iea.org/papers/2002/reforming.pdf
http://www.iea.org/textbase/nppdf/free/1990/weo1999.pdf

Barack Obama and the G20 first made a serious call for the removal of Fossil Fuel subsidies back in 2009 :-

http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/09/26/us-g20-energy-idUSTRE58O18U20090926

“G20 agrees on phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies : 25 September 2009 : The world’s largest economies agreed on Friday to phase out subsidies for oil and other carbon dioxide-spewing fossil fuels in the “medium term” as part of efforts to combat global warming. But Group of 20 leaders at a two-day summit meeting here did not advance discussions about financial aid for developing nations dealing with climate change, exacerbating concerns that U.N. talks to form a new climate pact are in peril. Some $300 billion a year is spent worldwide to subsidize fuel prices, boosting demand in many nations by keeping prices artificially low and, thus, leading to more emissions. The agreement — backed by all of the G20 including Russia, India and China — was a victory for U.S. President Barack Obama, whose credentials for fighting climate change have been marred by dimming prospects that the U.S. Senate will pass a bill to reduce emissions before the December U.N. meeting…”

Seems like it’s a done deal…apart from an issue that should never be forgotten in all global negotiations : economic development.

India, for example, has a policy to keep down the price of diesel fuel – a strategy to promote economic development. They won’t be ready to cut subsidies :-

http://www.sify.com/news/diesel-subsidy-withdrawal-unaffordable-says-minister-news-national-lcesEkcgeee.html

“Diesel subsidy withdrawal unaffordable, says minister : 04 February 2011 : New Delhi: India cannot afford to withdraw the subsidy on diesel and it has to continue till poverty disappears from the country, union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah said on Friday. Speaking at the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit here, Abdullah said India gives a lot of subsidy on diesel and, if withdrawn, it will only increase inflation. ‘Diesel subsidy has to continue till poverty disappears from the country,’ he said while reacting to Canadian parliamentarian Stephane Dion’s appeal to phase out diesel subsidy…”

The Americans and the Europeans calling for an end to fossil fuel subsidies could be interpreted as a lever to block the economic development of the Global South – as much of the price-fixing is conducted by developing nations.

It could be argued that the United States and “her allies” want to retain economic dominance – what better way than blocking economic progress in the Global South and making it appear to be a Climate Change measure ?

In addition, much of the financial support for energy projects in the Global South is indirectly awarded to the fossil fuel industry via the international aid cash coming from developed nations and the international agencies. And the fossil fuel producers and engineering companies are not going to be willing to let that source of revenue dry up.

If international aid for energy projects gets stopped, so does a lot of economic development until “technology transfer” of Renewable Energy can be ramped up :-

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6836112.ece

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/apr/09/world-bank-criticised-over-power-station

Before they came to power in the United Kingdom, the Conservative Party were strongly behind the proposals to stop international development loans going on dirty energy projects :-

http://www.conservatives.com/News/Speeches/2009/11/…

“23 November 2009 : Andrew Mitchell: Ending Labour’s support for polluting energy projects : …we must end the use of the Export Credit Guarantee Department to promote ‘dirty’ fossil fuel power stations around the world, and instead make it a champion of green technology…”

http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/1803148/conservatives-pledge-stop-uk-fossil-fuel-subsidies

This promise has not been kept, according to the Jubilee Debt Campaign :-

http://www.jubileedebtcampaign.org.uk/…

“Lord Green told: Britain’s exports must stop harming people and planet : 24 January 2011 : New report details string of ‘dodgy deals’ at export support body : As new Trade Minister Stephen Green embarks on a national tour to promote British exports, Jubilee Debt Campaign warns that Britain’s export support body is not up to the job : A report released by the organisation today exposes a history of backing projects by large corporations in a handful of controversial sectors. The projects have led to human rights abuses, environmental destruction and corruption in the developing world, and often failed to deliver even on their stated aims. Britain’s export promotion body, the Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD), has also undermined Britain’s international development goals by leaving countries like Kenya, Vietnam, Indonesia and Pakistan with £2 billion of debts from failed export deals – 96% of Third World Debt ‘owed’ to the UK today…The Coalition government has failed to act on its pledge to end fossil fuel subsidies through the ECGD, despite taking action to beef up the Department’s role…”

The key global development question remains – is cutting fossil fuel subsidies yet another (underhand) way of reducing international aid budgets ?

To deflect criticism, the spotlight will probably be turned on countries like Iran :-

Image Credit : International Energy Agency

http://www.globe-net.com/articles/2010/june/8/getting-the-prices-right-cutting-subsidies-could-save-billions-.aspx?sub=12

“Getting the Prices Right – Cutting Subsidies Could Save Billions : 8 June 2010 : Global fossil fuel consumption subsidies in 2008 were much higher than previously estimated and totalled USD557 billion, according to IEA analysis…The IEA has undertaken an extensive survey to identify countries that offer subsidies that reduce prices of fossil fuels below levels that would prevail in an undistorted market, thus leading to higher levels of consumption than would occur in their absence. The survey identified 37 countries and it is estimated that these represent over 95% of global subsidized fossil‐fuel consumption…The IEA analysis has revealed that fossil fuel consumption subsidies amounted to $557 bn in 2008. This represents a big increase from $342 bn in 2007…Since 2008, a number of countries – including China, Russia, India and Indonesia – have made notable reforms to bring their domestic energy prices in line with world prices…The country with the highest subsidies in 2008 was Iran at $101 billion, or around a third of the country’s annual central budget. Chronic under‐pricing of domestic energy in Iran has resulted in enormous subsidies and a major burden on the economy that is forcing reliance on imports of refined products. Iran’s leadership came to agreement in 2010 on a sweeping plan for energy subsidy reform; however, steep economic, political and social hurdles will need to be overcome if Iran is to realize lasting reform…”

Obama says we have to drop fossil fuel subsidies. The next thing you know, the inaccuracies start flying :-

http://climateprogress.org/2011/02/04/manchin-coal-subsidies%E2%80%99/

“Manchin claims coal “doesn’t get a penny of subsidies” : In fact, the industry gets trillions of pennies : 4 February 2011 : Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), the newest member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, claimed today that the coal industry doesn’t receive any government subsidies, unlike every other form of energy. Brad Johnson debunks this absurd claim…”

Nuclear Coincidence ?

Image Credit : go_greener_oz

4am Tuesday morning, the Sizewell B nuclear power plant is shut down due to engineering safety concerns.

7am Wednesday morning, anti-nuclear power protestors block the entrance to the power plant.

Coincidence ? Precautionary ?

Meanwhile, the nuclear power industry is trying to make the case that nuclear power can be flexible :-

http://www.nuclearinst-ygn.com/magazine.htm

“Volume 5, Issue 6 Contents:… Track 2 Article by Laurent Pouret, Nigel Buttery and Bill Nuttall ‘Is nuclear power inflexible?’-38 minutes…”

Theoretically, a nuclear reactor or electricity generator can be partly shut down relatively quickly, and relatively safely.

But is it really flexible in all respects ?

If a nuclear power generator has to “load follow”, and operate flexibly, the price of the power produced will be higher – because most of the costs of nuclear electricity generation are fixed over time.

For this reason, most nuclear reactors are run as “baseload” – kept in operation all the time.

In France they operate some of their nuclear power plants “flexibly”, but it’s not clear how expensive this makes the power – the nuclear electricity industry is financially supported by the government in France, although opinion varies as to how much :-

http://www.globalsubsidies.org/en/subsidy-watch/commentary/gambling-nuclear-power-how-public-money-fuels-industry

“All countries face similar issues related to accident risk, radioactive waste management, and plant financing. All have adopted a range of subsidies that attempt to make the new plants appear financially viable, though some countries, such as France and China, do not publish enough information to get a good handle on how big the public support really is…”

If the United Kingdom were to convince energy companies that investing in new nuclear power in the country would be financially advantageous for them, then would nuclear electricity prevent the development of genuinely flexible renewable energy systems ?

It has to be borne in mind that the currently proposed 10, no, 11, no, 8, well, however many new nuclear plants, are only a replacement programme for the nuclear power stations that must be decommissioned in the next 15 years due to safety concerns. They wouldn’t give us anything better than we have now, and sometimes, right now, generation management can be a mess if big generators fail suddenly :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/may/28/power.cuts

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/may/28/britishenergygroupbusiness

Now would be a great time to abandon the really-rather-inflexible-and-expensive nuclear power in favour of developing genuinely responsive constantly low-cost tidal, marine and wind resources in the UK.

A lot of people agree with this idea, it seems :-

http://www.gazette-news.co.uk/news/8816197.Nuclear_power_station_petition_hits_10_000_signatures/

“Nuclear power station petition hits 10,000 signatures : 9:20am Thursday 27th January 2011 : CAMPAIGNERS fighting plans for a new nuclear power station in Bradwell have got 10,000 people to sign a petition against the plans. The petition, led by West Mersea pressure group Banng (Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group), will be passed to MP Charles Hendry, minister for energy at the department of energy and climate change in London on Tuesday…”

The Coalition Government have made it clear that there will be no (overt) subsidies for Nuclear Power, although there’s a little loophole in their proposals for the Energy Bill :-

http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/legislation/energybill/1014-energy-bill-2010-ia-green-deal.pdf

“Enabling investment in low carbon energy supplies… 26. The proposals in the Bill will amend the existing powers in the Energy Act 2008 that allow the Secretary of State to modify a nuclear operator’s Funded Decommissioning Programme. The proposed amendments will provide an enabling power that will allow the Secretary of State to enter into an agreement at the time a Funded Decommissioning Programme (FDP) is approved that will set out the manner in which he will exercise his powers to modify an FDP in accordance with the principle of securing prudent provision. The aim of this amendment is to ensure that there is an appropriate balance between the Secretary of State’s powers to protect the taxpayer and the operator’s need for clarity over how those powers will be exercised…”

There’s also a bit of a loophole in the Coalition Government’s Electricity Market Reform proposals :-

http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/Consultations/emr/1041-electricity-market-reform-condoc.pdf

See pages 4 to 8 – the “Executive Summary” – and remember, where you see the expression “low carbon technologies”, or “low carbon generation”, that concept includes nuclear power.

And Sizewell B ? Still offline :-

http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/sizwell_nuclear_power_station_still_offline_1_792548

Nuclear power plants. If we can’t rely on them, why do we want them ?

And if they’re not very safe, why don’t we focus on things that are ?

Market Tinkering

The Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition Government in the United Kingdom have several competing interests to juggle when it comes to the electricity generation industry.

Any proposed tinkering in the electricity market will need to show it still promotes competition (even though new entrants will probably complain they can’t compete in auctions), even as it guarantees safe and stable power supplies, even as it needs to make sure consumers don’t get ripped off.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change have published a clearly-written consultation document on their proposals for an Electricity Market Reform (EMR), detailing various methods of intervening to ensure long-term objectives on carbon emissions and energy security :-

http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/consultations/emr/emr.aspx

I’ve been reading some really helpful commentary on the system-wide effects of these proposals :-

http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/Consultations/emr/1043-emr-analysis-policy-options.pdf

http://www.parliamentarybrief.com/2011/01/thumbs-up-a-little-early-for-that-mr-huhne#all

So far, my conclusion is that the net effect of these proposals will be to make the electricity generators feel secure about future earnings.

I’m not convinced that anything I’ve read so far will help energy supply companies feel willing to leap the expensive investment hurdle to ensure the UK gets new low carbon power plants.

I’m not even sure if the carbon and power pricing described will deter companies from dirty power generation and direct them towards new low carbon investment.

When I happened on the levelised cost of power in the main DECC analysis document, I came to a very pragmatic conclusion :-

http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/Consultations/emr/1041-electricity-market-reform-condoc.pdf

Figure 2 (see top) shows that FOAK (first of a kind) new nuclear reactor plant designs (which is what we are told we will be getting in the UK) are probably going to yield similar unit electricity price values to Onshore Wind Power and Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) plant using Natural Gas feedstock.

My question is : why do we need to intervene with the electricity market to incentivise low carbon generation if the cheapest technologies are the low carbon options anyway ? (Yes, I’ve deliberately forgotten to discuss Carbon Capture and Storage).

My second question is : are the financial instruments proposed for the electricity market simply a sop to the electricity generators to leverage investment in new and efficient low carbon power stations ? Come and invest in new power generation in Great Britain and see your earnings stable (or rising) !

And my third question is this : don’t the NIMBY campaigns against Onshore Wind Power realise their success means that the overall cost of electricity to the consumers will rise significantly as wind power has to move offshore ?

My conclusion is : it would be far cheaper simply to instruct the largely publicly owned banks to make investment finance available, but only for low carbon technologies and forget about trying to maintain the facade of a free market.

Power supply is virtually a monopoly – and the State is bound to maintain supply – DECC have even got proposals on the table in their main Energy Bill to buy up any power companies that fail…yet another bailout !

Australia : Inundation Nation (2)

The key question tonight in Queensland is : how safe can we make the house before morning ?

The second key question that should tonight be asked in Queensland Australia is : are the damages from Climate Change likely to be more expensive than changing our energy sources to stop it ?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12294834

“27 January 2011 : Australia floods: PM Julia Gillard unveils new tax : Julia Gillard announces the details of the new tax : Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced a new tax to help pay for devastating floods that she says will cost A$5.6bn ($5.6bn; £3.5bn) in reconstruction. Ms Gillard said the 12-month tax, starting from 1 July, would be levied on those earning A$50,000 or more, and those affected by floods would not pay. “We should not put off to tomorrow what we are able to do today,” she said…”

http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/gillard-warms-to-permanent-disaster-fund-20110131-1ab4z.html

“Gillard warms to permanent disaster fund : Phillip Coorey : February 1, 2011 : THE Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, is prepared to entertain the idea of a permanent natural disaster fund if it helps win the support of key independents in both houses. But she is not prepared to bend on the details of her one-off $1.8 billion levy to help with flood reparations in Queensland. As negotiations began with independents yesterday before the legislation for the flood measures is tabled in Parliament next week, Ms Gillard would not rule out a permanent fund. ”We’re happy to have a conversation about the longer term,” she said. But the floods, she said, were ”an extraordinary circumstance which requires a response in the short term”…”

Polar Bear Co-Option

My print copy of New Scientist magazine slithers through the letterbox in its biodegradable plastic sheath and plops weightily on the doormat. Hours later I pick it up, and it crinkles with the promise of lots of juicy new information. What I’m not prepared for is the disappointment of the sell-out on the inside of the front cover :-

“Win a trip to the high Arctic and the deep sea : Ever wanted to see polar bears and whales in their natural habitats ? Or how about visiting the sea floor ? Here’s your chance : New Scientist has teamed up with Statoil, the global energy company, to offer one lucky winner and a guest the trip of a lifetime – to sail around the Svalbard archipelago inside the Arctic Circle, home to polar bears and whales, and to fly to the giant Troll platform, where you will visit the bottom of the North Sea. To win this amazing prize all you have to do is tell us, in no more than 100 words, which engineering project you think will have the greatest impact on human life in the next 30 years, and why. To find out more and to enter the competition go to www.newscientist.com/engineeringgreats. The closing date for entries is 2 March 2011.”

A large part of the page is taken up with a photograph of a polar bear, a poster child for Climate Change.

The implication-by-association is that Statoil want to protect the environment. But what’s their real business ? Shipping large quantities of Natural Gas – not exactly zero carbon fuel.

Not only that, but pages 10 and 11 of the magazine are an “advertising feature” on behalf of Statoil. The infommercial is in exactly the same style and typeface as the rest of the magazine, which I think is plain deceptive. Perhaps it is there to make sure that people entering the prize competition nominate Statoil’s technology as the “engineering great” for the future. That’s a bit rich. In one fell swoop the global energy industry have co-opted not only polar bears but the New Scientist magazine into the bargain !

The “advertising feature” features Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), which is what Statoil is famous for with their Sleipner facility, where they inject excess Carbon Dioxide (CO2) from Natural Gas back into the field to store it. The “advertising feature” attempts to sell the “good idea” of CCS, but cleverly injects a bit of “balance” to take the reader along with it.

“…The conclusion so far is that the CO2 is safely stored…It’s not possible to be 100 per cent certain about this…”

I would have thought that if it’s not 100% locked down that some people might be quite unsure about relying on it. But anyway. It appears that the European Union and several other key players really believe in CCS technology, and are willing to put public funds into it :-

http://ec.europa.eu/energy/technology/initiatives/doc/implementation_plan_2010_2012_eii_ccs.pdf

http://ec.europa.eu/energy/technology/initiatives/initiatives_en.htm

The only way that any business would buy into CCS would be if there is a carbon price differential implemented – as CCS adds costs to everything :-

“…Statoil made the choice to lock up the field’s CO2 for good business reasons: the Norwegian government would have levied a tax of $50 for every tonne of CO2 it emitted…”

But fitting CCS to power plants is going to be a lot different than the Sleipner project :-

“…Then there is the question of whether the technique can be extended to CO2 produced by combustion, in particular from fossil-fuel power stations…handling flue gases from power plants is going to require significant extra cost…”

So what kind of carbon price would support Carbon Capture and Storage ? $80 per tonne ? $120 per tonne ? That’s the kind of money our leaders are willing to shell out from tax revenues to support the continued burning of coal to make electricity. Wouldn’t it be better, more cost effective, to put the money into Renewable Energy technologies and just stop burning coal ? After all, coal could get a lot more pricey in the next few years :-

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-chinese-coal-monster-running-out-of-puff-2010-11

If I were in charge, I would recommend that nobody builds any new coal-fired power stations, and that we start a phase of withdrawal from coal-burning for power generation, forget about Carbon Capture and Storage and put the public money into financing the development of Biogas, BioSyngas and Renewable Hydrogen – zero carbon gas products that could replace Natural Gas and coal entirely.

Everything’s going to be just fine

Image Credit : Ulla Norup Milbrath

Really, we can all relax.

We already have all the Renewable Energy technologies we need to power the whole world without a single molecule of carbon dioxide being pumped into the warming sky.

The wildcat growth in clean energy is exploding out of the record books, and we can reach and easily surpass our tough greenhouse targets, all by 2030.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-20029784-54.html

http://www.fastcompany.com/1721388/study-100-renewable-energy-for-world-in-40-years-yes-only-our-doubts-in-the-way

The catch ? We do need to convince a number of key energy players to shift gear, and that may take a little effort and time.

There are also changes that can be useful demand-side as well as supply-side :-

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20037-efficiency-could-cut-world-energy-use-over-70-per-cent.html

We can do it if we adopt Engineering Development Goals :-

http://www.imeche.org/knowledge/themes/environment/Population

Algae BioDiesel Report Card : Fail

The New York Times blog asks, plaintively, when algae biofuels will be economically viable :-

http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/25/the-future-of-algae-fuels-is-when/

“January 25, 2011 ; The Future of Algae Fuels Is … When? : By TOM ZELLER JR. : As I write in Tuesday’s Times, a new study from the Rand Corporation, the global policy think tank based in Santa Monica, Calif., and formed more than 60 years ago to advise the American government on military issues, suggests that Department of Defense is wasting its time exploring alternative fuels. It raised particular questions about the near-term viability of algae-based fuels, which the study’s authors considered to be more or less laboratory-level stuff — and certainly not likely to scale up to any significant extent in the next 10 years. Given that the military has gone to great lengths to publicize its ongoing efforts to go green, and in particular, algae-green, the report did not sit well with with everyone…”

The eagerness around algae biodiesel seems to stem largely from those who want something to invest in, now that fossil fuels are starting to look like a liability :-

“…Certainly a number of investors continue to bet on the promise of squeezing oil from algae in amounts substantial enough to put a dent in the use of petroleum-based fuels. And dozens of companies and academic labs are busy chasing that dream. Despite all this, the Rand study’s lead author, Jim Bartis, remained steadfastly skeptical that the technology would be ready for prime time within the next decade — and certainly not ready for widespread military use…”

Highly crucially, hypothetical research has shown that the return on investment may not be very high :-

http://environmentalresearchweb.org/blog/2011/01/the-eroi-of-algae-biofuels.html

“…What Colin discovered was that the EROI of the Reduced Case and Literature Model were 0.13 and 0.57, respectively. This shows that we have much to learn for the potential of making viable liquid fuels. Additionally, Colin’s calculations for the experimental setup (and Reduced Case analysis) show that 97% of the energy output resides in the biomass, not the bio-oil For his idealized Literature Model, 82% of the energy output was in the biomass. While these results seem discouraging, we do not have much ability to put these results into context of the rate of development of other alternative technologies and biofuels. How long did it take to get photovoltaic panels with EROI > 1 from the first working prototype in a lab? We have somewhat of an idea that it took one or two decades for the Brazilians to get reasonable EROI > 1 from using sugar cane for biomass and biofuel production (Brazilian sugar cane grown and processed in Sao Paulo is estimated near EROI = 8)…”

Can it be that venture capital is chasing an imaginary rabbit down a virtual warren ?

For just $250 (ker-ching !) you can purchase a copy of an informative report, that just might explain it all :-

http://www.oilgae.com/ref/report/digest/digest.html

Interestingly, it is noted, “The yields of oil and fuels from algae are much higher (10-25 times) than competing energy crops”. Those “energy crops” would be the genetically modified food crops that are intended for the BioEnergy agri-industry, then.

And what at the food crops that the GM scientists want to splice with ?

I think we need to understand who has intentions for which crops :-

http://greenbio.checkbiotech.org/news/gene_stack_increases_biofuel_crop_productivity

“Gene stack increases biofuel crop productivity : Thursday, January 20, 2011 : By Jim Lane : In Illinois, Chromatin announced the successful first demonstration that genes can be assembled, stacked, and expressed in sugarcane using the company’s mini-chromosome technology…Developers, however, want to insert genes that offer improvements in multiple traits – when an organism has more than one gene inserted in this process – for example, for disease resistance, insect resistance, herbicide resistance – this is called a gene stack. In 2007, for example, Monsanto and Dow introduced an eight-gene stack (SmartStax) that contained eight herbicide tolerance and insect-protection genes, including Dow’s Herculex I and Herculex RW; Monsanto’s YieldGard VT Rootworm/RR2 and YieldGard VT PRO, Roundup Ready and Liberty Link tolerance genes. Gene stacking, thereby, is foundational in the drive for higher productivity from land crops…”

“…Not every plant genome is stable enough to support extensive cross-breeding in order to introduce desired genes. One of those is sugar cane. So, let’s say you wanted to introduce several genes, not just one – for example, insect resistance, herbicide resistance, disease resistance, higher sugar concentrations, and enzymes to enable better bagasse digestion. If you could do it at all in cane – and it would be a monumental, unprecedented achievement in cross-breeding, it would take, say 13 years or so to accomplish it. It has made changes at this level uneconomical. So that’s what the Chromatin breakthrough is all about. Creating a method to bring the sort of possibilities that have materially advanced yields in, say, corn and soy, to a whole new array of energy and food crops. Opening up the door for more rapid improvement of the underlying per-acre yields. Thereby reducing the amount of acreage needed to support, say, a cellulosic ethanol or renewable diesel processing technology. Increasing thereby the radius over which biomass can be transported at economically viable rates. Making the processing plants larger, and more cost effective. Speeding up the point at which a given technology can achieve parity with fossil oil. Pushing us faster towards the scaling of energy crops and biofuels…”

“Sugarcane and other feedstocks : Chromatin has wrapped itself into a worldwide exclusive with Syngenta in sugarcane – so, for improvements in the sugarcane genome, that’s where they will come from in so far as this technology is concerned. Meanwhile, Chromatin is pretty well wrapped up in terms of licenses for its technology in corn, soy, canola and cotton. And, Chromatin said last year that it would pursue opportunities in sorghum as a developer. But there are the energy canes, and the energy grasses like switchgrass and miscanthus. Or the woods like eucalyptus or poplar. Or the aquatic species, like algae. For those platforms, this is a licensable technology…”

Tampering with the genes of some of the most important crops in the world. That’s bold. Will we accept that ?

Syngenta are going to mess with sugarcane, all in the name of Climate Change alleviation.

And where will this sugarcane be grown ? In Brazil.

And who will be farming this sugarcane for BioEthanol use ? Dirt-poor people from the landless underclass, just as now.

So, corrupting the gene pool of one of the world’s most important food crops for some dubious possible gains in energy productivity, and still not resolving the human rights issues of how this is farmed.

What a revolution !

All You Need Is Plans

Image Credit : Profbrainstorm

Trying to take part in the national debate on future energy technologies is like wandering around the house in the dark – you frequently graze your knees and stub your toes on big things deliberately placed there to get in your way.

Some very well-financed people have been promoting dead duck technological options as if they hold some merit. Plucking a few examples out the air – a new fleet of nuclear power plants (with the risk of leaks and spiralling costs) and a network of carbon capture burial sites (with the risk of leaks and spiralling costs).

You would have thought that now would be a good idea to hatch a plan – an overall Energy policy, a strategy for the implementation of workable and reasonably-priced options that complement each other.

This would show up the uselessness of the engineering dodos such as new nuclear power and carbon capture and storage. To combat non-solutions, all we need is plans.

Well, there’s some movement from the UK Government, as one example, but it’s patchy. As for the social movements – well, that’s another story.

Quite a number of the activist communities still continue to adhere to the model of negative protest against big, old, dirty technology. Every time a piece of news arrives about a technology they don’t like, the “campaign” organisations react critically, defensively.

Every public event and “direct action” centres around things that people don’t want and don’t like. It’s never very happy. Civil society never gets around to forming a concrete positive proposal for how energy should be managed going forward.

To shine a light on this a little – Bill McKibben is just about to waste a whole bunch of his and other peoples’ time and energy on a schedule of “civil disobedience”, but this is likely to have little lasting impact on those who actually make decisions about the production and exploitation of energy resources :-

http://www.christiancentury.org/article/2010-12/disobedience

“Disobedience : Direct action on global warming : Dec 27, 2010 by Bill McKibben : If there was ever an issue about which civil disobedience should not be required, global warming is it…Global warming shouldn’t be a moral question, but because of our inaction it’s become the greatest moral challenge of our time.”

Couched in moral imperatives, Bill McKibben appears to be suggesting that the very best thing we should all do is to go and idle about outside a coal power station, or the like, and risk getting watercannoned, beat up or arrested. As if that helps – which it doesn’t.

There are some engineering people working to propose pragmatic, low cost strategies for implementing significant improvements in energy provision, but their work is not always read properly by the non-governmental organisations and independent groups.

If you’re not an engineer, your eyes tend to glaze over when you see a technical report. You don’t take it in, so you don’t understand the plan. Many social activists regard engineering reports as being simply “vision” and don’t understand the real proposals they contain.

Because activists regularly don’t understand positive proposals for changes in the energy systems, they can’t “get behind” them. So, without a plan, a plan for positive action, the default activist position is negatively opposing bad, old fossil fuel energies.

Struggling against fossil fuel energies and nuclear power is like trying to scramble up a scree slope while its experiencing an avalanche. By being continuously negative, activists don’t get anywhere fast.

Don’t get me wrong – it has been very necessary to follow through on resisting the negative aspects of energy for several years. People have had iconic photo opportunities camped outside massive, sinful coal power plants, or kneeling on an aeroplane runway. The “no” has been witnessed. And I have been a part of that witness.

But now we need to get on to the “yes”.

What is it that we are assenting to ? What changes do we think are practical, pragmatic to implement to drastically reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the United Kingdom.

Here’s just a couple of numbers :-

Biogas (from rotting sewage/food/plants) could provide somewhere between 20% and 50% of our current grid gas needs.
Insulating and draught-proofing buildings could cut Natural Gas use by something of the order of 30%.
Wind power could provide 45% of our electricity.

These are very Big Numbers.

Who says there is no “silver bullet” to fix the energy system ?

Several groups have a good idea on how these and other technologies can be implemented, and they have not been offhandedly ignored or dismissed by those that have the job of administering the country.

So what is it that we want ? And when are we going to have a wind turbine hugging event ? Or a Woodstock at a hydropower lake ?

Love your green energy. Go bless it with incense, chanting and soul.

It’s not greed…

Image Credit : G. William Domhoff

In conversation yesterday evening somebody summarised the behaviour of banks and the energy industry as “greedy”, but I simply could not agree.

“It’s not greed”, I said, “most people are just trying to make a living.”

The corporations have an obligation to make profits for their shareholders, business managers have to be pragmatic, governments have to negotiate compromises and consumers are just looking to make the best use of their cash.

This is how we find ourselves locked into a vicious cycle of energy waste, through the production and use of cheap fossil fuels.

Fossil fuels are so cheap, nobody can spare the investment budget to make vehicles and power generation more efficient. Natural Gas is so relatively inexpensive that it’s cheaper to heat leaky homes than insulate them. Petroleum is so cheap (even with the rising global trade price and proposed increased taxes in the UK) that a high proportion of its energy value is wasted.

“It’s not greed,” I said, “look at who owns the wealth. The overwhelming proportion of people don’t have any control. They’re just trying to get by.”

To talk of “greed” anthropomorphises the machine of the economy, imbues it with a human emotion where it has none. To say that bankers are “greedy”, or that corporations and their Chief Executive Officers are “evil” entirely misses the point. Almost everybody is employed by somebody else, and has to follow instructions.

Even High Net Worth Individuals are under pressure to respond to their “electorates”, those who consume their intellectual property rights.

However, “just following orders” is no excuse to let people off the hook when it comes to carbon emissions, just like it is no excuse for war crimes.

But it’s not “greed”.

That would imply guilt, but guilt is not a lever that can be used successfully to correct excess carbon emissions.

Image Credit : Make Wealth History

The Gamechanger

Gasland at the ICA London : 17 – 27 Jan, 4 – 6, 11 – 13, 16 – 17, 19, 26 – 27 Feb 2011

The public propaganda budget for most energy and mining companies is eensy weensy compared to the profits they can make by polluting and stealing.

Are you ready for another American energy myth ? Yes, the country with the energy production “community” that brought you the Gulf of Mexico spill disaster of April 2010, is now threatening groundwater pollution and seismic shocks at a county near you in the United Kingdom.

A glimpse of the public relations that have led up to this can be seen very easily by using an Internet Search Engine using an Internet Browser (like Google running on Google Chrome, for example), using the search term : “shale gas gamechanger”.

That little word “gamechanger” has been soaking through the business, engineering and financial press in relation to “unconventional” gas for at least six months. Everybody digests this word in connection with information touting the magical promise of virtually free gas in the rocks beneath our feet. And then they repeat the concept and this little sales word to others. It’s gone completely viral.

Roger Harrabin of the BBC (thanks, Roger) brings word that the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research has recommended a moratorium on shale gas operations until more science is known about the results of the engineering :-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12190810

“…”We are aware that there have been reports from US of issues linked to some shale gas projects,” a spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) told BBC News. “However, we understand that these are only in a few cases and that Cuadrilla (the firm testing for shale gas in Lancashire) has made it clear that there is no likelihood of environmental damage and that it is applying technical expertise and exercising the utmost care as it takes drilling and testing forward.”…”

So who is this company “Cuadrilla” ?

It is an entity formed from one Australian engineering giant and one American financial giant, seeking to propagate the American way of life of developing “new” energy resources :-

http://www.mining-reporter.com/index.php/component/content/article/653-lucas/2867-riverstone-llc-invests-us58-million-in-cuadrilla-resources-

“…Lucas announced that the Riverstone/Carlyle Global Energy and Power Funds, a group of energy-focused private equity funds managed by Riverstone Holdings LLC, has committed to subscribe US$58.0 million for equity in Cuadrilla Resources Holding Ltd, the holding company established by Lucas to hold its investment for unconventional hydrocarbons exploration and development in Europe.”

“Lucas was a founding shareholder in Cuadrilla and has supported the management team since the company’s inception. Lucas’ total investment as of today’s date amounts to A$52.4 million.
Cuadrilla has applied for, and in some cases been granted, exploration licences totalling in excess of 1.5 million acres in the UK, Holland, Spain and Poland. In addition, Cuadrilla has designed, overseen the manufacture of and delivered state of the art cementing and fracture stimulation equipment and is soon to take delivery of a DrillMec HH220 top drive rig.”

So, does this technology actually work safely ?

Nobody really knows, is the short answer.

http://www.tyndall.ac.uk/shalegasreport

“…Funded by the Cooperative, the Tyndall report demonstrates how the extraction of shale gas risks seriously contaminating ground and surface waters. In this regard alone, there should be a moratorium on shale gas development until a there is a much more thorough understanding of the extraction process…”

Why do we continue to have American companies imprinting their business models on the UK ? We have to have their “independent” nuclear deterrent, their behemoth nuclear reactor construction companies, their health insurance companies, their failed genetically modified crops, their privatised prison and school and health centre management policies, their tax concepts, their social control policies, even their zeal for state terrorism…sorry…”The War against Terror”. And nobody seeks to question why we have to copycat everything the Americans do, even when it goes badly wrong.

Why can’t we have a War against Error ?

We need a real “regime change” here – we need to say a big no to American energy policy. And that starts with asking a few questions about the way American companies do business.

Here’s just one example of the sort of practice that the people behind Cuadrilla get up to :-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlyle_Group

“In 2000, Carlyle entered into a joint venture with Riverstone Holdings, an energy and power focused private equity firm founded by former Goldman Sachs investment bankers. In March 2009, New York State and federal authorities began an investigation into payments made by Carlyle and Riverstone to placement agents allegedly made in exchange for investments from the New York State Common Retirement System, the state’s pension fund. It was alleged that these payments were in fact bribes or kickbacks, made to pension officials who have been under investigation by New York State Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo. In May 2009, Carlyle agreed to pay $20 million in a settlement with Cuomo and accepted changes to its fundraising practices.”

And you trust these people with the right motives when agreeing to finance shale gas exploitation in Europe ?

A. J. Lucas Group is the engineering partner in this enterprise :-

http://markets.ft.com/tearsheets/businessProfile.asp?s=AJL:ASX

“The Company’s Oil and Gas segment is engaged in the exploration for and commercialization of hydrocarbons in Australia, Canada, United States and Europe. As of June 30, 2010, the Company held 56.95% interest in Cuadrilla Resources Corporation Limited (Cuadrilla).”

Starting with Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach, they appear to want to dig up the whole of Lancashire :-

http://www.channel4.com/news/shale-gas-striking-gold-in-blackpool

“Mr Cornelius said Cuadrilla would begin the extraction process in early January and would hope to have its first flare – gas burning at the surface – by early February.”

“If successful, the find would be extremely significant given Britain’s dwindling energy resources and our increasing reliance on imported gas. Cuadrilla had previously said the amount of shale gas in the Bowland site could meet as much as 5 to 10 per cent of Britain’s energy resources.”

“Now, after the first samples have been analysed, the suspicion is that the Lancashire fields could hold a lot more.”

“Now one site has been explored, the drilling rig will be moved to another site on the Bowland Shale to assess the size of the gas field overall. If those explorations also prove successful, then Cuadrilla will look to sell the entire operation to a large exploration company, like Shell, to carry out the expensive and time-consuming production process.”

Somebody has to say no to this. That somebody could be you.

What does shale gas “fracking” do to land, peoples and communities ?

Come and find out :-

http://www.culturecritic.co.uk/competitions/win-a-pair-of-tickets-to-the-premiere-of-gasland/

“GASLAND : Opening 17 January 2011 : Winner – Special Jury Prize – Sundance Film Festival 2010 : Nominated – Grand Jury Prize – Sundance film Festival 2010 : A frightening documentary that follows director Josh Fox as he attempts to uncover the truth about Halliburton-developed procedures for drilling for natural gas (known as hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’). When Fox is offered $100,000 for drilling rights to land he owns in Pennsylvania, his subsequent cross-country investigative odyssey lands him in communities contaminated by chemical waste caused by ‘fracking’ (the residents of one town are able to light their drinking water on fire). Another in a long line of essential environmental documentaries – each of which seems to be more alarming and compelling than the last…”

Come along and watch your own hellish future if you are unlucky enough to sit on top of gas-bearing rock formations :-

http://www.ica.org.uk/?lid=27269

“Gasland
17 – 27 Jan, 4 – 6, 11 – 13, 16 – 17, 19, 26 – 27 Feb 2011
A frightening documentary that follows director Josh Fox as he attempts to uncover the truth about Halliburton-developed procedures for drilling for natural gas (known as hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’). When Fox is offered $100,000 for drilling rights to land he owns in Pennsylvania, his subsequent cross-country investigative odyssey lands him in communities contaminated by chemical waste caused by ‘fracking’ (the residents of one town are able to light their drinking water on fire). Director Q&A plus panel discussion : After the premiere on 17 January there will be a discussion panel afterwards comprising the director Josh Fox, along with representatives from The Co-operative and WWF.”…”

Here’s just a few links to peoples groups opposed to the engineering of unconventional gas :-
http://nofracking.com/
http://durangoherald.com/article/20110116/NEWS01/701169903/-1/s
http://www.marcellusprotest.org/
http://www.atlantic.sierraclub.ca/en/we-are-fracking-out
http://dearsusquehanna.blogspot.com/2011/01/fracking-to-pollute-water-air.html

It’s time our authorities read between the lines and regulated this practice away from Europe.

If we had a sparsely populated continent with lots of unused land, then maybe it might be OK. But with the risks still fully unquantified, we should keep this engineering out of well-populated and ecologically sensitive areas, particularly areas with water courses and farmland.

What are we fighting for ?

Climate Change activists are often portrayed as being highly negative. A commonly-utilised media construct is that we must be mad because we’re against everything. Environmentalists have blocked the development of the Severn Barrage which would have produced 5% of the UK’s power. Excuse me ? Do you want renewable power, or don’t you ?

2011 will be a good year to explain what we are actually fighting for.

We must continue to struggle against self-defeating technologies that don’t fulfil their promises – like vehicle Biofuels, pipedreams like Algae BioDiesel, military exercises like Nuclear Power, flat-out failures like Carbon Capture, and yes, the limitations of some of the Severn Barrage schemes. But we also need to get loud about truly Green Energy.

We’re not just fighting for a kind of unrealistic Utopia, self-sufficiency on a vegan farm, knitting our own flat caps, making solar power with mirrors and duct tape, and learning how to press our own tofu.

No matter how cool it is to be off-grid and downshifted, not everybody can aspire to that kind of lifestyle. Not everybody has the skills, health or monetary resources to build their own wind turbine and wattle-and-daub hut.

We need environmental socialism – we need collectively organised Renewable Energy networks.

I cannot see the current large energy companies wanting to take on the complete makeover of energy production that is required, so I expect national publicly-financed projects will become essential to get this job done.

I also expect some of the energy companies will continue kicking and screaming about this re-nationalisation of energy. But you have to be aware of something rather important – in the medium term, the Great Energy Revival is inevitable. And if BP, Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, E.On, RWE npower, EdF and the rest don’t want to pay up to de-carbonise, then these corporate entities will have passed their useful shelf life.

Most of the fossil fuel energy companies will need to adapt to survive, and if you or anybody you know has money invested in fossil fuel energy companies, you and they need to think carefully about what could possibly happen to these holdings.

As for energy-producing countries such as the members of OPEC, they will experience increasing reasons to diversify out of fossil fuels. The rest of the world will gradually lose its ability to pay for their petroleum and Natural Gas, either through further economic collapse or carbon pricing. Added to that, their fields will continue to deplete and run dry.

Solar power is the future wealth of countries like Saudi Arabia, just as it is for many other countries, but this will require a huge shift in vision and engineering focus.

This changeover in energy could be very destabilising, and this is where Climate Change activists have a Big Goal :-

1. The peaceful and just transition of all energy systems to provide non-polluting, zero carbon resources.

We want stability and non-violent change, no matter what environmental demonstrators are accused of, repeatedly, in all forms of mass media. This revolution will have no weapons.

With time, large components of the current energy system will begin to crumble, partly for want of new investment in infrastructure by privately-owned enterprises. For example, it costs a lot to build a new power station, and most companies won’t do it without state support of one kind or another, and they call themselves free marketeers !

Operational and maintenance cost-shaving is already leading to increasing levels of accidents, spills, explosions, leaks and corrosions.

This doesn’t happen because of evil or greed – it’s simply a natural consequence of the legal obligation of energy companies to make as much profit as they can for their shareholders.

Many people do not understand the parlous state of the current energy systems, and haven’t yet realised that the health of the general Economy is tightly coupled to energy, so this is Big Aim Number 2 :-

2. The education of the populations and their governments about the risks of the current energy systems – Climate Change, environmental pollution, health risks, economic risks, social deprivation and social collapse.

Most activists are highly individual people and keen to maintain their personal freedoms – there’s not much distance between Anarchy and “Conservative” Libertarianism after all – yet, even so, activists generally accept that collective action and social responsibility for energy are necessary.

The changes that are needed in the energy systems are huge :-

http://climateprogress.org/2011/01/10/the-full-global-warming-solution-how-the-world-can-stabilize-at-350-to-450-ppm/

and this will come about either through a series of crises, or through a structured comprehensive strategy. Announcing new nuclear power stations which just replace those that are going to be closed doesn’t really meet this requirement.

Where, I ask you, is the Grand Plan for Energy ?

This is another Big Objective :-

3. A comprehensive social contract between governments, enterprise and the people to exchange carbon energy systems for zero carbon energy systems.

Energy companies need to satisfy the will of the people and the dictates of the Low Carbon Transition – not the directive of profit-making.

This will be a big change in the way things currently are, but it is inevitable that public utilities – energy, water and transport, will once more become publicly managed.

Everybody has to work for this project – and there has to be a strategy to make sure that happens, which means it has to be driven by public policy. It entails Green Jobs, legally binding Green Procurement for all public and private contracts, Green Enterprise Management and Green Government.

What would a Big Plan for Energy Revival look like ? We already have answers :-

Zero Carbon Britain has been adopted by the newly-formed Climate Alliance.

Mark Jacobson and Mark Delucchi are two American academics who have proposed a complete exchange of the energy sytems.

M. Z. Jacobson and M. A. Delucchi, “Evaluating the Feasibility of Meeting All Global Energy Needs with Wind, Water, and Solar Power, Part I: Technologies, Energy Resources, Quantities and Areas of Infrastructure, and Materials,” /Energy Policy/, doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2010.11.040 (2010).

M. A. Delucchi and M. Z. Jacobson, “Evaluating the Feasibility of Meeting All Global Energy Needs with Wind, Water, and Solar Power, Part II: Reliability, System and Transmission Costs, and Policies,” /Energy Policy/, doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2010.11.045 (2010).

And finally, just to repeat the link, Joseph Romm of Climate Progress has consistently promoted the “wedges” approach of Professors Socolow and Pacala :-

http://cmi.princeton.edu/wedges/game.php

Yes, funded by BP, of all the ironies in all the world.

Carbon Capture Report Card : Fail

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) as known as Carbon Geosequestration, or more simply Carbon Sequestration was put forward as a “leading edge” technology to the IPCC from the energy industry way back in 2002 :-

http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/ipcc/ScopingPaper-SRCCS.pdf

A Special Report was published by the IPCC in 2005 :-

http://www.ipcc-wg3.de/publications/special-reports/special-report-on-carbon-dioxide-capture-and-storage

http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/publications_and_data_reports.shtml#2

The reasoning was as follows : coal is cheap and abundant, allegedly, and everybody (especially the Chinese) are going to continue burning it for energy for another 200 years, so we better find ways to mitigate the emissions using engineering.

The first big fail on the score card : it’s expensive. You have to spend heaps more money on not only the CCS pumping and storage infrastructure, but you have to spend heaps more money on fuel as a coal-fired power station with CCS fitted will burn something in the region of 20% to 45% more fuel (analyses vary) :-

http://www.worldcoal.org/carbon-capture-storage/ccs-technologies/

“Around 10-40% more energy is required with CCS than without…”

The second big fail, and this could be the clincher : it uses even more water than un-mitigated coal power generation, and in some places (notably China and the USA), water competition between population, agriculture and industry is appearing :-

http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/files/ETIP-DP-2010-15-final-4.pdf

See pages 42 and 46 (Conclusion).

And all this just to justify continuing to burn coal, when supply is stressed and prices are at risk of rising…

Tell me please : is anybody seriously demonstrating large volume CCS anywhere in the world apart from people burying Carbon Dioxide as a means for Enhanced Oil Recovery in old petroleum wells ?

It seems that the only way to finance CCS will be through a ridiculous international subsidy known as the Clean Development Mechanism – although why dirty coal should get it, I really don’t know. It would be much, much cheaper to stop using fossil fuels and start using green power…

The Cancun IPCC get-together ruled CCS projects into the CDM :-

http://www.climaticoanalysis.org/post/towards-consensus-integrating-carbon-capture-and-storage-into-the-cdm-at-cancun/

And this after it having been ruled out in the 2009 IPCC hook up in Copenhagen :-

http://www.euractiv.com/en/climate-change/carbon-capture-ruled-un-clean-projects-list/article-188403

How’s Australia doing ? :-

http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/8185689/bligh-spends-more-on-carbon-capture

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/cost-blowout-hits-clean-coal-vision/story-fn59niix-1225973604223

And what’s the deal about “cleaner” plants ? :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jul/14/un-carbon-offset-coal-plants

For more news and views from the inside :-

http://www.ccsassociation.org.uk/news/latest_news.html

(but don’t believe the map – most of the projects won’t be happening)

http://www.captureready.com/EN/Channels/Home/index.asp

(Download the newsletters – link top right)

How ready is Carbon Capture ?

http://www.geos.ed.ac.uk/sccs/Capture_Ready_CCS_power_plant_Report_for_WWF_(FINAL)_May08.pdf

http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/research/library/position/120154.aspx

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/FutureGen-narrows-potential-apf-2858992453.html?x=0&.v=1

http://solar.calfinder.com/blog/solar-information/futuregen-clean-coal/

Fail number 3 : doesn’t look like it’s even close to getting off the starting blocks yet in the race to a lower carbon future.

Looks like we’ve all been captured by the concept of Carbon Capture, but that it’s a gossamer filament of ethereal phlogiston, wafting away in the breeze.

Bypass coal, and go straight to the concentrated solar powerhouse, I’d advise.

Happy New Climate Change Year

You don’t solve Climate Change without solving Energy…

It’s a New Year, and it’s a bit nippy in parts. Punch the thermostat.

Natural Gas is considered by many energy professionals to be the true “stop-gap” on the journey from high carbon fuels to a comprehensive renewable energy future.

We are at the start of the second “dash to gas”, and it’s global.

Where does the United Kingdom import Natural Gas from, exactly ?

Wikileaks : The United States think Gazprom is inflexible, inefficient and corrupt…

…and it’s true, Europe imports more Liquified Natural Gas than ever, undercutting Russian supply dominance…

…but Gazprom is opening up a Chinese market, and is beefing up European pipelines…

The Russian energy companies may have to open a few new gas fields to stay top of the game, but they are heavyweights.

Forget the squabbles about new Nuclear Power (which is only a replacement programme for the reactors that will have to pull the rods and spin down by 2023).

And forget the “special relationship” with the United States of America, and their full spectrum dominance in the oil-rich Middle East.

The UK’s political centre of gravity may have to precess to face East in coming decades, unless some kind of proper Energy Policy emerges.

What would a proper Energy Policy look like ?

I’m not sure the new Coalition gets the scale of the effort required to encourage all the players to pull together on this.

For something so vital to national stability, a guarantee of low carbon energy supplies at reasonable cost needs to be provided, somehow.

Can Chris Huhne and his merry band of nicely-suited gents do that ?

http://blogs.ft.com/energy-source/2011/01/07/chris-huhne-answers-your-questions-part-one/

http://blogs.ft.com/energy-source/2011/01/07/chris-huhne-answers-your-questions-part-two/

Can they dodge arguments about subsidies and get the Big Picture ?

And what are the large private energy companies doing ? Playing propaganda games with the public mind. Evidence A : An enormous yellow Shell “Let’s Go” poster at the Eurostar high speed train check-in in Brussels. Evidence B : Shell sponsoring the “Atmospheres” exhibition on Climate Change at the London Science Museum. Evidence C : BP sponsoring the Arts. Evidence D : All the E.On advertisements everywhere, and sponsorship of numerous social events. I don’t need to go on.

We love energy. We’re Shell and BP and E.On and ExxonMobil and Chevron customers and we’re not going anywhere. We are a captive market. They don’t need to spend a half of a half of half a percent on cultural engagements and advertising amongst the carbon-savvy – you know – those of us travelling by train and looking at Climate Change science and taking part in the Climate Change movement.

What they really need to do is diversify out of carbon. All the cultural budget spend is a distraction. All energy companies show tendencies to be inflexible and inefficient – they are so powerful. Doesn’t matter if they are quasi-monopolies in mixed economy Europe, or nominally state-owned in Russia, or ruling-family dominated in Saudi Arabia, all energy engineering organisations suffer from the same problem – too much power.

Faced with the trade lobbying by the energy companies, what hope has little Britain, or even enormous Europe for that matter, in coming up with a workable grand strategy for energy ?

http://www.corporateeurope.org/climate-and-energy

Holy Mother Market !

Video Credit : Democracy Now

Of all the macroeconomic proposals put forward over the last two decades for consideration by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the most ridiculous has to be Carbon Trading.

To imagine that a market can be created for something that the industrialised country economies are highly dependent on is an hallucination.

Carbon Dioxide emissions are in lock-step with economic growth, the creation of liquidity, if not wealth. To try to price Carbon Dioxide emissions would be to attempt to give a negative value to a positive commodity. It just won’t work. Nobody will want to buy it. And if they’re forced to buy it, they won’t want to pay much for it. And nobody can think of a way to force the developed countries to pay for their Carbon Dioxide emissions.

Even before the “serious” negotiating week of Cancun begins, the Kyoto Protocol has been pronounced dead on arrival :-

http://www.democracynow.org/2010/12/6/climate_talks_in_jeopardy_as_industrialized

Nobody ever said the “KP” was perfect – it only committed countries to a very small level of emissions cuts. Some commitment ! Few of the countries in the KP have taken their responsibilities to cut emissions seriously. And if they have, they’ve just outsourced them to China.

But the Son-of-Kyoto Post-Kyoto Protocol Protocol could have been something, you know, if the industrialised countries admitted they needed to back down significantly from rising and large emissions profiles – if developed nations had not tried to lean on the “flexible mechanisms” that effectively legalised offsetting their emissions with emissions reductions in other peoples’ countries.

But, no.

It appears from Wikileaks that the United States of America have been scuppering the United Nations’s best efforts :-

http://www.democracynow.org/2010/12/6/bolivian_un_ambassador_pablo_solon_reacts

“Secret diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks have revealed new details about how the United States manipulated last year’s climate talks in Copenhagen. The cables show how the United States sought dirt on nations opposed to its approach to tackling global warming, how financial and other aid was used by countries to gain political backing, and how the United States mounted a secret global diplomatic offensive to overwhelm opposition to the “Copenhagen Accord.””

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/dec/03/wikileaks-us-manipulated-climate-accord
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/dec/03/us-basics-copenhagen-accord-tactics

It wasn’t China’s fault, (or only China’s fault) as Mark Lynas and many other commentators have asserted :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/22/copenhagen-climate-change-mark-lynas

If, as reports state, the United States are continuing to use any leverage they can to push countries to accept the doomed Copenhagen Accord, there can be no progress on Climate Change.

We may have just found the real Climategate.

You cannot buy or sell the atmosphere.

There is only one solution – that is to displace High Carbon Energy with Low Carbon Energy and that means goodbye to Tar Sands, Shale Oil, Tight Gas, deepwater Petroleum, dirty Petroleum, Coal, Coal-to-Liquids, anything that you can dig out of the ground and burn.

We have to stop mining for energy.

And that has serious implications for a number of international energy corporations and state energy enterprises.

Unless this basic issue is addressed, we are all heading for hell and high water.

The Climate Change talks have been window dressing for unworkable hypothetical macroeconomic policies, and continue to reduce chair people to tears :-

Cancun Day #2 : American Bullies

Image Credit : TF1

It’s not that developing countries and emerging economies are being picky. The problem lies with the United States of America, desperate to cling on to its geopolitical leverage :-

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUS273211516320101129

“U.S. Call to Preserve Copenhagen Accord Puts Climate Conference on Edge : By Stacy Feldman at SolveClimate : Mon Nov 29, 2010 : Many poor countries want to scrap the three-page Copenhagen agreement that the U.S. wants to preserve : CANCUN, MEXICO — The United States said Monday it would not back down on its plan to turn the unpopular Copenhagen Accord into a final global warming deal, setting the first day of already fragile UN climate talks in Cancun on edge. “What we’re seeking here in Cancun is a balanced package of decisions that would build on this agreement … [and] preserve the balance of the accord,” Jonathan Pershing, lead U.S. climate negotiator in Cancun, told reporters at the talks…”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/nov/30/cancun-climate-change-summit-america

“Cancún climate change summit: America plays tough : US adopts all-or-nothing position in Cancún, fuelling speculation of a walk-out if developing countries do not meet its demands : Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent, guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 30 November 2010 : America has adopted a tough all-or-nothing position at the Cancún climate change summit, fuelling speculation of a walk-out if developing countries do not meet its demands. At the opening of the talks at Cancún, the US climate negotiator, Jonathan Pershing, made clear America wanted a “balanced package” from the summit. That’s diplomatic speak for a deal that would couple the core issues for the developing world – agreement on climate finance, technology, deforestation – with US demands for emissions actions from emerging economies and a verifiable system of accounting for those cuts. In a briefing with foreign journalists in Washington, the chief climate envoy, Todd Stern, was blunt. “We’re either going to see progress across the range of issues or we’re not going to see much progress,” said Stern. “We’re not going to race forward on three issues and take a first step on other important ones. We’re going to have to get them all moving at a similar pace.” In the run-up to the Cancún talks, Stern has said repeatedly that America will not budge from its insistence that fast-emerging economies such as India and China commit to reducing emissions and to an inspection process that will verify those actions. The hard line – which some in Washington have seen as ritual diplomatic posturing – has fuelled speculation that the Obama administration could be prepared to walk out of the Cancún talks…”

An “inspection process” ? Agreeing to the same use of satellite snooping and the threat of the penalties of economic sanctions as applied to the fabled Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, and the current pincer on Iran ?

I can’t quite see China agreeing to that.

If we’re thinking about paranoia, who should be monitoring whom ?

The Clean Development Mechanism should have been more closely monitored, but it wasn’t, and it’s collapsed in a big pile – fake credits, false accreditation, poor success rate. Where has the verification process been, there ?

New schemes for “climate finance” will essentially involve creating debt for Climate Change mitigation and adaptation projects in developing and emerging economies. Why more debt ? To prop up the ailing industrialised economies. And allow the Bank sharks to feed.

And “technology transfer” ? That’s all about intellectual property rights – America owning all the rights, and China and India and so on owning nothing, of course. What great technologies have parasitical American companies been keeping hidden away up their sleeves to sell to the Chinese under a Climate deal ? Or are they just rubbish deals, like expensive and untested Carbon Capture and Storage ?

“Deforestation” ? Virtually all proposed schemes under the REDD banner (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) include an element of emissions trading – just the kind of offsetting that large, dirty American companies want to buy to justify carrying on with Business As Usual. Protecting the rainforests ? Nah – just finding another way to make money for the Carbon Traders, and protect the Oil, Gas and Coal industries of the industrialised regions.

What is needed is for the industrialised nations to commit to domestic emissions reductions, not continued attempts to coerce other countries to make cuts that can be traded.

Nobody has learned anything in the last year. The same ridiculous non-options are on the table, and nobody’s biting.

Ethical Investment

I met several people in the finance-with-conscience crowd the other week, when I went for a spot of champers and Marmite soldiers at the House of Commons for National Ethical Investment Week.

I learned about various views on social and positive impact investment, and about elements of the Coalition Government’s “Big Society” and the proposed Green Investment Bank.

Ethical Investment appears to have come a long way since I put some money into a Fair Trade company many moons ago, where I knew I would never see a dividend, or even be able to sell the shares at some point.

Grown up people in sharp suits and big name frocks now do moral banking, and often reap a healthy return on their investment – “doing well” as well as “doing good”, as Adam Ognall of UK Sustainable Investment and Finance says.

I was challenged to think about what faith communities do with their money around a month ago, all precipitated by a conversation I had with Martin Palmer of the Alliance of Conservation and Religions, and then I heard something at a recent meeting that caused me to investigate a little… Continue reading Ethical Investment

The New Climate Alliance

Green jobs, green energy, greening communities.

Forget Nigel Lawson and his struggle to keep the British energy system in the privatised 1980s by denying the realities of Climate Change.

The lords (and sadly, some of the ladies) of this land want to stay rich from their shares in fossil fuels and mining. They’ll say anything to protect the value of their holdings.

But where’s your new North Sea Oil and Gas, Nigel ? Do you want to bankrupt this country by forcing us to ramp up our imports of energy as the North Sea production falls away ?

The chief executives of the “traditional” energy companies of these islands are just trying to keep themselves in a job when they decry wind power, biogas, marine energy projects.

No, Vincent de Rivaz of EdF, we don’t want expensive, inflexible and toxic Nuclear Power. No, Dorothy Thompson of Drax, we don’t want dirty coal continuing to heat up the world, poison fish and raise coughing kids. No, Rupert Soames of Aggreko, we must maintain the Renewable Energy obligations we have agreed at the European level, and raise the bar even higher, to protect the economy going into an uncertain future, by having homegrown energy.

We need an energy evolution in this country.

And so, what is needed is a social movement – involving ordinary, working people, unions, communities, academics, trained professionals from the engineering trades, local political activists and faith communities.

This is the emergence of Green Power.

The Right To Evolve

Image Credit : Oil Change International

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20101028/sc_afp/franceenvironmentclimatewarming

“Global warming ‘unquestionably’ due to humans: France : Global warming exists and is unquestionably due to human activity, France’s Academy of Science said in a report published Thursday and written by 120 scientists from France and abroad. “Several independent indicators show an increase in global warming from 1975 to 2003. This increase is mainly due to the increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide,” the academy said in conclusion to the report. “The increase in carbon dioxide, and to a lesser degree other greenhouse gases, is unquestionably due to human activity,” said the report, adopted unanimously by academy members. The report contradicts France’s former education minister Claude Allegre, a geochemist, who published a book called “The Climatic Deception” which claimed that carbon dioxide was not linked to climate change. The report was commissioned in April by Minister for Research Valerie Pecresse in response to hundreds of environmental scientists who complained that Allegre in particular was disparaging their work. Allegre is a member of the Academy of Sciences and also signed off on the report. “He has the right to evolve,” the academy’s president Jean Salencon said. Pecresse said: “The debate is over.”…”

To my Climate Change sceptical readers, you, too have the “right to evolve”.

Come on over from the dark side to the side of light, life and understanding.

Stop the blame game, the game of suspicion, nitpicking, paranoia and irrationality, and reflect on the path of right dealing, factual research, and true and cooperative human endeavour.

Human beings are genetically encoded for pragmatic policies and practical decisionmaking; yet sometimes the fastest route to a solution is the least successful in the longer term.

Digging high calorie substances out of the ground and burning them in very large quantities is having a negative effect on the ability of the Earth to sustain Life. Ponder that for a while.

Eventually virtually all mining activities will be curtailed. As an elderly relative commented to me when discussing recycling – if we recycled all materials then people wouldn’t have to risk their lives going deep underground for new resources – like those poor miners in Chile and China.

The mines are getting deeper and more dangerous – something the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem encountered to its irrecoverable loss earlier this year.

We can live without mining. We can garner energy without mining. We can live having all our wants and needs provided for by the power of sunlight and the winds and waves it drives, and by the gravitational pull of the Moon turning the tides restlessly.

That kind of productivity will keep us in industrial development for as long as we survive as a species, whilst preventing destruction of our habitat, which would finish us off as a species altogether, along with millions of others.

That’s the kind of evolution we need.

Stop Climate Chaos : 2011 Campaign Idea

The Stop Climate Chaos coalition meet tomorrow to present and hear suggestions on Climate Change campaigning in 2011.

How are we going to make it zoom, people ?

From some of my project work with faith groups, I had this suggestion to make :-


Alliance with Ethical Investment groups

“Put your money where your mouth is”

Following on from the Church of England selling its shares in Vedanta :-

http://www.minesandcommunities.org/article.php?a=9871

it was hoped that the Church of England investment portfolio would continue to be “cleaned up”. But there appears to be a long way to travel.

The Anglican Communion worldwide includes environmental protection as its “Fifth Mark of Mission”, and the Church of England is part of the international interfaith “seven year plans” :-

http://www.anglican.ca/search/faq/037.htm
http://www.cofe.anglican.org/news/pr10009.html

but the Church Commissioners report in the last year has confirmed that the Church of England still holds shares in companies such as BP, responsible for ecological devastation of the Gulf of Mexico :-

http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/12234

Groups such as the Alliance of Religions and Conservation, the Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility and National Ethical Investment Week are all active in encouraging communities to put their money where their mouth is – and the faith communities have a very large amount to play with :-

http://www.arcworld.org/about_ARC.htm
http://www.eccr.org.uk/AboutUs
http://www.neiw.org/about

With the launch of the Green Investment Bank – even though severely under-capitalised – there is a chance to tie up the questions to the answers.

If every consumer choice were a green choice, there would be no environmental problem. The only way to reach that point is for every contract, every stock and share, every procurement order, every transport vehicle, every energy source and every material resource to be green.

The choices that companies make in the business they conduct is based on the premise that people want what they sell so much they are prepared to invest directly in them as well as buy their products.

There are several levers for change here. Investment, such as pension funds, if moved in bulk, can have a de-securitisation effect on unsustainable business models. Not so much a “boycott” as a “landslide” of change.

The faith communities have already proved that they can change international commerce with the Fair Trade movement. Now it’s time for the Green Investment movement.


We Will Get To You

Video Credit : Brooklyn Space Program

Eventually we will reach you.

Scientists are proverbially poor at communication, but we will eventually be able to explain to you what is happening to the Earth in a way that you will understand.

You need to give some time to the data, to the arguments. You need to read the significant research papers, learn how to read graphs, learn the acronyms, abbreviations, technical terms.

You will need to be able to weigh in your mind the significance of probabilities, the risks of extremes, the trends, the changing patterns.

After a while, you will start to reappraise the evidence, and start looking into the data and see the conclusions for yourself.

You will begin to appreciate the strong line of reasoning, and come to be in awe of the minds of many who work on Climate Change.

I’ve become impressed by the body of scientific evidence, that’s why I will always be aligned with the Climate Change science community.

We’re not going anywhere. We’re here, and we’re right. There has already been significant change in the Earth’s climate due to humankind’s mining-to-burn activities, and the projections are for further, possibly very dangerous change.

The scientists know what the problems are, and what the engineering solutions are. Some companies/corporations, economists and politicans and sadly even some compromised “environmentalists” promote non-solutions like carbon pricing, Carbon Taxation, Carbon Trading, Carbon Capture (and Storage), GM Crops, Nuclear Power, geoengineering – but the academies of scientists are telling you they won’t work, or won’t solve all the problems.

What is needed is wholesale removal of Fossil Fuels from the global economy in order to prevent further deterioration and disruption in the global climatic conditions. Either BP, Shell, Chevron and ExxonMobil hang up their boots forever, or they need to embrace new clean energies (not Nuclear Power) to stay in business.

Oil, gas and coal depletion in the production facilities of those countries that are national players will mean that they will go bust, because a consistently high price for Fossil Fuels is not supportable, because the global economy is so Fossil Fuel-dependent currently. This is both a buyer’s market and a seller’s market, so the price will be governed by the operation of this two-sided cartel, not by the theories of “scarcity economics”.

Either Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, China, Venezuela and so on are on their way to extreme poverty, or they will embrace new clean energies (not Nuclear Power) to stay economically developed.

Meanwhile, the project of empirical scientific enquiry continues apace, and even though rich fossil fuel businesses are financing doubt, even though people with pension funds in mining pour scorn on Climate Change science, and even though the mainstream media can’t recognise uneducated propaganda when they meet it; you need to trust the intellectual community of Climate Change science researchers.

Stop listening to accusations of malpractice, dodgy data, weak methods, poor models. Do you really know what you are talking about when you pass judgement on the scientific community ? Who told you that scientists were wrong ? Can you really trust the people who tell you not to trust the scientific community ? Do you have the right or the authority to lay somebody else’s fabricated blame at the door of those whose whole lives are devoted to discovering the truth ?

Why don’t you do an integrity check on your sources, before replicating myths ?

Read the science journals and not the newspapers, is my advice.

And when it comes to the Internet, search wisely. You can’t believe every website you come across – there are some web loggers who are misled, and there are others seeking to mislead.

If you want to filter out the nonsense, try this :-

True Science

Repower Al Gore

Help Al Gore out, won’t you ? He’s looking quite tired and worn out in this video urging the good people of California to “Vote No on Proposition 23”. At one point he gives a little hack, and his speech seems a little slurred, like he’s fighting flu and on the meds.

God bless you, Al Gore, and give you rest and strength.

We hear you.

The Messiah : With Us

The Messiah, the Mashiach, the Maitreya, the Mahdi, the returning Krishna or Christ, whatever you call him, a lot of people are waiting for The One, who will lead us out of darkness and trouble, and rule and guide.

Some mock this as hope deferred, or a narrative that laments how bad our times are, and how things could be better, if only God or his Prophet would intervene. Can we rescue the situation without divine intervention ?

Will the Blessed, Anointed One (re)appear on television ? The Revelation of St John (1:7) says, “Look ! He comes with the clouds of heaven. And everyone will see him – even those who pierced him. And all the nations of the world will mourn for him. Yes ! Amen !”

But what if the Messiah is already with us – somehow present but hidden from normal sight, yet there in everything that we experience ? Does he have a spiritual corporeality ? Is he guiding us in how we think, what we say, write, pray for, work for ?

Many philosophers and religious people are turning their thoughts to issues of Climate Change, in a movement of great unity, despite their spiritual differences, political and ideological differences, and a wide range of views on how best to resist the evils of the world.

If the latest recording purporting to be from Osama bin Laden is genuine, it is clear his concern is turning towards Climate Change, asking the global Muslim community to save the people of Pakistan from the dreadful catastrophe of inundation aggravated by Global Warming trends.

Osama bin Laden is not a saint, but his heart is turned towards the suffering of others, so he too has been touched by the spiritual Messiah, the ever-present Holy One of God.

How to do the work of the Lord, who has power in gentleness and patience, and who is mighty, yet only touches the Earth with warming sunlight ? How to be the eyes, hands and feet of the Spirit of Life ?

The more people desire to do the will of God (or the Demands of Ethics) the more chasms we can bridge between our faiths and our economic beliefs and our technology choices.

Climate Change is an amazing opportunity to rise above the chaos and conflict of centuries and work together for the common good.

We don’t need to see the Messiah to know he is with us.

Wind Power ? Go Ogle !

http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2010/10/google-puts-its-weight-behind-extensive-offshore-wind-system.ars

“Google funds 6,000MW mid-Atlantic wind farms, transmission grid : 12 October 2010…

http://www.kansascity.com/2010/10/12/2303007/google-to-invest-in-offshore-wind.html

“Google goes deep with offshore wind project”

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iRtGE7BeqRzaQEUSaa5USI994_Eg?docId=CNG.20fe53daed8c4958f5d453da7169df2b.461

“Wind could supply fifth of world energy”

The future is breezy.