Fear of mercury poisoning

free mercury

Lovely mercury. Just don’t eat it.

The environmental debate is so corrupted by politics and propaganda that facts are often distorted and exaggeration of risk is commonplace.

The vicious war on hydrocarbon fuels is a good example where certain substances are labelled “poison” or “pollution” when associated with coal utilisation, but blithely ignored in other areas. Continue Reading →

Sun sets on solar subsidies

Tesla with solar power umbrella

In the days of Queen Victoria they could say truthfully: “the sun never sets on the British Empire.”

But it does set on Australia, every single day. Even the green power engineers in Parliament must have noticed that the sun also sets on all those solar panels that their mandates and subsidies have plastered onto Australian roofs.

Solar energy is most intense on the equator but weakens towards the poles. It disappears when the sun sets or cloud obscures the sun. For just six hours or so per day during summer, in a clear tropical desert area, solar energy is reasonably reliable and collectible, although always very dilute. But at times of peak demand, about 6.30pm in winter, solar panels contribute nothing to electricity supply. Continue Reading →

US carbon emissions, shale gas and Europe

US shale gas production

Clarence drops in

Under our post about US carbon dioxide emissions flattening out, Clarence gave a pithy analysis. I promote it and add links to verify the points he makes because they’re so devastating to the warmist cause. Clarence’s comments indented and bold.

The Forbes article deals only with USA emissions. This is no surprise, as they have been declining quite quickly over the past decade – since the advent of shale gas. It is ironic that US emission reduction has handily exceeded that of Europe throughout the entire Kyoto Commitment Period.

The graph above shows the startling increase in shale gas output over the last few years. Continue Reading →

I’m a tree — why not feed me?

old oak tree

Open letter to environmentalists from A. Tree

Dear Greenies,

You love trees – you’re even called tree-huggers. Yet I’m a tree, and you don’t love me. You won’t even feed me!

One of my indispensable foods is carbon dioxide. But you’ve demonised it by fabricating the story that it’s the most important “greenhouse” gas. You pretend that one of the world’s rarest gases, a mere 0.00039 of the atmosphere, will overheat the climate. You never mention that water vapour, up to 4% of the atmosphere (10,000 times more plentiful than CO2), is also the most powerful greenhouse gas of all, with each molecule having about 26 times more warming effect than carbon dioxide.

To support your corrupt fib about CO2, you’ve started referring to this tasteless, odourless, invisible, non-toxic, life-giving plant food as a pollutant. So you try to restrict my diet.

Imbeciles! Continue Reading →

Let’s come clean on “dirty” coal

Viv Forbes sent me this a few weeks ago and it got buried under my to-do pile. I don’t know how NZ coal compares with the Australian version he mentions, but there are several coal specialists who visit here – perhaps one of them might enlighten us. – Richard Treadgold

We are winning the war on man-made global warming.

But about half of the population still think that the carbon tax will do some good. Why? Because they think it is all about cleaning up “dirty coal”.

The seeds of public concern were sewn with Penny Wong’s Machiavellian linking of “carbon” and “pollution”. She was assisted by the gross stupidity of the coal industry leadership in promoting nonsense like carbon sequestration as a “clean coal” option. The public naturally assumed “if they need to spend billions to produce clean coal, obviously we are now using dirty coal. Continue Reading →

Let us destroy those myths

Modern climate misapprehensions spread like dandelion seeds on the wind and have become intricately tangled in our everyday lives. Rampant repetition converts these empty myths into eternal truths. Refuting them with observations and reason risks mockery and scorn but it is reasonable to try.

The West Coast Environmental Network (WCEN) opposes coal mining operations on the grounds, among other things, that burning coal will destroy the earth. The following statements about coal and climate change are published on their web site. Let’s see if they’re right.

Burning and mining coal is the most efficient and fastest way to bring about disastrous climate change.

Well, some people need a rhetoric licence. This breaches several principles of logic. First, there’s surely no connection between mining anything and any kind of climate change, either disastrous or benign. Second, burning coal produces some CO2, which probably causes a little warming, but such warming is so far undetectable. Thirdly, there’s absolutely no difference between the CO2 from coal and the CO2 from any other source, so there’s no reason to put coal at the top of some demon list of dangerous fuels. Continue Reading →

Coal not candles

African village

The Carbon Sense Coalition today proposed that coal, not candles, should be the symbol of Earth Hour.

It was coal that produced clean electric power which cleared the smog produced by dirty combustion and open fires in big cities like London and Pittsburgh. Much of the third world still suffers choking fumes and smog because they do not have clean electric power and burn wood, cardboard, unwashed coal and cow dung for home heat.

It was coal that saved the forests being felled to fuel the first steam engines and produce charcoal for the first iron smelters.

It was coal that powered the light bulbs and saved the whales being slaughtered for whale oil lamps. Continue Reading →

Gas or coal? The quandary, the indecision!

coal protest

It’s hard to know what to say about Tom Wigley’s new paper on the climatic repercussions of replacing coal with natural gas: he says gas and coal are both good, and they’re both bad, but the truly remarkable thing is that, where for years the greens have been telling us to hate coal and everyone who uses it, now it’s hard to choose between coal and gas.

It doesn’t matter whether you believe mankind is warming the planet dangerously or not, Wigley tells us that it makes hardly any difference to the warming whether you use gas or coal. So why switch to gas? There’s no advantage in it. Continue Reading →

Greenpeace can act illicitly but CO2 is not poisonous

Last Sunday the NZ Herald reported on a Kiwi woman, one Emily Hall, now a Greenpeace activist in the UK, who was in a boarding party that recently attacked what used to be called a collier—a vessel used for transporting coal.

The Herald’s story contained no censure against Greenpeace’s overt lawlessness. It was a sympathetic treatment of Hall’s experiences with Greenpeace and her and its tactics of rebellion against the Establishment in the name of the environment.

But the story incorrectly described carbon dioxide as “poisonous”.

There was nothing wrong with describing the ship’s load as “dirty” coal, since either handling the stuff or burning it inefficiently results in a mess, although modern methods of burning powdered coal, combined with smokestack “scrubbing” of most of the airborne pollutants, is thermally efficient and allows us truly to describe coal as “clean”.

But labelling “carbon emissions” as “poisonous” is just plain wrong. Carbon emissions is a euphemism for carbon dioxide and there is nothing remotely poisonous about that. Neither is it “dirty”, regardless of Greenpeace’s clumsy propaganda attempts to link it with the visible pollutants that come from coal.

Describing this clean, invisible plant food as poisonous simply attempts to justify Greenpeace’s hostility towards carbon dioxide, and thus legitimise an attack on a vessel and its crew going about their lawful business.

The Herald ought to stand aside from the campaign to wrongly vilify carbon dioxide for the activists’ political purposes.