"If you can't explain it simply,
you don't understand it well enough."

—Albert Einstein

Avian mortality from solar farms

Wings shown burned on rough-winged swallow at Ivanpah.Wings on fire: burned feathers on
rough-winged swallow found at Ivanpah.
Alternative energy has some unintended consequences. Wind farms are known to chop up birds and bats, but solar energy was seen as benign – until now.

A report from the National Fish and Wildlife Forensic Laboratory examines bird mortality from three solar facilities in California. What is particularly interesting is that these facilities each represent three different methods of producing solar energy. The objective of this report was not to count the number of avian deaths, but to study the manner of death of 233 bird remains collected at the sites over a few days.

The Ivanpah generating station, in the Mohave Desert southwest of Las Vegas, uses 173,500 heliostats each with two mirrors to focus sunlight on a tower where water is converted to steam to generate electricity. This method is called “solar-flux” and it generates very high temperatures. Birds experience traumatic impact with the mirrors, but the larger danger is getting singed by the heat flux which is up to 800 degrees F.

Chicken Little "Science"

cartoon-epa-chicken-little

The cult centered on “global warming” alarmism is getting hot under the collar. People seem to have stopped paying attention and polls show “climate change” barely registers on a list of voters’ concerns. 

This can only mean, as losing politicians like to say, that their message isn’t getting through. What to do? Why shout louder, of course.

A recent story in The New York Times sought to help alarmists raise the decibel level: “The countries of the world have dragged their feet so long on global warming that the situation is now critical, experts appointed by the United Nations reported Sunday, and only an intensive worldwide push over the next 15 years can stave off potentially disastrous climatic changes later in the century.”

Al Gore: Critics are 'immoral, unethical and despicable'

bear iceAl Gore, known for wild rants about global warming, including one where his foul language earned him the description “mentally unstable,” is at it again.

Only this time he’s complaining about those who put up “barriers” to his agenda that critics say includes cracking down on carbon emissions, buying and selling credits for that activity and putting the American coal industry out of business.

“The ‘barriers’ to doing something about climate change are business and political interests that profit off of fossil fuels – ‘dirty energy that causes dirty weather,’” he said, according to an online report about a recent speech he made.

White House to use executive orders to aid the solar industry

solarpanelsmountedThe White House announced on Thursday it was launching a $15 million dollar “Solar Market Pathways” program to help state, local and tribal governments expand their solar energy production.

“To advance our nation’s energy and climate goals, the United States must be a leader in innovating and deploying clean energy,” the White House said. “Solar is a vital component of the Administration’s all-of the above strategy. Supported by historic investments in research, development, and deployment, the price of solar technologies has decreased and the U.S. solar market has experienced rapid growth since President Obama took office.”

“But the President is committed to continuing the momentum,” the White House added. “The White House is also calling, today for new commitments from the private sector and non-profits to support solar deployment and jobs.”

Europe May Replace Russian Gas With US Coal

coal-fired-plantU.S. coal exports have been booming in recent years due to rising demand around the world. In fact, some European countries are already using U.S. coal to displace costly Russian gas. “Some European countries are using U.S. coal to help displace Russian natural gas and neutralize Russia’s energy influence,” Republican Kentucky Rep. Ed Whitfield said. “Coal exports are already having an impact on geopolitics and are helping to create American jobs and reduce our trade deficit. We can build on this success by increasing natural gas exports as well.” --Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller News, 17 April 2014

Federal court upholds EPA rule retiring coal plants

coal-warA federal court has upheld an Environmental Protection Agency mercury emissions rule responsible for forcing hundreds of coal-fired power plants to retire across the country.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. upheld the EPA’s Mercury Air Toxics Standards (MATS) for coal and oil-fired power plants. The rule limits emissions of mercury and other air pollutants from such power plants, and the court victory has been hailed by environmentalists as a victory for public health.

“Today’s legal victory is another giant step forward on the road to cleaner, healthier air,” said Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund. “The court recognized that mercury and other dangerous air toxins from coal-fired power plants are a threat to public health, and that we should all be protected from them.”

Harry Reid: The Desert Fox Of Corruption

cartoon-reid-moneyThe standoff in the Nevada desert wasn't about a desert tortoise or a rancher's failure to pay grazing fees. It was about the state's senior senator again enriching himself and his family at public expense.

Sunlight is said to be the best disinfectant, and the end, at least temporarily, to the Bureau of Land Management's armed standoff with Cliven Bundy may be due in part to the exposure given to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's role in the attempt to confiscate Bundy's cattle and shut down his ranch.

"A tortoise isn't the reason why BLM is harassing a 67-year-old rancher; they want his land," journalist and blogger Dana Loesch notes. "The tortoise wasn't of concern when Harry Reid worked with BLM to literally change the boundaries of the tortoise's habitat to accommodate the development of his top donor, Harvey Whittemore."

Years of Living Dangerously

Harrison Ford: Losing his religionHarrison Ford: Losing his religionUpdate, April 16th (blog post originally released on April 12th): Nielsen ratings concluded that the premiere of "Years of Living Dangerously" was only watched by 294,000 people (compare with 16+ million for The Big Bang Theory), confirming my 04/12 predictions below that the ratings would be poor. If you divide, you see that an average TV viewer (or those paying for the commercials) would have to pay over $68 for the TV series to become profitable.

By most quantitative criteria, James Cameron is the world's most successful film director and film producer. He has earned almost $1 billion just for himself and some of his works are blockbusters – like Titanic and The Terminator; let me not include Avatar here. He's also a deep-sea explorer. You can have some unusual hobbies if your worth approaches a billion.

Global Warming: A Convenient Fiction

cartoon-warming not a hoaxIn 2008 Al Gore prophesied that the North Pole would be ice free within 5 years because of man-made global warming. Interestingly, now 6 years later, the latest satellite data show that not only is there plenty of ice, but that the ice cover has actually expanded by 50%, compared to 2012 levels. At the same time, sea ice levels in Antarctica have expanded to record levels and the southern hemisphere now has 19.5 million square kilometers of ice cover, more than at any point since records were first kept in 1978. And back home 86% of the country experienced colder than normal temperatures this winter so it won't surprise most to learn that the earth's temperature has not risen in 17 years amidst the huge global warming hype.

As the evidence mounts that global warming is not advancing as predicted, many global warming propagators have changed course to say that instead of warming, carbon emissions will lead to more "climate change" and that this change will result in increased hurricanes, tornadoes and flooding.That may sound plausible, except that it too is not backed by the data.Even the liberally minded United Nations noted that current data shows "no robust trends in annual numbers of tropical storms, hurricanes and major hurricane counts have been identified over the past 100 years in the North Atlantic basin."

The Science And Politics Of Climate Change

Lennart Bengtsson, former UN IPCC scientistLennart Bengtsson,
former UN IPCC scientist
Since the end of the 19th century, we have known that the Earth’s climate is sensitive to greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. At that time, the Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius showed that an increase in CO2 concentrations would lead to a warmer climate. However, Arrhenius harbored little hope that this would happen. Consequently, the Swedes would have to continue to suffer in a cold and miserable climate. Since then, much has changed. Annual CO2 emissions have now reached a level that is about 20 times higher than that of 1896. This has caused concern worldwide.

More CO2 in the atmosphere leads undoubtedly to a warming of the earth surface. However, the extent and speed of this warming are still uncertain, because we cannot yet separate well enough the greenhouse effect from other climate influences. Although the radiative forcing by greenhouse gases (including methane, nitrogen oxides and fluorocarbons) has increased by 2.5 watts per square meter since the mid-19th century, observations show only a moderate warming of 0.8 degrees Celsius. Thus, the warming is significantly smaller than predicted by most climate models. In addition, the warming in the last century was not uniform. Phases of manifest warming were followed by periods with no warming at all or even cooling.

How the Obama administration turned the latest IPCC report into meaningless gobbledegook

Even by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's own lamentable standards, its new report - by Working Group III of the Fifth Assessment Report - makes no sense whatsoever.

obamaPerhaps it never did but what definitely made it worse was the politicised meddling of the Obama administration.

Before the report's formal release, US officials - who had seen an earlier draft - wrote to the United Nations demanding it be amended.

"The discussion of the economic costs of mitigation is too narrow and does not incorporate co-benefits of action."

Loosely translated this means: "If we admit how much we're spending to such little purpose, the taxpaying public is going to kill us."

UN says the world needs cap-and-trade, carbon taxes

cartoon cry wolfA new United Nations report urges countries to tax carbon emissions to stem the rise of global temperatures.

In order to keep global temperatures from rising above two degrees Celsius by 2100, the world needs to lower its use of fossil fuels, like coal and oil, between 40 percent and 70 percent. This can be done by acting immediately and putting a global price on carbon dioxide emissions, either through a tax or cap-and-trade system, according to the UN.

The UN says that under such assumptions, the cost of mitigating global warming would only be 0.06 percent of annual global consumption growth. Without any immediate mitigation, the UN says that global consumption losses would be up to 37 percent higher between 2050 and 2100.

Cliven Bundy's Cattle Battle: Harry Reid, China and Agenda 21

BundyBundyA Chinese solar farm that fries birds is OK, as is redrawing tortoise habitat boundaries to benefit political donors. But an American rancher grazing his cattle brings feds with sniper rifles.

It appears Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy has, at least temporarily, wonhis "range war" with the paramilitary wing of the Bureau of Land Management. Fearing another Waco, BLM has announced it will no longer enforce a court order and stop stealing Bundy's cows, called "trespass cattle" by the feds, accused of grazing free on part of the 84% of Nevada that is federal property.

If the forces deployed in and around the Nevadan's ranch had been deployed to Benghazi, it's likely Glen Doherty, Ty Woods, Sean Smith and Ambassador Christopher Stevens would be alive today. If illegal aliens were grazing on the disputed property, there would not have been federal snipers perched nearby with American citizens in their sights.

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