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Posts tagged “climate change”

By Robert Rapier on May 31, 2010 with 64 responses

Examining Calera Corporation’s Claims

The following is a guest post by Dr. Jerry Unruh. Jerry is a Ph.D. chemist that I had the pleasure of working with for several years. (More on Jerry in A Conversation on Energy Issues). Below Jerry presents his concerns that Calera’s claimed process for carbon sequestration may be grossly exaggerated. Calera responded to Jerry’s initial letter to the editor of High Country News, but unfortunately they provided no calculations to refute what Jerry has presented. Jerry’s analysis was quantitative, but Calera’s response was qualitative. Calera Corporation’s presumed Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) Process by Dr. Jerry Unruh, May 31, 2010 Calera Corporation has made several high profile statements recently about their process to capture carbon dioxide (CO2), particularly from… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on May 26, 2010 with 61 responses

Changing Attitudes on Climate Change

I have long taken a detached view of the climate change debate. As I have explained before, this is not because I don’t view it as a very serious issue, it is simply because I don’t see much hope of actually addressing it because of the global nature of the issue and the strong desire from all for cheap energy. (I explained my position in detail here). So I devote my energy to reducing and replacing our fossil fuel consumption. Locally, fossil fuel reduction/replacement can improve the sustainability of a community, but globally developing countries will continue to burn cheap fossil fuels. I can impact local sustainability, but can’t really see a way to impact global CO2 emissions. Thus, despite… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Mar 28, 2010 with 34 responses

Concerns Over Global Warming Slipping

Some readers strongly disagreed with me when I placed Climategate as one of the Top 10 Energy Related Stories of 2009. However, I have not changed my mind about what I think will be significant and lingering impacts from this event. I am acquainted with a number of Global Warming skeptics, and I know many more who are on the fence. Many in the U.S. Congress fall into those categories. A story indicating possible data suppression/manipulation of climate data was going to get a lot of mileage. Skeptics are going to use it to full advantage, and many fence-sitters are going to be swayed. So my reasoning was that it would ultimately have significant long-term implications. In fact, I think… Continue»

By Lloyd McGraw on Jan 27, 2010 with 1 response

Brown-in Spells “Brown-out” for Cap-and-Trade

Arrival of Washington’s newest senator spells doom for sweeping climate reform.

By Robert Rapier on Dec 24, 2009 with no responses

My Top 10 Energy Related Stories of 2009

Here are my choices for the Top 10 energy related stories of 2009. Previously I listed how I voted in Platt’s Top 10 poll, but my list is a bit different from theirs. I have a couple of stories here that they didn’t list, and I combined some topics. And don’t get too hung up on the relative rankings. You can make arguments that some stories should be higher than others, but I gave less consideration to whether 6 should be ahead of 7 (for example) than just making sure the important stories were listed. 1. Volatility in the oil markets My top choice for this year is the same as my top choice from last year. While not as… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Dec 21, 2009 with 1 response

Let the Data Do the Talking

Although not always successful, my goal is to let data drive my conclusions. Still, we all sometimes find ourselves in debates that are based more on passion and conviction than on data. But if the data are ignored because the conviction is strong, it may be dogma driving the conclusions. Passionate debates are fine, but passionate debates that ignore data have no business in a scientific discussion. Further, such arguments frequently degenerate because one or both sides is not listening to the other. During such emotional debates, I have been accused of being a shill for oil and gas, or of being a shill for biomass. In fact, in the debate I will discuss here, I was called both in… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Dec 15, 2009 with no responses

Biomass Is Not Crazy Logic

I saw a story about a week ago that I flagged to comment on when I got caught up. I suppose I am caught up enough now to do so. The story is: Burn a Tree to Save the Planet? The Crazy Logic Behind Biomass The author is listed as Joshua Frank, described as an environmental journalist and the author of Left Out!: How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush. Frank has previously written an article critical of Oregon’s usage of electricity derived from coal, and in the current essay he turns his attention to biomass. The article is confusing from the start: It might seem crazy that anyone would even consider the incineration of wood and its byproducts to… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Dec 11, 2009 with no responses

Copenhagen Suggests Climate Issue Not Going Away

I have mentioned that I think ClimateGate will end up being one of the top stories of 2009. A number of people have commented or e-mailed me and said that the story will soon be forgotten. I don’t think so. I don’t think they realize the energy this gives to those who were skeptical. In my opinion, this will galvanize the opposition and make it much harder to get any legislation passed on climate change. (I am reading through a very comprehensive examination of the raw data and the nature of the temperature adjustments now at Watt’s Up With That?: The Smoking Gun At Darwin Zero) Regardless of whether that view is accurate, I would be remiss if I didn’t… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Dec 10, 2009 with no responses

Brainstorming the Year’s Top Energy Stories

I am working on a few things right now that should be finished up in the next week or so. First, I am compiling a list of questions/comments for Bob Cohen regarding his recent guest post on ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC). I will post his answers. If you have a relevant question that you feel wasn’t asked following that essay, post it here and I will get it to him. Second, I am trying to put together the year’s top energy stories. In my mind the one at or near the top has been the resurgence in oil prices since January. Oil prices have more than doubled, and in a normal year that would be big news. But I… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Oct 16, 2009 with no responses

A Massive Decline in Carbon Emissions?

A couple of years ago, I wrote an essay that ultimately turned out to be very controversial: Why We Will Never Address Global Warming That same essay published at The Oil Drum received 560 comments, and was until recently the most-commented upon post in The Oil Drum’s history. Global Warming/Climate Change is a topic that people get very emotional about, and the idea that I claimed that we would never address it didn’t sit well with a lot of people. Now I know that I have some global warming skeptics here. And I have said many times that I am fine with that, but I don’t want to engage in that debate for multiple reasons. And in the hopes that… Continue»