Graphic of the Week: The hidden “fuels” of renewable energy

An important reminder “renewables” refer to the energy source being converted to electicity, and not the materials required to build the machines needed to do the conversion.

The unpublished notebooks of J. M. Korhonen

It is well known that there is no such thing as a free lunch. However, it is somewhat less known that there is no such thing as free energy, either.

Despite all the hoopla about new renewable energy sources being “free” and “practically unlimited” in a sense that no one owns the Sun nor the wind, the fact remains that in order to harness these energies, we need an immense construction effort. This, unfortunately, is neither free nor unrestricted in the material sense. As the above graph taken from a recent study commentary by Vidal, Goffé & Arndt in Nature Geoscience (2013) shows, projected renewable energy deployments would very soon outstrip the current global production of several key materials. By the author’s estimates, if we are to follow the lead of renewables only-advocates, renewable energy projects would consume the entire annual copper, concrete and steel production by 2035 at the latest, annihilate aluminum…

View original post 539 more words


Social cost of carbon

I’ve been surprised at the White House’s use of the shady term “carbon pollution” (it’s like referring to drowning as “water pollution”).
Now people are taking a look a policy set on the basis of a “social cost of carbon” (SCC) calculation – and while I agree with setting policy by estimating future costs, I wouldn’t justify the policy based on a spreadsheet.

This shot is probably deserved:

“And finally, I return to the issues raised in the preceding post, 20 tips for interpreting scientific claims. Some commenters seemed to think this was pretty much kindergarten stuff and of course policy makers (or their staffers) understand this stuff.  Well anyone taking seriously the White House’s SCC numbers needs to go back to kindergarten and pay attention to the 20 tips.”

Climate Etc.

by Judith Curry

The debate on the social cost of carbon is heating up.

View original post 989 more words

Ring of Fire Deception

As Cliffs halts development if becomes apparent McGuinty’s 2010 commitments were about 2 jobs: the MPPs from Thunder Bay re-elected in 2011

…in the region known as the Ring of Fire.It is said to contain one of the largest chromite deposits in the world — a key ingredient in stainless steel.There is no substitute for chromite. There is no North American producer of chromite.Its the most promising mining opportunity in Canada in a century.Your government is fully committed to working with northerners, Aboriginal communities and mining partners to fully realize the Ring of Fires potential.Together, we will create Ontario jobs…

via Text of throne speech | Toronto Star.

via Ring of Fire Deception.