E15 Gas: A green disaster for your car

The EPA has mandated that E15 gasoline will become the norm for most drivers in the US.  The agency decided the 15% ethanol, 85% gasoline mix is safe for use in cars dated 2001 and newer:

The agency said that 15 percent ethanol blended with gasoline is safe for cars and light-duty trucks manufactured between 2001 and 2006, expanding an October decision that the higher blend is safe for cars built since 2007.The maximum gasoline blend has been 10 percent ethanol.

Whether or not the blend is really a good option for your vehicle is uncertain – the EPA’s scientific credibility is at best shaky after it declared plant food a ‘dangerous pollutant‘.

The existing 10% ethanol-blend gas has problems, but the good folk at Popular Mechanics are concerned about what happens when a few drops of water get into the fuel tank when E15 is used:

How does water get into the fuel tank? It’s possible that water dripped into the tank at the gas station or ­refueling depot, or a stray raindrop or snowflake made its way into your tank or jerrycan, but most water infiltration is from condensation. As the temperature in a tank changes, air has to be vented in and out or the tank will bulge or split. Incoming air carries moisture. When the H2O in the gas gets above a critical percentage—its saturation point—all of the water and alcohol drops out and settles into the bottom of the tank. This is what chemists call phase separation; the various components of the fuel are no longer a homogeneous mixture.

Water in your fuel is bad and more ethanol in fuel can make this a real problem, especially for drivers in regions that experience large temperature variations – but that’s not the only issue with E15.  Heat is a problem too.  Ethanol burns hotter than regular gas and that’s bad news for your expensive catalytic converter:

General Motors biofuel implementation manager C. Coleman Jones said that the increased ethanol levels caused problems in at least half of the engines tested. E15 made engines run hot, compromised catalytic converters and even damaged cylinder walls. Jones added that E15 could leave motorists stranded on the roadside.

The new EPA-approved gas blend is bad for cars of a certain age, but that is just the beginning of a list of problems with ethanol:

It’s the politics, stupid

Al Gore admitted his tie-breaking vote to save the subsidy-dependent ethanol industry was a politically motivated decision because he wanted to please the corn belt ahead of running for President.  Gore now calls ethanol ‘a mistake‘.  John McCain called the fuel ‘a joke‘, yet the US government resists pulling the subsidies, which is why the E15 decision is political, not environmental.  There is and was a glut of ethanol production when the economic downturn depressed demand for all fuels, so there are fewer gallons of gas being sold in which to blend the ethanol into.  The government solution: prop up the ethanol industry by mandating an increase in the ethanol blend:

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recommends that a higher percentage of ethanol be blended into gasoline to support the nation’s struggling biofuel industry. The United States currently allows gasoline to contain a maximum of 10.2 percent ethanol, most of which is produced from corn.  “My hope is that we get a blend rate that’s higher than 10 percent,” Vilsack said, according to Reuters. “That’s going to create more opportunities for the ethanol industry.”

Ethanol increases food prices

Food prices are increasing this winter, a percentage of which is caused by the developed world burning food for fuel.  A few years ago there were riots in Mexico and Italy over grain prices – this year may see more unrest as poorer nations discover they cannot afford to feed themselves.  Some of what you’re seeing from Jordan and Egypt in the news is related to food prices.  The price effect on food caused by ethanol is one of the greatest reasons why the idea should be consigned to the garbage can of bad green ideas, because we’re burning food for no net benefit to Gaia.

Ethanol is bad for the environment

Don’t take my word for it, ask perennial hippie David Suzuki:

Ethanol made from corn only contains marginally more energy than what is needed to produce it. In fact, we use about a litre’s worth of fossil fuels to grow, harvest, process, and transport a litre of corn-based ethanol. Many people argue that making corn-based ethanol is more of an agricultural subsidy for farmers than it is a sound environmental policy.

Ethanol-laced gas is bad for cars, bad for the environment, bad for poor people, but good for agenda-politics.  No wonder the EPA was keen to act.

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Wood wind

How can you tell if your national economy is beyond hope?  When your government decides it’s time to sell forests, that’s how.

The UK government is selling off thousands of acres of woodland to developers to raise money to pay down the deficit. How that can happen when the Cameron coalition government is in fact increasing spending is unclear, but of course they need a lot of cash to pay for all the forests of wind turbines they’ve committed to build to ‘save Gaia’.

Selling forests to save the planet, now there’s an idea only politicians could love.

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On the topic of wood, enjoy this Sunday treat (h/t the Lord of Totty).  If it’s Monday and you’re in the office, you may want to wait until you get home.

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Global Warming Hoax Weekly Round-Up, Jan 27th 2011

The Round-Up has a whole new look to Part One, GE’s boss will help Americans get back to work although the commute to China may deter some, and Apple has exciting innovations in iPolluting and iPoisoning.

Part One: Hippie of the Week

The soon-to-be-prestigious HOTW spot goes to the public figure or celebrity who demonstrates the most willingness to beclown themselves on the topic of global warming or its related effects.  Inaugural HOTW winner is UK radio host Chris Evans for these wise words:

The Earth has warmed and cooled, but the thing is, what they said is that it’s cooling at such an exponential rate now that that’s never happened before, and you know, some people don’t believe that maybe we’re contributing to this. But listen, science apart, right, if you light a fire, your living room warms up, doesn’t it? It’s not rocket science!

Evans is so concerned about the planet that he only owns six white Ferrari’s.  And a couple of black ones.

not a rocket scientist, apparently

Part Two: Warmists & Scaremongers

Al Gore has been demoted from his very own Round-Up section and must now get used to the new reality of slumming it with the (often literally) great unwashed.  The Goreacle can appeal this decision, but the evidence against him is strong – see his continued confusion between weather and climate and his sudden concern for the world’s poor.  Someone tell Gore those are the same poor people who pay too much for food thanks in large part to Al’s politically motivated support for ethanol.

David Suzuki suffers from demotion too, but he’s an experienced hippie well used to the close press of patchouli-scented bodies so he’ll be fine.  He only gets a mention because his Foundation is calling for some chemicals to be banned from more products that just drinking bottles.  Never mind that even the panic-prone World Health Organization thinks that Canada’s ban on BPA is premature, Suzuki’s got a narrative to feed.  In ten years we’ll probably find that the science behind the BPA scare is no better than the MMR vaccine fraud, but that doesn’t mean people are paying attention.

Joe Romm is good at angry rhetoric, but science – notsomuch.  More graph waggery and a peek at how Al Gore fudged the inconvenient truth that CO2 lags temperature.

Britain only has one Green MP, but that might be one too many.  Caroline Lucas wants to put the nation on a war footing to tackle global warming – because remember all the fun of economic ruin, rationing and the blitz?  Poverty can be fun and Gaia will thank you for it.  Delingpole dismantles Lucas’s war machine with a few well placed truth mines.

If Arctic ice is recovering, that must be good for the polar bears.  So why aren’t hippies partying at the good news?

Global warming muppet Jim Hansen doubles down on desperate and claims we’re at a tipping point and the seas will rise ‘metres’ this century.  Wait, didn’t we already hear this in 1989? Here’s some recommended reading for Hansen.

Alarmist journalist Mark Hertsgaard is very pleased with himself for inventing a new term for skeptics ‘climate cranks’.  This is a win for Mark because calling people you disagree with a new name is waaaay more effective than making your case with facts.  Oh, wait – he doesn’t have any of those, so he’s going to Washington to confront cranks, or something:

I will go to Washington the week of January 31 to confront the climate cranks—in Congress, in the media and in the corporate sector—and try to stop them from further sabotaging our response to the climate crisis. My partners in this effort will include the group Kids vs Global Warming, whose iMatter march aims to put a million kids in the streets on Mother’s Day to demand that our leaders address climate change as if our children’s future matters

Note to hippies – your mom may not thank you for dragging them out to a rally on Mother’s Day instead of receiving a nice bunch of flowers and a visit.  Just sayin’.

California dreaming screaming: the Golden State is falling apart but hippies are using a butterfly to stop new power projects.

James Cameron’s wiki page ponders whether or not it’s time to take extreme measures to fix over-population the same week that the man himself took a private plane to New Zealand for a party.  No, really.

smurfs gone wild

Rolling Stone names 12 politicians and executives they say are blocking progress on global warming.  Interestingly they blame Sarah Palin but not the Democrat controlled Congress, Senate and President who held all the power  they needed for two years to effect policies to fix climate, but didn’t.  Odd that.

Soylent Green unleashes righteous fury on President Obama’s State of the Union speech.

Hollywood looks a little silly these days for celebrating Al Gore’s documentary fantasy An Inconvenient Truth, so you’d think they’d learn and not repeat the error with another climate-related hit job movie.  OK, I kid, I kid.

A desmogger realizes that biking to work can’t save the planet, but hopes setting an example may make a difference.  So take a carbon-spewing train across the continent or fly to Europe guilt-free, because Richard did and he’s leading by example.

Donna Laframboise is probably featured on dartboards throughout IPCC HQ.  This week she dismantles the hall of mirrors that disguises the true purpose of the IPCC, and for good measure digs up the internal grumblings of members regarding organization leader Raj Pachauri.

Early settlers in America caused the little ice-age.  Who knew the Puritans were that cold?

Greens heart Genghis.  Who knew that erasing 40 million people would be so good for the planet?  Maybe that gory 10:10 movie was just a rehearsal.

Inconvenient predictions are a favorite on this blog (see the left sidebar) – but George Monbiot is probably wishing he’d not claimed we’d be out of animal feed by 2012.  Awkward.

Radio star Simon has Oz’s Alarmist of the Year.

Part Three: Inconvenient Truths

In the State of the Union speech, President Obama called for the days of innovation like America enjoyed when Thomas Edison was making everything better.  Which makes banning Edison’s light bulb sort of awkward, no?  Save the incandescent.

Greens love to blame population for all the planet’s ills.  The problem is a manufactured one, naturally:

No, there are not (and will never be) too many people for the planet to feed. As the report’s lead author, Dr Tim Fox, pointed out, its verdict is not based on speculative guesses about the development of new agricultural processes as yet unknown: “We can meet the challenge of feeding a planet of 9 billion people through the application of existing technologies”

Renewables are great, until the subsidies run out.  France learns the hard way.

2010 was the hottest year, or joint-hottest year, or the coldest year.  Take your pick, believing in global warming means never having to be wrong about anything.

Uh oh, pesky cosmic rays do more to affect temperature than a trace gas essential to life on Earth.  This will become a global emergency just as soon as government figures out a way to tax cosmic rays.

a comic Ray, not a cosmic ray

Compact fluorescent lamps are great, except for the mercury poisoning, poor light and increased carbon emissions.  Wait, what?

We’re saved – European winters will be freezing for 20 to 40 years.  Good job, hippies.

John McCain calls ethanol a joke, suggests subsidies should be scrapped to save money.

A silicon valley insider tells investors to run when they hear ‘green jobs’ or ‘carbon taxes’.

GE’s CEO Jeffrey Immelt was hand-picked by the administration to lead the new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, because nothing says you’re serious about American jobs like hiring the man who fired 18,000 workers in 2008/9 and moved ‘green jobs’ factories to China.

The Himalayan glaciers will be gone by 2035.  No, that’s wrong, we meant 2350.  No, wait, Himalayan Glaciers are advancing.  Climate scientists and credibility, not necessarily in the same room at the same time.

Oh noes, electric cars have hidden costs:

…there’s no such thing as an environmentally-friendly car. Even gas and electric vehicles require electricity generated through un-clean methods, and simply shift the pollution to someplace far away. Cars also require extensive Earth-killing tar and asphalt, which harms the ground and contributes to climate change by trapping heat. The manufacturing process for cars is resource-intensive, and electric batteries are require particularly toxic materials.

The WWF said that Greenland is melting.  Yeah, that’s not happening either.  At least warmists were right when they blamed Pakistan’s flooding on global warming.  Or not. Defending these clowns must be like beating your head against a wall – nice when it stops.  Next thing you know we’ll discover that polar bears can swim hundreds of miles without dying.  Oh, wait, nevermind. Pesky adaptable animals, don’t they realize hippies are raising money from the ‘drowning’ bears myth?  Some species have no respect.

The global weather is fine, it’s temperature measuring stations that seem to be in danger.

Whitewash is peeling in the UK as it occurs to some folks that maybe the Climategate inquiries didn’t ask many questions.

Global warming is caused by nature.  Add it to The List – it’s the only thing that actually belongs on it.

In Obama’s America, Newt’s endanger government departments.

In Australia, the greens blamed the flooding in Queensland on global warming.  So imagine their dismay when green programs are slashed to free up money to help the flood recovery.  If you listen closely, you can hear Simon laughing.

Part Four: AGW in the News

The Journal wonders why Britons aren’t buying the global warming hoax:

With warming of the climate system pronounced as ‘unequivocal’ throughout the scientific community it is in stark contrast that only 26 per cent of UK nationals currently acknowledge climate change to be primarily attributable to human activities.

The author is studying for a career in carbon management, which will be about as much use as a philosophy degree by the time she graduates.  You’re welcome.

Tourists are getting their boogie on to the sounds of calving glaciers in Disko Bay, Greenland.  Tourists wishing to see Antarctica before it melts should book early to avoid disappointment – the International Maritime Organization wants to limit shipping in the region due to the number of vessels that sink or get into trouble.  Not to be cruel, but isn’t a boat full of global warming hippies hitting an iceberg exactly what Darwinism is for?

Some jobs are green, but not Steve Jobs – Apple is busted for iPoisoning Chinese workers and iPolluting.  Say, isn’t that Al Gore fella on the Apple board?

The National Post asks if volcanoes were the cause of mass extinctions.  Residents of  ancient Pompeii were unavailable for comment.

Tough talk from Orange County – put up or shut up on global warming:

Many in the new Congress were elected on promises to re-evaluate global warming claims used to justify Draconian regulations. A “team of nongovernment and non-U.N. experts must be established with access to all the raw data, records, adjustments, fudges … and computer codes currently being black-boxed by government scientists,” says Robert Ferguson, president of the nonprofit Science and Public Policy Institute for “sound public policy based on sound science.” We agree.

Exxon pokes hippies in the eye, tells the world that CO2 emissions will increase 25% by 2030.  Greens sobbed into their bio-beers, but trees, crop yields and plantlife threw a party.

BBC insider Peter Sissons revealed the depths of warmist bias at the broadcaster:

It’s the lack of simple curiosity about one of the great issues of our time that I find so puzzling about the BBC. When the topic first came to ­prominence, the first thing I did was trawl the internet to find out as much as possible about it.  Anyone who does this with a mind not closed by religious fervour will find a mass of material by respectable scientists who question the orthodoxy… Yet the cream of the BBC’s inquisitors during my time there never laid a glove on those who repeated the ­mantra that ‘the science is settled’.
Meanwhile, Al Gore, the former U.S. Vice-President and climate change campaigner, entertained the BBC’s editorial elite in his suite at the Dorchester and was given a free run to make his case to an admiring internal audience at Television Centre.

Ding dong, the European carbon market is dead.  It was killed by criminal activity, but by crooks from the outside.  Which is genuinely a surprise.

Canada’s government refused to consider unilateral cap and trade, which probably made David Suzuki mad.  Bonus.

Swimmers in Redditch, England can enjoy their splashing around secure in the knowledge that the water has been warmed by the incinerators of the crematorium next door.

Andrew revkin calls climate the ‘c-word’ after the President forgot to mention in in the SOTU speech.

The UK mandated use of biofuels mixed with regular gas and diesel.  Unfortunately only 31% of the biofuels are actually green enough to pass the governments standards.  Oops.

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Part Five: Global Hottie

This week saw the blog surge with hits from people all seeking the same thing – Emmy Rossum hotness.  I’m unable to explain why her popularity is burgeoning, but I do know not to mess with the will of the people.  You demand more Emmy, so you get it.  It’s only her second time as the global hottie, but we can agree she’s warming to the task.

*click*

Thanks for reading.

Wind power’s dirty little secrets

A California court tells the naked and ugly truth about a proposed PG&E wind farm, the Manzana Wind Project:

We reject the application because we find that the Manzana Wind Project is not cost-competitive and poses unacceptable risks to ratepayers. We find that the proposed cost of the Manzana Wind Project is significantly higher than other resources PG&E can procure to meet its RPS program goal. Moreover, it will subject the ratepayers to unacceptable risks due to potential cost increases resulting from project under-performance, less than forecasted project life, and any delays which might occur concerning transmission upgrades and commercial online date.

There’s a lot more at the American Spectator link, but that simple quote above exposes a lot of wind’s problems, including the inconvenient difference between a wind turbine’s capacity and actual performance, the uncertain useful life of turbines and the exposure of customers tied in to paying a fixed sum for intermittent energy.  That last point is one that should resonate with Ontarians.

Even before all the promised wind capacity is plugged into the grid, the unpredictability of wind power has forced Ontario to give away electricity when it is generating more than it can use, but consumers still pay producers a fixed amount per kilowatt hour:

“The IESO would experience surplus conditions roughly 14.5% of the time based on average wind output,” it predicts.  Under normal market conditions that would cause the price to fall to zero or below and some generators would shut down.  But the new wind farms, operating under current contracts that pay the operator 13.5 cents a kilowatt hour, would see all of their power flow onto the grid at the contract price.

There is no incentive for wind producers to stop the turbines, it doesn’t matter to them if the energy they send to the grid is worth zero – they get paid 13.5 cents per KW/h regardless.  If you think that’s bad, solar producers earn nearly 80 cents per KW/h – again a guaranteed sum regardless of the market price of power.  Today’s spot price for electricity generated by all sources is 3.69 cents per KW/h (link price will change daily).

The Star article also mentions wind power’s really dirty little secret – it doesn’t save a single ounce of CO2:

There’s one other, counter-intuitive problem with increased wind generation. At the moment, more wind power means more gas-fired power.  Because wind power is variable, it has to be backed up by natural gas-fired generators, kept idling to be switched in if the wind dips.  The reserve generators also have to be paid for, and they boost carbon emissions that wind power is supposed to prevent.

Renewable energy early adopters Spain and France have slashed wind and solar subsidies in the face of economic reality, leaving Ontario with some of the most generous renewables subsidies on the planet.  No wonder rent-seekers are salivating at the prospect of money for nothing.

The provincial government is committed to spend $1.1 billion this year on the Orwellian named Ontario Clean Energy Benefit – a subsidy to offset increasing energy costs caused in large part by unaffordable and uneconomic green energy subsidies.  The OCEB cannot sustain that high level of consumer credits any more than the province can sustain the wind and solar subsidies.

Premier McGuinty has built a green house of cards that he hopes will stand long enough to get him past October’s election.  The opposition thinks differently and if you live in Ontario you should give them a hearing.  If you live in a jurisdiction that has grand plans for renewable energy, learn from the mistakes of California, Spain, Italy, Ontario and the UK, and go with coal, gas or if you like green – nuclear.  Don’t rely on bird shredders or solar panels – the cost is too high and the benefit too little.

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Video killed the radio star

Or tried to.

Fellow skeptic blogger Simon of the wondrous Australian Climate Madness blog was interviewed for 10 minutes for a TV spot on global warming.  The final piece aired used just 5 seconds of Simon’s contribution.

Fortunately a Melbourne talk radio host was willing to give Simon some real air time to make his point:

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Simon turned an attempt by TV news media to stifle the climate debate into an embarrassing exposure of their warmist bias and still got the skeptic message to out a large audience.  I believe that deserves an onya.

Round-up tomorrow.

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Browner squished like a bed bug

President Obama has fired Energy Czar Carol Browner and the White House may not be  replacing the position.

Could this be a signal that Obama is ceding the green ground to fight battles on other fronts like health care and jobs?  We can only hope:

Ms. Browner was also a heroine to many environmentalists who cheered her decisions when she led the EPA in the 1990s and viewed her as an ally in internal administration debates over environmental regulation.

squished bug, windshield, red light. 'nuff said

However you view it, Browner’s departure is a big loss for warmists; she was an activist first, policy maker second.  You’ll remember that Browner is the reason that New York and much of the North-East is suffering a bed bug infestation.  Expect her to be reincarnated within weeks as a high-level spokesperson or leader of an enviro-lobby group, because hippies take care of their own.

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Browner squished like a bed bug

President Obama has fired Energy Czar Carol Browner and the White House may not be  replacing the position.

Could this be a signal that Obama is ceding the green ground to fight battles on other fronts like health care and jobs?  We can only hope:

Ms. Browner was also a heroine to many environmentalists who cheered her decisions when she led the EPA in the 1990s and viewed her as an ally in internal administration debates over environmental regulation.

squished bug, windshield, red light. 'nuff said

However you view it, Browner’s departure is a big loss for warmists; she was an activist first, policy maker second.  You’ll remember that Browner is the reason that New York and much of the North-East is suffering a bed bug infestation.  Expect her to be reincarnated within weeks as a high-level spokesperson or leader of an enviro-lobby group, because hippies take care of their own.

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Hot & cold running lawyers

A post of two tales:

Part the first: Lawyers are warming to climate change, seeing the opportunity to extort win gazillions of dollars by suing individuals, companies and even entire nations for their part in wrecking Gaia with slightly milder weather:

Compensation for losses inflicted by man-made global warming would be jaw-dropping, a payout that would make tobacco and asbestos damages look like pocket money.  Imagine: a country or an individual could get redress for a drought that destroyed farmland, for floods and storms that created an army of refugees, for rising seas that wiped a small island state off the map.

In the past three years, the number of climate-related lawsuits has ballooned, filling the void of political efforts in tackling greenhouse-gas emissions. Eyeing the money-spinning potential, some major commercial law firms now place climate-change litigation in their Internet shop window.

What Congress could not legislate, the EPA wishes to regulate and for the areas that can’t be regulated… well now we know what the future holds, as if we hadn’t seen enough green lawfare and its detrimental effects already.

Part the second, the icy fingers of legal chill on blogs hits this very blog:

Legal shenanigans make operating a blog riskier than it used to be, therefore The Daily Bayonet will no longer feature the wit and wisdom of guest contributors.  Man-made global warming might be fake, the chilling effect is real.

The thoughtful insights of Irish Cicero, the cutting wit of Paua and Sophialbertina‘s comprehensive research were all greatly enjoyed by readers and their posts will continue to receive links here.  All three remain solid blogroll recommendations.

For fellow blog owners – Firefox’s Blocksite add-on combined with this list of Stephens Media properties is one basic measure that can help mitigate the risk of accidentally exposing your site to the legal wolves.  Most bloggers I know are do what they do for fun or interest, not profit.  The lawyers in these Nevada-centered cases are operating for profit, not fun.  They issue no warnings or requests for compliance but proceed directly to suit, do not pass go.  Which is just unsporting, if you ask me.

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An honest environmentalist

Patrick Moore, a founder of Greenpeace, on global warming:

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To quote interviewer Stuart Varney: “we’ve simply never heard this from someone who is a well known environmentalist…”

Moore is a sensible sort of green who has long supported nuclear power as a non-polluting source of affordable, reliable energy.  For that and other sins he was forced to leave the organization he helped create by people who prefer to pretend that the world is in immediate danger, unless you donate money to them now.

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