Category Archives: Environment

How The Shale Revolution Saved Europe from a Great Blackout, by Daniel Lacalle

American shale oil is filling in the European green energy gap. From Daniel Lacalle at dlacalle.com:

In October, the governments of Austria and The Netherlands warned of the risk of a “great blackout”. Soaring natural gas prices, lack of security of supply and a challenging outlook of pipeline deliveries from Russia made the governments exceedingly nervous about the chances of providing cheap and reliable energy for homes in winter.

However, an unexpected ally has prevented an energy crisis in Europe and, ironically, it is an ally that was banned in most European nations: Shale gas.

About half of the record U.S. Liquefied Natural Gas volumes shipped in December 2021 went to Europe, up from 37% earlier in 2021, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

While most European nations banned the exploration and development of domestic natural gas resources many years ago, the United States has plenty and competitive supplies thanks to the shale oil and gas revolution, which has made the country almost energy independent. Domestic natural gas production has exceeded U.S. demand by about 10%, according to Reuters.

There is a lesson for the U.S. here. Many European energy policies have been ideologically directed, and massive energy subsidies and political intervention have not strengthened the competitiveness of the economy, secured energy supply, or even reduced significantly carbon emissions.

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This Is Your Last Chance, Part Two, by Robert Gore

SWITZERLAND-POLITICS-ECONOMY-WEF

The biggest trend change in history.

Part One

Supposedly collectivists will reap the rewards of the only things they produce—destruction and death. After the collapse, a global collectivist government will replace the current multiplicity of collectivist governments. Most of the collapse’s survivors will become slaves living on subsistence doled out by the small aristocracy that will rule the planet. The real work will be done by artificially intelligent machines. The slaves will be pacified chemically and electronically through ubiquitous virtual reality technologies and monitored ceaselessly while the aristocrats live in unimaginable splendor. Those who resist pacification and enslavement will be “corrected,” or if that fails, murdered.

This is simply a straight line projection of the present and recent past that ignores a fully evident counter-trend still gathering steam. After a centuries-long, bull-market run, government as an institution has topped out. The plans and predictions of the global totalitarians are the overconfident rationalizations of newly minted millionaires at the top of bull markets—the “permanently high plateau” in 1929, the “new economy” in 2000, “house prices only go up” in 2007, and “the Fed’s got our backs” now.

We already have shining examples of totalitarian collectivist failure in really big countries with lots of people—the Soviet Union and Communist China. The former collapsed after tens of millions died, the latter made a mid-course correction towards more freedom after tens of millions died.

Blithering idiots attribute those failures to incomplete control by the totalitarians or claim collectivism can only work when the whole world is completely enslaved. They ignore the core quandary of collectivist control—it produces nothing. Collectivist governments steal, they don’t produce. A global collectivist government will produce exactly what the current multiplicity of collectivist governments produce: nothing. Yet, this government will supposedly build the world back better from the ashes of financial, economic, and political collapse.

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Yachts To Be Exempt From EU’s Carbon Pricing Plan, by Tyler Durden

This just screams, “One rule for thee, one rule for me.” From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

If there is anyone still confused why ESG, and the entire “green” movement is one giant, boiling cauldron of lies, hypocrisy and fraud, read on.

Last summer, we reported that the European Commission – that murder of career bureaucrats – has proposed exempting private jets, the one most polluting form of transportation, from the planned EU jet fuel tax. A draft indicated that the tax would be phased-in for passenger flights, including ones that carry cargo. Private jets will enjoy an exemption through classification of “business aviation” as the use of aircraft by firms for carriage of passengers or goods as an “aid to the conduct of their business”, if generally considered not for public hire. It gets better: a further exemption is given for “pleasure” flights whereby an aircraft is used for “personal or recreational” purposes not associated with a business or professional use.

This is odd because a recent report found that private-jet CO2 emissions in Europe rose by 31% between 2005 and 2019, with flights to popular destinations up markedly during summer holiday seasons. So if Europe was truly concerned about curbing CO2 emissions it would ostensibly go after some of the biggest culprits… but no.

Of course, since it is mostly billionaires and the ultra wealthy that fly private, and these same billionaires and ultra wealthy tend to be exempt from regulations (which are usually written by politicians that the ultra rich have previously bribed or bought) that apply to the rest of the peasantry, this was hardly a huge surprise.

Which is why we doubt that the latest news showing just how pervasive the “green” hypocrisy is, will also come as a surprise.

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The Hulu Model as applied to Transportation, by Eric Rivers

Who wants to own a car or anything else when you can pay for things offered as a service that you pay for over and over again? From Eric Rivers at ericriversautos.com:

The car companies plan to stop selling cars in favor of selling “transportation” – as a “service” – instead.

The main reason for this reorientation of their business model is simple: People increasingly cannot afford to buy cars – the average transaction price is now about $35,000 which is  a sum roughly equivalent to half the average American family’s annual income and thus, not sustainable as a purely financial matter.

Meanwhile, cars – themselves – are becoming soul-less appliances very much like cell phones in terms of their interchangeable homogeneity and their disposability.

People are for that reason losing interest in them.

But cars are very much unlike  cell phones in one critical way: their cost. It’s one thing to throw away a smartphone after a year or two; another to do the same with a $35k car after four or five. This problem is going to get much worse, very soon – for two more reasons.

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Is Going Green Really Worth It? By Rick Mills

Many things look good until you see how much they cost. From Rick Mills at mishtalk.com:

That’s the question Rick Mills at “Ahead Of The Herd” addresses in his most recent column.

Ahead Of the Herd

Headlong Into Electrification

This is a guest post. Everything that follows is by Rick Mills and does not necessarily reflects my views.

I find the ideas presented by Mills to be well presented and worthy of consideration.

Damn the consequences, Rushing headlong into electrification, the West is replacing one energy master with another, says Rick Mills.

Emphasis in Italics Mine, Bolding His.

The United States and its allies, such as Canada, the UK, the European Union, Australia, Japan and South Korea, face a dilemma when it comes to the global electrification of the transportation system and the switch from fossil fuels to cleaner forms of energy.

On the one hand, we want everything to be clean, green and non-polluting, with COP26-inspired goals of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050; and several countries aiming to close the chapter on fossil-fuel-powered vehicles, including the United States which is seeking to make half of the country’s auto fleet electric by 2030.

Yet many of these same countries are continuing to go flat-out in their production of oil and natural gas — considered a bridge fuel between fossil fuels and renewables, wrongly imo, for environmental reasons — a/ because they want to be energy-independent; and b/ because they have to. Germany is a good example of a country that tried to switch too soon to renewable energy, retiring its nuclear and coal power plants, only to find that the wind and sun didn’t produce enough electricity. Germany is now having to rely on Russian natural gas and the burning of lignite coal to keep the lights on and homes/ businesses heated throughout the winter.

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Imagine electric vehicles in bad weather, by Ronald Stein

Notwithstanding political fantasies and legal mandates, it’s going to be a long time before electric vehicles replace internal combustion vehicles. From Ronald Stein at cfact.org:

With more than forty percent of the EV’s in America being in California at the end of 2020, the EV popularity in California has gotten President Biden so excited to want the rest of the country to follow California’s lead that Biden issued a new executive order that pushes for half of all new cars sold in America by 2030 to be electric vehicles.

Imagine being stuck on a frigid night inside your car, like those stopped on Interstate 95 in Virginia in a 48-mile backup for nearly a 24-hour standstill because of snow.  Imagine being trapped in an frozen electric car with a long dead battery!

Even with the great California year-round weather, the states’ EV user’s experiences do not bode well for projected EV sales in America as the states’ EV users may be sending a caution-to-the-wind (no pun intended) message to America that the EV usage in the state reflects very conservative notices to future EV owners. A few reasons why Californians may be sending the wrong message to America are:

  1. The limited usage of the EV’s of about 5,000 miles per year is a reflection that the EV is a second vehicle, for those that can afford them, and not the family workhorse vehicle.

  2. The primary owners of EV’s are the highly educated and financially well off, and not representative of the majority.

  3. EV owner incomes rank among the highest in the country which may be a reflection of home owners that have easier access to charging their EV from their multi-car garages, or for those folks living in new apartments that may have access to more convenient EV charging capabilities. Most car owners park in the street.

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This YEAR in the New Normal, from Off-Guardian

A few minor stories in 2021 are set to become major stories in 2022. From off-guardian.org:

ur first “This Week” of 2022 doesn’t just look back over our shoulders, but forward too. What were the unfinished plotlines of 2021? What minor stories of last year could be major stories of this year?

This week we review what OffG will be on the lookout for in 2022.

1. Programmable digital currency

For the uninitiated, a programmable digital currency is a form of digital currency which can be programmed…I hope that clears up any confusion.

In all seriousness, central banks are researching the possibility of issuing their own digital currencies. These central-bank digital currencies (CBDCs) would be “programmable”, meaning either the bank issuing the currency, or the company paying it out as wages, have direct control over its use.

Banks (or employers) would have the power to set limits on the usage of the money they issue. They could limit how much of it can be spent, where it can be spent and what it can be spent on etc.

We published a long-form article on the possible abuses of such a controlling system of currency last summer. Since that article came out there have been further calls for its introduction, with Estonia and Ukraine both moving towards trialling the system soon, and Japan researching its feasibility.

Definitely a major concern for human freedom, and a major story to keep an eye on 2022.

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Renewables’ Reckoning Is Long Overdue, by Bob Maistros

In environmentalists la-la land, solutions don’t have costs. In the real world they do, and people are finally starting to wake up to the costs of “Green.” From Bob Maistros at issuesinsights.com:

Airman 1st Class Nadine Y. Barclay

A long overdue legislative enactment and signing provides occasion for two equally long overdue observations on an I&I editorial regarding “pesky climate models.”

Citing a study on pre-carbon dioxide concentration Arctic Ocean warming, your friendly neighborhood editorialists concluded, “(W)e’re confident that eventually the (climate alarmists’) story will collapse.”

Observation No. 1 is that the case for renewables, climate alarmists’ chosen solution, is also folding like a house of cards in a Richter 9.5 earthquake.

It’s not just that renewables are so intermittent and unreliable that they must be legislated and subsidized; eat up land; will require more storage than physically possible; have nearly bankrupted and blacked out Germany with little emissions improvement; and are doing the same to California and other jurisdictions adopting mandates.

Despite these indisputable truths, the White House’s policy remains “a carbon pollution-free electricity sector” by 2035 and “net-zero emissions economy-wide” by 2050.

Yet three additional existential threats must and will lay the renewables narrative bare. The first was reflected in Joe Biden’s recent signing of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.

Forty-five percent of the worldwide supply of solar-grade polysilicon stems from China’s Xinjiang region, where it is reportedly largely produced by enslaved Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other Turkic Muslims. (China overall produces three-quarters of polysilicon and 95% of solar wafers.)

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Here’s How the Energy Crisis Turns Into Hunger and Then… War? By Chris MacIntosh

Most people don’t realize that petroleum prices feed into food prices. From Chris MacIntosh at internationalman.com:

Energy

We have previously warned about a whopping food crisis and supply problems in the fertilizer market. Well, now is worse because that was BEFORE we had the natural gas crisis. Why is that important?

Natural gas is THE critical input into making fertilizer. Urea is essentially ammonia in solid state, the process of which entails reacting ammonia with CO2. And we all now know — thanks to the climate nazis — that CO2 is currently the devil. The problem of course is that with no natural gas there is no urea, and with no urea there is no fertilizer. And with no fertilizer… well, we will eat each other.

Here are the spot urea prices.

Something else that we had noted some time back (in Korea) but which now seems like a larger problem.

Here is an article about an Australian farmer who warns the urea supply crisis could halt normal life within weeks.

Here’s what he says:

‘Not only will we not be able to grow cattle and we will not be able to grow food and we will not be able to grow grain or anything like that, but even if we could, we can’t move it, because we can’t turn a wheel in a truck because we have no Adblue,’ [AdBlue is needed for diesel vehicles — half of all trucks on Australian roads run on diesel

As of February we might not have a truck on the road in Australia, we might not have a train on the tracks.

‘So quite literally the whole country comes to a standstill as of February.’

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European Firms Warn “Unbearably High Energy Costs” May Spark Wave Of Production Shutdowns, by Tyler Durden

A preview of the Green New Deal from Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Years of mindless green energy policies across the European continent are about to unleash an economic crisis. Energy-intensive companies are paying “unbearably high energy prices” that may force them to shutter operations.

Eleven European associations (from steel to fertilizers to cement to paper mills) published a press release Wednesday that warned the energy crisis that plagues the continent has worsened over the few months and accelerated in the last several days as European natural gas hit a record high on Tuesday.

“The main reasons for this situation are the financial market speculation from financial players including hedge funds and commodity trading houses, the imbalances in the gas market, seasonally decreased renewable energy production, reduced nuclear energy production, coal mine closures, and increased carbon costs passed on in el

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