Kevin Rudd gets the Golden Fleece Award

golden fleece award

The Carbon Sense Coalition has awarded its Inaugural Golden Fleece Award to Kevin Rudd and coal industry leaders for “flagrant fleecing of community savings in futile ‘research’ on Carbon Capture & Sequestration – a costly and complex process designed to capture and bury carbon dioxide gas produced by burning carbon fuels such as coal, oil and gas”.

It is obviously possible, in an engineering sense, to collect, separate, compress, pump and pipe gases, so new “research” is largely a waste of money. Engineers know how to do these things, and their likely costs. But only foolish green zealots would think of spending billions to bury a harmless, invisible, life-supporting gas in hopes of cooling the climate some time in the century ahead.

About 2.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide are produced for every tonne of coal burnt in a power station. To capture, compress and bury it could take at least 30% of the electricity produced, greatly increasing the cost of the limited amount of electricity left for sale – more coal used, increased electricity costs, for ZERO measurable benefits.

We have come to expect stupidity from politicians, but coal industry leaders who agreed to waste money on this should be sued by shareholders for negligence. Maybe they were just drooling at all the extra coal they would sell in order to produce the same electricity?

Kevin Rudd wins this award for “a Flagrant Fleece of $400 million taken from tax payers to fund the fatuous Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute.” There is little to show for the millions already spent except a lot of receipts for high class salaries, consultants, travel, entertainment and “operational expenses”.

Pumping gases underground is sensible if it brings real benefits such as using waste gases to drive oil recovery from declining oil fields.

Normally, however, CCS will just produce more expensive electricity.

This result is not needed as politicians have already invented dozens of ways of doing just that.

More, as well as:

  • The Warming of the last Century is too Small to Notice
  • Clean Coal by Wire
  • The New Cold War
  • The Great Barrier Reef
  • A revival of the Medieval Practice of Book Burning
  • The Beginning of the End

Read the full report: [PDF, 133 KB]

Keywords: Golden Fleece Award, carbon capture and sequestration, London, Los Angeles and Asian smogs, dust, save the Great Barrier
Reef, book-burning academics, climatism waning.

Chasing a Will o’ the Wisp while Ignoring a real Monster in the Sky

State and Federal Governments should stop wasting community resources on useless schemes for carbon trading and carbon sequestration and focus on some real world pollution crises.

The Chairman of “Carbon Sense”, Mr Viv Forbes, said that the government and media focus on carbon dioxide emissions was totally misdirected and counter-productive.

“All it will do is delay the spread of coal powered electricity to many areas now desperate for clean invisible power. It will also give an enormous boost to the demand for uranium fuel, whose mining and use is deterred by politicians in Australia.

“There is already a groundswell of opposition from well informed scientists and engineers to the whole basis of the Greenhouse Religion. Even the PM’s own backbench contains well informed sceptics, and the ranks of scientific sceptics are growing all over the world.

“This irrational and hysterical focus on carbon dioxide is diverting attention and resources from real pollution which is altering local climate and affecting many areas of the world.

“For example, the “Asian Brown Cloud”, a haze of pollution about 3 km thick and sometimes covering an area as big as Australia, is causing real human health and safety problems. At times this cloud drifts right across the Pacific Ocean and is noticed in America.

“China now emits more sulphur dioxide (SO2) than anywhere else in the world. This chokes their people, causes acid rain and damages buildings. This brown haze is already affecting local climate and melting glaciers in China and the Himalayas. In Arctic areas, soot is covering snow and absorbing more heat from the sun. Soon the brown haze will obscure the sun in some polluted Asian cities.

“This pollution is caused by millions of cow-dung cooking fires and open-air cremations in India, cooking with wood, coal and cardboard all over Asia, forest fires in Indonesia and millions of small obsolete and dirty wood, charcoal and coal stoves and furnaces all over Asia and Africa. Similar problems are obvious in places in South America.

“The western world went through this pollution phase fifty years ago, and although improvements can still be made, we have banished the notorious smoke pollution of places like London, Manchester and Pittsburgh.

“London smoke pollution was so bad that the city became known as “The Big Smoke”. Children developed rickets from the lack of sunshine, plants and animals died and lung disease was widespread. During its last and worst ever pollution event, “The Black Fog” of 1952, caused by a temperature inversion over London, visibility was reduced to less than a foot and 4,000 Londoners died from SO2 poisoning (50 in one small London park alone). This shock brought action – cooking and heating with open fires of wood and coal was banned in big cities. Clean electric power saved the forests and cleared the air.

“The world’s worst pollution is caused by open air combustion of wood, dung and coal which produces not only the harmless greenhouse gases of water vapour and carbon dioxide, but also real pollutants such as soot, smoke, ash, dust and chemicals containing sulphur, chlorine, nitrogen, fluorine, and metals. In dilute quantities, these trace elements are not a problem, but when concentrated in city air, they can be toxic.

“Ignoring this real monster threatening human health and the environment, the media and politicians are chasing the CO2 mirage.

“Carbon dioxide puts the bubbles in your beer, the fizz in your soda water, the holes in your bread, the dry ice in your Esky and the gas in your fire extinguisher. It is colourless, odourless, and non-toxic and does not form polluting smog or acid rain. It encourages the growth of all plant life on land and in the oceans. The whole plant world breathes in CO2 during the growing season and releases much of it again when the leaves fall. It is the key recycler of organic matter for the whole food chain, including the human race.

“Man’s emissions of CO2 are a miniscule factor in determining Earth’s temperature. But while are we are wasting time and money trying to catch and imprison this harmless Will o’ the Wisp, an ominous brown smelly choking cloud of real pollution is growing in our northern skies.

“Removing most of the pollutants from combustion emissions is difficult but not impossible. Removing or burying all carbon dioxide emissions from the combustion of carbon fuels is an impossible dream. “Zero emissions” and “carbon sequestration” for key carbon fuels like coal, oil, gas and wood are nonsense goals, and their pursuit is diverting attention and truck loads of money from a worthy goal such as “Zero Pollution”.

“The western world has largely beaten its pollution with inventions such as the chimney, the stove, but most of all by a clean, silent, invisible energy called electricity, generated in clean, concentrated and remote power stations while delivering lighting, heating, cooling, cooking and motive power into the most humble home in the poorest suburb.

“To fly over a clean modern coal-fired power station at say 10,000 m is to put it into perspective – a puny cooling tower or two emitting wisps of water vapour and a small amount of (invisible) carbon dioxide and which is dwarfed by any passing cloud, no matter how small.

“This third world problem presents a real opportunity for Australian energy companies to make profits and clean up the environment by promoting clean non-polluting modern power stations burning high quality Australian coals. This will allow cow dung to be used for soil improvement and allow re-afforestation of areas denuded by centuries of scavenging for fire wood.

“Invisible energy from coal has already banished most of the terrible pollution that affected cities such as London, Manchester and Pittsburgh, and allowed the regrowth of American forests.

“The public has been misled on this issue by an unholy alliance of environmental scaremongers, funds-seeking academics, sensation-seeking media, vote-seeking politicians and profit-seeking vested interests.

“Anyone with the real interests of ordinary Australians, Australian industry or the environment at heart would divert public attention and political action from the non-problem of carbon emissions and towards the world’s real pollution problems.

“History shows that people cannot and will not live without energy in their homes. Unless we allow coal to supply clean silent invisible energy, they will continue to burn dung, wood, cardboard, trees, oil, charcoal or reject coal to get their warmth or cook their food.

“Just one well designed, well-scrubbed, modern Australian designed coal power plant running on natural fossil sunshine from the Sunshine State could provide the light, heating, cooling and entertainment silently and invisibly to the front door for about 3 million Asian homes, housing maybe 10 million people.”

Mr Forbes called on government and opposition to cease political grandstanding on the Greenhouse issue, where carbon taxes and carbon emissions trading will adversely affect most Australians, and focus on goals that will really benefit all of Australia and the environment.

“Do we wait for the re-appearance of rickets and lung disease before acting?”

[First released in August 2007]

Save the World with Carbon Sinks

By Allen Horrell

I read in the Sydney Morning Herald that Tony Abbott is running into opposition from the Nationals over plans to reduce CO2 by planting trees. Their objection is that subsidised tree planting will consume arable farms and threaten food security for Australia.

Whilst I don’t actually think the globe has been warming since 1997, or that it would necessarily be a bad thing if it were, my objection to the planting plan is that forests lock up carbon only until the inevitable bush fire releases it again.

If carbon dioxide is deemed bad and we are told to reduce it, we can either reduce our output or lock more carbon away in carbon sinks, where it cannot easily get back into the atmosphere.

If I can describe to you a plan that will lock vast amounts of carbon out of the atmosphere for hundreds of years and will consume no arable land or threaten food production and will create new jobs and exports for Australia, do you think that would be a good idea?

Carbon Sinks

Forests are very efficient at converting CO2 into wood in the first fast growing 20-40 years, after which growth and carbon capture tails off. “Old growth” mature forests are almost useless for this purpose.

A Lesson on Renewable Energy from a Canny Scot

From: Sir Donald Miller. F Eng. FRSE.
Chairman, Scottish Power 1982-92.

Letter to Alec Salmond
09 March 2011

The Right Hon Alec Salmond
First Minister
Scottish Government

Dear Sir

It is I believe becoming clear to a rapidly increasing number of voters in Scotland that the Scottish Government’s concentration on so called renewable energy sources to the exclusion of more reliable and economic sources , such as nuclear , is little short of disastrous. Let us look at the facts:-

1. No wind or marine energy sources can be relied on to provide power when it is needed- the only time when electricity is of any value.

2. Wind and marine need nearly 100% back up from conventional generators. Therefore any expenditure on these is additional to ‘normal’ capital required to secure our electricity supplies.

3. Output from wind turbines varies rapidly, not just locally but nationally, so that conventional back up generation is required to run inefficiently at part load, incurring further costs for the consumer.

4. Wind and wave are such extremely low density sources of energy that costs will always be high and no amount of development will alter this significantly.

5. The cost of onshore wind to the consumer is some £200/MWhr taking into account the ROC subsidy, back up generation and additional transmission costs. This is over four times the cost of energy from conventional or nuclear sources. The cost of off-shore wind is even higher at over £250/MWhr.

6. The claim that Scotland has vast resources of marine energy is based on a failure to appreciate the physics. The actual potential is readily assessed by normal engineering criteria (as in studies by Consulting Engineers Black and Veatch for The Carbon Trust and Robert Gordons University). These show that the total tidal current resource of UK waters from the Pentland Firth to the Channel Isles, neglecting costs and practical limitations such as interference with shipping and fishing and impossibility of servicing such a plethora of installations, would amount to no more than 2.5% to 5% of UK electricity requirements.

7. The costs of tidal energy to the consumer will be significantly higher than offshore wind, even after taking credit for possible developments. Wave energy will be even more costly.

8. Other low carbon technologies such as Carbon Capture and Storage are unproven on the scale envisaged, requiring long term sequestration of some 200millions tons of CO2 per year from the UK alone. Taken together with the 25% loss in efficiency of generation, energy costs would more than double.

9. Ofgem has estimated that the UK Government’s energy policy will result in a doubling of electricity prices to consumers within 15 years. The much higher renewable targets of the Scottish Government would, on a stand alone basis, result in even higher prices.

10. The CEO of National Grid in a lecture to the Royal Academy of Engineering in March 2011 stated that the effect of present energy policies would be that the era of having electricity on demand in the UK was coming to an end. The UK Government estimates there is a high risk of power cuts within five years.

11. High energy prices based on subsidies are certain to have an extremely damaging effect on the Scottish Economy as recently quantified in the Verso Economics Report using the Scottish Governments’ own economic model for the Scottish economy. The loss of jobs will far outweigh the few gains, most of which will be of low to medium quality, from renewable installations.

12. Already there has been very significant damage to Scotland’s environment- the massive installation at Doune dominating the route North from Glasgow is a case in point- with consequent loss to one of its greatest assets, the tourist industry. The value of tourism to the Scottish economy is put at £4.2bn a year, far in excess of the value of all the energy produced from wind farms even with the Scottish 80% target for renewables.

13. Prior to privatisation Scotland, with six commercial reactors, produced over 60% of its electricity from nuclear and had a thriving and profitable export trade to England. As a result Scotland benefited from having one of the lowest electricity prices in Europe and this after proper allowances for all the costs involved including waste disposal and decommissioning. Unlike the present energy regime there was no element of subsidy. As distinct from other low carbon generation, nuclear is a tried and tested technology of which we have had excellent experience now for over 50 years. Supplies of nuclear fuel are secure and the cost of energy to consumers from a new generation of reactors would be less than a quarter of that from wind and marine sources.

14. The well being of a modern economy is based on a reliable and economic supply of electricity and will be even more so in future as transport becomes increasingly electrified. If one wanted to go down in history as the politician who did most to damage Scotland’s economy it would be difficult to think of a more effective route than the present energy policy.

15. It is not too late to have a rational and balanced energy policy- but it soon will be. We have only a small window of opportunity- let us grasp it before it is too late.

Sir Donald Miller. F Eng. FRSE.
Chairman, Scottish Power 1982-92.

Carbon Capture & Burial – all Carbon Cemeteries are already Full

The Carbon Sense Coalition today called for an end to the colossal waste of community resources and energy on research and development for “Carbon Capture and Burial”.

The Chairman of “Carbon Sense”, Mr Viv Forbes, said that billions of dollars are being wasted on sacrifices to the global warming god – endless bureaucracy, politicised research, piddling wind and solar schemes, roof insulation disasters, ethanol subsidies, carbon credit forests, carbon trading frauds and huge compliance costs.

“But perhaps the biggest waste of all is the futile quest to capture carbon dioxide from power stations, separate it, compress it, pump it long distances and force it down specially drilled bore holes, hoping it will never escape.”

The full document: [PDF, 85 KB]

Carbon Capture & Burial also Wastes Energy

Here is another Monument to the Madness of CCB (carbon capture and burial) – it needs a lot of energy – currently estimated to require 30% of the output of a power station.

So in order to satisfy the existing market for electricity, we would have to build a new power station for every three existing ones just to provide the power to capture and bury, not just the CO2 from the existing ones, but also from the new one as well.

Most coal fired power stations are about 33% efficient. Put simply, they burn 3 tonnes of coal to get the equivalent energy of 1 tonne. With CCB, they will now burn 4 tonnes of coal and increase CO2 emissions by 33% for the same useful output.

If however we spend the money required for CCB on increasing the efficiency of thermal power stations even to a modest 50%, they would only need to burn 2 tonnes of coal to get the equivalent energy of 1 tonne and that alone will reduce CO2 emissions by 33%.

Combined cycle is already at 50% and China has been developing super critical boiler temperatures which they claim will be 50% efficient.

But what does Government do? They introduce a tax, as a solution which may not work, for a problem which may not exist.

Clive Gard MIE Aust

Carbon Capture Pipe Dreams

There is now a special magazine called “Carbon Capture Journal” devoted to carbon capture pipe dreams.

But despite all the hype, there still isn’t any commercial scale power plant (1000 MW) operating anywhere in the world that captures and stores CO2.

There are gas and oil rigs that pump it back down into reservoirs, there one small 200 MW pilot/demonstration generator in Germany that captures the CO2 and then trucks the CO2 halfway across Germany to an injection point (but is it a real commercially viable plant anyway – or just a heavily subsidized exercise in PR?).

All a big fronted farce designed to gather lots of Government funding (our tax money!!)

JB, NSW, Australia

Rudd Supports Resource Destruction

Australia’s PM Rudd, Santa Clause of the Global Warming Industry, wants to waste another $100 M per year of other people’s money on his Carbon Capture and Storage Institute.

All life on earth depends on our atmosphere for four essentials – oxygen, water, carbon and nitrogen. This foolish Institute aims to permanently sterilise two of them, carbon and oxygen. It destroys valuable resources and wastes extra energy doing it.

Every tonne of carbon buried in CO2 by CCS takes almost 3 tonnes of oxygen with it. It is more accurately referred to as Oxygen Capture and Burial (OCB).

Planets like earth gradually lose their life-sustaining atmosphere and end up as lifeless planets like Moon and Mars. It just takes time.

The essentials of life are already being continually lost by other processes, largely locked up in rocks as limestone or coal, lost to space, or buried in ocean sediments, land fill or human cemeteries.

These buried treasures are lost for eons, maybe forever, to the cycle of life. The OCB scheme would deliberately accelerate that deathly process.

Burning coal and oil, smelting metals, mining phosphate and calcining cement make small contributions to reverse this long term disappearance of essential elements from our atmosphere and biosphere.

There are no climate benefits of this silly proposal because CO2 in the atmosphere does not control climate – the tiny effect of man’s CO2 emissions is wholly beneficial.

The OCB Scheme will provide cushy jobs and Frequent Flyer Points for the Climate Change Industry, jobs losses in every real industry, and soaring costs in every home.

Green extremists know that OCB is a fantasy but see it as a weapon to cripple carbon industries with taxes, thus making solar and wind power look economic.

Our PM should reduce his carbon footprint and come home.

Australia cannot afford a world statesman.

Viv Forbes
Chairman, The Carbon Sense Coalition

Carbon Capture and Burial – a Stupid Answer to a Silly Question

The Carbon Sense Coalition today called on the Australian Federal Parliament to stop playing Global Warming politics and focus instead on the irresponsible damage being contemplated by the Cap-N-Tax promises.

In testimony this week to the New Zealand Parliamentary Enquiry into the ETS, the Chairman of Carbon Sense, Mr Viv Forbes, said that it was impossible to achieve the gigantic cuts in carbon dioxide emissions suggested by various western governments without a crash program of Carbon Capture and Burial (CCB). He expanded on those comments today:

“There is no evidence that CCB would provide any climate or environmental benefits whatsoever – just a huge misuse of investment capital and a massive increase in the cost of living for any society silly enough to tread this path.”

Read the full document here. [PDF, 28KB]

Submission to ETS Review Select Committee, NZ

Here is the Carbon Sense Coalition’s submission addressing two Terms of Reference of the NZ Emissions Trading Scheme Review Select Committee: those
referring to “the impact on the New Zealand economy” and “the
relative merits of a mitigation or an adaptation approach”.
Download the report here. [PDF, 26KB]

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