Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Plenty of life left in the internal combustion engine

Written by: Peter Boag ~ President & CEO Canadian Fuels Association

In the drive to reduce transportation GHG emissions, there is a school of thought that the conventionally-fuelled internal combustion engine powered vehicle is at the proverbial ‘end of the road’.  True, alternative energy vehicle technologies are making inroads and capturing a small and growing share of the vehicle market.  But to paraphrase Mark Twain, prognostications about the death of the internal combustion engine are greatly exaggerated.

Recent (January 2017) US EPA conclusions on the achievability of increasingly strict fuel efficiency/emission requirements out to 2025 confirm this in spades.  Based on a broad array of research and information sources, including research from the US National Academy of Sciences, the EPA concluded “a wide variety of effective technologies are available to reduce GHG emissions from cars and light trucks, and that automakers are well positioned to meet the standards through model year 2025 at lower costs than predicted.”  The EPA observed that auto manufacturers “have been developing and adopting fuel economy technologies at unprecedented rates.”

This EPA conclusion aligns with a research report published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in November 2015 – On the Road toward 2050: Potential for Substantial Reductions in Light-Duty Vehicle Energy Use and Green House Gas Emissions.  The report concludes that “improving mainstream technology” has the greatest near-term impact on reducing fuel consumption and GHG emissions.  The research shows that “improvements in internal combustion engines, transmissions, and in vehicle technology through reducing weight, aerodynamic drag and tire resistances, provide the largest fuel consumption and GHG emissions reductions for the next 20-plus years”.

The report highlights the timelines required for new technologies to achieve major fleet penetration.  It notes that radical shifts in vehicle technology in such a large system as the in-use vehicle fleet (with a 15-year average vehicle lifetime) will take time, and only gain market share if the new technology vehicles are market competitive.  In this context, the report concludes that “the impact of alternative energy sources such as electricity and hydrogen, even going out 30 years or so, is modest”.  Moreover, plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) technology is seen as a more promising path than battery electric vehicle technology for increasing electricity’s share of transportation energy consumption.

And here is the part that brings me back to the Twain quote paraphrased above.  In the report’s projections of future vehicle sales by engine type, internal combustion engine powered vehicles comprise 60 percent of sales in 2050!

Two recommendations in the MIT report stand out for me:  
  • Market-based incentives should be implemented to support conventional powered vehicles with incrementally lower emissions. 
  • Vehicle electrification is a potentially promising strategy, but we need to be more realistic about this opportunity, so we can better understand the most promising paths forward.
These recommendations support the overall view of MIT researchers that a successful approach to transport GHG emissions reductions comprises improving propulsion systems and vehicle technologies already in place, conserving energy by shifting to less energy intensive travel modes and operating vehicles more efficiently, and transforming (over the long term) to alternative energy sources.

Meanwhile, here in Canada, some policy-makers are zealously (and with taxpayers’ money) advancing a costly transportation electrification agenda that ignores the substantial emissions reductions that can be achieved at modest cost through advances in mainstream internal combustion engine technology.  The EPA and MIT recognize the continuing long-term viability and importance of the internal combustion engine powered transportation – is ideology getting in way of evidence as a policy driver in Canada?

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Eurasia Group Cites Trump Policy Uncertainty As Chief Global Political Risk

By: Elsie Ross
Published: Daily Oil Bulletin

United States President-elect Donald Trump’s uncertain approach to foreign policy is the top global political risk in 2017, a Calgary luncheon audience heard Wednesday.
“The level of uncertainty is very high,” Robert Johnston, chief executive officer of the Eurasia Group, a Washington D.C. global political risk consultancy, told the Calgary Chamber of Commerce 2017 Global Outlook.  “We say Trump is definitely a wild card.”
The theme of the Eurasia Group’s top risks is that of a geopolitical recession, a recession driven not by economic forces but rather by the uncertainty generated by the actions of states, primarily the United States but other governments as well in reacting to the actions of the Trump administration.
The main risk the consultancy sees is of Trump pulling back from the global community and institutions such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the global climate movement. “These were all things built on the back of international organizations that were basically created and led by the U.S. and remarkably Canada,” said Johnston, who also heads the firm’s global energy and natural resources strategy group. 
However, when it comes to trade, Johnston does not believe the U.S. will impose a border tax on Canadian oil as U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan has proposed and which has prompted considerable concern in the Calgary oilpatch (DOB, Jan. 18, 2017).  “I think right now there’s a very low probability [25 per cent] that tax will be applied broadly and an even lower chance that it would target crude.”
This particular program is “full of problems and I think like Trump said that it’s too complex,” said Johnston. A border tax also would create problems for U.S. refiners who import a range of crudes from heavy to light from Canada while most of the U.S. production is light, said Peter Tertzakian, chief energy economist at ARC Financial Corp.,who also spoke at the luncheon.

Price forecast

On the energy side, Johnston’s firm is forecasting a stronger oil market in 2018 with Brent averaging about US$63 per bbl, slightly higher than the forward curve and the high fifties anticipated this year. “Our thesis is that the market is moving back into a stock draw by the end of this year and that prices are going to have to go up to incent more drilling activity, absolutely first in the U.S.”
Canada, likely along with Saudi Arabia, will be the next area of supply response, he suggested, noting that Saudi Arabia has said that the production cuts they agreed to in November 2016 to help rebalance the market are coming off this summer. “They [the Saudis] are still focused on market share but they still are concerned that if they cut their production too much, someone else in the oilsands or in the shale oil U.S. or deepwater will step in and take that share.”
In the U.S., Trump appears to be influenced most by the small and medium oil and gas producers such as those in the Bakken and the Permian Basin, according to Johnston.
“And I think those people think of the energy market as the U.S. market and their regulatory concerns are anything that is between the wellhead and the refinery,” he said. “They are not worried by global climate and all that stuff, they are worried about the Bureau of Land Management, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), methane emissions, seismicity regulations and Trump will do a lot to help them.”

Global climate approach

However, while Trump will abandon much of the domestic climate agenda, his administration may react more cautiously internationally in backing away completely from the global climate agreement, Johnston suggested. “I think Rex Tillerson [incoming secretary of state and former CEO of Exxon Mobil Corporation] is a guy who understands the international climate process and what it means for the ExxonMobils of the world but also for the U.S. and the U.S. economy,” he said.
“If you back away completely, you are basically betting that whatever Trump does will continue beyond 2020 and that other countries will back away from their climate goals as well,” said Johnston. “To make that bet, might be a bit risky.”
In the longer term [beyond 2020], he believes that most of the world is moving to a low carbon transition because all the major emitters have their own national interests for reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. China, for example, is concerned about pollution in its cities and the co-benefit of reducing that pollution also reduces greenhouse gas emissions. “If we back off now, we might just have to go back again in a few years.”
Although some Canadian producers have expressed concern that the carbon tax will make them uncompetitive with U.S. producers, Johnston suggested that the tax is actually a good thing for investors. “If they know where carbon pricing is headed in Canada, it’s much easier to value assets,” he said. “You can build in a carbon price as B.C. and Alberta are doing. There’s also uncertainty for investors in the U.S. about promised deregulation and when that might occur.”

‘Rebranding’ Canadian shale gas and oil

Johnston also suggested that Canadian short-cycle unconventional investment needs to be rebranded as a North American shale play.
“I think the bottom line is that investors prefer North America generally and they prefer short-cycle unconventionals and we want to be part of that,” he said. “We’ve got great rule of law and stability and I think we should take advantage of that and rebrand a bit.”
That rebranding effort “is really easy; we just have to start doing it,” Johnston told reporters, later suggesting that while it might not be easy it was “doable.”
“The rocks are the same, the market is the same, the rule of law is the same,” he said. “Yes, there are some regulatory issues and some cost issues but we spend way too much time talking about that and not enough time talking about what we have in common with the U.S. and why we are just an attractive investment as they are.”

Keystone XL, LNG

Although Johnston sees some risks, he believes this could be the year that TransCanada Corporation’s Keystone XL project proceeds, driven by Congress which wants to show that it can get deals done.
“One [risk] is that Trump tries to extract something unreasonable either from TransCanada or the Canadian government,” Johnston told reporters. “Number two is that it gets blocked again in Nebraska.”
On the LNG export side, contracts for LNG with large Asian buyers are coming up for renewal in 2024-25 and Canada has another chance to develop its export industry after missing the last window of opportunity for LNG exports, he said.
“Those Asian utilities, many of them my clients, are looking for gas,” said Johnston. “Let’s give it to them. Let’s get a plant built and approved. If we don’t, the window’s going to close again.”
In the question and answer session that followed, Johnston said that he believes that long-cycle projects such as the oilsands and deepwater offshore projects will come back in a much more limited role as prices improve. Investors also will be more selective, looking for a place where they can put technology to work. “High tech innovation is the future when applied to the oilsands.”

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

In Searching For A New Enemy To Unite Us, We Came Up With The Threat Of Global Warming

In Searching For A New Enemy To Unite Us, We Came Up With The Threat Of Global Warming: by: Climatism: Jan 24, 2017


“The common enemy of humanity is man. In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behaviour that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is humanity itself.“
– Club of Rome, premier environmental think-tank, consultants to the United Nations

Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse?
Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?”

– Maurice Strong, founder of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

Anthropogenic “climate change”, and the control of carbon dioxide (energy) has deep roots in a radical, yet gravely misguided campaign to reduce the world’s population.

A misanthropic agenda engineered by the environmental movement in the mid 1970’s, who realized that doing something about “global warming” would play to quite a number of its social agendas.

The goal was advanced, most notably, by The Club of Rome (Consultants to the UN) – a group of mainly European scientists and academics, who used computer modelling to warn that the world would run out of finite resources if population growth were left unchecked.

The Club of Rome’s 1972 environmental best-seller “The Limits To Growth”, examined five variables in the original model: world population, industrialization, pollution, food production and resource depletion. Not surprisingly, the study predicted a dire future for mankind unless we ‘act now’ :

Around the same time, influential anthropologist and president of the American Medical Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Margaret Mead, gathered together like-minded anti-population hoaxsters at her 1975, North Carolina conference, “The Atmosphere: Endangered and Endangering”. Mead’s star recruits were climate scare artist Stephen Schneider, population-freak George Woodwell and former AAAS head, John Holdren (currently President Barack Obama’s Science and Technology Czar). All three of them disciples of Malthusian catastrophist Paul Ehrlich, author of the “The Population Bomb”.

The conference concluded that human-produced carbon dioxide would fry the planet, melt the ice caps, and destroy human life. The idea being to sow enough fear of man-made climate change to force global cutbacks in industrial activity and halt Third World development.

With man’s industrial fortunes fingered as the driver of eco-destructive population growth, it was inevitable that ‘Science’ would be called upon to act as judge, jury and executioner. However, as it turned out, the science of global warming was butchered, tortured and corrupted to prove a hypothesis, rather than to perform objective science.

James Delingpole of The Telegraph elaborates : The reason I have become so obsessed with “global warming” in the last few years is not because I’m particularly interested in the “how many drowning polar bears can dance on the head of a pin” non-argument which hysterical sites like RealClimate and bloggers like Joe Romm are striving so desperately to keep on a life support machine. It’s because unlike some I’ve read widely enough to see the bigger picture. One thing I’ve learned in this wide reading is how obsessed so many of the key thinkers in the green movement are with the notion of “overpopulation.” As one of their favourite think tanks, the Club of Rome, puts it: “Earth has a cancer and the cancer is man.” This belief explains, inter alia, why the “science” behind AGW is so dodgy: because the science didn’t come first. What came first was the notion that mankind was a problem and was doing harm to the planet. The “science” was then simply tortured until it fitted in with this notion. 

Earth does not have a cancer; the cancer is not man – Telegraph Blogs - Dr Tim Ball details how the science of climate change came to be “tortured until it fitted in with [the] notion”: Almost every aspect of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) work is manipulated, selected, and controlled, to prove human CO2 is causing global warming. The objective was to prove the hypothesis, not to perform objective science.

The goal was established by the Club of Rome whose member, Maurice Strong transmitted and translated it into world government policy through the United Nations.

“The common enemy of humanity is man. In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that .. the threat of global warming.. would fit the bill…. the real enemy, then, is humanity itself….we believe humanity requires a common motivation, namely a common adversary in order to realize world government. It does not matter if this common enemy is a real one or….one invented for the purpose.” — Club of Rome

He was assisted by politicians like Al Gore and Tim Wirth. In 1993 the latter did not hide the naked political objective. “We’ve got to ride this global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy.“ Timothy Wirth, President of the UN Foundation

They were aided by national weather agencies and bureaucratic scientists with similar political persuasions appointed to the IPCC. They claimed their goal was achieved in the 2007 IPCC Report which concluded, “Another unusual aspect of recent climate change is its cause: past climate changes were natural in origin, whereas most of the warming of the past 50 years is attributable to human activities.”

All the CO2 numbers used by the IPCC are very poor estimates and designed to underline the human impact. They are meaningless figures from the total volumes to the annual flows and the human inputs as depicted in the IPCC carbon cycle. IPCC wanted to prove human CO2 was causing global warming as part of their belief that industrialized populations would exhaust all resources and had to be shut down. Their only objective was to show human production was steadily, inexorably increasing. Their calculations predetermine that, because human CO2 production is directly linked to population increase. A population increase guarantees a CO2 increase. It is another of their circular arguments that has no basis in science.

So is the planet overpopulated? Tim Ball has done the numbers and concludes, “The world is not overpopulated. That fallacy is perpetuated in all environmental research, policy and planning including global warming and latterly climate change.”

Global Warming was just one issue The Club of Rome (TCOR) targeted in its campaign to reduce world population. In 1993 the Club’s co-founder, Alexander King with Bertrand Schneider wrote The First Global Revolution stating,

“The common enemy of humanity is man. In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is humanity itself.”

They believe all these problems are created by humans but exacerbated by a growing population using technology. “Changed attitudes and behavior” basically means what it has meant from the time Thomas Malthus raised the idea the world was overpopulated. He believed charity and laws to help the poor were a major cause of the problem and it was necessary to reduce population through rules and regulations. TCOR ideas all ended up in the political activities of the Rio 1992 conference organized by Maurice Strong (a TCOR member) under the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The assumptions and objectives became the main structure of Agenda 21, the master plan for the 21st Century. The global warming threat was confronted at Rio through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and creation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It was structured to predetermine scientific proof that human CO2 was one contribution of the “common enemy”.

The IPCC was very successful. Despite all the revelations about corrupted science and their failed predictions (projections) CO2 remains central to global attention about energy and environment. For example, several websites, many provided by government, list CO2 output levels for new and used cars. Automobile companies work to build cars with lower CO2 output and, if for no other reason than to appear green, use it in advertising. The automotive industry, which has the scientists to know better, collectively surrenders to eco-bullying about CO2. They are not alone. They get away with it because they pass on the unnecessary costs to a befuddled “trying to do the right thing” population.


TCOR and later UNEP’s Agenda 21 adopted and expanded the Malthusian idea of overpopulation to all resources making it the central tenet of all their politics and policies. The IPCC was set up to assign the blame of global warming and latterly climate change on human produced CO2 from an industrialized expanding population. They both developed from false assumptions, used manipulated data and science, which they combined into computer models whose projections were, not surprisingly, wrong. The result is the fallacy of global warming due to human CO2 is a subset built on the fallacy of overpopulation.



Temperatures have not risen for at least 15 years. The pause now threatens to expose how much scientists sold their souls for cash and fame, warns emeritus professor Garth Paltridge, author of The Climate Caper: Facts and Fallacies of Global Warming and a former chief research scientist with the CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Research:

…there has been no significant warming over the most recent fifteen or so years…

In the light of all this, we have at least to consider the possibility that the scientific establishment behind the global warming issue has been drawn into the trap of seriously overstating the climate problem … in its effort to promote the cause. It is a particularly nasty trap in the context of science, because it risks destroying, perhaps for centuries to come, the unique and hard-won reputation for honesty which is the basis of society’s respect for scientific endeavour…

The trap was set in the late 1970s or thereabouts when the environmental movement first realised that doing something about global warming would play to quite a number of its social agendas. At much the same time, it became accepted wisdom around the corridors of power that government-funded scientists (that is, most scientists) should be required to obtain a goodly fraction of their funds and salaries from external sources—external anyway to their own particular organisation.

The scientists in environmental research laboratories, since they are not normally linked to any particular private industry, were forced to seek funds from other government departments. In turn this forced them to accept the need for advocacy and for the manipulation of public opinion. For that sort of activity, an arm’s-length association with the environmental movement would be a union made in heaven…

The trap was partially sprung in climate research when a number of the relevant scientists began to enjoy the advocacy business. The enjoyment was based on a considerable increase in funding and employment opportunity. The increase was not so much on the hard-science side of things but rather in the emerging fringe institutes and organisations devoted, at least in part, to selling the message of climatic doom. A new and rewarding research lifestyle emerged which involved the giving of advice to all types and levels of government, the broadcasting of unchallengeable opinion to the general public, and easy justification for attendance at international conferences—this last in some luxury by normal scientific experience, and at a frequency previously unheard of…

The trap was fully sprung when many of the world’s major national academies of science (such as the …  Australian Academy of Science) persuaded themselves to issue reports giving support to the conclusions of the IPCC. The reports were touted as national assessments that were supposedly independent of the IPCC and of each other, but of necessity were compiled with the assistance of, and in some cases at the behest of, many of the scientists involved in the IPCC international machinations. In effect, the academies, which are the most prestigious of the institutions of science, formally nailed their colours to the mast of the politically correct.

Since that time three or four years ago, there has been no comfortable way for the scientific community to raise the spectre of serious uncertainty about the forecasts of climatic disaster… It can no longer escape prime responsibility if it should turn out in the end that doing something in the name of mitigation of global warming is the costliest scientific mistake ever visited on humanity.

This is why scientific organizations have – tragically – become almost the last places to hear the truth about the global warming pause. Too many reputations are now at stake.



MUST SEE You Tube – James Corbett of the Corbett Report, debunks the myth of overpopulation.


The ultimate prize to the eco-activists and their big government benefactors is the control of carbon, which would touch every aspect of our daily lives. Consequently, greenhouse gases and global climate change are of paramount importance to the eco-activist agenda. While much has been written about global climate change over many years, the basic aspects of the issue haven’t changed; we are asked to forget things we once knew and ignore the simplest hypothesis that the earth’s climate is ever changing.

From the Thursday Files:

If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself. 
- Attributed to Goebbels in Publications Relating to Various Aspects of Communism (1946), by United States Congress, House Committee on Un-American Activities, Issues 1-15, p. 19, no reliable source has been located, and this is probably simply a further variation of the Big Lie idea. See Wikipedia

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Living in the post-truth world, energy style

By: Gwyn Morgan
Columnist, Troy Media

      VICTORIA -- One of the unfortunate legacies of 2016 is the frequency of 'post-truth' communications.
       The term describes communications where objective facts are replaced by erroneous assertions aimed at creating emotion-based beliefs. Post-truth communications reached a peak during the American presidential campaign.
       But Canadians have also seen an escalation of post-truth communications, particularly in relation to energy. Here are some of those assertions, contrasted with real world facts.
       Post-truth No. 1: We have the technology to replace fossil fuels with wind and solar energy.
       Real world facts:
       Fossil fuels generate more than 65 percent of global electricity production. Despite the hundreds of billions of dollars invested, wind ad solar provide only 1.5 percent of global power. You may have seen higher figures from the green-power industry but that's a classic post-truth distortion quoting capacity versus actual electricity delivered. Solar panels operate at capacity on a sunny summer day, less on a cloudy day and zero at night. Likewise, a wind-power farm might reach capacity on windy days, but produces nothing on calm days. At best, the average portion of wind and solar capacity producing usable electricity is in the 20-to-30-percent range. And that leads to another fact that green-power advocates fail to mention: because wind and solar are intrinsically undependable, they must be backed up by reliable power plants, almost always fossil fuelled. The result is that consumers suffer large rate increases to pay for power they can't depend on, and then pay again to build and operate expensive standby fossil-fuelled plants.
       Fossil fuels power almost all road, sea and air transportation. And despite the advent of electric vehicles, it's highly unlikely they will significantly impact demand for fossil fuel. Electric power is impractical for heavy vehicles, provides limited range and is unaffordable in the developing world, where auto ownership is skyrocketing.
       World Bank data shows that fossil fuels supply 81 percent of global energy. Almost all authoritative analyses forecast increasing demand for fossil fuel. All the post-truth rhetoric about wind and solar energy won't change that reality.
       Post-truth No.2: Canada's oil and gas industry increases global carbon emissions.
       Real world facts:
       Canada is responsible for less than four percent of the 96 million barrels of daily world oil production. If our production were completely shut down, that four percent and the emissions associated with it would quickly be replaced by other countries. Moreover, carbon emissions from Alberta's much-maligned oilsands make up a minuscule 0.15 percent of global emissions.
        Canadian natural gas is actually reducing global carbon emissions. Critics of the recent federal approval of the Petronas LNG project focus only on emissions associated with the Canadian portion of the project, while deliberately ignoring the overall global benefit of displacing higher carbon-emitting coal and fuel oil in China. Moreover, clean-burning natural gas produces none of the toxic particulates and sulphur compounds that are shortening the lives of hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens.
         Natural gas is increasingly used to fuel trucks, buses and rail locomotives. And the arrival of British Columbia's new gas powered ferries heralds its use in ocean transportation.
         Post-truth No. 3: Canada's carbon tax will be part of a global emissions reduction effort.
         Real world facts:
         While 111 countries at the November Marrakech climate change conference supported a proclamation calling for "the highest political commitment to combat climate change," the real-world facts paint a far different picture. Only countries with a combined global emission share of 17 percent have any intention of honouring that proclamation. And sine none of those are significant trading partners, imposing a carbon tax to reduce Canada's minuscule 1.6 percent of global emissions is simply economic hara-kiri.
         While Canadians debate the wisdom of taxing carbon, more than a third of the 111 countries pledging support for the Marrakech proclamation actually subsidize fossil-fuel use. The International Energy Agency data shows that in 2014 fuel subsidies totalled a staggering US$493 billion. This blatant hypocrisy may help explain why U.S. president-elect Donald Trump recently labelled the United Nations "an international body that has potential to do something good, but just isn't living up to expectations."
          In an age where headline-style messaging helps those who practise emotion-targeted post-truth communication, how can the real-world facts ever get through?
          I don't know - but I do know that if those who know the truth remain silent, post-truth falsehoods will eventually erode the factual basis upon which Canadians judge issues important to our economic and political future.