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03 Apr 2024 | News Roundup
  • Oops. Last week we referred to Newton’s Second Law when we meant the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Our high school physics teacher would be ashamed and so are we.
  • You just cannot win with climate alarmists. It’s hard to know whether Euronews.green was sobbing or exulting, but they certainly were claiming that “Planting trees in the wrong places could be contributing to global warming, study reveals”. It’s full of the usual cliches like “Trees are known for their ability to soak up planet-heating carbon dioxide.” No longer just warming, please note. Heating. Next, scorching. But according to “a new study published in the Nature Communications journal… Researchers have discovered that, in a number of cases, too many trees in one area means that less sunlight is reflected back from the earth’s surface and, in turn, more heat is absorbed by the planet.” And heaven forbid that we should just let messy natural forests spring up in response to rising atmospheric CO2. Nature has no idea what it’s doing.
  • Stupid foreigners. They keep showing up in Canada wanting to buy our LNG, aka Liquid Natural Gas or methane, as a superior fuel to, say, coal. And our government keeps having to pat them on the head and say no, there’s no business case, you just think you’re here with a sack of cash. The latest dolt is Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who came and prated at Justin Trudeau about how keen the Greeks are for this fuel. But we put him in his place, which seems to be an American port where they’re keen to sell the stuff.
  • From the “if government says it, it must be so” file we note Scientific American, in something called “ClimateWire”, trumpeting that “Cement, Steel – And Pasta – Are About to Get Greener.” You see “Factories that produce everything from aluminum to pasta are receiving a combined total of billions of dollars in government funding to reduce greenhouse gas emissions”. Where are the editors of yesteryear who would get this kind of copy and say “Kid, go do a quick search on past instances of billions of dollars in government funding for some industrial strategy and how well they worked”? Or “Kid, will one macaroni plant in Michigan installing ‘heat pumps and electric boilers and heaters’ really save the planet or even change the temperature measurably?” Nope. Apparently not. Instead “‘This funding from the DOE is a welcome [acknowledgment] from the government that America’s cement manufacturers are taking ambitious and significant steps toward reaching carbon neutrality,’ Portland Cement Association CEO Mike Ireland said in a statement.” Aka “Man with government cash praises government cash”. What a scoop.
  • Canary Media is equally credulous, emailing “US green steel is coming” because “US pledges up to $1B for two pioneering ‘green steel’ projects”. Red ink is coming, we say.
  • An alert reader shares a story about how “In spring 1788 a drought struck France and led to a poor grain harvest and subsequent famine. In July of the same year an intense hailstorm caused additional damage in parts of the country, and the relatively harsh 1788-89 winter gave rise to further hardships. The poorer classes, 95% of whose diet consisted of bread and cereals and which before the drought had to spend about 55% of their earnings on bread, were forced by the famine conditions of the first half of 1789 to spend now 85% and over of their income on this staple food.” And while “The famine, that is, the drought” didn’t cause the French Revolution, “it contributed to its timing and to the widespread violence that broke out”. The source? The Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. But the date is Feb. 1, 1977, before bad weather only happened because of climate change.

5 comments on “Tidbits”

  1. Cement and steel are about to get greener, or so says Scientific American. Hummm. As an essential part of the cement manufacturing process, limestone, i.e. calcium carbonate, is heated, converting it into calcium oxide and CO2 (CaCO3 = CaO + CO2). If anyone knows of a way to produce cement without also producing CO2, please let me know. Similarly, steel is produced from iron, which in turn is produced from iron ore. Iron ore largely consists of various types of iron oxide, and you get rid of the oxygen part of iron oxide by converting it into CO2 (OK, I'm simplifying here, but that's the end result). The resultant pig iron is high in carbon, and the subsequent steel making process converts most of this carbon into yet more CO2. You can also make steel by melting down steel scrap, but since you have little control over the composition of the steel scrap it's difficult to make high-grade steel in this way.
    Perhaps Scientific American should be renamed Unscientific American.

  2. Roger,I guess (Un)scientific American has discovered a version of the fabled Philoshopher's Stone? lol

  3. There is an American company (I don't remember the name) that has found a way to make 'green' steel. They take used turbine blades (composed mainly of carbon fiber and hydrocarbons), break them into small bits, and burn them as a replacement for coal.
    Yes, I found the story both ironic and hilarious.

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