Climate Change Public Death Spiral

Climate Change Has Run Its Course

Stephen F. Hayward

By Steven F. Hayward

Steven F. Hayward, is currently the Thomas Smith Distinguished Fellow at the John M. Ashbrook Center at Ashland University, where he directs the Ashbrook Center’s new program in political economy. For the last decade he was the F.K. Weyerhaeuser Fellow in Law and Economics at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., and a Senior Fellow at the Pacific Research Institute in San Francisco.

Published: Wall Street Journal, Jun 5th, 2018

Climate change is over. No, I’m not saying the climate will not change in the fu­ture, or that human influ­ence on the climate is negli­gible. I mean simply that climate change is no longer a pre-eminent policy issue. All that remains is boilerplate rhetoric from the political class, frivolous nuisance lawsuits, and bureaucratic mandates on behalf of special-interest renewable-energy rent seekers.
The End is Nigh

Judged by deeds rather than words, most national governments are backing away from forced-marched decarbonization. You can date the arc of climate change as a policy priority from 1988, when highly publicized congressional hear­ings first elevated the issue, to 2018. President Trump’s ostentatious with­drawal from the Paris Agreement merely ratified a trend long becom­ing evident.

A good indicator of why climate change as an issue is over can be found early in the text of the Paris Agreement. The “nonbinding” pact declares that climate action must in­clude concern for “gender equality, empowerment of women, and inter-generational equity” as well as “the importance for some of the concept of ‘climate justice.’ ” Another is Sarah Myhre’s address at the most recent meeting of the American Geophysical Union, in which she proclaimed that climate change cannot fully be ad­dressed without also grappling with the misogyny and social injustice that have perpetuated the problem for decades.

The descent of climate change into the abyss of social justice identity politics represents the last gasp of a cause that has lost its vitality. Climate alarm is like a car alarm—a blaring noise people are tuning out.

This outcome was predictable.

Political scientist Anthony Downs de­scribed the downward trajectory of many political movements in an arti­cle for the Public Interest, “Up and Down With Ecology: The ‘Issue-Attention” published in 1972, long before the climate-change campaign began. Observing the movements that had arisen to address issues like crime, poverty and even the U.S.-So­viet space race, Mr. Downs discerned a five-stage cycle through which po­litical issues pass regularly.

The first stage involves groups of experts and activists calling attention to a public problem, which leads quickly to the second stage, wherein the alarmed media and political class discover the issue. The second stage typically includes a large amount of euphoric enthusiasm—you might call it the “dopamine” stage—as activists conceive the issue in terms of global peril and salvation. This tendency ex­plains the fanaticism with which di­vinity-school dropouts Al Gore and Jerry Brown have warned of climate change.
Then comes the third stage: the hinge. As Mr. Downs explains, there soon comes “a gradually spreading re­alization that the cost of ‘solving’ the problem is very high indeed.” That’s where we’ve been since the United Na­tions’ traveling climate circus commit­ted itself to the fanatical mission of massive near-term reductions in fossil fuel consumption, codified in unrealis­tic proposals like the Kyoto Protocol. This third stage, Mt Downs continues, “becomes almost imperceptibly trans­formed into the fourth stage: a grad­ual decline in the intensity of public interest in the problem.”

While opinion surveys find that roughly half of Americans regard climate change as a problem, the is­sue has never achieved high salience among the public, despite the drum­beat of alarm from the climate cam­paign. Americans have consistently ranked climate change the 19th or 20th of 20 leading issues on the an­nual Pew Research Center poll, while Gallup’s yearly survey of envi­ronmental issues typically ranks cli­mate change far behind air and wa­ter pollution.

“In the final stage,” Mr. Downs concludes, “an issue that has been re­placed at the center of public concern moves into a prolonged limbo—a twi­light realm of lesser attention or spasmodic recurrences of interest.” Mr. Downs predicted correctly that environmental issues would suffer this decline, because solving such is­sues involves painful trade-offs that committed climate activists would rather not make.

A case in point is climate cam­paigners’ push for clean energy, whereas they write off nuclear power because it doesn’t fit their green utopian vision. A new study of climate-related philanthropy by Mat­thew Nisbet found that of the $556.7 million green-leaning foundations spent from 2011-15, “not a single grant supported work on promoting or reducing the cost of nuclear en­ergy.” The major emphasis of green giving was “devoted to mobilizing public opinion and to opposing the fossil fuel industry.”

Scientists who are genuinely wor­ried about the potential for cata­strophic climate change ought to be the most outraged at how the left po­liticized the issue and how the inter­national policy community narrowed the range of acceptable responses. Treating climate change as a planet-scale problem that could be solved only by an international regulatory scheme transformed the issue into a political creed for committed believ­ers. Causes that live by politics, die by politics.

Source Research:  

SWARM Tracks Oceanic Flow Magnetism

Remarkably the ESA Swarm satellite constellation data has yielded evidence of a very weak but not unsurprising magnetic field generated by the movement of planetary scale oceanic currents.  The signal strength is however exceedingly weak and being 20,000 times less than the lithospheric signature took four years of data to elucidate.

When salty ocean water flows through Earth’s magnetic field, an electric current is generated, and this, in turn, induces a magnetic signal.  However, the field generated by tides is tiny and extremely difficult to measure – but Swarm has done just this in remarkable detail. (see the above video).

Nils Olsen, from the Technical University of Denmark, said, “We have used Swarm to measure the magnetic signals of tides from the ocean surface to the seabed, which gives us a truly global picture of how the ocean flows at all depths – and this is new.

“Since oceans absorb heat from the air, tracking how this heat is being distributed and stored, particularly at depth, is important for understanding our changing climate.

“In addition, because this tidal magnetic signal also induces a weak magnetic response deep under the seabed, these results will be used to learn more about the electrical properties of Earth’s lithosphere and upper mantle.”

Read More

Olsen, N., D. Ravat, C. C. Finlay, and L. K. Kother
LCS-1: A high-resolution global model of the lithospheric magnetic field derived from CHAMP and Swarm satellite observations
Geophys. J. Int.211, 1461–1477, doi:10.1093/gji/ggx381 2017

Detailed Lithospheric Magnetics – 250 Metre Resolution

ESA has just released the most detail magnetic data on the lithosphere from its Swarm three satellite constellation.  Launched on 22 November 2013, Swarm is the fourth in a series of pioneering Earth Explorer research missions, following on from GOCE, SMOS and CryoSat. Is also ESA’s first constellation of satellites to advance our understanding of how Earth works.

This is the most detailed map ever of the tiny magnetic signals generated by Earth’s lithosphere. The map, a video of which is seen here.  The data is being used to understand more about Earth’s geological history, is thanks to four years’ of measurements from ESA’s trio of Swarm satellites, historical data from the German CHAMP satellite and observations from ships and aircraft.

Erwan Thebault from the University of Nantes in France said, “This is the highest resolution model of the lithospheric magnetic field ever produced.  “With a scale of 250 km, we can see structures in the crust like never before. And, we have gained even finer detail in some parts of the crust, such as beneath Australia, where measurements from aircraft have mapped at resolution of 50 km.

“This combined use of satellite and near-surface measurements gives us a new understanding of the crust beneath our feet, and will be of enormous value to science.”

Map of field vertical component Z, at the Earth’s surface from the LCS-1 model for spherical harmonic degrees n-16-185. Green lines are isochrones.

Most of Earth’s magnetic field is generated deep within the outer core by an ocean of superheated, swirling liquid iron, but there are also much weaker sources of magnetism. The Swarm constellation has been used to yield some discoveries about these more elusive signals, such as that from Earth’s lithosphere. A small fraction of the magnetic field comes from magnetised rocks in the upper lithosphere, which includes Earth’s rigid crust and upper mantle. This lithospheric magnetic field is very weak and therefore difficult to detect from space. As new oceanic crust is created through volcanic activity, iron-rich minerals in the upwelling magma are oriented to magnetic north at the time and solidified as the magma cools. Since magnetic poles flip back and forth over time, the solidified magma due to mantle upwelling at mid-oceanic ridges forms magnetic ‘stripes’ on the seafloor which provide a record of Earth’s magnetic history. These magnetic imprints on the ocean floor can be used as a sort of time machine, allowing past field changes to be reconstructed and showing the movement of tectonic plates from hundreds of million years ago until the present day.

More: 

ESA Swarm Overview

Swarm Press Release

 

Mt Semeru Volcano Trek – YOU Are Invited

Mt Semeru -Indonesia (Courtesy Indo Trekkers)

I am planning a trek up Java’s highest (and active) volcano, Mt Semeru at 3,676m ASL.  The trek will start in Jakarta with flights to Malang and then vehicles to the start of the trek.   Schedule:

  • Arrive Jakarat May 6th
  • Depart to Malang May 7th
  • Return to Malang and Jakarta May11th.

Cost including all accomodation from 6th through the 11th inclusive, including 2 nights in Jakarta and two dinners which will include presentations from local geologists, transfers, all meals (dedicated camp cook) and personal porter.  A data package on the geology and volcanology of East Java will be provided in paper and GIS formats prior to departure.  Cost includes . COST:  US$1,100

This is a demanding trek, no climbing skills required however.  Please message us in the event that you wish to participate. Does not include travel/medical insurance coverage.  You will be required to show proof of coverage and execute a waiver before participation.

First Thermogenic Oil Seeps Discovered Onshore Jamaica

The recent discovery of two thermogenic oil seeps 70 km apart onshore Jamaica, suggests that a previously unrecognised hydrocarbon system may well be present.

Windsor Gas Seep

A natural gas seep at St Ann, Windsor, in northern  Jamaica is a well-known tourist attraction and money earner for locals, offering amongst other things, its healing properties (hey, whatever does it for you man!). These recent discoveries are the first reported oil seeps.

Chris Machette-Downes visited the seep and  reported:

The seep is of dry gas and is guarded enthusiastically by a local Rastafarian. My attempts to sample the gas in 2006 were met with some resistance as using a gas syringes in the sacred spring was considered offensive until some Jamaican dollars were presented. The gas proved to be very dry, almost pure Methane, but with an isotopic signature that suggests that it is thermogenic in origin. The origin is unknown, but a Cretaceous or older source is indicated. The St Ann’s Great River Inlier is one of the 26 Cretaceous inliers that occur on the Island in an otherwise Tertiary setting.

Jamaica Oil and Gas Potential

The JEBCO Alliance in 2004 undertook a multiclient study and reported that  of the 11 wells drilled in Jamaica, all but one encountered oil and gas shows.  They identified three petroleum systems in the data with the most important being a middle Eocene pro-delat source.  In the offshore Walton #1 well the middle Eocene occupied a 700 metre interval.  JEBCO defined reservoir objectives within the middle Eocene, delta-associated sequence, reef sequences and detrital products.  Assuming a 50% fill of the mapped carbonate targets would imply potential for 2.8 BBO or 10.6 Tcf.

The Windsor #1 well was drilled in northern Jamaica near the St Ann gas seep and encountered oils similar to others in the Caribbean Region.

Remarkably, the three broad elements that comprise the essence of the Caribbean plate (the Lower Nicaraguan Rise, or Siuna Terrane; the Upper Nicaraguan Rise, or Chortis; and part of the Great Caribbean Arc or northern periphery of the Caribbean plate or platelets) can also be identified though petroleum geochemistry. Windsor #1 well in the north of the island was drilled in a terrain that has strong affinities with the geology of the Yucatan in Mexico. If one compares the oil fingerprint, using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and stable isotope ratio distributions, there is a near identical match with the Belmopan oil found in Belize, 1,000 km to the west. The match is so close that it is as if the Belmopan field has been cut in two, with one portion perhaps residing on the North Coast of Jamaica in what is called the North Coast Block.  Chris Machette-Downes

Comparison of oils from Windsor #1, Jamaica, a Belmopan field oil from Belize and the Smackover Formation in Arkansas Image After Machette-Downes, C., Jebco Alliance 2004
Seep Sampling Program and Results

CGG GeoConsulting and the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) have announced the discovery of two independent live oil seeps from different parts of the island of Jamaica. This significant find marks the first documented occurrence of ‘live’, or flowing, oil from onshore Jamaica and will be of particular interest to oil explorationists focused on Central America and the Caribbean.

Live oil seeps in Jamaica

The oil seeps were found during fieldwork for a recently completed multi-client Robertson Study (Red Book) of the petroleum potential of on- and offshore Jamaica entitled ‘Petroleum Geological Evaluation of Jamaica’ made jointly by CGG GeoConsulting and PCJ. Subsequent detailed geochemical analyses confirmed the oil seeps originate from two separate Cretaceous source rocks. These results are included within the study, which gives a detailed account of the petroleum geology of this frontier region of the Caribbean. It comprises over 1,300 new geochemical, biostratigraphic and sedimentological analyses of over 800 individual outcrop, well, corehole and seep samples collected from Jamaica.

Jamaica and its offshore basins remain relatively underexplored. Oil or gas shows have been seen in ten of the eleven exploration wells drilled to date. The discovery of these seeps indicates the presence of working petroleum systems on the island that are generating and expelling liquid hydrocarbons to the surface. The Robertson Study offers a valuable tool for oil explorationists to quickly become familiar with the geology of Jamaica and is available for purchase from CGG.

CGG sampling live oil seep, Jamaica

Sophie Zurquiyah, Senior Executive Vice President, Geology, Geophysics & Reservoir, CGG, said: “This exciting discovery of live oil onshore Jamaica, based on our joint study with PCJ, builds a strong case for the island as an attractive region for future oil exploration within the Caribbean. The insights and promising outcome of the study demonstrate the value that CGG’s broad geoscience expertise combined with the integration of field geology, laboratory analyses and seismic interpretation can bring for high-grading frontier regions for future oil exploration.”

Original Article

Morgan Stanley predicting lithium carbonate prices to fall by 45% to 2020

Morgan Stanley report today that they expect lithium carbonate prices to drop from the current level of US$ 13,375/t to US$ 7,030/t by 2020.  This is far lower than the consensus view after lithium prices surged 100% in the last 2 years.

Substantial supply increases are driving their forecast, with Morgan Stanley reporting that the largest producers in Chile are planning on adding 500,000 tonnes per year in new mine supply by 2025.  This supply would swamp the anticipated growth in demand from battery production.  Indeed Morgan Stanley predict that the lithium market will go into surplus in 2019… and stay there.

The firm has downgraded two of the largest producers, Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB) and Sociedad Quimica y Minera S.A. (SQM: NYSE SQM)  which are planning to bring an additional 200,000 tonnes of lithium on stream by 2025.  This will cement the position of Chile as the largest global producer with a  >30% share.

Most of the lithium hopefuls listed on western stock-exchanges have used lithium carbonate prices in the range of US$11,000 and 13,500/t in economic studies and the majority of these projects would struggle if prices were to tumble.  Given the rush to lithium of recent times and the nature of commodity markets we suspect that Morgan Stanley are likely correct.  Even a dramatic increase in market penetration for electric cars (which now seems increasingly unlikely given the growing trend away from government subsidies) would do little to change the supply demand dynamic in the coming few years unless the fall in price is sufficiently steep as to stop or delay some of the larger projects now being contemplated.  Now that is always a possibility.

An exception may be spodumene producers like Pilbara Minerals Limited (ASX: PLS) which showed a >50% return on investment in a planned expansion at a spodumene price of US$550/t, a 60% discount to the current spot.

Drillhole cross-section Pilgangoora lithium mine

 

 

Institutional Investors led the way in proxy fights in 2017 and won!

Canadian law firm Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP has released its as always engaging review of proxy contests in Canada during 2017.

A proxy fight is an unfriendly contest for the control of in this case, a public listed company.  Proxy fights usually occur when shareholders become unhappy with management’s behaviour (corporate governance) or where economic outcomes are disappointing and generally involve disputes over directorships and management positions.

The disaffected group, sometimes a corporate activist, will solicit the proxies of shareholders via a proxy solicitation.  A proxy allows for an individual or institution to become the shareholders authorised representative.

Incumbent directors and management have a number of distinct advantages over the disaffected shareholder group.  They have access to the corporate treasury and can use it in a largely unrestricted manner, they can hire very expensive proxy solicitation firms, can engage in disparaging public relations campaigns though their existing public relations and shareholder list channels and lastly they can rely on the corporations law requirements to easily disqualify entire actions or individual proxies.  Boards can simply ignore the actions of disaffected groups who then must rely on the courts to seek remedy.

I have been involved in a number of proxy battles.  I have initiated and managed two and actively participated in a  third, all of which were  resounding successes for the dissidents.  A proxy fight should not be considered lightly,  it can be very public, is time-consuming and expensive and outcomes can be uncertain.  

The Fasken study concludes:

The number of proxy fights is about the same for the last three years, 2015-2017

75% of proxy contests targeted small capitalisation companies
Unlike 2016, when management dominated and largely lost,  institutional investors dominated the proxy contests in Canada during 2017 and won

If you get the opportunity attend the Fasken lectures at their offices in Toronto during the 2018 PDAC.   They were most informative in 2017.  Contact them here.

Resources

Ethical boardroom Article
How do proxy fights work
Typical proxy solicitation firm
Harvard Law School Library  – Proxy fights

We are Back – Blame the SQuirreL

https://flic.kr/p/6jnhP8
An eastern fox squirrel. (Photo: Dawn/flickr)

Why am I always getting the Blame.  I had nothing to do with the lack of posts on this Blog I was far too busy with gathering fat-rich nuts, defending my territory and finding a mate before the winter.  Nope nothing to do with me.

OK  – it was not the Squirrel but the SQL  – our bad!

This is the culprit, a corrupt SQL file that did not allow any posts! Nothing to do with Squirrels as such.

A vexing little corruption that took the good people at Urban Design in Phonm Penh a day to resolve.  I strongly recommend Urban Design Studio for innovative and unique graphic and website designs.  From simple (!) logo design, to entire branding campaigns and website development, this team is exceptionally professional and cost competitive.

 

Urban Design Studio -Strongly Recommended for your corporate and website designs.

You can contact Urban Design Here.  Ask for Mark Lind or Sreychen Sok.

Now that we are back online –  its time to publish some materials.  There are a few projects that are evolving including a study of the relationship between CFCs and ozone, an analysis of the reported Fukushima radiation levels and releases and much more.

3D Animations – Recsk Cu-Au Deposits, Hungary

Following the publication of the paper (noted below) on the epithermal portion of the Recsk metallogenic system in Hungary here are 3D models from the entirely concealed Cu-Au mineralized intrusive bodies and related Cu-Au skarns and outbound Zn-Pb replacement bodies.

Ore Mineralogy and Fluid Inclusion Constraints on the Temporal and Spatial Evolution of a High-Sulfidation Epithermal Cu-Au-Ag Deposit in the Recsk Ore Complex, Hungary

A 3D fly-though of the Recsk Cu-Au deposit showing the drilling, channel samples and interpolated copper grade shells.  A full set of 100 metre spaced section steps through the deposit from north to south over several kilometres.

A section through the Recsk deposit with drilling and copper grade shells.  The section is 200 metres thick and the 0.3% grade shell is 800 metres high and 1,000 metres wide.  The Cu-Au skarn mineralisation can be seen dipping gently away from the large intrusive body.  The intrusion is open at depth below 1,200 metres. The top of the 10.3% copper grade shell is approximately 400 metres below the surface.

This 3D Model is based upon 156,000 metres of surface drilling over 35 square kilometres, 9km of underground development and 90,000 metres of underground drilling.

The Recsk metallogenic centre consists of a deep and entirely preserved mineralised intrusive and intermediate and high sulphidation epithermal deposits exposed at surface.  The epithermal deposits are located close to the apex of the intrusion.  The diorite intrusion is hosted by a thick sequence of Eocene carbonates unconformably overlain by a volcanic edifice.  Adjacent to the intrusion the carbonates host thick Cu-Au skarns.  Outbound of the Cu-Au skarns, Zn-Pb replacement bodies have been intersected in wide spaced drillholes.  In this video we present a section through the deposit.  The 3D model is based upon 156,000 metres of drilling from surface, 9 km of underground sampling on the 700 and 900 metre levels and 89,000 metres of underground diamond drilling.  Underground access was provided by two 1,200 metre deep shafts, 2,000 metres apart.  The shafts have an 8 metre internal diameter and are concrete lined.  No mining has been undertaken at the deeper Recsk mineralisation aside from bulk metallurgical sampling.

 

 

A Ketogenic Diet Extends Longevity and Healthspan

A very interesting study in Cell Metabolism demonstrates that energy-controlled high-fat low carbohydrate diets are not detrimental to health, but rather a ketogenic diet (with a very high proportion of fat) extends lifespan and slows age-related decline in physiological function in mice.

Graphical abstract. Study shows increased longevity, improved motor function and memory in aging mice and no weight gain where calorific intake is managed.

For information on ketogenic diets in humans

Download the Full Paper

Calorie restriction (CR) has long been shown to increase longevity in animal models.  However longitudinal studies in humans are not possible.  The exact mechanism for contributing to increased longevity in CR animal models remains unresolved however it has long been recognised that CR induces a shift from carbohydrate to fat metabolism.  Low carbohydrate diets (LCD) have been shown to induce a shift from carbohydrate towards fatty acid oxidation metabolism.

In this paper the authors have studied the most extreme LCD, the ketogenic diet in an animal model.  They studied mice by strictly regulating their diet and generated three cohorts:  LCD group fed 70% of their kcal as fat, a KD group fed 89% of their kcal as fat and a control group fed 65% of their kcal as carbohydrate.

The results of the study have confirm earlier studies which showed that a KD promoted an anti-inflammatory metabolic state with elevated blood ketone levels comparable to CR.  This study however goes well beyond previous studies following the population from birth to post-mortem. The primary objective of this study was the evaluate the influence of LCD and KD on longevity and health-markers in mice.

The results of this study include:

  • The results clearly demonstrate that lifespan is increased in mice consuming a KD  when a feeding strategy is followed that mitigates weight gain in adult mice.  It is often assumed that a high-fat diet will shorten life expectancy  however, this study indicate that a calorie-controlled LCD started in middle-aged mice does not have a negative impact on aging.  Further evidence does not support the idea that level of protein is primarily responsible for the increased longevity;
  • This study shows that a KD slows cognitive decline and preserves motor function in aging mice.  KD maximizes and preserves forelimb grip strength with age. Respiratory quotient was decreased by an LCD or a KD compared to a control diet.
  • KD mice showed glucose intolerance however insulin sensitivity after a 4 hr fast was enhanced by a KD if compared to the LCD, indicating that insulin signalling is functioning normally in mice fed a KD
  • Ketones would appear to positively impact muscle homeostasis and may play an important role as neuro-protective signalling molecules
  • The level of acetylated p53, a key tumour suppressor protein, was 10-fold higher in liver after 1 month on a KD and as a likely consequence, incidence of tumours at time of death, particularly histiocytic sarcoma, was decreased with a KD

For information on ketogenic diets in humans

Download the Full Paper

 

A Ketogenic Diet Extends Longevity and Healthspan in Adult Mice

Megan N. Roberts, Marita A. Wallace, Alexey A. Tomilov, Zeyu Zhou, George R. Marcotte, Dianna Tran, Gabriella Perez, Elena Gutierrez-Casado, Shinichiro Koike, Trina A. Knotts, Denise M. Imai,
Stephen M. Griffey, Kyoungmi Kim, Kevork Hagopian, Fawaz G. Haj,
Keith Baar, Gino A. Cortopassi, Jon J. Ramsey, Jose Alberto Lopez-Dominguez

ABSTRACT

Calorie restriction, without malnutrition, has been shown to increase lifespan and is associated with a shift away from glycolysis toward beta-oxidation. The objective of this study was to mimic this meta­bolic shift using low-carbohydrate diets and to deter­mine the influence of these diets on longevity and healthspan in mice. C57BL/6 mice were assigned to a ketogenic, low-carbohydrate, or control diet at 12 months of age and were either allowed to live their natural lifespan or tested for physiological func­tion after 1 or 14 months of dietary intervention. The ketogenic diet (KD) significantly increased median lifespan and survival compared to controls. In aged mice, only those consuming a KD displayed preser­vation of physiological function. The KD increased protein acetylation levels and regulated mTORC1 signaling in a tissue-dependent manner. This study demonstrates that a KD extends longevity and healthspan in mice.

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