"Ah, for some nice roast planet, pickled Dems and ....fahvah beans!"
Let us admit right now that about the worst fuel that can be used on this planet is coal. As Bill Nye ('the Science Guy') explained last night on 'The Last Word', it is the stuff of ancient plants that existed millions of years ago. And not just in any era, but a very high CO2 era. Hence, burning coal releases the long sequestered CO2 within it, tipping our planet further toward the runaway greenhouse effect.
Let's also understand that coal mining jobs are decreasing and this is as a result of primarily automation. Coal companies have already cut mining jobs by nearly two thirds since 1985 - because of factors like automation, as well as the fact that fracking produces a bigger 'bang for the fuel' buck for energy companies. But don't tell Donald Trump that. Each day it seems this turkey occupying the highest office in the land knows less and less about less and less.
If not why would this odious gasbag issue yet another "executive order" this time to increase coal production, mesmerized by the "clean coal" oxymoron. Which makes about as much sense as "benign VX nerve agent" ... or "President Trump".
But let's not mince words here, Trump launched an all-out assault on Barack Obama’s climate change legacy on Tuesday with a sweeping executive order that undermines the U.S. commitment to the Paris agreement. The worst aspect? This travesty took place at a ceremony at the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, where BLOTUS FECES signed an order to trigger a review of the clean power plan, Obama’s flagship policy.
No surprise this move was swiftly condemned by environmentalists and climate scientists as a “dangerous” and “embarrassing” attempt to turn back the clock that would do little to revive the U.S. coal industry while threatening cooperation with major polluters such as China and India. In a speech noted for its stupidity and ignorance before he signed the order, Trump promised “a new era in American energy and production and job creation”.
He actually said: “The action I’m taking today will eliminate federal overreach, restore economic freedom and allow our workers and companies to thrive and compete on a level playing field for the first time in a long time. I’m not just talking eight years.”
Trump promised the measures would be “bringing back our jobs, bringing back our dreams and making America wealthy again”.
Don't believe it, not now or ever! Those jobs aren't coming back no matter what this glorified baboon says. The entire energy dynamic no longer supports coal miners. And no amount of Trump wishing it so or tweeting like a drunken canary will make it so. Even if this buffoon thinks of himself as a canary in a clean coal mine.
Adding insult to felonious injury Trump also pledged a future of “clean coal”, and dismissed “the so-called clean power plan” as “a crushing attack on American industry”. The executive order also lifted a moratorium on the sale of new coal leases on federal land, removes “job killing restrictions” on energy production, and returns power to state level. Of course, with no federal oversight most energy generating states will just go hog wild and try to expand fracking, for example, wherever they can. I expect now that Colorado will probably open fracking wells in or near Rocky Mountain National Park.
All of this amount to a recipe for ensuring this planet is uninhabitable for a future generation, say by 2100. Because if the equivalent of 400,000 Hiroshima scale bombs are now being unleashed every year in the atmosphere - comparable to the watts per square meter excess CO2 input from man-made global warming, then Trump's E.O will ensure it hits 500,000 bombs per year equivalent within 8 years.
While the fictional "Hannibal the Cannibal" butchered and ate 36 odd humans over his vile career (usually served with a fine Chianti and fava beans), the EPA estimates that 3,600 more will die each year if Trump's new climate insanity gets implemented.
And yes this nation's wealthy days, at least for the general population, are over. I've gone over the reasons until blue in the face in numerous posts but basically it's because the energy efficiency of our current fuels - that determined by EROEI or energy returned on energy invested- is much less than previously. If you want to talk of a "Peak oil" era we can.
At the heart of these considerations is the concept of net energy (cf. Weisz, in Physics Today, July, 2004, p. 51). Weisz posed this in terms of a concise equation:
Q (net) = Q (PR) – [Q (op) + E/T]
In effect, for break-even oil one would find Q(net) = 0
For the last 700 billion barrels: Q(net) = negative quantity = - QRight now, to fix ideas, we are very nearly at this Q(net) = 0 level with shale oil - which is why once its price falls to much lower than $50 /bl. it makes little economic sense to take it out of the ground. Compared to light sweet crude it is effectively garbage fuel. Bottom line, we need not run out of the stuff before the world economy runs into problems of untold, unspeakable proportions!
Since the rate of energy production (Q (PR) must be debited by the energy consumed for its operation Q(op), and the energy E invested during its “lifetime” T. Thus its Q(PR) will be small in relation to the bracketed quantity. In a similar vein, Richard Heinberg has used the quantity EROEI or ‘Energy returned on energy invested’ which for oil reached a high of 30 (ratio) in the 70s and is still the highest of all energy sources at around 22. Thus, the problem in a nutshell is not “running out of oil’ per se but running out of CHEAP oil.
Alas, fracking shale oil - drilling into shale rock to get kerogen, or alternatively, natural gas, is in fact evidence of grabbing BREAK EVEN oil NOT high EROEI oil! It is a sign of defeat and desperation. not success - just like deep sea drilling for oil.
As Richard Heinberg explains (p. 110) it in his book: 'Snake Oil - How Fracking's False Promise Imperils Our Future':
"No evidence suggests that the technology of fracking has actually raised the EROEI for natural gas production. It temporarily lowered prices but only by glutting the market."
Get that? Adding it to the total world pool of higher quality oil merely "glutted the market". This is also what's dragging your 401k down right now, though yeah, you will catch kind of a break at the pump. Let's also grasp that this crap oil isn't even used here in the U.S. it's shipped off to places like China - where it fouls their skies and creates health havoc along with the CO2 and SO2 from factories and autos.
Given all of this which transpired yesterday, as Austan Goolsbee pointed out to Lawrence O'Donnell last night, what planet is Trump living on? How can he take a sledge hammer to Obama's climate legacy on the one hand and then expect to find comity and work with Dems on the other? Only a nut, a fruitcake who's 52 cards short of a full deck would fail to process the inherent cognitive dissonance.
Thus we have the latest evidence 'the Donald' belongs in a face mask like Hannibal Lecter. Especially after Trump declared some babble the past two days about "working with Democrats" including on infrastructure. No Dem I know in his right mind would want to work with this orange-haired psycho ape, first because he can't even parse the most basic aspects of legislation and how to pass it. And second, well, because everything he touches turns to shit. Look at his foolish health plan and his claim to repeal Obamacare. If anything the win with health care will embolden Dems to further opposition of this maniac, which is the correct political call.
Sadly too many of his numb nut supporters bought into his con, just like the delusional coal miners did yesterday at his dog and pony show.
After Trump's latest load of fake bravado and posturing, Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, offered the best take:
“No matter what any elected official says, rescinding commonsense climate change regulations and popular public health protections will not revive the coal industry or put thousands of miners back to work. Market forces, including consumer preferences and technological advancement, are the primary reason for the surge in cleaner forms of energy. In fact, even without the clean power plan, we are likely to hit its emissions targets ahead of schedule – because consumers, cities and businesses will continue leading on public health and climate change even when Washington won’t.”
He is correct up to a point. Unfortunately, the CO2 already accumulated in the atmosphere over the past 100 years will continue wreaking its havoc as the rising CO2 concentrations disclose. The best we can do now is at least try to ensure the planet is 50 percent livable -while making plans to adapt to what we can in the other 50 percent.