Back home for a bit

Hi anyone who’s still out there.

I’m back for a month. Anything anybody wants to talk about?


28 responses to “Back home for a bit

  1. Hey Tom, glad to have you back.

    I’ll admit this up front, I am not a fan of windmills. I live in Southern Minnesota, near the Iowa border, and my night sky has become urbanized. Everywhere one looks from horizon to horizon the sky is dominated by red blinky lights.

    I believe you are a fan of them or at least that you believe they have a place in the energy mix. However, from what I see they are ridiculous from both an energy and economic perspective.

    I would like to hear the other side.

    Put it this way, if you had a dollar to invest, where would you put it to get the most carbon reducing bang for the buck? I would think it would be in a natural gas power plant.

    Beyond that, why aren’t we hearing more about telecommuting from the green crowd? One would think it would be a perfect cause for them… but then no makes money on it….

    • Hi Greg,

      If I had a dollar to invest and my sole purpose was to reduce carbon I wouldn’t put it into natural gas, solely because they don’t need my dollar. I’d choose something that is in the investor valley of death, where good ideas die for lack of investor interest. Maybe a shared solar community scheme like Mosaic, or a modular nuke reactor maker. Somebody trying to put up ground source heat pumps.

      • I wouldn’t put it into natural gas, solely because they don’t need my dollar.

        I couldn’t have asked for a wiser response. I guess that is why I like this site.

        Ground source heat pumps, interesting…. My brother-in-law did that on his bin site. He’s got the land and an excavator to do it. It is an interesting concept.

        You see these corporate headquarters with large parking lots, what could be better than putting a heat-pump system under them? It is an expensive option but once you have sunk the cost…. it keeps on paying…

  2. Tom, Welcome back. I just saw a request for your input on the latest EIA report over at JC’s latest blog post-

    I’ll bet you can add a few examples on how delusion and deception have creep into our efforts to address CO2 levels.

    “Delusion and

    Deception in Large

    Infrastructure Projects:



    Bent Flyvbjerg

    Massimo Garbuio

    Dan Lovallo

    “On the other hand, a second explanation in terms of public interest covers

    the not uncommon situation where project promoters believe their venture

    will benefit society and posterity. They feel that they should do anything possible

    to make the project happen, including cooking forecasts of costs and benefits.

    Both types of public-interest explanations see the end (project approval) as justifying

    the means (estimates of costs and benefits that show the project should be


  3. Tom,
    Welcome back! Sorry I won’t be heading out to the West Coast any time. Are you staying put while you are here, or will you be travelling some?
    and do tell us what you can about how it is ‘over there’.

  4. Welcome back.

    • Wind was never viable.
      It has been a worldwide shakedown by insiders with access to government subsidies.

      • I would say that industrial wind was never viable. Small scale turbines linked directly to applications that could make do with intermittent power could have been cost effective.
        The problem is that we took the one energy technology that has diseconomies of scale and insisted on big is better.

      • Good points. Wind is not a scalable technology. But it has been huge for the hedge funds and other insiders. In the same spirit as the reinsurance companies profiting from the promotion of AGW hype to justify higher rates.


    I’ve been hearing about parts of this report for 2 years now. The curious thing is that the methane first appears in the aquifer after the horizontal drilling but BEFORE the fracking.

    In 1970, PA’s constitution was changed so that a governor can can run for two terms. Since then every sitting governor has been reelected without a significant challenge from the opposing party much less a primary fight. This time is different. Tom Corbett was elected in 2010 promising to make PA the OPEC of natural gas gas. So far his only accomplishments have been making PA the most fracking freindly state in the NE and firing Joe Paterno. His popularity is at a record low for a sitting PA governor. Both Dems and Repubs are treating the governorship as an open seat.
    At least one, maybe two, Republicans seeking to primary Corbett are antifracking; and it seems for good old republican reasons. It is not adding up as an economic plus for the areas being fracked, even ignoring the groundwater problem. The major company, Chesapeake, is simply not paying the expected royalties. Towns are seeing their roads and real estate value destroyed and not getting what they were promised.

    • Marty,
      Why is it that any claim against fracking is credible with some people, yet definitive studies showing fracking is not damaging ground water get ignored by those same people?

      • See the link in the post above this one.

        “Why is it that any claim against fracking is credible with some people, yet definitive studies showing fracking is not damaging ground water get ignored by those same people?” I could ask why the opposite is true.

  7. You mean the part of the report where it was shown that gas has been leaching into aquifers naturally since long before drilling?
    The ‘tell’ for a misleading report is when they gloss over the scale of the problem, as this report does- where is the ppm or ppb of the alleged problem? As to long term methane exposure, studying cattle and otherss whose digestion involves methane, and the lack of health issues, might just give some other hints as to why even this EPA, as out of control and reg-happy as they are, have backed away from the madness of anti-frackers.
    As to the royalties, royalties are based on the market price of gas.
    An abundance of natural gas has driven prices down.
    Most people think cheaper energy is a good thing.

  8. Welcome back Mr. Fuller. I trust you continue to flourish like the green Bay tree.

    Kindest regards

    • Just to clarify this link. I am not endorsing the Counterpunch site or the political analysis of the article.
      The Marcellus shale has a lot of vertical cracks which have probably always leaked minute amounts of gas. The horizontal drilling connects them. The real complaints about fracking started when it was used in conjunction with horizontal drilling.
      We’re not even getting into the waste water disposal.

  9. Interesting comment over at WUWT:

    Steve McIntyre says:
    August 7, 2013 at 6:40 am
    The nuclear power industry funded many of the early climate change advocates in the 1980s. The Carbon Dioxide Information Center was hosted by the Oak Ridges Laboratory and funded Jones, Wigley, Mike MacCracken, etc. Michael Mann’s postdoc was funded from Oak Ridges. So there’s long precedent for an association.

    • Will you believe it now?

      • M Courtney says:
        August 7, 2013 at 2:17 am
        Why is nuclear power being promoted as green now?

        The answer is that it has been promoted as green for a few years by Monbiot in the Guardian (and a few others) for one reason only – to save the world from Climate Change.
        The dangers of cAGW have been hyped so much (to permit the use of the Precautionary Principle) that nuclear becomes permissible.

        Think about the Precautionary Principle: The dangers that are to be averted must be an order of magnitude worse than any cost and irreversible – otherwise we wait for the evidence.

        That means nuclear comes into play – so why now?
        Because the pause in temperature rise means the Precautionary Principle is being dusted down and taken out of the cupboard.
        There is no other evidence so they have to say we can’t wait for the “pause” to stop.

        Anothe comment from the same thread.

    • That’s interesting and hardly seems coincidental. We’ve chatted about that more than once, haven’t we?

      • It couldn’t be more obvious. What is curious is why so many commentors just ignore it. At WUWT there is a guest article by Joseph Somsel where he flat out says that Gore did not mention nuclear in An Inconvenient Truth. Did he watch the film? Gore had a perfect nuke voting record. He once led congress in nuclear campaign money. His CAGW mentor was out of Oak Ridge. Duh.

      • Marty, *if* the nuke industry is playing such a devious game regarding AGW, they are foolish, to say it nicely.
        Nuclear is the one solution that actually works.
        The money pissed away on wind and solar could have been used to get nuclear up and running again in the US.

  10. Tom,
    How is the visit going?

  11. The following appeared in a local newspaper which used to be very pro-fracking.
    What happened to cheap natural gas?

    Are you kidding me? Front page of the Erie Times-News City&Region section, “National Fuel to raise gas rates” (Aug. 1).

    Supposedly we are sitting on the largest supply of natural gas in the galaxy, while the supply is abundant, the prices are going up. Are you kidding me?

    Oh, I forgot, we need to sell the abundant supply to overseas countries, while Americans pay through the nose.

    Gov. Tom Corbett signed Act 13, giving the oil and gas companies the right to drill anywhere, seize private property, affect the environment and apparently charge whatever they want. Are you kidding me?

    I wonder where Corbett will be working after he loses this election. There is a difference between “need” and “greed.” Obviously greed trumps all. Are you kidding me?

    Dennis ManendoErie

  12. Tom,
    How long you staying? Get caught up on your sleep yet?

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