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Iceberg Alley Blues

Iceberg Alley Blues

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Published by Ian Thorpe
With wind and solar power looking less and less like contenders to take over from fossil fuels and the big money interests behind big oil, big coal and big Koch determinedly ignoring several energy sources that are proven reliable, are absolutely free, clean and sustainable, shale gas looks like the only hope of keeping the lights on and the wheels turning. But there are unknown risks involved with the extraction porogram. Looks like we are stuck with what we have for now. but at what cost?
With wind and solar power looking less and less like contenders to take over from fossil fuels and the big money interests behind big oil, big coal and big Koch determinedly ignoring several energy sources that are proven reliable, are absolutely free, clean and sustainable, shale gas looks like the only hope of keeping the lights on and the wheels turning. But there are unknown risks involved with the extraction porogram. Looks like we are stuck with what we have for now. but at what cost?

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Published by: Ian Thorpe on May 04, 2013
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Iceberg Ally Blues – The Fracking Truth About Our Energy Future by Ian R Thorpe.

Feel the burn

According to geologists there is enough natural gas to fuel our electrical power needs for hundreds of years trapped in layers of shale deep underground. Naturally these is a lot of controversy about this. The watermelons (green on bthe outside, red on the inside) are totally against is as exploiting the reserves would shift the balance of power in the energy industry back towards the fossil fuel generators. On the other hand there are many sensible commentators who are not screaming that our bathtaps will pump gas into homes, lakes and rivers will burst into flames and we will all be poisoned by toxic drinking water but are expressing sensible concerns about what harmful longer term effects the process of extracting the shale gas might have. Let's look at a few:

from Global research 'More than 70 years ago, a chemical attack was launched against Washington State and Nevada. It poisoned people, animals, everything that grew, breathed air, and drank water. The Marshall Islands were also struck. This formerly pristine Pacific atoll was branded “the most contaminated place in the world.” As their cancers developed, the victims of atomic testing and nuclear weapons development got a name: downwinders. What marked their tragedy was the darkness in which they were kept about what was being done to them. Proof of harm fell to them, not to the U.S. government agencies responsible. Now, a new generation of downwinders is getting sick as an emerging industry pushes the next wonder technology — in this case, high-volume hydraulic fracturing. Whether they live in Texas, Colorado, or Pennsylvania, their symptoms are the same: rashes, nosebleeds, severe headaches, difficulty breathing, joint pain, intestinal illnesses, memory loss, and more. “In my opinion,” says Yuri Gorby of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, “what we see unfolding is a serious health crisis, one that is just beginning.”' from Eco Watch 'Wilber, author of the 2012 book Under the Surface: Fracking, Fortunes and the Fate of the Marcellus Shale, said the natural gas industry is different than almost every other type of industry in terms of the exemptions and the nondisclosure agreements under which it operates. All of this secrecy, “doesn’t give people a true idea of what all of the risks are,” he explained. “And part of my job is to show what the industry is rather than just the glossy public relations image of itself.” Methane migration is a particularly hot-button issue in the overall discussion on fracking. Wilber has written extensively on the topic and understands that

methane does occur naturally in water wells. But as for Dimock, PA, one of the battleground towns where the industry and local residents have fought over the issue of methane migration, Wilber reminds his readers that the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)—often perceived by anti-fracking activists as a friend of industry–concluded that the methane polluting the aquifer under the town was thermogenic, from deeper producing formations, rather than biogenic or naturally occurring gas that collects in shallow seeps.'

For and Against Fracking E & T (Engineering and Technology Magazine) For:<br /> Shale Gas refers to natural gas trapped within sedimentary shale rock formations and is found abundantly in many regions of the world. Recent advances in technology such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’) have meant that access to this valuable resource is now viable.Onshore oil and gas exploration is the best, most transformative energy story since the transition from coal to oil a century ago. This is because what we are getting is a far cleaner and more economic source of energy than its predecessors or competitors. Even though gas is a fossil fuel in replacing coal for electricity - which is the global goal - it means that we can reduce CO2 emissions by more than 50 per cent. It is also a secure source of energy because it is globally ubiquitous. Against: As any good engineer knows, a complex system will consist of many parts with potentially many dependencies between them. Changes in one part of a system can have knock-on effects in many other places. The system that is human society is particularly large, complex and interdependent, but this does not

make it immune from the physical laws that govern all systems. This system is, at present, fuelled almost entirely by fossil fuels but this is a relatively recent phenomenon. Fossil fuels are finite though, and the rate at which they are being burned is staggering. After slowing in the 1970s, growth in extraction has almost ground to a halt in the last decade. While this has come as no surprise to those familiar with the work of M King Hubbard, the economists were right about one thing; that shortages would raise prices, which would encourage new extraction techniques. The question is whether this is a good thing or not. * So with the jury still out on shale gas, wind and solar proving unreliable and nowhere near as efficient even under optimal condistions as the scientists claimed they would be, where do we look to keep the lights on and the wheels turning and to met the growing demand for energy from the developing world? Fossil fuels perhaps. Unless the vested interests that have kept the inventions of Nicola Tesla and his scalar wave technology under lock and key for over a century suddenly relent, there seem to be no alternatives. Which leads us to iceberg alley. Follow the coast of Northern Canada from Baffin Bay down to Newfoundland and you have passed through Iceberg Alley. In the past 200 years, a recorded 560 collisions between ships and icebergs have taken place with many lives lost. In 1982 waves up to 65 feet high sank a drilling ship, the Ocean Ranger, killing 84 people. Why the hell would anybody go looking for oil in such a place? you might well ask.

In 2010 however a British oil exploration company started on the first of four planned exploratory projects in this inhospitable place. Although the United States and Canada have suspended the issue of permits for drilling in the Arctic, Greenland is allowing Scottish firm Cairn Energy to start exploration operations. This desperation for new oil supplies puts into context the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico this year when for three months a broken well gushed crude oil into the waters of the Gulf. How could it happen? people asked. "Why were we drilling at such depths that the reliability of the equipment was a completely unknown quantity and if things did go wrong it could be somewhere between very difficult and impossible to put them right? As Dr Peter Linke, of Germany’s Leibnitz Institute of Marine Sciences, points out, “the risk multiplies exponentially in deep water”. Prof Robert Bea, of the University of California, adds: “We are taking risks we do not understand.” The answer to that is we must take such risks because we have no option. We have no option but to drill in the Arctic. "Yeah, but....no, but .... yeah, but," you say, "what about alternatives. What about wind, solar, biomass?" Why is our apparently unquenchable thirst for fuel is driving us into ever more difficult and dangerous territory, risking even more damaging spills than the one from the stricken Deepwater Horizon rig. Why are we putting lives and fragile, ecologically important environments at risk. According to figures from the US Energy Information Agency the amount of oil consumed PER DAY in the United States during 2008 was a whisker short of 19,500,000 barrels. With 42 gallons per barrel that is over 800 million gallons a day. Looking at higher end estimates of how much oil flowed into the gulf from the Deepwater Horizon rig blowout (74,000 barrels per day) and if we say the spill lasted approximately 100 days that gives a total of 310,000,000 gallons

of oil spilled. Nobody is saying that is good. It's effing terrible in fact, but it is still less than half a normal day's oil consumption for the United States. Seriously, with feet planted firmly on planet reality how long does anyone think it will be before we have developed the technologies to supply energy on that scale to meet the needs of all the world's 6.8 billion people and not just the 300+ million who live in the U.S.A.? Thirty years? Forty years? Meanwhile as the vast populations of China and India begin to enjoy the rising living standards that go with industrialisation, as the teeming masses of Indonesia (280 million) Pakistan (240 million) Bangla Desh (160 million) and other developing nations start to demand their fair share of the goodies then in spite of the efforts by leaders of the developed nations (and what contribution to global warming do they make through all the hot air generated by their expensive chinwags in the world's most exclusive hotels and resorts?) the demand for oil will go on rising. And so we keep drilling despite the risks. The warm waters of the Gulf, located in a relatively benign climate and close to Texas where the leading experts in oil well technology and disaster containment are based is a difficult enough place to work at depth of up to 5000 feet. The Arctic is going to be a lot worse. Apart from the winter temperatures which affect the capabilities of both men and machines, it is very remote. The nearest stores of booms and dispersal chemicals are thousands of miles away, and there are no big ports or international airfields nor even good road and rail links. It would be very difficult to even get the right personnel and equipment to the site of a blowout and twice as difficult again for them to perform effectively. The extreme conditions make an accidents and loss of life much more likely. With no reliable technology for cleaning oil in icy water and the sheer impossibility of working under seas that freeze for half of the year a spill that began in autumn could flow for six months until the spring thaw arrived and allowed work to get under way. And the natural micro-organisms that help degrade oil in warmer waters can’t do the job in colder seas.

Ideally we would decide to let the oil lie on its reservoirs under Iceberg Alley. But look again at that 800,000,000 gallons per day the United States needs just to keep the show on the road. As Iceberg Alley is estimated to contain between 10 and 15% of the world's known remaining oil reserves letting it stay in the ground is a luxury we cannot afford. The coming decades promise to be a rough ride in many ways. We must learn to cope with disasters in the form of oil spills, floods, famines, heatwaves, droughts, big chills and "all the heartache and the thousand shocks that flesh is heir to." Humans will cope, will survive, we always do (and if we fail nobody wi;ll be left to care). We will equip ourselves to survive so much better however if we learn to ignore the Fear and Panic merchants and rather than addressing problems that might or might not arise because some mathematical model says we should we prepare for what we know may go wrong and deal only with real problems as and when they arise. Guide for Calculating Energy Equivalents I have no doubt that the truth hating Warmageddonist liberals will try to use lies, distortions and misrepresentations to suggest all the information in the above article is fralse. To counter that I have provided information to facilitate checking of the quoted figures. The amount of energy represented by one gigajoule is equivalent to about 30 litres of gasoline, 39 litres of propane, 278 kilowatt-hours of electricity or 45.5 kilograms of coal (source) Energy Units and Conversions 1 Joule (J) is the MKS unit of energy, equal to the force of one Newton acting through one meter. 1 Watt is the power of a Joule of energy per second Power = Current x Voltage (P = I V) 1 Watt is the power from a current of 1 Ampere flowing through 1 Volt. 1 kilowatt is a thousand Watts.

1 kilowatt-hour is the energy of one kilowatt power flowing for one hour. (E = P t). 1 calorie of heat is the amount needed to raise 1 gram of water 1 degree Centigrade. 1 calorie (cal) = 4.184 J (The Calories in food ratings are actually kilocalories.) A BTU (British Thermal Unit) is the amount of heat necessary to raise one pound of water by 1 degree Farenheit (F). 1 British Thermal Unit (BTU) = 1055 J (The Mechanical Equivalent of Heat Relation) 1 BTU = 252 cal = 1.055 kJ 1 Quad = 1015 BTU (World energy usage is about 300 Quads/year, US is about 100 Quads/year in 1996.) 1 therm = 100,000 BTU 1,000 kWh = 3.41 million BTU Power Conversion. 1 horsepower (hp) = 745.7 watts Gas Volume to Energy Conversion One thousand cubic feet of gas (Mcf) -> 1.027 million BTU = 1.083 billion J = 301 kWh One therm = 100,000 BTU = 105.5 MJ = 29.3 kWh 1 Mcf -> 10.27 therms Energy Content of Fuels Coal Crude Oil Oil Gasoline gallon 25 million BTU/ton 5.6 million BTU/barrel 5.78 million BTU/barrel = 1700 kWh / barrel 5.6 million BTU/barrel (a barrel is 42 gallons) = 1.33 therms /

Natural gas liquids Natural gas Wood

4.2 million BTU/barrel 1030 BTU/cubic foot 20 million BTU/cord

CO2 Pollution of Fossil Fuels Pounds of CO2 per billion BTU of energy: Coal Oil 208,000 pounds 164,000 pounds

Natural Gas 117,000 pounds Ratios of CO2 pollution: Oil / Natural Gas = 1.40 Coal / Natural Gas = 1.78 Pounds of CO2 per 1,000 kWh, at 100% efficiency: Coal Oil 709 pounds 559 pounds

Natural Gas 399 pounds

RELATED POSTS: New Development Makes Hydrogen Look Like A Realistic Hope For Replacing Fossil Fuels Scientists have adopted the principles of photosynthesis to develop a way of separating hydrogen from other elementsin a development that offers a possible solution to global energy problems. Researchers claim their discovery could help realise the potential of hydrogen as a clean, cheap, renewable and reliable power source. Unlike fossil fuels, hydrogen can be ... Spain dumps clean-energy subsidies; promptly watches the industry go down like a sinking ship The news that Spain has dumped it's loonytoons green energy policy will surprise few people who

have followed the wind turbine scam. Wind power as a source of energy is unreliable and inefficient and it was only in a fit of green socialist insanity Spain's previous government committed that beleagured nation to meeting the bulk of its energy needs from wind and sun powreed generators. The scientists who advised them forgot it goes dark for approximately half the time and the wind blows when it feels like blowing. Fracking And Shale Gas Extraction Blamed For Lancashire Earth Tremors Shale gas in the bedrock under Lancashire could probably meet Britain's gas needs for 250 years. The process for extracting it, fracking, is controversial however and has been linked with minor earth tremors and seismic events. Xavier Connelly puts the risks and benefits in perspective. Oil Shale Salvation Recent discoveries of huge gas and oil bearing shale deposits in the USA, Canada, Russia and under Britain's territorial waters as well as off the Falkland Islands and in the Antarctic are raising false hope of an early end to the energy crisis and food price inflation. What is the reality of these new oil and gas reserves, do they really offer the economies of the developed world salvation and a return to business as usual.

The future? Only if we can control the wind

Rare Earth Mine Reopens - Triumph For Common Sense. Politicians and the science community rave about how carbon is destroying the planet. But what's the truth about how clean green energy will be. Rare earth metals used in digital devices, electric car batteries, wind turbines and many other processes that are being promoted as necessary to restart the global economy. Mining and refining the ores is a huge pollutant but new mining licences are being granted ever so quietly. Coal Fired Power Stations Win Reprieve In what looks like a u-turn on green energy policy the coalition government have abandoned plans to support and subsidiese operators of sustainable energy generating plants. While environment activists and green campaigners are calling this a betrayal the case may well be that in the harsh reality of governing claims made by green energy firms look totally unrealistic Freaky Frankenstein Fishes Once again we find ouselves questioning the sanctity of science as a new scheme to farm genetically modified (G.M. salmon that grow to twice the size of a normal adult salmon in half the time nears approval by the United States F.D.A.. It this another case of scientists blinding themselves with science and failing to see the very obvious flaws in the plan?</span></A><BR> The Growing Problem Of Rising Food Prices While the warmists rant about carbon and the Church of Scienceology Cult rave about climate science. there are threee real and immediate problems facing us that nobody is talking about. These are overpopulation, water shortage and food price inflation. This article deals with food prices, links at the bottom lead to our posts on population and water scarcity. How Our Creature Comforts Are Baking The World As the arguments rage on between the Climate Science Wankers lobby and the sceptics, realists and out and out deniers we observe that still nobody who gets media coverage, nobody who is talking sense about climate chaos, carbon based fuels, deforestation or over population is really being heard. Quite simply there are too many of us and we want too much. Who needs science or politics to understand that?

The Futility Of Wind Farms. In some ways the Conservative / Liberal Democrat coalition has made quite a good start in government. One area they are set to fail badly however is energy. Driven by politically correct thinking the coalition are set to follow Labour down the road that goes through wind power and

eventually leads nowhere. Wind turbines look fine on paper. If they generate at their optimum output for 365 days a year the contribution to energy needs looks like a viable business proposition. The problem is due to the limitations of the technology and the vagaries of the weather wind farms are doing well if they operate at a quarter of their potential output.</span></A><BR> Climate Change Crooks And Liars Though climate change alarmists claim that that "the science is settled" no longerr holds water the arguments rage on. If anything they are getting more heated as the climate science lobby, knocked from the moral high grounds show their true colours. But more and more evidence is showing the climate change science was never settled and the global warming Armageddonists had built their whole case on very flimsy evidence. <A HREF="http://www.authorsden.com/visit/viewpoetry.asp?id=126839">Peccavimus</A><BR> Thinking Is Bad For The Planet Green Scaremongering

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