Climate Change Makes Flat and Globally Warm Beer
Summer is here, and a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of – beer! Yes, it wouldn't be summer without that cold, fizzy, golden brew. Beer is as much a part of summer as watermelon, swimming, and barbequing. And not just in the U.S.; the Europeans love their beer, too, and especially the British, who gulp down pints of ale while watching their beloved "football." It's especially true during the World Cup, the soccer Super Bowl.
But it may not be true this year.
European soft drinks and beer may go as flat as the American job market was under Obama this season as a result of a shortage of carbon dioxide! Yes, the lethal killer of Mother Gaia is running short in the E.U. and in the recovering E.U. nation of Britain.
From the article:
Gavin Partington, director-general of the British Soft Drinks Association, blames the shortage on maintenance issues at production sites and other technical problems. The shortage is also expected to affect meat preservation.
Now, I love flat warm beer as much as the next guy, but it seems to me there is a problem here. There is a real fear that the shortage is going to upset football hooligans at the World Cup, and we all know how testy football hooligans get when their teams lose or they run out of beer. We must ask ourselves why this has happened.
Does it strike anyone else as strange that carbon dioxide is running short when the E.U. has been trying to cut carbon dioxide short? The global warming alarmists have actively worked to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions, and now commercial CO2 has run short. Is there a causal link?
As they might say in Minnesota, Ya – you betcha!
Here is how carbon dioxide is produced commercially:
Producing carbon dioxide as a commercial product requires that it be recovered and purified from a relatively high-volume, CO2-rich gas stream, generally a stream which is created as an unavoidable byproduct of a large-scale chemical production process or some form of biological process.
In almost all cases, carbon dioxide which is captured and purified for commercial applications would be vented to the atmosphere at the production point if it was not recovered for transport and beneficial use at other locations.
The most common operations from which commercially-produced carbon dioxide is recovered are industrial plants which produce hydrogen or ammonia from natural gas, coal, or other hydrocarbon feedstock, and large-volume fermentation operations in which plant products are made into ethanol for human consumption, automotive fuel, or industrial use. Breweries producing beer from various grain products are a traditional source. Corn-to-ethanol plants have been the most rapidly growing source of feed gas for CO2 recovery. CO2-rich natural gas reservoirs found in underground formations found primarily in the western United States and in Canada are another source of recoverable carbon dioxide.
Is this a man-made crisis? I submit Exhibit A:
Greenhouse gas emissions generated by industrial activity constitute a significant share of total emissions in the EU. The EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) is the cornerstone of policies leading to reduction of industrial emissions, supplemented by regulation to prevent fluorinated gases. Industry fears a high burden under the proposed 2030 targets and actively opposes them.
The E.U. is restricting the use of ammonia and other gases that may contribute to atmospheric CO2. They also require "best Available Technology (BET) be installed and implemented – which explains why so many of these CO2 plants are being retooled at the same time.
Commercial carbon dioxide is obtained from capture from industrial processes. One such is the production of ammonia for commercial purposes. If you restrict the industrial processes that produce capturable CO2 as a byproduct, you restrict the production of said byproduct. Now, that would seem to be a benefit to the Gang Green, the global warming crowd, but it is a positive scourge on the average soccer ruffian beer-drinker.
Notice the second paragraph, the part about Best Available Technology being forced on these gas-producers. It means they have to retool all their plants. That means factories that produce commercial carbon dioxide will be closed for retooling and maintenance.
Newspapers across the country are reporting on a shortage which seems to have developed due to a perfect storm of maintenance shutdowns and, according to the specialist magazine Gasworld, a dip in the value of ammonia, the synthesis of which produces much of the CO2 used by brewers and soft drink manufacturers.
In the United Kingdom, there is only one plant producing CO2 and supplies from the continent are limited[.] ...
Due to a repeated oversupply of allowances, initially due to lenient allocations on the national level, and from 2008 onwards due to the financial and economic crisis, allowance prices have declined significantly and only provide a limited incentive for emission reduction. Therefore, a temporary withdrawal of a number of allowances (so-called "backloading") has been agreed until 2019-2020, in order to increase demand.
Got that? The allowances are part of the carbon trading market, a creation of overzealous bureaucrats in the E.U. and the U.K. They are tightening the rules, making it harder to get "allowances" and forcing industry into compliance somewhere between 2019 and 2020, which means industrial operations (where carbon dioxide is obtained) has to be retooled now.
Wait! There's more:
Ammonia production for fertilizers has historically been a major source for food-grade carbon dioxide. The Haber process requires hydrogen derived from the reformation of natural gas, a reaction that produces CO2.
Sites producing ammonia often go down for maintenance over summer but this year there has been a dip in the value of ammonia and supplies are coming in from outside Europe.
Ammonia facilities are a prime source for carbon dioxide capture. The price has bottomed out because of E.U. rules against ammonia designed to prevent global warming-climate change-planetary flatulence.
They have jumped the shark with this. Man lives not by bread alone, but by the icy-cold fizzy drinks of summer. Depriving our beer-bellied boys of their brew is inhuman and ill mannered. But nothing stops a Progressive from implementing his little slice of Hell, and the thirst of soccer fans be damned!
I present the ultimate reply to the killjoy environmentalists courtesy of Dave Barry:
Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals like Hydrogen and Oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer.