## California Universities in Times Worldwide Rankings

Many California Universities Score in the Top 10 and 100 of Times Higher Education Worldwide Rankings.

First, since this is a UC Irvine blog, I point out that in the Universities under 50 years old, UC Irvine placed #5. Other American Universities in the top 50 under 50 are UC Santa Cruz #11, U. Texas at Dallas #15, and U. Illinois at Chicago #19.

Now for the main California Universities, the world rankings and average SAT scores are to the left of their names.  The number of students in each is to the right.

1 2270 Cal Tech                       2,231
4 2215 Stanford                     19,945
8 2050 UC Berkeley             36,137
12 1950 UCLA                        39,271
33 1815 UC Santa Barbara   21,685
40 1845 UC San Diego         28,593
52 1805 UC Davis                  31,732
70 2065 USC                          38,010
93 1725 UC Irvine                  27,189
136 1700 UC Santa Cruz       17,454
148 1605 UC Riverside         20,900

Just to not overlook the top US Universities, we include

2 2255 Harvard                    27,392
5 2220 MIT                           10,894
6 2255 Princeton                    7,813
9 2227 U. Chicago                 14,979
11 2245 Yale                           11,875

## Russian Oil and Energy Data from the American Enterprise Institute

The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) has data on Russian oil and energy.  The AEI also represents US oil companies, but I hope the data is sound.

Russian electricity sources are 68% fossil fuel, 20% hydro, and 11% nuclear.  I am aware that this differs from the EIA data, because this includes hydro and nuclear, wheras EIA only quotes renewables and others as 10%, and leaves out hydro and nuclear.

They have 33 reactors producing 23.6 GigaWatts.  10 new reactors are under construction.  Another 25 reactors are being planned by 2025.  Russia’s goal is to have 70-80% of their electricity to be nuclear by 2100.

The state owns 56% of oil production, with the leading company Rosneft accounting for 48% of total oil production.  Russia exports 5 million barrels per day.  (If you calculate that at the current price at $100 per barrel, it comes to$180 billion a year gross.)

Oil and gas revenues for Russia are $215 billion a year. Russian oil companies are taxed at a 70% rate. | Leave a comment ## US EIA Data on Russian Natural Gas and Oil The US Energy Information Agency (EIA) website has a lot of detailed data on Russian fossil fuels and energy usage. I am only going to mention those relevant to reserves and exports of oil and natural gas, and energy usage. Oil and natural gas earns Russia 70% of its$515 billion in exports.  They also supply 52% of Russia’s federal budget.

Europe gets 25% of its natural gas from Russia.

Russia has the largest natural gas reserves in the world.

Europe’s sources of natural gas are shown below, from The Lithuania Post of July 19, 2013

Russia has the largest natural gas reserves in the world.  The leading countries in reserves are shown in the bar graph below.  The units are in trillion cubic feet.

The US figure in the chart below is only for “wet gas” which means that it also contains liquids ethane and butane, which makes it more valuable.

Since other articles here use cubic meters of gas, we have to note that 1 cubic meter equals 35.314 cubic feet.  The US also uses BTUs, where 1 cubic foot equals 1,027 BTU.  Our gas bills are also in therms, which is 100,000 BTU, and therefore approximately 100 cubic feet.

In liquid fuels, Russia is the third largest producer, at 10.4 million barrels per day (bbl/day).  For scale, world oil production is about 89 million bbl/day.  US oil usage has declined from about 19 million bbl/day to 16 million bbl/day.  Russia distributes this oil through its Transneft pipeline network.  Russia exports about 7.2 million bbl/day.

Russian electricity production is 220 GigaWatts of electricity.  It is building 10 nuclear reactors.  Its energy comes 56% from natural gas, 19% petroleum, coal only 14%, and renewables and others 10%.

According to the NY Times, 53% of European gas imports from Russia go through Ukraine.  (Earlier versions of the NY Times said 80% or 63%, which may be the source of other figures circulating on the internet.  This also can be time dependent, since Europe had a warmer winter and used less gas.)  The pipelines through Ukraine serve Germany, Italy, and France.

## Russian Natural Gas and Oil from Gazprom

Gazprom is Russia’s main gas company. On its site it has a 38 page document summarizing its oil and natural gas business and that of Russia. This is a summary of key facts in that presentation. When I say gas here I mean natural gas.

Russia has 28% of the World’s gas reserves, 20% of it coal, and 4.6% of its oil.

Gazprom itself has 18% of the World’s gas, and therefore 70% of Russia’s 33.6 trillion cubic meters of gas (tcm).

Gazprom accounts for 75% of the World’s gas production, and also 75% of Russia’s gas production. In 2012 it produced 487 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas.

Its pipelines run 162,000 km (100,000 miles), and consume 42 GigaWatts of pumping power.

After the dissolution of the USSR, the countries contained in that are called the “near abroad” and Putin has declared the region as Russia’s “sphere of influence” (from Wikipedia). They include the Baltic States, the Caucasas, the Central Asia “stans”, and the Central and Eastern Europe Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine.

The “far abroad” or Europe consumed 139 bcm. 76% went to West Europe and Turkey. 24% went to Central Europe. The leading users were Germany at 33 bcm, Turkey at 27 bcm, and Italy at 15 bcm.

There is a Nord Stream pipeline (completed) under the Baltic Sea that carries 55 bcm. A Blue Stream pipeline goes to Turkey and carries 16 bcm. A South Stream pipeline that goes south of the Ukraine will begin in December of 2015 and will eventually carry 63 bcm.

There are also Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) exports to the Republic of Korea, China, India and southeast Asia.

According to CNN Money, from US EIA data, oil and natural gas earns Russia 70% of its $515 billion in exports. It also provides 52% of Russia’s federal budget. Europe gets 25% of its natural gas from Russia. Posted in Economies, Fossil Fuel Energy, Natural Gas, Oil | Leave a comment ## Russian, EU, Ukraine and US Economic and Trade Data Since trade sanctions are being discussed, I wanted to gather together trade data for Russia, the EU, Ukraine and the US. The inter-connectivity of the EU, Ukraine and Russian economies makes sanctions a two way street. In particular, the dependence of Europe on Russian natural gas and oil, as well as the pipelines that run through the Ukraine make a very complex picture. The data here is taken from the World Trade Organization and is for 2012 or the period 2010 to 2012. It is in US dollars$. The data are for the Russian Federation, but I just call it Russia.

Russia’s population is 143 million people.

Russia’s GDP is $2.01 trillion, but its Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) in terms of goods that can be purchased is$3.37 trillion. Its GDP (PPP) per capita is $23,400. Its exports were$529 billion, and its imports $335 billion. Adding those and dividing by the population roughly gives the trade per capita figure of$6,583.

Merchandising exports are divided into Fuel and Mining 71.3%, Manufacture 19.6% and Agriculture 6.0%. 45% of exports go to the European Union (EU). Russia has 2.88% of the world’s exports.

Under Commercial Services their exports are $58 billion, and imports are$104 billion.

Travel exports are $58 billion, and imports are$104 billion.

The Washington Post says that US exports to Russia are $11 billion annually. PepsiCo earnings there are$4.8 billion.  The US also has $14 billion in direct investment in manufacturing plants and offices. For comparison, the EU of 27 countries has a population of 504 million. That is 3.5 times the population of Russia. Its GDP is$16.6 trillion. Its PPP GDP is almost identical at $17.0 trillion. Its GDP (PPP) per capita is$33,700. That is 5.0 times the Russian economy. Its trade per capita is $11,300. Its merchandise exports are$2.17 trillion, and its imports are $2.3 trillion. It provides 14.7% of the world’s exports. The US is its biggest export country, at 17%. The EU imports 15.4% of the world’s imports. Its largest import sources are: 16% from China, 12% from Russia, and 12% from the US. The EU exports to Russia are 7.3% of EU exports. Its imports from Russia are 12% of its imports. The NY Times states that 53% of the Russian gas meant for the EU goes through the Ukraine. Gas to Germany, Italy and France goes through Ukraine. It also states that 40% of Europe’s imported fuel comes from Russia. CNN Money says that 25% of Europe’s natural gas comes from Russia. I have separate reports on natural gas supplies. For further comparison, the Ukraine has a population of 45.6 million. Its GDP is$176 billion, or in goods purchase power GDP (PPP) is $338 billion. Its GDP (PPP) per capita is$7,400.

Ukraine’s trade per capita is $3,790. Of its exports, 26% go to Russia, and 25% go to the EU. Its imports come 32% from Russia, and 31% from the EU. One can see its delicate balance between its neighbors. The Ukraine Merchandise exports are$68.5 billion, of which fuels and mining are 13%. Its Merchandise imports are $84.6 billion, of which 33% are fuels and mining. The Ukraine GDP, not corrected for PPP, is shown below since 1987. We note the sharp dip in 2009. The Crimean peninsula population from Wikipedia is 2.4 million people. Sevastopol, which has a special city status, has a population of 342,000. Finally, I add here similar data for the US economy. The US population (2012) was 314 million. Its GDP is$15.7 trillion. Its GDP/capita is $50,000. US trade per capita is$14,700. Its exports are $1.55 trillion and imports are$2.34 trillion. (Catch the $800 billion balance of payments deficit?) We ship 8.40% of the world’s exports. Our largest recipients are Canada 19%, the EU 17%, Mexico 14%, China 7%, and Japan 4.5%. We import 12.6% of the world’s imports. Our main sources are China 19%, the EU 17%, Canada 14%, Mexico 12%, and Japan 6.4%. Posted in Economies, Fossil Fuel Energy, Natural Gas | Leave a comment ## Fuel Usage and Cost for Various MPG Ratings The actual fuel usage and therefore CO2 pollution is not given by the miles per gallon rating (mpg) but by its inverse, the gallons per mile. There are about 20 pounds of CO2 created for every gallon burned. For several values of mpg, we invert to gallons per mile, and we multiply the gallons per mile by 300 miles. That is an average weekly driving by a commuter who drives 60 miles roundtrip to work five days a week. For 50 weeks of driving it gives 15,000 miles per year, a high but possible figure for commuters. Gas tanks typically hold fuel for over 300 miles, but you may typically refuel them when they start getting low on fuel at that distance. Now that gas is heading toward$4 a gallon in California, I will use that price in adding a third column to the table for cost per refill.

So the first column of the table is mpg by 5′s from 10 mpg (Hummer) to 60 mpg (55 mpg is the 2025 future mileage standard).  The second column is the inverse in gallons per mile for 300 miles.  The third column is the price of the fill-up after 300 miles at 4 per gallon. Since tables are hard to make and align or insert in WordPress, I will just make it by spacing. MPG Gallons Cost ()

for 300 miles

10                    30        120

15                    20        80

20                    15        60

25                    12        48

30                    10        40

35                    8.6       34.2

40                    7.5       30

45                    6.7       26.7

50                    6          24

55                    5.5       21.8

60                    5          20

The current average car mileage is about 27 mpg.  On sees in this table the law of diminishing returns.  As one pushes toward ever higher mpg, the diminution in gallons used or weekly cost of gas is very small.  There are gas only cars now that claim 35 mpg at highway speeds.  If one pays several thousand extra for an electric hybrid that promises 45 mpg, the savings are only about $7.50 a week or$390 a year.  You only save about two gallons of gas a week.  The real key to lowering vehicle CO2 emissions is to eventually hybridize heavy vehicles, or talk people out of very heavy cars getting only 15 or 20 mpg, which burn 80 to 60 gallons a week.  The decade away mpg standard of 55 mpg is only for the smallest cars.  Compared to the Prius hybrids that already get 45 mpg, only save 1.2 gallons a week, or about $5 a week. For these economical cars, the future is already here. ## Fact Checking the Meet the Press “Climate Debate” On Meet the Press on Feb. 16, 2014, there was a debate over climate change and its cause between Bill Nye (The Science Guy) and Republican Congressman Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee. She is the Vice Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. This is a link to her positions on energy. The sides seemed to make some good points, but they were deficient on both numbers and their meaning. The host David Gregory started out the problem by stating that a majority of climate scientists believe in climate change. The networks seldom ever state that the actual number is 97% of scientists who have published in the field. When Rep. Blackburn stated that it was still debatable and only cited two deniers, Nye could have cinched the argument by stating the 97% figure, but did not. It is also the case that the draft of the new IPCC UN report stating the probability that it is human caused at 95% wasn’t brought up. Rep. Blackburn brought up the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere only was from 350 parts per million (ppm) to 400 ppm. Bill Nye pointed out that that was only a recent rise, and the total was from 250 ppm (sic) to 400 ppm. The actual number should have been 280 ppm at the start of the industrial revolution and its pollution. Rep. Blackburn brought up the worst of the deniers arguments, that it is only a 0.004 fraction of the atmosphere, so how could it be causing anything. A climate scientist would have countered that CO2 is a fair part of the greenhouse atmosphere that we are lucky to have or the average world temperature would have been 0 degrees F, instead of 59 degrees F. Why then wouldn’t the temperature have risen by 400/280 since 1750? Because the CO2 increase only has a logarithmic effect on the temperature increase (hard to remind a general audience what a log is). Bill Nye at one point held up a picture of the summer Arctic ice pack, but not a comparison to show how much it decreased, and attributed this to global warming. Since the Arctic temperature increase is 4.5 degrees F, while global warming is 1.4 degrees F, it has been realized that the Arctic increase is only partly due to global warming. Detailed theories for this are a current research topic, and I am going to a seminar next week on how it is partly caused by atmospheric waves from the tropics and the North Atlantic Oscillation. However, I give credit to Meet the Press to even cover the topic, since a survey of NBC, CBS, ABC, and Fox news Sunday shows for 2013 showed that totally they had only 27 minutes on the topic. I also give credit to Bill Nye for taking the issue public with his reputation and being willing to engage in a debate (although the host had softened it to a “discussion”). Climate scientists writing thousand page IPCC reports know the complexity involved and the background needed by the audience to understand the details. They also have a vast scientific jargon, which complicates their explanations. Bill Nye also explained the difference between weather, like the horrid winter in the USA, and climate change. Sen. Blackburn also quoted a government scientist that you couldn’t blame an extreme weather event on climate change. That said, long term drought and heat waves are influenced by climate change, and scientists are still studying whether the Southern movement of the polar vortex is influenced by climate phenomena. Bill Nye also said in answer to a question that we should start limiting climate change now. (Since new coal plants are built for 70 years, they should be carefully weighed before building them. Coal is also currently less cost effective than natural gas, but twice as CO2 polluting.) One thing that I agree with Rep. Blackburn on is that we have to use a cost effectiveness measure in providing solutions. However, since we provide about 20% (and China 22%) of CO2 pollution, her argument is that the US doing anything is just a drop in the bucket, so we shouldn’t do anything. Since we and China are by far the two leading countries, this isn’t true. Also, per capita, our emissions are four times that of China. I would argue, as would other scientists, that the most cost effective investment is in research and development in clean energy systems. This includes continuing to improve nuclear reactors and to research safe small scale reactors, and thorium reactors. Fracking has to be well regulated, as well as the transport and flaring of natural gas. Climate research also has to be well funded to better ascertain the various contributions to atmospheric heating, so that we can implement the most cost effective prevention strategies. In order for clean energy to be deployed on a complete scale, only the most cost effective and reliable systems will be affordable. ## UC Irvine with Team Orange in the 2015 Solar Decathlon, to be held at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California Today at UC Irvine’s Calit2 building, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman announced that the 2015 Solar Decathlon will be held at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine. The 2013 Solar Decathlon was also held there. The Solar Decathlon is a collection of 20 sustainable houses designed by students at Universities and Colleges around the US and world, that are open to viewing at one location for eleven days. I went last year and the cleverness, practicality and sustainability of the designs was very impressive, all at a reasonable cost. They were also suited to the location and climate of the various schools. Mr. Poneman also read out the list that was chosen for the 2015 competition. Many cheers came up when Team Orange was chosen. That is comprised of UC Irvine, Chapman University, Saddleback Valley College, and Irvine Valley College. Mayor of Irvine Steven S. Choi accepted the honor, as well as several other local dignitaries. Wendel Braze, leader of UC and UC Irvine’s sustainability work, introduced the Deputy Secretary. The 2013 Solar Decathlon had 20 teams and involved 2,000 students. There were 64,000 visitors to the event. There was also a tent housing many booths from local companies involved in sustainability. ## The Concentration of World Wealth Oxfam has released a report on the concentration of world wealth called “WORKING FOR THE FEW, Political capture and economic inequality”. This report emphasizes the takeover of political bodies by the wealthy and the subsequent policies and tax relaxation to guarantee that their wealth would expand. They also list policies that can reverse this, including more progressive tax policies. The top facts have been widely quoted in the news, and I thought that I would add more. Much of the Oxfam research came from other sources including the Credit Suisse “Global Wealth Report 2013″. Since I have compiled earlier data on wealth, under my category ” Wealth”, I add this for a more complete picture. Starting from the top down, the total world wealth is$241 trillion. The poorest half (50%) of the world have only 0.71% of that wealth, or $1.7 trillion. The top 1% of the world have$110 trillion, or 46% of the total wealth. This is 65 times the wealth of the bottom 50%.

Oxfam looked at Forbes list of the world’s richest, and found that the richest 85 have the same wealth as the poorest 50% of the world, or 3.5 billion people.

In the US, the richest 1% got 95% of the post financial crises growth. The poorer 90% got poorer.

The share of US income going to the top 1% in 1980 was 8%. In 2008-12, the share was 19%.

## Senate Restoring Democracy to End Filibusters Over Appointments

I have been running a series over time of how the American political system differs from the naive conception of Democracy that we are taught in high school. They have all been negative. Finally we have one partial restoration of Democracy in the Senate with respect to ending filibusters over affirming the Presidential nomination of judges and administration appointments. Previous to Obama, the senate has rarely allowed a single Senator to block such an appointment. However, since Obama this has been used regularly against his nominations and appointments. The latest was Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell stating that he would not approve any appointments until he got his way on many issues. This is not the usual objection to something in the appointees’ qualifications. The courts are usually balanced by both parties being able to fill judgeships during alternating administrations. This was stopped for Obama’s appointees. The Democrats really had no option but to use the poorly named “nuclear option” and restore a democratic vote of 51 to end a filibuster for appointments.

Note that this does not apply to the nomination of a Supreme Court Justice, which still has the rule of requiring 60 votes. It also does not apply to the hundreds of bills that are blocked by the 60 vote filibuster rule also. Remember, it only takes one Senator to use the filibuster to block a vote on a bill, and they do not have to even actually filibuster, they just have to state that they want to do it. The 60 votes are then needed to override the filibuster. In the very old days, they actually had to filibuster, and after a few hours it would be all over. Now days, the request for a filibuster lasts forever.

The amazing count by the Washington Post is that there are 50 judicial nominees and 186 executive nominees awaiting appointment. The executive nominees have been pending an average of 140 days. 85 of these are for cabinet level agencies. 34 are Ambassadors!  Is there any doubt that the government will run better with these positions filled?

The first vote after the rule was set aside for appointments, the vote was 55 to 43 for, a spread of 12%, not a mere majority of 51.

There is nowhere in the Constitution that this rule is mentioned, or the number 60 is set. It just falls under the clause in the Constitution that the Senate can set its own rules.

The threats by Sen. Mitch McConnell to retaliate in force sort of indicate that when the Republicans take power some day he would have probably abolished the rule of 60 for all votes to end filibusters anyway. If he doesn’t like the democratic simple majority rule, he could simply restore the rule of 60 next time the Republicans rule the Senate. The fact that the House no longer automatically votes to keep the government running or to raise the debt ceiling, but holds them hostage to force unrelated policies, shows that no holds are barred by the Republicans.

The Washington Post also points out that many appointments can still be halted by the approving committees not meeting and voting with a quorum. A large number can be delayed for a day by a long debate on the floor. Such a visible tactic for well qualified judges and appointees won’t stand well with the general public, who already sees the Congress as ineffective and dominated by political squabbling.

There was no need to return the vote to end filibusters on bills to a simple majority, since the Republican House would not approve them anyway. Even bills that are approved by the Senate with more than 60 votes often do not end up being submitted to a House vote, or being passed by the House. The Hastert rule of requiring a majority of only Republican support is often invoked before submitting a bill to a House vote.  Again, this is not in the Constitution.