Restoring the Scientific Method is the theme of the Sixth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-6), Sponsored by the Heartland Institute. It will take place in Washington, DC from breakfast Thursday, June 30, to noon Friday, July 1, at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. This event will be more modest than in the past, yet as informative and, perhaps, even more challenging to the orthodoxy.
Senator James Inhofe is the Keynote Speaker at the Thursday breakfast. Senator Inhofe, probably more than anyone, prevented the US Senate from adopting cap-and-trade. Other principal speakers include S. Fred Singer, Craig Idso, and Bob Carter – all major contributors to the NIPCC reports. Of course, SEPP is a co-sponsor. For the program please see:
To watch the program live go to:
Quote of the Week:
“…it was clear that the first and greatest need was to establish the facts of the past record of the natural climate in times before any side effects of human activities could well be important.” HH Lamb on establishing the Climatic Research Unit at University of East Anglia [H/t Tim Ball]
Number of the Week: $106.8 Billion
By Ken Haapala, Executive Vice President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
The Supreme Court released its decision on the lawsuit brought by various states, and others, against public utilities for emissions of carbon dioxide under the concept that carbon dioxide is a public nuisance. In a surprisingly strong 8 to 0 decision (one judge abstaining), the Court ruled against the plaintiffs (those who bring the suit) declaring that the courts are not the appropriate venue for regulating carbon dioxide, whereas the legislature and the properly empowered executive are.
This decision, with appropriate spins, gives something to everyone and nothing to all. Global warming activists and certain newspapers declared that it reinforced the EPA’s authority of regulating greenhouse gases [GHG] and demonstrated the need for EPA’s action. Others were relieved that the nuisance principle cannot be so broadened to apply to GHG. Even business newspapers were split on the issue, with the Investor’s Business Daily calling it a big win for the EPA and the expanding regulatory bureaucracies that are damaging the economy, while the Wall Street Journal pointed out that Federal courts lack the expertise and the resources to address such issues and that Congress never expressly granted to EPA the power to regulate carbon dioxide.
At this time, it is impossible to state what the effect will be on the litigation appealing EPA’s ruling that GHG, particularly carbon dioxide, endanger public health and the environment. No doubt, the new court ruling will increase the pressure on the Appeals Court that is now considering the litigation. Will the Appeals Court decide that EPA is properly empowered to regulate GHG and that its endangerment ruling is based on solid science? Or will it decide that EPA is not properly empowered and/or that it failed to perform the independent scientific analysis that was required to make the endangerment ruling?
Those, who are a bit optimistic that the new court ruling may slightly tilt against the EPA, point to several footnotes in the new ruling indicating the uncertainty of the science. Among other revelations is a footnote in the ruling referencing a cover story in the New York Times Magazine about Freeman Dyson, who is very skeptical that GHG emissions are causing unprecedented and dangerous global warming. The referenced article ran before Climategate. Clearly, the Court realizes that the science is not as well established as the alarmists, including the New York Times, have proclaimed.
Further, the court stated: “The Court, we caution, endorses no particular view of the complicated issues related to carbon dioxide emissions and climate change.” This statement is significantly different than the 2007 decision in which the Court ruled that carbon dioxide is a pollutant, based upon, in part, claims that it was causing dangerous global warming, in turn, it was causing sea levels to rise.
Whatever the outcome, no doubt the losing parties in the Appeals Court decision will appeal to the Supreme Court, which can decide whether or not it takes the case.
Sea Level Rise: The climate alarmists released another study claiming accelerating sea level rise. In a twist from past claims, many alarmists now claim that sea level rise is the major threat of global warming. The new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS), was immediately greeted with comments on various blogs, pointing out the inadequacies of the study. As William Gray suggested in his article carried in TWTW last week, the internet blogs provide a more rigorous analysis of questionable climate science studies than the “peer review” process does. (Please note that the articles in the Proceedings are not necessarily rigorously peer reviewed.)
Among the many interesting revelations is that one of the co-authors was none other than Michael Mann of hockey-stick fame. Yet, the study asserted a Medieval Warm Period and a Little Ice Age – contrary to the hockey-stick. The study claimed to establish a global sea level model for the past 2000 years, which it validated by using studies of microfossils from sediment cores taken in the coastal salt water marshes of mainland North Carolina. These were then compared with North Carolina tidal gage records going back only 80 years. From this 80 year record, the researchers extrapolated back 2000 years!
According to the study, the area was selected because it is not rebounding from being burdened by ice during the last Ice Age.
Environmentalists generally refer to these coastal salt water marshes as “fragile wetlands” and these wetlands have a number of interesting characteristics. They are broad, flat, generally marshy lands made of plants, silt, and sand which were formed by sediments from the long term erosion of the Appalachian Mountains and other uplands. As one can see by looking at a road map, these wetlands may stretch as far as 50 miles deep into main part of the state. As with most coastal areas built up by sediments, they are probably subject to subsidence, sinking in relation to the surrounding land or water.
During the last Ice Age, streams and rivers cut channels through these sediments, but as the sea levels rose by about 400 feet after the last Ice Age, the channels became tidal estuaries resulting in wide rivers and bays. The areas are subject to erosion and accretion caused by the tides and storms such as hurricanes and northeasters.
The areas are partially protected from ocean waves by a series of barrier islands made of sand which shift over the years. As the islands shift, they change the influence that tidal currents and storms have on these wetlands. To suggest that a model of global sea levels can be based on studies of such unstable lands is highly questionable.
The natives of these areas call land that is suitable for farming and building “fast” (stable) land. It appears this study is not built on fast land.
Given the difficulty that Richard Lindzen, a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, had with the editors of the Proceedings who refused to publish an article without almost impossible restrictions, as described in last week’s TWTW, one must wonder about the standards used when this new study is readily published. Please see referenced articles under “Change Seas” and “Climategate Continued.”
Number of the Week is $106.8 Billion. According to a May 2011, report to Congress by the US General Accountability Office, the total Federal Government funding for climate change from 1993 to 2010 amounts to $106.7 Billion. This does not include the revenues lost to the Federal Government for special deductions and tax credits (including grants in lieu of tax credits) of $16.1 Billion. These bring the total to $122.8 Billion.
The 2009 “Stimulus Bill” provided $26.1 Billion of this amount, with $25.2 Billion to the Department of Energy, including $16.8 Billion for energy efficiency and alternative energy. In the Fiscal Years (FY) 2009 and 2010 (which ended on September 30, 2010), the Federal government provided $52.8 Billion in climate change funding.
In terms of four stated general categories (without regard to agency) of the total funding, not including the Stimulus Bill, $43.0 Billion is categorized as technology, $31.3 Billion is categorized as science, $5.0 Billion is categorized as international aid, and $65 Million is categorized as wildlife adaptation.
One of the benefits of this funding may have been new satellites to better understand the earth and its weather, yet, including the Stimulus Bill, of $21.6 Billion to NASA only $1.1 Billion fell in the category of Direct Technology / Exploration. Under the general category of Science, NASA received $20.6 Billion for science, aeronautics and technology (note there may be errors due to rounding). The Department of Energy is the agency that has received the most funding — $58.7 Billion.
Global warming / climate change is big business in the US, courtesy of the taxpayer. Apparently, Washington is unaware of the high unemployment rate and economic stagnation in the rest of the country. Please see referenced article under “Expanding the Orthodoxy”
Global Climate Change Initiative (GCCI): 557% Increase: President Obama’s proposed budget for FY 2012 includes $1,328 Million for the Global Climate Change Initiative, representing a 557% increase since FY 2008 of $202 Million. “The GCCI is implemented through programs at the Department of State, the Department of the Treasury, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and is funded through the Administration’s Executive Budget…”
“The President’s FY2012 budget request follows on the December 2010 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations in Cancun, Mexico, which formulated a package of ‘nationally appropriate’ measures toward the goal of avoiding dangerous climate change.” This is part of “…a commitment to near-term and long-term climate financing for the least developed countries amounting to near $30 billion for the period 2010-2012 and $100 billion annually by 2020.”
The referenced agreement has not been approved by Congress and there is no reason why Congress should fund such a program. Please see referenced article under “Expanding the Orthodoxy.”
“Clean Energy” $243 Billion in 2010: On her web site, Jo Anne Nova picked up an announcement by the warming alarmist and alternative energy promoter, Pew Environment Group that calculated that the world investment in “clean energy” for 2010 was $243 Billion.
“The clean energy sector is emerging as one of the most dynamic and competitive in the world, witnessing 630 percent growth in finance and investments since 2004,” said Phyllis Cuttino, director, Pew Clean Energy Program. “In 2010, worldwide finance and investment grew 30 percent to a record $243 billion.”
If the poorly defined clean energy sector is so dynamic and so competitive, why does it continue to need subsidies and mandates from Western governments? These subsidies and mandates are nothing but raw political patronage to a few selected industries courtesy of the taxpayers. Is it not time that these dynamic industries be set free of the need for government funding and oversight? Please see referenced articles under “Subsidies and Mandates Forever.”
Continued Flooding: Daily, the US news bombards the public with reports of flooding. Flooding is always serious, but is to be expected in towns build on relatively low lying lands near rivers, bays or oceans. Meteorologist Joseph D’Aleo explains that the flooding is due to record snows and a prolonged cold winter.
The town of current concern, Minot, ND, is built on the Souris (Mouse) River which has interesting characteristics. The river starts from marshes in Canada and flows south into North Dakota then swings north and east back into Canada, eventually flowing into the Red River which empties into Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba. The generally low-laying Red River basin is notorious for flooding after hard winters because the ice and snow melts in the south before it melts in north. The slow melt in the north dams and restricts river flows, backing up the river.
Contrary to the alarmist claims, the current US floods are not the result of global warming. Please see referenced articles under “Changing Weather.”
For the numbered articles below please see:
1. Science and Smear Merchants
By S. Fred Singer, American Thinker, Jun 21, 2011
2. Why Do We Pretend to Understand Climate Change
By Ross Clark, Express, UK, Jun 17, 2011 [H/t Tom Harris]
3. That Footnote in Yesterday’s Global Warming Ruling
By Sam Kazman, Global Warming.org, June 21, 2011
4. And the Climate Tort Cashiered
Justice Ginsburg’s finest hour
Editorial, WSJ, Jun 21, 2011
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Science: Is the Sun Rising?
Solar Science, Little Ice Ages and Journalism
By David Whitehouse, The Observatory, Jun 20, 2011
[SEPP Comment: Excellent overview of the news relating to last week’s announcement of the possibility of the sun entering a prolonged period of inactivity.]
Claim; Sunspots to Disappear, Global Cooling May Enure
By Matt Peckham, Time, Jun 15, 2011 [H/t John Cribbes]
[SEPP Comment: Another example calculations based on a false interpretation of IPCC science.]
PNAS Reviews: Preferential Standards for Kemp (Mann) et al
By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Jun 22, 2011
Peer Review and ‘Pal Review’ in Climate Science
By Patrick Michaels, Forbes, Jun 16, 2011
U.N. climate propaganda exposed
Industry lobbyists behind ‘scientific’ claims in IPCC press release
Editorial, Washington Times, Jun 17, 2011
Challenging the Orthodoxy
Is the PDO real or a skeptic invention
By Joseph D’Aleo, ICECAP, Jun 19, 2011
Is ‘Global Cooling’ Happening?
By David Whitehouse, The Observatory, Jun 24, 2011
Dear Prime Minister
By the Fair Farming Group, Quadrant, AU, June 23, 2011 [H/t Tom Quirk]
The Rubber Duckies: Two United Nations giants of junk
By Peter Foster, Financial Post, Jun 17, 2011
Defenders of the Orthodoxy
NOAA: U.S. unprepared for changes in Arctic ice
By Renee Schoof, Sacramento Bee, Jun 20, 2011 [H/t WUWT]
Oceans in distress foreshadow mass extinction
By Staff Writers, AFP, June 20, 2011
Climate change disasters could be predicted
By Sarah Hoyle, Eurekalert, Jun 19, 2011 [H/t WUWT]
[SEPP Comment: To do so would requiring abandoning the IPCC science and models.]
Questioning the Orthodoxy
Things can only get worse
By Martin Livermore, Scientific-Alliance, Jun 23, 2011
Atmospheric carbon dioxide buildup unlikely to spark abrupt climate change
By Vince Stricherz, Univ. of Washington, Jun 19, 2011 [H/t WUWT]
New Paper “Recent Wind Driven High Sea Ice Export In The Fram Strait Contributes To Arctic Sea Ice Decline” By Smedsrud Et Al 2011
By Roger Pielke, Sr, Pielke Climate Science, Jun 21, 2011 [H/t WUWT]
Ask and ye shall receive NOAA
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Jun 18, 2011
Questioning the European Green
Poland blocks bolder EU climate emissions cut
By Staff Writers, AFP, Jun 21, 2011
Message from the International Gas Union to European policymakers: Let’s get serious (about gas)!
By Reiner Gatermann, European Energy Review, Jun 20, 2011
Expanding the Orthodoxy
Climate Change: Improvements Needed to Clarify National Priorities and Better Align Them with Federal Funding Decisions
By Staff Writers, Summary, GAO-11-317, May 20, 2011 [H/t Timothy Wise]
The Global Climate Change Initiative (GCCI):
Budget Authority and Request, FY2008-FY2012
By Richard K. Lattanzio, Congressional Research Service, US Government, June 1, 2011
Problems within the Orthodoxy
Alarm as EU Budget chief questions global warming
By Andrew Willis, EU Observer, Jun 22, 2011 [H/t GWPF]
As climate talks sputter, UN scientists vet ‘Plan B’
By Staff Writers, AFP, June 18, 2011
Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate?
Why the End is Always Near, but Never Arrives
By Alan Caruba, Warning Signs, Jun 22, 2011
Saving the world and the ocean, one activist opinion at a time – another NGO flap, this one duped global media
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Jun 21, 2011
Oceans heading for mass extinctions, experts warn
Scientist: Situation is ‘more dire’ than any of us thought
By Staff Writers, MSNBC, Jun 21, 2011
[SEPP Comment: Following the IPCC formula – publish a preliminary report “summary” with extreme claims first, then publish the full report that may or may not support earlier claims.]
Flooding due to record snows and second fastest decadal cooling period in the record not warming
By Joseph D’Aleo, ICECAP, Jun 24, 2011
Florida – La Nina Spring 2011 Drought
By Joe D’Aleo, Weather Bell, Jun 20, 2011
Minot Forced to Evacuate Early
By Christine McEnrue, Weather Bell, Jun 23, 2011
Did climate change cause Greenland’s ancient Viking community to collapse?
By Staff Writers, SPX, Jun 22, 2011
[SEPP Comment: Asked and answered decades ago.]
Penn researchers link fastest sea-level rise in 2 millennia to increasing temperatures
By Evan Lerner, U. Pennsylvania, Jun 20, 2011 [H/t Ken Jorgensen]
Sea Level Study Leads to Divisions
By Markus Becker, Spiegel, Jun 21, 2011 [H/t GWPF]
Riggs’ Geological Perspective on North Carolina Sea Level
By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Jun 23, 2011
Leading German Meteorologist: Michael Mann’s Seal Level Story Is “A Quack”
By P. Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jun 23, 2011 [H/t ICECAP]
The Political Games Continue
What’s the great hurry?
By Garth Paltridge, Quadrant, AU, Jun 19, 2011
Labor’s Euro vision provides the smoke and mirrors for a carbon tax
Greg Sheridan, The Australian June 18, 2011 [H/t Des Moore]
U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Climate-Change Public Nuisance Suit
By Staff Writers, Power News, Jun 22, 2011
The Carbon Ruling
Editorial, NYT, Jun 21, 2011
[SEPP Comment: The slant from the NYT is that the EPA is one of the few “remaining regulatory weapons the government can use to combat global warming” and that the Court reaffirmed the law and the government’s obligation to regulate carbon dioxide.]
Regulator State Wins Big In Court
Editorial, IBD, Jun 20, 2011
Supremes retreat from climate panic
Ruling returns environmental rules to politicians, not courts
By Steve Milloy, Washington Times, Jun 21, 2011
Supreme Court delivers win to power companies in greenhouse gas emissions case
By Robert Barnes, Washington Post, Jun 20, 2011 [H/t Conrad
By Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post, Jun 23, 2011
Conservative group sues NASA for climate scientist’s records
By Ben Geman, The Hill, Jun 22, 2011
Subsidies and Mandates Forever
Clean energy “investments” just a tiny $243 Billion in 2010
By Jo Nova, her blog, Jun 25, 2011
[SEPP Comment: A guide to easy money.]
Investing in Clean Power
PEW Environmental Group, May 29, 2011
[SEPP Comment: A race that many developed nations would be better off if they lose.]
New England’s Renewable Energy Mandate: Reality Anyone?
By Lisa Linowes, Master Resource, June 24, 2011
“Onshore wind in New England currently demands between 9-11 cents per KWh, more than twice the wholesale price of natural gas. Offshore wind is even more expensive starting at over 18 cents a KWh. More wind energy in the fuel mix will cause upward pressure on energy prices for the life of the power purchase agreements.”
New coalition hopes to jump-start Obama’s ‘clean energy standard’
By Ben Geman, The Hill, Jun 20, 2011
Retire the kernel, release the gas
Era of fuel subsidies should end
Editorial, Washington Times, Jun 20, 2011
EPA and other Regulators on the March
EPA Extends Public Comment Period for Proposed Toxic Air Rule
By Staff Writers, Power News, Jun 22, 2011
Nuclear Fears & Responses
Analysis: Germany goes back to black in snub to green power
By Peter Dinkloh and Christoph Steitz, Reuters, Jun 20, 2011 [H/t GWPF]
[SEPP Comment: Ideals hit costs]
Fukushima raises questions about new Finnish reactor
By Staff Writers, AFP, June 21, 2011
TVA progresses with mPower project
By Staff Writers, World Nuclear News, 17 June 2011
[SEPP Comment: Planning for small “packaged” nuclear plants.]
Nuke agency official: Yucca work politicized
By Ben Geman, The Hill, 06/24/11
Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
Environmentalists push to keep U.S., others from oil drilling in Arctic
By Jason Welsh, Washington Times, Jun 21, 2011
Energy: What’s All the Fracking Fuss About?
By Larry Bell, Forbes, Jun 21, 2011
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy
Three Gorges tarnishes new hydropower?
By Staff Writers, UPI, Jun 21, 2011
[SEPP Comment: Four new dams with twice the capacity of the Three Gorges – two to open by 2013. Western nations are losing this race for alternative energy.]
How green is my energy?
By Geoffrey Luck, Quadrant, AU, Jun 24, 2011
Rare earth prices surge as China tightens grip
By Staff Writers, AFP, June 20, 2011
Solar Dawn will be Largest Plant of its Kind in the World
By Staff Writers, SPX, Jun 22, 2011
PSC Allows Installation of Largest Land-Based Wind Turbines in NY
By Staff Writers, SPX, Jun 21, 2011
[SEPP Comment: 492 feet – about as tall as a 50 story concrete office building.]
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC
For a full list of articles see
Cardiovascular Deaths and the Weather in Budapest
Reference: Toro, K., Bartholy, J., Pongracz, R., Kis, Z., Keller, E. and Dunay, G. 2010. Evaluation of meteorological factors on sudden cardiovascular death. Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine 17: 236-242.
Precipitation Extremes Along North America’ West Coast
Reference: Mass, C., Skalenakis, A. and Warner, M. 2011. Extreme precipitation over the west coast of North America: Is there a trend? Journal of Hydrometeorology 12: 310-318.
The Future of North American Wheat Production
Reference: Olmstead, A.L. and Rhode, P.W. 2011. Adapting North American wheat production to climatic challenges, 1839-2009. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 108: 480-485.
Summer Temperatures in the Northern French Alps
Reference: Millet, L., Arnaud, F., Heiri, O., Magny, M., Verneaux, V. and Desmet, M. 2009. Late-Holocene summer temperature reconstruction from chironomid assemblages of Lake Anterne, northern French Alps. The Holocene 19: 317-328.
Browner, former White House climate czar, joins green group board
By Ben Geman, The Hill, Jun 23, 2011
Other Scientific News
Surprises from the ocean: Marine plankton and ocean pH
By Staff Writers, SPX, Jun 23, 2011
[SEPP Comment: Apparently at least one group of phytoplankton can regulate their internal pH to build calcium carbonate. This calls into question the simplistic studies funded by EPA, and others, on the impact of increases of dissolved carbon dioxide in the oceans – the so-called ocean acidification.]
Teeming with life, Pacific’s California current likened to Africa’s Serengeti Plain
Decade of electronic tagging, tracking of 23 top Pacific Ocean predators reveals remarkable homing by marine animals, well-defined highways
By Terry Collins, Eurekalert, Jun 22, 2011
Cryosat produces its first Arctic ice thickness map
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Jun 21, 2011
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
Princess of whales: How a naked female scientist tries to tame belugas in the freezing Arctic
By Daily Mail Reporter, Jun 16, 2011
American Cancer Society Declares Poverty a Carcinogen
By Susan Campbell, Hartford Courant, Jun 21, 2011 [H/t Best of the Web]
Study: Biodegradable plastics can release methane
By Helen Chappell, News Observer, Jun 20, 2011 [H/t Paul Chesser]
[SEPP Comment: When products made from hydrocarbons degrade they release hydrocarbons?]
PLEASE NOTE: The complete TWTW, including the full text of the numbered articles, can be downloaded in an easily printable form at this web site: http://www.sepp.org/the-week-that-was.cfm…