Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

Quote of the Week:
We’ll fund additional research in cutting-edge methods of producing ethanol, not just from corn but from wood chips and stalks or switch grass. Our goal is to make this new kind of ethanol practical and competitive within six years.” George W. Bush, 2006 State of the Union address

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Number of the Week: 250 million gallons v. 6.6 million

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THIS WEEK:
By Ken Haapala, Executive Vice President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
COP-17 – The Deal: Global warming / climate change alarmists are finding that the agreement to agree to an undefined, future agreement is as clear and solid as the global warming science upon which it rests. As of December 16, the final agreement reached at the 17th Conference of Parties (COP-17) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Durban has not been posted on the UNFCCC web site. Draft agreements have been posted.

Apparently, the deal is that members parties of Kyoto Protocol agree to extend Kyoto and its penalties for exceeding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions until 2020 (the US is not a member party). Canada is pulling out, not wishing to pay major penalties, China, India and other industrial developing nations have no penalties and obviously have everything to gain and nothing to lose. The developing nations will expand their coal fired electrical utility plants, and other means, to bring prosperity to their citizens as many developed nations punish their citizens through expensive experiments in unreliable, expensive sources of electricity. Of course, international companies that are heavy users of energy will move to those parts of the globe where costs are least, namely Asia. Low energy and capital costs will become the attraction, not low labor costs.
According to British observer Philip Stott, the negotiators for BASIC countries (Brazil, South Africa, India, and China played a blinder – put on a magnificent display outclassing their counterparts from the West, especially the EU. The BASIC countries were negotiating to assure the continued economic growth for their citizens. Driven by ideology, the EU was negotiating to penalize growth for their citizens to which the BASIC countries agreed. Damian Carrington of the Guardian wrote that Chris Huhne, UK’s secretary of state for energy and climate change, said in a telephone interview that the agreement is significant because: the Durban deal commits countries to review how to close the yawning gap between current targets for [carbon dioxide] emissions cuts and what the science says is needed to avoid dangerous climate change.
Closing this yawning gap between emissions and science may prove the EU negotiators too clever! Whose science? No doubt the EU negotiators assumed the science of the UN Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) as articulated in the Fourth Assessment Report (AR-4) and in the upcoming Fifth Assessment Report (AR-5). Readers of TWTW recognize that SEPP strongly questions IPCC science that CO2 emissions are the major cause of global warming / climate change, and that the 2008, 2009, and the 2011 publications of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) articulate many of the IPCC problems.
More importantly for international agreements, many scientists in Russia openly question the IPCC as do, increasingly, scientists in China and India. Angered by the false claims of the IPCC and the arrogant dismissal of contradicting evidence by India’s fine experts on the melting of Himalayan glaciers, India has formed its own national panel on climate change.
Unlike prior reports, the IPCC AR-5 is unlikely to be accepted by everyone as a definitive study. Perhaps, being forewarned, the IPCC may produce a superior, unbiased, study on the causes of climate change, both natural and human. But, what Roger Pielke Sr terms, the oligarchy remains firmly in control and it is difficult to overestimate the arrogance of international bureaucrats.
Underlying this agreement is the hidden agenda of the UN to build a world regulatory government with strong revenue collection powers, which Christopher Monckton well articulated in a link in last week’s TWTW, repeated this week. Please see Article # 1 links under COP-17 and NIPCC Reports 2008, 2009, and 2011, respectively:
NIPCC_final.pdf
www.nipccreport.org
http://www.nipccreport.org/reports/2011/2011r…
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Climategate II: The Climategate emails continue to reveal a number of questionable activities by “the hockey-stick team” to personally attack, or discredit, those who question their findings. This new batch of emails resulted in renewed efforts of the local police to find the leaker, including the seizure of computers and demand for email correspondence from service providers. This should have been expected.
What is unusual is a demand by the US Department of Justice for email correspondence from three bloggers who are well known skeptics, Donna LaFramboise (NFC) and Steve McIntyre (Climate Audit) in Canada and Roger Tattersall (Tallbloke) in England. What prompted the demand is not yet known. The US public would be better served if the Department of Justice was enforcing Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to US government agencies such as NOAA and the Department of Energy, which funds the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, a center for the Climategate tricks. The FOIs, such as one to NOAA by Chris Horner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) in January 2010, are requests of public records held by government agencies for which there is are no authority to withhold or stonewall.
These continuing developments give rise to further questions as to the principles held by the defenders of the University of Virginia in opposing the release of emails from Michael Mann. The defenders claim that such a release will be chilling to academic freedom. As of yet, they are not defending the academic freedom of independent researchers and investigators. Unless they do so, they will be presuming that employees of public universities working with public funds have a greater right, or privilege, to privacy than those who privately explore the same issues with private funds, often self-funded.
The latest release of emails is providing a further guide for global warming skeptics of what to expect and examine when they have the opportunity to review the global warming science that will appear in AR-5. Please see links under “Climategate Continued” and “Person(s) of Interest.”
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Satellite Global Temperature Measurements: November 30 marked the 33rd year of the data record of using satellite data to calculate atmospheric temperatures. Published monthly, these data are the most comprehensive and rigorous collection of global temperatures in existence. When adjusted for volcanic cooling events and unusually strong El Niño warming events, the data from the lower troposphere show little global warming over the entire record. The lower troposphere is precisely where the climate models predict the warming should take place, especially above the tropics. The recorded warming is largely above 60 degrees North Latitude, especially the Arctic.
University of Alabama, Huntsville, scientists Roy Spencer and John Christy are to be congratulated and esteemed for their scientific efforts and scientific integrity in consistently publishing the results of their findings, regardless of short warming or cooling periods.
The notes accompanying the release of the data state: “While Earth’s climate has warmed in the last 33 years, the climb has been irregular. There was little or no warming for the first 19 years of satellite data. Clear net warming did not occur until the El Niño Pacific Ocean ‘warming event of the century’ in late 1997. Since that upward jump, there has been little or no additional warming.”
“Christy and other UA Huntsville scientists have calculated the cooling effect caused by the eruptions of Mexico’s El Chichon volcano in 1982 and the Mt. Pinatubo volcano in the Philippines in 1991. When that cooling is subtracted, the long-term warming effect is reduced to 0.09 C (0.16° F) per decade, well below computer model estimates of how much global warming should have occurred.”
Of course, these measurements contradict the land surface measurements of temperatures so widely cited as proof of human-caused global warming. Please see links under “Challenging the Orthodoxy.”
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December Hurricane Predictions: For 20 years, in December, William Gray and his associates, now Philip Klotzbach, have made quantitative predictions of hurricanes (major tropical storms) for the Atlantic basin for the upcoming year. This year they decided to delay the quantitative (numerical) prediction until April and use a qualitative (probability) estimate for this December. Klotzbach and Gray state several reasons for this change. Most importantly, the models they use track well using hindcast data, but no longer forecast well. The implied relationships in the past models no longer apply.
The greatest difficulty is estimating the phase of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) nine to twelve months out. In their judgment, no model exists with sufficient skill to do this. In April, Klotzbach and Gray will start with quantified estimates for the 2012 season using models emphasizing the phase of the ENSO and the strength of the Atlantic Thermohaline Circulation (THC), which is associated with the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation (AMO). The researchers are clear that they do not consider the change in forecasting skill of the models to be the result of human caused climate change and that sea surface temperatures alone are totally inadequate in forecasting hurricane activity.
For those who know Gray, such a blunt admission of the failure of his models is characteristic of the man who suffers fools, poorly. Such an admission should be adequate scientific warning that hindcasting is not sufficient to validate models. Also, those who attempt to apply current models of atmospheric carbon dioxide to describe past climate regimes, such as ice ages, are fooling themselves.
In AR-4, the IPCC did not consider the THC and AMO as a possible cause of global warming / climate change. However, the IPCC continues to claim global warming will cause an increase in the intensity and number of hurricanes. Please see link under “Observations v. Models.”
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Number of the Week: 250 million gallons v. 6.6 million. In 2007 Congress passed and President Bush signed an energy bill mandating oil companies to blend 250 million gallons of cellulosic fuel into conventional gasoline by 2011. This year, the industry may produce 6.6 million gallons. Yet, the EPA is leveling fines on oil companies for not buying a fuel that does not exist in sufficient quantities. The belief that Congress can mandate technological advancements has long been a problem in Washington. Please see Article # 6.

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ARTICLES:
For the numbered articles below please see this week’s TWTW at:
http://www.sepp.org…
The articles are at the end of the pdf.
1. The mask slips
The Durban meeting shows that climate policy and climate science inhabit parallel worlds.
Editorial, Nature, Dec 14, 2011
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v480/n73…
[SEPP Comment: See comments by Fred Singer at the end of the article.]
2. Be thankful offshore wind hasn’t taken off
By Charles Battig, VA-SEEE, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Dec 12, 2011
http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/letters-to…
3. The Contrarians Have Better Data
By Lord Christopher Monckton, WSJ, Dec 15, 2011
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405297…
4. All the Hot Air in China
Cutting carbon emissions requires restructuring the economy. Which is why Beijing won’t do it.
By Joseph Sternberg, WSJ, Dec 15, 2011
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405297…
5. Global Warming and Adaptability
Any carbon deal to replace Kyoto would have a negligible impact on climate in coming decades.
By Bjorn Lomborg, WSJ, Dec 12, 2011
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405297…
6. The Cellulosic Ethanol Debacle
Congress mandated purchase of 250 million gallons in 2011. Actual production: 6.6 million.
Editorial, WSJ, Dec 13, 2011
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405297…
To recap: Congress subsidized a product that didn’t exist, mandated its purchase though it still didn’t exist, is punishing oil companies for not buying the product that doesn’t exist, and is now doubling down on the subsidies in the hope that someday it might exist. We’d call this the march of folly, but that’s unfair to fools.
[SEPP Comment: In the text, the reporter confuses barrels with gallons - 1 barrel is 42 gallons US.]

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NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Science: Is the Sun Rising?
Solar activity and Svalbard temperatures
Jan-Erik Solheim, Kjell Stordahl, Ole Humlum
(Submitted on 14 Dec 2011)
http://arxiv.org/abs/1112.3256…
[SEPP Comment: Svalbard is about 74 to 81 deg North Latitude – well within the Arctic.]
Climategate Continued
AR5 Loves Steig et al 2009
By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Dec 13, 2011
http://climateaudit.org/2011/12/13/ar5-loves-…
AR5 and Mike’s “PNAS Trick”
By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Dec 13, 2011
http://climateaudit.org/2011/12/13/ar5-and-mi…
Watch the Pea – AR5 Chapter 10
By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Dec 13, 2011
http://climateaudit.org/2011/12/13/watch-the-…
Climategate Bombshell: Did U.S. Gov’t Help Hide Climate Data?
By Maxim Lott, Fox News, Dec 16, 2011 [H/t Marc Morano, Climate Depot]
http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/12/16/com…
IPCC declares itself above the law
By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Dec 14, 2011
http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2011/1…
Obama’s Justice Department joins Britain’s ‘Climategate’ leaker manhunt
By: Christopher C. Horner, Washington Examiner, Dec 15, 2011
http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/…
Person(s) of Interest
Britain: Computer Equipment Seized in Climate E-mail Inquiry
By Staff Writers, AP, Dec 15, 2011
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/16/world/europ…
Climategate 2: Follow the money to see who calls the shots.
By Tallbloke, His Blog, Dec 12, 2011
http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/12/12/cli…
[SEPP Comment: Naming Robert Watson, Rajendra Pachauri and John Houghton. No wonder Tallbloke is a person of interest.]
Challenging the Orthodoxy
Testimony: Senate Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources, Parliament of Canada
By Ross McKitrick, Dec 15, 2011
http://www.rossmckitrick.com/uploads/4/8/0/8/…
[SEPP Comment: Excellent summary of what is wrong.]
November 2011 University Of Alabama Analysis Of The Global Lower Tropospheric Temperature Analysis
By Roger Pielke Sr, Pielke Climate Science, Dec 16, 2011
http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/12…
[SEPP Comment: The globe depicting 33 years of temperature trends in the lower troposphere is particularly valuable.]
When Sea Level Change is Not Sea Level Change
By Tim Ball, His Blog, Dec 9, 2011
http://drtimball.com/2011/when-sea-level-chan…
Defending the Orthodoxy
Climate talks keep issue in focus
Editorial, Washington Post, Dec 14, 2011 [H/t David Manuta]
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/climat…
Ignoring a global warning
Those in the U.S. who deny climate change have nothing on Nero.
Editorial, LA Times, Dec 9, 2011
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinionla…
Why do people still deny climate change?
2011 was plagued by droughts, floods and tornadoes. It’s high time we take global warming seriously
By Gene Lyons, Salon, Dec 14, 2011
http://www.salon.com/2011/12/15/why_do_people…
[SEPP Comment: Asking the wrong question. It is not climate change but global warming caused by CO2 emissions.]
Energy balance points to man-made climate change
By James Lloyd, Physics World, Dec 7, 2011
http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/4805…
A climate model based on the “global energy balance” has provided new evidence for human-induced climate change, according to its creators.
This method relies on the ability of climate models to accurately simulate the response patterns to each forcing, and also assumes that the responses can be scaled and added. Furthermore, changes in the energy balance of the climate system are not explicitly considered
[SEPP Comment: The assumptions are highly questionable.]
COP-17 – The Deal
Durban: what the media are not telling you
By Christopher Monckton, WUWT, Dec 9, 2011
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/09/durban-…
[SEPP Comment: The goal is a brave new world.]
UN climate change talks: full text of the Durban platform
Ministers reached a last-minute agreement on a new text known as the Durban platform for enhanced action
Editorial, Guardian UK, Dec 12, 2011
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/interac…
[SEPP Comment: May or may not be the agreed to text.]
The BASIC Truth About Durban
By Philip Stott, GWPF Dec 11, 2011
http://thegwpf.org/opinion-pros-a-cons/4532-p…
Global Warming: Has China Had a Change of Heart or Just a Change of Strategy?
By Marita Noon, Energy Tribune, Dec 15, 2011
http://www.energytribune.com/articles.cfm/938…
Canada formally withdraws from Kyoto Protocol
By Staff Writers AFP Dec 13, 2011
http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2…
International Climate Science Coalition Supports Canada’s Decision to Formally Withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol
Other Nations should follow Canada’s lead and withdraw from flawed treaty before the end of 2011
Press Release, Tom Harris, ICSC, Dec 13, 2011
http://www.climatescienceinternational.org/in…
Climate Deal Seen as Possible Turning Point
By Coral Davenport, National Journal, Dec 12, 2011 [H/t John McClaughry]
http://www.nationaljournal.com/climate-deal-s…
The UN Climate Change Summit in Durban
By Ileana Johnson Paugh, Canada Free Press, Dec 13, 2011
http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/arti…
Durban Climate Conference Puts Green Deal On Ice
By Benny Peiser, GWPF, Dec 14, 2011
http://www.thegwpf.org/opinion-pros-a-cons/45…
Climate deal: A guarantee our children will be worse off than us
Getting a deal was a success, but a pitiful one. The world’s climate debt is soaring and postponing action threatens an environmental austerity far greater than today’s economic woes
By Damian Carrington, Guardian, UK, Dec 11, 2011
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/damian-…
[SEPP Comment: Wholehearted acceptance of the orthodoxy and the promise of green energy.]
Deal Or No Deal? The Climate Con Lives On In Durban
Editorial, IBD, Dec 12, 2011
http://news.investors.com/Article/594567/2011…
Questioning the Orthodoxy
How the IPCC Reports Mislead the Public, Exaggerate the Negative Impacts of Climate Change and Ignore the Benefits of Economic Growth
Study finds climate change panel ignores its own findings and pushes plans that will prolong poverty for developing nations
By Indur M. Goklany and Julian Morris, Reason Foundation, Dec 7, 2011
http://reason.org/studies/show/how-the-ipcc-c…
To the Guardian: You cannot make good public policy on mistaken premises
By Indur Goklany, WUWT, Dec 15, 2011
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/15/to-the-…
“Methane Time Bomb in Arctic Seas – Apocalypse Not”
By Patrick Michaels, World Climate Report, Dec 16, 2011
http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2…
Questioning European Green
Renewable energy: Vision or mirage?
By Hugh Sharman, Bryan Leyland & Martin Livermore, Dec 12, 2011
http://www.adamsmith.org/research/reports/ren…
The government is spending enormous sums of money on renewable energy. This report assesses the economic and energy security cases for renewable energy subsidies, and finds that there is no prospect that renewable energy will be able to provide a substantial amount of Britain’s energy needs.
The limits to renewable energy
By Martin Livermore, Scientific Alliance, Dec 16, 2011
http://www.scientific-alliance.org/scientific…
No time to abandon energy density
Professor Colin McInnes FREng, Royal Academy of Engineering, Dec 15, 2011 [H/t GWPF]
http://www.ingenia.org.uk/ingenia/articles.as…
Climate Change Committee Confirms Multi-Billion Pound Green Policy Costs
By Staff Writers, REF, Dec 15, 2011
http://www.ref.org.uk/press-releases/244-clim…
Electricity bills to rocket by 25% because of ‘green’ targets, says Government
By Jason Groves, Daily Mail, Dec 15, 2011
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-20742…
Expanding the Orthodoxy
Low-sulfur jet fuel eyed as climate aid
By Staff Writers, UPI, Dec 14, 2011 [H/t Timothy Wise]
http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2011/12/14/Lo…
Mercury releases into the atmosphere from ancient to modern times
By Staff Writers, SPX, Dec 16, 2011
http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Mercury_rel…
The Volt Administration
By Mona Charen, Townhall, Dec 13, 2011
http://townhall.com/columnists/monacharen/201…
[SEPP Comment: The US Secretary of the Navy defends spending over $15 per gallon for a substitute for jet fuel which sells for about $4 per gallon.]
Seeking a Common Ground
Politics is about acting alike, not thinking alike
By Roger Pielke, JR, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Dec 15, 2011
http://thebulletin.org/web-edition/roundtable…
[SEPP Comment: Pielke's final comments in a roundtable discussion between Pielke, Robert Socolow, and Randy Olson on the issue of "When politicians distort science.]
Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate?
Merkel: nuclear exit will create more jobs than destroys
By Staff Writers, AFP, Dec 13, 2011
http://www.nuclearpowerdaily.com/reports/Merk…
[SEPP Comment: According to her, driving up the cost of living creates prosperity.]
Models v. Observations
Qualitative Discussion of Atlantic Basin Seasonal Hurricane Activity for 2012
By Philip J. Klotzbach and William M. Gray, CSU, Dec 7, 2011 [H/t Anthony Watts, WUWT]
http://hurricane.atmos.colostate.edu/forecast…
Changing Weather
Hurricane Reality Check
By Donn Dears, Power for USA, Dec 16, 2011
http://dddusmma.wordpress.com/…
Is Global Warming Really Harming Africa’s Sahel Region?
By James Taylor, Forbes, Dec 14, 2011
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2011/…
Changing Climate
Comment On Andy Revkin’s Post “More On The ‘Sensitive’ Climate Question” Specifially With Respect To His Interview With Andreas Schmittner
By Roger Pielke, Sr, Pielke Climate Science, Dec 14, 2011
http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/12…
He does, not however, emphasize another really major distinction between today’s climate system and that 18000 years ago. The presence of high continental ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere would substantially alter the wind circulations, including ancient versions of ENSO, the PDO, the NAO ect. Any comparison with a “climate sensitivity” based on a surface global average temperature anomaly tells us little of scientific use in terms of how added CO2 and other greenhouse gases would alter our climate in the coming decades.
Moreover, running global climate models with such a landscape configuration, including a more extended coastline due to the lower sea level, is not a satisfactory comparison with climate change predictions for the current climate system.
Global sea surface temperatures provides new measure of climate sensitivity
By Staff Writers, SPX, Dec 13, 2011
http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Global_sea_…
[SEPP Comment: See link immediately above concerning the physical changes during ice ages.]
‘High Glaciers Safe From Warming’
By Christopher Pala, IPS, Dec 15, 2011 [-H/t GWPF]
http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=106227…
[SEPP Comment: The article attributes late 20th century warming to carbon dioxide.]
Changing Earth
GPS Reveals 2010 Spike In Greenland Ice Loss Lifted Bedrock
By Pam Frost Gorder, SPX, Dec 12, 2011
http://www.terradaily.com/reports/GPS_Reveals…
[SEPP Comment: The response seems to be unusually quick.]
Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine
The Contribution of Fossil Fuels to (a) Feeding Humanity and (b) Habitat Conservation?
By Indur Goklany, WUWT, Dec 11, 2011
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/11/the-con…
Litigation Issues
The EPA vs. the Constitution
The Supreme Court prepares to hear a major Fifth Amendment case.
By Damon Root, Reason, Dec 15, 2011
http://reason.com/archives/2011/12/15/the-epa…
Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes
Banks Curb Carbon Trading
With progress slow on climate talks, banks withdraw from the industry
By Ben Sills, Business Week, Dec 15, 2011 [H/t GWPF]
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/banks-cu…
Subsidies and Mandates Forever
Danes decline oil, gas, coal and nuclear
Denmark, holder of the next EU Presidency, goes for 100% decarbonisation
By Frede Vestergaard, EER, Dec 12, 2011
http://www.europeanenergyreview.eu/site/pagin…
[SEPP Comment: Another grand plan to be financed by electricity consumers and the export of yet to be created electric cars and yet to be developed smart grid technologies.]
EPA and other Regulators on the March
MISO Approves Plan for 215 New Midwestern Transmission Projects Amid EPA Rule Concerns
By Staff Writers, POWERnews, Dec 14, 2011
http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/4236.html?h…
CAFE Spells RIP for Trucks
By Eric Peters, American Spectator, Dec 13, 2011
http://spectator.org/archives/2011/12/13/cafe…
[SEPP Comment: That is the objective for the EPA.]
Energy Issues
Canada Releases Rules for Offshore-Arctic Drilling
By Edward Welsch, WSJ, Dec 16, 2011
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405297…
[SEPP Comment: Realistic rules. May be behind a paywall.]
Why U.S. is still king for Canadian oil
By Claudia Cattaneo, Financial Post, Dec 15, 2011
http://business.financialpost.com/2011/12/15/…
Household electricity bills skyrocket
Electric bills have skyrocketed in the last five years, a sharp reversal from a quarter-century when Americans enjoyed stable power bills even as they used more electricity.
By Dennis Cauchon, USA Today, Dec 13, 2011 [H/t SPPI Blog]
http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/ener…
[SEPP Comment: The administration is achieving one of its goals.]
Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
Kinder’s Major Bet on a Boom in Fracking
By Clifford Krauss, NYT, Dec 15, 2011
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/16/business/en…
[SEPP Comment: The comments by NRDC regarding a tax break have no basis. Nothing prevents a wind farm from being a partnership except special tax breaks corporate wind farms receive.]
Green Groups’ Attack On Fracking Based On Bad Science
Editorial, IBD, Dec 12, 2011 [H/t Timothy Wise]
http://news.investors.com/Article.aspx?id=594…
Add Quakes to Rumblings Over Gas Rush
By Henry Fountain, NYT, Dec 12, 2011
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/13/science/som…
Administration’s Control of Oil and Gas
Return to Gulf: Big Oil Grabs Leases
First Auction of Deep-Water Blocks Since BP Disaster Draws $337.6 Million in Winning Bids
By Tom Fowler, WSJ, Dec 15, 2011
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405297…
[SEPP Comment: There is a big difference between leases giving the right to explore for oil and permits to drill for oil. According to the article the US direct employment in the oil and gas industry has increased from 157,800 in April 2010 to 183,600 in November 2011. But this is from on drilling, largely on private lands. The rig count in the Gulf of Mexico has fallen from 52 to 39. May be behind a pay wall.]
Return of King Coal?
Exxon’s Energy Outlook: A 50 Page Hypothesis
By Frank Clemente, Energy Facts Weekly, Dec 15, 2011
http://www.energy-facts.org/LinkClick.aspx?fi…
[SEPP Comment: Taking exception to Exxon's forecast of low coal use in the future.]
Oil Spills & Consequences
New report criticizes industry, regulators in Gulf oil spill
By Neela Banerjee, LA Times, Dec 14, 2011
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/environment…
[SEPP Comment: Great photo of a Kemps Ridley turtle swimming away from a horde of would be human rescuers attempting to rehabilitate it.]
Nuclear Energy and Fears
Cold Shutdown Conditions Declared at Fukushima
By Peter Kaisner, IAEA, Dec 16, 2011
http://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/2011/cold…
Scientists Assess Radioactivity in the Ocean from Japan Nuclear Power Facility
By Staff Writers, SPX, Dec 15, 2011
http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Scientists_…
France’s Areva sees 2011 loss of up to 1.6 bn euros
By Staff Writers, AFP, Dec 12, 2011
http://www.nuclearpowerdaily.com/reports/Fran…
Small reactors called U.S. nuclear future
By Staff Writers, UPI, Dec 13, 2011
http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2011/12/13/Sm…
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy
Sun burned
German solar insolvency is latest sign of collapse of the green-energy bubble. Ontario is set to cut tariff rates
By Terence Corcoran, Financial Post, Dec 14, 2011
http://opinion.financialpost.com/2011/12/14/t…
Bird advocates urge mandatory standards for wind energy projects
By Louis Sahagun, LA Times, Dec 14, 2011
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/environment…
[SEPP Comment: The article states that according to federal wildlife authorities wind farms kill about 440,000 birds each year. A search of the web failed to identify a source for the claim although Fish and Wildlife states tens of millions of birds are killed each year by other human related causes including domestic cats. Fish and Wildlife reported that in the year following the Gulf Oil Spill it found 2308 dead birds with visible oil.]
The Wind Power Pipe Dream
By Alan Caruba, Warning Signs, Dec 12, 2011
http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/…
Lawrence Livermore ramps up wind energy research
By Anne M Stark for LLNL News, SPX, Dec 16, 2011
http://www.winddaily.com/reports/Lawrence_Liv…
Jet Fuel-Gate Is Obama’s New Solyndra
Editorial, IBD, Dec 13, 2011
http://news.investors.com/Article.aspx?id=594…
Carbon Schemes
Vattenfall’s Jänschwalde Demo Is Latest in String of CCS Projects Shelved
By Staff Writers, Power News, Dec 14, 2011
http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/4233.html?h…
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC
For a full list of articles see
http://www.NIPCCreport.org…
Recent Reflections on Sea-Level Rise Reflect Poorly on the IPCC
Reference: Lee, E.M. 2011. Reflections on the decadal-scale response of coastal cliffs to sea-level rise. Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology 44: 481-489.
http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/dec/…
Climate Model Failures in the Southeast Pacific Ocean
Reference Zheng, Y., Shinoda, T., Lin, J.-L. and Kiladis, G.N. 2011. Sea surface temperature biases under the stratus cloud deck in the Southeast Pacific Ocean in 19 IPCC AR4 coupled general circulation models. Journal of Climate 24: 4139-4164.
http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/dec/…
The Medieval Warm Period in Southern South America
Reference: Neukom, R., Luterbacher, J., Villalba, R., Kuttel, M., Frank, D., Jones, P.D., Grosjean, M., Wanner, H., Aravena, J.-C., Black, D.E., Christie, D.A., D’Arrigo, R., Lara, A., Morales, M., Soliz-Gamboa, C., Srur, A., Urritia, R. and von Gunten, L. 2011. Multiproxy summer and winter surface air temperature field reconstructions for southern South America covering the past centuries. Climate Dynamics 37: 35-51.
http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/dec/…
The Warming of South Korean Cities: 1954-2008
Reference: Kim, M.-K. and Kim, S. 2011. Quantitative estimates of warming by urbanization in South Korea over the past 55 years (1954-2008). Atmospheric Environment 45: 5778-5783.
http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/dec/…
Environmental Industry
Oxfam-Betraying its Roots and Sabotaging its Own Mission
By Indur Goklany, WUWT, Dec 13, 2011
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/13/oxfambe…
Big Green’s endangered species money machine
By: Ron Arnold, Washington Examiner, Dec 15, 2011
http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columni…

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BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
Climate change blamed for dead trees in Africa
By Staff Writers, SPX, Dec 15, 2011
http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Climate_cha…
[SEPP Comment: Technically true, the Sahara has been drying since the monsoon rains stopped reaching it thousands of years ago.]
US mulls tax break for space ‘burials’
By Staff Writers, AFP, Dec 12, 2011
http://www.space-travel.com/reports/US_mulls_…
[SEPP Comment: A politician in Virginia has proposed a state tax break to promote tourism at the launch site in Virginia.]
Study finds climate changes faster than species can adapt
By Staff Writers, SPX, Dec 14, 2011
http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Study_finds…
[SEPP Comment: Using unverified models to project future global warming.]

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…

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10 thoughts on “Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

  1. thanks for that comprehensive roundup, just in relation to Climategate 2 and quoting ‘What is unusual is a demand by the US Department of Justice for email correspondence from three bloggers who are well known skeptics, Donna LaFramboise (NFC) and Steve McIntyre (Climate Audit) in Canada and Roger Tattersall (Tallbloke) in England’ the second recipient was not NFC but Jef ID http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/
    See his post here http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/crackdown-shooting-in-the-dark/

  2. 18 Dec: Reuters: Barbara Lewis: EU parliament set to call for carbon market
    European politicians are expected on Tuesday to vote through an amendment that could pave the way for direct intervention in the EU carbon market, which has sunk to record lows.
    Businesses and environmentalists have heaped pressure on the European Commission to bolster the EU Emissions Trading Scheme…
    “We have not voted yet, but I expect broad, cross-party support for the compromise amendment,” Dutch Green Member of the European Parliament Bas Eickhout told Reuters.
    “A broad majority in the parliament is really concerned about what’s going on with the carbon price.”
    The vote is not binding. If passed, it would require a further vote next year and debate by member state governments.
    But it would “send a strong signal,” Eickhout said, and could help to overcome deadlock within the Commission, which has stalled for months on the issue. The Commission would comment “in due course,” a spokesman said…
    Although the parliamentary vote would not be binding, another signatory of the statement, campaigner E3G said it could sway the Commission by signaling broad political support.
    “We are at a do or die moment,” Sanjeev Kumar, senior associate at E3G, said. “If they get the vote wrong, billions of euros could be wiped out alongside our future.”…
    For some environmentalists, such as the wind lobby, raising the EU’s green ambitions is the most obvious way to increase the carbon price.
    They say the current targets of a 20 percent cut in emissions and a 20 percent increase in the share of renewables in the energy mix by 2020 are not ambitious enough…
    Environmentalists are looking to the presidency and Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard, also a Dane, to build on the EU’s achievement in Durban in bringing the Kyoto Protocol, the only global treaty on tackling climate change, back from the brink.
    “In our view it puts a lot of pressure on Europe to act decisively where and when it can on climate and energy policy,” Jason Anderson, head of European climate and energy policy at WWF, said of the outcome of the Durban talks.
    “With the ETS in dire need of reform, the first opportunity is already upon us.”
    (Additional reporting by Jeff Coelho, Nina Chestney and Ben Garside in London; Editing by John Stonestreet and Jon Loades-Carter)

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/18/us-eu-carbon-idUSTRE7BH0DZ20111218

  3. 19 Dec: Financial Times: Brian Groom: Industry demands incentives for low-carbon growth
    The EEF industry federation says two-thirds of UK manufacturing companies see an emerging low-carbon economy as an opportunity, but only one in eight views Britain as a favourable place to invest in this area…
    Three-quarters of the 76 executives surveyed said the rising cost of environmental policies was damaging competitiveness…

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/b631de1c-281c-11e1-91c7-00144feabdc0.html

  4. fightback…

    18 Dec: Livemint/WSJ:Tarun Shukla: India asks its airlines not to submit carbon tax data to EU
    Reuters contributed to this story
    New Delhi: The Indian government has asked the country’s airlines to refrain from submitting carbon emissions data to the European Union (EU) for a new tax that will become applicable from 1 January for flights to Europe, hardening its stand further against the imposition of the levy…
    India has led the opposition to the move with support from more than two dozen countries including the US and China.
    “I am directed to say that the ministry has decided that there is no need for Indian carriers to submit any data to European Union under EU-ETS,” the civil aviation ministry said in a letter to all the domestic airlines that fly on international routes on 25 November. The letter was reviewed by Mint.
    “Any correspondence received at your end (airlines) from the EU in this regard may be forwarded to this ministry, for taking necessary action,” the letter added…
    The EU maintains it’s not a tax. “Yes, the inclusion of aviation in the EU emissions trading scheme is on track. Our law will be implemented on 1 January 2012, as planned and announced,” Valero-Ladron said…
    It remains unclear what could be the result of India not allowing its airlines to submit data to EU.
    India’s next step will be in consultation with other countries including the US, said a civil aviation ministry official who declined to be named.
    “Whatever happens will happen in a coordinated manner,” he said…
    “The last thing that airlines need is another operating tax,” said Steve Forte, a former CEO of Jet Airways. “A united front among non-EU countries would certainly help in changing the mind of the EU and placing the subject of reducing aviations emissions where it belongs: Icao (International Civil Aviation Organization).”
    Forte added that he does not see a trade war looming.
    “Worst comes to worst, the US will impose a similar tax on all EU carriers operating to and from the US, and the EU carriers will scream bloody murder until an amicable solution can be found.”

    http://www.livemint.com/2011/12/18224636/India-asks-its-airlines-not-to.html?h=B

  5. 19 Dec: Jakarta Post: Is the huge delegation to the UNFCCC necessary?
    Evan Oktavianus and Ary Adiati
    As seen in the conference’s list of participants, Indonesia sent 230 delegates, the second largest after Brazil with 289 delegates…
    Because the presence of most people there is not a necessity, the cost incurred by sending them there cannot be justified. The estimated cost for sending 230 people to South Africa, including flights, accommodations and allowances, can reach US$800,000. In a year, dozens of similar international negotiations on environmental and other issues take place. Such an amount of money will serve our environment better should it be allocated for tangible environmental protection and conservation efforts.
    Not only that, probably less in magnitude but still crucial in essence, the carbon print of air travel is so massive that the demands to put a special environmental tax on air travel has surfaced. Sending 230 people to Durban means, we emit tons of carbon into the atmosphere. This is clearly an act against the spirit of climate change mitigation efforts.
    Most importantly, with all the costs, the progress we have achieved in international mitigation and adaptation efforts in climate change this year remains minor. The clarity of the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol is still in doubt.
    The progress made in the promised Green Climate Fund, which should reach $100 billion for climate mitigation and adaptation projects per year by 2020 has not been materialized. And lastly, the future of Climate Development Mechanism and REDD+ (Reducing Emission through Deforestation and Forest Degradation) to support green projects in our industry and forestry sector is still unclear…
    Evan Oktavianus is an analyst at the Ministry of Finance of Indonesia, currently a masters’ student at the University of Oxford, UK, majoring Environmental Change and Management. Ary Adiati graduated from the Department of Communications, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Diponogoro University, Semarang.

    http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/12/18/is-huge-delegation-unfccc-necessary.html

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