Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

Quote of the Week:
“…it would not serve the national interest. – President Obama in rejecting permits to build a new overland pipeline to import additional oil from neighboring Canada using the safest method known for high volume transportation of liquids.

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Number of the Week: 3 years

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THIS WEEK:
By Ken Haapala, Executive Vice President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
Keystone Pipeline: On Wednesday, President Obama rejected the request by TransCanada for permits to build a 1700 mile long pipeline to transport crude petroleum from the oil sands of Alberta, Canada, to refineries in the US along the gulf coast. This oil would supplement the heavy crude from Venezuela and Mexico, where production is declining due to the failure of investment by the government owned oil companies. The pipeline was to be privately financed, requiring no government subsidies or loans, and would provide construction jobs along the route. It would supply necessary oil from a reliable ally by the safest method to transport oil – overland pipeline.

The decision elated the environmental industry and demonstrated the extent to which this industry influences energy and economic policy in the US. In praising the decision, an editorial in the New York Times stated that the government should focus on renewable and alternative energy. Typical for the environmental industry and its advocates, the Times misled its readers by failing to state that oil produces less than one percent of the electricity in the US, mostly on site, such as emergency generation for hospitals when the electrical grid fails. Electricity from wind and solar is not a substitute for oil. Biofuels are a substitute for oil, but as of now require vast amounts of land, drive up food prices, and would not be economically viable without mandates (the subsidies were phased out at the end of 2011).

The decision has other ramifications. The pro-growth government of Canada has made it clear it intends to support the building of a pipeline from Alberta to the Pacific coast in British Columbia in order to transport oil to Asia. The US environmental industry is not welcomed by the government of Canada.

In the spring of 2011, the Obama administration arranged for a $2 Billion loan from the US Export-Import Bank to the Brazilian government controlled oil company Petrobras to develop deep-water fields off the coast of Brazil. When visiting Brazil in the spring, President Obama declared that the US wants to be a major trading partner of Brazil for the importation of oil from these fields. The company has now signed deals with Chinese companies for the development of the fields and delivery of oil to China.

Thanks to the innovative development of extraction of oil from the dense Bakken shale formation, this year North Dakota is on track to become the second largest oil producing state, after Texas, surpassing California and Alaska, which have been hobbled for decades by unnecessary environmental restrictions by Washington. The Keystone pipeline was designed to take about 100,000 barrels of crude a day from the Bakken fields. Without the pipeline it will be increasingly be moved by rail, which is more expensive and less reliable. No doubt, if a major mishap occurs, the environmental industry will be demanding a moratorium on rail movement, further strangling US oil development.

It would be remiss not to point out that the major rail line serving the Bakken fields is BNSF Railway Co, a unit of Berkshire Hathaway, the president of which is Warren Buffet, a long time Obama advisor. According to reports, Bakken pioneer oilman Harold Hamm, who severely criticizes Obama for not recognizing the importance of the Bakken and the pipeline decision, believes Buffet had no role in the pipeline decision. Please see Articles # 1 & 2, and links under “Energy Issues – Canada”, “Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past” and “Administration’s Control of Oil and Gas.”

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Number of the Week – 3 years. The Obama administration had 3 years to study the Keystone pipeline, before President Obama rejected it, claiming not enough time to study it. The technology and the few risks of oil pipelines are well established.
President Obama was in office for 4 weeks when he signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Stimulus Bill) on February 17, 2009 (7 days after it was passed by the Senate) with a then estimated cost of $787 Billion, funded by government borrowing.

It has been almost 3 years since the stimulus bill was enacted to keep the unemployment rate below 8 percent. Even with a declining work force, the unemployment rate has been above 8 percent for almost 3 years. The predicted government deficit-funded economic boom did not materialize.

According to the Alyeska pipeline web site it took 3 years, 2 months to construct the Trans Alaska Pipeline System across 800 miles of rugged terrain with mountain passes up to 4,739 feet, 34 major river crossings and nearly 500 stream and other crossings, with temperatures ranging from minus 80 F to 95 F: pipeline, pump stations, roads, terminals, etc (April 29, 1974 to Jun 20, 1977)

http://www.alyeska-pipe.com/Pipelinefacts/Pip…

Between 1880 and 1882, it took Thomas Edison 3 years to create “the world’s first commercial system of electricity generation, transmission, and conversion.” “And the pace and breadth of his inventiveness is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that during those three critical years he was granted not only nearly 90 patents for incandescent filaments and lamps but also 60 patents for magneto or dynamo-electric machines and their regulation, 14 patents for the system of electric lighting, 12 patents for the distribution of electricity, and 10 patents for electric meters and motors.”

http://www.american.com/archive/2011

Such private innovation by Thomas Edison would not be well received in Washington today. The permitting process would be mindless, with never ending calls for additional research on the risks of electricity.

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New Tactics: Global warming alarmists have taken a new tactic in their efforts to brand global warming skeptics as anti-science. Skeptics, such as SEPP, insist that climate change is natural and normal and that the UN IPCC has failed to produce rigorous scientific research demonstrating that carbon dioxide emissions are causing unprecedented and dangerous global warming. The models used failed to predict current temperature trends, thus the results are nothing but speculation.

In an effort to distort issues, organizations such as the self-styled National Center for Science Education (NCSE) are attempting to lump skepticism about global warming with skepticism about evolution. The subjects are separate and distinct, and any rational discussion needs to separate them. To SEPP, this is but one more example how desperate the global warming alarmists have become over their failure to conduct the necessary research.

The web site of NCSE states: “To ensure the accuracy of the models at projecting future climate trends, the models are often run backwards in time to “retrodict” past climate changes, and then compared with paleoclimate observations. The models through this process have become remarkably accurate and give the climate research community confidence that the future projections are robust.” [Boldface added.] The climate models are failing the most critical test – the ability to predict the current temperature trend of no increase. Please see links under “Expanding the Orthodoxy.”
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False Positives: No matter how scrupulously conducted, sometimes studies will produce a false positive by sheer random chance. There is no way of knowing when this will occur. As reader Tom Sheahen pointed out, Judith Curry had an interesting post on false positives on her web site, linked in TWTW last week and this week.

To help assure that false positives do not enter into government policy requires demanding repetitive, rigorous, transparent studies. Of course, this is of little use when agencies, such as the EPA in its new mercury rules, pick and choose the studies they wish to use and discard the rest without written justification. Please see link under “Seeking a Common Ground.”

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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 Anti-Jobs President
Obama rejects the Keystone XL pipeline and blames Congress.
Editorial, WSJ, Jan 19, 2012
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405297…
2. A Tale of Two Pipelines
Canada and the U.S. trade economic places.
Editorial, WSJ, Jan 18, 2012
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405297…
3. Small Is Beautiful-So Go Nuclear
As environmentally friendly as they sound, biofuels and wind power squander land and other resources.
By Robert Bryce, WSJ, Jan 18, 2012
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405297…
4. Heavy Metal Politics
Interior bans new uranium mining in Arizona.
Editorial, WSJ, Jan 20, 2012
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405297…
[SEPP Comment: Another example of the environmental lobby controlling energy policy in Washington. According to the Environmental Impact Statement, mining in the desolate area put off limits for uranium mining last week will have little environmental impact.]

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NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Climategate Continued
Stocker’s Earmarks
By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Jan 12, 2012
http://climateaudit.org/2012/01/12/stockers-e…
Suppressing Scientific Inquiry
The Icelandic Saga Continues
By Paul Homewood, Jan 18, 2012 [H/t ICECAP]
http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/…
[SEPP Comment: NASA-GISS is diddling with the historic data, again.]
Who would have guessed it?
By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Jan 16, 2012
http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2012/1…
[SEPP Comment: Hadley CRU is diddling with the data, again.]
Challenging the Orthodoxy
What Causes El Niño / La Niña? IPCC Doesn’t Know, But Builds Models and Makes Projections Anyway
By Tim Ball, His Blog, Jan 16, 2012
http://drtimball.com/2012/what-causes-el-nino…
Sense and Sensitivity II – the sequel
By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, WUWT, Jan 15, 2012
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/15/sense-a…
[SEPP Comment, Monckton addressing the claim: "While the non-condensing greenhouse gases account for only 25% of the total greenhouse effect, it is these non-condensing GHGs that actually control the strength of the terrestrial greenhouse effect, since the water vapor and cloud feedback contributions are not self-sustaining and, as such, only provide amplification." Water vapor will disappear from the atmosphere without CO2?]
Defending the Orthodoxy
Warmer summers may bring colder winters
By Staff Writers, Lexington, Mass. (UPI) Jan 16, 2012
http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Warmer_summ…
[SEPP Comment: Contrary to a statement by one researcher, temperature data from the 80 degrees North Latitude shows no significant warming in the summer.]
Carbon dioxide affecting fish brains: study
By Staff Writers, Sydney (AFP,) Jan 16, 2012
http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Carbon_diox…
[SEPP Comment: Tropical fish fanciers often enhance the carbon dioxide levels in aquariums beyond anything that would occur under human CO2 emissions.]
Questioning the Orthodoxy
The Changing Influence of Time
By Patrick Michaels, World Climate Report, Jan 20, 2012
http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2…
Winning A Climate Bet
By David Whitehouse, The Observatory, Jan 13, 2012
http://www.thegwpf.org/the-observatory/4748-w…
A Response to Skeptical Science’s “Patrick Michaels: Serial Deleter of Inconvenient Data”
By Patrick Michaels, WUWT, Jan 17, 2012
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/17/a-respo…
Comments on the Misleading Nature Geosciences Article “Climate Change Confirmed… Again”
By Roger Pielke, Sr, Pielke Climate Science, Jan 17, 2012
http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/01…
Questioning European Green
Wind and Gas
Back-up or Back-out “That is the Question”
By Nora Meray, Clingendael International Energy Programme, Dec 2011
http://www.clingendael.nl/publications/2011/2…
[SEPP Comment: Problems of wind power in northern Europe. It needs about 80% back-up. If added to the existing systems, the current plants cannot be phased out. If introduced to a new system, it must require an expensive second back-up.]
Re-Evaluating Germany’s Blind Faith in the Sun
The costs of subsidizing solar electricity have exceeded the 100-billion-euro mark in Germany, but poor results are jeopardizing the country’s transition to renewable energy. The government is struggling to come up with a new concept to promote the inefficient technology in the future.
By Alexander Neubacher, Der Spiegel, Jan 18, 2012 [H/t GWPF]
http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0…
[SEPP Comment: Germany has spent more on photovoltaic solar than any other country. According to the above report, the peak demand in northern Europe for electricity is about 6 pm in the winter - when, in Germany, there is no sun.]
Solar Industry Remains In Crisis As Government Battles For Right To Appeal
By Staff Writers, London, UK (SPX) Jan 19, 2012
http://www.solardaily.com/reports/Solar_Indus…
[SEPP Comment: Except for isolated use, the solar industry would not exist without government support.]
Renewables must give way to ‘natural gas revolution’
By Benny Peiser, PS Europe, Jan 20, 2012
http://www.publicserviceeurope.com/article/13…
[SEPP Comment: As Peiser states it is necessary for political leaders to recognize the obvious. But can the EU leaders do so when deluded by false environmental promises?]
Plans for green energy drive ‘will cost families £400 a year by 2020′
Energy secretary accused of ‘misleading’ the public
By Jason Grovers, Daily Mail, Jan 18, 2012 [H/t GWPF]
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-20881…
Siemens puts cost of nuclear exit at 1.7 trillion euros
By Christoph Steitz, Reuters, Jan 17, 2012 [H/t GWPF]
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/17/us-…
Expanding the Orthodoxy
The New Science Classroom Battleground: Climate Change
By John Timmer, Ars Technica, Wired Science, Jan 17, 2012 [H/t Ron Lasky]
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/01/cli…
[SEPP Comment: Peter Gleick who disgraced himself with his attack on Roy Spencer, John Christy, Steve McIntyre and others is on the board of the National Center for Science Education. Need one say more?]
A new climate science player
By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Jan 18, 2012
http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2012/1…
National Center for Science Education – web site.
Defending the Teaching of Evolution & Climate Science [H/t Bishop Hill]
http://ncse.com/climate/climate-change-101/ho…
Climate Change Doubts Heat Up the Classroom
Editorial, IBD, Jan 18, 2012 [H/t Timothy Wise]
http://news.investors.com/Article/598184/2012…
State Department Launches “Bureau of Energy Resources”
By Staff Writers, Press Release, Nov 16, 2011 [H/t Timothy Wise]
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2011/11/1772…
“With a growing global population and a finite supply of fossil fuels, the need to diversify our supply is urgent.”
[SEPP Comment: SEPP supports electricity from alternative sources in isolated communities, especially for cooking and basic lighting. But the State department policy will become: promote expensive, unreliable energy with devises from China. Forget Canada and its oil.]
Now Playing: The Sustainability Con
By Ron Ross, American Spectator, Jan 18, 2012
http://spectator.org/archives/2012/01/18/now-…
[SEPP Comments: Graduates of sustainability programs will have jobs at the Department of State Bureau of Energy Resources. Who says bureaucrats cannot plan?]
Seeking a Common Ground
How bad science becomes common knowledge
Two case studies (solar and climate change)
By Eric Dennis, Motls.blogspot, Jan 17, 2012
http://motls.blogspot.com/2012/01/how-bad-sci…
[SEPP Comment; A significant difference between the actual examples given in the article and the claims of the Peter Gleick and the National Center for Science Education.]
False (?) Positives
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc, Jan 12, 2012
http://judithcurry.com/2012/01/12/false-posit…
What Does “Climate Change” Mean? Does A Lack Of Preciseness In Its Definition Discourage Effective Discussion Of The Risks From Climate On Key Societal And Environmental Resources?
By Roger Pielke, Sr, Jan 19, 2012
http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/01…
[SEPP Comment: The term needs to be precisely defined by scientists with a knowledge of climate history, not by lawyers at the EPA or by the IPCC.]
Climate Proposal Puts Practicality Ahead of Sacrifice
By John Tierney, NYT, Jan 16, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/17/science/cou…
[SEPP Comment: If soot and ozone are major causes of global warming, then start from there. Certainly reducing soot would provide enormous health benefits to the women and children that are using traditional fuels indoors. There are highly questionable statements in the article.]
Largest bird alters its foraging due to climate change
By Staff Writers, Leipzig, Germany (SPX), Jan 16, 2012
http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Largest_bir…
[SEPP Comment: As ocean and wind patterns change, birds change foraging patterns. Nothing unusual here.]
Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?
Weird weather around the world sees in 2012
With unusual weather in Europe and the Americas, low Arctic ice, droughts in Africa and Latin America, 2012 picks up where 2011 left off
By John Vidal, Guardian, UK, Jan 12, 2012 [H/t Real Science]
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/20…
Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
Another Billionz Update: NOAA Discovers Inflation
By Roger Pielke, Jr, His Blog, Jan 20, 2012
http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2012/01/ano…
“Ultimately, the time for a federal science agency to get the science right is well before issuing breathless press releases. NOAA has dropped the ball on this one, as have virtually all of the media and bloggers who purport to care about science integrity.” – Well said, Roger, great job!
Appalling disinformation in Irish Times
By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Jan 20, 2012
http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2012/1…
The Pipeline, the Jobs, & the Media
By Donna Laframboise, NFC, Jan 20, 2012
http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2012/01/20/the…
Changing Weather
Winter 2011-2012: Another Cold & Snowier Winter for India
By Madhav Kandekar, Pielke Climate Science, Jan 20, 2012
http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/01…
Snow drought early season vs long trend trends
By Joseph D’Aleo, Weatherbell Analytics, Jan 18, 2012
http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/snow_…
Sahara Snow On January 17 2012 – Is It Unprecedented?
By Roger Pielke, Sr, Pielke Climate Science, Jan 20, 2012
http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/01…
[SEPP Comment: Except for the mountains, it seldom snows.]
Pineapple Express Flooding Follows Heavy Snows in Northwest
By Joe D’Aleo, WeatherBELL Analytics, Jan 19, 2012
http://www.weatherbell.com/weather-news/pinea…
Are the snows of Kilimanjaro returning? Guide says yes
By Alan Boswell, Miami Herald, Jan 18, 2012 [H/t GWPF]
http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/01/18/2595738…
Changing Climate
Global temps in a Crash as AGW proponents Crash the Economy
By Joe Bastardi, Weatherbell Analytics, Jan 18, 2012
http://icecap.us/index.php/go/political-clima…
War-Climate Change Link Disarmed
By Steve Milloy, Junk Science, Jan 19, 2012
http://junkscience.com/2012/01/19/war-climate…
[SEPP Comment: Studies of early Europe indicate it was cooling climates that create unrest leading to population migration - war.]
Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine
Another Luddite victory
By Martin Livermore, Scientific Alliance, Jan 20, 2012
http://www.scientific-alliance.org/scientific…
Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes
Barclays Closes US Carbon Desk In Latest Cap And Trade Setback
By Simon Lomax, AOL Energy, Jan 20, 2012 [H/t SPPI]
http://energy.aol.com/2012/01/20/barclays-clo…
[SEPP Comment: There's always California - the ninth largest economy in the world - for now.]
Subsidies and Mandates Forever
Cape Wind
By Staff Writers, Avalon Energy Services, Jan 18, 2012
http://avalonenergy.us/blog/?p=176…
[SEPP Comment: For years regulators, when intensifying regulations, claim the businesses need regulatory certainty. Programmed ever increasing electricity rates gives certainty to those businesses considering moving to locations with lower electricity rates. The web site of Avalon Energy Services states it is an independent consulting service to lower energy bills to clients.]
US looks ahead after ethanol subsidy expires
By Staff Writers, Washington (AFP), Jan 15, 2012
http://www.biofueldaily.com/reports/US_looks_…
[SEPP Comment: Contrary to the statement in the article, the reason for starting the ethanol subsidy program was to increase the oxygen level in fuel to provide more complete combustion, because many carburetors were set too rich causing incomplete combustion. Once the computerized fuel injection replaced carburetors, ethanol was not needed. Yet the mandates remain.]
EPA and other Regulators on the March
Report: Power plant mercury rule won’t cause power outages
By Andrew Restuccia, The Hill, Jan 18, 2012
http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/2047…
[SEPP Comment: Highly questionable assertion. Even if outages do not occur, the rules are costly and unneeded.]
Energy Issues — Canada
Canada: A global energy superpower
By Joe Oliver, Financial Post, Jan 16, 2012
http://opinion.financialpost.com/2012/01/16/c…
[SEPP Comment: Canada's Minster of Natural Resources debunks claims of extreme environmental damage from oil sands.]
Oil sands money trail
By Vivian Krause, Financial Post, Jan 17, 2012
http://opinion.financialpost.com/2012/01/17/v…
Follow the money, then expose the misinformation
By Peter Foster, Financial Post, Jan 19, 2012
http://opinion.financialpost.com/2012/01/19/p…
Energy Issues
Utility-Scale Energy Storage and Zinc-Air Batteries
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Jan 16, 2012
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/16/utility…
[SEPP Comment: Great if true and can be affordable on a commercial scale.]
Big Reserves Could Make U.S. Energy Self-Sufficient
By Merrill Matthews, IBD, Jan 17, 2012
http://news.investors.com/Article.aspx?id=598…
[SEPP Comment: Energy self-sufficiency is not necessarily a desirable goal. But there is no justification for Washington, including the military, for spending massive sums for alternative energy when less costly carbon based fuels are available in the US.]
Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
North Dakota Sets More Oil Production Records in November; Above 500k Daily Barrels for First Time
By Mark Perry, Carpe Diem, Jan 10, 2012
http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2012/01/north-dak…
Energy fact of the week: Gas shakeout coming?
By Steven F. Hayward, Enterprise Blog, Jan 13, 2012
http://blog.american.com/2012/01/energy-fact-…
[SEPP Comments: Opponents of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas will claim that it will cause job losses and company failures. In fact, fracturing for natural gas has been so successful that it has driven the price of natural gas so low, that companies that depend on natural gas, such as chemical companies, are booming.]
The Dark Side of Serbia’s Oil Shale Fairy Tale
By Vesna Peric Zimonjic, IPS, Jan 19, 2012 [H/t GWPF]
http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=106490…
[SEPP Comment: Wrong type of shale – produces kerogen, not oil. Kerogen requires extensive processing, but it is hardly the “dirtiest technology in the world today.” Women cooking over fires using traditional fuels, such as dung, are using a far more dirty technology.
‘Unconventionals are easy to find but hard to get’
Geology Professor Jan de Jager (ex-Shell) puts West European shale gas prospects in perspective
By Annemieke van Roekel, European Energy Review, Jan 16, 2012
http://www.europeanenergyreview.eu/site/pagin…
Administration’s Control of Oil and Gas
Obama’s jobs council report says ‘drill’
By Andrew Restuccia, The Hill, Jan 17, 2012
http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/2046…
President Obama Bows to Special Interests: Refuses to Approve Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada
Ronald Bailey, Reason, Jan 18, 2012
http://reason.com/blog/2012/01/18/president-o…
Re-Election Obsessed Obama Goes Political On Keystone
By Robert J. Samuelson, IBD, Jan 19, 2012
http://news.investors.com/Article.aspx?id=598…
Obama’s pipe-dream economy
President thinks more jobs created by jobless checks than oil pipeline
Editorial, Washington Times, Jan 18, 2012
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jan/…
Obama kills Keystone pipeline plan; Why he did it
By Andrew Malcolm, IBD, Jan 18, 2012
http://news.investors.com/Article.aspx?id=598…
Jobs Vs. Greens? On Keystone Obama Chooses His Base
Editorial, IBD, Jan 18, 2012
http://news.investors.com/Article/598185/2012…
More ND oil will be railed with no US pipeline
By Staff Writers, AP, Jan 20, 2012
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505245_162-573630…
A Good Call on the Pipeline
Editorial, NYT, Jan 18, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/19/opinion/a-g…
China gets jump on U.S. for Brazil’s oil
Two export pacts a coup for Beijing
By Kelly Hearn, Washington Times, Jan 19, 2012 [H/t SPPI]
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jan/…
Oil Spills & Consequences
Exxon Mobil reaches settlement on Montana spill
By Staff Writers, AP, Jan 19, 2012
http://fuelfix.com/blog/2012/01/19/exxon-mobi…
Nuclear Energy and Fears
Japanese reactors await restart approvals
By Staff Writers, WNN, Jan 16, 2012
http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS-Japanese…
Japan reactor lifespan up to 60 years: government
By Staff Writers, Tokyo (AFP), Jan 18, 2012
http://www.nuclearpowerdaily.com/reports/Japa…
Terrestrial Energy (Geothermal, Nuclear vs. Fossil Fuels and Renewables)
By William Tucker, Master Resource, Jan 16, 2012
http://www.masterresource.org/2012/01/terrest…
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy
When Will We Awake From Obama’s Bad Green Dream?
Editorial, IBD, Jan 19, 2012
http://news.investors.com/Article.aspx?id=598…
U.S. Winning Green Energy Race to Nowhere
By William Yeatman, Global Warming.org, Jan 17, 2012
http://www.globalwarming.org/2012/01/17/u-s-w…
“To put it another way, China is subsidizing the supply of green energy, while the U.S. and Europe are mandating its demand.”
Here comes the sun
By Staff Writers,Boston MA (SPX), Jan 16, 2012
http://www.solardaily.com/reports/Here_comes_…
[SEPP Comment: As of now, the reported cost is 35 million euros with 10MW operational. Not exactly a deal for the Spanish taxpayer.]
Power generation is blowing in the wind
By Anne M Stark, LLNL News, SPX, Jan 18, 2012
http://www.winddaily.com/reports/Power_genera…
[SEPP Comment: Trying to discover why wind farms perform far more poorly than predicted. Anyone who has listened closely to promoters would understand why.]
The Full Cost to Households of Renewable Energy Policies
Analysis of government’s annual energy policy statement
By Simon Less, Policy Exchange, Jan, 2012
http://www.policyexchange.org.uk/images/publi…
[SEPP Comment: The author supports reducing carbon dioxide emissions, but suggests a different way of going about it.]
Spanish wind farms kill 6 to 18 million birds & bats a year
The average bird and bat deaths per turbine comes down to 333 – 1,000 deaths annually
By Staff Writer, Canada Free Press, Jan 12, 2012
http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/arti…
[SEPP Comment: SEPP cannot verify this claim. As stated in the article, the American Bird Conservancy claims about 400,000 for the US. SEPP has been unable to find any systematic nation-wide reporting system. However, these bird kill numbers give some prospective to the 2308 dead birds found with visible oil by U.S. Fish & Wildlife for the full year after the BP oil spill. The spill was not the environmental disaster promoted by the administration and its environmental allies.]
Carbon Schemes
The Future of Coal: Clean coal technologies and CCS in the EU and Central East European Countries
By Frank Umbach, EUCERS, Jan 13, 2012
http://www.europeanenergyreview.eu/site/pagin…
[SEPP Comment: Except for the huge costs, it's a great idea.]
California Dreaming
High-Speed Rail in Calif.: What Price Behavior Mod?
Editorial, IBD, Jan 17, 2012
http://news.investors.com/Article.aspx?id=598…
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC
For a full list of articles see
http://www.NIPCCreport.org…
Modeling Changes in Arctic Ocean Sea Ice Characteristics
Reference: Kwok, R. 2011. Observational assessment of Arctic Ocean sea ice motion, export, and thickness in CMIP3 climate simulations. Journal of Geophysical Research 116: 10.1029/2011JC007004.
http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2012/jan/…
[SEPP Comment: The skill of the models predicting Arctic sea ice movement and thickness is rather poor.]
Coral Response to Thermal Stress: Symbiont Shuffling Plus
Reference: Fitt, W.K., Gates, R.D., Hoegh-Guldberg, O., Bythell, J.C., Jatkar, A., Grottoli, A.G., Gomez, M., Fisher, P., Lajuenesse, T.C., Pantos, O., Iglesias-Prieto, R., Franklin, D.J., Rodrigues, L.J., Torregiani, J.M., van Woesik, R. and Lesser, M.P. 2009. Response of two species of Indo-Pacific corals, Porites cylindrica and Stylophora pistillata, to short-term thermal stress: The host does matter in determining the tolerance of corals to bleaching. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 373: 102-110.
http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2012/jan/…
A Summary of Climate Change over the Past Millennium in China
Reference: Zhou, XJ. 2011. The characteristics and regularities of the climate change over the past millennium in China. Chinese Science Bulletin 56: 2985.
http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2012/jan/…
(1) “temperatures in the Medieval Warm Period are comparable to those in the current warm period over China,” and (2) “the effect of solar activity on climate cannot be neglected in any period of the millennium.”
Responses of Northeast Atlantic Fish to Rapid Regional Warming
Reference: Simpson, S.D., Jennings, S., Johnson, M.P., Blanchard, J.L., Schon, P.-J., Sims, D.W. and Genner, M.J. 2011. Continental shelf-wide response of a fish assemblage to rapid warming of the sea. Current Biology 21: 1565-1570.
Health, Energy, and Climate
La Nina ‘May Abet’ Flu Pandemics
By Joe D’Aleo, WeatherBELL Analytics, Jan 16, 2012
http://www.weatherbell.com/weather-news/la-ni…
LED lights extend meat shelf life
By Staff Writers, Manhattan KS (SPX), Jan 18, 2012
http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/LED_light…
[SEPP Comment: Would changing fluorescent lights to LED in offices extend the shelf life of the workers?]
Environmental Industry
Keystone denial a threat to Gateway line: Enbridge
By Scott Haggett, Reuters, Canada, Jan 19, 2012
http://ca.reuters.com/article/businessNews/id…
[SEPP Comment: After the Obama administration gave the environmental industry a clear win in the Keystone pipeline, it will be more energized to fight the westward Gateway pipeline .]
2 Million Jobs On Offer If Americans Thinks Big on Energy Efficiency
By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), Jan 19, 2012
http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/2_Million…
[SEPP Comment: Forcing people to live in tiny apartments will save a great deal of energy. Job increases by compelling people to adapt to centralized planning failed to produce prosperity n the Soviet Union.]
Environmentalism and the Leisure Class
In playing Keystone cop, President Obama protects his environmental flank for no good reason.
By William Tucker, American Spectator, Jan 20, 2012
http://spectator.org/archives/2012/01/20/envi…
The Canadian (Climate) Paradox
By Donna Laframboise, NFC, Jan 16, 2012
http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2012/01/16/the…
[SEPP Comment: Stop all economic progress.]
Bulgarian parliament bans shale gas exploration
By Staff Writers, Sofia (AFP), Jan 18, 2012
http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/Bulgarian…
Other Scientific News
Top Science Scandals of 2011
A list of this year’s most high-profile retractions and controversies in science
By Tia Ghose, The Scientist, Dec 19, 2011
http://the-scientist.com/2011/12/19/top-scien…
Russian Scientists Mock U.S. Radar Theory on Mars Probe
By Staff Writers, Moscow (RIA Novosti), Jan 18, 2012
http://www.spacemart.com/reports/Russian_Scie…
No Free Launches: Can Commercial Space Bank On NASA Contracts?
By Larry Bell, Forbes, Jan 17, 2012
http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2012/01…
Are you certain, Mr. Heisenberg?
By Staff Writers,Vienna, Austria (SPX) Jan 18, 2012
http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Are_you_cer…
Cracking Open the Scientific Process
By Thomas Lin, NYT, Jan 16, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/17/science/ope…
In tackling lead pollution, fungi may be our friends
By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), Jan 16, 2012
http://www.terradaily.com/reports/In_tackling…
Other News that May Be of Interest
Researchers discover particle which could cool the planet
By Staff Writers, Manchester UK (SPX), Jan 16, 2012
http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Researchers…
One-third of car fuel consumption is due to friction loss
By Staff Writers, Helsinki, Finland (SPX), Jan 16, 2012
http://www.spacemart.com/reports/One_third_of…
Opinion: The Dark Side of Science
Scientists are responsible for the foreseeable consequences of their research-good and bad.
By Heather Douglas, The Scientist, Nov 16, 2011 [H/t Catherine French]
http://the-scientist.com/2011/11/16/opinion-t…
[SEPP Comment: A challenging thought.]
A Second Here a Second There May Just Be a Waste of Time
By Kenneth Chang, NYT, Jan 18, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/19/science/to-…
[SEPP Comment: Is the leap second needed? As reader Tom Sheahen writes: a person running a 100 meter dash can greatly improve his time if he selects the right time to run it.]

- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -

BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
US may be behind Mars probe failure: Russia
By Staff Writers, Moscow (AFP), Jan 17, 2012
http://www.marsdaily.com/reports/US_may_be_be…

***

SEPP / VA-SEEE Forums:
January 23: 7 pm Mathews County, VA, Cornerstone Fellowship Church, 2243 Buckley Hall Road, Cobbs Creek, Va.
January 24: Virginia Beach, VA, 12:15 to 1:45, Libris Room, Virginia Beach Central Library, 4100 Virginia Beach Boulevard
http://g.co/maps/upkp3…
For info, contact Kris Allen. Seating is limited. Please Register at:
http://www.eventbrite.com/event/2746333357…
Speakers include SEPP President Fred Singer, Dr. Charles Battig, and SEPP Exec. VP Ken Haapala. Topics include: status of global warming science and the divergence between models and observations. Why global models, even if modified for regional conditions, are unsuitable for local and regional planning. UN Agenda 21 and how to contest UN and Federal control over local land use issues.

- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -

On the Road Again: Fred Singer will be traveling to the Southwest and West US to spread the joyous news that the NIPCC Reports are correct and the IPCC models do not conform to observations. Humanity has little to fear from the false claims of unprecedented and dangerous global warming. Although his schedule is not final, his stops include: Houston-Austin from Feb 6 to 8; Southern California from Feb 8 to 12, with a talk at Chapman University on Feb 9, additional meeting in San Diego on February 13 & 14 and the key Sigma Xi lecture at the University of New Mexico on Feb 16.

- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -

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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23 Responses to Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

  1. R. de Haan says:

    Sorry, I posted a video link from Jon Stewart about America’s Oil Future, very funny, but the link doesn’t work.
    The vido was published here:
    http://climategate.nl/2012/01/21/jon-stewart-doet-buckler-met-groene-energiefabeltjes/

  2. earthdog says:

    I hope the pipeline decision will nail down election for somebody – ANYBODY – other than our current Child-in-Chief.

  3. Allan MacRae says:

    Three weeks ago I wrote to a friend, who is one of the recognized true experts in global energy, as follows:
    _____________________

    I remain perplexed by Obama’s Keystone decision, which appears to be very much against the national interests of the USA.

    The pipeline is clearly in the USA’s strategic interest. Given the Iran situation, it should have been built yesterday. Furthermore, it will create some jobs and tax revenue at no cost to the taxpayer.

    The alleged environmental dangers of the pipeline appear wildly overstated.

    I think overconsumption of water from the Ogallala aquifer due to corn ethanol overproduction is a much greater environmental threat. Removal of corn ethanol subsidies will not solve the problem as long as the corn ethanol mandates in gasoline remain.

    Am I missing something here?
    _____________________

    His answer: Sadly, no.

  4. You may be interested in the post script to the canceled Oregon AGW skeptics meeting at OMSI from November: http://5440fight.com/2012/01/22/cancelled-november-global-warming-meeting-at-omsi-rescheduled-for-january-25/

  5. Dodgy Geezer says:

    “It would be remiss not to point out that the major rail line serving the Bakken fields is BNSF Railway Co, a unit of Berkshire Hathaway, the president of which is Warren Buffet, a long time Obama advisor. According to reports, Bakken pioneer oilman Harold Hamm, who severely criticizes Obama for not recognizing the importance of the Bakken and the pipeline decision, believes Buffet had no role in the pipeline decision. ..”

    I don’t think you get to be Warren Buffet, one of the world’s most successful businessmen, without being completely on top of ALL business decisions which could affect your interests in the slightest.

    If Mr Buffet ‘had no role in the pipeline decision’, it would only be because he had already made sure that it would be favourable to him. People like these are involved in arranging things before anyone else realises that there is an issue….

  6. klem says:

    But the Keystone XL pipeline already crosses the USA border. It was been delivering oil to the USA since 2010. The part that has been rejected is merely an expansion from the old pipeline, which Obama agreed to, by the way.

    Read this from Wikipedia about the Keystone XL pipeline:

    “The 3,456 kilometres (2,147 mi) long pipeline runs from Hardisty, Alberta to the United States refineries in Wood River, Illinois and Patoka, Illinois… The United States section is 2,219 kilometres (1,379 mi) long.[33] It runs through Buchanan, Clinton and Caldwell counties in Missouri, and Nemaha, Brown and Doniphan counties in Kansas. Phase 1 went online in June 2010.”

    cheers

  7. higley7 says:

    “this is but one more example how desperate the global warming alarmists have become over their failure to conduct the necessary research.”

    There is NO research to do as they made it up. They can do all the research possible and still would not be able confirm their stand, without lying. In fact, they would prove their wrongness by doing research; thus, it is to be avoided altogether.

    ” The models through this process have become remarkably accurate ”
    They pretend this is science and then lie in spades about it. It’s like lying squared. They rely on the average person never asking questions or checking up on these fraudulent claims.

  8. MyersKL says:

    The unemployment rate is 22 percent when one adds workers who stopped looking for jobs and those who are underemployed — working part-time. The formula for computing unemployment figures was changed under the Clinton administration. The change was purely political. We are now experiencing depression-era unemployment in many job sectors.

  9. harrywr2 says:

    Allan MacRae

    Am I missing something here?

    The pipeline company is a Canadian Organization and as such would be considered a ‘foreign lobbyist’ if it were to donate money to a political campaign.

    Warren Buffet owns the railroad that will transport the oil in the absence of the pipeline. He will make a huge bucket of money at motorists expense if the pipeline isn’t built.

    It’s the not the first time that ‘Greens’ have assisted one our nations biggist ‘Capitalist Pigs’ in lining his pockets with even more gold.

  10. Mark Besse says:

    When Obama decided to focus like a laser on creating jobs, someone in the WH forgot to tell him not to use a CO2 cutting laser.

    Keystone XL demonstrates that the whole Repiblicans are anti- science meme is a bunch of leftist fiction.

  11. John in L du B says:

    About 25 years ago I was invoved in a site environmental remediation project with a consultant who was concurrently assisting in response to a nearby train derailment. He said he did a lot of work on train derailment spills, which led me to ask exactly how often derailments occurred. He said that the at that time there were about 300/year in Canada alone (nearly one per day).

    I don’t know if this record has improved over the years but I think that Big Green and the President have just guarenteed that there will be lots environmental damage from spilled oil. Maybe that’s his idea for creating jobs. Remediation work.

  12. oeman50 says:

    Check this out, TransCanada may build out the pipline just in the US to deliver the Bakken shale oil from Montana to Texas. That way they do not need Obama’s approval since it does not cross the border.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-19/transcanada-may-shorten-keystone-xl-bypass-federal-review.html

    They could finish the cross border portion later, presumably when the political climate is more favorable.

  13. hunter says:

    Obama is immature and stomped his feet shouting “no!”, because he was pressured to make a decision.
    There is no question about the rightness of building this pipeline. Its opponents resorted to lying about the risk and ignoring the history of pipeline safety and dependability to fabricate a case against it.
    The decision harms our domestic economy and national security.
    The lesson of this is that Obama would rather waste hundreds of billions of tax payer dollars on failed stimulus programs rather than simply allow the private sector to make real jobs and an increase tax revenues to the US treasury.
    Like a spolied child, Obama’s idea of ‘leadership’ is that everyone else does what he demands or else.
    His definition of compromise is ‘give me everything I want, exactly as I want it, or I will take my toys and go home’.

  14. Nick Shaw says:

    Allan MacRae says:
    Hmmm, your friend, “I think overconsumption of water from the Ogallala aquifer due to corn ethanol overproduction is a much greater environmental threat.” appears to have uncovered one of those pesky unintended consequences, no?

  15. Jim G says:

    Prediction:

    Obama will eventually approve the pipeline to get the union votes. His sycophants in the “green” movement will litigate, find a left wing judge, and get an injuction filed which will take years to overturn. Similar to what they did with the 350 mm tons of coal in Wyoming after the Obama administration made a big show of “releasing” the coal. Result, both socialist support groups will be happy.

  16. Big Bob says:

    The main problem with the Keystone project is that it may result in lower gasoline prices. “Obama Motors” has enough problems trying to sell the Volt Ev as it is. If the price of gasoline goes down to say $2.00 a gallon they won’t be able to GIVE those cars away.Even at todays prices it’s almost impossible. Then it will be just another Obama boondogle. He MUST delay it till after the election at least.

  17. H.R. says:

    Big Bob says:
    January 23, 2012 at 1:25 pm
    “The main problem with the Keystone project is that it may result in lower gasoline prices. “Obama Motors” has enough problems trying to sell the Volt Ev as it is. If the price of gasoline goes down to say $2.00 a gallon they won’t be able to GIVE those cars away.Even at todays prices it’s almost impossible. Then it will be just another Obama boondogle. He MUST delay it till after the election at least.

    Jim G says:
    January 23, 2012 at 12:11 pm
    Prediction:

    Obama will eventually approve the pipeline to get the union votes. His sycophants in the “green” movement will litigate, find a left wing judge, and get an injuction filed which will take years to overturn. Similar to what they did with the 350 mm tons of coal in Wyoming after the Obama administration made a big show of “releasing” the coal. Result, both socialist support groups will be happy.”
    ================================================================
    (bold was mine)
    Obama is walking a fine line. It’s a calculated risk; will he gain more votes from his supporters by delaying or will he tick off more voters than the delay gets him?

  18. kwinterkorn says:

    Obama had to make the uncomfortable choice between American prosperity, jobs, national security, and friendly relations with Canada on the one hand versus the Sierra Club, global warming, hysteric, Gaian worshipers on the other hand. He chose the path that hurts America.

    Although Obama was born in Hawaii, he acts as if he were a Kenyan socialist in his heart, as were his father and grandfather. Remember the title of his autobiography was something like “Dreams from My Father”. Revealing choice no doubt. He seems quite cold toward the dreams of most Americans.

    The American voters will have a choice come this November.

  19. Myrrh says:

    Your link (http://www.marsdaily.com/reports/US_may_be_be…) to this doesn’t work:

    U.S. Denies Link to Mars Mission Failure
    by Staff Writers
    Washington (RIA Novosti) Jan 24, 2012

    Try
    http://www.marsdaily.com/reports/US_Denies_Link_to_Mars_Mission_Failure_999.html

  20. TRE says:

    I find it more telling that Mr. Buffet has purchased BN/SF, that the oil WILL be moved is not in question, who gets to make buckets of money moving it, is…….

  21. TRE says:

    harrywr2, Sorry, I should have read ALL the posts before typing…..didn’t mean to jack your post…..

  22. Allan MacRae says:

    Nick Shaw says:
    January 23, 2012 at 11:44 am
    Allan MacRae says:
    Hmmm, your friend, “I think overconsumption of water from the Ogallala aquifer due to corn ethanol overproduction is a much greater environmental threat.” appears to have uncovered one of those pesky unintended consequences, no?
    ______________________

    Actually Nick, I wrote this.

    I “inherited” a corn ethanol plant in Wyoming in 1998. Despite good local management and huge federal and state subsidies, it was a break-even business, another way of saying it was so energy-inefficient that its life-of-project energy balance was probably negative – it consumed more energy than it created. Grid-connected wind power is no better, and solar power is much worse.

    Since then I’ve learned that the vital Ogallala aquifer is dropping at an alarming rate in some locations, due to excess withdrawal of water for irrigation – much of it for corn ethanol.

    If the environmental movement truly had the interests of America and the world at heart, they would abandon their fascination with wasteful, inefficient corn ethanol, wind power and solar power, and focus on real environmental problems like vital groundwater conservation.

    However, if one analyses their actions, it is clear that the “greens” are not interested in the environment or the wellbeing of humankind. Rather, the environment is merely a convenient smokescreen for their far-left political objectives.

    Regrettably, Obama is in bed with these radicals. It is immaterial if he shares their views or is merely a fool, duped by their rhetoric.

    My poor, dear America – my neighbour – my friend.

    You are governed by scoundrels and imbeciles.

    What will become of you?

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