Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

Quote of the Week:
“I have received, monsieur, your new book against the human race. I thank you for it…no one has ever employed so much intellect in the attempt to prove us beasts. A desire seizes us to walk on four paws when we read your work. Nevertheless, as it is more than sixty years since I lost the habit, I feel, unfortunately, that it is impossible for me to resume it.” Voltaire on Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s book Discourse on Inequality incorporating the concept of the Noble Savage [H/t David Deming]

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Number of the Week: $24,700 Million (rough estimate) for FY 2010

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THIS WEEK:
By Ken Haapala, Executive Vice President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
The Heartland Flap: According to a Heartland press release a person, unknown, used false pretenses to obtain confidential Heartland records. These were quickly posted on some web sites along with an apparently false document of a strategic plan by Heartland to address climate science. Immediately, alarmist web sites went viral. This was proof of a conspiracy to challenge climate science, as alarmists define it. Once dependable newspapers, such as the New York Times and the Christian Science Monitor immediately trumpeted the news.

The Christian Science Monitor falsely claimed that the Charles C. Koch Foundation was undermining climate science. However, the Koch Foundation stated its donations to Heartland were for health care. The Monitor story avoided the fact that there were no major contributions from oil companies, but it linked to stories such as: “Are climate-change deniers guilty of treason?”

The reports stated that Heartland was paying three scientists a total of $18,267, and some expenses, per month, or $219,204 per year, for work on the reports of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC). The NIPCC reports include reviews of published scientific articles that are systematically ignored by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

It never occurred to the reporters and the editors of the newspapers that $219,204 per year is an insignificant amount when countering big science, which is a big business. It is peanuts to the environmental industry that promotes global warming alarmism as well. For example, for FY 2011 the National Resources Defense Council spent $105 Million and paid its president in excess of $300,000.

http://www.nrdc.org/about/NRDC_auditedfinanci…
What is most disturbing about this flap is the dogmatic attitude of many reporters and editors to those who challenge the reports of the IPCC. Without evidence, they declare those who challenge the IPCC are attacking climate science, which is not the case. Climate science, as expressed by the IPCC, is totally inadequate and needs to be improved, significantly. Contrary to what is commonly believed there is no solid physical evidence that changes in carbon dioxide are the primary cause of changes in the earth’s climate.
A note on Fred Singer: Singer was identified as receiving $5000 per month plus up to $1000 for expenses. The report is wrong! The moneys went to SEPP. Singer is the President of SEPP and is the principal founder of NIPCC. He receives no salary. All the moneys to SEPP are used in educational activities and for research, including challenging the IPCC. His latest research includes the IPCC’s failure to adequately account for the chaotic nature of the IPCC models, and questions regarding the reported surface temperatures from 1979 to the super El Niño year of 1998. The surface data are inconsistent with atmospheric temperatures.

Please see the links under “Heartland – Leak or Theft?” and “Funding Fights.” Of especial note are the comments by Roy Spencer and the exceptional comments of Craig Idso in response to Andy Revkin’s editorial in the New York Times, Dot Earth.
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Number of the Week: $24,700 Million (rough estimate): In May 2011, the General Accountability Office (GAO) reported that for the Fiscal Year 2010, that ended September 30, 2010, the US government allocated $8,771 Million for Climate Change Funding, of which $2,122 Million went to the category called climate science. This did not include the $26,140 Million of funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (stimulus bill) which was allocated generally over three years, but was not broken out by year. The figure also did not include the $7,230 Million allocated as tax credits for FY 2010. These are classified as tax expenditures.

Assuming that only one-third of the funds from the stimulus bill were spent in FY 2010, the funding for climate change (including tax credits, etc) by the Federal government in FY 2010 roughly totals $24,700 Million. Putting it differently, Federal government expenditures in 5 minutes during FY 2010 were greater than Heartland’s annual expenditures for the three co-authors of the NIPPC reports who dare to present reports challenging the scientific basis used to justify the expenditures.

No wonder those who defend the orthodoxy are so outraged with Heartland. With a total budget of $4.6 million for all activities in 2011, Heartland is among the few organizations that have raised serious scientific objections to the global warming express and its massive expenditures. It frightens the defenders of the orthodoxy that the American taxpayers may realize that they are getting an extremely poor return for these enormous expenditures. The 2011 Heartland total budget is less than 0.02% of the Federal government expenditures on climate change in FY 2010. Yet, for that paltry sum, the science produced by NIPCC and many independent contributors present the vital balance to the biased science of the IPCC.
http://www.gao.gov/assets/320/318556.pdf…
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Freedom of Information Act: Anti-nuclear groups are suing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to stop withholding what is called critical information concerning the $8.3 Billion loan guarantee for the nuclear plant with 2 third generation AP 1000 reactors that the NRC approved last week. Contrary to statements in the article linked below, the reported costs of the facility at $14 Billion are far greater than the loan guarantee. However, since taxpayers eventually must bear the burden of a default, there should be transparency as to the conditions of the loan. This principle should not only apply to the nuclear industry, but also to other subsidized industries. Please see link under “Litigation Issues.”
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Wind Subsidies: The Federal government program giving developers of wind farms 30% of cost upon completion of the project expired last year, although these subsidies remain for already approved projects. The program of wind production subsidies to wind farms is scheduled to expire at the end of this year. Given that it is an election year, not much will be happening in Washington. Many in the wind industry fear that the industry will be unsustainable without these subsidies. Thus, intense political fights can be expected.
This leads to several issues. One, the subsidy program has existed for 20 years. It was temporary to allow the infant wind industry time to grow, even though wind generated electricity has been around since the 1880s. How long does it take for an infant industry to grown-up? Also, full disclosure is in order. Hard production data should be required from those receiving subsidies comparing the promises of the promoters with actual performance, including the cost of back-up that is necessary when wind fails. Such data is very difficult to obtain. Please see links under “Subsidies and Mandates Forever.”
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California Snowpack: Shortly after he took office, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu held a press conference in Southern California declaring that global warming will melt the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, resulting in the destruction of California agriculture. He was wrong, now on two counts. As articulated in a prior TWTW (April 2, 2011), only southern part of the Central Valley requires water from the snowpack. However, that water is stored in reservoirs until it is needed for agriculture. As long as the moisture falls in the winter and spring, the plants do not care if it is snow or rain.
Now, Secretary Chu is wrong on a second count. John Christy of the University of Alabama, Huntsville, a native of Fresno in the Central Valley, announced a new study of the historic records of the snow packs of the Sierra Nevada Mountains with some records going as far back 1880s. There is no statistically significant change.
No doubt this study will be as displeasing to some as a prior study by Christy, et al. that reported the southern Central Valley has warmed, but from irrigation and urbanization, not carbon dioxide. The nearby Sierra Nevada Mountains showed no warming.
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Methane Hydrates: Japan Oil, Gas and Metals Corporation has started a program of drilling four deep water wells (1000 meters below sea level) into methane hydrates to determine if these frozen mixtures of natural gas and water can be developed as a source of fuel. If the methane hydrates can be economically developed, then the world’s natural gas inventory would change dramatically. For example, there are extensive deposits in the Gulf of Mexico and in other locations. Please see link under “Oil and Natural Gas – The Future or the Past.”
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Hydraulic Fracturing: A new study presented at the AAAS conference reported that contamination of well sites from hydraulic fracturing (fracking) occur from improper procedures at the surface such as properly covering the well casing and disposal of wastewater, not from the deep underground fracking. No doubt the study will be highly controversial among opponents to energy and the EPA. Please see links under “Oil and Natural Gas – The Future or the Past.”
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Language of the Times: The global warming alarm has affected the language of many new services. As stated above, criticism of the IPCC science is labeled as an attack on climate science. A number of news services are describing the protracted extreme cold in Europe as a “cold snap.” Weeks of intense cold with temperatures as much as 15 deg C below normal is a snap? Please see links under “Changing Weather.”
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Quote of the Week: The quote was taken from an opinion paper by David Deming entitled “The Noble Savage. Please see link under “Environmental Industry.”

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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. Texans Are Baffled by the Keystone Decision
China will get the oil from Canada that could have come to the U.S.
By Rick Perry, WSJ, Feb 13, 2012
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405297…
2. Clean-Energy Aid Racks Up Losses
By Tennille Tracy, WSJ, Feb 11, 2012
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405297…

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NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Science: Is the Sun Rising?
German skeptics Lüning and Vahrenholt respond to criticism
Guests Posts by Sebastian Lüning and Fritz Vahrenhold
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Feb 13, 2012
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/13/german-…
[SEPP Comment: The authors of The Cold Sun respond to their critics. Natural climate cycles are not taken into consideration by the IPCC. Further, Svensmark's solar-cosmic ray hypothesis better explains the warming and cooling of the earth over the past 10,000 years than the IPCC's CO2 hypothesis. Neff's study of stalagmites in Oman is mentioned.]
Challenging the Orthodoxy
Interview of Fred Singer
By Sasha Foo, KUSI, San Diego, Feb 13, 2012
http://www.kusi.com/video?clipId=6740164&auto…
[SEPP Comment: Singer's comment on 20th century warming refers to the period between 1979 and the years before the super El Niño event of 1998. The temperature rise reflected in the surface data is not supported by atmospheric data or proxy data.]
CO2 is not a Greenhouse Gas that Raises Global temperature. Period!
By Tim Ball, A Different Perspective, Feb 15, 2012
http://drtimball.com/2012/co2-is-not-a-greenh…
[SEPP Comment: A different view from one who has studied the earth's climate history over past 10,000 years.]
Study: Sierra snowfall consistent over 130 years
By Peter Fimrite, Fan Francisco Chronicle, Feb 15, 2012 [H/t GWPF]
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/…
Post-Modern Science and the Scientific Legitimacy of the IPCC’s WG1, AR5 Draft Report
By Arthur R?rsch, the Netherlands, A working paper, No date [H/t NFC]
http://climatescienceinternational.org/images…
[SEPP Comment: An analysis of the draft of the IPCC's AR5 - more of the same faulty science.]
Closed Minds at the IPCC
By Donna Laframboise, NFC, Feb 12, 2012
http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2012/02/12/clo…
All fourteen chapters of the IPCC report start from the assumption that atmospheric CO2 is a dominant forcing agent for global temperature. [bold added]. See the paper immediately above.
Defending the Orthodoxy
French researchers complete new simulations for the next IPCC report
By David Whitehouse, The Observatory, Feb 15, 2012
http://www.thegwpf.org/the-observatory/4984–…
[SEPP Comment: A series of 'retrospective forecasts' for the past 59 years results in more precision in the models with projections of temperature increases in this century from 2 deg to 5 deg C. Certainly a cooling is not in the plans of the IPCC.]
Extreme summer temperatures occur more frequently
By Anne M Stark for LLNL News, Livermore, CA (SPX) Feb 17, 2012
http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Extreme_sum…
[SEPP Comment: A cut-off date of 2000 of a study starting in 1975 showed a good agreement between models and observations. Why the artificially early cut-off date? Data was available to 2010. Could it be that models have a problem after 2000? Is it that the models reflect a specialized case, a specific time period, and cannot be applied to a broader period?]
AAAS – “science is not enough”
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Feb 17, 2012
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/17/aaas-sc…
[SEPP Comment: AAAS presidents have a history of attacking those who dare question its orthodoxy, including Bjørn Lomborg - of the Skeptical Environmentalist.]
Climate scientists not cowed by relentless climate change deniers
By Toni Feder, Physics Today, Feb 2012 [H/t Malcolm Field]
http://www.physicstoday.org/resource/1/phtoad…
[SEPP Comment: Those who exaggerated global warming are seeking protection from their false claims. Statements that climate change is happening means little, except to those who promote Mr. Mann's hockey-stick.]
Low-carbon technologies ‘no quick-fix’, say researchers
By Staff Writers, SPX, Feb 17, 2012
http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Low_carbon_…
Questioning the Orthodoxy
Voodoo Environomics
By H. Leighton Steward, Energy Tribune, Feb 17, 2012
http://www.energytribune.com/articles.cfm/984…
[SEPP Comment: Environmentalists are not interested in what is best for the environment.]
The futility of emissions reduction targets
By Martin Livermore, Scientific Alliance, Feb 17, 2012
http://www.scientific-alliance.org/scientific…
Whatever climatic changes may be in store, investment in adaptation and resilience is needed and this, at least, will benefit society. Throwing taxpayers’ money at unachievable targets will do nothing positive, but simply accelerate Europe’s seemingly inevitable deindustrialisation and decline.
The Global Warming Hoax is Now Killing People
By Alan Caruba, Warning Signs, Feb 13, 2012
http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/2012/02/g…
[SEPP Comment: The severe winter in Europe is taking a toll on humanity.]
On Self-Regulation Of The Climate System – A New Analysis By Willis Eschenbach
By Roger Pielke Sr, Pielke Climate Science, Feb 14, 2012
http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/02…
[SEPP Comment: On the need to explore possible self-regulating climate systems that seem to place an upper bound on temperatures.]
Questioning European Green
Germany’s Sunshine Daydream
Bjørn Lomborg, Project Syndicate, Feb 16, 2012 [GWPF]
http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/l…
The fight over UK wind power is not over yet
From Civil War and Braveheart to the Battle of the Pylons
By Chris Cragg, European Energy Review, Feb 13, 2012
http://www.europeanenergyreview.eu/site/pagin…
Spain: FIT suspension knocks wind sector
By Jason Deign, Wind Energy News, Feb 9, 2012
http://social.windenergyupdate.com/turbine-su…
The Spanish government has called time on renewable energy with a law suspending feed-in tariffs for new projects from 2013. What is the likely impact on the renewable energy goliath’s wind energy sector?
[SEPP Comment: Spain's wind bubble is bursting, and the wind industry is claiming the government has not paid them enough because they cannot collect what they need from the consumers. A new concept - the tariff deficit - subsidies were inadequate!]
Expanding the Orthodoxy
Hillary Clinton Announcing Climate Change Initiative — After Big Donor Deserts Obama Over Climate Change
By Susan Jones, CNSNews, Feb 16, 2012 [H/t Timothy Wise]
http://cnsnews.com/news/article/hillary-clint…
[SEPP Comment: US taxpayers should underwrite programs that political donors demand?]
Problems within the Orthodoxy
Report Seeks to Integrate Microbes Into Climate Models
By Staff Writers, ScienceDaily, Feb. 14, 2012,
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/…
Heartland: Leak or Theft?
Heartland Institute Responds to Stolen and Fake Documents
Press Release, Jim Lakely, Feb 15, 2012
http://heartland.org/press-releases/2012/02/1…
Heartland Memo Looking Faker By the Minute
By Megan McArdle, Atlantic, Feb 17, 2012 [H/t Cooler Heads]
http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2…
I Heart Heartland
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Feb 16, 2012
http://www.drroyspencer.com/2012/02/i-heart-h…
The Heartland Files and the Climate Fight
By Andrew Revkin, Dot Earth, Feb 15, 2012
http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/15/…
Quote of the Day: Andy Revkin
By Simon, Australian Climate Madness, Feb 16, 2012
http://www.australianclimatemadness.com/2012/…
The Anatomy of a Global Warming Smear
By Alan Caruba, Warning Signs, Feb 16, 2012
http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/2012/02/a…
[SEPP Comment: Addresses the New York Times article immediately below.]
Reality is Not Good Enough
By Roger Pielke Jr, His Blog, Feb 16, 2012
http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2012/02/rea…
Leak Offers Glimpse of Campaign Against Climate Science
By Justin Gillis and Leslie Kaufman, NYT, Feb 15, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/16/science/ear…
Documents reveal Koch-funded group’s plot to undermine climate science
Documents leaked from the ‘free-market’ Heartland Institute reveal payments to prominent climate-change deniers, a plan to create a fossil-fuel-friendly curriculum for Kindergartners, and efforts to ‘keep opposing voices’ out of the media.
By Stephanie Pappas, Christian Science Monitor, Feb 15, 2012
http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2012/0215/Do…
[SEPP Comment: Why bother to check the facts when you can make things up? This story is complete with a photo of a power plant emitting steam which is misidentified as smoke. But it contains a quiz asking the reader: "Are you scientifically literate?"]
Notes on the faked Heartland document
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Feb 15, 2012
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/15/notes-o…
[SEPP Comment: The Koch Foundation contribution was for health care, not global warming.]
Funding Fights
Big bucks
By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Feb 15, 2012
http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2012/2…
Big Oil Money for Me, But Not for Thee
By Donna Laframboise, NFC, Feb 17, 2012
http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2012/02/17/big…
DeSmog Blog’s Bogus Exposé of the Heartland Institute
By Marlo Lewis, Global Warming.org, Feb 13, 2012
http://www.globalwarming.org/2012/02/17/desmo…
Fakegate: the smog blog exposes irrational rage, innumeracy, and heartland’s efficient success.
By Jo Anne Nova, JoNova, Feb 16, 2012
http://joannenova.com.au/2012/02/logic-gate-t…
[SEPP Comment: Jo Nova's list of climate funding from various sources.]
UK Universities Receive £72 Million p.a. For Climate Research
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Feb 13, 2012 [H/t Bishop Hill]
http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/…
[SEPP Comment: A list of universities and amounts received for climate change research. The Research Council reports it spent £235 Million in FY 2009-10 of which £50 Million was for Climate Science.
Seeking a Common Ground
Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature
By Staff Writers, Updated dataset, Feb 2012
http://berkeleyearth.org/data/…
[SEPP Comment: Removed seasonal influences and reports three data sets, an average, a minimum, and a maximum]
Flowers Love CO2
By Patrick Michaels, World Climate Report, Feb 15, 2012
http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2…
[SEPP Comment: Flowers flourishing with CO2 levels about 26 times atmospheric level.]
Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?
Cold Snap Across Europe
By Staff Writers, NASA Earth Observatory, Feb 10, 2012 [H/t Jo Nova]
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.ph…
[SEPP Comment: Weeks of extreme cold are hardly a cold snap. Great map of cold areas.]
215 Russians die in cold snap; well over 600 in Europe
By Staff Writers, AFP, Feb 13, 2012
http://www.terradaily.com/reports/215_Russian…
Models v. Observations
An NRC Study “A National Strategy for Advancing Climate Modeling” – A Missed Opportunity
By Roger Pielke, Sr, Pielke Climate Science, Feb 17, 2012
http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/02…
[SEPP Comment: It is the regional changes that are important, not the top-down models.]
An Example Of The Application Of The Bottom-Up, Resource-Based Approach To The Assessment Of Vulnerability
By Roger Pielke Sr, Pielke Climate Science, Feb 13, 2012
http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/02…
[SEPP Comment: Although relying on climate models for predictions that have no meaning, this study is a beginning to understand regional changes of climate from on the basis environmental changes in the region, in the case the California Central Valley Flood Management Program.]
Changing Weather
California Snow Not Disappearing Says Research
By Joe D’Aleo, Weatherbell Analytics, Feb 14, 2012
http://www.weatherbell.com/weather-news/calif…
D’Aleo-Solar Cycle 24 Length and Its Consequences
By David Archibald, Weatherbell LLC, Feb 14, 2012
http://www.weatherbell.com/newsletter-2-14-12…
Do underwater volcanoes have an effect on ENSO?
Guest Post by AJ Strata
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Feb 15, 2012
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/15/do-unde…
[SEPP Comment: Controversial issue. Ian Plimer has also suggested the same.]
New Peer-Reviewed Paper on Global Tropical Cyclone Landfalls
By Roger Pielke, Jr, His Blog, Feb 15, 2012
http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/…
[SEPP Comment: An improved version of an earlier paper. Increasing cost of tropical storms (hurricanes in the Atlantic) is due to increasing wealth, not increasing intensity or frequency of major storms. There are regional variations of land falls but not global variations.]
The Big Freeze: Thousands Trapped in Europe as Death Toll Rises to 600
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Feb 15, 2012
http://joannenova.com.au/2012/02/the-big-free…
Changing Climate
50 Years After the Great Flood: Thoughts on Disaster Suffers
Wolfgang Röhl, Achse des Guten, Feb 16, 2012
http://www.thegwpf.org/opinion-pros-a-cons/49…
[SEPP Comment: The worst floods occurred during the Little Ice Age.]
Changing Earth
Unknown Volcanoes Caused the Little Ice Age
By Dennis Avery, CGFI, Feb 14, 2012
http://www.cgfi.org/2012/02/unkown-volcanoes-…
[SEPP Comment; Avery questions the claim that the Little Ice Age was caused by volcanoes.]
Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine
Response of Plant Species to CO2 Levels
By Dennis Avery, CGIF, Feb 5, 2012
http://www.cgfi.org/2012/02/response-of-plant…
[SEPP Comment: An overview of the benefits of CO2 and the work of Sherman, Keith, and Craig Idso.]
The Political Games Continue
Obama administration slows environmental rules as it weighs political cost
By Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post, Feb 12, 2012
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health…
[SEPP Comment: Proposed EPA regulations are more about politics than public health.]
Litigation Issues
Secrecy Over $8 Billion Vogtle Nuclear Reactor Deal Challenged in Court
By Staff Writers, SPX, Feb 16, 2012
http://www.nuclearpowerdaily.com/reports/Secr…
[SEPP Comment: The lack of transparency is disturbing. According to reports the total project cost is $14 Billion while the guarantee is $8.33 Billion.]
Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes
European airfare war
Editorial, Washington Post, Feb 12, 2012 [H/t David Mantuta]
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/europe…
[SEPP Comment: An editorial based upon the idea that the gas of life is a pollutant.]
Steel industry slams emissions ‘set-aside’
By Staff Writers, UPI, Feb 15, 2012
http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Steel_indus…
Subsidies and Mandates Forever
Wind Power Panic: AWEA’s Last Stand (death spiral looms for taxpayer-dependent industry)
By Lisa Linowes, Master Resource, Feb 13, 2012
http://www.masterresource.org/2012/02/wind-pa…
[SEPP Comment: The 20 year temporary subsidy my actually expire.]
End of tax credit a blow for wind power industry
Up to 37,000 jobs, many in Illinois, could be lost as projects are halted or abandoned
By Julie Wernau, Chicago Tribune, Feb 17, 2012 [H/t GWPF]
http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz…
[SEPP Comment: The reported subsidies to oil and gas are misleading. The oil industry was well developed before any special tax write-offs were established. These came with the new income tax laws and especially with the extremely high income taxes enacted to pay for WW I. The nation needed oil to win the war.]
Expiration of tax credit looms for Newton wind energy manufacturers
By Mike Mendenhall, Newton Daily News, Feb 16, 2012 [H/t Timothy Wise]
http://www.newtondailynews.com/2012/02/16/exp…
EPA and other Regulators on the March
California Rules
Editorial, NYT, Feb 14, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/14/opinion/cal…
[SEPP Comment: One of the justifications by the EPA for the new fuel economy rules is to make the Federal rules consistent with California's rules. Now California is changing its rules, no doubt the EPA will argue it should change its rules again. The California Air Resources Board is one of the most radical environmental organizations in existence basing its rules on whatever it thinks it can get away with rather any substantiated public health benefits.]
Clearing the air
Satellite data reveal the true scope of China’s pollution problem
By Staff Writers, The Economist, Feb 11, 2012 [H/t Tom Sheahen]
http://www.economist.com/node/21547215…
[SEPP Comment: There is little relationship between China's pollution problem and the Western nations except what drifts to the US, etc. If EPA were truly interested in protecting the health of the US citizens it would address the problems from China and India.]
Energy Issues – Non-US
Smart grids move from research to early industrialisation phase
By James Osborne. European Energy Review, Feb 9, 2012
http://www.europeanenergyreview.eu/site/pagin…
[SEPP Comment: Critical for achieving the dream of European politicians for decentralized power - numerous sources of alternative energy. As all too typical it needs: " ...a proper regulatory framework that provides the right incentives for investments." That is: either subsidies or forcing others to comply.]
Energy Issues — US
Proponents of EVs and PHEVs are Worried
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Feb 17, 2012
http://dddusmma.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/prop…
[SEPP Comment: Electric vehicles and hybrids are not selling well.]
Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
Fracking Doesn’t Harm Drinking Water, Study Says.
By Ronald Bailey, Reason.com, Feb 17, 2012
http://reason.com/blog/2012/02/17/fracking-do…
Surface Woes Blamed for Fracking Flaws: Study
By Staff Writers, AFP, Feb 16, 2012
http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/Surface_w…
“Most of what we have seen happening related to shale gas development that impacts the environment was at or near the surface,”
[SEPP Comment: Referencing the same study as the above article.]
Gas companies could start fracking in Hampshire
By Jon Reeve, Daily Echo, Feb 14, 2012 [H/t GWPF]
http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/9530552.Hamps…
[SEPP Comment: Will natural gas replace the splendid wind turbines in England?]
How the US Shale Boom Will Change the World
By Gary Hunt, Oil Price, Feb 15, 2012 [H/t GWPF]
http://oilprice.com/Energy/Natural-Gas/How-th…
To shale or not to shale: that is not the (only) question
By Roderick Kefferpütz, European Energy Review, Feb 9, 2012
http://www.europeanenergyreview.eu/site/pagin…
[SEPP Comment: By eliminating US demand for LNG, natural gas from shale is changing the economics of energy in Europe. No wonder Russian Premier Putin fears this new technology. A discussion of the possible limitations of this new technology for Europe is found in the footnotes.]
Tight oil the future of energy in North America
Claudia Cattaneo, Financial Post, Feb 15, 2012
http://business.financialpost.com/2012/02/15/…
Japan begins preparatory drilling for methane hydrate production
By Staff Writers, Mainichi Daily News, Feb 15, 2012
http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20120215p…
Return of King Coal?
The Next Decade of Coal is Here
By Frank Clemente, Energy Facts, Feb 15, 2012
http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=29bc7d5d8…
Domestic Power Sector Coal Consumption Slumped in 2011, but Exports Ramped Up
By Staff Writers, POWERnews, Feb 12, 2012
http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/4393.html?h…
[SEPP Comment: Exports of steam coal as well as metallurgical coal are up sharply.]
Nuclear Energy and Fears
DOE to Spend Millions to Strengthen U.S. Competitiveness in Global Nuclear Sector
By Staff Writers, POWERnews, Feb 15, 2012
http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/4391.html?h…
[SEPP Comment: Secretary Chu announces new programs in research for nuclear energy, including modular plants.]
More Canadian uranium China-bound
By Staff Writers, World Nuclear News, Feb 10, 2012
http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NP-More_Can…
A newly negotiated agreement will enable Canada to increase uranium exports to China.
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy
Could hurricanes wreck $700m offshore wind farms in U.S.? Experts predict HALF of proposed turbines will be ruined in 20 years
Pittsburgh researchers’ study follows up on U.S. energy report in 2008
Energy officials want wind farms to generate 20% of electricity by 2013
Plans for farms in Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina & Texas
Experts say current design can only withstand Category 3 hurricanes
By Mark Duell, Daily Mail, Feb 15, 2012
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-21017…
New Documentary Illustrates Global Backlash Against Big Wind
By Robert Bryce, Energy Tribune, Feb 13, 2012
http://www.energytribune.com/articles.cfm/980…
Energy Conversion Devices files for bankruptcy as solar energy lags
By Katherine Yung, Detroit Free Press, Feb 14, 2012
http://www.freep.com/article/20120214/BUSINES…
Biofuels
Will Seaweed be the Biofuel Solution?
By Dennis Avery, CGFI, Jan 29, 2012
http://www.cgfi.org/2012/01/will-seaweed-be-t…
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC
For a full list of articles see
http://www.NIPCCreport.org…
Extreme Cold and Deadly European Winter Weather in 2011/12
Reference: Lockwood, M., Harrison, R.G., Woollings, T. and Solanki, S.K. 2010. Are cold winters in Europe associated with low solar activity? Environmental Research Letters 5: doi:10.1088/1748-9326/5/2/024001.
http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2012/feb/…
[SEPP Comment: Associating European extreme cold with the North Atlantic Oscillation index and /or low sunspot activity.]
The Continuing Demise of the Little Ice Age
Reference: Akasofu, S.-I. 2010. On the recovery from the Little Ice Age. Natural Science 2: 1211-1224.
http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2012/feb/…
[SEPP Comment: Unless a new Little Ice Age is coming.]
Corals Dying from Weather-Induced Heating and Cooling … But Surviving Climate-Induced Heating and Cooling
Reference: Kemp, D.W., Oakley, C.A., Thornhill, D.J., Newcomb, L.A., Schmidt, G.W. and Fitt, W.K. 2011. Catastrophic mortality on inshore coral reefs of the Florida Keys due to severe low-temperature stress. Global Change Biology 17: 3468-3477.
[SEPP Comment: An important distinction lost in the alarmist claims. Climate change is gradual, weather change can be abrupt. Attributing coral mortality from weather change to climate change is a spurious inference.]
A 4000-Year History of Greenland Surface Temperature
Reference: Kobashi, T., Kawamura, K., Severinghaus, J.P., Barnola, J.-M., Nakaegawa, T., Vinther, B.M., Johnsen, S.J. and Box, J.E. 2011. High variability of Greenland surface temperature over the past 4000 years estimated from trapped air in an ice core. Geophysical Research Letters 38: 10.1029/2011GL049444.
http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2012/feb/…
[SEPP Comment: Using different methods to measure temperatures near the summit of the Greenland ice sheet, found 72 decades over the past 4000 years in which the temperatures were 1 to 1.5 C warmer than the present one. For estimating future sea level rise, what is happening on the top of the glaciers is probably more important than what is happening on the bottom of them - it's still cold, about minus 30 deg C. Great graph.]
Environmental Industry
The Noble Savage
By David Deming, LewRockwell.com, Feb 14, 2012 [H/t WUWT]
http://lewrockwell.com/orig9/deming8.1.1.html…
[SEPP Comment: The idea of living in harmony with nature is a myth. Native Americans routinely burned areas such as the Shenandoah Valley and Yosemite to make them more bountiful for food and game. There is a distinction between stewardship of the land and environmentalism.]
Problems cast shadows of doubt on solar project
The unexpected deaths of kit foxes and discovery of ancient human settlements threaten to delay or even cancel a $1-billion, 250-megawatt installation on federal land in the desert near Blythe.
By Louis Sahagun, LA Times, Feb 11, 2012
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-solar…
[SEPP Comment: Environmental regulations are so extensive and so onerous that large scale projects are extremely difficult.]
Other Scientific News
The quest for sugars involved in origin of life
By Staff Writers, SPX, Feb 17, 2012
http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/The_quest_f…
[SEPP Comment: Last week a study pronounced that sugars are toxic and addictive to humans, in this study they are vital to the origin of life.]
Infrared Sounder on NASA’s Suomi NPP Starts its Mission
By Cynthia O’Carroll for Goddard Space Flight Center, SPX, Feb 14, 2012
http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Infrared_So…
Other News that May Be of Interest
Homeland Security takes on The Carrington Event
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Feb 14, 2012
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/14/homelan…
[SEPP Comment: A fierce solar flare such as the one in 1859 could cause significant disruption to modern cities.]
UBC researchers use Google Earth to verify Mediterranean fish farming data
By Staff Writers, SPX, Feb 14, 2012
http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/UBC_researc…
[SEPP Comment: The spy in the sky.]
Organic foods may be an unsuspected source of dietary arsenic
By Staff Writers, SPX, Feb 17, 2012
http://www.seeddaily.com/reports/Organic_food…

- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -

BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
Valentine’s Day destroyed by climate change?
By Dean Kuipers, LA Times, Feb 10, 2012
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/environment…
Shark attacks rising, study says humans to blame
By Staff Writers, AFP, Feb 13, 2012
http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Shark_attac…
[SEPP Comment: Global warming and overfishing of sharks are among the causes of increased shark attacks?]
Ocean warming causes elephant seals to dive deeper
By Staff Writers, SPX, Feb 13, 2012
http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Ocean_warmi…
[SEPP Comment: The article lacks temperature data required for the central premise.]
Fish of Antarctica threatened by climate change
By Staff Writers, SPX, Feb 16, 2012
http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Fish_of_Ant…
[SEPP Comment: Assumes a uniform warming in the waters around the Antarctic]

***

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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14 Responses to Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

  1. Justthinkin says:

    “http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2012/0215/Do…
    [SEPP Comment: Why bother to check the facts when you can make things up? This story is complete with a photo of a power plant emitting steam which is misidentified as smoke. But it contains a quiz asking the reader: "Are you scientifically literate?"]

    My only bi……complaint is that after taking the little quiz,I couldn’t leave a comment fixing the title to read “Are you scientifically illiterate,or just propaganda challenged”
    Pity.

  2. Nick Shaw says:

    Oooooh look! They paid their 3 scientists $200K a year! For all three!
    Everyone knows scientists work for free!!!
    The warmista hypocrisy knows no bounds!

  3. Phil C says:

    “This was proof of a conspiracy to challenge climate science …”

    Who said this was proof of a “conspiracy” and who did they say — outside of the people from Heartland — was involved in it?

  4. Immediately, alarmist web sites went viral
    You mean the alarmist web sites that are warning about the imminent ice age ?

  5. old44 says:

    They paid their 3 scientists $209K a year which is $19k more than the Australian Climate spokesman Prof. Tim Flannery (bone hunter) gets paid for a 3 day week.

  6. ” Weeks of intense cold with temperatures as much as 15 deg C below normal
    is a snap?”

    Such an item affecting half of a continent or a little more is a mere weather
    blip that occurs so frequently as every few years. Once or twice a decade,
    Europe gets a “superfreeze” from Siberia that lasts weeks. Same or more for
    North America, such as their winter of 1983-1984. Same for hot weather, such
    as the great Russia heatwave of 2010, the great European heatwave of 2003,
    bad summers in North America at least as far back as the 1930’s, and the
    north Atlantic ocean heat burst that fueled the 2004 and 2005 Atlantic
    hurricane seasons.
    Also, the nation getting about half the world’s tornadoes had huge outbreaks
    during a pair of days (mostly on one day) of April 1974 (a cold year), one week
    of May 1995, a 9 day stretch of May 2003, and a 4 day stretch of April 2011
    (mostly on one day). Most of the total tornado anomaly in the tornado seasons
    of those years in that nation was from these specific outbreaks. That nation
    had historic tornado events farther in the past, with two major tornado world
    records still standing being set by a single March 1925 tornado. They also
    had a major legendary tornado in 1915, in Kansas in the off-season month of
    November, and plenty of tornado legends related to that one.

    Such extreme regional events are weather, not climate.

  7. Fracking Risks says:

    [snip. Bogus email address. ~dbs, mod.]

  8. crosspatch says:

    What is most disturbing about this flap is the dogmatic attitude of many reporters and editors to those who challenge the reports of the IPCC.

    Disturbing? I find it business as usual. These aren’t “reporters”, these are “journalists”. A “journalist” is one who writes stuff, a “reporter” is one who reports facts, there’s a difference. But in any case, there has never been any objective reporting on this issue. The “journalists” have pretty much always been carrying water for a specific agenda. There is a certain arrogant naivete among “journalists” that they can “make the world a better place” by spinning the perspective in the direction of their own world view. Many actually do set out to seriously influence public opinion in a certain direction and many believe they are actually doing people a favor by doing so. What must happen is that the actual “journalists” doing this need to be called out by name. Not the publication printing the story, but the actual “journalist” whose name appears on the byline. And any publication unwilling to put the journalists name on the byline and simply using some words such as “staff journalists” or something, is not to be given any credibility as that could simply be made up out of whole cloth.

    So in the future, rather than saying:

    The Christian Science Monitor falsely claimed that the Charles C. Koch Foundation was undermining climate science.

    it might be more productive to say:

    Stephanie Pappas falsely claimed in the Christian Science Monitor that the Charles C. Koch Foundation was undermining climate science .

    Hold these “journalists'” feet to the fire. There is a *reason* articles have bylines. In this case it is even worse as this particular “journalist” is a “Senior Writer” for LiveScience, which itself has been pretty much a propaganda outlet for the AGW scam.

    An article by Stephanie Pappas may turn up in any publication at any time. If we call these propagandists out by name, we soon begin to recognize what to expect when we see their bylines on the articles they write no matter what publication puts their words to print.

  9. Nick Shaw says:

    Excellent point Crosspatch!
    It makes individual “journalists” easier to track on Google as well!

  10. Joseph Murphy says:

    I found Rousseau’s First and Second Discourses some of the more enlightening political writing I have read. Certainly worthy of a Straussian read.

  11. A. Scott says:

    “Fracking risks” – another pet project of DeSmogBlog – I’m sure they’ll be equally conscientious about presenting actual facts as they are with things like Heartland … NOT.

    Just as all the fear mongering about fracking causing groundwater pollution was shown to be false, so is the “earthquake” issue equally misleading.

    The FIRST TWO words of the Nature link provided says it all …. “small earthquakes” … the risk is that fracking may cause SMALL EARTHQUAKES.

    A few more quotes from the link: “the model is crude” … “it is rare … for fluid injection to cause earthquakes” …

    They, correctly, note the same problem occurs in many activities other than fracking itself – including disposal of fracking fluids (pumping drilling water into injection wells), geothermal-power generation and carbon dioxide sequestration. It aslo notes that underground mining can cause the same issue.

    The story, again correctly, notes that the “earthquakes” created are in the minuscule range, almost all are magnitude 2.5 and under. I have read a number of reports that say these are virtually undetectable to humans and are only observable by sensitive instrumentation. In other words they pose little or no threat.

    In fact others believe these small tremors may well be valuable – by releasing pressure in these small amounts, it presents the buildup that eventually leads to a larger quake.

    The story also includes some data comparing amount pumped with magnitude. It notes a 10,000 cubic metres injection – 2,641,720 gals – would cause an estimated 3.3 magnitude quake. It notes a doubling of volume injected relates to an appx. 0.4 magnitude difference in the quake strength.

    Well, lets see – the average frack well, from my reading, takes apprx. 1 million gals of water. So if all that water was injected into a rock formation suitable to displacement in an earthquake, the magnitude of the resultant quake might be around 2.6 according to these guys self admittedly “crude model.” A quake that humans could not even feel – and a size quake that occurs many time every day all over the world.

    It notes even with a huge large liquid waste project back in the 60’s in Colorado – that injected 631,000 cubic metres – 166,692,564 gallons, more than used in 166 frack wells – they saw at max a magnitude 5 quake.

    The Nature story also fails to distinguish – at least in the abstract – the difference between a fracking injection and other injections. The diffidence is considerable. In a frack well sand – proppants – are injected to “prop” the cracks open – providing support between the fracked layers. Injection wells simply pump liquids into underground injection wells – with no proppants supporting the fracking layers.

    Oh, and the best line in the Nature article: “… notes that the latest work doesn’t give the probability of an earthquake actually occurring: that depends on other factors, such as the strength and permeability of the rock.” In other words his model has no useful purpose in actually predicting earthquakes.

    Fracking Risk’s fear mongering is exactly the type misleading and outright false claims DeSmogBlog makes, and much worse, in its “Fracking to the Future” scare mongering series.

    Just as with the fracking “contamination” scare-mongering – refuted by a story from Texas University in the last few days – there is little real material effect to the “frack earthquake” scare-mongering.

    According to the USGS quake site ….: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsus/Quakes/quakes_all.php

    … there have been 815 quakes 1.0 and above in the US in last 7 days. All but 30 were between 1.0 and 3.0 magnitude. Scale that 7 day average to a year and you have 300,000 1.0 to 3.0 quakes in the US per year.

    They don’t seem to be creating much of an issue now – I see zero evidence that the comparatively tiny amount of 1.0 to 3.0 quakes we MIGHT see from fracking are going to be any real issue at all, when put in context with the 300,000 others occurring every year now.

    Just more eco-terrorist fear and scare-mongering, as usual unsupported by the facts.

  12. A. Scott says:

    Fracking Risks says:
    February 20, 2012 at 11:34 am
    [snip. Bogus email address. ~dbs, mod.]

    Hah! That tells you its very likely this was DeSmog here trying to continue their stated mission – a smear campaign against anything that doesn’t agree with THEIR views – regardless of facts or science ….

    good job mods!

  13. Brian H says:

    Observe the Invisible Hand in action. Attempts to mis-price goods and services lead straight to the Pit of Penury.
    Too high, and demand collapses. Too low, and excess demand drains your resources and treasury. The Hand has sharp claws and brass knuckles.

  14. Winston C says:

    Brian H-

    you said it like it is on that one.

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