Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

Quote of the Week:

“An elective despotism was not the government we fought for; but one in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among the several bodies of magistracy as that no one could transcend their legal limits without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.” — James Madison

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Number of the Week: 6,381 birds, 613 turtles, 497 mammals

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THIS WEEK:

By Ken Haapala, Executive Vice President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

Heartland Conference: The Heartland Institute’s Seventh International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-7) will take place in Chicago, Illinois from Monday, May 21 to Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at the Hilton Chicago Hotel, 720 South Michigan Avenue. The event will follow the NATO Summit taking place in Chicago on May 19–21. The Theme is Real Science, Real Choices. Open to the public, registration is required. http://climateconference.heartland.org/

Envisat: The largest Earth monitoring satellite went silent this week. The ten year old Envisat, operated by the European Space Agency, provided data on the earth’s oceans, ice, land and atmosphere. In recent years its recordings of sea level change became erratic, showing sharp increases and declines, with a general decline since 2010. Yet the recalculated graphs show an increase after adjusting for drift. There seems to be difficulty with the data, both raw and calculated. The current increase in calculated sea levels is significantly larger than the estimates that would occur from ice melt from glaciers, Greenland and Antarctica as based on the GRACE satellites. Please see links under “Measurement Issues,” and “Other Scientific News.”

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Continuing the Debate: Richard Lindzen has responded to his critics of his talk to members of the UK House of Commons. He admits he made a small error. Among other issues, he states that even though the climate models are based on well-established physical principles, that is not sufficient to accept the results of the models. The models must be tested by observations, not by other models. Please see links under “Challenging the Orthodoxy.”

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United States Historic Climatology Network (USHCN): Roy Spencer performed a statistical analysis of the data from the USHCN and concluded that virtually all the warming since 1973 appears to be a result of adjustments NOAA made to the data, mainly in the 1995-97 timeframe. Please see link under “Challenging the Orthodoxy.

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American Meteorological Society (AMS) Climate Statement: Joe D’Aleo reminds us that Monday, April 16, is the last day for members of the AMS to comment on the draft climate statement. D’Aleo considers the statement makes the IPCC attribution studies appear to be moderate. The statement can be found on the AMS web site under “Draft Statement Open for Member Comment: Climate Change.” http://www.ametsoc.org/. Membership log in is necessary.

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The Shale Gale: The Center for the National Interest is holding a series of small panel discussions on energy and energy innovation in conjunction with the Clean Air Task Force. The subject of the first discussion was “America: New Energy Superpower?” The panelists have held high-level positions in government and in private industry and work for administrations representing both major political parties. Fred Singer and Ken Haapala of SEPP were invited to attend.

There was general agreement that the revolution of extracting oil and natural gas is real and will substantially change the energy picture of the US if not parts of the world. The revolution was driven by small and mid-sized oil and gas firms with no direct contribution from government or major integrated oil companies. Certainly, the technology takes advantage of programs such as Department of Energy programs in directional drilling and Department of Defense research in jet engines that was used to make electricity generating gas turbines more efficient; however, these technologies were adapted by the pioneering companies which were not directly supported.

With the new technologies, drilling costs are higher, but risks are down significantly. No longer is it necessary for a company to discover the location of a pool of oil or gas. Instead, it can drill horizontally, very accurately, along a layer of source rock and fracture it to extract oil or gas, in many cases both. The oil is a light, high grade fuel as compared with heavy oil from oil sands or similar deposits. The source rocks can be in multiple layers. That is, once a particular layer is not productive, a well can be to another, lower layer, if one exists. Further, wells can be drilled in multiple directions from one pad site.

In the view of the panelists, the US has energy independence in coal, is achieving energy independence in natural gas, and may achieve energy security in oil. That is, it would no longer need to import fuels from countries or areas that are considered unreliable. The Keystone pipeline extension offered enhanced energy security in oil. Perhaps that is why the Canadians were so surprised when the Administration denied permits for the project.

One of the issues raised was how transferable is the technology to countries such as Britain or Poland. The US has several characteristics that are not found in many other countries, including ownership of mineral rights, an independent drilling industry, and an extensive natural gas collection and distribution system. In the US, mineral rights generally belong to the owner of the land, unless they have been separated by deed. It is the drilling on private land that allowed for the Shale Gale while the Federal Government was curtailing drilling on government-owned lands. In many countries, mineral rights belong to the government or to vested interests that may not be favorable to drilling.

Further, the US has an extensive drilling industry. According to Baker Hughes which has counted drill rigs for decades, the US has 1950 operating rotary rigs as of April 13, Canada has 164 as of April 13, and the rest of the world (International) has 1192 as of March 2012. The robust US drilling industry is able to take advantage of changes in market conditions and locations for drilling wells. Few countries have a comparable system. http://investor.shareholder.com/bhi/rig_counts/rc_index.cfm

Natural gas, in particular, can be considered a regional fuel that is transported by pipelines, unless it is transformed to Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and carried by ships, which is expensive. During World War II and afterwards, the US developed an extensive and highly integrated natural-gas pipeline system that has about 305,000 miles of pipeline with 1,400 interconnection points and 400 underground storage facilities. Yet, there is a problem of natural gas being “stranded,” away from a pipelines needed to transport it. Any nation wishing to take advantage of natural gas from shale would need an elaborate pipeline system. http://www.eia.gov/pub/oil_gas/natural_gas/analysis_publications/ngpipeline/index.html

Next week, TWTW will discuss some of the vulnerabilities of this promising oil and natural gas industry. Please see Article # 1, and links under “Questioning European Green” and “Oil and Gas the Past or the Future.”

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It Must Be Global Warming: The US had the warmest March on record – more proof of global warming! Please see links under “Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.”

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Quote of the Week: The US Constitution was based on the premise that the division of powers would prevent one branch of government for acquiring too much power and thusly, the division of powers would protect individual liberties. It appears that the Supreme Court decision to greatly broaden the Clean Air Act to label non-toxic carbon dioxide emissions a pollutant, and the deference the Courts give to the EPA on legitimate science issues, has distorted the traditional balance of powers. Last week’s proposal by the EPA to stringently regulate CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants will effectively kill off the industry that has served the nation since the 1880s.

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Number of the Week: 6,381 birds, 613 turtles, 497 mammals. An article covering the second anniversary of the BP Blowout stated these were the totals of animals found dead, presumably over the past two years. There is no cause of death given. At the one-year anniversary, TWTW stated the Fish and Wildlife Service counted 2303 birds, 18 turtles, and 10 mammals as dead, with visible oil – a big distinction as to the possible influence of oil. Regardless of which number is used, it is clear that the ecological disaster was grossly overstated. For example, about 10,000 birds were collected as killed by wind turbines in the Altamont Pass in one year. No doubt, some effects of the spill will linger, but these are small. Please see Article # 3.

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April Fools’ Award: Send in your nominees for the proposed SEPP April Fools’ Award to the government official or political leader who has done the most to expand government power, by falsely claiming it is scientifically justified based on the flimsiest scientific evidence.

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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, Cheap Natural Gas Heralds an Energy Revolution

By S. Fred Singer, American Thinker, Apr 11, 2012

http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/04/cheap_natural_gas_heralds_an_energy_revolution.html

2. The Ideology of Catastrophe

These are not great souls who alert us to troubles but tiny minds who wish us suffering if we refuse to listen to them.

By Pascal Bruckner, WSJ, Apr 10, 2012

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303815404577331651761806744.html

3. Experts Weigh Spill’s Lasting Effects

Marine Studies Raise Fresh Concern After Early Fears of Environmental Catastrophe From BP Disaster Failed to Materialize

By Tom Fowler, WSJ, Apr 12, 2012

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303624004577339943866694420.html?mod=ITP_pageone_1

4. Cap-and-Price-Fix

Carbon-permit trading was supposed to be a ‘free-market’ solution. So much for that now that prices are low.

Editorial, WSJ, Apr 11, 2012

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303772904577333531487110266.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEFTTopBucket

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NEWS YOU CAN USE:

Challenging the Orthodoxy

Richard Lindzen: Response To The Critique Of My House Of Commons Lecture

By Richard Lindzen, GWPF, Apr 12, 2012

http://thegwpf.org/the-climate-record/5437-richard-lindzen-response-to-the-critique-of-my-house-of-commons-lecture.html

Former NASA scientists, astronauts admonish agency on climate change position

Joint letter to NASA Administrator blasts agency’s policy of ignoring empirical evidence

Staff Writers, Plants Need CO2, Apr 10, 2012

http://www.plantsneedco2.org/default.aspx?act=Newsletter.aspx&category=In+The+News&newsletterid=53&menugroup=Home&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

49 former NASA scientists go ballistic over agency’s bias over climate change

By Staff Writers, Financial Post, Apr 11, 2012

http://business.financialpost.com/2012/04/11/49-former-nasa-scientists-go-ballistic-over-agencys-bias-over-climate-change/

Climate Dissent Launches at NASA

By Peter C Glover, Energy Tribune, Apr 11, 2012

http://www.energytribune.com/articles.cfm/10321/Climate-Dissent-Launches-at-NASA

Dronning Maud Meets the Little Ice Age

By Willis Eschenbach, WUWT, Apr 13, 2012

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/13/dronning-maud-meets-the-little-ice-age/#more-61228

[SEPP Comment: Challenging the claim that during the end of the last ice age, CO2 concentrations rose first, followed by temperatures.

Did Shakun et al. really prove that CO2 preceded late glacial warming? [Part 1]

By Don Easterbrook, WUWT, Apr 8, 2012

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/08/did-shakun-et-al-really-prove-that-co2-precede-late-glacial-warming-part-1/

Ice And Fire In Climate Science

By David Whitehouse, The Observatory, Apr 11, 2012

http://thegwpf.org/the-observatory/5425-ice-and-fire-in-climate-science.html

A wise tutor once told me that if something is written down in a scientific textbook it is probably true, but if it is published in a journal then put it on probation.

[SEPP Comment: Addressing the paper that once the end of the last ice age started, increases in CO2 concentrations preceded temperature increases.]

Proof that “climate disruption” is found all the way back to pre-industrial times

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Apr 10, 2012

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/10/proof-that-climate-disruption-is-found-all-the-way-back-to-pre-industrial-times/

Defending the Orthodoxy

NASA rejects claim it endorses global warming

By Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, Apr 11, 2012

http://washingtonexaminer.com/politics/washington-secrets/2012/04/nasa-rejects-claim-it-endorses-global-warming/474416

[SEPP Comment: No Jim Hansen here!]

Chu: Climate change evidence mounting

By Ben Geman, The Hill, Apr 11, 2012

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/221045-chu-dispassionate-evidence-about-climate-change-mounts

The administration plans to proceed with more loan guarantees, but other green-energy programs and EPA rules face hurdles.

[SEPP Comment: If one assumes the climate never changed before, then evidence of climate change is mounting.]

Dramatic climate change triggered by Earth’s orbit

By Katie Lee, Cosmos, Apr 5, 2012 [H/t Warren Wetmore]

http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/news/5488/dramatic-climate-change-altered-earths-orbit

[SEPP Comment: Such articles discussing the distant past (55 million years ago) and attempting to relate it to the present; tend to ignore that the earth is in a period of ice ages, which started about 2.5 million years ago.

Long-term studies detect effects of disappearing snow and ice

By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), Apr 12, 2012

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Long_term_studies_detect_effects_of_disappearing_snow_and_ice_999.html

Questioning the Orthodoxy

No Global Warming For 15 Years

By David Whitehouse, GWPF, Posted on ICECAP, Apr 7, 2012

http://icecap.us/index.php/go/political-climate/no_global_warming_for_15_years/

Atmospheric Aerosols and the Death of Nature

By Patrick Michaels, World Climate Report, Apr 11, 2012

http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2012/04/11/atmospheric-aerosols-and-the-death-of-nature/

Carbon Dioxide in Perspective, Rice Grains

Malcolm Roberts, Galileo Movement, Apr 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BC1l4geSTP8

[SEPP Comment: Exceptional demonstration of the relationship of human emissions of CO2 to total atmosphere. Human emissions are increasing total CO2 and may result in some slight increase in temperatures.]

Questioning European Green

Clegg’s green agenda will put us out of business

The Coalition’s own energy policies are the real obstacles to efficiency

Editorial, Telegraph, Apr 11, 2012 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/telegraph-view/9197856/Cleggs-green-agenda-will-put-us-out-of-business.html

[SEPP Comments: Typical politics. Blame the energy companies when the government’s policies are increasing the price of energy to the public.]

Germany not buying Greek solar project

By Staff Writers, Athens, Greece (UPI) Apr 6, 2012

http://www.solardaily.com/reports/Germany_not_buying_Greek_solar_project_999.html

[SEPP Comment: Greek solar costs too much for Germany.]

MEPs prepare for battle over shale-gas drilling

Report says there is no need for EU law on shale-gas extraction.

By Dave Keating, European Voice, Apr 4, 2012 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.europeanvoice.com/article/imported/meps-prepare-for-battle-over-shale-gas-drilling/74108.aspx

Problems within the Orthodoxy

Climate Coalitions Crumble, Economic Worries to Blame

By Sterling Burnett, National Review Online, Apr 10, 2012 [H/t Warren Wetmore]

http://www.nationalreview.com/planet-gore/295670/climate-coalitions-crumble-economic-worries-blame-sterling-burnett

[SEPP Comment: Something else caused the failure, it could not have been our brilliant ideas.]

Seeking a Common Ground

Follow Up: Revisiting the 2010 IPCC Press Release on Economics of Disasters

By Roger Pielke, Jr, His Blog, Apr 9, 2012

http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.ca/2012/04/follow-up-revisiting-2010-ipcc-press.html

[SEPP Comment: Will the IPCC ever set the record straight on its numerous misleading claims?]

Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate

Twice as Many Emperor Penguins as Thought in Antarctica, First-Ever Penguin Count from Space Shows

By Staff Writers, Science Daily, Apr 13, 2012

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120413145303.htm

[SEPP Comment: So much for claims by WWF and other alarmists that penguins are at peril.]

Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

Not just March, but start of 2012 shatter US records for heat, worrying meteorologists

By Seth Borenstein, AP, Apr 10, 2012

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/not-just-march-but-start-of-2012-shatter-us-records-for-heat-worrying-meteorologists/2012/04/09/gIQA9Z4u5S_story.html

[SEPP Comment: See links immediately below.]

Attribution of the Warm Winter To Global Warming – An Example Of The Misstatement Of Reality By Some Climate Scientists

By Roger Pielke Sr, Climate Science, Apr 10, 2012

http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/attrbibution-of-the-warm-winter-to-global-warming-an-example-of-the-mistatement-of-reality-by-some-climate-scientists/

New Evidence Our Record Warm March was Not from Global Warming

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Apr 13, 2012

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2012/04/new-evidence-our-record-warm-march-was-not-from-global-warming/

Claims Global Warming Increases Severe Weather Are Scientifically Incorrect.

By Tim Ball, A Different Perspective, Apr 11, 2012

http://drtimball.com/2012/claims-global-warming-increases-severe-weather-are-scientifically-incorrect/

Measurement Issues

USHCN Surface Temperatures, 1973-2012: Dramatic Warming Adjustments, Noisy Trends

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Apr 11, 2012

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2012/04/ushcn-surface-temperatures-1973-2012-dramatic-warming-adjustments-noisy-trends/

Virtually all of the USHCN warming since 1973 appears to be the result of adjustments NOAA has made to the data, mainly in the 1995-97 timeframe.

Where Is the Hottest Place on Earth?

It Lies Somewhere Between Folklore and Science, the Desert and the City

By Michael Carlowicz, NASA Observatory, Apr 9, 2012

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/HottestSpot/?src=eoa-features

[SEPP Comment: Global map shows the scarcity of measuring stations where the climate is hostile to humans.]

Envisat’s satellite failure launches mysteries

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Apr 12, 2012

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/12/envisats-satellite-failure-launches-mysteries/#more-61214

 

Changing Weather

A closer look at tornado data

Name withheld, ICECAP, Apr 8, 2012

http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/a_closer_look_at_tornado_data/

[SEPP Comment: Tornadoes appear to becoming worse, but not for meteorological or climatological reasons, but for demographic reasons and the enhanced ability to identify and track them.]

Anchorage Alaska sets all-time seasonal snowfall record

Weather Service Press release and additional information, ICECAP, Apr 7, 2012

http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/anchorage_alaska_sets_all_time_seasonal_snowfall_record1/

Changing Climate

Another Climate Feedback – The Influence Of Shrub Height In Tundra Regions On Northern High Latitude Climate”

By Roger Pielke, Sr, Climate Science, Apr 10, 2012

http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/another-climate-feedback-the-influence-of-shrub-height-in-tundra-regions-on-northern-high-latitude-climate/

Historical Global Tropical Cyclone Landfalls

By Roger Pielke Jr, His Blog, Apr 9, 2012

http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.ca/2012/04/historical-tropical-cyclone-landfalls.html

[SEPP Comment: No trends in intense tropical cyclones over the past 40 years.]

Changing Seas

Sea Level Data Corruption – Worse Than It Seems

By Steven Goddard, Real Science, Apr 11, 2012

http://www.real-science.com/sea-level-data-corruption-worse-than-it-seems

Corals ‘could survive a more acidic ocean’

By Staff Writers

Brisbane, Australia (SPX) Apr 10, 2012

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Corals_could_survive_a_more_acidic_ocean_999.html

Changing Sea Ice

Amount of ice in Bering Sea reaches all-time record

By Lewis Page, The Register, Apr 11, 2012 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/04/11/bering_sea_ice_cover/

[SEPP Comment: May be related to a change in the Arctic oscillation.]

Changing Earth

Scientists Find Slow Subsidence of Earth’s Crust Beneath the Mississippi Delta

By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), Apr 09, 2012

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Scientists_Find_Slow_Subsidence_of_Earth_Crust_Beneath_the_Mississippi_Delta_999.html

[SEPP Comment: The claim of sea level rise of 3 to 5 feet is without any empirical basis.]

Agriculture and Fishery Issues & Fear of Famine

Task force recommends reducing global harvest of “forage fish”

By Staff Writers, Corvallis OR (SPX), Apr 10, 2012

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Task_force_recommends_reducing_global_harvest_of_forage_fish_999.html

[SEPP Comment: The finding may have validity, but the task force is self-appointed.]

Climate said threat to Asia’s ‘Rice Bowl’

By Staff Writers, Bangkok (UPI), Apr 12, 2012

http://www.seeddaily.com/reports/Climate_said_threat_to_Asias_Rice_Bowl_999.html

The Political Games Continue

New round of U.S. green energy loans?

By Staff Writers, Washington (UPI), Apr 6, 2012

http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/New_round_of_US_green_energy_loans_999.html

Litigation Issues

Okla. Attorney General Challenges Legality of EPA’s Regional Haze Rule

By Staff Writers, Power News, Apr 12, 2012

http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/4534.html?hq_e=el&hq_m=2422484&hq_l=10&hq_v=5e660500d0

Subsidies and Mandates Forever

Robbing Banks and Subsidizing Green Energy

By David Kreutzer, The Foundry, Apr 11, 2012 [H/t Randy Randol]

http://blog.heritage.org/2012/04/11/robbing-banks-and-subsidizing-green-energy/

EPA and other Regulators on the March

A Strategy to Stop EPA Science Abuse

By John Dale Dunn & Steve Milloy, American Thinker, Apr 11, 2012

http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/04/a_strategy_to_stop_epa_science_abuse.html

[SEPP Comment: Contrary to the EPA and its funded scientists, weak statistical associations do not establish causation.]

 

EPA’s ‘Carbon Pollution Standard’: Bait-and-Fuel-Switch

By Marlo Lewis, Global Warming, Apr 13, 2012

http://www.globalwarming.org/2012/04/13/epas-carbon-pollution-standard-bait-and-fuel-switch/

[SEPP Comment: An example of how EPA twists language to expand its regulatory powers.]

 

EPA’s Proposed CO2 Rule for New Power Plants: Coal First, Then …

By James Rust, Master Resource, Apr 10, 2012

http://www.masterresource.org/2012/04/epa-anti-coal-beachhead/#more-19546

 

The EPA with Easter Egg on Its Face

By Marita Noon, Townhall, Apr 8, 2012 [H/t ICECAP]

http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/maritanoon/2012/04/08/the_epa_with_easter_egg_on_its_face/page/full/

Is the EPA Just Sloppy, or Cooking the Books?

By Jeffrey Folks, American Thinker, Apr 10, 2012

http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/04/is_the_epa_just_sloppy_or_cooking_the_books.html

Is the EPA Endangering Public Health and Welfare by Attempting to Mitigate Extreme Weather?

By Chip Knappenberger, Master Resource, Apr 9, 2012

http://www.masterresource.org/2012/04/epa-regulation-endangering-public/

[SEPP Comment: A bit tongue and cheek.]

Black carbon ranked number two climate pollutant by US EPA

By Staff Writers, Washington, DC (SPX) Apr 10, 2012

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Black_carbon_ranked_number_two_climate_pollutant_by_US_EPA_999.html

Report to Congress on Black Carbon

EPA, March, 2012

Full Report: http://www.epa.gov/airquality/blackcarbon/2012report/fullreport.pdf

Executive Summary: http://www.epa.gov/airquality/blackcarbon/2012report/ExecSummary.pdf

[SEPP Comment: In 2005, in the US the most important sources are Transport (52%) and open biomass burning (35%). With regulations already promulgated, transportation sources are expected to decline by 86% by 2030. World-wide, China and India are the major emitters in 2000.]

Energy Issues – Non-US

Shale Puts Russia, Saudis on the Defensive

By Staff Writers, Energy in Depth, Apr 12, 2012 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.energyindepth.org/shale-puts-russia-saudis-on-the-defensive/

Oil Prices Hostage to Geopolitics

By Michael J. Economides, Energy Tribune, Apr 7, 2012

http://www.energytribune.com/articles.cfm/10284/Oil-Prices-Hostage-to-Geopolitics

Editor’s note, this piece was originally published in China Daily

Energy: Refined out of existence

As petrol prices rise and western demand shrinks, refineries are closing across the developed world

By Gregory Meyer, Financial Times, Apr 9, 2012 [H/t Randy Randol]

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/256f583c-7a83-11e1-8ae6-00144feab49a.html#axzz1rgiIKJ00

Energy Issues — US

Victory is Within Reach

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Apr 13, 2012

http://dddusmma.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/victory-is-within-reach/

[SEPP Comment: Energy independence is not needed for victory, energy security (against arbitrary change) is sufficient.]

Buying Your Own Refinery

By Geoffrey Styles, Energy Tribune, Apr 9, 2012

http://www.energytribune.com/articles.cfm/10298/Buying-Your-Own-Refinery

Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

While We Dither On Oil, It’s Drill, Beijing, Drill

Editorial, IBD, Apr 11, 2012

http://news.investors.com/article/607461/201204111839/china-seeks-canadian-cuban-oil.htm

Fracking Tied to Unusual Rise in Earthquakes in U.S.

By Mark Drajem, Bloomberg, Apr 12, 2012 [H/t Roger Cohen]

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-12/earthquake-outbreak-in-central-u-s-tied-to-drilling-wastewater.html?cmpid=yhoo

[SEPP Comment: The seismic events probably would not be noticed on the West Coast.]

US Administration’s Control of Oil and Gas

Restricting Supply To Boost Prices

Editorial, IBD, Apr 9, 2012

http://news.investors.com/Article.aspx?id=607160&p=1&ibdbot=1

Industry groups applaud Obama’s natural gas executive order

By Andrew Restuccia, The Hill, Apr 13, 2012

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/221429-industry-groups-applaud-obamas-natural-gas-executive-order

Return of King Coal?

Coal exports surge to highest level since 1991

By Matthew Brown, AP, Apr 10, 2012 [H/t Timothy Wise}

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_COAL_SURGING_EXPORTS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2012-04-10-14-27-17

Oil Spills, Gas Leaks & Consequences

Shell: Gulf oil sheen dissipating

By Kevin McGill, AP, Apr 12, 2012

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-04/D9U3KVE00.htm

Search is on for source of US Gulf of Mexico oil sheen

By Staff Writers, Washington (AFP) April 12, 2012

http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/Search_is_on_for_source_of_US_Gulf_of_Mexico_oil_sheen_999.html

Nuclear Energy and Fears

EPRI Report Examines Technical Factors Leading to Cooling Loss at Fukushima

By Staff Writers, Power News, Apr 12, 2012

http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/4537.html?hq_e=el&hq_m=2422484&hq_l=13&hq_v=5e660500d0

[SEPP Comment: The earthquake destroyed off-site AC power. The tsunami destroyed on-site AC power and back-up DC power, which were required to continue the electrical pumps for the liquid necessary for cooling the reactors, even though they were shut down. The tsunami was far higher than predicted because the earthquake models used for the design were inadequate.]

Nuclear Power’s Death Somewhat Exaggerated

By Matthew Wald, NYT, Apr 10, 2012 [H/t Warren Wetmore]

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/11/business/energy-environment/nuclear-powers-death-somewhat-exaggerated.html?_r=2

CAP1400 test facility under construction

By Staff Writers, WNN, Apr 4, 2012

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NN-CAP1400_test_facility_under_construction-0404124.html

[SEPP Comment: When a computer model is not good enough. China testing an advanced nuclear power plant design based on the Westinghouse AP 1000 design.]

Study: Wildlife survive nuclear accidents

By Staff Writers, Portsmouth, England (UPI) Apr 11, 2012

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Study_Wildlife_survive_nuclear_accidents_999.html

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

Best marketing for renewable energies

By Staff Writers, Ilmenau, Germany (SPX) Apr 09, 2012

http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/Best_marketing_for_renewable_energies_999.html

[SEPP Comment: Although not so intended, this article highlights the tremendous shortcomings of solar and wind generated electricity. Changing weather conditions may result in the need to run a small gas turbine or to run nine large conventional power plants – in a matter of days or even hours.]

World’s biggest wind farm planned for off south coast of England

The world’s biggest wind farm is being planned off England’s south coast.

By Robert Mendick, Telegraph, Apr 8, 2012

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/windpower/9192277/Worlds-biggest-wind-farm-planned-for-off-south-coast-of-England.html

[SEPP Comment: Turbines has high as 670 feet.]

Mojave Solar Project Killing Threatened Desert Tortoises

By Staff Writers, NCPA, Apr 10, 2012

http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=21796&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=DPD

Global green-energy investment drops

By Ben Geman, The Hill, Apr 12, 2012

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/221183-report-us-political-and-policy-uncertainty-drives-down-green-investment

[SEPP Comment: With the program of grants from the Treasury expired, Department of Energy loan guarantees expiring, and the production tax credit expiring at the end of 2012, it appears that the US may lose the “coveted” green top spot in a wasteful and expensive industry.]

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Other

AFPM Says EPA Action on E15 Irresponsible

By Staff Writers, San Antonio TX (SPX) Apr 12, 2012

http://www.biofueldaily.com/reports/AFPM_Says_EPA_Action_on_E15_Irresponsible_999.html

[SEPP Comment: Requiring up to 15% ethanol in gasoline which may lead to damage in gasoline engines. This is bad news for consumers of food.]

DOE Announces $30 Million Research Competition for Energy Storage Technologies

By Staff Writers, Power News, Apr 12, 2012

http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/4536.html?hq_e=el&hq_m=2422484&hq_l=12&hq_v=5e660500d0

[SEPP Comment: Perhaps DOE is finally learning a little from DARPA. However the specifics are highly questionable. Military convoys do not move across the battlefield. They move in terrain occupied by hostile forces, but not the battlefield.]

Listening to the radio even with an electric drive

By Staff Writers, Berlin, Germany (SPX) Apr 09, 2012

http://www.spacemart.com/reports/Listening_to_the_radio_even_with_an_electric_drive_999.html

[SEPP Comment: A seldom discussed problem with electric vehicles.]

Smart grid’s global reach set to top $46B

By Staff Writers, Framingham, Mass. (UPI), Apr 9, 2012

http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/Smart_grids_global_reach_set_to_top_46B_999.html

Electricity suppliers are especially keen on smart meters because the appliance and networks give the companies greater control on consumers.

[SEPP Comment: It is all about control.]

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC

For a full list of articles see www.NIPCCreport.org

Evolutionary Response to Environmental Change in Sockeye Salmon

Reference: Crozier, L.G., Scheuerell, M.D. and Zabel, R.W. 2011. Using time series analysis to characterize evolutionary and plastic responses to environmental change: A case study of a shift toward earlier migration date in sockeye salmon. The American Naturalist 178: 755-773.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2012/apr/10apr2012a1.html

Water-Year Runoff of the Conterminous United States: 1900-2008

Reference: McCabe, G.J. and Wolock, D.M. 2011. Independent effects of temperature and precipitation on modeled runoff in the conterminous United States. Water Resources Research 47: 10.1029/2011WR010630.

Are Himalayan Glaciers Headed to Hell in a Handbasket?

Reference: Bali, R., Agarwal, K.K., Ali, S.N. and Srivastava, P. 2011. Is the recessional pattern of Himalayan glaciers suggestive of anthropogenically induced global warming? Arabian Journal of Geosciences 4: 1087-1093.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2012/apr/10apr2012a3.html

Amazonian Plant Extinctions

Reference: Feeley, K.J. and Silman, M.R. 2009. Extinction risks of Amazonian plant species. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 106: 12,382-12,387.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2012/apr/11apr2012a4.html

[SEPP Comment: Land use changes are a greater threat to the Amazon forests than global warming.]

Health, Energy, and Climate

Fertilizer use responsible for increase in nitrous oxide in atmosphere

By Staff Writers, Berkeley CA (SPX) Apr 09, 2012

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Fertilizer_use_responsible_for_increase_in_nitrous_oxide_in_atmosphere_999.html

Since the year 1750, nitrous oxide levels have risen 20 percent – from below 270 parts per billion (ppb) to more than 320 ppb.

Environmental Industry

The Environmental Terrorizing of Children

By Alan Caruba, Warning Signs, Apr 8, 2012

http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/2012/04/environmental-terrorizing-of-children.html

Poisoning the Kids

By Robert T. Smith, American Thinker, Apr 12, 2012

http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/04/poisoning_the_kids.html

[SEPP Comment: The American Lung Association, which receives money from the EPA, is engaged in emotional advertising claiming the air is hazardous to children.]

Settlement Forces Cancellation of Georgia Supercritical Coal Plant

By Staff Writers, Power News, Apr 12, 2012

http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/4533.html?hq_e=el&hq_m=2422484&hq_l=8&hq_v=5e660500d0

[SEPP Comment: Environmental groups destroying innovation in technology for use of coal. The Sierra Club takes pride in its efforts to increase the costs of coal plants and the utility bills of consumers.]

The Contradictions of Obamaism

As a faithful tool of the environmentalists, the president betrays his main constituents.

By William Tucker, American Spectator, Apr 6, 2012 [H/t Timothy Wise]

http://spectator.org/archives/2012/04/06/the-contradictions-of-obamaism

Other Scientific News

Biggest environment satellite goes silent

By Staff Writers, Paris (AFP), April 12, 2012

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Biggest_environment_satellite_goes_silent_999.html

Scientists refine Earth’s clock

By Staff Writers, London UK (SPX) Apr 09, 2012

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Scientists_refine_Earth_clock_999.html

What Triggers a Mass Extinction?

By Kimm Fesenmaier, Pasadena CA (SPX) Apr 13, 2012

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/What_Triggers_a_Mass_Extinction_999.html

[SEPP Comment: It was massive glaciations, not warming, that may have been the cause of the extinction that is attributed to climate change.]

Space Debris Remediation – Who Are We Kidding?

By Launchspace Staff, Bethesda MD (SPX) Apr 10, 2012

http://www.spacemart.com/reports/Space_Debris_Remediation_Who_Are_We_Kidding_999.html

Other News that May Be of Interest

Researchers Report Potential for a “Moderate” New England “Red Tide” in 2012

By Staff Writers, Woods Hole MA (SPX), Apr 13, 2012

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Researchers_Report_Potential_for_a_Moderate_New_England_Red_Tide_in_2012_999.html

[SEPP Comment: Perhaps sea food poisoning from the red tide is the source of the old New England saying do not eat shellfish in a month without a “R?”]

Fungus threat escalates for food, wildlife: scientists

By Staff Writers, Paris (AFP) April 11, 2012

http://www.seeddaily.com/reports/Fungus_threat_escalates_for_food_wildlife_scientists_999.html

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BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:

Doomsday shelters line Kansas missile silo

By Staff Writers, Salina, Kansas (AFP), April 9, 2012

http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Doomsday_shelters_line_Kansas_missile_silo_999.html

[SEPP Comment: Recycling at its best.]

How Climate Change Makes Trees Sick

By Susan Frankel, NPR, Apr 12, 2012

http://www.npr.org/local/stories/KQED/150533336

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13 Responses to Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

  1. John from CA says:

    The Envisat recalibration was a news piece I circumstantially feel is very disturbing.

    Envisat was apparently was recalibrated with a 1.8mm/year increase without supporting observational evidence. When one attempts to find supporting tidal gauge evidence the issue becomes even more suspicious. For instance, 3 tidal gauge records in Canada now include readings which were added 1.5 to 2 years after the fact and after the gauges were discontinued.

    I hope I’m wrong but the satellite sea level and the tidal gauge records may now be completely useless.

  2. Babsy says:

    Richard Lindzen has responded to his critics of his talk to members of the UK House of Commons. He admits he made a small error. Among other issues, he states that even though the climate models are based on well-established physical principles, that is not sufficient to accept the results of the models. The models must be tested by observations, not by other models.

    Michelson, Morely, ether. C is well documented. Co2, not so much!

  3. Third Party says:

    “The models must be tested by observations, not by other models.”Models should be able to predict likely system performance in the real world? What a concept.

  4. RobRoy says:

    http://www.city-journal.org/2012/22_2_apocalyptic-daze.html
    I’ve never posted a link before. This article is pure genious.

  5. cui bono says:

    Anyone thinking of opening a ‘windkill grill ‘n’ bar’? Roast eagle and fried bat!

  6. John from CA says:

    RobRoy says:
    April 16, 2012 at 9:29 am
    http://www.city-journal.org/2012/22_2_apocalyptic-daze.html
    I’ve never posted a link before. This article is pure genius.

    ========
    Thanks, great read!!!

    excerpts:
    “Our perception is inversely proportional to reality.

    “The Christian apocalypse saw itself as a hopeful revelation of the coming of God’s kingdom. Today’s has nothing to offer. There is no promise of redemption; the only hope is that those human beings who repent of their errors may escape the chaos, as in Cormac McCarthy’s fine novel The Road. How can we be surprised, then, that so many bright minds have become delirious and that so many strange predictions flourish?

  7. rogerkni says:

    “the energy picture of the US if not parts of the world.”

    Insert “other”

  8. Myrrh says:

    Quote of the Week:

    “An elective despotism was not the government we fought for; but one in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among the several bodies of magistracy as that no one could transcend their legal limits without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.” — James Madison

    Appears to be a backlash going on to the UN takeover:

    http://www.thenewamerican.com/tech-mainmenu-30/environment/11137-ocean-county-new-jersey-blasts-un-agenda-21-in-resolution

    In yet another victory for liberty-minded activists, local lawmakers in Ocean County, New Jersey, approved a stinging resolution last month blasting the United Nations’ highly controversial Agenda 21, a radical plan to foist so-called “sustainable development” on Americans by stealth.

    Communities across America are fighting back against the international program and its tentacles in ever-increasing numbers. And in January, even the Republican National Committee adopted a resolution strongly condemning Agenda 21 and vowing to fight it.

    Similarly, the Ocean County legislators — known in New Jersey as the “Board of Chosen Freeholders” — recognized that the nature of the UN plan is “destructive and insidious,” using much of the language from the RNC statement. The county resolution also noted that approval or implementation of Agenda 21 “would ultimately destroy the sovereignty of the United States of America.”

    ……
    http://thenewamerican.com/tech-mainmenu-30/environment/11224-tennessee-lawmakers-pass-resolution-blasting-un-agenda-21

    Legislation attacking the United Nations’ “Agenda 21” agreement as a radical socialist plot at odds with American liberty and values was approved overwhelmingly by members of the Tennessee House of Representatives last Thursday, sparking some criticism by far-left activists but widespread praise by conservative groups and Tea Party organizations across the nation.

    The non-binding measure, House Joint Resolution 587, recognizes the “destructive and insidious nature” of the controversial UN scheme — “a comprehensive plan of extreme environmentalism, social engineering, and global political control.” The bill easily sailed through the House on March 15 with 72 votes in favor, including at least six Democrats, and 23 votes against.

    …..
    http://thenewamerican.com/tech-mainmenu-30/environment/11488-texas-gop-blasts-united-nations-agenda-21

    As the United Nations prepares for its next global conference on “sustainable development” in June, the Texas state GOP recently followed in the footsteps of the Republican National Committee (RNC) by passing a resolution blasting the controversial UN sustainability scheme known as Agenda 21, as well as all of the entities working toward its implementation. Advocates of liberty and national sovereignty celebrated the move as yet another victory in a decades-old battle against the plan.

    According to experts and the state GOP’s resolution, the global scheme represents a significant threat to the U.S. Constitution, the individual rights of Americans, and the institution of private property. And despite never having been ratified by the U.S. Senate, it is being foisted on the people of every state through various organizations including an international non-profit group known as ICLEI, formerly called the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives.

    The UN agenda, the Texas resolution states, is: “designed to destroy our fundamental rights and liberties as a people, hitherto enjoyed under our system of just government, in order to transform us from men made in the image of God to men re-made in the image of compelled beings, oppressed, having no acknowledged rights or liberties held inviolate; all designed by the enemies of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in order to reduce us to misery and bondage, without hope or God or natural moral absolutes.”

    As opposition to the UN plan escalates, however, lawmakers and officials across America are increasingly rejecting the highly controversial global program. Dozens of cities, counties, state legislatures, and even the national Republican Party have already started to fight back. …

    The state GOP supports the full restoration of constitutional justice, individual liberty, property rights, and limited government, according to the resolution. As such, “the people of Texas shall remain free religiously, socially, economically, and politically, according to our natural rights and liberties granted to us by God.”

    Those God-given rights, the resolution points out, are guaranteed by the Constitution. So the party resolves to protect them “in order that our fundamental rights and liberties shall be held inviolate forever, standing in opposition to all forms of religious, social, economic, and political globalism as set forth in the United Nations Agenda 21 Program.” As part of the Texas GOP’s official party platform, all Republicans are expected to work toward preserving those rights in the face of UN assaults.

    =============
    The first two were dated March this year, the Texas April. There are more at the bottom of the page, but I haven’t checked them out.

  9. Kasuha says:

    Third Party says:
    April 16, 2012 at 9:24 am
    Models should be able to predict likely system performance in the real world? What a concept.
    _________________________________

    In particle physics models were used to forecast particles like quarks or W/Z bosons.
    In meteorology, models are used to forecast weather for a number of days ahead.
    In biology, models are used to find optimal molecules to activate or suppress chemical receptors.
    In avionics, models are used to find optimal shapes for new aircraft types.
    In electronics, models are used to construct new types of microelectronic circuits.

    You know, there are actually lots of places where models are successfully used to forecast system performance in the real world. They are used for that because they have been proven to be reliable and because using them is easier and cheaper than performing millions of real world experiments.
    “model can be considered reliable only when it was proven to be reliable” is the key part.

  10. Truthseeker says:

    Antony, you said

    “For example, about 10,000 birds were collected as killed by wind turbines in the Altamont Pass in one year.”

    Do you have a link for that?

    [REPLY: You did note the attribution of authorship at the top of the post, right? -REP]

  11. Truthseeker says:

    OK, I guess it was a question for Ken and not you. I did find this though …

    http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/protecting_birds_of_prey_at_altamont_pass/pdfs/factsheet.pdf

    However, that does not give a number anything like the 10,000 birds that the article mentions. I was hoping that the 10,000 number could be verified.

  12. Ed Mertin says:

    Something some might be interested in…
    Cameco sees restart of some Japan reactors soon | Business | The Guardian

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/feedarticle/10164586

    * Just one of 54 reactors online in Japan, restart plan unclear
    * Cameco says Japanese utilities not selling excess uranium
    * Japanese partners still committed to mine development
    * Sees some reactors restarting in near future
    * Cameco eyeing “near-production” takeover targets in U.S. (Adds details)

    … Japan’s final operating reactor is scheduled to shut down in May and the timeline for restarts remains unclear. Stress test results are currently being reviewed by the country’s nuclear regulator; then the government will need to green-light restarts based on public and political support. Despite the lingering uncertainty, Cameco sees strong uranium growth going forward as China, India, Russia and Korea push ahead with aggressive nuclear build-outs.

    For its part, China should have some 40 reactors online by 2015 and another 20 or 30 in operation by 2020, said Gitzel.

    “We see the long term fundamentals of the business as very strong,” he said. “We see 96 net new reactors by 2021. That’s the best growth we’ve seen in the business since the 1970s.”

    U.S. POWER With 104 reactors, the United States is the largest consumer of uranium in the world and Cameco is the top uranium producer in the country, producing some 2.2 million pounds in 2011 from its mines in Wyoming and Nebraska. “We’re in a good space down in the United States and we think it’s an important place for us to be,” said Gitzel. “Our estimate for the U.S. is four to six new reactors by 2020.” …

  13. Ed Mertin says:

    Now a little something I put together for the political wrangler …

    I believe that climate change is occurring. … I also believe that human activity is a contributing factor. I am uncertain how much of the warming, however, is attributable to man and how much is attributable to factors out of our control….from “No Apology,” Mitt Romney’s book, 2010

    I believe the world is getting warmer. I can’t prove that, but I believe based on what I read that the world is getting warmer — and — and number two, I believe that humans contribute to that. I don’t know how much our contribution is to that ’cause I know there’s been — there have been periods of — of greater heat and — and warmth in the past, but I believe that we contribute to that, and so I think it’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and the global warming that you’re seeing….Mitt Romney during a town hall at the University of New Hampshire, June 2, 2011

    My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet. And the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us…Mitt Romney Oct. 6, 2011, during a fundraiser at Pittsburgh’s Consol Energy Center

    Romney told the New Hampshire Union leader in an interview that he sees no contradiction in these statements:

    One, I believe what I said before, I think it’s getting warmer. Two, I believe we contribute to it. And three, I don’t know by how much — a lot or a little. And I am not willing to adopt multitrillion dollar programs to reduce greenhouse gases in America. They don’t call it America warming, they call it global warming.

    His evolving statements show how he is shaping his views with the electorate in mind. Personally, it appears hypocritical that conservative mouthpieces like Sean Hannity devote segments every other evening saying SpaghettiO should give back the million dollars Bill Maher gave him, yet nobody says Romney should give back the million and a half Environmental Defense Fund board member Julian H Robertson gave Mitt.  Gets me to think about Alice Cooper.

    I’m top prime cut of meat, I’m your choice
    I wanna be elected
    I’m Yankee doodle dandy in a gold Rolls Royce
    I wanna be elected
    Kids want a savior, don’t need a fake
    I wanna be elected
    We’re all gonna rock to the rules that I make
    I wanna be elected, elected, respected, elected, selected!

    The “Massachusetts Climate Protection Plan,” which ended up pursuing the same political agenda RGGI Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative was to pursue – mainly the capping of power plant emissions and starting an emissions banking and trading scheme. I’ve managed to locate it…

    http://newamerica.net/files/MAClimateProtPlan0504.pdf

    Credit: http://stevedeace.com/news/iowa-politics/the-case-against-mitt-romney/
    Where there is an interesting write up of other topics also.

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