Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project

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Quote of the Week: Fanaticism consists in redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim. – George Santayana, Life of Reason (1905)

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Number of the Week: £124 Billion v. £13 Billion

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THIS WEEK:

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

Summer Hearings: As mentioned last week, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held an August 1 hearing titled “Update on the Latest Climate Change Science and Local Adaptation Measures” and Senator Boxer’s questioning of John Christy was worthwhile watching. She was trying to bait Christy into improper or inaccurate statements and Christy was not biting. Senator Boxer brought up the new study by Anthony Watts, et al., which was part of Christy’s written testimony. When Christy explained the bias in the surface thermometers, Boxer immediately asked are people lying, who was guilty? Apparently the concept of instrument bias is unknown to her. She then asked if the Watts et al. study was peer reviewed and Christy confirmed it was not.

Then Senator Boxer showed a report by the California Climate Change Center titled “Our Changing Climate 2012” and asked Christy if he had seen it and Christy stated he may have seen an earlier draft. At this point Boxer commented the study came out the day before [just in time for the hearing]. Boxer emphasized that the study was based on over 30 peer reviewed studies and question why shouldn’t state and local officials accept this report rather than the Watt’s team study. Here Christy excelled. He pointed out that just released study probably does not contain his peer reviewed papers on climate change in California which show no change in snowfall for over 100 years and which show contamination of the surface temperature data.

She countered by asking isn’t Christy in the 1 to 2% of the scientists who do not agree with global warming as stated in a recent poll. Christy pointed out that the poll was based on 77 respondents and that the questions were “milk toast.” Do you agree that climate change is happening, and is the world is warming? He would probably have responded affirmatively. The poll is not meaningful. This episode was ignored in many articles reporting on the hearing. It shows how deceitful opinion polls of scientific issues can be. Christy’s comments can be found starting about 130 on the Archived Flash Video at: http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Choose&Hearing_id=c0293eca-802a-23ad-4706-02abdbf7f7c3

During the hearing, the current drought and the recent heat wave in the US were emphasized by the Democrats and their witnesses. In the 1930s, particularly in 1934 & 1936, the US had a more extreme drought that lasted several years (the Dust Bowl) and a worse heat wave in terms of setting state-wide record temperatures. (Christy produced a chart similar to Figure 25 in http://www.sepp.org/publications/NIPCC_final.pdf)

One can speculate how senators would have reacted then if many government-funded scientists proposed that the drought and heat wave were caused by carbon dioxide emissions and, in response, a government agency (EPA today) was forcing the closure of coal-fired power plants.

Many of the Senators of that time would have remembered what a benefit the electrification of America was and that many Americans without electricity were then demanding the expansion of the grid with coal-fired central plants. The dominant fuel was coal as it was from about 1885 when it exceeded wood to about 1950 when it was eclipsed by petroleum (today a transportation fuel). Most likely, the Senators of that day would have been horrified by the suggestion that burning coal was causing unprecedented and dangerous global warming, and droughts. They would have demanded hard proof rather than speculation. Times have changed. Many politicians do not recognize what life was like before affordable, reliable electricity.

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The Watts Team: In discussing the work of the Watts team last week, TWTW did not report that the airport temperature data was excluded because the current instruments in use give unrealistically high readings. The team also reports that it is working on the Time of Observation Bias. If a warming bias is still confirmed, it applies to only a small part of the earth’s surface. However, other surface temperature would have to be checked for such a bias. The findings of Steirou and Koutsoyiannis indicate it is a global problem. (TWTW 12-07-21)

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The BEST Affair: One of the amusing items coming out of reports on the BEST temperature findings is the emphasis many reporting entities placed on the fact that BEST was partially funded by the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation ($150,000 out of $623,087 for the first phase). This is amusing because many of these reporting entities often accuse (often wrongly) other entities of receiving funds from coal, oil, and gas interests, when they disagree with the Climate Establishment (John Christy’s term). Koch Industries is the second largest private corporation in the US and is heavily involved in fossil fuels. Once again, the BEST affair demonstrates that the source of funding does not necessarily influence the results. For link please see: http://berkeleyearth.org/donors/

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Other Surface Temperature Data: Roy Spencer posted a new analysis of US temperature trends since 1943 using only stations that report four times at daily, at specific times. This data set is from only about 50 stations, but is roughly equally distributed throughout the country. The data set avoids the Time of Observation Bias. When tested for the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect using population as the proxy, it appears that UHI gives a warming bias. Please see links under Measurement Issues.

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Hyperbole by Hansen: James Hansen of NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies made another media splash by announcing his surface data confirms that climate change is worse than he thought when he testified at the famous Senate Hearing in 1988. Yet, Mother Nature failed to fulfill his predictions. Somewhat surprisingly, the New York Times article on Hansen’s announcement included comments by Martin Hoerling of NOAA dismissing the Hansen’s findings.

Among other issues, the findings ignore the 1930s, the Southern Hemisphere, and temperature trends after 1999. Hansen uses a normal (Gaussian) distribution for climate events. Contrary to his statements, if warming causes a shift in the distribution, that extreme cooling should become more unlikely.

The timing of the NASA press release was curious. It was posted by a Kathryn Hansen (relationship unknown) a few hours after the successful landing of the new Mars exploration rover. Perhaps this is something the “Right Climate Stuff” team will explore. Please see links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and Defending the Orthodoxy.

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Environment Defense Fund: Craig Idso wrote a powerful response to an op-ed by Fred Krupp of the Environmental Defense Fund that appeared in the Wall Street Journal. Craig, of course, is an editor of the reports from the Nongovernment International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC). Please see link under Challenging the Orthodoxy and the Krupp article as Article #3 .

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Madrid 1995: Bernie Lewin completed his history of what he terms the Last Day of Climate Science. It is a three part analysis on how, in Lewin’s view, the integrity of the scientific process of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was abandoned to expedite a political end. This included the insertion of a distinct human fingerprint in the Summary for Policymakers that was not agreed upon in prior drafts and was inconsistent with the scientific chapter (which was subsequently changed). Please see link under Challenging the Orthodoxy.

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Post Normal Science? Last week Judith Curry carried an essay justifying what is called Post Normal Science, but not necessarily agreeing with it. Roy Spencer has a thoughtful rebuttal of the very concept. Please see link under Seeking a Common Ground.

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New York Review of Books: Fred Singer and economist William Nordhaus have exchanged views in the highly influential NYRB. Please see Articles #1 & #2.

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Merchants of What? Naomia Oreskes is on tour in Australia touting her personal attack on four distinguished scientists (two of whom were founders of SEPP). On her blog, Jo Nova posted devastating comments on Oreskes. It is indicative of the Climate Establishment that it should accept Oreskes as its climate science historian. She and her fellow author did not even get basic history correct. They attacked several scientists for exaggerating the military power of the Soviet Union because everyone knew that its economy could not sustain it. This is simply backwards. When President Reagan proposed an anti-ballistic missile system, many economists, including the venerated Paul Samuelson, declared that the Soviet Union would match the US because its economy was comparable to that of the US. They used the military power of the Soviet Union as proof of its economic power. A simple check of early 1980s economic text books will verify Oreskes’ false history.

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Amplifications and Corrections: The report from an independent commission investigating the Fukushima nuclear disaster stated that Unit 1 was damaged by the earthquake as well as the tsunami, contradicting the earlier report from the power company stating it was from the tsunami alone. Please see link under Nuclear Energy and Fears.

The many boutique blends of summer gasoline in the US (usually required between May 1 and September 15) are not solely the result of US EPA regulations, but also the result of local and regional regulations. The purpose is not only to reduce exhaust emissions, but also to reduce summertime evaporation, which contributes to air pollution. (The evaporation potential is measured by the by the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) index. These regulations lead to structural rigidity in the distribution of gasoline and regional variation in price. Over the past 50 years, the general improvement in summer air quality in the US is significant. However, with the development of much tighter controls of gasoline tank caps, filling procedures, tailpipe standards, etc., the benefits of the boutique requirements are probably marginal. A search of the web failed to find any current cost-benefit analysis of the various summer blends. http://www.theoildrum.com/story/2006/9/13/234043/431 (September 15, 2006)

http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/bureaucratic-gas_634424.html?page=3 (April 2, 2012)

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Number of the Week: £124 Billion v. £13 Billion. Professor Gordon Hughes authored a study on the U.K. Government’s target for renewable energy (wind) which he submitted to the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee on behalf of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF). As quoted by Andrew Montford: “Meeting the UK Government’s target for renewable generation in 2020 will require total wind capacity of 36 GW backed up by 21 GW of open cycle gas plants plus large complementary investments in transmission capacity. Allowing for the shorter life of wind turbines, the investment outlay for this Wind scenario will be about £124 billion. The same electricity demand could be met from 21.5 GW of combined cycle gas plants with a capital cost of £13 billion.”

No doubt, some energy analysts would think the good professor is too generous to wind power with only a 58% back-up requirement and believe a 100% back-up is necessary. No doubt, some politicians would think the good professor does not understand the imperative of green jobs. Please see links under Questioning European Green.

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ARTICLES:

For the numbered articles below please see this week’s TWTW at: http://www.sepp.org. The articles are at the end of the pdf.

1. The Climate Contrarians

By S. Fred Singer, reply by William D. Nordhaus, New York Review of Books, Aug 16, 2012

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2012/aug/16/climate-contrarians/?pagination=false

2. Informal Comments to Editor of the New York Review of Books

By S. Fred Singer, to Editor of the NYRB, Aug 8, 2012

http://www.sepp.org/key_issues/Informal_Comments_to_Editor_of_the_New_York_Review_of_Books.pdf

3. A New Climate-Change Consensus

It’s time for conservatives to compete with liberals to devise the best, most cost-effective climate solutions.

By Fred Krupp, WSJ, Aug 6, 2012 [H/t Roger Cohen]

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444320704577569231537988226.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

4. When 600 Million People Lost Power

With constant electricity shortages, India won’t abandon coal any time soon.

By Robert Bryce, WSJ, Aug 5, 2012

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443687504577565041028069420.html?mod=ITP_opinion_0

5. Heat waves are not new or unprecedented

By Charles Battig, Letter to Editor, Times-Dispatch, Aug 9, 2012

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/letters-to-the-editor/2012/aug/09/tdopin01-letters-to-the-editor-ar-2118186/

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NEWS YOU CAN USE:

Suppressing Scientific Inquiry

Don’t mention the Peer Review! New Zealand’s NIWA bury the Australian review

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Aug 7, 2012

http://joannenova.com.au/2012/08/dont-mention-the-peer-review-new-zealands-niwa-bury-the-australian-review/#more-23150

Challenging the Orthodoxy

Madrid 1995: The Last Day of Climate Science

By Bernie Lewin, Enthusiasm, Scepticism and Science, Aug 7, 2012 [H/t Bishop Hill]

http://enthusiasmscepticismscience.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/madrid-1995-the-last-day-of-climate-science/#more-820

You call this ‘compromise’?

By Craig Idso, American Thinker, Aug 8, 2012

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/08/you_call_this_compromise.html

The Perspective of a Lifetime on Atmospheric Modeling

By Anthony J. Sadar, American Thinker, Aug 4, 2012

http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/08/the_perspective_of_a_lifetime_on_atmospheric_modeling.html

[SEPP Comment: Results of air quality models are not reliable after a brief time yet they are coupled with climate models.]

Climate Distortion

By Cliff Mass, his Weather Blog, Aug 9, 2012

http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2012/08/climate-distortion.html?spref=tw

[SEPP Comment: Challenging Hansen’s statistical interpretation of climate extremes.]

NASA Scientist Out of Control

By Tim Ball, A Different Perspective, Aug 8, 2012

http://drtimball.com/2012/nasa-scientist-out-of-control/

NASA’s James Hansen’s big cherry pick

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Aug 6, 2012

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/06/nasas-james-hansens-big-cherry-pick/

Hansen’s Study: Did Global Warming Cause Recent Extreme Weather Events?

By Marlo Lewis, Global Warming.org, Aug 8, 2012

http://www.globalwarming.org/2012/08/08/hansens-study-did-global-warming-cause-recent-extreme-weather-events/

[SEPP Comment: A look at all the data.]

Dear NOAA and Seth, which 1930′s were you comparing to when you say July 2012 is the record warmest?

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Aug 8, 2012

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/08/dear-noaa-and-seth-which-1930s-were-you-referring-to-when-you-say-july-is-the-record-warmest/

Environmental Benefits of Energy Regulations Are Negligible

By Ted Gayer, W. Kip Viscusi, Mercatus Center, Aug 2, 2012 [H/t Timothy Wise]

http://mercatus.org/publication/environmental-benefits-energy-regulations-are-negligible

[SEPP Comment: According to this analysis, 87% of the net benefits from increased energy efficiency due to Federal regulatory mandates is from “Benefits from correcting consumer ‘irrationality.’” Numbers the regulators create.]

Defending the Orthodoxy

Climate change is here — and worse than we thought

By James Hansen, Washington Post, Aug 3, 2012 [H/t Conrad

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/climate-change-is-here–and-worse-than-we-thought/2012/08/03/6ae604c2-dd90-11e1-8e43-4a3c4375504a_story.html

The New Climate Dice

By Kathryn Hansen, NASA Blog, Aug 3, 2012

http://blogs.nasa.gov/cm/blog/whatonearth/posts/post_1344022702866.html

Research Links Extreme Summer Heat Events to Global Warming

By Kathryn Hansen, Press Release, NASA , Aug 6, 2012

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/warming-links.html

Study Finds More of Earth Is Hotter and Says Global Warming Is at Work

By Justin Gillis, NYT, Aug 6, 2012

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/07/science/earth/extreme-heat-is-covering-more-of-the-earth-a-study-says.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120807

A Dark Victory: How vested interests defeated climate science

By Robert Manne, The Monthly, Aug 2012

http://www.themonthly.com.au/how-vested-interests-defeated-climate-science-dark-victory-robert-manne-5853

The economic cost of increased temperatures

Study: Warming episodes hurt poor countries and limit long-term growth.

By Peter Dizikes, MIT News, Aug 7, 2012 [H/t WUWT]

http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2012/the-economic-cost-of-increased-temperatures-0807.html

Questioning the Orthodoxy

What Really Triggers a Resource Crisis?

By Dennis Avery, SPPI, Aug 9, 2012

http://sppiblog.org/news/what-really-triggers-a-resource-crisis

The Politicalization of The US National Academies With Respect To Climate Science

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

http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/08/10/the-politicalization-of-the-us-national-academies-with-respect-to-climate-science/

[SEPP Comment: More advocacy from the Koshland Science Museum run be the National Academies.]

The Climate of Opinion

By Steven Kates, Quadrant, Aug 9, 2012

http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2012/08/the-climate-of-opinion

[SEPP Comment: A lengthy and amusing read on alarmism prompted by the comment: “Ageing conservative white males are many times more likely than any other segment of the population to be denialists” in the Dark Victory essay linked under Defending the Orthodoxy.]

“The Damage to the Credibility of My Profession Is Huge”

By Steven Hayward, Power Line, Aug 9, 2012 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2012/08/the-damage-to-the-credibility-of-my-profession-is-huge.php

Goodness Glaciers! More Unprecedented Global Warming Meltdowns?

By Larry Bell, Forbes, Aug 5, 2012

http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2012/08/05/goodness-glaciers-more-unprecedented-global-warming-meltdowns/

The political posturing of ‘climate astrology’

By Eric Heyl, Tribune Review, Aug 10, 2012

http://triblive.com/opinion/2379398-74/global-warming-hansen-climate-globally-record-trying-activists-hottest-proof

The Utter Desperation of Global Warming Liars

By Alan Caruba, Warning Signs, Aug 7, 2012

http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-utter-desperation-of-global-warming.html

Get Dense

It’s time to stop wasting land and resources in the name of environmentalism.

Robert Bryce, City Journal, Winter 2012

http://www.city-journal.org/2012/22_1_environmentalism.html

Questioning European Green

The Impact of Wind Power on Household Energy Bills

By Gordon Hughes, GWPF, presented Jul 10, 2012 [H/t Benny Peiser]

http://thegwpf.org/images/stories/gwpf-reports/hughes-evidence.pdf

Gordon Hughes on the economics of wind power

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Aug 6, 2012

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2012/8/6/gordon-hughes-on-the-economics-of-wind-power.html

Germany’s Green Energy Transition May Force Out Industry

By Daniel Wetzel, Die Welt, via GWPF, Aug 8, 2012

http://thegwpf.org/international-news/6345-germany-s-green-energy-transition-may-force-out-industry.html

Wind Power: We Pay Price for Folly of Green Politics

By Leo McKinstry, Express, UK, Aug 8, 2012

http://www.express.co.uk/ourcomments/view/338258/Leo-McKinstry

George Osborne: Britain must be more attractive to ‘remarkable’ oil and gas industry

George Osborne will promise to make Britain an “even more attractive place” for the oil and gas industry in a blow to Liberal Democrat ambitions to shift away from fossil fuels.

By Rowena Mason, Telegraph, UK, Aug 7, 2012

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9457102/George-Osborne-Britain-must-be-more-attractive-to-remarkable-oil-and-gas-industry.html

Questioning Green Elsewhere

Low income earners burnt as cost of solar subsidy spirals

By: Tuck Thompson, Courier-Mail, AU, Aug 6, 2012

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/poor-burnt-as-cost-of-solar-subsidy-spirals/story-e6freoof-1226443382710

Lawson bats for China in climate debate

Former UK chancellor warns Europe, US against setting up trade barriers to developing nations

By Andrew Moody, China Daily, Aug 10, 2012 [H/t GWPF]

http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/weekly/2012-08/10/content_15657322.htm

[SEPP Comment: Lawson is the founder of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF).]

Expanding the Orthodoxy

U.N. Climate Change Goals: U.S. Reaffirms Support After Criticism

By Alister Doyle, Reuters, Aug 8, 2012

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/08/un-climate-change-goals_n_1754657.html

[SEPP Comment: If the temperature increase goes beyond the artificial limit of 2 deg C, what are the countries going to do to stop it, as if they can?]

Problems Within the Orthodoxy

Climate: US call for ‘flexibility’ on warming spurs row

By Staff Writers, Paris (AFP), Aug 8, 2012

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Climate_US_call_for_flexibility_on_warming_spurs_row_999.html

Seeking a Common Ground

Post-Normal Science: Deadlines, or Conflicting Values?

Never have so many scientists forecast so far into the future such fearful weather with so little risk of consequence for being wrong.” – I just made that up.

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Aug 5, 2012

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2012/08/post-normal-science-deadlines-or-conflicting-values/

Political bias in the academy

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Aug 9, 2012

http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2012/8/9/political-bias-in-the-academy.html

[SEPP Comment: Surely no one suspected this!]

Have Muller or Watts transformed the AGW landscape?

By Lubos Motl, Reference Frame, Jul 30, 2012

http://motls.blogspot.com/2012/07/have-muller-or-watts-transformed-agw.html

The BEST Affair

The ‘BEST’ global warming science goes lukewarm

By Patrick Michaels, Daily Caller, Aug 2, 2012 [H/t Cooler Heads]

http://dailycaller.com/2012/08/02/the-best-global-warming-science-goes-lukewarm/

Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?

Ray Evans reviews The Denialist Victory

By Ray Evans, JoNova, Aug 8, 2012

http://joannenova.com.au/2012/08/ray-evans-denialist-victory-manne/#more-23167

Droughts show global warming is ‘scientific fact’

NASA researcher’s study ‘reframes the question,’ UVic professor says

By Staff Writers, CBC News, Aug 4, 2012 [H/t Peter Salonius]

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2012/08/04/climate-change-real-scientist.html

Cut emissions further or face risks of high air pollution, study shows

By Staff Writers, Brussels, Belgium (SPX) Aug 06, 2012

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Cut_emissions_further_or_face_risks_of_high_air_pollution_study_shows_999.html

[SEPP Comment: No need to adjust the models for the dramatic improvement in air quality in western countries through economic growth. Carbon dioxide emissions are lumped with known air pollutants.]

Weather Channel continues its decline chasing CNN – announces 6 hourly features on “tipping points’

By Staff Writers, ICECAP, Aug 5, 2012

http://icecap.us/index.php/go/new-and-cool/weather_channel_continues_its_decline_chasing_cnn_announces_6_hourly_featur/

The shape of British summers to come?

It’s been a dull, damp few months and some scientists think we need to get used to it. Melting ice in Greenland could be bringing permanent changes to our climate

By Fiona Harvey, Guardian, UK, Aug 8, 2012 [H/t GWPF & Real Climate]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/aug/08/shape-of-british-summers-to-come

[SEPP Comment: A few months ago it was predicted to be a hot, dry summer.]

Mapping the future of climate change in Africa

By Staff Writers, Austin TX (SPX), Aug 06, 2012

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Mapping_the_future_of_climate_change_in_Africa_999.html

[SEPP Comment: Further nonsense with a DOD grant.]

Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

Oreskes, the Queen of Climate Smear, ignores the big money, has no evidence, throws names

By Joanne Nova, Her Blog, Aug 8, 2012

http://joannenova.com.au/2012/08/oreskes-big-money-no-evidence-skeptics-merchant-of-doubt/#more-23189

Measurement Issues

U.S. Surface Temperature Update for July, 2012: +1.11 deg. C

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Aug 6, 2012

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2012/08/u-s-surface-temperature-update-for-july-2012-1-11-deg-c/

A New Analysis of U.S. Temperature Trends Since 1943

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Aug 6, 2012

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2012/08/a-new-analysis-of-u-s-temperature-trends-since-1943/

Climate Catastrophe or Media Hype?

Are extreme weather events on the rise?

By Madhav Khandekar and Tom Harris, PJ Media, Aug 7, 2012 [H/t Marc Morano]

http://pjmedia.com/blog/climate-catastrophe-or-media-hype/?singlepage=true

Heat Wave

An ‘inconvenient result’ – July 2012 not a record breaker according to data from the new NOAA/NCDC U.S. Climate Reference Network

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Aug 8, 2012

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/08/an-incovenient-result-july-2012-not-a-record-breaker-according-to-the-new-noaancdc-national-climate-reference-network/

July hottest month on record in US

By Staff Writers, Washington (AFP) Aug 9, 2012

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/July_hottest_month_on_record_in_US_999.html

July 2012 Hottest Ever in the U.S.? Hmmm….I Doubt It

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Aug 8, 2012

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2012/08/july-2012-hottest-ever-in-the-u-s-hmmm-i-doubt-it/

[SEPP Comment: It is not the daytime highs what are hotter, but the nighttime lows that are hotter.]

Changing Weather

This Drought’s No Dry Run: Lessons Of The Dust Bowl

By David Schaper, NPR, Aug 4, 2012 [H/t Climate Etc.]

http://www.npr.org/2012/08/04/158119458/soaked-in-drought-lessons-from-the-dust-bowl

[SEPP Comment: Not yet a multi-year drought.]

Extreme Climate Change: The 1933-1938 Period Was One of Very Severe Weather Events, Including Global Heat Waves

By C3 Headlines, [H/t Peter Salonius]

http://www.c3headlines.com/are-droughts-floods-more-frequent/

Global Temperature Report: July 2012 From The University Of Alabama At Huntsville

By Roger Pielke Sr, Climate Science, Aug 6, 2012

http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/global-temperature-report-july-2012-from-the-university-of-alabama-at-huntsville/

Changing Climate

Cold spell gripped Europe 3,000 years before ‘Little Ice Age,’ says study

By Staff Writers, Phys.org, Aug 6, 2012

http://phys.org/news/2012-08-cold-europe-years-ice-age.html

[SEPP Comment: Consistent with the demise of the Harappan civilization on the Indus plain and the views of HH Lamb on the Sahara. TWTW http://www.sepp.org/twtwfiles/2012/TWTW%20-%206-2-12.pdf ]

Changing Seas

Sea levels ignore government forecasts

By Tony Thomas, Quadrant, Aug 10, 2012

http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2012/08/sea-levels-ignore-government-forecasts

[SEPP Comment: Mother Nature refuses to obey government proclamations.]

Are July 2012 Sea Surface Temperatures for U.S. Coastal Waters Also At Record Levels?

By Bob Tisdale, WUWT, Aug 10, 2012

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/10/not-hot-ocean-sst-around-the-usa-not-anywhere-near-record-levels/#more-68961

[SEPP Comment: One would expect that sea surface temperatures would lag behind land temperatures.]

Changing Sea Ice

Aerial photos reveal dynamic ice sheet

By Staff Writers, Copenhagen, Denmark (SPX), Aug 06, 2012

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Aerial_photos_reveal_dynamic_ice_sheet_999.html

Despite the current and rapid melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet, it remains far from certain just when we will have reached a point when scientists will be able to predict its disappearance.

[SEPP Comment: Surprise! The breaking off of 0.007% of the ice sheet will not continue into the indefinite future once winter arrives.]

Changing Earth

13-year Cascadia study complete – and earthquake risk looms large

by Staff Writers: Corvallis OR (SPX) Aug 07, 2012

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/13_year_Cascadia_study_complete_and_earthquake_risk_looms_large_999.html

Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine

UN official: US must cut back on biofuels

By Zack Colman, The Hill, Aug 10, 2012

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/243053-un-us-must-cut-back-on-biofuels

Asia, US plains facing water extraction crisis

By Staff Writers, Paris (AFP), Aug 8, 2012

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Asia_US_plains_facing_water_extraction_crisis_999.html

[SEPP Comment: Water extraction for agriculture is a future problem in many parts of the world. Another benefit of enhanced CO2, making the plants less susceptible to drought.]

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC

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

Regional Climate Models: How Well Do They Work?

Reference: Mishra, V., Dominguez, F. and Lettenmaier, D.P. 2012. Urban precipitation extremes: How reliable are regional climate models? Geophysical Research Letters 39: 10.1029/2011GL050658.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2012/aug/7aug2012a1.html

[SEPP Comment: Misleading or just plain wrong.]

The Carbon Debts of Land-Use Changes for Biodiesel Production

Reference: Achten, W.M.J. and Verchot, L.V. 2011. Implications of biodiesel-induced land-use changes for CO2 emissions: Case studies in tropical America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Ecology and Society 16: 10.5751/ES-04403-160414.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2012/aug/7aug2012a2.html

[SEPP Comment: Unsustainable?]

Effects of Elevated CO2 on Coral Calcification: It Makes a Huge Difference Whether the Coral is Dead or Alive!

Reference: Sandeman, I.M. 2012. Preliminary results with a torsion microbalance indicate that carbon dioxide and exposed carbonic anhydrase in the organic matrix are the basis of calcification on the skeleton surface of living corals. Revista de Biologia Tropical 60 (Supplement 1): 109-126.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2012/aug/7aug2012a3.html

Twelve Hundred Years of Winter Surface Air Temperatures in Svalbard and Northern Norway

Reference: Divine, D., Isaksson, E., Martma, T., Meijer, H.A.J., Moore, J., Pohjola, V., van de Wal, R.S.W. and Godtliebsen, F. 2011. Thousand years of winter surface air temperature variations in Svalbard and northern Norway reconstructed from ice-core data. Polar Research 30: 10.3402/polar.v30i0.7379.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2012/aug/7aug2012a4.html

Rate of Sea Level Rise: Predictions vs. Measurements

Reference: Boretti, A.A. 2012. Short term comparison of climate model predictions and satellite altimeter measurements of sea levels. Coastal Engineering 60: 319-322.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2012/aug/8aug2012a1.html

Cosmic Rays and Climate Change

Reference: Ram, M., Stolz, M.R. and Tinsley, B.A. 2009. The terrestrial cosmic ray flux: Its importance for climate. EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union 90: 397-398.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2012/aug/8aug2012a4.html

Health, Energy, and Climate

Scientists find 50-year decline in some Los Angeles vehicle-related pollutants

By Staff Writers, AGU, Aug 9, 2012 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.agu.org/news/press/pr_archives/2012/2012-37.shtml

[SEPP Comment: A great regulatory success. One volatile organic compound has not dropped – ethanol, which is mandated by Washington.]

Debating Locavores: Food to Energy to Smart Action (response to critics)

By Pierre Desrochers and Hiroko Shimizu, Master Resource, Aug 10, 2012

http://www.masterresource.org/2012/08/debating-locavores/#more-21219

[SEPP Comment: The fanaticism of those who insist that others should eat locally grown food.]

Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes

Profits on Carbon Credits Drive Output of a Harmful Gas

By Elisabeth Rosenthal and Andrew Lehren, NYT, Aug 8, 2012 [H/t Steve Malloy]

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/09/world/asia/incentive-to-slow-climate-change-drives-output-of-harmful-gases.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120809

[SEPP Comment: To think that some people in other countries would take advantage of the system!]

EPA and other Regulators on the March

54.5 MPG And The Law Of Unintended Consequences – OpEd

Rules that make cars less affordable – and less safe – are unethical and should be reconsidered

By Bishop Harry Jackson, Eurasia Review, Aug 8, 2012

http://www.eurasiareview.com/08082012-54-5-mpg-and-the-law-of-unintended-consequences-oped/

Analysis: U.S. regulators get tougher on oil pipelines

By Ayesha Rascoe. Reuters, Aug 6, 2012

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/06/us-usa-pipeline-restart-idUSBRE8750WI20120806

[SEPP Comment: Tough regulations are not necessarily sensible. An agency can be punitive to the company for violations without being punitive to the public.]

Rethinking Polar Bear Evolution

By Doug Hoffman, The Resilient Earth, Aug 5, 2012

http://theresilientearth.com/?q=content/rethinking-polar-bear-evolution

Obama regulations chief pressed attacks on ozone standards

By Ben Geman and Kevin Bogardus, The Hill, Aug 8, 2012

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/242667-obama-regs-chief-pressed-attacks-on-ozone-standards

The outgoing White House regulations chief circulated industry attacks on proposed smog standards among high-level advisers to President Obama, emails released to The Hill through a FOIA request show.

Energy Issues – Non-US

Energy Clarity

By Donn Dears, Power for USA, Aug 7, 2012

http://dddusmma.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/energy-clarity/

[SEPP Comment: In understanding policy clarity of definitions is extremely important and often obfuscated.]

Not much to fear from CNOOC

The takeover in no way represents a ‘predator’ stealing ‘our’ oil

By Peter Foster, Financial Post, Aug 8, 2012

http://opinion.financialpost.com/2012/08/08/peter-foster-not-much-to-fear-from-cnooc/

[SEPP Comment: On the purchase of a Canadian energy firm by a Chinese energy firm.]

Australia PM calls for electricity reform

By Staff Writers, Sydney (UPI), Aug 7, 2012

http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/Australia_PM_calls_for_electricity_reform_999.html

[SEPP Comment: Our Aussie friends will comment on this one.]

China Drills Into Shale Gas, Targeting Huge Reserves Amid Challenges

By Catherine Yang, National Geographic Daily News, Aug 8, 2012 [H/t GWPF]

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2012/08/120808-china-shale-gas/

[SEPP Comment: The shale deposits are not necessarily the same as in the US and the techniques used in the US may or may not apply.]

Energy Issues — US

Delays, Funding Hurdles, and Cancellations for Three Major U.S. Transmission Lines

By Sonal Patel, Power News, Aug 9, 2012

http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/4854.html?hq_e=el&hq_m=2500110&hq_l=10&hq_v=5e660500d0

[SEPP Comment: Two of the three projects, TransWest Express and Tres Amigas, were designed for wind generation or connection to the smart gird.]

Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Proved Gas Reserves Up 50% From 2005 to 2010: Where’s The Gas Ponzi Scheme?

By John Hanger, His Blog, Aug 3, 2012

http://johnhanger.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/proved-gas-reserves-up-50-from-2005-to.html

It’s a disaster that ‘peak oil’ is not a disaster

By Ivo Vegter, Daily Maverick, Aug 7, 2012 [H/t GWPF]

http://dailymaverick.co.za/opinionista/2012-08-07-its-a-disaster-that-peak-oil-is-not-a-disaster

UT study finds earthquakes occur more frequently near injection wells

By Bill Hanna, Star-Telegram, Aug 6, 2012

http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/08/06/4158348/ut-study-finds-earthquakes-occur.html

[SEPP Comment: The earthquakes are not caused by hydraulic fracturing.]

Washington’s Control of Oil and Gas

CBO: Drilling ban removal would bring limited new revenues

By Ben Geman, The Hill, Aug 9, 2012

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/243015-cbo-drilling-ban-removal-would-bring-limited-new-revenues

[SEPP Comment: A typical Washington approach: it will not immediately accomplish things, therefore do nothing. Since it takes several years to develop an oil field, government revenues will not shoot up immediately. If the policy decisions taken 10 years ago were to open ANWR and other public lands, they would be yielding significant revenues to the US treasury today. The mind-set is classic example of short sightedness about revenue possibilities.]

Return of King Coal?

Coal Comfort

The EPA hates the carbon-heavy fuel, but it’s here to stay.

By Robert Bryce, City Journal, Summer, 2012

http://www.city-journal.org/2012/22_3_coal.html

Nuclear Energy and Fears

Video Shows View Inside Nuclear Disaster

Operator of Japan’s Fukushima Plant Releases Tapes of Command Centers During Crisis; ‘We Have a Big Problem’

By Mitsuru Obe and Phred Dvorak, WSJ, Aug 6, 2012

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443659204577572971995899222.html?mod=ITP_pageone_3

[SEPP Comment: May be behind a paywall.]

Fukushima Fallout: Commission Finds Nuclear Plant Disaster A “Made In Japan” Human Failure

By Larry Bell, Forbes, Aug 7, 2012

http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2012/08/07/fukushima-fallout-commission-finds-nuclear-plant-disaster-a-made-in-japan-human-failure/

Yucca Mountain court case on hold

By Staff Writers, WNN, Aug 6, 2012

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS-Yucca_Mountain_court_case_on_hold-0608127.html

[SEPP Comment: The Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, stridently opposes Yucca Mountain. Is this a reason why the Senate has failed to pass a budget for three years?]

UPDATED: NRC Freezes Final License Decisions, Court Prolongs Yucca Mountain Saga

By Sonal Pael, Power News, Aug 9, 2012

http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/UPDATED-NRC-Freezes-Final-License-Decisions-Court-Prolongs-Yucca-Mountain-Saga_4858.html

A Glut of Natural Gas Leaves Nuclear Power Stalled

The outlook is bleak in the U.S. and complicated in other countries.

By Martin Lamonica, MIT Technology Review, Aug 9, 2012 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/428737/a-glut-of-natural-gas-leaves-nuclear-power/

[SEPP Comment: According to the article the small modular reactors under development can be competitive with natural gas combined cycle plants with gas prices of $6 to $8 per million BTUs. The EIA projects gas prices in the range of $4.50 per million BTUs in the later part of this decade.]

Britain Gives Nuclear a 2nd Chance

By Stanley Reed, NYT, Aug 8, 2012

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/09/business/energy-environment/09iht-green09.html?_r=1

[SEPP Comment: Guaranteeing a rate twice the current rate is not a subsidy? Or do members of the British government making such a guarantee acknowledging that wind power will double rates in nine years?]

UK Can Run Power Grid for 500 Years On Waste Plutonium Stores

By Al Fin, GWPF, Aug 8, 2012

http://thegwpf.org/uk-news/6344-uk-can-run-power-grid-for-500-years-on-waste-plutonium-stores.html

[SEPP Comment: May be a tad over optimistic.]

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

Wind power not coming through for California – power alert issued by the CAISO

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Aug 9, 2012

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/09/wind-power-not-coming-through-for-california-power-alert-issued-by-the-caiso/#more-68938

Q: Where is wind power in all of this, is it performing? A: “Well as you know, wind has to blow for wind power to be effective. “

White House Expedites Seven Solar and Wind Energy Projects

By Sonal Patel, Power News, Aug 9, 2012

http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/4855.html?hq_e=el&hq_m=2500110&hq_l=11&hq_v=5e660500d0

[SEPP Comment: Oil, gas, nuclear, etc. need not apply.]

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other

Dangerous and Fool Hardy

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Aug 10, 2012

http://dddusmma.wordpress.com/2012/08/10/dangerous-and-fool-hardy/

DoD-Interior agreement opens way for more renewable energy projects

By Sarah Chacko, Federal Times, Aug 6, 2012 [H/t Timothy Wise]

http://www.federaltimes.com/article/20120806/FACILITIES04/308060004/DoD-Interior-agreement-opens-way-more-renewable-energy-projects?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

[SEPP Comment: A military test range is not a military use? The grid is vulnerable to disruption, but solar and wind are not?]

White House to seek $7B in green energy contracts for military

By Zack Colman, The Hill, Aug 7, 2012

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/242593-army-announces-renewable-energy-contracts-as-white-house-continues-green-push

[SEPP Comment: How about helmets with solar collectors or wind turbines to power rechargeable batteries.]

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles

Taxpayer-Funded A123 May Get a Chinese Bailout

By Paul Chesser, NLPC, Aug 9, 2012

http://nlpc.org/stories/2012/08/09/taxpayer-funded-a123-may-get-chinese-bailout

California Dreaming

Petro-State Of California Needs Crude Awakening

By Tom Gray, IBD, Aug 8, 2012

http://news.investors.com/article/621501/201208081905/petro-state-of-california-needs-crude-awakening.htm?p=full

[SEPP Comment: High unemployment, massive state and local budget problems, huge petroleum resources; what to do? Build more solar and wind!]

California on course for renewable energy

By Staff Writers, Sacramento (UPI), Aug 3, 2012

http://www.solardaily.com/reports/California_on_course_for_renewable_energy_999.html

[SEPP Comment: Not one word on energy costs. The jobs study from Berkeley Law School must be interesting.]

Environmental Industry

Do Greens Have A None-Of-The-Above Energy Policy?

By John Merline, IBD, Aug 9, 2012

http://news.investors.com/article/621692/201208091842/environmentalists-have-none-of-the-above-energy-policy.htm

[SEPP Comment: Graph of land use by energy type.]

Other Scientific News

‘Enormous step forward’ as NASA lands rover on Mars

By Staff Writers, Pasadena, California (AFP), Aug 6, 2012

http://www.marsdaily.com/reports/Enormous_step_forward_as_NASA_lands_rover_on_Mars_999.html

Happy landings for nuclear rover

By Staff Writers, WNN, Aug 6, 2012

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NN-Happy_landings_for_nuclear_rover-0608128.html

Curiosity’s second day on Mars ‘flawless': NASA

By Staff Writers, Washington (AFP). Aug 8, 2012

http://www.marsdaily.com/reports/Curiositys_second_day_on_Mars_flawless_NASA_999.html

Scientists Define New Limits of Microbial Life in Undersea Volcanoes

By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), Aug 08, 2012

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Scientists_Define_New_Limits_of_Microbial_Life_in_Undersea_Volcanoes_999.html

Physicists celebrate centenary of the discovery of cosmic rays

By Staff Writers, Hamburg, Germany (SPX), Aug 07, 2012

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Physicists_celebrate_centenary_of_the_discovery_of_cosmic_rays_999.html

Dust Dominates Overseas Aerosol Imports to North America

By Staff Writers, NASA Earth Observatory, Aug 3, 2012 [H/t Jim Rust]

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=78742&src=eoa-iotd

According to the analysis, 64 million tons of dust, pollutants, and other particles cross the oceans and mix into the air over North America each year. That’s nearly as much as the estimated 69 million tons of aerosols produced domestically by natural processes, transportation, and industrial sources.

Other News that May Be of Interest

Fingering the culprit that polluted the Solar System

By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), Aug 08, 2012

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Fingering_the_culprit_that_polluted_the_Solar_System_999.html

[SEPP Comment: Clever headline.]

New Hampshire leads U.S. in tree cover

By Staff Writers, Syracuse, N.Y. (UPI), Aug 6, 2012

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/New_Hampshire_leads_US_in_tree_cover_999.html

[SEPP Comment: Virtually all the forests of New Hampshire are second or third growth, meaning it was all logged for lumber, fuel, and farms.]

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BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:

Carbon Eaters on the Black Sea

By Staff Writers, Greenbelt MD (SPX), Aug 07, 2012

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Carbon_Eaters_on_the_Black_Sea_999.html

[SEPP Comment: An interesting article until the pitch for funding using the “ocean acidification” plea.]

Kerry: Climate Change ‘As Dangerous’ as Iran’s Nukes and Possibility of War

By Patrick Goodenough, CNS News, Aug 2, 2012 [H/t Timothy Wise]

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/kerry-climate-change-dangerous-iran-s-nukes-and-possibility-war

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7 thoughts on “Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

  1. “The Damage to the Credibility of My Profession Is Huge” (Cliff Mass)

    I don’t think so. Credibility was zero for quite a while now.

    Earth to climate modelers: We don’t need you. We can’t pay you. You are useless. Go away.

  2. [SEPP Comment: A lengthy and amusing read on alarmism prompted by the comment: “Ageing conservative white males are many times more likely than any other segment of the population to be denialists” in the Dark Victory essay linked under Defending the Orthodoxy.]

    We’re all in trouble if all that stands in the way of the Fall of Western civilization is The Thin Gray Line…

  3. Wagathon… I translated that in my head as:
    “Ageing conservative white males are many times more likely than any other segment of the population to see through the politically and financially motivated sham” (or scam)

  4. I have a great quote of the week for some week: “Most of the greatest evil that man has inflicted upon man comes through people feeling quite certain about something which, in fact, was false.” Bertrand Russell

    Hansen and Gore are, themselves, not evil but what they have done is. People listen to them because they have a clear, simple, message. Because of that, they have been able to convince people that we have to do things that may very well destroy civilization as we know it.

    If we know one thing it is that ‘experts’ are no more likely to be able to predict the future than are dart-throwing monkeys. http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/12/05/051205crbo_books1 The simpler an expert’s message is, and the more certainty he expresses, the less reliable his predictions are. The better predictors are those who express doubt and consider all sides of the case at hand.

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