Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

SEPP_header5
The Week That Was: 2013-01-05 (January 5, 2013) Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project

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Quote of the Week: It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so. -Robert A. Heinlein, science-fiction author (1907-1988)

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Number of the Week: A 10 percent certainty of 10,000,000 is equal to a 100 percent certainty of 1,000,000.

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THIS WEEK:

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

Annual 2012 Temperatures: According to Roy Spencer and John Christy, based on comprehensive satellite measurements, 2012 was the ninth warmest year since the satellite record began 34 years ago. It was the warmest year for the continental US (Alaska included). No doubt alarmists will proclaim that this is proof of human caused global warming. However, the US comprises less than 2% of the earth’s surface, hardly global. There are indications the NOAA will announce that 2012 was the warmest for the US since surface-air record keeping began about 1890. However, the statistical manipulation that has taken place in the historic record, particularly a later day calculated cooling of the 1930’s, makes the historic record somewhat questionable. Of course, none of this goes to cause. Please see link under Challenging the Orthodoxy. 

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Greenhouse Skeptics: On his web site, Roy Spencer posted a provocative essay on some misconceptions by those who reject the greenhouse theory, as compared with those who are skeptical of the claim that humans are causing unprecedented and dangerous global warming. Among the misconceptions Spencer discusses are: the greenhouse effect violates the second law of thermodynamics; energy input alone determines temperatures; and that the rate of infrared absorption in the atmosphere equals the rate of infrared emission.

On his web site, Lubos Molt fully agrees with Spencer and restates Spencer’s points somewhat differently. Molt also addresses some of the early criticism of Spencer’s post. Both are an excellent follow-up on Fred Singer’s provocative essay, “Climate Deniers Are Giving Us Skeptics a Bad Name,” published in American Thinker on February 29, 2012.

As to the greenhouse effect violating the second law of thermodynamics, it is useful to recall Vincent Gray’s reminder that the laws of thermodynamics were articulated before the discovery of energy transfer by radiation, thus initially applied only to conduction and convection. The timing has resulted in a confusion lasting for generations. Please see links under Challenging Greenhouse Skeptics and http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/02/climate_deniers_are_giving_us_skeptics_a_bad_name.html

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IPCC AR5 WGI: New Zealander Vincent Gray has been an expert reviewer on all five of the Assessment Reports by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) is due out in 2013 – 14. The second draft of the scientific section, called Working Group I (WGI), was posted on the internet by Alec Rawls. Subsequently, Vincent Gray provided SEPP with his comments on WGI. Gray’s general comments are in this TWTW and a summary of his specific comments will be in next week’s TWTW. Please see Article # 2.

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Bridging the Political Divide: Nature published a provocative essay by Daniel Sarewitz calling for scientists, regardless of political affiliation or ideology, to work together to prevent politicians, particularly conservative politicians, from attacking science. To Sarewitz, the US community must decide if it wishes to be an independent national asset or a special interest group supporting the Democratic Party.

In commenting on the essay, Roger Pielke Jr, points out that scientific institutions, such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the American Geophysical Union (AGU), have taken political positions. Pielke further points out that the journal for AAAS, Science, has taken political positions as well. [One could also add that the journal of the AGU, EOS, published a highly misleading survey supposedly showing that scientists support the claim that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are causing dangerous global warming.] Pielke buttresses his arguments by stating that scientific integrity appears to be an issue to the scientific community only when a Republican is president.

As Pielke states, “our scientific institutions are far too important to be allowed to become pawns in the political battles of the day.” The issues go not only to the scientific community, but also to the funding authorities and their administrators. Many government funded studies contain lax scientific standards. For example, numerous studies are based on long term projections from climate models used by the IPCC. But the models have never been verified and validated, thus the results are purely speculative. In the past, members of SEPP have suggested to senior administrators of the National Science Foundation that a small portion of the climate science funding be allocated to global warming skeptics, but to no avail. Please see links under Seeking a Common Ground.

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Another “Nature Trick?” A number of articles appeared reporting that the West Antarctic ice sheet shows one of the strongest warming trends on the globe. On Watts Up With That, David Middleton exposes the study in Nature on which these reports are based. According to Middleton, the data cover two separate time frames: 1957 to 1975 and 1980 to 2012. The first set show a moderately significant warming trend and the second set show an insignificant warming trend, with no warming after 1991. The researchers just stitch the data together to provide a long term warming trend. Please see links under Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?

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Lisa Jackson: The first recipient of the SEPP April Fools Award, a lump of coal named in her honor, Lisa Jackson announced she is leaving as administrator of the EPA after President Obama’s inauguration. The announcement came shortly after the Inspector General of the EPA announced that the office is investigating Ms. Jackson’s use of private email accounts to conduct government business – some 7100 emails. EPA has agreed to begin releasing the emails after the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) successfully sued under the Freedom of Information Act. One can only speculate if the events are related.

Under Ms. Jackson, the EPA has greatly expanded the regulation of many industries, particularly the coal-fired electricity utility industry. Many of the EPA scientific claims, such as the toxic effect of mercury emissions from coal-fired plants, are highly questionable at best. TWTW considers the EPA’s ruling that greenhouse gases, particularly CO2, endangers public health and welfare is without scientific merit. At this time, it is not known who will replace Ms. Jackson and if that person would be an improvement or not. Please see Article # 3 and links under EPA and other Regulators on the March.

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Wind Subsidies: This week Congress passed a tax and spending bill to prevent the so called “fiscal cliff.” The bill provided for increasing income tax rates to high income households, and extending certain tax benefits to selected groups such as the production tax credit for the wind industry. The extension is for projects that are started in 2013, even though they do not come on line. Past TWTWs have articulated at least five reasons why wind is inferior to traditional methods of generating electricity. The new bill demonstrates the hypocrisy that underlines many of Washington’s actions. Only households or corporations with high taxable income can take advantage of a tax credit. It is of no benefit for those who pay little or no income taxes. Many of those politicians who demanded high income groups be taxed more, were among the most strident in demanding tax credits for wind, which benefit high income groups. Please see link under Subsidies and Mandates Forever

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Changing Climate: Several controversial articles have appeared on climate change. One article suggested that rapid climate change, namely in precipitation, in Africa two million years ago triggered cognitive development in early humans. A second study suggested that changes in the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) resulted in the demise in an artistically advanced culture in Australia some 7,000 years ago. On her web site, Jo Nova has some striking examples of the aboriginal art.

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Number of the Week (Actually the Logic of the Week): A 10 percent certainty of 10,000,000 is equal to a 100 percent certainty of 1,000,000. Professor of Musicology Richard Parncutt of the University of Graz, in Austria, proposed on a University web site that global warming deniers (skeptics) be tried and subject to the death penalty. Normally, TWTW does not bother discussing such rants but there are two points that are illuminating: 1) his logic; and 2) how he, and others who use similar reasoning, would apply this reasoning to those who have promoted misguided policies that resulted in the preventable deaths of millions.

One, the professor states: “If ten million people are going to die with a probability of 10%, that is like one million people dying with a probability of 100%.” Apply this logic to a 10% chance of receiving $10,000,000. Yet, similar logic underlies the EPA linear, no threshold model in determining health hazards – if a massive dose is toxic to humans, than a tiny dose applied to many humans will be toxic to some.

Two, by the early 1950s British colonial doctors demonstrated that the indoor spraying of native dwellings with DDT about every six months was very effective in controlling malaria in the tropics. In 1972, EPA Administrator William Ruckelshaus banned the use of DDT on the scientifically unsupported claim that it may cause cancer in humans. By then, malaria was no longer a health issue in the US. Using this claim, certain US government agencies and environmental nongovernment organizations (NGOs) demanded the banning of all use of DDT in other countries, including indoor spraying, as a condition for receiving US governmental aid. In countries that did so, malaria rates soared, millions died, and hundreds of millions suffered from preventable malaria. Please see links under Below the Bottom Line.

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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. Climate Science vs Politics: The Road Ahead

By S. Fred Singer, American Thinker, Dec 27, 2012

http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/12/climate_science_vs_politics_the_road_ahead.html

[SEPP Comment: Please note that the Supreme Court did not specifically require independent review, but EPA procedures do.]

2. Expert Review of IPCC Assessment Report (AR5WGI), Reviewer of All Five Reports

By Vincent Gray, New Zealand, Nov, 2012

http://www.sepp.org/science-editorials.cfm?whichcat=Report&whichsubcat=IPCC%20Assessment%20Report

3. The Jackson Damage

The economic harm the EPA chief wrought.

Editorial, WSJ, Dec 27, 2012

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324669104578205570067758176.html

4. Silicon Valley’s Green Energy Mistake

Political venture capital turns out to be a loser.

Editorial, WSJ, Dec 27, 2012

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323401904578159660625274422.html

[SEPP Comment: The Silicon Valley investors are realizing the folly of green energy while Washington promotes it.]

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NEWS YOU CAN USE:

 

Challenging the Orthodoxy

Comments on US Atmospheric Temperatures

By Roy Spencer and John Christy, Roy Spencer’s Blog, Jan 3, 2012 [H/t Gordon Fulks]

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/01/uah-v5-5-global-temperature-update-for-december-2012-0-20-deg-c/

 

Op-Ed: EPA’s carbon regs not based on sound science

By Joe D’Aleo, Washington Examiner, Dec 27, 2012

http://washingtonexaminer.com/op-ed-epas-carbon-regs-not-based-on-sound-science/article/2516956#.UONZom-X8Z4

Is Weather More Extreme In A Warmer World? The Answer is in the Ice

By Art Horn, Energy Tribune, Dec 26, 2012

http://www.energytribune.com/69116/is-weather-extreme-in-a-warmer-world

German Scientists Shoot Down Recent Claims Of “Rapid Warming” In Antarctica – Overall Continent Is Cooling!

By P. Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Dec 28, 2012

Translated from Western Antarctica warms more quickly than thought – however, hardly at all in the last 25 years

By Sebastian Lüning and Fritz Vahrenholt

http://notrickszone.com/2012/12/28/german-scientists-shoot-down-recent-claims-of-rapid-warming-in-western-antarctica-overall-continent-is-cooling/

Defending the Orthodoxy

US science: The Obama experiment

Nearly four years after US President Barack Obama pledged to put science in its rightful place, Nature asks if he kept his word.

By Jeff Tollefson, Nature, Sep 26, 20112

http://www.nature.com/news/us-science-the-obama-experiment-1.11481

Time to Confront Climate Change

Editorial, NYT, Dec 27, 2012

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/28/opinion/time-to-confront-climate-change.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=1&

Challenging Greenhouse Skeptics

Misunderstood Basic Concepts and the Greenhouse Effect

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Jan 1, 2012

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/01/misunderstood-basic-concepts-and-the-greenhouse-effect/

Greenhouse effect doesn’t contradict any laws of physics

By Lubos Motl, Reference Frame, Jan 1, 2012

http://motls.blogspot.com/2013/01/greenhouse-effect-doesnt-contradict-any.html#more

Questioning the Orthodoxy

Global Climate Planning: Down But Not Out (Doha’s ‘bitter defeat’ does not mean it’s over)

By Craig Rucker, Master Resource, Dec 31, 2012

http://www.masterresource.org/2012/12/doha-defeat-but-not-over/#more-23472

Welcome to a Kyoto-free-world: Best use was to show how bad a nanny-state-unfree-market is.

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Jan 1, 2013

http://joannenova.com.au/2013/01/welcome-to-a-kyoto-free-world-best-use-was-to-show-how-bad-a-nanny-state-unfree-market-is/#more-26237

This Is Called Cheating (Part 2)

By Donna Laframboise, NFC, Dec 22, 2012

http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2012/12/22/this-is-called-cheating-part-2/

Time for an Adult Approach to Climate Change

By Tom Harris, Caribarena Antigua, Dec 29, 2012

http://www.caribarena.com/antigua/opinions/opinion-pieces/102692-time-for-an

Questioning European Green

Poland and Czech Republic Ban German Green Energy

By Daniel Wetzel, Die Welt, via GWPF, Dec 29, 2012

http://www.thegwpf.org/poland-czech-republic-ban-germanys-green-energy/

Growing Criticism: Germany’s Transition To Renewable Energy Is Leading To All Pain And No Gain

By P. Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Dec 31, 2012

http://notrickszone.com/2012/12/31/growing-criticism-germanys-transition-to-renewable-energy-is-leading-to-all-pain-and-no-gain/

Greenest Government Ever: ‘Bribes’ to Halt Wind Farm Opposition

By Jonathan Leake, Sunday Times, via GWPF, Dec 30, 2012

http://www.thegwpf.org/greenest-government-ever-bribes-halt-wind-farm-opposition/

[SEPP Comment: Everyone wins except those who use electricity.]

Questioning Green Elsewhere

Ottawa must get real on climate change

From trying to reduce CO2 emissions to throwing money away on wind and solar power, the federal government is on the wrong track

By Tom Harris, Vancouver Sun, Dec 26, 2012

http://www.canada.com/business/Opinion+Ottawa+must+real+climate+change/7745889/story.html

A Running Leap Off the Green Energy Cliff

By Keith Kohl, Energy & Capital, Jan 4, 2013 [H/t Cooler Heads]

http://www.energyandcapital.com/articles/running-leap-off-green-energy-cliff/2956

Problems in the Orthodoxy

Russia will not renew its commitment to the Kyoto Protocol.

By Staff Writers, Voice of Russia, Dec 31, 2012 [H/t GWPF]

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_12_31/Russia-wont-renew-Kyoto-Protocol/

Kyoto climate change treaty sputters to a sorry end

Kyoto Protocol aimed for 5% cut in carbon emissions — instead, we got a 58% increase

By Max Paris, CBC News, Dec 31, 2012

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/12/20/pol-kyoto-protocol-part-one-ends.html

As the Kyoto Protocol Dies, Remember Those Who Called It (Part II)

By Robert Bradley Jr., Master Resource, Dec 27, 2012

http://www.masterresource.org/2012/12/kyoto-quotes-ii/#more-23461

“This Agreement Will be Good for Enron Stock!!” (Enron’s Kyoto memo turns 15)

By Robert Bradley Jr, Master Resource, Dec 24, 2012

http://www.masterresource.org/2012/12/enron-kyoto-memo-15/#more-23360

Seeking a Common Ground

Science must be seen to bridge the political divide

Scientists in the United States are often perceived as a Democratic interest group. For science’s sake this has to change,

By Daniel Sarewitz, Nature, Jan 2, 2013

http://www.nature.com/news/science-must-be-seen-to-bridge-the-political-divide-1.12119

A New Year’s Resolution for Scientists

By Roger Pielke Jr, His Blog, Jan 2, 2013

http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2013/01/a-new-years-resolution-for-scientists.html

There is of course nothing wrong with partisanship or with scientists participating in politics, they are after all citizens. However, our scientific institutions are far too important to be allowed to become pawns in the political battles of the day.

[SEPP Comment: See link immediately above.]

The Misunderstood Greenhouse effect.

By Geoff Brown, NCTCS, Jan 3, 2013

http://theclimatescepticsparty.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/the-mis-understood-greenhouse-effect.html

German/Austrian Academia Descends Into Madness – A Reaction To Parncutt’s Death Penalty Calls For Science Critics

By P. Gosselin, Dec 27, 2012

http://notrickszone.com/2012/12/27/germanaustrian-academia-descends-into-madness-reaction-to-parncutts-death-penalty-calls-for-free-speechers/

Dire tones from the University of Graz: music professor calls for the death penalty for climate science dissenters

By Sebastian Lüning and Fritz Vahrenholt

Trans: P. Gosselin

Climate fast attack plan

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc, Feb 18, 2012

http://judithcurry.com/2012/02/18/climate-fast-attack-plan/

[SEPP Comment: Judith Curry’s choice of the most important climate story of the year.]

Link for other lists: http://judithcurry.com/2012/12/30/year-in-review/#more-10817

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

Antarctic warming courtesy of Mr. Fix-it

By David Middleton, WUWT, Dec 27, 2012

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/27/antarctic-warming-courtesy-of-mr-fix-it/

Link to Article: Central West Antarctica among the most rapidly warming regions on Earth

http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo1671.html

W. Antarctic warming among world’s fastest

By Staff Writers, Columbus, Ohio (UPI), Dec 24, 2012

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/W_Antarctic_warming_among_worlds_fastest_999.html

AR5 Chapter 11; Hiding the Decline (Part II)

By David Hoffer, WUWT, Dec 30, 2012

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/30/ar5-chapter-11-hiding-the-decline-part-ii/

Changing Weather

Updated: Normalized Hurricane Losses 1900-2012

By Roger Pielke Jr, His Blog, Dec 31, 2012

http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2012/12/updated-normalized-hurricane-losses.html

What does the reinsurance market say about all this? Willis Re explains:

“most reinsurers are still within their annual catastrophe budgets for 2012 and not facing any capital impact… In the absence of Superstorm Sandy, reinsurers would have found it difficult to resist buyer pressure for further concessions. As such, Sandy’s impact has helped to stabilize market pricing on an overall basis and reinsurers have largely delivered to their clients in terms of capacity and continuity.”

In other words, thank goodness for Sandy.

The Political Superstorm that Devastated New York

By Paul Driessen, Townhall, Dec 29, 2012

http://townhall.com/columnists/pauldriessen/2012/12/29/the-political-superstorm-that-devastated-new-york-n1475682?utm_source=thdaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nl

Jan. 1 snow cover set U.S. record

By Staff Writers,State College, Pa. (UPI) Jan 3, 2012

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Jan_1_snow_cover_set_US_record_999.html

[SEPP Comment: A ten year record.]

Changing Climate

Fluctuating Environment May Have Driven Human Evolution

By Staff Writers, Science Daily, Dec 24, 2012

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121226080906.htm

Link to study: Water, plants, and early human habitats in eastern Africa

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/12/20/1209405109

Evidence of ENSO mega-drought triggered collapse of prehistory Aboriginal society in northwest Australia

By McGowan, et al, Geophysical Research Letters, Nov 23, 2012

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2012GL053916/abstract

Two million years of climate change made us what we are

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Jan 3, 2013

http://joannenova.com.au/2013/01/climate-change-made-us-human/#more-26249

Changing Sea Ice

The great Arctic cyclone of August 2012

By Ian Simmonds & Irina Rudeva, University of Melbourne, GRL, Dec 15, 2012 [H/t WUWT]

http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2012/2012GL054259.shtml

Record Arctic Storm Melted Sea Ice

By Just the Facts, WUWT, Dec 27, 2012

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/27/record-arctic-storm-melted-sea-ice/

Changing Earth

Trees worldwide a sip away from dehydration

Plumbing systems operate on a razor’s edge, leaving forests vulnerable

By Susan Milius, Science News, Dec 29, 2012 [H/t Clyde Spencer]

http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/346630/description/Trees_worldwide_a_sip_away_from_dehydration

Link to letter in Nature: http://people.fas.harvard.edu/~eebutler//Homepage/Plants_and_Climate_files/Choat_etal_2012.pdf

[SEPP Comment: Not one word about increased atmospheric carbon dioxide increases the ability of plants to survive stress.]

NTU’s ground-breaking study warns of more great quakes in the Himalayas

By Staff Writers, Singapore (SPX) Jan 01, 2013

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/NTUs_ground_breaking_study_warns_of_more_great_quakes_in_the_Himalayas_999.html

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC

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

Sea Surface Temperatures of the Southern Okinawa Trough

Reference: Wu, W., Tan, W., Zhou, L., Yang, H. and Xu, Y. 2012. Sea surface temperature variability in the southern Okinawa Trough during last 2700 years. Geophysical Research Letters 39: 10.1029/2012GL052749.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2012/dec/25dec2012a1.html

Cyanobacteria of the Subtropical North Atlantic Ocean

Reference: Lomas, M.W., Hopkinson, B.M., Losh, J.L., Ryan, D.E., Shi, D.L., Xu, Y. and Morel, F.M.M. 2012. Effect of ocean acidification on cyanobacteria in the subtropical North Atlantic. Aquatic Microbial Ecology 66: 211-222.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2012/dec/25dec2012a2.html

“ocean acidification [reduction of alkalinity] would likely result in a positive feedback on the growth and physiology of natural populations, resulting in a positive change in their role in ocean carbon and nitrogen cycles,” which is, of course, great news for the biosphere!

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2012/dec/25dec2012a2.html

Just How Icy was the Little Ice Age?

Reference: Osborn, G., Menounos, B., Ryane, C., Riedel, J., Clague, J.J., Koch, J., Clark, D., Scott, K. and Davis, P.T. 2012. Latest Pleistocene and Holocene glacier fluctuations on Mount Baker Washington. Quaternary Science Reviews 49: 33-51.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2012/dec/26dec2012a2.html

Earth’s Land and Water Surfaces: Net Sources or Sinks for CO2?

Reference: Ballantyne, A.P., Alden, C.B., Miller, J.B., Tans, P.P. and White, J.W. 2012. Increase in observed net carbon dioxide uptake by land and oceans during the past 50 years. Nature 488: 70-72.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2012/dec/26dec2012a3.html

The Political Games Continue

Election over, administration unleashes new rules

By Matthew Daly, AP, Dec 13, 2012

http://news.yahoo.com/election-over-administration-unleashes-rules-081641511–finance.html

Litigation Issues

Will the Supreme Court Review EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Regulations?

By Marlo Lewis, Global warming.org, Jan 4, 2013

http://www.globalwarming.org/2013/01/04/will-the-supreme-court-review-epas-greenhouse-gas-regulations/

Subsidies and Mandates Forever

Wind PTC Extension Approved as Lawmakers Strike Fiscal Cliff Package Deal

By Staff Writers, Power News, Jan 3, 2013

http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/5284.html?hq_e=el&hq_m=2591459&hq_l=5&hq_v=5e660500d0

EPA and other Regulators on the March

Did EPA Chief Lisa Jackson resign because emails she sent from a secret alias account will go public next month?

It was revealed in November that EPA Chief Lisa Jackson, 50, had sent thousands of emails tied to coal regulation from a secret alias account

The EPA chief announced on Thursday that she will resign after four years on the job for ‘new challenges, time with my family and new opportunities to make a difference’

Chris Horner, of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said the scrutiny over the alias emails regarding the Obama administration’s alleged ‘war on coal,’ is clearly a factor behind Jackson’s decision to step down

Jackson’s resignation is effective following the President’s State of the Union address next month

By Damian Ghigliotty, Daily Mail, UK, Dec 27, 2012

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2253999/Did-EPA-Chief-Lisa-Jackson-resign-secret-emails-public-month.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

 

EPA Finalizes Standards for Industrial Boilers, Certain Incinerators

By Sonal Patel, Power News, Jan 3, 2013

http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/5281.html?hq_e=el&hq_m=2591459&hq_l=6&hq_v=5e660500d0

Is The EPA’s Lisa Jackson Trying To Dodge A Federal Probe?

Editorial, IBD, Dec 27, 2012

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/122712-638555-lisa-jackson-resigns-while-inspector-general-investigates-emails.htm

Lisa Jackson leaving EPA and path of economic destruction

By Steve Goreham, Washington Times, Jan 2, 2012

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/climatism-watching-climate-science/2013/jan/2/lisa-jackson-leaving-epa-and-path-economic-destruc/

EPA’s illegal human experiments could break Nuremberg Code

Agency claims unfettered discretion in treatment of test subjects

By Steve Milloy, Washington Times, Dec 31, 2012

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/dec/31/epas-illegal-human-experiments-could-break-nurembe/

Lisa Jackson’s Destructive Crusade

By Henry Payne, National Review, Dec 28, 2012 [H/t ICECAP]

http://www.nationalreview.com/planet-gore/336534/jacksons-destructive-crusade-henry-payne#

Energy Issues – Non-US

The New Era of Oil Renaissance

By EconMatters, NASDAQ, Dec 30, 2012

http://www.nasdaq.com/article/the-new-era-of-oil-renaissance-cm202887#.UORLO3eQmbV

US, Canada, and Oz Prepare for the Asian Gas Wars

By Walter Russell Mead, Via Media, Dec 29, 2012 [H/t GWPF]

http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2012/12/29/us-canada-and-oz-prepare-for-the-asian-gas-wars/

Don’t Fall for the Shale Boom Hype – Chris Martenson Interview

An interview by James Stafford for oilprice.com, London, UK (SPX) Dec 31, 2012

http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/Dont_Fall_for_the_Shale_Boom_Hype_Chris_Martenson_Interview_999.html

Energy Issues — US

Assessing Energy Policy

By Donn Dears, Power for USA, Jan 2, 2013

http://dddusmma.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/assessing-energy-policy/

[SEPP Comment: The US energy policy is highly distorted by the fear that CO2 causes unprecedented and dangerous global warming.]

Trains carry more oil across U.S. amid boom

By Matthew Brown and Josh Funk, AP, Dec 30, 2012

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2012/12/30/trains-oil-boom-economy/1796505/

Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Fracking and Elizabeth Barrett Browning

By Donn Dears, Power for USA, Dec 28, 2012

http://dddusmma.wordpress.com/2012/12/28/fracking-and-elizabeth-barrett-browning/

New York State Health Department: Fracking is safe, but don’t tell anyone

By Staff Writers, ACSH, Jan 3, 2013

http://www.acsh.org/new-york-state-health-department-fracking-is-safe-but-dont-tell-anyone/

Link to NYT article: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/01/03/nyregion/hydrofracking-safe-says-ny-health-dept-analysis.xml

Saudis Sweat Bullets As Energy Revolution Changes the Rules

By Walter Russell Mead, Via Meadia, Dec 29, 2012 [H/t Timothy Wise]

http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2012/12/29/saudis-sweating-bullets-over-energy-revolution/

Exxon Mobil moves ahead with $14-billion Hebron oil field off Newfoundland

Jeffrey Jones, Reuters, Jan 4, 2013

http://business.financialpost.com/2013/01/04/exxon-mobil-moves-ahead-with-14-billion-hebron-oil-field-off-newfoundland/

Washington’s Control of Oil and Gas

Obama’s Energy Dilemma: Back Energy-Fueled Growth or Please Green Lobby

By Joel Kotkin, New Geography, Dec 7, 2012 [H/t Timothy Wise]

http://www.newgeography.com/content/003293-obama-s-energy-dilemma-back-energy-fueled-growth-or-please-green-lobby

Don’t Kill The Economically Beneficial Shale-Gas Boom

By Robert J. Samuelson, IBD, Dec 24, 2012

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials-viewpoint/122412-638223-shale-gas-fracking-most-important-energy-event-in-decades.htm

Even With Bipartisan Push, Is Keystone XL Still A Pipe Dream?

By Larry Bell, Forbes, Dec 30, 2012

http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2012/12/30/even-with-bipartisan-push-is-keystone-xl-still-a-pipe-dream/

Keystone XL pipeline reroute avoids most ecological areas: Nebraska report

By Staff Writers, Reuters, Jan 4, 2013

http://business.financialpost.com/2013/01/04/keystone-xl-pipeline-reroute-avoids-most-ecological-areas-nebraska-report/

Return of King Coal?

Coal News

By Dennis Ambler, SPPI, Jan 1, 2013

http://sppiblog.org/news/8926#more-8926

In fact, the world will burn around 1.2 billion more tonnes of coal per year by 2017 compared to today – equivalent to the current coal consumption of Russia and the United States combined.

Oil Spills, Gas Leaks & Consequences

Transocean to pay $1.4 billion in civil, criminal fines for 2010 Gulf spill

By Zack Colman, The Hill, Jan 3, 2013

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/275425-transocean-to-pay-14-billion-in-fines-for-2010-gulf-spill

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

Wind farms vs wildlife

The shocking environmental cost of renewable energy

By Clive Hambler, The Spectator, UK, Jan 5, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/8807761/wind-farms-vs-wildlife/

Wind Power’s Negative Externalities: Here Come the Lawsuits (Part II)

By Sherri Lange, Master Resource, Jan 3, 2013

http://www.masterresource.org/2013/01/wind-powers-negative-externalities-here-come-the-lawsuits-part-ii/

[SEPP Comment: Will wind farms become the new asbestos in providing incomes to lawyers?]

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles

Fisker Failures May Prevent Delaware From Getting Its Money Back

By Paul Chesser, NIPC, Dec 28, 2012 [H/t Cooler Heads]

http://nlpc.org/stories/2012/12/27/fisker-failures-may-prevent-delaware-getting-its-money-back

Environmental Industry

The GM Reactionaries

By Henry Miller, Project Syndicate, Dec 31, 2012

http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/the-economic–health–and-environmental-benefits-of-gm-crops-by-henry-i–miller-and-graham-brookes

[SEPP Comment: “Pathological science” is on the rise.]

Gore Takes Big Oil Cash From Anti-Semitic Al Jazeera

Editorial, IBD, Jan 3, 2013

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/010313-639260-gore-helps-oil-financed-anti-semitic-platform.htm

Other Scientific News

Did the PBSG game the polar bear listing process?

By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Dec 26, 2012 [H/t GWPF]

http://polarbearscience.com/2012/12/26/did-the-pbsg-game-the-polar-bear-listing-process/

“…for the sake of polar bear conservation, views that run counter to human induced climate change are extremely unhelpful.”

Other News that May Be of Interest

New York State Health Department: Fracking is safe, but don’t tell anyone

By Staff Writers, ACSH, Dec 17, 2012

http://www.acsh.org/vaccines-news-part-2-the-return-of-thimerosal/

[SEPP Comment: The dangers of misleading studies trumpeted by alarmists.]

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BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:

Death threats anyone? Austrian Prof: global warming deniers should be sentenced to death

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Dec 24, 2012

http://joannenova.com.au/2012/12/death-threats-anyone-austrian-prof-global-warming-deniers-should-be-sentenced-to-death/#more-26127

Parncutt Death Threat: Uni of Graz “shocked”, Monckton gets it withdrawn with apology. John Cook says nothing.

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Dec 28, 2012

http://joannenova.com.au/2012/12/parncutt-death-threat-uni-of-graz-shocked-monckton-gets-it-withdrawn-with-apology-john-cook-says-nothing/#more-26183

2012: Global warming became reality

Record melting of Arctic Ocean ice. Record heat and droughts. New York under water. Believe climate change now?

By Seth Borenstein, AP, Dec 26, 2012

http://www.salon.com/2012/12/26/2012_global_warming_became_reality/

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16 Responses to Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

  1. Jack Savage says:

    ……On his web site, Lubos Molt fully agrees with Spencer and restates Spencer’s points somewhat differently. Molt also addresses some…….

    That would be Lubos MOTL, not Molt. Crazy name, crazy guy and a hero of mine.

  2. Ian E says:

    Hmm. I have a 1 in 6 chance of rolling a 6, so that means I am certain to roll a 1. I think i have just found the gambler’s nirvana!!

  3. LazyTeenager says:

    No doubt alarmists will proclaim that this is proof of human caused global warming. However, the US comprises less than 2% of the earth’s surface, hardly global.
    ———–
    Well this here continent in the southern hemisphere is busy breaking temperature records on the warm side of things as well.

    The whole map is one big red blob. The BOM decided to extend the map colour code in anticipation of it getting even hotter. Lots of stuff burning down.

    Maybe looking at the whole world would help.

  4. LazyTeenager says:

    On his web site, Lubos Molt fully agrees with Spencer and restates Spencer’s points somewhat differently.
    ——-
    Motl with an accent I believe.

    But while I trust Spencer to talk sense Lubod hasn’t a clue. He can’t even get undergraduate molecular physics right.

  5. rogerknights says:

    However, the US comprises constitutes! less than 2% of the earth’s surface,

  6. richardscourtney says:

    LazyT.:

    At January 8, 2013 at 4:46 am you say

    The whole map is one big red blob. The BOM decided to extend the map colour code in anticipation of it getting even hotter. Lots of stuff burning down.

    Maybe looking at the whole world would help.

    No. Looking at recent global temperature trends will “help”: see
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/06/crowdsourcing-a-temperature-trend-analysi/

    There has been no discernible (at 95% confidence) rise in global temperature for 16 years.

    Richard

  7. Alan Bates says:

    Parncutt’s Law of Musicological Stastics:
    A 10 percent certainty of 10,000,000 is equal to a 100 percent certainty of 1,000,000 is equal to a 1000% certainty of 100,000.
    (Probably …)

  8. arthur4563 says:

    ” Well this here continent in the southern hemisphere is busy breaking temperature records on the warm side of things as well.
    The whole map is one big red blob. The BOM decided to extend the map colour code in anticipation of it getting even hotter. Lots of stuff burning down.
    Maybe looking at the whole world would help.”

    It sure would. And you will find that the whole world is mostly oceans, and that the
    entire world has not warmed one iota over the past 16 years.
    Now, what was that about what great big red blob? Global temperature, in case you
    are still in the dark, means GLOBAL temperature, Lazy thinking.

  9. trafamadore says:

    “In 1972, EPA Administrator William Ruckelshaus banned the use of DDT on the scientifically unsupported claim that it may cause cancer in humans.”

    Actually DDT use started to drop in the late 50s as insects acquired resistance. But actually Ruckelshaus was convinced that DDT was bad for the environment as well as a harmful to humans. Examples like bird shell thinning (environment) and disruption of hormone balance (child development) seem to support his worries.

  10. gertm says:

    Lubos Molt should be Lubos Motl

  11. trafamadore says:

    One, the professor states: “If ten million people are going to die with a probability of 10%, that is like one million people dying with a probability of 100%.”

    I am sure one word was missing: If ten million people are going to die EACH with a probability of 10%, that is like one million people dying with a probability of 100%. And to be picky, it wouldnt be exactly a million but some number in a Poisson probability distribution centered on a million.

    Lastly “if a massive dose is toxic to humans, than a tiny dose applied to many humans will be toxic to some”

    I am most familiar with this argument with radiation, where it has merit. Medium doses of radiation cause cancer because ionizing radiation make little tracks of free radicals through the cytoplasm of your cells and if track gets close to a chromosome, then the chromosome can get broken; if the repair of the chromosome makes a mistake, you get a mutation in a critical gene and cancer can result. There are a lot of ifs in there, and thats why we dont all have cancer.

    But low doses mean fewer tracks hence a lower prob not no prob.

  12. John Whitman says:

    Quote of the Week: It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so. -Robert A. Heinlein, science-fiction author (1907-1988)

    For an expansion of Heinlein’s ideas that are in part related to that quote please read his book ‘The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress’.

    There is some rebel in us all? : )

    John

  13. Bob Kutz says:

    Somebody check me on this; I can’t say for sure that AGW is precluded by the 2nd law of thermodynamics, I cannot see how it would be.

    But either the combined or ideal gas law pretty much seems to rule it (C02 induced global warming) out, at least if you don’t take gravity into account. I have to assume that the models are taking gravitational effects on the atmosphere into account, but unless gravity somehow increases as one of the partial pressures increases, I don’t see how you get around it. Any atmospheric warming should quickly be converted to a larger atmospheric volume at the original temp. This may result in a greater loss of atmosphere to the solar wind, with whatever long term effects that brings, but the proposed warming would have to be offset by increased volume over time. Either that or you would have to have some additional barrier to radiative transfer, one that isn’t part of the gas system and is above (rather than below, as the oceans are) the atmosphere.

    The system gets more chaotic every time I look at it.

    Anyway, just a passing thought from somebody who thinks they understand things a lot better than they really do. Additional comments are welcome.

  14. john robertson says:

    Careful Bob Kutz, soon Seth Bores-alot will be claiming the imaginary, but certainCAGW, will cause the atmosphere to be ripped off of the planet .Doom.

  15. garymount says:

    I am surprised that the derogatory statement about Dr. Luboš Motl made by LazyTeenager on
    January 8, 2013 at 4:49 am made it through moderation. LT has also earned herself a time-out in my opinion.

  16. Steve Thatcher says:

    trafamadore says:
    January 8, 2013 at 10:58 am

    One, the professor states: “If ten million people are going to die with a probability of 10%, that is like one million people dying with a probability of 100%.”

    I am sure one word was missing: If ten million people are going to die EACH with a probability of 10%, that is like one million people dying with a probability of 100%.
    ***************************************************************************************************
    That isn’t what the Professor said and is typically taken out of context. He was not talking about individual deaths (each) he was discussing whether skeptics are right or wrong.

    What he said was
    “For the purpose of argument, let’s give the GW skeptics (skeptics substituted – no d word here please – Steve T) the benefit of the doubt and imagine that the scientists are wrong with a high probability, say 90%. If they are right, some 100 million people will die as a direct result of GW. Probably more like a billion, but this is a conservative estimate. If the probability of that happening is only 10%, then effectively “only” 10 million people will die.”

    He was giving scenarios of whether skeptics were right or wrong with percentages, but the percentages are the chances of whether they are right or wrong.

    In the example given, if the scientists are right, but ignored, then 100 million people will die (conservatively). This is irrespective of the percentage chance.
    If they are wrong then there are no deaths attributed to CAGW. Again, the percentage is irrelevant.

    It’s either 100 million or none, right or wrong – this is the point made about his faulty maths/logic. A simple misdirection.

    A by-product of this is that if the scientists are wrong but their argument is accepted and billions of dollars spent (chasing pipe-dreams or lining pockets), this mis-allocation of funds will lead to untold deaths for certain. With the ‘catastrophic’ predictions/projections being scaled back seemingly week by week, whether the scientists are right or wrong, the money is being spent/wasted and deaths become a certainty.

    Steve T

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