Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

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The Week That Was: 2013-02-16 (February 16, 2013) Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project

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Quote of the Week: “As long ago as 1994, cosmologist Carl Sagan expressed concern about the trend toward an American society in which, ‘clutching our crystals and religiously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in steep decline, unable to distinguish between what’s true and what feels good, we slide, almost without noticing, into superstition and darkness.’” Henry Miller From “Investing in Bad Science,” below.

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Number of the Week: 41,350 acres approved, additional 670,599 acres pending.

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THIS WEEK:

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

State of the Union: President Obama’s State of the Union address confirmed what Fred Singer wrote in the outlook for 2013 and beyond – get ready for the worst in 2013 and thereafter. As typical in such modern addresses, the speech appealed to the President’s supporters and was factually challenged. The one part of the speech that is particularly disturbing is his determination to pursue his energy and climate goals with or without the approval of Congress. This is setting the tone for an authoritarian government. Please see links under Defending the Orthodoxy, for energy issues see Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague? and for Singer’s previous comments http://www.sepp.org/whichwayfornow.cfm

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Sue and Settle: The Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution states: “nor [shall any person] be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

In Forbes, Larry Bell exposes a long term, clever technique used by Washington regulators working hand-in-glove with environmental organizations to deprive unsuspecting property owners of the use of their property without any compensation from the government. The trick is called Sue and Settle. The agencies and their allies secretly redefine the scope of the law, including legal definitions, and reach an agreement that is then sanctified by the Federal Courts. Individuals and small organizations do not have a chance.

Bell’s article covers both the EPA and the Department of Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). In a similar article, Marita Noon focuses on the USFWS and the damage it is causing in the Southwest. All too often the claims are prompted by speculative findings by government scientists, or government funded scientists, that are erroneously called scientific. The spotted owl and polar bear listings of threatened or endangered species are a few examples. To these agencies, the interests of the American public are subordinate to the quest for power and control. Please see Article # 1 and link under Sue and Settle.

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Poor Science: Henry Miller of the Hoover Institution has very strong statements concerning the declining quality of Federal government funded science. Some projects with funny names may be easy targets and result in important work. But Miller asserts that for much of the government funded science, proper oversight is lacking and he provides examples.

Sometimes the fault is not that of the administrators, but lies with members of Congress who are “out of touch,” such as funding of certain programs at the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Miller is particularly blunt with the EPA, and states: “The overwhelming majority of it [science he reviewed] was shoddy, irrelevant, and unpublishable.” This is not particularly surprising, because the EPA has subordinated science for legal activity and public relations. Miller states that much of the $800 Million EPA research budget goes to public relations and to favored nonprofit groups that support EPA activities. Of course, as Bell exposes, many of these groups are involved in sue and settle.

A previous TWTW discussed, in the April 15, 2009 Federal Register, the EPA was soliciting research on the effects of lowering of pH in sea water (called ocean acidification). The EPA described one acceptable technique was using hydrochloric acid to lower the pH. Even tropical fish hobbyists realize that you don’t clean the fish tank with bleach while the fish are in it.

Major independent scientific institutions such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) appear to be a part of the problem rather than a possible solution to it. Please see link under Other Scientific News.

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Changing pH: NIPCC reviewed two articles that covered research on effects of changing pH in sea water. One experiment used CO2 to gradually lower the pH as low as 6.9, an acid. It showed no specific effects except delaying hatch of the species covered. The second study took advantage of a natural pH gradient; the study focused on two types of coral over the pH gradient from 7.3 to 8.1 and showed no significant effects.

The results are not surprising. For certain types of tropical fish, hobbyists often take the pH of the tank to 6 by bubbling CO2 in the tank. The Okefenokee Swamp, a natural bog covering part of Florida and Georgia, has thriving animal and plant populations, non-specialized, even though the average pH is below 4. Recall that 7 is the dividing line, above 7 the solution is alkaline, and below 7 the solution is acid. Please see links under Review of Recent Scientific Articles…

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AMS: The new president of the American Metrological Society (AMS), Marshall Shepherd, briefed the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Hardly a climate change denier, Roger Pielke, Jr, took Shepherd to task because Shepherd is the president of a major scientific society and was not at the hearing to present his personal views. Pielke’s critique is blistering and presents scientific facts.

The main points in Shepherd’s written testimony were: 1) most of the warming of the last 50 years was caused by humans and there is extensive evidence supporting this; 2) climate change is increasing the probability of extreme events, including blizzards, (the new loaded dice argument); and 3) strong evidence that extreme events are linked to human induced climate change. As all too typical, he ignores weather events that do not support his arguments. For example, the drought graph covers 2000 to 2013 and ignores the 1950s and the 1930s. Of course, Shepherd does not produce physical evidence of human cause.

According to reports, a new survey of AMS meteorologists showed only some 30% of those responding are worried about climate change. Please note the link to the survey no longer works. However, the results are not surprising because meteorologists have long expressed skepticism about dangerous human caused global warming / climate change.

The AMS is one of the sponsors of Climate Science Day on Capitol Hill scheduled for February 27. One can speculate if only the view of the leadership will be permitted, which apparently is a minority view. Please see link under Scientific Institutions Becoming Political

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Tricks of the Trade: In Quadrant, Michael Kyle has a three part series exposing some of the new gimmicks being used to try to convince the public that humans are causing unprecedented and dangerous global warming / climate change and extreme weather events (EWE). The loaded dice trick was used by AMS president Shepherd. According to Kyle, the effort began at a conference in 2009 to inaugurate the Attribution of Climate-related Events (ACE) initiative. Kyle suggests that some of the efforts are befitting of Swift’s Grand Academy of Lagado. Please see link under Challenging the Orthodoxy.

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Science at Work: On Thursday, when a meteor was seen to explode over the Urals of Russia, Roy Spencer speculated that it may have been a fragment of the asteroid that was due to pass near the earth on Friday. The coincidence was very strong. Within the day, he concluded he was wrong because the trajectories were incompatible. Great to see science at work! Please see comments and video at link under Other Scientific News.

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Gleick Affair: The Heartland Institute has posted the evidence it compiled against Peter Gleick who Heartland believes committed a Federal crime, which the Federal Attorneys refused to prosecute. You be the judge. Please see links under the Gleick Affair.

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Mice and Men: A new medical study strongly suggests mice are poor models for studying trauma or infections in humans. This may apply for many other types of medical studies as well. A human is not a big rodent. Please see links under Health, Energy, and Climate

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Fracking Food? One of the big arguments against deep underground hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas is that the fracking fluid may poison water wells and aquifers. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, stated to the US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources that he drank the new fracking fluid produced by Halliburton, which is made entirely from food additives. The opposition will not stop, but it will have one less credible argument. Please see link under Energy Issues – US.

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Amplifications and Corrections: Peter Friedman, Chairman of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, corrected TWTW for stating the superior, more efficient alternative to open cycle gas turbine unit is a closed cycle unit – it should have been combined cycle unit. “A combined cycle unit still uses an open cycle since the intake air is returned to the atmosphere. As you state, the combined cycle units are slow to react, since it is necessary to heat up the boiler as the unit is loaded. It takes about four hours to bring up a combined cycle from cold shutdown.” As always, TWTW deeply appreciates amplifications and corrections.

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Number of the Week: 41,350 acres approved, additional 670,599 acres pending. These are the areas of public lands which have been approved for solar plants by the Bureau of Land Management, part of the Department of Interior. Environmental groups are suing. It may become interesting. Unless on roof tops, etc. solar energy offends many environmentalists and is not green! Please see link under Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind.

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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. EPA’s Secret and Costly ‘Sue and Settle’ Collusion With Environmental Organizations

By Larry Bell, Forbes, Feb 17, 2013

http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2013/02/17/epas-secret-and-costly-sue-and-settle-collusion-with-environmental-organizations/

2. The Wind Power Tax

A regulator socializes transmission-line costs, and a utility fights back.

Editorial, WSJ, Feb 11, 2013

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324900204578284392827567184.html?mod=ITP_opinion_2

3. Germany and Spain Move to Curb Green-Energy Supports

By William Boston and James Angelos and Ilan Brat, WSJ, Feb 15, 2013

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323478004578304181995426900.html

4. A Warning From the Asteroid Hunters

The likelihood in this century of an asteroid impact with 700 times the destructive power of the Hiroshima A-bomb: 30%.

By Ed Lu and Martin Rees, WSJ, Feb 14, 2013

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324196204578297823983416036.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEFTTopOpinion

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NEWS YOU CAN USE:

 

Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?

UV shift in the leaked IPCC report: more inversion of the scientific method

By Alec Rawls, WUWT, Feb 12, 2013

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/02/12/uv-shift-in-the-leaked-ipcc-report-more-inversion-of-the-scientific-method/

[SEPP Comment: Technical comments from the scientist who leaked the Second Draft of the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC. Rawls thinks that the role of the sun on the earth’s climate is greatly underestimated.]

“…that solar-climate correlations found in the geologic record seem to imply a substantially stronger solar effect on climate than can be accounted by the very slight variation by TSI.” [Total Solar Irradiance – Amount of sunlight received at the top of the atmosphere]

Challenging the Orthodoxy

This year’s climate model

By Michael Kyle, Quadrant, Feb 12, 2013

http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2013/02/this-year-s-model

[SEPP Comment: The third of a three part series on how to play the climate game, with links to the previous parts.]

How Germany’s Climate Scientists Suddenly Changed Their Predictions Of Warm Winters…To Cold Snowy Ones

By P. Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Feb 15, 2013

Translating post by Klaus-Eckart Puls and Sebastian Lüning

http://notrickszone.com/2013/02/15/how-germanys-climate-scientists-suddenly-changed-their-predictions-of-warm-winters-to-cold-snowy-ones/

German Meteorology Professor Expects Cooling For The Decades Ahead…”Climate Protection Is Ineffective”

By P. Gosselin, No tricks Zone, Feb 13, 2013

http://notrickszone.com/2013/02/13/german-meteorology-professor-expects-cooling-for-the-decades-ahead-climate-protection-is-ineffective/

[SEPP Comment: After the Professor’s article posted on the European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE) web site, the web site suffered an outside internet attack.]

Defending the Orthodoxy

On climate change, Obama delivered

By Frances Beinecke, Politico, Feb 12, 2013 [H/t Timothy Wise]

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/02/on-climate-change-obama-delivered-87566.html?ml=la

[SEPP Comment: So says the president of the Natural Resources Defense Council.]

Obama gives Congress a climate change ultimatum

By Patrick Rucker and Deborah Zabarenko, Reuters, Feb 13, 2013 [H/t Cork Hayden]

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/13/us-obama-speech-climate-idUSBRE91C09T20130213

Obama’s State of the Union climate call may buy time for EPA

By Darren Goode, Politico, Feb 12, 2013 [H/t Timothy Wise]

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/02/obamas-state-of-the-union-climate-call-may-buy-time-for-epa-87567.html?hp=l3

Questioning the Orthodoxy

Global warming ‘scientific consensus’ debunked

Thomas Lifson, American Thinker, Feb 13, 2013 [H/t Neil Craig]

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/02/global_warming_scientific_consensus_debunked.html

[SEPP Comment: A survey of geoscientists and engineers in Alberta, Canada.]

CO2 argument begins cooling

By Jeffrey Phelps, Washington Examiner, Feb 8, 2013 [H/t Climate Depot]

http://www.examiner.com/article/co2-argument-begins-cooling

Conclusive Study: Most Scientists Have Serious Doubts About The Claimed Extent Of Man-Made Global Warming

By P. Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Feb 16, 2013

http://notrickszone.com/2013/02/16/conclusive-study-most-scientists-have-serious-doubts-about-the-claimed-extent-of-man-made-global-warming/

Link to the survey of AMS members: http://www.climatechangecommunication.org/images/files/AMS_CICCC_Survey_Preliminary_Findings-Final.pdf

[SEPP Comment: Gosselin’s headline is a little misleading.]

Questioning European Green

Renewable Energy Investment Goes Up in Smoke

By Staff Writers, GWPF, Feb 15, 2013

http://www.thegwpf.org/renewable-energy-investment-smoke/

[SEPP Comment: Green power turns out to be too expensive for the Spanish government. The government gives and then takes away. It will be interesting to see if international lawyers can overcome Spain’s Parliament.]

Exclusive: Foreign investors set to sue Spain over energy reform

By Staff Writers, Reuters, Feb 15, 2013

http://planetark.org/wen/67930

The problem was that the cost of the subsidies was not passed on fully to consumers because that would have pushed prices to unprecedented highs.

[SEPP Comment: It is the government’s fault for not forcing the consumers to pay more for unreliable electricity.]

Gas Bonanza for Germany?: Berlin Wants to Fast-Track Frackin

By Staff Writer, Spiegel, Feb 8, 2013 [H/t Anne Debeil]

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/berlin-wants-to-end-moratorium-on-fracking-in-germany-a-882313.html

[SEPP Comment: Spiegel apparently is not aware of Halliburton’s new fracking fluid.]

Expanding the Orthodoxy

Obama acting too slowly on climate change risks, government audit finds

For first time, climate change makes list of the Government Accountability Office’s biennial review of risks facing the US

By Suzanne Goldenberg, Guardian UK, Feb 14, 2013

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/feb/14/obama-too-slowly-climate-change

Link to Report: High-Risk Series,

By Staff Writers, GAO, Feb 14, 2013

http://gao.gov/products/GAO-13-283

Behind the curtain

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Feb 15, 2013

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2013/2/15/behind-the-curtain.html

[SEPP Comment: A non-public meeting organized by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.]

Funding Fights

Secret funding helped build vast network of climate denial thinktanks

Anonymous billionaires donated $120m to more than 100 anti-climate groups working to discredit climate change science

By Suzanne Goldenberg, Guardian, UK, Feb 14, 2013 [H/t Oil Price.com]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/feb/14/funding-climate-change-denial-thinktanks-network/print

[SEPP Comment: Perhaps nature is part of the group as well!]

Rockefellers behind ‘scruffy little outfit’

Anti-Keystone protests get millions in funding

By Vivian Krause, Financial Post, Feb 14, 2013

http://opinion.financialpost.com/2013/02/14/rockefellers-behind-scruffy-little-outfit/

The Gleick Affair

Why Isn’t Pacific Institute’s Peter Gleick in Jail?

The Criminal Case Against Peter Gleick

By Staff Writers, Heartland Institute, Feb 14, 2013

http://fakegate.org/

Protecting Global Warming Liars

By Alan Caruba, Warning Signs, Feb 11, 2013

http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/2013/02/protecting-global-warming-liars.html

Seeking a Common Ground

The Geological Perspective on Global Warming: A Debate

By Dr Colin P. Summerhayes, Professor Robert Carter and Professor Vincent Courtillot, GWPF, Feb 14, 2013

http://www.thegwpf.org/geological-perspective-global-warming-debate/

[SEPP Comment: Outlines general points of agreement and disagreement. Graph of the last 10,000 years shows a general cooling trend.]

The Horsemeat in Your Lasagna

By Roger Pielke Jr, His Blog, Feb 10, 2013

http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-horsemeat-in-your-lasagna.html

[SEPP Comment: An amusing analogy that one must insure that the product is pure – don’t confuse weather with climate and costs of weather events with evidence of human caused climate change.]

Scientific Institutions Becoming Political

A Case for Playing it Straight

By Roger Pielke Jr, His Blog, Feb 15, 2013

http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2013/02/a-case-for-playing-it-straight.html

Link to published briefing of the Senate Committee by Marshall Shephard: http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=1f670e51-ddc9-4ef0-a3a7-b8d4afb8effc

Nurse accuses Lawson of cherrypicking

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Feb 16, 2013

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2013/2/16/nurse-accuses-lawson-of-cherrypicking.html

[SEPP Comment: Under Paul Nurse, the Royal Society is becoming increasingly political. One salient fact is sufficient to reject a hypothesis. That is not cherrypicking.]

Link to an audio

I’m following Paul

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Feb 9, 2013

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2013/2/9/im-following-paul.html

[SEPP Comment: Selected quotes from the new fellow of the Royal Society.]

A right royal dogmatist

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Feb 12, 2013

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2013/2/12/a-right-royal-dogmatist.html

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

SOTU: Energy Fabrications, Falsehoods and Fantasies

By David Middleton, WUWT, Feb 13, 2013

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/02/13/sotu-energy-fabrications-falsehoods-and-fantasies/

Climate change impacts to US coasts threaten public health, safety and economy

By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), Feb 12, 2013

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Climate_change_impacts_to_US_coasts_threaten_public_health_safety_and_economy_999.html

[SEPP Comment: More on the draft of the US global change report that makes outrageous claims about the future.]

 

Climate change risks to U.S. security seen

By Staff Writers, Cambridge, Mass. (UPI), Feb 11, 2013

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Climate_change_risks_to_US_security_seen_999.html

Administration’s New Climate Report: Next Ice Age ‘Has Now Been Delayed Indefinitely’

By Terence Jeffrey, CNSNews, Feb 8, 2013 [H/t Deke Forbes]

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/administration-s-new-climate-report-next-ice-age-has-now-been-delayed-indefinitely

Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

Science is the Shortcut

By Roger Pielke Jr, His Blog, Feb 15, 2013

http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2013/02/science-is-shortcut.html

[SEPP Comment: Pielke debunks another new concept to get around messy data – a systematic bias on “erring on the side of least drama (ESLD.” The wild projections of the IPCC models, which nature refuses to obey are erring on the side of least drama. 50 million climate refugees by 2010, etc. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to state the public has reached Stephen Schneider saturation. A “tipping point” where hyperbole by the climate establishment no longer works.]

Renewable energy now cheaper than new fossil fuels in Australia

Australia wind beats new coal in the world’s second-largest coal exporter

By Nathaniel Bullard, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Feb 7, 2013

http://about.bnef.com/2013/02/07/renewable-energy-now-cheaper-than-new-fossil-fuels-in-australia/

[SEPP Comment: The calculations include the government’s carbon tax, but do not include penalties when wind fails. Of course, the technology for reliable wind is just around the corner, as it has been for over a century.]

Bloomberg’s baloney

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Feb 11, 2013

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2013/2/11/bloombergs-baloney.html

[SEPP Comment: See link immediately above.]

Measurement Issues

Using data to attribute episodes of warming and cooling in instrumental records

By Ka-Kit Tung1 and Jiansong Zhou, PNAS, Feb 5, 2013 [H/t Gordon Fulks]

http://www.pnas.org/content/110/6/2058

[SEPP Comment: Suggests the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation accounts for 40% of recent warming.]

2012 Was Not The Hottest Year In The US

By Steven Goddard, Real Science, Feb 14, 2013 [H/t Climate Depot]

http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2013/02/14/2012-was-not-the-hottest-year-in-the-us/

[SEPP Comment: 1921 was warmer.]

Preliminary comments on Hausfather et al 2013

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Feb 13, 2013

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/02/13/preliminary-comments-on-hausfather-et-al-2013/

[SEPP Comment: Addressing the Urban Heat Island Effect?]

Changing Weather

Heading for ANOTHER top 5 snow year for the Northern Hemisphere

By Joseph D’Aleo, ICECAP, Feb 14, 2013

http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/heading_for_another_top_5_snow_year_for_the_northern_hemisphere/

The NHC Sandy Report

By Roger Pielke Jr, His Blog, Feb 12, 2013

http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-nhc-sandy-report.html

Link to report: Tropical Cyclone Report – Hurricane Sandy

By Blake, et al, National Hurricane Center, Feb 12, 2013

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL182012_Sandy.pdf

[SEPP Comment: According to the National Hurricane Center Sandy was no longer a hurricane when it made landfall.]

Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

New paper finds Greenland surface melt was due to natural variability

The Hockey Schtick, Feb 8, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/new-paper-finds-brief-greenland-surface.html

Link to article: “Important role of the mid-tropospheric atmospheric circulation in the recent surface melt increase over the Greenland ice sheet”

By Fettweis et al, Cryosphere, Feb 7, 2013

http://www.the-cryosphere.net/7/241/2013/tc-7-241-2013.pdf

Ice loss model verification via satellite observations

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Feb 13, 2013

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/02/13/ice-loss-model-verification-via-satellite-observations/

[SEPP Comment: The Arctic summer ice loss applies to volume as well as surface area.]

Most Ice Gain Ever Recorded

By Steve Goddard, Real Science, Feb 12, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/most-ice-gain-ever-recorded/

[SEPP Comment: See link immediately below.]

Goddard, Watts vs Tamino: Arctic ice

By Lubos Molt, Reference Frame, Feb 13, 2013

http://motls.blogspot.com/2013/02/goddard-watts-vs-tamino-arctic-ice.html#more

[SEPP Comment: A lengthy post addressing the reaction to the claim that the expansion of Arctic sea ice this winter is the greatest measured. However, this fact is not more scientifically important than the fact that the Arctic sea ice extent in September 2012 was the lowest measured. There were no precise measurements before satellites. Other data indicates the loss of sea ice has occurred numerous times over the past 10,000 years.]

Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine

Benefits of Bt corn go beyond rootworm resistance

By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), Feb 13, 2013

http://www.seeddaily.com/reports/Benefits_of_Bt_corn_go_beyond_rootworm_resistance_999.html

Link to paper, Transgenic Corn Rootworm Protection Increases Grain Yield and Nitrogen Use of Maize

By Haegele and Below, Crop Science, Feb 6, 2013

https://www.crops.org/publications/cs/abstracts/53/2/585

[SEPP Comment: Not what anti-GM food crowd wishes to read.]

A Golden Rice Opportunity

By Bjørn Lomborg, Project Syndicate, Feb 15, 2013

http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/the-costs-of-opposing-gm-foods-by-bj-rn-lomborg

[SEPP Comment: More on the disregard the anti-GM food crowd have for humanity.]

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC

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

The Reproduction of a Key Arctic Copepod in Low-pH Seawater

Reference: Weydmann, A., Soreide, J.E., Kwasniewski, S. and Widdicombe,S. 2012. Influence of CO2-induced acidification on the reproduction of a key Arctic copepod Calanus glacialis. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 428: 39-42.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2013/feb/12feb2013a2.html

Coral Microbial Communities Along a Natural pH Gradien

Reference: Meron, D., Rodolfo-Metalpa, R., Cunning, R., Baker, A.C., Fine, M. and Banin, E. 2012. Changes in coral microbial communities in response to a natural pH gradient. ISME Journal 6: 1775-1785.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2013/feb/12feb2013a3.html

The Middle and Late Holocene in Central European Russia

Reference: Novenko, E.Yu., Volkova, E.M., Glasko, M.P. and Zuganova, I.S. 2012. Palaeoecological evidence for the middle and late Holocene vegetation, climate and land use in the upper Don River basin (Russia). Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 21: 337-352.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2013/feb/12feb2013a4.html

[SEPP Comment: More evidence that current warm period is significantly cooler than past warm periods, say the period between 7,200 and 5,700 years ago.]

Modeling the Link Between ENSO and North Australian SSTs

Reference: Catto, J.L., Nicholls, N. and Jakob, C. 2012b. North Australian sea surface temperatures and the El Niño-Southern Oscillation in the CMIP5 models. Journal of Climate 25: 6375-6382.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2013/feb/13feb2013a2.html

Litigation Issues

Federal judge overturns EPA human experiments case

Illegal testing continues to endanger lives

By Steve Milloy, Washington Times, Feb 13, 2013

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/feb/13/milloy-federal-judge-overturns-epa-human-experimen/

Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes

Sanders/Boxer Climate Legislation [H/t David Kreutzer]

http://www.sanders.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/021413-2pager.pdf

[SEPP Comment: Taxing fossil fuel polluters – those who emit beneficial carbon dioxide

$20 / ton rising by 5.6% per year over 10 years – $32.7 after 10 years.]

Subsidies and Mandates Forever

Crunch time

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Feb 12, 2013

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2013/2/12/crunch-time.html

[SEPP Comment: Why build reliable, efficient combined cycle natural gas plants when government mandates that unreliable wind takes precedence for delivery to the customers?]

Sue and Settle

Speak Up for Small Businesses, Family Farmers, Ranchers, and Energy Job Creators

By Marita Noon, Energy Tribune, Feb 11, 2013

http://www.energytribune.com/72904/speak-up-for-small-businesses-family-farmers-ranchers-and-energy-job-creators

[SEPP Comment: Department of Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service using sue and settle to deprive property owners use of their property.]

EPA and other Regulators on the March

EPA Releases Draft Climate Change Adaptation Plan

By Staff Writers, Power News, Feb 14, 2013

http://www.powermag.com/news/5379.html?hq_e=el&hq_m=2617153&hq_l=6&hq_v=5e660500d0

Link to plan: http://epa.gov/climatechange/pdfs/EPA-climate-change-adaptation-plan-final-for-public-comment-2-7-13.pdf

 

University of Oxford to identify ‘stranded’ high carbon assets

HSBC and Aviva-backed research aims to highlight investments whose value is likely to decline in a low-carbon future

By Staff Writers, Business Green, Guardian, UK, Feb 11,2013

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/feb/11/oxford-stranded-high-carbon-assets

[SEPP Comment: Doubt regulators take into account the stranded assets when they calculate the costs of their regulations.]

EPA Corruption and Scandal

By Jim O’Sullivan, American Thinker, Feb 15, 2013

http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/02/epa_corruption_and_scandal.html

Energy Issues – Non-US

Czech taxpayers will pay a trillion [crowns] for a solar mistake

By Lubos Motl, Reference Frame, Feb 11, 2013

http://motls.blogspot.com/2013/02/czech-taxpayers-will-pay-trillion-for.html#more

Shale oil surge poses threat to renewable energy, PwC warns

Green groups warn against huge shale oil risks as report finds it could comprise 12 per cent of oil production in 2035

By Will Nicholas, Guardian Environment, Feb 14, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/feb/14/shale-oil-threat-renewables-pwc

RWE warns on UK energy policy

German energy giant RWE has warned it will significantly scale back its investment in Britain unless the Government provides “desperately needed” certainty over energy policy.

By Emily Gosden, Telegraph, UK, Feb 9, 2013

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/9860104/RWE-warns-on-UK-energy-policy.html

Energy Issues — US

I drank fracking fluid, says Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper

By Ben Wolfgang, Washington Times, Feb 13, 2013

http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2013/feb/12/colorado-gov-hickenlooper-i-drank-fracking-fluid/

To frack or not to frack: Governor Cuomo, make up your mind!

By Staff Writers, ACSH, Feb 13, 2013

http://www.acsh.org/to-frack-or-not-to-frack-governor-cuomo-make-up-your-mind/

Natural Gas Exports: A Boost The U.S. Economy Needs

Editorial, IBD, Feb 11, 2013

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/021113-644015-washington-should-not-block-gas-exports-to-overseas-markets.htm

Lessons From North Dakota’s Oilfields

By John Hoeven, American Spectator, Feb 2013

http://spectator.org/archives/2013/02/14/lessons-from-north-dakotas-oil

[SEPP Comment: Views from the former governor, now senator from North Dakota on creating the right conditions to promote energy development.]

Washington’s Control of Energy

Canada, Friend or Foe, Redux

By Donn Dears, Power for USA, Feb 12, 2012

http://dddusmma.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/canada-friend-or-foe-redux/

8 reasons America should welcome Canada’s oil — and Keystone XL

By Diane Frances, Financial Post, Feb 15, 2013

http://opinion.financialpost.com/2013/02/15/8-reasons-america-should-welcome-canadas-oil-and-keystone-xl/

[SEPP Comment: Does reason still apply? A Manhattan Project to reduce emissions takes away from the argument.]

Will Obama Trade A Carbon Tax For Keystone XL?

Editorial, IBD, Feb 14, 2013

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/021513-644722-carbon-tax-trade-for-keystone-xl-possible.htm

The price of Keystone may be a carbon tax

By Terence Corcoran, Financial Post, Feb 11, 2013

http://opinion.financialpost.com/2013/02/11/terence-corcoran-the-price-of-keystone-may-be-a-carbon-tax/

[SEPP Comment: Washington trying to dictate tax policy in Canada.]

Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

UK Shale Gas Numbers Could Be Stratospheric

By Peter Glover, Energy Tribune, Feb 14, 2013

http://www.energytribune.com/73234/uk-shale-gas-numbers-could-be-stratospheric

Shale oil ‘could add £50bn to UK economy’

A shale oil revolution could add up to £800 to each person’s economic output in the UK, according to a report from accountants PwC.

By Emma Rowley, Telegraph, UK, Feb 14, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/9868680/Shale-oil-could-add-50bn-to-UK-economy.html

NI shale gas deposits ‘could be worth £80bn’ says report

By Julian Fowler, BBC, Feb 14, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-21444270

Purification on the cheap

By David L. Chandler for MIT News, Cambridge, MA (SPX), Feb 12, 2013

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Purification_on_the_cheap_999.html

[SEPP Comment: Addressing a major issue with unwanted products from deep underground hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas.]

Return of King Coal?

Gas dependence imperils electric reliability

By Frank Clemente, Energy Facts, Feb 12, 2013

http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=29bc7d5d85828d574f86c157a&id=1c12ec5c20&e=

[SEPP Comment: Can the net increase in natural gas supply provide sufficient energy to replace coal for electrical generation under an aggressive EPA anti-coal plant program?]

Coal Can Be Good for America

By Donn Dears, Power for USA, Feb 16, 2013

http://dddusmma.wordpress.com/2013/02/16/coal-can-be-good-for-america/

Ultra-supercritical (USC) coal-fired power plants are 40% more efficient than the plants built previously in the United States.

[SEPP Comment: China is leading in building USC coal-fired plants because EPA regulations on CO2 prevent the US from doing so. The effort by the EPA appears to be intentional.]

Nuclear Energy and Fears

No health effects from Fukushima: Japan researcher

By Staff Writers, Tokyo (AFP), Feb 15, 2013 http://www.terradaily.com/reports/No_health_effects_from_Fukushima_Japan_researcher_999.html

[SEPP Comment: Greenpeace states that government should not play down health worries – it may hurt Greenpeace donations.]

Finland’s TVO says reactor may be delayed until 2016

By Staff Writers, Helsinki (AFP) Feb 11, 2013

http://www.nuclearpowerdaily.com/reports/Finlands_TVO_says_reactor_may_be_delayed_until_2016_999.html

Duke gives up on Crystal River

By Staff Writers, WNN, Feb 5, 2013

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/C_Duke_gives_up_on_Crystal_River_0502131.html

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

Environmental Groups Sue DOI for Narrow Focus on Public Lands as Solar Zones

By Staff Writers, Power News, Feb 14, 2013

http://www.powermag.com/news/5376.html?hq_e=el&hq_m=2617153&hq_l=10&hq_v=5e660500d0

Clean Energy Faces Hurdles in Legislature

By Kate Galbraith, NYT, Feb 14, 2013

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/15/us/clean-energy-foresees-fight-in-texas-legislature.html?_r=1&

[SEPP Comment: With more installed wind capacity than any other state in the US, it appears Texas is having its fill of electricity generation that does not deliver when needed the most.]

Windpower propaganda: At a School Near You?

By Sherri Lange, Master Resource, Feb 11, 2013

http://www.masterresource.org/2013/02/windpower-propaganda-high-school/#more-23891

[SEPP Comment: Government agencies promoting windpower in schools is unconscionable.]

Global wind energy capacity grows 19 per cent in 2012

By Staff Writers, Ottawa, Canada (SPX), Feb 15, 2013 http://www.winddaily.com/reports/Global_wind_energy_capacity_grows_19_per_cent_in_2012_999.html

[SEPP Comment: And 100% unreliable.]

Thousands of wind turbines to go up as subsidies cut

Britain is building more wind turbines this year than ever before with more than 1,200 turbines due to start spinning throughout the countryside and around the coast over the next 12 months.

By Louise Gray, Telegraph, UK, Feb 8, 2013

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/windpower/9858849/Thousands-of-wind-turbines-to-go-up-as-subsidies-cut.html

The dirty side of clean solar energy

Solar is far less polluting than coal or natural gas, but faces a hazardous waste problem.

By Jason Dearen, MSN, Feb 11, 2013

http://news.msn.com/science-technology/the-dirty-side-of-clean-solar-energy

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles

The all-electric car: still an idea ahead of its time

By Martin Livermore, Scientific Alliance, Feb 15, 2013

http://www.scientific-alliance.org/scientific-alliance-newsletter/all-electric-car-still-idea-ahead-its-time

Health, Energy, and Climate

Graph of the Day: Life Expectancy vs. Energy Use

By Roger Pielke Jr, His Blog, Feb 14, 2013

http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2013/02/graph-of-day-life-expectancy-vs-energy.html

Energy poverty is not the only factor which contributes to below-average life expectancies, but it is clearly a very important factor.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Mice are not little men

By Staff Writers, ACSH, Feb 13, 2013

http://www.acsh.org/weve-said-it-before-and-well-say-it-again-mice-are-not-little-men/

Link to paper, Genomic responses in mouse models poorly mimic human inflammatory diseases

By Seok, et al, PNAS, Feb 11, 2013

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/02/07/1222878110

Peer Review failure: Science and Nature journals reject papers because they “have to be wrong”

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Feb 12, 2013

http://joannenova.com.au/2013/02/peer-review-failure-science-and-nature-journals-reject-papers-because-they-have-to-be-wrong/#more-26933

Plastic Bag Ban Responsible For Spike In E. Coli Infections, Study Says

By Aaron Sankin, Huffington Post, Feb 7, 2013 [H/t Anne Debeil]

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/07/plastic-bag-ban_n_2641430.html

Other Scientific News

Exploding Russian Meteor: An Asteroid Fragment?

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Feb 15, 2013

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/02/exploding-russian-meteor-an-asteroid-fragment/

Research Investments Are Frequently Fruitless

By Staff Writers, NCPA, Feb 13, 2013

http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=22841&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=DPD

[SEPP Comment: Summary of the report immediately below.]

Investing in Bad Science

The dubious projects of government agencies

By Henry Miller, Hoover Institution, Feb 1, 2013

http://www.hoover.org/publications/policy-review/article/139306

I saw evidence of this while I was an official at the FDA. For some reason I was favored with periodic reports of the research funded by the EPA. The overwhelming majority of it was shoddy, irrelevant, and unpublishable.

Ozone depletion trumps greenhouse gas increase in jet-stream shift

By Staff Writers, University Park PA (SPX), Feb 12, 2013

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Ozone_depletion_trumps_greenhouse_gas_increase_in_jet_stream_shift_999.html

Link to article: S. Lee, S. B. Feldstein. Detecting Ozone- and Greenhouse Gas-Driven Wind Trends with Observational Data. Science, Feb 1, 2013

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/339/6119/563

[SEPP Comment: Based on modeling studies.]

ORNL scientists solve mercury mystery

By Staff Writers, Oak Ridge TN (SPX), Feb 13, 2013

http://www.spacemart.com/reports/ORNL_scientists_solve_mercury_mystery_999.html

‘The end of the world?': Terror over Russian meteor

By Dmitry Zaks and Stuart Williams, Moscow (AFP), Feb 15, 2013

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/The_end_of_the_world_Terror_over_Russian_meteor_999.html

Other News that May Be of Interest

The Myth of Overpopulation

By Trevor Thomas, American Thinker, Feb 10, 2013

http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/02/the_myth_of_overpopulation.html

[SEPP Comment: Challenging David Attenborough’s declaration that humanity is a plague.

We have 93 years left till the next End of the World: killer asteroid to hit Earth in 2106

By Yulia Zamanskaya, Moscow (Voice of Russia), Feb 12, 2013

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/We_have_93_years_left_till_the_next_End_of_the_World_killer_asteroid_to_hit_Earth_in_2106_999.html

[SEPP Comment: A new asteroid.]

Unilever’s most dangerous brand

Those who spout about a “new model” for capitalism invariably hold a ­demonic image of the original

By Peter Foster, Financial Post, Feb 14, 2013

http://opinion.financialpost.com/2013/02/14/peter-foster-unilevers-most-dangerous-brand/

Survey reveals fault lines in views on climate change

By Staff Writers, Edmonton, Canada (SPX), Feb 12, 2013

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Survey_reveals_fault_lines_in_views_on_climate_change_999.html

Most Geoscientists and Engineers are Global Warming skeptics

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Feb 11, 2013

http://joannenova.com.au/2013/02/most-geoscientists-and-engineers-are-global-warming-skeptics/#more-26879

A sensitive, affordable sensor to detect tiny amounts of CO2

By Staff Writers, Toronto, Canada (SPX), Feb 12, 2013

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/A_sensitive_affordable_sensor_to_detect_tiny_amounts_of_CO2_999.html

[SEPP Comment: Imagine the uses!]

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BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:

CNN anchor questions whether global warming to blame for asteroid

By Staff Writer, Fox News, Feb 11, 2013 [H/t William Readdy]

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/02/11/cnn-anchor-blames-asteroid-on-global-warming/

“Dinosaurs unavailable for comment,” one person slyly commented on Twitter.

Households asked to put a wash on when it’s windy

In the old days we would put a wash on when it is windy outside so clothes dry, but in the future we could be washing when it is windy because electricity bills are lower.

By Louise Gray Telegraph, UK, Feb 13, 2013 [H/t Malcolm Ross]

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/windpower/9868388/Households-asked-to-put-a-wash-on-when-its-windy.html

[SEPP Comment: One of the great contributions of electricity was making household chores less laborious and more convenient. Is the new policy to make electricity available only when nature allows, thus making household chores more laborious and less convenient?]

Greens Angered By Subsidized Photovoltaic System Installed On Energy-Guzzling Indoor Skiing Facility

By P. Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Feb 11, 2013

http://notrickszone.com/2013/02/11/greens-angered-by-subsidized-photovoltaic-system-installed-on-energy-guzzling-indoor-skiing-facility/

Gone with the wind: French scheme targets farting cows

By Staff Writers, Paris (AFP), Feb 12, 2013

http://www.winddaily.com/reports/Gone_with_the_wind_French_scheme_targets_farting_cows_999.html

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9 Responses to Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

  1. BruceC says:

    Regarding the story/link; “Renewable energy now cheaper than new fossil fuels in Australia”….yeah right!

    Below is the link for the AEMO – Australian Energy Market Operator.

    http://www.aemo.com.au/

    Id’ like to draw your attention to the 1st graph (Electricity Price & Demand – top RHS). Note SA & Vic. These 2 States have the highest total Capacity for Wind In Australia. Tassie relies heavily on hydro and NSW & QLD rely on coal fired power.

    Interesting hey.

  2. The Gore effect is hitting SW Florida tonight. It’s like 30 degrees outside right now. Next they’ll be calling it Man-made Global Cooling!

  3. rogerknights says:

    Here’s the headline of one of the articles linked to above:

    Secret funding helped build vast network of climate denial thinktanks
    Anonymous billionaires donated $120m to more than 100 anti-climate groups working to discredit climate change science

    Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent
    guardian.co.uk, Thursday 14 February 2013 08.39 EST
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/feb/14/funding-climate-change-denial-thinktanks-network/print
    Conservative billionaires used a secretive funding route to channel nearly $120m (£77m) to more than 100 groups casting doubt about the science behind climate change, the Guardian has learned.
    The funds, doled out between 2002 and 2010, helped build a vast network of thinktanks and activist groups working to a single purpose: to redefine climate change from neutral scientific fact to a highly polarising “wedge issue” for hardcore conservatives.
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    By 2010, the dark money amounted to $118m distributed to 102 thinktanks or action groups which have a record of denying the existence of a human factor in climate change, or opposing environmental regulations.
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    The trusts were established for the express purpose of managing donations to a host of conservative causes.

    Conservative or libertarian think tanks typically devote under 10% of their effort to climate contrarianism. Heartland devotes about 20%, which is probably the highest, because it is the leader in the fight. Donations to such think tanks are effectively “donations to a host of conservative causes,” NOT to “groups working to a single purpose: to redefine climate change.” There surely aren’t 102 such single-purpose groups around. Ten would be more like it. I’d like to see her give the names of 102 groups and think tanks devoted solely to the contrarian cause.
    So it’s deceptive to say or imply, as the headline does, that ALL that money went to climate contrarianism. 10% would be a generous estimate. But it’s an effective tactic, because it rallies the troops.
    I’ve seen that slimy trick used in other environmental propaganda, for the same reason.
    Another of her deceptions is this: “thinktanks or action groups which have a record of denying the existence of a human factor in climate change.” What they actually do is deny the importance of the human factor, especially in catastrophjic scenarios. I doubt that she could cite many examples of think tanks that deny its existence. But putting it the way she did fires up the troops.
    Goldenberg misuses the term “wedge issue.” Goldenberg seems to think that because the issue has widened the gap between the parties, that that makes it a wedge issue. But it doesn’t. A wedge issue is one that exploits, and attempts to magnify, a latent division among the supporters of the other party, making things awkward for it. There is little latent divisiveness among Democrats on this issue, so the term doesn’t apply.

  4. john says:

    Iberdrola subsidies freeze

    http://www.jeremyleggett.net/2012/02/iberdrola-backs-subsidies-freeze-on-spanish-renewables-and-wants-british-nuclear/

    Spain’s biggest power utility by market value says it is a sensible move for a country that has been paying too much for electricity it does not need. “What we were doing was irrational,” says Ignacio Galán, chairman. “It makes no sense. Spain is installing the most expensive technologies in Europe instead of looking for those which are cheapest.” One analyst says they fear retrospective cuts in tariffs from government. Another says a nuclear windfall tax is what they should worry about. As for plans in Britain, Galan says: ”The area that has the most uncertainty is the area of nuclear. We still don’t know how it’s going to be properly paid – what the return will be. The decision to go ahead (in a consortium with GDF Suez) is not going to be taken until the moment the framework is clear and predictable enough, with enough remuneration for those investments.”

  5. Kevin Kilty says:

    An example of Federal “Science” with poor oversight is found among the ATE directorate of NSF. They handed out maybe somewhere between 50 and 100 million to various small colleges for alternative and renewable energy projects. I suspect that many of these grants which were $500,000 to $1,000,000 each went to groups with no proven track record of real research, and to groups who were poorly prepared to do real research–for example, one group was composed of retired technicians with only A.S. degrees in sometimes vaguely related subjects. The proposal was not intending to do anything very important–study how skills learned for one alternative energy technology translate to other technologies. Certainly not worth the nearly $900,000.

  6. LazyTeenager says:

    [snip. Persona non grata.mod.]

  7. Yes, Sagan is well known for his many comments about the dangers of superstition and the virtues of science to save us from our ignorance. Ironically, he never seemed quite able to turn his “baloney detector” as he called it, toward the mirror and observe just how much superstition lack of critical reasoning occasionally hid quitely underneath the surface of the vaunted scientific enterprise.

  8. Bob Shapiro says:

    Can the states which are negatively affected by this collusion sue under the various RICO statutes? It sure sounds like racketeering to me.

Comments are closed.