Weekly Climate and Energy news Roundup

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The Week That Was: 2013-07-20 (July 20, 2013) Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org)
The Science and Environmental Policy Project

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Quote of the Week: “Can any witnesses say they agree with Obama’s statement that warming has accelerated during the past 10 years?” Senator David Vitter to a panel of climate experts [H/t Climate Depot]

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Number of the Week: $7 Billion

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THIS WEEK:

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

Showtime! It’s July in Washington – hot and muggy. Time for the Senate’s version of Kabuki Theater – a big stylized hearing on global warming by the US Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Probably unintentionally, the title demonstrated a bit of humor – “Climate Change: It’s Happening Now.” It’s been happening for hundreds of millions of years. Perhaps some senators are catching on. Who says senators cannot learn?

But a funny thing happened to the script – after the witnesses on the first panel spoke.

Senator David Vitter (Republican from the oil and gas producing state of Louisiana asked:

“Can any witnesses say they agree with Obama’s statement that warming has accelerated during the past 10 years?”

Silence, followed by a red herring by a certain witness. Minutes later, Senator Jeff Sessions (Republican, Alabama) followed up with the quote from President Obama and asked: “Do any of you support that quote?’ Embarrassed silence! Then another red herring that global warming is disappearing in the deep ocean by the same witness. (About 1.52 hours & 2.05 hours in the Senate video.)

Due to prior commitments, SEPP was unable to attend, and focused on the record of the scientific testimony by Roger Pielke, Jr. and Roy Spencer. Unfortunately, they were relegated to the second panel, after many senators left. The complete theater production, including videos, can be found in the links provided.

Pielke gave an excellent seven point summary rebutting the claims that recent extreme events are unusual, more frequent, and causing greater losses than the historic record shows. He went on to say that the humans influence climate, including by emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), but many claims cannot be substantiated. False claims about extreme weather events can lead to poor decisions and it may take decades, or more, before the human influence can be substantiated.

Spencer appears to be having fun. He identified himself with the 97% of researchers who believe that at least some of the recent warming is human caused. He then proceeded to rebut the claims of the so-called consensus. “The difficulty in determining the human influence on climate arises from several sources: (1) weather and climate vary naturally, and by amounts that are not currently being exceeded; (2) global warming theory is just that – based upon theory; and (3) there is no unique fingerprint of human caused global warming.”

Spencer presented evidence that the recent warming happened before, and that the 73 climate models produce far too much warming over the tropics (all exceed the observed warming). Other notable statements include: “The fact that all of the models have been peer reviewed does not mean that any of them have been deemed to have any skill for predicting future temperatures.” He conclude with: “Thus, the evidence that humans are mostly responsible for either recent warmth or severe weather changes (if such changes exist at all) is equivocal, at best.”

At the end of the second panel, Senator Whitehouse (D. RI) tried to bait Pielke and Spencer to make incorrect statements. He brought up Spencer’s religious beliefs, was were entirely inappropriate. When Senator Session reappeared after a floor vote, Spencer stated we need to analyze what is wrong with the models. We are not getting anywhere with the models emphasizing warming a that is not occurring. Spencer stated that his recent research emphasizes how much is the human influence on weather and climate.

Senator Whitehouse concluded by dismissing the measurement of carbon dioxide influence on the atmosphere temperatures (where the greenhouse effect takes place) and stated his concern about the oceans. The greenhouse effect takes place in the oceans?

Probably no senators changed their minds from the hearing. But they have been informed that, if they have any integrity, they should not be repeating the administration’s scientifically unsubstantiated claims. Please see links under Showtime!

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Climate Plan: According to reports, President Obama’s climate plan is already impacting other countries. The US Export-Import Bank announced it will not provide financing of a 1,200 MW coal-fired power plant in Vietnam. The World Bank, headed by an Obama appointee, announced a new energy strategy plan limiting financing of coal-fired power plants to “rare circumstances.” The World Bank plan will restrict the financing of coal-fired plants to only those countries that have “no feasible alternatives” to coal, whatever that means. The President’s climate plan can be better described as Keeping the Poor, Poor. Please see links under that heading.

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Energy Efficiency: The administration has announced plans to implement new energy efficiency requirements on new and existing buildings. This is part of an effort to impose regulations on virtually all things that use energy, including homes, automobiles, appliances, etc. It is an expansion of authoritarian power over the economy, without legislative approval.

Donn Dears has an explanation why many corporations do not reduce the energy costs of their buildings. It is a calculation called Return on Investment (ROI). If the “investment” costs more than what it returns, it is not an investment, but an expense. The British government instituted a plan to increase the energy efficiency of private homes, but failed to realize the homeowners are capable of calculating an ROI and basing it on their cash flow. The plan is failing.

Washington bureaucrats ignore ROI as well. Instead, they will substitute the absurd bureaucratic notion of the Social Cost of Carbon (SCC), which they calculate as they see fit. The SCC has not been approved by the Congress and can be better described as the bureaucratic cost of air plants need. Please see links under Washington’s Control of Energy.

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Sustainable Energy: Britain, Spain, and Germany have announced plans to curtail subsidies for green energy. The British government has delayed implementation of a goal for off-shore wind power by about a decade and pushed back the goal of producing 30% of electricity from renewables to 2030 instead of 2020. Also it is considering minimum reliability standards and seeks to ensure power production is 99.97 % reliable within 3 years. Part of the reason given is the promise of extracting natural gas from dense shale. Another key component is the soaring electricity costs and backlash from businesses and voters.

The government of Spain has said, that given the economy, it cannot continue to absorb the costs of subsidizing wind and solar. The German government has announced a cap on the solar power nameplate capacity it will subsidize. The nameplate capacity is the theoretical maximum capacity, not the far lower actual production.

Of course, all politicians are blaming someone else, and the alternative energy industry is howling. But the politicians and bureaucrats have only themselves to blame. They accepted the claims of the green power advocates and failed to do a proper ROI analysis. If they had, they would have realized that, in many cases, ROI was negative.

With the demise of the alternative energy industries, we will see the demise of green jobs, so heavily touted a few years ago. All this supports John Christy’s well stated Law of Sustainability: If it’s not economically sustainable, it’s not sustainable. Perhaps some US politicians will learn from these experiences. Please see links under Questioning European Green, Subsidies and Mandates Forever, and Energy Issues – Non-US.

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Erratic Wind: Jo Nova reports that India’s Central Electricity Regulatory Commission implemented a solution to the problem of wind power’s erratic characteristics placing burdens on other primary generators of electricity. A directive compels wind farms with a nameplate capacity greater than 10 megawatts to forecast their generation for the next day in 15 minute blocks. Wind Farms with estimates more than 30% off forecasts will face penalties. Those generating power by other means must forecast accurately, why should wind be exempt? Needless to say, the wind investors are not overjoyed. Please see link under Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind.

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IPCC Temperatures Falling? The Economist reported it saw the draft of the upcoming Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) due out this fall. The article had a table showing estimate of various end of century carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations and associated temperature increases.

According to the article, CO2 concentrations of 425 to 485 parts per million (ppm) would result in a temperature of 1.3 to 1.7 ºC (2.3 to 3.1 ºF) above pre-industrial levels. This is within the IPCC’s concocted no more than 2 ºC (3.6 ºF) mantra, which politicians pretend is scientific. Many estimates have the current CO2 at about 390 ppm or about 100 to 110 ppm above the preindustrial level. According to some estimates, this increase in CO2 resulted in an increase in temperature of about 0.8 ºC (1.4 ºF). So the next 135 ppm results in an increase in temperatures of about 0. 5 ºC (0.9 ºF), which appears consistent with the greenhouse gas theory that the relationship is logarithmic.

According to the table, a doubling of CO2 to 560 ppm results in a temperature increase of about 2.2 ºC (3.96 ºF). Of course all this assumes that CO2 is the major driver of climate change. We will have to wait for the final AR5 to see appears.

What will be the impact of these new, modest projected increases in temperatures on the EPA’s finding that human greenhouse gas emissions, particularly CO2, endanger human health and welfare? Certainly, these changes and this week’s Senate hearing raise questions on the EPA’s claims of scientific certainty and the validity of the models. Please see link under Problems in the Orthodoxy.

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Number of the Week: $7 Billion. That is the annual budget of the National Science Foundation (NSF). Once a pillar of rigorous empirical science, the NSF has lowered its standards as its budget has expanded. Among other things, it finances studies that analyze the impacts decades from now based on the outputs from un-validated climate models, rather than attempting to validate the climate models, or, at least, thoroughly test the assumptions. For other issues on government financed science please see Article # 1, and for government financed non-profits please see Article #4.

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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. Time to Sequester Insipid Federal Research

Focus science funding on real science, not on silliness like studying how to ride a bike.

By Henry Miller, WSJ, Jul 17, 2013

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324328204578573323173137426.html?mod=ITP_opinion_0

2. Oil by Rail Is Here to Stay

The Quebec disaster shows how badly the industry needs to up its game.

By Holman Jenkins, WSJ, Jul 16, 2013

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323848804578609681519319010.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_BelowLEFTSecond

3. Asian Coal Use Grows Despite Gas Challenge

Economic Reality Is Trumping Pollution Worries in the Region

By Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen, WSJ, Jul 19, 2013

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323309404578615160884675062.html

4. How Big Government Co-Opted Charities

Much of the not-for-profit sector has become a junior partner in administering the welfare state.

By James Piereson, WSJ, Jul 18, 2013

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324021104578553093991335514.html?mod=ITP_opinion_0

[SEPP Comment: Applies to universities and environmental organizations. Full disclosure of sources of funds on all solicitations may be appropriate.]

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NEWS YOU CAN USE:

Science: Is the Sun Rising?

The Sun in June 2013 – on the way to a grand minimum? New study on the possible consequences

By Frank Bosse, Trans. by P. Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jul 14, 2013

http://notrickszone.com/2013/07/14/german-researcher-on-possible-consequences-of-a-solar-grand-minimum-weakest-cycle-in-almost-200-years/

Climategate Continued

Met Office Hindcast

By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Jul 19, 2013

http://climateaudit.org/2013/07/19/met-office-hindcast/#more-18211

More Met Office Hypocrisy

By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Jul 17, 2013

http://climateaudit.org/2013/07/17/more-met-office-hypocrisy/#more-18197

Nature-mag Hides the Decline

By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Jul 15, 2013

http://climateaudit.org/2013/07/15/nature-hides-the-decline/

Showtime

Ouch! ‘Senate global warming hearing backfires on Democrats’ — Boxer’s Own Experts Contradict Obama! — ‘Skeptics & Roger Pielke Jr. totally dismantled warmism (scientifically, economically, rhetorically) — Climate Depot Round Up

By Marc Morano, Climate Depot, Jul 19, 2013

http://www.climatedepot.com/2013/07/19/ouch-senate-global-warming-hearing-backfires-on-democrats-skeptics-roger-pielke-jr-totally-dismantled-warmism-scientifically-economically-rhetorically/

Testimony on the Current State of Weather Extremes

By Roger Pielke Jr, Testimony to US Senate, via GWPF, Jul 18, 2013

http://www.thegwpf.org/roger-pielke-jr-testimony-current-state-weather-extremes/

Link to full testimony:

http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=a6df9665-e8c8-4b0f-a550-07669df48b15

Senate EPW Hearing: “Climate Change: It’s Happened Before”

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Jul 19, 2013

http://www.drroyspencer.com/category/blogarticle/

Link to full updated written testimony: http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/Spencer_EPW_Written_Testimony_7_18_2013_updated.pdf

U.S. Senate Hearing “Climate Change: It’s Happening Now”

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc, Jul 18, 2013

http://judithcurry.com/2013/07/18/u-s-senate-hearing-climate-change-its-happening-now/#more-12235

Watch yesterday’s blockbuster performance by Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. and Dr. Roy Spencer at Senate climate hearing

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Jul 19, 2013

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/19/watch-yesterdays-blockbuster-performance-by-dr-roger-pielke-jr-and-dr-roy-spencer-at-senate-climate-hearing/

Challenging the Orthodoxy

The real climate drivers – ocean and solar cycles amplified by levels of volcanism

By Joseph D’Aleo, Weatherbell Analytics, Jul 18, 2013

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

A Basic and Powerful Analysis of Greenhouse Effect Fallacies

By Tim Ball, A Different Perspective, Jul 15, 2013

http://drtimball.com/2013/a-basic-and-powerful-analysis-of-greenhouse-effect-fallacies/

Analysis by Norm Kalmanovitch

[SEPP Comment: Somewhat technical]

Controversial Skeptic Book “Die Kalte Sonne” Now Can Be Ordered Worldwide In English: “The Neglected Sun”

By P. Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jul 15, 201333

http://notrickszone.com/2013/07/15/controversial-skeptic-book-die-kalte-sonne-now-can-be-ordered-worldwide-in-english-the-neglected-sun/

Richard Lindzen vs Aljazeera gladiators

By Luboš Motl, Reference Frame, Jul 13, 2013

http://motls.blogspot.com/2013/07/richard-lindzen-vs-aljazeera-gladiators.html#more

[SEPP Comment: Summary of a debate between Richard Lindzen and warmests filmed by Aljazeera TV.]

Global Warming as Religion and not Science

By John Brignell, Number Watch, June 2007

http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/religion.htm

[SEPP Comment: A useful reminder from 2007.]

Waiting for the Warming

By David Whitehouse, GWPF, Jul 19, 2013

http://www.thegwpf.org/waiting-inquisition-warming/

Defending the Orthodoxy

David Kennedy on climate sensitivity

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Jul 18, 2013

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2013/7/18/david-kennedy-on-climate-sensitivity.html

[SEPP Comment: Ignore the changing science.]

Questioning the Orthodoxy

Self-harm continues to plague the West

By John Brignell, Number Watch, Jul 18, 2013

http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/2013%20June.htm#self-harm

Nature puts methane hydrate fears to rest – says it will be 1,000 years before they make any impact

By Anthony Watts: WUWT, Jul 16, 2013

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/16/nature-puts-methane-hydrate-fears-to-rest-says-it-will-be-1000-years-before-they-make-any-impact/

Link to the 2011 paper:: Methane Hydrates and Contemporary Climate Change

By Carolyn Ruppel, Nature Education Knowledge, 2011

http://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/methane-hydrates-and-contemporary-climate-change-24314790

The phase relation between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature

By Ole Humlum et al, Elsevier Journal of Global and Planetary Change, via ICECAP, Jul 19, 2013

http://icecap.us/index.php/go/in-the-news/the_phase_relation_between_atmospheric_carbon_dioxide_and_global_temperatur/

[SEPP Comment: The conclusions are thought provoking, such as changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging about 11 to 12 months behind changes in global sea surface.]

AGW skeptics in the professional community

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc., Jul 15, 2013

http://judithcurry.com/2013/07/15/agw-skeptics-in-the-professional-community/#more-12103

We find that climate science skepticism [sic] is not limited to the scientifically illiterate,

[SEPP Comment: Horrors!]

Energy program shows the dishonesty of climate change arguments: Guest opinion

By Gordon Fulks, Oregonian, Jul 20, 2013 [H/t ICECAP]

http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2013/07/the_dishonesty_of_climate_chan.html#incart_river

[SEPP Comment: According to the President Obama, Nobel laureate in physics, Ivar Giaever, is a member of the flat earth society. Is he among the scientifically illiterate described in the link above?]

Global Warming – From Science to Agitprop

By Rupert Darwell, Huff Post, Jul 16, 2013

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/rupert-darwall/global-warming-from-science-to-agitprop_b_3604074.html?view=screen

Short Meteorological Memories

By Alan Caruba, WUWT, Jul 15, 2013

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/15/short-meteorological-memories/

Fabricating Climate Doom – Part 1: Parmesan’s Butterfly Effect

By Jim Steele, WUWT, Jul 14, 2013

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/14/fabricating-climate-doom-part-1-parmesans-butterfly-effect/

Problems in the Orthodoxy

Sensitive information

By Staff Writer, The Economist, Jul 20, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21581979-peek-inside-next-ipcc-assessment-sensitive-information

New Regime Brings Change of Climate at Reuters

By Staff Writers, The Baron, Jul 12, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.thebaron.info/news/files/a24cc2de4ab115e4c0cf607673ed2323-875.php

U.K.’s Decade-Long Delay for Offshore Wind Draws Industry Ire

By Sally Bakewell & Alex Morales, Bloomberg, Jul 17, 2013

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-17/u-k-s-decade-long-delay-for-offshore-wind-draws-industry-ire.html

Seeking a Common Ground

Climate Dialogue about the (missing) hot spot

By Marcel Crok, De staat van het klimaat, Jul 16, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.staatvanhetklimaat.nl/2013/07/16/climate-dialogue-about-the-missing-hot-spot/

[SEPP Comment: Somewhat technical]

Certainly not!

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc., Jul 17, 2013

http://judithcurry.com/2013/07/17/certainly-not/#more-12206

[SEPP Comment: Selections from a provocative essay stating uncertainty and questioning the consensus benefits scientific advancement. Unfortunately, the essay was greatly diminished by the essayist’s certainty in human caused catastrophic global warming, a certainty that does not exist.]

Why farmers don’t believe in anthropogenic global warming

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc., Jul 17, 2013

http://judithcurry.com/2013/07/17/why-farmers-dont-believe-in-anthropogenic-global-warming/#more-12223

[SEPP Comment: Farmers are not convinced the humans cause climate change because it has always been happening.]

Lowering Standards

Forecast failure: how the Met Office lost touch with reality

Ideology has corrupted a valuable British institution

By Rupert Darwall, The Spectator, Jul 13, 2013

http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/8959941/whats-wrong-with-the-met-office/

Questioning European Green

Our rising bills for going green

Energy giants warn of huge price hikes

GOING green could see power bills go through the stratosphere – and many families go into the red.

By Simon English, The Sun, Jul 17, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/money/5018212/Energy-bill-increase-green-fuel.html

Eco-Blowback: Mutiny in the Land of Wind Turbines

By Matthias Schulz, Spiegel Online, Jul 12, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/wind-energy-encounters-problems-and-resistance-in-germany-a-910816.html

German Energy Companies Threaten Shutdown of Power Plants

By Staff Writers, Reuters, Trans: Philipp Mueller, Jul 16, 2013

http://www.thegwpf.org/german-energy-companies-threaten-shutdown-power-plants/

Why you’ll be paying £3,250 extra for gas and ‘leccy in coming years [UK]

It’s not ‘gas prices': It is the Will of The People, says Psychohistory prof

By Lewis Page, The Register, Jul 19, 2013 [H/t Bishop Hill]

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/07/19/energy_firm_heres_the_truth_on_how_greengov_cranks_up_your_bills/

Green Jobs

The dirty secret of Britain’s power madness: Polluting diesel generators built in secret by foreign companies to kick in when there’s no wind for turbines – and other insane but true eco-scandals

Moving to wind power is expected to cost £1 billion a year by 2015

Official figures on the size of the green economy are extremely misleading

They exaggerate the worth of the sector by up to 700 per cent

By James Dellingpole, Mail Online, Jul 13, 2013 [H/t Bishop Hill]

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2362762/The-dirty-secret-Britains-power-madness-Polluting-diesel-generators-built-secret-foreign-companies-kick-theres-wind-turbines–insane-true-eco-scandals.html

[SEPP Comment: Green jobs are largely a redefinition of regular jobs – near the end of the article.]

Keeping the Poor, Poor

Report: Ex-Im Bank rejects financing for Vietnam coal plant

By Zack Colman, The Hill, Jul 18, 2013

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/312053-report-ex-im-bank-rejects-financing-for-vietnam-coal-plant

World Bank to limit financing of coal-fired plants

By Anna Yukhananov and Valerie Volcovici, Reuters, Jul 17, 2013

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/07/16/us-worldbank-climate-coal-idUKBRE96F19U20130716

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

Global population of polar bears has increased by 2,650-5,700 since 2001

By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Jul 15, 2013

http://polarbearscience.com/2013/07/15/global-population-of-polar-bears-has-increased-by-2650-5700-since-2001/

[SEPP Comment: Challenging the official estimates.]

Invest in Nature, not infrastructure for storm abatement

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Jul 18, 2013

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/18/invest-in-nature-not-infrastructure-for-storm-abatement/

Link to paper: Coastal habitats shield people and property from sea-level rise and storms

By Arkema, et al., Nature Climate Change, Jul 14, 2013

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate1944.html

[SEPP Comment: For decades the US has been bombarded with the term “fragile wetlands,” now “fragile wetlands” are the best defense against storms?]

Scientists outline long-term sea-level rise in response to warming of planet

By Staff Writers, Corvallis OR (SPX), Jul 16, 2013

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Scientists_outline_long_term_sea_level_rise_in_response_to_warming_of_planet_999.html

[SEPP Comment: Projecting thousands of years out, based on short-term data.]

Press Goes Crackers Over Fracking

Media loses its head over a report linking earthquakes and wastewater wells.

By William Tucker, American Spectator, Jul 15, 2013

http://spectator.org/archives/2013/07/15/press-goes-crackers-over-frack

Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

‘Gasland’ scandal ignited at EPA

By Ron Arnold, Washington Examiner, Jul 11, 2013 [H/t Joe Bast]

http://washingtonexaminer.com/gasland-scandal-ignited-at-epa/article/2532966

Communicating Better to the Public – Go Personal.

How I got on the “black list” of the German Federal Environment Agency

By Günter Ederer, on No Tricks Zone, Jul 20, 2013

http://notrickszone.com/2013/07/20/why-germanys-national-environmental-guard-opened-fire-on-climate-skeptic-journalists-and-scientists/

[SEPP Comment: Gosselin associating the German government’s listing of skeptics with the Kent State shootings may be inappropriate, but the comments by Ederer are important.]

All parties in Europe, whether left or right, will go along the warming theory because the permission to tax the air we breath will be granted for the first time, and would even be praised because they it will be for rescuing the planet.

David Suzuki Should Set a Positive Example in Climate Debate

Global warming discussions need to be cleaned up if we are to develop rational policy

By Tom Harris Epoch Times, July 12, 2013

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/173847-david-suzuki-should-set-a-positive-example-in-climate-debate/

[SEPP Comment: Harris presents a list of all too common themes used by those who prefer to go personal than debate the science.]

Measurement Issues

Central Park in USHCNv2.5 (October 2012) magically becomes cooler in July in the Dust Bowl years

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

http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/central_park_in_ushcnv25_october_2012_magically_becomes_cooler_in_july_in_t/

[SEPP Comment: Fiddling with the books, again!]

Changing Weather

Expert Meteorologist: Data Show Little Change In Central European Precipitation Over Last 30 Years!

By P. Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jul 13, 2013

http://notrickszone.com/2013/07/13/expert-meteorologist-data-show-little-change-in-central-european-precipitation-over-last-30-years/

Major cold/snow into Brazil while Antarctic ice nears record falsifies polar amplification idea

By Joseph D’Aleo, ICECAP, Jul 20, 2013

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

Changing Seas

Ocean mystery

By Staff Writers, Cape Cod MA (SPX) Jul 16, 2013

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Scientists_solve_a_14000_year_old_ocean_mystery_999.html

[SEPP Comment: Rethinking the role of iron in phytoplankton blooms.]

Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

Analysis Shows That Arctic Sea Ice Melt Extent Mostly Occurs In Natural Cycles

By Sebastian Lüning and Fritz Vahrenholt, Trans by P. Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jul 17, 2013

http://notrickszone.com/2013/07/17/analysis-shows-that-arctic-sea-ice-melt-extent-mostly-occurs-in-natural-cycles/

As ice cover disappears, life in the frigid Antarctic moves fast

By Staff Writers, London, UK (SPX), Jul 15, 2013

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/As_ice_cover_disappears_life_in_the_frigid_Antarctic_moves_fast_999.html

Is the ice in Greenland in growing decline?

By Staff Writers, Berlin, Germany (SPX), Jul 17, 2013

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Is_the_ice_in_Greenland_in_growing_decline_999.html

Rate of future ice loss remains uncertain

By Darren Osborne, ABC, Jul 15, 2013

http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2013/07/15/3802146.htm

Link to paper: Limits in detecting acceleration of ice sheet mass loss due to climate variability

By Wouters, et al., Nature, Jul 14, 2013

http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo1874.html

Polar Ice Melt May Be Natural Event

By John von Radowitz, Scotsman, Jul 15, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.scotsman.com/news/environment/polar-ice-melt-may-be-natural-event-1-3001226

[SEPP Comment: Similar to the above link.]

Acidic Waters

Ocean acidification discussion thread

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc, Jul 19, 2013

http://judithcurry.com/2013/07/19/ocean-acidification-discussion-thread/#more-12245

[SEPP Comment: Curry discusses the normative testimony by Scott Doney, largely that asserting Congress must do something, and follows with a brief discussion on the rebuttal by Craig Idso to a prior film by the NRDC that claimed much the same as Doney.]

Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine

Starved for Science

By Louise O. Fresco, Project Syndicate, Jul 17, 2013

http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/how-technological-progress-can-help-to-feed-the-world-by-louise-o–fresco

[SEPP Comment: Broader application of the advances in agriculture are needed, especially in Africa.]

FAO releases new statistical yearbook details World Food and Agriculture

By Staff Writers, PMAC, Jul 1, 2013

http://www.pmac.co.nz/node/875

Link to report: FAO Statistical Yearbook paints a big, and detailed, picture of food and agriculture

By Staff Writers, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Jun 19, 2013

http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/178138/icode/

Global crop production has expanded threefold over the past 50 years, largely through higher yields per unit of land and crop intensification.

[SEPP Comment: The report discusses the greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture but does not discuss the CO2 benefits to agriculture.]

The greening of the Sahel

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Jul 14, 2013

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2013/7/14/the-greening-of-the-sahel.html

New study addresses trade-offs between food security and climate change mitigation

By Staff Writers, Rome, Italy (SPX), Jul 17, 2013

http://www.seeddaily.com/reports/New_study_addresses_trade_offs_between_food_security_and_climate_change_mitigation_999.html

Agriculture and land use change contributed about 1/3 of total human greenhouse gas emissions in the past decade, through crop cultivation, animal production, and deforestation.

[SEPP Comment: Another incomplete study of agriculture that ignores the social benefits of carbon – CO2 fertilization.]

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC

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

Surface Activity on the South-Central Greenland Ice Sheet

Reference: Jezek, K.C. 2012. Surface elevation and velocity changes on the south-central Greenland ice sheet: 1980-2011. Journal of Glaciology 58: 1201-1211.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2013/jul/16jul2013a1.html

How Much Heat Can Amazon Tree Species Take and Still Survive?

Reference: Dick, C.W., Lewis, S.L., Maslin, M. and Bermingham, E. 2012. Neogene origins and implied warmth tolerance of Amazon tree species. Ecology and Evolution 3: 162-169.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2013/jul/16jul2013a2.html

Sea Anemones and Microbes in a CO2-Vent-Induced pH Gradient

Reference: Meron, D., Buia, M.-C., Fine, M. and Banin, E. 2013. Changes in microbial communities associated with the sea anemone Anemonia viridis in a natural pH gradient. Microbial Ecology 65: 269-276.

http://nipccreport.org/articles/2013/jul/16jul2013a4.html

Atmospheric CO2 and Global Temperature: Which Leads Which When Change Occurs?

Reference: Humlum, O., Stordahl, K. and Solheim, J.-E. 2013. The phase relation between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature. Global and Planetary Change 100: 51-69.

http://nipccreport.org/articles/2013/jul/17jul2013a1.html

Litigation Issues

Attorneys General in 12 States File Suit Against Environmental Protection Agency

AGs target ‘sue and settle’ suits that create new regulations

By Scott Pruitt, AP, Jul 16, 2013 [H/t Timothy Wise]

http://freebeacon.com/attorneys-general-in-12-states-file-suit-against-environmental-protection-agency/

In some instances, the EPA filed a “consent decree” agreeing to new regulations on the same day the lawsuits were filed, leading critics to suspect prior knowledge.

[SEPP Comment: Talk about quick litigation!]

EPA’s failure to meet deadlines invites regulatory manipulation

Editorial, Washington Examiner, Jul 14, 2013

http://washingtonexaminer.com/epas-failure-to-meet-deadlines-invites-regulatory-manipulation/article/2532970

Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes

The start of the end. Rudd ditches carbon tax for a trading scheme. Eurocrats now dictate what we pay.

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Jul, 14, 2013

http://joannenova.com.au/2013/07/the-start-of-the-end-rudd-ditches-carbon-tax-for-a-trading-scheme-eurocrats-now-dictate-what-we-pay/

[SEPP Comment: To a promoter of the Greatest Moral Challenge, the Challenge has become something else, for political convenience. So much for the Greatest Moral Challenge.]

Carbon tax melts, and with it $4 billion of spending [AU]

By Phillip Coorey and Marcus Priest, Financial Review, Jul 15, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.afr.com/p/national/carbon_tax_melts_and_with_it_billion_zDyFInSC42dlN5ezuWvO6O

Subsidies and Mandates Forever

Phasing out subsidies

By Martin Livermore, Scientific Alliance, Jul 19, 2013

http://scientific-alliance.org/scientific-alliance-newsletter/phasing-out-subsidies

[SEPP Comment: Written at a time when the electricity consumption is high and wind is supplying only 8% of its nameplate capacity.]

EU Renewable Energy Subsidies Make Natural Gas Plants Uneconomic

By Staff Writers, Daily Fusion, Jul 16, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://dailyfusion.net/2013/07/eu-renewable-energy-subsidies-make-natural-gas-plants-uneconomic-14583/

[SEPP Comment: If a highly efficient large-scale combined-cycle natural gas plant cannot operate without a loss thanks to unreliable wind and solar, what will provide the necessary back-up generation when solar or wind fail, as they always do?]

Germany pulls plug on solar subsidies

By Staff Writer, The Local, Jul 9, 2013

http://www.thelocal.de/money/20130709-50753.html

Requiem For Spanish Wind?

By Loren Steffy, Forbes, Jul 15, 2013

http://www.forbes.com/sites/lorensteffy/2013/07/15/requiem-for-spanish-wind/

EPA and other Regulators on the March

Obama Using the EPA as His Weapon of Choice

By W.A. Beatty, American Thinker, Jul 14, 2013

http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/07/obama_using_the_epa_as_his_weapon_of_choice.html

Link to report: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Assault on State Sovereignty

By William Yeatman, ALEC, 2013

http://alec.org/docs/EPA_Assault_State_Sovereignty

 

Another rogue Obama agency with next to no accountability.

EPA Growth Knows No Limits

By Todd Wynn & William Yeatman, American Spectator, Jul 5, 2013

http://spectator.org/archives/2013/07/05/epa-growth-knows-no-limits

 

McCarthy sworn in at EPA after Senate vote

By Zack Colman, The Hill, Jul 19, 2013

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/312255-mccarthy-sworn-in-at-epa-after-senate-vote

Lawmakers concerned new carbon metric developed in secret

By Julian Hattem, The Hill, Jul 18, 2013

http://thehill.com/blogs/regwatch/energyenvironment/312145-lawmakers-concerned-new-carbon-metric-developed-in-secret

[SEPP Comment: Why should the administration keep Congress informed when it expands its powers?]

Energy Issues – Non-US

Natural Gas: The Future Premier Fuel of the World Economy

By Michael Economidies and Xiuli Wang, Energy Tribune, Jul 16, 2013

http://www.energytribune.com/78249/natural-gas-the-future-premier-fuel-of-the-world-economy#sthash.KRhBRsfi.dpbs

Bowland Shale fracking could reignite UK economy and cut CO2 emissions

The world’s largest shale-gas field – underneath Lancashire and Yorkshire – could add £7bn a year to the UK economy and create thousands of jobs

By Bjørn Lomborg, Guardian, UK, Jul 16, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/economics-blog/2013/jul/16/bowland-shale-fracking-uk-economy-co2-emissions

It’s official: US-style shale revolution could soon slash gas prices in Britain

By Corin Taylor, City, AM, Jul 19, 2013

http://www.cityam.com/article/it-s-official-us-style-shale-revolution-could-soon-slash-gas-prices-britain

Britain Scales Back Wind Power as Shale Revolution Shakes Green Energy Assumptions

By Tim Webb, The Times, via GWPF, Jul 17, 2013

http://www.thegwpf.org/britain-scales-wind-power-shale-revolution-shakes-green-energy-assumptions/

Energy Issues — US

Americans continue to use more renewable energy sources

By Anne M Stark for LLNL News, Livermore CA (SPX) Jul 19, 2013

http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/Americans_continue_to_use_more_renewable_energy_sources_999.html

Graph: https://www.llnl.gov/news/newsreleases/2013/Jul/attach/2012_flow_chart_high_res.jpg

[SEPP Comment: According to the graph, of the 95.1 Quads used by the US, 0.227 came from geothermal, 0.235 from solar, 1.36 from wind, and 4.32 from biomass. Not particularly significant considering the massive subsidies and mandates.]

Fracking is greener than critics claim

On the ground in natural-gas country

By Deroy Murdock, Washington Time, Jul 12, 2013

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jul/12/fracking-is-greener-than-critics-claim/

Washington’s Control of Energy

Investment Truths

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

http://dddusmma.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/investment-truths/

[SEPP Comment: A concept bureaucrats in Washington who are dictating energy efficiency ignore.]

 

White House seeks carbon curbs through energy efficiency gains

By Ben Geman, The Hill, Jul 18, 2013

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/311883-white-house-on-three-fronts-seeks-carbon-curbs-through-efficiency-gains

Interior chief defends ‘fracking’ rules amid GOP, industry attacks

By Ben Geman, The Hill, Jul 17, 2013

http://thehill.com/blogs/regwatch/energyenvironment/311651-interior-chief-defends-fracking-rules-as-gop-attacks

[SEPP Comment: Explains why oil and gas production on private and state controlled lands will continue to outstrip production on federally controlled lands.]

Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Peak Oil Peters Out: Neo-Malthusian Cult Website The Oil Drum Shuts Down

Ronald Bailey|Jul. Reason, Jul 12, 2013 [H/t Timothy Wise]

http://reason.com/blog/2013/07/12/peak-oil-peters-out-neo-malthusian-cult

APNewsBreak: 1st federal study finds natural gas fracking chemicals didn’t spread

By Staff Writers, AP, Jul 19, 2013

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/apnewsbreak-first-ever-federal-study-finds-natural-gas-fracking-chemicals-didnt-spread/2013/07/19/85b75e4e-f03c-11e2-8c36-0e868255a989_story.html

[SEPP Comment: Fails to mention that many of the chemicals are edible.]

Global Shale Oil and Gas Estimates Expand

By Geoffrey Styles, The Energy Collective, Jul 12, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://theenergycollective.com/geoffrey-styles/248216/global-shale-oil-and-gas-estimates-expand

[SEPP Comment: We may be on the beginning of the knowledge curve in the technology to extract oil and gas from dense shale.]

Eagle Ford: Texas Shale Star (Resourceship in action: III)

By Fred Lawrence and Ron Planting, Master Resource, Jul 19, 2013

http://www.masterresource.org/2013/07/eagle-ford-resourceship3/#more-26120

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

India threatens Wind farms with fines. They must accurately predict the wind a day in advance or else!

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Jul 18, 2013

http://joannenova.com.au/2013/07/india-threatens-wind-farms-with-fines-accurately-predict-the-wind-a-day-in-advance-or-else/

Solar Roads? Let’s not get Excited

By Sierra Rayne, American Thinker, Jul 13, 2013

http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/07/solar_roads_lets_not_get_excited.html

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles

Inaccurate EPA Mileage Tests Mislead Consumers

Editorial, IBD, Jul 15, 2013

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/071513-663809-epa-mileage-tests-mislead.htm

How many miles per gallon does your Prius really get?

The EPA should update the way it measures fuel efficiency, after independent tests raised questions about hybrids’ gas mileage.

By The Denver Post Editorial Board, Jul 15, 2013 [H/t Timothy Wise]

http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_23644029/how-many-miles-per-gallon-does-your-prius

EV and PHEV Sales Update

By Donn Dears, Power for USA, Jul 19, 2013

http://dddusmma.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/ev-and-phev-sales-update/

[SEPP Comment: EV stands for electric vehicles and PHEV stands for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.]

Carbon Schemes

Carbon dioxide stored in Marcellus Shale wells could also boost gas production

By Anne Danahy, Penn State News, Jul 11, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://news.psu.edu/story/281335/2013/07/11/research/carbon-dioxide-stored-marcellus-shale-wells-could-also-boost-gas

[SEPP Comment: Carbon dioxide is used to promote production; but for storage, government regulations may become so stringent to make it enormously expensive.]

California Dreaming

Don’t Thank Stringent Regulations For California’s Reduced Electricity Use

By Lawrence J. McQuillan, Forbes, Jul 10, 2013

http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2013/07/10/dont-thank-stringent-regulations-for-californias-reduced-electricity-use/

Health, Energy, and Climate

European descent into Dark Age ignorance continues apace

By Staff Writer, ACSH, Jul 15, 2013

http://acsh.org/2013/07/european-descent-into-dark-age-ignorance-continues-apace/

Environmental Industry

Fractavists force PA landowners to abandon gas and oil leasing

By Staff Writer, ACSH, Jul 18, 2013

http://acsh.org/2013/07/fractavists-force-pa-landowners-to-abandon-gas-and-oil-leasing/

Locavorism vs. Resource Efficiency

By Pierre Desrochers, Master Resource, Jul 18, 2013

http://www.masterresource.org/2013/07/locavorism-vs-efficiency/#more-26676

[SEPP Comment: Another environmental fad exposed.]

Other Scientific News

Distorted GPS signals reveal hurricane wind speeds

By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), Jul 16, 2013

http://www.gpsdaily.com/reports/Distorted_GPS_signals_reveal_hurricane_wind_speeds_999.html

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BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:

Wyoming rancher: Grizzly could have killed me if she wanted

By Staff Writer, AP, Jul 6, 2013

http://m.trib.com/news/state-and-regional/wyoming-rancher-grizzly-could-have-killed-me-if-she-wanted/article_87812500-a1c9-53dc-a37d-834f276418d0.html

[SEPP Comment: Global warming drove the grizzly bear off the mountain? Grizzly bears are native to the Great Plains.]

Revealed the keys to reducing the impact of agriculture on climate change

By Staff Writers, Cambridge, UK (SPX), Jul 17, 2013

http://www.seeddaily.com/reports/Revealed_the_keys_to_reducing_the_impact_of_agriculture_on_climate_change_999.html

[SEPP Comment: Government control of land use is best for all – as demonstrated by the Soviet Union.]

$487K Study of Viking Textiles During Little Ice Age To ‘Mitigate Climate Change’

By Alissa Tabirian, CNS News, Jul 15, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/487k-study-viking-textiles-during-little-ice-age-mitigate-climate-change-1

Extreme irony – EPA rules shut down the mother of all weather conspiracy theories

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Jul 16, 2013

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/16/extreme-irony-epa-rules-shut-down-the-mother-of-all-weather-conspiracy-theories/

Kenji gets mail – ‘Union of Concerned Scientists’ wants a one-sided Senate hearing panel, asks for money

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Jul 17, 2013

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/17/kenji-gets-mail-union-of-concerned-scientists-wants-a-one-sided-senate-hearing-panel-asks-for-money/

[SEPP Comment: Anthony’s dog gets it, do you?]

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13 thoughts on “Weekly Climate and Energy news Roundup

  1. Again, no. Spencer’s religious beliefs were not questioned. The question was if he considered these beliefs to have scientific basis and THAT is a problem because he said YES. Believing in God is legitimate. Not being able to tell the difference between science and belief is a deal-breaker.

  2. Txomin says at July 22, 2013 at 2:24 am

    Not being able to tell the difference between science and belief is a deal-breaker.

    There are several flaws in this assertion.
    1 Who defines the appropriate axioms on which to base a scientific theory? I am not a Creationist but can respect those who analyse their core assumptions and build logical structures from those assumptions. If the assumptions are wrong then the conclusions are unjustified and so probably wrong. But they can still be logical and so legitimately scientific.
    Claiming he is not a real scientist because I disagree with his axioms is not a legitimate argument. You need to prove that his axioms are wrong or unjustified. Proving that Intelligent Design is wrong is very hard. Proving it is unjustified is not much easier. Of course, proving it is right is also very hard but that does not make it illegitimate.

    2 The hearing was about Climate not Creationism. Therefore his views on other subjects to Climate were not of relevance. He could be head of the Lance Armstrong Fan Club and be easily mocked for such (to my knowledge he is not) but that would not affect the Climate. I recognise that, if you believe the Earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, then his prayers may control the weather… but Spencer did not claim that.
    In short, his religious views are irrelevant to the debate. So how do they break the Climate Expert deal?

    3 Why were irrelevant issues brought up at all? The answer is that Spencer, the Climate Expert, couldn’t be countered. If you can’t play the ball, play the man. If you can’t play the man then take the ball away and sulk. Which, if you look at the end of the Hearing, is what the politician’s did; they slithered off in a sulk. That is not deal-breaker. That was a victory for the Climate Expert.

    Smearing the winner after the event is not just unsporting.
    It is publicly unsporting.

  3. Didn’t Senator Vitter add that anyone who agreed with Obama should state the data set they were using? Was it this that shut them up?

  4. 1. How is that question relevant to a panel on climate change, except for the sole purpose of discrediting Dr. Spencer?
    2. Believing in God is a choice nothing more.
    3. What Dr. Spencer said (I am paraphrasing) was that in his opinion the scientific evidence was stronger for creationism than evolution. Science and religion are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
    4. By deal-breaker, I assume you mean the witness has been discredited……see point 1 above.

  5. Spencer’s answer was both truthful and truly scientific. Long ago, as a young physicist, I had the opportunity (I didn’t see it as that at the time) to work closely with a group of true statisticians. As any physical scientist knows, the job of a physical scientist is to develop and make statements describing causes and effects in nature which can be confirmed by controlled experiment or testing against historical or observational data (which can be the same thing in astronomy, cosmology or evolution, or climatology for that matter). Now I worked very hard with large volumes of data to determine what I thought were causes and effects (which largely turned out to be correlations only, and even cross correlations among variables in most cases, but as I said I was young.) More or less patiently the statisticians consistently corrected my work and explained how what I wanted to show could not be shown by the data. And what was worse, the harder I analyzed the data trying to establish some cause and effect, the more times I tried procedures on it, or excluded data, the less reliable were the final statistics, in a demonstrable way, not unlike the observer interference problem in quantum mechanics. The point I finally got in my head was that statistics is wonderful for telling you what data does not or can not say about cause and effect, but not very good at telling you what the data does say, particularly working with observational data of processes you could not control completely.

    What I understood Spencer to say was that if we look at data on emergence and development of life, the data does not reject the hypothesis that something other than random behavior, based on the processes we know, was involved in the origins of life. Now what (or perhaps who) that “something” was is a bit outside science and quite frankly we are all free to entertain whatever views we wish on that, whether it is an anthropomorphic entity with a white beard or a karmic presence forever changing itself or an alien from another universe for that matter. (As long as those views don’t involve coercion of others and we don’t claim they are the true word, or the modern equivalent “settled science”.) It doesn’t really matter with respect to science. What matters is what the data says or doesn’t say. Cosmology has long had a similar issue in that a great deal has been done to interpret events leading back to the big bang, or bounce or whatever your favorite beginning is, but the origin of the cycle or so-called first cause has long been a matter of widely differing views among cosmologists, some in the creationist vein, some not. Additional similar issues in cosmology involve the how to deal with physical infinities such as are suggested to be inside event horizons. So far, the data doesn’t reject a side of nature we have not yet seen.

    As far as I can tell, attempts to “disprove” someone else’s views on what that unrejectable hypothesis might be, when there is no attempt at coercion on that someone else’s part, are largely malicious and small-minded.

    So, I think Spencer’s views were both high-minded and truly scientific in the sense that he stated his view that the data do not rule out origins other than the processes we have at hand. Such a perspective would be a breath of fresh air if all involved in the climate debates shared that perspective. His views on that particular subject were clearly irrelevant to issues of climate-related policy and I am sure Spencer would make no recommendations whatsoever based on his view of what is or is not established with respect to origins or development of life on earth. I also think that the question was asked in a small-minded and unscientific attempt to discredit and demean Dr. Spencer, the equivalent of an ad hominem attack, attempting to portray him as an amusing uncle who believes in fairies, but is fine if you humor him and just ignore what he says.

  6. Train disaster… Canada investigators want rule changes after deadly rail crash

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE96I0OO20130719

    (Reuters) – Canadian investigators issued their first recommendations on Friday after a devastating train wreck in Quebec, urging that trains hauling dangerous goods not be left unattended, and pushing for stricter guidelines on railway braking systems.

    Transportation Safety Board (TSB) investigators probing the July 6 disaster in the lakeside town of Lac-Megantic said the “braking force” applied to the train, which was hauling 72 tanker cars of crude oil, was insufficient to hold it in place….
    ______________
    Pipelines are slow, so the more oil there is to move the more that’s going to go on the rails. Now, what about the question of refinery capacity? All this oil production in the USA will take up all the refinery capacity by 2020 from what I’ve read. So where does the Canadian oil go then?

  7. If Dr. Spencer was devoutly Jewish, and the good Senator had sought to discredit Spencer on the basis of his Judaism, sould that have been more or less appropriate?

  8. I enjoyed how the skeptical witnesses and senators provided peer-reviewed graphs to bolster their argument whereas the alarmist witnesses provided wide-eyes and irrelevant or sensationalized claims. One of my favorites was “right now there are wildfires in California.” After watching this, I’m curious, has K-Mart started selling climatology degrees?

  9. Tip for accessing paywalled WSJ etc., articles for PC users
    Search article title in Google News.
    Refresh (F5) twice before clicking on Google News link.

  10. Txomin, M Courtney, FAH. Turn the ID argument around. Just say James Hansen appeared before a public hearing wearing the uniform of a SS Standartenfuhrer and clicked his heels before he sat down; and he’d just been released on bail after being charged with interfering with little boys. Yes this is an extreme ad absurdum example, but instantly Hansen would go hero->zero and his opinions ditto, no matter how well they were founded in science.

    The problem with being a climate skeptic is you have to keep company with some very dubious allies. Spencer brings the skeptic movement into disrepute. If he says the earth is only four and a half thousand years old then he’s wrong by a factor of a million, and with this kind of factual blindness he’s likely to be wrong on other factual matters as well.

    This is the real world. People judge you by your public image. Spencer has a bad image. He’s not a good spokesman for climate skepticism.

  11. @M Courtney You taking down a strawman.

    The fact is that we are rightly critical of catastrophists because of their inability to distinguish knowledge from belief, as well as hypothesis from dogma. If our discerning skills are compromised at this fundamental level (that is, if we think we can replace the scientific method with the criteria we employ to judge beliefs), our scientific credibility goes down the drain.

    There is no room for opinion or belief. It is the nature of scientific inquiry.

  12. Mellor:
    Extreme ad absurdem argument is correct. The analogy comparing the issue of random versus non random origins to Nazi perversion of morality and science is inappropriate and incorrect. I believe its formal name is now Reductio ad Hitlerium. As I recall, the Nazi’s were very big on the importance of public images also, but I would never use that analogy to place anyone who values public image highly in the company of Nazi’s just because they may value public image and conformity to the message of the “skeptic movement” highly and it is inappropriate of anyone to place Spencer in that company, either intended or through lack of clarity.

    Secondly, he did not say in his testimony that the evidence supports the hypothesis that the earth is four and a half thousand years old. If he had said that in the hearing my comments would have been different and if that is a position he maintains is supported by evidence then he and I could have a friendly conversation about that. If he does not contend, by explicit statement, that the evidence supports a 41/2 thousand year old earth, and a quick google just now did not find that specific claim on his part, then that would be what I believe is called a strawman, in which a known false position is ascribed to someone and then used to criticize them based on that. What he said in the hearing was that the various hypotheses on the origin (in terms of cause and effect) of life are not rejected by the evidence, a statement which is true. (I know he has said the account in Genesis sounds “true” to him. The issue of reconciling the time scales in the Bible with cosmological and other observations is interesting in itself and there are a variety of paths that conversation takes, but it is beside the point of this discussion.)

    If scientists begin to direct our actions and affiliations based exclusively on public image then we have ceased to be scientists and have become political hacks, which is a large part of the problem with climate science today. When we begin to think of ourselves as part of some “skeptic movement” we are wasting our intellectual energy. Should the “movement” round up Dr. Pielke and re-educate him on the importance of the full range of the “movement’s” tenets? There is a long list of eminent scientists who questioned whether god plays dice with the universe or not, but the central theme of them all was humility in the recognition of how little we know and how increasingly complex and surprising nature appears to be. A scientist’s “real world” should be the ongoing reconciliation of observation and reason with increasing experience. Claiming anything based on the self presumed knowledge of the nature of the “real world” would be an example of the petitio principii fallacy, or begging the question.

  13. The export-import bank is a facility of the US government to provide employment and jobs for Americans by providing financing for the imports of American goods and services. If the US export import bank is not going to provide financing to Vietnam and other developing countries, those countries could approach China, Germany, France and other countries who dont have similar restrictions. A large chunk of World Bank loans are to going to China, Brazil, and India. Those countries dont need World Bank financing for coal fired plants. The US government decision to prevent the US Export Import bank and the World Bank from financing coal fired power plants will have a negative impact on US economy and very minor if any on the developing countries. time for the US policy makers to rethink and reconsider the lost American job and waning influence on the global market.

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