The Week That Was: 2013-08-24 (August 24, 2013) Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project
Quote of the Week: With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk. Attributed to John von Neumann by Enrico Fermi, as quoted by Freeman Dyson in “A meeting with Enrico Fermi” in Nature 427 (22 January 2004) p. 297 http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_von_Neumann
Number of the Week: 8.8% v. 155.8%
THIS WEEK: By Ken Haapala, Executive Vice President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
Parameters: The quote of the week illustrates what is wrong with the entire process of attempting to assess the causes of climate change as it is practiced by governments and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
In general, the more parameters, factors that vary, a model has that are specified for the model, the greater is the uncertainty within the model. The Summary for Policymakers of IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report 2007 identified nine parameters for Global Mean Radiative Forcings, only one, solar irradiance, being natural. The ranges of error are large, and in some cases it is uncertain if the parameter amplifies or reduces warming caused by increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in the atmosphere from human emissions.
According to reports, rather than attempting to determine the values of excess parameters external of the models, model builders are adding more parameters to the models. These actions evoke the images from a famous scene in Walt Disney’s cartoon movie, Fantasia – dancing pink elephants. Please see links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.
The 95% Certainty: The scientists preparing the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) for the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report are leaking to a largely favorable press that they are 95% confident that humans caused the late 20th century warming. This is critical to the claim that human emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases are causing Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW).
The figure is scientifically meaningless. A statistical distribution can be calculated over the results from the some 73 global climate models, but the models have never been validated and only one valid model would have been sufficient. As discussed above, the models have significant, unknown, internal uncertainty. Further, CO2 emissions do not explain the significant warming of the first part of the 20th century, the current pause in warming of at least a decade (in the atmosphere and at least 15 years on the surface) and the regional nature of the of the warming, which is occurring in the northern part of the Northern Hemisphere with little warming elsewhere.
Physicist Luboš Motl is unimpressed. He writes: “Even if the figure 95% were credible, calculated, and replaced by a much higher figure, the statement we have “learned” is completely unspectacular, pretty much inconsequential, and unworthy of spending another dollar.” He writes that the number is pulled out of the air, 95% is painfully low, and draws an analogy with what is required in particle physics.
After the IPCC scientists are finished, the SPM will be reviewed by government representatives to determine if it is acceptable before it is published. The review will take place in late September. That prompts the question, why the leaks? Do these scientists think they can intimidate the governments of China, India, Russia, Brazil, and South Africa into accepting their highly questionable findings? They may be surprised. Please see links under The 95% Certainty.
New AGU: On the web site of Anthony Watts, Roger Pielke, Sr. writes of his experiences in attempting to have his dissent to the Statement on Climate Change of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) printed in the AGU flagship publication EOS. The authoritarian attitude of the new leadership of AGU is more fitting a military organization than a scientific society. Please see link under Suppressing Scientific Inquiry.
A Climate Change Statement: Last week’s TWTW stated that the total number of science societies which requested membership review before publishing a statement on climate change was zero. Bob Carter, an editor of the reports by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, quickly corrected TWTW. The Geological Society of Australia did publish a draft statement for membership review before adoption. The effort was headed by past president Brad Pillans and is certainly worth reading. Thankfully, TWTW stands corrected. Please see links under Seeking a Common Ground.
Courage: In a provocative essay entitled “Scientists and motivated reasoning” Judith Curry mentions some of her experiences for publically discussing the uncertainty in climate science and its models. It is an outstanding exposition on the need for, and perils of, advocating integrity in climate science. Curry is to be thanked for having the courage to follow the data rather than the crowd. Please see link under Suppressing Scientific Inquiry.
Extreme Weather: Roger Pielke, Jr. has posted his written responses to written questions from two Senators on the Environment and Public Works Committee following Pielke’s testimony challenging the claims of increasing extreme weather events. The data does not support the claims. Apparently, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse from Rhode Island prefers the dogma to the data and asked Pielke to supply a full list of funding for his current research. No dirty oil or coal money here.
In a softball question, Senator David Vitter from Louisiana referenced a survey of corporate executives by Lloyd’s of London about risks their business face. He asked Pielke why climate change was ranked # 32, behind piracy but ahead of space weather. Please see link under Seeking a Common Ground
Social Cost of Carbon: The paper by MIT Economist Robert Pindyck published by the National Bureau of Economic Research continues to provoke articles on the weakness of the calculations by government agencies of the Social Cost of Carbon, which is being used by various agencies to insist on government control in the manufacture of consumer goods, such as microwave ovens. There is every reason to anticipate the expansion of such controls.
Pindyck discusses what are called Integrated Assessment Models (IAM) and they have two major problems: 1) the sensitivity of the planet to increased concentrations of CO2; and 2) the economic impact of higher temperatures. The former does not particularly concern Pindyck, but the latter does. He states that the three IAMs he investigated essentially plucked the economic impact of higher temperatures from air. He states that the estimates are not based on theory or data. Even though he believes in the possibility of CAGW, he believes the models should not be used to estimate its effects. Among other reasons he states is that the models underestimate the possibility of catastrophe.
As stated above, global climate models have not established that the planet is particularly sensitive to increasing CO2. All 73 global climate models tested are overestimating the warming of the atmosphere over the tropics.
The morass of models creates a dilemma on how to legally challenge the calculations of the social cost of carbon. During the oral arguments on the EPA Endangerment Finding the chief justice of the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia made it clear that he will not tolerate any challenge to EPA science and there is little question that the EPA will exploit the court’s position to expand its power. Further, attorneys representing the EPA argued the models are valid. Herein may be a weakness.
However, the social cost of carbon cannot be estimated, or even logically evaluated, to any degree of confidence until there is a validated climate model predicting the increase in temperature from increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide. It may be possible to petition the court to have the EPA identify a validated climate model and explain how it was scientifically validated as well as demonstrate its predictive powers. How successfully did the model predict the current pause in temperature rise, how well did it predict the lack of significant warming over the tropics? The EPA has 19 US models from which to choose. Of course, a valid climate model does not exist. Such an approach may avoid the trap of arguing over the various economic damage models, which would only benefit the government agencies advocating the social cost of carbon. Please see links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.
New Technology? Covering a bit of history, Robert Bradely Jr, points out the fracturing of wells in the US started with using gun powder as early as 1808 in water wells and was used to fracture oil wells in the 1860s. Please see link under Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
Covering Up Liberty: The cover of the National Geographic magazine shows the Statue of Liberty about one-half submerged by sea water. Using data from the tidal gage at the Battery, on Manhattan, about 1.7 miles away, Anthony Watts calculates it would take 23,500 years before this would occur, assuming sea levels continue to rise as they have in the past centuries and a new Ice Age does not happen.
Its web site states: “The mission of the National Geographic Society is to inspire people to care about the planet.” The question is how gullible do the editors of National Geographic think their readers are? Please see links under Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up and
Additions and Corrections: Reader Christopher Game correctly points out a sentence used to describe the discussion paper by Hans von Storch and his team was awkward. TWTW followed the language of the paper.
A clearer description comes in an interview of Storch during which reporters from Der Spiegel asked if climate simulations show a long standstill in temperature change that is being observed now. Storch answered: “Yes, but only extremely rarely. At my institute, we analyzed how often such a 15-year stagnation in global warming occurred in the simulations. The answer was: in under 2 percent of all the times we ran the simulation. In other words, over 98 percent of forecasts show CO2 emissions as high as we have had in recent years leading to more of a temperature increase.”
Storch further stated: “If things continue as they have been, in five years, at the latest, we will need to acknowledge that something is fundamentally wrong with our climate models. A 20-year pause in global warming does not occur in a single modeled scenario. But even today, we are finding it very difficult to reconcile actual temperature trends with our expectations.”
Although TWTW may disagree with Storch’s conclusions, his candor is refreshing. As always, TWTW appreciates readers who suggest Additions and Corrections. Please see link under Models v. Observations
Number of the Week: 8.8% v 155.8%. In its 2013 estimate of levelized costs for plants put into service in 2018, the US Energy Information Administrated calculated the production and the costs for both on-shore wind and off-shore wind. The estimates are rough but illustrative. The on-shore production was estimated to be at 34% of nameplate capacity and the off-shore production was 37%. The total costs are $86.60 per mega-watt hour and $229.5 per mWh. One can realize an 8.8% increase in production by going off-shore and spending only 155.8% more! Is this a difficult decision? Please see link under Energy Issues – US.
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. A Tale of Two Climate HockeySticks
By S. Fred Singer, American Thinker, Aug 20, 2013
2 ‘Perverse Effects’
How green subsidies often increase carbon emissions.
Editorial, WSJ, Aug 19, 2013 [H/t William Readdy]
3. Race for Resources: Warm to Investors, Greenland Opens Up
Prospectors Develop Projects to Mine Potential Bounty in Minerals
By James Areddy, WSJ, Aug 22, 2013
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?
Ten Year Anniversary of the Climate Change Paradigm Shift
By Howard Richman & Raymond Richman, American Thinker, Aug 21, 2013
[SEPP Comment: Paradigm shift is a bit much.
Suppressing Scientific Inquiry
Limiting scientific debate: A change in the AGU policy on Presenting Alternative Scientific Viewpoints
By Roger Pielke Sr, WUWT, Aug 23, 2013
Scientists and motivated reasoning
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc., Aug 20, 2013
Challenging the Orthodoxy
IPCC caught out with an old, known, and uncorrected error pending their new AR5 report
By Tony Thomas, WUWT, Aug 19, 2013
Report Indicates IPCC Ignore Facts and Failed Predictions To Claim Better Results
By Tim Ball, A Different Perspective, Aug 18, 2013
[SEPP Comment: Is it very likely, or virtually certain, that the actual scientific chapter will not present the science supporting the greater than 95% figure that is reported to be in the Summary for Policymakers?]
The Medieval Warm Period in the Arctic
By Craig Idso, WUWT, Aug 23, 2013
MIT Economist on Bogus Climate Damage Functions
By Robert Murphy, IER, Aug 21, 2013
By Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post, CA, Aug 22, 2013 [H/t WUWT]
Top economist, a true believer in global warming, proves predictions of catastrophe are meaningless.
Polar bears have not been harmed by sea ice declines in summer – the evidence
By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Aug 18, 2013
The 95% Certainty
95 percent confidence: in HEP vs IPCC
By Luboš Motl, The Reference Frame, Aug 17, 2013
The ’95% certainty’ is that the IPCC can’t be trusted
By John McLean, Quadrant, Aug 23, 2013
When somebody hits you with that new ‘IPCC is 95% certain’ talking point on global warming, show them this
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Aug 20, 2013
The UN is 95% sure on AGW while unable to explain why there has been no warming over past 16 years
By Staff Writers, ICECAP, Aug 21, 2013
Climate Panel Cites Near Certainty on Warming
By Justin Gillis, NYT, Aug 19, 2013 [H/t Paul Sheridan]
Scientists nearly certain that humans have caused global warming
By Darryl Fears, Washington Post, Aug 20, 2013 [H/t Conrad Potemra]
Defending the Orthodoxy
Leaked climate report: Ten nuggets worth noting
By Jason Samenow, Washington Post, Aug 20, 2013 [Ht Anne Debeil]
Scientists Turn to Melted Ice to Make Climate-Change Case
By Jim Efstathiou Jr, Bloomberg, Aug 20, 2013 [H/t Climate Depot]
[SEPP Comment: Would the IPCC evade the issue of no surface warming for at least 15 years? Of course, use proxy data!]
European forests nearing carbon-saturation point
By Alister Doyle, Reuters, Aug 18, 2013 [H/t Clyde Spencer}
Link to paper First signs of carbon sink saturation in European forest biomass
By Nabuurs, et al., Nature Climate Change Aug 18, 2013
[SEPP Comment: Time to start re-cycling the trees!]
Extreme weather, climate and the carbon cycle
By Staff Writers, Dresden, Germany (SPX), Aug 19, 2013
Separating Science From Spin on the Global-Warming ‘Pause’
What’s causing a temporary slowdown in planetary warming, and why should anyone worry that more warming is coming?
By Patrick Reis and Marina Koren, National Journal, Aug 21, 2013 [H/t WUWT]
[SEPP Comment: The excuse of the day.]
Questioning the Orthodoxy
German Meteorologists Ridiculing IPCC – PIK Science: “Climate Hysterics Are Back…Coming Out Of Their Caves”
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Aug 18, 2013
How global warming research is like pot research
By Robert Brown, WUWT, Aug 22, 2013
[SEPP Comment: Amusing simile.]
The looming peril of global talling
By Mal Wedd, Quadrant, Aug 22, 2013
[SEPP Comment: Amusing take on claims such as the hottest decade every.]
Climate Reductio ad Absurdum
By Alan Caruba, Warning Signs, Aug 21, 2013
Lawmakers want answers on ‘social cost of carbon’ decision
By Ben Goad, The Hill, Aug 21, 2013
[SEPP Comment: The Federal agencies are incapable of producing a validated model that can predict the effects on carbon dioxide on climate. Yet, they claim they can calculate the costs of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide, the influence of which they cannot predict.]
Shocker: Global warming may simply be an artifact of clean air laws
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Aug 19, 2013
The day the Global Warming death spiral began
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Aug 20, 2013
The Great Global Warming Con
Pointman’s His Blog, Aug 23, 2013
Up to our ears in Al Gore’s ‘climate change’ snake oil
By Wesley Pruden, Washington Times, Aug 23, 2013
Seeking a Common Ground
Climate Change Statement
Proposed for adoption, Submitted to members to review.
By Brad Pillans, Past President, tag (The Australian Geologist), Geological Society of Australia, Dec 2012 pp 6 & 7
Referenced paper: Trends, rhythms, and aberrations in global climate
By Zachos, et al, 2001 Science 292: p 686-693 (April 27, 2001)
Follow Up Q&A From Senate EPW
By Roger Pielke Jr., His Blog, Aug 21, 2013
On the Cloud Thermostat Hypothesis
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Aug 22, 2013
Revisiting Wood’s 1909 Greenhouse Box Experiment: Part I
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Aug 23, 2013
[SEPP Comment: Yes, there is a greenhouse effect. The issue is, how significantly will adding atmospheric carbon dioxide increase it? Spencer points out a major flaw in an experiment that is cited to disprove a greenhouse effect.]
JC on NPR
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc., Aug 22, 2013
[SEPP Comment: The National Public Radio theme: above all things let us avoid letting the public know about tremendous uncertainty in climate science.]
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc., Aug 19, 2013
IPCC Chooses Option No. 3
By Paul Knappenberger and Patrick Michaels, Cato, Aug 22, 2013
Expanding the Orthodoxy
USGS moves to create climate change vulnerability database
By Zack Colman, The Hill, Aug 20, 2013
[SEPP Comment: Will it include the dangers of global cooling?]
Questioning European Green
Times Leader: Protest vs Truth in the Battle of Balcombe
Editorial, The Times, via GWPF, Aug 19, 2013
Europe’s Renewable Energy: The Law of Unintended Consequences
By Peter Glover, Energy Tribune, Aug 20, 2013
Fracking Will Cut Energy Bills, Says Poverty Chief
By Tim Webb, The Times, via GWPF, Aug 21, 2013
Europe’s Gas Power Plant Carnage Intensifies
By Sonal Patel, Power Mag, Aug 22, 2013
Questioning Green Elsewhere
The Greening And Un-Greening Of Genetically-Improved Food
By Larry Bell, Forbes, Aug 18, 2013
[SEPP Comment: Creation of the green industry and its shameless attacks on the development of more bountiful and nutritious food.]
Forest-Interior Birds May be Benefiting from Harvested Clearings
By Staff Writers, Irvine PA (SPX), Aug 23, 2013
Green Energy is Part of the Past, not Fuel for the Future
By Viv Forbes, Carbon Sense, Aug 21, 2013
[SEPP Comment: Begins with a description of life without fossil fuels.]
More evidence that green jobs are illusory
By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Aug 22, 2013
[SEPP Comment: The complete study is in German.]
Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?
Coastal flood damage could soar to $1tn a year by 2050
Guangzhou, Miami and New York at greatest risk as a result of climate change and population growth, study shows
By Mark Tran, Guardian, UK, Aug 20, 2013
Climate models predict hard times ahead for global food production
By Freya Roberts, The Carbon Brief, Aug 21, 2013
Link to paper: Climate change impacts on global agriculture
By Calzadilla et al., Climate Change, September, 2013
[SEPP Comment: Temperature projections from extreme un-validated models.]
How shale fracking led to an Ohio town’s first 100 earthquakes
By Staff Writers, London, UK (SPX), Aug 21, 2013
[SEPP Comment: The minor earth quakes were caused by injection of waste water, not fracking. Why not by stop injection of wastewater?]
Task force: Coasts should prepare for rising seas
By David Caruso and Megan Barr, AP, Aug 19, 2013 [H/t Timothy Wise]
[SEPP Comment: Sound advice, but be prepared for hyperbole from climate modelers. No evidence of increased frequency.]
Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
National Geographic’s Junk Science: How long will it take for sea level rise to reach midway up the Statue of Liberty?
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Aug 20, 2013
Unraveling the mystery of ‘Gasland’ director Josh Fox’s drilling lease
By Sean Higgins, Washington Examiner, Aug 21, 2013
Communicating Better to the Public – Go Personal.
Arctic sea ice and extreme weather
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc., Aug 21, 2013
[SEPP Comment: Sound advice from Curry to those who try to defend their work by going personal.]
The Genetic Fallacy: He Works For An Oil Company!
By William Briggs, His Blog, Aug 23, 2013
[SEPP Comment: A different term with good examples of the logical fallacy generally taught as “argumentum ad verecundiam” or transfer.]
Welcome to the Age of Denial
Op-Ed, By Adam Frank, NYT, Aug 21, 2013
[SEPP Comment: Perhaps the good Mr. Frank should check the history of climate change that occurred before his birth, prior to lecturing us on the disaster of Lysenkoism. What are the fundamental issues in climate science that were decided scientifically decades ago? That climate change is real and occurring? It’s been doing so without human help for hundreds of millions of years and will continue to do so long after we are gone.]
Models v. Observations
Climate Expert von Storch: Why Is Global Warming Stagnating?
Interview by Olaf Stampf and Gerald Traufetter, Trans. Ella Ornstein, Spiegel, Jun 30, 2013 [H/t Tom Burch]
Von Storch on the models again
By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Aug 23, 2013
Available evidence: surface temperatures
By Steven Mosher, Climate, Etc., Aug 18, 2013
[SEPP Comments: Explaining some of the updates from the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project.]
2899 Record cold temps vs 667 record warm temps in U.S. — From July 24 to August 19
By Marc Morano, Climate Depot, Aug 21, 2013 [H/t William Readdy]
[SEPP Comment: Is Nature preparing for the next IPCC report?]
Extreme Temperatures in Oregon: The Seneca Oddity
By Cliff Mass, His Blog, Aug 20, 2013
[SEPP Comment: On July 21, high, dry Seneca went from minus 30F (minus 34C) to 96F (35C) in one day.]
Rapid cooling triggered Bronze-Age collapse and Greek Dark Age
By Robert Felix, Ice Age Now, May 20, 2013
Link to paper: The influence of climate change on the Late Bronze Age Collapse and the Greek Dark Ages
By Brandon Drake, Journal of Archaeological Science, Jan 26, 2013
[SEPP Comment: The suddenly fashionable paper discussed climate change, not the more specific climate cooling.]
Hindcasting climate shifts in the Pacific
Posted by Anthony Watts, WUWT, Aug 22, 2013
Link to paper: Hindcast of the 1976/77 and 1998/99 climate shifts in the Pacific
By Ding, et al., Journal of Climate,
Did an ice sheet collapse 120,000 years ago pushing sea levels up to 9m higher than today?
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Aug 19, 2013
Link to paper: Ice sheet collapse following a prolonged period of stable sea level during the last interglacial
By O’Leary, et al., Nature Geoscience, Jul 28, 2013
[SEPP Comment: The proposed, dramatic rise in sea levels from natural causes is based on analysis of the coast line of Western Australia (WA). Temperature units are in C. Does such a dramatic increase in sea levels appear in the geological record elsewhere in the world?]
CLIMATE CHANGE made sea levels FALL in 2010 and 2011
All the water basically got dumped on Australia, say boffins
By Lewis Page, The Register, Aug 20, 2013 [H/t GWPF]
[SEPP Comment: The hazards of extrapolating from short term data.]
Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice
Sea ice decline spurs the greening of the Arctic
By Staff Writers, Univ. of Alaska Geophysical Institute, Aug 21, 2013 [H/t WUWT]
[SEPP Comment: Vegetation prefers non-frozen land to ice?]
UM Scientists Use New Approach to Reveal Function of Greenland’s Ice Sheet
By Staff Writers, Missoula MT (SPX), Aug 22, 2013
Link to paper: Basal Drainage System Response to Increasing Surface Melt on the Greenland Ice Sheet
By T. Meierbachtol, J. Harper, N. Humphrey, Science, Aug 16, 2013
[SEPP Comment: The article states future warming will be enhanced over the Arctic. It does not mention that warming should be occurring over the tropics or the Antarctic and it is not.]
Open water at the North Pole
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Aug 22, 2013
[SEPP Comment: Amusing bit of history.]
Rising mountains, cooling oceans prompted spread of invasive species 450 million years ago
By Staff Writers, Athens OH (SPX), Aug 23, 2013
Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine
Genetic Engineering Produces A Genuine Monstrosity
By Henry I. Miller and Drew L. Kershen, Forbes, Aug 14, 2013 [H/t NCPA]
How will crops fare under climate change?
By Morgan Kelly, Princeton NJ (SPX), Aug 20, 2013
[SEPP Comment: Why not consult the reports of NIPCC and CO2 Science that are based on observations?]
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC
For a full list of articles see www.NIPCCreport.org
Developmental Thermal Acclimation in a Species of Damselfish
Reference: Grenchik, M.K., Donelson, J.M. and Munday, P.L. 2013. Evidence for developmental thermal acclimation in the damsel fish, Pomacentrus moluccensis. Coral Reefs 32: 85-90.
Deficiencies of Modeled Temperature Extremes
Reference: Morak, S., Hegerl, G.C. and Christidis, N. 2013. Detectable changes in the frequency of temperature extremes. Journal of Climate 26: 1561-1574.
Proper Modeling of the Seychelles Dome: Is Progress Being Made?
Reference: Nagura, M., Sasaki, W., Tozuka, T., Luo, J.-J., Behera, S.K. and Yamagata, T. 2013. Longitudinal biases in the Seychelles Dome simulated by 35 ocean-atmosphere coupled general circulation models. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 118: 831-846.
Impacts of Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment on Salt-Stressed Barley
Reference: Perez-Lopez, U., Robredo, A., Miranda-Apodaca, J., Lacuesta, M., Muñoz-Rueda, A. and Mena-Petite, A. 2013. Carbon dioxide enrichment moderates salinity-induced effects on nitrogen acquisition and assimilation and their impact on growth in barley plants. Environmental and Experimental Botany 87: 148-158.
The Political Games Continue
An inconvenient chill
Global-warming proponents will face a day of reckoning on Capitol Hill
Editorial, Washington Times, Aug, 23, 2013
GAO to review how administration developed ‘social cost’ of carbon
By Julian Hattem, The Hill, Aug 19, 2013
House GOP readies September probe of Obama’s climate plan
By Ben Geman, The Hill, Aug 22, 2013
Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes
It’s Not Gridlock That is Blocking a Carbon Tax, It’s Science and Economics
By Jeff Reynolds, FreedomWorks,, Aug 23, 2013
Subsidies and Mandates Forever
Spanish players look to new markets
By Jason Deign, Wind Energy Update, Aug 19, 2013
[SEPP Comment: “One of the world’s most vibrant wind and solar industry” cannot survive without subsidies.]
EPA and other Regulators on the March
How Lisa Jackson skirted Obama’s good-government pledge
By Timothy Carney, Washington Examiner, Aug 17, 2013
[SEPP Comment: The EPA considers itself exempt from certain laws and regulations.]
New evidence points to former EPA official pushing pre-emptive Pebble Mine veto
By M.D. Kittle, Washington Examiner, Aug 18, 2013
Tougher oversight needed for appliance standards program, internal watchdog says
By Zack Colman, The Hill, Aug 21, 2013
Energy Issues – Non-US
German energy giants pull plug on conventional power
By Staff Writers, Mail & Guardian, Aug 18, 2013 [H/t GWPF]
Energy Strategy: Begin with Density
By Jerry Graf, Master Resource, Aug 21, 2013
[SEPP Comment: For electricity the first principle should be dispatchability, reliable delivery when needed.]
Will the New Luddites Destroy Britain’s Industrial Future?
By Douglas Carswell, Telegraph, UK, via GWPF, Aug 18, 2013
Energy Issues — US
ANNUAL ENERGY OUTLOOK 2013
Levelized Cost of New Generation Resources in the Annual Energy Outlook 2013
By Staff Writers, EIA, Jan 28, 2013
Washington’s Control of Energy
Keystone XL Lobbying: Too Important to Fail Again
Pipeline supporters must argue from strength.
By Tom Harris, PJ Media, Aug 22, 2013
Will the Keystone XL Decision Be Based on Incorrect Assumptions?
By: Geoffrey Styles, Energy Tribune, Aug 21, 2013
[SEPP Comment: A cynic may consider that the administration is intentionally delaying a decision in order to continue raising political contributions.]
Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
The View from Marcellus
Fracking brings breathtaking economic and environmental benefits—at least to places that welcome it.
By James Panero, City, Summer 2013
[SEPP Comment: A long article on the change in prosperity from developing gas from dense shale, and its opponents. The author errs a bit on his history. George Mitchell developed the technique of using hydraulic fracturing, sand, and a small amount of chemicals to keep the fractures in dense shale open to allow the gas to flow. It was when Devon Energy bought Mitchell’s company when precision horizontal drilling was employed.]
19th Century Frac Job: Oil Well Torpedoing (and a ‘grievous’ government monopoly)
By Robert Bradley Jr, Master Resource, Aug 20, 2013
Another Peak Oil Fad, Part 1
By Donn Dears, Power for USA, Aug 20, 2013
Another Peak Oil Fad, Part 2
By Donn Dears, Power for USA, Aug 23, 2013
Shale grab in US stalls as falling values repel buyers
By Staff Writer, Bloomberg, Aug 19, 2013
[SEPP Comment: It is called adjusting decisions to anticipated profit.]
Return of King Coal?
Model of Failure: Why the European Union Emissions Trading System is an Unsustainable Path for Australia and other nations
By Frank Clemente, Energy Facts Weekly, Aug 22, 2013
Powering Europe’s Digital Growth: Arctic Water & U.S. Coal
By Mark Mills, Energy Facts, Aug 19, 2013
Nuclear Energy and Fears
A Nuclear Reactor Competitive with Natural Gas
General Atomics has applied for DOE funds to commercialize a nuclear reactor that could lower electricity costs by 40 percent. [H/t Toshio Fujita]
By Kevin Bullis, MIT Technology Review, Aug 19, 2013
Japan’s nuclear crisis deepens, China expresses ‘shock’
By Kiyoshi Takenaka and James Topham, Reuters, Aug 21, 2013
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind
New rechargeable flow battery enables cheaper, large-scale energy storage
Design may support widespread use of solar and wind energy.
By Jennifer Chu, MIT News, Aug 16, 2013 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
Wind Turbine Giant Hits Turbulence
By Walter Russell Mead, Via Meadia, Aug 22, 2013 [H/t GWPF]
You can fire as many chief officers as you’d like, but until the technology improves, the future won’t look any brighter than the fairly grim present.
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other
US Interior Department Announcement Will Help To Advance Geothermal
By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), Aug 20, 2013
[SEPP Comment: According to the EIA, of the dispatchable sources of power, Geothermal has a levelized cost greater than combined cycle natural gas, but less than advanced nuclear. Now can we make it work? Of course, no word on improving access to Federally controlled lands for development of oil and gas.]
An Inexpensive Fuel-Cell Generator
A startup says its technical advances could make fuel cells as cheap as grid power.
By Kevin Bullis, MIT Technology Review, Aug 22, 2013
Health, Energy, and Climate
Infectious diseases and climate change intersect with no simple answers
By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), Aug 19, 2013
Too Damn Sure: The Epidemiologist Fallacy
By William Briggs, His Blog, Aug 21, 2013
[SEPP Comment: Includes a few examples where extremely poor statistics are being used to justify regulations under Clean Air Acts.]
Hockey graph was faulty science
By Christopher Monckton, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Aug 20, 2013
IPCC throws Mann’s Hockey Stick under the bus?
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Aug 21, 2013
[SEPP Comment: Montford also points out that the leaked text implies the Medieval Warm Period was warmer than today.]
Greens press EPA to revoke ‘outdated’ emissions exemption
By Zack Colman, The Hill, Aug 19, 2013
[SEPP Comment: Punishing the power sources that provide the back-up for unreliable solar and wind.]
Top 10 jumbo foundation grants fund Big Green
By Ron Arnold, Washington Examiner, Aug 15, 2013
50-year-old fracking site that makes a mockery of the Balcombe zealots:
It’s next to a nature reserve – and has fracked enough gas and oil to power 21,000 homes every day… with no complaints from locals
There has been fracking near Beckingham Marshes since 1963
The site employs 35 people and pumps 300 barrels of oil a day
Locals say there have been no environmental problems from the site
By Adam Lusher and Wayne Francis, Mail, UK, Aug 17, 2013 [H/t GWPF]
Drilling set to resume at fracking site as protesters quit site: Three more arrested but numbers dwindle
Police make targeted arrests after reviewing CCTV from Monday’s protest
Eight riot-trained officers arrest female suspect on suspicion of assault
Protesters say they will move on to sites where drilling is being considered
Caudrilla planning to resume drilling by the end of the week
By Ryan Kisiel, Mail, UK, Aug 21, 2013 [H/t GWPF]
Other Scientific News
A Discussion With Astronaut Bonnie Dunbar: Re-Engineering America’s Space Leadership
By Larry Bell, Forbes, Aug 20, 2013
Improving Understanding of Snowball Earth
By Nola Taylor Reddfor Astrobiology Magazine, Moffet Field CA (SPX), Aug 19, 2013
[SEPP Comment: Thankful for global warming.]
Other News that May Be of Interest
The world’s future tallest skyscrapers: who will be first to break the 1,000-meter mark?
By Staff Writers, Hamburg, Germany (SPX), Aug 22, 2013
[SEPP Comment: It will not be in Europe or North America.]
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
Al Gore makes a Category 6 level blunder
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Aug 22, 2013
Link to interview: Gore Optimistic About Stopping Global Warming
By Ezra Klein, Washington Post, Aug 22, 2013
[SEPP Comment: Apparently the neither the reporter nor Nobel Peace Prize recipient Al Gore are aware that change in the physical state of H2O requires energy or gives off energy.]
Beetles modify emissions of greenhouse gases from cow pats
By Eleanor Slade, EurekAlert, Aug 22, 2013 [H/t WUWT]
Friday Funny: Fracking protestors and their petro-sourced belongings
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Aug 23, 2013
[SEPP Comment: Reminds one of those who emotionally declare their demands to preserve the precious Arctic without ever having spent a winter there without modern equipment. Several days without electricity and modern equipment gets very cold and boring, not to speak of months.]