Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

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The Week That Was: 2013-12-07 (December 7, 2013) Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project

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Quote of the Week: • “Absolute certainty is a privilege of uneducated minds-and fanatics. It is, for scientific folk, an unattainable ideal.” Cassius J. Keyser, American Mathematician

Number of the Week: 1 million and 1.3 million

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THIS WEEK:

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

Ethanol and Biomass: This week, SEPP made a presentation at an EPA hearing on the 2014 renewable fuel standards (RFS) and 2015 biomass-based diesel volume. The purpose is to establish the annual percentage standards for cellulosic, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuels for 2014. A secondary purpose is to determine the applicable national volume of biomass-based diesel required for 2015. The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 does not establish standards for the latter beyond 2012.

The principal conflict is that the nation has hit the “blend wall.” Gasoline consumption is down, and the ethanol volume required by the act would necessitate that the percentage of ethanol mixed with gasoline to exceed 10%. EPA has the discretionary authority to reduce the volume requirement and is considering doing so. The automobile manufacturers and the petroleum industry have requested such a reduction, arguing that a higher ethanol percentage would be potentially damaging to gasoline engines.

SEPP’s comments were a shift in approach in addressing such issues before a potentially adversarial, non-technical audience. Rather than arguing that the EPA science is wrong, the comments argued that the science is out of date. It has been superseded by events. The three lines of evidence presented by the EPA in its Endangerment Finding no longer support the finding. The distinct human fingerprint (pronounced warming of the atmosphere above the tropics) cannot be found, the claimed unprecedented and dangerous global surface warming stopped 16 years ago, and the models are unreliable because they failed to predict that warming would stop.

Similarly, the 2007 mandate was passed by a Congress during a time in which its judgment was clouded by two fears: 1) increased dependence on imported oil from unstable regions and 2) global warming from CO2 emissions endangering human health and welfare. Both fears are out of date, rendering the standards obsolete.

There were 144 speakers listed. As can be expected, the majority of speakers were from the corn-to-ethanol industry and the biofuel industry who opposed the volume reduction. The Governor of Iowa denounced the proposed change stating the administration is unduly influenced by big oil – no doubt a surprise to the petroleum lobby.

The principle arguments opposing the RFS reduction included: green jobs, ethanol is cheaper than gasoline, ethanol helps rural America, national security, global warming, big oil is manipulating the EPA, etc.

Those supporting the reduction and some who oppose the RFS altogether included representatives from the food industry and gasoline station owners. The arguments included that ethanol and biofuels are driving up food prices and that ethanol is a burden to gas station owners.

A special panel two members of the House of Representatives spoke. Rep. Goodlatte (R-VA), who is the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and Vice Chairman of the Agriculture Committee, spoke strongly against the RFS and presented a letter signed by some 190 members of the House, stating that the RFS will be revisited in 2014. Rep. Goodlatte stated that although the RFS is beneficial to the corn industry, overall it is distorting the markets for food, feed, and fuel. He asserted there must be a better way to help the corn industry.

The real surprise was Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) who, as a freshman Congressman, was one of the authors of the 2007 RFS. He stated the RSF was “a well-intentioned flop.” Also, he complained that ethanol ruined his chainsaw, a common complaint by owners of two cycle engines. See links under Green Jobs, EPA and other Regulators on the March, and Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy – Other.

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Fossil Fuel Subsidies: Promoters of wind and other alternative forms of energy in Western countries are again bring up world-wide fossil fuel subsidies. As discussed in the April 6 and April 13 TWTWs and in an article by Bjorn Lomborg carried in the November 12 TWTW, 75% of the subsidies occur in 12 countries. The 5 major ones are, in order, Iran ($82 billion), Saudi Arabia ($61 billion), Russia, India, China (between $30 to $40 billion), and Venezuela, Egypt, Iraq, U.A.E., Indonesia, Mexico and Algeria making up the rest. The subsidies occur by state controlled oil companies of these countries selling oil products below world market prices. In Venezuela gasoline costs as little as 1.5 cents a gallon, unofficial exchange rate, up to 5.6 cents a gallon for premium, official exchange rate. Since politicians of these countries choose to subsidize petroleum to promote political stability, should Western politicians subsidize unreliable solar and wind to promote grid instability? See the prior TWTWs and links under Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

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Changing Change: First it was the fear of global warming. When that stopped, the orthodoxy tried climate disruption, then climate change, which has been ongoing for hundreds of millions of years. Now, the US National Research Council has come up with a new fear – abrupt climate change. How a gradual increase of carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in the atmosphere causes abrupt climate change is not well explained, but the label may stick this time! The real issue at stake is not the fear, but the loss of credibility of once vaunted scientific institutions that produce statements such as: Climate is changing, forced out of the range of the past million years by levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases not seen in the Earth’s atmosphere for a very, very long time. Lacking action by the world’s nations, it is clear that the planet will be warmer, sea level will rise, and patterns of rainfall will change. See links under Defending the Orthodoxy.

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Lost? Judith Curry discussed an article asserting that science has lost its way. The article deals with rewards for researchers in life sciences and that many splashy research results cannot be reproduced. Curry divides research into four types and suggests rewards structures should be tailored according to the specific type of research. When discussing climate research, she further states: In terms of money being thrown down a rathole for climate research, … that taxonomical studies of model-based regional impacts rests on the premise that climate models provide useful information for regional impact studies, and they do not. Well put. Studies based on long term projections from un-validated climate models have little value. See link under Seeking a Common Ground.

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Uncertainty: On the Plos blog, Tamsin Edwards has a post on uncertainty and how people perceive it. It is based on a conference on “Communicating Risk and Uncertainty around Climate Change.” Nine attitudes are discussed including people have a finite pool of worry, often interpret uncertainty as ignorance, and are uncomfortable with uncertainty. One of the points made was how to respond if a journalist asks: “What does it mean to increase from 90% confident to 95% confident?”, a scientist could make this clearer with “[We think] the chance climate change is natural is now half as likely as before.”

Of course, such a response is not improvement in the issue. As the models, on which the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) heavily relies, diverge further from actual observations, the IPCC has expressed greater certainty in its work. In effect, as the public has greater reason to doubt the work, the IPCC insists that it is more certain. No wonder its climate scientists need special conferences on communicating better with the public. Expression of a little doubt may be helpful. See link under Seeking a Common Ground.

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Extreme Weather: Although the year has not ended, it appears to be a dud for those claiming more, extreme weather events. US tornados are down, the hurricane season was uneventful, and major global tropical cyclones making landfall are down. Roger Pielke Jr. posted the latest cyclone statistics with a link to the work by Ryan Maue of WeatherBell Analytics. The Global and Northern Hemisphere Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) does not justify the claims of more extreme weather events. In January, it will be interesting to review the financial report of Munich Re, the large reinsurance firm. One must wonder if the rather tame weather is what the National Research Council defines as abrupt climate change. See link under changing weather and http://models.weatherbell.com/tropical.php

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Earthquakes: On an amusing note, the UK newspaper, Independent, reported that, during an American football game, the Seattle Seahawk fans created such an uproar that the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network detected vibrations that measured between magnitude 1 and 2 earthquake. One wonders how this compares with earthquakes reported occurring from hydraulic fracturing of dense shale. Please see link under Changing Earth.

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Number of the Week: 1 million and 1.3 million. The Wall Street Journal reports that the daily oil production from the Bakken formation in North Dakota will pass 1 million barrels per day (bbd) this month and the production from the Eagle Ford formation in Texas is approaching 1.3 million bbd. In January 2009, the production from the Bakken was about 100,000 bbd and in 2009 the average production from Eagle Ford was 843 bbd. The Federal agencies, which control US government land, have yet to finish the regulations on smart drilling that they claim are necessary to permit hydraulic fracturing on the lands they control. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bakken_Oil_Production_ND.png

and http://www.rrc.state.tx.us/eagleford/EagleFordOilProduction.pdf

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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. In Fracking, Sand Is the New Gold

Energy Boom Fuels Demand for Key Ingredient Used in Drilling Wells; 100 Sand Mines in Wisconsin

By Alison Sider and Kristin Jones, WSJ, Dec 2, 2013

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304868404579194250973656942?mod=WSJ_Energy_2_4_Right

2. Moving Crude by Railcar Stalls on the Track

Heightened Safety Concerns, Slow Permit Approval Hinder Some Firms’ Efforts

By Alison Sider, WSJ, Dec 5, 2013

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303332904579224000594400852?mod=WSJ_Energy

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NEWS YOU CAN USE:

Science: Is the Sun Rising?

IPCC Finds The Important Natural Climate Driver – Solar Surface Radiation Intensity – But Then Ignores It!

By D.E. Koelle, Posted by P. Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Dec 1, 2013

http://notrickszone.com/2013/12/01/ipcc-finds-the-important-natural-climate-driver-solar-surface-radiation-intensity-but-then-ignores-and-buries-it/

Decisive for the climate and temperature changes is not the solar irradiance at the edge of the atmosphere, rather it is the amount of solar energy that makes it to the Earth’s surface.

Challenging the Orthodoxy

Václav Klaus: French criticism of the global warming champions’ fanaticism

Review of Pascal Bruckner’s book “The Fanaticism of the Apocalypse” by the Czech ex-president

Translation by Luboš Motl, The Reference Frame, Dec 5, 2013

http://motls.blogspot.com/2013/12/vaclav-klaus-french-criticism-of-global.html

The Best the IPCC Can Do

If a slick video and the IPCC’s latest inaccurate and untruthful arguments are the best it can do to demonstrate a dangerous warming problem, its advice should be ignored and funding withdrawn

By Bob Carter, Quadrant, Dec 4, 2013

http://quadrant.org.au/opinion/doomed-planet/2013/12/26217/

German Scientists Show Climate Driven By Natural Cycles – Global Temperature To Drop To 1870 Levels By 2100!

Climate reveals periodic nature, thus no influence by CO2

By H. Luedecke and C.O. Weiss, Posted by P. Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Dec 3, 2013

http://notrickszone.com/2013/12/03/german-scientists-show-climate-driven-by-natural-cycles-global-temperature-to-drop-to-1870-levels-by-2100/

[SEPP Comment: Open to challenge.]

Defending the Orthodoxy

Panel Says Global Warming Carries Risk of Deep Changes

By Justin Gillis, NYT, Dec 3, 2013

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/04/science/earth/panel-says-global-warming-risks-sudden-deep-changes.html?utm_source=Weekly+Carbon+Briefing&utm_campaign=bcc9de284f-Carbon_Brief_Weekly_18_7_137_18_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3ff5ea836a-bcc9de284f-215218249&_r=0

Link to the report: Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises (2013)

By Committee on Understanding and Monitoring Abrupt Climate Change and Its Impacts; Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate; Division on Earth and Life Studies; National Research Council

National Academies Press, No Date

http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=18373&utm_source=Weekly+Carbon+Briefing&utm_campaign=bcc9de284f-Carbon_Brief_Weekly_18_7_137_18_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3ff5ea836a-bcc9de284f-215218249

Continuing with pledge pathways to 2030 could push climate goals out of reach

By Staff Writers, IIASA, Dec 3, 2013 [H/t WUWT]

http://www.iiasa.ac.at/web/home/about/news/20131203-ClimatePledges.en.html

[SEPP Comment: An imaginary climate goal is always out of reach.]

Questioning the Orthodoxy

A Theory Ready for Extinction

Don’t worry too much over those warmist predictions that millions of species will soon be lost to climate change. Judging by their methods it is the doomsayers who are the real dodos

By David Stockwell, Quadrant, Dec 3, 2013

http://quadrant.org.au/opinion/doomed-planet/2013/12/theory-fit-extinction/

Blaming the developed world for the forces of nature

Bad science puts rich nations on the hook for trillions in climate liabilities

By Tom Harris and Madhav Khandekar, Washington Times, Dec 3, 2013

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/dec/3/harris-and-khandekar-blaming-the-developed-world-f/

Same old New Scientist

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Dec 5, 2013

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2013/12/5/same-old-new-scientist.html

Global-warming ‘proof’ is evaporating

By Michael Fumento, New York Post, Dec 5, 2013

http://nypost.com/2013/12/05/global-warming-proof-is-evaporating/

Majority rules on climate science?

By Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe, Dec 4, 2013 [H/t Timothy Wise

http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2013/12/04/climate-alarmists-science-isn-settled-majority-vote/CZEk7XP10TfvpiiJ04zulK/story.html

Mail wars: Heartland -vs- the AMS

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Dec 2, 2013

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/12/02/mail-wars-heartland-vs-the-ams/

UN’s war on coal threatens environmental progress in world’s desperate regions

By Donna Laframboise, Financial Post, Dec 3, 2013

http://opinion.financialpost.com/2013/12/03/uns-war-on-coal-threatens-environmental-progress-in-worlds-desperate-regions/

Yes, The Overheated Climate Crisis Debate Is Settled. So Chill Out And Relax

By Larry Bell, Forbes, Dec 3, 2013

http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2013/12/03/yes-the-overheated-climate-crisis-debate-is-settled-so-chill-out-and-relax/

Problems in the Orthodoxy

The Poor Need Cheap Fossil Fuels

By Bjorn Lomborg, NYT, Dec 3, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/04/opinion/the-poor-need-cheap-fossil-fuels.html

Europe Climate Policy Blows Engine…”Giant Failure” … Scientists “Failed Tricking Their Way Past Democracy” … Mood Of Resignation

By P. Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Nov 30, 2013

http://notrickszone.com/2013/11/30/europe-climate-policy-blows-engine-huge-failure-scientists-failed-tricking-their-way-past-democracy-mood-of-resignation/

Leading Climate Policy Advisor On Warsaw: “A Failure Even When Measured By Lowest Expectations…2°C Target Failed”

By P. Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Dec 2, 2013

http://notrickszone.com/2013/12/02/leading-climate-policy-advisor-on-warsaw-a-failure-even-when-measured-by-lowest-expectations-2c-target-failed/

Poland argues for delay to EU 2030 climate package

By Sophie Yeo, RTCC, Dec 6, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.rtcc.org/2013/12/05/poland-argues-for-delay-to-eu-2030-climate-package/

Seeking a Common Ground

Has science lost its way?

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Dec 1, 2013

http://judithcurry.com/2013/12/01/has-science-lost-its-way/

Nine Lessons and Carols in Communicating Climate Uncertainty

By Tamsin Edwards, PLOS blogs, Dec 6, 2013 [H/t WUWT]

http://blogs.plos.org/models/nine-lessons-and-carols-in-communicating-climate-uncertainty/

Polar bear conservation: the next 10 years

By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Dec 3, 2013

http://polarbearscience.com/2013/12/03/polar-bear-conservation-the-next-10-years/

A recent genetic study indicated that polar bears survived the Eemian interglacial (130,000 to 115,000 years ago) with a relatively large population, despite much less ice than today. Computer models, on the other hand, predicted almost total extinction of polar bears under similar conditions.

There is no Denying Global Warming

By Donn Dears, Power for USA, Dec 6, 2013

http://dddusmma.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/there-is-no-denying-global-warming/

US Climate Variability and Predictability Program Science Plan

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Dec 5, 2013

http://judithcurry.com/2013/12/05/us-climate-variability-and-predictability-program-science-plan/

Link to US CLIVAR Science Plan:

http://usclivar.org/science_plan

Lowering Standards

Global Warming Consensus Crumbling

By clincher.]Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Dec 6, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/global-warming-consensus-crumbling/

[SEPP Comment: More on the poll by the AMS. The next to last paragraph is the clincher — “How worried are you about global warming?” Only 30% answered “very worried.”]

Questioning European Green

A £50 green energy tax cut is good news. The bad news? Britain will have to foot a £300BILLION eco-bill by 2030

By David Rose, Mail, UK, Nov 30, 2013 [H/t Bishop Hill]

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2516289/A-50-green-energy-tax-cut-good-news-The-bad-news-Britain-foot-300BILLION-eco-2030.html

800,000 people ‘lifted’ out of fuel poverty – by redefining it

By Tom Bawden, Independent, UK, Dec 2, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/800000-people-lifted-out-offuel-poverty–by-redefining-it-8976232.html

Britain’s £85 billion bill for climate policies

A new study claims Britain’s climate change initiatives are both ‘staggeringly costly and excessive’

By Robert Mendick, Telegraph, UK, Dec 1, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/10486223/Britains-85-billion-bill-for-climate-policies.html

Our enemy is not global warming. In Britain, people are dying of the cold

Everyone talks about the human cost of climate change. What about pensioners dying in the cold?

Editorial, The Spectator, Nov 30, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.spectator.co.uk/the-week/leading-article/9088931/winter-fuel/

German Households Face Annual €30 Billion Cost For Green Energy Subsidies

By Daniel Wetzel, Die Welt, Trans. Philipp Mueller, Dec 5, 2013

http://www.thegwpf.org/german-households-face-annual-e30-billion-cost-green-energy-subsidies/

Green Jobs

Green jobs: £1 million each

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Dec 5, 2013

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2013/12/5/green-jobs-1-million-each.html

EPA fuel mandate imperils biofuel industry, producers warn

By Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill, Dec 5, 2013

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/192138-epa-fuel-mandate-imperils-biofuel-producers

The proposal could threaten up to 8,000 jobs, Evans said

[SEPP Comment: A tiny number of green jobs compared with the jobs being created by the oil and gas industry, without subsidies or mandates.]

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

Antarctic fjords are climate-sensitive hotspots of diversity in a rapidly warming region

By Staff Writers, Manoa HI (SPX), Dec 06, 2013

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Antarctic_fjords_are_climate_sensitive_hotspots_of_diversity_in_a_rapidly_warming_region_999.html

The Choice May Be Global Warming Or A New Ice Age, Say Scientists

By Staff Writer, The National, UAE, Nov 30, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.thenational.ae/uae/science/the-choice-may-be-global-warming-or-a-new-ice-age-say-scientists#full

Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

Ex-NASA expert issues call for climate solutions

By Staff Writers, Washington (AFP). Dec 02, 2013

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Ex-NASA_expert_issues_call_for_climate_solutions_999.html

The warming of the past few decades “has brought global temperature close to if not slightly above the prior range of the Holocene,” he said, referring to the last 11,700 years of Earth history, since the end of the last Ice Age. ???

[SEPP Comment: The latest from James Hansen.]

When a tax is not a tax; when a subsidy is not a subsidy: the liberal-left’s Orwellian assault on our language

By James Delingpole, Telegraph, UK, Dec 6, 2013

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100249032/when-a-tax-is-not-a-tax-when-a-subsidy-is-not-a-subsidy-the-liberal-lefts-orwellian-assault-on-our-language/

Green fairies

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Dec 2, 2013

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2013/12/2/green-fairies.html

Australia at risk of severe consequences of climate change

By Staff Writers, Sydney (UPI), Dec 3, 2013

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Australia_at_risk_of_severe_consequences_of_climate_change_999.html

More droughts, heavier rains in warmer Europe, study

By Staff Writers, Paris (AFP), Dec 02, 2013

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/More_droughts_heavier_rains_in_warmer_Europe_study_999.html

Models v. Observations

In The Models Only! Leading German Experts Find “No Statistical Increase In Storm Frequency Or Intensity”

By P. Gosseelin, No Tricks Zone, Dec 6, 2013

http://notrickszone.com/2013/12/06/in-the-models-only-leading-german-experts-find-no-statistical-increase-in-storm-frequency-or-intensity/

Changing Weather

Global Tropical Cyclone Landfalls 2013

By Roger Pielke Jr, His Blog, Dec 6, 2013

http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2013/12/global-tropical-cyclone-landfalls-2013.html

Historical Temperature Trends in Asia (Excluding China and Russia)

By Staff Writers, SPPI & CO2 Science, Dec 4, 2013

http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/originals/historical_temperature_trends_in_asia.html

Rainfall to blame for decline in Arctic peregrines

By Staff Writers, Edmonton, Canada (SPX), Dec 06, 2013

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Rainfall_to_blame_for_decline_in_Arctic_peregrines_999.html

Changing Earth

NFL fans ’cause earthquake’ during game in Seattle

Simon Rice, Independent, UK, Dec 4, 2013

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/general/others/nfl-fans-cause-earthquake-during-game-in-seattle-8982971.html

Land clearing caused drop in rainfall in South West of Australia

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Dec 6, 2013

http://joannenova.com.au/2013/12/land-clearing-responsible-for-most-of-rainfall-decline-in-south-west-western-australia/

Acidic Waters

Arctic study shows key marine food web species at risk from increasing CO2

By Staff Writers, Exeter, UK (SPX), Dec 03, 2013

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Arctic_study_shows_key_marine_food_web_species_at_risk_from_increasing_CO2_999.html

[SEPP Comment: Copedods formed long ago when atmospheric CO2 was far higher than today. Some copedods live in freshwater swamps with pH as low as 4.]

Rising Ocean Acidification Leads to Anxiety in Fish

By Staff Writers, San Diego CA (SPX), Dec 06, 2013

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Rising_Ocean_Acidification_Leads_to_Anxiety_in_Fish_999.html

[SEPP Comment: Fish must have been neurotic when the atmosphere was many times richer in CO2 than today.]

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC

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

Climate Change Impacts on Wheat Production in Central Asia

Reference: Sommer, R., Glazirina, M., Yuldashev, T., Otarov, A., Ibraeva, M., Martynova, L., Bekenov, M., Kholov, B., Ibragimov, N., Kobilov, R., Karaev, S., Sultonov, M., Khasanova, F., Esanbekov, M., Mavlyanov, D., Isaev, S., Abdurahimov, S., Ikramov, R., Shezdyukova, L. and de Pauw, E. 2013. Impact of climate change on wheat productivity in Central Asia. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 178: 78-99.

http://nipccreport.org/articles/2013/dec/3dec2013a1.html

[SEPP Comment: Positive!]

The Strange “Global Warming” of the Antarctic Peninsula

Reference: Franzke, C. 2013. Significant reduction of cold temperature extremes at Faraday/Vernadsky station in the Antarctic Peninsula. International Journal of Climatology 33: 1070-1078.

http://nipccreport.org/articles/2013/dec/3dec2013a2.html

[SEPP Comment: It is not the heat but the relief from cold.]

Long-Term Effects of Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment on Plant-Insect Interactions

Reference: Stiling, P., Moon, D., Rossi, A., Forkner, R., Hungate, B.A., Day, F.P., Schroeder, R.E. and Drake, B. 2013. Direct and legacy effects of long-term elevated CO2 on fine root growth and plant-insect interactions. New Phytologist: 10.1111/nph.12295.

http://nipccreport.org/articles/2013/dec/3dec2013a4.html

[SEPP Comment: Greater resistance to insect damage.]

Modeling the South American Monsoon System

Reference: Jones, C. and Carvalho, L.M.V. 2013. Climate change in the South American Monsoon System: Present climate and CMIP5 projections. Journal of Climate 26: 6660-6678.

http://nipccreport.org/articles/2013/dec/4dec2013a1.html

Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes

U.N. carbon offset market seen ‘in a coma’ for years after Warsaw

By Susanna Twidale, Reuters, Nov 29, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://in.reuters.com/article/2013/11/29/us-un-carbon-idINBRE9AS0H520131129

UN $315 billion CDM carbon market comatose after Warsaw. It may last years

By Joe Nova, Her Blog, Dec 5, 2013

http://joannenova.com.au/2013/12/un-315billion-cdm-carbon-market-comatose-after-warsaw-it-may-last-years/#more-32079

[SEPP Comment: No one is bothering to keep the graph of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) current, as the market is collapsing.]

Subsidies and Mandates Forever

Centrica threatening to pull plug on £2bn offshore wind farm plan

British Gas owner Centrica prepares to abandon £2bn offshore wind farm plan because subsidies offered by the government are too low.

By Emily Gosden, Telegraph, UK, Nov 3, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/10423952/Centrica-threatening-to-pull-plug-on-2bn-offshore-wind-farm-plan.html

Ending the wind tax credit

A mature industry no longer needs taxpayer support

By Don Nickles, Washington Times, Dec 5, 2013

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/dec/5/nickles-ending-the-wind-tax-credit/

Erratic and arbitrary UK renewable subsidies are likely to end in failure

By Benny Peiser, City A.M. Dec 5, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.cityam.com/article/1386205621/erratic-and-arbitrary-uk-renewable-subsidies-are-likely-end-failure

EPA and other Regulators on the March

EPA’s New Overseer Of ‘Scientific Integrity': The Blind Leading The Blind

By Henry Miller, Forbes, Dec 4, 2013 [H/t Cooler Heads]

http://www.forbes.com/sites/henrymiller/2013/12/04/epas-new-overseer-of-scientific-integrity-the-blind-leading-the-blind/?utm_source=allactivity&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=20131204

The EPA has long been intellectually, scientifically and ethically bankrupt. Francesca Grifo will fit right in.

EPA Releases Draft Strategy Plan For Next Four Years

By Sonal Patel, Power News, Nov 27, 2013

http://www.powermag.com/epa-releases-draft-strategy-plan-for-next-four-years/?hq_e=el&hq_m=2796072&hq_l=10&hq_v=5e660500d0

Link to Plan: Draft FY 2014-2018 EPA Strategic Plan, Nov 19, 2013

http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OA-2013-0555-0002

Public Comment Period Nov 19, 2013 – Jan 3, 2014

EPA Power Plant Regulations: A Backdoor Energy Tax

By Nicolas Loris, Kevin Dayaratna and David W. Kreutzer, Heritage, Dec 5, 2013

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/12/epa-power-plant-regulations-a-backdoor-energy-tax

DOE official defends administration carbon capture rules

By Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill, Dec 3, 2013

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/191933-doe-official-defends-administration-carbon-capture-rules

[SEPP Comment: DOE has the EPA disease – false claims about commercially available technology.]

The Great Green Lie: CCS Today Is Not Like Scrubbers in the 1970s (Part II)

By William Yeatman, Master Resource, Dec 6, 2013

http://www.masterresource.org/2013/12/the-great-green-lie-ccs-today-is-not-like-scrubbers-in-the-1970s-part-ii-3/

Democrats push EPA to act fast on greenhouse gas

By Laura Barron-Lobez, The Hill, Dec 4, 2013

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/192105-democrats-push-epa-to-act-fast-on-greenhouse-gas

[SEPP Comment: HFCs are the new target. They replaced CFCs which were blamed for reduction of the ozone layer.]

Both parties reject EPA fire hydrant guidance

By Pete Kasperowicz, The Hill, Dec 2, 2013

http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/votes/191828-gop-dems-reject-epa-rule-on-fire-hydrants

[SEPP Comment: A 384-0 vote!]

Renewable debate has EPA over a barrel

By Jennifer Dlougy, San Antonio Express News, Dec 5, 2013

http://www.mysanantonio.com/business/eagle-ford-energy/article/Renewable-debate-has-EPA-over-a-barrel-5039614.php

Energy Issues – Non-US

Strangling Shale Gas In Europe

By Alan Riely, WSJ, Via GWPF, Dec 6, 2013

http://www.thegwpf.org/strangling-shale-gas-europe/

The energy imperative

By Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance, Dec 6, 2013

http://scientific-alliance.org/scientific-alliance-newsletter/energy-imperative

Europe’s energy price headache becoming a migraine – IEA

By Barbara Lewis, Reuters, Nov 29, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/29/eu-energy-price-idUSL5N0JE2OK20131129

2013’s Best News for U.S. Shale Gas Comes From…

By Dave Forest, Real Clear Energy, Dec 6, 2013

http://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2013/12/06/2013s_best_news_for_us_shale_gas_107392.html

The Importance of ROI

By Donn Dears, Power for USA, Dec 3, 2013

http://dddusmma.wordpress.com/2013/12/03/the-importance-of-roi/

Energy Issues — US

Most Renewable Growth Is in Wind

Editorial, Real Clear Energy, Dec 5, 2013 [H/t Cooler Heads]

http://www.realclearenergy.org/charticles/2013/12/05/most_renewalbe_growth_in_wind_107389.html

Almost all the growth in renewable energy over the last five years has been in wind capacity.

Power struggle: Green energy versus a grid that’s not ready

Minders of a fragile national power grid say the rush to renewable energy might actually make it harder to keep the lights on.

By Evan Halper, LA Times, Dec 2, 2013

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-grid-renewables-20131203,0,1019786.story#axzz2mQ824N10

More Bankruptcies Just Mark of ‘Success’ for Dept. of Energy

By Paul Chesser, NL&PC, Dec 4, 2013

http://nlpc.org/stories/2013/12/03/more-bankruptcies-just-mark-success-dept-energy

Washington’s Control of Energy

Pipeline or Not, Lots of Canadian Crude Oil is Headed to the US

By Marita Noon, Energy Tribune, Dec 2, 2013

http://www.energytribune.com/79841/pipeline-or-not-lots-of-canadian-crude-oil-is-headed-to-the-us-2#sthash.RmV6dLMP.dpbs

Billionaire ‘absolutely’ wants to sway Keystone XL decision

By Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill, Dec 2, 2013

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/191774-billionaire-absolutely-wants-to-sway-keystone-decision

Federal Agencies Threaten Fracking

By Staff Writers, NCPA, Dec 6, 2013

http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=23887&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=DPD

Link to report: Protecting the States’ Ability to Regulate Fracking

By Nicolas Loris, Heritage Foundation, Nov 19, 2013

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/11/protecting-the-states-ability-to-regulate-fracking

Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Energy’s future lies waiting in sea ice

By Sean Cockerham, Santa Fe News, Nov 30, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/energy-s-future-lies-waiting-in-sea-ice/article_855487f4-d414-5f17-8480-65ab0e696945.html

The Texas Hockey Stick: Charting The Lone Star Oil Boom

By Kathleen Hartnett-White and Vance Ginn, IBD, Dec 6, 2013

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials-viewpoint/120613-682109-texas-oil-production-up-141-percent-over-january-2009.htm?p=full

Nuclear Energy and Fears

Nuclear Power: Our High Costs Benefits! (Bastiat, call your office) c

By Roy Cardato, Master Resource, Dec 4, 2013

http://www.masterresource.org/2013/12/nuclear-high-costs-are-not-good/#more-28685

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

Wind turbines trash the landscape for the benefit of billionaires

Energy policy is chaotic and incoherent. The myth that wind power is ‘free’ has driven Britain’s politicians mad

By Simon Jenkins, Guardian, UK, Dec 5, 2013 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/06/wind-turbines-landscape-billionaires-energy-policy

[SEPP Comment: Mad may not be the correct term for the behavior of opportunistic politicians capitalizing on voter ignorance.]

Atlantic Array: Victim of Chaotic EU and UK Energy Policies

By Peter Glover, Energy Tribune, Dec 2, 2013

http://www.energytribune.com/79839/atlantic-array-victim-of-chaotic-eu-and-uk-energy-policies#sthash.Yybm7YWI.dpbs

[SEPP Comment: More likely due to terrible economics that voters can no longer tolerate subsidizing.]

Ohio’s Blue Creek Wind Farm: Predictable Underperformance

By Jerry Graf, Master Resource, Dec 3, 2013

http://www.masterresource.org/2013/12/ohio-blue-creek-wind-underperformance/#more-28661

[SEPP Comment: Contains useful data.]

Feds finalize eagle death permit rule

By Julian Hattem, The Hill, Dec 6, 2013

http://thehill.com/blogs/regwatch/energy-environment/192307-feds-finalize-eagle-death-permit-rule

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other

Dem lawmaker Welch rides anti-ethanol bike

By Julian Hattem, The Hill, Dec 5, 2013

http://thehill.com/blogs/regwatch/energy-environment/192258-dem-lawmaker-rides-anti-ethanol-bike

Ethanol cutbacks give U.S. consumers a break

By Jim Hillibish, Wicked, Dec 6, 2013

http://www.wickedlocal.com/medfield/columnists/x1275648788/Jim-Hillibish-Ethanol-cutbacks-give-U-S-consumers-a-break

Team reports on US trials of bioenergy grasses

By Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor for UI News, Champaign IL (SPX), Dec 06, 2013

http://www.biofueldaily.com/reports/Team_reports_on_US_trials_of_bioenergy_grasses_999.html

[SEPP Comment: Maybe one day?]

Carbon Schemes

Earth’s crust beneath oceans could store centuries’ output of CO2

By Staff Writers, Southampton, England (UPI), Dec 4, 2013

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Earths_crust_beneath_oceans_could_store_centuries_output_of_CO2_999.html

Health, Energy, and Climate

Climate Change Isn’t Our Top Public Health Threat

Editorial, IBD, Dec 4, 2013 [H/t Timothy Wise]

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/120413-681735-mccarthy-wrong-global-warming-not-urgent-health-threat.htm

Environmental Industry

Green Opposition To Converting Soviet Nuclear Stockpiles Is Dangerous

By Bernard Weinstein, IBD, Dec 3, 2013

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials-perspective/120313-681506-greens-oppose-converting-soviet-plutonium-stockpiles.htm?p=full

Other Scientific News

A living desert underground

By Staff Writers, Tucson AZ (SPX), Dec 05, 2013

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/A_living_desert_underground_999.html

Link to paper: Making a living while starving in the dark: metagenomic insights into the energy dynamics of a carbonate cave

By Ortz, et al, ISME, Sep 12, 2013

http://www.nature.com/ismej/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/ismej2013159a.html

[SEPP Comment: Even in an arid cave, life finds a way to convert CO2 into food.]

Private launch of geostationary satellite a ‘game-changer’

NASA no longer has a monopoly on US geosynchronous orbit launches

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Dec 3, 2013

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/12/03/private-launch-of-geostationary-satellite-a-game-changer/

[SEPP Comment: Though a long time in coming, it was envisioned that private entities would replace a large portion of the government space programs.]

X-37B Marks One Year On Orbit

By Morris Jones, Sydney, Australia (SPX), Dec 04, 2013

http://www.spacewar.com/reports/X_37B_Marks_One_Year_On_Orbit_999.html

[SEPP Comment: Speculating on the purpose of the X-37B.]

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BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:

Companies could make the switch to wood power

By Staff Writers, Philadelphia PA(SPX), Dec 06, 2013

http://www.biofueldaily.com/reports/Companies_could_make_the_switch_to_wood_power_999.html

[SEPP Comment: Time to cut down the forests.]

Diseases on the move because of climate change

Coccidioides is a fungus that lives in the soil in the southwestern United States. It can cause a respiratory infection known as Valley Fever or “cocci.” Cases increased tenfold from 1998 to 2011.

Elizabeth Weise, USA Today, Dec 5, 2013

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/12/04/climate-change-disease/2623863/

[SEPP Comment: More likely an increase in population living in the desert and an increase in diagnosis, than climate change.]

Reef fish find it’s too hot to swim

By Staff Writers, Cairns,, Australia (SPX), Dec 05, 2013

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Reef_fish_find_its_too_hot_to_swim_999.html

Storing carbon in the Arctic

By Jennifer Chu, MIT News, Boston MA (SPX), Dec 06, 2013

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Storing_carbon_in_the_Arctic_999.html

Tracking fracking pollution

By Staff Writers, Montreal, Canada (SPX), Dec 06, 2013

http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/Tracking_fracking_pollution_999.html

[SEPP Comment: The race horse has won, now the professors want to study the neaby pasture?]

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In 2014, we will continue to face a large number of proposed EPA regulationsthat will do little for the environment but will certainly retard or even stop economic growth.

Our task for 2014 is to show that most of these regulations are destructive, unscientific, and unnecessary. For a more complete statement of goals please see www.SEPP.org.

Also, we will be addressing regulations from other Federal agencies that desire to control the clean use of coal as a fuel, the expansion of oil and natural gas production in the US, as well as agencies that use the false social cost of carbon, and other issues pertaining to needless environmental regulations restricting economic growth.

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12 thoughts on “Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

  1. I quote:

    “SEPP’s comments were a shift in approach in addressing such issues before a potentially adversarial, non-technical audience. Rather than arguing that the EPA science is wrong, the comments argued that the science is out of date. It has been superseded by events.”

    There they are, talking to EPA, and do not have the guts to tell them that their science is wrong. If not now, when? They are already hostile and you cannot change that with a nambi-pambi approach. Just talking about out-of-date-ness is a subsidiary issue.. It is an irrelevancy and leads nowhere. If you get yourself up in front of the EPA or the Congress or other high administration officials tell them what is wrong with the basis of their policy. Explain that it is based on nothing but pseudoscience spread by propaganda of global warming fanatics. You will be attacked but the facts are on your side. Give examples of how their “science” has failed and how they invented a false warming in the eighties and nineties when global mean temperature did not change for 18 years. They keep calling the current cessation of warming a “hiatus” which it isn’t. Get away from subsidiary issues, don’t let them babble about a consensus, and always talk about the lack of support for warming. They know there is no support and will do everything to prevent any real discussion of it if they can.

  2. Some one needs to do a trip out to talk to the old ones who know from the speaking of the old ones gone on. Seems there is some possibility of a past where it got this cold and kept on getting colder so the old ones walked away down south for a time. The Navajo and the Apache have an oral history of such a thing and there are some rounded rocks leaning up with circles on them that did a fair job of tell the old ones what date to head south.

  3. Arno Arrak says:
    December 9, 2013 at 10:45 am “There they are, talking to EPA, and do not have the guts to tell them that their science is wrong. If not now, when?…Give examples of how their “science” has failed and how they invented a false warming in the eighties and nineties when global mean temperature did not change for 18 years.”

    What is your problem exactly? The argument presented by SEPP is summarized here:

    “[T]he 2007 mandate was passed by a Congress during a time in which its judgment was clouded by two fears: 1) increased dependence on imported oil from unstable regions and 2) global warming from CO2 emissions endangering human health and welfare. Both fears are out of date, rendering the standards obsolete.” “The distinct human fingerprint (pronounced warming of the atmosphere above the tropics) cannot be found, the claimed unprecedented and dangerous global surface warming stopped 16 years ago, and the models are unreliable because they failed to predict that warming would stop.”

  4. “[T]he 2007 mandate was passed by a Congress during a time in which its judgment was clouded by two fears: 1) increased dependence on imported oil from unstable region…”

    Huge Australian reserves discovered:
    source: Newsmax

    “The discovery of massive oil deposits in Australia could shake up the world’s energy industry and threaten OPEC’s grip on oil markets.

    Australia’s Linc Energy has released reports, based on exploration near the remote town of Coober Pedy in South Australia, estimating the amount of oil in the untapped Arckaringa Basin could range to as high as 233 billion barrels.

    That could turn Australia from an oil importer into a large-scale exporter….”It represents a bona-fide redrawing of the global energy map as we know it, and the mainstream media is completely ignoring it.”

    He calls the discovery “the [end of] OPEC” …predicting that Australia could become “one of the world’s biggest oil exporters.”

    Linc Energy managing director Peter Bond told Australia’s Herald Sun that the company plans to drill up \][ to six wells to confirm the estimates of shale oil deposits, adding that “it’s one of the key prospective territories in the world at the moment.””

    “What makes God laugh? Listening to our plans.”

  5. OMG Anthony!
    How on earth do you have the time and resources to find all this stuff?

    Thank you so much for providing it to us. Just a few years ago, I would often do a long search a couple times a week and if lucky, come up with a couple of similar articles………… every once in a while something really good.

    You do that here all day long every day.

    If the world was just, they would take away the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Al Gore and the IPCC in 2007 and give it to you in 2014.

    Seriously though, whatever year the world completely rejects CAGW and embraces CO2 as a greatly beneficial gas (maybe next year, thanks to you), is the one that you deserve it.

    I would like to be the first to nominate you.

  6. flying monkeys?

    These things have close to the same probability of occurring:

    Flying monkeys = CO2 becoming pollution = Sea levels rising 20 feet this century

    OK, gotta admit that sea levels could rise 20 feet and CO2 get above 1,200 ppm before monkeys evolve into animals with wings. However Anthony Watts with a Nobel Peace Prize though a long shot is conceivable in a future world where climate science is reclaimed by authentic scientists.

  7. Flying monkeys is right, and since getting on the all time winners bloggies list we can’t even win that for him either …. tellya though Anthony, a sub 100 dollar weather station that talks to a PC would be a good incentive for reward. Looking for one at the moment.

  8. Good stuff.

    However, a quibble with regard to the quote of the week, ““Absolute certainty is a privilege of uneducated minds-and fanatics. It is, for scientific folk, an unattainable ideal.” Cassius J. Keyser, American Mathematician”

    Absolute certainty IS possible, in certain situations. Inability to bring to mind such situations bespeaks an uneducated mind.

  9. Like a planet spinning through the universe, the White House sits at the right moment in history and is just for the taking by Anthony and his flying monkeys. If only I were more than a long forgotten tiny blip on Ross Perot’s radar, I would go try to get the funds to make POTUS Anthony Watts.

    We could have a President Watts and a Vice President Willis Eshenbach. Unfortunately, me getting any of the Waltons’ money for you is not an option. Sam kinda once or twice tied me to a tree in the Arkiefornia wilderness. A beagle chewed the ropes enough to free an arm.

  10. Today the US sold the last of its GM stock. People forget or don’t know how close we came to losing another major industry. The bailout money really went to pay GM parts suppliers that would have all ceased to exist if forced into bankruptcy unprotected. Toyota made clear it would leave North America if this happened. How many jobs would this have cost? Latest study says 1.5 million. Personally, I think this would have snowballed into possibly the end of the United States as a democracy.

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