By Ken Haapala, Executive Vice President Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
On Monday, the 16th Conference of Parties (COP) to the UN Climate Change Convention will meet in Cancun to produce yet another scheme to replace the Kyoto Protocol that will expire in 2012. It is expected that this meeting will be far more subdued than the 15th COP, last year in Copenhagen, when the expectations for a grand treaty were high. Of course, the treaty did not materialize and the COP ended poorly, which was fortunate for the world. Please see the referenced articles under “On to Cancun,” particularly the one from the Scientific Alliance.
The UN IPCC and others use tropical islands such as Tuvalu to alarm the world of the dire consequences of global warming and sea level rise if the world does not support its demands for controlling carbon dioxide. Repeatedly, we are told that the islands are fast disappearing and the inhabitants will become climate change refugees.
Emeritus Professor Cliff Ollier, a geologist and geomorphologist, provided SEPP with a copy of his latest paper discussing the fate of these islands. It appears that, contrary to propaganda photos, the cabinet ministers of these islands will not need scuba gear to conduct cabinet meetings in the foreseeable future.
Please see Article # 1.
The US EPA continues its march to regulate the US economy. In regulating sulfur dioxide it is using computer models (which are easily manipulated) rather than measurements to determine the amount of sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere. [After all, NASA-GISS routinely uses models, not measurements, to determine the temperatures in the Arctic.] The EPA ignores basic facts such as sulfur dioxide emissions fell by more than 50% while electricity generation from fossil fuels increase by 70% from 1980 to 2008. This compels one to ask are low levels of sulfur dioxide a threat to human health? Please see Articles # 2 and # 3.
Several weeks ago, TWTW carried an article from the Wall Street Journal on a White House memo that discussed a wind farm in Shepherds Flat, Oregon, using wind turbines built by GE. The article stated that the total subsidies the developers will receive is about $1.2 Billion, which works out to be more than $34 Million for each of the 35 permanent jobs the wind farm is expected to provide.
The article prompted a letter from a person with GE Energy Financial Services, who stated such projects need loan guarantee. [The letter did not challenge the monetary or job numbers.] This letter, in turn, prompted a second letter from an engineer who had worked at GE when it was first designing, developing, and marketing gas turbine power plants, which was a money loser for many years with no government subsidies or loan guarantees.
The letter exchange illustrates how a corporate culture can change when the company goes from creating products for a competitive market to manufacturing products for an artificial, government-created market. Not explicitly stated, but implied, is that the wind turbine industry would collapse if it were not for government mandates and guarantees. Please see Article # 5.
Over the past several weeks, TWTW has been emphasizing that China is building its alternative energy manufacturing facilities mainly to serve Western markets, and it is rapidly expanding its electrical generating capability mainly from traditional sources such as nuclear, hydro and coal. Some commentators are realizing that China is transforming from a traditional exporter of coal to a major importer of coal. Under Energy Issues, please see the article “Coal Exports to China Surge …” which has a link to a New York Times article on the subject.
The 2008 NIPCC Report, Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate, http://www.sepp.org/publications/NIPCC_final.pdf, presented the strong correlation between solar activity and climate as seen by proxies from a stalagmite in a cave in Oman (p.. 12). The values of carbon-14, a proxy for solar activity, correlated with oxygen-18, a proxy for temperature. The correlations have been confirmed by other proxy data. Changes in solar wind and solar magnetism modulate galactic cosmic rays. The NIPCC Report suggests the mechanism whereby cosmic rays influence the earth’s climate is likely to be a change in cloud cover as suggested by Svensmark and Friis Christensen.
An article published on November 24, in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, “Cosmic rays linked to rapid mid-latitude cloud changes,” suggests that small but statistically significant influence of galactic cosmic rays on the earth’s atmosphere has been found. Please see the referenced article and links under Other Scientific Issues.
THE NUMBER OF THE WEEK: is 30. That is the number of states in the US, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, that have adopted a Renewable Electricity Standard (RES). As discussed above and previously, under RES electricity providers have no incentive to produce at the lowest possible cost. In fact, under RES regulated utilities have every incentive to produce at the highest permitted cost. Regulated utilities provide electricity on a cost plus basis, the higher the capital costs the higher the profits. When utilities and their regulators work hand-in-glove for goals other than what is best to the consumer, the consumer suffers.
For the numbered articles below please see:
1. Tuvalu – the touchstone of global warming and rising sea level
By Cliff Ollier, On Line opinion, AU e-journal, Nov 26, 2010
2 EPA hungry for more power
By Lana Spivak, American Council on Science and Health, Nov 23, 2010
ACSH Morning Dispatch [firstname.lastname@example.org]
3. The EPA Permitorium
The agency’s regulatory onslaught has stopped new power generation
Editorial, WSJ, Nov 22, 2010
4. Wake up, Washington. Energy independence is close at hand
Editorial, Washington Examiner, Nov 21, 2010
5. GE Didn’t Always Want a Subsidy
Letter By Louis Fougere, WSJ, Nov 26, 2010
6. Arctic Air: The Bold Missions of the 109th Airlift Wing
By Kenneth Haapala, Arctic Air Website, WCNY-TV (PBS), Nov 8, 2010
(May have to be loaded directly)
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Challenging the Orthodoxy
‘Cool it’ with all the research dollars
Solution to climate change is planning, not spending
By Robert Carter and Paul Driessen, Washington Times, Nov 22, 2010
[SEPP Comment: A counter to Lomborg’s special pleas for money for technological fixes.]
Global Warming Skeptics Ascend in Congress
Cap-and-trade may be just the first casualty of the science-doubters in the House and Senate
By Jim Snyder and Kim Chipman, Bloomberg Week, Nov 24, 2010
[SEPP Comment: Those who question the validity of IPCC projections are labeled as science doubters.]
Climate Change Idiocy and The Economist
By Alan Caruba, Warning Signs, Nov 25, 2010
Climate change no longer scary in Europe
It’s not the climate, but the tide of opinion that’s changing in Europe and around the globe
By Dr. Hans Labohm, Canada Free Press, Nov 22, 2010 [H/t Francois Guillaumat]
Another Top International Scientist Jumps off Global Warming ‘Titanic’
By John O’Sullivan, Canada Free Press, Nov 22, 2010 [H/t ICECAP]
Head of IPCC surprised people didn’t like bogus climate data
By Hank Campell, Science 2.0, Nov 22, 2010
Defending the Orthodoxy
Next climate warming report will be dramatically worse: UN
AFP, Independent, UK, Nov 24, 2010
[SEPP Comment: The headline is amusing. Will it be worse in more dire projections or worse in quality of product, or both?]
Now we are not even allowed to doubt?
By Joanne Nova, Joannenova.com, Nov 27, 2010
[SEPP Comment: Anyone who does not embrace the claims humans are causing unprecedented and dangerous global warming is now labeled a doubt monger.]
A Yale Forum Two-Part Special Feature
Scientists and Journalists on ‘Lessons Learned’
By Bud Ward, Climate Change & The Media, Nov 18, 2010 [H/t Marc Morano, Climate Depot]
The Costs of a Climate of Fear
When scientists are attacked professionally and personally, independent science and the public suffer.
By Michael Halpern, Academe Online, Nov-Dec, 2010 [H/t Sanford Aranoff]
[SEPP Comment: A one-sided article from one more institution; doubt mongers are not professionally and personally attacked.]
Opening up climate science can cut off the skeptics
Equipping the public with the tools and knowledge to understand complex issues like global warming can help them avoid the rhetorical tricks of climate ‘skeptics.’
By Andrew Holding, Guardian, UK, Nov 25, 2010 [H/t Bishop Hill]
NOAA’s New Facebook
[“NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.” Need anything more be said?]
By Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, Nov 22, 2010 [H/t Roger Cohen]
Pielke Jr. on Trenberth’s Book Review
Posted by Anthony Watts, WUWT, Nov 27, 2010
[SEPP Comment: Another factually challenged book review published in Science Magazine.]
Climate-change agency winds down as federal funding ends
By Mike De Souza, Vancouver Sun, Nov 24, 2010 [H/t GWPF]
Front-Line City in Virginia Tackles Rise in Sea
By Leslie Kaufman, NYT, Nov 25, 2010
[SEPP Comment: Apparently the journalist does not realize that Norfolk is built on soft ground. The measured sea level rise, which is greater than what is found elsewhere, is an indication of subsidence rather than rising seas.]
NASA Study Finds Earth’s Lakes are Warming
Press Release, NASA, Nov 23, 2010 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
Seeking a Common Ground
Global Warming: Fact or Fiction?
By Gary Baise, Farm Futures, Nov 23, 2010
On to Cancun
From Copenhagen to Cancun
The Scientific Alliance, Nov 26, 2010
The Climate Cash Cow
Editorial, IBD, Nov 19, 2010
[SEPP Comment: Forget saving the planet, get the cash..]
World May Record Warmest Year as U.K. Meteorological Office Adjusts Data
By Alex Morales, Bloomberg, Nov 26, 2010
[SEPP Comment: The ICECAP comments put the article in perspective.]
BP Oil Spill and Aftermath
Science and the Drilling Ban
An inspector general’s report shows science played little role in the moratorium
Editorial, WSJ, Nov 20, 2010
Salazar galls lawmakers from Gulf states
Talks end with little action to renew drilling
By Kara Rowland, Washington Times, Nov 22, 2010
Coal Exports to China Surge (Carbon Leakage with Vengeance – No Escape from Law of Unintended Consequences)
By Marlo Lewis, Global Warming.org, Nov 22, 2010
America Gets Gored
Editorial, IBD, Nov 22, 2010
Methane Hydrates: The Next Energy Revolution
By Takeo Kumajai, GWPF, Nov 24, 2010 [H/t Tom Sheahen]
A Shale-Gas Bonanza
Obama’s State Department is pitching the new hydrofracking technology worldwide, and Halliburton is delighted.
By Coral Davenport, National Journal, Nov 18, 2010 [H/t GWPF]
Chinese Companies Dominate Solar Manufacturing Spending In 2010
By Staff Writers, Solar Daily, Nov 19, 2010 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
Clean energy funding slumps
By Kiran Stacy, Financial Times, Nov 15, 2010
How to Get Private Financing for Green Projects
U.N. climate negotiations are bogged down. But as climate change experts gather in Cancun to replace the Kyoto Protocol, there are alternatives
By Michael Liebreich, Bloomberg Businessweek, Nov 24, 2010
[SEPP Comment: Rather than have the UN soak the Western taxpayers for $100 Billion per year, have the national governments do it and give the money to banks and others to invest in alternative energy projects.]
Subsidies and Mandates Forever
Energy Industry Strikes Out on Its Own
By Rebecca Smith, WSJ, Nov 22, 2010
Proposed Regulation Prohibiting False Statements
CA EPA – California Air Resources Board, Nov 24, 2010 [H/t Anthony Watts WUWT]
[SEPP Comment: Would the prohibition against false statements also apply to CARB and its economic studies?]
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC
For a full list of articles see www.NIPCCreport.org
Yearly Sea-Ice Breakup in Western Hudson Bay
Reference: Scott, J.B.T. and Marshall, G.J. 2010. A step-change in the date of sea-ice breakup in western Hudson Bay. Arctic 63: 155-164.
Holocene Climatic Change in the North American Plains
Reference: Nordt, L., von Fischer, J., Tieszen, L. and Tubbs, J. 2008. Coherent changes in relative C4 plant productivity and climate during the late Quaternary in the North American Great Plains. Quaternary Science Reviews 27: 1600-1611.
Effect of Elevated CO2 on Calcification by Oculina aruscula Corals
Reference: Ries, J.B., Cohen, A.L. and McCorkle, D.C. 2010. A nonlinear calcification response to CO2-induced ocean acidification by the coral Oculina arbuscula.Coral Reefs 29: 661-674.
The Medieval Warm Period on the Antarctic Peninsula
Reference: Hall, B.L., Koffman, T. and Denton, G.H. 2010.. Reduced ice extent on the western Antarctic Peninsula at 700-970 cal. yr B.P. Geology 38: 635-638.
Other Scientific Issues
Cosmic rays linked to rapid mid-latitude cloud changes
By Laken, Kniveton, and Frogeye, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 10, 10941-10948, 2010, (Issue 22) [H/t Anthony Watts, WUWT]
For an informative summary see the post by Anthony Watts: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010
Other Issues that May Be Of Interest
U.S. Carbon Trading Goes Up in Smoke
Buying and selling carbon permits in the emerging market designed to control global-warming pollution is no longer a career prospect in the U.S., though California is moving ahead with its own program.
By Robin Farad, Bloomberg Businessweek, Nov 24, 2010, [H/t Marc Morano, Climate Depot]
Retrained for green jobs, but still waiting on work
By Michael Fletcher, Washington Post, Nov 22, 2010 [H/t Dike Forbes]
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
Study could mean greater anticipated global warming
Press Release, University of Hawaii, Nov 22, 2010 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
[SEPP Comment: the models are deficient in representing clouds, therefore they may underestimate future warming?]
BMW’s Comment On Ethanol
By Roger Pielke Sr., Pielke Research Group, Nov 26, 2010
[SEPP Comment: A BMW ad for a product to improve your car’s performance if you must use gasoline with ethanol.]
Climate change, development bring pigs to city
By Kang Chan-su and Kim Hee-jin, Korea Joongang Daily, Nov 22, 2010, [H/t Marc Morano, Climate Depot]
Could Climate Change Ruin Thanksgiving Dinner?
Warmer temperatures could affect just about everything you’ll see on the dinner table
By Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News, Nov 24, 2010 [H/t Marc Morano, Climate Depot
How to avoid a £100 million cost over-run on your next offshore wind project
By Andrew Williams, Wind Energy Update, Nov 22, 2010