Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

THIS WEEK:

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

The 16th Conference of Parties (COP) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change is finishing up in Cancun. The gathering is part of the UN’s constant battle against UN claimed human-caused global warming. The conference started with a prayer Ixchel, a Mayan goddess, offered by Christina Figueres, the executive secretary of the conference to Perhaps some other gods were angered because the conference is closing with six days of record-breaking cold.

Not much of significance has been reported from the conference. This is partly because, unlike last year in Copenhagen, most international leaders decided not to participate which, in turn, resulted in a smaller press corps. Also much of the activity takes place behind closed doors, out of sight, where backroom deals can be made. No doubt weighty announcements will be made at the close of the conference. However, they will be largely of two types. One category will be the pressing need for more carbon burning conferences to save the planet. The second category will be the need to intensify the Copenhagen accord that promises to deliver massive amounts of money from the West to developing countries. Those who hope to profit from this handover will insist upon it.

As Fred Singer has put it, this would be a transfer of wealth from the poor in rich countries to the rich in poor countries.

Late last week, the Guardian newspaper, a recipient of WikiLeaks, the emails leaked from the US State Department, revealed how the State Department used spying, threats, and monetary promises to obtain support for the Copenhagen Accord. Interestingly, few US newspapers followed up on this although they reported on other WikiLeaks stories. (Please see Article # 3 and the Guardian article under Climategate Continued.)

Whatever US monetary commitments come out of Cancun, they will require backing by the US House of Representatives, where all revenue bills must originate. The Republicans, many of whom doubt human-caused global warming, will control the House starting in January. They may have challenging questions for the State Department as it tries to explain its activities and the need to continue with additional COPs.

Given the extreme cold during last year’s COP in Copenhagen and record breaking cold in Cancun during this year’s COP, there may be few locations that would care to host such an activity in the future. Is this the way the world ends?

Please see Article #4 and the referenced articles under “On to Cancun. “

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During the Cancun conference, Science Magazine issued a press release to a few groups embargoed until late this week. [By declaring the article embargoed, Science Magazine demand it not be publicly disclosed until after publication.] The release highlighted a study that claims to demonstrate that the feedback from clouds is positive rather than negative.

If the net feedback from warming caused by CO2 emissions is positive, then the total warming from CO2 emissions could be significant, as claimed by the UN IPCC. If negative, then the total warming would be negligible. Normally, TWTW would not discuss such a technical topic; however, since TWTW carried a two part book review of Roy Spencer’s book, Blunder, the article and Roy Spencer’s rebuttal are referenced. In brief, Spencer says that the authors of the new article made the same mistake as previous modelers and confused cause with effect. Please see the referenced articles under “Cloudy Issues.”

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The British Met Office is quickly losing any credibility it had remaining in England after the Climategate email leaks. In 2000, it predicted that, due to global warming, snow would become a rare event in England. In the latter part of 2009, it predicted that 2010 would be the hottest year on record. The 2009-2010 winter was one of extreme cold and a snow that covered the entire United Kingdom. According to reports, over 25,000 people died in England and Wales due to cold. This fall the Met Office predicted a mild winter for the UK. Thus far, December has been extremely cold in the UK and northern Europe and another snow storm covered most of the UK. Now, the Met is predicting that 2010 will be the hottest year on record, but not in England. [Or, elsewhere where it is cold?] In a thoughtful article, the Scientific Alliance reminds us that weather events are not the same as climate change. Please see Article #1 and the articles under “Extreme Weather.”

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The US EPA has declared it will delay the implementation of new regulations on ground level ozone and on industrial boilers. The latter requires the approval of a federal judge. In both instances the EPA stated it needs more time to study the regulations as well as to study the scientific and health issues of ozone and smog effects.

Certainly, the environmental industry is not pleased, particularly after many supported these regulations that EPA declared necessary to save lives. Please see articles referenced under “EPA and other Regulators on the March.”

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THE NUMBER OF THE WEEK: is less than 1%. Less than 1% of US electricity is generated from using oil according to the 2009 Electric Power Industry report by the US Energy Information Administration This fact clearly falsifies claims that mandates and subsidies for renewable sources to generate electricity are needed to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

The report also states that due to the recession, electrical generation fell by the greatest amount in over 60 years. The total generation is the lowest since 2003. The largest decrease is in coal-generated power, now producing about 44.5% of electricity (from about 48.2%), the largest increase is natural gas generated power now producing about 23.3% (up from about 21.4%). Wind generates about 1.9% of total electricity (up from 1.3%). The figures for wind do not reflect the back-up requirements for wind due to its unreliability. Please see Electric Power Industry 2009 under “Energy Issues.”


ARTICLES: For the numbered articles below please see: http://www.haapala.com/sepp/.

1. Climate threats and policy

Scientific Alliance, Dec 10, 2010 [The Scientific Alliance web site was not functioning as of this writing.]

http://www.icecap.us/…

[SEPP Comment: Towards understanding the important distinction between climate and weather and reminding that one must not jump to hasty generalizations.]

2. Comment on the French Academy of Sciences report on climate change submitted to the Minister of Higher Education and Research on October 28, 2010

By Vincent Courtillot (Nov. 2, 2010)

[SEPP Comment: Professor Courtillot, one of those who prompted a debate on global warming science by the French Academy, explains why he signed the final document. The Academy report was the subject of a TWTW Science Editorial on November 6.]

3. Eco-Diplomacy, The Chicago Way

Editorials, IBD, Dec 6, 2010

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/555….

4. Cuckoo In Cancun

Editorial, IBD, Dec 6, 2010

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/555….

5. The Great Transmission Heist

Editorial, WSJ, Nov 7, 2010

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304772….


NEWS YOU CAN USE:

Climategate Continued

WikiLeaks cables reveal how US manipulated climate accord

Embassy dispatches show America used spying, threats and promises of aid to get support for Copenhagen accord

By Damian Carrigton, Guardian, UK, Dec 3, 2010 [H/t Bill Readdy]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/dec/03/wi….

Questions arise about modification of New Zealand climate data

By Tony Hake, Washington Examiner, Nov 25, 2010 [H/t Randy Randol]

http://www.examiner.com/climate-change-in-national/q….

Challenging the Orthodoxy

Controlling the Science: National Academies and Consensus

By Dennis Ambler, SPPI, Dec 9, 2010

http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/originals/controll….

[SEPP Comment: Former Rep. Sherwood Boehlert issued a demand for Republicans to accept human caused global warming. Boehlert, a Republican, was chairman of the House Committee on Science. This rebuttal highlights the significant representation from environmental industry on the National Academy of Sciences panel that produced the reports known as America’s Climate Choices which Boehlert references.]

‘Green’ Climate Policies: Probably unnecessary, Certainly ineffectual, Ruinously expensive

By Roger Helmer, Member European Parliament, Dec, 2010

http://www.rogerhelmer.com/greenclimatepolicies.asp…

What happened to the ‘warmest year on record’: The truth is global warming has halted

By David Rose, Daily Mail, UK, Dec 5, 2010 [H/t Warren Wetmore]

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-13357….

CO2-induced Vegetation Growth Slows Global Warming

World Climate Report, Dec 8, 2010 [H/t ICECAP]

http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2010/12/….

[SEPP Comment: An additional negative feedback.]

Democrats lament demise of a committee

GOP to abolish House panel on global warming

By Sean Lengell, Washington Times, Dec 5, 2010

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/dec/5/democ….

Defending the Orthodoxy

Climate: UN report highlights ocean acidification

AFP, Physorg.com, Dec 2, 2010, [H/t Toshio Fujita]

http://www.physorg.com/news/2010-12-climate-highligh….

Global warming ideology still on top

The science has crumbled, but too much money backs the scare

By Tom Harris and Bryan Leyland ,Washington Times, Dec 8, 2010

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/dec/8/globa….

On to Cancun

WikiLeaks adds twist to climate hopes

By Shaun Tandon, Sydney Morning Herald, Dec 7, 2010 [H/t Toshio Fujita]

http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/wikileaks….

Cancun climate conference: the warmists’ last Mexican wave

By Christopher Booker, Telegraph, UK, Dec 4, 2010

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christ….

Mercury rising

By The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley SPPI Blog, Dec 9, 2010 [H/t ICECAP]

http://sppiblog.org/news/mercury-rising#more-3646…

Climate Talks reach Final Day With No Deal

By John Broder, NYT, Dec 10, 2010

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/11/science/earth/11cl….

“Gore Effect” on Steroids: Six straight days of record low temperatures during COP16 in Cancun Mexico – more coming

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Dec 10, 2010

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/10/gore-effect-on….

Extreme Weather

Now the Army moves in to clear away snow in coldest December for 100 years as fuel runs out at petrol stations in Scotland and East Anglia

By Daily Mail Reporter, Daily Mail, Dec 9, 2010

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1336705/UK-b….

[SEPP Comment: Do the warmists at the Climatic Research Unit in East Anglia need shoveling out?]

Britain Is Freezing to Death

By Tracey Boles and Lucy Johnston, Express, UK, Dec 5, 2010 [H/t Marc Morano, Climate Depot]

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/215510/Britain-i….

Britain has coldest year since 1996 (but it will be the second hottest year since 1850 for the rest of the world)

By David Derbyshire, Daily Mail, UK, Dec 3, 2010 [H/t Warren Wetmore]

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-13350….

BP Oil Spill and Aftermath

Rigs in Gulf Ready to Drill, but There’s Little Work

By Clifford Krauss, NYT, Dec 7, 2010

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/08/business/energy-en….

Gulf residents fret backlash may scare off drillers

Industry-related businesses fear shift to deep-water sites overseas

AP, Washington Times, Dec 5, 2010

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/dec/5/gulf-….

Energy Issues

Electric Power Industry 2009: Year in Review

US Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, Nov 23, 2010

http://www.eia.gov/cneaf/electricity/epa/epa_sum.htm….

Emissions reductions are not blowin’ in the wind

By Martin Nicholson, Tom Biegler and Barry Brook, The Australian, Nov 29, 2010 [H/t John Droz, Jr.]

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/emi….

Supreme Court to Hear Pivotal Climate Change Public Nuisance Case

Power news, Dec 8, 2010

http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/3259.html?hq_e=el&….

North America: The new energy kingdom

By Neil Reynolds, Globe and Mail, Toronto, Dec 8, 2010

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/co….

[SEPP Comment: The erroneous first sentence of the article has been corrected.]

Black & Veatch: 16% of U.S. Coal Fleet to Be Retired by 2020

Power News, Dec 8, 2010

http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/3260.html?hq_e=el&….

[SEPP Comment: What will replace it?]

Whistling in the Wind

Ten EU Countries Sign Up to Build North Sea Offshore Supergrid

Power News, Dec 8, 2010

http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/3263.html?hq_e=el&….

Altamont wind-energy company to pay $2.5 million and replace turbines to reduce raptor deaths

By Denis Cuff, Contra Costa Times, Dec 6, 2010 [H/t Mark Duchamp]

http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_16790686?ncl….

Dick and Jane Talk Wind Energy (a teachable moment: Part I)

By John Droz Jr., Master Resource, Dec 8, 2010

http://www.masterresource.org/2010/12/dick-jane-talk….

[SEPP Comment: A cartoon presentation on the issues of wind power.]

EPA and other Regulators on the March

Defying the will of the people, Obama governs by regulation

Editorial, Washington Examiner, Dec 5, 2010

http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/editorials/201….

E.P.A. Delays Tougher Rules on Emissions

By John Broder and Sheryl Gay Stolbergy, NYT, Dec 9, 2010

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/10/science/earth/10ep….

[SEPP Comment: In February, EPA will address a real environmental – human health issue: it is holding its second National Bed Bug Summit. (H/t Cooler Heads Digest)]

Consumer groups call for end to EU light bulb ban

The Local, Germany’s News in English, Dec 3, 2010

http://www.thelocal.de/national/20101203-31563.html…

Exelon Reaches a Deal to Shut Nuclear Plant

By Rebecca Smith, WSJ, Dec 10, 2010

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703766….

[SEPP Comment: The heat in discharged cooling water is being used to shut down the plant because it is now environmentally damaging – after 40 years of operation.]

Subsidies and Mandates Forever

The $7-billion carbon scam

By Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post, Dec 5, 2010 [H/t Anthony Watts, WUWT]

http://opinion.financialpost.com/2010/12/05/lawrence….

Wasting tax dollars on ethanol

Editorial, Washington Post, Dec 8, 2010 [H/t David Manuta]

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article….

Tide ebbing for ethanol?

By Vincent Carroll, Denver Post, Dec 5, 2010 [H/t Warren Wetmore]

http://www.denverpost.com/carroll/ci_16763841…

California Dreaming

Stuck In The Sticks In California

Editorial, IBD, Dec 7, 2010

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/556….

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC

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

Competition Among Species in a CO2-Enriched World

Reference: Lau, J.A., Shaw, R.G., Reich, P.B. and Tiffin, P. 2010. Species interactions in a changing environment: elevated CO2 alters the ecological and potential evolutionary consequences of competition. Evolutionary Ecology Research 12: 435-455.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2010/dec/7dec201….

Global Warming and the Intensification of Rainfall Events

Reference: Hossain, F., Jeyachandran, I. and Pielke Sr., R. 2009. Have large dams altered extreme precipitation patterns? EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union 90: 453-454.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2010/dec/7dec201….

Arctic Warming “Then and Now”

Reference: Wood, K.R. and Overland, J.E. 2010. Early 20th century Arctic warming in retrospect. International Journal of Climatology 30: 1269-1279.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2010/dec/8dec201….

More Evidence for Solar Driven Climate Change

Reference: Shaviv, N.J. 2008. Using the oceans as a calorimeter to quantify the solar radiative forcing. Journal of Geophysical Research 113: 10.1029/2007JA012989.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2010/dec/8dec201….

Cloudy Issues

El Nino Lends More Confidence to Strong Global Warming

By Richard Kerr, Science, Dec 10, 2010

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/330/6010/1465.summ….

[Subscription required for full text]

The Dessler Cloud Feedback Paper in Science: A Step Backward for Climate Research

By Roy Spencer, Dec 9, 2010

http://www.drroyspencer.com/…

Other Issues that May Be Of Interest

Power Blip Jolts Supply of Gadget Chips

By Don Clark and Juro Osaws, WSJ, Dec 10, 2010

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703766….

[SEPP Comment: A chip manufacturing facility suffered drop in voltage that caused a power outage for 0.07 seconds. The back-ups failed and 8 to 12 weeks of production was lost. Another illustration on how vulnerable high tech industry is to unreliable electricity.]

BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:

Venezuela’s Chavez blames capitalism for deluges

By Andrew Cawthorne, Reuters, Dec 5, 2010 [H/t GWPF]

http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKN0517626320101205…

[SEPP Comment: Maybe he is planning to join the US lawsuits against coal burning utility companies.]

Canada blamed for lost civilizations: scientist

By Randy Boswell National Post, Dec 10, 2010 [H/t Best on the Web]

http://www.nationalpost.com/todays-paper/Canada%20bl….

[SEPP Comment: Someone has to be blamed for sea level rise, even if it is natural.]

Coral reefs ‘could disappear in our children’s lifetime’

By J.E.N. Vernon, Yale Environment 360, Guardian, UK, Dec 7, 2010 [H/t Marc Morano, Climate Depot]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/dec/07/co….

Happy cows taste better, say scientists

By Natascha Mirosch, Courier-Mail, Dec 9, 2010 [H/t Best on the Web]

http://www.couriermail.com.au/lifestyle/food-wine/ha….

 

PLEASE NOTE: The complete TWTW, including the full text of the articles, can be downloaded in an easily printable form at this web site: http://www.haapala.com/sepp/the-week-that-was.cfm…

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latitude

“Those who hope to profit from this handover will insist upon it. ”
==================================================
That one sentence says it all…………..

Neville

That quote by Fred Singer in the third paragraph is the best quote coming out of this idiot conference.
Here in Victoria Australia we’ve just had a change of govt and one of the reasons was the increasing cost of electricity plus all the increased charges for the basic goods and services to the poorest citizens.
Plus billions of dollars of waste on stupid green projects like the largest desal plant to be built in Australia at three times the cost of a new dam (like on the Mitchell river ) and delivering just a third of the water. ( just 150 GLs / year)
Meanwhile the states rivers are in flood after the wettest spring on record ( Australia as well) what a bloody disgrace.
We are today governed by hopeless numbskulls who are flushing money down the drain to try and return the climate to some nirvana that only exists in fairy tales.
Every billion we merrily flush away will have a zero return, but a much smaller ammount should be spent on adaptation and research into new energy technology.

BFL

Loooove the overview and news spread references. Please repeat more often!!!!

Policyguy

Is there a link available to the actual printed product of this COP party? I saw Monckton’s 3rd update in which he referred to a global government document. The final agreement seems significantly less, as described. Frankly, a link to both would be helpful in understanding what they are contemplating behind closed doors.
Thanks

Graham Dick

“The figures for wind do not reflect the back-up requirements for wind due to its unreliability.”
To be fair, though, wouldn’t those back-up requirements be included in the figures for the other power sources listed?

pat

Our most significant State paper has not carried one easily found word about Cancun. Not even in its rather good environmental synopsis it publishes weekly. Zero.

David A. Evans

Graham Dick says:
December 12, 2010 at 2:22 pm

“The figures for wind do not reflect the back-up requirements for wind due to its unreliability.”
To be fair, though, wouldn’t those back-up requirements be included in the figures for the other power sources listed?

Backup costs are not included in the way you think because they are not listed as such and thence not added to the costs of wind. Another point there is that once you get past a certain level of wind power, you have to start including more SCGT plants which are very inefficient but have rapid startup, about 15 minutes.
DaveE.

Baa Humbug

Policyguy says:
December 12, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Is there a link available to the actual printed product of this COP party? I saw Monckton’s 3rd update in which he referred to a global government document. The final agreement seems significantly less, as described. Frankly, a link to both would be helpful in understanding what they are contemplating behind closed doors.
Thanks

Yeah, try the following. But good luck surfing thru it, pages upon pages of pdf.
http://unfccc.int/2860.php

e. c. cowan

“Wasting tax dollars on ethanol
Editorial, Washington Post, Dec 8, 2010 [H/t David Manuta]”
Not just ethanol – but wind energy too:
Lam-DuckBailouts
says in part:
‘..Ethanol is the Frankenfuel of the energy business a subsidy-devouring monster that cannot be killed, no matter how great the political opposition. Farm-state senators have apparently succeeded in adding an extension of the ethanol tax credit, which is scheduled to expire at the end of the year, to the tax bill now working its way through Congress.
While that news is disheartening enough, the wind-energy business — the electricity sector’s equivalent of the ethanol scam — may also be winning in its effort to garner more federal subsidies. It is pushing lame-duck legislators to extend a part of the stimulus package known as the Section 1603 tax credit, which gives cash directly to wind-project developers. But what the wind boosters really need to keep their struggling business afloat is a mandate requiring the production of renewable electricity — at least 15 percent by 2020. And some Democratic senators are pushing a bill that would do just that…….’
Earmarks on a Dumbo scale!

Joe V

Baa Humbug says:
December 12, 2010 at 9:20 pm
to Policyguy
Is there a link available to the actual printed product of this COP party? ….
Yeah, try the following. But good luck surfing thru it, pages upon pages of pdf.
http://unfccc.int/2860.php

Sheesh, I could sustain interest to the end of that first paragraph. They’ll wear you down with attention span the beaureaucrats…

GBees

All of this is more than about Climate Change. That was but one smokescreen to dupe the little sheeples everywhere. There is a deeply disturbing global movement/revolution towards Global Socialism. The idiot UK student rioters don’t even realise they are being used. They cannot think for themselves. They obviously do not understand what Socialism really means. There is plenty of evidence in history you imbeciles. Go and research it. Capitalism is about freedom, individual rights, opportunity, happiness. Socialism is about collective destruction. It has not worked in the past and trying to remove individual freedoms and take what people have earned and worked hard for will be the demise of socialists. Time for free societies to outlaw socialism and run the agitators, architects and anarchists out of our free homelands …