By Ken Haapala, Executive Vice President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
On Tuesday, the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling issued a 300 plus page report that was long on recommendations for increased regulations but short on specific facts. Among other things it failed to identify the exact causes of the spill. However, the report recommended increased regulations on Arctic oil exploration and development – which some thought was totally beyond the scope of the investigation.
The report came as no surprise to those who examined the composition of the commission which was loaded with politicians and environmentalists. Scientists and engineers with extensive knowledge of the petroleum industry were not welcome. It was rather like appointing a commission to investigate the causes of a disastrous airline crash without including members who understood the intricacies of how airplanes fly. No doubt the document will be used by the environmental industry to batter the petroleum industry, possibly to the effect of reducing US production of oil.
There is one positive note. Most of the recommendations cannot be implemented without the approval of Congress. Many members of Congress are witnessing how increased regulations on petroleum exploration and development by the current administration are damaging their state economies in a time of extreme state budget shortfalls. The states need the taxes that petroleum development will bring. (Please see Article # 2 and articles under BP Oil Spill.)
Climategate returned to the web blogs this week in a rather unusual manner. Anthony Watts reported on his blog, Watts Up With That, that Kevin Trenberth, who was part of “the team”, identified in the Climategate emails is giving a speech to the American Meteorological Society (AMS) during the “Joint Presidential Session on Communicating Climate Change” at the annual AMS conference on January 26.
The AMS preprinted Trenberth’s, speech which Watts posted on the web site. Some may consider the speech a self-serving interpretation of Climategate. For example, repeatedly, Trenberth refers to his critics as deniers, a value laden term more fitting of propaganda than of science.
A number of bloggers have pointed out significant inconsistencies and inaccuracies in the contents of the speech. Perhaps the comments of Steve McIntyre are most germane. McIntyre points out substantial passages which were lifted from a prior commentary by human-caused global warming advocate Klaus Hasselmann. Even though he suffered tremendous abuse when he and Ross McKitrick debunked Mann’s “hockeystick,” McIntyre has been one of most gentlemanly commentators on the issue, yet has carefully commented on the entire debacle. (Please see articles under Climategate Continued.)
The extreme weather continues in varying parts of the globe. But one the worst right now is the flooding of Queensland, a state in Northeast Australia. Based on reports this is the worst flooding since 1974 and Queensland’s capital city, Brisbane, is inundated. Although some may attribute this flooding to human-caused global warming, it is clearly associated with a strong La Niña, a well established natural event.
[Reader John Cribbes requested that TWTW announce to its Australian readers that information on how to help in Queensland can be found at: Queensland Premier’s Appeal on http://www.qld.gov.au/floods….
Richard Lindzen points out that a year and a half ago the Australian online journal, Quadrant, published one of his articles on climate hysteria will reduce efforts to protect humanity against naturally occurring climate events. The same can be asserted for general environmental hysteria.
An article published in the UK Telegraph reports that a dam to help control flooding of the Mary River in Queensland was stopped for environmental reasons, including endangered fish. If true, some of the current human suffering may have been avoidable, as with New Orleans in 2005.
After hurricane Betsy, in 1965, caused a storm surge in Lake Pontchartrain that over came the levees and flooded a part of New Orleans, the Corps of Engineers announced it would build a barrier system similar to that used by the Dutch to stop storm surges from the North Sea. Environmental groups successfully sued to stop the project. In Save Our Wetlands, Inc. vs. Early J Rush III, Federal Judge Charles Schwartz, Jr. ruled “it is the opinion of the Court that plaintiffs herein have demonstrated that they, and in fact all persons in this area, will be irreparably harmed if the barrier project . . . is allowed to continue.” (Emphasis added) The decision was proudly posted on the web site of Save Our Wetlands, Inc. until hurricane Katrina in 2005 flooded New Orleans in the same manner as Betsy, and then it quietly disappeared. Please see Article # 6 and articles under Climate Hysteria.
For excellent explanations of the weather patterns in the Northern Hemisphere please see “December 2010; A December To Remember” by Joe D’Aleo and Art Horn and “Forecaster: two phenomena responsible for world’s bizarre weather” under Extreme Weather.
The extreme cold in northern Europe and the UK has brought a surprising turn of events. The BBC has filed a Freedom of Information Demand to the British Government for documentation relating to the issue referenced in TWTW last week: if the Met office had previously told the government that December would be unusually cold and if the government had withheld this information from the public. Please see articles under Extreme Weather.
With appropriate fanfare, NOAA and NASA-GISS announced that the average annual global surface temperature for 2010 was as hot as 2005, the previous hottest year according to their records. These announcements were immediately repeated in the mainstream press as authoritative and additional proof of human-caused global warming.
As stated in TWTW last week, Roy Spencer reported that the average temperature, as measured by satellites, for 2010 was lower but not statistically different from 1998, the high during the satellite record. 1998 was a strong El Niño and 2010 began with an El Niño. Yet most of the press as well as NOAA and NASA-GISS ignore temperatures measured by satellites.
One can only speculate why NOAA and NASA-GISS ignore space age measurements. Is it that satellites measure temperatures of the atmosphere where the greenhouse effect takes place, is it that the measurements are comprehensive is it that they are unaffected by human land use changes, is it that the data is published monthly and open to independent review, therefore subject to correction of error by independent parties, or is it that the historical satellite measurements have not been repeatedly revised? Only the general press and NOAA, NASA-GISS can answer.
This brings us to the Number of The Week: 86.7%. As TWTW reported last week, Professor Emeritus of Geology Don Easterbrook has given the annual temperature reports in a different frame of reference. Based on his calculations from the GRIP-2 ice cores from Greenland, for 9,100 of the past 10,500 years it was warmer than today. That is, 86.7% of the time during this 10,500 year period it was warmer than today, and 13.3% of the time it was colder (at least in Greenland).
For the numbered articles below please see: http://www.sepp.org…
1. Reasons to cool in on global warming
Editorial, Orange County Register, Jan 13, 2011
2. BP Oil Spill Panel’s Dry Hole
Editorial, IBD, Jan 12, 2011
3. Ocean acidification: one less thing to worry about
By Barbara Hollingsworth, Washington Examiner, Jan 12, 2011
4. America Is Losing the Resource Race
By Jeffrey Folks, American Thinker, Jan 14, 2011
5. Junk Science Isn’t a Victimless Crime
Vaccines don’t cause autism-and there was never any proof that they do. Too bad kids had to die while we figured that out.
By Paul Offit, WSJ, Jan 11, 2011
6. Resisting climate hysteria
A Case Against Precipitous Climate Action
By Richard Lindzen, Quadrant, July 26, 2009
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Trenberth’s upcoming AMS meeting talk; ClimateGate Thoughts
By Anthony Watts, Watts Up With That? Jan 13, 2011 [H/t Joe D’Aleo]
Trenberth and Lifting Text Verbatim
By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Jan 14, 2011 Also prior posts
[SEPP Comment: McIntyre exposes the Trenberth lifted text from a commentary by Klaus Hasselmann.]
Scientists Challenged to Become Better Global warming Propagandists
By Norman Rogers, American Thinker, Jan 14, 2011
Challenging the Orthodoxy
Reality Trumps Dire Predictions
By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, SPPI, Jan 5, 2011
“Four cold winters in a row ought to have raised questions in legislators’ minds about the competence of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC, which they have generously but unwisely funded and trusted. The IPCC’s dire predictions of dangerous warming are not happening in observed reality.”
“2010 was the Warmest Year on Record”
By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, SPPI, Jan 8, 2011
“Michael Steketee, writing in The Australian in January 2011, echoed the BBC (whose journalists’ pension fund is heavily weighted towards “green” “investments”) and other climate-extremist vested interests in claiming that 2010 was the warmest year on record worldwide. Mr. Steketee’s short article makes two dozen questionable assertions, which either require heavy qualification or are downright false. His assertions will be printed in bold face: the truth will appear in Roman face.”
All Politics Climate Is Local
By Marlo Lewis, Global Warming.org, Jan 4, 2011
Defenders of the Orthodoxy
The Price of Change
Chinese leadership can save humanity in the fight against global warming. But fossil-fuel companies must be forced to pay for their carbon emissions
By James Hansen, South China Morning Post
[SEPP Comment: A US government scientist writes: “The climate crystal ball is clear – the physics undeniable.” “Carbon dioxide amounts of 400ppm (parts per million), expected in 2016 with current emissions, will cause an eventual sea level rise of about 25 meters.”]
2010 ties 2005 as warmest year on record, researchers say
By Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post, Jan 12, 2011
Figures on Global Climate Show 2010 Tied 2005 as the Hottest Year on Record
By Justin Gillis, NYT, Jan 12, 2011 [H/t David Rossin]
At Least Some Politicians Get It
Editorial, NYT, Jan 9, 2011
December 2010; A December To Remember
By Joe D’Aleo and Art Horn, SPPI, Jan 11, 2011
Forecaster: two phenomena responsible for world’s bizarre weather
CNN, Jan 13, 2011 [H/t ICECAP]
BBC Hits UK Govt with Freedom of Information Demand in Cold Winter Forecast Fiasco
By John O’Sullivan, Canada Free Press, Jan 11, 2011 [H/t WUWT}
The Met Office fries while the rest of the world freezes
As the Met Office desperately tries to salvage its reputation, another of this ‘warm’ winter’s ice disasters is unfolding in the Sea of Okhotsk, writes Christopher Booker.
By Christopher Booker, Telegraph, UK, Jan 11, 2011
Climate Change: Junk In, Junk Out
Editorial, IBD, Jan 12, 2011
Climate inquiry needed
By Des Moore, Quadrant Online, Jan 9, 2011
Climate Hysteria and some Results
Queensland floods: but at least the ‘endangered’ Mary River cod is safe, eh?
By James Delingpole, Telegraph, UK, Jan 11, 2011
U.S. Supreme Court Will Not Hear Bogus Global Warming Case
By Carter Wood, Shopfloor, Jan 10, 2011 [H/t Russell Cook]
BP Oil Spill and Aftermath
BP Explosion Led to ‘Oil Spill Hysteria’
Oil spill commission report is a case study in self-delusion
By William O’Keefe, Washington Examiner, Jan 11, 2011
BP spill panel to urge tougher oversight on offshore drilling
By Ben Geman, The Hill, Jan 11, 2011
Did We Learn Anything From the BP Oil Spill?
The National Oil Spill Commission has given marching orders on how to prevent another disaster. But will Congress listen?
By Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones, Jan 12, 2011
Frustration on global warming deepens for supporters of climate change bill
By Andrew Restuccia, The Hill, Jan 13, 2011
Major bank calls US ‘significant outlier’ on greenhouse-gas action
By Andrew Restuccia, The Hill, Jan 13, 2011
[SEPP Comment: Is US failure to act hurting the bank’s carbon trading portfolio?]
EPA and other Regulators on the March
Congress Should Rein in EPA
By William Shughart II, Independent Institute, Jan 9, 2011
[SEPP Comment: The cost of protecting against “heat pollution” caused by water discharge from existing power plants will be staggering.]
Evidence Mounts: Lagging Truck Fuel Economy Opportunity Costs of EPA Emission Rules
By Marlo Lewis, Global Warming. org, Jan 11, 2011
Environmental group plans to sue Interior Dept. over polar bear habitat
By Ben Geman, The Hill, Jan 13, 2011
[SEPP Comment: The false claim by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, a bureau under the Interior Department, that global warming threatens polar bears is being used as leverage to intensify Interior’s regulatory powers.]
Subsidies and Mandates Forever
Gresham’s Law of Green Energy
High-cost subsidized renewable resources destroy jobs and hurt consumers
By Jonathan Lesser, Continental Economics, Regulation Winter 2010-2011 [H/t Glenn Schleede]
[SEPP Comment: A rather technical economic analysis of the folly of subsidizing wind and solar.]
Military v climate spending: How China outguns the US on clean energy
By Elizabeth McGowan, Guardian UK, Jan 12, 2011 [H/t Marc Morano, Climate Depot]
[SEPP Comment: Is the US falling behind in the war on climate?]
To save the planet and the budget, cut energy off the dole
By Jeffrey Leonard, Washington Post, Jan 14, 2011 [H/t David Manuta]
[SEPP Comment: Agreed! Remove all subsidies to all types of energy, including mandates for alternative sources that are a form of subsidy by requiring consumers to buy from a particular source.]
Coal takes the strain … again
By Paul Hudson, BBC, Jan 10, 2011 [H/t A.J. Meyer]
[SEPP Comment: Will the British public realize that when it gets cold, wind power fails?]
Plant will shut after $58 m in state aid
Evergreen Solar to cut 800 jobs as it tries to compete with China
By Todd Wallack, Boston Globe, Jan 12, 2011 [H/t Jim Rust]
More Bad News for Stirling: So. Cal. Edison Cancels Power Purchase Agreement
How long will it go on?
By Michael Kanellos, Greentech Solar, Dec 23, 2010
[SEPP Comment: Solar thermal without storage capacity is having trouble competing with solar photovoltaic.]
Alleged leaks from carbon storage project questioned
By Nathan Vanderklippe, Globe and Mail, CA, Jan 13, 2011 [H/t hauntingthelibrary]
[SEPP Comment: It was only a matter of time before Carbon Sequestering and Storage (CSS) comes under attack.]
Whistling in the Wind
Wind farm future questionable, but CSU committed to reducing emissions
By Trevor Hughes, Coloradion.com, Dec 18, 2010 [H/t Global Warmin.com]
[SEPP Comment: Ideology hits cold economics. How long did it take for the University to realize if it uses wind driven electricity, when the wind stops is computers stop?]
California dreaming – nightmaring
By John Nichols, Canada Free Press, Jan 7, 2011 [H/t Francois Guillaumat]
[SEPP Comment: California regulators come to Delaware.]
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC
For a full list of articles see http://www.NIPCCreport.org…
Earth’s Freshwater Resources of the Past Two Millennia
Reference: Kummu, M., Ward, P.J., de Moel, H. and Varis, O. 2010. Is physical water scarcity a new phenomenon? Global assessment of water shortage over the last two millennia. Environmental Research Letters 5: 10.1088/1748-9326/5/3/034006.
A Brief History of Northwest Australian Tropical Cyclones
Reference: Goebbert, K.H. and Leslie, L.M. 2010. Interannual variability of Northwest Australian tropical cyclones. Journal of Climate 23: 4538-4555.
A 1600-Year Temperature History of Tropical South America
Reference: Kellerhals, T., Brutsch, S., Sigl, M., Knusel, S., Gaggeler, H.W. and Schwikowski, M. 2010. Ammonium concentration in ice cores: A new proxy for regional temperature reconstruction? Journal of Geophysical Research 115: 10.1029/2009JD012603.
Terrestrial Plant Responses to Global Warming
Reference: Lin, D., Xia, J. and Wan, S. 2010. Climate warming and biomass accumulation of terrestrial plants: a meta-analysis. New Phytologist 188: 187-198.
The Changing Climate
Climate change contributed to rise and fall on Roman empire
By Ben Geman, The Hill, Jan 14, 2011
New Esper Study Confirms Warm Periods Lead To Prosperity, Cold Periods To Death And Misery – Climate Extremes Were Greater In the Past
By P. Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jan 14, 2011 [H/t ICECAP]
2500 Years of European Climate Variability and Human Susceptibility
By Ulf Buntgen, et al., Science Jan 13, 2011
[SEPP Comment: The Abstract contains the sentence: “Recent warming is unprecedented, but modern hydroclimatic variations may have at times been exceeded in magnitude and duration.”
Other Scientific Issues
Be Scientific (Skeptical) about Scientific Research
By Clarice Feldman, American Thinker, Jan 9, 2011 [H/t A.J. Meyer]
New global network to precisely measure emissions
By Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post, Jan 12, 2011 [H/t Manny Medeiros]
“Jim Butler, who heads NOAA’s global monitoring division at its Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Co., said the proliferation of these networks will help give scientists a better sense of how the climate is changing and how to effectively curb global warming.”
[SEPP Comment: Wouldn’t validating the IPCC models be a better use of the funds? Precise measurements of carbon dioxide emissions will not increase our knowledge if the assumptions in the models are untested and wrong.]
Chicken Little eats crow
Skies surprise with enhanced ability to clean themselves
Editorial, Washington Times, Jan 12, 2011
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
Penguins Harmed by Tracking Bands, Study Finds
By Sindya Bhanoo, NYT, Jan 14, 2011 [H/t James Fleming]
[SEPP Comment: Killing penguins to ascertain if they are being harmed by global warming?]
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.sepp.org/the-week-that-was.cfm…