Weekly Energy and Climate News Roundup

THIS WEEK:

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.)

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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ARTICLES:

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

http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/-284004–.html…

2. BP Oil Spill Panel’s Dry Hole

Editorial, IBD, Jan 12, 2011

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

3. Ocean acidification: one less thing to worry about

By Barbara Hollingsworth, Washington Examiner, Jan 12, 2011

http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confiden…

4. America Is Losing the Resource Race

By Jeffrey Folks, American Thinker, Jan 14, 2011

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/01/america_is_lo…

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

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703779…

6. Resisting climate hysteria

A Case Against Precipitous Climate Action

By Richard Lindzen, Quadrant, July 26, 2009

http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2009/…

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NEWS YOU CAN USE:

Climategate Continued

Trenberth’s upcoming AMS meeting talk; ClimateGate Thoughts

By Anthony Watts, Watts Up With That? Jan 13, 2011 [H/t Joe D’Aleo]

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/13/trenberths-upc…

Trenberth and Lifting Text Verbatim

By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Jan 14, 2011 Also prior posts

http://climateaudit.org/…

[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

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/01/scientists_ch…

Challenging the Orthodoxy

Alarming Warming?

Reality Trumps Dire Predictions

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, SPPI, Jan 5, 2011

http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/pap…

“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

http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/originals/q2010_wa…

“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

http://www.globalwarming.org/2011/01/04/all-politics…

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

http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2010/20101122…

[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

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

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]

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/13/science/earth/13cl…

At Least Some Politicians Get It

Editorial, NYT, Jan 9, 2011

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/10/opinion/10mon3.htm…

Extreme Weather

December 2010; A December To Remember

By Joe D’Aleo and Art Horn, SPPI, Jan 11, 2011

http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/pap…

Forecaster: two phenomena responsible for world’s bizarre weather

CNN, Jan 13, 2011 [H/t ICECAP]

http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2011/01/13/forecaster-two-…

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}

http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/32017…

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

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

Climate Change: Junk In, Junk Out

Editorial, IBD, Jan 12, 2011

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/559…

Climate inquiry needed

By Des Moore, Quadrant Online, Jan 9, 2011

http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/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

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/10…

U.S. Supreme Court Will Not Hear Bogus Global Warming Case

By Carter Wood, Shopfloor, Jan 10, 2011 [H/t Russell Cook]

http://shopfloor.org/2011/01/u-s-supreme-court-will-…

BP Oil Spill and Aftermath

BP Explosion Led to ‘Oil Spill Hysteria’

Newsmax

http://news.newsmax.com/?ZK4DaTeZ-k2juhal27z.5nES6Qr…

Oil spill commission report is a case study in self-delusion

By William O’Keefe, Washington Examiner, Jan 11, 2011

http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/2011/01…

BP spill panel to urge tougher oversight on offshore drilling

By Ben Geman, The Hill, Jan 11, 2011

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/677-e2-wire/137165-…

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

http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/01/oil-spill-co…

Cap-and-Trade

Frustration on global warming deepens for supporters of climate change bill

By Andrew Restuccia, The Hill, Jan 13, 2011

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/677-e2-wire/137889-…

Major bank calls US ‘significant outlier’ on greenhouse-gas action

By Andrew Restuccia, The Hill, Jan 13, 2011

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/677-e2-wire/137723-…

[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

http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=2…

[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

http://www.globalwarming.org/2011/01/11/evidence-mou…

Environmental group plans to sue Interior Dept. over polar bear habitat

By Ben Geman, The Hill, Jan 13, 2011

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/677-e2-wire/137831-…

[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]

http://www.cato.org/pubs/regulation/regv33n4/regv33n…

[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]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jan/12/mi…

[SEPP Comment: Is the US falling behind in the war on climate?]

Energy Issues

To save the planet and the budget, cut energy off the dole

By Jeffrey Leonard, Washington Post, Jan 14, 2011 [H/t David Manuta]

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

[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]

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/paulhudson/2011/01/coal-t…

[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]

http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2011/01/12/e…

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

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/more-ba…

[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]

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/scien…

[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]

http://www.coloradoan.com/article/20101218/UPDATES01…

[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

California dreaming – nightmaring

By John Nichols, Canada Free Press, Jan 7, 2011 [H/t Francois Guillaumat]

http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/318…

[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.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/jan/12jan20…

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.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/jan/11jan20…

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.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/jan/11jan20…

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.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/jan/12jan20…

The Changing Climate

Climate change contributed to rise and fall on Roman empire

By Ben Geman, The Hill, Jan 14, 2011

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/677-e2-wire/137945-…

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]

http://notrickszone.com/2011/01/14/new-esper-study-c…

2500 Years of European Climate Variability and Human Susceptibility

By Ulf Buntgen, et al., Science Jan 13, 2011

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2011/01/12/s…

[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]

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/01/clarices_piec…

New global network to precisely measure emissions

By Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post, Jan 12, 2011 [H/t Manny Medeiros]

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

“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

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jan/12/chic…

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BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:

Penguins Harmed by Tracking Bands, Study Finds

By Sindya Bhanoo, NYT, Jan 14, 2011 [H/t James Fleming]

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/18/science/18obpengui…

[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…

22 thoughts on “Weekly Energy and Climate News Roundup

  1. It is interesting that most Meteorologists do not believe that CO2 causes global warming. I am sure that Trenberth meeting with the AMS is an attempt to win them over. Trenberth is probably the worst person in the world for that job as he is forever tainted.

  2. “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.”
    Does this observation ring any bells when thinking back to the three “investigations” (whitewashes) held in the UK last year into the behaviour of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia?

  3. Anthony,
    Our area in Ontario, Canada recieved another record breaking low of -30.5 C.
    Thanks for the melt around Christmas or we would be up to close to 6 feet of snow as well right now.

  4. Can I add this from The Telegraph today:
    “In the Arctic Ocean as elsewhere, the full, destructive power of global warming appears unmistakable. Regional sea ice is retreating fast, threatening to raise global sea levels, destroy traditional habitats and ways of life, and accelerate the rate at which the planet as a whole is warming up.”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/epic/bpdot/8264816/The-silver-lining-to-Arctic-global-warming.html
    This just about sums up the ignorance of journalists on so many levels.
    However much sea ice retreats it will have no effect on sea levels, and to suggest that retreating sea ice is the direct cause of acceleration of the rate of warming is utter nonsense.

  5. Actually, looking for oil in the waters of the Arctic is one thing (one very stupid thing). Looking for oil under terra firma is another (with restrictions, not so stupid). Wind blown ice is quite the monster. An oil rig in Arctic water is a recipe for disaster. My other issue has to do with winds. What we spill out into the Arctic air stays there, more so than in other places. Not exactly a place to build industrial complexes without some form of multi-national agreements on pollution control in place.

  6. The US Government confiscated $20 billion of BP assets without any due process in law. If the Russians had done this everyone would shrug and say the Russian Government are all gangsters. Now the US Government cannot assign specific blame.
    The following facts are relevant :-
    • Researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that the half-life of much of the leaking oil was about three days, meaning that more than 90 percent would have disappeared in 12 days.
    • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported in November that 2,263 oil-soiled bird remains had been collected in the Gulf, compared to the 225,000 birds killed by the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska in 1989.
    • Only 18 dead oil-soiled turtles were found, and no other reptile deaths were recorded.
    • Just four oil-soiled mammals, including dolphins, were found dead in the Gulf region, compared to the more than 1,000 sea otters alone that died in the Alaska spill.
    • Government agencies could not find any evidence of dead fish resulting from the Gulf spill, or any evidence of contamination in live fish. In fact, the closure of large areas of the Gulf to fishing due to the spill has resulted in a surprising increase in the fish population, marine biologists found.
    • By early November, “heavy oil” on Gulf beaches remained on only 30 miles of the 580 miles where oil had come ashore.
    For this, Obama had “his boot on BP’s throat” and had $20 billion forcibly removed from its bank account.
    Gangsterism indeed.

  7. I am sure this is completely the wrong place to post this, but I couldn’t resist this joke that a friend has just sent me.
    Sorry!
    It’s late fall and the Indians on a remote reservation in Oklahoma asked their new chief if the coming winter was going to be cold or mild.
    Since he was a chief in a modern society, he had never been taught the old secrets. When he looked at the sky, he couldn’t tell what the winter was going to be like.
    Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, he told his tribe that the winter was indeed going to be cold and that the members of the village should collect firewood to be prepared.
    But, being a practical leader, after several days, he got an idea. He went to the phone booth, called the National Weather Service and asked, ‘Is the coming winter going to be cold?’
    ‘It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold,’ the meteorologist at the weather service responded.
    So the chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more firewood in order to be prepared.
    A week later, he called the National Weather Service again. ‘Does it still look like it is going to be a very cold winter?’
    ‘Yes,’ the man at National Weather Service again replied, ‘it’s going to be a very cold winter.’
    The chief again went back to his people and ordered them to collect every scrap of firewood they could find.
    Two weeks later, the chief called the National Weather Service again. ‘Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?’
    ‘Absolutely,’ the man replied. ‘It’s looking more and more like it is going to be one of the coldest winters we’ve ever seen.’
    ‘How can you be so sure?’ the chief asked.
    The weatherman replied, ‘The Indians are collecting a [snip . . lot] of firewood’

  8. America takes 18% royalty off the top on offshore oil leases. That is after the lease was sold for millions to 10’s of millions. They do NOT participate in expenses. Oil is a cash cow for Uncle sam.
    Exxon remitted 100 billion in taxes last year.

  9. I live in Louisiana and I am very familiar with the offshore oil and gas industry–which was pioneered in our state, by our people, after World War II. The environmental “armageddon” predicted in the inital aftermath of the spill was a gross exaggeration of what, in acutality, followed. (Those who frequent this site are aware of many instances of predictions of “environmental armageddon” that don’t materialize as predicted.)
    There were short-term impacts from the spill–many of which could have been prevented with better coordination between the various governmental agencies and BP. That is especially true of the oiled pelicans we all saw on TV. The loctions of the pelican rookeries on the Louisiana coast are well known. The one where most of the harm occured–Queen Bess Island–is a small area (I have fished around it many times in the past) that was not exposed to oil for almost a month after the explosion and spill. The lack of protection for those pelicans was a human failure–and an inexcusable one.
    Louisiana’s seafood industry did suffer harm–much of it unnecessarily–from the spill. Most of that harm was due to the publicity surrounding the spill more than the presence of residual oil in the water. Our seafood has passed all safety tests, but many consumers avoid buying it because they still think oil is plentiful in our coastal areas. This is not true. Much of the oil was captured and much more simply evaporated. The GOM is not Prince William Sound, Alaska. Warm waters here are teaming with bacteria that feast on crude oil, and have done so for eons from oil seaping naturally from the huge reservoirs beneath the Gulf.
    What is truly hurting Louisiana is the negative economic impact from the loss of investment and jobs due to the moratorium and now the “permitorium”–the fact the few if any drilling permits are being granted even after the lifting of the moratorium. The loss of energy production from the OCS in the Gulf will begin affecting folks outside of Louisiana soon. Book it.
    I was at the mouth of the Mississippi River fishing a month ago. Brown pelicans were almost on every other piling post sticking out of the water. Shrimp and bait fish were literally jumping out of the water. I enjoyed that most special of ecosystems throughly, as I always do, and commented to my friend how most Americans probably would not believe the pristine nature of what we were seeing.
    As for deep-water Artic drilling, the Russians are the only folks I know of who are contemplating that…

  10. No suprise with this report. I do believe it also calls for the formation of a new federal agency, gee willikers never saw that one coming. Obama wants to destroy the domestic fossil fuel industry and he is using every tool he can without regard to the harm it causes us bible and gun grasping simpletons. The EPA revoked a permit to mine coal (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/2417301a-1f79-11e0-87ca-00144feab49a.html#axzz1BPWFdUAA) and many are familiar with the EPA’s push for some form of “Crap and Trade” scheme outside of Congressional authority. But naturally Obama’s cheerleading section will hail this as a just and honorable study and tell us idiot peons to shut-up, lie back, and just enjoy it. Sorry about the website, never bothered myself with learing HTML tags. Anyway, time to go and burn some fossil fuel, gotta feed the family, aka the carbon footprint.

  11. Ignore the apology, didn’t realize the link would be active without tags of some sort.
    [Reply: Yes, just paste the link and it will be active. ~dbs, mod.]

  12. “The worst environmental catastrophe in US history”
    Is this is all the damage that can be dug up from 40 years of offshore Gulf drilling.
    Shall we now weigh the benefits vs the costs of Petroleum?
    Shall we weigh the environmental benefits of drilling offshore like the fact that when you dive offshore LA and Texas you are taken to a drilling rig because it has formed a artificial reef that supports the sea life you want to see in what is otherwise a desert. Remember Liberty ships that were deliberately sunk off the East Coast after WWII to enhance marine life, is. fishing. What about the microbes that ate the oil? Did they move up the food chain and enhance marine life? In Nigeria. abandoned platforms are a shipping hazard because the government will not allow them to be removed because of the benefit of it acting as an artificial reef.
    Then of course there are the minor benefits of heating your, driving your car, plastics, pharmaceuticals, fertilizer and not having to import the oil.
    We have truly entered an age of Orwellian madness.

  13. BP Oil Spill Report in a Nutshell
    BP applied The Peters Principal and Murphey’s Laws prevailed . . . . .
    ps. just about everything I know I learned somewhere else so . . . I’m pretty sure this is a plagerized statement. . . .

  14. Anthony, et al.
    Having a running argument about the development of low level thermals (among RC glider pilots)
    Would the air above a parking lot warm more from IR or from conduction.
    Surely the ratio is different on a moist day than a dry one, but generally speaking, what might the ratio be?

  15. “The worst environmental catastrophe in US history.”
    Civilization is plagued with nagging whiners, most of whom are not the least affected by the object of their nattering.

  16. Anthony, I thought I would send you this link on energy generation from my home province of Ontario

    REPLY:
    Thanks, it always helps to include it in the body of the message- Anthony

  17. While I agree the Spill Report was over the top, it is not surprising given the media attention the disaster received. I work in the offshore oil and gas business as a safety engineer, run a blog related to engineering risk called http://www.actiononrisk.com , and have worked in Houston and have seen the different attitude there with respect to the offshore industry when compared to Canada, and Europe. That is not to say the approach used is wrong, it’s just not applied the same way. More of a cowboy culture exists. For that reason the system there does rely more on good people to avoid mistakes. System checks and oversights are less pervasive compared to other offshore areas of westernized nations. I think the industry itself will self regulate better going forward with improved oversights and checks. There are things that can be done better, most insiders will agree. The Spill Report does represent a watershed milestone in the Gulf Offshore industry. It’s the first major event there. Similar to Piper Alpha and the Ocean Ranger were major milestones to change in the UK and Canadian offshore industries. These events force us to reassess and learn how to improve. Parts of the Spill Report speak to that, which is my focus when looking at it.

  18. Here’s some more weekly, well annual, news.
    HadCRUT3 for December has been published at the UEA website, 0.251 and the lowest monthly value since February 2008.
    So (by this measure) was 2010 the warmest ever? Nope.
    But then was 2010 the 2nd warmest ever? Nope.
    But then was 2010 the 3rd warmest ever? Well sorta – tied 3rd.
    1998: 0.548
    2005: 0.482
    2003: 0.475
    2010: 0.475
    Is this going to be in the MainStreamMedia?
    Rich.

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