By Ken Haapala, Executive Vice President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
Quote of the Week:
“The encouragement of perfect freedom of economic discussion. The Association as such will take no partisan attitude, nor will it commit its members to any position on practical economic questions.” From the American Economic Association Constitution – as quoted by Ross McKitrick (see below)
Number of the Week: 682%
As discussed in last week’s TWTW, western governments have spent tens of billions of dollars pursuing an answer to the wrong scientific question: what is the risk of human-induced global warming / climate change? As a result, the governments have funded a science that is focused on attributing climate change to humans rather than understanding all the causes of climate change. Under this approach critical assertions are not tested against empirical, physical evidence. The assertions that carbon dioxide is the principal driver of climate change and that humans are causing unprecedented and dangerous global warming do not stand up to the physical evidence of past climate change. The failure to conduct rigorous hypothesis testing results in a discipline that is something other than a rigorous physical science.
Last week, TWTW discussed the testimony to the U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and Power by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and American Public Health Association (APHA) representative Lynn Goldman. Both testimonies contained highly questionable assertions.
H. Leighton Steward, Chairman of PlantsneedCO2.org and CO2isgreen.org, submitted a statement that challenges Ms. Jackson and Ms. Goldman to substantiate their questionable claims and the labeling of CO2 as a pollutant. In his statement Mr. Steward brings up a vital issue that is generally ignored by government-funded science: the benefits of increased carbon dioxide. Life on the planet is carbon-based. Green plants need carbon dioxide to manufacture food upon which they and most other life forms depend.
As Mr. Steward succinctly expresses, extensive experiments in the laboratory and the field demonstrate that increased carbon dioxide is beneficial. It promotes more robust growth of plant life and a more robust environment. Importantly for humans, virtually every food crop grows better in an atmosphere of enhanced carbon dioxide. The use of carbon-based fuels has benefited humanity and the environment.
Putting the question in the more political form used by the UN IPCC rather than in a scientific form, one may ask what are the risks to humanity, and the environment, of reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide?
>Number of the Week: 682%. From 1960 to 2010 wheat production in India went from 10,320 (1000 Metric Tons) to 80,710 (1000 MT) – an increase of 682 percent. According to the measurements at Mauna Loa Observatory, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration in 1960 was below 320 ppm and in 2010 it is about 390 ppm – an increase of 22%. No doubt the “green revolution” of better seeds, farming practices and fertilizer plus removal of government price controls greatly contributed to increased wheat production in India, but so did CO2.
Please see Article # 1 and the articles under Carbon Dioxide Benefits Ignored in EPA & APHA Testimony.
The Quote of the Week comes from a paper by Ross McKitrick, who along with Steve McIntyre first exposed the infamous “hockeystick.” McKitrick prepared the paper for a conference on establishing a common understanding on global warming issues.
Last week, and several times in the past, TWTW carried letters from distinguished scientists resigning from science societies that have issued opinions on global warming. Perhaps the members of science societies, and science in general, would be better served if all science societies followed the lead of the American Economic Association. Please see the entire paper referenced under “Seeking a Common Ground.”
A group of Oxford University researchers claimed they established that global warming / carbon dioxide increases made Britain’s great floods in 2000 twice as likely as if there had been no global warming / carbon dioxide increases. To arrive at this conclusion, researchers estimated the conditions prior to carbon dioxide enhancement compared to estimated conditions in 2000. They used a computer climate model developed at the Met Office Hadley Centre and had volunteers run it thousands of times on personal computers. The announcement attracted considerable attention in the press. Of course, multiple model runs are necessary to establish an error range of the estimates from a non-linear, chaotic model; but multiple runs do not establish the accuracy of the assumptions in the model.
Piers Corbyn of Weather Action debunks the announcement in a post jokingly claiming the 2000 flooding was caused by the Millennium bug. His post contains the references to the article in Nature and Met Office news releases.
In a timely fashion, NIPCC reports reviewed several articles on the difficulty of modeling clouds and precipitation. Please see articles referenced under “Extreme Weather” and “Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC.”
The economy of California continues to be hobbled by state government policies, especially unjustified environmental policies. Please see Article # 2 by Fred Singer and the article under “California Dreaming.”
Palaeontologist Bob Carter points out that what are called natural disasters have occurred throughout history. There is little mankind can do to stop natural events, such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, which significantly impacts on the weather of Australia and New Zealand. Rather than blame carbon dioxide emissions for natural disasters, government officials should focus on planning for natural disasters. He holds up New Zealand’s GeoNet hazard as an outstanding example of a national hazard management system. Please see Article #3.
The US administration continues to suppress drilling for oil in the United States both on land and off-shore, including the Gulf of Mexico. The actions contradict claims of promoting economic growth, as well as, seeking energy independence. Oil is primarily a transportation fuel and automobiles perform poorly if propelled by wind turbines. The pressure on the administration, including the Department of Interior, is increasing but thus far ignored. Please see Article # 4 and the articles under “BP Oil Spill.”
The issue of EPA regulating the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases is becoming hotter. Many members of Congress desire to rein in EPA’s expansion of power. There are a number of proposals to do so. Marlo Lewis has an insightful article on the pluses and minuses of various proposals. Please see Article # 5 and articles under “Let the Games Begin.”
On the lighter side: Last week, TWTW referenced an article in which a climate expert declared that, with global warming, wine producers in Bordeaux can expect more vintages such as the hot, dry year of 2003. Experts in French wines reported to TWTW that 2003 was an excellent year, high in quality and low in quantity. (Often quality and quantity are inversely related.) The experts stated that the previous hottest year in Bordeaux was 1947 which, as the wines aged, is considered an outstanding year. Also, the vineyards producing some of the finest wines of Bordeaux are in urban centers – which typically have higher temperatures than the surrounding countryside.
Some traditional producers are stating that the sugars in the grapes are increasing, resulting in a higher alcohol content in the wine. SEPP suspects that the increase in sugar content is a result of carbon dioxide enrichment, not global warming. Please see the article referenced under “Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC.”
For the numbered articles below please see: www.sepp.org.
1. Statement of H. Leighton Steward
To the US House Subcommittee on Energy and Power
In response to statements made February 9, 2011 by EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson and American Public Health Association representative Lynn Goldman, M.D.
By H. Leighton Steward, Chairman, PlantsneedCO2.org and CO2isgreen.org, Feb 16 2011
[SEPP Comment: A powerful challenge for credible evidence supporting EPA and APHA statements to Congress!]
2. The Sad State of the State of California
By S. Fred Singer, American Thinker, Feb 18, 2011
3. Disasters happen
And the appropriate response is to prepare for and adapt to them
By Bob Carter, Quadrant Online, Feb 13, 2011
4. A Shale Of A Difference
Editorial, IBD, Feb 17, 2011
5. Hitting EPA’s Pause Button – What Are the Benefits, Risks?
By Marlo Lewis, Cooler Heads Coalition, Feb 17, 2011
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Announcing a formal request for the Auditor General to audit the Australian BOM (Bureau of Meteorology)
By JoNova, Feb 16, 2011 [H/t WUWT]
Are Skeptic Scientists Corrupt
By Russell Cook, SPPI, Feb 17, 2011
Challenging the Orthodoxy
World Climate Report, Feb 16, 2011
“Climate committee” is a government advertising scheme by any other name
By JoNova, Feb 11, 2011
Green Smoke Screen
Supporters of “green energy” like to say it will create more jobs. They’re wrong
By Bjorn Lomborg, Slate, Feb 13, 2011 [H/t Warren Wetmore]
Defenders of the Orthodoxy
Tim Flannery appointed Australia’s climate commissioner
By Ben Packham, The Australian, Feb 10, 2011 [H/t John Cribbes]
Republicans Gut EPA Climate Rules, Slash Deeply Into Climate Research, Aid and Technology Programs
By Lauren Morello, Dina Fin Maron, Lisa Friedman and Squib Rahim, NYT, Feb, 14, 2011
Hopes of 30% cut in greenhouse emissions dashed
EU energy chief fears target would lead to a too-fast process of de-industrialization as compared to current 20%
By Fiona Harvey, Guardian, UK, Feb 10, 2011
[SEPP Comment: Impressive propaganda photo of chimneys belching black stuff, what is it?’]
Lord Stern: West must end hesitation over climate change
By Andrew Willis, Euobserver, Feb 9, 2011 [H/t Catherine French]
[SEPP Comments: Turning a blind eye on China’s increasing carbon dioxide emissions. The West must get over its current economic difficulties and “do what is right.” Too reminiscent of the aristocratic generals demanding the English troops to attack entrenched German artillery and machine guns during WWI.]
The politics of attack
They don’t have the facts, so House Republicans try to skewer the EPA
Editorial, Las Vegas Sun, Feb 12, 2011
Seeking a Common Ground
Conflict Resolution in Climate Science: Some Preliminary Thoughts from an Outsider
By Ross McKitrick, Jan 26, 2011 [H/t ICECAP]
[“The Key to Intellectual Freedom in Economics: No Society Statements”]
Sanity slowly returning to global warming policy
Editorial, Washington Examiner, Feb 12, 2011
The Seas are Changing
Rising Seas Will Affect Major US Coastal Cities by 2100, New Research Finds
By Staff Writers, Science Daily, Feb 14, 2011 [H/t WUWT]
[SEPP Comment: Increased precision in estimating the results of inaccurate assumptions does not contribute to increased accuracy of the assumptions. A Wall Street promoter putting six digits after the decimal place on an estimated return on investment does not make a false estimate more accurate, only more precisely false.]
Carbon Dioxide Benefits Ignored in EPA & APHA Testimony
A critical look at APHA testimony to congress in support of the EPA regulatory authority in light of “the health threat” imposed by “global warming”
By Joe D’Aleo, ICECAP, Feb 15, 2011
Where’s that Indian crop failure the warmists predicted?
By Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun, AU, Feb 17, 2011 [H/t Rupert Wynham]
Agriculture Production by Country – India
Cited Source: US Department of Agriculture
CO2 is a benefactor not a pollutant. Producers should be reward not demonized and taxed
By Joseph D’Aleo, ICECAP, Feb 14, 2011
The Hottest Year on Record?
By Steve Goddard, SPPI, Feb 15, 2011 [H/t ICECAP]
[SEPP Comment: James Hansen declared 2010 the hottest year ever. Yet, the data of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) diverge from that of other reporting surface-air temperatures. For example, in 2010 Hadley-CRU reported temperatures below those of 1998. Of course, NASA-GISS use models to project temperatures where they have no thermometers.]
Floods caused by climate change
Devastating floods which wreaked havoc across Britain in 2000 were made more likely by global warming, according to the first study to link flooding in this country to climate change.
By Louise Gray, Telegraph, UK, Feb 16, 2011 [H/t Malcolm Ross]
[SEPP Comment: See article below and review of articles on models and precipitation by NIPCC Reports.]
UK Floods in 2000 caused by Millennium bug
By Piers Corbyn, Weather Action, Feb 18, 2011
[SEPP Comment: See article above.]
Russian Winter: severe cold to invade Moscow and Eastern Europe
By Ryan Maue, WUWT, Feb 15, 2011
[SEPP Comment: The losses suffered by Napoleon’s Army in the march FROM Moscow were staggering.]
BP Oil Spill and Administration Control of Drilling
Federal judge gives Interior 30 days to decide on deepwater drilling permits
By Ben Geman, The Hill, Feb 17, 2011
Exxon-led group says oil well containment system is ready
By Ben Geman, The Hill, Feb 17, 2011
Let the Games Begin
Bills now in Congress to stop EPA’s All-Pain, No-Gain climate rules
By Dana Joel Gattuso, Washington Examiner, Feb 17, 2011
EPA Gearing up for regulatory review
By Andrew Restuccia, The Hill, Feb 18, 2011
EPA and other Regulators on the March
The Risk to Bristol Bay
Editorial, NYT, Feb 13, 2011
Subsidies and Mandates Forever
Will Obama’s SunShot Initiative See the Light of Day?
By Eli Kintisch, Science Insider, Feb 15, 2011 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
[SEPP Comment: If DOE believes its research can make electricity from photovoltaic cost- competitive with electricity from traditional sources, we wish it great success. Thus, there is no justification for renewable energy standards, other mandates, or subsidies for green, renewable energy, including wind power. Once DOE has performed, to include solving the problem of storage, then, everyone will demand to convert to low cost solar.]
Four Regulatory Fronts Against Coal Power (after the defeat of cap-and-trade)
By Robert Peltier, Master Resource, Feb 15, 2011
Europe launches trillion-euro energy revamp
By Staff Writers, AFP, Feb 4, 2011 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
Greens sour on natural gas
By Bob King, Politico, Feb 16, 2011 [H/t Randy Randol]
States Sue NRC over Temporary Nuclear Waste Rules
By Staff Writers, Power News, Feb 16, 2011
[SEPP Comment: Now with Yucca Mountain shut down, Connecticut, New York, and Vermont desire to close down nuclear power.]
Nuclear Reactors under Construction Worldwide
European Nuclear Society, Jan 19, 2011
Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
Unconventional Gas Riles and Refigures the World Energy Market: North America (Part I)
By Donald Hertzmark, Master Resource, Feb 16, 2011
[SEPP Comment: The world energy market is changing – whether governments or vested interests like it or not.]
Unconventional Gas Riles and Refigures the World Energy Market: The Pacific and Asia (Part II)
By Donald Hertzmark, Master Resource, Feb 17, 2011
Exxon Struggles to Find New Oil
By Russell Gold and Angel Gonzalez, WSJ, Feb 16, 2011
[SEPP Comment: May be behind a pay wall. The main issue is not the existence of oil but the denial by governments for exploring and developing oil fields.]
Alternative, Green Energy
Northern New Brunswick wind turbines frozen solid
By Greg Weston, Telegraph-Journal, Canada, Feb 15, 2011 [H/t WUWT]
Greenpeace Still Tilting at Windmills in Spain
By Gabriel Calzada, Institute for Energy Research, Feb 15, 2011 [H/t Randy Randol]
Cap-and-Trade Fantasies In Disneyland
By Larry Bell, Forbes, Feb 15, 2011
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC
For a full list of articles see
Climate Model Problems: Clouds and Precipitation
Reference: Zhou, Y.P., Tao, W.-K., Hou, A.Y., Olson, W.S., Shie, C.-L., Lau, K.-M., Chou, M.-D., Lin, X. and Grecu, M. 2007. Use of high-resolution satellite observations to evaluate cloud and precipitation statistics from cloud-resolving model simulations. Part I: South China Sea monsoon experiment.Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 64: 4309-4329.
[SEPP Comment: Timely review for claims that models link warming with flooding.]
Temperature and Precipitation Extremes: Models vs. Reality
Reference: Kiktev, D., Caesar, J., Alexander, L.V., Shiogama, H. and Collier, M. 2007. Comparison of observed and multimodeled trends in annual extremes of temperature and precipitation. Geophysical Research Letters 34: 10.1029/2007GL029539.
[“If climate model results are utilized as the basis for mandating a complete overhaul of the world’s energy system – as the world’s climate alarmists are attempting to do – the models should possess considerably more than moderate skill at what they do. But they definitely should not have low skill. And to employ models that have an absence of skill is the height of folly.”]
Evolving Ideas about Climate and Human Disease
Reference: Harvell, D., Altizer, S., Cattadori, I.M., Harrington, L. and Weil, E. 2009. Climate change and wildlife diseases: When does the host matter the most? Ecology 90: 912-920.
Climate Change and Infectious Diseases
Reference: Lafferty, K.D. 2009. The ecology of climate change and infectious diseases. Ecology 90: 888-900.
More CO2 Enrichment Work on Wine Grapes
Reference: Moutinho-Pereira, J., Goncalves, B., Bacelar, E., Cunha, J.B., Coutinho, J. and Correia, C.M. 2009. Effects of elevated CO2 on grapevine (Vitis viniferaL.): Physiological and yield attributes. Vitis 48: 159-165.
[SEPP Comment: An article referenced in last week’s TWTW claimed that global warming will significantly damage wine production in Bordeaux region of France. The researcher did not address the benefits of CO2 enrichment.]
Other Scientific Issues
Worldwide Sulfur Emissions Rose Between 2000-2005, After Decade of Decline
By Staff Writers, SPX, Dec 17, 2011 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
[SEPP Comment: Apparently from China and increase in international shipping. The effects of increased sulfur emissions are unclear.]
Building A Global Thermostat In L1
By Launchspace Staff, Space Daily, Feb 14, 2011 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
Other Issues that May Be Of Interest
Malware Aimed at Iran Hit Five Sites, Report Says
By John Markoff, NYT, Feb 11, 2011 [H/t Warren Wetmore]
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
Going bananas over radiation
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Feb 16, 2011
[SEPP Comment: An amusing post]
Forget CO2, US Debt “Causes” Warming
By Ira Glickstein, WUWT, Feb 16, 2011
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…