Quote of the Week:
“Give me a faster computer and I will give you the wrong result sooner.” Malcolm Ross upon reading that the MET Office claimed that it failed to predict the cold December and January in Britain because its new computer was too slow.
Number of the Week: 65
By Ken Haapala, Executive Vice President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
Early last Saturday morning, the US House of Representatives passed a budget resolution that threatens the environmental industry – the resolution eliminated the $13 Million proposed by the Obama administration to go to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Immediately, the environmental industry and other alarmists decried this action.
Roy Spencer, who was with the IPCC at the beginning, praised the action and states that the climate change deniers have no one to blame but themselves – that is, the deniers who think that climate change began with their birth and deny natural climate change. Spencer also states the IPCC is not a scientific organization and was formed to regulate carbon dioxide emissions. Claims of human-cause global warming are only a means to that goal. Consequently, the physical evidence that contradicts the central claim that carbon dioxide controls the climate is ignored.
This action, of course, is being opposed by the administration and by many in the US Senate. A brief recap: last year Congress failed to pass a budget. The Federal government has been operating under a series of continuing resolutions, the latest expires on March 4. The US House passed a budget to fund the Federal government to the end of the fiscal year, September 30, 2011, but removed funding of the IPCC and certain EPA and Department of Energy programs. Congress has been on vacation this week and the Senate has to pass budget which the President must sign by March 4 or the government may shut down – other options, such as short term extensions, are possible. It should be an interesting week in Washington.
The House bill cut the EPA budget by about 29% and included prohibitions to fund programs implementing carbon dioxide regulations and regulation of cement plants. For their efforts, the Republicans who dominate the House were accused of being anti-science and dirty energy promoters.
Please see Article # 1, articles under “Let the Games Begin,” and under “Below the Bottom Line.”
Last Friday, John Holdren, the President’s science advisor, testified before the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Holdren claimed that climate scientists embrace the orthodox view and likened the skeptics to those who denied the link between smoking and lung cancer. He has termed skeptics as deniers and heretics. In a TV interview in 2006, Holren claimed that global warming will cause a sea level rise of up to 4 meters (13 feet) by 2100.
Holdren’s testimony was apparently not very convincing to the House members who voted to eliminate US funding of the IPCC. Also the Chairman of the Committee, Ralph Hall, introduced an amendment on the House budget bill to remove funding of NOAA’s Climate Services which passed. Please see articles under “Defenders of the Orthodoxy” and “Extreme Weather.”
Several articles this week unintentionally exposed the extent to which the alternative energy industry, such as wind power, depends on political favoritism. First, developers receive loan guarantees, or similar inducements, which minimize their risks to bad outcomes including their own poor decisions. (The new House budget will eliminate the loan guarantee program.) Developers also receive construction subsidies. In the US, wind developers can receive a grant from the Treasury that covers 30% of the cost of the project rather than the production from the project. This grant is in lieu of a 10 year production tax credit based upon actual energy production. (A tax credit is equivalent to a tax payment, which is different from deduction from taxable income.)
In many states, and in countries such as the UK and Germany, developers have a guaranteed market for their electricity, protected from low-cost competition. These can be in several forms, including renewable energy standards, which require the consumers (such as electricity distributors) to buy a given percentage of electricity from alternative producers, or feed in tariffs, which set the price at which consumers must buy the electricity. The guaranteed market results in alternative energy producers receiving higher prices than their competitors and protects them market changes, such as a glut of electricity. Unlike their competitors, alternative producers are also protected from dire consequences, such as heavy fees and fines, if they unexpectedly fail to produce electricity.
With this array of political favors, no wonder wind power is a growth industry in many jurisdictions. Under such schemes, buggy manufacturing would be a growth industry in transportation.
Please see articles referenced “Subsidies and Mandates Forever.”
In an unfortunate development, the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced a plan to impose taxes on carbon, followed by a shift to an emissions trading scheme. This venture apparently contradicts campaign promises. But what are campaign promises when one can join the world in the rush to expensive, unreliable electricity?
In more positive news, the House of Representatives of New Hampshire voted to pull out of a cap and trade scheme encompassing 10 states of in the northeastern US. Apparently, citizens are angered over increasing electricity bills, especially when the moneys go to special interests. The scheme was designed by current EPA administrator Lisa Jackson.
Please see articles under “Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes.”
In Article #2 Fred Singer praises the latest efforts to provide an independent review of surface-air temperatures – a task sorely needed.
An editorial in the Investor’s Business Daily praises the response of the citizens of New Zealand in their response to the devastating earthquake in Christchurch. Unfortunately, the editorial does no mention New Zealand’s disaster relief program which Bob Carter praised in an article in last week’s TWTW. Please see Article # 3.
In a speech to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Dale Klein, former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, stated that the current US program of failing to use spent nuclear fuel is a waste of resources. Please see Article #4.
The Inspector General of the Commerce Department, of which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is part, released a report of its investigation on possible improper actions by members of NOAA related to Climategate. Two versions of the results and the entire report are referenced under “Climategate Continued.”
Also, as stated above, the House budget calls for the elimination of NOAA’s Climate Services division. A small section of that division, called CIS, has produce solid reports discussing human influence on extreme weather events. Several such reports are referenced under “Extreme Weather.”
An interesting press release from the National Science Foundation reports that a widespread drought struck Africa and Southern Asia 16,000 to 17,000 years ago. The report attributes the drought to a change in the tropical rain belt that changed the pattern of monsoons. This change was attributed to the melting of the great ice sheets covering much of the Northern Hemisphere between 15,000 and 18,000 years ago.
However, the dates do not match well with the data of temperature change from the Greenland GISP2 Ice Cores discussed in the January 29 TWTW and sea level rise. As presented by Don Easterbrook, the GISP2 data reveal a warming of about 10 deg C (from minus 55 deg C) starting about 24,000 years ago, followed by an abrupt cooling, then a period of oscillating warming and cooling. This period was followed by a very abrupt warming about 15,000 years ago of about 12 deg C followed by an abrupt cooling than another abrupt warming about 14,000 years ago of about 4.5 deg C. As shown in Figure 17 of the 2008 NIPCC report, the most dramatic increases in sea levels began about 15,000 years ago and tapered off about 8,000 years ago. The temperature changes are unrelated to atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, which are also measured in the GISP2 ice cores.
These data reveal that Greenland was up to 2.5 deg C warmer than today between 5000 and 8,000 years ago. A time in which, according to H.H. Lamb and others, the Sahara was quite wet. Lamb suggested that the drying of the Sahara may have been due to a shift in the intertropical convergence zone and its associated rain belt. Regardless of the exact cause, this is another dramatic example of significant climate change not associated with atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations or humans. Please see articles under “The Changing Climate.”
Number of the Week: 65. According to the European Nuclear Society, there are 65 nuclear reactors under construction world-wide. China has 27 under construction (the World Nuclear Association now reports more than 25), The Russian Federation 11, India 5, Republic of Korea 5, Bulgaria, Taiwan, Japan, Slovak Republic, Ukraine have 2 each, Argentina, Brazil, Finland, France, Iran, Pakistan, and US have 1 each. Please see article under “Energy Issues.” That Japan, the only country to experience the hostile use of nuclear weapons, and that the Ukraine, the country that experienced the greatest nuclear plant disaster, are building nuclear reactors reveals the extent to which nuclear fears control policies in other countries.
Readers in Australia, UK, US may wish to alert their legislators that their countries are losing the nuclear power race with Bulgaria and the Slovak Republic!
For the numbered articles below please see:
1. On the House Vote to Defund the IPCC
By Roy Spencer, drroyspencer.com, Feb 19, 2011
2. What do Climate Data Really Show? The Berkeley Climate Data Project
By S. Fred Singer, American Thinker, Feb 19, 2011
[SEPP Comment: Unfortunately the article does not mention the world class disaster relief program discussed in an article by Bob Carter appearing in last week’s TWTW.]
3. Stronger Than Disaster
Editorial, IBD, Feb 22, 2011
4. Spent Nuclear Fuel Is Anything but Waste
By Staff Writers, Science Daily, Feb 21, 2011 H/t Toshio Fujita]
[“Failure to pursue a program for recycling spent nuclear fuel has put the U.S. far behind other countries and represents a missed opportunity to enhance the nation’s energy security and influence other countries, the former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said.”]
5. $100 Oil Is Devil’s Due For Drilling Bans
Editorial, IBD, Feb 23, 2011
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
IG Finds NOAA Climategate Emails ‘Warrant Further Investigation.’ Top Scientist Thwarts Transparency Law
Press Release, Senator Inhofe, [H/t Anthony Watts, WUWT]
[SEPP Comment: This is Version # 1]
Scientists Are Cleared of Misuse of Data
By Leslie Kaufman, NYT, Feb 24, 2011
[SEPP Comment: This is Version # 2]
United States Department of Commerce
The Inspector General
Report of Investigation of NOAA: Feb 18, 2011
[SEPP Comment: Actual report]
Defenders of the Orthodoxy
White House Science Advisor: Climate Change Skeptics are ‘Heretics’
By Cris Neefus, CNSNews, Feb 17, 2011 [H/t Bud Bromley]
War and Peace Over Holdren’s Climate Testimony
By Jeffrey Mervis, Science Insider, Feb 18, 2011 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
Models guiding climate policy are ‘dangerously optimistic’
Computer models predicting future climate change are underestimating emissions and overestimating technology, warns climate scientist Kevin Anderson
By Nadya Anscombe, Guardian, UK, Feb 24, 2011 [H/t Marc Morano, Climate Depot]
[SEPP Comment: Same headline but different argument: none of the models indicate any possibility of a future ice age.]
‘Black carbon’ key to tackling climate threat: UN report
By Staff Writers (AFP) Feb 23, 2011 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
Can Record Snowstorms & Global Warming Coexist?
By David Herring & Wayne Higgins & Mike Halpert, NOAA Climate Services, Mar 25, 2010 [H/t Anthony Watts, WUWT]
“Our modern understanding of the difference between weather, climate variability, and climate change reinforces the important points that not all parts of the globe will warm at the same rate, nor will warming proceed continuously.”
NOAA Climate Services
CSI: NOAA Climate Scene Investigators
Floods are manmade, you say now?
By JoNova, Australia, Feb 21, 2011
La Niña – she’s the wild child of weather and she’s causing havoc here and around the world.
Insight, SBS, Australia, Feb 22, 2011 [H/t Stewart Franks]
BP Oil Spill and Administration Control of Drilling
BP could have prevented blowout: investigator
By Staff Writers, AFP, Feb 20, 2011 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
Energy independence means more domestic production
By Diana Furchtgott-Roth, Washington Examiner, Feb 24, 2011
Pressures Mount to Resume Drilling
By Tennille Tracy and Ryan Tracy, NYT, Feb 25, 2011
Let the Games Begin
House Passes Luetkemeyer Amendment to Halt Taxpayer Financing of UN Climate Panel
Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer, Press Release, Feb 19, 2011
Put the REINS on EPA
The “Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny” Act could put the kibosh on the EPA’s greenhouse regulatory surge.
By Marlo Lewis, Pajamas Media, Feb 25, 2011
Congress to NASA: Study Space! (Not Climate. That’s Not Space)
The budget battle has come to NASA, where a massive amount of money is being spent on something that has nothing to do with NASA’s mission.
By Art Norn, Pajamas Media, Feb 18, 2011 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Environmental groups launch effort to pressure House GOP on spending votes
By Andrew Restuccia, The Hill, Feb 19, 2011
Congress should stop funding Big Green lawsuits against the government
By Ron Arnold, Washington Examiner, Feb 24, 2011
Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes
PM to set price on carbon from July 1, 2012
By Anna Caldwell and Steven Scott, Courier-Mail, Feb 24, 2011 [H/t WUWT]
[SEPP Comment: Sad news from Australia]
Does the lie matter? Only if you think Democracy does
By Jo Anne Nova, JoNova, Feb 26, 2011
[SEPP Comment: In response to Australia’s proposed tax on carbon]
New Hampshire smacks down cap and trade
By Phil Kerpen, Daily Caller, Feb 23, 2011 [H/t Bud Bromley]
EPA and other Regulators on the March
E.P.A. Scales back Emission Rules
By John Broder, NYT, Feb 23, 2011 [H/t David Manuta]
The EPA’s Latest Unscientific Power Grab
By Jeff Stier, Townhall, Feb 23, 2011
Subsidies and Mandates Forever
Robbing California of energy
The House’s decision to rescind about $2 billion in Recovery Act funds and loan authority has jeopardized some $40 billion of private industry investment in clean energy.
By US Senator Dianne Feinstein, Los Angeles Times, Feb 23, 2011
[SEPP Comment: The Federal government stopping certain taxpayer funded, highly questionable alternative energy programs is robbing California?]
Non-recourse finance set to increase in offshore wind sector
By Alison Ebbage, Wind Energy Update, Feb 16, 2011
“Markets that have favourable regulatory regimes will benefit most. Currently Germany, the UK and Belgium appeal most to lenders, as all have regulation in place to support offshore windfarm development as well as subsidies such as feed-in tariffs (FiTs) or Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs), which offer a guaranteed output price and thus reduce risk further for lenders.”
Your Tax Dollars at Risk
By Donn, Power America, Feb 23, 2011
[SEPP Comment: Another example of subsidizing alternative energy. There is some discrepancy between the cited costs of construction for new power facilities compared to those newly announced by the US Energy Information Administration. Also, SEPP has been unable to find any wind farm that publicly reports its production with an annual capacity significantly above 30%.]
Wind power will cost RI taxpayers $1.5 M
By Tim White & Ted Nesi, WRPI com, Feb 18, 2011 [H/t Brad at Prescott]
“In 2009, New Englanders got 42 percent of their electricity by burning natural gas and another 30 from nuclear power, according to ISO New England, the organization that manages the region’s 8,000-mile power grid. The next-biggest sources were coal, 12 percent; hydropower, 6 percent; and other renewables, 6 percent.” [SEPP Comment: No wonder so many attorney generals from New England are willing to beef up their political portfolios by demonizing coal.]
Nuclear Reactors under Construction Worldwide
European Nuclear Society, Jan 19, 2011
Westinghouse Launches Small Modular Reactor Design
By Staff Writers, Power News, Feb 23, 2011
Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
Drilling for an Oil Crisis
By Michael Lynch, NYT, Feb 24, 2011
[SEPP Comment: Peak oil is overblown.]
East Africa basks in big gas strikes
By Staff Writers, UPI, Feb 17, 2011 [H/t Toshio Fujitat]
U.P.S. Finds a Substitute for Diesel: Natural Gas, at 260 Degrees Below Zero
By Matthew Wald, NYT, Feb 22, 2011
Alternative, Green Energy
Plant closure bursts Ga.’s biomass bubble
By Dan Chapman, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Feb 15, 2010 [H/t Jim Rust]
Panel: Green jobs company endorsed by Obama and Biden squandered $535 million in stimulus money
By John Rossomando, Daily Caller, Feb 22, 2011 [H/t Catharine French]
Obama’s jolt to economy: ‘Tripling’ your electric bill
Experts forecast costs will skyrocket under burden of power-line financing
By Gene Koprowski, WorldNetDaily, Jan 9, 2011 [H/t Catherine French]
Obama’s deprivation nation
Administration goes green while Europe retreats
Editorial, Washington Times, Feb, 22, 2011 [H/t Randy Randol]
Solar Energy Faces Tests On Greenness
By Todd Woody, NYT, Feb 23, 2011
[SEPP Comment: The green industry is opposed to coal, natural gas, oil, hydro, wind power, transmission lines, and now solar. It is opposed to electricity.]
A Climate Skeptic With a Bully Pulpit in Virginia Finds an Ear in Congress
By John Collins Rudolf, NYT, Feb 22, 2011
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC
For a full list of articles see
Arctic vs. Global Air Temperature Change
Reference: Chylek, P., Folland, C.K., Lesins, G., Dubey, M.K. and Wang, M. 2009. Arctic air temperature change amplification and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. Geophysical Research Letters 36: 10.1029/2009GL038777.
Millennial-Scale Cycling of Climate in China’s Salawusu River Valley
Reference: Lu, Y., Li, B., Wen, X., Qiu, S., Wang, F., Niu, D. and Li, Z. 2010. Millennial-centennial scales climate changes of Holocene indicated by magnetic susceptibility of high-resolution section in Salawusu River Valley, China. Chinese Geographical Science 20: 243-251.
Effects of Seawater acidification on Phytoplankton Growth Rates
Reference: Berge, T., Daugbjerg, N., Andersen, B.B. and Hansen, P.J. 2010. Effect of lowered pH on marine phytoplankton growth rates. Marine Ecology Progress Series 416: 10.3354/meps08780.
Soil Moisture Trends: IPCC Simulations vs. Real-Real-World Observations
Reference: Li, H., Robock, A. and Wild, M. 2007. Evaluation of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment soil moisture simulations for the second half of the twentieth century. Journal of Geophysical Research 112: 10.1029/2006JD007455.
The Changing Climate
Ancient Catastrophic Drought Leads to Question: How Severe Can Climate Change Become?
Extreme megadrought in Afro-Asian region likely had consequences for Paleolithic cultures
Press Release, National Science Foundation, Feb 24, 2011 [H/t WUWT]
[SEPP Comment: The alarmist tone of the press release takes away from the contents of the research.]
Pitt-Led Researchers Report 6,000-Year Climate Record Suggests Longer Droughts, Drier Wet Periods for Pacific Northwest
By Morgan Kelly, U. of Pittsburg News, Feb 21, 2011 [H/t Anthony Watts, WUWT]
[“The multi-university team used a sediment core from Washington state’s Castor Lake to unravel regional wet/dry cycles since 4,000 BCE and found longer, more extreme periods have occurred since 1200 AD, possibly associated with changing El Niño/La Niña patterns, according to a report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences”]
Other Scientific Issues
Worldwide Government Spending On Space To Flatten Over The Next Five Years
By Staff Writers, SPX, Feb 18, 2011 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
[SEPP Comment: Several experts in space travel have privately commented to SEPP that China is aggressively moving forward with space exploration with the intent of colonizing the moon. If true, and if successful, this would be a true sputnik moment.]
Scientists say ocean currents cause microbes to filter light
By Denise Brehm, MIT Press Release, Feb 23, 2011 [H/t Anthony Watts, WUWT]
Greater Germ Exposure Cuts Asthma Risk
By Shirley Want, WSJ, Feb 23, 2011
[SEPP Comment: May be behind a paywall.]
Mud made of fish poop
Fish excrement found in seafloor sediment forces scientists to rethink the way they reconstruct earth’s climate history
By Hannah Waters, F1000, Feb 22, 2011 [H/t Catherine French]
Other Issues that May Be Of Interest
A Mini-Compromise in California’s Water Wars
By Felicity Barringer, NYT, Feb 25, 2011
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
A Budget Blow to Our Climate
By Christina Simeane, Repower America, Feb 22, 2011
[SEPP Comment: Carbon dioxide is now called global warming pollution.]
The Dirty Energy Party
Editorial, NYT, Feb 21, 2011
[SEPP Comment: Those who dare question the orthodoxy are in favor of dirty energy – please do not tell plants carbon dioxide is dirty.]
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…