Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

Quote of the Week:

“To reduce the interpretation of all kinds of climate change and of global warming to one variable, CO2, and to a small proportion of that one variable – human induced CO2- is impossible to accept.” Vaclav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic, cited by Lord Turnbull, Article #2

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Number of the Week: 2%

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THIS WEEK:

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

A little more than a week after his trip to Brazil announcing the US would become a major importer of oil from the deep water oil fields being developed off Brazil, in a speech at Georgetown University, President Obama announced that his administration would endeavor to reduce US oil imports by one-third. Ever since Nixon in the early 1970s, such speeches have become standard fare for presidents whenever gasoline prices climb significantly. The nation must become independent from unreliable foreign oil. As usual with such speeches, glowing promises are made, but gave few details given.

According to the latest statistics from the Energy Information Administration, January 2011, the five largest suppliers of oil to the US provide over seventy percent of imported oil. They are, in thousands of barrels per day, Canada (2,149), Mexico (1,216), Saudi Arabia (1,099), Nigeria (968), and Venezuela (951). Iraq is six is with only 470.

Mr. Obama made the usual claim of increasing domestic production, but emphasized conservation (government imposed restrictions), alternative energy, and electric vehicles. In the US, oil is primarily a transportation fuel, with other uses being petrochemicals, heating, asphalt, etc. Less than 1% is used to generate electricity. Thus, electricity from alternative sources will do little to reduce the US “addiction to oil” – a phrase used by Mr. Obama’s predecessor Mr. Bush. Since oil is a very valuable commodity that greatly benefits the nation, addiction to oil is a rhetorical term of no significant economic value.

In spite of substantial subsidies, electricity from alternative sources remains expensive and unreliable. Even with producer subsidies and tax credits, electric cars also remain a luxury good beyond the price range of most Americans.

Mr. Obama’s claims of seeking to increase domestic production raised many doubts. He repeated the old political slogan that the US has only 2% of the world’s oil – ignoring the fact that in the US proven reserves are rigidly defined. Further, the Department of Interior continues to throttle oil and natural gas exploration by grudgingly granting permits, imposing ever stringent conditions, taking lands out of consideration with innovative political claims such as ‘wild lands,” mandating major coastal regions “off limits,” and other techniques. No doubt to justify such actions, the Department of Interior released a report claiming that one-half the leases on Federal lands remain unused — as if dry holes can be developed to produce oil.

It remains to be seen if the administration is serious in developing the nation’s energy resources or will it insist on a very expensive, green energy future that will be economically paralyzing. Please see Article # 4 and referenced articles under “Energy Issues.”

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The US Congress continues with its budget battles and the issue of removing from EPA the power to regulate greenhouse gases. Last May, the previous Congress announced that it would ignore its fiscal responsibilities and would not pass an annual budget for the fiscal year starting in October. Since October the US government has operated on a set of continuing resolutions. The House has passed a budget that the Senate refuses to consider. The latest continuing resolution is due to expire on April 8. Political games are being played by all parties.

The battle of stripping from the EPA its claimed powers to regulate carbon dioxide continue. The House of Representatives seems determined to restrict the EPA. The Senate support is questionable. Much of the support for the legislation is along party lines.

Many supporters of the EPA claim the legislation will weaken the Clean Air Act, in general, which it will not. Only greenhouse gases are covered, and those that are toxic are not exempt from EPA control by the legislation. Water vapor and carbon dioxide, which are non-toxic, would be exempt from EPA control.

EPA supporters are falsely advertising that the legislation threatens Americans. These supporters include the American Lung Association (ALA), which is a recipient of EPA funding. Advertising by special interest groups for or against legislation is a common practice by special interest groups. Usually the ads indicate the vested interests of the parties – such as the American Petroleum Institute. The ALA ads do not. Further, billboard ads feature a young girl in a gas mask. Some may find these reminiscent of World War I propaganda posters.

As discussed in the March 12, 2011, TWTW, EPA has tried to justify its actions by making preposterous claims of health benefits and costs savings from the amendments to the clean air act. Increasingly, these claims are coming under scrutiny. As the agency makes unsubstantiated claims to justify its actions, it is possible that the public will cease to believe the EPA, similar to the public distrusting the IPCC and its claims of certainty after Climategate.

Legislation is proceeding slowly against the EPA for its “Endangerment Finding,” that greenhouse gases threaten public health and welfare. The Federal court has issued guidelines for additional written pleadings. Those who sued the EPA have been divided into two groups; private entities and public entities, the latter is principally the states of Texas and Virginia. The court significantly restricted the length of the responses to the EPA’s rebuttals. A summary of the scientific documentation challenging the EPA is due on May 20. Unfortunately, new evidence cannot be added. Of course, SEPP is involved in the strictly scientific section. A court decision will probably not be forthcoming until mid 2012.

All this serves to illustrate how poorly written law is used in Washington to expand Federal powers over the general public and to build special interest groups to support such expansion. Please see referenced articles under “EPA and other Regulators on the March.”

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In an article carried in the February 26, 2011, TWTW, Fred Singer applauded the BEST project headed by Berkley Professor Richard Muller to reconcile the various historic records of global temperature. Singer admires Muller’s dedication to science but is skeptical about the quality of the surface temperature records. Further, they do not go to the cause of 20th Century warming.

Showing that no good effort goes unpunished, Congress summoned Professor Muller to testify, even before the work was done. Defenders of the orthodoxy immediately attacked Muller for the sources of his funding. Challengers to the orthodoxy hoped that Muller would demolish the temperature sets from NOAA, NASA-GISS, and Hadley-CRU. There were no fireworks. The temperature sets track consistently, which is well-known, but they have not been fully analyzed. In short, the hearing was premature. Of particular interest will an analysis of the effect of the removal of the urban heat island effect from the historic record. Please see comments and articles referenced under “Seeking a Common Ground.”

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This week’s NIPCC review of articles contained two of particular interest. The first is by Houston and Dean who analyzed the historic readings from tidal gauges in the US, mostly since the 1930s. They found no increase in the rate of sea level rise, which is contrary to many claims. Further, they found the rate of rise to be consistent to what Fred Singer suggested in the 2008 NIPCC report, Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate. Yet to be resolved is the disparity between physical tidal gauges and the recent measurements from satellites. It is possible that the satellite instruments have not yet been properly calibrated.

The second article is on the changes in snowfall in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains of California since 1916 by John Christy and J.J. Hnilo. Several years ago Christy et al., published an article tracking, for most of the 20th Century, the temperature trends in the southern Central Valley of California compared with the temperature trends in the nearby southern Sierra Nevada Mountains. They found “greenhouse warming” but not associated with carbon dioxide. The nighttime lows in the valley rose over time, the daytime highs dropped, with a net rise in temperatures. The mountain temperatures showed no change. The warming of the valley is explained by increases in summer and fall irrigation and urbanization.

In this new study, the authors find no trend in snowfall in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains. In 2009, Secretary of Energy Chu proclaimed that global warming would destroy agriculture in California because the snow packs of the Sierra Nevada Mountains would disappear. Apparently Secretary Chu was in error. (Actually, most of the water from the snow packs is retained by dams to prevent flooding and permit irrigation – the plants do not care if the water fell as rain or snow.) Please see referenced articles under “The Seas are Changing” and referenced reviews under “Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC.”

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The difficulties at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant continue. As of this writing, the work is focused on, one, continuing to pump water into the reactors and the cooling pools and, two, draining the trenches surrounding the reactors of water with measurements of elevated radioactivity. Fresh water is now being used in the reactors, because sea water, which was used earlier, builds up on the fuel assemblies insulating them from the cooling effects of the water. The reactors that had sea water pumped into them are most likely useless.

Large new pools, away from the reactors, are being constructed to hold the water from trenches surrounding the reactors, which will give workers greater access to the reactors. Reports indicate that the water in the trenches probably came from the tsunami but the source of the increase in radioactive contamination is not fully understood. There is no indication this increase radioactive contamination was from a breach in the reactor vessel or containment structures.

Reports state that the general area has elevated levels of radiation, but not sufficiently high to be considered dangerous by international standards. Also, no workers have been exposed to elevations beyond the international radiation standard for emergency situations.

The willingness of the workers to continue even when many do not yet know the fate of members of their families is a great testament to the workers and the human spirit.

Additional reports show another flaw in the plan for the power plant. Apparently the tanks contain the fuel to run the diesel engines necessary to generate the back-up electricity to run the pumps, once the power plant was off the grid, were placed sea ward of the power plant. The tsunami wiped them out. Also, it appears that there were several waves, the tallest about 15 meters (49 feet).

Among other revelations not reported in the general press, is the effect that the loss of electricity from Fukushima Dai-ichi has on other parts of the Japan not directly affected. The electrical system of Japan has two different frequencies – 50 Hz and 60 Hz. Thus power from one part of the system cannot be easily transferred to different part of the system that now needs it.

Using this great natural disaster, those criticizing nuclear power, and human construction in general, are claiming that the planners should have recognized from the ancient texts that the area experienced a similar earthquake and tsunami over 1,000 year ago. Disaster planning is important, and a better science of the unexpected is appropriate, but should all human activity be conditioned a once in one thousand year event or the strike of the next asteroid? Please see referenced articles under “Nuclear Fears and Responses.”

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Using standard statistics from the World Health Organization, in an article published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, researcher Indur Goklany calculates that the push for bio-fuels may result almost 200,000 deaths per year in developing nations. Please see referenced articles under “Food for Fuel.”

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TWTW Clarification: After last week’s TWTW, several readers commented that TWTW failed to recognize the Chinese purchase of Russian nuclear reactors and that it seemed to suggest that the US actively compete with the Chinese nuclear program.

The reason why the Chinese purchase of two Russian BN 800 Beloyarsk 4 commercial fast neutron reactors was not mentioned is that the construction is scheduled for some time in 2013 or beyond. Only reactors under construction or construction start announced were mentioned.

TWTW discussed the great strides that the Chinese nuclear power is making not so much to suggest that the US should join in a race, but to illustrate that those politicians in the US, Australia, UK, and elsewhere who claim their countries are in a race with China for wind and solar power are misleading their citizens if they ignore the advancements being made by China in commercial nuclear power.

For now, natural gas and coal provide less expensive alternatives for producing electricity in many countries, especially in the US. But the US, and other countries, must look at replacing its aging fleet of nuclear power plants with more efficient, better designed nuclear power plants. China appears to be leading the way in exploring the mass production of such power plants.

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NUMBER OF THE WEEK: 2%. The percentage of the world’s oil resources that President Obama claimed existed in the United States. However, these are “proven reserves” that have been carefully confirmed to be economically recoverable. If the price of oil increases, the quantity of proven reserves increases. In 2008, the Energy Information Administration reported the proven reserves to be 19.1 billion barrel. According to a November 30, 2010, report by the Congressional Research Service, the USGS and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management estimate an additional 145 billion barrels of “undiscovered” technically recoverable reserves. These do not include the substantial quantities oil in shale formations that are now being developed. Please see articles referenced under “Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?”

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ARTICLES:

For the numbered articles below please see:

http://www.sepp.org….

1. Adventures in Federal Budget Cutting

By S. Fred Singer, American Thinker, Mar 31, 2011

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/03/adventures_in…

2. The Really Inconvenient Truth

By Andrew Turnbull, GWPF, Mar 27, 2011

http://thegwpf.org/opinion-pros-a-cons/2711-lord-tur…

3. Winning the Argument on Climate Change

By Roger Helmer, MEP, Mar 31, 2011 [H/t Anne Debeil]

http://rogerhelmermep.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/winni…

4. From Nixon to Obama

Editorial, WSJ, Mar 31, 2011

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703712…

5. Wind is no energy panacea

By Charles Battig, Letter, Roanoke Times, Mar 28, 2011

http://www.roanoke.com/editorials/letters/wb/281431…

6. Climate-Change Propaganda for the Masses

By Vincent Gray, Book Review, The Weather Makers by Tim Flannery.

Previously published in Christchurch Press, November 19, 2005, No URL

[SEPP Comment: Author Tim Flannery is the Climate Change Commissioner for the Australian government. Vincent Gray is a long time expert reviewer of IPCC reports from New Zealand who does not believe everything that IPCC publishes.]

7. Photosynthesis

Poem by Cliff Ollier

No URL

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NEWS YOU CAN USE:

Climategate Continued

Disinformation from Kerry Emanuel

By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Mar 31, 2011

http://climateaudit.org/2011/03/31/disinformation-fr…

Challenging the Orthodoxy

Propaganda Courtesy of the Royal Society and the BBC

By Henry Bauer, VA Tech, Mar 2011

http://aras.ab.ca/articles/scientific/Bauer-Scientis…

Seeking a Common Ground

Berkeley scientists’ climate data review puts them at center of national debate

The head of the study, a longtime critic of the global warming consensus, will testify before a House panel. Leading climate scientists worry that the project, funded in part by an oil billionaire’s foundation, has an agenda.

By Margot Roosevelt, LA Times, Mar 31, 2011

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-berkeley-cli…

Comments on the Testimony of Richard Muller at the United States House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology

By Richard Pielke, Sr, Pielke Research Group, Apr 1, 2011

http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/04/01/com…

Expect the BEST, plan for the worst

By Willis Eschenbach, WUWT, Mar 31, 2011

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/31/expect-the-bes…

Berkeley’s Muller goes to Washington and another misleading statement by NOAA CCSP author Thorne

By Joseph D”Aleo, ICECAP, Mar 31, 2011

http://www.icecap.us/…

The Seas are Changing

Al Gore’s seawater swindle

Latest report shows oceans are not rising

Editorial, Washington Times, May 28, 2011

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/mar/28/al-g…

Sea-Level Acceleration Based on U.S. Tide Gages and Extensions of Previous Global-Gage Analyses

By J.R. Houston and R.G. Dean, Journal of Coastal Research, Feb 3, 2011 [H/t WUWT]

Abstract:

http://www.jcronline.org/doi/abs/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D…

Full Article

http://www.jcronline.org/doi/pdf/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D…

Global groundwater depletion leads to sea level rise

By Staff Writers, Deltares, Undated [H/t Pielke Research Group]

http://www.deltares.nl/en/news/news-item/item/11864/…

Extreme Weather

Operator of dam ‘invented’ rain data

By Hedley Thomas, Australian, Mar 26, 2011 [H/t WUWT]

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/operator…

[SEPP Comment: If true, appalling. Floods in Australia were intensified by human error.]

Warm Water Causes Extra-cold Winters in Northeastern North America and Northeastern Asia

By Marcus Woo, Press Release, Caltech, Mar 30, 2011 [H/t WUWT]

http://media.caltech.edu/press_releases/13408…

The Political Games Continue

Webcast of House Committee Hearings

By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Mar 31, 2011

http://climateaudit.org/2011/03/31/webcast-of-house-…

[SEPP Comment: Amusing comments from Steve McIntyre on the Committee Hearings.]

Disorder in the Court: Will Trial Lawyers and Activist Judges ‘Legislate’ Climate Policy

By Marlo Lewis, Global Warming.org, Mar 29, 2011

http://www.globalwarming.org/2011/03/29/disorder-in-…

Lawmakers Urge President To Act On EPA Rulemaking

By Staff Writers, Power News, Mar 30, 2011

http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/3573.html?hq_e=el&…

Julia Gillard’s tax to make no difference to climate

By Andrew Bold, Herald Sun, Mar 26, 2011 [H/t Des Moore]

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/pms-tax-to-make-…

[SEPP Comment: The justification for Australia’s proposed carbon tax is questionable.]

Coalition romps to victory in NSW

By Staff Writers, Sydney Morning Herald, Mar 26, 2011

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/state-election-2011/coalit…

[SEPP Comment: Australia’s proposed carbon tax is not popular with voters.]

Power generator InterGen tells Ross Garnaut to drop ‘rhetoric’

By Dennis Shanahan, Australian, Mar 28, 2011

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

Angela Merkel’s party defeated by Greens in key vote

Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, suffered a humiliating defeat in a vital election last night in a state that had been in her party’s hands since 1953 after a wave of anger over her government’s nuclear policy.

By Staff Writers, Telegraph, UK, Mar 28, 2011

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ger…

EPA and other Regulators on the March

Happy Birthday EPA?

By Henry Miller, Regulation, Spring 2011 [H/t ACSH]

http://www.cato.org/pubs/regulation/regv34n1/regv34n…

[“For the foreseeable future, then, American companies and consumers – and our natural environment – will bear the scars of bureaucratic ambition, incompetence, and chicanery.”]

The U.S. EPA’s Regulatory Clean Air Benefit-Cost Estimates (30 free lunches for the price of 1?)

By Garrett Vaughn, Master Resource, Mar 31, 2011

http://www.masterresource.org/2011/03/epa-clean-air-…

[“We know of no professional economist independent of EPA who takes the EPA’s estimate seriously,” for-if actually true-the sum would equal “roughly the aggregate net worth of all U.S. households.”]

Defund EPA’s enablers

American Lung Association gets big paycheck for packing agency’s agenda

By Steve Milloy, Washington Times, Mar 31, 2011

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/mar/31/defu…

And the beat-down goes on

Proposed EPA rules will do more harm than good for human health, especially for minorities

By Paul Driessen, Canada Free Press, Mar 30, 2011 [H/t SPPI]

http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/print-friendly/…

Hassling Electricity: EPA’s Proposed MACT Rules

By Paul Driessen, Master Resource, Mar 30, 2011

http://www.masterresource.org/2011/03/hassling-elect…

How long before Big Green Environmentalists here demand the U.S. ban cars, too?

By Mark Tapscott, Washington Examiner, Mar 28, 2010

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

Energy Issues

Mr. Obama’s Energy Vision

Editorial, NYT, Mar 31, 2011

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/01/opinion/01fri1.htm…

Obama seeks one-third cut in oil imports

Wants more reliance on U.S. oil, natural gas, renewables, nuclear

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/mar/30/obam…

Obama Sets Goal of One-Third Cut in Oil Imports

By Jackie Calmes and John Broder, NYT, Mar 30, 2011

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/31/science/earth/31en…

Pump and Circumstance

Editorial, IBD, Mar 30, 2011

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/567…

Former TXU exec said cost too high to build new plants

By Elizabeth Souder, Dallas News, Mar 24, 2011 [H/t Stefan Bjorklund]

http://www.dallasnews.com/business/headlines/2011032…

[SEPP Comment: All forms of power plants are too expensive?]

Nuclear Fears & Responses

On The Verge Of Safe Reactors That Will Revolutionize World

By Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, IBD, Mar 31, 2011

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/567…

Guest Post By Professor Kiminori Itoh On The Earthquake and Tsunami In Japan On March 11, 2011

Pielke Research Group, Mar 28, 2011

http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/03/28/gue…

Pass the Plutonium

By William Tucker, American Spectator, Apr 1, 2011

http://spectator.org/archives/2011/04/01/pass-the-pl…

Japanese Rules for Nuclear Plants Relied on Old Science

By Normitsu Onishi and James Glanz, NYT, Mar 26, 2011

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/27/world/asia/27nuke….

[SEPP Comment: The technology is over 40 years old – it dates back to the age of small screen black and white TV.]

Fukushima: an earthquake for the French nuclear sector

By Yves de Saint Jacob, European Energy Review, Mar 28, 2011

http://www.europeanenergyreview.eu/site/pagina.php?i…

Fukushima Makes Case For Yucca Mountain

Editorial, IBD, Mar 29, 2011

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/567…

Stop the coal resurgence in its tracks

Editorial, Washington Post, Mar 26, 2011 [H/t David Manuta]

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/stop-the-coal…

Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

U.S. Has Earth’s Largest Energy Resources

By Peter Glover, Energy Tribune, Mar 24, 2011 [H/t Jim Rust]

http://www.energytribune.com/articles.cfm/6933/US-Ha…

The Secret to Brazil’s Energy Success

Over the past 20 years the country increased domestic oil production by a whopping 876%

By Steven Hayward, WSJ, Apr 1, 2011

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703806…

Oil Dependence: An Unnecessary Security Risk

By Herman Cain, IBD, Mar 30, 2011

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

Post-oil transport needs 1.5 trillion-euro overhaul: EU

By Roddy Thompson, AFP, Mar 28, 2011 [H/t Toshio Fujita]

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5i…

BP Oil Spill and Administration Control of Drilling

Full-Throttle Drill, Drill, Drill

By Larry Kudlow, Townhall, Mar 31, 2011

http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/larrykudlow/2…

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy

Global Clean Energy Investment Reached Record 243 Billion Dollars in 2010

By Staff Writers, SPX, Mar 30, 2011

http://www.solardaily.com/reports/Global_Clean_Energ…

[SEPP Comment: With such massive investment, why are subsidies and mandates necessary?]

The Green Energy Economy Reconsidered

The last we saw such an economy was in the 13th century.

By Jerry Taylor and Peter Van Doren, Forbes, Mar 29, 2011

http://www.forbes.com/2011/03/28/green-energy-econom…

Offshore Wind Backbone Begins to Take Shape

By Matthew Wald, NYT, Apr 1, 2011

http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/01/offshore-w…

[SEPP Comment: Will Google put up the money as previously announced, or will it require major taxpayer subsidies?]

Worldwide Annual Solar Cell Production More Than Doubles In 2010

By Staff Writers, SPX, Mar 31, 2011 [H/t Toshio Fujita]

http://www.solardaily.com/reports/Worldwide_Annual_S…

[“To put things into perspective, the 27.2 GW of PV cells produced last year are roughly equal in capacity to 27 typical nuclear reactors.” SEPP Comment: Except PV cells do not produce electricity 24/7 and cannot be relied upon when needed the most.]

Va. OKs study of wind turbines in Chesapeake Bay

By Scott Harper, Virginian-Pilot, Mar 30, 2011

http://hamptonroads.com/2011/03/va-oks-study-wind-tu…

2 Mass. Utilities make very different power deals

By Staff Writers, AP, Mar 27, 2011 [H/t Glenn Schleede]

http://www.bostonherald.com/business/general/view.bg…

[SEPP Comment: The pricing differences between off-shore and on-land wind are striking.]

Questioning the European Green

UK rejects EU call for city centre ban on petrol cars

By Staff Writers, BBC News, Mar 28, 2011 [H/t Malcolm Ross]

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-12879566…

Parking permit surcharge to force diesel cars off the roads

Owners of diesel cars face higher charges for annual parking permits in major cities amid growing concern over their effect on air quality.

By David Millward, Telegraph, UK, Mar 25, 2011

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/8407964/Parki…

[SEPP Comment: The clean answer to gasoline becomes undesirable.]

Bird group calls for end of wind energy due to threats to species

By Caroline May, Daily Caller, Mar 29, 2011 [H/t Timothy Wise]

http://dailycaller.com/2011/03/29/bird-group-calls-f…

California Dreaming

California Assembly Passes 33% by 2020 RPS

By Staff Writers, Power News, Mar 30 2011

http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/3577.html?hq_e=el&…

[SEPP Comment: How to go bankrupt faster.]

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC

For a full list of articles see

http://www.NIPCCreport.org…

Sea Level Rise by the End of the 21st Century

Reference: Houston, J.R. and Dean, R.G. 2011. Sea-level acceleration based on U.S. tide gauges and extensions of previous global-gauge analyses. Journal of Coastal Research (in press).

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/mar/29mar20…

Changes in Snowfall in the Southern Sierra Nevada of California Since 1916

Reference: Christy, J.R. and Hnilo, J.J. 2010. Changes in Snowfall in the Southern Sierra Nevada of California Since 1916. Energy & Environment 21: 233-234.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/mar/29mar20…

Getting to the “Core” of Output Difference as Produced by Climate Models

Reference: Kondrashov, D., Kravtsov, S. and Ghil, M. 2011. Signatures of Nonlinear Dynamics in an Idealized Atmospheric Model. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 68: 3-12.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/mar/30mar20…

Global Warming May Reduce the Risk of Heart Attacks in the United Kingdom

Reference: Bhaskaran, K., Hajat, S., Haines, A., Herrett, E. Wilkinson, P., and Smeeth, L. 2010. Short term effects of temperature on risk of myocardial infarction in England and Wales: time series regression analysis of the Myocardial Ischaemia National Audit Project (MINAP) registry. British Medical Journal 341: c3823 doi: 10.1136/bmj.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/mar/29mar20…

Food for Fuel

Could Biofuel Policies Increase Death and Disease in Developing Countries?

By Indur Goklany, Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, Spring, 2011

http://www.jpands.org/vol16no1/goklany.pdf…

Biofuels Policy May Kill 200,000 Per Year in the Third World

By Staff Writers, Yahoo News, Mar 28, 2011

http://news.yahoo.com/s/usnw/20110328/pl_usnw/DC7232…

How we engineered the food crisis

Thanks to dysfunctional regulation of genetic engineering and misguided biofuels policy, the world’s poorest are going hungry

By Henry Miller, Guardian, UK, Mar 20, 2011 [H/t WUWT]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2…

Other Scientific News

China set to outstrip US in science research output

By Staff Writers, AFP, Mar 29, 2011 [H/t Toshio Fujita]

http://www.space-travel.com/reports/China_set_to_out…

Gravity satellite yields ‘Potato Earth’ view

By Jonathan Amos, BBC News, Mar 31, 2011 [H/t Math Pac]

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-129118…

Aircraft contrails stoke warming, cloud formation

By Alister Doyle, Reuters, Mar 29, 2011 [H/t Roger Pielke, Sr, & WUWT]

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/29/us-climate…

Antarctic Icebergs Play A Previously Unknown Role In Global Carbon Cycle, Climate

By Staff Writers, SPX, Mar 30, 2011 [H/t Toshio Fujita]

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Antarctic_Icebergs…

Deep-Sea Volcanoes Don’t Just Produce Lava Flows, They Also Explode

By Staff Writers, Science Daily, Mar 28, 2011 [H/t ICECAP]

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/1103281…

U of Minnesota researchers close in on technology from making renewable “petroleum” using bacteria, sunlight and carbon dioxide

By Peggy Rinard, College of Biological Sciences, U. of Minnesota, Mar 23, 2011 [H/t WUWT]

http://www1.umn.edu/news/news-releases/2011/UR_CONTE…

In NASA’s Lens, Mercury Comes Into Focus

By Kenneth Chang, NYT, Mar 30, 2011

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/31/science/space/31me…

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BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:

Cash for Clunkers 2: The Return of Government Motors

By Kerry Picket, Washington Times, Mar 29, 2011

http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/watercooler/2011…

[SEPP Comment: A $7,500 tax credit is not good enough for the Chevy Volt; let’s make it a $7,500 government rebate.]

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…

20 thoughts on “Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

  1. “It remains to be seen if the administration is serious in developing the nation’s energy resources or will it insist on a very expensive, green energy future that will be economically paralyzing.”
    The latter, I’m afraid. The dems in general and Obama in particular are benefiting from contributions from the various green industries such as GE (Now known as Government Electric).

  2. “Professor Reiner Rummel, the chairman of the Goce scientific consortium, explained: “Usually, heights in the UK, say, are connected to one benchmark which is connected to mean sea-level, which might be measured at Liverpool, for example. The French do the same, the Australians do the same and the Chinese do the same – but mean sea-level differs from one country to the next. Now, with Goce, we can unify this so that we don’t get the sort of surprises we had when they built the Channel Tunnel and discovered a half-metre offset between the UK and France.”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12911806
    A half-metre offset? It would be really nice if someone could explain this.
    Does it mean that sea-levels are different for each country? Does it depend on your accent? Is Al Gore’s sea level different to mine because he more money?
    Very interesting collection of articles. Thanks

  3. Rhoda R says:
    April 3, 2011 at 11:08 am
    “The latter, I’m afraid. The dems in general and Obama in particular are benefiting from contributions from the various green industries such as GE (Now known as Government Electric).”
    I have a sell signal for GE; and acted on it Apr 01. FWIW. Lots of sell signals ATM.

  4. One likely correction: in the paragraph starting “Legislation is proceeding slowly against the EPA” I believe you probably meant to refer to “Litigation …”!

  5. Just like Obama had no entrance strategy in Libya, he really has no good energy policy for the U.S.
    To fund foreign offshore drilling and ban it here is perplexing to a normal person.

  6. “electric cars also remain a luxury good beyond the price range of most Americans.”
    AND they take too long to charge,
    they get hardly any mileage,
    they have expensive batteries with only 6-8 year of life,
    the batteries are $20K to replace,
    they have few charging stations, and
    they have ZERO resale value.
    ‘Truly a luxury item that is essentially only for very local use and is DISPOSABLE.
    Now that’s what I call a green product – expensive, almost useless, and a throw-away.

  7. Hmmm…Sea Ice Extent at NSIDC shows a curious uptick….
    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_stddev_timeseries.png
    Doesn’t this data negate their last announcement?

    March 23, 2011
    Annual maximum ice extent reached
    Arctic sea ice extent appeared to reach its maximum extent for the year on March 7, marking the beginning of the melt season. This year’s maximum tied for the lowest in the satellite record. NSIDC will release a detailed analysis of the 2010 to 2011 winter sea ice conditions during the second week of April.

  8. Juice,
    Here is another viewpoint.
    http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/8/4/985/pdf
    This professor says that man’s CO2 is possibly onyl 4%, which is the “noise level”. It has to do with residence time. IPCC thinks the CO2 stays there for many decades, yet many others think CO2 just stays in the atmosphere for 5 years before it is recycled. The increasing CO2 could be due to outgassing of the oceans from warming hundreds of years ago. There are countless parts of this puzzle that are not completely understood, and countless ways to Deceive if you have a known ending point and don’t care about what is true.

  9. Smokey,
    You better do the calculations for him regarding manmade CO2% relative to H2O%, methane, etc. in the atsmosphere. I think he’s somewhat mathematically challenged.

  10. Charles Higley says:
    April 3, 2011 at 4:50 pm
    To the vast majority of Americans, even university professors, owning an electric car is roughly the same as covering your body with ashes and wearing an ostentatious suit made of hair. In economic terms, it is insanity. In environmental terms, it is pointless because it cannot contribute to a lowering of CO2 concentrations, at least not in this world that we actually live in. So, it is justified only as an extreme expression of piety to the God of CO2. But Government Motors makes them and Obama is requiring that federal fleets switch to them. Never before in American history has our government subjected its people to a religion. Prohibition does not count because religion was only one driving force behind it.

  11. Even though President Obama is against offshore drilling for our country, he signed an executive order to loan $2 Billion of our taxpayer dollars (which we can’t afford to loan since we’re broke) to a Brazilian Oil Exploration Company (the 8th largest company in the entire world) to drill for oil off the coast of Brazil!
    The oil that comes from this operation is for the sole purpose and use of China and
    NOT THE USA ! They also will be able to drill DEEPER than the well BP was drilling.
    Now here’s the real clincher…the Chinese government is under contract to purchase all the oil that this field will produce , which is hundreds of millions of barrels”.. . We have absolutely no gain from this transaction whatsoever!
    Wait, it gets more interesting.
    Guess who is the largest individual stockholder of this Brazilian Oil Company and who would benefit most from this?
    It is American BILLIONAIRE, George Soros, who was President Obama’s most
    generous financial supporter during his campaign.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203863204574346610120524166.html

  12. Steve,
    I would point out that Soros already sold off his holdings in that Brazilian Oil company … after they made the offshore discovery, for a huge profit … he doesn’t care about potential future revenues … he bought on rumor, sold on fact (of the oil discovery) … still slimy after all these years … its tough to wash off those Nazi stains …

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