Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

Quote of the Week:

“Climate change is the norm. If you want something to worry about, it would be if the climate were static. It would be like a person being dead.” Richard Lindzen, as quoted in the first issue of Nature Climate Change.

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Numbers of the Week: 2303, 18, 10, 0

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

GOOD NEWS! Heartland Institute is sponsoring the Sixth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-6) to take place in Washington, DC from breakfast Thursday, June 30, to noon Friday, July 1, at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. This event will be more modest than in the past, yet as informative and, perhaps, even more challenging to the orthodoxy. The principal speakers are S. Fred Singer, Craig Idso, and Bob Carter – all major contributors to the NIPCC reports. Of course, SEPP is a co-sponsor.


Congress is on a two week holiday, thus Washington has been quiet. This week marked the convergence of several events: Passover, Easter week, Earth Day (celebrated on Lenin’s birthday), and the first anniversary of the Gulf oil spill. Guest Editorialist Tom Sheahen discusses how, for some, environmentalism is replacing traditional religions.

EPA celebrated Earth Day with a rap musical. One is tempted to suggest that EPA should stick to science, but EPA departed from rigorous science long ago in favor of speculation and regulation.

Reports on the costs of the Gulf oil spill and the Federal government’s moratorium on drilling are becoming clearer. BP is paying dearly for the oil spill, as it should. However, thanks to government actions, the American public is paying as well.

The development of oil fields is a complex process that private corporations undertake with careful and prudent planning. The disruption of one facet, such as drilling, can have long term effects on oil production. As production in older wells decline, new ones are drilled. Published estimates state that in 2011, production in the Gulf will be about 13% below 2010 production and will remain below projections for several years. Recent discoveries of deep-water oil fields, including the discoveries by BP, held great promise for long-term production. The moratorium and the slow issuing of permits subsequent to the moratorium are no doubt contributing to the sharply increasing price of world oil and gasoline, thereby punishing consumers. The war in Libya is also contributing to these escalating prices.

In a speech in which he addressed increasing gasoline prices, President Obama ignored the contributions of his administration to these price increases, blamed greedy oil companies, and called for an end of subsidies to oil and natural gas companies. Please see Articles under Communicating Better With the Public, The Political Games Continue, BP Oil Spill …, and Other News …


Numbers of the Week: 2303 birds; 18 sea turtles, 10 mammals; and 0 other reptiles. That is the total number of dead animals with visible oil collected by the US Fish and Wildlife Service along the Gulf Coast for the year following the Gulf spill (as of April 14, 2011). This does not mean that the animals died from the oil. For example, autopsies of sea turtles indicated that some, at least, died of suffocation, most likely while trapped in the nets of fishing trawlers. What the administration called the nation’s worst ecological disaster has been something less than that, at least for major species of animals.



As nature stubbornly refuses to obey the dictates of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its models, global warming alarmists and IPCC promoters are changing their language. What was once “the science is settled” that humans are causing unprecedented and dangerous global warming is becoming “the growing consensus on climate change.” The above quote from Richard Lindzen on a static climate is appropriate.

Some alarmists, even some who claim they are seeking a middle ground, are trying to discredit skeptical researchers by claiming they are “linked to.” The extent of the link is not specified. Are they on retainer, do they receive sizable grants, etc? Of course the ultimate link is to the dreaded ExxonMobil. One distinguished organization, the George C. Marshall Institute, is often smeared in this way. For years the Institute was one of the few organizations in greater Washington that had the courage to invite scientists that questioned the IPCC orthodoxy to open speaking events. Thus, those who use personal attacks frequently state these scientists are “linked to” the George Marshall Institute.

Another vague term that is becoming popular, especially on college campuses, is “sustainability.” What sustainable or unstainable means is open to individual interpretation. One can say that governments that run large budget deficits are “unsustainable.” Please see Article # 1 by Fred Singer


Columnist Kimberly Strassel of the Wall Street Journal had an unusually frank interview with John Watson, CEO of Chevron. His views on peak oil, fossil fuels, alternative energy, and other issues are quite different than those of “energy experts” found inside of Washington’s Beltway. Please see Article # 2.


The skeptical environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg has an unusually blunt article on China’s “green” energy program. The article should be required reading for those politicians promoting “green” energy, be they in Australia, Europe, or the US. Unfortunately, Lomborg misses some important points, including Western monetary transfers to China for carbon credits, enriching cap-and- traders, and China’s skillful capture of the most modern western technology for wind turbines, etc.; but he hits most of the main points. “A 2008 Citigroup analysis found that about one-third of China’s wind power assets were not in use. Many turbines are not connected to the transmission grid.” Please see Article # 3.

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For the numbered articles below please see:


1. The Sustainable Development Hoax

By S. Fred Singer, American Thinker, Apr 22, 2011


2. Oil Without Apologies

By Kimberley Strassel, WSJ, Apr 16, 2011


“What I see are people who want affordable energy,” says Mr. Watson. “They want strong environmental standards-they want a lot of things-but first and foremost they want affordable energy. And if you want affordable energy, you want oil, gas and coal.”

3. Hold the accolades on China’s ‘green leap forward’

By Bjorn Lomborg, Washington Post, Apr 20, 2011 [H/t David Manuta]


4. Home truths

Editorial, Nature, Apr 20 2011


[SEPP Comment: Part of the analysis on the failure of cap-and-trade in the US is correct. The part ignored by Nature, is that Nature itself refused to cooperate.]

5. Nature not listening to climate alarmists

By Roger Cohen, Letter, Durango Herald, Apr 14, 2010


6. When Scientists Confuse Cause and Effect

By Matt Ridley, WSJ, Apr 16, 2011


7. A Statute Beyond Congress’s Control

By Chris Horner, Letter, WSJ, Apr 20, 2011



By Prof Cliff Ollier, School of Earth and Environment, U. of Western Australia, Poem, Apr 2011


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Climategate Continued

Jaeah’s Investigation

Mother Jones on Climategate

By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Apr 22, 2011


[SEPP Comment: A kind and thoughtful explanation of why it is difficult for the non-expert to understand what is significant in “hide the decline.”]

Ka-Ching! More Greenpeace Money

By Donna Laframboise, No Consensus, Apr 22, 2011


[SEPP Comment: More “objective research” from Greenpeace in IPCC reports.]

Challenging the Orthodoxy

900+ Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism Of “Man-Made” Global Warming (AGW) Alarm

Global Warming Policy Foundation, Apr 14, 2011


[SEPP Comment: The blogs defending the orthodoxy immediately claimed that 9 out of the top 10 authors are linked with ExxonMobil. As usual, the blogs do not specify the association: is it that the 9 out of 10 buy gasoline from ExxonMobil?]

NOAA NCDC bends the truth big-time in release

By Joseph D’Aleo, ICECAP, Apr 17, 2011


[“March 2011 was the 15th coldest March in the 33 of satellite data for the globe using the much more reliable UAH data set. That of course can’t be the case and be the 13th warmest in 122 years as NOAA claims.”]

Bias In the Peer Review Process: A Cautionary And Personal Account

By Roger Pielke, Sr, WUWT, April 20, 2011


Billions of dollars sneaks out the door through UN committees

By JoNova, Apr 23, 2011


[SEPP Comment: Those who try to compare how much are being spent on the global warming debate by traditional business corporations and environmental corporations usually fail to account for these tremendous amounts of money.]

World still waiting for ’50 million climate refugees by 2010′

By Amos Aikman, Australian, Apr 21, 2011


Voodoo Economics? How About Voodoo Climate Science?

By Patrick Michaels, Forbes, Apr 21, 2011 [H/t Cooler Heads Digest]


Flood Risks: Not Worse than Predicted

By Marlo Lewis, Global Warming.org, Apr 18, 2011


Defenders of the Orthodoxy

The Clean Air Act Keeps Us Healthy

Congress can’t be trusted to interfere with the EPA’s scientific standards

By Arnold Schwarzenegger, WSJ, Apr 21, 2011


[SEPP Comment: Obviously, former Governor Schwarzenegger did not bother reading the three page bill limiting EPA control of CO2 prior to signing this op-ed. The article may be behind a pay wall.]

Seeking a Common Ground

Overstretching Attribution (Nature Climate Change)

By Ira Glickstein, WUWT, Apr 22, 2011


Communicating Better with the Public

EPA: Let’s Rap About Climate Change

By James Robbins, Washington Times, Apr 20, 2011 [H/t Catherine French]


[SEPP Comment: Rap music from the EPA. This is so bad, both should be banned.]

Temperatures and Extreme Weather

Why it seems like severe weather is becoming more common when the data shows otherwise

By Anthony Watts, Daily Caller, Apr 20, 2011 [H/T ICECAP]


Tornadoes “Unpredictable”? Hardly,

By Mike Smith, Meteorological Musings, Apr 17, 2011, [H/t WUWT]


Summary of the April 14-16 US tornado outbreak

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Apr 18, 2011


Smog casts a shadow over Easter: Health warning issued over pollution across Britain as millions begin their Bank Holiday break

By Staff Writers, Mail Online, Apr 22, 2011 [H/t Malcolm Ross]


[Comments by Malcolm Ross: Unusual warmth and still air brought smog. “The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs advised the public to avoid taking short car journeys to reduce the build-up of ozone.” Right. And is it not DEFRA that has done more than any to demonize harmless carbon dioxide as a “pollutant”, promote the widespread adoption of diesels in the name of lowering CO2 emissions, when in fact it is those same oily, noisome diesels that emit massive concentrations of smog forming particulates and toxic nitrogen oxides?]

The Political Games Continue

Obama: No ‘silver bullet’ to bring down gas prices

By Gautham Nagesh, The Hill, Apr 23, 2011


[“He said there are some steps the U.S. can take to improve the situation such as ramping up domestic oil production and ending subsidies for oil and gas firms. ‘That’s $4 billion of your money going to these companies when they’re making record profits and you’re paying near record prices at the pump. It has to stop,’ Obama said.” SEPP Comment: By eliminating subsidies, oil and gas prices will fall?]

Nuclear safety must be first priority

By Rep. Edward Markey, The Hill, Apr 15, 2011


[SEPP Comment: No one can argue with the headline, but anti-nuclear Markey ignores government guarantees to alternative energy production. How many wind farms would Wall Street finance without loan guarantees, subsidies, and mandates?]

A roadmap for America’s energy future

By Rep. Devin Nunes, Washington Examiner, Apr 18, 2011


Litigation Issues

Climate Change Goes To Court

Editorial, IBD, Apr 20 2011


Supreme Court indicates it will dismiss 6-state global warming lawsuit

The suit, filed by California and others, seeks limits on carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants. Justices say the EPA, not the courts, should regulate greenhouse gases.

By David Savage, LA Times, Apr 20, 2011


[SEPP Comment: This is the lawsuit where state attorneys claim coal-fired power plants generating electricity are a “public nuisance” because the plants emit carbon dioxide, which is damaging the planet. Those who try to predict the findings of the Supreme Court are frequently wrong.]

EPA and other Regulators on the March

EPA: Jobs Don’t Matter

Editorial, IBD, Apr 18, 2011


EPA’s faith-based agitprop

Editorial, Washington Times, Apr 20, 2011


Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes

The carbon tax that ate Australia

By Anthony Cox, DrumTV, Apr 21, 2011 [H/t JoAnne Nova]


Still not getting it

Money not the problem in US climate debate

By David Adam, SPPI, Apr 20, 2011


Subsidies and Mandates Forever

The Effects of Minnesota Renewable Portfolio Standard Legislation on the State Economy

By Beacon Hill Institute, Funding by American Tradition Institute & Minnesota Free Market Institute, Summary, April, 2011


Riverside County solar project gets $2.1-billion federal guarantee

By Tiffany Hsu, LA Times, Apr 18, 2011


[“So far, 22 clean-energy projects — including wind, geothermal and biofuels, in 14 states have been handed $21 billion in conditional commitments.”]

The CFL Fraud

By Edmund Contosky, American Thinker, Apr 19, 2011


[SEPP Comment: As the average age of the nation’s population increases, and eyes dim, Congress has a better idea, dim bulbs.]

Energy Issues

Don’t Look Now, But CO2 Output Is Falling

Editorial, IBD, Apr 19, 2011


Energy: A Tale of Two Narratives

By Gary Jason, American Thinker, Apr 17, 2011


Nuclear Fears & Responses

Roadmap for Fukushima Daiichi restoration

By Staff Writers, World Nuclear News, Apr 18, 2011


[Six to nine months to achieve a cold shutdown.]

Robots investigate Fukushima reactors

By Staff Writers, World Nuclear News, Apr 18, 2011


Lives in Japan lost to disaster protocol

Principal begins new school year still haunted by tsunami’s horror

By Christopher Johnson, Washington Times, Apr 21, 2011


[SEPP Comment: A strikingly humane article on the horror of the earthquake and tsunami. The fear of landslides along a mountain road caused by after quakes was greater than the fear of a tsunami. Such human conflicts while experiencing disasters defy glib answers.]

Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

New online chemicals database could alter natural gas fracking debate

By Lee Fuller, Washington Examiner, Apr 19, 2011


About My Support for Natural Gas

By Joe Nocera, NYT, Apr 15, 2011 [H/t David Manuta]


What I Learned About Natural Gas from Boone Pickens

By Rich Karlgaard, Forbes, Apr 11, 2011 [H/t Roger Cohen]


[Comment by Roger Cohen: “It would take 30 years to build another [Alaskan] pipeline, says Pickens.” It took 3 years to build the first one.]

BP Oil Spill and Administration Control of Drilling

Post-spill gulf environment appears to have escaped catastrophe, for now

Much of the BP oil spill’s effect on the ecosystem won’t be known for years, and peril remains, experts warn. Still, the Gulf of Mexico has recovered more quickly than many expected last summer.

By Bettina Boxall, LA Time, Apr 20, 2011


BP to pay an initial $1B to restore Gulf

By Andrew Restuccia, The Hill, Apr 21, 2011


[SEPP Comment: The final cost to the corporation will be immense. But no one will pay for the cost to the nation for the moratorium the Federal government implemented using BP’s mismanagement as justification.]

Spill’s Toll on Oil Output Grows Clearer

Drilling Pause That Followed Explosion of Deep-Water Rig Leased by BP Saps Offshore Production

By Angel Gonzalez, WSJ, Apr 20, 2011


[SEPP Comment: Due to the drilling moratorium, 2011 production in the Gulf is estimated to go down to 13% below 2010 levels and expected to stay below prior projections for several years. The article may be behind a pay wall.]

Gas prices and the Gulf oil spill

One year later, Obama’s energy plan is ‘Brazil or bust’

Editorial, Washington Times, Apr 19, 2011


Gulf oil disaster still puzzles scientists

By John Sutter, CNN, Apr 11


[SEPP Comment: An alarmist view!]

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy

Time To Kill Ethanol Subsidies

Editorial, IBD, Apr 19, 2011


The U.S. Should Follow Europe’s Lead

By Paul Driessen, Netright Daily, Apr 21, 2011


[SEPP Comment: The US has not discovered that apparently Europe is switching course.]

Biofuels market about to turn the corner

By Rudolf ten Hoedt, European Energy Review, Apr 21, 2011


[SEPP Comment: Will Brazil satisfy Europe’s need for biofuels?]

Questioning the European Green

On Green Energy: A Dutch (Re)Treat

By Kenneth P. Green, The American, Apr 10, 2011 [H/t Warren Wetmore]


California Dreaming

California Dreamin’ – of Jobs in Texas

By John Fund, WSJ, Apr 22, 2011


[“Texas has added 165,000 jobs during the last three years while California has lost 1.2 million.” Article may be behind a pay wall.]

Higher Energy Costs: Factor in California Business Exodus

By Marlo Lewis, Global Warming.org, Apr 18, 2011


Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC

For a full list of articles see


Central Pacific ENSO Events

Reference: Yeh, S.-W., Kirtman, B.P., Kug, J.-S., Park, W. and Latif, M. 2011. Natural variability of the central Pacific El Niño event on multi-centennial timescales.Geophysical Research Letters 38: 10.1029/2010GL045886.


A New-and-Improved 457-Year History of ENSO Variability

Reference: Braganza, K., Gergis, J.L., Power, S.B., Risbey, J.S. and Fowler, A.M. 2009. A multiproxy index of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, A.D. 1525-1982.Journal of Geophysical Research 114: 10.1029/2008JD010896.


Regional Climate Change: How Well Do the IPCC Models Really Perform?

Reference: Anagnostopoulos, G.G., Koutsoyiannis, D., Christofides, A., Efstratiadis, A., and Mamassis, N. 2010. A comparison of local and aggregated climate model outputs with observed data. Hydrological Sciences Journal 55: 1094-1110.


Catastrophic Superstorms of the French Mediterranean Coast

Reference: Dezileau, L., Sabatier, P., Blanchemanche, P., Joly, B., Swingedouw, D., Cassou, C., Castaings, J., Martinez, P. and Von Grafenstein, U. 2011. Intense storm activity during the Little Ice Age on the French Mediterranean coast. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 299: 289-297.


The Impact of Warming on Fungal Epidemics in Lakes

Reference: Ibelings, B.W., Gsel, A.S., Mooij, W.M., van Donk, E., van den Wyngaert, S. and Domis, L.N.deS. 2011. Chytrid infections and diatom spring blooms: paradoxical effects of climate warming on fungal epidemics in lakes. Freshwater Biology 56: 754-766.


A Twentieth-Century Rainfall History of India

Reference: Joshi, M.K. and Pandey, A.C. 2011. Trend and spectral analysis of rainfall over India during1901-2000. Journal of Geophysical Research 116: 10.1029/2010JD014966.


Other Scientific News

Politics of asthma have outrun the science of the condition

By R. Harold Brown, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Apr 19, 2011 [H/t Jim Rust]


[SEPP Comment: EPA claims of the causes of asthma and the methods of reducing asthma are not substantiated, thereby deceiving the public as to the cure.]

Other News that May Be Of Interest

Top 10 Environmental Scams

By Staff Writers, Human Events, Apr 23, 2011 [H/t ICECAP]


Celebrate Earth Daze!

Editorial, IBD, Apr 21, 2011


The hippie holiday

Humanity haters bemoan life on Earth Day

Editorial, Washington Times, Apr 20, 2011 [H/t Catharine French]


A $500 Million Dollar Car?

By Issac Martin, American Thinker, Apr 18, 2001


[SEPP Comment: Still waiting for specifications, but with $500 Million from the Federal government, no worries. The actual total is more than what the author suggests.]

No cost-benefit studies done for Obama’s $53 billion high-speed rail boondoggle

By Diana Furchtgott-Roth, Washington Examiner, Apr 21, 2011


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Food shipments introduce alien species to Antarctica

Shipments of food intended for researchers working to protect one of the world’s most delicate and unspoilt habitats are unwittingly posing a threat to the native animals and plants that live there.

By Richard Gray, Telegraph, UK Apr 17, 2011


[SEPP Comment: Humans are an alien species to Antarctica. How many, if any, who have survived a winter in Antarctic cold without modern equipment would call Antarctica one of the world’s most delicate habitats?]

Tornadoes, Climate Change and the Disaster Gap

By Bryan Walsh, Time, Apr 18, 2011 [H/t ICECAP]


[“The fastest way to reduce deaths and damage from extreme weather events – whether they’re tsunamis, tornadoes or asteroid strikes – is to invest in detection, preparation, and response.” (Boldface added)]

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…

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April 24, 2011 3:59 pm

We can now see how Google has managed to “dampen out” any negative AGW stories. It will probably drive more and more people away from them because people have now got other alternatives such as this very popular site.

April 24, 2011 4:48 pm

This is trite but sometimes I think true-“we’re doomed!”

Brian H
April 24, 2011 5:47 pm

It occurs to me that the economics of renewables are “unsustainable”; that is, they clearly lead to accelerating accumulated net losses as they are relied on more and more.
So let’s hear it for the Unsustainable Renewable Energy Sources!

Roger Carr
April 25, 2011 6:05 am

Thanks, Anthony and all who contribute to the Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup.
It is a substantial contribution to understanding and knowledge.

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