Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

SAVE THE DATE: “Restoring the Scientific Method” is the title of the Sixth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-6). Sponsored by the Heartland Institute. It will 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 include S. Fred Singer, Craig Idso, and Bob Carter – all major contributors to the NIPCC reports. Of course, SEPP is a co-sponsor.


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Quote of the Week:

“It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.”–Thomas Jefferson

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Number of the Week: 3 out of 6

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

The campaign by governments against their citizens using affordable, reliable energy continues in many western countries. Activities in Australia are becoming more intense. During last year’s election, candidate Julia Gillard promised no carbon taxes. Now, Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who won with a slim margin, is insisting on imposing carbon taxes to be levied on major carbon dioxide producers by 2012, with a full emissions trading scheme a few years thereafter. Needless to say, many of her former supporters feel betrayed.

The PM’s appointed Climate Commission produced a report, entitled “The Critical Decade,” outlining the government’s position on the science – largely a repetition of the UN International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Bob Carter, David Evans, Stewart Franks & William Kininmonth countered with a report entitled “Scientific audit of a report from the Climate Commission.” The later report is insightful, piercing, well annotated, and refreshingly concise and brief.

TWTW freely admits what some may call a bias. The works of Bob Carter and David Evans have been referenced in past issues of TWTW. Bob Carter is a member of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), his latest book was favorably reviewed by TWTW, and he is a speaker at the upcoming Sixth ICCC Conference, “Restoring the Scientific Method.” If TWTW appears to be biased, it is that it supports modern empirical science over sophisticated speculation using numerical models that have never been verified. Please see articles referenced under “Challenging the Orthodoxy.”


In Germany, the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that it will end nuclear power in German by 2022, closing all 17 plants, one of which has been off-line (mothballed) for several years. In March, it “temporarily” closed 7 plants. Germany (counting the inflated capacity of wind turbines) has excess capacity. How it will get electricity from the north, where the wind turbines are, to the south and west, where many of the closed nuclear plants are, by winter, will be a challenge. According to European Nuclear Society, in 2008, nuclear produced 23.3% of the electricity and wind 6.5%. How Germany will make up for the loss of electricity generation from nuclear remains to be seen. How Germany will compensate for the reliable base load electricity nuclear delivers, which erratic wind cannot, is an additional issue. No doubt, supporters of the government action will claim that closing nuclear plants will produce more jobs – confusing spending money with spending money productively (wisely). Please see articles referenced under “Nuclear Fears and Responses” and



In the US, Congress returns next week, but the administration of President Obama continues its campaign against petroleum and other fossil fuels. This week it found a new target. Eleven months ago the 1300-mile long Keystone pipeline opened delivering oil from Alberta, Canada, to US refineries in Illinois, and Cushing, Oklahoma, a major pipeline and storage hub. The system handles about 591,000 barrels a day.

During the eleven months of operation there have been eleven small leaks, with two in May. The first leak in May was about 400 barrels and the second of about 10 barrels. The leaks came from failures at two different pumping stations. In a virtually unheard of action, the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration ordered the shut-down of the pipeline, stating the pipeline owner, TransCanada, must perform metallurgical testing and root-cause failure analysis, and review other parts of the 1,300-mile pipeline system for similar conditions that led to the two leaks. How long the pipeline will be shut-down is unknown.

This action does not bode well for TransCanada which is requesting approvals for a second pipeline from the tar sands of Alberta to refineries in Texas, with a capacity of 1.1 million barrels a day. Since the pipeline crosses international boundaries, it must be approved by the State Department, namely Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Thus far, the approval has not been forthcoming. The administration’s claim that the US must stop importing oil from unreliable countries in the Mid-East rings hollow. Please See Article Number 5.


Number of the Week: 3 out of 6. The EPA claims authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under a ruling by the US Supreme Court which pertained to tailpipe emissions from new motor vehicles. Three out of the six greenhouse gases EPA is regulating through its new-found powers under its Endangerment Rule are man-made gases and not products of fossil fuel combustion.


EPA’s Expansion of Power: Last week, TWTW discussed a few scientific points in the lawsuit against EPA for its ruling that greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) endanger human health and the environment. A second part of the litigation is briefly discussed this week, EPA’s expansion of a very narrow ruling to assert regulatory control over virtually all forms of fossil fuel combustion and many other industries, as well.

Very simplified, the clever process used by the EPA is three-fold. The Supreme Court ruling applied to tailpipe emissions from new motor vehicles. One, expand the interpretation to other greenhouse gases, two, expand the ruling by noting there are larger sources of emissions than from new motor vehicles, then, reduce any major, violent public backlash by limiting (tailoring) the regulations to apply to major emitters, at least initially.

The six GHGs EPA claims the Supreme Court gave it the power to regulate are carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). According to EPA web sites, the last three are classified as having High Global Warming Potential (GWP), none are products of fossil fuel emissions, and all three are man-made. HFCs are primarily used as refrigerants, including in automobile air conditioners. In the US they are now tightly controlled. PFCs are primarily used in aluminum production and semiconductor manufacturing. SF6 is used in electric power transmission and distribution equipment, in the magnesium industry, semiconductor manufacturing, and leak detection.

The principal human sources of N2O are agricultural activities. With new style catalytic converters, N2O emissions from vehicles are declining rapidly – in 2008 they were less than one half of what they were in 1995. Over 90% of N2O emissions are natural.

Mobile combustion (vehicle) emissions of methane (CH4) are insignificant and are declining. In 2009 they were less than one-half of what they were in 1990. In the US they amount to less than 0.6% of total human emissions.

CO2 is emitted by automobiles, but they are a relatively small source of total human emissions. Please see:

http://www.epa.gov/highgwp1/scientific.html, http://…


There are many sources of GHGs. To expand its regulatory powers, EPA freely interpreted the legal ruling concerning new motor exhausts to a self-proclaimed requirement that it must regulate human emissions of GHGs from all sources, and not be limited to new motor vehicles. Then, claiming that such an interpretation led to an absurd result, with a huge public backlash; EPA freely interpreted the Clean Air Act gave it the power to “tailor” its regulations to only the major producers of these GHGs.

Such is how some Federal agencies create policy and power in Washington – ignore science, ignore legal constraints from court rulings and the law, and assert the power when the opportunity arises. On Friday, the group in which SEPP is involved filed their latest written brief, objecting to such EPA actions.

As of this writing, it appears that EPA has until August 18 to respond and we have until October 17 to counter the EPA response.


A recent study of lake sediments in Greenland indicates that the cold weather of the Little Ice Age destroyed the Viking settlements there. Of course, this has been understood for some time, but many of the orthodoxy refused to believe it. Further, many of the orthodoxy have discounted the ice core borings from Greenland as not indicative of the actual coastal temperatures because the borings are taken at high elevations.

The new study indicates that the cold was on the coasts as well as in the center of Greenland. Also the study casts further doubt on the very recent study by the International Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programe that used six years of data to project conditions 90 years hence. (Covered in the May 14, 2011 TWTW.) It appears that temperature trends of the upper latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere change rapidly and dramatically and any long term extrapolation of a trend is highly suspect. Please see article referenced under “Changing Climate.”


The Kyoto Protocol is the international agreement among various nations to limit carbon dioxide emissions. The two largest emitters of carbon dioxide, China and the US, are not parties of the Protocol. Contrary to a resolution passed by the US Senate, then Vice President Al Gore signed the Protocol, but it was never submitted for approval by the Senate. Approval is necessary to make the Protocol binding on the US. The Protocol expires at the end of 2012 and efforts to structure a new agreement are underway.

According to a May 29 report by the French news agency, Agence France-Presse, representatives of Russia, Japan and Canada announced at a G-8 meeting, their countries will not join in a second agreement. The story was picked-up by the Sydney Morning Herald, but not by other major English newspapers. It is not yet clear if the story is accurate.

Nevertheless, at this time it is highly doubtful that the US Senate would approve an agreement with international restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions. It appears unlikely that China will sacrifice its future prosperity based on the questionable science of the IPCC. India was so outraged by the IPCC’s dismissal of a report challenging the IPCC’s false report of the Himalayan ice melt, that it has organized an independent science body. Please see referenced article under “Problems with the Orthodoxy.”


Various alarmist groups are using the Defense Department’s “Quadrennial Defense Review Report” to insist the state and local governments should adapt programs limiting carbon dioxide emissions because the emissions are causing global warming that threatens the military security of the US. The Report has a five page section entitled “Crafting a Strategic Approach to Climate and Energy. The military unquestionably accepts the report of U.S. Global Change Research Program, which is based on the 2007 IPCC report and its unsubstantiated claims of impending disasters. Please see referenced articles under “Defenders of the Orthodoxy.”


The George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication has selected Naomi Oreskes for its “Communicatory of the Year” award. Apparently her book, Merchants of Doubt, jointly authored with Erik Conway, was instrumental in her selection for the award. The book is a personal attack on four distinguished scientists, two of whom founded SEPP, the late Chairman Fredrick Seitz and the President and current Chairman, Fred Singer. The book has been mentioned several times in TWTW and was reviewed on October 23, 2010.

The book makes many outrageous accusations against the four scientists, but fails to substantiate them. Hard evidence is lacking. After Science magazine published a fawning review, it refused to publish a rebuttal from Fred Singer, the only one of the four still alive. In a distorted way, perhaps the award is appropriate, for the book is much like popular global warming claims – “… full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” (Macbeth) Please see referenced article under “Communicating Better to the Public.”

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For the numbered articles below please see:


1. Overruled

Editorial, IBD, June 2, 2011


2. Another Wave Of American Oil

Editorial, IBD, May 31, 2011


3. Bureaucratic Rift Stalls Alaska Well

By Stephen Power and Daniel Gilbert, WSJ, June 2, 2011


4. Future Oil Supplies Can Lower Prices Today

Opinion By Lucian Pugliaresi, WSJ, June 2, 2011


5. U.S. Bars TransCanada From Restarting Keystone Pipeline

By Ben Lefebre and Chipe Cummings, WSJ, Jun 3, 2011


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Climategate Continued

The EU Connection in Climate Research

Millions of euros come with an agenda

By John Rosenthal, Hoover Institution, Aug 1, 2010


[SEPP Comment: An informative, long piece]

Challenging the Orthodoxy

Scientific audit of a report from the Climate Commission

By Bob Carter, David Evans, Stewart Franks, & William Kininmonth, Quadrant, May 30 [H/t JoNova]

Part I: Introduction, Discussion & Conclusions


Part II: Science Audit


Australia’s Invisible Energy Trade: better than most and getting even better

By Jo Anne Nova & Mike Wilson, JoNova.com, June 3, 2011


Greenland Ice Cap’s Melting Not Unusual

By David Whitehouse, The Observatory, May 31, 2011


Defenders of the Orthodoxy

Prospect of limiting the global increase in temperature to 2ºC is getting bleaker

CO2 emissions reach a record high in 2010; 80% of projected 2020 emissions from the power sector are already locked in

By Staff Writers, IEA, May 30, 2011


[SEPP Comment: A doubling of CO2 will not cause temperature increase of 2°C.]

Union of Concerned Scientists caught in yet another lie … about warming, ozone and health risks

By Joseph D’Aleo, ICECAP, Jun 3, 2011


The New Military War Against Climate Change

By Larry Bell, Forbes, May 31, 2011


Quadrennial Defense Review Report

Department of Defense, February 2010


Tiny bubbles signal severe impacts to coral reefs worldwide

By Staff Writers, SPX, June 1, 2011


[SEPP Comment: A solution with a pH above 7 is not acidic. The report does not state the pH of the studied area.]

Questioning the Orthodoxy

Fall, Winter, and Spring Northern Hemisphere Snow Cover Extent from the Rutgers University Global Snow Lab

By Roger Pielke, Sr. Climate Science, May 30, 2011


[SEPP Comment: According to the IPCC: Snow cover has declined on average in both hemispheres. Actually in the Northern Hemisphere the trends since 1967 are: a slight decline in the fall, an increase in the winter, and a clear decline in the spring.]

Warmer temperatures stimulate the gain of carbon stored in trees

Posted by Anthony Watts, WUWT, May 28, 2011


Problems with the Orthodoxy

Kyoto deal loses four big nations

By Staff Writers, Agence France-Presse, May 29, 2011 [H/t WUWT]


[SEPP Comment: This story has not been picked-up by the major western news media.]

Seeking a Common Ground

Cooler heads prevail against climate panic

By Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe, June 1, 2011


Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate?

“Communicator of the Year”: Honoring Oreskes Reveals Much About the State of the Climate Debate

By Jeff Kueter, George Marshall Institute, June 3, 2011


Are You Ready for More?

By Sharon Begley, The Daily Beast, May 29, 2011 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Big Bad Wolf Romm: “Climate on the Brink…” (Plea to temper ‘shrillness’ by EDF’s Krupp ignored)

By Robert Bradley, Jr, Master Resource, Jun 3, 2011


The Changing Climate

Climate helped drive Vikings from Greenland

Press Release, Brown University, May 30, 2011 [H/t WUWT]


Extreme Weather

Flooding Continues Along Missouri River, Recedes on Mississippi

By Jeff Sussman, Weather Bell, Jun 3, 2011


Klotzbach and Gray continue to expect a well above-average hurricane season

By Ric Werme, WUWT, June 2, 2011


Deadly twisters rare in northeast: US

By Staff Writers, AFP, June 2, 2011


[SEPP Comment: Many blamed the 1953 tornado that hit Worcester, MA, on nuclear testing.]

A New Flood, Some Old Truths

Editorial, NYT, May 27, 2011 [H/t David Manuta]


[SEPP Comment: Heavy snow storms seem to be hitting the northeast with “scary regularity.” Should we abandon cities such as New York?]

Changing Seas

Scientists foresee faster sea level rise along New Jersey coast

By Kirk Moore, Asbury Park Press, May 29, 2011


[SEPP Comment: Subsidence of land, both naturally and by pumping ground water are not the same as sea level rise.]

Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes

Australia PM ramps up carbon tax campaign

By Staff Writers, AFP, May 30, 2011


[SEPP Comment: When reason, fails use propaganda.]

World Bank warns of ‘failing’ international carbon market

By Fiona Harvey, The Guardian, June 1, 2011 [H/t GWPF]


[SEPP Comment: What a loss!]

New Jersey to Pull Out of RGGI, Shun New Coal Plants

By Staff Writers, Power News, June 1, 2011


[SEPP Comment: New Jersey pulls out of a regional cap-and-trade program.]

Subsidies and Mandates Forever

Renewable energy mandate: Colorado sold a bill of goods

Paul Chesser, ATI, May 27, 2011


EPA and other Regulators on the March

Germany ‘Sliding Head Over Heels Into Eco-Dictatorship’

By Fritz Vahrenholt, De Welt, May 27, 2011


Salazar: Interior will not enforce ‘wild lands’ policy

By Andrew Restuccia, The Hill, June 1, 2011


[SEPP Comment: A policy of the Administration’s imagination that was never authorized by Congress.]

New York AG sues feds over gas ‘fracking’

By Ben Geman, The Hill, June 31, 2011


[SEPP Comment: An item of definite concern on the possibility of EPA asserting control of natural gas drilling beyond prudent environmental regulations.]

Energy Issues

Regulator sets conditions on Keystone oil line restart

By Jeffrey Jones and Tom Dogget, Reuters, Jun 3, 2011


Nuclear Fears & Responses

Germany announces end to nuclear power b y 2022

By Staff Writers, AFP, May 30, 2011


Slovenia, Slovakia rule out nuclear plant closures

By Staff Writers, AFP, May 30, 2011


Panic in the Nuclear Streets

By Ferdinand Banks, Energy Pulse, May 26, 2011


GAO: U.S. Nuclear Waste Policy Plagued with Uncertainties

By Staff Writers, Power News, June 1, 2011


[SEPP Comment: Re-cycle!]

Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Everything you’ve heard about fossil fuels may be wrong

The future of energy is not what you think it is [H/t William Westmiller]

By Michael Lind, Salon, May 31, 2011

[“We may be living in the era of Peak Renewables …”]

Shale Boom in Texas Could Increase U.S. Oil Output

By Clifford Krauss, NYT, May 27, 2011


Offshore Drilling? Obama Says Nil baby Nil

By Art Horn, ICECAP, Jun 1, 2011


BP Oil Spill and Administration Control of Drilling

Running on empty: The drilling ban one year later

Obama still has his foot on the throat of domestic oil production

By Thomas Pyle, Washington Times, May 27, 2011


Some Jobs To Save

Editorial, IBD, June 3, 2011


Paper argues against conclusion that bacteria consumed Deepwater Horizon methane

By Staff Writers, SPX, June 3, 2011


[SEPP Comment: An issue that will not be resolved but will wither away.]

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy

Big companies aggressively jump into clean tech

Is there still big green to be made in green tech?

By Jon Swartz, USA Today, May 25, 2011


[SEPP Comment: Why are huge government subsidies needed? See article below.]

Investors Flock to ‘Clean’ Tech, So Why the Subsidies

By Paul Chesser, National Legal and Policy Center, May 26, 2011


BOEMRE Takes Steps to Issue First U.S. Lease for Marine Energy Demonstration

By Sonal Patel, Power News, June 1, 2011


[SEPP Comment: No problem here, but do not ask about deep water offshore drilling.]

Go green, go broke

By Peter Smith, Quadrant, Jun 3, 2011


Questioning the European Green

Biofuel Push Stalls in ‘Car Crazy’ Germany

By Eric Westervelt, NPR, May 24, 2011 [H/t Timothy Wise]


California Dreaming

An Unclear Course on Emissions Policy

By Felicity Barringer, NYT, May 29, 2011


California’s Cap-and-Trade Illegality: CARB Rethink Necessary

By Tom Tanton, Master Resource, May 31, 2011


Oh Mann!

Harassing climate-change researchers

Editorial, Washington Post, May 29, 2011 [H/t Chris Horner]


[SEPP Comment: Asking researchers to justify their published research is harassment! See letter below.]

A hypocritical response to U-Va. Records request

Letter by Christopher Horner, Washington Post, June 2, 2011


Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC

For a full list of articles see


Adaptation to Ocean Acidification

Reference: Tunnicliffe, V., Davies, K.T.A., Butterfield, D.A., Embley, R.W., Rose, J.M. and Chadwick Jr., W.W. 2009. Survival of mussels in extremely acidic waters on a submarine volcano. Nature Geoscience 10.1038/NGEO500.


Solar Activity and Global Climate Change

Reference: de Jager, C. and Duhau, S. 2009. Episodes of relative global warming. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 71: 194-198.


Are Some Global Warming policies Deadlier than Global Warming?

Reference: Goklany, I.M. 2011. Could Biofuel Policies Increase Death and Disease in Developing Countries? Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons 16: 9-13.


A 135-Year Rainfall History of India: 1871-2005

Reference Kumar, V., Jain, S.K. and Singh, Y. 2010. Analysis of long-term rainfall trends in India. Hydrological Sciences Journal 55: 484-496.


Food for Fuel and Other Issues

Is the food production system broken?

By Martin Livermore, Scientific Alliance, June 2, 2011


Other Scientific News

Cities affect storms, but downwind areas can get the worst of it

By Brian Wallheimer SPX, May 31, 2011


Groundwater Depletion Is Detected From Space

By Felicity Barringer, NYT, May 30, 2011


An Epidemic of False Claims

Competition and conflicts of interest distort medical findings

By John P.A. Ioannidis, Scientific American, May 31, 2011 [H/t Marc Morano, Climate Depot]


‘Worms from hell’ unearth possibilities for extraterrestrial life

By Marc Kaufman, Washington Post, June 1, 2011 [H/t WUWT]


Other News

Experts create first legal roadmap to tackle local ocean acidification hotspots

By Staff Writers, SPX, June 1, 2011


[SEPP Comment: Ocean ‘acidification’ is so poorly defined.]

Philippines struggles under mountain of dead fish

By Staff Writers, AFP, May 30, 2011


[SEPP Comment: Global cooling.?]

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Global warming threatens anthrax cattle burial areas in Russian Arctic

By Staff Writers, RIA Novosti, May 31, 2011 [Secondary Article]


Climate change to deal blow to fruits, nuts: study

By Staff Writers, AFP, May 28, 2011


[SEPP Comment: Cold weather killing trees. How does CO2 cause cooling?]

PLEASE NOTE: The complete TWTW, including the full text of the numbered 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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June 5, 2011 9:38 am

“The PM’s appointed Climate Commission produced a report, entitled “The Critical Decade,” outlining the government’s position on the science – largely a repetition of the UN International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)”
Shouldn’t that be InterGovernmental ?

June 5, 2011 9:39 am

Recent news reports revealed that Republican politicians including Romney, Christie, and Huntsman have not been reached by the message that the “science” behind global warming is a house of cards. Maybe they should take time off from their other activities and attend the upcoming Heartland conference to get up to speed on this issue.
The campaign message that global warming is a scientific hoax/fraud and we should pursue the development of all energy sources aggressively to aid in economic recovery would be a truthful and powerful one.

June 5, 2011 10:25 am

RE: Germany ‘Sliding Head Over Heels Into Eco-Dictatorship’ the WBGU “World in Transition – Social Contract for a Great Transformation” report.
I have to wonder if Schellnhuber, et al understand that what they propose would result in WWIII ? No free nations citizens would tolerate for an instant the dictatorship they are promoting. Have they given any thought to the impact that global warfare would have on the environment?

Joerg Habermann
June 5, 2011 10:40 am

to be sure, there is no such thing as a scientific method…
It is all guesswork, doxa than epistēmē… Science has no authority… It represents…our hope of emancipating ourselves from ignorance and narrow-mindedness, from fear and superstition. And this includes… the superstitious belief in the authority of science itself. (Karl Popper in Logic of Scientific Discovery: 1983, 259–260)

June 5, 2011 11:32 am

Great roundup Ken. I would just observe that, since you post it here as “Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup,” it can make your TWTW acronym can be a bit confusing. I googled it and remembered that that this is the usual name for your roundup (The Week That Was), but if you are going to self-refer here under a different title, you might want to refer to it as “this TWTW roundup” or some such?

June 5, 2011 11:33 am

Could someone explain what ‘TWTW’ stands for?

Brent Hargreaves
June 5, 2011 12:41 pm

“Restore the Scientific Method” they say. If they mean it, great.
The step in SM which provides for comparison between actual data and forcast data must not be fudged by the Climatographers (they don’t merit the ‘ology’ and I’m being generous awarding ’em an ‘ography’). Science must be falsifiable. Theories hedged with yes-buts and if-onlys is pseudoscience.

June 5, 2011 1:15 pm

Hank, I think Alec R. adequately answered your question in his 11:32 AM post.

June 5, 2011 1:44 pm

IEA sees record CO2 emissions in 2010
PARIS | Mon May 30, 2011 3:10pm EDT
PARIS (Reuters) – Global emissions of carbon dioxide hit their highest level ever in 2010, with the growth driven mainly by booming coal-reliant emerging economies, the International Energy Agency’s chief economist said on Monday.
The IEA urged oil producing countries to boost supply to cut fuel costs to protect economic recovery earlier this month and appeared to suggest its members could release emergency stockpiles if OPEC did not act at its next meeting on June 8.

June 5, 2011 3:47 pm

Joerg Habermann says:
June 5, 2011 at 10:40 am
to be sure, there is no such thing as a scientific method…
It is all guesswork, doxa than epistēmē… Science has no authority… It represents…our hope of emancipating ourselves from ignorance and narrow-mindedness, from fear and superstition. And this includes… the superstitious belief in the authority of science itself. (Karl Popper in Logic of Scientific Discovery: 1983, 259–260)

Of course there is no such thing as Truth as an ultimate, that is, some stated word or formula complex beyond which there is nothing more to know – that is the “superstition”, imo, that Science can find Truth. Even if such an allegedly Ultimate complex were to be presented as, say, a TOE, would anyone be sure It was Truth – would anyone of a scientific or rational bent [want to] stop wondering as to “why” it works?
Therefore, I’m obviously presuming and claiming that the basic function of the SM is to produce some understanding of things that “works”, and not to find Truth.
But to claim that the latter is impossible seems to me to be equally “superstitious” and, again, a confusion as to the kind of “truth” actually sought by the SM – based upon, as it often turns out, a linguistic confusion or conflation of the various meanings of words, such as “truth”.
In fact this kind of conflation probably also incorrectly denies even the possibility that words can mean anything which “work” to allow communication between people. While the fact is that communication via words is possible, even if we don’t know why it is, and will probably never find out “why”.
In other words, for the words, “ignorance”, “narrow-mindedness” and “superstition” to have meaning, their quasi or practical opposites must also have meaning, as achievable, functional “truths”.
We’re lucky, “blessed”, or at least somehow “naturally” – as contrasted with the Blank Slate “theory” – endowed with the desire and ability to search for the “truth”, even if the nature of this ability and the nature of the Universe prevents us from finding Truth, which, for what it is worth, is described as an enduring feature of what Luther Standing Bear called the “Great Mystery”, always standing there in relief beyond “truth”:
For after all the great religions have been preached and expounded, or have been revealed by brilliant scholars, or have been written in fine books and embellished in fine language with finer covers, man — all man — is still confronted with the Great Mystery — Chief Luther Standing Bear, Ota Kte, Oglala Sioux

Roger Carr
June 5, 2011 6:06 pm

“EPA’s Expansion of Power: Last week, TWTW discussed a few scientific points in the lawsuit against EPA for its ruling that greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) endanger human health and the environment. …”
Who does the EPA work for?
You got problems, America (and export the pain).
Many thanks again for another TWTW to all concerned in making and breaking this feature.

June 5, 2011 6:39 pm

It is incorrect to say that Julia Gillard won the last election by a slim margin. She heads up a minority government cobbled together to prevent a government by the National-Liberal Coalition, who in reality did win the last election by a slim margin but were also faced with trying to form a minority government.
She sold out on her promise that ‘there will be no carbon tax under the government I lead’ to satisfy the Greens, and was joined by a couple of ‘Independents’ from conservative electorates who are still trying to deal with what their constituents see as a betrayal of trust.
It is in the interests of those concerned with the ‘sell out’ to delay the next election for as long as possible – but it is not in Australia’s best interest.

June 5, 2011 7:49 pm

The “ICCC”. How goofy. “skeptics” once again trying to play off from legitimate scientific work. Just another way to try to confuse people.

June 5, 2011 8:00 pm

“sceptical”, in your case it’s working. There is no one more confused than you are.

June 5, 2011 9:16 pm

sceptical says:
June 5, 2011 at 7:49 pm
The “ICCC”. How goofy. “skeptics” once again trying to play off from legitimate scientific work. Just another way to try to confuse people.
despite proven defeat,repeat, repeat, repeat….a sure sign of “propaganda impoverishment syndrome”.

June 6, 2011 12:10 am

The answer to the whole agw nonsense is surface tension. Surface tension prevents the ocean absorbing physical heat from the atmosphere. The ocean only absorbs radiation from the sun. Itdoes not matter how hot the atmosphere gets it will not affect the temperature of the ocean and the heat can not be “stored”. If you doubt this try heating a bucket of water with a heat gun.

June 6, 2011 2:31 am

r.m.b says:
June 6, 2011 at 12:10 am

The answer to the whole agw nonsense is surface tension. Surface tension prevents the ocean absorbing physical heat from the atmosphere. The ocean only absorbs radiation from the sun. Itdoes not matter how hot the atmosphere gets it will not affect the temperature of the ocean and the heat can not be “stored”. If you doubt this try heating a bucket of water with a heat gun.

So if I leave my whisky with some ice in it on a table in a warm room it will never get warm? Cool!

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