Climate and Energy News Roundup

 

Quote of the Week:

“… and my error has been a good lesson to me never to trust in science to the principle of exclusion.” The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, p 15 [H/t Paul Macrae]

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Number of the Week: 2006

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THIS WEEK:

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

Climategate exposed more than just the actions of some authors to suppress the scientific data that contradicted the central purpose of their scientific article, as reprehensible as that was. Climategate also exposed how some scientists could, or thought they could, manipulate editors of scientific journals to suppress articles reporting research that contradicted their views.

It appears that the actions exposed by Climategate continue with editors of some scientific journals, including the Proceedings of the (US) National Academy of Sciences. The Proceedings serves as a convenient means for fellows of the Academy to publish papers without a torturous peer review process. Usually, fellows submitting papers recommend two peer reviewers.

Richard Lindzen, a fellow of the Academy, reports how the editors of the Proceedings have subjected him to a long process and refused to consider his recommended peer reviewers, even though they met all the published requirements. Instead the editors rejected the suggested reviewers, including noted physicist Will Happer, and are insisting that Lindzen’s paper be reviewed by members who are openly hostile to his views, as some of the proposed reviewers demonstrated in the Climategate emails.

Lindzen provided details of the exchanges to Chip Knappenberger who published in the blog, Master Resource. Steve McIntyre has made comments on the events. Please see articles referenced under “Climategate Continued.”

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Fear of Famine: The general public in many western countries is becoming less moved by the shrilled headlines of the terrible consequences from global warming. At Copenhagen, in 2009, the international orthodoxy promised developing countries a goal of $100 Billion per year as payments for global warming. The poor economic performance in the western countries makes taxpayers less likely to freely acquiesce to the grandiose promises. Thus, a new crisis must be invented. It appears that the new crisis is that global warming, caused by human emissions of carbon dioxide, will cause massive famine in the tropics by shortening the growing season. Apparently, at higher temperatures photosynthesis shuts down, or at least slows down.

A first effort was discussed in the May 14 TWTW in which a study published in Science claiming declining production of the four major food crops failed to explain the increasing production of these crops by the world’s largest producers. A second report entitled “Is the food production system broken?” by Oxfam, a charity in Britain, was ably dismissed by Martin Livermore of The Scientific Alliance in an article referenced in last week’s TWTW.

Last Sunday, the New York Times published a lengthy, front page article by Justin Gillis entitled “A Warming Planet Struggles to Feed Itself.” Roger Pielke, Jr, who believes in significant human-cause global warming, demolished this article on his web site. Possibly to defend himself, Gillis sent Pielke a 2009 UN report by Fischer, et al, entitled “Can Technology Deliver on the Yield Challenge to 2050?”

Gillis suggesting the Fischer report is particularly strange because the report concludes that, cautiously optimistically, YES, technology can deliver the yield challenge to 2050. The authors examined, among other issues, changing technology and the failure of adopting the green revolution in sub-Sahara Africa. During this week, SEPP also reviewed another UN alarmist report by Ulrich Hoffman.

SEPP will leave to others the task of discussing the physiology of food crops and if the growing season in the tropics will be shortened by higher temperatures. However, the alarmist studies reviewed by SEPP embody three major errors.

One, all the studies use projections of ever increasing temperatures from models that have never been validated. Thus, analysis of the results of these models, no matter how detailed or rigorous, is little more than speculation.

Two, the models failed to project the planet not warming. Both the surface data from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) and satellite data from the University of Alabama, Huntsville (UAH) show little or no warming since 1998.

Three, the thirty plus year satellite record shows that warming is largely in the northern part of the Northern Hemisphere with little or no warming in the tropics. These observations contradict the assumption of strong warming in the tropics.

There is an interesting point in the cautiously optimistic report by Fischer, et al. The authors place two limiting factors on increasing production of critical food grains: fossil fuels needed both for equipment and fertilizer, and phosphorus needed for fertilizer. Interestingly, the authors use Hubbert’s Peak curve to estimate future supplies of phosphorus. The Hubbert’s Peak curve was developed to estimate future supplies of oil (and gas) which Hubbert insisted would be soon exhausted. Changes in technology and economics have made the limits of fossil fuels and the Hubbert’s Peak curve highly questionable.

Hunger remains a problem in much of the world, but to have charities and international organizations wasting resources in claiming global warming from fossil fuel use will intensify famine is worse than just a waste of resources, it promotes a continued misallocation of resources. Please see referenced articles under “Fear of Famine” and “Models v. Data.”

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Principle of Exclusion: The excellent web site of Anthony Watts, Watts Up With That, contained an notable post by Paul Macrae on the principle of exclusion, from which the quote of the week was obtained. The principle of exclusion was one of many 19th century efforts to establish that scientific knowledge can be acquired by deduction alone, without observation. Simply put, if one asserts that there are only two possible causes of C, namely A and B; then, if one eliminates A as a possible cause of C, one must conclude B causes C. The fallacy is that one assumes he has complete knowledge of all the possible causes of C.

Such is the case of the UN IPCC in its 2007 Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). According to the methodology as stated: all the known natural causes “A” of temperature change “C” are calculated, thus all the remaining influences must be human caused, “B.” This methodology assumes all the natural causes of temperature change are known to the IPCC and delineated, which they are not. For example, El Niños are dismissed as being too short in duration to cause temperature trends, but frequency of El Niños may be very important.

At least, authors of the main body of AR4 state that many of the possible natural causes for temperature changes are poorly understood. The authors of the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) included only one possible natural cause – changes in solar irradiance. Thus, the authors of the SPM greatly misled those the SPM was designed to influence, policymakers – and the public. Please see Macrae’s post referenced under “Challenging the Orthodoxy.”

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Keystone Pipeline: Last week’s TWTW discussed the TransCanada pipelines called Keystone. Due to small leaks, the US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) shut down the Keystone 590,000 barrels per day pipeline for having eleven small leaks in its eleven months of operation, the last one was 10 barrels that is easily removed. Apparently, the regulating agency, PHMSA, is satisfied with the rapid response of the owner, TransCanada, in reporting and cleaning up any spills and, on Sunday, allowed the pipeline to resume operations after a week of closure.

A major political and environmental fight remains over a second TransCanada pipeline, Keystone XL. This $7 Billion privately funded project is designed to carry about 900,000 barrels per day, following a different route, from the Alberta, Canada, tar sands to tie into the existing pipeline near the Kansas-Nebraska border, and then to continue to refineries in Texas. These refineries are among the few in the world that can process the heavy crude from Venezuela, which ships its crude oil to the US for refining.

The leader of Venezuela expresses contempt for the US, but the state-owned oil company must refine its crude in the US and the US is its major retail outlet. Since the new Keystone XL crosses international boundaries, the US State Department claims it must approve it. The play of international politics may be fascinating, but not the subject of TWTW. The play of environmental policy is.

Among those organizations insisting that they should influence this international decision by the State Department are the EPA, and many environmental groups, including, the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). NRDC came into the national limelight with its very effective propaganda campaign in 1989 that falsely declared that Alar was a pesticide that caused cancer, causing great harm to apple growers. Alar is a chemical used for controlling fruit ripening and the cancer scare was as remote as the great cranberry cancer scare of the 1950s.

What makes NRDC’s involvement in pipeline issues informative is that President Obama appointed the current president of NRDC, Frances Beinecke, to the special commission investigating the BP Gulf Oil Spill and that his current nominee to head the US Department of Commerce, John Bryson, is a co-founder of NRDC.

In its opposition to the new pipeline NRDC states: “The Keystone XL Pipeline Undermines the United States Commitment to a Clean Energy Economy. To meet an 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2050 …” (boldface added)

Is the Environmental Industry, such as NRDC, setting the energy policy for the United States?

Please see referenced articles under “Environmental Industry” and “EPA on the March.”

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Number of the Week: 2006. According to estimates by Clive Best, during the year 2006 the “normalized projections” from the lowest projections by 1990 IPCC models exceeded the “normalized” observed temperatures from surface and satellite data. If SEPP interprets his estimates correctly, during 2006, the projections of the models became statistically different from the observations, thus the models are empirically contradicted. Please see referenced article under “Models v. Data.”

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ARTICLES:

For the numbered articles below please see:

http://www.sepp.org…

1. Sustainability and ethical investment

By Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance, Jun 9, 2011

http://www.scientific-alliance.org/scientific-allian…

2. A Gulf Drilling Revival

Notice how the energy breakthroughs are in oil and natural gas

Editorial, WSJ, Jun 10, 2011

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304392…

3. Alaska’s Ebbing Oil

Editorial, WSJ, Jun 7, 2011

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303745…

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NEWS YOU CAN USE:

Science: Is the Sun Rising?

Study finds global warming over past 400 years was due to increased Solar activity

Posted by Joanne Nova, June 9, 2011

http://joannenova.com.au/2011/06/study-finds-global-…

Climategate Continued

Lindzen’s PNAS Reviews

By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Jun 10, 2011

http://climateaudit.org/…

Lindzen-Choi ‘Special Treatment’: Is Peer Review Biased Against Nonalarmist Climate Science?

by Chip Knappenberger, Master Resource, Jun 9, 2011

http://www.masterresource.org/2011/06/lindzen-choi-s…

McShane and Wyner Weights on Mann 2008 Proxies

By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Jun 9, 2011

http://climateaudit.org/…

[“In my opinion, the problem is that you can’t simply throw a bunch of inconsistent time series into a multivariate mannomatic and expect to get a statistically significant response. If a scientist cannot specify the sign of a proxy in advance, then the proxy shouldn’t be used.”]

Challenging the Orthodoxy

Alarmist climate science and the principle of exclusion

AGW theorists are being misled by the principle of exclusion

By Paul Macrae, WUWT, Jun 8, 2011

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/06/08/alarmist-clima…

Warming, What Warming

By David Whitehouse, The Observatory, Jun 10, 2011

http://www.thegwpf.org/the-observatory/3192-warming-…

Defenders of the Orthodoxy

World Bank to suggest CO2 levy on jet, shipping fuel

By Gerard Wynn, Reuters, Jun 5, 2011 [H/t Catharine French]

http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFLDE7…

Stanford climate scientists forecast permanently hotter summers

By Donna Hesterman

Stanford CA (SPX) Jun 08, 2011

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

Questioning the Orthodoxy

Fossils uncover a different take on climate change

By Jane Kennedy, ABC Mid West & Wheatbelt, AU, Jun 9, 2011 [H/t Marc Morano, Climate Depot]

http://www.abc.net.au/local/audio/2011/06/09/3240161…

Climate isn’t up for debate

Alarmists refuse to take on skeptical geologists

By Tom Harris, Financial Post, Jun 7, 2011

http://opinion.financialpost.com/2011/06/07/climate-…

Higher density means world forests are capturing more carbon

By Staff Writers, (SPX) Jun 08, 2011

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

Questioning the European Green

‘We must stop pandering to climate scaremongers’: Ex-Civil Service chief blasts ministers for global warming ‘evangelism’

By Daily Mail Reporter, Daily Mail, UK, Jun 9, 2011 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2001189/Mini…

Why ‘vote blue, go green’ doesn’t sound quite so clever any more

It is time for Britain to walk away from its ridiculously stringent renewable energy plan

By Charles Moore, Telegraph, UK, Jun 10, 2011 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/charle…

EU climate policies are driving smelters out of Europe’

By Karel Beckman, European Energy Review, Jun 6, 2011

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

European energy companies risk missing out on a tremendous opportunity

The geo-economic blessings of shale gas

By Karel Beckman, European Energy Review, May 26, 2011

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

Problems within the Orthodoxy

The Self Corruption of Climate Science

By William Pentland, Forbes, Jun 9, 2011 [H/t GWPF]

http://blogs.forbes.com/williampentland/2011/06/09/t…

Norway systematically hid EU demands for oil-law reform

Leigh Phillips, EUobserver, 31.05.2011 @ 09:26 CET [H/t Catherine French]

http://euobserver.com/9/32427/?rk=1…

Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate?

Naomi Oreskes, Conspiracy Queen

By Norman Rogers, American Thinker, Jun 7, 2011 [H/t Marc Morano, Climate Depot]

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/06/naomi_oreskes…

The Earth Is Full

By Thomas L. Friedman, NYT, June 7, 2011 [H/t David Manuta]

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/08/opinion/08friedman…

Portland should brace for ‘climate refugees’

Eco Thoughts – Climate disruption could be defining issue of the century

By Kat West, Pamplin Media Group, Jun 9, 2011 [H/t WUWT]

http://www.portlandtribune.com/sustainable/story.php…

[“Climate disruption will be the defining issue of this century and probably for centuries to come. No famine, no war, no plague, not even natural disasters will compare with the impacts of this event on human civilization.”]

Models v. Data

1990 IPCC Predictions confront the data

By Clive Best, his Blog, Jun 9, 2011 [H/t WUWT]

http://clivebest.com/blog/?p=2208…

Ten Years and Counting: Where’s The Global Warming?

By James Taylor, Forbes, Jun 8, 2011

http://blogs.forbes.com/jamestaylor/2011/06/08/ten-y…

Measurement Controversy

Crater Lake USHCN weather station-the GISS removal

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Jun 9, 2011

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/06/09/crater-lake-us…

[SEPP Comment: Homogenizing the Data: Altering the historic record by removing long standing rural stations that do not show a strong late 20th century warming as compared with the early part of the century.]

Extreme Weather

Bringing Some Empirical Sense To All the Hurricane Hype

By Patrick Michaels, Forbes, Jun 3, 2011

http://blogs.forbes.com/patrickmichaels/2011/06/03/b…

China evacuates tens of thousands in deadly flood

By Staff Writers, AFP, Jun 6, 2011

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

[SEPP Comments: Before the dams were built, it may have been hundreds of thousands – dead.]

Changing Seas

Deception from NASA: Satellites are true cause of sea level rise

Climate Sanity, Jun 6, 2011 [H/t ICECAP]

http://climatesanity.wordpress.com/2011/06/06/decept…

[SEPP Comment: Deception may be too harsh a word, but it is apparent there is a calibration issue between surface tidal gages and satellite measurements.]

Fear of Famine

A Warming Planet Struggles to Feed Itself

By Justin Gillis, NYT, Jun 4, 2011

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/05/science/earth/05ha…

Flawed Food Narrative in the New York Times

By Roger Pielke Jr, Jun 5, 2011 [H/t ACSH]

http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2011/06/flawed-foo…

Climate change in tropics poses food threat to poor

Higher temperatures will reduce growing seasons critical for crops needed to feed the world’s poor, a report says

By John Vidal, Guardian, UK, Jun 3, 2011

http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/poverty…

Can Technology Deliver on the Yield Challenge to 2050?

By R.A. Fischer, Derek Byerlee and G.O. Edmeades, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Jun 2009

ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/012/ak977e/ak977e00.pdf

Assuring Food Security in Developing Countries Under the Challenges of Climate Change: Key Trade and Development Issues of a Fundamental Transformation of Agriculture

By Ulrich Hoffmann, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Feb 2011

http://www.unctad.org/en/docs/osgdp20111_en.pdf…

Growing a Better Future

Food justice in a resource-constrained world

By Robert Bailey, Oxfam, May 31, 2011

http://www.oxfam.org.uk/resources/papers/growing-bet…

Mapping hotspots of climate change and food insecurity in the global tropics

A report by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS)

Project team: Polly Ericksen, Philip Thornton, An Notenbaert, Laura Cramer, Peter Jones, Mario Herrero, June 3, 2011

http://ccafs.cgiar.org/sites/default/files/assets/do…

Litigation Issues

Taking the EPA to Court

World Climate Report, Jun 8, 2011

http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2011/06/…

[SEPP Comment: Summary of the first part of the litigation. The second part is EPA’s claim that the power to control new motor vehicle exhausts gives it the power to control all greenhouse gas emissions.]

Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes

Why raising the federal gas tax is smart

Editorial, Washington Post, Jun 8, 2011 [H/t David Manuta]

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-raising-t…

[SEPP Comment: The Federal gas tax was a user tax to pay for interstate highways. The last data available indicates that about 40% is being diverted to other projects.]

Subsidies and Mandates Forever

China Ends Subsidies for Domestic Wind Equipment Makers after U.S. Files WTO Complaint

By Staff Writers, Power News, Jun 8, 2011

http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/3768.html?hq_e=el&…

[SEPP Comment: After China cleverly captured the most modern technology.}

Chevy’s Carbon Plan: Less Than Meets the Eye

The carmaker will buy carbon offsets if you buy a Chevy. But the carbon reductions may likely be less than promised

By Ben Elgin, Business Week, Jun 2, 2011

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/11_24/b…

[SEPP Comment: The US has had weatherization programs since the 1970s. Isn’t 35 years long enough to get the job done?]

Bailed-Out GM Spends Millions on Phantom Carbon Offsets

By Paul Chesser, National Legal and Policy Center, Jun 6, 2011

http://nlpc.org/stories/2011/06/06/more-gm-use-taxpa…

EPA and other Regulators on the March

The United Nations States Environmental Protection Agency

By Dennis Ambler, SPPI, May 26, 2011

http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/pap…

[SEPP Comment: Details on the close interrelationships between the EPA and the environmental industry.]

Grant mischief at Obama’s Employment Prevention Agency

Editorial, Washington Examiner, Jun 9, 2011

http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/2011/06/grant-…

[SEPP Comment: EPA Financing foreign activities and foreign governments?]

Environmental Protection (Or Propaganda?) Agency

By Paul Driessen and Willie Soon, IBD, Jun 6, 2011

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/574…

EPA: State Department review of proposed pipeline is ‘insufficient’

By Andrew Restuccia, The Hill, Jun 7, 2011

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/677-e2-wire/165119-…

[SEPP Comment: EPA attempting to establish regulatory power over pipelines.]

The Hypocrisy of the EPA

By Rebekah Rast, Net Right Daily, Jun 9, 2011

http://netrightdaily.com/2011/06/the-hypocrisy-of-th…

Energy Issues

BP Statistical Review: China overtakes USA as largest energy consumer

By Staff Writers, European Energy Review, Jun 9, 2011

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

Statistical Review of World Energy 2011

By Staff Writers, BP, 2011

http://www.bp.com/sectionbodycopy.do?categoryId=7500…

[SEPP Comment: One of the most widely respected annual reviews of energy production and use.]

Free Market, Not Government Policy, Drives Energy Boom

By Michael Barone, Townhall, Jun 9, 2011

http://townhall.com/columnists/michaelbarone/2011/06…

Nuclear Fears & Responses

Japan Nuclear Watchdog: Fuel Has Possibly Melted Through Daiichi 1’s Pressure Vessel

By Staff Writers, Power News, Jun 8, 2011

http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/3767.html?hq_e=el&…

Germany looks to post-nuclear era

By Staff Writers, AFP, Jun 6, 2011

http://www.nuclearpowerdaily.com/reports/Germany_loo…

Nuclear energy vital for economic growth: Russia

By Staff Writers, AFP, Jun 6, 2011

http://www.nuclearpowerdaily.com/reports/Nuclear_ene…

NRC chief Jaczko in hot seat over critical Yucca Mountain report

By Andrew Restuccia, The Hill, Jun 10, 2011

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/677-e2-wire/165759-…

Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Exxon makes major oil discovery in Gulf

By Andrew Restuccia, The Hill – 06/08/11 02:24 PM ET

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/677-e2-wire/165409-…

Administration Control of Fossil Fuels

U.S. Goes On An Energy Starvation Diet

Editorial, IBD, Jun 9, 2011

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/574…

Oil Sands Project in Canada Will Go On if Pipeline Is Blocked

By Ian Austen, NYT, Jun 6, 2011

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/07/business/energy-en…

[SEPP Comment: If the oil does not come south to the US, it can go west to China.]

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy

The Gas Is Greener

By Robert Bryce, NYT, Jun 7, 2011

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/08/opinion/08bryce.ht…

[SEPP Comment: Oil and gas wells cover less open spaces than windmills.]

Fitting wind onto the electricity grid (part 2)

By Ulrich Decher, Ans Nuclear Café, May 26, 2011

http://ansnuclearcafe.org/2011/05/26/fitting-wind-on…

[SEPP Comment: A real problem.]

Scotland vows ‘green energy powerhouse’

By Staff Writers, UPI, Jun 6, 2011

http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/Scotland_vows_gr…

Overestimating Wind Power Generation: From the UK to New York State

By Lisa Linowes, Master Resource, June 6, 2011 [H/t Cooler Heads Digest]

http://www.masterresource.org/2011/06/overestimating…

Carbon Schemes

Post-Combustion Carbon Capture Center Commissioned at National Test Center

By Staff Writers, Power News, Jun 8, 2011

http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/3773.html?hq_e=el&…

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC

For a full list of articles see

http://www.NIPCCreport.org…

Ocean Acidificaton and Calcifying Claims

Reference:Range, P., Chicharo, M.A., Ben-Hamadou, R., Pilo, D., Matias, D., Joaquim, S., Oliveira, A.P. and Chicharo, L. 2011. Calcification, growth and mortality of juvenile clams Ruditapes decussatus under increased pCO2 and reduced pH: Variable responses to ocean acidification at local scales? Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 396: 177-184.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/jun/8jun201…

Plants Surviving Global Warming on Mountainsides

Reference: Scherrer, D. and Korner, C. 2011. Topographically controlled thermal-habitat differentiation buffers alpine plant diversity against climate warming, Journal of Biogeography 38: 406-416.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/jun/8jun201…

Maldivian Reefs: Fighting Back from Near Oblivion

Reference: Lasagna, R., Albertelli, G., Giovannetti, E., Grondona, M., Milani, A., Morri, C. and Bianchi, C.N. 2008. Status of Maldivian reefs eight years after the 1998 coral mass mortality. Chemistry and Ecology 24: 67-72.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/jun/8jun201…

Hear Ye, Hear Ye: Ocean Acidification and Ocean Noise

Reference Reeder, D.B. and Chiu, C.-S. 2010. Ocean acidification and its impact on ocean noise: Phenomenology and analysis. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 128: 10.1121/1.3431091.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/jun/7jun201…

Detecting the Footprint of Man in Tropical Cyclone Damage Data

Reference: Crompton, R.P., Pielke, Jr., R.A. and McAneney, K.J. 2011. Emergence timescales for detection of anthropogenic climate change in US tropical cyclone loss data. Environmental Research Letters 6: 10.1088/1748-9326/6/1/014003.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/jun/7jun201…

Health, Energy, and Warming

Report: ‘Green’ buildings could harm your health

By Julian Pecquet, The Hill, Jun 7, 2011

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/677-e2-wire/165191-…

Environmental Industry

Say No to Tar Sands Pipeline: Proposed Keystone XL Project Would Deliver Dirty Fuel at a High Cost

By Staff Writers, Natural Resources Defense Council, March 2011

http://www.nrdc.org/land/files/TarSandsPipeline4pgr….

Cairn awaits ruling on eco warriors

By Christopher Thompson in the Davis Strait, Financial Times, June 6 2011 [H/t Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen]

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/bc764a50-906a-11e0-9227-00…

[SEPP Comment: Greenpeace has received significant publicity for its invasions of private property. It is trying to do so again with oil platforms in Greenland.]

Court Rules Against Greenpeace in Drilling Protest

By Archibald Preuschat and Alexis Flynn, WSJ, Jun 9, 2011

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304259…

[SEPP Comment: May be behind a paywall.]

Big Green donors give money, marching orders

By Ron Arnold, Washington Examiner, Jun 9, 2011

http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/201…

Other Scientific News

NASA Spending Shift to Benefit Centers Focused on Science and Technology

By Staff Writers, SPX, Jun 08, 2011

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

Big news (not): Atrazine never caused cancer, and it still doesn’t

By Alyssa Pelish, ASCH, Jun 9, 2011

http://www.acsh.org/factsfears/newsID.2717/news_deta…

Experts’ riposte to chemophobia in The New England Journal of Medicine

By Alyssa Pelish, ASCH Dispatch, Jun 9, 2011

http://www.acsh.org/factsfears/…

[SEPP Comment: Claims that 85 to 95% of cancers are caused by environmental factors cannot be substantiated.]

Egyptian Mummies Hold Clues of Ancient Air Pollution

By Owen Jarus, Live Science, Jun 3, 2011 [H/t Catherine French]

http://www.livescience.com/14420-ancient-egyptian-mu…

[SEPP Comment: Air pollution predated the industrial revolution?]

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BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:

Greenpeace says Barbie doll is forest vandal

By Staff Writers, AFP, Jun 8, 2011 [H/t Catherine French]

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacif…

The dangers of bone-headed beliefs

By Richard Glover, SMH, Jun 6, 2011 [H/t Timothy Wise]

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/th…

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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25 thoughts on “Climate and Energy News Roundup

  1. In its opposition to the new pipeline NRDC states: “The Keystone XL Pipeline Undermines the United States Commitment to a Clean Energy Economy. To meet an 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2050 …”
    Is the Environmental Industry, such as NRDC, setting the energy policy for the United States?
    How scary is that!!!

  2. Hubbert’s curve showed his prediction of when conventional oil production would peak. IIRC, even way back in the 1950’s Hubbert was predicting that deep-sea oil, and oil sands would take the place of conventional production.

  3. I work here in the oil sands – our oil from the sands is mixed in the pipelines with all other forms of Alberta crude from conventional sources throughout Alberta. There is no such thing as pure oil sands oil being pumped anywhere in the world let alone down to the US. Obviously Obama and his minions have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about when it come to Alberta crude or even oil sands oil. You CANNOT separate one oil from the other at any point in the chain. Good God who do they have running that idiot system down there? Perhaps the Obama administration would rather spend billions maintaining his military in the gulf and pleasing his Arab “friends” (and Chevez) who also hate America more than he cares about a secure, stable source of crude from a friendly nation. This is pure insanity. We have the crude BUT the Obama administration don’t want our oil – Oh well, the Chinese such as heck want our oil. They should – the Chinese have bought into the oil sands. At least they want to do business with us. No wonder the Chinese are taking over the world these days – they know how to conduct business WITHOUT the AGW and Eco-Nazis telling them what to do!

  4. The Obama administration have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about. ALL Alberta crude from both conventional and oil sands are shipping AND mixed in the pipelines with no way to separate one from the other what so ever. I work the sands. Matter of fact you can’t tell one Alberta crude from the other in the pipeline. Good God you’d think someone down south would get a clue? Apparently not a chance. The AGW and eco-Nazis are running the US government who would rather get their oil from Venezuela ( who hate Americans with a passion) and Arabs sources (who hate Americans even more) than from a secure, safe neighbor north of your border. At least the Chinese are smart enough to buy into the Sands – that’s why the Chinese are the new super state and well be for decades to come. It will take a decade or more to repair the damage the Obama administration is doing to America not to mention trying to repaid the damage the Obama administration has done to America’s traditional allies. And Canada is certainly one of the nations in that boat to name just one. We have the crude and the Obama administration don’t want it – he’d rather spend billions and billions with his Mideast buddies. We’ll remember that.

  5. “The Hubbert’s Peak curve was developed to estimate future supplies of oil (and gas) which Hubbert insisted would be soon exhausted. Changes in technology and economics have made the limits of fossil fuels and the Hubbert’s Peak curve highly questionable.”
    Not true I think. I’d seriously suggest that you take that assertion over to The Oil Drum (www.theoildrum.org). I’d also suggest that if you do so, you wear your flak jacket. You’re going to need it. And note that while TOD has the usual number of nut cases who inhabit any web site, there are also a lot of folks there who know a great deal about energy production and usage. On the bright side, AFAIK, the TOD doesn’t censor dissent. You might enjoy disagreeing with people who know what they are talking about and who fight fair.
    (And they pretty much share your opinion of the potential of wind power).
    What may be the case is that there are flaws in the Hubbert assumptions that cause it’s predictions to not always be correct. Although it did very well predicting US petroleum production, its attempts (two of them) to predict future US gas production were not as successful. It appears that the Hubbert prediction problem isn’t changes in technology. My understanding is that those are sort of built into the model. It is possibly poor estimates of reserves. Changes in economics? Maybe. There seem to be arguments both ways.
    Regretably, I am not an expert on the theory behind the Hubbert curve. I’d like to look into it someday, but I doubt I’ll live long enough to tackle that. I also think it’s not terribly relevant because my cocktail napkin says that the 85% of humanity that does not live in the US,EU,Japan,Canada, etc is going to burn through the available cheap and medium priced fossil fuels with a speed that is going to surprise everyone.

  6. Three, the thirty plus year satellite record shows that warming is largely in the northern part of the Northern Hemisphere with little or no warming in the tropics. These observations contradict the assumption of strong warming in the tropics.
    =============================================================================
    It wasn’t an assumption….it was a requirement
    Without it, there is no hypothesis….
    ….I’m dumbfounded that we are still talking about it

  7. [Snip. Calling people “denialists” is not allowed here, per site Policy. ~dbs, mod.]

  8. Don K says: .”I also think it’s not terribly relevant because my cocktail napkin says that the 85% of humanity that does not live in the US,EU,Japan,Canada, etc is going to burn through the available cheap and medium priced fossil fuels with a speed that is going to surprise everyone.”
    Don, the US has the largest reserves of fossil fuels of any nation on the planet. If the EPA and democrats would let us develop and use our own coal resources, shale oil, natural gas etc. We would have enough domestic energy to meet 100% of our needs (and at cheap prices as well which will be a boon for our economy and standard of living) for over a hundred years. In the mean time we should invest heavily into fusion energy research and other promising technologies and we will have a replacement source long before we run out of fossil fuels.

  9. Really WUWT? You blocked my post over that? Fine I’ll very slightly alter it.
    I’m concerned that skeptics here are exhibiting the same hubris and cocksureness as warmists did just before their ‘drawdown’ of 2009. For example, the Wegman report criticizing The Hockey Stick was filled with plagiarism and otherwise faulty or so I’ve heard. I’ve also heard that while McKitrick and McIntyre’s criticism of the HS contains valid points, it doesn’t knock down the HS which has been back up by subsequent investigation. I can’t recall the whole online exchange but that’s the gist of it. Thoughts?

  10. Quoted above is the comment:
    ‘For example, El Niños are dismissed as being too short in duration to cause temperature trends, but frequency of El Niños may be very important.’
    In Australia the SOI and the country’s rainfall totals correspond very closely. Periods of El Nino lead to drought and La Ninas lead to higher rainfall. The longer the El Nino, the worst the drought and the more intense the La Nina, the worst the flooding.
    During droughts, the maximum temperatures would be higher than during a wet period.
    If you miss a La Nina event or two in the cycle, then the temps will rise (such as between 2002 and 2006/7 where there were 4 El Ninos and no La Ninas). As soon as the intense La Nina appeared in 2010/11, rainfall increased dramatically giving us the third wettest year on record. Correspondingly, the temps in Australia fell in 2011, giving us the coldest autumn on record.
    So what drives the SOI? This should be an important factor in their models.

  11. Cytotoxic says:
    June 12, 2011 at 3:27 pm
    “[…] I’ve also heard that while McKitrick and McIntyre’s criticism of the HS contains valid points, it doesn’t knock down the HS which has been back up by subsequent investigation. I can’t recall the whole online exchange but that’s the gist of it. Thoughts?”
    Well, one of my thoughts is that if you can substitute noise for data and still get a hockey stick – McKitrick and McIntyre’s valid points – then it appears to me that Mann has discovered a technique for making hockey sticks, which has been thoroughly backed up by subsequent investigation. Oh… the climate thingy part? Not so useful.

  12. Cytotoxic,
    While you’re allowing yourself to be influenced by the Wegman plaigerism meme over the social networking stuff, you might want to consider what the contemporaneous NAS panel had to say about his statistical analysis:

    CHAIRMAN BARTON. I understand that. It looks like my time is expired, so I want to ask one more question. Dr. North, do you dispute the conclusions or the methodology of Dr. Wegman’s report?
    DR. NORTH. No, we don’t. We don’t disagree with their criticism. In fact, pretty much the same thing is said in our report. But again, just because the claims are made, doesn’t mean they are false.
    CHAIRMAN BARTON. I understand that you can have the right conclusion and that it not be–
    DR. NORTH. It happens all the time in science.
    CHAIRMAN BARTON. Yes, and not be substantiated by what you purport to be the facts but have we established–we know that Dr. Wegman has said that Dr. Mann’s methodology is incorrect. Do you agree with that? I mean, it doesn’t mean Dr. Mann’s conclusions are wrong, but we can stipulate now that we have–and if you want to ask your statistician expert from North Carolina that Dr. Mann’s methodology cannot be documented and cannot be verified by independent review.
    DR. NORTH. Do you mind if he speaks?
    CHAIRMAN BARTON. Yes, if he would like to come to the microphone.
    MR. BLOOMFIELD. Thank you. Yes, Peter Bloomfield. Our committee reviewed the methodology used by Dr. Mann and his coworkers and we felt that some of the choices they made were inappropriate. We had much the same misgivings about his work that was documented at much greater length by Dr. Wegman.

  13. @HR: I was also informed that hockey sticks were only sometimes generated from noise and that they were often upside-down hockey sticks.
    @John M: that’s very interesting but who are North and Bloomfield? Linky?

  14. Alcheson says:
    June 12, 2011 at 3:12 pm
    “Don, the US has the largest reserves of fossil fuels of any nation on the planet. If the EPA and democrats would let us develop and use our own coal resources, shale oil, natural gas etc.”
    That’s not entirely wrong because of our huge coal deposits. But unless we dramatically change our energy export policies, those hydrocarbons will probably be developed and sold to overseas buyers and we will be left with a massively disrupted environment and the same energy problems that face the rest of the planet. Likely all that will happen at a rate that will completely astonish you. It’s true that some Americans will accrue great wealth, but overall, I wouldn’t get to feeling too comfortable. Think Nauru Island and its now vanished phosphates.
    Also, don’t count on the Green River oil shales. People have been trying to extract hydrocarbons from them for over a century, and have failed dismally. It’s not that there isn’t energy there. It’s that it may well prove to be unrecoverable at any price that makes economic sense. Think bricks with small amounts of candle wax somehow baked into the pores. Some oil shales elsewhere including some beds in the Upper Ordovician black shales of the Northeast are more tractable and may be developable, but they won’t yield that many BTUs. In fact there was a small amount of production in the nineteenth century from the Utica shale. But the Green River shales aren’t something we can currently count on. And their “oil” is actually an intractable waxy substance called Kerogen.
    And, with the notable exception of North slope petroleum, which clearly should have been, but was not, managed to keep the trans-Alaska pipeline running near capacity, blaming the government for our energy problems is probably wrong headed. BTW, the unused capacity in the pipeline is around 10% of US oil imports — 6% of usage. Significant, but hardly an energy panecea. Overall the nutty right wing view that government and the democrats are the source of our energy problems is IMO just that — nutty.
    I do agree that the natural gas windfall is likely going to provide the US with a couple of decades of breathing room energy-wise. Fortunately, it’s currently fairly difficult to transport overseas. At least compared to the ease of transport through pipelines. IMO, we’d do well to keep it that way and quietly ban or severely limit the export of LNG from the US.

  15. Wil says:
    June 12, 2011 at 12:13 pm
    I remember the scuttlebutt some years ago (maybe 20), inquiring whether western Canada might want to secede and join the U.S. Now I am asking: will you please, please, annex us instead so we can save ourselves from this dunderhead Obama!

  16. @Cytotoxic says:
    June 12, 2011 at 10:05 pm
    “@HR: I was also informed that hockey sticks were only sometimes generated from noise and that they were often upside-down hockey sticks.”
    So Mann had X% chance that his hockey stick would go up or down, eh? Which way did the bristlecones nudge the data? (Afterall, we wouldn’t want to rely on just one tree like from oh… pick a place; Yamal maybe?)

  17. If Richard Lindzen has given a list of reviewers then that should be good enough. It works for the alarmists.
    What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

  18. “It appears that the actions exposed by Climategate continue with editors of some scientific journals, including the Proceedings of the (US) National Academy of Sciences.”
    The only surprise is that anyone would be surprised that they aren’t continuing.
    The First Law of Human Physics is, “People Are People.”
    Second Law is, “People Will Do Anything For Money.”

  19. @HR: what I heard was that the random noise data rarely resulted in right-side up hockey sticks.

  20. @Cytotoxic
    June 13, 2011 at 11:39 am
    “@HR: what I heard was that the random noise data rarely resulted in right-side up hockey sticks.”
    You may wish to visit the link John M provided.
    http://climateaudit.org/2007/11/06/the-wegman-and-north-reports-for-newbies/
    That link concerns the blade which is an interesting topic, but what really broke the hockey stick is the handle; the blade, even if it might possibly be right, but for the wrong reasons (see above) is not unprecedented. There’s a bump in the middle of the hockey stick that went missing for some reason or another. That’s the really interesting part.
    BTW, my theory is that lightening strikes the tallest objects because when Jove is heaving those lightening bolts, it really ticks him off if something elevates itself. It’s an affront to the gods, by Jove! I am certain that I’m correct but there’s a chance that it may be for the wrong reasons.

  21. There’s no better way to make clean energy cheap than to make dirty energy expensive. Global Oil Socialism focuses on keeping oil cheap by taxing the global economy to foot the bill for guns and roses.
    Nations have no power to change this unfortunate reality. All you need do however, is change yourself.

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