Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

Quote of the Week:

“… there’s the social dominance orientation of conservatives, who see social life as following the law of the jungle. One’s choice is to dominate or be dominated, that is the natural order of things. Such folk are leery of climate change solutions premised on fairness or egalitarianism. “AGU Director Chris Mooney quoted by David Roberts in GRIST.

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Number of the Week: 31%

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THIS WEEK:

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

Videos from the Sixth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC) sponsored by Heartland Institute are available on the web. Go to:

http://climateconference.heartland.org/watch-…

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Congress: After the tiresome debt limitation negotiations, Congress departed for its month long August recess, but not without concerns. Senator James Inhofe called on the administration and EPA not to implement any new ozone (falsely labeled as smog) standards until an investigation of the two Clean Air Act Advisory science committees is conducted. As mentioned in TWTW last week, the advisor from the National Academy of Sciences has warned EPA’s science committees that they are in danger of becoming scientifically irrelevant. Inhofe sent a letter to the Inspector General of the EPA citing specific areas of concern.

Almost simultaneously, fourteen, so named, public health and medical organizations sent President Obama a letter urging immediate adaption of the proposed rules. They claim the new rules are critical for improving public health standards, based on EPA numbers. Yet, the letter cites no empirical studies supporting EPA numbers. As discussed in prior TWTWs, EPA claims of reduction of new asthma cases simply makes no sense. As with sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide, if there is a correlation between ozone and asthma, it is negative – less ozone more asthma. Such issues need to be resolved before the EPA, in pretending to protect public health, takes actions severely damaging economic, public welfare. Please see Article # 1, and articles referenced under “The Political Games Continue,” “EPA and other Regulators on the March” and “Environmental Industry.”

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Quote of the Week: Global warming alarmists have been claiming that they must communicate better with the public. Apparently, one of the ways is to try to explain why scientists “the deniers” who do not accept global warming alarmism must be conservative white males. In “Stuff white people like: denying climate change” David Roberts announces a new study to be published attempting to explain this failure of communication. The quote from Chris Mooney, a newly elected director of the American Geophysical Union, is one of several in that post. Apparently, those quoted, especially Mr. Mooney, are incapable of realizing that many people do not accept the threat of dangerous global warming because the science of the alarmists is shoddy. The alarmists fail to empirically verify their claims. [Note: the term climate change is used, even though the alarmists have failed to establish any period of stable climate.]

As if race were important, the day before Roberts posted his piece, two members of the Affordable Power Alliance, Harry Jackson and Niger Innis (Innis is a director of the pioneering equal-rights group, Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)), clearly stated why they oppose the global warming programs of the EPA and others. These programs will significantly increase the costs of electricity, thus lower the disposable income and standards of living for most Americans, particularly the poor. The programs will result in electricity shortages when demand is greatest, during the hot weather causing greater suffering. Please see Article #2 and referenced article under “Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.”

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EPA Mileage Standards: Last week’s discussion of the administration’s improbable new mileage standards prompted several interesting responses. Malcolm Ross referenced a new article stating that The Times, London, uncovered that a battery change in the electric Nissan Leaf would cost about 19,000 pounds (about US $30,100 at today’s rates). But the Nissan representative said the battery should last about 10 years in London urban driving. This works out to be 1,900 pounds or $3,010 per year. The life span of the battery used on American highways in the hot southeast or the cold north will be interesting.

Charles Schafer wondered if the new standards are designed to encourage use of automobiles running on compressed natural gas. Honda produces versions of its Civic models most designed to run on gasoline, others designed to run natural gas. The gasoline LX with automatic transmission and air conditioning has a suggested retail price of $18,655 and is EPA rated 28 miles per gallon (mpg) city, 39 highway, and 32 combined. The natural gas GX version, comparably equipped, has a suggested price of $25,490 and is EPA rated at surprising low 24 mpg city, 36 highway, and 28 combined. EPA mileage ratings remain a mystery, but its programs for saving consumers money will be costly to the consumer. Please see referenced article under “Questioning European Green.”

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NOAA Speaks: On June 23, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a draft statement of its scientific integrity policy that is “designed to ensure high quality standards in NOAA science and to promote a culture of transparency, integrity, and ethical behavior.” The sixty day public comment period on the policy closes on August 20, 2011.

On his web site, Climate Audit, Steve McIntyre noted that NOAA sponsored a sculpture titled “Pillars of Climate” at the American Meteorological Society’s Applied Climatology and Climate Change Adaptation conference in Asheville, NC. One pillar is Vandana Shiva, author of Vedic Ecology and an advisor to the Government of Bhutan on becoming an Organic Sovereign Country. A second pillar is Wangari Maathai who founded the Green Belt Movement in Africa.

A third pillar is R.K. Pachauri, the Chairman of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. By now he should know something about climate science, transparency and integrity.

The fourth pillar is none other than Michael Mann, the originator of the infamous hockey-stick and the innovator of Climategate’s “hide the decline.” No doubt he exemplifies NOAA’s new standards of “transparency, integrity, and ethical behavior.” Please see articles referenced under NOAA.

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Oil Spills: A study from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute that intensely studied the BP blow-out and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is being published. The study finds that three weeks after the capping of the well, the oil plume was largely gone. It was consumed by microorganisms that feed on oil. The Gulf of Mexico has experienced oil slicks and seepages long before offshore drilling and before steaming ships were converted from coal to oil. Microorganisms have evolved to feed on oil.

As discussed in the April 23, 2011 TWTW, one year after the blow-out and the spill, the total number of major dead animals discovered with visible oil, was strikingly small. The ecological damage from the blow out has been greatly exaggerated, though some traces will remain for years to come.

Some components of the hydrocarbons remain, so every effort must be made to cap any ruptured well as quickly as possible. Over the past year, the industry has created such a fast response team and stated it is willing to maintain it with resources, containment lines, etc, dedicated for such purposes. It should be held accountable to do so.

There is no practical reason for the administration to continue to withhold permits for deep water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. According to Senator David Vitter, already ten major drilling rigs have left the Gulf to work in Egypt, Congo, Nigeria, Brazil, etc. These rigs are very expensive to build and operate. They will not come back any time soon. There is no clearer example of exporting jobs to foreign countries than the administration’s policy on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Please see referenced articles under “Oil Spills and Consequences.”

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Exxon-Mobil Pipeline Spill: During the heavy spring floods, an Exxon-Mobil pipeline crossing the Yellowstone River spilled about 1000 barrels of oil before it was shut off. This event is being used by the environmental industry to oppose the building of a very large new pipeline, called the Keystone XL, which will bring heavy oil, from tar sands in Alberta, Canada, to Texas refineries that are designed to process it. Now the refineries are processing heavy oil from Venezuela.

According to reports, the Yellowstone pipeline leak was caused by sand and gravel scouring the pipeline during turbulent action caused by heavy flows of the river. Such scouring is difficult to detect, even during the normal, or low, flows, and it remains virtually impossible to predict.

The pipeline was built with the old technology: dig a trench in the riverbed, lay the pipe, and cover it up with at least four feet of fill. The technology disturbed the riverbed, and even if the fill was heavy rock, it changed the fluid dynamics of the river. The technology may work fine in a river with many dams and little turbulent flow, except during floods; but not the free flowing Yellowstone which has no dams.

The new technology for crossing a river with a pipeline is to apply the techniques of directional drilling for oil and gas wells thereby placing the pipeline beneath the river to a depth of fifteen to fifty feet below the riverbed. The technology does not disturb the riverbed nor create changes in turbulence. For Keystone XL, it would be important to have the pipeline river crossings drilled, particularly at free-flowing rivers. Please see Article # 3.

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Controversial Challenges: Last week, TWTW discussed the new, upcoming paper by Roy Spencer and Danny Braswell that estimates the models used by the IPCC greatly underestimate the energy loss to space during warming periods. This week, various blogs discussed a possible upcoming paper by atmospheric physicist Murry Salby of Macquarie University who challenges the generally accepted view on the carbon cycle. Since the paper has not been published, it is difficult to comment beyond Judith Curry’s comments, except to say that the chant, Science Is Settled, has a new, disturbing note. Please see referenced article under “Questioning the Orthodoxy.”

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Number of the Week: 31% According to the calculations of Lubos Motl, Reference Frame, 31% of the stations used by Hadley Center – Climate Research Unit (HadCRUT3), the standard for surface temperatures, have shown a temperature decline since 1979. This should not be surprising for those who are familiar with the temperature trends over the same period posted by John Christy and Roy Spencer at the University of Alabama, Huntsville. The warming has not been uniform, or global, as alarmist suggest. These calculations further demonstrate that any use of global models to project regional climate variation is not scientific. Please see articles under “Models v. Observations” and “Measurement Issues.”

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ARTICLES:

For the numbered articles below please see:

http://www.sepp.org…

1. The Cost of Lisa Jackson

Why the EPA doesn’t consider job losses when it creates new rules.

Editorial, WSJ, Aug, 3, 2011

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405270…

2. NAACP and EPA Inflict Heat Prostration and Death

By Harry Jackson with Niger Innis, Townhall, Aug 1, 2011

http://townhall.com/columnists/harryrjacksonj…

3. Chance of Oil Spill Rises With Floodwaters

Displaced Sediment Leaves Pipelines Beneath Riverbeds Exposed to Dangers

By Jack Nicas, WSJ, Aug 4, 2011

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405311…

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NEWS YOU CAN USE:

Climategate Continued

A Couple of CRU Stations

By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Aug 1, 2011

http://climateaudit.org/2011/08/01/a-couple-o…

Challenging the Orthodoxy

A Step in the Right Direction: Backing off of Anthropocentrism in Climate Research

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Aug 5, 2011

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/08/a-step-in…

Defending the Orthodoxy – NOAA

NOAA’s Draft Integrity Policy Applauded by International Scientific Organization

By Staff Writers, SPX, Aug 02, 2011

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

NOAA scientific integrity

NOAA, Updated Jul 11, 2011

http://www.noaa.gov/scientificintegrity/…

NOAA’s Pillars of Climate

By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Jul 30, 2011 [H/t WUWT]

http://climateaudit.org/2011/07/30/noaas-pill…

[SEPP Comment: McIntyre’s sarcasm is appropriately biting.]

NOAA’s Climate Office: Precursor to Cap and Trade

By Mike Johnson, American Thinker, Aug 1, 2011

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/08/noaas_…

Defending the Orthodoxy – Others

Extreme Weather and Climate Change

Understanding the Link, Managing the Risk

By Daniel G. Huber and Jay Gulledge, Ph.D., Pew Center for Climate Change, June 2011 [H/t Eric Gottshall]

http://www.pewclimate.org/publications/extrem…

Questioning the Orthodoxy

The Current Wisdom: The Lack of Recent Warming and the State of Peer Review

By Patrick Michaels, Cato, Aug 3, 2011 [H/t WUWT]

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=13…

Carbon cycle questions

By Judith Curry, Her Blog, Aug 4, 2011

http://judithcurry.com/2011/08/04/carbon-cycl…

Questioning European Green

As Germany Cools, Projections Of Warming Heat Up

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jul 31, 2011 [H/t Marc Morano, Climate Depot]

http://notrickszone.com/2011/07/31/as-germany…

Chemical industry: Government underestimating impact of policies on manufacturers

The Engineer, UK, Aug 3, 2011 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.theengineer.co.uk/channels/process…

Green taxes are crippling the recovery

By Harry Phibbs, Daily Mail, Aug 3, 2011 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-202…

Manufacturers want £470m relief from green tax pain

Manufacturers are lobbying for more than £470m in compensation from the taxpayer for having to swallow four green levies by the end of the decade.

By Rowena Mason, Telegraph, UK, Aug 2, 2011 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysect…

Electric car owners may face £19,000 battery charge

Electric car owners face a bill of up to £19,000 to replace the battery, a report has found.

Only 680 electric cars have been bought so far this year despite 2011 being declared Britain’s ‘year of the electric car’

By Staff Writer, Telegraph, UK, Aug 1, 2011 [H/t Malcolm Ross]

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/news/8674…

Green taxes to pay subsidies ‘will cost up to 30,000 jobs’

By Tim Shipman, Daily Mail, Aug 5, 2011 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-20226…

Climate Change Money Should Go to Armed Services

By Ann Widdecombe, Express, UK, Aug 5, 2011 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.express.co.uk/ourcomments/view/262…

Expanding the Orthodoxy

U.S. Education Dep’t Pushes Man-Made Global Warming, Saving the Earth at Children’s Reading Event

By Penny Starr, CNS News, Aug 2, 2011

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/us-education-…

Bureaucrats offer up green misinformation

Is an old briefing being wielded as a cudgel to indict Tories over climate?

By Peter Foster, Financial Post, Aug 2, 2011

http://opinion.financialpost.com/2011/08/02/p…

Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate?

69% Say It’s Likely Scientists Have Falsified Global Warming Research

By Staff Writers, Rasmussen Reports, Aug 3, 2011 [H/t Tom Sheahen]

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_conten…

[SEPP Comment: Exaggeration comes with costs.]

Global Warming Credibility Problem

By Logan Penza, The Moderate Voice, Aug 4, 2011 [H/t GWPF]

http://themoderatevoice.com/118655/global-war…

All 50 States See Record Highs in July

By Staff Writers, Live Science, Aug 1, 2011 [H/t Gordon Fulks]

http://news.yahoo.com/50-states-see-record-hi…

[SEPP Comment: Gordon Fulks wonders if the cold Pacific Northwest is still part of the US. One must remember that the historic record has been altered by dropping out many rural stations.]

Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

Stuff white people like: denying climate change

By David Roberts, Grist, Aug 2, 2011

http://www.grist.org/climate-skeptics/2011-08…

Models v. Observations

A Waste Of Money By NSF and NCAR? Are They Studying The Predictability Of Climate On Decadal Time Scales, Or Are They Just Providing Unverified Predictions To The Impacts Community?

By Roger Pielke, Sr, Pielke Climate Science, Aug 5, 2011

http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/08…

Measurement Issues

HadCRUT3: 30% of stations recorded a cooling trend in their whole history

By Lubos Motl, Reference Frame, Jul 30, 2011 [H/t WUWT]

http://motls.blogspot.com/2011/07/hadcrut3-30…

HadCRUT3: 31% of stations saw cooling since 1979

By Lubos Motl, Reference Frame, Aug 4, 2011

http://motls.blogspot.com/2011/08/hadcrut3-31…

Changing Weather

East Coast next wild weather target – though not Emily

By Joseph D’Aleo, ICECAP, Aug 3, 2011

http://icecap.us/index.php/go/new-and-cool/ea…

MSU researcher discovers link between Montana weather, ocean near Peru

By Evelyn Boswell, MSU News Service, Jul 20, 2011 [H/t WUWT]

http://www.montana.edu/cpa/news/nwview.php?ar…

Changing Climate

La Ninas distant effects in East Africa

Droughts and floods are remote-controlled climate effects

By F. Ossing, Eurek Alert, Aug 4, 2011

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-0…

Changing Seas

Ancient tides different from today – some dramatically higher

Press Release, Oregon State U. College of Engineering, Jul 29, 2011 [H/t WUWT]

http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/archives/2011/j…

[SEPP Comment: Calls into question the study that extrapolated changes in sea levels from changes in North Carolina’s coastal marsh lands.]

Sea level rise less from Greenland, more from Antarctica

By Staff Writers, SPX, Aug 04, 2011

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

“During the last prolonged warm spell on Earth, the oceans were at least four meters – and possibly as much as 6.5 meters, or about 20 feet – higher than they are now.”

Large variations in Arctic sea ice

By Svend Funder, Centre for Geogenetics, Natural History Museum of Denmark, Aug 2, 2011

http://news.ku.dk/all_news/2011/2010.8/arctic…

“For the last 10,000 years, summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean has been far from constant. For several thousand years, there was much less sea ice in the Arctic Ocean – probably less than half of current amounts.”

Pause in upper ocean warming explained

By Staff Writers, Met Office, Aug 4, 2011

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/arc…

Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine

USDA Scientists Study Effects of Rising Carbon Dioxide on Rangelands

By Don Comis, USDA, August 3, 2011 [H/t WUWT]

http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2011/110803.htm…

“Rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels can reverse the drying effects of predicted higher temperatures on semi-arid rangelands.”

The Political Games Continue

Inhofe Calls on Obama EPA to Halt Ozone Standard Announcement Given Scientific Integrity Concerns

By Senator James Inhofe, EPW, Aug 5, 2011 [H/t ICECAP]

http://icecap.us/index.php/go/political-clima…

Climate change department for chop: Hockey

By Sid Maher, The Australian, Aug 4, 2011 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affa…

Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes

British PM praises Australia’s carbon plan: report

By Staff Writers, AFP, Jul 31, 2011

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

[SEPP Comment: The British program in creating energy poverty is so successful, Australians must intensify it.]

Subsidies and Mandates Forever

Mandated mischief: Obama’s 54.5 MPG Standard

More deaths, less choice, pricier cars. And of course, no upside

By Marlo Lewis, Pajamas Media, Jul 29, 2011

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/mandated-mischie…

The Coming Autopocalypse

The Obama administration’s proposed CAFE rules declare a war on cars

Shikha Dalmia, Reason, July 26, 2011

http://reason.com/archives/2011/07/26/the-com…

EPA and other Regulators on the March

Rogue EPA Targets Ozone – And Jobs

Editorial, IBD, Aug 3, 2011

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Arti…

End of the Line

Why the EPA Train Wreck Must be Stopped

By James Hammerton, Freedom Works, Jul 21, 2011

http://www.freedomworks.org/publications/end-…

A Big Welcome to EPA Motors

Editorial, IBD, Jul 29, 2011

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Arti…

The EPA Nation-Killing Machine

By Alan Caruba, Warning Signs, Aug 3, 2011

http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/2011/08/e…

Australian state government bans mining ‘forever’

By Staff Writers, World Nuclear News, 26 July 2011

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/newsarticle…

Energy Issues

Our fossil fuel legacy

By John Dawson, Quadrant, Jul 31, 2011

http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-plane…

Nuclear Fears & Responses

Blue Ribbon Commission: Nuclear Waste Program at an Impasse

By Staff Writers, POWERnews, Aug 3, 2011

http://www.powermag.com/POWERnews/3917.html?h…

Temperature drops in Fukushima used fuel pool

By Staff Writers, World Nuclear, News Aug 1, 2011

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS-Temperat…

Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Grow Our Way Out

Editorial, IBD, Jul 29, 2011

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Arti…

A West Texas Lizard vs. Oil and Gas Production (Controversial government evidence with consequences)

By Vance Ginn, Master Resource, August 5, 2011

http://www.masterresource.org/2011/08/lizard-…

Colorado announces water-sampling effort to fight fracking fears

By Eunice Bridges, Platts, Aug 2, 2011 [H/t Paul Chesser]

http://www.platts.com/RSSFeedDetailedNews/RSS…

EPA petition heralds escalation of gas ‘fracking’ battle

By Ben Geman and Andrew Restuccia, The Hill Aug 3, 2011

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

Gas ‘fracking’ foes weigh toxics lawsuit if EPA petition fails

By Ben Geman, The Hill, Aug 4, 2011

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

[SEPP Comment: If you do not obey, we will sue.]

Oil Spills & Consequences

Microbes Consumed Oil in Gulf Slick at Unexpected Rates, Study Finds

By Staff Writers, Science Daily, Aug 1, 2011 [H/t Catherine French]

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/…

“They found that bacterial microbes inside the slick degraded the oil at a rate five times faster than microbes outside the slick — accounting in large part for the disappearance of the slick some three weeks after Deepwater Horizon’s Macondo well was shut off.”

WHOI Scientists Find Ancient Asphalt Domes Off California Coast

By Staff Writers,SPX, Apr 27, 2010 [H/t Catherine French]

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

Administration Control of Fossil Fuels

Ten Oil Rigs Have Exited Gulf Since Obama Moratorium Went Into Effect

“Political uncertainty” bedevils Gulf region and discourages business investment

By Kevin Mooney, Pelican Post, Jul 20, 2011

http://www.thepelicanpost.org/2011/07/20/ten-…

Blame the Washington Bureaucracy for High Gas Prices

By Rob Bluey, Morning Bell, Aug 4, 2011

http://blog.heritage.org/2011/08/04/morning-b…

Shell Oil’s Arctic drilling plan gets tentative approval

By Richard Mauer, The Anchorage Daily News, Aug. 5, 2011 [H/t Cooler Heads Digest]

http://www.sacbee.com/2011/08/05/3818771/shel…

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy

Government Report Confirms that Federal Energy-Related Subsidies Have increased 108 Percent in 3 Years; Wind Subsidies Increased 10-fold

By John Mavretich, Institute for Energy Research, Aug 2, 2011

http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/201…

[SEPP Comment: The stimulus bill had massive subsidies to wind and alternative energy. But they are limited unless the industries can persuade Washington to include such subsidies in an annual budget.]

State [MA]: Report on turbines’ health effects in works

By O’Ryan Johnson, Boston Herald, Jul 29, 2011 [H/t Catherine French]

http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/vie…

Neb. mine find to challenge China’s dominance of vital rare minerals

Elements coveted for high-tech uses

By Claire Courchane, Washington Times, Aug 3, 2011

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/aug/…

Carbon Schemes

What’s Really Killing Carbon Capture and Storage?

By Paul Driessen, Townhall, Aug 1, 2011 [H/t Deke Forbes]

http://townhall.com/columnists/pauldriessen/2…

California Dreaming

The dark side of solar and wind power projects

Building and maintaining solar and wind power projects can be hazardous, and industry watchdogs worry that the push for more green energy places more workers and bystanders in harm’s way.

By Tiffany Hsu, LA Times, Aug 3, 2011

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-green-s…

Federal officials investigate eagle deaths at DWP wind farm

Pine Tree facility in the Tehachapi Mountains faces scrutiny over the deaths of at least six golden eagles, which are protected under federal law. Prosecution would be a major blow to the booming industry.

By Louis Sahagun, LA Times, Aug 3, 2011

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

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC

For a full list of articles see

http://www.NIPCCreport.org…

Which is responsible for more U.S. deaths – Excessive Heat or Excessive Cold?

Reference: US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). 2009. Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States. Cambridge University Press.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/aug/…

[SEPP Comment: A review of the data bases used for such studies.]

Pre-Industrial Climate Change and Human Population

Reference: Zhang, D.D., Lee, H.F., Wang, C., Li, B., Zhang, J., Pei, Q. and Chen, J. 2011. Climate change and large-scale human population collapses in the pre-industrial era. Global Ecology and Biogeography 20: 520-531.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/aug/…

Storms of Southeast Australia

Reference: Alexander. L.V., Wang, X.L., Wan, H. and Trewin, B. 2011. Significant decline in storminess over southeast Australia since the late 19th century. Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Journal 61: 23-30.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/aug/…

A Multi-Century History of Forest Fires in Central Siberia

Reference: Wallenius, T., Larjavaara, M., Heikkinen, J. and Shibistova, O. 2011. Declining fires in Larix-dominated forests in northern Irkutsk district. International Journal of Wildland Fire 20: 248-254.

http://www.nipccreport.org/articles/2011/aug/…

Health, Energy, and Climate

Postscript to a Panic

New findings about bisphenol-A (BPA) will not redeem it.

Editorial, WSJ, Aug 3, 2011

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405311…

[SEPP Comment: May be behind a pay wall.}

Environmental Industry

Letter to President Obama

By Public Health and Medical Organizations, Aug 3, 2011

http://thehill.com/images/stories/blogs/energ…

[SEPP Comment: The only reference to public health benefits of the regulation is that produced by EPA. There is no independent verification of EPA numbers.]

Medical groups to Obama: Finalize smog rule ‘immediately’

By Ben Geman, The Hill, Aug 3, 2011

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

[SEPP Comment: See above.]

Is the American Lung Association EPA’s chief lobbyist?

By: Ron Arnold Washington Examiner, Aug 4, 2011

http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columni…

Pew, What’s That Smell

By Donna Laframboise, No Frakking Consensus, Aug 4, 2011 [H/t GWPF]

http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2011/08/04/pew…

Other Scientific News

Polar Bear Population Higher than in 20th Century: Is Something Fishy about Extinction Fears?

By Amrutha Gayathri, International Business Times, Aug 2, 2011 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/190805/201108…

Other News that May Be of Interest

Peer Review and Scepticism

By Martin Livermore, Scientific Alliance, Aug 4, 2011

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

Truth, evidence and belief

By Martin Livermore, Scientific Alliance, Jul 28, 20112

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

Enlightened Activist Scientists Dim Society

By Anthony J. Sadar, American Thinker, Aug 5, 2011

http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/08/enligh…

Environmentalist Wisdom: Shoot One Owl to Save The Other

The feds take sides in the battle between spotted owls and barred owls.

By James Huffman, WSJ, Jul 30, 2011

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405311…

[SEPP Comment: May be behind a pay wall.]

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BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:

Atomic experiments may land Swede in jail

Richard Handl had kept a blog about his attempts to split atoms in his kitchen, including a small nuclear meltdown on his stove. When he thought to check with authorities, they sent the police.

By Staff Writers, AP, Aug 4, 2011

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world…

Carbon hitches a ride from field to market

Frances White, PNNL, Aug 3, 2011 [H/t WUWT]

http://www.pnl.gov/news/release.aspx?id=880…

[SEPP Comment: The National Crop Carbon Budget, another bureaucratic fantasy.]

Will Oil Replace Coal in our Furnaces?

Here Are the First accurate Facts showing Advantages and Disadvantages of Converting the Dirty and Costly Coal Furnaces in Our Homes into Oil Burners Such as Are Now Heating Skyscrapers

By F.A. Platte, Popular Science, Jan 1923

http://books.google.com/books?id=kioDAAAAMBAJ…

[SEPP Comment: A 1923 read for our times – to realize how lucky we are that oil, electricity, and natural gas replaced wood and coal in heating our homes. The magazine also contains an article on how the French, devastated by WWI, were building homes with straw.]

Fred Singer will be traveling again, spreading the good news about the climate. Please see the tentative schedule below:

Aug 17-24 – Erice (Sicily) Conference

Aug 25 – Zurich Climate Debate and Interviews OPEN

Aug 26 – 28 – (Maria Alm, Austria)

Aug 29 -30 – Hamburg Univ. – Seminar and Interviews Aug 29 at 3pm-OPEN

Aug 31 – DeBilt-KNMI Climate Debate

Sept 1 – 4 – Brussels – Seminars at Univ Libre and Fondation Universitaire) Sept 1 OPEN

Sept 5 – 8 – Talks at Civitas and IEA Sept 5 OPEN (IEA at 5pm)

Climate Discussion – Imperial College, U. of London

Sept 9 – 12 – Paris Seminars IPGP-Jussieu and at Observatory at 2pm OPEN

Sept 13 – 14- Paris, Return to U.S.

For additional detail please contact Ken.

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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27 thoughts on “Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

  1. Charles Schafer wondered if the new standards are designed to encourage use of automobiles running on compressed natural gas. Honda produces versions of its Civic models most designed to run on gasoline, others designed to run natural gas. The gasoline LX with automatic transmission and air conditioning has a suggested retail price of $18,655 and is EPA rated 28 miles per gallon (mpg) city, 39 highway, and 32 combined. The natural gas GX version, comparably equipped, has a suggested price of $25,490 and is EPA rated at surprising low 24 mpg city, 36 highway, and 28 combined. EPA mileage ratings remain a mystery, but its programs for saving consumers money will be costly to the consumer. Please see referenced article under “Questioning European Green.”

    I think he’s got that exactly backward. The ridiculous “equivalent” MPG numbers assigned to electrics and plugin hybrids, which don’t take any losses into account (including the ~70% thermo loss), are designed in conjunction with CAFE to heard the marked toward these specific technologies. CNG, which makes a lot more sense, isn’t in fashion, and so they calculate MPG equivalent of a compressed gas (!) to make them look bad. This is all just puppetry to get their favored technology in using an ostensibly performance-based criterion, by faking the “equivalent” numbers.

  2. Apparently, one of the ways is to try to explain why scientists “the deniers” who do not accept global warming alarmism must be conservative white males.

    While I am a white male, I do not align myself with any political party. So bang goes that logic.

  3. Not to get caught up in politics, but I’ve never met a liberal who had the slightest clue who conservatives are, what they believe or why they believe it. But that rarely stops them from explaining conservatives in part because about the only thing liberals know less about than conservatives is liberals. (My asserted authority comes from living in one of the bluest parts of one of the bluest states. Virtually every person I interact with on a daily basis is proudly liberal.)

  4. ChE says:
    August 7, 2011 at 10:03 am

    … CNG, which makes a lot more sense, isn’t in fashion, and so they calculate MPG equivalent of a compressed gas (!)

    And what customers are more interested in is miles per dollar, and that’s where the big savings are. And bonus – no highway use tax on CNG! Yet.. 🙂

  5. Make that “herd the market”. That’s what happens when somebody trys to converse with you while you’re typing a comment.

  6. If you’re using “official” EU mpg stats for cars, they are highly unrealistic, being produced by their manufacturers to get vehicles into the various CO2 bands, with a view to how much road tax is paid by theirmowners.
    In the UK, electric cars attract a £5,000 subsidy from the Government. They’re still vastly overpriced, even with that factored in. A small & efficient petrol engined car is the way to go.

  7. Your claim that “deniers” do not accept “science” because it is “shoddy”. is false, if you take the vast body of science which supports the conclusion that the planet is warming as a result of our collective behavior. There is certainly “bad” science, but in the main, science is either right or wrong. As you well know, the process is intended to arrive at “rightness”, after the mistakes are corrected. Whatever conclusions are reached is a result of careful research, conducted by many,and appropriate analysis, all subjected to respectful review, before eventual publication. Put simply, the overwhelming evidence provided by peer reviewed research supports conclusions which you do not accept.
    REPLY: Oh puhleeze. Look up Eugenics and the history of plate tectonics and then come back and defend your claim – Anthony

  8. Hugh Pepper: Methinks you’re vying for Pillar #5. Your sanitized view of how science works serves well to prop up the jittery flim-flam represented by the other four pillars mentioned above. I think you need to shrug.

  9. “a battery change in the electric Nissan Leaf would cost about 19,000 pounds (about US $30,100 at today’s rates). But the Nissan representative said the battery should last about 10 years in London urban driving. This works out to be 1,900 pounds or $3,010 per year. The life span of the battery used on American highways in the hot southeast or the cold north will be interesting.”
    What do you think happens to the value of the car as you approach 10 years? If a new Leaf is $35,200 MSRP, and then subsidies drop it to $27,700 (both according to Nissan’s Leaf website), and there is no subsidy for replacement batteries (at least I hope not!), then it is cheaper to buy a new Leaf than replace the batteries on an existing leaf, not to mention that there is probably some salvage value for the rest of the used Leaf. Even without the purchase price subsidy, most would pay a few thousand more for a brand-new car than just replace the batteries on your worn and torn beater. The depreciation for this car is much steeper, then.
    Hugh Pepper, before you put so much faith in the peer review process, remember that the Hockey-Stick graph from M. Mann was peer-reviewed. Peers are human, and susceptible to group-think, incentives, conflicts of interest, etc. The actual physical universe doesn’t really care about a consensus, it will act according to the governing physics (many of which are not understood by humans yet).

  10. Hugh Pepper says:
    August 7, 2011 at 10:42 am
    “Whatever conclusions are reached is a result of careful research, conducted by many,and appropriate analysis, all subjected to respectful review, before eventual publication.”
    Once again, we have powerful evidence that those who would defend mainstream CAGW do not have a clue what science is. Hugh’s description fits astrologers perfectly. Astrologers do careful research and appropriate analysis, subject it to respectful reiview, and publish. Do you follow astrology, Hugh? What is your sign? Mine is Pisces. The most delicate part of of my body is my feet, as astrology predicts. What is the most delicate part of your body?

  11. Stuff white people like: denying climate change
    It helps explain why the CWM [Conservative White Male] who know the most about climate science are the most likely to reject it; they learn about it in order to reject it. See Chris Mooney’s great piece on that”.
    Pathetic. Just consider the proposition “Group X who know the most about climate science are the most likely to reject it” in itself and ponder on its consequences briefly (relying on simple common sense, not some “higher” sophistry).
    Resorting to racist and sexist allusions in describing “group X” does not make it any better.

  12. I just wanted to point out, I actually very much enjoy these weekly posts. They contain a wealth of information that I can show others from time to time.
    Regarding “peer reviewed science” and “skeptics”:
    Those posting here who support the alarmist view need to remember something. I, and as we’ve determined previously, a LARGE percentage of regulars here at WUWT started out as “believers”. I was involved in a business venture that required me to create a document demonstrating the need for CO2 reduction. I skipped the “denier” sites and was trying to avoid “flakes and wackos” as I perceived them then.
    It didn’t take me very long to realize that the flakes and wackos were NOT the skeptics, but the other side. There is nothing even remotely resembling Good Science in climate science today. The concept of an accurate “global temperature” is a complete joke. The ground based thermometer network is not suitable for Science. UHI is adjusted for — BACKWARDS. There is absolutely no demostrable correlation or credible science that shows CO2 is driving temperature or climate in ANY WAY. I suspect that any reasonably intelligent person who stops parroting the AGW mantras and genuinely looks for their own evidence will quickly come to the same conclusion.
    Does CO2 trap heat? Probably, in a lab or in theory. Does this affect the planet as insanely small trace quantities edge ever-so-slowly upward? Probably not. I’m still looking for the evidence. I’m always disappointed.

  13. This mostly not climate related, but given the number of times the phrase “Big Oil” comes up in climate discussions I think it is fairly relevant, especially given the mythologies that prevail in regard to BO
    http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2011/08/big-eight-computer-had-huge-profits-in.html
    The article compares the financial info for 5 BO and 8 big computer companies for Q2 2011. The 5 BO companies had profits of $36.4 Billion, BC had $27.6 Billion, but BO’s sales were $488 Billion, BC’s were $152 Billion. Profit margins….BO avg 7.46%….BC avg 25.08%. Tax Rates…BO avg 40.80%….BC avg 19.81%
    Just a few facts to keep in mind when someone starts to get windy about closing BO’s tax loopholes. You might want to bookmark it.

  14. Sorry to sound uninformed here, but I’m unfamilar with one of the acronyms used.
    TWTW is referenced frequently, and for the life of me I cant figure it out.
    If someone knows, the answer would be greatly appreciated.

  15. J. Felton
    TWTW stands for ‘The Week That Was’, which is the title of the newsletter from the SEPP website that this post is from.

  16. Lets get one thing straight. They are the OIL SANDS. There is no TAR in them. TAR can be located in California. The word tar has been used to make them seem dirtier than they really are. So please do not allow Greenpeace’s play on words work.
    If that was a quote I apologize.

  17. To Theo Goodwin. I can’t see how you can relate “science” to astrology. Is their really any empirical research being done in astrology? Do astrologers go to the North to study melting ice formations? or develop drought resistant seeds, or acidifying oceans? DO astrologers investigate ecological processes, and the relationship between these vital functions and human behavior?If this is being done, it has escaped my attention.
    To Anthony: I can not see your point with respect to eugenics and plate tectonics. The former is well outside the concerns of mainstream science, and the latter has experienced the same evolution of ideas as other areas of interest. In the end the understanding of our planet and its functioning are enhanced because we conduct research, and publish our results in a form which can be understood by everyone. Its really a very simple concept which can get horribly skewed by ideological and theological preconceptions.

  18. Actually, American conservatives follow the enlightened order. That is a rejection of superior or exceptional dignity, and respect for individual dignity. The enlightened order is not egalitarian, but a recognition and respect of our intrinsic and developed differences. The alternative is a combination of involuntary exploitation and loss of liberty, which in combination are termed as slavery. It is premised on the denigration of individual dignity and devaluation of human life.
    That said, in the establishment and development of society, we accept a compromise of individual dignity. With this in mind, we seek the optimal balance between the natural (i.e., coercive) and enlightened (i.e., individual dignity) orders in order to accommodate the various competing interests, ranging from individuals to cooperatives.
    As for social economics, the principal issue faced by most people in this world, but especially in African nations, is authoritarian distress (e.g., government, rebel factions). The people face progressive obstacles to developing their economies, where their natural and human resources are transferred to other nations (or administrative districts) through trade and immigration policies, which negatively affects the proper development of their originating nation. They need conditions where they are capable of expressing their individual dignity and entrepreneurs who will convert natural and human resources in order to provide the products and services needed and desired by the people. They would be well advised to avoid being beneficiaries of involuntary exploitation, which promotes progressive corruption of individuals and societies.

  19. Hugh, you betray your lack of knowledge by failing to immediately understand the references to eugenics and plate tectonics.
    At one point, the mainstream concensus views of the Scientific Community were pro-eugenics and anti-plate tectonics. Anyone against the mainstream view was openly ridiculed, actually. The plate tectonics debate raged just as powerfully then as the AGW debate does now (in spite of ridiculous claims that “there is no debate”).
    Eugenics was highly endorsed by many Nobel prize winning scientists (not the peace prize, the actual sciences), and many, many people were killed as a result of its mainstream acceptance.
    The point should be obvious. Just because a “science” is mainstream, peer-reviewed, concensus view science does not in any way indicate that it is valid or correct. There are many examples of this throughout history, and you know what happens when you fail to learn from the mistakes of history…

  20. In regard to LNG miles per gallon vs. Gasoline miles per gallon.
    According to wikipedia
    Gallon Gasoline = 114,000 BTU per gallon
    Gallon LNG = 75,000 BTU
    65.79% of Gasoline
    On a BTU basis LNG get you 42.5 miles with less polution.

  21. Hugh Pepper says:
    August 8, 2011 at 7:52 am
    > To Anthony: I can not see your point with respect to eugenics and plate tectonics.
    A really, really good biography of Wegener and his Continental Drift theory start at
    In Chapter 5, The Wrath of Science it reports:
    Except for a few converts, and those like Cloos who couldn’t accept the concept but was clearly fascinated by it, the international geological community’s reaction to Wegener’s theory was militantly hostile. American geologist Frank Taylor had published a similar theory in 1910, but most of his colleagues had simply ignored it. Wegener’s more cogent and comprehensive work, however, was impossible to ignore and ignited a firestorm of rage and rancor. Moreover, most of the blistering attacks were aimed at Wegener himself, an outsider who seemed to be attacking the very foundations of geology.
    Because of this abuse,Wegener could not get a professorship at any German university. Fortunately, the University of Graz in Austria was more tolerant of controversy, and in 1924 it appointed him professor of meteorology and geophysics.
    In 1926 Wegener was invited to an international symposium in New York called to discuss his theory. Though he found some supporters, many speakers were sarcastic to the point of insult. Wegener said little. He just sat smoking his pipe and listening. His attitude seems to have mirrored that of Galileo who, forced to recant Copernicus’ theory that the Earth moves around the sun, is said to have murmured, “Nevertheless, it moves!”


    _______________________
    Please read the entire biography.
    Yes, I know Continental Drift is very different than what Plate Tectonics has become, but Wegner didn’t have the wealth of data available in the 1960s.

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