Weekly energy and climate news roundup

Quote of the Week:

‘Oil and gas will be important for the next few years. But we need to go on to green and alternative energy. [Energy] Secretary [Steven] Chu has assured me that within five years, we can have a battery developed that will make a car with the equivalent of 130 miles per gallon.'” President Obama in response to a comment by shale oil developer Harold Hamm

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Number of the Week: $4.65 Billion

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

SEPP / VA-SEEE FORUM: October 22 from 11 am to 1 pm. SEPP and VA-SEEE will be hosting a Forum in Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University. Topics include Fred Singer’s latest research on the failure of IPCC models, UN and US efforts to control local land use, energy issues, climate change myths and distortions, benefits of carbon dioxide, EPA litigation and the changing winds on Capitol Hill. The Forum will be held in the Commons Theater in the University Student Commons at 907 Floyd Street. A parking garage is across the Main Street with a charge no more than $5.00.

The Forum is open to the public with no charge. Donations accepted.



The Oil and Gas Revolution: The technology of extracting oil and natural gas from dense shale and oil sands is giving difficulty to those who desire control of these fuels. The false claim of peak oil or the high price of natural gas no longer can be used to justify programs of generating electricity from inefficient, unreliable, and expensive sources. Many in Washington, Brussels, and London are trying to stop the revolution by using special regulations that are not justifiable by science, economics, or public health.

However, cracks are appearing. Poland has made it clear it will veto any European Union (EU) regulations on extraction of natural gas from shale. The government of Poland simply does not wish to be dependent on Russia for this critical fuel. It has agreements with private companies to develop its promising natural gas resources. Other Central European nations are expressing similar views for developing natural gas resources in their countries. They have witnessed what Russia will do when it manipulates the supply of natural gas from government controlled companies for political, rather than economic, purposes.

George Osborne, the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, has announced that Britain will not lead the EU in reducing carbon dioxide emissions at a faster rate than the rest of the EU. According to reports, Britain’s Climate Change Act requires that Britain cut emissions by 34 percent by the end of the decade. The rest of the EU must cut emissions by 20 percent. It appears that the British government does not wish the nation to commit economic suicide by continually driving up the cost of electricity in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions through the use of wind power and other alternative means of generating electricity. No doubt, the reports of the discovery of extensive deposits of gas bearing shale in northwest England makes the government’s position, prior to Osborne’s announcement, less tolerable to the public.

President Obama’s comment, quoted above, indicates the administration will not promote the oil and gas revolution and would rather wait for a great technological breakthrough in automobile batteries, a breakthrough the world has been waiting for since electric automobiles were first developed over 100 years ago. The administration’s actions confirm this position – ignore the current technological breakthrough in oil and gas and wait for technological breakthroughs in solar, wind, and batteries. Please see Article # 1 and links under “Questioning European Green.”


Skinning the Cat: In 2010, President Obama’s prized cap-and-trade bill failed to pass the Senate, which was controlled by Democrats. Mr. Obama famously stated there are other ways to skin the cat. Subsequently, the EPA has announced a wide range of intensified regulations to control emissions from electrical utilities, refineries, cement plants, and other facilities that emit large amounts carbon dioxide (CO2). EPA is making many dubious claims about the health benefits of such regulations. The Republicans on Capitol Hill are showing unusual resolve in fighting these regulations. And in some cases, such as the ozone rule, the administration is backing down. It appears that the Republicans in the House may actually demand that the EPA substantiate its claims of health benefits from these regulations, many of which are based on highly questionable statistical manipulations.

No doubt, a major factor in the Republican resolve is the current economic stagnation. Passed with great promises two and one-half years ago, the Stimulus Bill has failed. President Obama is promoting a second such bill but seems to be garnering little support, even among Democrats. Republicans tried to force a vote on the bill in the Senate. This week, using a highly controversial procedure, the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, managed to avoid the vote, which may have been embarrassing to the President.

It appears that economic stagnation will be a major issue, if not the defining issue, of the 2012 election. It is becoming increasingly apparent to many that the issues of the environmental movement, such as global warming, are secondary and that proposals to implement these issues are damaging to the economy. For the first time in a presidential election, some candidates are openly questioning the findings of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Of course, those who long stated the science is settled are labeling those candidates who question the science as anti-science. Advancement in science comes from skepticism and questioning. Those who unquestioningly accept the findings of the politicized IPCC, and label the skeptics as anti-science, are better describing themselves.


EPA Endangerment Finding: As stated in prior TWTWs, SEPP is a participant. in the group called the Coalition for Responsible Regulation, et al. in its litigation against the EPA for its “Endangerment Finding (EF)” that GHG, especially carbon dioxide, endanger public health and welfare. Several TWTWs discuss some of the highly questionable claims of the EPA.

Perhaps the most outrageous claim is the title of a subsection of EPA’s latest court filing: “Climate models have been properly validated.” This may come as a shock to IPCC expert reviewer Vincent Gray from New Zealand. He has successfully argued that the IPCC cannot label the results of the models as predictions – because the models have never been validated. The IPCC uses the term “projections,” rather than “predictions.” The EPA is claiming greater rigor in the models than even the IPCC claims.

Further, in NIPCC vs. IPCC [Singer 2011], Fred Singer demonstrates that under the present circumstances the models cannot be validated at all because of inherent chaotic uncertainties. First, in efforts to show consistency between observations and the model results, error bounds have been extended to the point they become almost meaningless. Second, all the models are non-linear chaotic models. They produce different results each time they are run. No one run, or even a few runs, can be used to establish a mean for the runs. At least 10 runs, or more appropriately, 20 runs are needed to establish a mean. The model with the greatest number of published runs is the one from Japan with five runs – each showing strikingly different results with each run. Many models have been run only once or twice. A mean from these various models is statistically meaningless. Third, the surface temperature data from 1979 to 1997, which is used to establish the models, reports a warming trend that may not exist. It cannot be found in the records from six independent methods including radiosonde, satellite, and proxy data.

In addition, Table 2.11 in an appendix of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) assesses the level of understanding of the sixteen Forcing Factors found in the models. Some Forcing Factors that may be important, such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) are not considered. Of the 16 considered, the level of understanding of 11 (69%) is ranked as “low” or “very low.” For the EPA to claim the models are valid is similar to a government agency certifying that a passenger aircraft is reliable after the engineers state that the reliability of 69% of the components is low to very low, and some important components may be missing.



Keystone Pipeline: The battle of whether or not to build the Keystone Pipeline is becoming intense. The pipeline is designed to bring over 700,000 barrels of oil per day from the oil sands of Alberta to refineries in Texas. Some of the refineries are processing crude from Venezuela – hardly a friend of the US. Many opposing the pipeline are using the tried and true method of claiming they want the pipeline but not where it is sited. Of course, no place is suitable. Others are making various false claims such as the pipeline can contaminate the entire Ogallala aquifer. Of course, the aquifer is currently crossed by many roads and pipelines.

Jim Goeke, professor emeritus in the School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, reports he has spent 40 years studying the Ogallala Aquifer including drilling over 1000 test holes. Among other things, he reports the Ogallala Formation is sloped from west to east. Thus it would be difficult for a leak in a pipeline in the eastern part to contaminate water in the western part. Please see Article # 2 and links under energy issues.


Number of the Week: $4.65 Billion. That is the amount the Chinese oil company, Sinopec, paid for the stake ConocoPhillips had in the Alberta oil sands.


Corrections and Amplifications: SEPP Director Tom Sheahen pointed out that last week the Number of the Week failed to give the proper units. The units are megawatt hour of production. For example, for 2007 the Energy Information Administration estimated the subsidies for natural gas production of electricity amounted to $0.25 megawatt hour of production while the subsidies for wind were $23.37 per megawatt hour of production, and solar were $24.34 per megawatt hour of production.

The September 24 TWTW provided a link to Steve McIntyre’s post “Brian Hoskins and the Times Atlas” but failed to annotate its importance: [Imperial College professor and Fellow of the Royal Society] Brian Hoskins was one of the first people that [journalist] Fiona Fox went to for a testimonial to the supposed rigor of the execrable Oxburgh inquiry [of Climategate]. Hoskins, presently [former RS publicity chief] Bob Ward’s supervisor at the [climate-alarmist] Grantham Institute, shamelessly called the Oxburgh inquiry “thorough and fair.” Please see the link under “Climategate Continued.”

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For the numbered articles below please see this week’s TWTW at:


The articles are at the end of the pdf.

1. How North Dakota Became Saudi Arabia

Harold Hamm, discoverer of the Bakken fields of the northern Great Plains, on America’s oil future and why OPEC’s days are numbered.

By Stephen Moore, WSJ, Oct 1, 2011 [H/t George Nicholas]


2. Local View: A science-based approach to the Ogallala Aquifer

By Jim Goeke, Journal Star, Sep 24, 2011 [H/t Joe Herring]


Jim Goeke is a research hydrogeologist and professor emeritus in the School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

3. Let’s Let Rigorous Science Prevail

By J.E. Murray, Letter, WSJ, Oct 4, 2011


4. Five Truths About Climate Change

During the decade that Al Gore dominated the environmental debate, global carbon-dioxide emissions rose by 28.5%.

By Robert Bryce, WSJ, Oct 6, 2011


5. Solar-Panel Firms’ Outlook Dims

By Cassandra Sweet, WSJ, Oct 4, 2011



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Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?

When Science Isn’t

By Paul Greenberg, Townhall, Oct 5, 2011


Climategate Continued

Brian Hoskins and the Times Atlas

By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Sep 22, 2011


Seminar on Penn State “Inquiry”

By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Oct 4, 2011


According to Steve, Clive Crook elegantly summarized the Penn State process at the Atlantic Monthly: “The Penn State inquiry exonerating Michael Mann – the paleoclimatologist who came up with “the hockey stick” – would be difficult to parody.”

78 Names

By Donna Laframboise, NFC, Oct 1, 2011 [H/t Bud Bromley]


“The scientists whose names appear below have not only been examining one of the world’s most important questions for the IPCC. They have a documented, public relationship with professional lobbyists who have a strong interest in influencing this matter.”

EPA: the Endangerment Finding was not a “highly influential scientific assessment.’

By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Oct 4, 2011


Challenging the Orthodoxy

IPCC Predictions (Scenarios) Always Wrong Therefore Science Wrong.

By Tim Ball, His Blog, Oct 4, 2011 [H/t Marc Morano, Climate Depot]


Warmists Think We’re Stupid

By Ross Kaminsky, American Spectator, Oct 4, 2011 [H/t Debbie Wetlaufer]


[SEPP Comment: Rebutting an article in the New York Times.]

This is 90% certainty? Really? (Yet another paper shows the hot-spot is missing.)

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Oct 3, 2011


Defending the Orthodoxy

EU urges roadmap this year on climate action

By Staff Writers, AFP, Oct 2, 2011


[SEPP Comment: The gathering of the cult.]

Group Urges Research Into Aggressive Efforts to Fight Climate Change

By Cornelia Dean, NYT, Oct 4, 2011


“We are doing it accidentally, but the Earth doesn’t know that,” she said, adding, “Going forward in ignorance is not an option.”

France withdraws shale gas permits: minister

By Staff Writers, AFP, Oct 3, 2011


Fossil fuel subsidies rising despite reform effort

By Ben Geman, The Hill, Oct 4, 2011


[SEPP Comment: Does not necessarily apply to US. Agree with IEA and OECD: Phase out all subsidies of energy production. Disagree: “removing inefficient subsidies would raise national revenues and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.” Boldface added.]

Questioning the Orthodoxy

Climate sceptics are today’s radical rebels

By Brendan O’Neill, The Australian, Oct 8, 2011 [H/t ICECAP]


[SEPP Comment: According to Scientific American those challenging the orthodoxy are white, conservative males.]

Chinese sceptics see global warming as US conspiracy

By John Garnaut, Sydney Morning Herald, Oct 8, 2011 [H/t Cooler Heads Digest]


[SEPP Comment: Maybe not every climate skeptic / denier is a white, conservative male. See above link.]

Questions for the Chief Scientist

Australia’s Chief Scientist provides high-level “independent” advice to the Prime Minister and other Ministers on matters relating to science, technology and innovation.

By Michael Kile, Quadrant, Oct 4, 2011


Questioning European Green

Lessons From Lemmings: The EU’s Green Power Folly

By Larry Bell, Forbes, Oct 4, 2011


The Osborne Doctrine

By Fraser Nelson, The Spectator, Oct 7, 2011


[SEPP Comment: Has a bit of realism penetrated the British Cabinet’s mad dash for alternative energy? The comments by the Chancellor of the Exchequer indicate perhaps it has.]

What happened to the Conservatives’ green agenda?

Chancellor’s attack on environment laws at conference is a far cry from the Tories’ 2006 rebrand as an eco-conscious party

By Damian Carrington and Allegra Stratton, Guardian, UK, Oct 6, 2011 [H/t Cooler Head Digest]


Shale Gas & the Re-Shaping of European Power Politics

By Peter C. Glover & Michael J. Economides, Energy Tribune, Oct 6, 2011 [H/t GWPF]


Carbon credits tarnished by human rights ‘disgrace’

By Staff Writers, EurActiv, Oct 4, 2011 [H/t Mark Duchamp]


Problems within the Orthodoxy

Al Gore is doing a disservice to science by overplaying the link between climate change and weather

To claim that we are causing meteorological events that would not have occurred without human influence is just plain wrong

By Myles Allen, Guardian, UK, Oct 7, 2011


Productivity of land plants may be greater than previously thought

By Staff Writers, Science Daily, Sep 29, 2011


[SEPP Comment: More than a little hick-up to those who claim that human CO2 emissions will stay around for a thousand years.]

Planet ‘far away’ on climate goals: study

By Staff Writers, AFP, Oct 4, 2011


[SEPP Comment: Of course, the “planet’s goal’s” are created by international alarmists.]

China population to become world’s biggest polluters

China’s carbon emissions for each member of its population could overtake that of Britain as early as the end of next year, it has been revealed.

By Peter Foster, Telegraph, UK, Sep 28, 2011 [H/t Des Moore]


Seeking a Common Ground

Double standards

By Martin Livermore, Scientific Alliance, Sep 29, 2011


The climate change debate: Man versus nature

By Staff Writers, Physorg.com, Oct 3, 2011 [H/t Joe Bast]


[SEPP Comment: As seen in the History of Malaria in Finland (TWTW Oct 1, 2011) the comments on global warming endangering health are unsubstantiated. In many countries in the tropics malaria rates were plummeting with the indoor spraying of huts with DDT, until EPA banned DDT in the US and environmental groups demanded that other countries adopt these bans. When they did, malaria rates exploded. Now many of the same environmental groups blame global warming as spreading malaria.]

Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate?

Science controversies past and present

Reactions to the science of global warming have followed a similar course to those of other inconvenient truths from physics.

By Steven Sherwood, Physics Today, Oct, 2011 [H/t Ed Berry]


[SEPP Comment: Another highly selective account of history. Among other issues, the author does not recognize, or admit, that Galileo’s contemporaries, Aristotelian scientists, railed against Copernicus and Galileo’s use of observations as evidence. Which group is demanding empirical evidence from the mainstream scientists? Certainly not the alarmists!]

A Map of Organized Climate Change Denial

By Andrew C. Revkin, NYT, Oct 2, 2011 [H/t Marc Morano, Climate Depot]


Chart: How the Climate Change Deniers Won

By Josh Harkinson, Mother Jones, Sep 22, 2011


[SEPP Comment: The chart for the above Revkin article.]

Map: The Climate Change Scare Machine – the perpetual self-feeding cycle of alarm

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Oct 6, 2011


[SEPP Comment: See counter chart for above claim and the Revkin article.]

Who’s Bankrolling the Climate-Change Deniers?

By Byran Walsh, Time, Oct 4, 2011


[SEPP Comment: Apparently, the journalist never heard of Climategate.]

Who’s Bankrolling the Climate Change Fanatics?

By Rebecca Terrell, New American, Oct 5, 2011 [H/t SPPI Blog]


[SEPP Comment: Rebuttal to Harkinson article.]

Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

Seattle PI fabrication: “We’ve lost one to two months of spring snowpack since the early 1970s”

By Staff Writers, ICECAP, Sep 28, 2011


Models v. Observations

New Article Highlights Deficiencies In The Global Climate Models – Luo Et Al 2011

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


“This article illustrates that not only have the global models shown NO skill at predicting changes in climate statistics over multi-decadal time scales, they still do not even skillfully simulate important components of the current global climate.”

Measurement Issues

GAO report on the poor quality of the US climate monitoring network

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Sep 30, 2011


Erroneous Information In The Report “Procedural Review of EPA’s Greenhouse Gases Endangerment Finding Data Quality Processes”

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


[SEPP Comment: Challenging the EPA claim that that the temperature records from CRU, NOAA, and NASA were independent and valid.]

Changing Sea Ice

Arctic Ice Loss: Portent of Doom or Reason to Rethink IPCC Climate Sensitivity Assumptions?

By Marlo Lewis, Global Warming.org, Oct 3, 2011


Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine

Climate: Act now to diversify crops at risk, say scientists

By Staff Writers, AFP, Oct 3, 2011


[SEPP Comment: Alarmism at its international best.]

The Political Games Continue

White House Likely to Veto Bills Delaying CSAPR, Boiler Rules

By Staff Writers, POWERnews, Oct 5, 2011


Sen. Alexander targets energy subsidies, says political furor over climate might ease

By Ben Geman, The Hill, Oct 5, 2011


“I’ve devised a plan for seven mini-Manhattan Projects for energy independence: solar, batteries, green building, capturing carbon, fusion, making fuels from crops we don’t eat and finding better ways to deal with nuclear fuel,”

Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes

Court rules in favor of European Union emissions trading

By Keith Laing, The Hill, Oct 7, 2011


FERC Says Merger Would Further Entrench Duke Energy Monopoly

By Paul Chesser, National Legal and Policy Center, Oct 7, 2011


[SEPP Comment: After spending millions lobbing for cap-and-trade, Duke Energy did not buy any friends in Washington. Was it because Duke’s chairman declared that, by its lobbying, Duke would make $1 Billion per year if cap-and-trade was passed?]

Kill carbon dioxide regulations

Harper still rolling out rules that will waste billions

By Tom Harris, Financial Post, Oct 5, 2011


Subsidies and Mandates Forever

Wind industry: Rep. Stearns ‘misunderstands’ us

By Andrew Restuccia, The Hill, Oct 7, 2011


[SEPP Comment: We are misunderstood and need subsidies.]

EPA and other Regulators on the March

EPA’s Mission Leap

Editorial, IBD, Oct 3, 2011


Shocking Costs Of Environmentalism

Editorial, IBD, Oct 7, 2011 [H/t Timothy Wise]


The EPA Gets Caught in a Big Fat Lie

By Alan Caruba, Warning Signs, Oct 1, 2011


The EPA’s Endangerment Finding Is Very Endangered

By Patrick Michaels, Forbes, Sep 30, 2011 [H/t Marc Morano, Climate Depot]


Oil sands environmental impact unknown: Canada audit

By Staff Writers, AFP, Oct 4, 2011


EPA Takes a Looser Stance on Power-Plant Emissions

By Deborah Solomon and Ryan Tracy, WSJ, Oct 7, 2011


Energy Issues

Salazar to enviros: Give Obama credit on energy

By Ben Geman, The Hill, Oct 5, 2011


The Keystone Pipeline, Again in the News

By Michael J. Economides, Energy Tribune, Oct 3, 2011


Warren Buffett, the Keystone Pipeline, and Crony Capitalism

By Joe Herring, American Thinker, Oct 6, 2011


[SEPP Comment: The association with Warren Buffett appears contrived.]

Good For Canada And Us

Editorial, IBD, Oct 4, 2011


“The Natural Resources Defense Council has warned that Keystone XL “undermines the United States commitment to a clean energy future.”

Rushing headlong over the cliff

By Marita Noon, Global Warming . org, Oct 3, 2011


Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

The End isn’t Nigh

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Oct 7, 2011


Using the energy in oil shale without releasing carbon dioxide in a greenhouse world

By Staff Writers, SPX, Oct 05, 2011


[SEPP Comment: An answer to the thirty year old dream?]

Administration’s Control of Oil and Gas

What the Frack is Going on Here?

By Paul Driessen, Townhall, Oct 1, 2011


Return of King Coal?

Why Asia Relies On Coal

By Frank Clemente, Energy Facts Weekly, Oct 3, 2011


Oil Spills & Consequences

Scientists Identify Microbes Responsible for Consuming Natural Gas in Deepwater Horizon Spill

By Staff Writers, SPX, Oct 07, 2011


At Deepwater Horizon, Basic Research Was Applied

By Lonny Lippsett, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Oct 7, 2011


Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy

Is China’s Green Energy a Myth?

By Staff Writers, Institute for Energy Research, Oct 3, 2011 [H/t Cooler Heads Digest]


[SEPP Comment: Not a myth, but a clever marketing ploy.]

Green Energy Industry Staggers

Walter Russell Mead, American Interest, Oct 1, 2011 [H/t Real Clear Politics]


DOE Finalizes Seven Loan Guarantees Before Program Deadline

By Staff Writers, POWERnews, Oct 5, 2011


[SEPP Comment: For a total of $5.9 Billion.]

Bursting the Big Green Bubble

By Amy Oliver Cooke and Michael Sandoval, Townhall, Oct 3, 2011


Ontario’s Power Trip: The $4,000 electricity bill

Electricity rates will double, making them among the highest in the developed world

By Glenn Fox and Parker Gallant, Financial Post, Oct 4, 2011


[SEPP Comment: Who cares if it costs more, the consumer will pay!]

Peltier: ‘Chart a New Course’ (POWER magazine editor rejects windgas for gas)

By Robert Bradley Jr, Master Resource, Oct 5, 2011


[SEPP Comment: Without an inexpensive, practicable means of storing electricity on a commercial scale, wind power is unsustainable.]

Fuzzifying ­fossil subsidies

Oil and gas will beat green energy with or without subsidies

By Peter Foster, Financial Post, Oct 4, 2011


[SEPP Comment: Another attack by the IEA and OEC (following the climate agenda) on fossil fuel subsidies in an effort to justify even greater subsidies on unreliable, inefficient, and costly wind and solar.]

Solargate Opens Wide

Editorial, IBD, Sep 30, 2011


Doubling Down On Solyndra

Editorial, IBD, Oct 7, 2011


[SEPP Comment: There is a difference between a bet and financial responsibility. Responsible leaders do not bet with the peoples’ money.]

Why Wind Power Blows

By Steven F. Hayward, The American, Oct 5, 2011 [H/t Cooler Heads Digest]


“While the installed capacity of wind power on paper-that is, assuming the wind is blowing at the right speed-looks impressive, in the real world grid operators can count on only about 8 to 13 percent of that capacity being available during peak times.”

US unlikely to hit Renewable Fuel Standard for cellulosic biofuels

By Staff Writers, SPX, Oct 06, 2011


[SEPP Comment: Given the reserves of oil and gas in the country, there is no reason why it should.]

Say No to the Keystone XL

Editorial, NYT, Oct 2, 2011


” …it should be clear, from many studies, that the best hope for long-term job creation will come from the development of renewable and alternative energy sources.”

A U.S.-Backed Geothermal Plant in Nevada Struggles

By Eric Lipton and Clifford Krauss, NYT, Oct 2, 2011


Carbon Schemes

Flagship green energy project faces axe

Carbon plan to be shelved over funding shortage as fears grow for Tories’ green agenda after chancellor’s ‘austerity’ remark

By Terry Macalister and Damian Carrington, Guardian, UK, Oct 6, 2011


[SEPP Comment: A Carbon capture and storage (CCS) plan was just too expensive!]

California Dreaming

California Supreme Court Clears Way for Cap-and-Trade Rulemaking

By Staff Writers, POWERnews, Oct 5, 2011


Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC

For a full list of articles see


Getting Back to Basics: Atmospheric Blocking

Reference: Scaife, A.A., Wollings, T., Knight, J., Martin G. and Hinton, T. 2010. Atmospheric blocking and mean biases in climate models. Journal of Climate 23: 6143-6152.


A Ray of Light Cutting Through the Dark Pall of Flood Damages

Reference: Gong, G.-C., Liu, K.-K., Chiang, K.-P., Hsiung, T.-M., Chang, J., Chen, C.-C., Hung, C.-C., Chou, W.-C., Chung, C.-C., Chen, H.-Y., Shiah, F.K., Tsai, A.-Y., Hsieh, C.-h., Shiao, J.-C., Tseng, C.-M., Hsu, S.-C., Lee, H.-J., Lee, M.-A., Lin, I-I and Tsai, F. 2011. Yangtze River floods enhance coastal ocean phytoplankton biomass and potential fish production. Geophysical Research Letters 38: 10.1029/2011GL047519.


Warming of the Tropical Upper Troposphere

Reference: Fu, Q., Manabe, S. and Johanson, C.M. 2011. On the warming in the tropical upper troposphere: Models versus observations. Geophysical Research Letters 38: 10.1029/2011GL048101.


“Fu et al. state that in addition to greatly overestimating the tropical surface temperature trend, “it is evident that the AR4 GCMs exaggerate the increase in static stability between [the] tropical middle and upper troposphere during the last three decades,” which findings do not bode well for the climate-modeling enterprise that is the foundational basis of the IPCC’s unsupported claims of CO2-induced climate change.”

The Effects of Climate Change on Infectious Diseases

Reference: Rohr, J.R., Dobson, A.P., Johnson, P.T.J., Kilpatrick, A.M., Paull, S.H., Raffel, T.R., Ruiz-Moreno, D. and Thomas, M.B. 2011. Frontiers in climate change-disease research. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 26: 270-277.

Health, Energy, and Climate

Malaria Declines Despite Local Warming

By Patrick Michaels, World Climate Report, Oct 3, 2011


WHO warns on urban air pollution

By Staff Writers, WNN, 28 September 2011


[SEPP Comment: Based on the chart on air born particles, the US. Australian, and New Zealand urban areas are the cleanest of the countries covered.]

Mosquitoes Ignore Global Warming Predictions

By James Taylor, Forbes, Oct 5, 2011


Environmental Industry

Our children are at risk

By Harry Jackson, Jr, Townhall, Oct 5, 2011


[SEPP Comment: Questioning environmental programs destructive to the economy.]

The Bloody Record of the War Against Carbon-and the Green Movement Generally

By E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D. Cornwall Alliance, Oct 3, 2011


Green groups have plenty of ‘green’

By Paul Chesser, Daily Caller, Oct 6, 2011


Other Scientific News

Chemist Once Accused of ‘Quasi-Science’ Wins Nobel For Quasicrystal Discovery

By Rebecca Boyle, Pop Sci, Oct 5, 2011 [H/t GWPF]


Studies of universe’s expansion win physics Nobel

Saul Perlmutter and Adam Riess of the United States and US-Australian Brian Schmidt won the 2011 Nobel Physics Prize Tuesday for their research on supernovae, the Nobel jury said.

By Staff Writers, AP, Oct 4, 2011 [H/t Gordon Fulks]


Climate debate diminished standing of science in some quarters: Nobel Prize winner

Sunanda Creagh, The Conversation, Oct 5, 2011 [H/t Lobos Moti, The Reference Frame]


[SEPP Comment: The debate should be based on physical evidence, not political power.]

Space Observatory Provides Clues to Creation of Earth’s Oceans

By Staff Writers

Pasadena CA (JPL) Oct 06, 2011


Other News that May Be of Interest

“Energy and Society” Course: Professor Desrochers’s Model for the Academy

By Robert Bradley Jr, Master Resources, Oct 7, 2011


[SEPP Comment: Perhaps a mandatory lecture series for all employees of the EPA, and Departments of Interior and Energy.]

China rethinks air pollution reporting

By Staff Writers, UPI, Oct 4, 2011


Iran, Iraq pay $1.2 bn to battle sandstorms

By Staff Writers, AFP, Oct 3, 2011


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Friday Funny – The newest member of the Union of Concerned Scientists

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Oct 7, 2011


[SEPP Comment: Kenji Watts, Anthony’s dog, is proud to qualify and be accepted to membership to the Union of Concerned Scientists.]

Climate Change Caused Angry Runts

By Tim Wall, Discovery News, Oct 3, 2011 [H/t Marc Morano, Climate Depot]


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October 10, 2011 3:41 pm

What Obama and Chu failed to mention is that only lobbyists to Obama would be able to afford the special battery in the strate-up company lab ventures to get those mpg numbers. Win the day everyday is their stay on point motto, regardless of reality and cost.

R. Shearer
October 10, 2011 3:49 pm

According to Obama we will shortly end our importation of oil. That’s because we won’t be able to afford it.

October 10, 2011 4:11 pm

Are Pons and Fleischman working with Chu on the battery?

John from CA
October 10, 2011 4:27 pm

Harry Reid, managed to avoid the vote on the jobs bill because the funding Bills need to originate in the House. Apparently this fact seems to have evaded our President or he’s just so used to DOA bills from the House to the Senate he thought he’d just cut throw the red tape.
“we can have a battery developed that will make a car with the equivalent of 130 miles per gallon.” Glossing over the fact that batteries don’t make cars, what kind of car? We already have Air cars that can drive from LA to NYC on a single tank of gas but they are golf carts and no one wants one. Also, 130mpg at what speed? How long does it hold a charge?
Good for the GOP, its about time Congress penned legislation to define the EPAs regulatory powers and to ensure that it requires more than 1 branch of government oversight Regulations. Gov. Brown should catch a clue and restrict CARB to legislative oversight as well.
Keystone Pipeline issue is absurd. They’ve had a pipeline running over the area in question for decades.
Costs per megawatt hour natural gas vs wind and solar nearly says it all — natural gas always produces when you need it.
Quite the shopping list Anthony.

October 10, 2011 4:53 pm

Somehow, Mr “Let’s all paint our rooves white” Chu’s expectation of future battery technology, doesn’t instill much hope in me.

Dan Evens
October 10, 2011 4:56 pm

This battery stuff sounds like BS. Is there anything to it?

Andrew Harding
October 10, 2011 5:14 pm

At last, governments around the world are seeing sense about economics and the AGW fraud.
The world is about to slip into an economic depression as bad as the one in the 1930’s. Typically the EU is the last organisation to see it. They are still trying to save the Euro and CO2 emissions and in the process demonstrated how out of touch with reality they actually are. The sooner we (UK citizens) are out of the EU, the better.

October 10, 2011 5:25 pm

Have read the impressive story about Harold Hamm and North Dakota.
How stupid can politicians act?

October 10, 2011 5:36 pm

11 Oct: Bloomberg: Mathew Carr and Catherine Airlie: U.K.’s CO2 Floor Uses ‘Trick’ to Circumvent EU Law, RWE Says
The U.K. is using a regulatory “trick” to introduce its carbon tax on fossil-fueled power generation, which would not have been allowed under European Union emissions trading law, said the U.K. unit of RWE AG.
Britain is using an exemption under the EU Energy Products Directive to proceed with its tax, which it named a carbon floor, John McElroy, director of policy at RWE Npower, said in an interview at the Platts emissions conference in Brussels.
“That’s the trick that they have used,” he said Oct. 6. “It’s not permitted under the EU emissions trading system.”
Chancellor George Osborne in March fixed a carbon tax of 4.94 pounds ($7.71) a metric ton from 2013 to raise revenue and prompt investment into power generation such as wind farms and nuclear. Wind turbines are subsidized and the coalition government has said no subsidy will be given to new nuclear power stations…
The U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change last month declined to provide Bloomberg News with e-mails and letters between Britain and the European Commission over its planned changes to energy-market regulations and the carbon floor.
“Its disclosure would provoke a negative reaction by the European Commission and could undermine the commission’s willingness to enter into further discussions and negotiations with the U.K.,” Tim Warham, an energy markets and networks official in DECC in London, said in a Sept. 23 letter to Bloomberg News.
“The U.K.’s ability to protect and promote its interests in the context of electricity market reform would be adversely affected if the requested information was disclosed,” he said…
The EU’s carbon cap-and-trade program already requires Britain’s power stations to buy permits to cover a portion of emissions and they’ll have to purchase all allowances from 2013. EU permits for December rose 1.8 percent to 10.65 euros a metric ton at 10:26 a.m. in London. They have fallen 25 percent this year…
The U.K. carbon floor is cutting the need for emission reductions in other EU nations because it encourages a faster pace of abatement in Britain, said David Hone, climate adviser at Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) and chairman of the International Emissions Trading Association.
The policy effectively subsidizes power generation in other EU nations and increases the total cost of complying with climate-protection measures, Hone said last week at the Platts emissions conference in Brussels. “We are probably setting a poor example for the rest of the world.” …
Future British governments may abandon the tax, McElroy said. “The unilateral approach undermines the EU emissions trading system as the principle instrument for delivering low- carbon investment across Europe.”

October 10, 2011 6:16 pm

has anyone see or have a comment about Andrea Rossi e-cat test on oct. 6th???? not sure if this is real or not

Q. Daniels
October 10, 2011 6:24 pm

Regarding Chu and Obama…
I cannot exclude the possibility that Chu knows what he’s talking about.
I cannot exclude the possibility that Obama spoke the literal truth (in an unbelieveable manner).
On the other hand, if it is the truth, then AGW is basically irrelevant.

October 10, 2011 6:39 pm

Dear Secretary Chu,
Sir, there are liars, damned liars and battery chemists. It was true in the 1970s when I first worked on photovoltaics. It is still true.

October 10, 2011 9:05 pm

I don’t believe Secretary Chu’s prediction.
When I was in 2nd grade I remember reading that nuclear fusion would power the world in 20 years. The time of that prediction passed 30 years ago. It seems the main thing we have learned in the last 50 years is that controlled fusion is a much more difficult problem than anyone imagined.
The same seems to go for batteries. Although we’ve learned a lot, it doesn’t appear that we are anywhere near a commercially viable battery that can replace a gasoline or natural gas powered engine. And even if we were, how are we going to charge millions of batteries off the existing power grid?

Mark T
October 10, 2011 9:06 pm

I cannot exclude the possibility that Chu knows what he’s talking about.

You should, he doesn’t. At least, maybe Obama is misinterpreting what Chu is saying. The statement itself is somewhat meaningless, let alone the fact that battery technology is far more than 5 years out as competition for gasoline.

I cannot exclude the possibility that Obama spoke the literal truth (in an unbelieveable manner).

Perhaps, but somewhere along the line he’s the one that has to get it right. If he doesn’t understand what Chu is saying, then maybe he should just shut up.

On the other hand, if it is the truth, then AGW is basically irrelevant.

It is either way.

October 10, 2011 9:11 pm

Maybe somebody can explain to me how MPG, which is a property of a complete vehicle, can be a property of a battery. And then show me what a gallon of electricity looks like. Is it all sparky?

October 10, 2011 9:14 pm

On the other hand, if it is the truth, then AGW is basically irrelevant.

Bingo. If these 130 MPG batteries are going to be zipping all over town in 5 years, the pipeline will become superfluous. So why not let them build it, and create jobs now? It’s their money that’s going to be lost, right Mr. Pres?

October 10, 2011 9:26 pm

Green revolution died when gas exploration companies developed horizontal drilling and shale gas reserves. Suddenly, gas is cheap and wind-turbines cannot hope to compete, unless subsidized forever. The national (US) fiscal crisis turned the public opinion against wasting more tax dollars on such boon-doggles.
Oil is in such abundance (over-supply) that OPEC is considering production cuts to prop up the price. So much for the Peak Oil boogey-man. (Boo!! )
For decades, the US EPA insisted that environmental regulations created jobs; yet recently President Obama put some new EPA rulings on hold, saying that the economy was too fragile at this time, and too many jobs would be lost. A refreshing bit of candor, that.
As I’ve long held and maintained, the oil and gas geeks are winning this war.
“Which brings me to the green aspect. There are at least three groups of geeks at work, by which I refer to engineers and technicians who find ways to advance their particular product. One group is those who work in the oil and gas industry, finding oil and gas, producing oil and gas, refining the oil, liquefying and shipping the natural gas, and making these products available as needed and at very low prices. A second group of geeks works in the automotive industry, making cars that use less gasoline and trucks that use less diesel fuel. The third group of geeks works in the renewable energy field, finding ways to provide electric power from wind, solar, waves, geothermal, bio-mass, and in the bio-fuels field making ethanol and bio-diesel. By the way, when I use the word “geeks” it is not a disparaging term. As an engineer, I am a geek. I have great admiration for what geeks can do, and have done.
Then, which group of geeks is winning? Right now, the automotive geeks are doing pretty well, with cars that achieve miles per gallon in the low to mid 30’s. Some hybrids do even better, with mpg in the high 40s and low 50s. Plug-in hybrids are expected to do much better, as the vehicles use only electricity until the battery is depleted and the gasoline engine is started up. However, the renewable energy geeks are also doing pretty well, with large windmills having economies of scale to provide electric power. Solar cells are also doing much better, with greater efficiencies than ever. Yet, there remain huge problems with electricity storage, the true weakness of wind and solar power systems. It appears to me that the oil and gas geeks are the true winners, [bold added] as shale gas is being developed all around the world. Oil is now found in places where oil is not supposed to exist, deep beneath the salt layer and in very deep offshore waters. The situation is interesting, as governments intervene to assist the automotive and renewable geeks, but hinder the oil and gas geeks. Assistance comes in the form of mpg mandates (35 mpg in the US, with 42 mpg in California), plus minimum renewable energy quotas in many states (see, e.g. AB 32 in California that mandates 20 percent renewables by 2010, then 33 percent by 2020), plus government subsidies for renewable energy projects. Those are huge assists to the automotive and renewable geeks.
Meanwhile, the oil and gas geeks are hindered by governments. Many oil fields are not available to market-based oil companies to drill and produce them, as state-run oil companies own and control those fields, or they are off-limits by government decree (see Alaska North Slope, and offshore California, offshore the U.S. East Coast, and parts of the Gulf of Mexico). Also, the U.S. government is threatening to remove tax incentives for oil companies, which have long existed and have not given oil companies a huge return on investment. Indeed, if their tax status is changed, oil companies will slip further down the list of profitable industries (see profitability of cosmetics companies (40 % return on equity), and liquor companies for high-profitability (29 % return on equity), much more than the oil industry (20 % return on equity). Yet nobody complains about the exorbitant profits of cosmetics companies). Capital will not flow into oil and gas companies, and we will see a shortage of oil and gas. But, not because of Peak Oil or running out of oil, but simply because of government-imposed dis-incentives to produce oil and gas. “

from http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/more-musings-on-grand-game.html

October 11, 2011 3:50 am

How will you load the battery ? Where will the electricity come from ?

October 11, 2011 5:36 am

The US has changed “Soooooo Muuuuuch” since the Founding Fathers put the Constitution together; what with planes, trains, automobiles, World Wars, Moon Landings, Computers and Internets, etc., we just gotta make a little change and tweek things up-scale a might. Don’t ya think it’s time to make Presidential, Senate, House, and Federal Judge terms all 12 months. None of these folks ever seem to do anything really productive that justifies paying them beyond that. I know! You’re going to say that if we did that they’d be forever in campaign mode and wouldn’t do anything at all. I have to say you’re right. That’s the whole point really. They don’t do anything anyway, but at least people in Lybia wouldn’t say we don’t have any government at all. Right? Things are getting real dangerous in the world. Real dangerous. When bad stuff happens, all that’s needed is a tiny spark to set off a big, bad blaze. I vote we don’t try to save Europe next time, not worth the effort or the outrageous cost. (SarcOffKind’aSort’aMaybe;-)

More Soylent Green!
October 11, 2011 6:01 am

I’m sure Chu is very intelligent and quite a capable physicist. But that hardly qualifies him as Energy Secretary. While he was working for Bell Labs when he won his Nobel Prize, he has never run a business and has only a limited background as an administrator. In short, he is unqualified for his position.
However, I’m sure Chu understands the science and Obama doesn’t. Anybody who gives a speech on carbon polluting our streams is factually challenged. Don’t discount the very strong possibility that Obama is deliberately overstating what Chu told him.

October 11, 2011 6:15 am

“The false claim of peak oil”. No, peak oil is a fact, not a false claim. How many times does it have to be explained? Peak oil is NOT about what’s in the ground (geolgical peak), it’s about FLOW RATES (regardless of the reasons). Shale oil (kerogen) is plentiful, no doubt. The big unknown is can it be extracted and converted to synthetic oil at flow rates faster than decline rates from old depleted fields? The answer is likely no. Hence the world will be, if not already, in perminant over all decline in flow rates — peak oil.

Ken Harvey
October 11, 2011 6:59 am

“Mr. Obama famously stated there are other ways to skin the cat.”
Not only has the POTUS never studied the fundamental problems of electricity storage, he has never read Charles Kingsley’s Westward Ho!. “There are more ways of killing a cat than choking her with cream”. I wish him a long retirement and and the leisure time to study both.

October 11, 2011 7:13 am

I know it is unreasonable to pick on a spelling mistake in an article with so much useful information, but really: “hick-up”?

Ken Harvey
October 11, 2011 7:40 am

Pascvaks says:
October 11, 2011 at 5:36 am
………………….” I vote we don’t try to save Europe next time, not worth the effort or the outrageous cost. (SarcOffKind’aSort’aMaybe;-)”
A little bit strong that “save”. “Assist” might be better”. Don’t get me wrong. I was there to welcome the U.S troops and very welcome they were too. Nevertheless there was an element of self interest and consequently you do not have to blog in Japanese.
We seem to be a little O/T for which I apologise.

October 11, 2011 7:55 am

Richard Wakefield says:
October 11, 2011 at 6:15 am
“Peak oil is NOT about what’s in the ground (geolgical peak), it’s about FLOW RATES (regardless of the reasons). ”
You can increase the flow rate by drilling another well. There, debunked for you.

October 11, 2011 11:47 am

@ DirkH: well-said.

Rob Dekker
October 11, 2011 1:42 pm

Anthony wrote : For example, for 2007 the Energy Information Administration estimated the subsidies for natural gas production of electricity amounted to $0.25 megawatt hour of production while the subsidies for wind were $23.37 per megawatt hour of production, and solar were $24.34 per megawatt hour of production.
Since Anthony did not give the reference, here is the report :
For completeness, this same reports found that the highest subsidy for electricity production went to Coal-based synfuels (refined coal). Not only did coal-based synfuels receive the highest subsidy per unit production (at a whopping $29.81 per megawatt hour), but also in absolute numbers coal-based synfuel, with $2.1 billion received more than TWICE the subsidy of all renewables combined.
It helps to get some context.

Walter Sobchak
October 11, 2011 8:00 pm

Ogallala aquifer?
Does this mean that AGW has caused oil and water to begin mixing.

October 12, 2011 6:44 am

Ref – Ken Harvey says:
October 11, 2011 at 7:40 am
Check! Besides, I doubt we could anyway; much too expensive AND would create toooooo much CO2, the UN wouldn’t like that. Yesterday is but a memory and tomorrow is but a dream…

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