Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

Quote of the Week:

“I am always happy to be in the minority.  Concerning the climate models, I know enough of the details to be sure that they are unreliable. They are full of fudge factors that are fitted to the existing climate, so the models more or less agree with the observed data. But there is no reason to believe that the same fudge factors would give the right behavior in a world with different chemistry, for example in a world with increased CO2 in the atmosphere.” Freeman Dyson [H/t Elliot Cramer.]


Number of the Week: 23 Agencies, 130 sub-agencies, nearly 700 programs



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

Climate Catastrophe: We are witnessing a number of trends as the globe refuses to obey global warming models. One, since there is no global warming trend, the term trend has been dropped in favor of the term level. The level of warming over the past decade has been greater than it has been since the start of the industrial revolution (about 1850) – essentially meaningless because the earth has been recovering of the Little Ice Age. Since carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) continue to increase, critical reading of this statement calls into question the accuracy of the claims that humans are causing unprecedented and dangerous global warming.

Another definite trend in the general literature is broadening the terminology to make it more alarming. Global warming has morphed into climate change, which is not scientifically significant because climate change is normal and natural. Now, it has morphed again into climate catastrophe or catastrophic climate change. With the use of this scientifically unsupported dire claim, comes an intensification of the political solution.

First, the political solution was voluntary cap-and-trade by Western nations. When this did not work, the political solution was cap-and-trade and taxes on carbon dioxide emissions by some nations, including those in the European Union and Australia. But that is not working. Now the solution is becoming compulsory, authoritarian, international governance, no doubt, envisioned to be run by philosopher-kings in the Plato tradition. Unfortunately, history demonstrates such philosopher kings tend to become tyrants. The thinking can be summarized as: “If tyranny is necessary to save humanity, so be it – as long as I am one of the philosopher-kings or at least be a member of the court.”

Not to be outdone by the article for global governance by 32 social scientists in Science magazine referenced in last week’s TWTW, Scientific American issued a similar article this week. One is forced to wonder if those who are issuing demands for global governance recognize that in the US, at least, the power of the central government is limited by the Constitution and the individual rights and liberties it protects, outlined, in part, by the Bill of Rights. Please see articles under “Expanding the Orthodoxy.”


Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age: One of the claims of the Fourth Assessment Report (AR-4) of the UN International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is that the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) and (LIA) were regional events confined largely to Western Europe. The first two reports contained these events. The third report dropped these events in favor of Mr. Mann’s discredited “hockey-stick.” Without explanation, AR-4 dropped the hockey-stick in favor of the above claims.

A new study shows that both the MWP and the LIA appeared in the Antarctic Peninsula. It is important to note that the study applies to the Peninsula alone, which is subject to changes in ocean currents. The study does not apply to the continent. The current study adds to a large body of work showing that the MWP and the LIA were global, not local, natural phenomena. Of course, this work undermines the claim by the IPCC that carbon dioxide is the principal driver of climate change. Please the reports of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) http://www.nipccreport.org/reports/reports.html and the links under “Changing Climate.”


Infant Industries: In the early days of the US independence from Great Britain, US manufacturers argued that since they were small, they needed tariffs on goods from foreign countries to protect them from the efficient, large manufacturers in Great Britain and elsewhere. Essentially, the claim is that small, immature industries, infant industries, need special nurturing from government. It is been used world-wide for centuries and often results in inefficiency in the protected industries with higher consumer prices to the general public.

The infant industry argument is being used to justify subsidies for solar and wind, as well as other forms of alternative energy production. The argument is that since solar or wind is a new industry, it needs special nurturing from government. Electrical generation from wind has existed since the 1880s and at one time was popular in isolated farms and ranches in the west until the farmers and ranchers received reliable power from the grid, thanks to rural electrification programs. In a two part series, Robert Bradley, Jr. discusses the history of solar energy with quotations of solar energy dating back to the 1700s and photovoltaic back to the 1950s. Please see links under “Subsidies and Mandates Forever.”


Changing Temperatures: The temperature record of the Hadley Center – Climatic Research Unit (Had-CRUT) is undergoing changes. For the land surface temperatures, it appears that the historic temperatures are being adjusted downward, reflecting a cooler history than the contemporary evidence shows. Also there will be greater coverage of the Arctic regions at the expense of the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The change creates higher temperatures for 2010, making it the “hottest year on record.”

Given that satellite measurements show that most of the warming since 1979 has occurred in the northern part of the Northern Hemisphere, those skeptical about bureaucracies and the science they produce may find these changes typically bureaucratic, rather than scientific.

But these changes may produce a backlash. If the new studies from Norway and Russia reported in last week’s TWTW, are correct; than a large part of the 20th century Arctic warming was created by an active sun. If the sun continues to be dormant, then the recorded Arctic warming will become an Arctic cooling. The result will be a pronounced cooling in the revised, new global temperature measurements, giving the producers of Had-CRUT difficulty in future explanations. Please see links under “Measurement Issues.”


WMO Annual Report: The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is one of the two parent organizations of the IPCC. The other is the United Nation’s Environmental Programe (UNEP). On Friday, WMO released its annual report on the state of the climate. It speaks of levels of surface temperature since 1850, rather than the 21st century trend. Of course, global coverage in 1850 was far from adequate. In spite of recent manipulations of the data record, there has been no temperature trend in over a decade. The report speaks of declining sea ice in the Arctic, but failed to mention the decline reached a low point in 2007, and since then sea ice has been increasing.

The report contains a litany of weather events such as floods in parts of the world and droughts in other parts, as if climate is uniform for every region through time. It also contains errors on tropical cyclones (hurricanes) claiming that the decade had the highest level of tropical cyclone activity in the Atlantic Basin, which is not supported by research by William Grey and others. The report emphasizes Katrina, the most costly to hit the US, claiming it was a category 5, which it was when it was in the Gulf of Mexico. When it made land fall it was a category 3 storm.

Most noticeably, the report emphasized measurements of sea ice by satellites, but failed to discuss measurements of temperatures by satellites. These are the most comprehensive, rigorous measurements ever taken, are independently verified by balloon data, and are independently compiled by two groups, one of which publishes its data monthly. It appears that for some reports, the WMO is stuck in the technology of the 1850s.


Amplification: Science of Personal Destruction: One of the disturbing trends in scientific discussions and literature in recent years is the willingness by some to resort to arguments of personal destruction (ad hominem) to refute the logical, scientific arguments questioning the premise of the writer. An example is calling a skeptic is a “shill” for industry. A retort would be calling an alarmist a “shill” for global governance – authoritarianism. Unless the claim can be substantiated it does not belong in scientific discourse.

The two principal founders of SEPP, Fred Singer and Fredrick Seitz, have been the subject of a particularly effective ad hominem attack in Merchants of Doubt by Oreskes and Conway. The evidence to substantiate outrageous claims made in the book does not exist in the text but is implied to exist in the extensive footnotes, yet it does not.

In preparing TWTW, articles containing significant, unsubstantiated personal attacks are avoided. However, occasionally, TWTW may reference articles that contain distasteful adjectives of a personal nature. These articles may be included for their general interest, not for their personal commentary. Please do not assume that TWTW embraces the comments of the author of an article referenced in TWTW.


Number of the Week: 23 Agencies, 130 sub-agencies, nearly 700 programs. According to a February 2012 report to Congress by the General Accountably Office, that is the number of government organizations involved in renewable energy initiatives in Fiscal Year 2010. Yet, the 23 Agencies, 130 sub-agencies, and 700 programs have failed to produce as significant an impact on US energy as the private efforts of combining deep underground hydraulic fracturing of dense shale with directional, horizontal drilling to extract oil and natural gas.

Do doubt, the leaders of the 23 agencies, 130 sub-agencies, and 700 programs will continue to defend these programs even when faced with the hard data that their programs are economic failures. Please see link under “Subsidies and Mandates Forever.”



For the numbered articles below please see this week’s TWTW at: www.sepp.org. The articles are at the end of the pdf.

1. Supremes 9, EPA 0

The Justices rebuke the bureaucracy’s water torture.

Editorial, WSJ, Mar 22, 2012


2. Cheap Gasoline and Human Rights

By Sam Kazman, Letter, WSJ, Mar 19, 2012


3. Gas Set to Test Capacity Limits

By Dan Strumpf, WSJ, Mar 22, 2012


[SEPP Comment: The unexpected natural gas problem – where to store it?]

4. Climate Wars Continue With More Heat Than Light

By Michael Mann, Letter, WSJ, Mar 21, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Some may disagree with Mr. Mann’s interpretation of scientific facts.]



Climategate Continued

Vignettes before MM2003

By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Mar 19, 2012


It’s interesting to see that Mann, who at that time knew nothing about me, was nonetheless quick to portray me as a “shill” and had recommended strategies for rejecting emails.

[SEPP Comment: Apparently, to Mr Mann anyone with the audacity to question his work is a shill for industry.]

Suppressing Scientific Inquiry

Suzuki vs. the Senate — who’s silencing whom?

‘Silence and ­demonize’ could be the Suzuki foundation’s motto

By Peter Foster, Financial Post, Mar 23, 2012 [H/t Tom Harris]


Challenging the Orthodoxy

A Newfound Cog in the Ocean Conveyor

Scientists confirm existence of a previously unknown current

By Lonny Pippsett, Oceanus, Mar 23, 2012


The newly confirmed ocean current is called the North Icelandic Jet. It feeds cold, dense water into the Deep Western Boundary Current, helping to drive the lower limb of the Ocean Conveyor, the global ocean circulation system that regulates Earth’s climate. [Boldface added.]

[SEPP Comment: Changes in the ocean conveyor are not found in the IPCC reports as natural features that change or regulate the Earth’s climate.]

Sensationalist And Distorted Climate Stories Increase As Climate Science Failures Exposed

By Tim Ball, A Different Perspective, Mar 20, 2012


New Paper: Many Tree-Ring Analyses Highly Biased, Unreliable

By Staff Writer, GWPF, Mar 20, 2012


Defending the Orthodoxy

WMO Annual Statement confirms 2011 as 11 warmest on record

Climate change accelerated in 2001-2010, according to preliminary analysis

By Staff Writers, Press Release No 943, WMO, Mar 23, 2012 [H/t Bishop Hill]


Why spring is blooming marvelous (and climate change makes it earlier)

By Staff Writers, Norwich, UK (SPX), Mar 23, 2012


[SEPP Comment: The assumption is that spring did not bloom early in the Medieval Ages. Also that CO2 fertilization has nothing to do with it.]

Climate law survives red tape cull

Britain’s laws on climate change that push up energy bills for millions of households have been spared, despite George Osborne’s plea for a reduction in expensive green regulations.

By Rowena Mason, Telegraph, UK, Mar 20, 2012


Scientists who trade in doubt

By Mike Steketee, The Australian, Mar 17, 2012


[SEPP Comment: See discussion on the science of personal destruction.]

British MP: Majority of my colleagues don’t understand climate science

The UK’s cross party consensus on climate change cannot be taken for granted according to a member of Parliament’s Energy and Climate Change Select Committee.

By Ed King, RTCC, Mar 23, 2012 [H/t GWPF]


[SEPP Comment: Anyone who disagrees with me doesn’t understand the science.]

Climate Change Skepticism Stems from Recession

By Staff Writers, Storrs Mansfield CT (SPX), Mar 19, 2012


[SEPP Comment: The failure of the globe to obey global climate models is not an issue?]

Do you believe in climate change?

That’s not a question you should be asking – it’s a matter of empirical evidence, not belief

• Everything you need to know about climate change

By Vicky Pope, Guardian, Mar 23, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Hardly everything we need to know. No discussion of the glaring deficiencies of the climate models. See link immediately below.]

Questioning the Orthodoxy

Pinning down the debate

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Mar 23, 2012


[SEPP Comment: The claim of overwhelming evidence that man is influencing climate is not particularly meaningful, nor the issue. The issue is the extent to which carbon dioxide emissions are causing global warming. See link to article immediately above.]

Lower Climate Sensitivity Estimates: New Good News

By Chip Knappenberger, Master Resource, Mar 19, 2012


[SEPP Comment: A somewhat technical presentation that the IPCC would be remiss and misleading, if it uses in its upcoming report the probability distributions for its models that it used in AR4.]

1970’s Global Cooling – What The Scientists Said

By Paul Homewood, NLPKT, Mar 13, 2012 [H/t ICECAP]


[SEPP Comment: A look at climate change in the early and mid 20th century.]

Accelerating global warming

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Mar 23, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Links to an excellent example how one can create the trend desired on a sine curve by choosing the right end points.]

Global Warming As Cargo Cult Science

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Mar 17, 2012


Tropical Forests Rejoice!

By Patrick Michaels, World Climate Report, Mar 22, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Thanks to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide, the health of the studied tropical forests is improving.]

Climate Science From the Onion?

By Patrick Michaels, WUWT, Mar 21, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Some climate science stories appear to be right out of the humor magazine.]

Detecting evidence for CO2 fertilization from tree ring studies: The potential role of sampling biases

By Brienen, et al. Global Biogeochemical Cycles Mar 17, 2012


Questioning European Green

Why we must repeal the Climate Change Act

By Roger Helmer, His Blog, Mar 20, 2012


[SEPP Comment: A waste to the UK economy.]

The De-industrialisation of Europe

By Roger Helmer, His Blog, Mar 22, 2012 [H/t Anne Debeil]


DECC and “Tackling Climate Change”

By Clive Best, His Blog, Mar 20, 2012 [H/t GWPF]


Mixed messages on climate and energy policy

By Martin Livermore, Scientific Alliance, Mar 21, 2012


[SEPP Comment: One idea of geo-engineering to stop Arctic warming. Also, discusses the inconsistency between British policy goals and practicality.]

Is carbon cutting a waste of time? Figures show Britain’s ‘footprint’ has increased by 20 per cent despite green taxes

By Jason Groves, Mail, UK, Mar 19, 2012 [H/t GWPF]


Questioning Green Elsewhere

Earth Hour: A Dissent

By Ross McKitrick, His Blog, Mar 23, 2012


[SEPP Comment: McKitrick’s view of the movement to stop electricity use.]

Ontario FIT is a miracle–high electricity prices create jobs!

Liberal government maintains — and may expand–program that will help double province’s electricity prices

By Terence Corcoran, Financial Post, Mar 22, 2012


[SEPP Comment: We are in competition with other governments to capture a money losing industry. Let’s spend more money!]

Expanding the Orthodoxy

Effective World Government Will Be Needed to Stave Off Climate Catastrophe

By Gary Stix, Scientific American, Mar 17, 2012 [H/t Catherine French]


[SEPP Comment: Complete with satellite photo with the caption “The Receding Himalayan glaciers”, yet the glaciers are not receding.]

Fairy Tales on the Road to Rio

By Donna Laframboise, Mar 19, 2012


[SEPP Comment: International political science masking as physical science.]

Fundamental steps needed now in global redesign of Earth system governance”

By Staff Writer, SPPI, Mar 23, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Commentary on a story of the call by 32 social scientists for global governance to protect humanity from climate change.]

The Gleick Affair

Climate debate must be unfettered by obfuscation

By William Kininmonth and Des Moore, Letters, The Australian, Mar 19, 2012


Seeking a Common Ground

Pseudoscience (?)

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc, Mar 20, 2012


[SEPP Comment: A discussion on the issue is climate science a pseudoscience as some skeptics assert it is.]

Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?

NRC’s artless untruths on climate change and food security

By Rud Istvan, Climate Etc, Mar 22, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Examples of how the National Resource Council is misleading the public about the impact of warming on food production.]

Climate double talk

By Peter Smith, Quadrant, Mar 23, 2012


We are entitled to expect more from the CSIRO [Australia’s national science agency]. It is duty bound to provide objective advice. If I can do this quick analysis of the data surely it can; unless its agenda overrides providing the Australian public with reliable information. We should expect more too from the Climate Commissioner. And the whole truth from politicians would be refreshing.

Climate to cost $2 trillion year in damage to oceans: study

By Staff Writers, Paris (AFP) March 21, 2012


“This is not a scaremongering forecast,” says the report.

Attention scientists and journalists: I want my word back. Forever, and Ever, and Ever”

By Harold Ambler, ICECAP, Mar 23, 2012


[SEPP Comment: A humorous demand that the term “ever” be removed from pronouncements on climate change.]

Glacier-fed river systems threatened by climate change

By Staff Writers, Copenhagen, Denmark (SPX), Mar 21, 2012


[SEPP Comment: As if they were ever stable.]

Lung doctors expect respiratory diseases will worsen with global climate change

By Staff Writers, Davis CA (SPX), Mar 21, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Everything bad will intensify, nothing good will become better.]

Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

Global sea level likely to rise as much as 70 feet for future generations

By Staff Writers, New Brunswick NJ (SPX), Mar 23, 2012


“The natural state of the earth with present carbon dioxide levels is one with sea levels about 20 meters higher than at present,” he said.

[SEPP Comment: No reason to check the assumed sea level rise with satellite measured rise. The projected sensitivity of the earth to carbon dioxide is not being observed.]

Models v. Observations

Plants may absorb more carbon dioxide than previously thought

The capacity of terrestrial ecosystems to absorb carbon dioxide emissions from human activity may be greater than previously thought, according to a new study

By Simon Levey, Imperial College, London, Mar 22, 2012 [H/t GWPF]


[SEPP Comment: An experiment that counters the assumptions in the climate models. According to geologists, the earth’s atmosphere once had more carbon dioxide than oxygen. Then green plants eat most of carbon dioxide, releasing oxygen. Why is it strange that green plants consume carbon dioxide?]

Measurement Issues

Global temperature historic record updated

By Staff Writers, London (UPI), Mar 19, 2012


HADCRUT4: Statistics, Science and Spin

By David Whitehouse, The Observatory, Mar 20, 2012


A first look at CRUTEM4

By Clive Best, His Blog, Mar 21, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Many US stations dropped, many stations in Arctic regions added.]

CRU’s new HadCRUT4, hiding the decline yet again

By Anthony Watts with additions by Joe D’Aleo, ICECAP, Mar 21, 2012


Those who cool the past are condemned to repeat it.

Changing Weather

The reality of a wet, cold summer has failed to dampen activists’ enthusiasm for alarmism

By: Miranda Devine, Sunday Telegraph, AU, March 18, 2012[H/t WUWT]


[SEPP Comment: Alarmists predictions of drought led to human action contributing to the flooding of Brisbane.]

‘Calmer’ 2012 hurricane season forecast

By Staff Writers, Fort Collins, Colo. (UPI), Mar 21, 2012


March Warmth Trumps Many Previous High Temperature Records

By Christine McEnrue, Weatherbell Analytics, Mar 21, 2012


Unseasonably warm temperatures have dominated the eastern half of the nation for much of the month of March. New temperature records are being set with each passing day, some of which have been around since the early 1900s. Temperature records have been broken in more than 1,050 locations since March 13th. On March 19th alone, 367 high temperature records were broken across the US and 68 high temperature records were tied.

Changing Climate

Study Links Past Changes in Monsoon to Major Shifts in Indian Civilizations

By Staff Writers, Woods Hole MA (SPX), Mar 21, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Reinforcing HH Lamb’s classic Climate History and the Modern World]

Scientists use rare mineral to correlate past climate events in Europe, Antarctica

By Staff Writers, Syracuse NY (SPX) Mar 23, 2012

[SEPP Comment: The statement: “We showed that the Northern European climate events influenced climate conditions in Antarctica,” Lu says, implies causation. A more correct statement would be that they occurred at similar times.]

Paper: Antarctica did experience both MWP and LIA

By Lubos Motl, Reference Frame, Mar 23, 2012


Medieval warming WAS global – new science contradicts IPCC

By Lewis Page, A Register, Mar 23, 2012


The end for small glaciers” or anthropogenic circular reasoning?

By David Middleton, WUWT, Mar 19, 2012


Changing Seas

Millions of Americans at risk of flooding as sea levels rise

By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), Mar 20, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Why bother with observations when models give scarier scenarios.]

New study lowers estimate of ancient sea-level rise

By Staff Writers, New York NY (SPX), Mar 23, 2012


Average global sea level has risen eight inches since the 1880s. It is currently rising an inch per decade, driven by thermal expansion of seawater and melting of glaciers and ice sheets, including the still mostly intact ice sheets of Greenland and West Antarctica.

[SEPP Comment: Past sea level rise unrelated to CO2 emissions.]

New dataset provides 40 year record of CO2 accumulation in the surface ocean

By Staff Writers, Norwich UK (SPX), Mar 23, 2012


[SEPP Comment: The premise behind blanket statements such as CO2 absorption by oceans benefit humanity by reducing CO2 concentrations is questionable.]

Changing Sea Ice

Could Arctic Sea Ice Decline be Caused by the Arctic Oscillation?

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Mar 22, 2012


[SEPP Comment: As TWTW has reported, studies show that the flow of fresh water in the Arctic Ocean has changed.]

Sea Ice News Volume3, #2

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Mar 18, 2012


Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine

Corn insecticide linked to great die-off of beneficial honeybees

By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), Mar 23, 2012


[SEPP Comment: May be an important beginning to understanding the great die-offs.]

Litigation Issues

EU mulls ‘green lawsuits’ against China

By Staff Writers, Euractiv, Mar 21, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Chinese subsidies of wind and solar are unfair, but EU’s subsidies are not?]

Subsidies and Mandates Forever

Federal Agencies Implement Hundreds of Initiatives [for Renewable Energy]

By Staff Writers GAO-12-260, Feb 27, 2012 [H/t Timothy Wise


EPA and other Regulators on the March

Ending EPA’s land grab

Supreme Court delivers lesson in humility to arrogant agency

Editorial, Washington Times, Mar 21, 2012


Court backs Idaho couple in battle with EPA

By Valerie Richardson, Washington Times, Mar 21, 2012


Murray facts & fictions

By Max Rheese, Quadrant, AU, Mar 21, 2012


How did we get to this, where a false premise based on junk science, is accepted as the starting point for major water reform?

EPA’s Heavy Hand Seen In Gas Crisis

Editorial, IBD, Mar 22, 2012


Energy Issues – Non-US

Why North America is the new Middle East: Citibank

By Yadullah Hussain, Financial Post, Mar 23, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Projections from a narrow data base are deadly. But, the potential exists.]

Oil sands facing new scrutiny by U.S. politicians

By Robert Hiltz, Financial Post, Can, Mar 21, 2012


[SEPP Comment: A US Congressional hearing on oil sands that was more interested in factual details than political posturing.]

More countries start rare-earth mining

By Staff Writers, Newcastle, England (UPI), Mar 21, 2012


Energy Issues — US

Exposing the 2 percent oil reserves myth

By Staff Writers, IER, Mar 13, 2012 [H/t Randy Randol]


Yes, We Can Lower Gas Prices Today

By Thomas Pyle, IBD, Mar 22, 2012


How the U.S. dropped the ball on energy independence

Editorial, Financial Post, Mar 20, 2012


U.S. Inches Toward Goal of Energy Independence

By Clifford Krauss and Eric Lipton, NYT, Mar 22, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Even the NYT recognizes the impact of 21st century drilling techniques. Energy independence is a straw man argument: energy security is the key issue.]

Cash for Flunkers: A Bold New Energy Strategy

By Larry Bell, Forbes, Mar 20, 2012


[SEPP Comment: A humorous look at Washington’s energy policy.]

Cheaper Gasoline Starts at the EPA

By Bruce Thompson, American Thinker, Mar 20, 2012


Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

France’s Total eyes new China tie-up: report

By Staff Writers, New York (AFP), March 18, 2012


[SEPP Comment: One of several agreements with international companies on oil or gas from shale.]

Study: ‘Fracking’ may increase air pollution health risks

By Neela Banerjee, LA Times, Mar 20, 2012


Gas Drilling Did Not Contaminate Water in Pennsylvania Town, EPA Finds

By Staff Writers, AP, Mar 16, 2012 [H/t Timothy Wise]


US Administration’s Control of Oil and Gas

Fossil fuel production on federal lands at 9 year low

By Staff Writers, IER, Mar 15, 2012


Pipeline ruling filled with politics

White House sided with EPA against State Department

By J.C. Watts, Washington Times, Mar 21, 2012


TransCanada moves forward to build the southern half of Keystone XL pipeline…Obama says “OK”

By Rebecca DiFede, Net Right Daily, Mar 22, 2012


Obama’s Keystone XL Visit A Potemkin Village Photo-Op

Editorial, IBD, Mar 21, 2012


Oil Spills & Consequences

Chevron accused of ‘environmental crime’ in Brazil

By Staff Writers, Rio De Janeiro (AFP), March 21, 2012


Nuclear Energy and Fears

Nuclear power only option despite Fukushima: industry

By Staff Writers, Seoul (AFP), March 23, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Japan does not have domestic alternatives to generate electricity.]

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

Study: it takes 10 units of alternative electricity sources to offset 1 unit of fossil fuel-generated power

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Mar 21, 2012


President Obama Doubles Down On Dim Renewable Energy Plan

By Margo Thorning, IBD, Mar 20, 2012


Carbon Schemes

Deep Saline Aquifers Could Provide Century’s Worth of CCS, MIT Study Says

By Staff Writers, Power News, Mar 22, 2012


[SEPP Comment: At what cost? Will it be beneficial?]

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC

For a full list of articles see www.NIPCCreport.org

Summit Surface Snow Temperatures of Greenland

Reference: Kobashi, T., Kawamura, K., Severinghaus, J.P., Barnola, J.-M., Nakaegawa, T., Vinther, B.M., Johnsen, S.J. and Box, J.E. 2011. High variability of Greenland surface temperature over the past 4000 years estimated from trapped air in an ice core. Geophysical Research Letters 38: 10.1029/2011GL049444.


[SEPP Comment: Using different techniques than some prior studies, the researchers found somewhat higher temperatures over the last decade than the average over the past 4000 years – minus 29.9°C compared with minus 30.7°C. Yet, it was appreciably warmer for extended periods than for the last decade.]

Further Analyses of Hot and Cold Times on the Tibetan Plateau

Reference: Liu, Y., Cai, Q.F., Song, H.M., An, Z.S. and Linderholm, H.W. 2011. Amplitudes, rates, periodicities and causes of temperature variations in the past 2485 years and future trends over the central-eastern Tibetan Plateau. Chinese Science Bulletin 56: 2986-2994.


“extreme climatic events on the Plateau, such as the Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age and 20th Century Warming appeared synchronously with those in other places worldwide.”

the five researchers remark that the 1324-year cycle “approximates the well-known dominant climate change cycle of 1374±502 years in the Holocene (Bond et al., 1997) and the 1470-year cycle in Dansgaard/Oeschger events in the last glacial period,”… “cold intervals corresponded to sunspot minimums.”

Historical Simulations of an Astronomically-Based Climate Model vs. Those of the Global Circulation Models Promoted by the IPCC

Reference: Scafetta, N. 2012. Testing an astronomically based decadal-scale empirical harmonic climate model versus the IPCC (2007) general circulation climate models. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics: 10.1016/j.jastp.2011.12.005.


[SEPP Comment: Project warming of 0.3-1.2°C by 2100 is considerably less than the IPCC models project and in line with empirical studies of the earth’s sensitivity to increasing CO2]

The Post-1950 Activity of Western North Pacific Tropical Cyclones

Reference: Ren, F., Liang, J., Wu, G., Dong, W. and Yang, X. 2011. Reliability analysis of climate change of tropical cyclone activity over the Western North Pacific. Journal of Climate 24: 5887-5898.


Three different data sets “show no obvious increasing or decreasing trend over the past 50 years.”

Health, Energy, and Climate

2 California researchers win prestigious Tyler Prize

John H. Seinfeld, a professor at Caltech, was recognized for research into the origin and evolution of particles in the atmosphere. Kirk R. Smith, a professor at UC Berkeley, was cited for research demonstrating the debilitating risk of air pollution in developing nations.

By Scott Gold, Los Angeles Times, Mar 20, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Indoor air pollution from traditional fuels is devastating.]

Oh Mann!

Reader Rebuttal (Michael E. Mann): Climate change research

By Michael Mann, Orange County Register, Mar 16, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Fred Singer’s comments will appear next week.]

Prince William climate change case takes center stage

By Tom Jackman, Washington Post, Mar 21, 2012 [H/t Chris Horner]


[SEPP Comment: A solid review of the legal issues involved in the freedom of information demand for Mr. Mann’s emails from the University of Virginia.]

Environmental Industry

Obama Sells Out Science for Campaign Cash

By Robert Goldberg, American Spectator, Mar 21, 2012


Other Scientific News

Geomagnetic data reveal unusual nature of recent solar minimum

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Mar 19, 2012


Other News that May Be of Interest

Nitrate in drinking water poses health risks for rural Californians

By Staff Writers, Davis CA (SPX), Mar 19, 2012




Chu: Better than A-Minus on Keeping Gas Prices Down

By CJ Ciaramella, Washington Free Beacon, Mar 20, 2012 [H/t Alexanian Moorad]


Energy requirements make Antarctic fur seal pups vulnerable to climate change

By Staff Writers, Santa Cruz CA (SPX), Mar 23, 2012


[SEPP Comment: The Antarctic equivalent to polar bears? But polar bears eat seal pups – at the other pole.]


March 31: Ken Haapala will be speaking at the Capital Science 2012 Conference sponsored by the Washington Academy of Sciences at 10 am. The topic is “Wind and Solar Power – the Past or the Future.” Unfortunately, registration and a fee are required. The Conference will be held at Virginia Tech, GWU, (branches) and Marymount Universities in Arlington, VA http://www.washacadsci.org/capsci12/body.htm


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March 25, 2012 5:01 pm

Japanese nuclear about to restart.

There do appear to be steady moves to facilitate an early resumption of nuclear power plant operations after stress tests. The first restart of a nuclear power plant since the Fukushima nuclear crisis may face strong resistance. After the first restart,though,one nuclear plant after another will be restarted.
The government has decided to reorganize the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency,now under the wing of the trade and industry ministry,into a Nuclear Regulatory Agency under the Environment Ministry. This plan will probably make no more than cosmetic changes to the regulatory process as many workers for the new agency will come from the trade and industry ministry and will be allowed to go back to the ministry. The government bill to limit the life span of a nuclear reactor to 40 years is likely to include a loophole allowing extensions in exceptional cases…
Mitt Romney sells out skeptics for campaign cash…
Our board of trustees | Environmental Defense Fund
Julian H. Robertson, Jr.
Founder and Chairman, Tiger Management, LLC
Sam Rawlings Walton
Boatman, Philanthropist, Entrepreneur
FEC Individual Contribution Search Results
Non-Federal Receipts “Exempt From Limits”
RESTORE OUR FUTURE,INC. 01/18/2012 250000.00 12970436318
RESTORE OUR FUTURE,INC. 11/22/2011 1000000.00 12950420030
Wal-Mart backyard to include green group – Environment

March 25, 2012 5:21 pm

Good stuff in general. I would disagree with this part:

Infant Industries: In the early days of the US independence from Great Britain, US manufacturers argued that since they were small, they needed tariffs on goods from foreign countries to protect them from the efficient, large manufacturers in Great Britain and elsewhere. Essentially, the claim is that small, immature industries, infant industries, need special nurturing from government. It is been used world-wide for centuries and often results in inefficiency in the protected industries with higher consumer prices to the general public.

I have no problem with protecting our industries through tariffs. I see no reason why the guy next door should have to compete with a Chinese guy willing to work for 12 rice grains a day. Import tariffs are how the rich countries got rich, and the current lack of them is the reason the poor countries stay poor. Read the book.
I distinguish this from the government playing venture capitalist, which is a grave error. It is also different from government funded basic R&D, which can be valuable.

March 25, 2012 5:26 pm

Reblogged this on Climate Ponderings.

March 25, 2012 6:22 pm

In the section ‘Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age:’, you have International instead of Intergovernmental when describing the IPCC.

William Astley
March 25, 2012 6:39 pm

The planet is not warming. See link below to for current ocean temperatures. Blue is colder than 1984 to 1998 mean.
No warming for the last 17 years.
“The problem for global warming supporters is they actually need for past warming from CO2 to be higher than 0.7C. If the IPCC is correct that based on their high-feedback models we should expect to see 3C of warming per doubling of CO2, looking backwards this means we should already have seen about 1.5C of CO2-driven warming based on past CO2 increases. But no matter how uncertain our measurements, it’s clear we have seen nothing like this kind of temperature rise. Past warming has in fact been more consistent with low or even negative feedback assumptions.”
Scientific America appears to be oblivious to the observational data and published analysis that disproves the catastrophic AGW hypothesis. Tropical cloud cover increases or decreases to reflect more or less sunlight off into space which resists forcing changes (negative feedback). The catastrophic AGW hypothesis requires water vapor to amplify the CO2 warming (positive feedback). The science appears to be settled. The planet’s feedback response to a change in forcing is negative not positive.
The following is the fourth paper that confirm that assertion. Also note the lack of warming for the last 17 years also confirms that assertion.
“On the Observational Determination of Climate Sensitivity and Its Implications
We estimate climate sensitivity from observations, using the deseasonalized fluctuations in sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and the concurrent fluctuations in the top-of-atmosphere (TOA) outgoing radiation from the ERBE (1985-1999) and CERES (2000-2008) satellite instruments. Distinct periods of warming and cooling in the SSTs were used to evaluate feedbacks. An earlier study (Lindzen and Choi, 2009) was subject to significant criticisms. The present paper is an expansion of the earlier paper where the various criticisms are taken into account. ….
….we show that simple regression methods used by several existing papers generally exaggerate positive feedbacks and even show positive feedbacks when actual feedbacks are negative. We argue that feedbacks are largely concentrated in the tropics, and the tropical feedbacks can be adjusted to account for their impact on the globe as a whole. Indeed, we show that including all CERES data (not just from the tropics) leads to results similar to what are obtained for the tropics alone – though with more noise.
… We again find that the outgoing radiation resulting from SST fluctuations exceeds the zerofeedback response thus implying negative feedback. In contrast to this, the calculated TOA outgoing radiation fluxes from 11 atmospheric models forced by the observed SST are less than the zerofeedback response, consistent with the positive feedbacks that characterize these models. The results imply that the models are exaggerating climate sensitivity.”
Those pushing the dystopia recommend an unelected world government to stave off the climate catastrophe. A massive carbon tax will fund the world government. The world government will fund “green” scams which a small group of people and those running the world government will benefit from. The consequence will be to turn the Western countries into economic versions of Greece. Massive debt, massive unemployment and more jobs shipped off to Asia and there will be no significant reduction in carbon dioxide emissions which is not a problem anyway.
“Effective World Government Will Still Be Need to Stave Off Climate Catastrophe
Unfortunately, far more is needed. To be effective, a new set of institutions would have to be imbued with heavy-handed, transnational enforcement powers. There would have to be consideration of some way of embracing head-in-the-cloud answers to social problems that are usually dismissed by policymakers as academic naivete. In principle, species-wide alteration in basic human behaviors would be a sine qua non, but that kind of pronouncement also profoundly strains credibility in the chaos of the political sphere. Some of the things that would need to be contemplated: How do we overcome our hard-wired tendency to “discount” the future: valuing what we have today more than what we might receive tomorrow? Would any institution be capable of instilling a permanent crisis mentality lasting decades, if not centuries? How do we create new institutions with enforcement powers way beyond the current mandate of the U.N.? Could we ensure against a malevolent dictator who might abuse the power of such organizations?”
The Canadian province of Ontario is leading the way for Canadians. Mission accomplished. No reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, a doubling of electrical prices, and massive public debt.
“Ontario FIT is a miracle–high electricity prices create jobs!
Liberal government maintains — and may expand–program that will help double province’s electricity prices
In a stunning display of twisted, top-down, bureaucratic job-creationism, Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal government Thursday charged ahead with its miracle-grow green energy program. Nearly a decade in power and it has learned nothing.
The McGuinty miracle is that by raising electricity prices for Ontario industry and consumers — to the point where they will have almost doubled by 2016 compared with 2007 — Ontario will become a giant jobs machine, contrary to all economic theory known to man. Where will the jobs come from? From massive forced investment in wind, solar and other forms of so-called renewable energy.
It works like this: Jobs killed by high energy prices will apparently be offset by jobs created via green energy programs that drive energy prices higher. Are there any economists in the Ontario government?”

March 25, 2012 6:49 pm

Why has no one sponsored a Climate X-Prize? Offer a few million to the one who can hind cast, forecast and model climate behavior best.
For a cynic the answer would be simple; there must exist a disincentive to such an evaluation.

March 25, 2012 7:10 pm

Willis Eschenbach says:
March 25, 2012 at 5:21 pm
“Import tariffs are how the rich countries got rich, and the current lack of them is the reason the poor countries stay poor. ”
That is not the case Willis.
Rich countries got rich as through trade and commerce by individuals and businesses operating in markets within and between nations. Poor countries stay poor (and once-rich countries become poor) when socialistic governments and bureaucrats (the regulators) interfere with markets by stiffling competition (protectionism) and by redirecting capital and the other means of economic production to serve their parasitical ends. That’s why the word ‘socialism’ is such a misnomer: ‘socialisation of the means of economic production means to take from the many and redirect it to the few…
But of course this inevitably leads to gross misallocations of the means of production because only free markets are capable of economic calculation. The result, as history has always shown, is extreme inflationary booms followed followed by equally extreme deflationary busts. In modern times, the control of money by the cartel (central) banksters and through this, the concentration of power via the corporatist nexus (‘corporatism’ is the term first used by the national socialist B. Mussolini to describe the merger of the State and key corporations) has been the most important single means by which this re-allocation of resources from the many to the few has occurred. This has been well understood for a long time now by the ‘Austrian School’ scholars eg. Von Mises, Hayek and many others.
The ‘dangerous climate change’ movement (and environmentalism, more generally) is clearly the latest ‘band-wagon’ used by the socialist elites to convince enough people that their grab for global power is in their interests. That’s why the internet is the latest battleground int eh age-old battle between libertarians and totalitarians (socialist elite) and why WUWT and other sites like it are so important.

Gail Combs
March 25, 2012 7:19 pm

Ed Mertin says:
March 25, 2012 at 5:01 pm
Can you be more specific in showing the links between “Mitt Romney sells out skeptics for campaign cash… and your linked articles? I think you missed a few steps or my brain is a bit too fuzzy because it is late.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
March 25, 2012 7:25 pm

US Commerce Department Acts to Protect Obama Administration from Further Embarrassment Over Funneling Taxpayer Funds to Failed and Failing Solar Energy Companies
Will Solyndra make a comeback?
Okay, the actual story is:

US to impose tariff on Chinese solar panels in victory for domestic makers
American solar panel manufactuers welcome Obama administration decision, saying it exposes unfair trade practices

Same effect. Domestic manufacturers may benefit, some may not go under immediately. Tariffs mentioned are only 2.9 to 4.73%, but may go much higher as they’re still investigating whether there was below-cost dumping. Costs for US PV installations are going up, maybe a big amount up.
Great timing too, since as seen with this panel vendor, you can buy a 20-count pallet of 240 watt Chinese-made panels for $0.99/watt. At that rate, solar might have become a good idea for a home installation without subsidies. Thankfully the Commerce Department is acting to nip that horror in the bud.

March 25, 2012 7:36 pm

A new study shows that both the MWP and the LIA appeared in the Antarctic Peninsula. It is important to note that the study applies to the Peninsula alone, which is subject to changes in ocean currents.

There is another fairly recent study where Phil Jones is a co-author that shows both the MWP and LIA in Patagonia, too.

March 25, 2012 7:40 pm

Sorry Willis, must disagree. We had protectionism in Australia as a national policy for decades until the 1970s, when tariffs and quotas began to be dismantled. It meant inferior products at higher prices (cars being a glaring example, but clothing and footwear were the same). This made ordinary consumers poorer, discouraged competition and innovation, and made it harder for us to export stuff. Why would a country buy our products if we placed restrictions on buying theirs? Everybody loses in trade wars.
There are anti-dumping laws, which prevent other countries from selling stuff here at below cost. But it makes no more sense to pay more than you have to for something in an external market than it does to do it in your own country. If Americans (or anyone else) need to spend less on cars or clothing which are imported, they ipso facto have a higher standard of living because of it. Economic value is maximised by doing what you have a comparative advantage at, whether referring to an individual or a country.

March 25, 2012 9:01 pm

continuing to make it up as they go along…
26 March: BBC: Richard Black: UK carbon measuring centre ‘to improve climate future’
The Centre for Carbon Measurement will be based at the National Physical Laboratory in south west London.
It will raise accuracy of climate data, support better emissions monitoring to ensure a fair carbon market, and verify claims made about low-carbon products.
It will be formally launched at the Planet Under Pressure event in London.
The four-day conference will see thousands of delegates discuss various aspects of social and environmental sustainability in the run-up to the Rio+20 summit in June…
“Data from ground based stations and satellites is fed into climate models, and they spit out conclusions on things like sea level rise and other climate impacts,” said Jane Burston, the CCM’s (Centre for Carbon Measurement)head.
“So the better data we have, the better we can make the models,” she told BBC News…
Scientists have previously shown that there can be wide disparities between emission levels reported by companies – which are usually based on calculations involving, for example, how much fuel they burn and the efficiency of their plant – and what is measured in the atmosphere…
“We need to make sure that our measurement infrastructure matches our level of ambition,” said Ms Burston.
“As the carbon market takes off and carbon becomes more expensive, we’re going to want to measure things better.”…
The centre will help manufacturers develop their products and measure their performance, in order to make sure that companies’ claims for “climate-friendliness” are based in reality…
David Willets, Minister for Universities and Science, whose government department manages the UK’s various national measurement programmes, said the science of measurement was essential in underpinning the transition to a low carbon economy.
“As the UK is a world leader in both measurement science and the centre of the global carbon market it is only right that we develop the right infrastructure to support this transition,” he said…
Richard will be at the Planet Under Pressure conference on Monday and Tuesday…

March 25, 2012 9:19 pm

Very well put johanna.
Without seeking to turn this into a political economy blog I find it does help my understanding of what others have termed “the climate wars” by stepping back and taking in a wider field of view… To that end, I have just found a short piece by Ron Paul which others might find interesting too. II hadn’t seen this piece before I wrote my response above, needless to say, Ron Paul explains some of what I was tryingto say far more eloquently and succinctly (andwith far fewer typo’s!).

March 25, 2012 10:57 pm

@- crosspatch
“There is another fairly recent study where Phil Jones is a co-author that shows both the MWP and LIA in Patagonia, too.”
Ongoing research is better defining the extent, timing and magnitude of the MWP and LIA.
I don’t understand the apparent enthusiasm for a warmer, globally synchronized MWP as it would indicate that climate sensitivity is at the higher end of estimates.
If the climate warmed a lot in the MWP then it responds more to small changes in energy input that we think.
That has implications for the climate response to the extra energy from the increasing CO2.

Paul Vaughan
March 25, 2012 10:59 pm

The Solar Cycle’s Footprint on Terrestrial Climate

The solar cycle’s footprint on terrestrial climate manifests as anomalies in the seasonal switching of the hemispheric westerly winds, as indicated by semi-annual lunisolar-integrated variations in the rate of change of length of day. North-south asymmetry (due to the current distribution of continents) is evident.
This result can be considered definitive.
It has absolute implications for ENSO research.
Note on context:
Much of the work I do is exploratory, aiming to sharpen questions where final answers evade, but my confidence in this finding is absolute.

March 25, 2012 11:37 pm

Meanwhile Willis, Canada is negotiating a free trade agreement with Japan, with the removal of the 6% tariff on cars, and I approve.
“Japanese cars being imported into Canada pay a tariff of about six per cent, and there’s concern that if there’s a free-trade deal that tariff will be lifted, which would mean, conceivably, that Japanese cars would be cheaper in Canada and competition would be a lot tougher.
“The prime minister says his government will do what it can for Canadian interests, but ultimately he says he has to negotiate a deal that is good for Canada’s economy,”
In other words, he is not engaging in crony capitalism, but is doing what is best for Canada overall.

Philip Bradley
March 26, 2012 12:52 am

Willis, from the book review at your link.
Erik Reinert shows how rich countries developed through a combination of government intervention, protectionism, and strategic investment, rather than through free trade.
False dichotomy. There are many examples of how government strategic investment, combined with free trade made countries richer. Of course governments have to make the right strategic decisions. Unfortunately in western democracies governments generally just end up pandering to special interest rent seekers.

Phil Joseph Juliansen
March 26, 2012 1:36 am

“Dyson agrees that anthropogenic global warming exists, and has written that “[o]ne of the main causes of warming is the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere resulting from our burning of fossil fuels such as oil and coal and natural gas.””
Source: wiki.
The guy doesn’t agree with the models, but he thinks AGW is real.

March 26, 2012 2:30 am

…the leaders of the 23 agencies, 130 sub-agencies, and 700 programs will continue to defend these programs even when faced with the hard data that their programs are economic failures.
The US Department of Energy was established in 1977 with the mission of championing alternative energy sources — nuclear, in particular — to reduce US dependence on oil from the Middle East.
Thirty-five years later, the DoE runs the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management, the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the Office of Environmental Management, the Office of Fossil Energy, the Office of Legacy Management (?), the Office of Nuclear Energy, Science & Technology, the Office of Science, the National Nuclear Security Administration (they’re in charge of the care and feeding of nuclear weapons), the Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence (adding one more participant in the NSA / CIA / FBI / DIA / HLS squabble), the Energy Information Administration, the Bonneville Power Administration, the Southeastern Power Administration, the Southwestern Power Administration, and the Western Area Power Administration — and has yet to accomplish its stated mission.

March 26, 2012 4:53 am

As far as I can discover the best, cheapest, cleanest and safest alternative source of power is LFTR. Why is it being ignored while the grossly expensive, inefficient, unsightly, environment-unfriendly wind farms are foisted upon us by our overlords? The British Deputy Prime Minister’s wife is a director of a Spanish company which builds wind turbines. Which other politicians and bureaucrats also have vested interests in wind and solar power?

March 26, 2012 5:03 am

They are full of fudge factors that are fitted to the existing climate, so the models more or less agree with the observed data.
This would be misleading. The early models would likely have used empirical relationships in line with limitations in detailed understanding of the physics and the limitations of computer performance.
Engineering uses the same practices without criticism.
Modern models use more an initio physics calculations and the empirical relationships are being obsoleted.
So in summary: once wrong, now out of date.

March 26, 2012 5:04 am

I have commented previously that the “solution” to CAGW is a “three-legged stool”. Recent events suggest that the stool actually has four legs.
Leg 1 – Zero global annual carbon emissions;
Leg 2 – Global veganism;
Leg 3 – Population control (~1 billion sustainable);
Leg 4 – Wealth redistribution; and,
Seat – Global governance.
I believe that the “stool” of CAGW would be one of the ugliest and most expensive pieces of “furniture” ever designed and constructed. (It would also be a “stool” which could not be picked up by its clean end.)
Ultimately, the advocates of CAGW would have those of us who remain live in a global vegan commune of drastically reduced population, approximating a hunter-gatherer society. They wonder aloud at our lack of enthusiasm for their “grand plan”. Amazing!

March 26, 2012 5:36 am

firetoice says:
March 26, 2012 at 5:04 am
Ultimately, the advocates of CAGW would have those of us who remain live in a global vegan commune of drastically reduced population, approximating a hunter-gatherer society.

…approximating a hunter-gatherer society existing solely to allow our self-assigned betters to live in the leisure they believe is their due.
Fixed it for ya.

cui bono
March 26, 2012 7:33 am

firetoice says (March 26, 2012 at 5:04 am)
“I believe that the “stool” of CAGW would be one of the ugliest and most expensive pieces of “furniture” ever designed and constructed.”
It would be more like a “stool” in the medical, excremental sense of the word.

March 26, 2012 10:47 am

Andrew says:
March 25, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Willis Eschenbach says:
March 25, 2012 at 5:21 pm

“Import tariffs are how the rich countries got rich, and the current lack of them is the reason the poor countries stay poor. ”

That is not the case Willis.

I used to believe as you do, Andrew. Read the book and come back and tell us why it’s wrong.

March 26, 2012 5:42 pm

Andrew says:
March 25, 2012 at 7:10 pm
Willis Eschenbach says:
March 25, 2012 at 5:21 pm
“Import tariffs are how the rich countries got rich, and the current lack of them is the reason the poor countries stay poor. ”
That is not the case Willis.
I used to believe as you do, Andrew. Read the book and come back and tell us why it’s wrong.
Many thanks for your response Willis and thanks also for raising my attention to this book.
I haven’t read it but if the reviews are anything to go by it is well worth doing so and I shall. At this point I have read a brief synopsis of Reinert’s boo and whilst my current understanding of this work may or may not prove to be adequate at this time, for what it’s worth, my initial thoughts/ comments are as follows:
1. I wonder if his central proposition actually confuses free-trade (ie. trade voluntarily entered into) with unfree models of trade, for example, of the form we have touched on above ie., of a corporatist (ie. coercive) form. Trade conducted by corporatist businesses under the cloak of free-trade which uses tricks like subsidy and other forms of state support to displace competitors and perhaps even to hollow-out the host’ economy (if the displacement occurs across industries) is certainly not “free-trade” in the ‘Austrian’ sense of the term.
2. If the argument is that economies/ markets need protection from socialistic-corporatist models of (coercive) trade then that certainly carries some weight, however, two wrongs don’t make a right…
3. The existence of considerable archaeological evidence of trade between groups prior to the formation of the nation state (or its prototypes) in many regions of the world unequivocally demonstrates that voluntary (free) trade must benefit all parties to it – otherwise they would not have been party to it and there would have been no evidence of trade.
4. As far as I am aware, it has never been suggested that trade in olive oil throughout the Mediterranean by the mobile Athenians prior to Solon in the 6th century BC (ie. before the nation state proper) deterred the growing of olive trees and production of oil by farmers in the Penepolise?
5. If we therefore discount forms of (unfree) trade conducted under the auspices of State-sponsored adventurism in all its forms eg., corporatism, conquest, colonialism, piracy, privateering etc (since none of are voluntary and by definition are therefore not free) does Reinert’s thesis hold any water at all?
6. Is there possibly something akin to F. Bastiat’s ‘broken window fallacy’ in Reinert’s thesis in as much that the argument that a broken window must benefit the glazier ignores the fact that the money to repair it must necessarily be taken from the budget available to spend at the tailors or the shoe shop.
As Johanna above points out extremely succinctly, protectionism (cf. Its counterpart being economic stimulation in Bastiat’s example) redistributes money from one part of the economy – by increasing the prices consumers must pay for the protected goods – and directs it to another. But there is no net gain in wealth.
7. The example of China’s recent history is not supportive of Reinert’s argument of alleged benefits of protectionism. Under Mao, there was almost zero growth. Almost all people remained in abject poverty (those that didn’t die in the many famines). By contrast, as China has opened up its trade to the world its economy has taken off like a rocket and it’s people have become much wealthier. The argument that this has only occurredas a result of Chiina’s external trade whilst protecting it’s own market is not correct.. China is full of foreign corporations. A great deal of the profits generated by Nike in manufacturing product in China, for example, flow back to the US.
So, we can say that from China’s experience that a more open economy = more growth and less poverty. Less open economies (more ‘protection’) means less growth for all but the protected industry/ corporate entity. If Reinert argues otherwise, then he how to account for account for China’s growth rate under Mao Tse Tung vs Deng Xia Ping.
They wre were both central planners afterall.
Just my initial thoughts Willis – happy for you to set me straight on any of the above.

Wayne Delbeke
March 26, 2012 5:58 pm

LazyTeenager says:
March 26, 2012 at 5:03 am
They are full of fudge factors that are fitted to the existing climate, so the models more or less agree with the observed data.
This would be misleading. The early models would likely have used empirical relationships in line with limitations in detailed understanding of the physics and the limitations of computer performance.
Engineering uses the same practices without criticism.
Not quite. In the “Old Days”, builders whose structures fell down were put to death so “empirical” formulae have always been conservative and still are. It has to be shown to WORK. Modern discipline in the engineering field is still fairly severe. You lose your right to practice.
The climate models are not conservative and science being science, does not have harsh penalties fro being wrong.

March 26, 2012 6:15 pm

Nicely put, Andrew. There is a big difference between free trade in the true meaning of the term and corrupted versions of it based on state interventions such as subsidies, tax breaks or imposition of conditions on trading partners like ‘environmental’ or ’employment’ standards which are really just a way of stifling competition.
The EU is one of the worst offenders with a raft of subsidies and attempts to make everyone comply with their self imposed economic suicide (the latest example being the airline tax). The current economic plight of most EU members is a salutary reminder of where that kind of insular mentality leads.
And yes, the Chinese economic boom coincides exactly with its opening up to world trade. Just as economic theory predicts, the benefits have also been spread to its trading partners – Australia would be in dire straits right now without our sales of raw materials to China and imports of cheap consumer goods from it.

March 26, 2012 6:53 pm

Thankyou johanna. Btw, you write beautifully. I much admire it.

March 26, 2012 9:53 pm

Why, thank you. And right back at you – I enjoyed your post too.
(Apologies mods, but compliments on writing on WUWT – except to Willis and Anthony – are rare and therefore valued).

March 26, 2012 11:47 pm

Great Freeman Dyson quote.
The original source is apparently here: http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=985641c9-8594-43c2-802d-947d65555e8e
From that story:
“Prof. Dyson explains that the many components of climate models are divorced from first principles and are “parameterized” — incorporated by reference to their measured effects.:
Dyson relates a story about Enrico Fermi:
“He replied, ‘How many arbitrary parameters did you use for your calculations?’ I thought for a moment about our cut-off procedures and said, ‘Four.’ He said, ‘I remember my friend Johnny von Neumann [the co-creator of game theory] used to say, with four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.’ With that, the conversation was over.”
“Prof. Dyson soon abandoned this line of inquiry. Only years later, after Fermi’s death, did new developments in science confirm that the impressive agreement between Prof. Dyson’s model and Fermi’s measurements was bogus, and that Prof. Dyson and his students had been spared years of grief by Fermi’s wise dismissal of his speculative model.”

March 27, 2012 3:15 pm

Great quotes Chris. I’m going to keep Fermi’s reply in a little draw somewhere and bring it out whenever the econometrics people starting referring to their silly rational-utility-maximising-agent models. Thanks!

Paul Vaughan
March 27, 2012 7:28 pm

Remember Tsonis’ stuff on network synchronization?
There’s a solar tie-in:
Solar-Terrestrial Resonance, Climate Shifts, & the Chandler Wobble Phase Reversal

March 29, 2012 6:43 am

We have a proverb: “Where there’s a lot of grandmother, children suffering from hernia.”
Thus, in considering the causes of climate change has many inadequacies and arbitrariness, not to speak of the ignorance of natural laws that are the generators of all phenomena in the solar system.
It is even impossible for so many arguments to find something that would correspond to natural laws.
Everything was done on the basis of measurements and mathematical models based on unnatural laws.
Did not then pay to waste time and reputation on the study of such data?
The elements of the solar system and their mutual interaction are relevant here and not a human factors as CO2.
If someone is interested, I have a mathematical proof.
Since this is a tremendously important and interesting field for humanity, I hope that you will not waste time to achieve this.
As can be seen from all the evidence so far, will not be much chance for this to happen.

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