Weekly Weather and Climate News Roundup

The Week That Was: 2012-05-12 (May 5, 2012) Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org)
The Science and Environmental Policy Project


Quote of the Week:

“Even a succession of professional scientists—including famous astronomers who had made other discoveries that are confirmed and now justly celebrated—can make serious, even profound errors in pattern recognition.” Carl Sagan [H/t Paul MacRae, see link under Questioning the Orthodoxy]


Number of the Week: 31.7% higher



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

Heartland Conference: The Heartland Institute’s Seventh International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-7) will take place in Chicago, Illinois from Monday, May 21 to Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at the Hilton Chicago Hotel, 720 South Michigan Avenue. The event will follow the NATO Summit taking place in Chicago on May 19–21. The Theme is Real Science, Real Choices. Open to the public, registration is required. http://climateconference.heartland.org/


Heartland Flap: Thursday, May 3, the Heartland Institute displayed an ad on an electric billboard on an expressway outside of Chicago. It featured a photo of Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, with the statement “I still believe in Global Warming. Do you?” From 1978 to his capture in 1996, Kaczynski mailed a number of bombs to unsuspecting academics and businessmen, eventually killing 3 people and severely injuring 5.

The negative reaction to the billboard was swift. Some supporters of Heartland were outraged. Donna Laframboise withdrew from her scheduled talk at the upcoming Heartland conference. Ross McKitrick demanded the billboard be withdrawn, and it was twenty-four hours after it began. The billboard is a negative example of the logical fallacy argumentum ad verecundiam, attempting to transfer the undesirable characteristics of some supporters of a particular position to all those supporting the position.

The outrage by the promoters of global warming and their allies in journalism was predictable. They immediately denounced Heartland and all those associated with it. The hypocrisy is typical. Many of the global warming promoters use similar tactics: logical fallacies that are effective, but for which they are not criticized. They accuse skeptics as being anti-science when skeptics point out that the physical science does not support the assertions and conclusions in the Summary for Policymakers of the Fourth Assessment Report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR4). They label skeptics as deniers, implying they are Holocaust deniers. These promoters claim that skeptics are shills for the tobacco industry, the oil industry, etc. In short, they try to eliminate any possibility of public, rational discourse on the scientific issues.

Therein is the dilemma. The side that is consistently using logical fallacies and irrational arguments is widely accepted by the general media. Should the skeptics use the same tactics, or should they continue to use rational arguments hoping to eventually persuade the general public? There is no easy answer. Czech physicist Lubos Motl advocates the former, Andrew Montford the latter. Under a different circumstance, but a related topic, Roger Pielke, Jr. expresses how difficult it is to engage in rational discourse with some global warming promoters. Please see links under Heartland Flap.


Death Threats: A year ago some Australian scientists who advocate global warming claimed they received death threats. This claim was broadcast around the world. Death threats are a crime in Australia. Now, it appears that no crime was committed, but the scientists may have received some nasty comments. Please see links under Communicating Better with the Public – Make Things Up.


EPA Hearings and Comments: The EPA has proposed rules that will effectively prevent all new coal-fired power plant construction in the US, effectively shutting down the industry in the future. On May 24, EPA is holding one-day public hearings in Chicago and Washington DC. Please contact Ms. Pamela Garrett, telephone 919-541-7966 or email: garrett.pamela@epa.gov. Written comments will be accepted until June 25, 2012. Instructions for submitting written comments (PDF); Read the proposed rule; Fact sheet summarizing the proposed rule (5pp, 157k); Regulatory Impact Analysis (PDF) (108pp, 1.28MB); Press release

On a related matter, West Virginia is normally a state favoring the Democratic Party. It is also a major East Coast producer of coal. On May 8, the state held its primary election for president. The Democratic ballot featured two candidates, President Obama and a felon in a Texas Federal prison for extortion. The prisoner received 41 percent of the vote.


Hydraulic Fracturing Safety: Thanks to aggressive publicity campaigns by environmental groups, many in the public question the safety of deep underground hydraulic fracturing, frac’ing, to extract oil and natural gas. Norm Kalmanovitch, a Canadian Professional Geophysicist with over 40 years experience world-wide, sent an article that presents actual data taken from the thousands of wells that used horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing in the Barnett Shale (Texas) and the Marcellus Shale (Pennsylvania) formations in the US. Of particular significance is the separation between the tops of the fractures closest to the surface and the depth of the aquifers. He also sent his personal comments on the difficulty of dealing with the environmental industry, which believes that no one in the extraction industries can be environmentally sensitive, and his comments why the capping of the BP Gulf oil spill took so long. Please see link under Energy Issues – US. Norm’s comments will be in next week’s TWTW.


Methane Hydrates: Essentially gas trapped in the crystal structure of water, methane hydrates are similar to ice and are found in marine sediments and in the Arctic regions. The extent of the gas is not fully understood, but hydrates can be a significant resource if the technology is developed to extract the gas at costs comparable to extraction of similar resources. A project on the North Slope of Alaska by ConocoPhillips and Japan Oil, partially funded by the US Department of Energy, has announced the successful extraction of methane from hydrates. This can be of particular significance to Japan, which has limited conventional natural gas (is importing liquefied natural gas) but may have significant resources of hydrates on its continental shelf. It remains to be seen how commercially viable this technology can become. Please see link under Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?


Sierra Club: A strident opponent of coal-generated electricity, the Sierra Club campaigned that natural gas was the clean alternative. The Club has bragged that it prevented the construction of some 150 coal fired power plants. Now that the EPA has proposed rules to prevent the construction new coal-fired power plants, the Sierra Club has begun a campaign calling natural gas a dirty fuel. Of course, the objective is to cripple the economy by shutting down all forms of energy use and electric power generation. Please see links under the Environmental Industry.


False Positives: As reader Stan Young alerted TWTW, reports continue that many medical and health studies cannot be replicated. The bulk of these studies tend to be what is termed “observational studies.” Actually, they largely involve statistical manipulation of large data bases, which sometimes can be very valuable, other times misleading. These are of great concern because such studies may become the basis of public policy. Certainly, the EPA has been known to be less than rigorous in invoking studies to proclaim public health threats. Please see Article #2 and links under Health, Energy, and Climate.


Number of the Week: 31.9% higher. According to a study by Robert Bryce of the Manhattan Institute, in 2010, the average price of residential electricity was 31.9% higher in states with renewable portfolio standards (RPS), mandates requiring purchase of renewable electricity, than in states without RPS. Twenty nine of the fifty states have RPS.

Bryce also found that of states with RPS, only Washington and Oregon are included in the ten states having the lowest utility rates. [Both states receive a great deal of electricity from the Bonneville Power Administration that has the largest hydroelectricity generating capacity in the nation.] Further, in the seven coal-dependent states with RPS, rates increased by 54.2 % from 2001 to 2010, twice the increase of coal-dependent states without mandates.

Although there may be other factors affecting the rates, the significant price differences should give pause to legislators considering similar mandates. Also, it gives an indication of the future as the EPA moves to shut down coal-fired power plants. Please see Article # 3 and 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. The ‘Crucify Them’ Presidency

Al Armendariz, the EPA official who resigned in disgrace this week, was no outlier among the Obama administration’s regulators.

By Kimberly Strassel, WSJ, May 3, 2012


2. Analytical Trend Troubles Scientists

By Gautam Naik, WSJ, May 4, 2012 [H/t ACSH]


“…both were so-called observational studies, in which scientists often use fast computers, statistical software and large medical data sets to analyze information collected previously by others. From there, they look for correlations, such as whether a drug may trigger a worrisome side effect.”

3. Gouged by the Wind

Renewable fuel mandates are raising electricity prices in the states.

Editorial, WSJ, May 4, 2012 [H/t Timothy Wise]


4. Virginia Could Be an Energy Power—If Washington Would Let It

In 2010, my state was poised to become the first on the East Coast permitted to produce oil and natural gas offshore. Then politics intervened.

By Bob McDonnell, WSJ, Apr 30, 2012





Science: Is the Sun Rising?

Climatic Effects of a Solar Minimum: Grand Solar Minimum and Climate Response Recorded for First Time in Same Climate Archive

By Staff Writers, Science News, May 6, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Abrupt cooling 2800 years ago in Germany.]

Climategate Continued

Yamal FOI Sheds New Light on Flawed Data

By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, May 6, 2012


[SEPP Comment: The cover-up of questionable actions by the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU)]

The administrators’ view

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, May 10, 2012


Acton and parliamentary privilege

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, May 10, 2012


[SEPP Comment: The University of East Anglia uses the same false techniques as the University of Virginia. Tell one party that requested emails do not exist; tell another that they do exist. Is this called academic integrity?]

Challenging the Orthodoxy

The Belief That CO2 Can Regulate Climate Is “Sheer Absurdity” Says Prominent German Meteorologist

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, May 9, 2012 [H/t ICECAP]


Our Response to Recent Criticism of the UAH Satellite Temperatures

By John Christy and Roy Spencer, Spencer’s Blog, May 9, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Countering yet another attempt to discredit the University of Alabama, Huntsville satellite measurements. Somewhat technical.]

Defending the Orthodoxy

The new “10 year plan” for global change

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, May 1, 2012


[SEPP Comment: The US Global Change Research Program announced a new ten year plan. Based on the announcement, it will use global climate models, adjusted for regions. Unfortunately, the models have never been validated and verified.]

Report: US oil boom won’t end price shocks, military commitment

By Ben Geman, The Hill, May 8, 2012


[SEPP Comment: This issue is not price stability; but energy security. The web site promotes electric cars that have a base price of $15,000 to $20,000 more than comparable gasoline cars.]

Questioning the Orthodoxy

Why climate science is a textbook example of groupthink

By Paul MacRae, WUWT, Apr 30, 2012


Global Warming Chorus Discord Rising To Feverish Pitch

By Larry Bell, Forbes, May 8, 2012


Climate Science Not Settled Nor Rock Solid: Quicksand Is Better Analogy

By Tim Ball, A Different Perspective, Apr 29, 2012


Hellfire and Heresy: Global Warming Hotheads Inflamed About Skeptical Challengers

By Larry Bell, Apr 29, 2012


Global warming crusaders lose steam, tempers

By Matt Petterson, Washington Examiner, May 6, 2012


Questioning European Green

“Sustainable energy” just isn’t …. well, sustainable

By Roger Helmer, MEP, His Blog, Apr 27, 2012


Green Energy Crisis: German Network Agency Calls For Suspension Of Emission Laws For Old Coal Plants

By D. Wetzel and D. Siems, GWPF, May 11, 2012


“The sun is giving us time to come up with smarter solutions for the Energiewende”

The optimistic message of Fritz Vahrenholt, climate dissenter and CEO of RWE Innogy

By Marcel Crok, European Energy Review, May 2, 2012 [H/t Gordon Fulks]


[SEPP Comment: Vahrenholt, who largely accepts the global warming orthodoxy, believes that the solar influence is greater than the IPCC states and a decline in solar activity will give the world time to adapt better to lower carbon dioxide emissions.]

Forget Global Warming And Move Up To Real Climate Change

By Andrew McKillop, Market Oracle, May 4, 2012


Energy policy should remain a top priority

By Martin Livermore, Scientific Alliance, May 9, 2012


Questioning Green Elsewhere

Canada won’t attain greenhouse gas goals: government

By Staff Writers, Montreal (AFP), May 8, 2012


[SEPP Comment: No surprise here after it pulled out of Kyoto Protocol.]

Expanding the Orthodoxy

Microsoft vows to go carbon neutral

By Staff Writers, San Francisco (AFP) May 8, 2012


[SEPP Comment: According to the May 9 Ycharts, Microsoft has a gross profit margin of 29.34%, about 4 times the profit margin of ExxonMobil at 7.26%. Which one makes the obscene profits? http://ycharts.com/companies/MSFT]

Rio + 20 – World Control?

Rio+20: Developing Nations Push Back Green Agenda

By Timothy Hermann, Turtle Bay and Beyond, May 10, 2012


EU lawmakers won’t go to Rio+20, can’t afford the hotel

By Lubos Motl, Reference Frame, May 10, 2012


[SEPP Comment: The legislators cannot afford to attend, but how many bureaucrats will attend?]

EU flying big team to Rio summit but to cap expenses

By Staff Writers, Brussels (AFP) May 10, 2012


[SEPP Comment: An approximate answer to the above question.]

‘Low’ expectations from new round of climate talks

By Staff Writers, Paris (AFP) May 11, 2012


Problems within the Orthodoxy

EU shifts climate change targets again

By Nitin Sethi, Times India, May 10, 2012 [H/t GWPF]


[SEPP Comment: The EU teaming with the Association of Small Island States (AOSIS) to fight the emerging economies such as India, China and Brazil.]

EU nations get cold feet over climate change fund

Green fund aims to channel up to $100 billion/yr by 2020

By Barbara Lewis, Reuters, May 7, 2012 [H/t Hugh Sharman]


Study finds stream temperatures don’t parallel warming climate trend

By Staff Writers, Corvallis, OR (SPX) May 07, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Could it be that the urban heat island effect affects land thermometers showing an increase in general temperatures?]

Heartland Flap and other Political Points

Why I Won’t Be Speaking at the Heartland Conference

By Donna Laframboise, NFC, May 5, 2012


McKitrick Letter to Heartland

By Ross McKitrick, Climate Audit, May 4, 2012


Kaczynski Heartland billboard wasn’t a blunder

By Lubos Motl, Reference Frame, May 5, 2012


On abusive analogy

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, May 6, 2012


What I Learned this Week

By Roger Pielke Jr, His Blog, May 11, 2012


Heartland climate conference keeps sponsors despite billboard controversy

By Andrew Restuccia, The Hill, May 7, 2012


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

Game Over for the Climate

By James Hansen, NYT, May 9, 2012


The UN’s Environmental ‘Holocausts’

By Donna Laframboise, NFC, Apr 30, 2012


Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

Clouds’ Effect on Climate Change Is Last Bastion for Dissenters

By Justin Gillis, NYT, Apr 30, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Advocacy journalism instead of reporting.]

The NYT Puts the Hit On

By Roger Pielke, Jr, His Blog, May 1, 2012


[SEPP Comment: See linked article immediately above.]

Paging David Appell – ‘death threats against climate scientists’ story even deader than yesterday

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, May 3, 2012


‘Death threat’ fictions

By Tony Thomas, Quadrant, May 7, 2012


Measurement Issues

A Summary Of Why The Global Annual-Average Surface Temperature Is A Poor Metric To Diagnose Global Warming

By Roger Pielke Sr, Climate Science, May 7, 2012


[SEPP Comment: A somewhat technical piece on an important issue.]

Changing Climate

Little Ice Age cold interval in West Antarctica: Evidence from borehole temperature at the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide

By Orsi, Cornuelle, & Severinghaus, GRL, May 9, 2012 [H/t Hockey Schtick]


[SEPP Comment: Chilling the claim that the Little Ice Age was not global.]

University of Pittsburgh Geologists Map Prehistoric Climate Changes in Canada’s Yukon Territory

By Staff Writers, Pittsburgh PA (SPX), May 10, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Recognizing that rapid climate change in the Arctic is not unusual. The actual web site of the Arctic Research Consortium states that during the Holocene thermal maximum (8000 years ago) Arctic sea ice was probably the smallest during the current interglacial period, roughly the past 12,000 years. Also step-like changes have occurred during the latter part of the Holocene. It is suggested that these are driven by slow changes in the earth’s orbit. http://www.arcus.org/synthesis8k/index.php.]

Decades of Data Show Spring Advancing Faster Than Experiments Suggest

By Leslie McCarthy for Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, NY (SPX) May 07, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Could it be due to carbon dioxide enrichment? A fact not recognized in the article.]


Changing Seas

No sea level rise catastrophe?

By Patrick Michaels, World Climate Report, May 9, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Greenland glacier flow varies and is not accelerating. Based on these observations, its contribution to sea level rise will be below the low end of that estimated by the IPCC.]

Nutrient supply after algal bloom determines the succession of the bacterial population

By Staff Writers,Munich, Germany (SPX), May 07, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Contradicting the usual explanation of algal blooms: “In the coastal zone of temperate regions a spring algal bloom is not a sign of excessive nutrient input, but most of all a consequence of the more intense solar irradiation in spring.”]

Changing Sea Ice

Two Russian Studies Of The Arctic Climate

By Roger Pielke Sr, Pielke Climate Science, May 4, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Among the findings are: a strong pulse of warm Atlantic water into the Arctic and the influence of glaciers on sea levels is much lower than described in the IPCC AR4.]

Cache of historical Arctic sea ice maps discovered

Arctic Sea ice data collected by DMI 1893-1961

By Frank Lansner, WUWT, May 2, 2012


[SEPP Comment: August Arctic sea ice extent declined significantly from 1923 to 1938]

Increasing speed of Greenland glaciers gives new insight for rising sea level

By Staff Writers, Seattle WA (SPX) May 10, 2012


[SEPP Comment: The first paragraph of the article contradicts the alarmist headline!]

Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine

G8 urged to elevate food security issues

By Staff Writers, Washington (UPI) May 8, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Stopping subsidies and mandates for Biofuels would be a start.]

Litigation Issues

D.C. Circuit Hears Case Challenging NRC Inaction on DOE’s Yucca Application

By Staff Writers, Power News, May 10, 2012


[SEPP Comment: After the Federal government collected $29 Billion from the utilities for a repository of spent fuel and wastes, it closed the only designated repository down.]

Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes

“Replace emission trading scheme with a carbon tax”

By Karel Beckman, European Energy Review, May 10, 2012


[SEPP Comment: In the European Emission Trading System it is the politicians that determine scarcity, therefore the price of carbon dioxide emissions.]

ADB urges action on climate change

By Staff Writers. Manila, Philippines (UPI) May 7, 2012


[SEPP Comment: No conflict of interest here – just planning to make some money on the carbon trading market.]

Subsidies and Mandates Forever

The High Cost of Renewable Electricity Mandates

By Robert Bryce, Manhattan Institute, Feb 2012


US Leads EU in CO2 Reductions

By Walter Russell Mead, American Interest, May 6, 2012 [H/t GWPF]


[SEPP Comment: Without national mandates or cap and trade, but state mandates are important.]

Wind Energy Without the PTC

By Lisa Linowes, Master Resource, May 10, 2012


[SEPP Comment: PTC is the production tax credit that, for wind, is set to expire at the end of 2012.]

The sorry lessons of green-power subsidies

By Gwyn Morgan, Globe and Mail, CA, Apr 30, 2012 [H/t SPPI]


EPA and other Regulators on the March

EPA official resigns over ‘crucify’ remark

By Ben Wolfgang, Washington Times, Apr 30 2012



The EPA is earning a reputation for abuse

Editorial, Washington Post, May 3, 2012


[SEPP Comment: The Washington Post fails to ask how common is the regulatory abuse by the EPA, particularly of the second type presented. Few have the ability to challenge the EPA in courts.]


The EPA Has Petroleum Processers Over A Barrel: Costly Regulations Produce Crude, Unrefined Results

By Larry Bell, Forbes, May 1, 2012


Beneath the EPA push to stop Pebble Mine

By Ron Arnold, Washington Examiner, May 10, 2012


Interior floats new draft rules to regulate oil-and-gas ‘fracking’

By Ben Geman, The Hill, May 4, 2012


Energy Issues – Non-US

The End of Peak Oil

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, May 8, 2012


Peak oil revisited: the real challenges are investment and sustainability, not availability

By Noe van Hulst, European Energy Review, May 7, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Sloppy definitions and sloppy analysis lead to poor policy.]

Energy Issues — US

Data Confirm Safety Of Well Fracturing

By Kevin Fisher, American Oil & Gas Reporter, Jul 2010 [H/t Norm Kalmanovitch]


Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Huge Natural Gas From Methane Hydrates Process Developed

By Staff Writers, New Energy and Fuel, May 3, 2012


Beware of federalizing ‘fracking’

By Robert Bradley, Jr, May 7, 2012


Texas Shale ‘Gusher’ Shows Why Fracking Is Important

Editorial, IBD, May 8, 2012


Shale Gas Explorer Says U.K. Production May Start in 2014

By Kari Lundgren, Bloomberg, May 10, 2012 [H/t GWPF]


Fracking approval creates land exploration surge

The announcement by the Environmental Agency, effectively approving the process of ’fracking’ for shale gas, will give a green light to energy companies seeking suitable land for exploration.

By Staff Writers, Farming UK, May 9, 2012 [H/t GWPF]


Vermont Primed to Become First U.S. State to Ban Fracking

By Staff Writers, Power News, May 10, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Environmental tokenism – no reserves and no natural gas industry.]

Washington’s Control of Oil and Gas

Virginia Could Be an Energy Power—If Washington Would Let It

In 2010, my state was poised to become the first on the East Coast permitted to produce oil and natural gas offshore. Then politics intervened.

By Bob McDonnell, WSJ, Apr 30, 2012


Obama Administration Regulatory Onslaught against American Energy Production Continues

By Staff Writers, ICECAP, May 4, 2012


Return of King Coal?

The Human Consequences of EPA’s War on Coal

By Lachlan Markay, The Foundry, May 3, 2012


If Obama is going to kill coal, he has to hide the body

By Alec Rawls, WUWT, May 11, 2012


[SEPP Comment: First, the all of the above for the administration’s energy plan omits coal which produces over 40% of the nation’s electricity. Then, it adds “clean” coal, whatever clean means.]

Nuclear Energy and Fears

Japan to go nuclear-free for first time since 1970

By Staff Writers, Tokyo (AFP) May 4, 2012


[SEPP Comment: No discussion of energy costs.]

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

Wind farms can cause climate change, finds new study

Wind farms can cause climate change, according to new research, that shows for the first time the new technology is already pushing up temperatures.

By Louise Gray, Telegraph, UK, Apr 29, 2012 [H/t James Syster]


[SEPP Comment: Reporters missing the point.]

Significance And Correction Of Misinterpretation By The Media Of The Zhou Et Al 2012 Paper “Impacts Wind Farms On Land Surface Temperature”

By Roger Pielke Sr, Pielke Climate Science, May 1, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Clearing up misunderstandings concerning the study on wind farms. See link immediately above.]

Use of Public and Private Dollars for Scaling Up Clean Energy Needs a Reality Check, Say Scholars

By Staff Writers, Science Daily, May 1, 2012 [H/t Anne Debeil]


[SEPP Comment: A call for more clean energy with smarter and more focused policies. But the article fails to address two major hurtles. One, solar and wind need reliable back-up. Two, except for pumped hydro, there is no commercial scale storage of electricity.]

Report: Solar Power’s Incentivization Is Similar to That of Other Energy Sources

By Staff Writers, Power News, May 10, 2012


[SEPP Comment: The oil industry and the coal utility industry started without subsidies or mandates. It was only after high income taxes, and the industries proved to be valuable, did the subsidies come. The solar utility industry has yet to prove itself as valuable.]

China to supply solar power to Japan?

By Staff Writers, Beijing (UPI), May 9, 2012


[SEPP Comment: The article states: “More than 90 percent of solar panel products made in China are intended for export.” The statement supports the contention that the heavy investment by China into solar was for export, not domestic consumption. China will continue to lead in the domestic production of electricity from coal, hydro and nuclear. So much for claims of a race with China for 21st century technology.]

Carbon Schemes

Norway boasts world’s largest carbon dioxide capture lab

By Staff Writers, Oslo (AFP), May 7, 2012


Growth of Carbon Capture and Storage Stalled in 2011

By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX) May 10, 2012


[SEPP Comment: The number of CCS operating facilities has not increased since 2009. The economic viability of the technology has yet to be demonstrated. It can be a viable way of extracting more oil or gas from existing reservoirs, but stand alone projects are another matter. Without major technological breakthroughs, it is doubtful it CCS would be viable except for punitive regulation of carbon dioxide emissions.]

Duke Power Plant Boondoggle to Cost Customers Plenty

By Paul Chesser, NLPC, May 8, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Among other issues, this public utility, subject to state and Federal controls, guarantees a loan to a political party.]

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC

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

The “Rescue and Mining” of Previously Neglected New Zealand Sea Level Data

Reference: Hannah, J. and Bell, R.G. 2012. Regional sea level trends in New Zealand. Journal of Geophysical Research 117: 10.1029/2011JC007591.


[SEPP Comment: From the newly derived trends: 1.7+/-0.1 mm/yr (6.7 in / cy).

Arctic vs. Global Air Temperature Change

Reference: Chylek, P., Folland, C.K., Lesins, G., Dubey, M.K. and Wang, M. 2009. Arctic air temperature change amplification and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. Geophysical Research Letters 36: 10.1029/2009GL038777.


[SEPP Comment: According to the findings both global warming and cooling trends are amplified in the Arctic. The warming period of 1910-40 and the cooling period of 1940-70 were amplified to a greater extent than the current warming period.]

The Greening of Canada’s Herschel Island: A Fine Example of the Biological Awakening of the Circumpolar Arctic

Reference: Myers-Smith, I.H., Hik, D.S., Kennedy, C., Cooley, D., Johnstone, J.F., Kenney, A.J. and Krebs, C.J. 2011. Expansion of canopy-forming willows over the twentieth century on Herschel Island, Yukon Territory, Canada. Ambio 40: 610-623


Stormy Periods Over the Northwestern Mediterranean Sea

Reference: Sabatier, P., Dezileau, L., Colin, C., Briqueu, L., Bouchette, F., Martinez, P., Siani, G., Raynal, O. and Von Grafenstein, U. 2012. 7000 years of paleostorm activity in the NW Mediterranean Sea in response to Holocene climate events. Quaternary Research 77: 1-11.


Health, Energy, and Climate

Global Warming Policies Might Be bad For Your Health

Policies to reduce global warming may be doing more harm than good to public health in both developing and industrialised countries. This is the conclusion of a new report published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

By Indur Goklany and Paul Reiter, GWPF, May 2, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Summary of the report, the full report is available on the web site.]

Pseudo-evidence is not science: Manipulating statistics

By Staff Writers, ACSH, May 7, 2012


Environmental Industry

War Over Natural Gas About to Escalate

Sierra Club launches ‘Beyond Gas’ campaign.

By Amy Harder, National Journal, May 3, 2012


[SEPP Comment: The beginning the next phase of a concentrated campaign to ban energy use, including electricity.]

The Sierra Club Opposes ‘Clean Energy’

Greens have a new way to strangle energy production: regulating carbon.

By Robert Bryce, National Review, May 8, 2012


Environmental groups collecting millions from federal agencies they sue, studies show

By Joshua Rhett Miller, Fox News, May 8, 2012 [H/t GWPF]


How climate change has got Worldwide Fund for Nature bamboozled

WWF has travelled too far from its original aim, to protect endangered species.

By Christopher Booker, Telegraph, UK, May 5, 2012 [H/t Anne Debeil]


Other Scientific News

ESA declares end of mission for Envisat

By Staff Writers, Paris, France (ESA) May 11, 2012


Mars: climate change faster than thought

By Lubos Motl, Reference Frame, May 10, 2012


No hiding this decline – NAS/NRC report: ‘U.S. system of environmental satellites is at risk of collapse.’

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, May 3, 2012


Self-reported asthma rising while death rates decline…what gives?

By Staff Writers, ACSH, May 3, 2012


60 percent reduction in acidity of Delaware rain

By Teresa Messmore, Newark DE (SPX), May 11, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Interesting to see if the measurements at one location are reproduced at other locations.]

Other News that May Be of Interest

Beijing to get rid of 1,200 polluting enterprises

By Staff Writers, Beijing (AFP), May 9, 2012




‘Super moon’ bad news for Tuvalu

By Michael Field, Stuff, NZ, May 4, 2012


[SEPP Comment: The islands did not drown. Perhaps King Canute held back the tides after all.]

Dinosaur Farts May Have Warmed Prehistoric Earth

Jennifer Welsh, LiveScience, May 7, 2012 [H/t Warren Wetmore]


Hall Of Fame Broadcaster Blames ‘Climatic Changes’ For Increase In Home Runs

By Staff Writer, CBS, May 1, 2012 [H/t Timothy Wise]


[SEPP Comment: It is not better conditioning, or drugs; it’s global warming!]


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May 14, 2012 10:18 am

Oh dear – the second item look horribly like an attempt to justify the unjustifiable Heartland ads.
There is no dilemma – admit you got it wrong and apologise – end of.

Scottish Sceptic
May 14, 2012 10:19 am

The side that is consistently using logical fallacies and irrational arguments is widely accepted by the general media. Should the skeptics use the same tactics, or should they continue to use rational arguments hoping to eventually persuade the general public?
If are a scientist … you don’t do something like this.
Does the Heartland institute do research? More importantly is it paid out of the public purse to give impartial advice to government?
The Heartland institute did nothing wrong. As far as I can see they did what they were paid to do and that is get the message across. Indeed, perhaps the real message is why isn’t this acceptable for a sceptic lobbyist when the warmist “scientists” have been behaving like this for years.

May 14, 2012 11:08 am

Every time I open one of these roundups I think to myself that I ought to thank Anthony for conveying it and SEPP for compiling it. So here I go: Thank you!

Kelvin Vaughan
May 14, 2012 11:16 am

Science: Is the Sun Rising?
Climatic Effects of a Solar Minimum: Grand Solar Minimum and Climate Response Recorded for First Time in Same Climate Archive
By Staff Writers, Science News, May 6, 2012
[SEPP Comment: Abrupt cooling 2800 years ago in Germany.]
I think it’s happening again!

Phil C
May 14, 2012 11:40 am

They accuse skeptics as being anti-science when skeptics point out that the physical science does not support the assertions and conclusions in the Summary for Policymakers of the Fourth Assessment Report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR4).
Can you direct me to the peer-reviewed scientific publications that prove that the physical science does not support the IPCC conclusions?

Jim G
May 14, 2012 11:42 am

The leftists are street fighters, so if the right fights by the Marquis de Queensbury rules, who do you suppose will win? We have too many whimps, and I don’t mean the sub-atomic particle, in the conservative camp.

Ian Hoder
May 14, 2012 1:23 pm

Heartland was wrong to put up the ads. To claim there is some sort of justification in using a “logical fallacy” just because the side you are arguing against uses similar logical fallacies is childish. I’m sure Glieck had similar arguments to justify his subterfuge in obtaining Heartland documents illegally. “Gee, they play dirty. I’m just doing the same.”
Facts will win out in the end.

Gunga Din
May 14, 2012 3:10 pm

imoira says:
May 14, 2012 at 11:08 am
Every time I open one of these roundups I think to myself that I ought to thank Anthony for conveying it and SEPP for compiling it. So here I go: Thank you!
Agreed! 20+ years SEPP was the first site I found that seemed to straight shooters.

May 14, 2012 4:58 pm

Phil C says:
May 14, 2012 at 11:40 am
“Can you direct me to the peer-reviewed scientific publications that prove that the physical science does not support the IPCC conclusions?”
You have it the wrong way round. Phil C. The null hypothesis says that the climate does what it always does. It is up to the ones who postulate a different hypothesis to prove their point. And they can’t. The positive water vapor feedback that they need for their projections is thoroughly debunked.

Gail Combs
May 14, 2012 5:38 pm

Over at Bishop Hill, about the article The administrators’ view, this comment from Stan has to be one of the best put downs of the learned societies including the Royal Society I have seen yet.

I think a better focus for the national academies would be to try to come up with a way for science journals to publish studies that will hold up upon replication. Instead of telling politicians how to do politics, lawyers how to do law, and economists how to do economics, perhaps they could find some time to work on a way to get scientists to raise their level of performance to the point of reaching some degree of basic competence.

Gail Combs
May 14, 2012 5:49 pm

Phil C says:
May 14, 2012 at 11:40 am
“Can you direct me to the peer-reviewed scientific publications that prove that the physical science does not support the IPCC conclusions?”
How about a WHOLE BOOK that debunks the IPCC as in The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert

Almost nothing we’ve been told about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is true.
The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change writes a report informally known as the Climate Bible. Cited by governments around the world, this report is the reason carbon taxes are being introduced, heating bills are rising, and costly new regulations are being imposed. It is why everyone thinks carbon dioxide emissions are dangerous.
But rather than being written by a meticulous, upstanding professional in business attire (aka the world’s top scientists & best experts), the Climate Bible is produced by a slapdash, slovenly teenager who has trouble distinguishing right from wrong (aka, activists, 20-something graduate students, people appointed due to their gender or their country).
The world needs to confront the folly that is the IPCC. http://anhonestclimatedebate.wordpress.com/tag/the-delinquent-teenager/

May 14, 2012 6:33 pm

Before I finish reading the rest of the post, I want to say Ross and Donna can kiss my @$$. Those people have carried the torch and have endured more abuse than what any small think tank should. And, they’ve carried both of your water for a bit as well. Well, I had a nice heartfelt rant, but I’ll just state I’ve lost a bit of respect for both.
If either one of you two had the damned sense to actually inspect Kaczynski’s blather misanthropy, you’d see that it parallels with the CAGW/CC people and mindset. Kaczynski is a Luddite. So are the rest of the imbecilic crowd of alarmists. His manifesto that called for a worldwide revolution against the effects of modern society’s “industrial-technological system”. Kaczynski asserts that “the Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race.”
Let’s see how that differs from the rest of the Malthusian misanthropists………

“The only real good technology is no technology at all. Technology is taxation without representation, imposed by our elitist species (man) upon the rest of the natural world.”—-John Shuttleworth, founder of Mother Earth News magazine
“Complex technology of any sort is an assault on human dignity. It would be little short of disastrous for us to discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy, because of what we might do with it.”- Amory Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute

I would assume both Ross and Donna are familiar with Amory…. right? The only difference between Kaczynski and that other group of misanthropists is that Kaczynski didn’t advocate global totalitarianism.
And, SEPP, there is, indeed, an easy answer as to how to engage these people. But, one must have the intestinal fortitude and intellectual honesty to call a spade, a spade. This isn’t some collegial disagreement as to how best to execute some simple chess strategy. The people we are engaged with mean to do much more harm than Kaczynski did. Kaczynski is a raving lunatic scumbag. And, so are his fellow believers. I don’t state this because it is simply a belief of mine. I state this because the enviro-alarmists said they are.

“…every time someone dies as a result of floods in Bangladesh, an airline executive should be dragged out of his office and drowned.”—–George Monbiot, a UK Guardian environmental journalist
“An ecocatastrophe is taking place on earth…..discipline; prohibition, enforcement and oppression are the only solution.” “As for those “most responsible for the present economic growth and competition”, Linkola explains that they will be sent to the mountains for “re-education” in eco-gulags: “the sole glimmer of hope,” he declares, “lies in a centralised government and the tireless control of citizens.”—Pentti Linkola, a Finnish ecological philosopher
“Global Sustainability requires the deliberate quest of poverty, reduced resource consumption and set levels of mortality control.”— Professor Maurice King

Heartland was spot on. You can read more quotes about their misanthropy here…… http://suyts.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/how-i-know-enviro-alarmists-are-misanthropists-and-work-against-human-advancement/

May 14, 2012 6:35 pm

Phil C says:
May 14, 2012 at 11:40 am
Can you direct me to the peer-reviewed scientific publications that prove that the physical science does not support the IPCC conclusions?
Can you direct me to any publication that proves the IPCC assertions?

Werner Brozek
May 14, 2012 6:44 pm

Phil C says:
May 14, 2012 at 11:40 am
Can you direct me to the peer-reviewed scientific publications that prove that the physical science does not support the IPCC conclusions?

Will you be OK with just the facts? The IPCC says if we do nothing about CO2, the average projection is a 3.0 C increase in temperature by the end of the century. This corresponds to about 0.3 C per decade. However not much has happened over the last 10 to 15 years. Details are below.
With the UAH anomaly for April at 0.295, the average for the first third of the year is (-0.09 -0.112 + 0.108 + 0.295)/4 = 0.05025. If the average stayed this way for the rest of the year, its ranking would be 12th. This compares with the anomaly of 2011 at 0.153 to rank it 9th for that year.
With the RSS anomaly for April at 0.333, the average for the first third of the year is (-0.058 -0.12 + 0.074 + 0.333)/4 = 0.05725. If the average stayed this way for the rest of the year, its ranking would be 21st. This compares with the anomaly of 2011 at 0.147 to rank it 12th for that year.
With the GISS anomaly for April at 0.56, the average for the first third of the year is (0.34 + 0.39 + 0.46 + 0.56)/4 = 0.4375. If the average stayed this way for the rest of the year, its ranking would be 13th. This compares with the anomaly of 2011 at 0.514 to rank it 9th for that year.
With the Hadcrut3 anomaly for March at 0.305, the average for the first three months of the year is 0.239. If the average stayed this way for the rest of the year, its ranking would be 18th. This compares with the anomaly of 2011 at 0.34 to rank it 12th for that year.
So on all four of the above data sets, for their latest anomaly, the 2012 average is colder than their 2011 average value.
On all data sets, the different times for a slope that is flat for all practical purposes range from 10 years and 7 months to 15 years and 6 months. Following is the longest period of time (above10 years) where each of the data sets is more or less flat. (For any positive slope, the exponent is no larger than 10^-5, except UAH which was 0.00055083 per year so this one really cannot be considered to be flat.)
1. RSS: since November 1996 or 15 years, 6 months (includes April)
2. HadCrut3: since January 1997 or 15 years, 3months
3. GISS: since March 2001 or 11 years, 2 months (includes April)
4. UAH: since October 2001 or 10 years, 7 months (includes April)
5. Combination of the above 4: since October 2000 or 11 years, 6 months
6. Sea surface temperatures: since January 1997 or 15 years, 3 months
7. Hadcrut4: since December 2000 or 11 years, 5 months (includes April using GISS. See below.)
See the graph below to show it all for #1 to #6.
For #7: Hadcrut4 only goes to December 2010 so what I did was get the slope of Hadcrut3 from December 2000 to the end of December 2010. Then I got the slope of Hadcrut3 from December 2000 to the present. The DIFFERENCE in slope was that the slope was 0.0055 lower for the total period. The positive slope for Hadcrut4 was 0.0041 from December 2000. So IF Hadcrut4 were totally up to date, I conclude it would show no slope for at least 11 years and 5 months going back to December 2000. (By the way, doing the same thing with GISS gives the same conclusion, but includes April in addition.) See:

May 14, 2012 7:22 pm

[SEPP Comment: The beginning the next phase of a concentrated campaign to ban energy use, including electricity.]
Huh? This has been their primary focus since the beginning! You haven’t seen them campaigning against heating or cooking, yet, have you? While they’ve blathered about the oil industry they haven’t advocated anything which would remotely threaten transportation. They’ve been after the energy all along.
As far as going after nat gas now, that was as predictable as the sun rising. As soon as the EPA effectively killed coal, nat gas was next. The irony isn’t lost upon some of us, knowing that the nat gas industry funded the attack on coal. Blithering dithering idiots. I am in awe of their fantastic stupidity and their entire disregard for the economic condition of the average American citizen.
They’ll come after transportation after they spend the money nat gas gave them to destroy the nat gas electric gen industry. Then the cooking and heating. Nat gas accomplished nothing but expediting the hit order.

Brian H
May 14, 2012 8:15 pm


Quote of the Week:
“Even a succession of professional scientists—including famous astronomers who had made other discoveries that are confirmed and now justly celebrated—can make serious, even profound errors in pattern recognition.” Carl Sagan

is amusing, as he himself went whole hog for the “Runaway greenhouse effect on Venus”, which doesn’t exist.

May 15, 2012 4:44 am

Phil C says:
May 14, 2012 at 11:40 am
Can you direct me to the peer-reviewed scientific publications that prove that the physical science does not support the IPCC conclusions?
— — —
Its really quite simple Phil. The statements in the Summary for Policymakers did not match the scientific components contained in the IPCC AR4. Its right there, you can read it for yourself.

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