Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project
Quote of the Week:
“As an agency, NASA does not draw conclusions and issue ‘claims’ about research findings.”
Waleed Abdalati, NASA Chief Scientist, April 11, 2012
“Eight days later, at a senate hearing, Dr. Abdalati, did just that, concluding that Sea-Level rise within the next 87 years projects within a range of 0.2 meters to 2 meters, with lower ranges less likely while ‘the highest values are based on warmest of the temperature scenarios commonly considered for the remainder of the 21st century.’” Letter to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden from 41 former NASA astronauts, scientists and senior administrators. May 11, 2012
Number of the Week: $2.575 Billion US
By Ken Haapala, Executive Vice President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
Heartland Conference: The three-day Seventh International Conference on Climate Change, Real Science Real Choices, sponsored by the Heartland Institute ran from Monday morning to Wednesday afternoon. Even though the decision to hold the conference was not made until three months ago, it was well conducted. The late decision was probably one reason the attendance was about 300. SEPP was a co-sponsor of the event.
Václav Klaus: Of the many highlights, Monday’s dinner speech by Václav Klaus, the President of the Czech Republic, was particularly memorable. President Klaus left the NATO conference, also being held in Chicago, to deliver his address. He thanked Heartland for holding the conference and keeping the global warming issue alive. He also thanked the bloggers who disseminate important information questioning the orthodoxy.
President Klaus emphasized that, as the globe fails to warm, global warming alarmists have become quieter; but, the idea of human-caused dangerous global warming is heavily engrained in the thinking of many in Europe, as it is in the US, even though the language has morphed into climate change. The basic faulty thinking, and science, still applies. Very simply, governments cannot stop global warming / climate change by controlling carbon dioxide emissions.
To President Klaus, global warming alarmists “have succeeded in establishing the religion of environmentalism as the official religion of Western society – a religion that demands a radical transformation of Western civilization. Skeptics must continue the ideological battles. As he has stated previously, the purpose of this entire issue is to control human behavior – human liberty. “The subtitle of my five years old book was “What is Endangered: Climate or Freedom?” There is no doubt that it is all about freedom. We should keep that in mind.” Please see Article # 1 or http://www.klaus.cz/clanky/3104
NASA 49: Another memorable highlight was the breakfast talk given by four representatives of the NASA 49 – former NASA astronauts, scientists, and senior administrators who sent a letter to Charles Bolden, the administrator of NASA, requesting that NASA stop making scientifically unsupported claims about science. “The unbridled advocacy of CO2 being the major cause of climate change is unbecoming of NASA’s history of making an objective assessment of all available scientific data prior to making decisions or public statements.” NASA responded, prompting a second letter from the NASA 49. The quote of the week is taken from that second letter. Apparently, the senior scientist of NASA is not made of “the right stuff.” Perhaps he should be reminded of the Apollo mission motto: “In God we trust; all others bring data!” Please see Article # 2.
Scientific Consensus: As can be expected in any conference featuring independently-thinking scientists studying the physical causes of climate change, there was no general agreement on the causes of the 20th century warming. However, there was general agreement that the hypothesis of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is not supported by the physical science – i.e., that atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is the principal cause, while all else is little more than background noise. About 50 supporters of IPCC science were personally invited, but none attended.
Some attendees thought that the principal causes are internal to the earth, such as changes in the ocean oscillation such as the thermohaline circulation (THC), or the Pacific Decadal (PDO), and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillations (AMO). To some the influence of CO2 is slight, to others it is fairly significant – a doubling of CO2 would lead to an increase in global temperatures of about 2 deg C.
Others presented their research suggesting the primary cause is external to the earth. One suggestion is that the primary cause may be the sun alone. Still others suggested the primary cause is high energy cosmic rays, modulated by the sun, hitting the atmosphere and creating changes in cloud cover.
The willingness to discuss and sharply question alternative hypotheses was a refreshing change to the all consuming IPCC hypothesis which simply cannot explain the earth’s climate history or why there has been no warming trend for over a decade.
Collaboration: Several researchers mentioned that prior conferences have led to collaboration on research efforts that probably would not have occurred without the conferences. Given the “group think” that is common in a great deal of climate research, Heartland is providing a valuable service to the public.
Communicating with the Public: Several very useful suggestions for communicating with the public were made during the panel on communication. One suggestion was to request those who agree to spend one or two hours a week expressing their views with their friends and colleagues. A second suggestion was to start public talks off with a relevant question. One example is how much carbon dioxide is there in the atmosphere and how much do humans contribute. A second example is to show one of the photos of power plants emitting what appears to be dark smoke that commonly accompany stories on CO2 or global warming and ask what color is CO2. Of course, it is invisible and in the US the photos are taken under special lighting conditions or with special lenses.
The Heartland Controversy: Prior to the conference, the Heartland Institute posted a billboard that offended a number of skeptics. The billboard featured the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, emphasizing his belief in dangerous man-made global warming. After objections were raised, Heartland took down the billboard within 24 hours. [For the 50th reunion, the Harvard University Alumni Association directory had an entry by Kaczynski who is a 1962 graduate and listed his occupation as “prisoner” and entered “8 life sentences” under the “Awards” section. http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/harvard-apologizes-including-unabomber-alumni-directory-192547071.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=feed. ]
What clearly comes from the conference and subsequent discussions is that public needs to become more aware that the science is not settled and that there are major issues with the IPCC hypothesis. Whether or not Heartland’s tactic was appropriate is a personal matter. Whether or not it was effective is for Heartland to decide.
Protests: Starting Saturday, protestors of the NATO conference began hitting the streets of Chicago. Several stayed on to protest Heartland. A few conference attendees, including Lord Christopher Monckton and Marc Morano, walked to the protestors to engage them in a discussion. They refused. Monckton made quite a show at counting the protestors, all 47(?). At least some carried a sign to which all can agree: “Climate Change Is Real.”
Conference Videos: Videos of the speeches and from the conference are being posted on the web site: http://climateconferences.heartland.org/iccc7/ Extensive coverage by the Canada Sun News is found at: http://blog.heartland.org/2012/05/excellent-sun-news-network-coverage-of-heartlands-seventh-international-climate-conference/
EPA Testimony: On Thursday, the EPA held the only public hearings on its proposed new rules, “Carbon Pollution Standards on New Power Plants.” One hearing was in Chicago and one was in Washington. The Washington hearing was packed with environmental groups, all claiming that coal-fired power plants should be closed down for reasons of public health. A man-of-the-cloth testified that the power plants of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) endanger the health of those living in nearby cities. One wonders if he has an understanding of public health conditions in the southern Appalachian Mountains before there was a TVA.
Though not expecting any positive results from the EPA, Ken Haapala represented SEPP. He pointed out that the proposed rules are based on the EPA’s faulty finding that greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare, which is currently being litigated (Endangerment Finding). Further, the endangerment finding is based on predictions from computer models that have never been validated and verified; thus are speculative. The models are failing because they did not predict the current trend of no warming.
Submitted with the testimony is a table stating the level of understanding of the global temperature forcing factors considered by the IPCC models, from IPCC-AR4. According to the table, the level of understanding of 11 of the 16 forcing factors considered in the models is low to very low. Given the great uncertainty of the inputs to the models, no high level of certainty can be attributed to the products of the models.
Also, the testimony pointed out that the EPA Inspector General has found that EPA failed to perform an independent analysis of the science, as required under the Data Quality Act, and it even failed to consult its own Science Advisory Board. All three NIPCC reports were submitted for the record.
Almost surprisingly, one gentleman approached Haapala after his testimony. Apparently a retired Army colonel, this gentleman stated he had never heard anyone articulately question the science. During the ensuing discussion it became evident the man was fairly well read. This discussion underlined the importance of the work of Heartland and the need to communicate with the public.
Number of the Week: $2.575 Billion US. Last week TWTW stated that a study from the Congressional Research Service to Senator Inhofe reported that United States government is spending $68.4 Billion on Climate Change Activities from Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 to FY 2012. Of this amount a total of $2.575 Billion is classified under “Global Climate Change Initiative (International).” The United States is a major source of funding for the IPCC and associated elaborate international conferences, such as the upcoming Rio+20.
For the numbered articles below please see this week’s TWTW at: http://www.sepp.org. The articles are at the end of the pdf.
1. Notes for the Heartland Institute Conference Speech
By Václav Klaus, President Czech Republic. May 21, 2012 [H/t WUWT]
2. Letter to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden
By 41 former NASA astronauts, scientists and senior administrators. May 11, 2012
3. Scientific Method and Climate Change
NZ Climate Truth Newsletter No 294
By Vincent Gray, May 25, 2012
4. The Market-Driven Energy Revolution
Prices more than policy are driving the U.S. boom in oil and natural gas production.
By Joel Kurtzman, WSJ, May 21, 2012
5. Franken-energy can’t survive on its own
Dr. Charles Battig, Letter, Richmond Times Dispatch, May 23, 2012
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Will a penalty be called for Keith Briffa’s excessively curved hockey stick?
By Andrew Montford & Harold Ambler, National Review, May 24, 2012 [H/t GWPF]
[SEPP Comment: A clear discussion of the withholding of data to hide the decline – tree ring data show no significant increase in temperatures during the latter part of the 20th century.]
Suppression of Scientific Inquiry
Why Scientists Have Squandered Public Trust
By Steven Hayward, Power Line, May 24, 2012 [H/t GWPF]
Challenging the Orthodoxy
Deal with climate reality as it unfolds
Policymakers have quietly given up trying to cut carbon dioxide emissions
By Bob Carter, Financial Post, May 23, 2012 [H/t ICECAP]
Lamb’s science to the slaughter
By Verity Jones, ICECAP, May 22, 2012
[SEPP Comment: A look into the capture of Climatic Research Unit by the “blame humans first” crowd.]
Climate Change of the IPCC is Daylight Robbery
By Tim Ball, A Different Perspective, May 23, 2012
Premonitions of the Fall (in temperature)
By David Archibald, WUWT, May 20, 2012
[SEPP Comment: Climate change knowledge from the past – ignored in the present.]
Sceptic at the Herald [Sydney, AU]
By Des Moore, Quadrant, May 21, 2012
Each weekend the Sydney Morning Herald’s News Review poses a question and invites answers from four people; most recently they asked a climate sceptic to take part.
Defending the Orthodoxy
1,000 years of climate data confirms Australia’s warming
By Staff Writers, Melbourne, Australia (SPX), May 24, 2012
[SEPP Comment: From the Little Ice Age?]
A viable clean-energy bill at last?
Editorial, Washington Post, May 19, 2012 [H/t Timothy Wise]
[SEPP Comment: According to Senator Inhofe this shall not pass.]
Fracking is not the answer to energy crisis, UK Minister admits, as he orders shale gas survey
Ed Davey, the Lib Dem Energy Minister, has hit out at his Tory colleagues for suggesting that fracking for shale gas will solve Britain’s fuel crisis.
By Louise Gray, Telegraph, UK, May 25, 2012 [H/t GWPF]
[SEPP Comment: Shale gas is a plot to undermine “investment” in off-shore wind power – an investment in an extremely expensive source of electricity that will produce meager returns to the public.]
The Heartland Affair
Climate Change Conference marks progress for realists
By Rick Moran, American Thinker, May 25, 2012 [H/t John Dunn]
The Climate Change Debate: Where Are We Now?
The Heartland Institute’s climate change conference highlighted progress and issued challenges to the skeptical community.
By Rick Moran, PJMedia, May 24, 2012
Questioning the Orthodoxy
Death ray: Global warming will kill over 150,000 by 2099
By Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, May 24, 2012
Questioning European Green
UK proposes energy market overhaul to boost nuclear
By Staff Writers, London (AFP), May 22, 2012
The Deepening Crisis of Europe’s Climate Policy
By Benny Peiser, EUCLERS, May 17, 2012
Power shift begins to move German industry
By Staff Writers, WNN, May 18, 2012
Leaked Strategy Paper: EU Plans To Phase Out Green Energy Subsidies
By Hendrik Kafsack, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, May 19, 2012
The economic cost of the expansion of renewable energy could become prohibitively expensive. Subsidies in the EU for solar and wind power should be phased out as quickly as possible. That is what the European Commission says in an internal draft strategy paper that EU Energy Commissioner, Günther Oettinger, will present in Brussels early next month.
Expanding the Orthodoxy
Andre Kuipers: world ambassador
By Staff Writers, Paris (ESA) May 19, 2012
[SEPP Comment: World ambassador for the WWF. Is WWF (formerly the World Wildlife Fund) a sovereign state?]
Can the US Military Afford More Biofuels?
By Geoffrey Styles, Energy Tribune, May 25, 2012
Problems within the Orthodoxy
U.N. Stalemate Risks Unraveling Durban Climate Deal: EU
By Ben Garside and Nina Chestney, Reuters, May 22, 2012 [H/t Hugh Sharman]
China hits back at claims it is blocking climate talks
By Staff Writers, Bonn (AFP) May 24, 2012
Climate talks risk sinking ‘like Titanic’
By Nina Chestney, Reuters, May 25, 2012 [H/t GWPF]
[SEPP Comment: Efforts for a Kyoto II appear to be failing. It is time to pull the plug.]
No money for hard physics, but plenty for climate science
By Kenneth P. Green, American, May 23, 2012
The “well funded” climate business – follow the money
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, May 19, 2012
[SEPP Comment: Good chart on US government funding from 1989 to 2009.]
Seeking a Common Ground
Time varying trend in global mean surface temperature
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc, May 23, 2012
[SEPP Comment: Curry’s view of three competing hypotheses.]
Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?
Pollution teams with thunderclouds to warm atmosphere
By Staff Writers, Richland WA (SPX), May 25, 2012
[SEPP Comment: The article does not define pollution which may include naturally occurring dust.]
Climate scientists say they have solved riddle of rising sea
By Staff Writers, Paris (AFP), May 20, 2012
[SEPP Comment: According to the article, the IPCC report on sea level rise did not consider ice melt from glaciers, Greenland and Antarctica.]
Are The Tropics Expanding?
By David Whitehouse, The Observatory, May 24, 2012
[SEPP Comment: Questioning a pair of papers stating an expansion of the tropics is due to ozone and carbon black. Historically, the monsoon rains once fell upon the Sahara. Would it not be appropriate to assess the current explanation in light of climate history?]
New Paper “Recent Northern Hemisphere Tropical Expansion Primarily Driven By Black Carbon And Tropospheric Ozone” By Allen Et Al 2012
By Roger Pielke, Sr, Pielke Climate Science, May 21, 2012
Study: Geologic methane seeping from thawing cryosphere
By Marmian Grimes, U. of Alaska, May 21, 2012 [H/t GWPF]
Man-made sea level rises are due to global adjustments
By Frank Lansner, edited by Jo Nova, her blog, May 25, 2012
New Study by WHOI Scientists Provides Baseline Measurements of Carbon in Arctic Ocean
By Staff Writers, Woods Hole MA (SPX), May 25, 2012
Seagrasses Can Store as Much Carbon as Forests
By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), May 24, 2012
[SEPP Comment: Not a surprise for divers in kelp beds.]
Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine
Food security remains an important issue
By Martin Livermore, Scientific Alliance, May 24, 2012
[SEPP Comment: Sustainable agriculture will be a theme at Rio + 20. How many in northern Europe and North America would be willing to be reduced to the diets of their great grandparents which was only foods produced locally? In the winter, the diet was meager – home canned goods and cold weather foods such as roots and cabbage. Forget fresh fruits and vegetables, a recent innovation thanks to transportation.]
Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes
Cap and trade for U.S. water
Lubos Motl, Reference Frame, May 19, 2012
EPA and other Regulators on the March
FERC Issues Policy on Advising EPA on MATS Compliance Extensions
By Staff Writers, Power News, May 24, 2012
Will the Feds Kill America’s Future Under a Tombstone of Senseless Regulations?
By Marita Noon, Energy Tribune, May 22, 2012
[SEPP Comment: Some government regulators have pronounced that poison ivy is to be protected (personal experience).]
Energy Issues – Non-US
EU sanctions on Iran to benefit oil majors: Moody’s
By Yadullah Hussain, Financial Post, May 22, 2012
How Big Oil Benefits From Global Warming Alarmism
By Larry Bell, Forbes, May 22, 2012
As Canada mulls national energy strategy, Asia may look elsewhere for oil, gas
By Jameson Berkow, Financial Post, May 23, 2012
“The Chinese in particular have been kind of awe-struck in a negative way by how long it takes to build infrastructure in Canada,”
[SEPP Comment: It is not the time involved to build, but the time involved to get the governmental approvals to build.]
Energy Issues — US
Obama wants the Electric Reliability Corporation to stop assessing electric reliability
By Alec Rawls, WUWT, May 22, 2012
America’s Oil Boom Gets Louder In Alaska
Editorial, IBD, May 25, 2012
CO2 Fool’s Errand
By Donn Dears, Power for USA, May 21, 2012
Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
Natural gas producers in survival mode
By Yadullah Hussain, Financial Post, May 22, 2012
[SEPP Comment: A graph showing the great disparity in natural gas prices around the world.]
Bakken 2? Oil Prosperity Comes to South Kansas; Could Be Largest Economic Impact in State History
By Mark Perry, Carpe Diem, May 24, 2012 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Oil boom strikes Kansas
By Blake Ellis, CNNMoney, May 23, 2012 [H/t Timothy Wise]
One Reason Why Oil Prices Will Remain Stable: U.S. Production Reached a 14-Year High in February
By Mark Perry, Carpe Diem, May 24, 2012 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Will LNG Exports Rescue the North American Natural Gas Market?
By Pavel Molchanov & Alex Morris, Energy Tribune, May 21, 2012
[SEPP Comment: Four years ago the question was will LNG imports save the US natural gas market?]
Fracking: A Tale of Two States
By Sterling Burnett, National Review, May 23, 2012 [H/t Cooler Heads]
Return of King Coal?
Coal is here to stay: Denial doesn’t work
By Frank Clemente, Energy Facts Weekly, May 22, 2012
Nuclear Energy and Fears
Politics and the Nation’s Next Nuclear Plant (Georgia Power’s boondoggle under construction)
By Jim Clarkson, Master Resource, May 23, 2012
[SEPP Comment: A provocative post on the first new nuclear plant under construction in over thirty years (Westinghouse AP1000). The post emphasizes the difference between a regulated utility and a company in a competitive market. A regulated utility does not necessarily have an incentive to reduce costs – there are no cost savings to be passed on to shareholders in the form of profits.]
Nuclear Industry Taking It on the Chin in States Across US
By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), May 24, 2012
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind
U.S. Slaps Substantial Tariffs on Chinese PV Producers, Exporters
By Staff Writers, Power News, May 24, 2012
[SEPP Comment: More on the solar wars.]
China says US violates WTO on renewable energy
By Staff Writers, Beijing (AFP), May 24, 2012
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other
Billions For Climate, Not One More Cent For Defense
Editorial, IBD, May 18, 2012
[SEPP Comment: The actual cost of the biofuel is about $27 per gallon. It replaces a fuel that costs about $4 per gallon – the cost of the blend is about $16 per gallon.]
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles
Tesla to launch electric sedan in US on June 22
By Staff Writers, San Francisco (AFP), May 22, 2012
[SEPP Comment: On the base model the battery options raise the price from $49,900 to $59,900 to $69,900. A $49,900 auto is hardly an affordable car.]
Huge subsidies give American taxpayers high-voltage shocks
By Mark Perry, Sacramento Bee, May 24, 2012
New research centre could hold key to £190bn of oil
By Frank Urquhart, Scotsman, May 24, 2012 [H/t GWPF]
[SEPP Comment: The use of carbon dioxide to extract more oil from wells is established. But this appears to be a program of crippling development of new oil sources with highly questionable projects such as Carbon Capture and Storage.]
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC
For a full list of articles see www.NIPCCreport.org
More Floods for Central Europe in a Warming World?
Reference: Stewart, M.M., Grosjean, M., Kuglitsch, F.G., Nussbaumer, S.U. and von Gunten, L. 2011. Reconstructions of late Holocene paleofloods and glacier length changes in the Upper Engadine, Switzerland (ca. 1450 BC-AD 420). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 311: 215-223.
Trees and Shrubs at Their Poleward Limits in a Warming World
Reference: Capers, R.S. and Stone, A.D. 2011. After 33 years, trees more frequent and shrubs more abundant in northeast U.S. alpine community. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 43: 495-502.
[SEPP Comment: A significant portion of the greening may be due to carbon dioxide enrichment, not warming.]
The Fate of Amazonian Forests in a CO2-Enriched and Warmer World
Reference: Lapola, D.M., Oyama, M.D. and Nobre, C.A. 2009. Exploring the range of climate biome projections for tropical South America: The role of CO2 fertilization and seasonality. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 23: 10.1029/2008GB003357.
The Net Mass Balance of the Community of Karakoram Glaciers
Reference: Copland, L., Sylvestre, T., Bishop, M.P., Shroder, J.F., Seong, Y.B., Owen, L.A., Bush, A. and Kamp, U. 2011. Expanded and recently increased glacier surging in the Karakoram. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 43: 503-516.
[SEPP Comment: Positive mass ice balances drive glacier surges –the ice melt observers often fail to comment on the ice balance.]
Health, Energy, and Climate
Low-dose study finds no effects
By Staff Writers, WNN, May 16, 2012
Mice exposed to low-dose radiation for an extended period showed no signs of DNA damage, said a study from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that challenges existing radiation guidelines.
[SEPP Comment: Such studies go to the foundation of the EPA linear, no threshold model.]
Regulators’ Anti-Chemical Smear Campaigns Will Breed An Unsafe World
By Angela Logomasini, Forbes, May 23, 2012 [H/t ACHS]
Environmentalism and the Decline of the West
By Walter Starck, Quadrant, May 17, 2012
Most of the leading Western Nations are now experiencing ageing populations, declining industries, chronic trade imbalances, bloated government, punitive taxation, high levels of personal debt, unsustainable government deficits and a rapidly metastasizing regulatory regime that is an increasing impediment to any productive activity.
Other Scientific News
UF study finds logging of tropical forests needn’t devastate environment
By Staff Writers, Gainesville FL (SPX), May 22, 2012
Other News that May Be of Interest
2012 Annular Eclipse
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, May 20, 2012
[SEPP Comment: Sunning photo from the ground.]
‘Natural causes’ blamed for Peru dolphin deaths
By Staff Writers, Lima (AFP), May 22, 2012
[SEPP Comment: To ward of criticism the report should have been specific as to cause.]
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
Kenji gets mail, but where’s the science?
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, May 24, 2012
[SEPP Comments: Kenji Watts has the papers to be a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists. “The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world.” But can a dog respond to its plea for money?]