Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project


Quote of the Week:

“The number of those who reason well in difficult matters is much smaller than the number of those who reason badly. If reasoning were like carrying burdens, where several horses will carry more sacks of grain than one alone, I should agree that several reasoners would avail more than a single one; but reasoning is like running and not like carrying, and one Arab steed will outrun a hundred pack horses.” Galilei, G., 1960, The Assayer, in, The Controversy on the Comets of 1618, translated by Stillman Drake: University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, p. 300-301. [H/t David Demming]


Number of the Week: $69 Billion



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

The Heartland Controversy: On her blog, Judith Curry expressed her views on the Heartland Institute; including some statements that were somewhat less than complimentary. Joe Bast responded, which is included as Article #1, which can be found on the SEPP web site, followed by Fred Singer’s letter to the Chicago Sun-Times. Curry’s view of the Heartland billboard tactic is, of course, her privilege. Is Heartland right in using this tactic, similar to those frequently used by global warming advocates, such as labeling skeptics as deniers? That is an opinion left to each individual. SEPP was a co-sponsor of the Heartland conference and intends to be one in any future conferences. As expressed by Czech President Václav Klaus, it is one of the few forums that publicly states the science is far from settled. Please see Article #1 and the links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and the Heartland Controversy.


Ocean Acidification, Changing Alkalinity: Emeritus Professor Cliff Ollier exposes the myth that increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide is causing significant ocean acidification. Ocean acidification is a marketing term used to instill fear and it is not scientifically accurate. Ollier states oceans are alkaline with a pH above 7 and that the pH changes by location and with seasons. Locations where carbon dioxide is high by naturally occurring CO2 bubbling from the ocean floor are abundant with marine life.

The comments by Ollier are drastically different from those used in a November 2010 Congressional hearing by NOAA scientist Richard Feely, who was supported by Benjamin Santer of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Richard Alley of Penn State. Feely claimed ocean acidification from atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased 20%, which is resulting in dire coral die-off, and if it continues, millions of species will become extinct. During the Q & A, Feely asserted that a pH of 7.7 [alkaline] will cause the Arctic and Antarctic oceans to become corrosive from top to bottom. Please see Ollier’s comments in the link under Challenging the Orthodoxy and TWTW’s comments on the hearing at http://www.sepp.org/twtwfiles/2010/TWTW%202010-11-20.pdf


Climate Change: A new study by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute suggests that the decline in the monsoon rains led to the slow collapse of the Harappan Civilization on the Indus plateau between 3000 and 3900 years ago. This further confirms what HH Lamb suggested in his classic Climate, History, and the Modern World. Lamb pointed out that the drying of the Sahara occurred with the cooling that followed the Holocene Climate Optimum. The monsoon rains no longer came that far north. Many dismissed a wet Sahara, which has been confirmed by satellite observations of river beds.

Lamb also suggested that the Indus civilization may also have been adversely affected by this cooling with the drying of the Indus plains and, similarly, Chinese civilization with a drying of the plains in central China. The current study supports Lamb’s suggestion. All this is unrelated to atmospheric carbon dioxide. Climate change is real, significant, and natural. The recent human global contribution, and the influence of atmospheric carbon dioxide, is yet to be determined. Unfortunately, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) failed to determine the natural causes of climate change before claiming humans are responsible for global warming. Please see link under Changing Climate.


Wind and Solar Companies Leaving Spain: Faced with a financial crisis, in January the Spanish government eliminated any subsidies for new wind and solar projects. Now, Spanish alternative energy companies are abandoning their home country, looking for subsidies elsewhere. This is not a particular surprise for those who realize that companies producing electricity from alternative sources depend on subsidies and / or mandates.

Several years ago, researchers at the King Juan Carlos University in Spain stating the subsidies were unsustainable. The US National Renewable Energy Laboratories (NREL) produced a study dismissing a study. The major point of the critics was that an input-output model was not used – although the NREL study failed to identify one for Spain. One does not need an elaborate input-output model to determine some government sponsored economic activities are not sustainable. Gradually, governments of some countries are discovering the hard truth of this race for 21st century energy. No one will win except the promoters. Please see links under Questioning European Green.


Number of the Week: $69 Billion According to a report by Bloomberg, Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimated that the solar and wind expenditures in Spain totaled $69 Billion since 2004 – four times the per capita expenditures in the US. Except for legacy projects, Spanish companies are no longer investing in domestic projects. Expenditures in new photovoltaic solar projects are expected to fall to $107 million in 2013 from $1.5 billion last year. Expenditures on new wind projects are expected for fall to $244 million in 2014 from $2 billion this year. Please see link under Questioning European Green.


Doubt has been eliminated (?): Judith Curry has an interesting post on scientific uncertainty, addressing, in part, a speech by UN Commission on Sustainable Development, Gro Harlem Brundtland, and the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Change in 2007, trumpeting the IPCC AR-4. What is missing in the post is that there is massive doubt in the validity of the models and the doubt in the various temperature forcing factors considered in the models. This doubt is largely covered-up and appears in an appendix of the main report presenting the level of understanding of the forcing factors. The IPCC’s failure to openly discuss the lack of knowledge of natural and manmade temperature forcing factors does not eliminate doubt, but merely ignores it. Please see link under Seeking a Common Ground.


A Golden Age of Gas: The International Energy Administration issued a special report on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas with the title Golden Rules for a Golden Age of Gas. No doubt, the Sierra Club is less than thrilled by the title. After years of labeling coal a dirty fuel and promoting natural gas as the alternative, the club is now labeling natural gas as a dirty fuel. An upcoming TWTW will discuss the rules in light of a paper by Norm Kalmanovitch, a Canadian Professional Geophysicist, on the safety and exaggerated hazards of hydraulic fracturing.


Michael Mann: Several readers requested TWTW to comment on a review of the new book by Michael Mann written by Washington Post writer Juliet Eilperin and published in the Post. Please realize the following are comments on the review taken from the perspective of a critic of the hockey-stick, and not a review of the book. The review makes several significant omissions that may or may not be in the book.

The review, and apparently the book, employs several red herrings to divert the reader from the main issue – is Mr. Mann’s hockey stick rigorous science and the results scientifically acceptable? One red herring is the discussion of the peer review process as a final argument. The peer review process is an important first step, only. It alerts others that the paper may be worthy of consideration. A second red herring is the discussion of the statistical technique of principal component analysis. The assumption is that it is widely accepted technique. However, it is a source of great controversy among professional statisticians. (See Montford under Oh Mann).

Several of the omissions are particularly significant. Are all the pertinent data included? Apparently, they are not. This is one of the motivating factors for the Freedom of Information requests. Are the results reproducible? Apparently, they are not. The data was not made available to McIntire and McKitrick or any other independent researchers. Further, as pointed out by McIntire and McKitrick, and later by Wegman, the model itself produces a distinct hockey-stick shape from noise.

More importantly, is the hockey-stick, which shows little or no Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age, supported by other, independent, studies using other techniques. Some studies claim they show no such periods. However, there are a multitude of studies showing such periods. Many of these studies are in the database compiled by Sherwood, Craig, and Keith Idso which are available at http://www.co2science.org/subject/subject.php, and some are in the data base of the NIPCC reports http://www.nipccreport.org/ They show that these periods were, generally, global. More published studies appear monthly showing a Medieval Warm Period and a Little Ice Age.

Can the hockey-stick come from confounding variables? Tree ring proxies are particularly influenced by confounding variables such as moisture and surrounding vegetation. However, any analysis of the last 150 years must take into account carbon dioxide fertilization which greatly increases the growth of trees. The original data for the bristlecone pines, the most important proxy in the hockey-stick, came from studies on carbon dioxide fertilization, such as by Graybill and Idso.

There is no compelling argument why the hockey-stick should be accepted as rigorous science and this review does not provide one. A more rigorous review is provided by Brandon Shollenberger: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/11/shollenbergers-technical-review-of-manns-recent-book/

The review gives the impression that Mr. Mann is a victim. If he is, he is a victim of the IPCC. In its Third Assessment report (AR3) the IPCC dropped climate history as presented in the first two assessment reports with a Medieval Warm Period and a Little Ice Age. In AR3, the IPCC emphasized the hockey-stick, especially in the Summary for Policymakers. This contributed to governments spending well over one hundred billion dollars on the claim that carbon dioxide emissions are causing unprecedented and dangerous global warming, a claim that has yet to be substantiated. Mr. Mann was a featured author of AR3. The hockey-stick was not featured the last IPCC report, AR4, published in 2007. Please see links under Oh Mann.


Amplifications and Corrections: Two weeks ago, TWTW discussed a study from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography claiming that global warming will cause snowpack of Sierra Mountains to largely melt this century, threatening agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley. TWTW pointed out that a large part of the moisture is captured by dams in the early spring for irrigation in the summer. As long as the moisture falls it makes no difference if it is rain or snow.

Emeritus Professor Cliff Ollier suggested checking Google for “Advancing Glaciers,” there are plenty of examples in the western US, which is the case.

John Christy of the University of Alabama, Huntsville, sent a study which he recently completed and which has been accepted by the Journal of Hydrometeorology. The study, “Searching for Information in 133 Years of California Snowfall Observations”, covers the western Sierra Mountains which feed the Central Valley including the San Joaquin Valley. Some of the over 500 stations the data go back to 1878. The stations were subdivided into 18 regions. For some stations, data were missing. “For those regions characterized by consistent monitoring and with the most robust statistical reproducibility, no statistically significant trends in their periods of record (up to 133 years) nor in the most recent 50 years are found. This result encompasses the main snowfall region of the western slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.”

Once again, data trumps models. Please see http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JHM-D-11-040.1



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. Your Post on Heartland. Plus: Fred Singer to the Chicago Sun-Times

By Joe Bast, Heartland Institute to Judith Curry, May 25, 2012

2. Romney’s historic opportunity

Plan for low-cost energy will fuel economic recovery

By Fred Singer, Washington Times, May 29, 2012


3. Renewable Energy Can’t Run the Cloud

Data centers now consume about 1.3% of all global electricity.

By Robert Bryce, WSJ, May 28,, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Many in Washington do not recognize that modern communications, including the Cloud, require reliable, affordable electricity.]

4. U.S. Gas Exports Put on Back Burner

By Tennille Tracy, WSJ, May 30, 2012


[SEPP Comment: The administration is playing the political game.]

5. Sierra Clubs Natural Gas

The green lobby picks its next fossil fuel target.

Editorial, WSJ, May 30, 2012





Science: Is the Sun Rising?

Nicola Scafetta: The Theory Is Very Simple

By David Whitehouse, GWPF, May 29, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Further comment on the hypothesis of the influence of solar system cycles on the earth’s climate.]

Climategate Continued

Myles Allen Calls For “Name and Shame”

By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, May 31, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Repeatedly, data used by the IPCC is not archived or available for independent review.]

Myles Allen and a New Trick to Hide-the-Decline

By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, May 26, 2012


[SEPP Comment: In AR4 the IPCC should have stated why it was no longer emphasizing the hockey-stick.]

Yamal that hurts! CRU gets touchy, responds to McIntyre and Montford without naming them

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, May 29, 2012


Suppressing Scientific Inquiry

Shale study’s lead author faces ‘green’ backlash

College distances itself from fracking findings

By Ben Wolfgang, Washington Times, May 28, 2012


Challenging the Orthodoxy

It’s about freedom

By Václav Klaus, Financial Post, May 28, 2012 [H/t Roger Cohen]


The Myth of ‘Acidification’ of Oceans

To demonise CO2 yet again, a false claim is that human production of CO2 will cause the oceans to become acid.

By Cliff Ollier, Quadrant, May 24, 2012


Comprehensive Alps Study Clearly Refutes Humans Are Causing More Weather Variability and Extremes!

By P Gosselin No Tricks Zone, May 25, 2012 [H/t WUWT]


Defending the Orthodoxy

New Climate Models Fall Short

By Doug Hoffman, The Resilient Earth, from GWPF, May 30, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Trying to work in tiny airborne particles, aerosols, as the explanation for no recent warming trend.]

Supercomputer will help researchers map climate change down to the local level

By Stephen Nash, Washington Post, May 28, 2012


[SEPP Comment: A newer, bigger computer will not necessarily make the models, the lack of data, and, especially, the lack of critical model testing any better.]

A new dark age?

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, May 26, 2012


BBC Transcript:


[SEPP Comment: Those who defend the orthodoxy are claiming that the skeptics who expose the lack of rigor in climate science are attacking science and promoting the end of the enlightenment. Contrary to the report, AAAS is hardly America’s leading academy of science.]

New energy minister for Germany

By Staff Writers, WNN, May 23, 2012


Germany has a new minister for energy, environment and nuclear safety in Peter Altmaier, a CDU/CSU heavyweight who has been charged with making the country’s ‘energy transition’ a reality.

Questioning the Orthodoxy

Global Warming Alarmism: When Science IS Fiction

By Larry Bell, Forbes, May 29, 2012


The Integrity of the Australian Academy of Science

By Tony Thomas, Quadrant, Jun 2, 2012


A Partisan Look at U.S. Science Policy

by Jeffrey Mervis, Science Insider, May 23, 2012 [H/t Reference Frame]


More on IPCC Chapter Head Neil Adger – & Stephen Schneider

By Donna Laframboise, NFC, May 31, 2012


The unbearable stench of fishiness

By Michael Kile, Quadrant, May 28, 2012


Red herring, n., 1. A dried and smoked herring. 2. Anything that diverts attention from a topic or line of inquiry; including any expression in which a piece of information (or its omission) is, or is intended to be, misleading. 3. Origin: From the practice of using preserved (or rotten) fish, especially herring, to confuse hunting dogs and persons hungry for the truth.

Climate “Deniers” Winning the War

By Marita Noon, Townhall, May 28, 2012


Global Green Agenda Continues To Fail

By Walter Russell Mead, American Interest, May 28, 2012


Sorry Global Warming Alarmists, The Earth Is Cooling

By Peter Ferrara, Forbes, May 31, 2012


[SEPP Comment: It would be more correct to state no warming trend for over a decade.]

Questioning European Green

Spain Cuts Payouts, Ejects Clean-Power Industry

By Alex Morales and Ben Sill, Bloomberg, May 30, 2012


Gas rebranded as green energy by EU

Victory for gas lobby as aims of €80bn EU innovation programme altered to channel money to ‘low-carbon’ fossil fuel

By Fiona Harvey, Guardian, UK, May 29, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Based on a secret document obtained by the Guardian.]

Household energy bills will be ‘unaffordable’ by 2015 [UK]

If pricing trends continue, average annual energy bill will top £1,500 in three years.

By Martin Fagan, Energy Choices, May 30, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Forcing households to severely ration their electricity use may be part of the plan.]

Sting in the tail as Government announces new solar PV tariffs

By Staff Writers, London, UK (SPX), May 28, 2012


As Doubts Grow, Merkel Promises Green Energy Transition Will Succeed

Jochen Gaugele, Matthias Kamann and Stefan von Borstel, Die Welt, From GWPF, May 31, 2012


UK Electricity “Set to Become Unaffordable” Within 3 Years Independent Report Finds.

Haunting the Library, May 31, 2012


UK Coalition on Energy: Dumb and Dumber

By Peter C Glover, Energy Tribune, May 29, 2012


Alex Salmond’s £46 billion green ‘gamble’ with Scotland’s economy

Alex Salmond is gambling with Scotland’s economy by placing a £46 billion “fantasy” bet on green energy despite its “catastrophic” record of making money, one of the world’s leading banks has told MSPs.

By Simon Johnson, Telegraph, UK, May 31, 2012 [H/t Bishop Hill]


The wind farm rebellion blows across Britain as campaigners take heart from village’s victory

By Tamara Cohen, Emily Andrews, and Mark Duell, Daily Mail, UK, May 31, 2012 [H/t GWPF]


Expanding the Orthodoxy

The IPCC: Going Where No Scientist Should Go

By Donna Laframboise, NFC, May 29, 2012


[SEPP Comment: More reasons why the IPCC is political organization, not a scientific one.]

US officials, others say no to UN Internet control

By Staff Writers, Washington (AFP), May 31, 2012


[SEPP Comment: A preposterous idea.]

Rio + 20 – World Control?

Alabama Fights a UN Land Grab

By Justice Gilpin-Green, Townhall, May 31, 2012


[SEPP Comment: UN control of land use decisions, embodied in Agenda 21, will be featured in Rio + 20.

Brazil readies 15,000 security forces for Rio summit

By Staff Writers, Rio De Janeiro (AFP), May 28, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Expecting a peaceful crowd.]

Problems within the Orthodoxy

Slow progress since Earth Summit 20 years ago

By Staff Writers, Paris (AFP), May 26, 2012


Climate talks stall with nations ‘wasting time’

By Richard Black, BBC, May 25, 2012


Funding Fights

Top US companies shelling out to block action on climate change

Analysis of 28 companies finds cases of support for thinktanks that misrepresent climate science, including Heartland Institute

By Suzanne Goldenberg, Guardian, UK, May 30, 2012


[SEPP Comments: Based on an analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists. The amount is a pittance compared with the $68.4 Billion the US spent on global warming in the past four years – with little accountability. Much of the money was spent in fighting EPA expansion of regulations.]

Does Climate Money matter? Is a monopoly good for a market?

By Joanne Nova, Her Blog, May 30, 2012


Spot the conflict: GE owns NBC, the Weather channel and lots and lots of wind turbine factories

By Joanne Nova, Her Blog, Jun 1, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Jo Nova did not include that GE makes gas turbines that can replace coal-fired utility plants as the EPA drives them out of business and makes components for the smart grid, which will be needed for alternative electricity. No wonder it supported US cap-and-trade.]

Heartland Controversy

Heartburn at Heartland

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc, May 24, 2012


Seeking a Common Ground

Doubt has been eliminated (?)

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc, May 26, 2012


Guest Post On “Fire Suppression Policy, Weather And Western Wildland Fire Trends: An Empirical Analysis”

By Johnston and Klick, Pielke Climate Science, Jun 1, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Recent large western fires may be more the result of past policies than global warming / climate change.]

Beetle-infested pine trees contribute more to air pollution and haze in forests

By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), May 28, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Beetle infestations of standing timber, without cutting the timber out, can also contribute to hot, extensive fires in the West.

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

The more science you know, the less worried you are about climate

‘Abandon focus on sound science’, say trick-cyclists

By Lewis Page, The A Register, May 29, 2012 [H/t Tom Sheahen]


Yale study concludes public apathy over climate change unrelated to science literacy

By Staff Writers, New Haven CT (SPX), May 30, 2012


[SEPP Comment: A different view of the study linked immediately above.]

Study: Climate Change Skeptics Know More About Science Than Believers

By Erica Ritz, Blaze, May 28, 2012 [H/t Catherine French]


[SEPP Comment: Another version. Skeptics answered 57% correctly; warmists, 56%. Not much of a difference.]

The polarizing impact of science literacy and numeracy on perceived climate change risks

By Kahan, D, et al, Nature Climate Change, May 27, 2012


[SEPP Comment: The study discussed in the links above.]

Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

Paging David Appell and Nick Stokes again: time to fess up and apologize

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, May 28, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Last year’s widely publicized story of death threats against climate scientists continues to implode.]

Killing jobs to save the sage grouse

Junk science, weird science and plain nonsense

By William Perry Pendley, Washington Times, May 31, 2012


[SEPP Comment: The decline of the grouse happened well before extensive residential or oil development of the central west. Unlike the West coast, vast areas are undeveloped..]

U.N. Warns ‘Door’ is ‘About to Close’ on Halting 2-degree Celsius Rise in Global Temperature

By Penny Starr, CNS News, May 25, 2012 [H/t Bud Bromley]


[SEPP Comment: A bureaucratic, made up convention with no scientific support.]

Models v. Observations

Coastal N.C. counties fighting sea-level rise prediction

Science panel predicts 1-meter sea-level rise by 2100; counties say that could harm economic development

By Bruce Henderson, Charlotte Observer, May 25, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Why bother with measurements of what is occurring when you have a model predicting what you desire?]

Grappling With Reality – A Comment On The Skeptical Science Post By Dana1981 “Modeled and Observed Ocean Heat Content – Is There a Discrepancy?

By Roger Pielke, Sr, Pielke Climate Science, May 29, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Is there a discrepancy? YES! Is it significant? YES!]

Changing Weather

FEMA Director: Frequency of Tornadoes Cyclical, Won’t Say If Global Warming Involved

By Fred Lucas, CNSNews, May 31, 2012 [H/t WUWT]


[SEPP Comment: Often restraint is admirable.]

56 Years of Deadly Tornados On One Gorgeous Map

By Mario Aguilar, Gizmodo, May 30, 2012


[SEPP Comment: The graph of tornado frequency and deaths there from is also interesting.]

As hurricane season starts, the FSU hurricane season forecast is the odd man out citing “active”

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Jun 1, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Becoming one of the orthodoxy.]

Changing Climate

Climate change led to collapse of ancient Indus civilization

By Staff Writers, Woods Hole MA (SPX), May 29, 2012



Discovery Of Historical Photos Sheds Light On Greenland Ice Loss

By Staff Writers, Columbus OH (SPX), Jun 01, 2012


Taken together, the imagery shows that glaciers in the region were melting even faster in the 1930s than they are today,

[SEPP Comment: The article claims that sulfur pollution probably caused the cooling of Southeast Greenland from 1943 to 1972, and it stopped with the passage of the US Clean Air Act! A global cooling during that period is generally accepted. It is doubtful that the cooling would be stopped by the US Clean Air Act.]

Changing Seas

Sea Level Rise ~ a spurious notion?

By Geoff Brown, Climate Sceptics Blog, May 30, 2012


[SEPP Comment: The perceived sea level rise at a Pacific atoll was caused by human activity on the atoll, not an actual rise.]

Changing Sea Ice

Heavy ice could delay start of Shell Alaska’s Arctic drilling

By Staff Writers, Physorg, May 28, 2012 [H/t ICECAP]


Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine

Groundwater depletion in semiarid regions of Texas and California threatens US food security

By Staff Writers, Austin TX (SPX), May 30, 2012


[SEPP Comment: As far a food security is concerned, eliminating the mandate for biofuels will do much to enhance food crop production.]

Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes

EU Carbon trading crashes: German bourse closes and Irish end carbon rort

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, May 29, 2012


Subsidies and Mandates Forever

New York’s RPS: High-cost, Ineffectual, and Anti-environmental (30% goal perils)

By Lisa Linowes, Master Resource, May 31, 2012


[SEPP Comment: New York State’s Renewable Portfolio Standard is not reducing electricity rates as the state’s politicians and bureaucrats claimed. Further, they overestimated the average capacity of the wind farms: expected 28.8%; delivered 22.7% in 2010 and 23.6% in 2011. One wonders what is the capacity factor when the electricity is needed the most?]

Cleaner Energy

Editorial, NYT, May 27, 2012 [H/t Dennis Manuta]


[SEPP Comment: The NYT has yet to acknowledge that the US is on course to significantly reduce its dependence on mid-east oil from innovation on private lands, not subsidies and mandates for solar and wind.]

EPA and other Regulators on the March

U.S. EPA: Playing Fast and Loose with Health and Welfare

By Paul Driessen, Master Resource, May 27, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Washington’s energy policies are economically regressive; the poor will pay a greater portion of their income for these policies than the rich.]


EPA’s War On Fossil Fuels — Waged With Tax Dollars

By James Rust, Somewhat Reasonable, May


With Alaska’s Pebble Partnership, The EPA Waves The Precaution Flag

By Patrick Michaels, Forbes, May 24, 2012


EPA holds 12-hour hearings with environmentalists to slow coal production

By Josh Peterson, Daily Caller, May 24, 2012 [H/t Timothy Wise]


[SEPP Comment: Last week’s TWTW gave Ken Haapala’s personal perspective. The time limit for written comments is June 25.]

Australian PM: miners don’t own minerals

By Staff Writers, Canberra, Australia (UPI), May 31, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Therefore, after licenses are issued the government can tax the industries and the licenses anyway it pleases?]

Energy Issues – Non-US

Greens think more supply raises prices

By Alex Pourbaix, Financial Post, May 25, 2012


Energy Issues — US

If We Only Had a Stable Energy Policy

By Robert Rapier, Energy Tribune, Jun 1, 2012


[SEPP Comment: One that would prevent innovation?]

Unconventional Energy Meets Conventional Politics: Which Will Win?

By Steven Hayward, Real Clear Politics, May 16, 2012


All (Green) Thumbs

By Jonah Goldberg, Townhall, Jun 1, 2012


Forget Bain — Obama’s public-equity record is the real scandal

By Marc Thiessen, Washington Post, May 24, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Surprising for the Washington Post.]

Flexible fuel to end foreign oil dependence

Domestic energy solutions could slash trade deficit

By Robert McFarlane, Washington Times, May 30, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Fuel change is happening without subsidies or mandates. Ethanol is damaging small engines, methanol may be worse.]


Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Golden Rules for a Golden Age of Gas (Released 29 May 2012)

World Energy Outlook, IEA, May 29, 2012


IEA says proper rules can bring gas ‘golden age’

By Staff Writers, London (AFP), May 29, 2012


Major Investors Back IEA Call for ‘Golden Rules’

By Staff Writers, Boston MA (SPX), May 31, 2012


Natural gas golden age threatened by pollution: IEA

By Matthew Brown, Financial Post, May 29, 2012


[SEPP Comment: A different view of the same announcement as stated above.]

New study: Development of shale has saved consumers $250 billion since ’09

By Staff Writers, Energy in Depth, May 29, 2012 [H/t GWPF]


[SEPP Comment: Washington is unimpressed. It has been Washington’s policy to drive up energy costs to consumers.]

Energy’s better mousetrap

Shale gas boom results from reducing restrictions on the private sector

By Peter Foster, Financial Post, May 30, 2012


Drilling boom spurring clean up push

By Jennifer Dlouhy, Fuel Fix, May 29, 2012


Washington’s Control of Oil and Gas

Analysis: Bush’s EPA tougher on oil-and-gas companies than Obama’s

By Ben Geman, The Hill, May 30, 2012


[SEPP Comment: A surprise headline. There is a significant difference between vigorously enforcing laws and arbitrarily expanding regulatory power – such as EPA’s new rules on carbon dioxide emissions.]

Return of King Coal?

Is There Still a Case for Coal?

By Robert Bryce, Manhattan Institute, May 2012


[SEPP Comment: Those who declare we need solar and wind for energy security are among the first to demand the shut-down of coal fired utilities – which provide over 40 percent of electricity and depend only on domestic supplies.]

Like a “Friend” and Burn Some Coal

By Mark Mills, Energy Facts Weekly, May 29, 2012


Nuclear Energy and Fears

A nuclear future?

By Martin Livermore, Scientific Alliance, May 31, 2012


GAO: NRC Should Examine Requirement That Reactor Operators Conduct Probabilistic Risk Assessments

By Staff Writers, Power News, May 31, 2012


Japan to decide on nuclear power restart

By Staff Writers, Tokyo (UPI), May 29, 2012


Germany needs 20 bn euro investment in power grid: operator

By Staff Writers, Bonn (AFP). May 29, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Shutting the nuclear plants will require a significant realignment of the grid.]

SMR vendors apply for government funds

By Staff Writers, WNN, May 22, 2012


Three developers of small modular reactor (SMR) technology – Babcock & Wilcox, NuScale Nuclear and Westinghouse – have submitted applications to the US Department of Energy (DoE) for funding to support first-of-a-kind engineering, design certification and licensing.

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

NERC: Texas, California, New England Could Face Reliability Issues This Summer

By Staff Writers, Power News, May 31, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Renewable mandates are not helping Texas.]

Commerce Dept. Imposes Tariff on Chinese Wind Towers

By Staff Writers, Power News, May 31, 2012


[SEPP Comment: First solar wars, now wind wars; could they be no win wars?]

US Antidumping Tariffs Impact Solar Module Shipments to North America

By Staff Writers, El Segundo CA (SPX), May 31, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Unfortunately, state mandates will continue to require solar and wind.]

California Tribes Suing to Halt Construction of Wind Factory on Sacred Land

By Gale Courey Toensing, Indian Country, May 29, 2012 [H/t Catherine French]


Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other

Can the US Military Afford More Biofuels?

By Geoffrey Styles, Energy Tribune, May 25, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Questioning the Great Green Fleet.]

Carbon Schemes

Report: 8 Large-Scale CCS Projects On Track To Begin Operations Within Five Years

By Staff Writers, Power News, May 31, 2012


Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC

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

How Adult Oyster Exposure to Ocean Acidification Impacts the Response of Their Offspring to Elevated Atmospheric CO2

Reference: Parker, L.M., Ross, P.M., O’Connor, W.A., Borysko, L, Raftos, D.A. and Portner, H.-O. 2012. Adult exposure influences offspring response to ocean acidification in oysters. Global Change Biology 18: 82-92.


Ocean Warming and Acidification Impacts on Western Australian Coral Reefs

Reference: Cooper, T.F., O’Leary, R.A. and Lough, J.M. 2012. Growth of Western Australian corals in the Anthropocene. Science 335: 593-596.


[SEPP Comment: Increased temperatures apparently lead to increased coral calcification rates and no effect from possible declining alkalinity. The term the Anthropocene is questionable.]

Biofuels or Bust

Reference: Jaeger, W.K. and Egelkraut, T.M. 2011. Biofuel economics in a setting of multiple objectives and unintended consequences. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 15: 4320-4333.


Summing things up, therefore, they conclude that “judged on the basis of reducing fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions,” their results suggest that U.S. biofuel policies “have been ineffective and highly costly, producing negligible reductions in fossil fuel use and significant increases, rather than decreases, in greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Effects of Dramatic Climate Change on Marine Planktonic Microbes: A History Lesson

Reference: Cermeño, P. 2011. Marine planktonic microbes survived climatic instabilities in the past. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 279: 474-479.


[SEPP Comment: Surprise, they are tough little creatures.]

Health, Energy, and Climate

American Shale Gas Solves Poverty Too

By Walter Russell Mead, American Interest, May 31, 2012


Surprise! Current Motor Fuel Taxes Exceed the Estimated Social Cost of Carbon (SCC) in Most Industrialized Countries

By Indur Goklany, Master Resource, May 30, 2012


[SEPP Comment: To be fair, in the US the justification for the taxes is to pay for road; but, based on the latest information available, about 40% is being diverted for other activities.]

Oh Mann!

Book review: Michael Mann’s ‘The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars’

By Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post, May 25, 2012


Jeff Masters on Mann and PCA

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, May 18, 2012


This new paper may explain the widespread belief in the value of Michael Mann’s methods and the ‘bet’ on the Hockey Stick

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, May 28, 2012


[SEPP Comment: The paper is on gambling.]

Environmental Industry

Der Spiegel Skewers the World Wildlife Fund

By Donna Laframboise, NFC, May 30, 2012


[SEPP Comment: A summary of the lengthy article linked below.]

WWF Helps Industry More than Environment

By Jens Glüsing and Nils Klawitter, Der Spiegel, May 29, 2012 [H/t Donna Laframboise]


The WWF is the most powerful environmental organization in the world and campaigns internationally on issues such as saving tigers and rain forests. But a closer look at its work leads to a sobering conclusion: Many of its activities benefit industry more than the environment or endangered species.

Other Scientific News

CryoSat goes to sea

By Staff Writers, ESA, May 28, 2012


[SEPP Comment: Mapping the sea floor. Will it find many previously unknown volcanoes?]

American Physics Dreams Deferred

By Dennis Overbye, NYT, May 21, 2012


[SEPP Comment: The enormous spending on questionable global warming / climate change is taking a toll on other science.]

Electric Moon Jolts the Solar Wind

By Bill Steigerwald for Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt MD (SPX) Jun 01, 2012


Scientists Discover the “Vitamin B12 Claw”

Newfound protein is key for algae growth in the ocean

By Lonny Lippsett, Oceanus, May 31, 2012


[SEPP Comment: The discussion of carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas reduces the possible importance of the finding. Increased carbon dioxide creates a more robust environment!]

Landslides linked to plate tectonics create the steepest mountain terrain

By Staff Writers, Seattle WA (SPX), Jun 01, 2012


[SEPP Comment: No surprise here.]

Other News that May Be of Interest

No 16-oz sugary drinks for you, New Yorkers

By Staff Writers, Health Facts and Fears, May 31, 2012




Astrologers Say Celestial Charts Favor Obama Over Romney

By Greg McCune, Reuters, Published in NYT, May 29, 2012


[SEPP Comment: The Gray Lady is getting desperate. As suggested by Best of the Web, is global warming next? Or have they already predicted it?]

Warm, dry El Nino weather puts baby sea turtle at risk

By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), May 31, 2012


[SEPP Comment: No scientific support for the claim that El Ninos will become more common.]


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June 3, 2012 5:43 pm

“No 16-oz sugary drinks for you, New Yorkers”
Actually, 16-oz would be the limit. New Yorkers should limit the harm Bloomberg is doing to freedom and throw him out of office.

June 3, 2012 5:45 pm

You should check the Galileo date at the beginning of this post. I think he was around in the 1600s not 1960.
Thanks for this roundup–I enjoy it each week.

June 3, 2012 6:21 pm

Regarding your comment on Surprise! Current Motor Fuel Taxes Exceed the Estimated Social Cost of Carbon (SCC) in Most Industrialized Countries at http://www.masterresource.org/2012/05/us-gasoline-taxes-vs-epa-socially-cost-carbon/#more-20120 : I think you are mixing up two things. The magnitude of the carbon tax has nothing to do with how the revenues from that tax are used. As far as I can tell, the calculations for a carbon tax make no assumption regarding how the revenues are used.
The fact is that a carbon tax has been calculated and, for gasoline and diesel in the USA, that much and more has been paid up in taxes. So there is no basis for asking for more from this fuel..
The fact that revenues are used for highways rather than, say, greenhouse gas controls, tells us something about our politicians’ priorities.
The gasoline tax is one the best thing that happened to them. It is a major source of their pork.
Best regards,

June 3, 2012 6:28 pm

It’s time for conservatives to go after the corporate sponsors of the Sierra Club like the lefties go after the sponsors of conservative groups and individuals!

June 3, 2012 11:09 pm

Dammit!!! I would have thought SEPP would have known better.
“Is Heartland right in using this tactic, similar to those frequently used by global warming advocates, such as labeling skeptics as deniers? That is an opinion left to each individual.”
They are not the same, they are not anywhere close to the same. Quit acquiescing ground to the misanthropists! I blogged about this… please allow me….
Many have equivocated the billboard with the “No Pressure” video and the like. It is nowhere near the same thing. Skeptics have been subjected to the most dehumanizing of efforts, from suggestions that we be recognized and treated (re-education camps), that skeptics be tattooed, that skeptics be gassed.
Now, look back up to the billboard picture. Do you see a suggestion of violence towards alarmists? That we tattoo them or place them in camps? There is none of that. Equivocating the billboard with these types of suggestions is dishonest and intellectually vacant.
The billboard is a simple and truthful statement. And, yes, the connotations are clear. And, this is, apparently, what most skeptics find objectionable. But, again, this is a form of dishonesty, intellectual vacancy, and cowardice. Yes, cowardice.
From time to time, I’ve offered brief glimpses into this abyss of alarmism. We have seen entire populations displaced and killed. We also see this wasn’t an isolated event. We see communities stripped of their belongings and their women raped, their homes burnt down, in a seemingly systematic war on the most helpless of populations. And, we see that this has continued unabated in all parts of the world. From forced sterilizations to murder, to depraved indifference to the destruction of humanity.
And, this is why I call it cowardice. It takes a certain bit of courage to gaze into the abyss, to understand the depths of depravity our fellow man can devolve towards. It takes courage to do so, because, once you do, you are faced with a choice. Once you see that the above examples aren’t simply some dark fantasy which isn’t acted upon, but rather, a small glimpse into the reality of what these people are actually doing, then you choose.
You can either turn a blind eye towards this very literal dehumanizing agent call Climate Change alarmism and pretend none of this is happening, pretend that the climate discussion is simply an intellectual exercise, or, you can choose to engage with an entirely different perspective.
At what point in time is it inappropriate to confront acts of depravity? Anyone decrying or even questioning the appropriateness of HI’s billboard is either ignorant of the facts or a coward. There is no question these maniacs have murdered more people than the Unabomber. The only question there is, when will we collectively say, “enough!”?.
From one of my commentators……

Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, ‘he that is not with me is against me’. The idea that you can somehow remain aloof from and superior to the struggle, while living on food which British sailors have to risk their lives to bring you, is a bourgeois illusion bred of money and security.—— Orwell

Links provided here….. http://suyts.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/heartland-institute-when-is-it-inappropriate-to-confront-acts-of-depravity/

June 4, 2012 1:09 am

It sure is difficult for investors to decide where to put money to work in US energy right now. At least until after the elections this fall. Probably less limited if Mitt wins.
Brazil has a decent security force. SpaghettiO told George Bush about the fine job the 10,000 Brazilian troops were doing in Afghanistan. Bush replied, “Gee, that’s great! Uh, how many troops is 10,000 brazillion?”
Sorry, couldn’t resist, I take plenty of arrows in the back from Republicans. Makes me silly.

M Courtney
June 4, 2012 1:38 pm

They are not acceptable when they use the term “denier”. It is insulting and distracts from reasoned argument.
Fair enough if they admit they have no arguments.
But the same applies to “unabombers”.

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