The Week That Was: 2013-04-20 (April 20, 2013) Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project ###################################################
Quote of the Week: What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.—Werner Karl Heisenberg [H/t TRCS Research Team]
Number of the Week: 18 to 1
By Ken Haapala, Executive Vice President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
TRCS: Without question, one of the most spectacular scientific accomplishments of the 20th century was the Apollo landing of humans on the moon and their return. The mission required exhaustive testing of the concepts, models, and equipment against all appropriate data. If the data did not exist, it had to be compiled. Last year, some retired members of the Apollo team, and others, formed The Right Climate Stuff (TRCS) research team, volunteering to apply their skills to examine the scientific basis of the claim that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are causing dangerous global warming and/or climate change, which they term as Carbon-based Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW).
Last week, TRCS team issued their findings: “Anthropogenic Global Warming Science Assessment Report.” This clearly-written 21 page assessment states that the empirical evidence of Carbon-based AGW is sorely lacking.
The major findings include:
· Carbon-based AGW is not settled.
· Natural processes dominate climate change (although many are poorly understood).
· Non-Carbon-based anthropogenic forcings are significant (land use change, urban heat island effect, black carbon, etc.)
· Carbon-based AGW impact appears to be muted.
· Empirical evidence for Carbon-based AGW does not support catastrophe.
· The threat of net harmful total global warming, if any, is not immediate and thus does not require swift corrective action.
· The US Government is over-reacting to concerns about AGW.
The report sharply differs from the 1100-plus page Draft National Climate Assessment issued by the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), which is heavy on computer-driven speculation, but exceedingly light on physical evidence on Carbon-based AGW.
Also, TRCS report illustrates that some of the threats exaggerated in the USGCRP report are without a scientific basis. For example, in the treatment of sea level rise, the USGCRP report projects, that due to uncertainty in the models, 21st century sea level rise will be anywhere between 7 inches to up to 4 feet, and even up to 6 feet. The TRCS report states that rapid sea level rise can only come from extreme melting of ice on Greenland and on Antarctica and such a melting would require centuries, not decades.
The Northern Hemisphere is warming, and ice melt in Greenland needs monitoring. However, the TRCS report finds the 20th century warming to be in the range of natural variability. Further, suggesting that Antarctica will significantly contribute to sea level rise requires an ignorance of the extremely cold climate of Antarctica and its geology (the land mass is bowl-shaped). Thus there is no reason to assume a 21st century sea level rise to be significantly greater than 20th century rise – about 7 inches.
Among examples of US government over-reaction concerning AGW, the report finds the EPA’s determination that CO2 is a pollutant that must be controlled to be scientifically embarrassing.
The report recommends that models be validated before used in critical decision-making, which has not been done for climate models, and it is unlikely to be done. The report states that the natural climate-change mechanisms must be successfully modeled before we can hope to successfully model the earth surface temperature response to CO2 emissions. The Climate Establishment has ignored natural mechanisms other than changes in solar irradiance (daylight).
According to its web site, the FY 2012 budget request for the USGCRP was $2.6 Billion. The Apollo TRCS research team was self-financed – they paid for it without corporate or government support – which contradicts the saying you get what you pay for. The members of the TRCS research team should be congratulated for its contribution to empirical scientific work. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy
CATO Report: The Center for the Study of Science of the CATO Institute issued a lengthy, detailed critique of the USGCRP report by a team headed by Patrick Michaels. The CATO report finds many major errors and misleading statements in the USGCRP report. It will be interesting to see if the USGCRP corrects these errors and misleading statements. If it does not, perhaps its entire budget should be sequestered.
Projections v. Reality: On his blog, Roy Spencer presents a comparison of the lower atmospheric temperature trends as projected from 44 climate models and as calculated from satellite observations. John Christy provided the model projections. Spencer used the both the University of Alabama, Huntsville (UAH) and the Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) calculations. The disparity is striking. Since the greenhouse effect takes place in the lower atmosphere, this is further evidence that the planet is not as sensitive carbon dioxide emissions as advocated by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The Easterbrook Affair: In March, Don Easterbrook, professor emeritus of geology at Western Washington University, presented his views on global warming/climate change to a committee of the Washington State Senate. In an editorial in a local newspaper, the active faculty of the Geology Department claimed Easterbrook’s views are not scientifically valid and not supported by the overwhelming evidence on the topic. They termed Easterbrook assertions to be poor-quality science.
Easterbrook has answered the challenge. You be the judge. In addition, astrophysicist Gordon Fulks proposed a seminar on climate science at WWU. The geology department backed away with one professor admitting insufficient knowledge in the subject to debate. Please see links under Easterbrook Affair.
Back to Court: On Friday, The Southeastern Legal Foundation filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari requesting the Supreme Court hear the case concerning the EPA’s finding that greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide included) endanger human health and welfare. The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found against the petitioners. The petitioners include members of Congress, private corporations, associations, CEI, FreedomWorks, and SEPP. The Supreme Court accepts very few of these Writs and it is impossible to predict if it will accept this one. However, it is only on the Supreme Court level that we can have any hope of breaking the lock Federal Agencies have in the Appeals Courts on what constitutes science. Please see link under Litigation Issues.
Carbon Dioxide Emissions: The International Energy Agency (IEA) reports that there has been virtually no drop in carbon dioxide emissions per unit of energy produced around the world during the period from 1990 to 2010. This is in spite of billions of dollars spent for subsides on alternative energy sources such as wind and solar. The report brings up the contrived goal of preventing a rise in temperatures of 2 deg C from the start of the industrial revolution (which coincided with the latter part of the Little Ice Age). By their actions, or non-actions, most countries appear to be indifferent to this contrived goal and have more important considerations.
The report urges governments to do more in subsidizing unreliable alternative energy sources and employing Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), a technology which has never been demonstrated to be commercially reliable or viable. Similar to the World Bank, IEA is no longer a dispassionate reporter of facts, but a climate alarmist, advocacy organization.
Complicating matters, the EU Parliament voted to prevent the suspension of a scheduled carbon emissions permit auction. Prices of carbon emissions permits plunged, causing considerable consternation among supporters of carbon trading schemes. Please see links under Questioning Green Elsewhere, Expanding the Orthodoxy, and Article # 2.
Natural Gas: The US spot price for natural gas at the important Henry Hub has increased from low last spring below $2 per million BTU (MMBtu) to above $4 MMBtu this week. The increase is not entirely unexpected because the 2012 price was below production costs, as can be witnessed by the rapid shift of rigs from drilling for natural gas to drilling for oil. According to the EIA, there are 1771 active rigs as of April 12, with only 21% of the total drilling for natural gas. Of the total rigs, 62% are engaged in horizontal drilling, which was largely unknown a decade ago. EIA projections of future prices vary greatly, in part because they depend on projections of economic growth rates and expected rates of resource recovery from natural gas wells. The technology is not sufficiently mature to permit estimating resource recovery with any degree of confidence.
The increase in natural gas prices has resulted in a decline in the generation of electricity from natural gas. As expected, the proponents of coal and renewable point to the price volatility as a reason why natural gas is an inferior fuel for generating electricity. What they ignore is that spot prices are often not the basis for costs, but long-term contracts are. Additionally, since both coal and natural gas generate reliable electricity, a competition between the fuels tends to lower the costs to the consumer.
Those who use the natural gas spot variability to promote wind and solar are saying, in essence, the cost volatility justifies electricity unreliability. Bureaucrats who make the claim are saying that consumers prefer high cost-price stability to electricity reliability. The assertion is doubtful. Please see links under Energy Issues – US and Return of King Coal?, and http://www.eia.gov/naturalgas/weekly/#tabs-rigs-2.
EPA and Health: EPA repeatedly asserts increased regulation of coal-fired power plants will deliver enormous health benefits, including reduction in asthma attacks, the causes of which are not clear. In Investor’s Business Daily, senior writer John Merline states that a group of six major categories of air pollutants have fallen 62% since 1990. Yet, according to a September 2012 report of the American Lung Association, a great supporter and beneficiary of the EPA, the number of people suffering from asthma in the US continues to grow. Clearly, there is something wrong with the EPA health-benefit models.
Also, the EPA does not consider the possible harm it causes by increasing the cost of electricity, and effectively prohibiting replacement of old coal-fired plants with modern plants that greatly increase energy efficiency and significantly reduce pollutants. Please see links under EPA and other Regulators on the March, Return of King Coal?, and http://www.lung.org/finding-cures/our-research/trend-reports/asthma-trend-report.pdf.
Old Pipelines: Sixty-year-old pipelines have ruptured over the past several years spilling crude oil, or emitting natural gas. The Wall Street Journal reports on the changes in welding technology that makes modern pipelines safer than those built decades ago. Please see Article # 4
Antarctic Ice: Two new reports on findings from Antarctic ice cores came out this week, causing some confusion and significant blaring among alarmists about sea level rise.
One paper examined 18 ice cores of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. It found that: “Changes in atmospheric circulation over the past five decades have enhanced the wind-driven inflow of warm ocean water onto the Antarctic continental shelf, where it melts ice shelves from below. Atmospheric circulation changes have also caused rapid warming over the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, and contributed to declining sea-ice cover in the adjacent Amundsen–Bellingshausen seas. It is unknown whether these changes are part of a longer-term trend.” The current thinning is within what has occurred at different times in the past 2,000 years.
The second study was a thousand-year temperature reconstruction from a single ice core from James Ross Island, which is near the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. It concludes the current summer ice melt is the greatest in the past 1,000 years. What is disturbing is what was omitted in the abstract and an accompanying article. One, the island is on the east side of the peninsula, thus is subject to different ocean currents than the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Two, at latitude of approximately 64 deg S, the island is outside of the Antarctic Circle. And, three, James Ross Island “is a large basaltic volcano with a shield profile. It has a basal diameter of 35-60 km and a summit (Mt Haddington) at 1500 m and it is the largest volcano by far in the Antarctic Peninsula region, and one of the largest in Antarctica.” [Emphasis added]
Generalizations from the James Ross Island ice core are problematic. Please see links under Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice, Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up, and http://www.volcano.group.cam.ac.uk/volcanoes/james-ross-island/
Number of the Week: 18 to 1. As expressed immediately above, 18 ice cores of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet showed nothing beyond what has occurred in the past 2,000 years. One problematic ice core from James Ross Island ice shows melt beyond what occurred in the past 1,000 years.
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. Climate Change Conversation Aborted
By S. Fred Singer, American Thinker, Apr 19, 2013
[SEPP Comment: See the initial article under Defending the Orthodoxy.]
2. Vote Leaves EU Emissions Trading in Tatters
By Sean Carney, WSJ, Apr 16, 2013 [H/t Stefan Björklund]
3. Rise in U.S. Gas Production Fuels Unexpected Plunge in Emissions
By Russell Gold, WSJ, Apr 18, 2013
4. Big Spills From Aging Oil Pipelines
Seam Failures From Old, Outmoded Welds Are Under Study After Exxon and Chevron Lines Rupture
By Daniel Gilbert, WSJ, Apr 16, 2013
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Tingley and Huybers Exclude Mt Logan
By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Apr 14, 2013
Perhaps the greatest single difference between being a “real climate scientist” and policies recommended here is that “real climate scientists” do not hesitate in excluding data ex post because it goes the “wrong” way, a practice that is unequivocally condemned at Climate Audit and other critical blogs which take the position that criteria have to be established ex ante:
The Hockey Team and Reinhart-Rogoff
By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Apr 18, 2013
[SEPP Comment: To hockey-team members, major errors do not matter.]
PAGES2K, Gergis and Made-for-IPCC Journal Articles
By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Apr 19, 2013
[SEPP Comment: Recycling is in vogue in Nature – publishing an article for inclusion in the IPCC AR5 that did not meet the standards of Journal of Climate.]
By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Apr 19, 2013
[SEPP Comment: Caught misstating the major criticism of the hockey-stick.]
Challenging the Orthodoxy
Anthropogenic Global Warming Science Assessment Report
The Right Climate Stuff Research Team, Apr 2013
The Right Climate Stuff Team Releases New Report,
Finds ‘No Convincing Evidence Indicating Our Planet Is in a Climate Crisis’
By Staff Writers, Heartland Institute, Apr 13, 2013
The Missing Science from the Draft National Assessment on Climate Change
By Patrick Michaels, et al, CATO, April, 2012
[SEPP Comment: Links to the 133 page review.]
Global Warming Slowdown: The View from Space
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Apr 16, 2013
The Strange Case of Global Warming
By Ivar Giaever, The 62nd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, 2012 [H/t Larry Gould]
[SEPP Comment: Answering the question: is global warming a pseudo-science?]
The Climate Horror Picture Show, Brought to You by Dodgy Science
By Patrick Michaels, Forbes, Apr 18, 2013
Belgian Scientists: Double Standards in Climate Change
By István E. Markó, Alain Préat, Henri Masson and Samuel Furfar, GWPF, Apr 13, 2013
[SEPP Comment: French language press does not cover challenges to the orthodoxy.]
Defending the Orthodoxy
Gore calls for action on climate change
Nobel Peace Prize winner challenges climate change denier
By Mary Fitzgerald, Irish Times, Apr 17, 2013
Climate Change Conversations
By Bassam Z. Shakhashiri & Jerry A. Bell, Science Mag, Apr 5, 2013
Climate Change: The Moral Choices
The effects of global warming will persist for hundreds of years. What are our responsibilities and duties today to help safeguard the distant future? That is the question ethicists are now asking.
By David Rotman, MIT Technology Review, Apr 11, 2013 [H/t Bishop Hill]
[SEPP Comment: What is the morality in promoting what Ivar Giaever calls a pseudo-science?]
Questioning the Orthodoxy
The failure of climate change mitigation policy
By Martin Livermore, Scientific Alliance, Apr 18, 2013
Yes, Let’s Please Have More Conversations About Global Warming
By James Taylor, Forbes, Apr 17, 2013
The Dam Is About to Break
By Dennis Avery, Center for Global Food Issues, Apr 11, 2013
Mother of German Green Weeklies, Die Zeit, Shocks Readers…Now Casts Doubt On Global Warming!
By P. Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Apr 19, 2013
[SEPP Comment: A bit of humor.]
Is the UK heading for ANOTHER Arctic winter? Met Office calls emergency meeting to discuss if melting ice is causing Britain to freeze
Dr Julia Slingo at the Met Office calling a meeting of world climate experts
She is concerned melting Arctic ice is causing Britain’s climate to change
Comes after lowest April temperature for nearly 100 years was recorded
By Emma Innes, Mail Online, Apr 11, 2013
Is the Great Climate Alarm Winding Down?
By Douglas Gregory, Master Resource, Apr 18, 2013
History trumps climate scientist
Climate alarmist claims are at odds with reality
Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post, Apr 18, 2013
[SEPP Comment: Climate history contradicts the Climate Establishment.]
Climate scientists struggle to explain warming slowdown
Bu Alister Doyle, Reuters, Apr 16, 2013 [H/t Dennis Averey]
Back To The Penalty Box…Chinese Paleo-Climatolgists Slap Down High-Sticking Michael Mann!
By P. Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Apr 15, 2013
Questioning European Green
Margaret Thatcher: Global Warming Provides a Marvelous Excuse for Global Socialism
By Marita Noon and Michael Economides, Energy Tribune, Apr 18, 2013
Biofuels: ‘Irrational’ and ‘worse than fossil fuels’
By Matt McGrath, BBC, Apr 14, 2013 [H/t GWPF]
It creates a financial incentive to buy refined palm oil, cook a chip in it to turn it into used cooking oil and then sell it at profit…”
[SEPP Comment: Political values creating artificial economic value.]
It’s insane that we’re fleeced by the energy giants AND help them avoid tax!
By Stephen Glover, Daily Mail, Apr 17, 2013 [H/t GWPF]
Questioning Green Elsewhere
IEA: Carbon Mitigation Efforts Have Stalled Despite Rapid Renewables Expansion
By Sonal Patel, Power Mag, Apr 18, 2013
Link to report: Tracking Clean Energy Progress 2013
By Staff Writers, OECD/IEA, 2013
Clean Energy Investment Falls 22% as Subsidy Cuts Stall Projects
By Sally Bakewell, Bloomberg, Apr 14, 2013 [H/t No Tricks Zone]
Renewable power just too costly
By Donald Dewees, Financial Post, Apr 13, 2013
The missing costs of carbon policies
By Terence Corcoran, Financial Post, Apr 17, 2013
Expanding the Orthodoxy
World Bank President: Climate Change Is Urgent ‘Today’ Problem
By Cindy Huang, PBS News, Apr 18, 2013
US, China agree climate change working group
By Staff Writers, AFP, Apr 13, 20113
China climate chief says EU CO2 crisis will not hurt domestic plans
By David Stanway, Reuters, Apr 18, 2013 [H/t Bob Carter]
As Arctic Ice Melts, It’s A Free-For-All For Oil … And Tusks
By Staff Writers, NPR, Apr 14, 2013
International Climate Change Financing: The Green Climate Fund (GCF)
By Richard Lattanzio, CRS, Apr 16, 2013 [H/t Timothy Wise]
[SEPP Comment: A yet to be fleshed-out program to pay off the rich in poor countries to keep their countries poor. Many parties expect the capitalization and operation of the GCF after the November 2013 UNFCCC COP meeting in Warsaw, Poland. Thankfully, Congress has yet to allocate funds.]
Seeking a Common Ground
Numeracy in Climate Discussions – how long will it take to get a 6 deg. C rise in temperature?
Calculations by William Happer, WUWT, Apr 18, 2013
[SEPP Comment: A mathematical exercise showing the absurdity of claims that CO2 emissions will result in a 6 deg C rise in temperatures.]
Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?
Study reveals seasonal patterns of tropical rainfall changes from global warming
By Staff Writers, Honolulu HI (SPX), Apr 18, 2013
Link to paper: Patterns of the seasonal response of tropical rainfall to global warming
By Ping Huang, et al, Nature Geoscience, Apr 14, 2013
[SEPP Comment: A study based showing what 18 climate models project is not particularly meaningful. Do observations support the models?]
Sea level rise: Jeopardy for terrestrial biodiversity on islands
By Staff Writers, Vienna, Austria (SPX), Apr 15, 2013
Link to paper: Vulnerability of terrestrial island vertebrates to projected sea-level rise.
By Wetzel, Beissmann, Penn, & Jetz, Global Change Biology, Mar, 2013
[SEPP Comment: Start off with a false premise, then go on from there.]
Cutting specific pollutants would slow sea level rise
By Staff Writers, Boulder CO, (SPX) Apr 16, 2013
Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
New insight into accelerating summer ice melt on the Antarctic Peninsula
By Staff Writers, London, UK (SPX), Apr 16, 2013 [H/t Viv Forbes]
Link to paper: Acceleration of snow melt in an Antarctic Peninsula ice core during the twentieth century
By Nerilie Abram, et al, Nature Geoscience, Apr 14, 2013
WWU faculty find overwhelming scientific evidence to support global warming
By WWU Geology Faculty, Bellingham Herald, Mar 31, 2013
Easterbrook disputes WWU faculty global warming opinions
By Don Easterbrook, Bellingham Herald, Apr 14, 2013 [H/t Gordon Fulks]
The Second-string ‘Hockey Team’
By Gordon Fulks, ICECAP, Apr 16, 2013
Models v. Observations
Climate models fail to ‘predict’ US droughts
Simulations identify past megadroughts, but at wrong times.
By Quirin Schiermeier, Nature, April 16, 2013 [H/t Pat Michaels]
Stubbed Toe? Blame Global Warming
By Walter Russell Mead, Via Meadia, Apr 14, 2013
Spring rains bring life to Midwest granaries but foster Gulf of Mexico ‘Dead Zone’
By Staff Writers, New Orleans LA (SPX), Apr 15, 2013
[SEPP Comment: Turning good news into bad news.]
Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice
West Antarctic Change Indistinguishable from Natural Variability
By Doug Hoffman, The Resillent Earth from GWPF, Apr 18, 2013
Recent Antarctic climate, glacier changes at the ‘upper bound’ of normal
By Vince Stricherz, Press Release, Univ. of Washington, Apr 14, 2013 [H/t Carl de Boor]
[SEPP Comment: Same facts written differently than link immediately above.]
Antarctic ice sheet melt ‘not that unusual’, latest ice core shows
Warm slushy spells like the 1990s have happened before
By Lewis Page, The Register, Apr 15, 2013 [H/t ICECAP]
Link to article: Recent climate and ice-sheet changes in West Antarctica compared with the past 2,000 years
By Eric Steig, et al, Nature Geoscience, Apr 14, 2013
[SEPP Comment: 18 ice cores shown We conclude that the uncertain trajectory of tropical climate variability represents a significant source of uncertainty in projections of West Antarctic climate and ice-sheet change.]
Antarctica gaining Ice Mass — and is not extraordinary compared to 800 years of data
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Apr 16, 2013
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC
For a full list of articles see www.NIPCCreport.org
Meteorology and Mortality in Rural Bangladesh
Reference: Lindeboom, W., Alam, N., Begum, D. and Streatfield, P.K. 2012. The association of meteorological factors and mortality in rural Bangladesh, 1983-2009. Global Health Action 5: 61-73.
Ecosystem Trophic Relationships in a Warmer World
Reference: Aberle, N., Bauer, B., Lewandowska, A., Gaedke, U. and Sommer, U. 2012. Warming induces shifts in microzooplankton phenology and reduces time-lags between phytoplankton and protozoan production. Marine Biology 159: 2441-2453.
The Global Warming-ENSO Connection
Reference: Ray, S. and Giese, B.S. 2012. Historical changes in El Niño and La Niña characteristics in an ocean reanalysis. Journal of Geophysical Research 117: 10.1029/2012JC008031.
Overall,” in the words of the two researchers, “there is no evidence that there are changes in the  strength,  frequency, duration,  location or  direction of propagation of El Niño and La Niña anomalies caused by global warming during the period from 1871 to 2008.”
The Global Warming-Global Runoff Connection
Reference: Munier, S., Palanisamy, H., Maisongrande, P., Cazenave, A. and Wood, E.F. 2012. Global runoff anomalies over 1993-2009 estimated from coupled Land-Ocean-Atmosphere water budgets and its relation with climate variability. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 16: 3647-3658.
In the concluding words of the research team, “we show that an intensification of the global water cycle due to global warming is not obvious over the last two decades,” which is not exactly what one would expect to be the case during a period of supposedly “unprecedented” over-heating of the planet.
The Political Games Continue
Carbon Tax…Are Republicans Really That Stupid?
By Larry Bell, Forbes, Apr 16, 2013
Bachmann, conservative groups ask Supreme Court to stop EPA climate rules
By Ben Geman, The Hill, Apr 19, 2013
Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes
Failed Emissions Trading Reform: ‘The End of a European Climate Policy’
By Christian Teevs, Spiegel, Apr 17, 2013 [H/t Roger Cohen]
[SEPP Comment: Lamenting the possible demise of the EU Carbon trading scheme as the EP Parliament refused to pass a delay on the sale of more carbon certificates. Great propaganda photo of steam condensing.]
EU Refuses to Resuscitate Its Dying Carbon Market
By Walter Russell Mead, Via Meadia, Apr 16, 2013
UK Industry Faces ‘Catastrophic’ Problems over Carbon Floor Price
By Pilita Clark & Chris Tighe, Financial Times, GWPF, Apr 4, 2013
Labor in a $7 billion black hole as world carbon price collapses
By Gemma Jones, Daily Telegraph, AU, Apr 18, 2013
Europe’s climate chief vows to fight on to save emissions trading scheme
Connie Hedegaard’s attempts to introduce longer-term reforms will face fierce opposition from a powerful business lobby
By Fiona Harvey, Guardian, UK, Apr 17, 2013
Green energy on the back foot after carbon trading blow
By Matt McGrath, BBC, Apr 18, 2013 [H/t Chris Horner]
Subsidies and Mandates Forever
Federal Support for Renewable and Advanced Energy Technologies
By Staff Writers, GAO, Apr 16, 2013 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Link to full report: Federal Support for Renewable and Advanced Energy Technologies
Testimony by Frank Rusco, GAO, Apr 16, 2013
[SEPP Comment: Protecting the citizens from imported oil and volatile energy costs by subsidizing costly and unreliable wind and solar, costly electric and hybrid vehicles, etc. and using multiple and overlapping programs. These credit subsidy and loan guarantee programs support products that few consumers want.]
EPA and other Regulators on the March
EPA proposes water pollution rules for power plants
By Zack Colman, The Hill, Apr 19, 2013
EPA Delays GHG Emissions Decision and Adds to FutureGen Challenges
By Gail Reitenbach and Sonal Patel, Power Mag, Apr 18, 2013
EPA faces lawsuit threats over blown climate rule deadline
By Ben Geman, The Hill, Apr 17, 2013
EPA’s Tier 3 tyranny
By Paul Driessen, SPPI, Apr 17, 2013
EPA’s Dirty Secret About The Environment
By John Merline, IBD, Apr 19, 2013
Energy Issues – Non-US
Why shipping oil by rail may not be a substitute for Keystone
By Patrick Rucker, Reuters, Apr 13, 2013
Wind Power Incidents in China: Investigation and Solutions
By Zeng Ming, et al. North China Electric Power University, Power Mag, Apr 1, 2013
… the authors examine and sort wind technology failures by type and explore their causes in an effort to offer solutions.
Energy Issues — US
Electricity from Natural Gas 16% Down
By Staff Writer, Energy Manager Today, Apr 12, 2013 [H/t George Nicholas]
Washington’s Control of Energy
Will Obama Put Coal out of Business?
By Rich Duprey, Motley Fool, Apr 10, 2013
Alaska lawmakers slash oil taxes, hope to spur output
By Yereth Rosen, Reuters, Apr 15, 2013
[SEPP Comment: Washington’s denial of additional development of oil fields in Alaska is having an impact on the state’s budget.]
Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
Study: Fracked gas far more climate-friendly than coal
By Ben Geman, The Hill, Apr 19, 2013
Link to the article: Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Freshwater Consumption of Marcellus Shale Gas
By Ian Laurenzi and Gilbert Jersey, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering, Environmental Science and Technoloby, Apr 2, 2013
We conclude by comparing the life cycle impacts of Marcellus gas and U.S. coal: The carbon footprint of Marcellus gas is 53% (80% CI: 44–61%) lower than coal, and its freshwater consumption is about 50% of coal.
Alaska, DOE agree to study unconventional energy
Alaska, federal Department of Energy, sign agreement to study unconventional energy in Arctic
By Dan Joling, AP, Apr 17, 2013
[SEPP Comment: Possible development of methane hydrates.]
Return of King Coal?
EIA Projects Coal Generation Gains Due to Increasing Gas Prices
By Gail Reitenbach, Power Mag, Apr 11, 2013
Natural gas reality shows its teeth
By Frank Clemente, Energy Facts, Apr 17, 2013
A War on Coal?
By Staff Writers, NCPA, Apr 15, 2013
Link to report: An EPA War on Coal?
By Richard Gordon, Regulation, Spring 2013
[SEPP Comment: It began with poorly conceive laws long before the current administration. The current administration only chooses to exploit these laws to acquire additional power.]
Oil Spills, Gas Leaks & Consequences
University of Tennessee professor’s research shows Gulf of Mexico resilient after spill
By Staff Writers, Knoxville TN (SPX), Apr 15, 2013
Nuclear Energy and Fears
Small Nuclear Reactors
By Donn Dears, Power for USA, Apr 16, 2013
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind
Response to Critics of the Fraser Institute Report: Ontario’s Green Energy Act Causing Energy Prices to Soar
By Ross McKitrick, His Blog, Apr 18, 2013
[SEPP Comment: An economist who can write with a sharp quill. Wind power advocates beware.]
The free market strikes back. Renewables Investment plummets 22% in first quarter of 2013
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Apr 20, 2013
[SEPP Comment: Provides a good infill for a dry Bloomberg report.]
U.S. leads in wind installations
By Staff Writers, Washington (UPI), Apr 12, 2013
[SEPP Comment: Chinese numbers, (under Energy Issues – Non US) which end in 2011, show 11,409 turbines installed in 2011, this article reports 6,700 installed in US in 2012.]
Solar becomes single largest source of new grid capacity in the USA
By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), Apr 16, 2013
[SEPP Comment: Wind claims 13 GW of new capacity (link immediately above) solar claims 3.3 GW of new capacity. Both claims cannot be right, yet both can be very wrong. Unreliable capacity is not the same as reliable (dispatchable) power.]
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other
Thinktank: Biofuels are too expensive – and they don’t always reduce emissions
By Robin Webster, Carbon Brief, Apr 15, 2013
Link to study: The Trouble with Biofuels: Costs and Consequences of Expanding Biofuel Use in the United Kingdom
By Rob Bailey, Chatham House, April 2013
Is it time to end ethanol vehicle fuel mandates?
By Steve Goreham, Washington Times, Apr 16, 2013
Sapphire Energy’s Warner discusses efforts to commercialize green crude
Transcript by Staff Writer, EETV, Apr 16, 2013
Cost-saving measure to upgrade ethanol to butanol — a better alternative to gasoline
By Staff Writers, New Orleans LA (SPX), Apr 15, 2013
Kevin Rudd wins Golden Fleece Award
By Viv Forbes, WUWT, Apr 19, 2013
CO2 removal can lower costs of climate protection
By Staff Writers, Potsdam Germany (SPX), Apr 16, 2013
Link to paper: Is atmospheric carbon dioxide removal a game changer for climate change mitigation?
By Kriegler, Edenhofer, Reuster, Luderer, and Klien, Feb, 2013
Chevron Defies California On Carbon Emissions
By Ben Elgin & Peter Waldman, Bloomberg, Apr 18, 2013
[SEPP Comment: Chevron’s management is becoming aware that trying to use politics to gain advantage over its completion can be costly unless the technology it is counting on is fully developed for commercial use.]
California Environmental Law Needs Reform, Not Excuses
Editorial, IBD, Apr 18, 2013
A Rock and a Hard Place: California and the Monterey Shale
By Thomas Overton, Power Mag, Apr 1, 2013
[SEPP Comment: An assessment of political, and physical, difficulties in developing the Monterey shale formation for oil and gas.]
California High Speed Rail Falls Short of Expectations
By Staff Writer, NCPA, Apr 17, 2013
Link to full report: California High-Speed Rail: An Updated Due Diligence Report
By Joseph Vranich, Wendell Cox and Adrian Moore, Reason Foundation, Apr 11, 2013
Health, Energy, and Climate
New chemophobe-in-chief at the NYTimes
By Staff Writer, ACSH, Apr 15, 2013
Energy efficiency could increase infection risks in hospital wards
By Staff Writers, Leeds UK (SPX), Apr 17, 2013
Link to paper: Measurement of Ventilation and Airborne Infection Risk in Large Naturally Ventilated Hospital Wards
By C.A. Gileson, et al, Building and Environment, Apr 6, 2013
An open letter to David Attenborough
By John Happs, Quadrant, Apr 15, 2013
Don’t expect Big Green to save Falmouth
By Ron Arnold, Washington Examiner, Apr 18, 2013
[SEPP Comment: Discusses bird and bat kills by wind farms.]
Other Scientific News
Florida Tech professors present ‘dark side of dark lightning’ at conference
By Staff Writers, Melbourne FL (SPX), Apr 12, 2013
Other News that May Be of Interest
Pottery reveals Ice Age hunter-gatherers’ taste for fish
By Staff Writers, York UK (SPX), Apr 15, 2013
[SEPP Comment: Analysis of 15,000 year old pottery from Japan.]
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
Ridiculous comment of the year – Andrew Cuomo connects climate change and bombing
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Apr 19, 2013
April Fools: April is upon us, and it is time to hold the SEPP April Fools contest. Using the following criteria, readers are requested to submit their nomination of a government official or political leader along with a sentence or two why that person should be considered:
· The nominee has advanced, or proposes to advance, significant expansion of governmental power, regulation, or control over the public or significant sections of the general economy.
· The nominee does so by declaring such measures are necessary to protect public health, welfare, or the environment.
· The nominee declares that physical science supports such measures.
· The physical science supporting the measures is flimsy at best, and possibly non-existent.
The final selection will be determined by a special SEPP panel. The name of the winner will be emblazoned with names of other winners of the great SEPP trophy – The Jackson – a lump of coal named after the first winner, (former) EPA administrator Lisa P. Jackson. Please submit your nomination to Ken@SEPP.org.