Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

The Week That Was: 2013-08-24 (August 24, 2013) Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project


Quote of the Week: With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk. Attributed to John von Neumann by Enrico Fermi, as quoted by Freeman Dyson in “A meeting with Enrico Fermi” in Nature 427 (22 January 2004) p. 297 http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_von_Neumann


Number of the Week: 8.8% v. 155.8%


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

Parameters: The quote of the week illustrates what is wrong with the entire process of attempting to assess the causes of climate change as it is practiced by governments and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

In general, the more parameters, factors that vary, a model has that are specified for the model, the greater is the uncertainty within the model. The Summary for Policymakers of IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report 2007 identified nine parameters for Global Mean Radiative Forcings, only one, solar irradiance, being natural. The ranges of error are large, and in some cases it is uncertain if the parameter amplifies or reduces warming caused by increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in the atmosphere from human emissions.

According to reports, rather than attempting to determine the values of excess parameters external of the models, model builders are adding more parameters to the models. These actions evoke the images from a famous scene in Walt Disney’s cartoon movie, Fantasia – dancing pink elephants. Please see links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.


The 95% Certainty: The scientists preparing the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) for the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report are leaking to a largely favorable press that they are 95% confident that humans caused the late 20th century warming. This is critical to the claim that human emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases are causing Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW).

The figure is scientifically meaningless. A statistical distribution can be calculated over the results from the some 73 global climate models, but the models have never been validated and only one valid model would have been sufficient. As discussed above, the models have significant, unknown, internal uncertainty. Further, CO2 emissions do not explain the significant warming of the first part of the 20th century, the current pause in warming of at least a decade (in the atmosphere and at least 15 years on the surface) and the regional nature of the of the warming, which is occurring in the northern part of the Northern Hemisphere with little warming elsewhere.

Physicist Luboš Motl is unimpressed. He writes: “Even if the figure 95% were credible, calculated, and replaced by a much higher figure, the statement we have “learned” is completely unspectacular, pretty much inconsequential, and unworthy of spending another dollar.” He writes that the number is pulled out of the air, 95% is painfully low, and draws an analogy with what is required in particle physics.

After the IPCC scientists are finished, the SPM will be reviewed by government representatives to determine if it is acceptable before it is published. The review will take place in late September. That prompts the question, why the leaks? Do these scientists think they can intimidate the governments of China, India, Russia, Brazil, and South Africa into accepting their highly questionable findings? They may be surprised. Please see links under The 95% Certainty.


New AGU: On the web site of Anthony Watts, Roger Pielke, Sr. writes of his experiences in attempting to have his dissent to the Statement on Climate Change of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) printed in the AGU flagship publication EOS. The authoritarian attitude of the new leadership of AGU is more fitting a military organization than a scientific society. Please see link under Suppressing Scientific Inquiry.


A Climate Change Statement: Last week’s TWTW stated that the total number of science societies which requested membership review before publishing a statement on climate change was zero. Bob Carter, an editor of the reports by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, quickly corrected TWTW. The Geological Society of Australia did publish a draft statement for membership review before adoption. The effort was headed by past president Brad Pillans and is certainly worth reading. Thankfully, TWTW stands corrected. Please see links under Seeking a Common Ground.


Courage: In a provocative essay entitled “Scientists and motivated reasoning” Judith Curry mentions some of her experiences for publically discussing the uncertainty in climate science and its models. It is an outstanding exposition on the need for, and perils of, advocating integrity in climate science. Curry is to be thanked for having the courage to follow the data rather than the crowd. Please see link under Suppressing Scientific Inquiry.


Extreme Weather: Roger Pielke, Jr. has posted his written responses to written questions from two Senators on the Environment and Public Works Committee following Pielke’s testimony challenging the claims of increasing extreme weather events. The data does not support the claims. Apparently, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse from Rhode Island prefers the dogma to the data and asked Pielke to supply a full list of funding for his current research. No dirty oil or coal money here.

In a softball question, Senator David Vitter from Louisiana referenced a survey of corporate executives by Lloyd’s of London about risks their business face. He asked Pielke why climate change was ranked # 32, behind piracy but ahead of space weather. Please see link under Seeking a Common Ground


Social Cost of Carbon: The paper by MIT Economist Robert Pindyck published by the National Bureau of Economic Research continues to provoke articles on the weakness of the calculations by government agencies of the Social Cost of Carbon, which is being used by various agencies to insist on government control in the manufacture of consumer goods, such as microwave ovens. There is every reason to anticipate the expansion of such controls.

Pindyck discusses what are called Integrated Assessment Models (IAM) and they have two major problems: 1) the sensitivity of the planet to increased concentrations of CO2; and 2) the economic impact of higher temperatures. The former does not particularly concern Pindyck, but the latter does. He states that the three IAMs he investigated essentially plucked the economic impact of higher temperatures from air. He states that the estimates are not based on theory or data. Even though he believes in the possibility of CAGW, he believes the models should not be used to estimate its effects. Among other reasons he states is that the models underestimate the possibility of catastrophe.

As stated above, global climate models have not established that the planet is particularly sensitive to increasing CO2. All 73 global climate models tested are overestimating the warming of the atmosphere over the tropics.

The morass of models creates a dilemma on how to legally challenge the calculations of the social cost of carbon. During the oral arguments on the EPA Endangerment Finding the chief justice of the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia made it clear that he will not tolerate any challenge to EPA science and there is little question that the EPA will exploit the court’s position to expand its power. Further, attorneys representing the EPA argued the models are valid. Herein may be a weakness.

However, the social cost of carbon cannot be estimated, or even logically evaluated, to any degree of confidence until there is a validated climate model predicting the increase in temperature from increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide. It may be possible to petition the court to have the EPA identify a validated climate model and explain how it was scientifically validated as well as demonstrate its predictive powers. How successfully did the model predict the current pause in temperature rise, how well did it predict the lack of significant warming over the tropics? The EPA has 19 US models from which to choose. Of course, a valid climate model does not exist. Such an approach may avoid the trap of arguing over the various economic damage models, which would only benefit the government agencies advocating the social cost of carbon. Please see links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.


New Technology? Covering a bit of history, Robert Bradely Jr, points out the fracturing of wells in the US started with using gun powder as early as 1808 in water wells and was used to fracture oil wells in the 1860s. Please see link under Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?


Covering Up Liberty: The cover of the National Geographic magazine shows the Statue of Liberty about one-half submerged by sea water. Using data from the tidal gage at the Battery, on Manhattan, about 1.7 miles away, Anthony Watts calculates it would take 23,500 years before this would occur, assuming sea levels continue to rise as they have in the past centuries and a new Ice Age does not happen.

Its web site states: “The mission of the National Geographic Society is to inspire people to care about the planet.” The question is how gullible do the editors of National Geographic think their readers are? Please see links under Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up and



Additions and Corrections: Reader Christopher Game correctly points out a sentence used to describe the discussion paper by Hans von Storch and his team was awkward. TWTW followed the language of the paper.

A clearer description comes in an interview of Storch during which reporters from Der Spiegel asked if climate simulations show a long standstill in temperature change that is being observed now. Storch answered: “Yes, but only extremely rarely. At my institute, we analyzed how often such a 15-year stagnation in global warming occurred in the simulations. The answer was: in under 2 percent of all the times we ran the simulation. In other words, over 98 percent of forecasts show CO2 emissions as high as we have had in recent years leading to more of a temperature increase.”

Storch further stated: “If things continue as they have been, in five years, at the latest, we will need to acknowledge that something is fundamentally wrong with our climate models. A 20-year pause in global warming does not occur in a single modeled scenario. But even today, we are finding it very difficult to reconcile actual temperature trends with our expectations.”

Although TWTW may disagree with Storch’s conclusions, his candor is refreshing. As always, TWTW appreciates readers who suggest Additions and Corrections. Please see link under Models v. Observations


Number of the Week: 8.8% v 155.8%. In its 2013 estimate of levelized costs for plants put into service in 2018, the US Energy Information Administrated calculated the production and the costs for both on-shore wind and off-shore wind. The estimates are rough but illustrative. The on-shore production was estimated to be at 34% of nameplate capacity and the off-shore production was 37%. The total costs are $86.60 per mega-watt hour and $229.5 per mWh. One can realize an 8.8% increase in production by going off-shore and spending only 155.8% more! Is this a difficult decision? Please see link under Energy Issues – US.



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. A Tale of Two Climate HockeySticks

By S. Fred Singer, American Thinker, Aug 20, 2013


2 ‘Perverse Effects’

How green subsidies often increase carbon emissions.

Editorial, WSJ, Aug 19, 2013 [H/t William Readdy]


3. Race for Resources: Warm to Investors, Greenland Opens Up

Prospectors Develop Projects to Mine Potential Bounty in Minerals

By James Areddy, WSJ, Aug 22, 2013




Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?

Ten Year Anniversary of the Climate Change Paradigm Shift

By Howard Richman & Raymond Richman, American Thinker, Aug 21, 2013


[SEPP Comment: Paradigm shift is a bit much.

Suppressing Scientific Inquiry

Limiting scientific debate: A change in the AGU policy on Presenting Alternative Scientific Viewpoints

By Roger Pielke Sr, WUWT, Aug 23, 2013


Scientists and motivated reasoning

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc., Aug 20, 2013


Challenging the Orthodoxy

IPCC caught out with an old, known, and uncorrected error pending their new AR5 report

By Tony Thomas, WUWT, Aug 19, 2013


Report Indicates IPCC Ignore Facts and Failed Predictions To Claim Better Results

By Tim Ball, A Different Perspective, Aug 18, 2013


[SEPP Comment: Is it very likely, or virtually certain, that the actual scientific chapter will not present the science supporting the greater than 95% figure that is reported to be in the Summary for Policymakers?]

The Medieval Warm Period in the Arctic

By Craig Idso, WUWT, Aug 23, 2013


MIT Economist on Bogus Climate Damage Functions

By Robert Murphy, IER, Aug 21, 2013


Model mockery

By Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post, CA, Aug 22, 2013 [H/t WUWT]


Top economist, a true believer in global warming, proves predictions of catastrophe are meaningless.

Polar bears have not been harmed by sea ice declines in summer – the evidence

By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Aug 18, 2013


The 95% Certainty

95 percent confidence: in HEP vs IPCC

By Luboš Motl, The Reference Frame, Aug 17, 2013


The ‘95% certainty’ is that the IPCC can’t be trusted

By John McLean, Quadrant, Aug 23, 2013


When somebody hits you with that new ‘IPCC is 95% certain’ talking point on global warming, show them this

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Aug 20, 2013


The UN is 95% sure on AGW while unable to explain why there has been no warming over past 16 years

By Staff Writers, ICECAP, Aug 21, 2013


Climate Panel Cites Near Certainty on Warming

By Justin Gillis, NYT, Aug 19, 2013 [H/t Paul Sheridan]


Scientists nearly certain that humans have caused global warming

By Darryl Fears, Washington Post, Aug 20, 2013 [H/t Conrad Potemra]


Defending the Orthodoxy

Leaked climate report: Ten nuggets worth noting

By Jason Samenow, Washington Post, Aug 20, 2013 [Ht Anne Debeil]


Scientists Turn to Melted Ice to Make Climate-Change Case

By Jim Efstathiou Jr, Bloomberg, Aug 20, 2013 [H/t Climate Depot]


[SEPP Comment: Would the IPCC evade the issue of no surface warming for at least 15 years? Of course, use proxy data!]

European forests nearing carbon-saturation point

By Alister Doyle, Reuters, Aug 18, 2013 [H/t Clyde Spencer}


Link to paper First signs of carbon sink saturation in European forest biomass

By Nabuurs, et al., Nature Climate Change Aug 18, 2013


[SEPP Comment: Time to start re-cycling the trees!]

Extreme weather, climate and the carbon cycle

By Staff Writers, Dresden, Germany (SPX), Aug 19, 2013


Separating Science From Spin on the Global-Warming ‘Pause’

What’s causing a temporary slowdown in planetary warming, and why should anyone worry that more warming is coming?

By Patrick Reis and Marina Koren, National Journal, Aug 21, 2013 [H/t WUWT]


[SEPP Comment: The excuse of the day.]

Questioning the Orthodoxy

German Meteorologists Ridiculing IPCC – PIK Science: “Climate Hysterics Are Back…Coming Out Of Their Caves”

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Aug 18, 2013


How global warming research is like pot research

By Robert Brown, WUWT, Aug 22, 2013


[SEPP Comment: Amusing simile.]

The looming peril of global talling

By Mal Wedd, Quadrant, Aug 22, 2013


[SEPP Comment: Amusing take on claims such as the hottest decade every.]

Climate Reductio ad Absurdum

By Alan Caruba, Warning Signs, Aug 21, 2013


Lawmakers want answers on ‘social cost of carbon’ decision

By Ben Goad, The Hill, Aug 21, 2013


[SEPP Comment: The Federal agencies are incapable of producing a validated model that can predict the effects on carbon dioxide on climate. Yet, they claim they can calculate the costs of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide, the influence of which they cannot predict.]

Shocker: Global warming may simply be an artifact of clean air laws

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Aug 19, 2013


The day the Global Warming death spiral began

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Aug 20, 2013


The Great Global Warming Con

Pointman’s His Blog, Aug 23, 2013


Up to our ears in Al Gore’s ‘climate change’ snake oil

By Wesley Pruden, Washington Times, Aug 23, 2013


Seeking a Common Ground

Climate Change Statement

Proposed for adoption, Submitted to members to review.

By Brad Pillans, Past President, tag (The Australian Geologist), Geological Society of Australia, Dec 2012 pp 6 & 7


Referenced paper: Trends, rhythms, and aberrations in global climate

By Zachos, et al, 2001 Science 292: p 686-693 (April 27, 2001)


Follow Up Q&A From Senate EPW

By Roger Pielke Jr., His Blog, Aug 21, 2013


On the Cloud Thermostat Hypothesis

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Aug 22, 2013


Revisiting Wood’s 1909 Greenhouse Box Experiment: Part I

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Aug 23, 2013


[SEPP Comment: Yes, there is a greenhouse effect. The issue is, how significantly will adding atmospheric carbon dioxide increase it? Spencer points out a major flaw in an experiment that is cited to disprove a greenhouse effect.]


By Judith Curry, Climate Etc., Aug 22, 2013


[SEPP Comment: The National Public Radio theme: above all things let us avoid letting the public know about tremendous uncertainty in climate science.]

Proactionary principle

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc., Aug 19, 2013


Lowering Standards

IPCC Chooses Option No. 3

By Paul Knappenberger and Patrick Michaels, Cato, Aug 22, 2013


Expanding the Orthodoxy

USGS moves to create climate change vulnerability database

By Zack Colman, The Hill, Aug 20, 2013


[SEPP Comment: Will it include the dangers of global cooling?]

Questioning European Green

Times Leader: Protest vs Truth in the Battle of Balcombe

Editorial, The Times, via GWPF, Aug 19, 2013


Europe’s Renewable Energy: The Law of Unintended Consequences

By Peter Glover, Energy Tribune, Aug 20, 2013


Fracking Will Cut Energy Bills, Says Poverty Chief

By Tim Webb, The Times, via GWPF, Aug 21, 2013


Europe’s Gas Power Plant Carnage Intensifies

By Sonal Patel, Power Mag, Aug 22, 2013


Questioning Green Elsewhere

The Greening And Un-Greening Of Genetically-Improved Food

By Larry Bell, Forbes, Aug 18, 2013


[SEPP Comment: Creation of the green industry and its shameless attacks on the development of more bountiful and nutritious food.]

Forest-Interior Birds May be Benefiting from Harvested Clearings

By Staff Writers, Irvine PA (SPX), Aug 23, 2013


Green Energy is Part of the Past, not Fuel for the Future

By Viv Forbes, Carbon Sense, Aug 21, 2013


[SEPP Comment: Begins with a description of life without fossil fuels.]

Green Jobs

More evidence that green jobs are illusory

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Aug 22, 2013


[SEPP Comment: The complete study is in German.]

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

Coastal flood damage could soar to $1tn a year by 2050

Guangzhou, Miami and New York at greatest risk as a result of climate change and population growth, study shows

By Mark Tran, Guardian, UK, Aug 20, 2013


Climate models predict hard times ahead for global food production

By Freya Roberts, The Carbon Brief, Aug 21, 2013


Link to paper: Climate change impacts on global agriculture

By Calzadilla et al., Climate Change, September, 2013


[SEPP Comment: Temperature projections from extreme un-validated models.]

How shale fracking led to an Ohio town’s first 100 earthquakes

By Staff Writers, London, UK (SPX), Aug 21, 2013


[SEPP Comment: The minor earth quakes were caused by injection of waste water, not fracking. Why not by stop injection of wastewater?]

Task force: Coasts should prepare for rising seas

By David Caruso and Megan Barr, AP, Aug 19, 2013 [H/t Timothy Wise]


[SEPP Comment: Sound advice, but be prepared for hyperbole from climate modelers. No evidence of increased frequency.]

Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

National Geographic’s Junk Science: How long will it take for sea level rise to reach midway up the Statue of Liberty?

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Aug 20, 2013


Unraveling the mystery of ‘Gasland’ director Josh Fox’s drilling lease

By Sean Higgins, Washington Examiner, Aug 21, 2013


Communicating Better to the Public – Go Personal.

Arctic sea ice and extreme weather

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc., Aug 21, 2013


[SEPP Comment: Sound advice from Curry to those who try to defend their work by going personal.]

The Genetic Fallacy: He Works For An Oil Company!

By William Briggs, His Blog, Aug 23, 2013


[SEPP Comment: A different term with good examples of the logical fallacy generally taught as “argumentum ad verecundiam” or transfer.]

Welcome to the Age of Denial

Op-Ed, By Adam Frank, NYT, Aug 21, 2013


[SEPP Comment: Perhaps the good Mr. Frank should check the history of climate change that occurred before his birth, prior to lecturing us on the disaster of Lysenkoism. What are the fundamental issues in climate science that were decided scientifically decades ago? That climate change is real and occurring? It’s been doing so without human help for hundreds of millions of years and will continue to do so long after we are gone.]

Models v. Observations

Climate Expert von Storch: Why Is Global Warming Stagnating?

Interview by Olaf Stampf and Gerald Traufetter, Trans. Ella Ornstein, Spiegel, Jun 30, 2013 [H/t Tom Burch]


Von Storch on the models again

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Aug 23, 2013


Measurement Issues

Available evidence: surface temperatures

By Steven Mosher, Climate, Etc., Aug 18, 2013


[SEPP Comments: Explaining some of the updates from the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project.]

Changing Weather

2899 Record cold temps vs 667 record warm temps in U.S. — From July 24 to August 19

By Marc Morano, Climate Depot, Aug 21, 2013 [H/t William Readdy]


[SEPP Comment: Is Nature preparing for the next IPCC report?]

Extreme Temperatures in Oregon: The Seneca Oddity

By Cliff Mass, His Blog, Aug 20, 2013


[SEPP Comment: On July 21, high, dry Seneca went from minus 30F (minus 34C) to 96F (35C) in one day.]

Changing Climate

Rapid cooling triggered Bronze-Age collapse and Greek Dark Age

By Robert Felix, Ice Age Now, May 20, 2013


Link to paper: The influence of climate change on the Late Bronze Age Collapse and the Greek Dark Ages

By Brandon Drake, Journal of Archaeological Science, Jan 26, 2013

[SEPP Comment: The suddenly fashionable paper discussed climate change, not the more specific climate cooling.]

Hindcasting climate shifts in the Pacific

Posted by Anthony Watts, WUWT, Aug 22, 2013


Link to paper: Hindcast of the 1976/77 and 1998/99 climate shifts in the Pacific

By Ding, et al., Journal of Climate,


Changing Seas

Did an ice sheet collapse 120,000 years ago pushing sea levels up to 9m higher than today?

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Aug 19, 2013


Link to paper: Ice sheet collapse following a prolonged period of stable sea level during the last interglacial

By O’Leary, et al., Nature Geoscience, Jul 28, 2013


[SEPP Comment: The proposed, dramatic rise in sea levels from natural causes is based on analysis of the coast line of Western Australia (WA). Temperature units are in C. Does such a dramatic increase in sea levels appear in the geological record elsewhere in the world?]

CLIMATE CHANGE made sea levels FALL in 2010 and 2011

All the water basically got dumped on Australia, say boffins

By Lewis Page, The Register, Aug 20, 2013 [H/t GWPF]


[SEPP Comment: The hazards of extrapolating from short term data.]

Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

Sea ice decline spurs the greening of the Arctic

By Staff Writers, Univ. of Alaska Geophysical Institute, Aug 21, 2013 [H/t WUWT]


[SEPP Comment: Vegetation prefers non-frozen land to ice?]

UM Scientists Use New Approach to Reveal Function of Greenland’s Ice Sheet

By Staff Writers, Missoula MT (SPX), Aug 22, 2013


Link to paper: Basal Drainage System Response to Increasing Surface Melt on the Greenland Ice Sheet

By T. Meierbachtol, J. Harper, N. Humphrey, Science, Aug 16, 2013


[SEPP Comment: The article states future warming will be enhanced over the Arctic. It does not mention that warming should be occurring over the tropics or the Antarctic and it is not.]

Open water at the North Pole

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Aug 22, 2013


[SEPP Comment: Amusing bit of history.]

Changing Earth

Rising mountains, cooling oceans prompted spread of invasive species 450 million years ago

By Staff Writers, Athens OH (SPX), Aug 23, 2013


Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine

Genetic Engineering Produces A Genuine Monstrosity

By Henry I. Miller and Drew L. Kershen, Forbes, Aug 14, 2013 [H/t NCPA]


How will crops fare under climate change?

By Morgan Kelly, Princeton NJ (SPX), Aug 20, 2013


[SEPP Comment: Why not consult the reports of NIPCC and CO2 Science that are based on observations?]

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC

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

Developmental Thermal Acclimation in a Species of Damselfish

Reference: Grenchik, M.K., Donelson, J.M. and Munday, P.L. 2013. Evidence for developmental thermal acclimation in the damsel fish, Pomacentrus moluccensis. Coral Reefs 32: 85-90.


Deficiencies of Modeled Temperature Extremes

Reference: Morak, S., Hegerl, G.C. and Christidis, N. 2013. Detectable changes in the frequency of temperature extremes. Journal of Climate 26: 1561-1574.


Proper Modeling of the Seychelles Dome: Is Progress Being Made?

Reference: Nagura, M., Sasaki, W., Tozuka, T., Luo, J.-J., Behera, S.K. and Yamagata, T. 2013. Longitudinal biases in the Seychelles Dome simulated by 35 ocean-atmosphere coupled general circulation models. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 118: 831-846.


Impacts of Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment on Salt-Stressed Barley

Reference: Perez-Lopez, U., Robredo, A., Miranda-Apodaca, J., Lacuesta, M., Muñoz-Rueda, A. and Mena-Petite, A. 2013. Carbon dioxide enrichment moderates salinity-induced effects on nitrogen acquisition and assimilation and their impact on growth in barley plants. Environmental and Experimental Botany 87: 148-158.


The Political Games Continue

An inconvenient chill

Global-warming proponents will face a day of reckoning on Capitol Hill

Editorial, Washington Times, Aug, 23, 2013


GAO to review how administration developed ‘social cost’ of carbon

By Julian Hattem, The Hill, Aug 19, 2013


House GOP readies September probe of Obama’s climate plan

By Ben Geman, The Hill, Aug 22, 2013


Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes

It’s Not Gridlock That is Blocking a Carbon Tax, It’s Science and Economics

By Jeff Reynolds, FreedomWorks,, Aug 23, 2013


Subsidies and Mandates Forever

Spanish players look to new markets

By Jason Deign, Wind Energy Update, Aug 19, 2013


[SEPP Comment: “One of the world’s most vibrant wind and solar industry” cannot survive without subsidies.]

EPA and other Regulators on the March

How Lisa Jackson skirted Obama’s good-government pledge

By Timothy Carney, Washington Examiner, Aug 17, 2013


[SEPP Comment: The EPA considers itself exempt from certain laws and regulations.]

New evidence points to former EPA official pushing pre-emptive Pebble Mine veto

By M.D. Kittle, Washington Examiner, Aug 18, 2013


Tougher oversight needed for appliance standards program, internal watchdog says

By Zack Colman, The Hill, Aug 21, 2013


Energy Issues – Non-US

German energy giants pull plug on conventional power

By Staff Writers, Mail & Guardian, Aug 18, 2013 [H/t GWPF]


Energy Strategy: Begin with Density

By Jerry Graf, Master Resource, Aug 21, 2013


[SEPP Comment: For electricity the first principle should be dispatchability, reliable delivery when needed.]

Will the New Luddites Destroy Britain’s Industrial Future?

By Douglas Carswell, Telegraph, UK, via GWPF, Aug 18, 2013


Energy Issues — US


Levelized Cost of New Generation Resources in the Annual Energy Outlook 2013

By Staff Writers, EIA, Jan 28, 2013


Washington’s Control of Energy

Keystone XL Lobbying: Too Important to Fail Again

Pipeline supporters must argue from strength.

By Tom Harris, PJ Media, Aug 22, 2013


Will the Keystone XL Decision Be Based on Incorrect Assumptions?

By: Geoffrey Styles, Energy Tribune, Aug 21, 2013


[SEPP Comment: A cynic may consider that the administration is intentionally delaying a decision in order to continue raising political contributions.]

Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

The View from Marcellus

Fracking brings breathtaking economic and environmental benefits—at least to places that welcome it.

By James Panero, City, Summer 2013


[SEPP Comment: A long article on the change in prosperity from developing gas from dense shale, and its opponents. The author errs a bit on his history. George Mitchell developed the technique of using hydraulic fracturing, sand, and a small amount of chemicals to keep the fractures in dense shale open to allow the gas to flow. It was when Devon Energy bought Mitchell’s company when precision horizontal drilling was employed.]

19th Century Frac Job: Oil Well Torpedoing (and a ‘grievous’ government monopoly)

By Robert Bradley Jr, Master Resource, Aug 20, 2013


Another Peak Oil Fad, Part 1

By Donn Dears, Power for USA, Aug 20, 2013


Another Peak Oil Fad, Part 2

By Donn Dears, Power for USA, Aug 23, 2013


Shale grab in US stalls as falling values repel buyers

By Staff Writer, Bloomberg, Aug 19, 2013


[SEPP Comment: It is called adjusting decisions to anticipated profit.]

Return of King Coal?

Model of Failure: Why the European Union Emissions Trading System is an Unsustainable Path for Australia and other nations

By Frank Clemente, Energy Facts Weekly, Aug 22, 2013


Powering Europe’s Digital Growth: Arctic Water & U.S. Coal

By Mark Mills, Energy Facts, Aug 19, 2013


Nuclear Energy and Fears

A Nuclear Reactor Competitive with Natural Gas

General Atomics has applied for DOE funds to commercialize a nuclear reactor that could lower electricity costs by 40 percent. [H/t Toshio Fujita]

By Kevin Bullis, MIT Technology Review, Aug 19, 2013


Japan’s nuclear crisis deepens, China expresses ‘shock’

By Kiyoshi Takenaka and James Topham, Reuters, Aug 21, 2013


Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

New rechargeable flow battery enables cheaper, large-scale energy storage

Design may support widespread use of solar and wind energy.

By Jennifer Chu, MIT News, Aug 16, 2013 [H/t Toshio Fujita]


Wind Turbine Giant Hits Turbulence

By Walter Russell Mead, Via Meadia, Aug 22, 2013 [H/t GWPF]


You can fire as many chief officers as you’d like, but until the technology improves, the future won’t look any brighter than the fairly grim present.

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other

US Interior Department Announcement Will Help To Advance Geothermal

By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), Aug 20, 2013


[SEPP Comment: According to the EIA, of the dispatchable sources of power, Geothermal has a levelized cost greater than combined cycle natural gas, but less than advanced nuclear. Now can we make it work? Of course, no word on improving access to Federally controlled lands for development of oil and gas.]

An Inexpensive Fuel-Cell Generator

A startup says its technical advances could make fuel cells as cheap as grid power.

By Kevin Bullis, MIT Technology Review, Aug 22, 2013


Health, Energy, and Climate

Infectious diseases and climate change intersect with no simple answers

By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), Aug 19, 2013


Too Damn Sure: The Epidemiologist Fallacy

By William Briggs, His Blog, Aug 21, 2013


[SEPP Comment: Includes a few examples where extremely poor statistics are being used to justify regulations under Clean Air Acts.]

Oh Mann!

Hockey graph was faulty science

By Christopher Monckton, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Aug 20, 2013


IPCC throws Mann’s Hockey Stick under the bus?

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Aug 21, 2013


[SEPP Comment: Montford also points out that the leaked text implies the Medieval Warm Period was warmer than today.]

Environmental Industry

Greens press EPA to revoke ‘outdated’ emissions exemption

By Zack Colman, The Hill, Aug 19, 2013


[SEPP Comment: Punishing the power sources that provide the back-up for unreliable solar and wind.]

Top 10 jumbo foundation grants fund Big Green

By Ron Arnold, Washington Examiner, Aug 15, 2013


50-year-old fracking site that makes a mockery of the Balcombe zealots:

It’s next to a nature reserve – and has fracked enough gas and oil to power 21,000 homes every day… with no complaints from locals

There has been fracking near Beckingham Marshes since 1963

The site employs 35 people and pumps 300 barrels of oil a day

Locals say there have been no environmental problems from the site

By Adam Lusher and Wayne Francis, Mail, UK, Aug 17, 2013 [H/t GWPF]


Drilling set to resume at fracking site as protesters quit site: Three more arrested but numbers dwindle

Police make targeted arrests after reviewing CCTV from Monday’s protest

Eight riot-trained officers arrest female suspect on suspicion of assault

Protesters say they will move on to sites where drilling is being considered

Caudrilla planning to resume drilling by the end of the week

By Ryan Kisiel, Mail, UK, Aug 21, 2013 [H/t GWPF]


Other Scientific News

A Discussion With Astronaut Bonnie Dunbar: Re-Engineering America’s Space Leadership

By Larry Bell, Forbes, Aug 20, 2013


Improving Understanding of Snowball Earth

By Nola Taylor Reddfor Astrobiology Magazine, Moffet Field CA (SPX), Aug 19, 2013


[SEPP Comment: Thankful for global warming.]

Other News that May Be of Interest

The world’s future tallest skyscrapers: who will be first to break the 1,000-meter mark?

By Staff Writers, Hamburg, Germany (SPX), Aug 22, 2013


[SEPP Comment: It will not be in Europe or North America.]



Al Gore makes a Category 6 level blunder

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Aug 22, 2013


Link to interview: Gore Optimistic About Stopping Global Warming

By Ezra Klein, Washington Post, Aug 22, 2013


[SEPP Comment: Apparently the neither the reporter nor Nobel Peace Prize recipient Al Gore are aware that change in the physical state of H2O requires energy or gives off energy.]

Beetles modify emissions of greenhouse gases from cow pats

By Eleanor Slade, EurekAlert, Aug 22, 2013 [H/t WUWT]


Friday Funny: Fracking protestors and their petro-sourced belongings

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Aug 23, 2013


[SEPP Comment: Reminds one of those who emotionally declare their demands to preserve the precious Arctic without ever having spent a winter there without modern equipment. Several days without electricity and modern equipment gets very cold and boring, not to speak of months.]


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Lance Wallace
August 25, 2013 8:06 pm

The Australian Geological Society position statement on global climate change is the very best that I have seen, solidly grounded on geological research and history, emphasizing that the best science be employed in studying the problem, and making NO recommendations on policy beyond ordinary prudent preparation for whatever changes occur. It’s also the only position statement by a learned society that underwent extensive discussion by its members. I wonder if there is a connection between its excellence and the fact that the members were involved in drawing it up.

TImothy Sorenson
August 25, 2013 8:16 pm

Upon reading the position statement made by the informed and active members of the Aus.Geophysical Society one finds it well reasoned and stated with no alarmism. They also appear to be the only ones whose statement was designed in the open and see how it came out!

Henry Clark
August 26, 2013 12:18 am

[SEPP Comment: Paradigm shift is a bit much.

Paradigm shift is correct enough. Just the CAGW movement got the commonly used cloud cover data (from a group headquartered at Hansen’s activist department, famous for its temperature “adjustments”) fudged in the nick of time to help buy them a few more years in popular perception (misconception) — although they didn’t manage so on less commonly examined humidity data until more recently, so internet archive data of the latter shows reality as illustrated in http://s24.postimg.org/rbbws9o85/overview.gif

August 26, 2013 12:31 am

angech says:
August 24, 2013 at 10:42 pm
Anthony the DMI 30 percent sea ice chart is still being published and you now have the 15 percent one instead which is very similar to all the other 15 per enters. I notice that since you have stopped showing it it has reversed it’s massive drop without explanation and now is a very high levels of sea ice for this time of year. Please bring it back if it is going to continue as it shows the thicker more resilient ice is building up this year.
Perhaps you could also call them out (ask them why they felt obliged to conform rather than showing extra information on the state of the Arctic and why the dip)
Note Nevin’s Maps wrongly label the new DMI as 30 % when it is 15% and show a link on the page to the old [your previous] DMI 30%

Mike Jowsey
August 26, 2013 4:24 am

Ken Haapala, this weekly post is one I follow avidly and have done for a year. May I say, though, that your presentation sucks. Great content – extremely interesting, relevant, timely, and thoughtful on the commentary. However, please never again use the phrase Please see links under….
To drill down I have to page down (a LOT) and find the heading, then find the link (if possible). Please just embed the appropriate link in your commentary text. That way you will retain a larger audience, imho.

August 26, 2013 7:10 am

“During the oral arguments on the EPA Endangerment Finding the chief justice of the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia made it clear that he will not tolerate any challenge to EPA science”
Did anyone tell His Onry* that the IPPC did not look for benefits of GW, nor for detriments of the alleged “cure” to the alleged AGW “disease”? *Pigmeat Markum, “Here Come The Judge”

August 26, 2013 7:19 am

“Please just embed the appropriate link in your commentary text. That way you will retain a larger audience, imho”
Seconded. Or at least “number” the cites, then refer in the text to “1-5” and so on.

August 26, 2013 8:20 am

“In a softball question, Senator David Vitter from Louisiana referenced a survey of corporate executives by Lloyd’s of London about risks their business face. He asked Pielke why climate change was ranked # 32, behind piracy but ahead of space weather. ”
Somebody will have to word with the insurers. After all it’s in their own interest to fan climate fears.

August 26, 2013 8:21 am

😉 Second attempt:
Somebody will have to have a word with the insurers. After all it’s in their own interest to fan climate fears.

August 26, 2013 8:25 am

Mike Jowsey says:
August 26, 2013 at 4:24 am
“To drill down I have to page down (a LOT) and find the heading, then find the link (if possible). Please ”
How to use find function of browser.
a) mark text with mouse
b) press ctrl+c or ctrl-insert for copy
c) press ctrl-f for find
d) press ctrl+v or shift-insert for paste
e) press enter repeatedly until link section found.
(Yes it would be even more practical if links were right in place. Just trying to help.)

August 26, 2013 10:31 am

Shouldn’t TWTW include a note about the absurd NPR interview travesty where Harris spins eight hours of interview with Dr. Judith Curry into NPR nonsense?
Other than that the TWTW is very informative per usual.

August 26, 2013 8:09 pm

I almost forgot about Britain having a Poverty Chief. Could it be we need a Poverty Czar here? Since the energy index rose 4.7% in the last 12 months and natural gas has risen 8.8%. With so much fracking going on in the states and with lack of protests, when are our energy prices going to get/stay low to help our poor?
Consumer Price Index Summary

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