Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

The Week That Was: 2013-11-30 (November 30, 2013) Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project


Quote of the Week: Even then [18th century] it was clear to socially minded people that the openness of the possibilities was an opportunity, and that doubt and discussion were essential to progress into the unknown. If we want to solve a problem that we have never solved before, we must leave the door to the unknown ajar. Richard Feynman, Value of Science

Number of the Week: 11% v. 80%


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

Federal Funding: The recent White House report on Federal Climate Changes Expenditures (budget authority) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013, which ended on September 30, gave an opportunity for SEPP to update its calculations of total government expenditures since 1993 and to examine how these expenditures have changed during the 21 year period covered.

These calculations are based on three government reports: 1) “Climate Change: Improvements Needed to Clarify National Priorities and better Align Them with Federal Funding Decisions” by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), May 2011, which covers the period from 1993 (calendar year) to FY 2010; 2) “Funding for Federal Climate Change Activities, FY 2008 to FY 2012, from the Congressional Research Service (CRS), April 26, 2012; and 3) Federal Climate Change Expenditures: Report to Congress by the White House, August 2013, which covers FY 2012 & 2013.

The GAO report gives both outlays by government agencies and special tax incentives to selected industries and activities. For ease of expression, the former can be considered hard expenditures, the latter can be considered soft expenditures, but they also include cash payments from the Treasury in lieu of tax credits and other tax preferences. The CRS report did not include the soft expenditures, and these were estimated previously from reports by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The White House report gives both types of expenditures and serves as a cross check for the prior estimates for FY 2012.

As reported in prior TWTW’s, the GAO report shows a total of $107 billion in hard expenditures, including about $31.5 billion on climate science. These sums includes expenditures under American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Stimulus Bill). The GAO report also shows . an additional $16 billion for soft expenditures. The CRS report shows $8.9 billion and $8.3 billion in hard expenditures in 2011 and 2012, respectively, of which $2.4 billion went to climate science each year. The White House report shows that in 2012 soft expenditures amounted to about $10.1 billion, roughly what was previously estimated. In 2013, total expenditures were $22.2 billion, of which $2.5 billion went to climate science, and about $13.1 billion were soft expenditures.

The total for the 21-year period are: $185 billion, with $133 billion for hard expenditures, of which about $39 billion went to science, and about $52 billion for soft expenditures. The growth in soft expenditures in recent years has been staggering.

In 1993, the US spent 54% of its climate change expenditures of $2.4 billion on climate science, or $1.3 billion; in 1999 it was 49% of $3.5 billion, or $1.7 billion; in 2009 it was 26% of 7.8 billion, or $2 billion; and in 2013 it was 11% of $22.2 billion, or $2.5 billion. In short, increasing US climate change expenditures have not gone, primarily, to expanding knowledge of climate, but to special interests groups that have a keen interest in promoting fear of global warming/climate change, even if the science demonstrates global warming is not a serious concern.

To understand the enormity of the diversion of funds away from addressing the global warming issue, it is useful to examine the principal components of 2013 funding. Of the total of $22.2 billion in expenditures; 11% ($2.5 billion) went to the US Global Change Research Program (the US science); 26% ($5.8 billion) to Clean Energy Technology (developing alternatives to fossil fuels, or zero CO2 emissions); 4% ($0.9 billion) to International Assistance, including funding of IPCC activities; 23% ($5 billion) to Energy Tax Provisions That May Reduce Greenhouse Gases (tax breaks for special interests and activities); and 36% ($8.1 billion) to Energy Payments in Lieu of Tax Provisions (cash payments to special groups such as developers of wind power). The last two categories account for the $13.1 billion in soft expenditures and are more than the $11 billion the National Institutes of Health spent on clinical research of known diseases and other human health issues. Clearly, there is something very wrong with the Federal government’s funding priorities.

The world is no longer warming, but it may begin at any time. However, there is a great, and growing, disparity between the warming projected by the climate models and what is being observed. If this disparity continues to grow, the public will eventually recognized that it has been misled about the dangers of global warming. Given their past performance, government-funded climate scientists will attempt to pass the blame onto others. Yet, these scientists expressed great certainty in their work, a certainty that was unsupported by the science, and failed to publicly disclose significant errors such as the missing “hot spot” and the discredited hockey-stick. They are responsible for laying the foundation of the fear of global warming that heavily-funded opportunists are exploiting. See links to the reports under Funding Issues.


AMS: Headed by Joseph D’Aleo of WeatherBell Analytics, a small group of Fellows of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) have been leading a quiet rebellion against the AMS leadership for issuing a statement that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are causing unprecedented and dangerous global warming and/or climate change. The statement was issued under the guise of contributing to the government policy process. It is rather strange for a science society to become involved in the policy process, unless it is to advocate solid, empirical science. Otherwise, the Society could be accused of participating in the misallocation of government funding presented above.

Some privately-funded advocacy groups, such as Forecast the Facts, are using the statement in an effort to force television meteorologists to accept the global warming orthodoxy and are calling for the de-certification or removal of television meteorologists who express skepticism of the dangers of CO2. These actions further illustrate the dangers to a science society that issues a view on a heavily debated issue, such as global warming, that is not embraced by all the members of the society.

Recently, the AMS announced a survey taken in January that clearly shows that there is no consensus. Supposedly, the survey went to all members, yet D’Aleo provided SEPP with a list of noted members, skeptics, who were not surveyed. Had they been surveyed the non-consensus would have been closer to 50-50.

The headline by Forecast the Facts was: “Weathercaster Survey Shows Need For Public Action Against Climate Denial.” Its press release states: “Join our ongoing campaign to end global-warming denial by our nation’s television weathercasters.” All this is part of the program of global warming advocates to communicate better with the public, whatever it takes.

Perhaps one big difference between broadcast meteorologists and climatologists is that, within a few days, broadcast meteorologists will be informed by nature, and the public, if their forecasts are very wrong. Insulated by government funding, climatologists have been ignoring that, for over a decade, nature has been informing them their forecasts are very wrong.

Let us hope that the team led by D’Aleo, and similar groups, continue in their efforts to persuade the leadership of the AMS that the path it has chosen is contrary to the best interests of science. See links under Seeking a Common Ground and for the press release by Forecast the Facts see link under Communicating Better with the Public—Go Personal.


Doubt: Judith Curry has an interesting post discussing uncertainty in science in general and climate science in particular. However, the lecture by Richard Feynman on the Value of Science, with its emphasis on the importance of doubt, is more provocative. Please see link under Seeking a Common Ground, the Quote of the Week and from the past few TWTWs.s


Number of the Week: 11% v. 80% As stated in the Federal Funding section, in 2013 11% of Federal expenditures on climate change went to climate science. According to the National Institutes of Health, 80% of its budget went to research. The disparity further illustrates the distortions in funding that is occurring under the guise of climate change.



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. New Zealand Court Rejects ‘Climate Change’ Refugee

Justice Calls Pacific Islander’s Claim ‘Novel’ but Insufficient

By Lucy Craymer, WSJ, Nov 26, 2013


2. Wind Power Is Brought to Justice

Duke Energy’s guilty plea for killing protected birds is an ominous sign for renewable energy

By Robert Bryce, WSJ, Nov 28, 2013


[SEPP Comment: When discussing cash payments to wind farms, the timing of the payment is when it is placed in service, rather than at the start of the project. Thus, even though starts were down in 2013, payments where high.]



Science: Is the Sun Rising?

Grand Minimum of the Total Solar Irradiance Leads to the Little Ice Age

By Habibullo Abdussamatov, SPPI, Nov 25, 2013


Link to report: http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/grand_minimum.pdf

Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?

Calm solar cycle prompts questions about impact on Earth

By Staff Writers, Washington (AFP), Nov 25, 2013


[SEPP Comment: Global warming will prevent any future ice age? If true, it would be a powerful argument for the social benefits of carbon.]

Climategate Continued

Bristlecone Addiction in Shi et al 2013

By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Nov 28, 2013


But the main problem is the longstanding one: if you take a small subpopulation of hockeystick shaped bristlecones and mix them with a population of “proxies” that are indistinguishable from white noise/red noise and apply typical multiproxy recipes, you will get back a HS-shaped reconstruction.

Challenging the Orthodoxy

Vincent Gray’s Comments to the IPCC WG1 AR5 Second Draft

By Vincent Gray, NZ Climate Truth Newsletter No 322, Nov 27, 2013


Expert Reviewer Prof S. Fred Singer’s Comments on the Second-Order Draft of the Climate Science Working Group (WG1) to the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5, 2013)

By Vincent Gray, NZ Climate Truth Newsletter No. 323, Nov 29, 2013


Expert Reviewer Lord Christopher Monckton’s Comments on the Second-Order Draft of the Contribution of the Climate Science Working Group (WG1) to the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5, 2013)

By Vincent Gray, NZ Climate Truth Newsletter No. 323, Nov 29, 2013


New paper rules out volcanoes as the cause of the ‘pause’

By Staff Writer, The Hockey Schtick, Nov 25, 2013 [H/t GWPF]


Link to Paper: The impact of volcanic eruptions in the period 2000–2013 on global mean temperature trends evaluated in the HadGEM2-ES climate model

By Haywood, Jones, and Jones, Atmospheric Science Letters, Nov 25, 2013


Real pollution (not ‘carbon’ pollution) increases storm clouds

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Nov 26, 2013


Defending the Orthodoxy

Bloomberg weighs 2014 climate battles

By Ben Geman, The Hill, Nov 26, 2013


The Coming Heat Age

Wu Changhua is Greater China Director of The Climate Group, Project Syndicate, Nov 28, 2013


Questioning the Orthodoxy

Darwin’s Mistakes

By Vincent Gray, NZ Climate Truth Newsletter No 321


The Important Difference between Climatology and Climate Science

Why did the Royal Society need secret meetings?

By Tim Ball, WUWT, Nov 29, 2013


How to avoid the nine most terrifying words in the English language

By Anthony Sadar, Washington Examiner, Nov 29, 2013


A Climate of Fear, Cash and Correctitude

By Paul Driessen and Dennis Mitchell, Townhall, Nov 23, 2013


The UN Global Warming Hoax is Slowly Dying

By Alan Caruba, Warning Signs, Nov 25, 2013


Five Myths About the “Carbon Asset Bubble”

By Geoffrey Styles, Energy Outlook, Nov 22, 2013 [H/t GWPF]


Climate Circus

COP 19

By Donn Dears, Power for USA, Nov 29, 2013


UN Climate Talks: Beyond Farce

By John Hinderaker, Power Line, Nov 23, 2013


Global Warming Activism: Another Year, Another U.N. Flop

By Patrick Michaels, Forbes, Nov 24, 2013


UN Climate Fanatics

According to Ban Ki-moon, the latest IPCC report vaporized climate skepticism.

By Donna Faframboise, NFC, Nov 239, 2013


UN climate delegates failing everyone

By Tom Harris and Madhav Khandekar, On Line Opinion, Nov 25, 2013


[SEPP Comment: Except those who profit from the circus.]

The Good Word from Warsaw

As Australia slept on Sunday morning, confident of an Ashes win, players in another game on the opposite side of the world were trying frantically to snatch victory from the ashes of defeat

By Michael Kile, Quadrant, Nov 25, 2013


Pollution Pact From China to India Shows Rift: Carbon & Climate

By Reed Landberg & Alex Morales, Bloomberg, Nov 24, 2013 [H/t GWPF]


Change of Wording Lets Emerging Nations Off the Hook Over CO2 Emissions

By Ben Webster, Times, Via GWPF, Nov 25, 2013


Problems in the Orthodoxy

Staggering Concessions By Austria’s National Weather Service: “Natural Factors Substantial…Models Inadequate”!

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Nov 27, 2013


China’s “Emission Cuts” Not What They Seem

By Paul Homewood, UWUT, Nov 24, 2013


Seeking a Common Ground

Meteorologists’ views about global warming: A survey of American Meteorological Society professional

By Staff Writer, ICECAP, Nov 26, 2013


Link to early release: Meteorologists’ views about global warming: A survey of American Meteorological Society professional members

By Neil Stenhouse, Edward Maibach, Sara Cobb, George Mason Univ. No Date


In a survey of American Meteorological Society members, perceived scientific consensus was the strongest predictor of global warming views, followed by political ideology, climate science expertise and perceived organizational conflict.

Warsaw Loss and Damage Mechanism: A climate for corruption?

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Nov 24, 2013


[SEPP Comment: Bangladesh provides a major example of rewarding countries for natural disasters. How much sea level rise is actual land subsidence rather than sea level rise from increasing temperatures? If temperatures do not increase, do the donor countries get the money back?]

Impact (?) of natural variability on Nebraska drought

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Nov 29, 2013


[SEPP Comment: Curry suggesting she would take on a Nebraska study that climate scientists in Nebraska would not.]

Code Blue in the Greenhouse:

Darwall tells how it was conservative governments who were the first to raise the alarm.

By Bernie Lewin, Enthusiasm, Scepticism and Science, Nov 17, 2013


[SEPP Comment: A lengthy discussion on the origins of the global warming fears.]

Lowering Standards

Pacific faces big economic losses from climate change: ADB

By Staff Writers, Sydney (AFP), Nov 26, 2013


[SEPP Comment: More non-science from the Asian Development Bank.]

Expanding the Orthodoxy

UN sounds alarm over ozone-damaging nitrous oxide

By Staff Writers, Warsaw (AFP), Nov 21, 2013


[SEPP Comment: New fears as old ones are fading?]

Questioning European Green

A very slow motion car crash

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Nov 23, 2013


[SEPP Comment: Time to emigrate?]

Energy-saving schemes ‘failing despite £8.4bn pricetag’

Energy efficiency schemes are failing despite their £8.4bn price-tag while take-up of Green Deal insulation programme is running at less than 1pc of target, according to studies.

By Emily Gosden, and Steve Hawkes, Telegraph, UK, Nov 27, 2013


Developers pull the plug on one of the world’s largest offshore windfarms

Plans for the Atlantic Array, just off the coast of North Devon, have been abandoned by German-owned developers RWE npower

By Hayley Dixon, Telegraph, UK, Nov 26, 2013


UK Energy Doldrums Kill Massive Wind Farm

By Walter Russell Mead, Via Media, Nov 27, 2013


Union and SPD bury Germany’s energy transition

It is only one sentence in the coalition agreement, but it could mean the end of Germany’s green energy shift (Energiewende). The Christian Democrats (CDU) and Social Democrats (SPD) want to force the renewable industry to pay for conventional back-up energy generation.

By Fritz Vorholz, Trans. Philipp Mueller, De Zeit, Nov 22, 2013


This [decisive statement] refers to the cardinal problem of solar and wind energy, the intermittency of power generation that depends on the weather. The year has 8,760 hours; wind turbines, however, only produce for 1,530 hours at full power, photovoltaic systems even just for 980 hours. To make matters worse, no one knows in advance when green electricity is fed into the grid, and when it’s not available.

[SEPP Comment: The above numbers work out to full power from wind 17% of the time and from solar 11% of the time – and it is still unreliable.]

Behind the windfarm scenes

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Nov 26, 2013


[SEPP Comment: A recording on the problems in maintenance of wind farms. In Northern Europe icing is a major problem. A 21 day ice-up forces questioning of investing in wind farms.]

Germany Sets Out Plan to Rein in Surging Energy Costs

By Henning Gloystein and Christoph Steitz, Reuters, Nov 27, 2013 [H/t GWPF]


German Auto Makers’ Finances Could Be Wrecked By Energy Policy

By Neil Winton, Forbes, Nov 25, 2013


Funding Issues

Climate Change: Improvements Needed to Clarify National Priorities and Better Align Them with Federal Funding Decisions

By Staff Writers, Summary, GAO-11-317, May 20, 2011 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Funding for Federal Climate Change Activities FY 2008 to FY 2012

By Jane Leggett, CRS, Apr 26, 2013


Federal Climate Change Expenditures: Report to Congress

The White House, August 2013


Britain’s Bill for Climate Aid Rises to £4.5 Billion

By Richard Gray, Daily Telegraph, Via GWPF, Nov 24, 2013


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

Even if emissions stop, carbon dioxide could warm Earth for centuries

By Staff Writers, Princeton NJ (SPX), Nov 26, 2013


Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

The IPCC goes for video bling (and CGI enhanced doom)

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Nov 23, 2013


[SEPP Comment: When you cannot make the scientific argument, resort to propaganda claiming you did. Invisible CO2 blackening the skies is black propaganda!]

One-Sided IPCC Alarmism Promotion Video Already Receiving Harsh Criticism…Scientists Purporting To Be Prophets

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Nov 23, 2013


[SEPP Comment: See link immediately above. Harsh criticism from members of the orthodoxy.]

Sea level rise could exceed one meter in this century

By Staff Writers, Potsdam, Germany (SPX), Nov 29, 2013


Link to paper: Expert assessment of sea-level rise by AD 2100 and AD 2300

By Horton, Rahmstorf, Engelhart, and Kemp, Quaternary Science Reviews, Jan 15, 2013


[SEPP Comment: All based on computer models no one has bothered to validate.]

Polar bear researchers – are they protecting the bears or their own jobs?

By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Nov 25, 2013


Polar bear researchers still withholding Hudson Bay data

By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Nov 28, 2013


[SEPP Comment: May be the answer to the above link.]

Communicating Better to the Public – Go Personal.

Weathercaster Survey Shows Need For Public Action Against Climate Denial

By Staff Writer, Forecast the Facts, Nov 27, 2013


Models Issues

Reflection on reliability of climate models

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Nov 25, 2013


Social cost of carbon: Part II

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Nov 27, 2013


Study: lack of cloud physics biased climate models high

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Nov 29, 2013


New paper demonstrates inability to model clouds

By Staff Writer, Hockey Schtick, Nov 28, 2013 [H/t GWPF]


[SEPP Comment: Confirming what has been known.]

Measurement Issues

A Survey Of The Perceptions Of Climate Scientists 2013: No Consensus

By Matt Briggs, His Blog, Nov 25, 2013


GISS Ground Based Versus Satellite Temperatures

By Ed Caryl, No Tricks Zone, Nov 28, 2013


GISS Data Confirm Winters Definitely Getting Colder Over Northern Hemisphere Continents Since 1995!

Are Winters Getting Colder?

By Ed Caryl, No Tricks Zone, Nov 24, 2013


New study determines more accurate method to date tropical glacier moraines

By Staff Writers, Hanover NH (SPX), Nov 25, 2013


Changing Weather

New Report Concludes that Extreme Weather Events Are Not Increasing

By Staff Writers, GWPF, Nov 27, 2013


Link to the report: The Global Warming-Extreme Weather Link

By Madhav Khandekar, GWPF, Nov 27, 2013


2013: slowest Atlantic hurricane season in 30 years

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Nov 25, 2013


Extreme Weather ‘Not Linked To Climate Change’

By Jared Owens, The Australian, Via GWPF, Nov 29, 2013


Philippines typhoon death toll feared to hit 7,000

By Staff Writers, Tacloban, Philippines (AFP) Nov 23, 2013


Changing Climate

Greenland’s Shrunken Ice Sheet: We’ve Been Here Before

By Staff Writers, Science Daily, Nov 22, 2013 [H/t Anne Debeil]


Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

Early-career investigator discovers current volcanic activity under West Antarctica

By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), Nov 25, 2013


The Strange “Global Warming” of the Antarctic Peninsula

By Sherwood, Keith and Craig Idso, CO2 Science, Nov 27, 2013 [H/t GWPF]


[SEPP Comment: The low temperatures have become warmer but not the high temperatures.]

Lakes discovered beneath Greenland ice sheet

Posted by Anthony Watts, WUWT, Nov 27, 2013


Link to paper: Greenland subglacial lakes detected by radar†

By Palmer, et al, GRL, Nov 25, 2013


Study: Arctic seafloor methane releases double previous estimates

By Marmian Grimes, Univ of Alaska, Nov 24, 2013 [H/t WUWT]


Changing Earth

Amber Provides New Insights Into the Evolution of the Earth’s Atmosphere

By Staff Writers, Innsbruck, Austria (SPX), Nov 22, 2013


Link to paper: Stable carbon isotopes of C3 plant resins and ambers record changes in atmospheric oxygen since the Triassic

By Tappert, et al, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Nov 15, 2013


Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine

World agricultural output continues to rise, despite predictions of decline

By Steve Goreham, Washington Times, Nov 26, 2013


Link to report: World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates

By Staff Writers, Office of the Chief Economist, USDA, Nov 8, 2013


Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC

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

Responses of Marine Benthic Microalgae to Declining pH Values

Reference: Johnson, V.R., Brownlee, C., Rickaby, R.E.M., Graziano, M., Milazzo, M. and Hall-Spencer, J.M. 2013. Responses of marine benthic microalgae to elevated CO2. Marine Biology 160: 1813-1824.


… stimulation of biomass in benthic assemblages was found to increase fivefold along a natural gradient of CO2 ranging from 419 to 1611 ppm

Fine-Tuning the Spatial Distributions of Species’ Thermal Habitats

Reference: Lenoir, J., Graae, B.J., Aarrestad, P.A., Alsos, I.G., Armbruster, W.S., Austrheim, G., Bergendorff, C., Birks, H.J.B., Brathen, K.A., Brunet, J.O., Bruun, H.H., Dahlberg, C.J., Decocq, G., Diekmann, M., Dynesius, M., Aes, R.E., Grytnes, J.-A., Hylander, K., Anderud, K., Luoto, M., Milbau, A., Moora, M., Nygaard, B., Odland, A., Ravolainen, V.T., Reinhardt, S., Sandvik, S.M., Schei, F.H., Speed, J.D.M., Tveraabak, L.U., Vandvik, V., Velle, L.G., Virtanen, R., Zobel, M. and Svenning, J.-C. 2013. Local temperatures inferred from plant communities suggest strong spatial buffering of climate warming across Northern Europe. Global Change Biology 19: 1470-1481.


Elevated CO2 Reduces Ceratocystis Wilt in Two Eucalyptus Clones

Reference: Dos Santos, M. de S., Ghini, R., Fernandes, B.V. and Silva, C.A. 2013. Increased carbon dioxide concentration in the air reduces the severity of Ceratocystis wilt in Eucalyptus clonal plantlets. Australasian Plant Pathology 42: 595-599.


Modeling the West African Monsoon

Reference: Roehrig, R., Bouniol, D., Guichard, F., Hourdin, F. and Redelsperger, J.-L. 2013. The present and future of the West African Monsoon: A process-oriented assessment of CMIP5 simulations along the AMMA transect. Journal of Climate 26: 6471-6505.


The Political Games Continue

Property rights and climate change

By Anthony Flint, Virginia Pilot, Nov 24, 2013 [H/t Timothy Wise]


[SEPP Comment: More reason to be leery about government-funded climate science.]

Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes

Typhoons & Carbon Taxes; Tragic, but not our fault.

By Viv Forbes & Helpers, The Carbon Sense Coalition, Nov 25, 2013


EPA and other Regulators on the March

EPA taps green group scientist for ‘integrity’ position

By Ben Geman, The Hill, Nov 25, 2013


In the mood for some nice government-speak? EPA appoints new “Scientific Integrity Official”

By Staff Writers, ACSH, Nov 27, 2013


House GOP: Last Laugh on “Carbon Pollution Rule”?

By Marlo Lewis, Global Warming.org, Nov 22, 2013 [H/t Jim Wallace]


[SEPP Comment: According to the report, in stating a technology is commercially available, regulators cannot use facilities built with Federal funds. If true, the commercially questionable carbon capture and storage facilities the EPA cited do not qualify.]

Feds reveal data behind ‘social cost of carbon’

By Julian Hattem, The Hill, Nov 25, 2013


Link to Technical Support Document as revised in November 2013


[SEPP Comment: Fails to identify a climate model with predictive capability. Without one, the products of all three integrated assessment models (IAM) are nothing but speculation. Comment period ends 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.]

DOE proposes new efficiency standards for electric motors

By Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill, Nov 25, 2013


Link to the announcement: Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation: Standards for Commercial and Industrial Electric Motors

By Staff Writers, DOE, No date


[SEPP Comment: The estimate for the monetary benefit of CO2 reduction is between $2.5 and $36.6 billion, pp 18, 19, 246-252]

Park Service withdraws its objection to fracking; used op-ed instead of scientific evidence

By Stephen Dian, Washington Times, Nov 26, 2013


… have cited a New York Times op-ed as scientific evidence.

White House climate ‘resilience’ group gets rolling

By Ben Geman, The Hill, Nov 25, 2013


Energy Issues – Non-US

Counting the cost

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Nov 29, 2013


[SEPP Comment: Arguing who will benefit from the development of gas from shale in the UK even before successful wells have been drilled!]

Big Oil, Big-Gas lobby against coal. Shell leans on World Bank to nobble the competition

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Nov 29, 2013


Oil Sands and the Environment – Part I

By: Robert Rapier, Energy Tribune, Nov 25, 2013


[SEPP Comment: A wordy report with two major points. One, the loss of caribou may be more to wolves taking advantage of paths cleared for seismic surveying equipment rather than from any other cause. Two, the withdrawal of water during periods of low flow is more important than the annual withdrawal.]

Energy Issues — US

Price of Electricity Hit Record for October; Up 42% in Decade

By Terence Jeffrey, CNS News, Nov 22, 2013


From Consumer Price Index-Average Price Data


Report: Methane emissions 50 percent higher than EPA estimates

By Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill, Nov 25, 2013


Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Hydraulic Fracturing: Mature Technology, Modern Marvel

By Mark Crawford, ASME, Nov 2013


Shale predicted to add £3 trillion to Europe’s economies

Study says fracking would dramatically reduce reliance on expensive energy imports and create a million new jobs.

By Bruno Waterfield, Telegraph, UK, Nov 25, 2013 [H/t GWPF]


The Frackers

Review of a book on the people who made the shale gas revolution

By Matt Ridley, His Blog, Nov 25, 2013


Nuclear Energy and Fears

Construction underway of second Vogtle AP1000

By Staff Writers WNN, Nov 22, 2013


[SEPP Comment: Four AP1000 reactors are being built in the US and four in China. It would be interesting to compare time to complete and costs, should they ever become available.]

More on Radiation

By Donn Dears, Power for USA, Nov 26, 2013


Reviving Yucca Mountain

The US nuclear regulator has directed its staff to complete work on the safety evaluation report (SER) for the Yucca Mountain geologic repository. Meanwhile, a court has awarded over $235 million of damages to three utilities affected by federal failure to fulfil used fuel disposal commitments.

By Staff Writers, WNN, Nov 19, 2013


Health, Energy, and Climate

UK sees steep increase in winter deaths

By Emily Cadman, Financial Times, Nov 26, 2013


[SEPP Comment: Since 1970, overall, winter deaths are generally down, but with an increase over the past few years. The deaths are generally linked to strokes, heart and respiratory diseases.]

Environmental Industry

Why greens love high fuel bills

By James Heartfield, Spiked, Nov 25, 2013 [H/t GWPF]


Other Scientific News

Biodiversity higher in the tropics, but species more likely to arise at higher latitudes

By Staff WritersDurham NC (SPX) Nov 26, 2013


Link to paper: “Environmental harshness is positively correlated with intraspecific divergence in mammals and birds.”

By Botero, Dor, McCain and Safran, Molecular Ecology, Oct 28, 2013


[SEPP Comment: Will global warming cause less species diversity?]

Science self-corrects: bogus study claiming Roundup tolerant GMO corn causes cancer to be retracted

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Nov 28, 2013


Other News that May Be of Interest

Japanese firm plans 250 mile-wide solar panel belt around Moon

A Japanese firm announces its innovative solution to the nation’s energy problems – a 250 mile-wide belt of solar panels on the moon

By Julian Ryall, Telegraph, UK, Nov 28, 2013


[SEPP Comment: Imagine the comments from the greens for such a plan!]



Are the ‘climate will affect sports stadiums’ claims of U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse the dumbest ever?

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Nov 24, 2013


[SEPP Comment: Maybe not! See link below.]

Hiroshima, global warming, and wakalixes

By Luboš Motl, Reference Frame, Nov 26, 2013




1. New Zealand Court Rejects ‘Climate Change’ Refugee

Justice Calls Pacific Islander’s Claim ‘Novel’ but Insufficient

By Lucy Craymer, WSJ, Nov 26, 2013


WELLINGTON, New Zealand—A Pacific Island man seeking residency in New Zealand as a climate-change refugee is to be deported after the country’s High Court rejected his claim.

The 37-year-old man, Ioane Teitiota, from the tiny Pacific nation of Kiribati had claimed refugee status in New Zealand on grounds that global warming has made it too dangerous to return to his homeland.

However, the High Court agreed with an earlier decision from New Zealand’s immigration tribunal that the man be must returned to Kiribati as his plight did not qualify him as a refugee. The judgment was published Tuesday after a court hearing in Auckland on Oct. 16.

In his ruling, Justice John Priestley described Mr. Teitiota’s claim as “novel,” but added it was insufficient to allow him to change well-established law and provide him with an opportunity to remain in New Zealand.

Mr. Teitiota will be deported to Kiribati unless he appeals the decision in a higher court in New Zealand. His lawyer couldn’t be reached for comment.

Kiribati, composed mainly of a group of coral reefs near the Equator, is among the world’s lowest-lying nations, with most of its mass just 1 or 2 meters above sea level.

Worries over the impact of rising sea levels prompted the Kiribati government to buy 6,000 acres of land in neighboring Fiji this year to grow food and potentially resettle some of its 100,000 people if the country were to become uninhabitable.

In September, the United Nations reiterated in a landmark report that “warming of the climate system is unequivocal,” saying that air and oceans are getting warmer, ice and snow are less plentiful and sea levels are rising. New Zealand has made tackling climate change an environmental priority, and rolled out an emissions-trading program in 2011


2. Wind Power Is Brought to Justice

Duke Energy’s guilty plea for killing protected birds is an ominous sign for renewable energy

By Robert Bryce, WSJ, Nov 28, 2013


[SEPP Comment: When discussing cash payments to wind farms, the timing of the payment is when it is placed in service, rather than at the start of the project. Thus, even though starts were down significantly in 2013, payments where high.]

The Justice Department announced late last week that a subsidiary of Duke Energy DUK -0.67% has agreed to pay $1 million for killing golden eagles and other federally protected birds at two of the company’s wind projects in Wyoming. The guilty plea was a long-overdue victory for the rule of law and a sign that green energy might be going out of vogue.

As Justice noted in its news release, this is the first time a case has been brought against a wind company for violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The 1918 law makes it a federal crime to kill any bird of more than 1,000 different species. Over the past few decades, federal authorities have brought hundreds of cases against oil and gas companies for killing birds, while the wind industry has enjoyed a de facto exemption. By bringing criminal charges against Duke for killing 14 golden eagles and 149 other protected birds, Justice has ended the legal double standard on enforcement.

While it is heartening to see the Obama administration finally following the law, Justice’s decision might also indicate that the green bubble is about to burst.

Consider data from the American Wind Energy Association, an industry group. In 2012, when federal subsidies were flowing, wind companies installed a record 13,131 megawatts of new capacity—about 6,500 turbines. But installations have tanked this year amid uncertainty over the extension of the federal production tax credit, which offers companies a hefty 2.3 cent per kilowatt-hour subsidy. During the first three quarters of 2013, the domestic wind industry installed a mere 70.6 megawatts of new capacity. Wind-industry lobbyists are desperately trying to get the production tax credit extended again before it expires at the end of the year. The Duke case won’t endear them to the public.

The renewable-energy craze may also lose its lustre as the public discovers how expensive “green jobs” are. Texas is the top wind-energy state in the nation. But in January Texas Comptroller Susan Combs reported that each wind-related job in the Lone Star State is costing taxpayers $1.75 million.

There is also a public backlash against ruining scenic countryside with giant wind turbines. The outrage spans from the United Kingdom to Wisconsin. Last year, to cite just one example, about five dozen landowners in Herkimer County, New York filed a lawsuit against the owners of the Hardscrabble Wind Power Project. Their many complaints included reduced property values and excessive noise. To judge from news reports, suburban and rural residents don’t want 130-meter-tall windmills in their neighborhoods. They also don’t want the constant noise the turbines produce, or the relentless blink of the turbines’ red lights all night, every night.

Definitive proof that the green energy bubble has burst will come when the government brings more legal action against renewable companies for violating U.S. law. That may be happening: The Fish and Wildlife Service has 18 active investigations into bird kills at various wind-energy projects. Seven have been referred to Justice for prosecution.

And it may not be limited to wind energy. Last week, Chris Clarke of the California public television station KCET reported that the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, a new solar-thermal plant in the Mojave Desert, killed 52 birds in October. Many of the birds were apparently killed by the intense heat generated by the project’s mirrors. It appears that the project is attracting birds, which means the deaths may increase when the facility reaches capacity. Mr. Clarke went on to opine that the solar-thermal projects now being built in the California desert “could well depress bird populations from the Arctic to the Panama Canal.”

Apologists for wind and solar power insist that wind turbines only kill a few birds while climate change is the real threat. Last month, in a letter to The Wall Street Journal, an official from the American Wind Energy Association said that wind energy “enables the U.S. to develop a diverse energy portfolio better equipped to fight climate change—the number one threat to wildlife, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.”

Perhaps that’s true. But everyone is threatened when the law is not applied equally, and so the Justice Department should continue ruffling the feathers of lawbreakers in the green-energy business.

Mr. Bryce is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. His new book, “Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper: Innovating toward a Greener, Richer World” (PublicAffairs), will be published in May.



PLEASE NOTE: The SEPP web site has been hit by hackers. These are similar to the hackings to web sites of some high fashion retailers and to the web site of the US Health and Human Services Department. Those going to the SEPP web site have been redirected to web sites of Chinese products. We are working diligently to correct this situation. If you experience any difficulties please e-mail Ken@SEPP.org.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
December 1, 2013 10:56 pm

in case u missed it – another CAGW conference, with some humourous moments, by the sounds of it:
1 Dec: Toronto Star: Raveena Aulakh: Global warming at work: how climate change affects the economy and labour
Some jobs will change; others may disappear. Still, experts at a climate change and labour conference say environmental protection needn’t come at the expense of the economy.
“These things are never easy,” says (Hassan) Yussuff (secretary-treasurer of the Canadian Labour Congress). “But conflict is also unnecessary. We have been consistent in saying that we need to slow down the pace of development there … because of its incredible impact on the environment locally and nationally.”
If workers can be assured that by slowing the pace of development, technology can be improved to limit the effect on the environment, he says, “they will recognize that change needs to happen.
“What they are not prepared to see is shut the industry down.”
Yussuff was one of dozens of speakers at Work in a Warming World, a conference held at the University of Toronto’s Woodsworth College from Friday to Sunday.
The conference brought together academics, environmental groups and trade unions to debate the impact of climate change on labour practices: how we work, what we produce and where we produce…
A warmer planet directly affects postal workers, landscape workers, construction and sanitation workers, “and that means they need different kind of protection,” says (Carla) Lipsig-Mumme (professor of work and labour studies at York University, and director of the conference). “These jobs will have to be done radically differently.”
At the other end, global warming can wipe out jobs completely, she says.
“You see that in low-lying areas in poor countries in Asia. You see it in areas that are being desertified in Africa. It’s not just the work that is wiped out … but livelihood in the community.”…
Some jobs, on the other hand, will become more important as the earth grows warmer.
***As an example, Lipsig-Mumme says, accountants now do risk assessments and evaluations of greenhouse gas reductions. “Carbon tax, like the one in B.C., has to be audited for their environmental responsibility, and accountants have added a topic to their work,” she notes.
Alex White, a board member of Greenpeace Australia Pacific and the Wilderness Society (Victoria), says emergency workers such as firefighters, police officers and paramedics face genuine dangers in a warming climate…
A changing climate has made our lives more complicated, says Yussuff, but he adds it needn’t be a struggle between jobs and the environment.
“As I see it, there is potential to create thousands and thousands of well-paying green jobs … there is transportation, retrofitting of homes, energy efficiency,” he says.
“The statistics speak volumes.”

December 1, 2013 11:13 pm

The money spent on this scam is staggering… and those numbers don’t even include the EU, UN and countless other countries. The EU has been funding the global warming scam since the mid 80s or so. Same with the UN.

December 1, 2013 11:20 pm

The Australian Wilderness Society are unhappy about their lack of success in lobbying for environmental reasons against further development of fossil fuels. So a new tack to the left. They are going to use climate change as a reason to take the oil and gas companies to court to try and prevent further drilling and exploration. They have enlisted the left wing Age newspaper to promote their activities, complete with mandatory black smoke belching, to put their case. It’s going to be a laugh a minute up against the big boys in court I think. Read it all here: http://pindanpost.com/2013/12/01/environmentalists-abandon-reason-and-common-sense/
Joanne Nova also has a post on big oil last week and their funding of ‘green’. Hilarious!

December 2, 2013 12:22 pm

Russia’s Participation in the U.S. Civil War – C-SPAN Video Library
It’s little known that Russia helped President Lincoln out big time at a critical point in the Civil War. This is the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the Russian Baltic Fleet in New York City on September 24, 1863. That moved Lincoln to issue the proclamation establishing Thanksgiving.
The possibilities of peace with Iran has been putting further pressure downward on oil prices despite assurances from the administration that they won’t be able to pump more oil and gas in the next 6 months. The USA has spent $8 trillion on protecting the Strait of Hormuz since 1976. We are still spending money on the trillion dollar drain called Star Wars Defense System. The two wars will eventually total $4-6T according to the Harvard Kennedy School.
The Obama administration has recommended that our airlines comply with China’s demand that flights into their ‘new’ airspace provide the notification requirements, “out of an abundance of caution.” Taking the long way around would do it.
China, the new 21st century superpower has laid claim to most of the East China Sea and has created an Air Defense Zone over what used to be International Waters bordering China, Korea, Taiwan and Japan. China has a similar dispute further south with the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia. These areas happen to be rich in untapped oil and gas reserves. The 20th century superpower deployed some 1950s fire power, thumbing its nose at this flexing of Communist muscle and to show who’s the boss. It was like Slim Pickens playing USAF Major TJ “King” Kong in the movie.
When asked to comment on sending nuclear bombers into Communist territory, Dr. Henry Kissinger, the 90 year old cold war expert got highly agitated. Leaping from his wheelchair and taking several steps. “Mein Fuhrer, I can walk!”
China simply proceeded to ignore the toothless lion’s roar and went about taking over the planet by sending fighter jets to ‘defend’ its claimed territory. The US has no claim over the area so they chose to ignore the B-52s, Japanese and Korean flights don’t get ignored, Taiwan doesn’t appear to want to risk it. The US has never officially been at war with China, not counting Korea, but Japan is still reviled for WWII, so there is some slight possibility that things could get ugly.
It’s not that China has any intent on shooting down planes, they just want to raise tensions to a certain level. The level that is deemed too risky for oil companies to invest big money to extract oil & gas in the area for fear that their rigs could be taken over by the People’s Republic. China is all about the long run, they know this will be their century.
New unemployment claims fell by another 10,000 last week to 316k, approaching pre-Bush crash levels. Almost half the decline was in the 7th largest economy, California, suggesting that Conservative claims that it is in rapid decline might be a tad off.
The Federal Reserve is considering eliminating the 0.25% interest they have been paying banks on cash reserves kept on deposit with the Fed and Wall Street Banks are throwing a fit. 0.25% doesn’t sound like much except that there are $2.4T in these reserves. This was part of the bank bailout plan and Wall Street Banks became accustomed to the $60b subsidy, it’s almost half their bonuses. The Fed thinks that with the economy working that banks should start making loans with the money instead. They didn’t used to keep this much cash deposited but they were encouraged to do so to prevent further losses from the Bush Crash.
Wall Street also attacked Pope Francis’ grand critique of Wall Street speculation, greed, poverty, trickle down tyranny of money and commodity fetishism.
‘Thanks’ that there was no default as a result of the Sedition. Had the US stopped redeeming debt or it even looked like they might, the credit rating agencies could have down graded the credit rating of Treasury bonds. There were two of these struggles during Clinton’s time in office.
Reducing bonds from AAA requires certain funds that hold the bonds to sell them immediately at any price that they can get. This would trickle down to all sorts of debt instruments. There are now 600 trillion of derivatives in circulation as a result of Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, slipped in by Phil Gramm while all eyes were on Florida and hanging chads. That same Republican that was a big player in previously eliminating Glass-Steagall. It was mortgage derivatives that caused the last crash and we ‘thankfully’ avoided another much bigger.
A million veterans are going hungry because of lost SNAP benefits and Conservatives still believe that billionaires are going to create all these jobs. I guess Wal~Mart hasn’t sent their jobs off to China yet.
A billion dollar cottage industry has been brought to life in vintage airplane parts with the peace with Iran. Iran flies some of the oldest commercial aircraft in the world, including one of the original 747-100s, a model that hasn’t even been seen at a Boeing facility in 20 years. They fly planes not even seen in Africa. Now that spare parts no longer need to go via the Black Market there is a scramble by more mainstream parts dealers to lock down every Boeing jet that sits wasting away on some backwoods tarmac somewhere.
Iran did once try using Russian built planes, but the failure rate was worse than the baling wire and duct tape creations that they had been flying. In reality they’ve only recently had a problem finding parts. Under Republican administrations there was no real enforcement of embargoes against Iran, but since Obama took over the tightening ramped up considerably. The USAF purchased a gigantic hydraulic shear to destroy landing gear struts on decommissioned F-111 & F14s that under the Bush administration were routinely ending up in Iran.
Ronald Reagan got himself elected by promising spare parts, antiaircraft missiles and such to Iran. That business turned into the Iran-Contra scandal. During depositions Reagan claimed no recollection of such events, his Alzheimer’s revealed just prior to his appearances. George HW Bush, who had bragged about being in charge during the Reagan Presidency, claimed under oath that he knew nothing. “I just go to funerals like all the Vice Presidents do.” Bush went on to issue pardons to everyone involved with selling parts and missiles to the Axis of Evil, including people that hadn’t been indicted.
Here is a list of scandals for comparing administrations. The noise machine makes it sound like there are now more scandals than ever. You decide.
Syria’s government will try to move the most lethal components of its chemical weapons program to a port city by the end of the year, and the U.S. has offered to pick up and destroy the hazardous material at an offshore facility, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and Syrian officials said Saturday.
The international organization’s director-general, Ahmet Uzumcu, said in The Hague, Netherlands, that the U.S. government will contribute “a destruction technology, full operational support and financing to neutralize” the weapons — most likely on a ship in the Mediterranean Sea. The weapons are to be removed from Syria by Dec. 3.
Osama bin Laden is still gone.

December 3, 2013 4:02 am

Ed Mertin says:
December 2, 2013 at 12:22 pm
“When asked to comment on sending nuclear bombers into Communist territory, Dr. Henry Kissinger, the 90 year old cold war expert got highly agitated. Leaping from his wheelchair and taking several steps. “Mein Fuhrer, I can walk!””
No doubt that Kissinger is not to be trusted, but comparing a jew to Dr. Strangelove? A tad beyond the pale.
“New unemployment claims fell by another 10,000 last week to 316k, approaching pre-Bush crash levels. Almost half the decline was in the 7th largest economy, California, suggesting that Conservative claims that it is in rapid decline might be a tad off.”
You conveniently forget to mention today’s labor force participation rates, which indicate that California is over the cliff and in freefall. The drug economy and its thriving public sector might make it seem somewhat busy, though.
“Here is a list of scandals for comparing administrations. The noise machine makes it sound like there are now more scandals than ever. You decide.”
Wackapedia link? Yeah that’ll work. Wackapedia’s NPOV tells me that Obama is the best president ever… and that the Earth is warming….

December 3, 2013 4:05 am

Ed Mertin says:
December 2, 2013 at 12:22 pm
“Osama bin Laden is still gone.”
To compensate, Barack Hussein Obama provides a billion of “humanitarian aid” (a.k.a. low tech weapons shipments) to ISIS a.k.a. Al Qaeda in Syria.

December 5, 2013 10:12 am

Oh now, Dirk, things conservatives thought impossible to do by any Presidents are getting done. Without young people losing limbs or dying in an unarmored Humvee with windshields splattered in blood. Never send a Republican to do a man’s job.
To be a Conservative is to claim Liberal accomplishments as your own, while fearing that you’ll be found out as a fraud and dealt with.
RWNJ’s here, among others use Wikipedia regularly. Yes, I wish that liberals didn’t believe in global warming. But wish more that the conservatives didn’t believe in blowing thousands of times more money and young folks lives on being the global police department and deliberately avoiding diplomacy. The jobs their oligarchy create are mostly in the profitable defense sector.

December 5, 2013 10:43 am

“To compensate, Barack Hussein Obama provides a billion of “humanitarian aid” (a.k.a. low tech weapons shipments) to ISIS a.k.a. Al Qaeda in Syria.”
Non lethal aid to the opposition to Assad regime has been admitted. Meanwhile, Senator John McCain continues as Foreign Relations “Adviser” to Al Qaeda Death Squads.

%d bloggers like this: