Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

The Week That Was: 2014-03-01 (March 1, 2014) Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project


Quote of the Week: In this age of specialization men who thoroughly know one field are often incompetent to discuss another. Richard Feynman. Caltech Lunch Forum, May 2, 1956 Number of the Week: 4 Million

Supreme Court: (From a Federalist Society Podcast)

“On Monday, February 24, 2014, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the highly anticipated greenhouse gas case, Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency.

The issue at hand is whether the EPA permissibly determined that its regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles triggered permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act for stationary sources that emit greenhouse gases. In adopting the regulations now before the Court, the EPA construed specialized provisions of the Clean Air Act designed primarily to regulate a limited number of air pollutants for which the EPA has established “National Ambient Air Quality Standards” to apply to any airborne compound regulated under any provision of the Clean Air Act, including carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. To avoid the costs and administrative burdens that would otherwise result from this interpretation, the EPA purported to alter specific numerical permitting thresholds that Congress had written into the Clean Air Act. Additionally, the EPA claimed the power to make further alterations to these thresholds on an ongoing basis. Our expert offered a summary and his impressions of the oral arguments.”

Below is SEPP’s summary of Mr. Gasaway’s summary.

The issues addressed were 1) how can the EPA Prevent Significant Deterioration (PSD) of the atmosphere under the Clean Air Act and 2) under what permitting process. On a case by case basis, the number of permits for greenhouse gases (GHG) could include up to 6 million facilities, which would be an absurd result. Without legislative guidance, the EPA raised the threshold of emissions from a facility before it requires permitting under the claim of administrative necessity.

Among the possible outcomes are: 1) clear win for the EPA, 2) clear win for the plaintiffs, court to say no to the EPA, and 3) a middle ground that if a facility needs to apply for a PSD, then it can be regulated for GHG.

[During the arguments, the Justices can interrupt at any time.] The questions asked with presented five major groups. 1) Extreme deference – the issue is so complex that the courts must defer to the expert agency, the EPA. 2) What would Congress do? Exclude CO2 or make exceptions to the strict limits in the law. 3) In the future will the EPA try to reduce dividing line between regulated and unregulated facilities? For what other pollutants will the EPA try to re-write regulations? 4) A major issue is applying a decision that pertained to motor vehicles to stationary facilities. There was no case law for this in the EPA brief. What is the best case law that can apply? 5) If the EPA should lose in part, what is the second-best position for the EPA? (If you don’t win, how would like to lose?)

To the last question, the Solicitor General, representing the EPA, answered in a way that surprised the commentator, Robert Gasaway: separate carbon dioxide (CO2) from the five other GHG and regulate it separately.

To Mr. Gasaway, the bottom line for the Solicitor General is that the problem is increasingly urgent, and rapid action is necessary. [SEPP Comment: Climate change is an increasingly urgent problem because global warming has stopped?]

The bottom line for the plaintiffs was two-fold: 1) that even if only large facilities are regulated, the details of the permitting would a major administrative burden and 2) the re-writing of the statutes by the EPA is a contradiction to the Constitutional concept of separation of powers.

Predictions: None!

Please see links under Litigation Issues.


Lowering Standards: The US National Academy of Science and the Royal Society issued a joint booklet that neatly packages the Climate Establishment’s views on climate science. The introduction states: The Royal Society and the US National Academy of Sciences, with their similar missions to promote the use of science to benefit society and to inform critical policy debates, offer this new publication as a key reference document for decision makers, policy makers, educators, and other individuals seeking authoritative answers about the current state of climate-change science.

The slick document is framed around 20 questions such as: Does the recent slowdown of warming mean that climate change is no longer happening?  Notice the combining of warming with climate change. These are two very distinct issues. Humans causing unprecedented and dangerous global warming is one issue. Natural climate change is another. It has been ongoing for hundreds of millions of years, which the document addresses in another section, claiming that the human influence is causing faster warming than observed in the past. The rate of warming in the last part of the 20th century was not faster than the rate in the early part of the century.

Among the questions that are missing or inadequately answered are: Why did the late 20th century warming trend stop; why did the climate models fail to predict the trend would stop; why do the climate models greatly overestimate the warming trend; why is the warming largely limited to the northern part of the Northern Hemisphere, etc.?

Many TWTW readers would object to the discussion on ocean acidification, an emotionally-laden term. Direct observations of ocean chemistry have shown that the chemical balance of seawater has shifted to a more acidic state (lower pH) (see Figure 7). Figure 7 gives a pH range of 8.11 to 8.07, and attempts to correlate the decline with CO2. A pH of 8.07 is not an acidic state but a less alkaline one.

Except for a question on reducing Arctic sea ice contrasting expanding Antarctic sea ice, the issue of uncertainty is largely ignored and the Report implies great certainty in the climate science as presented by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and others.

The authors of the report are apparently unaware that much of this work has been addressed and found wanting by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC). See links under Lowering Standards and http://nipccreport.org/reports/ccr2a/ccr2physicalscience.html


Headed for the Exits? Major participants in the IPCC, which now declares 95% certainty in its work, are falling over themselves in publishing excuses why the climate models are failing. One of the latest was a paper by Ben Santer, Susan Solomon, Gavin Schmidt, and others published, in Nature Geoscience. They added changes in the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and volcanoes to the mix for a post-hoc try to explain failing climate models. If ENSO is an important variable in natural climate change, then sensitivity of the earth to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide may be greatly overestimated.

The addition of recent volcanos is far from compelling because there have been no major, recent eruptions similar to Pinatubo in 1991, when the volcanic influence could be observed. TWTW reader Clyde Spencer observed: “Strangely, there is no baseline cited for this study to verify that the volcanic aerosols for the period of study are higher than in the recent past, thus explaining the hiatus in strong warming. Again, models are relied upon for explanation.”

An observation by David Whitehouse on the graphs presented in the paper is particularly amusing. With removal of the influence of El Nino and El Chichon and Pinatubo from the temperature data “one sees that the lower atmosphere shows a standstill since 1993, that is 20 years! This is in itself a remarkable graph extending the ‘pause’ into the start of its third decade.”

In attempting to explain why the climate models are failing, the authors are undermining the work of the IPCC and the expressed 95% certainty in that work, in which they participated.

Andrew Montford draws attention to another paper just published by Gavin Schmidt, et al., that the failure of the earth to warm is one “incredible, incredible coincidence.” From the preview: Climate models projected stronger warming over the past 15 years than has been seen in observations. Conspiring factors of errors in volcanic and solar inputs, representations of aerosols, and El Niño evolution, may explain most of the discrepancy. See links under Un-Science or Non-Science?


Feynman is Right: On February 23, string theorist Michio Kaku publically insulted global warming skeptics on CNN. He stated: “They also read a lot but then they put it in an ideological context and they see everything through this lens and they don’t do the homework. They don’t do the computer programs. They don’t critique the mathematics. …And so for us there’s nothing to debate. We cannot debate them, because they have no programs, no data, no formulas. There’s nothing but ideology.”

Contrary to Kaku’s claims, the issues are that the climate models are failing; the climate programs are failing; and the formulas are failing; when tested against the data – physical observations. It is unfortunate that a popular physicist speaks out against other scientists without understanding the issues involved. The only “ideology” skeptics embrace is that physical science be based on observations of the physical world. See link under Defending the Orthodoxy.


Social Cost-Benefits of Carbon: Apparently, because US government agencies failed to file proposed regulations in the Federal Register, as required by law, until the deadline for comments on these regulations were due, the deadline was extended to February 27, 2014. Although Fred Singer and Ken Haapala had made individual filings, SEPP joined CEI in its comprehensive filing objecting to US government calculations of the so-called Social Cost of Carbon (SCC), which really refers to carbon dioxide emissions. Attorney Francis Menton wrote solid commentary, which emphasized EPA’s imploding science. Anthony Watts posted it on WUWT.

The entire affair reflects poorly on the Department of Agriculture (DOA), whose scientists help make US agriculture the envy of the world. DOA is one of the 11 government entities devising the highly questionable concept of SCC and participated in the Technical Support Document. As presented in that document, the benefits of enhanced atmospheric CO2 are calculated in some way as part of the FUND model, along with rate of temperature change and level of temperature anomaly. This is nonsense!

The NIPCC studies present a great body of work, over 5,000 laboratory and field studies, demonstrating that an atmosphere with enhanced CO2 is of great benefit for virtually all forms of plant life, especially food crops. Many of these studies include a wide range of CO2 concentrations and show increased plant response to increasing CO2 concentrations. The benefits to agriculture are well known and plant nurseries increase CO2 concentrations in their greenhouses. Yet, this empirical evidence is ignored in favor of some computer model of questionable validity.

The Department of Agriculture should be capable of calculating the enormous economic benefits of CO2 enhancement. A lone researcher has, Craig Idso. It is obvious that the SCC is a politically manipulated concept that fails to recognize that carbon dioxide is essential for all green plants; thus, for humanity. See links under Social (Costs?) of Carbon and http://co2science.org//education/reports/co2benefits/co2benefits.php


CCS: The heads of the EPA and the Department of Energy have adamantly declared in public that the Administration is not in a War against Coal and facilities for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) are commercially available. These facilities would be needed to build new coal-fired power plants under the proposed CO2 regulations for new power plants. On February 10, 2014, the Congressional Research Service released a report stating: “To date, there are no commercial ventures in the United States that capture, transport, and inject large quantities of CO2 (e.g., 1 million tons per year or more) solely for the purposes of carbon sequestration.” See link under Carbon Schemes.


Oh Mann! Mr. Mann’s litigation claiming others libeled him is having considerable difficulty in the form of Steve McIntyre. McIntyre wrote: Integral to Mann’s litigation are representations that he was “investigated” by 6-9 investigations, all of which supposedly gave him “exonerations” on wide-ranging counts, including “scientific misconduct”, “fraud”, “academic fraud”, “data falsification”, “statistical manipulation”, “manipulation of data” and even supposed findings that his work was “properly conducted and [sic] fairly presented”. Mann also represented that these investigations were widely covered in international and national media and thus known to Steyn and the other defendants.

McIntyre is in round five of his series challenging Mr. Mann’s court filings – an investigation by NOAA Office of the Inspector General OIG and shows that “Mann’s pleadings misrepresented the findings of this investigation both through grossly selective quotation and mis-statement.”

All this effort prompts two questions regarding Mr. Mann’s attorneys. One, who is paying them? Two, to protect themselves from possible libel, should they hire McIntyre to review any future court filings? See links under Oh Mann!


Additions and Corrections: Last week TWTW erroneously gave Bernie Lewin credit for uncovering the source of the iconic graph of temperature trends of 1000 years that appeared in the first IPCC Assessment Report. Lewin immediately informed TWTW that the credit for uncovering the source of the graph goes to Steve McIntyre.

Last week TWTW linked to an article in WUWT on levelized costs for new generation contained in the EIA Annual Energy Outlook 2013. In discussing the January 2013 report when it came out, TWTW stated that it finds EIA work to be of high quality but the capacity factors assigned to Non-Dispatchable Technologies appear too high. Their capacity factor for wind is 34%, for off-shore wind is 37%, solar PV 25%, and solar thermal 20%. It is increasingly clear that on-shore wind should be no more than 30%, probably less, and solar PV is too high as well. The available data of wind-offshore is not sufficient for arriving at a capacity factor, and solar thermal is speculation. See links





Number of the Week: 4 Million manufacturing jobs lost. According to the EUObserver “The EU’s manufacturing sector has been in steady decline for the past 20 years and now accounts for just 15 percent of economic output. Meanwhile, 4 million manufacturing jobs across Europe have been lost since 2008, according to the European Commission’s latest figures.” These 4 million jobs are not coming back with ever higher energy costs, particularly in electricity. Yet, the US Administration uses EU countries with the highest electricity costs as its example to follow.



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. The Kerry Climate Capers

By S. Fred Singer, American Thinker, Feb 26, 2014


2. Bullying Is A National Disgrace But National Policy

By Charles Battig, M.D., Virginia Free Citizen, Feb 25, 2014


3. The ‘Absurd Results’ Power Grab

Can the EPA simply rewrite a law to suit its policy goals?

Editorial, WSJ, Feb 23, 2014


4. Jenkins: Personal Score-Settling Is the New Climate Agenda

The cause of global carbon regulation may be lost, but enemies still can be punished.

By Holman Jenkins, WSJ, Feb 28, 2014




Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?

Watch the Sun

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Feb 28, 2014


Challenging the Orthodoxy

Volcanoes And The ‘Pause’

By David Whitehouse, GWPF, Feb 27, 2014


Link to paper: Volcanic contribution to decadal changes in tropospheric temperature

By Santer, et al., Nature Geoscience, Feb 23, 2014


More Evidence for a Low Climate Sensitivity

By Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger, WUWT, Feb 28, 2014


Global Cooling

By Gerrit J. van der Lingen, SPPI, Feb 27, 2014


Link to paper: Title, author, and date as above


Let’s Be Very Clear Mr. Kerry: No Scientific Evidence Of ‘Dangerous’ Human Climate Influence Exists

By Larry Bell, Forbes, Feb 24, 2014


Defending the Orthodoxy

Climate change is not debateable

Michio Kaku, Transcript by Staff Writers, CNN, Feb 23, 2014 [H/t Bishop Hill]


Climate warrior ramps it up

By Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill, Feb 24, 2014


[SEPP Comment: Apparently, Senator Whitehouse from Rhode Island never learned about the hurricane of 1938, one of the most destructive to hit southern New England. “Downtown Providence, Rhode Island was submerged under a storm tide of nearly 20 feet.” http://www.weather.gov/box/1938hurricane]

Climate change: Is it time for international agreements to recognize national laws?

By Ed Markey, John Gummer and Cedric Frolick, CNN, Feb 27, 2014


Questioning the Orthodoxy

EPA Evidence on Warming Far From Conclusive

By Larry Bell, Newsmax, Feb 28, 2014


97% of pictures are worth 1000 climate words

By Christopher Monckton, WUWT, Feb 26, 2014


Some Like It Hot

By Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger, CATO, Feb 28, 2014


Money Dictates Kerry’s Climate Stance

By Larry Bell, Newsmax, Feb 24, 2014


The climate question: Alarmists in panic

Editorial, The Tribune-Review, Pittsburg, PA, Feb 23, 2014 [H/t Timothy Wise]


The flat 15-year trend falsifies “the greenhouse climate models, all of which predict a strong future warming.” Yet governments base climate policy on those models, Mr. Singer writes.

Don’t Believe The President’s Climate Change Hype

By Paul Driessen, IBD, Feb 26, 2014


EPA: Carbon emissions reduction has little impact on climate change

By Davy Boyer, Washington Times, Feb 24, 2014


Greenpeace Co-Founder Tells Truth About Climate Change

Editorial, IBD, Feb 27, 2014


Social Benefits of Carbon

The Interaction of C02 and Non-Ozone Air Pollutants on Plant Growth

By Staff Writers, SPPI, Feb 28, 2014


Link to paper: The Interaction of C02 and Non-Ozone Air Pollutants on Plant Growth

Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, Feb 26, 2014


Social (Costs?) of Carbon

A look at the behind the scenes legal battle with the EPA over the ‘social cost of carbon’ and looming carbon tax

By Francis Menton, WUWT, Feb 24, 2014


CEI Comment Letter to Office of Management and Budget, Technical Support Document on Social Cost of Carbon

By Marlo Lewis and CEI Staff, February 26, 2014


Menace to Society: Commentary on the Social Cost of Carbon

By Marlo Lewis, Global Warming.org, Feb 27, 2014


Problems in the Orthodoxy

An Impasse on Climate Change

By Gary Libecap, Defining Ideas, Jan 15, 2014 [H/t Timothy Wise]


[SEPP Comment: A lengthy post on why the international efforts to regulate carbon dioxide emissions are failing.]

Spiegel On 15-Year Pause: “Biggest Mystery In Climate Science” … Scientists Caught With Their Pants Down

By P. Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Feb 28, 2014


Mexico, China led on climate action in 2013

By Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill, Feb 27, 2014


[SEPP Comment: Governments punishing the public for government created fears. No link to study.]

Seeking a Common Ground

A question of balance

By Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance, Feb 28, 2014


A case of the vapours: source of ‘climate-active’ organic aerosol particles pinned down

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Feb 26, 2014


Link to paper: A large source of low-volatility secondary organic aerosols,

Mikael Ehn et al; Nature 506, DOI: 1038/nature13032, Feb 26, 2014


[SEPP Comment: For years environmental groups in the US have been claiming the organic aerosol particles creating the haze in mountains came from automobiles.]

Where is the National Weather Service’s New Supercomputer?

By Cliff Mass, Weather Blog, Feb 25, 2014


[SEPP Comment: Incompetence.]

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by NIPCC

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

Errant CMIP5 Modelling of South American Tropical Precipitation

Reference: Yin, L., Fu, R., Shevliakova, E. and Dickinson, R.E. 2013. How well can CMIP5 simulate precipitation and its controlling processes over tropical South America? Climate Dynamics 41: 3127-3143.


Reef-Building Corals Acclimating to Elevated Water Temperatures

Reference: Mayfield, A.B., Fan, T.-Y. and Chen, C.-S. 2013. Physiological acclimation to elevated temperature in a reef-building coral from an upwelling environment. Coral Reefs 32: 909-921.


Longwave Feedbacks in Climate Models

Reference: Huang, Y. 2013. On the longwave climate feedbacks. Journal of Climate 26: 7603-7610.


[SEPP Comment: Cannot agree if the effect is positive or negative.]

Plant Responses to Very Low Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations

Reference: Temme, A.A., Cornwell, W.K., Cornelissen, J.H.C. and Aerts, R. 2013. Meta-analysis reveals profound responses of plant traits to glacial CO2 levels. Ecology and Evolution 3: 4525-4535.


Models v. Observations

Government Weather and Climate Forecasts Are Failures.

By Tim Ball, A Different Perspective, Feb 25, 2014


[SEPP Comment: An amusing essay on historical forecasting and why forecasting has not improve in 2300 years.]

Met Office defends its forecasting

By Marcus Denby, Western Daily Press, Feb 23, 2014 [H/t GWPF]


[SEPP Comment: The Met’s cutting edge science is rusting.]

Measurement Issues

3 Days till Launch of the Global Precipitation Mission (GPM) Core Observatory

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Feb 24, 2014


[SEPP Comment: The satellite is in orbit. Hopefully, it will gave accurate information on precipitation, so needed to understand how much water vapor is accumulating the atmosphere.]

Changing Weather

Top 5 coldest and snowiest Winters for many especially in the North Central

By Joseph D’Aleo, ICECAP Mar 1, 2014


Meteorological winter ended with a flourish in the north [central] with record temperatures and extreme wind chills. The winter in this region has ranked among the great winters historically including the three in the late 1970s, 1916/17-1917/18 and 1894/95.

[SEPP Comment: The central Mid-West and East Coast are preparing for a “spring” storm with snowfall in Washington forecast to be 6 to 10 inches (15 to 25 cm) and a low Monday night of 8ºF (-13ºC)]

‘Pineapple Express’ pattern for drought stricken California is shaping up – how long will it last?

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Feb 28, 2014


U. lecturer argues global warming doesn’t cause polar vortex

By Elizabeth Paul, Princetonian, Feb 19, 2014 [H/t Roger Cohen]


[SEPP Comment: It has been around since the earth had an atmosphere and rotated on its axis.]

Changing Climate

Decline of Bronze Age ‘megacities’ linked to climate change

By Staff Writers, U. of Cambridge, Feb 27, 2014 [H/t WUWT]


[SEPP Comment: Suggested decades ago by human-caused global warming skeptic H.H. Lamb. He suggested the shift in the monsoons was a result a cooling (at least in the Northern Hemisphere) from the Holocene Climate Optimum – totally unrelated to CO2.]

Changing Seas

The island that ‘grew back’: Pacific isle that disappeared after devastating typhoon reappears 100 years after its destruction

By Sarah Griffiths, Mail, UK, Feb 21, 2014


Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

Current ice melt rate in Pine Island Glacier may go on for decades

By Anne M Stark for LLNL News, Livermore CA (SPX), Feb 25, 2014


[SEPP Comment: It did 8,000 years ago. Something other than CO2 is involved.]

Changing Earth

Coast Of Wales: Recent Storm Uncovers Ancient Forest That Was Under Sea Water 4500 Years Ago

By P. Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Feb 25, 2014


[SEPP Comment: The uplift or subsidence of the region may be more important that global sea levels, which rose quickly as the ice age glaciers melted starting about 18,000 years ago and have been rising slowly for about 3,000 years.]

Volcanoes, including Mount Hood in the US, can quickly become active

Magma stored for thousands of years can erupt in as little as two months

Press Release by Staff Writers, NSF, Feb 18, 2014


Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine

Our Farmers Get An A+ For Low Pesticide Residues

By Steve Savage, Science 2.0, Feb 24, 2014 [H/t ACSH]


Better livestock diets to combat climate change and improve food security

By Staff Writers, Vienna, Austria (SPX), Feb 28, 2014


Link to paper: Climate change mitigation through livestock system transitions

By Petr Havlik, et al, Feb 24, 2014


China’s smog suffocating agriculture?

By Staff Writers, Beijing (UPI), Feb 26, 2013


[SEPP Comment: China must address real pollution as the developed countries did.]

Un-Science or Non-Science?

Volcanoes And The ‘Pause’

By David Whitehouse, GWPF, Feb 27, 2014


Link to paper: Volcanic contribution to decadal changes in tropospheric temperature

By Santer, et al., Nature Geoscience, Feb 23, 2014


The mind-boggling coincidence hypothesis

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Feb 27, 2014


Link to paper: Reconciling warming trends

By Gavin A. Schmidt, Drew T. Shindell & Kostas Tsigaridis, Nature Geoscience, Feb 27, 2014


Increase in Arctic Cyclones is Linked to Climate Change

By Staff Writers, Sydney, Australia, (SPX) Feb 24, 2014


A new study in Geophysical Research Letters uses historical climate model simulations to demonstrate that there has been an Arctic-wide decrease in sea level pressure since the 1800’s. [Boldface added.]

Study projects big thaw for Antarctic sea ice

Posted by Anthony Watts, WUWT, Feb 27, 2014


Unstable Atlantic deep ocean circulation under future climate conditions

By Staff Writers, Bergen, Norway (SPX), Feb 28, 2014


Lowering Standards

Scientists More Certain Than Ever on Climate Change, Report Says

By John Roach, NBC News, Feb 26, 2014


Link to the report: Climate Change: Evidence and Causes

An overview from the Royal Society and the US National Academies of Sciences

Signed by Ralph Cicerone and Paul Nurse, No Date


NAS/RS Report on Climate Change: Evidence and Causes

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Feb 27, 2014

NAS/RS Report on Climate Change: Evidence and Causes

Bovver boys in pinstripes

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Feb 27, 2014


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

UNSW climate scientists shift goal posts, publish irrelevant “extreme hot days” trend

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Mar 1, 2014


[SEPP Comment: Desperately seeking cover.]

China’s Plan To Clean Up Air In Cities Will Doom The Climate, Green Campaigners Warn

By William Kelly, InsideClimate News, Via GWPF, Feb 26, 2014


Climate Alarmists Never Called Out For Spreading Fear

Editorial, IBD, Feb 25, 2014 [H/t Timothy Wise]


[SEPP Comment: Could it be that fear invokes public concern, reported by the press, while reason does not invoke fear and is not reported?]

Scientist communicators

Editorial, Nature Climate Change, Feb 26, 2014 [H/t Bishop Hill]


Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

Kerry doubles down on climate change

By Julian Pecquet, The Hill, Feb 26, 2014


A large part of Europe could be flooded by the middle of the century

By Estelle Winters, Moscow (Voice of Russia), Feb 28, 2014


Al Gore brings climate change message to Kansas City

By Brian Burnes, Kansas City Star, Feb 22, 2014


Communicating Better to the Public – Go Personal.

Hypocrisy at the Anti-Defamation League?

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Feb 26, 2014


Skeptics Smeared As Holocaust Deniers, ADL Silent

By Staff Writers, Popular Technology, Feb 28, 2014


[SEPP Comment: 28 individuals equating human-cause global warming with Holocaust denial.]

Gestapo-like ADL raid on Roy Spencer

By Luboš Motl, The Reference Frame, Feb 27, 2014


[SEPP Comment: A powerful, somewhat lengthy essay pointing out that the crimes of Nazism were not limited to one ethnic group, but distorted and damaged “all aspects of human and social life.”]

Anti Defamation League Gone Intellectually AWOL…Totally Oblivious To Deluge Of Defamation Poured Onto Climate Science Skeptics

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Feb 27, 2014


The Merchants of Smear

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Feb 24, 2014


Questioning European Green

137 CEOs From Europe’s Manufacturing Industry Call For New EU Energy & Climate Strategy

IFIEC Europe press release, GWPF, Feb 27, 2014


All Pain And No Climate Gain … Expert Government Committee Recommends “Complete Scrapping” Of Feed-In Act!

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Feb 26, 2014


[SEPP Comment: Another in a series of reports that the Germany’s Green Experiment has produced bitter results.]

Questioning Green Elsewhere

Crushing People Into Tight Housing Won’t Cut CO2 Levels

By Lawrence McQuillan, IBD, Feb 26, 2014


Green Jobs

Clean energy utopia would be a job-killer

By Charles Battig, Letter, Richmond Times Dispatch. Feb 23, 2014


Non-Green Jobs

EU summit to focus on industry rather than climate-draft

By Barbara Lewis, Reuters, Feb 28, 2014 [H/t GWPF]


The Political Games Continue

Cold snap prompts wave of energy bills [legislation]

By Pete Kasperowicz, The Hill, Feb 28, 2014


Vitter Accuses Inspector General of Providing Cover for EPA in Investigation

“Remarkably, in conducting its investigation of EPA email practices, the OIG never examined, in any way, actual staff emails.”

By Bill Straub, PJ Media, Feb 26, 2014


Litigation Issues

Court to Rule on Greenhouse Gases – Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA – Podcast

By Robert Gasaway, Environmental Law & Property Rights and Litigation Practice Groups Podcast, Feb 25, 2014, 45:33 minutes [H/t James Wallace]


Justice Kennedy skeptical of EPA’s powers

By Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill, Feb 24, 2014


‘King’ Obama’s EPA Likely To Be Weaker After High Court Ruling

By Dana Milbank, IBD, Feb 25, 2014


From a Washington Post reporter

[Justice] Breyer was delighted. “I’m not a net emitter of carbon dioxide,” he declared. “That means I’m a part of sustainable development.”

[SEPP Comment: Apparently, the Justice does not realize that when he breaths he increases the CO2 concentration of the air he uses by about 100 times.]

Supreme Court takes on greenhouse gas emissions case

By Sean Lengell, Washington Examiner, Feb 24, 2014


Obama’s Climate-Change Policy Questioned at Supreme Court

By Greg Stohr and Mark Drajem, Bloomberg, Feb 24, 2014


Supreme Court weighs EPA powers on clean air

Greenhouse gas rules probed

By Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, Feb 24, 2014


EU’s Highest Court Rules Spain Fuel Tax is Unlawful

Spain May Have to Refund as Much as €13 Billion to End-Users


Subsidies and Mandates Forever

Merkel Advisers Urge Germany to End Clean-Energy Subsidy Program

By Stefan Nicola, Bloomberg, Feb 26, 2014 [H/t GWPF]


EPA and other Regulators on the March

EPA says ‘coal is in energy mix’

By Tim Devaney, The Hill, Feb 28, 2014


DOE rolls out new standards for commercial refrigerators

By Ben Goad, The Hill, Feb 28, 2014


[SEPP Comment: No mention of costs. As seen in DOE’s participation of the calculations of the SCC, the costs and benefits of these actions may be imaginary numbers.]

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Breathtakingly Lawless Attempt To Regulate Greenhouse Gases

By Marlo Lewis, Forbes, Feb 25, 2014


Emails: Another top EPA official used private email account to aid environmentalists

By Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, Feb 24, 2014


NRDC’s Reynolds discusses lobbying battle following release of EPA’s watershed assessment

Transcript by Staff, EETV, Feb 26, 2014


[SEPP Comment: EPA made regulations as desired by the environmental groups, where private email accounts while conducting government business involved?]

Honeycutt: Proposed ozone standards are based on contradictions

By Michael Honeycutt, Houston Chronicle, Feb 22, 2014 [H/t Gordon Fulks]


Energy Issues – Non-US

Climate policy robs the world’s poor of their hopes

We need technologies that work in the US and in Pakistan, say Roger Pielke and Daniel Sarewitz

By Roger Pielke and Daniel Sarewitz, Financial Times, Feb 26, 2014


Germans told of billions lost to trade due to energy policy

By Jeevan Vasagar, Financial Times, Feb 26, 2014 [H/t GWPF]


Industry bosses demand EU action on soaring energy prices

By Benjamin Fox, EUobserver, Feb 28, 2014 [H/t GWPF]


17% Of All German Households Now In Energy Poverty! Spiegel Writes Of An “Energy Cost Explosion”!

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Feb 24, 2014


BASF to focus investments outside Europe

By Chris Bryant, Financial Times, Feb 25, 2014 [H/t GWPF]


Shifting energy trends blunt Russia’s natural-gas weapon

By Steven Mufson, Washington Post, Feb 28, 2014 [H/t GWPF]


Also see GWPF for clear graphs:


Energy Issues — US

Maintaining the Advantage: Why the U.S. Should Not Follow the EU’s Energy Policies

By Robert Bryce, Manhattan Institute, Feb 13, 2014 [H/t NCPA]


Energy Realism Amid Climate Alarmism: James Hansen Rides Again

By Robert Bradley Jr. Master Resource, Feb 25, 2014


“People who entreat the government to solve global warming but offer support only for renewable energies will be rewarded with [a fossil-fuel world]. Quote from Jim Hansen

Washington’s Control of Energy

Critics take aim at upcoming federal report on Atlantic drilling

By Jennifer Dlouhy, Houston Chronicle, Feb 26, 2014


Keystone: Environmentalists Suddenly Rediscover Property Rights

By Steven Hayward, Power Line, Feb 27, 2014 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Dream of US oil independence slams against shale costs

By Asjylyn Loder, Bloomberg, Feb 27, 2014


“To sustain in the short term, the U.S. needs prices at $65 a barrel,” Maugeri said. “That’s a critical level. Below that level, many opportunities will vanish.”

[SEPP Comment: There is no question oil from shale is more expensive to produce than oil from the fields in the Mid-East. This article does not discuss two important considerations. One, the success rates are much higher than traditional success rates in the US. Two, after the fast initial drop-off, the wells continue to produce, and it appears that they will produce for a long time. World market prices will determine if the drilling boom continues.]

Boundless Natural Gas, Boundless Opportunities

By James Stafford of Oilprice.com, Washington DC (SPX) Feb 28, 2014


China To Beat Shale Gas Production Target, Report Says

By Staff Writers, Xinhua News Agency, Via GWPF, Mar 1, 2014


[SEPP Comment: GWPF added a map of the major unconventional natural gas resources in China.]

Colorado First State to Clamp Down on Fracking Methane Pollution

By Jennifer Oldham, Bloomberg, Feb 23, 2014


Current natural gas production from shale formations: http://www.bloomberg.com/infographics/2014-02-20/can-the-u-s-sustain-its-natural-gas-boom.html

Return of King Coal?

In Europe, Dirty Coal Makes a Comeback

By Stefan Nicola and Ladka Bauerova, Bloomberg, Feb 27, 2014 [H/t GWPF]


[SEPP Comment: Since 1990 the global consumption of brown coal, lignite, fell 40% to a little over 300 metric tons. Now IEA projects it to increase.]

Oil Spills, Gas Leaks & Consequences

BP starts pumping crude at major deep-water Gulf project

By Collin Eaton, Houston Chronicle, Feb 24, 2014


[SEPP Comment: The oil is there, proper extraction is needed.]

Nuclear Energy and Fears

Three years after Fukushima disaster prompted Japanese vow to abandon nuclear energy, the country plans to reopen power plants… and possibly build MORE

By Simon Tomlinson, Mail, UK, Feb 26 2014


Japan to lift part of Fukushima evacuation order: official

By Staff Writers, Tokyo (AFP), Feb 24, 2014


North American scientists track incoming Fukushima plume

By Jonathan Amos, BBC News, Feb 25, 2014 [H/t Toshio Fujita]


[SEPP Comment: Great propaganda picture of yellow approaching the West Coast of the US.]

Radiation affects 13 US nuclear plant employees

By Staff Writers, Washington (AFP), Feb 27, 2014


Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

AWEA’s Own Study Shows Skyrocketing Electricity Prices in Wind Power States

By James Taylor, Heartland, Feb 27, 2014


Wind power eases off

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Feb 25, 2014


[SEPP Comment: Issues on the rate of decline of power produced as wind turbines age.]

Wind farms paid £30m to shut down during high winds

Energy minister Michael Fallon orders wind farms to cut compensation charges as figures show they are paid millions for turbines to stand still in stormy weather

By Tim Ross, Telegraph, UK, Feb 23, 2014


China Narrows Gap to U.S. in EY Renewable-Energy Ranking [EY, formerly Ernst & Young]

By Alex Morales, Bloomberg, Feb 24, 2014


In contrast, U.S. wind installations plummeted to 1,084 megawatts last year from 13,131 megawatts in 2012 after a tax credit lapsed, according to American Wind Energy Association data. Even so, the subsequent renewal of the credit means wind projects under construction now top 12,000 megawatts, it said

[SEPP Comment: The US can win by losing the race. Contrary to the report, the extension of the tax credit has not passed in Congress.]

Offshore Wind Industry Slowed by Birds, Bombs, Sharks

By Alex Morales, Bloomberg, Feb 20, 2014 [H/t NCPA]


[SEPP Comment: No discussion of production as compared with nameplate capacity.]

Carbon Schemes

Carbon Capture and Sequestration: Research, Development, and Demonstration at the U.S. Department of Energy

By Peter Folger, Specialist in Energy and Natural Resources Policy, CRS, Feb 10, 2014


The FutureGen Carbon Capture and Sequestration Project: A Brief History and Issues for Congress

By Peter Folger, Specialist in Energy and Natural Resources Policy, CRS, Feb 10, 2014


California Dreaming

California farmers won’t get federal water

By Scott Smith, AP, Feb 21, 2014 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Health, Energy, and Climate

Climate change won’t reduce deaths in winter

By Staff Writers, Exeter UK (SPX), Feb 27, 2014


Oh Mann!

Mann Misrepresents NOAA OIG

By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Feb 27, 2014


Free Speech for Mann, But Not for Thee

By Robert Tracinski, Real Clear Politics, Feb 20, 2014


Warning to Michael Mann: apologise for your lie or risk facing from me what you’ve done to Steyn

By Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun, AU, Feb 25, 2014


Environmental Industry

Environmentalists; Carbon Bigfoots?

By Steven Hayward, Power Line, Feb 24, 2014 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Other Scientific News

120 automatically generated gibberish papers made it to journals

By Luboš Motl, The Reference Frame, Mar 1, 2012


Link to retractions: Publishers withdraw more than 120 gibberish papers

Conference proceedings removed from subscription databases after scientist reveals that they were computer-generated.

By Richard Van Noorden, Nature, Feb 25, 2014


Other News that May Be of Interest

Is the Environmental Movement Net CO2 Positive? (James Hansen wants to know)

By Robert Bradley Jr., Master Resource, Feb 24, 2014


Talk About Natural Gas: Cow Belches Top Methane List

By Alicia Munday, WSJ, Feb 26, 2014


Link to Report: National Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data

By Staff Writers, EPA, February 2014


‘Tailpipe Johnny’ Dingell Leaves Ugly Legacy

By Henry Miller, IBD, Feb 25, 2014


UNEP launches global platform to protect forests

By Chris Mgidu, Nairobi, Kenya (SPX), Feb 26, 2014


[SEPP Comment: Will it track unrelenting forest growth?]

Why Helping the Poor May Hurt the Climate

Can Economies Develop Without Warming the Globe?

By Stephanie Pappas, Live Science, Feb 23, 2014 [H/t Hugh Sharman]




Boxer warns Keystone will cause cancer

By Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill, Feb 26, 2014


Claim: Offshore Wind Turbines for ‘Taming Hurricanes’

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Feb 27, 2014


Link to study: Taming hurricanes with arrays of offshore wind turbines

Mark Z. Jacobson, Cristina L. Archer & Willett Kempton, Nature Climate Change, Feb 26, 2014


The Top Ten Reasons global temperature hasn’t warmed for the last 15 years

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Feb 28, 2014


Climate Scepticism Anno 1871

Imaginary Changes of Climate, Pall Mall Gazette, Via GWPF, Jan 10, 1871 [H/t Steven Goddard]


NASA Photo Confirms North Korea Only Country That Is Really Taking Climate Change Seriously, Acting Responsibly!

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Feb 25, 2014



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charles nelson
March 3, 2014 1:44 am

I love the comment in your section on Michael Mann in which he claims to have been exonerated by ‘6-9’ investigations. With his obsession with accuracy how could we doubt his paleo climate calculations!

March 3, 2014 2:05 am

“Since an exceptionally warm 1998, there has been “a short-term slowdown in the warming of Earth’s surface,” Britain’s Royal Society and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences said in a report.”
given this ‘slowdown’ is not over yet what makes it ‘short term’? What if the period of slowdown is greater than the period of warming as it will be soon? does that make the warm the ‘short term’ and the slowdown the ‘trend’? when does it become ‘cooling’? have they designed in on the charts when their co2=driver of climate theory fails?

March 3, 2014 2:37 am

As for windmill capacities, they vary in alignment with the wind itself. Some years (and times of the year) and some places are windier than others. There really IS NO intrinsic capacity for this power generation technology. And even less solid is the belief that new installations will have capacities equal to existing installations, since the best wind areas get chosen first. Installers who come later are left with poorer quality areas in terms of average wind. Wind power is primitive, uncontrollable,
expensive, and deadly for our aviary population. Not to mention a hideous sight in our environment. Nothing for our technological society to be proud of. Pushed mostly by pimply-faced
naive young Earth saviors. Fortunately for the southestern U.S.,the area’s lack of wind provides
protection against these monstrosities. No accident that all 5 of the new nuclear power plants in the U.S. are being built in the southeastern U.S. Our bird (and especially bat) populations are safe. California, Texas and Iowa are the latter day lands of the aviary Ku Klux Klan, except that they are far more deadly than the KKK ever was.

March 3, 2014 2:57 am

A small update, the holocaust denier related quotes now stands at over 40!

March 3, 2014 3:55 am

[SEPP Comment: Climate change is an increasingly urgent problem because global warming has stopped?]
Indeed, the urgency is to establish irremidal change before it becomes inagurable that any such measures are neither neccesary , nor effective.
The is basic sales tactics: create a sense of urgency.

March 3, 2014 5:41 am

talking about energy, it does not get more extreme than this,
Five decades after a series of nuclear tests began, we provide evidence that 70% of the Bikini Atoll zooxanthellate coral assemblage is resilient to large-scale anthropogenic disturbance. Species composition in 2002 was assessed and compared to that seen prior to nuclear testing. A total of 183 scleractinian coral species was recorded, compared to 126 species recorded in the previous study (excluding synonomies, 148 including synonomies). We found that 42 coral species may be locally extinct at Bikini. Fourteen of these losses may be pseudo-losses due to inconsistent taxonomy between the two studies or insufficient sampling in the second study, however 28 species appear to represent genuine losses. Of these losses, 16 species are obligate lagoonal specialists and 12 have wider habitat compatibility. Twelve species are recorded from Bikini for the first time. We suggest the highly diverse Rongelap Atoll to the east of Bikini may have contributed larval propagules to facilitate the partial resilience of coral biodiversity in the absence of additional anthropogenic threats.

Jim Happ
March 3, 2014 5:58 am

In regards to the “social cost of carbon”, had it not been for the doomsday CO2 predictions of so many, the US would be exporting LNG to Europe and Asia, and Gazprom would not be funding the start of WW3.

Tom J
March 3, 2014 6:24 am

By rights the EPA should lose the argument to regulate CO2 via the Clean Air Act. I believe the keystone is what I believe is called the Tailoring Rule. The CAA requires the EPA to regulate the discharge of any pollutant of 250 tons (I think that’s the number) or more from any single source. Therefore, if the EPA regulates CO2 as a pollutant, it is required by law to begin to regulate it at that level: a level that will include schools, hospitals, office buildings, farms, bakeries, and on, and on. Think about the political consequences with that. Therefore, the EPA, under the ever so law abiding Obama administration, has determined on its own, and in the absence of authorizing legislation from Congress, to regulate the ‘pollutant’ CO2 only from sources that exceed 2,500 tons annually, thus exempting those other sources and only hitting the power plants and other large operations. This tailoring rule is a very tricky issue for the EPA. If the Supreme Court genuinely upholds the rule of law the EPA is DOA. That is, of course, if the Obama administration doesn’t have any interesting NSA information on one of the justices.

kevin kilty
March 3, 2014 6:35 am

Irving Langmuir cataloged numerous indicators of pseudoscience in his talks to the General Electric company. Ad hoc and post hoc explanations constitute one. Claims of persecution another. Ascribing great meaning to barely resolvable signals is yet a third. Does the issue of climate change display them all? Perhaps.

March 3, 2014 7:08 am

Col Mosby says:
March 3, 2014 at 2:37 am
As for windmill capacities, they vary in alignment with the wind itself. Some years (and times of the year) and some places are windier than others. There really IS NO intrinsic capacity for this power generation technology.
Very true. Windmills have NO intrinsic capacity for this power generation. That is hardly surprising, they are FOR MILLING GRAIN. Hence the name.

Crispin in Waterloo where it is -24 C this sunny March morning
March 3, 2014 7:17 am

>given this ‘slowdown’ is not over yet what makes it ‘short term’?
The need for it to start warming again to fit the CAGW theory.
>What if the period of slowdown is greater than the period of warming as it will be soon?
It will be a PR problem that be dealt with by insulting and if possible, firing anyone who disagrees with CAGW.
>does that make the warm the ‘short term’ and the slowdown the ‘trend’?
No, it is can in any way be interpreted as contradicting CAGW.
>when does it become ‘cooling’?
Never, by definition. CAGW doesn’t foresee any cooling. Ask Gavin.
>have they designed in on the charts when their co2=driver of climate theory fails?
It will never fail. CAGW is an unfailing ideology backed by unfailing science written by unfailing scientists who use unfailing methods that inform unfailing models. Even were an ice age to start right now it would merely be further proof that the trigger unleashing all the ocean-based pent-up cold was pulled by the anthropogenic burning of carbon-containing fossil fuels, turning the story of humanity’s rise into the Ice Capades. And remember, hey, that carbon was never in the atmosphere to begin with. Woden put it there in the ground to fool the unbelievers (in case you were thinking of raising that argument).
[Do I really have to put /sarc ?]
[We are widely read by all types… ~ MOD]
[OK, OK……. /sarc]

more soylent green!
March 3, 2014 8:07 am

I have little faith in the courts, particularly the Supreme Court. Rather than ruling on the law itself when granting the EPA the ability to regulat’e GHG if the agency so wished, they ruled based upon political pressure and deference to the EPA technocrats.
This is but another of a long string of horrendous decisions by the high court. Even if the EPA is scientifically correct (and no, it is not) about carbon pollution, a new law needs to be passed to grant the agency the power to regulate it.
Clearly our laws, and the US Constitution itself, only mean what we say they mean, not what the laws themselves say.

Eugene WR Gallun
March 3, 2014 9:38 am

I have had this thought for a long time. If the Republican presidential candidate (whoever that person might be) wants a great campaign issue there is this —
All regulations created by any government agency must be approved by Congress before they can be implemented. This recognizes that regulations have the force of law and so their implementation should be controlled by our elected representatives. Faceless bureaucrats should not be allowed to implement regulations without congressional oversight — as they do now.
A lot of work for Congress? No, not really. Most regulations are minor and need little investigation.
But controversial regulations will get the open discussion that they need.
As an added feature i would propose that ALL regulations need a sunset clause. Every (say) five years Congress must renew them or they immediately cease. This would be an immense help in eliminating bad regulations since Congress thereby can do what it does best — sit on its hands and do nothing.
Great campaign issue don’t you think? Strikes right at the heart of socialism and big government. No more rule by faceless bureaucrats.
Eugene WR Gallun

Adam Morse
March 3, 2014 12:06 pm

Eugene, I have wondered this exact thing, myself. If ANY regulation is to have the force of law behind it, it should first have the legitimacy of having been debated by Congress. There should be no bundling of many of these regulations so that incredibly bad ones slip through. Indeed, it should be as difficult as getting a college degree or some such endeavor. That would stop cap and tax in its tracks, exactly as the founding fathers intended.
I have also thought about sunset clauses. I think that the clauses should extend to no more than ten years, and even at the end, if it is to be renewed, it should go through the process that a new regulation goes through, ie. full debate, cost analysis, constitutionality tests, etc. IOW, it cannot be rubber stamped into renewal.
If these regulations are necessary, they will stand the tests as needed. If they are bad, they will die in their own bureaucracy.

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