The Week That Was: 2014-12-20 (December 20, 2014) Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org)
The Science and Environmental Policy Project
Quote of the Week: The real problem in speech is not precise language. The problem is clear language. Paraphrased from Richard Feynman.
Number of the Week: 15, 17, 50 to 100 years?
NO TWTW ON DECEMBER 27
There will be no edition of The Week That Was on December 27. TWTW will resume on January 3, 2015.
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The Game in Lima: The high-stakes energy and diplomacy game in Lima finally ended with little real damage to the industrialized world, in spite of the best efforts of delegates from Western Europe and the United States. The game is sponsored by the UN Conference of Parties (COP) to the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and over 190 countries participate. The delegates from the West failed in their efforts to establish binding commitments for nations to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Instead, there will be several smaller meetings and questionable commitments before the COP-21 meeting in Paris next December.
Somewhat amusingly, during the conference a joint report by the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and the Join Research Centre, “Trends in Global CO2 Emissions 2014 Report” was released stating that CO2 emissions are at an all-time high. Even this failed to panic the developing countries to agree to a binding limit on CO2 emissions.
According to Michael Jacobs, writing in Project Syndicate, the Lima conference had two goals: 1) establishing an outline for the 2015 Paris agreement and 2) agree to terms under which countries will devise their national commitments. “…one highly significant decision has now effectively been made. Abandoning the rigid distinction between developed and developing countries paves the way toward an agreement that all countries, including the US and China, can sign.”
His view is questionable. As with many international commentators, Mr Jacobs, a Visiting Professor at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics, fails to recognize that the US is not an authoritarian state and that an international agreement signed by the President of the United States, does not have the force of law in the United States, without approval of two-thirds of the US Senate, as delineated in the Constitution. Given the results of the election in November, Senate approval is extremely unlikely in 2015 and even less likely during the presidential election year of 2016. It is unlikely that the President can finesse this Constitutional requirement as he is trying to finesse statutory law in attempting to implement his plan to control CO2 emissions from US power plants and similar major facilities.
Based on reports, among developing countries, the influence of China and, India are growing. The influence of the West is diminishing. With no increase in global surface temperatures for over 15 years and no increase in global atmospheric temperatures for over a decade, the Western demand that the world should limit CO2 emissions to stop increases in global temperatures is becoming absurd. Other than a despot, what leader of a developing country would insist on controlling use of fossil fuels, when the benefits for expanding prosperity are becoming so obviously? China is showing the way, particularly as it is controlling pollutants known to damage human health, without controlling CO2 emissions. Western scientists and politicians claim CO2 emissions are causing unprecedented and dangerous global warming, yet fail to produce compelling physical evidence to support this claim.
Certainly, the West dispatching diplomats with opulent life-styles, such as Secretary of State John Kerry, is not producing dramatic results in developing countries. Western nations need to rethink the purpose of these efforts, and, most importantly, the rigor of the science the west claims to embrace. See Articles #1 and #2, and links under A New World Agreement?
Plateau or Pause? It is becoming obvious to many promoters of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and their politicians, that global temperatures are not rising as expected, predicted, or projected (depending on one’s choice of terms). Carried in a post on Climate Etc., by Judith Curry, Astrophysicist Donald Morton, a former Director General of the Herzberg Institute for Astrophysics of the National Research Council of Canada, asks “Will a return of rising temperatures validate the climate models?” He most decidedly states NO. He gives a well-reasoned argument for his position and articulates some of the problems in Climate Science as stated by the UN IPCC and its supporters (the Climate Establishment).
Among the reasons stated, justifying that future rising temperatures will not validate the models, is that we do not know what caused the plateau in temperatures or if future temperatures will rise or fall. Clearly, knowledge of climate as demonstrated in the models is incomplete. Without knowledge of the natural influences on temperatures, there is no reason to assume a future knowledge of human influence is accurate. The time-frame of the current plateau in temperatures is no longer important.
Morton refers to gases such as CO2, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, etc. as “minor absorbing gases” rather than “greenhouse gases” because the term greenhouse is inadequate in explaining what the gases actually do in warming the earth. [Water vapor is the most important of these absorbing gases and is not minor.]
Further, Morton discusses some of the recent explanations for the temperature plateau, without evaluating these explanations. He points out:
When the rising temperatures of the 1980’s coincided with an increasing concentration of CO2, the model makers assumed that human activity was the primary cause, never thoroughly investigating natural contributions. The next step is to assess which ones are significant and add them to the models. Climate predictions without accounting for the relative importance of natural and human effects are useless because we cannot tell whether any proposed change in human activity will have a noticeable effect.
Morton discusses other important, and controversial issues, such as the use of “Parameterization in Place of Physics … Uncertainty in the Climate Sensitivity … Applying statistics to Biased Samples of Models … Nonlinearity and Chaos in the Physics of Climate … The Validation of Climate Models.”
He concludes by asking “What Should We Do Now?” For which he provides a partial answer, including: return to a rational discussion, discuss what are optimum global temperatures and CO2 concentrations, what are the effects of increasing population on CO2 production; stop asserting CO2 emissions by industrial countries are the primary cause of previous warming, cease claiming that rising temperatures are causing more occurrences of extreme weather, and, most importantly, “admit that we do not yet understand our climate well enough to say that the science of global warming is settled.”
Morton’s essay provides a good basis for a robust discussion on the status of climate science. Perhaps the essay should be circulated among members of the 114th Congress, to be convened on January 3, 2015. See link under Seeking a Common Ground.
Expanding Control: The administration has directed agencies of the US government to consider the effect of greenhouse gas emissions on government, government-funded, or government approval-required projects. The directive is based on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). NEPA was used to prevent the building of an effective movable barrier-dam system that would have helped protect New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina.
The consequences of this expansion of governmental powers can be far-reaching and deadly. See Article # 5 and link under Models v. Observations.
Green Jobs: The political issue of green jobs, particularly in the solar and wind industries, has subsided in recent months, perhaps with good reason. An article in the specialized newspaper, The Hill, gives a hint why. The headline reads: “Job losses hit all but renewable energy across power sector.” The article linked to a report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration on the shift in employment by the electric power generation industry from January 2011 to 2014. The devil is in the details
The net loss in the power industry generation was more than 5,800 jobs: Fossil fuels jobs were down 1%, about 1,750 jobs; nuclear down 9%, about 4,900 jobs; wind up 16% about 400 jobs; solar up 201%, about 500 jobs. Clearly, the renewable energy industry does not provide a significant number of power industry generation jobs, in spite of years of subsidies and mandates from Washington and various states. See links under Green Jobs.
Production Tax Credit: In one of its last acts, the 113th Congress passed an extension to the major federal subsidy program for wind power, the Production Tax Credit. The extension was for the calendar year 2014. Since the status of the credit was uncertain, few developers of wind power started new projects in 2014. As wind promoters complained, the approximately 2 weeks to begin a project is short. Early signs are that the 114th Congress will be hostile to an extension of such a subsidy. Contrary to what many citizens believe, some members of Congress may read beyond the headlines. See links under Subsidies and Mandates Forever.
Fracking Shale: On December 13, TWTW linked to a report from the Congressional Budget Office: “The Economic and Budgetary Effects of Producing Oil and Natural Gas From Shale.” In general, the report found that, assuming prudent practices are insisted upon, hydraulic fracturing does not threaten drinking water. It is important that State agencies that oversee these techniques properly monitor them. One issue that requires monitoring is the proper disposal of waste water, not only from the actual technique but also from a potentially enormous amount of water that can be released from deep underground. The report specifically addressed different shale formations, such as the Marcellus in New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia as well as those in Texas. As noted in the report the practice has greatly expanded jobs in various parts of the country.
Except in certain quarters, there is little question that hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling is dramatically changing the world geopolitical outlook for oil and natural gas. Virtually weekly, TWTW links to articles discussing these changes as well as the enormous increases in US production of these fuels.
On December 17, Governor Andrew Cuomo decided to ban hydraulic fracking of shale in New York State. The important Marcellus formation is in the southern and-western part of the state, which is experiencing economic stagnation. The governor referred to his experts who cited unspecified health concerns. As the Wall Street Journal stated: “In other words, all of the Governor’s men couldn’t find conclusive evidence that fracking presents a significant risk to public health or the environment. So they’re going to ban fracking until they do.” Hydraulic fracturing has been used since 1947 and the EPA has yet to uncover credible evidence that it causes groundwater contamination. The best one of the governor’s experts, the acting state health commissioner, could do was that he would not want to live in a community where fracking was taking place. One may not wish to live in a community with a major jet airport, but is that a reason to issue a state-wide ban on jet airports?
Perhaps without realizing it, the President and the Governor are giving an excellent campaign issue for a pro-energy Presidential candidate. “What do you support – energy and jobs – or imaginary fears?” See Article #3, links under Non-Green Jobs, and Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past? and http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/49815-Effects_of_Shale_Production.pdf
Number of the Week: 15, 17, 50 to 100 years? In his essay, Donald Morton raises the question on how long the temperature plateau must last before computer models are recognized as incorrect. The ongoing argument is frivolous. The models are incapable of prediction today, and there is no reason to assume that they would be capable of prediction in the future.
One of the more extreme views of length of time was expressed by Susan Solomon, a Coordinating Lead Author of the Working Group I, The Physical Science Basis of the Fourth IPCC Assessment report (AR-4). It was for AR-4 that the IPCC was honored with the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. A quote is appropriate:
“There is considerable confidence that climate models provide credible quantitative estimates of future climate change, particularly at continental scales and above. This confidence comes from the foundation of the models in accepted physical principles and from their ability to reproduce observed features of current climate and past climate changes. Confidence in model estimates is higher for some climate variables (e.g., temperature) than for others (e.g., precipitation). Over several decades of development, models have consistently provided a robust and unambiguous picture of significant climate warming in response to increasing greenhouse gases.” FAQ 8.1 WGI, The Physical Science Basis
For the numbered articles below, please see this week’s TWTW at: www.sepp.org. The articles, or a synopsis, are at the end of the pdf.
1. Lima’s Magic Climate Beanstalk
China and India said every ‘shall’ had to be changed to ‘may.’
Editorial, WSJ, Dec 18, 2014
Summary by GWPF
2. Climate Talks Yield Plan to Spread Burden of Emission Cuts
Issues Such as How to Finance the Bulk of Poorer Countries’ Cuts Left for Later Meetings
By William Mauldin, WSJ, Dec 14, 2014
3. How Crude Oil’s Global Collapse Unfolded
Tracing the Plunge In Oil Prices Back to Texas
By Russell Gold, WSJ, Dec 12, 2014
4. New York Moves to Ban Fracking
Cuomo Aides Cite Health Risks; Farmers, Energy Firms Attack Decision
By Erica Orden and Lynn Cook, WSJ, Dec 18, 2014
Summary: New York Fracking Ban Will Cost the State Jobs, Revenue
By Staff Writers, NCPA, Dec 19, 2014
5. White House Proposes Vetting Projects for Climate Change
Move Likely Would Affect Fossil-Fuel Operations the Most
By Amy Harder, WSJ, Dec 18, 2014
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Reply to Laden and Hughes on Sheep Mountain
By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Dec 19, 2014
“In making this comparison, I emphasized the importance of out-of-sample testing as a means of validating a proxy reconstruction. I showed that, after 1980, the bristlecone chronology declined dramatically, while NH temperatures went up.”
[SEPP Comment: More on the misleading us of data in the “hockey-stick”.]
Challenging the Orthodoxy
Will a return of rising temperatures validate the climate models?
By Donald Morton, Climate Etc. Dec 15, 2014
97 Articles Refuting The ‘97% Consensus’ on global warming
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Dec 19, 2014
Hot New Book: Steyn, Delingpole, Bolt, Carter, Plimer, Lindzen, Lawson, Watts, Nova
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Dec 16, 2014
Ironically, Change Catches Up With Climate Change Alarmists in Lima
By Tim Ball, WUWT, Dec 18, 2014
Defending the Orthodoxy
The new climate denialism: More carbon dioxide is a good thing
By Dana Milbank, Washington Post, Dec 15, 2014
[SEPP Comment: According to the opinion writer (Dana Milbank): “I’m neither a scientist nor an economist, but I’ve heard that correlation is not the same as causation. I pointed out to Bezdek that increasing energy use fueled the economic growth, and CO2 was just a byproduct. So wouldn’t it make more sense to use cleaner energy?” The question is not true if the electricity costs more and is unreliable – even a Washington Post opinion writer should under the need for affordable, reliable electricity – printing presses and computers will fail frequently if powered by wind or wind generated electricity.]
The Oil Price Opportunity
By Kemal Derviş, Project Syndicate, Dec 16, 2014
“Of course, climate science is not precise; instead, it works in terms of probability ranges. But uncertain estimates do not mean that the risk is any less acute.”
[SEPP Comment: The IPCC and global warming promoters have failed to establish probability ranges and distributions for natural occurring temperature ranges. Without such probabilities, the climate establishment cannot determine probability ranges for human influence.]
Questioning the Orthodoxy
Plus ça change…
By Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance, Dec 19, 2014
The 2-Deg Global-Warming Limit
By Bob Tisdale, WUWT, Dec 16, 2014
[SEPP Comment: A variation of the origin of an icon of a failing political movement.]
Christian Schönwiese, Hans Von Storch: “2°C Target” Purely Political One…From “Politicians Disguised As Scientists”
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Dec 15, 2014
Diary dates, moving on edition
By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Dec 18, 2014
“You have to laugh at the idea of global warming science moving beyond such simplistic questions as whether the globe’s surface is actually warming. No doubt this change of emphasis is unconnected to the failure of the said surface to actually, erm, get any warmer.”
Global-warming true believers are in denial
By Debra J. Saunders, San Francisco Chronical, Dec 18, 2014 [H/t timothy Wise]
Climate Policy Risk: Who’s In Denial?
By Marlow Lewis, Cooler Heads, Dec 19, 2014
A New World Agreement?
Climate negotiations in Lima stumbled on transparency, but there is time to adjust.
Editorial, Nature, Dec 16, 2014
The Real Lima Deal
By Michael Jacobs, Project Syndicate, Dec 15, 2014
Global CO2 emissions at all-time high
By Staff Writer, Business Standard, Dec 18, 2014 [H/t GWPF]
Link to report: Trends in global CO2 emissions: 2014 Report
By Olivier, et al, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, 2014
A Climate Accord Based on Global Peer Pressure
By Coral Davenport, NYT, Dec 14, 2014 [H/t Timothy Wise]
[SEPP Comment: The US is identified as “the world’s largest historic carbon polluter” (boldface added)]
Assessing the Outcome of the Lima Climate Talks
By Robert Stavins, Belfer Center (Harvard), Dec 14, 2014 [H/t Climate Etc.]
The toothless climate change agenda
By Ivo Vegter, Daily Maverick, Dec 15, 2014 [H/t GWPF]
In Lima, success IS the junket, the headlines, the “voluntary” soft option
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Dec 15, 2014
Lima climate talks: The same old farce
Greenpeace vandals provided a welcome diversion from the UN conference in Lima 300 miles away, writes Christopher Booker.
By Christopher Booker, Telegraph, UK, Dec 13, 2014 [H/t GWPF]
(Plant) Food for Thought
Letter from Allan MacRae, ICECAP, Dec 18, 2014
We have a climate change deal – sort of
By Rick Moran, American Thinker, Dec 14, 2014 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Social Benefits of Carbon
Tropical forests may not combat climate change
By Eric Hand, Science Mag, Dec 15, 2014
“wastefully absorbing money within the orthodoxy” ?
[SEPP Comment. Why assume tree ring growth in mature trees is the response to carbon fertilization? The Idsos have catalogued tree root growth as a major component.
Problems in the Orthodoxy
Climate Custers’ Last Stand…Top German Climate Scientists See No End To “Warming Pause”. Now Concede Oceans A “Major Climate Factor”
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Dec 19, 2014
Where Has Global Warming Gone?
By Ka-Kit Tung, Project Syndicate, Dec 19, 2014
[SEPP Comment: Criticizing the use of average surface temperatures as the measure of global warming. Without this metric, would the great emotional fear of global warming be possible?]
Presidency of Change IPCC
By Staff Writers, Belgotopia, Dec 14, 2014 [H/t Anne Debeil]
Seeking a Common Ground
December 13, 1989: The NYT Got It Right on Global Warming
By Robert Bradley Jr, Master Resource, Dec 16, 2014
Peter Lee: ‘If It’s Climate Policy It Must Be Ethical…’
By Peter Lee, University of Portsmouth, Dec 16, 2014 [H/t GWPF]
[SEPP Comment: His version of ethics aside, biofuels are an unnecessary loser in the US.]
Rt Revd Dr Peter Forster: Ethics, Science And Climate Policy
By Rt Revd Dr Peter Forster, Bishop of Chester, GWPF, Dec 16, 2014
[SEPP Comment: Expanding on Lee’s paper, above.]
Ethics and climate change policy
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Dec 17, 2014
[SEPP Comment: Additional views on the above.]
San Francisco Shenanigans
Another attempt to link climate and extreme weather, to be presented at the AGU Fall Meeting
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Dec 13, 2014
#AGU14 – NOAA establishes ‘tipping points’ for sea level rise related flooding
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Dec 18, 2014
“…We find that in 30 to 40 years, even modest projections of global sea level rise–1½ feet by the year 2100–will increase instances of daily high tide flooding to a point requiring an active, and potentially costly response and by the end of this century, our projections show that there will be near-daily nuisance flooding in most of the locations that we reviewed.” (Boldface added)
[SEPP Comment: NIPCC projects a rise of about 7 to 8 inches to 2100. There is no empirical basis for a rise in global sea level of 1.5 feet.]
From #AGU14 Surprising findings in Greenland’s melt dynamics – glaciers retreated rapidly between 1900 and 1930
By Anthony Watts. WUWT, Dec 16, 2014
From #AGU14 – satellites detect albedo change in the Arctic, resulting in more absorbed solar radiation
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Dec 17, 2014
Good news from #AGU14 ‘Arctic sea ice is holding up to global warming better than expected’
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Dec 17, 2014
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science
Two Thousand Years of Northern European Summer Temperatures
By Esper, J., Duthorn, E., Krusic, P.J., Timonen, M. and Buntgen, U. 2014. Northern European summer temperature variations over the Common Era from integrated tree-ring density records. Journal of Quaternary Science 29: 487-494, Dec 17, 2014
“…they note that their temperature reconstruction “has centennial-scale variations superimposed on this trend,” which indicate that “conditions during Medieval and Roman times were probably warmer than in the late 20th century,” when the previously-rising post-Little Ice Age mean global air temperature hit a ceiling of sorts above which it has yet to penetrate. .. And so we continue to collect ever more real-world evidence for the fact, that there is nothing unusual, unnatural or unprecedented about the Earth’s current level of warmth.”
Daytime-Only vs. 24-Hour Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment
Bunce, J.A. 2014. Limitations to soybean photosynthesis at elevated carbon dioxide in free-air enrichment and open top chamber systems. Plant Science 226: 131-135. Dec 17, 2014
Hurricane Surge Risk in Northwest Florida, USA
Lin, N., Lane, P., Emanuel, K.A., Sullivan, R.M. and Donnelly, J.P. 2014. Heightened hurricane surge risk in northwest Florida revealed from climatological-hydrodynamic modeling and paleo-record reconstruction. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 119: 8606-8623. Dec 16, 2014
[SEPP Comment: This historical frequency of extreme storm surges have gone down, not up.]
Growth Response to CO2 (Forests) — Summary
Review of multiple papers on trees at varying latitiudes, Staff Writers, CO2 Science, Dec 16, 2014
In concluding this topical summary, it should be clear to everyone, based on real-world evidence garnered from a multitude of experimental endeavors, that the realization of even the most far-fetched climate-change predictions of the IPCC would be unable to stamp out the many beneficial impacts of atmospheric CO2 enrichment on the growth and development of Earth’s forests, be they boreal, tropical or something in between.
Models v. Observations
AGU 2014: Quantifying the Mismatch between Climate Projections and Observations
By Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger and Patrick J. Michaels, CATO, Dec 18, 2014
[SEPP Comment: As compared with observations, the predictive power of climate models continues to trend downward, significantly.
The Great Cooling Of Arctic Sea Ice Projections: Having Been Burned, Scientists Far More Cautious With Projections
Dirk Notz of the Hamburg-based Max-Planck-Institute: Arctic sea ice could again expand in the coming decade
By Sebastian Lüning and Fritz Vahrenholt, Trans/edited by P Gosselin, Dec 17, 2014
You Ought to Have A Look: Poor Climate Models, Ethics and Climate Policy, New White House Guidelines
By Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger, CATO, Dec 19, 2014
Why aren’t climate models better at predicting Arctic sea ice loss?
By Roz Pidcock, Carbon Brief, Dec 17, 2014
Consistency Of The US Temperature Record
By Steven Goddard, Real Science, Dec 18, 2014
NCDC Climate Extremes Index Is Inverted From Reality [National Climatic Data Center of NOAA]
By Steve Goddard, Real Science, Dec 19, 2014
No Records Highs Possible In The Satellite Temperature Datasets in 2014 (Now Includes November Data Except For HADCRUT4)
By Werner Brozek Edited by Just The Facts, WUWT, Dec 16, 2014
NOAA Is Updating Their Sea Surface Temperature Dataset
By Bob Tisdale, WUWT, Dec 15, 2014
World’s Second Largest Reinsurer Swiss Re Sees Huge Drop In Losses From Natural/Manmade Catastrophes In 2014!
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Dec 18, 2014
Link to press release: Preliminary sigma estimates: global disaster events cost insurers USD 34 billion in 2014, below recent annual averages.
By Staff Writers, Swill Re, Dec 17, 2014
The total loss of life of 11 000 from natural catastrophe and man-made disaster events this year is down from the more than 27 000 fatalities in 2013.
Global warming’s influence on extreme weather
By Staff Writers, Phys Org, Dec 12, 2014
[SEPP Comment: See link immediately above.]
Why Hasn’t A Major Hurricane Hit the U.S. in 9 Years?
By Andrea Thompson, Climate Central, Dec 10, 2014 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
“I’ve long been an advocate of computer models to help gain insight on the behavior of dynamic systems. However, it seems that, in recent years, models have become the answer to everything instead of the grammar of the question. It would also seem that no one is really trying to falsify what are essentially complex hypotheses.” – Clyde Spencer
About That Climate Change-Induced Polar Vortex Snowfall in Atlanta Earlier This Year
By Sierra Rayne, American Thinker, Dec 18, 2014 [H/t Timothy Wise]
#Santabomb winter storm predicted for Northeastern U.S. at Christmas
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Dec 17, 2014
What Are Weather Bombs?
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Dec 16, 2014
Polar bears in winter – a seasonal review of insights and research
By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Dec 16, 2014
New Study: Two Thousand Years of Northern European Summer Temperatures Show a Downward Trend
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Dec 18, 2014
Two Thousand Years of Northern European Summer Temperatures Show Cooling Trend
By Staff Writers, ICECAP, Dec 18, 2014
Arctic Warmed Six Degrees From 1900 To 1940
By Steven Goddard, Real Science, Dec 18, 2014
North Atlantic signaled Ice Age thaw 1,000 years before it happened
By Staff Writers, London, UK (SPX), Dec 19, 2014
Past global warming similar to today’s
Press Release by Staff Writers, Uni. Of Utah, Dec 15, 2014 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
[SEPP Comment: Causation is blurry – methane or CO2?]
Researchers Find Northeast Pacific Surface Warming (1900-2012) Caused By Changes in Atmospheric Circulation, NOT Manmade Forcings
By Bob Tisdale, WUWT, Dec 17, 2014
World’s beaches being washed away due to coastal development
From Florida to the Costa del Sol, costly sea defences are accelerating beach erosion and will ultimately fail to protect coastal towns and cities from rising tides, say experts
By John Vidal, Guardian, UK, Dec 15, 2014 [H/t Climate Etc.]
[SEPP Comment: Erosion and accretion have long been problems with sandy beaches, and associated development. Though sea level rise is largely a local issue, there is no reason to assume it will accelerate globally. The cited 1 foot (0.3 meter) over the next century is exaggerated.]
Rising Seas Are Nothing New
By Viv Forbes, American Thinker, Dec 15, 2014 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice
Arctic Sea Ice ‘More Resilient’ Than Thought
Arctic sea ice volumes in the autumn of 2014 are above the average set over the last five years and sharply up on the lows seen in 2011 and 2012, according to the latest satellite data
By Staff Writer, Reporting Climate Science, Dec 15, 2014
[SEPP Comment: Apparently those who “thought” never bothered to check historic records.]
Arctic sea ice volume holds up in 2014
Arctic sea ice may be more resilient than many observers recognise.
By Jonathan Amos, BBC, Dec 14, 2014 [H/t Climate Etc.]
CryoSat extends its reach on the Arctic
By Staff Writers, Paris (ESA), Dec 17, 2014
Violent Volcanic Blasts Ripped Through Antarctic Ice Sheet Twice
By Becky Oskin, Live Science, Dec 17, 2014 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine
To label or not to label GMOs: That is the question being considered by federal lawmakers
By Staff Writers, ACSH, Dec 12, 2014
[SEPP Comment: Perhaps all “organic” food grown with manure should be so labeled including which type. Proper composting is critical to kill pathogens.]
Un-Science or Non-Science?
Climate change could cut world food output 18 percent by 2050
By Chris Arsenault, Reuters, Dec 18, 2014 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
Link to paper: Climate change induced transformations of agricultural systems: insights from a global model
By D Leciere, et al, Environmental Research Letters, Dec 12, 2014
Meanwhile, significant but uncertain reduction of major agricultural areas affects the Northern Hemisphere’s temperate latitudes, while increases to non-agricultural zones could be large but uncertain in one-third of regions.
[Comment by Clyde Spencer: And here I thought that increasing night-time temperatures would result in earlier Springs and later Winters, resulting in longer growing seasons. Yet, these modelers seem to think that changing rainfall patterns, that they can’t predict, will be detrimental.]
Clearing rainforests distorts wind and water, packs climate wallop beyond carbon
By Staff Writers, Charlottesville VA (SPX), Dec 19, 2014
Polar bear biologists miss the mark in new study on invasive mark-recapture effects
By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Dec 18, 2014
[SEPP Comment: The procedures have no lasting effects because the models say so!]
BBC Bang The Drum For DECC & The EU
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Dec 18, 2014
Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?
Sea levels worldwide have risen by feet?
By Sierra Rayne, American Thinker, Dec 19, 2014
Warming leads to more run-ins with polar bears
By Clément Sabourin, AFP, Dec 18, 2014 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
[SEPP Comment: Or is it due to an increase in the bear population?]
Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
Snow Is Down and Heat Is Up in the Arctic, Report Says
By Kenneth Chang, NYT, Dec 17, 2014 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Link to NOAA’s Arctic Report Card, 2014 report
Rising air and sea temperatures continue to trigger changes in the Arctic
Arctic is warming at twice the rate of anywhere else on Earth
By Staff Writers, NOAA, Dec 17, 2014
[SEPP Comment: Major issues with statements such as: A special essay in this year’s report card, written by the Norwegian Polar Institute and Polar Bears International, assesses polar bear populations in some areas where good long term data are available. The most recent data shows that a population decline in western Hudson Bay, Canada, was due to earlier sea ice break-up, later freeze-up and, thus, a shorter sea ice season. Polar bears depend on sea ice to travel, hunt, and mate, and in some areas, to den.]
Challenging NOAA’s “Arctic Report Card 2014” on polar bears
By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Dec 19, 2014
[SEPP Comment: See link immediately above.]
Recent S. Beaufort polar bear count was a cherry-picked result – new evidence
By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Dec 17, 2014
Climate Change Claims for Alabama Fall Short
By Sierra Rayne, American Thinker, Dec 16, 2014 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Fact-Checking the Clean Energy and Climate Change Fact Sheet for Tennessee
By Sierra Rayne, American Thinker, Dec 14, 2014 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Spectacular Cheating On The NOAA Report Card
By Steven Goddard, Real Science, Dec 19, 2014
Communicating Better to the Public – Go Personal.
NTZ Stings A Nerve…Rockefeller Philanthropy’s “Climate Nexus” Lashes Out At Harvard Astrophysicist Soon
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Dec 16, 2014
NTZ Stings A Nerve…Rockefeller Philanthropy’s “Climate Nexus” Lashes Out At Harvard Astrophysicist Soon – See more at: http://notrickszone.com/2014/12/16/ntz-stings-a-nerve-rockefeller-philanthropys-climate-nexus-lashes-out-at-harvard-astrophysicist-soon/#sthash.VAAAMmXf.dpuf
Denying the evidence and using ad hominems
By Geoff Brown, The Climate Sceptics Party, Dec 18, 2014
Naomi Klein runs amok, calls skeptics white supremacists
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Dec 18, 2014
Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda on Children
#AGU14 Stanford researchers use a girl scout troop as guinea pigs for climate ‘behavior change’
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Dec 19, 2014
Questioning European Green
The Bell Tolls
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Dec 16, 2014
DECC Forced To Release Data Showing Impact Of Climate Policies On Energy Prices
By Paul Homewood, WUWT, Dec 17, 2014
The Cost Of The UK Govt’s Climate Policies [by 2020]
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Dec 16, 2014
Green policies to add up to 40pc [percent] to cost of household electricity
Official figures – initially withheld by ministers – show steep rises in the price of electricity by the end of the decade to pay for the Government’s policies to tackle climate change
By Robert Mendick, Telegraph, UK, Dec 2014
[SEPP Comment: The Bureaucrats Dream: household bills will drop if only those nasty people stop using electricity.]
UK households to pay 1 billion pounds for backup power plants
By Karoline Schaps, Reuters, Dec 19, 2014
Questioning Green Elsewhere
International Emissions Idiocy
By Alan Caruba, Warning Signs, Dec 17, 2014
New era of cheap oil ‘will destroy green revolution’
By Tom Bawden, Independent, UK, Dec 12, 2014 [H/t GWPF]
Job losses hit all but renewable energy across power sector
By Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill, Dec 19, 2014
Link to Report: Power sector employment declines, except for renewable electricity generators
By Staff Writers, EIA, Dec 19, 2014
Cuomo Killed Lots Of Jobs By Pointlessly Banning Fracking
Editorial, IBD, Dec 19, 2014
$10 billion UN-linked climate change fund wants immunity from prosecution
By George Russell, Fox News, Dec 18, 2014 [H/t GWPF]
Fight looms over $3 billion Obama administration payment to UN-linked climate fund
By George Russell, Fox News, Dec 15, 2014
The Political Games Continue
After day of drama, Senate passes $1.1 trillion spending bill for Obama’s signature
By Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, Dec 13, 2014
Subsidies and Mandates Forever
Congress extends wind tax credit, but only for 2 weeks
By Sammy Roth, The Desert Sun, Dec 17, 2014
Why Congress’ Momentary Extension Of A Wind Tax Credit Isn’t Worth ‘A Carton Of Eggs’
By Jeff Spross, Think Progress, Dec 18, 2014
New [to be built] gas plants ‘to be shelved after failing to win subsidies’
Government scheme to keep lights on offers lower subsidies than expected, saving consumers money but meaning big new power plants unlikely to be built, experts say
By Emily Gosden, Telegraph, UK, Dec 18, 2014
Why innovation is the best path to a climate solution
By Bjorn Lomborg, The Globe and Mail, Can, Dec 16, 2014
”The commission unambiguously concluded that the subsidies do not create green innovation, because it is much safer for companies to keep relying on heavily subsidized wind turbines, solar panels, and biomass instead of further developing existing technologies and develop new, viable alternatives to fossil fuels. The subsidies simply create the wrong incentives, and the commission ‘found no positive correlation between subsidization and innovation in any technology sector.’”
EPA and other Regulators on the March
EPA Rule Threatens Electricity Reliability
By Staff Writers, NCPA, Dec 12, 2014
Summary of Dec 10 article in WSJ: Where Will You Be When the Lights Go Out?
EPA Should Re-Examine Climate Rule’s Scientific Basis – Part II
By Marlo Lewis, Global Warming.org, Dec 12, 2014
Special Interests Influence Costly EPA Regs
By Larry Bell, Newsmax, Dec 16, 2014
EPA to take comments on ozone plan
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Dec 16, 2014
Federal Agencies Seek Expansive Water Regulations
By Staff Writers, NCPA, Dec 11, 2014
Summary of Dec 8 article in the WSJ, “Watch Out for That Puddle, Soon It Could Be Federally Regulated,”
Brick masons facing new emissions standards
By Tim Devaney, The Hill, Dec 17, 2014
Congress’s hostile takeover of endangered species efforts
By Erik Molvar, The Hill, Dec 15, 2014
[SEPP Comment: From a bureaucratically driven EPA that ignores scientific findings?]
EPA rule on coal waste to disappoint green groups
By Zack Colman, Washington Examiner, Dec 19, 2014
[SEPP Comment: Once considered a waste product, coal ash is used for roads, concrete blocks, cement, bricks and other useful materials.]
Feds order up more efficient dishwashers
By Tim Devaney, The Hill, Dec 18, 2014
[SEPP Comment: Doubtful the agency considers labor efficiency for those who do the dishes is important.
Energy Issues – Non-US
FT: Cheap Oil Burns Green Energy
By Pilita Clark, Financial Times, Via GWPF, Dec 18, 2014
Putin’s Victory: Chevron Pulls Out Of Shale Gas Project In Ukraine
By Roman Olearchyk, Financial Times, Via GWPF, Dec 16, 2014
Declining oil prices: OPEC vs. (future) Shale?
By Afshin Molavi, Al Abrabiya News, Dec 16, 2014 [H/t GWPF]
Energy Issues — US
Coming Soon to a Utility Bill Near Your?
By Steven Hayward, Power Line, Dec 14, 2014 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Link to report: Potential Energy Impacts of the EPA Proposed Clean Power Plan
By Harrison & Smith, et al. NERA, Oct 2014
[SEPP Comment: Does the New York Times realize that policies it promotes drive up energy costs?]
DHS: 100 Million Americans Could Lose Power in Major Sun Storm
Document says FEMA unsure of damage to grid from magnetic storm
By Bill Gertz, Washington Free Beacon, Dec 12, 2014 [H/t Timothy Wise]
What the CROmnibus [Latest Spending Bill] Means for the Power Sector
By Thomas Overton, Power, Dec 15, 2014
Fracking Drives Global Oil Prices Down
By Jeffrey Folks, American Thinker, Dec 13, 2014
Low Oil Prices to Slow, but Not Derail US Shale Boom
By Karen Boman, Rigzone, Dec 17, 2014 [H/t GWPF]
Nature fires back at EIA shale gas critique
By Daniel J. Graeber, Washington (UPI), Dec 18, 2014
Washington’s Control of Energy
Government Policy Bigger Threat Than Falling Energy Prices
By Dick Evans, IBD, Dec 16, 2014
“The biggest threat to Texas and our energy future in the U.S. is neither falling prices nor competition from other nations; it is the U.S. government.”
[SEPP Comment: Other than Washington, the biggest threat is prolonged low price.]
Keystone ‘not even nominal benefit’ to US consumers, Obama says
By Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill, Dec 19, 2014
Keystone [court] decision punted to next year
By Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill, Dec 19, 2014
Obama shields Alaska bay from oil, gas leasing
By Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill, Dec 16, 2014
White House puts off climate change announcement [Methane]
By Zack Colman, Washington Examiner, Dec 17, 2014
Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
Gov. Cuomo bans fracking in New York, citing “health risks”
By Staff Writers, ACSH, Dec 18, 2014
NY Gov. Cuomo announces intent to ban fracking
By Thomas Lifson, American Thinker, Dec 18, 2014
Letter, Steve Everley, The Hill, Dec 16, 2014
Return of King Coal?
Global coal demand to reach 9 billion tonnes per year by 2019
IEA report says despite decarbonisation push, China will not see ‘peak coal’ during outlook period
By Staff Writers, IEA, Dec 15, 2014, [H/t GWPF]
Coal, an Outlaw Enterprise
By Robert F. Kennedy, Jr, NYT, Dec 17, 2014
Robert Kennedy is president of Waterkeeper Alliance
[SEPP Comment: Coal is responsible for pulling more people out of poverty than anything else!]
Japan’s Turn to Coal Belies Claim That Climate Change Mitigation Comes Cheap
By William Yeatman, Global Warming.org, Dec 16, 2014
Oil Spills, Gas Leaks & Consequences
Oil spill closes Enbridge line in Saskatchewan
By Daniel J. Graeber, Calgary, Alberta (UPI), Dec 18, 2014
Nuclear Energy and Fears
IEA: US needs clarity on nuclear, carbon capture
By Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill, Dec 18, 2014
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind
Europe’s Largest Battery Storage Project Begins Operations in UK
By Thomas Overton, Power, Dec 15, 2014
[SEPP Comment: No cost breakdown.]
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles
Green Cars Aren’t So Environmentally Friendly After All
By Kerry Jackson, IBD, Dec 15, 2014 [H/t Timothy Wise]
“Green” Cars Are Actually Very Brown
By Steven Hayward, Power Line, Dec 18, 2014 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Link to paper: Life cycle air quality impacts of conventional and alternative light-duty transportation in the United States
By Tessum, Hill, and Marshall, PNAS, Dec 10, 2014
Nissan Leaf Fails The Test
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Dec 19, 2014
[SEPP Comment: Comparing total cost of owning a Nissan Leaf and a Ford Focus (diesel and petrol) in the UK, subsidies eliminated.]
Health, Energy, and Climate
Fracking could carry unforeseen risks as thalidomide and asbestos did, says report
By Adam Vaughan, The Guardian, UK, Nov 28, 2014
[SEPP Comment: Or the risk of an asteroid eliminating the planet.]
Hilarious irony – Michael Mann to give lecture on ‘Professional Ethics for Climate Scientists’
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Dec 14, 2014
How a Greenpeace stunt in Peru drives home the global climate divide
By Nick Miroff, Washington Post, Dec 10, 2014
Still More Politicized Pseudo-Science?
By Paul Driessen, Townhall, Dec 13, 2014
The Green Blob and the Green B-Lobby
It’s time to pin down the definition of the Green Blob
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Dec 20, 2014
Other Scientific News
Goddard instrument makes first detection of organic matter on Mars
By Bill Steigerwald for Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt MD (SPX), Dec 17, 2014
NASA, Planetary Scientists Find Meteoritic Evidence of Mars Water Reservoir
By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), Dec 19, 2014
Earth’s most abundant mineral finally has a name
By Tona Kunz, Argonne IL (SPX) Dec 18, 2014
Geomagnetic reversal: Understanding ancient flips and flops in Earth’s polarity
By: Ivy F. Kupec, NSF, Dec 19, 2014
Other News that May Be of Interest
Giant Chinese water diversion starts to flow
By Staff Writers, Beijing (AFP), Dec 12, 2014
ACSH’s Top 10 Health Scares of 2014
By Staff Writers, ACSH, Dec 15, 2014
Can cosmetic chemicals lower your kids IQ? No. This study is just more junk.
By Staff Writers, ACSH, Dec 12, 2014
Asteroid that wiped out dinosaurs nearly knocked off mammals
By Staff Writers, Albuquerque NM (SPX), Dec 18, 2014
NIH Blows $1.3 Billion On Failed Children’s Health Study
Editorial, IBD, Dec 17, 2014
Rules of engagement: Transforming the teaching of college-level science
A science education advocate who trained as a molecular biologist uses her analytical background to create teaching strategies that energize both students and faculty
By Susan Reiss, NSF, Dec 18, 2014
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
Cost of cloud brightening for cooler planet revealed
Press Release, Manchester University, Science Daily, Dec 15, 2014 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
Link to paper: Factors determining the most efficient spray distribution for marine cloud brightening
By Connolly, McFiggans, Wood, and Tsiamis, Philosophical Transactions A, Royal Society, Nov 17, 2014
Study: Beaver Dams Make Global Warming Worse
By Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, Dec 18, 2014 [H/t Cooler Heads]
[SEPP Comment: Imagine the global warming caused by beavers before their pelts became popular! Was killing beavers the cause of the Little Ice Age?]