Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #179

The Week That Was: 2015-05-09 (May 9, 2015) Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project

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

Controversial Points: On her web site, Climate Etc., Judith Curry explores what she considers the most controversial points in climate science. The points must be agreed upon in order to resolve the controversies. To her, the two general issues are: 1) whether the warming since 1950 has been dominated by human causes and 2) how much the planet will warm in the 21st century?

From these general issues she develops the specific technical issues that need to be resolved, including:

  • “Causes of the 1900-1940 warming; the cooling from 1940-1976; and the recent hiatus in warming since 1998.  How are these explained in context of AGW being the dominant influence since 1950?
  • Solar impacts on climate (including indirect effects).  What are the magnitudes and nature of the range of physical mechanisms?
  • Nature and mechanisms of multi-decadal and century scale natural internal variability.  How do these modes of internal variability interact with external forcing, and to what extent are these modes separable from externally forced climate change?
  • Deep ocean heat content variations and mechanisms of vertical heat transfer between the surface and deep-ocean.
  • Sensitivity of the climate system to external forcing, including fast thermodynamic feedbacks (water vapor, clouds, lapse rate).
  • Climate dynamics of clouds: Could changes in cloud distribution or optical properties contribute to the global surface temperature hiatus? How do cloud patterns (and TOA and surface radiative fluxes) change with shifts in atmospheric circulation and teleconnection regimes (e.g. AO, NAO, PDO)? How do feedbacks between clouds, surface temperature, and atmospheric thermodynamics/circulations interact with global warming and the atmospheric circulation and teleconnection regimes?”


Curry discusses what she considers to be the areas of uncertainty in the UN Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (FAR), which are Clouds, Oceans, Greenhouse gases, and Polar ice sheets. Although all areas need better understanding, the role of clouds and oceans in influencing global warming/climate change remain the least understood.

She articulates the data that provide the greatest challenges to the dominant view of AGW (Anthropogenic (Human caused) Global Warming). These data include the hiatus (pause, plateau) in both the surface and atmospheric temperature sets; Antarctic sea ice (expanding), sea level trends (no acceleration in the gradual rise), recent assessments that aerosol forcing is less than stated in the IPCC-FAR, leading to an overestimate of the influence of carbon dioxide (CO2) on global temperatures, and the divergence between observed surface temperatures and those derived from tree rings (Mr Mann, where are you?)

Curry suggests those areas of research that would provide significant progress in understanding the climate system. She states: “I have argued that the current path of climate model development (higher resolution, more chemistry) is not going to improve the present situation whereby the climate models are useless for regional climate variability, decadal variability, and are too sensitive to CO2 forcing.”

With such a view, there is little doubt why Curry is considered an outcast by the Climate Establishment. Her views are similar to the conclusions of the Apollo veterans who make up the Right Climate Stuff Team who stated that we cannot hope to model climate change without being able to model the natural influences on climate. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and http://www.therightclimatestuff.com/


Quote of the Week: “It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble, it’s what we know that ain’t so.”– Will Rogers [H/t Henry Cooper, High Frontier]


Number of the Week: 5,000%




The voting for SEPP’s annual April Fools Award is over. We thank all those who participated with nominees and votes. The winner of this close race will be announced at the 33rd Annual Meeting of the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness in Ontario, CA, from July 31 to August 2, 2015.


Federal Funding and Bias: In a different post, Curry discusses a paper by David Wojick and Pat Michaels, which was published by the CATO Institute, “Is the Government Buying Science or Support? A Framework Analysis of Federal Funding-induced Biases.” She relates this issue to a letter sent by Christopher Monckton to Harvard University concerning a recent study by researchers at Harvard, and other institutions, in which the authors of the recent study failed to disclose money (tens of millions of dollars) some of the researchers (including those at Harvard) received in the past from the EPA.

The study in question, published in Nature Climate Change, asserts that by reducing emissions of carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants the EPA will reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides, particulates (PM 2.5), and ozone. According to the paper, the reduction of these specific pollutants will have an important effect in improving health.

What is conveniently ignored is that these specific pollutants are among the six common air pollutants, called criteria pollutants, which are already regulated by the EPA under the Clean Air Act through the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (for ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and lead). According to the EPA, the aggregate emissions for these six air pollutants are down by 62 percent from 1970 to 2013. The study in question is attributing benefits from a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions that are occurring under a different set of regulations, unrelated to the EPA “Clean Power Plan.” Contrary to the headlines, there is no evidence that a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions will result in health benefits to humans.

The source of funding of research may or may not have a bearing on the quality of research. The research should stand on its own. However, Willie Soon was denounced in the press, and he, and others, were investigated by Congress for not fully disclosing all sources of private funding, which was called a conflict of interest. If this is to be the standard, then the Harvard episode illustrates that government-funded researchers should disclose the sources of their funding as well. Further, if the research is used to influence public policy, the research should be made available to the public. Sadly, that is not the case for all the researchers involved in the Nature Climate Change paper. See links under Funding Issues, Health, Energy, and Climate, and http://www.epa.gov/airtrends/aqtrends.html#comparison


Fads – Denialism: It has become very common in the press and in some studies, particularly social science studies, to accuse those who question the claim that greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbon dioxide emissions, are the control knob (a NASA-GISS term) of the earth’s temperatures of denying science or some form of denialism (denying reality as a way of avoiding dealing with it). Those making such accusations frequently avoid the issue – the empirical evidence that carbon dioxide is the primary influence on earth’s temperatures is very weak. Those engaged in such name calling are making things up and engaged in ad hominem attacks. They should produce the empirical evidence, not assume it exists. See links under Communicating Better to the Public – Go Personal


Fads – GMO: GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) are a popular topic for those who consider themselves health conscious. This questionable health concern has reached the point where GMO ingredients are publically banned in some restaurants in Europe and in a popular Mexican-American restaurant chain. Many fruit trees and vines possess a characteristic called heterozygosity, where the offspring may bear a glancing resemblance to the parent. Heterozygosity applies to apples as well as wine grapes. By contrast, common corn (maize) has been hybridized in a plant that required extensive human processing to be edible to one that is edible when picked ripe. Restaurants banning such fruits and vegetables may be on the way of having dull offerings, such as highly processed corn, small yellow tomatoes, and questionable wines.

Research in cultivated sweet potatoes (cultivated for over 5,000 years) shows that all the clones tested (291) have mutated naturally, aided and abetted by gene transfers from microbes (bacteria). This is a naturally occurring variant of what occurs with genetic-engineering. No doubt it will be difficult for some who oppose GMOs to explain natural GMOs. See links under Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine


Fear of Peak Oil, Peaked? Peak oil has been a popular theme for several decades, usually referring to the time when oil production will reach maximum physical, natural limits, then decline. The recent run-up and decline in oil prices demonstrated that no one knows what these limits are. The Persian Gulf, including Saudi Arabia, have given no indication of reaching physical, natural limits of production. There are enormous oil resources in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere off-shore. The increase of US oil production from shale may decline with a decline in price, but the physical limits have not been established. In short, the world oil issue is not one of physical limits, but price. See links under Energy Issues and Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?


Integrity? Nature magazine contained an odd article stating that if the UNFCCC (UN-Framework Convention on Climate Change) conference in Paris in December does not go as well as the UN leaders hope, Climate policy advisers of the various countries must maintain integrity. What integrity? In the European Union and the US, climate advisers insist that their science is solid. Yet, nature refuses to match the forecasts from the models. Almost weekly new ideas appear trying to explain why the globe is not warming as the IPCC claimed. Would adjusting the models to fit what is actually occurring violate integrity? See comments under Controversial Points (above) and links under On to Paris!


Has Fracking Gone Too Far? A study in PNAS claimed that chemicals common to hydraulic fracking were found in the ground water supply to several households in the Marcellus Shale development area, where hydraulic fracturing is used to extract natural gas. As with similar assertions in Texas and Wyoming, the headlines may be overblown with little substance. The chemical in question is abbreviated as 2BE, and is found in paint and cosmetics.

A number of common household chemicals are used in fracking, and one combination is made entirely from edible foodstuffs, which the governor of Colorado drank.

In a moment of humor, Andrew Montford takes the hunt for fracking chemicals further and asserts that fracking chemicals are found in space. See links under Energy Issues — US


Number of the Week: 5,000%. According to an article on the Keystone XL Pipeline in the Wall Street Journal shipments of oil by rail have grown by 5,000% from 2008 to 2014. In 2008, 9,500 rail car loads were sent. In 2014, 493,126 rail car loads were sent. The data is from the Association of American Railroads. The increase is largely from the increase of oil production from shale. Pipelines are a safer way to transport oil than rail, but Washington has hamstrung efforts to build pipelines and the Administration has approved zero cross-border pipelines.



Please note that articles not linked easily or summarized here are reproduced in the Articles Section of the full TWTW that can be found on the web site under the date of the TWTW.

1. Notable & Quotable: John Steinbeck on California

‘But there were dry years too, and they put a terror on the valley.’

WSJ, May 5, 2015


John Steinbeck, writing about California’s Salinas Valley, where he grew up, in the novel “East of Eden” (1952):

“I have spoken of the rich years when the rainfall was plentiful. But there were dry years too, and they put a terror on the valley. The water came in a thirty-year cycle. There would be five or six wet and wonderful years when there might be nineteen to twenty-five inches of rain, and the land would shout with grass. Then would come six or seven pretty good years of twelve to sixteen inches of rain. And then the dry years would come, and sometimes there would be only seven or eight inches of rain. The land dried up and the grasses headed out miserably a few inches high and great bare scabby places appeared in the valley. The live oaks got a crusty look and the sagebrush was gray. The land cracked and the springs dried up and the cattle listlessly nibbled dry twigs. Then the farmers and the ranchers would be filled with disgust for the Salinas Valley. The cows would grow thin and sometimes starve to death. People would have to haul water in barrels to their farms just for drinking. Some families would sell out for nearly nothing and move away. And it never failed that during the dry years the people forgot about the rich years, and during the wet years they lost all memory of the dry years. It was always that way.”


2. Four Reasons Low Oil Prices Actually Help U.S. Shale Producers

By Ivan Marten, WSJ, Via GWPF, May 7, 2015


[SUMMARY: The author asserts that low oil prices may hurt some producers, but over-all the industry will emerge stronger. The four reasons for his assertion are: 1) the companies are forced to focus on highly productive areas put a premium on efficiency, 2) the demand for oil equipment and services has cooled, resulting in lower costs for oil services and equipment, 3) lenders are more hesitant, reducing credit and borrowing by oil firm, and 4) just like what occurred when natural gas prices fell, firms will focus on operational efficiency and productivity. “In sum, although a period of low oil prices clearly presents challenges to the U.S. shale-oil industry, there is every reason to believe that the industry may, in fact, emerge stronger.”]


3. Oil Nations See Chance to Reduce Domestic Fuel Subsidies

The extended decline in oil prices makes cuts in aid more politically palatable

By Benoit Faucon and Summer Said, WSJ, May 5, 2015


[SUMMARY: “Until recently, most oil-dependent countries have been reluctant to make drastic cuts in subsidies for fear of sparking unrest. In Nigeria, the government was forced to backtrack on subsidy reductions following riots in 2012.


“The governments of Gabon, Angola and Indonesia, pressured by dwindling oil-export revenues, have approved sharp cuts to their subsidies for domestic fuel consumption. The United Arab Emirates is considering similar steps.


“Middle Eastern and North African oil producers—which account for the vast majority of OPEC’s output and oil subsidies—pour around $200 billion a year into energy subsidies, according to International Energy Agency estimates.


“For oil exporters, “low prices provide a great opportunity to remove subsidies at less political cost,” Olivier Blanchard, chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, and Rabah Arezki, its head of commodities, wrote in a blog posted on the organization’s website in December.”

It remains to be seen if their publics will accept such cuts without major civic disorder.]



Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?

Global Warming? Low Sun Spot Cycle Could Mean ‘Little Ice Age’

By Chriss Street, Breitbart, May 3, 2015


[SEPP Comment: If low sunspots continue, it will become a test of the hypothesis that low sunspots result in cooling.]

More Studies On Sunshine Hours

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, May 7, 2015


Link to paper: Multi annual variability and climatic signal analysis of sunshine duration at a large urban area of Mediterranean (Athens)

By Founda, Kalimeris, and Pierros, Urban Climate, Dec 2014


[SEPP Comment: Not only are variations is sunshine duration related to cloudiness; but also, pollution emissions and control.]

Suppressing Scientific Inquiry

UWA cancels contract for Consensus Centre headed by controversial academic Bjorn Lomborg

By Staff Writers, ABC, May 8, 2015 [H/t GWPF]


“The difficulty is he [Lomborg] is neither a scientist or an economist, he’s a political scientist.

[SEPP Comment: What do you call government-funded climate scientists who cannot produce models that have predictive capability or evidence that the primary cause of 20th century warming was caused by carbon dioxide emissions; yet, insist on expansion of government authority to control emissions?]

Lomborg’s Centre cancelled: UWA caves in to bullies who use anger to silence debate

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, May 8, 2015


Suppressing Scientific Inquiry – The Witch Hunt

Media beats up Willie Soon, but turns a blind eye to EPA-funded researchers shilling for EPA’s biggest rule

By Staff Writer, Junk Science, May 5, 2015 [H/t David Kreutzer]



Suppressing Scientific Inquiry – The Witch Hunt – Push-Back

Silencing skeptics, conservatives and free speech

By Paul Driessen, WUWT, May 3, 2015


Challenging the Orthodoxy

World’s Leading Skeptics of Man-Caused Global Warming to Gather in Washington, DC for #ICCC10

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, May 6, 2015


A Veteran Scientist Dreams Boldly Of ‘Earth And Sky’

Book Review by Staff Writers, NPR, May 2, 2015 [H/t GWPF]


[SEPP Comment: The Greens are not thrilled about the views of Freemen Dyson on climate science. Additional carbon dioxide is “a very good fertilizer for all kinds of vegetation, good for wildlife, good for agricultural production, so it has many benefits. And this is something you have together with the climate effects, which are much less certain, so it’s a question of drawing a balance. I’m just saying I don’t understand it and neither does anybody else. I’m skeptical because I don’t think the science is at all clear, and unfortunately a lot of the experts really believe they understand it, and maybe have the wrong answer.”]

Dr. Bill Gray tells it like it is

By William Gray, ICECAP, May 8, 2015


Link to pdf: ”Crux of AGW’s Flawed Science”

By William Gray, Colorado State University, No Date


What are the most controversial points in climate science?

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. May 4, 2015


Will Climate Change Kill One-Sixth Of All Species?

By William Brigs, HIs Blog, May 5, 2015


Link to paper: Accelerating extinction risk from climate change

By Mark Urban, Science, May 1, 2015


Anthropogenic Global Warming and Its Causes

Clyde Spencer, WUWT, May 5, 2015


A good day to bury bad science [UK election day]

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, May 7, 2015


Link to second paper: Polarized frames on “climate change” and “global warming” across countries and states: Evidence from Twitter big data

By Jang and Hart, Global Environmental Change, May 2015


25 Years Of Predicting The Global Warming ‘Tipping Point’

By Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, May 4, 2015


Defending the Orthodoxy

Draft Climate & Health Assessment Available for Public Review

By Staff Writers, U.S. Global Change Research Program, Apr 7, 2015 [H/t CATO]


Report: USGCRP Climate & Health Assessment

“Thirteen Agencies, One Vision: Empower the Nation with Global Change Science”


Questioning the Orthodoxy

Announcing the Spin Cycles and Our First Award

By Patrick Michaels, CATO, May 6, 2015


After the Global Warming Plateau, will temperatures go UP or DOWN?

By Geoff Brown, Australian Climate Sceptics, May 5, 2015


Climate Scientist on: “The Manufactured 97% Consensus”

By Geoff Brown, Australian Climate Sceptics, May 7, 2015


Heartland Replies to Jeffrey Sachs

By Joseph Bast, Heartland Institute, May 7, 2015


Pollen May Help Clouds Form, Increase Rainfall

By Douglas Main, Newsweek, May 6, 2015 [H/t Climate Etc.]


Link to paper: Pollen as atmospheric cloud condensation nuclei†

By Steiner, et al, Geophysical Research Letters, May 4, 2015


The China – US Agreement?

In China, a tug of war over coal gas: Cleaner air but worse for the climate

By Simon Denyer, Washington Post, May 5, 2015


On to Paris!

Policy: Climate advisers must maintain integrity

As global negotiations fail on emissions reductions, scientific advisers need to resist pressure to fit the facts to the failure, warns Oliver Geden.

By Aliver Geden, Nature, May 6, 2015 [H/t Climate Etc.]


[SEPP Comment: Avoids the major issue: is increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide the major cause of global warming?]

UN climate chief says technology has changed carbon politics

By Rod McGuirk, AP, May 7, 2015



Australian PM’s adviser says UN using climate change for “new world order”

By Jan Wardell, Reuters, May 8, 2015 [H/t GWPF]


Little Chance to Restrain Global Warming to 2 Degrees, Critic Argues

A commentary slams the “false optimism” around plans to hold climate change to 2 degrees

By Lasa Friedman and ClimateWire, Scientific American, May 7, 2015 [H/t Climate Etc.]


[SEPP Comment: Not pleased with article linked immediately above.]

No legally binding climate change agreement under UNFCCC: Government

Economic Times, India, May 5, 2015


Australia Alerted To Real Reasons Behind Climate Scare

Editorial, IBD, May 8, 2015


Social Benefits of Carbon

“Mammals in a CO2-Enriched and Warmer World.

By Staff Writers, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, Apr 27, 2015


Problems in the Orthodoxy

Potsdam Institute For Climate Impact Research (PIK) Study Finds Natural Factors Are “Underestimated”!

By Sebastian Lüning, Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt, Trans P. Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, May 8, 2015


[SEPP Comment: In Antarctica, is the current pause of no temperature increase a real pause or was late 20th century warming a pause in the overall temperature trend of cooling?]

Key climate change goal may be missed

By Devin Henry, The Hill, May 4, 2015


Link to policy paper: What will global annual emissions of greenhouse gases be in 2030, and will they be consistent with avoiding global warming of more than 2°C?

By Rodney Boyd, Nicholas Stern and Bob Ward, ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, and Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, May 2015


Fjords are unexpected natural allies against climate change: study

By Alister Doyle, Reuters, May 4, 2015 [H/t Clyde Spencer]


Seeking a Common Ground

Climate Science take note: New gold standard established for open and reproducible research

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, May 4, 2015


Follow-up questions re my recent House testimony

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. May 5, 2015


The lukewarmers don’t deny climate change. But they say the outlook’s fine

There are climate change sceptics, mainstream scientists – and a significant group in the middle. Whose voice is being heeded

By Tamsin Edwards, The Guardian, May 3, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Does not address the primary issue: Are human emissions of carbon dioxide the primary cause of 20th century warming, which stopped?]

Designated critical habitat for Alaskan polar bears offers no protection from thick spring ice deaths

By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, May 5, 2015


Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science

Dying from Heat and Cold in Australia and the United Kingdom

Vardoulakis, S., Dear, K., Hajat, S., Heaviside, C., Eggen, B. and McMichael, A.J. 2014. Comparative assessment of the effects of climate change heat- and cold-related mortality in the United Kingdom and Australia. Environmental Health Perspectives 122: 1285-1292. May 6, 3015


Therefore, we see that whereas the total number of deaths currently caused by both cold and hot weather extremes in the UK is approximately 64 per 100,000 people, it is projected to decline to about 51 per 100,000 people in the 2080s. Likewise, whereas the yearly number of current deaths caused by both cold and hot weather extremes in Australia is 35 per 100,000 people, this number is projected to decline to about 27 per 100,000 people in the 2080s. And these results suggest that even with what many believe to be erroneously projected global warming, there would still be less extreme-temperature-caused human mortality in both the UK and Australia than there is nowadays.

A Chinese Academy of Sciences El Niño-Southern Oscillation Model

Su, T., Xue, F., Sun, H. and Zhou, G. 2015. The El Niño-Southern Oscillation cycle simulated by the climate system model of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Acta Oceanologica Sinica 34: 55-65. May 5, 2015


“In light of this set of unfortunate findings, Su et al. thus — and quite unsurprisingly — conclude that ‘it is necessary to improve the wind bias in the model.’ And so it is.”

Seagrasses Buffering the Negative Effects of OA on Invertebrates

Garrard, S.L., Gambi, M.C., Scipione, M.B., Patti, F.P., Lorenti, M., Zupo, V., Paterson, D.M. and Buia, M.C. 2014. Indirect effects may buffer negative responses of seagrass invertebrate communities to ocean acidification. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 461: 31-38. May 4, 2015


Algal Symbionts Increase Heat Tolerance of Corals after Bleaching

Silverstein, R.N., Cunning, R. and Baker, A.C. 2015. Change in algal symbiont communities after bleaching, not prior heat exposure, increases heat tolerance of reef corals. Global Change Biology 21: 236-249. May 4, 2015


Measurement Issues

Satellite Temperature Update For April

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, May 7, 2015


[SEPP Comment Compares the January 1998 to April 2015 atmospheric temperature trends from UAH (newly revised) with the very similar trends from RSS.]

Global Temperatures Plateau now 18 years and 5 months

By Geoff Brown, Australian Climate Sceptics, May 7, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Questioning the statement by Mr. Mann: “There certainly has not been a hiatus in global warming — global warming hasn’t stopped, even though you still hear those contrarian talking points.”]

NOAA E-Mail Confirms Large-Scale Rewrite Of U.S. Temperature Data In 2014 …”Improvements In The Dataset”

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone May 7, 2015


[SEPP Comment: The primary issue is consequences of the adjustments, not that adjustments were made.]

NOAA Caught Rewriting US Temperature History (Again)

By John Hinderaker, Power Line, May 5, 2015


Changing Weather

Nearly 3,500 Days Since Major Hurricane Strike… Despite Record High CO2

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, May 8, 2015


Warm oceans caused hottest Dust Bowl years in 1934/36

By Staff Writers, Sydney, Australia (SPX), May 08, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Did a “blob” of warm water off the Alaskan-Canada coast cause the dust bowl?]

Changing Climate

Slowdown after Ice Age sounds a warning for Great Barrier Reef’s future

By Staff Writers, Sydney, Australia (SPX), May 06, 2015


[SEPP Comment: The pause in ice sheet melting near the end of the Ice Age is a warning of threats to come?]

Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

Twenty Years Of Unprecedented Melting Has Left Arctic Sea Ice Unchanged

By Steven Goddard, Real Science, May 8, 2015


Sea Ice: Antarctic High as Arctic Flatlines

By Staff Writer, Reporting Climate Science, May 5, 2015


[SEPP Comment: The unassailable prediction: Polar sea ice will increase and it will decrease, not necessarily at the same poles at the same time.]

Antarctic Sea Ice Expands To New Record In April

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, May 3, 2015


Polar bear habitat update – sea ice for hunting plentiful in all subpopulation regions

By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear science, May 8, 2015


Dutch polar explorers likely drowned: Canada police

By Staff Writers, Ottawa (AFP), May 4, 2015


Changing Earth

Carbon dioxide hits new milestone

By Timothy Cama, The Hill, May 6, 2015


[SEPP Comment: 400 parts per million, globally. According to the article this is the first time carbon dioxide concentrations reached this level since the Pliocene Epoch – 3 million to 5 million years ago. The Pliocene Epoch was just prior to the formation of the polar ice caps and the onset of ice ages. Did the CO2 concentrations cause the ice ages?]

NOAA Announcement: CO2 Concentration Surpasses 400ppm “for the first month since measurements began”

By Bob Tisdale, WUWT, May 7, 2015


[SEPP Comment: James Butler of NOAA claims atmospheric temperatures are increasing. He fails to provide the data.]

Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine

Are GM sweet potatoes safer, riskier, or neither? You may be surprised

By Staff Writers, ACSH, May 6, 2015


Link to paper: The genome of cultivated sweet potato contains Agrobacterium T-DNAs with expressed genes: An example of a naturally transgenic food crop

By Kyndt, et al, PNAS, May 5, 2015


Chipotle Drops GMOs — Will Menu Become Less Nutritious?

By Henry Miller and Angela Logomasini, The Hill, May 7, 2015


Pesticides alter bees’ brains

By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), May 05, 2015


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

What goes around…

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, May 6, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Occasionally, an unneeded bureaucracy makes a good choice.]

Platitudes, bromides and ‘tipping points’

The global warming debate threatens the supply of doomsday cliches

Editorial, Washington Times, May 5, 2015


Climate change: the big myths that need to be exploded

The threat to our planet and the lives of billions of people – not to mention big business – has led to wild claims on both sides of the divide. Here are some facts

By Hannah Devlin, Guardian, UK, May 3, 2015


[SEPP Comment: The article relies on another myth. Past warming required thousands, if not millions, of years. The end of the last ice age occurred with abrupt changes, and happened rapidly. The 20th century warming has stopped. Another myth is created by focusing solely on the warming influence of the sun, and not cooling by a decline in total energy.]

Some Guardian myths about climate change

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, May 5, 2015


[SEPP Comment: See link immediately above.]

Climate Communications – strategic use of climate uncertainty in media, education, and politics

By James Sawhill, WUWT, May 1, 2015


Deniers and Shills

By Geoff Brown, Australian Climate Skeptics, May 8, 2015


Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

Seepage: The effect of climate denial on the scientific community

By Stephan Lewandowsky, Professor, School of Experimental Psychology and Cabot Institute, University of Bristol, Shaping Tomorrows Word, 7 May 2015 [H/t Climate Etc.]


[SEPP Comment: Judith Curry filed this under pseudoscience. One commentator falsely attributes the “tropical hot spot” to Monckton, then proceeds to criticize it]

Resurrecting ‘Limits to Growth’: Dead Men Walking

By Michael Lynch, Master Resource, May 4, 2015


‘Climate Anger:’ Last Refuge Of The Alarmists

By Robert Bradley Jr. Forbes, May 6, 2015


Communicating Better to the Public – Go Personal.

A disturbance in the farce: Another hateful and pointless paper from Stephan Lewandowsky and Naomi Oreskes

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, May 7, 2015


A Review of John Cook’s UQx DENIAL 101x

By James Cook (no relation), WUWT, May 7, 2015


[SEPP Comment: MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course.]

How climate science denial affects the scientific community

By Staff Writer, Science Daily, May 7, 2015


Mainstream Media Advance Climate Science Deniers’ Misinformation Campaign Against The Pope

By Andrew Seifter, Media Matters, Apr 29, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda on Children

College students are making global warming a moral issue. Here’s why that scares people.

By David Roberts, Vox, Apr 29, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Who would have guessed it? Green studies indoctrinate not educate

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, May 4, 2015


Expanding the Orthodoxy

Feds to require climate change plans for states seeking disaster relief

By Lydia Wheeler, The Hill, May 5, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Source of major future conflict over executive powers?]

The next president can have a huge impact on climate policy — even without Congress

By Brad Plumer, Vox, May 5, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Question the premise: “Given that Congress has become so utterly dysfunctional in recent years …” Is the issue that the Administration is ignoring Congress and, increasingly, the Courts?]

Questioning European Green

Global Warming Skepticism On The Rise In Europe

By Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, May 4, 2015 [H/t SPPI]


Green Projects Stay Dirty as Pollution-Credit Values Tumble 98%

By Mathew Carr, Bloomberg, May 5, 2015 [H/t GWPF]


Shambles…Energy Professor Declares Germany Energiewende “A Failure”, …”Population Left Disillusioned

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, May 5, 2015


The Madness of Germany’s Energy Socialism

By Wolfram Weimer, Handelblatt, Trans. Phillip Mueller GWPF, May 1, 2015


Questioning Green Elsewhere

The Pope’s Green Anti-Capitalism Will Hurt the Poor

Anglican and Catholic Churches are wrong to see climate change as today’s biggest moral issue

By Melanie Phillips, The Times, Via GWPF, Apr 5, 2015


Non-Green Jobs

Why The US Should Worry About Oil Sector Jobs

By Michael McDonald of Oilprice.com, London, UK (SPX) May 05, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Other than government, it was the only sector that exhibited strong growth after the Great Recession.]

Funding Issues

Is federal funding biasing climate research?

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. May 6, 2015


Is the Government Buying Science or Support? A Framework Analysis of Federal Funding-induced Biases

By David E. Wojick and Patrick J. Michaels, CATO, Apr 30, 2015


Climate-Change Advocates Collect Big Money from Interested Parties

By John Hayward, Breitbart, May 8, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Congress To Slash NASA’s ‘Global Warming’ Research Budget

By Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, May 1, 2015


EPA authors, media, miss $31 million dollar potential conflict of interest

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, May 6, 2015


Hedge funds snap up free money from UK poor

From a correspondent in the world of big finance (edited for clarity).

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, May 5, 2015


The Political Games Continue

Ed Davey [Energy and Climate Change Secretary] becomes first cabinet minister to lose seat since 1997

The climate change secretary lost his seat to Conservative challenger James Berry

By Mikey Smith & Emily Beament, Mirror, UK, May 8, 2015


Litigation Issues

States preview arguments against Obama’s climate rule

By Devin Henry, The Hill, May 5, 2015


Texas Fight! Abbott, Cornyn, Cruz vs. EPA’s Clean Power Plan

By Robert Bradley Jr, Master Resource, May 8, 2015


Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes

Jerry Taylor’s “Conservative” Case for Carbon Tax Collapses After 36 Days

By Robert Murphy, IER, May 7, 2015


Michigan Voters Give Decisive ‘No’ To Tax Hike

Editorial, IBD, May 7, 2015


[SEPP Comment: About 80% voted no.]

Subsidies and Mandates Forever

Call for swift action on Illinois law

By Staff Writers, WNN, Apr 30, 2015


EPA and other Regulators on the March

The EPA’s Clean Coal Dust-Up

By Richard A. Epstein, Hoover Institution, Apr 27, 2015 [H/t Climate Etc.]


[SEPP Comment: Summarizing issues with the EPA “Clean Power Plan” even if assuming carbon dioxide endangers human health.]

EPA sends ethanol proposals for final review

By Timothy Cama, The Hill, May 5, 2015


[SEPP Comment: The EPA agreed in court last month to propose the levels for 2014 and 2015 by June and to release the final mandates by November. The 2014 level should have been out in November 2013, and the 2015 level in November 2014.]

Why Does EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Hate Texas?

The Environmental Protection Agency is messing with Texas’s energy, which in turn will mess with everyone’s.

By Doug Domenech, The Federalist, May 5, 2015


Energy Issues – Non-US

Yes, falling oil prices are derailing the future of renewable energy

By Rob Wile, Fusion, May 4, 2015 [H/t GWPF]


Link to report: Energy Technology Perspectives 2015: Mobilising Innovation to Accelerate Climate Action

By Staff Writers, EIA, No Date


[SEPP Comment: EIA continues to show its bias against fossil fuels and promotes the mythical 2°C Scenario (2DS).]

New government [UK] faces potential energy crisis, warns expert

New government will have to address capacity shortfalls to avoid blackouts

By Andrew Critchlow, Telegraph, UK, May 8, 2015


The decline of the Gazprom era in Europe

By Agnia Grigas, The Hill, May 4, 2015


Britain Has More Solar Farms than Spain, Italy and France Combined.

By Ben Webster, The Times, Via GWPF, May 5, 2015


Canadian province [Alberta] loses pro-Keystone leaders

By Timothy Cama, The Hill, May 6, 2015


New leftist Alberta leader seeks to reassure energy sector

By Staff Writers, Ottawa (AFP), May 6, 2015


Classless Act: Tübingen Mayor Boris Palmer Unhinged, Hurls Angry Insults At Wind Energy Dissenter

By Michael Limburg, EIKE [Translated, edited by P. Gosselin] No Tricks Zone, May 4, 2015


“Obviously the green movement has started getting awfully testy about the rapidly growing dissent over the failing wind and renewable energy dream in Germany.”

Energy Issues — US

Blacks, Hispanics reject Obama climate change agenda over concerns about poor

Minority leaders worry EPA carbon regulations will drive up utility bills, stifle opportunity

By Ben Wolfgang, Washington Times, Apr 30, 2015


Energy secretary plugs infrastructure plan on ‘Daily Show’

By Timothy Cama, The Hill, May 7, 2015


Link to Quadrennial Energy Review

By Staff Writers, Department of Energy, April, 2015


“I believe we are actually in the revolution right now,” he said. “Mainly, what’s happening is the costs of these clean technologies have been dropping incredibly.”

[SEPP Comment: Dropping costs does not mean the technologies are economically competitive with traditional energy sources. Clean is a vague term.]

Fracking Fearmongering: Another “Regulatory Science” Confirmation

Science: Searching really hard until you find what you want?

By Ronald Bailey, Reason.com, May 5, 2015


Fracking chemicals found in space

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, May 5, 2015


Link to article: Fracking Chemicals Detected in Pennsylvania Drinking Water

By Nicholas St. Fleur, NYT, May 4, 2015


Link to paper: Evaluating a groundwater supply contamination incident attributed to Marcellus Shale gas development

By Llewellyn, et al, PNAS, May 4, 2015


“Conflict of interest statement: G.T.L. and Appalachia Consulting [involved in the research] provided litigation support and environmental consulting services to the impacted households.”

Greens pounce on research linking drilling to quakes

By Devin Henry, The Hill, May 3, 2015


“But a government report released in April raised a new issue: wells meant for disposing wastewater in oil and gas production are causing small earthquakes in drilling fields across the country. “

Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Oil Price War May Benefit Both US Shale And Saudi Arabia

By Michael McDonald of Oilprice.com, Washington DC (SPX), May 05, 2015


Shale Giants See Growth Again After 40% Price Climb

By Bradley Olson, Bloomberg, May 5, 2015 [H/t GWPF]


Oil and gas development transforms landscapes

By Staff Writers, Missoula MT (SPX), May 05, 2015


“Vegetation removed by this development on croplands is equivalent to 120.2 million bushels of wheat, approximately 13 percent of all wheat exported by the U.S. in 2013.”

[SEPP Comment: The comparison is largely frivolous. How much of crop land was reduced? The water use numbers do not consider the re-cycling of water or the excess water produced from deep underground wells.]

Return of King Coal?

UN [FCCC head] demands Australia stop mining coal

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, May 7, 2015


Nuclear Energy and Fears

China to start building 3rd generation nuclear reactor

By Staff Writers, Beijing (AFP), May 6, 2015


Radioactive and Short on Cash to Pay for Closures

By Isaac Arnsdorf, Bloomberg, May 3, 2015 [H/t GWPF]


Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

Transmission planning: wind and solar

By Planning Engineer, Climate Etc, May 7, 2015


“As noted at the start, when intermittent resources only make up a small percentage of total system generation, the adverse impacts are masked by the margin and robustness built into the system. The small additional costs they may incur are fairly easily shared by all users of the grid. As penetration levels rise and renewables replace non-intermittent conventional units, they will have major impacts upon grid costs and reliability. These costs have not been accounted for adequately in many studies estimating the costs of renewables.”

Can batteries make renewable energy viable?

By Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance, May 8, 2015


Industrial Wind: A Net Loser, Economically, Environmentally, Technically, Civilly

By Mary Kay Barton, Master Resource, May 7, 2015


Tesla announces low cost batteries for off grid homes

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, May 2, 2015


Tesla’s New Battery Doesn’t Work That Well With Solar

Even Elon Musk’s SolarCity, the biggest supplier in the U.S., isn’t ready to install Tesla’s home battery for daily users

By Tom Randall, Bloomberg, May 6, 2015 [H/t GWPF]


The Silliness Of Tesla’s 10kWh Back-Up Battery

By Mark B Spiegel, Seeking Alpha, May 3, 2015 [H/t GWPF]


Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other

Is Ethanol a Green Fuel?

By Marlo Lewis, Global Waming.org, May 6, 2015


Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles

Why electric car company Tesla may end up as roadkill: Olive

Tesla CEO Elon Musk calls the shots in three very different companies, which may spell doom for the electric car company.

By David Olive, The Toronto Star, May 1, 2015


Carbon Schemes

The Why and How of Carbon Capture and Sequestration

By Donn Dears, Power for USA, May 8, 2015


California Dreaming

The Duck Speaks, Part 2

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, May 5, 2015


Health, Energy, and Climate

Study: Cutting carbon dioxide saves 3,500 US lives a year

By Seth Borenstein, AP, May 4, 2015 [H/t Clyde Spencer]


Link to paper: US power plant carbon standards and clean air and health co-benefits

By Charles T. Driscoll, Jonathan J. Buonocore,, Jonathan I. Levy, Kathleen F. Lambert, Dallas Burtraw, Stephen B. Reid, Habibollah Fakhraei & Joel Schwartz, Nature Climate Change, May 4, 2015


The Rise of Autism: more semantics than substance?

By Staff Writers, ACSH, May 6, 2015


Environmental Industry

Greenpeace faces shutdown after India freezes funds in charity crackdown

By Nita Bhalla, Reuters, May 6, 2015 [H/t GWPF]


By Priyanka Shrestha, Energy Live News, May 6, 2015 [H/t GWPF]


[SEPP Comment: Do not agree with the ban, but the proposed ad demonstrates how far Greenpeace will go.]


Other Scientific News

Well Known Things That Ain’t True!

By Henry Cooper, High Frontier, May 5, 2015


NASA observes ‘significant solar flare’ on the sun that thankfully missed Earth

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, May 8, 2015


NASA Confirms Electromagnetic Drive Produces Thrust in Vacuum

By Staff Writers, Houston TX (Sputnik), May 05, 2015


Chemophobia week, led by the NYTimes, scaring the public about nothing

By Staff Writers, ACSH, May 5, 2015


Chemophobia Rampant, Science in Retreat. It Cannot End Well

By Gil Ross, Science 2.0, May 7, 2015 [H/t ACSH]


Viruses: You’ve heard the bad – here’s the good

By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), May 08, 2015


Other News that May Be of Interest

Ancient DNA makes pre-history an open book

Mass migrations, mixed matings and rapid evolution are common themes

My Saturday essay in the Wall Street Journal:

By Matt Ridley, Rational Optimist, May 4, 2015




Extragalactic fast radio bursts turn out to be microwave oven in the kitchen at Parkes [Observatory]

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, May 6, 2015


Claim: Global warming will cause a Coffee “catastrophe

By Eric Worrall, WUWT, May 2, 2015



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May 11, 2015 4:43 am

…the role of clouds and oceans in influencing global warming/climate change remain the least understood.

These most important aspects of climatology, The greatest natural forces, are “least understood”.
Yet by looking at the PPM concentration of CO2, alarmists can predict the climate of the future.

May 11, 2015 7:38 am

Einhorn kinda rocked the ship, EU best pay attention to this and that sanctions thingy…
There’s more articles on the ponzi schemes at Zero Hedge
So tar sands is probably nearly in the same shape.

David Ball
May 11, 2015 8:21 am

uıʇɹɐɯ pɹɐʍpE May 11, 2015 at 7:38 am says
tar sands
The correct term is Oil Sands. Unless you are one of those that believe Canadian oil is bad, but Opec oil is ok.

May 11, 2015 1:49 pm

On peak oil being “when oil production will reach maximum physical, natural limits, then decline“. That’s not a helpful definition, as it will never occur. The reason is given later in the article : “ the world oil issue is not one of physical limits, but price“.

May 11, 2015 8:48 pm

Two more oil trains derailed this past week. Only one blew up a town, thankfully.
I just don’t get the opposition to pipelines.

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