The Week That Was: 2015-07-04 (July 4, 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)
The Loyal Opposition: One of the most humanely compelling criticisms of the thinking exhibited by the pontifical academies that went into the Pope’s recent encyclical, Laudato Si’ (Praised Be), was “The Pontifical Academies’ Broken Moral Compass,” written by Indur Goklany and published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation. Goklany’s 2007 book, The Improving State of the World: Why We’re Living Longer, Healthier, More Comfortable Lives on a Cleaner Planet is a classic on the improving human condition – largely attributable to the use of fossil fuels. Goklany’s book and his analysis of the pope’s encyclical is data driven – not model driven, unlike the thinking of the pontifical academies that relies on forecasts from inadequately tested, non-valid climate models.
Goklany divided his book into four parts. The first part addresses the trends in human well-being and the factors responsible for those trends, emphasizing that, although not without environmental problems, economic development has improved the human condition. The improvement can be measured by access to food, safe water, sanitation, mortality, life expectancy, etc. These are related to economic development and technological change. In general, new problems are solved more quickly than old ones. The second part addresses the effects of economic development and technological change on environmental quality. As seen in Western economies, particularly the US, the long term trends are very favorable. The third part examines how the improvements in human well-being and environmental quality can coexist in a more populated and richer world of the future. This section includes a chapter on climate change and shows how adaptive management, in the short and medium term, will advance human and environmental well-being more quickly and efficiently than efforts to mitigate against climate change. The concluding fourth part includes a synthesis of the prior sections and the benefits of technological change, economic growth, and free trade to humanity and the environment.
The Pontifical Academies offer no compelling data to refute the optimistic view of the world presented by Goklany.
In his criticism of the work of the pontifical academies, Goklany focuses on the four opening sentences of their joint declaration: Climate Change and the Common Good: A Statement of The Problem and the Demand for Transformative Solutions, “echoes of which resonate in the recent papal encyclical.” The sentences are:
1) “Unsustainable consumption coupled with a record human population and the uses of inappropriate technologies are causally linked with the destruction of the world’s sustainability and resilience.” Goklany contradicts the statement by offering observational evidence that population has increased, life expectancy has increased, overall health has improved, living standards have increase, and percentage of population living in absolute poverty has declined. Further, Goklany shows that global death rates from extreme weather events are down, crop yields are up, access to safe water has improved, and so on. Unlike the academies, he backs his assertions with data.
2) “Widening inequalities of wealth and income, the world-wide disruption of the physical climate system and the loss of millions of species that sustain life are the grossest manifestations of unsustainability.” Goklany argues that with general improvements in overall health, the importance monetary inequality is secondary. There is no empirical evidence of human physical disruption of the physical climate system and the claimed loss of millions of species is fanciful.
3) “The continued extraction of coal, oil and gas following the ‘business-as-usual mode’ will soon create grave existential risks for the poorest three billion, and for generations yet unborn.” Such claims are based on unsubstantiated projections from global climate models that have not been validated with empirical data. As Goklany states: “Given the credibility of the models involved, it would be foolhardy, if not immoral to spend scarce resources on problems derived from models that so far have failed to track reality, particularly since those resources can be put to better use solving problems we know exist here and now, and are amenable to solution.”
4) “Climate change resulting largely from unsustainable consumption by about 15% of the world’s population has become a dominant moral and ethical issue for society.” Goklany contradicts this statement by noting the general improvements in human well-being with the general increase in in use of fossil fuels over the past 25 years. He then presents a WHO analysis the finds that poverty, or conditions associated with it, intensify at least health ten risk factors.
Goklany concludes his essay with:
“Despite its many sins of omission and commission, the academies did get one thing right: climate change is a moral and ethical issue. But it is a strange moral calculus that endorses policies that would reduce existing gains in human wellbeing, increase the cost of humanity’s basic necessities, increase poverty, and reduce the terrestrial biosphere’s future productivity and ability to support biomass, all in order to solve future problems that may not even exist or, if they do, are probably more easily solved by future generations who should be richer both economically and technologically. Moreover, because food, fibre, fuel and energy – basic necessities – consume a disproportionately large share of the income of the poorest, they would also pay the highest price for these policies. So much for the academies’ concern for inequality.
“Today’s world may not be perfect, but without access to cheaper energy alternatives – fossil fuels, like it or not, are usually the cheapest available option – it would be more imperfect. Someday it may be possible to meet humanity’s basic necessities without fossil fuels. But we are not there yet. As the academies note, three billion people still have unmet energy needs. Insisting on doing ‘the right thing’, but at the wrong time, could make matters worse. Even if one is confident that a child nearing adulthood could leap across a ten-foot chasm, it would be lethal to insist that a three-year old do the same thing. Similarly, there may be a fossil-fuel-free world in the future, but now is not the future. Insisting on a fossil-fuel-free world now would only prolong poverty and limit the terrestrial biosphere’s productivity.”
In reviewing the conflict between the Academies and the loyal opposition, one cannot but be drawn into making similarities between the Church’s Aristotelian scholars of the 17th century and Galileo. The former argued from an outdated model of an earth centered universe (from the days of the Ptolemy observers in Egypt) and refused to accept the observations from Galileo demonstrating, imperfectly, that the sun was the center of the solar system, and the sun was not immutable (had sunspots). As the basis of their arguments, the scholars were using imperfect models about nature while ignoring observations of nature. Similarly, the climate and economic models used by Academies are outdated with assumptions that need to be revised based on observations. See links under Expanding the Orthodoxy – The Pope – Loyal Opposition
Quote of the Week: If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants. [Galileo and Kepler?] Isaac Newton
Number of the Week: 50 to 140 times
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Defending the Orthodoxy: An article in Science, written by some leaders in the US scientific establishments, asserts that the scientific establishment is self-correction. This may be accurate is in certain circumstances, such as with the Wakefield example given in the text, even though the effects of which are still on going. But, in other circumstances, such as with massive government funding, the assertion is questionable.
The authors of the article ignore the elephant in the room. The article ignores the continued failure of the IPCC and US scientific entities to publically withdraw prior IPCC reports that are not valid, such as Mr. Mann’s hockey stick, to adequately test climate models, and to fully recognize natural influences on climate. This failure is supported by the Nation Academy of Sciences and other US scientific entities. Even Science, where the editorial appeared, has systematically refused to publish well-supported scientific papers that challenge some of the findings of the IPCC, even when these papers were written by well-established researchers in the field.
Science cannot be considered self-correcting as long as these policies remain. See links under Defending the Orthodoxy.
How Broad Is It? By a 5 to 4 vote, the US Supreme Court overturned a decision by a lower court enforcing the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) rules on Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) released from power plants. Writing for the majority, Justice Antonin Scalia said that it was not appropriate for the EPA “to impose billions of dollars in economic costs in return for a few dollars in health or environmental benefits.” The EPA argued that it factored in cost later in the process of crafting the rules, even though the EPA has failed to calculate costs of some of its earlier regulations. In fact, the EPA has long publically asserted that it is not required to include the costs of regulations under the Clean Air Act.
According to reports: “Approximately 62 GW of coal-fired electric generating capacity in the U.S. has already been retired or converted to other fuel sources in an effort to comply with the MATS regulation. It is unlikely that the Supreme Court decision will have any effect on the majority of the closed facilities.” However, the ruling may give utilities the option to consider coal-fired power plants as back-up to natural gas plants and other forms of electricity generation.
More importantly, it gives opponents to EPA regulations grounds for asserting that the EPA must include the costs of said regulations, rather than ignore such costs. Already, EPA supporters are assessing methods of minimizing reported costs or the impact of the court ruling on other EPA regulations such as those found in the Administration’s Clean Power Plan. How these efforts will play out, and out broad the ruling will become remains to be seen.
However, it is the concurring opinion of Justice Clarence Thomas that may have the most significant impact. Justice Thomas notes that the EPA requested special treatment, deferring to agency interpretations of federal statutes, under a Supreme Court decision in Chevron U. S. A. Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. 467 U. S. 837 (1984). Thomas states that the EPA “request for deference raises serious questions about the constitutionality of our broader practice of deferring to agency interpretations of federal statutes.” Thomas argues that “the judicial power, as originally understood requires a court to exercise its independent judgement in interpreting and expounding upon the laws”, and that the “Chevron deference precludes judges from exercising that judgment, forcing them to abandon what they believe is “the best reading of an ambiguous statute” in favor of an agency’s construction.”.. “It thus wrests from the Courts the ultimate interpretative authority to ‘say what the law is,’ Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch 137, 177 (1803), and hands it over to the Executive.”
Thomas further explains his views and concludes with: “we seem to be straying further and further from the Constitution without so much as pausing to ask why. We should stop to consider that document before blithely giving the force of law to any other agency ‘interpretations’ of federal statutes.”
No wonder so many political “liberals” rail against Justice Thomas. His views can have severe limiting effects on regulatory agencies that interpret the law as they see fit. See links under Litigation Issues.
Secret Science: The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works reported out bill S: 544, the Secret Science Reform Act of 2015, which deserves special mention and citation. The report states:
“The Committee on Environment and Public Works, to which was referred a bill (S. 544) to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from proposing, finalizing, or disseminating regulations or assessments based upon science that is not transparent or reproducible, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon with an amendment and recommends that the bill, as amended, do pass.”
It further states: “EPA also has a record of relying on science conducted outside the Agency that is not available to the public—or to the EPA—and therefore cannot be replicated or verified by independent researchers. For example, virtually all Clean Air Act regulations under the Obama Administration have been justified by data sets collected by two non-governmental institutions over 30 years ago, which have been withheld from the public and cannot be replicated.. In 2014, Congress learned this data either no longer exists, is of such poor quality that modeling results cannot be replicated, or has not been coded to facilitate independent analysis. However, EPA continues to rely on this data to support major regulations.” (p. 2)
Three decades of the EPA keeping secret the justifications for regulations made in the name of public health may be a bit too long. See links under The Political Games Continue, and EPA and other Regulators on the March.
Natural Climate Change: On her blog, Jo Nova brings up a new study on the historical changes in mega-Lake Chad, in West Africa, immediately south of the Sahara. The editors of PNAS state the significance of the paper:
North Africa was wetter 15,000–5,000 years ago than today, with wetlands and lakes formed in the Sahara due to an enhanced monsoon. We reconstruct the lake-level history of Lake Mega-Chad, when it was the largest African lake, and demonstrate that this humid period ended abruptly 5,000 years ago, indicating that the African monsoon exhibits a nonlinear response to insolation forcing. The northern basin of Lake Mega-Chad, currently the world’s greatest dust source, became dry around 1,000 years ago.
These findings are consistent with the findings of HH Lamb over 3 decades ago. The drying of the Sahara and was probably associated with global cooling following the Holocene Climate Warm Period. They are also consistent with other studies on the changing climate of the great desert belt in the Northern Hemisphere, including the disappearance of the Harappan civilization on the Indus valley and plateau. Such studies demonstrate that climate change is real and can be dangerous to civilizations. But, governments pretending they can stop climate change by controlling human emissions of carbon dioxide is the pure folly. See links under Changing Climate.
Limitations of Electricity Storage: Writing in Climate Etc, engineer Rud Istvan asserts that: “Most renewables advocates don’t appreciate the scope and scale of electricity grids, the difficulties intermittency creates, and the technical/ commercial inadequacies of electricity storage technologies other than PHS.” [pumped hydro storage.]
He goes through various types of storage, giving specific examples of each – potential (pumped hydro), kinetic (flywheels), electrostatic (capacitors), electrochemical (batteries), and chemical energy (water hydrolysis). Istvan concludes: “The foregoing examples illustrate the immensity of the utility bulk storage challenge. No foreseeable battery solution overcomes this enormous challenge.” Any politician or official advocating renewable electrical generation should be required to state the type and cost of the storage needed.
Number of the Week: 50 to 140 times. Last week’s TWTW gave a rough calculation of the relative weights of of natural forcing as compared to anthropogenic (human forcing) of the climate system from atmospheric carbon dioxide as presented in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, AR-4), published in 2007. These were calculated from the table in Change. The influence of carbon dioxide ranged from 5 to 6 times larger to 25 to 30 times larger than the only natural forcing considered – changes in solar intensity (visible light). These were based on Figure SPM.2, which stated “the understanding of anthropogenic warming and cooling influences on climate has improved since the TAR, leading to very high confidence that the global average net effect of human activities since 1750 has been one of warming, with a radiative forcing of +1.6 [+0.6 to +2.4] W m–2.”
Identical calculations for IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR-5) cannot be made because the critical table is not presented. Instead, a different table is presented: “Contributions to observed surface temperature change over the period 1951–2010” from the Summary for Policymakers of the Synthesis report. The range of natural variability is about minus 0.5 º C to plus 0.5 º C with a mean of about 0.01 º C. The range for the influence of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide is not specifically given in about 0.5 º C to 1.4 º C. According to these IPCC numbers, the influence of greenhouse gases is about 50 to 140 times greater than natural influences. When one considers these estimates in light of past climate change, there is little doubt why the climate models are failing. See links under Defending the Orthodoxy.
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. Protecting Humanity from Ice Ages
By S. Fred Singer, American Thinker, Jul 1, 2015
SUMMARY: SEPP Chairman Fred Singer expresses his concern for coming ice ages and the dangers they pose to humans on our planet — and indeed to most of terrestrial ecology. He discusses two types of ice ages and each requires a different type of mitigation. Major glaciations are most severe, and it would be useful to understand what triggers them. Minor glaciations, such as the Little Ice Age are less severe, and Singer suggests possible engineering solutions.
2. Commenters excoriate a Science paper that denies global warming ‘pause’
By S. Fred Singer, American Thinker Blog, Jul 1, 2015
SUMMARY: “Perhaps the most inconvenient truth for global warming theorists has been the absence of any statistically significant warming trend in the past 18 years – in spite of rapidly rising atmospheric levels of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. Many are simply ignoring this unanticipated result – for example, the encyclical letter issued by Pope Francis on June 18. Conventional climate science, as employed in IPCC models, has been unable to explain these observations.
“Coming to the rescue, Dr. Tom Karl, head of NOAA’s National Climate Data center (NCDC), asserts that the temperature plateau (aka “pause” or “hiatus”) is simply an artifact of the data. After he and colleagues adjust some recent SST (sea-surface temp) readings, they claim an uninterrupted warming trend in the 21st century. Their paper appeared in Science-Express on June 4 and in Science mag on June 26.
“The Karl claims gave rise to many published comments, mostly negative. There was not a single comment in support of the Karl paper. Some simply addressed technical details – the fact that atmospheric temperature data, from satellites as well as from balloon-borne radiosondes, have shown no warming trend. But many other comments questioned the good faith of the authors and implied political motives.
“Here is a selection of the latter type of comments (excluding my own), as published in Science:”
See the articles for the varied comments.
3. BP Agrees to Pay $18.7 Billion to Settle Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Claims
Settlement of all federal and state claims brings total costs to nearly $54 billion
By Daniel Gilbert and Sarah Kent, WSJ, Jul 2, 2015
SUMMARY: “BP PLC agreed to pay $18.7 billion to settle all federal and state claims arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, including the biggest pollution penalty in U.S. history.
“The agreement would avert years of litigation over the environmental impact of a spill that leaked millions of barrels of crude into the Gulf of Mexico over the course of 87 days and coated hundreds of miles of sensitive beaches, marshes and mangroves with oil.
“The settlement would add at least $10 billion to the roughly $44 billion BP has already incurred in legal and cleanup costs, pushing its tab for the spill higher than all the profits it has earned since 2012.
“Investors eager for an end to the saga and five years of litigation celebrated the deal, sending BP’s shares up 5.1% in U.S. trading on Thursday and adding more than $5 billion to its stock-market value.
“BP’s payments would be stretched out over 18 years at around $1.1 billion annually, softening the blow to the company’s cash flow. The company expects to deduct much of the payouts from its taxes. And Fitch Ratings said the deal would strengthen BP’s credit, helping it improve its balance sheet and cope with the yearlong downturn in oil prices.
The Chairman of BP, Carl-Henric Svanberg, said the agreement provides “a path to closure for BP and the Gulf.” “It resolves the company’s largest remaining legal exposures, provides clarity on costs and creates certainty of payment for all parties involved.”
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?
Heartland Institute Now Distributing ‘The Neglected Sun’ …Scientists Say IPCC “Grossly Incorrect”
By P. Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jun 26, 2015
Whitehouse: DOJ Should Sue Climate Change ‘Denial Apparatus’
By Ian Hanchett, Breitbart, Jun 25, 2015 (Video) [H/t Timothy Wise]
[SEPP Comment: No doubt the Senator from Rhode Island denies that global warming saved Rhode Island from being covered by thousands of feet of ice.]
Press Ignores Sheldon Whitehouse’s Call For DOJ to Sue ‘Vast’ Global Warming ‘Denial Apparatus”
By Tom Blumer, MRC NewsBusters, Jun 27, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Challenging the Orthodoxy
Intermittent grid storage
By Rud Istvan, Climate Etc. Jul 1, 2015
Defending the Orthodoxy
Self-correction in science at work
By Alberts, et al, Science, Jun 26, 2015
Climate Change 2007: Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis
Human and Natural Drivers of Climate Change
Climate Change 2014
Synthesis Report: Summary for Policymakers
The China – US Agreement?
In a major day for climate policy, China, Brazil, and the U.S. all announce new commitments
By Chris Mooney and Steven Mufson, Washington Post, Jun 30, 2015
[SEPP Comment: Other than for the US, no doubt the “goals” are as enforceable as US EPA wetland regulations are in China.]
US, Brazil pledge 20 percent renewable electricity by 2030
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Jun 30, 2015
On to Paris!
100 billion reasons a global climate-change deal may fall apart
By Alex Nussbaum, Sunday Times, SA, Jun 30, 2015 [H/t GWPF]
China sets formal climate change goals
By Devin Henry, The Hill, Jun 30, 2015
White House rushing to meet summer deadline for climate rules
By John Siciliano, Washington Examiner, Jul 2, 2015
Problems in the Orthodoxy
India ‘will not announce’ carbon emissions peak year
By Navin Singh Khadka, BBC, Jul 2, 2015
Seeking a Common Ground
By Stuart Buck, Science, Jun 26, 2015
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science
The Current Status of Modelling Arctic Summer Storm Tracks
Nishii, K., Nakamura, H. and Orsolini, Y.V. 2015. Arctic summer storm track in IP3/5 climate models. Climate Dynamics 44: 1311-1327. Jul 1, 2015
A Holocene Summer Temperature Record of Romania’s Lake Brazi
Toth, M., Magyari, E.K., Buczko, K., Braun, M., Panagiotopoulos, K. and Heiri, O. 2015. Chironomid-inferred Holocene temperature changes in the South Carpathians (Romania). The Holocene 25: 569-582. Jun 30, 2015
“What is especially interesting about these findings is the fact that during many of these earlier periods, when reconstructed summer temperatures were significantly warmer than they have been throughout the modern industrial period of human history, the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration hovered around a mean value of 250 ppm, which is much lower than today’s mean value of approximately 400 ppm.”
Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment: Boon or Bane of the Biosphere?
By Staff Writers, CO2 Science, Jun 26, 2015
And so we see that the real-world effects of atmospheric CO2 enrichment are absolutely essential to enable us to adequately feed and sustain the human population of the planet that is expected to inhabit the earth a mere 35 years from now, while at the same time being able to enjoy better health and resultant longevity. Is not this the moral course we all should be pursuing?
Climate Change vs. Urbanization: Which is the Greater Threat to the Longleaf Pine Ecosystems of the Southeastern USA?
Costanza, J.K., Terando, A.J., McKerrow, A.J. and Collazo, J.A. 2015. Modeling climate change, urbanization, and fire effects on Pinus palustris ecosystems of the southeastern U.S. Journal of Environmental Management 151: 186-199. Jun 26, 2015
Models v. Observations
Arctic Ice Predictions For September
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jun 30, 2015
“The first thing which stands out is the vast range of predictions, particularly the modelled ones. It does not say much for the reliability of climate models if they do not have a clue of what will happen in two months time.”
Atlantic Ocean’s Circulation Yields Inevitable Surprises
By Doug Hoffman, The Resilient Earth, Via GWPF, Jun 28, 2015
“Science in general, and climate science in particular, has a poor record when it comes to predicting the future. Models that have been based on false assumptions and data for years.”
DWD German Weather Service Says UHI Effect As Much As 10°C! …Judith Curry Puts Heat Waves On Ice
By P. Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jul 3, 2015
Extremes of 2014 in Review
By Ed Hawkins, Climate Lab Book National Centre for Atmospheric Research, Jun 29, 2015 [H/t Climate Etc.]
[SEPP Comment: Putting the latest, inflated NOAA data in perspective, from a warmest standpoint.]
Greenland Temperatures Weaken Theory CO2 Drives Climate
By Ed Caryl, No Tricks Zone, Jun 29, 2015
History rewritten? BoM wrong on “first” July cyclone, forgets 1935, 1954, 1962
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Jul 2, 2015
“Record” Heathrow Temperature Not Supported By Nearby Locations
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jul 3, 2015
The Water Super Heroes of 2015: Northwest Reservoir Managers
By Cliff Mass, Weather Blog, Jun 30, 2015
[SEPP Comment: Why those who assert that the wine grapes and fruits in the Pacific Northwest will dry out this year are premature, if not wrong.]
Heat waves: exacerbated by global warming?
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Jul 2, 2015
Largest lake in world turned to dust bowl with no help from man-made fossil fuels
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Jul 1 2015
Link to paper: West African monsoon dynamics inferred from abrupt fluctuations of Lake Mega-Chad
By Armitage, Bristow, Drake, PNAS, Jun 29, 2015
[SEPP Comment: Consistent with the findings of HH Lamb over 3 decades ago. The drying of the Sahara and the great desert belt of the Northern Hemisphere was probably associated with global cooling.]
Sudden shift in [radiative] ‘forcing’ led to demise of Laurentide ice sheet
By Staff Writers, Corvallis OR (SPX) Jun 28, 2015
“Ullman said the level of CO2 that helped trigger the melting of the Laurentide ice sheet was near the top of pre-industrial measurements — though much less than it is today. The solar intensity then was higher than today, he added.”
Climate Then and Now
By Steven Hayward, Power Line, Jul 3, 3015
“From volume 4 of Churchill’s Marlborough: His Life and Times, about the winter of 1708-9, near the culmination of the long war against Louis XIV:”
[SEPP Comment: If CO2 is actually causing warming, it may be far preferable than the climate prior to the industrial revolution.]
Impact of AMO/PDO on U.S. regional surface temperatures
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc, Jun 30, 2015
The conclusion is that the oscillatory mode (mostly due to the AMO) is significantly more important than the monotonic mode (mostly due to increasing atmospheric CO2) in explaining the 1980–2000 U.S. temperature increase. – Bruce Kurtz
“…the Kurtz paper reinforces yet again that you can’t properly do late 20th century warming attribution without considering the multidecadal (and longer) ocean oscillations.” – Curry
Accelerated warming of continental shelf off northeast coast of U.S.
By Staff Writers, Science Daily, Jun 15, 2015 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
Link to paper: Recent accelerated warming of the continental shelf off New Jersey: Observations from the CMV Oleander expendable bathythermograph line
By Samuel, Journal of Geophysical Research, Mar 27, 2015
Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice
Wildlife agency calls for carbon cuts to save polar bear
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Jul 2, 2015
Link to comment section: http://www.fws.gov/alaska/pbrt/timeline.html
Comments due August 20
USGS promotes another flawed polar bear model: GHG emissions still “primary threat”
By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Jun 30, 2015
[SEPP Comment: US Geological Survey, “a scientific agency of the federal government,”cannot distinguish between assumptions and observations?]
Arctic Sea Ice Extent Approaching Highest Extent Since At Least 2004
By Steven Goddard, Real Science, Jul 3, 2015
AWI’s Sloppy Antarctic Peninsula Science…Overlooked GISS Temperature Data, Snowfall Amounts
Record ice melt at the Antarctic Peninsula? Scientists overlooked fluctuations in snowfall
By Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt, (Condensed, summarized by P Gosselin), No Tricks Zone, Jul 2, 2015
Icy Earthquakes: Warming Planet Shakes Up Glaciers
By Elizabeth Goldbaum, Live Science, Jun 26, 2015 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
[SEPP Comment: Greenland warms during the summer, therefore the planet is warming?]
Are Glacier Earthquakes Shaking Greenland? Scientists, WaPo Seeing Only What They Want To See
By Ed Caryl, No Tricks Zone, Jun 30, 2015
Hudson Bay breakup later than average, longer hunting season for polar bears
By Susan Crockford, Polar bear Science, Jul 1, 2015
Methane-eating microorganisms help regulate emissions from wetlands
Without this process, methane emissions from freshwater wetlands could be 30 to 50 percent higher
By Cheryl Dybas, NSF, Jun 30, 2015
Link to paper: High rates of anaerobic methane oxidation in freshwater wetlands reduce potential atmospheric methane emissions
By Segarra, et al, Nature Communications, Jun 30, 2015
Genetic switch lets marine diatoms do less work at higher carbon dioxide
By Staff Writers, Science Daily, Jun 15, 2015 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
Link to paper Diatom acclimation to elevated CO2 via cAMP signalling and coordinated gene expression
By Hennon, et al. Nature Climate Change, Jun 15, 2015
[SEPP Comment: Headline of article is misleading. Diatoms, which are responsible for 40% of marine primary productivity, and up to 20% of the earth’s oxygen production, adapt rapidly to higher CO2.]
Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine
Food for All
By Martin Livermore, Scientific Alliance, Jul 3, 2015
Un-Science or Non-Science?
Polar bears face steep declines because of melting sea ice: U.S. study
By Laura Zuckerman, Reuters, Jul 1, 2015 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Jul 2, 2015
Study: Arctic sea ice retreat is creating ocean circulation changes
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Jun 29, 2015
“Retreating sea ice in the Iceland and Greenland Seas may be changing the circulation of warm and cold water in the Atlantic Ocean,
“Moore and his fellow researchers based their findings on wintertime data from 1958 to 2014 that was provided by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts and model simulations.” (Boldface added.)
The BBC is in a fog of groupthink and can’t see how biased it is
Here are recent examples of how mindlessly the BBC falls into its party line, on three familiar topics
By Christopher Booker, Telegraph, UK, Jun 27, 2015 [H/t GWPF]
Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?
Oil train car derails, catches fire in Tennessee
By Keith Laing, The Hill, Jul 2, 2015
[SEPP Comment: Typical exaggeration. One car, carrying an industrial chemical, derailed of a total of 57 cars, with 27 cars carrying crude oil.]
The Conclusions of a Press Release Should Match the Scientific Study, Don’t Ya Think?
Guest Post by Bob Tisdale, WUWT, Jun 30, 2015
Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
By Norman Rogers, American Thinker, Jun 29, 2015
Science says one thing, scientists another
By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Jul 3, 2015
America is the worst polluter in the history of the world. We should let climate change refugees resettle here.
By Michael Gerrard, Washington Post, Jun 25, 2015 [H/t David Manuta]
Michael B. Gerrard, associate faculty chair at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, is the Andrew Sabin professor of professional practice and director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School.
Interesting Reparations for Global Warming
By Lleana Johnson, Her Blog, Jul 1, 2015 [H/t DeWitt Edwards]
[SEPP Comment: See link immediately above.]
Global Warming to destroy sea-food as well
It’s a disaster for fish and chip shops. Children won’t know what a sea-food restaurant is.
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Jul 3, 2015
Link to report: Seafood supply altered by climate change
The global supply of seafood is set to change substantially and many people will not be able to enjoy the same quantity and dishes in the future due to climate change and ocean acidification, according to scientists.
By Staff Writers, University of Faculty of Science British Columbia, Jul 1, 2015
“Our oceans are warming by 0.005° C per year (if you believe a thermometer system with a 0.5C error). But fish which cope with five degrees of natural variation will apparently be devastated by an average rise of five thousands of a degree per year. Who knew?”
Expanding the Orthodoxy – The Pope
Schellnhuber Boasts Of Having Skeptics Excluded From Participating In Drafting “Laudato Si” Encyclical
By P. Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jun 27, 2015
Expanding the Orthodoxy – The Pope – Loyal Opposition
The Pontifical Academies’ Broken Moral Compass
By Indur Goklany, GWPF, 2015
Link to paper:
The Scientific Pantheist Who Advises Pope Francis
The scientist who influenced Laudato Si, and who serves at the Vatican’s science office, seems to believe in Gaia, but not in God.
By William Briggs, The Stream, Jun 22, 2015
Technology, consumerism and the pope
By Matt Ridley, Rational Optimist, Jun 29, 2015
Questioning European Green
Calamitous Planning: German Wind Parks Overload Power Grid …”At Its Limits” …Record 50,000 Grid Interventions in May!
By P. Gosslin, No Tricks Zone, Jul 1, 2015
Germany’s Green Energy Transition May Be Running Out of Money, Study Warns
By Andreas Mihm, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Trans. Philip Mueller, Via GWPF, Jul 1, 2015
German brown coal firms to get compensation to join reserve-document
By Markus Wacket, Reuters, Jul 2, 2015 [H/t GWPF]
Shale Revolution Accelerates Chemicals Industry
By Tim Maverick, Wall Street Daily, Jul 1, 2015
“The ACC sees the industry becoming a growth engine for the economy, forecasting a rise in the 5% range in the 2017-to-2019 period. It also expects record trade surpluses for the industry by 2020….According to the ACC, 238 U.S. chemicals companies have announced investment projects worth a total of $145 billion.”
The Amazing Vanishing Climate Change Fund!
By Walter Russell Mead & Staff, American Interest, Jul 2, 2015
OMB: Factor climate change in budget requests
By Rebecca Shabad, The Hill, Jul 2, 2015
SA, Brazil, China, India in push for climate financing
By Staff Writers, AFP, Jun 29, 2015
Smithsonian to improve ethics policies on research funding
By Brett Zongker, AP, Jun 26, 2015 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
The Political Games Continue
Secret Science Reform Act of 2015
Report with Minority Views, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Jun 22, 2015
GOP senator grills EPA over barbecue research
By Devin Henry, The Hill, Jul 2, 2015
Supreme Court Strikes Down EPA’s MATS Rule
By Aaron Larson, Power Mag, Jun 29, 2015
Link to decision: Supreme Court of the United States
Michigan et al. v Environmental Protection Agency et al.
[Justice Thomas opinion after page 15.]
White House says EPA’s Supreme Court loss won’t affect power plant rule
By Susan Crabtree, Washington Examiner, Jun 29, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Why the Supreme Court Could Spell Trouble For Obama’s Agenda
Monday’s ruling could compel agencies to take costs into account when deciding to regulate.
By Clare Foran, National Journal, Jun 29, 2015
You Ought to Have a Look: Supreme Court, Business-as-Usual, Poison Ivy and Shark Attacks
By Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger, CATO, Jul 2, 2015
Does EPA’s Supreme Court Loss Doom Obama’s Climate Agenda?
By Andrew Grossman, CATO, Jun 29, 2015
Supreme Court rules against the EPA, for the poor and all of us; NOAA fiddles while our future burns
By Staff Writer, ICECAP, Jun 28, 2015
What the Supreme Court MATS ruling means for utilities and the EPA Clean Power Plan
The mercury rules will likely survive, legal experts say, but the fate of the agency’s looming carbon regulations is less certain
By Gavin Bade, Utility Drive, Jul 2, 2015
A great day for coal? Not exactly.
Why the Supreme Court’s strange EPA decision won’t matter as much as people think.
By Michael Grunwald, Politico, Jun 29, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Decision of the Court: Michigan v. EPA
EPA Gets Another Much-Needed Smackdown From The Courts
Editorial, IBD, Jun 29, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]
EPA: Supreme Court ruling won’t stop climate rules
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Jun 30, 2015
Justice Kagan wrong about EPA and costs: Column
Environmental regulators must start justifying mandates in terms of damaging costs
By Doug MacEachern, USA Today, Jul 1, 2015
Oklahoma sues to stop Obama’s climate rule
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Jul 1, 2015
27 states challenge Obama water rule in court
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Jul 30, 2015
States Sue EPA, Army Corps Over Final Waters of U.S. Rule with Reach Over Power Plants
By Sonal Patel, Power Mag, Jul 1, 2015
Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes
Carbon tax and Sydney Uni economics, both slugs on the economy
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Jun 29, 2015
[SEPP Comment: A carbon tax is not a cost but a transfer – to whom?]
Subsidies and Mandates Forever
Hard To Find the Return on Green Energy Investments
By Veronique de Rugy, Mercatus Center, May 20, 2015
Renewable-Energy Subsidies and Electricity Generation
By Veronique de Rugy, Mercatus Center, May 21, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Scotland in a huff over wind energy subsidies
By Daniel Graeber, UPI, Jun 24, 2015 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
EPA and other Regulators on the March
A Physician’s Perspective on the EPA’s “Data Derangement Syndrome”
Guest essay by Charles Battig M.D., WUWT, Jul 2, 2015
Is small particle air pollution really killing Americans?
EPA uses shaky claims of “premature death” to justify new air pollution regulations.
By Steve Goreham, CDN, Jul 1, 2015
“EPA policy advisor Amanda Brown asserted that between 130,000 and 320,000 Americans died prematurely in 2005 due to small particle pollution, an incredible 6 to 15 percent of total US deaths.”
[SEPP Comment: EPA blatantly ignores the criteria needed by Austin Bradford Hill to establish a robust statistical relationship between cigarette smoking and lung cancer.]
Ozone and 2.5 Particulates are Not Killing People
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Jul 3, 2015
EPA Predicts: Workers Will Lose $170B in Wages By 2100 Without Global Action on Climate Change
By Ali Meyer, CNS News, Jun 30, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Link to report: Climate Change in the United States: Benefits of Global Action
By Staff Writers, EPA, Jun 23, 2015
The EPA’s big land grab
By Former Rep. Larry Combest (R-Texas), The Hill, Jun 29, 2015
[SEPP Comment: Under its new interpretation of the Clean Water Act.]
The EPA Targets Private Property Over Water
By Staff Writers, NCPA, Jun 16, 2015
Link to paper: The EPA’s Troubled Waters
By Leigh Thompson, National Review, Jun 5, 2015
EPA restricts climate-warming chemicals used in refrigeration
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Jul 2, 2015
Link to EPA regulations:
Final Rule Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Change of Listing Status for Certain Substitutes under the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program, July 2, 2015
Coal company sues over Obama water rule
By Devin Henry, The Hill, Jul 1, 2015
Energy Issues – Non-US
China’s Growing Energy Demand: Implications for the United States: Working Paper 2015-05
By Andrew Stocking and Terry Dinan, CBO, Jun, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Lancashire Say No To Fracking
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jun 29, 2015
Shale Industry Wants Law Change as Council Blocks Drilling Plan
By Ben Webster, The Times, Via GWPF, Jun 30, 2015
Britain is wrong to reject fracking application: Kemp
By John Kemp, Reuters, Jun 29, 2015
If NIBY’s Had Their Way, The Lights Would All Go Out
By Ross Clark, The Times, Via GWPF, Jun 30, 2015
Fracking ‘could lower house prices’ says draft official report [UK]
By Staff Writers, BBC, Jul 2, 2015
[SEPP Comment: Residents in North Dakota would be surprised! See link immediately below.]]
The compliant media and the scary stories
By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Jul 2, 2015
Britain needs to get fracking
Not since the discovery of North Sea oil has the country had such an incredible opportunity
Editorial, The Spectator, Jul 4, 2015 [H/t GWPF]
Fracking Hell: The Green War on Progress
A UK council’s refusal to allow shale-gas exploration is very bad news.
By Rob Lyons, Spiked, Jun 29, 2015 [H/t GWPF]
How much did renewable electricity grow in China last year?
By Robert Wilson, Carbon Counter, Jun 25, 2015
“China gets five times more electricity from its hydroelectric plants than from wind and solar combined.”
Chinese carbon market doldrums may undermine climate efforts
By Kathy Chen and David Stanway, Reuters, Jul 1, 2015
What Energy Shortage?
By Jostein Eikeland, Project Syndicate, Jul 2, 2015
It is not enough to generate energy. We must also use it efficiently, and the wide-scale adoption of state-of-the-art storage technology will be an essential part of the solution. Ensuring that the world’s energy supplies are stable, efficient, accessible, and affordable will take time. But breakthroughs are on the horizon. Our task is to keep our sights there.
[SEPP Comment: The horizon seems to keep moving.]
Energy Issues — US
How the Power Sector Has Changed Since 2001
By Sonal Patel, Power Mag, Jul 2, 2015
Electricity: Generation Mix Has Shifted, and Growth in Consumption Has Slowed, Affecting System Operations and Prices
By Staff Writers, GAO, Jun 29, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Link to study: Generation Mix Has Shifted, and Growth in Consumption Has Slowed, Affecting System
Washington’s Control of Energy
Oil Export Regulation: 1970s History (Part II)
By Robert Bradley Jr, Master Resource, Jun 30, 2015
U.S. Economy Would Surge by Lifting the Crude Oil Export Ban
By Staff Writers, NCPA, Jun 25, 2015
Link to report: Lifting the Crude Oil Export Ban: How Increased U.S. Exports Will Hurt the Russian Market and Help at Home
By Kimberly VanWyhe, American Action Forum, Jun 24, 2015
Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
Have the Saudis miscalculated the impact of lower crude prices on US production?
By Staff Writer, Sober Look, Jun 28, 2015 [H/t Real Clear Energy]
U.S. energy production at historic levels
By Staff Writers, NWI Times, Jun 26, 2015 [H/t GWPF]
New York makes fracking ban official
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Jun 29, 2015
Nuclear Energy and Fears
Vogtle receives final loan guarantees
By Staff Writers, WNN, Jun 25, 2015
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind
China Windpower Capacity To Remain Tiny
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jul 3, 2015
Shredding Birds and Mincing Logic
By Peter O’Brien, Quadrant, Jul 1, 2015
[SEPP Comment: Not so green!]
The lonely energy projects left behind by the clean energy evolution
By Katie Fehrenbacher, Fortune, Jul 1, 2015
“Listing failed energy technologies of the past shouldn’t necessarily be depressing (unless you’re an investor in one of these firms). It should instead highlight that the people who Bill Gates once described as the crazy energy entrepreneurs are still working hard on breakthroughs in energy tech, or what he call ‘energy miracles.’”
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other
Hydroelectric dams drastically reduce tropical forest biodiversity
By Staff Writers, Science Daily, Jul 1, 2015 [H/t GWPF]
Link to paper: Widespread Forest Vertebrate Extinctions Induced by a Mega Hydroelectric Dam in Lowland Amazonia
By Benchimol and Peres, Plos One, Jul 1, 2015
[SEPP Comment: Terrestrial animals have difficulty living and breeding underwater?]
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles
Cronyism: Green Car Edition
By Veronique de Rugy, Mercatus Center, Apr 30, 2015
[SEPP Comment: DOE loans to car manufacturers.]
Stopped Dead in its Tracks
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Jun 30, 2015
“At present, the low price of gasoline and diesel fuel make the use of CNG and LNG problematic.”
Two Cases of Environmentalism Gone Mad
By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, Jul 3, 2015
If you’re going to pick your poison, at least choose the right one
By Staff Writers, ACSH, Jun 30, 2015
[SEPP Comment: Why trying to poison someone with a chemical the greens vilify, Roundup, did not work. An “organic” pesticide is over 17 times more toxic.]
Greens go all in to fight Arctic drilling
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Jul 3, 2015
Other Scientific News
Invasive species are the greatest cause of extinction
Of 217 mammals and birds that have died out, nearly all were on islands
By Matt Ridley, Rational Optimist, Jun 28, 2015
Science is broken. These academics think they have the answer.
By Julia Belluz, Vox, June 27, 2015 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
Other News that May Be of Interest
Ex-Iowa State scientist gets prison for faking HIV research
By David Pitt, AP, Jul 1, 2015 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
The Rare Earth Fiasco Comes to an End
By Staff Writers, Lipmann Walton & Co, Feb 11, 2013
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
Climate Craziness of the Week: Center for Biological Diversity petitions EPA to list CO2 as a ‘toxic substance’
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Jul 1, 2015
Climate change causes more tsunamis — The ABC will believe anything
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Jul 2, 2015
Meet the Mutants – the latest Government effort to defeat Climate Change
Guest essay by Eric Worrall, WUWT, Jul 1, 2015
More pointless worrying from NOAA: July 4th fireworks cause a spike in particulate matter for a day
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Jun 30, 2015