Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #192

The Week That Was: 2015-08-15 (August 15, 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)

Social Benefits of Carbon: Craig Idso of CO2 Science has a post on the Cato web site describing the great benefits of enhanced atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). Together with his father Sherwood and brother Keith, the Idsos have built a large repository of studies evaluating the effects of enhanced carbon dioxide, both on land and in waters (oceans). Sherwood and Craig were lead authors of the extensive report, with multiple scientific references, by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC): Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts (2014).

In the current post, Craig draws on this extensive, empirical database to assert:

· ”At a fundamental level, carbon dioxide is the basis of nearly all life on Earth, as it is the primary raw material or “food” that is utilized by plants to produce the organic matter out of which they construct their tissues.

· Typically, a doubling of the air’s CO2 content above present-day concentrations raises the productivity of most herbaceous plants by about one-third; this positive response occurs in plants that utilize all three of the major biochemical pathways of photosynthesis.”

Apparently, many in Washington and elsewhere, particularly those in the Administration, remain ignorant of the critical role CO2 has in life on the planet and the enormous benefits that enhanced atmospheric carbon dioxide is providing to plant life, to the environment, and to humanity. One is tempted to ask: are those who declare that carbon is a pollutant of a different, carbon-free life form?

In the post, after citing a small portion of the extensive work, both in the laboratory and in the field, of the benefits of enhanced atmospheric carbon dioxide, Craig asks: “Why on God’s getting-greener earth would the United Nations simultaneously work to reduce the anthropogenic CO2 emissions that are demonstrably raising standard of living for so many of the world’s poor?”

See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy – NIPCC and Challenging the Orthodoxy.


Quote of the Week: “I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies but not the madness of people.” Isaac Newton


Number of the Week: 926,900 tonnes per day


The Clean Power Plan (CPP): The Administration’s plan to reduce CO2 emissions from electrical power plants by 32% by 2030 is receiving increased scrutiny from those who perform analyses based on models to forecast the temperature effects of increased CO2. Please note, that the results of any such models, which have not been validated, are speculative, at best. However, these results go to the justifications that the Administration uses to defend its plans. The calculations show that the Administration’s plan will have an effect on global temperatures that is miniscule, not measurable. Yet, it is becoming clear that the Administration’s CCP will extend its control of all fossil fuel use, not just coal-fired power plants. This will come at great costs to consumers, raising electricity bills by about three-fold.

Making the ignorance and arrogance of the Administration all the more absurd are the repeated claims that the plan will save the consumers money – as if major urban black-outs can be labeled as money saving opportunities. See links under The Administration’s New Plan and The Administration’s New Plan – Independent Analysis.


Underestimating Costs: The Institute for Energy Analysis (IEA) produced a study that estimates the cost of replacing existing power plants with solar- or wind-generated electrical power. Many prior studies used government estimates of new power plants to compare different types of electricity generation, such as comparing nuclear power with combined-cycle natural-gas plants. Such studies failed to take into account the useful life of the existing plants, with much of the capital costs substantially reduced over time and use. “Our study shows that on average, electricity from new wind resources is nearly four times more expensive than from existing nuclear and nearly three times more expensive than from existing coal. These are dramatic increases in the cost of generating electricity. This means that the premature closures of existing plants will unavoidably increase electricity rates for American families.” [Boldface in original]

Whether or not the exclusion of reduced costs of existing plants are intentional, these lower costs must be considered when estimating costs of electrical power when government forces power plants to shut-down, as called for in the Administration’s CCP. Though not discussed in the study, equally important are the inclusion of the costs of maintaining existing, reliable power plants or, if new capacity is added, the cost of constructing reliable power plants to serve as necessary back-up, if major sources of electricity are to come from unreliable solar and wind.

As discussed in the July 18 and July 25 TWTW’s, the 2014 annual report of the state-owned electricity and natural gas distribution company in Denmark states that, by 2020, the electricity capacity of power plants, including wind and solar, and import capacity will be about 3 times expected maximum consumption. As discussed in the August 8 TWTW, the need for reliable back-up for unreliable solar and wind is a major reason why Denmark and Germany have the highest electricity costs to consumers in Europe and that the relation between non-hydro renewables and consumer costs of electricity is strong and positive – the greater the percentage of renewables in the mix, the higher the costs to households. [Note that special exemptions and tax breaks are common to industries in Germany.]

Yet, the Administration remains ignorant and arrogant in the pursuit of its plan to force closure of coal-fired power plants and require new solar and wind generation, regardless of costs to the consumers. The lack of critical thinking is reminiscent of the Johnson administration’s repeated commitments of ground troops into Vietnam, without a well thought-out strategic plan. See Article # 2, links under The Administration’s New Plan – Push-Back, and Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind.


Validation of Climate Models: Writing in Watts Up With That?, Tim Ball reviews a book by Vincent Gray, “The Global Warming Scam and the Climate Change Super Scam.” Gray is an expert reviewer of all five major reports of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), submitting thousands of comments. [A student of H.H. Lamb, Tim Ball uncovered the extensive records of the Hudson Bay Company, which covers over 200 years of an area extending from the Great Plains of the northern US into Canada to the north of the tree-line surrounding the Hudson Bay in northern Canada. These records describe significant changes in weather and climate during the period. They are largely ignored by the IPCC and members of the Climate Establishment.]

In his review, Ball has a number of excellent quotes from Gray including:

There are huge uncertainties in the model outputs which are recognized and unmeasured. They are so large that adjustment of model parameters can give model results which fit almost any climate, including one with no warming, and one that cools.


No model has ever successfully predicted any future climate sequence. Despite this, future “projections” for as far ahead as several hundred years have been presented by the IPCC as plausible future trends, based on largely distorted “storylines”, combined with untested models.


The IPCC have provided a wealth of scientific information on the climate, but have not established a case that increases in carbon dioxide are causing any harmful effects.


One of the most serious limitations of the global climate models is the failure to validate one:

”No computer model has ever been validated. An early draft of Climate Change 95 had a Chapter titled “Climate Models – Validation” as a response to my comment that no model has ever been validated. They changed the title to “Climate Model – Evaluation” and changed the word “validation” in the text to “evaluation” no less than describing what might need to be done in order to validate a model.


“Without a successful validation procedure, no model should be considered to be capable of providing a plausible prediction of future behaviour of the climate.”

Ball briefly discusses some of the difficulties of validating a climate model, and points out that some of the problems are stated in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), and have not been resolved after 25 years of IPCC reports. Yet, Western governments are on a push to reach an agreement of carbon dioxide emissions, even though the leaders, who ignore critical elements of the reports, and their scientists have failed to complete the basic science. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.


Solar Activity: A recent study on counting sun spots was highly played up, with claims that recent solar trends are not a major contributor to changes in earth’s climate. In a communication, Donald Rapp, who has written extensively on climate change, states that there was little new or significant in the study. “Yes, there has been a discrepancy between alternative methods of counting sunspots, partly due to how to deal with “groups” of clumped sunspots. Nevertheless, the differences between the two were not huge. Somewhat of a bagatelle (trifle). If this paper resolved the differences between the two, that is a nice, but minor.”

The book exploring solar influences, The Neglected Sun, considered six different solar cycles, each measured by their influence on Earth, not by counting sunspots. These influences include isotopes of Beryllium (Be10), Carbon (C14) found in ice cores, measurement of Alaska sea sediments, North Atlantic measurements of sediments from ice bergs, peat in China, stalagmites, etc. The authors of articles claiming that the revised counting implies the lack of solar influence commit the logical fallacy of a hasty generalization, at best. See links under Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?


Eagle Takes? The US District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that the Department of the Interior violated federal laws when it created a final regulation in 2009 allowing wind energy and some other companies to obtain 30-year permits to kill protected Bald and Golden Eagles without prosecution by the federal government. Among other issues, the Fish and Wildlife Service violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The violation of NEPA was cited by US District Court in Louisiana for ruling against a barrier system that was designed to protect New Orleans from flooding by Hurricanes such as Katrina. Expect a long fight against the ruling by the wind industry and its promoters in Washington. See link under Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind


Number of the Week: 926,900 tonnes. A report from China asserts the State Oceanic Administration said China has built a total of 112 seawater desalination plants by the end of 2014, producing 926,900 tonnes of fresh water per day. “In north China, desalted water is mainly used for water-intensive industries including electricity and steel in Tianjin, Hebei and Shandong, while in south China, desalted water is mainly for civilian needs covering the provinces of Zhejiang, Fujian and Hainan.

“Of the finished desalination plants, 63.35 percent are for industrial purposes, and the rest are for household water use…”

TWTW has not confirmed the claim using independent sources. Assuming 113 tons to 1 acre-foot, and 1 tonne equals 2,240 lbs, not 2,000 lbs, this amount converts to 91,870 acre-feet of fresh water per day or 113,275 megaliters per day. See link under Other News That May Be of Interest.



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. The Price Tag For Uprooting America’s Electric Grid

Electricity from existing coal plants costs $38 per megawatt-hour; from new wind facilities, $106.

By Thomas Pyle, WSJ, Aug 9, 2015


Link to study: What is the True Cost of Electricity?

Electricity from New Wind Three Times More Costly than Existing Coal

By Tom Stacy and George Taylor, Institute for Energy Research, Jun 30, 2015


Link to detailed study: The Levelized Cost of Electricity from Existing Generation Resources

By Tom Stacy and George Taylor, Institute for Energy Research, June, 2015


SUMMARY: Those promoting renewable power, such as solar and wind, frequently underestimate the actual cost by significant amounts. The president of the Institute for Energy Research writes: the “Institute for Energy Research released a first-of-its-kind study calculating the levelized cost of electricity from existing generation sources. Our study shows that on average, electricity from new wind resources is nearly four times more expensive than from existing nuclear and nearly three times more expensive than from existing coal. These are dramatic increases in the cost of generating electricity. This means that the premature closures of existing plants will unavoidably increase electricity rates for American families.” [Boldface in original]

“Almost all measures of the cost of electricity only assess building new plants–until now. Using data from the Energy Information Administration and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, we offer useful comparison between existing plants and new plants.


“America’s electricity generation landscape is rapidly changing. Federal and state policies threaten to shutter more than 111 GW of existing coal and nuclear generation, while large amounts of renewables, such as wind, are forced on the grid. To understand the impacts of these policies, it is critical to understand the cost difference between existing and new sources of generation.”


The author presents a table with estimates of costs of electrical generation by type, based on estimates from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

“Using data from the Energy Information Administration and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, they [the researchers] found that existing nuclear plants generate reliable electricity, on average, at $29.60 per megawatt-hour—one million watts expended for one hour. Existing hydro, coal and natural gas aren’t far behind, at $34.20, $38.40 and $48.90, respectively. These figures are derived from self-reported data the government collects annually from individual generators.”


“Still, the IER study is the first of its kind to compare the cost of electricity from existing sources with that of new sources. Previous studies only compared the cost of electricity from new sources. That is, if a new facility is being constructed, what technology can produce electricity over the life of the plant at the lowest cost? Now a price tag can be put on policies that force power plants to retire early.


“Given the new study’s cost data, state governments should think twice about working with the EPA. The agency has called on states to submit compliance plans, and the regulators intend to impose a federal plan on states that don’t. Either option will force states to uproot the electric grid, imposing economic hardships.”

“The American people deserve better. The nation’s existing coal, natural gas and nuclear power plants could continue to deliver reliable and affordable electricity for decades to come, if not for the EPA’s costly and disruptive climate agenda.”


2. The Green Scare Problem

Raising constant alarms—about fracking, pesticides, GMO food—in the name of safety is a dangerous game.

By Matt Ridley, WSJ, Aug 13, 2015


SUMMARY: Ridley repeats President Obama comments claiming stale arguments when defending the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon-dioxide reduction plan, which may do more harm than good. “The trouble is, we’ve heard his stale argument before, too: that we’re doomed if we don’t do what the environmental pressure groups tell us, and saved if we do. And it has frequently turned out to be really bad advice.”

“Making dire predictions is what environmental groups do for a living, and it’s a competitive market, so they exaggerate. Virtually every environmental threat of the past few decades has been greatly exaggerated at some point. Pesticides were not causing a cancer epidemic, as Rachel Carson claimed in her 1962 book “Silent Spring”; acid rain was not devastating German forests, as the Green Party in that country said in the 1980s; the ozone hole was not making rabbits and salmon blind, as Al Gore warned in the 1990s. Yet taking precautionary action against pesticides, acid rain and ozone thinning proved manageable, so maybe not much harm was done.


“Climate change is different. President Obama’s plan to cut U.S. carbon-dioxide emissions from electricity plants by 32% (from 2005 levels) by 2030 would cut global emissions by about 2%. By that time, according to Energy Information Administration data analyzed by Heritage Foundation statistician Kevin Dayaratna, the carbon plan could cost the U.S. up to $1 trillion in lost GDP. The measures needed to decarbonize world energy are going to be vastly more expensive. So we had better be sure that we are not exaggerating the problem.


“But it isn’t just that environmental threats have a habit of turning out less bad than feared; it’s that the remedies sometimes prove worse than the disease.”

Ridley supports his views by discussing the questionable attacks by environmental groups on genetically modified organisms (GMOs), neonicotinoid pesticides (in the EU bee populations are increasing), nuclear power, and hydraulic fracturing for shale gas.

“Many exaggerated early claims about the dangers of climate change have now been debunked. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has explicitly abandoned previous claims that malaria will likely get worse, that the Gulf Stream will stop flowing, the Greenland or West Antarctic Ice sheet will disintegrate, a sudden methane release from the Arctic is likely, the monsoon will collapse or long-term droughts will become more likely.”


“Indoor air pollution, caused mainly by cooking over wood fires indoors, is the world’s biggest cause of environmental death. It kills an estimated four million people every year, as noted by the nonprofit science news website, SciDev.Net. Getting fossil-fueled electricity and gas to them is the cheapest and quickest way to save their lives. To argue that the increasingly small risk of dangerous climate change many decades hence is something they should be more worried about is positively obscene.”



Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?

Book Review of The Neglected Sun: ‘Buy This Book, Our Future May Depend On It’

By Jim Lakely, Heartland.org, Jul 9, 2015, from geologist George Klein


Corrected sunspot history suggests climate change not due to natural solar trends

By Staff Writers, Phys.org, August 7, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Sunspot history suggests recent climate change not due to solar trends

By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), Aug 10, 2015


[SEPP Comment: The link to the research had little bearing on the article.]


Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts

By C. Idso, S. Idso, R. Carter, S. Singer Lead authors, NIPCC, 2014


Challenging the Orthodoxy

Validation Of A Climate Model Is Mandatory: The Invaluable work of Dr. Vincent Gray

Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball, WUWT, Aug 8, 2015


Link to book: The Global Warming Scam and the Climate Change Superscam

By Dr. Vincent Gray, Jun 5, 2015


Spin Cycle: Carbon Dioxide Is NOT “Carbon Pollution”

By Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger and Patrick J. Michaels, Cato, Aug 12, 2015


The Final Word on “The End of Doom”

By Easterbrook & Pielke & Darwall, Real Clear Books, Aug 9, 2015


[SEPP Comment: A different view of the book from each author.]

What Can Happen When Special Interests Capture Government Regulatory Agencies

By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, Aug 13, 2015


Defending the Orthodoxy

Hot Takes: The Top Climate Change Reporting of the Past Year

A compilation of some of the best journalism in the months leading up to Barack Obama’s historic action to address climate change.

By Marcelo Rochabrun, Pro Publica, Aug 11, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Questioning the Orthodoxy

Internal Climate Variability or Climate Warming?

By David Whitehouse, GWPF, Aug 14, 2015


Link to article, Has there been a hiatus?

By Kevin Trenberth, Science, Aug 14, 2015


‘It is becoming a trend in the journal Science – that of publishing articles stating that there is no ‘hiatus’ in annual average global surface temperature.”

Matt Ridley vs. Environmentalist Cassandras

By Bruce Edward Walker, Action Institute, Aug 14, 2015


In which Nature Climate validates my predictive models

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Aug 10, 2015


[SEPP Comment: A bit of humor on questionable claims, applies to the journal Science as well.]

On to Paris!

Australian target set at 26% reduction by 2030 — billions spent to reduce global CO2 emissions by 0.01%

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Aug 11, 2015


The Administration’s New Plan

Barack Obama’s quiet war on oil

The oil and gas industry is in the crosshairs of the administration’s eco-agenda, even if Shell gets its Arctic drilling permit.

By Elana Schor, Politico, Aug 14, 2015


The Administration’s New Plan – Independent Analysis

President Obama’s Clean Power Plan: All cost, no benefit

By Benjamin Zycher, AEI, Aug 5, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Which States Lose From the Changes to the EPA’s Clean Power Plan?

By Phillip Wallach, Brookings, Aug 5, 2015


Will the President’s Clean Power Plan save consumers money?

By Dave Rutledge, Climate Etc. Aug 10, 2015


Obama Targets GOP States With Costly CO2 Regulations

Editorial, IBD, Aug 11, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]



The Administration’s New Plan – Push-Back

Comments on the EPA CPP Regulation

By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, Aug 12, 2015


WSJ: Obama’s Climate Plan Will Increase Poverty & Redistribution

The EPA’s new anticarbon rule is full of redistribution to offset its harm to the poor.

Editorial, WSJ, Via The Hockey Schtick, Aug 12, 2015


Obama’s ‘Clean Power’ Absurdity

By Robert Tracinski, The Federalist, Aug 6, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Obama’s Clean Power Plan faces opposition from black, Hispanic leaders

By Ben Wolfgang, Washington Times, Aug 6, 2015


The president’s ‘Clean Power Plan’ is worse than you think

By Rick Moran, American Thinker, Aug 5, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Barack Obama’s climate hubris

By Betsy McCaughey, The Shreveport Times, Aug 7, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Dirty Facts Behind Obama’s Clean Power Plan

By Larry Bell, Newsmax, Aug 10, 2015


Dictatorial Powers

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Aug 14, 2015


Curbing global warming: Mission impossible?

By Robert Samuelson, Washington Post, Aug 9, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]


EPA’s Punitive, Fraudulent Clean Power Plan

By Paul Driessen, Townhall, Aug 8, 2015


Obama’s climate policy is ‘practically worthless,’ says Dr. James Hansen

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Aug 5, 2015


What’s next for the EPA’s ‘all pain, no gain’ Clean Power Plan?

By Doug Domenech, Washington Examiner, Aug 12, 2015


Obama’s Clean Power Plan: Solar Companies Win, Taxpayers Lose

By Marita Noon, Oil Pro, Aug 10, 2015


President Obama’s CO2 Plan Hurts Americans

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Aug 11, 2015


War on coal? Forget about it! It’s a war on natural gas

By Doug MacEachern, Arizona Republic, Aug 7, 2015


Social Benefits of Carbon

CO2-induced Greening of the Earth: Benefiting the Biosphere While Lifting the Poor out of Poverty

By Craig Idso, Cato, Aug 14, 2015


“At a fundamental level, carbon dioxide is the basis of nearly all life on Earth, as it is the primary raw material or “food” that is utilized by plants to produce the organic matter out of which they construct their tissues.

“Typically, a doubling of the air’s CO2 content above present-day concentrations raises the productivity of most herbaceous plants by about one-third; this positive response occurs in plants that utilize all three of the major biochemical pathways of photosynthesis.”

Sahara Desert Greening Due to Climate Change?

By James Owen, National Geographic News, Jul 31, 2015


“Half the models follow a wetter trend, and half a drier trend.”

[SEPP Comment: No doubt, increased atmospheric CO2 contributes to the greening.]

Problems in the Orthodoxy

Lawrence Solomon: Anglosphere leads on global warming

Recognizing its early mistakes, the English-speaking world is abandoning its infatuation with climate change theory

By Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post, Canada, Aug 7, 2015 [H/t GWPF]


Seeking a Common Ground

The adversarial method versus Feynman integrity

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Aug 12, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Current reminder of important fundamental principles of doing science.]

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science

Latitudinal Gradients in Turtle Species Richness, Size and Range

Angielczyk, K.D., Burroughs, R.W. and Feldman, C.R. 2015. Do turtles follow the Rules? Latitudinal gradients in species richness, body size, and geographic range area of the world’s turtles. Journal of Experimental Zoology (Molecular and Developmental Evolution) 324B: 270-294., Aug 12, 2015


Ocean Acidification and Warming (Effects on Corals: Laboratory Studies) – Summary

By Staff Writers, CO2 Science, Aug 11, 2015


“Although, much remains to be learned on this subject, it is clear that many corals will not succumb to the presumed negative impacts of rising temperatures and ocean acidification. And when adaptive and evolutionary responses are considered, it may be that few, if any, corals will actually suffer harm from increases in these two phenomena. In fact, many coral species could well benefit from the warmer ocean temperatures and higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations predicted for the years and decades ahead.”

The Evolution of Plants … Right Before Our Very Eyes (1992-2010)

Thomann, M., Imbert, E., Engstrand, R.C. and Cheptou, P.-O. 2015. Contemporary evolution of plant reproductive strategies under global change is revealed by stored seeds. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 28: 766-778., Aug 11, 2015


Can Coastal Marine Fish Evolve to Tolerate Ocean Acidification?

Malvezzi, A.J., Murray, C.S., Feldheim, K.A., DiBattista, J.D., Garant, D., Gobler, C.J., Chapman, D.D. and Baumann, H. 2015. A quantitative genetic approach to assess the evolutionary potential of a coastal marine fish to ocean acidification. Evolutionary Applications 8: 352-362, Aug 7, 2015


Model Issues

The Trouble with Global Climate Models

Guest essay by Rud Istvan, WUWT, Aug 9, 2015


Measurement Issues

History of temperature scales and their impact on the climate trends

Guest post by Peter Pavlásek, Variable Variability, Aug 11, 2015 [H/t GWPF]


An analysis of BEST data for the question: Is Earth Warming or Cooling?

Guest essay by Clyde Spencer, WUWT, Aug 11, 2015


The BOM: Homogenizing the heck out of Australian temperature records

There are adjustments on top of adjustments. Homogenised records are being used to correct raw records. Some man-made adjustments can infect data for miles around…

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Aug 12, 2015


BOM method finds more heatwaves in Antarctica than Marble Bar

The danger is in the definition

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Aug 10, 2015


Changing Weather

Time To Connect The Dots

By Tony Heller Real Science, Aug 14, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Repeating a ten year old op-ed by the New York Times.]

Changing Seas

August 2015 Update for The Blob

Guest Post by Bob Tisdale, WUWT, Aug 12, 2015


August 2015 ENSO Update – Another Westerly Wind Burst in Late July Should Help El Niño Evolve

Guest Post by Bob Tisdale, WUWT, Aug 10, 2015


El Nino could be strongest in modern history: US

By Staff Writers, Phys.org, Aug 13, 2015 [H/t Toshio Fujita]


[SEPP Comment: Strongest in 65 years?]

Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

Antarctic Glaciers Have Been Retreating For 6000 Years

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Aug 9, 2015


“I came across this paper which was published in 1960.”

2nd highest ice coverage for Hudson Bay since 1971 at mid-August – only 1992 higher

By Susan Crockfrod, Polar Bear Science, Aug 13, 2015


Arctic Ice Melt IS a natural cycle

By Geoff Brown, The Australian Climate Sceptics, Aug 11, 2015


OMG… Greenland’s ice sheets are melting fast

Nasa’s Oceans Melting Greenland study will deploy 200 robot probes to measure the full extent of Arctic climate change

By Robin KcKie, The Guardian, UK, Aug 9, 2015


This year’s walrus articles

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Aug 15, 2015


Acidic Waters

Are climate scientists doom-mongering? Bulk of research on impacts of ocean acidification is FLAWED, new study finds

By Colin Fernandez, Daily Mail, UK, Aug 6, 2015 [H/t GWPF]


Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine

How Agriculture Is Booming In Africa

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Aug 11, 2015


[SEPP Comment: If this is how global warming/climate change affects food production in Africa, Africa needs more of it. Data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, Statistics Division.]

The FCO misleads

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Aug 14, 2015


Link to the report: Extreme weather and resilience of the global food system

By Bailey, et al, The Global Food Security programme, UK, February, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Don’t bother with evidence supporting a threat to food security, just use computer modes, not validated, to forecast a threat.]

Un-Science or Non-Science?

How Humans Cause Mass Extinctions

By Paul and Anne Ehrlich, Project Syndicate, Aug 12, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Strongly question the premise of this essay by the co-authors with President Obama’s science advisor. He is co-author of the study cited as evidence. Paul R. Ehrlich is Professor of Population Studies, Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University. Anne H. Ehrlich is the associate director and policy coordinator of the Center for Conservation Biology, Stanford University.]

Link to paper by Celballos, Ehrlich, et al, Accelerated modern human–induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction

Science Advances, Jun 19, 2015


Life on Earth will look dramatically different by mid-century

By Tanya Lewis, Yahoo, Aug 5, 2015 [H/t Clyde Spencer]


[SEPP Comment: Basing claims on heavily manipulated surface data.]


Lowering Standards

Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Wind Power

By Liz Hartman, US Department of Energy, Breaking Energy, Aug 12, 2015


[SEPP Comment: The wind industry promotion piece does not mention the cost of backing up unreliable electricity.]

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

‘Climate culture’ versus ‘knowing disbelief’

By Andy West, Climate Etc. Aug 14, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Another false dichotomy. Recognizing that CO2-caused global warming advocates have failed to produce physical evidence supporting their beliefs and their insistence on government control on fossil fuel use is not ‘knowing disbelief’ but scientific skepticism.]

The Green Gulf Between Fact and Fancy

By John Slater, Quadrant, Aug 14, 2015


Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

Climate: butterflies on the brink, say study

By Marlowe Hood, Paris (AFP), Aug 10, 2015


In which Nature Climate validates my predictive models

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Aug 10, 2015


[SEPP Comment: A bit of humor on questionable claims immediately above.]

Gary Yohe’s fictional citation

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Aug 14, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Yohe was the coordinating lead author of the IPCC chapter, which he erroneously claims supports his views?]

Communicating Better to the Public – Go Personal.

Australian Psychology Society uses biases and fallacies to accuse skeptics of bias and fallacies

If psychologists want to be taken seriously, and want psychology to be called “a science”, they need to elect a director who knows what science is.

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Aug 14, 2015


Questioning European Green

In Poland, workers and windfarms sit idle [as the temperatures increase.]

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Aug 12, 2015


Funding Issues

Global Warming: A 1.5 Trillion Industry

By John Hinderaker, Power Line, Aug 9, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]


“One of the most lucrative segments of the global warming money tree is consulting:”

Litigation Issues

A Conservative Think Tank Wants The White House Science Czar’s Private Emails

By Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, Aug 11, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]



Climate fight shifts to courts

By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Aug 9, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]



Seventeen States Sue EPA for Mandating SIP Startup, Shutdown, Malfunction Changes

By Sonal Patel, Power Mag, Aug 12, 2015



Court accuses EPA of ‘filibustering’ on pesticide safety

By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Aug 11, 2015



Information on Cases against EPA and FWS and on Deadline Suits on EPA Rulemaking

By Staff Writers, GAO, Aug 4, 2015



Industry, States Set to Fight EPA Greenhouse Gas Rules – GWPF

Lawsuits would challenge rules requiring significant cuts in power-plant carbon emissions

By Brent Kendall and Amy Harder, WSJ, Via GWPF, Aug 9, 2015



Subsidies and Mandates Forever

Spain facing compensation bill of billions over renewables cuts

Government suffers first setback as arbitration court says it is competent to judge claims

By Rafael Mendez and Miguel Jimnez, El Pais, Jun 25, 2015 [H/t GWPF]


[SEPP Comment: The generation curve of solar energy does not to match energy demand. In other words, solar energy is generated during the day, when the sun shines, but Spain tends to use more electricity at night. Do the investors claim they could not understand the difference between day and night?]

Renewable Energy: Lobby’s Report More Fog Than Light

By Staff Writers, NCPA, Aug 5, 2015


Link to report: “Renewable Energy: Lobby’s Report More Fog than Light,”

By Jon Sanders, John Locke Foundation, June 4, 2015.


EPA and other Regulators on the March

Cronyism Lawsuit Against Energy Department’s $25 Billion Green Energy Program Advances

Federal judge rules ‘political favoritism’ lawsuit against DOE can proceed

By Joe Schoffstall, Washington Free Beacon, Aug 6, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]


EPA Launches ‘Environmental Racism’ Crusade

Editorial, IBD, Aug 13, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Apparently, the theme Environmental Justice was not selling. Now try Environmental Racism?

EPA Coal Rule Skirts Law: 10 Percent of Comments from Obama’s OFA

By Michael Patrick Leahhy, Breitbart, Aug 12, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]


EPA moves to fix air pollution rule after Supreme Court loss

By Timothy Cama, Aug 10, 2015


Obama seeks new air pollution limits for landfills

By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Aug 14, 2015


Three Signs the EPA/Army Corps Water Rule is a Disaster

By Daren Bakst, American Thinker, Aug 11, 2015


Energy Issues – Non-US

Green Madness: Freeze on Fracking Could Cost Scots Hundreds of Millions

By Mike Wade & Paris Gourtsoyannis, The Times , Via GWPF, Aug 13, 2015


Guest Post: Ian Plimer – Renewables in NSW [New South Wales, AU] produce 0.0% of all electricity generated

By Ian Plimer, Catallaxy Files, Aug 11, 2015 [H/t Australian Climate Sceptics]


Ministers ‘could take over fracking applications’ [in UK]

By Staff Writers, Press Association, Aug 13, 2015 [H/t GWPF]


Six climate headlines from 2009 that tell us something important about the run-up to the 2015 Paris climate conference

Same old scare stories, different decade.

By Larry Kummer, Editor of the Fabius Maximus website, from which this is reposted, WUWT, Aug 8, 2015


Washington’s Control of Energy

Administration approves oil exports to Mexico

By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Aug 14, 2015


Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Oil’s New Normal

By Mohamed A. El-Erian, Project Syndicate, Aug 14, 2015


“The dynamics of the energy markets changed notably as shale-oil production came onstream at a market-moving scale in 2013-2014. With this new source meeting more of world energy demand, particularly in the US, energy users were no longer as dependent on OPEC and other oil producers. In the process, they also became less vulnerable to geopolitical concerns.”

Oil at $30 Is No Problem for Some Bakken Drillers Cutting Costs

By Dan Murtaugh, Bloomberg, Aug 12, 2015


Return of King Coal?

National Academy Of Sciences Study Shows World’s Love Affair With “Stepping Stone To Prosperity” Growing!

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Aug 8, 2015


The Trick That’s Going to Keep America’s Coal Alive

By Mario Parker, Bloomberg, Aug 10, 2015


[SEPP Comment: The “trick” is using capital intensive equipment to cut the coal from the seams.]

Oil Spills, Gas and other Leaks & Consequences

EPA plans probes into Colo. mine waste spill

By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Aug 12, 2015


EPA Is “Upset” about Three Million Gallon Animas River Spill

By John Hinderaker, Power Line, Aug 12, 2015


“The issue here isn’t just schadenfreude, although it’s hard not to feel a bit of that. The issue is that government is inherently less accountable, less transparent and less responsive than private industry.”

EPA Treats Own Environmental Catastrophe As Ho-Hum

Editorial, IBD, Aug 11, 2015


The EPA is polluting our rivers. Where’s the outrage?

By Nicholas Staropoli, ACSH, Aug 7, 2015


Toxic spill from Colorado mine creeps through US southwest

By Robert MacPherson, Washington (AFP), Aug 11, 2015


Nuclear Energy and Fears

Cameron’s great white elephant

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Aug 12, 2015


First U.S. small modular reactor inches ahead

By Amy Gahran, Energy Biz, Jul 16, 2015 [H/t Bishop Hill]


Pain from Closing Vermont Yankee Lingers

By Meredith Angwin, Northwest Clean Energy, Aug 7, 2015


“When pressing for Vermont Yankee to be closed, Gov. Shumlin described the possibility of closing the plant as giving a ‘billion dollar bonanza’ to Vermont. What on earth was he thinking? There’s no billion-dollar bonanza. There’s a drop-off in employment, a killing of the local towns, and general misery.”

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

Bald and Golden Eagles Victorious: Court Invalidates 30-Year “Eagle Take” Rule (feds vs. federal law)

By Robert Johns, Master Resource, Aug 13, 2015


DOE Report Highlights Triumph, Trouble for Wind Power Sector

By Sonal Patel, Power Mag, Aug 12, 2015


Annual Report, Energinet.dk, 2014

By Peder Østermark Andrease, President and CEO, Energinet.dk, July 2015


Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other

New Zealand marks end to coal power

By Daniel J. Graeber, Wellington, New Zealand (UPI), Aug 6, 2015


“But significant market investment in other forms of renewable energy in recent years, particularly in geothermal, means that a coal backstop is becoming less of a requirement.”

Carbon Schemes

New EPA Regs Will Boost Oil Production—and Carbon Emissions

Agency expects new rule to boost oil extraction technique that critics say negates emissions reductions

By Lachlan Markeay, Washington Free Beacon, Aug 7, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]


[SEPP Comment: Doubtful.]

California Dreaming

How California’s Green Policies Create Energy Poverty

By Terry Jones, IBD, Aug 8, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Less Carbon, Higher Prices: How California’s Climate Policies Affect Lower-Income Residents

By Jonathan Lesser, Continental Economics, Manhattan Institute, July 2015


Health, Energy, and Climate

Here’s why that “184,000 deaths from soda” claim is bogus

By Gil Ross, ACSH, Aug 7, 2015


Oh Mann!

“A Disgrace to the Profession” The World’s Scientists own words on Mann and his Hockey Stick

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Aug 14, 2015


Mark Steyn’s new book on Michael Mann

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Aug 13, 2015


A review of Steyn’s scathing new book about Michael Mann: “A Disgrace To The Profession”

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Aug 11, 2015


Environmental Industry

Social licences [British spelling]

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Aug 10, 2015


The War on Coal Is Just the Beginning

The environmental movement isn’t going to stop at putting coal out of business.

By Peter Roff, US News, Aug 12, 2015


The Flabby Arms of Krupp (2)

By Steven Hayward, Power Line, Aug 13, 2015


Other Scientific News

A Scientific Look at Bad Science

What recent research says about fraud, errors, and other dismaying academic problems

By Bourree Lam, The Atlantic, September 2015 [H/t Clyde Spencer]


How Many Scientists Does It Take to Change a Lightbulb

By Steven Hayward, Power Line, Aug 12, 2015


The future of science will soon be upon us

The European Commission has abandoned consideration of ‘Science 2.0’, finding it too ambitious. That was the wrong call, says Colin Macilwain.

By Colin Macilwain, Nature, Aug 12, 2015


Other News that May Be of Interest

China desalinating massive amounts of water

By Staff Writers, China Daily, Aug 6, 2015 [H/t Toshio Fujita]


Alzheimer’s data dispute gets even more tangled

By Emily Underwood, Science Insider, Aug 7, 2015




Fracking Chemicals Linked to Cancer, According to New Report

By Environmental Working Group, EcoWatch, Aug 12, 2015 [H/t Climate Etc.]


[SEPP Comment: Typically, the chemicals have ordinary household uses. The “link to cancer” may only apply in California.]

Hero of the Global Warming Movement!

By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, From National Observer, Aug 11. 2015



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August 17, 2015 4:20 am

“Yet, the Administration remains ignorant and arrogant in the pursuit of its plan to force closure of coal-fired power plants and require new solar and wind generation, regardless of costs to the consumers.”
One presumes to know the Administration’s objectives. If the objective is to hobble American industry, to make the rest of the world more competitive, then it is a good plan.

August 17, 2015 8:11 am

I have crunched the numbers in a preliminary basis to see what the new US 2015 CLEAN POWER PLAN will mean to US in terms of lost steady state coal power generation and the addition of more intermittent solar and wind power to go to 28 % renewables ? Here is a first cut.
During 2013, United States electric net generation was 4,074 TWh and was broken down as follows
CONVENTIONAL (3540 TWh) or 87% {FUTURE 72 %} 15 % less
COAL 38.9 % {FUTURE 24 %}} 15 % less
NUCLEAR 19.4 %
RENEWABLES (534 TWh) or 13% {FUTURE 28%} 15 % more
HYDRO 6.6 %
WIND 4.1 % & SOLAR 0.5 % COMBINED TOTAL 4.6 % {FUTURE 19.5%} 15% more
Assuming that the mix between Conventional and Renewables is to be altered by 2030 to have 28 % Renewables instead of the current( 2013) 13.1 %, and assuming that the other power generators other than coal and wind and solar remain at generally the same % proportion, then the most probable change is that coal generated electrical production will have to drop to 24 % of the total generated compared with 38.9 % in 2013 , That is a reduction of 15/38.9 or 39 % from 2013 levels of coal generated power . This is a very significant part of US coal generated power that must be shutdown.
To raise the renewables to 28 % of total electrical generation by 2030, the most probable change is to raise the combined wind and solar generated power from the 2013 level of 4.6% of the total power generated to 19.5 % of the total generated power. If 28 % of 2013 generated power is to be produced via renewables then, the renewable load will go to 1141 TWh from 534 TWh. This is an additional 607 TWh. In 2013, 74,115 mw of solar and wind capacity produced of 188,737 GWh of energy. It will take 607,000/ 188,737 x 74,115 = 238, 000 MW or 3.2 times more solar and wind capacity if all of the extra generation were to come from solar and wind turbines. Of this total 82% is wind or about 195,000MW. At about 1.9 MW per turbine, this would mean about 102,000 more wind turbines than in 2013 (turbine pollution over the land?). A potential nightmare for grid operators, more brown and black outs and 3 times higher electricity costs( 30-40 cents per kwh) for consumers as has already happened in Germany, Denmark and Spain who have a high level of renewables. One cannot phase out 30-40 % of conventional power generation with a reliable capacity factor of 0.85 and replace it with inter mitten renewable power generation with a capacity factor of 0.25 and not have serious problems without additional proper back up generation.
In total, US will introduce 238,000 MW of more wind and solar capacity on top of their existing capacity of 74,115 MW for a total of 310,400 MW or 4.2 times more than Germany’s 72400 MW currently for wind and solar. Germany is already having problems with nearly 3000 grid corrections per year. US has more blackouts than the entire developed world. All these changes will just bring more problems for the US grid and will have negligible effect on US climate which is has been cooling since 1998 due to natural causes. What a waste of taxpayer’s hard earned money and the pollution of hundreds of thousand s of turbines across the land. These turbines will lose their power after 12-15 years and will all have to be replaced based on European experience.
Instead of mandating 28 % renewables or replacing the conventional and more reliable coal generated electricity with intermittent renewable wind and solar , US should consider instead the use of more natural gas or geothermal to replace coal if they insist in reducing the use of coal. This is what has been happening since 2000 where coal generated electricity generated 51.6 % and this dropped to 38.9 % by 2013, while natural gas generated power went from 15.8 % in 2000 to 27.3 % in 2013.

August 17, 2015 12:08 pm

Another critical piece of information about hidden costs that EIA does not include
The INSTITUTE FOR ENERGY RESEARCH in their report called HARD FACTS state
The American Tradition Institute conducted a study
to calculate wind’s “hidden costs”.241 They found
that when the hidden costs were taken into account,
including the cost of fossil fuel power as back-up
when the wind is dormant, the additional cost of
transmission that frequently occurs with wind farms
due to the inaccessibility of the best wind resources,
the cost of wind’s favorable tax benefits in
‘accelerated depreciation’, and a shorter estimated
life of a wind turbine of 20 years (versus 30 years
assumed in most cost estimates), the cost of wind
power is if natural gas is used to back-up the wind
energy or 19.2 cents per kilowatt hour if coal is used
as the back-up fuel.242 These costs are 1.7 to 2.2
times the 8.66 cents per kilowatt hour243 estimate the
EIA is using for generating electricity from wind in its models

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