The Week That Was: 2015-09-05 (September 5, 2015) Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project
By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
Divergence and the EPA: The August 28 TWTW discussed three forms of increasing divergence: 1) the surface temperatures record as reported by US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the atmospheric record; 2) the divergence between the global climate models and the atmospheric record; and 3) the divergence between what is being reported and discussed by the Climate Establishment and what is occurring in Nature.
Several readers inquired how do these forms of divergence impact on the US EPA’s Endangerment Finding (EF)? The EF is the EPA ruling that human emissions of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2), endanger human health and welfare. The ruling is critical to the Administration’s plan to regulate CO2 emissions from power plants, making the American public more dependent on unreliable and expensive solar and wind. As being witnessed in Europe, those countries with the greatest expenditures, “investments”, in solar and wind have the highest electricity costs to consumers, led by Demark and Germany.
As explained below, these forms of divergence weaken the already empirically weak evidence offered by the EPA for its endangerment finding. The weakening of evidence is particularly true for the non-existent “hotspot,” which the EPA erroneously claims is the distinct human fingerprint for CO2-caused global warming. [Note: since other greenhouse gases can be measured and regulated separately from CO2, and since CO2 cannot be separated, on a commercial scale, from emissions from fossil fuel-fired power plants, CO2 is the focus below.]
The hotspot is a pronounced warming centered over the tropics at an altitude of about 33,000 feet (10,000 meters). This region should show a greater rate of warming (warming trend) than the surface, but not higher temperatures. [In the lower atmosphere, temperatures decrease as altitude increases.] The issue is not the science of the hotspot, but its very existence. Where is it, can it be measured.
As discussed by Fred Singer in American Thinker in 2013 and 2014, in its Second Assessment Report (AR2-1996) the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) declared that a hotspot existed, without producing evidence of it. Subsequently, IPCC lead author Ben Santer of the USA, had a study published that showed the hotspot, but the researchers truncated the time series data, removed the 5 years beginning the period covered by observations and the 8 years ending the period. The removed data bring into question the existence of the hotspot. Santer also was a lead author of the 2006 report of the US Climate Change Science Project (US CCSP, now the US GCRP), which showed a hotspot in the models, but produced no physical evidence of its existence.
In its Endangerment Finding, the EPA produced no physical evidence of the existence of the hotspot. Further, with the divergence of atmospheric data from the surface data, which has been inflated to show a greater warming trend than before, it is doubtful if anyone can show the existence of a pronounced hotspot.
During the earlier litigation over EPA’s endangerment finding, the Chief Justice of the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the court of relevant jurisdiction, made it clear he would not tolerate any questioning of the EPA science. In general, the full court and the Supreme Court had a similar view.
However, the issue is not the scientific interpretation of a phenomena, but its very existence. The question is not the cause, but is it there? If the Federal Courts will not review if a pronounced warming trend exists, is there any physical evidence they will review? See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.
Quote of the Week: Reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled. Richard Feynman
Number of the Week: 54%
Please Note: Due to schedule conflicts, next week’s TWTW will be shorter than usual
Mann’s Nature Trick: During Climategate, the removal of data that conflicted with hockey-stick, which purported to show dramatic temperature increases during the 20th century, became known as Michael Mann’s Nature Trick – after the journal, Nature, which published Mr. Mann’s article. The removed data showed a decline in recent temperatures in one of the proxy datasets used. The hockey-stick was featured in the Third Assessment Report (AR3-2001). Thus, we have two successive IPCC reports that have glaring problems, which have not been adequately addressed by the Climate Establishment. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.
The Show: The United States is currently the chair of the Arctic Council, a group of the eight countries bordering the Arctic (Canada, United States, Denmark (Greenland), Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia.). The Council also has a dozen countries with permanent observer status, including China, India, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore.
On August 30 & 31, at the request of the US, officials of these countries attended a meeting titled Conference on Global Leadership in the Arctic: Cooperation, Innovation, Engagement, and Resilience (GLACIER). President Obama used the conference to promote his perceived need for swift action on climate change. China and India refused to sign a non-binding agreement to aggressively address climate change at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP-21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to be held in Paris from November 30 to December 11. Reports of whether or not Russia signed are conflicting. According to a report in The Diplomat, the inability of the President to have total support for a non-binding agreement may indicate difficulties at COP-21.
The President also used event to publicize his interpretation of global warming/climate change. One photo opportunity was the melting of ice in Glacier Bay, where ice has been melting since about 1750. The melting began before the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and major use of fossil fuels, which many blame to be the cause of global warming/climate change. As Patrick Moore, a Greenpeace co-founder, points out, the ice in Glacier Bay has been retreating and advancing for centuries. According oral tradition of the native “Huna Tlingit people, it is said that the glacier has advanced and retreated a number of times during their occupation of the area. Each time the glacier advanced they would move to the village of Hoonah in Icy Strait outside Glacier Bay. When the glacier retreated, many of them would move back into the bay. These multiple migrations were certainly caused by climate change, but it had nothing to do with human activity.”
Such photo opportunities may impress Mr Obama’s entourage of journalists, however they seem to have a diminishing impact on the American public as explained on the web site Fabius Maximus when discussing the fictitious 97% consensus on climate change and controversies regarding it. The author states: “Summary: This vignette illustrates important aspects of the climate change debate, and why it has failed to gain sufficient support from Americans to pass large-scale public policy measures. For two decades journalists and scientists have cooperated to produce political propaganda, exaggerating and misrepresenting the work of the IPCC. Their failure should inspire us, showing a resistance to manipulation greater than many people expected (it surprises me).”
The photo opportunities can be classified as propaganda. Edward Bernays, who helped sell World War I to Americans as necessary to keep the world safe for democracy, praised propaganda as needed to organize the habits and opinions of the masses. It is becoming evident that this target audience is journalists. See Article # 1 and links under Problems in the Orthodoxy, and Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda.
The Sun: European Physics News published an article by Henrik Svensmark, a co-founder of the hypothesis that cosmic rays, modulated by the sun, influences the climate on earth. In concluding the article, Svensmark asserts a consistency exists between, variations in cosmic ray flux and climate that warrants additional research.
Willie Soon, a target of those in Congress who organized a witch hunt, was a co-author of another article evaluating the role of solar variability on temperature trends in the Northern Hemisphere. Further, Climate Etc. links to a Russian article that uses data from deep boreholes to establish Earth’s surface temperatures for the past 1,000 years. The article suggests that, about 500 years ago, temperatures began rising from the Little Ice Age, not 150 years ago as usually assumed. That 1000 years ago it was warmer than today and the driving factor is natural, solar activity, not humans.
These studies contest the assertions by some in the climate establishment who consider the role of the sun to be trivial, and those who assert that recent warming must be from CO2 because they cannot think of anything else that would drive it. See links under Science: Is the Sun Rising?
Social Cost of Carbon: Nicholas Stern, of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, created a study on the economics of climate change that has had a significant impact on politics in the US and in the UK. The Stern review asserts that the benefits of strong, early action outweigh the costs of climate change. Among other tricks, it uses an average discount rate below 1.5%. Most politicians would be lost when such tricks are explained. In effect, a low discount rate inflates the apparent value of actions today, as compared with taking actions in the future. The US Government Accountability Office recommends a discount rate of 7%. A discount rate of 1.5% would be justified if the economy was in a depression.
Ruth Dixon of the University of Oxford wrote a review of Mr. Stern’s latest book. Why Are We Waiting? The Logic, Urgency and Promise of Tackling Climate Change. She quotes Stern as writing: ‘[t]o be effective, some economists and scientists may have to become directly involved in the processes of practical decision-making and advice. It is, of course, a challenge to do this and retain some objectivity, but the alternatives may be irrelevance or gross misuse of the work.’”
Some readers may recognize the argument as similar to the false dilemma presented by Stephen Schneider, which can be called the Schneider syndrome. By invoking it, Stern is essentially stating he knowingly misled the public as to the future cost of climate change in order to achieve the goal of actions today. See links under Lowering Standards.
NASA – Sea Level Rise: Last week TWTW linked to a press release by the NASA Sea Level Change Team announcing a dramatic rise in sea levels. A recent search of the internet failed to locate a study substantiating a dramatic rise. Other than the press release, TWTW located a report stating, in effect, sea level rise is dependent upon location – it may be rising faster than a world-wide average in some locations or even falling in other locations. There is nothing new here, and the importance of the location has been emphasized many times, including in the NIPCC Reports. Could the press release be in honor of the President’s show in Alaska? See links under Changing Seas
Number of the Week: 54% According to statistics compiled US Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agriculture Service, from the period 1986-89 to 2013-15 the world-wide average yield for wheat and coarse grains (essentially cereals except rice) grew from about 2.4 metric tons per hectare to about 3.7 metric tons per hectare, or about 54%. If this is the result of climate change, it is bountiful. So much for the US Global Change Research Program and other entities that predict starvation and death from climate change, and entities such as the US Department of Defense that predict mass refugees and conflicts due to starvation from climate change.
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. Obama’s Half-Baked Alaska
Yes, the glacier of Glacier Bay is receding—as it has from time to time for centuries.
By Patrick Moore, WSJ, Sep 3, 2015
SUMMARY: As stated above, the co-founder of Greenpeace states that the President ignored the oral traditions of the Huna Tlingit people on their movement in and out of Glacier Bay as the ice retreated and advanced.
Moore writes: “The fashionable tendency to blame every change in climate and every extreme-weather event on human emissions is doing a grave disservice to the scientific tradition. We know that the climate has been changing for millions of years due to a multitude of perfectly natural factors. There is no reason to believe that those factors have suddenly disappeared and [that] now humans are the all-powerful shapers of global climate destiny. Yet this entirely unproven hypothesis of catastrophe is compelling to those who would control our beliefs.
“Politicians want us to believe they are saving us from ruin; religious leaders want to reinforce original sin and the need for repentance; some business leaders want us to subsidize their expensive “green” technologies; and the climate activists want their money-machine to keep on giving.
“This powerful convergence of interests ignores the fact that carbon dioxide is essential for all life on Earth, that plants could use a lot more of it, and that the real threat is a cooling of the climate, not the slight warming that has occurred over the past 300 years.”
2. Big Solar’s Subsidy Bubble
Companies cash in on tax credits and ‘net-metering’ schemes.
Editorial, WSJ, Aug 30, 3015
SUMMARY: The author writes: “The Department of Energy’s Inspector General revealed last week that the legendary solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra—a poster baby of the Obama stimulus—lied to the feds to get a $535 million loan guarantee before going bust in 2011. Solyndra is a cautionary tale, but the Obama Administration is still throwing caution to the sun.”
Following a four year investigation: All evidence suggests that DOE was a willing victim. The IG notes that DOE loan officers felt “tremendous pressure” from the White House and Congress to rush through loan-guarantee applications. In their haste DOE officials failed “to ask specific questions, and require specific assurances” and overlooked major red flags.
“The larger problem is that the White House is more concerned with boosting the politically favored solar industry than protecting taxpayer dollars. More troubling, the solar industry may be growing too big to fail, and the Administration is assisting another taxpayer solar scam.”
“Solar installations increased 30% last year thanks partly to cheaper photovoltaic panels, but also a rush to cash in on the 30% federal investment tax credit that expires next year. The largest tax credit beneficiaries are big businesses like Wal-Mart and Google, solar-leasing companies and their investors. The financiers of SolarCity, which installs and leases rooftop panels, include Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and J.P. Morgan Chase —the guys Mr. Obama loves to hate.
“As the President dryly remarked, these businesses are “not doing this just out of altruism.” The real reason: Solar leases are a high-yield political investment.
“Here’s how this dubious business works. Solar-leasing companies install rooftop systems (which often cost tens of thousands of dollars) at no upfront consumer cost. Homeowners rent the panels for 20 years at rates that typically escalate over time but are initially cheaper than power from the grid. Investors get to pocket the myriad state and federal subsidies while homeowners are promised hundreds of dollars annually in savings on their electric bills.
“Sounds fantastic. The catch is that the teaser rates could shoot up if government subsidies are scaled back.”
“Maybe the biggest risk to solar profits is that many states are considering revising their net-metering policies, which are a key profit driver for the solar industry. These policies require utilities to purchase extra energy generated by residential and commercial solar installations—above and beyond what is used on their premises—at the retail power rate. This is often twice the wholesale price.
“The reason for the disparity is that the retail rate includes transmission, delivery and grid maintenance costs. Solar customers who depend on the grid to obtain power at night and sell their excess generation during the day skirt these costs. In doing so, they shift the costs of supporting the grid to other customers who must then pay more.”
“The solar industry’s top lobbyist Bryan Miller—who was the Department of Energy’s senior counsel while Solyndra was cashing in—threatened thousands of job cuts if the current net-metering rates weren’t extended. Vivint Solar, the U.S.’s second biggest panel installer, suspended operations in the state. All of this shows how dependent companies are on the regulatory subsidy.”
3, The EPA’s Next Big Economic Chokehold
Lowering ozone—from cars, trucks, factories and power plants—in the name of an imaginary health benefit.
By Tony Cox, WSJ, Sep 1, 2015
SUMMARY: The author writes: “This fall the Environmental Protection Agency plans to take its next grand regulatory step, following the announcement of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan over the summer. The agency is likely to introduce stringent new standards for ground-level ozone, arguing that a lower allowable level of ozone—an important component of smog—will reduce asthma in the U.S., among other claimed health benefits. Yet the EPA ignores decades of data and studies, some under the agency’s auspices, that reveal no detectable causal relation between past reductions in ozone and better public health, including reductions in asthma cases.
“The new regulation may be the most expensive ever for the U.S. economy—even worse than the Clean Power Plan’s effect on coal-fired power plants. Some studies, such as one published in August by National Economic Research Associates, estimate implementation costs of hundreds of billions of dollars a year in the short run, and trillions of dollars over the next two decades, as well as millions of lost jobs. Why would it be so costly? Because attacking ozone involves almost every facet of the economy—as the EPA notes, “automobiles, trucks, buses, factories, power plants” and “consumer products” all contribute to ground-level ozone.
“So it is important to be clear about what health benefits, if any, such costly reductions in ambient, or surrounding, ozone levels are known to cause.
“No one disputes that while average levels of ozone have fallen significantly across the nation since 2000, the number of asthma sufferers has increased. Yet advocacy and lobbying groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council and the American Lung Association claim that cutting ozone in the future will reduce asthma. The Obama White House blames increasing numbers of asthma patients on climate change.
“The National Institutes of Health lists neither climate change nor ozone as a cause of asthma. It notes that the exact causes are unknown, with excessive hygiene in childhood (and resulting underdeveloped immune systems) being investigated as a hypothesis. Assertions that ambient ozone causes asthma have been criticized by many state air-quality regulators, including those in Texas, Ohio, Indiana and South Dakota.
“Undaunted, the EPA forges on.”
“Fortunately, there is abundant historical data on ozone levels and asthma levels in U.S. cities and counties over the past 20 years, many of which have made great strides in reducing ambient levels of ozone by complying with existing regulations. It is easy to check whether adverse outcomes, from mortality rates to asthma rates, have decreased more where ozone levels have been reduced more. They have not. Even relatively large reductions in ozone, by 20% or more, have not been found to cause detectable reductions in deaths and illnesses from cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses, contrary to the EPA’s model-based predictions.
“How the EPA and society proceed when confronted with a divergence between optimistic model-based predictions and practical reality will say much about what role, if any, we collectively want science and objective analysis to play in shaping crucial environmental and public-health regulations.
“The cynical use of asthma patients to promote a pro-regulation political agenda that won’t actually help them undermines the credibility of regulatory science and damages the public interest.
“Mr. Cox is the editor in chief of the peer-reviewed journal Risk Analysis and on the faculty of the University of Colorado School of Public Health. His Denver-based company, Cox Associates, develops and applies causal analyses for improving health outcomes.”
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Science: Is the Sun Rising?
Cosmic Rays, Clouds and Climate
Henrik Svensmark, National Space Institute Technical University of Denmark, No Date (2015) [H/t Climate Etc.]
Reconstruction of the Earth’s surface temperature based on data of deep boreholes, global warming in the last millennium, and long-term solar cyclicity. Part 2. Experimental data analysis
By V. A. Dergachev, O. M. Raspopov, Geomagnetism and Aeronomy, Jun 2010 [H/t Climate Etc.]
Re-evaluating the role of solar variability on Northern Hemisphere temperature trends since the 19th century
By Willie Soon, Ronan Connolly, and Michael Connolly, Earth-Science Reviews, Sep 1, 2015 [H/t Climate Etc.]
The Ocean2K “Hockey Stick”
By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, Sep 4, 2015
“In making this criticism, I am influenced by my knowledge of the mining business, where promoters are strongly tempted to delay bad drilling results of a program in progress in the hopes that the program gets salvaged by a later hole. For investors and speculators, delayed publication of exploration results are generally a sign of bad results.”
[SEPP Comment: Addressing research behind headlines such as “1,800 years of global ocean cooling halted by global warming”]
The Enronization of Climate Science Revisited
By Robert Bradley, Jr. Master Resource, Sep 3, 2015
“The stories in Eichenwald’s book [on Enron] about [Andy] Fastow’s rage reminded me of [Michael] Mann’s rage – often exemplified in public, but now placed further into context by the Climategate letters.” “The comparison with Enron may also be helpful in placing Climategate into context.” – Steve McIntyre, February 2010
Challenging the Orthodoxy
IPCC ‘s Bogus Evidence for Global Warming
By S. Fred Singer, American Thinker, Nov 12, 2013
Climate Science Does Not Support IPCC Conclusions
By S. Fred Singer. American Thinker, Aug 15, 2014
The Lancet Commissions: Health and climate change: policy responses to protect public health
By D Weston Allen, Australian Climate Skeptics, Sep 3, 2015
[SEPP Comment: The author is a full-time general practitioner in Australia. The report by the Lancet Commission found dire consequences of climate change. It is significantly different than an article published in Lancet, about the same time, which found that cold weather kills about 17 times more people than hot weather. The executive summary of the former stated: “The direct effects of climate change include increased heat stress, floods, drought, and increased frequency of intense storms, with the indirect threatening population health through adverse changes in air pollution, the spread of disease vectors, food insecurity and under-nutrition, displacement, and mental ill health.” Boldface added.]
The Pause lengthens yet again
By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, WUWT, Sep 4, 2015
[SEPP Comment: There may be disagreement with the manner in which the temperature data is presented and its length, but not in the importance of no significant rise in temperatures.]
IPCC Confirmed Troposphere Should Warm Faster In 2007 Report
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Aug 31, 2015
Defending the Orthodoxy
By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, Sep 1, 2015
“The [IPCC WG II] report said that violent conflicts, food shortages and serious infrastructure damage were also predicted to become more widespread over the coming years.” Daily Mail, Mar 31, 2014 [Boldface added]
Climate Change Means One World’s Death and Another’s Birth
By Lizzie Wade, Wired, Sep 1, 2015
Questioning the Orthodoxy
A New View on Climate Change
By Climate Study Group, AU, April 2015
Climate Alarm Industry Is Scientifically Bankrupt
By Larry Bell, Newsmax, Aug 31, 2015
Climate issues we need to address
Guest essay by Paul Driessen, WUWT, Aug 30, 2015
NOAA Data Show Outgoing Long Wave Infrared Radiation Higher This Decade – Planet Cools Slightly!
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, From Robin Pittwood, Sep 2, 2015
Tracking polar bears – two S. Beaufort bears spent August 2015 on ice that doesn’t exist
By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Sep 2, 2015
[SEPP Comment: In proclaiming warming of the Arctic, did Mr. Obama’s followers realize this?]
When is Climate Change Science not a science?
By Bob Brinsmead, Australian Climate Skeptics, Sep 3, 2015
“# 10. When it becomes dependent on Government support and fails to maintain a prudent separation of Science and State.”
The China – US Agreement?
China passes new pollution law, sets sights on coal consumption cap
By David Stanway and Kathy Chen, Reuters, Aug 29, 2015
On to Paris!
Countdown to Paris
By Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance, Sep 4, 2015
“The danger is that the pressure for a deal means negotiators use ‘facts’ such as the anecdotal increase in extreme weather, the projected consequences of future temperature rise from deeply flawed global climate models and misleading statistics about the rise in insured losses due to weather damage. The global community is likely to regret an agreement which is costly, inefficient and ineffective. It’s time to step back and look at the bigger picture.”
[SEPP Comment: Examining the possible negotiating positions of three separate groups of participants.]
PM Modi urges ‘climate justice’ ahead of Paris meet
By Staff Writers, Times of India, Sep 3, 2015
What’s On the Table at Bonn Climate Talks?
By David Waskow, World Resources Institute, Aug 27, 2015 [H/t GWPF]
An emergency meeting for 40 world leaders to do climate deals? The real “Paris” negotiation?
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Sep 1, 2015
[SEPP Comment: See link immediately above.]
Climate negotiators ‘frustrated’ over snail’s pace
By Staff Writers, AFP, No Date
The Administration’s Plan
EPA climate rule could take two more months to become official
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Aug 31, 2015
[SEPP Comment: Is it delaying publication in the Federal Register to delay litigation?]
The Administration’s Plan – Independent Analysis
Skyrocketing Electric Rates Version 2.0: The Major Problem
By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, Sep 3, 2015
Even if you buy the science, the policy still fails
By Ross McKitrick, The Hill, Aug 27, 2015
The Administration’s Plan – Push-Back
Clean Power Plan: Acid Rain Part 2?
By Ross McKitrick, Real Clear Energy, Aug 26, 2015
“It is wishful thinking to suppose that warnings about the costs of cutting CO2 emissions can be ignored, always and everywhere, just because some early estimates of SO2 control costs were too high, over some intervals.”
[SEPP Comment: More EPA folly – equating the administration’s power plan with sulfur dioxide reduction. McKitrick discusses that the options available for SO2 reduction are not available for CO2 reduction.]
EPA’s clean power fraud
The agency’s plan will do little good and much damage
By Paul Driessen, Washington Times, Aug 31, 2015
The Administration’s Junket – Arctic
U.S. Gets Frozen Out of the Arctic
By James Loy, Bloomberg, Aug 31, 2015
Amid Military Monsters, Obama Chases Junk-Science Chimera
Editorial, IBD, Sep 3, 2015
Climate Change Stars In Obama’s Alaska Theater Of The Absurd
Editorial, IBD, Sep 2, 23015 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Obama Is Ignoring the Science on Climate Change
Katie Tubb, Daily Signal, Sep 1, 2015
Obama Fixates On Climate, Ignores Faltering Economy
Editorial, IBD, Aug 31, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Obama: Climate change threatens to ‘wipe out’ American towns
By Barbara Boland, Washington Examiner, Aug 29, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Obama Warns of Planet Beyond Repair: ‘Submerged Countries. Abandoned Cities. Fields No Longer Growing’
By Melanie Hunter, CNS News, Sep 1, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Obama: ‘…As We Push Our Economy and the World to Ultimately Transition Off Fossil Fuels’
By Staff Writers, CNS News, Aug 29, 2015
Social Benefits of Carbon
Trillions and Trillions of Trees make that ‘giant sucking sound’ of CO2 from the atmosphere
By P Wilson, WUWT, Sep 3, 2015
Link to paper: Global count reaches 3 trillion trees
Approach combines ground-based surveys with satellite imaging to find higher density than anticipated.
By Rachel Ehrenberg, Nature, Sep 2, 2015
“Around 15 billion trees are cut down each year, the researchers estimate; since the onset of agriculture about 12,000 years ago, the number of trees worldwide has dropped by 46%.”
Problems in the Orthodoxy
Why Did China Opt Out of the Arctic Climate Change Statement?
China’s decision sends a worrying signal that U.S.-China tensions will impact climate change negotiations.
By Shannon Tiezzzi, The Diplomat, Sep 1, 2015 [H/t GWPF]
India hits out at West over climate change
By Staff Writers, Z News, India, Aug 28, 2015
India’s post-2020 climate plan in disarray
India delays its national climate plan as the world’s third-largest emitter struggles to meet earlier pledges on cutting emissions intensity
By Joydeep Gupta, India Climate Dialogue, Sep 2, 2015 [H/t GWPF]
Australia, New Zealand defend climate plans, say face high costs
By Alister Doyle, Reuters, Sep 1, 2015 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
World on track for warming ‘far above’ 2C target: analysts
By Mariette Le Roux, AFP, Sep 2, 2015 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
[SEPP Comment: For those who continue to believe the global climate models!]
Seeking a Common Ground
Hurricanes and global warming: 10 years post Katrina
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Aug 30, 2015
“So . . . another 10 years, what will that bring? Well, this time I won’t predict that this will be sorted out in another 10 years.”
Who Will Suffer Most from Climate Change?
By Bill Gates, Project Syndicate, Sep 1, 2015
Models v. Observations
Where Is the Top Of The Atmosphere (TOA)?
Guest opinion: Dr. Tim Ball, WUWT, Aug 29, 2015
Column: Forecasts Have Improved in the 10 Years Since Katrina, And We Hope Messaging Has Too
By Peter Neilley, The Weather Company, Aug 24, 2015
Hottest Year? Not According To Satellites
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Aug 30, 2015
[SEPP Comment: Shows the close correspondence between UAH calculations and RSS calculations. Note, the zero base is different.]
How fast is the Earth warming?
Guest essay by Sheldon Walker, WUWT, Aug 28, 2015
Roy Spencer On Satellite v Surface Temperature Data
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Aug 30, 2015
[SEPP Comment: Worth reviewing now that NOAA, NASA, HadCRUT, and mass journalists are enthralled with recently revised surface temperatures, which are less reliable than before.]
Obama Longest-Serving President Not to See a Major Hurricane Strike U.S.
By Barbara Hollingsworth, CNS News, Aug 27, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Ten years after Katrina: let’s learn from those predictions of more & bigger hurricanes
Guest essay by Larry Kummer., WUWT, Aug 27, 2015
Another Cold Summer! [UK—That the Met Failed to Predict]
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Sep 3, 2015
Soggy summer was impossible to predict, says Met Office
The Met Office admitted that long term forecasts are ‘still in their infancy’ after it emerged parts of the UK had faced the wettest summer ever despite predictions for a dry, hot season
By Sarah Knapton, Telegraph, UK, Aug 31, 2015
Strongest El Nino Since 97/98 Says BoM
By Staff Writers, Reporting Climate Science, Sep 1, 2015 [H/t GWPF]
Ancient cold period could provide clues about future climate change
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Sep 2, 2015
[SEPP Comment: If the North Atlantic Current stopped circulating, why?]
Global Regional Trends Comparison (4 Main Regions, various subregions)
By Staff Writers, NOAA, Tides and Currents, Accessed Sep 4, 2015
Sea Level Rise Alarm Turned Off? NOAA: “Absolute Global Sea Level Rise Is Believed To Be 1.7 – 1.8 Millimeters/Year”!
By P Gosselin No Tricks Zone, Aug 30, 2015
On NASA’s recent sea level claim: “Science Isn’t Broken” (Except when it is
Guest post by David Middleton, WUWT, Aug 28, 2015
Sea Level Rise Only Matters At The Coasts
By David A. Burton, No Tricks Zone, Sep 3, 2015
The fingerprints of sea level rise
By Staff Writers, Science Daily, Source, NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Aug 26, 2015
Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice
Current Surface Mass Budget of the Greenland Ice Sheet
By Peter Langden, Danish Climate Centre, DMI, Accessed Sep 2, 2015
Guest post: The state of the Greenland ice sheet in 2015
By Ruth Mottram and Peter Langen from the Danish Meteorological Institute, The Carbon Brief, Sep 4, 2015
Ice sheets may be more resilient than thought, say Stanford scientists
Stanford study suggests that today’s ice sheets may be more resilient to increased carbon dioxide levels than previously thought.
By Miles Traer, Press Release, Stanford Report, Sep 3, 2015 [H/t GWPF]
link to paper: Oxygen isotope mass-balance constraints on Pliocene sea level and East Antarctic Ice Sheet stability
By Winnick and Caves, Geology, Aug 21, 2015
NASA’s summer research on sea level rise in Greenland
By Staff Writers: NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Aug 28, 2015
Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine
Production, Supply and Distribution Online
By Staff Writers, USDA, Sep 11, 2015
Germany Rightly Skewered for GMO Nonsense; Kudos for WSJ
By Gil Ross, ACSH, Aug 31, 2015
Book Review for the Journal of Economic Psychology
By Ruth Dixon, Univ of Oxford, Aug 25, 2015
Why Are We Waiting? The Logic, Urgency and Promise of Tackling Climate Change. By Nicholas Stern,
Ins and outs of the ivory tower
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Sep 3, 2015
“This is the strongest, and most cogently made, argument that I’ve seen against political advocacy by academics related to their subject of expertise.”
Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?
Another claimed tipping point: ocean cyanobacteria will go into ‘overdrive’ and can’t stop
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Sep 1, 2015
Link to paper: Irreversibly increased nitrogen fixation in Trichodesmium experimentally adapted to elevated carbon dioxide
By Hutchins, et al, Nature Communications Sep 1, 2015
Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
Quote of the week: Obama’s Climate Claim in Alaska
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Sep 2, 2015
“If we do nothing, Alaskan temperatures are projected to rise between six and twelve degrees by the end of the century.”
Warming Seas and Melting Ice Sheets
By Staff Writers, Pasadena CA (JPL), Aug 27, 2015
“For thousands of years, sea level has remained relatively stable and human communities have settled along the planet’s coastlines.”
[SEPP Comment: Not according to detailed rises in sea levels have risen about 400 feet (120 meters) since the maximum extent of the last ice age. Most of the rise was early, but there has been gradual rise for about 4000 years.]
Greenhouse gases caused glacial retreat during last Ice Age
Press Release, Oregon State University, Aug 21, 2015
“A recalculation of the dates at which boulders were uncovered by melting glaciers at the end of the last Ice Age has conclusively shown that the glacial retreat was due to rising levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, as opposed to other types of forces.” [Boldface added.]
Greenhouse gases caused glacial retreat during last Ice Age
By Staff Writers, Corvallis OR (SPX), Aug 25, 2015
[SEPP Comment: See link immediately above.]
Kerry Compares Climate Change to WWII: ‘Different in Character,’ But Same ‘Potential to Do Harm’
By Bridget Johnson, PJ Media, Aug 31, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]
“The threat posed by climate change is obviously entirely different in character. But it is not different in its global reach or its potential to do harm.”
UWA and @PsychScience look the other way on Lewandowsky’s use of minors without consent in his “Conspiracist Ideation” and “Moon Landing” paper
By Psychologist Dr. Jose Duarte, WUWT, Sep 1, 2015
Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda
EU funds climate propaganda
By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Aug 31, 2015
Politifact tells us about American politics and science. We should listen.
By Staff Writer, Fabius Maximus, Sep 4, 2015
Expanding the Orthodoxy
Ocean Acidification: The Little-known Impact of CO2 Emissions
By Michael Amdi Madsen, IAEA Office of Public Information and Communication, Sep 4, 2015
Expanding the Orthodoxy – The Pope
California’s Governor at Vatican to share insights on combatting climate change
By Staff Writers, Vatican Radio, Jul 20, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]
“The issues of climate change and human trafficking are under the spotlight in the Vatican on Tuesday, during a workshop of mayors from around the world who’ve come to discuss their commitment to tackling these two closely related problems,”
[SEPP Comment: The earth experienced climate change long before human slavery existed. Therefore the first causes the second? Boldface added.]
Questioning European Green
The wisdom of the man in Whitehall
By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Sep 3, 2015
Denmark’s Government Readies U-Turn on Ambitious Climate Targets
By Peter Levring, Bloomberg, Sep 1, 2015
“Denmark’s widening budget deficit is forcing its policy makers to take some hard decisions in the very area where they are considered global role models: the fight against climate change.”
German Handelsblatt: German Households Getting Crushed By Green Energies To The Tune Of 28 Billion Annually!
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Aug 29, 2015
Germany’s Green Energy Revolution Fails Its Climate Goal
By Daniel Wetzel, Die Welt, Via GWPF, Sep 3, 2015
Toothless targets in EU’s renewables project
The devil is in the details as the EU tries to figure out how to reach 2030 targets.
By Anca Gurzu, Politico.EU, Sep 3, 2015 [H/t GWPF]
Court vacates lesser prairie chicken’s threatened status
By Devin Henry, The Hill, Sep 2, 2015
Dutch double down on emissions ruling
Court verdict could undermine the government’s ability to set policy.
By Kalina Oroschakoff, Politico, Sep 1, 2015
German Court Strikes Down Wind Turbine Project, Citing “Disfigurement Of The Natural Scenery”!
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Sep 4, 2015
Federal Judge Thwarts Implementation of “Expansive” EPA Final Waters of U.S. Rule
By Sonal Patel, Power Mag, Aug 28, 2015
Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes
The Case Against a Carbon Tax
Robert P. Murphy, Patrick J. Michaels, and Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger, Cato, Sep 4, 2015
“Yet the computer simulations used to generate SCC [Social Costs of Carbon] estimates are largely arbitrary, with plausible adjustments in parameters — such as the discount rate — causing the estimate to shift by at least an order of magnitude. Indeed, MIT economist Robert Pindyck considers the whole process so fraught with unwarranted precision that he has called such computer simulations “close to useless” for guiding policy.”
Subsidies and Mandates Forever
Windmill Construction Declines With Changes in ITC
By Editors, Real Clear Energy, Sep 2, 2015
[SEPP Comment: Replacing the “cash” subsidy with an actual tax credit had significant consequences.]
EPA and other Regulators on the March
Clearing Itself, EPA Again Weakens Public’s Trust
By Nicholas Staropoli, ACSH, Aug 27, 2015
Energy Issues – Non-US
The Perils of Being a Petrostate
By Editors, Real Clear Energy, Sep 3, 2015
[SEPP Comment: Illuminating graphs on Russia and a ranking of petrostates.]
Resilience of shale and disappointment of OPEC
By Staff Writers, Arab Times, Aug 30, 2015 [H/t GWPF]
‘Fracking is great opportunity’
Staff Writers, The Gazette, UK, Sep 1, 2015
Energy Issues — US
By Norman Rogers, American Thinker, Aug 29, 2015
Feds: Oil exports could lower gas prices
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Sep 1, 2015
Link to report: Effects of Removing Restrictions on U.S. Crude Oil Exports
By Staff Writers, EIA, Sep 2015
PSC approves FPL plan to save customers millions of dollars by acquiring and phasing out coal-fired power plant
– FPL customers expected to save more than $70 million
– Nearly 1 million tons of carbon emissions to be avoided annually
Press Release, Florida Power and Light, Aug 27, 2015 [H/t Toshio Fjuita]
[SEPP Comment: The savings are to come from an expected shift to natural gas in 2017 and increased use of reliable nuclear and unreliable solar.]
Washington’s Control of Energy
Reduced offshore share in U.S. oil and natural gas production lowers risk from hurricanes
By Staff Writers, EIA, Aug 28, 2015
Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
US Drillers Unleash ‘Super-Size’ Shale Gas Output
By Russell Gold, WSJ, Via GWPF, Sep 3, 2015
Sorry Naysayers, But America’s Oil Supply Is Inexhaustible
By Stephen Moore, IBD, Sep 2, 2015 [H/t Paul Redfern]
[SEPP Comment: Inexhaustible is an over-statement.]
‘Supergiant’ gas field discovered in Mediterranean
Italian oil giant Eni says field off Egypt’s coast holds equivalent of 5.5bn barrels of oil
By James Titcomb, Telegraph, UK, Aug 30, 2015
Return of King Coal?
How Japan pushes coal on the world
While the U.S. backs away from its dirtiest power source, its closest ally in Asia is building, selling and financing coal plants worldwide.
By Darius Dixon, Politico, No Date
Nuclear Energy and Fears
After delays, Finland’s showcase nuclear reactor to face tests
By Anne Kauranen, Eurajoki, Finland (AFP) Sept 2, 2015
Nuclear Is Still the Lowest Cost Option, says IEA/NEA Report
By Sonal Patel, Power Mag, Sep 1, 2015
Link to study: “Projected Costs of Generating Electricity”
By Staff Writers, IEA, and NEA of the OECD, 2015
“As a result, at a 7% discount rate the median value of nuclear is close to the median value for coal, and at a 10% discount rate the median value for nuclear is higher than that of either [combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT)] or coal. These results include a carbon cost of USD 30/tonne, as well as regional variations in assumed fuel costs.” [Boldface added]
“However, consistent with the fact that nuclear technologies are capital intensive relative to natural gas or coal, the cost of nuclear rises relatively quickly as the discount rate is raised,” the report notes. At a 10% discount rate, the range, for example, is pushed up to $51/MWh in South Korea and $136/MWh in the UK.
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind
The Dutch Railway Could Run Solely on Wind Power By 2018
By Bryan Lufkin, Gismodo, Aug 31, 2015
[SEPP Comment: Even in the source of the articles there is no discussion of back-up power when the wind fails.]
The Solar Revolution That Wasn’t
Concentrated solar plants are a relatively new technology that has the potential to provide hundreds of thousands of homes with clean energy. So why hasn’t it caught on?
By Ani Ucar, Pacific Standard, Sep 1, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Study: Wind farms offer diminishing returns as they grow more widespread
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Aug 31, 2015
US Wind Energy Stuck in the Doldrums
By Staff Writers, The American Interest, Sep 1, 2015
Wind Farm Investment Plunges With Power Prices in Nordic Region
By Anna Hirtenstein Rachel Morison, Bloomberg, Sep 4, 2015
“The Nordic region has the lowest electricity prices in Europe and some of the highest reliance on renewables.”
[SEPP Comment: To consumers, Denmark has among the highest electrical prices in Europe.]
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other
Wood burners [stoves] ‘worse than cars’ for contaminating air
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Sep 2, 2015
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles
Streetcar Projects Suffer a Bumpy Ride
By Staff Writers, NCPA, Sep 3, 2015
California Plays with Cap-and-Trade Monies (Steyerland redistributionism)
By Allen Brooks, Master Resource, Sep 2, 2015
“Over the past year, the cost of electricity for California residents increased by 5.2% versus a national average that rose 0.8%. If you are a business or industrial user of electricity in California, your May power bill was 42% or 64%, respectively, above the national average. We suspect power costs in California are going nowhere but up given the mandates in this clean energy plan.”
California’s Katrina Is Coming
By Nick Stockton, Wired, Sep 1, 2015 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
Greens, civil rights groups team up on ozone rule
By Devin Henry, The Hill, Sep 3, 2015
Other Scientific News
Evidence of ancient life discovered in mantle rocks deep below the seafloor
By Staff Writers, Cape Cod MA (SPX), Sep 03, 2015
First global antineutrino emission map highlights Earth’s energy budget
By Staff Writers, College Park MD (SPX), Sep 02, 2015
Other News that May Be of Interest
A brush with The Law
Sod’s law: The going wrong always occurs at a time that causes maximum inconvenience.
By John Brignell, Number Watch, September 4, 2015
Survival in the Age of EMP
By Norman Rogers, American Thinker Sep 3, 2015
Met Office sacked by the BBC – but the truth is even odder
The bulk of the data used by the winning bidder will still have to be supplied by the UK Met Office anyway…
By Christopher Booker, Telegraph, UK, Aug 29, 2015 [H/t GWPF]
Scientists Replicated 100 Psychology Studies, and Fewer Than Half Got the Same Results
The massive project shows that reproducibility problems plague even top scientific journals
By Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian, Aug 27, 2015 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
The advantage of short paper titles
By Adrian Letchford, Helen Susannah Moat, Tobias Preis, The Royal Society, Open Science, Aug 26, 2015 [H/t Climate Etc.]
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
Climate to cause lesser of two weevils, says offbeat study
By Staff Writers, AFP, Sep 1, 2015 [H/t Clyde Spencer]