Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #200

The Week That Was: 2015-10-10 (October 10, 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)

Ozone: Writing in American Thinker, physician Charles Battig of the Virginia Scientists and Engineers for Energy and Environment (VA-SEEE) produces an effective critique of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new standards for ground level ozone, which was released on October 1, 2015. The EPA press release states: “Based on extensive scientific evidence on effects that ground-level ozone pollution, or smog, has on public health and welfare, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has strengthened the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone to 70 parts per billion (ppb) from 75 ppb to protect public health. The updated standards will reduce Americans’ exposure to ozone, improving public health protection, particularly for at risk groups including children, older adults, and people of all ages who have lung diseases such as asthma. Ground-level ozone forms when nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) react in the air.”

Dr. Battig’s critique makes clear that the science involved is more imaginary than empirical. The concept of “premature deaths” is speculative and virtually any death can be called premature. He cites studies using real-world patients that do not validate EPA’s claims and states: “Surely smoggy air must be unhealthy. It must be, because it looks so bad. The poster child for such smoggy air is Shanghai, China, where newspaper pictures depict a yellow haze obscuring the visibility of buildings. However, the average lifespan there is 82.5 years, bettering the reported lifespan in any major U.S. city.” [Note that Chinese lifespans are based on statistics from China, and the differences may be cultural as well as based on exposure.]

Battig also emphasizes that EPA’s claims of health benefits in reduced asthma deaths are not substantiated and the root cause of asthma is not known. If frequency of diagnosis demonstrates cause, then cleaner air is causing asthma. Similarly, the dollar amounts placed on the benefits from these regulations cannot be substantiated.

It continues to appear that the Administration is indifferent to the credibility of the EPA that was established, in part, by dedicated civil servants in the past. See links under The Administration’s Plan, and The Administration’s Plan – Independent Analysis.


Ozone & Oil and Natural Gas: In an analysis prior to EPA’s announcement of new ozone standards, Mr. James McCarthy of the Congressional Research Service may have identified a motivation for the new standards. Using 2011-2013 data, which is spotty, 358 counties of the roughly 3,000 US counties will go out of compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone. Exactly how many oil and gas producing areas will become out of compliance with the 70 parts per billion rule remains to be determined.

Note: The EPA analysis also states that: “the Supreme Court held in a unanimous 2001 (Whitman v. American Trucking Assns.) decision that cost and technological feasibility are not to be considered by EPA when setting primary NAAQS standards. The agency and the states may consider cost, however, in determining how they will meet the standards.” See links under The Administration’s Plan – Independent Analysis.


Quote of the Week: “The thing that doesn’t fit is the thing that’s the most interesting: the part that doesn’t go according to what you expected.” Richard P. Feynman


Number of the Week: $8,938,547 per Bird?


“Clean Power” and Efficient Power: Word has reached some members of Congress that the most efficient use of thermal power plants is using the waste heat from power plants for office and residential heating. Of course, this has been known for over 100 years when John Insull, and others, began to electrify urban areas such as Chicago. Apparently, believing it a new idea, some members of Congress have introduced the Efficiency and Resiliency Act (POWER Act) to give 30 percent tax credits for the installation of combined heat and power (CHP) and waste heat to power (WHP) facilities. But, tax credits will not create power plants in urban areas, where the waste heat can be effectively used, or in the South where the heat is not needed for most of the year.

Assume proposing building a new power plant in an urban area. Many urban areas are out of compliance with National Ambient Air Quality Standards for reasons other than ozone, triggering stringent regulatory demands. Further, any new power plant in an urban area will be condemned by local citizens. Articles supporting the idea cite a few, limited examples where the combined facilities work, based on expansion of existing facilities. But, the concept is not a major energy breakthrough. See link under Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy – Other.


Sierra Club: The Sierra Club is opposed to coal-fired power plants and has received over $20 million from the former head of Chesapeake Energy, a natural gas firm. Now, the Club is a leader in opposing natural gas, which is replacing coal as the leading fuel source for electricity. In a hearing, Senator Ted Cruz addressed some clear questions to the president of the Sierra Club, particularly regarding global warming based on temperature trends from satellite data base, the most comprehensive data source for global temperatures. Politely, one can say that Mr. Aaron Mair, the president of the Sierra Club, was confused about global temperature trends, which provide the basis of claims that carbon dioxide from fossil fuels endanger human health and welfare.

Near the end, Mr. Mair resorted to reciting statements that “97% of scientists …” Based on the papers SEPP has reviewed in establishing the 97%, it is a reflection of the biases of those writing the papers and 97% should be regarded as a slogan, not science. See links under Environmental Industry.


“Unprecedented” Floods: Another term that has become more a slogan than meaningful is the use of “unprecedented” when describing significant weather events, such as the recent floods in South Carolina, or France. With weather events, often a record set in one location is not a record in a nearby location. Thus, those who use “unprecedented” in describing the general area commit the logical fallacy of a hasty generalization.

Fortunately, some bloggers, such as Paul Homewood in the UK, take the time to examine past records. Often, they find specific examples where the new “record” was exceeded in the past, if not for that location, then nearby. No doubt, the heavy recent rains in South Carolina were very damaging, but much of eastern South and North Carolina and Georgia is very flat. Eastern South Carolina was settled largely for rice farming and is called “low country” for a reason (with adjoining North Carolina and Georgia). It was not until the 1930s to 60s that federal government programs encouraged damming rivers and draining much of the bogs and swamps, which were a health hazard (including malaria). The general slope of the land was not significantly changed; thus, heavy rains drain poorly. See links under Changing Weather.


BP Settlement: British Petroleum and the federal government have reached a $20.8 billion dollar settlement over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A consent decree was filed in federal court in New Orleans Monday morning outlining the settlement terms. According to reports, the $20.8 billion is the biggest pollution penalty in U.S. history. The settlement resolves all federal and state claims against BP for the accident. The agreement is separate from the $4 billion settlement of a federal criminal probe stemming from the disaster.

This does not resolve the pending civil suits against BP, including securities fraud. BP stated that it does not incur any new obligations under the settlement. See Article # 3 and links under Oil Spills, Gas Leaks & Consequences.


Microbes: Lost in the publicity surrounding the BP oil spill was the role of microbes in cleaning up the spill, which some analysists were predicting would last for many months, if not years. Yet, in less than two months the oil was largely gone from the Gulf of Mexico, except along some shoreline. New research indicates that photosynthetic bacteria (including cyanobacteria) produce millions of tons of hydrocarbons annually. Other bacteria consume the hydrocarbons.

In the Gulf spill, it appears that the naturally occurring consuming microbes multiplied rapidly, and, aided by dispersants, quickly consumed the oil remaining after the well was plugged. This disappearance was not particularly surprising to SEPP, thanks to the evidence that oil slicks routinely occurred in the Gulf in the days of sailing ships, before any drilling for oil. This could be a productive area of research for addressing oil spills. See links under: Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?


Technological Leaps: Miniaturization of electronics has led to great advances in technology, to include sensors for data collection in drilling heads. The ability to hit the BP blown well with a relief well and stop the flow of oil was a significant engineering accomplishment. This feat by a companion well 2.5 miles below the sea floor further sealing the blown well with mud and cement, These illustrate the technological leaps in drilling due to miniaturization of electronics and sensors.

Recent accomplishments of precise, horizontal drilling and collecting of data of the vast, flat, US shale deposits are another example.

However, too many commentators assume such technological accomplishments in miniaturization of electronics are transferable to commercial storage of electricity. They are not. Yet, writers on wind and solar, which are unreliable sources of electricity, assume that technology is on the horizon – as it has been for over 100 years. The writers commit the logical fallacy of a hasty generalization. See links under Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.


David Evans: Jo Nova’s web site continues to present criticisms of the IPCC models by mathematician and electrical engineer David Evans. As stated previously, TWTW will refrain from detailed comments until the entire presentation is complete. Many of those skeptical of the global climate models would agree that the models have failed to successfully describe clouds. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.


Additions and Corrections: The Navajo Generating Station in Page, Arizona, is north and east of the Grand Canyon. Last week’s TWTW said it was south and west. As with the Four Corners power station in New Mexico, for it to be causing haze in the Grand Canyon would require the emissions to travel against the prevailing winds. As stated in the October 3 TWTW, the summer haze in the Grand Canyon appears to be the result of natural VOC (isoprene), not power plants as claimed by environmental groups. Also, recent research indicates that oceans generate isoprene as well – a new target for EPA regulations?


Number of the Week: $8,938,547 per Bird? The BP settlement with federal, state, and local governments came to $20.8 Billion, which does not include civil law suits and the previous settlement for possible crimes. Almost immediately after the blow-out occurred, the US Fish and Wildlife Service began advertising for and collecting injured or dead animals. The April 23, 2011 TWTW reported that the total number of “dead animals with visible oil” collected by the Fish and Wildlife Service along the Gulf Coast for the year following the Gulf spill (as of April 14, 2011) were 2303 birds; 18 sea turtles, 10 mammals; and 0 other reptiles This does not imply that the animals died from the oil. For example, autopsies of sea turtles indicated that some, at least, died of suffocation, possibly while trapped in the nets of fishing trawlers.

Assume all the dead animals are attributable to the spill. Using bureaucratic techniques of animal units, count a dead reptile as one unit, a dead bird as two units, and a dead mammal as three units. The total animal units is 4654, with the pollution penalties amounting to $4,469,274 per animal unit, or $4,469,274 per reptile, $8,938,547 per bird, and $13,407,821 per mammal. Would those who calculate the contrived social cost of carbon use such numbers to calculate the social cost of wind farms, which kill soaring birds and bats (mammals)? See




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. EPA’s New Ozone Standard Is Science-Based

Science tells us that too many people are still exposed to too much ground-level ozone and that it makes people sick

By Janet McCabe, Office of Air and Radiation, EPA, Oct 9, 2015


SUMMARY: Ms. McCabe writers: “Science tells us that too many people are still exposed to too much ground-level ozone and that it makes people sick, puts them in the hospital and shortens their lives, so the law requires an ozone standard to better protect all of us, but especially children, who are particularly at risk.” She shows or links to no evidence supporting her claims.

[SEPP Comment: Dr Battig, above, would say “Show me the evidence!”]


2. More Proof on Pebble

A new report takes apart the EPA’s veto of a mining project.

Editorial, WSJ, Oct 5, 2015


SUMMARY: “It is by now beyond dispute that the Environmental Protection Agency went rogue when it halted Alaska’s proposed Pebble Mine project. And yet, there’s more.

“The more comes via an independent report that criticizes the agency for its pre-emptive 2014 veto of Pebble, a proposal to create the country’s largest copper and gold mine in southwest Alaska. Under the Clean Water Act, the Army Corps of Engineers evaluates permit applications for new projects. The EPA has a secondary role of reviewing and potentially vetoing Corps approval. Here, the EPA issued a veto before either Pebble could file for permits or the Corps could take a look.

An independent report by former Defense Secretary William Cohen finds: EPA was unable to take into account ‘meaningful participation by other state and federal government agencies, mitigation and controls as proposed by the developer, and an array of public interest factors.’”

“’serious concerns as to whether EPA orchestrated the process to reach a predetermined outcome; had inappropriately close relationships with anti-mine advocates; and was candid about its decision making process.’”

“Mr. Cohen deliberately withheld judgment on whether a mine should be built, or whether EPA broke the law. But his detailed report is a new reference tool for the EPA inspector general, and reason for Congress to hold hearings. More than anything, it’s an eye-opening tale of government abuse of power and disregard for the law. Again.”


3. U.S., BP Finalize $20.8 Billion Deepwater Oil Spill Settlement

Officials announce terms of largest pollution penalty in U.S. history

By Devlin Barrett, WSJ, Oct 5, 2015


This article is summarized in the “This Week” section of TWTW


4. The Feds Go Turbo

A new study shows how Energy rules raise costs for consumers.

Editorial, WSJ, Oct 8, 2015


Link to study: The Department of Energy: Under-the-Radar, Overly Burdensome

By Sam Batkins, American Action Forum, Oct 9, 2015


“Since 2007, DOE has finalized rules with $8.2 billion in annualized regulatory costs, with a net present value impact exceeding $158 billion.”

SUMMARY: The article is a lead-in to the paper, which emphasizes the questionable regulations being undertaken by the DOE. The burden of these regulations fall mostly on those who can afford them the least.


“The Energy Department rationalizes the damage by trumpeting supposed benefits. One is that consumers will save money through more efficient energy use (if they don’t rent a home and commit to one air conditioner for 20 years). By the way, the rules sail through a federally required cost-benefit test thanks to capricious accounting on the “social benefits” of reducing carbon.


“Mr. Batkins checked out a 2009 microwave rule that accomplished little if anything because the sale of the food zappers dropped precipitously after the regulation took effect. It’s a similar story for air conditioning standards from 2001. The consistent result is reducing employment: The heating, ventilation and cooling industry—a perennial Energy Department target, with $4 billion in annual costs piled on since 2010—has hemorrhaged 55,000 jobs since 2001.”



Science: Is the Sun Rising?

Eight Recent Papers Overshadow CO2 Warming Hypothesis …Evidence Of Svensmark’s Solar Amplifier Theory Solidifies

The latest on Svensmark’s cloud-solar-amplifier

By Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt and Dr. Sebastian Lüning [German text translated/edited by P Gosselin] No Tricks Zone, Oct 6, 2015


Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?

A Short Summary of Soon, Connolly and Connolly, 2015; “Re-evaluating the role of solar variability on Northern Hemisphere temperature trends since the 19th Century”

Guest essay by Andy May, WUWT, Oct 8, 2015


Suppressing Scientific Inquiry – The Witch Hunt – Push-Back

Scientist who urged government to sue climate skeptics gets millions from taxpayers

By Maxim Lott, Fox News, Oct 7, 2015


Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science

Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2013


Summary: http://www.nipccreport.org/reports/ccr2a/pdf/Summary-for-Policymakers.pdf

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts

Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2014


Summary: https://www.heartland.org/media-library/pdfs/CCR-IIb/Summary-for-Policymakers.pdf

Challenging the Orthodoxy

New Science 4: Error 1: Partial Derivatives

By Jo Nova and David Evans, Her Blog, Sep 26, 2015


New Science 9: Error 3: All Radiation Imbalances Treated the Same — The Ground is not the sky!

By Jo Nova and David Evans, Her Blog, Oct 4, 2015


New Science 10: Whatever controls clouds controls the climate

By Jo Nova and David Evans, Her Blog, Oct 7, 2015


Defending the Orthodoxy

All Climate Change Is Local

By Michael R. Bloomberg & John F. Kerry, Bloomberg, Oct 8, 2015


“A 2014 study by the Clean Air Task Force found that five years ago, U.S. coal pollution was linked to the deaths of 13,000 people a year.”

[SEPP Comment: Based on highly speculative calculations, not publicly disclosed.]

Hump Day Hilarity: Newly appointed IPCC chairman worked for Exxon

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Oct 7, 2015


Questioning the Orthodoxy

New Petition and Videos Expose and Oppose the Dangers of Climate Alarmism

Guest essay by E. Calvin Beisner, WUWT, Oct 5, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Snippets of views by some of the SEPP board and others well known to SEPP are included.]

Walter Williams: Global Warmers Want Just One Thing — Control

By Walter Williams, IBD, Oct 6, 2015


Did James Hansen Unwittingly Prove The Null Hypothesis Of AGW?

Guest Opinion; Dr. Tim Ball, WUWT, Oct 3, 2015


[SEPP Comment: It may be more correct to say: reject the hypotheses that human emissions of CO2 are the dominant cause of global warming in favor of the null.]

Britain’s commitment to climate aid is immoral

There are other, far more severe issues to tackle first, from malnutrition to poverty

By Bjorn Lomborg, Telegraph, Oct 5, 2015


[SEPP comment: With his usual clarity of logic and expression, Lomborg confounds the agenda of the climate establishment.]

Miranda Devine: Perth electrical engineer’s discovery will change climate change debate

By Miranda Devine, NT News, [Northern Territory, AU] Oct 4, 2015 [H/t GWPF]


The Devastating Corporate Response to Carbon Madness

Guest essay by Eric Worrall, WUWT, Oct 6, 2015


On to Paris!

Peter Foster: Paris’s scary climate agenda

By Peter Foster, Financial Post, Oct 7, 2015


“But the primary threat comes not from climate change, but from climate change policy.’

India’s Climate Change Bill: $2.5 Trillion

By Steven Hayward, Power Line, Oct 4, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Link to India’s Plan: India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution: Working Towards Climate Justice

No author or date stated


India will oppose the Paris text, rich nations cannot have an action holiday: Prakash Javadekar

By Rajeev Deshpande & Vishwa Mohan, Times of India, Oct 8, 2015


World Leaders Warn of Possible Climate Agreement Failure

By Ann Purvis, Heartland, Oct 5, 2015


India to Climatistas: Show Us The Money!

By Steven Hayward, Power Line, Oct 9, 2015


Enviros to Africa: Stay Poor and Die Early

By Steven Hayward, Power Line, Oct 7, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]


New Draft Climate Text Is 20 Pages of Hedging

By Staff Writers, American Interest, Oct 6, 2015


The Administration’s Plan

EPA Strengthens Ozone Standards to Protect Public Health/Science-based standards to reduce sick days, asthma attacks, emergency room visits, greatly outweigh costs

By Staff Writers, EPA, Oct 1, 2015



Obama’s ozone evolution

By Devin Henry, The Hill, Oct 4, 2015


The Administration’s Plan – Independent Analysis

New Climate Regulations Will Save Lots of Imaginary People

By Charles Battig, American Thinker, Oct 4, 2015



EPA’s New Ozone Standards: A Few Thoughts

By James E. McCarthy, CRS, Sep 29, 2015


“…what many of these new places have in common is the oil and gas industry.”

4 Reasons Congress Needs to Review the EPA’s Ozone Standard

By Katie Tubb, The Daily Signal, Oct 6, 2015


The Administration’s Plan – Push-Back

Obama’s/EPA’s Sleazy Tactics to Promote Their Skyrocketing Rates Power Plan

By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, Oct 8, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Carlin retired from the EPA after over 30 years of noted service.]

Crony Collusion Fuels White House Clean Power Scam

By Larry Bell, Newsmax, Oct 5, 2015


Social Benefits of Carbon

Deserts: Are They Expanding or Shrinking?

By Staff Writers, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, Oct 7, 2015


[SEPP Comment: A follow-up on papers such as “Carbon Dioxide: Friend or Foe?” (Idso, 1982) and “Industrial Age Leading to the Greening of the Earth” (Idso, 1986).]

Want Better Tomatoes? Add Carbon Dioxide and a Pinch of Salt!

By Craig D. Idso and Patrick J. Michaels, Cato, Oct 9, 2015


Problems in the Orthodoxy

Emergence of Southeast Asia as energy giant carries risks, opportunities

IEA report sees continued shift to coal and increasing dependence on oil and gas imports

By Kuala Lumpur, IEA, Oct 8, 2015 [H/t GWPF]


Green Climate Fund set for launch before COP21

By Cécile Barbière translated by Samuel White, EurActiv, Oct 5, 2015 [H/t GWPF]


“Of the $10 billion promised in 2014, only $5.8 billion have been delivered.”

India leads Asia’s dash for coal as emissions blow east

By Krishna N. Das and Tommy Wilkes, Reuters, India, Oc5 6, 2015


“Sticking to that goal would require world emissions to start falling now and India’s to peak within a few years, said Glen Peters at the Oslo-based Center for International Climate and Environmental Research, but India’s coal drive makes that near-impossible as its extra emissions outweigh any savings from more solar and wind power.”

Why that climate deal is already a dead duck

The binding global treaty Mark Carney, the Pope and others all want simply isn’t going to happen

By Christopher Booker, Telegraph, UK, Oct 3, 2015


Seeking a Common Ground

Discussion meeting issue ‘Feedbacks on climate in the Earth system’ organised and edited by Eric W. Wolff , John G. Shepherd, Emily Shuckburgh and Andrew J. Watson

The Royal Society, Philosophical Transactions A, Nov 13, 2015 [H/t Climate Etc.]


Feedbacks on climate in the Earth system: introduction

By Eric W. Wolff, John G. Shepherd, Emily Shuckburgh, Andrew J. Watson, The Royal Society, Oct 5, 2015


Sceptics’ impact on climate science

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Oct 5, 2015


Link to working paper: The impact of controversy on the production of scientific knowledge

By Amelia Sharman, Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, Grantham Research Institute, Sep 2015


[SEPP Comment: Focuses on individual climate scientists in NZ and the UK.]

Model Issues

Dealing with Abundance

By William Tucker, Real Clear Energy, Oct 9, 2015


Guest Post: Understanding climate feedbacks

By Eric Wolff, The Carbon Brief, Oct 8, 2015


Measurement Issues

Finally: visualized OCO2 satellite data showing global carbon dioxide concentrations

Guest essay by Erik Swenson, WUWT, Oct 4, 2015


Are tree-rings a good proxy for temperature reconstruction?

Guest post By Neil Catto, Not a Lot of People Know Thant, Oct 10, 2015


Changing Weather

Why India has had such a poor monsoon

Editorial, The Economist, Oct 4, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]


“Like all weather patterns, the monsoon is erratic. Four years in ten count as abnormal.”

What Is An Atmospheric River? And Why Is It Relevant To Joaquin And This Weekend’s Rainfall?

By Marshall Shepherd, Forbes, Oct 2, 2015


South Carolina Flooding is NOT a 1 in 1,000 Year Event

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Oct 6, 2015


“For some areas the current flood is no doubt a 1 in 100 year event, or even worse. But remember, it is perfectly normal to have a 1 in 100 year event every year…as long as they occur in different locations…That’s how weather records work.”

North Carolina’s Great Flood Of 1916

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct 6, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Another version of ‘”unprecedented” flooding in the Carolinas?]

The Great Paris Flood Of 1910

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct 5, 2015


Extreme Rainfall Trends In Holland

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


[SEPP Comment: Not much of a trend!]

Weather extremes don’t harm insurance companies

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Oct 7, 2015


Link to paper: Climatic Variations and the Market Value of Insurance Firms

By Bin Hu, and Ross McKitrick, Forthcoming: Journal of Insurance Issues, Oct 1, 2015


“Short-run deviations in measures of climate extremes are associated with increased profitability for insurance firms. Overall we find that past climatic variations have not had a negative effect on the profitability of the insurance industry.”

Changing Climate

Central England Temperature Summer Trends

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct 6, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Not much of a warming trend caused by CO2 emissions in the summer temperatures since 1659.]

We Have A Winner!!

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


[SEPP Comment: In 1973 Hubert H. Lamb wrote: “For the past 30 years the temperature of our planet has been steadily dropping.” Also, he discussed the decline in rainfall on the fringes of the desert belt, which moved closer to the equator. Of course, this was during the cooling period of about 1940 to 1977.]

Changing Seas

Signs of ancient megatsunami could portend modern hazard

By Staff Writers, New York NY (SPX), Oct 07, 2015


Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

Sea ice is not a stable habitat for polar bears – summarized today in The Arctic Journal

By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Oct 7, 2015


“Given what we now know about the animals and their naturally changing habitat, it is time to concede that existing data do not support predictions that polar bears are threatened with extinction due to summer habitat instability.”

[SEPP Comment: US policy is based on Arctic ice “authorities” who are more authoritarian than knowledgeable.]

Why is the Arctic climate and ice cover so variable?

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Oct 4, 2015


[SEPP Comment: After reading the analysis by Longhurst, Curry is re-evaluating her analysis of the human influence on Arctic ice.]

Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine

60 mn people in sub-Saharan Africa risk famine: Red Cross

By Staff Writers, Geneva (AFP), Oct 5, 2015


“Some 60 million people across sub-Saharan Africa are already going hungry and the situation could deteriorate dramatically as climate phenomena hike the risk of drought, the Red Cross said Monday.”

[SEPP Comment: The plight is real, but blaming only climate change is not. Climate phenomena could increase the rains.]

Africa could be the answer to delaying peak grain

By Staff Writers, Lincoln NB (SPX) Oct 01, 2015


Link to atlas: The Global Yield Gap and Water Productivity Atlas

By Staff Writers, Global Yield Gap Analysis, No date


“Agricultural yields could more than triple in a number of African countries, suggesting that tremendous improvements in food security are possible, according to new findings by the Global Yield Gap and Water Productivity Atlas.”

[SEPP Comment: See link immediately above.]

Lowering Standards

The judge, the presidential hopeful and some strange conflicts of interest

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Oct 7, 2015


Unchaperoned views

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Oct 6, 2015


[SEPP Comment: BBC should not let independent thinkers be unchaperoned.]

Mark Carney Under Attack From Investors

By Madison Marriage and Richard Stovin-Bradford, Financial Times, Via GWPF


[SEPP Comment: Last week’s speech by the Bank of England governor may have been too much.]

Shell chief pops Carney’s ‘carbon bubble’

By Robin Pagnamenta, The Times, Via GWPF, Oct 7, 2015


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

NOAA declares third ever global coral bleaching event

Bleaching intensifies in Hawaii, high ocean temperatures threaten Caribbean corals

Press Release, NOAA, Oct 8, 2015


“The first global bleaching event was in 1998, during a strong El Niño that was followed by an equally very strong La Niña. A second one occurred in 2010.”

[SEPP Comment: To those born in 1997, this ranks as the third-ever.]

Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

Big Oil, Big Tobacco, Big Lies

By Kelle Louallier, and Bill McKibben, Project Syndicate, Oct 8, 2015


Setting the record straight on climate

By Ken Cohen, ExxonMobil Perspectives, Oct 8, 2015


[SEPP Comment: See link immediately above.]

The Clean-Energy Moonshot

By Jeffrey Sachs, Project Syndicate, Oct 6, 2015


[SEPP Comment: More fantasy, no idea on how Mr. Sachs will store electricity from unreliable sources on a commercial scale.]

Communicating Better to the Public – Go Personal.

Puffed rice

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Oct 5, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Perhaps the statements made about one who questions indicates why advocates do not debate!]

Expanding the Orthodoxy – The Pope – Loyal Opposition

A Conversation … or a Lecture?

By Paul Driessen, Townhall, Oct 3, 2015 [H/t Clyde Spencer]


Questioning European Green

German Professor: Europe’s € 5.7 TRILLION Climate Policy Is “Very Expensive”, “Counter-Productive” And “Does Nothing For Climate” … “Completely Wasted”!

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


[SEPP Comment: The professor believes CO2 emissions must be controlled but feed-in tariffs are a disaster.]

UK’s energy revolution – DECC’s role usurped by new Infrastructure Commission

By Oliver Tickell, Ecologist, Oct 7, 2015 [H/t Bishop Hill]


Green Jobs

1,000 jobs lost as solar firms go into administration [bankruptcy]

Two solar and home insulation firms lay off staff following Government subsidy cuts

By Emily Gosden, Telegraph, UK, Oct 8, 2015


Non-Green Jobs

British Steel’s Green Death

Another 2,000 lost jobs are collateral damage in the war on carbon.

Editorial, WSJ, Via GWPF, Oct 7, 2015


The Political Games Continue

We need an insurance policy for climate change

By Michael Green, The Hill, Oct 5, 2015


“the American Opportunity Carbon Fee Act”?

[SEPP Comment: The act was proposed by Senator Whitehouse, who asserts those who do not conform to his way of thinking should be investigated for racketeering. Perhaps the advocates would describe how they will become “carbon-free.”]

Litigation Issues

Court blocks Obama’s water rule nationwide

By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Oct 9, 2015


Court rules against EPA’s invasive species rule

By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Oct 5, 2015


[SEPP Comment: The rule did not go “far enough”? How vigorously did the EPA defend it?]

On Trial: Social Cost of Carbon

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Oct 5, 2015


[SEPP Comment: More details on the unusual trial occurring in Minnesota, which Roy Spencer briefly discussed last week.]

Subsidies and Mandates Forever

OECD calls for the elimination of fossil fuel taxes

Guest opinion by Alberto Zaragoza Comendador, WUWT, Oct 8, 2015


Solar Investors Slam Subsidy Cuts As Solar Company Collapses John Murray Brown, Christopher Adams and Josh Noble, Financial Times Via GWPF, Oct 8, 2015


‘Wind PTC Action Hub’: Time to End Energy Cronyism

By Robert Bradley Jr., Master Resource, Oct 9, 2015


“Without the PTC [Production Tax Credit], any mandated wind generation would be an even bigger political problem because its cost inflation would be exposed. The wind-is-competitive-with-fossil-fuels hyperbole would be refuted in real time.”

EPA and other Regulators on the March

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): FY2016 Appropriations

By Esworthy and Bearden, CRS, Sep 29, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Does EPA Need Guns, Ammo And Armor To Protect The Environment?

By Stephen Moore, IBD, Oct 8, 2015


The Lighting Revolution: Why Prohibit Incandescent Lighting?

By Don Dears, Master Resource, Oct 8, 2015


Documents Reveal Dem Efforts to Discredit EPA Critics

Emails and talking points memos detail ways to ‘sow doubts about our opponents motives’

By Lachlan Markay, Washington Free Beacon, Oct 7, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]


The Connection Between Cleaner Air and Longer Lives

By Michael Greenstone, NYT, Sep 24, 2015


[SEPP Comment: The author fails to empirically establish the connection.]

Energy Issues – Non-US

Saudis Race to Bottom of Oil Market

By Staff Writers, American Interest, Oct 5, 2015


What’s Driving Saudi Oil Policy?

By Alex Schindelar, John van Schaik and David Pike, Energy Intelligence, Oct 2015


A gallery of rogues, spivs and wideboys

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Oct 8, 2015


“Everybody, but everybody in the energy policy debate knows that levelised costs are grossly misleading because the cost is only one half of the equation. The value of the output matters just as much, and the value of intermittent renewables is only a fraction of the value of dispatchable technologies.”

Is Wind Power Really Cheaper?

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


[SEPP Comment: It is cheaper after manipulation of the costs of other sources and subordination of reliable sources in favor of unreliable wind.]

Europe’s energy (dis)union

A primer on one of the Juncker commission’s signature initiatives.

By Anca Gurzu, Politico, EU, Oc5 6, 2015


The problem with my $70 oil call

By T. Boone Pickens, CNBC, Oct 8, 2015


“I erred in underestimating OPEC’s determination to keep the flow of oil under their control. The OPEC cartel is controlled by leaders whose top priority isn’t to make money for stockholders, it’s keeping themselves in power.”

Energy Issues — US

Near-Term Financial Risks For US Independents Exaggerated [Wood Mackenzie]

By Tom Rinaldi, Oil Pro, Oct 8, 2015


[SEPP Comment: A long way from dire financial conditions for most.]

Avoiding The European Trap

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Oct 6, 2015


Millennials Are On Track To Drive A Boom In Housing, And Energy Use

By Mark Mills, Forbes, Oct 5, 2015


Nationwide, electricity generation from coal falls while natural gas rises

By Chris Cassar, EIA, Oct 7, 2015


Washington’s Control of Energy

Myths about Shell’s Arctic Alaska pullout persist

By Yereth Rosen, Alaska Dispatch News, Oct 3, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Certain items, such as Myth 2, can be viewed as a defense of government actions after the government took the money.]

Obama doubles down on Arctic drilling regs

By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Oct 5, 2015


Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Bacteria in the world’s oceans produce millions of tons of hydrocarbons each year

By Staff Writers, Science Daily, Oct 5, 2015


Link to paper: Contribution of cyanobacterial alkane production to the ocean hydrocarbon cycle

By Lea-Smith, et al. PNAS, Oct 5, 2015


“Scientists have calculated that millions of tons of hydrocarbons are produced annually by photosynthetic bacteria in the world’s oceans.”

From abstract: “Furthermore we show that cyanobacterial alkane production is likely sufficient to sustain populations of hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria, whose abundances can rapidly expand upon localized release of crude oil from natural seepage and human activities.”

[SEPP Comment: Cyanobacteria produce it, other bacteria eat it. Study of the latter may help in alleviating future oil spills.]

California shale reserve estimate low

By Daniel J. Graeber, Reston, Va. (UPI) Oct 7, 2015


Water Footprint of Hydraulic Fracturing

By Staff Writers, NCPA, Sep 22, 2015


Oil Spills, Gas Leaks & Consequences

Feds, BP reach $20B settlement over Gulf spill

By Devin Henry, The Hill, Oct 5, 2015


Nuclear Energy and Fears

Wildlife thriving in Chernobyl

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Oct 6, 2015


Link to study: The Linear No-Threshold Relationship Is Inconsistent with Radiation Biologic and Experimental Data

By Tubiana, et al. Radiology, Apr 25, 2009


Fusion reactors ‘economically viable’ say experts

By Staff Writers, Durham NY (SPX), Oct 07, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Would like to see the operational results.]

Spent Nuclear Fuel: Legislative, Technical, and Societal Challenges to Its Transportation

By Staff Writers, GAO, Oct 1, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

Wind Capacity Factors Drop on West Coast Due to Poor Wind Speeds

By Staff Writers, Institute for Energy Research, Sep 28, 2015 [H/t Power Line]


AWED Energy & Environmental Newsletter: October 5, 2015

By John Droz, Jr., Master Resource, Oct 5, 2015


U.S. Offshore Wind: A Government Pipe Dream

By Lisa Linowes, Master Resource, Oct 7, 2015


“Offshore wind is essentially a government-made market that would not exist in the U.S. but for a massive intervention from Washington and an ‘at-any-cost’ mentality at the state level. Of the alleged 15,650 MW of offshore wind in DOE’s pipeline, a very small fraction represents projects proffered by private entities.”

[SEPP Comment: More imaginary DOE accounting: of the 15,650 MW total, 30 MW are under construction, 0 MW are operating.]

US has fallen behind in offshore wind power

By Staff Writers, Newark DE (SPX), Oct 05, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Apparently, these professors do not realize the US does not need wind power. See link immediately above!]]

Obama’s solar energy socialism

By Isaac Orr, The Hill, Sep 28, 2015


Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other

Passing POWER Act will drive cleaner energy and lower costs

By Joshua Reichert, The Hill, Oct 8, 2015


Combined heat and power (CHP) and waste heat to power (WHP) to create electricity.

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles

Stalled EV and PHEV Sales

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Oct 9, 2015


[SEPP Comment: Faced with such disappointing news, authoritarian promoters of electronic vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEVs) will demand a tax on the competition or the fuel, using arguments such as the contrived social cost of carbon.]

Carbon Schemes

Open letter to Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

The geological storage of carbon dioxide for Carbon Capture and Storage is secure and safe

By Staff Writers, SCCS, Oct 8, 2015


[SEPP Comment: The primary issue is not the quality of work of these scientists. Rather, it is will the greens permit such storage without exorbitant demands such as those that killed nuclear storage at Yucca Mountain?]

California Dreaming

California Governor to Sign Aggressive Climate-Change Bill

State aims to increase renewable electricity use to 50%, make buildings more energy efficient

By Staff Writers, AP, Oct 7, 2015


Health, Energy, and Climate

USDA/HHS Removes Consideration of “Sustainability” from Dietary Guidelines

By Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger and Patrick J. Michaels, Cato, Oct 9, s015


Environmental Industry

Environmentalists Are The New Puritans: Religious Bullies.

By Tim Ball, A Different Perspective, Oct 5, 2015


Sierra Club would rather quote bogus 97% mantra than address facts

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Oct 6, 2015



Sierra Club President’s Testimony Reveals It’s Worse Than We Thought. Climate Change? No. Group Think About Climate Change.

By Marlo Lewis, Global Warming.org, Oct 7, 2015


Partial Transcript

The 97 Percent Solution

By Ian Tuttle, National Review, Oct 8, 2015


[SEPP Comment: See two links immediately above.]

Other Scientific News

Neutrinos Change Their Flavor and Snag Another Nobel Prize

By Jennifer Ouellette, Gizmodo, Oct 6, 2015 [H/t Climate Etc.]


Atmospheric concentration of an ozone destroying chemical drops mysteriously

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Oct 7, 2015


Gifts’ from Chinese herbal medicine

By Mariette Le Roux Paris (AFP) Oct 5, 2015


Other News that May Be of Interest

The Real And Most Damaging Discard In A “Throw Away” Society.

By Tim Ball, A Different Perspective, Oct 7, 2015


Defending Nobel Winners from Baseless Attacks

By Gil Ross, ACSH, Oct 6, 2015


German Flagship Daily ‘Die Welt’ Ranks Gore/Pachauri Among “Worst Nobel Peace Prize Choices” Ever!

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Oct 9, 2015


“…when one Nobel Peace Prize laureate (Barack Obama, 2009) bombs another (Doctors Without Borders, 1999) in Afghanistan, thus killing dozens of people, then doubt is warranted over whether the Prize really delivers what it promises.”

[SEPP Comment: The Nobel Peace Prize is decided by the ruling party in the Norwegian Parliament, not by any assembly of scientists or other experts.]



Quote of the day, recycling edition

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Oct 4, 2015


“Religious rituals don’t need any practical justification for the believers who perform them voluntarily. But many recyclers want more than just the freedom to practice their religion. They want to make these rituals mandatory for everyone else, too, with stiff fines for sinners who don’t sort properly.”

Shake-up call

By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, Oct 7, 2015


“New research compiled by Australian scientist Dr. Tom Chalko shows that global seismic activity on Earth is now five times more energetic than it was just 20 years ago. The research proves that destructive ability of earthquakes increases alarmingly fast and that this trend is set to continue, unless the problem of “global warming” is comprehensively and urgently addressed…Consequences for inaction can only be catastrophic. There is no time for half-measures.” CBS News, 18 Jun 2008

Best Academic Abstract Ever [With Comments By John and Paul]

By Steven Hayward, Power Line, Oct 5, 2015



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October 12, 2015 3:26 am

So, BP will pay $8,938,547 per dead bird ? Wow! Lets apply this rule to wind farms too!

October 12, 2015 7:14 am

“More fantasy, no idea on how Mr. Sachs will store electricity from unreliable sources on a commercial scale.”
That’s just a fraction of the problem. You have to have a surplus before you can store. Production from wind/solar would have to increase by an order of magnitude before storage could be considered, and that would cover only short term ride through – one day’s worth. It would take two orders of magnitude increase in production capability to approach any sort of a reliable energy supply from wind/solar.
Imagine 100 times the number of wind turbines we have now.

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