Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #205

The Week That Was: 2015-11-14 (November 14, 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)

Un-Validated Models: The November 7 TWTW emphasized the findings of The Right Climate Stuff research team. The projections of un-validated climate models should not be used for establishing government policy. This is particularly true when long-range policy, enshrined by international agreements, is based on long-range projections by un-validated climate models. As Roy Spencer has calculated, of the 90 CMIP5 Climate Models tested, over 95% overestimate global average temperature trends from 1979 to 2013 – 97.8% overestimate lower troposphere warming as calculated by UAH (University of Alabama, Huntsville) and 95.6% overestimate surface warming based on HadCRUT4 (Hadley Center – Climatic Research Unit Temperature calculations). One can speculate that the overestimates motivated Tom Karl of NOAA to modify the existing surface-records, thereby eliminating the pause or hiatus in warming. It appears that NOAA is not able to manipulate satellite and weather balloon records as readily.

The CMIP5 models are considered state-of-the-art by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its Fifth Assessment Report (AR-5, 2013). In the politically negotiated Summary for Policymakers the IPCC declared that most of the recent global warming/climate change is caused by humans. The projections from the models and the IPCC’s questionable finding provide the justification for an international agreement to drastically reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP-21) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), scheduled between November 30 and December 11. If there is little or no warming, why have an international agreement to reduce CO2 emissions that will be economically destructive?

The November 7 TWTW produced responses from a few engineers stating how they validate models upon which their professional lives depend. These responses will be summarized in an upcoming TWTW. Reader Jim Ring reminded TWTW of Chapter 14 (Advancing Our Understanding), Section 14.2.2. of the Scientific Section of Third IPCC Assessment Report, (2001) titled “Predictability in a Chaotic System”, which opens with:

“The climate system is particularly challenging since it is known that components in the system are inherently chaotic; there are feedbacks that could potentially switch sign, and there are central processes that affect the system in a complicated, non-linear manner. These complex, chaotic, non-linear dynamics are an inherent aspect of the climate system.”

And section 14.2.2.2 concludes with

“In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions. This reduces climate change to the discernment of significant differences in the statistics of such ensembles. The generation of such model ensembles will require the dedication of greatly increased computer resources and the application of new methods of model diagnosis. Addressing adequately the statistical nature of climate is computationally intensive, but such statistical information is essential.”

“The ensemble of model solutions” appears to be the mean, but calling the products “solutions” is a misnomer. If the mean of the ensemble is considered a solution, the solution is greatly overestimated. Further, there has been little or no published effort to mathematically establish a probability distribution of the projections. The assignment of probabilities in the Summary for Policymakers is nothing more than speculation. In short, some national leaders are willing to commit their nations to an agreement based on sophisticated speculation. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.

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Quote of the Week:It is the mark of an instructed mind to rest satisfied with the degree of precision which the nature of the subject permits and not to seek an exactness where only an approximation of the truth is possible.” – Aristotle

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Number of the Week: II, 2, 2

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On to Paris: The Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), and The Heartland Institute are combining to have a program at COP-21 on December 7. SEPP Chairman Fred Singer will be giving a brief talk on real, not computer simulated, climate change threats – the high probability of a future ice age. Singer will suggest that expert economists confirm that a modestly warmer climate benefits both health and human prosperity. A colder climate generally spells more sickness and poses danger to agricultural yields — with consequent famines and mass starvation. These calamities can be overcome – through adequate and timely preparation for energy supplies, water, and crop lands. Appropriate links will be in a future TWTW.

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Benefits of Fossil Fuels: As those promoting COP-21’s rush to limit the use of fossil fuels, TWTW was reminded of a short paper by Indur Goklany: Humanity Unbound: How Fossil Fuels Saved Humanity from Nature and Nature from Humanity. The 2012 paper summarizes some of his findings in the more comprehensive book: The Improving State of the World: Why We’re Living Longer, Healthier, More Comfortable Lives on a Cleaner Planet (2007). In the paper, Goklany presents several graphs the shape of which can be called true hockey-sticks, but not including temperature increases. One graph charts global progress from 1 A.D. to 2009 A.D., showing the enormous growth in world population, gross domestic product per capita, life expectancy, and CO2 emissions over the period, particularly in the 20th century.

Correlation is not causation; however, the use of fossil fuels has contributed enormously to the wealth and well-being of the developed world. Those who seek to limit the use of fossil fuels based on speculative climate models need to address which of the other variables they wish to limit – population, life expectancy, wealth? Perhaps such graphs explain why so many in developing countries are objecting to CO2 limits being imposed by developed, Western nations. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.

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G20 Subsidies: The Group of Twenty (G20) is meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, on November 15, and 16. According to the web site, the G20 “is the premier forum for its members’ international economic cooperation and decision-making. Its membership comprises 19 countries plus the European Union. Each G20 president invites several guest countries each year.”

“The G20 started in 1999 as a meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis. In 2008, the first G20 Leaders’ Summit was held, and the group played a key role in responding to the global financial crisis. Its decisive and coordinated actions boosted consumer and business confidence and supported the first stages of economic recovery. G20 leaders have met nine times since 2008… The G20 introduced trillions of dollars in fiscal stimulus packages worldwide…Over the past six years, the G20 has framed the world’s efforts to restore growth and build the resilience of financial institutions and national economies. It led the world out of an economic crisis and through the initial stages of the recovery. With the world now free from immediate economic crisis, the G20 can increasingly shift its attention to driving practical actions that will lead to sustained global growth.” [Boldface added.]

 

“The members of the G20 are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union… In 2015 Turkey welcomes Spain as a permanent invitee; Malaysia as the 2015 Chair of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN); Zimbabwe, as 2015 Chair of the African Union; Senegal representing New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD); Azerbaijan; and Singapore.”

No doubt, with that amount of money, the G20 becomes a target for those groups that desire financial subsidies. Just in time, a group in the UK, called the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), produced a study claiming enormous subsidies by the G20 to oil, gas, and coal production.

We have seen imaginative accounting by groups demanding subsidies, such as wind power groups in the US. For example, one such group claimed that world-wide subsidies to fossil fuels show that wind power should be subsidized in the US. If gasoline costs 5 cents a gallon in Venezuela or 50 cents a gallon in Saudi Arabia, there is no logical reason why the US tax payer should subsidize wind power in the US. But the claim is made none-the-less. The choice of one country to subsidize a certain group of consumers should not obligate other countries to subsidize other groups.

In its report, ODI took such imaginative accounting to new levels. It included the production costs incurred by government-owned companies into the general accounting, termed as subsidies. If it costs a state-owned oil company $100 million to explore and develop an oil field, then this is classified as a subsidy to fossil fuels. Perhaps, next we will see any profits from such a venture classified as return on subsidy rather than return on investment. In an era when governments term real subsidies as investments, this is not surprising. See links under Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up and https://g20.org/about-g20/

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MIT and Climate Action: The President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has issued a plan for action on global warming/climate change. The Executive Summary repeats the 2°C chant:

“Overwhelming evidence shows that the Earth is warmer than it was in the pre-industrial age and that most present-day climate change is associated with human activity—the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG). Primary energy use worldwide is projected to increase 60% by 2050. This will drive further warming, which could lead to unplanned migrations, competition for food and water, and societal conflict. A warming of about 2°C (3.6°F) above pre-industrial levels marks a threshold after which the resulting damage to societies and natural systems becomes increasingly grave. Protecting against this risk is known as “the 2°C challenge.” To avoid the 2°C threshold in the long term, human-driven emissions must decrease greatly by 2050 and must eventually reach zero. The world needs an aggressive but pragmatic transition plan to achieve a zero-carbon global energy system.”

But in the plan there is a ray of hope:

“We believe that divestment—a dramatic public disengagement—is incompatible with the strategy of engagement with industry to solve problems that is at the heart of today’s plan. Combatting climate change will require intense collaboration across the research community, industry and government. Divestment would interfere with our ability to collaborate and to convene opposing groups to drive progress, at what may be a historic tipping point. For readers interested solely in our decision on divestment, you will find a fuller explanation in Section IV, on page 15.”

The plan cites the famed 1979 report by Jules Charney on the possible increase in temperatures from a doubling of CO2, but fails to note that after over 35 years of study and billions of dollars spent on climate science, the estimate has not changed significantly. See links under Expanding the Orthodoxy.

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Divestment: A movement demanding institutions to eliminate investments in fossil fuels is a fad among colleges and universities. It appears to be well-financed. The group called the National Association of Scholars published a report questioning the purpose of this entire movement and its effects. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.

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Questioning Assumptions: Last week, TWTW featured a report by the Right Climate Stuff research team that included an upper-bound analysis. The analysis indicated that even if nothing is done to limit fossil fuel use, little significant warming will occur during the next 50 years. This is based on the assumption that a doubling of CO2 will result in a warming of 1.2°C, with no feedbacks. Members of SEPP have reviewed a paper by Kyoji Kimoto of Japan, which questions the basic 1.2°C with no feedbacks. According to the paper, slight changes in what is called the “fixed lapse rate”, may undermine the 1.2°C increase with a doubling of CO2 and the entire climate sensitivity issue as presented by the IPCC and its followers.

Unfortunately, the paper is in need of judicious editing and is difficult to follow. We mention it in TWTW because the long-established assumption is more of a hypothesis in need of rigorous testing than a fact that has been well-established. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.

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Number of the Week: II, 2, 2 – From the Constitution of the United States: Article II, Section 2, paragraph 2. (Executive) “He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur;…” [note – this is more specific than “ by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate which applies with appointment of ambassadors, minsters and consuls, judges of the supreme court, etc.

Some of those involved in COP-21 are suggesting that any agreement reached will be binding onto the United States without consent of two-thirds of the Senate. If this becomes the game the Administration plays, perhaps long-term employment of lawyers specialized in Constitutional Law may be the Administration’s lasting legacy.

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ARTICLES: The Articles section is now at the bottom of TWTW.

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Please Note: Due to Travel Obligations, next week’s TWTW will be shorter than usual

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NEWS YOU CAN USE:

Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?

Cold sun rising

By Sam Khoury, The Nation, Nov 11, 2015 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/opinion/Cold-sun-rising-30272650.html

“The BBC, all three major American TV networks, Time magazine and the New York Times all ran feature stories highlighting the scare [of global cooling]. Fortunately, by 1978 the PDO [Pacific Decadal Oscillation] Index shifted back to warm and the fear abated.”

[SEPP Comment: Is this good news?]

Suppressing Scientific Inquiry – The Witch Hunt – Push-Back

A case for readers to read for themselves

By Ken Cohen, Exxon Perspectives, Nov 5, 2015

http://www.exxonmobilperspectives.com/2015/11/05/a-case-for-readers-to-read-for-themselves/

The Climate Change Inquisition Begins

New York’s Attorney general is sending out the message that corporations that fund climate change skeptics will face political reprisal.

By Robert Tracinski, The Federalist, Nov 9, 2015 [H/t Climate Depot]

http://thefederalist.com/2015/11/09/the-climate-change-inquisition-begins/

Why The LA Times Did Not Publish Their “Smoking Gun” Against Exxon

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

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2015/11/07/why-the-la-times-did-not-publish-their-smoking-gun-against-exxon/#more-18217

Cass Sunstein: Why We Should Care What Exxon Mobil Said About Climate Change

By Cass Sunstein, IBD, Nov 10, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials-on-the-left/111015-780128-exxon-mobile-case-is-about-whether-it-misled-its-investors-and-public-on-climate-change.htm

New York’s Climate Suit Against Exxon Is Like Salem Witch Trials

By Stephen Moore, IBD, Nov 9, 2015 [H/t Paul Redfern]

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials-viewpoint/110915-779891-criminal-suit-against-exxon-by-new-york-has-nothing-to-do-with-science.htm?p=full

Accountability for Climate Change Damages: Is Fossil Fuel Like Tobacco?

By Lucas Berkamp, Climate Etc. Nov 8, 2015

http://judithcurry.com/2015/11/08/accountability-for-climate-change-damages-is-fossil-fuel-like-tobacco/#more-20390

The war against Exxon Mobil

By Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post, Nov 8, 2015

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-war-against-exxon-mobil/2015/11/08/094ff978-84a6-11e5-8ba6-cec48b74b2a7_story.html

American Meteorological Society: Investigating NOAA’s Dodgy Scientists Is ‘Intimidation’

By James Delingpole, Breitbart, Nov 7, 2015

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/11/07/american-meteorological-society-investigating-noaas-dodgy-scientists-intimidation/

Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science

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

https://www.heartland.org/media-library/pdfs/CCR-II/CCR-II-Full.pdf

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

http://www.nipccreport.org/reports/ccr2b/pdf/Full-Report.pdf

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

Challenging the Orthodoxy

Models vs. Observations: Plotting a Conspiracy?

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Nov 3, 2015

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2015/11/models-vs-observations-plotting-a-conspiracy/

 

Basic global warming hypothesis is wrong

By Kyoji Kimoto, Via Edberry.com. Nov 13, 2015

http://edberry.com/blog/authors-climate/kyoji-kimoto/basic-global-warming-hypothesis-is-wrong/?awt_l=AJVsI&awt_m=3heA_pa1ka7WuNE

Humanity Unbound

How Fossil Fuels Saved Humanity from Nature and Nature from Humanity

By Indur M. Goklany, Cato, Dec 19, 2012

http://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/humanity-unbound-how-fossil-fuels-saved-humanity-nature-nature-humanity

Link to full report: Humanity Unbound: How Fossil Fuels Saved Humanity from Nature and Nature from Humanity

By Indur Goklany, Cato Policy Analysis, Dec 20, 2012

http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/pa715.pdf

New Science 19: The invisible nameless model that controls the whole field of climate science

By Jo Nova and David Evans, Her Blog, Nov 11, 2015

http://joannenova.com.au/2015/11/new-science-19-the-invisible-nameless-model-that-controls-the-whole-field-of-climate-science/

When Colleges Divest, Who Wins?

By Staff Writers, National Association of Scholars, Via GWPF, Nov 10, 2015

http://www.thegwpf.com/when-colleges-divest-who-wins/

Link to paper: Inside Divestment: The Illiberal Movement to Turn a Generation Against Fossil Fuels

By Rachelle Peterson, National Association of Scholars, November 2015

https://www.nas.org/images/documents/NAS_insideDivestment_fullReport.pdf

“The divestment campaign is designed to fail,” said Rachelle Peterson, director of research projects at NAS and author of Inside Divestment. “The organizers’ goal is not to cause colleges to divest, but to anger students at the refusal of colleges to divest fully and to turn their frustration into long-term antipathy toward the modern fossil fuel-based economy.”

Defending the Orthodoxy

Keeping the Climate-Finance Promise

By Nicholas Stern, Chairman of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science and President of the British Academy, Project Syndicate, Nov 12, 2015

http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/climate-financing-paris-conference-by-nicholas-stern-2015-11

Paris and the Fate of the Earth

Peter Singer, Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University and Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne, Project Syndicate, Nov 11, 2015

http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/climate-summit-drastic-action-needed-by-peter-singer-2015-11

[SEPP Comment: Anything less [than abandoning meat consumption], however, would be a crime against billions of people, living and yet to be born, and against the entire natural environment of our planet.]

Questioning the Orthodoxy

Impact of Current Climate Proposals

By Bjorn Lomborg, Global Policy, Nov 9, 2015

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1758-5899.12295/full

Lomborg: Impact of Current Climate Proposals

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Nov 9, 2015

http://judithcurry.com/2015/11/09/lomborg-impact-of-current-climate-proposals/#more-20393

Promised Greenhouse Gas Emissions Cuts: A Useless Gesture

Editorial, IBD, Nov 11, 2015

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/111115-780350-greenhouse-gas-emissions-cuts-will-not-lower-temperature.htm

Is ‘climate change’ really the world’s most pressing problem? (OPINION)

By Gordon Fulks, Oregon Live, Nov 7, 2015

http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/11/is_climate_change_really_the_w.html

The Naked Climate Change Emperor

By Donna Laframboise, NFC, Nov 11, 2015

http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2015/11/11/the-naked-climate-change-emperor/

Thank a Cow for Cooling the Planet

By Larry Bell, Newsmax, Nov 9, 2015

http://www.newsmax.com/LarryBell/Climate-Change-Global-Warming/2015/11/09/id/701342/

350.org’s fossil fuel “divestment” exposed as pointless political puppetry by National Association of Scholars

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Nov 10, 2015

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/11/10/350-orgs-fossil-fuel-divestment-exposed-as-pointless-political-puppetry-by-national-association-of-scholars/

Humanity’s best days lie ahead

By Matt Ridley, Rational Optimist, Nov 8, 2015

http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/munk-debate/

The Weather Experiment

NZ Climate Truth Newsletter, Nov 9, 2015

By Vincent Gray, The Climate Skeptics Party, Nov 11, 2015

http://theclimatescepticsparty.blogspot.com.au/2015/11/the-weather-experiment.html

The China – US Agreement?

China promises action on climate ahead of Paris talks

By Joe McDonald, AP, Nov 8, 2015 [H/t Clyde Spencer]

http://news.yahoo.com/china-promises-action-climate-ahead-paris-talks-074339977–finance.html

China Approves 155 New Coal Power Plants

By Edward Wong, NYT, Via GWPF, Nov 11, 2015

http://www.thegwpf.com/china-approves-155-new-coal-power-plants/

On to Paris!

India to pressure rich nations to make bigger commitments on climate

By Amiti Sen, The Hindu, Nov 9, 2015 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/india-to-pressure-rich-nations-to-make-bigger-commitments-on-climate/article7862404.ece

India Not in Favour of Efforts to Expand Donor Base for Climate Change Fund

By Staff Writers, Press Trust of India, Nov 10, 2015

http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/india-not-in-favour-of-efforts-to-expand-donor-base-for-climate-change-fund-1242238

Climate Countdown: When’s a warming treaty not a treaty?

By Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer, Nov 12, 2015

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_CLIMATE_COUNTDOWN_PRETZEL?SITE=SCAND&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&utm_source=Daily+Carbon+Briefing&utm_campaign=efc2a0d6fd-cb_daily&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_876aab4fd7-efc2a0d6fd-303439889

[SEPP Comment: If the suggested conditions apply, then a simple vote by Congress (approved by the president succeeding Obama), to exclude CO2 from the Clean Air Act may void everything.]

The Administration’s Plan – Push-Back

Will 27 States Rain on EPA’s Parade?

By Thomas K. Lindsay, Real Clear Policy, Nov 10, 2015

http://www.realclearpolicy.com/blog/2015/11/10/will_27_states_rain_on_epas_parade.html

[SEPP Comment: Asserts a choice between two unconstitutional alternatives is unconstitutional.]

‘Too much energy, too soon, a hazard’ (Obama’s Science Advisor living his dream)

By Robert Bradley Jr. Master Resource, Nov 12, 2015

https://www.masterresource.org/holdren-john/too-much-energy-too-soon-a-hazard-obamas-science-advisor-living-the-dream/

100 National and State Parks Could Fail to Comply with EPA’s New Ozone Regulations

By Sam Batkins, Catrina Rorke, American Action Forum, Dec 8, 2015

http://americanactionforum.org/insights/100-national-and-state-parks-could-fail-to-comply-with-epas-new-ozone-regul

National parks fail EPA’s latest ozone mandates

By Tori Richards, Watchdog.org, Nov 9, 2015

http://watchdog.org/246159/park-smog/

Social Benefits of Carbon

Climate change is good news for English wine

By Ouerdya Ait Abdelmalek

Plumpton, United Kingdom (AFP) Nov 10, 2015

http://www.seeddaily.com/reports/Climate_change_is_good_news_for_English_wine_999.html

Claim: Global warming has been good for Champagne

Guest essay by Eric Worrall, WUWT, Nov 11, 2015

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/11/11/claim-global-warming-has-been-good-for-champagne/

Problems in the Orthodoxy

John Kerry: Paris Climate Deal Will Not Be Legally Binding

By Demetri Sevastopulo and Pilita Clark, Financial Times, Via GWPF, Nov 12, 2015

http://www.thegwpf.com/john-kerry-paris-climate-deal-will-not-be-legally-binding/

France to Kerry: Yes, climate deal will be ‘legally binding’

By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Nov 12, 205

http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/259919-france-europe-clash-with-kerry-over-un-climate-deal

Paris Climate Deal Concern: West Won’t Pay, The Rest Won’t Cut

By Staff Writers, Reuters, NYT, Via, GWPF, Nov 10, 2015

http://www.thegwpf.com/paris-climate-deal-concern-west-wont-pay-the-rest-wont-cut/

Vladimir Putin to attend Paris climate summit: France

By Staff Writers, AFP, Nov 8, 2015

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/vladimir-putin-attend-paris-climate-summit-france-125005204.html#KzU6lTw

Climate Activists Bracing for Failure at Paris

Guest essay by Eric Worrall, WUWT, Nov 11, 2015

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/11/11/climate-activists-bracing-for-failure-at-paris/

Green Climate Fund Must Fight Corruption Before It Can Beat Global Warming

By Ben Wolford, Newsweek, Nov 8, 2015 [H/t Climate Depot]

http://www.newsweek.com/green-climate-fund-must-fight-corruption-it-can-beat-global-warming-391771

India’s booming cities to drive world energy demand, IEA says

The country’s oil demand is expected to reach 10 million barrels a day in the next quarter of a century, marking the fastest growth in the world, IEA said

By Rajesh Kumar Singh, Live Mint, India, Nov 20, 2015

http://www.livemint.com/Industry/9Dfsk6IkKIRY1EpUvKTj1N/Indias-booming-cities-to-drive-world-energy-demand-IEA-say.html

Seeking a Common Ground

Call for an ethical framework for climate services

By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Nov 12, 2015

http://judithcurry.com/2015/11/12/call-for-an-ethical-framework-for-climate-services/

Now for the IPCC, how would we grade them based on these criteria?

  • Integrity: seriously downgraded for exaggerated confidence in their conclusions and failure to adequately account for minority perspectives on the importance of natural variability
  • Transparency:  massive failure, as highlighted by the IAC review of the IPCC.  Does anyone have any idea how the ‘extremely likely’ etc. conclusions are reached?
  • Humility: IPCC has massively oversold climate model projections
  • Collaboration:  What if the IPCC had collaborated with energy companies in the early days, on developing scenarios and assessing opportunities for cleaner energy?

Passing the one degree threshold

By Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance, Nov 13, 2015

http://scientific-alliance.org/node/967

Back to Basics Part 1 – What is Global Warming?

Guest Post by Bob Tisdale, WUWT, Nov 9, 2015

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/11/09/back-to-basics-part-1-what-is-global-warming/

Measurement Issues

Blockbuster: Are hot days in Australia mostly due to low rainfall, and electronic thermometers — not CO2?

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Nov 13, 2015

http://joannenova.com.au/2015/11/blockbuster-are-hot-days-in-australia-mostly-due-to-low-rainfall-and-electronic-thermometers-not-co2/

Comparing The Hurricane Seasons Of 1933 And 2005

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Nov 12, 2015

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2015/11/12/comparing-the-hurricane-seasons-of-1933-and-2005/

[SEPP Comment: Where there no mid-Atlantic hurricanes before? Doubtful.]

Why Do Wind Gusts Make Headlines?

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Nov 13, 2015

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2015/11/13/why-do-wind-gusts-make-headlines/

“I don’t know how long our technology has been able to measure at quarter second intervals, but this alone must lead to an inflation of gust speeds over older equipment.

One of the effects of this obsession is that it allows news outlets regularly to talk about ‘hurricane strength’ winds. This is absolute nonsense, as hurricane strength scales are all based on sustained wind speeds, not gusts.”

Changing Weather

Atlantic Hurricanes Down 80% from 10 Years Ago

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Nov 9, 2015

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2015/11/atlantic-hurricanes-down-80-from-10-years-ago/

Weather Pushes World Temperature Over Threshold

By David Whitehouse, GWPF, Nov 9, 2015

http://www.thegwpf.com/weather-pushes-world-temperature-over-threshold/

Global temperature rise to pass 1 degree C this year: Britain’s Met Office

By Staff Writers, Reuters, Nov 9, 2015 [H/t Clyde Spencer]

http://news.yahoo.com/global-temperature-rise-pass-1-degree-c-britains-130926959.html

Changing Climate

Megadroughts in past 2000 years worse, longer, than current droughts

By Jo Nova, Her blog, Nov 9, 2015

http://joannenova.com.au/2015/11/megadroughts-in-past-2000-years-worse-longer-than-current-droughts/

Link to paper: Old World megadroughts and pluvials during the Common Era

By Cook et al. Science Advances, Nov 6, 2015

http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/1/10/e1500561.full

“In addition, megadroughts reconstructed over north-central Europe in the 11th and mid-15th centuries reinforce other evidence from North America and Asia that droughts were more severe, extensive, and prolonged over Northern Hemisphere land areas before the 20th century, with an inadequate understanding of their causes. The OWDA provides new data to determine the causes of Old World drought and wetness and attribute past climate variability to forced and/or internal variability.”

The past shows how abrupt climate shifts affect Earth

By Staff Writers, Copenhagen, Denmark (SPX), Nov 13, 2015

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/The_past_shows_how_abrupt_climate_shifts_affect_Earth_999.html

As the Earth warmed out of the last ice age the climate of the northern hemisphere high-latitudes became extremely unstable. Ice cores from the Greenland Ice Sheet document temperature jumps of 10C in the space of a few decades. To understand how the climate can change so rapidly and whether similar events could be lurking in the future is a major focus of climate research.

[SEPP Comment: Is it better to have a stable ice age than an unstable warm period?]

Changing Seas

An outbreak of sanity

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Nov 13, 2015

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2015/11/13/an-outbreak-of-sanity.html

Wow? On sea-levels NSW councils told to take “scientific” approach, not IPCC predictions

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Nov 13, 2015

http://joannenova.com.au/2015/11/on-sea-levels-nsw-councils-told-to-take-scientific-approach-not-ipcc-predictions/

Link to paper: Is There Evidence Yet of Acceleration in Mean Sea Level Rise around Mainland Australia?

By P.J. Watson, Journal of Costal Research (AU), 2011

http://www.jcronline.org/doi/abs/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-10-00141.1?journalCode=coas

Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

Ozone Hole Over Antarctica Nears Record-Breaking Size Again

By Elizabeth Newbern, Live Science, Nov 12, 2015 [H/t Clyde Spencer]

http://news.yahoo.com/ozone-hole-over-antarctica-nears-record-breaking-size-130439991.html

How to Put Climate Alarmism on Ice

By Ian Tuttle, National Review, Via GWPF, Nov 7, 2015

http://www.thegwpf.com/how-to-put-climate-alarmism-on-ice/

NASA’s study on Antarctica’s ice: It’s growing

By Michael McGrady, The Hill, Nov 9, 2015

http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/energy-environment/259287-nasas-study-on-antarcticas-ice-its-growing

Changing Earth

Climate change is moving mountains, research says

By Staff Writers, Cincinnati OH (SPX), Nov 10, 2015

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Climate_change_is_moving_mountains_research_says_999.html

[SEPP Comment: Silly headline.]

Acidic Waters

Shifts in coral reef biogeochemistry and resulting acidification linked to offshore productivity

By Yeakel, et al, PNAS, Nov 9, 2015

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/11/04/1507021112

Corals ask: “Ocean acidification? Are we bovvered?”

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Nov 9, 2015

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2015/11/9/corals-ask-ocean-acidification-are-we-bovvered.html

Link to article: Growing corals turn water more acidic without suffering damage

By Staff Writers, New Scientist, Nov 9, 2015

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn28468-growing-corals-turn-water-more-acidic-without-suffering-damage/

Lowering Standards

BBC Ignore Satellite Data – I Wonder Why?

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

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2015/11/09/bbc-ignore-satellite-data-i-wonder-why/#more-18278

World Bank warns climate change could add 100 mln poor by 2030

By Megan Rowling, Reuters, Nov 9, 2015 [H/t Clyde Spencer] http://news.yahoo.com/world-bank-warns-climate-change-could-add-100-102856449.html

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

Some weapons-grade sophistry

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Nov 12, 2015

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2015/11/12/some-weapons-grade-sophistry.html

Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

G20 spends four times more on fossil fuel output than on renewables, think tank says

By Dasha Afanasieva, Reuters, Nov 11, 2015

http://news.yahoo.com/g20-spends-four-times-more-fossil-fuel-output-001623256.html

Link to Study: Empty promises: G20 subsidies to oil, gas and coal production

By Best, Doukas, Pickard, Der Burg, and Whitley, Overseas Development Institute (ODI) Nov 13 (?) 2015

http://www.odi.org/publications/10058-production-subsidies-oil-gas-coal-fossil-fuels-g20-broken-promises

‘Life on planet at stake’, France warns as climate ministers meet

By Mariëtte Le Roux, Joshua Melvin, AFP, Nov 8, 2015 [H/t Clyde Spencer]

http://news.yahoo.com/life-planet-stake-france-warns-climate-ministers-meet-133313741.html

Megacities hit hard by surging sea levels even at 2C rise: study

By Marlowe Hood, AFP, Nov 8, 2015

http://news.yahoo.com/megacities-hit-hard-surging-sea-levels-even-2c-230822780.html

Communicating Better to the Public – Do a Poll?

The Great Climate Lie

By Josh Gelernter, National Review, Nov 14, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/427055/climate-change-no-consensus

[SEPP Comment: It is not the results of the poll that count, but how the administrators of the poll manipulated the data.]

Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda on Children

Schools: not activist enough

By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Nov 11, 2015

http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2015/11/11/schools-not-activist-enough.html

Expanding the Orthodoxy

French president calls for environmental ‘security council’

By Staff writers, AFP, Nov 9, 2015

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/French_president_calls_for_environmental_security_council_999.html

MIT’s Plan for Action on Climate Change

Signed and Endorsed by MIT President L. Rafael Reif, Oct 21, 2015 [H/t Ronald Sundelin]

http://climateaction.mit.edu/

Questioning European Green

A Quarter Billion Euros For Nothing! Poor Consumers Forced To Pay for Phantom (Never Produced) Electricity!

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Nov 13, 2015

http://notrickszone.com/2015/11/13/a-quarter-billion-euros-for-nothing-poor-consumers-forced-to-pay-phantom-never-produced-electricity/#sthash.oUeD6DVE.dpbs

Bleeding To Death…Germany’s Largest Power Company E.ON Loses Whopping $7.8 Billion…Collapse Accelerates

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Nov 11, 2015

http://notrickszone.com/2015/11/11/bleeding-to-death-germanys-largest-power-company-e-on-loses-whopping-7-8-billion-collapse-accelerates/#sthash.EKdWXTus.dpbs

German Government Promotes Nutritional Guidelines …That Protect Climate (And Not Human Health)!

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

http://notrickszone.com/2015/11/09/german-government-promotes-nutritional-guidelines-that-protect-climate-and-not-human-health/#sthash.ZrEGETwS.dpbs

The obsession with global warming will put the lights out all over Britain

We are destroying our sources of secure energy as windless Wednesday showed this week

By Charles Moore, Telegraph, UK, Nov 6, 2015 [H/t GWPF]

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/energy/11980548/The-obsession-with-global-warming-will-put-the-lights-out-all-over-Britain.html

Matt Ridley: It’s Time For A U-Turn On Green Energy

By Matt Ridley, The Times, Via GWPF, Nov 9, 2015

http://www.thegwpf.com/matt-ridley-its-time-for-a-u-turn-on-green-energy/

“So-called cleaner energy has in reality created a dirtier, costlier and less reliable electricity industry. The government must make a U-turn or get the blame itself.”

 

EPA and other Regulators on the March

The County-Level Effects of EPA’s 2008 Ozone Standards on Employment and Pay

By Batkins, Gitis, Goldbeck and Arndt, American Action Forum, Nov 5, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]

http://americanactionforum.org/research/the-county-level-effects-of-epas-2008-ozone-standards-on-employment-and-pay

“Observed nonattainment counties experienced losses of $56.5 billion in total wage earnings, $690 in pay per worker, and 242,000 jobs between 2008 and 2013.”

Energy Issues – Non-US

Britain will miss legally-binding renewable energy target, Energy Secretary admits

Amber Rudd, the Energy Secretary, warns ‘absence of a credible plan’ will trigger repeated fines and a judicial review in leaked letter

By Ben Riley-Smith, Telegraph, UK, Nov 9, 2015

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/11985050/Britain-will-miss-legally-binding-renewable-energy-target-Energy-Secretary-admits.html

Energy Issues — US

Unregulated U.S. Utility Sector to See Downturn in 2016, Moody’s Warns

By Sonal Patel, Power Mag, Nov 10, 2015

http://www.powermag.com/unregulated-u-s-utility-sector-to-see-downturn-in-2016-moodys-warns/?hq_e=el&hq_m=3178351&hq_l=11&hq_v=5e660500d0

Washington’s Control of Energy

How the Environmentalists Won and the Environment Lost

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

http://www.carlineconomics.com/archives/2281

‘Absurd’ and ‘Embarrassing’: Obama Caters to Radical Environmentalists, Rejects Keystone XL Pipeline

By Nicolas Loris, CNS News, Nov 9, 2015

http://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/nicolas-loris/absurd-and-embarrassing-obama-caters-radical-environmentalists-rejects

The Keystone Rejection Isn’t Exactly An Environmental Win

By Dianna Wray, Houston Press, Nov 12, 2015

http://www.houstonpress.com/news/the-keystone-rejection-isnt-exactly-an-environmental-win-7919592

Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Almost Half Our Oil Imports Now Comes from Canada

By Editors, Real Clear Energy, Nov 12, 2015

http://www.realclearenergy.org/charticles/2015/11/12/almost_half_our_oil_imports_now_comes_from_canada_108878.html

Link to report: As total U.S. crude oil imports fall, Canada’s import supply share rises

By Staff Writers, EIA, Nov 12, 2015

http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=23732

Is The Oil Industry Really Subsidized?

By David Yager, Oil Price.com, Nov 12, 2015

http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Is-The-Oil-Industry-Really-Subsidized.html

Return of King Coal?

Advisory Committee to DOE: U.S. Must Level Playing Field for Coal, Carbon Capture Technologies

By Sonal Patel, Power Mag, Nov 11, 2015

http://www.powermag.com/advisory-committee-to-doe-u-s-must-level-playing-field-for-coal-carbon-capture-technologies/?hq_e=el&hq_m=3178351&hq_l=9&hq_v=5e660500d0

Link to report: Leveling the Playing Field: Policy Parity for Carbon Capture and Storage Technologies

Lead author Fred Earnes, et al, National Coal Council, Nov 2015

http://www.nationalcoalcouncil.org/studies/2015/Leveling-the-Playing-Field-for-Low-Carbon-Coal-Fall-2015.pdf

“Without commercial-scale deployment, developers have no history to understand technical risks, frequency and duration of down time, and other critical factors that become known only with operation. Today, the world’s first and only operating commercial-scale power plant with CCS, is successfully capturing more than 99% of the plant’s carbon dioxide (CO2), but in its first year has only operated 40% of the time because of technical complications. With broad deployment, technological experience and confidence will rise, and costs will decline. Policy parity is essential to this progress.”

[SEPP Comment: Compares the DOE budget and Tax Credits for coal with those for renewables – not close.]

Coal Plants Without CCS Can Meet EPA Standards, EPRI Study Says

By Thomas Overton, Power Mag, Nov 11, 2015

http://www.powermag.com/coal-plants-without-ccs-can-meet-epa-standards-epri-study-says/?hq_e=el&hq_m=3178351&hq_l=3&hq_v=5e660500d0

[SEPP Comment: All we need is subsidies!]

Global Coal Use Expected To Drop More Than Ever Before, Study Says

Grassroots movements have “killed the [coal] boom in its tracks.”

By Willa Frej, Huff Post, Nov 9, 2015 [H/t Clyde Spencer]

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/coal-consumption-decrease-greenpeace-study_5640b6c7e4b0411d3071a07d?utm_hp_ref=science&ir=Science&section=science

Link to study: Coal’s terminal decline

How a bad year for coal in 2014 has been followed by the biggest fall in consumption ever

By Staff Writers, Greenpeace, Nov 2015

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/publications/climate/2015/Coals-Terminal-Decline.pdf

[SEPP Comment: Apparently the Greenpeace study fails to take into consideration the admission by China that it is using about 17% more coal than previously reported.]

Oil Spills, Gas Leaks & Consequences

Oil dispersants can suppress natural oil-degrading microorganisms

By Staff Writers, Athens GA (SPX), Nov 12, 2015

http://www.oilgasdaily.com/reports/Oil_dispersants_can_suppress_natural_oil_degrading_microorganisms_999.html

Link to press release: New ECOGIG research shows oil dispersants can suppress natural oil-degrading microorganisms

By Alan Flurry, ECOGIG, No Date

https://ecogig.org/posts/new-ecogig-research-shows-oil-dispersants-can-suppress-natural-oil-degrading-microorganisms

Link to paper: Chemical dispersants can suppress the activity of natural oil-degrading microorganisms

By Kleindlenst, et al, PNAS, approved: Sep 25, 2015

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/11/04/1507380112.full.pdf?with-ds=yes

[SEPP Comment: Suggests that chemical dispersants may hinder natural microbial hydrocarbon degradation rates in deep water.]

Nuclear Energy and Fears

Unreasonable Fear of Radiation

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Nov 13, 2015

https://dddusmma.wordpress.com/2015/11/13/unreasonable-fear-of-radiation/

Status of Nuclear Reactors for Power Generation

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Nov 10, 2015

https://dddusmma.wordpress.com/2015/11/10/status-of-nuclear-reactors-for-power-generation/

Finland to build world’s first permanent nuke waste facility

By Staff Writers, AFP, Nov 12, 2015

http://news.yahoo.com/finland-build-worlds-first-permanent-nuke-waste-facility-160543319.html;_ylt=A0LEVvHLcUdWK0YAVFAnnIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTByOHZyb21tBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzcg–

“The cost for the repository’s entire life cycle, up to 100,000 years, is estimated at 3.5 billion euro.”

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

Wind makes electricity expensive and unreliable without cutting emissions

By Matt Ridley, Rational Optimist, (from The Times), Nov 13, 2015

http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/wind-power/

“It [UK policy promoting wind] has cost wealth, jobs, landscapes, wildlife, security of supply: and all for nothing in terms of emissions savings. It is no comfort to know that some of us have been predicting this for years.”

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other

USDA and States to Spend $210 Million on Fuel Pumps

By Belinda Silva, National Center for Policy Analysis, Nov 4, 2015 [H/t Timothy Wise]

http://environmentblog.ncpa.org/usda-and-states-to-spend-210-million-on-fuel-pumps/

Oh Mann!

Friday Funny – Paul Ehrlich’s review of Steyn’s book on Michael Mann’s work

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Nov 13, 2015

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/11/13/friday-funny-paul-ehrlichs-review-of-steyns-book-on-michael-manns-work/

Environmental Industry

The western environmental movement’s role in China’s one-child policy

By Matt Ridley, Rational Optimist, (from The Times), Nov 7, 2015

http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/one-child-policy/

President Obama’s science adviser, John Holdren, published a book jointly with the celebrity ecologists Paul and Anne Ehrlich recommending that a “planetary regime” be “given responsibility for determining the optimum population for the world and for each region and for arbitrating various countries’ shares within their regional limits”.

Other Scientific News

Peer Review Fraud on the Rise at Scientific Journals

Two large publishers of scientific journals have retracted more than 100 papers in the last year.

By Theodore Dalrymple, PJ Media, Oct 31, 2015

http://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2015/10/31/peer-review-fraud-on-the-rise-at-scientific-journals/

Reviewing Peer Review at the NIH

By Michael S. Lauer, M.D., and Richard Nakamura, Ph.D.N Engl J Med 2015; 373:1893-1895, Nov. 12, 2015

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1507427?query=TOC

Other News that May Be of Interest

40 Years Ago Today: The Big Lake Never Gave Up Her Dead

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Nov 10, 2015

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2015/11/40-years-ago-today-the-big-lake-never-gave-up-her-dead/

Br’er Canada and the Tar Baby

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

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2015/11/09/brer-canada-and-the-tar-baby/

[SEPP Comment: A look at the famous tar pits of Los Angeles after the turn of the 20th century and after the turn of the 21st century.]

Chinook salmon numbers surge in U.S. Northwest’s Columbia river system

By Staff Writers, Reuters, Nov 11, 2015 [H/t Clyde Spencer]

http://news.yahoo.com/chinook-salmon-numbers-surge-u-northwests-columbia-river-022048587.html

“It is the second-highest autumn run since fish counts began in 1938, Joel Scruggs, a spokesman for the federal agency, said. The record was set in 2013.”

[SEPP Comment: May have something to do with the shifting PDO.]

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BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:

Gunshots help deflate runaway military blimp in Pennsylvania

By Staff Writers, CBS News, Oct 29, 2015

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/gunshots-deflate-runaway-military-blimp-in-pennsylvania/

How Mother Nature helps prevent climate change

By Robert Ferris, CNBC, Nov 12, 2015

http://www.cnbc.com/2015/11/12/how-mother-nature-helps-prevent-climate-change.html?__source=yahoo|finance|headline|headline|story&par=yahoo&doc=103164242

[SEPP Comment: Almost funny. Climate change has been ongoing for hundreds of millions of years, long before humanity. Yet, according to this author, nature helps prevent it?]

Disaster needed!

By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, Nov 12, 2015

http://climatechangepredictions.org/uncategorized/5201

“If we want a good environmental policy in the future, we’ll have to have a disaster. It’s like safety on public transport. The only way humans will act is if there’s been an accident”

Sir John Houghton, former director of the Met Office, Chairman of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, Co-Chair of the IPCC (Sunday Telegraph, 10 Sep 95)

[SEPP Comment: We need a human disaster to save humanity?]

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ARTICLES:

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. Keystone Is a Fake Green Victory

If abundant fossil fuels is what affords such victories, well, you see the paradox.

Editorial, WSJ, Nov 10, 2015

http://www.wsj.com/articles/keystone-is-a-fake-green-victory-1447199960

SUMMARY: The editorial addresses some victories claimed by Mr. Bill McKibben and the Greens over the Administration’s denying the Keystone pipeline extension into Canada. Among them are:

“• He [Mr. McKibben] sees Keystone as a harbinger, which it surely is: President Obama waited seven years to kill the pipeline, then did so when he no longer had to face voters and when gasoline prices are near an all-time low in real terms. If abundant fossil fuels is what it takes to afford Mr. McKibben such victories, well, you can see the paradox.

• He celebrates the divestment movement as if it means anything. But buyers will always materialize for profitable businesses. Anyway, 80% of the world’s fossil-fuel reserves are not held by publicly traded businesses, but by state-run companies—run by states that have never shown interest in anything but revenue maximization.

• He thinks solar is somehow changing the energy picture, but for every additional unit of solar the world consumed in 2014, it consumed 325 additional units of fossil energy.”

The editorial further states:

“But likely the revolution won’t be happening in the U.S., as Microsoft founder Bill Gates implicitly testified when he brought his supersafe traveling wave reactor prototype to China because America wasn’t interested. China needs such technology because it likes to breathe, never mind any concerns about global warming.

 

“The carbon dioxide problem, if carbon dioxide is a problem, isn’t going to be solved by banning fossil fuels or begging them to stay in the ground. The problem will be solved by coming up with alternative energy technology that improves on fossil fuels in a sizable share of applications not only for environmental reasons, but for cost and utility reasons.”

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2. Prosecuting Climate Dissent

Progressives target Exxon for punishment over its research.

Editorial, WSJ, Nov 8, 2015

http://www.wsj.com/articles/prosecuting-climate-dissent-1447020219

The editorial criticizes the lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General and progressive activist Eric Schneiderman. The comments about association with the tobacco industry include:

“The tobacco analogy is instructive, though not in the way Mr. Whitehouse intends. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States. The harm from tobacco is manifest and has been for decades. These columns have always acknowledged this reality, albeit that it’s also a legal product that individuals can choose to use at their own risk.

 

“When government in the 1990s forced tobacco companies to pay for the Medicaid costs of smoking-related diseases, the result was to make politicians business partners with the Marlboro Man in steering hundreds of billions of dollars in smoking revenues to federal and state coffers. Mr. Whitehouse may covet a similar revenue gusher in the oil patch.

 

“But regarding climate change, there isn’t a single death anywhere in the world that can be proven to result from an increase in global temperatures caused by the burning of fossil fuels, never mind fuels marketed specifically by Exxon. If human use of fossil fuels is responsible for deaths, then prosecutors should go after Al Gore for flying private jets and Mr. Obama for taking credit for the shale-drilling boom. Even the corrupt American tort system still requires some evidence of harm and specific cause.

 

“This may explain why we’re told that Mr. Schneiderman doesn’t see how he can prove harm from fossil fuels. So instead of RICO he appears to be focused on the Martin Act, the appalling New York state law enacted in 1921 to prosecute stock-sale boiler rooms. The Martin Act doesn’t require prosecutors to prove intent to defraud, which is why it was a favorite tool of the Empire State’s disgraced former AG Eliot Spitzer.”

“Even with the fearsome power of the Martin Act, this investigation appears built for media consumption more than courtroom success. There are no “facts” about the eventual extent and impact of climate change that Exxon or anyone else can hide, because inside or outside the company there are only estimates based largely on computer models.

 

“And if the Exxon files reveal various competing conjectures, even in New York it still isn’t illegal to conduct scientific research. Exxon says its scientists have published more than 50 papers on climate-related research in peer-reviewed publications. Exxon has also been explicit in its financial disclosures that the politics of climate change poses potential risks to investors.”

**************

3. California Dreamin’—of Lower Prices at the Pump

Thanks to Golden State bureaucrats, Californians will continue to pay a premium for energy.

By Jocob Borden, WSJ, Nov 11, 2015

http://www.wsj.com/articles/california-dreaminof-lower-prices-at-the-pump-1447285670

SUMMARY: The author states the California Air Resources Board adopted, by regulation, a carbon fuel standard, which the state legislature had considered and dropped during recent legislation.

“The task now falls on energy producers—oil companies, refiners and electric companies—to either increase production of renewable electricity and biofuels or pay someone else to do so by buying emissions credits. But changing California’s gasoline is increasingly difficult. A federal mandate to blend renewable fuels has already pushed the ethanol content in most gasoline to the 10% limit tolerated by existing engine designs. Automobile manufacturers will come under increasing pressure to sell more plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles, as well as flex-fuel vehicles that accept gas with up to 85% ethanol.

 

“The impact on fuel prices is difficult to quantify, as it will depend on how much carbon dioxide can be offset by introducing even more of the available substitutes. Since one gallon of ethanol offsets a fraction of the carbon emitted by a gallon of gasoline, a 10% reduction in average carbon intensity could displace as much as 40% of the gasoline. To prevent runaway prices, at least CARB established a price ceiling for carbon credits equivalent to $2.30 per gallon of gasoline.”

“Yes, refiners and electricity generators may receive nontradable emissions-reduction credits for facility improvement projects, but only after a lengthy application and review process. Any such project would need to be well off the drawing board already to have meaningful impact by 2020.

“Californians will continue to pay a premium for energy. In 2006 gasoline in California was no more than four or five cents a gallon more expensive than the U.S. average. The margin widened to 30 cents a gallon in 2010, to 50 cents in 2013, to 75 cents today. Likewise, California’s residential electricity rates have rocketed from 11th-most expensive in the country in 2009 to fifth most expensive today. Behold the marvels of low-carbon energy.”

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3 thoughts on “Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #205

  1. “”The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions.”…
    “The ensemble of model solutions” appears to be the mean, but calling the products “solutions” is a misnomer.”
    I would venture to say that the ‘mean’ of the ensemble model solutions does not represent a ‘probability distribution’ of the possible future states of the climate system.

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