The Week That Was: 2016-03-26 (March 26, 2016) 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)
Lack of Evidence: For the past several weeks, TWTW has addressed the evidence supporting EPA’s finding that human greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2), endanger human health and welfare (EPA Endangerment Finding). We found little or no physical evidence supporting the finding. Without this finding the EPA has no legal basis for regulating CO2, and the administration has no logical basis for its energy plan of eliminating coal-fired power plants through CO2 regulations. These regulations are based on a controversial 2007 Supreme Court decision stating that CO2 is a pollutant under the Clean Air Act, even though it is not a defined category pollutant. According to the decision, before regulating, the EPA must find greenhouse gases (particularly CO2) endanger public health.
The five assessment reports (ARs) of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) produce some excellent science, but also misleading assertions. The so-called “hot spot”, mistakenly called the distinct human fingerprint in IPCC’s second assessment report of Working Group I (AR-2 1995), has not been found to exist. There is no discernible increase in atmospheric warming trends over the tropics centered at about 33,000 feet. (Note: it is the warming trends over time, increasing with altitude, that are important. A lapse rate, the decline in actual temperatures with increasing altitude would still be observed, but the rate should decline over time.) In fact, the AR-2 synthesis report, which followed the Working Group I report, makes no mention of the hot spot in the section titled: “The Balance of Evidence Suggests a Discernible Human Influence on Global Climate.” (p. 22). The strongest statement in the section is:
“More convincing recent evidence for the attribution of a human effect on climate is emerging from pattern-based studies, in which the modelled climate response to combined forcing by greenhouse gases and anthropogenic sulphate aerosols is compared with observed geographical, seasonal and vertical patterns of atmospheric temperature change. These studies show that such pattern correspondences increase with time, as one would expect, as an anthropogenic signal increases in strength. Furthermore, the probability is very low that these correspondences could occur by chance as a result of natural internal variability only. The vertical patterns of change are also inconsistent with those expected for solar and volcanic forcing.”
What we have seen is that if the “pattern-based studies” refers to the “hot-spot”, then the “anthropogenic signal” has not increased in strength with time as the UN report claimed it would. Why the EPA would insist on its existence in its 2009 Endangerment Finding is known only to the EPA. As demonstrated in the Appendix I of the petition of some scientists opposing the Administration’s power plan the “hot spot” cannot be found, thus the “hot spot” does not substantiate the EPA’s finding and the Administration’s rules against CO2 emissions. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and
Quote of the Week: As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality. – Albert Einstein
Number of the Week: 51% (41 times that of 2000)
Un-Validated Models: Similarly, the EPA argues that the Endangerment Finding is justified by our general knowledge of climate science and by the climate models predicting (projecting) dire consequences about 100 years hence. As the world refuses to warm as predicted by the models, our lack of knowledge about climate change is being exposed by nature. Natural variation is far more important than the IPCC, or the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) state. Again, this incorrect emphasis on knowledge that does not exist about human influence on climate over natural influences is key to the EPA Endangerment Finding, the Administration’s energy plan, and the US involvement in the Paris Accord to curtail CO2 emissions, committed to by the Administration without Congressional approval. These issues are partially addressed in Appendices II and III of the above referenced petition. Currently, global warming advocates are claiming the current warming in global temperatures as a result of the El Niño demonstrates the validity of their views, which it does not. El Niño is a weather event, not a climate event.
The IPCC has never validated the climate models it uses to project dire climate consequences from use of fossil fuels. As discussed in the March 19 TWTW, even the core study in 1979, the Charney Report to the National Research Council of the US National Academy of Sciences, used general circulation models to verify other models – a procedure that is not empirical verification; but, rather, more complex speculation. Since 1979 we have ample observations of global atmospheric temperatures from satellites independently verified by observations using different equipment from weather balloons. The globe’s atmosphere is not warming as predicted/projected by the Charney Report and by the five UN IPCC reports that followed.
These observations provide a classic example of the need to empirically verify the speculation of scientists, no matter how brilliant they are. Those who state they only look at surface temperatures, because that’s where people live, are engaged in deliberate ignorance.
Writing in The Rebel, Tim Ball has an overview of the paucity (scarceness) of surface climate data and the total lack of atmospheric climate data required by the models. The atmospheric data from satellites involve large volumes of the atmosphere, not small mathematically defined grids used in the models. The difference between the model’s precision and the data demonstrates that all too frequently mathematically techniques greatly exceed observational capabilities. Without observational support, the techniques become interesting, and often brilliant, speculation. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and Changing Weather.
Status of Legal Proceedings: The Brief of Amici Curiae Scientists in Support of Petitioners (including states) opposing the Administration’s power plan has been accepted by the US Court of Appeals for District of Columbia Circuit, the court of relevant jurisdiction. With the Supreme Court “stay” on implementing the administration’s power plan, the proceedings are on an accelerated schedule. The Oral Arguments are scheduled for June 2, 2016, with a decision possible as early as September. No doubt, the losing party will appeal for a hearing by the full court. Additional petitions will be due 90 days after the court’s decision. Most likely this case will be heard by the Supreme Court, possibly in 2017. The petition by E&E Legal that the EPA did not comply with its peer review procedures (as found by the EPA inspector general) was denied for technical reasons. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and Litigation Issues.
Racketeering: The March 19 TWTW carried an editorial in the Wall Street Journal, criticizing the position of certain politicians, including Senator Sheldon Whitehouse from Rhode Island, demanding investigation by the Department of Justice of those who do not agree with the government’s position on climate change under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). The Justice Department referred the matter to the FBI. The Journal published a letter from Mr. Whitehouse stating he requested a civil investigation, not a criminal one, which he claims the Justice Department bungled. According to his official bio, Mr Whitehouse was a United States Attorney for the District of Rhode Island from 1993 to 1998 and the Attorney General of Rhode Island from 1999 to 2003. Rhode Island is noted for racketeering. Apparently, Mr. Whitehouse believes if a student hears that professor X is under Federal investigation for racketeering, the immediate response will be “Is it civil or criminal?”
Also writing in the Wall Street Journal, two practitioners of appellate and constitutional litigation, who defended the Competitive Enterprise Institute against legal proceedings instituted by Mr. Michael Mann, draw parallels between these RICO activities and the inquisitors of Galileo Galilei in 1633, with Mr. Whitehouse “assuming the mantle of Grand Inquisitor.” Calling the current efforts “Climate Inquisition” they state:
“Intimidation is the point of these efforts. Individual scientists, think tanks and private businesses are no match for the vast powers that government officials determined to stifle dissent are able to wield. An onslaught of investigations—with the risk of lawsuits, prosecution and punishment—is more than most can afford to bear. As a practical reality, defending First Amendment rights in these circumstances requires the resources to take on the government and win—no matter the cost or how long it takes.
“It also requires taking on the Climate Inquisition directly. Spurious government investigations, driven by the desire to suppress a particular viewpoint, constitute illegal retaliation against protected speech and, as such, can be checked by the courts, with money damages potentially available against the federal and state perpetrators. If anyone is going to be intimidated, it should be officials who are willing to abuse their powers to target speech with which they disagree.”
See Articles # 1 and # 2 at the bottom of TWTW.
Another Poll? American Meteorological Society (AMS) has produced the initial finding of another survey of its members. The participation rate was 53.3%. It was conducted by George Mason University with Edward Maibach of the RICO 20 the lead author (academics calling for racketeering investigations of those who doubt their conclusions about dangerous human-caused global warming). The funding of the survey came from the National Science Foundation (NSF). As Judith Curry states, had she received the survey her first reaction would have been not to respond. How many others would react the same, when the leader of a survey is calling for racketeering investigation of those who disagree with conclusions that are not supported by empirical evidence?
Among the questions are: “Regardless of the cause, do you think climate change is happening? [Only for millions of years.] How sure are you that climate change is happening?” [The northern US is no longer covered with ice], etc. Which if any of the following reasons contributed to your becoming more convinced (or less convinced). Answers include peer-reviewed climate science, personal observation, scientific community seems more certain, etc.
Not one of the questions presented in the initial findings ask the key question. What is the most compelling physical evidence that humans are the primary cause of climate change? A secondary question would be why have the global climate models generally failed in predicting atmospheric climate change? See links under: Communicating Better to the Public – Do a Poll?
James Hansen’s Sea Level Rise: James Hansen, with others, has produced another study of the threat of sea level rise from human caused global warming, which is not occurring as he predicted in 1988. The abstract states: “We hypothesize that ice mass loss from the most vulnerable ice, sufficient to raise sea level several meters, is better approximated as exponential than by a more linear response.” [Boldface added.]
There is no logical way disprove this assertion for many years to come and he knows it because he has repeated it for several years. Conversely, there is no logical way to presently disprove the assertion: “We hypothesize that ice mass loss from the most vulnerable ice, sufficient to raise sea level several meters, is better approximated as logarithmic than by a more linear response.” One could make this argument from sea level rise over the past 1000 years, or so.
Several proponents of human-caused global warming have criticized Mr. Hansen’s claims. According to an article: ““When asked about critics during Monday’s press conference, Hansen said that skepticism is a normal part of the scientific process.” The reporter concluded: “So it seems that the irreversible effects of climate change remain what he’s most concerned about.” See links under Changing Seas.
CO2 Levels: Much is made about the current level of CO2. Headlines claim that CO2 is increasing faster than any time since the so-called Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) – a period of warm temperature for about 200,000 years. It seems that during PETM ocean temperatures rose rapidly and reached 5 deg C warmer than today and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached 1000 ppm (it’s about 400 ppm today).
What is omitted in such reports are periods of sudden warming over the past 20,000 years that cannot be explained by increasing CO2 – the Dansgaard–Oeschger (D-O) events – discussed in the March 19 TWTW. A NOAA web site states D-O events are periods of abrupt warming (5 to 7 deg. C) followed by more gradual cooling. If one were concerned about current climate change, then explaining these events would be more appropriate than explaining events that occurred tens of millions of years ago, when the geophysical features of earth were significantly different than it is today. See links under Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice
Number of the Week: 51% (41 times that of 2000). According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), noted for independent statistics & analysis, in 2015 51% of oil production in the US came from hydraulically fractured wells. “In 2000, approximately 23,000 hydraulically fractured wells produced 102,000 barrels per day (b/d) of oil in the United States, making up less than 2% of the national total. By 2015, the number of hydraulically fractured wells grew to an estimated 300,000, and production from those wells had grown to more than 4.3 million b/d, making up about 50% [51%] of the total oil output of the United States.”
In 2015, the daily production from hydraulically fractured wells was about 41 times that of 2000. There appears to be no limit in the foreseeable future in production of oil from privately owned and state owned lands. Of course, none of this occurring on Federally controlled lands and waters. But don’t tell the Department of Energy, which is seeking to make the country more dependent on unreliable wind power, or the Department of Defense, which seeks “energy security” from wind, solar, and biofuels. See links under Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
ARTICLES: The Articles section is now at the bottom of TWTW.
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Suppressing Scientific Inquiry – The Witch Hunt – Push-Back
Pushing Back Against Green Bullies
Editorial, WSJ, Via GWPF, Mar 20, 2016
No climate change heresy trials
Editorial, The Detroit News, Mar 19, 2016
Use of Fear to Silence Climate Skeptics Is An Assault On Reason
Guest opinion: Dr. Tim Ball, WUWT, Mar 13, 2016
Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC
Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming
The NIPCC Report on the Scientific Consensus
By Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter, and S. Fred Singer, NIPCC, Nov 23, 2015
Download with no charge
BOOK REVIEW: ‘Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming’
By Antony Sadar, Washington Times, Mar 21, 2016
Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science
Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2013
Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts
Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2014
Challenging the Orthodoxy
State of West Virginia, State of Texas, et al. v. EPA,
“Brief of Amici Curiae Scientists in Support of Petitioners Supporting Reversal”
Proof that computer climate models CAN’T work
By Tim Ball, The Rebel, Mar 19, 2016
“Oceans cover 70 percent and land 30 percent of the Earth’s surface. There is essentially no weather data for approximately 85 percent of the globe.”
“Surface data is completely inadequate, but it’s worse in the vertical, with no data in space and time.”
German Geology Expert: Glaciers Are Not Melting “Faster Than Ever” …Requests Statement From Deutsche Welle
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Mar 23, 2016
The IPCC has been Deceiving the Public about the Carbon Cycle from the Start
Guest essay by Ari Halperin, WUWT, Mar 16, 2016
Defending the Orthodoxy
Stop Attacking Scientists for Reporting the Truth on Climate Change (Op-Ed)
By Rush Holt, CEO of AAAS; Chris Field, Carnegie Institution and Stanford University, Live Science, Mar 16, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
Rush Holt is CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and executive publisher of Science and its family of journals. Chris Field is director of the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology and a professor for interdisciplinary environmental studies at Stanford University.
[SEPP Comment: Show the physical evidence that human emissions of CO2 are the primary cause of climate change! These defenders of the orthodoxy do not criticize Department of Justice actions threatening skeptics!]
Rockefellers Admit Paying For # Exxon Knew Media Coverage
By Katie Brown, Energy In Depth, Mar 24, 2016 [H/t Cooler Heads]
Link to Reuters article: Rockefeller Family Fund hits Exxon, divests from fossil fuels
By Terry Wade and Anna Driver, Reuters, Mar 24, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Will politicians call for Department of Justice investigations of these oil interests?]
The Global Warming ‘Pause’: What Alarmists Said Back in 2009
By Robert Bradley Jr. Master Resource, Mar 23, 2016
Questioning the Orthodoxy
I Hope The IPCC Is Correct About Warming Because Cooling Is a Bigger Problem
Guest opinion; Dr. Tim Ball, WUWT, Mar 19, 2016
Australian Logic On Climate Policy Demonstrates Extent Of Bureaucratic Control
By Tim Ball, A Different Perspective, Mar 19, 2016
Condition of S Hudson Bay polar bears varies with freeze-up only says new study
By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Mar 23, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Ice formation, not ice break-up, is important to these polar bears.]
Efforts to curtail world temps will almost surely fail
The goals set a few months ago in Paris to prevent further rising of worldwide temperatures are almost sure to fail and will never be achieved, according to a new study.
By Staff Writers, Science Daily, Mar 23, 2016
Link to paper: The 21st century population-energy-climate nexus
By Jones and Warner, Energy Policy, June 2016
[SEPP Comment: Even assuming the UNFCCC and the IPCC has the science right, which they do not!]
Fast-Tracking Climate Action
By Achim Steiner is United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).and Christiana Figueres is Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Project Syndicate, Mar 24, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Why do the UN organizations these authors lead concentrate on CO2?]
Paris Fallout: “Radical” Climate Bill Stuns German Industry …Warn Of “Catastrophic Consequences” And “Climate Dictatorship” …”A Poison List Of Draconian Measures”! –
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Mar 21, 2016
The Administration’s Plan – Push-Back
State Dept’s $500 Million Transfer to the U.N.
By Staff Writers, Senator Republican Policy Committee, Mar 15, 2016 [H/t ICECAP]
Social Benefits of Carbon
Elevated CO2 to the Salt Marsh Rescue!
By Craig Idso, Cato, Mar 24, 2016
Why wine lovers can cheer climate change – for now
Warmer conditions due to climate change are not combined with droughts the way they have been in the past. That means earlier harvests and higher quality across France. But there can be too much of a good thing, Bill Condie reports.
By Bill Condi, Cosmos, Mar 22, 2016 [H/t GWPF]
[SEPP Comment: Ignoring that “French” wine vines produced good wine in the midlands of England until the Little Ice Age.]
Seeking a Common Ground
The Golden Rule of Climate Extremes
By Cliff Mass, Weather Blog, Mar 21, 2016
You Say Meethane, I Say Meth-ane, Let’s Agree We Don’t Know Where It’s Coming From
By Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger and Patrick J. Michaels, Cato, Mar 24, 2016
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science
Seemingly Unresolvable Biases of CMIP3 and 5 Climate Models
Zhang, X., Liu, H. and Zhang, M. 2015. Double ITCZ in Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Models: From CMIP3 to CMIP5. Geophysical Research Letters 42: 8651-8659. Mar 25, 2016
Winter Frontal Precipitation Problems of CMIP5 Climate Models
Catto, J.L., Jakob, C. and Nicholls, N. 2015. Can the CMIP5 models represent winter frontal precipitation? Geophysical Research Letters 42: 8596-8604., Mar 24, 2016
The Velocities of Tributary Glaciers to Antarctica’s Amery Ice Shelf
Pittard, M.L., Roberts, J.L., Watson, C.S., Galton-Fenzi, B.K., Warner, R.C. and Coleman, R. 2015. Velocities of the Amery Ice Shelf’s primary tributary glaciers, 2004-12. Antarctic Science 27: 511-523. Mar 23, 2016
Measurement Issues — Surface
More Alarmist Nonsense with the Release of the Redundant* NOAA Global Temperature Data for February 2016
*Or Maybe the GISS Land-Ocean Temperature Index is Redundant.
By Bob Tisdale, Climate Observations, Mar 22, 2016 [H/t GWPF]
Link to free e-book: On Global Warming and the Illusion of Control
By Bob Tisdale, ebook, 2015
[SEPP Comment: Repeat the same findings frequently, no matter how poor the evidence of a trend.]
Nonlinearities in patterns of long term ocean warming
By Rugenstein, Sedlacek, Knutti, Geophysical Research Letters, Mar 12, 2016
From the abstract: “As a consequence, it is problematic to deduce long term from short term heat uptake or scale the heat uptake patterns between scenarios. These results also question simple methods to estimate long term sea level rise from surface temperatures, and the use of deep sea proxies to represent surface temperature changes in past climate.”
Some oddities in HadSST
By Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, Mar 25, 2016
Measurement Issues — Atmosphere
It’s “special” science where one Hot Month is the signal, and years of The Pause is just noise.
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Mar 26, 2016
The Lessons from El Nino
By Patrick J. Michaels, Cato, Mar 24, 2016
How much clarity do we have on transition to La Niña? – Braun
By Karen Braun, Reuters, Mar 18, 2016
“The potential for the massive El Niño to transition into La Niña later in the year is one of the hottest topics in commodities markets right now.”
World-Renowned Climate Scientist Makes Dire Warning About Sea Level Rise, Storms
Controversial new research explains why increasing global temperatures could be more dangerous than we thought.
By Jacqueline Howard, Huffpost, Mar 22, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
Link to paper: Ice melt, sea level rise and superstorms: evidence from paleoclimate data, climate modeling, and modern observations that 2 °C global warming could be dangerous
By James Hansen + 17 others, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Mar 22, 2016
Study: 70 percent of coastal Northeast could adapt to rising seas
By Tamara Dietrich, Daily Press, Mar 19, 2016 [H/t Timothy Wise]
[SEPP Comment: Unable to locate the new study.]
Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice
Arctic Ice And Another Little Ice Age
By David Whitehouse, GWPF, Mar 24, 2016
“Journalism, especially science journalism, can be either descriptive or analytical. Recently those articles covering climate change have been concentrating on the former to the detriment of understanding the story.
“The problem [with the PETM] is, of course, that the Earth was a very different place 56 million years ago. There was no ice, sea-levels were higher, the distribution of continents different which affected ocean circulation. Also there is good evidence that back then temperature rise preceded the release of carbon dioxide by about 3,000 years. Few reporters mentioned these facts.”
Heinrich and Dansgaard-Oeschger events
Paleo Perspective…on Abrupt Climate Change
By Staff Writers, NOAA, Updated Aug 20, 2008
New, Vast Body Of Literature Shows Rates Of Glacier Retreat, Sea Level Change, Now Significantly LOWER!
By guest author Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Mar 14, 2016
Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?
Bangladesh blames Global Warming for Water Shortage
Guest essay by Eric Worrall, WUWT, Mar 21, 2016
Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
Bloomberg’s Renewable Fantasyland
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Mar 23, 2016
Communicating Better to the Public – Do a Poll?
New AMS members survey on climate change
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Mar 24, 2016
Link to survey: a 2016 survey of American Meteorological Society Members about Climate Change: Initial Findings
By Edward Maibach, et al. George Mason University, Mar 2016
Funding for this research was provided by NSF Award # DRL-1422431.
New AMS survey busts the 97% climate consensus claim
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Mar 25, 2016
One-Third of AMS Members Don’t Agree with Climate Change Orthodoxy
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Mar 24, 2016
Questioning European Green
European clean tech industry falls into rapid decline
Investment in low-carbon energy in Europe last year plummeted by more than half to $58bn, the lowest level in a decade, analysis shows
By Fiona Harvey, The Guardian, Mar 23, 2016
“But after peaking at $132bn in 2011, investment in the EU plunged by more than half, to 18% of the global total, or $58bn, in 2015.”
[SEPP Comment: After these massive “investments” wind power is still not reliable.]
Energy Masterminds: German PV Power Costs 50 Cents To Produce, Gets Less Than 4 Cents On The Market!
Photovoltaic: Germany’s cost driver
By Michael Krueger (Translated/edited by P Gosselin), No Tricks Zone, Mar 19, 2016
Questioning Green Elsewhere
The Myth of Sustainable Power from Renewables
By Staff Writers, IER, Mar 17, 2016
Value Received for CAPEX
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Mar 22, 2016
[SEPP Comment: The importance of Return on Investments (ROI) applies. Is it before taxes and subsidies or after taxes and subsidies?]
Energy strategies: horses for courses
By Planning Engineer and Rud Istvan, Climate Etc. Mar 20, 2016
Garth Paltridge offers a solution to CSIRO climate scientists suffering from the “settled” syndrome
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Mar 23, 2016
The Political Games Continue
Future of “Green Energy” [in US] Likely to Be Determined Largely by 2016 Election
By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, Mar 25, 2016
McConnell: Obama climate plan hinges on next president
By Matthew Daly, AP, Mar 21, 2016 [H/t GWPF]
Lame: D.C. Circuit court seems to think collusion between green activists and EPA is A-OK
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Mar 21, 2016
Subsidies and Mandates Forever
Failing Ivanpah solar power plant gets temporary reprieve, but is producing ‘prohibitively expensive’ electricity
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Mar 21, 2016
‘Grid Parity’ for Renewables: Why Subsidies? (Part II)
By Mark Febrizio, Master Resource, Mar 22, 2016
GE Is Building America’s First Offshore Wind Farm
By Joshua Hill, Clean Technica, Mar 23, 2016
[GE] “hopes that upon completion, the wind farm will provide approximately 90% of Block Island’s electricity demand.”
[SEPP Comment: The cost, subsidies, and production data will be interesting Will the production be better than the Canary Islands of 32% with pumped hydro storage?]
Public Utility Ratemaking 101 (the problems of rate base, cost passthrough)
By Jim Clarkson, Master Resource, Mar 24, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Part 1 of 2: Explaining why utilities do not fight costly government mandates – they can be used to boost guaranteed profits.]
EPA and other Regulators on the March
A word from a toxicologist who defected from the federal junk science army
By John Dale Dunn, American Thinker Mar 15, 2016
EPA Spends $295,507 to Track Energy and Water Use of Office Workers
Color-coded light system will alert employees ‘to change their habits’
By Elizabeth Herrington, Washington Free Beacon, Mar 11, 2016 [H/t Timothy Wise]
OSHA issues long-delayed silica rules
By Tim Devaney, The Hill, Mar 24, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Will the rules be used against hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas?]
Energy Issues — US
It’s Not That Easy Being Green
By Editors, Real Clear Energy, Mar 24, 2016
[SEPP Comment: See link immediately below.]
Feds join wind energy transmission project
By Devin Henry, The Hill, Mar 25, 2016
According to the president of the company promoting the project: “The Plains and Eastern Clean Line is the largest clean energy infrastructure project in the nation and will modernize the U.S. electric grid while bringing forth new investment, job creation, and more low-cost power for American consumers.” [Boldface added.]
[SEPP Comment: According to the Secretary of Energy, wind power will “enhance the reliability of our grid.” Yet, wind power is very unreliable!]
Washington’s Control of Energy
Feds tell Exxon Mobil to allow climate change vote
By Devin Henry, The Hill, Mar 24, 2016
Feds start public-land coal review process
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Mar 24, 2016
Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
Fracking’s Stunning Numbers
By Editors, Real Clear Energy, Mar 25, 2016
Link to report: Hydraulic fracturing accounts for about half of current U.S. crude oil production
By Staff Writers, EIA, Mar 15, 2016
Here’s what it costs to drill a shale well these days
By Jennifer Hiller, Fuel Fix, Mar 24, 2016
Link to report: Trends in U.S. Oil and Natural Gas Upstream Costs
By Staff Writers, EIA, March 2016
Link to production report: Drilling Productivity Report
By Staff Writers, EIA, Mar 7, 2016
[SEPP Comment: The lower cost of rigs is important, so is the increased production per oil rig.]
U.S. shale gas output increasing
Industry survey finds Utica shale a standout in the United States.
By Daniel Graeber, UPI, Mar 23, 2016
Link to report: Growth in domestic natural gas production leads to development of LNG export terminals
By Staff Writers, EIA, Mar 4, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Do not tell Governor Cuomo of New York.]
No Water Contamination from Fracking
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Mar 25, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Governor Cuomo’s ban on hydraulic fracturing is not supported by fact.]
‘Outstanding’ oil flow produced by Gatwick Gusher
Studies have suggested that there are reserves of around 10 billion barrels under Horse Hill
By Nick Goodway, Independent, UK, Mar 21, 2016
Shale Revolution: Investors Suffer $150 Billion Oil Price Hit
By Eric Platt, Ed Crooks and Laura Noonan, Financial Times, Via GWPF, Mar 22, 2016
[SEPP Comment: After making how much? How much are consumers saving by lower oil prices?]
Nuclear Energy and Fears
Is Small Nuclear Beautiful?
By John Constable, GWPF, Mar 20, 2016
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind
Storm clouds on solar energy’s horizon
By William O’Keefe, The Hill, Mar 25, 2016 [H/t Cooler Heads]
US OKs offshore wind research facility off Virginia’s coast
By Steve Szkotak, AP, Mar 25, 2016
“Data collected under this research lease will help us better understand the wind potential, weather and other conditions off of Virginia’s coast,” according to Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Abigail Ross Hopper.
[SEPP Comment: Any off-shore sailor can state the wind fails too often in the summer!]
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles
Wait! What? As Gas Prices Drop, Americans Turn To Alternate Fuels
By Andrew Malcolm, IBD, Mar 25, 2016
California Dreamin’ Renewables
Guest essay by Wayne Delbeke, WUWT, Mar 22, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Alberta, Canada, dreaming of California – will it be a nightmare?]
Deep in the Red, California Pension Fund Pulls Political Stunts
By Staff Writers, The American Interest, Mar 24, 2016
Environmentalism of the Left is Religious Socialism
By Tim Ball, A Different Perspective, Mar 19, 2016
Other Scientific News
Drinking Too Much Water as Deadly as Too Little
By Ruth Kava, ACSH, Mar 17, 2016
Link to letter: Hyponatremia among Triathletes in the Ironman European Championship
By Danz, MD, et al. New England Journal of Medicine. Mar 10, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Will EPA impose a zero threshold policy on drinking water?]
Jason-3 Begins Mapping Oceans, Sees Ongoing El Nino
By Staff Writers, Pasadena CA (JPL), Mar 18, 2016
Sometimes Bad Science Does Save Lives
By Hank Campbell, ACSH, Jan 21, 2016
Other News that May Be of Interest
Apple Issues $1.5 Billion Green Bond
Guest essay by Eric Worrall, WUWT, Mar 20, 2016
[SEPP Comment: A new “hot ticket” item? Will green bonds be as solid as bonds secured by sub-prime mortgages?]
5 strange disease outbreaks that still puzzle scientist
By Leah Samuel, STAT, Mar 11, 2016 [H/t Timothy Wise]
New Technology Rain Gauge
By Cliff Mass, Weather Blog, Mar 19, 2016
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
Climate Craziness of the week: Climate Challenge is “Humanity’s Final Exam”
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Mar 18, 2016
Sheep entrails and the Cult of Thermageddon
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Mar 22, 2016
“I propose that we refer to the High Priests of the Cult of Thermaggeddon as Haruspex Maximus – who somehow claim that their forecasts for the increase in the mean temperature 100 years out has a confidence interval that is less than a tenth of a degree wide… when the forecast for mean temp 10 years out has a wider forecast range than that.
“I doubt that a similar ‘International Journal of Geocentrism Studies’ would ever have found fault in any papers that fit the data using novel epicycles.”
[SEPP Comment: Amusing speculation on efforts to promote a fictional method of predictions even after it lost empirical support.]
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.
Punishing Climate-Change Skeptics
Some in Washington want to unleash government to harass heretics who don’t accept the ‘consensus.’
By David B. Rivkin Jr. and Andrew M. Grossman, WSJ, Mar 23, 2016
SUMMARY: After a brief history of the prosecution of Galileo Galilei in 1633 the practitioners of appellate and constitutional litigation write:
“Today’s inquisitors seek their quarry’s imprisonment and financial ruin. As the scientific case for a climate-change catastrophe wanes, proponents of big-ticket climate policies are increasingly focused on punishing dissent from an asserted “consensus” view that the only way to address global warming is to restructure society—how it harnesses and uses energy. That we might muddle through a couple degrees’ of global warming over decades or even centuries, without any major disruption, is the new heresy and must be suppressed.
The Climate Inquisition began with Michael Mann’s 2012 lawsuit against critics of his “hockey stick” research—a holy text to climate alarmists. The suggestion that Prof. Mann’s famous diagram showing rapid recent warming was an artifact of his statistical methods, rather than an accurate representation of historical reality, was too much for the Penn State climatologist and his acolytes to bear.
Among their targets (and our client in his lawsuit) was the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a think tank prominent for its skeptical viewpoint in climate-policy debates. Mr. Mann’s lawsuit seeks to put it, along with National Review magazine, out of business. Four years on, the courts are still pondering the First Amendment values at stake. In the meantime, the lawsuit has had its intended effect, fostering legal uncertainty that chills speech challenging the “consensus” view.
Mr. Mann’s lawsuit divided climate scientists—many of whom recognized that it threatened vital scientific debate—but the climate Inquisition was only getting started. The past year has witnessed even more heavy-handed attempts to enforce alarmist doctrine and stamp out dissent.
Assuming the mantle of Grand Inquisitor is Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.). Last spring he called on the Justice Department to bring charges against those behind a “coordinated strategy” to spread heterodox views on global warming, including the energy industry, trade associations, “conservative policy institutes” and scientists. Mr. Whitehouse, a former prosecutor, identified as a legal basis for charges that the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, the federal statute enacted to take down mafia organizations and drug cartels.
In September a group of 20 climate scientists wrote to President Obama and Attorney General Loretta Lynch encouraging them to heed Mr. Whitehouse and launch a RICO investigation targeting climate skeptics. This was necessary since, they claimed, America’s policy response to climate change was currently “insufficient,” because of dissenting views regarding the risks of climate change. Email correspondence subsequently obtained through public-records requests revealed that this letter was also coordinated by Mr. Whitehouse.
Reps. Ted Lieu (D., Calif.) and Mark DeSaulnier (D., Calif.) followed up with a formal request for the Justice Department to launch an investigation, specifically targeting Exxon Mobil for its funding of climate research and policy organizations skeptical of extreme warming claims. Attorney General Lynch announced in testimony this month that the matter had been referred to the FBI “to consider whether or not it meets the criteria for what we could take action on.” Similar investigations are already spearheaded by state attorneys general in California and New York.
Meanwhile, Mr. Whitehouse, joined by Sens. Edward Markey (D., Mass.) and Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.), sent letters to a hundred organizations—from private companies to policy institutes—demanding that they turn over information about funding and research relating to climate issues. In his response to the senators, Cato Institute President John Allison called the effort “an obvious attempt to chill research into and funding of public policy projects you don’t like.”
Intimidation is the point of these efforts. Individual scientists, think tanks and private businesses are no match for the vast powers that government officials determined to stifle dissent are able to wield. An onslaught of investigations—with the risk of lawsuits, prosecution and punishment—is more than most can afford to bear. As a practical reality, defending First Amendment rights in these circumstances requires the resources to take on the government and win—no matter the cost or how long it takes.
It also requires taking on the Climate Inquisition directly. Spurious government investigations, driven by the desire to suppress a particular viewpoint, constitute illegal retaliation against protected speech and, as such, can be checked by the courts, with money damages potentially available against the federal and state perpetrators. If anyone is going to be intimidated, it should be officials who are willing to abuse their powers to target speech with which they disagree.
That is why we are establishing the Free Speech in Science Project to defend the kind of open inquiry and debate that are central to scientific advancement and understanding. The project will fund legal advice and defense to those who need it, while executing an offense to turn the tables on abusive officials. Scientists, policy organizations and others should not have to fear that they will be the next victims of the Climate Inquisition—that they may face punishment and personal ruin for engaging in research and advocating their views.
The principle of the First Amendment, the Supreme Court recognized in Dennis v. United States (1951), is that “speech can rebut speech, propaganda will answer propaganda, free debate of ideas will result in the wisest governmental policies.” For that principle to prevail—in something less than the 350 years it took for the Catholic Church to acknowledge its mistake in persecuting Galileo—the inquisition of those breaking from the climate “consensus” must be stopped.”
The Justice Department and Scientific Study
There are similarities between the tobacco industry’s fraudulent denial of its products’ health effects and the fossil fuel industry’s denial of its products’ climate effects.
Letters, WSJ, Mar 20, 2016
In response to an earlier WSJ editorial claiming he sought Department of Justice actions against those skeptical to the claim that human emissions carbon dioxide are causing dangerous global warming Senator Whitehouse writes:
“The Journal editorial page regularly sides with right-wing, climate denial outfits in claiming that I want to prosecute dissent on climate change (“Plenty of Climate $hange,” Review & Outlook, March 16). I do not. I can’t help noting that on the same page as the editorial on me, you ran yet another letter from the Heartland Institute, famous for equating climate scientists with the Unabomber.
Let me be clear. My belief is that there are sufficient similarities between the tobacco industry’s fraudulent denial of its products’ health effects and the fossil fuel industry’s denial of its products’ climate and oceans effects, that a proper inquiry should be made about pursuing a civil action like the one the Justice Department brought and won against tobacco. I would expect such an inquiry to be made by the Civil Division, and my questions to the attorney general were to explore whether assignment of this matter to the FBI was a bureaucratic “punt” to the wrong section of the department. Trying to saddle me with an argument I am not making is no way to convince anyone that the argument I am making is wrong.”
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.)