Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #240

The Week That Was: 2016-09-10 (September 10, 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)

Treaty or No Treaty? According to reports, on September 3, U.S. President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed the Paris Climate Agreement (Treaty) prior to the G-20 economic meeting in Hangzhou, China. It is becoming clear that Mr. Obama has no intention of submitting the agreement for approval by two-thirds of the US Senate to become a Treaty, as required by the US Constitution — Article II, Section 2, Clause 2. As such, the agreement is not a treaty having the force of law in the United States, nor is it even a Congressional-Executive Agreement requiring a simple majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. The enforcement of the agreement under international law is a subject for legal scholars and; possibly extensive litigation. As the situation exists now, the future President can simply state that the United States changed its mind. Of course, the avid green groups would be outraged.

Evading the responsibility of submitting the agreement to the US Congress creates a major issue regarding the Oath of Office. Article II, Section One, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution states: “Before he [the incoming President] enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:–‘I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.’”

Whether or not Mr. Obama cares about his oath, only he can say. But, officers of the United States, including military officers, take a similar oath. It will be interesting to see how any officer of the United States can explain how the evasion of Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 preserves, protects, and defends the Constitution of the United States. Further, will anyone who participated in these actions, should they be nominated to become an officer of the United States in a future administration, be asked how evasion of Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 preserves, protects, and defends the Constitution of the United States? See Article # 1 and links under After Paris!


Quote of the Week. “I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of uncertainty about different things, but I am not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don’t know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we’re here. I don’t have to know an answer. I don’t feel frightened not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without any purpose, which is the way it really is as far as I can tell.” ― Richard Feynman


Number of the Week: 540 calories/gram or 22.6 x 10^5 joules/kilogram


La Niña Watch Cancelled: NOAA has cancelled its La Niña watch (ocean cooling), implying it does not expect a significant cooling following the current, fading El Niño. Whether or not this occurs remains to be seen. NOAA’s actions are based on the predictions of their models. It will be interesting to see if the predictions by the models hold.

As shown in the atmospheric temperature record, the 1997-98 El Niño was followed by a La Niña; but, in general, the temperatures remained higher than they were before the El Niño. The record gives a good example of a step change.

Certainly, the lack of a La Niña gives hope to those who are claiming 2016 is the hottest year ever recorded by instruments. Of course, this does not mean that it is the hottest year in the proxy record, such as boreholes, ice cores, pollen grains, lake and ocean sediments, growing seasons, latitude and elevation of timber lines, etc. See links under Measurement Issues – Atmosphere and Changing Weather.


Hottest Since? A paper in the December 1997 Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society by Thomas Peterson and Russell Vose gives an excellent description of the extensive effort to develop as comprehensive a record as possible, in digital form, of land surface temperatures (surface-air temperatures). The abstract reads:

“The Global Historical Climatology Network version 2 temperature database was released in May 1997. This century-scale dataset consists of monthly surface observations from ~7000 stations from around the world. This archive breaks considerable new ground in the field of global climate databases. The enhancements include 1) data for additional stations to improve regional-scale analyses, particularly in previously data-sparse areas; 2) the addition of maximum–minimum temperature data to provide climate information not available in mean temperature data alone; 3) detailed assessments of data quality to increase the confidence in research results; 4) rigorous and objective homogeneity adjustments to decrease the effect of non-climatic factors on the time series; 5) detailed metadata (e.g., population, vegetation, topography) that allow more detailed analyses to be conducted; and 6) an infrastructure for updating the archive at regular intervals so that current climatic conditions can constantly be put into historical perspective. This paper describes these enhancements in detail.”

The paper describes the efforts to combine various records and eliminate duplication, recording errors, etc. In many cases the records were only monthly, not daily, and often had only maximum temperatures, not the maximum and minimum. (The earliest data for both readings is from March 1840 for Toronto, Canada.) As the paper describes, the gold standard was for US since about 1880.

Except for the US, the maximum and minimum temperatures in 1900 was very scanty, with only parts of the coast of China, and sections of Australia covered (Figure 4 b). Otherwise, coverage in Europe and spots in India and Asia, Africa, and South America was for mean temperature only (Figure 3 b). The paper also shows the sharp decline in the number of reporting stations starting in the 1960s and the 5 degree by 5 degree global grid boxes covered – less than 100 of 2,952 (less than 4%) in the late 1990s. The claim that the surface-air instrument data is global, is absurd.

Given the significance of the historic record in the US, it is particularly disturbing when diverse individuals, such as Joe D’Aleo of WeatherBELL Analytics (and ICECAP) and Tony Heller (Steve Goddard) show that the US record of the 1930s has been “cooled” in subsequent re-analysis giving the impression of a warming trend where none existed before. Further, it is disturbing when government agencies make broad statements as the hottest year ever without specifically identifying the records used and the limitations of those records. See links under Measurement Issues – Surface.


Silly Season: The political games have infested many media outlets pretending to be objective when they are not. As much as possible, TWTW will avoid such articles with the noted exception this week being the New York Times for three reasons: 1) for years the Times has run articles on carbon dioxide accompanied by photos of emissions from coal fired plants darkening the skies; 2) an article this week that global warming is flooding the east coast with sea level rise; and 3) an advertisement in the Times stating it is ramping up coverage of climate change.

The past photos were usually steam condensing, taken under special lighting conditions or with special lenses. Carbon dioxide is invisible and cannot darken the skies. The current article is discussed below has a few tricks just as bad.

There is no question sea levels have been rising since the maximum extent of the last Ice Age, about 18,000 years ago. For the past three thousand years, the rate has been fairly constant at about 7 to 8 inches per century. The article of flooding of the East Coast implied that this is new; but, it is not. For example, the Port of Alexandria was founded in 1749 and had a tobacco warehouse on the upper Potomac River for the inspection of tobacco prior to sale, as required by law. The port is near the head of tides for the Potomac and the warehouses along the river have been subject to flooding whenever there are heavy rains upriver and spring tides or storm surges in the lower Chesapeake Bay where the Potomac empties. Thus, a photo showing flooding of old warehouses (now modern shops) is nothing new.

The article also has a photo of a coral reef in the Florida Keys significantly above sea levels, which gives evidence that the sea level was once far higher than today (possibly 110,000 to 120,000 years ago). Amusingly, the article does not discuss why sea levels were higher before any putative carbon dioxide-caused warming.

The advertisement in the NY Times needs independent review. See links under The Political Games Continue and Below the Bottom Line.


Disposal Wells: There was a 5.6-magnitude earthquake that hit roughly 55 miles northwest of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Immediately, some 37 wastewater disposal wells were blamed, and forced to close. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is examining whether the wells caused the earthquake. See Article # 2.


Agreement – Disagreement: Some excellent scientists have made detailed calculations and believe that human carbon dioxide emissions as well as land use change are the principal causes of recent global warming/climate change. TWTW certainly agrees that land use change is a principal cause of measured local and regional surface warming. That is one reason why TWTW emphasizes atmospheric temperatures.

Among other points of agreement are that significant changes in floods, droughts, famine, winds, tornadoes, hurricanes, sea level rise, species extinction, and human diseases are unlikely to accompany global warming, regardless of its cause.

The biggest point of agreement is the need for more data, reliable data, not false trends, etc.


Quote of the Week: The agreement in the need for reliable data makes the quote from Richard Feynman particularly appropriate. Those who argue that human emissions of CO2 must be the cause of global warming, because they can think of nothing else, lack imagination.


Additions and Corrections: TWTW reader Ben Anixter writes that the current governor of California is Jerry Brown, not his father Pat Brown (now deceased) who was a former governor. We appreciate the correction. Governor from 1959 to 1967, Pat Brown was a builder of modern California with major infrastructure projects such as the California State Water Project. Such projects transformed the San Joaquin Valley from an area that was a swamp in the spring and a desert in the summer and fall into a rich agriculture area. Jerry Brown is headed in a different direction. See links under California Dreaming.


Number of the Week: 540 calories/gram or 22.6 x 10^5 joules/kilogram. When water changes phase from liquid to gas (vapor) it requires 540 calories/gram or 22.6 x 10^5 joules/kilogram, without a change in temperature. This phase change results in tremendous loss of heat at the surface. When the vapor is transported, via convection, into the atmosphere to roughly 10 kilometers (33,000 feet), it condenses into droplets, releasing the latent (hidden) heat. What happens to this heat is a significant issue.

When global climate models are criticized for not treating clouds properly, it includes not properly addressing this enormous heat transfer. How many climate alarmists can discuss this enormous heat transfer?




Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?

New paper finds climate change & CO2 levels explained as a function of lagged solar activity

By Staff Writer, The Hockey Schtick, Sep 7, 2016


Link to paper: The Earth’s climate system recurrent & multi-scale lagged responses: empirical law, evidence, consequent solar explanation of recent CO2 increases & preliminary analysis

By Jorge Sánchez-Sesma, Earth System Dynamics, Sep 7, 2016


Waiting For The Next Sunspot Cycle: 2019-2030

By Sten Odenwald, NASA Heliophysics Education Consortium, Via Huff Post, Sep 2, 2016 [H/t GWPF]


How ‘consensus science’ blew the Solar Cycle 24 prediction, which turned out to be the lowest in 100 years

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Sep 9, 2016


Suppressing Scientific Inquiry – The Witch Hunt – Push-Back

Dangerous Double Standards On Climate Change And Free Speech

By Ronald Rotunda, The Daily Caller, Sep 2, 2016 [H/t Timothy Wise]


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


Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science

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


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

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts

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


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

Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate

S. Fred Singer, ed., NIPCC, 2008


Challenging the Orthodoxy

How Continued Life on Earth Depends on Humans—Too Many of Whom Misunderstand the Problems

By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, Sep 8, 2016


Is the Global Warming Debate Over?

By John Hinderaker, Power Line, Sep 8, 2016


Defending the Orthodoxy

Obama: Climate change consequences ‘terrifying’

By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Sep 8, 2016


Questioning the Orthodoxy

Researchers Against CO2

By Ron Clutz, Science Matters, Sep 7, 2016


[SEPP Comment: The widely reported findings of the study in northern California may have pointed to the wrong limiting factor – not too much CO2, but lack of phosphorus.]

After Paris!

Obama formally joins US into climate pact

By Timothy Cama and Devin Henry, The Hill, Sep 3, 2016


Ratifying the Paris climate change agreement

By Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance, Sep 9, 2016


As China, US ratify Paris climate deal, India says not possible this year

This is the first time that India has explicitly said it would not be able to ratify the Paris Agreement by the end of this year.

By P Vaidyanathan Iyer, The Indian Express, Sep 4, 2016


After Paris — Favor

Here’s What China, U.S. Just Committed to on Climate

By John Upton, Climate Central, Sep 6, 2016


After Paris — Oppose

Is the Paris Agreement on Climate Change a Legitimate Exercise of the Executive Agreement Power?

By David Wirth, Lawfare, Aug 29, 2016 [H/t American Interest]


Obama’s Climate Change Diversion

The president endures humiliation at the G20 for a toothless deal.

By Irwin Stelzer, The Weekly Standard, Sep 5, 2016 [H/t Timothy Wise]


The US and China “Ratify” Toothless Climate Deal

By Staff Writers, The American Interest, Sep 6, 2016


Rising emissions show Paris climate agreement is an act of delusion

By Christopher Booker, Telegraph, UK, Sep 3, 2016


After Paris — Question

Electricity and energy in the G20

By Roger Andrews, Energy Matters, Sep 8, 2016


[SEPP Comment: The author demonstrates that many supporters of the Paris Agreement at the G-20 meeting do not understand scope of energy use in their countries.]

EU Divided Over When And How To Ratify Paris Climate Deal

By Pilita Clark, Financial Times, Via GWPF, Sep 3, 2016


Once the driving force of climate action, the EU has fallen behind

By Aline Robert, EurAct.fr, Trans. by Samuel White, Sep 7, 2016


The Administration’s Plan – Push-Back

Obama Kept His Promise, 83,000 Coal Jobs Lost And 400 Mines Shuttered

By Andrew Follett, Daily Caller, Sep 5, 2016


Seeking a Common Ground

It’s Time For Environmental Accountability

By Aubrey Bettencourt, Exec Dir. California Water Alliance, Sep 2, 2016


Science, Policy, and Evidence

Just What Is Signal And What Is Noise?

By William Briggs, His Blog, Sep 8, 2016


Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science

CO2 and Temperature Effects on Maize Yield and Protein Content

Abebe, A., Pathak, H., Singh, S.D., Bhatia, A., Harit, R.C. and Kumar, V. 2016. Growth, yield and quality of maize with elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide and temperature in north-west India. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 218: 66-72. Sep 9, 2016


[SEPP Comment: Large increase in net yields with increase of CO2 and temperatures, but slight decrease with increase in temperatures alone.]

Modeling North American Extreme Temperature Events and Patterns

Grotjahn, R., Black, R., Leung, R., Wehner, M.F., Barlow, M, Bosilovich, M., Gershunov, M.F., Barlow, M., Bosilovich, M., Gershunov, A., Gutowski Jr., W.J., Gyakum, J.R., Katz, R.W., Lee, Y.-Y., Lim, Y.-K. and Prabhat. 2016. North American extreme temperature events and related large scale meteorological patterns: a review of statistical methods, dynamics, modeling, and trends. Climate Dynamics 46: 1151-1184./ Sep 8, 2016


How Are Earth’s Islands Being Impacted by Rising Sea Levels?

Ford, M.R. and Kench, P.S. 2015. Multi-decadal shoreline changes in response to sea level rise in the Marshall Islands. Anthropocene 11: 14-24. Sep 6, 2016


[SEPP Comment: As to the claims that the islands are being washed away: “there has been a paucity of evidence presented to underpin such assertions.” The researchers report:

“’since the middle of the 20th century more shoreline has accreted than eroded, with 17.23% showing erosion, compared to 39.74% accretion and 43.03% showing no change.’” The claimed accuracy is likely unjustified. One significant figure may be believable; two only if they show the raw data.]

Model Issues

Chaos & Climate – Part 3: Chaos & Models

Guest Essay by Kip Hansen, WUWT, Sep 4, 2016


How Climate Feedback is Fubar

Guest essay by George White, WUWT, Sep 7, 2016


[SEPP Comment: Questioning the feedback mechanisms used in the global climate models.]

Measurement Issues — Atmosphere

UAH Global Temperature Update for August, 2016: +0.44 deg. C

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Sep 1, 2016


Measurement Issues — Surface

An Overview of the Global Historical Climatology Network Temperature Database

By Thomas Peterson and Russell Vose, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Dec 12, 1997


NOAA Adjustments Increase US July Warming By 1,000%

By Steve Goddard (Tony Heller), ICECAP, Aug 27, 2016


U.S. Climate Network Shows a Lower Temperature Trend when high quality stations included

By Anthony Watts, AGU, Via ICECAP, Dec 17, 2015


Should you trust NOAA claims about May and June records?

By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM, ICECAP, Jul 22, 2014


Will 2016 Be the Hottest Year On Record?

By John Hinderaker, Power Line, Sep 5, 2016 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Climate Propaganda: German Augusts In Fact Cooling Over Past 20 Years, Now Barely Above 1930s Levels!

What’s wrong here? August in Germany is not getting warmer

By Josef Kowatsch and Sebastian Lüning (Translated/edited by P Gosselin), No Tricks Zone, Sep 4, 2016


Diurnal Temperature Range and why it contradicts Alarmism.

By Anthony Cox with Ken Stewart and Chris Gillham, Australian Climate Sceptics, Sep 9, 2016


Changing Weather

What if solar forecasting was [were] more precise?

Sun4Cast’s predictions could save utilities millions.

By Michael D’Estries, Mother Nature Network, Sep 9, 2016


[SEPP Comment: This possibly could make backing-up the system more efficient, but not reduce the requirement for back-up.]

La Nina Watch Canceled by NOAA

By Cliff Mass, Weather Blog, Sep 8, 2016


You Ought to Have a Look: All Eyes on Hermine

By Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger, Cato, Sep 2, 2016


Changing Climate

25 New Papers Confirm A Remarkably Stable Modern Climate: Fewer Intense Storms, Hurricanes, Droughts, Floods, Fires…

By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Sep 8, 2016


How Global Cooling Led To The Widespread Droughts Of The 1970s

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Sep 9, 2016


Seasonality of bird migration responds to environmental cues, scientists show

By Staff Writers, NSF, Sep 6, 2016


“The seasonality of bird migration is shifting in response to climate change. As a result, birds in the United States are arriving at their northern breeding grounds earlier in spring — and may be departing later in fall.”

Changing Atmosphere

A strange thing happened in the stratosphere

By Staff Writers, Greenbelt MD (SPX), Sep 05, 2016


A strange thing happened in the stratosphere – a reversal

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Sep 2, 2016


Changing Seas

New data shows 10 year decline in the Atlantic Conveyor

By Laurence Hecht, WUWT, Sep 6, 2016


Global warming disrupts oceans, seen lingering in the depths

By Alister Doyle, Reuters, Sep 5, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]


[SEPP Comment: No link to study. Interesting how promoters of climate fears are called “scientists” and scientific skeptics are called deniers.]

Changing Earth

Regional Geology of the Arbuckle Mountains, Oklahoma

By William Ham (Deceased), Geological Society of America, Annual Meeting, 1973


Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine

In the middle of the “hottest year ever” come record wheat harvests

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Sep 5, 2016


Malthus Chokes on Bumper Wheat Crop

By Staff Writers, The American Interest, Sep 3, 2016


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

Climate Site Slams Germany’s DWD Weather Service For “Heating Up” Summer Press Release

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Sep 3, 2016


Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

Leading charity refutes claim cancer in young people rose 40 per cent

No evidence cancer in children caused by ‘modern life’, says Cancer Research UK

By Herriet Agerholm, Independent, UK, Sep 4, 2016 [H/t GWPF]


“A spokesperson from Cancer Research UK said the statistic was misleading because it did not account for population growth.”

Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda

Why the Media’s Portrayal of Carbon Dioxide Is Often Wrong

By Nicolas Loris, Daily Signal, Sep 6, 2016


Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda on Children

Senator Markey’s Climate Education Act Goes The Wrong Way

By David Wojick, Climate Etc. Sep 4, 2016


Questioning European Green

The EU this week: Germany gives up on hard targets, Turkey plans 80 coal stations, EU dithers on Paris.

By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Sep 10, 2016


UK ‘to miss renewable energy targets without urgent action’

MPs call on the Government to urgently review its climate change policies – and renew its push towards decarbonisation.

By Staff Writers, Sky News, UK, Sep 9, 2016


Non-Green Jobs

Let’s Stop Arguing About Energy Jobs

By Mark Mills, Real Clear Energy, Sep 7, 2016


[SEPP Comment: It’s not the jobs in energy that are important, but the jobs in other fields those energy jobs create – by increasing productivity.]

Pennsylvania Job Renaissance: Fracking’s Bounty to Come

By Tracy Miller, Master Resource, Sep 8, 2016


Funding Issues

Cease Tax-Funded Climate Tourism

By Viv Forbes, Australian Climate Sceptics, Sep 6, 2016


The Suspicious Backers Of The Latest Climate Change Hyperbole

By Drew Johnson, Daily Caller, Sep 2, 2016


The Political Games Continue

Flooding of Coast, Caused by Global Warming, Has Already Begun

Scientists’ warnings that the rise of the sea would eventually

By Justin Gillis, NYT, Sep 3, 2016 [H/t Dennis Amberley]


Subsidies and Mandates Forever

An Energy Policy Based On Wishful Thinking

By Robert Rapier, Forbes, Sep 4, 2016


“This exercise should be a lesson to government leaders that you can’t simply mandate technology breakthroughs. If you could, we would have gotten rid of the common cold decades ago.”

Fuel Subsidies Are the World’s Dumbest Policy

Editorial, Bloomberg, Sep 1, 2016


[SEPP Comment: As bad as fuel subsidies are, subsidizing the deployment of unreliable electricity generation from solar and wind is worse because it drives up energy costs to consumers.]

Wall Street Journal Drinks Kool-Aid

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Sep 9, 2016


[SEPP Comment: The authors of the WSJ article could have looked at Wind Integration Reports by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT with 85% of the state’s load), which give hourly and weekly load vs. actual wind output to recognize that there are times when wind provides little of the needed generation. For example, on August 30, the max penetration of wind was 5% of load and wind produced less than 5% to 15% of installed wind capacity.]


UK Wind Constraint Payments

By Euan Mearns, Energy Matters, Sep 5, 2016


[SEPP Comment: Subsidizing the non-production of electricity!]

Energy Issues – Non-US

National Grid, Security of Supply, and the Consumer Interest [UK]

By Staff Writers, GWPF, Sep 3, 2016


Link to report: An examination of National Grid’s Future Energy Scenarios

By Capell Aris and Colin Gibson, The Scientific Alliance, 2016


[SEPP Comment: The study by the National Grid[UK] did not examine security of supply, particularly when demand is greatest – in the evening during winter.]

The Paris Agreement and the Fifth Carbon Budget

By David Campbell, The Global Warming Policy Foundation, 2016


The UK will miss its EU renewable energy targets, the House of Commons’ Energy and Climate Change (ECC) select committee has warned.

By Sophie Yeo, Carbon Brief, Sep 9, 2016


“Good progress in decarbonising electricity will not compensate for slow progress on heat and backwards progress on transport, says the committee’s report.”

[SEPP Comment: A plea for more subsidies.]

[German environment] Ministry avoids concrete targets in weakened Climate Action Plan

By Sören Amelang, Julian Wettengel, Clean Energy Wire, Sep 8, 2016


Germany’s Media Sobering Up To The Widespread Corruption Of The ‘Energiewende’ and Wind Lobby

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Sep 7, 2016


Energy Issues — US

Dakota Access Pipeline Maps & Routes: Where Would It Go?

By Jessica McBride, Heavy.com, Sep 6, 2016


Washington’s Control of Energy

Obama administration orders ND pipeline construction to stop

By Devin Henry, The Hill, Sep 9, 2016


National Security and Arctic Drilling

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Sep 6, 2016


Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Fracking Takes A Hit

Editorial, Real Clear Energy, Sep 8, 2016


Gas production grows as companies cut well backlogs

By Laura Legere, Power Source, Pittsburg Post-Gazette, Sep 6, 2016 [H/t GWPF]


Gas pipelines represent prosperity

The Marcellus Shale is bringing good jobs and cleaner air to Pennsylvania

By David Spigelmyer and James Kunz, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sep 5, 2016


Return of King Coal?

GE Seeks ‘Greener’ Pastures in Coal

By Larry Bell, Newsmax, Sep 6, 2016


Turkish coal plants in line for public subsidies

MPs and campaigners warn new amendment could open the door to dirty, harmful coal projects with no means to demand environmental assessments

By Arthur Neslen, Guardian, UK, Sep 6, 2016


Tough times on the coal piers in Newport News

By Dave Ress, Daily Press, (Newport News, VA), Sep 3, 2016 [H/t Timothy Wise]


Nuclear Energy and Fears

Final demolition at US uranium enrichment complex

By Staff Writers, WNN, Sep 1, 2016


Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

100% solar?

By David Hone, Energy Post, Sep 5, 2016


Despoiling the Environment to Save the Climate

By Robert Bryce, National Review Online, Sep 2, 2016


California Dreaming

California governor signs landmark climate bill

By Devin Henry, The Hill, Sep 8, 2016


Health, Energy, and Climate

Cholera In Haiti: The UN Finally Concedes What Science Showed Years Ago

By Julianna LeMieux, ACSH, Sep 1, 2016


Other Scientific News

Whistleblower sues Duke, claims doctored data helped win $200 million in grants

By Alison McCook, Retraction Watch, Science, Sep 1, 2016


WORLDS COLLIDE: Earth may have collided with Mercury sized planet in the past – carbon tells the tale

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Sep 6, 2016


Other News that May Be of Interest

Add human graves to the list of things that attract polar bears to communities

By Susan Crockford, Polar Pear Science, Sep 4, 2016




European earthworms decrease species diversity in North America

By Staff Writers, Leipzig, Germany (SPX), Sep 07, 2016


[SEPP Comment: What about earthworms well south of the ice sheets?]

You left out – do you hire Windows users or Apple users?

By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions, Sep 8, 2016


“The New York Times is a leader in covering climate change. Now The Times is ramping up its coverage to make the most important story in the world even more relevant, urgent and accessible to a huge audience around the globe. We are looking for an editor to lead this dynamic new group.

We want someone with an entrepreneurial streak who is obsessed with finding new ways to connect with readers and new ways to tell this vital story.”

“The New York Times is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of an individual’s sex, age, race, color, creed, national origin, alienage, religion, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation or affectional preference, gender identity and expression, disability, genetic trait or predisposition, carrier status, citizenship, veteran or military status and other personal characteristics protected by law.”

From: New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/jobs/nyt-climate-change-editor.html?_r=2

[Accessed, Sep 9, 2016]



1. U.S., China Agree on Implementing Paris Climate-Change Pact

Obama, Xi seek to demonstrate accord between developed and developing nations

By Carol E. Lee and William Mauldin, WSJ, Sep 3, 2016


SUMMARY: The authors state that the agreement signed by President Obama and President Xi Jinping includes “formal adoption by both the U.S. and China of the international climate-change agreement reached in Paris in December 2015, as well as a road map for achieving emissions reductions in commercial aircraft and for phasing out hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, a potent group of gases that are linked to climate change but aren’t covered by the Paris agreement.”


“U.S. negotiators pressed hard last year to structure the Paris agreement in such a way that the countries’ individual targets for greenhouse-gas emissions after 2020 wouldn’t be binding. Any agreement with legally binding targets and the threat of international sanctions would have required the approval of the Republican-controlled Congress, officials said.”

“Despite criticism from the European Union and other countries that wanted binding targets, the final Paris deal adopted a looser mechanism that requires countries to issue targets and disclose their progress along the way, with the aim of using peer pressure and world-wide attention to win compliance.”

“With respect to the legal form of the agreement, the United States has a long and well-established process for approving executive agreements, that is, a legal form which is distinct from treaties, which are approved through the advice and consent process in the Senate,” according to aide Mr. Deese.

[SEPP Comment: The aide and the article did not discuss if approving such an executive agreement requires submitting it to both houses of Congress.]


2. Disposal Wells’ Link to Oklahoma Earthquake Scrutinized

U.S. Geological Survey is looking into whether oil and gas companies’ underground wastewater disposal set off temblor

By Miguel Bustillo and Beckie Strum, WSJ, Sep 5, 2016


SUMMARY: According to the reporters:

“The U.S. Geological Survey is examining whether the 5.6-magnitude earthquake that shook Oklahoma on Saturday and tied for the strongest temblor ever recorded in the state was triggered by the underground disposal of wastewater from oil and gas production.

“’Without studying the specifics of the wastewater injection and oil and gas production in this area, the USGS cannot currently conclude whether or not this particular earthquake was caused by industrial-related, human activities,’ the USGS said in a statement. ‘However, we do know that many earthquakes in Oklahoma have been triggered by wastewater fluid injection.’”

“The USGS will continue to process seismic data in the coming days and weeks

“Oklahoma has a history of seismic activity—it experienced a 5.5-magnitude temblor in 1952, for example. But the state has stepped up regulation of injection wells after seeing a dramatic increase in quakes over the past decade that experts at the USGS and in academia have tied to the practice of burying wastewater near faults underground.

“In 2015, the USGS recorded 2,500 quakes with a magnitude of 2.5 or higher in the state, up from just three in 2005. The USGS in March released maps that for the first time show the potential risk of man-made as well as naturally occurring earthquakes, and they listed some parts of Texas and Oklahoma now with the same risk of temblors as California.

“The strongest quake previously recorded in Oklahoma was also a 5.6-magnitude event, and took place near Prague, Okla., in 2011, buckling roads and destroying 14 homes. It spurred several pending lawsuits from homeowners who claimed energy companies burying wastewater nearby had helped trigger that quake.

“Saturday’s quake occurred on a fault that experts hadn’t previously known about, roughly perpendicular to a larger known fault system, Daniel McNamara, a research geophysicist at the USGS Geologic Hazards Science Center in Golden, Colo., said in an email. He was set to travel to Oklahoma Tuesday to help state officials on wastewater-injection issues, he added.

“When energy producers extract oil and gas from wells, thousands of barrels of salty water laced with heavy metals come up along with the fuel. The water often is injected back underground under high pressure into special disposal wells.

“But government and academic researchers have found that the practice may help trigger movement along geologic fault lines. The oil-and-gas industry has acknowledged the validity of the studies and cooperated with regulators, but has said that more research is needed to link specific wells to specific incidents.

“Saturday’s well shutdowns were a direct response to the earthquake and seek to minimize further seismic activity around the fault line, said Matt Skinner, spokesman for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.

“The commission focused on wells that dispose wastewater into a rock formation deep underground called the Arbuckle. Seismologists are in broad agreement that the Arbuckle formation is linked to earthquakes in Oklahoma, Mr. Skinner said.”


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Janice Moore
September 11, 2016 7:51 pm

Fifteen years ago, today.
Fifteen years ago, today, September 11, 2001 …
I will never forget driving into Seattle around 0730 PDT.
Flying conditions were CAVU.
There wasn’t a plane in the sky.
Firefighters on 9/11/01 “Amazing Grace”

I-s-1-a— m (unreformed) — is — e-v-il.
WE, all around the world, who love liberty will win,
for we love LIFE more than you love death.
Dedicated to all the New York City fire fighters who got into their trucks, stepped on the gas, and drove downtown into the mouth of hell after monsters in human form screaming “A11ahu Akbar!” rammed two jetliners into the Twin Towers.
Never forget.

September 11, 2016 8:24 pm

“La Nina Watch Cancelled” indicates poor understanding of what came after the 1997/98 super El Nino. It is quite true that it was followed by a La Nina in 1999 but this one was a very narrow temperature dip that and was followed immediately by a step warming that raised global temperature by a third of a degree Celsius. There was no increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide in 1999 when it started which rules out the greenhouse effect as its cause. It is most likely that this warm water was brought across the ocean by that super El Nino when it arrived and was then left behind to spread out when it departed. This is the warmth they speak of. But since the super El Nino is gone this warmth can not be replenished. I detect signs of cooling already between 2002 and 2012 which has a negative slope. After 2012 the temperature starts to rise again in preparation for the 2016 El Nino whose peak has just passed us. But if the short negative slope before it is extrapolated to its other side it points to the level that the 1999 La Nina occupied. I take this to mean that the temperature after the current El Nino is gone will be close to that of the 1999 La Nina. Hence, calling off the La Nina watch by NOAA is ill advised and premature.

September 12, 2016 9:10 am

Regarding Article 2 and the ‘triggering’ of earthquakes. An earthquake is the release of accumulated stress. The source of the stress is tectonic forces – the almost immeasurably slow movement of tectonic masses. An old, well known fault (Humboldt Fault) exists at depth in Oklahoma in the area of the earthquakes. This fault zone, extends north-by-northeast, parallel to the New Madrid fault zone about 250 miles to the east and to a similar seismic zone a couple hundred miles further east in Eastern Tennessee.
The stress is there, and has been accumulated over about 2 billion years. If anything fracking will trigger the release of this stress – in small amounts – rather than waiting for it all to blow off at once in an 1811-type earthquake.

September 12, 2016 9:38 am

Dr Susan Crockford’s article on polar bears raiding cemeteries reveals an interesting ploy to keep these bears away from town; “Diversionary Feeding”. Just put some frozen seal meat out , away from town and this diverts the bears.
I was amused because this is what the biologist/wildlife manager characters did in her book: EATEN.
(Enjoyable read, ” Jaws” on land.)
In the book they used caribou meat, otherwise it was exactly the same technique that the real-life folks used.
Though I can’t recall the term “Diversionary Feeding” being used in the book.
(As always, Thanks for TWTW. I read all of them.)

September 12, 2016 1:28 pm

First Item: –
Treaty or No Treaty? – first para
“The enforcement of the agreement under international law is a subject for legal scholars and; possibly extensive litigation. ”
“The enforcement of the agreement under international law is a subject for legal scholars and; possibly jolly expensive litigation. ”
There – fixed.
Auto – a lover of lawyers in all their forms and rapacity – sorry – ‘capacity’.
I suppose POTUS is a lawyer – and would be in a position, in February 2017, to advise, for a modest fee, what the then-POTUS meant by his wording. If he can tear himself away from the golf courses.

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