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?
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
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
Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts
Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2014
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.]
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.]
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
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
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.”
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
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.]
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
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
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
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 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
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
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.”
[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.”