Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #246

The Week That Was: 2016-10-29 (October 29, 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)

Constitutional Tug-of-War: During the turmoil following the Revolutionary War, which ended with the Treaty of Paris in 1783, it became evident to many of the political leaders that the central government under the Articles of Confederation was not working as hoped. A stronger central government was needed. In a 1787 prolonged meeting, later called the Constitutional Convention, many leaders participated to form a new charter to make a more effective central government. Of the many participating, one of the most important was James Madison, a scholar of history and political theorist. During the process from the drafting of the Constitution in May 1787, to its adoption in September, and its implementation in 1789, many ideas emerged. During the period of ratification, Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton wrote the very influential essays now called the Federalist Papers. Others, opposing ratification of the Constitution, wrote essays now collected and called the Anti-Federalist Papers. Probably, the now best-known of the anti-Federalists was Patrick Henry. These skeptics gave rise to the Bill of Rights, which articulate specific human rights upon which the central government cannot infringe. Madison did not perceive a need for the Bill of Rights because he believed human rights are many, broad, and well-established and that the proposed Constitution clearly restricted the powers of the Federal government so that it could not interfere with those rights.

This history demonstrates the conflicts (or constant tug of war) between the human rights and the need for social order; between powers of the central government and the powers of state governments; and between various parts of the central government. Underlying this, was the desire to create a democratically elected central government but with sufficient protections of human rights so that the government would not degenerate into mob rule, tyrannies, or dictatorships as happened in ancient Greece, later in France in 1789-99, and 20th century Europe. These conflicts, or tugs of war, are ongoing in the US today. No document written by man is perfect.

In the above context, it is interesting to read the constitutional, oral arguments made by the petitioners (opponents) to the administration’s power plan before the US Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit. David Rivkin argued on behalf of state petitioners and Lawrence Tribe argued on behalf of non-state petitioners. They hit upon many of the issues of the tug of war between the powers of the central government and the powers of the several states. This conflict is intensified by the executive officer, President Obama, failing to obtain consent of Congress for his power plan – in fact ignoring Congress. Of particular interest; were the exchanges between Tribe, a legal icon of liberals, and the liberals on the court, chiefly Judge Tatel.

Among key issues discussed was responsibility for the electrical grid. In general, the several states are responsible for insuring the delivery of reliable electricity through the grid, with many interconnections crossing state borders. Although the federal government participates, through several entities such as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which regulates interstate transmission and wholesale sale of electricity and natural gas, it is not held accountable for failure of delivery to customers. State entities are held accountable.

Several times Judge Tatel, and others, brought up the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as an example of federal laws requiring changes in state and local regulations. Whether the judges believe it or not, there is a considerable difference between ADA and the administration’s power plan.

One, the ADA was an act of Congress, the administration’s power plan is not. Instead, it is an attempt to manipulate the Clean Air Act into justifying the power plan – and the EPA claim that carbon dioxide is a pollutant, which the EPA failed to establish empirically. Some of the judges considered the “Endangerment Finding” of the EPA to be equivalent to an act of Congress.

Two, as stated by the judges, the ADA required establishments to overcome physical barriers to use, usually with physical structures such as concrete ramps. The electrical grid includes multiple physical points of generation from different sources, but it is much more than that. The electrical current is fleeting; it can fail in fractions of a second. For example, South Australia’s Black System experienced some parts tripping within one tenth of a second, six cycles in a sixty cycle per second grid, with the whole system failing in 88 seconds. Electrical stability is fleeting. Wind power adds to instability.

Although the administration and the EPA are claiming authority over the grid, the EPA does not have the resources to take responsibility, or take accountability. See links under The Administration’s Plan – Litigation, Energy Issues – Australia, and last week’s TWTW.

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Quote of the Week. “How is it possible that mathematics, a product of human thought that is independent of experience, fits so excellently the objects of physical reality?” – Einstein

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Number of the Week: US # 1

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Executive Agreements: When President Obama signed the Paris Agreement, his staff argued that there is no reason to present it to the Senate for approval, because it is an Executive Agreement, not a Treaty, which would require approval of two-thirds of the Senate. The claim prompted some examination, not exhaustive, into the scope and nature of Executive Agreements under the Constitution.

Some sources state the first executive agreement was the Jay Treaty, or Treaty of London of 1794, designed to encourage commerce and navigation between Britain and the US. It was signed in 1794, was very controversial, and became effective in February 1796. Also, it called for the withdrawal of British Army forces from pre-Revolutionary War forts in the Northwest Territory (now the upper Mid-West). However, the Jay Treaty was approved by two-thirds of the US Senate in November 1794, and was not an Executive Agreement when it went into force.

Other types of major executive agreements tend to be in times of armed conflict, or before and after armed conflict, or trade agreements. For example, President Wilson agreed to the Treaty of Versailles concluding World War I. This agreement was an extension of the Paris Peace Conference, and called for punitive reparations from Germany, contributing to the hostility leading to World War II. US Senators were not included in the negotiations for the Treaty, and the US Senate rejected it.

War-time executive agreements include President Roosevelt’s lend-lease of destroyers to the United Kingdom. Roosevelt consulted with congressional leaders and Republican candidates for President and VP, which was considered a matter of national security. Also, the war time occupation of Greenland and protection of Iceland came under Executive Agreements. Following World War II, Congressional action called the Bricker Amendment attempted to prevent Executive Agreements, but failed when President Eisenhower rejected it.

Documents reviewed assert that during the 1980s and 1990s the United States completed 6,796 international agreements, of which only 415, or 6.1 percent, were treaties submitted to the Senate for advice and consent. Additionally, the State Department has been lax in reporting executive agreements. The most important trade agreements are completed as congressional-executive agreements, including NAFTA, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, and the Central American Free Trade Agreement. These sources state that congressional-executive agreements require approval by both houses of Congress, but not the more rigid two-thirds approval of the Senate, as required by treaties.

Marlo Lewis, of CEI, explored some of agreements listed by the State Department, and found them to be minor, requiring little commitment by the United States.

As s side note: Human rights agreements are treated as treaties.

For the US, the Paris Agreement is major – requiring significant restructuring of the electricity generation system and, curtailment of various industries and economic activity, to the detriment of the general population. Unless utility scale electricity storage becomes affordable, the Paris Agreement can be hazardous to the general population. Yet, President Obama appears to be ignoring his Constitutional responsibilities and accountability of presenting the Paris Agreement to the US Senate for approval as a treaty. He has not even presented it to Congress as a congressional-executive agreement. See links under The Administration’s Plan – Executive Agreements

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Electricity Storage: On his blog, Rational Optimist, Matt Ridley has an easy-to-read overview of the problems of electricity storage – storage that is critical to make wind and solar reliable in most areas. In the clear deserts, with reliable sunshine, industrial solar using molten salt may work, but it is yet to be demonstrated.

Although specific to cloudy UK, Ridley describes the problems and costs in a manner generally understandable to politicians – how massive are the subsidies required for your scheme to work? See links under Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Storage.

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The Energy Policy Act of 2005: The 2005 Energy Policy Act has received a great deal of derision from greens because it exempted hydraulic fracturing (fracking) fluids from Federal control under the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA also called Superfund)

Not mentioned by those attacking it is that the Act authorizes innovative technologies to avoid greenhouse gases, expands biofuel programs, clean coal, authorizes tax credits for wind and other electricity producers, such as wave and tidal power, and has other “green” provisions. The bipartisan act received a 249 to 183 vote in the House and a 74 to 26 vote in the Senate.

Since then, after a short lag, oil and gas production on lands not controlled by the federal government has soared, while production on federally controlled lands and waters have stagnated. The growth in oil and gas production is largely due to hydraulic fracturing, and oil imports have been falling since 2006.

For growth in oil and gas production and proven reserves by the EIA see http://www.eia.gov/naturalgas/crudeoilreserves/

For EPA’s Summary and the 2005 Act: https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/summary-energy-policy-act

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Bizarre Decision? Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a lower court ruling from 2014 and upheld the 2012 decision by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to designate the bearded seal as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

Reports state: “The ruling is an important victory for the Obama administration and could help build a precedent of using climate change forecasts for decisions like species protections.

 

“’This case turns on one issue: When NMFS determines that a species that is not presently endangered will lose its habitat due to climate change by the end of the century, may NMFS list that species as threatened under the Endangered Species Act’ the appeals court asked in its ruling, answering in the affirmative.

 

“’The fact that climate projections for 2050 through 2100 may be volatile does not deprive those projections of value in the rulemaking process,’ the court wrote. ‘The ESA does not require NMFS to make listing decisions only if underlying research is ironclad and absolute.’”

Is the court is so engrossed in the mathematical beauty of models, that the judges believe that the mathematics constitutes physical evidence? Perhaps in future cases on oil regulations, the oil industry can introduce government energy models of the 1970s, which forecast the world will run out of oil by the end of last century, as proof that the industry no longer exists and the regulations in question are moot. See links under Litigation Issues.

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Number of the Week: US # 1. Of 40 ranked countries, the “Renewable Energy Country Attractive Index (RECAI)” has the United States # 1 and Denmark # 15. The Index is prepared by EY, once known as the international accounting firm Ernst and Young. See links under Energy Issues – Non-US

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NEWS YOU CAN USE:

 

Science: Is the Sun Rising?

Global atmospheric particle formation from CERN CLOUD measurements

By Eimear M. Dunne, et al. Science, Oct 27, 1026

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2016/10/26/science.aaf2649?utm_campaign=fr_sci_2016-10-27&et_rid=17104093&et_cid=936832

Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?

3 New Papers Reveal Dominance Of Solar, Cloud Climate Forcing Since The 1980s … With CO2 Only A Bit Player

By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Oct 27, 2016

http://notrickszone.com/2016/10/27/3-new-papers-reveal-dominance-of-solar-cloud-forcing-since-the-1980s-with-co2-only-a-bit-player/

Suppressing Scientific Inquiry

ExxonMobil’s Threat to Climate Science, and to Law Enforcement

By Bradley Campbell, Real Clear Energy, Oct 26, 2016

http://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2016/10/26/exxonmobils_threat_to_climate_science_and_to_law_enforcement_110097.html

“ExxonMobil’s decades-long climate deceit has poisoned our politics and brought us to the brink of a global crisis. Federal courts should not be giving the corporation unheard-of-protection from states probing ExxonMobil’s law-breaking in perpetrating that deceit.”

[SEPP Comment: The author misses the main issue regarding Exxon. It is not the weak physical evidence that CO2 may cause some warming, but the abuse of power by state attorneys general.]

Suppressing Scientific Inquiry – The Witch Hunt

NY judge orders Exxon to comply with climate subpoena

By Devin Henry, The Hill, Oct 26, 2016

http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/302979-ny-judge-orders-exxon-to-comply-with-climate-subpoena

Suppressing Scientific Inquiry – The Witch Hunt – Push-Back

First Amendment Freedoms Include the Right to Question Climate Change Science

By Texas Attorney general Ken Paxton, SE Texas Record, Oct 21, 2016

http://setexasrecord.com/stories/511028180-first-amendment-freedoms-include-the-right-to-question-climate-change-science

Documents Illuminate AGs Politicized Climate Campaign Against Exxon

By Chris Horner, Real Clear Energy, Oct 26, 2016

http://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2016/10/26/documents_illuminate_ags_politicalized_climate_campaign_against_exxon_110096.html

Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC

Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate

S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008

http://www.sepp.org/publications/nipcc_final.pdf

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

http://climatechangereconsidered.org/

Download with no charge

https://www.heartland.org/policy-documents/why-scientists-disagree-about-global-warming

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science

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

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

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

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts

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

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

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

Challenging the Orthodoxy

On the Existence of a “Tropical Hot Spot” & The Validity of EPA’s CO2 Endangerment Finding: Abridged Research Report

By Wallace, Christy, D’Aleo, Independent Scientists, Aug 2016

https://thsresearch.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/ef-cpp-sc-2016-data-ths-paper-ex-sum-101416.pdf

Corrected URL

Prepared Testimony to House Committee on Science, Space & Technology

By John Christy, UAH, Feb 2, 2016

https://science.house.gov/sites/republicans.science.house.gov/files/documents/HHRG-114-SY-WState-JChristy-20160202.pdf

Why You Should Trust the New Sophisticated Statistical Analysis and Other Evidence-based Studies on Climate, Not Politicians or the UN

By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, Oct 27, 2016

http://www.carlineconomics.com/archives/3100

Salvaging the Unsalvageable: HFCs and the UN Climate Change Fiasco

Guest opinion: Dr. Tim Ball, WUWT, Oct 22, 2016

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/10/22/salvaging-the-unsalvageable-hfcs-and-the-un-climate-change-fiasco/

Defending the Orthodoxy

A 1912 news article ominously forecasted the catastrophic effects of fossil fuels on climate change

By Staff Writers, Quartz, Oct 24, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]

https://www.yahoo.com/news/1912-news-article-ominously-forecasted-143125640.html

[SEPP Comment: A great comparison between 1912 & 2016. The 1912 the photo shows coal-fired power blackening the skies and that CO2 emissions will cause drastic caused global warming, based on the science of that time. Except in special photos emphasizing condensing steam, modern coal fired-power plants emit only invisible gases. Similarly, modern empirical science is showing little or no warming from CO2, except in illusionary climate models.]

Questioning the Orthodoxy

President Obama “Climate Change Denier”

By Norm Kalmanovitch, Liber8R, Oct 6, 2016

http://liber8r.com/2016/10/president-obama-climate-change-denier/

A tale of two climates

By Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance, Oct 28, 2016

http://scientific-alliance.org/node/1023

[SEPP Comment: The fear of climate change is in the politicians, not the people.]

Donna Laframboise: Science Is In Trouble

By Donna Laframboise, GWPF, Oct 27, 2016

http://www.thegwpf.com/donna-laframboise-science-is-in-truble/

Letter to 31 Scientific Societies Concerning a Letter They Sent to the US Congress on Climate Policy

By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, Oct 23, 2016

http://www.carlineconomics.com/archives/3079

The International Energy Agency

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct 28, 2016

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2016/10/28/the-international-energy-agency/

After Paris!

Coal Plants Under Construction In China & India Rising At Alarming Levels

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct 25, 2016

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2016/10/25/coal-plants-under-construction-in-china-india-rising-at-alarming-levels/

The Administration’s Plan – Executive Agreements

Treaty Politics and the Rise of Executive Agreements

International Commitments in a System of Shared Powers

By Glen Krutz and Jeffrey Peake, University of Michigan Press, 2009

https://www.press.umich.edu/pdf/9780472116874-ch1.pdf

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]

https://www.lawfareblog.com/paris-agreement-climate-change-legitimate-exercise-executive-agreement-power

Precedent on Environmental Pacts: Treaty or “Executive Agreement”?

By Marlo Lewis, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Sep 8, 2016

https://cei.org/blog/precedent-environmental-pacts-treaty-or-executive-agreement

The Administration’s Plan – Litigation

Transcript of Oral Arguments,

State of West Virginia, et al. v. EPA

US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit

http://www.globalwarming.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Official-Transcript-of-15-1363-En-Banc-Oral-Argument-092716.pdf

The Administration’s Plan – Push-Back

‘Clean Power Plan’ Relies on Dirty Climate Science

By Larry Bell, Newsmax, Oct 24, 2016

http://www.newsmax.com/LarryBell/daryl-hannah-epa-nasa/2016/10/24/id/754981/

Social Benefits of Carbon

The world is getting greener. Why does no one want to know?

As carbon dioxide levels have risen, the planet’s green vegetation has increased by 14 per cent

By Matt Ridley, The Spectator, Oct 22, 2016

http://www.spectator.co.uk/2016/10/the-world-is-getting-greener-why-does-no-one-want-to-know/

Seeking a Common Ground

Global Warming Debate at Rice University: Soon vs. Sass

By Charles Battig, Master Resource, Oct 27, 2016

https://www.masterresource.org/debate-issues/climate-debate-rice-soon-sass/

Chaos & Climate – Part 4: An Attractive Idea

Guest Essay by Kip Hansen, WUWT, Oct 22, 2016

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/10/22/chaos-climate-part-4-an-attractive-idea/

Peer Review — Why Skepticism Is Essential

By Donna Laframboise, Global Warming Policy Foundation, Oct 27, 2016

http://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2016/10/PeerReview.pdf

Politics and the Changing Norms of Science

By Lucas Bergkamp, Climate Etc. Oct 25, 2016

https://judithcurry.com/2016/10/25/politics-and-the-changing-norms-of-science/

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science

Soybean Seed Yields Enhanced by Elevated CO2

Bunce, J.A. 2015. Elevated carbon dioxide effects on reproductive phenology and seed yield among soybean cultivars. Crop Science 55: 339-343. Oct 28, 2016

http://www.co2science.org/articles/V19/oct/a20.php

Searching for a Greenhouse Gas Signal in Guatemalan Drought Records

Anchukaitis, K.J., Taylor, M.J., Leland, C., Pons, D., Martin-Fernandez, J. and Castellanos, E. 2015. Tree-ring reconstructed dry season rainfall in Guatemala. Climate Dynamics 45: 1537-1546. Oct 26, 2016

http://www.co2science.org/articles/V19/oct/a18.php

“The authors of this study state that ‘the expected signal of anthropogenic influence on the precipitation regime of the region has not unambiguously emerged,’ which is the politically-correct way of saying that their observations do not align with model projections for this region…

Rising CO2 Enhances the Growth of Eighteen Blackgram Genotypes

Vanaja, M., Sankar, G.R.M., Maheswari, M., Lakshmi, N.J., Yadav, S.K., Vagheera, P., Razak, S.K.A., Abraham, B., Kumar, G.V. and Venkateswarlu, B. 2015. Genotypic variation for growth and yield response at two elevated levels of CO2 and three seasons in blackgram (Vigna mungo). Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences 85: 321-330. Oct 25, 2016

http://www.co2science.org/articles/V19/oct/a17.php

Model Issues

Aussie Chief Scientist: “We have [climate] models to try to predict what that will be and that’s difficult”

Guest essay by Eric Worrall, WUWT, Oct 21, 2016

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/10/21/aussie-chief-scientist-we-have-climate-models-to-try-to-predict-what-that-will-be-and-thats-difficult/

Measurement Issues — Surface

HadCRUT Adjustments and the 1.5°C Tipping Point. (Now Includes September Data Except for HadCRUT)

By Werner Brozek & Just the Facts, Via WUWT, Oct 26, 2016

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/10/26/hadcrut-adjustments-and-the-1-5c-tipping-point-now-includes-september-data-except-for-hadcrut/

Tamino’s adjusted temperature records and the TCR

By Frank Bosse, Climate Etc. Oct 26, 2016

https://judithcurry.com/2016/10/26/taminos-adjusted-temperature-records-and-the-tcr/

Measurement Issues — Atmosphere

U.S. Operational Numerical Weather Prediction: What’s Wrong and How it Can Be Fixed.

By Cliff Mass, Weather Blog, Oct 23, 2016

http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2016/10/us-operational-numerical-weather.html

Measurement Issues – Missing Heat

Why GHGs Cannot Heat The Deep Oceans

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct 22, 2016

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2016/10/22/why-ghgs-cannot-heat-the-deep-oceans/#more-24722

Changing Weather

NOAA: U.S. has gone 11 years without a major hurricane strike

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct 26, 2016

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2016/10/26/noaa-u-s-has-gone-11-years-without-a-major-hurricane-strike/#more-24751

Northern Hemisphere Snow Cover Trend Has In Fact Been Upward Over Past Quarter Century!

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Oct 28, 2016

http://notrickszone.com/2016/10/28/northern-hemisphere-snow-cover-trend-has-in-fact-been-upward-over-past-quarter-century/

Hurricane hysteria blows an ill wind during election season

By Anthony J. Sadar, Washington Examiner, Oct 24, 2016

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/hurricane-hysteria-blows-an-ill-wind-during-election-season/article/2605386

The Snow Outlook for this Winter in the Northwest

Many of you have asked about the snow outlook for this winter in the Cascades.

By Cliff Mass, Weather Blog, Oct 28, 2016

http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2016/10/the-snow-outlook-for-this-winter-in.html

So what about the coming winter? The only tool we have that has any real skill (and even that is not perfect), is the correlation between El Nino/La Nina and the snowpack over our region. El Nino years are associated with warm sea surface temperatures over the central/eastern tropical Pacific, and La Nina years, colder than normal

Early Europe Winter? …And Greenland Sees “Record” 12 Billion Tonnes Ice Growth In A Single Day!

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Oct 22, 2016

http://notrickszone.com/2016/10/22/early-europe-winter-and-greenland-sees-record-12-billion-tonnes-ice-growth-in-a-single-day/

[SEPP Comment: But water freezing is not as photogenic as calving glaciers – no photo-scientists taking pictures.]

Changing Climate

Pitt researcher part of team that finds Southern East Africa getting wetter, not dryer

By Staff Writers, Pittsburgh PA (SPX), Oct 25, 2016

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Pitt_researcher_part_of_team_that_finds_Southern_East_Africa_getting_wetter_not_dryer_999.html

Link to paper: A progressively wetter climate in southern East Africa over the past 1.3 million years

By T.C. Johnson, et al, Nature, Sep 8, 2016

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v537/n7619/full/nature19065.html

Nature Unbound I: The Glacial Cycle

By Javier, Climate Etc. Oct 24, 2016

https://judithcurry.com/2016/10/24/nature-unbound-i-the-glacial-cycle/

Claim: Why ice ages occur every 100,000 years

From Cardiff University

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Oct 26, 2016

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/10/26/claim-why-ice-ages-occur-every-100000-years/

[SEPP Comment: Watts adds a presentation at AGU that it is due to the thermohaline circulation.]

Changing Seas

ODU, national security experts make recommendations in sea level rise resiliency report

By Tamara Dietrich, Daily Press, Oct 19, 2016 [H/t Timothy Wise]

http://www.dailypress.com/news/science/dp-nws-sea-level-rise-report-20161019-story.html

Link: The Center for Sea Level Rise

By Staff Writers, Old Dominion University, No Date

http://www.centerforsealevelrise.org/

“Sea Levels Have Risen 14 Inches Since 1930”

[SEPP Comment: Over generalizations. For most areas, local conditions are more important that global sea level rise of about 7 inches per century.]

Hampton Roads’ solution to stop the land from sinking? Wastewater.

By Darryl Fears, Washington Post, Oct 20, 2016 [H/t Timothy Wise]

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/hampton-roads-solution-to-stop-the-land-from-sinking-wastewater/2016/10/20/9537865a-8198-11e6-b002-307601806392_story.html?hpid=hp_local-news_aquifer-955pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

A geological perspective on sea level and storm surges.

Guest post by David Middleton, WUWT, Oct 20, 2016

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/10/20/a-geological-perspective-on-sea-level-and-storm-surges/

“Sea level has already risen by about a foot, 1 foot, in much of the Southeast, which means Matthew’s storm surge was higher, and the flooding was more severe.”–Hillary Clinton, Miami FL, 11 October 2016

[SEPP Comment: At a rate of 7-8 inches per century, it may have risen a foot in 150 years.]

Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

Defying Climate Models, Greenland Cooled By -1.5°C During 1940-1995 As Human CO2 Emissions Rates Rose Dramatically

By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Oct 24, 2016

http://notrickszone.com/2016/10/24/defying-climate-models-greenland-cooled-by-1-5c-during-1940-1995-as-human-co2-emissions-rates-rose-600/

Fall Arctic ice growth often differs regionally: 2016 compared to other years

By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, Oct 21, 2016

https://polarbearscience.com/2016/10/21/fall-arctic-ice-growth-often-differs-regionally-2016-compared-to-other-years/

Undermined by warm water, Antarctic glacier lost 1,607 feet [silly, 1km?] of ice in under 10 years

By Andrew Freedman, AP, Oct 25, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]

https://www.yahoo.com/news/undermined-warm-water-antarctic-glacier-171754890.html

[SEPP Comment: What is causing the warm water? Doubt it was caused by CO2 warming of the atmosphere, most pronounced at 33,000 feet over the tropics which no one can find.]

NSF, U.K. jointly support research into fate of massive Antarctic glacier

Collapse of the rapidly receding Thwaites Glacier could cause as much as nine feet of sea-level rise

Press Release, NSF, Oct 20, 2016

https://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=190012&WT.mc_id=USNSF_51&WT.mc_ev=click

[SEPP Comment: Could, in how many millennia?]

Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine

Methane Madness: The Battle for our Grasslands and Livestock

By Viv Forbes and Albrecht Glatzle, WUWT, Oct 26, 2016

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/10/26/methane-madness-the-battle-for-our-grasslands-and-livestock/

“The whole purpose of farming is to convert carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into useful products.” – Vincent Gray

Study: lakes started oxygenation problems long before fertilizers and climate change – blame urbanization

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Oct 24, 2016

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/10/24/study-lakes-started-oxygenation-problems-long-before-fertilizers-and-climate-change-blame-urbanization/

Lowering Standards

The ‘world’s most respected science journal’ Nature starts on the road to Perdition

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Oct 19, 2016

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/10/25/the-worlds-most-respected-science-journal-nature-starts-on-the-road-to-perdition/

[SEPP Comment: Political endorsement aside, Nature started on that road long ago – particularly when it published Mr. Mann’s hockey-stick. Solid comparisons by Watts.]

The sky is literally falling because of climate change, says top NASA scientist

By Elizabeth McSheffrey, National Observer, Oct 24, 2016 [H/t Dennis Ambler]

http://www.nationalobserver.com/2016/10/24/news/sky-literally-falling-because-climate-change-says-top-nasa-scientist

[SEPP Comment: The standards of NASA-GISS are not the standards of NASA – Apollo Mission.]

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

Dreaded Polar Vortex May Be Shifting

As the Arctic wind pattern migrates toward Europe it could allow frigid air to descend upon the U.S.

By Scott Waldman, Scientific American, Oct 25, 2016

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/dreaded-polar-vortex-may-be-shifting/?wt.mc=SA_Twitter-Share

Ice Detectives Scramble before Climate Change Destroys Evidence of Itself

Threatened glaciers store many of Earth’s fading prehistoric memories, including valuable temperature information

By Dhananjay Khadilkar, Scientific American, Oct 20, 2016 [H/t Dennis Ambler]

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ice-detectives-scramble-before-climate-change-destroys-evidence-of-itself/

“It is urgent because in the last 10 years the annual mean temperature on the Col du Dôme has risen by 1.5 degrees C, from –14 degrees Celsius to –12.5 degrees Celsius.”

[SEPP Comment: In how many decades will it melt?]

Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

How global warming could actually make winters colder for some people

Arctic warming could be shifting the jet stream, leading to more frigid winters in the United States and Britain.

By Joseph Dussault, Christian Science Monitor, Oct 27, 2016

http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2016/1027/How-global-warming-could-actually-make-winters-colder-for-some-people

Link to paper: Nonlinear response of mid-latitude weather to the changing Arctic

By James E. Overland, et al. Nature Climate Change, Oct 26, 2016

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v6/n11/full/nclimate3121.html

“Figure 3: Global air temperatures anomalies (°C) for January 2016.

“These were the highest in the historical record for any January since 1880. Southerly winds from mid-latitudes contributed to the largest anomalies in the Arctic (+7 °C). Note the cold anomaly (blue) over Asia. L-OTI, land-ocean tempera…”

[SEPP Comment: Where are the thermometer locations in the Arctic in 1880? They did not exist.]

Communicating Better to the Public – Go Personal.

Hacked emails reveal plan to counter Rupert Murdoch’s climate denial

Emails sent to Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta reveal $3m campaign aimed to put media mogul ‘on the defensive’ and help conservative politicians support global warming action

By Michael Slezak, Guardian, UK, Oct 25, 2016

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/oct/25/hacked-emails-reveal-plan-to-counter-rupert-murdochs-climate-denial

The plan to use “guerilla tactics”, civil disobedience and targeted advertising appears to have been hatched by David Fenton, founder of Fenton Communications, a US public relations agency.

[SEPP Comment: Fenton orchestrated the attack on Alar, falsely claiming the ripening agent for apples was a pesticide causing human cancer – and bankrupting many apple farmers. At a DC meeting, James Hansen introduced Fenton as his media consultant.]

The Greentrashing* of Ridley

By Geoff Chambers, Climate Scepticism, Oct 22, 2016 [H/t GWPF] https://cliscep.com/2016/10/22/the-greentrashing-of-ridley/

*Greentrashing is like greenwashing, only dirtier.

Expanding the Orthodoxy – The Pope

Study: Papal letter, Laudato Si’ fails to inspire Catholics on ‘climate change’

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Oct 24, 2016

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/10/24/papal-letter-laudato-si-fails-to-inspire-catholics-on-climate-change/

Linker to paper: Despite papal letter, Catholics and the public politically divided on climate change

Pope’s 2015 warning about global warming failed to rally broad support for climate action

https://www.springer.com/gp/about-springer/media/springer-select/despite-papal-letter–catholics-and-the-public-politically-divided-on-climate-change/10960452

Questioning European Green

UK Electricity 2050 Part 1: a demand model

By Euan Mearns, Energy Matters, Oct 24, 2016

http://euanmearns.com/uk-electricity-2050-part-1-a-demand-model/

[SEPP Comment: Part one of a presentation estimating future needs with future available sources, based on policy.]

Green Energy Thrill Is Gone! Once Overwhelming Support For German ‘Energiewende’ Fades, Study Finds

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Oct 23, 2016

http://notrickszone.com/2016/10/23/green-energy-thrill-is-gone-once-overwhelming-support-for-german-energiewende-fades-study-finds/

Questioning Green Elsewhere

Paying Money for Nothing

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Oct 25, 2016

https://dddusmma.wordpress.com/2016/10/25/paying-money-for-nothing/

Ridicule and Dismal Science

Guest essay by Tom Scott, WUWT, Oct 24, 2016

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/10/24/ridicule-and-dismal-science/

“Well, such ridicule helped to win an election later that year, but by the end of 2014 most US drivers could find gasoline for under $2.50 per gallon, and today EU energy consumers save about $50 per barrel of oil as compared to 2012 prices, almost a billion US dollars daily, due largely to the increase in US production and the ripple effects on the world market.”

Wind Power: Our Least Sustainable Resource?

By Craig Rucker, Master Resource, Oct 25, 2016

https://www.masterresource.org/windpower-problems/wind-power-least-sustainable-resource/

Non-Green Jobs

Collateral Damage: Forgotten Casualties of the Left’s War on Coal.

By Staff, Media Research Center, 2016

https://info.mrc.org/COLLATERAL-DAMAGE.html

Video Trailer

Funding Issues

Exposed: How top university helped secure £9million of YOUR money by passing off rivals’ research as its own… to bankroll climate change agenda

By David Rose, Sunday Mail, Oct 22, 2016 [H/t Timothy Wise]

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3863462/Exposed-university-helped-secure-9million-money-passing-rivals-research-bankroll-climate-change-agenda.html

[SEPP Comment: Since 2008, the chairman of the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (CCCEP) has been Nick Stern “a renowned global advocate for drastic action to combat climate change… He is also the president of the British Academy, an invitation-only society reserved for the academic elite. It disburses grants worth millions to researchers – and to Lord Stern’s own organisation.”]

The Political Games Continue

Inhofe, Senators Request Interior Clarify Role in Social Cost of Carbon Working Group

Press Release, US Senate on Environment & Public Works, Oct 27, 2016

http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases-republican?ID=94935CE3-83CC-4ADA-9F86-21AFD6014736

Litigation Issues

Court backs seal protections on climate change grounds

By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Oct 24, 2016

http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/302543-court-backs-seal-protections-on-climate-change-grounds

[SEPP Comment: If the Arctic ice starts expanding, will the regulations, etc. be retracted? Doubtful.]

Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes

You Ought to Have a Look: Lukewarming, Carbon Taxes, and the HFC Agreement

By Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger, CATO, Oct 26, 2016

http://www.cato.org/blog/you-ought-have-look-lukewarming-carbon-taxes-hfc-agreement

Subsidies and Mandates Forever

Solar energy can’t survive without massive subsidies

By Benjamin Zycher, The Hill, Oct 26, 2016

http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/energy-environment/302900-solar-energy-cant-survive-without-massive-subsidies

Carbon Credits Funded by US Taxpayers

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Oct 28, 2016

https://dddusmma.wordpress.com/2016/10/28/carbon-credits-funded-by-us-taxpayers/

Debunking the Fossil-Fuel Subsidy Myth

By Brian Potts, Real Clear Energy, Oct 23, 2016

http://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2016/10/23/debunking_the_fossil-fuel_subsidy_myth_110091.html

EPA and other Regulators on the March

EPA looks to crack down on polluters in minority communities

By John Siciliano, Washington Examiner, Oct 27, 2016

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/epa-looks-to-crack-down-on-polluters-in-minority-communities/article/2605765

Energy Issues – Non-US

Brexit, Hinkley knocks UK’s renewable attractiveness to all-time low

By Priyanka Shrestha, Energy Live, Oct 26, 2016 [H/t GWPF]

https://www.energylivenews.com/2016/10/26/brexit-hinkley-knocks-uks-renewable-attractiveness-to-all-time-low/

Link to RECAI Index: http://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/EY-RECAI-48-October-2016-index-at-a-glance/$FILE/EY-RECAI-48-October-2016-index-at-a-glance.pdf]

German economy minister sees no brown coal exit before 2040

By Caroline Copley, Reuters, Oct 26, 2016

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-coal-idUSKCN12Q1IN

Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel does not expect Germany to withdraw from brown coal in its power production before 2040, despite a growing debate over how to protect the climate from rising CO2 emissions.

[SEPP Comment: Protecting the climate from CO2 needs propaganda photos of coal-fired power plants blackening the skies?]

Former German Economics Minister Rips Renewable Energy Policy! “Capital Destruction Of Difficult-To-Fathom Dimensions”!

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Oct 25, 2016

http://notrickszone.com/2016/10/25/former-german-economics-minister-rips-renewable-energy-policy-capital-destruction-of-difficult-to-fathom-dimensions/

Energy Issues — US

7 ways animals threaten the power grid

By Krysti Shallenberger, Utility Dive, Oct 21, 2016

http://www.utilitydive.com/news/7-ways-animals-threaten-the-power-grid/428735/

Blackout Tracker: United States Annual Report, 2015

http://images.electricalsector.eaton.com/Web/EatonElectrical/%7Bde3f8139-7d99-4324-9166-22262683e51d%7D_US_BlackoutTracker_2015_Final.pdf

[SEPP Comment: In the US, Squirrels are # 1.]

Energy Issues — Australia

Blowout Week 147

By Roger Andrews, Energy Matters, Oct 22, 2016

http://euanmearns.com/blowout-week-147/#more-15491

[SEPP Comment: Another look at the Black System in South Australia and some other events including advertising of “free energy for life” in a UK condo complex.]

Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

Chesapeake Energy Declares ‘Propageddon’ With Record Frack

By Joe Carroll and David Wethe, Bloomberg, Oct 21, 2016

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-20/chesapeake-declares-propageddon-with-record-frack-in-louisiana

The company used 50.185 million pounds (22.76 million kilograms) of sand in its Black 2&11-15-11 1H well in the Haynesville shale region of Louisiana earlier this month. The well had a lateral length of 9,764 feet.

Nuclear Energy and Fears

French reactor outages drive Europe’s power complex

By Oleg Vukmanovic and Susanna Twidale, Reuters, Oct 21, 2016 [H/t GWPF]

http://uk.reuters.com/article/france-nuclearpower-europe-idUKL8N1CQ29S

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

Solar & Wind Power Creeps Up To 4.5% Of World’s Electricity Generation

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Oct 27, 2016

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2016/10/27/solar-wind-power-creeps-up-to-4-5-of-worlds-electricity-generation/

Implementing the transition to clean energy

By Staff Writers, WNN, Oct 24, 2016

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/EE-Implementing-the-transition-to-clean-energy-24101601.html

[SEPP Comment: Why does the “unstoppable” require subsidies?]

Energy & Environmental Newsletter: October 24, 2016

By John Droz, Jr. Master Resource, Oct 24, 2016

https://www.masterresource.org/alliance-for-wise-energy-decisions/energy-environmental-newsletter-october-24-2016/

Energy Return on Energy Invested (ERoEI) for photovoltaic solar systems in regions of moderate insolation

By Ferruccio Ferroni and Robert Hopkirk, Energy Policy, July 2016

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421516301379

“The main reasons are due to the fact that on one hand, solar electricity is very material-intensive, labor-intensive and capital-intensive and on the other hand the solar radiation exhibits a rather low power density.”

Wind Energy Company Sues To Keep Bird Kill Data Out Of Public’s Hands

By Michael Hutchins, Master Resource, Oct 26, 2016

https://www.masterresource.org/cuisinarts-of-the-air/wind-sues-hide-data/

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other

Addressing Another Energy Miracle: Ethanol From Carbon Dioxide

By Robert Rapier, Forbes, Oct 21, 2016

http://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapier/2016/10/21/addressing-another-energy-miracle-ethanol-from-carbon-dioxide/#e1cc92d1db20

LCOE and the Cost of Synthetic Jet Fuel

By Euan Mearns, Energy Matters, Oct 26, 2016

http://euanmearns.com/lcoe-and-the-cost-of-synthetic-jet-fuel/#more-15489

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Storage

Batteries won’t make renewables into reliables

By Matt Ridley, Rational Optimist, Oct 28, 2016

http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/batteries/

Environmental Industry

Do Endocrine Disruptors Really Cost Us Hundreds Of Billions?

By Joseph Perrone, ACSH, Oct 20, 2016

http://acsh.org/news/2016/10/20/do-endocrine-disruptors-really-cost-us-hundreds-billions-10330

Other Scientific News

Countries create largest marine reserve off Antarctica

By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Oct 28, 2016

http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/303241-countries-create-largest-marine-reserve-off-antarctica

Other News that May Be of Interest

DARPA Helps Paralyzed Man Feel Again Using a Brain-Controlled Robotic Arm

By Staff Writers, Washington DC (SPX), Oct 14, 2016

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/DARPA_Helps_Paralyzed_Man_Feel_Again_Using_a_Brain_Controlled_Robotic_Arm_999.html

The Six Pillars of Australia

By David Flint, Quadrant, Oct 27, 2016

http://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2016/10/six-pillars-australia/

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BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:

Harvard: Climate change to affect election, in 2099!

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Oct 26, 2016

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/10/26/harvard-climate-change-to-affect-election-in-2099/

Link to paper: Climate change may speed democratic turnover

By Nick Obradovich, of Department of Political Science, University of California, San Diego, and Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Climate Change, Oct 6, 2016

Climate change: Voters will be hot under the collar by 2099

Harvard study of 1.5 billion votes is the first to project how climate change will impact democratic elections

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-10/s-ccv102616.php

http://paperity.org/p/78295889/climate-change-may-speed-democratic-turnover

https://wpsa.research.pdx.edu/papers/docs/climate_voting_wpsa_obradovich.pdf

Claim: reconstructing climate from 300 million years ago from fossils says we’re in trouble now

What the ancient CO2 record may mean for future climate change

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Oct 25, 2016

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/10/25/claim-reconstructing-climate-from-300-million-years-ago-from-fossils-says-were-in-trouble-now/

[SEPP Comment: We cannot measure a significant influence of CO2 in atmospheric temperatures today, so let’s go back 300 million years – as if the earth’s land masses are the same as then.]

Why didn’t we figure this out before?

By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, Oct 25, 2016

http://climatechangepredictions.org/uncategorized/7262

“Weatherwatch: Did warm weather cause the Titanic disaster?

But in fact the catastrophe may have been set in motion by a warm, wet year over Greenland in 1908, resulting in greater snow accumulation.

Writing in the journal Weather, Grant Bigg and David Wilton of Sheffield University explain how the snow soaked through cracks in the ice sheet, encouraging excess iceberg calving over the following few years.

Soberingly, global warming has increased iceberg hazard greatly in recent decades, making years like 1912 more the norm than the exception.”

The Guardian, 28 Apr 2014

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ARTICLES:

1. North Korean Coal Windfall Boosts Nuclear Advance

New mineral riches complicate Washington-Beijing talks over how to curb Pyongyang’s nuclear program

By Alastair Gale, WSJ, Oct 25, 2016

http://www.wsj.com/articles/north-korean-coal-windfall-boosts-nuclear-advance-1477387708

[SEPP Comment: An unintended consequence of the Obama – China Agreement (not approved by Congress)?]

Summary: The article states:

“North Korean coal prices have surged by 68% in value recently, boosting funds for Pyongyang’s advancing nuclear program and undermining U.S.-led efforts to force it into talks by choking its finances.

 

“The rise for North Korea’s biggest export gives fresh significance to talks between the U.S. and China about tightening sanctions on North Korea in response to its nuclear activities. A focus of those talks at the United Nations is how to close a loophole that allows North Korean coal to flow to China largely unhindered.

 

“China buys most of North Korea’s goods, including coal, which accounts for about a third—or $1 billion—of the value of Pyongyang’s exports, according to Chinese data.

 

“In recent weeks, the coal trade has become significantly more lucrative for North Korea. The average price of its anthracite coal arriving at major Chinese ports rose to $99 a ton in recent weeks from around $59 in early August, according to financial data provider Wind Information.

 

“This is swelling North Korea’s coffers as it presses ahead with its nuclear program despite international condemnation. Pyongyang has spent around $200 million on its nuclear and missile program this year, the head of South Korea’s spy agency said last week, including two nuclear detonations and a long-range rocket launch. It has pledged further tests.”

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2. Big Oil Companies Reap Windfall From Ethanol Rules

Some refiners stand to rake in $1 billion by selling fuel credits, while others must spend millions to comply

By Bradley Olson, WSJ, Oct 27, 2016

http://www.wsj.com/articles/big-oil-companies-reap-windfall-from-ethanol-rules-1477564201

[SEPP Comment: No link to study. The biofuels program is in the Energy Act of 2005, but expanded later. Once adapted, a government program is difficult to eliminate, even when scientifically wrong and worthless.]

Summary: The article states:

“Environmental regulations designed to boost the amount of ethanol blended into the U.S. gasoline supply have inadvertently become a multibillion-dollar windfall for some of the world’s biggest oil companies.

“Companies including Chevron Corp., Royal Dutch Shell PLC, and BP PLC could reap a total of more than $1 billion this year by selling the renewable fuel credits associated with the ethanol program, according to an analysis commissioned by CVR Energy, a refinery operator controlled by billionaire Carl Icahn, a vocal critic of the rules.

“For other companies, especially smaller refiners, the rules have had the opposite effect, forcing them to spend hundreds of millions to buy credits to comply.

“Some large oil companies acknowledge they are reaping revenue from the regulations, but say their advantage stems from large investments they made to comply with it, and stress that not all of the money translates into profit.

“The top 10 U.S. refiners spent $1.1 billion on biofuel credits in the first half of this year, according to Moody’s Investors Service. Some refiners have warned they could be forced to conduct mass layoffs, or file for bankruptcy, because of the soaring costs of compliance.

“But the dispute over how to fix the program has created a rift in the oil industry, pitting some of the world’s biggest oil companies against smaller refiners. BP and the American Petroleum Institute have opposed the change, saying it could introduce significant uncertainty and do little to create incentives to blend ethanol. Exxon Mobil Corp. has argued the best solution would be repealing the entire program.”

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10 thoughts on “Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #246

  1. Is the court is so engrossed in the mathematical beauty of models, that the judges believe that the mathematics constitutes physical evidence?“. Whoa. Hold on there. The models have no mathematical beauty, they are about as ugly a refusal to recognise mathematical reality as you are ever likely to see. (I will try to write more on this one day).

  2. “industrial solar using molten salt may work, but it is yet to be demonstrated.”

    Molten salt works but it makes solar energy even more expensive. Large quantities of water are also required which draws water from the region, usually an area already using most of the available fresh water for irrigation and farming. It’s a cute idea, but works as a clunky bandaid on a stupid system.

  3. The earth has greened by 14% you say , why don’t we round that off to 97% .
    If it’s good enough for them it’s good enough for us to pluck a number from our ring gear , I’m sure I can come up with a model for it using my state of the ark Commodore 64 .

    • People like Matt Ridley are subjected to massively higher scrutiny than mainstream climate “scientists”, so they can get away with “97%” but he can’t. In this particular case, MR says “I was subjected online to withering scorn by the usual climate spin doctors, but even they had to admit I was ‘factually accurate’.“. That’s pretty impressive. [The whole article is worth reading].

    • Crescent Dunes is only viable because of government subsidies (in the form of loan guarantees and public land) and mandatory renewable energy quotas. No wonder the owners want to build another one – they are on a gravy train of public money.
      The development of such a large project [Crescent Dunes] required a confluence of support from private and public investment, most notably that of the federal government, which under President Barack Obama drastically increased its commitment to clean energy. In September 2011, the Department of Energy gave SolarReserve a $737 million loan guarantee for a 110-megawatt solar-power tower, which it also allowed to be built on federal land.
      The price for solar power is still higher than what utility companies pay for energy from traditional sources, but utilities have increasing incentives to diversify their energy portfolios. Thirty states, including big markets like California, are now required by their own laws to buy a significant portion of their energy from renewable resources such as solar
      [..]”.
      http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/techknow/blog/2014/1/22/producer-s-blog-longtermsustainabilityofsolarenergyatacrossroads.html
      It’s notable that, even with the loan guarantees and public land, the power is still uncompetitive and its use has to be mandated.

  4. Energy storage does NOT make an unreliable power source reliable. Energy storage devices have finite capacities, largely due to cost,and cannot produce power – they can only store power. At best they allow wind or solar energy collected during times of low demand and then provided later in the day when demand can utilize their power. But the skies can be cloudy for days, even weeks, and wind can die off for weeks, months. It doesn’t matter how often this happens, only that it can and will happen, and at times not controllable by the grid operator, unlike the times chosen to refuel nuclear reactors (in the Spring or Fall, when power demand is low, and their power is not required). This means there remains a need for costly , duplicative, reliable power generation capacity to back up renewables. Duplicative power capacity is NOT cheap, especially in this case, where there are no long range predictions of power failure by solar/wind. At best there are fuel savings , often not even that, if power generators need to be up and running (at idle) in order to step in with speed required to avoid grid power failure. And for nuclear, not only is the fuel savings negligible, but mostly even those canot be realized, since nuclear cannot power up and down rapidly.
    Hydro capacity is much easier and more accurately predicted and represents a huge advantage of this type of power over solar/wind, plus the fact that it is, for moderate length of times, hydro power is completely controllable.
    Even the very costly California pumped storage facilities have a very finite capacity for storing wind/solar energy. And any storage facility that becomes depleted backing up failed renewable capacity must have its storage restored, but from which power source? Only reliable sources can provide such power, not renewables, which can either power the grid or store their energy, but cannot do both, in general.
    I’m tired of hearing folks claim that if only storage were available, renewables would be able to provide reliable power generation capacity, same as fossil fuels/nuclear/hydro/geothermal.
    Once again, power storage devices only can STORE energy, they cannot produce energy
    and do not allow the grid to control the output of renewable power sources, since their power comes from the wind and shining sun, and the grid cannot control those forces of nature.

    • arthur4563 – If renewable energy with storage was cheap enough, then it would be better than as you describe. That’s because the storage gives a bit of time for the replacement power to be brought in (or for non-essential uses to be ramped down temporarily). The real problem is with the “if” : there is no indication yet that renewable energy with storage can be made cheap enough to compete. The world has so much coal, gas, uranium and thorium available, that this horribly expensive push into renewables is coming several hundred years too early, and we are all paying a horrible price. (And, of course, ‘several hundred years’ is a lot of time for as-yet-unknown energy sources to be found.).

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