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)
“Not With a Bang But a Whimper”: The 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 22), the twelfth session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 12), and the first session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 1) were held in Bab Ighli, Marrakech, Morocco from 7-18 November 2016. Reuters reported COP-22 began with bluster with the French President Francois Hollande claiming “inaction would be ‘disastrous for future generations and it would be dangerous for peace’”.
“Both he and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Trump, who has called man-made global warming a hoax, to drop a campaign pledge to cancel the global 2015 Paris Agreement that aims to shift from fossil fuels to cleaner energies.
“’The United States, the largest economic power in the world, the second largest greenhouse gas emitter, must respect the commitments it has undertaken,’ Hollande said to applause. The agreement was ‘irreversible’, he said.
“In such U.N. meetings, it is very rare for leaders to single out others for even veiled criticism. Both Hollande and Ban were among the architects of the Paris Agreement.
“’What was once unthinkable has become unstoppable,’ Ban said at a news conference of the Paris deal, agreed by almost 200 governments last year after two decades of tortuous negotiations. The accord formally entered into force on Nov. 4 after a record swift ratification.”
But sunny Marrakech was apparently very chilly. As Geoff Hill reported in The Zimbabwean: “If an iceberg had fallen from the sky, it wouldn’t have chilled the climate-change conference in Marrakech like news of the US election.”
Bluster and threats may not work on President-elect Trump, especially if they come from international bureaucrats who benefit from false claims that their actions will save the world.
Both Ban and Hollande were major parties to the farce of Paris, when major revisions were made at the last minute at the insistence of the Obama administration. These revisions substantially changed the tone of the Paris Agreement from the appearance of a Treaty to the appearance of a loose agreement. However, is this agreement enforceable under international law?
How enforceable the Paris Agreement is in US law is highly questionable, particularly in that it has not been submitted to Congress for approval as an executive agreement? Further, it has not been submitted to the Senate for approval as treaty.
As Rupert Darwall reports, some in Marrakech realized that: “The Paris Agreement was structured to avoid the test of a two-thirds vote in the US Senate. The strategy depended on American voters supplying a climate-friendly successor to President Obama.” The strategy failed. Now the participants only have themselves to blame.
However, as with World War I generals explaining failed offensives, the international bureaucrats will blame someone else. The Battle of the Somme was fought between July 1 and November 18, 1916, one hundred years ago, without any meaningful success. After the opening day, when the British Army suffered almost sixty thousand causalities with almost one-third dead, General Haig blamed the failure of a major breakthrough on the lack of troops committed to the attack.
COP—22 ended on November 18 with no grand announcements or last minute agreements. The failure of COP-22 can be blamed on the lack of physical evidence that carbon dioxide (CO2) is the major cause of global warming/climate change. Climate has been changing for millions of years, and will continue to do so no matter what the UN proclaims. Global climate models which have not undergone the rigorous testing for verification and validation are not the basis for sound policy. Their long-term forecasts may be more imaginary and physical, as were the “state-of-the-art” energy models used by the Club of Rome and the US government to forecast the world would run out of oil by the end of the 20th century. Of course, the participants in COP-22 will blame others. See links under After Paris – COP-22 and After US Election!
Quote of the Week. ““Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard Feynman
Number of the Week: 20 Billion Barrels
What Happens Now? The election of Donald Trump took many political “experts” and pollsters by surprise. His party retained control of the Senate, the House, and took over many governor positions and control of state legislations. This was far beyond what was expected and can be seen as a rebellion against establishment Democrats. One third of the Democrats in the House of Representatives come from three states: Massachusetts, New York, and California.
This week Trump had a surprise for Republicans. He appointed Vice-President-elect Pence as head of his transition team, which sends staffers to agencies for planning the transfer of power from President Obama on January 20. Pence announced that registered lobbyists will not be participating in the transition leadership, unless they deregister under the Lobbying Disclosure Act. This would preclude them from lobbying for clients. This action forced a well-known energy lobbyist, Michael McKenna, to resign from the transition team. The announcement is delaying the transition team, but may indicate that the incoming administration will be a rebellion against establishment Republicans as well. When campaigning, Trump did not receive hearty endorsements from many establishment Republicans.
There are many suggestions over what will happen now that COP-22 ended without a meaningful resolution, except a plea for money. Reiteration of dire consequences from carbon dioxide-caused global warming, now called climate change, seem to have lost their effect and certainly lack substantial physical evidence. Perhaps an indication of what may come is articulated by Kevin Cramer, who represents North Dakota in the U.S. House of Representatives and has acted as an advisor on energy for President-elect Donald Trump.
Cramer writes: “Arguments that a Trump administration must wait at least three years to withdraw from the Paris agreement – as well as provide a one year notice – are incorrect. For a country to be bound by the Paris agreement, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) requires a government to complete all national procedures for the agreement’s ratification.
“President Barack Obama’s signing of the agreement in September was not sufficient. Under the U.S. Constitution the authority to ratify treaties lies with the Senate. Until the Senate votes, the United States remains outside of the Paris agreement.
“The White House’s position that Paris is simply an executive agreement and not a treaty has been a matter of political convenience, especially given the level of Republican opposition in the Senate.
“Any reasonable person would find that the State Department’s guidance on determining if an agreement needs Senate approval strongly indicates that Paris is, by definition, a treaty. Both Hillary Clinton’s campaign and environmentalists have treated it as such.
“The other major economies of the world, including the European Union and Japan, have also viewed Paris as a “binding” treaty, one that requires the approval of their legislatures before it can take effect.”
Cramer further writes: “As polls in the presidential race tightened, the international community worked feverishly with the White House to put in place the agreement as quickly as possible before the election – an attempt at “Trump proofing” it and locking in the United States for four years. Unquestionably, those foreign governments were accomplices in the Obama’s administration apparent violation of the U.S. Constitution.
“An unintended but foreseeable consequence of this reckless behavior is the potential U.S. withdraw from the entire UNFCCC. President-elect Trump could decide to end America’s participation in the framework convention, fulfilling a campaign promise to “cancel” Paris and end funding for U.N. climate efforts altogether.
“Because the UNFCCC has been in force since 1994, U.S. withdrawal from the framework could take effect by January 20, 2018, assuming proper notification. A party is considered out of the Paris agreement automatically if it removes itself from the underlying UNFCCC. Unlike ratification, the White House can end America’s participation in a treaty unilaterally – as it did with the anti-ballistic missile treaty in 2002.”
Myron Ebell of CEI has been pilloried by the Climate Establishment, largely falsely, because he is heading the transition team for the EPA. Contrary to some claims, this is a temporary position, not a permanent one heading the EPA. Ebell suggested that the incoming administration can treat the agreement as a treaty and submit it to the Senate for approval of two-thirds of the Senators. If this is done with a time limit, say six months, then the farce started in Paris last year will end quickly. It would be interesting to see the international bureaucrats argue that Senators are bound to vote for the treaty restricting US CO2 emissions, even though the UN has shown no physical evidence that adding CO2 to the atmosphere is harmful. And the will the Senators agree the US must pay heavily into the Green Climate Fund the UN bureaucrats control, a fund Congress has not approved?
Prior reports by the US Climate Change Research Program stated the US is the major funder of these international exercises. Already COP-23 has been announced to be hosted by Fiji, but held in Bonn, Germany. If the new Congress and new administration pulls the funding, perhaps COP-23 could be called a Circus of Pretenders. See Article # 2 and links under Questioning the Orthodoxy, After Paris! After US Election! and EPA and other Regulators on the March.
Climate Models Are Not Appropriate for Policy: Writing in Climate Etc., Judith Curry has an excellent overview of global climate models written in an understandable manner, or as she states, climate models for lawyers. The Executive summary is worthy of quotation:
“There is considerable debate over the fidelity and utility of GCM climate models. This debate occurs within the community of climate scientists, as scientists disagree about the amount of weight to give to climate models relative to observational analyses. Climate model outputs are also used by economists, regulatory agencies and policy makers. Hence, GCMs have received considerable scrutiny from a broader community of scientists, engineers, software experts, and philosophers of science. This report attempts to describe the debate surrounding climate models to an educated but nontechnical audience.
“Key summary points:
▪ GCMs have not been subject to the rigorous verification and validation procedure s that is the norm for engineering and regulatory science.
▪ There are valid concerns about a fundamental lack of predictability in the complex nonlinear climate system.
▪ There are numerous arguments supporting the conclusion that climate models are not fit f or the purpose of identifying with high confidence the proportional amount of natural versus human causes to the 20th century warming.
▪ There is growing evidence that climate models predict too much warming from increased atmospheric carbon dioxide.
▪ The climate model simulation results for the 21st century reported by the IPCC do not include key elements of climate variability, and hence are not useful as projections for how the 21st century climate will actually evolve.
“Climate models are useful tools for conducting scientific research to understand the climate system. However, the above points support the conclusion that current GCM climate models are not fit for the purpose of attributing the causes of 20th century warming or for predicting global or regional climate change on timescales of decades to centuries, with any high level of confidence. By extension, GCMs are not fit for justifying political policies to fundamentally alter world social, economic and energy systems. It is this application of climate model results that fuels the vociferousness of the debate surrounding climate models.”
As with the writings of the Apollo veterans on the Right Climate Stuff Research Team, it is refreshing to read a clearly written essay on the weaknesses of global climate models. They should not be relied upon for government policy. See links under Model Issues.
Evidence – Climate Models Are Not Appropriate for Policy: The February 2 written testimony of John Christy to the US House Committee on Science, Space & Technology, page 13, clearly shows that the global climate models tested overestimate warming in the mid-troposphere in the tropics by a factor of three. This is where the hotspot discussed in last week’s TWTW should occur. The only model that comes near to matching the data is the one from the Russian Institute for Numerical Mathematics.
The only plausible explanation suggested to SEPP for this disparity between observations and models is that the modelers adjust to surface temperatures. If so, the models are completely inappropriate for establishing greenhouse gas and CO2 policy because the greenhouse effect occurs in the atmosphere, not on the surface.
If the UNFCCC and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) were financial institutions, the leaders would be held accountable for this gross disparity. Instead, the UNFCCC is demanding more money. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.
Number of the Week: 20 Billion Barrels of Oil plus 1.6 billion barrels of natural gas liquids and 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. In 2013, Pioneer Natural Resources estimated that the Spraberry/Wolfcamp formation in the Permian Basin in West Texas contained up to 50 billion barrels of recoverable oil and gas. Veterans of the oil patch realize that over optimism, or exaggeration, is common and were skeptical.
The USGS has announced that 20 Billion Barrels of Oil plus 1.6 billion barrels of natural gas liquids and 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas are technically recoverable – thanks to horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. This is the largest continuous assessment ever made by the USGS. Over 3,000 horizontal wells have been drilled and completed, some over 10,000 horizontal feet. The basin covered in the USGS report was narrowed and identified as “Midland Basin Wolfcamp A, B, C, and D of the Permian Basin Provence, Texas.
It is doubtful that the political “leave it in the ground” movement will have the same acceptance in West Texas as in New York State. See links under Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Suppressing Scientific Inquiry
The Rockefeller Family Fund vs. Exxon
By David Kaiser and Lee Wasserman, The New York Review of Books, Dec 8, 2016
[SEPP Comment: A new low for the Review of Books? Opens with references to documents based on personal attacks, not substantiated.]
After Denial, Rockefellers Admit They Targeted Exxon With ‘Paid For’ Columbia J-School Series
By Katie Brown, Energy in Depth, Nov 17, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Did the Rockefeller Family Fund and Columbia University violate the Civil Rights Act?]
Suppressing Scientific Inquiry – The Witch Hunt – Push-Back
Exxon to depose Massachusetts, NY AGs in climate case
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Nov 18, 2016
Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC
Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate
S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008
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
Challenging the Orthodoxy
Global Warming: Policy Hoax versus Dodgy Science
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Nov 17, 2016
49 Former NASA Scientists Send A Letter Disputing Climate Change
By Gus Lubin, Business Insider, AU, Apr 11, 2012
An Unanticipated Opportunity to Change Course on Climate before Even More Damage Is Done
By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, Nov 17, 2016
Prepared Testimony to House Committee on Science, Space & Technology
By John Christy, UAH, Feb 2, 2016
On the Existence of a ‘Tropical Hot Spot’ and the Validity of EPA’s CO2 Endangerment Finding
By James Wallace, John Christy, and Joseph D’Aleo Aug 2016 [Shortened version]
Since 1982, Temperature Records Show No Warming Other Than That Due To Natural El Niño Warmth-Inducing Events
By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Nov 14, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Consistent with the Wallace, et al. paper immediately above.]
Defending the Orthodoxy
Assess the U.S. Climate
By Staff Writers, US Global Change Research Program, No Date
“The Fourth NCA is in development
“An emerging area of focus for USGCRP is strengthening our capacity to conduct assessments on a sustained basis. We are building a sustained assessment process that will ultimately facilitate continuous and transparent participation of scientists and stakeholders across regions and sectors, enabling new information and insights to be synthesized as they emerge. An important part of the sustained assessment process is the development of a set of national climate change indicators.
“To learn more about proposed activities in support of the sustained assessment process, see the sustained assessment Assess and Engage pages.”
[SEPP Comment: Does not mention developing systematic methods to validate a global climate model.]
NOAA Appoints Members to Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment
By Staff Writers, Global Change.gov, Jun 29, 2016
‘Global warming doesn’t care about the election’: Nasa scientist warns Donald Trump over interference
Senior Nasa scientist suggests he could resign if Donald Trump tries to skew climate change research results
By Ian Johnston, Independent, UK, Nov 17, 2016
[SEPP Comment: The director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies ignores studies from space showing there is little or no CO2 caused global warming.]
What is climate change?
By Staff Writers, BBC, Nov 14, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
“The most important of these greenhouse gases in terms of its contribution to warming is water vapour, but concentrations show little change and it persists in the atmosphere for only a few days.”
[SEPP Comment: BBC comment is self-contradictory – and also appears to be unaware that greatly amplified warming produced by increased water vapor is a major issue between alarmists and “deniers.”]
Questioning the Orthodoxy
Another Blow To CO2…French Scientist’s Research Attributes Most Global Warming To Solar Activity
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Nov 15, 2016
Trump Should Shine Spotlight on Shrouded Climate ‘Science’
By Patrick J. Michaels, CATO, Nov 17, 2016
Link to paper: Climate scientists open up their black boxes to scrutiny
By Paul Voosen, Science, Oct 28, 2016
“As noted in the “Science” piece, there were two reasons for keeping it secret. Modelers feared when these adjustments became public knowledge, people might be a bit reluctant to believe their forecasts for the future — and that whatever political will there really is for expensive emissions reductions would evaporate.”
It ain’t necessarily so…
By Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance, Nov 17, 2016
Link to report: Energy 2052: Insights from the ground up
By Scott Nyquist, McKinsey & Company, Nov 2016
“However, the purpose of so many energy stories today is not to make a point about generation capacity, energy security or efficiency, important though they are. At the end of this piece we read that the projected rise in greenhouse gas emissions ‘…is not what needs to happen to keep the planet from warming another two degrees, the goal of the 2015 Paris climate conference.’”
[SEPP Comment: The assumption of temperature rise based on results from un-validated models is highly questionable and is not based on empirical observations.]
Nick Butler: Time For Adaptation To Reality
By Nick Butler, Financial Times, Via GWPF, Nov 14, 2016
Reckless International Climate Politics May Kill UN Climate Treaty
By Rep. Kevin Cramer, Real Clear Energy, Nov 17, 2016
COP 21 Carbon Cutting Absurdity, Part 1 of 3 [Paris Agreement]
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Nov 18, 2016
The Pathway Out of Paris
By Nicholas Lois and Steven Groves, The Daily Signal, Nov 17, 2016
Sarkozy proposes carbon tax on US goods if Trump scraps Paris climate pact
By Thomas Samson, AFP, RFI, Fr, Nov 14, 2016 [H/t GWPF]
[SEPP Comment: Will the US wine producers object?]
Trump win threatens climate funds for poor, a key to Paris accord
By Alister Doyle, Reuters, Nov 12, 2016
Oil demand won’t peak before 2040, despite Paris deal: IEA
By Amanda Cooper, Reuters, Nov 16, 2016
After Paris – COP-22
Marrakesh Action Proclamation: World leaders send message to Trump with call for ‘highest political commitment’ to global climate action
COP22 Summit responds to Trump victory with unified commitment to tackling climate change
By Madeleine Cuff, Business Green, Nov 17, 2016
Link to Marrakesh Action Proclamation for Our Climate and Sustainable Development
By Staff Writers, COP-22, November 2016
Climate momentum will continue: US envoy on Trump vote
By Staff Writer, AFP, Nov 14, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
Donald Trump And The Paris Agreement: Climate Deal To Stay, US Envoy Says
By Himanshu Goenka, IBT, Nov 15, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
The new coal war in Africa
Listen to the greenies, and coal is killing the planet, a problem made worse by the election of Donald Trump. But as Geoff Hill discovered, it’s not that simple.
By Geoff Hill, The Zimbabwean, Nov 14, 2016
UN talks tangle over cash to ease climate pain for poor
By Megan Rowling, Reuters, Nov 17, 2016
[SEPP Comment: For the rich in poor countries.]
At the Marrakech climate conference, Trump casts a chilling shadow
By Rupert Darwall, CAPX, Nov 16, 2016
A Trump Administration Is a Catastrophe in the Eyes of a U.N. Climate Conference
By Rupert Darwall, National Review, Nov 17, 2016 [H/t GWPF]
“Update: After filing the following report this morning from this year’s session of the U.N.’s annual climate meeting, the author went to attend the day’s ‘conference of the parties’ as he had been doing all week, only to be arrested by armed U.N. police and detained for trying to gain entry with a blocked pass. His phone was confiscated and examined, and he was asked whom he had been calling.”
COP22: Is The Game Over?
By Ian Duncan, Member of European Parliament, Via GWPF, Nov 17, 2016
Climate deniers linked with Trump’s EPA pick booted from COP22 talks
By Cop22 Staff Writer, Marrakech, Nov 17, 2016
After US Election!
France, U.N. tell Trump action on climate change unstoppable
By Nina Chestney and Alister Doyle, Reuters, Nov 15, 2016
President-Elect Trump May Already Be Affecting U.S. Climate Change
By Anthony Sadar, Daily Caller, Nov 16, 2016
Some Climate Realities for the Incoming Administration to Consider
By Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger, CATO, Nov 11, 2016
To Democrats’ Dismay, Trump Will Inherit Obama’s Expanded Presidential Powers
Editorial, IBD, Nov 14, 2016
The Big Bluff that Paris deal is solid: truth is Trump can axe it easily
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Nov 14, 2016
Trumping the climate
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Nov 13, 2016
Trump Likely To Slash And Burn Obama’s Climate Policy
By John Dizard, Financial Times, Via GWPF, Nov 12, 2016
“I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone. And I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward.” – Barack Obama, January 14 2014
“Making America great again” requires deep-sixing punitive energy and environmental rules
By Paul Driessen, ICECAP, Nov 12, 2016
Trump CAN end Paris climate agreement participation by the U.S.
Guest essay by H. Sterling Burnett, WUWT, Nov 12, 2016
14 Obama regs Trump could undo
By Tim Devaney, Peter Schroeder and Timothy Cama, The Hill, Nov 12, 2016
[SEPP Comment: The first 4 apply to power generation or energy.]
Myron Ebell is perfectly suited to lead the transition to a new EPA
By Donald van der Vaart, The Hill, Nov 10, 2016
President Trump is Going to Hit Some Very Nasty Greenies Where it Really Hurts
By James Delingpole, Breitbart, Nov 17, 2016
Trump loses energy transition head over lobbying restrictions
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Nov 18, 2016
The Administration’s Plan – Push-Back
Which of Obama’s Midnight Regulations Will Get Rolled Back?
By Marlo Lewis, Jr. CEI, Nov 16, 2016
Seeking a Common Ground
What’s Next for Energy and Climate Policy?
By Doug Domenech, Real Clear Energy, Nov 16, 2016
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science
An 850-Year Hydroclimatic History of Northwestern China
Gou, X., Gao, L., Deng, Y., Chen, F., Yang, M. and Still, C. 2015. An 850-year tree-ring-based reconstruction of drought history in the western Qilian Mountains of northwestern China. International Journal of Climatology 35: 3308-3319. Nov 18, 2016
“…but no trend in the data that would suggest an obvious recent influence from greenhouse gases. In contrast, however, the scientists report that three periods of mega-drought (AD 1260s-1340s, 1430s-1540s and 1640s-1740s) ‘corresponded to the Wolf, Spörer and Maunder solar activity minimum periods,’ while adding that ‘results of the multi-tape method analysis and wavelet analysis further confirmed the relationship between hydroclimate variability and solar activity forcing.’”
CO2 Enrichment vs. the Negative Crop Impacts of Heat and Aridity
Fitzgerald, G.J., Tausz, M., O’Leary, G., Mollah, M.R., Tausz-Posch, S., Seneweera, S., Mock, I., Low, M., Partington, D.L., McNeil, D. and Norton, R.M. 2016. Elevated atmospheric [CO2] can dramatically increase wheat yields in semi-arid environments and buffer against heat waves. Global Change Biology 22: 2269-2284. Nov 16, 2016
“Last of all, in terms of the bigger picture, Fitzgerald et al. report that ‘the large responses to eCO2 under dryland conditions have not been previously reported and underscore the need for field level research to provide mechanistic understanding for adapting crops to a changing climate.’”
Will Rising Temperatures Increase the Health Risk of Skin Cancer?
Freedman, D.M., Kitahara, C.M., Linet, M.S., Alexander, B.H., Neta, G., Little, M.P. and Cahoon, E.K. 2015. Ambient temperature and risk of first primary basal cell carcinoma: A nationwide United States cohort study. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology 148: 284-289. Nov 14, 2016
Climate models for lawyers
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Nov 12, 2016
NOAA: U.S. Tornadoes lowest since 1954 – during the “hottest year ever”
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Nov 16, 2016
Warnings Of A “December To Remember” As No. Hemisphere Snow Cover Reaches 2nd Highest Level!
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Nov 18, 2016
Finding: Forest fires in Sierra Nevada driven by past land use – not climate
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Nov 15, 2016
Link to paper: Socioecological transitions trigger fire regime shifts and modulate fire–climate interactions in the Sierra Nevada, USA, 1600–2015 CE
By Taylor Trouet, Skinner and Stephens, PNAS, Nov 14, 2016
Scary Headlines About Thames Estuary Sea Levels Don’t Stand Up To Scrutiny
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Nov 18, 2016
NASA Climate Scientists Threatens To Resign If Trump Cuts Funding
By Andrew Follett, The Daily Caller, Nov 17, 2016
“Dr. Gavin Schmidt, the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, told the Independent he and other government scientists are ‘not going to stand’ for any funding cuts or other interference in their work.”
“NASA’s budget includes more than $2 billion for its Earth Science Mission Directorate, which works to improve climate modeling, weather prediction and natural hazard mitigation. NASA’s other functions, such as astrophysics and space technology, are only getting a mere $781.5 and $826.7 million, respectively, in the budget proposal.”
Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?
Claim: Climate is killing off the Reindeer
Guest essay by Eric Worrall, WTWU, Nov 16, 2016
Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
Climate change fuels insurgency in Afghanistan
By Emal Haidary, APF, Nov 15, 2016 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
[SEPP Comment: Long before Alexander invaded in 330 BC, the inhabitants of Herat and other Afghan areas were engaged in guerilla-style wars. Must have been due to climate change – ongoing for over 2,300 years.]
Communicating Better to the Public – Go Personal.
Wikileaks and Me
By Roger Pielke Jr., His Blog, Nov 14, 2016 [H/t GWPF]
Link to paper: Dangerous assumptions
How big is the energy challenge of climate change? The technological advances needed to stabilize carbon dioxide emissions may be greater than we think, argue
By Roger Pielke Jr, Tom Wigley and Christopher Green, Nature, Apr 2008
Kerry: Trump shouldn’t make climate change a ‘partisan issue’
By Devin Henry, The Hill, Nov 16, 2016
[SEPP Comment: From the Secretary of State, a SEPP April Fools’ Honoree, who diverted substantial moneys to the Green Climate Fund, which has not been authorized by Congress.]
Award winning Peter Boyer attacks Myron Ebell — but who has an open mind, and who is in denial?
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Nov 18, 2016
“Science Communication” is a pretty dismal, immature profession. It’s so bad that an award-winning science communicator can talk about “blunt denial” even while denying basic tenets of logic and appearing to have done almost no research on the global warming debate.
Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda
We can fix climate change, but only if we refuse to abandon hope
By Zoe Williams, Guardian, UK, Nov 14, 2016 [H/t Timothy Wise]
“New discoveries are being made and solutions found, and each hopeful action will help stop the planet burning. Let’s defy the pessimists and the deniers”
[SEPP Comment: Fear based on speculation in “Science Advances” that the impact of CO2 warming is exponential, not logarithmic.
Expanding the Orthodoxy
Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment
By Staff Writers, Advisory Committee, No Date
Questioning European Green
Leaked EU energy package subsidises fossil fuels, undermines renewables
By Aline Robert, EurActiv.fr, Translated By Samuel White, Nov 15, 2016
Neil Collins: The [UK] Climate Change Act Must Go, Eventually
By Neil Collins, Financial Times, Via GWPF, Nov 14, 2016
“In an orgy of self-righteousness, parliament voted near-unanimously to cut the UK’s CO2 emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, a date which is past the deadline of at least half of the honourable members who supported it.”
The Real Cost Of Scotland’s Obsession With Renewable Energy
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Nov 17, 2016
Children win right to sue US government for climate change inaction
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Nov 15, 2016
Link to Opinion and Order in Kelsey Cascadia Rose Juliana, et al., v. USA
By Judge Ann Aiken, US District Court for the District of Oregon, Eugene Division, Nov 10, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Highlights the damaging effects of the EPA’s finding that CO2 damages the public’s health and welfare, which relied on non-existent (imaginary) evidence.]
Subsidies and Mandates Forever
Big Wind vs. Little Taxpayers: An Easy Budget Cut for Trump
By Lisa Linowes, Master Resource, Nov 18, 2016
“Tax credits are now a required component of the industry’s economics, an outcome Congress never intended when the 20+ year temporary credits were enacted. If yanking the handouts causes the industry to flat line then so be it.”
The New Congress Should Repeal All Energy Efficiency Mandates
By Sam Kazman, CEI, Nov 17, 2016
EPA and other Regulators on the March
Trump’s Climate Contrarian: Myron Ebell Takes On the E.P.A.
Henry Fountain, The New York Times, Via GWPF, Nov 12, 2016
Trump Transition Poised to Rein in Radical EPA
Myron Ebell can bring the agency back to its real mission: environmental protection
By Steven Capozzola, Lifezette, Nov 17, 2016 [H/t GWPF]
A new morning for the environment
Trump’s election bodes well for a more science-based EPA
By Anthony Sadar and Susan Cammarata, Washington Times, Nov 16, 2016
Energy Issues – Non-US
Russia Sees Oil Markets Woes For Another 3 Years
By Tim Daiss, Forbes, Nov 15, 2016
“We are considering several scenarios of economic development, our base scenario includes $40 per barrel in the next three years,” [Chairperson of Russia’s Central Bank]
How Much Power Do Wind Farms Generate In England?
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Nov 16, 2016
“The newly opened CCGT [Combined Cycle Gas Turbine] plant at Carrington is rated at 880 MW, and assuming capacity loading of 85%, would generate 6.5 TWh a year, slightly more than all England’s wind farms put together!”
Canada: More Pipeline Export Capacity Needed
By Allen Brooks, Master Resource, Nov 16, 2016
Reversing Middle East Dependence: U.S. Begins Exports Of Shale Gas To Oil-Rich UAE And Kuwait
By Jim Krane, Forbes, Nov 17, 2016
[SEPP Comment: A small symbol of the shale revolution in the US.]
Asia’s Super Grid to Be Fueled by Clean Energy
A globe-spanning network of high-voltage power lines would link an “internet” of electricity.
By Dave Roos, Seeker, Nov 15, 2016
Energy Issues — US
Give New Leadership–and Energy–a Chance
By David Holt, Real Clear Energy, Nov 17, 2016
“[Americans] want more of this: Per an IHS Global Insight analysis, the U.S. shale gas production contributed $156 billion to real disposable income in 2015, meaning the average American family saved an extra $1,337.”
LEED: From Market Efficiency to Political Conservationism
By Jim Clarkson, Master Resource, Nov 15, 2016
[SEPP Comment; In general, the program is far more expensive than the promoters claim.]
North Dakota Pipeline Protesters Win a Battle but Lose the War
The Dakota Access Pipeline will move ahead, just not where progressives and Native Americans were opposed to it being. Why is this the biggest battle in politics outside of President-elect Trump?
By Jay Michaelson, Daily Beast, Nov 11, 2016
Washington’s Control of Energy
Obama rescinds Arctic offshore drilling proposal
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Nov 18, 2016
Obama to block new Arctic drilling
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, Nov 16, 2016
“There will be no drilling rights sales between 2017 and 2022 in the Beaufort or Chukchi seas, which comprise the United States’ share of the Arctic Ocean, north of Alaska, according to two sources.”
“Since Obama’s decision is so late in his presidency, Congress could act early next year to overturn it through the Congressional Review Act, something President-elect Donald Trump would likely approve.”
Feds cancel drilling leases near tribal land in Montana
By Devin Henry, The Hill, Nov 16, 2016
New Congress should put Keystone XL pipeline bill on Trump’s desk
By George Will, Sioux City Journal, Nov 18, 2016 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Keystone XL no longer crucial for Canada’s oil exports, says natural resources minister
Jim Carr says Canada’s plan for oil exports is ‘not to solely rely on one major market’
By Margo McDiarmid, CBC News, Nov 16, 2016
Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
U.S. Shale – The Hits Just Keep On Coming
By Editors, Real Clear Energy, Nov 16, 2016
Link to report: USGS Estimates 20 Billion Barrels of Oil in Texas’ Wolfcamp Shale Formation
This is the largest estimate of continuous oil that USGS has ever assessed in the United States.
By Staff Writers, Nov 15, 2016
Assessment of undiscovered continuous oil resources in the Wolfcamp shale of the Midland Basin, Permian Basin Province, Texas, 2016
By Stephanie Gaswirth, et al, USGS, Nov 15, 2016
A $900 Billion Oil Treasure Lies Beneath West Texas Desert
By Joe Carroll, Bloomberg, Nov 15, 2016
A massive oil field in West Texas, but how massive?
By James Osborne, Dallas News, JULY 2013 [H/t Timothy Wise]
Peak Oil Indefinitely Postponed
Guest post by David Middleton, WUWT, Nov 16, 2016
Return of King Coal?
Indonesia’s coal consumption doubled since 2010. Will soon have more advanced coal power than Australia
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Nov 17, 2016
[SEPP Comment: The country with the fourth largest population did not trust Secretary of State John Kerry when he told them keep it in the ground.]
Coal and the Unreachable Climate Goal
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Nov 15, 2016
Oil Spills, Gas Leaks, Earthquakes & Consequences
Tapped out: science shuts down an anti-fracking myth about drinking water
By Kathleen Sgamma, Fox, Nov 15, 2016
“When state officials released their findings on Nov. 10, they concluded in an 80,000-page report that there was no evidence fracking fluids had ‘risen to shallow depths utilized by water-supply wells,’ as a summary of the report put it.”
Why Oklahoma Can’t Turn Off Its Earthquakes
Even new fracking wastewater regulations can’t prevent the big ones.
By Matthew Philips, Bloomberg, Nov 7, 2016
“Horizontal oil wells in Oklahoma can produce as many as nine or 10 barrels of salty, toxin-laced water for every barrel of oil, and much of that fluid is injected back underground into wastewater disposal wells.”
[SEPP Comment: Ancient sea water is “toxin-laced”? What is modern sea water?]
Oil, Earthquakes and the Rush to Save Oklahoma
By David Wethe, Bloomberg, Nov 14, 2016
Nuclear Energy and Fears
France’s nuclear “crisis” and UK energy security
By Roger Andrews, Energy Matters, Nov 17, 2016
[SEPP Comment: The French reduction in electricity exports from nuclear plants closed for inspection is not a crisis for the UK presently, but the margins are thin. If there is a further shut-down of nuclear power, or a cold winter, the results can be difficult.]
General Electric and Southern Company Team Up to Power the Planet With Nuclear Waste
The pair will collaborate to commercialize advanced nuclear reactors, including the PRISM sodium-cooled fast reactor design.
By Maxx Chattsoko, Motley Fool, Nov 15, 2016 [H/t Paul Redfern]
[SEPP Comment: Better headline “…with Nuclear Reactors of Advanced Design.]
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind
David Mackay Highlighted Problems With Solar Power In 2013
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Nov 16, 2016
Link to paper: Solar energy in the context of energy use, energy transportation and energy storage
By David J.C. MacKay, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, July 1, 2013
“In a decarbonized world that is renewable-powered, the land area required to maintain today’s British energy consumption would have to be similar to the area of Britain.”
[SEPP Comment: A new definition of 100% coverage!]
Big Wind Blown Away in Vermont
By Robert Bryce, National Review, Nov 15, 2016
European Commission Win ‘Fossil Of The Day Award’ at Marrakesh Summit
By Blue & Green Tomorrow, Nov 16, 2016 [H/t GWPF]
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other
Biofuels turn out to be a climate mistake
By John DeCicco, Energy Post, Nov 15, 2016
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Storage
Battery Storage Fallacy Exposed…Entire Annual Global Production Would Power Germany For Only 30 Minutes!
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Nov 16, 2016
Carbon Capture Still Viable under Trump
Energy Department official says businesses may want the technology for their own purposes
By Umair Irfan, Climate Wire, Via Scientific American, Nov 16, 2016
“In just the recent past, we have made incredible progress in CCS [carbon capture and storage],”
[SEPP Comment; Can CCS be commercially viable?]
Health, Energy, and Climate
Population Well-Being tied to Longevity (Shocker!)
By Jamie Wells, ACSH, Nov 11, 2016
European Commission Win ‘Fossil Of The Day Award’ at Marrakesh Summit
By Blue & Green Tomorrow, Nov 16, 2016 [H/t GWPF]
Other Scientific News
NASA to Launch Fleet of Hurricane-Tracking SmallSats
By Staff Writers, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Nov 10, 2016
Researchers explore gigantic volcanic eruptions that led to mass extinctions
By Staff Writers, Blacksburg, VA (SPX), Nov 16, 2016
Link to paper: Record of massive upwellings from the Pacific large low shear velocity province
By Pilar Madrigal, et al, Nature Communications, Nov 8, 2016
Other News that May Be of Interest
Interview With W.M. Briggs [his recent book “Uncertainty: The Soul of Modeling, Probability & Statistics]
By Brett Stevens, Amerika.org, Nov 14, 2016
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Nov 18, 2016
[SEPP Comment: Curry gives balance to a foolish essay.]
Yellowstone Park accident victim dissolved in boiling acidic pool
By Staff Writers, BBC, Nov 14, 2016
[SEPP Comment; Not all hot pools are “safe” hot-tubs.]
Discovery – correlation and causation both start with the same letter!
By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, Nov 18, 2016
“How far can it go? The last time the world was three degrees warmer than today – which is what we expect later this century – sea levels were 25m higher.
So that is what we can look forward to if we don’t act soon. None of the current climate and ice models predict this.
But I prefer the evidence from the Earth’s history and my own eyes. I think sea-level rise is going to be the big issue soon, more even than warming itself.” – Jim Hansen – The Independent, 17 Feb 2006
1. A Keystone Resurrection
Trump should drop his royalties demand and revive this job creator.
Editorial, WSJ, Nov 11, 2016
The editorial states:
Donald Trump promised in his victory speech Tuesday that he will “rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none.” Allow us to suggest a great place to start: Approving the Keystone XL pipeline that President Obama rejected to satisfy his climate friends.
TransCanada’s Keystone could carry some 830,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to Nebraska, and the company said in a statement this week that it is “fully committed” to building the pipeline. TransCanada said that it is “evaluating ways to engage the new administration on the benefits, the jobs and the tax revenues this project brings to the table.”
In 2015 TransCanada withdrew its route application after seven years of haggling with the Obama Administration, which rejected the pipeline despite favorable environmental reviews from its own State Department. President Obama said that approving Keystone would undercut U.S. “global leadership” on climate change. In other words, the President wanted leverage at the Paris climate drum circle—and Keystone would enrage Democratic campaign donors like Tom Steyer.
TransCanada has challenged the decision in federal court, and it is unclear if the company would be forced to restart the application process. Mr. Trump said in his campaign that he’d approve Keystone, but has also demanded royalty payments, a demand he should drop. By the company’s estimates the pipeline would add $3 billion to GDP, including millions in property taxes and create more than 40,000 jobs. Cost to taxpayers? $0.
Keystone fulfills several of Mr. Trump’s ostensible goals, including energy exploration. The pipeline could carry 100,000 barrels a day from North Dakota, which would encourage more development. And no one benefits more than America: 70% of refined products pumped through Keystone would stay in the U.S., according to a report last year from IHS, and that means consumers will enjoy lower prices. By the way, environmental objections were always bogus: Pipelines emit less carbon than rail systems and result in fewer spills.
All of this is also true for the Dakota Access pipeline, which could carry 500,000 barrels a day from the Bakken Shale to Illinois. The builder altered the route in North Dakota some 140 times to placate concerns from environmental outfits and the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, which sued. A federal judge ruled that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had met its obligations under the law. Yet the Administration disregarded the rule of law—a judicial outcome in its favor—and halted construction.
For anyone mystified by Mr. Trump’s victory, these episodes are instructive: Progressives for eight years indulged the pipe dreams of wealthy environmentalists, even at the expense of growing the economy and helping middle-class Americans. Expedited approval for Keystone would be a down payment on the change in political culture that Mr. Trump has promised.
2. Reversing Rule by Regulation
Trump can dismantle much of Obama’s legacy with a pen and phone.
Editorial, WSJ, Nov 16, 2016
The Editorial sates:
President Obama spent his final six years in office—and especially the last two—governing largely by executive fiat. He issued executive orders, and his administrative state issued tens of thousands of pages of new regulations that took on the force of law. He called it rule by pen and phone.
This infuriated millions of Americans and contributed to Donald Trump’s victory, and one irony is that this also means that Mr. Obama’s policy legacy is less durable. Mr. Trump will now have the chance to reverse these orders and regulations often without new legislation. Here are three ways he and Republicans can proceed:
New executive orders. Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute counts more than 250 executive orders signed by President Obama, plus more than 230 “executive memoranda.” These did everything from creating a new investment vehicle called MyRA, which seeks to encourage new savers to invest in government debt, to directing federal agencies to demand new data to investigate pay disparity by race and sex at government contractors. The Trump transition should review every one so the boss can rescind them if he wishes.
A related category are orders issued by federal agencies without a formal federal rule-making. Mr. Obama’s regulators made an unprecedented practice of issuing “guidance” that allowed agencies to duck rule-making while still forcing targets to comply—or risk enforcement action.
A classic of this genre is the Education Department’s rewrite of Title IX telling universities how they must handle accusations of sexual assault. Other examples run from auto lending to drug discovery to housing rentals. The President’s order legalizing four million illegal immigrants that is currently tied up in court can also be dropped at the stroke of a pen.
Mr. Trump can instruct his new cabinet secretaries to immediately void all such Obama guidance or else put it through the lawful rule-making process. He can also order federal agencies to immediately cease work on regulations in process or due to be sent for publication in the Federal Register.
Congressional Review Act. This legacy of the Gingrich era allows Congress to kill the many last-minute regulations now making their way through Mr. Obama’s agencies. For items enacted in the last 60 working days of this Congress—which probably will mean since late May this year—lawmakers can consider them in January without threat of a Senate filibuster.
That’s how Republicans dismissed Bill Clinton’s last-minute ergonomics rule in 2001. GOP lawmakers put four of these resolutions on the President’s desk during this Congress, but he vetoed them.
Republicans can now use this mechanism to kill the Treasury Department’s misguided effort to punish businesses that Treasury thinks might move their headquarters overseas. Other potential targets include a pending IRS rule to raise estate-tax collections and a Commodity Futures Trading Commission proposal to strip regulated companies of their due-process rights to challenge federal demands for information.
Mr. Obama’s agencies have also been moving rules on truck emissions, fracking, food labels and more on the expectation that President Hillary Clinton would protect them. All of these could be quickly killed.
New Regulations. The third leg of this regulatory reversal is the most difficult: Repealing Obama regulations that went through a formal rule-making.
Ground zero is the Environmental Protection Agency. William Beach of George Mason University’s Mercatus Center says the EPA is America’s most expensive regulator and its Clean Power Plan alone will cost the economy more than $7 billion a year. The power rule is being challenged in federal court as unconstitutional, and Mr. Trump’s Justice Department can tell the court that it is changing its position on the law’s legality. This is what the Obama Administration did with Bill Clinton’s Defense of Marriage Act.
Other Obama rules, such as the EPA’s much-loathed Waters of the United States regulation and the FCC’s Title II Internet takeover, may require new rule-makings to reverse. These new rules probably will be challenged in court, which could delay implementation. But this is all the more reason to start immediately.
Beyond fulfilling a campaign promise, all of this would amount to a huge, low-cost economic boost. Mr. Beach says a recent Mercatus study modeled a scenario in which the U.S. had simply maintained the level of regulation it had in 1980. The U.S. was hardly free of red tape at the time. Yet researchers at Mercatus and Duke University found that keeping the 1980 regulatory burden would have made the U.S. economy $4 trillion larger in 2012. That’s roughly $13,000 per capita.
Rarely do new Presidents get a chance for such readily achievable policy victories. Thanks to Mr. Obama’s pen and phone, Mr. Trump will have it.