Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #257

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
Due to other commitments requiring refraining from public comments that may be misconstrued as suggesting policy, this TWTW will be short and comments restrained. Responses to correspondence will be limited. Thank you.


Climate Change Understanding: Two separate guests to Watts Up With That discuss major issues in climate change modeling and the processes used by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Some of these issues have been present since the inception of the IPCC and carry over to other government-funded reports such as those by the United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). The issues may create substantial systematic errors in the reports, some of which continue after decades of research.
Tim Ball, a student of climate change pioneer H.H. Lamb, discusses the problem of developing a refined hypothesis (theory) that exceeds the capability of gathering the data needed to substantiate that hypothesis (theory). Lamb established the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia as a center for collecting climate data. As Ball states, Lamb wrote:
“…it was clear that the first and greatest need was to establish the facts of the past record of the natural climate in times before any side effects of human activities could well be important.”
This goal has been thwarted by those who succeeded Lamb and used CRU as a means for reinforcing the belief that human activities dominate climate change, not merely contributed to climate change.
Very simply, we do not have the surface data and the processes to separate natural variation from the human activities. And the processes used lump natural variations with human activities, particularly in surface temperature data. The processes used by the IPCC and USGCRP are faulty, and need to be changed or ignored. These entities are not engaged in empirical science to understand climate change. Instead, they are engaged in processes “to prove” climate change is caused by humans, even if it requires ignoring history. Often the lack of rigorous research is disguised by vague language. Ball’s lengthy post is well worth reading. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.

Quote of the Week.
“When people learn no tools of judgment and merely follow their hopes, the seeds of political manipulation are sown.” Stephen Jay Gould [H/t Tim Ball]
http://drtimball.com/…


Number of the Week: $23.7 Billion


Climate Change Modeling: As with Tim Ball, retired mathematician Mike Jonas discusses the issues involved in developing a hypothesis and models that go beyond the capabilities of meaningful measurement. Jonas emphasizes the problems of using expanded weather models as global climate models. The weather models are chaotic, thus produce different results with each model run.
As Fred Singer stated in a report by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC, 2010), based on an investigation of Japan’s climate model, at least ten separate runs are needed in hopes to obtain a central tendency for each individual model. Yet, the IPCC presents only one model run for each of the many models it uses it its reports. There is no logical reason to assume that any particular run represents the central tendency of that model.
Jonas discusses that the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) performed 40 runs from 1920 to 2100 for its Community Earthy System Model (CESN), with a slight change in initial conditions – the global atmospheric temperatures was changed by less than one-trillionth of one degree for each run. The NACR / UCAR’s publication AtmosNews states that the results were called the CESM Large Ensemble that give “astounding” diverse climate projections. In little over a year, the Ensemble data were used in “100 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles.” One wonders how many of these articles questioned the utility of using such highly unstable models for estimating future climate. Jonas stated: “This NCAR report shows unequivocally that the climate models in their current form can never predict future climate.”
As H.H. Lamb demonstrated, the earth’s climate changes. However, compared with nature, climate models are highly unstable, yet EPA and other government organizations claim they represent nature.
In the post and an earlier one, Jonas discusses the problems involved in “tuning,” that is adjusting the models to produce appropriate results. A major problem, not particularly discussed, is adjusting the models to surface data, while atmospheric data are largely ignored. Yet, as stated in the 1979 Charney Report published by the National Academy of Sciences, the effects of greenhouses gases occur in the atmosphere, with the secondar effect at the surface.
Both the surface and atmospheric temperature data are affected by natural occurrences such as volcanoes and El Niños. However, surface data are affected by many additional human influences, such as the Urban Heat Island Effect, irrigation, location of instruments near airports, etc. In general, for decades the models have been “tuned” to the wrong data. As John Christy’s testimony to Congress demonstrated, except for the Russian model from the Institute of Numerical Mathematics, using a single run, the IPCC models greatly overestimate the warming of the atmosphere, where the effect of greenhouse gases occurs. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy – NIPCC, Challenging the Orthodoxy, Defending the Orthodoxy, and Models v. Observations.


Bias in Publications: Patrick Michaels and Paul “Chip” Knappenberger discuss bias in publications, including the magazines Nature and Science. However, their discussion does not sufficiently underline the extreme bias in these publications.
In March 1990, Science published a paper by Roy Spencer and John Christy describing a method for using data collected from NOAA polar orbiting weather satellites to comprehensively calculate atmospheric temperatures for virtually the entire globe, except for the extreme poles. These data cover about 97 to 98 percent of the globe, including oceans, deserts, mountain ranges, jungles, etc. where there are few surface instruments. Initially, certain small errors in calculation were discovered, including orbital decay. These were acknowledged and corrected. This is how science advances.
However, these magazines largely ignore studies using comprehensive satellite data in favor of studies using sparse surface data. Further, often the missing data is infilled, that is calculated from other data that may result in systematic biases. For an extreme example, Nature published Mr. Mann’s hockey-stick which used a statistical technique, that had an internal bias, to create the impression that late 20th century warming was unprecedented as compared with the prior 1,000 years, at least in the Northern Hemisphere. This article has not yet been retracted. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.


TWTW Guilty of Bias: TWTW emphasizes reporting studies and articles that contradict and question establishment climate and environmental science because it does not have the staff to adequately explore all such articles.
When it comes to evidence of CO2-caused global warming / climate change, TWTW has focused on the lack of evidence, weaknesses in the evidence supporting CO2 is causing warming, and evidence of other causes. In part, this is justifiable because the UN and the US have enormous budgets dedicated to emphasizing CO2 as the cause, without properly considering natural variation. The US spends about $2.5 billion a year on “climate science.”
This problem is amplified by UN and US entities using the results of global climate models as proof of cause. These models are poorly implemented to understand the influences of greenhouse gases. They are “tuned,” that is adjusted to surface temperature measurements when the greenhouse gases effect occurs in the atmosphere. The fact that these models are not properly tested, that is, verified and validated, indicates the severity of the problem. The disconnect between the research efforts and the political demand to control greenhouse gas emissions is severe.
The NIPCC reports contain a more balanced view, but are largely ignored by the climate establishment and many US scientific organizations – though not by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy – NIPCC.


Political Stability: Retired EPA scientist Alan Carlin asks a question about the US. “What will happen to the climate alarmist cause in two, four, or eight years?” Carlin considers the US political system more stable than the European systems, thus significant change is slow to take hold.
The difference in timeliness has been observed by others as well. Usually, in parliamentary systems, the leader of the executive branch is also the leader of the legislative branch, thus there is more cohesiveness in implementing political programs. The downside is actions such as the UK Climate Change Act of 2008, following the 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR-4). The Act requires that the UK becomes a low-carbon economy, to cut CO2 emissions by 80% as compared with a 1990 baseline. The public is suffering from misallocation of resources due to programs attempting to meet the requirements of this Act.
In the US, political power is far more diffuse, less concentrated. Often, the executive and legislative branch are controlled or led by different political parties. Also, state and regional interests are important. Thus, party discipline is reduced in the legislative branch, as compared with European parliaments. President Obama found this out when his version of the Climate Change Act, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, failed to pass the Senate, even though the Senate and House were controlled by his political party. What will happen over the next four years is very difficult to predict. See link under Questioning the Orthodoxy.


Snappy: Amusingly, recent newspaper reports labeled the author of TWTW a “swamp alligator.” He is guilty of touring and observing wildlife in southern swamps, such as the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, some with a pH as low as 4. In the mid-20th century, the Okefenokee was the setting for a noted comic strip that appealed to adults, Pogo. One of the main characters was Albert the Alligator. But, that name is too docile for TWTW, so let’s call him Snappy. See links under Below the Bottom Line.


Number of the Week: $23.7 Billion. Lisa Linowes, who follows such matters, wrote in Master Resource that the US Joint Committee (House and Senate) on Taxation (JCT) now estimates the total cost of the wind production tax credit in the years 2016–2020 to be $23.7 billion. The $23.7 billion is for deployment of an electricity generating system that is not reliable. Wind production is not dispatchable, meaning it can be turned on when needed, within a known time-period. Wind power places a burden on reliable forms of electricity generation. Further, wind power is not needed for electricity in the US, except for isolated conditions. See link under Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind.


NEWS YOU CAN USE:

Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?

The Left Ignores Newest Climate Science
By Dennis Avery, ICECAP, Feb 2, 2017
http://icecap.us/index.php/go/polit…
[SEPP Comment: Discussion of the Svensmark hypothesis.]

Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC

Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate
S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008
http://www.sepp.org/publications/ni…
Overcoming Chaotic Behavior of Climate Models
By S. Fred Singer, SEPP, July 2010
http://www.sepp.org/science_papers/…
Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science
Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2013
https://www.heartland.org/media-lib…
Summary:
http://www.nipccreport.org/reports/…
Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts
Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2014
http://www.nipccreport.org/reports/…
Summary:
https://www.heartland.org/media-lib…
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.or…
Download with no charge
https://www.heartland.org/policy-do…

Challenging the Orthodoxy

IPCC Objectives and Methods Mandated Elimination, Reduction, Manipulation of Inadequate Real Data and Creation of False Data.
Guest opinion: Dr. Tim Ball, WUWT, Jan 29, 2017
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/01…
A quote from IPCC AR-5 (2013): “The simulation of clouds in climate models remains challenging. There is very high confidence that uncertainties in cloud processes explain much of the spread in modelled climate sensitivity. (A classic example of Orwellian double talk. They are very certain that they are uncertain.)”
[SEPP Comment: Water vapor (including latent heat from phase change) is what the National Research Council (Charney Report) identified as the largest component of warming from greenhouse gases.]
Prepared Testimony to House Committee on Science, Space & Technology
By John Christy, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Feb 2, 2016
https://science.house.gov/sites/rep…
Bias in Climate Science
By Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger, CATO, Feb 1, 2017
https://www.cato.org/blog/bias-clim…
Conflating the climate problem with the solution
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Feb 3, 2017
https://judithcurry.com/2017/02/03/…
“JC message to scientists: start behaving like scientists, and make your arguments for why you think something is important and why it should be funded. Whining and playing politics doesn’t look like it will help your cause.”
Four Key Charts for a Climate Change Skeptic
By Michael David White, WUWT, Jan 28, 2017
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/01…
The Global Warming Policy Foundation (UK): More Pertinent than Ever
By Robert Bradley Jr. Master Resource, Feb 1, 2017
https://www.masterresource.org/glob…

Defending the Orthodoxy

Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment
Ad Hoc Study Group on Carbon Dioxide and Climate
By Jule G. Charney, et al. Climate Research Board, National Academy of Sciences, July 23-27, 1979
https://www.nap.edu/read/12181/chap…

Questioning the Orthodoxy

Climate Stability and Political Stability
By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, Feb 3, 2017
http://www.carlineconomics.com/arch…
Climate News
By Alan Moran, ICECP, Feb 1, 2017
http://icecap.us/index.php/go/polit…
[SEPP Comment: More on the” hottest year on record.”]

Change in US Administrations

What To Expect From The Trump Administration On Climate Science
By Anthony Sadar, Daily Caller, Feb 2, 2017 [H/t ICECAP]
http://dailycaller.com/2017/02/02/w…
“As any student of science knows, the scientific method involves observation, hypothesis, and testing — lots of testing — before a theory is established. Furthermore, modern scientific practice is assisted by the use of the powerful but quite limited tool of computer modeling.”
Trump to ‘honour Paris deal withdrawal pledge’
By Staff Writers, Argus Media, Jan 30, 2017 [H/t WUWT]
http://www.argusmedia.com/news/arti…
Evaluating President Trump’s Science And Health Choices
By Hank Campbell, ACHS, Jan 30, 2017
http://acsh.org/news/2017/01/30/eva…

Seeking a Common Ground

The ‘threat’ of climate change
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Jan 29, 2017
https://judithcurry.com/2017/01/29/…
You Ought to Have a Look: On Fixing Science
By Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger, CATO, Jan 30, 2017
https://www.cato.org/blog/you-ought…

Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science

Combined Ocean Acidification and Heat Shock on a Benthic Copepod
Li, W., Han, G., Dong, Y., Ishimatsu, A., Russell, B.D. and Gao, K. 2015. Combined effects of short-term ocean acidification and heat shock in a benthic copepod Tigriopus japonicas Mori. Marine Biology 162: 1901-1912. Feb 2, 2017
http://www.co2science.org/articles/…
CMIP5 Modeling of Arctic and Eurasia Mid-Latitude Warming
Xie, Y., Liu, Y. and Huang, J. 2016. Overestimated Arctic Warming and Underestimated Eurasia Mid-Latitude Warming in CMIP5 Simulations. International Journal of Climatology 36: 4475-4487. Feb 1, 2017
http://www.co2science.org/articles/…
The Relationship Between Temperature and Cardiac Arrest in Japan
Onozuka, D. and Hagihara, A. 2017. Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest risk attributable to temperature in Japan. Scientific Reports 7: 39538, doi:10.1038/srep39538. Jan 31, 2017
http://www.co2science.org/articles/…
“Such findings add to the ever-growing mountain of evidence revealing that a warming climate is most likely to be net-beneficial to human health.”

Models v. Observations

This is How Climate Works – Part 2
Guest essay by Mike Jonas, WUWT, Jan 29, 2017
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/01…
Link to NCAR / UCAR Press Release: 40 Earths: NCAR’s Large Ensemble reveals staggering climate variability
Data set an instant hit with climate and Earth system researchers
By Staff Writers, AtmosNews, Sep 29, 2016
https://www2.ucar.edu/atmosnews/per…
Link to paper describing project: The Community Earth System Model (CESM) Large Ensemble Project: A Community Resource for Studying Climate Change in the Presence of Internal Climate Variability
By J.E. Kay, et al. Bulletin of AMS, Sep 16, 2015
http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/ful…
This is How Climate Works – Part 1
Guest essay by Mike Jonas, WUWT, Jan 28, 2017
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/01…

Measurement Issues — Surface

A Critical Review of Global Surface Temperature Data Products
By Ross McKitrick, Univ. of Guelph, Aug 5, 2010
https://realclimatescience.com/wp-c…
Scientists Criticize ‘Hottest Year on Record’ Claim as Hype
By James Varney, RealClearInvestigations, Jan 29, 2017 [H/t Tim Wise]
http://www.realclearinvestigations….
An earlier version of this article misstated the global average temperature rise for 2016 reported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It is 0.04 degrees Celsius, not 0.01, the increase reported by the British Met Office.
[SEPP Comment: Measurement errors in the instrumentation are not a concern for the alarmists.]
What do three CET reference weather stations used by the Met Office have in common?
Guest essay by Tom Barr, WUWT, Jan 29, 2017
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/01…

Measurement Issues — Atmosphere

UAH Global Temperature Update for January, 2017: +0.30 deg. C
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Feb 1, 2017
http://www.drroyspencer.com/2017/02…
[SEPP Comment: Slight uptick of 0.07 deg. C from December 2016. Spencer estimates that to be statistically significant an annual increase would have to be greater than 0.1 deg. C. What will happen in February and thereafter?]
Global water vapor variability and trend from the latest 36 year (1979 to 2014) data of ECMWF and NCEP reanalyses, radiosonde, GPS, and microwave satellite
By Biyan Chen and Zhizhao Liu, Atmospheres, Oct 16, 2016
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/…

Changing Climate

Earth’s orbital variations and sea ice synch glacial periods
Climate simulations show how changes in Earth’s orbit alter the distribution of sea ice on the planet, helping to set the pace for the glacial cycle.
By Staff Writers, Brown University Press Release, Jan 26, 2017 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
https://news.brown.edu/articles/201…

Changing Climate – Cultures & Civilizations

The ancient Indus civilization’s adaptation to climate change
By Staff Writers, Phys.Org, Jan 27, 2017 [H/t GWPF]
https://phys.org/news/2017-01-ancie…
Link to paper, Adaptation to Variable Environments, Resilience to Climate Change: Investigating Land, Water and Settlement in Indus Northwest India
By Cameron A. Petrie, et al. Current Anthropology, Jan 27, 2017
http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/do…

Changing Seas

Sea Level Rise At Norfolk, Va
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Feb 3, 2017
https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wor…
[SEPP Comment: Often ignored by promoters of fear, land subsidence is more important in this area than actual rise.]
World is going to hell but we’re finding new coral reefs everywhere…
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Feb 1, 2017
http://joannenova.com.au/2017/02/wo…

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

Study shows how global climate changes can affect exposure of methylmercury to ecosystems, humans
By Staff Writers, New-Medical Life Sciences, Jan 29, 2017 [H/t Clyde Spencer]
http://www.news-medical.net/news/20…
[SEPP Comment: Imagine when the great ice sheets melted.]

Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.

The Independent’s Renewable Energy Deception
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Feb 3, 2017
https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wor…
[SEPP Comment: Highlighting the need to look behind the numbers. Is Hydro Power included or not? If hydro is included, Sweden is the leader with renewable energy at about 45% of total primary energy. If hydro is not included, Sweden is # 5 with about 12% renewable.]

Questioning European Green

This collective act of make-believe is devastating our environment and our budgets
By Christopher Booker, Telegraph, UK, Via GWPF, Jan 29, 2017
http://www.thegwpf.com/this-green-m…
Npower facing backlash over energy price rises
By Brian Milligan, BBC, Feb 3, 2017
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-38…
[SEPP Comment: Npower is one of the six main electricity and natural gas suppliers in the UK. “The company will raise standard tariff electricity prices by 15% from 16 March, and gas prices by 4.8%” for about one-half its customers. The other half have fixed contracts. The backlash is expected.]
Do the Netherlands’ trains really run on 100% wind power?
By Roger Andrews, Energy Matters, Feb 1, 2017
http://euanmearns.com/do-the-nether…
[SEPP Comment: When wind fails, accounting tricks take over.]
Foreign flights to slip under the radar of EU emissions limits
By Julia Fioretti, Reuter, Feb 3, 2017 [H/t GWPF]
http://news.trust.org/item/20170203…
Green Mythology: adding different types of renewables smooths output
By Euan Mearns, Energy Matters, Jan 30, 2017
http://euanmearns.com/green-mytholo…
“Two Hinkleys [proposed nuclear power plants] with combined capacity of 6.4 GW will do a far superior job to the 42.5 GW of renewable infrastructure everywhere.”

Questioning Green Elsewhere

Scientists try to mitigate methane, from cows
By Ned Rozell, AGU Blogosphere, Jan 13, 2017
http://blogs.agu.org/geospace/2017/…

The Political Games Continue

Single Largest US Political Donor Is Moving ‘Beyond’ Global Warming Activism
Michael Bastsch, Daily Caller, Feb 1, 2017
http://dailycaller.com/2017/02/01/s…
“The move comes after San Francisco hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer personally spent about $163 million in the last two election cycles supporting Democratic candidates and liberal causes, like fighting global warming.”
[SEPP Comment: The market for buying the Senate floor for speeches by Democrats seems to have collapsed.]

EPA and other Regulators on the March

Meltdown at the EPA
And not the nuclear kind: The agency’s junk-science promoters are flipping out.
By Julie Kelly, National Review, Jan 31, 2017
http://www.nationalreview.com/artic…
[SEPP Comment: Reaction to Steve Milloy’s new book: “Scare Pollution: Why and How to Fix the EPA.”]
Ozone attainment
By Roger Caiazza, Climate Etc. Jan 29, 2017
https://judithcurry.com/2017/01/29/…
[SEPP Comment: Questioning some of EPA’s methods.]

Energy Issues — US

Grid Storage Reality
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Feb 3, 2017
https://dddusmma.wordpress.com/2017…
[SEPP Comment: Addressing the limits to electricity storage.]
Feds approve Atlantic Bridge natural gas project with compressor station in Massachusetts
By Mary Merreze, Masslive.com, Jan 27, 2017
http://www.masslive.com/news/index….
[SEPP Comment: The plan to bring natural gas from the Marcellus basin in Pennsylvania to Massachusetts, Maine, and Canada needs upgraded pipelines and new compressors, which the Mayor of Weymouth Mass, (south of Boston) opposes.]

Washington’s Control of Energy

Trump’s Keystone XL And Dakota Access Action: Pipelines To Prosperity?
By Mark Mills, Forbes, Jan 27, 2017
http://www.forbes.com/sites/markpmi…
“Without the $250 billion a year, or more, pumped into the economy by the shale industry during the first six years of the Obama administration, the nation would have stayed in recession.”
Keystone Pipeline Benefits
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Jan 31, 2017
https://dddusmma.wordpress.com/2017…

Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

U.S. May Export More Oil in 2017 Than Four OPEC Nations Produce
By Sheela Tobben, Bloomberg, Feb 2, 2017 [H/t GWPF]
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti…
[SEPP Comment: Imports will continue. What will drive the exports is the inability of US refiners to process the low-density, low sulfur crude being produced in shale deposits. A big issue will become the ability of US refiners to build new capacity. Will regulations permit such expansion?]
The Oil Industry: Animal Spirits & High Hopes
By Staff Writers, Real Clear Energy, Jan 20, 2017
http://www.realclearenergy.org/char…

Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

U.S. Wind Energy Policy: Correcting the Abuse in 100 Days (Introduction)
By Lisa Linowes, Master Resource, Feb 2, 2017
https://www.masterresource.org/wind…
“The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) now estimates the total cost of the wind production tax credit in the years 2016–2020 at $23.7 billion.”


BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
Trump team may emphasize climate science uncertainty
By Scott Waldman, E&E News, Feb 3, 2017
http://www.eenews.net/special_repor…
Another alarm for scientists: Trump’s pick to guide NOAA transition
By Stuart Leavenworth, McClatchydc, Jan 30, 2017
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/pol…
I neither confirm nor deny my existence!
A friend of WUWT is appointed – then unappointed – to help choose top administrators at NOAA
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Feb 1, 2017
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/02…
Help send Kenji to the “Scientists March on Washington” event!
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Jan 30, 2017
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/01…
[SEPP Comment: Anthony’s dog, Kenji, was accepted as a fully accredited member of the Union of Concerned Scientists!]


ARTICLES:
1. Trump Dams the Regulatory Flood
His executive order should change the bureaucratic incentives.
Editorial, WSJ, Jan 30, 2017
https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-…
SUMMARY: After recognizing the contradictions in early actions the editorial states: “President Trump signed an executive order adopting a ‘two-for-one’ regulatory budget that will help accelerate growth and innovation.
The Obama years were a boom era for rule-making, but the truth is that obsolete and onerous rules have been accumulating for decades. In a working paper for George Mason’s Mercatus Center, Bentley Coffey,Patrick McLaughlin and Pietro Peretto estimate that the economy would be about 25% larger if the level of U.S. regulation had stayed constant since 1980. That’s now more than $4 trillion a year, or $13,000 per person.
The Trump order aims to prevent such waste by requiring the agencies to repeal two old rules for every new one they publish. This is in some sense a gimmick, since some regulations are far more significant, costly or distorting of investment choices than others. But the text of the order suggests that for every dollar of new cost imposed on the private economy, each agency will have to find two dollars of burden to relieve.”
“The permanent bureaucracy lives to justify its own existence, regardless of which party holds the White House, and rules inevitably beget more rules. Mr. Trump’s order starts to change the institutional incentives.
“Under a two-for-one policy, each individual department will need to scrutinize its own books in search of offsets and rules needing modernization, which will make deregulation as high a priority as rule-making. The Environmental Protection Agency can’t poach savings uncovered at, say, the Fish and Wildlife Service. This could lead to more realistic cost-benefit tests, focus the bureaucracy on trade-offs and strengthen regulatory accountability.”
“One key appointment to watch will be Mr. Trump’s choice to run the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), who will be crucial to ensuring that the rollback will work in practice. The White House has failed to appoint a regulatory task force to supervise regulation until the OIRA job is filled, and this means that some agencies will now try to expand their writ while no one is watching. Democrats will try to delay approving a nominee for as long as possible.
“Meanwhile, the House this week will begin the job of repealing some of President Obama’s worst regulations. Republicans plan to rescind Mr. Obama’s midnight rules under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) that gives Congress an up-or-down vote on new rules. The House and Senate will vote on joint disapproval resolutions, which need only a majority before they are sent to the President.
“On the chopping block is one EPA regulation related to streams that is estimated to threaten up to one-third of the remaining jobs in the coal industry. Another target is a Bureau of Land Management rule designed to undermine oil and gas fracking on federal land. A third is a Securities and Exchange Commission rule that forces U.S. companies to report payments to foreign governments, which can mean disclosing proprietary information that competitors can use against them.
The CRA is a exceptionally powerful reform tool, as our Kimberley Strassel reported last week. Amid the rush to pump out ever more rules, the Obama Administration may have failed to comply with many CRA mandates. The more the Trump Administration works with Congress to codify reform, the more durable the economic progress will be.
“…If Mr. Trump can break up the Washington central planning that is again misallocating resources, the resulting job creation and new investment would be a great legacy.”


2. What Kind of a Judge Is Neil Gorsuch?
He carefully follows the law, and writes as engagingly as Scalia, without the abrasiveness.
By David B. Rivkin Jr. and Andrew M. Grossman, WSJ, Jan 31, 2017
https://www.wsj.com/articles/what-k…
SUMMARY: After lengthy praise of the Judge’s literary style, the authors write:
“Judge Gorsuch’s textualism extends to the Constitution, quite emphatically: ‘That document,’ he wrote, ‘isn’t some inkblot on which litigants may project their hopes and dreams for a new and perfected tort law, but a carefully drafted text judges are charged with applying according to its original public meaning.’ Looking to the ‘original public meaning’ of the Fourth Amendment, for example, Judge Gorsuch has rejected the government’s view that a search warrant could be applied across jurisdictional lines. He also disputed its claim that police officers may ignore ‘No Trespassing’ signs to invade a homeowner’s property without a warrant.
“What about the Constitution’s separation of powers, intended to safeguard liberty? Judge Gorsuch has been at the vanguard of applying originalism to the questions raised by today’s Leviathan state, which is increasingly controlled by unaccountable executive agencies. These questions loom large after the rash of executive actions by President Obama, and now the whiplash reversals by the Trump administration.
“The deference that judges now must give to agencies’ interpretations of the law, he wrote in an opinion last year, permits the executive ‘to swallow huge amounts of core judicial and legislative power and concentrate federal power in a way that seems more than a little difficult to square with the Constitution of the framers’ design.’
“Judge Gorsuch added: ‘Maybe the time has come to face the behemoth.’ His addition to the Supreme Court would give the justices a better chance than ever to do precisely that.”

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #257

  1. NASA says “greenhouse gases” warm us by 33C. The most important of these supposedly being water vapour.
    Maybe this is true, but perhaps not by the means implied.
    Water in its liquid and vapour states is both a storer and a transporter of surplus solar energy to areas of deficit.
    Water vapour with its latent heat has the power to cool the surface from which it evaporated and deprive that area of sensible or stored heat only to return it to the atmosphere higher up at a rate of say 3.3C/km.
    With a tropopause at say 10km that makes 33C extra potential temperature at that height.
    That potential temperature increase would be equalised by turbulence and wind to an average gain of 15C throughout.
    Assuming the great solar storage heater of our oceans stays above freezing most of the time in most places that gives our average 15C at the surface without any “greenhouse effect” needed.

    • That 33C is based on a false, flat-earth model which assumes that the energy from the sun reaching that flat earth is a constant value (no day and night) which is one-quarter of the true value. It is total nonsense.

      • First , our surface is about 10K warmer than the ~ 279K of a gray ball in our orbit . Our greater emissivity in the IR pulls the equilibrium temperature down to ~ 255K .

        The division by 4 is the ratio of the surface of a sphere to that of a disk and totally appropriate .

        NO spectral phenomenon can cause the interior of a radiantly ball to be hotter than that of its surface .
        The parameter which is conspicuously missing from these calculations is the other macroscopic force , gravity .

      • Bob Armstrong: The earth does not behave as if each quarter of its surface is permanently receiving one quarter of the energy arriving at the earth from the sun. It is a complete nonsense.

  2. I am a retired computer scientist from a major corporation. I can tell you straight up, we don’t know enough to create climate models.

  3. It is very interesting and strange that so many of us call “scientists” stupefied policy and did not know the power relationship of the sun and planets, according to what we Avak weak stimulate the energy, we can change in relation to climate.
    I have to repeat, climate change and global warming on the planets, to the consequences of mutual relations of the planet, each other and the sun.
    I’m interested in why you are in your newspaper do not have any interest to publish prove to refute all previous stupid ideas and theories on climate change, and on this idea is in vain, spent several tens of trillions of dollars, why?
    Is there any tool that will influence to awaken those who believe in the truth.

  4. Re. ‘where there is water vapour there is warmth” in co2islife’s link.
    I would argue that where there is water vapour there is moderation.Water vapour is a consequence of evaporation which has cooled the surface and moved that heat elsewhere as happens with winds from the tropics to the Horse latitudes for example. Water vapour is the “Robin Hood” of gases stealing energy from the rich to give to the poor. If you chop down a forest with it’s transpirational cooling, air temperatures will rise.
    Water vapour is a major player in moving heat from the tropics to the poles. A world without tropical rainforests would be hotter in the tropics. An atmosphere without water vapour to scatter and absorb incoming and outgoing infrared would allow for a much hotter surface in the daytime with cooler nights. Over emphasis on average global temperatures can be a distraction from very real anthropogenic climate change at a local level through land use/land cover changes.

  5. Another flow of water saturated air is moving into place out in the Pacific heading on a trajectory towards Northern California and Oregon. This flow started around 3 days ago, and could be the real deal to turn into a stalled system which will pile into the coast and dump its load of water. All of the storms to date were swept either north or south along the coast by winds ranging from 25 mph up to 40mph. The lead movement of this easterly surface flow is now turning sharply back to the west. The elbow created should lead to the storm sitting in place and dumping its load on the coastal range and further in to the Sierras. This will be a warm rain, and the snow pack is almost 200% above average. …https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/overlay=total_precipitable_water/orthographic=-151.91,28.34,497/loc=-140.612,31.524

    • The fickle winds can shift fast. The system dropped to the south the next day, and the day after pushed back to the north. A steady moderate to heavy rain has been falling since early this morning.

Comments are closed.