Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #269

Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project

THIS WEEK: By Ken Haapala, President

Hard Center? Writing in the “Hard Center” publication Merion West, Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, Emeritus, at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, presents a clear explanation of the major problems involved with blaming climate change on carbon dioxide emissions. He explores some of the memes used by the climate establishment, and its supporters. These are concepts frequently used and accepted by many people without logic or evidence. To Lindzen, these memes are evidence of the dishonesty of the alarmist position that carbon dioxide emissions are causing a climate catastrophe such as dangerous global warming.

Lindzen starts with the meme: 97% of scientists agree, which was exposed as a myth by Joseph Bast and Roy Spencer in the Wall Street Journal. Another mime is “warmest years on record,” which covers many misconceptions. The prior warmest year, since about 1850 in the surface record, was 1998. A slight increase above that is immediately seized as evidence of dire global warming caused by carbon dioxide emissions, even though it cannot be felt by humans, given the enormous temperature range existing on the globe each day.

As Lindzen shows, from 1850 the “Globally Averaged Deviations from Average Temperatures Plotted on a Scale Relevant to the Individual Station Deviations” are remarkably stable over time. It is only by manipulating scales for visual impact, called “chartsmanship’, that the change appears significant. When Lindzen adds the range of uncertainty in the measurements, the record is far from clear. The same applies to the influence of carbon dioxide (CO2).

Similarly, Lindzen demolishes other memes; including extreme weather, sea level rise, Arctic sea ice, polar bear endangerment, ocean acidification, and death of coral reefs. These memes lead those who are not sceptics to accept that CO2 causes global warming and that global warming is the cause of everything.

Lindzen demonstrates the foolishness of using Venus as the model for run-away CO2 warming. Venus is close to the sun and has dense sulfuric acid clouds. [He does not mention that the atmospheric pressure at the surface is over 90 times that of the earth, and that it has lapse rate, showing that temperature is related to atmospheric pressure.]

Lindzen’s concluding paragraph bears quoting:

“I haven’t spent much time on the details of the science, but there is one thing that should spark skepticism in any intelligent reader. The system we are looking at consists in two turbulent fluids interacting with each other. They are on a rotating planet that is differentially heated by the sun. A vital constituent of the atmospheric component is water in the liquid, solid and vapor phases, and the changes in phase have vast energetic ramifications. The energy budget of this system involves the absorption and reemission of about 200 watts per square meter. Doubling CO2 involves a 2% perturbation to this budget. So, do minor changes in clouds and other features, and such changes are common. In this complex multifactor system, what is the likelihood of the climate (which, itself, consists in many variables and not just globally averaged temperature anomaly) is controlled by this 2% perturbation in a single variable? Believing this is pretty close to believing in magic. Instead, you are told that it is believing in ‘science.’ Such a claim should be a tip-off that something is amiss. After all, science is a mode of inquiry rather than a belief structure.” [Boldface added.]

See link under Challenging the Orthodoxy.


Quote of the Week. “The grand aim of all science is to cover the greatest number of empirical facts by deductions from the smallest possible number of hypotheses.” – Albert Einstein


Number of the Week: 79 to 1


Paris Agreement: It appears that the Trump Administration may decide what to do about the Paris Agreement in the coming week or two.

As discussed in prior TWTWs, at the last minute the Obama administration revised the Paris Agreement to make it appear it was an executive agreement, not a treaty. To have US participation, all other participating nations signed the revised agreement, many after signing the original. There is an extensive history of US executive agreements with foreign powers. But, not one so binding onto the general population and the economy as is the Paris Agreement.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Robert Darwall presents a lucid argument why the Paris Agreement should be submitted to the Senate as a treaty, with a recommendation for disapproval. Then, it would be voted upon by the legislators, requiring a two-thirds approval. Based on many arguments for alternative approaches, this appears to be the most straight-forward and conclusive procedure – and may be the most politically astute. The Constitution treats treaties seriously, for they become binding laws of the US.

Other views are presented, including the lament by former EPA scientist Alan Carlin that the deficiencies in the science supporting the Paris Agreement are not being discussed. Based on the science, if implemented, the Agreement will really accomplish little or nothing in controlling, or moderating, the climate. Perhaps, if the evidence for the scientific basis were frankly discussed, more of the public would realize that for western nations, the Agreement is an economic version of Russian Roulette. See Article # 1 and links under Defending the Orthodoxy, After Paris!, and Change in US Administrations.


Simplified Model — Update: As stated by Richard Lindzen, above, the earth’s climate system consists in two turbulent fluids interacting with each other on a rotating planet that is differentially heated by the sun. It is enormously complex to describe accurately, and extremely difficult to model with a reasonable degree of accuracy, within 2%. For over 35 years, global climate modelers have been trying the model the system, without much progress. Despite glowing reports from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and similar political organizations such as the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), the modeling fails to accurately track atmospheric temperatures, where the greenhouse effect occurs.

As discussed in last week’s TWTW, independent researchers Wallace, Christy, & D’Aleo (WCD) have produced two reports, the second one published online in April. The authors contacted TWTW to explain that the latest research effort was separate and distinct from the earlier research effort published online in August 2016.

Both research efforts tested the hypothesis of a Tropical Hot Spot and the validity of the EPA finding that CO2 emissions endanger public health and welfare. Both efforts used econometric simultaneous equation parameter estimation techniques. Both reports used the same Tropical, Contiguous U.S., and Global Temperature datasets as the dependent variable, temperatures. The balloon datasets start in 1959 and the satellite datasets start in 1979.

The primary distinction between the August 2016 report and the April 2017 report was an increase in the independent variables, the explanatory variables. The August report used only carbon dioxide (CO2) and the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) as the explanatory variables. [NOAA’s Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) is used.] The subsequent April report add volcanic activity and solar activity as explanatory variables. Even though volcanoes are relatively short-lived, the cooling effect of heavy volcanic activity in the early part of the satellite record probably lowered temperatures for that period, giving a warming trend that falsely may be attributed to CO2.

Both reports show that at least 75% of temperature variability since 1959 can be explained without any increasing CO2 as an explanatory variable. These results contradict the findings of the IPCC, the USGCRP, the EPA, etc. claiming that the primary cause of global warming or temperature change is CO2.

Importantly, the simultaneous equation parameter estimation techniques produce useful information for policy decisions without need for understanding of the complex climate processes involved. The detailed understanding is desirable. But, the US spent decades and over $40 billion on climate science without any significant improvement in stated climate modeling results. Policy decisions should be based on what is demonstrated, not based on a promise of what may come. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.


Physical Limits and Technical Limits: In high school mathematics, many students learned about asymptotes – as a curve approaches a limit (usually shown by a straight line) the curve tends to infinity. For example, graphed on Cartesian coordinates, the function f(x) = 1/x becomes asymptotic as the values of x approach the x and y axes.

In the first of a series of podcasts (with text) on energy, Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Mark Mills describes why he believes “Shale Crushes Solar.” Solar and wind power are approaching their physical limits of efficiency – asymptotic limits. Solar panels and turbines can be made only so efficient. Short-term reduction in manufacturing costs are illusionary in that there is no significant growth in efficiency to be achieved, unless breakthroughs in the process of generating electricity from solar and wind happen.

By contrast, Mills asserts that we are experiencing the beginnings of major technological breakthrough in the production of oil and gas from shale. These advances are coming from small and medium companies in the oil and gas industries scarcely known ten years ago. In a few months, the companies recovered from an oil price collapse and are roaring forward. The firms are just starting to apply the technical knowledge of the digital industry. At this point, there are no physical limits or constraints, except that which may be invented by politicians.

In the second podcast, Mills discusses demand (or consumption) and has some surprising views as well. The primary increase in future electricity demand will not be from electric vehicles, but from the Information Technology (IT) industry. It takes enormous amounts of electricity to manufacture and operate electronic devices, such as cell phones. IT uses more energy that all air transportation. Today, if IT were ranked as country, in total consumption it would be ranked as number three in the world, behind China and the US. The number of electronic devices is growing enormously, and will continue to grow into the foreseeable future. See links under Energy Issues – Non-US


Grid Storage: According to energy engineer Donn Dears, the California frim Pacific Gas & Electric reported on an 18-month trial of electricity storage on the grid encompassing 6 MW of storage at two sites. “The specific storage hardware examined was sodium-sulfur batteries, which are at the high end of the technology maturity scale and the low end of the cost spread for storage options of similar performance, having been used at utility scale in several nations for 25 years.” A 2MW/14MWh sodium-sulfur battery storage array cost approximately $11 million ($5,500/kW, $783/kWh) to build.

Dears estimated that the costs must come down to $200 / KW to achieve break-even. This is 27 times below the costs of the trial. Further the actual battery life is about 10 years and the storage capacity must be 30 minutes, not 15 minutes used in the PG&E study. Dears had other issues with the study. Even a report of the trial concluded:

· “California ratepayers could expect to pay billions of dollars for the deployment and operations of these resources.”

· “There has been no breakthrough in electricity storage technology that delivers all the requisite features of high energy density, high power, long life, high roundtrip efficiency, safe handling, and competitive cost.”

· “Clearly, batteries of any type are not a viable method for storing electricity. They are not a substitute for fossil fuel power plants.”

Things are not promising for Californians who enjoy their electronic devises, unless they build gas-fired power plants to back up the solar and wind power facilities being installed. Then, why not just forget the solar and wind? See link under Energy Issues — US


Political Arrogance – Australia: Writing in Energy Matters, Roger Andrews presented several posts on the failure of the grid in South Australia, predominantly from the failure of wind farms. This week he wrote:

“Adequate energy storage is critical to the success of the proposed global transition to a low-carbon future based on intermittent renewables generation, and work done by Energy Matters and others shows that very large amounts of storage will be needed to smooth out intermittent power delivery to the point where it can be readily admitted to the grid. Yet the CSIRO and Energy Networks Australia have now concluded that Australian grids can easily admit up to 50% renewable generation without adding any more backup storage at all – and this despite the recent blackouts in South Australia. How do they arrive at this remarkable conclusion?”

CSIRO is the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the federal government agency for scientific research in Australia. See Links under Energy Issues – Australia


Number of the Week: 79 to 1: Much has been made in the press about the number of Americans employed in the solar industry. According to the New York Times “Today’s Energy Jobs Are in Solar, Not Coal.” In 2016, the solar industry employed 373,807 Americans, coal 160,119 and wind about 100,000. Perry produced Department of Energy statistics that showed coal industry produced 1.24 billion MWh of electricity or 7,745 per worker; while Solar produced 36.75 million MWh of electricity, or 98 per worker. Thus, it takes 79 workers in solar to produce that of 1 worker in coal.

Of course, such comparisons have errors. Many of the solar workers are installing facilities, while many of the coal workers are using existing facilities. Conversely, coal-fired power plants are reliable, solar facilities are not. In part, the disparity explains why solar generation is so expensive to utilities and the consumer as compared to coal generation. See link under Energy Issues – US.




SEPP is conducting its annual vote for the recipient of the coveted trophy, The Jackson, a lump of coal. Readers are asked to nominate and vote for who they think is most deserving, following these criteria:

· The nominee has advanced, or proposes to advance, significant expansion of governmental power, regulation, or control over the public or significant sections of the general economy.

· The nominee does so by declaring such measures are necessary to protect public health, welfare, or the environment.

· The nominee declares that physical science supports such measures.

· The physical science supporting the measures is flimsy at best, and possibly non-existent.

The five past recipients, Lisa Jackson, Barack Obama, John Kerry, Ernest Moniz and John Holdren are not eligible. Generally, the committee that makes the selection prefers a candidate with a national or international presence. The voting will close on July 30. Please send your nominee and a brief reason why the person is qualified for the honor to Ken@SEPP.org. Thank you. The award will be presented at the annual meeting of the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness in August.




Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science

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


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

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts

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


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

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


Challenging the Orthodoxy

Thoughts on the Public Discourse over Climate Change

By Richard Lindzen, Merion West, Apr 25, 2017


Invalidating the EPA’s CO2 Endangerment Finding

By Staff Writers, ICECAP, Apr 24, 2017


Link to Abridged Report: On the Existence of a “Tropical Hot Spot” & The Validity of EPA’s CO2Endangerment Finding

By Wallace, Christy, & D’Aleo, April 2017


U.S. House Committee on Science, Space & Technology

Testimony of John R. Christy, Mar 29, 2017


Marches for Science Vs Actual Science

By John Hinderaker, Power Line, May 1, 2017


[SEPP Comment: Discusses the paper by Wallace, Christy, and D’Aleo.]

New Study Confirms: The Warming ‘Pause’ Is Real and Revealing

By David Whitehouse, GWPF, May 4, 2017


Link to paper: Reconciling controversies about the ‘global warming hiatus’

By Medhaug, Stoipe, Fischer & Knutti, Nature, May 3, 2017


[SEPP Comment: The abstract starts: Between about 1998 and 2012, a time that coincided with political negotiations for preventing climate change, the surface of Earth seemed hardly to warm. [Boldface added:] Will stopping CO2 emissions stop climate change, which has been ongoing for hundreds of millions of years?]

Back to Climate Science: Obama’s EPA ‘Endangerment’ Finding Under Legal Review (TPPF plays offense re the green greenhouse gas)

By Robert Bradley Jr., Master Resource, May 4, 2017


Link to petition by Texas Public Policy Foundation

Liberty v. Environmental Protection Agency Petition, May 2, 2017

https://www.texaspolicy.com/library/doclib/Liberty-v.-EPA-Petition.pdf (full)

https://www.texaspolicy.com/cases/detail/liberty-v-environmental-protection-agency-petition-2 (abstract)

Defending the Orthodoxy

U.S. will lose jobs if it quits Paris climate deal: U.N.

By Tom Miles, Reuters, May 4, 2017


“The United States will shoot itself in the foot if it quits the Paris climate accord because China, India and Europe will snap up the best power sector jobs in future, U.N. Environment chief Erik Solheim said on Thursday.”

[SEPP Comment: The green revolution heavily depends on subsidies and mandates. Why are subsidized green jobs the best?]

Why India and Pakistan Are Renewing Their Love Affair with Coal

One nation is shirking emissions targets and the other is investing in more coal plants—but with America as a role model, that’s hardly surprising.

By Jamie Condiffe, MIT Technology Review, May 3, 2017


“If the supposed leader of the free world doesn’t think that drastic emissions reduction is a priority, why should India and Pakistan—or any country that believes burning more fossil fuels will enhance economic growth?”

[SEPP Comment: For the sake of the poor in South Asia, should the wealthy US be a role model? In the 1870s in the US, fossil fuels superseded wood and muscle power as the primary energy sources. Should the US go back to the days of smoky fires and horse manure?]

Questioning the Orthodoxy

There Has Been No ‘Global’ Warming In The Southern Hemisphere, Equatorial Regions

By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, May 4, 2017


Giving Nature’s “Hiatus” Paper a Closer Read

By Patrick Michaels, CATO, May 5, 2017


Link to paper: Reconciling controversies about the ‘global warming hiatus’

By Medhaug, Stolpe, Fischer & Knutti, Nature, May 4, 2017


[SEPP Comment: Did Nature respond to negotiations for the Paris Agreement?]

IUCN Specialist Group now rejects polar bear numbers it used for 2015 IUCN Red List review

By Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science, May 1, 2017


After Paris!

The Strange Absence of Science in the Paris “Treaty” Discussion

By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, May 5, 2017


[SEPP Comment: Would a discussion of the science may bring up an awkward question as to the purpose: Is it to play an economic version of Russian Roulette?]

The Legal and Economic Case Against the Paris Climate Treaty

Canceling U.S. Participation Protects Competitiveness and the Constitution

By Christopher C. Horner, Marlo Lewis, Jr., CEI, May 3, 2017


Architect Of Paris Agreement Undercuts Arguments In Favor Of The Climate Deal

By Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, May 4, 2017


[SEPP Comment: This key issue is can a country reduce its pledges to cut back CO2 emissions. It can always intensify them.]

India Admits It Will Miss Coal Emissions Targets

By Staff Writers, Financial Times, May 3, 2017


“India is not a polluter. It’s America and the western world that has to first stop polluting. India is doing its bit far more than we are responsible” he said. “We don’t have enough domestic capacity to meet this requirement in such a short period.” [Piyush Goyal, the power minister]

Inside the Coal Industry’s Split Over The Paris Agreement

By Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, May 2, 2017


[SEPP Comment: It depends on the individual company’s involvement in other mining activities.]

Change in US Administrations

Pull out of Paris climate deal, energy group tells Trump

The president said shortly after the November election he had an “open mind” on the multilateral agreement.

By Daniel Graeber, UPI, May 1, 2017 [H/t GWPF]


Critics increase pressure on Paris climate deal as Trump mulls exit

By John Siciliano, Washington Examiner, May 3, 2017


EPA chief: US needs coal to protect electric grid

By Timothy Cama, The Hill, May 3, 2017


Seeking a Common Ground

Getting things in the right perspective

By Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance, May 5, 2017


[SEPP Comment: What will happen with Brexit and the UK elections?]

Bret Stephens’ skepticism will spread from NYT to other mainstream sources

By Luboš Motl, The Reference Frame, Apr 29, 2017


Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science

The Impacts of Urban Heat Islands on Natural Warming Trends

Quereda, J., Monton, E., Quereda, V. and Molla, B. 2016. Significant Climate Warming (1950-2013) in the Spanish Mediterranean: Natural Trend or Urban Heat Island (UHI). Tethys 13: 11-20. May 5, 2017


“And so they conclude by stating that ‘in these Western Mediterranean cities, the Urban Heat Island could account for up to 80% of the recorded warming.’”

Trends in U.S. Mangrove Area Over the Past 35 years

Giri, C. and Long, J. 2016. Is the geographic range of mangrove forests in the conterminous United States really expanding? Sensors 16: doi:10.3390/s16122010. May 4, 2017


[SEPP Comment: After a decline, improving.]

The Increasing Sea Ice of the Southern Ocean (1992-2008)

He, L.Y., Ke., C.Q., Zhou, X., Cui, Y.N. and Shan, L. 2016. Antarctic sea ice change based on a new sea ice dataset from 1992 to 2008. Climate Research 71: 155-169. May 2, 2017


Measurement Issues — Surface

Global Temperatures Plunge 0.5 deg Celsius in April

By Staff Writers, GWPF, Apr 29, 2017


Global temperatures plunge in April – “the pause” returns

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, May 1, 2017


Measurement Issues — Atmosphere

UAH Global Temperature Update for April, 2017: +0.27 deg. C

By Roy Spencer, His Blog, May 1, 2017


Changing Weather

Colorado Climate March Postponed Due to Heavy Snow

Guest essay by Eric Worrall, WUWT, May 1, 2017


Changing Climate

Scientists Explore Groundwater in the Sahel with Nuclear Technology

By Laura Gil, IAEA, May 2, 2017


[SEPP Comment: Though not discussed, the age of the water would be interesting to determine past rainfall patterns in the Sahel and the Sahara, which may be related to changes in the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC). The latest wet phase was known as the African Humid Period (early Holocene).]

Wet phases in the Sahara/Sahel region and human migration patterns in North Africa

By Isla S. Castañeda, et al. PNAS, Nov 12, 2009


Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice

Evolution of Arctic Sea Ice in the Pre- and Post-Satellite Era

By Ronan Connolly, Michael Connolly & Willie Soon, Journal Hydrological Sciences, Via GWPF, April 2017


Accepted author version:

What The Economist Didn’t Tell You about Greenland’s Ice

By Patrick Michaels, CATO, May 2, 2017


[SEPP Comment: What appears initially appears as significant ice lose, when put into context, becomes insignificant.]

Alarmists Gone Wild: Greenland losing 400 cubic km ice cubes per year!!!

Guest post by David Middleton, WUWT, May 1, 2017


[SEPP Comment: Putting Greenland ice loss in perspective.]

Global Science Report: Antarctic Updates

By Patrick Michaels, CATO, May 1, 2017


[SEPP Comment: Problems in measurements of Antarctic sea ice since April 2016?]

Antarctic Peninsula ice more stable than thought

Press Release, By Staff Writers, University of Leeds, May 2, 2017


Link to paper: Increased ice flow in Western Palmer Land linked

to ocean melting

By Anna Hogg, et al. Geophysical Research Letters, May 2, 2017


Changing Earth

What will El Niño be like in the future? For answers, scientists look to the past

Caribbean ocean temperatures preserved in 5-million-year-old corals provide clues

By Staff Writers, NSF, May 1, 2017


[SEPP Comment: Comparing today and 5 million years ago, before closure of the Caribbean seaway, misses the important point: As the earth warmed and cooled over the past 3.5 million years, did the patterns of El Niños change?]

Un-Science or Non-Science?

Inconvenient study concludes: warmer temperatures lead to a more stable climate

By Anthony Watts, WUWT, May 2, 2017


Link to paper: State dependence of climatic instability over the past 720,000 years from Antarctic ice cores and climate modeling

By Dome Fuji Ice Core Project Members, Kenji Kawamura, Ayako Abe-Ouchi, Hideaki Motoyama1, Science Advances, Feb 8, 2017


[SEPP Comment: Used model simulations in an attempt to answer a key question: Why does the most instability occur when there is an intermediate climate during a glacial period, rather than during an interglacial period, such as we are currently experiencing, or during the coldest part of a glacial period?]

Lowering Standards

Today in the Annals of Science

By Steven Hayward, Power Line, May 4, 2017


Controversial microplastics study to be retracted

“The authors of a high-profile paper about the dangers of fish consuming small particles of plastic say that they will retract their study, after an investigation found them ‘guilty of scientific dishonesty’ and raised the possibility that some of the research described ‘was not conducted’.”

ABC pushing “suppressed scientists” story but misses that CSIRO won’t even employ a skeptic

By Jo Nova, Her Blog May 2, 2017


Climate Change, Tornadoes and Junk Science at Michigan State!

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, May 5, 2017


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

Rising carbon dioxide levels, ocean acidity may change crucial marine process

By Staff Writers, Tallahassee FL (SPX), May 01, 2017


Communicating Better to the Public – Go Personal.

NYT subscribers dropping paper over climate column

By Staff Writers, CNN, Apr 30, 2017 [H/t Cork Hayden]


Questioning European Green

Uncontrolled Infusion Of Green Electricity Leads To Record-Breaking NEGATIVE Power Prices

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, May 3, 2017


Extreme Market Distortion: German Power Prices Could Be Negative 1000 Hours A Year!

By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, May 5, 2017


Early this year Germany’s federal budget office determined that “the Ministry of Economics had in fact no overview of the financial impacts of the Energiewende” and that policymakers had “underestimated the impacts of renewable energy on the entire energy system“

Europe’s Trend Of CO2 Reductions Seems To Have Stopped

By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, May 5, 2017


[SEPP Comment: At least briefly.]

Numbers don’t lie: Germany’s Energiewende has had zero impact on emissions – at best

Guest essay by Alberto Z. Comendador, WUWT, May 2, 2017


Subsidies and Mandates Forever

Spain Is a Case Study in How Not to Foster Renewables

Spain’s green energy lobby says government actions show a lack of planning that’s disincentivizing developers.

By Jason Deign, GTM, May 5, 2017


[SEPP Comment: If cutting subsidies destroys the industry, why have the industry and the subsidies at all?]

Energy Issues – Non-US

Energy Revolutions Hidden In Plain Sight: Part 1 of 3 — Shale Crushes Solar

By Mark Mills, Real Clear Energy, Apr 26, 2017



Energy Revolutions Hidden In Plain Sight: Part 2 of 3: Demand – The Cloud Crushes Electric Cars

By Mark Mills, Real Clear Energy, May 3, 2017



Link to Greenpeace report: Clicking Clean: Who Is Winning the Race to Build a Green Internet?


Pemex seeks investors for its refineries, but who’s buying?

By Jessica Resnick-Ault and David Alire Garcia, Reuters, May 5, 2017


“Today Mexico imports more than 60 percent of its refined gasoline and diesel from the United States, while its own refineries operate at about half capacity.”

Energy Issues – Australia

Blowout Week 174

By Roger Andrews, Energy Matters, Apr 29, 2017


Energy Issues – US

Today’s most productive energy workers are in coal and gas, not solar

By Mark Perry, Washington Examiner, May 5, 2017


PG&E Storage Appraisal

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, May 2, 2017


Washington’s Control of Energy

Energy Projects Worth $50 Billion Are Stalled Until Trump Fills Empty Posts

By Catherine Traywick, Bloomberg, May 5, 2017


Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?

10 Titans of Liquefied Natural Gas

By Anmar Frangoul, CNPC, May 2, 2017


Exports in million tonnes (MT) and percentage market share of an estimated 260 MT market. Data from IGU and HIS Markeit

Qatar, 77.2 MT, 29.9% market share

Australia: 44.3 MT, 17.2% market share

Malaysia: 25 MT, 9.7% market share

Nigeria: 18.6 MT, 7.2% market share

Indonesia: 16.6 MT, 6.4% market share

Algeria: 11.5 MT, 4.5% market share

Russia: 10.8 MT, 4.2% market share

Trinidad: 10.6 MT, 4.1% market share

Oman: 8.1 MT, 3.2 market share

Papua New Guinea: 7.4 MT, 2.9% market share

Return of King Coal?

China’s coal-fired power generation surprises naysayers

By Staff Writers, Platts, May 2, 2017 [H/t GWPF]


Chinese firms to invest $15bn in Pakistani coal-fired power

By Diarmaid Williams, Power Engineering International, May 3, 2017


Nuclear Energy and Fears

Small modular reactor possibilities expand

By Kevin Trevelyan, Post Register, Idaho Falls, May 4, 2017


Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind

No, country X did NOT just run entirely on wind.

There’s a lot of misleading information about renewable energy. Take for example this news article (and there’s a lot more):

By Olivier Corradi, Tomorrow, May 3, 3027


El Hierro April 2017 performance update

By Roger Andrews, Energy Matters, May 4, 2017


“As at the end of April renewable energy from GdV had supplied 38.1% of El Hierro’s electricity demand and 8.8% of its total energy consumption since project startup in June 2015. Undeterred by these results, however, GdV has just called for bids to install seven EV charging stations ‘as one of the initial steps of a project for the massive implantation of electric vehicles on (El Hierro)’. Maybe they know something we don’t.”

Wind energy: Offering grid reliability, security and diversity

By Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, Washington Times, May 1, 2017


“Strong national security and a healthy economy share a basic component: access to reliable, affordable energy.

“Wind power delivers this by making the grid and America’s electricity mix more diverse, secure, and — now that turbines have scaled up across 41 states — more reliable too.”

Utility-scale solar has grown rapidly over the past five years

By Manussawee Sukunta, EIA, May 4, 2017


“Utility-scale solar generation has been increasing as a result of the rapid growth in capacity; however, solar’s share of utility-scale electricity generation is 0.9%, about half of its share of capacity. Most solar generators are considered an intermittent or non-dispatchable resource because their availability depends on ambient insolation (exposure to the sun).”

[SEPP Comment: According to a graph, output ranges from about 15% of capacity in the winter to 35% in peak summer. The top three states are California (9.8 GW of capacity), North Carolina (2.5 GW), and Arizona (1.9 GW) of a total of 21.5 GW. Why so much solar in North Carolina?

SolarCity’s solar installations crash nearly 40%

By Nichola Groom, Reuters, May 4, 2017


Energy & Environmental Newsletter: May 1, 2017

By John Droz, Jr., Master Resource, May 1, 2017


Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles

BEV Charging Basics

By Donn Dears, Power For USA, May 5, 2017


Other News that May Be of Interest

New paper claims humans were in California 130,000 years ago

Many believe the evidence is not conclusive enough to back up such a significant claim.

By Brooks Hays, UPI, Apr 27, 2017 [H/t Toshio Fujita]


Where oil rigs go to die

When a drilling platform is scheduled for destruction, it must go on a thousand-mile final journey to the breaker’s yard. As one rig proved when it crashed on to the rocks of a remote Scottish island, this is always a risky business

The Long Read by Tom Lamont, The Guardian, UK, May 2, 2017




Kites May Be Wind Power Solution

By Michael Abrams, ASME, May 2017 [H/t Toshio Fujita]


[SEPP Comment: What happens to a multi-ton turbine aloft when the wind fails?]

Warning of fracking threat to whisky industry

By Graeme Murray, The Scotsman, Apr 26, 2017


Giant gun to solve global warming!

By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, May 1, 2017


“Scientists claim they can fight global warming by firing trillions of mirrors into space to deflect the sun’s rays forming a 100,000 square mile “sun shade”.

According to astronomer Dr Roger Angel, at the University of Arizona, the trillions of mirrors would have to be fired one million miles above the earth using a huge cannon with a barrel of 0.6 miles across. The gun would pack 100 times the power of conventional weapons and need an exclusion zone of several miles before being fired.

Dr Angel has already secured NASA funding for a pilot project and British inventor Tod Todeschini, 38, was commissioned to build a scaled-down version of the gun. He constructed the four-metre long cannon in his workshop in Sandlake, Oxfordshire, for a TV documentary investigating the sun shield theory.

He said: ‘The gun was horrendously dangerous. This was the first gun I’d ever built.’”

The Telegraph, 26 Feb 2009



1. We’ll Always Have Paris, Unless the Senate Has Its Say

Is the climate accord binding even without Congress’s approval? Why risk finding out?

By Robert Darwall, WSJ, May 4, 2017


The author of “The Age of Global Warming: A History” (2013) writers:

“Expect some clarity soon on America’s future participation in the Paris Agreement on climate. Several cabinet members, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, want to stay in, but at a rally in Pennsylvania Saturday, President Trump called Paris a one-sided deal that would shrink the economy by $2.5 trillion over 10 years.


“According to reports this week, Mr. Trump is leaning toward withdrawal, but aides warn that he could face trouble in U.S. courts if he fails to uphold the Obama administration’s commitments under Paris. But there is a third approach—submitting the agreement to the Senate for ratification.


“Some advocates of staying in argue that America’s moral and political commitment under the agreement is not legally binding because the accord doesn’t have an enforcement mechanism. But neither the North Atlantic Treaty nor the 1992 U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change has an enforcement provision, and both were submitted to the Senate. Neither of them have a compliance mechanism either—unlike the Paris Agreement, which provides for one in Article 15.


“But does an international agreement have legal force at all if the Senate hasn’t ratified it? That’s unclear. During Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on the 1992 U.N. climate convention, the administration of George H.W. Bush pledged to submit future climate protocols to the Senate. Senior Senate Republicans might now wish Paris would go away, but letting it stand without Senate consent would create a standard that would have permitted “accepting”—the word President Obama used for joining the Paris Agreement—the U.N. climate convention and the 1997 Kyoto Protocol without Senate consent. A senatorial prerogative written into the Constitution would be lost.


“And an administration that has already had three executive orders blocked by the courts should assume it will face litigation over any loosening of emissions regulations. Will judges view Paris as legally binding? No one disputes that under some circumstances, the president can bind the U.S. by a unilateral executive agreement. The conundrum is determining at the outset whether the Paris Agreement falls into that category. Sending it to the Senate would provide an answer; not doing so cannot guarantee that it is not binding.


“In U.S. v. Belmont (1937), the Supreme Court ruled that an international compact—in that instance one requiring the federal government to seize assets on behalf of the Soviet Union—“is not always a treaty which requires the participation of the Senate.” Ultimately the legal standing of the agreement depends on what the British legal philosopher H.L.A. Hart called “the internal point of view” of those applying and interpreting the law, one that lies outside the law itself.


“In deciding what to do about the Paris Agreement, the president faces a more extreme situation than George W. Bush when he repudiated the Kyoto Protocol in 2001. Four years earlier, the Senate had unanimously adopted the Byrd-Hagel resolution effectively vetoing Kyoto. By not allowing the Senate to administer the protocol’s coup de grâce, Mr. Bush brought all the political opprobrium on himself.


“In joining the Paris Agreement without Senate consent, Mr. Obama unilaterally nullified precedent and extinguished specific executive-branch pledges. Mr. Trump can restore the constitutional balance and further his own policies by submitting the Paris Agreement to the Senate. Tell senators why it is such a bad deal for the U.S.—and then let the Democratic senators, especially the 10 who are up for re-election next year in states he carried, explain why they support shrinking the economy.”


2. Climate Editors Have a Meltdown

How did science reporting get so detached from the underlying science?

By Holman Jenkins, Jr. WSJ, May 2, 2017


I’ll admit it: I would have found it fascinating to be party to the discussions earlier this year that led to oscillating headlines on the New York Times home page referring to the new EPA chief Scott Pruitt alternately as a “denier” or “skeptic.” At least it would have been fascinating for 20 minutes.


Ditto the hysterical discussions undoubtedly now arising from an anodyne piece of climate heterodoxy by the paper’s newest columnist, a former Journal colleague who shall remain nameless, in which he advises, somewhat obscurely, less “certainty” about “data.”


Whether or not this represents progress in how the U.S. media cover the climate debate, a trip down memory lane seems called for. In the 1980s, when climate alarms were first being widely sounded, reporters understood the speculative basis of computer models. We all said to ourselves: Well, in 30 years we’ll certainly have the data to know for sure which model forecasts are valid.


Thirty years later, the data haven’t answered the question. The 2014 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, voice of climate orthodoxy, is cited for its claim, with 95% confidence, that humans are responsible for at least half the warming between 1951 and 2010.


Look closely. This is an estimate of the reliability of an estimate. It lacks the most important conjunction in science: “because”—as in “We believe X because of Y.”


Not that the IPCC fails to offer a “because” in footnotes. It turns out this estimate is largely an estimate of how much man-made warming should have taken place if the models used to forecast future warming are broadly correct.


The IPCC has a bad reputation among conservatives for some of its press-release activities, but the reports themselves are basically numbing testimonies to how seriously scientists take their work. “If our models are reliable, then X is true” is a perfectly valid scientific statement. Only leaving out the prefix, as the media routinely does, makes it deceptive.


We don’t know what the IPCC’s next assessment report, due in 2021, will say on this vital point, known as climate sensitivity. But in 2013 it widened the range of uncertainty, and in the direction of less warming. Its current estimate is now identical to that of the 1979 Charney Report. On the key question, then, there has been no progress in 38 years.


For journalists, the climate beat has been singularly unrewarding. It has consisted of waiting for an answer that doesn’t come. By now, thanks to retirements and the mortality tables, the beat’s originators are mostly gone. The job has passed into hands of reporters who don’t even bother to feign interest in science—who think the magic word “consensus” is all the support they need for any climate claim they care to make.


Take Inside Climate News, an online publication, lately accruing degraded journalism prizes, whose title echoes a successful series of specialist newsletters like Inside EPA and Inside the Pentagon that charge fancy prices for detailed, crunchy, reliable information about the U.S. government.


Inside Climate News might sound like it’s doing the same but it isn’t. Search its website and the term “climate sensitivity,” the central preoccupation of climate science, appears zero times. Any reporter who is truly curious about what scientists know and how they know it would not be working there. Asking such questions would only get him or her suspected of denialism.


But not even the EPA’s Mr. Pruitt or the New York Times’s newest recruit exhibits the ill grace to phrase the “so what” question.


“So what” is the most important question of all. So what if human activity is causing some measure of climate change if voters and politicians are unwilling to assume the costs (possibly hugely disproportionate to any benefit) of altering the outcome of the normal evolution of energy markets and energy technology.


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
May 7, 2017 7:07 pm

What is the total annual payroll of all the solar worker v the coal workers? How much Federal and State Income Tax is collected from the solar workers v the coal workers?

Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
May 7, 2017 10:15 pm

What is the total annual payroll of all the glaziers replacing the glass broken by rioters? Probably more than the solar workers. But why do we need either one?
I read that AEI article, and some through the comments – one by a true believer struck me. “This article is wrong – only 20% of the solar workers are actually in operations.”
So, it only takes sixteen workers to produce as much as one (and a vastly inferior product, at that).
Feel free to pass this one on: “How many solar workers does it take to screw in a light bulb?” “Sixteen – but why bother? It won’t light up anyway!”

J Mac
Reply to  Writing Observer
May 7, 2017 11:56 pm

Q: How does solar energy produce electricity at night?
A: The solar panels collect fauxtons….

Reply to  J Mac
May 8, 2017 8:35 am

J Mac

Q: How does solar energy produce electricity at night?
A: The solar panels collect fauxtons….

It is easy. In Spain, the solar plant owners ran diesels to run lights that shined down on the solar panels to generate solar power for the extra fees demanded by the solar plant owners and politicians. Immoral, energy-wasting, and unethical, but not specifically “illegal” .

Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
May 8, 2017 9:38 am

Solar panel installers are in “construction” not solar energy. It would be an equal bit of a stretch to label the guy who hauls away the dumpsters from a hospital to be in the “medical field”.

May 7, 2017 7:20 pm

Meet the Man that has Michael Mann Horrified
Just what happened to throw Micheal Mann into such a hysterical hissy-fit that he would “tweet” out such an idiotic and childish “tweet?” The New York Times hired Bret Stephens to write about the climate.

Leo Smith
Reply to  co2islife
May 7, 2017 11:43 pm

Shame he can’t decide how to spell Michael…
It isn’t pronounced Mitchell, either.

Joel O'Bryan
May 7, 2017 8:13 pm

Best statement of the 21st Century IMO:
-Science is a mode of inquiry. Not a belief structure.
Dr Lindzen.

Leo Smith
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 7, 2017 11:44 pm

I think you will find he pinched that from someone like Karl Popper.,

Joel O’Bryan
May 7, 2017 9:55 pm

The “so what” question deserves to be broached by a Dr Lindzen or a Dr Curry.

May 8, 2017 3:48 am

Correction….” For over 35 years, global climate modelers have been trying the model the system, without much progress. = Trying TO model the system ?

Roger Knights
May 8, 2017 5:10 am

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Robert Darwall presents a lucid argument why the Paris Agreement should be submitted to the Senate as a treaty, with a recommendation for disapproval. Then, it would be voted upon by the legislators, requiring a two-thirds approval. Based on many arguments for alternative approaches, this appears to be the most straight-forward and conclusive procedure – and may be the most politically astute.

There are a dozen (say) warmist-leaning RINO senators. If the Treaty is tossed to the Senate, guess what will happen next: In order to swing the remaining six votes needed to get 2/3, a month-long sit-in around the Capitol of a hundred thousand protestors, and maybe a half-million on weekends, would be recruited, plus a write-in campaign to senators that would dwarf all previous efforts. Plus a media /propaganda deluge backed by billions of dollars from Soros-types. The demonstrations so far should be a hint of what would ensue. Few Democratic senators of a skeptical stripe could stand firm against this pressure. Combined, these efforts might actually be enough to get the Treaty passed. Trump shouldn’t risk it.

michael hart
Reply to  Roger Knights
May 8, 2017 6:08 am

Yes, it should not exist, never mind be dignified with constructing a senate vote to show how bad it is. Trump needs to disavow it entirely with his pen, to the limit of his powers. The electorate neither voted for it, nor had politicians present it to them as a choice. Opinion polls generally show a strong lack of interest in global warming as a subject that their representatives should be meddling in. It is a waste of public resources, left, right, and center.

May 8, 2017 8:46 am

“Adequate energy storage is critical to the success of the proposed global transition to a low-carbon future based on intermittent renewables generation, and work done by Energy Matters and others shows that very large amounts of storage will be needed to smooth out intermittent power delivery to the point where it can be readily admitted to the grid. Yet the CSIRO and Energy Networks Australia have now concluded that Australian grids can easily admit up to 50% renewable generation without adding any more backup storage at all – and this despite the recent blackouts in South Australia. How do they arrive at this remarkable conclusion?”
This is completely fake. The implication is that the intermittency is short term, ‘smooth out intermittent power delivery.’ Solar is on 8 hours, then off 16 hours. Smooth that out. You need a minimum of 3X additional production just to have something to store. Wind isn’t permanent. How many days’ storage does it need, and how many X extra production capacity to load the storage?
Intermittency is an incurable defect. Storage can’t fix it. Talk of storage technology is a head fake.
‘Dears estimated that the costs must come down to $200 / KW to achieve break-even. This is 27 times below the costs of the trial. Further the actual battery life is about 10 years and the storage capacity must be 30 minutes, not 15 minutes used in the PG&E study.’
I am curious how 30 minutes is any different that 15 minutes. What is the problem that 30 minutes solves that 15 doesn’t?

Ron Williams
Reply to  Gamecock
May 8, 2017 11:19 am

Enough time to getting spinning reserve up to load demand, or start enough diesel capacity and then synchronize to the grid.

Reply to  Ron Williams
May 10, 2017 7:39 am

If you can’t make it in 15, you aren’t going to make it in 30.

May 8, 2017 8:48 am

‘According to the New York Times “Today’s Energy Jobs Are in Solar, Not Coal.”’
Jobs are a cost. The goal is to reduce jobs, not create them.

May 8, 2017 9:14 am

Re : Lindzen on Venus . Rather than just saying “Venus is close to the sun ” , we can be specific .
The gray body temperature in Venus’s orbit is about 327 ( as opposed to Earth’s 279 ) with its surface temperature about 2.25 times that ( as opposed to Earth’s 1.03 ) . It is an undergraduate exercise to prove that Venus’s surface temperature cannot be due to a spectral effect . In fact it’s extremely high albedo with respect to the solar spectrum , ~ 0.9 , works in the opposite direction .
Whenever you see “lapse rate” you are really talking about gravity because that is the force which maintains the equilibrium gradient of pressure and temperature , and it is that energy which is expressed as thermal energy which must be , but is not , included in any computation of total energy balance .

K. Kilty
Reply to  Bob Armstrong
May 8, 2017 10:29 am

Yet, I think saying Venus is close to the sun is a good first order point to make for the technology challenged, though. The other first order talking point should be its atmosphere is 90 times the density of Earth’s. Those two ought to dispel thoughts of the two being analogs.

Reply to  K. Kilty
May 10, 2017 8:57 am

I’ll agree with the first order points , and I may be a little quick on that because I’ve looked at Venus as the example which if you can’t quantitatively explain you can’t explain anything . And while I have tremendous respect for Lindzen , it’s Haapala who had to point out the density , ie : gravity , relationship which is , in fact , the only quantitatively rational one .
Venus is , in fact , the counter example to the “green house gas” spectral hypothesis .

May 8, 2017 10:01 am

Tahoe area ski resorts received about 7 inches new snow this past weekend (6-7 May) and USDA reports the Tahoe Basin snowpack currently has 5x the normal % water equivalent for this date. Tahoe lake level has risen 5.5 feet since the beginning of this snow year (October 1 2016):

May 8, 2017 10:15 am

Look at the “historic” (sorry) rate of Lake Tahoe filling since the the beginning of 2017. Amazing. (Click to add 2014 – 2012 graph overlays.) They’re going to have trouble releasing water out of the lake fast enough in the next couple of months.

Reply to  brians356
May 8, 2017 10:19 am

They will have even more difficulty draining it out of Crater Lake just a little bit north.
But, at least there is still just a little bit of room left behind the Lake Oroville Dam before it overflows. Again.

Reply to  RACookPE1978
May 8, 2017 11:33 am

Does Crater Lake even have an outlet? Tahoe has a natural outlet (Truckee River) but a dam there raises the outlet an additional 6.1 feet (retaining 744,600 acre feet.)

K. Kilty
May 8, 2017 10:19 am

An increase of efficiency in wind energy is not likely to occur as current technology produces turbines that operate at about 85% of Betz Limit. It is just about equivalent to having a heat engine that runs at 85% efficiency based on the second law, and expecting great future improvements–not going to happen. About the only thing available is to figure out how to build less costly turbines and wind farms–but I hold almost no hope here. In fact, I think that scaling turbines up does not decrease per unit capacity costs, but increases them instead. Moreover, think about what the U.S. would look like with millions (dare I say tens of millions) of installed wind turbines, and 5% of them being decommissioned each year.

K. Kilty
May 8, 2017 10:37 am

He said: ‘The gun was horrendously dangerous. This was the first gun I’d ever built.’”
Hugely funny. why did they commission someone who had never done this before? Because anyone with experience demurred.

Reply to  K. Kilty
May 8, 2017 11:39 am

“Dr Angel has already secured NASA funding for a pilot project …”
Uh, I hope they already have that money in a Swiss bank. Somehow I doubt the new administration will honor any such pledge, but with the pace of administrative appointments, it could get swept along unnoticed.

%d bloggers like this:
Verified by MonsterInsights