The Week That Was: 2017-07-15 (July 15, 2017)
Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org)
The Science and Environmental Policy Project
THIS WEEK: By Ken Haapala, President
Models v. Atmospheric Temperatures: Roy Spencer has further comments regarding the recalculated atmospheric temperatures recently produced by Mears and Wentz, who are principals in Remote Sensing Systems (RSS), competitors with the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). Spencer points out that despite claims in the press, the new (more warming) RSS dataset does not resolve the discrepancy between observed temperature trends in the lower troposphere.
It is in the lower troposphere that greenhouse gas warming occurs. Discussions about surface warming or deep ocean warming are secondary to the issue: are greenhouse gases causing dangerous global warming? According to the greenhouse gas theory, and reports by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and its followers, this warming trend is to be most pronounced over the tropics (roughly 20 degrees South and North of the Equator. As Spencer writes “Even the New RSS Satellite Dataset Says the Models are Wrong.”
The new lower troposphere dataset “(Version 4, compared to Version 3.3) didn’t really change in the tropics.” Spencer produces a chart demonstrating how wrong the models are. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.
Quote of the Week. “Science is a beautiful gift to humanity; we should not distort it.”– A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Number of the Week: 96% since 1750
Atmospheric Temperature Calculations: On her web site, Jo Nova gives five succinct reasons why UAH data is superior to RSS data. Briefly, they are:
· UAH satellite data is validated by measurements from weather balloons, RSS data is not.
· In the latest adjustments UAH uses empirical data to adjust data affected by diurnal drift. RSS uses model estimates. (Note: adjusting empirical data with model estimates does not produce empirical data, but model estimates thereof.)
· Two satellites disagree with each other (NOAA-14 and 15). The UAH team removed the one they think is incorrect. RSS keeps both inconsistent measurements.
· RSS keeps the warming error before 2002, probably caused by diurnal drift, but fixes the error after then. The effect is a steeper overall warming trend.
· UAH uses a more advanced method with three satellite channels. RSS uses the original method Roy Spencer and John Christy developed with only one channel, but three angles.
See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy
G-20: The meeting of the Group of Twenty, government leaders and bank governors from 20 major economies, was predicted by some in the press to be a thrashing of Donald Trump and his announcement that the US will withdraw from Paris Accord. It ended with a whimper.
Perhaps the writers of The American Interest expressed the importance of the meeting and its final communique best. After repeating two paragraphs from the “Final Communiqué” the writers state:
“Take note of the stark contrast in the language used in the official statement between the U.S.-authored first paragraph and the “Paris”-focused second. Whatever one’s priors [prior beliefs] are on how climate change is best addressed, it’s difficult not to immediately recall George Orwell’s seminal essay “Politics and the English Language”—on how bad political writing is (at minimum) a tell [a signal] for very lazy thinking.
“The first paragraph is written in crystal clear, easy to understand prose. The United States, which in contrast to Europe is actually succeeding in cutting its own emissions, is doing so by bringing comparatively clean natural gas to market through fracking. It is looking to leverage this bonanza to help provide energy security to its allies. And insofar as it does this by providing them with natural gas, it will be helping wean them off of dirty coal as well, thereby further lowering global emissions.
“The second paragraph is difficult to understand—all empty aspirations and limp hectoring swimming in a soup of acronyms and allusions to reports and annexes. Its only clear call to action is for developed countries to contribute money to the so-called Green Climate Fund—an effort that to date has fallen far short of expectations, and that President Trump has (correctly) criticized as an ill-conceived slush fund. Now go back and read the final sentence: “…full implementation in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances…” Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up.
“The FT [Financial Times] reported that the phrase in the first paragraph, about helping other countries access and use ‘fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently’, was particularly contentious. That should tell you all you need to know about how ideological and deranged environmental politics has become.”
See links under Questioning the Orthodoxy.
Paris: In or Out? After the G-20 meeting concluded, President Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey stated that the Parliament of Turkey may not approve the Paris Accord. Apparently, it hinges on whether Turkey as classified an industrial country. If it is, it may have to pay into the Green Climate Fund; if it is not, it may receive money from the Fund. The success of the Paris Accord may depend on the flow of cash. Many of the reports praising the 194-nation agreement fail to mention that direction and volume of cash flow is an important component.
How does this bode for the $100 Billion per year expected to flow into the Green Climate Fund? Or the $1 Trillion per year to Mission 2020, set up by Christiana Figueres, the former executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC), under which the Paris Accord was negotiated. It would be interesting to view many of the side-deals reached away from the public eye. See links under After Paris!
Limiting Plant Growth: CO2 Science has several reviews of informative articles discussing the nutrients which limit the growth of plants. According to the writers the major limiting factors, in addition to food and water, are: 1) carbon [dioxide]; 2) nitrogen; and 3) phosphorus.
“Under current ambient conditions, plant growth and development are typically carbon-limited, which is why plants generally exhibit increased growth and biomass production in response to atmospheric CO2 enrichment. Next to carbon, nitrogen is usually the second most limiting nutrient to plant growth, followed by phosphorus (P). Thus, although it is a less significant component of plant tissues than carbon and nitrogen, phosphorus is still required for successful life-cycle completion in many plant species; and, therefore, it is prudent to investigate aspects of plant phosphorus acquisition and biomass production in response to atmospheric CO2 enrichment when phosphorus concentrations in soils are less than optimal.”
The web site has cataloged many studies that show carbon dioxide enrichment fosters more efficient use of water and other essential nutrients. [Note: the most widely used industrial method for nitrogen fixing is the Haber process, discovered in 1909.] See links under Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science.
The Web: Writing in Energy Matters, energy expert Paul-Frederik Bach of Denmark illustrates the highly complex system of transmitting electricity in Europe. P-F Bach spent years working with grid issues in the Danish system, with its many interconnects, including integrating wind power.
TWTW has frequently discussed the difficulties that occur when weather-dependent wind power fails to generate the expected electricity. P-F Bach discusses in some detail the other side of wind generation – what to do with surplus electricity. The planner’s dream that consumption (demand) can be rapidly adjusted is not materializing. Until consumption (demand) can be rapidly adjusted, he sees future problems in surplus electricity, declining market prices to producers for the surplus and congested grids. These will lead to increasing prices to consumers and / or curtailment of renewable sources. See links under Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind
The Slow Roll: By most standards the Trump administration has been very slow in filling important government positions reserved for political appointees. The pre-election transition team was perhaps one-eighth the size of the Hillary Clinton team. After the election, many of the members of the Trump team left. The vetting process for filling positions has been very slow.
This has been complicated by political games in the Senate for reviewing appointees, that is more fitting of a school yard than a serious deliberative body of mature adults. As a result, it will be months before the policies of the administration are implemented in many agencies. One can see the effects of the slow-roll in various agency releases.
For example, a recent press release from part of NOAA on greenhouse gases stated:
“These five primary greenhouse gases account for about 96 percent of the increased climate warming influence since 1750. Fifteen secondary greenhouse gases also tracked by the AGGI [Annual Greenhouse Gas Index] account for the remaining 4 percent.”
The five greenhouses gases listed are “carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and two chlorofluorocarbons that were banned by the Montreal Protocol…” Thus, two of the gases that account for 96% of the climate warming since 1750 did not exist until the late 19th century.
By far, the dominant listed gas is carbon dioxide. Using this statement, someone familiar with climate history can powerfully argue that: “According to NOAA, carbon dioxide alone has raised the living standards of most people living in the temperate zones from subsistence agriculture when famine and despair were one poor harvest away – even without the benefits of fossil fuels.” This conclusion may not be what the author of the press release intended. See Article # 3 and links under Defending the Orthodoxy.
Biological Annihilation: In 1968, Paul Ehrlich’s “Population Bomb” came out, predicting mass starvation due to over population. Many of those familiar with international demographics at the time realized that the prediction had a significant error. Generally, countries with increasing wealth were experiencing declining female fertility rates. The decline in birth rates was occurring in about one generation. There are exceptions, such as in Arab states.
Ehrlich received great honors and is credited with promoting birth control world-wide, including forced sterilization. Some later works on the overpopulation and declining productivity of agriculture were co-written by John Holdren. Of course, Holdren was President Obama’s scientific advisor. Just one graph of US yields of corn for grain presented by Joseph D’Aleo demonstrates how very wrong they were.
Ron Bailey is a noted critic of the works of Ehrlich and writes a review of Ehrlich’s latest work. See links Challenging the Orthodoxy – NIPCC, Expanding the Orthodoxy, and Agriculture Issues & Fear of Famine.
Hyperbole: It is mid-July and another typical summer for global warming predictions: Past predictions include: islands are drowning, fish are shrinking, and mountains are moving. The problem with climate science is that the rigorous work is buried in the IPCC reports and covered by non-science and hyperbole. See links under Below the Bottom Line.
Number of the Week: 96% since 1750. The statement in the NOAA report that: “These five primary greenhouse gases account for about 96 percent of the increased climate warming influence since 1750…” should not be forgotten.
SEPP’S APRIL FOOLS AWARD
VOTING FOR THE COVERTED SEPP TROPHY ENDS IN JULY, 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.
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
PAGES2017: New Cherry Pie
By Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, July 11, 2017
“Rosanne D’Arrigo once explained to an astounded National Academy of Sciences panel that you had to pick cherries if you wanted to make cherry pie – a practice followed by D’Arrigo and Jacoby who, for their reconstructions, selected tree ring chronologies which went the “right” way and discarded those that went the wrong way – a technique which will result in hockey sticks even from random red noise.”
AP Style Guide Warns Against Legitimizing Climate Skeptics
New edition of journalist handbook targets global warming ‘doubters,’ pro-lifers, and immigration hawks
By Thomas Reichard, PoliZett, July 12, 2017 [H/t GWPF]
Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science
Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2013
Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, 2014
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
Warming in the Tropics? Even the New RSS Satellite Dataset Says the Models are Wrong
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, July 14, 2017
Talking Truth to Climate Consensus
By Rud Istvan, WUWT, July 7, 2017
A Modest and Equitable Solution to the “Climate”/Energy “Problem”
By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, July 13, 2017
Time to Debunk Misguided Science Underlying Paris Climate Agreement
By Sharon Rondeau, The Post & Mail, from The Biggest Deception in History by Tim Ball and Tom Harris, July 7, 2017
Defending the Orthodoxy
Climate-Altering Gases Spike in 2016, Federal Scientist Report
By Lisa Friedman, NYT, Via GWPF, July 13, 2017
Link to press release: NOAA’s Greenhouse Gas Index up 40 percent since 1990
By Staff Writers, NOAA, July 11, 2017
Link to index: The NOAA Annual Greenhouse Gas Index (AGGI)
By James Butler and Stephen Montzka, NOAA, Spring 2017
The Four Most Effective Things You Can Do About Climate Change, According To Science
By Jeff McMahon, Forbes, July 13, 2017
[SEPP Comment: No kids, no car, no flying, no meat. Today, information technology uses as much fuel as flying, so no cell, no internet, etc.]
The Health Costs of Environmental Change
By Shaukat Aziz was Prime Minister of Pakistan from 2004 to 2007, Project Syndicate, July 14, 2017
[SEPP Comment: Avoiding the issue, does CO2 cause threatening change? A plea for preserving “natural systems.”]
Trump and the Truth About Climate Change
By Joseph E. Stiglitz, recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2001, Project Syndicate, July 2, 2017
“In the meantime, the world must protect itself against rogue states. Climate change poses an existential threat to the planet that is no less dire than that posed by North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. In both cases, the world cannot escape the inevitable question: what is to be done about countries that refuse to do their part in preserving our planet?”
Questioning the Orthodoxy
Alarm about alarmism
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. July 15, 2017
“The climate change debate has entered what we might call the “Campfire Phase”, in which the goal is to tell the scariest story. – Oren Cass (twitter)”
The Crisis of Integrity-deficient Science
By Paul Driessen, WUWT, July 9, 2017
Climate Politics and the English Language, G20 Wrapup
By Staff Writers, The American Interest, July 8, 2017
Climate change shock as professor says impact has been GOOD for wildlife
Climate change and human changes to the natural world have had a positive impact on wildlife, a professor has controversially claimed.
By John Austin, Express, UK, July 6, 2017
Erdogan says U.S. stance stalls Turkish ratification of Paris climate deal
By Yesim Dikmen, Reuters, July 8, 2017 [H/t Jo Nova]
[SEPP Comment: If Turkey is “industrialized” it must pay money, not get it?]
Looks Like Global Action On “Climate Change” Is Dead
By Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian, July 10, 2017
Paris, Meet Kyoto
Technology, not treaties, is leading the environmental debate
By Hayden Ludwig, Capital Research Center, July 12, 2017
Tilting at turbines: Fanning wind energy growth will need time; and, a perfect storm
India’s renewable energy targets for 2022 seem steep for an industry hamstrung by spatial and technological limitations.
By Ravi Menon, International Business Times, India, July 13, 2017
Change in US Administrations – Red Team/Blue Team
Framing the challenge for the climate red team
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. July 9, 2017
A Red Team to end the climate wars: fun but likely to fail.
By Guess Blogger Larry Kummer, WUWT, July 8, 2017
EPA chief wants scientists to debate climate on TV
By Valerie Volcovici, Reuters, July 11, 2017 [H/t GWPF]
“’If you’re going to win and if you’re so certain about it, come and do your deal. They shouldn’t be scared of the debate and discussion,’ he said.”
Change in US Administrations — Favor
A Climate Roadmap for President Trump
By Patrick Michaels, CATO, July 14, 2017
The flaw in Trump’s energy plans
Continuing to view carbon dioxide as toxic is a mistake
By Tom Harris, Washington Times, Via The Australian Climate Sceptics Blog, July 9, 2017
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science
Nitrogen Source Supply as the Root Cause of Protein Decline in CO2 Enrichment Studies
Fernando, N., Hirotsu, N., Panozzo, J., Tausz, M., Norton, R.M. and Seneweera, S. 2017. Lower grain nitrogen content of wheat at elevated CO2 can be improved through post-anthesis NH4+ supplement. Journal of Cereal Science 74: 79-85. July 14, 2017
The Interactive Effects of Elevated CO2 and Phosphorus on Soybean Growth
Singh, S.K., Reddy, V.R., Fleisher, D.H. and Timlin, D.J. 2017. Relationship between photosynthetic pigments and chlorophyll fluorescence in soybean under varying phosphorus nutrition at ambient and elevated CO2. Photosynthetica55: 421-433. July 13, 2017
“Indeed, as shown in the figure below, elevated CO2 clearly helped to ameliorate the negative impacts of phosphorus deficiency on this important cereal crop.”
Interactive Effects of CO2, Drought and Zinc Supply on Wheat
Asif, M., Yilmaz, O. and Ozturk, L. 2017. Elevated carbon dioxide ameliorates the effect of Zn deficiency and terminal drought on wheat grain yield but compromises nutritional quality. Plant and Soil 411: 57-67. July 12, 2017
Thus, on a whole-plant basis, Zn and protein concentrations (mg plant-1) remained the same, regardless of atmospheric CO2concentration (see Figure 2, which reveals statistically similar values for Zn uptake and grain protein yield in each of the different treatments).
The Relationship Between Childhood Bronchitis and Diurnal Temperature Range
Xie, M., Ni, H., Zhao, D., Cheng, J., Wen, L., Li, K., Yang, H., Wang, S., Zhang, H., Wang, X. and Su, H. 2017. Effect of diurnal temperature range on the outpatient visits for acute bronchitis in children: a time-series study in Hefei, China. Public Health 144: 103-108. July 10, 2017
Measurement Issues — Atmosphere
Satellite battle: Five reasons UAH is different (better) to the RSS global temperature estimates
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, July 12, 2017
[SEPP Comment: Summary of Spencer’s comments in last week’s TWTW.]
Hot Temperatures In Summer Have Been Declining For Decades
By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM, AMS Fellow, ICECAP, July 10, 2017
California Rainfall Variability and Climate Models
By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM, AMS Fellow, ICECAP, July 10, 2017
“The reporter [in 2015] actually did a lot of research into university research. Little did he know it all is nonsense.”
Swiss Daily: “Record Cold July In Greenland”. Alarmists “Struggling To Explain” As Arctic Island Cools
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, July 12, 2017
Nature Unbound IV – The 2400-year Bray cycle. Part A
By Javier, Climate Etc. July 11, 2017
[SEPP Comment: Long post in attempting to create recognizing of the cycle.]
Surprise: 2 Recent Papers Show Sea Level Variability Have Little To Do With CO2
Sun rules sea level: Scientists discover unexpected relationship
By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt (German text translated by P Gosselin), No Tricks Zone, July 8, 2017
The annual corn crop scare
By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM, Co-Chief Meteorologist, WeatherBELL Analytics, ICECAP, july 15, 2017
[SEPP Comment: Does the increase in yields of corn for grain of over 40% from 1996 to 2016 demonstrate the dangers of “global warming?”
Un-Science or Non-Science?
New Study Suggests Global Warming Will Be Kind to the Northwest: But There Will Still Be Impacts
By Cliff Mass, Weather and Climate Blog, July 11, 2017
Link to paper: Estimating economic damage from climate change in the United States
By Solomon Hsiang, Robert Kopp, Amir Jina4, James Rising, Michael Delgado, and Shashank Mohan, Science, July 30, 2017
[SEPP Comment: Speculative modeling based on speculative modeling.]
Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
Just 100 companies are responsible for 71pc of greenhouse gases since 1988, report finds
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, July 11, 2017
[SEPP Comment: Are they the ones responsible for lifting the earth from the Little Ice Age?]
Communicating Better to the Public – Do a Poll?
The First in A Series of Simplified Explanations of the Corrupted and Falsified Science of Human Caused Global Warming.
By Tim Ball, His Blog, June 17, 2017
[SEPP Comment: Features a review of a poll which demonstrates how those conducting the poll misinterpret the results.]
Expanding the Orthodoxy
Population Doomster Paul Ehrlich’s New Forecast: ‘Biological Annihilation’
New predictions of animal population doom are likely exaggerated.
By Ronald Bailey, Reason.com, July 12, 2017
Questioning European Green
Renewable power critic is chosen to head energy price review
Government’s preferred choice of Oxford economist Dieter Helm is controversial owing to criticism of wind and solar power
By Adam Vaughan and Nick Hopkins, Guardian, UK, July 12, 2017
Wall Street Sours on $9 Billion Mechanism for Green Projects
By Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg, July 10, 2017
EPA and other Regulators on the March
Cut Energy Star from the budget
Focus on energy efficiency ignores many things that consumers want: Opposing view
By Sam Kazman, USA Today, June 29, 2017
Energy Issues – Non-US
Take one barrel of oil…
By Martin Livermore, The Scientific Alliance, July 14, 2017
Forget Paris – Billion-Barrel Mexico Find Could Spur Oil Majors to Rush In
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, July 12, 2017
7 Wacky Sources of Alternative Energy
These crazy power sources could revolutionize the energy industry — or they could prove to be nothing more than curious boondoggles.
By Mass Chatsko, The Motley Fool, July 11, 2017
[SEPP Comment: Some are being seriously tried.]
Energy Issues — US
Carbon Pricing Case Against Exxon A Matter Of Ignorance
By Michael Lynch, Forbes, July 10, 2017
“The idea that Exxon should employ a definitive carbon price assumption that all of its investors can rely on to estimate its stock price is absurd. Ultimately, the NY Attorney General is not so much emulating ‘La Miserables’ as ‘Clueless’.”
Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
Energy Superpower US Oil Exports Forecast to Exceed Most OPEC Members by 2020
By Staff Writers, Financial Times Via GWPF, July 11, 2017
[SEPP Comment: US exports will be minor compared with Russia and Saudi Arabia.]
IEA: Shale Boom Sets U.S. On Track To Challenge World’s Top Gas Exporter Spot
By Tsvetana Paraskova, Oil Price, July 13, 2017
Link to IEA report: IEA sees global gas demand rising to 2022 as US drives market transformation
By Staff Writers, IEA, July 13, 2017
U.S. on track to be world’s No.2 LNG exporter by end-2022: IEA
By Nina Chestney, Reuters, July 13, 2017
[SEPP Comment: Behind Australia, ahead of Qatar.]
Victor Davis Hanson: We Should Show A Little Gratitude For The Fracking Industry
By Victor Davis Hanson, IBD, July 7, 2017
Nuclear Energy and Fears
Fear of radiation is more dangerous than radiation itself
The lessons of Chernobyl and Fukushima: fear of radiation is more harmful to public health than ionising radiation itself
By Staff Writers, Aeon, July 5, 2017 [H/t Thomas Hafera]
Trump triggers fight over Yucca waste site
By Timothy Cama, The Hill, July 11, 2017
India Has Almost Finished The World’s First Advanced Thorium Nuclear Reactor
By Andrew Follett, The Daily Caller, July 10, 2017
Getting regulatory approval from the federal U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to build a conventional reactor can take up to 25 years, while building a new plant by itself only takes about 10 of those years.
Nuclear Fusion Startup Tri Alpha Energy Hits a Big Milestone
By Katie Fehrenbacher, Green Tech Media, July 10, 2017
Getting Rid of Wind Energy in Europe
Guest cross posting from Paul-Frederik Bach, Energy Matters, July 13, 2017
[SEPP Comment: The involved processes of disposing of overgeneration.]
Eclipseocalypse – Electrics Brace for Solar Darkness
When the sun goes dark, California will lose the equivalent of five nuclear power plants of power.
By Martin Rosenberg, Energy Times,, June 29, 2017 [H/t WUWT]
[SEPP Comment: The magic of being able to predict with confidence. The secondary line is highly questionable. California is not experiencing a total eclipse at mid-day.]
Studies Find Wind Turbines Unsustainable and Harmful to Wildlife
By Emily Wade, Think About Now, July 6, 2017
Solar in Seattle? Not So Fast (clouds, clouds, my Dear Watson)
By Greg Rehmke, Master Resource, July 13, 2017
The World’s First Power Plant Combining Hydroelectricity and Solar Energy Is Now Open
By Karla Lant, Futurism, July 13, 2017
[SEPP Comment: According to video: advantages for vineyard irrigation ponds in California are: limit algae growth, more power (panels cooler), and reduced evaporation rate.]
Wind and Solar Energy Are Dead Ends
By Spencer P. Morrison, American Thinker, July 12, 2017
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles
By Euan Mearns, Energy Matters, July 10, 2017
The Auto Industry Under Assault
By Henry Payne, National Review, July 8, 2017
Energy costs making California unaffordable for too many
Editorial by Kevin McCarthy and Vince Fong, Orange County Register, CA, July 13, 2017
Health, Energy, and Climate
Dramatic Estimates of Future Heat-Related Deaths Hype, Not Fact
By Marlo Lewis, CEI, July 13, 2017
Treasury Dept Asked To Investigate Reports That Russia Funneled Millions To US Environmental Groups
By Michael Mastasch, Daily Caller, July 7, 2017
Two key House members call to investigate Russian ‘collusion’ with anti-fracking green groups
By Thomas Lifson, American Thinker, July 10, 2017
Other Scientific News
The Great American Eclipse – 40 days to go
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, July 12, 2017
Other News that May Be of Interest
Venus and Hawking’s scientific illiteracy
By Luboš Motl, The Reference Frame, July 8, 2017
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
Only A Few Weeks Left until The Maldives Drown
By Tony Heller, The Deplorable Climate Science Blog, July 13, 2017
“Oh My Cod!” Climate Change will shrink your fish and chips
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, July 9, 2017
Dr Cheung, who gave a keynote address at the 50th Anniversary Symposium of the Fisheries Society of the British Isles at Exeter University this week, said some fish in the North Sea, including haddock, were already getting smaller.
“Dr Cheung, a former lead author in the Working Group II of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), projected that achieving the Paris Agreement of the 1.5 – 2.0 deg C global warming targets will substantially reduce impacts. But if emissions are not reduced, there could be 3.5 – 4.0 deg C warming, by the end of the century.” [Boldface added.]
By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions, July 14, 2017
“The erosion caused by rainfall directly affects the movement of continental plates beneath mountain ranges, says a University of Toronto geophysicist — the first time science has raised the possibility that human-induced climate change could affect the deep workings of the planet.
“‘In geology, we have this idea that erosion’s going to affect merely the surface,’ says Russell Pysklywec, a professor of geology who creates computer models where he can control how a range of natural processes can create and modify mountains over millions of years.
“‘These are tiny, tiny changes on the surface, but integrating them over geologic time scales affects the roots of the mountains, as opposed to just the top of them,’ says Pysklywec. ‘It goes right down to the mantle thermal engine — the thing that’s actually driving plate tectonics. It’s fairly surprising — it hasn’t been shown before.’” Eureka Alert, 20 Apr 2006
The uninhabitable galaxy
By Luboš Motl, The Reference Frame, July 11, 2017
Secret G20 Draft Declaration REvealied
By Staff Writers, The Australian, VA GWPF, July 10, 2017
1. U.S. Boost to Oil Drilling Will Barely Dent Russia’s Energy Monolith
With global oil and gas markets glutted, the Trump administration’s moves to boost U.S. drilling and exports can play only a marginal role
By Georgi Kantchev and Lynn Cook, WSJ, July 13, 2017
Commenting on Mr. Trump’s announcement that his administration will promote oil and gas development and exports of such the reporters write:
“While a boom in U.S. oil-and-gas production is keeping a lid on prices and spurring exports, it’s largely a function of market factors far from Washington’s control. Because global oil and gas markets are already glutted, moves by the Trump administration to boost drilling and exports can only play a marginal role.
“’Easing regulation can help output on the margins, but markets will dwarf policy in determining the outlook for U.S. domestic energy production and exports,’” said Jason Bordoff, director of the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University and a former energy official in the Obama administration.
“Russia dominates the European natural-gas market, and many on the Continent remember a time several years ago when Mr. Putin threatened to cut off countries, including Poland and Germany. It’s a tall order to compete head to head with Russia, which operates an extensive network of pipelines into Europe.”
“In the first four months of 2017, U.S. LNG exports, at 198 billion cubic feet, were nearly eight times what they were in the same period last year, according to the latest federal data.
“But that remains a fraction of the market. For European buyers, the biggest impact has been the ability to use LNG as leverage to get better prices on Russian gas. Before Lithuania’s first LNG import terminal opened in 2014, state-controlled PAO Gazprom lowered gas prices to the country by 20%. Poland last month became the first former Soviet bloc country to receive a U.S. gas cargo, while Lithuania recently signed a deal with Cheniere Energy Inc. to receive gas exports this summer from Louisiana. Other countries in the region are building infrastructure to handle more LNG imports.
“That has spurred Moscow to lower prices to compete and to try to develop its own LNG facilities. Russia wants to build another large gas pipeline into Europe, a project opposed by Washington and Brussels.
“Russia has become very flexible in the way they are marketing their gas as they compete with LNG,” said Ira Joseph, head of gas and power analytics at S&P Global Platts.
“Still, some see an opening for the U.S. to boost exports to Europe in coming years. Half of all long-term supply agreements into Europe—the vast majority of which involve Russia—expire in the five-year period that started in 2016, according to the International Energy Agency.
“’U.S. gas is a powerful alternative to Europe’s other options,’ IEA chief Fatih Birol said.”
After a discussion of growing US oil exports, the reporters state:
“This month, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke promised to speed up permitting for developing oil and gas on federal lands, but little output comes from such acreage because U.S. drillers are focused on private lands. The Trump administration has moved to expand drilling off the coast of Alaska, a U-turn from the Obama era, but with crude prices below $50 a barrel, few companies are eager to drill in the challenging Arctic environment.
“The White House has also trumpeted the idea of approving more natural-gas export terminals along the Gulf Coast. Problem is, the market doesn’t need them right now.
“Under President Barack Obama, 23 U.S. gas export facilities were approved. Four are operating, and by 2021 a total of nearly 13 billion cubic feet of gas a day could be shipped out, said John Best, managing director of Criterion Research, a Houston energy consulting firm.
“From Florida to Alaska, projects capable of exporting another 30 billion cubic feet of gas have been announced but not yet approved. Mr. Best believes approved facilities will ship out only around 8 billion cubic feet of gas, and many of the others will never be built because they no longer make financial sense.
“’The world can’t absorb this much gas that quickly,’ he said.”
2. Mineral Rights Can Make You Rich
One study estimated that in 2012 private owners earned some $22 billion in royalties.
By Merrill Mathews, WSJ, July 9, 2017
Link to report: Oil, Gas, and Coal Royalties: Raising Federal Rates Could Decrease Production on Federal Lands but Increase Federal Revenue
By Staff Writers, GAO, June 20, 2017
The writer, a scholar with the Institute for Policy Innovation, brings out a characteristic of property ownership in the US. In general, mineral rights are property of the land owner, while in many other countries they are property of the government. Many property owners are encouraged to allow development of the mineral rights in exchange for royalties. He writes:
“In fiscal 2016, Washington collected $3.9 billion in royalties from oil and gas production on federal land and offshore—and that’s down from $6.6 billion in 2015, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office. Lower energy prices contributed to the decline, but so did the Obama administration’s roadblocks on drilling-permit applications.
“The Congressional Research Service reports that federal lands produced 1.57 million barrels of crude oil a day in 2008. By 2015 that had risen 25% to 1.955 million. But over the same period production on nonfederal land more than doubled from 3.467 million barrels a day to 7.46 million.
“The contrast was starker for natural gas. Federal lands produced 6,471 billion cubic feet in 2008, but that number shrank to 4,594 billion by 2015. Over the same period production on nonfederal lands grew from 14,523 billion cubic feet to 24,143 billion.
“The difference is even more pronounced when you realize that the royalty rate is typically much higher on state and private land. Oil and gas producers are required to pay 12.5% to drill on federal land. Royalties on state land are usually in the range of 16% to 18%. In Texas, the largest producer, the typical rate is 25%. Royalties on private land often reflect the state rate.
“Why would producers flock to state or private land rather than cheaper federal land? Because time is money. The Bureau of Land Management took an average of 307 days in 2011 to process applications for drilling permits. States can give approval within a few months.
“The National Association of Royalty Owners, a trade group, estimates that eight million to 12 million people receive royalties from oil and gas production nationwide. A 2013 study by Timothy Fitzgerald and Randal Rucker, economists at Montana State University, estimated that in 2012 private owners earned some $22 billion in royalties. Production on private lands has since increased significantly.
“Mr. Fitzgerald and others estimated later that six major shale plays generated $39 billion in private royalties in 2014…”
“But there’s hope for more. ‘So much of our land was closed to development,’ President Trump observed in a recent energy speech. ‘We’re opening it up.’ If he makes good on that promise, it will give the economy a major boost, along with millions of royalty owners.”
3. Senate Fight Over Trump’s Nominees Heats Up
More than 30 nominees await confirmation as Democratic lawmakers slow the process
By Brent Kendall and Natalie Andrews, WSJ, July 12, 2017
SUMMARY: The reporters state:
“A congressional battle over President Donald Trump’s nominations for a range of influential positions is escalating and becoming more acrimonious, creating additional uncertainty over when some notable government vacancies might be filled.
“Mr. Trump has been slower than recent presidents to roll out nominees. But for an array of people the president has selected, Senate Democrats are using procedural tactics to slow the confirmation process to a crawl—at least in part to object to the lack of open hearings on health-care legislation, Democratic leaders say.
“More than 30 nominees are sitting on the sidelines while they await a final Senate confirmation vote. Those include several picks for the Justice and Treasury departments, as well as new commissioners for a federal energy regulator that has been unable to conduct official business because of its vacancies.
“If the current pattern holds, many of these people may not be confirmed for their jobs before the Senate takes a break in mid-August. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) in most circumstances has been invoking Senate procedures to require up to 30 hours of debate per nominee, an amount of Senate floor time that means lawmakers can’t confirm more than a handful of nominees each week.
“The minority party often waives a requirement for lengthy debate, but Democrats are generally declining to do so. In response to GOP complaints, they cite what they call Republican obstructionism under President Barack Obama, including Republicans’ refusal to hold a hearing or vote on Mr. Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland.
“In the current environment, even noncontroversial nominees can take up several days of Senate time. For example, the Senate spent much of the first part of the week considering the nomination of David Nye to be a federal judge in Idaho. Mr. Nye was originally nominated by Mr. Obama and Mr. Trump renominated him after taking office.
“Senators took a procedural vote Monday on Mr. Nye, but he wasn’t confirmed until Wednesday afternoon, on a 100-0 vote.
“Raw feelings on both sides of the aisle erupted this week. Republicans accused Democrats of unprecedented obstruction, saying it would take the Senate more than 11 years at the current pace before Mr. Trump could fully staff a government.
“White House legislative affairs director Marc Short, in a press briefing Monday, accused Mr. Schumer of being an irresponsible champion of the “resist” movement. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) cited the issue as a top reason for his decision to push back the Senate’s planned August recess by two weeks.
“On the Senate floor Wednesday, Mr. McConnell said Democrats were “bound and determined to impede the president from making appointments, and they’re willing to go to increasingly absurd lengths to further that goal.”
“Democrats dismiss such characterizations given what they see as unprecedented Republican tactics toward Mr. Obama’s nominees, especially Judge Garland. In February 2016, Republican Senate leaders said they wouldn’t consider a Supreme Court nominee until after the election.
“Democrats also note that Mr. Trump has yet to name people for hundreds of vacancies and say there have been paperwork problems with a number of people he has chosen.
“’Our Republican friends, when they’re worried about the slow pace of nominations, ought to look in the mirror,’ Mr. Schumer said on the Senate floor on Tuesday. The GOP complaints about the pace of confirmations, he added, ‘goes to show how desperate our Republican leadership is to shift the blame and attention away from their health-care bill.’
Mr. Schumer has said Democrats will generally insist on lengthy Senate debate time for nominees until Republicans start using traditional Senate procedures for advancing their health legislation, including committee hearings and bill markups.
Mr. McConnell has said Republicans have held numerous hearings on ACA issues in the past and it isn’t necessary to do so for the current legislation.
The article continues with additional examples.