Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org) The Science and Environmental Policy Project
THIS WEEK: By Ken Haapala, President
Hurricane Irma – Resilience Needed: Last week’s TWTW discussed Hurricane Harvey, which ended a lull of almost 12 years without a major hurricane making landfall in the US. A major Hurricane being defined as category 3, or above, on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale used by the National Hurricane Center, with sustained wind of 111-129 mph (96-112 knots, 178-208 km/h) or greater. The lull in hurricanes hitting the US was simply good fortune and had nothing to do with increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Unfortunately, Harvey stalled around Houston and inflicted major damage not by winds but by major flooding from about 50 inches of rain over a few days. Even before the relatively flat area was urbanized, flooding from heavy rains was a problem. Contemporary newspaper accounts describe the extensive damage to the cotton fields during the floods of April and May 1929, before hurricane season. The population was less than 5% of the population today. The December 1935 flood exceeded the 1929 floods. Afterwards, US Rivers and Harbors Act of 1938 enabled the construction of a storm management system featuring two major reservoirs. Unfortunately, the rainfall and its runoff were beyond the design capacities of the reservoirs and floodgates had to be opened, compounding the flooding problems.
Many critics of Houston sermonize that the city should not have been built, or should have been built differently, but that can be said about any human structure that is damaged by natural events. No doubt, the same sermonizing will occur after those in Florida experience the destructive force of Hurricane Irma, currently a Category 4 storm, crossing the Florida Keys. According to forecasts, Irma will go up the west coast of Florida. Our best wishes go to those who have been damaged and will be damaged by this storm.
To better measure the destructive force of hurricanes and all tropical cyclones, NOAA developed the accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) index, which measures wind energy and can be summed over the entire season. ACE includes number, strength, and duration of all the tropical storms in the season. ACE is a better indicator than comparing individual hurricanes, if the intensity of tropical storms is increasing over time. ACE is not increasing globally or in the northern hemisphere as atmospheric greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide (CO2), are increasing. These measurements directly contradict claims by many political commentators, and some scientists, who assert that these storms are proof of CO2-caused climate change.
Quote of the Week. The idea is to try to give all the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another. – Richard Feynman
Inconsistencies: In her analysis of Irma on Climate Etc., Judith Curry made some interesting observations.
“In a matter of a few hours, Irma became a major hurricane. The surprising thing about this development into a major hurricane was that it developed over relatively cool waters in the Atlantic – 26.5C — the rule of thumb is 28.5C for a major hurricane (and that threshold has been inching higher in recent years). On 8/31, all the models were predicting a major hurricane to develop, with some hints of a Cat 5.” [Boldface added.]
The development of Irma into a major hurricane over waters 2 degrees C (4 F) below the generally accepted threshold temperatures clearly demonstrates that many factors are involved, not only temperatures. These factors contradict those who immediately shout “global warming”, as occurred with Harvey. As Curry states regarding those who use human-caused global warming climate models, including NOAA, in their analyses:
“However, I much prefer their model-based quantitative estimates (but they need some serious uncertainty estimates, including structural uncertainty), relative to hysterical arm waving by Mann and Trenberth using undergraduate basic thermodynamics reasoning. There is nothing basic or simple about hurricanes.”
Curry quotes Kerry Emanuel, who has written extensively on tropical cyclones:
“’A debate continues about why the 1970s and 80s were relatively quiet in the Atlantic,’ said MIT hurricane researcher Kerry Emanuel. ‘Some believe that it was the consequence of a natural climate oscillation called the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation (AMO), while others, including me, think is was mostly a consequence of sulfate aerosol pollution.’
“I guess Kerry Emanuel didn’t read the IPCC AR5 or any of the more recent research, showing that sulfate aerosol forcing of climate (generally, and also mid-20th century) is much smaller than thought circa the AR4. Not to mention the massive amounts of sulfate being emitted by Asia in recent decades.”
There is no physical evidence that human emissions cause or inhibit hurricanes.
On September 8, in his almost daily announcements about Irma, Joe Bastardi made several interesting observations: High pressure in North Atlantic and a cool August in continental US west of the Rockies (high pressure) and little activity in the Pacific are associated with significant hurricane activity in the Atlantic (including the Caribbean). There were three hurricanes occurring at the time.
Better Prediction Capabilities: Hurricanes have been occurring long before Europeans came to the New World. Last week’s TWTW had links of studies showing severe hurricanes hitting the Florida panhandle one thousand years ago, roughly where Irma is now forecasted to go. In 1635, a hurricane hit the English colony of Jamestown, Virginia, then the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Estimates indicate it had a storm surge 4.3-6.1 m (14-20 feet) in Narraganset, Rhode Island. So much for politicians who claim Sandy was “caused” by human-induced global warming.
In 2005, Katrina killed about 1800 people, largely in New Orleans after the mayor claimed that evacuation was not needed. The storm surge overwhelmed the levees which had been poorly constructed, with funds diverted for political purposes. Fortunately, from the response to Harvey, it appears that local, state and federal entities are better attuned to coordinating preparation and relief activities than in 2005.
The preparations for Irma indicate that good preparation applies to Florida as well. Further, the experiences from Andrew in 1992, a category 5 storm, prompted local governments to tighten building standards, making homes and buildings more resistant to damage and destruction from hurricanes. (Homes built in Florida in the 1920s to 50s were commonly single-story concrete block construction resistant to strong winds, but that changed.) Irma may test the new construction standards.
The changing forecasts for the path of Irma, as late as Sep 7 the US national weather model had it going up the east coast, indicate that much needs to be done to improve the forecasting ability of weather models. Significant improvements in understanding and forecasts have come from the National Hurricane Center and from private enterprise.
Unfortunately, much of the national effort on weather and climate is focused on what may happen one hundred years from now with increased CO2. Government reports show the US has spent over $42 Billion on “climate science” since 1993 and has yet to produce hard evidence that CO2 will increase dangerous weather. These efforts have not even bothered to validate the models used.
This spending has been a gross misuse of resources. The hurricane danger today is clear and present, not what may occur one hundred years from now. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy, Changing Weather, and Changing Weather — Hurricanes
Foolish Claims: With Hurricane Harvey, the climate chorus went into full throat. Hurricanes, which have been happening for over a thousand years, are offered as proof that human emissions of CO2 are causing dangerous global warming. Even Joseph Stiglitz, a noble laureate in economics and University Professor at Columbia University joined the chorus. He wrote:
“But the storm that pummeled the Texas coast for the better part of a week also raises deep questions about America’s economic system and politics.”
According to him, natural disasters that have occurred for over a thousand years are physical evidence of CO2-caused global warming. They expose that:
“America and the world are paying a high price for devotion to the extreme anti-government ideology embraced by President Donald Trump and his Republican Party. The world is paying, because cumulative US greenhouse-gas emissions are greater than those from any other country;…”
Such statements are mild when compared to what Jeffrey Sachs, his colleague at Columbia, wrote in June when Trump pulled out of the Paris Accord / Agreement:
“The world should not forget Donald Trump’s utter disdain for a planet nearing the brink of human-made catastrophe. The next human-caused climate disasters should be named Typhoon Donald, Superstorm Ivanka, and Megaflood Jared.”
Sachs is a Professor of Sustainable Development and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University; he is Director of Columbia’s Center for Sustainable Development and of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. See links under Changing Weather – Hurricanes – The Climate Chorus and Below the Bottom Line.
Energy Flows: 2016 was a major El Niño year, which caused a warming comparable to that of 1998, another major El Niño year. El Niños are one of the two components of what is called the El Niño – Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The other component is La Niña, a cooling of the western tropical Pacific near the equator. The term El Niño – Southern Oscillation is somewhat inappropriate because the two components do not oscillate – that is, swing back and forth with regular timing. The two components happen irregularly, and with different intensity. On her blog, Jo Nova sates that there are indications that a La Niña may be developing. Even if it does, it will be largely ignored, or quickly explained away by the Climate Chorus because the IPCC does not recognize ENSO as a major contributor to climate change.
Importantly, Nova brings up a June 2010 post written by William Kininmonth, which applies today. Kininmonth was chief of Australia‘s National Climate Centre at the Bureau of Meteorology from 1986 to 1998. In his post, Kininmonth discusses clearly how deep oceans influence atmospheric temperatures. Put differently, a thin layer of warm water covers the deep cold abyss and sometimes the warm layer shifts, exposing it– ENSO.
Also, Kininmonth discusses the importance of the ocean conveyor belt clearly, the Thermohaline Circulation so forcefully advocated by the late William Gray. Kininmonth uses estimates that about 80% of the flow of solar energy from the tropics to the polar regions is by the atmosphere, with 20% by the oceans.
Though not addressed in the post, the flow of heat energy from the tropics through the atmosphere illustrates a major problem for those who advocated that CO2 emissions are causing more intense tropical storms. Greenhouse gas theory has most of the warming effect occurring in the arid regions, with little or no water vapor, the major greenhouse gas – the deserts and the polar regions. A greenhouse warming of the polar regions would change the difference in temperatures, slow the energy flow from the tropics to polar regions, and lessen the intensity of storms.
If this writer were advocating significant climate change from CO2, he would use the almost twelve-year lull in major hurricanes hitting the US as evidence, for CO2- caused climate change, not recent hurricanes. See links under Measurement Issues – Energy Flow
Sea Levels: Writing in Energy Matters, Euan Mearns and Roger Andrews address a foolish article in The Herald (Scotland) claiming:
“One of the biggest fears facing scientists is that climate change has become impossible to control. Scientists say this would lead to more floods, droughts and heatwaves threatening millions around the planet.”
The implication that humans have controlled the climate in the past is absurd. Mearns and, particularly, Andrews address the fears of drastic sea level rise the article describes. It is a fear created by extrapolating short-term trends into long-term projections. Weather changes sea levels, and one should not assume weather changes are permanent and have increasing effects. Sea level rise projections from NOAA and NASA have similar issues as well as other difficulties. See links under Defending the Orthodoxy and Changing Seas
Threat Multiplier: Using Syria as an example, the Obama administration and the Pentagon tried to sell CO2-caused climate change as a threat multiplier – it would cause mass violence, refugees, etc. The public does not appear to be impressed with the sales efforts, and for the Pentagon it was a waste of resources.
Writing for the Global Warming Policy Forum, Andrew Montford draws attention to an empirical study on the drought in Syria which discusses issue. The conclusion asks:
“Is there clear and reliable evidence that climate change-related drought in Syria was a contributory factor in the onset of the country’s civil war?”
The answer to that and similar questions is no. The study asserts:
“Amongst other things it shows that there is no clear and reliable evidence that anthropogenic climate change was a factor in Syria’s pre-civil war drought; that this drought did not cause anywhere near the scale of migration that is often alleged; and that there exists no solid evidence that drought migration pressures in Syria contributed to civil war onset. The Syria case, the article finds, does not support ‘threat multiplier’ views of the impacts of climate change; to the contrary, we conclude, policymakers, commentators and scholars alike should exercise far greater caution when drawing such linkages or when securitising climate change.”
Also, Montford recalls:
“…For example, in one of the original studies, by the (ahem) highly controversial scientivist Peter Gleick, there is a claim that we had just witnessed ‘the worst long-term drought … since agricultural civilizations began in the Fertile Crescent,’”[“Scientivist” may be a neologism of scientist and activist]
Project Syndicate, which published the foolish claims by Stiglitz and Sachs cited above, also published claims of threat multiplier. See links under Defending the Orthodoxy and Questioning the Orthodoxy.
Energy: In the last decade, the energy world has changed significantly. Thanks to smart drilling, hydraulic fracturing, and access to financial markets, small and mid-sized producers have a much larger market share. It is no longer controlled by OPEC, Big Oil, etc. The American Interest had a post on the state of Global Shale, as estimated by the Energy Information Agency (EIA).
Oil and natural gas are no longer confined to small specific areas of the world. Many countries have extensive resources. The according to EIA calculations, US has about 8% of the recoverable “tight” natural gas and 19% of “tight” oil, world-wide.
With access to financial markets, private enterprise, limited government interference and restrictions; US firms are taking advantage of these resources, and other countries may, or may not, follow. The physical need for “alternative energy” is over. It is a matter of price and government policies. See links under Oil and Natural Gas – the Future or the Past?
CAFÉ: This week, SEPP testified before the EPA on the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, which were enacted by the Congress in 1975, after the 1973-74 Arab Oil Embargo, and continued under fear the world would run out of oil. Later, they were continued under fear that CO2 was causing dangerous global warming. According to a report by E & E, the only organizations opposing CAFÉ were the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), the Heartland Institute, and the National Automobile Dealers Association. The report is of questionable accuracy because it did not recognize SEPP opposed, and it identified CEI as the Conservative Enterprise Institute.
CEI’s testimony focused on automobile safety. In general, studies show large cars are safer than small cars. SEPP’s testimony stated that the regulations are unnecessary and obsolete, and should be repealed. The Arab Oil Embargo is no more, the fear of the world running out of oil is no more, and the fear of CO2 causing harm is not substantiated. The extensive Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) report on Biological Impacts was submitted as evidence.
Many in the audience appeared shocked, when they heard that their breathing increases CO2 by 100 times and that enhanced CO2 is a great benefit to plants, agriculture, humanity, and the environment. The environmental industry has accomplished much in demonizing CO2, and it will require a sustained effort to overcome this bias. The statements of economists Stiglitz and Sachs, above, demonstrate this bias. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy – NIPCC and EPA and other Regulators on the March
Number of the Week: 515 Years. According to the Hurricane Science Society at the University of Rhode Island, on June 30, 1502, a fleet of Spanish ships, not controlled by Columbus, but by the local governor Don Nicolas de Orvando, were hit by a hurricane off the coast of Hispaniola (present-day Dominican Republic and Haiti). “Twenty-five of de Orvando’s ships sank, 4 turned back to Hispaniola, and only 1 ship actually made it to Spain. Approximately 500 of Orvando’s men lost their lives during the hurricane.”
That event occurred 515 years ago. It is meaningless to argue that a hurricane is new, unprecedented, or proof of human-caused climate change. See link under Changing Weather – Hurricanes.
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
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
Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate
S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008
Challenging the Orthodoxy
Confidence in Climate Extremes?
By David Whitehouse, GWPF, Sep 8, 2017
Despite Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, science has no idea if climate change is causing more (or fewer) powerful hurricanes
By Ross McKitrick, Washington Examiner, Sep 7, 2017
Climate Scientists Conceding Natural Ocean Cycles Playing Major Climate Role
Dawning on Scientists: Atlantic Ocean Cycles Drive
By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt (German text translated/edited by P. Gosselin), No Tricks Zone, Sep 5, 2017
Correlation of Accumulated Cyclone Energy and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillations
Guest essay by Michel de Rougemont, WUWT, Sep 4, 2017
Blaming the weather. The moral danger of the securitization of climate change.
Masters Thesis by Marloes van Loon, Leiden University, Via GWPF, Sep 5, 2017
Defending the Orthodoxy
The Terrifying Risk of Climate Change in Scotland
By Euan Mearns, Energy Matters, Sep 6, 2017
Link to article: Revealed: climate change and the terrifying risk to Scotland
By Rob Edwards, The Herald, Scotland, Aug 26, 2017
Weathering the Violence of Climate Change
By Gulrez Shah Azhar, Project Syndicate, Aug 15, 2017
“Scientists agree that climate change poses a grave danger to the planet. But for some reason, politicians and government officials have not connected the dots between a changing climate and human conflicts. Among the many threats associated with climate change, deteriorating global security may be the most frightening of all.”
Study: Deforestation long overlooked as contributor to climate change
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Sep 5, 2017
Link to paper: Are the impacts of land use on warming underestimated in climate policy?
By Natalie M Mahowald, et al. Environmental Research Letters, Aug 2, 2017
[SEPP Comment: Cornell University and all of New York State, home of the lead author, are on lands that were forested. Should they not be penalized for changing climate?]
Questioning the Orthodoxy
The Real Potential Climate Problem Is Caused by the Climate Alarmists Themselves
By Alan Carlin, Carlin Economics and Science, Sep 7, 2017
Forget the Great Green Fleet
By Donn Dears, Power for USA, Sep 5, 2017
Think Drought Was Behind the Syrian Conflict? Think Again.
By Andrew Montford, GWPF, Sep 8, 2017
Link to paper: Climate change and the Syrian civil war revisited
By Jan Selby, Political Geography, Sep 2017
Prince Charles ‘Wrong’ On Climate Link to Syria War
By Ben Webster, The Times, Via GWPF, Sep 8, 2017
Another link to paper: Climate change and the Syrian civil war revisited
By Jan Selby, et al. Political Geography, Sep 2017
Switch to Biogas could save Ireland from massive fines
Food and drink giants help to drive moves to biogas and let us meet renewable energy targets
By Kevin O’Sullivan, The Irish Times, Aug 28, 2017
“By 2020, 16 per cent of Irish energy must come from renewable sources, with individual targets for heating, transport, electricity generation and associated greenhouse gas emissions. By 2020, 12 per cent of Ireland’s heat must come from renewable sources. At present, we are well short of this target. Failure will result in heavy EU fines – it is estimated that fines of €240 million per annum for each percentage point targets are missed by.”
[SEPP Comment: To meet the Paris Agreement.]
Change in US Administrations
Trump’s Election Marks the Final Phase of the American Revolution
By Tim Ball, A Different Perspective, Sep 6, 2017
House passes Trump deal on majority Democratic vote
By Christina Marcos, The Hill, Sep 8, 2017
Trump stacks administration with climate change skeptics
By Devin Henry, The Hill, Sep 9, 2017
“President Trump has stacked his administration with officials who doubt the scientific consensus behind man-made climate change…”
[SEPP Comment: Show the scientific evidence of a consensus!]
After a devastating hurricane, Trump still picks a climate change denier to head NASA
By Linda Stasi, New York Daily News, Sep 2, 2017
“Yet in the face of all this, you, Mr. President, have chosen to nominate a climate change-denying partisan politician, Republican Rep. Jim Bridenstine, to head NASA. How can you even think of such a man to head the most important nonpartisan science, space and aeronautical research and development agency in the country?”
[SEPP Comment: NASA-GISS is nonpartisan?]
Social Benefits of Carbon
Teledyne e2v sensors will play a vital role in ESA’s FLEX satellite mission to study plant health and stress from space
Press Release, Teledyne e2v, Aug 8, 2017 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
“For the first time, it will enable plant photosynthetic activity to be measured from space by detecting the faint fluorescent glow emitted when atmospheric carbon dioxide and sunlight is converted into energy-rich carbohydrates.”
Problems in the Orthodoxy
Has the UN Climate Assessment Process Become Obsolete?
Issuing massive IPCC climate change reports every seven years is too slow at a time when constant updates are needed to keep pace with science, some scientists say.
By Peter Fairley, Inside Climate News, No Date [H/t Tom Wysmuller]
“While Congress could still restore funding, and a Senate panel voted yesterday to move in that direction for some international climate support, Trump has proposed zeroing out the roughly $2 million per year that the U.S. has been contributing to the IPCC.”
[SEPP Comment: The stated amount is highly questionable.]
Seeking a Common Ground
Warmist Bjørn Lomborg by the 2070s, climate change may cost the world somewhere between 0.2 per cent to 2 per cent of GDP
Posted by Geoff Brown, Australian Climate Sceptics, Sep 9, 2017
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science
Effects of CO2 Enrichment on Soybean Quantity and Quality
Jin, J., Li, Y., Liu, X., Wang, G., Tang, C., Yu, Z., Wang, X. and Herbert, S.J. 2017. Elevated CO2 alters distribution of nodal leaf area and enhances nitrogen uptake contributing to yield increase of soybean cultivars grown in Mollisols. PLoS ONE 12(5): e0176688. Sep 8, 2017
A Two-hundred Year Analysis of Lithuanian Floods
Meilutyte-Lukauskiene, D., Akstinas, V., Kriauciuniene, J., Sarauskiene, D. and Jurgelenaite, A. 2017. Insight into variability of spring and flash flood events in Lithuania. Acta Geophysics 65: 89-102. Sep 7, 2017
“…they say that the long-term (1812-2013) analysis of maximum discharges of the Nemunas River ‘proved that both spring and flash floods in Lithuania [are] getting smaller.’ Taken together, these findings, in the words of the authors, ‘confirm decrease of spring floods in Lithuania.’ Thus, rather than increasing flood events, it would appear that the modern warming of the past two centuries has acted to decrease them. And most people would consider that reality something for which to be grateful.
Elevated CO2 Improves Both the Quantity and Quality of Two Lettuce Cultivars
Sgherri, C., Pérez-López, U., Micaelli, F., Miranda-Apodaca, J., Mena-Petite, A., Muñoz-Rueda, A. and Quartacci, M.F. 2017. Elevated CO2 and salinity are responsible for phenolics-enrichment in two differently pigmented lettuces. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 115: 269-278. Sep 5, 2017
Measurement Issues — Surface
BOM Scandal: One second records in Australia — how “noise” creates history and a warming trend
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Sep 3, 2017
BOM Review admits skeptics were right, but say “trust us” it doesn’t matter
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Sep 7, 2017
Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach, WUWT, Sep 3, 2017
“According to the paper, no less than 14 different and distinct datasets were used to construct the CET.” [Central England Temperature]
Measurement Issues — Atmosphere
UAH Global Temperature Update for August, 2017: +0.41 deg. C
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Sep 5, 2017
The deep oceans drive the atmosphere
Unusual Pacific Cooling means La Nina is now a possibility
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Sep 7, 2017
Hurricanes, AMO, And Sahel Droughts
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Sep 8, 2017
Link to paper: Atlantic Basin Hurricanes: Indices of Climatic Changes
By Christopher W. Landsea, Roger A. Pielke Jr., Alberto M. Mestas-Nuñez, and John A. Knaff, Climatic Change, May 1999
Storm makes engineers ask, ‘How big do we go?’
By John Fialka, E&E News, Sep 5, 2017
[SEPP Comment: The US has spent over $40 billion on Climate Science since 1993, why do we not have a valid model?]
Hurricane Irma eyes Florida
By Judith Curry, Climate Etc. Sep 9, 2017
In a matter of a few hours, Irma became a major hurricane. The surprising thing about this development into a major hurricane was that it developed over relatively cool waters in the Atlantic – 26.5C — the rule of thumb is 28.5C for a major hurricane (and that threshold has been inching higher in recent years). On 8/31, all the models were predicting a major hurricane to develop, with some hints of a Cat 5.
Updates for Hurricane Irma
By Joe Bastardi, et al. WeatherBELL Analytics, ongoing
American Versus European Models and Irma’s Big Turn
By Cliff Mass, Weather and Climate Blog, Sep 7, 2017
Powerful CAT5 IRMA a major threat next to Florida
By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM, AMS Fellow, ICECAP, Sep 5, 2017
1502- Columbus’ First Hurricane
5 Hurricane Charts Climate Alarmists Don’t Want You to See as They Rush to Politicize Harvey
By Kyle Becker, Independent Journal Review, Sep 1, 2017
The Atlantic Has Three Active Hurricanes For The First Time In 7 Years
By Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller, Sep 6, 2017
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma Can’t Be Blamed on Global Warming
By Alan Reynolds, CATO, Sep 7, 2017
First Harvey, Then Irma and Jose, Why? It’s the Season
By Henry Fountain, NYT, Sep 6, 2017
“Part of the problem, scientists say, is that there are just not that many storms: A dozen or so each year over the decades that good records have been kept do not form a huge data set to work with.”
Hurricanes, Climate Models, and Wild Guesses
By Brian C. Joondeph, American Thinker, Sep 8, 2017
Learning from Harvey
By Joseph Stiglitz, Project Syndicate, Sep 8, 2017
Politicizing Harvey in the Houston Chronicle
By Charles Battig, Master Resource, Sep 6, 2017
What Hurricane Harvey Says About Risk, Climate, and Resilience
By Andrew Dessler, Texas A&M University, Daniel Cohan, Rice University, and Katharine Hayhoe, Texas Tech University, DeSmog, Sep 2, 2017 [H/t Timothy Wise]
“Today, wind and solar power prices are now competitive with fossil fuels across Texas.”
[SEPP Comment: How well did wind and solar work during the wind and rains?]
UN flat out lies about climate change impacts – again
By Staff Writers, ICECAP, Sep 6, 2017
We Don’t Deny Harvey, So Why Deny Climate Change?
By Nicholas Kristof, NYT, Sep 2, 2017 [H/t Timothy Wise}
[SEPP Comment: Does the columnist deny hurricanes happening before CO2-caused climate change?]
Climate Cult Exploits Harvey
By Julie Kelly, American Greatness, Sep 1, 2017 [H/t Bill Balgord]
Fake News: Ignorant Reporters Blame Houston
Award-winners who don’t know the first thing about climate and flood plain runoff and probably even pavement.
By Jon Cassidy, Spectator, Sep 1, 2017
NYT: Lets Help Hurricane Harvey Survivors By Taxing Them
Guest essay by Eric Worrall, WUWT, Sep 2, 2017
Brian Greene’s man-made hurricanes
By Luboš Motl, The Reference Frame, Aug 30, 2017
Rising Seas Swamp Scotland
By Roger Andrews, Energy Matters, Sep 8, 2017
Corals survive 542m years of supervolcano, asteroids, 125m sea level change only to go extinct any year now
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Sep 3, 2017
Link to article: Can corals survive climate change?
Coral reef experts deliver urgent recommendations for future research
By Staff Writers: ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies, Via Science Daily, Sep 1, 2017
“Scientists have issued advice that more research is urgently required to determine whether corals can acclimate and adapt to the rapid pace of climate change.”
Link to paper: Rapid adaptive responses to climate change in corals
By Gergely Torda, et al. Nature Climate Change, Sep 1, 2017
[SEPP Comment: Paper discusses transgenerational plasticity, which is part of the adaptive process to changing ocean chemistry, and usually overlooked by CO2 alarmists. The term “Excellence” is a misnomer.]
Scientists “thrilled”: fish cope with acidification if tanks mimic normal large daily CO2 swings
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Sep 6, 2017
Link to report: New hope for reef fish living in a high CO2 world
New research examining the possible impacts of ocean acidification provides fresh hope for the survival of reef fish
By Staff Writers, ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies, Via Science Daily, Aug 31, 2017
Link to paper: Diel CO2 cycles reduce severity of behavioural abnormalities in coral reef fish under ocean acidification
By Michael D. Jarrold, et al. Scientific Reports, Aug 31, 2017
Un-Science or Non-Science?
Climate change could wipe out a third of parasite species, study finds
Parasites such as lice and fleas are crucial to ecosystems, scientists say, and extinctions could lead to unpredictable invasions
By Damian Carrington, Guardian, UK, Sep 6, 2017 [H/t WUWT]
[SEPP Comment: More speculation built on speculation.]
Scientific consensus: Earth’s climate is warming
By Staff Writers, NASA, No Date
[SEPP Comment: Graph of warming uses surface temperatures? NASA has not discovered atmospheric temperatures from satellites? Major References include:
J. Cook, et al, “Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature,” Environmental Research Letters Vol. 8 No. 2, (15 May 2013); DOI:10.1088/1748-9326/8/2/024024
N. Oreskes, “Beyond the Ivory Tower: The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change,” Science Vol. 306 no. 5702, p. 1686 (3 December 2004); DOI: 10.1126/science.1103618.
Modern NASA is an embarrassment to those who figured out how to go to the moon.]
Communicating Better to the Public – Exaggerate, or be Vague?
America’s Oil Refineries Are Located Exactly Where They Should Be
By David Blackmon, Forbes, Sep 7, 2017
“But what about the recent claim in The Economist that ‘Harvey was the third “500-year” storm to strike Houston since 1979’”?
[SEPP Comment: What would The Economist call the 1935 flood, or the 1929 flood? The term 500-year flood is meaningless.]
Parasite biodiversity faces extinction and redistribution in a changing climate
By Colin J. Carlson, et al. Science Advances, Sep 6, 2017 [H/t WUWT]
“Climate change is a well-documented driver of both wildlife extinction and disease emergence.”
[SEPP Comment: If the authors are discussing late 20th century climate change, the term “highly-speculative” fits better than “well-document.”]
Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
Does Global Warming Increase Motor Vehicle Fatalities?
By Marlo Lewis, CEI, Sep 7, 2017 [H/t Cooler Heads]
Link to paper: Climate change, weather and road deaths
By Leon Robertson, BMJ, No date
[SEPP Comment: Based on an annual trend – of one year – 2014 to 2015!]
Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda on Children
The making of a climate skeptic – at University
Guest essay by Clair Masters, WUWT, Sep 7, 2017
Questioning European Green
James Lovelock on voting Brexit, ‘wicked’ renewables and why he changed his mind on climate change
The cures being advanced on [by?] green zealots are often worse than the disease itself, warns the pioneering environmentalist
By James Delingpole, The Spectator, Sep 9, 2017
Questioning Green Elsewhere
Unwinding Failing Renewables Policies
By John Constable, GWPF, Sep 5, 2017
“Brazil has started the process of cancelling contracts for wind and solar projects in an overheated market facing falling electricity demand. European governments should be making contingency plans for the similar necessities.”
Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes
Amplifying Oren Cass’s Critique of a Carbon Tax, Part 1
The Carbon Tax Is a Shell Game
By Robert Murphy, IER, Sep 6, 2017 [H/t Cooler Heads]
“Simply put, the carbon tax proponents often make contradictory promises to different groups in order to garner support.”
[SEPP Comment: Using the same criterion, advocating “climate change” is a shell game.]
EPA restructuring environmental justice, permitting offices
By John Siciliano, Washington Examiner, Sep 7, 2017
“The two merged offices would include one that handles the potentially contentious area of environmental justice, which is tasked with making sure environmental results are shared equally around the country and another office that handles federal permitting activities.”
[SEPP Comment: Would it not be “environmental justice” to scatter headquarters of all Federal agencies throughout the country, rather than concentrate them in Washington?]
Public asks agency to keep pollution rules for cars
By Camille von Kaenel, E&E News, Sep 7, 2017
[SEPP Comment: The reporter was informed that she did not include SEPP as requesting the rules be repealed!]
Energy Issues – Non-US
Op-Ed: Turning Africa’s lights on should be a homegrown priority
Africa is literally the dark continent because so few people have the lights on. Better we sort that before it becomes a continent on fire.
By Geoff Hill, Daily Maverick, S.A., Sep 4, 2017 [H/t GWPF]
“China has 1.4-billion people, roughly the same as Africa, but it generates 12 times more electricity. You only get those numbers from hydro plants on rivers and, for the most part, from coal and gas.”
Germany Isn’t Anywhere Close to Its 2020 Climate Target
By Staff Writers, The American Interest, Sep 7, 2017
Ontarians pay a high price for power system mess
By Ken Green, The Record, Ontario, Can, Aug 26, 2017 [H/t Energy Matters]
“In Ontario, from 2008 to 2015, electricity prices grew two-and-a-half times faster than disposable income, nearly four times faster than inflation and four-and-a-half times faster than the rate of economic growth. It also outpaced growth rates in British Columbia, Quebec and Alberta.”
Energy Issues – Australia
Australia becomes the poster child for idiotic green energy policies
By Thomas Lifson, American Thinker, Sep 7, 2017
Electricity “Bill Shock” in Australia is so bad it will push up inflation figures
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Sep 7, 2017
“The government made cheap energy uneconomic with weather changing schemes. The solution is not for the government to buy up the (oxymoronic) uneconomic-cheap-generators, but to axe the RET, the CET, and any and all Clean Energy targets, tariffs, and committees. It’s a red-tape market disaster. We need a free market.”
62% of Australians don’t want to pay even $10 a month for renewables
By Jo Nova, Her Blog, Sep 6, 2017
Energy Issues — US
Harvey exposes striking new energy risks in the age of shale
By Jason Bordoff, CNBC, Sep 1, 2017
[SEPP Comment: Not new risks, just somewhat different outcomes for planning adjustments for weather.]
Washington’s Control of Energy
DOE study proves regulation puts hydro, nuclear power at a disadvantage
By William Murray, The Hill, Sep 3, 2017
Link to Report: Staff Report to the Secretary on Electricity Markets and Reliability, August 2017
[SEPP Comment: The term “proves” is too strong.]
The State of Global Shale
By Staff Writers, The American Interest, Sep 6, 2017
Link to Analysis & Projections: World Shale Resource Assessments
By Staff Writers, EIA, Sep 24, 2015
Ongoing research aims to help oil patch work smarter
By Mella McEwen, Midland Reporter-Telegram, Sep 7, 2017
Nuclear Energy and Fears
Texan nuclear plant runs through Hurricane Harvey
By Staff Writers, WNN, Aug 29, 2017
Georgia Power recommends Vogtle completion
By Staff Writers, WNN, Aug 31, 2017
World’s Largest Nuclear Power Plant One Step Closer To Operation
By Irina Slv, Oil Price.com, Sep 7, 2017
Russia tests passive heat removal at Leningrad II unit
By Staff Writers, WNN, Sep 1, 2017 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind
Energy & Environmental Newsletter: September 5, 2017
By John Droz, Master Resource, Sep 5, 2017
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other
Scotland Just Set a World Record for Producing Energy From Tidal Power
Tidal energy harnesses the natural ebb and flow of the ocean, and the technology generated enough electricity last month to power 2,000 Scottish homes.
By Greg Walters, Seeker, Sep 1, 2017
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles
Britain faces huge costs to avoid power shortages with electric car plan
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Sep 5, 2017
Britain faces huge costs to avoid power shortages with electric car plan
By Nina Chestney, Reuters, Sep 1, 2017
[SEPP Comment: Growth of electric cars in Norway shows how government can manipulate the market by lowering high taxes for one group, and keep them for others.]
Health, Energy, and Climate
Killing Killer Mosquitoes
By Melvin Sanicas, Project Syndicate, Sep 8, 2017
[SEPP Comment: No mention of a method proven to work: Periodic indoor spraying with DDT.]
The Southern Poverty Law Center Has $69 Million Parked Overseas
The civil rights group best known for its ‘hate map’ has investments across the globe, including in the Caymans, British Virgin Islands, and Bermuda.
By Jeryl Bier, The Weekly Standard, Sep 6, 2017
[SEPP Comment: Only a fraction of its some $300 million in discretionary assets.]
Other Scientific News
Rare-metals in the Himalayas: The potential world-class treasure
By Staff Writers, EurekAlert, Aug 29, 2017 [H/t Toshio Fujita]
Link to paper: A preliminary study of rare-metal mineralization in the Himalayan leucogranite belts, South Tibet
By RuCheng Wang, et al. China Earth Sciences, July 27, 2017
Other News that May Be of Interest
Bald Eagles a Farmer’s Nightmare
By Chris Bennett, Farm Journal, Apr 4, 2017
[SEPP Comment: Playing in the chicken yard.]
Crime Without Punishment is not Crime.
By Tim Ball, A Different Perspective, Sep 5, 2017
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE:
Trump’s Climate-Change Sociopathy
By Jeffrey Sachs, Project Syndicate, Jun 7, 2017
Climate Craziness of the Week – @kurteichenwald: “I predicted Irma using ‘climate equation’ 100% correct”
By Anthony Watts, WUWT, Sep 5, 2017
Destruction by thirds
By Staff Writers, Climate Change Predictions.org, Sep 2, 2017
“Global warming presents the gravest threat to life on Earth in all of human history.
“The planet is warming to a degree beyond what many species can handle, altering or eliminating habitat, reducing food sources, causing drought and other species-harming severe weather events, and even directly killing species that simply can’t stand the heat.
“In fact, scientists predict that if we keep going along our current greenhouse gas emissions trajectory, climate change will cause more than a third of the Earth’s animal and plant species to face extinction by 2050 — and up to 70 percent by the end of the century.”
Center for Biological Diversity, 20 Dec 2008
1. When the Truth Is Crazy
Trump is diagnosed with a severe case of conformity-resistance syndrome.
By Holman Jenkins, Jr. WSJ, Sep 1, 2017
He must be mentally ill because he does not accept my ideological beliefs!
SUMMARY: The columnist writes:
“Two things are intriguing about the “Trump is mentally ill” murmur that CNN’s Brian Stelter, on his show “Reliable Sources,” claimed is rife among the media.
“Mr. Trump’s mental health is being questioned because he insists on saying a true thing about the violence in Charlottesville. Even the visible dismay on the faces of his own aides at his Aug. 15 press conference was there because he spontaneously reverted to the truth when they thought they had extorted his promise to refer only to the violence of the white-supremacist groups.
“The other thing to notice is that “Trump is a liar,” another favorite media theme (one with considerable validity), has had to be put on hold for the duration.
“Mr. Trump is being diagnosed as crazy for insisting on an undisputed fact. Sociologically, this is interesting. A columnist of a more polemical bent might even make reference to the Soviet-era practice of condemning citizens to mental institutions for questioning the lies of the state.
“This would be a cheap shot. Failure to conform, in any society, is treated in casual parlance as prima facie evidence of insanity. And the media, in any society, exist at least partly to enforce such conformity, not truthfulness.
“Let me repeat: Many who enter the media profession do so because they have an extraordinary need to conform, to be seen conforming, to make others conform.
“It is only a slight oversimplification to say there are two kinds of people in the world.”
“Call one Steven Mnuchin. He, with genuine perplexity, answered an open letter from his Yale colleagues by saying: “While I find it hard to believe I should have to defend myself on this, or the president, I feel compelled to let you know that the president in no way, shape or form, believes that neo-Nazi and other hate groups who endorse violence are equivalent to groups that demonstrate in peaceful and lawful ways.”
“Call the other Gary Cohn, who felt the need to proclaim his dismay that anybody would “equate” violent racists with peaceful protesters, though no one did, including President Trump.
“Now here’s where we throw a curveball. There is a reason politicians constantly preach to themselves to stay “on message.” The goal of political speech is always instrumental, to bend the game to your benefit, to minimize the opposition’s opportunity to gain advantage.
“Mr. Trump’s failure to stay on what his staff, including Mr. Cohn, obviously think is the proper message in relation to Charlottesville has been costly. If Mr. Trump hoped to deliver tax reform, his chances seem slimmer now. If he hoped to build his rapport with Republicans and lead them to victory in the 2018 midterms, that also seems a mite less likely now.
“Then again, does Mr. Trump really want these things? Did he really want to be president at all? These questions at the time made nominating him seem like a bad idea. Mr. Trump’s purposes are not your purposes, Republicans. You forget this at your peril.”
The author discusses Charlottesville then states:
The election of Mr. Trump was partly a fabulous accident, a fluky outcome of the Electoral College. His margin may well have been provided by the FBI and U.S. intelligence establishment’s galumphing intervention in the Hillary Clinton email matter.
That said, this accident could have been met more constructively by Democrats and the media if they had been willing to build on Mr. Trump’s basic nonattachment to party and his willingness to do deals to move the country forward.
Unfortunately, another accident intervened—Russia. That Democrats and the media spent so much of his first months trying to paint Mr. Trump as a Russian agent needs to be explained: This theme was hand-delivered to them by a U.S. intelligence establishment now trying to cover up its earlier Inspector Clouseau efforts to keep Mr. Trump out of the White House.
The true story of the Trump era will take a novelist, not a historian, to do it justice.
Staffers suffered mild brain injuries and hearing loss attributed to sonic attacks
By Felicia Schwartz, WSJ, Sep 1, 2017
SUMMARY: The reporter states:
“The State Department said Friday that 19 American officials at the U.S. Embassy in Havana have been affected by sonic harassment attacks with the union representing the diplomats saying symptoms include mild traumatic brain injury, hearing loss and other symptoms.
“State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said another incident occurred last month and is part of a continuing investigation. Officials had previously said the attacks, which began in December 2016, ended in April. She said the State Department can’t rule out additional cases as medical professionals continue to evaluate embassy officials and family members.
“The announcement follows a statement Friday from the union representing U.S. foreign service officers confirming that diplomats had experienced mild brain injuries.”
The article continues with political generalities of no specific importance. But do wind turbines have similar effects on some people?